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Paper Folding Machines

A paper folding machine can be a value-add for any digital printer, print shop, mail house, e-commerce center or other commercial/office setting.

The benefits and capabilities of paper folders today go beyond the fold. Folding solutions can lead to slitting, batching, perforating, scoring, gluing and other finishing options. The right machine brings with it increased production efficiency, improved quality, expanded job opportunities and decreased overall costs.

Get a pdf of this entire guide to save and share with your team. Know what checks to make and questions to ask when buying an automatic paper folding machine for commercial or industrial use. Gain professional insight on what options to expect in paper folding machines today. Know how to evaluate the Return on Investment when buying or upgrading a paper folder. See the most popular folds in the industry right now. Please click here

What should I expect from a commercial paper folding machine today?

  • Ease of use and highly compatible with multiple finishing options
  • Increased productivity that removes inefficient and duplicate efforts
  • A reduction in costs through labor, fewer shutdowns and repairs
  • Improved output with less waste, more sheets per hour and higher quality
  • Increased profit opportunity through expanded job capabilities
  • Efficient, operator-friendly controls and set up

Paper Tip: Static electricity can build up on paper during printing, causing paper jams and double feeds in folding. Resolve by laying paper on a metal surface to discharge static electricity, or add a static eliminating kit to your folder.

Quality Tip: Hand fluff the paper before loading in the feeder.

Efficiency Tip: At the end of the day, don’t leave your feeder loaded. Always keep your stock in a controlled environment when possible for the best feeding and folding.

Folding Tip: Heat can cause paper to distort and curl. Cool paper on a flat surface before loading into a paper folding machine to avoid problems.

 

DETERMINING Return on Investment(ROI) WHEN PURCHASING A PAPER FOLDER

In a world where print jobs are becoming more and more specialized and the internet is a growing competitor, companies can’t afford to take a “wait and see” approach on expanded capabilities and production efficiency. When calculating ROI to determine the value a paper folding solution can bring your company, take into consideration:

  • The costs of steps or processes that can be eliminated.
  • Costs savings due to a reduction in labor and less waste.
  • Additional print jobs out the door per day due to faster production.
  • Expanded job capabilities and increased profit opportunity.
  • Increased efficiency during set-up, operations and job changes.
  • The value of a knowledgeable manufacturer that stands behind every machine with technical support and service.

There are two main types of letter folding machines: pneumatic folding machines and feeding systems.

Prepping a mailing to reach out to your customers? A good letter folding machine can save you an extraordinary amount of time. In addition to folding letters, these machines can ensure that folds are neat and accurate and even score, glue and batch letters.

There are two main types of letter folding machines: pneumatic folding machines and feeding systems. Pneumatic folding machines (sometimes referred to as air-powered paper folders) use a vacuum to push paper. It’s common for pneumatic folding machines to have a built-in compressor. In addition, pneumatic folding machines have folding plates or knife folds that can be adjusted either manually or electronically.

Feeding system folding machines are the more popular of the two and cheaper.  Unless you are in the printing business, you won’t need a heavy-duty machine that costs thousands of euros.

Folding machines come in freestanding form and desktop. Freestanding machines typically cost more and are best for larger businesses that will be folding aggressively; all other businesses can benefit from a space-saving desktop machine.

Both types of machines work by feeding air of some sort with friction or they utilize an air-controlled suction wheel. Certain models have a table or rollers that push paper through to be folded. The paper is separated by air that blows through it.

 

What to Look for in a Letter Folding Machine

When shopping for a letter folding machine, consider what type of paper you’ll be folding. Standard printer paper tends to be the easiest to fold. Some letter folding machines cannot accommodate glossy paper, as their surface jams up folding machines. If you plan on folding glossy paper, opt for a pneumatic folding machine over any other kind.

Letter thickness also needs to be considered. Standard paper can be accommodated easily, but once you start getting into cardstock paper, you’ll have issues if you don’t have the right folder.

Next, be sure to consider the size of the paper you’ll be folding. Most machines have a minimum and maximum paper size. Typically, folders that handle oversized paper cost more (something you won’t need to worry about just folding letters). Since time is money in business, any folder that can fold fast is worth looking at. Some of the best-selling folding machines have a folding speed of 4,000-plus sheets per hour.

As we mentioned above, a desktop machine is a good space-saving solution. However, because any new piece of technology for your business is an investment, you should also consider the size of the space where the technology will be stored. If you’ll be purchasing a larger machine that’s heavy, not planning out the space in advance can be a real issue. Desktop letter folding machines are easy to move around and store. Freestanding machines would require at least two or three people to do heavy lifting. If you have a small office where space is limited, you don’t want a machine that takes up a lot of space.

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