“In general, when purchasing stackers and palletizers, printers look for features that deliver excellent bundle quality, provide maximum production efficiency and allow for format flexibility,” Figler contends. “Gämmerler’s products are designed to help printers achieve each one of these goals.”

Quick to Set-up

Another player in this arena, Muller Martini, builds rapid make-ready features into all of its stackers and its Cohiba palletizing system, notes Felix Stirnimann, division manager, product finishing. Depending upon the sophistication of the stacker, it might have programmable logic controls (PLC), microprocessor controls or handwheels to adjust the machine from one job to the next. “Gone are the days of wrenches and bruised knuckles,” he says. “Job changeovers now typically take under three minutes.”

Stirnimann remarks that the product a stacker or a palletizer handles is much more valuable than the material processed by a printing press. The reason: By the time the job reaches the end of the line, not only material costs, but printing expenses and finishing costs have added to its value. So, it is essential that stackers and palletizers be gentle in how they handle printed products. Systems need to be designed with short drop distances, built-in air cushions and adjustable compression, so that the integrity of the printed work is never in jeopardy, he advises.

As is the case with many finishing applications, stacking and palletizing gear is available from numerous vendors. The sidebar shows a sampling of what equipment is on the market.

How They Stack Up

Advanced Graphics Equipment of York markets the High Pile Stacker for stacking one- or two-shingled sheet streams in a vertical pile. A batching-conversion unit operates in-line with the stacker to deliver predetermined batches. A chipboard inserter is available.

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From Baldwin Kansa, the Kansa stacker handles jobs from eight-page to 250-page, half-folded and up to 60 batches per minute. It is a reliable compensating stacker that was designed to run with Kansa inserting equipment, as well as with a variety of presses. The variable-speed input section enables users to match the incoming conveyor speed. The stacker features: Eye-level, programmable controls; variable-speed input section; left, right or alternating delivery; and batch side-joggers for high-quality stacks.

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