Paper Cutters — Slicing Time, Not Fingers
In terms of optional equipment, MAN Roland's ASE cutter (with automatic waste removal system) allows scrap to fall through an opening as the front bed table opens. Anther critical peripheral is the auto clamp stop function, which allows the clamp to move only a fraction of an inch off the stock after making the cut. The backgauge moves forward and positions the stock for the next cut, and the clamp goes down for full pressure and cuts.
"Because the clamp does not have to travel the total distance back to the top of the knife beam, it actually increases the cutting cycle speed of the cutter," Adams explains.
A subset of operator safety is ergonomics and the elimination of repetitive-motion injuries. Employee safety and comfort are parlayed into productivity and efficiency, according to Robb Gould, vice president of marketing and sales for Challenge Machinery.
"Considerations such as the shape and position of the cut buttons, height of the table and access to devices that will ease the loading and unloading of stock, are all crucial to a well-run operation," Gould says. "The elimination of back and arm strain are significant factors in reducing potential worker's compensation issues and subsequent lost manhours. These issues are an important prerequisite in the design of quality machines."
Air on the main table is a standard feature on Champion cutters, with optional air side tables. Key material handling equipment includes stack lifters. Champion's PowerLift can be positioned on each side of the cutter, which helps prevent constant turning, bending and lifting, thus reducing operator injury.
It behooves printers and trade binders to carefully examine the complete design of the paper cutter, says Walter Gierlach, vice president of Pro-Cut Manufacturer.
"The widths may be the same between different brands, but the designs and features do not even compare," he says. "It is like comparing apples to oranges. Be prepared to ask questions about the weight of the frame and table, backgauge speed and accuracy, clamp and knife force consistency, dealer reliability and the warranty."