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Focus On

Feeding and Collating

The right feeding and collating kit can boost a print business’ capabilities. Carys Evans checks out the latest options on the market and how to know which is best for your business

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There has been a shift to feeding technology for pre-collated digitaly produced sets. (Image:Duplo)

A winning combination

The right feeding and collating kit can be the difference between enhanced efficiency and productivity and a system that cannot keep up with the ever-increasing speeds of production today.

Over the last five or six years, there has been a shift from traditional collating technology to more of a focus on feeding technology that is geared up for pre-collated digitally produced sets.

As a result, suppliers have shifted their research and development in line with this and are now offering sophisticated feeding technology that works alongside the latest kit such as bookletmakers and wire binding systems.

In this feature, we speak to manufacturers and suppliers about what’s new in this market and how the right technology can help to boost a print business’ capability.

Constantly evolving

A wholly owned subsidiary of Plockmatic International and part of the Plockmatic Group, Morgana Systems supplies a wide range of offline post-press equipment.

Fresh in the company’s line-up of feeding technology is the Morgana VFX vacuum feeder. Ray Hillhouse, vice president of sales and marketing for the Plockmatic Group Offline Business Unit, explains that advances in this kit means it can be integrated with a wide range of Morgana’s production line.

The Morgana VFX Feeder features a barcode reader for variable data printing

These include the BM3035, BM3050, BM5035, and BM5050 automated bookletmaking systems, and the PowerSquare 160 and PowerSquare 224 high capacity bookletmaking systems, Morgana’s DigiCoater Pro, and the DocuBind Pro VFX wire binding system.

The Morgana VFX can feed a wide range of pre-printed media on different paper types and weights at up to 15,000 sheets per hour thanks to highly automated vacuum feed technology. Key features include two loading trays featuring vacuum feed technology and double sheet detection sensors, anti-static bars as an additional extra, and automatic tray switching allowing for long unattended runs.
Ultrasonic and optical detectors ensure any sets that go out of sequence are stopped. The two feed bins can also be fitted with barcode readers for the production of variable page counts or for matching sets from one bin to a cover in the other. As well as this, the VFL Feeder is provided for long sheet applications.

Morgana also provides a more traditional feeder/collator tower in the form of the ACF510 air assisted smart tower feeder/collator. This is a ten-station machine which can be used either as a straight collator for printed sections or as a smart programmable feeder for the BM3000 series.

Another company that offers a one-stop solution for paper and board conversion machinery is Encore Machinery. An international and domestic provider of commercial paper/board finishing and packaging products, the company supplies a range of MB feeding and collating technology.

One example is the MB-System 438 accumulating folding machine. Designed for reading, accumulating, and folding personalised mail, the machine is known for its compact design and simple operation. Documents are either fed by a shingling pre-loader or a bulk loader with high stacking capacity. Data is matched with an integrated read system and all standard optical codes can be handled.