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Production Insight: Guillotine - Our Most Dangerous Machine!

Production Insight: Guillotine - Our Most Dangerous Machine!

Have you ever wondered how a we cut through all this paper? Maybe not but our guillotines are an extremely important and powerful part of our production system, with some very impressive capability.
The name conjures up thoughts of the French Revolution but the formal ‘Programmable Hydraulic Clamp Cutter is a bit of a mouthful!

In simple terms, a guillotine is a large machine that uses a clamp descending blade to cut through large quantities of paper with extreme accuracy and precision. The guillotine is involved in almost every print job, whether it’s a book, magazine or some packaging, the Guillotine will most often be applied at least once during the entire print finishing process.

I remember when starting at Remous a couple of years back, I was terrified and didn’t want to go near it, Seeing the blade slice through a ream of paper thicker than a mattress as if it was nothing had me with my hands tucked firmly in my pockets.
After observing for some time though you soon realise that the manufacturers who design and build these machines have integrated so many safety features, thankfully it is virtually impossible to self-amputate.

Firstly, the guillotine incorporates a light beam which when broken stops the blade from falling down any further. And secondly, it requires both hands to push two buttons simultaneously to bring the blade down in the first place. Both of these safety features are exemplified in the video below in which Alan also shows you exactly how the guillotine works plus highlights the power & precision we can achieve in this demonstration:



Our very recently installed Komori Apressia CT115 is our most powerful and efficient yet, and the above video can be summarised into a number of key points:

1. The Backgauge – This pushes the paper from inside the machine to get the desired, precise location of of where the blade needs to come down onto the paper. The backgauge in our guillotine can be adjusted to 0.1 of a millimetre, showing just how accurate these cumbersome machines can be! Also worthy of noting is that this backgauge is one of the fastest on the market, making it quicker than most other guillotines for our operators.
2. The Clamp – This clamps down on the paper with immense pressure to keep the work firmly in place ready for the blade to cut. Even the slightest of movements during this cutting process could result in an inaccurate or worst case, ruined job. This machine can apply up to 4.5 tonnes of pressure!
3. The Knife/Blade – This knife is over a meter long and is extremely sharp hence making it the most dangerous machine involved in our print process. We have our knives sharpened each week to keep it cutting to our high standards, and even at it’s bluntest, it’ll be enough to take your feet clean off if dropped. Only two members of the Remous team are trained to change the blade and it is always handled with most extreme care. There have been some very unfortunate and life changing accidents, even cases of knife change related deaths in the press in recent years. So you can never be over cautious when handling a the knife, even went ‘blunt’

For obvious reasons we couldn’t bring you in to talk about our new guillotine in person so we thought we would bring it to you. We are hugely looking forward to the day (hopefully soon!) where we can show you this machine and the rest of our print facility for real. In the mean time, if you’re interested in the logistical process behind getting machines of this size and weight in and out of a factory, we produced a video showing this Guillotine being installed, replacing our old one. Take a look below:



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