Cristex Composite Materials increases its cutting capacity with the acquisition of a second Zünd digital flatbed cutter investment.
Cristex Composite Materials has added a second Zünd G3 L-3200 as part of a strategic investment to meet an increased demand within its cutting and kitting division.
Formed in 1990, Cristex Composite Materials has steadily evolved to become one of the UK’s premier suppliers of high-performance fibres and fabrics for the UK composites and reinforced plastics markets. Cristex supplies a comprehensive range of products manufactured from glass fibre, carbon fibre, Aramid fibre, Dyneema, and thermoplastics, as well as epoxy resins and adhesives. Building on its success as a leading composite material supplier, Cristex took a progressive step by introducing its cutting and kitting service in 2019.
“At Cristex, we understand that as the market evolves, customers need us to be more than just a material supplier,” begins Cristex Composite Materials’ operations manager, Scott Singleton. “It is important to integrate technological solutions using innovative ideas to support various markets. Our first Zünd cutter investment is a good example of this. Many of our customers in the marine, automotive and other markets were hand cutting their roll materials. By Investing in our first Zünd G3 L-3200, we were able to enhance our customer offering with our cutting and kitting service, which has since become very popular. Customers no longer have to waste time hand cutting materials using cardboard templates and compromise on cutting accuracy. Furthermore, by using us to digitally cut their 2D parts reduces material wastage by almost 40% thanks to the Zünd nesting algorithm.”
Demand on the up
Since introducing the cutting and kitting division, Cristex has seen an increased demand for this service.
“Many of our customers are now using our cutting and kitting service for their dry and prepreg carbon fibre, as well as glass fibre jobs,” adds Singleton. “Our Zünd cutter runs at full capacity with an increasing backlog of orders. With the cutting and kitting division being a very profitable part of the business, it made sense to re-invest in a new digital cutter to increase our growth.”
Earlier this year, Cristex took the decision to invest in a new digital cutter to increase production capacity.
“We looked at Zünd and some alternative manufacturers, but quickly came to the decision that Zünd was the best option for us,” notes Singleton. “The support from Zünd over the years through our first digital cutter has been excellent and we could not fault their service. Furthermore, their modular offering was very attractive, because we could pick and choose the options which met our business requirements. With other digital cutter manufacturers, we were stuck with pre-defined configurations of cutters that weren’t flexible for our business demands. This gave us enough confidence to re-invest in another Zund cutter.”
Whilst Cristex invested in another Zünd G3 L-3200, it also added a Leibinger Jet 3 inkjet printer which allows the company to print characters and barcodes as part of the material cutting process.
“Having the ability to print instructions on cut parts further enhances our customer offering through technological investment,” Singleton concludes. “Customers can now have laminating guidelines printed on each cut part, which means that any skilled laminator can pick up the part, follow the instructions and correctly apply the cut parts. Laminating guidelines can also include placement orientation information or part numbers if working with multiple kits.”