Smart Automation Out of the Box
Automation through standardization in cash centers is a top priority for central banks and commercial operators. The NotaTracc® tray, a green plastic box, has the potential to change not only the world of cash centers radically, but also the entire cash cycle, just as the freight container once revolutionized global logistics.
Over 50 years after their invention, standard containers continue to be very cost-efficient. They speed up global flows of goods since goods no longer need to be transshipped en route, allowing companies and logistics service providers to enjoy substantial savings in terms of both time and money. As a result, there are interesting prospects for the cash logistics sector, in which many activities remain manual, obstructing the preference for more efficient and more secure processes.
In the NotaTracc® system, G+D has transferred the basic principles behind the freight container to the cash cycle, achieving increased automation through comprehensive standardization. At the core of the innovative solution is a green plastic box: the NotaTracc® tray. In combination with the NotaTracc® loading module, the banknote container helps to automate processes for sorting and quality assurance in cash centers and beyond, in collaboration with partners within the cash cycle..
Standardization: increased efficiency in the cash center and beyond
“Standard containers offer many advantages in logistics,” explains Christian Huber, High-Speed Processing Business Development Director at G+D Currency Technology, adding that this also applies to workflows in cash handling and that standardized containers make the transport and storage of cash more efficient. Huber goes on to say that NotaTracc® from G+D takes this a step further: “Picking robots are used for handling loose banknotes securely, enabling a comprehensive cash logistics automation solution.”
Nonetheless, automated processing is not an end in itself. “We are proceeding step by step with our modular solutions, where practical for the individual customers and their cash centers.” Close cooperation with customers makes this possible, says Huber, adding that the goal is to improve efficiency, as well as process security and working conditions for employees. For example, NotaTracc® eliminates outlay for banding and further shrink wrapping larger packets of banknotes, in addition to unpacking and disposing of packaging materials elsewhere. “Combining the resulting optimized material flow with software solutions such as Track&Trace, including applications that go beyond cash centers, could help customers develop new service level- and transaction-based business models,” contends the G+D manager. Monitoring flow of cash is as convenient as tracking an online order.
Benefits for cash center operation
How automated processing works in cash centers with NotaTracc®: The NotaTracc® L loading module fills the BPS® M3, BPS® M5 or BPS® M7 high-speed sorting machines. During this process, a gripper removes the banknotes from the container in stacks, and places them in the BPS® singler before they run through the sorting machine up to a speed of 33 banknotes per second. The individual trays can be filled outside of the processing room and then transported to the loading module in the NotaTracc® Shuttle or on pallets. The benefits for cash center operators and employees:
Sorting machines can be operated by fewer staff.
NotaTracc® trays can be stacked on the loading module in such a way that the input side only needs to be refilled around three times per hour – meaning that the operator can also work on other tasks.
Employees are less affected by the noise levels of the sorting machine and by dust.
From the cash center to the cash cycle
Huber also added that there are further opportunities if the trays are used not only in the cash center, but also in collaboration with partners within the cash cycle. This solution allows commercial operators to accept deliveries of loose, unsorted banknotes from their smaller branches in NotaTracc® trays, and the operator’s tasks would be limited to cashing up. All sorting takes place in the main branch – and this is fully automated using the NotaTracc® loading module and the BPS® M3 or BPS® M5.
With the automated solution, central banks would no longer expect deposits as packed bundles of banknotes, but rather as loose notes in NotaTracc® trays. The trays are only opened directly on the NotaTracc® loading module in the central bank’s cash center, and the banknotes processed using the BPS® M7, reports Huber: “This way of working is suitable for all typical central bank styles – whether these are delegated, in which case only unfit cash is delivered to the central bank, or other central bank styles in which the central bank itself assesses the fitness of the banknotes for circulation.”
Benefits of the automated cash cycle
New collaboration models can form, both within and between companies.
Collaboration becomes more secure, since fewer people handle the cash.
Packaging and unpackaging banknotes is no longer necessary.
Multiple sorting is no longer required. For example, a central bank can accept more efficient, larger deposits in mixed denominations.
Specialization becomes possible; not all tasks need to be completed at all locations, which creates potential for efficiency.
Simple and secure: NotaTracc® tray
The NotaTracc® tray was developed specially for the secure transport and efficient handling of banknotes in automated cash center processes. The compartments of the plastic box are designed in such a way that employees and machines can easily insert and remove the banknotes. Each tray has a unique identification number, which can be read by a barcode or RFID reader. For example, when the trays are being filled this ID, the value of the contents, and the ID of the seal with which the transparent cover is secured, can be saved as records in a cash management system such as Compass VMS®. This means that the tray is ready for storage in a vault or transportation to the next process step. It is only opened again when it has arrived at the machine for processing. Currently, all sorted notes are banded and often packaged further into bundles – at least for the moment. “We are already considering packing the sorted notes into trays automatically,” reveals Christian Mitterhuber, Director of Product Management for High-Speed Systems at G+D Currency Technology. “For example, it makes more sense to provide loose banknotes rather than bundles for filling ATMs – meaning that the NotaTracc® Tray will become even more important in this area.”
The NotaTracc® T transport box and the NotaTracc® L loading module form the core of the NotaTracc® solution for the secure transport and efficient handling of banknotes in automated cash centers. The optional additional components include a tray holder to make manual filling more ergonomic, and RFID tags for tracking the trays. The NotaTracc® Shuttle consists of special metal containers with wheeled bases, in which multiple trays can be transported and stored securely. The NotaTracc® Shuttle modular component also includes a AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle).
A Vision Turns into Reality
The case of GSA Geldservice Austria and LOOMIS Austria shows how such time-consuming manual process steps can be eliminated with the help of automated systems such as NotaTracc®.