Patents Examined by Gene L. Kim
  • Patent number: 5873215
    Abstract: Machine and method for manufacturing pneumatically filled packing cushions. A length of flattened flexible tubing is fed through a machine and perforated to form a row of openings across the tubing. Gas is injected into the tubing through the openings, and the tubing is then sealed together across the openings form a chamber in which the gas is confined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: Free-Flow Packaging International, Inc.
    Inventors: Pieter Theodorus Joseph Aquarius, Rogier Pierre Theodorus Weekers
  • Patent number: 5873212
    Abstract: A semi-automated machine for singulating individual surgical needles from an bulk supply and attaching a suture to the surgical needle is described. The machine includes a needle singulation station, a precise positioning station, a suture feeding station, a swage station, a pull-test station and an off-load station. A universal gripper mounted on a rotary indexing device automatically receives each individual needle in a predetermined orientation and conveys the needle for sequential processing from station to station to form the needle-suture assembly. The rotary indexing device is driven by a single shaft drive assembly which provides a compact annular drive from two intermittent indexing drives to two coaxial cam dials that provide rotation and reciprocation of the universal gripper. A swage station is provided for swaging the needle to close the suture receiving opening about the suture to secure said suture thereto and form therefrom a needle and suture assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony Esteves, David D. Demarest
  • Patent number: 5870885
    Abstract: This invention relates to novel apparatus and methods for inserting and positioning a compressible material into a container and for using the container for detecting a specific environmental parameter or combination of parameters, or for determining the effectiveness of a sterilization procedure. Precise positioning of a plug of compressible material in a container has been discovered to provide flexibility necessary for production of indicator systems that vary in their response to sterilizing conditions to reflect the efficacy of sterilizers based on different modes of sterilization and reproduceability necessary for accurate monitoring of each mode. The invention also relates to test indicators containing controlled volumes of compressed, gas-permeable materials and to methods for using test indicators for determining the efficacy of different types of sterilization processes. The test indicator consists of a plurality of interactive enzymes in a container with at least one opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Assignee: North American Science Associates, Inc.
    Inventors: Harold A. Biddle, Dale L. Byerly, Judy K. Hendricks
  • Patent number: 5870881
    Abstract: Box closing apparatus applies equal pressure around the joint between upper and lower portions of a box so that the portions are sealingly interconnected around the entire joint between the portions. The apparatus has upper and lower press plates between which the box is received. In addition, a tape dispenser is provided for application of tape to the joint after the upper and lower box portions are engaged. Rotation of the press plates is permitted to facilitate application of the tape to the box joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Assignee: MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth E. Rice, Mick Suddarth, Bryan Edwards, Derrick Roberts
  • Patent number: 5870882
    Abstract: A system for automatically opening cartons and removing packages therefrom includes a centrifugal orientation bowl for orientating closed or unopened cartons in a position to be fed to a slitting apparatus. The slitting apparatus includes a pair of cutters therein to cut opposed portions of the cartons thereby opening the cartons. A carton breaker is utilized downstream from the slitting apparatus to break the cartons open thereby loosening the packages therefrom. The opened cartons are fed to a rotating drum separator wherein the packages within the cartons are separated from the cartons and the emptied cartons are removed from the rotating drum separator in one location and the packages separated from the cartons are removed at another location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Assignee: Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation
    Inventor: Byron L. Lowe
  • Patent number: 5865012
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for filling with high accuracy a finely divided powdered medicament having a particle size smaller than 10 .mu.m into cavities having a size corresponding to the volume of powder to be filled, wherein said device comprises oscillating and rotating means for breaking down aggregates formed in the finely divided powdered medicament and filling and for compacting it in said cavities. The invention also includes a method of filling with high accuracy of a finely divided powdered medicament having a particle size smaller than 10 .mu.m and to fill said finely divided powdered medicament into cavities, wherein the finely divided powdered medicament is transported and compacted in said cavities by oscillating and rotating means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1999
    Assignee: Astra Aktiebolag
    Inventors: Henri Hansson, Jan Petersson, Peter Claussnitzer
  • Patent number: 5860270
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for successively sealing open ends of a plurality of packages being conveyed in series along an infeed lane is provided. A sealing station aligned with the infeed lane for receiving the packages to be sealed is employed. A first package is transported from the infeed lane to the sealing station, the open end of the first packaged is engaged for sealing operations, and this engagement is maintained for a minimum sealing time while a second package is transported from the infeed lane to the sealing station. The open end of the second package is engaged for sealing operations, and the engagement is maintained for the minimum desired sealing time while a subsequent package is transported to the sealing station. These steps may then be repeated for subsequent packages. A plurality of sealing rigs moveable between receiving and holding positions may be employed for sealing operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company
    Inventor: Thomas K. Gerwe
  • Patent number: 5857312
    Abstract: A process for thermally treating a product in a container having a headspace above the product, in which the container is subjected to a heated or cooled environment and is simultaneously agitated. The acceleration to which the container is subjected by the agitation is of sufficient magnitude to cause the process to operate in a regime in which the heating or cooling time required for the product to reach a predetermined temperature is very substantially reduced and moreover is substantially insensitive to changes in the acceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Assignee: CarnaudMetalbox (Holdings) USA Inc.
    Inventor: Richard Geoffrey Walden
  • Patent number: 5855104
    Abstract: An automated apparatus for controlling the automatic packaging of contact lenses in a contact lens fabrication facility includes: a first robotic transfer device for periodically transferring a first predetermined amount of individual packages from an inspection station to an intermediate consolidation buffer and depositing the packages on the consolidation buffer; a control device for tracking and identifying each individual contact lens conveyed from the inspection station to the consolidation buffer and including memory and logic circuits for storing the identity of individual packages containing contact lenses that have been previously determined at the inspection station as being out of specification, and, generating a signal to enable the first robotic device to discard any individual package identified as out of specification; and; a second robotic assembly for periodically transferring a second predetermined amount of individual packages from the consolidation buffer to a second processing station, th
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Schlagel, Russell J. Edwards, Mary L. Dolan, Svend Christensen, Borge P. Gundersen, John M. Lepper, Daniel Tsu-Fang Wang, Richard W. Abrams, Thomas C. Ravin
  • Patent number: 5852918
    Abstract: In processing received postal items, of opened envelopes an image of an envelope (4) is recorded by means of a registration assembly (67, 71, 74). The registration assembly (67, 71, 74) is so configured relative to an inverting structure for inverting a front wall or a rear wall (42) of an envelope (4), that the recording of an image of one of the walls of an envelope (4) is carried out each time after the inversion of that wall (42). As a result, images of the front wall and the rear wall of the envelope can be recorded from the same side, independently of the orientation in which the envelope has been supplied. Moreover, images of the front wall and the rear wall can always be recorded from the same side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Assignee: Hadewe B.V.
    Inventors: Gerhard Hidding, Bertus Karel Edens
  • Patent number: 5852917
    Abstract: A tubular blank of filter paper containing measured and separate quantities of tea, or a similar infusionable substance, is pleated and folded so as to obtain a bag with two envelopes by a method that includes the steps of advancing blanks singly and in succession along a feed direction tangential to an indexing wheel with radial grippers, taking up each blank in a position above three bearing elements ordered along the feed direction, forming a pleat in an intermediate portion of the blank, then pinching the two ends of the blank by use of movable pressure elements interacting with two of the bearing elements so as to prevent the escape of the contents from the envelopes while at the same time drawing the tubular blank toward the wheel to bring the two envelopes together and give the filter bag its final shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Assignee: I.M.A. Industria Machine Automatiche S.p.A.
    Inventor: Andrea Romagnoli
  • Patent number: 5845688
    Abstract: A device for cutting a workpiece by means of a rotatingly driven tool bit has a suction hood surrounding the tool bit in annular manner with a through-opening for the tool bit to pass through. The suction hood forms a suction duct open to the tool bit which is limited by an outer wall. At least a part of the outer wall is curved in a perpendicular plane in the form of a parabola, and the focal point of the parabola lies beneath the workpiece engagement surface formed by the suction hood. Because of this parabola shape, chips thrown by the tool bit against the outer wall are reflected essentially parallel to the workpiece engagement surface and thus do not escape up through the through-opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: Black & Decker Inc.
    Inventor: Yuejun Qian
  • Patent number: 5845462
    Abstract: A coupon inserter assembly receives a continuous supply of coupons in the form of a web where the forwardmost coupon is attached to the following coupon along a weakened web portion. The inserter assembly includes a pair of intermittently rotating feed rollers and a pair of continuously rotating delivery rollers. An activation sensor is located at a dispensing location or a conveyor carrying receiving products for receiving coupons. When the activation sensor senses a receiving product, a signal is sent to a clutch-brake to activate the feed rollers. The feed rollers then feed the web into the delivery rollers. When a deactivation sensor located beyond the delivery rollers senses the presence of the forwardmost coupon, a signal is sent to the clutch-brake which stops the rotation of the feed rollers. Because the delivery rollers continue to pull the forwardmost coupon, the two coupons separate along the weakened web portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: Northfield Corporation
    Inventors: Craig M. Kuehl, Michael G. Boehm
  • Patent number: 5845461
    Abstract: An inflator having a base containing a diffuser and a canister having a chamber for receiving and holding gas under pressure are inserted in aligned, separated position in a pressure chamber. The pressure chamber is closed, sealed and filled with gas, thereby filling the canister. When the gas fill reaches the desired pressure, an integral top press is activated, thereby joining the base with the filled inflator canister. The base is then welded or crimped to the inflator chamber, thereby assembling a complete airbag inflating device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Inventors: Harry W. Miller, II, Richard W. Kirby, Gregory J. Lang, Don T. Jensen
  • Patent number: 5845463
    Abstract: The technical sector of the invention is that of the domain of bag-forming by packaging such as bags and especially sachets, made from flat webs folded and sealed to form bags which are then filled with liquid, pasty or pulverulent product, and closed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Inventor: Claude Henri Henaux
  • Patent number: 5832697
    Abstract: A method comprises transferring a plurality of pouches, the pouches containing a product having a temperature of between 100.degree. F. and 212.degree. F., to a tumbler chiller having refrigerated water as the cooling medium; tumbling and cooling the pouches until the temperature of the product drops to between 50.degree. F. and 70.degree. F.; transferring the cooled pouches to a cooling bath using a liquid cooling medium having a temperature lower than 32.degree. F.; and moving the pouches through the liquid cooling medium until the product temperature drops to between 30.degree. F. and 50.degree. F. An apparatus comprises a means for transferring a plurality of pouches, the pouches containing a product having a temperature of between 100.degree. F. and 212.degree. F., to a means for tumbling and cooling; a means for tumbling and cooling the pouches until the temperature of the product drops to between 50.degree. F. and 70.degree. F.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Cryovac, Inc.
    Inventor: Kent L. Rogers
  • Patent number: 5832702
    Abstract: An envelope inserting machine has a feed path for envelopes which includes an envelope inserting position and means for feeding successive envelopes to that position. Envelope throat opening claw assemblies have claws that maintain the throat of an envelope at the inserting position open to receive a collation of insert material from a collation feeding mechanism adjacent the envelope inserting position. A microprocessor control means actuates the throat opening claw assemblies to release the upper edge of the envelope and substantially simultaneously actuates the envelope feeding means to move the envelope in a rearward direction momentarily, either after the collation is substantially fully inserted into the envelope or while it is still being inserted, to ensure that the collation is inserted sufficiently to bring the trailing edge of the collation beyond the crease line between the front panel of the envelope and the flap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Gary Jacobson, Michael D. Ballard
  • Patent number: 5829227
    Abstract: A plastic packaging material which, when formed as a package having seams, will provide a predictable line of failure along a seam when the package is opened to prevent the package from tearing down the side. The predictable failure path is provided through a lamination process involving specific resins or blends of resins laminated in three (or more) layers in which an extruded inner layer forms a weak inner bond wholly within that inner layer to create the predictable line of failure and in which the process of forming the material does not inhibit processing speed, efficiency, and economics of materials used to provide this reliable openability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignees: Recot, Inc., Bryce Corporation
    Inventors: William J. Derkach, Robert F. Hawkins, Bruce Kinsman
  • Patent number: 5829113
    Abstract: A rotatable wheeled tool for simultaneously inserting and staking a weatherstrip into a slot, said tool comprising a body having a channel extending longitudinally from a first end to a second end, said channel configured to accommodate a length of weatherstrip through the body having sides extending a distance beyond the second end to form two legs and a rotatable wheel having an inserting edge and a staking edge, and mounted axially between said the legs with both the inserting and staking edges extending beyond the legs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: Schlegel Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas J. Socci, Gary F. Reisdorf, Ralph P. Remaley, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5829222
    Abstract: An automated apparatus for controlling the automatic packaging of contact lenses in a contact lens fabrication facility includes: a first robotic transfer device for periodically transferring a first predetermined amount of individual packages from an inspection station to an intermediate consolidation buffer and depositing the packages on the consolidation buffer; a control device for tracking and identifying each individual contact lens conveyed from the inspection station to the consolidation buffer and including memory and logic circuits for storing the identity of individual packages containing contact lenses that have been previously determined at the inspection station as being out of specification, and, generating a signal to enable the first robotic device to discard any individual package identified as out of specification; and, a second robotic assembly for periodically transferring a second predetermined amount of individual packages from the consolidation buffer to a second processing station, th
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Schlagel, Russell J. Edwards, Mary L. Dolan, Svend Christensen, Borge P. Gundersen, John M. Lepper, Daniel Tsu-Fang Wang, Richard W. Abrams, Thomas C. Ravin