Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Automated Container Identification System
Oak Ridge has developed an automated container identification system, SmartShelf™, which monitors the inventory in an active storage area. As an inexpensive method, SmartShelf™ automatically maintains surveillance of the containers; documents any container movements by time, date, and personnel; and denies access to unauthorized personnel into the storage area.
Using a standard modular telephone wire and jacks, SmartShelf™ connects an electronic identifier from a container to a controller. The controller uses firmware to detect the additions or removals of containers, recognizes alarm conditions, performs self-testing, and communicates the data to a host computer via an RS-485 serial communication line. With a maximum of 128 electronic identifiers connected to a controller and a maximum of 32 controllers connected via a single RS-485 line, a single host computer can track 4,096 containers.
Oak Ridge’s current inventory system requires a two-person inspection team to enter the storage area. The team uses portable barcode readers to scan labels, identify containers, and gather data for loading onto a local personal computer. SmartShelf™ will improve inventory accuracy, eliminate manual searches, allow 100% inventory of stored material instead of random sampling, reduce labor costs, decrease inventory time, and eliminate radiation exposure to personnel. The cost per container is less than $10.
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