Patents Represented by Attorney James T. Cronvich
  • Patent number: 8348543
    Abstract: A connection system for connecting external devices to specified locations on a marine seismic streamer. Inner collars having raised bosses are clamped to the cable at specified locations along its length. Each inner collar forms a circular race encircling the cable. An external device is attached to a pair of cuffs in the form of C-shaped cylindrical rings each with a circular inner surface. A gap in the ring interrupts the inner surface. The width of the gap is greater than the diameter of the bosses so that the cuffs may be slid onto the collars when the gaps are aligned with the bosses. The bosses are circumferentially offset when the cable is in its normal operating state to lock the cuff and the external device to the collars. The cuffs and the external device can be installed on or removed from the cable by twisting the cable to align the bosses and sliding the cuffs onto or off of the collars. When installed, the cuffs ride on the races to allow the cable to rotate inside the cuffs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: ION Geophysical Corporation
    Inventor: André W. Olivier
  • Patent number: 8342313
    Abstract: An accumulation-and-release conveyor using a roller belt with rollers arranged to rotate in the direction of belt travel. The rollers extend through the thickness of the belt. A movable stop is positioned along the carryway just downstream of a bearing surface that is movable into and out of contact with the rollers. When the bearing surface is out of contact with the rollers, they are freely rotatable; when the bearing surface contacts the rollers, they roll on the bearing surface to propel articles in the direction of belt travel. The stop is selectively moved between a blocking position preventing articles from passing and accumulating them with low back line pressure on the freely rotatable rollers and a release position allowing articles to pass to the accumulation zone where they are propelled forward and separated from each other by the rotation of the rollers rolling on the bearing surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Stephen G. Wargo, Matthew L. Fourney
  • Patent number: 8322518
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for recirculating articles on a belt conveyor. An article-recirculation path is formed in a pair of parallel conveyor belts running continuously in opposite directions. Article-supporting rollers in each belt rotate to transfer articles from one belt to the other in a transfer region at each end of the conveyor to form an endless recirculation path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Jonathan Ball
  • Patent number: 8324539
    Abstract: A microwave waveguide applicator and a method for heating, drying, or curing generally planar materials or products. The applicator comprises a waveguide having a pair of opposing broad sides perpendicular to a pair of opposing narrow sides bounding a rectangular exposure chamber. A microwave source generates and propagates microwaves through the chamber in a propagation direction and with an electric field generally directed from one broad wall to the other. Slotted openings in the narrow sides act as entrance and exit ports for a conveyor transporting a product along a conveying path through the chamber perpendicular to the propagation direction and perpendicular to the electric field. The waveguide may be ridged to focus or bend the electric field, especially for heating thin materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Industrial Microwave Systems, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Abdulkadir Hallac, William Wilber
  • Patent number: 8302764
    Abstract: A double-helix spiral conveyor, a method for conveying articles up and down a spiral conveyor, and a method for constructing a drive drum for a spiral conveyor. The double-helix spiral conveyor conveys articles on the conveyor up the inner side of a spiral drum by engaging the outer edge of the belt and down the outer side of the drum by engaging the inner edge of the belt. A slew drive at the bottom of the drum drives the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Matthew J Johnson
  • Patent number: 8272803
    Abstract: A shaft assembly using spring clips to confine components mounted on the shaft in selected positions. The shaft assembly includes a shaft with components mounted along its length. Each component is confined by a pair of flanking spring clips. Each spring clip has a pair of confronting side panels resiliently coupled together. Holes through the side panels receive the shaft. The side panels are biased to converge toward each other so that a laterally applied force from a confined component acts in the direction of the bias to prevent the clip locked on the shaft from unlocking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Brett A. Lally
  • Patent number: 8225922
    Abstract: A transverse-roller conveyor belt and a conveyor system providing a drive mechanism for driving the rollers in the belt to divert conveyed articles. The conveyor belt includes belt rollers that each engage a pair of smaller-diameter, article-conveying rollers. The conveyor system's drive mechanism, when selectively actuated, rotates the belt rollers, which rotate the article-supporting rollers to divert conveyed articles toward or off the side of the belt. Gaps between at least some of the pairs of article-supporting rollers admit the teeth of a transfer comb to strip remaining articles off the downstream end of the belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Matthew L. Fourney
  • Patent number: 8223585
    Abstract: A method and system for controlling the shape and separation of an arrangement of streamers towed behind a survey vessel. Each streamer is steered laterally by lateral steering devices positioned along its length at specific nodes. Each streamer is driven by its lateral steering devices to achieve a specified separation from a neighboring streamer. One of these actual streamers, used as a reference by the other actual streamers, is steered to achieve a specified separation from an imaginary, or ghost, streamer virtually towed with the actual streamers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: ION Geophysical Corporation
    Inventors: Dnaiel B. Seale, John Edward Grant, David A. Cespedes M.
  • Patent number: 8210341
    Abstract: A conveyor transfer system and a transfer platform for transferring articles from an upstream conveyor to a downstream conveyor across a gap. The transfer platform fits in the gap between two conveyors arranged end to end. At least one of the conveyors includes a conveyor belt that reverses direction around a reversing element at the gap. The transfer platform floats in the gap supported by the conveyor belt or its reversing element without a direct connection to the conveyor frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Angela L. Marshall, Ross Doyle, Glenn R. McCall, Ed J. Pointer, Brien G. Rau, Dennis K. Scates
  • Patent number: 8205738
    Abstract: A case turner and associated method for rotating conveyed articles. The case turner includes a pair of conveyor belts advancing side by side in a conveying direction. The belts, which are tilted downward toward each other, have rows of article-supporting rollers that can rotate freely on axes parallel to the conveying direction. Each of the belts advances at a different speed so that an article bridging both belts is rotated as it is conveyed along the belt. The speed differential is set to provide a desired degree of rotation for the length of the two belts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Matthew L. Fourney
  • Patent number: 8181771
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor for positively driving a conveyor belt along a helical path. The spiral conveyor includes a rotating cylindrical tower with parallel drive members extending from the bottom to the top of the tower on its periphery. Each drive member includes an outwardly protruding ridge that varies in height from the bottom to the top of the tower. The variations in height facilitate the belt's entry onto and exit from the tower and robust, positive driving engagement with the inside edge of the belt along the majority of its path along the tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Casper Fedde Talsma
  • Patent number: 8172088
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for separating lightweight waste from product with cyclic pulses of air. An air separator includes a blower duct directing air upward through product conveyed on a foraminous conveyor. A pair of counter-rotating vanes in the blower duct cyclically open and close to establish a pulsating air flow in the center of the duct across the width of the conveyor. The pulsating air flow lifts lightweight waste from the product and blows it through a vertical duct above the conveyor to waste separation chambers for separation and disposal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Lars Vedsted, Søren Vedsted
  • Patent number: 8167119
    Abstract: A low-pressure accumulation system and a conveyor belt in an accumulation conveyor for the use with the system. The belt, which is flanked on opposite sides by lines of gravity rollers, has a longitudinal lane of article-supporting belt rollers arranged in groups along the length of the conveyor belt. The groups are spaced apart from each at regular intervals. Trays sit atop the gravity rollers until they are lifted slightly higher by one of the slightly elevated groups of article-supporting belt rollers, which engage the bottom of the tray and convey it along toward a discharge end. Retractable stops selectively block the trays from advancing on the accumulation conveyor. The freely rotatable article-supporting belt rollers roll along the bottoms of any blocked and accumulated trays and provide low back pressure. The belt may also include low-friction rollers that ride on bearing surfaces below the belt to help lower friction between the belt and the conveyor structure while the belt is running.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Stephen G. Wargo, Robert M. Poma, Matthew L. Fourney
  • Patent number: 8161854
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for cutting boxes. The box cutter has a rectangular work area defined by the upper run of an oblique-roller conveyor belt selectively driven forward or reverse in coordination with the actuation and deactuation of the obliquely rotatable belt rollers. Cutting tools along the sides of the work area cut into the side panels of the boxes as they are translated without rotation in a rectangular path against guide surfaces on the periphery of the work area by the sequential reversing of the conveyor belt direction and the actuation and deactuation of the box-supporting rollers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Matthew L. Fourney
  • Patent number: 8157083
    Abstract: A self-clearing conveyor transfer system for transferring articles between two mutually perpendicular conveyor belts. One version of the transfer system includes a finger transfer plate with fingers at one end extending into the end of a raised-rib belt and powered rollers at the opposite end rotating about axes perpendicular to the fingers. A second conveyor belt perpendicular to the raised-rib belt advances parallel to the roller axes. Articles transfer from one belt to the other across the finger transfer plate. Because the rollers are powered, straggling articles are not stranded on the transfer plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2012
    Assignee: Laitran, L.L.C.
    Inventor: David W. Bogle
  • Patent number: 8123021
    Abstract: Methods for singulating laterally abutting conveyed articles in a conveyor (60). The method includes separating laterally abutting articles by means of a first conveyor section (62) having in-line rollers (64) or oblique rollers rotating at a first speed in a conveying direction (70) and a second laterally adjacent conveyor section (63) having oblique rollers (65) rotating at a second speed in a direction causing articles atop the oblique rollers (65) in the second section (63) to diverge from articles atop the rollers in the first section. Differing the roller speeds helps the abutting articles to increase their separation in the conveying direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Joseph M. DePaso, Felix H. Lapeyre, III
  • Patent number: 8120507
    Abstract: A two-tier communication system for a seismic streamer. The communication system operates over an unshielded twisted-pair communication line extending the length of the streamer. Repeater units having a repeater function and a device controller function divide the twisted pair into line segments. Coils on each segment couple signals inductively to collocated external devices in a low-speed 2400 baud FSK data link between the devices and an associated device controller. A Gaussian 8-level FSK high-speed 60 kbit/s data link is established along all the segments with the repeaters re-transmitting boosted signals along the entire length of the communication line. The coils are transparent at the high-speed data rate. Time division multiple access (TDMA) or frequency division multiple access (FDMA) is used to accommodate the two links on the single twisted pair.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Assignee: Ion Geophysical Corporation
    Inventors: Robert E. Rouquette, Clem B. Guillot, III, Robert H. Kemp, Jr., Dale J. Lambert, Daniel B. Seale
  • Patent number: 8109384
    Abstract: A spacing conveyor having article-accelerating rollers and selectively retractable stops to control the gaps between consecutive conveyed packages. A sensor measures the length of a package being fed onto the spacing conveyor. A controller selectively actuates one or more actuators positioned along the length of the conveyor to move selected stops advancing with the conveyor from a retracted position to a blocking position to receive packages a variety of sizes and to control the gaps between consecutive packages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Eric M. Pressler, Mark Costanzo
  • Patent number: 8028618
    Abstract: A continuous cooker having a conveyor capable of repositioning product and cleaning itself of debris and a method for its operation. The cooker includes a conveyor that transports food atop a conveyor belt to a cooking chamber. Upper and lower diverting rollers guide the belt along an S-shaped product-repositioning path segment. The lower diverting roller is rotated at a speed different from the speed of the conveyor belt to cause the belt to slip on the roller's periphery, which effects a scraping action against the conveying side of the belt to dislodge debris.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Robert S. Lapeyre
  • Patent number: 8020480
    Abstract: A rope having an outer jacket made of braided fibers surrounding a PTFE core and a method for making the rope. The rope is useful in high-tension, high-friction applications, such as serving as a stress member in an isolation section of an instrumented ocean-bottom cable. The PTFE core, which may consist of one or more strings of PTFE valve packing material, squeezes through the braided jacket as the rope is deformed in high-stress regions such as around a bollard. The PTFE material squeezed through the outer jacket lubricates the outside of the rope in the high-stress region to lower the friction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2011
    Assignee: ION Geophysical Corporation
    Inventor: Michael P. Magner