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Generating Intelligent Mail ® Barcodes March 2008 Getting Started STEP 1: Talk with mail service providers and vendors STEP 2: Apply for Mailer ID (MID) STEP 3: Download software used to translate your intelligent data into the Intelligent Mail barcode STEP 4: Populate barcode fields

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getting started
Getting Started

STEP 1: Talk with mail service providers and vendors

STEP 2: Apply for Mailer ID (MID)

STEP 3: Download software used to translate your intelligent data into the Intelligent Mail barcode

STEP 4: Populate barcode fields

STEP 5: Generate correct barcodes

step 1 of 5
Step 1 of 5
  • Talk with mail service providers and vendors
    • Determine whether you would like to implement Intelligent Mail yourself or through a provider/vendor.
step 2 of 5
Step 2 of 5
  • Apply for Mailer ID
    • Contact your local Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA):
      • Online tool atpe.usps.com
        • Click “Mailpiece Design”
        • Click “Lookup Tool” under heading “Mailpiece Design Analyst”
      • Survey will be completed and 6 or 9-digit MID assigned based on mail volume
step 3 of 5
Step 3 of 5
  • Download Intelligent Mail software

Intelligent Mail Data

Encoder

Encoder software Converts intelligent data into printing instructions

Font software

Converts printing instructions into barcode

Font

download software
Download Software

To download fonts/encoders, request a user ID and password at https://ribbs.usps.gov/OneCodeSolution/

Or contact the National Customer Support Center at(877) 640-0724

free encoders
Free Encoders

Three new encoders coming online this year:

Mac OS, HP/UX, and Solaris.

free fonts
Free Fonts

New shorter-height fonts (close to the minimum 0.125”) being developed and tested.

other software available
Other Software Available
  • Other products for IM barcode artwork
    • IDAutomation – Encoding and Fonts
    • HALLoGRAM Publishing – Barcode Pro
    • Seagull Scientific, Inc. - Bartender
    • Envelope Manager Software - DAZzle
step 4 of 5
Step 4 of 5
  • Populate the Barcode Fields
    • Barcode ID defines the presort makeup in conjunction with an Optional Endorsement Line (OEL).
    • Service Type ID defines the mail class and any services requested (e.g., OneCode Confirm, OneCode ACS).
      • Do not use “000”
    • Mailer IDis a 6-digit or 9-digit number that uniquely identifies the mail owner or mailing agent.
    • Serial Number uniquely (not always!) identifies the mailpiece or mailing.
    • Routing Code is used to encode the destination ZIP Code of the mailpiece.
      • Never pad ZIP Code with zeroes, spaces or any other digits that are not part of the ZIP Code; same as POSTNET
      • IM Barcode does not require CHECK DIGIT
step 5 of 5
Step 5 of 5
  • Put Everything Together and Generate the Barcode
    • Once you have selected service(s), received your Mailer ID, and devised a unique Serial Number strategy, you are ready to:
      • Put all the data fields together to form the digit string
      • Pass the digit string to the encoder
      • Apply the font to the encoded 65 bar string

Note: the IM barcode is ALWAYS 65 bars

im barcode specification history
IM Barcode Specification History
  • 2005: height between 0.160 and 0.230
  • 2006: height between 0.134 and 0.230
  • 2007: height between 0.125 and 0.165
    • September 2007: font packages on RIBBS updated to remove tall (~0.230”) fonts; encoder packages are UNAFFECTED
    • Grace period to phase out tall barcode fonts – January 2009
    • March 2008: packages will be updated to add short (~0.125”) fonts
specification tolerances
Specification Tolerances
  • Same as POSTNET, except:
    • 2.667 – 3.225 inches in length (3 bars longer)
    • 0.125 – 0.165 inch in height (vs. 0.115 – 0.135)
    • 0.028 vertical barcode clearance (vs. 0.040)

Clearance between barcode and text lines same as clearance between text lines!

tilt and skew tolerances
Tilt and Skew Tolerances

Same as POSTNET, except that instead of baseline, you need to look for the centerline!

Bar Rotation

Barcode Skew

void specification
Void Specification

Maximum dot matrix spacing increased from 0.005 to 0.010 inch.

0.010

Increase in the allowed space between dots (voids).

placement configurations
Placement Configurations
  • Placement on letters
    • Address block or
    • Barcode clear zone
  • Placement on flats
    • On address side and
    • At least 1/8 inch from any edge of the piece
  • To avoid ambiguity, only one IM barcode can be placed in the same area.
  • Placement configurations of the IM barcode on a letter-size and flat-size mail are defined in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM™), sections 202 and 302.
validating im barcodes
Validating IM Barcodes
  • Manual Tools
    • Visual Inspection
    • Plastic Templates
    • Optical Comparator
  • Software Tools
    • Online Encoder/Decoder
    • Scanners and Verifiers
plastic template
Plastic Template

Great tool available from local BSN or MDA

Automation Barcode Gauge Template (Item #04A)

using optical comparator
Using Optical Comparator

Optical Comparator 6X (Eye Gage)

by Gageline Technology

Complements Item 04A with ability to measure exact heights/widths and to assess barcode jitter (~centerline shift).

scanners verifiers
Scanners & Verifiers
  • Scanners and Verifiers
    • The Culver Group – HHP4600 scanner
    • Videk – Model 2030 scanner, IMB Verifier
    • BÖWE BELL + HOWELL – Mail Verifier Plus (MVP)
    • Motorola / Symbol
      • Scanners – DS3408, DS3478 and DS6707
      • Mobile computers – MC50, MC70, MC3000, MC9000
generating im tray labels
Generating IMTray Labels

For Intelligent Mail Tray labels:

  • Use largest label stock sizes and holders
  • Obtain and follow the specifications available on the Rapid Information Bulletin Board System: ribbs.usps.gov/ to create and print labels
  • Proposed Changes - add text area to the right of the 24 digit barcode and accommodate smaller label stock heights; test in March 2008
  • Plan - Update specifications and DMM changes to allow use of the 10/24 digit Tray Label
generating im container barcodes
Generating IM Container Barcodes

For Intelligent Mail Container Barcodes:

  • Go to the Rapid Information Bulletin Board System: ribbs.usps.gov/ for the Intelligent Mail Container Barcode specifications
  • Plan - DMM update to allow the use of new layout and instructions for the (pallet/placard) labels
key takeaways
Key Takeaways
  • Converting to the IM barcode
    • Obtaining a Mailer ID is free
    • Encoders and fonts available for free; however, integrating an encoder into existing software may require IT involvement
    • Applying the IM barcode on mailpieces is the same as POSTNET
your resources
Your Resources
  • Rapid Information Bulletin Board System: ribbs.usps.gov
    • Intelligent Mail Barcode for letters and flats
      • Encoder Software, Fonts and Online Decoding Tool
      • Intelligent Mail Barcode Specifications
      • Technical Resource Guide
      • Mailer ID Guidelines
      • OneCode Confirm and OneCode ACS Technical Guides
    • Intelligent Mail Tray Label Specifications
    • Intelligent Mail Container Barcode Specifications
  • Domestic Mail Manual
  • USPS Publications
  • Mailpiece Design Analyst