Stable Product Transport Important to Finishing Operations

by Mark Talley, Precision Finishing Systems

One item that often gets overlooked when finishing operations decide to get into affixing or tipping applications is the transport. Many people want to use an old base or conveyor they have sitting around to save a few bucks and don’t realize that the very expensive, highly accurate tipping/affixing feeder they just purchased is only as good as the transport it is mounted on.

Make sure there’s a vacuum

Old DC-driven mail bases, or vacuum bases that have little or no vacuum, can significantly affect production speeds and quality. These do not work as well as today’s drive technology in which precision is increased and profitability rises. The vacuum is critical to product stability and consistent transfer of product, whether you are running 20# bond paper or 20 point board. A vacuum system should deliver the product at a consistent speed and quality, at all times; whether you have a single piece of paper or end-to-end pieces on the transport.

Ease of operation

Operators have to deal with a lot of challenges on any given day. Setting up the systems for operation should not make their job harder. The 10X line of vacuum transports has been designed with simple-to-move vacuum tubes, register tapes for proper measuring and placement of tubes and quick change for belting if needed. While belts don’t need to be changed often, changes can be made in minutes because of the unique belt system design.

Many options from which to choose

There are a lot of options to use with the vacuum transport, including tipper plates for inline folding; vacuum opening stations for opening pre-folded products; high-speed labeling systems for applying a variety of labels; imaging systems with read-and-print capabilities; and much more, including plow folding.

Plow folding has become a required option for many applications, such as affixing cards or magnets, running heavy stocks, multi-page brochures or producing a glued double-gate. With the new postal regulations requiring a single line of glue, plow folding can provide an excellent option over traditional buckle folding. Another option getting a lot of attention these days is the divert gate system. With client applications requiring read-and-print, tracking, matching and more, a good divert gate is worth its weight in gold.

Mark Talley is president of Precision Finishing Systems, an Arlington Heights, IL, equipment systems integrator for bindery, mailing, packaging and print finishing companies. He can be reached at 262.945.5963 or For more information on the 10X line of vacuum transports, visit