Floor-Model Folders — Upping the Ante
Shoei computer-assisted folders from LDR provide automatic setting of the calipers, suction head and side guide, Johnson notes. They also feature a new type of fold plate that allows the stopper to be used as the deflector, which eliminates the need to switch the plate with the deflector, he adds. Folder functions are controlled via a touchscreen monitor for operator convenience.
Offering a variation on that theme, Oliver Matas, marketing manager at Longford Equipment International in Toronto, points out that a folding "system" can dramatically cut down the number of operators needed to complete a job. Integrating other processes in-line means one machine can perform multiple tasks, thereby reducing the number of operators needed and eliminating loading/unloading steps, he explains.
An example of this concept is the Longford CF100/200 series of card folders, Matas says. These units combine two separate tasks into one machine by completing the scoring (cut or crease) and folding of cards in-line. The cards then automatically exit the folder and are shingled on a shingling conveyor for easy operator handling. The systems reportedly can reach production speeds of up to 90,000 cards per hour.
Like Longford, Count Machinery in Escondido, CA, touts the modular design of its Count-Fold 235 and 245 series suction-feed folding systems. The machines are designed to function as standalone folders or can be fitted with in-line accessory units (scoring, perforating, etc.) to create flexible, high-capacity folding lines. An optional standing delivery supports production of miniature folding jobs and the Z-Feeder pile feeder is offered for uninterrupted operation.
For its part, Heidelberg USA, in Kennesaw, GA, has been putting a lot of development effort into solutions for integrating binding/finishing operations into the broader digital workflow. Its FCS 100 (Finishing Communication System) product, for example, controls finishing operations within the manufacturer's Prinect workflow concept and can link to the DCT 2000 digital folder control system for automatic presetting. The