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Print specialist working on the new PRISM paper cutter in the print shop

Print specialist Raymond Nieves works on the new PRISM paper cutter in the print shop at the College of Central Florida’s Ocala campus.

November 28, 2018

Colter & Peterson’s small format paper cutter acing tests at College of Central Florida

Higher education is all about learning and preparing for a better future. Operating them can be challenging, especially smaller public institutions since fiscal responsibility is almost always paramount. That was a major factor when the digital print shop at the College of Central Florida struck gold by installing a new PRISM® 73H paper cutter with Microcut® computer controls from Colter & Peterson six months ago.

It was during the Spring semester when their old paper cutter broke down, recalled Andrew Lowrey, manager of printing and postal services for the college. He learned the machine’s manufacturer was out of business so he went into scramble mode, doing some quick research with the director of purchasing and narrowing down their options.

“We are state funded so price was a major consideration. We also needed a machine that was at least 26-inches wide,” said Lowrey, who has run the 3,000 square-foot department the last 2-1/2 years.“ What surprised me was the PRISM had all the features of the others we were looking at that were twice the cost. I spoke with Bruce Peterson, we submitted the paper work, and had it installed in May.”

PRISM is a compact, efficient and affordable machine

He found the right machine. Introduced two years ago, the hydraulic, 28.5-inch small format PRISM paper cutter offers impeccable reliability with its state-of-the-art design features. This includes high speed steel knives that deliver precise cuts, a high grinding reserve that extends the life of the blade and reduces overall knife costs, and a clamping system with a variety of pressure adjustments that don’t exist on other paper cutters. Another reason for its popularity: the price tag is less than $20,000.

Responsible for cutting a vast range of small format work, along with a small percentage of wide format printing, Lowrey said the PRISM 73H has significantly increased his shop’s efficiency.

“It’s been amazing. With our old machine we cut everything manually and it was extremely time consuming. With the PRISM’s computer control (Microcut), we save pre-programmed steps to trim large sheets with multiple cuts. When we recall a program, it adjusts the blade and automatically cuts. When we bought it, I didn’t know about this capability so we are more efficient than I thought we would be. It’s saving us a tremendous amount of time and we are producing more work.”

Sixty-plus years of history and growth

Originally a junior college when founded in 1957, it merged with Hampton Junior College – one of the first black, two-year colleges in the state – in 1966. To reflect the growing community, it was renamed as the College of Central Florida in 2010. The print shop is located in Ocala, the largest of three campuses that serve over 15,000 enrolled students.

The shop itself does work for the school’s marketing department, as well as its students and local business community. Lowrey, who manages eight employees, says the Xerox® C1000I digital color press and Xerox Nuvera 120EA black and white printers give him lots of flexibility. With the efficiency created by the PRISM paper cutter, he says increasing the shop’s business levels is within reach.

“The digital printers allow us to do any size job we want. One of our specialties is we turn around most small format jobs in less than 24 hours. Someone from the local community once came in with a job and they walked out a few minutes later with their 50 printed copies. Most jobs we do are up to 1,000 copies but there are some jobs in the 2,000 to 10,000 range. Those are usually 4-by-6 inch or 6-by-9 inch bulk mail pieces and is processed through our postal system.”

Lowrey’s group prints the college’s annual report, fact book and CF Connection, a publication printed twice a year. But a recruitment rack card is one constant that keeps them busy year-round.

“We print all of the degrees and certificates, as well as 90 different cards for each of the programs the college offers for prospective students. We’re always printing 300 or 400 at a time and distributing them across the region,” says Lowrey.

That’s why we needed a reliable machine like the PRISM. We also print invitations for wedding and baby showers on 13-by-19 inch sheets – which are cut down from 26-by-40 sheets with the PRISM – and thicker card stocks up to 16 point paper. We’ll then use the PRISM again to trim them down even further to 5-by-7 inches. Its accuracy is spot on and it is cutting something all the time.”

“What surprised me was the PRISM had all the features of the others we were looking at that were twice the cost.”

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