The world is full of labour-saving devices these days, but none could be more welcome to both boss and worker than the franking machine.

Invented in 1884 by Norwegian Engle Frankmussler (we’ll leave you to spot where the “frank” came from) the first machines to weigh people’s mail and affix the correct postage mark were of course operated by a manual crank system, but even then much time and laboriousness was saved in the workplace and postal rooms.

Fast forward to 2012, and the modern-day digital franking machine makes even lighter work of fixing postage to your business mail.

And naturally, there are many other features of the modern franking machine that comes with being digitally-activated.

The Principle Features Of Franking

The main function of a franking machine is to provide businesses or entrepreneurs with a means of sending their mail more cheaply and efficiently saving both the postal service and the business time and effort when dealing with mass circulations of letters and packets.

Anyone with a franking machine has to have it linked electronically to the Royal Mail via which they then pre-pay for their postage online or digitally according to the volume and type of mail they are sending. It’s as simple as that.

But apart from being cheaper to send mail, and saving time sticking stamps onto individual letters and parcels and queuing at the post office with bundles of envelopes to be weighed, the franking machine can do all this too:

Automatic Envelope Sealing

Saving more labour time, many machines on the market can automatically seal envelopes once they have made their journey through the franker, as well as open the flap of envelopes prior to sealing. You can also use the sealer function to seal other envelopes that may not be destined for postage.

Automatic Envelope Feeding

A handy advancement on the 19th century model, the automatic feeder can process your envelopes without the need for human intervention. Of course, if you don’t totally trust the machine you can always use manual or semi-automatic controls too.

Automatic Envelope Stacking

As one might expect with a fully automated system, there’s envelope sealing, envelope feeding and then automatic stacking to complete the envelope run-through. Some machines can even clear the sealed mail away.

Postage Rate & Reset Meter

Most modern franking machines linked to your online franking supplier will automatically store and update the current postage rates in tandem with the size and weight and thickness of the letter/packet you are sending.

Automatic Accounting

One of the huge benefits of today’s digital/online franking machines is the ability to log and monitor all your outgoing mail expenditure, which is a great benefit for your accounting department. Keeping within budget has never been made easier on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

PIN Protection

A vital feature of the modern digital franker is the PIN protection capability which provides peace of mind and added in-built security assurance so you will always know that your outgoing mail is being processed accurately and accountably.

Business Impression

The modern franking machine is capable of doing so much more than simply affixing the correct postage to your outgoing mail – it even acts as an extra publicity and promotional tool. Utilising full colour optimisation you can make your mail instantly recognisable to your clients or new marketing targets by adding your company logo or slogan (as long as they comply with Royal Mail’s strict guidelines).


Author - Nigel Vaughan

Nigel has over 10 years experience in digital marketing, and loves tech and all kinds of electronics. A keen cyclist and cycle-tourist, he has cycled through 25 countries worldwide.

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