Patents Assigned to Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
  • Patent number: 5788050
    Abstract: An apparatus for moving a series of disk-like articles, such as can ends. The apparatus includes an article moving assembly, an article counting system and an article separating assembly. The article moving assembly includes an adjustment assembly for adjusting the article moving assembly to accommodate a range of can end diameters moving through a path of travel. The can end counting system includes a sensor which detects the rotation of a component of the can end moving assembly. The sensor is coupled to a control device which receives sensing information from the sensor to determine the number of can ends passing through the end moving assembly. The separator assembly includes a blade attached to an actuation assembly. The blade is inserted a sufficient distance to contact an edge portion of an article and the actuation assembly moves the contacted group of articles by moving the blade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Mojden, Paul M. Ross
  • Patent number: 5669156
    Abstract: An article separating and drying system which receives container ends from an infeed station, separates and dries the container ends and the compound applied thereto in a separating and drying station, and passes the articles to an outfeed station. The article separating and drying system includes a magnetic separating assembly which imposes a magnetic field on the container ends passing thereby for similarly magnetizing the container ends causing neighboring ends to repel one another. The magnetic repulsion of neighboring ends produces gaps between the neighboring ends as they move through the separating and drying station. A conveying device is provided to controllably move the container ends through the separating and drying station. An air distribution assembly is provided to deliver air to said separating and drying station and drive the air through the gap between neighboring container ends thereby contacting the liner compound applied to the container ends and removing moisture therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1997
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Miroslav W. Vejchoda
  • Patent number: 5669482
    Abstract: An article hold-up assembly for use with an article handling apparatus to maintain at least one article defining a trailing end of a group of articles in an abutting orientation with a group as the group is moved by a conveyor along an elongated lane. The article handling apparatus includes an elongated lane defining an axis of elongation for merging a finite series of articles defining a group of articles with a generally continuous series of articles defining an outfeed stream of articles. The article handling apparatus includes a conveyor for moving articles through at least a portion of the lane. The article hold-up assembly includes an air supply device, a plenum chamber communicating with the air supply device, and a plurality of apertures in the plenum chamber. The air supply device provides positive air flow into the plenum chamber. The plenum chamber and the apertures therein are positioned spaced away from the axis of elongation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1997
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Mojden, Paul M. Ross
  • Patent number: 5607278
    Abstract: An automatic loading and unloading system is provided for loading articles supplied from a first location at a rate commensurate with the rate at which articles are supplied from the first location into trays and for unloading the articles from the trays for transport to a second location at a rate commensurate with the demand for articles at the second location, and for balancing a supply of articles loaded onto trays with variations in both the rate of supply thereof and the rate of demand therefor. The system includes a tray loading station, and a tray loading apparatus for loading articles supplied from the first location into trays at tray loading station. An infeed device feeds articles to the loading apparatus in a predetermined, orderly fashion. At a stacking station, a stacking device stacks article-filled trays to form a supply thereof for use on demand. An outfeed device delivers articles on demand to the second location in a predetermined, orderly fashion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 4, 1997
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems. Inc.
    Inventors: Wallace W. Mojden, Andrew Mojden, Robert E. Darr
  • Patent number: 5586638
    Abstract: A discharge apparatus for an article handling system receives a group of articles in a facewise stacked condition and delivering the group of articles to an outfeed apparatus wherein the articles are arranged in a continuous flow. The discharge apparatus comprises a first stage station wherein groups of articles are received; an elongate discharge station having an incoming end and an outgoing end, the outgoing end being adjacent an outfeed apparatus, and the incoming end being spaced apart from the first stage station. An article carrying lane extends from the first stage station through the discharge station. A shuttle is bidirectionally movable between the first stage station and the discharge station for transporting a group of articles along the article carrying lane from the first stage station to the discharge station and returning to the first stage station to receive a subsequent group of articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 24, 1996
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Mojden, Richard P. Hoinacki
  • Patent number: 5524947
    Abstract: A self-contained pick-and-place apparatus for respectively engaging and releasing an elongate group of stacked articles such as an elongate stack of nested can ends comprises an elongate pivot shaft defining a longitudinal axis, a pair of elongated gripping members for surroundingly engaging the articles, and pivot arms coupled with the gripping members and mounted to the pivot shaft for bidirectional pivotal motion about the longitudinal axis for thereby moving the gripping members respectively toward and away from each other. The pivot arms are biased to pivot in a direction for moving the gripping members toward each other. One or more cams are supported by the pivot shaft for movement between a pivot arm open position and a pivot arm closed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 11, 1996
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Mojden, Richard P. Hoinacki, Wayne Muhr, Robert L. Reinhardt
  • Patent number: 5503505
    Abstract: An improved air conveyor for conveying a plurality of articles such as cans in an upright orientation between stations in a multi-step process includes an elongate deck having a plurality of openings for directing air upwardly and in a direction in which articles are to be conveyed and guides mounted to opposite lateral sides of the deck for maintaining articles upon the deck while being conveyed thereover. A top cover assembly includes at least one perforated panel vertically spaced above the deck and extending over an area substantially similar to the area defined by the deck. A plurality of cover panels overlie the perforated panel. Retaining structures maintain the cover panels substantially in place laterally while permitting movement thereof toward and away from the perforated panel for regulating air flow through portions of the perforated panel in response to variations in air pressure beneath the perforated panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 2, 1996
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Miroslav W. Vejchoda
  • Patent number: 5487637
    Abstract: An article handling method is provided for receiving articles such as can ends or the like, or similarly shaped disk-like articles supplied in elongate stacks from a first location, for loading the stacks of articles into trays for selectively storing the same for subsequent use and for unloading the stacks of articles from trays for transport to a second location so as to compensate for differences between a rate of supply of articles at a first location and a rate of demand for articles at a second location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 30, 1996
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Mojden, Richard P. Hoinacki
  • Patent number: 5450679
    Abstract: A rotary oven conveyor apparatus is provided for receiving a continuous flow of articles such as can ends and for conveying the articles in an on-edge, spaced apart condition for a selectable predetermined period of time, to facilitate a treatment such as oven curing of a coating previously applied to the articles. The rotary oven conveyor comprises an enlarged wheel structure defining an axis and having a diameter many times the cross-sectional dimensions of the articles and mounted for rotation about its axis. A drive rotates the wheel structure about its axis. An article-receiving area is defined about an outer periphery of the wheel structure and is configured for partially surroundingly recieving the articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 19, 1995
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Mojden, Miroslav W. Vejchoda
  • Patent number: 5449060
    Abstract: A discharge apparatus for an article handling system receives a group of articles in a facewise stacked condition and delivers the group of articles to an outfeed apparatus wherein the articles are arranged in a continuous flow. The discharge apparatus comprises a first stage station wherein groups of articles are received; an elongate discharge station having an incoming end and an outgoing end, the outgoing end being adjacent an outfeed apparatus, and the incoming end being spaced apart from the first stage station. An article carrying lane extends from the first stage station through the discharge station. A shuttle is bidirectionally movable between the first stage station and the discharge station for transporting a group of articles along the article carrying lane from the first stage station to the discharge station and returning to the first stage station to receive a subsequent group of articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 12, 1995
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Mojden, Richard P. Hoinacki
  • Patent number: 5441382
    Abstract: An infeed apparatus for an article handling system includes an infeed lane for guiding a flow of articles in a facewise nested condition. A separating station is located along the infeed lane for receiving the flow of articles and a separating device located adjacent the separating station separates the articles into groups of articles of a predetermined length. A shuttle receives a group of articles from the separating device and transports the group of articles to an infeed station located along the infeed lane at a location remote from the separating station. A trailing end hold-up engages a trailing end of a group of articles in the infeed station to permit the shuttle to return to the separating station to receive a subsequent group of articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Mojden, Richard P. Hoinacki
  • Patent number: 5435687
    Abstract: An automatic loading and unloading system is provided for loading articles supplied from a first location at a rate commensurate with the rate at which articles are supplied from the first location into trays and for unloading the articles from the trays for transport to a second location at a rate commensurate with the demand for articles at the second location, and for balancing a supply of articles loaded onto trays with variations in both the rate of supply thereof and the rate of demand therefor. The system includes a tray loading station, and a tray loading apparatus for loading articles supplied from the first location into trays at tray loading station. An infeed device feeds articles to the loading apparatus in a predetermined, orderly fashion. At a stacking station, a stacking device stacks article-filled trays to form a supply thereof for use on demand. An outfeed device delivers articles on demand to the second location in a predetermined, orderly fashion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 25, 1995
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Wallace W. Mojden, Andrew Mojden, Robert E. Darr
  • Patent number: 5395208
    Abstract: A rotary article storage and outfeed apparatus stores a plurality of groups of generally flat articles in a facewise stacked condition and delivers a supply of these articles to an infeed for a device wherein the articles are to be utilized. The apparatus comprises an upper rotary carousel rotatable about an upper axis and a lower rotary carousel located below the upper carousel and rotatable about a lower axis parallel to and offset from the upper axis. Each of the carousels has a plurality of circumferentially spaced vertically oriented pockets, each pocket being dimensioned for receiving a group of articles in a facewise stacked condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1995
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel R. Mojden, Thomas E. Close, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5375961
    Abstract: The invention provides a method and apparatus for debagging a stack of articles such as can ends and the like which are arranged in a facewise stacked condition in an elongate tubular bag. The method comprises the steps of engaging one end of the bag and then pulling the bag in an axial direction for removing it from the stack of articles while simultaneously retaining the articles in such a manner as to prevent axial movement thereof to a degree sufficient to disengage any of the articles from their facewise stacked condition in response to the axial movement of the bag. The invention also provides novel apparatus for carrying out this method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1994
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel R. Mojden, Thomas E. Close, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5372473
    Abstract: An article handling method is provided for receiving articles such as can ends or the like, or similarly shaped disk-like articles supplied in elongate stacks from a first location, for loading the stacks of articles into trays for selectively storing the same for subsequent use and for unloading the stacks of articles from trays for transport to a second location so as to compensate for diffrences between a rate of supply of articles at a first location and a rate of demand for articles at a second location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1994
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Moyden, Richard P. Hoinacki
  • Patent number: 5372245
    Abstract: An auxiliary drive apparatus is provided for a motorized feeder device for propelling a flow of articles such as can ends in a facewise nested condition from a first location to a second location. The feeder device includes belts engaging the articles and a drive for driving the belts to propel the articles. The auxiliary drive apparatus comprises a power take-off coupled to the drive, an article propelling assembly located and configured for engaging and propelling the articles in a direction from the first location to the second location, and a power transmitting assembly operatively coupled intermediate the power take-off and the article propelling assembly for driving the article propelling assembly in a manner for cooperating with the belts for propelling the articles from the first location to the second location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1994
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel R. Mojden, Miroslav W. Vejchoda
  • Patent number: 5346050
    Abstract: An article delivery station alignment apparatus is provided for use with a carousel-type rotary infeed device for articles arranged in stacks of a predetermined length, which infeed device is made of a plurality of carrier pockets each for receiving a stack of articles and movable about a closed chain relative to an article delivery station, located at one end of the chain and defining a vertical axis, wherein articles are to be discharged from the carrier pockets, the carrier pockets and the stacks of articles therein being aligned with respective axes parallel to the vertical axis. The alignment apparatus includes a pair of sprockets, one to either side of the vertical axis of the delivery station and engaging the chain for defining a relatively short, straight segment of chain traversing the article delivery station, and a rigid chain guide located between the sprockets for holding the chain in a relatively straight and rigid condition as it traverses the article delivery station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 13, 1994
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel R. Mojden, Thomas E. Close, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5335810
    Abstract: A control apparatus is provided for use in an article handling system having a conduit through which articles such as can ends in a facewise nested condition are conveyed from a first location to a second location. The control apparatus comprises a housing operatively interposed in the conduit and an elastomeric tubular sleeve member mounted in the housing and defining a through passage of a shape generally complementary to the shape of the articles. The tubular sleeve member is responsive to the level of pressure in a pressure chamber for applying a corresponding force about the periphery of the articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 9, 1994
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter W. Holloway
  • Patent number: 5318166
    Abstract: Article hold up apparatus is provided for use with an elongate lane for transporting a plurality of articles received in a facewise nested condition from a first location at one end of the lane along the lane until a leading end of the articles reaches an opposite end of the lane, for retaining a leading one of the articles in a substantially coaxial facewise nested orientation with respect to the others of the articles for thereby retaining the articles being transported along the lane substantially in a facewise nested condition. The article hold up apparatus comprises air directing structure extending substantially the length of the elongate lane for directing air in a direction generally opposite a direction of travel of the articles along the lane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 7, 1994
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Mojden, Richard P. Hoinacki
  • Patent number: RE35505
    Abstract: Article hold up apparatus is provided for use with an elongate lane for transporting a plurality of articles received in a facewise nested condition from a first location at one end of the lane along the lane until a leading end of the articles reaches an opposite end of the lane, for retaining a leading one of the articles in a substantially coaxial facewise nested orientation with respect to the others of the articles for thereby retaining the articles being transported along the lane substantially in a facewise nested condition. The article hold up apparatus comprises air directing structure extending substantially the length of the elongate lane for directing air in a direction generally opposite a direction of travel of the articles along the lane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 13, 1997
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Mojden, Richard P. Hoinacki