Fibre cracking, it is a problem that has plagued the printing industry for a long time, and is something that the modern era of digital printing has still had to endure. Well no longer, it is the issue that Tech-ni-Fold was initially created to solve and continues to solve to this day, with the Tri-Creaser Fast Fit being the main solutions to combat this age old issue.
But regardless of whether you own one or not, there are still certain things you can do to ensure none of your work ever suffers from fibre cracking again. Here are our hot tips for things you need to be doing or checking before putting any work through your folding machine or creaser:
- Set the correct pressure
This must match the stock going through the machine. Most will have callipers that you will set with a piece of the stock you are about to crease. Getting it wrong can go one of two ways, not enough pressure will result in a weak crease which will cause, and you guessed it, fibre cracking. Go too far the other way and your creasing tool will be more effective at slicing the paper than creasing it! Always check the pressure before every job and never assume it has already been done.
- Use rubber within the creasing process
Here at Tech-ni-Fold, this is a golden rule that is a foundation for our company. When both the male and female elements of your rotary creaser are made of metal then all you are doing is creating a score on the sheet which is simply too harsh. Thanks to our patented technology, the male component of a Tri-Creaser is home to the rubber within our unique creasing process and will gently manipulate the sheet and allow it to fold without cracking. You will also find some matrix creasers using rubber, however they tend to use it to create the female component of the process. Whilst in general this can be effective, the process can be a lot slower. Our image below highlights the need for rubber to be used when creasing more than I could possibly write in one hundred blogs:
- Regularly change rubber
Rubber perishes, it is a fact. You wouldn’t drive a car with bold tyres and you certainly shouldn’t run a creaser with a worn out matrix. Once it starts to lose its quality it won’t have manipulated the paper enough and will again promote fibre cracking. Each insert or matrix is different and will also last a different length of time depending on the jobs going through it. Again, make it something you check before each job and if it looks like it isn’t penetrating enough it needs to be changed.
- Correct crease width
This is another variable that will have a very precise tolerance and will end badly if you are not within it. Apply too wide a crease and when the sheet is folded the pages will be miss-registered, too thin a crease and we again come back to the issue of the paper not being manipulated enough. To avoid fibre cracking make sure you check the recommended stock range for each crease setting to ensure you have chosen the right one. This is easily done using a Tri-Creaser as all the setting are colour coded to make setting the perfect crease easy. Always be sure to run some test sheets if you are in doubt.
If after reading this blog you need some help implementing these tips, or would like to discuss your finishing problems further with one of our experts, please get in touch: