Automated Materials Handling
Warehouse Logistics and Automated Storage and Retrieval
Central Sorters for Interlibrary Delivery
Receptacles for Sorters
This video shows the layout of a central sorting operation. Note the loading dock for backing up delivery trucks. Stacks of totes are taken to the unstacker (silver unit in the center) and then each tote is stored into the huge rack in the background until it is time to sort it.
This is the PV Supa sorter at Aahrus Library. The video shows their automatic induction process. This station can be used by a human or a human can place the stack at the induction station while he or she goes around the sorter to replace empty totes and check on things.
The Aarhus Library sorts 1.7 million items each year with a 50-bin sorter configured with stacking carts for material that stays at Main and totes (stackable up to 3 high) of material for distribution to other libraries. Requires only 1-3 people to staff it (lots more to do shelving). Oh, and the library is amazing (Google Dokk1)
The 50-bin sorter at Aarhus Library has two arms with about 25 sort destinations on each arm. This is the arm for the central delivery. Items are sorted into totes. Each destination can hold up to three totes. When one tote is filled, staff press the button to lower it and add another tote on the stack. When all three totes are full (or they are done with the daily sort), the entire stack can be moved.
This is one arm of the sorter at Aarhus Library. All of the sort destinations have a ready-to-shelve cart. As they fill up, the carts can be taken directly out to the library for shelving. There are 25 sort destinations with these carts. The other arm has another 25 sort destinations for totes.
This is another view of the unloader on the PV Supa sorter at Aarhus Library (Denmark). Using this unloader, they are able to sort 1.7 million items every year (about 50 sort destinations) with just 1-3 people working the sorter at any one time. And the product is super simple without a bunch of moving parts. Kind of an elegant low tech solution.