Valiani’s Made in Italy cutting technology is making its mark in North America

Thanks to the partnership between Valiani and Sydney Stone, an increasing number of Canadian printers are adopting the Italian manufacturer’s technology for digital cutting and die-cutting.

Founded by Sydney R. Stone in 1951 in Toronto, Sidney Stone has always specialized in providing finishing systems for printing. Over the years, it has grown to become one of the leading Canadian distributors of equipment and supplies for the printing industry. The company also refurbishes machinery and supplies spare parts and consumables throughout North America. Sidney Stone imports and represents prestigious brands such as Duplo, Morgana, EBA, and MOHR, and in recent years, it has added numerous small and large format digital printing systems to its portfolio, with a focus on compact machinery for low and medium print runs. The Canadian distributor’s clientele includes commercial printers, specialized third-party printers, in-plant print centers, large format printers, and converters of packaging and POP materials in small quantities.

“We take pride in our expertise in the technologies we sell and the applications they can deliver,” says Stephen Longmire, Commercial Director of Sydney Stone. “Our customers consider us a resource and consultant for venturing into new sectors.”

Long known for its binding, die-cutting, folding, trimming, and embellishment systems, the company has witnessed significant growth in demand for digital die-cutting in the last decade to create prototypes and small runs of custom-shaped products, including self-adhesive labels, packaging, and POP materials. This presented a significant opportunity for digital cutting, creasing, and semi-cutting technology, and Sydney Stone aims to meet this demand with a premium product, identifying it in Valiani. The partnership between the dealer and the Italian manufacturer began at the PRINTING United 2019 exhibition in Dallas and solidified in the early months of the pandemic, leading to the first installation of Valiani Omnia in November 2020. Since then, Sydney Stone has carried out plenty of installations of the Omnia and Optima series, as well as the Integra series, which the multifunctional cutting table, equipped with a milling spindle, officially introduced at Graphics Canada 2023.

Omnia’s automation enhances the productivity of KM-1 at Flash Reproductions

Launched in 2020 and available in B2+ and B1+ sizes, Omnia is Valiani’s solution for automatic cutting and die-cutting needs in digital printing and packaging workflows. Designed to cut cardboard and other sheet materials, Omnia’s feeder can hold up to 500 sheets (depending on thickness). These sheets are guided onto the vacuum table by a conveyor belt, die-cut, and then discharged into a collection tray. Thanks to the integrated camera, which automatically detects registration marks on the printed sheet, the unit ensures flawless die-cutting. Furthermore, the multi-tool holder hosts various cutting tools at 40 or 45-degree angles, creasing, kiss-cutting, and pen marking. Flash Reproductions chose the Omnia 80 in B2+ format for its versatility and compatibility with the paper format of the Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1 printing machine. This combination allows for a wide range of applications on plastic substrates, self-adhesive material, folding carton and corrugated cardboard, expanding the product offerings in the signage and POP field.

“The combination of Omnia and KM-1 allows us to get the most out of both pieces of equipment,” explains Rich Pauptit, President of Flash Reproductions. “Omnia’s automatic paper feeding reduces manual labor and enables us to increase productivity by minimizing the number of operators per shift.”

Omnia’s user interface makes it easy for the operator to match cutting paths to printed sheets, create completely automated workflows with QR Code mode, and die-cut unprinted material. Thanks to its robust design, Omnia can handle corrugated cardboard, chipboard, expanded materials, and plastics.

From left to right: Michael Steele from Sydney Stone, Francesco Morelli from Valiani, Dylan Westgate from Sydney Stone, and Nico Valiani at Flash Reproductions.

Stephen Longmire
Sales Director at Sydney Stone

“The elimination of time and costs for traditional dies has made Valiani’s digital cutting one of the fastest-growing products.”

Little Rock Printers: First in Canada with Optima 250

With thousands of installations worldwide and available in four sizes ranging from 1,230×800 to 1,600×3,050 mm, the Optima series is synonymous with precision, reliability, and compactness. It is primarily chosen by small printing and signage companies with limited space and budgets who still demand high performance. However, Optima is also suitable for large manufacturers of packaging and paperboard materials who require a cutting system for their design and prototyping departments. Since 2021, Little Rock Printers has been the first user of Valiani Optima 250 in Canada.

“Our mission is to provide local brands and retailers access to high-quality printed and packaged products,” says Brian Kroeker, President of Little Rock Printers. “Thanks to Optima, we can deliver all our die-cut material orders in just a few days.”

While they purchased Optima for vinyl cutting for signage, the company is testing its capabilities with materials up to 20 mm thick, expanding into the production of POP materials and small to medium runs of customized packaging. Little Rock Printers is particularly impressed by the build quality of Optima, which ensures cutting precision on all materials. Furthermore, thanks to the Valiani V-Suite software, the company quickly creates prototypes of boxes and displays.

“Optima allows us to present a real-time prototype of our clients’ work, eliciting surprise and satisfaction,” concludes Kroeker. “Valiani’s technology opens up new applications and revenue sources for us, allowing us to acquire new customers and orders”.

With Optima 160, Dekora Shapes Its Luxury Albums

Valiani Optima V160 is Dekora Album’s choice to support the creation of its luxurious hardcover albums, strictly handmade. Serving professional photographers, creative agencies, and artists, Dekora creates tailored photo books, offering customers the ability to choose custom shapes, colors, embossing, papers, cardstock, and a wide range of precious fabrics and leathers, both for the album cover and the box, including optional fabric cases. Located on the outskirts of Toronto, Dekora Album chose to install Optima V160 in its workshop in 2022, drawn by its compact design, ability to perform numerous processes, and precision in cutting and creasing.

From left, Rick Nay and Brian Kroeker, respectively Production Manager and President of Little Rock Printers
From left, Brennan Wright of Sydney Stone and Anna Cheremisova, Album Designer at Dekora Album.

A solid partnership that creates tangible value for the market

Digital cutting is becoming increasingly popular among small printers in Canada and the United States, as they see it as a way to streamline production and diversify their offerings. In a favorable market context, Valiani technology stands out as the best compromise between build quality, reduced footprint, ease of use, performance, and price.

“The compact size and the elimination of time and costs associated with traditional dies have made Valiani digital cutting one of the fastest-growing products,” concludes Longmire. “Today, the most successful series are Omnia and Optima, of which we also have a double installation. After the launch at Graphics Canada, we have also received significant interest in Integra, which adds milling capabilities.”

The recent installation of Valiani technology in the Sydney Stone demo center and the training of dedicated technicians are the foundation for rapid growth of the installed base in North America.