New Label System?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by nineyearsUGH, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. nineyearsUGH

    nineyearsUGH Member

    Anybody have experience with the new PAS labeling system? They are threatening to bring it to us later this year. It replaces the printed PAL label. They eliminate the scanners at the unloading doors. They add one person to the sort, and give the sorters hand held scanners, which spray an inky label onto the box.

    To prepare us for this, they are directing us not to rip the label off the pkgs when loading, but to write the position number on the side of the box. Back to the past. Of course they do not factor in that this will take more time per box.

  2. Old International

    Old International Now driving a Sterling

    After we spent all the money to add 2 positions to the belt, with dedicated computers, printers, and what not. And then lost 2 car spaces, for a deck of 4 computers to handle the pkgs that don't scan correctly. Damn we like to spend money to change.......
  3. ikoi62

    ikoi62 Member

    We had the ink scanners for about 6 weeks,then stopped using them. you couldn't read the print.then we couldn't get ink for them so now they sit on a shelf was a waste of money.
  4. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    Here in our building, the imprinters are going. However, the company will not spend the money to get ink cartridges and general upkeep. Many of them break, within a couple months of use. So basically, the shifts are forced to use them to make the numbers look good to the higher-ups (numgers show as using new technology) but the scanners themselves simply are not paying for themselves.

    ISPA > imprinter
  5. Jigawatts

    Jigawatts Member

    The printed PAL labels are great, unfortunately we only see them on parcels that have gone through DCAP. We have the ink scanners here, and from my loading experience, they are horrible. The ink is very hard to read in the dungeon that is our building, and it takes forever to replace the cartridges when the ink starts to fade.

    I would much rather have the printed PAL labels, but their unworldly "numbers" trump common sense every time.

    And they wonder why there's so many misloads.:sad-little:
  6. djkre8r

    djkre8r Member

    We used that system for 2 days! Could not read the ink on the boxes!
  7. bad company

    bad company semi-pro

    The infamous "spend a dollar to save a dime" mentality continues at UPS... gotta love it!
  8. bumped

    bumped Well-Known Member

    I was in one of the first centers to use those scanners. They do have their place though. They were nice for when there were add cuts. The hand held scanners would be used to put the new pal ink spray on. As said previously the lose ink quick, get broken easily, and they get very dirty and don't work well for long term use.
  9. Cementups

    Cementups Box Monkey

    We have had teh ink labels for a few months now. Not too bad but sometimes they smear on the plastic bags.
  10. upser_J

    upser_J New Member

    during peak i extended to the preload and had to deal with these "ink stains" as i liked calling them. as with everything you get used to it, they worked bestwhen put right onto the label... in all honesty, you get used to them, sure, u cant read one every so often. there were times when the PAL label was on there and i kept flipping the box looking for the damn "ink stain" instead, which i found rather amusing to myself
  11. this was my initial impression of them as well, and having been on them for almost a year that impression hasn't changed...they seemed built well enough at first but I was clearly mistaken on that count. Course the magenta ink doesn't help anything either...what a horrible color choice.

    I have to keep one of the old iSPAs on my line now because so many of the labels printed by those things are illegible. Those are infinitely better, sure they're clunky and have 3 pieces, but you can actually read the label it prints out every time.
  12. 8Years2Go

    8Years2Go Member

    They lasted 1 day in our building. And with all the send agains, EC's (wink wink nudge nudge) and missed pkg's, they failed to remove the prior days PAL's and the Pre-load loaded by the old sticker PAL and needless to say we had a ton of mis-loads that day, I mean Emergency Condition.
  13. HBGPreloader

    HBGPreloader Active Member

    You also have to wonder about a "new" system where the IT people qualify this "improvement" with, and I quote, "you may have a difficult time reading the label once you're in the package car...".

    Besides not being able to read the labels, one of the first complaints I heard was how uncomfortable they are to use. While this could be attributed to operator error, many users were complaining about getting blisters on their knuckles because they were dragging them across the packages to get the printer to print clearly.

    But, I don't know what's worse, the mental midgets using them or the system itself.

    Nearly a third of the time, the scanner operators don't print the label anywhere near the shipping label or, better yet, they'll print the label on an area where the label can't be read. For example, they'll print in the red field of the UPS or Granger boxes and the "label" practically disappears.

    Another third of the time, you can't read the labels because of ink smears, bad prints or clogged/empty cartridges. When I questioned the "powers that be" about this, I was told we're supposed to get 5000 "labels" out of them and the cartridges won't be changed until then.

    Oh, and did I mention that you can not read the labels once you're in a package car?

  14. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    I think BLACK ink would work well, at least better. Light red we use is hard to read on brown, and worse on boxes like harry and david.
  15. HBGPreloader

    HBGPreloader Active Member

    I was told the red ink is supposed to be invisible to the red laser light of the scanners.
    This is supposed to allow the operator to print on the shipping label and not effect the readability of the bar codes.

  16. dillweed

    dillweed Well-Known Member

    I'm a primary sorter, one of the poor suckers who wears those shakles and applies the ink stains.
    At first, we did have blisters between our fingers. The way the scanner piece rubs against your fingers can create some doozies. We were glad the first aid box was well stocked with band aids. We're now more able to adjust the things for somewhat greater comfort. Of course, we don't get to use the same one every day so it takes time to adjust the velcro for a good fit. I just smile at the pkgs flowing past me as I adjust. A piece of tape with our names on it would remedy this waste of time.

    We actually do try to get the marks on a white part of the label but some of them are full of info which we don't like to mark over. Grainger boxes stink and we have to flip the things around to get on a white spot. Plastic covered rolls are nasty and if they have a drop of water on them, look out! The next several pkgs will be smears.
    If we have time, we rip the platic and try to get the ink on the white label. If we have pkgs up the butt we just swipe the plastic and hope the loader can find it.

    Getting ink is like pulling teeth. We got smart to their tactic of taking a used one, stashing it and then giving it to someone else. I make sure they show me the darned tape that protects the cartridge heads but suspect they have figured out a way to replace it so we think we're getting a new one.

    The actual spot where the ink comes out gets clogged with cardboard dust and anything else floating around. Some people ignore it, some call a sup to fix it, some use a piece of paper to try and get it out. The ink area is, maybe, 1/8" wide and 1/2" long. I wear black t-shirts and fold the bottom over to clean it out. I also wipe of the "seeing eye" frequently during the day so reads better, or so I hope.

    They break. Sometimes they just won't scan. Sometimes all the lights go crazy and blink with no scanning possible. The remedy? Hit the clear button and hope for the best, open and close the ink door and hope for the best. If these fail, tap the thing against a piece of metal to straighten it out. I try to remain patient but once I tapped a bit too hard and the whole thing came apart. It was taped together for quite some time. They have to be sent out for repair so we're always short of good, working ones.

    What do they do with the used cartridges? The pt sups used to toss them on one of the belts but that resulted in ink stains everywhere so they now throw them on the floor. I'm not "green" freak but those things should be recycled. However, it is pretty to see the smears where the bulk carts have run over and crushed them. Proof that there IS ink left in them, it's just that the device is screwed up and doesn't seem to let the ink flow freely.

    They say there is a date on the bottom line but darned if I've ever been able to read it.

    We scan a barcode when signing in which plasters our name on every label. If we are mis-sorting or doing sloppy scans the gestapo comes up to find the culprit.

    Our sups have been under lots of pressure to make this system work and they hate it. Seems it might be a good idea if the equipment worked better. The unloaders are hassled to pound the pkgs out and we are stuck playing with these toys so everything backs up. Fine, until they start to fall off the belt and I was getting bruises on my legs from them. Now, pkgs fall, building goes down. Egress. Never fear the red button.

    Yes, they stink. But it's the company's system and we work it the best we can. The white labels were better but they were paying four or five pal gals to stand their and do nothing but paste labels. Why not let the sorters do it? It is what it is and as long as we're allowed to remain safe it just doesn't matter. Pays the same.
  17. your account seems accurate. we've had all those issues too.

    At our building we are attempting to do the best we can with them as well, more like making the best of a annoying (and permanent..until something new comes along anyway) situation.

    The disposal method you mention is different here, we DO recycle them we have a box and I guess we ship them back to HP or something. We also clean them daily in hopes that this will provide better results and it seems to be helping somewhat at least. I agree that they will never be as good as the stickers, I don't care who you are, the stickers were more legible.

    However in addition to that fact that it is ink being sprayed, I think the color of the ink has a lot to do with it as well, put simply, it sucks. Magenta would hardly be my first choice, but it was probably the cheapest choice so there you go. I've also heard rumors that if it gets on the barcode it still permits scanning by the DIAD and THAT is the reason for the color, but who knows, maybe it is maybe it isn't.

    I really think they had a good idea in theory, but some fine tuning is needed.
  18. dillweed

    dillweed Well-Known Member

    Always glad to see you westside. On the empty cartridges - I take my own printer empties to office depot and get one or two bucks credit for each. I thought of asking for those lying around to see if I could get credit for them but fear it could be twisted into an LP issue. God only knows what they're going to sink their teeth into. :happy2:
  19. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Talk to your sup. If they are being thrown away I would not see a problem with you collecting them and turning them in for the rebate.
  20. Hubrat98

    Hubrat98 New Member

    I would stop this practice immediately. Used or not, these cartridges are still UPS property and if you are found walking out of the building with them you could be terminated for theft with no "twisting" needed by security. You'd have had to turn in a lot of cartridges to make up the cost of your bennies once you were fired.