Increase folding productivity with a ‘Combi Beam’ Folder
- Peter Dawber
Straight and box & pan folding on one machine! Or even within one part. Do you need a straight folding blade to produce precise long folds in sensitive material? But need the flexibility of segmented tools for more complex designs?
A straight folding blade is preferred for long accurate folds in polished materials, or materials with coatings such as plastisol, as segmented tools can sometimes leave visible marks. They can also produce safe edges or hems and are excellent for radius bending. However many manufacturers will opt for a box and pan folder with segmented fingers due to the flexibility of this set up.
So what is a ‘Combi Beam’ folder?
A standard folder can sometimes be specified with additional tooling to allow the use of both straight and box & pan folding on one machine; tool change over however can be time consuming. And what about if a complex part needs both types of tooling? A ‘Combi Beam’ folder has a top beam which is fitted with both types of tooling and rotates according to the job requirements. One type of tooling can be used for an entire product or alternatively the beam will rotate in mid program for a particular requirement.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
The main advantage of a ‘Combi Beam’ folder is the flexibility of knowing that it can perform on a wide range of folding jobs without a single tool change; this results in excellent part cost savings due to the reduced down time. A part can be programmed on the machine and the software will calculate whether it can be achieved or not; with this design it will automatically choose which tool to use and rotate the beam accordingly. There are very few disadvantages with these machines although they are typically more costly than the standard design; for those with sufficient throughput however the cost can be offset by savings in production.
Cidan Machinery a pioneer of the ‘Combi Beam’ technology are a good place to start if looking into this type of technology. Their design is well proven and their software is optimized to work with this system; many more details including brochures and videos can be found on their website. You can also see this type of machines working in the UK - please contact us to arrange a demonstration.