GI Solutions has revealed that the March launch of its digital envelope mailpack product was enabled by a £2m investment in a pair of JWR 30K paper wrappers from CMC Machinery.
The digital envelope mailpack, which consists of a colour personalised letter and matching personalised outer envelope with the option of a tipped-on personalised card, was debuted at the firm's 21st birthday party.
The Leicester-based direct mail printer said the differentiator with the CMC paper wrapping equipment was its ability to create an evelope on the fly from a pre-printed reel that actually looks like an envelope rather than a one-piece mailer.
"The biggest issue with paper wrapping has been the fact that it doesn't look like an envelope," said deputy managing director Patrick Headley. "In the UK we love the nice scalloped flap envelopes with a glassine window on the front.
"We've added a window patcher and a profile cutter at the in-feed to allow us to make those envelopes on-the-fly, from a full colour digitally pre-printed reel, that match the personalised contents."
At one end of the machine the in-feed takes a variable printed reel into a collating unit, which cuts and collates the pages of the letter and folds to A5 or DL format before transferring to a moving belt.
Each letter is then collated with up to six different inserts and can also have a tip-on credit card attached. "The wrap comes in rather like a poly-wrap and can be pre-printed in digital four-colour or mono-printed on the go using a Domino printhead," said Headley.
The company said that the investment would allow multiple brands to be used in the same mailing to maximise postage tariffs, as well as enabling personalised images and highlight colour text to be printed on both the envelope and the letter.
"You could have the most tailored mailing in the world, but if you stuff it in a generic outer which nobody opens, what's the point," said Headley.
Mark Cruise, head of print management at BSkyB, said: "It is great to see innovation that keeps print delivering results and remaining a key route to market in the marketing armoury. With the pressure on to deliver more efficiently and effectively the single-pass solution can only be a good thing."