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Folder/Inserter Equipment in the MATERIAL World

Folder/Inserter Equipment in the MATERIAL World

Office Solutions

The right materials can increase the productivity and efficiency of your folding/inserting equipment.

Folder/inserters can save you time and money processing outgoing mail. But, like most office equipment, that efficiency depends on how the equipment is used. To help ensure your folder/inserter processes mail efficiently, consider what you put into it. Are you using the proper materials?


The folder/inserter you use requires a certain kind of paper, and it won’t operate smoothly without it. Also, it’s not just having the right kind of paper that’s important, but taking care of the paper so it will work in the machine properly. The following factors can affect its performance:

  • Moisture – High moisture content reduces the stiffness of the paper. Paper with moisture content above 6 percent can cause the paper to curl and, consequently, disturb the auto separation function of the machine, causing it to misfeed. It can also cause an unattractive waviness in the paper. On the other hand, too low a moisture count can cause static electricity, which also can cause high curling. Most paper will perform at its best if the moisture range is between 4 and 6 percent.
  • Stiffness – Inserter manufacturers normally require 16- to 26-pound bond paper (ideally, 20- to 24-pound bond). The weight, sometimes referred to as the stiffness or thickness, allows inserters to use auto separation feeders. If your materials are thick, thin, or glossy then you’ll need an inserter that has the ability to manually separate the feeder to accommodate difficult materials. Most paper and envelope manufacturers know that the paper in a machine is extremely important. They use terms such as “commercial quality” or “machine compatible” to refer to paper that meets the stiffness or weigh requirements of the equipment.

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  • Heat – Modern imaging systems and laser printers have paper standards. The normal recommendations for these types of products are laser printer paper. However, when you use a type of paper that’s not recommended, the heat and pressure from the laser printer will dry out the paper and affect the paper’s appearance. It may be more susceptible to static and may have excess wave and curl from absorbing moisture from the air as it exits the machine.


The following tips will keep your paper and envelopes fit for the machines in your office:

1. Always use the materials recommended by the manufacturer. This avoids downtime, improves the machine’s operation, and keeps you within the recommended specifications.

2. Use the equipment at the same temperature and humidity, about 64-90 degrees Fahrenheit and 40-60 percent humidity. For example, the shipping dock or basement may not be the best location for electromechanical equipment or paper and envelope storage.

3. Store your materials in a safe environment, a cool dry area. Never store paper or envelopes in damp or moist areas.

4. Always store paper and envelopes flat. Don’t lay them on their sides as this can cause curling.

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