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Canada Post Integrates New Printer Technology


Canada Post Corporation Volume Electronic Mail Printing Systems (CPC-VEM) is a print and mail service bureau operating in major cities across Canada. CPC-VEM had seven Xerox 4890 printers that between them produced 200 million page impressions per year.

The Challenge

CPC-VEM wanted to expand their business to address the needs of potential customer’s printing their documents with AFP and PostScript™ software. In order to do this, they had to replace the older technology Xerox printers. Printer capacity in each of the CPC-VEM sites had to produce the current workload and accommodate a 30% annual growth over the next two years, specifcally 78 million pieces with 207 million impressions in 2001 and 98 million pieces with 245 million impressions in 2002.

CPC-VEM needed printers that could process and print data streams that contained Xerox DJDEs and Metacode. They needed printers that could support AFP, Adobe PostScript Level 3, and formatted and unformatted ASCII and EBCDIC line data, and the solution needed to be fast. CPC-VEM would be measuring throughput rate.

The systems had to produce consistently high quality with the capability for reprint generation. Technical solutions had to incorporate the ability to reprint pages damaged after printing, as well as print job id’s on the mailpieces and produce cut sheet-insertion ready output. Suppliers could optionally identify the number of paper trays on each machine and how they could be addressed.

Support was needed for OCR font characters, optical marks, Universal Bar Codes that could be successfully read by mail insertion and postal sortation equipment and MICR E13B font matching.


IBM was selected as the printer vendor who selected Crawford Technologies PRO suite of products because they provided the fdelity, fexibility and performance that CPC-VEM was looking for. The PRO suite of products could support all required fonts and convert Xerox DJDEs and Metacode to IBM AFPDS. In addition, the transform rate was 40-50% faster than their closest competitor.

The PRO suite of products produced consistent high quality. The software incorporated the mandatory reprint functionality, job ids on mailpieces and cut sheet-insertion ready output. In addition, their tray-mapping feature allowed users to preserve paper tray addressing.

Documentum Retention Policy Services was chosen to provide lifecycle control over the archived policy documents insuring that documents were held for periods in compliance with the ICOB guidelines.


With PRO software, Canada Post was able to feed 100 – 150 Xerox LCDS and Metacode fles per day, from a potential 320 different applications, through a single copy of PRO software running on a Windows 2000 server to 8 production black and white and highlight color, cut-sheet and roll-fed IBM printers located across Canada, ranging from 90 to over 700 pages per minute, with print volumes averaging 500,000 impressions per day.

The PRO confguration initially ran on an IBM e-server X220 PC with one 866MHz Processor. It was moved to dual 866MHz Processors. The difference in speed between one and two processors was negligible.

“With PRO software, conversion times vary depending on the application, but on average a 5000 mail piece fle takes about 2 – 4 minutes to process. The most complex application, a 10,000 – 15,000 page fle, only takes about 5 minutes to process” states Jacques Lamontagne, Director, Electronic Services Marketing “We are seeing a total of between 2.5 to 3 hours processing time on PRO, but this varies – there have been days where PRO was working for 4 or more hours, on hundreds of applications.”

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