Eastern Exhibition and Display invests with CMYUK

Eastern Exhibition and Display invests in a Kongsberg X24 digital cutting table and Trotec Speedy 360 laser cutter from CMYUK

The need for world class finishing and engraving installations place versatility and productivity at the centre of this 40-year-old Scottish company’s growth strategy

Ian Hutchison, Operations Director and Shevy Kapoor, Managing Director, Eastern Exhibition & Display

Scotland-based Eastern Exhibition and Display has installed a Kongsberg X24 edge digital cutting table and Trotec Speedy 360 laser cutter from CMYUK. The new digital cutting and laser equipment is set to totally transform the company’s finishing capabilities as well as adding new service offerings. The company has developed a new area in its Musselburgh-based production facility christened ‘The Lab’ to house the new equipment with space for future purchases.

New owner, new vision

Founded over 40 years ago as a professional photo lab, Eastern Exhibition and Display was an early convert to wide format digital print technology. It offers a versatile service array that includes all aspects of display graphics from pull up banners, portable solutions, and modular systems to manufacturing entire exhibitions.  Other services comprise interiors for corporates and hospitality; glass manifestation; events incorporating props, stage sets, lighting and event branding; retail environments such as fit-outs, pop-ups, and shop fronts; exterior signage constituting banners, signage and wayfinding; vehicle livery and more.  

Managing Director, Shevy Kapoor, joined Eastern Exhibition and Display in 2019 as Finance and Operations Director. In October last year, he purchased the company with the clear intention of nurturing future growth.

“Lockdown gave us the opportunity to review our existing processes and equipment. I was aware that jobs were taking far too long to produce, and we needed to make the correct investments,” he says. 

CMYUK support

After consulting with long-standing industry colleague Sue Hayward, Equipment Sales Director at CMYUK, it was agreed that Amira Bouchiba, CMYUK’s Academy Manager, would visit the business to audit the existing set-up and produce a set of recommendations to support future growth and profitability.

“Amira got on with everyone well. She really understood the business and her report reinforced everything that I had been saying for months. This audit service is something that CMYUK should be proud of, and I would recommend it to all companies. It’s really advantageous having a fresh pair of eyes look at your production processes and Amira certainly knows her stuff. As well as the new equipment, we’ve invested in Clarity workflow software which was one of the recommendations,” says Shevy.

Finishing finesse

Shevy was already familiar with the benefits of the Kongsberg digital cutting table having purchased one for a company he had previously worked for.

“The Kongsberg opens new markets. It allows you to do creative things for clients, which they love.  We work closely with creative agencies and I’m sure we will produce more bespoke work, which in the past we would have been very reluctant to do,” he says.

Operationally, the installation of the Kongsberg X24 will solve production bottlenecks, allow existing equipment to be used more appropriately, create real cost-saving efficiencies, and increase competitiveness by removing time-absorbing manual processes.

“We were cutting on a CNC router, so everything was taking longer to produce. We weren’t being efficient, production was being held up, and due to this we were reluctant to take on volume jobs. We were losing work because we were too expensive as  a lot of the time we were pricing jobs with the extended labour costs factored in.  

“The X24 is going to be a real game changer. It will give us the speed and efficiency to handle high volume work. Our labour-intensive manual finishing will be a thing of the past, and along with the Trotec Speedy laser cutter, it will give us the opportunity to develop new concepts and be more competitively priced,” he says.

Trotec Speedy 360

The Trotec Speedy 360 was almost a spur of the moment decision, made when Shevy and Operations Director, Ian Hutchison, visited CMYUK’s Demonstration and Training Centre in Shrewsbury. The Speedy 360 cutter and engraver is part of Trotec’s Speedy family, which is the fastest lasers on the market.  It incorporates Sonar Technology based on ultrasonic sensors to provide the highest level of accuracy to ensure precise engraving results. With a working area of 32″ x 20″ (813 x 508mm) the Speedy 360’s bed size has been designed to maximise the material usage of standard sheets of laminates, acrylic, paper and more.  In addition, the high processing speed of 3.55m/sec and optional 120-watt power ensure optimum productivity.

“It’s a fantastic machine which certainly wasn’t on our radar until we saw it. We have museums, galleries, and distilleries as clients, and I could really see how this could work in terms of producing a host of additional products for them. In the medium to long term, it would also be great to help us to establish our own online gifting presence,” says Shevy.

Eco materials

As many businesses have testified, Lockdown offered many companies a chance to re-evaluate i commercial strategies and reset the dial on their working practices. This is very much the case for Shevy and his buyout of Eastern Exhibition. Committing to capital equipment investment, rethinking working practices, devising strategies for better client services are all par for the course. However, another area that the company is focussing on is becoming more eco conscious. The company has been working with CMYUK and other suppliers to source environmentally responsible materials. 

“When it comes to sustainable materials, we’re working very closely with our supply chain. There’s a big push to look at different substrates and how we produce products. We need to work much smarter now. We’re finding that many of the work tenders want to know what types of materials we use and what manufacturing processes do we employ,” he says.

Scotland has been very cautious lifting its Covid restrictions. There’s a sense that the population is ready to enjoy established events again like the Edinburgh Fringe, which is a big account for Eastern Exhibition and Display.  That said, since last July the company has been busy with corporate interior refreshes and staycation-related work for the outdoor leisure, heritage, and hospitality sectors.

Says Shevy, “In the short term we’re looking to make the business stable after Lockdown and get the new equipment in.  We’re looking to build more volume and establish relationship partnerships with other companies, something that we haven’t really done before.   In the medium term we’ll be introducing an online presence and engage with more clients. I’d also like to grow the workforce we have from 25 staff now to 40-45 over the next three years.”

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