The Polar 115N Pro machines from Heidelberg have been installed for banknote cutting at De La Rue’s Gateshead factory, replacing four Schneider Senator machines.

A De La Rue spokesman said: “We were impressed the Polar guillotines could be networked to speed set up and make the transfer of work between machines very easy.”

Heidelberg UK marketing director Mark Hogan said a standard Polar guillotine cost around £50,000, but specialst devices for banknotes, which need high precision and accuracy, cost around £100,000.

“Metal strips in notes make them wavy and uneven, so accuracy of clamping is important,” he explained. “It also reduces waste – there was a lot of waste in cutting of banknotes before this machine.”

Hogan added that the devices’ 115cm width married up with the largest sheet sizes from De La Rue’s presses.

A twin clamp option with swivel back-gauge enables micro-adjustments for different stock heights, while more constant clamping reduces manual intervention and improves quality, according to the manufacturer.

Other features include Optiknife technology for quick and safe changeover, as well as touchscreen programming, which Hogan said was popular with operators.

De La Rue has designed or produced more than 150 national currencies and also creates security documents including passports, driving licences and tax stamps.