Paper Cutters — Slicing Through the Competition
"By redesigning our clamp and clamp pressure, our knife and knife pressure, the backgauge mechanism and state-of-the-art hydraulic mechanisms, we have ensured a more precise cut in the industry than known before," Gierlach says. "The customer can now run the paper through the press a second time without worrying about the paper squareness causing problems."
Safety, quality and minimal down time are three compelling customer issues that are consistently being challenged at Heidelberg USA, according to Rob Kuehl, marketing director for Polar products. Heidelberg USA also views automatic waste removal, faster backgauge speed and fast, reliable knife change as top priorities.
"Not only has Polar responded to these needs, but it has always set the example by offering these benefits before they were in demand," Kuehl stresses. "One such example is Compucut, off-line programming with a direct connection to prepress via CIP3, which won the prestigious 1999 GATF InterTech Award."
Production and value join the safety focus for The Challenge Machinery Company. Several of the aforementioned manufacturers and distributors are active members of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)—which helps dictate manufacturer product designs—including Challenge Machinery's vice president of engineering, Mike Westra.
"What Mike brings back to Challenge from these meetings is invaluable to our customers," notes Robb Gould, vice president of marketing and sales. "In addition, Challenge has gone to the additional expense to have our cutters Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed. UL is the leading third-party product safety certification organization in the United States and the UL mark provides the most widely accepted evidence of a product's compliance with recognized safety requirements nationwide. The UL listing provides the additional assurance to our customers that our components and designs meet the rigid standards of this independent evaluator."
Beyond the Price
Challenge cutters, such as the Champion and Titan, are also known for retaining their value, according to Gould. When it comes time for a customer to upgrade the bindery and make the switch to a cutter with an increased size and/or additional features, the mature Challenge model continues to command a significant percentage of its original cost, Gould contends.