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Elsag Datamat technology at Post-Expo 2007
October 04th, 2007

Automation, IT and security. A hi-tech and global approach to respond to the challenge of internationalisation

Shingle Letter Sequencer, automation and Information Technology for the world of mail. But also innovative applications and products linked to security, biometry, safe data transmission and intelligent surveillance. Much of the Elsag Datamat world is on exhibition in Barcelona. The figures say that the 2007 Post-Expo has confirmed its central role in the world of the postal business.

Over 4,000 specialised visitors from a hundred different nations came to the Catalan event. Offers, demand and knowledge met in three days of conferences, exhibitions and demonstrations of new products and solutions. Elsag Datamat rose to the challenge with an innovative approach, which aimed to put together offer, mechanics, Information Technology and communication, thus offering visitors a comprehensive and tangible overview of know-how and technological value.

The stand was put together to leave room for the “star”, in the front row: the Shingle Letter Sequencer, a cutting-edge machine that has a direct impact on one of the most expensive postal processes, allowing a single operator to automatically order the postal workers’ correspondence according to their delivery routes.The “live demo” of the SLS attracted the eyes and the attention of many groups of specialist workers. A “theatrical” style approach, aimed at making an important part of the postal process simple and usable by all. Everyone was increasingly interested and ready to take this rare opportunity: to see the technology for postal delivery that is normally hidden behind the scenes, and thanks to which we find our mail in our letterboxes every day. At times, it was like being inside a sorting office. Guided, however, by a friendly voice explaining everything and simplifying the hours and hours of study, research and engineering projects.

Postal automation above all, but not only. Following an approach similar to that which led to the creation of the demo room in the Elsag Datamat headquarters in Genoa, on a background showing the SLS, a graphic representation of considerable dimensions was revealed, over three metres wide, with an example of a sorting office and indications of the typical processes and the corresponding Elsag Datamat technology.

All in a style that was at the same time of great impact and simple. Self explanatory and giving first hand experience. Image, but also technology, was in the foreground: above, hanging from the beam, a strange video camera could be glimpsed. It was a 360 Super Vision camera that filmed and traced the movements of passers by, while two dedicated monitors sent back live images and technological features of the new generation video-surveillance technology.

There was innovative technology applied to the processes and introduced into the postal environment, but also useful for other applications linked to homeland security and surveillance of the territory. In addition, there were some specific applications linked to secure data transmission, with routers of the SAS family. And of course there was also the PSS - Patrol Support System. Another product which, like the SLS, has started to receive the first signs of consensus on the international markets. The “biometric” palmtop, which can read number plates and recognise electronic documents and finger prints. Apart from the version known and appreciated by the British police force, interest has also been triggered off by the “postal” version, equipped with a bluetooth connection, to read bar codes of registered letters and enhanced by a customised application for delivery of correspondence.

And there was also the demo linked to specific IT applications for the sector, like the dedicated PLS station - Production and Logistics Support system: with a simple interface and with immediate illustrations of the technicians in charge, it opened a “virtual” window onto the world of the productive processes of a modern postal administration. All was arranged in a coherent order and linked by an approach consisting of technological skills and knowledge of the processes. With the visitors who, according to their inclination and their specific interests, could choose whether to begin from the “bits”, from the “security” or from the “trolleys with the envelopes”. Always with the successful Elsag Datamat technology on show or ready to be explained. As it should be for one of the few world players with the capacity to provide answers to all the automation, logistics and security needs of the post office operators.

Form and substance, to remind everyone that the success achieved by Elsag Datamat in Italy and the world is the result of challenges met with the spirit of “know-how”. This will allow it to gain new success and market appreciation, on the long road aimed at internationalisation of the offer. Which is something that, precisely in the postal sector, has always found consensus throughout the world.

Luca Pezzoni
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