Catamount Color has excelled in web offset printing for over 40 years, but is one of the best kept secrets in the northeastern U.S. Formerly known as The Offset House, the Essex, Vermont printing operation is “trying to compete with the big guys,” according to owner John McGrath. He attributes some of his company’s success to improving the back end of the operation a year ago when they added a new 54” Saber® X-15 cutter with Microcut® and an automated rear loading system from Colter & Peterson.
“We installed it last October and it has made our operation more efficient on the back end,” said McGrath. “The Saber paper cutter allows us to keep up with the work we are doing on our web press. It is twice as fast as the conventional method, and the new pallet skid loading system doubles the output. We just have to trim and spin the paper.”
That’s a huge relief to McGrath since Catamount Color www.catamountcolor.com operates 24/6 with three shifts. He and his wife, Mary, founded the business in the early 1970s. Today, 90 employees work from a 70,000 square foot facility that offers web and sheetfed commercial and wide format printing, and some digital printing as well.
“Without the Saber and the loading system, we would have too much work pile up,” informed McGrath, who relies on a Heidelberg M130 press for the majority of the web offset work. “About 75 percent of our workload is catalog and direct mail for travel and food and beverage customers in the eastern U.S. We also do brochures and other work for a well-known collectibles company, and the jobs can vary from 5,000 pieces to the six-figure range.
“All of it is repeat business, so having a loading system work in conjunction with the paper cutter was a key issue. This was the first time I had dealt with Colter & Peterson; I heard about their equipment and saw how it worked by watching a few YouTube videos. The loading machine is designed to pick up paper and it goes through a set of rollers to ensure the paper doesn’t stick together. After it airs and jogs the paper, the system rolls out the air and delivers the load. The operator just has to trim and spin it into the off loader.”
The Saber X-15 cutter has a workhorse reputation and is helping make Catamount Color more efficient with a Microcut automated back gauge system. Built to ISO 9001 standards and loaded with new technology – including a 15-inch touch screen operator control panel – Microcut memorizes cutting sequences and positions the Saber’s back gauge blade for highly accurate cuts within 1/64th of an inch.
“Before I bought the Saber, I was impressed by its efficiency while watching the videos. I’m even more impressed now that we’ve had it for a year. We set it up for the press piles of our 40” sheets and it is a wonderful cutter. It makes all of our folders run much better since none of the paper sticks. We have eight operators who know how to run the machine, and although it is computerized, they were able to learn very quickly how it works. It has made their job much easier since they no longer have to pick up the paper. It’s all palletized for them.”