USPS looking for solution to eliminate paper, ink and workhours associated with labeling Mail Transport Equipment in a Mail Processing Environment
The United States Postal Service (USPS) utilizes a large array of material handling equipment (rolling stock including carts and dollies) during mail processing that we refer to as Mail Transport Equipment (MTE). This equipment is used for the staging and transportation of mail for downstream mail processing operations (intra/inter facility). The accurate and efficient labeling, identification, and tracking of this MTE is of the utmost importance.
Currently, the USPS uses printed (human readable) placards in order to label, track, and route MTE throughout the facility. The use of printed placards is a recurring cost (paper, ink, maintenance) as well as the labor associated with adhering and removing printed placards from MTE.
The USPS is seeking a solution that will eliminate the need for paper, ink, and labor hours associated with the labeling of MTE in a USPS mail processing environment. The desired solution we believe includes an electronic display device/placard to be affixed to the MTE. Updating of the electronic placards shall be performed wirelessly. All data to be wirelessly written to the digital displays would be retrieved automatically and electronically from a web service and or database provided by the USPS. Once an image has been written to the placard, it shall remain static until wirelessly overwritten. The battery for each individual electronic placard must have a long-life – no less than 4 years. Any proposed solution will provide no less information (MTE identification, routing, tracking, etc.) than that of the existing paper placard methodology.
The USPS is not currently seeking a production ready solution. The USPS is seeking a “ready to field” prototype system which would allow for the feasibility testing of a paperless placard system in a controlled processing environment. This feasibility test will require the installation of up to 600 electronic display devices on mail transport equipment (MTE) at a Washington D.C. area processing and distribution center (P&DC).
If this feasibility trial shows promise for future application, the USPS would move forward with a more formal research and development effort for the fielding of a production quality product. The USPS is seeking a prototype ready for testing within 1 week of contract award.