The 65,000 Per Hour Chopper Table - How It Works

How do you make the fastest printing press in the world?  You find the one part of the press that hinders it from going faster and innovate technology to improve it.  With web presses, it's not the printing units that slow it down.  It's not the flying paster and it's not even the basic folder.  Rather it is usually the chopper table itself.

To deal with this, some press manufacturers have come up with technology to slow down the signature after the first fold (over the former board) and second fold (along the tuck and pin cylinders).  Man Roland has designed a patented form of brakes that stop the copy in its tracks to allow it to be pushed down to the quarter-fold nips. The thicker the product, the harder it is to stop.   Hence the 6 "skis" on each side of the chopper table are able to function independently to give a perfect fold.

In fact, it gets better than that.  While running, fiber optic sensors located near the headstop will monitor how straight the copy is approaching.  It will automatically adjust the timing of the skis to compensate for any copies that are crooked, allowing the pressman a virtually hands free operation.  No brushes to adjust at the headstop.  Just let the computer do its job.

The table itself can fold at 65,000 copies per hour with accuracy making it one of the fastest printing presses in the world.  I covered that in another article here.  After talking to one Man Roland representative, he said that it will even go 70,000.  However depending on the product and ink coverage, some copies will be unstable.  Hence the 65,000 per hour cap.  

I have included some aspects of this folder in a troubleshooting guide.

Related articles:
The Fastest Printing Presses in the World
Why Germans Build The Best Presses

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