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Air Transport System


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#1 k_nitin_r

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 03:43 PM

I came across a pneumetic material transport system at a hospital. It reduces the amount of handling of pathogenic blood samples and therefore reduces the risk of infection. Blood sample vials are placed within what looks like a time capsule. A vacuum tube delivers the capsule through a tube network to the destination terminal. The capsules absorb the shock of dropping down the tubes and the restriction on the radius of curvature of the tubes specified by the manufacturer on the installation of the system prevents the capsules from clogging the tubes. The setup is perhaps quite expensive and can only be afforded by corporation-hospitals but the ability of the system to reduce pathogen transfers and mixups due to handling problems justifies the cost. The ability of the sending/receiving stations to route packages through the tube network is rather remarkable. Just as you would enter the intercom number on an office telephone network, you can enter the sending/receiving station number when sending across a capsule.
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#2 sheepdog

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 02:58 AM

I wonder if these are simular to what they use in drive in banks when you pull up in one of the outer lanes away from the teller at the main window? I wouldn't think it would be too terribly expensive, since it is basicly plastic tubing, though it would have to be well sealed to make the air flow move the containers threw the tubes easily. It would certainly be a handy system for many aplications, especially in multi story office buildings where mail and other paperwork needed a lot of shuffleing around from office to office.
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#3 k_nitin_r

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 07:16 PM

Hi!

I am not sure if the air transport system will be used in customer-facing applications because an empty capsule used for transporting the items has to be available to the user, and the user just might pick up the capsule and take it with the item, assuming that it is a form of packaging rather than something that has to be returned for re-use.

The air transport system can be used for sending around documents, mail, and other paper work in multi-storey buildings and even in offices that extend beyond one building. Imagine having to walk from one building to another to send across a document. Instead, you can put it into a capsule, key in the 'extension number' and have the document in the other room that is about four or five buildings away in a matter of seconds!

The plastic tubing itself is cheap, but the installation requires careful planning because there is a maximum radius of curvature for the tubes beyond which, either (a) the tubes would break, or (B) the tubes will bend into the desired shape but the capsule will get lodged around the corner and perhaps even lead to a breakage.
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#4 sheepdog

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:55 PM

Yes, it certainly would have to be well designed in order to be effecient and something that would actually work and save time and effort on the employees. The system would be limited as you say buy the need for easy flow of the canisters transporting the materials. You couldn't likely have one to just drop down on your desk. But I'm sure there are plenty of aplications where this could be a real work saver.
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#5 k_nitin_r

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:56 PM

It is possible to have a canister drop onto your desk. The hospital I found the air transport system at used a basket at the end of the tube to receive the canisters. If you are transporting anything at all that is too fragile to resist the impact of falling into a basket, you can add more cushioning to the basket. I can imagine a Subway sandwich heading to my desk in a canister from a tube of an air transport system - the delivery guy could just hand it off at the front desk of the office and I'll get it sooner than they can take the elevator and walk to my desk. It is possible to 'chain' multiple air transport systems together to deal with a larger number of transmitting/receiving stations too, forming a network of air transport system networks.
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