Setting up dvds as a set (or never opening them again)

3 Jun

Today I can actually talk about something we have done at Melb Uni.

photo of dvd with RFID tags

photo of dvd with RFID tags

As with most lending returns and shelving areas, our staff have a LOT of manual handling to do. That used to include opening every DVD that was returned to see if the borrower had remembered to put the right dvd in the case! Annoying; plus intensive use of wrists in a repetitive strain type movement. Our ERC library holds the Media Collection, and come Friday they function as the campus VideoEzy (but free!), so LOTS of opening and closing of dvds.

On top of that we had a security problem with many of our prize DVDs disappearing throughout the year. Initially we considered those cases where you have to lock/un-lock manually, but that is just another form of manual handling. So the acquisition of a new automated returns sorter (more on that in a forthcoming post) allowed us more options.

We purchased an automated returns sorter that can accept either barcodes or RFID tags. Then we put each DVD into a 3M lockable case, with a RFID D4 (big white square) on the case, and a CD8 (white round ‘doughnut’ on centre) on the actual DVD. These 2 tags are programmed on the 3M RFID conversion station/pad as a “set”.

Now when you check in a DVD the automated returns sorter checks
– is this the RIGHT CASE and DVD for the set? If not it pops it back out to the borrower with a little message “Problem with media item. Check that correct disc is in case“.
– does this case have a DVD in it all? If not it pops back out to the borrower again. The same message is used for both scenarios “Problem with media item. Check that correct disc is in case”.

If you have managed to return your dvd in the right case, it accepts it, returns it and pops it in a bin. Then our staff still have to manually swipe them through the relocking mechanism (it’s magnetic and currently set right on the side of the DVD returns bin) but no further checking is required, onto a trolley and back upstairs.

VERY EXCITING – well for lending and manual handling warriors like me anyway : – )

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8 Responses to “Setting up dvds as a set (or never opening them again)”

  1. justgirlwithshoes June 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    At the least the days of rewinding videos is out… now we just need the monkeys (you know, the ones with wings) to swipe the dvds through the security thingummy and fly them to the shelves 🙂

    • restructuregirl June 3, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

      Oh I HAD forgotten that! Sitting with the tape spool going for hours.
      Hey one of my June posts will be me getting far too excited (I’ll put an R rating on the post) about robot retrieval systems – so the monkeys are not far away you know!

  2. Penny June 3, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    RFID is great – I wish we had it!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 5 bin Automated returns system « Creative Circ - June 4, 2010

    […] we hear about overseas (and may see soon at Macquarie). It’s not even the flying monkeys that girlwithshoes teased me about and I secretly believe could still happen one […]

  2. RFID – Do you have it? « Creative Circ - June 19, 2010

    […] blogged earlier about how we are using RFID media tags, along with a ARS (Automated Returns System), to remove the […]

  3. RFID – Do you have it? « Creative Circ - June 19, 2010

    […] blogged earlier about how we are using RFID media tags, along with a ARS (Automated Returns System), to remove the […]

  4. RFID and Smart Shelves! « Creative Circ - June 19, 2010

    […] I blogged earlier about how we are using RFID media tags, along with a ARS (Automated Returns System), to remove the manual handling we had with our dvds. They are high use items, and have to be opened each time they are returned to make sure they have the correct dvd in them. Now RFID tags store information about matching case and dvd as a set, and the automated returns system checks them on return. Removing manual checking for staff! […]

  5. RFID and DVDs – a work in progress « Creative Circ - July 19, 2010

    […] Jul As posted earlier Melbourne University had been looking for a way to tag matching dvds and cases, to reduce manual […]

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