APPS Test Begins in Minneapolis

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The U.S. Postal Service said that the first test for its automated package processing system began yesterday at the Twin Cities Metro Hub in Minneapolis.

APPS, the next-generation package sorter, will replace more than 100 mechanized small parcel and bundle sorting machines at 70 postal facilities nationwide. The system is expected to boost productivity by reducing manual handling.

The USPS said APPS has numerous enhanced features. Singulation, for example, allows packages to line up for processing easily. Also, dimensioning measures the package's length and girth to determine whether it is oversized. And, an image tunnel lifts images from four sides of a package.

APPS combines these features with tested automation scanning tools such as an optical character reader, a barcode reader and a video coding system to improve productivity and serration accuracy.

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