- What type of forms will the decollator be handling?
Decollators process continuous forms, but do not process cut sheet forms.
Different models handle forms of varying lengths, widths and weight. A critical
factor for most purchasers is the number of parts per form that the decollator
can process. Equally important is whether you intend to process non-carbon forms
or carbon interleaved forms; Note that the weight of the paper
being processed is determinative of the number of parts you need to be processed.
Whether you intend to process two-up or two-side forms (side by side forms) may also be important.
- What modifications are you going to make to forms?
Trimming: Trimmers are used to trim margins,
including the removal of pinhole tractor feed margin edging. In selecting margin trimmers
you have the option of choosing a machine with trimmers that are "fixed" or "adjustable". If you need
adjustable trimmers, consider the adjustment range of the trimmers for
the various forms you are going to process. If you foresee that a lot of trim is
going to be generated, how the waste will be discarded may directly influence your
decision. Consider adding a base/stand to contain trimmings. A margin trimmer
chopper can be used to compact trimmings going into the base/stand.
Slitting/splitting: Center slitters can slit two-wide forms
and double capacity. Specialty cuts can also be made with an
adjustable center slitter.
- How fast do you have to process forms?
Speed is measured in feet per minute or
forms per hour and can either be fixed or variable. The fastest machines process
up to 475 feet of forms per hour.
- What is the volume of forms you will be processing?
The size of the job, how frequently the decollator is
going to be used and the number or types of forms that need to be processed
are all crucial when selecting a decollator. Factor in whether your needs are light, which would be up to
one-half box of forms, (or
approximately 2500 forms per eight hour day) or heavy duty and industrial which
would be up to six boxes of forms (or approximately 30,000 forms per eight hour
day). If your business and the volume of work are growing a decollator with the option of
adding stations may be the way to go.
- What are your paper processing and paper flow needs?
Forms have to be fed into a decollator. This is done using either an
in-feed tray or hopper, which come in different sizes and load capacities. Be
sure the hopper you choose meets your processing needs. Some machines will
allow you to feed continuous forms directly in from a box.
The mechanism for running and processing forms through a decollator can be by either
friction feed or pin tractor feed. Use a pin tractor feed if
you are going to use heavy stock or where precise alignment is necessary, e.g. trimming checks.
Forms can be fed from the burster into a receiving tray, or a conveyor/stacker that keep
forms in a neatly aligned, sequential order. If you are considering utilizing a stacker, consider
the capacity you require, i.e. the size of the stacker. If processing a high quantity of forms, you
may need a deep and/or power drop stacker. Other options can be added to the output side of a burster
such as a decollator or a recollator.
Forms can be fed from the decollator into receiving trays or stations. Another
option that can be added to the output side of a decollator is a recollator,
which will put the forms back together.
- What is your budget?
Expensive models usually come with added features or options on
basic models. In most instances, manufacturers will accept custom orders to
suit the specific needs of a customer. Expensive models usually process forms
faster, have more stations to separate additional "parts" of forms, allow for more
modifications with adjustable margin trimmers, split forms and/or
make specialty cuts because they have an adjustable center slitter, and are
equipped with either a fork or spindle to wind carbons. Basic models, while
economical and suitable for the requirements of most users, will have limitations
on speed, variety of forms that can be handled and modifications that can be
made to forms during processing.
- Do you want to make adjustments manually or automatically? Do you want to program the adjustments?
More expensive decollators come equipped with electronic control panels to monitor
operation, self-diagnostics, pre-programmable features such as settings for form
length and margins.
- What are your safety concerns?
Safety features such as safety interlocks and safety covers prevent and minimize the risk of injury to users.
- Do you have size, space and placement considerations?
Size, space and placement are determining factors when deciding which
decollator to choose. Desktop and tabletop models allow you to economize
- What features do you need to make paper handling and maintenance easier?
To maintain neatness you may want to add a base/cabinet with trim bucket to
hold trimmings, a margin trim chopper to compact waste trimmings, and a carbon
rewind to organize used carbon. A counter, a jam
detector, a jog switch to aid form alignment, or a paper control bar can help the paper
flow when separating carbonless paper, power switches, and static eliminators or
brushes to reduce paper clumping or jamming.
- What type of feeder do you need?
Forms can be fed into a decollator utilizing either a friction or pin tractor. Pin tractors
feed like a sprocket with teeth, projecting through perforations in the margins to
align forms more precisely and consistently during a form run. A pin tractor feed is
better for holding multi-part forms or when trimming critical documents, such as
checks or when using heavy stock.