FBO: Badge Reader Terminals To Support New Mail Processing Visibility Effort

The USPS is seeking information and to pre-qualify interested parties capable of manufacturing badge readers in support of a new mail operations visibility effort.

Newman-badgeThe USPS is considering deployment of a mail processing visibility system that can collect predefined location data and centrally depict associated staff assignments in various views to assist in better scheduling personnel resources and managing equipment. A key element of the proposed system is employee badge reader terminals located at various operational locations within the plant. When an employee scans their badge, their location is identified to the central system that can then identify the machine or operation on which they are working.

The USPS currently uses a facility enterprise-wide physical access control system (ePACS) based on employee badges that are unique to each employee (or contractor) and read using near-field badge readers. The USPS intent is for the new visibility system to use the same security badges and the ability to accept future badge upgrades to this technology.

The badge reader terminals for this visibility effort will be mounted on or near various machines and manual operations and must be capable of reading current and future badge technologies as well as provide an interface and feedback conducive to the plant environment.

The USPS anticipates a badge reader terminal national deployment ranging from 5,000 to 25,000 units.

The ideal mail processing badge reader terminal is a device that features a clearly visible display (color preferred) that is easily programmable to reflect clear on-screen direction and selection capabilities, selectable pushbuttons for programming to make the selection, and an internal near-field badge reader. The terminal must be capable of wireless and wired communication. In case of power and/or communication loss, the unit shall have onboard memory to maintain data until communication is restored. The USPS requires that the hardware provides reliable and continuous performance in a “rugged environment” subjected to rough handling by operators, continuous operational use, vibration and shock. Further requirements are provided below.

General Requirements:

  1. Multifunction badge reader internal to the terminal capable of reading
    a) 125 KHz PROX cards (HID compatible up to 37-bits). These are the current employee badges used by USPS.
    b) 13.56 MHz UID smart cards: Mifare DESFire EV1, ISO14443A. These are planned as the future USPS badges.
  2. Programmable LCD color display.
    a) Sufficient brightness for installations ranging from well- to poorly-lit areas.
    b) 4.3 inch minimum diagonal (e.g. 3.74 x 2.12 inches)
    c) VGA or higher quality
    d) USPS will consider a touch panel display that could then be programmed to be used for operator selections. It must be capable of operation with a gloved hand. Programmable push buttons described below are required.
  3. Programmable push buttons to be used to select choices presented in display or for other purposes.
    a) Minimum of three (3)
    b) Capable of operation with gloved hand
  4. Memory
    a) Internal memory capable of internal or external expansion
    b) Sufficient capacity to buffer 500 transactions to accommodate network connection issues.
  5. Operating System (optional)
    a) Industry standard such as Windows Embedded CE , Linux, etc.
  6. Networking
    a) Wireless capable. Alternative technologies will be considered such as

    i) 802.11 technology (note that USPS has concerns about system conflict and security)
    ii) 900 MHz, IEEE 802.15.4, ZigBee Pro/ZigBee protocol.

    b) Provide a 10/100 base Ethernet port

  7. Power
    a) Various power options will be considered. These could include interface to an external power adapter, power provided via a conduit installation and power over Ethernet.
  8. Dimensions
    a) A small form factor is desired.
  9. Construction
    a) Rugged enclosure capable of withstanding shock and vibration typical of an industrial factory.
    b) Enclosure sealed to provide protection within a dust environment composed primarily of paper fiber.
  10. Mounting
    a) Must mount to a standard double gang junction box
    b) Capable of mounting to a flat vertical surface that can be up to 30 degrees from vertical and horizontal surfaces.
  11. Environmental
    a) Mail processing badger readers will be installed within the buildings and therefore experience temperature and humidity typical of factory conditions.

Source: Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities

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