Summa Story

True to its roots, Summa continues to develop and grow into new industries.

Summa’s rich history began in a factory raised in Gistel, Belgium in 1973. The factory was established to assemble high-tech recording devices used in, among other things, the manufacture of precision optical lenses. Summa’s evolution into vinyl imaging started in 1987, when it began modifying pen-plotters for the use in vinyl-cutting applications. That evolution led to what Summa is today: a recognized global leader in vinyl and contour cutting and finishing flatbeds, whilst, at the same time, Summa is growing awareness with its laser solutions, covering the sign, outdoor advertising, and textile markets.

1973The factory of Summa in Belgium opens for the purpose of assembling and distributing analog recorders to the European market.
1984Summa introduces DMP40V pen plotters.
1985The merger with Houston Instrument, Inc. positions Summa firmly in recorder, pen plotter and digitizer markets.
1987Summa introduces the first generation of vinyl cutting plotters for sign making: the DMP40V and the DMP-65C.
1988Summa introduces a new generation of professional large format pen-plotters for the drafting industry: the DMP-60.
1989Summa breaks through on the global sign market with the introduction of wide model vinyl cutters: the DMP-67C and DMP-68C.
1990Summa introduces the DMP100V pen plotter.
1990The merger with Summagraphics Corp. further establishes the company as a leader in the design, manufacture and sale of vinyl imaging equipment for use in the sign-making market.
1991Summa introduces the DMP-100C, addressing market demand for wider cutting capability and increased production throughput.
1991Summa releases WinPlot, a powerful and feature-rich cutting software, developed exclusively for users of Summa brand cutters and available as a free download.
1992Boeing adopts DMP-65C cutters for use in painting and maintenance markings of its commercial aircraft, thus firmly establishing Summa as the leader in the aerospace marking industry.
1992Summa introduces the T1000 vinyl cutter, the world’s first combination sprocket and friction feed cutter. With its tangential cutting head and wide cutting ability, the 40 inch T1000 gains instant popularity in the monument market, which was previously confined to 15 inch width sprocket-fed sandblast media.
1993Summa introduces SummaChrome, the world’s first thermal transfer printer for the sign industry.
1994Summa introduces SummaSign, the world’s first series of high-speed vinyl cutters available in Tangential and Drag-Knife models. Patented tracking technology on SummaSign helps to establish Summa’s reputation for the most accurate tracking plotters in the sign industry.
1995Summa introduces OPOS, an optical positioning system for SummaSign Pro cutters. OPOS puts Summa firmly in the lead for automated contour cutting of printed vinyl graphics in anticipation of the exploding digital printer market. OPOS remains the dominant technology of its kind to this day.
1996Summa introduces the second generation of the SummaSign Series. The SummaSign Pro sets new industry benchmarks for speed, tracking accuracy and thick material cutting force. SummaSign Pro quickly becomes the best-selling vinyl cutter in the performance-conscious European market.
1996Summa introduces the first generation of the SummaCut Series, the world’s first entry-priced vinyl cutters to offer performance that rivals the competition’s high-end cutters.
1996Summa enters into a master distributor agreement with WestComp, Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the SummaSign Pro line of vinyl cutters.
1996Summa sells SummaChrome printer technology to WestComp.
1997Summa introduces SummaPaint PC 1500, its first-generation integrated inkjet printer/cutter.
1997Summa enters into an OEM agreement with WestComp to distribute SummaSign Pro cutters under the DuraCut brand.
1998WestComp introduces DuraChrome, the world’s largest thermal transfer printer, which extends its technology lead in outdoor-ready sign printing.
1999Summa introduces the second generation of the SummaCut Series. The SummaCut D60 24 inch vinyl cutter erases the lines between entry-price and high-end vinyl cutters, and consequently rapidly becomes the best-selling Summa cutter in the company's history.
1999Summa introduces Summa ColorControl software, high-speed RIP software for DuraChrome printers to further expand its integrated offering in the vinyl printing and cutting markets.
1999Summa acquires AirMark, Inc., a leading sign supply and equipment dealer in Seattle, Washington, and an innovator in national mail order and Internet distribution to form SummaDirect, the industry’s first manufacturer direct sales channel for vinyl imaging equipment. Summa’s worldwide headquarters relocates to AirMark’s Seattle facility.
2000Summa enhances the SummaCut line with the introduction of the SummaCut D120. The SummaCut D120 also features the industry’s first USB-port connectivity. The new SummaCut D60U is also introduced, featuring the new USB-port connectivity. This way Summa further expands its popularity and enhances its appeal in the Macintosh market.
2000Summa opens an office in Boston in order to more effectively serve North American and Latin American markets.
2001Summa launches SummaDirect UK. Modeled after the successful SummaDirect mail-order catalog and Internet sales channel in the US, SummaDirect UK quickly turns the UK into Summa’s fastest growing market in Europe.
2001Summa introduces the Summa DC2, a second generation DuraChrome, with the industry’s first Smart Ribbon technology, which automatically identifies ribbon colours and adjusts the printer to optimal settings for each colour.
2001Summa acquires land and buildings outside Boston and moves the Eastern division into a larger, company-owned facility, which enables to better serve Summa's growing Eastern US and South American business.
2002Summa expands its company-owned headquarters in Seattle, Washington, to better serve its growing global markets, thus nearly doubling its size.
2002Summa expands its company-owned factory in Gistel, Belgium in order to broaden manufacturing capacity in anticipation of a new product under development, thus nearly doubling its size.
2002Summa introduces the Summa DC3, a new printer from the ground up and the world’s first wide format thermal transfer printer to combine low-cost operation with totally integrated print and cut operation.
2003Boeing adopts Summa’s SummaSign Pro T1400A for use in aircraft painting and maintenance marking; a unique vinyl cutter. The 53 inch T1400A’s dual head design combines tangential cutting and pen plotting in a single production step, allowing Boeing technicians to cut thousands of paint stencils that are also labeled with individual part numbers.
2003Summa acquires 2.8 acres in the Centennial Park business development in Boston, Massachusetts, to make way for further expansion and to better serve the rapidly growing needs of Summa customers in the Eastern US and Latin America. The planned 34,500 square foot warehouse and office facility was completed in 2006.
2004Summa introduces the new SL line of SummaSign Pro cutters. Among their many enhancements, the SummaSign Pro SL D-Series and T-Series cutters feature improved firmware programming, more on-board memory, USB connectivity, and an updated OPOS optical positioning system as standard equipment.
2004Summa releases the DC3 Plus, which includes the previously optional OptiPrint media pre-cleaning system to further ensure debris-free printing.
2004Summa introduces the new SE line of SummaCut cutters. SummaCut SE cutters feature new deluxe stands with adjustable front and rear media baskets and the OPOS optical positioning system as standard equipment.
2004Summa introduces OPOS 2.0, an updated optical positioning system with automated routines for repeat die-cutting of multiple copies from both sheet and roll-feed materials. The OPOS 2.0 system is made standard on all SummaSign Pro SL and SummaCut SE cutters. Users of the original OPOS system are upgraded to OPOS 2.0 at no charge.
2005Summa introduces the all-new Summa S Class line of premium vinyl cutters. Summa S Class cutters offer a host of new features, which are new to the vinyl cutter industry and consequently further extend Summa’s position as the technology and innovation leader in vinyl cutting industry.
2005Summa introduces OPOS X, an all-new version of its industry-leading optical positioning system. Among the many enhancements is a new X-sensor, which scans the full light spectrum to enable OPOS X-equipped cutters to precisely locate registration marks on a wide range of printed output, including images with thick over-laminates. The OPOS X system is available exclusively on Summa S Class vinyl cutters.
2005Summa launches WinPlot, the first free bridge software program, designed exclusively for Summa cutting equipment.
2006Summa introduces Summa DC4, its fourth generation DuraChrome-class printer. Combining the wider width and variable width media of earlier DC printers, with the automation and built-in contour cutting of the Summa DC3 printer, Summa DC4 further establishes Summa’s dominance in thermal transfer printing technology.
2006An automated Take-up system upgrade and optional Media Rack are made available for Summa S Class S140 and S160 models.
2007Summa begins the next evolutionary step in thermal transfer printing with the smaller and more affordable Summa DC4sx. The DC4sx combines high image durability with precision contour cutting into one compact device, making the DC4sx the ultimate label and decal production unit.
2007The SummaCut Series is given an extensive redesign with a bold new styling and a vast number of enhancements, the most notable being the addition of the OPOS-X contour cutting alignment. With its premium feature set and extensive model lineup, the SummaCut Series is a performance/price leader bringing strong competition to the pro cutter market.
2008Summa announces OPOS CAM, a revolutionary and highly-advanced contour cutting alignment system for S Class series vinyl cutting plotters. Using intelligent camera optics and camera control software, OPOS CAM has been uniquely designed to meet the demanding needs of wide format graphics companies and inkjet printer manufacturers. The new camera upgrade option significantly increases speed and media options for Summa’s premium line of contour cutting vinyl cutters.
2009Summa S Class Wireless is introduced as an available factory upgrade option on new S Class models. As the industry’s first wireless solution for friction-driven drum cutters, S Class Wireless offers increased flexibility and workflow productivity by allowing users to output to multiple S Class cutters from a single computer or output from several computers to one S Class machine.
2010Summa launches the F Series F1612, the first extremely versatile and powerful flatbed cutting system, imbued with Summa’s legendary high performance plotting technology. A vast array of modules and tools are also made available to handle the vast landscape of applications and workflows the F Series can accommodate. Coinciding with the launch of the F Series is the release of the SummaFlex Pro front-end application as well as the standard-delivered table control software AxisControl.
2013Summa announces its latest advancement in vinyl cutting technology with the launch of the Summa S Class 2 (S2) product line. The S Class 2 is the next generation of Summa’s world famous wide-format S Class series vinyl cutters. With a host of advancements, it is built upon a foundation of expertise gained from over a quarter-century of manufacturing the world’s highest quality cutting plotters.
2014Summa launches the DC5 and DC5sx, the company’s seventh generation thermal transfer printer-cutters for sign making and display graphics. The new DC5 features an array of enhancements designed to increase connectivity, productivity and ease-of-use. The new Summa DC5 is available in both 30 and 54 inch widths.
2015Summa launches the F Series F2630, big brother of the F1612. The same modules and tools can be used on the F2630 as the ones on the F1612 in order to handle even larger media without compromising on performance and functionality.
2015Summa expands its premises with a new addition to their existing facilities in order to accommodate the significant growth in sales.
2016Summa welcomes the investment company GIMV on board as a new partner in order to achieve increased international growth and optimize the innovation and marketing of our products and services.
2016Summa launches the F Series F1330, the little sibling of the F2630. The F1330 mainly focuses on the processing of rigid board material, cutting vinyl and applications in the traffic sign market. Again the same modules and tools as the ones on the F1612 and F2630 can be used on the F1330.
2017Large Format SummaCut models updated with LAN connection.
2017Summa nv establishes Summa America LLC in Boston to more effectively serve the dealer channel in North and Latin America.
2018Launch of F1832
2018Summa acquires CadCam Technology based in Nottingham, UK, becoming Summa's laser division, expanding business in laser cutting technology for textiles
2018Launch of F3232 and F3220
2019Launch of Summa's very own software GoProduce
2019Launch of the first Summa branded laser L1810
2019Launch of the L3214, highest productivity one can imagine