How To Set Up Folding Plates On A Folding Machine

Paper folding machines are wonderful to have whether you are letter folding documents, accordion folding brochures or single folding booklets. Many people out there have fears about setting up folding machines that use manual folding plates. No worries. These types of folding machines are actually pretty easy to set up. Here are a few tips that may help you out.

Friction Feed Paper Folding Machines

I would say that about 60-70% of the paper folding machines out there use manually adjusted folding plates. Manual folding plates cut down on manufacturing costs, which is why these types of machines typically cost less than automatic machines.

Most paper folding machines have two folding plates. The first folding plate, usually the longest one, typically sits about where the folded paper comes out of the machine. The second folding plate, usually the shortest one, typically sits below the feed tray. The position of the fold plate may vary, but this is the most common setup.

Friction Feed Paper FoldersEven automatic paper folding machines utilize two folding plates. The only difference is that automatic paper folding machines use a motor and a computer to adjust the folding plates.

Many of our Intelli-Fold paper folding machines utilize a “<” folding plate design. In this setup, folding plate 1 and 2 are on the same side of the machine, creating a < design.

Folding plates typically have the most common folds printed directly on the folding plate. Simply look at the guide (typically on the folding plate) and make the proper adjustments. Once you grasp the idea, setup will take less than a couple of minutes.

Friction Feed Paper Folding Machine Plates

Most folding plates have two thumb screws per plate. It is very important that the folding plate be aligned correctly, with both thumb screws tightened at equal positions. If the folding plate is a little crooked, the folds will be crooked as well. Keeping the folding plate even, however, is pretty easy as the guides help keep things in line.

Folding Plate Guide

One thing I really like about manual folding plates is that they can be set up for custom folding. Simply play around with the plates until you get the custom fold you want. You can even mark the folding plates with a marker to make custom folds easier to set up later on.
Most manual friction-feed folding machines require that one of the plates, either the short or the long plate, be turned around for a V fold (aka single fold). This blocks off the plate entirely. Some folding machines simply require the folding plate to be pushed all the way towards the machine, activating a metal plate that blocks of the tray. This is because only one folding plate is required for a V fold.

My best advice for people looking for a folding machine is to not be scared away by the term “manual setup.” These machines are easy to set up and often cost less. We offer manual setup machines that can even be used for high-volume paper folding.

You can find our entire selection of manual setup friction feed paper folding machines here. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any paper folding questions. Good luck!

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