Folding Gets PersonalizedJanuary 2013 By Chris Bauer
Sometimes, even the best planned out decisions don't go exactly as intended.
Lisa Hoover, director of the Office of Publications, Print and Mail at Bucknell University, can attest to this. After a thorough search for a new folder for the Lewisburg, Pa., university's in-plant, Hoover chose a Baum UltraFold 714XA Autofold to replace the shop's Duplo tabletop folder.
However, when the folder was first installed at the shop in September, Hoover knew right away something was wrong.
"The automated fold plates wouldn't go back to the proper position and there was a problem with the electrical system," Hoover recalls. "We got a lemon off the production line."
Baum quickly came through and replaced the defective machine.
"And it has worked perfectly since the day they put it in," Hoover proudly states, noting that the UltraFold 714XA is fully automated and saves information about commonly produced jobs. It has been easy for the in-plant staff to use, she adds.
"We do a lot of variable data letters for the admissions office," Hoover continues. "We were looking for something small because we run these letters on a daily basis. We wanted something that had automation and could do simple letter folds quickly without setting up a large machine."
And since the in-plant has a heavy workload of variable data jobs, it was important to get a machine that could handle dealing with a precise process and get the job done right, she contends.
To that end, the in-plant also recently installed a Bell and Howell MailStar 500, an intelligent inserter that has a camera system built into it so it can actually read the name on the letter and read the name on the envelope, then stuff the correct letter into the correct envelope, Hoover explains.
"It can physically take the place of a bunch of people sitting at a table hand-matching mail," she says.
Both installations have helped the in-plant improve turnaround times when doing a mass mailing, a common occurrence at the university in-plant.
"When we send these out to alumni, it could be 12,000 to 15,000 pieces that previously had to be hand stuffed by our staff," Hoover says, adding that it would sometimes take days to complete, and require hiring part-time temporary employees.