Restaurant menus come in all shapes and sizes. Some businesses go with something simple like a “to go” menu, where others go all out. Some simply laminate a sheet of paper and put the menu on both sides. At Office Zone we offer a wide assortment of tools (found here) that can help you crate your own in-house menu that will look professional and give you control over how it looks. Here are a few products that we offer that you may want to consider using.
One of the most common tools you will find in the restaurant trade for creating a menu is a laminator. Why is this? Because laminators provide a protective barrier that is scratch, wrinkle and moisture proof. This is ideal, especially since a menu can be re-used over and over throughout the day. You don’t want to be creating a new menu on a daily basis…right? Here are some tools our customers like to use for laminating their menus:
Pouch Laminators – The pouch laminator is the perfect tool for laminating a menu. Most of our customers use either letter-size laminating pouches or menu-size laminating pouches (found here). If you are using the larger 12″ x 18″ menu-size pouches, I recommend you use a laminator that is at least 13″ wide. This provides ample room for laminating and also gives you room in case the pouch isn’t fed in perfectly straight.
Here are two menu laminators I recommend using:
Intelli-Lam IL400 (found here) – This laminator is both affordable and durable. It features a 13″ wide laminating width and four rollers for added quality.
Akiles iLam 340 (found here) – Akiles makes great products and the iLam 340 is a great example. This laminator has a 13″ laminating width and comes equipped with everything you need to laminate menus.
PAPER FOLDING MACHINES
Many people like to give menus to customers to take home. This makes sense. I personally have menus at home for various restaurants around the community. Sometimes it is easier to simply break out a menu at home and place an order than try to look it up online. Paper folding machines can be used with letter-size or 11″ x 17″ to 12″ x 18″ paper, depending on the machine. Paper folding machines can also create some really cool and unique folds.
Over the years, I have found that restaurants like to use three primary types of folds with their menus. These are the half fold, the letter fold and the gate fold. Here are some images representing the three folds:
So which machine should you use? It really all depends on the size of paper, thickness of paper and volume of paper you are using. I would like to recommend two machines for folding menus:
Intelli-Fold DE-112AF Paper Folder (found here) – This machine is excellent for folding standard letter-size paper. It is affordable, yet versatile enough to create most of the folds that you will need. It can even be used to create a gate fold, which looks great with a menu.
Intelli-Fold DE-172AF Paper Folder (found here) – If you are folding larger sheets of paper, you may want to use a machine like this. The DE-172AF can be used with paper up to 11″ x 17″ in size. It can also be set up to create a letter, half or gate fold.
The last item you may want to consider using for your in-house menu creation is a paper cutter. These can be used to trim down your menus, cut off excess lamination film and much more. There are three main types of paper cutters you may want to consider using when making menus.
Rotary Paper Cutters (found here) – These cutters use a round cutting wheel that is ideal for precision cutting. These cutters are generally used for trimming a few sheets of paper at a time and are excellent for trimming off excess lamination, photos, paper and more.
Guillotine Paper Cutters (found here) – These are very similar to the arm cutters you may have seen in school as a kid. They feature a long pivoting blade attached to a base. These cutters, especially those by Kutrimmer, are excellent for cutting several sheets of paper at once. Unlike cutters of the past, these ones produce remarkably straight cuts.
Stack Paper Cutters (found here) – These are the cutters you need if you are trimming down hundreds of menus at the same time. They are especially good if you are cutting a large stack of letter-size or menu-size documents in half or simply trimming around the edges.
Hopefully this helps you in your search to find machines for creating in-house menus. We have years of experience doing this, so please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 with any question.
Folding paper by hand takes hours and the end results usually leaves a lot to be desired. This is where a paper folding machine (found here) finds its stride. These machines have literally been designed from the ground up to take paper and fold it quickly and professionally without any flaws. So how exactly does a paper folding machine work? I would like to discus this in this article.
If you were to tear open a standard paper folding machine, you would actually be very surprised just how simple they are on the inside. Manual setup friction-feed paper folding machines essentially consist of two folding plates, a couple of rubber rollers, a motor and some friction feeding wheels. Here is a picture of the inside of a paper folding machine:
Before I go into the technical details on how a paper folding machine works, I would like to describe how to set it up prior to use.
First you will want to adjust the two folding plates to accommodate the fold you wan to create. Most paper folding machines are capable of folding the paper in to different points. The fold you select will depend on the sheet size and type of fold you want to create.
Second you will want to put the paper in the feed tray and ensure the side guides are properly aligned. You generally want the friction rollers centered on the middle of the paper as closely as you can.
If your machine is equipped with a stacker wheel and a powered exit conveyor, ensure the stacker wheel is adjusted to accommodate the paper size you are folding.
Finally you will want to turn the machine on and begin folding. If the folds don’t look right or are crooked, turn off the machine and make adjustments.
I would now like to describe the step-by-step process involved in folding a sheet of paper.
The machine first pulls in a sheet of paper using friction wheels on the feed tray.
As the paper is pulled into the machine, it is pulled and pushed into the first folding plate. The paper bounces off that plate and makes its way to the second folding plate.
As it bounces off the plates, it is forced between rubber rollers that fold the paper. The location where the rubber rollers grasp and fold the paper depends on the clearance in the folding plates.
Once the paper has bounced off the plates and made its way through the rubber rollers, it will come out the exit tray.
Here is a video of a paper folding machine in use:
Now that we have discussed how a paper folding machine is set up and how it is used, I would like to cover some common paper folding issues. The most common issues are usually very easy to resolve. Here are some of the most common I hear from customers:
Paper not Feeding Properly:
A lot of this depends on the type of feeding system your paper folder uses. If you have to pre-fan the paper, you may simply need to adjust the retarder wheel. This is basically the amount of clearance the machine uses to pull in a sheet of paper.
If the machine uses a simple drop-in feed system, you may need to clean the rubber friction rollers that pull in the paper. If they get coated in paper dust, they can begin to slip on the paper.
If you are using glossy or coated paper, you may have to upgrade to an air-feed paper folding machine. Friction rollers don’t handle slick, glossy or coated paper well.
This is often the result of the paper guides not being properly aligned. Look at the paper guides on the feed tray and make sure they are straight. Make necessary adjustments.
You may have the fold plates adjusted and locked down crooked. Make sure the bar on the fold plate is straight and aligned correctly.
If your machine is equipped with a skew wheel, try adjusting it and test a few folds to see if this corrects the problem.
Machine Keeps Jamming:
This can be a result of a lot of things. I have found the most common issue resulting in paper jams is either dirty rubber rollers or static electricity. If the rollers are dirty, try opening up the folding machine and clean the rollers using roller cleaner (found here). If it is static electricity, the static charge may be causing sheets of paper to stick together. Use static eliminator spray (found here) or a paper jogger (found here) to get rid of the static electricity.
Hopefully these tips and the above information has helped educate you and has helped you make an educated decision on purchasing a paper folding machine. There are a lot of paper folding machines and several different styles available, so please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 with any questions. We are also more than happy to pre-test your paper samples on our machines prior to you making a purchase to ensure the machine works properly. Thank you for reading and please post comments regarding your own paper folding machine experiences. Have a great day!
If you are in need of a paper folding machine for your office, you may be wondering which model you should purchase. Let’s be honest, some paper folding machines are simply garbage and are no better than a paperweight. The good folding machines, however, are almost worth their weight in gold simply by saving you time and money. I have used dozens of paper folding machines over the last 10 years and would like to share some of that knowledge with you.
To begin with, I am writing this article with regular businesses in mind that doesn’t need anything completely automated. To that end, I will be recommending my top 10 suggestions for friction feed manual setup paper folding machines. That means these machines use rubber rollers to pull paper in for folding. These machines are more affordable than air-suction machines, but are known to choke on slick, glossy and coated paper. This is because glossy paper can slip on the rubber rollers, resulting in a paper jam. If you are using standard paper or standard finish card stock, this article is for you.
My Top 10 Recommendations for Manual Setup Office Paper Folding Machines
Formax FD 305 Desktop Folding Machine (found here) – This little paper folder is designed to sit on the edge of your desk and fold the occasional sets of paper as needed. It creates a C fold and can be used to automatically feed paper and fold it or multi-fold up to three sheets of paper at a time. This type of machine is perfect for folding the occasional invoice, mailer or bill. For what it is, this is a solid machine.
Intelli-Fold IF300 Folding Machine (found here) – This entry-level automatic paper folding machine can be used to create a letter fold, Z fold, double parallel fold, half fold and more. It is compact, yet has a feed tray that can hold up to 100 sheets of paper. It is cheap (in price) and even includes a digital counter. It is an excellent value for what you get.
MBM 93M Compact Paper Folder (found here) – This compact paper folding machine screams quality. It has fully customizable folding plates and is one of the most affordable machines to include a powered exit conveyor with stacking wheels. It creates all common folds and can even be used to create custom folds.
Intelli-Fold DE-102AF Folding Machine (found here) – This machine is directly comparable to the Dynafold DE-102AF, but with the superb customer support offered by Intelli-Zone. This machine features some of the best build quality you will find in a manual setup folding machine. It includes three friction wheels for pulling in paper and has a feed tray that will hold up to 500 sheets of paper at a time.
Intelli-Fold DE-112AF Paper Folding Machine (found here) – This is basically the DE-102AF mentioned above with a few upgrades. The DE-112AF includes a powered exit conveyor with stacking wheels, a variable speed control dial and includes sensors that will prevent operation of the machine until the folding plates are properly set. This machine is perfect for daily invoice and letter folding and can be used for custom folds as well.
Intelli-Fold DE-172AF Large Sheet Paper Folder (found here) – This is a larger version of the DE-112AF that is capable of folding sheets of paper up to 11″ x 17″ in size! It is fast, versatile and includes the convenient exit conveyor with stacking wheels making it possible to keep folded material in sequential order. Need to fold restaurant menus? This is the machine for you!
Intelli-Fold DE-202AF Letter Folder (found here) – This is basically the same machine as the Dynafold DE-202AF, but with the excellent support Intelli-Zone offers. This time-tested model has been around for years and has proven itself to be a reliable machine. The DE-202AF is excellent for folding paper both small and large.
Formax FD 320 Letter Folding Machine (found here) – Formax is known for their envelope inserting machines. Their paper folders are equally as good. This folding machine has a nice long exit conveyor and utilizes a feeding tray that doesn’t require the paper to be pre-fanned prior to placement. It features a variable speed control dial on the side of the machine and it is extremely fast.
MBM 207M Paper Folding Machine (found here) – This paper folder is probably the easiest non-automated folding machine to set up. The folding plates have folds clearly marked. Rather than loosening thumb screws and sliding the folding plates, the MBM 207M uses a pinch-and-slide mechanism that makes it possible to be set up and operational in less than a minute. It also incorporates a paper counter, a test button, a powered exit conveyor and stacker wheels.
Martin Yale Mark VII Paper Folding Machine (found here) – If you were a fan of the Martin Yale 959, you are going to love the Mark VII. This is the replacement for the 959. It is blazing fast (35,000 sheets per hour) and can fold paper as large as 14″ x 20″ in size. While the folding plates are manually set up, this is clearly an industrial quality paper-folding machine designed for heavy-volume paper folding throughout the day.
Each of these paper folding machines are solid and excellent for offices looking for a way to speed up letter and invoice folding operations. These machines all have an excellent track record with our customer and we completely back up each of these machines. If you are still in need of some paper folding machine advice, please speak with one of our experts by calling 1-800-543-5454. We are more than happy to help you out, provide you with quotes and guide you in the right direction. You can find our entire selection of friction-feed paper folding machines here.
The Handsome Formax FD 6202 Series Folder Inserter
We have used the Formax FD 6202 Advanced 2 machine at the offices of Office Zone for about eight years. We typically use this folder inserter for sales demonstrations. It also comes in handy when a potential client wants us to test their mailing samples before they invest in a substantial piece of office equipment.
The one feature that I am the most impressed with, over all the other bells and whistles offered with this model, is the ease of accessing all moving parts in the machine. When you open the lid on the FD 6202, you have immediate access to all off the rollers, belts, gears … essentially all of the critical components. These are the areas that you need ready access to whenever things go wrong – a stuck envelope, jammed piece of paper, etc.
This also makes unit maintenance a simple process. All you need to do is release a latch and all of the rollers in the FD 6202 are exposed. You can then easily apply roller cleaner or anti-static spray to ensure optimum performance.
The Formax FD 6202 boasts industrial-grade paper folding and inserting performance. This system is capable of folding and inserting up to five sheets into an envelope at a time. The model 6202 has several of the features typically found on larger, more expensive folder/inserters. Yet, this Formax model is still relatively simple to use – an ideal machine for most offices.
The FD 6202-Advanced model 1 offers a one-sheet feeder and one-insert/Business Reply Envelope (BRE) feeder. The Advanced 2 model has two automatic sheet feeders and a single insert/BRE feeder. The FD 6202 offers an auto-set feature that lets you program new jobs with a single touch. The machine will automatically measure paper lengths, envelope sizes and fold lengths. If desired, you may program the folder/inserter to remember your most frequent folds so that they are available without having to enter them each time.
Be sure to contact us before ordering your next folder/inserter machine. Office Zone requires that you first submit samples, at least 30 of each mailing piece, for testing before we release your new machine. This ensures we match your specific mailing requirements to the optimum machine. Some of our customers have actually saved themselves thousands of dollars in manual labor per month after investing in a Formax FD6202 series folder/inserter. Be sure to call us today to find out how you can save money and precious time with a paper folder/inserter.
If you organization sends out fliers, mailers, invoices, statements or any kind of business correspondence then you need a paper folder. Those documents aren’t going to fold themselves to fit in the envelope, and why would you want to waste valuable labor hours paying a bunch of minimum wage employees to fold them slowly by hand? The Tamerica TPF-42 Paper Folder is an excellent choice for companies that would rather have one employee folding thousands of sheets an hour than several employees folding hundreds of sheets per hour. The Tamerica TPF-42 paper folder can handle rapidly folding large stacks of paper into every common type of paper fold.
The Tamerica TPF-42 Paper Folder has a high folding capacity, can be set to produce custom folds and is the easiest paper folder on the market to set up. These ease-of-use features makes the Tamerica TPF-42 Paper Folder a top choice among banks, brokerages, law offices, investment houses, credit unions, insurance companies, churches, schools, print shops, government agencies, publishers, direct mail marketers and other organizations that send out thousands of sheets of paper throughout the month.
The Tamerica TPF-42 Paper Folding Machine is a friction style folder that automatically feeds the paper through using a friction roller and conveyor system. The Tamerica TPF-42 Paper Folder can handle a wide range of bond paper ranging from 12# to 60#. Along with custom folds, this paper folder can do single, letter, Z, double parallel, half accordion, and gate folds. The Tamerica TPF-42 Paper Folder is a high output machine that has variable speeds so you can adjust the folding speed based on the size of your stack. It has a maximum folding speed of 8,000 sheets per hour. It would take dozens of grumbling employees to match that output.
The TPF-42 Paper Folding Machine is the product of made by Tamerica Products Incorporated, located in California. For almost 30 years, Tamerica Products Incorporated has been manufacturing and distributing top quality office equipment, including paper folders, binding machines, laminating equipment and other office supplies. According to their website, Tamerica Products Incorporate takes pride in providing quality products and honest customer service to its customers.
The setting controls on the Tamerica TPF-42 Paper Folder are designed for easy adjustment. It has an auto jam detector and auto shut off sensor. This is a high volume paper folder that has a feed tray able to hold a 500 sheet stack of paper. It has a test sheet button that enables the user to try out a test fold before beginning the full stack. This eliminates incorrect folds that don’t line up correctly in windowed envelopes. The only downside of the Tamerica TPF-42 is the shortcoming that afflicts all friction-style paper folders. It shouldn’t be used to fold glossy paper. If you’re in a business that uses a lot of slick, shiny paper then you’d be better off with a suction-feed paper folder.
Folding documents by hand is a pain. It’s tedious, busywork that reduces productivity and increases paper cuts. Why waste valuable labor hours having multiple people folding statements, bills, invoices or business correspondence when you can have one person folding stacks of paper in minutes? The Martin Yale P7400 AutoFolder Paper Folder is an excellent choice for companies that want to put their employees to more productive tasks. The Martin Yale P7400 is a reliable, automatic paper folder that can handle large stacks of paper at a rapid pace, and produce every common type of paper fold.
The Martin Yale P7400 Paper Folder is commonly used by banks, investment houses, credit unions, insurance companies, schools, printers, government agencies, publishers, direct mail marketers and other organizations that fold and distribute hundreds to thousands of sheets of paper on a monthly basis.
The Martin Yale P7400 Paper Folder is designed to handle standard bond paper, ranging from 16# to 28#. It is adjustable so it can accommodate folding various paper sizes, from 3 ½ inches x 5 inches to 8 ½ inches x 14 inches. The Martin Yale P7400 Paper Folder can perform all the common paper fold styles, including Letter fold, Z fold, Double Parallel fold and Half fold.
Most paper folders have issues with folding sheets that are stapled together. This isn’t an issue with the Martin Yale P7400 Paper Folder. It has a manual bypass slot that allows the operator to manually fold up to three stapled or unstapled sheets at a time. This is a real time-saver, and helps you keep your sheet together. The Martin Yale P7400 Paper Folder has variable speeds you can adjust according to the size of your stack, with a maximum fold speed of 4,000 sheets per hour. The Martin Yale P7400 Paper Folder is a friction style folder that rapidly feeds the paper through using a friction roller and conveyor system.
The P7400 Paper Folder is made by Martin Yale Industries, a US manufacturer of office and mailroom equipment. According to their website they design their equipment to make work life more productive and secure. Founded in 1940, Martin Yale has a 68-year track record of designing, engineering, and manufacturing quality products for the office. They are also known for having a helpful customer service department when customers have questions or need help.
The setting controls on the Martin Yale P7400 Paper Folder are designed for easy adjustment. It has an auto jam detector and auto shut off sensor, so it won’t munch up and destroy all your papers. The feed tray is able to hold a stack of paper that is 50 sheets thick. The only downside of the Martin Yale P7400 is the shortcoming that afflicts all friction-style paper folders. It shouldn’t be used to fold glossy paper. If you’re in a business that uses a lot of slick, shiny paper then you’d be better off with a suction-feed paper folder.
People always need to deliver printed correspondence, such as letters, invoices, statements, pamphlets, announcements, or flyers through the mail. To do this they need to fit the paper documents into an envelope. While some larger envelopes can hold a sheet of paper without modification, most paper needs to be folded to fit in the envelope in which it will be delivered. Since there are multiple sizes and types of envelopes there are several different ways that paper can be folded. One of the most common ways to create a fold is by using a paper folding machine.
The most common types of paper folds are the Single Fold, the Letter Fold, the Z Fold, the Double Parallel Fold, the Double Parallel Fold, the Cross Fold, the Half Accordion Fold and the Gate Fold. Most paper folding machines are designed to accommodate these paper folds.
The Single Fold, also known as the Half Fold or the V Fold, is the most common type of paper fold. It is easy to make either manually or with a paper folding machine. The Single Fold places a horizontal crease in the center of the paper, making a 50/50 area on each side of the fold. It gets its name, obviously, from the single crease, or the V-shape it makes as it unfolds. This fold is generally used for cardstock correspondents, such as announcements, invitations, greeting cards or Thank You cards, which are sent in larger envelopes, such as Pocket, Wallet, or Banker envelopes.
The Letter Fold, also known as the C Fold, is widely used by people and businesses when folding their stationary or correspondence. The Letter Fold places two creases in the sheet of paper, usually around the top 1/3rd and the bottom 1/3rd. The two end flaps close overlapping each other. The letter fold gets is name because it is the most used by people when sending letters, and it is reminiscent of a C-shape when open. The Letter Fold accommodates most standard types of regular style envelopes.
The Z Fold, also known as the Accordion Fold, is another tri-fold style of paper fold. The Z Fold is also done by places two creases in the sheet of paper around the top 1/3rd and the bottom 1/3rd of the paper. However, instead of folding the two flaps in on each other, the folded flaps point and collapse in opposite directions forming a Z-shape. The folded paper can be pulled open and pushed closed on itself, reminiscent of an accordion. The Z Fold can also be used for most standard types of regular style envelopes.
The Double Parallel Fold is a type of paper fold that is used to fold oversized sheets of paper, such as 8½” x 14″ legal sized paper. The Double Parallel Fold places three creases in the sheet, creating four parallel panels. The middle crease is folded so that the top crease sets into the bottom crease, creating a double V. The Double Parallel Fold is used to make oversized paper fit into regular style envelopes, open end envelopes and booklet envelopes.
The Cross Fold is sometimes also called the French Fold or the Right Fold. The Cross Fold is a unique paper fold, used to fit sheets of paper into smaller envelopes. The Cross Fold is made by making two creases through the middle of the sheet, one horizontal fold and the other a vertical fold so the creases make a cross shape. The paper is then folded so it resembles two tents combing at a central point.
The Half Accordion Fold, also known as the Fold-out or colloquially as the Engineering Fold, is very similar to the he Z Fold. The Half Accordion Fold involves placing two creases in the sheet of paper, but instead of making three equal panels, one of the folds is placed either closer to the top or lower to the bottom, so one panel is much smaller than the other two. The Half Accordion Fold is often used to make sure mailing information lines up with the panes in a windowed envelope.
The Gate Fold is similar to the Letter Fold. Two folds are made toward the top and the bottom of the sheet, and both panels are folded toward each other. But instead of overlapping the panels as the Letter Fold does, the Gate Fold brings both the edges together, so that it opens and closes like a gate. This a common fold used for announcements, invitations, ads and other cardstock products sent in Pocket, Wallet, or Banker envelopes.
A jammed paper folding machine can cost you time and money, not to mention it is a huge hassle. While you may not be able to avoid every paper jam, there are certain things you can do to keep your paper folding machine humming like the day you bought it. If it was a lemon out of the box, I’m afraid I won’t be able to help you much, however, if you purchased a good solid machine these instructions will help you keep your folding machine running for years.
Paper folding machines consist of a motor, a friction roller (friction-based machines), a series of silicon rollers and a couple of folding plates. While there are a few additional sensors and parts, that pretty much sums it all up. If you can keep in mind that there isn’t much to your paper folding machine, it won’t be intimidating and it will be easier to maintain.
As a paper folding machine operates, it pulls paper in and expels it out the other side. Most folded paper, with a few exceptions, is printed on. As paper runs through the machine, ink and dust begin to accumulate on the silicon rollers. As is the case with snow on a road, dust on a roller can cause it to become slippery. This causes slipping and sliding that should not occur in a paper folding machine, resulting in the imminent jam. Ink has the same effect.
I recommend using a roller cleaner rejuvenator (found here) to keep rollers clean. Roller cleaner rejuvenator not only cleans, but it also helps moisten the rollers. This helps prolong the life of the folding machine and keeps things running smooth. Never use cleaning solvents or rubbing alcohol to clean your folding machine. This could potentially cause the rollers to dry out and crack.
If you ever experience a paper jam, please do not try forcing the paper out by hand. It could cause a belt to strip. If you can’t easily get the paper back out, call Office Zone’s Service Department at 1-800-543-5454 x129 and get some advice before proceeding with anything else. Also, please never use scissors or other sharp objects to try and fish out paper! That could potentially irreversibly damage your silicon rollers, requiring them to be replaced.
Another big issue with paper folding machines is static electricity. As is the case with rubbing your hair on a balloon and sticking it to a wall, static electricity in paper causes it to stick together. The end result can be a multi-sheet feed, which almost always results in a paper jam. Electrostatic-charged paper is extremely annoying. There are a few ways to get rid of static in paper.
One method of getting rid of static electricity in paper is by using a static eliminator spray (found here). Once sprayed on your paper folding machine’s rollers, static electricity is dramatically reduced. Another option, and perhaps the best, is to use a paper jogger (found here). Paper joggers quickly square up paper and remove static electricity.
Another common issue with paper folding machines is incorrectly seated folding plates or incorrectly set folding plates. Make sure the folding plates on your paper folding machine feel snug and that there is little to no play.
If you are still experiencing issues, you may need to contact Office Zone’s Service Department at 1-800-543-5454 x129. They are talented, kind and provide affordable solutions. Office Zone’s Service Department can repair folding machines from Duplo, Standard, Intelli-Fold, Tamerica, Martin Yale, Dahle and many others.
When shopping around for a paper folding machine, you want to buy the best one for your money, right? It makes sense. You probably also want a machine that will last for several years. There’s no sense in shopping around for a new machine every few months or year. Having used paper folding machines myself for over 10 years, I have a very good idea which machines you should use.
There are a lot of factors that you should consider before purchasing a paper folding machine. To begin with, you don’t want to purchase a cheap $200 machine for a job that really needs a $2,000 machine. Trust me, you’ll be out of a machine in a few days if you expect a cheap folding machine to do a commercial job.
With that in mind, be aware that while these machines are on my “top 10″ list, that doesn’t mean that each one will do the job you need. You need to consider monthly duty cycle, sheet capacities, fold types and more. I recommend calling 1-800-543-5454 to speak with a folding machine specialist for answers to your specific questions. Also be aware that these are friction-feed style paper folding machines, not air suction machines.
These paper folding machines have a great reputation, an excellent track record with customers and are known to be extremely reliable.
Top 10 Best “Manual Setup” Paper Folding Machines 2011
Intelli-Fold DE-102AF Paper Folding Machine – This machine has been around for years, previously under the name Dynafold DE-102AF. This machine is a great value for the money and is extremely fast. It also creates just about any fold you could want.
MBM 93M Paper Folding Machine – This is the replacement to the popular MBM 87M. As was the case with the 87M, the MBM 93M is a solid piece of machinery that is a perfect fit between the DE-102AF and the IF-300. It isn’t too expensive, yet is robust enough for medium-volume runs.
Intelli-Fold DE-112AF Folding Machine – This paper folder is almost identical to the above mentioned DE-102AF except the DE-112AF has a powered exit conveyor, which helps keep paper neat and orderly. It is one of the cheapest paper folding machines that features a powered exit conveyor.
Formax FD 312 Paper Folding Machine – Formax makes some of the most solid office equipment around. They are better known for their paper folder inserters and paper shredders, but their line of paper folding machines are is equally as good.
Intelli-Fold DE-172AF Paper Folding Machine – This paper folding machine has it all. It can create most popular folds, handles 11″ x 17″ paper and includes a powered exit conveyor! For the money, few competitors even come close to competing.
Intelli-Fold DE-202AF Paper Folder – Once known as the Dynafold DE-202AF, the Intelli-Fold DE-202AF is a time tested classic. It has been around for years and has proven itself time after time. Its fast, has a 500 sheet feed tray and can handle larger sheets of paper.
Formax FD 320 Paper Folder – This Formax paper folding machine can create all the folds you need, has easy-to-adjust folding plates and of course features Formax quality.
MBM 207M Paper Folding Machine – MBM, the manufacturers of the classic Destroyit line of paper shredders, also make some of the best paper folding machines around. This is the easiest manual setup paper folding machine around. It is fast, accurate and includes a powered exit conveyor.
Tamerica TPF-42 Paper Folding Machine – This paper folder is pretty much a clone of teh MBM 207M, but available to you at a lower cost. We have been selling this machine for a few years now and it has quickly become a hit.
Martin Yale 959 Paper Folding Machine – If this had been a top 11 list, the 959 paper folding machine would have been included. While I’m not a big fan of Martin Yale, the 959 is a beast, designed for high-production paper folding jobs. It can be used every day without hesitation. Check it out!
So there you have it. My top 10 best paper folding machines of 2011. While there are some pretty good automatic machines out there as well, these manual setup machines are solid examples of engineering excellence. You can find Office Zone’s entire selection of paper folding machines here.
Paper folding machines make letter folding extremely. Most folding machines can create over a half dozen different folds. While operating, running and maintaining a paper folding machine isn’t difficult, there are a few simple things you can do that will help avert a lot of issues. This article will cover some of the most common issues.
While I haven’t used every paper folder out there, I have years of experience with machines from Martin Yale, Duplo, Dynafold, Intelli-Fold, Intimus, Dahle, Formax and Standard. While each manufacturer has their own unique manufacturing process, they all utilize a similar design. These tips should be able to help you out, even if you don’t own a machine by the above mentioned brands.
Common Folding & Paper Jam Issues
Constant Jams - Manual setup paper folding machines often require the removal and adjustments of folding plates. These plates typically rest on a couple of points in the machine. If the folding machine isn’t properly seated, paper can become quickly jammed. If you continue to have paper jams, and have a manual setup machine, be sure to double check the folding plate.
Occasional Jams - If your machine sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, you may have one of several potential issues. If the machine has been used for some time, you may have dirty or worn rollers. As paper runs its course through a paper folding machine, dust and ink begin to accumulate on the rollers. This dust and ink can cause the rollers to begin slipping on the paper, resulting in occasional jamming issues. I recommend using some roller cleaner and rejuvenator (found here). This will clean the rollers and moisturize them in the same process.
Another common problem is folding paper after it has come off a printer or copy machine. This paper is often statically-charged. Simply put, static electricity and paper folding machines don’t mix. There are a couple of things you can do to eliminate static electricity. The first thing you can do is jog the paper using a paper jogger (found here). Paper joggers quickly eliminate static and help to square up paper. Another way to get rid of static electricity is by using static eliminator spray (found here).
Feeding Issues – Feeding issues can be caused by a couple of sources. The most common source is glossy or coated paper. Friction-feed folders use friction grabbing rollers. When they try to grab glossy paper, they can often slip, resulting in a misfeed. If you are experiencing issues due to glossy or coated paper, you may need to upgrade to an air-feed (suction feed) folding machine.
Another issue that causes feeding issues is how paper is placed in the feed tray. While most modern paper folding machines don’t require fanning, some older paper folder designs (along with a few new designs) require the paper to be fanned prior to placement in the feed tray. If your paper folding machine has a retarder wheel, the paper probably needs to be pre fanned.
Crooked Folds – Crooked folds can be annoying, and in most cases, the fix is simple. The primary cause for crooked folds is an improperly set folding plate. Most folding plates (manual setup machines) need to be locked down in 2 points. If these points are not even, a crooked fold may occur. Another thing you can do, if so equipped, is you can use the skew adjustment to align paper as it runs through the machine, which fixes a lot of crooked folds.
Hopefully these tips have helped you out. With over 10 years of personal paper folding machine experience, I suspect this should help resolve about 90% of the problems out there. If you are still having issues, contact Office Zone’s Service Department at 1-800-543-5454 x129.