Austin Hardware & Supply recently received Patent No. US 10,004,331 B2 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the company’s Front Drawer Release (FDR).
The FDR was invented by engineers Mark Jeffries and Rusty Smith in 2009, and a patent request was filed in 2011. It was designed as part of a complete system to easily latch and unlatch the drawers in heavy duty industrial drawer systems used in vehicular applications.
In response to a marketplace need to keep heavy-duty industrial drawer systems latched in the closed position inside a moving vehicle, where turns can cause unlatched drawers to slide open, Austin Hardware first introduced the 7650 series Lock-In, Lock-Out (LILO) heavy-duty drawer slides. These innovative drawer slides have a built-in latching mechanism that locks the slide in both the fully closed and fully open positions. A trigger on the front of the slide can be depressed to unlock the slide from either position.
To complement the 7650 slides, Austin then developed the FDR which made the slides easier to use, especially on larger drawers. The FDR consists of an aluminum handle with steel pins that extend outward on each side into the covered area of the end caps, located just above the trigger on the drawer slides. When the handle is pulled outward, it causes the pins to rotate downward and simultaneously depress the triggers which unlock the slides and allow the drawer to open in a continuous motion.
Consequently, the FDR creates an intuitive, easy to use system that latches the drawers securely, both while closed for when the vehicle is in motion; and open while the vehicle may be stopped on an incline. It also allows for one-handed operation, a critical requirement for operators who often need to access drawers while simultaneous carrying boxes, tools, etc. Drawers can be unlatched and opened from the "latched closed" position; as well as unlatched and closed from the "latched open" position. A 300# rated drawer can be pulled open with one finger. It’s also flexible enough to work with LILO slides on both sides (for wide drawers) or with a single LILO slide on only one side and a standard (non-LILO) slide on the other.