Pockets Comprise Grooved, Transversely Disposed Rollers Patents (Class 198/387)
  • Patent number: 9670006
    Abstract: An apparatus for singulating products supplied in bulk, such as, for instance, fruits, potatoes, or eggs, more particularly for unround products, for instance pears or sweet peppers, comprising: an endless conveyor which extends in a transport direction (T), wherein the conveyor is provided with at least one row, extending in the transport direction, of carriers (1a; 101a) configured such that between each two successive carriers in the row a transport position for a product is formed, wherein each carrier comprises at least one roller (4; 104), arranged on a respective axis of rotation (5a, 5b; 105); wherein at least one of said rollers (4; 104) includes at least a first roller-section (21; 121) and an adjacent second roller-section (22; 122) having mutually different product engagement properties, wherein at least two successive carriers in a said row of carriers include respective rollers that each include at least a first (21; 121) and a second roller section (22; 122), wherein the second roller section
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: AWETA G&P B.V.
    Inventor: Albertus Johannes Ruigrok
  • Patent number: 8061501
    Abstract: A conveyor line for fruit or vegetables has a plurality of rollers defining seats for the products therebetween. At a selection station, a first member detects at least one feature of the product, and at a sorting station, a second member diverts similar products toward the same destination. Upstream of the selection station, the direction of rotation of the rollers is controlled to cause each product to settle correctly in its seat or shift into an adjacent seat, so that during detection of the features of the products, the products remain properly seated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Assignee: Unitec S.p.A.
    Inventor: Angelo Benedetti
  • Patent number: 7364030
    Abstract: An apparatus for conveying objects such as fruits, comprises a first endless conveyor, with conveying elements such as diabolos connected thereto. A conveying position is defined between at least two conveying elements. A second endless conveyor, with product carriers connected thereto, comprises gripper hands, for transferring objects from between the conveying elements. The second conveyor is in the direct proximity of the first conveyor. The conveying elements comprise grooves in a direction perpendicular to the conveyor, and the gripper hand has fingers. A distance between the fingers corresponds to a distance between the grooves of the conveying elements such that upon transfer of the objects by the gripper hand, the fingers are positioned at least partly under the objects in groove ends of the grooves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems B.V.
    Inventors: Wouter van den Berg, Michiel Braskamp, Erik van Wijngaarden
  • Patent number: 7293638
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an orientation unit for a fruit sorting and grading machine, for rolling apples around their major axes at a fixed rpm depending upon the imaging and processing speed so as to make it possible for the camera to scan the entire periphery of each apple. This orientation unit of the present invention consists of a pair of rollers, wherein each of the rollers has a conical profile on one side and a flat laminar surface on the other side to orient an apple of any shape with its major axis aligned along the axis of rotation. This set of rollers is spring loaded to make it possible for the rollers move to and fro to accommodate apples of size ranging from 60 mm to 100 mm. A rotating belt is provided underneath the rollers to rotate the fruits at a desired rpm so that a camera with an image processing system can scan the entire periphery of the fruit, including the size and shape, and surface bruises, and grade them into multiple categories in terms of quality.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2007
    Assignee: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
    Inventors: Partha Bhattacharjee, Anjali Chatterjee, Rajesh Wasudeorao Lanjewar, Umesh Shrikrishna Patkar, Narayan Prasad Mukherjee
  • Patent number: 7228958
    Abstract: Conveyor (1), comprising a number of supporting bodies (10) arranged successively in an array in order to form transporting positions for objects (P) for transporting between two successive supporting bodies (10), wherein the form of the supporting bodies (10) is suitable for urging the objects (P) into a transverse position relative to the direction of movement (B).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2007
    Assignee: De Greef's Wagen-, Carrosserrie- en Machinebouw B.V.
    Inventor: Jacob Hendrik De Greef
  • Patent number: 7222715
    Abstract: A conveying assembly for fruit handling, comprising a carriage (20) adapted to be attached to a conveying chain arranged to displace the carriage in a conveying direction, a cup (30) adapted to support a single piece of fruit, the cup being secured to the carriage via a parallelogram linkage (41, 42, 22, 35) extending transversely to the conveying direction, the cup being pivotally secured to the linkage to be moveable from a conveying position to a discharge position, the linkage having release means (60) to cause the cup to pivot relative to the linkage transversely of the conveying direction to the discharge position to effect discharge of the fruit, the linkage allowing the cup to be vertically displaceable to effect weighting of the fruit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2007
    Assignee: Color Vision Systems Pty Ltd
    Inventors: Ian Robert Madden, Charles Edward Esson, Peter Gary Brown, Lester Welton
  • 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: 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: 6401913
    Abstract: The invention concerns a device conveying products, in particular fruits, for feeding a unit sorting said products, comprising a conveyor including a plurality of rollers (5) consisting or two parallel disks (9, 10) having the same diameter, borne by a transverse shaft (8) mounted freely rotating about an axis of rotation (7). Said conveyor further comprises two fixed lateral rails (11, 12) symmetrically arranged on either side of the disks (9, 10), and sloping towards said disks at an angle (&agr;) relative to a plane (P) passing through the axis of rotation (7) of the rollers (5), said sliding rails being each arranged so as to present a lower edge (11a, 12a) extending in the proximity of the neighbouring disk (9, 10) and of each roller (5) transverse shaft (8).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Materiel pour l'Arboriculture Fruitiere
    Inventor: Philippe Blanc
  • Patent number: 6179129
    Abstract: An article transporting, and preferably also color and/or weight sorting, assembly and method, support the articles (.g. apples or like pieces of fruit), and effect precise rotation (e.g. within about 5°) of all apples transported thereby. This allows accurate determination of the apple's color by color sensing equipment (e.g. a color camera). The assembly comprises a support element, and two sets of cones mounted to the support by rotatable shafts, each set comprising first and second cones having a tapered exterior surface, the cones on each shaft facing each other and tapering to an imaginary substantially common midpoint. The cones support an apple essentially without the apple engaging the shaft. The cones may be of soft yieldable plastic or rubber with a first taper of about 25-35° (e.g. about 28°), and optionally one or more steps of different taper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2001
    Assignee: Powell Machinery, Inc.
    Inventor: Harry C. Powell, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6148989
    Abstract: There is provided a device for individually conveying and rotating pieces within individual cavities for each piece. The device includes a continuous conveyor equipped with a repetitive series of axially mounted brushes matingly cavitatied so as to receive the individual pieces. Rotation of the conveying brushes is effectuated by a mobile or stationary aprons which causes the brushes to rotate. Numerous materials (e.g. labels, etc.) and treating agents (e.g. cleaning, rinsing, waxing, polishing agents, etc.) may be applied to the rotating pieces which permits many diverse processing steps to be conducted upon the conveying and rotating pieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Inventor: Peter M. Ecker
  • Patent number: 6105270
    Abstract: A device is provided for positioning single bakery products, supplied by dropping, in recesses of a tin. At least one centering recess is disposed above the tin, which is formed by bringing together two facing half-shells. Structure for moving the half-shells away from each other synchronizes the drop of the bakery products with the advancing tin. Excess bakery products can be expelled from the centering recess into adjacent centering recesses, with the centering recesses forming an alignment corresponding to the at least one row of receiving recesses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2000
    Assignee: Barilla Alimentare S.p.A.
    Inventors: Daniele Capetta, Antonio Chierici, Enrico Schiaretti
  • Patent number: 5988351
    Abstract: A conveyor of product units has mounting brackets extending laterally from endless chains. The mounting brackets rotatably mount two spools having axes parallel to the conveying path. The mounting brackets are displaced longitudinally one from another. Consequently, a central elongate cavity is defined along the conveying path between laterally adjacent spools. Further, lateral concavities are presented between rollers on individual spools and between rollers on separate spools. Pivotally mounted off-loading elements can be articulated to lift product units positioned on the conveying system for off-loading laterally from the conveyor. A laterally articulated actuator is located below the principal conveyor. The actuator includes laterally slidable slats which frictionally engage the overlying rollers associated with each mounting bracket. Guides are then arranged to move the slats laterally with motion of the conveyor. With lateral motion of the slats, the rollers are caused to rotate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Inventor: A. James Warkentin
  • Patent number: 5855270
    Abstract: A fruit or other produce orienting device, particularly suited for orienting apples, orients a piece of fruit with its stem axis horizontal so that it can undergo quality inspections. The device employs a cylindrical drive roller which engages the fruit on one side, and causes it to rotate, and a pair of freely rotating orienting rollers which engage the fruit across from the drive roller, and cause the fruit to achieve the desired orientation as it rotates. The first orienting roller is cone shaped with a tapered flat or concave surface so that it will steer the fruit toward the second, opposing roller, which has a thin disk shaped portion with a front surface that engages the fruit. The front surface of the disk shaped portion tends to align itself with the flat edge of the fruit at its stem or calyx end, and this causes the rotating fruit to be oriented quickly with its stem axis parallel to the roller axes, and then maintains the fruit in the correct orientation once it is achieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Assignees: Cornell Research Foundation, Inc., U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
    Inventors: James A. Throop, Daniel J. Aneshansley, Bruce L. Upchurch
  • Patent number: 5544731
    Abstract: An apple orienting apparatus is provided wherein one or more agitating spools are utilized to constantly agitate and rotate an apple until it is properly oriented. The agitator spools are mounted in an eccentric or off-center fashion to produce a wobble or eccentric motion in addition to rotational motion. The mechanism is especially useful with elongated apples but also is effective in orienting relatively round apples as well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 13, 1996
    Assignee: Atlas Pacific Engineering Company
    Inventors: Edward E. Ross, Konrad E. Meissner
  • Patent number: 5267654
    Abstract: An article-holding cup that has a pair of rotatable rollers for supporting an article thereon, an L-shaped arm extending outward and downward from one side, a second arm extending outward from an opposite side, and a pivotable connector for attaching the cup with others to one of a pair of conveyors in an article sorting apparatus for carrying in a direction of conveyance through a loading zone, a property-determining zone, and a discharge zone. The rollers rotate in response to a wheel rolling on a plate in a property-determining zone to expose different surface areas of the article to optical scanners. A scale and the optical sensor determine weight and color properties of each article during a single pass through the property-determining zone. The cups have lost motion in the vertical direction and travel on rails in the weighing zone, so that the weight of the article in each cup may be determined independently of the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1993
    Assignee: Durand-Wayland, Inc.
    Inventor: William H. Leverett
  • 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: 5181596
    Abstract: An off-loading conveyor including a support structure mounting an endless chain to extend along a conveying path. Roller carriages including roller mounts and laterally extending elements are pivotally mounted to the chain on either side thereof. The laterally extending elements and the laterally extending rollers define cavities for receipt of conveyed product units. The roller carriages and associated rollers are positionable in a first, conveying position and a second, off-loading position. The roller carriages rotate downwardly about axes extending laterally of the chain to achieve the second, off-loading position. Control members pivotally mounted to the chain selectively control rotation of the roller carriages from the first to the second positions upon actuation by a solenoid cam mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1993
    Inventor: A. James Warkentin
  • Patent number: 5176243
    Abstract: An egg orienting apparatus for orienting the smaller ends of eggs in a predetermined position. The eggs are supplied to the apparatus on rotating rollers of a roller conveyor. At one of the reversing wheels of the conveyor, lifting members are arranged which enable an egg to be lifted relative to one of a pair of egg carrying rollers. According to the invention, at one of the reversing wheels are arranged consisting of pushing members which can be moved faster than the conveyor. The pushing members are arranged approximately at the level of the reversing wheel. Further, lifting members are arranged which release the egg from one of a pair of rollers, so that the egg is enabled to rotate while being supported by the other carrying roller and the lifting members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1993
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems, B.V.
    Inventors: Leonardus J. Temming, Willem C. M. Arends, Johan H. Hessewlink
  • Patent number: 5052543
    Abstract: An apparatus for positioning work objects having a frame adopted to receive the work objects and to direct them along a course, a plurality of work members mounted on the frame in position for engagement by the work objects in the course, and a drive mechanism for rotating the work members while in engagement with the work objects to propel the work objects along the course and substantially into single file with the longitudinal axes thereof disposed in substantially coaxial alignment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1991
    Assignee: Hagan Electronics International
    Inventor: James C. Hagan
  • Patent number: 4981205
    Abstract: Apparatus for transporting articles (32) includes a plurality of spaced, substantially parallel axles (4) coupled for movement by an endless chain drive. Each axle (4) extends substantially transversely to the direction of movement and has a number of carriages (2) coupled thereto. The carriages (2) are spaced along, and pivotably mounted on the respective axle (4). Each carriage (2) has a skid member (10) supporting two pairs of wheels, the first pair of wheels being carried by the respective axle (4). The articles are supported on the wheels (6,8) as the carriages are pulled along on their skid members (10) over an appropriate support. If it is required to inspect the articles, the wheels are brought into contact with elongate support members (20, 22) so that they are rotated and thereby rotate the article carried thereby. Deposit of an article is achieved by removing support from the respective carriages (2) so that the carriage pivots relative to said axle (4).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 1, 1991
    Assignee: Lockwood Graders (UK) Limited
    Inventor: Simon Cowlin
  • Patent number: 4872564
    Abstract: A method of checking eggs for flaws and blemishes, such as blood, dirt, cracks, a leak or aberrant form, in which the eggs, while located on a conveyor roller track, pass an inspection station, where the unwanted eggs are determined as such, with the information of the respective eggs being stored in a tracking memory (shift register), after which the unwanted eggs are discharged separately, whereby more in particular for a fast detection of flaws and blemishes, the eggs for for a short period be lifted off either of two bearing rollers of the conveyor roller track, and brought into contact with other rollers being driven at high peripheral speed, during which period the egg is sensed by a detector, which transmits the result of the sensing to the memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1989
    Assignee: Staalkat B.V.
    Inventor: Jelle van der Schoot
  • Patent number: 4730719
    Abstract: Rollers for use with singulators for orienting articles, typically fruit, prior to optical sensing, for example, of the fruit's surfaces, wherein fruit having diverse diameters, irregular shapes and bumpy surfaces are properly oriented by contacting a pair of symmetrically disposed truncated conical surfaces sloping uniformly inwardly to a point short of center to form a sheave portion, as well as a deep pocket within each roller and between adjacent rollers, and wherein spacing between rollers remains constant notwithstanding the diverse diameters of the fruit. A drive belt is engageable within the sheave portion of the roller for controlling speed and direction of rotation of the rollers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 15, 1988
    Assignee: Pennwalt Corporation
    Inventors: Ian A. Brown, Everett P. Ristow, Richard D. Walters