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Trade Comment

Choosing a Guillotine

With many products on the market, Jo Golding asks: “What questions should a printer ask themselves to help them more effectively choose a guillotine to suit their needs?”

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Ian Trengrouse, finishing product specialist, Heidelberg UK

Versatile machinery

Choose a supplier you trust who will give you the back up and support you need (including compliance with the latest safety legislation). Make sure the guillotine has the right CE safety marks. Companies cannot afford to have a bottleneck because of an unforeseen breakdown so ensure the machine you choose is robust and reliable. Print is not sellable until it is finished.

Obviously the size of guillotine must be looked at. The designations of the guillotine give you a width (e.g. a Polar 115 has a 115cm cutting width) but the operator needs to turn work, so you need to ensure the largest diagonal of the sheet can be handled.

Look at what add-ons are possible with the guillotine. At Heidelberg we sell the Guillo-crease, which uses a simple stick replacement system to enable the Polar guillotine to be used as a creaser as well as a cutter.

Look at what add-ons are possible with the guillotine


Equally there is a wide range of materials handling including stackers, joggers, Transomat downloaders, label stacking and packing right up to a fully automated PACE system. Materials handling around a guillotine significantly increases output so a standalone guillotine can be ‘grown’ over time if higher output is required.

It may be that your company wants to link the guillotine into a CIP 4 production workflow (with the benefits of quicker set up times and data feedback to the MIS) so probe carefully on this. Make sure claims to be CIP 4 compatible are verifiable with users in the field. Even those who do not want to include their cutting in a production workflow should ensure they buy with this capability because it will ensure the guillotine is future-proof and retains a good resale value. Polar’s Compucut is a robust IT tool for automating order to production efficiency.

Always check out the price-performance, which will vary depending on the automation level selected. Always talk to users to get real life feedback on performance.

User-friendly experience

Andy Benson, managing director, Duplo



With so many guillotine solutions on offer, customers must first ensure they understand the size of paper they need to cut and ensure the selected machine can cope with the required size. For the budget conscious purchaser, manual guillotines can still deliver safety, accuracy and dependability.

But if your production is moving towards the need to cut and finish larger volumes, the Electro-mechanical guillotines, and hydraulic clamping with multiple integrated safety features come into play. These enable you to cut through up to 95mm stacks safely and accurately. A programmable guillotine enables you to store specific jobs and repeat the cutting process from its memory.

A program-mable guillotine enables you to store specific jobs and repeat the cutting process from its memory


Duplo are the exclusive distributor for the German IDEAL brand in the UK market. With German build quality, the IDEAL range of manual and programmable power guillotines are engineered to the highest standard within the industry, with a wide range of models to choose from.

From our end user insight research, the key decision areas in the purchase journey revolve around brand, reliability, paper size and capacity, programmability, safety, accuracy and speed.

When building IDEAL office guillotines, reliability, safety and exceptional service life are prioritised above all. IDEAL is the market leader in the small-format paper cutting machine industry. By constantly developing their models and integrating innovative features, they guarantee to supply appropriate solutions to meet the demand for professional cutting.

IDEAL patented EASY-CUT activating handles enable cuts to be executed conveniently by using a safe, two-handed operation. If in any doubt, please visit Duplo’s website www.duplointernational.com/uk.

Safety first

Ray Hillhouse, vice president offline business, Morgana Systems


A guillotine is an essential piece of equipment for any business involved in print. It is important to invest in a good quality machine for reasons of accuracy and safety. There are some cheap machines appearing from the Far East that fail to deliver on both counts.

It is important to invest in a good quality machine for reasons of accuracy and safety


Today, however, with the availability of cut paper stock coupled with digital printing equipment, products such as Morgana’s range of Uchida AeroCut multi-function finishing units can effectively supplement the role performed by the traditional guillotine, and provide much of the post-print cutting and trimming services that a small, busy print producer might need.

The Flex mode of the AeroCut products allows users to cut multiple sizes of cards from a page and even add creases. This solution can provide for fast and effective production, and save a considerable amount of space and manpower.

Morgana provides a full range of EBA guillotines right through to the 7260 model, providing a cutting length of 720mm and cutting height up to 80mm. This comes complete with the full range of benefits that an operator should insist on, including electronic guarding for the front table area – an essential at this size of guillotine, electro-mechanical drive blade and hydraulic clamping. It goes without saying that the operation of such a potentially dangerous piece of equipment should be both easy and safe.

The important thing to bear in mind – considering the multiple uses of a guillotine both to cut white paper as well as to trim printed sheets – is that an unreliable device could bring your print business to a grinding halt.

Our EBA range of guillotines remain very popular with the 55cm 551 unit our most popular seller. It fits nicely into the size of business we commonly deal with. EBA has introduced a FlexCut software option for the machine, where the guillotine can be linked to a laptop to pre-program the cuts.

Smooth process

Paul Attew, sales director, Watkiss Automation


Quality must be a key consideration when investing in paper cutting and it is one of the key reasons why our customers choose a MOHR guillotine. Putting price before quality is almost always a false economy.

Putting price before quality is almost always a false economy


Every printer understands that printing starts from the first cut and ends with the final cut. Paper must be cut accurately right at the start of the job - both accuracy and the consistency of cutting affects the final result of the printed work as well as the smoothness of the whole production process.

Making the right guillotine investment for your business reaps multiple benefits. Choosing the right machine will depend on sheet sizes, volumes and degree of automation that you need.  It should deliver consistent accuracy, improved productivity, ease of use and have the flexibility to handle your current and future workloads.

The MOHR range includes guillotines in three different sizes: 56, 66 and 80cm; each of which is available in two different versions (ECO and PLUS).

All feature a wide range of programming options, a machine frame with optimised stability to guarantee maximum cutting precision and Direct Positioning System for greatest cutting accuracy. Having hydraulic knife drive, their low noise makes them suited for many environments including inplants, copy shops and digital print rooms.

They have built-in safety features including a 20-channel infrared-light barrier, two-hand cut release, a transparent rear table cover, permanent surveillance of knife after-run and machine self-diagnosis showing inspection interval.

For the greatest impact on productivity, it can be the details that count.  There is a wide range of programming options for job automation, including full workflow integration if desired on PLUS models which also feature full process visualisation. All models have easy knife change, a LED cutting line and low friction cutting table for ease of handling paper.


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