U.S. printer folds one million sheets in four weeks with Heidelberg’s Stahlfolder TH 82

Heidelberg Stahlfolder TH 82.
The Heidelberg Stahlfolder TH 82.

Just four weeks after its installation, Graphic Visual Solutions (Greensboro, NC) has already folded over one million sheets on its Stahlfolder TH 82 from Heidelberg – boosting productivity while reducing labour costs. Folding a wide-range of commercial printing projects, including 16-page signatures, the new Stahlfolder replaced an older, competitive model. “This folder was installed at the perfect time,” said Bryan Hall, President and CEO of Graphic Visual Solutions. “The TH 82 hit the floor right before a big surge in work from our customers. We’ve already seen drastic improvements in our productivity. With our old folder, we would have been faced with substantial overtime costs.”

Bryan Hall.
Heidelberg Stahlfolder TH 82.

Productivity gains stem primarily from the folding programs that Graphic Visual Solutions has created and stored on the Stahlfolder, which make set-ups at least 50% faster compared to manual folders. By loading the folding programs, steps like setting the folding roller, slitter shafts and buckle plate stops are adjusted automatically – and don’t require any intervention from the operator. According to Finishing Manager Greg Carter: “The Stahlfolder has exceeded my expectations as far as efficiency gains are concerned. Our primary operator, who is very skilled, has drastically improved his changeover times with the new Stahlfolder. Our operators can simply recall a stored job and be back up and running in no time – even if we’re transitioning from a simple fold to a complex 16-page signature.”

Additional efficiency gains

In addition to the Stahlfolder, the company has also seen significant productivity improvements in postpress with the latest Compucut software for their Polar 137 high-speed cutter. The software, which automatically creates cutting programs, allows for the recall of stored jobs that substantially increase the efficiency of the cutting process. “With Compucut, most of our cutting jobs have been reduced to 4 or 5 steps,” Carter added. “Our operators couldn’t be happier with it. Not only is the functionality and ease of use great, but the training from the Heidelberg team was excellent. We were ready to hit the ground running, even before the training was finished.”

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.