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Stephens & George undertakes a two for one cutting systems upgrade


Stephens & George is to replace two Polar Flowlines (guillotines with materials handling) with one Polar PACE 200, an acronym for Polar Automation for Cutting Efficiency. This means that reams are taken automatically from the jogger and the gripper systems then automatically turn and position the paper in the cutter before delivering the finished product to the Transomat Downloader.

This £350,000 line will also feature Prinect Cut Manager and Polar Compucut. For Andrew Jones, managing director of Stephens & George, this is key. “Cutting is a very difficult area to control because the operators are handling different grammages and different stocks and there is a different rate of throughput. With Cut Manager we can monitor the variables, see exactly how long a job takes and compare output between shifts. This investment will speed up makeready and improve our data and management information in the cutting area.”

During a demonstration in Germany last month, the Stephens & George buying team saw one job completed in 13 minutes on the PACE which would compare to a minimum of 30 minutes using an existing Flowline. A visit to a UK user was also undertaken prior to placing the order. It anticipates an increase in overall output but is reticent of putting a specific figure on that gain until it is fully tested in the production environment.

Two of the Merthyr Tydfil’s guillotine operators have recently left the company and have not been replaced; the bindery is holding on for the new PACE system to be delivered in late summer. As well as reducing the number of cutting lines, the increased automation on the PACE will reduce the manual intervention needed by the remaining operators.

The PACE completes a major investment in Stephen & George’s bindery over the past two years with two high output Stahlfolder TH-82Ps (installed in March), two new stitching lines and two perfect binders added to its portfolio.

Stephens & George is a fourth generation, 105 year old company which employs over 230 people and generates a turnover of £28m. It prints magazines, brochures, catalogues, programmes, event guides and commercial products. It has an enviable collection of Awards certificates to its name.
June 2017

For further information please contact:
Diana Thompson, Plus Point PR Ltd, on 01494-817178
Paul Thompson, Heidelberg UK, on 07770-637702
Andrew Jones, Stephens & George, on 01685-388888.

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