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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sh Kapil Sibal Dedicates Automated mail Processing Centre, Delhi to the Nation

AMPC Capable of Sorting 10 lakh Mail Per Day 
OCR System Recognizes the Pincode and Address for Taking Sorting Decision 

Sh Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology, dedicated Automated Mail Processing Centre (AMPC) Delhi to the nation here this morning. Speaking on the occasion Shri Sibal said that Department of Posts has to gear up to the challenges of 21st century in a comprehensive manner. These efforts will go a long way in making DoP a more efficient, reliable and trustworthy organization.

AMPC Delhi is an important milestone for the Department of Posts in its attempt to provide a reliable, efficient, safe and cost effective postal service to the nation. AMPC Delhi has been set up with the aim of modernizing mail processing in India Post. A Letter Sorting machine (LSM) and one Mixed Mail Sorter (MMS) has been installed at AMPC Delhi at a cost of about Rs 42 crores. These sorting machines utilize state-of-the-art Optical Character Recognition (OCR)- Video Coding System (VCS) that can read the address written on the mail pieces and sort them to the correct destination. The LSM has a sorting speed of 35,000 letters per hour and MMS can process 20,000 ordinary as well as Registered and Speed Post letters, packets and small parcels per hour.

The LSM can sort letters/postcards/Inland letter Cards from 3 gms to 20 gms. As the letter enters into the LSM, a very high speed camera takes a picture of the address written on it and sends it to the OCR server for digitization and recognition. The OCR system recognizes the pincode as well as the address elements in the written address and takes a sorting decision on the basis of inputs received from the written address and the address database which has been created for the sorting systems. In case the OCR is not able to take a sorting decision then the image is sent to the Video coder who just sees the image on his/her computer screen and then types the pincode or the city/town name to sort the article to the correct destination. This entire process takes few seconds to get completed while the letter is still moving inside the LSM.

The MMS is an open conveyor based system which can sort any kind of letter, flat, packet or small parcels (from 5 gms to 5 kgs) and utilizes the same OCR-VCS system for sorting. Both the machines share the common OCR-VCS servers. MMS has the ability to the read the tracking barcode pasted/printed on the article and generate a manifest along with a unique bag label for the sorted mail so that track and trace for each individual article processed on the MMS is available on the internet.

As compared to the old style mail centres, setting up of AMPC has enabled the Department to consolidate the mail operations in a big city like Delhi. The entire first class and speed post mail of Delhi which was earlier handled at more than 12 smaller mail sorting centres is now consolidated at AMPC because of its ability to process almost 1 million mail pieces per day. Mail operations at AMPC not only enhance the speed of mail processing but also lead to a better efficiency and improved quality. State-of-the-art facilities have also been provided to the staff working at AMPC Delhi in order to improve their efficiency and motivation level. The LSM requires only 7 Clerks (SA) and 5 Multi-Skilled Staff (MTS) per shift (8 hours) to operate and produces an output of over 3 lakh mail pieces; the same work requires at least 30 clerks and 10 MTS. Similarly, the MMS requires almost 10 clerks (SA) and 18 MTS per shift to process almost 1 lakh speed post articles; the same work would require 25 clerks and 30 MTS in a manual environment.

The maximum advantage of using the machines is in the area of quality control as missort rate can be brought considerably down in good address quality mail. In case of MMS, multiple handling is also reduced as the tracking barcode of the speed post articles are automatically scanned by the machines while they are being sorted. Also, the entire mail gets sorted in one run as the number of sorting selections in LSM (304 selections) and MMS (152 selections) are enough to sort all the mail pieces in one sort program. This is in contrast to the manual sorting where the sorting cases have only 48 or 72 pigeon holes and some destinations have to be sorted in the second stage.

At AMPC there is a separate area for processing mail pieces which are not of machinable standards. The work flow of AMPC Delhi has been designed like an assembly line where-in the un-processed mail enters the facility from one end and gets dispatched from the other end after getting processed manually or on the automated systems.

The AMPC building has been constructed by DIAL in lieu of the old AMPC building which was acquired for laying the metro line. The construction started in October 2010 and was completed in October 2011. The building has been built on a plot of almost 10,000 sq mts size and the built up area is about 7000 sq mts on ground and first floor. The building has a 24 hour power back-up and a security system with state-of-the-art IP camera based CCTV system. Almost 500 staff, including about 60 ladies are working in AMPC in three shifts.

A similar facility has also been set up in Kolkata which shall also be inaugurated in a few weeks time. The sorting machines of AMPC Delhi are the new generation machines as compared to the Letter Sorting Machines installed at AMPC Mumbai in 1993 and at AMPC Chennai in 1996 which did not have the automatic address reading ability and were dependent on the coders to code all the mail pieces for sending them to their destinations.

Senior officers of the Department of Posts and the MLA of the area were also present on the occasion. 

Source : PIB, August 21, 2012

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