Flood Opens Door for New Cutter in Michigan
It started with a flood.
“We had an unusual rain storm that stalled and dumped a lot of rain up here," recalls Rodney Thompson, manager of Printing and Mail Services at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. "Our shop was eight inches deep in water and the equipment was damaged."
That included the in-plant's Perfecta paper cutter, an essential piece of equipment.
"When I received approval to replace the paper cutter, I went to see our dealer, Grafix Plus in Wisconsin," he continues. "We did some research, made some calls and found the PRISM."
The device he's referring to is a 36˝ Colter & Peterson PRISM paper cutter with Microcut, which the in-plant has had for nearly two months now.
“I’m happy with it. We use it every day and the accuracy is very good,” praises Thompson, a 35-year printing pro who has run the university’s print shop for 22.5 years. "I’m impressed with the quality of the machine.”
Thompson’s digital shop at MTU is small by any standard at just 2,100 sq. ft. But this efficient in-plant operation is all about the quality of the work that is performed. The campus in Houghton, tucked away in the far northern point of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and only a few miles from Lake Superior, is home to 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students that represent 50 countries from around the world. He prints work for nearly every department, which means the new paper cutter is being kept busy.
“It’s typically cutting 26x40˝ and 23x35˝ sheets. We do a lot of parent size sheets and various sizes down to business cards,” Thompson says. “Our run lengths are all over the board. We’ll cut 100 business cards and run 5,000 commencement bulletins that are eight pages and saddle stitched before we trim them. There’s also new student recruitment information and variable data work on postcards and other things that require personalization. Everything keeps us very busy, five days a week.”
Thompson says his print shop uses an MGI Meteor 8700XL printer for 40˝ sheet work, in addition to a Canon imagePRESS C750 that prints up to 30˝. The MGI machine prints on poly vinyl, which Thompson then cuts with the PRISM.
“Previously we had a Perfecta paper cutter, and there is a world of difference between it and this new machine. The PRISM has cut some vinyl labels, in addition to coated and uncoated stocks and booklets,” he says. “With Microcut, I like the ease of use of the machine and the on-screen menu. It’s time saving and a lot easier than what we had before. It’s really a simple and highly efficient machine.”
Related story: Cutter Saves ‘Tremendous Amount of Time’ for Florida College
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.