Cutting Through Roadblocks in Digital Finishing
Digital cutters have revolutionized the wide-format print sector. Capable of precise cutting and routing of a wide variety of substrates, they can produce almost any shape you can imagine from a flat sheet. But, it turns out that about half of all wide-format work involves simple squares and rectangles. This is an area where a sophisticated X and Y digital cutter-router may not be the ideal solution.
Consider these mathematics: New wide-format inkjet printers can turn out 400 sph, but a file-driven digital cutter may be capable of only 180 sph.
This is a pretty serious output mismatch, which may require multiple digital cutting systems to keep jobs on schedule. An alternative to X and Y cutters for simple shapes is a wide-format guillotine cutter. The new 141˝-wide Sabre X-15 (360) from Colter & Peterson easily handles the most common 126x63˝ wide-format sheet size. Instead of a single sheet, guillotines can cut through piles from ½˝ to 4˝ thick. Like X and Y systems, the Saber will cut paper, plastics, styrene, vinyl, coroplast, C2 and more. But in a “test case” of productivity, a wide-format Saber ran through a customer job in 20 minutes. Previously, the job had taken an astonishing 14 hours on a conventional digital cutter!
Colter & Peterson had purchased Microcut some years ago. This led to the ideal integration of computer-controlled backstops and gripper guides with the cutter. Using a network connection, the Microcut system will precisely guide the operator through every step of the cutting process via an 18˝ color touchscreen, taking bleeds and cut lines into account.
Digital cutters will always be the ideal for complex shapes, but the new breed of wide-format guillotines will be easier and faster for simpler wide-format jobs.