Mailing Equipment

Mailing services demand an investment in mailing equipment. There are many types of equipment used to accomplish this. However, four essential pieces of equipment are folders, tabbers, address printers, and inserters.

Making intelligent equipment purchases depends on knowing the type, run length, and frequency of mailings. The least expensive option for those anticipating low volumes at the outset is to purchase tabletop equipment.

It may take about $30,000 to outfit a company with a tabletop folder, tabber, addresser, and inserter. In general, tabletop models are slower and less appropriate for medium- to high-volume work, but may be ideal for a start-up mailing operation that is unsure of volume demands and wants to invest less at first.

Of course, purchases need to be made with an eye on future business opportunities, and this may cause a company to lean to rugged, floor-standing equipment that can more easily accommodate expected future volumes. In that case, the total investment may rise to more than $200,000. Whatever the decision, it is wise to stay with all tabletop or all floor-standing models, allowing the pieces to be moved in-line, when appropriate.

Currently, there is a great market for used and rebuilt mailing equipment, mailing machines and business machines. Companies can cut their initial investment by more than half if they are willing to purchase refurbished used equipment directly from Roberts Business Machines. You get equipment at lower cost than new systems, updated components, and the confidence that the equipment has been thoroughly inspected and tested.

Let’s take a look at each piece of equipment and the issues and capabilities important to investigate prior to making a purchase.

Paper Folding Machines (Friction-Feed)

Paper folding machines, often referred to as letter folding machines, are designed to save you time by quickly taking paper and folding it. Powerful motors, combined with folding plates, allow these amazing machines to create a wide range of folds. These machines will save you hundreds to thousands of hours of time and will quickly make up their cost in time saved. Popular paper folding brands include GBR, Formax, Martin Yale, MBM, and more.

Folding results are highly professional, crisp and clean. We offer machines capable of folding dozens of sheets a day to higher-end machines that can fold thousands of sheets per day. Common folds that these machines can handle include letter folds (C fold), zig-zag folds (Z fold), single folds (V fold) and many others.

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Tabbing equipment is required for mass mailings of brochures, newsletters, double postcards, booklets, and other self-mailers. Tabbers automatically apply adhesive tabs or wafer seals to mail pieces. Simple tabletop models can apply one tab, while more substantial models can apply up to three 11⁄2-in. tabs in-line—necessary to meet new USPS specifications for self-mailers and booklet tabbing regulations.

The more you invest in a tabbing machine, the more likely it is to have a programmable interface, run faster, and accommodate a wider range and size of materials. Most of this equipment is also capable of applying labels and stamps, as well as tabs and seals. We offer an array of tabbers by Bell & Howell, Pitney Bowes, Profold and others to meet all of your mailing needs.

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InkJet Addressing

For mail pieces not addressed on a digital press, a commercial printer will require inkjet addressing equipment that can print fixed text, variable text, and barcodes like the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb®). There are many approaches to inkjet addressing, including moving portable inkjet heads in-line with folders, stitchers, and inserters, which are solutions favored by larger-volume direct mail and publication printers.

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An inserter is generally the largest and most expensive piece of mailing equipment a company will own. It takes folded sheets of paper, inserts them into an envelope, and then seals the envelope. Everyone has probably spent time manually stuffing envelopes— these machines automate the process. In fact, there is now equipment entering the market—enveloping systems—that go from roll stock to finished mail pieces without the cost of traditional envelopes.

A main factor to consider when choosing an inserter is its speed, or the number of mailings it can process per hour. Application handling and flexibility is at least as important as speed, since an inserter must be chosen that can easily handle the expected range of applications.

Call us today for more information and pricing 1-800-842-4901