Col-Tec’s smart collator aimed at point-of-sale sector

Collation expert, Col-Tec, has developed a highly versatile collation and fulfilment solution for printers of large format point-of-sale (POS) and retail graphics.

Known as a ‘smart collator’, the machine comes equipped with Col-Tec's Intelligent Data Collating (IDC) software, which unlike typical collating applications where the collated set is repeated numerous times, IDC allows for many different patterns and combinations of sets to follow each other. This means that a POS promotion for a major retail chain for example, with a large number of outlets all requiring variable sets, can now be collated at the touch of a button thereby negating the need for large numbers of temporary staff to manually sort into sets.

Col-Tec’s Paul Bailey said: “Our smart collator technology is very versatile: it’s ideally suited to either those printers producing high volume, variable data sets of POS for multi-store promotions, as well as those collating lots of sets in small amounts where the set-up of a typical automatic collator would be both impractical and inefficient.
“In essence, this technology can deliver collated sets on demand, meaning that no two sets need necessarily be the same. They can be either store or client specific, no matter how small the quantities and any number of jobs can be collated continuously without interruption. And as each store or client requirement is collated, a label and/or dispatch note can be printed and added to the set or sets ready for packaging and dispatch.”

Tyne and Wear-based POS and point-of-purchase (POP) specialist, the Simpson Group, has recently invested in a Col-Tec smart collator. Incorporating eight hoppers - with an option to convert to 16 half-size hoppers - the collator takes a maximum size of 1524mm x 1016mm and a minimum of A4, making it perfect for the group’s large format work and traceability requirements. This particular smart collator can operate at speeds of up to 1,500 sets per hour and is virtually unlimited in the type of substrates it can handle.

Simpson Group’s training and development director, Sarah Tishler, said: “As part of our business strategy review for the financial year just ended, we undertook a process of considering what investment would make the greatest impact on the efficiency of the business. As our despatch department relies heavily on its labour force to conduct the bulk of its packing and collation work, installing a smart collator from Col-Tec was the right option for us.
“The investment in this new machinery helps us improve packing efficiency whilst also saving on temporary labour costs; it will also assist us with our future growth plan when it comes to taking on more business.”

For more information on the range of collating solutions call 01425 627755, or visit