POLAR’s P.A.C.E. Cutting System ‘Cuts’ Trimming Time in Half

POLAR P.A.C.E. cutting system showing the AutoTurn turning gripper and 
AutoTrans loading grippers.

POLAR’s integrated cutting system, called P.A.C.E. (Polar Automation for Cutting Efficiency), uses revolutionary AutoTurn automated turning technology and AutoTrans automated loading and gripping technology to execute precision 4-side trims and strip cuts without human intervention. The system tackles what used to be a labor-intensive part of the print production process, reducing manpower and dramatically increasing efficiency.

The AutoTurn gripper has an automatic aligning gauge mounted on the high-speed cutter machine frame that turns and aligns reams of paper positioned on the rear table and cuts them automatically. Amazingly, in some large-scale installations, the P.A.C.E. system has no operators whatsoever.

The technology, first introduced in 2003, has been enhanced over the years with increased speeds and improved user experience, earning it the GATF InterTech Award for Innovative Excellence in 2008. The AutoTurn gripper has an automatic aligning gauge mounted on the high-speed cutter machine frame that picks up, turns and aligns reams of paper positioned on the rear table and cuts them automatically, a process that slashes manual trimming times in half.

It’s quite amazing to watch. Want to see it in action? View this video posted by Crossmark Graphics (www.crossmarkgraphicsinc.com).

So, what does it cost? Well, it should be no surprise that it’s not cheap. If you’re guessing in the six figures, you’d be in the ballpark. But before you make a quick judgement based on price, think of it in terms of productivity, job satisfaction, safety and ROI.

“We have gone from two to one operator with the same and more productivity,” says Jim Dobrzynski, Sr., president of Crossmark Graphics, a mid-size commercial printer in Wisconsin. “The return on investment will be around 2-3 years or less with our three-shift operation.”

“While labor savings are advantageous, the real benefit is from the ergonomic-related injuries we have avoided since installing the cutter,” states Bill Graushar, VP of Finishing, Quad/Graphics “…and this automation allows us to free up our people for more advanced and rewarding positions at the company.”

Trish Witkowski is Chief Folding Fanatic at foldfactory.com, and president of Rock the Mailbox. An educator, author, speaker and award-winning designer, Trish has a specialized expertise in creative solutions for direct mail and marketing, and is the curator of the world's most exciting collection of folded print and direct mail samples. Trish is the creator of the FOLDRite folding template system, and has authored many resources, most recently Direct Mail Simplified, and Paper Folding Templates for Print Design. She also hosts a popular weekly e-video series "60-second Super-cool FOLD of the WEEK", and is an instructor at Lynda.com. Trish holds a MS in Printing and a BFA in Graphic Design from RIT.
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