Collating Equipment — Collating Cravings
"Another important item would be customization to (the printer's) specific application," stresses Jay Katz, vice president of Prosystem USA. "We are constantly customizing controls, machine configurations and building in-line connections to other downstream equipment in the customer's plant."
Katz reports that the trend toward shorter runs and personalization of products is always a driving force behind design changes in his company's equipment. Customized collating jobs requiring special combinations of sheets now require complete and variable programmability in each station of a collator, he explains.
Prosystem's Maxima modular sheet collator offers a variety of in-line finishing systems for production of stitched booklets, calendars, business form sets, tabs and credit cards. It collates bible stock up to binder board in sheet sizes from 3.75x4˝ to 28x40˝ with production rates of 3,600 to 5,200 sets per hour.
"Operator ergonomics are increasingly more important today, not just for health and safety reasons but for productivity, too," warns Jo Watkiss, communications manager for Watkiss-Vario. "The Watkiss collating system allows an operator to load and unload from a single position. Some other systems force an operator to walk back and forth 24 feet every time the machines needs loading or produces an error."
A.B.Dick has exclusive distribution rights for the Watkiss Vario collating and finishing system in the United States and South America. Watkiss Vario collators are built from a range of fully interchangeable modules, including control panels, feed stations, bases and other finishing options. Maximum sheet size is 14.25x20.25˝ with variable speeds to 7,200 feeds per hour. Features include one to 16 feed bins per tower, and different feed-bin styles can be mixed on the same tower.
Multiple Tasks Tackled
Collating machines are now designed for multiple tasks, states Oliver Matas of Longford Equipment. "After an eight-hour shift has been completed, a machine can be set up to perform sorting and stacking operations in preparation for the next day's shift," he says.