Pressure Seal FAQ

General Questions on Pressure Seal Form Systems
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 through a process of folding the form on a pressure seal folder / sealer. Folding the form aligns patterns of "co-hesive" which 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.
What makes a good Pressure Seal form? Proper co-hesive chemistry and a proper method of applying the co-hesive to the form are key. 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 aligning 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 sealed 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 key.
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. There are other applications that can be converted that may not necessarily process through mainstream mail. We can assist you in converting applications to pressure seal. Simply send us the current application and our experts will devise the best Pressure Seal form possible.
Besides typical applications such as payroll and invoicing, how else can a pressure seal form be used? Direct mail is an obvious opportunity when combined with a pressure seal format. There are a number of unique constructions which incorporate return envelopes, ID Cards, labels and window die-cuts. In addition, the use of high color offset or digital printing creates a very unique self mailer design. Ask for product samples from the Pressure Seal Plus direct mail collection.
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! In addition, most one page mailing formats are ideal for conversion to a pressure seal form. Mail shops and implants running high volumes of one page mail on their expensive inserters should review the benefits of converting to a pressure seal system. Emphasis is placed on higher hourly output of mailable documents with a much lower initial equipment cost as compared to inserting equipment.
Pressure Seal Form Construction Questions
Can any paper be used on Pressure Seal applications? No. Only specific papers are compatible with pressure seal technology.
What about basis weight of the paper? Usually 24# and 28# papers are used although 38#, 80# and 100# tag can be used for some applications along with certain security papers. However, one should be aware that not all folder / sealers handle these heavier basis weights.
Does the product have to be laser imaged? No. Continuous impact printing is still common.
Why do some companies claim that their forms are patented? Both forms construction, co-hesive 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 sales rep. \"Similar to\" products can be developed and purchased without the worry of patent infringement. These product changes have no direct affect to the end use of the form.
Pressure Seal Adhesive Questions
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 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 these questions 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.
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 the 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.
Pressure Seal Forms Care Questions
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? Absolutely. Product must be kept in its original wrap to ensure proper moisture content of the paper is maintained. Product should be climatized 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 is the shelf life of the co-hesive after application to the 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 carton's interior bag until the next use.
Pressure Sealer/Folder Machine Questions
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 horizontal 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.
Does form sequencing differ between folders / sealers? Yes. There are some folder / sealers that process forms differently and as a result, form sequence can be reversed at the out-feed. InfoSealPS folder / sealers have the same out-feed sequencing.
Which machine is the best fit for my application? The duty cycle per month is important. However, consideration must be taken as to the quantity per each individual print run. 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 on 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. 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.
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 machine\'s duty cycle with one or two heavy volume runs may cause premature wear, overheating and excessive maintenance.
What are some of the key features to look for in a folder / sealer? Ease of operation, heavy-duty construction, durability, processing speed, duty cycle, purchase, and rental options. The top three features to look for are:

1) What is the weight of the machine? Heavier machines have more robust construction and will perform better. Check the thickness of the side frames to which the sealing rollers are attached. Light weight, light gauge metal will not stand up to the very high pressures endured by the sealing rollers. Over time the side frames will sag causing loss of sealing pressure in the roller section and therefore a loss of sealing quality.

2) What is the size and construction of the sealing rollers in the machine? Are they solid rollers of just lightweight hollow construction? Are the sealing rollers larger in diameter and heavier construction on the high volume machines or does the company use the same size rollers on all its machines? Lightweight sealing rollers will bow under the sealing pressure and this will affect the quality of seal achieved. Higher speeds and constant running require larger, more robust sealing section design. This is of utmost importance to ensure a consistent, secure seal on a pressure seal form.

3) How are paper jams cleared and how accessible is the paper path and the critical areas inside the machine? Does the machine provide a \"kick out\" feature whereby mis-feeds or mis-folded forms can be automatically cleared by the operator? Does the machine provide feedback as to where a mis-feed occurred?

Other important features are ease of fold plate adjustment, sound level, size of in-feed hopper, and power requirement. Options to look for are a reset-table and non-resettable counter, and types of out-feed conveyor systems available. Lastly, but probably most important post installation, is availability of a reliable and properly trained service network. Who does one call when there is a problem? Is it the form or the machine? Can the problem be solved quickly with phone support or does it require on-site service? A single point of contact for any technical problem is absolutely essential.
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, clearing jams and normal workday interruptions are taken into consideration. The \"actual yield\" per hour will be something less than the folder / sealer\'s \"maximum speed\". Using this approximate figure, does the machine still fit the volume of the application?
Pressure Seal Form Printing Questions
What is Simplex? Duplex? Simplex is one-sided imaging. Duplex is two-sided imaging.
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. This increases the speed with which batches of forms can be processed through the print devices. In addition, many high end print devices incur "click" charges or per page charges for each page printed. Simplex printing minimizes these click charges.
What is the disadvantage of simplex printing? Imaging on one side can reduce the area on the form available 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. Duplex printing also increases click charges which can significantly increase the cost of printing for larger volume applications.
Pressure Seal Troubleshooting Questions
Why doesn't my form seal tightly? There are many variables, some of which have already been discussed. 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 use poor quality processes when 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? A consultation with a trained pressure seal print professional will help avoid many or all of these problems.
Why do my forms keep jamming in the printer? Again there are many variables. 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 on a regular basis will avoid problems.
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 issue 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 no 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?
Why do my forms keep jamming in the folder / sealer? Forms issues can be the following: curl in the papers, 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 wrong. Folder / sealer issues may be the following: Wrong feed adjustments, wrong fold plate adjustments, bent fold plates, chad or debris in the paper path, worn or burnt out parts, or buildup of ink or toner on the transfer and sealing rollers. Is the folder / sealer being properly maintained and under service with a properly trained service network? Many of the above problems can be diagnosed via telephone technical support to get you back up in a very short time.
Can I place loose inserts inside a sealed pressure seal form? Yes this can be done. Using a specific model of pressure seal folder / sealer up to two inserts may be placed inside a sealed pressure seal form. This unique capability is perfect for inserting remittance envelopes, marketing pieces and creating direct mail designs.
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.