Cutter Saves ‘Tremendous Amount of Time’ for Florida College
Sometimes you don’t realize how important a piece of equipment is until it breaks down. That’s what happened at the College of Central Florida last year when its aging cutter stopped working right in the middle of the Spring semester.
Andrew Lowrey, manager of Printing and Postal Services for the Ocala, Fla., college, called the machine’s manufacturer, only to learn it had gone out of business. That’s when he went into scramble mode. He and the college’s director of purchasing did some quick research and narrowed down their options.
“We are state-funded, so price was a major consideration. We also needed a machine that was at least 26˝ wide,” explains Lowrey, who has run the 3,000-sq.-ft. facility for the past two and a half years.
What he found was the Colter & Peterson PRISM 73H paper cutter with Microcut.
“What surprised me was the PRISM had all the features of the others we were looking at that were twice the cost,” he says. “I spoke with Bruce Peterson [president], we submitted the paperwork and had it installed in May.”
A compact, efficient machine, the small-format, 28.5˝ hydraulic PRISM paper cutter offers impeccable reliability, Lowrey says, with high-speed steel knives that deliver precise cuts. A high grinding reserve extends the life of the blade and reduces overall knife costs. Its clamping system has a variety of pressure adjustments that don’t exist on other paper cutters. Another reason he liked it: the price tag was less than $20,000.
Responsible for cutting a range of small-format work, along with a small percentage of wide-format printing, the PRISM 73H has significantly increased the shop’s efficiency.
“It’s been amazing,” Lowrey affirms. “With our old machine we cut everything manually, and it was extremely time-consuming. With the PRISM’s computer control [Microcut], we save pre-programmed steps to trim large sheets with multiple cuts. When we recall a program, it adjusts the blade and automatically cuts. When we bought it, I didn’t know about this capability so we are more efficient than I thought we would be. It’s saving us a tremendous amount of time, and we are producing more work.”
Originally a junior college when founded in 1957, the college merged with Hampton Junior College — one of the first black, two-year colleges in the state — in 1966. To reflect the growing community, it was renamed the College of Central Florida in 2010. It now has about 15,000 students.
The in-plant does work for the school’s marketing department, as well as its students and the local business community. Lowrey, who manages eight employees, says the shop’s Xerox Color 1000i digital color press and Xerox Nuvera 120EA black-and-white printers give the operation lots of flexibility.
“The digital printers allow us to do any size job we want,” reports Lowrey. “One of our specialties is, we turn around most small-format jobs in less than 24 hours. Someone from the local community once came in with a job and they walked out a few minutes later with their 50 printed copies. Most jobs we do are up to 1,000 copies but there are some jobs in the 2,000 to 10,000 range. Those are usually 4x6˝ or 6x9˝ bulk mail pieces.”
The in-plant prints the college’s annual report, fact book and CF Connection, a publication printed twice a year. But a recruitment rack card is one constant that keeps employees busy year-round.
“We print all of the degrees and certificates, as well as 90 different cards for each of the programs the college offers for prospective students,” Lowrey says. “We’re always printing 300 or 400 at a time and distributing them across the region. That’s why we needed a reliable machine like the PRISM.”