Case study

British Library reduces lift door damage by installing light curtains

To increase safety for staff and the general public at the library, light curtains for the lift doors were installed, providing supportive visual cues and technology that minimised accidents.

The Problem

The British Library houses over 150 million items in its collection, distributed over 625km of shelf space, and over 16,000 people use the collection each day. With a total floor area of 112,000 square metres spread over 14 floors, the St. Pancras site is the largest public building to have been constructed in the UK in the 20th century.

The Solution

MEMCO’s Panachrome 3D lift door safety system was installed in lifts throughout the British Library. All public and four staff lifts were fitted with safety edges.

The 3D detection extending from the doorway means that the chance of damage to people, book trolleys and the doors themselves was greatly reduced, as the doors are triggered open from the landing. In addition, the illuminated edges clearly indicate when it is safe to enter or leave the lift and give increased confidence to lift users.

The Panachrome system combines a 154 beam, infra-red light curtain with coloured door indicators which alert passengers when the doors are opening (green) or closing (red).  The Ultraslim edges are IP65 rated and compliant with the Disabilities Discrimination Act.

The Result

“We are very pleased with the detectors – we’ve not had one negative response, and visitors have expressed positive responses to their installation. It’s a real benefit that they are DDA compliant, and if we get an edge failure now, we get a Panachrome 3D in.”

  • Gary Hall, Mechanical Handling Systems Engineer

The significant reduction of door damage has been so effective that additional Panachrome light curtains were also installed in two additional state-of-the-art book storage facilities in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire.