Including Orbiting Progression Of Item-receiving Pockets And Means Moving Item Within Pocket Patents (Class 198/384)
  • Patent number: 10703517
    Abstract: A medicine packaging apparatus configured to package medicine based on prescription data, including: a feeder configured to feed solid medicine; a storage configured to temporarily store the solid medicine fed from the feeder; and a packaging unit configured to package the solid medicine discharged from the storage, wherein the storage includes: a plurality of storage containers; a holding table configured to hold the plurality of storage containers so as to be individually detachable; and a drive unit configured to drive the holding table to move so that each of the plurality of storage containers held by the holding table is moved between an introduction position where the solid medicine is introduced from the feeder and a discharge position where the solid medicine is discharged to the packaging unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: Takazono Technology Incorporated
    Inventor: Takayuki Fujii
  • Patent number: 10370196
    Abstract: A food patty aligning and separating apparatus with a conveyor belt having horizontal cleats extending through a hopper beneath patties. Dividers extend longitudinally through the hopper to form lanes. The conveyor belt's cleats urge patties along lanes up a vertical span of the conveyor, thereby aligning the patties horizontally in a line. The patties pass over a peak and slide down a curved plate to distance the aligned group of patties from a next upstream group of patties. Guide members are spaced from the conveyor belt on hopper side to shear combined patties or pivot outward and cause combined patties to roll back into the hopper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: J.E. Grote Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Clifford E. Fitch, III, Cory Richard Kennedy
  • Patent number: 10196217
    Abstract: A transport apparatus comprises: transport means 150 which is equipped with transport members 152 for holding preforms 200 to be rotatable in a horizontal direction and transports the transport members 152 along a transport line 151; and positioning means 300 for aligning the preforms 200 in a predetermined direction. The transport members 152 include regulation members for regulating the rotation of the preforms 200 aligned in the predetermined, direction by the positioning means 300.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Inventor: Haruhito Yumoto
  • Patent number: 10035664
    Abstract: A transport apparatus comprises: transport means 150 which is equipped with transport members 152 for holding preforms 200 to be rotatable in a horizontal direction and transports the transport members 152 along a transport line 151; and positioning means 300 for aligning the preforms 200 in a predetermined direction. The transport members 152 include regulation members for regulating the rotation of the preforms 200 aligned in the predetermined direction by the positioning means 300.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2018
    Inventor: Haruhito Yumoto
  • Patent number: 10023336
    Abstract: Provided is a produce pack arrangement system. The produce pack arrangement system comprises a produce supply station, a produce orientation and assembly station, and a produce packaging delivery station. The produce orientation and assembly station is configured to receive produce from the produce supply station and orient a set group of produce according to a desired predetermined arrangement prior to release to the produce packing delivery station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: DG National MFG Inc.
    Inventor: Diogenes M. Gomez
  • Patent number: 9910024
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method, a sensor unit and a machine for detecting “sugar end” defects in potatoes. The method comprises irradiating potatoes with at least one light source, for a plurality of locus points on each potato, wherein locus points lie on the end regions of the potato and other locus points lie in a central region of the potato. The light reflected from and/or transmitted through the respective locus points is selectively projected onto at least one photo sensor which generates light measurement signals for each locus point from the received light. At least one classification feature is determined from the light measurement signals. If at least one classification feature corresponds to a predefined “sugar end” criterion the respective potato is classified as having “sugar end” defects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: INSORT GMBH
    Inventors: Markus Burgstaller, Peter Kerschhaggl, Marcus Groinig
  • Patent number: 9758316
    Abstract: The present disclosure includes a system and method for providing a reservoir conveyor that provides the linear space needed to increase the capacity of the buffer storage reservoir such that it is compatible with and increases the efficiency of a Grader and packers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: YTA HOLDINGS, LLC
    Inventors: Jonathan R. Phillips, Richard C. Blackburn
  • Patent number: 9580252
    Abstract: A transport apparatus (300) for transporting a preform (200) for blow molding comprises: a transport device that transports the preform while allowing the preform to rotate on its axis in a horizontal direction; and an engaging device (310) that engages the preform being transported while being allowed to rotate on its axis, and setting the orientation of the preform to a predetermined orientation. The engaging device engages a convexity or a concavity provided in the outer periphery of the preform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Inventors: Kazuyuki Yokobayashi, Shuichi Ogihara
  • Patent number: 9511940
    Abstract: Systems, devices, and methods are disclosed for a conveyed goods container and for transporting conveyed goods in a suspended conveyor. The conveyed goods container may be a suspended bag having a conveyed goods receiving region which is delimited on one side by a side wall element and having a suspension element for suspension from a suspended conveyor. The suspension means may be fastened to the side wall element in such a manner that it is pivotable about a pivot device defining a pivot axis, wherein, for the purpose of good loadability and impact protection for the conveyed goods, the conveyed goods receiving region is delimited on a further side by a second side wall element. The second side wall element may be connected to the suspension element such that, when the suspension element is pivoted relative to the first side wall element from a transport position into an open position, the second side wall element can be removed from the side wall element so that the conveyed goods receiving region opens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: RSL Logistik GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventor: Rolf Schönenberger
  • Patent number: 8973732
    Abstract: A multiple-lane fruit positioning apparatus, especially suitable for peaches, includes a fruit flight conveyor having fruit holding flights with a number of recesses provided with an opening through which a part of the fruit protrudes. Associated to the fruit flight conveyor is an orientation device including rotating transverse shafts carrying rigidly connected orienting elements. The transverse shafts travel on an operation plane (Pa) that is parallel to a working stroke plane (Pc) of a tape formed by the fruit holding flights in time with a tape of the fruit flight conveyor so that each orienting element, rotating jointly with each transverse shaft by which it is borne, is in the recess opening in contact with the fruit contained therein and moves the fruit until a plane containing the suture line of each fruit is positioned at right angles with the longitudinal direction, and the stalk cavity thereof faces downwardly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Inventor: Biagio Crescenzo
  • Patent number: 8701865
    Abstract: The invention includes a machine for handling and unscrambling empty containers provided with a bottom and with an opening. The machine comprises a carousel rotating about an axis of rotation and is provided with a plurality of pockets. Each of the pockets is provided with a respective channel for descent of the containers through gravity towards a handling area below. The machine further comprises a carousel feeding device equipped with a detecting system which detects the orientation of the containers before the containers are unscrambled. A respective unscrambling station of the containers is provided for each pocket which is controlled on the basis of information supplied by the detecting system and designed to arrange said containers correctly unscrambled with said opening facing upwards.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Inventor: Lorenzo Forni
  • Patent number: 8695780
    Abstract: The present invention refers to the field of devices for arranging containers enabling the correct positioning of containers or bottles made of plastic on the bottling feeding line. The device (1) for arranging plastic containers (100) with one or more devices for blowing down the containers (101) overlapped on the erecting elements, includes a cylindrical hopper (17) inwardly provided with a conical or flat base, conveying elements (19) and erecting-aligning elements, and includes one or more blowing elements (2), for example blowers, adapted to inwardly blow, adjacent to the upper edge of the hopper (17) aligning elements, an air flow for hitting possible containers (101) overlying other containers located on the erecting elements themselves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Lanfranchi S.r.l.
    Inventor: Mario Lanfranchi
  • Patent number: 8607963
    Abstract: A conveyor installation comprises carrier bags for material to be transported, wherein the carrier bags are suspended from carrier dogs which are moved in a transport rail in a transport direction. At a loading and unloading station, the carrier bags are rotatable from their transport position, which is transverse to the transport direction, into a position which points in the transport direction, wherein an upper loading opening is opened at the same time. Backwards rotation of the carrier bags is caused by the force of gravity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Duerkopp Foerdertechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Michael Wend, Paul Janzen
  • Patent number: 8490774
    Abstract: A loading station for transport bags transported in an overhead conveyor system comprises an upper supply rail for the transport bags, a vertical conveyor which adjoins the supply rail for moving the transport bags into a lower loading position, a device for opening the transport bags in the loading position and a lower discharge rail which adjoins the vertical conveyor for discharging the transport bags from the loading position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Dürkopp Fördertechnik GmbH
    Inventor: Paul Janzen
  • Publication number: 20120138425
    Abstract: A method for sorting and/or orienting caps using an automated capping line can comprise providing a single cap to a cap-receiving cavity defined in a body of a puck. In various embodiments, the body can be vibrated to settle and/or orient the cap to a properly oriented position within the cap-receiving cavity. In at least one embodiment, the vibrating can include applying horizontal vibration and/or vertical vibration to the body. As a result, the properly oriented caps can be conveyed to a capping machine configured to apply each cap to a cap-receiving portion of a container.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 13, 2012
    Publication date: June 7, 2012
    Inventors: Robert Paul CASSONI, Clifford Theodore Papsdorf
  • Patent number: 8096403
    Abstract: The invention relates to a machine for orienting and aligning articles, of the type that comprises: orientation cavities which can move along a closed path and which are equipped with an upper inlet for loading articles and an open base through which the articles can pass, a plurality of aligning conduits which are disposed below the orientation cavities, means for temporarily supporting the articles in the orientation cavities and for dropping same into the conduits, and support and/or end stop elements in each of the orientation cavities. In addition, each of the cavities comprises several seats or housings at different positions for receiving a first support and/or end stop element of the aforementioned support and/or end stop elements and retaining means for retaining said first support and/or end stop element in any of the seats or housings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Inventors: Jaime Marti Sala, Alex Marti Mercade
  • Patent number: 8037992
    Abstract: A tablet conveying apparatus for transporting tablets includes a conveyer. Each of the tablets includes a first side, a second side opposite the first side, and a generally flat, circumferential belly band that interconnects the first and second sides. The conveyer includes a plurality of carrier bars to convey a plurality of tablets along a predetermined conveyer path. Each carrier bar has at least one pocket to receive and transport a tablet in a vertical orientation along the predetermined conveyer path. The pocket may be configured to allow rotation of the tablet about its central axis that extends transverse to the first and second sides. The pocket may be configured to establish line contact between two flat portions of the pocket and two corresponding circumferential portions along the belly band.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: Ackley Machine Corp.
    Inventor: E. Michael Ackley, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20110108389
    Abstract: Apparatus (150) for orientating articles A comprising a transfer mechanism (114) for transferring articles at a transfer speed, a sensor for determining the orientation of an article being transferred, an article orientation mechanism (112) moveable at a second speed different to said transfer speed and an engagement mechanism operable to selectively engage an article with the article orientation mechanism in response to information collected by the sensor wherein the article is moved to a desired orientation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 16, 2009
    Publication date: May 12, 2011
    Applicant: Mead Westvaco Packaging Systems ,LLC
    Inventor: Jean Christophe Bonnain
  • Patent number: 7407050
    Abstract: It is to provide a tablet filling device having improved quality and productivity by correctly filling the tablets in pocket parts of a container film even when the tablets have a non-circular shape such as triangle. The tablet filling device 52 has a rotary drum 2 provided with holding recesses 3 for storing the tablets 1 and transferring the tablets 1 to the downstream for filling the tablet 1 in a pocket part 44 of a container film 41. The holding recess 3 has a tablet receptacle section 3a that is larger than the tablet 1 supplied from a tablet feeding chute 5, and a posture correction section 3b that corrects the posture of the tablet 1 received in the tablet receptacle section 3a during the conveyance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Assignee: CKD Corporation
    Inventors: Shunji Maruyama, Hisanao Wate
  • Patent number: 7395914
    Abstract: An apparatus is provided for sorting products such as fruits. The apparatus comprises an endless conveyor and conveying units for conveying products behind each other in a substantially horizontal plane. Each conveying unit is formed by at least two rolling elements with the axes perpendicular to the conveying direction, a connecting element by which each rolling element is rotatably and vertically movably connected with the conveyor, and a carrier element arranged between the rolling elements, wherein at an inspection position, each product is situated on two successive rolling elements, and in a weighing position, each product is situated on the carrier element. A discharge guide comprises a leaf spring which has a rest position during conveyance and weighing, and a deflection position present only upon transition to and from a discharge position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2008
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems B.V.
    Inventors: Erik van Wijngaarden, Wouter van den Berg
  • Patent number: 7255224
    Abstract: An endless conveyor for receiving, conveying in a conveying direction and delivering rotation-symmetrical products. The conveyor is provided with at least a single endless transport element, as well as with a number of transverse elements extending perpendicularly to the conveying direction. At least a single hourglass-shaped roller is provided on each transverse element, wherein the rollers form a corresponding at least single row and wherein between each two successive rollers in a row there is a conveying position for a product. The conveyor includes a lay-on portion and a successive downstream portion which are situated in different planes, the angle between these planes being greater than 180° as measured from above.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2007
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems B.V.
    Inventor: Martin Doornekamp
  • Patent number: 7137501
    Abstract: An apparatus for transferring products, such as fruit, onto, and supplying the same to, a conveyor, preferably a roller conveyor. The apparatus is provided with two flat endless conveyor belts positioned obliquely relative to a vertical plane, continuous in the conveying direction, functioning as a V-channel. The endless conveyor belts first extend substantially parallel to the conveyor in the conveying direction, wherein from a well-defined location, the endless conveyor belts bear off the conveyor and continue at different angles relative to the conveying direction, with the conveyor belts diverging mutually. The apparatus accommodates a stream of food products, such as fruit, with greatly varying sizes, to be transferred gradually and in the proper sequential order onto the conveyor, thereby considerably reducing injuries to the food product during transfer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2006
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems B.V.
    Inventors: Erik Van Wijngaarden, Wouter Van Den Berg
  • Patent number: 7040489
    Abstract: An object sorting and orienting apparatus is for sorting, orienting and discharging a plurality of objects, such as, container closures dispensed from a hopper. An endless conveyor transports the closures from a loading area, through an intermediate area, to a discharge area. At least one regulator, including an adjustable spill-plate, regulates the effects of object fill-level within the hopper during a sorting run. Orienting means, including an extension of the adjustable spill-plate and a plurality of flights on the endless conveyor, arrange the closures in a correct orientation. Sorting means, including a belt path disruptor and a substantially vertical belt path, sort incorrectly oriented closures from correctly oriented closures. Discharge means, including a removal device and at least one discharge chute, discharge correctly oriented closures from the discharge area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2006
    Assignee: Alcoa Closure Systems International, Inc.
    Inventors: Karl E. Zemlin, Larry W. Ellis
  • Patent number: 6968941
    Abstract: Disclosed are conveyors and methods for making the conveyors. In one embodiment, a conveyor comprises a modular conveyor belt that includes a plurality of mat-top chains having a plurality of cavities and a plurality of first rollers disposed in the cavities of the mat-top chains. The conveyor further includes at least one second roller that operatively couples to the first rollers such that the first rollers rotate as the conveyor belt travels along the second roller. The invention can also be construed as providing the method for conveying objects. The method can comprise the steps of driving a modular conveyor belt in a direction of belt travel; rotating a plurality of first rollers disposed into the modular conveyor belt in a manner in which slippage of the first rollers is reduced; and conveying objects on the modular conveyor belt using the rotating first rollers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2005
    Assignee: Materials Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Matthew L. Fourney
  • Patent number: 6752256
    Abstract: A system for improving wood strand orientation in a wood strand orienter having a plurality of orienter disks. The system includes a plurality of axially-spaced, parallel pre-orienting shafts positioned in a second plane above and substantially parallel to the orienter disks, each one of the pre-orienting shafts having a plurality of wheels mounted thereon. Each of the wheels has a hub and a plurality of outwardly-extending finger members. When the pre-orienting shafts are positioned over the disks, each one of the finger members passes, in turn, through a portion of the volume defined between the two adjacent orienter disks the wheel sits between. This permits bridged wood strands to be turned and straightened, reducing the “% overs”, the percentage of strands bridging the orienter disks and carried across the top of the orienter without falling through the orienter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Assignee: Forintek Canada Corp.
    Inventor: Robert M. Knudson
  • Publication number: 20040094050
    Abstract: A pellet-shaped article inspection unit is structured for use with a conveyer mechanism having a plurality of carrier bars, each carrier bar being structured to convey a plurality of pellet-shaped articles along a predetermined path. The article inspection unit includes a first camera unit positioned adjacent a first side of the conveyer mechanism. The first camera unit is configured to sense a first predetermined characteristic, e.g., laser holes, of the plurality of pellet-shaped articles. A removal mechanism, downstream from the first camera unit, is structured to remove or maintain at least a selected one of the plurality of pellet-shaped articles from at least a selected one of the plurality of carrier bars depending on whether the first predetermined characteristic is sensed by the first camera unit. A laser unit may be provided to create unique holes in the pellet-shaped articles, e.g., those by a larger exposed surface to improve time-release characteristics of the pellet-shaped articles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2003
    Publication date: May 20, 2004
    Inventors: E. Michael Ackley, Daniel J. Palmer
  • Patent number: 6691854
    Abstract: A device for orienting a number of objects. The device has a holder conveyor with holders for the objects, lifts synchronously co-displaceable with the holders and rotatable relative thereto for lifting the objects out of the holders and rotating the objects into and oriented standing rotational position relative to a standing rotation axis on the holders, a detector for detecting the standing rotational position of each object and a control device for the lifts which is connected to the detector and which activates the lifts for a relevant object as long as is required to rotate the oriented standing rotational position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Inventor: Jacob Hendrik De Greef
  • Patent number: 6435333
    Abstract: An adjustable unit for the unscrambling and lined up delivery of empty containers (A) has a plurality of compartments (6) connected to a first rotary structure (7) to receive containers (A) in a lying position. The compartments (6) have an open bottom delimited by arrangements (11 and 12) for supporting the open end (A1) of the container (A) in the vicinity of the leading and trailing sides. A plurality of discharge chutes (8) associated with each structure (7) below each compartment (6) receives the containers (A) as they fall, and to thus transfer them in an upright position and in a lined up arrangement onto another equipment. A supporting stationary floor (9) is interposed between the compartments (6) and said chutes (8), with a discharge gap (10) for supporting the open end (A1) of the container (A) in the vicinity of said leading side of the compartment (6).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Inventor: Jaime Marti Sala
  • Patent number: 6415902
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to an orientation mechanism for orienting objects having a bigger convex portion and a smaller projecting portion, such as mushrooms, pears, onions, flower bulbs and the like. The mechanism is provided with an endless conveying member having a plurality of hourglass-shaped rollers arranged transversely of the conveying direction. The rollers are rotatable and spaced apart a specific distance from one another. Tilting belts and upright elements are also located parallel to the conveying member such that the convex portion of the convex portion of the objects to be oriented will be prevented from coming between the rollers. Separate rope carriers are presented parallel to the conveying member for supporting the objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: Nederlande Organisatie voor toegepast-natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek TNO
    Inventors: Andreas Gerardus Vis, Johannes Valk, Leendert Ploeg
  • Patent number: 6315102
    Abstract: The present invention incorporates an oscillating sorting and feeding apparatus for sequentially sorting and feeding a plurality of objects in a serial arrangement, where the objects are sorted into a specific orientation. The apparatus includes a hollow receiving member having a generally cylindrical shape and an inner wall. The receiving member includes an inlet adjacent one end for receiving a plurality of randomly orientated objects, and also includes an outlet at the other end for sequentially feeding out correctly orientated objects in a serial arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: Mars, Incorporated
    Inventors: Michael McGee, Ron Rieger, Dennis Lenart, Johnny Black, Terry Brinkerhuff
  • Patent number: 6079542
    Abstract: An object sorting system includes a product presentation device with a floating portion and a subframe pivotally connected to a frame link driven by a chain. The product presentation device and frame link operate with a latch so that the product presentation device can move objects through the system to be sorted and deposit the objects at an appropriate job station. The floating portion of the product presentation device allows accurate determination of object weights. The product presentation device can also be married to or divorced from wheels which are used to turn the object before a viewer for sorting based on visual characteristics. Because the wheels can be divorced from the product presentation device, objects can be deposited more gently in collection bins at the drop stations. The system may use belt driven or roller driven pre-singulation to assure that only one object is placed in a product presentation device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Assignee: Agri-Tech, Inc.
    Inventor: Roger Blood
  • Patent number: 5998754
    Abstract: A feed device for a unit for sorting elongate items, particularly vegetables such as carrots, includes a slanted conveyor (23) with a plurality of freely rotatable transverse rollers (24) driven by two endless chains. The conveyor includes three longitudinal sections, i.e. a lower section (23a) having a device (30) for rotating the rollers (24) in the same direction as the forward direction of the conveyor (23), an intermediate section (23b) where the rollers (24) are freely rotatable, and an upper section (23c) having an element (33) for rotating the rollers (24) in the opposite direction to the forward direction of the conveyor. A unit for sorting elongate items is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Materiel Pour L'Arboriculture Fruitiere
    Inventor: Jacques Pervieux
  • Patent number: 5836243
    Abstract: A conveyor system for conveying pellet shaped articles includes an endless conveyor made up of a plurality of carrier bars each having a surface defining a plurality of pockets. The pockets of one of the carrier bars may be staggered with respect to the adjacent pockets of an adjacent carrier bar, or the pockets of one carrier bar can be interlaced in overlapping relationship with the pockets of an adjacent carrier bar. In addition, the carrier bars may have adjacent scalloped edges that mate to form a substantially continuous conveying surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1998
    Inventor: E. Michael Ackley
  • Patent number: 5655453
    Abstract: A pellet marking device which includes a ramp-type carrier system for receiving pellet-shaped articles to be imprinted from a feed hopper of improved efficiency, and for conveying the received pellet-shaped articles to a printing device which is combined with the carrier system and which is appropriate for applying desired indicia to the particular product which is to be handled. This may include the more traditional contact-type printing systems which are useful in conjunction with the majority of pellet-shaped articles to be handled, as well as non-contacting ink-jet systems for applying indicia to pellet-shaped articles which do not lend themselves to contact-type printing procedures. An improved feed hopper is provided which not only contributes to the foregoing, but which also operates to significantly improve the efficiency of the system by ensuring that the pellet-receiving pockets of the pellet-conveying system are filled to the greatest extent possible while maintaining an effective production rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 12, 1997
    Inventor: E. Michael Ackley
  • Patent number: 5620081
    Abstract: A turnover device for turning over products (8), for instance graphic products, comprising a feed conveyor assembly (4) and a discharge conveyor assembly (6) each made up of a number of parallel conveyors arranged side by side with an interspace therebetween, a turnover rack (1) being arranged between the feed and discharge assemblies, which turnover rack comprises outwardly extending product carriers (2) movable through the interspace of the conveyors of the discharge conveyor assembly (6). Provided adjacent the discharge end of the feed conveyor assembly (4) are adjustable decelerating devices (5) for decelerating the products (8) to be turned over and the discharge conveyor assembly (6) comprises a driver (7) for accelerating the turned-over products (8').
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 15, 1997
    Assignee: Buhrs-Zaandam B.V.
    Inventor: Petrus F. Kivits
  • Patent number: 5613593
    Abstract: A starwheel (10) for serially moving a circumferentially spaced apart series of containers (C) in an arcuate pattern with respect to a stationary container supporting member (12). The starwheel has a turret (58), which is driven about its circumferential axis in an indexing manner by a motor and speed reducer combination (8). Each container is positively restrained during its movement with the supporting member by engagement of the container against a pair of idler rollers (14, 16) by a flight of an endless belt (24), which engages the container at a location generally opposed to the locations of its engagement by the idler rollers. The belt is moved through an endless path during the indexing of the starwheel, and during the intervals between its indexing steps, to thereby rotate the container during indexing and during its inspection or other processing steps, by training the belt around a driven roller (34).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1997
    Assignee: Owens-Brockway Glass Container Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen M. Gerber
  • Patent number: 5577439
    Abstract: An apparatus for pitting articles such as prunes or dates. Each article is loaded between jaws of a chuck assembly which translates between stations along a process path. At a pitting turret, a pitting rubber moves below the chuck assembly, and the chuck assembly and rubber translate together until a pitting knife engages the article and ejects a pit therefrom. The chuck assembly then translates the pitted article to a station where the pitted article is discharged. Preferably, a relatively large number of chuck assemblies are provided, each having a fixed jaw fixedly attached to a chain and a sliding jaw slidably mounted to the fixed portion. A relatively small number of pitting rubbers and one pitting knife for each rubber are mounted to the pitting turret.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1996
    Assignee: Ashlock Company, a Division of Vistan Corporation
    Inventors: Frederick J. Cimperman, Klaus Silbermann
  • Patent number: 5542523
    Abstract: An apparatus for transporting surgical needles includes a needle holding apparatus having a movable jaw structure. The jaw structure is releasably biased in a closed position for holding needles in a predetermined position. The jaw structure may include laterally movable first and second sections for rotating a needle therebetween. The needle holding apparatus may be removably positionable on a work surface such that the needle holding apparatus may interface with a needle loading apparatus. The needle loading apparatus provides accommodating means capable of containing a multiplicity of needles. A needle advancing structure, such as a movable track, advances the needles in a predetermined fashion from the accommodating means. The needle advancing structure positions needles such that said jaw structure of the holding apparatus can selectively grasp the needles and transport the needle to another location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 6, 1996
    Assignee: United States Surgical Corporation
    Inventors: Richard Abbate, Richard Parente
  • Patent number: 5454464
    Abstract: In a solid article conveyor, guide grooves and pockets are formed in a manner so that one width of each guide groove and pocket is made narrower than the largest dimension of the solid article. Thus, only one solid article can be contained in each pocket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 3, 1995
    Assignee: Japan Elanco Company Limited
    Inventors: Taizo Yamamoto, Hirokazu Konishi
  • Patent number: 5433146
    Abstract: A pellet marking device which includes a ramp-type carrier system for receiving pellet-shaped articles to be imprinted from a feed hopper of improved efficiency, and for conveying the received pellet-shaped articles to a printing device which is combined with the carrier system and which is appropriate for applying desired indicia to the particular product which is to be handled. This may include the more traditional contact-type printing systems which are useful in conjunction with the majority of pellet-shaped articles to be handled, as well as non-contacting ink-jet systems for applying indicia to pellet-shaped articles which do not lend themselves to contact-type printing procedures. An improved feed hopper is provided which not only contributes to the foregoing, but which also operates to significantly improve the efficiency of the system by ensuring that the pellet-receiving pockets of the pellet-conveying system are filled to the greatest extent possible while maintaining an effective production rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Inventor: E. Michael Ackley
  • Patent number: 5415268
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for a pre-determinable orientation of label and capsule relatively to each other on a bottle during the bottling procedure, whereby the bottles are arranged to pass a positioning or orientation station, in which each individual bottle by mechanical or optical detection of at least one discontinuity or stationary marking on the bottle, on the sealing or on the label of the bottle is orientated in a predetermined position and releasably retained in this position during the following sealing or labelling of the bottle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 16, 1995
    Assignee: AB Pripps Bryggerier
    Inventor: Sven Lofgren
  • Patent number: 5294004
    Abstract: In an article sorting apparatus with two parallel, spaced-apart continuous conveyors which pass through a loading zone, a weighing zone, and a discharge zone, having fabric flaps disposed on spaced-apart rods connected between the two conveyors for gently receiving articles selectively discharged for grouping with other articles having a similar determinable characteristic, an article-holding cup and scale providing such apparatus capability to select by weight. The cup includes an L-shaped arm extending outward and downward from one side and a pin extending outward from an opposite side. The free end of the arm extends to the scale below the horizontal plane in which the rods travel. The rods pass over the scale while the cups travel on rails in the weighing zone so that the weight of the article in each cup may be determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 15, 1994
    Assignee: Durand-Wayland, Inc.
    Inventor: William H. Leverett
  • Patent number: 5238641
    Abstract: A process for forming a rolled tab on a roll of plastic film including a traction member or device such as an elongated support member adapted to be inserted in a parallel position between roller members of a trunion-type conveyor apparatus, said support member having a tractional surface for grabbing and rolling the leading edge of a roll of plastic film such that a rolled tab for the roll of film is formed when a roll of plastic film comes in rotational contact with the traction member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1993
    Assignee: Dowbrands L.P.
    Inventor: Terry B. Smith
  • Patent number: 5238124
    Abstract: The apparatus makes use of a pair of rotating combs (11-14), the discs of the second comb being interposed between the discs of the first comb and positioned at the top between fixed guide plates (17). The discs of the first comb intercept the streams of closed capsules, from which any covers not provided with shells have already been removed. The capsules are inserted by their shells between the discs of the first comb and remain suspended on said discs by their covers (C1). Only capsule shells and any crushed capsules fall through the discs of the first comb. The capsules conveyed by the first rotating comb arrive on the discs of the second comb, generally with their covers at the front.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1993
    Assignee: IMA Industria Macchine Automatiche S.p.A.
    Inventors: Aristide Cane, Angiolino Ribani
  • Patent number: 5238121
    Abstract: A device for the automatic and rapid inspection of ears of corn to select ears having a predetermined length wherein the kernels meet selection standards and the ear has uniform characteristics which length will be trimmed from the ear to provide cut lengths of corn for subsequent treatment. The device includes a first conveyor and inspection area for segregating ears as to conditions of acceptability and determination of quality for ultimate use including trimming of certain of the ears into predetermined lengths with a second transport station arranged to receive the ears and to sort them for subsequent use and to convey the ears of predetermined quality to a trimming device wherein the ear of corn is cut into at least one acceptable length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1993
    Assignee: Computer Controlled Machines of Mn., Inc.
    Inventor: Donald Frisbie
  • Patent number: 5197585
    Abstract: An object sorting apparatus has a singulation section, a sorting section, and a transfer section for transitioning objects, such as fruit, to be sorted to a conveyor which drops the objects into appropriate collection bins. Objects for sorting are transported on an endless conveyor or wheels through the singulation and sorting section. A first independently adjustable speed belt in the singulation section rotates in a direction opposite that of the flow of items from the singulation section to the sorter section, to assist in singulation. A second adjustable speed belt rotates in the same direction as the wheels and operates to provide a view of each of four sides of the object to an imaging device. The imaging device supplies signals representing a desired sorting parameter to a processor which evaluate the measured parameters and generates signals so that the objects are ultimately deposited in appropriate sorting bins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1993
    Assignee: Agri-Tech Incorporated
    Inventor: Roger Blood
  • Patent number: 5190137
    Abstract: This invention relates to an apparatus for orienting spherical products having at least one substantially flattened surface, such as tomatoes and the like. The apparatus comprises a roller conveyor whose rollers are rotatable about their axis, while the free space between successive rollers is smaller than the greatest diameter of the product to be oriented. The roller conveyor further comprises members projecting above the top surface of the rollers to form conveyor compartments for receiving therein one product to be oriented. According to the invention, the center-to-center distance between successive rollers of the conveyor (1) is at most equal to the diameter of the flattened surface of the product to be sorted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1993
    Inventor: Adrianus W. Tas
  • Patent number: 5178256
    Abstract: An automatic loading machine is provided for aligning and loading a predetermined amount of elongated strips of product into individual containers wherein batches of elongated strips are periodically discharged from a product feed. A turret assembly is provided which has a plurality of buckets and each of the batches from the product feed is received by a separate bucket. The turret assembly is continuously vibrated and, as each bucket moves through a horizontal path, the batches of elongated strips carried therein become somewhat more aligned. The strips are dropped out of the buckets onto a flight conveyor and are conveyed to a discharge point where each batch is transferred into a separate container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1993
    Assignee: American Licorice Company
    Inventors: Gerald R. Anderson, David M. Williams
  • Patent number: 5118929
    Abstract: A device for the automatic reading of bar-codes comprises a sliding plane whereon a dragging section of a conveyor belt, having a plurality of windows consecutively aligned, is advanced. Each window defines, in the conveyor belt, two orientating edges perpendicularly arranged to form a right angle, whose vertex is oriented opposite to the feed sense of the conveyor belt itself. In each opening there is dropped an article provided with a bar-code to be read by a read head acting at a readout station, towards which the dragging section of the belt is moving. Through the feed of the belt, the article is shifted toward the readout station and is simultaneously arranged with two orthogonal sides in abutment with the orientating edges of the belt, in order to approach the readout station according to a prefixed orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1992
    Assignee: Alcatel Face S.p.A.
    Inventor: Mario Scata
  • Patent number: 5081360
    Abstract: An irradiating apparatus comprises a bucket group consisting a plurality of buckets spaced equally from each other and connected to a first endless chain, and a roller group consisting of a plurality of roller located under the bucket group. Each bucket comprises a barrel shaped body having a bottom which has a plurality of openings. Moreover, the bucket receives an article to be transferred such as preform and transfers it in a horizontal position therein. The rollers are connected to second endless chains. A pair of rollers are arranged parallel to each other in the transfer direction. The roller has a plurality of lands which intrude in the openings of the bucket. A pair of rollers are rotated in the same direction to rotate the article to be transferred. The roller group travels at the same speed in the same direction as those of the bucket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 14, 1992
    Assignee: Yoshino Kogyosho Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mamoru Oshida, Masaru Oizumi, Yoshiyuki Ichizawa