Punching vs. Drilling — Holes And How We Make Them
Some machines can only punch near the spine; some can punch anywhere on the sheet. This comes in handy when punching windows, slots, wraparound covers, etc. There is more to punching than double-loop wire and plastic coil patterns. Make sure that your machine has jam-up detectors or that it can reverse if you have a horriffic jam-up to save time and stock.
Delivery is another consideration. There are three main systems: A hopper or jogger, a receding stacker or a conveyor. A hopper or jogger is fine, but remember that if you are punching 6˝or 7˝ of paper per minute, that hopper or jogger is going to fill up every 20 to 30 seconds. Most operators run their punches slower because they cannot offload quickly enough or they have to use two operators. Neither of these options makes the boss happy. Receding stackers have a much bigger lift height, but the machine must be stopped, the stacker offloaded, reset and rolled back into the machine before an operator is back in production.
A conveyor, on the other hand, buys the operator time. He can control the speed of the conveyor so that he can offload it to meet his own speed, irrespective of the machine's strokes per minute speed. Furthermore, the operator can inspect the work after it is punched or, if he chooses to, go into a jogger—after the conveyor. Either way, he has a choice, which results in better versatility.
When looking to buy an automatic punch ask the following questions:
* What is the unit's maximum and minimum sheet size?
* What is its speed?
* Does its delivery allow for the use of one operator?
* How does the feeder work?
* Can the machine feed signatures, booklets or board?
* How much paper waste can be expected?