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® Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers Automating Flat Mail Preparation in the Future Anita Pursley – Worldcolor Brent Raney - USPS National.

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Presentation on theme: "® Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers Automating Flat Mail Preparation in the Future Anita Pursley – Worldcolor Brent Raney - USPS National."— Presentation transcript:

1 ® Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers Automating Flat Mail Preparation in the Future Anita Pursley – Worldcolor Brent Raney - USPS National Postal Forum ®

2 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Volume Reduction is driving changes to: Distribution Network Delivery processes Processing operations Mail preparation Mail entry locations Mail arrival times How does this impact you and your business? Agenda

3 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® RPW Flat volume decline FY % FY 2005 – FY 2009 Flat volume decline 26% 14.3 billion fewer flats annually FY 2005 – FY 2009 Flat volume decline 26% 14.3 billion fewer flats annually Declining Volume -- Action Imperative

4 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Flats Process Today Mailers Bundle DistributionBundle PrepPiece DistributionDelivery

5 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Eliminate Non-Value Added Work/Processes Mailers Bundle DistributionBundle PrepPiece DistributionDelivery

6 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Flats Process Future Mailers Flats Sequencing Delivery Automated Bundle Preparation

7 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® USPS & Industry Focus of process improvements Overview of Flat Process Print Create Mailing Bind Personalize Stitch/Staple Strap / Wrap Strap/wrap bundles Palletize Load bundles & wrap pallets Design Mailing Mailer Deliver Integrate flats / letters & deliver Sort & Sequence Piece distribution Manual / AFSM & FSS Flat Prep Unwrap / un- strap bundles Dump & Sort Bundle Distribution APPS / SPBS Unload & Transfer Flow to bundle distribution or dock transfer Mail OwnerMail Preparer USPS

8 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® 1. MTAC 58, 2000 – 2002 Preparing Flats Using Alternate Packaging 2. MTAC 71, 2002 – 2003 Flats Container Development 3. MTAC 81, 2003 – 2005 Flat Mail Preparation Optimization 4. MTAC 96, 2005 – 2007 Develop Interface to AFSM 100 Auto-Induction Process 5. MTAC 101, Address Location for Flats Sequencing System 6. MTAC 115, 2007 – 2009 Requirements for preparation and entry of flat mail in the Flats Sequencing System (FSS) environment. 7. MTAC 134, TBD Implementing FSS Presort Parameters Joint USPS / Industry Workgroups

9 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Mailer Logs (MTAC WG71) Ft. Myers Idea Create logs of finished books similar to signatures (pages) used in binding process Issues Required Counter-stacking of books within log Required change to finishing lines Required Mailer Development/Investment of new equipment History of Flat Prep Optimization Output: Standardized Prep and Ai at the AFSM100

10 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Ship Mail in ACTs/Dollies (MTAC WG96) Idea Mailers prepare and ship flats in ACTs on Dollies or on pallets Issues Not as cube efficient as pallets, could double trucking requirements Required large space to store empty stock at mailer plants MTAC Workgroups Refined Solutions Output: Ship Bundles on the Auto-Ready Pallet

11 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Standard Size Bundles (MTAC WG115) Idea Mailers prepare and ship flats in standard size bundles on pallets with strap-only or belly band Benefits Combining multiple flats flows on one pallet lead to shipping efficiencies Utilized existing equipment in mailer plants Paved way for new efficiency opportunities Solution: Single Flats Flow Output: Multi-Scheme Pallets and Automated Flat Prep

12 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Adopt Auto-Ready Pallet Finishing Process …preferred method for the Ai environment as we move toward FSS The Auto Ready Pallet considers the output of a mail preparer as the input to a piece of postal automation – either AFSM- ai or FSS. 6 sort plans Outcome of MTAC Efforts

13 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® 3.5 – 5.5 (+-.5) bundles Bindings aligned within the bundle Barcoded Flats – 11 digit IMB or Postnet Multiple schemes per pallet Cross-Strap (2) preparation - Centered ± 2 Counter-stacking of bundles on pallets allowed for stability Auto-Ready Pallet

14 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Automated Flats Processor Developed a prototype system Automated Flats Processor (AFP) to improve: Productivity of bundle processing Equipment space required to process daily volume Capability to accept multi-zone pallets Flats auto processing – induction to piece sorting

15 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Automated Flat Processor Key Functions Auto Depalletize Bundles – automatically unloads bundles from pallets Distribute Bundles - based on sort plans with OEL readability – convey & prep bundles for processing Process Bundles – cut and remove bundle strapping and load bundles into ACTs Make Dollies – produce sort plan based dollies Dispatch Dollies – full ACTs, produced for specific sort plans, released for induct into flats sorting equipment

16 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Automated Flat Processor Overview De-palletized bundles Bundle Buffer/Sort Make Dollies Stack ACTs Cut Straps and Load ACTs

17 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® VIDEO

18 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® AFP Bundle/Containers Tested Bundle / Container testing: Built on auto-ready pallet concept Evaluated – uniform bundle heights, compensation of bundles, containerization, and bundle securing methods Determined counter-stacked bundles of uniform height travel well through transportation / distribution system

19 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® AFP Bundle/Containers Tested Bundle securing methods tested: Two cross-straps around length and girth Shrinkwrap bellyband with a single-strap as alternative to strap only Shrinkwrap bellyband only

20 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Workgroup Activities Evaluated potential pallet makeups: Pure FSS (single scheme) Pure FSS (multiple schemes) Combined FSS and non-FSS Assessed impact of volume reduction Volume reduction has required more ZIP Codes and FSS sites than original plan Some original sites receiving fewer machines Volume reduction makes preparation of FSS single-scheme pallets more difficult Considered single preparation solution Lowest end-to-end cost achieved with one bundle preparation method Prep compatible with FSS and AFSM process

21 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Test Findings Auto-ready pallet prep will allow bundles to flow directly to the bundle prep operation and bypass APPS processing Multiple sort plans (up to 6) can be accommodated by AFP Bundles with optimal heights of 3, 4 and 6 processed with no issues Bundles with cross-straps (± 2 from center) processed with no issues Bundles with one strap and one bellywrap processed with few issues

22 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® 22 Automated Pallet Unloader Cut, Stack & Load Dolly Maker ACT Stacker/Destacker Bundle Handling System Tray Handling System Production Automated Flat Processor Configuration

23 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® Whats required to earn a certificate? Attend five workshops of the Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs and Printers How do I get my certificate? Register for your certificate on the National Postal Forum Website before July 31, Answer the three true/false questions for each of the five sessions you attended Certificates will be mailed upon certification Flats Track Certificate Program

24 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ® True or False: 1. Uncompensated bundles are bundles with straps only? 2. The Auto Flat Prep (AFP) allows for more pallets to by-pass any upstream bundle distribution process? 3. An auto ready pallet will provide the capability to accept pallets made with mail for multiple different zones? Flats Track Certificate Program TRUE FALSE

25 Flats Track for Periodicals, Catalogs & Printers – NPF National Postal Forum ®


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