The Mimaki cutting plotter that’s in regular use at Sign & Design (Somerset) Ltd still looks as good as the day the company bought it, according to owner, Paul Dinsdale. Considering that date was in the late 1990s and the cutter is used almost daily, that’s some claim!
“We’ve looked after it of course, but it’s still running and cutting perfectly,” he says. “We’ve gone through a few blades and pinch rollers in that time, but it starts up happily, we press the buttons and it does its stuff!”
Starting out in the early 1980s, Dinsdale begun his apprenticeship in hand painted signwriting. In 1983, he set up his own sign business and soon won the contract to provide traditional painted signage for a large brewery. As the business grew and took on staff, computers opened up the potential for plotting vinyl lettering and they bought their first cutter. In the mid-1990s, the business moved to larger premises, and employing more staff, invested in the Mimaki CG-101, a 1m wide cutting plotter.
“As a trained hand painter, I’ve been able to use this skill along with output from the cutter to deliver a diverse range of products to our customers,” Dinsdale states. “We even use it to combine the two techniques, cutting masks that are then used for hand painting signs.”
Other popular products that utilise the 25 year old cutter’s capabilities are school honours boards, where detail is critical, and vinyl garment lettering that’s then heat pressed onto sportswear. Signage within the education sector is also an important area for the business, and applying vinyl to powder coated aluminium sign systems delivers a premium and long-lasting result.
“The use that Paul’s business has had from the Mimaki cutter over the last quarter of a century is testament not only to the build quality of the machine, but also how well it’s been looked after,” comments Duncan Jefferies, head of marketing and business development at Mimaki’s distributor for the UK and Ireland, Hybrid Services. “We were absolutely delighted to hear that their investment is still providing such great service, so far down the line.”
“The Mimaki has been a fantastic machine,” Dinsdale concludes. “Sign & Design prides itself on bringing together the traditional art of signwriting and the benefits of technology, and this has allowed us to consistently deliver bespoke and high quality, yet cost effective solutions for our clients.”