Patents Examined by Frank E. Werner
  • Patent number: 6595738
    Abstract: A lift gate assembly particularly adapted for use in a vehicle having a side opening. The assembly includes a platform that folds and pivots to the interior of the vehicle when in a stored mode. When deployed, the platform pivots to the exterior of the vehicle and unfolds. A telescoping column allows movement of the unfolded platform between upper and lower levels. Movement of the platform may be accomplished by employing hydraulic means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Waltco Truck Equipment
    Inventors: Ken Rock, Andy Grow
  • Patent number: 6579053
    Abstract: A robotic containerization and palletizing system having a multiple-fingered end effector. The system includes a frame that defines one or more cells. Each cell has one gantry-type robot, which is mounted in a set of tracks on top of the frame. The robot is movable along two axes and has an arm to which the end effector is mounted. The end effector is designed to grasp trays, tubs, and similar items from a conveyor system running through the cell and load them in a cart or on a pallet. The items are gripped by two sets of fingers. One set of fingers may be mounted to a first plate and another set of fingers may be mounted to a carriage that moves in a horizontal direction, either toward or away from the first set of fingers. Each finger has a main shaft and a bent tip. The shafts are rotatable such that the tips can be moved underneath or out from under a load, depending upon whether a pick-up or drop-off operation is being performed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: ABB Flexible Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert S. Grams, Thomas Watson, Patrick Resch, Gilbert Dominguez
  • Patent number: 6579057
    Abstract: A conveyor apparatus for conveying, for instance, dies, comprising: an X-axis moving block movable in an X-axis direction that is a lead frame conveying direction, a Y-axis moving block installed on the X-axis moving block and moved in a Y-axis direction that is perpendicular to the X-axis direction, a nozzle holder installed on the Y-axis moving block so as to be movable upward and downward, a Z-axis guide rail installed on the X-axis moving block and has an inclined part that rises from a die pick-up position side toward a die bonding position side, a Z-axis moving plate moved upward and downward along the Z-axis guide rail and is connected to the nozzle holder, and a suction chucking nozzle that holds the dies by vacuum suction and is installed so as to be moved upward and downward on the nozzle holder and together with the nozzle holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Shinkawa
    Inventors: Tsutomu Mimata, Hiroshi Watanabe, Yasushi Sato
  • Patent number: 6572101
    Abstract: A jogger for a signature feeder includes a back stop disposed at a first side of a hopper of the feeder and a flexible jogging element disposed at a second side of the hopper opposite the first side. As a stack of signatures is formed in the hopper, the flexible jogging element is oscillated in a lateral direction so as to periodically bend the flexible jogging element against the stack of the signatures and form a pushing zone and a vibrating zone in the hopper. The vibrating zone is below the pushing zone, and the vertical lengths of the pushing and vibrating zones are a function of the height of the stack of signatures. The signatures in the pushing zone are urged against the back stop by the flexible jogging element so as to register the signatures as the stack is formed, and the signatures in the vibrating zone are vibrated by the flexible jogging element so as to improve the registration of the signatures in the stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
    Inventors: Mehmet Oktay Kaya, Heiner Philipp Luxem
  • Patent number: 6568897
    Abstract: In a motor vehicle including a load receiving bed, a chassis .includes a generally horizontal base, from which there extends a pair of legs, and four hydraulic cylinders, associated lines, associated valves, and a flow restriction device are provided for moving the load receiving bed between a raised transport position and a lowered position against a surface upon which the vehicle is resting. A tail gate is pivotally attached to a rear portion of the load receiving bed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Razorback Vehicles Corporation Pty. Ltd.
    Inventor: Jeffrey Kendall
  • Patent number: 6565308
    Abstract: A Bulk Mail Container (BMC) unloader uses a simple crossed four bar-linkage to move a predetermined point on a BMC unloader in a substantially straight line while the overall BMC unloader rotates about that predetermined point so as to upend the BMC container. This takes advantage of the crossed four-bar's substantially straight-line motion over a limited range of its motion, as well as the rotational motion of the particular unloader link disclosed herein. This is advantageous for unloading. In use, a BMC container is simply rolled into the BMC unloader, and the entire combination of the BMC container and BMC unloader is then actuated to produce substantially straight line motion along a suitably selected “center” point of the BMC unloader while the overall combination rotates about the center point so as to upend the BMC for unloading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: The University of the State of New York, State Education Department
    Inventors: Stephen Derby, Matthew Simon, Mark Allen
  • Patent number: 6565307
    Abstract: Transfer machine, intended for transferring loads (K), especially containers, wherein the transfer machine comprises a frame (R) equipped with a wheelwork (P); a horizontal support plane (1) located in connection with the frame (R) for supporting the load (K) during the transfer, and a vertical transfer apparatus (S) for lifting the load (K) on the support of the support plane (1) and off the support of the support plane (1), wherein the vertical transfer apparatus (S) is arranged to lift and lower loads (K) from the side of the transfer machine and thereby from the side of the support plane (1). The vertical transfer apparatus (S) of the transfer machine is placed in connection with the frame (R) on the first side of the support plane (1), and the vertical transfer apparatus (S) is arranged to reach over the support plane when lifting or lowering the load (K), in order to move the load (K) onto the support plane (1) or off the support plane (1) from the second side of the support plane (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: Oy Meclift Ltd.
    Inventor: Jouko Niemelä
  • Patent number: 6557848
    Abstract: A paper-stopping mechanism applied in an automatic document feeder (ADF). The paper-stopping mechanism includes a shaft, a stepping motor for carrying the shaft to rotate, a cam structure having a first protruding portion and a second protruding portion and carried by the shaft to rotate the first protruding portion and the second protruding portion thereof, a paper-stopping arm having a bearing point, wherein the bearing point is moved against by the first protruding portion to move the paper-stopping arm upward, and an elastic buckling device for buckling the paper-stopping arm when the paper-stopping arm is moving upward to stay at a paper-feeding position, and for shifting when the second protruding portion of the cam structure is rotated against the elastic buckling device for removing the paper-stopping arm from the elastic buckling device to return to a paper-stopping position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Silitek Corporation
    Inventors: Sidney Hsiao, Jones Wu, Jackly Liu, Julian Liu
  • Patent number: 6558111
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a system and a method to unload bulk powders from large bulk containers. The system and method are particularly useful for unloading bulk cohesive powders.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
    Inventors: Catherine Marie Wilson, Timothy Allan Bell, John D. Connolly, Jr., Peter Carl Clark
  • Patent number: 6558106
    Abstract: Lifting device (1) for disabled people in wheelchairs and children's pushchairs, comprising a supporting frame (2), permanently applied to a motor vehicle or a fixed installation, and a sliding foldaway platform (3) moving between a retracted position and an extracted position, with respect to said supporting frame (2). The platform (3) can also move in said extracted position, between a lowered position and a raised position, by means of an articulated parallelogram linkage system (17). The movements of the platform (3) are achieved by means of electrical actuators (9, 20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Rollon S.p.A.
    Inventor: Gennaro Sardonico
  • Patent number: 6558103
    Abstract: An apparatus for unloading packages, parcels, postal items, baggage, etc., from a container having an open side. The apparatus has a sliding wall that is disposed over the open side of the container when the container is receiving within the apparatus. The apparatus, along with the container, is tilted such that the open side of the container is generally directed downward. From this tilted orientation, the sliding wall of the apparatus is withdrawn, incrementally exposing the open side of the container, permitting the controlled egress of the packages, etc., from the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Southworth Products Corporation
    Inventor: Mark W. Lilley
  • Patent number: 6550636
    Abstract: A sheet article dispenser includes a housing and a double-acting spring designed to urge a stack of sheet articles toward an access opening in the housing to allow only the outermost sheet to be removed one at a time. The double-acting spring includes a thin flexible panel and a resilient band. The panel has opposite ends flanking a middle section. The ends each have a pair of lateral notches at opposite edges for receiving the resilient band. The ends are flexed inwardly to form an S-shaped structure with arcuate surfaces on each side of the middle section that can deform elastically.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Menasha Corporation
    Inventor: Raymond Simpson
  • Patent number: 6550133
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a surface mounting apparatus installed with a tray feeder in which a mounter is, at its one side, installed with a tape reel feeder and is, at its other side, installed with a tray feeder so that various semiconductor device can be, easily and rapidly, supplied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Mirae Corporation
    Inventors: Jae Bong Seo, Jae Hyuk Cho
  • Patent number: 6547509
    Abstract: This invention relates to a lifting device for low-weight loads, and may have a lift and tilt arrangement comprising one single lift arm and one single tilt arm. In that case those arms can either be located centrally in relation to the platform or at one of its sides. Two lift arms and two tilt arms together may be used with related link arms, those lift and tilt arms then being suitably journalled on a common horizontal shaft and the link arms on another horizontal shaft, those two shafts extending transversely to the load-supporting portion of the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Edmolift AB
    Inventor: Torbjörn Edmo
  • Patent number: 6543566
    Abstract: A tractor-mounted forklift comprising a first frame having its rearward end secured to the underside of the tractor and having its forward end secured to the forward end of the tractor about a longitudinally extending pivot axis. A second frame is pivotally secured, about a transverse axis, to the forward end of the first frame and has a pair of ground-engaging wheels mounted at the opposite sides thereof. A hydraulic cylinder is pivotally connected to and extends between the first and second frames to pivot the second frame upwardly and downwardly with respect to the first frame. A materials handling attachment, such as a bale grapple, is mounted on a vertically movable lift which is secured to the forward end of the second frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Inventor: Milford K. Mason
  • Patent number: 6543982
    Abstract: An adjustable wafer transfer machine that includes an adjusting mechanism for changing the spacing between adjacent wafers to accommodate placement of the wafers in either a smaller wafer carrier or a larger wafer carrier and a transfer mechanism for transferring the wafers between the smaller wafer carrier and the adjusting mechanism and for transferring the wafers between the larger wafer carrier and the adjusting mechanism. The adjusting mechanism comprises a pair of flat plates disposed parallel to and opposite one another and a plurality of elongated opposing dividers slidably mounted on the plates. The dividers are disposed vertically adjacent to one another at spaced apart intervals and they extend horizontally to support the wafers along a portion of their perimeter. A positioning mechanism is operatively coupled to the dividers for changing the spacing between the dividers and, correspondingly, between the wafers supported on the dividers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Ernest C. Nichols, Leo L. Malmin, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6540470
    Abstract: The motorcycle wheel washing ramp comprised of a frame including opposing sidewalls and at least one incline wall substantially perpendicular to the sidewalls. The sidewalls have opposing apertures to adjustably receive parallel aligned rollers to permit the motorcycle wheel to advance upward onto the ramp and over the two parallel rollers after which the wheel may be manually turned for washing, cleaning and/or polishing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Inventors: Gerald F. Smith, Timothy R. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6540466
    Abstract: An improved apparatus and method is provided for storing semiconductor wafer carriers, and for loading wafers or wafer carriers to a fabrication tool. The apparatus preferably provides an elevated port for receipt of wafer carriers from an overhead factory transport, allows for local interconnection among a plurality of the inventive apparatuses, and enables independent loading of the factory load port and the tool load port. An inventive wafer handling method which divides a lot of wafers into sublots and distributes the sublots among tools configured to perform the same process is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Z. Bachrach
  • Patent number: 6537017
    Abstract: A pallet positioner includes a support frame that consists of a main upright structure with a pair of spaced, parallel outriggers extending horizontally at ground level. The distal ends of the outriggers are connected by a flat, low-profile ramp. The upright structure includes a pair of vertical guide masts rigidly mounted on a horizontal base bracing the proximal ends of the outriggers. A cantilevered carrier with a rotatable platform is mounted laterally for vertical motion along the vertical guide masts. A pneumatic bellows and an air reservoir in the base are adapted to raise and provide self-leveling to the platform. Two hydraulic cylinders provide dampening and a stabilizing effect. The flow of hydraulic fluid in the cylinders is used to control the motion of the carrier. A braking system under the platform prevents its rotation at ground level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: Bishamon Industries Corporation
    Inventor: Robert M. Stone
  • Patent number: 6537013
    Abstract: One embodiment of a picking tool for an automated library of disk drives has an electromagnet, a tapered hole, and a ventilation system. The ventilation system has a box fan with an impeller for moving air through ducting located within the picking tool. The ducting includes a vents located adjacent to one surface of the picking tool. The picking tool is designed to work in conjunction with a disk drive carrier having a front bezel equipped with a tapered guide pin that is complementary to the tapered hole, and vent ports. The guide pin provides alignment between the carrier and the picking tool. The automated disk drive library has a rack with drawers for containing the carriers. The picking tool is mounted to a robotic arm for selectively engaging and interfacing with the carriers. After the picking tool aligns with a desired carrier, the picking tool moves toward the carrier to insert the guide pin into the tapered hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Robert George Emberty, Craig Anthony Klein, Daniel James Winarski