The origin of Spanish ATMs  (1)

Many philatelists will already know what the variable value stamps or ATMs of Spain and Andorra (Spanish post) are, but maybe not many will know the origins of the self adhesive labels used to produce them. 
Here begins a series of articles about this subject.

Every year or two the Spanish Post (Correos) announces a public tender for the supply of rolls of thermal sticky labels that will be used in the franking machines.
The most recent were announced in September 2001 (516.000 rolls), December 2002 (500.000 rolls expected for 2003) and the last one in February 2004 (800.000 rolls expected for 2004 and 2005). This is a subject already dealt with elsewhere on this Web site.

The technical characteristics of the sticky thermal labels are clearly stated in the public tender invitation, along with the security and quality controls and other requirements. The tender also establishes in detail the conditions in which the rolls are to be supplied to Correos.

The rolls of labels arrive at the central depot of Correos in Madrid in packing boxes. From there they will be despatched to the different district depots, from where they will be distributed to local offices, on demand.

Unfortunately, stock rotation of the various types of rolls does not appear to be considered important, with the result that distribution of the blank ATM stamp rolls is something of a 'hit and miss' affair, with possibly only 6 or 7 of the 20 or so different models being sent out per year. This can result in the branches of Correos having the same model until stocks are used up. And once more, that poor control of the distribution of rolls of blank ATMs explains the erratic distribution to local offices of Correos.

Until now we saw 3 different types of packing boxes, corresponding to the 3 companies that have manufactured the most of the labels to date: Ovelar, S.A., Real Casa de la Moneda - F.N.M.T. and Signe, S.A.

The OVELAR boxes are of brown colour and they do not have any type of outer symbol. It's a company subcontracted by the F.N.M.T., and they manufactured many of the models until the 2002.

The boxes with rolls made by the Real Casa de la Moneda - F.N.M.T. are a white colour and clearly identified. The size is 46.50 x 24.50 x 21.00 cm.

Each box contains 32 rolls of 1900 labels. On each of the 4 sides there is a blank label showing the design.

On one of the sides there is also a sticker with the design showing (Ford T of 2001 in the example shown), the number of the rolls in the box, the general conditions of storage and the date of manufacture (February 2001).
On the other hand, the boxes with rolls made by Signe, S.A. are brown in colour and the size is 46.00 x 23.80 x 21.00 cm. 
Each box also contains 32 rolls of 1900 labels and there is a label on each side to facilitate the identification of the model.
In this case, the labels include the word NULO (NULL) in red.
On one of the sides there is a sticky card with the numbers of the rolls in the box, the general conditions for storage and the date of manufacture.
Details of the sides of the boxes with the sample null label (in this case, model T91 (99) - Pharmacy's still-life).

(Continue ...)

The origin of Spanish ATMs  | 1st. part  | 2nd. part  | 3rd. part  | 4th. part - Table

ATM Web - Spain and Latin American Postal Services:
© J. Jove - M. Sans. ATEEME. Variable value stamps study group. All rights reserved
This page was created : 30.03.04. Last updated : 18.05.04. English edition rewrited by S. Goodman (18.05.04)