Star product: Intec ColorCut SC5000

Simon Eccles
Monday, August 23, 2021

A fast, cost-effective digital die-cutter with autofeeder that can cut and crease in one pass.

“Once installed, users are generally generating product within hours”
“Once installed, users are generally generating product within hours”

What does it do?

Intec’s ColorCut SC5000 is a compact, mobile digital die-cutter with autofeeding, that can cut and crease in one operation. It’s primarily intended to work with digital print in the SRA3 format range, although it can accept wider and longer formats. 

It can handle lightweight folding boxboard or thin cartonboard, paper, self-adhesive label media and vinyl as well as some lightweight synthetics.

Although Intec has in the past marketed own-label versions of third-party machines, it says that it has been selling its own designs of flatbed cutters and software since 2017. The new SC5000 is unique to Intec, the firm says. 

When was it introduced and what are the target markets?

Introduction was in June 2021 after being in development for over two years, says Terri Winstanley, Intec’s product and marketing manager: “The SC5000 sits between our label cutting solutions and flatbeds, being a true crossover product for users looking to supply their customers with uniquely cut items, no matter if they are card-based items like point-of-sale, swing tickets, wedding stationery, prototype or short-run lightweight packaging, or if they are looking at sheet label production for clients.”

How does it work? 

The SC5000 is a compact unit which can be moved around on casters. It incorporates a rising/falling autofeeder for 900-sheet piles, plus a fold-out catch tray. The autofeeder includes air blade separation and automated jogging. The tool head moves left-right while the sheet is moved back and forth in the other direction to allow shapes to be cut, perforated and creased. A dual ‘Grip and Drive’ feed system holds media on both sides of the cutting head, enabling it to cut closer to the edges. A CCD camera reads printed marks to register the cuts. A “revolutionary” cutting strip, based on the cutting mats in Intec’s flatbeds, is the counter surface for cut-through, creasing and kiss-cut.

The head can take a blade-holder tool, a double-ended creasing tool (with one side for creasing papers and card and the other side for laminated materials) and a pen calibration tool. There is an option to install a second blade holder instead of the creaser to allow both kiss-cuts and cut-throughs, needed for some labels.

The integral control panel gives basic access to cutter features for setting-up. The main job control however is via a USB connected PC running Intec’s ColorCut Pro software suite. This is licensed for two seats: one to drive the cutter and the other for the designer who sets up cut files, registration marks and barcodes using plug-ins to Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw software. SmartTags (breaks in the cut lines that hold the sheet together) are assigned at the cutting stage using ColorCut Pro Production Studio.

When the cutter’s camera reads a QR code on a loaded sheet, it prompts the software to access the cutting file. 

The optional Server Station is a central hub for networked users and also provides the shared Job Library Manager for cut files, plus two additional seats. 

Does ColorCut SC5000 replace anything else in the portfolio?

It supersedes the CC500 model that was an OEM development of Graphtec’s F-mark cutter. “It is a wholly different machine with faultless feeding and large feed capability, something we looked to improve on from the CC500,” says Winstanley. 

How fast/productive is it?

The head speed is 960mm per second. Actual throughput depends on the complexity of the required cut. According to Winstanley: “A typical SRA3 sheet can be cut in 20-plus seconds.”

What’s the USP?

“Users want a fast, low-cost device that enables them to cut and crease in one operation with a high feed stacker and unattended use. I believe we have achieved this with the SC5000,” says Winstanley.

How easy is it to use?

“Once the cutter is set up for the correct blade depth cutting and the user understands how to create cut files, which in most cases is really easy because there is no need to learn a new programme, then it is incredibly easy to use,” says Winstanley. “Once installed, users are generally generating product within hours.”

What training and support is offered?

Training covers both the machine usage and the ColorCut Pro software, she explains. “We offer training to clients who require it from on-site installation and training for a day, or remote training. This can be taken as and when the client requires and is done via Teamviewer and video – ideal in these unusual times! Support is also offered online, by telephone and now Zoom, etc.”

What does it cost?

The base price is £4,999. Optional hardware extras include additional blade holder tools. Software options include ColorCut Server Station with ColorCut Pro software suite pre-installed on a Windows PC. The ColorCut Pro software suite includes: Job Library Manager; Production Studio; and a new Template Manager.

Have there been UK installations?

“Yes we already have many installations in the UK and high demand for more, also a lot of interest other countries where we have also installed units,” says Winstanley. 


SPECIFICATIONS

Media sizes A4 (210x297mm) up to A3-plus (320x480mm)

Label widths 180-340mm

Label lengths 297-520mm

Media thickness 0.14-0.35mm

Auto sheet capacity 85mm stacker height (equivalent to 900 sheets of 80gsm) or 15kg

Tools Cutting blades in choice of angles; dual-ended creasing tool for up to 0.35mm card; plotting pen for calibration

Creasing force 750g

Max cutting speed 960mm/sec

Connectivity USB

Power supply Single-phase AC 110-240V

Weight 115kgs

Footprint 790x680mm

Software ColorCut Pro 3 plug-in (Illustrator or CorelDraw for Windows, Illustrator only for Mac); ColorCut Pro standalone (sends job files to cutter)

Price £4,999

Contact Intec Printing Solutions 01202 845960 www.intecprinters.com

ALTERNATIVES

Graphtec F-Mark 2

There are very few other low-cost cutters with sheet feeders. Intec originally rebadged this compact tabletop creaser-cutter as the CC500 before developing its own SC5000. It has an autofeeder and a catch tray for up to 200 sheets. There is also a larger Plus model for sheet sizes up to 520x700mm for £7,995. 

Sheet sizes A4 (210x297mm) to A3-plus (329x483mm), up to 700mm lengths with optional Extender unit

Media weights Up to 350gsm

Creasing force 450g

Max cutting speed 200mm/sec

Interfaces USB 2.0, Ethernet

Supported software Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw for Windows

Footprint 672x820mm (plus catch tray that extends off support table by 672x380mm)

Price £5,495

Contact Graphtec GB 01978 666700 www.graphtecgb.co.uk

Intec FB550

Intec’s own-design flatbed series starts with the SRA3-plus FB550 at around half the price of the SC5000. It’s a true XY flatbed with a vacuum bed, dual tool head and a 960g cutting force, but there’s no autofeed and IR-only sheet registration. Intec also offers larger models for 2xSRA3 sheets (FB750) and B1 (FB1150) sheets, with camera registration and more powerful vacuum pumps. 

Max media size 350x520mm

Max media weight 600gsm 

Cutting area 330x488mm

Cutting force 960g

Registration Optical IR sensor

Job recognition Barcoding for cut file recognition

Vacuum pump 400w

Weight 69kg

Footprint 760x593mm

Price £2,999

Contact Intec Printing Solutions 01202 845960 www.intecprinters.com

Mimaki CFL605-RT

Entry level of the Mimaki XYZ flatbed cutter-creaser range, this is for tougher materials than the Intec. It offers a vacuum bed, a wide choice of tangential or reciprocating blades for media up to 10mm thick, and a creasing roller tool with twice the pressure of the Intec CS5000, but the head is slower and there is no autofeeder. It also costs almost three times as much. 

Sheet sizes Up to 630x530mm

Cutting area 610x510mm

Media thickness Up to 10mm

Creasing force 1,500g

Max XY cutting speed 423mm/sec

Interfaces USB 2.0, RS232C, Ethernet

Footprint 1.3x1m

Weight 109kg

Software FineCut8 with plugins for Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw

Price £14,995

Contact Hybrid Services 01270 501900 www.hybridservices.co.uk 

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