ARISTO Aristomat flatbed cutter price Print

Aristo exhibits occasionally at sign printer expositions around the world. Zund exhibits at most sign printer expos. Kongsberg exhibits at many sign printer expos. For example, I am writing this page in Moscow, at Reklama Moscow. There is a small Zund booth; there is a Kongsberg in a larger booth. I have not yet noticed an Aristo (does not mean there is none present, if present it did not get noticed).

This is the Aristomat TL 48 flatbed cutter at SGIA Las Vegas 2010.

The week before, at VISCOM Italy, there were two large Zund cutters in a large booth. There were at least two Kongsberg cutters in an ample EskoArtwork booth. There was at most one Aristo cutter in the booth of their Italian distributor (I am writing from memory since my notes are back in the hotel).

ARISTO cutters are at a price a bit less than Zund; often Zund tries to be a bit less than Kongsberg from EskoArtwork. But Kongsberg has the most sophisticated software suite. So the idiom applies, you tend to get what you pay for.

The other way to look at it is: Kongsberg is the sophisticated cutter at the top of the high end. Zund is the best known brand name at the high end. ARISTO is a good German brand, but in past years simply was not exhibited as much at signage trade shows. MultiCam is a traditional cutter in the American style; coming from the world of CNC routers.

This is a polite way of saying that price is a logical reflection of the sophistication of the cutter options and software, as well as the status of the brand name.

Samples by the Aristomat TL 48 flatbed cutter.

CNC router heritage, or digital printing heritage?

if you want a cutter for wide-format inkjet printer signage and graphic display, usually you need a cutter, not a CNC router that has a cutter tacked on after the fact.

Yes, CNC routers and cutters share capabilities: Zund and Kongsberg need to be able to route; and CNC routers definitely need to be able to cut (since most signage is cut, not routed).

Evaluation process at FLAAR

I am inherently interested in understanding XY flatbed cutter technology because of my architectural and archaeological background in past decades. Plus rather obviously I am interested in the entire workflow for graphic display and signage from my work the current recent 12 years.

Print shop owners and managers stop me in the aisles at trade shows and ask my help to suggest which flatbed cutter to consider. Thousands more printshop owners use the pages of the FLAAR web sites and FLAAR Reports to learn about flatbed cutters in general and then which brand and models to consider.

With a staff of about 22 people, to undertake a review of a hundred-thousand dollar flatbed cutter is a specific evaluation project. FLAAR is currently expanding our coverage of flatbed digital cutters, and the first step is a hosted visit to the factory and training. Then we visit print shops that use the cutter and learn the pros and cons of this brand out in the real world.

My first visit to a cutter factory was a two day hosted visit to Zund in Switzerland. Then I had a two day visit to the several Gerber factories. The goal was to inspect their cationic ink flatbed printer but I also was taken to their flatbed cutter division.

Both Gerber and Zund seem to have gotten their start in cutting textiles (not exactly what a sign-maker needs to cut today). Now you know why Zund came out with G3…. to replace their earlier system with something that can better handle serious signage materials. How do I know this? Easy: I visit printshops that have each brand of cutter and I ask: why did you buy this brand and not another? And then, “are you happy with your choce?” I visited a sophisticated printing company in the south of France and they said their XY cutter (the generation before the G3) was not adequate for many signage materials that they were printing on with a VUTEk UV combo flatbed.

Of course if you take any product in the world, there will be a few people who like it no matter what; a few end-users who can't stand it no matter what; and then a wide range in between. FLAAR is aware of this (after 12 years of interviewing printshop owners).

I then visited MultiCam factor:y: but no photo opportunities and no testing in their demo room. So no FLAAR evaluation was realistic. MultiCam is a very typical traditional American manufacturing plant. In the year that I visited, circa 2008, they were clearly making heavy-metal routers for routing; not for delicate signage designs.

For Aristo we have no information because the first 8 years of trade shows its booth never stood out enough for me to notice. The first time I ever stopped in their booth was in Europe and probably 2007 or 2008. I rarely if ever see them in the US. The brands you see are Zund and Kongsberg; for CNC routers it is usually MultiCam and AXYZ (however AXYZ has been absent from SGIA 2010 and most European expos this year (2010). But I did meet the Aristo CEO at Sign Africa '09 trade show. But for undertaking site-visit case studies, we have Zund (a model perhaps 3 years old; okay on foamcor but not completely satisfied on other thick rigid materials with these early models), and Kongsberg ( have done site visit case study and demo room testing but not yet a factory visit ). Notice that we do make an effort to look at as many brands as possible.

But now that thousands of flatbed UV printers are installed around the world, and now that ecologically favored and bio-degradable printable thick Kraft-paper honeycomb sandwich board material such as Falconboard from Pregis, X-board from Xanita are available, more and more people who read FLAAR Reports will be asking FLAAR to recommend which flatbed cutting technology to consider and which brand and model to select.

Plus FLAAR Reports are evaluating workflow software such as i -Suite.

ARISTO CNC cutter option

ARISTO is a German manufacturer of multi-functional flatbed cutters processing of primarily non-metallic substances, rigid or flexible. The company was founded in 1862 as a factory for mathematical and calibration instruments. I admire their honesty in indicating clearly that they offer “CAD/CAM processing of all non-metallic substances.” It is worth inquiring whether this includes metallic signage materials such as Dibond?

The Cutters of the ARISTOMAT-Series CL,SL,TL and GL offer the option for the cutting application, with their custom-designed toolheads and tools.

A suitable work area is available for every application and diverse winding and unwinding devices as well as conveyor belts are available for material feeding.

Applications for an Aristomat flatbed cutter: sample making, prototyping

Kongsberg is traditionally strongest in the packaging markets. But Aristo makes a special appeal to offering cutting machines for all kinds of packaging.

The attractive 15 page Aristo brochure (that I obtained at GSW booth, SignAfrica, September 2010), features cutting for graphics as roll-fed material. In other words thin material.

The next page in their catalog focuses on cutting proficiency for gaskets.

Substrates and materials that can easily be cut by an Aristomat

When you look at the list of substrates and materials hat can be cut by the Aristomat, you find easy to cut cardboard, foamboard, foamex, foamcor, Kapaboard, vinyl. But then you get polycarbonate, acrylics, and MDF board. The real question is also how this handles thick material such as MDO. This is why a FLAAR Report needs a project to study all this in the demo room and then visit end-user sites for additional inspection.

Flatbed cutter options: ARISTOMAT CL- Series

This series offers three work areas 95 cm x 1.3 m, 1.3 m x 1.7 m and 1.6 m x 1.7 m, an adaptable vacuum system and you can chose tool heads. Thus you can select tools for cutting substrates such as vinyls, laminates, and corrugated cardboards for advertising markets or packaging applications. Just realize that MDF board can be rather tough.

ARISTOMAT SL- Serie

This family of flatbed tables offers four working areas from 95 cm x 1.3 m to 1.60 m x 2.45 m. A wide assortment of differing single- and multi- tool heads with tangentially controlled tool fittings enables the processing of the diverse materials. But again, as with any brand, test the actual materials yourself. Don't just send in the materials and have them sent back to you. This does not allow you to see how long it took the machine to cut through the material.

ARISTOMAT TL- Series

With three work area formats 1.3 m x 1.0 m up to 1.6 m x 2.5 mm, diverse high performance vacuum systems tool heads, adequate tool for cutting e.g. gaskets, rubber, laminates, solid fiber- and corrugated cardboard.

Aristomat TL 48 cutting some sample at SGIA Las Vegas, 2010.

ARISTOMAT GL- Series

Flatbed work area sizes from: width 2.04 m up to 4.26 m and length from 3.2 m up to 7.16 m, with tangentially controlled tool fittings enables the processing of the most differing materials.

ARISTOMAT PLC-Cutter (Production Line Cutter)

With laying-on or removal boards, over which a conveyor belt.

MultuHead V

The MultiHead V has seven set tools, an integrated controlled depth adjustment (Z-axis) and a software that controls the pressure for each tool position that provide the possibility of executing varying process steps without further intervention.

MultuHead IV ( OT.T.T.M.P. and OT.M.P.)

The MultiHead OT.T.T.M.P. IV has three tangentially controlled tools, one oscillating, up to two marking modules, a laser pointer as well as a color camera for the automatic calibration system Automatic Eye and is suitable in this configuration for all applications.

The MultiHead OT.M.P. IV is designed for the digital diecutting of gaskets. With an oscillating tangential blade and extremely powerful drive to cut soft material gaskets, elastic gaskets and also metal-reinforced gaskets quickly and precisely. A laser pointer and up to two optional marking modules round up this configuration.

In combination with the ARISTOMAT TL- or GL-Series the MultiHead can be equipped with a motorized stroke adjustment with this feature:

  • reduces the waiting time to a minimum
  • ensures a considerable increase in production throughput
  • allows material thicknesses of up to approx. 35mm

Summary

When I am at a trade show and see an Aristomat flatbed cutter, they look fully adequate. But I have never heard any printshop owner mention this brand except one person at VISCOM Paris last year (he said he wanted a Kongsberg because of their reputation but bought an Aristomat because it offered roll-to-roll feeding easily).

“Kleenix” is the generic name for tissue.

“Xerox” is the generic name for copiers.

“Zund” almost became the generic name for flatbed cutters. But Kongsberg is a significantly larger corporation and began to understand the considerable potential of getting their nice cutters into more markets than their traditional packaging world.

But it will be tough for other brands to match the brand-recognition of Zund or Kongsberg, especially since there are FLAAR Reports on Zund and several on Kongsberg. Since our web sites are read by more than one million people around the globe, a brand name can become well known quickly. Sepiax ink is the best recent example. The FLAAR Report on this ink has set records this year for increasing the brand reputation of a brand that did not exist several years ago.

Competition (meaning having several different brands which are good) is helpful to everyone. Competition from digital cutters turned MultiCam from their old-fashioned CNC routers to enter the world with their MultiCam Digital Express.

Introduction to flatbed cutters

Glossary of flatbed cutters

Kongsberg

Zund

AXYZ

MultiCam

Aristo

 

Available as free download.

Available in Russian later this year.

At least two reports available resulting from visit to demo room and site-visit case study.

 

Factor visit resulted in report, but only earlier model; not the improved recent models

No report

No photography encouraged at factory so tough to make an evaluation

See only at trade shows; would like to test in demo center.

Glossary of CNC cutters and routers
EskoArtwork Kongsberg XL flatbed cutter
Flatbed Cutters

 

First posted October 27, 2010.