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SABER paper cutter with Microcut controls saves time

December 26, 2017

Digital shop plans for Direct-to-Finish automation with new Colter & Peterson SABER paper cutter

Mailings Unlimited installed a new top-of-the-line 37-inch SABER® paper cutter with Microcut® PLUS electronics from Colter & Peterson two months ago. Co-owner Jon Webel says it played an instrumental role during one of Portland, ME digital shop’s busiest periods of the year, and he expects the automation capabilities of the cutter will boost productivity to greater heights in 2018.

We are a fast turnaround shop and the speed in which the SABER cuts is impressive. It really pays off for us,” said Webel, who opened the direct marketing print and mailing operation with his business partner, Paul Rogers, in 2002. “It’s doing a great job. It replaced an older cutter with a back gauge that wasn’t nearly as fast.”

It was Webel who moved fast to acquire the machine. A conversation with a local dealer was followed by a trip to Print17 in Chicago, where he visited the Colter & Peterson booth and met with Bruce Peterson. “It’s now our primary paper cutter,” says Webel, who also employs a larger but older 45-inch PRISM®.

Mailings Unlimited handles the printing and mailing of cross media marketing campaigns for a bevy of customers across the United States and Canada. The versatile SABER is an ideal match for their size of work, which ranges from 4-1/4 by 6 inches to 12 by 18 inches. Webel says the largest cut sheet size measures 13 by 19 inches, and orders range from the single digits to 150,000 pieces.

“Our HP Indigo 7900 and 7600 presses give us the ability to print up to seven colors, but most of our work is CMYK or CMYK over black,” remarked Webel, who oversees 25 employees.

Once a job is printed, it moves to the finishing department where one of five operators work their magic with the SABER paper cutter.

“If we get a call in the morning and the artwork is good, with the speed of this machine we can mail 50,000 postcards the same day,” says Webel. “The Microcut program is great and our machine comes with a clamp height that allows us to cut 500 sheets of postcard stock per lift. The SABER blade is driven from both sides and gives us nice, precise cuts. It is a really solid machine.

“With the auto cut feature,” continued Webel, “the operator can be stacking finished card while the machine automatically makes the next cut. That just blew our minds. Speed is important because 90 percent of what we print is on-demand personalized mailings. With our digital process, there is no make-ready so we just print it, cut it and mail it.”

Webel believes having Microcut PLUS with the SABER will take things in the finishing department to new levels. The system is easy to program with a 12” wide format touch screen, has the ability to convert JDF files, and stores and memorizes cut sequences for instant recall. He says the networking feature changes everything.


“We are still learning about Microcut and the HP Direct-to-Finish program interface, but sooner or later we will be using it. The JDF type workflow will make a world of difference. With Direct-to-Finish, the cutting program will be sent to the cutter as the job starts to print, and ready for the printed job to arrive. We’ll be going from press to out the door much faster than we’ve ever done before.”

We are a fast turnaround shop and the speed in which the SABER cuts is impressive. It really pays off for us.

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