What features should I look for in an automatic folder?

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A touchscreen control panel makes it easy to change folding parameters, and the panel should allow the operator to store and retrieve folding parameter sets for similar and repeat jobs. Better folders offer two loading sensors: one sensor begins folding as soon as it detects a shirt on the drape table; the other waits until it receives a signal from the operator. The former is normally faster, but the latter is better for inexperienced operators and hard-to-load garments, so the ideal is a dual-sensor approach, which allows operators to switch between a shirt sensor and a touch sensor.

The folder should have interlocking access panels and viewing ports for safety, but the interior should be easy to access for cleaning and maintenance, and the folding process should be in full view. The folder should be designed in a way that makes it easy to mount an automatic labeler. Casters make it easy to move the machine. Other options or accessories include long-sleeve folding attachments and transport belts that accommodate zippers, plackets, and buttons.

   —The M&R Companies

John Murray

John Murray joined M&R as a product manager earlier this year. From 2004-2009, he was a consultant and regional sales manager at M&R. Murray has also headed several companies and has a wide range of experience both inside and outside the garment-decoration field. 

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