What is the difference between top feed and bottom feed?
Feeding into many finishing machines can be either top or bottom feed. A top feed unit takes paper automatically from the top of the pile and bottom feed takes paper automatically from the bottom of the pile.
Different manufacturers have decided to proceed differently with their feeding technology based on their history. For example Duplo and Horizon have a long history making collating equipment that is traditionally top fed, either with air or friction. Both companies use variations of the collator feeders for their other equipment including creasing and folding equipment. Companies such as Morgana or Baum have a history with folding and numbering equipment which is more predominantly bottom fed, that said the current models of equipment from them shows the evolution of their original product designs.
So far as the difference between units here are some general statements:
Top feed systems enable you to load your job (generally up to 4-5” of stock) and press a green start button. No need to have an operator stand and feed a machine. While the operating speed on top fed systems may be slower the fact that an operator can run this along with other machines in your facility makes it a good boost to productivity.
A bottom feed unit offers a very quick operating speed and with a continuously loading pile you are able to add to the pile while it is in operation. A great savings of time especially in busy commercial shops or shops running longer runs of work.