Plural Successively Operated Gate Means Patents (Class 198/463.6)
  • Patent number: 10071857
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting or retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. The items are loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles follow a track that guides the delivery vehicles to/from the destination areas, which are positioned along the track. Once at the appropriate destination area, an item is transferred between the delivery vehicle and the destination area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventors: Robert R. DeWitt, Peter M. Chezik, Joseph Valinsky, S N Kartik, Ola Stahl
  • Patent number: 10040586
    Abstract: Package grouping unit for a packaging line operable to produce multipacks; the grouping unit (1) comprises a linear conveyor (9) operable to feed a succession of packages (2) at a first speed (V1); and at least one grouping assembly (6) formed by two sub-assemblies (12a, 12b); wherein each sub-assembly comprises a pair of endless conveyors (13a, 14a; 13b, 14b) and define, with the endless conveyors (13a, 14a; 13b, 14b) of the other sub-assembly (12b, 12a), a package grouping channel (22) having a package inlet (7) and a group outlet (8); each endless conveyor is provided with a number of package retaining elements (26); the endless conveyors are operable independently from each other to move a first retaining element (26) through the package inlet (7) at a second speed (V3) lower than the first speed (V1) so as to intercept and slow down a first package (2) in the succession and cause the packages (2) to group; and to move a second retaining element (26), carried by a different endless conveyor (13a; 14a; 13b
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: TETRA LAVAL HOLDINGS & FINANCE S.A.
    Inventors: Jon Paul Laskis, Mathias N. Coulomb, Giorgio Santoni, Alessandro Morselli, Brian Williams, Slobodan Milosevic, Tony Kinas
  • Patent number: 9919821
    Abstract: Methods and systems for transitioning packages objects, such as eggs, from a packer into an infeed system providing a buffer such that the packer may operate independently of the subsequent system, such as an egg marking system. Systems and methods of stabilizing packed objects, such as eggs, as they move from the packer to a marking system includes logic to suspend operation of the delivery conveyor or system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: YTA HOLDINGS, LLC
    Inventors: Jonathan R. Phillips, Richard C. Blackburn
  • Patent number: 9540185
    Abstract: The present invention provides a rack stopper system for holding a plurality of components and/or component trays on a rack and then allowing the component trays to be transferred to another rack. The system can include a base, a support bar attached to the base, and a wiper bar pivotally attached to the support bar. The wiper bar can have a stop position that blocks a component and/or a component tray from rolling off of a first rack and a pass position that allows the component and/or component tray to roll off of the first rack and onto a second rack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2017
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: John Psutka, Mike Ellis, Todd Jason Hughes
  • Patent number: 8893877
    Abstract: In a device (4) for receiving a piece of baggage (2) for transport, for example at an airport, the device comprises a receiving room (18A) with an infeed opening and a discharge opening. The receiving room is provided with a closing assembly, the closing assembly comprising a closing mechanism (22, 24). The device furthermore comprises a conveyor unit (16, 20) for discharging the piece of baggage from the receiving room through the discharge opening. The closing assembly is equipped at any time to keep at least one or other of the infeed opening and the discharge opening closed. In this way a device according to the invention is equipped to protect deposited baggage from third parties and to prevent persons from following the piece of baggage to the areas not accessible to the public. The present invention also provides a method for receiving a piece of baggage, which method is in accordance with the functioning of the above-mentioned device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Scarabee ID B.V.
    Inventor: Michael Kim Tan
  • Patent number: 8807326
    Abstract: A singulator and method that separates a single log from a pile of logs and supplies the single log to a conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: Price Logpro, LLC
    Inventors: Josh Krauss, Jim Krauss
  • Patent number: 8776991
    Abstract: An apparatus and method of transporting food products to a loading station having a cooling conveyor that selectively drops food product into a distributor. The distributor separates product into at least two lanes and drops product onto a conveyor. A balancing and diverting conveyor monitors and counts product in each lane and diverts product selectively based upon the sensed product. An orienter transfers product from a loading conveyor to a buffer conveyor. The buffer conveyor transfers product to a main conveyor which transfers product to a loading head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Marel Meat Processing Inc.
    Inventors: David W. Alexander, Kevin J. Hansen, Colin R. Hart, Joshua W. Higgins
  • Patent number: 8459441
    Abstract: A system with rotatable levers spaced and positioned to alternately retain or release components from a plurality of lanes simultaneously into slots of a component receiving mechanism. The levers may be differently sized and shaped to hold back certain components at different positions than others, or the levers may be attached to a rotatable member at varying angles to one another to accomplish such varying holdback patterns. Alternatively, a cam and pin arrangement may be utilized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: Phoenix Closures, Inc.
    Inventors: David Anderson, Len Ekkert
  • Publication number: 20110147164
    Abstract: A conveyor for moving a shopping cart between a first location and a second location. The conveyor including a movable conveyor that is adapted to engage and move the shopping cart along a path, and a gate assembly including a door that is movable between an open position allowing passage of the shopping cart along the path, and a closed position inhibiting passage of the shopping art along the path. The door is adapted to move from the closed position to the open position as the shopping cart approaches, and is adapted to move back to the closed position before the shopping cart has passed the door.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 23, 2009
    Publication date: June 23, 2011
    Applicant: PFLOW INDUSTRIES, INC.
    Inventors: Mark R. Webster, Patrick J. Kelnhofer, Gene M. Barth
  • Patent number: 7954622
    Abstract: A diverter gate generally includes a bracket which connects to an actuator and a flag which releasably engages with the bracket via cooperating engagement members. The cooperating engagement members may be symmetrical, and may comprise one or more tabs and one or more corresponding receptacles. The tabs may be dimensioned slightly larger than the receptacles so as to create a positive interference fit. The bracket and the flag may include openings to receive a fastener extending substantially across the length of the gate. Tightening the fastener compresses the tab(s) against the receptacle(s) to result in a compression fit between the flag and the bracket. The two-piece design allows the flag to be easily removed and reversed or replaced, without disassembling or removing the bracket or the actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2011
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Todd M Schimmel, Thomas C Potter
  • Patent number: 7802672
    Abstract: A diverter gate generally includes a bracket which connects to an actuator and a flag which releasably engages with the bracket via cooperating engagement members. The cooperating engagement members may be symmetrical, and may comprise one or more tabs and one or more corresponding receptacles. The tabs may be dimensioned slightly larger than the receptacles so as to create a positive interference fit. The bracket and the flag may include openings to receive a fastener extending substantially across the length of the gate. Tightening the fastener compresses the tab(s) against the receptacle(s) to result in a compression fit between the flag and the bracket. The two-piece design allows the flag to be easily removed and reversed or replaced, without disassembling or removing the bracket or the actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2010
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Todd M Schimmel, Thomas C Potter
  • Publication number: 20080277243
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting items to a plurality of sort destinations. The items are loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles follow a track that guides the delivery vehicles to the sort destinations, which are positioned along the track. Once at the appropriate sort destination, the delivery vehicle ejects the item to the sort destination and returns to receive another item to be delivered.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2008
    Publication date: November 13, 2008
    Inventors: George Hayduchok, Robert R. DeWitt
  • Patent number: 7185752
    Abstract: An apparatus for continuously grouping or marshalling objects together on a conveyor includes the conveyor being divided into a first and a second conveyor section, where the second conveyor section has a higher speed than the first conveyor section. The conveyor sections have a common plane on which the objects are advanced. The conveyor sections each have two bending rollers in the common plane, each of which have a bending roller lying closely adjacent one another. Between the rollers placed adjacent one another is disposed an arrest member. The arrest member is movable through 90 degrees in relation to the common plane. The arrest member is moreover, together with the bending rollers, displaceable along the common plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2007
    Assignee: Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance S.A.
    Inventor: Jan HÃ¥kansson
  • Patent number: 6966424
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for singulating IC devices or semiconductor devices and/or components thereof. The apparatus includes a flexible membrane or bladder configured to receive an applied fluid pressure on a surface thereof and expand in response to the applied fluid pressure. Upon expansion of the flexible membrane, a semiconductor device or semiconductor device component is contacted by the flexible membrane and immobilized. The semiconductor device may then be subjected to a predetermined test or manufacturing operation. Subsequent any processing to the semiconductor device or component, the fluid pressure is released such that the flexible membrane contracts and releases the semiconductor device to be advanced for further processing, testing, or preparation for shipping.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel P. Cram
  • Patent number: 6827199
    Abstract: A transporting and escapement device includes an internal guide member extending along the conveying path and extending through an aperture in each conveyed article. The guide member will serve to guide the article along the conveying path. The guide member is supported by at least one escapement assembly. Each escapement assembly includes at least two independently operated guide member engaging supports which can selectively engage the guide member at spaced locations along the guide member. At least one support of at least one escapement assembly will be engaged with the guide member at any given time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Inventor: Richard M. Amendolea
  • Patent number: 6763930
    Abstract: An accumulation conveyor of the present invention includes a frame, which comprises spaced apart side frame members, and a plurality of rollers that are rotatably supported between the side frame members. The conveyor includes a stop member and an actuator that selectively moves the stop member between an extended position wherein at least a portion of the stop member is extended above the conveying surface for stopping one or more articles conveyed on the conveying surface and a retracted position wherein the stop member is below said conveying surface. The actuator and the stop member are supported and positioned between said side frame members when the stop member is moved between its retracted position whereby the stop member and the actuator comprise a low-profile stop assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2004
    Assignee: Rapistan Systems Advertising Corp.
    Inventors: James P. Johnson, Gerald A. Brouwer
  • Publication number: 20030205444
    Abstract: A log singulator and associated method for conveying and controllably discharging logs are provided. The singulator has a plurality of rotatable lifters with outwardly-extending arm members that contact the logs with a leading side to convey the logs to successive positions, for example, along a log cradle structure. The logs are conveyed to a discharge surface, which can be disposed at a declined angle so that the logs thereon tend to roll toward a discharge position. Discharge lifters, which are configured to discharge the logs from the discharge surface, have arm members that define angled cam surfaces on their trailing sides. The cam surfaces contact and retain the logs on the discharge surface until the logs reach the predetermined discharge position. Thus, the logs can be controllably discharged, for example, at a desired time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2003
    Publication date: November 6, 2003
    Applicant: PSI Sales, Inc.
    Inventor: Van Woodham
  • Patent number: 6450322
    Abstract: An escapement device configured to control the flow of items along a flow path having a housing, first and second shafts positioned in the housing to move between extended and retracted positions and a spherical lock member positioned to contact one of the shafts to block it from moving between the extended and retracted position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: SMC Corporation of America
    Inventor: Christopher Donald Beck
  • Patent number: 6443292
    Abstract: The invention relates to an array for individualizing articles from a group of articles. The array has several rows of lifting mechanisms (2) arranged one after the other in the direction of conveyance, narrow endless conveyor belts (1) disposed between the lifting mechanisms. Detecting means (5) for detecting when the group reaches the end of the array. Detecting means (3,4) for detecting the position and contours of the articles in the group. A control (6) receives signals from the three detecting means to control the operation of the belts and lifting mechanisms to individualize the articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Hans-Joachim Grund
  • Patent number: 6439366
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus (10) for separating a jumbled collection of articles, such as clothing or garment hangers (23), into a plurality of separate and discrete hangers. The apparatus includes conveyor means (12, 26, 32) adapted to transport a plurality of hangers (23) in succession along a process path; separation means, such as barrier gate members (20, 21), adapted to permit the hangers to proceed along the process path one at a time, sensing means (19, 38) adapted to detect when a hanger is entangled or interconnected with one or more other hangers; and removal means (30) adapted to remove any such entangled or interconnected hangers from the process path. The invention also provides a method for separating the hangers (23).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Rosebay Terrace Pty Ltd.
    Inventor: Mario Matkovich
  • Patent number: 6234292
    Abstract: A retainer for controlling the movement of objects along a conveyor including a substantially L-shaped retaining arm pivotally mounted to the conveyor and having a toe section and a leg section. A swing arm is pivotally connected to the leg section and includes a roller rotatably mounted to the second end of the swing arm. A biasing member has a first end attached to the conveyor frame and a second end attached to the swing arm. A link arm is connected to the roller and is selectively actuatable for moving the roller to a first position between the conveyor frame and the retaining arm for maintaining the leg section below the retaining arm pivot point and the toe section above the conveyor frame to stop the objects. The link arm is also actuatable to a second position in which the retaining arm pivot point, swing arm pivot point, and link arm are substantially aligned providing for the retaining arm toe section to be positioned below the retaining arm pivot point to allow the objects to pass on the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2001
    Assignee: Interroll Holding AG
    Inventor: David S. Schut