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Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

Last post 01-10-2013 3:06 PM by Homer Easley. 15 replies.
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  • 03-04-2004 11:35 AM

    • James Andrews
    • Top 75 Contributor
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    • Posts 108
    • Organization: Philadelphia Museum of Art
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    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    I'm posting this here because it's kind of a general question for anyone out there who does a lot of mailings in-house: Do any of you have any recommendations for a dedicated envelope/card printer? We currently have one of our HP LaserJet 4100s set aside for envelope and card printing, and while I like those printers a lot as a general rule, they just aren't up to the task--for instance, last week we printed out 2300 envelopes on it, and by the time we were done it was streaking down the pages and needs to be serviced again, as it does after all of our larger in-house mailings. Generally speaking we don't print out runs quite as large as that, but we do run 200-600 piece mailings relatively often, so this printer needs to be serviced all the time because it's doing something it's just not designed to do in this quantity. But my web searches haven't turned up that much, except for big industrial things that mailhouses would purchase. Any leads? Has anyone searched for or bought something like this? [i]--- Edited at 3/4/2004 11:30:08 AM by [Email Removed][/i]
  • 03-04-2004 11:43 AM In reply to

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    I have been having exactly the same problem with our HP Laserjet 4100N. It has been serviced several times by our IT department and even a third party. IT provided us an envelope feeder to attach to our printer, which is nice because it holds a larger quantity of envelopes, but it still streaks our letters after printing. I'd welcome any ideas. Jennifer Jennifer Phillips-Wolfer Metropolitan Foundation 1919 Boston Se Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616.252.5003 Phone 616.252.5252 Fax www.metrohealth.org
  • 03-04-2004 11:59 AM In reply to

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    Did you ever check into using a mailing service to print and stuff your envelopes? They have the equipment already and when you consider staff time it may be a chreaper option. One office I worked that did a lot of mailings found it to be cheaper. We just sent them the files with the information on it. They used our supplies and handled all of the mailing.
  • 03-04-2004 1:35 PM In reply to

    • James Andrews
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • User Since: 1990
    • Posts 108
    • Organization: Philadelphia Museum of Art
    • Products:  The Financial Edge, The Raiser's Edge, The Researcher's Edge

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    Yeah, the feeder is a big help when it comes to human time, like feeding the piles of envelopes in and whatnot. But the reason it streaks is that these printers aren't really designed to do high-volume envelope printing. They can handle it to some extent, but once you get into consistently printing envelopes and cards, it wears out this one roller in there, and the streaks start to happen. There's nothing your IT dept. can do about it, since it happens because the printer isn't able to handle it.
  • 03-04-2004 2:02 PM In reply to

    • James Andrews
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • User Since: 1990
    • Posts 108
    • Organization: Philadelphia Museum of Art
    • Products:  The Financial Edge, The Raiser's Edge, The Researcher's Edge

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    We do use mailhouses for many mailings, yes--and especially, we usually use a mailhouse when doing a big mailing like the 2300 we sent out last week. That was kind of an anomaly--unfortunately it's an anomaly that happens all too often around here. But really, it's the frequent, small 200-1000 person mailings that aren't worth sending to a mailhouse (and are usually stuffed by volunteers in house) that put so much strain on this printer. We have four of the 4100 series, and have reserved this one only for envelope use, with the hope that we can just keep repairing this one for its wear and tear and keep the other three free of these problems. But in the meantime, we're looking for a better solution--something that's meant to print envelopes. I'm finding a couple of things on line, but they start around $3500 for the most basic models...
  • 03-04-2004 2:22 PM In reply to

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    There are no office sized printers capable of doing 1000 envelopes on a regular basis without doing damage to the machine. If if it 200ish then what you have is sufficient. We also do not use a mailhouse for this volume because it doesn't pay but it also doesn't pay to keep servicing and sometimes replacing printers because they were used for more than they are intended. You need to weigh the options with both staffing and cost in mind. Can you simply send out the 1000 envelopes to a printer/copy shop for them to print then return to you to stuff and mail? If you need to do this so frequently that printer/copy shop costs are even too much then maybe it will pay to spend big bucks on a mailhouse type machine. Just my opinion... Melissa Melissa S. Graves Manager, Development Database & Direct Mail Planned Parenthood of Connecticut [Email Removed] 203-752-2804
  • 03-04-2004 5:21 PM In reply to

    • James Andrews
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • User Since: 1990
    • Posts 108
    • Organization: Philadelphia Museum of Art
    • Products:  The Financial Edge, The Raiser's Edge, The Researcher's Edge

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    After spending a couple hours so far looking into this, I think you're right with that last point. If there's a way to swing the cost, having the dedicated low-end mailhouse-type machine would be a good thing to have. Now I'm running into the problem that these things are so industry-specific that it's tough to find out prices, real specs, etc. Thanks for the thoughts, everyone.
  • 03-05-2004 9:17 AM In reply to

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    Right now we are using the HP Laserjet 8150 w/envelope feeder. I'm having problems with it being compatable to RE. It wants to send all the envelopes from the manual tray instead of the feeder. Our tech set-up a dummy printer just for these large jobs. I run 600-1000 mailings at least once a month. Most of the time labels are okay but I do envelopes also. This is a new printer but before that we had an IBM 24 w/envelope feeder for about 6 years. We had no problem with RE during this time. The feeder makes a big difference. We do invitation envelopes twice a year which run about 2000-2500. I run them in batches of 500 which gives me time to reload and arrange in boxes for stuffing. Our tech person showed me a lever at the back of the printer to put down when running many envelopes. You would need to select "output tray" this helps the envelopes from rolling so much and thus eliminates wrinkles. We also use a mailhouse when we are doing anything over the 2500. It is cost effective and takes a lot of pressure off of me. We give them a disc or lately we have sent them a PDF file. We needed to shop around before we could find one who met our needs. Hope this info helps because I know how frustrating it is to get things working properly for your specific needs.
  • 03-09-2004 4:26 PM In reply to

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    Sorry to come late to this discussion, I'm behind in my forum reading. The majority of our mailings have to do with membership. We have a mail house do our renewal notices (~3500 a month). Currently we're doing our own membership cards, which we can handle when it's less than 500 packets a week. We're approaching the summer bulge in renewals, though, so we may send that job back to the mail house. We use Blackbaud membership cards and window envelopes. Question: when are window envelopes not appropriate? I know you must have reasons why you're not using them, despite your printer problems with envelopes. Mark DeWitt Database Administrator East Bay Zoological Society [Email Removed]
  • 03-09-2004 5:14 PM In reply to

    • James Andrews
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • User Since: 1990
    • Posts 108
    • Organization: Philadelphia Museum of Art
    • Products:  The Financial Edge, The Raiser's Edge, The Researcher's Edge

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    We don't use window enveloped for these things because most of these small mailings that we do in-house are invitations and things like that. Renewal notices and membership cards and the like go out through the data center or the membership department, and they use mailhouses. Mainly the things we print in-house are smaller invitation runs, mailings to high-level members and trustees, things like that--the kind of stuff you wouldn't send out or use windows for. In my old job, we did send out renewal solicitations and membership cards in windows, but since we don't send out either of those things in this department, I'm not sure what they do downstairs...
  • 05-04-2004 10:09 AM In reply to

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    We use the HP 4050 with an envelope tray. This printer is also our departmental printer, so it gets lots of use. When I run our renewal envelopes of around 250 I never experienced any streaking on the envelopes. I perodically shake the toner cartridge. We run our letterhead on the same printer and they also came out clean. Believe it or not we have never had our printer serviced and its going on 3 years.
  • 05-04-2004 10:18 AM In reply to

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    We use an HP 4200tm. It has worked fairly well for us, but we haven't had a chance to do a single run over 250 pieces....
  • 05-06-2004 4:07 PM In reply to

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    James, I still think the envelope feeder is a good thing. Also, the upgraded printer is worth the cost if you can swing it with your budget. I share this with others in the office and we have selected trays assigned. We use card stock paper and have no problem also. The problem we were having with RE and this new printer (HP8150) was resolved. Believe it or not they didn't make an adjustment at the server. Uh duh, that was the first question I asked, but what do I know. [Email Removed] Foundation Assistant [Email Removed]
  • 05-19-2004 2:02 PM In reply to

    • James Andrews
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • User Since: 1990
    • Posts 108
    • Organization: Philadelphia Museum of Art
    • Products:  The Financial Edge, The Raiser's Edge, The Researcher's Edge

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    Sorry I'm so behind in my forum reading. Thanks for the tip on the 8150, Annette--I'll look into its specs and try to figure out if it'll do what we're looking for.
  • 10-29-2004 2:22 PM In reply to

    • James Andrews
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • User Since: 1990
    • Posts 108
    • Organization: Philadelphia Museum of Art
    • Products:  The Financial Edge, The Raiser's Edge, The Researcher's Edge

    Dedicated Envelope Printer, anyone?

    I bet you all are sitting around six months later thinking, I wonder what they did about the envelope printer? Well, we bit the bullet and bought a Bryce 9K-L from a local mailhouse supply place. It's a dedicated inkjet envelope printer, which does up to 9000 pieces/hour in draft mode, but more like 7000 in good printing mode. It doesn't look [b]quite[/b] as good as laser, but it's good enough for most purposes, and it's fast fast fast. Being able to crank out 500 envelopes in 10 minutes is really an amazing thing, and has saved us a huge amount of time and effort already, in the month we've had it. The cons: it's very expensive, because it's not really made for offices but for mailhouses. Also being an industrial machine, it's not real user-friendly. Being a development office we use a lot of invitation sized envelopes (A-5, A-7), which aren't an option in the machine. So we have had to devise several fake templates to make it print correctly on oddly-sized envelopes--telling it that it's printing on a size that it understands, and then moving the addresses around till they print in the right place. But you have to fool around with and adjust every printer when dealing with envelopes, so that's not that big a deal. I know bryce/secap make slightly lower end versions of these printers, although they're still gonna cost you a couple thousand. But if you do a lot of in-house mailings and are wasting a lot of time babysitting laser printers that go screwy because of the volume of envelopes you're running through them, you might want to look into this option. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions about this stuff.
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