Patents Assigned to DEC International, Inc.
  • Patent number: 6481371
    Abstract: A milking parlor (70) has a flushing channel (122) along a zigzag rump rail (124) for flushing cow manure (108) therealong. The rump rail is a continuous tubular conduit having upper portions thereof (146) cut-out (148) at end segments (132, 134, 136) to provide open-top gutter channels (138) receiving manure therein and interdigitated with closed-top flow channels (140) in side segments (126, 128, 130) conducting and passing the manure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2002
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul A. Eppers, Josh J. Vrieze
  • Patent number: 6450118
    Abstract: A milking parlor has a platform receiving cows and having a plurality of spaced stall dividers defining milking stalls therebetween, each stall divider having a milking cluster including a claw and teat cups. A cluster drop and lift retractor, provided by a detacher cylinder, raises the cluster to an up position above the platform ready for attachment of the teat cups to the teats of a cow in a respective stall, and lowers the cluster to a down position below the platform after detachment of the teat cups from the teats of the cow. A cluster prelift control and sequence actuates the retractor to raise the cluster to the up position prior to milking such that when the dairyman operator is ready to milk the cow, the milking cluster is already in the up position and ready for attachment of the teat cups to the teats of the cow, without the dairyman operator having to bend down to lift the milking cluster from the down position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul A. Eppers, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6439156
    Abstract: A milking system for milking a mammal such as a cow includes a source of vacuum applying vacuum through a conduit system to a plurality of milking clusters, each cluster having a plurality of teat cups supplying milk to a claw in response to pulsation vacuum controlled by a pulsator in the conduit system. The conduit system has a first portion upstream of the pulsator and applying vacuum from the source of vacuum to the pulsator. The conduit system has a second portion downstream of the pulsator and applying pulsation vacuum to the teat cups. The vacuum in the upstream portion of the conduit system is subject to fluctuation due to pulsation vacuum in the downstream portion. A vacuum fluctuation suppression filter is provided in the upstream portion of the conduit system attenuating the noted vacuum fluctuation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher J. Fleischman
  • Patent number: 6354468
    Abstract: A beverage dispenser transponder identification system includes a pourer spout for insertion into a bottle containing a beverage, the pourer spout having an electromagnetically actuated stopper valve for dispensing the beverage, the pourer spout having an rf receive/transmit antenna connected to an identification transponder circuit. An actuator is provided by an activator ring for insertion around the pourer spout and has a driver coil for actuating the stopper valve, an rf transmit antenna connected to an oscillator, and an rf receive antenna connected to a decoder. The rf transmit antenna broadcasts an rf signal to the rf receive/transmit antenna which is conducted to the identification transponder circuit which sends an identification signal to the rf receive/transmit antenna which is broadcast to the rf receive antenna and received by the decoder to identify the pourer spout.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: Jan C. Riek
  • Patent number: 6321934
    Abstract: A dispensing apparatus having a refrigerated compartment for receiving a plurality of bottle cartridges containing bottle container. A bottle latching mechanism holds the bottles within the cartridge as the cartridge and bottle containers are inserted into the refrigerated compartment. A bottle lifting mechanism located proximate the end of the rows of multiple cartridges lifts the bottles upward until the top bottle rolls onto a sloped dispensing platform where a person can remove the bottle from the dispensing apparatus by pressing a lever to allow a bottle to roll past a flexible window and out of the bottle dispenser to a position where a person can pick up the bottle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Berg Company, a division of DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: Nancy K. Immel
  • Patent number: 6099881
    Abstract: A method of curing meat, or other food products, using nitrogen dioxide gas. In a preferred method, the food product is exposed to nitrogen dioxide gas at a concentration in excess of 0.4 ppm. The nitrogen dioxide gas reacts with moisture in the food product to produce nitrous acid which diffuses throughout the product to cure the product and produce the pink "cured" color pigment. In an alternate method, the nitrogen dioxide gas is dissolved in water to produce a solution containing nitrous acid, and the solution is injected into the food product to produce the cured color pigment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert E. Hanson
  • Patent number: 6086469
    Abstract: A conveyor for moving the strand from a sausage making machine has J-hooks extending downwardly from a continuous chain conveyor. The conveyor picks up the loops of the strand at a loading station immediately adjacent the discharge end of the machine, and conveys the loops to a processing station for smoking or the like. The conveyor then moves the loops to an unloading station for removal of the strand from the conveyor, whereupon the conveyor downstream of the unloading station returns to the loading station to pick up additional product. A conveyor take-up mechanism is located immediately downstream from the loading station to permit the conveyor to cease movement at the loading station (while the casing on the machine is being replenished) while the conveyor can continue movement in the processing area. Sensors and controls interconnect the machine and the conveyor to coordinate the operational functions of each.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. Cody, David Hamblin, Steven P. Hergott, Wendell J. Holl, David C. Nordby, Michael S. Simpson, Brent M. Veldkamp
  • Patent number: 6055931
    Abstract: An air vent plug (70, 90, 94) is provided for insertion through the wall (12) of the milk tube portion (14) of a teatcup liner (16) used with a teatcup assembly (18) for milking a mammal (20). The air vent plug has an outer flange (72) exterior of and engaging the outer surface of the liner, a barrel (74) extending through the wall of the liner, an inner tip (76) interior of the liner, and a vent passage (78) extending from the outer flange inwardly through the barrel and the inner tip. The vent passage has a first calibrated diameter (80) at the outer face, and a second larger formed diameter (82) inwardly thereof. The different diameters meet at a transition shoulder (84) which faces away from the air inlet opening (87).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2000
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: Scott A. Sanford, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6039001
    Abstract: A teatcup liner is provided by an elongated, flexible, generally tubular liner (104) extending along a longitudinal axis (105). The liner has an upper section (106) for mounting to a teatcup, a mouthpiece chamber (107) having a shoulder (108) below the upper section, and a barrel (110) below the shoulder. The barrel has alternating exterior and interior axially extending flutes (112) and (114). The mouthpiece chamber shoulder is fluteless along both its exterior (116) and interior (118).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: Scott A. Sanford
  • Patent number: 6021995
    Abstract: A food product mold includes a movable wall within the cavity of the mold for altering the shape or volume of the cavity. An operating mechanism interconnected with the movable wall moves the wall to various positions within the cavity. The operating mechanism includes at least one shaft rotatably mounted to and extending through the mold, a cam member mounted to the shaft and engageable with the wall, and a shaft rotating mechanism for selectively imparting rotation to the shaft to selectively engage the cam member with the wall for moving the wall within the cavity to vary the volume of the cavity. Various mold inserts may also be added to the mold cavity for varying the size and shape of the processed food products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2000
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel J. Cody
  • Patent number: 5960738
    Abstract: In a milking cluster (10) for a dairy animal (12), a milk hose positioner (62) bears against the parlor curb (24) and supports the milk hose (48) and applies in combination with the milk hose (48) a forward force to the milking claw (28) to better balance weight distribution on the teats (16). The positioner (62) stays on the milk hose (48) when the teatcups (34) are removed from the teats (16) and the milking cluster (10) is moved from its milking position. The positioner can move forwardly and laterally to accommodate animal movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: Scott A. Sanford
  • Patent number: 5959526
    Abstract: In a milking parlor having a plurality of stalls for simultaneously milking a plurality of cows, and an identification station for identifying cows passing serially therethrough, an identification correction method compares produced milk weight values and expected milk weight values in a given milking, and performs a correction by shifting at least one or more of the expected milk weight values relative to the produced milk weight values by at least one stall number, to provide accurate cow identification when there is a misidentified or nonidentified cow, such as a cow having a missing identification tag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: George H. Tucker
  • Patent number: 5896809
    Abstract: A food processing method and system, including a continuous cooker/chiller conveyor system (24) for meat products such as hot dogs and the like, is provided with an automatic unloader (36) having a first discharge transfer mode (FIGS. 1 and 2) automatically transferring the food product (22) to an automatic transfer member (38) for conveyance to a packaging line (32, 34), and a second discharge holding mode (FIGS. 3 and 4) holding the food product (22) on rack-off discharge arms (54, 56) until manually removed. In the event of an interruption in the packaging line (32, 34), rather than automatically transferring the food product (22) from the automatic unloader (36) to the transfer member (38), a rack-off procedure is instituted and the food product (22) is manually unloaded from the automatic unloader (36) and manually transferred to a holding rack (44, 46) on a temporary basis until resumption of operation of the packaging line (32, 34).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: Randall L. Miller
  • Patent number: 5807427
    Abstract: A gas/liquid separator for separating an inlet stream of a mixture of a gas and a liquid into a substantially liquid stream and a substantially gaseous stream, the separator having a controllable, variable liquid level, includes an elongate cylindrical body portion having first and second closed ends which define a separation chamber, tangentially oriented inlet and outlet nozzles positioned near the ends of the vessel, and an overflow-discharge nozzle extending from inside of the separation chamber and longitudinally exiting from the separator through the inlet end, proximate to the inlet nozzle. The separator further includes a vent subassembly positioned proximate to the overflow-discharge nozzle. The subassembly includes a nozzle in flow communication with the separation chamber, and a flow-stop device operable between an open condition and a closed condition. The flow-stop device is positioned on the nozzle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Sani-Matic, a Division of DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: Elmer Scott Welch
  • Patent number: 5778907
    Abstract: A system for cleaning elongated objects is disclosed. The system utilizes an infeed conveyor without pusher flights and an outfeed conveyor with pusher flights. The conveyors are arranged to form an angular section near the bottom of the tank. A flip back plate rejects objects from the outfeed conveyor so that the objects are continuously circulated from the bottom of the angular section to the top of the angular section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventors: Gilbert F. Ransley, Jr., Andrew Campos, Ronald R. Riebe
  • Patent number: 5720236
    Abstract: A milk meter (22) has a measuring chamber (40) with an inlet (42) receiving milk from a mammal's teat (24), a discharge chamber (48) having an inlet (50) from the measuring chamber and an outlet (52) discharging the milk to a collection tank (32), a central vertically reciprocal plunger valve (46) opening and closing the outlet of the measuring chamber and communication vacuum from the discharge chamber through the plunger to the measuring chamber, and a level sensing float (56) in the measuring chamber and circumscribing the plunger valve and vertically reciprocal therealong.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1998
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventors: James A. Carrano, Timothy E. Blair, Roger K. Erdman, William S. Nelson, Ronald J. Pulvermacher, George H. Tucker, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5702032
    Abstract: Each open liquor bottle in a tavern has a plastic spout with a magnetically operable valve to control the flow of liquor from the bottle. The spouts were fabricated with three integral rings extending around the spout with each ring being either plastic or metal to form a pattern that encodes information identifying a characteristic of the bottle. An annular actuator reads the pattern of rings and responds by producing a magnetic field that opens the spout valve to dispense the liquor. Three rings allow up to eight different classes of characteristics to be encoded. To increase that number of classes a supplemental metal ring is attached around some of the spout adjacent to one end of the actuator when the spout is inserted therein. The actuator is modified to sense presence of the supplemental metal ring on a spout. Adding another ring to certain spouts permits the number of classes of characteristics to be doubled without requiring replacement of existing spouts in a tavern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1997
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: John M. Loehrke
  • Patent number: 5615637
    Abstract: A milking parlor of the type having an entry gate has a plurality of sequencing gates mounted on pedestals at substantially the same height with the gates overlapping, but not touching. A biasing arrangement that urges the sequencing gate to a closed position is mounted coaxially and inside the pedestal supporting the sequencing gate. A wedge-shaped positioning device is mounted on the rotating gate to urge the cows into the proper milking position, and an automated system detects the end of the milking process and the positioning of the last cow to automatically open and close the entry gate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 1, 1997
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: William S. Nelson
  • Patent number: 5603430
    Abstract: A separate spout is attached to each open bottle in a tavern with each spout having a magnetically operable valve to control the flow of liquor from the bottle. A transponder is provided in each spout transmits an unique identification code. To pour liquor from a bottle, an actuator is placed over the spout. An interrogator coupled to an interrogator coil in the actuator for sending an activation signal to the transponder and thereafter reads the identification code. A memory provides a group of storage locations for each of the plurality of spouts. The group of storage locations for a given spout contains the identification code for that spout and data regarding a total volume dispensed from a particular bottle to which the given spout is attached, a quantity present in the particular bottle when full, and a price per volume unit. A controller energizes a valve operating coil in the actuator to open a valve in response to the interrogator reading the identification code from a spout.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 18, 1997
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventors: John M. Loehrke, Thomas L. Heidebrecht
  • Patent number: 5586518
    Abstract: A milking cluster air fork (120) has outlets (122, 124, 126, 128) directing air tubes (80, 82, 84, 86) laterally inwardly of respective milk tubes (58, 60, 62, 64), rather than outwardly, to provide a narrower profile, such that if the dairy animal (22) lifts her rear leg (76, 78) and steps forward, the dew claw (112, 114) on the inside of her leg will not hook an air tube (80, 82, 84, 86) and pull the teat cup (50, 52, 54, 56) off the teat (26, 28, 30, 32).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 24, 1996
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: James A. Carrano