Two years, three Zünd cutters

Serbian NS Plakat has been involved in wide-format digital printing for the past 30 years. Roughly half of its revenue comes from manufacturing POP products made from cardboard. In addition, the company digitally produces a wide range of promotional products, including soft signage. NS Plakat has a facility in Novi Sad with 140 employees and another in Zagreb with 100.

It was more than 10 years ago that NS Plakat first decided to invest in Zünd digital cutting technology. At that time, they were one of the first PSP providers to work with rigid substrates. For co-owner Predrag Ilic, the choice was an obvious one right from the start: "We were in need of a high-performance, highly modular cutting system that could be used for many different applications, and this is precisely what made Zünd stand out even back then." After adding other cutting technology in the intervening years, NS Plakat subsequently went through an intensive evaluation process and decided to purchase more Zünd equipment. According to Ilic, both ease of use and software weighed heavily in their decision-making since these two factors make a huge difference when it comes to cost savings: "The differences in cutting speed from one manufacturer to the other have shrunk considerably from where they were 10 years ago, which is why this wasn't really a consideration for us. On the other hand, state-of-the-art workflow software has the ability to significantly accelerate the production process. Zünd has made great strides in this area with the new Zünd Cut Center which has propelled it far beyond any of its competitors." In 2015 NS Plakat installed a Zünd S3 L-1600 (with a cutting width of 1800 mm/71in) and a (3210 mm/10ft wide) Zünd G3 3XL-3200 configured for tandem operation, a setup that allows for non-stop production. While the cutter is in operation on one half of the system, the operator unloads and reloads materials on the other.

Zünd's current flagship, the D3 L-3200 (cutting width 1800 mm/71in) complete with Board Handling System BHS, has been in operation at NS Plakat since mid-2017. The decision makers were particularly impressed with the exceptional modularity and, above all, the productivity of Zünd's latest cutting solution. The D3 is equipped with two beams that can each accommodate up to three different tools. Depending on the specifics of the cutting job, the dual-beam system is capable of delivering up to twice the production speed and throughput.

With up to 20 orders per day requiring change-overs because of different material and processing requirements, the perfect combination of outstanding performance and modularity along with minimal setup time are the key to success, as co-owner Dorde Mihalicki explains: "Zünd's versatility and wide range of capabilities are very important to us. All three of our cutters are perfectly equipped for processing rigid substrates such as cardboard, Dibond, and acrylic. And they are equally well suited for processing flexible materials from rolls. This creates a great deal of flexibility and efficiency in our production workflow."

Zünd Cut Center ZCC plays a very important role in supporting production efficiency, elaborates Ilic: "The control software increases the reliability of our production planning, among other things, by calculating anticipated production times. Based on the information provided in the cut file, ZCC also proposes the best cutting tools and parameters, which further speeds up the production process. Such functionalities are critical to helping us increase productivity and reduce cost." In the end, concludes Ilic, Zünd offers precisely what has been the driving force behind NS Plakat's own success – a top-quality product line and tireless pursuit of innovation.

NS Plakat owners Predrag Ilic (r.) and Dorde Mihalacki with the most recent flagship, the dual-beam Zünd D3 cutter with Board Handling System BHS.