SMP Group embraces UK's first hand fed platen alternative

Pamela Mardle
Wednesday, July 4, 2012

SMP Group has installed the UK's first Diecut Goldline machine, the first advancement in manual die-cutting in 90 years, according to finishing manufacturer Diecut UK.

Diecut UK launched the Goldline machine a month ago as a safer alternative to hand fed platens and clamshell technology.

SMP Group agreed to be a Beta-test site and had the machine installed two weeks ago to run alongside its Redline diecutting machine, also from Diecut UK.

Diecut managing director Steve Waterhouse said: "This machine is a massive development since the display world has gone bonkers on size. Machines are now three metres deep and require operators to use full body access to get into the metal jaws of the machines to change the tooling."

Operators can release the internal tooling with the press of a button, which Waterhouse said was "like changing the oven tray". This prevents full body access and improves the security of the machines for even the most experienced operator.

Waterhouse added: "There have been some significant fatalities on hand fed platen machines over the past few years and mainly amongst operators who have been doing the job for 20 years and so do not fear the machines any more.

"This machine is offered at a similar price to the hand fed platen technology also and so investment is a no-brainer. really."

He said that the fatalities at Bezier and Terry Smith Group were a result of hand fed platen technology, which he described as "jaws made of two chunks of metal".

The Goldline joins Woolwich-based SMP Printers’ semi-automatic Redline die-cutter, which was installed 18 months ago.

SMP Group managing director Bradley Slade said the Goldline was being used for short run work as a supplement to the Redline’s long run capability, which enabled the company to be more flexible in its workload and turn jobs around quicker.

He added: "We have always had the hand fed platens traditionally and the Goldline is an adaptation of that with some of the Redline technology built in.

"We were pleased with how the Redline cutting mechanisms ran and the Goldline offers even faster speeds."

The addition of the two die cutting machines has alleviated a bottle-neck in production and the company has seen a 30% increase in turnover since the first install.

Diecut UK also gained its second order after a London-based print finisher saw the Goldline in action at an SMP Printer demonstration and "couldn’t believe their eyes", according to Waterhouse.

Slade added: "Hand fed platen technology has been the only option since the year dot. The Goldline diecutter is a revolutionary piece of technology that has broken the mould in print finishing."




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