ESSEX, ENGLAND -- "There just aren't enough hours in the day!" It's a frustration common to small businesses everywhere – pressure to do more and more in less time is characteristic of the modern world. The temptation under such pressure is to rush, leading to mistakes, poor finish, and, ultimately, results that are 'good enough' at best.
Mark Archer, Creative Manager at Essex-based Piggotts, has found a solution to the problem, delivering by his reckoning a 30% time saving on sheet material cutting. The solution boils down to that age-old essential, the right tool for the job: that tool is the ZM12 moving column vertical panel saw from British wall saw specialist Zapkut limited – a robust, feature-rich high-quality machine priced from just £2,495.
A rich history
Established in 1780, during the reign of George III, Piggotts designed and built aircraft in the early years of powered flight, diversifying into marquee supply having begun building them as hangers for their aeroplanes. More recently, Piggotts has been responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of London's world-famous West End Christmas lights since the 1950s.
Today Piggotts specialises in Christmas lighting, creative displays, marquees, flags and banners. Mark heads up the Creative Department, responsible for the bespoke creation, generally in MDF, plywood and Foamex, of items required for the company's customer projects.
Table saw issues
Before the arrival of the Zapkut vertical panel saw, Mark's team used a table saw for sheet material sizing. "Accuracy was a real problem," recalled Mark. "We had to cut roughly, and then sand back to get a precise edge: it was slow."
Cutting large sheets on the table saw required four operators working together, and the machine was not well suited to cutting strips much wider than 300mm (1 foot). In such cases a hand held circular saw and trestles was the order of the day.
Mark knew that only a vertical panel saw would address these issues. He researched the machines available on the market and then went to see the Zapkut ZM series at 2011's Sign and Digital show.
An easy solution at a sensible price
"It was immediately obvious how easy the machine would be to use," he said. "The price was great, too: it's amazing value for money. We went for it there and then." Piggotts' Zapkut ZM12 was installed shortly after the show.
The ZM12 has continued to impress Mark ever since. "Sheet cutting is much easier and quicker," he noted. "A single cut now gives the precision and finish we need, with no need for sanding. On larger jobs that makes for a huge time saving. We're getting sheet cutting done about 30% faster than before, without compromising quality."
That 30% time saving means that for every three hours needed previously, only two are now required. With many projects requiring the cutting of hundreds of sheets Mark's assessment that the ZM12 has already paid for itself is perhaps not surprising.
Repeat cuts a breeze
Repeat cuts are a significant strength of the new machine. "Just set the dimensions and away you go," said Mark. "It doesn't matter whether you're cross-cutting or ripping. The moving column makes them both really easy: no pushing the board through the machine needed!" The moving-column design of the ZM12 also makes the machine highly compact in operation.
"I'm over the moon," Mark concluded. "The Zapkut ZM has made an enormous difference. It's really easy to use, accurate and fast and great value for money."
Find out more
Many businesses like Piggotts have demonstrated the enormous difference a Zapkut vertical panel saw can make, in terms of quality, reduced manufacturing time and general business agility. Further information is available from Zapkut on 0118 970 1950 or at the company website, Zapkut.co.uk which has full details on the range.
To take a closer look at the ZM range, along with its unique floating router head attachment, ideal for v-grooving, visit the Zapkut stand at the Sign and Digital (stand H70 at the NEC, April 30 to May 2) Ligna (stand F44, hall 11, Hannover, Germany, May 6- 10) and FESPA (stand M93N at ExCel, June 25-29) shows.
Source: Zapkut Ltd.
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