NEC Delivers New Postal Automation Technology to NZ Post
NEC and New Zealand Post are nearing the end of an ambitious nationwide implementation program that has delivered 3 brand new Mail Service Centres in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch, and 3 significantly upgraded Mail Service Centres in Palmerston North, Wellington and Dunedin.
The Auckland Mail Service Centre is the remaining centre to “go live” with systems acceptance testing now underway on the equipment installed there. The project commenced within New Zealand Post back in 2004 with the creation of the Future Post Project Team who worked closely with NEC to deliver a jointly designed solution that understood the New Zealand Mail environment as much as possible.
A New Zealand Post key requirement was to lift the volume of machine-processed mail from where it was then to closer to that experienced in similar European organisations. New Zealand Post today, is confident that with the completion of the last Mail Service Centre, Auckland, in early 2008, they will have achieved that target for mail, machine processed and machine sorted down to Postie Round.
NEC’s Postal Automation systems delivered to New Zealand Post in the Wellington Mail Service Centre in February 2006, were the latest version of the NEC systems to be delivered in the world at that time. These systems incorporate some ground breaking new OCR Reader System technology that has the capability to accurately read and interpret machine written addressing and also a significant amount of hand written addressing. Although not required so much yet in this country, it also has the capability to read handwritten Japanese and Chinese characters. As the project has gone on, further improvements and modifications have been undertaken to these machines making them some of the most modern and up to date systems in the world.
Amongst the systems supplied was a BCS (Bar Code Sorting Machine) which sorts mail down to the actual Postie Round. This machine is the largest straight line sorting machine in the Southern Hemisphere at a length of almost half a rugby field.
This impressive machine, coupled with the “intelligence” incorporated in the OCR Reader System, and the unified approach adopted by New Zealand Post and NEC, will see the desired benefits delivered to New Zealand Post by December 2007.