“I’m sorry, I received all the components for your current mailing but unfortunately I can’t insert these components. I just don’t have enough clearance left and right to insert.”
Have you ever received this type of phone call? It can happen.
To give you an idea of how standard lettershop inserting equipment works…each component is placed in its own individual hopper. A gripper arm reaches down and grabs the insert and drops insert 4 on 5, 3 on 4 and so forth. All the inserts, neatly and strategically stacked, come to the end of the line. During this process, an outer envelope (the carrier envelope) is waiting at the end of the conveyor belt.
“How do the inserts get into the envelope?” Good question…a suction cup grabs the throat of the envelope and pulls it up about a 1/4″. And then an inserting arm shoves all of the inserts into the envelope.
Doing this at 4,000 pieces per hour, things happen quickly. When the envelope is opened a 1/4″, it actually shortens the overall width of the envelope. Therefore, most lettershops require a 1/4″ clearance on both the left and right side of the envelope. For example, if you have a #10 envelope with a width of 9-1/2 inches, the maximum insert size is 9 inches.
For more information or questions, please contact Matt Cote at matt (at) ballantine.com.