Browse Prior Art Database

Drop Tube Gravity Feed System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000106117D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-20
Document File: 8 page(s) / 339K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cabibi, BJ: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a drop tube gravity feed system for material handling which improves product density per square foot, material flow, inventory control, process throughput, linear space utilization and separate stocking for pick and pack operations.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 19% of the total text.

Drop Tube Gravity Feed System

      Disclosed is a drop tube gravity feed system for material
handling which improves product density per square foot, material
flow, inventory control, process throughput, linear space utilization
and separate stocking for pick and pack operations.

      The drop tube material handling concept is a stand-alone method
that can be implemented in a modular format.  The intention is to
minimize any implementation impact to existing operations, such as
the manufacturing or distribution function during installation.

      Although the method described herein is a stand-alone material
handling facilitator, it is also intended to work with bar code
systems by attaching identification bar codes to each tube, the
carriers and the product packaging to record the inputs and outputs
of product as it flows through the manufacturing and/or distribution
facility.  A number of variations are possible to use this material
handling system concept with a computer based inventory system.  The
premise is that the drop tube concept can be used as a manual system,
a semi-automated system or an automated system.

      The drop tube concept is an attempt to satisfy the need to
improve material handling pick operations using a FIFO material
handling system which can be installed in a modular fashion to assure
the minimization of impact to existing operations during the
installation cutover process.

      This concept accommodates the use of drop tube carriers for
products where the product requires protection from being damaged.
The drop tube carrier concept is designed to handle product which is
processed in consumer package shelf boxes, hanger products or carton
products.  This concept would also accommodate the flow of product
without a carrier when the product itself does not require damage
avoidance (i.e., poly-bag items).  Single piece product could be
loaded into the drop tube from a mezzanine or second floor with the
use of a drop tube funnel accessory specifically designed for
facilitating the stock put-away process.

      The enclosed figure illustrates the overall drop tube concept
and concept the associated carrier, carton, and bulk handling
methods.  The drop tube is designed to handle product requiring a
carrier or individual package product.  The carriers illustrated in
this disclosure where pertinent to a specific application in the
apparel industry.  But the carriers could be modified by design to
accommodate any number of configurations of product.  In addition, to
individually packaged products, there is also the ability to handle
products which do not require any packaging for damage avoidance.
The individual piece product, packaged or unwrapped, could be
deposited into the drop tube through a drop tube funnel.

The remainder of this article describes the implementation of the
drop tube concept.

      The drop tube concept lends itself to an order picking process
which would...