Patents Examined by Joseph A. Fischetti
  • Patent number: 6338607
    Abstract: A palletizer (10) for stacking a series of items on a pallet (P), the palletizer (10) including a pallet hoist (34) for supporting a stuck of pallets therein; a pallet lift mechanism (82) mounted for vertical movement within the pallet hoist (34) adjacent to and relative to the stack of pallets (P), the pallet lift assembly (82) including a pair of spaced, opposed pallet support members (110) mounted on the pallet lift assembly (82) for movement between a retracted position wherein there is clearance between the pallet support member (110) and the stack of pallets, and an extended position wherein the pallet support member (110) is in an interference position relative to the stack of pallets; a top frame dispenser (38) for supporting a supply of top frames (T); and a carriage for moving pallets and top frames from the pallet hoist (34) and the top frame dispenser (38), respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2002
    Assignee: Arrowhead Systems LLC
    Inventors: Patris E. Vincent, Brian E. Busse
  • Patent number: 6338606
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for stacking curved, triangular snack food chips, e.g., tortilla chips, for packaging in a sleeve-type container. The chips are fed into a first, U-shaped vibratory chute, which automatically causes the apex corners of the chips to extend beyond the opposing base edges of adjacent chips and which automatically orients the chips such that lines about which they are curved are oriented parallel to the longitudinal direction of the U-shaped chute. The chips are then fed into a W-shaped chute, with the chips facing in opposite directions falling automatically into opposite troughs of the W-shaped chute. The chips are then automatically reoriented by 120° such that their upturned apex corners point in the direction of travel, and the chips are stacked automatically as they slide up along one another in a shingled manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2002
    Assignee: Recot, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick J. Bierschenk, Steven D. Braithwaite, John J. Michels
  • Patent number: 6331095
    Abstract: Two pairs of lifters 9A and two pairs of lifters 9B are arranged on a table 7 in a processing chamber 2. In a transporting chamber 3 communicating with the processing chamber 2, a transporting mechanism 10 of an articulated robot is provided with a catch plate 10E in a single stage arrangement. The elevation of a rotating spindle 10A of the transporting mechanism 10 allows the catch plate 10E to be moved up and down. By rising and falling the catch plate 10E while stopping the lifters 9A, 9B, it is possible to transfer a substrate between the catch plate 10E and the lifters 9A or between the catch plate 10E and the lifters 9B.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2001
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventor: Tsutomu Hiroki
  • Patent number: 6325591
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to a device for handling objects to package the same. The handling device comprises a lifting head (17) placed in an extension arm (16) having multiple levers (59, 60, 61), with ends (62, 67) placed on linear drives (63, 68) that can be independently controlled and are flexibly interconnected to the opposite ends (65, 69). The displacement of the linear drives (63, 68) makes it possible to move back and forth the ends (62, 67) of the levers (59, 60, 61) that are flexibly connected to the linear drives (63, 68), thereby enabling the ends (62, 65, 67, 69) of the levers (59, 60, 61) to pivot. These pivotal movements allow the lifting head (17) that is placed on the extension arm (16) to move up and down in a vertical direction and back and forth in a horizontal direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co.)
    Inventors: Heinz Focke, Hanfried Kerle, Wolfgang Gropp
  • Patent number: 6322315
    Abstract: A separator and stacker apparatus and method for separating a completed stack of web product from a stack of product being built thereafter. Preferred embodiments of the present invention utilize a stack building carriage having a forked or slotted floor cooperating with a load finger assembly to discharge the completed product stack from the stack building carriage. The load finger assembly preferably has a set of load fingers which mesh with the carriage floor so that when the load finger assembly is actuated, the load fingers pass substantially unobstructed through the stack building carriage. The load finger assembly and the stack building carriage can therefore pass through their motions independently of one another, permitting the stack building carriage to return to a stack building position without waiting for the load finger assembly to retract.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: C.G. Bretting Manufacturing Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles Louis Schmidt, V, Jie Ning
  • Patent number: 6318952
    Abstract: A tool for attachment to a working end of an excavator arm for use in supporting a pipe section while lowering it into a trench. The tool has a proximal end from which extends an elongated arm, held in an approximately horizontal position when in use. A vertical riser is attached to the arm at the proximal end, and an upper end of the riser is attached to a quick coupling connector for attachment to a corresponding mating quick coupling on the working end of an excavator arm. A lateral support, extending from each side of the tool is included, making the tool self supporting in a vertical position on level ground in a position ready for connection to an excavator arm. A further embodiment includes the combination of the tool as described above with a leveling device attached to an excavator, a combination that provides precision alignment and joining of pipe lengths in a trench.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: M&W Hook Enterprises
    Inventor: Allen A. Waggoner
  • Patent number: 6318953
    Abstract: An ergonomic loading assembly for an I/O port onto which a bare cassette may be easily loaded and unloaded. The loading assembly further provides isolation between the operator and the I/O port after loading of a cassette to minimize safety risks and to minimize the amount of particulates and contaminants around the workpieces while on the port. In a preferred embodiment, the loading assembly includes a cover assembly having a stationary cover section around the port plate, and two pivoting cover sections which open and close like jaws to allow a cassette to positioned within the cover assembly when opened and which enclose the cassette within the cover assembly when closed. The loading assembly further includes a pivoting deck onto which the cassette is loaded when the pivoting cover sections are open. The deck receives the cassette with the workpieces oriented at or near vertical.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: Asyst Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony C. Bonora, Robert Netsch, Patrick Sullivan, William J. Fosnight, Joshua Shenk, Edwin Noma
  • Patent number: 6312210
    Abstract: A hauling accessory for an all terrain vehicle (ATV) includes a jack with a stationary member and a telescoping member, the telescoping member being operable via a threaded screw rod. The stationary member includes mounting brackets with a plurality of apertures for receiving fasteners capable of securedly fastening the stationary member to a luggage rack of the ATV such that the jack is oriented substantially perpendicular to the ground that supports the ATV. A lower rack including cargo support rods is affixed to a lower portion of the telescoping member of the jack. The cargo support rods are attached to telescoping arms whereby the width of the lower rack can be adjusted. An upper rack, which also includes cargo rods, is affixed to the stationary member of the jack adjacent the mounting bracket. In a preferred embodiment, the threaded screw rod is manually rotated via handle. In an alternative embodiment, the threaded screw rod is turned by a motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Inventor: Harold D. Lang
  • Patent number: 6312205
    Abstract: A bale loading arm for use with a bale carrying vehicle includes a loading frame, a device for pivoting the loading frame, a pivot member, a device for rotating the pivot member, a bale grasper having a grasper arm and a device for rotating the grasper arm. The bale grasper includes a pair of opposed paddles, one of which is movable to receive and grasp a bale. The bale grasper, pivot member and loading frame are movable to grasp a bale lying on the ground and position it above the bale carrying vehicle where it may be released.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Inventor: Rex Vandenberg
  • Patent number: 6299403
    Abstract: A spare tire carrier having a housing fixed to the automobile body, a roller assembly rotatably mounted at a rotary shaft of the housing and constructed with a plurality of closely-adhered roller plates to allow a wire to wind and unwind therebetween, and a gear plate fixed to one side of the roller assembly and formed with a first gear having a predetermined length of diameter, the carrier comprising: a plurality of split-constructed contact gears respectively meshed to a part of the first gear; an eccentric cam formed at the rotary shaft; and a resilient member mounted between the eccentric cam and the plurality of contact gears to apply a pressure to the plurality of contact gears towards the first gear, such that the wire is prevented from being squeezed in a gap of the roller assembly and the carrier is prevented from being inoperable, while the carrier swiftly operates to prevent the first and second gears from being broken down when an excessive force is applied and strength of an accommodation plate w
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventor: Ok-Seok Lee
  • Patent number: 6299405
    Abstract: A material handling system, apparatus, and method for transferring and inverting a generally planar panel is disclosed. The system, apparatus, and method is comprised of a panel-engaging member and a panel-engaging member rotator. The panel-engaging member has a generally rectangular slot to receive only a portion of a panel. The panel-engaging member rotator is adapted to rotate the panel-engaging member about an axis generally parallel to the width of the slot between a position where the slot is generally horizontal and facing one direction to another position where the slot is generally horizontal and facing a generally opposite direction. The height, depth, and width of the slot are selected so that when a portion of the panel is inserted into the slot, the portion of the panel is kept from falling out of the slot by gravity and friction when the holding member is moved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: Herman Miller, Inc.
    Inventors: Tim R. Sterken, Philip L. Berridge
  • Patent number: 6293746
    Abstract: A transfer robot is provided which includes a stationary base, two coaxially rotatable shafts, two motors for driving these shafts, and an arm mechanism provided with at least one handling member for holding a workpiece. The arm mechanism includes a base link rotatable about a first axis, and a pantograph assembly carried by the base link. The pantograph assembly is made up of an outer link supported by the base link for rotation about a second axis, intermediate links supported by the outer link for rotation about third axes, an inner link supported by the intermediate links for rotation about fourth axes. The third axes are offset from the second axis toward the first axis. The distance between the first and the second axes is equal to the distance between the third and the fourth axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2001
    Assignee: Daihen Corporation
    Inventors: Hironori Ogawa, Masashi Kamitani
  • Patent number: 6290448
    Abstract: Lifting device, in particular a pallet device (10), comprising a pivotal arm (19) at the free end of which in the area of a controllable rotary mount (42) is mounted a separate support element for a lifting head (43), i.e. a pivotal support arm (46) at the free end of which the lifting head (43) is rotary mounted, and the rotary movements of the lifting head (43) are carried out by an operating cylinder (49), preferably with two end positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2001
    Assignee: Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co.)
    Inventors: Heinz Focke, Pavel Livotov
  • Patent number: 6290452
    Abstract: A conveyor delivers successive stacks of blanks to a position at a level above a single magazine or to positions at levels above discrete plural magazines for stacked blanks. In order to avoid misalignment of blanks during replenishment of supplies of such blanks in the magazine or magazines, the level of the uppermost blank in each magazine is monitored and the thus obtained signals are utilized to release stacks of blanks for gravitational descent onto the remnant(s) of blanks in the magazine or magazines when the lowermost blank of a stack is located at a preselected distance from the uppermost blank(s) of the remnant(s) of the supply or supplies of blanks in the magazine(s). This can be accomplished by causing a stack of blanks above a magazine to descend relative to the dwindling supply of blanks in the magazine until the lowermost blank of the descending stack reaches a position at the selected distance from the topmost blank in the magazine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2001
    Assignee: Topack Verpackungstechnik GmbH
    Inventor: Michael Kleine W├Ąchter
  • Patent number: 6287070
    Abstract: A load bearing lift attachment apparatus for a multipurpose loader bucket including a first jaw and a second jaw movably mounted thereto between an opened condition and a closed condition. The lift attachment apparatus includes a lift member formed and dimensioned to engage an object to be lifted; and a lift support device removably coupling the lift member to the loader bucket. The lift support device is configured to cooperate with the first jaw and the second jaw, in the closed condition, to distribute the cantilever forces, caused by the weight of the object acting on the loader bucket, across a substantial transverse portion of a support member of the first jaw and a rear engaging wall of the second jaw.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2001
    Assignee: Perrybuilt Incorporated
    Inventor: James A. Perry
  • Patent number: 6280137
    Abstract: An apparatus for transporting rows of products that includes a supply device for supplying rows of products; a first transport device for transporting the rows of products through a certain distance in a first transporting direction, wherein each row of products is supported by a carrier; a sliding device for displacing the rows of products relative to the carrier; and a second transport device for transporting the displaced rows of products in a second transporting direction. The distance between adjacent carriers in the first transporting direction is smaller during the transport than the dimensions of the products. The sliding device is adapted to displace the rows of products parallel to the first transporting direction such that a row of displaced products rests on two adjacent carriers. The second transport device is adapted to lift the displaced rows of products from the carriers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2001
    Assignee: Beheermaatschappij de Boer Nijmegen B.V.
    Inventor: Wilhelmus Jacobus Maria Kosman
  • Patent number: 6273663
    Abstract: An apparatus for accumulating a stack of bags having wicket receiving holes comprises a paddle wheel conveyor for placing bags, a motorized stacker wheel adjacent the paddle wheel conveyor to receive the placed bags from the paddle wheel, a plurality of stacker bar units each rotatably mounted to the stacker wheel and a pick up head operatively positioned adjacent said plurality of stacker bar units for receiving the stack of bags from one of the stacker bar units. The pick up head has two tubes that receive and maintain alignment of the bags, a restraining jaw for restraining the stack of bags on the tubes and a pusher plate for pushing the stack of bags off the two tubes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Huntsman Packaging Corporation
    Inventors: Gordon F. Pickering, Richard E. Partch, Stewart L. Fluent, Colin R. Hart
  • Patent number: 6270307
    Abstract: A wafer orienting apparatus for aligning a plurality of semiconductor wafers each of which bas a v-notch formed on its outer periphery. The apparatus includes a cassette process carrier for supporting the plurality of wafers in parallel wafer supporting slots and wafer support means engaging the periphery of each wafer in an individual slot with the central axis of all wafers in coaxial alignment. A supporting platform is placed over the cassette for supporting the wafers in an inverted position in which the wafers are substantially vertical and biased by their own weight against a multiplicity of orienting mechanisms. The orienting mechanisms are arranged to correspond to each wafer position within the cassette. The plurality of orienting mechanisms are intergrated with the supporting platform so that all wafers within the cassette can be aligned during this aligning process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2001
    Assignee: Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Vijai Sinha
  • Patent number: 6267547
    Abstract: A grapple assembly that is particularly suited for use as an attachment to a skid steer loader comprises jaws that are no wider than the wheels of the loader and are lightweight and rigid. The grapple is operated by a single hydraulic drive cylinder that is inexpensive and easily replaceable. The lower jaw is L-shaped and formed of spaced vertical ribs having a bar extending across the tips of the ribs. The upper jaw of the grapple also has vertically spaced ribs which are interconnected by a bar adjacent the tips of the ribs. An intermediate bar reinforces the upper jaw and provides an attachment point for the drive cylinder at the center thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Inventor: Erik J. Lund
  • Patent number: 6267544
    Abstract: A log positioning and securing device is described in which a frame supports a log receiving trough with sides positioned to receive and support a log along a longitudinal plane. A log clamp including a pair of log clamp members is movably mounted to the frame. The clamp members are driven to move between an inoperative position in which the log clamp members are separated in a log receiving position, and a log clamping position in which the log clamp members are moved toward one another and toward the longitudinal plane, to clamp and hold a log securely along the rough, with the centerline of the log parallel to or coincidental with the plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Assignee: Nevilog, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard L. Neville