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Dead medium: Pneumatic tube applications
From: (Bruce Sterling)


(((bruces remarks: the following outtake from the website of Comcosystems gives a good idea of the current spectrum of applications for living pneumatic tube systems. These areas of activity would be good places to look for dead tubes.)))


"Pneumatic tube systems are highly flexible systems that tend to be limited by the nature of the material moved rather than the industry or location used.

"Any situation where small to medium-sized objects must be regularly distributed to or from a central location to remote locations would be made more efficient with the addition of a pneumatic tube system.

"We commonly install tube systems for the following applications:

"Hospitals: Pneumatic tube systems are commonly used in hospitals to reduce care staff workload by moving medication and samples between patient areas and labs."


"Sample Transport: Pneumatic tube systems are ideal for moving samples from collection points to a lab for analysis. (...) We manufacture heavy-duty systems for use in harsh environments. Steel mills and hospitals are frequent users of pneumatic tube systems for sample analysis.

"Toll Plazas: Pneumatic tube systems are used at toll plazas to increase efficiency and employee safety. Employees are spared the hazard of crossing lanes of traffic and less cash is available in the event of robbery. Toll plaza arrangements are commonly in use along tollways, in parking garages, and at airports.

"Central Supply: Pneumatic tube systems are used whenever items from a central location (such as a pharmacy or warehouse) must be regularly dispatched to remote sites. (...) Industries that employ pneumatic tube systems for central supply distribution include hospitals, automotive plants, car dealerships, and factories.

"Cash Handling: Pneumatic tube systems are frequently employed for cash handling. A Pneumatic tube system provides a secure method of moving cash from registers to central counting rooms. Keeping cash in a central location reduces losses due to robbery and employee theft. Industries that employ pneumatic tube systems for cash handling include retail stores, grocers, theaters, and home improvement centers == to name a few.

"Security Transport: Pneumatic tube systems can provide a secure method of transport for nearly any kind of item. All kinds of items can be moved securely with a pneumatic tube system including documents, parts, keys, and even firearms. Locations using Pneumatic tube systems for secure transport include penitentiaries, youth detention centers, retail stores, courts, and hospitals."

Bruce Sterling (