Staying a Cut Above The RestFebruary 2013 By Chris Bauer
Mark McCarty, Printing Services Manager at Missouri State University, needed more automation and reliability in his in-plant's bindery. The Springfield, Mo., shop had gone through some cuts, reducing the staff from five full-time employees to just two full-timers.
The in-plant had an old Challenge 350CRT cutter that was prone to breaking down at the most inopportune times, McCarty recounts.
"It was older technology and it was smaller so it was difficult dealing with larger sheet sizes," McCarty says. "If we threw a lot of work at it, it would break down. We kept a supply of spare parts on hand, but when it would break down it was a two-man operation and we were wasting time if we did it internally."
So last February, Missouri State University installed a Challenge XT370 cutter. The older Challenge cutter was moved to the school's copy center to do shorter-run jobs.
"It is faster, the throat is bigger so you can cut a bigger stack of paper, and it has a lot of features that help us in our productivity," McCarty says of the Challenge XT370. "This helps with the lack of manpower."
McCarty notes that the new machine paid dividends right away, especially when the shop was faced with a large order.
"We had a postcard job the other day and on the old cutter it probably would have taken us close to half a day to get them trimmed out," McCarty explains, adding it was a run of 30,000. "With the new cutter we did it in an hour and a half."
McCarty points out that he looked at a cutter from another manufacturer, but stuck with Challenge because of his familiarity with the company. Price also was part of the decision, but he still felt like the Challenge XT370 was a quality cutter and the best fit for his operation.
"It was not difficult to justify the purchase because of the reduction in staff," McCarty adds. He knew he needed to replace people with technology and have something that was reliable, he explains.
McCarty is currently preparing to move the in-plant into a new building. For the past 10 years, the shop has been a few miles off campus. In March, the in-plant will be moving back on campus into a 9,500-square-foot facility.