Once upon a pre-digital time when the lumbering offset lithosaurus ruled the earth, scoring text weight (book weight) papers was uncommon. If it cracked when folded, perhaps a press score was added and rarely a folding machine score. Sometimes the cracking issues could be designed away and other times a different choice of paper and/or grain direction made all the difference.
Troubleshooting on a saddle stitching machine can be a frustrating task, especially with a multi-pocket signature feeder, a stitching unit, a caliper system, cover feeders, and a 3 or 4-knife trimmer component all running inline. Spice it up with various signature sizes, small cards, signatures with no lip, poorly folded signatures, 2-up work plus throw in a machine with some wear and tear, and you have the recipe for a bindery equipment operator’s nightmare should a problem arise.
Over the years we’ve received quite a few tips for controlling static on folding machines and bindery equipment, many of which we have shared here on our Bindery Success Blog. (Click Here for last week's post on folding machine static.) The problems caused by static in printing are numerous and complex, including double sheets, sheet mis-feeds and mis-registration, sheet delivery issues, dust contamination and ink problems. It can shut down production and ruin jobs.
The goal of the designer and printer is to reproduce a job as close to the original as possible, in any quantity. Many jobs need to be folded after printing, and customers won't tolerate a finished, folded piece that's marred by any ‘cracking' or splitting of the sheet. Some printed papers will fold just fine (usually text weight stocks and lightweight covers folding with the grain.) It is on jobs where fiber cracking or splitting occurs that creasing becomes important.
Despite their versatility in the bindery, folding machines do have limitations. The bigger the diameter of the fold roller, the heavier the sheet that can be run. Grain direction also matters. But before you take the salesman’s head off for suggesting that you score and fold an 18pt cover stock, consider this technique that might help you finish an impossible job.
When running thin 4-page signatures on a saddle stitcher inserter pocket or in a gatherer, it can be difficult to control the vacuum so as not to pull double signatures, typically on light, uncoated book stocks.
If you happen to have a gate fold attachment for your folding machine and you use it strictly for gate folds, you could be cheating yourself. You may not know this, but it’s entirely possible to use a gatefold plate to reduce, or even eliminate, three issues common to letter folds and other multi-panel folds:
It's not unusual for a print shop or bindery to encounter jobs that are outside the scope of the finishing equipment on their floor. Maybe the job is a favor for a good customer, or perhaps it's part of a package of jobs. Whatever the reason, once the decision is made to handle the job through outsourcing, there are a few things you can do to make sure it's a trouble-free event.
Micro Perforating on Folding Machines, Scoring Machines and Perforating machines can be troublesome if your operators don't include this little-known technique as part of their setup procedure. Discover how to get flatter, more consistent micro perforations on all types of bindery and finishing equipment.