Wednesday 2 March 2011

New Counter 'Post & Go' stamps at Stampex last week

Royal Mail are trialling a new counter-based stamp printer, and one was installed at Spring Stampex in London last week. 

Filled with Machin Faststamps, the Hytech Postal Vision (HPV) machine was operated at the Royal Mail counter, and dispensed 'collector' strips of 5, one of each value.  But late on the opening day somebody discovered that it could also be set to dispense a strip of 6 - which would have been very useful had they switched to Birds pictorial Faststamps.  (You can see the machine on the blog)

This is the strip, together with the receipt - only strips of 5 mixed were produced, with a receipt after each strip:

Although the labels look very similar to the Wincor-Nixdorf (WN) ones, the shape of the 0 is different, and the spacing of the numeric code at the foot is also different (WN on top, HPV below):

The "Branch Code" shows the year (002011), as for all event-based machines, and the machine number (22) is two digits rather than 1).  Possibly because each strip is a single session (ie you cannot at present order 99 labels, the P&G maximum), the session number (002699) is 6 digits.  The style of the figure 1 on the data line is most noticeably different.

The base stamp, printed by Walsall with two phosphor bands, appears to be from the same stock.

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