Screen printing house Data International specializes in product identification and custom electronic assemblies. Rather than standard products, Data International builds specifically to the customer's unique specifications, printing on polycarbonate, polyester, aluminum and vinyl for name plates, overlays, labels and decal-type products.
Bobby Welter, Production Manager with Data International stated, â€œOur operation is very unique, not just for the quality of the work we produce, but it's our people who really make the operation unique. In sales, manufacturing, really everyone who is in the company. It's because our mission lies in being extremely customer focused and driven in our attention to customer service. We are very strong in ideas and trying to find better ways to produce products for our customers. We believe that our business will grow if we stop asking, â€˜how can I benefit', and instead start considering what we can do to truly benefit our customers.â€
What really stimulated Data International in their effort to meet customers' demands for increased production and reduced costs was their purchase of two 20â€œx28â€ CONTECH UltraPress die-cutting presses, one in '95 and the other in '96. Several Data International fabrication staff attended a die-cutting seminar given by Dave Salsgiver, CONTECH President. That was in 1995 and the attending staff were quite impressed with the advantages of the CONTECH die-cutting process.
The CONTECH UltraPress offered infinite possibilities in die cutting from decals to intricate membrane switches, thermal die cutting, embossing, hot and cold steel rule die cutting and steel rule kiss cutting. Data International had been using some old clamshell and econocut-type presses. They bought the CONTECH die-cutters specifically to improve on the steel rule die cutting they had been doing for years with their old presses. However, the old presses had two main problems: (1) They didn't cut evenly over the entire surface of the die, creating uneven cuts across the sheet and excessive wear at the bottom area of the dies. (2) They couldn't hold the close tolerances often required by customers.
Welter stated further, â€œThe beautiful thing about the UltraPress is that we can adjust each corner independently. The adjustable stop blocks on each corner make it quick and easy to set up the press so that cutting pressure is spread evenly over the entire surface of the material to be cut. This saves hours of time in set-up, and it eliminates the damage to dies so that they can last much longer. And we've saved our customers a lot of expense on dies, because they just don't have to be replaced as often, and customers really appreciate that.â€
With CONTECH technology, the X,Y, Theta registration allows the table to move rather than the die, so there is virtually no trial and error during the set-up phase. This obviously allows the press to hold a very tight tolerance in registration and depth, and to utilize a longer cutting area in the X and Y axis on each cycle to reduce rejects and wasted materials. Now they can cut more parts at once (sometimes twice as many) without damaging the die.
When asked about the efficiency of the UltraPress, Welter said, â€œThe CONTECH press operates at a slightly slower speed than our clamshells, but the very quick make-ready more than makes up for it. Once I saw it operate at the seminar, I knew it was going to be better than our old clamshells, and I was firmly convinced that this was the way to go. Now, I'm even more convinced. Rather than thinking of the CONTECH presses as an expense, they were truly an investment in our business growth.â€
In regard to the UltraPress performance and CONTECH service, Welter said, â€œThe equipment did exactly what CONTECH said it would. The machines are very low maintenance. The one time we did call CONTECH, they bent over backwards to get the press back up and running smoothly. And I must say, they have always done what they said they would do. They are experts and innovators in their field, beyond competent and most certainly customer friendly. Anything, anytime, CONTECH is there to help and that means a lot. It's hard to ignore the value on something like that. Would we buy from CONTECH again? Absolutely, definitely! We are not just comfortable doing business with CONTECH, we're actually happy to do business with them because they hold the product quality and customer service to such high standards. The CONTECH presses have really exceeded all of our expectations.â€