Blue Crest Card 2

Automated Packaging Operations – Mail Insertion Card Printing and Attaching Module Upgrade

July 14, 2023
An innovative automation upgrade was made to a card attaching module, resulting in improved process integrity and a boost in throughput.

In high-production and high-volume mailing operations, mail-piece integrity, high speeds and workflow efficiency are crucial. Developing inline printing solutions that achieve throughput with the best combination of speed, efficiency and accuracy can be the big differentiator.

Workflow Integration

In a typical scenario in the high volume mailing industry, the task of applying membership and/or credit cards to mailer inserts (the paper substrate with the recipient information and the actual card attached) is performed separately from the high-volume mail inserter work cell.

Moving the subject mail off the main mail insertion workflow line to a separate work cell requires additional labor, according to BlueCrest, a mail sorting and parcel automation solutions based in Danbury, CT.

The company further explained that when cards are attached at the separate work cell, they usually need to be pre-printed and therefore require close co-ordination with respect to what is inserted into respective envelopes. Placing a card with one name and the mail insert into an addressed envelope with a different name cannot be tolerated.

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Innovative Card Attaching Module

BlueCrest developed a UV-cured card print and insert module that runs in line with the company’s high-speed mail inserters. The upgrade allows cards to be custom printed simultaneously and automatically attached to the insert substrate. The process runs at very high speed as part of a unified workflow, which eliminates additional labor and reduced productivity associated with a non-linear workflow across multiple work-cells.

BlueCrest noted that “printing custom cards on the fly” is a great example of an Industry 4.0 application, since the technology required involves very high-speed real-time mechatronics—such as servos, actuators, sensors—and controlling cloud-based software. Microsecond decisions are made in real-time to manage the process of printing, attaching cards and folding substrates at speed.

“Between direct labor savings and greatly improved productivity, the BlueCrest card attach solution is a game changer in the high-volume mail inserting industry,” noted the company. 

Mail, printing, robotics, biotech and consumer packaged goods are just a handful among a range of industries who rely on feeder options.

Read More: Schneider Electric Brings Software-Centric Industrial Automation System to New Markets

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