Tabbing vs Tacking for Mailing Houses

Mass mailing houses use wafer seals or “Tabs” to hold their mailers closed. These clear plastic pressure sensitive backed circles are applied in-line at the end of a buckle folder. Typically, tabbing machines apply these closure devices/tabs at speeds of up to 3,000 pieces per hour. Wafer seals or “Tabs” cost approximately $1.40 per thousand and are situated on rolls. These rolls must be changed regularly, requiring the stoppage of the buckle folder. Tabbing machinery has to be monitored closely as it has a propensity to jam easily.

An option to tabbing is hot melt removable “Tacking”. Dots of hot melt are applied prior to the fold plate with no speed limitations, which allows the buckle folder to operate at maximum speeds up to 15,000 PPH. Hot melt fugitive adhesives cost approximately 70 cents per thousand dots. Hot melt systems are filled while in operation allowing the buckle folder to run continuously.

Hot melt removable “Tacking” systems are easily operated and are relatively care-free when operated properly. Hot melt tacking from within the mailer does not affect the visual aesthetics of the piece and hot melt tacking is easier to open than product with tabs. Finally, hot melt tacking has gained acceptance as it is used extensively for credit card applications and “Tipping” applications where additional pages or coupons are inserted into product for easy removal.


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