Patents Examined by Jonathan R. Miller
  • Patent number: 7138596
    Abstract: A method for sorting mail to a case having a plurality of slots is described, wherein each slot corresponds to a destination. The method includes steps of loading a mail piece to be sorted into a delivery robot, determining for the mail piece a destination slot the mail piece is to be delivered to, moving the delivery robot along a rail disposed at the front of the case near the slots into proximity with an open end of the destination slot, inserting the mail piece from the delivery robot into the associated slot, and returning the delivery robot to a loading station whereby the cycle may be repeated. Such a method, when using a large number of robots moving along a common rail system, can sort a large volume of mail in carrier delivery order.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2006
    Inventors: James M. Pippin, Floyd W. Worth, II, Dale E. Redford, Ottmar K. Kechel, George R. Mondie, Gerald A. Isaacs
  • Patent number: 7128217
    Abstract: A bun laner sorts buns into a predetermined number of lanes, for providing buns to a packaging unit. The bun laner detects when some lanes are filling faster than other and closes those lanes while the other lanes fill. A vacuum may be used to hold buns in a filled lane in order to close the lane. An optical detection unit may be used to determine when a bun has been stationary at a certain position in the lane for a predetermined amount of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: The Henry Group, Inc.
    Inventor: James T. Henry
  • Patent number: 7128216
    Abstract: The invention relates to a closed air circulation system for an apparatus used for sorting wood chips, containing chips in a variety of sizes and/or fines particles, in a wood chips processing chamber, in separate fractions by means of a gas flow, which is delivered from one or more nozzle chambers by way of a nozzle slit into the wood chips processing chamber and which applies an impulse action to the processing-bound wood chips sliding along an inclined support surface. Air is circulated from the wood chips processing chamber by way of a dedusting cyclone into said one or more nozzle chambers. The wood chips processing chamber is maintained at a negative pressure by regulating the volume of air removed from the chamber. A conduit extending between the wood chips processing chamber and the one or more nozzle chambers is open to the ambient atmosphere.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: Andritz Oy
    Inventor: Pekka Kokko
  • Patent number: 7119298
    Abstract: An electrostatic separation apparatus for conductive particles and insulating particles with reduced separation time and improved separating capability, comprises a substantially flat-plate shaped bottom electrode (26) provided on lower side, a substantially flat-plate shaped mesh electrode (22) provided above the bottom electrode (26) as spaced a predetermined distance apart from the bottom electrode (26) and having a number of openings (24) to allow particles to pass therethrough, a direct current power supply connected to at least one of the mesh electrode (22) and the bottom electrode (24), and a voltage is applied across the bottom electrode (22) and the mesh electrode (24), thereby forming a separation zone (10) between the electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2006
    Assignee: Kawasaki Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Eiji Yoshiyama, Yasunori Shibata, Tetsuhiro Kinoshita
  • Patent number: 7117995
    Abstract: An apparatus which is useful in the separation of solids from a diluted, wet, concrete mixture has (a) a free-standing first container with a drain port and a top opening, (b) a strainer disposed within the first container, (c) a drain port shut-off valve, (d) a second container capable of providing a reservoir for recovered liquid, and (e) a transfer conduit for allowing effluent from the drain port of the first container to gravitate into the second container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2006
    Inventor: Leslie R. Connard, III
  • Patent number: 7117996
    Abstract: An adjustable apparatus for sizing objects, mainly delicate foods, by the rotation of a set of at least 7 rollers, each roller having one less tooth so that the rollers move at progressively higher revolutions per minute, from the in-feed shear roller of 144 revolutions per minute to the discharge roller of 210 revolutions per minute. The rollers are shaped and finished by 7 to 12 flats, alternated with a crown in between each flat, cut the horizontal length of the roller. The rollers are then sandblasted over the entire circumference of the surface to a depth range of 280 to 300 micro-inches.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2006
    Assignee: Key Technology Inc.
    Inventors: John Mobley, David K. Johnsen, Scott Benjamin
  • Patent number: 7111738
    Abstract: Methods, systems, and media for use in separating mixtures. A slurry including a separation liquid and one or more particulate media materials is provided. A classification separation is performed on the slurry to produce a classified media having a controlled particle size distribution of the particulate media materials. The classified media is combined with a mixture to be separated to generate a separation mixture. A density separation is performed on the separation mixture. The particle size distribution can be controlled based in part on characteristics of components of a separation system to be used in subsequent density separations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignee: MBA Polymers, Inc.
    Inventor: Laurence E. Allen, III
  • Patent number: 7111740
    Abstract: This invention provides a seed-sorting apparatus that includes an alignment trough having a plurality of grooves into which the seeds are distributed, a line sensor camera for inspecting the seeds, a nozzle device having a number of nozzles that is the same as the number of grooves on the upper surface of the alignment trough, and a control unit. The control unit, through a series of calculations, is capable of differentiating between different types of seeds and can direct a seed sorting and sucking device to suck the seed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignee: Daiichi Jitsugyo Viswill Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Fumihiro Ogawa, Koji Tsutsumi, Satoko Hirahara
  • Patent number: 7112756
    Abstract: A single pass sequencer having a transport system for transporting the mail pieces and a character recognition system proximate to the transport system for reading destination information associated with the mail pieces. The system includes a first carriage system and a second carriage system with a a plurality of holders slidable between the first carriage system and the second carriage system. Each of the plurality of holders holding a mail piece of the mail pieces received from the transport system. A sorting device stores information from the mail pieces and assigns a code to: (i) the mail pieces based on the destination information, (ii) the plurality of holders on the first carriage based on an initial sequence of each of the plurality of holders on the first carriage, and (iii) a position on the second carriage which corresponds to the initial sequence and a destination sequence of the mail pieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: Bruce H. Hanson
  • Patent number: 7111741
    Abstract: The multi-purpose rake includes a rake head and a detachable pole for pulling the rake across a surface. The rake head has a frame with two arced end ribs, an upper and a lower crossbar extending between the end ribs. The upper crossbar has a sleeve or other attachment means extending therefrom for receiving and retaining one end of the pole. A wire mesh cage is formed into an arc to conform to the end ribs and is attached to the ribs and the upper and lower crossbar. In the preferred embodiment, the end ribs are formed from a continuous panel so that the ends of the rake head are fully closed. The detachable pole is preferably constructed in multiple sections that can be broken down for easy transport. Optional clips or other retainers may be disposed on the rake head for retaining the pole sections for easy transport and storage. An optional handhold can be provided for facilitating transport of the disassembled rake.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Inventor: Joseph Bramante
  • Patent number: 7093719
    Abstract: A combination of prospecting equipment and apparatus, for the purpose of collecting precious minerals from mineral bearing sand and gravel, located in regions that are arid in nature, have little water or limited water usage, due to environmental concerns. The Wash Plant Unit comprising; A feed hopper for receiving and washing materials. A sluice box and apparatus for collecting precious minerals. A sluice box extension with a filter screen for separating gravel from sand and water. A filtration box with a sediment pan and screening devices for separating sand from water. A receptacle and implement holder for holding miscellaneous prospecting supplies. A water pump with a suction and discharge for drawing and dispensing water. All built upon and attached to its own water reservoir, which is attached to a frame with a hitch, built upon a set of axles with tires, suitable for being transported by an All Terrain Vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2006
    Inventor: Virgil Leland Roper
  • Patent number: 7090083
    Abstract: A module is provided for screening or diverting particulate material. A method for producing a module for screening or diverting particulate material is also provided. Each module comprises either a screening member having an array of sieve apertures of a predetermined size defined therein for allowing particulate material up to the predetermined size to pass through the module or a diverting member or redirecting the flow path of the particulate material. A plurality of posts removably and interlockingly supports at least one reinforcing support frame and at least one module. Each reinforcing support frame is interlockably mounted onto the posts, and is readily detachable therefrom. Each module is disposed on the interlocking posts and is mounted onto, and readily detachable from, the reinforcing support frame. Each module is further positioned on the frame such that any particulate material passing through the module passes through the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2006
    Assignee: Western Wire Works, Inc.
    Inventors: Lynn A. Russell, Terry R. Askew, Jack Coleman Gold
  • Patent number: 7077271
    Abstract: An apparatus for the removal of objects and other debris from cement that is pumped via a concrete pump includes a secondary screen that is pivotally attached at one end thereof to a concrete pump a predetermined distance above a grate that is disposed over a hopper, the screen having a smaller opening size than that of the grate. An opposite end of the screen is urged toward an opposite end of the hopper by a pair of elastomeric straps. A pair of upraised sides are included at a top and bottom of the screen, the screen having a planar member that is disposed at a steeper angle than is the grate. When cement is poured it first contacts and passes through the secondary screen which automatically descends and rises, thereby maximizing the flow rate of cement through the screen as the objects are removed from the mixture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2006
    Inventor: Van Acosta Hamilton
  • Patent number: 7066335
    Abstract: The present invention relates to methods and systems for receiving and distributing currency. In particular, the present invention provides a novel apparatus for the inflow and outflow of a variety of currency. The systems of the present invention are capable of recycling a variety of currency from multiple countries and multiple denominations. The systems of the present invention have the added advantage of compact size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Pretech AS
    Inventors: Per Christian Aas, John-Haakon Lippert
  • Patent number: 7063214
    Abstract: Interconnectible screen assemblies for vibratory separators or shale shakers and methods for manipulating such screen assemblies which, in certain aspects, include a first screen assembly and a second screen assembly positioning at least a portion of the first screen assembly with respect to screen assembly holding apparatus, connecting a second screen assembly to the first screen assembly, and moving the first screen assembly and the second screen assembly together with respect to the screen assembly holding apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2006
    Assignee: Varco I/P, Inc.
    Inventors: David L. Schulte, Jr., Guy L. McClung, III
  • Patent number: 7060927
    Abstract: A method and system for encapsulating mail containers delivered to a building so as to prevent possible contaminants in the mail containers from contaminating the building. An opening is provided on a building wall that substantially separates indoor air circulation from the outdoor air for receiving the mail containers. A plastic tube having a closed end and an open end is used to encapsulate the mail containers. The open end is securely attached to the opening in the wall for receiving the mail containers into the tube, while preventing air circulation outside the building from entering the opening. A sealing device is used to seal the plastic tube for keeping the mail containers in separate sealed sections. A severing device is used to separate the sealed sections in the encapsulated packages so that the encapsulated packages can be tested for the possible contaminants.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2006
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas B. Quine, Denis J. Stemmle
  • Patent number: 7055697
    Abstract: A system for screening fluid-borne material from a fluid that carries particulate matter along with the material, e.g. for screening usable fibers in papermaking or tissue making white water that also contains waste material such as fines and ash. The system employs a flexible and pliable screen to which the fluid is applied. The screen is supported in a suspended manner from a frame. The fluid is directed onto an inside surface defined by the screen, and the location at which the fluid strikes the screen is varied so as to result in bending and flexing of the screen due to the flexibility and pliability of the screen material. In this manner, the configuration of the screen drainage passages is continuously altered, to provide a self-cleaning action that prevents the screen passages from plugging or blinding over. In one form, the screen is generally frustoconical, and the fluid is applied to the inside surface of the screen in a manner which results in rotation of the screen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2006
    Assignee: Whitewater Solutions Corp.
    Inventor: Joseph P. McDonald
  • Patent number: 7044306
    Abstract: An automated machine is used to handle and manipulate individual pieces of particulate matter. The particulate matter is contained in a bin. The machine operates to pick single individual pieces of the particulate matter from the bin. The picked individual pieces are then conveyed for further handling. Pneumatic transport is primarily used for the conveying operation. One aspect of the handling involves individually weighing each piece of the picked particulate matters. Another aspect of the handling involves sorting the individual pieces of particulate matter into a plurality of receptacles. Yet another aspect of the handling involves both weighing and then sorting the individual pieces of particulate matter, wherein the sorting operation may be performed based upon the measured weight of each piece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Assignee: Monsanto Technology LLC
    Inventor: Kevin L. Deppermann
  • Patent number: 7045734
    Abstract: A D.C. voltage altering device includes at least one spark induction power conditioner including a first electrode connectable to a high voltage D.C. power source and a second electrode spaced from the first electrode and forming a discharging gap therebetween. The second electrode is connectable to a predetermined section of a physical separator and at least one of the electrodes is selectively positionable for altering spatial distance between same. The power conditioner induces a predetermined large amplitude, high frequency current ripple to the second electrode for creating a fluctuating voltage and fluctuating electrostatic field and maintaining continuous current flow through the gap without reversal of polarity. The spark induction power conditioner further includes a dielectric base for housing the electrodes and a plurality of fastening members threadably positionable through the base and engageable with the electrodes so that the discharging gap between the electrodes can be selectively adjusted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Assignee: Outokumpu Oyj
    Inventors: Eric S. Yan, Thomas J. Grey
  • Patent number: 7041925
    Abstract: Apparatus for the electrostatic separation of a mixture of particles that exhibit difference in electrical conductivity, comprising: a conductive surface to which conducting particles lose their charge; feeding means for feeding the mixture of particles onto the conductive surface; an ionising electrode for ionising individual particles in the mixture of particles; and a first static electrode having the same polarity as the ionising electrode and which serves to generate a static electric field, the first static electrode being located sufficiently close to the ionising electrode that the static electric field acts continuously on the particles as they are ionised; wherein conducting particles are separated from non-conducting particles on the basis of their different retained charge after a period of contact with the conductive surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2006
    Assignee: Ore Kinetics Investments Pty., Ltd.
    Inventor: Peter J. Gates