MetroMail, one of the country's leading full service mailing houses and part of the Saga group, employs 220 people at its state-of-the-art facility in Seaham.
Their services include mailing, laser printing, poly wrapping and data management to clients across a diverse range of sectors, particularly mail order and financial services.
Founded more than 25 years ago, they moved to a 140,000 sq ft facility marking a significant expansion for the company and millions of pounds of investment in the latest industry technology.
Light is used in the process of producing their personalised print. LED technology is used to create a charge on a toner transfer belt which is then applied to paper. How does this all work? An image of charged electrons is generated by the LED on a belt which attracts toner particles. As a sheet of paper passes the belt, this is transferred to the paper and then into a set of heated rollers to fuse the toner to the paper. It prints very, very fast at 320 A4 images per minute!
MetroMail handles up to one million pieces of mail every day and around 200m pieces of mail sent out each year.
“We’ve grown from doing 15 million pages 12 years ago to now having a capacity to print 450 million; that’s over 2000 A4 pages per minute across the site. In the days before this technology, print rooms were filled with rows and rows of very slow dot matrix and daisywheel impact printers. There is no way what is produced these days could be contemplated on technology like that.”
Alan Purvis, Managing Director