Selling our flatbed cutter - looking at new Zund or kongsberg

ForgeInc

Active Member
We are looking to potentially upgrade from our gerber m3000 cutter/router to either a Zund or a Kongsberg. Our gerber has been good to us so far but we are hoping for something a bit faster.

Does anyone have any experience or strong thoughts about Zund or Kongsberg? Have done quite a bit of research and come to the conclusion both are pretty good machines with small benefits to both. What I am most interested in is long-term reliability and how either company has handled your service calls.

Any advice or knowledge of current owners would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

10sacer

Active Member
Are you selling or have you sold the Gerber?

We are looking to potentially upgrade from our gerber m3000 cutter/router to either a Zund or a Kongsberg. Our gerber has been good to us so far but we are hoping for something a bit faster.

Does anyone have any experience or strong thoughts about Zund or Kongsberg? Have done quite a bit of research and come to the conclusion both are pretty good machines with small benefits to both. What I am most interested in is long-term reliability and how either company has handled your service calls.

Any advice or knowledge of current owners would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
A friend of mine has a Zund, I don't know what model, but he said it cost about $185,000.00 about three years ago. He absolutely loves it and seems fairly fast.
 

BLC411

New Member
Anymore information from anyone on Zund vs. Kongsberg? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both? We switch materials often and will need to cut cor-o, diebond, styrene, acrylic, foam board, pvc, and up to 1/2" MDF. Any and all input welcome. So far we are leaning Zund due to customer service but don't want to overlook the Kong.
 

ForgeInc

Active Member
We just pulled the trigger on our new cutter today as a matter of fact. We visited both companies, (comparing G3 machines to XP machines) ran numerous tests and weighed plusses and minusses of both systems, settling on the zund G3.

Overall, I think the kongsberg is most likely a slightly faster machine, but in all honesty I think they both would be stellar and really it's a matter of personal preference.

A few things that weighed in our decision were some of the files we ran tests on cut way more cleanly and accurately on the zund, and it seems like the software integration on the zund was cleaner. Zund has 2 year warranty vs Kongsberg 1 year. Kongsberg was always trying to upsell us on the software packages to do the things the zund does standalone.

Also, the zund has 2 tool slots plus a router, the kongsberg only has 1 tool plus a router.

Honestly don't think you could go wrong either way and I'd encourage you to visit both companies (they are very close to each other in Wisconsin) or go to SGIA and ask as many questions as you can, though you won't get as much one-on-one time as if you visited them direct.
 

jhanson

Member
As a shop that runs a Kongsberg i-XL24, I can say that it appears that Esko started from a router and then expanded with cutting capabilities. Another shop here has basic Zund cutting tables; looking at the G3, it seems that Zund went the opposite direction, adding routing capabilities to a cutting machine. From what I remember, the router on the Zund doesn't have as much power as the XL router, so it limits you on substrates a little more; but it's also much more precise.

Our Kongsberg (with the MultiCut head) has two tool slots plus the router. However, you can only use some tools in a specific slot.

We've always had issues getting our machine to do the kind of fine edge cutting that is a breeze on a Zund. Whenever there is anything with very fine detail on adhesive vinyl (such as small text), the machine likes to make a pig's breakfast out of it.

The other thing you have to mind is that belt condition is paramount. The worse the belt gets (usually from routing stuff) the more it affects both routed and cut jobs.
 

Grizzly

Member
Zund G3 L2500

We bought our Zund at the first of the year and we can't figure out what we did without it! We cut hairline on almost all of our flatbed work and it's almost always perfect. I also love the 2 slots, sometimes I wish we could have 3 UCT's but for most of the time 2 is good. For what your cutting, I would also look into getting the V-Cut tool and not the oscillating knife. I rarely use it, but wish I had the V-Cut tool (will buy soon). Let me know if you want any tips or tricks on running it. Also, we bought our Zund over the Kongsberg because of the Warranty too! My guess is, if you want to warranty your machine for 2 years over 1 year, it must be good! Especially in the digital graphics world!
 

ForgeInc

Active Member
As a shop that runs a Kongsberg i-XL24, I can say that it appears that Esko started from a router and then expanded with cutting capabilities. Another shop here has basic Zund cutting tables; looking at the G3, it seems that Zund went the opposite direction, adding routing capabilities to a cutting machine. From what I remember, the router on the Zund doesn't have as much power as the XL router, so it limits you on substrates a little more; but it's also much more precise.

Our Kongsberg (with the MultiCut head) has two tool slots plus the router. However, you can only use some tools in a specific slot.

We've always had issues getting our machine to do the kind of fine edge cutting that is a breeze on a Zund. Whenever there is anything with very fine detail on adhesive vinyl (such as small text), the machine likes to make a pig's breakfast out of it.

The other thing you have to mind is that belt condition is paramount. The worse the belt gets (usually from routing stuff) the more it affects both routed and cut jobs.

The router is definitely more powerful on kongsberg, (3 kw vs 1.5 kw I think?) but honestly from what I gathered unless you are doing tons and tons of 3/5" thick acrylic or wood or other super thick, beefy substrates, not sure how relevant it is in the graphics world. We sort of landed on the idea cutting/routing speed is limited by how beefy your bit is and how accurate you want your cuts anyway. During our demo the operator tried to push the router speed when cutting some MDF, and snapped a bit almost instantly because it got pushed too hard. We did specific tests on 3/4" acrylic both machines...(cutting what we considered the fastest, sell-able speed) and yeah, the kongsberg was slightly faster but only by a few seconds. The zund reads dots way faster though, so sometimes it's a wash.

You also need a wrench to change the tools on xl machines. (you need a wrench to change router bits on the zund, but I think we would do that less than changing the main tools)

Technically the kongsberg has 2 tool slots, but correct me if I'm wrong can't you only use like a plotter pen or something similar in one of the slots? Useless for us, another reason we chose zund but again both are excellent pieces of kit and really couldn't go wrong either way.

It was a tough call for us with tons of research involved, now that it's done we can't wait to get our new baby!
 

ForgeInc

Active Member
Hey Forge,

What options and tools did you order with your table?

Got all the standards, router, drag knife, electric oscillating knife (will order pnuematic knife later most likely), media transport belt, couple crease wheels. No kiss cut tool or v cut tool yet, might get those later too.
 

cdiesel

Very Active Member
Beautiful. Our Zund is hard at work right now, cutting boards coming off of both flatbeds as we speak. :)
 

jhanson

Member
Technically the kongsberg has 2 tool slots, but correct me if I'm wrong can't you only use like a plotter pen or something similar in one of the slots? Useless for us, another reason we chose zund but again both are excellent pieces of kit and really couldn't go wrong either way.

It was a tough call for us with tons of research involved, now that it's done we can't wait to get our new baby!

I think in the future, if we had to do it again we would go with a Zund.

You're right about the two tool slots. Like I mentioned, some of the tools only fit in one slot.

We have an ancient Multicam 6610 Plus anyway, which has a ridiculously powerful spindle. If we have to route super-thick stuff, that's the machine we use anyway.
 

BLC411

New Member
Thanks for everyones input. We have also decided on a Zund. Looking forward to putting down the jigsaw and x-acto knife. Now it's time for new headaches & frustrations! :)
 

xxtoni

Member
Sorry for tread-jacking but I have a question.

I was recently at the Milan Expo and I already knew what the Zund can do but when I saw it in person I was absolutely blown away.

One question I have for you guys, as you're the first people I know to have a serious interest in Zund or even own it.

How do you guys justify this thing ? More importantly what do you guys do to pay off a machine like that. I mean it's amazing but for a quarter of a million ? There are certainly much cheaper CNCs that can get the job done


--
Antonio
 

Grizzly

Member
How to Justify $200,000?

We had the same thought when looking at the Zund, but now were not sure how we did it without it. It's true, its not a money making machine like a printer is, but we did a $200,000 job all in house right after we bought it because everything with the job had a shape to it. Alot of the printers have gotten so good it seems to me sometimes that its hard to compete on print quality so the way to beat out the other guy is to do it faster, and the Zund has cut our post-printing production time in half or more! If your trying to compare it to a normal CNC machine that is geared toward routing, your probably better off looking at an alternative. But if you want a machine that can cut Styrene, Coro, Cardboard, 3M Controltac, Banners Sintra, Gator, Epanel, Foam, just about anything, the Zund will do it! Also, try putting a full roll of Controltac or Banner on a Multi-Cam and cut the entire roll out without moving it yourself. The belt system is awesome!


Sorry for tread-jacking but I have a question.

I was recently at the Milan Expo and I already knew what the Zund can do but when I saw it in person I was absolutely blown away.

One question I have for you guys, as you're the first people I know to have a serious interest in Zund or even own it.

How do you guys justify this thing ? More importantly what do you guys do to pay off a machine like that. I mean it's amazing but for a quarter of a million ? There are certainly much cheaper CNCs that can get the job done


--
Antonio
 
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