The envelopes you mail are not simply a wrapper for your message but a business tool for communicating with your customers. How your envelope looks reflects who you are as a company. Moreover, how fast you process your envelopes impacts how quickly the recipients respond. Today, tabletop inkjet address printers offer businesses of all sizes a highly effective and cost-efficient method to quickly print professional-looking addresses on all their outgoing mailing materials. The addressing systems deliver quality, precision, high speeds, low operating costs and flexibility with very competitive purchase prices. Today, tabletop printers go far beyond just printing basic address information.

The Tabletop Advantage

Tabletop printers offer many benefits for today's businesses. These include reducing operating costs, improving mail security, enhancing the marketing message, delivering eye-catching graphics with spot color and personalizing the mailpiece. It helps to get your mail opened and read.

One of the most significant changes for the mailing industry this year is the proposed July 1 U.S. Postal Service rate increase that will cost mailers an estimated $6.1 billion. For this pending increase, many mailers, will probably be an unbudgeted expense. Assuming reducing the amount of mail sent out is not an option, companies need to examine the way they process their mail. Tabletop printer systems offer an excellent solution to offset the higher postage costs. By combining the printer's high-speed processing capabilities with address management software, companies can take full advantage of postal barcoding and significant postal discounts. Many customers will pay for the cost of a printer with the postage savings alone.

Mail safety and security continue to be a concern, and the simple act of opening an envelope has recipients thinking twice. Tabletop addressing systems can help alleviate these issues by giving the recipient "peace of mind." An inkjet printer allows you the option to print a return address on the material along with the addressee information using a certified postal address and correct postal coding. Marketing messages and a phone number your customer can call if they have concerns about the mailing piece can now be easily added.

Increased levels of mail security have led to an increase in the use of non-envelope mailpieces such as postcards and self-mailers. These methods provide a fast and cost-effective way to deliver messages to your customers, without the recipient worrying about opening an envelope. These types of mailing are easily processed using tabletop address printers.

Print Head Addressing Technology

Today, there are tabletop inkjet solutions to fit every business need and work environment. The printers are grouped into · two unique print head designs utilizing the latest in HP Ink Jet Technology shuttling head and fixed head configurations. Each printer design has its own distinct advantages and methods of addressing materials.

If you have smaller quantities to address and dislike the idea of manually cleaning the ink cartridge, a shuttling head printer is the product to consider. The key advantage of the shuttling head printer is convenience. When the printer is not in use, the inkjet cartridge moves to a parking station where it is cleaned and capped. This process means optimum print quality and a virtually maintenance-free solution. The printers operate at lower speeds due to the moving print heads, but this is offset by the flexibility of printing an almost unlimited number of lines of information on a document.

Fixed head printers, on the other hand, offer higher printing speeds, with some models delivering throughputs of up to 30,000 envelopes per hour. Fixed head printers have the advantage of printing larger areas (or print blocks) in one pass. This is accomplished using moveable inkjet print head banks that can be positioned at different locations on the media for flexible print layouts. This means the user can print the address, a logo, a return address and an indicia, plus add spot color, all in a single pass. Prospective buyers should always compare the number of print heads and print banks before they make a purchase. A tabletop inkjet addressing system with a single print bank will limit you to printing only the addressee field in a single pass. A second pass will be needed, for example, to add a return address or postal permit.

Advanced Inks

Most tabletop printers use the advanced 45A inkjet cartridges, which provide a convenient, low-cost and high-quality solution to printing. They provide high-resolution printing of 600 x 600 dpi for clean and crisp printing. However, the most recent developments are not the cartridges themselves but the ink. With the introduction of Versatile Black, inkjet users now have a solution that dries quickly on materials that had been a problem in the past. This new ink has been specially formulated to print on Tyvek and coated media. It also provides faster drying times, no bleeding and high-quality results on semi-matte finishes. With the addition of online heaters/dryers, the user has even more options.

Technology for the Future

Tabletop manufacturers continue to make technological improvements and upgrades. Most tabletops provide improved "plug and play" capability for easy setup and operation. Improvements have led to inkjet cartridges that can clean themselves on the go. This keeps the head from clogging when not in constant use, plus it provides crisp, clean images every time. The printer manufacturers have responded to user needs by developing printers with a wider variety of print head configurations, resulting in better print layouts that conform to the user's specific needs.

Today's tabletop inkjet addressing printers are technologically advanced systems with user-friendly interfaces. These products can provide any business, large or small, true economic value and a cost-effective business tool for communicating with its customers through the mail.

Robert J. Weese is area sales manager for Secap USA, Inc., a leader in providing innovative mailing technologies. To contact Secap, call 800-523-0320 or e-mail at Also, visit its Web site at