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What is folding

Folding involves the use of a tool or mechanical pressure to produce a sharply defined fold. The pressure required for folding may be applied manually with the use of a bone folder, however, this reference will only address the mechanical aspects of folding for production.

Paper folding machines

Paper folding machines are multi purpose folding machines used especially by pharmaceutical industry. These machines set both standard as well non standard folds in seconds and can adjust different paper size. The machines are equipped with wider feeder roll for accurate paper folding and require little adjustment for different paper thickness. Conveyor belt attached to the machine neatly stacks finished products. The folding capacity can go up to 20,000 pieces per hour.

By understanding the different parts used in the folding process it is easier to troubleshoot problems and properly set up your paper folding machine.   This article will provide a quick overview of five components that are common to almost all paper folders and will explain their role in the paper folding process. 

Input Tray: The first part that you will use in the paper folding process is the input tray. This is where you stack the sheets that you are going to need to fold. Depending on your folder the input tray may hold a few sheets or may hold a few hundred sheets. 

Pickup Roller: The first part of the paper folding machine to touch your documents is the pickup feed roller or rollers. This set of rollers is often larger than the other rollers used in your paper folder. These rubber rollers are used to pick up the sheets of paper from the input tray and feed them into the folder. 

Fold Rollers: After the document is picked up by the pickup roller it is passed along to the fold rollers inside the paper folding machine. These rollers help to keep the documents moving in a straight path inside the machine. These rubber rollers are usually smaller than the pickup roller and can wear out over time. 

Fold Plates: Every paper folder will have one, two or more fold plates depending on the types of folds that the folding machine is capable of producing. The paper will be fed into these fold plates and it will hit a stop at the end of the plate that will turn the paper around and cause the paper to fold. 

Output Tray: After the document has traveled through the folder and through all of the fold plates the folded document will be spit out of your folding machine into the output tray.  

Friction feeder vs air feeder 

Friction feed paper folders are the most-commonly used paper folding machines. Friction feeders are standard on most low-to-mid-range letter folders. They guide paper through the machine with rubber rollers. the constant friction between the rollers makes the mechanism wear out over time and can damage the paper. You also can't use friction feeders for glossy or transparent paper stock, as the rollers will smudge the ink.

These paper folders are capable of folding thousands of sheets of paper per hour. Great for any school, church, or business, in-plant print or copy facilities, copy shops, for personal use, for desktop publishers & more.

Air feed paper folders use a puff of air to lift a sheet of paper and pull it into the paper folder. Because air feed paper folders use air rather than friction to pull the paper in, air feed paper folders are ideal for use with glossy paper

Since the suction feed prevents long-term damage to the gears, these machines last longer but they're much more expensive than friction feeders.

It's best for high-volume folding like a copy shop, in-house reprographics departments or large mailing rooms.