Duplo finishing machines

BigSi

Well-known member
Hi there. Keen on getting a second hand Duplo. Probably either a DC 616, DC 645 or DC445 obviously the newer the more expensive. Just wondering if there was a website where I can easily compare the specs of the different models.
Need to make a call if the extra $$$ for a newer machine adds up to a better ROI. At the end of the day I can trim x1000 b/cards out of an sra3 sheet in 15mins with a convention guillotine. So its probably more kiss cutting and bigger runs that could make it worth it, assuming I can get it at the right price of course.

Somewhere I can easily compare the specs would be great. Might even consider a Morgana or an Aerocut ( Aerocuts seem to be big $$$). Any thoughts would be appreciated. ta Simon
 

Wheate

Member
In my opinion the value of the Duplo we have (616) isn't in comparing how fast you can cut them compared to a guillotine. The key is that I can do something else on the guillotine while the Duplo cuts. 616 is great, we've had it for around 3 years and no regrets.
 

BigSi

Well-known member
thanks for the info guys. Bummer regarding the kiss cutting. I guess I'll have to keep kiss cutting on my GTO (Can only kiss cut in one direction, no way of compensating for movement with digital print and no good with unskilled staff) or my roland wide format vinyl cutter (to slow, someone has to hand feed the sheets in).

Just to clarify a possible difference in terminology! what is the difference between slitting and kiss cutting? I'm an old printer from way back and have always understood kiss cutting to be for self adhesive ( so you can peel your label off) but maybe I'm wrong? I have been before:)

thanks Simon
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
Just to clarify a possible difference in terminology! what is the difference between slitting and kiss cutting? I'm an old printer from way back and have always understood kiss cutting to be for self adhesive ( so you can peel your label off) but maybe I'm wrong? I have been before:)

thanks Simon
Indeed - kiss cutting is exactly as you describe, apparently so named as the cutting tool only "kisses"the backing sheet, without actually cutting it. Whereas, slitting is a cut that goes all the way through the substrate.
 

BigSi

Well-known member
Hi Tony

ok so what is the difference between cut and slit then?

"The Duplo machines you've listed won't kiss cut
They cut, slit, crease and perforate."


Not trying to be a smart ass Just trying to clarify.

thanks Simon
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
what is the difference between cut and slit then?
"Cut" is essentially the same as what your guillotine does - a full cut the full width of the substrate - only single sheets at a time.
"Slit" is a cut, or multiple cuts, of less than the full width of the substrate, in various places as programmed.
 

bill kahny

Well-known member
Slits can be full length. I always understood slits to be from a wheel or two as in a folder can slit but not cut where a guillotine or booklet trimmer cut the paper by knives (or dies) and pressure. With cutting being cleaner and more accuratate.
 

Inkscape Print

Well-known member
We had a Duplo 616 for a couple years and just upgraded to the new 618 which is much faster and does the cross perf etc. The 616 was a great machine, just not very fast. You can definitely cut them faster on the gillotine but the 616 is much more precise and you pretty much load it and walk away.

The 616 new was around $25,000. I think we paid about $45,000 for the 618 with all the modules.
 

Shawnd

Well-known member
We went with the Graphic Whizard pt 335scc multi, have had it for over 4 years now and it is still going strong. It has its limits.
 

BigSi

Well-known member
Thanks for all the info guys. Has any one had any experience with the Aerocut verse Duplo. I'm guessing it probably depends which version of each. My overall gut feeling is a lot comes down to workload. At what point is it worth investing in either to take work off your guillotine. How much work do you need to have back up on the guillotine?
 

SoggyWinter

Well-known member
Thanks for all the info guys. Has any one had any experience with the Aerocut verse Duplo. I'm guessing it probably depends which version of each. My overall gut feeling is a lot comes down to workload. At what point is it worth investing in either to take work off your guillotine. How much work do you need to have back up on the guillotine?
I'd say an hour or two a day of guillotine work saved in my case justified my purchase. Figure out your cost per hour for a guillotine operator and compare that with your payment or depreciation schedule for the slitter-cutter-creaser purchase. A bonus with the slitter-cutter-creaser is that you can handle bindery work surges without bringing in additional staff once you have your workflow templates built out. I haven't had facetime with the aerocut, but I would say that the Duplo machine build quality is good except for the software and feeder, which requires constant fussing to avoid double feeds. Knowing what I know now I would take a closer look at a Horizon smartslitter, but that is a $100,000 machine.
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
My impression of the MBM Aerocut was that it was the best machine for cutting accuracy. I'm sure you know what I mean when you look at a stack of business cards that have come off a Duplo automated slitter, that there is a tiny visual difference between each card, that isn't there when you cut with a guillotine. I saw an Aerocut in Dallas last year that cut business cards akin to a guillotine, something I had not seen in any automated finishing solution.
 

tngcas

Well-known member
Thanks for all the info guys. Has any one had any experience with the Aerocut verse Duplo. I'm guessing it probably depends which version of each. My overall gut feeling is a lot comes down to workload. At what point is it worth investing in either to take work off your guillotine. How much work do you need to have back up on the guillotine?
We have an aerocut and our sister shop has a duplo. We really wish we had the duplo.
The biggest reason is that our aerocut that we have doesn't have the ability to slit sheets without taking out a channel. So you can't take an 11x17 sheet and cut it to 5.5x8.5. The channel blades are fixed at .275in apart. Maybe they've fixed this with new versions?

Overall: The aerocut is buggy, not consistent and they made some poor design choices that make it require a lot of training and constant reminders not to do certain things or it'll damage the machine (example below). It double-feeds often and skews constantly, so about 10% of any job doesn't feed properly and isn't usable. It requires constant fiddling for every cut because it doesn't do a consistent cut down the sheet, the cuts drift. It does have settings that let you adjust for this but you have to run multiple sheets for every job to get it dialed in. The rollers don't hold down the sheets solidly as they come through the machine so on business cards, the last row of business cards on every sheet curves since the sheet moves as it cuts. I could go on and on about the annoyances.

It works fairly well for 4x6 and 5x7 full bleed cards and for folded cards it's great BUT it's pretty rare to be able to load it and walk away.

It's also expensive to fix/replace worn out parts. I was quoted close to $10k on the 4 sets of slitter blades and $4k on the guillotine blade.

Stupid design example: The machine came with a 6 magnetic paper guides. One of the guides is designed only for the exit side so it's slightly shorter and longer than the rest. If it gets moved to the entrance side it can slide under the entrance when the tray is lifting and smash up the machine. This could have been solved by making the guide the same height as the rest of the guides. I had two repair techs make this mistake and smash the machine up not noticing the difference in size before I finally moved it to a different machine in the shop.

Stupid design example #2: Because the dual slitter blades are fixed at .275in apart, it is possible for a strip of paper to get caught and wound up in the gap between the slitter blades (if the machine double-feeds). This is a 3-hour fix because the only way to get it out is to take the entire machine apart to get the slitter housing out and then use tweezers to carefully pick the paper out without damaging the slitter blades. It's nearly impossible to take the slitter housing apart, I tried once and gave up after 2-hours. You can't just replace a single slitter blade, the entire housing has to be replaced.
 

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