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New Stahlfolder KH 82 with PFX pallet feeder from Heidelberg doubles folding speeds at U.S. print shop

Monday, November 11, 2013

Press release from the issuing company

  • First machine of this type in the U.S. installed at J.S. McCarthy Printers
  • Production time savings of up to 4,500 hours per year
  • Optimized performance and simplified operation in industrial production

J.S. McCarthy Printers, headquartered in Augusta, ME, is the first U.S. printer to install a Stahlfolder KH-82 6KTLP folder with pallet-fed PFX feeder and Twinstacker TSH-70 delivery from Heidelberg. Level III automation includes touchscreen operator guidance, automated fold roller settings, and motorized buckle plate settings. The configuration also features a pre slitter shaft in the first station and rear mounted slitter shafts with Heidelberg's lift technology. 

"We're all about being the low-cost producer in the markets we serve," said Jonathan Tardiff, vice president. "We are constantly looking at technology and equipment that help give us a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Our new Stahlfolder KH-82 has drastically reduced our makeready times and nearly doubled the run speeds on our folded signature work." 

Given the speed and efficiency of the Stahlfolder KH-82, J.S. McCarthy has saved nearly 4500 hours per year in folding production time, and now pushes as much of its commercial signature work as possible to the new machine on a four-shift, 24/7 production schedule. 

Game-Changing Pallet-Feeder 
"It's all about feeding sheets consistently," Tardiff explained. "The PFX feeder borrows some components of Heidelberg's XL press feeder, enhanced with a patented new feeder head to promote higher production. There are a large number of adjustable air settings surrounding the feeder, which helps the new folder efficiently and consistently feed both lightweight and heavyweight sheets. Our operators no longer need to fan out sheets, which is a drawback on a continuous-feed folder. The new Stahlfolder KH-82 with pallet feeder is more ergonomically operator-friendly and enables us to achieve the run speeds we are looking for without adding a helper." 

The company had an opportunity to see the high-speed, pallet-fed Stahlfolder KH-82 in action at drupa 2012, and came rapidly to the conclusion that Heidelberg automation and feeder technology stood head and shoulders above the competition. 

"We constantly strive to be on the cutting edge of technology, and the Stahlfolder KH-82 with PFX feeder has proven to be a winning combination for us," Tardiff said. "For signature folding, the technology helps us serve customers better with quicker turn times; we used the thousands of hours regained in folding time to cross-train our folder operators on other pieces of bindery equipment." 
  
On a Roll 
60-year-old J.S. McCarthy is a second-generation, family owned business, and one of New England's largest printing operations. With 180 employees and annual revenue of $33 million, the company offers a wide array of digital and offset printing, binding, and finishing capabilities, in addition to fulfillment, warehousing, and shipping. Markets served include Business to Business, Advertising, Fine Arts, Higher Education, Greeting Cards and Folding Cartons. Since 2001, the company has grown by acquisition, adding Graphic Color, Fairfield, ME; Spectrum Printing and Graphics, Portland, ME; Sawyer Printers, Boston; and Wolf ColorPrint, Newington, CT. The company operates a digital printing facility in Newington, CT, and has sales offices in Portland, ME; Boston, MA; Hartford, CT; and New York, NY. 

Fast, Stable, Cost-Effective 
The Stahlfolder KH-82 is a universal folding machine that dependably supports the user in meeting a huge range of production requirements, from signatures for books and booklets to commercial jobs of all sizes with top-quality results. Efficient automation accelerates makeready to boost output. Ergonomic control systems effectively support the user from start to finish. Complete integration in the production line and management workflow makes job handling more transparent. Once captured or defined, production data can be used throughout the process, tapping additional potential for savings while making production more reliable. 

The PFX feeder can boost a folding machine's output by up to 50 percent compared with conventional cross-fold production. Despite this much higher output, the entire unit still operates at the same machine speed, ensuring precise folding quality and stable production conditions. The new feeder works along the same lines as a press feeder. It separates sheets on the pallet and transports them onto the feed table in a shingled stream, where they are reliably aligned by the feeder's vacuum feed table, a prerequisite for processing more sheets in the same amount of time. Such stable operation would not be possible with conventional feed tables. 

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