Basic Product Questions and Answers - Tri-Creaser
Why doesn't the female component on my Tri-Creaser have an allen screw to lock it in position?
Many Tri-Creasers with smaller outside diameters have a 'free-floating' female component that does NOT have an allen screw to lock it in position. This style device allows the female to automatically center itself without manually doing it. The floating females also help to reduce nicking at the lead edge, especially on lighter stocks.
How do I center the female channel on my Tri-Creaser?
If your device has a 'free floating' female, simply position the channel you want to use beneath the creasing rib. It will center itself.
If your device has a Fixed version, with an allen screw to lock it in place, follow this procedure.
Can I run my Tri-Creaser with the scoring and perforating tools that came with my folding machine?
Yes, the Tri-Creaser is designed to work alongside any OEM tools you may be using. Note: it might require some experimentation on your part because there are many variables that can impact the sheet as it runs through the folding or scoring machine.
How many Tri-Creasers can I run simultaneously?
Typically you will want to limit it to about five simultaneous creases depending on the density of the stock. Beyond that and the machine shafts, which are usually spring loaded, may not be able to maintain compression on the sheet. Light stocks require less pressure, so more units can be used.
Can I use press wash (roller wash) to clean my Technifold devices?
Avoid using press wash, roller wash or similar solvents on rubber components. It will decrease life expectancy of the creasing ribs. O-rings and Creasing ribs shouldn't usually require cleaning. If for some reason they do need to be cleaned, pull the creasing ribs off the device, clean with water and then dry them before re-installing. If you need to use a solvent, try one that is safe to use with rubber material.
How long should the O-rings and creasing ribs last?
On average the ribs will last 500,000 to 1 million sheets. Paper density, caliper, abrasiveness of coatings or inks and excessive slitter shaft pressure all affect the lifetime of a rib.
You could see decreased rib life if, for example, you are running a 12pt cover stock that has a rough varnish because of a spray powder problem. An especially abrasive finish on a paper will also decrease rib life.
Using an O-ring or creasing rib that is too light for the stock being run will also decrease rib life. Typically what happens is that the score looks good, but too much pressure is required to provide the needed depth. In this case, move to a heavier O-ring (which has more depth) and reduce the pressure. Also, be sure that you are moving the O-ring on the male side when you change stock. Remember, each slot in the male component gives the O-ring a different depth!
Can I use the Tri-Creaser on brochures and signatures? I want to score 2 or 3 sheets at a time.
Yes, you can use the Tri-Creaser to score multiple sheets. The creasing width flexibility available on your Tri-Creaser provides scores that can be tailored to the job. In the case of scoring multiple sheets (versus creasing a single sheet) you will probably need to score conventionally, with the male on the inside of the fold. Feel free to experiment. There is no right or wrong way to do such jobs.
We also make a much harder plastic creasing rib for such purposes, available for certain EZ-Fit and Fast Fit Tri-Creasers. If you do a lot of this type of work, the harder plastic will probably suit the job better and will last much longer. Email us if you're interested.
Troubleshooting Questions and Answers - Tri-Creaser Deluxe and Standard
I get a nick or small tear at the lead edge of the sheet. How do I get rid of it?
There are a few things that can contribute to lead edge nicking:
- First, if the crease looks good except for the nick, move to a narrower female channel.
- Second, try offsetting the pull out wheels so there is NO pressure on the wheels. Slide the upper wheels off to the side so they don't contact the lower wheels. Click Here to download a 1mb pdf illustrating the concept. You can also click here for a Bindery Success Blog article on problems with pull out wheels.
- Third, try using a thinner O-ring if available.
- Fourth, experiment with machine speed.
- Lastly, flip a handful of sheets and run a test batch. Sometimes an unfavorable curl will cause nicking. Flipping the sheet may minimize or eliminate the problem. If you suspect curl to be part of the problem, Click Here to download a pdf that shows a technique for minimizing curl on your folding machine.
I seem to be going through O-rings very fast. What am I doing wrong?
Here are a few items to check:
- Avoid using excessive pressure. Deeper is not necessarily better. You are looking for a smooth, lightly rounded bead on the inside of the creased sheet. (photo at right) If the bead is torn or excessively dimpled, back off the pressure or try another setting.
- Try a different crease setting. You could be using a crease setting that is too light for the stock; it will work but an overly light setting will wear out the o-ring faster than the correct o-ring.
- Be sure the female component is centered. If your device has fixed female (it has an allen screw to lock it in to place) then follow this procedure for centering the crease. A close look at the position of the rib in the channel also works! If your device has a self-centering female component, then be sure it moves freely on the shaft, and that it rotates, with light finger pressure. If it binds, clean the shafts thoroughly and if needed, have any burrs repaired.
- When changing female channels, be sure to lift the slitter shafts enough to avoid nicking the O-ring as you slide the female component over. This can weaken the O-ring and reduce its useful life.
The score is crooked on the sheet. How can I fix that?
First, check all the basics: side lay squareness, sheet register going in to fold roller #1, fold roller tension, deflector blades (no burrs or dings), fold roller cleanliness, etc.
If the problem persists, determine whether the problem is consistent or inconsistent. In other words, is every score in the same position or does it move around the sheet?
For inconsistent registration, refer to the first troubleshooting question above, regarding Lead Edge Nicking. The same issues can cause inconsistent registration.
For consistent registration, where every sheet is identical but just in the wrong position, try this solution. One side of the sheet is travelling too fast through the fold rollers. You can slow that side down by cocking a fold plate (with closed deflector) on the side that you want to slow down. Usually plate 3 or 4 is used. Unlock the fold plate that side, pull it out about 1/16" and re-lock. Repeat until score is straight. For severe problems, use two fold plates. The idea is illustrated here in this pdf on straightening out perfs on 16pp signatures. Different job, but same concept.
How can I get a deeper score?
Contrary to popular wisdom, deeper is not necessarily better when it comes to creasing. Crease depth is one factor, but channel width is more significant. So try different crease settings first, before you spend too much time playing with crease depth. If however you are running a very dense sheet, or laminated sheets, the rubber O-ring rib might not be dense enough to get sufficient depth. For those cases, consider a Fast Fit or EZ-Fit Tri-Creasers. We have hard nylon creasing ribs available for select models that will handle such dense material.
I'm having trouble scoring a light text stock; is there anything I can do?
Although the Tri-Creaser is designed for stocks from around 5-6 pt (.005-.006") and heavier (around 100# text weight) we encourage you to try scoring on light stocks. Digital text stocks for example, respond extremely well to the "gripper crease" setting offered on certain models. Offset litho text stocks, especially gloss coated, are a bit trickier when you get at or below 5 pt.
In such cases, your best bet is to use the bottom fold plates, with no pressure on the last fold roller. This technique is described in these scoring and folding tip sheets, which you can Download Here.
Some versions of the Tri-Creaser, especially those with only 3 female channels, are really designed for cover stocks.
I'm not getting the results I used to get when I first got the Tri-Creaser. What can I do?
Something changed, whether it's paper, environment, crease setting, or any of dozens of factors. First, try the job with a fresh O-ring. (If you're out, you can order them here online at http://store.technifoldusa.com/category-s/85.htm
If that doesn't fix it, experiment with different crease settings. Papers, inks, humidity levels, moisture content and coatings can change and all affect creasing performance. An 80# Cover stock (or any stock) may differ from one you normally use from a different supplier, and could require a different crease setting.
I'm having a hard time fitting the O-ring on the male component. What should I do?
- It helps to 'pre-stretch' the O-ring before attempting to install on the Tri-creaser. With both hands grab the O-ring and gently begin to apply pressure, as if you were trying to pull it apart. As soon as a small amount of pressure is applied you'll feel it begin to stretch. Hold that pressure for a few seconds and repeat 2 or 3 times. Now it will be easier to install.
- Another technique used by some Tri-Creaser operators is to put the O-ring in a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes. This will make it more pliable and easier to stretch.
I just bought the Tri-Creaser and can't get one of the components to slide on to the slitter shafts. What's the problem?
Normally this is a problem with a burr on the edge of a shaft. Repairing the burr should fix the problem.
Although rare, this can be a tolerance issue that happens primarily with the female components that use bearings. All of our products are manufactured to exacting tolerances. So when the perfect storm of larger slitter shaft OD + smaller bearing ID occurs, the fit is too tight for a finger-pressure installation. Simply give us a call at 973-383-7920 and we'll replace the part.