With Space-control Means Responsive To Article Sensing Means Patents (Class 198/460.1)
  • Patent number: 10898926
    Abstract: A controller of a material handling system performs a method of dynamic spacing on a sortation conveyor by predicting fullness of divert destinations. Required tray spacing between inducted articles destined for the same divert destination can be reduced when the divert destination is calculated to have sufficient capacity. Fewer discharge commands need to be ignored due to insufficient tray spacing. The material handling systems can achieve higher throughput by having fewer articles that cannot be discharged to an assigned destination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: Intelligrated Headquarters, LLC
    Inventors: Mark Kenneth Vegh, Richmond Emory Best, Thomas Severinsen
  • Patent number: 10899562
    Abstract: An apparatus for transferring and/or stacking products, the apparatus including a frame, a bar conveyor associated with the frame, the bar conveyor having a plurality of flight bars that are independently driven by a plurality of independent drivetrains, a lifting device having a lifting plate, the lifting device being located within the bar conveyor, and at least one pusher.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company
    Inventor: Matthew Bernard Overley
  • Patent number: 10882705
    Abstract: A method for transferring and/or stacking products, the method including providing a first plurality of products as a first unit, pushing the first unit onto a lifting plate, lowering the plate, providing a second plurality of products as a second unit, pushing the second unit onto the top of the first unit to create a stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2021
    Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company
    Inventor: Matthew Bernard Overley
  • Patent number: 10822176
    Abstract: A method for transporting manufactured products from a first production machine to a second production machine via a conveying apparatus comprises receiving, at one end of the conveying apparatus, manufactured products produced by the first production machine. The manufactured products are transported at a speed of the conveying apparatus. The manufactured products are spaced apart from each other along the conveying apparatus such that an empty space is created between each manufactured product. The first production machine is stopped in response to a stoppage of the second production machine and the conveying apparatus is actuated to a second operating state that is configured to allow a manufactured product last output by the first production machine prior to the stop to be received by the conveying apparatus in the empty space nearest to the first production machine. The conveying apparatus is then stopped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2020
    Assignee: Saeta GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Thomas Haar
  • Patent number: 10787260
    Abstract: A cargo handling system is disclosed. In various embodiments, the cargo handling system includes a conveyance surface having a tray defining an interior section and a rail section; a power drive unit disposed within the interior section; and a power bus routed along a length of the rail section and configured to supply power to the power drive unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2020
    Inventors: Dustin Paul Scheer, Aaron J. Roberts, Wesley K. Stegmiller, Scott Harms
  • Patent number: 10781052
    Abstract: A conveyor system conveying packages with controlled gaps or pitches to a processing station and a method for controlling the speed of an infeed conveyor to supply packages to the processing station with maximized throughput. The conveyor system comprises the infeed conveyor followed by a separation conveyor, a gapping conveyor, and a processing conveyor delivering packages to the processing station. The length of a string of packages and interpackage gaps is measured on the separation conveyor and compared to the length of a string of packages on the processing conveyor. If the string length on the processing conveyor exceeds the string length on the separation conveyor, a programmed controller adjusts the infeed speed down. If the string length on the separation conveyor exceeds the string length on the processing conveyor, the controller adjusts the infeed speed up.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2020
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Matthew L. Fourney
  • Patent number: 10682848
    Abstract: A workpiece processing system and method, the workpiece processing system comprising at least one workpiece processing module (3), each workpiece processing module comprising: a workpiece processing unit (11) for processing workpieces (W); and a feed unit (37) which is operable to transfer workpieces to and from the workpiece processing unit, wherein the feed unit comprises input and output feed assemblies (38, 39) which are operable to transfer workpieces to and from the workpiece processing unit and a processing zone feed assembly (40) which interconnects the input and output feed assemblies and is operable to transfer workpieces from the input feed assembly (38) to the workpiece processing unit and from the workpiece processing unit to the output feed assembly (39).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2020
    Inventors: Richard Willshere, Martyn Buttle, Mick Bartholomew, John Bruce Knowles, Darren Brown
  • Patent number: 10632637
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to a food processing apparatus with a scanner for determining properties of a food product, in particular a food bar, with at least two substantially parallel separately drivable conveyor tracks for supplying the food products to the scanner, and with a control unit for controlling the drive of the conveyor tracks. According to the disclosure, the control unit is adapted to separately control the drive of the conveyor tracks to convey at least one food product of a first conveyor track and at least one food product of a further conveyor track sequentially through a scanning area of the scanner. The disclosure further relates to a method for scanning food products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Inventor: Ingo Rother
  • Patent number: 10549920
    Abstract: A motorized drive roller conveyor includes an upstream zone and a downstream zone, with each zone having a drive roller, an idler roller that is driven by the drive roller, and a sensor. The upstream zone and the downstream zone are controlled by a card, which measures a gap between a first item on the conveyor and a second item on the conveyor by beginning a counter when a trailing edge of the first item passes the sensor of the upstream zone and stopping the counter when a leading edge of the second item passes the sensor of the upstream zone to generate a counter value. If the first item is stopped in the downstream zone, the card of the upstream zone causes the drive roller of the upstream zone to advance the second item into the downstream zone for a distance derived from the counter value before stopping the transportation of the second item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2020
    Assignee: Matthews International Corporation
    Inventors: Darin L. Danelski, Melvin W. Henry
  • Patent number: 10514681
    Abstract: A numerical controller carries out acceleration/deceleration control over an interpolation pulse produced based on command blocks. This numerical controller exercises acceleration/deceleration control processing over the interpolation pulse based on an acceleration/deceleration setting which corresponds to the command blocks, and outputs a first speed pulse. The numerical controller exercises acceleration/deceleration control processing over the first speed pulse such that command blocks overlap each other, based on an overlapping shared acceleration/deceleration setting which does not depended on the command blocks, and outputs a second speed pulse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: FANUC Corporation
    Inventors: Nobuaki Aizawa, Kunihiro Honma, Nobuhito Oonishi
  • Patent number: 10507984
    Abstract: A conveyor device for conveying an object with an identification device. The conveyor device comprises a plurality of rollers, connected drive motors for driving the rollers, a transmitter, a receiver for detecting the distance of the identification device and a control device for controlling the connected drive motors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Inventors: Stefan Albrecht, Matthias Nienhaus
  • Patent number: 10500613
    Abstract: An article induction system for preparing a stream of articles, such as mail parcels, for processing employs a series of conveyors operating under control of a controller for feeding articles to an operator at a cull belt at an optimal paced rate. The article induction system includes a destacking section, a separation and alignment section, a buffer section and a culling section manned by an operator. A controller controls the speed of each component based on measurements provided by sensors so as to feed articles to the operator at a desired paced rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Stephen G. Wargo
  • Patent number: 10494194
    Abstract: A transfer system is provided. The transfer system comprises a loading stage, configured to receive a product from a first movement system. The transfer system also comprises a gap stage, configured to receive the product from the loading stage and move the product at a speed. The speed is configured to separate the product from a subsequent product. The transfer system also comprises a detection stage, configured to identify the product by detecting a product identifier using a sensor. The transfer system also comprises a transfer system configured to move the product from through the loading stage, gap stage and detection stage to a second movement stage. The transfer system also comprises a controller configured to generate and send control signals to the transfer system and receive an identification of the product from the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: Superior Product Handling Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven G. Sands, Joseph R. Lacher
  • Patent number: 10442633
    Abstract: A robot system including a conveying device; a robot that processes an object being conveyed; a first and second supply unit that supply the object onto the conveying device; a movement amount detection unit that successively detects an amount of movement of the object supplied by the first supply unit; a single vision sensor that successively acquires visual information of the object being conveyed; an object detection unit that processes the acquired visual information to detect position and orientation of the object; an interval detection unit that detects an interval between objects on the conveying device; a control unit that controls the robot based on the amount of movement and the position and orientation; and a production management unit that causes the second supply unit to supply the object at a position of the interval.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Inventor: Masafumi Ooba
  • Patent number: 10280009
    Abstract: Embodiments of a conveyor system for separating cases of product are disclosed. An elongated, substantially horizontal frame extends from an entry point to an exit point and has a plurality of linear zones. A plurality of motivators is arranged along the frame, such that a case placed on one or more motivators will be moved forward toward the exit point by a coordinated movement of the motivators. A plurality of case sensors arranged along the frame detects the presence of one or more cases within each of the linear zones, and a controller activates the motivators such that a minimum time period elapses between cases delivered to the exit point. The system can include an AC/DC power supply configured to receive 110-120V alternating current power at 60 Hz and to provide direct current power to the controller, the plurality of case sensors, and the plurality of individually-controllable motivators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Robert James Taylor, Jason Bellar, John Crecelius, William M. Propes, Matthew David Alexander
  • Patent number: 10268173
    Abstract: A distributed logic control apparatus is usable to control a system and includes a plurality of enhanced intelligent devices and a network protocol control that are connected with a data network. The intelligent devices each have a processor apparatus and an algorithm operable thereon that enables each intelligent device to control a corresponding part of the system. Other algorithms on the intelligent devices provide an advantageous setup operation that enables the intelligent devices to cooperate with one another in a self-setup operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Inventor: Steven Dale Rees
  • Patent number: 10239714
    Abstract: An adjustment method for adjusting the heights of the nipping belts in a transport conveyor that moves flat articles in series and on edge, so that a transport height is substantially constant for the flat articles. The method causes the conveyor to operate empty in such a manner that the nipping belts of heights that are to be adjusted run without any flat article in the conveyor, emits two parallel and superposed light beams towards a belt of height to be adjusted, spaced apart by a certain distance equal to the width of the belt between the two opposite edges of the belt to be adjusted, the light beams emitted from a portable tool, and manipulate a tensioner adjusting the belt so as to move the belt heightwise while it is running empty until the two light beams intersect respective ones of the two opposite edges of the belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: SOLYSTIC
    Inventors: Jean Michel Reboul, Olivier De Sousa, Bruno Cartal
  • Patent number: 10239701
    Abstract: A robotic material handling system has a controller that positions a nose conveyor surface proximate to an article pile, uses a robotic manipulator to robotically move one or more articles per operation onto the nose conveyor from the article pile, and receives a scan of the nose conveyor surface to detect respective locations of any articles received on the nose conveyor surface. The controller determines whether the respective locations of any scanned articles prevent immediate rearward conveyance by the two or more parallel conveyors at a first speed. If so detected, the controller causes at least one of the two or more parallel conveyors to operate at the first speed and at least another one of two or more parallel conveyors to operate at a second speed that is not equal to the first speed so that cartons do not jam or overwhelm a narrower rearward conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Inventors: Matthew R. Wicks, Sriram Pavan Tankasala, Jeremy Joseph Adams, Andrew Nicholas Kuntemeier, Dominic George Clucas, Karthikeyan Yuvaraj
  • Patent number: 10138072
    Abstract: A conveyor includes a conveyor belt, a sensor and a controller, wherein the sensor includes a light ray generator, a light ray receiver and at least one baffle. The controller is connected with the light ray receiver for controlling the conveyor belt to stop moving in response to a signal fed back by the light ray receiver that the conveyed product has been conveyed to the end of the conveyor belt. The baffle has a light transmission hole to let the light ray emitted from the light ray generator pass through. The gap between a lower edge of the baffle and the conveyor belt is smaller than the thickness of the conveyed product. When the baffle is impinged by the conveyed product, the baffle will move along the conveying direction of the conveyor belt so as to block the light ray emitted from the light ray generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Inventors: Lei Mao, Wei Dai, Yi Yang, He Miao, Fang Liu
  • Patent number: 10112778
    Abstract: A standardized drive system for a roller conveyor assembly having a motor with an integrated motor drive unit with superior heat transfer characteristics. A motor driver annex is attached to the motor housing and provides a mounting method and a heat sink for cooling the DMOS that provides power to the motor phases. The system includes an easily accessible multi-mode conveyor control management system which provides design flexibility with minimal cost and additionally adds functional improvements for transportation modes. The motor is configured to be mounted on a metal bracket below the rollers and between the side frames of the conveyor assembly. The control system is exceptionally flexible, allowing the system to be configured to operate in many common conveying modes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: Nor-Tech Industrial Corp.
    Inventors: Richard J. Kacel, David V. Hall
  • Patent number: 10099858
    Abstract: A tray feeding system having a buffer conveyor for trays including a belt with spaced apart free running rollers having a rotation axis perpendicular to the conveying direction. These rollers extend upward from the belt such that the trays partly rest on the rollers. A tray conveyor receiving end is adjacent to an outputting end of the buffer conveyor where items are placed into the trays by a tray filler. A roller interactor is positioned below and adjacent to the surface of the buffer conveyor belt at an outputting end to engage with the rollers at the outputting end area when the buffer conveyor belts move forward rotating the rollers positioned within the outputting end area accelerating the trays on the buffer conveyor within the outputting end area of the buffer conveyor towards the receiving end of the tray conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: MAREL A/S
    Inventors: Bjørn Heide Pedersen, Niels Hundtofte, Carl-Jørn Madsen, Lars Riis Jensen
  • Patent number: 10064319
    Abstract: Disclosed is a machine for transferring electronic components onto electronic cards (4), including: a conveyor (1) on which the electronic cards (4) file past in succession, and sensors (3) disposed along the conveyor in such a way as to determine the position of the electronic cards (4) filing along the conveyor (1). The density of the sensors (3) along the conveyor (1) is sufficiently high such that an electronic card (4) does not leave the field of a sensor (3) before it has entered the field of another sensor (3), over at least a part of the length of the conveyor (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2018
    Inventors: Gabriel Chataigner, Nicolas Pogu
  • Patent number: 9919876
    Abstract: A conveyor system includes successive modules forming a conveyor segment, each module includes a control device associated with, and controlling, at least one zone. Each control device includes a communication device for communicating with the control devices included in the adjacent modules. The control devices execute a mechanism for propagation and enrichment of quantitative segment information, from the two end zones of the conveyor segment, thereby providing for each zone: a first quantitative segment information item (propagated and enriched from upstream to downstream and relating to all of the zones in an upstream sub-segment located upstream from the zone) and/or a second quantitative segment information item (propagated and enriched from downstream to upstream and relating to all of the zones in a downstream sub-segment located downstream from the zone). Each control device dynamically adapts the behavior of each zone it controls, according to the available quantitative segment information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: SAVOYE
    Inventor: Patrick Collot
  • Patent number: 9919345
    Abstract: As fruit (preferably apples) are harvested, the fruit is placed on a conveyor that conveys the fruit to a fruit singulating section. In the singulating section, the fruit is directed into slots in a lane formed by two cooperating helical drives. The helical drives rotate the fruit and convey the fruit into an imaging chamber where a camera acquires an image of the fruit. The fruit image is evaluated by a processor in communication with the camera. The fruit is then directed into a rotary sorter which sorts the fruit based on the image evaluation by the processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by The secretary of Agriculture
    Inventors: Renfu Lu, Anand Kumar Pothula, Akira Mizushima, Mario Vandyke, Zhao Zhang
  • Patent number: 9904281
    Abstract: The invention relates to an automated method of assembling or processing components using computer numerical controlled drives to decouple the stages of delivering components to a tool, into a series of separately programmable stages, namely, a component loading stage, a component separating stage, an accelerating stage and a delivery stage, wherein the timing, position, speed, velocity, and acceleration of each component during each stage is selected through programming of the computer numerical controls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Inventors: Kenneth Wayne Nicholson, Philip David Munroe, Martin George Smith, Robert David Almas
  • Patent number: 9863801
    Abstract: This disclosure pertains to weighing a physical item while it is moving in a servo-driven conveyor system for e-commerce, logistics, manufacturing and other applications. The introduction of an unknown mass to an electro-mechanical feedback or filter network controlling a conveyance system will modify the steady state behavior of that system in such a way that measuring the phase or frequency shift of an input signal or oscillation will enable us to infer the magnitude of that mass.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Inventor: Bryan J. Turner
  • Patent number: 9815632
    Abstract: A conveyor system and method for cascaded accumulation on a series of in-line roller belts. An accumulation system comprises a series of roller belts that can be actuated in contiguous zones to accelerate conveyed articles forward at twice the belt speed. When articles start to accumulate on the accumulation conveyor, the belt rollers are deactuated downstream to upstream zone by zone. Then the belts are stopped as they fill with accumulated articles. The process is repeated in cascade for the upstream roller belts as articles continue to accumulate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Joseph M. DePaso, John S. Reid, III, Paul Neuschwander
  • Patent number: 9796537
    Abstract: A packaging assembly and a method of operating such a packaging assembly, the packaging assembly comprises at least one of a thermoform packaging machine, a separation robot, a conveyor and a checkweigher. The separation robot is operable to adjust a distance between packages of a group of packages formed by the packaging machine. The conveyor and the separation robot may be operated together to provide a flow of packages that is supplied to the checkweigher, wherein the flow of packages may include substantially constant distances between the individual packages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Inventor: Michael Lang
  • Patent number: 9731854
    Abstract: A product packaging system comprises a plurality of product sources (2, 4, 6) delivering product to a final collating and packaging line (10). The output from each machine is delivered by separate conveying means (8) delivering the products directly into a collating conveyor (20) which in turn delivers the collated products to a packaging line. The collating conveyor comprising an endless conveyor carrying a plurality of compartments, each compartment receiving from said conveying means products to be packaged. The compartments are configured to enable their sizes to be changed, and the endless conveyor comprises a track arranged in a vertical loop and a plurality of product supporting members mounted for movement along the track, each supporting member being driven along the track and controllable independently of the other supporting members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Inventors: David Alan Francis Mann, Lee Neville Wright
  • Patent number: 9714143
    Abstract: A conveying system includes several conveying sections that are driven in each case by an individual drive. A regulation unit for regulating a regulated drive of one of the two conveying sections includes a measuring device and a regulating device. The measuring device measures loading of the conveying system in a coupling region between the conveying section and another conveying section. The regulating device regulates the regulated drive in accordance with the measured loading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignee: FERAG AG
    Inventor: Carl Conrad Mäder
  • Patent number: 9682826
    Abstract: An infeed apparatus includes an item manipulator that orients items such as cases in a desired orientation as determined by a build menu, and a row build apparatus that is synchronized with the manipulator to space items pursuant to the build menu. The manipulator uses a pusher to push items across a friction belt to thereby orient the items, and includes sensors for determining when an item is in an incorrect orientation. The row build receives items from the pusher and is selectively advanced to locate items in a desired relative orientation so that rows of items are built correctly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: Top Tier, LLC
    Inventors: Cary Michael Pierson, Stephen L. Heston
  • Patent number: 9623596
    Abstract: Types of molded articles carried by a carrier are identified and the molded articles are sorted based on image-related information for the molded articles molded based on set operating conditions for injection molding machines and molded article images acquired by an image acquisition unit. It is thus possible to narrow down candidate images in processing in a molded article identification unit, thereby making it possible to construct an injection molding system that has excellent production efficiency with a reduced load on processing in the molded article identification unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Inventor: Tatsuhiro Uchiyama
  • Patent number: 9592965
    Abstract: A conveying apparatus that increases the conveying speed of a conveyance object, and improves reliability and conveyance efficiency at low cost. Acceleration/deceleration sections, each of which includes a plurality of variable-speed conveyance sections, are provided among constant-speed conveyance sections. The conveying speed of a conveyance object is continuously accelerated or decelerated while the conveyance object passes through the acceleration/deceleration sections. This changes the conveying speed from the conveying speed of the upstream constant-speed conveyance section to the conveying speed of the downstream constant-speed conveyance section. Thus, it is controlled that the conveying speed and the conveyance acceleration/deceleration is identical between the upstream conveyance section and the downstream conveyance section when the conveyance object is transferred from the upstream conveyance section to the downstream conveyance section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazushi Tsujimoto, Shinji Inatomi
  • Patent number: 9586766
    Abstract: A conveying apparatus includes a conveying portion configured to convey conveyed items at a predetermined speed, a speed adjustment portion arranged midway in the conveying portion, the speed adjustment portion being configured to adjust the conveying speed of the conveyed items, a thickness detector arranged further upstream in conveying direction than the speed adjustment portion, the thickness detector being configured to detect a thickness of the conveyed items; a gap detector arranged further upstream in conveying direction than the speed adjustment portion of the conveying portion, the gap detector being configured to detect a preceding gap between a conveyed item and the conveyed item that is conveyed immediately in front of that conveyed item and a following gap between that conveyed item and the conveyed item that is conveyed immediately behind that conveyed item; and a control device configured to control the adjustment speed of the conveyed item by the speed adjustment portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Toshiki Nakano
  • Patent number: 9586767
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, a conveying apparatus includes: a conveyor configured to convey a conveyed item at a predetermined speed; a first gap detector provided midway in the conveyor, the first gap detector being configured to detect a first preceding gap between the conveyed item and a preceding conveyed item that is conveyed immediately before the conveyed item, and a following gap between the conveyed item and a following conveyed item that is conveyed immediately behind the conveyed item; at least two speed adjusters provided midway in the conveyor downstream from the first gap detector, the speed adjusters being configured to adjust a conveying speed of the conveyed item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Toshiki Nakano, Yusuke Usami
  • Patent number: 9452894
    Abstract: The invention relates to a storage and order-picking system (1) for the fully-automated picking of articles that are stored in storage loading aids (2) and are picked according to an order, which includes an article store, a first conveyor system that conveys storage loading aids leaving the article store to a picking station that is operated unmanned, a fully-automated robotic gripping unit on said picking station, which removes articles to be picked from said storage loading aids and deposits them in accordance with the order, the articles deposited according to an order, particularly in an order loading aid, subsequently being conveyed away by means of a second conveyor system, an image identification device for determining possible gripping points for the gripping unit in order to grip articles from the storage loading aids, wherein the image identification device comprises at least one and preferably at least two cameras in the region of the robotic gripping unit (9) and, if at least two cameras are prov
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2016
    Assignee: KNAPP AG
    Inventors: Peter Puchwein, Claus Blödorn, Peter Stelzer, Franz Mathi
  • Patent number: 9409717
    Abstract: A system for conveying an article along a transfer path includes at least a first and a second vortex suction unit disposed in sequence in a direction of the transfer path. A conveyor is configured to support the article relative to at least one of the suction units and a main controller is configured to separately control the vortex suction units so as to convey the article along the transfer path using the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Inventors: Peter Xavier Kearney, Andreas Wardak
  • Patent number: 9359150
    Abstract: The problem of singulating products that are provided in a pallet layer is solved by breaking up the pallet layer so that each product can be handled separately by a robot tool and outputted in at least one line according to a predetermined orientation. The singulator includes a layer drop zone that receives a pallet layer of products, a break-up system that separates the products by creating gaps therebetween, yielding separated products, a vision system that determines characteristics and position of each separated product; and a robot equipped with a tool that receives information indicative of the characteristics and position of said each separated product to grip and position each separated product onto an output station within at least one line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Assignee: AXIUM Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Jodoin, Sylvain Morency, Nicolas Durand, Marc Ducharme, Régis Métivier, Philippe Hakier, Christian Simon, Jean-François Forget
  • Patent number: 9346627
    Abstract: A conveyor system comprising a synchronization unit having a first conveyor belt, a second conveyor belt disposed adjacent to the first conveyor belt, an inlet end and an outlet end. The system further comprises a joint shuttle disposed between the first conveyor belt and the second conveyor belt, each of the first and second conveyor belts having a variable length while the distance between the inlet end and the outlet end is fixed. A discharge conveyor belt is disposed upstream the inlet end and is operating at a first velocity (VD). At a time T1, the velocity of the first conveyor belt (V1T1) is equal to the velocity of the discharge conveyor belt (VD) and, at a time T2, the velocity of the first conveyor belt (V1T2) is equal to the velocity of the second conveyor belt (Vm), without relative movement between the conveyor belts and objects conveyed thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2016
    Assignee: PEMCO INC.
    Inventors: Thomas Francis Ullmer, Terry Lee Eernissee, Eric Edward Walker
  • Patent number: 9340380
    Abstract: An apparatus for supplying book blocks includes a feed conveyor to successively transport the book blocks with optional spacing. A buffer conveyor, arranged downstream of the feed conveyor and connected to a control unit, receives a plurality of the book blocks from the feed conveyor and transports them at a first speed, fitting against each other without a gap. A downstream clocking-in conveyor, coupled to the control unit, respectively receives a single book block from the buffer conveyor at the first speed, accelerates and transports the single book block from the first speed to a second speed. A downstream despatch conveyor includes a plurality of spaced apart pushers defining respective gaps between successive pushers. Each book is transported at the second speed toward the despatch conveyor and is inserted into one of the gaps between two successive pushers on the despatch conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Inventors: Urs Moesli, Beat Hoerler, Hanspeter Duss
  • Patent number: 9340364
    Abstract: A universally adjustable star wheel for conveying articles on an automated handling line is disclosed. In one embodiment, the adjustable star wheel includes rotatable elements that are configured to rotate around a central axis. Each rotatable element has a central axis, a periphery, and at least one control surface for assisting in controlling the article being conveyed. The control surfaces on the rotatable elements are arranged to together form at least one pocket for the article, wherein the pocket has a width and a depth. The angle defining the control surface on at least one rotatable element is different from the angle of another rotatable element to form the depth of at least a portion of the pocket. In this embodiment, the boundaries of the pocket are configured solely by at least partially rotating at least some of the rotatable elements to adjust the location of the control surfaces of the different rotatable elements to form a pocket for the article being conveyed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company
    Inventor: Clifford Theodore Papsdorf
  • Patent number: 9233802
    Abstract: A conveyor device for the conveying workpieces, specifically circuit boards. The conveyor device is equipped with a primary and secondary conveyance for conveying the workpiece along a first or second partial path of the conveyance path. Workpieces are fed to the first partial path via the second partial path. Separators operate along the first partial path to separate one workpiece from a trailing workpiece. The Separators feature at least one spacer which can be moved and displaced by a control. After the workpiece passes the starting position, the spacer switches into an active mode, in which it is placed behind the workpiece and tracks it, thereby forming a minimum spacing between the workpiece and the trailing workpiece, and upon reaching the ending position, the spacer switches into an inactive mode, in which the spacer returns to the starting position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2016
    Assignee: Viscom AG
    Inventor: Martin Heuser
  • Patent number: 9108802
    Abstract: A conveying device with a revolving, extensively extended conveying member with an upper run section and with a lower run section, wherein the conveying member is deflected in two head-end regions that lie opposite one another. The conveying device includes a drive device arranged in a head-end region and having an electric drive motor and a drive shaft coupled thereto. The drive shaft has at least one drive member for driving the conveying member at least partly wrapping the drive member. The drive motor includes a motor shaft that is connected to drive shafts arranged on both sides of the motor, wherein the motor shaft and the drive shafts are arranged coaxially. The drive device is arranged within the conveying device between side limitation devices and between the upper and lower run sections and, in the conveying direction, is arranged between the two head-ends of the conveying member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2015
    Inventor: Jurgen Wehner
  • Publication number: 20150114796
    Abstract: The invention relates to a conveyor device (2) for the conveyance of workplaces (4, 6, 8), specifically of circuit boards, in the conveyance direction (T) along a conveyance path (10). The conveyor device (2) is equipped both with primary conveyance means (18) and with secondary conveyance means (22) for conveyance of the workpiece along a first or second partial path (20, 24) of the conveyance path (10), wherein workplaces (4, 6, 8) are fed to the first partial path (20) via the second partial path (24).
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2014
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Applicant: Viscom AG
    Inventor: Martin Heuser
  • Patent number: 8991587
    Abstract: Setting of reciprocal position of filter segments (3) delivered from multiple modules (1) of a machine for manufacturing filters is accomplished by registering the position and the length of a segment (3) from each module (1) on a carrier element (2) of a grouping unit when the filter manufacturing process is switched off, after which the reciprocal position of the segments (3) and the length between the segments (3) are set. The said operations may be accomplished by means of a sensor (4), the registering element (12) or by mapping the relative positions of adjacent segments (3) in the control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: International Tobacco Machinery Poland SP. Z O.O
    Inventor: Hans-Reiner Hoffmann
  • Patent number: 8905222
    Abstract: The invention relates to a packaging plant and a method of operating a picker line for feeding products into packaging troughs of a packaging machine, comprising a first feed belt and a second feed belt, the speed of the second feed belt being reduced relative to the speed of the first feed belt so as to buffer the products which have not been gripped by the first picker and allow the last picker to grip all the products and to feed them in.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: Multivac Sepp Haggenmueller GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Norbert Wörz
  • Publication number: 20140277698
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for controlling a conveyor system including a conveyor zone having a plurality of conveyor regions. A zone controller is configured to track the position of one or more articles within a controlled zone. The zone controller may be operatively coupled to controllers of adjacent zones, and may receive and transmit data relating to the position of articles in the controlled zone and whether the zone is accepting articles from the other controllers. Articles are moved within the controlled zone by selectively activating the zone based on determined positions of articles within the controlled zone, the positions of articles within adjacent zones, and/or the operating mode of the zone. The zone controller may thereby operate cooperatively with adjacent zones to manage spacing between articles by selectively positioning multiple articles within the zone, and may accumulate or discharge articles from the conveyor system in a desired arrangement.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventors: Charles R. Combs, James P. Knapke, Dimitar Petrov, Kazuya Ichieda
  • Patent number: 8807322
    Abstract: An object transport apparatus comprises a transport conveyor. Objects are compelled to move through an object space adjacent to the transport conveyor. A plurality of flights is disposed along a variable path and constrained to move along that path. A variable portion of the path is disposed adjacent to the transport conveyor. The flights disposed along the adjacent portion occupy a portion of the object space of the transport conveyor. A first transfer element is disposed along the variable path. The motion of the first transfer element varies the length of the variable path adjacent to the transport conveyor. An object sensor is disposed to detect objects upstream of the transfer element in the object space of the transport element. A controller interacts with a transfer element drive to alter the position of the transfer element along the variable path according to the output of the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: The Procter and Gamble Company
    Inventor: Robert Paul Cassoni
  • Patent number: 8800746
    Abstract: A lift assembly for use in conjunction with a conveyor to lift item(s) off of the conveyor and remove the item(s) from the conveying path. The lift assembly may include a housing having housing side walls and a bottom wall, and a carriage having carriage side walls and a carriage bottom wall. The carriage is movable with respect to the housing. The lift assembly may further include a track that receives a guide member of the carriage for guiding the carriage as it is raised and lowered with respect to the housing. The lift assembly may further include an actuator that causes the carriage to be raised and lowered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: Arrowhead Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph R. Pahlow
  • Patent number: 8794423
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides systems, methods and assemblies comprising one or more tapered feed rolls. Tapered feed rolls may be used to change the rate and direction of workpiece travel along a processing line while retaining the workpieces in sequential order. Routing workpiece flow with tapered feed rolls may allow the workpieces to be tracked along one or more processing lines, and may reduce the operational space required for workpiece processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: USNR, LLC
    Inventors: Petri Sasstamo, Christopher W. Blomquist, Mike Dockter