Designing an AMH System
The Lyngsoe Sort Mate™ 2000 AMH system is modular by design. It consists of a range of standard products, which can be connected in a multitude of ways to fit the needs of libraries of all sizes – and rooms in odd shapes.
To support your customer through the design process, we recommend the following steps:
Defining the needs – Patron perspective
When a library starts the process towards automating the sorting process of physical items, the starting point should be the service level, the library wants to offer the patrons or “customers”.
Framing it as a “customer journey” is a good way to initiate the process. Help the customer sketch out, how, and where they want to welcome their patrons. Automated returns (inductions) become part of their welcoming process and service, and the return process should be easy and accessible.
Should there be an exterior return/induction to allow for returns 24/7/365? If so, is it a drive-up or walk-up, which allows for wheelchairs to access?
Should the patrons be able to return items inside the library? If so, where would it be natural to place the return from the patrons’ perspective?
Often patrons will also be picking up holds/ reserved items, so consider if you can place returns and holds strategically to guide patrons through the library.
Defining the needs – Library, operational perspective
Pretty much only the imagination, space, and budget set the limits, so it is important to clarify minimum needs and aspiration. Lyngsoe sorters operate close to unattended, except when the containers at destinations need to be emptied.
Ask the questions:
- How big is your daily number of returns?
- Which categories would you like to split/sort them into?
- How often do you want to empty containers, be it totes, trolleys, or carts?
- How much staff can you or do you want to allocate to material handling?
Naturally, the more destinations, the more capacity, but if the library is not able to fulfill the aspiration year one due to budget restraints, the modularity allows you to add more later, but you should consider the available space from the beginning.
Match the two perspectives and Sketch out the Structure
Compare the two perspectives. Maybe they are a perfect match. If not, you should help the library rank the wishes and decide on the final requirements. With those in hand you can start to sketch out how you want to structure the new sorter in terms of placement, inductions, and destinations.
Making the Layout
As stated before, the Lyngsoe Sort Mate™ 2000 AMH system is modular by design. It consists of a range of standard products, which can be connected in a multitude of ways to fit the needs of libraries of all sizes – and rooms in odd shapes.
Like the actual sorting, the process starts with selecting the inductions for the system. The tunnels have a length of 800mm starting from the front, so some of the length will be inside the wall.
Modules and Conveyors can be placed in a multitude of ways. Modules have a fixed size, while several lengths of conveyors are available to be flexible to different physical surroundings.
We can separate the inductions, or inlets, into three major types: Exterior, interior, and for staff. In the Lyngsoe Sort Mate system, they would be called Library Mate™ 2100, Library Mate™ 1200, and Ergo Staff, respectively.
The more inductions for patrons, the more can be served at the same time without people having to stand in lines. You should determine, what is an acceptable service-level for the library and its patrons.
An exterior induction is potentially available 24 hours a day. It can be placed to serve as a walk-up or drive-up. If access determines that it must be installed away from the main sorting function, the distance can be bridged by conveyors. Or it can be installed as a stand-alone, and staff will bring the returned items to the sorter.
If the library needs high induction capacity, receives significant amounts of items from other branches to sort, or uninterrupted access for members of staff, a dedicated staff induction is a good choice to place on a module.
The Sort Mate™ 2000 modules are the building blocks for the sorting function. Some are used for changing the direction of an item, while others are the actual sorting destinations. The assigned destination is controlled through the Library Mate and/or Lyngsoe Sorter Controller software.
Modules and Conveyors
When designing the sorting function, you should consider the process happening around it as well. Typically, there will be a need to store full containers/receptacles, until the content can be processed, or to store empty containers nearby to quickly switch, when one runs full.
The more destinations, the finer the sorting, and the less the need to have staff allocated to handle the sorter. If placed at a distance, conveyors can connect the inductions to the space relevant for the sorting function.
As part of product safety we have the E-Stop (Emergency Stop) button, which will stop the system immediately when pushed. On the layout you just mark the placement of the E-Stop buttons with a red dot on the module or conveyor (left or right side) in accordance with safety regulations in your country.
Lyngsoe Systems’ recommendation is that there are no more than 2.1 m to the closest E-stop button anywhere in the solution.
Large-size sorting systems may require an additional power phase to be added to the design. So, if you have more than 18 modules (sum of primary and secondary sorter modules and conveyors), then please contact your Lyngsoe Systems contact person for a system design review.
You are welcome to contact us at Lyngsoe Systems for a review of any of your layouts as a quality control before submitting a bid or a purchase order.
Destinations / Containers
Many options of containers/receptacles are available for the destinations. If the library favors ergonomics for the staff a range of products are available. If basic needs are covered by traditional bins or totes/ boxes, then a foldable shelf might be relevant.
Work Smarter and Design Your Own Lyngsoe Sorter
Lyngsoe Systems is always happy to listen, advise, and design a system layout optimized to your needs and available space. Contact us today to start your journey of automating your sorting