Pro Conversion has come a long way since Alain Provencal opened the Sherbrooke, Quebec business in 1995. The converting operation started with only one winder but now has three. In addition to a packaging line, the company expanded in 2014 by selling thermal paper rolls and has since added bond paper rolls and paper rolls for large-format printing. Last year, Pro Conversion became the first Canadian install for Colter & Peterson’s CHM 1400 Precision Sheeter. “The sheeter is great and it runs very well,” said Provencal, who manages 21 employees. “We’re sheeting board from 10-30 pt. for different companies and it’s really a plus for us. The feedback we’ve received from our customers is all good.” Founded in 1932, New Jersey-based Colter & Peterson is North America’s largest independent distributor of paper cutters and paper-handling equipment.
Located in Sherbrooke, east of Montreal and across the border from New Hampshire’s northern tip, Pro Conversion is a family-owned business that originally did converting for Domtar’s local mill in Windsor. Over time, Pro Conversion began doing work for Quebec’s major printers as well as the pulp and paper mills. Adding thermal and bond paper rolls for recording boxes and cases were the next progressive steps leading to the purchase of the CHM 1400. A first-time customer, Provencal learned of C&P through a broker. “I looked at many used sheeters, but found out about the CHM 1400 from Kenny O’Neil at Gulf Coast Converting Equipment,” Provencal recalled of the Sarasota, Florida company. “We had a quality issue during the start-up, but the C&P team took all the required actions to solve it as fast as they could – and it was operational in June 2016.”
The precision sheeter runs on servo motor drive systems for quick and easy operation, and requires only simple maintenance. The small footprint of the machine fits well in Pro Conversion’s 42,500-square-foot building. The sheeter measures 30 feet long by 7.5 feet wide, not including the one-sided catwalk. Provencal finds its high precision cutting capability (within a margin of +/- .020) to be extremely helpful. “Being a converting plant, we’re subcontracting the sheeting and only doing boards on the CHM 1400,” explained Provencal, an electrical engineer by trade. “The sheeter has twin knives and dual unwind. We didn’t have to rework it, but have added a web guide for perfect realignment. The sheeting quality is there and it’s quiet, fast, and easy to set-up with the servo motor drive systems,” he added.