Sorting Eggs Or Components Thereof Patents (Class 209/510)
  • Patent number: 9835593
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an apparatus and a method for determining cracked eggs by driving vibrations without hitting eggs. The apparatus for determining cracked eggs comprises an integral type sensor and actuator which carries out applying a vibration to an egg in the state of contacting with the egg and detecting a vibration response signal corresponding to the vibration from the egg at the same time; a determination unit for determining whether or not the egg is cracked based on at least one of a resonance frequency and a quality factor of the vibration response signal detected from the integral type sensor and actuator; and a transport unit for moving the integral type sensor and actuator or the egg relatively to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Inventor: Jung Keun Kim
  • Patent number: 9656301
    Abstract: A sorting system having a plurality of sorting assemblies where each sorting assembly has an image device that transmits an image of product to a controller that then actuates a robotic sorting device to remove damaged product through a suction tube based upon the transmitted image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: K. B. C. Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas R. Johnston, Curt Mathew Davis
  • Patent number: 9532552
    Abstract: A device, assembled to subject at least one egg that normally has a longitudinal direction between a blunt end and a pointed end to a processing in a predetermined orientation of the longitudinal direction of the egg, such as injection or vaccination, candling or vacuum or grabber based pick-up. The device includes a processing station arranged to subject the egg to the processing; a holder arranged to hold the egg in said predetermined orientation for the processing station to subject the egg to the processing. The holder includes a support, arranged to engage one of said two ends of the egg; and a cylindrical accommodation comprising at least two arms extending from the support in use in the longitudinal direction of the egg to engage the egg at a distance from the support, wherein the arms are flexible and the cylindrical accommodation is curved in correspondence with the circumferential shape of the egg. The arms are arranged to yield and align the egg when the arms move over the egg.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Assignee: VISCON B.V.
    Inventor: Nicolaas Karel Van De Zande
  • Patent number: 8916156
    Abstract: A method for separating proteins and fats from an egg mixture is disclosed herein. The method includes a step of microfiltration of the egg mixture, wherein microfiltration includes pumping across a filter an egg mixture containing egg yolk and egg whites (albumen). An egg powder obtained from egg and a high gel strength egg powder are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Rembrandt Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: David Mason
  • Publication number: 20140226870
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a food processing device, for example but not exclusively, a gripper, a conveying hook, or a collection cup (1), having at least one processing surface portion of matt stainless steel having the following roughness characteristics:—a roughness value Ra, 0.2?Ra?1.2 (?m), and—a peak density value Rpc, 40<Rpc<140 (1/cm). It has been found that with devices treated in this manner, the application of vision technology is appreciably improved, so that much more reliable images are obtained. An example of this concerns observing yolk in albumen upon the breaking of eggs in egg breakers. Further, a particularly advantageous combination of usefulness is obtained, in this case for vision and cleanability.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 27, 2012
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Applicant: Moba Group B.V.
    Inventors: Eddy Alfred Herre Van Der Goot, Rudolf Veeneman
  • Patent number: 8642038
    Abstract: A method for separating proteins and fats from an egg mixture is disclosed herein. The method includes a step of microfiltration of the egg mixture, wherein microfiltration includes pumping across a filter an egg mixture containing egg yolk and egg whites (albumen). An egg powder obtained from egg and a high gel strength egg powder are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Rembrandt Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: David Mason
  • Publication number: 20130008475
    Abstract: An egg transfer system for providing automated inspection and tracking of eggs prior to entering an egg breaker, as well as broken egg contents following breaking, and in which the transfer system includes a series of processing and inspection component interfacing with a central processor for grading and segregating the eggs into one of a number of classes including removal eggs. Removal gates are provided at intermediate locations of the egg transfer system, prior to the egg breakers, and are associated with removal of varying classes of eggs. The central processor interfaces with the various stations in order to assemble a dedicated data packet of egg related data which is assigned to a progressing location on the egg conveyor upon which a specified egg is located, and which can further include the central processor assigning the data packet to a location subsequent to the breakers holding specified shell egg contents.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 24, 2011
    Publication date: January 10, 2013
    Applicant: FPS FOOD PROCESSING SYSTEMS, B.V.
    Inventor: Jonathan D. Robinson
  • Publication number: 20110253603
    Abstract: Device (1) for inspecting and transferring eggs from a prehatching drawer (4) to a hatching tray (5), in which the device (1) contains two conveyor belts (2-3) that can respectively convey prehatching drawers (4) with prehatched eggs and empty hatching trays (5), whereby the device (1) contains an inspection unit (7) that has means to enable the prehatched eggs to be inspected, whereby the inspection unit (7) contains a transfer unit (8) to remove the rejected eggs from the prehatching drawer (4), whereby the device (1) contains at least one egg placement module (10-11) that can take all eggs out of a prehatching drawer (4) simultaneously and can separately place one or more of the eggs taken out.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2011
    Publication date: October 20, 2011
    Inventor: Philip Karel Marie-Louise VAN DE LOO
  • Patent number: 7597280
    Abstract: Apparatus for separating the organic membrane portion and the non-organic mineral portion of broken egg shells includes at least one separating tank into which a slurry of water and finely ground egg shells is introduced. A plurality of overlapping vanes is in the interior of the tank. Separated low specific gravity membrane is withdrawn from near the top of the tank for dewatering and drying; the separated high specific gravity mineral portion is withdrawn from near the bottom of the tank for drying. Water from the dewatering means is returned to the bottom of the tank with sufficient force to cause an upward serpentine flow past the vanes, but not so as to preclude the settling of the mineral portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2009
    Assignee: Eggshell Resources Inc.
    Inventors: Roberto V. Floh, Sergio Leonardo Jalfen
  • Publication number: 20090218257
    Abstract: A system for sorting and packaging products, chosen from the group consisting of eggs and fruit (10), the system comprising: —a sorting machine with at least one single sorting track (1) with carriers; —at least one sensor for determining at least one characteristic of each product (10); —the control being adapted to classify a said product in accordance with the at least one characteristic; —a plurality of packaging conveyors (2) for supplying and discharging packaging units, such as boxes, crates or trays, crossing the sorting track and extending above the sorting track; —wherein adjacent each packaging conveyor a transferring device (3) is provided at the level of or higher than the packaging conveyor, arranged for taking over a said product from a carrier and for placing the product from above into a packaging unit (20) on the corresponding packaging conveyor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2007
    Publication date: September 3, 2009
    Inventor: Leonardus Paulus Crezee
  • Publication number: 20080217216
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for removing undesirable products, for instance eggs or fruits, from a stream of products which are fed in at least one single row on well-defined positions of an endless feed conveyor, for instance lying on rollers of a roller conveyor, and which are transferred in conveying direction to and onto at least one single row of an endless follow-on conveyor which is placed at virtually the same height in alignment with said feed conveyor, wherein the transfer of each product is carried out by a product transfer element which, upon transfer, takes up a transfer position between and in alignment with the two said rows, wherein the said undesirable products are removed from the stream of products at the end of said feed conveyor, wherein the product transfer element is energized and is removed from the transfer position, wherein the product transfer element takes up the transfer position only during transfer of the products from the feed conveyor to and onto the follow-on convey
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 17, 2006
    Publication date: September 11, 2008
    Applicant: FPS FOOD PROCESSING SYSTEMS B.V.
    Inventor: Hendrikus Louis Stephanus De Vlaam
  • Patent number: 7333187
    Abstract: Identifying live eggs includes: a) illuminating eggs with light; b) receiving light passing through each egg at a light detector; c) generating an output signal that corresponds to light received at a light detector for each respective egg; d) analyzing the output signals to identify an indication of an external disturbance; e) analyzing the output signal for each egg to identify the existence of an embryo heart rate and/or embryo movement; and f) designating an egg as a live egg in response to identifying embryo heart rate and/or embryo movement. Steps a) through d) are repeated if output signals from a predetermined number of eggs contain an indication of an external disturbance to the eggs. Steps a) through f) are repeated if the number of eggs designated as live exceeds an expected number, or if embryo movement occurs at about the same time in a predetermined number of eggs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2008
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventor: John H. Hebrank
  • Patent number: 7167579
    Abstract: An accuracy of the sex determination which is visually inspected by human based on a reference drawing of an egg shape prepared for every parent chicken is insufficient and it takes much time to perform such a determination. Thus, the sex of the fertilized egg is determined by using parameters representing features developed on a surface shape of the above described fertilized egg which are quantified based on contour image data of the above described fertilized egg obtained by taking an image of the fertilized egg which is placed on a setting stand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2007
    Assignees: Kabusiki Kaisya Horiuchi, Towa Sangyo Kabusiki Kaisya
    Inventor: Ryosuke Taniguchi
  • Patent number: 7080737
    Abstract: A method is provided for automatically sorting and packing batches of products, such as, for instance, eggs or fruits which are each provided with an origin code. The method includes supplying first batches of coded products to a sorting apparatus and simultaneously assigning the corresponding codes to fields of a register of a computer program. The products are subjected to criteria in at least one classification apparatus and the products are marked with classification data as obtained with the classification apparatus, while for each individual product the codes and the data are assembled with the computer program in fields of the register to form a label. The classified products are sorted and subsequently packaged to form second, sorted batches of products at packing stations of a packing apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2006
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems B.V.
    Inventors: Paul Buisman, Peter Richard Neumann
  • Patent number: 7007806
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for abrading the membrane portion of waste egg shells from the hard mineral portion thereof, is provided. The linking structure between the membrane and shell is initially abraded such that the membrane particles and shell particles can be passively dissociated thereafter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Assignee: The Penn State Research Foundation
    Inventor: Joseph H. MacNeil
  • Patent number: 6805244
    Abstract: A method for making a quality determination in avian eggs, such as relating to fertility or hatching or hatchling viability, comprises the following activities. A process line is equipped to process an endless succession of eggs at an early opportunity. The process line has an ultrasound inspection station for the eggs. The ultrasound inspection results are analyzed to make a finding correlatable to the egg's shell quality, which in turn is correlatable to such quality factors as fertility or hatching or hatchling viability. A sorting determination is made based on this analysis as to which output category the egg should be sorted. The output categories might number three or so including qualified premium as for graduation to hatchery operation, not qualified for hatchery but not waste, and flunked because unusable and hence waste. The intermediate category might include graded for pet consumption.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Ultra Hatch, Inc.
    Inventor: L. Taizo Toelken
  • Publication number: 20040099579
    Abstract: A system for sorting articles includes a conveyor transporting the articles in conveying zones. An identifier directed at an identification zone on the conveyor identifies an article bearing a particular characteristic. A sliding gate coupled to the conveyor at a removal zone on the conveyor downstream from the identification zone is arranged below the articles and controlled by the identifier to open when the article bearing the characteristic passes the removal zone. The sliding gate opens parallel to the conveyor and either in the conveyor direction or the direction opposing the conveyor direction. The sliding gate provides an opening of the same length as the conveying zone. A device for sorting articles includes a sliding gate on the conveyor at a removal zone. The sliding gate is arranged below the articles and controlled by an identifier to open when an article bearing a characteristic passes the removal zone.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 22, 2002
    Publication date: May 27, 2004
    Inventor: Leslie Thomas
  • Patent number: 6637599
    Abstract: A device for monitoring the normal operation of weighing instruments (X1, X2, and X3) for chicken eggs used in a weight grading apparatus A for chicken eggs has a judging device 12 for monitoring the normal and abnormal operation of the weighing instruments (X1, X2, and X3) depending on whether or not the weight detected by the weighing instruments (X1, X2, and X3) indicates a predetermined state, as well as a display 13 for outputting a result of judgement by the judging device 12.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Naberu
    Inventor: Kunio Nambu
  • Publication number: 20030136711
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for abrading the membrane portion of waste egg shells from the hard mineral portion thereof, is provided. The linking structure between the membrane and shell is initially abraded such that the membrane particles and shell particles can be passively dissociated thereafter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2002
    Publication date: July 24, 2003
    Inventor: Joseph H. MacNeil
  • Patent number: 6488156
    Abstract: A method for verification of the presence of a living embryo in an incubating poultry egg. The method comprises the steps of: causing at least two electrodes to make conductive contact with the outside surface of the shell of an egg; amplifying any of the analog signals received via two of the at least two electrodes; analyzing the signals after amplification, using a program in a microprocessor, to establish whether the signals originated in the cardiac activity of the embryo; and providing information confirming or negating the presence of a living embryo in the egg. The invention also provides a corresponding system for carrying out the method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2002
    Inventor: Michael Cohen
  • Patent number: 6427844
    Abstract: An apparatus for classifying a plurality of poultry eggs includes means for detecting the opacities of the eggs, means for detecting the temperatures of the eggs, and means for classifying the eggs using the opacities and the temperatures of the eggs. A method for classifying poultry eggs includes measuring the opacities of the eggs, measuring the temperatures of the eggs, and classifying the eggs as a function of the opacities and the temperatures of the eggs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventor: John H. Hebrank
  • Patent number: 6373560
    Abstract: An apparatus for candling eggs includes a transmission system of a luminous flux directed towards the egg to be examined and located in its incubation rack a reception device of the luminous flux transmitted after passing through the mass of the egg, and an automatic analyzer of the recorded signals. The transmission system and the reception device are arranged in a vertical plane or a substantially vertical plane, one beneath the eggs to be examined and the other above the latter. A screen protects the transmission system against smears originating from the eggs in the incubation racks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: ECMAS
    Inventor: Roland Roux
  • Publication number: 20020014444
    Abstract: An apparatus for classifying a plurality of poultry eggs includes means for detecting the opacities of the eggs, means for detecting the temperatures of the eggs, and means for classifying the eggs using the opacities and the temperatures of the eggs. A method for classifying poultry eggs includes measuring the opacities of the eggs, measuring the temperatures of the eggs, and classifying the eggs as a function of the opacities and the temperatures of the eggs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 2, 2001
    Publication date: February 7, 2002
    Inventor: John H. Hebrank
  • Patent number: 6234320
    Abstract: An apparatus for classifying a plurality of poultry eggs includes means for detecting the opacities of the eggs, means for detecting the temperatures of the eggs, and means for classifying the eggs using the opacities and the temperatures of the eggs. A method for classifying poultry eggs includes measuring the opacities of the eggs, measuring the temperatures of the eggs, and classifying the eggs as a function of the opacities and the temperatures of the eggs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2001
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventor: John H. Hebrank
  • Patent number: 6176376
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for separating the membrane portion of waste egg shells from the hard mineral portion thereof, so that each can be used or further processed as desired, thereby addressing the environmental and economic issues associated with disposing of waste egg shells. The membrane and shell are separated by first processing waste egg shells so as to yield small waste egg shell particles. During this processing, the waste egg shell particles are at least slightly abraded, whereby the linking structure between the membrane and shell is at least partially disrupted. Thereafter, the waste egg shell particles are conveyed to a tank containing, preferably, water, and allowed to settle therethrough. As the waste egg shell particles settle, the particles experience turbulent forces in the liquid which cause the membrane and shell portions to fully separate. Since the membrane particles are very light, they tend to remain entrained in the liquid, where they are, for example, siphoned off and dewatered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2001
    Assignee: The Penn State Research Foundation
    Inventor: Joseph H. MacNeil
  • Patent number: 6145668
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided for removing clear avian eggs from a moving egg flat without contacting the removed eggs and without contaminating the eggs remaining within the egg flat. Clear eggs are identified by passing an egg flat between respective pairs of light sources and light detectors and detecting the amount of light that passes through each egg. Clear eggs are then ejected from the moving egg flat into a stationary receptacle located above the moving egg flat by applying a first stream of air to the lower end of the clear egg. A second stream of air may also be applied to the egg after the egg has been lifted from the egg flat by the first stream of air. This second stream of air is applied to the egg along a direction substantially transverse to the first stream of air. A third stream of air may be utilized to dislodge an egg from a stuck condition prior to being ejected from the egg flat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel T. DePauw, John H. Hebrank, Robert L. Ilich
  • Patent number: 6029424
    Abstract: An apparatus for conveying, cleaning, drying, oiling, candling, grading and packing eggs and high speeds. A main conveyor assembly, which includes two or more conveyors, transfers eggs continuously in spaced-apart, aligned relationship to transfer at which eggs are packaged according to their previously-determined individual physical characteristics, such as weight, cracks, dirt, etc. The conveyors can run in the same direction, or may run in opposite directions. The transfers accommodate the at least two conveyors, and include a section which gathers ejected eggs and may convey them to a packing station in a manner which prevents egg collisions. The eject mechanism for ejecting eggs from the conveyors ensures proper distribution of the eggs across a transfer so as to prevent egg collisions and to ensure that the packers are filled equally across their widths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Diamond Automations, Inc.
    Inventors: John Christie McEvoy, James M. Nield, George Nelson Bliss
  • Patent number: 5696325
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for testing eggs by means of mechanical vibrations, comprising: support means for supporting an egg for testing; an exciter for exciting the egg for testing; a transducer for receiving the vibrations generated in the egg by the exciter and for converting the vibrations into electrical signals; and a measuring instrument connected to the transducer for analyzing the electrical signals coming from the transducer, wherein the exciter is adapted to excite the egg for testing with a single blow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 9, 1997
    Assignee: K. U. Leuven Research & Development
    Inventors: Peter Marie-Jozef Maurits Willem Coucke, Josse Guillaume Philemon De Baerdemaeker, Eddy Marie Paul Decuypere
  • Patent number: 5520938
    Abstract: Reduced cholesterol, low fat eggs are obtained. At least a twenty-five percent reduction in cholesterol is achieved over normal levels for the grade size. The reduction can be achieved by weight monitoring of the egg, size monitoring of the yolk through candling, and selecting eggs from high producing, young, and high clutch chickens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 28, 1996
    Assignee: Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
    Inventor: John R. Brunnquell
  • Patent number: 5168977
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for releasing articles from holders mounted on a conveyor travelling at varying speeds, the varying ballistic trajectory of the released articles being automatically compensated for, depending on the speed of the conveyor, by shifting the discharge locations of the article holders. One or more adjacent ones of the releasing members for each delivery station, arranged side by side in the direction of travel of the conveyor, are fixed against movement in the direction of movement of the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1992
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems B.V.
    Inventors: Henk van Essen, Telle van der Schoot
  • Patent number: 5167317
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for transferring discrete articles such as eggs or fruit from a conveyor having at least one row of article holders to a receiver having a resilient upwardly facing portion which then carries the articles generally horizontally to a receiving station. The upwardly facing portion has a resilient structure including for example brush bristles or an air bellows.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1992
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems B.V.
    Inventors: Jelle van der Schoot, Willem C. M. Arends
  • Patent number: 5160019
    Abstract: The invention relates to a carrier for articles such as fruits, eggs, comprising a frame, two gripper members each having a free end in which an opening is provided for receiving an article between the free ends, the free ends of the gripper being movable relative to each other in such a way that an article can be received between the ends and subsequently released therefrom, wherein one of the gripper members consists of two parts and the two parts are mounted under a spring load on one and the same shaft for pivotal movement relative to each other. The axis of the shaft on which the pivoting gripper member is mounted for pivotal movement, is parallel to the direction of travel of a conveyor, for instance a chain, to which the shaft is connected. The other gripper member is fixedly connected to the conveyor, for instance a chain part. The invention further relates to a conveying apparatus comprising such a carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1992
    Assignee: Staalkat B.V.
    Inventor: Leonardus J. Temming
  • Patent number: 5131274
    Abstract: A procedure and apparatus is provided for the examination of eggs to determine the presence of cracks or holes in the egg shell through the examination of the resiliency of the shell. This procedure and apparatus are characterized by the subjection of the egg to an examination cycle which consists in exercising intermittent pressure on at least a section of the egg shell by a movably mounted probe to create a series of in principle elastic deformations, where each subsequent deformation in the series is caused by the shell's action on the probe as a reaction to the immediately preceding deformation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1992
    Assignee: Terpa Poultry B.V.
    Inventor: Kurt O. P. Schouenborg
  • Patent number: 5121635
    Abstract: An apparatus for handling an object such as fruit having a major axis, includes at least one roller and a drive unit. The roller frictionally engages the object. The drive unit rotates the roller at a speed sufficient to cause the major axis of the object to be reoriented in a predetermined direction. This facilitates measuring the size and density of objects in a consistent manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1992
    Assignee: Agri-Tech Incorporated
    Inventors: Robert A. Coffelt, Tracy J. Kahl, John A. Low
  • Patent number: 5101954
    Abstract: An article conveying method in which an article are held by a plurality of carriage provided on an endless recirculating distributing conveyer and discharged at a discharge station positioned in the passageway of the conveyer, each carriage including a discharge unit for discharging an article at the discharge station and a holding unit for holding another article until the discharge unit discharges the article, comprising the steps of: shifting the another article held by the holding unit to the discharge unit during the time when the carriage concerned is carried to the next discharge station after the discharge unit discharges the article at the first discharge station to discharge the another article at the next discharge station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1992
    Assignee: Nambu Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kunio Nambu
  • Patent number: 5030001
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for testing and further processing eggs. According to the invention the eggs upon being supplied are first tested automatically for such major damage as open breaks and/or such dirt as blood stains. Further, each egg is scanned with a beam of light directed at the egg shell and the size of the aperture in the shell or any dirt is measured by a multiple transducer, viz. by counting the number of bright and dark pixels, respectively, and thus establishing the size of the damage or dirt, whereafter through comparison with set values it is automatically determined in what category of damage or contamination the egg in question is to be classified. The invention also relates to apparatus for carrying out this method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1991
    Assignee: Staalkat B.V.
    Inventor: Johan E. vande Vis
  • Patent number: 5017003
    Abstract: The automatic sorter ovoscope of the invention is characterized in that it comprises a light box (6) arranged under a candling head (1) which is provided with at least one suction cup (9) intended to take by suction eggs, one by one, and which is provided with vacuum means and with light sensitive means, while a device for controlling the vacuum means allows to apply by suction each suction cup to an egg to be candled and to appreciate its transparency as a function of the light intensity coming from the light box (6) and reaching the light sensitive means, the control device being servo-controlled by the signal from said light sensitive means so that the suction cup may retain by suction the egg when the signal from the light sensitive means indicates that a predetermined transparency of the egg is exceeded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1991
    Assignee: Breuil, S.A.
    Inventors: Bernard Keromnes, Jean-Pierre Breuil
  • Patent number: 4955728
    Abstract: The invention is an apparatus for using infrared radiation to distinguish between live and dead poultry eggs. The apparatus comprises a plurality of infrared sensors, means for moving a fixed array of eggs to a predetermined aligned position with respect to the infrared sensors. The apparatus records the infrared radiation emitted by each egg in the array, and calculates a threshold temperature from the individual temperatures for which 70 percent of the eggs measured in the fixed array are cooler. The apparatus includes means for removing dead eggs from the fixed array which are identified as having temperatures more than one degree Fahrenheit cooler than the threshold temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 11, 1990
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventor: John H. Hebrank
  • Patent number: 4944411
    Abstract: A position indicator device for conveyed objects having a checking area disposed in a conveying passage where a plurality of objects are unidirectionally conveyed while being aligned in a conveying direction and a direction normal thereto; an indicator manually movable to a position of a target object within the checking area for indicating a position of the same; and an indicator-position detector for detecting a two-dimensional position of the indicator within the checking area. The checking area includes a plurality of beam emitters operable together to project beams of light in a grating form within the area and a plurality of beam receivers each operable to receive a light beam from a corresponding emitter. The indicator acts as a beam-blocking member for blocking the beam transmission between the emitter and receiver. The indicator-position detector detects a position within the checking area of the indicator based on a position information of the receiver blocked by the indicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1988
    Date of Patent: July 31, 1990
    Assignee: Kyowa Machinery Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Junzo Fukushima
  • Patent number: 4919798
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for sorting articles passing an inspection station and subsequently removing selected articles from a transporting track. The position of the articles to be removed is determined by means of a pointer positioned next to an article during its movement along the inspection station, and the position moves along with the transporting track. A signal is generated by the pointer for removing the article from the track. The position of the article is determined by the pointer and at least two fixed points on either side of the inspection station. The pointer and the fixed points are fitted with an ultrasonic transmitter and a receiver, respectively, or the other way round, or with a combined transmitter/receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1989
    Date of Patent: April 24, 1990
    Assignee: Staalkat B.V.
    Inventors: Peter A. von Asselt, Jan Hordyk
  • Patent number: 4914672
    Abstract: The invention is a method of distinguishing between live and dead poultry eggs. The method comprises monitoring the individual temperatures of the selected group of eggs and then using the monitored individual egg temperatures to determine a comparative egg temperature for the selected group. The difference between each individual egg temperature and the comparative egg temperature of the selected group is determined, and dead eggs are identified on the basis of the difference between their monitored individual temperatures and the comparative egg temperature of the selected group.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 3, 1990
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventor: John H. Hebrank
  • Patent number: 4805778
    Abstract: An apparatus for the manipulation of products, comprising a conveyor for conveying a plurality of products in a prescribed path, a locator for emitting light at the position of a specific product out of the plurality of products being conveyed in a detection zone on the path of the conveyor a video sensor and a microcomputer for receiving the light and, based on the received light, issuing a position coodinate signal indicating the position of the specific product in the detection zone, a conveyor speed detector for detecting the speed of the conveyor and issuing a travel speed signal corresponding to the speed, a microcomputer for issuing a current position coordinate signal indicating the position of the specific product in a separation zone of the conveyor situated downstream relative to the detection zone based on the position coordinate signal issued by the video sensor and microcomputer and the travel speed signal issued by the conveyor speed detector, and a removing device for giving necessary treatmen
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1987
    Date of Patent: February 21, 1989
    Assignee: Nambu Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yukio Nambu
  • Patent number: 4776465
    Abstract: An apparatus for transferring eggs continuously conveyed in spaced-apart, aligned relationship by a conveyor to a receiving station at which eggs are packaged according to their individual physical characteristics. A frame on which solenoid-actuated plungers are mounted is disposed adjacent the conveyor at the receiving station for releasing eggs having the same physical characteristics from the conveyor in a predetermined sequence at the receiving station. The frame is movable with respect to the receiving station according to the speed of the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1985
    Date of Patent: October 11, 1988
    Assignee: Diamond Automations, Inc.
    Inventors: John C. McEvoy, George N. Bliss, Leslie P. Thomas
  • Patent number: 4775051
    Abstract: An apparatus for sorting and removing undesirable objects from a feed belt conveyor which passes an inspection station, while downstream of the inspection station there is arranged a "trapdoor" and subsequently a discharge conveyor. The undesirable objects can be discharged through the trapdoor, which undesirable objects can be defined as such upstream of the trapdoor by human or automatic detection. The location of the objects in question can for instance be defined by a "tracking" memory (shift register) and remains known at least as far as the trapdoor. In an apparatus more particularly adapted for processing vulnerable objects, such as eggs, the feed belt conveyor and the discharge belt conveyor are substantially aligned, there being arranged at least adjacent the trapdoor disposed between the belts, a turnstile, a chain having carriers (FIG. 2) or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1987
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1988
    Assignee: Staalkat B.V.
    Inventor: Jelle van der Schoot
  • Patent number: 4765487
    Abstract: An automatic article stacking system wherein a plurality of articles to be stacked are arranged in layers prior to being stacked. The layers are advantageously arranged horizontally orthogonal to one another so as to enhance the stability of the stack. A measurement system is provided for determining whether any of the articles exceeds a predetermined size limit. In one embodiment which is arranged for stacking egg cartons, a determination that the egg carton exceeds the predetermined size limit signifies that the egg carton is open and, therefore, not in a form suitable for stacking. The open egg carton is conveyed under an elevator which accumulates the articles to be stacked, and to a discharge area. Thus, closed egg cartons are accumulated in layers and stacked. Successive layers of articles are stacked under prior stacked layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1986
    Date of Patent: August 23, 1988
    Assignee: Diamond Automations, Inc.
    Inventor: George N. Bliss
  • Patent number: 4569444
    Abstract: An apparatus for transferring eggs continuously conveyed in spaced-apart, aligned relationship by a conveyor to a receiving station at which eggs are packaged according to their individual physical characteristics. A frame on which solenoid-actuated plungers are mounted is disposed adjacent the conveyor at the receiving station for releasing eggs having the same physical characteristics from the conveyor in a predetermined sequence at the receiving station. The frame is movable with respect to the receiving station according to the speed of the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1982
    Date of Patent: February 11, 1986
    Assignee: Diamond Automations, Inc.
    Inventors: John C. McEvoy, George N. Bliss, Leslie P. Thomas
  • Patent number: 4487321
    Abstract: An article coding and separating system such as for instance, in which articles or defective eggs which are randomly dispersed in a plurality of similar articles are coded and their location identified. An elongated pivotally mounted pointer is disposed so as to be pivotable over an inspection area in mutually orthogonal directions, parallel and transverse to the longitudinal axis of a conveyor, and axially movable towards and away from the articles being conveyed. The pointer generates signals for simultaneously indicating the position of articles on the conveyor within the inspection area, and the type of article being identified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1982
    Date of Patent: December 11, 1984
    Assignee: Diamond Automations, Inc.
    Inventor: George N. Bliss
  • Patent number: 4195735
    Abstract: A sorting device, particularly for trout and fish eggs which is of the type having an inclined wall against which the eggs are launched and caused to rebound a distance apart depending on the resilience thereof. Collecting means are provided for receiving the eggs according to their different trajectories. The device comprises a tank for receiving eggs and water having a rotating drum associated therewith having a plurality of cups on the outer surface thereof. Each cup is adapted to receive one egg therein and the cups are arranged in parallel transverse rows. The bottom of the cups is perforated so as to permit the water to be discharged therefrom. A fan is provided in order to dry the eggs in the cups through the perforated bottom thereof and a pneumatic launching device serves to launch the eggs against the inclined wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1978
    Date of Patent: April 1, 1980
    Inventor: Adriano Facchinelli