As one of the world’s leading suppliers of franking machines, Pitney Bowes offers a huge range of machines to help businesses meet their mailing needs. This may be a basic small footprint franking machine for a smaller business generating up to 30 letters per day spanning through to much larger multi-functional devices dealing with hundreds of mail items on a daily basis.
Whichever machine is selected, the goal of each business remains the same; to deal effectively and efficiently with their mailing requirements in a way that will prove economical and realise cost savings compared to the traditional method of postage stamping.
The Pitney Bowes DM160i could be described as a low-mid volume (between 20 and 75 letters/day) semi-automatic digital mailing system, which can mail up to 40 mailing items per minute. The machine can be connected directly to a LAN by either the USB-B port to a PC or via one of its two USB ports, which may support other peripheral devices such as a scanner or scale. Connecting to the LAN will enable the DM160i to receive automatic software and tariff updates as well the mandatory postal inspection audit.
The DM160i comes with an integrated 2.5 kg weighing scale enabling the correct postage to be calculated for letters and small packages. There is an option to upgrade the scales to a 7, 12 or 35 kg rating, thus removing the need for a separate set of scales. The DM160i can process envelopes up to 9.5 mm in thickness.
While the full features and functionality of the DM160i cannot be covered in depth within this article, the following list provides a taste of the versatility, capability and primary functional use of the DM160i:
- A small operator console provides the main interface via a set of designated keys and alphanumeric keypad with entries appearing on a small LCD display panel.
- Two rearward facing interfaces for USB-B ports enable connectivity to a PC and two other USB ports enable connection to a LAN and other peripherals.
- The operator may select to ‘run mail’ either by using the integrated scales or entering the item weight manually to calculate correct postage.
- An Envelope Message, displaying a graphic advert and/or text message may also be printed alongside the postal frank.
- The DM160i comes bundled with 25 departmental accounts which can be set up with their own unique passwords and PIN Number.
- Preset (pre-defined set of inputs) are activated by touch-button keys for ‘normal’ mail. Additionally, up to five custom presets can be stored.
- A number of basic system options, include time/date setting and passwords are performed through the operator console.
- Apart from changing the Ink cartridge and printing test images, maintenance is generally low-level. If an optional moistener (for sealing envelopes) is fitted,a small sealing solution reservoir must be kept topped up.
- Troubleshooting the DM160i normally involves either referring to the error message/codes on the operator display panel or to the User Manual.
- Reporting on the DM160i is covered through a quite extensive list of account and postage summaries, some of which are printed from the machine itself, while others require an external printer.
Adding funds to the machine is done either through the LAN connection to the PC, utilising the IntelliLink via Pitney Bowes PC Meter Connect software, or by accessing the LAN directly using an online Postage by Phone account. The LAN connection remains live, unless disabled, thereby enabling all domestic and worldwide postage rates to be installed automatically, as well other required software and postal rates updates.
Note: This LAN connectivity and access is a mandatory requirement for software/postal rate updates and postal auditing purposes.
Through the use of the simple web reporting tool INVIEW (basically capturing the information from the machine and sharing it back with the customer), a close eye can be kept on postage expenditure by both class and format. This product also has the ability to extract data and present in any graphical format for analysis.
The ongoing running cost associated with the DM160i relates chiefly to the replacement of ink cartridges, which can be expensive. Purchasing replacement cartridges requires a degree of care in ensuring ‘compatible’ cartridges are purchased. Compatible replacement ink cartridges can be bought for around £65.
As the DM160i is a SMART franking machine it is possible to claim back any VAT on applicable Royal Mail services.
It has been claimed in the UK, that using a franking machine could save up to 30% on the price of a first class stamp. For those businesses generating large volumes of outgoing mail the savings can be significant.
The indicative cost of a new Pitney Bowes DM160i machine could be anywhere from £3,000 – £8,000, depending on what optional extras are bought. Pitney Bowes now offer a machine rental facility which would cost £49 to £99 per month depending on the model.
To find out further information, including specific prices you’ll have to get a quote. Click here to find out more.