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PressureSeal FAQ

What is Pressure Seal?
Pressure Seal is a system comprised of a one-page self sealing document and/or a folder sealer for sealing the document.

How is a pressure seal form sealed?
The form is sealed though a process of folding the form on a pressure seal folder/sealer. Folding the form aligns patterns of "co-hesive" which have been pre-applied to the document during manufacture. Once folded, the document travels through a series of sealing rollers inside the folder/sealer. These rollers apply pressure to the form, which activates the co-hesive and in turn creates a secure "fiber tear" seal.

Why is pressure seal glue called "co-hesive" and not adhesive?
Unlike a standard adhesive, a co-hesive requires two patterns placed on top of each other to create the bond. In the case of a pressure seal co-hesive, very high pressure is required to activate the bond.

If pressure activates the co-hesive why doesn't pressure from a laser printer cause the activation?
Pressure Seal co-hesive only reacts when it comes in contact with itself under very high pressure. Any other pressure and heat has no affect on the pattern especially when applied to only one side of a form or pattern.

Doesn't the "co-hesive" have little capsules that break when under pressure?
Some say that the co-hesive is microencapsulated. However, this isn't true. Pressure Seal co-hesive has no capsules to break. The chemistry is not like that of carbonless paper. The correct term for the bond is Mechanical Bonding. What this means exactly is beyond the scope of this paper but suffice it to say that describing pressure seal co-hesive as a capsule system is not correct.

Are there different types of co-hesives in the market today?
There are numerous types of co-hesives in the market today. Some work better than others. The types, chemistry additives and method of application vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, the method and process used to apply the co-hesive to the form may be more important than the type of co-hesive used.

Can heat or extreme cold affect a pressure seal form?
Once manufactured, cold or heat should not affect the product as long as the product is properly wrapped. However, the product should be acclimated to a print room for at least 48 hours before imaging.
The raw co-hesive material is another story. If the temperature of the raw co-hesive drops below freezing, the material is destroyed and cannot be used. This is a quality control issue for the forms manufacturer.

Are there any special handling issues for Pressure Seal forms before or after imaging?
Product must be kept in its original wrap to ensure consistent moisture content of the paper is maintained. Product should be acclimatized in the imaging environment at least 48 hours prior to imaging. Once imaged, the product should be placed curl side down to remove any curl caused by passing through the print device. In general, forms should be put through the folder sealer on the same day that they are imaged.

What makes a good Pressure Seal form?
Proper co-hesive chemistry and a proper method of applying the co-hesive to the form are paramount for achieving a secure seal. Pressure seal co-hesive is a volatile compound which requires active Quality measurement during the entire manufacturing process.
Important as well is accurate perforation registration to ensure proper alignment of the perforations and co-hesive pattern during folding. Fold assist perforations that float in and out of registration will cause folding problems on a typical folder/sealer. In addition, this may cause the co-hesive pattern to align improperly when the form is folded. Floating registration of perforations will cause feeding problems on a folder/sealer and result in a poorly sealing form.
Other factors that play an important part in a good quality pressure seal form are paper type, print quality, packaging and storage.
It is important to select a forms manufacturer with knowledge of the critical factors involved in manufacturing pressure seal forms and consistency is essential.

What should one expect from the form and from the folder sealer?
The form should show an aggressive fiber tearing bond after folding and sealing. Anything less is not acceptable. The perforations on the form should remain in tight registration and not float from form to form. Other specifications of the form such as print quality and cut off accuracy should adhere to normally accepted printing industry standards.
The folder sealer selected for the application should be a good fit as far as speed and capacity. The machine selected should show ease of use and robust construction to stand up to the high sealing pressure required to achieve a proper secure seal.

Why are there so many different pressure seal patterns?
Some co-hesive patterns are patented. Some patterns are used for postal and printer considerations, while others have to be used to allow for the forms manufacturing process. Other patterns are used to allow for different ways of opening the sealed document. In general, one may stick with a few of the basic fold and co-hesive patterns for a large share of pressure seal applications. However, there are unique patterns which may offer distinct benefits to the end user. Consulting with a trained pressure seal print professional is worthwhile.

Why do some companies claim that their forms are patented?
Forms construction, glue patterns and co-hesives have been and continue to be patented. These products can be purchased through the manufacturers that have obtained the patent or from companies who have licensed through the originator. However, pricing may be at a premium due to licensing fees, etc. Purchasing product from a manufacturer who either knowingly or unknowingly sells patented product can be trouble for both the manufacturer and the sales rep. "Similar to" products can be developed and purchased without the worry of patent infringement. These product changes have no direct affect on the end use of the form.

Why doesn't my form seal tightly?
There are many variables some of which have already been discussed. A secure seal is one where the fibers of the paper tear when one attempts to peal open the folded and seal document. Anything less is not acceptable and puts the document at risk for tampering.

The following are examples of questions related to diagnosing a poorly sealed pressure seal form.
Is the sealing impression on the folder/sealer sufficient? Is the machine poorly designed or not robust enough for the process? Were the forms manufactured with a poor quality co-hesive or did the manufacturer do a poor job of applying the co-hesive to the form? Are the positions of the fold perforations "floating" from form to form or from ream to ream? Do the co-hesive patterns align properly after the form is folded? This is especially important and very easy to check. Were the wrong raw materials used? Were the forms stored properly and allowed to acclimate prior to use?

Why do my forms keep jamming in the printer?
Again there are many variables. These include maintenance issues on the printer, forms having excessive curl or flexed edges, forms may be blocking or sticking together, weak or poor perforations.
However, try to rule out any issues with the printer itself before looking at the pressure seal form as the culprit.

Why do I get offset or transfer of toner onto the sealing rollers of my folder/sealer?
Toner transfer or build-up will occur due to the fact that some toner is placed on the outside of the folded document. However, excessive toner build-up can occur as a result of poor toner fusion to the sheet. This is a printer issue. Some toner transfer will occur. Knowing this and dealing with it as part of a routine maintenance program will avoid problems.

Can any paper be used on Pressure Seal applications?
No. Only specific papers are compatible with Pressure seal technology. Use of alternative papers such as coated stock is possible but should be tested.

What about basis weight of the paper?
Usually 24# and 28# papers are used. However, 38#, 80# & 100# tag can be used for some applications along with certain security papers. However, one should be aware that all folder/ sealers do not handle these heavier basis weights.

Does the product have to be laser imaged?
No. Continuous impact printing is still common.

What is the shelf life of the pressure seal form?
Normal shelf life is from 6 months to a year, assuming proper packaging and storage. Forms that are left exposed to the air will see a rapid deterioration in sealing performance. Leftover reams and partial reams of forms should not be left out. They should be placed back inside their cartons interior bag until the next use.

What is Simplex? Duplex?
Simplex is one-sided imaging. Duplex is two-sided imaging. These are typically discussed only in sheet fed laser printer applications however, high end continuous fed laser printer installations can print on both sides of a form as well.

What is the advantage of simplex imaging?
Imaging on one side allows for faster throughput because the document doesn't have to pass through the printer twice for imaging. Certain pressure seal form formats are tailor made for simplex printing.

What is the disadvantage of simplex printing?
Imaging on one side reduces the area on the form for the placement of variable imaging via laser or impact printing.

What is the advantage of duplex imaging?
In general, imaging on two sides of the form increases the area available for variable imaged information.

What is the disadvantage of duplex printing?
Duplex printing decreases the processing speed because the document must pass through the imaging device twice.

What about a folder/sealer that connects to a laser printer? Is that type of machine for me?
Typically this is an option for lower volume applications. Connecting the folder/sealer directly to the laser printer does offer productivity gains. Running inline with a laser printer streamlines the steps required to create a finished ready to mail letter. Considerations should be made for printing workflow within the office. Can a printer be solely dedicated to printing pressure seal documents? Certain inline folder/sealers allow for the folder/sealer to be easily separated from the printer for plain old cut sheet printing and then reconnected when pressure seal document printing is needed. Other inline/folder sealers also allow the unit to be run in standalone mode unconnected to any laser printer.

My customer is using an envelope inserting machine. How can I convince them to convert to a self seal mailer system?

You should focus on some of the following benefits of self seal systems compared to envelope inserting methods.

  1. Run speeds on self seal systems are typically much higher for a much lower equipment cost. This is especially true in the high volume range where very expensive inserting equipment from companies such as Pitney Bowes and Bell Howell have best case top speeds of 15,000 documents per hour. A pressure seal machine costing much less can produce three to four times more documents per hour.
  2. Single page mail being inserted into envelopes is an ideal candidate for conversion to a self seal mailer. Single page mail with a return envelope is also easily accommodated as a self seal mailer. The customer should be shown that they can achieve higher productivity doing one page mail as a self seal mailer versus traditional envelope inserting. No one can deny that higher productivity is what we are all after. While most multi page inserted mail cannot be accommodated as a self seal mailer there are special formats that can create a second page or even a multi page booklet within the folded and seal document.
  3. Self seal equipment is usually much less costly to maintain and operate. Mid to high end inserting machines require expensive service and support contracts. In some high volume installations the envelope inserting line requires a full time, on site technician. This is not the case with self seal mailer equipment.
  4. Using a self seal mailer can improve mail document workflow. Reduce and eliminate steps required to create a mail ready document.
  5. Reduce printed item inventory by using a one page self seal mailer. A typical one page inserted document with reply/remittance envelope requires three printed items. The end user must spec, order, receive and store three printed items. The same mail piece can be created using one printed item.

What's the issue with high-end printers in relation to a pressure seal form?
High-end printers sometimes use oils or agents to assist in the transport of the document through the imaging process. Oils or agents can inhibit the seal if the proper co-hesives are not used and proper application procedure of the co-hesive in the manufacturing process is not followed. A forms manufacturer with proper knowledge and background in dealing with high-end printer issues will help ensure success.

Why do I get print ink offsetting on to my folder / sealers sealing rollers?
Most forms use oil-based inks when manufactured. These inks take a while to dry. What compounds the issues is that moisture consistency of the form must be maintained. Thus the reason for wrapping the forms in a moisture proof wrap. This wrap doesn't allow the air to dry the ink. Therefore, these inks take longer to cure. The extent of the drying of these inks depends on the density of the color and the coverage area. This drying process can take up to 6 to 8 weeks. Forms printed using U.V. cured inks have fewer offsetting issues. In general, forms that contain large solid areas of ink or have heavy ink coverage should be printed using U.V. printing inks on a U.V. equipped printing press. Does your supplier do this now?

Does forms' sequencing differ between folder/sealers?
Yes. There are some folder/sealers that process forms differently and as a result, forms exit the machine in the reverse order that they were loaded. Other machines retain the sequence of the forms as they exit. If this is an issue for your application then consultation with a pressure seal professional will help avoid any surprises.

Why do my forms keep jamming in the folder / sealer?
Forms issues can be the following: curl in the paper, floating registration of fold perforations, dull or dead spots in the fold assist perforations, excessive paper dust creating a build-up on feed and fold rollers, the paper and folder/sealer may be incompatible, forms may be placed in the feeder incorrectly.
Folder / sealer issues may be the following: Wrong in-feed adjustments, wrong fold plate adjustments, bent fold plates, chad or debris in the paper path, worn or burnt out parts, buildup of ink or toner on the transfer and sealing rollers.

How can I tell if I have a good candidate for Pressure Seal?
Most often any product that is placed and mailed in an envelope is a likely candidate for Pressure Seal.
We can assist you in converting applications to pressure seal. Simply send us a sample of the current application and our experts will devise the best Pressure Seal form possible.

How can my customer convert to pressure seal if he/she has programming issues?
We can assist you by directing you to compatible software available in the market today. There are a number of companies offering "digital presets" that make the transition quick and easy.

How can I justify a Pressure Seal system?
Cost justification can be sometimes difficult. Some factors for consideration are: maximizing volume while minimizing processing time, costs of traditional envelopes, postage costs, old and outdated equipment, confidentiality, security, labor, and maintenance. Anyone running a highly expensive but very slow traditional inserting line can be shown a better way…the Pressure Seal way! We can help put the cost comparison on paper to help with your decision.

What about service?
Is the folder/sealer being properly maintained and under service with a properly trained service network? Many problems such as assistance with clearing a jam can be supported via telephone technical support. The goal is to get the system back online in a very short time and dispatching a technician is not always the quickest course of action. Of course, access to properly trained on-site technical support is essential for any successful pressure seal installation. Check to be sure your support network understands folding machines. Service and support of folding equipment requires unique skillsets that the "copier" technicians that some service networks use will not understand without special training.
Is the technical problem form related, machine related or both? A single point of contact for any technical problem is absolutely essential. The source of the problem should be irrelevant to the end user….the key issue is to resolve the problem and get the system back online!

Which machine is the best fit for my application? (How do I choose the model that is right for the application)?
The duty cycle per month is important. However, consideration must be made as to the quantity per each individual session. Are there seasonal fluctuations in print volume that may require a larger machine during those periods? Sometimes two smaller units vs. one large one can be the better approach. It is sometimes better, especially on mission critical applications, to have two machines providing redundancy in the event of down time. Other considerations are: the length and width of the form, the fold depths, paper basis weight, and ease of use.

How do I compare the different brands of folder/sealer and choose the best quality and value?
A good way of comparing one system over another is to look at the weight of the equipment. Lightweight, lightly constructed folder/sealers are just not going to last over the long haul. Choose a well built machine with a heavy duty sealing section that will last. Total weight of the folder/sealer is a good indication of a well built machine. Examine the sealing section of the machine. It should have solid, large diameter sealing rollers to ensure a consistent and secure seal of the form. Lightweight, small diameter rollers will "bend" during operation of the machine and this will show up as a poorly sealing form especially in the horizontal glue patterns of the form. Look for and compare other features such as form counters, conveyors and in-feed hopper size.

What is duty cycle and why is it so important?
Duty cycle is the manufacturer's recommendation as to the maximum number of documents that should be processed per month on the machine. It's important to note that the quantity of forms run through the sealer per session must also be considered when purchasing equipment. Reaching a machines duty cycle with one or two heavy volume runs may cause premature wear, overheating and excessive maintenance.

What is processing speed and why is it important?
Processing speed is the optimum speed at which a folder / sealer can operate. However, like a speedometer on a vehicle, certain limitations must be set to maintain consistent processing. When identifying the true output of the folder/sealer considerations such as loading and off-loading and downtime must be taken into consideration. No machine will yield its maximum speed per hour after consideration for loading and unloading forms and normal workday interruptions are taken into consideration. The "actual yield" per hour will be something less than the folder/sealers "maximum speed". Using this approximate figure does the machine still fit the volume of the application?

What about the price of a machine?
Price should not be a primary consideration when choosing a folder/sealer. Pressure seal forms are usually "mission critical" applications such as payroll or invoicing. It makes no sense to skimp on quality and reliability to save a few hundred dollars on the machine purchase. The old saying "you get what you pay for" was never more appropriate. Our machines are top quality and competitively priced compared to other machines offered on the market.

How can we assist in the process of Pressure Seal forms design, troubleshooting and selection of a folder / sealer?
Our experience includes: forms manufacture, forms constructions including unique applications, forms and equipment troubleshooting, equipment development and technical support including software, knowledge of postal guidelines and types of laser printers. From desktops up to very high end mailing systems we can provide our customers the comfort level and assurance needed in this industry today.

Why is "one call, one source" so important?
One call, one source provides our resellers and their end user customers an efficient manner of resolving questions or issues which arise at any time after initial installation. After all most pressure seal systems are running "mission critical" documents and any delay in processing these documents is unacceptable in all cases. Choose a vendor which provides a one call, one source solution of equipment, forms and first call service and support and does so directly without involving third parties. This will avoid delays and confusion which can result from using multiple vendors.