Complex folding process

Editor's note: Paper is the most unstable product. Their grade, texture direction, surface properties and texture will all affect the folding process.


A printed page without a folded sheet is almost useless. To create any type of print, such as a booklet, a signature, or a packaged product, folding is the most critical step. If there is a problem in the folding process, it may cause troubles for subsequent processing such as binding, saddle stitching, binding, and splicing, thereby causing quality problems such as wrinkling or cracking in printed products, affecting the interests of enterprises and customers.


Folding is also a more complicated process. An experienced folding technician and training teacher once told me: “Paper is the most unstable product!” Factors such as paper type, texture direction, surface properties, and texture all affect the folding process. For an ordinary right-angle 4-4-4 folder, it can have more than 2,500 folding methods. This far exceeds the number of programs that any new type of automation device can store.


In addition, the folding itself is also becoming more and more complicated. The marketing department's requirements for diversification of products are also getting higher and higher. The folded forms of ordinary signatures are usually door-folding, French-folding, and roll-folding. People sometimes also need to perform single-page folding processing.


Trade bookbinding companies are not far behind and they all want to establish their own advantages in the form of folding. Pat Cincotta, owner of the Metrobinder, recently called to say that he wants to install a fourth folding unit for his Stahlfolders folding machine in order to meet the production needs of the 12-panel folding. These types of jobs are usually required. It takes a few hours.


Some people may say that you cannot make progress, but the developers of folding equipment and folding systems have been working hard to improve their core technologies. In essence, the core technology of a fence-type folding machine is embodied in its folding plate and folding roller. The folding roller conveys the paper to the fence type folding board, and the folding board completes the actual folding work.


In order to better control the paper, people also have a lot of research and development work on the material, surface material and design structure of the folding roller. This is also the case with the advancement of the fence board technology. Newer designs and materials reduce the generation of static electricity, allowing people to better control the paper.
People should pay more attention to ergonomics. Folding is a process full of noise. Whenever the page collides with the front end of the hinge, it will make a harsh sound. If there are multiple folding machines working in the binding shop at the same time, you will be surrounded by huge noise and feel painful. Therefore, silencing covers have become standard accessories for folding machines, which are used to reduce equipment noise and protect people's physical and mental health.


In addition, people have also developed a folding plate with a page detection device. The operator can close the folding plate and feed the paper directly to the next folding unit, thereby saving a large amount of boot setup time.


The folding machine can also process other than folding, cutting and punching. Equipment manufacturers have now turned their attention to rapid conversion technology and want to develop more sophisticated forms of cutting, punching and gluing. We should use folding machines to produce more types of products, such as CD sleeves.


In order to improve the productivity of folding equipment, equipment vendors have added automated setup functions for them. The servo engine can transfer the blanking board to the new assembly front gauge. Some manufacturers also control the gap of the folding roller in this way. The transmission device can also be driven separately so that people can quickly adjust the device according to the type of paper and the folding size. On some machines, people can selectively fold some of the input pages while leaving other pages through. The computer's memory can easily store popular folding modes. Cutting, punching and edging are all part of the folding process. They are now becoming more automated and provide users with more options to use.

Folding machines (like other printers and bookbinding systems) can also benefit from standardized file formats such as JDF. The first postpress definition in JDF was designed for folding. Today, many equipment vendors automate boot settings through a downloaded JDF file, and some equipment vendors are preparing to do so.

Digital folding and post-press processing will become the main trend of development. The following are some of the measures taken by folding machine manufacturers to meet customer needs:


Baumfolder is one of the few equipment manufacturers in the United States. It produces a series of table and floor folding machines at its own factory in Sydney. Baumfolder's automated folding machine, named iFold, is a PC add-on system that combines the automation of folding machines with personalized equipment training and maintenance advice.


IFold contains more than thirty of the most popular folding programs, and can quickly call up to 100 user-defined layouts. Operators can set up equipment during production, including video presentations. In fact, iFold is a personal trainer for the operator of a folding machine. It covers all the knowledge needed to set up the machine.


In addition, iFold can also remind people how and when to perform equipment maintenance, and when to schedule these tasks. IFold also has a complete list of equipment parts.


Baumfolder's best-selling models are still 20 x 35-inch devices, but they still add many new systems, such as Flexifold and Autoset. Autoset has automatic folding and stacking conveyors. Flexifold's target customers are small and digital printers, capable of processing 14 x 20-inch pages and have modular components. Flexifold is a large desktop device. Its structure can be upgraded to two and three folding units when the customer needs it. Baumfolder also considered the need for toner print images, and their new models for this market were also previewed at the IPEX show in April.


Depot is a well-known manufacturer of comprehensive booklet makers and collating machines. It introduced a DF-1000 folding machine at IPEX. The folding device can perform automatic detection and parameter adjustment to meet special papers. Size processing requirements.


GBR is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Matthias Bauerle GmbH in Germany and is also one of the first companies to produce automatic folding machines. Its Prestige Fold Net 52 user interface uses a series of hieroglyphs to guide people in their boot setup. The rules of the equipment, the front of the folding plate, the detection device, the folding roller, the rear edge, the separating device and the pressing roller are all set according to the folding and paper type selected by the user. GBR claims that the folding accuracy of this device can reach 1mm.


As a heavyweight supplier in the industry, MBO has developed many innovative features for its equipment in the past few years. Its Perfection series adopts a brand-new production method capable of feeding paper at high speeds. The maximum speed of this series of products can reach 9200 inches per minute - about 12,000 copies of 16-page signatures (triple stacks) can be produced per hour.


Perfection's production line does not require the use of the most common paper arranging devices on a folding machine. It has a VIVAS suction belt that allows the paper to maintain the correct distance when it enters the fold. VIVAS vacuum conveyors and special cones replace the original mill balls. This greatly reduces the occurrence of paper scratches - scratches caused by grain balls appear more often on woven paper.


At the same time, VIVAS improves the accuracy and transmission speed of the paper. Another noteworthy new feature is the MBO cassette cutter shaft. For operators, resetting the cutter and punching wheel is a very difficult task. The cassette device allows people to adjust the punching wheel while keeping the folding machine running. The operator can move the cutter to the proper position. When the adjustment is completed, both sides of the entire cartridge shaft will be ready for production.


MBO also developed a computerized door-to-door folding board. The operator can easily input the first fold information, and then the folding board can set parameters based on this information. In addition, MBO also developed Palomides stackers and balers for its own folding lines. Palomides can put the folded material on the counting machine and then tie it with paper tape. In addition, people can use Palomides to easily integrate a folding machine into another binding plant.

At Print 05, MBO combined its folding machine and Palomides stacker with Xerox 1050 continuous printers, and their performance conquered all visitors to the show.


MBO also does not ignore the development of the data terminal. Navigator is the MBO Computerized Folding Machine Setup System. MBO is the first equipment supplier to realize the automatic setting of the folding roller gap. Navigator can automatically set up complex jobs and can accept data from files such as CIP3, CIP4, or JDF. Dwayne Johnson of MBO said that with the help of these new features, customers can reduce the preparation time for complex jobs from two hours to twenty minutes.


Heidelberg has always been a leader in the market and it regards Stahlfolder as a powerful weapon in this market. Heidelberg owns the TH/KH series of folding machines that have received the PIA/GATF Technology Innovation Award. Many of their functions have now been further optimized. For example: Air-Stream Table registration and Prism side-system. Air-Stream replaces the original folder grinder ball with an air-driven mechanism, and the compressed air is forced into a series of channels by the machine, creating a negative lift that forces the paper to stay at the top of the channel. Both sides of the Prism side gauge are flat and help to eliminate paper bending. Stahlfolder's paper feeding and paper feeding options also left a deep impression on people. Pallet feeders can accept the entire tray of paper, which greatly improves productivity. In addition, Stahlfolder also has a double-sheet detection device with a new visual system, which greatly simplifies the operation of people.


Standard Finishing has a very well-developed distribution network in the United States and has a variety of finishing equipment. Many of them are floor-folding machines. Its AFC series uses all advanced technologies, including color touch screen, stepper motors, and also stores 17 folding modes.


The AFC series also has a range of cutting and punching options, and can process a wide variety of paper at 35,000 pages per hour.
Michael Business Machines (MBM) has launched the 352SA floor-standing folding machine for short-run and digital printing. This is a beautifully shaped, compact device with complete paper registration and "linear" feeders. It can handle paper sizes of 12 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches and a maximum speed of 35,000 pages/hour, and the device has a caster on the bottom that can be moved to wherever people need it.

Vijuk, located in Chicago, is a manufacturer and importer of post-press processing equipment that offers users a wide selection of folding machines. The company has many patented technologies in the precision folding process. Their folding machines can produce 1 x 2 inch inserts. Many Vijuk models can process webs and can support online cutting and folding, which greatly increases the productivity of the factory. Vijuk's H+H KL 112 can be equipped with 12 independent folding plates. Its adhesive features make this device ideal for producing plastic staples, mail, CD packaging inserts, corporate reply cards or envelopes.


Vijuk G&K RS 21/31-880 is a web folding machine, it is every minute

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