Three thousand miles separate the two companies, but a conversation at a Las Vegas trade show last October brought the principals at PrismTech Graphics and Colter & Peterson together to solve an important issue. Paul Milburn annually upgrades his equipment and he was in the market for a paper cutter to join the 57” POLAR machine in his shop. A conversation with Bruce Peterson led to a deal for a 30” reconditioned POLAR cutter that is getting a workout every day since being installed late last year.
“The guys are absolutely thrilled. We had a few early issues but we worked them out and the cutter is doing a great job for us,” said Milburn, owner and president of the 30+ employee company based in Burnaby, British Columbia, which shares borders with Vancouver. PrismTech www.prismtechgraphics.com has grown from a small screen printer in 1994 to a full service commercial operation with international customers, including a few in Washington State.
“I’ve known Bruce for several years and always see him at the SGIA Expo. He’s easy to talk to and we chat every time,” recalled Milburn about what led up to last October’s meeting. “We buy equipment every year to keep pace with our growth. I had contacted a local dealer about a paper cutter and he dropped the ball. On the other hand, Bruce is very attentive, he listens well and does everything he can to help you.”
As North America’s largest independent distributor of paper cutters and paper handling equipment, Colter & Peterson www.papercutters.com manufactures new machines but has earned an industry-wide reputation for expertly rebuilding paper cutters. The reconditioned 30” POLAR at PrismTech Graphics is being used for precision trimming of smaller items such as retail shelf strips and decals.
“We accommodate our customers’ timelines and run two shifts during the week, and day shifts on the weekends when necessary. Last month we didn’t take a day off,” remarked Milburn, who spent 20 years in the industry before opening his own company. “Everything here is about producing quality work and finding solutions. We have a highly skilled staff and they needed little training before this cutter was handling as much work as the larger one.”
The work is as interesting as the customer base. PrismTech Graphics is the go-to place for Point-of-Purchase work, and its largest account is a large national retail franchise chain they service for stores from British Columbia to Ontario. “We print between 10 and 10,000 impressions for the majority of the jobs, sometimes more,” said Milburn about the work that takes place inside his 35,000 square-foot operation. “The new cutter is giving us the capability to take on more work.”
They also specialize in outdoor (posters and vinyl banners) and applied graphics, producing large wall, floor, and window graphics and vehicle wraps for customers including the Western Canada Lottery Corporation and British Columbia Automobile Association. The latter has over 800,000 members and serves one of every four households in the province, and the POLAR cutter is easier to use on decals that measure as small as 5/8” x 1”.
Besides his staff and the work they do, Milburn is proud of his company’s charity involvement for various groups and projects, and as an environmentally responsible company. “Our recycling programs divert 90% of our waste from landfills, and the new cutter allows for tighter layouts that help minimize waste.”