Filter Paper Folder – Bespoke Project

Custom built paper folding machine
Posted by: Paul Gravatt Category: Machine Automation Tags: ,

Filter Paper Folder – Bespoke Project


Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-operative Ltd (ARL)


Automating the process of folding round filter papers into a cone shape for use in a laboratory

Key benefits:

Remove labour dependence, increase throughput, prevent Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) for employees and reduce the potential for contamination.


To process their soil samples ARL requires many filter papers to be folded into a conical shape. Prior to Motion Design’s involvement, ARL relied on employees folding filter papers outside of work hours. No quality control systems were in place and there was a risk of contamination to the filter papers. A set-and-forget machine was the ideal goal.


ARL approached Motion Design to create a unique machine to overcome their problem to reduce the amount of time spent on folding filter paper and to improve the consistency of the folded filter papers.

The core objective of the paper folding machine is simple: fold filter papers into a cone shape. ARL specified clear requirements for the project to ensure the machine met their criteria. Motion Design met and exceeded these requirements, delivering a machine that is capable of; folding 480 filter papers per hour, less than 1% failure rate, and processing up to 5500 filter papers without operator intervention.

The machine uses pneumatic and electrical drive equipment to achieve the unique folding process. Additive manufacturing technology was used to manufacture creative shapes that assist with the folding process. The machine is controlled by a simple Unitronics PLC with a two-line text display. The operator can easily view and control any machine errors, settings and IO through this interface.

The Paper Folder machine gives ARL the capability to rapidly produce folded filter paper in a reliable, clean and fully automated manner.


3 months of prototyping and testing

5 months to design, build, test and install

Team members contributed:

Paul, Frank, Alex, Gary

Share this post