Envelope Production Die Cutting Printing Window Punching/Patching Folding Gumming and Sealing

Envelope Machines: How to Start Your Own
Envelope Production

There are two categories of envelope design produced today:

  • Open side envelopes which include commercial, self seal, pointed, and booklet (or wallet) envelopes;
  • Open end (or pocket) envelopes.

Envelopes are generally produced in three "run" sizes. For purposes of our illustration, we have defined them as:

  • short runs (25,000 to 200,000 envelopes per order),
  • medium runs ( 200,000 to 10,000,000 envelopes per order),
  • long runs (greater than 10,000,000 envelopes).

The long run are always produced on machines that are starting from a roll of paper when the medium runs can be produced on machines that have a dual feed and the short runs are always produced on machines that are starting from pre-cut blanks. Before you can choose equipment appropriate to your needs, you must define what category of envelope design and in what quantities you wish to produce.

Basically, an envelope is produced with the following five processes for envelopes produced by a paper blank fed machine:

One machine can perform several or all of these operations on-line (in one continuous process), or a different machine can be used for each step (this is called off-line production).

A simple and economical way in which to begin an envelope production business would be to invest in a machine designed for short runs of open side envelopes which will cut, fold, punch and patch a window, and gum the closing flap. A machine which meets these requirements can be purchased for approximately $20,000. To add printing capabilities would require an additional investment of approximately $30,000 to $50,000. The machine just described operates using sheets of paper. To produce long runs of envelopes, a machine which operates using rolls of paper (called webs) is required.
Assuming that all five processes are used, once the die has cut the blanks, they are first printed, then the window is punched and patched, then they are folded, and finally they are gummed.

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