After taking delivery of a Stahlfolder TH82-P, Belfast firm GPS Colour Graphics has found that it can offer a minimum of 50% and up to 100% increase in productivity and can also handle concertina folding without fuss. “I bought this folder because I knew it had a higher run rate and I am always looking for higher line speed,” says Derek Bell, managing director. “It has a lower mechanical speed but a higher output and that means it gives better quality control and is easier for the operators to run. It is a leap forward in technology.”

The Stahlfolder TH 82-P is an industry level, high output folder. The key is the portrait feeding and underlapped shingle method that operates throughout the folder to produce the traditional format sections and with the minimum of 50% higher output than on standard TH/KH (buckle/combination) folders. With this technology, 16 page A4 sections can be produced at up to 16,400 copies per hour with minimal increase in machine speed. This high output can be achieved with  only 140mpm; the problem with chasing output by mechanical speed is that it can compromise quality because of the stability of the sheet, especially with sensitive stocks.

The new folder, which is supplementary rather than replacement equipment, will run alongside existing MBO models and a range of Stahlfolders. A £5 million move to a new 125,000 sq ft premises in Belfast (from a 25,000sq ft site) two years ago has also given the company space and room for growth.

The new Stahlfolder will handle book sections through to leaflets. GPS produces over 99 million items a year from sewn books to folded leaflets. Its finishing line up is comprehensive and as a company it not only has print (three long perfectors but also digital and wide format technology), but even augmented reality and digital publishing services.