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Details for Patent: 6,697,812

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Details for Patent: 6,697,812

Title: Method and system for eliminating error when packing or packaging sets of serialized products or otherwise identifiable products
Abstract:A method of preparing a set of items for future business processes includes the step of grouping the items to be included in the set, each of the items associated with a unique identifier. The unique identifiers are then recorded en masse and communicated to a database. A set identifier is then generated from the recorded identifier and associated with the set of items.
Inventor(s): Martin; Peter (Denton, Denton County, TX)
Assignee:
Filing Date:Jan 18, 2000
Application Number:09/484,504
Claims:1. A method of preparing a set of tangible manufactured items for future business processes comprising the steps of: grouping the items to be included in the set, each said item associated with a unique identifier; reading and recording identifiers en masse to avoid routing of individual items; communicating said recorded identifiers to a business system including a database; and generating a set identifier for said set of items with said business system from said recorded identifiers.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said unique identifiers comprise serialized identifiers.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein said unique identifiers comprise marks.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein said unique identifiers comprise symbols.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein said unique identifiers comprise encoded devices that report said unique identifier.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein said unique identifiers comprise encoded devices associated with selected ones of said items that report said unique identifier.

7. The method of claim 1 and further comprising the steps of: recording said set identifier; generating a superset identifier from a plurality of like recorded set identifiers; and preparing a superset of said packaged items, said superset associated with said superset identifier.

8. The method of claim 1 and further comprising the step of generating said unique identifiers.

9. The method of claim 1 and further comprising the step of removing a selected unit from said set prior to said step of recording.

10. The method of claim 1 and further comprising the step of affixing said identifier to each said item prior said step of grouping.

11. The method of claim 1 wherein said step of recording comprises the substeps of: electronically reading said identifier from each said item; and electronically recording said each said identifier read from each said item.

12. The method of claim 1 wherein each said identifier is electronically encoded into each said item.

13. A system for creating sets of tangible manufactured items, each said item associated with a unique identifier comprising: means for assembling a plurality of said items into a set; means for reading said unique identifiers associated with said items in said set en masse to avoid counting of individual items; and means for generating an identifier for said set from said unique identifiers read from said items in said set en masse.

14. The system of claim 13 wherein said means for assembling packs said plurality of items into said set.

15. The system of claim 13 wherein said means for assembling packages said plurality of items into said set.

16. The system of claim 13 wherein said unique identifiers comprise visible identifiers affixed to said items and said means for reading comprises an optical system for optically reading said visible identifiers.

17. The system of claim 13 wherein said unique identifiers comprise electronic identifiers associated with each of said items and said means for reading comprises an system for electronically detecting and decoding said electronic identifiers.

18. The system of claim 13 wherein said means for generating an identifier comprises: a database for storing said unique identifiers read from said items in said set en masse; and a computing system coupled to said database for generating said set identifier from said unique identifiers stored in said database.

19. The system of claim 13 wherein said unique identifiers are serialized.

20. The system of claim 13 and further comprising second means for reading said unique identifiers prior to reaching said means for assembling.

21. The system of claim 20 and further comprising means for validating said unique identifiers read by said second means for reading using said unique identifiers read en masse.

22. The system of claim 13 wherein said unique identifiers are represented by a bar code associated with each said item.

23. The system of claim 13 wherein said unique identifiers comprise pictorial identifiers.

24. The system of claim 13 and further comprising: means for assembling a plurality of like said sets into a superset; means for reading said set identifiers associated with said sets en masse; and means for generating a unique identifier from said set identifiers read from said sets en masse.

25. The system of claim 13 wherein said means for assembling comprises an automated conveyor system.
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