Utah State University Library Automates Storage/Retrieval of 1.5 Million Books

June 17, 2005

SALT LAKE CITY–June 16, 2005–An 80-foot-tall Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) from Daifuku America Corporation is helping Utah State University reclaim floor space in its Merrill-Cazier Library and provide students, faculty and staff with automated access to its collection of more than 1.5 million books and journals. Utah State University selected Daifuku America Corporation, a material handling equipment manufacturer and warehouse management software provider, to design and install the L-700 Unit Load AS/RS.

Utah State University, like many other colleges and universities across the nation, is challenged with a growing collection of books and a finite amount of space. Though the library is new construction, the project was approved by Utah’s legislature as replacement space meaning that the new structure needed to fit within the same footprint. As additional square footage was not a possibility, Utah State University considered the alternative of off-campus storage or dense storage and selected dense storage to keep the collection on campus and conveniently accessible to students, faculty and staff.

“An AS/RS was the ideal solution for the library and Daifuku America Corporation’s ability to customize the system to our specific needs made it the right partner for us,” said Dr. Linda Wolcott, vice provost for Libraries and Instructional Support at Utah State University. “We are pioneering with Daifuku America Corporation to house and deliver our collection in a new and unique way. Rather than a traditional AS/RS bin system where sorting would be defined by size, Daifuku America Corporation’s engineers worked with us to develop a customized bookcase system that enables us to shelve volumes according to Library of Congress classifications. This bookcase system is helping us preserving the ability for faculty and students to browse by topic, an ability that they highly value.”

The AS/RS, combined with RFID barcode technology, will improve service to students by offering more quick and easy access to library materials.

With the new system, students and faculty can query titles from a desktop computer within the library, check availability and then request the book or journal be retrieved from the five-story warehouse located within the library. One of three automated cranes will travel across vertical and horizontal tracks and pull the specified bookcase from the AS/RS and deliver it to the circulation area for the librarian to complete the process of pulling the requested book for pick up by the patron. The entire process is expected to take as little as two minutes.

The L-700 Unit Load can travel up to 328 horizontal feet and 164 vertical feet per minute, the AS/RS offers:

    – Minimal noise during operation, making it ideal for libraries, medical buildings and other environments where low noise levels are necessary;
    – Flexible, modular designs, enabling the system to be customized to any space or layout;

    – Scalability, ensuring the system will keep pace with an organization’s growth; and a
    – Sturdy weight capacity, capable of carrying up 1,000 pounds.
The L-700 Unit Load is one of the three AS/RS series available from Daifuku America Corporation.

The library and AS/RS installation is scheduled for completion fall 2005. Utah State University is the first higher education institution in Utah to install an AS/RS in a campus library. In the future, the university may add a fourth crane to the system.

“We congratulate Utah State University on being the first higher education institution in the state to deploy this significant service advancement and look forward to continuing to support Dr. Wolcott and the other university leaders in accomplishing their service and technology goals for the new library,” said John King, vice president of marketing and sales at Daifuku America Corporation.

Daifuku America Corporation will be showcasing its AS/RS products at the American Library Association Conference in Chicago’s McCormick Place, June 25-28, 2005 in Booth #4506. In addition to Utah State University, Daifuku America Corporation has an AS/RS library installation in Tokyo and more than 15,000 commercial, retail, pharmaceutical and wholesale food industry installations around the globe.

About Utah State University
Serving nearly 24,000 students, the Logan, Utah-based University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in more 200 majors through its seven colleges including agriculture; business; education and human services; engineering; humanities, arts and social sciences; natural resources and science. US News and World Report voted the college among the top 25 Most Innovative Colleges in the nation and in the top six of colleges of education for six years running.

About Daifuku American Corporation
Daifuku America Corporation, the North American affiliate of Daifuku Co., Ltd., is the leading material handling equipment and software provider for the automotive, factory automation, warehousing and semiconductor industries. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, its Salt Lake City, Utah office houses engineering, sales support and service operations for warehousing/distribution and semiconductor manufacturing. Daifuku America Corporation’s equipment and software solutions are used by thousands of food, electronics, retail, clothing, books, aerospace, semiconductors, flat panel displays, and automobile manufacturing customers around the world. For information on its full range of warehouse management software, conveyors, sortation systems, transport vehicles, order-picking systems, storage buffers, and transport systems visit www.warehouse-rx and www.daifukuamerica.com. Daifuku Co., Ltd. is headquartered in Osaka, Japan and is traded on the Nikkei stock exchange.

Daifuku America Corporation, the Daifuku logo, and Warehouse Rx are trademarks or registered trademarks of Daifuku or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries.

Press Contacts:
Brenda Clemetson
Daifuku America Corporation

Stephanie Miller
Daifuku America Corporation Public Relations
801-487-4800 x107