Sheet Feeding Patent Awarded to CreaseStream
CreaseStream LLP has just received the granted European patent for its sheet feeding system, the "Gravity Flow Feeder." CreaseStream LLP was set up by Tech-ni-Fold's founder, Graham Harris, to develop a series of innovative products specifically for use in the digital sector of the printing market, utilizing his acclaimed rotary creasing and micro-perforating technology.
The "Gravity Flow Feeder," which was launched in 2011, was created to solve inherent problems associated with feeding digital stocks, such as toner scuffing and lack of output consistency. Harris initially tried to source an existing feeding system and tested a number supplied to him by several global manufacturers. The idea was to integrate one of them into his own range of desk top CreaseStream mini machines. He found that vacuum feeders were labor intensive and struggled to process heavier stocks with any degree of consistency, whilst friction feeders were simple to set, easy to run yet scratched the toner from the sheets as they were fed.
Harris and his team decided to undertake a project to produce their own feeding system that would potentially harness the best of both types and dispense with the negatives. That project lasted three years before they came up with the right solution. The "Gravity Flow Feeder" uses a specially shaped flat rubber pad that is integrated into an angled sheet slide which cleverly fans out, jogs, separates and feeds a full range of stocks without exerting the level of pressure that causes the toner to scratch or mark. The feeder can take a reasonable sheet load and outputs from the bottom, meaning that the operator can top up the pile to keep production ticking over. No vacuum pumps are employed in the design and maintenance costs are low.
The Gravity Flow Feeder has recently caught the eye of several manufacturer's at trade shows in U.S., Germany and UK, some of whom have come forward to ask about licensing opportunities. Harris explained, "Just like everything else we develop, our feeding system is simple when you see how we did it, and I am delighted that we secured our patent. In knowing that the way we feed sheets is catching the eye of other manufacturer's, we remain open to the possibilities of licensing."