Patents Examined by H. Grant Skaggs
  • Patent number: 6896255
    Abstract: The invention relates to a cassette for receiving a stack of sheets, with a pressing element which bears against a first end face of the stack of sheets and is movable in the pressing direction, with a drive motor for displacing the pressing element so that a second end face the stack of sheets facing away from the pressing element can be brought to bear against extracting elements of a sheet extracting device, and with a measuring device for determining the pressing force of the stack of sheets against the extracting elements an output signal of the measuring device serving for controlling the drive motor in order to generate a predetermined pressing force. The stack of sheets and the pressing element are arranged in a slide which is accommodated in the cassette movably in the direction of displacement of the pressing element, the pressing element being displaceable with respect to the slide by the drive motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: Siemens Nixdorf Informationssyteme Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Wolfgang Fick, Günter Baitz, Wolfgang Malke
  • Patent number: 6612561
    Abstract: A sheet feeder has a sheet-feed opening for feeding sheets into a sheet transporting path inside the sheet feeder; a sheet-discharge opening for discharging the sheets; a sheet-holding tray which is rotatably provided and which is movable to a position where the sheet-holding tray holds the sheets and to a location where the sheet-holding tray covers the sheet-feed opening; and a discharged-sheet holding tray which is rotatably provided and which is movable to a position where the discharged-sheet holding tray holds the sheets that have been discharged from the sheet-discharge opening and to a location where the discharged-sheet holding tray covers the sheet-discharge opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2003
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Naofumi Sekine
  • Patent number: 6607094
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for storing medicaments in bulk and individually dispensing solid medicaments, such as medicine in tablet or pill form, including a rotatable carousel having a plurality of circumferentially spaced-apart upwardly opening storage compartments, each receiving a plurality of identical medicaments in bulk different than the medicaments in each other compartment. Disposed on the carousel between each alternate pair of compartments is a vertical discharge chute which is rotated into alignment with a dispensing station after one of the medicaments is removed from one of the compartments. A vacuum operated probe is pivotally mounted on the frame opposite the dispensing station for swinging movement between a lower position, in which a terminal end of the probe is inside the compartments in engagement with a medicament therein, and a raised position above the carousel, allowing the carousel to rotate to a position in which the adjacent discharge chute is aligned with the terminal probe end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2003
    Inventor: Nathan Hollis MacDonald
  • Patent number: 6578841
    Abstract: Feeder systems are mechanical systems that feed individual sheets of paper to other mechanical devices. Feeder systems need to be able to handle a variety of types of paper with different weights and finishes. Glossy paper has proven difficult to feed because of anti-offset agents used in the printing process. The agents contaminate the rollers in the feeder system causing misfeeds and jams. The present invention is a cleaning apparatus that can be used in conjunction with the feeder system to keep the feeder system free from malfunctions during the processing of glossy paper. The cleaning apparatus includes a cleaning head mounted on a supporting arm. Various types of abrasive cleaning heads can be employed in the cleaning apparatus such as metal blades, meshes and brushes. The cleaning heads keep the rollers operational while minimizing deterioration of the roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: James A. Salomon, Michael M. Farrell, Jason Gerard
  • Patent number: 6575450
    Abstract: An improved singulation mechanism is provided for flat articles having significant variations in size, thickness and weight, which mechanism utilizes at least two vacuum chambers positioned behind a moving perforated to feed the articles and selectively controls at least one of pressure and flow for at least one of the chambers to facilitate the feeding of heavier articles, while inhibiting bleed through doubles for lighter articles. A mechanism may be provided which provides a puff of air to at least one of the chambers at the end of the operation thereof to reduce the feeding of doubles and a bent fence may be suitably positioned to both facilitate feeding of shorter articles and to facilitate proper initial alignment of the articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Wayne Blackwell, George C. Cera, Bruce Hanson
  • Patent number: 6561506
    Abstract: A thermal printer includes a thermal printer component for image recording to a thermosensitive recording sheet. There is a loading opening through which the thermal printer component is supplied with the recording sheet. Plural guiding projections position the recording sheet in the loading opening. A recording sheet package includes a packaging case for containing a loose stack of plural recording sheets. The loading opening is loadable with the packaging case. A package outlet is formed in the packaging case for passage of each recording sheet, and set directed toward the thermal printer component. Plural cutouts are formed in a periphery of the packaging case, and receive the guiding projections. Blocking portions of a blocking frame are disposed inside the packaging case, and close the cut-outs. The blocking portions are shiftable inwards from the cutouts by the guiding projections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Assignee: Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hidemi Sasaki, Akimasa Kaya, Takeshi Fujishiro, Shuusuke Mogi, Yoshio Ishiduka
  • Patent number: 6554159
    Abstract: Dispensing device can include a looped member having a plurality of stiff segments connected by hinges. For instance, the device can have five or six stiff segments connected by living hinges, at least three of which face outward and the other(s) inward in relation to the looped member. The device with six stiff segments can fold up so as to be placed inside a beverage container. As well, a dispensing device can have a member upon which a can or carton can rest and a reversible can-stop connected to it. The can-stop can be formed by a small, reversibly folding loop at one end of the member. In general, cylindrical objects exiting an opened carton can be restrained by providing a dispensing device having a generally flat base member and a can-stop; placing the base member under the objects in the carton with the can-stop outside the carton; and allowing at least one of the objects to roll from inside the carton to outside the carton where it is stopped by the can-stop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Midland Technology Development Corporation
    Inventors: R. Douglas Behr, Mary Lou Hughes
  • Patent number: 6554270
    Abstract: A sheet feeding apparatus having a feeding device including a feeding member for feeding a sheet from a rest stand and a support member for supporting the feeding member, in which the support member swings about a rotary shaft provided at one end of the support member to thereby move the feeding device up and down. A force applying unit provided on the rotary shaft brings the feeding member into contact with the sheet on the rest stand with a predetermined force. The predetermined force is smaller than a force due to the gravitational force of the feeding device against the sheet on the rest stand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yuichi Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 6550759
    Abstract: An auxiliary roller is disposed in the proximity of sides of feed rollers and in the proximity upward from a separation pad. At the print time, the auxiliary roller is slightly projected toward the side of print sheet from roller faces of the feed rollers. The auxiliary roller is displaced as paper is displaced in a stack direction of the paper, and can be freely rotated. A hopper is moved up, paper is pressed against the feed rollers, and the separation pad abuts the feed rollers. Then, the feed rollers and a transport roller are rotated forward for feeding the paper to the transport roller. Further, the paper is sent from the transport roller at a distance equal to or greater than the length along the feeding path between the position of the front end of paper placed in a paper feed tray and the abutment center point of the separation pad and the feed rollers. Subsequently, the feed rollers and the transport roller stop, the hopper is moved down, and the separation pad is brought away from the feed rollers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Toshikazu Kotaka, Kazuhisa Kawakami, Kiyoto Komuro
  • Patent number: 6543766
    Abstract: Bank notes arriving from a control machine are fed along a feed pipe which has a plurality of outfeeds, each connected to an infeed zone of a forming channel along which an accompanying element moves, equipped with a surface on which the bank notes are rested, on top of one another, by a rotary drum located between each outfeed and the respective infeed zone, forming an ordered stack. Close to the infeed zone each forming channel has a shielding wall which is mobile between a non-operating position in which the infeed zone is open, and a position in which the latter is partially closed, limiting the inflows of air which facilitate bank note feed along the pipe and the inflows of air generated by rotation of the drum. A vibrating plate on a side wall of the channel and close to the infeed zone of the channel facilitates correct bank note stacking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Currency Systems International
    Inventors: Armando Neri, Paul Gray
  • Patent number: 6543765
    Abstract: A guiding device of a machine for processing planar print carriers, the guiding device having a guide surface, over and beyond which sheets are drawn, during operation, simultaneously with positive guidance by a margin of the sheets, which, respectively, extends in a direction of sheet travel, and having nozzles terminating in the guide surface, for conducting therethrough, during operation, a flow of air for forming an air cushion between the guide surface and the respective sheet, comprising a region with a closed surface located on the guide surface, on the path of the print carrier along the guide surface, said region being disposed opposite a respective margin of a processable one of the print carriers of varying format, the margin extending laterally with respect to the direction of sheet travel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
    Inventors: Sven Kerpe, Frank Gunschera, Christian Hieb, Markus Gerstenberger
  • Patent number: 6540221
    Abstract: A movable sheet separating unit is pushed all the time by a lifting spring in a direction toward a feeding roller. In a non-feeding state, a sheet lifting plate is engaged with an operating fraction so that the movable sheet separating unit is held in a standby position where a separating pad is separated from the feeding roller. In a feeding state, the sheet lifting plate rises and disengages from the operating fraction so that the movable sheets separating unit moves to a pressing position where the separating pad is pressed against the feeding roller. In the pressing position, the separating pad is pressed against the feeding roller via a rotatable support base by a pressing spring, and is displaced by rotation in a direction away from the feeding roller in accordance with a thickness of a sheet S passing through between the separating pad and the feeding roller. Thus, durability of the separating pad can be improved, and a feeder suitable for a fixing type feeding cassette can be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Akira Nakashima, Takashi Kubo, Yasumasa Morimoto
  • Patent number: 6527268
    Abstract: A method for feeding sheets in a feeding direction along a guide face of a sheet guiding device in a sheet processing machine includes forming an air cushion between the guide face and a respective sheet by providing an air pressure distribution resulting in air flows beneath the respective sheet. The air pressure distribution is based virtually only on the effect of viscosity of the flowing air and is then capable of carrying the sheet; a device for performing the method; and a sheet processing machine such as a printing machine including the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
    Inventor: Joseph Hubert Spurk
  • Patent number: 6527269
    Abstract: A sheet finishing apparatus including a sheet tray, a pair of jogging fences, and a case. The sheet tray stacks a plurality of sheets that have been sent from an image forming apparatus. The pair of jogging fences hold the sheets stacked in the sheet tray and jog the sheets in a transverse direction relative to a sheet transferring direction. The jogging fences are moved toward and away from each other. The case encloses the apparatus and includes a plate covering the sheet tray from an operator accessible side. The plate has an opening. When the pair of jogging fences is expanded to outward limits, one of the pair of jogging fences at the operator accessible side is passed by the plate through the opening and located at an outside position relative to the plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenji Yamada, Nobuyoshi Suzuki, Hiromoto Saitoh, Shinji Asami, Junichi Iida, Hiroki Okada
  • Patent number: 6523715
    Abstract: A mechanism for removing selected food containers from a carousel situated in the refrigerated food storage compartment of an automatic hot food vending machine consisting of a rotatable selector plate which forms the bottom of the carousel and food containers can be removed from the refrigerated food storage compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: Food Service Technology Limited
    Inventors: Bruce Dunford, Phillip John Sibley
  • Patent number: 6523719
    Abstract: A merchandiser dispensing assembly for bottles having a cap and an integral neck flange, the assembly including a track having opposed rails receiving the neck flange in suspended sliding relation and a bottle engageable stop portion at the front end. A gate member is pivotally mounted at the front end adjacent one of the rails of the track to retain a rearward group of bottles in spaced relation from the first bottle. Removal of the first bottle permits the gate member to move out of the path of the group and allow the first bottle of the group to move into the position occupied by the removed bottle. The track includes hangers holding the rails apart and being attachable to forward and rearward transverse supports to hold the track in an inclined position to permit gravity feed of the bottles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: True Manufacturing Co., Inc.
    Inventor: Steven L. Trulaske, Sr.
  • Patent number: 6520374
    Abstract: A curvy slide delivery chute for use in a machine for vending products includes an elongated body having a central hole formed therein, a pair of recessed channels formed in the body and provided in a wavy longitudinal configuration in the body on opposite sides of the central hole such that the channels are substantially mirror images of one another and protrude below a remainder of the body and extend from an upper end to an opposite lower end of the body such that a product can slide along either one of the channels in being transferred from the upper end to the lower end of the body, and a pair of side rails each formed on the body and protruding thereabove along one of opposite outer sides of the recessed channels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Inventor: Kil Jae Chang
  • Patent number: 6520496
    Abstract: The apparatus according to the invention, which serves for transporting supplementary products, in particular sheet-like printed products provided with adhesive, from a receiving location to a discharge location, has at least one retaining element which is moved along a continuous circulatory path and by means of which supplementary products can be gripped at the receiving location and released again at a discharge location. By means of a control arrangement, with changeover operation, during the transportation from the receiving location to the discharge location, the retaining element, which is mounted such that it can be rotated about an axis which is located at least more or less perpendicularly to the circulatory path, is optionally left unchanged in a rotary position or rotated about the axis through a certain angle until an end position of the transported supplementary product which is envisaged for further processing has been reached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: Ferag AG
    Inventors: Erwin Müller, Egon Hänsch
  • Patent number: 6520372
    Abstract: A dispenser for dispensing stacked folded sheets includes a housing defining an internal storage space for a supply of folded sheets, for example folded paper towels or tissues. The housing includes a cover member that is movable between an open position and a closed position. An overfill prevention device is configured within the housing and is actuated by movement of the cover from its closed position to its open position. The overfill prevention device reduces the storage space within the housing upon movement of the cover to its open position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen L. Phelps
  • Patent number: 6520498
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for detecting wrinkling of sheets of material is provided. A change in an angle the sheet forms with a reference line can be detected. When the change in the angle exceeds a threshold value, wrinkling of the sheet can be detected. In an exemplary embodiment, ultrasound signals may be used to detect wrinkling. As ultrasound passes through a sheet of material, for example, paper, there is both a phase shift and an amplitude reduction to that ultrasound signal. As the angle of the sheet changes with respect to the ultrasound signal due to wrinkling of the sheet, the phase shift and amplitude of the signal after it passes through the sheet changes. Thus, as the sheet begins to wrinkle, there is a change in the phase shift and amplitude of the signal. These changes can be used to detect the start of a document jam or wrinkling of a sheet of material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Daniel P. Phinney