Envelope Feeding Aid Improves Productivity By 80%

Project Name | Dynamic Feeding Aid

Summary: Ricoh 3D revolutionised the design of a traditionally manufactured envelope feed to slash both cost and lead time.

The problem: Printing on envelopes presents industry-wide challenges in productivity, requiring small batches of envelopes to be frequently reloaded into the printer paper tray

The solution: Ricoh’s solution department designed an innovative application to address the problem using traditional manufacturing techniques. The Dynamic Feeding Aid was originally manufactured from CNC aluminium and pressed metal parts, combined with standard components which had to be assembled by hand.

The Dynamic Feeding Aid improved productivity by 80% by enabling the paper feed to be filled with envelopes. Without this device, the printer could only handle 30 envelopes at any time without mis-feeding and jamming. However, the manufacturing process of the new device meant that the lead time of components was up to six weeks, with a minimum order quantity of 10 units.

One order per month was being received for the product on average, meaning the MOQ was a frustration. The team also had to hold stock of the parts in order to meet demand and avoid costly delays to the end customer.

On demand printing

In order to streamline supply and reduce cost for a low volume product, the design was optimised specifically for additive manufacturing in consultation with our in-house experts. Our solutions design team skilfully consolidated parts to eliminate the requirement for assembly and additional fixing components.

As a result, the product lead time was reduced from weeks to just one day. The product can simply be produced on demand, which no need to hold any stock – in just nine hours

The price of the solution was also reduced from £470 to £84, whilst consolidating 36 parts into just three.

The Dynamic Feeding Aid is exemplary of how additive manufacturing can eliminate timely and costly manual assembly, reducing stock levels and streamlining the supply chain.