National Mail Graphics, BPI Media Group Benefit from Heidelberg Stahlfolders
KENNESAW, GA—April 13, 2015—Heidelberg’s recently launched Stahlfolder BH/CH series of professional buckle plate and combination folders offers high productivity and quality at a lower cost. The automated versions of both machines greatly facilitate material handling and ensure minimal makeready times.
You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too
"Print shops and binderies frequently find themselves caught between increasing customer demand for efficiency, productivity and folding accuracy, and the need to turn a profit on their folding work," said Steven Calov, postpress product manager, Heidelberg USA. "Especially at a lower price point, the highly efficient BH/CH Stahlfolders work hard to flip this equation in their favor. Operators also benefit from outstanding ease-of-use."
When National Mail Graphics (NMG), a pharmaceutical and direct mail printer in Exton, PA, took delivery of a fully automated BH 82 folder with right-angle fold in January, it swiftly concluded that faster makereadies (down to 45 minutes from two hours), increased cycle speed, and general ease of use put the company within striking distance of doubling its production volume over time.
"We hesitated at first because none of our nine existing folding lines had the computerized control and automation of the new Stahlfolder, but as we became more proficient with it, we realized what an asset we had," said director of operations Jeff Ryan. "The fact is, automation on the BH 82 gets us to 80 percent of the fold before any manual intervention is required, so even less experienced crew members were able to run it effectively very soon after installation. Plus, we run a lot of repeat work from machine-stored settings that can be recalled quickly."
NMG’s older machines run between 2,500 and 3,000 sph, compared with speeds of 5,250 sheets and increasing on the new BH Stahlfolder. "Given the lightness of the paper we use (27-lb.), and complexity of the folds we’re called upon to make (typically 23x35" down to 2 3Ž4” square), it will be a challenge to double our output," Ryan said. "However, we are so confident in the capabilities of the BH 82 that we are game to try. It’s definitely a goal."
Likewise, the newly installed BH 82 4/4/4C Stahlfolder at BPI Media Group in Boaz, AL, quickly won the hearts and minds of BPI’s operators, who appreciate both the speed of the machine (11,000 sph) and the accuracy of the folds. The full-service communications provider, which does general commercial work, added the new machine to accommodate a substantial recent increase in folding volume associated with a 35 percent sales increase in 2014.
Since the company shifted about one-half of its volume (primarily signatures for saddle-stitched books) to the new Stahlfolder, said Vice President and co-owner Steve Davis, BPI’s bindery is "much more productive," and bottlenecks are a thing of the past.
According to Davis, BPI was up and running with the new folder just six hours after the Heidelberg technician arrived to install it on a Tuesday. By Friday of the same week, the company already had run 250,000 signatures. The new BH 82 folder “has far outstripped our expectations," he said.
Toward A Secure Investment
Heidelberg’s Stahlfolder BH/CH folding machines ensure top quality folding and are especially well suited for signatures, books, and perfect-bound or stitched commercial products. Efficient automation supports faster makeready and easy handling.
The modular buckle plate (BH) folders and combination (CH) folders are available in 56, 66, 78 and 82 centimeter widths. Both can be custom-tailored with various options and modules, can be equipped with flat pile, round continuous or pallet feeder, and are compatible with existing Heidelberg deliveries. On the automated versions, buckle plate stops, buckle plates with swing deflectors, folding rollers and slitter shafts are automatically set in the buckle plate units. The settings for up to 300 jobs can be stored and quickly recalled. All automated Stahlfolder BH/CH folding machines are equipped with a central, operator-friendly touchscreen control.