Key Attributes of a Franking Machine
The evolution of franking machines from simple, manual postage scales to high-end SMART postage meters that take care of mailing and accounting requirements has been rapid. The common features and components that most current franking machines are equipped with, include:
Franking machines or postage meters can track costs and assign them to appropriate departments or clients with the use of the right account codes (also known as account tracking). Low-volume machines may show only the department or client code while high-capacity models can display the corresponding name or department.
This enables the franking machine to reset the rate of the postage after each use to a basic first class rate or by requiring users to push a safety button for amount exceeding a certain sum. As a result, higher denominations are not printed accidentally.
The feeder is a part of the base of a franking machine which helps route the mail through the meter. There are essentially three types of feeders: manual, semi-automatic and automatic. Automatic feeders take the envelope and process it without any manual interruption.
Automatically seal envelopes after they are run through the postage meter. Besides, a sealer can seal other utility envelopes that require no postage. Some sealers can also open the flap of the envelopes before sealing.
Nesting or flapping
This feature allows the envelopes to be processed with the flap open so they can be sealed later through the sealer.
Security and prevention of abuse or misuse of a franking machine is of paramount importance. Password protection restricts the usage of the machine to authorized staff, thus reducing the probability of misuse of tampering by unauthorized users.
Rate chip stores information pertaining to postage rates in a replaceable chip. These chips automatically indicate the charges for multiple carriers or multiple classes of mail. They may also help indicate charges for registered or certified mails. To update the chip with prevailing postage rates the chip has to be changed when the postage rate changes.
This feature helps organize metered or franked mail. A simple catch tray can just hold the mail as it is franked while a power stacker can clear metered mail away from the postage meter.