Do Your Homework
Before picking a new folder, research your options. New capabilities are boosting productivity, putting workhorse equipment at your fingertips.
Do you know what kind of folding equipment you want? You may think you know—but sometimes your equipment vendor knows even better.
"I just had a customer that started out wanting a tabletop folder but wanted the capabilities of continuous feeding," says Mark Pellman, sales engineer for Baum USA. "He didn't realize he needed a floor-model because a tabletop is what he always used. He just didn't know."
Not knowing could prove a problem for your shop. In order to combat that, know your preferences and learn what's available.
Speeds have increased, causing easier and shorter setup. Bill Pesch, vice president of International Operations at A.B.Dick says that setup was a problem in the past, sometimes requiring a skilled operator. Now, features like auto sizing—which detects paper size automatically—highlight folding machines, eliminating the hassles of the past.
With the twist of a knob and the push of a button, today's operators are privy to workhorse equipment that makes workflow flow.
For example, Baum USA's folders come standard with electronic controls that simplify the feeding process. Other goodies are a fixed-hour meter already built into the machine that lets you know how many hours the folder's been operating. Why is that important?
"You don't have to have a separate counter attached to the folder as in the past," reveals Pellman. He says sometimes problems occurred because the counters had separate settings and features, and weren't compatible with the folder.
Working closely with your vendor will help you select the proper equipment. Doing letter folds between 500 and 5,000 runs? A tabletop model is the choice for you. Anything more, look into a floor model. And don't be apprehensive because of the space it takes up. Pellman points out that floor models have more features and fulfill more of your applications—which is something the confused customer mentioned earlier would have done well to research.