According to CreaseStream Founder, Graham Harris, the traditional process of impact blade & matrix creasing with in-line folding no longer meets the high standards digital print companies now demand when producing greeting cards. This led to the launch of the 10,000 sheet per hour FoldStream solution his company developed in collaboration with finishing technology partner ProCut.
The Creasing innovator, who in 1999, invented the Tri-Creaser, the only rotary device to prevent folded items coming off a folding machine from cracking confesses he could not have completed FoldStream without someone with vast experience in manufacturing and in also creating world-class solutions in the packaging/direct mail industry.
‘Dirk Stunkel, the founder of German based ProCut builds amazing plough fold units and this was the missing piece in the jigsaw I have long been trying to complete for quite a few years now, and he and his talented team bring a lot more to the table.
There is so much value in greeting cards and for every copy to stop whilst a blade strikes down does not make sense; our patented rotary method gets the job done up to 3 times faster. Our research told us that the ideal production speed for a one-person operation averages around 10,000 copies per hour, so we capped it at that to meet the criteria, although we can go much faster,’ explained Harris.
The creasing is key!
FoldStream was designed around Harris’s new rotary Tri-Creaser Advance technology which applies creasing to both sides of the card simultaneously, so the fold is more flexible and easier to apply.
The process all starts with CreaseStream’s patented ‘non marking’ bottom fed feeder which holds up to 15cm height load of cards and was designed to keep topping up, so production is seamless and uninterrupted.
The plough fold is always in-line with the crease!
It’s what happens at the end of the cycle that excites Harris the most, as he stated, ‘there is no better way to fold, particularly when dealing with heavy weight stocks above 300gsm, than using a soft plough application simply because it does not bend or fracture the finished product like many other systems that use rollers. Such methods of finishing will often undo all the good work carried out at the beginning of the production cycle. The key to fast make-ready between smaller quantity batches is simply down to the plough always staying 100% in-line with the crease, this means all the operator needs to do is move the registration side lay over and reset to different size formats, it’s very simple!’
The CreaseStream & ProCut collaboration brings this single fold application to the digital print environment, however extra accessories, such as additional ploughs, a gluing system, tape applicator, rotary trimming, micro-perforating, and much more can be added.