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Folding a long strip of there a machine to do this?

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  • Folding a long strip of there a machine to do this?

    I've been asked to design and/or build something to fold a long strip of heavy paper or fabric into a "single open gate fold". The strip starts out flat about three inches wide and several feet long, and ends up folded like this:

    The folded strips will be about 1 1/2 inches wide and several feet long.

    Is there a machine available that will do this? What would it be called?
    Last edited by winchman; 09-29-2012, 02:18 AM.
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  • #2
    Could do it with a properly shaped 'guide' system. using three 'fingers' one to keep the center flat, one on each side to lift and curl the outer edges. side guide/fingers do a half flip, slowly twist so that the top surface becomes the bottom surface and folds the paper/cloth in while a roller or another finger beyond them crease it tight. End feed it for continuous operation.


    • #3
      Yea, pass it through two rolls to fold the legs 90 degrees then with guides fold the rest of the way then two more rolls to press it flat. You could run the machine with HAL...

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      • #4
        Gutter brake?



        • #5
          How many need to be done?

          Piano hinge comes to mind.


          • #6
            I forgot to mention that the upper side is coated with spray-on contact cement, so it can't be touched by any part of the mechanism.

            The quantity is several dozen a week, but they need to be done in the minimum amount of time, of course. The current process is hand folding on a long table, and the results aren't always acceptable because the width isn't consistent and the folded edges aren't straight.

            I was thinking about a raised vacuum chuck under the center part of the strip. That would hold the center of the strip flat and straight while the sides were folded over my hand, and pressed into place. Do you think that's worth a try?

            Another thought was to use 3M 924 adhesive transfer tape instead of the spray-on adhesive. That would make it easier to handle the edges while folding them over.

            I like the piano hinge suggestion. I'll give that some thought.
            Last edited by winchman; 09-29-2012, 11:09 AM.
            Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


            • #7
              How long and what weight paper? How many does it need to produce?


              • #8
                Could the paper be creased first, have the adhesive sprayed, then folded? Fold it into a U shape, have a spray head that could spray all 3 insides at one time?
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                • #9
                  I'm thinking something like the continuous rain gutter machines. You could use two vee rollers at a 45d angle that press the paper into roller dies. That way the paper is only contacted at the crease.


                  • #10
                    I'd make the adhesive the final step. A few rollers and properly placed folding bands and you could make hundreds of feet per minute. Use a glue roller or apply two-sided tape as it's coming out. For high production, feed stock off a roll and a cutter at the end would even give you the length. All the operator would have to do is press Start then Stop when the pile is large enough. I mean this is like the simplist process I've ever seen next to manual labor.


                    • #11
                      In the printing industry, we would run the paper over a table with a slit in the middle. A bar would come down and press the sheet into the slot, down to a pair of rollers, which would grab the paper and suck it through to crease it. Because you have two folds, you would then pass the sheet to another table, or reverse its orientation and return it to the first table.

                      This would, obviously, require that the adhesive be applied last. It is unclear just where the adhesive is located. If within the item, the the folded pages are glued to the center portion? If to the outside, then how is the finished product handled? If strip adhesive is intended to hold the folded product closed, then it is easy to apply afterwards.

                      Go to a local print shop and ask if you can pick the brains in their bindery. You might get some pretty good ideas.



                      • #12
                        In the plastic film and also the paper industry, they call it 'gusseting" and these
                        are common machines.
                        They generally run nonstop (continious film path) and use bars to guide the folds
                        Do some research on it



                        • #13
                          Could use self adhesive label material put all the folds in then remove the glassine (silicone coated backing paper). The material is cheap and it removes the applying the adhesive step, material choice is good from uncoated to cast coated paper, polypropelene, Polyetheylene with dozens of different adhesives
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                          • #14
                            Thank you, Rich!!! That's exactly the clue I needed.

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                            • #15
                              And here it is:

                              It's a bag handle folding machine, of all things. Get rid of the spray-on adhesive, lay in a strip of double-sided fusible fleece (heat-activated fabric adhesive), and it's done.
                              Last edited by winchman; 09-30-2012, 06:21 PM.
                              Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.