Patents by Inventor Richard O. Ratzel

Richard O. Ratzel 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: 8683777
    Abstract: A packaging system includes a cushioning conversion machine for converting stock material into relatively low density cushioning material or dunnage and a packaging system controller. The packaging system controller provides packaging instructions related to a part or parts to be packaged and instructs the cushioning conversion machine to produce the cushioning material. In one aspect of the present invention the packaging system controller provides packaging instructions by retrieving a predetermined set of packaging instructions associated with a particular part. In another aspect of the present invention the packaging system controller provides packaging instructions by determining an optimized packaging methodology using one or more characteristics of the part or parts to be packaged. The packaging system also provides for automated inventory control and productivity monitoring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Steven E. Armington, Richard O. Ratzel, Paul J. Guth, MacDonald C. Booze
  • Patent number: 8272195
    Abstract: A system for providing dunnage to a container for packaging an object in the container includes a void volume probe and a supply of dunnage. The void volume probe measures the void volume of the container and outputs information representative of the measured void volume. And the supply of dunnage is controllable to dispense an amount of dunnage to fill the void volume based on the information output from the void volume probe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Joseph J. Harding, Richard O. Ratzel
  • Patent number: 7866125
    Abstract: A packaging system for automatically producing dunnage pads and inserting one or more of the pads into a container for packaging an article in the container. The invention includes a pad discharge assembly and/or pad insertion assembly. The discharge assembly includes a gating device for effecting passage of the pad out of a holding zone in a direction transverse to the pad length and onto a working surface, preferably a conveyor. The conveyor conveys the pad into a pad insertion zone in a first direction, and a pusher assembly is operative to push the pad from the pad insertion zone in a direction transverse to the first direction. A plunger is provided for pushing a pad located at the pad insertion zone through an opening over which the pad is conveyed for insertion into a container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2011
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: James A. Simmons, Jr., Richard O. Ratzel, Joseph J. Harding
  • Publication number: 20100089011
    Abstract: A packaging system includes a cushioning conversion machine for converting stock material into relatively low density cushioning material or dunnage and a packaging system controller. The packaging system controller provides packaging instructions related to a part or parts to be packaged and instructs the cushioning conversion machine to produce the cushioning material. In one aspect of the present invention the packaging system controller provides packaging instructions by retrieving a predetermined set of packaging instructions associated with a particular part. In another aspect of the present invention the packaging system controller provides packaging instructions by determining an optimized packaging methodology using one or more characteristics of the part or parts to be packaged. The packaging system also provides for automated inventory control and productivity monitoring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 14, 2009
    Publication date: April 15, 2010
    Applicant: RANPAK CORP.
    Inventors: Steven E. Armington, Richard O. Ratzel, Paul J. Guth, MacDonald C. Booze
  • Patent number: 7361132
    Abstract: A novel cushioning conversion machine and method for converting sheet stock material into a novel cushioning product and for producing discrete sections or pads of desired length, without the need for a cutting assembly, thereby enabling the construction of a less expensive, smaller and less complex machine. The machine and method are characterized by a weakening device for perforating a sheet stock material of one or more plies along tear lines so that as a strip of cushioning is formed from the stock material, discrete sections or pads of desired length may be detachable along the tear lines. The stock material includes material which is biodegradable, recyclable and composed of a renewable resource, such as kraft paper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Richard O. Ratzel, Joseph J. Harding, Michael J. Lencoski, James A. Simmons, Donald J. Barnhouse
  • Patent number: 7260922
    Abstract: A monitoring system for monitoring one or more packaging material conversion machines includes one or more sensors for monitoring one or more operating characteristics of the one or more conversion machines. The system also includes a controller in communication with the one or more sensors. The controller evaluates the one or more operating characteristics of the one or more conversion machines to thereby provide diagnostic, inventory and machine usage information. In addition, a method of monitoring one or more packaging material conversion machines includes sensing an operating characteristic of the one or more conversion machines and evaluating the operating characteristic of the one or more conversion machines. The sensed operating characteristics may be evaluated either local to the conversion machines or at a remote site, thereby providing a substantial amount of flexibility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2007
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Joseph J. Harding, Richard O. Ratzel
  • Patent number: 7258657
    Abstract: A cushioning conversion machine and related methodology characterized by one or more features including, inter alia, a feeding/connecting assembly which enables an operator to easily vary a characteristic, for example the density, of the cushioning product; a feeding/connecting assembly wherein input and/or output wheels or rollers thereof are made at least in part of an elastomeric or other friction enhancing material, which reduces the cost and complexity of the input and output rollers; a manual reversing mechanism that is useful, for example, for clearing paper jams; a modular arrangement of a forming assembly and feeding/connecting assembly in separate units that may be positioned remotely from one another, as may be desired for more efficient utilization of floor space; a turner bar which enables alternative positioning a stock supply roll; and a volume expanding arrangement cooperative with the feeding/connecting assembly for reducing the density of the cushioning product and increasing product yield.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2007
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Richard O. Ratzel, Joseph J. Haroing, Michael J. Lencoski, James A. Simmons, Donald J. Barnhouse
  • Patent number: 7195585
    Abstract: A method of determining a total amount of stock material passing through a cushioning conversion machine over a period of time during which a plurality of three-dimensional cushioning products are made. The method includes the acts of providing a sheet stock material; converting the sheet stock material into a plurality of the three-dimensional cushioning products with the cushioning conversion machine during the period of time; monitoring the passage of stock material through the cushioning conversion machine during the period of time; storing in a computer memory information regarding the total amount of stock material that passed through the cushioning conversion machine during the period of time; and retrieving the stored information, the retrieved stored information providing an indication of the total amount of stock material that passed through the cushioning conversion machine during the period of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: Ranpak Corporation
    Inventors: James Harding, Richard O. Ratzel
  • Patent number: 6974407
    Abstract: A conversion machine and related method for making a dunnage product by converting a sheet-like stock material of at least one ply into a dunnage product is characterized by a manual reversing mechanism that is useful, for example, for clearing paper jams. The conversion machine includes a housing through which the stock material passes along a path, and an assembly that advances the stock material from a source thereof along the path, crumples the stock material, and maintains the shape of the crumpled stock material to produce a strip of dunnage. This assembly includes at least one rotatable member rotatable in a first direction for engaging and advancing the stock material, a feed motor for driving a driven rotatable member in the first direction, and a crank connected to the rotatable member for enabling rotation of the driven rotatable member in a second direction opposite the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2005
    Assignee: Rappak Corp.
    Inventors: Richard O. Ratzel, Joseph J. Harding, Michael J. Lencoski, James A. Simmons, Donald J. Barnhouse
  • Patent number: 6877297
    Abstract: A packaging system includes a cushioning conversion machine for converting stock material into relatively low density cushioning material or dunnage and a packaging system controller. The packaging system controller provides packaging instructions related to a part or parts to be packaged and instructs the cushioning conversion machine to produce the cushioning material. In one aspect of the present invention the packaging system controller provides packaging instructions by retrieving a predetermined set of packaging instructions associated with a particular part. In another aspect of the present invention the packaging system controller provides packaging instructions by determining an optimized packaging methodology using one or more characteristics of the part or parts to be packaged. The packaging system also provides for automated inventory control and productivity monitoring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2005
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Steven E. Armington, Richard O. Ratzel, Paul J. Guth, MacDonald C. Booze
  • Publication number: 20040259708
    Abstract: A monitoring system for monitoring one or more packaging material conversion machines includes one or more sensors for monitoring one or more operating characteristics of the one or more conversion machines. The system also includes a controller in communication with the one or more sensors. The controller evaluates the one or more operating characteristics of the one or more conversion machines to thereby provide diagnostic, inventory and machine usage information. In addition, a method of monitoring one or more packaging material conversion machines includes sensing an operating characteristic of the one or more conversion machines and evaluating the operating characteristic of the one or more conversion machines. The sensed operating characteristics may be evaluated either local to the conversion machines or at a remote site, thereby providing a substantial amount of flexibility.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 7, 2004
    Publication date: December 23, 2004
    Inventors: Joseph J. Harding, Richard O. Ratzel
  • Patent number: 6783489
    Abstract: An improved cushioning conversion machine and related methodology characterized by one or more features including, inter alia, a feeding/connecting assembly which enables an operator to easily vary a characteristic, for example, the density, of the cushioning product; a manual reversing mechanism that is useful, for example, for clearing paper jams; a modular arrangement of a forming assembly and feeding/connecting assembly in separate units that may be positioned remotely from one another, as may be desired for more efficient utilization of floor space; and a volume expanding arrangement cooperative with the feeding/connecting assembly for adjusting the density of the cushioning product and changing product yield. The features of the invention may be individually or collectively used in cushioning conversion machines of various types.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Richard O. Ratzel, Joseph J. Harding, Michael J. Lencoski, James A. Simmons, Donald J. Barnhouse
  • Patent number: 6758801
    Abstract: A cushioning conversion machine (20) including a conversion assembly (30) which converts a continuous sheet of multi-ply stock material (22) into a three dimensional cushioning product (32) and a stock supply assembly (550) which supplies the multi-ply stock material (22) to the conversion assembly (30). The conversion assembly (30) includes a forming assembly (52) which inwardly turns lateral portions of the stock material (22) as the stock material (22) travels therethrough in a downstream direction. The stock supply assembly (550) includes a separating device (574) and/or constant-entry device (580) designed to minimize tearing due to excessive tension in the lateral regions of the stock material (22). Additionally or alternatively, the forming assembly (52) includes a shaping member (590) having protrusions in its turning perimeter and/or holding surface to modify the shape of the cushioning product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Joseph J. Harding, Richard O. Ratzel, Thomas E. Manley, Theo Corthout, Roger P. M. Rinkens, Pieter Fennema
  • Publication number: 20030195102
    Abstract: A cushioning conversion machine (20) including a conversion assembly (30) which converts a continuous sheet of multi-ply stock material (22) into a three dimensional cushioning product (32) and a stock supply assembly (550) which supplies the multi-ply stock material (22) to the conversion assembly (30). The conversion assembly (30) includes a forming assembly (52) which inwardly turns lateral portions of the stock material (22) as the stock material (22) travels therethrough in a downstream direction. The stock supply assembly (550) includes a separating device (574) and/or constant-entry device (580) designed to minimize tearing due to excessive tension in the lateral regions of the stock material (22). Additionally or alternatively, the forming assembly (52) includes a shaping member (590) having protrusions in its turning perimeter and/or holding surface to modify the shape of the cushioning product.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2003
    Publication date: October 16, 2003
    Inventors: Joseph J. Harding, Richard O. Ratzel, Thomas E. Manley, Theo Corthout, Roger P.M. Rinkens, Pieter Fennema
  • Patent number: 6626813
    Abstract: A cushioning conversion system (20; 120; 320) and method for making a coil of cushioning product, including a cushioning conversion machine (22; 122; 322) and a coiler (24; 124; 224; 324). As a strip of cushioning product (S) is emitted from the cushioning conversion machine (22; 122; 322), the coiler (24; 124; 224; 324) rolls the strip of cushioning product (S) into a coiled configuration to form a coil of cushioning product (C). The coiler (24; 124; 224; 324) is adapted to allow the coil of cushioning product (C) to be removed in its coiled configuration. The cushioning conversion system may also include a guide device (26; 326), which guides the strip of cushioning product from the cushioning conversion machine's outlet (34) to the coiler (24; 124; 324), and/or a controller (28; 328), which controls the coiler (24; 124; 224; 324) based on the production of the cushioning conversion machine (22; 122; 322).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Richard O. Ratzel, James A. Simmons, Jr., Joseph J. Harding, Edward W. Lintala, Thomas E. Manley
  • Patent number: 6626812
    Abstract: A cushioning conversion machine (100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900) comprising a conversion assembly (101, 201, 301, 401, 501, 601, 701, 801, 901) which converts a sheet stock material into a three-dimensional strip of cushioning. The conversion assembly (101, 201, 301, 401, 501, 601, 701, 801, 901) includes a forming assembly (120, 220, 320, 420, 520, 620, 720, 820, 920) that forms the stock material into a strip of stock material. The forming assembly (120, 220, 320, 420, 520, 620, 720, 820, 920) comprises an external forming device (122, 222, 322, 422, 522, 622, 722, 822, 922) and an internal forming device (124, 224, 324, 424, 524, 624, 724, 824, 924). The internal forming device (124, 224, 324, 424, 525, 624, 724, 824, 924) includes interacting and/or mandrel portions (164, 264, 364, 464, 564, 664, 764, 864, 964) which internally interact with lateral portions of the strip of stock material to internally reshape the cross-sectional geometry of the strip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Joseph J. Harding, Richard O. Ratzel, Thomas E. Manley, Michael J. Lencoski, Mike J. Timmers, Rogers P. M. Rinkens, Kurt K√ľng, Livio Marchioni
  • Patent number: 6610001
    Abstract: A cushioning conversion machine (20) including a conversion assembly (30) which converts a continuous sheet of multi-ply stock material (22) into a three dimensional cushioning product (32) and a stock supply assembly (550) which supplies the multi-ply stock material (22) to the conversion assembly (30). The conversion assembly (30) includes a forming assembly (52) which inwardly turns lateral portions of the stock material (22) as the stock material (22) travels therethrough in a downstream direction. The stock supply assembly (550) includes a separating device (574) and/or constant-entry device (580) designed to minimize tearing due to excessive tension in the lateral regions of the stock material (22). Additionally or alternatively, the forming assembly (52) includes a shaping member (590) having protrusions in its turning perimeter and/or holding surface to modify the shape of the cushioning product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2003
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Joseph J. Harding, Richard O. Ratzel, Thomas E. Manley, Theo Corthout, Roger P. M. Rinkens, Pieter Fennema
  • Publication number: 20030114288
    Abstract: A monitoring system for monitoring one or more packaging material conversion machines includes one or more sensors for monitoring one or more operating characteristics of the one or more conversion machines. The system also includes a controller in communication with the one or more sensors. The controller evaluates the one or more operating characteristics of the one or more conversion machines to thereby provide diagnostic, inventory and machine usage information. In addition, a method of monitoring one or more packaging material conversion machines includes sensing an operating characteristic of the one or more conversion machines and evaluating the operating characteristic of the one or more conversion machines. The sensed operating characteristics may be evaluated either local to the conversion machines or at a remote site, thereby providing a substantial amount of flexibility.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2003
    Publication date: June 19, 2003
    Inventors: Joseph J. Harding, Richard O. Ratzel
  • Publication number: 20030092552
    Abstract: A novel dunnage-creating machine and methodology characterized by various features including, inter alia, a modular construction, easier access to interior components, and a low cost cutting assembly. The machine comprises front and rear units having separate housings. The housing of the rear unit includes an outer shell having a converging chute surrounding a shaping member over which sheet-like stock material is drawn to form the stock material into a three-dimensional shape. The front unit includes in the housing thereof a feed mechanism for drawing the stock material over the shaping member and stitching the shaped material to form a strip of dunnage product. The front unit also includes a manual cutting mechanism for cutting the strip to form cut pieces, which manual cutting mechanism includes a readily replaceable blade assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2002
    Publication date: May 15, 2003
    Inventors: Steven E. Armington, Richard O. Ratzel, Michael J. Lencoski, James A. Simmons, David V. Murphy
  • Patent number: 6561964
    Abstract: A novel dunnage-creating machine and methodology characterized by various features including, inter alia, a modular construction, easier access to interior components, and a low cost cutting assembly. The machine comprises front and rear units having separate housings. The housing of the rear unit includes an outer shell having a converging chute surrounding a shaping member over which sheet-like stock material is drawn to form the stock material into a three-dimensional shape. The front unit includes in the housing thereof a feed mechanism for drawing the stock material over the shaping member and stitching the shaped material to form a strip of dunnage product. The front unit also includes a manual cutting mechanism for cutting the strip to form cut pieces, which manual cutting mechanism includes a readily replaceable blade assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Assignee: Ranpak Corp.
    Inventors: Steven E. Armington, Richard O. Ratzel, Michael J. Lencoski, James A. Simmons, David V. Murphy