How the folder re-invigorates print, boosts pharma business

PrintWeek India’s Sachin Shardul looks at the new range of folding systems and how they are adapt technologies and applications. He highlights the new range of devices and details the different applications for packaging.

15 Apr 2014 | By Sachin Shardul

Folding machines are a vital part of the packaging printing firms especially the ones who are catering to the pharmaceutical industry. Slight change in the folding of inserts or outserts can besmirch the packaging and the job may get rejected. The pharmaceutical norms are changing and so are the folding systems “requirements and specs”. A look at the top folding systems which are popular in the Indian market.

Stahl folder

The Stahl TH / KH series folders from Heidelberg are fast in makeready and simple to operate. They are modular in design. The system is equipped with features required for efficient folding. The feeder in TH /KH series offers three feeder versions. This include RFH round continuous feeder which is suited for medium to long run length, PFH pallet feeder for large format sheets and FFH flat pile feeder which has small footprint with fast makeready.

The Stahl folder is equipped with sheet ejection system which ejects the double, blank or wrong sheets without stopping the machine. The basic model of the KH Compact cross-fold unit has an impressively ergonomic and user-friendly design. The knife height/angle and the sheet/lateral stops can be set at full speed without the need for tools and with the noise hood closed. The modular control technology provides a quick overview of all machine functions. All settings can be made via the freely adjustable touch screen.

Maximum sheet size  56cm x 128cm
Minimum sheet size  14cm x 18cm
Maximum speed  230 m/min
Minimum speed  25 m/min
Maximum cycling rate  50,000 cycles per hour

Welbound Diploma
Diploma 4Z3X is an automatic folding machine. A combination folding machine with four buckles and three knives enable various folding formats. Built on open-architecture system, the machine can accept third party attachments according to customers’ requirements.

The folding machine comes with features like PLC controlled with soft touch display it is capable of folding formats up to four parallel and three cross folds. It is equipped with creasing, perforation and slitting attachments before each knife. The folding knives can be electronically controlled with the help of servo motors. The folding machine can be upgraded with attachments and add-ons.

Models  S2840 / S2030
Maximum sheet size  1025 x700mm / 760 x 510mm
Minimum sheet size   297 x 210 mm (A4)
Speed  50 to 175 m/min
No of Buckles  4
No of Knives  3
Delivery unit  Mobile chute type
Optional Vertical  stacker with pressing unit

Pratham Superfold

With more than 3,500 installs Superfold PGV PF 615 is a folding machine from Pratham for booklets and pharmaceutical literatures. This machine is specially made for light weight papers such as 60 gsm or Bible paper. The machine has six parallel folding pockets with five deflectors.
The size is 350 x 750 mm and 125 x 150 mm. The machine gives an output of 22,000 sheets (A4) per hour. The machine also has a maintenance free AC drive, PLC based counter and a maximum pile height of 500mm. The machine comes with a double sheet detector and can detect double, blank or wrong sheets without stopping the machine.
Maximum sheet size  350mm x 650mm
Maximum speed 22,000 sheets per hour
Maximum paper thickness  130gsm
Maximum cycling rate  50,000 cycles per hour

MBO claims that this kit is the machine of the future. Why? Because it is the only fully adaptable folder, giving the flexibility to install “add-on” components after its initial purchase in order to meet new job requirements, says MBO. Because the machine is designed on a module design technology, the machine can base fold, buckle fold or knife fold.

Folds include cross fold and cross fold with three, four or more folds. Optional feeders include – pile feeder, palletised feeder, continuous feeder, and sheeter.

Maximum sheet size  size 350mm x 650mm
Minimum fold 18mm
Maximum speed  22,000 sheets per hour
Maximum paper thickness  130gsm

Morgana Digifold Pro
The DigiFold Pro is an automatic creasing folder, designed for the digital or litho printer who has a need to crease and fold digitally printed, heavy weight or cross grained stock.

The DigiFold has been one of Morgana’s best seller since it was introduced in 2001. Over 1000 units were sold before the 5000P model was introduced at Drupa 2008. Now 500 units of 5000P have been sold. As its name suggests the DigiFold Pro incorporates the SmartScreen panel making it simpler to use and offering increased functionality for the user.

The productivity of the DigiFold Pro has been increased by 20% and now it can crease and fold at 6000 sheets per hour. A neat nifty kit.

Maximum sheet size  700mm x 385mm
Minimum sheet size  210mm x 140mm
Maximum paper thickness 400 gsm
Maximum number of folds per sheet  2
Maximum speed  6000 sheets per hourr

G&K- Vijuk FA 53

The FA 53 folding machine with 18 plates was launched in October 2012. CM-Modul was added during Drupa 2012 and UM90 in September 2013.

The latest FA 53 is an outsert folding system which can produce outserts up to 266 panels when set in a triple knife configuration. The UM90 combines a complex belt technology with independent speed control to give a compact arrangement to the line. In combination with the CM-Modul, which inspects each and every piece produced for its dimensional accuracy, the kit gives the customer full control over the quality packed in the box at the end of the line.

Maximum sheet size  760mm x 1100mm
Minimum sheet size 210mm x 210mm
Maximum paper thickness 209 gsm
Maximum speed 240 m/min

Horizon AF-762KLL
The Horizon AF-762KLL can process 8-page, 16-page, and 32-page section folding with high precision and is equipped with 2 parallel fold buckles and 3 knives. An icon-based colour touch panel makes the operation easy and user-friendly. 

Folding speed, feed settings and knife timing can be memorised for regular jobs. Stopper guide position can be manually set according to the setting position and the number of roller gap indicated on the display by inputting the sheet size. Two feeding units can be selected: Flat Pile Feeder or Round Pile Feeder.  The kit can be enhanced with JDF from upstream to the post-press using pXnet bindery control system.

Maximum sheet size 355mm x 635mm and 431mm x 635mm
Minimum sheet size 76mm x 76mm
Maximum paper thickness 209 gsm
Maximum speed 500 feet/min