In Search of a Better Folder
LIKE MANY in-plants, Iowa Bankers Association's two-employee print shop had been getting by for years with old, inefficient folding equipment. Its friction-fed Baum folder had been around since Gerald Ford was in the White House. It was slow, inconsistent and could not handle heavy stock very well.
"We run a lot of coated stock, and it would pull doubles all the time and scuff the paper really bad," remarks Todd Palmer, print shop coordinator at the Johnston, Iowa-based in-plant.
So last fall, he made a trip to Chicago for PRINT 09 to see some of the latest folders on display there. He had a few requirements:
"It had to be air-fed, for the coated stock. It had to be automated," he notes.
He found a couple models he liked, and sent out a purchase order for one of them. Then he got some disappointing news: the folder he wanted was a prototype. It wouldn't be available for at least three months.
Since Palmer had also been impressed with the Baum Flexifold, with its small footprint and user-friendly controls, he talked with his xpedx dealer about it. What he most liked was that, unlike the prototype model he initially wanted, "it's been in the field and tested."
His request went before the association's board and president, and was approved.
"They knew that it was time," Palmer says.
In November, the new Flexifold arrived in his shop. The Installation went well, he says, with only a few minor issues for the technician to take care of. By December it was up and running.
"I'm pretty happy with it now," says Palmer. "This folder actually does a lot of the folds that we couldn't do before."
The consistency of folds from piece to piece is much better than what the previous folder could do, he says. The Flexifold is faster and can handle more sizes and thicknesses of paper too, so the shop no longer has to outsource any folding jobs.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.