Working is a small and successful print shop often requires employees to know most if not all of the equipment, rolling up their sleeves and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. The crew at Bourne Brothers in Hattiesburg, MS know the drill. When production manager Scott Ruple needed a new paper cutter to replace an older machine, he knew who to call. As a result, productivity in the first month of operation has risen nearly 25 percent since adding a 36” PRISM® paper cutter with Microcut® from Colter & Peterson.
“I like the PRISM very much. It’s very operator friendly and is easy to set-up for jobs,” says Ruple. He should know, considering he handles much of the cutting work. “The Microcut system allows you to program cuts and hit your marks the first time. If you need to, you can move the gate back and forth before setting the clamp.”
With only 16 employees and those on the floor working 10-1/2 hour shifts five days a week, there is little time to spare. Bourne Brothers (www.bournebrothers.com) is a large format conventional and digital printer that prints all size jobs for a wide variety of customers. Ruple says an equal amount of the work is printed on their Xerox 2100 and Sharp digital presses, as well as two 3302 Ryobi’s and a 4-color PM 74.
“We don’t specialize in printing only one thing. We take on everything, and no job is too large or too small,” quips Ruple, who has worked at the 13,000 square-foot facility for the last 11 years. “There is no typical run for us; we print everything from 50 to 50,000 pieces. Ninety percent of the jobs are for local customers. We print banners and displays for retailers and schools, and do other work for businesses and mom and pop stores. We have steady business year-round, but our busiest period is May through September so we really need to count on the PRISM.”
He chose the right paper cutter and electronics system. PRISM has earned a unique distinction as a reliable cutter that can trim more material than similar models in the marketplace. All new PRISM paper cutters are outfitted with the Microcut system, an automated program that speeds the process by memorizing cutting sequences for instant recall. The machine at Bourne Brothers includes a programmable, 15” touchscreen.
Ruple became aware of Colter & Peterson via his back-up cutter, a Challenge 420 he bought second hand in 2008. C&P builds reconditioned paper cutters including the Challenge brand.
“The machine we replaced was much older and had a faulty clamp, so it was time to replace it,” acknowledged Ruple. “We needed a machine that was reliable since we use the cutter all day, every day. We’ve been running it for a little more than a month and are still getting familiar with it. I like how we can program each job with the automation. Microcut assigns a number for each job so we can recall that information when we repeat a job weeks later.
“The speed of the machine is very good,” continued Ruple. “I’m getting used to holding the clamp as it builds up speed. The back lift gate also moves much quicker for production. We print a lot of business cards and with the 6” gate lift, we can comfortably do 50-60 sheets at a time. I don’t prefer maxing out unless I can get it all done at the same time, but with the amount of material we need to cut, our productivity has improved almost 25 percent.”
Ruple said C&P’s installation and initial training went well and was informative. He likely will have another training session soon to capitalize on all of the PRISM’s capabilities.
“The local area trainer did a good job and was very knowledgeable. We haven’t had any issues except for the knife changes, which we need to learn more about,” said Ruple. “We cut so much material each week, we’re about to change out the blade for the third time. We just have to get used to changing it.”