Ghent (Belgium) – In just four years Arquifoam POP Advertising, with the help of four Esko Kongsberg tables, has made a remarkable transformation from a manually operated facility to a fast-growing digital Point of Purchase (POP) company in Uruguay.
Arquifoam POP Advertising designs and manufactures display products for retail outlets. They offer the latest technology for modeling metals, fibers and polymers. This allows the company to generate projects to the highest quality standards. The company manufactures a wide variety of custom, creative POP products, including freestanding displays, end-aisle displays, and shelf displays. They print on diverse materials and even do custom molding as part of their displays, when needed. Projects for major brands are usually in the range of 1,000 to 5,000 pieces, but they will work on much smaller or larger jobs—depending on the job itself.
“We are a POP manufacturer, and there are not many people who do the work that we do. Three or four years ago, our company focused on traditional POP. We worked with MDF, metals, and other difficult materials. Many of our employees were doing manual work. They were carpenters and metal workers and painters,” says Ricardo Keuroglian, Arquifoam owner. “We came to realize that we could not be as successful as we wanted because the work we did was complicated and took quite a while to get done. Customers, as you know, will no longer wait too long for anyone to complete projects.”
“The POP business is growing fast, but you have to offer people a good solution, or you will not be able to keep them as customers. We understood that we could not work manually any more,” adds Keuroglian. “We closed the company for a little while, and installed a different process. We located new materials and began to digitize the factory. We invested in the right printers, software, finishing machines and materials. One of the pieces of equipment that we invested in was a Kongsberg table.”
The most important thing Arquifoam wanted from a table was one that would work quickly and provide a good quality cut. Also, they needed a machine that was reliable enough to work continuously all day, if necessary.
Arquifoam’s first table was a Kongsberg XL. “We were searching for different cutting machines on the Web and attended the fairs, where we met Esko. I couldn’t believe how well the Kongsberg table cut materials. It also came with many tools. Depending upon what you do, you will be surprised how versatile it is,” comments Keuroglian.
Since then, Arquifoam has invested in 100% digital production. They own three wide format printers and four Esko Kongsberg digital finishing tables—most of them Kongsberg XP tables. “We have owned Kongsberg tables for about three to four years now, and we really like the precision of the Kongsberg table. Registration is very good. We need a clean cut on a machine that can operate faster than what someone can do manually. In my mind, none is better. They also work 24 hours a day,” remarks Keuroglian. “When our customers see the machines cutting, they are very impressed. When they see something cut in a few seconds, they always ask, ‘How did you do that?’ They can see how well each piece is cut—quickly.”
“Before, we used to have 15 people working in the manufacturing area,” remembers Keuroglian. Now, only five people work there, and others are working in different skilled areas of our facility, such as design, sales and marketing. In the meantime, we have produced triple what we produced before, with less people. The Kongsberg table does most of the work. And, factory is much cleaner, with much less dust.”
Arquifoam has been growing so fast that they have had to be careful on focusing on each investment. They went just eight months between purchasing their three Kongsberg XP tables. “Based on the structural work we do, our immediate primary need was cutting the material,” explains Keuroglian. “Now, with our four tables, we think we can be even more productive by feeding them more work from a productive workflow. We think it’s the right time to implement i-cut Suite, the Esko workflow for sign and display companies. We will automate it with Automation Engine, add WebCenter for collaboration and online approval, and invest in color management.”
Arquifoam’s current successes all started with the investment in digital printers and Kongsberg cutting tables. “From our experience, Kongsberg tables are the best,” concludes Keuroglian. www.arquifoam.com