Spiral Patents (Class 198/778)
  • Patent number: 11383932
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor for positively driving a conveyor belt along a helical path. The spiral conveyor includes a rotating cylindrical tower with parallel drive members extending from the bottom to the top of the tower on its periphery. Each drive member includes an outwardly protruding ridge that varies in height from the bottom to the top of the tower. The variations in height facilitate the belt's entry onto and exit from the tower and robust, positive driving engagement with the inside edge of the belt along the majority of its path along the tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2022
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Casper Fedde Talsma, David W. Bogle
  • Patent number: 11365058
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor system may include a drum and a conveyor belt traveling helically about the drum from an entrance end to an exit end of the drum, and a rib associated with the drum, wherein the rib extends radially from a surface of the drum. A length of the rib extends along the length of the drum from a first end of the rib to a terminus of the rib proximate the entrance end of the drum. In addition, a height of the rib above of the surface of the drum varies along the length of the rib. Further, the rib includes at least one drive face, wherein the conveyor belt includes at least one belt surface configured to engage the at least one drive face, and wherein the drum includes a smooth ribless portion between the terminus of the rib and the entrance end of the drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2022
    Assignee: Ashworth Bros., Inc.
    Inventors: Darroll Joseph Neely, Bryan Hobbs
  • Patent number: 11317636
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a closed processing system for treating elongated food products comprising a housing bounding a process space, a transport path for displacing the elongated food products through the process space, at least one airflow generator for generating an airflow in the process space, at least one airflow conditioner for conditioning the generated airflow, and at least one detector for detecting process conditions in the process space, wherein the detected process conditions include at least the relative humidity and wherein the system is arranged to control the process conditions by adjusting the at least one airflow generator and/or at least one airflow conditioner based on the detected relative humidity. The present invention further relates to a method for treating elongated food products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: MAREL FURTHER PROCESSING B.V.
    Inventors: Bernardus Wilhelmus Franciscus Leferink, Eric Henricus Johannes Aben, Hendrikus Cornelis Koos Van Doorn, Johannes Martinus Meulendijks
  • Patent number: 11305938
    Abstract: An active drive spiral conveyor belt system includes a drum configured to rotate about a drum axis, a plurality of modules, a plurality of cross-rods joining together the plurality of modules, and an infeed system. The drum can include a plurality of drive bars, each with a drive member extending therefrom, and spaced an arc length. At least some of the plurality of cross-rods or modules can include a drive end configured to engage with the drive members. The plurality of modules can be configured to be collapsible relative to each other and the plurality of cross-rods. The infeed system can be configured to collapse the spacing between adjacent drive ends prior to transiting into engagement with a cooperating drive member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2022
    Assignee: Cambridge International, Inc.
    Inventors: Frank Salsone, Thomas O. Perdue, Robert E. Maine, Jr.
  • Patent number: 11291210
    Abstract: In one aspect, a spiral cooking device includes a first cooking zone with air configured to move horizontally therethrough in a first direction, a second cooking zone with air configured to move horizontally therethrough in a second direction different than the first direction, and a spiral conveyor belt at least partially positioned in the first and second cooking zones and configured to transport food product thereon through the first and second cooking zones. In one aspect, a spiral cooking device includes a spiral conveyor belt providing a central opening inside the belt and a conveyor belt drive member positioned externally of the central opening. In one aspect, a conveyor belt cleaning device is provided. In one aspect, a cooking device includes a frame including a plurality of coupled pipes for providing structural support to the device and at least one of the pipes is configured to have liquid pass therethrough.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: Provisur Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Frederik N. L. A. van de Rijt, Inge van der Helm, Patrick Xander Steensma
  • Patent number: 11242202
    Abstract: A freezing spiral net chain structure includes a plurality of chain links successively arranged in a travelling direction of a rail. Transmission teeth are arranged at inner ends of the chain links. Engagement teeth are arranged at two sides of the chain links. The engagement teeth of the adjacent chain links are engaged with each other. Axial holes are disposed between the mutually engaged engagement teeth. Rotary shafts are inserted into the axial holes. A metal piece is connected between outer ends of every two adjacent rotary shafts. The metal piece may bear a load from an outer-end spiral net, and since a coefficient of expansion of metal is smaller than that of plastic, deformation between the adjacent rotary shafts as a result of cold shrinking is reduced. The metal piece is different from the rotary shafts of the plastic spiral conveying net chain in terms of pitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2022
    Assignee: YANGZHOU WELDON TRANSMISSION EQUIPMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Baodong Wu
  • Patent number: 11220401
    Abstract: A conveyorized baking system having improved dust shield support. The system includes including a conveyor track, a conveyor chain that moves through the conveyor track, flanged support struts attached to the conveyor chain, and dust shields supported by the flanged support struts for preventing dust and debris from entering the conveyor track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2022
    Assignee: AMF AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventor: Chi Chung
  • Patent number: 11155418
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor construction comprises an endless conveyor belt guided on a conveying path. At least a part of the conveying path surrounds a drive tower. Spaced along the periphery of the drive tower are arranged vertical engagement members. Additionally on a lower section of the drive tower adjacent blocks are provided, radially projecting further from the drive tower than the engagement members, and where the blocks are provided with a radially extending secondary rib.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2021
    Assignee: Ammeraal Beltech Modular A/S
    Inventors: Germ Buter, Kenneth Westergaard Andersen
  • Patent number: 11155413
    Abstract: A spiral chute having a center column assembly with a first center column segment is disclosed. The center column segment has a plurality of pairs of opposed apertures. The spiral chute also includes a plurality of chute assembly sections, each including a chute support arm, a chute section coupled to the chute support arm, an outer wall support coupled to a distal end of the chute support arms, an outer wall segment coupled to the outer wall supports, and a support arm bolt having a distal end and a proximal end. The distal end of each support arm bolt passes through a corresponding one of the first plurality of opposing apertures and engages a proximal end of the chute support arm such that the proximal end of the chute support arm abuts the first center column segment. A method of constructing a spiral chute is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2021
    Assignee: Stock Manufacturing and Design Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremy Kirk Stock, Jim Louis Greathouse
  • Patent number: 11053081
    Abstract: A direct drive spiral conveyor belt system that includes a drum configured to rotate about a drum axis and define a drive member, a belt configured to engage the drum and define a belt drive feature, and an engagement control ramp configured to rotate with the drum and selectively engage the belt. The engagement control ramp includes a first portion defining a first radial distance from the drum axis and a second portion defining a second radial distance from the drum axis, with the first radial distance being greater than the second radial distance. The second portion of the engagement control ramp is configured to selectively engage the belt and allow the belt drive feature to transition into engagement with the drive member as the drum rotates about the drum axis and the belt moves along the drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2021
    Assignee: Cambridge International, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas O. Perdue, Frank Salsone
  • Patent number: 11026447
    Abstract: Variable-capacity store for cylindrical articles of the tobacco processing industry; the store comprises a conveying assembly comprising a first conveyor having a substantially helical shape; a second conveyor having a substantially helical shape and arranged above the first conveyor; and a linear transfer conveyor, which is adapted to convey the articles from the first conveyor to the second conveyor, having a variable length and, by extending and shortening, changes the area of the first conveyor from which it picks up the articles and the area of the second conveyor to which it feeds the articles, thus varying the capacity of the store.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: G.D SOCIETA' PER AZIONI
    Inventors: Luca Calzolari, Michele Ferrari, Luca Federici
  • Patent number: 11014751
    Abstract: A conveyor belt having a plurality of spaced tractive rods including opposing inner and outer ends, and a support surface transversely disposed with respect to a direction of travel and interconnecting the plurality of spaced tractive rods, wherein at least one of the inner and outer ends of at least some of the plurality of spaced tractive rods includes a cone shaped end portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: Cambridge International, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas O. Perdue, George H. Messick, Jr., Crystal A. Willey, Frank Salsone
  • Patent number: 11008173
    Abstract: The bottom tier (24) of a conveyor belt (22) arranged in a spiral stack (26) is supported by and driven by inner and outer drive chains (28) and (30). The inner and outer drive chains are supported on and ride along support rails (32) and (34). The inner and outer drive chains are driven by a drive system (35) composed of inner and outer drive systems (36) and (38), each including a drive motor with a drive gear engaged with the inner and outer drive chains. Each of the motors is controlled by a separate variable frequency drive unit (114) and (116) which in turn are controlled by a control system (44). The control system (44) also controls the operation of a lubrication system (40) that supplies lubricant to the drive chains.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: John Bean Technologies AB
    Inventors: Jack Peter Urban Wilthorn, Ulf Göran Gramby, Bengt Anders Gerhard Bengtsson, Per Martin Ström
  • Patent number: 11002484
    Abstract: A conveyer system for vertically and helically conveying a workpiece includes a main bracket, on which interconnected heating furnace and cooling furnace are arranged in parallel. The heating furnace includes a 1st spiral supporting plate, a conveyer belt arranged on the 1st spiral supporting plate along the spiral direction and one or multiple gas inlet/inlets to fill protective gas into the heating furnace. The cooling furnace includes a 2nd spiral supporting plate, the conveyer belt extended from the heating furnace arranged on the 2nd spiral supporting plate along the spiral direction and one or multiple gas inlet/inlets to fill protective gas into the cooling furnace. A drive mechanism for a conveyer belt is installed on the main bracket. The conveyer belt runs through the heating furnace and cooling furnace and forms one loop via the drive mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: XI 'AN AOJIE ELECTRIC HEATING EQUIPMENT ENGINEERING CO., LTD
    Inventor: Jie Hu
  • Patent number: 10947048
    Abstract: The present disclosure may be embodied as a belt module for a radius or spiral conveyor. The belt module includes first link ends extending in a direction of belt travel. Each first link end has a transverse opening. Second link ends extend in a direction opposite the first link ends and are configured to interdigitate with the first link ends of an adjacent belt module, and each second link end has a transverse opening defined therein. The transverse openings of the first and/or the second link ends are elongated. The belt modules further include a collapsible tab for contacting a frame member. The collapsible tab is located at a first transverse end of the belt module. In some embodiments, the collapsible tab is configured to engage a drive bar. The belt module may further include a guide tooth on a bottom side of the module for engaging a guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: Habasit AG
    Inventors: Dietmar Elsner, Martin Moritz, Arnaud Thuet
  • Patent number: 10793358
    Abstract: A spiral chute assembly for moving packages from an upper level to a lower level of sort facility includes a first slide inlet and an opposing second slide inlet opposite the first slide inlet. The first slide has an outlet that is above the second slide outlet in the spiral chute. The front walls of the first and second slides are angled in the direction of the approaching package to facilitate receiving the package while moving.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Racha Lwali, Andrew John Gawne, Bruce Leardi
  • Patent number: 10766705
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor for positively driving a conveyor belt along a helical path. The spiral conveyor includes a rotating cylindrical tower with parallel drive members extending from the bottom to the top of the tower on its periphery. Each drive member includes an outwardly protruding ridge that varies in height from the bottom to the top of the tower. The variations in height facilitate the belt's entry onto and exit from the tower and robust, positive driving engagement with the inside edge of the belt along the majority of its path along the tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Casper Fedde Talsma, David W. Bogle
  • Patent number: 10766706
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor and methods for positively driving a conveyor belt along a helical path. The spiral conveyor includes a rotating cylindrical tower with parallel drive members extending from the bottom to the top of the tower on its periphery. Each drive member includes an outwardly protruding ridge that varies in height from the bottom to the top of the tower. The variations in height facilitate the belt's entry onto and exit from the tower and robust, positive driving engagement with the inside edge of the belt along the majority of its path along the tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Casper Fedde Talsma, David W. Bogle
  • Patent number: 10745205
    Abstract: A drive member for a cage of a spiral conveyor, the drive member comprising a cage-bar and an engagement member. The cage-bar comprises a ridge extending along a longitudinal axis of the cage-bar, the ridge being adapted to mate with an inner side of a conveyor belt. The cage-bar has a conical shape and a driving ridge in a single part with coating to protect against wear. At the belt entrance of the spiral conveyor, the sanitary monopiece direct drive cage-bar have an UHMW (Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight) polyethylene bloc overlapped to help engagement of the belt as specified by manufacturer of the belt. The custom bended shape of the cage-bar allows using several different conical angles to reduce belt tension. The monopiece cage-bar also allows applications where great temperature changes are required because the thermal dilatation will not causes gap in the driving ridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: AMF Canada LLC
    Inventors: Matthieu Breton, Daniel Ferland, Eric Gilbert, Bobby Martin, Charles Perreault, Marc-Olivier Thibault
  • Patent number: 10730701
    Abstract: Spiral conveyors have a drive drum, wherein the drive drum comprises a plurality of drive drum bars connected around an outer perimeter of the drive drum, wherein a drive rod on a drive drum bar is distally located on the outer perimeter of the drive drum, wherein the drive drum bar comprises the drive rod; a face plate; and a support rib, wherein the support rib is connected to the drive rod through standoffs, and the face plate is located between the drive rod and the support rib, and the face plate is separated from the drive rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: John Bean Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Brian P. Westcott, Adam J. Ramsdell, Scott M. Kane, Ryan C. Harrell, John J. Bauer, Robert C. Brod
  • Patent number: 10730700
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor system may include a drum associated with a motor, wherein the drum extends from a drum bottom to a drum top. In addition, the system may include a conveyor belt traveling helically about the drum from an entrance end of the drum to an exit end of the drum. Further, the system may include a rib associated with the drum, wherein the rib extends radially from a surface of the drum, and at least one drive face positioned on the rib. The conveyor belt may include at least one belt surface configured to engage the at least one drive face. The length of the rib extends along the length of the drum from a first end of the rib to a terminus of the rib proximate the entrance end of the drum. In addition, the drum includes a ring that extends between the terminus of the rib and the entrance end of the drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: ASHWORTH BROS., INC.
    Inventors: Darroll Joseph Neely, Bryan Hobbs
  • Patent number: 10723557
    Abstract: A conveyor belt includes a repeating interconnected arrangement of: rods spaced apart in a longitudinal direction and each extending in a lateral direction and connecting links arranged on both ends of the rods. Each link includes a nose section extending in lateral direction and two legs arranged on either side of the nose section, the legs extending in longitudinal direction. The nose section and the two legs provide a U-shaped structure. Laterally aligned first openings are arranged in each of the legs adjacent to the nose section for reception of a rod. Laterally aligned second openings are arranged in each of the legs adjacent the free ends of the legs. The first openings of a first link are aligned with the second openings of a second link for reception of a rod thereinto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2020
    Assignee: Frans Bakker Beheer B.V.
    Inventor: Willem Van Faassen
  • Patent number: 10717604
    Abstract: A linear fixed shaft drive assembly for use in a self-stacking industrial/commercial-grade spiral/gyro oven or freezer that includes a fixed, non-rotatable shaft having a cylindrical mounting portion, a bearing cup supported by the mounting portion, and a hub and shaft base that includes a shaft portion and flange portion. The flange portion is configured to couple to a first side of a flange extending from the bearing cup. A sprocket is mounted to an opposite second side of the flange extending from the bearing cup. The sprocket includes teeth configured to engage with a ball chain assembly of the oven or freezer. The bearing cup includes at least two permanently lubricated bearings. Rotation of the shaft portion of the hub and shaft base causes the bearing cup and sprocket to rotate on the mounting portion of the fixed, non-rotatable shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2020
    Assignee: Omar Associates, LLC
    Inventors: Chad W. Billman, Eric J. Wise
  • Patent number: 10669101
    Abstract: Zero tension system conveyor. A conveyor belt is driven by at least a portion of the conveyor belt being in continuous contact with a block chain within at least a portion of an overall conveyor belt system. Such a conveyor belt system may be implemented in a spiral configuration such that a relatively small portion of the overall width of the conveyor belt is in contact with the block chain above and/or below the conveyor belt. The static force/weight of the conveyor belt in conjunction with the continuous contact between at least a portion of the conveyor belt and the block chain effectuates the driving of the conveyor belt through the overall conveyor belt system. The block chain is composed of a number of links, at least some of which include a respective hook/protrusion on one side thereof, for being directly engaged by drum bars implemented within a drum assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: Zero Tension System, LLC
    Inventor: Larry J. Mueller
  • Patent number: 10661996
    Abstract: The flexible reticular structure comprises a movable surface (1) the movement of which is operated by operating means (2), said surface (1) being formed by a plurality of modules (3) linked to one another by means of attachment rods (5), each of said rods (5) being housed in holes (6) provided in at least two of said modules (3) wherein each module (3) comprises at least one wheel (4) assembled in at least one of said rods (5). It enables the flexible reticular structure to be able to be moved easily.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: Manufacturas Y Transformados AB, S.L.U.
    Inventor: Antoni Balsells Mercade
  • Patent number: 10647518
    Abstract: A spiral conveying mesh chain which pertains to the field of conveying equipment includes a conveying mesh chain main body. The edge of the inner side of the conveying mesh chain main body is uniformly provided with passive teeth. The passive teeth are used to engage with driving teeth on the outer periphery of a rotating drum for driving the conveying mesh chain main body to rotate. The contact surface of the passive tooth and the driving tooth is one item selected from a group consisting of an inclined surface, an arc-shaped surface, a V-shaped contact surface, and a T-shaped contact surface, so that the force direction between the passive tooth and the driving tooth is inwardly deviated relative to the rotation direction of the conveying mesh chain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2020
    Inventor: Baodong Wu
  • Patent number: 10611575
    Abstract: A conveyor comprises a helical conveying path having an upright central axis, a frame and an endless conveying member for transporting a product through the conveying path which conveying member is displaceable with respect to the frame. In a central portion of the conveying path, as seen in radial direction from the central axis, the conveying member is provided with an upwardly directed supporting surface for supporting a product. The width of the supporting surface in radial direction from the central axis is smaller than 10% of the distance between the central axis and the supporting surface. At opposite sides of the supporting surface the conveying path is free from obstacles at the height level of the supporting surface. The conveyor is provided with a helical guide for guiding the conveying member along the guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2020
    Assignee: AMBAFLEX INTERNATIONAL B.V.
    Inventor: Wouter Balk
  • Patent number: 10577183
    Abstract: A conveyor belt having a plurality of spaced tractive rods, a plurality of rows transversely disposed with respect to a direction of travel and interconnecting the plurality of spaced tractive rods, a plurality of belt drive clips, and a plurality of belt hold-down clips, wherein each of the rows comprises a U-shaped link on each edge and a mesh overlay extending therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2020
    Assignee: Cambridge International, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas O. Perdue, Crystal A. Willey
  • Patent number: 10501265
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor for positively driving a conveyor belt along a helical path. The spiral conveyor includes a rotating cylindrical tower with parallel drive members extending from the bottom to the top of the tower on its periphery. Each drive member includes an outwardly protruding ridge that varies in height from the bottom to the top of the tower. The variations in height facilitate the belt's entry onto and exit from the tower and robust, positive driving engagement with the inside edge of the belt along the majority of its path along the tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Casper Fedde Talsma, David W. Bogle
  • Patent number: 10364101
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor system with a positive drive system includes a rotating drum with at least one rib that is attached to drum. The rib includes a drive face for engaging a conveyor belt. The height of the rib above of the surface of the drum varies along a length of the drive element. The rib may be directly attached to the drum or may be a part of a drive element attached to the drum. The conveyor belt includes at least one belt surface configured to engage the at least one drive face, such as a protruding tab with a flat surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: Ashworth Bros., Inc.
    Inventors: Darroll Joseph Neely, Bryan Hobbs
  • Patent number: 10309710
    Abstract: A reconfigurable freezer includes a housing having an internal space therein, and first and second openings each in communication with the internal space; an infeed assembly and an outfeed assembly, the infeed assembly constructed to be removably mounted to the housing at one of at the first and second openings for being in communication with the internal space, and the outfeed assembly constructed to be removably mounted to another of the first and second openings for being in communication with the internal space, wherein the infeed and outfeed assemblies are interchangeable at the first and second openings; a conveyor belt transiting the internal space from the infeed assembly to the outfeed assembly; and a drum disposed at the internal space for supporting movement of the conveyor belt about the drum between the infeed and outfeed assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: Linde Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Michael D. Newman, Stephen McCormick
  • Patent number: 10246262
    Abstract: Zero tension system conveyor. A conveyor belt is driven by at least a portion of the conveyor belt being in continuous contact with a block chain within at least a portion of an overall conveyor belt system. Such a conveyor belt system may be implemented in a spiral configuration such that a relatively small portion of the overall width of the conveyor belt is in contact with the block chain above and/or below the conveyor belt. The static force/weight of the conveyor belt in conjunction with the continuous contact between at least a portion of the conveyor belt and the block chain effectuates the driving of the conveyor belt through the overall conveyor belt system. The block chain is composed of a number of links, at least some of which include a respective hook/protrusion on one side thereof, for being directly engaged by drum bars implemented within a drum assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: Zero Tension System, LLC
    Inventor: Larry J. Mueller
  • Patent number: 10189645
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor for positively driving a conveyor belt along a helical path. The spiral conveyor includes a rotating cylindrical tower with parallel drive members extending from the bottom to the top of the tower on its periphery. Each drive member includes an outwardly protruding ridge that varies in height from the bottom to the top of the tower. The variations in height facilitate the belt's entry onto and exit from the tower and robust, positive driving engagement with the inside edge of the belt along the majority of its path along the tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Casper Fedde Talsma, David W. Bogle
  • Patent number: 10155627
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a drive bar apparatus for use in a helical conveyor system. In one embodiment, the drive bar apparatus includes at least one tapered drive bar configured to be mounted to a central drum of the helical conveyor system. Each of the at least one tapered drive bars includes a tapered tip having a conical outer surface for urging protrusions extending from conveyor belting to be engaged by the central drum to a first side or a second side of the at least one tapered drive bar. Each of the at least one tapered drive bars further includes a bar portion extending from the tapered tip and having a varying height which increases from the tapered tip to enable the bar portion to progressively increase engagement with the protrusions as the conveyor belting moves up the central drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: FPS Food Process Solutions Corporation
    Inventor: Kin Hung Jeffrey Chang
  • Patent number: 10099859
    Abstract: A modular spiral belt constructed of a series of hingedly interconnected belt modules arranged in a helical stack. The modular spiral belt includes outer side plates, inner side plates and intermediate attachment members. The intermediate attachment members provide support for the conveyor belt to prevent sagging in an intermediate region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: David W. Bogle
  • Patent number: 10099861
    Abstract: A conveyor comprises a helical conveying path having an upright central axis, a frame and an endless conveying member for transporting a product through the conveying path which conveying member is displaceable with respect to the frame. In a central portion of the conveying path, as seen in radial direction from the central axis, the conveying member is provided with an upwardly directed supporting surface for supporting a product. The width of the supporting surface in radial direction from the central axis is smaller than 10% of the distance between the central axis and the supporting surface. At opposite sides of the supporting surface the conveying path is free from obstacles at the height level of the supporting surface. The conveyor is provided with a helical guide for guiding the conveying member along the guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: AMBAFLEX INTERNATIONAL B.V.
    Inventor: Wouter Balk
  • Patent number: 10023388
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor for positively driving a conveyor belt along a helical path. The spiral conveyor includes a rotating cylindrical tower with parallel drive members extending from the bottom to the top of the tower on its periphery. Each drive member includes an outwardly protruding ridge that varies in height from the bottom to the top of the tower. The variations in height facilitate the belt's entry onto and exit from the tower and robust, positive driving engagement with the inside edge of the belt along the majority of its path along the tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Casper Fedde Talsma, David W. Bogle
  • Patent number: 9908711
    Abstract: A conveyor for conveying products in a vertical direction comprises a frame and a drivable conveyor belt supported by the frame and following a helical track about a central centerline. The belt is provided with movable slats having upwardly directed support faces. Inner rollers and outer rollers are present at the lower side of the belt having inner axes and outer axes of rotation, respectively, which are angled with respect to the support faces. The outer rollers are located at a larger distance from the centerline than the inner rollers. The frame is provided with a first guide face for supporting the outer rollers in an outward direction which first guide face is radially directed in the outward direction and with an upwardly directed second guide faces for supporting the belt in the upward direction, which second guide face lies at a distance from the first guide face.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: AMBAFLEX INTERNATIONAL B.V.
    Inventor: Wouter Balk
  • Patent number: 9884723
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor system with a positive drive system includes a rotating drum with at least one rib that is attached to drum. The rib includes a drive face for engaging a conveyor belt. The height of the rib above of the surface of the drum varies along a length of the drive element. The rib may be directly attached to the drum or may be a part of a drive element attached to the drum. The conveyor belt includes at least one belt surface configured to engage the at least one drive face, such as a protruding tab with a flat surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: Ashworth Bros., Inc.
    Inventors: Darroll Joseph Neely, Bryan Hobbs
  • Patent number: 9873564
    Abstract: Zero tension system conveyor. A conveyor belt is driven by at least a portion of the conveyor belt being in continuous contact with a block chain within at least a portion of an overall conveyor belt system. Such a conveyor belt system may be implemented in a spiral configuration such that a relatively small portion of the overall width of the conveyor belt is in contact with the block chain above and/or below the conveyor belt. The static force/weight of the conveyor belt in conjunction with the continuous contact between at least a portion of the conveyor belt and the block chain effectuates the driving of the conveyor belt through the overall conveyor belt system. The block chain is composed of a number of links, at least some of which include a respective hook/protrusion on one side thereof, for being directly engaged by drum bars implemented within a drum assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: ZERO TENSION SYSTEM, LLC
    Inventor: Larry J. Mueller
  • Patent number: 9815630
    Abstract: A direct-drive spiral conveyor and a method for operating a spiral conveyor in which a sideflexing conveyor belt is positively driven in a helical path about the periphery of a rotating cylindrical drive drum. Parallel drive members extend in length along the periphery from the top to the bottom of the drive drum. The drive members engage drive faces on the inside edge of the conveyor belt and positively drive the inside edges along the helical path. The helical path is steeper at the entrance end—the bottom in an upgoing spiral, the top in a downgoing spiral—than at the opposite exit end and along a majority of the path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Oscar R. Coto
  • Patent number: 9791201
    Abstract: A spiral chiller and a method of chilling a food product in a spiral chiller using a cooling medium wherein (a) the food product is conveyed within the chiller by a spiral conveyor having a plurality of spiral flutes and (b) the cooling medium is discharged either upwardly and/or downwardly within, and/or laterally into, one or more vertical gaps between adjacent pairs of spiral flutes using one or more delivery duct structures which extend inside the interior of the product chilling chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: Unitherm Food Systems, LLC
    Inventor: David Howard
  • Patent number: 9604788
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor belt system generally includes a rotatable cage, a first drive mechanism for rotating the cage about an axis in a first direction, an endless conveyor belt supported by the cage and a rotatable free wheel. The cage drives the conveyor belt along a helical path in a first direction and the rotatable free wheel rotates about an axis in a second direction opposite the first direction for guiding the endless conveyor belt from the cage along a return path and back to the cage. A second drive mechanism is preferably provided for rotating the free wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: TARPAULIN.COM, INC.
    Inventors: Niv Eldor, Erik Barcus, Ronald DeGennaro
  • Patent number: 9440793
    Abstract: To prevent the production of metal powder in a conveyor device for conveying food (12), and prevent the contact pressure and wearing from increasing at the slide portion between a conveyor belt (15a, 15b, 15c and 15d) and a guide rail (82) in a low temperature environment. A conveyor device for conveying food includes a large number of round bars (60) which forms the conveyor belt (15a, 15b, 15c and 15d), coupling members (62) which are fixed to both ends of each of the round bars (60), a guide rail (82) which slidably supports the conveyor belt (15a, 15b, 15c and 15d), and a slide block (78) fixed to each round bar (60) and configured to slide on the guide rail (82). The coupling members (62) includes rotatable rollers (74), the rollers (74) mesh with a sprocket (48, 50), and the sprocket (48, 50) conveys the conveyor belt (15a, 15b, 15c and 15d) in a conveyance direction. The rollers (74) and the meshing portion of the sprocket (48, 50) include a wear resistant resin member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: MAYEKAWA MFG. CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Tomohiko Matsuzaki, Kou Ishikura, Takayuki Sekita, Takeshi Chimura, Takayuki Kishi, Akira Sekino
  • Patent number: 9409715
    Abstract: A conveyor comprises two helical conveying tracks and a bridging track which connects the two helical conveying tracks to each other such that products can be transported upwardly via one helical conveying track, then via the bridging track to the other helical conveying track and subsequently downwardly via the other helical conveying track. The conveyor is provided with a driveable endless conveyor belt which follows at least one of the helical conveying tracks, at least a part of the bridging track and a return track. The return track at the one helical conveying track has a vertically oriented portion and a horizontally oriented portion. The horizontally oriented portion is disposed below the bridging track and extends beyond the vertically oriented portion with respect to the center line of the one helical conveying track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Assignee: AMBAFLEX INTERNATIONAL B.V.
    Inventor: Wouter Balk
  • Patent number: 9394109
    Abstract: A spiral conveyor for positively driving a hinged, modular conveyor belt along a helical path. The spiral conveyor includes a rotating cylindrical tower with parallel drive members extending from the bottom to the top of the tower on its periphery. Each drive member includes an outwardly protruding ridge extending from the bottom to the top of the tower for engaging the inside edges of the belt. In one version, the ridges at the entrance end of the spiral are movable to provide a gradually decreasing spacing between consecutive ridges as the belt enters the spiral. In another version, alignment elements at the entrance end align belt-edge structure with the tip ends of associated ridges to help engagement. In another version, the ridges at a discharge end of the tower are retractable between an extended position driving the belt and a retracted position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Casper Fedde Talsma, David W. Bogle, Achraf Elhassouni, David A. Wickham
  • Patent number: 9371190
    Abstract: A lateral chain link for conveyor belts, particularly for food, includes a substantially U-shaped body wherein the front portion is shaped to be inserted between two facing end parts of a rear portion of a facing identical link. The front portion has two longitudinally extending symmetrical slots for the passage and traverse of an end portion of a first rod-like element of a conveyor belt. The rear portion has an opening on one of its end parts, for inserting an end portion of an additional rod-like element. The outer rear end part has a contoured lateral tab for meshing with a toothed wheel, or belt, of associated entrainment means, and has a lower tipping-preventing side wall. The link is constituted by two parts which are mutually joined with a reversible fixing component: a first part includes the U-shaped body, and the second part includes the lateral tab and lower tipping-preventing side wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2016
    Assignee: ALIT S.R.L.
    Inventors: Michele Rettore, Nicola Infanti, Mirco Malaman
  • Patent number: 9334121
    Abstract: A modular spiral belt constructed of a series of hingedly interconnected belt modules arranged in a helical stack. The modular spiral belt includes outer side plates that include openings for airflow and inner side plates that are solid to block airflow. The openings may include valves for selectively opening and closing the openings. A locking mechanism may lock two tiers together. A hold down may apply pressure to prevent destacking of the belt, or a guide may be disposed with the helical stack for preventing destacking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignee: Laitram, L.L.C.
    Inventors: David W. Bogle, Alejandro J. Talbott, Robert L. Rosen
  • Patent number: 9227783
    Abstract: A conveyor for conveying products comprises at least a drivable helically-shaped inner track conveyor member and a drivable helically-shaped outer track conveyor member. The outer track conveyor member surrounds the inner track conveyor member. The pitches of the inner track conveyor member and the outer track conveyor member are different.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2016
    Assignee: Specialty Conveyor B.V.
    Inventors: Wouter Balk, Johannes Wilhelmus Broers
  • Patent number: 9181041
    Abstract: A conveyor for buffering products comprises at least first and second drivable curved conveyor parts, which are spaced from each other in horizontal direction. At least, the first conveyor part has at least an inner track and an outer track, wherein the outer track is adjacent to the inner track and disposed at the outside bend side of the inner track. The second conveyor part has at least a second conveyor part track, wherein one end of the outer track of the first conveyor part is coupled to one end of the second conveyor part track. An other end of the second conveyor part track is coupled to one end of the inner track of the first conveyor part. The first and second conveyor parts are at least partly helically-shaped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: Specialty Conveyor B.V.
    Inventors: Johannes Wilhelmus Broers, Wouter Balk