3M Offers Space-Saving Automated Materials Handling System

DENVER—3M Library Systems has devised a new space-saving automated materials handling system for libraries called the Intelligent Return and Sorter System.

A three-bin version of the system is designed for its small footprint, yet able to provide new options for proposed and existing libraries. A lean configuration can fit within most conventional book-drop rooms.

“Our research found that most librarians want the dramatic productivity and customer service gains that can be achieved with automated materials handling,” said Rory Yanchek, 3M Track and Trace Solutions general manager. “More than 60 percent of libraries didn’t have the space needed to accommodate available systems.”

The Intelligent Return and Sorter System allows libraries to install an automation system within their existing space at a reasonable cost, while providing librarians and their architects more flexibility in designing and constructing new buildings.

The system can process both radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and barcodes, relaying data directly to the integrated library system. It can also reactivate electromagnetic security strips, such as Tattle-Tape Security Strips from 3M.

The system also comes with an optional printer for receipts and two choices for the user interface on the induction unit. The Classic version provides a simple, intuitive interface with buttons to start the induction and, if desired, print a receipt. The Plus version comes with an LCD touch screen that can provide guidance in several languages. The induction unit comes in three styles: drive-up, exterior walk-up and interior walk-up.

The RFID system comes with Tag Data Manager software which provides a path forward to NISO recommended tag data formats. These new standards will enhance the interoperability and flexibility of library RFID systems and help make the technology even more valuable.

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