Norcross, Ga. - February 10, 2010. ITG (Integrated Technology Group) recently completed the installation of its second sorter in the Douglas County (Colorado) Library system, a seven branch system serving nearly 240,000 residents in the suburbs of Denver. ITG's sorters were specified because of their durability, reliability and interoperability, as the library needed technology that would work with their 3M RFID infrastructure. With an annual circulation of 4.5 million items, the library relies on automation to keep up with demand, and though Douglas County has three large sorters from a prominent library materials handling vendor, it chose ITG for its second round of automated materials handling (AMH) purchases.
In 2007, Douglas County selected expensive, complex machines with features that went well beyond sorting, but they soon found themselves having to hire two in-house technicians to maintain them as response from the vendor could take up to 30 days. Extended downtimes and "spectacular book jams" that mangled items beyond repair plagued the library system. "There was no need to subject the smaller branches to the possibility of being unnecessarily out of commission due to a problem caused by over-engineering," says Richard McLain, DCL's facilities manager. "The library sorting system is the heartbeat of a library, functioning 24 hours a day, so when there is a problem it puts the entire library operation extremely far behind," he says.
ITG's industrial-grade sorters were originally developed for use in large shipping centers and catalog fulfillment warehouses, and like everything the company develops and manufactures, they are designed to "play well with others"--to work with technologies from a variety of different vendors. ITG sorters utilize software that can read 3M tag data models and provide seamless integration with Douglas County's RFID system. Perhaps most importantly, they are engineered for speed and toughness. The first ITG sorter Douglas County selected in 2008, an ITG FullSort for the Lone Tree branch, is capable of processing up to 2,000 items per hour. In January, 2010, ITG installed its new FullSort Compact 3-Bin sorter in Douglas County's Castle Pines branch where space was limited. The new FullSort Compact sorters are offered in 3 and 5-bin configurations for areas where the 2-bin ShortSort is too small and the FullSort with its nearly unlimited capacity for expansion is too large.
McLain believes nothing was lost through the absence of some of the complex features of the initial sorting systems. "There is no sense in buying a more costly machine if all the options won't be used," he says. "Complexity leads to the need for more staff attention, and that can be avoided by using ITG sorters."
About the Integrated Technology Group
Integrated Technology Group (www.integratedtek.com) develops, markets, and supports library automation technologies that empower librarians to make operations more efficient and better serve their patrons. ITG's products include patron self-checkout, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Automated Materials Handling (AMH) systems, library materials security, public computer reservation, and print management. With over 30 years experience in the library industry, ITG combines smart technology and progressive design to create standard solutions that can be easily customized to meet site-specific requirements. ITG, a division of Vernon Library Supplies, Inc., is headquartered in Norcross, Georgia.