Standard Test Methods for U.S. Postal Service Optical Measurements for Small Areas (Withdrawn 2011)
These test methods are to be used to determine the suitability of mailpieces for processing on automation equipment such as optical character readers and bar code readers and sorters. These test methods can be used to test finished mailpieces bearing address information or POSTNET bar codes, or both, as well as materials to be used in mailpiece construction.
The test methods to be described will measure parameters relevant to machine readability such as the reflectance of the mailpiece background and printed areas. Specifically these parameters will be measured to determine acceptability in accordance with postal requirements for mailpieces submitted for automation discounts in accordance with the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM).
1.1 These test methods deal with the measurement of optical properties important to automatic equipment used by the United States Postal Service, such as optical character recognition (OCR) readers and barcode readers. These test methods can be used to examine finished mailpieces bearing address information, as well as the unconverted materials intended to be subsequently used in mailpiece construction. These test methods are limited to the use of a single instrument, the U.S. Postal Service Envelope Reflectance Meter Model 2 (ERM-2), designed for use with mailpieces and materials intended for mailpiece construction such as paper and paper-like synthetics and inks.
1.2 These test methods cover examination of small areas, measuring 0.152 by 0.254 mm (0.006 by 0.010 in.). This enables measurement of the reflectance characteristics of regions as small as the inked portion of a single printed character or a single bar in a barcode pattern.
1.3 These test methods deal with the measurement of four different optical properties important to automatic mail handling, as follows:
1.3.1 Background Reflectance (see )These test methods cover the determination of the relative reflectance factor of small areas of a specimen that do not contain printing or apparent show-through of printing, and so are representative of the base material.
1.3.2 Print Reflectance Difference and Print Contrast Ratio(see )These test methods characterize the difference in reflectance between the envelope material and the characters printed upon the envelope with ink.
1.3.3 Print Show Through (see )These test methods characterize the difference in reflectance between the envelope material backed with an unprinted insert and the envelope material examined in a region where it covers a printed character on the insert or a character printed on the back side of the envelope material itself.
This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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