By Means Responsive To Presence Or Condition Of Load Patents (Class 198/572)
  • Patent number: 11486893
    Abstract: an optical sensing system comprising: a processing circuit; a first calibration optical sensor, comprising a first sensor edge and a second sensor edge opposite to the first sensor edge; and a second calibration optical sensor, away from the first calibration optical sensor for a first distance, comprising a third sensor edge and a fourth sensor edge opposite to the third sensor edge. The processing circuit determines a target object has moved for a target distance if an object pattern of the target object moves from a first location in the first calibration sensor to a second location in the second calibration sensor, wherein a first sum of a second distance which is between the first location and the first sensor edge and a third distance between the second location and the third sensor edge equals to a reference distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2022
    Assignee: PixArt Imaging Inc.
    Inventors: Keen-Hun Leong, Yueh Mei Kim
  • Patent number: 11383398
    Abstract: A loading apparatus for loading food products onto and/or into a slicing apparatus, in particular a high-speed slicer, comprises at least one magazine unit that includes a conveying means that endlessly circulates along a running direction. The conveying means is configured to lift the products to a transferring height at which the products can be transferred to the slicing apparatus and includes several product support surfaces, the product support surfaces being oriented essentially perpendicular to the running direction and positioned subsequently along the running direction with a space between each other. At least one product is loadable onto a respective product support surface for lifting the product to the transferring height.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2021
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2022
    Inventors: Sigfrid Bauer, Axel Zimansky
  • Patent number: 11062276
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein for reusing containers. A system for container reuse comprises an order database storing a plurality of orders associated with an order fulfillment facility, a conveyor system, and a control circuit. The control circuit being configured to determine container capacity requirements of the plurality of orders in the order database based on dimensions of products in each order, predict container usage for fulfilling orders at the order fulfillment facility based at least on the container capacity requirements of the plurality of orders, determine whether a used container received at the conveyor system should be retained based on a container dimension of the used container and the container usage predicted for the order fulfillment facility, and cause the conveyor system to route the used container to a fulfillment area or a disposal area based on whether the used container should be retained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Nicholaus A. Jones, Matthew A. Jones
  • Patent number: 10994944
    Abstract: A tunnel may have a housing with an entrance, an exit, and a pathway extending from the entrance to the exit through the housing. The tunnel may be used for performing operations, such as cleaning operations within the tunnel. A conveyor may be configured to move articles through the housing along the pathway. One or more detectors may be configured at discrete locations along the pathway. One or more curtains may be configured between the entrance and the exit of the housing to partition the pathway into two or more segments. One or more sensors may be configured in each curtain. The one or more sensors may be detectable by the one or more detectors to determine the presence, position, orientation, or other characteristic of each curtain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: Hayes-Ivy Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter H Knight
  • Patent number: 10947054
    Abstract: A conveying system and method including a conveying network and controller for transporting according to transport orders during a time-frame having a fixed duration. Each good has allocated one of different conveying criteria and one of the transport orders. The conveying network includes an entry station, an exit station, and transport paths therebetween. Each transport path is operable during each operation-mode phase in one of different operation modes, which are distinguished by constant transport-path velocities. Each operation mode has allocated, based on one of the conveying criteria, one of the transport-path velocities. The time-frame is defined by several subsequent operation-mode phases. The controller selects the operation modes for the transport paths based on the conveying criteria such that throughput of the convoying goods through the conveying network during the time-frame is optimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: SSI Schäfer Automation GmbH (DE)
    Inventor: Ralf Bleifuss
  • Patent number: 10343853
    Abstract: A conveyor system with a pop-up transfer assembly for transferring articles off the end of conveyor belt having protrusions extending above the belt's outer conveying surface. The transfer assembly is cantilevered over the reversing path of the conveyor belt from a pivot. When a protrusion from the belt hits the transfer assembly, the transfer assembly pivots away from the belt about the pivot. When the protrusion is clear, the transfer assembly drops, by gravity, back to its home position proximate the belt. A bilateral transfer assembly is cantilevered in opposite directions to transfer articles off the end of one conveyor belt onto another conveyor belt that may or may not have protrusions. The transfer assembly can have powered driving surfaces to aid the transfer of articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Elena Rose Yasinski, Kevin W. Guernsey, Timothy J. DeRoche, Brian R. Lee
  • Patent number: 10212962
    Abstract: A device for processing a pineapple to produce pineapple flesh including a first processing unit for removing the outer ends from the pineapple and a second processing unit for simultaneously coring and peeling the pineapple, wherein the second processing unit includes a pusher and knife with two concentric blades and further includes a clamping unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2019
    Assignee: Dutch Food Technology B.V.
    Inventors: Hendrikus Bernardus Dijkhuis, Pierre Van De Braak
  • Patent number: 10087024
    Abstract: The novel solution provides a method for feeding of individual envelopes from a stack of envelopes in a hopper for an inserter machine. At the downstream end of the hopper, a friction feeder serially feeds individual envelopes from the stack. A suction cup is selectively actuated to engage with the envelope to pull a leading portion of the envelope away from the stack to assist the friction feeder in feeding envelopes. Selective actuation is based on monitoring downstream movement of fed envelopes. The suction cup is engaged when the envelopes travel a shorter distance than would be expected based on the movement of the feeder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: DMT Solutions Global Corp.
    Inventors: Xavier Padros, Boris Rozenfeld, Brad A Swinford
  • Patent number: 9834395
    Abstract: A device for reducing rotation of an article during singulation of a stack of articles is disclosed. The device may include a torsion element, a rotatable member configured to rotate about an elongated axis of the torsion element between a first position and a second position, and a revolving member coupled to the rotatable member. An outer surface of the revolving member contacts a drive belt in the first position and an article in the second position. The torsion element exerts torque on the rotatable member when it moves from the first position towards the second position. The torque causes the outer surface of the revolving member to apply a frictional force to the article, thereby minimizing rotation of the article. Systems and methods of singulating articles are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: John W. Brown, Edward F. Houston, Juan A. Roman, Leung M. Shiu, Riley H. Mayhall, Jacob L. Timm, Reza Badri, Thomas A. Hillerich
  • Patent number: 9582752
    Abstract: A device for determining an occupancy rate of a conveying means is provided. The device comprises an adjusting means for adjusting at least one detecting means such that the at least one detecting means detects, after detecting the freight conveyed by the conveying means, the conveying means without conveyed freight, or such that the at least one detecting means detects, after detecting the conveying means without conveyed freight, the freight conveyed by the conveying means, and a determining means for determining a current occupancy rate of the conveying means on the basis of the position of the at least one detecting means, which was adjusted by the adjusting means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: Krones AG
    Inventors: Christian Paul, Johannes Vierheilig, Juergen Waetzold, Michael Keppler
  • Patent number: 9185933
    Abstract: An angular channel (6) is disposed between principally horizontal, upper (2) and lower (7, 71) conveyors, whereas along one side wall (9) of the channel (6) is disposed a guide (14) to which a first rotatable valve element (10) is slidably mounted. At the outlet of the channel (6), at the other, opposite side wall (19), is stationary mounted together with a pneumatic actuator (22), a second rotatable valve element (20) which chronologically works together with the first element (10), whereas the first element (10) is attached to the guide (14) by means of a slider (13). The first valve element (10) has three operating positions, whereas in the first position it is set principally horizontally at the inlet of the channel (6), and in the second position it is set slantwise, preferably at an angle of 45°, at the outlet of the channel (6), and in the third position it is set principally horizontally next to the channel (6).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2015
    Inventor: Wojciech Wardecki
  • Patent number: 9027741
    Abstract: The invention is related to a transport system for sheet material including a conveyor belt charged with a vacuum. The transport system includes a vacuum chamber providing the vacuum to charge the conveyor belt while moving along the vacuum chamber in a transport direction, wherein the conveyor belt is permeable to air by recesses having specified distances from each other, and air nozzles arranged at a deflection position inside the vacuum chamber. The specified distances from each other correlate with the distances of the recesses in the conveyor belt to allow pressurized air charged to the air nozzles to pass through the recesses in the conveyor belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Giesecke & Devrient GmbH
    Inventor: Andrey Galkin
  • Patent number: 8991589
    Abstract: Described is a device for detecting containers (2) moving along a feed path (A) of a conveyor (3), comprising a support structure (11) and at least one detection sensor (15) connected to the support structure (11) and mobile with respect to the support structure. The device (1) also comprises means (16) for synchronizing the sensor (15) with respect to the container (2), to move it in such a way that the sensor (15) follows the container (2) along at least one part of the feed path (A) from an initial position to a final position. Described is also a method for detecting containers (2) moving along a feed path (A) of a conveyor (3), comprising the operating steps of providing a sensor (15) and moving it from an initial position to a final position in a way which is synchronized with the movement of a container (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Makro Labelling S.R.L.
    Inventors: Simone Marcantoni, Marco Bellini
  • Patent number: 8931620
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, a medium detecting method includes conveying a medium in a first direction along a first conveying path, and allowing the medium conveyed from the first conveying path to enter a second conveying path arranged with the first conveying path so that the medium is conveyed in a second direction opposite to the first direction. The method also includes allowing light emitting elements of first and second detecting sensors to irradiate light such that the light intersects the first and second conveying paths, and detecting the presence or absence of the medium based on whether or not light receiving elements of the first and second detecting sensors receive the light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignee: Toshiba Tec Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kenji Eoka
  • Publication number: 20140237981
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a conveyor system that may be used with an agricultural harvester, such as a round baler, waste baler, combine, sugarcane harvester or cotton harvester. More particularly, the conveyor system utilizes at least a first and a second conveyor belt of which at least one of the conveyor belts is independently movable in the forward and backward directions. The speed and direction of the conveyor belts can be controlled to optimize continuous baling of harvested crop in the agricultural baler.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 22, 2013
    Publication date: August 28, 2014
    Applicant: CNH CANADA, LTD.
    Inventor: Martin J. ROBERGE
  • Patent number: 8763784
    Abstract: In an apparatus for transporting containers, a first transport unit including a first drive unit transports the containers along a first transport section, and a second transport unit including a second drive unit transports the containers along a second transport section. First and second sensor units detect a condition of the containers transported by the first and second transport units. At least one control unit controls at least one of the first and second drive units in response to at least one of the first and second conditions detected by the corresponding first or second sensor units. At least one of the first and second sensor units includes a signal transmission unit that wirelessly emits a signal characteristic of the respective at least one first or at least one second condition to a receiving unit of the control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Krones AG
    Inventors: Manfred Ziegler, Martin Seger
  • Publication number: 20140151191
    Abstract: In a first embodiment, a system includes a first solids feeder having a first inlet and a first outlet, a second solids feeder having a second inlet and a second outlet, and an adjustable volume coupled to the first outlet and the second inlet. The first solids feeder is configured to supply a feedstock at a first feed rate and the second solids feeder is configured to supply the feedstock at a second feed rate. The adjustable volume is configured to adjust based at least in part on first feed rate and the second feed rate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2012
    Publication date: June 5, 2014
    Inventors: John Saunders Stevenson, Anthony Holmes Furman, Steven Craig Russell
  • Publication number: 20140138214
    Abstract: A melting furnace system includes a conveyor for moving a stack of ingots toward an ingot melting station. The conveyor has a platform and a raised part extending from the platform for engaging an underside of the stack. The conveyor automatically transfers the stack to a bucket located at a downstream end of the conveyor. The bucket includes a bottom wall, a back wall and a pair of sidewalls, and is sized to receive the stack of ingots. The bottom wall of the bucket is configured to receive the raised part of the conveyor such that the stack is initially positioned above the bottom wall of the bucket via the raised part. A carriage provided at the downstream end of the conveyor engages the bucket and includes a lifting mechanism for raising the bucket together with the stack of ingots toward the ingot melting station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 20, 2012
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicant: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Karl J. Schroeder
  • Publication number: 20140102856
    Abstract: An automated checkout system for reading optical data, such as barcode labels, on a bottom surface of an item using a data reader. The automated checkout system includes a housing supporting a leading conveyor section and a trailing conveyor section separated by a gap. The housing movably supports a transition element positioned across the gap for helping items transition between the conveyor sections. The transition element is movable between a first position and a second position. A sensor is in communication with the transition element and is configured to sense the position of the transition element, where movement of the transition element from the first position to the second position activates the sensor. When activated, the sensor may send a signal to a terminal to display a warning message to a user. Alternatively, the sensor may send a signal to an automatic shut-off mechanism to stop operation of the conveyors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: April 17, 2014
    Applicant: Datalogic ADC, Inc.
    Inventors: Stepan Ryabinin, Jeffrey J. Hoskinson, Paul R. Huss, Michael P. Svetal
  • Patent number: 8636137
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for the alignment of food products in which food products arriving on an input conveyor in the supply direction arrive at an alignment station at which the products are aligned and from which the aligned products arrive at an output conveyor, wherein a misalignment of the products relative to a target alignment is detected and the product is aligned as a function of the misalignment, said products being aligned by the products resting against a product support and the product support being actuated in order to perform the alignment movement, and wherein the alignment of the products is accomplished without relative movements between the products and the product support. The invention further relates to a device for the alignment of food products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: Weber Maschinenbau GmbH Breidenbach
    Inventor: Guenther Weber
  • Patent number: 8602206
    Abstract: A conveyor system includes a splicing belt, a supporting member, a driving module, a trigger module, a detecting module. The splicing belt is attached to the first conveyor belt and the second conveyor belt for joining the second conveyor belt to the first conveyor belt. The supporting member supports the first conveyor belt and the second conveyor belt. The driving module drives the first conveyor belt to be moved relative to the supporting member. The trigger module is located between the supporting member and the first conveyor belt, and is triggered when the splicing belt is moved to be contacted with the trigger module. The detecting module records a trigger time when the trigger module is triggered, the trigger time is a material transition time at which the first materials being fed is changed to the second materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignees: Fu Tai Hua Industry (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Zhen-Yu Miao, Zhong-Kun Xiao
  • Patent number: 8590358
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for forming a metal container including one or more devices that are electronically coordinated to perform operations of local and/or extensive deformation over metal containers and one or more interface devices (12) wherein the motion among the devices is accomplished in an indirect way through elements adapted to coordinate and synchronize these same devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Frattini S.p.A. Construzioni Meccaniche
    Inventors: Roberto Frattini, Anthony Kendrick Nixon
  • Patent number: 8586899
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for processing food products is provided. The product conditioning system includes an inlet assembly, a pressurizeable tunnel and an outlet assembly. The inlet assembly and outlet assembly include a pair of vertically extending pressure vessels having entry and exit openings which are both sealable by doors to provide liquid and gaseous tight seals. The inlet and outlet assembly pressure vessels further include a pair of vertically extending parallel screws for transporting food products from one end of the pressure vessel to the other. The pressurizeable tunnel includes a heating stage having microwave sources for irradiating food products so as to pasteurize or sterilize prepackaged food. The pressurizeable tunnel further includes a heat maintenance stage and product cooling stage. Both the heat maintenance stage and product cooling stage include vertically extending pressure vessels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Inventors: Jeffrey H. Mackay, E. Eugene Eves, II, Thomas D. Wendel
  • Patent number: 8360230
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus measure a quantity parameter during the transport of objects. The objects are in particular flat mail items and are tipped onto a conveyor component of a transport device and are transported by the latter. At least one recording time, in each case at least one photograph of a measurement sector of the conveyor component is taken. For each recording time, the value which a quantity parameter which describes the quantity of objects in the measurement sector has at the recording time is calculated. For this purpose, the proportion of the area of the measurement sector which is covered by objects is measured. A prescribed functional relationship between the quantity parameter and the measured proportion is evaluated. The speed at which the conveyor component transports the objects is changed depending on the quantity parameter value measured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Andre Rompe
  • Publication number: 20120222938
    Abstract: A combination vending/return apparatus and method. The apparatus includes a combination of rows and columns for receiving, storing and dispensing unfilled and filled large-volume fluid-containing bottles from and to consumers. The apparatus includes a processor-controlled vending keyboard/screen for making bottle selections for purchase and returns, and to handle electronic payment and credit transactions. Also disclosed is a method to vend large-volume fluid-containing bottles and retrieve used and emptied large-volume water bottles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2012
    Publication date: September 6, 2012
    Inventors: R. Edward Rose, JR., R. Edward Rose, III, Michael James Verrochi
  • Publication number: 20120211331
    Abstract: A system and method for automatically adjusting the motion and timing of pusher mechanisms in an I.S. machine to maintain desired spacing and lateral alignment of glass containers on a conveyor taking them from the I.S. machine where they are molded. The measured glass container placement and the desired glass container placement are used to vary the operation of the pusher mechanisms in a manner tending to obtain the desired placement.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2012
    Publication date: August 23, 2012
    Inventor: Jonathan S. Simon
  • Publication number: 20120132503
    Abstract: A planar table for accumulating items for conveying equipment, including: two parallel planar inlet and outlet conveyors that are driven in opposite directions so as to longitudinally move the items. The planar conveyors form an item transit area that has a variable receiving surface, and a diverting member for transferring the items, arranged on the inlet conveyor, to the outlet conveyor. The diverting member is shaped as a curved wall arranged on a longitudinally movable carriage. The wall extends substantially over the entire width of the inlet conveyor, between a side chute and a structure arranged between the two conveyors and on which the carriage is attached. There is an area for feeding items onto the outlet conveyor, the feeding area is arranged outside said transit area.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2010
    Publication date: May 31, 2012
    Inventor: Zmaj Petrovic
  • Publication number: 20120118704
    Abstract: An automated packing system includes a first conveyor conveying goods to a location where the goods are dropped off a belt. A second conveyor is provided beneath the end of the first conveyor so that the goods fall into a box at the area where the second conveyor is located under the end of the first conveyor. Means are provided on the second conveyor to sense the presence of a box aligned under the end of the first conveyor, whereupon an escapement cylinder is activated to retain the box in that position. A controller counts the number of goods placed into the box and when the number is the number that fills the box, the controller releases the escapement cylinder allowing the box to move away from its position under the force of gravity and subsequently the next empty box moves into position under the end of the first conveyor. When the next box arrives at the desired location under the end of the first conveyor, a sensor senses that location and reactivates the escapement cylinder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 12, 2010
    Publication date: May 17, 2012
    Inventors: Brian Paul Atcher, Jonathan C. Arnold
  • Publication number: 20120055760
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an apparatus for delivering one or more items to a desired position on an item carrier, the apparatus comprising a drop conveyor comprising two conveyor sections that are laterally displaceable and controllable in order to enable dropping the one or more items at a desired position along the length of the drop conveyor, characterised in that the drop conveyor comprises guide means placed above the two conveyor sections, the guide means being laterally displaceable and controllable. The present invention further relates to a method of delivering one or more items to a desired position on an item carrier, the method comprising the steps of positioning the item carrier beneath a drop conveyor, transferring one or more items to the drop conveyor, positioning the items on the drop conveyor, adjusting side guides into contact with the items, and opening the drop conveyor so that the items are dropped.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 28, 2010
    Publication date: March 8, 2012
    Applicant: MAREL HF
    Inventors: Adalsteinn Viglundsson, Thorir Finnsson, Sigurdur Skarphedinsson
  • Patent number: 8079462
    Abstract: An article singulating conveyor assembly and method of singulating articles includes providing a conveying surface defining a plurality of tandem zones. The conveying surface travels in a longitudinal direction. Each of the zones includes a pair of laterally spaced side frame members and a plurality of generally parallel elongated driven rollers that are supported at the side frame members. The driven rollers are adapted to provide lateral variation in the longitudinal speed of the conveying surface. Each of the zones includes at least one drive motor that is adapted to drive the driven rollers in that zone. At least one article sensor is provided that is adapted to sensing articles in the zones. The driven rollers may be divided into a plurality of segmented rollers that are separately rotatable with a separate drive motor to drive corresponding segments for a zone. The drive motors for adjacent zones may be activated in a manner that creates a longitudinal gap between longitudinally adjacent articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2011
    Assignee: Dematic Corp.
    Inventors: Wynn M. Pelak, Matthew T. Brayman, Daniel O. Amarandei, Clinton R. Lupton
  • Publication number: 20110297509
    Abstract: A drive controller for controlling movement of a plurality of packages by an accumulation conveyor. The drive controller is configured to determine a length of each of the packages and to coordinate driving of a number of zones needed to accommodate the package. For example, a sensor in each of the conveyor zones communicates blockage by the packages to the drive controller. The drive controller determines a sequence of blockage of the sensors in adjacent zones. Blockage of the sensor in an upstream zone before the sensor in a downstream zone indicates an oversized package that extends longer than a zone length of the downstream zone and into the upstream zone. The drive controller is configured to drive the downstream zone and upstream zone simultaneously when detecting the oversized package.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 9, 2011
    Publication date: December 8, 2011
    Applicant: Hytrol Conveyor Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Bryan Dale Taylor
  • Patent number: 8042677
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and a device for dynamic optimization of the gaps between objects transported serially on a conveyor, in particular the transport of pieces of luggage in luggage transport systems in airports. According to the invention, in order to achieve an optimal usage of the transport system, the separation between two adjacent objects for transporting is recorded by sensor and provided to an analytical unit as measured values for determination of a correction value for temporary alteration of the speed of a transporter supporting only one object, arranged between two adjacent transporters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2011
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Frank König, Martin Wentzel
  • Patent number: 8037991
    Abstract: A method is provided to regulate a conveying stream composed of articles of the tobacco-processing industry between at least one tray discharger and connected to at least one feed device by a conveying element that conveys a mass flow of the articles. The feed device has at least one chamber designed to receive the articles, and each chamber has at least two feed units running independently of each other to feed the articles to subsequent apparatuses. Each feed unit has an individual feed rate (P1, P2, . . . Pn). The method includes monitoring a level within the feed device using monitoring elements; sending a signal to each of the at least one tray dischargers for regulating the speed of transport of the conveying element and the feed rate (in articles/min) as a function of a current level within the feed device, and adapting the speed of transport to a desired level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: Hauni Maschinenbau AG
    Inventor: Sven Kluwe
  • Publication number: 20110174594
    Abstract: A checkstand includes a cabinet, an electrically actuated conveyor, and an electrically actuated rotatable turntable. The electrically actuated conveyor is mounted on a portion of the cabinet. The conveyor is structured to convey items from a first end to an opposite second end when actuated. The electrically actuated rotatable turntable is mounted on the cabinet proximate the second end of the conveyor. The turntable is structured to receive items from the conveyor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 18, 2011
    Publication date: July 21, 2011
    Inventors: Dave Redick, Jan Hawkins, Patty Pataky, Jeffrey T. Hassman, Eric J. Kaplan, Adam Price
  • Publication number: 20110139582
    Abstract: An apparatus for transporting variable-sized media is described. The apparatus employs multiple parallel beltsets and a control module. Multiple parallel beltsets are situated between an inlet station and a delivery station. Further, each beltset is connected to a motor which drives the beltset. The apparatus also include multiple pushers attached to the belts, such that the distance between two successive pushers is greater than the size of the largest media to be transported. The control module is coupled to each motor and adjusts the distance between the pushers of adjacent beltsets, based on the size of the media to be transported.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 15, 2009
    Publication date: June 16, 2011
  • Patent number: 7870945
    Abstract: A method for sorting objects using a continuous loop conveyor sorting system having two or more feeders. In one embodiment, the method includes sorting a batch of objects to form a first group of objects and a second group of objects, using a first feeder to feed all of the objects from the first group onto the conveyor, using a second feeder to feed all of the objects from the second group onto the conveyor, removing the objects from the first group from the conveyor prior to the any of the objects reaching the point at which the second feeder feeds objects onto the conveyor, and removing the objects from the second group from the conveyor prior to the any of the objects reaching the point at which the first feeder feeds objects onto the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2011
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation
    Inventor: Daryl S. Mileaf
  • Patent number: 7854314
    Abstract: An article singulating conveyor assembly and method of singulating articles includes providing a conveying surface defining a plurality of tandem zones. The conveying surface travels in a longitudinal direction. Each of the zones includes a pair of laterally spaced side frame members and a plurality of generally parallel elongated driven rollers that are supported at the side frame members. The driven rollers are adapted to provide lateral variation in the longitudinal speed of the conveying surface. Each of the zones includes at least one drive motor that is adapted to drive the driven rollers in that zone. At least one article sensor is provided that is adapted to sensing articles in the zones. The driven rollers may be divided into a plurality of segmented rollers that are separately rotatable with a separate drive motor to drive corresponding segments for a zone. The drive motors for adjacent zones may be activated in a manner that creates a longitudinal gap between longitudinally adjacent articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2010
    Assignee: Dematic Corp.
    Inventors: Wynn M. Pelak, Matthew T. Brayman, Daniel O. Amarandei, Clinton R. Lupton
  • Publication number: 20100181167
    Abstract: A tracking apparatus which can ensure good-accuracy coincidence between a conveyed material and a tracked position thereof, even when slip occurs in the conveyed material moving across conveyance tables. A sensor is located at a boundary position of a conveyance table, of conveyance tables arranged adjacent to each other, to detect the presence or absence of a conveyed material. Head and tail end tracking data of the conveyed material is generated, and positions of head and tail ends are calculated using conveyance speed of a selected conveyance table as a speed standard. Then, occurrence or nonoccurrence of slip of the conveyed material is determined from the detection signal of the sensor and the positions of head and tail ends. When slip has occurred, head and tail end tracking data generation is stopped. Head and tail end tracking data generation is restarted considering a time delay due to removal of chattering from the detection signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2007
    Publication date: July 22, 2010
    Inventor: Minoru Tachibana
  • Patent number: 7735631
    Abstract: A mail processing system that delivers articles to delivery locations includes a predetermined number of casing towers arranged in parallel, wherein each casing tower has a plurality of slots to receive articles. A transport system is associated with the casing towers and configured to guide at least one transport vehicle loaded with an article along a delivery path towards a delivery location. At least one elevator device is coupled to the transport system and configured to receive the transport vehicle at a first level and to index the elevator device to move the transport vehicle from the first level to a second level, where the transport vehicle exits the elevator device to travel along the delivery path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Peter Berdelle-Hilge
  • Patent number: 7695655
    Abstract: A molded body cutting apparatus according to the present invention comprising a first conveyer member that conveys an extrusion-molded pillar-shaped ceramic molded body a cutting member that moves in a direction parallel to a movement direction of the above mentioned first conveyer member while moving also in a vertical direction, and cuts the above mentioned ceramic molded body to a predetermined length by passing through the interior of the above mentioned ceramic molded body and a second conveyer member that conveys a cut ceramic molded body cut to a predetermined length by the above mentioned cutting member, wherein a conveyance speed of the above mentioned first conveyer member and a movement speed of the above mentioned cutting member in the above mentioned parallel direction are almost the same, before the above mentioned ceramic molded body is cut, and each of the conveyance speed of the above mentioned first conveyer member, the movement speed of the above mentioned cutting member in the above mentio
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: Ibiden Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Norihiko Yamamura, Kazuya Naruse, Eiji Sumiya
  • Patent number: 7613542
    Abstract: A material handling system and method of automatic address assignment of components of the material handling system, includes a conveying surface divided into a plurality of zones, a plurality of motors propelling each zone, a plurality of lower level controllers and a plurality of sensors adapted to communicate the presence of an article on the conveying surface to the associated lower level controller. An upper-level controller in communication with the lower level controllers assigns a unique communications address to a specific lower level controller identified by a reference article being detected by the sensor with that lower level controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Clyde Miin-Arng Ko, Randall J. Carlson, Roger L. Sinen
  • Publication number: 20090205932
    Abstract: A system for removing plastic wrapping from round cotton modules includes a gantry having a stationary base located in front of a disperser. A separate conveyor between the gantry and the disperser receives unwrapped round cotton modules from the gantry. Because the gantry is stationary while the disperser digests an upstream module, a gap is created between the upstream module and the module being unwrapped. This gap is closed up when the most recently unwrapped module is placed on the separate conveyor which is driven at a high rate of speed to abut, nor nearly abut, the modules.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 18, 2009
    Publication date: August 20, 2009
    Inventor: Jimmy R. Stover
  • Patent number: 7540372
    Abstract: Disclosed in this specification is a media transportation apparatus that is comprised a conveying and supporting sections. The conveying section is comprised of a motor and a first timing belt, wherein operation of the motor causes the first timing belt to travel in a first direction. The supporting section is comprised of rollers configured to roll in the same first direction. The first timing belt has a belt surface and the rollers have a rolling surface, such that the belt surface and the rolling surface are substantially coplanar with respect to one another. The apparatus receives media of any size from an imager that is operating at a first speed, transport the media with a transporter operating at a second speed, and deliver the media to a processor operating at a third speed. The first speed, second speed, and third speed, need not be the same speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: ECRM, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd Kepple
  • Publication number: 20090101478
    Abstract: A weighing machine that uses a plurality of pivoting conveyors to deliver product to a plurality of weigh hoppers the sum of which make the desired total weight required for a package. Each pivoting conveyor may supply product to a plurality of secondary conveyors by rotating or changing the pivoting conveyor belt speed. The machine uses a calculated number of front or rear weigh hoppers positioned beneath corresponding accumulation hoppers to produce the desired total weight. The accumulation hopper rapidly fills the weigh hopper after the weigh hopper is emptied. The front and rear accumulation hoppers are positioned below a diverter plate that directs product from the secondary conveyor. Access to the front and rear accumulation and weigh hoppers is made possible by hinging the front set of hoppers. Maintenance and cleaning of the conveyors is accomplished by releasing locking members to allow the conveyor module to be removed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2008
    Publication date: April 23, 2009
    Inventor: Christopher Dale
  • Patent number: 7413071
    Abstract: An induction subsystem for a conveyor sortation system and method of inducting articles includes providing a plurality of tandem conveying surfaces. The speeds of the conveying surfaces are individually controllable. At least one sensor is provided for sensing articles on at least one of the conveying surfaces. A control is responsive to the at least one sensor for controlling the speeds of said conveying surfaces in a manner that controls relative positions of articles. The control defines a plurality of feedback-gapping algorithms. Each of the feedback-gapping algorithms is defined between adjacent conveying surfaces for adjusting relative speeds of those adjacent conveying surfaces as a function of at least one parameter of the articles. The control controls relative positions of articles with the feedback-gapping algorithms beginning with a pair of adjacent conveying surfaces and cascading through adjacent pairs of adjacent conveying surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2008
    Assignee: Dematic Corp.
    Inventors: David W Zeitler, Martin R Doane, Douglas L Milliman
  • Patent number: 7328783
    Abstract: A device for controlling a mass of cigarettes, and having a conveyor system for feeding the cigarettes in bulk along a path from a cigarette manufacturing machine to a cigarette packing machine; and an operating unit for both determining and at least partly compensating differences between the cigarette production and packing rates; the operating unit having an arm with a number of articulated segments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2008
    Assignee: G.D. Societa″ per Azioni
    Inventors: Michele Ferrari, Stefano Negrini
  • Patent number: 7287637
    Abstract: A conveyor system is provided to limit the vertical fall experienced by a product transported along the conveyor and falling into a collection bin. A sensor in a fixed position relative to the product conveying plane of the conveyor measures product collection height in a collection bin to produce an output signal. A controller dynamically varies the angle between the conveyance plane and the collection bin base plane and the vertical displacement therebetween within a preselected range in order to minimize product damage associated with different fall trajectories from the conveyor into the bin for product. Either the conveyor or the collection bin is pivoted under the command of the controller to accomplish the desired function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2007
    Inventors: Kyle Campbell, Thomas J. Campbell, Jeffrey Campbell, Kevin Campbell
  • Patent number: 7275635
    Abstract: A free flow conveyance system includes a plurality of linear conveyance apparatuses each having a plurality of unit conveyors linearly arranged, and a pivot conveyance apparatus having a unit conveyor which is arranged between the linear conveyance apparatuses being so arranged as to form a predetermined angle, wherein product sensors are arranged at the conveying-in side as well as at the conveying-out side of the respective unit conveyors of the linear conveyance apparatuses and the pivot conveyance apparatus, when a product is conveyed to a unit conveyor of the upstream side along the conveyance direction and product sensors of the unit conveyor become of the sensing-product state, in case respective product sensors of a unit conveyor of the downstream side along the conveyance direction are of the not-sensing-product state, these unit conveyors are driven respectively to convey the product, and when the product is consequently conveyed to the unit conveyor of the downstream side along the conveyance direc
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2007
    Assignee: Startechno Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshihiro Enya
  • Patent number: 7267217
    Abstract: An apparatus comprising a first detector for detecting if conveyed work that has passed or is passing a specific position is or is not present at a first position; a calculator for calculating a distance traveled by the conveyed work based on the specific position; and an evaluator that determines the conveyed work was removed if the first detector does not detect the conveyed work when the conveyed work is determined to be present at the first position based on the calculated traveled distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2007
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Akihiro Ikeda, Noboru Usui, Yuji Takiguchi
  • Patent number: 7264109
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a method and apparatus for controlling the transportation of a product from a first transporter to a second transporter. Further, a feed transport system and method of use is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2007
    Assignee: Raque Food Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Glen Raque, Jerry Barnes, Wail Elkhatib, Robert Raque, Michael Weidman