Know When To Fold 'Em
When shopping for a new folding machine, consider your volume, the types of jobs you'll need it for and the unit's ease of use. Speed doesn't always matter.
FINISHING IS often the difference between a prize-winning piece and one that is thrown away. Nowhere was this more evident than at the judging for the In-Print 99 contest, where a number of entries were eliminated due to poor folds. If these jobs were not up to par for our judges, then your customers probably took notice too.
When looking to bring a new folding machine into your in-plant, think about your volume and what types of jobs the folder will be used for.
"People have to take into consideration the stock that's being folded, the size that's being folded and tabletop versus console, depending on their applications," says Scott MacKenzie, director of machine marketing for A.B.Dick. He sees the folder market growing strong for simple, low-cost folding machines.
That's also how Doug Reny feels. Reny, vice president and director of business development for Standard Business Systems, says that a simple-to-use and reliable folder is the key to completing a job successfully. He notes that speed is not always the most important function when it comes to folding equipment, and that air-feed systems that produce 30,000 folds per hour sometimes cause more headaches than benefits.
"Moving along at 10 or 15,000 folds per hour without having misfeeds may seem slower at first, but you will pick up some benefits in the end," Reny says.
He reminds users that the ability to feed without worries of jamming is important and can lead to less waste. Glossy and cardboard stock is better suited for an air-feed system though, Reny adds. He suggests users note the grain direction when using heavier stock. He says tabletop feeders are not geared for these types of applications, although you can get away with it.