Automation for the parcel sorting and labeling industry
Bell and Howell has teamed with SICK™, a world leader in factory and processing automation, and POST-IS, a logistics solution integrator, to introduce ParcelMgr™, a parcel sorting and labeling system for parcel and mail expediters.
ParcelMgr lowers the cost of parcel fulfillment and delivery by automating the tasks of reading, weighing, labeling, and sorting parcels or flats. At speeds of up to 5,000 parcels per hour, this sorting automation solution can pay for itself in a very short time by displacing the need for extra manual labor.
Automated encoding and labeling
The ParcelMgr solution is ideal for parcel and mail expediters who see their ‘last mile’ parcel and flats mail volumes growing. If you use the USPS® Expedited Services Network to create a direct injection into the USPS mailstream to reach the last mile destination delivery point, you should review the cost savings that the ParcelMgr solution offers.
The fully automated system can handle the majority of parcel and flats postal pieces. Items up to 14” by 18” and a height of 15” with a variation of 6” between packages can be processed on the system. For example, small parcels such as pharmaceutical shipments in large or small plastic bags, most contents placed in plastic, bubble or corrugated bags or small containers can be processed effectively with the ParcelMgr solution.
Easy to operate
This system requires only one or two people to operate. The workers place the parcels or flats onto a conveyor. Parcels are then transported on the conveyor and moved into position for automatic weighing, barcode reading and optional OCR reading. For parcels requiring dimension data for manifesting or truck/airline load information, an optional dimension imaging module can provide the parcel dimension, and then an automated mailpiece label printer will label the parcel as required by the user’s manifest requirements for the USPS, or other carrier.
Once the parcel leaves the conveyor, it is deposited into the mailer’s preferred receptacle. Printers are positioned at the back of the transport to produce labels for the receptacles if required. ParcelMgr can also be integrated into an existing sorting system. Or, a high-speed sorting system is available as an option.
We also offer a standalone version of the fully automated ParcelMgr solution, which is ideal in environments where the system is interfaced to an existing conveyor for manual sorting. A conveyor can be supplied for the manual sorting process.
The ParcelMgr solution can apply virtually any carrier label to a parcel or flat. USPS Bound Printed Matter, Parcel, and Parcel Plus labels are typical ParcelMgr applications. It also accommodates FedEx, UPS, DHL and other private-carrier labeling. An optional upgrade can even accommodate TSA international verification requirements.
By automating the manual keying operations, we’ve found that some parcel expediters can realize full payback in as little as three months. For the USPS parcel induction market where USPS labels are required, our research shows that when automating the labeling process, labeling as fast as possible provides the highest ROI.
We’ve found that a very high ROI can be achieved in environments where parcels are prelabeled and must be entered into a manifest payment system. ParcelMgr can scan, verify customer information such as weight and address, then load the applicable data into the customer’s manifest system in either batch or real time. Parcels outside the specifications can be outsorted or corrected with a new label.
A base ParcelMgr solution includes:
- Registration module to ensure the parcel is read and the label is applied correctly
- SICK camera for 1D and 2D barcode reading
- High-speed scale from OCS/SICK, legal for trade certified
- An automated direct thermal printing and linerless label application system
- Bell and Howell Sorter Control software for operator job setup
- Manifest or parcel management software interface
- Custom configurable to ensure that all relative client information is captured (e.g. number of pieces, weight, move update information, dimension, etc.)
- Integrated high-speed inline scale provides accurate weight information for carrier manifest data or can be used for client accuracy
- Bell and Howell recognition software and CASS Certified™ directory look-up
- Multiple item detection system to prevent mis-sorts
- SICK dimensioning and label barcode/accuracy verification with divert system
Why Bell and Howell?
The biggest benefit mailers have realized with their mailing operation over the years has been automating their USPS barcoding requirements. This has been true with letters, flats and now parcel encoding. Bell and Howell, SICK and POST-IS are committed to providing a complete and proven technology solution for mail expediters. Together, we have many years of experience in serving the mail encoding and handling market. The ParcelMgr solution puts the best parcel sorting, encoding and labeling technology to work for you.