Patents Examined by Gene Crawford
  • Patent number: 10155625
    Abstract: A conveyor belt and belt modules with plug-in accessories, such as sideguards. The accessories have plugs that plug into sockets in the belt or individual belt modules. Lugs and mounting slots and tabs and detents on the plugs and sockets help guide, register, and lock the accessories in place. The plugs and sockets allow the accessories to be locked and unlocked by twisting the plugs in the sockets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: David W. Bogle, Terral A. Ridgell, Warren E. Cancienne, Jr.
  • Patent number: 10002487
    Abstract: A dispensing apparatus (200) for dispensing a food product, the dispensing apparatus comprising a receptacle (210) for receiving a supply (510), a dispensing unit (220) configured to dispend portions of the food product, dispensing a portion of the food product consuming an amount of the supply, an electronic counting unit (232) configured to represent an amount of authorized supply, the counting unit is configured to decrease the amount of authorized supply when the dispensing unit dispenses a portion of the food product, the dispensing unit being configured to block dispensing of the food product if the amount of authorized supply is below a minimum authorized supply amount, a communication unit (240) configured to receive a digital authorization message from an authorization server (400) through mobile communication device (300), the authorization server being external to the dispensing apparatus, and a dispensing authorization unit (230) configured to obtain from the authorization message a supply authori
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2018
    Assignee: KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS N.V.
    Inventor: Andrea Castellani
  • Patent number: 9959696
    Abstract: A dispenser which deters theft of packaged items includes an ejector. The ejector is resiliently biased to an extended position, and is selectively retracted to a retracted position. When so retracted, it can be released so that it can translate a static package into a dynamic state as quickly as possible to minimize the effect of drag and friction between the package being ejected and the package immediately behind it in a column of packages, as well as between the package and the portions of the housing which are initially contacted by the package. The first package is ejected in a short impulse so as to minimize a transfer of kinetic energy to a second package, thus minimizing the effect of static inertia of the second package on the first package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: Fastners for Retail, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald Matthew Szpak, Thaddeus Brej, Shane Obitts, Gregory M. Bird
  • Patent number: 9874389
    Abstract: A cooler cabinet comprises: a storage compartment (130) for food or beverage products (130); a dispensing mechanism (143) for dispensing the food or beverage products (144) from the storage compartment without opening the storage compartment to ambient air; a water-retaining material (120) outside the storage compartment but in contact with it; an air channel (111) in contact with the water-retaining material; and means (114) for moving air through the air channel such that the air increases the rate of evaporation of water from the water-retaining material. It thereby withdraws heat from the water-retaining material and causes cooling of the interior of the cabinet, including the food or beverage products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: Mondelez UK R&D Limited
    Inventor: William Thorman
  • Patent number: 9868607
    Abstract: A device for ejecting 1 a flat object 101 during the conveyance thereof along a conveying path 102 includes an inlet conveyor 10 and an outlet conveyor 20 which are successively arranged one after the other along the conveying path 102. At least the downstream part 11 of the inlet conveyor 10 is orientably mounted for pivoting between a conveying position and an ejecting position and at least the upstream part 21 of the outlet conveyor 20 is orientably mounted for pivoting between a conveying position and an ejecting position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: BOBST MEX SA
    Inventor: Nicolas Brizzi
  • Patent number: 9845196
    Abstract: A roller assembly comprises a housing having an outer surface attached thereto, and a braking arrangement positioned at least partially within the housing. The braking arrangement is configured to increase resistance to rotation of the housing proportionally to a load applied against the outer surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: GOODRICH CORPORATION
    Inventor: Wally H. Larson
  • Patent number: 9836910
    Abstract: A line of intricate, home-based vending machines specially designed for housing and organizing a multitude of shoes and boots. Design intent of this product is to provide a more convenient, as well as accessible, means of storing, maintaining, and accessing footwear, particularly in residences where storage space is limited.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Inventor: Erica Pierre
  • Patent number: 9828191
    Abstract: There is provided a conveyor system including: a track comprising a first magnetic element; and a moving element comprising a second magnetic element for interacting with the track to provide a magnetic force that retains the moving element on the track; wherein absent the magnetic force, the moving element is released from the track. In another aspect, there is provided a conveyor system that includes: a track having at least one guide rail; and a moving element; wherein a magnetic force controls movement of the moving element in a direction of travel and the magnetic force supports the moving element in a second direction perpendicular to the direction of travel; and wherein the at least one guide rail supports the moving element in a third direction perpendicular to both the direction of travel and the second direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: ATS AUTOMATION TOOLING SYSTEMS INC.
    Inventors: Albert John Kleinikkink, Donald James Mowat, Ryan Lloyd Willis Arthur Scott
  • Patent number: 9830763
    Abstract: A vending machine having a goods store, a goods dispensing apparatus and a user interface contains a goods input region for inserting goods to be returned and an identification apparatus for the goods which interacts with a data processing device and a data memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: SES-IMAGOTAG DEUTSCHLAND GMBH
    Inventors: Michael Unmussig, Thomas Schwarz
  • Patent number: 9823234
    Abstract: A dispensing device for holding and dispensing strip-like objects, like test strips for analyzing a sample of bodily fluid, wherein the dispensing device holds a stack of strips. The dispensing device includes a container portion for holding the stack of strips and a dispenser portion for dispensing strips from the dispensing device, one at a time. The dispenser portion includes a movable element for applying a rotation motion to a strip to be dispensed from a first orientation, in which the strip is enclosed in the dispensing device, to a second orientation, in which the strip is at least partially exposed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: CLARIANT PRODUCTION (FRANCE) S.A.S.
    Inventors: Valere Logel, Dominique Bois
  • Patent number: 9818251
    Abstract: Mechanisms for dispensing items such as medications and medical supplies. Different mechanisms may be tailored to dispensing different kinds of items, for example medications in single dose packages, vials, syringes, or other similarly-shaped items. The dispensers may be placed in a dispensing unit that includes a lockable restock drawer and a dispense drawer into which items are dispensed by the dispensing mechanisms. The various kinds of dispensing mechanisms may be installed in the restock drawer in any workable proportion and arrangement. The dispensing mechanisms include multiple sensing technologies for tracking and inventory of items and for accurate sensing of items as they are dispensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: Omnicell, Inc.
    Inventors: Edith Wilson, Gerardo Moreno, Guillermo Trejo, Vikram Mehta, Lloyd Berken
  • Patent number: 9814635
    Abstract: A vehicle lift for a load, such as a wheelchair. The whole lift is movable between a retracted position and an extended position that comprises a support pillar, a platform, and a lifting device. The platform is connected pivotably to the support pillar and has a horizontal pivot axis such that the platform is pivotable about the horizontal axis. The lifting device is hingedly connected to the support pillar and is configured for lifting and lowering the support pillar with the platform between the retracted position and the extended position. The support pillar is one piece and has a curved configuration along the longitudinal axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: AMF-Bruns GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Gerit Bruns
  • Patent number: 9818250
    Abstract: A system and method for dispensing a kit of items from one or more vending machines includes a kit determination system with a kit analyzer to determine whether there is a specific kit or kits to recommend or assign to a user. A kit may be pre-assigned to the user by a third party. If there is no kit assigned to the user, a kit may be recommended to the user based on past history and a number of other factors. Also included is a vending machine kit dispensing system for dispensing a kit of items from one or more vending machines, the vending machines being interconnected on a network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: W.W. Grainger, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas John Carroll, Geoffry A. Westphal
  • Patent number: 9811965
    Abstract: An article ejecting device of an automatic vending machine includes an article storage rack having an article storage passage for storing articles while being laid sideways, a base board forming one side of the article storage passage, a first stopper member movable between a protruding position in which the first stopper member protrudes toward the article storage passage and a retractable position in which the first stopper member is retracted from the article storage passage, a second stopper member movable between a protruding position in which the second stopper member protrudes toward the article storage passage and a retractable position in which the second stopper member is retracted from the article storage passage, and an outlet adjustment member forming another side of the article storage passage. The first stopper member includes an article placement surface having a holding portion holding the first vending article in a rolling manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: FUJI ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hajime Erikawa, Katsuhiko Fukuda, Tsutomu Iwako
  • Patent number: 9811967
    Abstract: A product dispensing system includes: a first product discharging device that is applied to a first product storage passage storing an input product in a vertical direction, regulates downward movement of the product stored in the first product storage passage in a standby state, and discharges a lowest product stored in the first product storage passage downward in an activated state; and a second product discharging device that is applied to a second product storage passage being adjacent to the first product storage passage and storing an input product in the vertical direction thereof, regulates downward movement of the product stored in the second product storage passage in a standby state, and discharges a lowest product stored in the second product storage passage downward in an activated state. The first product discharging device and the second product discharging device are coupled to each other back to back.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: FUJI ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Norio Nakajima, Yoshio Yasaka, Michihiko Makino
  • Patent number: 9783374
    Abstract: A fall impact reducing apparatus for reducing an impact on a falling chip component includes a wire assembly which is formed by stacking a plurality of wire jigs. The wire jig includes a plurality of wires arranged parallel to each other at intervals which allows the chip component C to pass through the wire jig, and the wire jig is formed of an integral body by working a base material having a predetermined thickness, the integral body constituted of a pair of frame portions and the plurality of wires extending parallel to each other between the frame portions. When the chip component is made to fall on the wire assembly, the chip component collides with the wire of any one of wire jigs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Shigeru Akimoto
  • Patent number: 9771219
    Abstract: A conveyor belt, in particular a pouch conveyor belt, with a first layer, which comprises a material with high flexibility, and to a conveying installation, in particular a pouch conveying installation, with such a conveyor belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: ContiTech Transportbandsysteme GmbH
    Inventors: Georg Müller, Daniel Vazquez-Maggio
  • Patent number: 9770143
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to a dispenser which in one embodiment is a motorized electric dispenser that reliably detects a request for a portion of product and electromechanically dispenses a pre-determined length of product to the user, without the user needing to directly touch any part of the dispenser. The dispenser comprises a product path passing between an engagement opening and a capacitive sensor. A controller is operatively configured to identify a dispense request based upon a detection signal received from the capacitive sensor and activate a drive motor upon the identification of the dispense request. The dispense request is defined as an introduction of a user target within an introduction threshold distance from the capacitive sensor followed by a removal of the user target beyond a removal threshold distance away from the capacitive sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: DISPENSING DYNAMICS INTERNATIONAL LTD.
    Inventors: Lockland Corley, Andrew Jackman, Alex Trampolski, Richard Ybo Lalau, Damir Wallener
  • Patent number: 9764907
    Abstract: Machine and method for conveying items in a production line, wherein there is an incoming batch of separate items on or in an incoming batch carrier, the plurality of items of the incoming batch are moved in a perpendicular vertical direction, while keeping the items immovable relative to the incoming batch carrier in the horizontal plane, the captured items are brought directly above a horizontal conveyor belt having a horizontal movement in a direction of travel in the horizontal plane, a horizontal movement of the items is adjusted and synchronized with the movement speed of the conveyor belt, the items are moved in the vertical direction in order to bring the items to rest on the conveyor belt while maintaining the horizontal movement of the items synchronized with the movement speed of the conveyor belt, then the items are discharged in a batch of outgoing items by the conveyor belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: AUTOMATISATION ET RENOVATION DU CONDITIONNEMENT DANS LES INDUSTRIES LAITIERES ARCIL
    Inventors: Christophe Bonnier, Xavier Henry, Laurent Dandy
  • Patent number: 9758309
    Abstract: Systems and methods for controlling a conveyor in a mining system. The conveyor includes a chain, a first sprocket, a second sprocket, a drive mechanism, a first sensor, a second sensor, and a controller. The method includes receiving a first signal associated with a characteristic of at least one of a first sprocket or a second sprocket, determining a value for the characteristic of the at least one of the first sprocket or the second sprocket based on the first signal, receiving a second signal associated with a characteristic of a chain, and determining a value for the characteristic of the chain based on the second signal. The method further includes comparing the value for the characteristic of the at least one of the first sprocket or the second sprocket and the value for the characteristic of the chain and determining the amount of slack in the chain based on the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: Joy MM Delaware, Inc.
    Inventor: Gareth Rimmington