March 1, 2004 -- Folders today must address a laundry list of demands: they must support a wide range of production options and fast job changes, deliver razor-sharp folds, require a minimum of maintenance and yet be totally reliable and easy to operate. The comparative virtues of gripper and pin folders are frequently the object of a heated debate, especially with respect to 16pp presses. More often than not the arguments exchanged are based simply on habit, though experience also plays a role, as does the production environment.
The launch of a new generation of folders for one-around presses expands KBA's palette to include P3 pin folders like the one shown here on the Compacta 217 for Drupa, in addition to its proven F3 gripper folders (1)
The latest generation of small-format KBA folders for one-around presses can be seen in action for the first time on the Compacta 217 commercial heatset press demonstrated at Drupa 2004. Following the market launch of these new folders printers will be able to choose between KBA's familiar, practice-proven gripper folders and a new generation of high-tech pin folders like the one incorporated in the press exhibited at Drupa. This freedom to choose between the two systems and their relevant merits – a freedom no other press manufacturer offers – addresses a desire among commercial printers worldwide for systems which can be custom-configured to their individual production scenarios.
Until now, the type of folder was more or less dictated by the manufacturer of the press. With KBA's new folder, heatset printers are free to choose whichever type they prefer (2)
Enhanced productivity and reliability
To support such customisation, all the new pin and gripper folders manufactured by KBA are of a modular design with a raft of new features aimed at relieving operator workload while improving productivity and reliability. The standard versions include a first cross fold, double parallel fold, single-gate fold with or without a subsequent quarterfold, a synchronised length perforator and a right-reading cross perforator. The depth of the length and cross perforations can be adjusted on the fly. Conversion to the various types of product is fully automatic from the console. All the adjustable elements in the folders are controlled via a Profi-Bus system. This enables their precise positions to be displayed on the console screen during conversion sequences and, what is more important, it allows the entire subassembly to be converted in a minimum of time, since all the adjusting sequences can take place simultaneously.
Reliability in continuous operation
An additional module can be fitted beneath the folder proper to support the production of 2 x 8pp posters, closed at the head, or, on a two-web press, 2 x 16 pages. A cut-off cassette with its own dedicated electric drive can also be installed to support the production of 2 x 4, 2 x 8 or 4 x 4 pages. Production safety and reliability are a top priority in continuous everyday operation. Which is why, with the high-performance Compacta 217, KBA has retained its custom of fitting two quarterfolds because this reduces the risk of production stoppages if one should fail.
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