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1. (WO2008061253) SYSTÈME ET PROCÉDÉ DE STOCKAGE, DE GESTION DES STOCKS ET DE SÉCURITÉ
Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

CLAIMS
What is claimed is:
1. A system for storing and retrieving items within a plurality of compartments for holding items, the system comprising:
a frame having a plurality of support members defining at least two vertical compartment position columns, the at least two vertical compartment position columns being adjacent to one another, each vertical compartment position column having at least two compartment positions, each of the plurality of compartments adapted to be positioned in a respective compartment position, wherein at least one of the compartment positions of at least one of the vertical compartment position columns defining a loading/unloading position,
means for moving and controlling the movement of each of the plurality of compartments from a respective current compartment position to a next compartment position, each of the plurality of compartments being removeably attached to at least a portion of the means for moving; and,
an inventory management application configured for tracking the inventory of the items in each of the plurality of compartments.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein each compartment comprises an RPED tag for use in tracking which position of each the compartments within the system.
3. The system of claim 1 wherein each item within each compartment comprises an RFID tag for use in tracking which compartment each item is located within.
4. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
an interface configured for receiving a request to move one of the plurality of compartments to the loading/unloading position, wherein the means for controlling the movement determines the current position of the one of the plurality of compartments, and wherein the means for controlling the movement communicates a movement signal to at least a portion of the means for moving, for moving the one of the plurality of compartments to the loading/unloading position.
5. The system of claim 4 wherein the interface is further configured for receiving an access control identifier, wherein the means for controlling the movement determines whether access should be granted to control the movement of the plurality of compartments, and wherein the means for controlling the movement communicates an access response to the interface for providing the determination of whether access has been granted.

6. The system of claim 5 wherein the access control identifier is one of a key, a numerical code, a password, and a biometric identifier.
7. The system of claim 6 wherein the biometric identifier is one of a scanned eye image, a scanned finger print, and a scanned face image.
8. The system of claim 5 wherein the system tracks each attempt at gaining access through the interface.
9. The system of claim 5 wherein when access is denied, the system is configured to electronically communicate an alarm to security personnel.
10. The system of claim 1 wherein the inventory management application is further configured for tracking the position of each of the plurality of compartments within the frame as each of the compartments move from position to position within the frame.
11. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
a plurality of sensors in communication with the means for controlling movement, each of the plurality of sensors positioned within the frame adjacent each of the positions, for sensing which compartment is positioned in each of the positions, wherein the sensor is configured to communicate a signal to the means for controlling movement, for communicating compartment information to the means for controlling movement for determining which compartment is in each position.
12. The system of claim 1 wherein a compartment positioned in the loading/unloading position can be transferred to a cart when the cart is placed adjacent to the loading/unloading position.
13. The system of claim 1 wherein the height of the loading/unloading position is adjustable.
14. The system of claim 12 wherein the height of the cart is adjustable.
15. The system of claim 1 wherein the next compartment position is the loading/unloading position.
16. The system of claim 1 wherein movement from the current compartment position to the next compartment is a generally horizontal movement relative to the frame.
17. The system of claim 1 wherein movement from the current compartment position to the next compartment is a generally vertical movement relative to the frame.

18. The system of claim 17 wherein movement from the current compartment position to the next compartment is a generally vertical movement relative to the frame and in a direction generally perpendicular of the movement in claim 17.
19. The system of claim 1 wherein at least a portion of the means for moving comprises a gear train.
20. The system of claim 1 wherein the loading/unloading position can be used to load a compartment into the loading/unloading position of the frame, and unload a compartment from the loading/unloading position of the frame.
21. The system of claim 1 wherein the compartment is one of a bin, a cage, a pallet, and a shelf.
22. The system of claim 1 wherein the means for moving comprises a chain drive and a chain for moving the compartments within the frame.
23. The system of claim 1 wherein the means for moving comprises frictional wheels mounted to the frame and a plurality of frictional engaging surfaces on each of the compartments for allowing the frictional wheels to rotate and engage the frictional engaging surfaces to move the compartments within the frame.
24. The system of claim 1 wherein the means for moving comprises a screw drive lifter.
25. The system of claim 1 wherein each compartment comprises an identifier device.
26. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
a sensor in communication with the means for controlling movement, positioned adjacent the loading/unloading position, for sensing which compartment is loaded or unloaded from the loading/unloading position, wherein the sensor is configured to communicate a signal to the means for controlling movement, for communicating compartment information to the means for controlling movement, for determining which compartment is in the loading/unloading position and for tracking where the compartment is within the frame as the compartment moves throughout the frame.
27. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
a digital camera in communication with the inventory management application, the digital camera positioned adjacent the loading/unloading position for taking a digital photograph each time a compartment is loaded into or unloaded from the loading/unloading position, and for communicating the digital photograph to the inventory management application for tracking loading and unloading actions of inventory personnel as well as the condition of the items within the compartment at the time of loading and unloading.
28. A method for storing and retrieving a plurality of compartments for holding items, within a system having a frame including a plurality of support members defining at least two vertical compartment position columns, the at least two vertical compartment position columns being adjacent to one another, each vertical compartment position column having at least two compartment positions, the method comprising the steps of:
positioning each of the plurality of compartments in a respective compartment position, wherein at least one of the compartment positions of at least one of the vertical compartment position columns defines a loading/unloading position,
moving and controlling the movement of each of the plurality of compartments from a respective current compartment position to a next compartment position; each of the plurality of compartments being removeably attached to at least a portion of the means for moving; and,
tracking the inventory of the items in each of the plurality of compartments. The system of claim 1 wherein each compartment comprises an RFID tag for use in tracking which position of each the compartments within the system.
29. The method of claim 28 further comprising the steps of:
receiving through an interface a request to move one of the plurality of compartments to the loading/unloading position,
determining the current position of the one of the plurality of compartments; and,
communicating a movement signal to at least a portion of the means for moving, for moving the one of the plurality of compartments to the loading/unloading position.
30. The method of claim 29 further comprising the steps of:
receiving an access control identifier;
determining whether access should be granted to control the movement of the plurality of compartments; and,
transmitting an access response to an interface for providing the determination of whether access has been granted.
31. The method of claim 30 further comprising the step of: tracking each attempt at gaining access.
32. The method of claim 30 further comprising the step of:
electronically communicating an alarm message to security personnel when access is denied.
33. The method of claim 28 further comprising the step of:
tracking the position of each of the plurality of compartments within the frame as each of the compartments move from position to position within the frame.
34. The method of claim 28 further comprising the steps of:
sensing which compartment is positioned in each of the positions; and,
transmitting a position signal to the means for controlling movement, for transmitting compartment information to the means for controlling movement for determining which compartment is in each position.
35. The method of claim 28 further comprising the steps of:
sensing which compartment is loaded or unloaded from the loading/unloading position;
transmitting a position signal including compartment information to the means for controlling movement;
determining which compartment is in the loading/unloading position; and, tracking where the compartment is within the frame as the compartment moves throughout the frame.
36. The method of claim 28 further comprising the steps of:
taking a digital photograph each time a compartment is loaded into or unloaded from the loading/unloading position, and,
transmitting the digital photograph to an inventory management application for tracking loading and unloading actions of inventory personnel as well as the condition of the items within the compartment at the time of loading and unloading.