May 30, 2019 [Updated on December 12, 2019]
Buying a reconditioned industrial guillotine machine over a new one is for most businesses a win-win proposition: your shop saves money while still getting a reliable machine that will last for years. But it requires doing a little homework first. We’ll try to help by answering the most common questions about these cutting machines: What exactly consitutes a “rebuilt” paper cutter and what does the process involve? What are the limitations of a reconditioned paper cutter? Is warranty an option?
One of the best alternatives to a new paper cutter is a reconditioned one: these industrial guillotine machines cost anywhere from 30 to 50% less than their new counterparts yet can function like a new paper cutting machine. While more expensive than used paper cutters, reconditioned paper cutters carry a warranty and added peace of mind.
During the reconditioning process, new cut and clamp controls that meet current ANSI safety requirements may be added, bringing just about any legacy machine up to modern standards. Computerized backgauge controls greatly improve productivity and ensure the paper cutter will perform for many more years to come.
While certain features found on new paper cutting machines can’t be added to older machines, for most applications these features are likely unnecessary. In some cases, such as when it becomes necessary to handle difficult material, an older industrial paper cutter may actually perform better than a newer model.
Companies have different ways of defining “rebuilt” when it comes to paper cutters. Some vendors consider a machine that has been cleaned, repainted and given no warranty to be rebuilt. At Colter & Peterson “rebuilding” an industrial paper cutter means from the ground up: the complete disassembly, re-machining, re-assembly, re-painting, updating and testing of a paper cutting machine. After passing inspection, the machine receives a warranty.
The Colter & Peterson paper cutter reconditioning process, from start to finish:
The time required for rebuilding a paper cutter varies by the type of machine and work required, but most are ready in about 6 to 10 weeks.
While the mechanical design of a paper cutting machine can’t be changed, the control systems and safety featues can be updated. Control systems concern two parts of the paper cutter: clamp and cut circuitry and backgauge drive system.
The clamp and cut circuitry controls actuation of the paper cutter clamp and knife. On older mechanical machines, there was a mechanical system for engaging the knife. Later models use electrical control circuits. During the paper cutter rebuilding process, outdated electrical components and mechanical systems are replaced with new circuitry that complies with current ANSI safety standards.
While safety requirements are complex, the primary factors to be considered when installing updates are:
The original backgauge control system can vary depending on the age and manufacturer. Older systems may include anything from a hand operated chain wheel to an electric power backgauge or a mechanical spacer. Tape spacers were the first step into electronic control systems, before machines were manufactured with computer controls.
Updating a backgauge control system involves replacing the older controls with a new computer retrofit system. These control units (such as the Microcut® computer control system) have been on the market for decades and offer an economical way to bring new life to an old paper cutter. These units are designed to be added to any type of paper cutting machine.
While it is not uncommon for Colter & Peterson to rebuild a customer’s machine, this does involve some extra cost (eg additional shipping) and the down time associated with losing a production machine for up to two months.
For some operations with multiple machines, this is acceptable, but most prefer to purchase a rebuilt machine from our extensive inventory and trade in their existing machine. This allows their shop to continue operating until the reconditioned machine is installed and running.
Now is the time to consider whether your shop’s paper cutter model and size is still right fit. Sometimes a larger (or smaller) machine would be a better fit, and this is the time to make the switch. The model of machine should also be evaluted now: are features available that would increase capacity or productivity? Our paper cutter experts can help you figure out if a trade-in for a newer machine is right for you.
The pros and cons of using a rebuilt industrial guillotine machine largely depend on a customer’s needs but the two main points to consider are:
While some manufacturers claim their machines can cut any type of material, experience has proven that certain machines and designs are suited to cut certain types of material. With the right fit, a rebuilt paper cutter could perform better then a new one.
The larger the cutter required, the more attractive the cost savings will be. While there is always a price difference between the cost of a new and a rebuilt machine, savings increases with the size of the machine.
The warranty on a reconditioned paper cutter can vary as much as on a new machine. One thing is for certain: always deal with a reliable company that has the knowledge and experience to do the job.
Don’t forget that paper cutters are called guillotines for a reason. (Their origin dates back to the French Revolution where they were designed for a very different purpose). They are inherently dangerous machines and so every safety precaution must be taken.
An additional safety measure we strongly recommend is to inspect and test your paper cutting machine prior to delivery. As the foremost rebuilder of paper cutters in the country, Colter & Peterson welcomes and encourages customers to inspect and test their machines prior to shipment. We offer this inspection with the guarantee of a full refund of deposits paid if the machine cannot perform as required. This ensures every customer receives a machine that has been rebuilt to their satisfaction and will do the job they expect.
Before you buy, remember to: find a reputable company, check references and inspect your machine before delivery.
And finally, bask in the joy of breathing new life into an old machine, one that will work hard for you for years to come.
Have questions about reconditioning a paper cutter? Contact a paper cutter expert at Colter & Peterson. Whether you purchased your machine from us or not, we're happy to help. We've been the Paper Cutter People since 1932 - it's in our blood.
Before you buy, remember to find a reputable company, check references and inspect your machine prior to delivery.
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Colter & Peterson is classified as an “essential services” company under current CISA (Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency), New Jersey and California guidelines. We’re open and staffed to supply critical parts and service to keep your paper cutters and related equipment up and running.
Our company is following CDC guidelines for social distancing and we’re regularly sanitizing our offices and office/production facilities. Our technicians are also following these guidelines to keep customers and themselves safe.
We’re here to support the various industries which are open and still delivering the critical products and services needed to get our nation through this crisis.