Automatic storage and retrieval system and method

Registers – Systems controlled by data bearing records – Credit or identification card systems


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235375, G06K 500




A system and method for automatically storing bar coded elements such as containers for electronic components in storage bins such as drawers in a cabinet and for providing access to only the drawer containing a desired element substantially eliminates human error and increases reliability in the handling and processing of these elements and reduces the cost of inventory management and control. The storage and retrieval system includes a bar code reader coupled to a controller which, in turn, is coupled to a plurality of storage cabinets. Each storage cabinet includes a plurality of drawers each coupled to the controller via the combination of an electrical interface and a mechanical drive. Reading of the bar code on an element or on an apparatus into which the elements are deposited for processing or installation into the controller automatically opens a drawer associated with that particular component. Following either deposit of the coded element into the drawer or its removal therefrom, the drawer is manually closed by an operator and remains locked to prevent unauthorized or erroneous access to the contents of the drawer until that code is again read into the controller. Access to a given drawer is prevented so long as any other drawer is open and only that drawer associated with a given coded element is open following reading of the bar code thereon in eliminating the possibility of element handling errors.

patent: 3800284 (1974-03-01), Zucker


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