Chesapeake installs sophisticated folding machine

Published: 26-Mar-2010

UK’s largest and most sophisticated folder installed at Cheseapeake Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Packaging plant in Greenford, Middlesex

Chesapeake Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Packaging has installed what is thought to be the UK’s largest and most sophisticated leaflet folder at its pharmaceutical packaging plant in Greenford, Middlesex. The GUK FA53 features 14 folding plates, two knives, and GUK’s Aqua-Scoring capability, and will be used for the production of patient information leaflets (PILs).

The GUK FA53 is capable of handling printed sheets up to B1 format. Larger sheet sizes are becoming increasingly important in the production of PILs as legislation now demands the use of larger type sizes in the printing process to aid the visually impaired.

‘Legislation is forcing pharmaceutical companies to incorporate ever more detailed information, in multiple languages, and in larger type sizes, meaning a larger printed sheet,’ said Roy Brindle, Chesapeake’s General Manager - Leaflets UK & Ireland. ‘This still needs to fit in the same size of finished pack, and therefore more complex fold patterns are required.

‘This latest technology from GUK, the FA53, is able to execute up to 14 folds in a multi-up sheet, with tolerances of just 1mm. The level of automation within the machine helps to ensure maximum productivity without increasing our overheads.’

The folder incorporates GUK’s Aqua-Scoring option, a water-scoring capability that helps to reduce the rigidity of the folded fibres in a substrate, enabling high-speed, precise cross folding of the material.

When applying multiple folds to a sheet, there may be cracking of the material and a slowing down of the folding task. Minimal but precise application of a softener and water mixture helps to avoid the cracking problem, while also allowing the machinery to perform at significantly faster operating speeds. A patented design allows for the high-pressure water jets used to maintain their precision and provide a long and relatively maintenance free life.

The process ensures high-quality folds and high-speed production. A by-product from the quality of this folding process is that finished products are easier to handle, and space requirements for packing and storage are reduced. The accuracy of the process is also an important issue when producing small format leaflet work, and the typical tolerance for the pharmaceutical market is just 1mm.

‘Our pharmaceutical business is currently exhibiting significant growth. We need the best equipment to meet our targets and the GUK folder demonstrated it is consistently accurate while operating at impressive production speeds,’ added Brindle.

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