The Malmö City Library (www2.malmo.stadsbibliotek.org) in Sweden, has tapped FKI Logistex (Aarhus, Denmark) to install a fully automated item handling and sorting system to strengthens the city library's commitment to improve services available to its users by offering advanced self-service capabilities and quicker and more accurate shelving.
The FKI Logistex solution uses three of its Library Mate self-service check-in kiosks to automate the returns process for library items in circulation. A cross-belt Compact Sorter, augmented by FKI Logistex Ergo Carts ergonomic book carts and volume containers, automatically sorts checked-in books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes for easy re-shelving.
The Malmö City Library chose the solution because it reduces operating costs and offers enhanced features not available with manual systems or competing automated solutions. The new system reduces construction costs and eliminates the need for greenfield expansion as the entire system will be integrated into the existing facility.
When library users approach one of the three FKI Logistex Library Mate check-in kiosks, a flat-panel touch-screen display asks them if they would like to begin a return transaction. Once acknowledged, users are instructed to begin feeding items into an opening on the kiosk counter. Built-in scanners identify the items and notify the library information system, which advises the sortation system of the final destination. A conveyer located under a clear covering in the floor transports the items to the sortation room.
In the sortation room, the FKI Logistex Compact Sorter gently sorts the items and automatically stacks them in the FKI Logistex Ergo Carts. Books, CDs, DVDs, and other items are loaded onto their respective cart with their spine or label facing outwards so that the title can be easily read for re-shelving. As the Ergo Cart is loaded, the bottom shelf begins to automatically descend, ensuring gentle discharge by minimizing the distance the items have to drop.
When a cart is full, a lamp is automatically illuminated to indicate that the items are ready for re-shelving and the cart should be replaced. A library employee then re-shelves the items on the cart, taking advantage of the Ergo Cart's ergonomic frame and low-rolling-resistance wheels, which reduce the force required to move the cart. Once at the appropriate re-shelving point, the Ergo Cart's wheels lock in place and its bookshelf is raised to waist height, eliminating any unnecessary bending or lifting by the staff.
FKI Logistex Offers the Malmö City Library Enhanced Design Features
The FKI Logistex Compact Sorter sorts small, fragile, or delicate items at a rate of up to 12,000 items per hour. The sorter's cross-belts are powered by an inductive energy-transfer system, which minimizes maintenance costs and increases equipment life by eliminating mechanical contact and reducing the number of moving parts. The sorter also features an infrared communication system for data transfer to and from each cross-belt, ensuring accurate sorting and tracking.
To eliminate battery-changing downtime, each FKI Logistex Ergo Cart automatically recharges its onboard power supply while it is locked onto the sorter. Library staff also have the ability to remotely monitor the system and access each Library Mate kiosk via an intranet or extranet link.
The new sortation system at the Malmö City Library is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of March.
Source: FKI Logistex