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Frequently Asked Questions


Are the Envelope Shipments and Sales adjusted to constant or current dollars?

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They are adjusted for current dollars.

Do envelopes require special storage?

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Envelopes should be packed and stored resting on edge, not laying flat. Envelopes should be stored in areas that are well ventilated and dry because humidity can cause envelopes made with remoistenable adhesive to prematurely reactivate and tack together (blocking). Ideal storage conditions are temperatures of 65-85ο Fahrenheit and humidity at 35-65 percent RH (relative humidity).

Boxes and cartons should be closed and sealed to prevent moisture from damaging the envelopes. Boxes should not be placed directly on the floor, but placed on a raised surface such as a wooden pallet to avoid having moisture from the floor permeate the boxes and affect the envelopes. Pallets should be stretch wrapped to further protect the boxes of envelopes.

Following the proper storage procedures will help prolong the shelf life of your envelopes.

  • Do not exceed the RH levels indicated on the previous page or you could damage envelope gums and/or create problems in paper accuracy or problems with USPS automation compliance equipment.
  • Store envelopes away from windows and direct sunlight.
  • Store envelopes off the floor and only in industry approved containers. Do not leave partial boxes of envelopes open.
  • Make an effort to use envelopes quickly. Try not to use envelopes older than six months from date of manufacture. They will probably still work, but gum dries out and paper will yellow with time.

 

Is there Gluten in envelope adhesives?

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Remoistenable adhesives are derived from corn starch and do not contain wheat or rye gluten.

What are the industry standards for envelope tolerances?

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Normal Variances

Normal machinery variances in the envelope manufacturing industry are +/- 1/16”. This occurs because as machinery runs, it heats up, and metal expands. In addition, normal wear in cylinders and bearings can cause subtle variations in cutting location and folding scores. As a result, your envelope may be slightly larger or slightly smaller than you ordered. The window position may be slightly off. The key word here is “slightly” because 1/16” is very small. Your envelope manufacturer will make every attempt to hold tolerance, but if your application requires an exact measurement, it’s best to let the envelope manufacturer know so he/she can adjust the machinery for variation in a manner that falls within your size tolerance.

For standard #10 window envelopes, the industry recommends that you order a window that is no lower than 5/8” from the bottom of the envelope. The Postal Service mandates that the envelope window be no closer than ½” from the bottom of the envelope. By selecting a 5/8” window, you know that you are well within postal tolerances.

Flexographic printing plates also have a small amount of “play” in them.  Remember that your envelope manufacturer will insist that you approve the artwork and will make the product that conforms to your exact instructions. It is difficult for the industry to interpret what you thought you wanted, so it is important for you to look at every proof carefully and make sure the measurements are correct, the barcode is correct and the artwork is where you want it to be. Most flexographic printing variations are so small they may be difficult to detect without a trained eye using a magnifier. Remember, barcode placement, if used on the outside of the envelope, must be exact per USPS regulations. Familiarize yourself with those regulations and take into account that a small amount of variation in plate thickness and placement can occur as the press heats up and vibrates. Most postal regulations assume some small variation, but if the regulations show exact placement, they should be exact.

Envelope gum lines (adhesives) should be exact. Envelope manufacturers carefully check for gum “slinging” or excessive gum around the windows. Some even use pattern gumming equipment to make sure gum lines are exact. It is important that during your visual inspections you note any imperfections in the gum. Please also note that envelope seal flap gums are designed with high speed inserting in mind. They wet and tack quickly.  Sometimes mailroom staff do not use the proper type of wetting agent or fail to clean their wetting equipment, which can cause problems with envelopes sealing after inserting.  It is always important to check the condition of inserting equipment because the solution to the problem might be right in front of you.  Before you suggest it is the envelope, check out the equipment one more time.

There are subtle variations in ink that occur for a wide variety of reasons. The substrate used, the ambient temperature, humidity, and other contaminants can impact printing quality. Remember to clearly specify the PMS color on your order. Nearly all envelope manufacturers have handheld color densitometers so they can check for color variation right at machine delivery. Most envelope manufacturers do this as part of their quality manufacturing programs.

 

What is the North American Industry Classification System NAICS code for the envelope industry?

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The code is 322232.

What percentage of dues goes toward lobbying?

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5% non-deductable

Which European envelope is comparable to the U.S. 10?

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The European DL envelope would be the closest, but there are no exact comparison.  European envelope sizes are corresponding to the A paper sizes (A4, A5, A6). U.S. paper sizes are larger and therefore not corresponding to the European standard sizes. An A4 sheet can be placed in a #10, but the #10 envelope is larger and therefore the size and placement of the address window would be difficult and in some countries the post taxes would be higher.