The Winnipeg Mail Processing Plant (WMPP) located near the James Armstrong Richardson Airport opened in June, 2010. The plant handles local mail from Winnipeg and from all over Manitoba. This post describes the path taken by letters as they travel through the WMPP machines.
My thanks to Mr. Eugene Knapik of Canada Post Corporation for information provided.
Edger Facer Machine
The image is sent to the plant's Central Computer System (CCS).
The CCS finds the correct address block and verifies that the postal code matches the rest of the address information ( All the valid addresses in Canada exist on a database). The postal code of the address is sprayed on the front of the envelope.
If it is incorrect, the CCS corrects information wherever possible. If the address information cannot be confirmed or read, an image of the letter is sent electronically to staff in the Video Endoding System (VES) to provide a sortation decision.
Video Encoding System (VES)
Canada Post Corporation introduced the VES in 1993 at other processing plants to handle mail which could not be read by the machine. About a dozen employees work in a quiet room separate from the rest of the work floor at the WMPP. An image of the front of the letter which cannot be read by the machine is projected on a screen. The operator examines the item and enters the correct code in the computer. The information is transmitted to the MLOCR and the code determined by the VES operator is sprayed on the front of the envelope. It is possible to locate the letter in the MLOCR because a unique VES identifier code has been sprayed on the back of each letter.
VES identification code
Older model VES consoles Toronto
The VES operation can be conducted off-site. Canada Post has announced that it will be consolidating its western VES coding operations into the new Pacific Processing Centre (PPC) in Vancouver. This will be implemented on a staggered basis beginning in February 2014. The PPC will have 55 VES desks that will be used to code for Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg.
Letter Sorting Machine
Letters coded by the MLOCR are then sorted in stacks by the Letter Sorting Machine. Sorted mail is removed manually and transferred to plastic bins.
Toshiba Letter Sorting Machine
Packets and Parcels
Optical Character Reader technology is also used to sort packets, small parcels and large parcels at the WMPP.