- What type of forms can a burster handle?
Bursters process continuous or cut sheet forms. Different models handle forms of varying lengths,
widths and weight. A critical factor to consider when purchasing a burster is the number of parts per form that the burster
can process. You should consider whether you intend to process non-carbon forms or carbon interleaved forms, since
the weight of the paper being processed determines the number of parts it can handle. Another important factor
is whether you are going to process two-up or two-side forms (side by side forms).
- What modifications need to be made to the forms?
Trimming: Trimmers are used to trim margins, including the removal of pinhole tractor feed
edging. In selecting margin trimmers you have the option of choosing whether they are fixed or adjustable.
When buying adjustable trimmers, consider the adjustment range of the trimmers for the various forms you
are going to process. When generating a lot of trim, how to dispose of the waste becomes an issue.
You may need a base/stand to contain the trimmings. A margin trimmer chopper can be used to compact leftover material
that is going into the base/stand.
Slitting/splitting: Center slitters slit two-wide forms
and double bursting capacity. With a center slitter, specialty cuts can be made. Center slitters
can be fixed or adjustable, allowing for customized cuts.
Folding: The capability to fold forms prior to bursting them is only an option on some machines;
but there are many machines designed to handle both jobs simultaneously.
Imprinting: If you're using a burster for imprinting, the size of the forms
needs to be considered. If a check signer is going to be used, consider security
measures. Removable signature saddles or a interchangeable signature plates are
standard security options. If you need to imprint on more than one side of a form,
another imprinter may have to be added.
- How fast do you have to process forms?
The speed/ rate for processing forms is measured in either feet per minute or
forms per hour. Speed can be fixed or variable, i.e. "adjustable".
- What is the volume of forms you will be processing?
The size of the jobs in which the burster is intended to be used, user frequency and the number or types
of forms that need to be processed are all considerations when selecting a burster. You must decide
whether your needs are light, heavy-duty or industrial to find the burster that performs at the level you need.
- What are your paper processing and paper flow needs?
Forms have to be fed in to a burster. This is done by using either an in-feed tray or a hopper.
You should evaluate the load capacity of in-feed trays and hoppers. Some machines will allow you to feed
continuous forms directly from a box. If necessary, forms can also be fed into a burster through a decollator
or through a merger.
The mechanism used for running and processing forms through the burster can be either friction feed or pin tractor
feed. Using a pin tractor feed is the better option if you are going to use heavy stock or where you need precise
alignment, e.g. with imprinting or trimming.
Forms can be fed from the burster into a receiving tray, or a conveyor/stacker that keeps
the forms in a stacked, sequential order. If you are considering utilizing a stacker, consider
the capacity you require, i.e. the size of the stacker. If a high quantity of forms is being processed, 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.
- Do you have a budget you need to stick closely to?
Expensive models can be loaded with features or options that are added to basic
models and, in most instances, manufacturers will accept custom orders to suit the
specific needs of a customer. Expensive models process forms faster,
can burst and process more "parts" per form, allow for more modifications
with adjustable margin trimmers, either split forms or makes specialty cuts
with an adjustable center slitter, and are equipped with a base with a trim bucket
to hold margin trimmings. 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?
Bursters priced from moderate to expensive may have electronic control panels to monitor operation,
self-diagnostics, and pre-programmable features such as settings for form lengths and margins,
and power-activated features, such as adjustable side guides.
- What are your safety concerns?
Safety features such as interlocks and covers prevent and minimize the risk of injury to users.
- Do you have size, space and placement considerations?
Size, space and placement are important considerations when deciding which burster
to choose. Desktop and tabletop models allow you to economize
- What features do you need to make paper handling and maintenance easier?
For neatness you may want to add a base/cabinet with a bucket designed to hold trimmings or a margin trim chopper
to compact material and reduce the need to empty waste. Other features to consider are adding counters, a decollator to
separate multi-part forms, extra wide margin trimmers, an imprinter that can be used to place signatures, logos
or seals on checks, a "Last Form Switch" that automatically shuts down the power on the machine when the last
form is processed, a jam detector, a jog switch for form alignment, power switches such as an on/off switch,
and roller type.
- Do you need rollers that are resistant to the chemicals found in non--carbon forms?
Other helpful features to consider are sound reduction kits, static eliminators or brushes to reduce
paper clumping or jamming.
- What type of feeder do you need?
Forms are fed into bursters using either friction or pin tractors. Pin tractors feed like a
sprocket with teeth that project through perforations in the margins to align forms
more precisely and consistently during a form run. Pin tractor feeds are better for
holding multi-part forms when bursting, when trimming critical documents such
as checks, while imprinting, or using heavy stock.