Tech Watch: Aerocut G2 Digital Finishing System
by Brittany Willes
MBM Corporation, Charleston, South Carolina, has unveiled the next generation of Aerocut systems, the Aerocut G2. Aerocut digital finishing systems combine slitting, cutting and creasing into a single operation. The G2 finishing system has operating speeds up to two times faster than the base Aerocut model, while featuring an improved interface and several new functions.
Time loss prevention served as a driving theme for the system. "A dramatic amount of production time is saved using the G2," said Carrie Ford, art director for MBM. Like the original Aerocut, the G2 merges several finishing functions into a single process. "There is no need to have a separate cutter, slitter or creaser since the G2 is able to do all three in one pass. This not only saves time, but money as well." Improving on the previous system’s ability to handle up to 12 sheets per minute (based on two cuts and one crease, 8½ x 11" paper), the G2 produces 20 sheets per minute, which enables users to cut down on manufacturing time. Additionally, the G2’s high-capacity feed tray is able to hold twice as many sheets and is equipped with a three-try re-feed mechanism in which the machine automatically will re-feed the sheet up to three times in case of double feed. Finally, new and improved to the G2 is the ability to cross-perforate by changing out the creasing unit with the cross-perforating unit.
Additional improvements have been made to the color touchscreen interface control module, which has been enlarged for ease of operation and comes pre-programed with 263 cutting templates. The interface’s memory can store up to 60 custom programs, while the new "flex mode" allows for up to 30 additional odd-sized programs to be set up and stored in memory. According to Ford, the G2 also can be equipped with "an Adobe InDesign plug-in, allowing designers to set up jobs and easily transfer templates from their workstations to the G2, saving even more production time," she said. "In addition to saving time, the air suction feed system and register mark detection sensor ensure accuracy on every job, saving resources as well."
The Aerocut G2 can slit, cut, crease, score and perforate a variety of jobs, including brochures, business cards, postcards, greeting cards and CD jackets. Furthermore, a range of stocks (such as gloss, laminated, UV-coated and large format) can be creased and scored without cracking, even with full-bleed ink coverage. In order to accommodate various stock sizes, the new machine also includes adjustable magnetic paper guides.
Ford asserted that MBM has received encouraging reviews from customers regarding the new system. "We have had many positive experiences, and we also are starting to see a new trend," she went on to explain. "With the cost of digital print dropping in the last decade, we are seeing a large increase of small print shops investing in digital print finishing engines. The G2 is becoming the perfect fit for in-plants and small print shops all around."
The G2 can handle paper sizes 8 ¼x8 ¼" up to 14 3/8x63" and weight from 32 to 130lbs., though weight may vary due to variations in paper and power supply. The G2’s speed is up to 20 sheets per minute. The feed type consists of belt-drive air suction with a registration tolerance of 0.01".
Crease depth can be adjusted for different weights of stock with the 5-Position Crease Depth Adjust lever. Maximum creases/cuts per page is 48. Cutting blade is self-sharpening with standard, online perforating units.
With all-metal construction, the G2 is mounted on lockable, heavy-duty casters. The safety access cover ensures the machine will not operate if the cover is left open. The power supply consists of 115V, 60Hz. Dimensions are 32"x36"x43" with a shipping weight of 452lbs.