From left to right: Zack, Cutter Operator; Colin, Production Manager; Tanner, Cutter Operator; Matthew, Cutter Operator.
Kennesaw, Ga. – The largest commercial printer on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Digital Direct Printing recently installed two POLAR N 78 PLUS cutters from Heidelberg. With one cutter dedicated to prepping paper for the press runs and one dedicated to finishing, the company has been able to significantly reduce bottlenecks on the production floor – resulting in faster turnaround times for its customers.
Cut and Finished – Quickly, Efficiently, Accurately, and Repeatedly
After many years of using its “reliable” but older POLAR ED cutter, Digital Direct, who is equipped with a full fleet of Heidelberg products, started encountering bottlenecks in its finishing. The mid-sized printer services many high-security, quick turn customers and runs two offset presses and three digital presses, which require a high volume of cut sheets – both on the front and back end of printing. Rather than purchase one new cutter, Digital Direct decided to purchase two new POLAR N 78 PLUS cutters, which are strategically placed at the feeder and delivery of its Speedmaster SM 74. With two cutters, Owner Geoff Davis has been able to cross train his press operators to cut their own parent sheets for printing thanks to the N 78’s intuitive and operator-friendly interface, which makes the cutter both easy to operate and to set up repeat jobs.
Duplicate cutters have also freed up his cutter operator to focus on just finishing work – getting completed jobs to customers faster. According to Davis, “The back-up at the cutter used to cause tension on the floor. Now we’ve eliminated bottlenecks in our workflow and made the paper flow to and from the press much more ergonomic for our operators.” In addition to the new user interface, the N 78 PLUS cutters are also equipped with more advanced air tables and can cut up to 45 cycles/min, which means the paper is easier to handle and faster to cut than with the company’s previous cutter. “We found that as a result of COVID, many customers have shorter print runs and expect jobs to be turned around faster,” said Davis. Since installing the new cutters, Digital Direct has seen an improvement in its overall productivity and is now better equipped to adjust to its customers’ growing demands. Davis cites, “the ability to get jobs prepared and then cut and finished more quickly, efficiently, accurately, and repeatedly has been the biggest benefit to us.”
A partner of Heidelberg since 2000, Digital Direct also boasts a Suprasetter CtP, Prinect Production Manager, Saphira Consumables, and a Stahlfolder B20 in addition to other Heidelberg equipment. According to Davis, “It’s always been my philosophy that all prepress, press, and postpress be provided by one company. It just makes sense that everything works together cohesively.”
About Digital Direct Printing
The team at Digital Direct is passionate about colour matching, paper and printing. Its goal is to provide the best printed materials possible to help its customers succeed. As the largest print shop on Vancouver Island, Digital Direct provides traditional commercial offset and state-of-the-art digital printing with modern PDF workflow, expansive bindery and wide format capabilities. Digital Direct Printing is a sustainable, award-winning, Carbon Neutral printer – providing a wide variety of solutions for any print project.