The USPS says it wants the machines to serve markets too small to require where the current massive FSS machines provided by Northruo Grumann.
The USPS has looked for someone to build small FSS machines before- this solicitation repeats one issued over a year ago. Since that solicitation was issued, Northrup Grumman has decided to get out of the business of building mail processing machinery, and has sued the USPS over its alleged mismanagement of the original FSS program.
So far only two companies have expressed interest in the new FSS project- ATR, which provides robotics equipment for the USPS, and the German automation firm IFM Efector.
All FSS Phase I machines have been deployed. These machines are very large in size and were developed to accommodate higher volume mail processing runs in our most populated flats mailing markets. A Phase II FSS machine is envisioned for use in smaller flat mail markets with a much smaller footprint that can efficiently, reliably, and accurately sort and sequence flat mail to the order in which the mail is delivered on a letter carrier’s route (Delivery Point Sequence or DPS). The USPS seeks a system which can be incrementally deployed on a national basis and provides maximum flexibility and efficiency in the DPS of flat mail within the existing USPS infrastructure for the purposes of reducing costs, absorbing growth and stabilizing postage rates.