Lockheed Martin to do upgrade for address recognition systems

Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., won a $33 million contract from the U.S. Postal Service to introduce address recognition capability earlier in the mail processing cycle. Doing so will help the postal service deliver mail faster, according to Lockheed Martin officials.

Lockheed Martin will upgrade remote computer reader machines at 350 U.S. postal centers to provide greater sort capability on 1,086 advanced facer canceller systems. These machines automatically position envelopes so postage can be canceled and envelopes can be marked with an identification tag that enables further processing.

The machine upgrades will be complete by June 2005, said Brian Tanton, vice president of material handling and identification solutions for Lockheed Martin Distribution Technologies.

The upgrade uses enhanced optical character recognition technology developed by Lockheed Martin to automatically separate local mail from items addressed to more distant destinations. As a result, outbound mail can be processed and dispatched before local mail is made ready for delivery.

The improvements "allow us to be more efficient and serve our customers better because we're consolidating high-speed mail sorting technology and eliminating several mail processing functions," said Tom Day, vice president of engineering for the U.S. Postal Service.

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