Automated Package Processing System (APPS)
The USPS has provided the APWU with a deployment schedule dated Nov. 2, 2004, [1.7 MB pdf] Nov. 2, 2004, [682k pdf] (deployment schedule only) and an APPS Methods Guide [25 MB pdf], dated August 2004. (Deployment schedules dated August 2004, [pdf] and June 25, 2004, [pdf] are now obsolete.) The deployment of these machines will affect the staffing levels of SPBS clerks. Each APPS machine can eliminate two or three Small Parcel Bundler Sorter (SPBS) machines, and has a throughput of 18,000 pieces per hour. Staffing in Associate Offices may also be affected, due to the consolidation of parcel distribution, similar to what occurred with flats when FSM 100 machines were introduced. Some SPBS machines may be redeployed into some offices that did not previously have them. (12/5/04)
Below are excerpts from the APPS Methods Guide
7.0 Training Requirements 5
7.2 Training Method
APPS Passes 1st Test, National Deployment Begins Next Month -The Automated Package Processing System (APPS) passed its first test recently at the Twin Cities Metro Hub in Minneapolis, MN, and begins national deployment in next month (July) at the annex in Oklahoma City, OK. APPS combines the latest in automated package sorter technology with optical character reader, bar code reader and video coding capabilities to process a wider range of packages and bundles — even irregularly shaped ones. A total of 74 APPS will be deployed to 70 mail processing facilities by fall 2005 -USPS Today News (note: Postal Reporter has learned today that USPS has awarded jurisdiction of the APPS machine to Level 4, Mail Handlers.(6/9/04)
Mail Handlers Named as Primary Craft for Automated Package Processing System Staffing (PDF) -In a letter dated June 2, 2004 from John Dockins, USPS Manager Contract Administration, APWU and NPMHU learned the Postal Service has identified mail handlers as the primary craft to perform work associated with APPS. USPS also determined the appropriate level to perform activities associated with the APPS is Level 4. "It is the position of the APWU this piece of mail processing equipment should be staffed by clerks" (6/9/04) Video overview of APPS
Maintenance for APPS will be split between ET 10s, Level 8 MPE’s and Level 5 General Maintenance Mechanics. All preventive maintenance performed to the main machine transport will use Level 8 MPE and Level 5 General Mechanics. All preventive maintenance performed on the OCR/VCS or the system PC will be performed by the Level 10 and Level 8 MPE’s.
Cities Metro Hub MN has been selected as the First Article Test site for
APPS, supported by the Wichita KS REC. The FAT is scheduled to begin in
January 2004. National deployment will begin in Spring 2004.Processing
Operations also will support field implementation with orientations for this
program. The orientations will follow the presentation and break-out format
in a one day session. The first orientation for the earliest deployment
sites has been scheduled for November 13 in Dallas TX. The full orientation
schedule has not been set yet for all sites. (source: USPS)
Update: APPS FAT
A further description of APPS is provided below.
The APPS program contract, which carries an initial value of more than $300 million, requires Lockheed Martin to build and deploy 74 U.S. Postal Service package processing systems nationwide beginning in 2004. The Postal Board of Governors must approve additional quantities beyond this initial buy. If all additional quantities are exercised through 2006, more than 120 systems could be delivered. (11/1/03)
The APPS program will provide the U.S. Postal Service with a fully integrated, end-to-end system capable of automatically sorting high volumes of first-class packaged mail, Priority Mail envelopes and parcels, and bundled mail such as magazines or catalogs with greater efficiency and higher accuracy. The Lockheed Martin system is capable of processing more than 9,500 packages an hour with machine printed or handwritten addresses. Lockheed Martin Press Release
APPS is the next generation of Small Parcel and Bundle Sorting (SPBS) equipment. At processing speeds 2 to 3 times faster than current equipment, APPS will replace SPBSs at 74 high volume sites. Some current SPBSs will migrate to sites now performing manual distribution. APPS configurations include one and two induction stations and high and low bay variations to accommodate space restrictions. Sortation is to the 5-digit level, with remote on-line video coding performed at Remote Encoding Centers for pieces unresolved by the OCR/BCR. Lockheed Martin is the main contractor. (10/16/03)
Automated Package Processing System (APPS)
This machine will replace many Small Parcel Bundle Sorters in the larger offices. The Lockheed Martin machine tested in St. Paul, MN has been accepted by the USPS.
The attached deployment schedule is still the target. The time line should be the same, although some plants may move up or down the list as conditions dictate. This is the usual way of implementing new automation.
The USPS has purchased 74 APPS machines with an option to buy 50 more.
There will be a definite impact on the staffing level of SPBS clerks. Each APPS machine can eliminate 2-3 SPBS machines and has a throughput of 18,000 pieces per hour.
It is possible there could be some effects felt in associate offices due to consolidation of this type distribution similar to what we saw with the implementation of the FSM 100 for flats.
This could also result in the down flow or redeployment of SPBS machines into some offices that did not previously have them.
The first article test is scheduled for November, 2003 in Harrisburg, PA.
It is the position of the APWU this piece of mail processing equipment should be staffed by clerks but the USPS has not taken a position as yet on staffing or on jurisdiction. (source: APWU )
heck out PARS page