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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

DNP and Fuji Logistics reduce work hours by 80% or more with library collection inspection service using robots and IC tags!

DNP All will begin offering RFID-based library collection inspection services to libraries nationwide in October 2023!
With regard to the inspection of book collections, we will develop our own robots and systems in cooperation with Fuji Logistics to significantly reduce the work time.
In addition, we will exhibit our collection inspection services for libraries, including this service, at the Library Exhibition 2023 to be held at Pacifico Yokohama from October 24 (Tue.) to 25 (Wed.), 2023.

Background and Aims of Developing an RFID-based Book Inspection Service

In library operations, the collection inspection is an important annual task to check "whether the materials are in their proper places" and "whether there are any missing materials. This inspection often involves manually reading barcodes and RFIDs attached to books, and is planned several months in advance, with the library closed for about a week. The library is closed for several months in advance, and the work is planned and carried out for about a week. The library is faced with the issue of improving efficiency, as the closure of the library causes long-term usage restrictions for users and requires a heavy workload for workers and the hiring of temporary workers.

To solve these issues, DNP, in collaboration with Fuji Logistics, has developed a library book inspection service that uses RFID to significantly reduce work time, even for materials of various thicknesses and sizes.

Status of RFID introduction and collection management operations in libraries (as of September 2023, DNP survey)

RFID Introduction Status(Percentage of all public libraries in the country)How to manage the library collectionReading speed
(If one person works for one hour)
not yet installed70% or moreManaged by barcode on the books. Manually read each book one by one using a barcode reader.About 1,000 to 1,200 books
Introduction of HF-band RFIDabout 20%HF band RFID is given to books for management. Each book is read manually using a handy reader.
*In many cases, barcodes are used for management because readers cannot be installed.
About 1,000 to 2,000 books
Introduction of UHF band RFIDLess than 10UHF RFID is given to books for management. Using a handy reader, multiple books are manually read at the same time.About 2,000 to 10,000 books *Depending on reader performance

Key points of the RFID-based library inspection service

We conduct preliminary surveys of libraries, work design and preparation work (design of collection inspection routes and procedures, securing workers and equipment, etc.), and actual collection inspection work on behalf of the library (collection inspection work - creation of collection inspection data, identification of actual items based on a list of missing books, etc.).
We propose efficient scanning methods according to the RFID usage of each library.
We also provide introduction support for libraries that have not yet introduced RFID.
Roles of each company : DNP will construct services and design equipment specifications, and provide services through DNP group companies Library Distribution Center Inc. and Maruzen Yushodo Co. Fuji Logistics will perform work verification, inspection work, and equipment development.

Reference price:Initial cost: 300,000-500,000 yen for work design; work cost: 3.5 yen/book

■HF-band RFID-compliant packaged services Provides a reading system using a: high-powered handheld reader. Dispatched workers perform the reading operation.

Number of books read per hour by one worker : Increased from 1,000 to 1,200 books to 5,000 to 10,000 books.

Working with a special work kit

Package service for UHF RFID tags:

We provide a library inspection robot equipped with a high-powered reader and a handheld reader system. Dispatched workers perform the reading operation.
Number of books read per hour by one worker : Increased from 2,000 to 10,000 books to 60,000 to 70,000 books. (In the case of one robot, one robot operator, and one worker working with a handheld reader.)
Robot weight is about 60 kg. The robot can be moved by elevator even on multiple floors.

Results of Demonstration Experiment of Collection Inspection Work

○ Results of experiments at Library A (Chiba Prefecture) using HF-band RFID
Number of books: approx. 140,000 / Period: February 13-14, 2023

reading deviceRead objectthe time requirednumber of personnel
Conventional: Handy ReaderUHF band RFID20 hours (2.5 days of operation)5 persons/day
New service: dedicated robot + high-power handheld terminalUHF band RFID3 hours2 persons/day

Future Development

Through this service, DNP will help library staff streamline their collection management operations, optimize book procurement, and improve user convenience and satisfaction. In recent years, libraries have been required to provide value as a place that connects people in the community and generates emergent activities, and DNP will train staff and develop services for this purpose.

DNP is also developing a system that automatically acquires reading history in the library using UHF RFID. This will make it possible to visualize the genres and themes of the books most frequently read in the library, leading to more efficient book selection. DNP aims to achieve cumulative sales of 1 billion yen by fiscal 2027 through RFID-based library management services.
*1 The Gaihori Bookstore in DNP Plaza (Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo), an open innovation facility operated by DNP, has been conducting a demonstration experiment using this system since April 2023.

name of companyDai Nippon Printing Co.
EstablishmentJanuary 1894
Location1-1-1 Ichigaya Kagamachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
representativeYoshinori Kitajima
uniform resouce locatorhttps://www.dnp.co.jp/
name of companyFuji Logistics Co.
EstablishmentFebruary 15, 1975
Location10-1, Mita 3-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073, Japan
representativeSaburo Naraba
Business OverviewGeneral logistics industry
uniform resouce locatorhttps://www.fujibuturyu.co.jp/
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