To Stack or Not to Stack – Paper Folding Machine Options

Intelli-Fold DE-112AF Paper Folding Machine w/ Metal Stacking Wheels and ConveyorIf you are a business and plan on folding hundreds to thousands of sheets of paper today, you may want to consider using a paper folding machine equipped with an exit conveyor and stacking wheel. There are many reasons why you might want to consider using one. At ABC Office we offer a great selection of paper folding machines (found here) equipped with this technology. I would like to explain exactly what it does.

Paper folding machines have been around for decades. What do these engineering marvels do? They take a stack of paper and quickly fold it into various patterns. The most common fold used today is the letter fold, also known as the C fold. Other common folds include the single fold (aka V fold), accordion fold (aka Z fold) and the double parallel fold. Paper folding machines fold paper into these various patterns at a speed of hundreds to often thousands of sheets of paper per hour.

One of the biggest complaints associated with paper folding machines is the disorganization often involved. Because paper is pulled into them machine at a fast rate of speed, it also leaves the machine at a high rate of speed. Many machines simply have a catch tray where the folded paper is essentially tossed. I have seen machines that do a good job with catching paper, and others that leave the folded documents in complete disarray. This can especially be a problem if you need to keep the paper in order.

If you need organization to your paper folding, what you need is a stacking wheel and conveyor. This combination of stacking wheel and conveyor helps to slow down paper as it leaves the machine, acting kind of like a brake. As the paper is slowed down by the stacking wheel, sheets of paper are nicely fed under each other as a powered conveyor carries the folded documents the rest of the way out of the machine. The order of the documents is typically reversed for a top feed machine and the same for a bottom-feed machine.

Here is a picture of what a stacking wheel / conveyor combination look like:

Paper Folding Machine w/ Stacking Wheel and Conveyor

Stacking wheels usually come in pairs and rest on a metal or plastic support. These wheels are adjusted to accommodate the side of the paper. Manual paper folding machines have these wheels manually adjusted where fully automated machines will sometimes adjust these wheels for you.

The powered exit conveyor usually consists of two or three bands that run in sync with the motor. The speed of the conveyor is usually automatically synced with the motor to keep the folded documents properly spaced. Once the documents have been carried along the conveyor, they usually come to rest at a catch where they can be easily removed from the machine.

Some paper folding machines, like those made by Formax, feature telescoping conveyors, designed to hold several hundred sheets of paper. This helps increase throughput and decreases the amount of times the machine needs to be stopped.
I personally like stacking wheels and a powered conveyor on my paper folding machine. It really makes the machine feel 100% complete.

Here are a couple of very affordable models under $1,000 we offer that include stacking wheels and a conveyor:

We offer a huge selection of other paper folding machines found here. Many of these machines include stacking wheels and conveyors. If you still have questions, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788.

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