Patents Examined by Frank E. Werner
  • Patent number: 6354786
    Abstract: A combined dump truck and spreader apparatus is disclosed for selectively dumping and spreading materials. The apparatus includes a truck chassis and a body for receiving and dispensing the materials. The body has a first and a second end and a first and second curved side wall. The body is secured to the chassis and a tailgate is secured to the first end of the body. An auger arrangement is disposed within the body and extends between the first and second ends thereof for transporting the materials along the body. The tailgate defines an opening which co-operates with the auger arrangement for permitting the flow therethrough of the materials. The arrangement is such that selective spreading and dumping of the materials from the opening is permitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Monroe Truck Equipment Inc.
    Inventor: Richard L. Feller
  • Patent number: 6354794
    Abstract: An apparatus for transferring wafers between wafer holders such as wafer cassettes, etching drums and the like includes a tank for containing a liquid transfer medium in which the wafers can be transferred. The apparatus includes a wafer transfer unit that can transfer a plurality of wafers such as semiconductor wafers between wafer holders, and maintain the wafers in a desired relative orientation during transfer. For example, the wafers can be maintained in a parallel relationship. The apparatus can be used to automatically transfer wafers to etching drums without cross-indexing of the wafers and without manual handling of the wafers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: SEH America, Inc.
    Inventors: Michito Sato, Hiroaki Fukabori, Yukio Mukaino
  • Patent number: 6352399
    Abstract: An apparatus for automatically and simultaneously loading a single long wafer boat or a plurality of wafer boats onto a cantilever paddle includes a stationary first track aligned with a first opening of a diffusion furnace and a first carriage moveable on the first track. The first carriage supports a cantilever paddle. A first vertical translation mechanism includes a first stationary part and a first vertically moveable support. A second vertical translation mechanism includes a second stationary part and a second vertically moveable support. A first horizontal translation mechanism includes a first base supported by the first vertically moveable support and a first horizontally moveable arm supported by the first base. A second horizontal translation mechanism includes a second base supported by the second vertically moveable support and a second horizontally moveable arm supported by the second base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2002
    Assignee: Amtech Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: John M. Martin, Arthur W. Harrison
  • Patent number: 6345950
    Abstract: A ramp assembly for spanning between a first lower surface and a second relatively elevated upper surface defined by a structure having at least two elongated runners in telescoping relation relative to each other. The ramp assembly includes at least two elongated runners, preferably formed of a light weight structural plastic or aluminum, and an angular support member integral with each end of each runner for engaging the upper surface and lower surface of a platform. Thus, upon extension and placement of the ramp assembly in an inclined orientation relative to such platforms, each end thereof forms a secure and slip resistant attachment to such platform. The assembly can also include an additional runner disposed intermediate between each of the two runners. In this latter assembly configuration, each of two end runners are similarly configured, relative to said intermediate runner, to engage and support the intermediate runner, both in the compact and extended configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2002
    Inventor: William Gerwitz
  • Patent number: 6341930
    Abstract: A bulk material feeder for improving material flow as the material makes the generally ninety degree (90°) transition from the downcomer to the generally horizontal conveyor. The downcomer presents an innermost divergent surface that extends upwardly from the discharge opening of the downcomer. The divergent surface may be defined by an inlet wall that is fit within the outer casing wall of the downcomer, or by the outer casing wall itself. The present invention also concerns the method of retrofitting an existing feeder with a divergent inlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: General Signal Corporation
    Inventor: John C. Homer, III
  • Patent number: 6338605
    Abstract: A tractor (20) for unloading a trailer (12) from a railcar (14) is disclosed. The tractor (20) comprises a trigger actuator (34) and a bumper (30). The trigger actuator (34) is fixably mounted to the tractor (20) and remains stationary. The bumper (30) of the tractor (20) may be operated between an extended position and a retracted position. When the bumper (30) is in the extended position and the tractor (20) is adjacent to a stanchion (16), the trigger actuator (34) does not engage the trigger of the stanchion (16). When the bumper (30) is in the retracted position and the tractor (20) is adjacent to the stanchion (16), the trigger actuator (34) engages the trigger (28) of the stanchion (16) to operate the stanchion (16) from the raised position to the lowered position, thereby transferring the trailer (12) from the stanchion (16) to the tractor (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2002
    Assignee: Kalmar Industries USA Inc.
    Inventors: Merlin B. Halverson, Henry Lamb
  • Patent number: 6336783
    Abstract: An improved wheel-lift apparatus attachable to various types of transport trucks, including rollback trucks for loading and carrying disabled vehicles. The improved wheel-lift apparatus provides a horizontal extendable boom mechanism long enough for receiving disabled vehicles. As a result of the wheel-lift's “low angle” or horizontal approach, the risk of damage occurring to the chassis or body of the disabled vehicle while in the loading and carrying modes is greatly diminished.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2002
    Assignee: Jerr-Dan Corporation
    Inventors: Charles E. Young, David D. Hedstrom
  • Patent number: 6325588
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to the remote operation of an auger attached to a portable unit for storing and transporting particulate matter. A bin having a number of sidewalls which converge downwardly and inwardly to a discharge end secured to a frame. A discharge chute is attached to the bin to receive particulate matter from the bin and transfer the particulate matter from the bin. An unloading auger is secured within the discharge chute and powered by a motor which is secured to the frame. In general operation, a clutch assembly engages the motor to the unloading auger causing the particulate matter to be unloaded. A user may use a transmitter to send a signal to a receiver which increases or decreases the output of the motor and engages or disengages the clutch such that the auger may be started or stopped. The transmitter and receiver may communicate using a radio signal. Additionally, wheels may support the frame and a trailer hitch may be attached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Pride Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Karl W. Nolin
  • Patent number: 6322310
    Abstract: Two embodiments of a slope extension are disclosed herein for use with a vehicle restraint. In each embodiment, the vehicle restraint is adapted to releasably secure a parked trailer or other vehicle to an adjacent structure, such as a loading dock, and includes a carriage assembly which is adjustably mounted in proximity to the adjacent structure for movement relative to a roadway, and a restraining member which is operatively attached to the carriage assembly. In operation, each embodiment of the inventive slope extension interacts with the carriage assembly to avoid a “dead lock” condition wherein the carriage assembly is obstructed from moving downwardly toward the roadway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Rite-Hite Holding Corporation
    Inventors: Brian Bender, Norbert Hahn, John A. Schiessl
  • Patent number: 6318945
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus substrate transport and load lock assembly comprising a first load lock, a first substrate elevator, and a transport robot. The substrate elevator has a first vertical drive and a first substrate support connected to the vertical drive. The support is vertically movable by the vertical drive along a path including a first position outside of the load lock and a second position inside the load lock. The transport robot has a movable arm for supporting at least one substrate thereon. The arm is movable into and out of the path while the support is located in the load lock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher A. Hofmeister
  • Patent number: 6318949
    Abstract: A lift truck clamp for handling stacked loads of different sizes has a pair of opposing clamping assemblies, one of which has a pair of clamp arms movable selectively toward and away from the other clamping assembly under the control of a pair of fluid power actuators. A linkage mechanism interconnects the pair of clamp arms so as to permit relative movement therebetween to enable the clamp arms to move asynchronously toward the other clamping assembly. The linkage mechanism includes a stop assembly preventing more than a predetermined misalignment of the pair of clamp arms, and a spring assembly imposing a yieldable biasing force biasing the pair of clamp arms toward alignment with respect to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: Cascade Corporation
    Inventor: Richard D. Seaberg
  • Patent number: 6318944
    Abstract: A semiconductor fabricating apparatus having a vertical reaction furnace, a boat for holding plural wafers in a multi-layered fashion and being loaded into the vertical reaction furnace, a storage disposed at a location corresponding to the boat for storing at least one of the wafer cassettes, a wafer transfer device for transferring the wafer between the storage and the boat, a cassette transfer unit for transferring the wafer cassettes between the apparatus and outside thereof, a cassette transfer device for effecting the transfer of the wafer cassettes between the cassette transfer unit and the storage, and a plurality of cassette shelves disposed within a range allowing transfer of the wafer cassettes from the cassette transfer device for receiving the wafer cassettes in upwardly-oriented positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: Kokusai Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuhiro Shimeno, Kouji Tometsuka, Shigeo Ohba
  • Patent number: 6318948
    Abstract: This invention related to a substrate transfer apparatus having an arm holder moving into and out of a cassette while a substrate is mounted thereon, a forward and backward driving mechanism for moving the arm holder forward and backward, and a contact support member for supporting the substrate in contact with a lower surface peripheral portion of the substrate placed on the arm holder, said contact support member comprising a first defining portion for defining a front end of the substrate placed on the arm holder, and a second defining portion facing the first defining portion, for defining a rear end of the substrate placed on the arm holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Issei Ueda, Tadayuki Yamaguchi
  • Patent number: 6315515
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a wheel grid assembly and vehicle towing apparatus. The wheel grid assembly includes a wheel boom and a pair of lift arms. Each lift arm consists of an extension arm segment and an engaging arm segment pivotally mounted to the extension arm segment. Each engaging arm segment consists of an actuating arm segment and a gripping arm segment extending in opposite directions from the pivot point. A pair of linear actuators rotate the engaging arm segments about their pivot points to engage the wheels of a vehicle to be towed. Each linear actuator is attached to a respective engaging arm segment through an over-center locking mechanism. The over-center locking mechanisms lock the engaging arm segments in wheel engaging positions without aid of force from the linear actuators. The present invention also relates to a position lock mechanism and a wheel grid self-centering device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: Jerr-Dan Corporation
    Inventors: Charles E. Young, Scott A. Watson
  • Patent number: 6315514
    Abstract: An adjustable bow lift apparatus for extending the overall height between the bed and bow cover on a cotton module truck during loading or unloading a cotton module, generally including a set of metal tubular frames, one for the top of each side wall, and pivotally attached a first distance from the further most end of each side wall. A set of actuators for each side of the frame for lifting and lowering the bow lift apparatus, each actuator is attached to the last side wall frame member of the truck, with the actuator extension arms pivotally attached at the lower frame on each side of the bow lift apparatus. A plurality of on board power devices may be adapted for rasing and lowering the adjustable bow lift apparatus during loading or unloading a cotton module, such as air, hydraulics or electrical.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: Module Truck Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Russell E. Lindsey
  • Patent number: 6305896
    Abstract: A system for discharging material, having a material holding container, a first material transport device, to transport material from the material holding container, a second material transport device, to deliver material from the first material transport device to a desired location remote from the vehicle and a material hold-down device arranged on the second material transport device. The material hold-down device is movable between a raised position and a lowered position, and holds material securely on the second material transport device until the material has been accelerated up to the desired travel speed. The material hold-down device has a first wheel shaft with a first wheel and a second wheel, a second wheel shaft with a third wheel and an endless belt running from the first wheel shaft to the second wheel shaft and resting upon the first wheel, the second wheel and the third wheel. The first and second wheel shafts are connected by a frame device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Inventor: Mark D. Szentimery
  • Patent number: 6293747
    Abstract: A self-propelled, steerable straddle carrier (10) includes a main frame (12) supported on transport wheels (14) with a tong table (20) and a plurality of hydraulic lift actuator (34) for raising and lowering the tong table (20) relative to the main frame (12). A pair of front and rear slab tongs (42, 44) are pivotally mounted on the tong table (20) with a pair of front and rear pinch cylinders (43, 45) for opening and closing the slab tongs (42, 44). A pair of coil tongs (52) arm disposed between the front and rear slab tongs (42, 44) with a pair of inverted yoke assemblies for pivotally supporting the coil tongs (52) and a center pinch cylinder (60) for opening and closing the coil tongs (52). A pair of hydraulic actuators (34) interconnect the yoke assemblies and the main frame (12) for raising and lowering the coil tongs (52) relative to the slab tongs (42, 44) to permit the straddle carrier (10) to transport either stacks of steel slabs or a steel coil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2001
    Assignee: Kress Corporation
    Inventor: Dennis R. Thomas
  • Patent number: 6293748
    Abstract: A storable ramp assembly for use with carrier vehicles such as light van is described herein. The storable ramp comprises a panel assembly hingedly mounted between first and second generally parallel longitudinal end members. The panel assembly includes a plurality of longitudinal intermediate panels hingedly mounted side by side so as to render the panel assembly accordion foldable. The storable ramp assembly further include a deployment mechanism in the form of a pivoting bar pivotally mounted to the first end member and slidably mounted to the second end member. The pivoting bar is used to position the first and second end members between a close and a spaced relationship. When the end members are in a close relationship, the intermediate panels are layered and the ramp assembly is in a storing configuration. Concurrently, when the end members are in a spaced relationship, the intermediate panels are oriented so as to form a generally continuous plane and the ramp assembly is in an operating configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2001
    Inventor: Pierre Savaria
  • Patent number: 6283697
    Abstract: The invention is directed to a mobile bin device having a mobile bin with a first conveyor extending along the bottom of the bin beneath a bin opening to convey material in the bin to one end of the bin. A second belt conveyor has one end pivotally mounted to the one end of the bin to pivot relative to the bin upward and downward and to one side or the other. The second conveyor is slidably mounted in its pivotal mounting to side longitudinally in the mounting to along the one end of the bin beneath the one end of the first conveyor to shorten or lengthen the distance from the outer end of the first conveyor to the outlet end of the second conveyor at the one end of the bin. Power devices are provided to power the upward and downward movement of the second conveyor and the longitudinal movement of the second conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2001
    Inventors: Kevin J. Pierce, Michael J. Pierce, Karen Dufault, Wayne A. Pierce
  • Patent number: 6276681
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a device for replacing elements of a product delivery fan wheel which is rotatably mounted. The fan wheel has a plurality of fan blades which include attaching devices for replaceably mounting fan blade tips on the fan blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2001
    Assignees: Heidelberg Harris Inc., Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
    Inventor: Louis John Doucet