Many people in North Carolina are excited with the University of North Carolina being a #1 seed in the NCAA basketball tournament and this week’s Sweet 16 round, but the real triple threat is Piedmont Graphics in Greensboro. The premier print and promotional printer specializes in labels, wide format work and commercial printing, which includes promotional products and apparel. And their new Colter & Peterson 45” SABER® paper cutter with Microcut® electronics is scoring points and raising production levels to new heights.
Local dealer Allen Shives at Ultimate Print Finishing, introduced Piedmont’s Jeremy Crocker to the SABER cutter. Crocker soon realized the computerized Microcut PLUS system, with a 12” wide format touch screen and the ability to convert JDF files, would work well with the digital presses and improve other things in his shop.
“The networking feature with the JDF templates changes everything. It makes a world of difference,” said Crocker, the Production Manager who has worked at Piedmont for 10 years. “The make-ready prep allows you to create job files exactly the way you need them. The program has a diagram that tells the operator when the file is sent, you know it’s perfect. You jump right in and roll, and we are being extremely productive. We save 35 to 45 minutes per job, in addition to time saved on a possible rerun.”
Like the state’s basketball kingpins, Piedmont Graphics is peaking at the right time. The company began servicing small and medium sized firms when it first opened in 1995. It now employs more than 50 people, a number that will likely grow after completing a recent addition that gives them 40,000 square-feet of space to work from. Crocker said the SABER unit is a huge upgrade from the other three paper cutters in his shop.
“Our first cutter was a new Challenge 305XG that we got from Allen. With the SABER, he put me in touch with Richard Peereboom at C&P and both of them visited our shop. They showed us the specs and links and we got all the details without seeing the machine in person. Colter & Peterson is good at what they do – building simple machines. We cut a lot of laminates and synthetics and needed a double arm machine. The SABER matched up well with what we do since it can handle the wear and tear.”
The SABER has earned its battle stripes and can handle the toughest jobs. Couple it with the Microcut automated system, which places the back gauge into position for a highly accurate cut each and every time, and the rewards are immense. It cuts within 1/64th of an inch and the system memorizes and recalls cut sequences instantly, allowing for multiple trims to be done much faster than most paper cutters that can do only one cut at a time.
SABER’s versatility gives Crocker and his team the basketball equivalent of scoring down low, from mid-range and from beyond the 3-point line. That’s a huge plus since their local and nationwide client roster is wide-ranging. From supermarkets and retail stores to banks, education and medical device manufacturers, the work for all three print service groups is all over the board.
“It does a great job with little labels that measure 1/2” x 2”. The key is the accuracy. I can use the network to prep each job and the cutter knows exactly what to cut,” revealed Crocker. “We use the cutter for posters and P-O-P displays that we run 22” x 28” on 50 point board. We also can take a 4’ x 8’ sheet, cut it into 6-8 sections and make more cuts in 30 seconds doing 10-20 sheets at a time. The SABER has a 6” gate so we can load 5” of material and it won’t flinch.”
Crocker said the typical run size ranges from 10 sheets of business cards to 10,000 saddle stitch books. But there are exceptions and it doesn’t matter because the SABER can handle everything he throws at it.
“This is a very user-friendly and intuitive machine. About 95 percent of the jobs we run are full bleed. That requires us to make more cuts so we are saving additional time. We did a 94,000 piece job last month where we did six different versions. What took us less than two hours to cut would have required a solid day with any other cutter, and we would not have had the kind of consistency it produces.”