Abstract: A hygienic magnetic tray and conveyor. The low-profile tray includes a forcer sandwiched between an article-supporting top and an opposite bottom. The top is made of hygienic material, and the bottom can be made of a low-friction material. The tray is propelled along a guide surface on an enclosure housing stator coils supported in a conveyor frame. The stator forms a linear motor with the forcer in the tray. Roller balls protruding from the bottom of one version of the tray provide low-friction rolling contact with the guide surface. Various disposal systems provide escape routes for removing fluids and debris from the guide surface of the stator enclosure.
Abstract: A sensor system for a conveyor belt comprising a sensor stage on the conveyor belt and a stationary drive and detection stage external to the conveyor belt in the belt carryway. In an exemplary version, the sensor stage includes a capacitor sensor whose capacitance varies with the weight of a load atop a pressure platform at the belt's conveying surface. An oscillator in the drive and detection stage drives the capacitor sensor through capacitors formed when plates in the sensor stage in the advancing conveyor belt overlap stationary plates in the drive and detection stage during the belt's passage along the carryway. The corresponding plates in the belt and the carryway have different longitudinal dimensions to ensure constant plate overlap area of longer duration and despite lateral belt-tracking offset. The drive and detection stage detects the capacitance of the sensor and converts it into a weight value.
Abstract: A conveyor employs electrostatic force to selectively adhere packages to an inclined conveying surface and selectively release packages from the inclined conveying surface to separate the packages from each other. A pair of electrodes embedded in the body of a conveyor belt module are selectively energized via electrically conductive hinge rods used to connect conveyor belt modules together to generate the electrostatic force.
Abstract: Apparatus and methods for determining belt speed and pitch using correlation techniques. The apparatus includes a pair of rangefinders separated by a predetermined distance. The rangefinders each measure the distance to the belt at two positions separated from each other in the direction of belt travel. The apparatus creates at least one time-series profile record corresponding to the profile of a belt. The time delays between occurrences of a regularly spaced topographical feature in the belt's profile are used by a processor to compute belt pitch and speed. Correlation techniques are used for robust results.
Abstract: A conveyor system conveying packages with controlled gaps or pitches to a processing station and a method for controlling the speed of an infeed conveyor to supply packages to the processing station with maximized throughput. The conveyor system comprises the infeed conveyor followed by a separation conveyor, a gapping conveyor, and a processing conveyor delivering packages to the processing station. The length of a string of packages and interpackage gaps is measured on the separation conveyor and compared to the length of a string of packages on the processing conveyor. If the string length on the processing conveyor exceeds the string length on the separation conveyor, a programmed controller adjusts the infeed speed down. If the string length on the separation conveyor exceeds the string length on the processing conveyor, the controller adjusts the infeed speed up.
Abstract: A destacking conveyor having a conveyor belt with pushers selectively pushing stacked packages transverse to the conveying direction to one side of the conveyor against a vertical wall with a gap between the bottom of the wall and the belt to block the top package of a stack and allow the bottom package to pass through the gap and off the side of the belt to a reject bin. In another version a destacking conveyor uses a force applicator to apply a downward force against the top of a stack to hold the top package while the pushers slide the bottom package from under the top package.
June 25, 2018
September 17, 2020
Dane BRIDDELL, Matthew L. FOURNEY, Mark COSTANZO, Leonard J. REYNOLDS, JR., Eric LEEFE
Abstract: A roller conveyor having a bed of rollers supported by air bearings and driven by a linear-motor stator. The rollers are made of electrically conductive or magnetic material to operate as rotors forming linear motors with the linear stator. Air bearings support the ends of the rollers. Intermediate air bearings support the middle of long rollers in wide conveyors.
Abstract: A spiral conveyor and methods 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.
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.
Abstract: Apparatus and method for detecting materials on a conveyor belt using multi-energy x-ray absorption imaging. A spectroscopic x-ray detector consisting of a line array of pixels receives x-rays from an x-ray source directed through the conveyor belt. The x-rays are attenuated as they pass through the belt and materials on the belt. The pixels each produce an energy spectrum of the received x-rays. The received energy spectrum of each pixel is related to the source x-ray spectrum to determine a measured attenuation, which is then related to an attenuation model that includes the attenuation coefficients of a set of preselected constituent materials expected to be in or on the belt. Mathematical regression is used to fit the measured attenuation to the attenuation model to find the thickness of each constituent material for each pixel.
Abstract: A conveyor belt drive system comprises an axial flux motor. The axial flux motor comprises a stator and rotor bearing mounted on a stationary shaft. The stator drives a toothed rotor mounted on the rotor bearing. The rotor has a tubular shaft extension that mates with a drive shaft that can accommodate standard sprockets. Rotation of the rotor causes rotation of the drive shaft and sprockets to drive a conveyor belt.
Abstract: A conveyor employs a low-tension, direct drive conveyor belt, and a position limiter assembly. The position limiter assembly includes a primary position limiter and a secondary position limiter. The primary position limiter provides line of contact engagement with the conveyor belt while the secondary position limiter has an extended, static limiting surface for engaging the conveyor belt if the conveyor belt disengages from a drive sprocket prior to the line of contact with the primary position limiter.
May 17, 2017
Date of Patent:
June 30, 2020
Jeff Batchelder, Michael Hendrik DeGroot
Abstract: A detector detects the presence of liquid on a conveyed product using optics. The detector comprises a light source adjacent to a conveyor belt for directing a light beam into the conveyor belt body towards a top conveying surface and a light receiver for detecting the light beam after it reflects off of the top conveying surface. A reduction in intensity of the reflected light beam may indicate the presence of wetness on the top conveying surface.
Abstract: A weighing conveyor system, a checkweigher, and a method for weighing conveyed objects with a checkweigher comprising LIM-driven rollers positioned in a conveying line and position sensors for determining the objects' weights from the motion of the objects across the rollers. The LIM drives the rollers with a constant torque. The acceleration of an object driven by the rollers is inversely proportional to the object's weight. So an object's weight can be determined by the effect of the rollers on its motion.
Abstract: A diverting checkweigher comprising a conveyor belt with product-carrying, vertically floating slats that are supported on a weigh scale as the belt passes over it. The floating slats isolate product weight from belt weight. The slats themselves may be laterally stationary or divertible. If divertable, they can divert products based on their weights. If not divertible, the slats can be used with product pushers to divert products for weight-based sorting or rejection. The slats have legs that extend below the bottom of the belt to ride on the scale or be diverted across the belt by a diverter. The pushers are diverted by a diverter.
Abstract: A hygienic magnetic tray and conveyor. The low-profile tray includes a forcer sandwiched between an article-supporting top and an opposite bottom. The top is made of hygienic material, and the bottom can be made of a low-friction material. The tray is propelled along a guide surface on an enclosure housing stator coils supported in a conveyor frame. The stator forms a linear motor with the forcer in the tray. Various disposal systems provide escape routes for removing fluids and debris from the guide surface of the stator enclosure.
January 31, 2018
Date of Patent:
May 19, 2020
Bryant G. Ragan, Shuchi P. Khurana, John F. Landrum, Aditya Mehendale, Gerard Johannes Pieter Nijsse, Funda Sahin-Nomaler, Silvester Matheus Reijnders, Ewout Peter van der Laan
Abstract: A modular conveyor belt constructed of a series of hingedly interconnected belt modules, one or more modules comprises a base conveyor belt module and an insert for integrating a side wall and drive structure. The insert is received in a socket of an associated module. The insert comprising a plug portion received in the socket, a planar portion extending up from the plug portion to form a side guard above the top surface and drive structure for engaging a drive.
Abstract: A modular plastic conveyor belt constructed of a series of block-shaped belt modules. The belt has drive elements along its left and right sides for side-driving by a sprocket or drive belt. The top side and the bottom side are flat, devoid of drive structure, and provide high impact resistance and reversibility. Hinge elements along leading and trailing sides have circular hinge-pin holes or elongated oval holes that allow the belt to collapse under low tension.
Abstract: A conveyor and a sensing system for sensing various conditions on an advancing conveying bodies of a conveyor. The conveyor includes an array of sensing elements embedded in the conveying bodies to measure belt conditions. The sensing elements form parts of passive resonant circuits that each include a capacitor and an inductive coil. The capacitor or the inductive coil can be a sensing element. Measuring circuits external to the belt are inductively or capacitively coupled to the resonant circuits in the conveying bodies as they pass closely by. The sensing elements change the resonant frequency of their resonant circuits as a function of the sensed conditions. Frequency detectors in the measuring circuits measure that frequency change and convert it into a functionally related value used to determine a conveyor condition. Exemplary conditions include temperature, pressure, humidity, spillage, and product weight.
Abstract: A motorized pulley mounted on a stationary shaft to drive a conveyor belt. The motorized pulley is constructed of an axial-flux motor in a housing connected to the motor's rotor. A driver including a drive ring has a drive surface mounted to the periphery of the housing to rotate with the rotor and the housing and drive a conveyor belt. The motor's stator is affixed to the shaft axially offset from the rotor.
January 4, 2017
Date of Patent:
March 17, 2020
Bryant G. Ragan, Gilbert J. MacLachlan, David C. Weiser