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Subject: Hanel lean-lifts

Hanel lean-lifts

From: Mike Hodgson <hodgsonm>
Date: Friday, February 10, 2006
We are in the process of building a new record office and have
reached the tendering stage for contractors to do the design and
build. One of the companies tendering for the contract has come up
with an unusual solution to the problem of storage using vertical
storage towers The system is called a lean-lift and is manufactured
by a German Company Hanel <URL:>  (this is
the UK distributor who would be supplying us).

The way the system works is that our records would be loaded onto
shelves in 19 eight metre tall towers and all their locations are
fed into a computer. When an item is required you type in the
accession number and the shelf which contains the item is slid out
and brought down a central shaft where it then slides out to an
access point. Each tower would maintain its own environment
(temperature and humidity) and its own fire suppressant system,
Inergen gas.

Advantages :

    1.  This system could save over 1/3 the floor space required for
        normal compact shelving

    2.  Only the towers would need to have controlled environments
        not whole rooms

    3.  Retrieval at the push of a button


    1.  Eight metre towers: Preliminary discussions have been  made
        about how we could empty these after a disaster which
        rendered the electrical system inoperable. The casing could
        be replaced with panels which would allow access to the
        shelves and walkways could be built round the towers,
        although how easy it would be to get material down to ground
        level is another question

    2.  Reliability: this is a quite sophisticated piece of
        machinery relying on computer programs, electric motors
        (these can be placed out side the towers) and sensors for
        the system to work. It has been pointed out that several
        banks use this system for safety deposit boxes and an
        unreliable system would be as bad for business for them as
        it would be for an archives. I have also visited an RAF base
        where they service military air craft and use this system
        for storing spare parts, they seemed very happy with the
        reliability of the system

We would not think of preceding with a system like this without it
meeting BS5454:2000 (the British standard for the storage of
archival material) or without it being approved by the relevant
professional bodies.

What I would like to know is have any archives, libraries or museums
installed a similar system; if so we would be very interested to
talk to them. Or, has any one looked at this system and decided
against it (again, we would be very interested to talk to them).

Michael Hodgson
Glamorgan Record Office
Glamorgan Building
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NE

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:38
                 Distributed: Monday, February 20, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-19-38-014
Received on Friday, 10 February, 2006

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