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Spray-On Canceller Hates Post Cards?

 
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Posted 05/18/2022   5:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Perf10 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
If current incoming mail has a pre-spray-on, circular, machine postmark (what do we call them?), it's usually on a post card. Why post cards? Does the USPS spray-on canceller have trouble with post cards?
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Posted 05/18/2022   6:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
An illustration would be helpful.

In another recent thread about 2022 uses of the metal-die facer-canceler machines, most of the examples shown were applied to stamped mailings made in large quantities, i.e., first class mail from businesses, often ad mailings (or things like wedding invitations), but mail which was delivered to the PO in faced bundles. I know of no ability for postal machinery to separate cards from letters, nor any reason to because of processability reasons.
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Posted 05/19/2022   01:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've been seeing that on postcards and letters with stamp purchases with relatively thick stiffeners. I can't find the earlier post, but it was noted that the new sprayon equipment requires that mail must travel around a roller the size of a soup can. Progresso? So it would appear that the above mail hangs up on that, and the older facer/cancellers are used for postcards and inflexible letters. Something has to sort those out to prevent jams. It all seems like a big step back and not a lot of thinking done in machine design.

There is that non-machineable rate but I've seen very, very few mailing pieces using it and many more that should have paid it. So, when those old machines finally wear out completely, do they start enforcing non-machinable rates and ban postcards in the current size?
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Posted 05/19/2022   01:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
hy-brasil, you raise a good point. I was looking on USPS.com for the rate to mail an overweight letter. Once you get all the way through their 'tree' (package or letter? Standard size or odd size? Dimensions? Etc) one of the last things they ask (for a standard-sized letter) is: Is it greater than 1/4" thick or have a stiffener inside like a piece of cardboard? Or something to that effect. It made me realize that even if it is standard size/shape and under 1/4" thick, they still require an extra charge if it holds a stiffener. Perhaps postcards are stiff enough that they must be treated the same way as a letter with a stiffener inside.
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Posted 05/19/2022   10:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Perf10 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Indeed, the recent post card that prompted my post is one from an advertiser's mass mailing franked with stamps, so that fits the pattern. Thanks, John.

IIRC, at one time the non-machinable surcharge applied only to a piece that otherwise qualified for the first ounce rate, hence pieces over one ounce, for example, were not subject to that surcharge. Even if that is correct, I do not know if it's still true. The USPS rate structure has become so complex that I wonder if any one person anywhere has 100% of its details memorized.

These days if I mistakenly underpay postage, the local office will return the item to me rather than send it through postage due, which IIRC is improper, or used to be. The same office does not issue me a refund when I mistakenly apply excess postage, but I do get a chuckle from thinking I keep them busy summing the fractionals I use from time to time.
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Posted 05/19/2022   11:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have not seen a spray canceler in-person, but the older, traditional 4-head facer-cancelers which applied the cancel with a circular steel dial had mechanisms during the initial feeding operations to cull oversized and over-thick pieces and divert them. The mail went unbent through the canceling process, awaiting the sorting processes.

That said, keep in mind that the facing/canceling process is a very small part of the letter processing. Assuming the ink-jet facing/canceling process is similar to that described above, the "bending around corners" is happening in later sorting operations as bar codes are applied and read and the mail eventually sorted into delivery sequence. Mail make more machine-passes today than it used to.

The vast majority of mail dropped in a blue box will never be seen as an individual piece of mail until your carrier puts it in your box. As long as the facer-canceler "sees" something it interprets as tagging, any under-paid and over-paid mail will sail on to its destination.

I would actually like to see proof of such a small bending radius in mail handling machinery. It makes no sense design-wise. It is an urban legend or provable with first-hand data?
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Posted 05/20/2022   12:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
We have talked about this several times before, and the USPS video is now about 8 years old. Here is the link:

http://goscf.com/t/40418

They may have newer machines by now, or maybe not.

Linus
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Posted 05/20/2022   11:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add philatomic to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not sure where the soup can comparison comes from. This link addresses rigidity standards and mentions an 11 inch diameter turn for letters.

https://pe.usps.com/archive/html/dm...0728/101.htm
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Posted 05/21/2022   1:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gvol21 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Some postcards I've sent in the past year have been subjected to different cancellations.

First, the smaller size cards are usually not tagged by the sprayer as shown; more often the date is sprayed on but not the pattern, and just as often neither are sprayed.

I did send a larger (5x7) card from Miami Beach last month, and I don't know if it's a large postcard thing or a local PO thing (I seem to recall the latter when I sent a card from the same location in Miami Beach a couple years back), but was pleasantly surprised to see an old-fashioned cancel on it.
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Posted 05/21/2022   7:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I would actually like to see proof of such a small bending radius in mail handling machinery. It makes no sense design-wise. It is an urban legend or provable with first-hand data?


Great video showing the USPS AFCS 200 sorting machine in action. You can see all of the turns where letters must bend around a 4" spindle.

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Quote:
Commentary from a USPS AFCS operator:


Quote:
Some Tips and Debunking Myths on Shipping Cards through USPS.
After seeing the post yesterday from a front end postal worker and some misinformation in the comments. I thought I should give you some insight from someone who used to run the machines that process your mail.

Myth - Stamping your mail with "hand sort only", "non-bendable", "do not bend", "non-machinable", or "warning nuclear bomb inside" will cause your mail to be processed differently than normal mail.

Nothing on your envelope is read by a person. Only by going to the post office, paying the non-machinable up charge, and giving them the mail directly will cause your mail to be hand sorted. When the mail arrives at the processing center from the local post offices, the non-machinable mail is in a tote separate from regular mail. It is then put through a relatively slow machine without any bends to cancel and code the mail.

If you don't do this the mail is first run through this machine, AFCS 200. This is the machine I ran. In the back at the start of the video you can see part of the giant purple machine where the letters are first dumped on conveyor belts and staged before being fed into the AFCS.

There is a large eBay card vendor in my area and we get a few hundred letters a day from them. I always dread it when it comes in and hope it goes down one of the other AFSC. They frequently get jammed and torn. As you can see by the video the mail can be bent around 4" spindle. If your letter can't bend around a Chunky soup can, it won't make it through the machine. If it jams it is removed but I've seen it fall out of the belts and get destroyed. Felt bad to see a play set of [[Sunken Ruins]] destroyed from rubbing against a belt for 3 hours.
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