What sustainable practices have you adopted in your business? How are your solutions promoting the concept of sustainability?
Sustainability is deeply rooted in our company DNA and we take our social and environmental obligations seriously. Sustainability as a directive has been extended over our entire value chain - from suppliers to resellers, as well as in our own operations.
Sustainability assumes special importance in the supply chain. That is a reason the vast majority of our suppliers, who supply about 75 per cent of the components used in our cutting systems, are located within a 20-km radius of our production facilities. The proximity of key suppliers has another benefit: we can more closely monitor quality and obtain some components just in time. Over the last three years, we have delivered all cutters precisely on the date promised. We encourage all our customers overseas to select sea freight instead of air as that helps reduce carbon dioxide as well.
Another particularly important issue for us and our customers is the reduction of waste, which we approach from a couple of different angles. Our software solutions and high-precision hardware are state-of-the-art and designed to promote the careful use of resources, which is critical in markets that use expensive raw materials. In addition, highly advanced coding optimises material usage and further helps reduce waste.
What are the peculiarities of Zünd cutters?
Today's single-ply cutters must be very easy to integrate in a digital workflow. Only a complete, end-to-end production process gives users the flexibility and efficiency they need. Another important consideration is the ability to automate individual production steps.
Zünd cutters are used in many diverse applications, for example in packaging and graphics, where many production processes have become digital and automated. We have gained a great deal of insight into process integration through experience.
As flexibility and maximum individuality are a must for any production equipment in this market, we strive to continually adapt and upgrade our interface and workflow software, Zünd Cut Center ZCC, to meet the requirements. At the same time, Zünd cutters can easily be integrated into existing software environments.
Textile production is extremely heterogeneous, relying on a multitude of software environments, computer-aided design (CAD) programs and workflow solutions. We also generate relevant production data and export to existing systems for post-production analysis.
How did you perform in the financial year 2016-17? What are the plans for the year ahead?
As a family-owned business, we do not disclose our sales figures. But our market research strongly indicates that we are the world leader in the sale of and revenue generated from cutting systems.
What is new in the pipeline?
To address the demands of simple handling, automated processes, high-quality results and flexibility in an advanced roll-handling system, we have recently added a cradle feeder to our wide assortment of automated material-handling devices. The roll-feed system prevents tension and distortion while advancing stretch fabrics and other textiles. Integrated edge control ensures precise and reliable positioning of the material on the cutting surface.
With new materials coming in, how strong is the R&D team at Zünd?
We always work on innovations that will help our customers produce more efficiently and cost-effectively. At our headquarters, we have a strong R&D department with 45 employees, roughly a quarter of the total staff there. The key is not to concentrate on a single field of technology, but to focus on a regular dialogue with customers. Through these discussions, we gain an understanding of the kind of technology that will benefit them most. (HO)
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