Outsourcing creasing may not always be an option and sometimes the work that is not quoted to be pre-creased cracks anyway. Tech-ni-Fold researched why typical methods of scoring simply do not work.

1. It is made using a steel scoring blade and is too destructive when used for creasing single sheets

The steel score that’s used in most devices was only designed to apply a slight indentation in pre-folded sheets so that right angle folds can be made more accurately. However, this hasn’t stopped literally thousands of folding machine operators from trying to use it to stop single sheets from cracking.

Unfortunately, no matter how much time operators spend trying to create a deep enough crease to aid the perfect fold, it usually ends up with the substrate filters being crushed, split or damaged. The truth of the matter is that UV varnish or gloss-finished materials are extremely prone to these issues. Dry and brittle toner-based digital stocks are often cut by half by such harsh, metallic applications.

2. It produces a V-shaped impression

Quite simply, typical all-steel scoring devices apply completely the wrong shape to suit the type of substrates that are prone to cracking. The V-shape created by such configurations is obviously ideal for preparing text weight substrates for cross folding, because the score impression is sharp and concise.

However, you will see how the V-shape exposes critical flaws on cover stock materials. If you were to look into a magnifying glass at the score, just after it was applied, you would already see fibres breaking away along a thin line in the centre of the impression. This is often referred to as a ‘ploughing motion’, in other words the blade is creating a sharp ridge, damaging everything in its path, and affecting the quality of the substrate either side.

3. It produces only one score setting

If you think about it, successful creasing relies on a combination of various crease width and depth settings to accommodate a multitude of stock ranges. For example, a narrow crease option used for creasing and folding paper will fall a long way short when applied to 350gsm cover stock, so why do we expect a single scoring device to cope with everything?

Scoring devices rely on the skill of the operator to create an acceptable score width by opening up or closing two collars directly underneath the blade. It’s more like a balancing act to achieve a reasonable width and depth of score without cutting the sheet in half or creating such a weak and ineffective impression.

4. It applies the score to the inside of the subsequent fold

All scoring devices were designed to apply the score to the inside of the product that is to be folded, and this is ideal for the job it was intended carry out. However, when this method is used when processing single sheet cover stock, the depth and shape of the score isn’t sufficient enough to prevent the fibres on the outside of the fold from bursting open as the pressure of the metal forces an adverse reaction.

So why hasn’t anyone come up with a suitable scoring device that stops cracking?
Opportunists and machine manufacturers alike have all come up with some strange solutions in a bid to improve scoring on a folding machine but none have succeeded in eliminating the problem of cracking. They all fail to realise any of the four key reasons, listed above. Some have tried scoring into rubber in order to cushion the harsh steel blade and reduce stress to the material but this only gives minimal improvement to paper stock and nothing more.

At best there are those talented and skilled technicians that produce a stop gap method that gets them out of a mess sometimes, but is this good enough? The simple fact is that they have all got it wrong; a scoring device will never completely eradicate the problem of fibre cracking on a folding machine.

Tech-ni-Fold’s Tri-Creaser was developed to replace destructive scoring blades with a softer patented creasing solution. Made in circular moulds, it penetrates the material up to three times deeper, without splitting or damaging the stock. The forgiving and gentle application manipulates and stretches even the most difficult print and stock combinations, including oven baked web offset, UV coated and toner based digital applications. The company’s ‘rubber technology’ gets to work directly on top of the area that is prone to cracking.

The Tri-Creaser Fast-Fit in action:


The CreaseStream Table-Top range:

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Tech-ni-Fold products are available in South Africa from:

ATS – Advanced Technology Solutions
(+27 11) 675 6397