Patents Examined by Gregory W. Adams
  • Patent number: 8007224
    Abstract: The invention relates to a depalletizing device comprising a carriage as well as a friction roller attached to the carriage, which friction roller is rotatable about a horizontal rotation axis and is coupled to a rotational drive in order to rotate. The carriage can be moved to and fro in a direction at right angles to the rotation axis of the friction roller in order to push the friction roller against a side of an object on the pallet in such a manner that the friction roller exerts an upward friction force on the object as a result of which the object is raised on that side, and in order for the friction roller to pass underneath said object after the latter has been raised. The depalletizing device comprises drive means with variable driving power in order to drive the carriage. The drive means comprise detection means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: CSI Industries BV
    Inventor: Mark van de Klundert
  • Patent number: 8002513
    Abstract: A conveyor system for assembling and stacking sliced food products is provided. The conveyor system includes an assembly area, wherein groups of a predetermined quantity of sliced food products travel from a slicer on a conveyor and are deposited on discrete carrier sheets on a downstream conveyor. The assembly area is configured to delay advancement of the carrier sheets on the downstream conveyor until a group of the predetermined quantity is formed. The slicer is configured to calculate the number of slices in each group and determine whether a group is complete. A stacking area of the conveyor system includes a nose conveyor that extends and retracts to deposit each carrier sheet onto a pair of initial supports. The initial supports reciprocate away from each other in opposing directions to drop the carrier sheet onto a subsequent level, with the initial supports reciprocating each time a carrier sheet is deposited thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2011
    Assignee: Kraft Foods Global Brands LLC
    Inventors: Mark Malenke, Scott Adler, David Hess, Tod Heleniak, Brian Tomac
  • Patent number: 7997846
    Abstract: A drywall panel lifter having two stanchions into which jacks are vertically set, wherein each jack has an extending portion capable of rising past the tops of the first and second stanchion respectively; a set of bars hinged to the jacks; a cross-piece assembly connecting the bars, having a crank is operatively connected to the screw gear that operates the jacks; and panel holding grippers mounted on the extending portion of the jacks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Inventor: Jack Brunson
  • Patent number: 7997570
    Abstract: The sheets are supplied interfolded by two folding rollers, on a table on which they are piled up forming a stack. When the stack achieves a predetermined height a first plurality of separators and a second plurality of separators, arranged for all the length of the stack and from opposite sides are inserted into the stack to provide the disengagement of the stack already formed from a stack being formed, leaving between them of a wing of sheet hanging. The stack formed is then withdrawn quickly from the stack being formed by means of a table, which translates vertically, and is subject to a blow of air for stretching a possible last sheet. Then, the stack formed is left on a longitudinal conveyor belt located underneath. At the same time, a sheet stretching board moves under the stack of interfolded sheets, for all its length, for provisional support thereof and for stretching completely the wing hanging from the stack being formed with a portion of wing that exceeds sheet stretching board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Assignee: MTC-Macchine Trasformazione Carta S.r.l.
    Inventor: Alessandro De Matteis
  • Patent number: 7993095
    Abstract: A modular split palletizer for loading layers of articles on stackable pallets. The palletizer has a frame supporting first, second, and third sections. The first section includes a layer build area and a first portion of a stacker transfer track. The second section includes a tier sheet bin, a top frame bin, and a second portion of the track. The third section includes a pallet build area and a third portion of the track. Each of the first, second, and third sections can be disassembled, moved individually and independently, and re-assembled at a new location to form the complete palletizer. Also disclosed is a method of relocating the modular split palletizer. With the palletizer at one location, the utilities connected to the palletizer are disconnected, the fasteners holding the sections together are released, and the sections are separated. The disassembled sections are moved to the new location and reassembled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Graham Packaging Company, L.P.
    Inventor: John R. Reichler
  • Patent number: 7988403
    Abstract: The bulk materials cart has a dual unload system including at least two inclined belt conveyors bounding an enclosed cavity. A first belt conveyor is operable for conveying bulk materials from the cavity to an unloading conveyor extendable from that side of the cart. A second belt conveyor is operable for conveying bulk materials upwardly and over another side of the cart. The dual unload system is automatically operable in a first mode operating the first belt conveyor and the unloading conveyor for conveying the bulk materials away from the cart, and in a second mode operating the second belt conveyor for conveying the bulk materials over the side of the cart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: CNH America LLC
    Inventor: Jonathan E. Ricketts
  • Patent number: 7988405
    Abstract: A pallet jack is disclosed that comprises a left tine, center tine, and a right tine. The center tine is about 2 times the width of each of the left and right tines, though other widths of the center tine can also be implemented. Because the center tine is about twice the width of the left and right tines, two pallets, side-by-side, can be carried simultaneously with only three tines. According to another embodiment of the pallet jack, a portion of the center tine (a right-most portion) and the right tine can have raised areas that enable an operator of the pallet jack to lift a right pallet that sits on the raised areas higher than the left pallet. The left pallet sits on the left tine and center tine without the raised areas (at a lower height). Thus, the operator of the pallet jack can place the left pallet in a first location without disengaging the tines from the right pallet, or without lowering the right pallet all the way to the ground (or a first location surface).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Inventor: Stanley Charles Ellington
  • Patent number: 7988398
    Abstract: Substrate processing apparatus having a chamber, a generally linear array of process modules, a substrate transport, and a drive system. The chamber is capable of being isolated from the outside atmosphere. Each process module of the array is communicably connected to the chamber to allow a substrate to be transferred between the chamber and process module. The substrate transport is located in and is movably supported from the chamber. The transport is capable of moving along a linear path defined by the chamber for transporting the substrate between process modules. The drive system is connected to the chamber for driving and moving the transport along the linear path. The chamber comprises a selectable number of chamber modules serially abutted to defined the chamber. Each module has an integral portion of the drive system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher Hofmeister, Robert T. Caveney
  • Patent number: 7988406
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for operating an order-picking systems (100; 100?), wherein the order-picking system comprises a high-bay warehouse (10), at least one tray warehouse (16), at least one packing station (20; 32), and at least one shipping station (22), comprising the following steps: a) depalletizing (S20) in a layerwise manner packing units (42), which form a, particularly complete, pallet layer (40), from a pallet (44), particularly a EuroPallet, which respectively carries a plurality of packing units (42), which are to be picked, of a type of article, onto a correspondingly dimensioned tray (46); b) bringing (S30) the tray (46) loaded with the pallet layer (40) into the tray warehouse (16), preferably by means of a conveyor technique (14), a storage machine and/or a lift; c) recalling (S40) the tray (46) loaded with the pallet layer (40) in accordance with an order-picking order or several order-picking orders to the packing station (20; 32); removing in accordance with the order-picking or
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: SSI Schaefer Noell GmbH Lager-und Systemtechnik
    Inventor: Gerhard Schäfer
  • Patent number: 7985044
    Abstract: A heavy article inversion device is provided, in which the inverting operations may be performed in a short time by reducing the size of the heavy article inversion device comprising a pair of inversion boards that may be revolved about a common rotary shaft supported in the center of a base between the horizontal state and the angles of revolution of less than 180 degrees from the horizontal state, and a pair of cam plates each fixed to the corresponding one of the pair of inversion boards and having its proximal end side rotatably fixed to the common rotary shaft, in which each one of the pair of cam plates has a curved lower outer circumferential surface extending from the proximal end side toward the radial outside end and which may be engaged by the rod of each respective one of the pair of linear drive mechanisms when the rod is being moved out of and moved back into the corresponding cylinder of the respective liner drive mechanism, thereby causing the respective cam plate to be rotated about the commo
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2011
    Assignee: Denson Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Shigeki Tamura
  • Patent number: 7980802
    Abstract: A pipe handling apparatus has a supporting structure, an arm pivotally interconnected to the supporting structure such that the supporting structure and the arm are movable between a first position and a second position within a single degree of freedom, and a stiffener cooperative with the arm when the arm and the supporting structure are in the second position. The stiffener applies a mechanical resistance to the arm in the second position. The second position is at an end of the travel of the supporting structure and the arm. The stiffener applies a variable resistance to the arm as the arm moves from the first position to the second position. This variable resistance is at its greatest when the arm is in the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: T&T Engineering Services
    Inventor: Keith J. Orgeron
  • Patent number: 7976246
    Abstract: A system for deploying a deepwater mooring spread from a floating vessel using at least two cranes each having a main block, a deepwater deployment system connected to at least one of the cranes, a reel drive, a structure for supporting the reel drive and a hang-off, a plurality of neutral buoyancy polymer lines deployable by the reel drive connectable to each other and the hang-off with chains and/or with remote operated vehicle connectors, at least two suction piles with anchor chains, and at least two buoys, one for each suction pile for connecting to the neutral buoyancy polymer lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Assignee: Kahn Offshore B.V.
    Inventor: Richard L. Krabbendam
  • Patent number: 7972103
    Abstract: Apparatus for transferring settled or suspended solids from an open vessel into a closed vessel, the apparatus comprising a suction line which extends from the closed vessel to the open vessel via drive means, such as a pump or compressor, and a solids feed line which extends from a solids outlet in the open vessel to a solids inlet in the closed vessel, a fluidising apparatus being provided to fluidise the solids in the open vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2011
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: James Edward Delves, David John Parkinson
  • Patent number: 7972102
    Abstract: A storage area is accessed by automated guided vehicles which receive and unload containerized loads. On the waterside, loads are exchanged between the vehicles and ships using quay cranes. On the ground transportation side, loads are exchanged between the vehicles and truck or rail carriers using semi automated or automated remote-controlled bridge cranes. Within the storage area, loads are exchanged between the vehicles and the storage facilities using automated stacking cranes. The vehicles are adapted to receive a cassette storage platform which in turn receives standard ISO containers. The vehicles also are adapted to receive one or more alternative platforms including a coning platform for workers to manage container coning, a reefer access and maintenance platform, and a worker transport platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2011
    Assignee: Marine Terminals Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas A. Ward, Kai Stuart Martin
  • Patent number: 7967540
    Abstract: A vertical off-line stand building system includes a mast having a basal portion and an upper portion. An upper pipe elevator is mounted in the upper portion of the mast and is selectively translatable by a selecting actuable first hoist between upper raised and lowered positions. A lower pipe elevator is mounted in the basal portion of the mast and is selectively translatable by a selecting actuable second hoist between basal raised and lowered positions. A horizontal pipe support table is positioned adjacent the base of the mast. A horizontal pipe translator is mounted in the table for translating a pipe single longitudinally along the table so as to engage a first end of the pipe single with the lower pipe elevator when in its basal lowered position. The lower pipe elevator draws the first pipe into the mast through a front opening in the mast. The upper pipe elevator takes the first pipe and elevates it to the top of the mast.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignee: Weatherford Canada Partnership
    Inventors: Monte Neil Wright, George (Guo Qiang) Hu
  • Patent number: 7967541
    Abstract: An apparatus for handling pipes in a derrick and racking the pipes on a pipe racking assembly mounted on the derrick is provided to improve the stability of transferring pipes during a round trip operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignee: Weatherford Canada Partnership
    Inventors: William John Stroshein, David Louis Richard, Monte Neil Wright, Leon Keith Jantzen, Imad Assaf
  • Patent number: 7963734
    Abstract: A handling apparatus is provided that attaches to a three-point hitch of a farm implement/tractor. The apparatus allows for engaging multiple bales in a field while the tractor is driven in a forward direction. The bales are engaged while they are disposed beside the tractor such that they are in view of the operator. Once bales are engaged, the apparatus allows for rotating the bales from a position beside the tractor to a position behind the tractor. This allows, inter alia, the tractor to pass through openings (e.g., gates or doors) while carrying multiple bales.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2011
    Inventors: Ernest Robert Bruha, Greggory Thomas Cooper
  • Patent number: 7959401
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are disclosed for separating a pile of tortillas and individually depositing the tortillas on a conveyor to form a row of tortillas. The apparatus may include an accumulating device, an elevating device that is operable to remove a pile of tortillas from the accumulating device and elevate the pile of tortillas towards a vacuum conveyor. The vacuum conveyor is operable to continuously remove an uppermost tortilla from the pile of tortillas and transport the separated tortillas to a receiving conveyor. The separated tortillas are deposited on the receiving conveyor and may be transported to a subsequent processing operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. DE C.V.
    Inventor: Joaquin Alverde Trejo
  • Patent number: 7959402
    Abstract: A tray holding apparatus includes a holding section, a separation section, a lifting/lowering section, and a control section. The holding section holds a stack of trays. The separation section separates the lowermost tray from the stack. The lifting/lowering section moves upward or downward between a predetermined place below the stack and this stack, thereby undergoing a first movement in which the separated tray is moved to the predetermined position and a second movement in which the tray in the predetermined place is moved to the stack. The control section controls the operations of the separation section and the lifting/lowering section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Yasutaka Hashinokuchi
  • Patent number: 7950896
    Abstract: A handling apparatus can be used to transfer objects from a first location to a second location along a defined path, without the need for a conveyor along the path. Instead, the handling apparatus can be moved along the path by a controllable transport device, such as a robot arm. The handling apparatus can comprise a plurality of unpowered rollers which are selectively rotated by way of a transfer assist mechanism during loading and/or unloading of the objects to be transferred. The transfer assist mechanism can comprise a separate component that can power the rollers directly or indirectly. The transfer assist mechanism can comprise a belt which imparts rotational force to the support rollers via contact in some embodiments, with the amount of force controlled by varying the relative inclination of the support rollers and the transfer assist mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc.
    Inventors: William John Scholtes, Matthew A. Job, Roger T. Johnston, Mark Nunn