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Ultra-Fast Folding Machine Setups Using Jigs

[fa icon="calendar"] Fri, Apr 24, 2015 / by Andre Palko

ultra-fast-folding-machine-setup-using-jigsIn a previous Bindery Success Blog article we talked about using jigs with bindery equipment. Today we’re going to show you how easy it is to dramatically reduce setup times on nearly any folding machine by using jigs, or templates. Even if you have a brand new, fully automated folder, stick around. This technique can help you nearly as much as it does those who run older machines.

For our purposes a jig (sometimes referred to as a template or guide) is defined as “a custom-made tool that is used to position a variable adjustment on printing or bindery equipment.” For instance, when a press operator grabs a sheet of paper to set up the feeder and delivery, he or she is using a very basic jig.

Jigs are used in many industries to

  • Decrease setup time
  • Eliminate guesswork
  • Increase accuracy

If you’re a fan of getting things done faster and more accurately, think about using jigs.

Although I’ve used jigs a lot for hand-assembly work, high-volume drilling, and guillotine cutting, I never really used them for folding machines. What got me thinking about jigs and folders was the book, Setup Reduction for Printers, by Malcom Keif and Kevin Cooper. If you haven’t read it and you’re involved in manufacturing, get it. It’s easy to read and will definitely inspire new ways of doing things.

Jigs are especially useful for tasks that are repeated. To illustrate, I’m going to show you one example of how to use jigs to do a fast setup of a common job in print finishing. It’s the 11x17 brochure that folds once in half to 8.5x11, then twice at right angles down to a #10 letter size. What’s even better is we do our setup without wasting a single sheet.

As you’ll see in the video below, it takes four times longer to set up the fold plates and scores with a conventional technique than it does using some simple jigs. In this case we reduced one part of the setup procedure from 17 minutes down to 4 ½ minutes.

This is just a single example of how a jig can be used on a folding machine. Think how much you might save if you come up with jigs for all your repeat jobs. Start with folding machines and move on to the other bindery equipment in your shop.

Put on your thinking caps and ask, “What repeat jobs or repeat tasks can I simplify using jigs?” I bet you come up with some awesome, time-saving ideas in no time at all!

If you like the video be sure to share it with your colleagues using the social media buttons at the top or side of the page.  Or share your own clever bindery equipment jigs below in the comments.

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Topics: Bindery How-To Tips, Folding Machines

Andre Palko

Written by Andre Palko

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