As the leading remanufacturer of Herman Miller work stations in the highly competitive office furniture market, upper management at Richmond, Virginia-based Open Plan Systems (www.openplan.com) makes many correct decisions to maintain their high ranking status. Case in point is a recent determination to add a key piece of new equipment from another industry leader that is paying huge dividends by delivering better than expected results.
When the decision was made to purchase a new Prism® 45” paper cutter from Colter & Peterson (www.papercutters.com) – North America’s premier independent distributor of paper cutters and paper handling equipment – management was looking for a solution that not only was faster, but would cut with greater accuracy. Living up to expectations and more, the cutter has reduced waste and set-up time and is proving to be the ideal device to help with future expansion.
“This is the first piece of equipment we bought from Colter & Peterson. They came highly recommended so we did some research on what they had to cut our tile materials,” recalled Dean Williams, managing partner for Open Plan Systems. “We are very pleased with this cutter. Typically, this type of machine is not used in the office furniture industry.”
The Prism replaced a beam saw with a circular blade to cut eight millimeter 4’ x 8’ fiber board sheets. With tiles needing to be trimmed to 14” or 18” high to fit the various furniture systems and case goods being manufactured, Williams said greater tolerance levels were a prime consideration.
“It is cutting up to six panels at a time, more than double than what the beam saw could produce and much more accurate. We needed a tighter tolerance for our manufacturing process, and as a result we are experiencing less waste with a 10-15% better yield.”
That’s an important consideration given Open Plan’s turnaround time of three weeks or less. The company operates from two locations in Richmond; a 10 acre complex houses 150,000 square-feet of manufacturing, shipping and administrative space, and the other serves as a receiving and production prep facility with 125,000 available square-feet. All told, the company employs 160 and ships 95% of its products to customers in the United States.
A compact yet robust cutter, the 45” Prism has established a reputation for outstanding reliability. State-of-the-art electronics technology features the time-saving Microcut® computer control system. It provides the user with an automated capability to store cutting sequences so the back gauge automatically positions itself for each precise individual cut. Microcut also allows for programs to be uploaded from a network or with a USB device using CIP 3/4 files and no additional hardware of software is needed.
A critical time-saving machine, Williams said Prism is very easy to operate. “We have one primary operator and the set-up and training was easy, not very complicated at all. The set-up time to use the cutter is drastically reduced compared to the beam saw. Right now we only use it a couple of days a week since it is so efficient, but we bought it with the purpose to expand and grow our tile system lines.”