Royal Mail CFC Asset Obsolescence Project
Today over 95% of all Royal Mail traffic is processed automatically by machines. Royal Mail operates a national fleet of 850 high speed letter sorting machines and at the heart of the Royal Mail fleet are 90 Culler Facer Cancelling (CFC) machines carrying out the following operations:
- Culls mail by size and type (separates letters from packets)
- Faces and orientates the mail in order to optically read the address
- Validates phosphorescence content in stamps and indicias
- Cancels the stamp (applies postmark)
- Prints messages on the mail
- Applies phosphorescence coding on the mail linked to the address
What was the customer need?
The CFC machines were originally installed in 1992 and had an original asset life expectancy of 12-15 years. Having exceeded 20 years asset life, the machines were reaching critical obsolescence. The machines operated on an outdated electronic control system and many mechanical and optoelectronic spares were also obsolete.
What did we do?
RM Manufacturing produced all the new control panels and mechanical components. RM Manufacturing Automation then acted as Principal Contractor, under the Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM), to project manage the machine refurbishment programme on sites across the UK in live mail processing centres without causing any disruption to mail sorting operations. Serious Engineering de-commissioned and removed from site the remaining 15 surplus machines and carried out controlled, certified machine disposal to meet environmental compliance standards.
RM Manufacturing entered into a turnkey project to work in partnership with Royal Mail Engineering to fully refurbish 75 machines; including new control systems and panels, new mechanical features, together with bringing the machines back up to PUWER compliance.
What was the outcome?
All 75 machines were successfully upgraded to time and budget requirements with zero disruption to the customers’ mail processing operation resulting in a formal commendation.