MB CAS folding machines (new)
|Mobile bottom-feed, top-load air feeder with independent drive. Separates single sheets and in connection with the Interface 32/C also continuous forms|
|Gluing devices extend the
range of applications for folders. 8-, 12- or 16-page ready-to-mail
leaflets or inserts can thus be produced. Other applications are fold-in
pockets for leaflets and photos, lottery tickets or postcards.
Antistatic devices are used for discharging static charge to ground. Thus statically charged material (digitally printed) can be folded without any significant interruptions.
AN OVERVIEW OF MAILING EQUIPMENT OPTIONS
When setting up a mailing operation from scratch the following need to be considered :-
Customers (existing and prospective - obviously a pre-requisite)
Premises (where, access, layout and size)
Machinery (volumes, services to be offered)
Staff (caliber, training)
MACHINERY Equipment required for a 'simple' mailing operation
Production Floor Inserters (envelope) - these use 2 basic insert feed methods
|Feed type||Advantages & disadvantages|
|Friction||difficult to set up, once set up tend to feed inconsistently, very sensitive to variations in material (especially 'glossy') and speed at which machine is run, wrecks awkward to clear, earlier models will not feed 'Z' or open feed-edge inserts, tend to be used in billing operations where one job runs all the time and change of material does not occur. Often used by credit card companies which is why you frequently get 2 of every leaflet with your bill ! (e.g. earlier Pitney Bowes, PHL/PFE, Neopost, Kern, CMC, Bowe)|
|gives a positive 'grip' on insert and envelope - even 'glossy' material, easy and quick to set up, much easier to clear wrecks and diagnose problems, Endfold units or Streamfeeders are used to overcome open feed edge situations, ideal for the' jobbing' Mailing House|
on the original production inserters where inserts are pulled into
position by sucker cups ready for a jaw on the end of an arm to 'grip'
them and place them on a track, properly set up
and maintained these machines (e.g.
Bell & Howell Phillipsbergs, JUMBOs, Mailcrafters etc.)
can insert at high speed (8,000 per hour)
these are typically rotary suction feeders situated over the insert track, sucker cups pull the inserts into a position where grippers carry them onto the track below, have a similar processing speed to the swing-arms but take a lot longer to set up and are much more expensive to purchase and maintain (e.g. CMC, Pitney Bowes, Buhrs, Surefeed, Grutzmackker)
Production Floor Folding Machines (paper) - these use 2 basic insert feed methods
|Feed type||Advantages & disadvantages|
|Friction||usually table top machines, difficult to setup and once set up, because the paper needs to be evenly 'fanned', tend to feed inconsistently, very sensitive to variations in material and especially 'glossy' material, wrecks awkward to clear, tend to be used for small runs (less than 2,000) as do not take many sheets (1 or 200) in the feed hopper, maximum 'usable' speed c. 5,000/hour, 2 or 4 parallel folds, crossfolds generally not possible (e.g. Pitney Bowes, GUK, Eurofold)|
gives a positive 'grip' even on 'glossy' material, easy and quick to set up, much easier to clear wrecks and diagnose problems, usually incorporate total and batch counters, proper output conveyors, high speed (up to 30,000 sheets/hour), take up to 300 sheets in the feed hopper, generally a more consistent fold, 2 or 4 parallel folds, crossfold units available, ideal for the' jobbing' Mailing House (e.g. Morgana, Eurofold, Faltex, GUK, Horizon)
Production Floor Polywrappers - 3 basic types
|'Drop-in'||inserts are collated into a pack and manually placed into the vertical 'throat' of an insert hopper. The pack is automatically wrapped and sealed at both ends as it moves vertically downwards and ends up falling into a box or onto a short conveyor unit. Speeds of up to 1,100/hour can be achieved but about 800/hour is the average. Use rolls of poly. (e.g. Loadtake Easywrap, Mailbagger)|
|Semi auto||inserts are collated into a pack and manually placed in a conveyor where a double row of 'pegs' push it into the throat of a horizontal wrapper from where it is ejected onto a conveyor unit. Speeds of up to 2,000/hour can be sustained especially if a collator or inserter is used to feed the unit directly. (e.g. Loadtake Speedbag, Lara, Norpak)|
inserts are fed onto a track by feeders, usually between 4 and 8, and are pushed into an high speed horizontal wrapping unit from where they exit onto a conveyor unit. Speeds of up to 8,000/hour can be sustained. (e.g. Norpak, Sitma, Buhrs, CMC)
Everything depends on expected volumes, if small then maybe a table top friction folder will be sufficient but if moderate or large then an high speed suction folder will be essential.
The envelope inserter chosen should be flexible and easy to set up and operate. Always ask for reference sites when buying to avoid ending up with a machine which only works in the showroom. Always purchase one with a couple of insert stations more than you initially need, to cover future eventualities.
Do not believe everything you are told about the speed the machine will run at - few machines will run at their full cycling speed. A good rule of thumb is to assume half speed as a good average, but only if operators are well trained and the machine is in good condition. If either of these are not 'up to scratch' then allow a quarter speed maximum.
Conversely, be realistic about the speed you can cope with or it is financially worth coping with. This is especially the case where Mailsort is involved. Does it make financial sense where you are running a job at 2,500 per hour with one operator, to increase speed to 3,500 when you need another operator to do the Mailsort. In effect you are paying an extra say £6/hr. wages to produce 1,000 extra envelopes.
Finally, any machinery bought will give a return on investment only when it is operating efficiently and consistently. Make sure your supplier gives a warranty, advice on operational problems and will maintain/repair the equipment. It is foolhardy to buy from suppliers who sell 'as seen' unless you have engineering expertise in-house or 'on-tap' and also budget for the additional costs of keeping this sort of equipment running.
You will need
Access for large post vehicles
An outside area where you can store empty cages or for temporarily giving you room on the production floor
Adequate space on the Production Floor for pallets and for efficient workflow and Health & Safety
speed, setup, wrecks, mailsort, operator training
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