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Operators standing with new PRISM paper cutter

Operators Nathan Guerca (from left), Mario Huerta and Paul Wienke work with the new PRISM paper cutter.

June 17, 2019

New Colter & Peterson PRISM cutter gives Shadowgraph greater capability

Demand for industrial graphics is booming and no one knows this better than Derek Hayford and Tony Medina at Shadowgraph. The Houston area provider has a reputation for high quality work with a variety of unique materials. So, to keep their equipment standards on a par level, they turned to Colter & Peterson to purchase a 45-inch PRISM® paper cutter with Microcut®.

“Overall, we are happy with the cutter,” said Medina, Shadowgraph’s production manager for the last 16 years. “We had some of the typical break-in issues initially and we’ve only had it for a month. But it also has a lot more features than the machine it replaced. It will take us some time to get used to it and learn about all the benefits.”

Medina said he kept his Polar 32-inch EMC 90 strictly as an emergency back-up and the PRISM is cutting 90 percent of the work. What he has to work with now is a robust and solid machine known for its durability and user-friendly features. All new PRISM paper cutters boast added firepower; the Microcut electronics package improves productivity and features a large and efficient touchscreen monitor that aids operators with job set up and highly accurate cutting.

“Derek did some research and found Colter & Peterson on the internet,” said Medina about the company’s owner.“We are familiar with Polar cutters but he showed me a video of the PRISM and we liked what we saw. We thought it would be the best choice for the kind of work we do and the different substrates it can cut.”

From humble beginnings to a service-friendly business

Shadowgraph opened its doors for business in 1993 and has made a name for itself with industrial graphics that last. Located in Missouri City, about 20 miles south of Houston, a dozen employees churn out brand identification and safety and security graphic overlays, tags and decals, signs and banners, in addition to some digital flatbed printing and custom fabrication work.

“About two-thirds of our work is for customers in Texas, but our name is well known in many industries. The other third of the customer base are accounts from coast-to-coast and in Canada,” explained Medina. Every day is something new. One minute we’ll be doing an order for 2,000 decals, and the next one is for 30,000 vinyl decals or printed on sensitive materials.”

Shadowgraph’s industry applications are far ranging. You’ll find their work on consumer and OEM products, as well as medical and telecommunications equipment and ATM machines. Where there is an oil field, you’ll likely see a Shadowgraph product. The same holds true for the aviation and automotive industries, or any place with heavy construction equipment.

“Our products are made from durable materials, including 3M adhesives, and are weather resistant in all types of environments. They are used outdoors and indoors, and the materials can withstand UV or radiation exposure and be used on sensitive equipment,” said Medina. 

PRISM paper cutter's accuracy is key

“With our products the thickness ranges from 5 mil to 50 mil, so the accuracy of the PRISM is important. We work with very tight tolerances within 1/1,000 of an inch. The graphic overlays are printed on UV treated polyester and with fade resistance, they will last between 7-10 years.”

Medina acknowledged he and his team of four operators are still scratching the surface when it comes to learning about Microcut’s productivity benefits.

“It has been useful to a certain point in the first month. For example, we had a job for 5,000 tags where we cut the material, printed it, cut it again to finalize it and shipped the order to the customer. If the customer orders again with the same exact job specifications, we will just call up the job because it is already programmed into the system. That will save us time.”

“With our products, the thickness ranges from 5 mil to 50 mil, so accuracy of the PRISM is important.  We work with very tight tolerances, within 1/1,000 of an inch.”

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