Esko said it had gone back to the drawing board for the C-series, after a decade of success with the previous X-series, leading to enhancements in everything from ease of use for the operator to production capability.

The highlight of the new platform is a composite carbon-based traverse beam, replacing the traditional aluminium construction, which allows the machine to run at full production speed on much larger sheets without suffering any deviation in accuracy.

Esko business development manager for Europe Stuart Fox explained that one of the major challenges with any CAD/CAM cutting table was deflection in the beam when milling or creasing thick substrates at high speed.

“Even in a steel beam you will see some inaccuracy at the centre of the beam versus the edges – be it 0.1mm – so manufacturers have tended to negate that deflection by reducing the speed,” said Fox.

“The fact that the C64 is 3.2m wide means we probably would have lost something like 30-40% of the 100m/min output speed when working to the maximum sheet size, because we would have to reduce the performance to compensate for the limitations of the technology.

“But by going to a [beam] material that is extremely rigid, we’ve managed to maintain the speed and acceleration without compromising control on the Z axis, which is the cutting depth; it’s a nice step forward in technology.”

Esko will showcase the 3,210×3,200mm Kongsberg C64 at SGIA Expo in Florida from 23-25 October alongside a new front-end, i-cut Production Console, which will be running on a Kongsberg XN24 at the show.

Also available in the C-series will be the Kongsberg C60 model, which has a maximum sheet size of up to 3,210×1,600mm.

Fox said UK commercial availability would be from around early next year. Specifications were being finalised but speeds would be around 100m per minute on thicknesses up to around 25mm. Prices will be announced at SGIA.

“It is a completely redesigned table, more ergonomic, with updated servo systems and joy-stick control so it is more intuitive and easier to operate,” said Fox. “It includes knife cutting, 3kw routing, creasing, v-cutting and can handle all the typical materials found in sign and display markets.

“Most people, when they make an investment, can’t and don’t want to have to buy a machine for each application. They want 3.2m drops in banners but also want to cut a bit of vinyl or MDF. They want a machine that is all things to all people in the graphic arts market for signs and displays.”

Esko will sell the new Kongsberg C-series directly and through its distribution partners, including City & West End Solutions (CWE Solutions).