Weigher Responsive Material Control Patents (Class 177/60)
  • Patent number: 10370128
    Abstract: A method for compacting and packaging a plurality of slugs of product and apparatus for accomplishing the same. The invention describes collecting weighed product in an intermediate settling device to form compact slugs of product. The device can comprise a single settling chamber for each slug of product or can comprise multiple settling chambers which are axially rotatable. The slugs can be compacted by jostling and/or vibrating the settling device. Thereafter, the slugs of product are discharged to a multiple bagmaking packaging apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: Frito-Lay North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick J. Bierschenk, Jerry Mike Reaves
  • Patent number: 8841565
    Abstract: A filling system for containers that are supplied to a filling device via a supplying device and that are removed from the filling device via a removal device, said filling system includes a measuring device for weighing the filled containers. The measuring device is formed by circulating measuring sensors that convey containers from an inlet side to an outlet while concurrently weighing the containers, and circulating synchronously with the container flow. The measuring sensors are oriented at right angles to a direction along a horizontal belt along which the containers are conveyed. Each one has measuring fingers that collectively form a multi-fingered measuring device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: KHS GmbH
    Inventors: Jürgen Herrmann, Jan Peter Hecktor
  • Patent number: 8770238
    Abstract: A delivery device for delivering composition in a container filler installation, the device comprising a tube having at least an end provided with a nozzle and an opposite end provided with means for fastening to a feed line of the filler installation, and the device further including a plate fastened to the tube and provided with a support having a portion extending in register with the nozzle to support a container. The invention also provides a filler installation including at least one such device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Serac Group
    Inventor: Jean-Jacques Graffin
  • Patent number: 8367946
    Abstract: A micrometering device for metering and weighing free-flowing bulk materials, such as, for example, flour, powder or fine-grain granules, is described. A reliable weighing with small batch sizes may be achieved, by arranging a weighing container for the weighing device separate from a reservoir for the product for weighing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: Bühler AG
    Inventors: Claude Inauen, Heinz Brand
  • Publication number: 20130014437
    Abstract: A system for watering plants including a pot having a plant therein, a line carrying a hook, a watering activation switch connected to a watering system, and a pot weighing system comprising a movable arm assembly interacting with a weight switch. The pot does not move the movable arm assembly when the plant needs to be watered, whereby the movable arm assembly interacts with the weight switch to allow watering of the plant and the hook engages the plant watering activation switch to thereby activate the watering system to provide water to the plant. The pot moves the movable arm assembly when the plant does not need to be watered, whereby the movable arm assembly interacts with the weight switch to prevent activation of the watering system to prevent water from being provided to the plant.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2012
    Publication date: January 17, 2013
    Inventors: Robert Dale SCHUTTER, David Jay TerHaar
  • Patent number: 7771643
    Abstract: The invention relates to methods of making articles of semiconducting material and semiconducting material articles formed thereby, such as semiconducting material that may be useful in making photovoltaic cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2010
    Assignee: Corning Incorporated
    Inventors: Glen Bennett Cook, Prantik Mazumder, Balram Suman
  • Patent number: 7745741
    Abstract: A liquid crystal dispensing apparatus determines an amount of liquid crystal remaining within a liquid crystal container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2010
    Assignee: LG Display Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hyug-Jin Kweon, Hae-Joon Son, Wan-Soo Kim
  • Publication number: 20080164075
    Abstract: A vacuum transfer system having a weighing hopper mounted via at least one load cell to a frame. The weighing hopper is provided with an inlet connected via a product line to a product inlet hopper and a sliding outlet gate. An actuator valve is operatively connected to the weighing hopper and to a vacuum source. A controller is operatively connected to the actuator valve and also controls the opening and closing of the sliding gate. The product line comprises a flexible pipe section and a rigid pipe section pivotally mounted to the frame at a pivot disposed substantially vertically below the center of the flexible pipe section. In operation, the operator keys into the controller a target rate of product transfer and a target weight of product in the weighing hopper. The actuator valve applies vacuum to the weighing hopper in order to transfer the product from the inlet hopper to the weighing hopper.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2007
    Publication date: July 10, 2008
    Inventors: Andrew C. Estes, Kyle A. Stobaugh, Mark A. Moody, Jeremy B. Estes, Ray W. Balaster, Kurt R. Danzy
  • Patent number: 7323644
    Abstract: A weight measuring apparatus housing therein a load cell for measuring the weight of material stored in a material storage tank in which the tank has a material feeding opening. The tank includes a shoulder frame fixed to only the tank and a support arm penetrating through the tank so as not to contact the tank and firmly supported at its both ends at the outward of the tank, and a load cell provided so as to be directly supported between the shoulder frame and the support arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2008
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Matsui Seisakusho
    Inventors: Kazunari Hanaoka, Takayuki Okuda, Hiroshi Hara
  • Publication number: 20080000699
    Abstract: Multiple-batch train loading systems and methods, for example for loading coal, which are capable of accommodating railcars of a wide range of capacities and designs. Each railcar is loaded with at least a relatively large initial weighed batch having a weight at least approximately equal to the maximum available capacity of a weigh bin, and a relatively small final weighted batch. The initial weighted batch and the final weighed batch are both made up with precision. If required, one or more intermediate weighed batches are loaded into the railcar. The intermediate batches, if required, are made up rapidly, but not necessarily with precision.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 3, 2006
    Publication date: January 3, 2008
    Inventor: Harold A. Walker
  • Patent number: 6806429
    Abstract: A grain flow measuring system for a flow rate of grain moving along a generally vertical grain flow path. The weight of grain conveyed along the flow path is measured when the grain impinges baffle elements, thereby generating a force corresponding to the grain weight. The force is transmitted to one or more load cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Gustafson, LLC
    Inventor: Brent T. Carlson
  • Patent number: 6696649
    Abstract: The total weight of a plurality of resin products is set as a reference value, and a first upper-limit threshold and a first lower-limit threshold are respectively stored in a control circuit 38 on the upper limit side and the lower limit side with respect to the reference value. A second upper-limit threshold which is yet greater than the first upper-limit threshold and a second lower-limit threshold which is yet smaller than the first lower-limit threshold are stored in the control circuit 38. When the total weight of the resin products is greater than the first upper-limit threshold, a determination is made by the control circuit 38 as to whether or not the total weight of the resin products is yet greater than the second lower-limit threshold. Further, when the total weight of the resin products is less than the first upper-limit threshold, a determination is made by the control circuit 38 as to whether or not the total weight of the resin products is yet less than the second lower-limit threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2004
    Assignees: Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd., Sumidenso Platech, Ltd.
    Inventors: Norikazu Suzuki, Masaki Usui
  • Patent number: 6674022
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus for automatically transferring and weighing a powder material. The apparatus comprises a weigh station including a device for weighing the powder material in a container. A transfer device for collecting and dispensing the powder material is provided in which the device has a hollow body having a first end and a second end. The first end being operatively connected to a vacuum source so that a vacuum is selectively formed in the body. A collecting/dispensing tip is detachably coupled to the second end of the body. The tip is a hollow member with a tip orifice at one end so that a vacuum is formed in the tip upon actuation of the vacuum source. A controller for causing the selective actuation of the vacuum source and movement of at least one of the transfer device and the container is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Assignee: Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.
    Inventors: Adam M. Fermier, John Troisi, James V. Weber
  • Patent number: 6472615
    Abstract: A grain flow measuring system for a flow rate of grain moving along a grain flow path. The grain flow measuring system includes a frame, a load cell, a flow conditioning portion, and a flow measuring portion. The frame is mounted with respect to the grain flow path. The load cell is mounted to the frame. The flow conditioning portion is attached to the frame. The flow conditioning portion has a first baffle located along the grain flow path. The flow measuring portion has a second baffle and a third baffle that are located in series along the grain flow path. The second baffle and the third baffle deflect grain moving along the grain flow path and thereby causes the flow measuring portion to engage the load cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2002
    Assignee: Gustafson, LLC
    Inventor: Brent T. Carlson
  • Patent number: 6399902
    Abstract: This invention is directed to controlling the amount of flux dispensed onto the surface of an IC component. The component is continually weighed and data is fed back to a controller that controls the dispensing of flux onto the IC component. When the proper amount of flux is dispensed, the controller terminates the dispensing of the flux.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Terri J. Brownfield, Jonathan D. Halderman
  • Patent number: 6359240
    Abstract: Container capacity control system, which is comprised of a first horizontal linear guide (3) where there is a clamp head (13), which can move horizontally and rotate on the horizontal plane and which holds a first clamp (1) and a second clamp (2) for the input and output of an empty container (b1) respectively; a second horizontal linear guide (4) where means for the total filling or predetermined partial filling move; some weighing scales (5), which weigh the container (b1) empty and totally full or partially full with the predetermined amount, sending the weight data to a microprocessor, which controls the programmed system, so that it distinguishes between full-to-the-brim containers and containers partially filled, calculating the capacity based on the weighing data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignees: Vidrala, S.A., Avacon, S.A.
    Inventors: Ivo Dutto, Alfonso Arechaga, Antonio Aragon, Francisco José Colomino
  • Patent number: 6340030
    Abstract: An apparatus for metering a plurality of different liquid or pasty masses to a receiving container including: first support for supporting containers for the masses in fixed positions; a fixedly disposed annular frame bearing a number of dispensing nozzles controllable by a fixedly disposed control device and each individually connectable to said containers via respective conduits; a second support controllable by the control device for supporting a receiving container such that this receiving container is displaceable in an annular path corresponding with the annular form of the frame and can be placed temporarily beneath a chosen dispensing nozzle for receiving mass dispensed by this dispensing nozzle; a weighing device on which a receiving container can be placed, which weighing device can supply weight signals to the control device; wherein the weighing device is disposed fixedly and supports the second support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2002
    Assignee: Gerritse Beheer B.V.
    Inventor: Jan Gerritse
  • Patent number: 6111206
    Abstract: A method and apparatus of supplying material from a storage hopper (12) to a weighing hopper (16) where the material is fed at a controllable rate by a sliding plate member (104) that acts as a shutter for the storage hopper (12), which includes an aperture (154) for receiving material gravity fed from the storage hopper (12). As the plate (104) is reciprocated horizontally at a preselected frequency, material is conveyed at a controlled rate from the storage hopper (12) to the weighing hopper (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Inventor: Stephen B. Maguire
  • Patent number: 6053218
    Abstract: A system for dispensing liquid paint components from their original containers into a paint receptacle according to a paint formula to form a liquid paint mixture. The dispensing system comprises a dispensing apparatus for dispensing the liquid paint component from its original container, and an apparatus for controlling the dispensing apparatus. The dispensing apparatus includes a mechanism for releasably receiving the original container of the liquid paint component, and a mechanism for dispensing the liquid paint component from its original container into the paint receptacle. The control apparatus includes a weigh cell and a control module coupled to the weigh cell and the dispensing mechanism. The weigh cell supports the paint receptacle to determine the weight of the liquid paint component dispensed into the paint receptacle. The control module controls the amount of the liquid paint component dispensed from its original container into the receptacle based upon information obtained from the weigh cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Assignee: X-Pert Paint Mixing Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Arie Boers
  • Patent number: 5811737
    Abstract: A source reduction analysis process of integrating scales to minimize chemical product usage. Based on residuals identified by weight measurements, an economic decision is made to reinstate for consumption, recycling or disposal of the product residual.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Inventor: Stephen N. Gaiski
  • Patent number: 5808242
    Abstract: An electromagnetic flow rate measuring apparatus measures and calculates a flow rate of granules based on a measurement of capacitance which changes according to the quantity of the granules flowing at a granule passage. The measuring apparatus includes a granule flow pipe which is coupled to the granule passage and is provided in the course of the granule passage, a capacitance detector provided to the granule flow pipe, shutters respectively provided at an upper end and a lower end of the granule flow pipe, for cutting off the flow of granules, the shutters being individually operable, and a load cell type weight detector independently supporting the granule flow pipe. The shutters, the load cell type weight detector, and the capacitance detector are connected to a calculation control device. The measuring apparatus provides a flow rate which is not influenced by the moisture content or the density of the granules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Satake Corporation
    Inventors: Satoru Satake, Yasuharu Mitoma, Katsunori Ito
  • Patent number: 5670751
    Abstract: In order to provide a method of gravimetric metering of bulk materials with a calibration facility thus achieving higher weighing accuracy there is proposed a method wherein the pressure in the weighing container is measured and the weighing signal is only transferred from the weighing electronics to be registered when a limit pressure value is attained, especially atmospheric pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1997
    Assignee: Pfister GmbH
    Inventor: Hans Wilhelm Hafner
  • Patent number: 5523101
    Abstract: Uniform distribution of materials over a predetermined area of a receiver is assured by a multipurpose applicator wherein a gauging or metering device contacts materials on a conveyor to ensure that the materials are uniformly spread along the conveyor so that incremental movement of the conveyor results in a predetermined portion of the materials entering a distributor wherein it is agitated to form a cloud that will fall evenly over the predetermined area defined by a mask on the receiver. An electronic weighing device between the conveyor and the distributor may be used to achieved exact weight of portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1996
    Inventor: Clifford E. Fitch, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5479959
    Abstract: A system, a portable propellant loading tank and loading method for bipropellant spacecraft servicing to load propellant into a spacecraft. The spacecraft has a propellant storage tank with a propellant input and a vent output. The system comprises a portable propellant loading tank for storing and transferring propellant that is couplable to the propellant input of the propellant storage tank in the spacecraft. The propellant loading tank is a stainless steel tank that is electropolished on its interior surface. A portable weighing system having a plurality of load cells provides output signals indicative of the weight of the propellant loading tank. A load cell readout device is coupled to the portable weighing system for providing an output indicative of the weight of the propellant storage tank. A receiver tank is coupled to the vent output of the propellant storage tank in the spacecraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 2, 1996
    Assignee: Hughes Aircraft Company
    Inventors: L. Scott Stotelmyer, Don K. Fulkerson
  • Patent number: 5439036
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus is provided for the automatic testing of tablets or pills, discharging from a tablet machine (20). The tablets are delivered to containers (5, 6). Tablet batch samplings are removed from the tablet stream for performing a quality control function. The tablet batch samplings are tested and checked in a tablet checking device (15) according to preset quality characteristics. The containers (5, 6) are disposed on a scale (2, 3). The weight of the container including the contents of tablets is continuously measured. The weight is converted into an electrical signal, which is input into a computing and control unit (19) within the tablet checking device (15). An identification occurs for each container (5, 6). The identification is also input into the computing and control unit (19). Batch samplings are removed at preset intervals from the tablet stream discharging into the to be filled container (5, 6). The batch samplings are fed to the tablet checking device (15).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 8, 1995
    Inventor: Norbert Kramer
  • Patent number: 5207285
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for accurately weighing by a ladle weighing unit (2) of a metal melt in a ladle (3), in which the melt can be heated and stirred by power supplied by an induction coil (4). The induction field of the coil (4) is also applied to a coil weighing unit (1) so that the reaction force of the magnetic field influencing the melt is measured. In a weighing system (5), the net weight of melt is calculated by subtracting the signal of the coil weighing unit (1) from that of the ladle weighing unit (2). The weight change per time unit, which represents the mass flow rate of melt from the ladle, is calculated in the control system (6) and is used to control the pressure in the ladle in such a way the metal flow is kept constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1993
    Assignee: Sandvik AB
    Inventor: Kenneth Josefsson
  • Patent number: 5148841
    Abstract: Filling apparatus for filling receptacles, the apparatus comprising a feed member connected to at least one filling spout via a flow control member connected to an output of a weight processing unit having an input connected to a weighing member in order to deliver opening or closing signals to the flow control member as a function of a weight measured by the weighing member, the apparatus further including a time measuring member associated with the weight processing unit for enabling the processing unit to calculate the flow rate of substance through the flow control member and to compare the calculated flow rate with a flow rate reference value, and to adjust the flow rate of the substance as a function of the result of the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1992
    Assignee: Serac Group
    Inventor: Andre Graffin
  • Patent number: 5006995
    Abstract: A plant for the automatic weighing of dyes in powder form controlled by a computer for the preparation of mixtures for the dyeing industry comprising a plurality of hoppers containing the dyes, said hoppers being placed one beside the other, each being provided with pipe systems for the introduction of the dyes into respective loading hoppers provided with a lower conveyor chute for the withdrawal and introduction of the dye from the hoppers into a mixing and weighing container. When the conveyor chute is set into rotation, it withdraws the dye from the hopper and deposits it on the plate of the scale. The rotational speed of the chute is variable and it gradually decreases as the value weighed by the scale approaches the required weight value. The quantity of dye to be withdrawn and the withdrawing sequences are recorded and memorized in a computer which controls the operation of the plant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 9, 1991
    Assignee: Color Service S.R.L.
    Inventors: Fabrizio Toschi, Fabio Toschi
  • Patent number: 4789014
    Abstract: A device is described for accurately transferring multiple individual fluids from multiple source containers into a single receiving container. Fluid flows from the multiple source containers through individual fluid conduits to a chamber having a single fluid outlet conduit. The fluid outlet conduit is in fluid communication with a single receiving container. A pressure conduit is in communication with the chamber for alternately creating positive and negative pressures in the chamber to cause fluid to flow from the individual source containers into the chamber, and to cause fluid flow from the chamber into the receiving container in response to commands from a controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1988
    Assignee: Baxter International Inc.
    Inventors: Aleandro DiGianfilippo, James R. Hitchcock, Robert E. Lewis, Randall A. Zielsdorf, James P. Vos, Rudolph Starai, Michael J. Becker, Donald W. Warner, Leon Huang
  • Patent number: 4648430
    Abstract: A method and apparatus of collecting a desired end-point weight amount of material first conveys the material into the collection container until a predetermined weight amount is collected. The predetermined weight amount is less than the desired end-point weight amount by a selected initial weight offset amount. An additional incremental amount of material is next conveyed into the container for a predetermined fixed time period. In doing so, the method and apparatus gauge the particular flow characteristics of the associated flow system. A further additional incremental amount of material is conveyed into the collection container for another time period, the length of which reflects the anticipated flow characteristics of the system, based upon the performance of the system during the preceding period. The method and apparatus repeat this sequence until the then-existing weight amount equals or exceeds the desired end-point weight amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1987
    Assignee: Baxter Travenol Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventors: Aleandro Di Gianfilippo, Alan A. Figler, Leon Huang, Donald Warner
  • Patent number: 4549620
    Abstract: A weighing system is disclosed which operates in conjunction with a scale that has a trigger mechanism for terminating the flow of material into the scale's bucket. This system automatically periodically revises a tare signal stored in a latch circuit for combination with a weight signal to produce a net weight signal. The tare signal provides a measure of the residue stuck in the scale bucket. In an additional embodiment of the invention, a programmable controller is used as the means for periodically resetting the tare signal and is used to evaluate the final weight data to determine the average weight and the standard deviation of the weights. These determinations are used by the controller in combination with a predetermined weight to arrive at a computer setpoint signal for adjustment of the triggering of the flow termination so that the final weights will most closely approximate the predetermined weight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 1983
    Date of Patent: October 29, 1985
    Assignee: Pneumatic Scale Corporation
    Inventors: Gerald M. Dee, Frank A. Catrambone
  • Patent number: 4481985
    Abstract: The apparatus of the invention comprises a fluent material-receiving chamber, and a frame from which the chamber is pendently supported. A load cell suspends the chamber from the frame, and transmits milli-volt signals to an electronic control and display assembly where the signals translate to display indicia representative of weights of fluent material received by the chamber. The assembly, in response to the signals, displays the achievement of a threshold of a fluent material reception level, which is selective and predetermined, to halt further admittance of fluent material into the chamber, and displays an actual fluent material reception level, by the weight of the material. Flexure stabilizers are intercoupled between the chamber and the frame, to inhibit any displacement of the chamber from its vertical, pendent suspension. The method of the invention sets forth the procedural steps, in weighing fluent material, capable of practice by the inventive apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1983
    Date of Patent: November 13, 1984
    Assignee: Lee Heydenreich
    Inventors: Stephen Bruder, Philip Higby, Edgar Roth
  • Patent number: 4339028
    Abstract: This invention relates to a method and apparatus for the automatic checkweighing of containers during the process of their manufacture, and particularly relates to the checkweighing of hot glass bottles during their transmit from a molding machine to a lehr where they are annealed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 1977
    Date of Patent: July 13, 1982
    Assignee: Powers Manufacturing Co.
    Inventor: Thomas Meacle
  • Patent number: 4117647
    Abstract: A web of flat polyethelene stock is drawn from a supply roll by a web feed mechanism, to be fed thereby up over a tube former then down, in tubular configuration, about a material fill pipe and then to and through pouch forming and weighing stations. A first spring biased nip roller, of the web feed mechanism, urges the flat polyethelene stock into engagement with one side of an appropriately powered drive roller, of the web feed mechanism, to effect the unreeling of the stock from the supply roll and to direct same up towards the tube former; while a second spring biased nip roller, of the web feed mechanism, urges the tubular stock into engagement with the other side of said drive roller to draw the stock down through said tube former and to and through said pouch forming and weighing stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1977
    Date of Patent: October 3, 1978
    Inventor: Alfred F. Rossi
  • Patent number: 4023021
    Abstract: During the weighing operation, the change in weight indication is determined according to time value of elapsed time and this value is multiplied with the reduced shutoff time, the negative value thereof being added to the product of the square of the time change and a constant. The intended weight for the batch is added to the algebraic sum of the two values, and the further flow of substance into the receptacle wherein it is being weighed is terminated as soon as the weight indication has reached a summation value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1975
    Date of Patent: May 10, 1977
    Assignee: IFE Gesellschaft mbH
    Inventor: Konrad Kuschel