Precision ups capacity with KAS install

The KAS Mailmaster Ascent encloses up to 7,000 envelopes per hour
The KAS Mailmaster Ascent encloses up to 7,000 envelopes per hour

Suffolk marketing services, technology, and e-commerce group Precision has taken on an intelligent envelope inserter from KAS Paper Systems.

Installation and operator training of the KAS Mailmaster Ascent took place in late spring at Precision’s site in Bury St Edmunds, with final commissioning of the machine in June.

Precision chief operating officer Nick Pryke said: “Boosted by Royal Mail research into the effectiveness and response rates of printed mailings, our aim was to create engagement with mail, mirroring the digital experience and bridging the gap between the physical and digital.

“With the letterbox creating more impact than the inbox, we wanted to put ourselves at the heart of this ‘tactile through tech-style’ approach.”

He added: “We already had the mailing firepower to deliver 20,000 QR or 2D code-embedded and personalised letters per hour. But we needed the ability to insert these high-tech mailings; match enclosures by QR code, include different contents for different people, contents that were pertinent to their recent web browsing experience.

“In short, the physical customer experience needed to match the seamless digital experience.”

Precision researched options on the market and eventually chose KAS, which it has dealt with for more than 20 years. Among the company’s existing fleet of mailing equipment is a 20-year-old KAS Mailmaster 465HS that Pryke said has inserted around 33 million envelopes.

“KAS had recently sold a Smart Inserting Machine that came close to our brief to a marcomm client in the US, and by adding further cameras to the schematic they could deliver to our complex specification,” Pryke added.

“We sent a team of technical, operations and production personnel to the KAS showroom and factory in Dunstable for an extensive machine demonstration on the Mailmaster Ascent, including running our own coded materials. The machine did exactly what we needed.”

KAS said pricing for the machine is around the £100,000 mark. The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership introduced Precision to and eventually approved a grant under the Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme towards the purchase of the machine.

The Ascent model ordered by Precision encloses up to 7,000 envelopes per hour, handling sizes from oversize C4 down to C5 and DL. It is fitted with an intelligent prime document feeder/collator/folder with 2D camera for multiple and variable page letters.

Additional feeders can add up to four separate documents such as single page flyers, reply envelopes, stitched booklets up to 7mm thick, and personalised, coded marketing material which is camera matched with the letter. The machine also benefits from semi-automated changeover.

Finally, the inserter has a 2D camera on the envelope feeder for matching pre-printed personalised envelopes with the letter.

“To ensure mailing integrity we can even provide an insertion report that is barcode driven and tracks the pack content right through to envelope insertion,” said Pryke.

He added the encloser has been “running really well” and that the business already has some new client work, including complex barcoded mailings for clients in the financial services industries.

Around 70 staff work at Precision, which turns over more than £10m. The company serves customers across educational, healthcare, financial, utilities, and numerous other sectors.