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Let's Talk About Machins

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United Kingdom
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Posted 03/18/2021   1:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ringo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just had a book delivered with three Machins on the package, including a £1.68 and a £2.42. It occurred to me that these are used so rarely. What to we need them for? A basic range like we have with coins would do:

1p. 2p. 5p. 10p. 20p. 50p. £1. £5. Done. Just those could be used in combination - with the existing 1st and 2nd for normal use.

In 2020 there were ten new Machins introduced, total cost more than £26 face-value. It's just crazy. I love thim, but wish they would stop!!
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Posted 03/18/2021   2:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Those were the third weight step (20-100 grammes) airmail rates to Europe and Worldwide Zones 1&2.

On Tuesday, there will be a new type of Machin. A second-class Machin from business sheets with a data matrix attached. It will be quite a bit larger than the normal stamp.



More info in the Norphil blog: https://blog.norphil.co.uk/2021/03/...usiness.html
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Edited by NSK - 03/18/2021 2:38 pm
Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 03/20/2021   3:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ringo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the heads-up on this. I will certainly be adding one to my collection. The link states,

"The stamps use datamatrix technology which means that every stamp will be different. The so-called 2D-barcode at the right of the new stamp will be scanned on use, and any reuse could show that the stamp has already been used. Of course if these stamps too are forged but all have the same code pattern, every one of them should be rejected."

So, I don't see any need for security features anymore, although there's nothing about them being withdrawn.
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Posted 03/20/2021   4:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So, the idea is to keep track of every one of many millions of stamps?

...Or, is it to "plant the seed" that every one of millions of stamps is being tracked?
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Edited by bookbndrbob - 03/20/2021 4:07 pm
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Posted 03/20/2021   4:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They are for corporate use. The sheet shown in the blog is a so-called business sheet. I expect you will use an ordinary sheet stamp. This stamp will not pay for carriage of a postcard to one of my girlies that want me to send them one when I visit the UK. Second class would not even pay for carriage of a postcard if I would swim it across the pond myself. Those, still, will require security features.

@bookbndrbob

Well, you do want a complete collection of Machins.
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Edited by NSK - 03/20/2021 4:08 pm
Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 03/21/2021   08:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ringo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fair point, NSK, but I am assuming this is a trial for a general roll-out of the technology, if it works.

The datamatrix appears to be a grid, 16 x 48 = 786 tiny squares. Not sure exactly how they work, but there are trillions of possible permutations - one for every stamp they might print.
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Posted 03/21/2021   12:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So, in order for this technology to work, every position on every sheet of stamps must be unique. Therefore, the printing die/plate for every sheet, being unique, can be used only once.

Sounds like a very cumbersome, expensive and impractical solution if I am correct.
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Posted 03/21/2021   1:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Short answer: no.

Germany already introduced this. A German children's programme "Die Sendung mit der Maus" (the broadcast with the mouse) celebrated its 50th anniversary. The stamp issued for the occasion had this technology. An episode of the programme explains how the stamp came into being, how it was printed (there is also an ordinary variety), how the unique barcode was added and how the stamp is invalidated (a reader in the mail sorting centre reads the code and deletes it from the list of valid codes) and cancelled. It also shows there is an app that allows you to track the mail.

This is shown from 1:00 until 12:00 in the movie in the ensuing link. It is in German but the movie is informative.

https://www.ardmediathek.de/wdr/vid...2tyaXB0aW9u/

After that, Elephant is disappointed that it does not get any mail. After Mouse puts mail in Elephant's post box, Elephant is so happy it makes a "happy dance."
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Edited by NSK - 03/21/2021 1:22 pm
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Posted 03/21/2021   4:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks NSK. The German video was interesting; the black barcode application is a separate process, i.e. it is not a part of the black printing on the pictorial/design part of the stamp.
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Posted 03/22/2021   12:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add elfstone99 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Was finally able to secure a very nice used NI43a 17p.




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Posted 03/24/2021   2:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Spot the differences

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Posted 03/24/2021   5:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ringo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

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Posted 03/24/2021   5:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Of course, it makes perfect sense to print the barcode as a separate, final process. If there is a glitch/error in this process...then the loss is very minimal.

Still, to my mind...just improving the cancelling efficiency seems like a better solution.

My dad, a master machinist and toolmaker, taught me when I was youngster that the less complicated solution is very often the best one.
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Edited by bookbndrbob - 03/24/2021 5:20 pm
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Posted 03/24/2021   5:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Year code "M21L" for the year of issue 2021 (instead of "MAIL") top left. Source code "MBIL" for Business sheets (instead of "MAIL") top right.



Phosphor bar



size (not my best picture).

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Posted 03/24/2021   5:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Still, to my mind...just improving the cancelling efficiency seems like a better solution.

My dad, a master machinist and toolmaker, taught me when I was youngster that the less complicated solution is very often the best one.


When I took the pictures, my Samsung phone read the matrix code. As the German movie shows, an app can tell you where your item is in the mail system. The company that buys the sheet could scan the matrix codes to keep track of its stock of stamps.

Fool-proof cancellation as scanners delete the code from the "active list" and track-and-trace in one go plus an oppoprtunity to keep stock.

Only Germans can come up with such efficiency. And the Brits know a good thing when they see it.
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Edited by NSK - 03/24/2021 5:39 pm
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