PostNL Invests ID Mail's More Robust and Capable Sorting System 

Written By ID Parcel & Mail Solutions Staff


ID Mail Systems signed a major contract with PostNL for the supply of a special version of its Dispatcher MX sorting system for processing flats thicker than 10mm and rest mail, including irregular and traditionally non-machineable mail, at up to 10,000 items per hour. 

PostNL, like many postal operators today, is positioning its operation to deal with the new realities of mail volumes. This includes changing from separate dedicated high-speed letter and high-speed flats sorters and moving to centralised sorting facilities. With the installation of a new high-speed mixed mail sorting system that will sort most mail down to the carrier’s walk sequence, PostNL was left with a small but important mail volume that needed to be coded to walk sequence and prepared for merging with the mail from the high-speed system. The Dispatcher MX system will image, code, print a new sequencing code, and primary sort processed mail. 

The Dispatcher MX, a more robust and capable version of ID Mail’s Dispatcher mixed-mail sorting system, was developed for Post Danmark as a more efficient method of franking mail, with the additional advantage of processing business reply mail and revenue protection. This enabled commercial and corporate customers to submit unprocessed mail to Post Danmark to be franked and sorted by format prior to distribution, while providing additional uses for revenue protection services on permit prepaid mail volumes by measuring format, weight and destination to ensure proper postage had been applied to the mail. Post Danmark purchased nine of the systems for three sorting centres throughout Denmark over the course of two years. 

Likewise, during testing and evaluation for PostNL, the Dispatcher MX proved highly capable with the best performance and set of features – and at an attractive price. ID Mail’s team of engineers demonstrated a keen understanding of the challenges of processing a wide variety of mail. Especially when it came to non-automation friendly rest mail, which could range from extremely lightweight letters to heavy and bulky 40mm flats and packets. 

Jerry Fenerty, president and CEO of ID Mail, says, “Our engineers are exceptionally skilled at customising our machines to fit unique, one of a kind requirements for any sorting needs, and the special version Dispatcher MX is no exception.” 

The Dispatcher MX does look a little different from the standard model as it includes a six-person manual-induction module and is 60m long with a 180° turnaround – the longest dispatcher ID Mail has manufactured to date. The Dispatcher MX will also be equipped with a colour imaging camera, alignment and gap correction modules, a 30-second delay for OCR and video coding, a compliant belt labelling and printing solution, and 72 sorting bins with options for additional sorting outputs. 

Critical to the success of the new system is ID Mail’s updated design of the labelling and printing modules. These designs improve the consistency of applying and printing a label on highly variable mailpiece thicknesses. PostNL plans to use the Dispatcher MX to apply a proprietary sorting code to each mailpiece, enabling sorting to the postal carrier walk sequence without the machine having any knowledge of the route itself. 

PostNL also has the option of purchasing 24 more systems over the next few years, making this agreement the largest in ID Mail’s history. Fenerty concludes: “We are excited about this project because the processing of irregular or rest mail is one of the few remaining challenges that almost all postal operators can still improve on, and many of them can benefit from our solution.” 

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