Patents by Inventor Martin J. Mueller

Martin J. Mueller has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10867464
    Abstract: An apparatus for handling stacks of articles, such as cups or containers, includes a selectively extensible conveyor which can be indexed for moving the stacks of articles, and which can moved from an extended position to a retracted position. By movement from the extended position, the conveyor is moved from beneath one or more of the stacks for discharging stacks from the apparatus. The apparatus includes one or more movable stack gates for controlling, guiding, and stabilizing movement and discharge of the stacks, to thereby avoid problems associated with the instability of the stacked articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2020
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Ryan Dye
  • Patent number: 10518917
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to an apparatus for loading stacks of container lids into an associated lid-applying apparatus, as typically found in a container filling facility. The apparatus includes a reciprocably movable carriage which is positioned generally above the lid-applying apparatus. The carriage can be positioned in a first, loading position, which is generally offset from the apparatus for convenient placement of the lid stacks by operators. The carriage can then be moved over the lid-applying apparatus to a second, unloading position. The carriage includes movable lid supports, which then open to release the lid stacks downwardly onto the lid-applying apparatus. In the preferred form, vertically movable lid cradles extend upwardly from the lid-applying apparatus, and receive the lid stacks from beneath carriage. The cradles then move downwardly, carrying the lid stacks downwardly, for transfer of the stacks onto the lid-applying apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Martin J. Mueller
  • Publication number: 20190315504
    Abstract: An apparatus for handling stacks of articles, such as cups or containers, includes a selectively extensible conveyor which can be indexed for moving the stacks of articles, and which can moved from an extended position to a retracted position. By movement from the extended position, the conveyor is moved from beneath one or more of the stacks for discharging stacks from the apparatus. The apparatus includes one or more movable stack gates for controlling, guiding, and stabilizing movement and discharge of the stacks, to thereby avoid problems associated with the instability of the stacked articles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 17, 2018
    Publication date: October 17, 2019
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Ryan Dye
  • Publication number: 20180105301
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to an apparatus for loading stacks of container lids into an associated lid-applying apparatus, as typically found in a container filling facility. The apparatus includes a reciprocably movable carriage which is positioned generally above the lid-applying apparatus. The carriage can be positioned in a first, loading position, which is generally offset from the apparatus for convenient placement of the lid stacks by operators. The carriage can then be moved over the lid-applying apparatus to a second, unloading position. The carriage includes movable lid supports, which then open to release the lid stacks downwardly onto the lid-applying apparatus. In the preferred form, vertically movable lid cradles extend upwardly from the lid-applying apparatus, and receive the lid stacks from beneath carriage. The cradles then move downwardly, carrying the lid stacks downwardly, for transfer of the stacks onto the lid-applying apparatus.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 24, 2017
    Publication date: April 19, 2018
    Inventor: Martin J. Mueller
  • Patent number: 9758267
    Abstract: A filling apparatus for filling containers, and a method of operation, are disclosed, whereby a plurality of container carriers are movable along an upper container guideway of the apparatus. Notably, a pair of servo drives in the form of linear actuators act generally in opposition to each other, at opposites ends to the container carriers movable along the container guideway, to accurately index and position the container carriers with respect to associated filling equipment. Servo-driven transfer wheels, positioned at respective opposite ends of the upper container guideway, effect movement of the containers to and from a return conveyor positioned beneath the upper container guideway, whereby the container carriers are moved from the downstream end of the filling region back to the upstream end thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Martin J. Mueller
  • Publication number: 20160347490
    Abstract: A filling apparatus for filling containers, and a method of operation, are disclosed, whereby a plurality of container carriers are movable along an upper container guideway of the apparatus. Notably, a pair of servo drives in the form of linear actuators act generally in opposition to each other, at opposites ends to the container carriers movable along the container guideway, to accurately index and position the container carriers with respect to associated filling equipment. Servo-driven transfer wheels, positioned at respective opposite ends of the upper container guideway, effect movement of the containers to and from a return conveyor positioned beneath the upper container guideway, whereby the container carriers are moved from the downstream end of the filling region back to the upstream end thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 25, 2016
    Publication date: December 1, 2016
    Inventor: Martin J. Mueller
  • Patent number: 8746295
    Abstract: A filling apparatus for serially filling multiple lanes of containers includes a plurality of piston pumps which receive flowable product from an associated source. Each pump includes a reciprocably movable pump piston, which can “float” upwardly during a filling stroke, as each pump is filled with product delivered thereto under pressure. The pump pistons can move upwardly independently, until each reaches a predetermined position, corresponding to the quantity of product with which each container is to be filled. After all of the pistons reach their respective predetermined positions, valves of the pumps are simultaneously operated, and the pistons simultaneously stroked so that respective containers are filled with the flowable product. The multiple lanes of containers are thereafter indexed, and the filling cycle repeated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Osgood Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Michael A. Weigandt
  • Publication number: 20110139814
    Abstract: A filling apparatus for serially filling multiple lanes of containers includes a plurality of piston pumps which receive flowable product from an associated source. Each pump includes a reciprocably movable pump piston, which can “float” upwardly during a filling stroke, as each pump is filled with product delivered thereto under pressure. The pump pistons can move upwardly independently, until each reaches a predetermined position, corresponding to the quantity of product with which each container is to be filled. After all of the pistons reach their respective predetermined positions, valves of the pumps are simultaneously operated, and the pistons simultaneously stroked so that respective containers are filled with the flowable product. The multiple lanes of containers are thereafter indexed, and the filling cycle repeated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2009
    Publication date: June 16, 2011
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Michael A. Weigandt
  • Publication number: 20080095895
    Abstract: An apparatus for making ice cream sandwiches includes a dispensing nozzle which dispenses ice cream between an associated pair of wafers, with each ice cream sandwich thereafter transferred to an associated sandwich wrapper for individually wrapping each sandwich. Wrapping is effected by vertically moving each sandwich through a wrapping chute on a sandwich elevator. Efficient operation of the present apparatus is facilitated by the provision of a servo-drive for the sandwich elevator, whereby the acceleration and deceleration of each sandwich can be controlled independently of the drive of other components of the apparatus.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2006
    Publication date: April 24, 2008
    Inventor: Martin J. Mueller
  • Publication number: 20080095896
    Abstract: An apparatus for making and wrapping ice cream sandwiches includes a dispensing nozzle associated with a pair of wafer magazines for sequentially making ice cream sandwiches, with a transfer rotor provided for sequentially transferring each sandwich to an associated conveyor. The apparatus includes a sandwich wrapper which sequentially receives and individually wraps each sandwich. Notably, the wrapper includes a wrapper feed mechanism for advancing wrapping material independently of a cutting mechanism of the wrapper, thereby greatly facilitating versatile operation of the machine for wrapping sandwiches of varying sizes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2006
    Publication date: April 24, 2008
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Richard W. Mueller, Michael A. Weigandt
  • Publication number: 20080072535
    Abstract: An apparatus for filling containers with flowable product, such as ice cream, includes a plurality of carrier and frame assemblies which are configured to respectively receive the containers to be filled. Notably, each carrier of each assembly has a vertical dimension which is substantially greater than that of the associated container, with the carrier, and associated container, being vertically movable with respect to the associated carrier frame. By this arrangement, the carrier frame desirably acts in cooperation with the carrier to stabilize the container against lateral forces to which it is subjected, thereby facilitating filling of the container, and in particular, wiping of each container against an associated filling nozzle at the conclusion of filling.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 31, 2006
    Publication date: March 27, 2008
    Inventor: Martin J. Mueller
  • Patent number: 7007829
    Abstract: A dessert container has a tube with a piston. The piston includes a food contact member slidably mounted in the tube. The piston also has a hollow rod extending from and suitable for use with the food contact member. With the piston thus mounted in the tube, wherein the hollow rod can apply pressure to the food contact member for the piston, food may be forced out of the end of the tube, which is oppositely disposed from the piston.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Assignee: Chief Packaging Company, LLC
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Richard W. Mueller
  • Patent number: 5787687
    Abstract: A filling system of a container filling apparatus is configured for selectively, vertically moving an associated container positioned on a conveyor. The apparatus includes a food pump, and a container support platform operatively associated with the conveyor. The support platform is adapted to engage and support the container. A servo-controlled drive motor is configured to move each container positioned on the conveyor, in a controlled, generally vertical direction, perpendicular to the conveying path, toward and away from the food pump. A control system is operatively connected to the motor for providing controlled, programmable movement of the drive motor. Upon commencement of filling of the container with food product, the control means generates and transmits a signal to the motor to selectively position the container in proximity to the food pump and to move the container away from the food pump during filling, in a controlled manner, perpendicular to the conveying path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Michael A. Weigandt
  • Patent number: 5524683
    Abstract: An apparatus for filling containers including a pump housing having a pump chamber, a product inlet in communication with a supply of product under pressure, a product outlet and a piston positioned therein. The piston is movable by the supply of product under pressure between advancing and retracting positions where product is discharged from the chamber and through the outlet during the advancing stroke and the chamber is filled with product during the retracting stroke. A first valve is included to regulate the flow of product through the outlet and a second valve is included to regulate the flow of product between opposite sides of the piston. By controlling the opening and closing of the first and second valves, the pressure of the product enables movement of the piston to eject product and fill the chamber as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 11, 1996
    Assignee: Osgood Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Martin J. Mueller
  • Patent number: 5419099
    Abstract: An intermittently operated, indexing container conveying system is particularly configured for versatile use with an associated container filling apparatus. In distinction from previous arrangements, the present system includes a servo-drive motor for effecting intermittent indexing movement of a container-carrying endless conveyor. Programmable controls of the system facilitate operation of the system for optimizing efficiency, facilitating use of the system with containers of differing configurations, and with food products exhibiting varying physical properties (i.e., such as viscosities). The present system permits acceleration and deceleration rate of the conveyor to be selectively varied, as well as selective variation of indexing pitch and stop points of the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1995
    Assignee: Osgood Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Michael A. Weingandt
  • Patent number: 5127449
    Abstract: An apparatus for filling containers includes a food product fill pump having a valve member and pump piston operated by respective cam drives. A servo-controlled drive motor drives the cams, whereby the speed of the pump operation can be controlled independently of an associated container conveyor. Significantly, the servo-control of the apparatus permits the pump piston of the food pump to be operated during its container-filling advancing stroke at a substantially constant speed, while the pumping cycle time is selectively varied by selectively varying the speed of the piston retraction stroke.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1992
    Assignee: Osgood Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Martin Mueller, Michael A. Weigandt
  • Patent number: 5007466
    Abstract: An ice cream filling apparatus for simultaneously filling multiple ice cream containers as they move along a predetermined path of travel extending between a receiving station and a discharge station and a method of operating the filling apparatus in a manner controlling the volumetric fill of each container as a function of the speed that the container moves along its predetermined path of travel. The filling apparatus includes a transport and filling mechanism which quickly and easily adapts to different size and shape containers and includes a series of cantilevered container supports. Each container support individually holds and positions an ice cream container beneath a filling nozzle in a manner facilitating clean operation of the filling apparatus and such that board caliper and bouncing of the container have an inconsequential effect on volumetric fill accuracy of the filling apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1989
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1991
    Assignee: Osgood Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Martin Mueller, Michael A. Weingandt
  • Patent number: 4979527
    Abstract: A valve assembly having a diaphragm valve configured for efficient cleaning and sterilization, and a method for operating the valve assembly in a manner controlling the fluid material flow therethrough and for effecting cleaning thereof. The valve assembly includes a valve body defining inlet and outlet ports. The diaphragm valve is operably arranged between the ports. An actuator mechanism selectively positions the diaphragm valve relative to a valve seat defined by the valve body. A selectively operated clamping mechanism arranged on one side of the diaphragm valve develops a clamping force which is used to seal the diaphragm valve against an annular sealing surface area defined by the valve body. A cleaning system arranged on an opposite side of the diaphragm valve facilitates internal cleaning of the valve assembly, including the diaphragm valve and the annular sealing surface area upon release of the clamping force acting against the diaphragm valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 25, 1990
    Assignee: Osgood Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Martin Mueller
  • Patent number: 4948011
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for destacking and dispensing cup-like containers, such as for use in association with an automated product packaging machine, are disclosed. The apparatus includes pairs of upper and lower jaws associated with each stack of containers received by the apparatus. Both the upper and lower jaws are mounted for movement inwardly and outwardly relative to each stack, with the lower jaws further mounted for vertical movement relative to the upper jaws. By this arrangement, the lower jaws can be operated to destack and separate the lowermost container of each stack, so that the separated container is received on a product conveyor of the packaging machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 14, 1990
    Assignee: Osgood Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Martin Mueller, Sr.
  • Patent number: 4835943
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are disclosed for applying lids to respective cup-like containers. The apparatus includes a continuously operable destacker mechanism which is positioned generally beneath an assembly for holding stacks of the container lids. The destacker effects movement of the lowermost one of the lids from each of the stacks, with the lids thereafter moved to a feed magazine which includes a plurality of inclined guide chutes. The lids advance down the guide chutes, and are releasably retained in the path of filled containers moving on a conveyor generally therebeneath. Each container engages its respective lid, and withdraws it from the feed magazine, with the containers and lids subsequently passed beneath a series of application rollers so that the lids are urged downwardly into engagement with the containers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1989
    Inventor: Martin J. Mueller