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What are Letter Opening Machines?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2016
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While some may be surprised to learn that there is even such a thing as a letter opening machine, the fact is that many large corporations find the devices to be essential in keeping one important business task moving along at a productive speed.

The elementary function of all letter opening machines is exactly what the name implies. Simply put, the device allows for an easy and hands free approach to the task of letter opening. Generally, larger models have a tray where unopened mail is inserted. The automatic letter opener feeds the items through the process, with the technology either searing through the topmost fold on the envelope or using a device that is similar to a traditional letter opener to slit open the envelope. After the envelopes have been opened, the mail is deposited into another tray, where the opened items can then go on to the next part of the sorting process.

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Basically, the letter opening machines bring two things to the process of running a business. First, they take a necessary task and automate the process, completing the job in a fraction of the time it would take to do it by hand. Keep in mind there are models that can open up to 36,000 envelopes in a single hour. Extra time to devote to other essential tasks means increased productivity overall. Second, these machines save the company money. Labor that would have gone to the process of handling the mail using a staff and a number of plastic or metal letter openers become obsolete. The savings can be pumped back into the business for anything from expansion to more employee benefits.

Of course, letter opening machines do require an attendant. In addition, mail has to be sorted by size. While more high tech machines will handle the sorting by size and drop the opened envelopes into a series of trays based on size and weight, most of the budget priced models on the market today would require someone to manually sort by size. The weight of the paper is also a factor, although just about all letter opening machines will have easy ways to allow for the processing of various weights of packages as well.

For large quantities of mail, auto-feed solutions are a must. However, there are smaller tabletop models that also work with a single feed process as well. Much of the decision about what types of letter opening machines to purchase will depend on the size of the organization and how many different departments would be working with a single machine.

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