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Cool tool

Kansas employee’s idea saves time, boosts processing

KC innovation
Chuck Vellar, a mail processing equipment mechanic at the Kansas City, KS, Network Distribution Center

Chuck Vellar knew there had to be a better way.

Vellar — a mail processing equipment mechanic with 33 years of postal experience — fixes machines at the Kansas City, KS, Network Distribution Center (NDC).

One machine, the Automated Package Processing System (APPS), scans and sorts as many as 9,500 Priority Mail parcels and bundles an hour.

Not long ago, Vellar realized he could reduce the machine’s repair time and boost its parcel processing rates by creating a tool to make it easier to install replacement parts.

“I thought of several designs before I finally put one together,” he said. “It not only saves time, it’s also safer to use.”

Vellar’s tool allows him and other mechanics to rapidly replace slats, carriage assemblies and other parts.

The tool is an example of the Postal Service’s efforts to better leverage employees’ skills and talents.

Maintenance Operations Supervisor John Martin said Vellar’s contribution reflects his dedication to efficiency.

“He shares his knowledge with other mechanics as well, and his initiative and self-motivation make him a valued member of the NDC maintenance operation team,” Martin said.

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