Business card cutter verse old fashion Guillotine

BigSi

Well-known member
Hi there, Just wondering if it's worth investing in an dedicated b/card cutting machine. Something like a "Morgana Cardxtra" or "Duplo DC645" (with b/card attachment) any other surgestions? I'm only a small print shop and even a second hand machine is a big investment. How much time would I save.? I only do 10-20 business cards a week. So I'm a bit worried that the investment would be worth it. But time is money. Almost all my cards are digital so would need some kind of optical registration. May be if it could be used for DLE's as well it might be worth it.

How good are these machines? Expensive to sharpen? Any less expensive options?

Your thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks Simon
 

arossetti

Well-known member
Well the Duplo can do way more then business cards. We run everything through there that is more then a 2-up with bleeds or a 4 to 6-up without bleeds. Any postcard, invite, table tent, etc can go through it. It was one of the best pieces of finishing equipment we ever bought. On most days I still have about 4-5 hours of cutting being done on a guillotine in addition to duplo cutting if that gives you an idea of my volumes.

We have a 615, got it used with low cycles for around $20k I think. Since we can walk away from the machine the speed and price of a 645 didn't appeal to me.
 

Josh

Well-known member
When I ran a digital printers I looked at these a number of times (the DC645) and almost got as far as signing on the line for one. Like arossetti says they can do a lot more than business cards!

I think a lot of it would also come down to the workflow you've got feeding the machine... if I remember rightly from another thread arossetti has a very nice automated pre-press workflow which gets the cards set-up for the cutter. If you can do this and you have a lot of standardised jobs (the dream!!) then it's probably worth it. It's probably not so good if you've got lots of custom sized jobs as you'd then have to set the cutter up for each one (unless you fed these through something like Ultimate Bindery which would then set the cutter up automatically)

The other thing to think about is run lengths... I don't know where the tipping point is but I'd guess anything above 2-300 A3 sheets would be quicker to guillotine... arossetti may have a better idea on this.
 

Craig

Well-known member
Look at RB Sun slitters. We have a gutter cut one and do about 20 sets of cards a day on it. It takes about 5 minutes to fully cut and box 1000 cards. Sure frees up the guillotine!
 

Kunnajar

Well-known member
Hi there, Just wondering if it's worth investing in an dedicated b/card cutting machine. Something like a "Morgana Cardxtra" or "Duplo DC645" (with b/card attachment) any other surgestions? I'm only a small print shop and even a second hand machine is a big investment. How much time would I save.? I only do 10-20 business cards a week. So I'm a bit worried that the investment would be worth it. But time is money. Almost all my cards are digital so would need some kind of optical registration. May be if it could be used for DLE's as well it might be worth it.

How good are these machines? Expensive to sharpen? Any less expensive options?

Your thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks Simon


U could get MBM CU0435 model BC 10 Business Card Cutter, Cuts 10 standard size business cards per page, Eliminates costly outsourcing of business card printing—cards can be printed on a laser printer and cut in-house, Sheet capacity 50, Paper size 8 1/2" x 11",
'
 

tsprinter

Member
Arrosetti - One quick question on the Duplo: I have looked hard at buying one but just keep getting stuck on whether it will work well for digital production. We run a Ricoh 900 and do about 1.2 million clicks per year and am looking for a way to automate cutting. I am hesitant because of registration being off by 1/16" and whether the Duplo can handle that or will the image be in different places on the cards? What is your experience as to the consistency of the cutting and use of it with digital production?
 

arossetti

Well-known member
Arrosetti - One quick question on the Duplo: I have looked hard at buying one but just keep getting stuck on whether it will work well for digital production. We run a Ricoh 900 and do about 1.2 million clicks per year and am looking for a way to automate cutting. I am hesitant because of registration being off by 1/16" and whether the Duplo can handle that or will the image be in different places on the cards? What is your experience as to the consistency of the cutting and use of it with digital production?

We have a lot of Standard/Horizon, Baum and Challanger finishing, with this being our only Duplo product. We have always been hesitant to purchase Duplo because of their past quality and longevity concerns. But being an all digital shop I have to say we are considering replacing some of our other bindery to Duplo because that is what they do. Everything they offer is designed and created for digital printing making their products work so much better in our environment with a lot less make ready and setup.

To answer your question specifically. Since Duplo understands this will be printed on a digital printer with unperfect registration they have incorporated several different fixes:

1.) Registration Marks You can add a registration mark scanner to your slitter, you print a little mark in the upper right hand corner of all your prints. I think the mark should be designed to print 10mm from the lead edge and the side edge of the sheet. So if when it reads the mark it notices that it is 9mm from the lead edge and 11 from the side it will make the appropriate adjustments on the fly to the slitters and guillotine. It obviously has to slow down to make the adjustment before feeding each sheet so it does not run at rated speed in this mode. This helps with page to page registration which is not an issue at our shop. Our prints don't tend to bounce around throughout a run so we do not use this system anymore.

2.) Shrinkage As we all know sheets can either shrink or in some cases enlarge when going through the fuser. What Duplo allows you to do is apply shrinkage to a job. So if you run a 12x18" sheet the length should 457.2mm (Duplo only works in metric which is fine with me). You would measure the sheet after printing and put in the new length which is usually something like 456.8 or so. The software has an algorithm to make the correction across the length of the page. It deletes these setting after you change to a new program. So if you go from business cards to postcards the shrinkage resets. So if the business cards shrunk .4mm the same 12x18 sheet that ran the postcard might have shrunk .6mm because of coverage 1 or 2 sided or other factors. Tt forces you to remeasure each time you run a new batch which I like.

3.)Fine Tune Adjustments Lastly if allows you to shift the cutting up/down left/right in .1mm increments. So if your printers registration was printing 1mm to0 close to the lead for whatever reason you can move the cutting up 1mm. Again these adjustments are not saved past that current session so tomorrow if your printer decides to print correctly again the cutting will be back to the default setting.

I would highly suggest getting the software to program jobs on a PC rather then on the machine itself. We didn't buy the stand/PC from Duplo, we just used an old windows 98 machine and an old PC stand.

Lastly, for those who think it is only a business card slitter. It allows you to save up to 80 different programs on the machine (unlimited if you use a PC), we have about 50-60 of those slots filled with all sorts of different programs. It is an extremely versitile machine. It can be slow vs. a guillotine but it also requires about 10 minutes of human interaction per hour.
 

unoprint1

Member
We were faced with a similar situation but went the route of adding a 2nd cutter. The second cutter improves workflow by:
Improving workflow since we do not have orders backed up waiting for a cutter and allows more orders getting out faster.
The second cutter will get more use than adding the slitter.
The shop is not dead in the water when the cutter goes down (had cutter go down twice in the last 18 months)
 

idahodian

Active member
I have the MBM BC-10, have had it for 4 years, only one slight issue (recently), caused by staff. Cost $3175, bought it locally, but they priced matched the best price I found online. They offered a service contract, which I never took advantage of until this year, they were happy to sell me a contract when the need came up earlier this year. I print to a Xerox 700, using Publisher, set the margins as documentation gave and then made some slight adjustments and now print all cards using the same settings. I can load of up the tray and walk away. I only have a guillotine cutter that is very basic, have to measure or eyeball everything, less spoilage using the BC-10. I would also add that I am employed at a local county courthouse with 750 employees, doing all the brochures, forms and business cards for them. I work alone and only have extra help (not the best) for when I am sick or on vacation.
 
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arossetti

Well-known member
We were faced with a similar situation but went the route of adding a 2nd cutter. The second cutter improves workflow by:
Improving workflow since we do not have orders backed up waiting for a cutter and allows more orders getting out faster.
The second cutter will get more use than adding the slitter.
The shop is not dead in the water when the cutter goes down (had cutter go down twice in the last 18 months)

Part of our focus was to reduce man hours. If we added another cutter we would need to add an operator. By adding the Duplo we have saved payroll hours because it requires so little user interaction.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
I was doing some research on business card slitters and hoping to ask the group for a recommendation. After reading these posts i think we have a few options. First, what we have. Currently run a Xerox 700 and looking at a Ricoh and Xerox to replace the it in the next few months. We also have two offset presses for small press work. Our current bindery is a count EZ creaser (score, crease, perf), guillotine cutter, rollem Auto 4 for score/number plus the normal folders, stitchers, etc. Our digital work is primarly on 12x18 and our press work is 11x17 or 8 1/2x11.
We do a fair amount of business cards, notecards, postcards, etc. and most have a bleed. We came across a used Duplo 645 (purchased in 2005 and just had the bus. card module rebuilt) that needs some work on the feeding table, and it got us interested in this machine segment. We have also considered the Duplo 615 because of the cost savings with the similar capabilities as the 645. I see that the RB Sun and the MBM get some mention. I also noticed the Thermotype units.
Given the fact that we have the EZ Creaser should we just focus on a BC slitter like the RB Sun or MBM? The gutter cut versions of BC slitters seem to be in the 3000-4000 range. Please let me know your thoughts and thanks in advance.
 

JustinB

Well-known member
I have a Duplo dc-646 in house right now on demo and it's pretty impressive. We expect it will cut the workload on the guy who runs our challenge cutter by about 60-75%.

We cut a lot of business cards, tent cards, notecards and postcards, and this machine seems to handle all of that extremely well.

I use virtual printers in our fiery rip to take a single bus card and impose it 24 up on a sheet, add cut marks and the barcode for the duplo. As long as my starting file is always the same size (3.7 x 2.2) then the duplo matches everything up and it all looks great.

I have no use for it today, but I'm very curious to know how things would go from a jdf standpoint (setting up, imposing, sending to rip, and sending program to duplo all in one step.) Because we function more like an inplant, we don't take in other peoples problems and have to make them work, but if I were in the print for pay world, I would definitely go the pdf workflow and jdf route.

I also tried out a dc-615 but it was pretty mickey mouse for what we need. It won't cut a 13x19 sheet, it won't cut full bleed business cards on a 12 x 18 in one pass... It's just too limiting.

So far, I concur with everything that arossetti said about the duplo machine. If it continues to function that way it has in our demo, then it frees up my current production guy to do more important work and saves me having to add another production person. This machine should pay for itself in a year and a half, and that's a pretty good ROI.
 

hebuesto

New member
Hi,
I'm Going to star my new metal business card service. But, I need quality business cards Designs of my company.

anybody help me pleas
 
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