Intelligent Mail Package Barcode with SmartStream

DCurry

Well-known member
Is anyone using HP SmartStream Designer to generate Intelligent Mail Package barcodes? These are different from the standard Intelligent Mail barcodes that you would see on regular mail like postcards.

We're able to generate these with FusionPro, but it's doing something fancy behind the scenes JavaScript to make the barcode, but I'm trying to move this job to SmartStream. Simply linking the to the same data field is not sufficient, as the barcode looks significantly different and does not scan.
 

DCurry

Well-known member
Thanks - that looks pretty informative. I'm unsure how to apply that info to generate the barcode using SmartStream, but at least I can see what info goes into the barcode. Much appreciated!
 

namelessentity

Well-known member
We had to do an IMpB job for a client and it was an absolute nightmare. Nothing would create a scannable barcode. We tried XMPIE, Jetletter, Word (with the 128 bit barcode the ribbs site suggests). The only thing that ended up working for us was a program called IDAutomation Label Software http://www.idautomation.com/barcode-label-software/idautomation/
It is absolutely awful, and the processing speed is unbelievably slow, but again, nothing else worked and none of the postal documentation makes any #$&@! sense.

If I ever had to do it again I'd probably just pay extra and go though FedEx Smart Post since I imagine someone with FedEx is actually capable of offering support.
 

Tim-Ellis

Well-known member
I reckon you are better off with a barcode font and then doing the barcode encoding in the data in advance. But that depends on how many lines of data you are printing in each job.

Another option, far from ideal but low in cost, is you get fusion pro to generate the barcodes only. You then divide up the pdf pages and give them a unique name based up the barcode value. Then SmartStream can bring them in as variable images as long and the name of the file matches something in the data.

I've been printing barcodes on Indigos for over a decade. You need to make sure you get a good quality scan before you part with any cash on a third party solution. I've seen many a well formatted barcode fail to scan over the years. HP have never solved a single barcode scan problem for us in the past.

Good luck
 

DCurry

Well-known member
Thanks for the input, everyone.

I've thought about doing the "create barcode in FP and import as variable image into SmartStream" idea, but it would actually add steps since I'm already doing the labels in FP, and would be at odds with my goal of automating this process (we have HP Composer, which is a server-based SmartStream that takes CSVs dropped on hotfolders and merges with the InDesign template).

I may look into having my data department figure out a way to encode the data. That USPS document should help with that effort.
 

pabney

Well-known member
I don't know ANYTHING about smart stream. But, I just got certified by the post office to print these labels using XMPie with my data coming from Satori Bulk Mailer. So it can be done.
Leave it to the post office to create a difficult barcode. The issue I had was the SECOND FNC1 character that is needed in the barcode. In XMPie the first FNC1 is created just from using the GS1-128 barcode, but the second one is not and the data from Satori does not contain this function code.
I had to split my data and insert this code in the proper place to generate the barcode image from XMPie.

Hope this helps
Paul
 

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