Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


Paramount Graphics Eliminates Bindery Bottleneck With Polar Cutting System

Press release from the issuing company

KENNESAW, Ga. – December 22, 2003 – Paramount Graphics, a high-end commercial printer that handles everything from digital direct printing and high-end commercial print to packaging print and packaging conversion, recently installed a new Polar cutting system from Heidelberg that has eliminated what was once a backlog of work from the pressroom. Paramount recorded $20 million in revenue in 2002, but with the Polar cutting system now part of its arsenal of equipment, plant manager Doug Stevens expects sales to top $22 million by the end of 2003. The diversity of Paramount’s pressroom has enabled the company to pursue a variety of jobs. While this has driven volume, it created a bottleneck in the bindery. As a result, Paramount, which had been using an older Japanese cutter, was cutting 24 hours a day, six days a week to keep up with the demand and meet aggressive turnaround times. ”We had to buy a cutter because we had no time left,” Stevens said. “We were running three shifts a day on the cutter and that was just not an efficient use of our people, time and resources. We knew we needed to operate smarter if we were going to take on more jobs and maintain fast turnaround rates.” By alleviating the bindery and streamlining the finishing process, Paramount has been able to take on more jobs and maintain fast turnaround rates. The Polar cutting system, Stevens said, is expected to help Paramount continue delivering quality work and drive future revenue growth. Heidelberg’s Polar cutting system automated the entire production process. It has networked different operating stages such as lifting, lowering, loading, jogging, buffering, cutting, transporting and unloading into automatically controlled processes. The result: a safer, cleaner and more efficient finishing process. The full-time jogger at Paramount was replaced with a half-time one, injury claims were reduced to zero because the automation of the cutter eliminated the need for bending or lifting, and waste disposal was virtually eradicated because the Polar system implements immediate evacuation. Since installing its Polar cutting system earlier this year, Paramount Graphics has significantly reduced its turnaround time and eliminated the backlog of work waiting to be finished. This was particularly critical given that 90% of the jobs at Paramount flow through the cutter. “It was an absolute incredible change,” Stevens said. “We’re taking on more work, our revenue is up and we reduced our shifts from three a day to a little over one. When I give tours of our facility, the Polar cutting system has become a fabulous feature that I like to show off.” Paramount Graphics, formed in 1981, is a high-end commercial printer nestled in Beaverton, OR, outside the city of Portland. A complete one-stop shop for all printing needs, Paramount can produce a wide variety of work, including 25,000 copies of a 148-page sports apparel catalogue, large volumes of return mailers and how-to books on making handcrafts.