Posted By: DreamingCode Admin

In the Fall of 2021, the OCE Print Shop, in partnership with the State of Oregon's Publishing & Distribution (P&D) print shop, were discussing the fact that during the pandemic, there was a critical shortage of envelopes across the United States, as well as worldwide. This was brought on by supply chain issues in the paper industry.

The State of Oregon, no matter what, must be able to process the State's mail, as well as process mailings for the Oregon Health Plan and many other critical services needed by our citizens.

OCE print shop staff decided it would be worthwhile exploring what it would take for us to produce our own envelopes to fill the State's needs. We identified the main manufacture of envelope conversion equipment, Winkler + Dünnebier (W+D), in Germany. After much research, and discussions with W+D North America, we identified a machine that would manufacture the bulk of the types of envelopes the State of Oregon uses.

Our partners at Publishing and Distribution, agreed that if we could acquire the necessary equipment, they would release the entire envelope contract to OCE, putting us in control of suppling P&D with all necessary envelopes to satisfy the State's envelope needs.

W+D's “410 Easy Enveloper" is the model of envelope converter that would best fit our needs. It is a highly automated machine capable of producing the bulk of what the State of Oregon uses. Commercial size #10 window and regular envelopes, as well as #9 return size envelopes. This was perfect for our shop, as we do not have experienced machine operators for this type of equipment.

OCE's executive team reviewed the request to purchase the machine, understanding this was a large capital expenditure. The decision was made to move forward and we ordered the machine in the spring of 2022. The order was processed, our specifications for what we wanted were gathered and W+D began the construction of the machine in August of 2022. The construction process takes 1 year, so our projected completion date was set at August of 2023. Due to supply line issues (computer chips) the machine was completed in September of this year.

During that one year period, OCE went about modifying the industries section of the Oregon State Correctional Institution, to accommodate the equipment. This meant moving various business units to different areas of the building, building walls and restrooms, removing other walls and upgrading electrical and data infrastructure.

The machine was delivered to our loading docks on November 13th, and was fully assembled and tested by November 23rd. We are currently taking three weeks having the technician train three AICs as well as one of the print shop's Production Coordinators on operation and maintenance of this machine. Full operation and production for this new manufacturing line will commence by end of December.

We have already receive requests from various private sector printers and manufactures in Oregon, to help fulfill their needs of finding trained operators of both our conversion equipment as well as our envelope printing equipment. We are also exploring various certification programs for this equipment, in an effort to produce highly qualified operators upon their release from incarceration.