It was a fairly momentous week at Gecko HQ last week. After 12 months of planning and preparation the big gap we’d beautifully readied in the centre of our factory floor was filled with our shiny new… (Drum roll please)
…card affixing machine! Now to a lot of people this might sound quite dull and we’d understand that. But when you consider that nearly 2 years ago now we won a client that requires a weekly mailing of a pack containing both a personalised letter and a personalised plastic card you begin to see why we’re so excited.
The weekly volumes on this mailing can range from 7,000 to 25,000 items and up until now the card has been attached to the letter by hand using a glue dot and then hand enclosed into an outer: time consuming and open to human error, which although manageable is a level of risk we’d rather do without.
You’ve probably twigged from our website and blog that we’re really passionate about personalisation – 99% of the items we produce have an element of personalisation – from name and address to full personalisation throughout (every page, every image, every offer) and we’re frequently asked to produce packs that contain several personalised elements. So you can imagine that we’re always on the lookout for ways to increase production, lessen the risk of mistakes and reduce the time taken to produce the work.
Our shiny new machine (the only one of its current configuration in the UK too according to the manufacturer) can match the card to the letter, affix in the location perfectly and then enclose in the envelope. All without human input! It’s equipped with an advanced camera system that reads codes we place on both the letters and the cards when we print them. We make sure that letter and cards are kept in the right order to smooth the flow of the machine. Letters hit the machine first and get scanned, once glue is applied the card is attached and scanned. If the codes do not match the machine immediately stops and an operator investigates, eliminating the error.
In this way we can produce 4,000 finished packs in one hour – a quantity that would take one person six days by hand and all without the risk of human error… now tell me that’s not cool!