Austin Hardware & Supply, Inc. Receives Patent for Front Drawer Release

Austin Hardware & Supply, Inc. has 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 Front Drawer Release was invented by engineers Mark Jeffries and Rusty Smith in 2009, and a patent request was filed in 2011. The FDR was designed to satisfy a marketplace need for a means to latch closed heavy duty industrial drawer systems in a moving vehicle where turns can cause unlatched drawers to slide open.

In response to this issue, Austin Hardware first introduced their 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 the fully open positions. A trigger on the front of the slide can be depressed to unlock the slide from either position.

While the slides alone were an improvement, some mounting arrangements were less than optimally user friendly. The next step was the development of the Front Drawer Release.

The FDR was designed to work in conjunction with the 7650 series slides, and 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 a single 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.

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Austin Hardware & Supply is a wholesale distributor of specialty industrial and vehicular hardware with ten locations throughout the U.S. Since 1960, Austin Hardware has been providing innovative hardware solutions with top-quality parts, extensive inventory, fast and accurate shipping, and competitive prices — all supported by experienced, professional customer service dedicated to each customer’s success.

For more information, contact:

Rob Dell'Elmo, Marketing Manager


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