Color Detection Patents (Class 209/580)
  • Patent number: 10298887
    Abstract: An imaging system for and method of imaging product in a product flow (F), the system comprising: an illumination unit for illuminating product in the product flow with illumination at first and second, different wavelengths or ranges of different wavelengths; a detector unit (15) for detecting reflected illumination from product in the product flow, wherein the detector unit comprises first and second line array detectors, the line array detectors (17a, 17b) each comprising a plurality of pixel elements and extending as lines across a width of the product flow, one line downstream of the other, whereby product passing a pixel element of the first line array detector passes a corresponding pixel element of the second line array detector; a control unit for triggering the first and second illumination sources to flash sequentially at a scan rate corresponding to the flow rate of the product flow; and an image processing unit for successively reading the pixel lines of the first and second line array detectors
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: BUHLER SORTEX LTD
    Inventor: Stewart Mills
  • Patent number: 10126247
    Abstract: An inspection system for inspecting rubber crumb includes a conveyor, lighting, a camera, and a controller. The conveyor is used to carry the rubber crumb. The lighting is positioned above the conveyor to illuminate the rubber crumb with at least 3,500 lumens. The camera is positioned adjacent to the lighting to take images of the illuminated rubber crumb in the lighted area. The controller receives the images from the camera and detects a contamination in the rubber crumb by determining whether there is a dark particle within the crumb. If a contamination is detected, it may be removed from the remaining rubber crumb.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: Zeon Chemicals L.P.
    Inventors: David J. McDonald, Mark Allen
  • Patent number: 9925566
    Abstract: An electronic product sorting system includes a conveying device; an image capturing device configured to capture at least one image of an electronic product; a storage unit configured to pre-store appearance characteristic information of a plurality of predetermined electronic products; a processing unit coupled to the image capturing device and the storage unit, configured to determine appearance characteristic information of the electronic product according to the at least one image of the electronic product, and generate a comparison result by comparing the appearance characteristic information of the electronic product and the plurality of predetermined electronic products; and a sorting unit configured to sort the electronic product according to the comparison result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: LEADOT INNOVATION, INC.
    Inventor: Justin Wang
  • Patent number: 9920470
    Abstract: A method for capturing an item of laundry in a reliable and efficient manner. Washed items of laundry usually leave a washing machine intertwined with one another as a pile of laundry. Before the items of laundry that come out of a washing machine in this way are subjected to further treatment steps, for example mangling or sorting, they have to be separated. In the method, the topography of the item of laundry is ascertained and at least one point of the item of laundry at which the item of laundry is intended to be captured and/or preferably can be captured by a capturing means is determined on the basis of this topography. The item of laundry is captured by the capturing means by specific control of the capturing means at this point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: Herbert Kannegiesser GmbH
    Inventors: Frank Tautz, Engelbert Heinz
  • Patent number: 9795996
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for sorting objects is described, and which provides high-speed image data acquisition to fuse multiple data streams in real-time, while avoiding destructive interference when individual sensors or detectors are utilized in providing data regarding features of a product to be inspected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: Key Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Dirk Adams, Johan Calcoen, Timothy L. Justice, Gerald R. Richert
  • Patent number: 9751002
    Abstract: The current invention is an improvement to the random number generator described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,088,737. Random digits are generated by mixing ten differently colored balls in a transparent chamber. The entire surfaces of all the balls are uniformly colored and unmarked. None of the balls contains any electronic identification devices. A color sensor mounted near the settlement pocket of the mixing chamber emits data that is unique for each ball. A miniature computer and novel software correlate the data emitted for each of the ten balls with a different digit. One of the balls is randomly separated from the others and comes to rest near the color sensor without human intervention. The computer and its software record the digit that is correlated with the randomly separated ball and command a mini-projector to display the digit on the ball's surface in an upright position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Inventor: Alan Frank
  • Patent number: 9415429
    Abstract: A bin cleaning plant includes a bin destacking and overturning station, a plurality of bin washing stations, the whole being connected to a conveyor that transfers the bins in an orderly, continuous and sequential manner through the stations; and means that sense and measure the level of dirt present in each of said bins and that modify the washing process selectively for each of said bins according to the level of dirtiness detected. Preferably, the measurement and control means are connected to optical devices oriented toward the internal surfaces of the bins, and detect the optical/luminous/chromatic image reflected from their internal surfaces. The image is converted into one or more electrical signals with representative characteristics, which signals are compared with corresponding levels selectively predetermined and previously memorized. The measuring and control means control actuators suitable to control/drive one or more of the operating parameters of the washing station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: UNITEC S.P.A.
    Inventor: Luca Benedetti
  • Patent number: 9396453
    Abstract: A waste management system for associating a collected refuse bin with a corresponding user of that bin. The system comprises a GPS tracker unit on-board a collection vehicle for recording the GPS co-ordinates of each refuse bin during refuse collection therefrom by the collection vehicle. A central server is configured for communication with each of a plurality of collection vehicles so that the GPS co-ordinates of each refuse bin collected during a refuse collection may be communicated to the central server. The server is further configured to effect a datastore lookup for comparing the GPS co-ordinates of the collected refuse bins with pre-recorded geographical data of a plurality of users for associating each refuse bin to a corresponding user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: ADVANCED MANUFACTURING CONTROL SYSTEM LTD.
    Inventors: Eamon Hynes, James Martin
  • Patent number: 9156065
    Abstract: A sorting and inspection apparatus comprising a feed system for delivering a product stream sequentially through an imaging zone and a sorting zone, at least one tight source for illuminating a product at the imaging zone, at least one optical sensor and detector circuit for viewing at least a portion of the illuminated product at the imaging zone, for collecting viewed data, for determining a condition of that at least portion of the illuminated product from the viewed data and then for outputting a signal dependent upon the determined condition of that at least portion of the illuminated product, and at least one ejector for ejecting product at the sorting zone dependent upon the output signal. The imaging zone comprises at least two sensor zones, sequentially arranged one after another in a direction of the product stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: Buhler Sortex Ltd.
    Inventor: Anthony Hug
  • Patent number: 9096390
    Abstract: A conveyer apparatus for inspecting and processing pellet-shaped articles, each of the pellet-shaped articles including a first side and a second side, the conveyer apparatus comprising: a conveyer including a plurality of carrier links to convey a plurality of pellet-shaped articles along a predetermined conveyer path; a first inspection unit including at least one camera to inspect the first side and/or the second side of each of the pellet-shaped articles and determine an orientation of each of the pellet-shaped articles on the conveyer; a processing unit including at least two processing devices, each on an opposite side of the conveyer to process the first side and the second side of each of the pellet-shaped articles; and a second inspection unit including at least one camera on each side of the conveyer to inspect the first side and/or the second side of the pellet-shaped articles after processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: ACKLEY MACHINE CORPORATION
    Inventor: E. Michael Ackley
  • Patent number: 9024223
    Abstract: An optical type granule sorting machine is provided which allows a sensitivity setting to be easily performed by effectively utilizing RGB three-dimensional color space information similar to information obtained via human eyes and which enables signal processing to be substantially simplified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Satake Corporation
    Inventors: Tomoyuki Miyamoto, Hideaki Ishizu, Yoshikazu Tateishi, Masazumi Hara
  • Patent number: 8985342
    Abstract: Provided is a color sorting machine in which decreases in yield resulting from the erroneous inclusion of good granules can be prevented by using different selection algorithms and operation ejector nozzle operations resulting therefrom in a first sorting part and a second sorting part. The machine is provided with: a binarization means for binarizing images of granular objects, a flaw-detecting means for extracting flawed parts of granular objects, a reducing means for reducing images of the external contour parts of granular objects, an enlarging means for enlarging images of the flawed parts of granular objects, and a synthesis means for synthesizing the reduced images of the external contours and the enlarged images of the flawed parts; wherein on the basis of an image obtained by this synthesis means, different air-jetting operations are established for the ejection means of a first sorting part and the ejection means of a second sorting part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Satake Corporation
    Inventor: Norihiko Tanaka
  • Publication number: 20150076042
    Abstract: An optical type granule sorting machine is provided which allows a sensitivity setting to be easily performed by effectively utilizing RGB three-dimensional color space information similar to information obtained via human eyes and which enables signal processing to be substantially simplified.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2013
    Publication date: March 19, 2015
    Inventors: Tomoyuki Miyamoto, Hideaki Ishizu, Yoshikazu Tateishi, Masazumi Hara
  • Publication number: 20150050548
    Abstract: The invention relates to a process for the production of a recyclable product (1, 8, 9) made from a first material, wherein before or during the production of the product (1, 8, 9) a first marking material is added to the first material and the product (1, 8, 9) is produced from the first material with the admixed marking material, wherein the first marking material can be automatically detected in a recycling plant in the first material of the product (1, 8, 9) after the production thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 16, 2012
    Publication date: February 19, 2015
    Applicant: Johnson Controls Autobatterie GmbH & Co. KGaA
    Inventors: Eberhard Meissner, Anne-Laure Ledoux, Jurgen Bauer
  • Publication number: 20150008166
    Abstract: A sifting and grading device includes an accommodation module, a pushing module, a detection module, an image unit, and a transmission module. The accommodation module is used to accommodate pellets and convey the pellets to the pushing module. The pushing module is connected to the accommodation module to move the pellets to the detection module. The detection module includes a rotation box. The image unit is positioned above the rotation box and electrically connected to the transmission module. The image unit controls the transmission module to switch among different motion states according to colors of light reflected by the pellets, thereby driving the rotation box to rotate towards different directions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 8, 2014
    Publication date: January 8, 2015
    Inventors: ZHI-JIN MA, BING YU, JIAN-PING JIN
  • Patent number: 8874257
    Abstract: An automatic sorting system identifying and sorting non-homogenous material includes a conveyor belt and an identification unit above the conveying surface for identifying material. The identification unit includes a projector projecting light downwardly onto material to be identified, which reflects light towards the identification unit. The identification unit includes a lens receiving the reflected light from the material, and a first processing unit linked to the lens for spectral analysis of reflected light captured by the lens to determine the nature of the material, and a second processing unit linked to the first processing unit for comparing spectral analysis results with data associated with different materials stored in a second processing unit database. A sorting unit links to the second processing unit and cooperates with the second end of the conveyor to sort material released from the second end depending on signals from the second processing unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: 6511660 Canada Inc.
    Inventors: Bryan W. Sinram, Ian Levasseur, Nathanael Lortie
  • Patent number: 8841570
    Abstract: A nondestructive system and method for aflatoxin detection based on red-orange fluorescence is described. A sorting plane is illuminated with a wide band black light source. At least one image of unsorted produce on said sorting plane is obtained. A red component of the at least one image is evaluated. Contaminated produce is determined based on the red component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Paramount Farms International LLC
    Inventor: Mike Vasilescu
  • Publication number: 20140260104
    Abstract: An inspection system is configured for use with a conveyer apparatus including carrier bars. Each carrier bar conveys pellet-shaped articles along a predetermined path. The inspection system includes at least one camera unit for sensing a predetermined characteristic of the pellet-shaped articles, a removal unit, and a controller. The removal unit, downstream from the at least one camera unit, removes selected pellet-shaped article(s) from the carrier bar(s) depending on whether the characteristic is sensed by the at least one camera unit. The controller is in communication with the at least one camera unit and the removal unit. The controller provides a signal to the removal unit in accordance with the sensed characteristic. The removal unit includes a rotatable ejection drum having extended vacuum nozzles along its length, equal to the number of articles conveyed in each carrier bar. Each vacuum nozzle selectively removes article(s) from the carrier bar(s) by suction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 2, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: Ackley Machine Corporation
    Inventors: E. Michael ACKLEY, Mark FORD
  • Patent number: 8827082
    Abstract: There is provided an apparatus for grouping randomly oriented articles traveling on a conveyor, said conveyor having an in-feed end, an out-feed end and a predetermined width. The apparatus comprises an inspection head located in a fixed position above the conveyor, the inspection head for capturing images of the articles traveling on the conveyor, a grouping unit located in a fixed position relative to the conveyor and downstream of the inspection head and a control unit for receiving and processing the captured images from the inspection head. The grouping unit comprises a plurality of individually controllable pins, the individually controllable pins each moveable between a buffering position wherein the pin arrests movement of an article in alignment with the pin and a grouping position wherein the pin allows the article to move to a grouping location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Montrose Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey Clark Radema, John Lawrence, Andrew Martin Peters, Derek Carl Thorslund
  • Patent number: 8770413
    Abstract: An inspection system is configured for use with a conveyer apparatus including carrier bars. Each carrier bar conveys pellet-shaped articles along a predetermined path. The inspection system includes at least one camera unit for sensing a predetermined characteristic of the pellet-shaped articles, a removal unit, and a controller. The removal unit, downstream from the at least one camera unit, removes selected pellet-shaped article(s) from the carrier bar(s) depending on whether the characteristic is sensed by the at least one camera unit. The controller is in communication with the at least one camera unit and the removal unit. The controller provides a signal to the removal unit in accordance with the sensed characteristic. The removal unit includes a rotatable ejection drum having extended vacuum nozzles along its length, equal to the number of articles conveyed in each carrier bar. Each vacuum nozzle selectively removes article(s) from the carrier bar(s) by suction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Ackley Machine Corporation
    Inventors: E. Michael Ackley, Mark Ford
  • Patent number: 8626337
    Abstract: A method and computer program product for distinguishing and sort seeds containing a genetic element of interest from a bulk sample. In various embodiments, the present invention comprises associating a marker with at least some of the seeds containing a genetic element of interest of the bulk sample, exciting the seeds using an electromagnetic energy emitting device, evaluating at least some of the seeds of the bulk sample for the presence or absence of the marker using an evaluating device configured to excite a majority of the surface area of the seeds, and sorting the seeds containing a genetic element of interest based on the presence or absence of the marker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Pioneer Hi Bred International Inc
    Inventors: Steven J. Corak, James L. Hunter
  • Publication number: 20130206651
    Abstract: A method for sorting out interfering objects (2) in a material stream (13) consisting of acceptable material (1), preferably cullet, wherein during a sorting process the interfering objects (2) and the acceptable material (1) are respectively sorted in at least one separate room area or container, preferably a shaft (9, 10). In order to achieve high degrees of purity with low loss of acceptable material and to simultaneously avoid the use of high fluid blowout pressures and quantities, it is provided that the material stream (13) is continuously subjected during a sorting process to a fluid stream, preferably consisting of compressed air, having a blowing pressure, wherein the fluid stream is interrupted temporally and/or locally depending on a detection result of a detection device (14), which detects the interfering objects in the material stream (13).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2011
    Publication date: August 15, 2013
    Applicant: BINDER + CO AG
    Inventor: Reinhold Huber
  • Patent number: 8436268
    Abstract: A system for sorting a mixed stream of colors and types of cullet into separate groups of cullet with similar color and type includes a source for transmitting light through a cullet, and a camera having a plurality of pixels for receiving light transmitted through the cullet or detecting the absence of light blocked by an opaque contaminant, the camera providing at least one value from the light received, wherein the cullet moves along a designated path based in part on the at least one value. The system further includes a radiation source for irradiating a cullet with selected spectral ranges of radiation, and a sensor for determining characteristics of one or more selected spectral ranges of fluorescent radiation emitted by the cullet, wherein the cullet moves along a designated path based in part on the characteristics of the one or more selected spectral ranges of fluorescent radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: eCullet
    Inventors: Farook Afsari, Beejahn Afsari, Patrick Charles Flynn, Dary Kopelioff, F. Scott Shook, Luis Paul Vendrell
  • Publication number: 20130052925
    Abstract: An apparatus for receiving and sorting disks includes a wheel having at least one well for receiving a disk, a motor coupled to the wheel, a collecting device positioned relative to the wheel, a disk sensor, an ejector, and a controller. The collecting device has at least a first collector and a second collector configured for receiving disks. The disk sensor is configured to detect a value of a parameter of a disk received in the well and generate a parameter value signal. The ejector is coupled to the wheel proximate the well and configured to eject a disk from the well in a plane parallel to a bottom surface of the wheel in response to an eject signal. The controller is operably coupled with the disk sensor and the ejector.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2012
    Publication date: February 28, 2013
    Applicants: Shuffle Master GmbH & Co KG
    Inventors: Shuffle Master GmbH & Co KG, Peter Wolfgang DeRaedt, Ludo DeMeutter
  • Patent number: 8373081
    Abstract: An inspection system is configured for use with a conveyer apparatus including carrier bars. Each carrier bar conveys pellet-shaped articles along a predetermined path. The inspection system includes at least one camera unit for sensing a predetermined characteristic of the pellet-shaped articles, a removal unit, and a controller. The removal unit, downstream from the at least one camera unit, removes selected pellet-shaped article(s) from the carrier bar(s) depending on whether the characteristic is sensed by the at least one camera unit. The controller is in communication with the at least one camera unit and the removal unit. The controller provides a signal to the removal unit in accordance with the sensed characteristic. The removal unit includes a rotatable ejection drum having extended vacuum nozzles along its length, equal to the number of articles conveyed in each carrier bar. Each vacuum nozzle selectively removes article(s) from the carrier bar(s) by suction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: Ackley Machine Corporation
    Inventors: E. Michael Ackley, Mark Ford
  • Patent number: 8307985
    Abstract: Process for separating at least one type of catalyst or adsorbent particles having similar colors characterized in that such particles undergo an oxidative heating treatment for generating particle of different colors, and then particles are separated using a color sorting process for separating at least one type of particles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: IFP Energies nouvelles
    Inventors: Pierre Dufresne, Maxime Meens, Mickaël Bremaud
  • Patent number: 8302777
    Abstract: A method for reducing the content of a heavy metal in a mixture of solid plastic materials, wherein the mixture includes plastic flakes and there are at least two different colors of plastic flakes in the mixture. A percentage of each of two or more colors of flakes in the mixture is determined. A heavy metal content in the mixture based on the determined percentages is predicted. Whether the predicted content of the heavy metal in the mixture exceeds a pre-determined threshold is determined. If the predicted content exceeds the pre-determined threshold, a color sorting step is performed to obtain a subset of the mixture of plastic flakes, wherein the subset of the mixture of plastic flakes has a lower heavy metal content than the mixture prior to the color sorting step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: MBA Polymers, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian L. Riise, Günther Höggerl
  • Patent number: 8286800
    Abstract: A separation method of separating first targets (2) and second targets (7) from a separation subject (101). The separation method includes: conveying the separation subject (101); distinguishing the first targets (2); obtaining positional information of the first targets (2); dropping the separation subject (101) from an end of a conveyance path; striking each of the dropping first targets with a pulsing first airflow (F1) so as to change a drop path of the first targets (2); and striking the first target, which is blown up to or above a predetermined height with a second airflow (F2) so as to change the drop path of the first target (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Tamao Kojima, Masatoshi Miyasaka, Hiroyuki Naka
  • Patent number: 8269958
    Abstract: A pellet-shaped article inspection unit is structured for use with a conveyer mechanism having a plurality of carrier bars, each carrier bar being structured to convey a plurality of pellet-shaped articles along a predetermined path. The article inspection unit includes a first camera unit positioned adjacent a first side of the conveyer mechanism, to sense a first predetermined characteristic, e.g., laser holes. A removal mechanism, downstream from the first camera unit, is structured to remove or maintain at least a selected one of the plurality of pellet-shaped articles from at least a selected one of the plurality of carrier bars depending on whether the first predetermined characteristic is sensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: Ackley Machine Corporation
    Inventors: E. Michael Ackley, Jr., Daniel J. Palmer
  • Patent number: 8164750
    Abstract: Colored foreign particles contained in quartz powder material are detected in a high precision with the specified detection apparatus even when the colored foreign particles are pale colored foreign particles such as iron-based refuse, organic refuse and carbon-based refuse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Japan Super Quartz Corporation
    Inventors: Atsushi Shimazu, Masaki Morikawa
  • Publication number: 20120055855
    Abstract: A pellet-shaped article inspection unit is structured for use with a conveyer mechanism having a plurality of carrier bars, each carrier bar being structured to convey a plurality of pellet-shaped articles along a predetermined path. The article inspection unit includes a first camera unit positioned adjacent a first side of the conveyer mechanism, to sense a first predetermined characteristic, e.g., laser holes. A removal mechanism, downstream from the first camera unit, is structured to remove or maintain at least a selected one of the plurality of pellet-shaped articles from at least a selected one of the plurality of carrier bars depending on whether the first predetermined characteristic is sensed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2011
    Publication date: March 8, 2012
    Applicant: ACKLEY MACHINE CORPORATION
    Inventors: E. Michael Ackley, JR., Daniel J. Palmer
  • Patent number: 8091712
    Abstract: A method and a computer program product for batching items are disclosed including the steps of: selecting a first item for a batch, analyzing the characteristics of the selected item, creating a profile of the selected item, and determining qualification criteria for forthcoming items. The qualification criteria for the forthcoming items based on the profile created from the first item selected for the batch with the analysis of the characteristics of an item based on one or more of the following: weighing the item, recording and processing an image of the item, for determining one or more of the following characteristics: the thickness of the item, the color of the item, and/or the shape of the item. The characteristics are used for creating a profile of the item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: Marel Food Systems HF
    Inventor: Brynjolfur Thorsson
  • Publication number: 20110297590
    Abstract: An inspection system is configured for use with a conveyer apparatus including carrier bars. Each carrier bar conveys pellet-shaped articles along a predetermined path. The inspection system includes at least one camera unit for sensing a predetermined characteristic of the pellet-shaped articles, a removal unit, and a controller. The removal unit, downstream from the at least one camera unit, removes selected pellet-shaped article(s) from the carrier bar(s) depending on whether the characteristic is sensed by the at least one camera unit. The controller is in communication with the at least one camera unit and the removal unit. The controller provides a signal to the removal unit in accordance with the sensed characteristic. The removal unit includes a rotatable ejection drum having extended vacuum nozzles along its length, equal to the number of articles conveyed in each carrier bar. Each vacuum nozzle selectively removes article(s) from the carrier bar(s) by suction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2011
    Publication date: December 8, 2011
    Applicant: Ackley Machine Corporation
    Inventors: E. Michael ACKLEY, Mark Ford
  • Patent number: 8072590
    Abstract: A pellet-shaped article inspection unit is structured for use with a conveyer mechanism having a plurality of carrier bars, each carrier bar being structured to convey a plurality of pellet-shaped articles along a predetermined path. The article inspection unit includes a first camera unit positioned adjacent a first side of the conveyer mechanism. The first camera unit is configured to sense a first predetermined characteristic, e.g., laser holes, of the plurality of pellet-shaped articles. A removal mechanism, downstream from the first camera unit, is structured to remove or maintain at least a selected one of the plurality of pellet-shaped articles from at least a selected one of the plurality of carrier bars depending on whether the first predetermined characteristic is sensed by the first camera unit. A laser unit may be provided to create unique holes in the pellet-shaped articles, e.g., those by a larger exposed surface to improve time-release characteristics of the pellet-shaped articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Assignee: Ackley Machine Corporation
    Inventors: E. Michael Ackley, Jr., Daniel J. Palmer
  • Patent number: 7992720
    Abstract: A sorting device for the sorting of gaming chips comprises a base frame, a collection container, an oblique transport disc adjoining the collection container, the oblique transport disc separating and receiving gaming chips, a gaming chip characteristic identification system positioned adjacent the transport disc, a transfer device distributing the gaming chips in removal units according to characteristics identified in the gaming chip characteristic identification system. The sorting device has a transport for transferring the gaming chips directly from the transport disc to the removal units, and a radially external region of the transport disc contains recesses into which the gaming chips are separated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Shuffle Master GmbH & Co KG
    Inventors: Ernst Blaha, Peter Krenn
  • Patent number: 7968814
    Abstract: A grain images obtained by CCD line sensors are processed by binarization processing to obtain contour images of grains and images of colored portions in the grains. The images are displayed on a monitor screen of an operating panel 30. The contour images and the images of the colored portions are displayed in a superposed state. Box frames generated by a highlight display circuit in control means 12 are simultaneously displayed by being superposed on the contour images having defective portions, thus producing a highlight display of defective grains. The defective grains include a grain having a light colored portion and a grain having a dark colored portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignee: Satake Corporation
    Inventors: Takeshi Imai, Norihiko Tanaka
  • Publication number: 20110089086
    Abstract: A method for reducing the content of a heavy metal in a mixture of solid plastic materials, wherein the mixture includes plastic flakes and there are at least two different colors of plastic flakes in the mixture. A percentage of each of two or more colors of flakes in the mixture is determined. A heavy metal content in the mixture based on the determined percentages is predicted. Whether the predicted content of the heavy metal in the mixture exceeds a pre-determined threshold is determined. If the predicted content exceeds the pre-determined threshold, a color sorting step is performed to obtain a subset of the mixture of plastic flakes, wherein the subset of the mixture of plastic flakes has a lower heavy metal content than the mixture prior to the color sorting step.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2010
    Publication date: April 21, 2011
    Applicant: MBA POLYMERS, INC.
    Inventors: Brian L. Riise, Günther Höggerl
  • Patent number: 7863535
    Abstract: A method of processing toothbrushes includes supplying a plurality of toothbrushes with tufts of bristles attached to heads of the toothbrushes. Similar portions of each of the toothbrushes differ in color from each other. A color of the portion of each of the toothbrushes is determined. The toothbrushes are reorganized according to the determined color.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: The Gillette Company
    Inventor: Rex E. Reinking
  • Patent number: 7861868
    Abstract: Chip sorting devices include a rotatable disc having a plurality of wells for receiving chips therein, a plurality of channels for holding stacks of chips, at least one ejector for ejecting chips from the wells of the disc into the channels, and at least one removal lever associated with at least one of the channels. The removal lever has an arm configured to extend adjacent at least a portion of a stack of chips when the stack of chips is in a channel. Other chip sorting devices include a plurality of wells for receiving chips therein, a plurality of channels for holding stacks of chips, at least one ejector for ejecting chips from the wells of the disc into the channels, and at least one spring member configured to bias the ejector to a position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: Shuffle Master GmbH & Co KG
    Inventors: Ernst Blaha, Peter Krenn
  • Patent number: 7816616
    Abstract: A system for sorting articles includes a detector system having a plurality of narrow bandwidth sources of electromagnetic energy sequentially illuminating articles passing through the detector system, the detector system further including a collector for collecting electromagnetic energy reflected from the articles; a deflector for deflecting selected articles toward an alternative destination; and a control system, operably connected to the collector and the deflector, for actuating the deflector in response to a sensed parameter of the electromagnetic energy collected in the collector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2010
    Assignee: MSS, Inc.
    Inventors: Garry R. Kenny, Arthur G. Doak
  • Patent number: 7800009
    Abstract: A system for accurately determining whether a work piece such as a plastic molded bottle cap is defective from quality norms and removing those defective pieces from a stream of work pieces includes a feed conveyor for serially delivering work pieces where adjacent work pieces are in contact with each other. The feed conveyor delivers these work pieces onto an inspection conveyor with a plurality of air holes. Air is forced through the air holes to impinge upon the work piece and thus rapidly accelerate them away from the adjacent work piece it was in contact with and move through an inspection station. An air blower provides pressurized air through the air holes to continue accelerating and separating the work pieces as they move. The inspection station includes a camera to image each work piece. The camera communicates these images to a processing unit such as a computer that can rapidly compare the image to a set of quality control standards each work piece should meet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignee: Logical Systems Incorporated
    Inventor: Joseph P. Gochar, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7795556
    Abstract: An automated, continuous rotary-motion, positive-count, container-filling machine used for counting, color inspecting, geometric inspecting, and batching a predetermined quantity of multiple or discrete objects such as tablets, capsules, caplets, or packets of collated items (multiple objects to a pack). Apparatus comprises a plurality of rotary slats, each of which is independently driven, and able to pick up multiple objects at one location and deliver multiple objects simultaneously to a container through multiple counting and inspection devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Inventor: Edward T. Dean
  • Patent number: 7701568
    Abstract: A pellet-shaped article inspection unit is structured for use with a conveyer mechanism having a plurality of carrier bars, each carrier bar being structured to convey a plurality of pellet-shaped articles along a predetermined path. The article inspection unit includes a first camera unit positioned adjacent a first side of the conveyer mechanism. The first camera unit is configured to sense a first predetermined characteristic, e.g., laser holes, of the plurality of pellet-shaped articles. A removal mechanism, downstream from the first camera unit, is structured to remove or maintain at least a selected one of the plurality of pellet-shaped articles from at least a selected one of the plurality of carrier bars depending on whether the first predetermined characteristic is sensed by the first camera unit. A laser unit may be provided to create unique holes in the pellet-shaped articles, e.g., those by a larger exposed surface to improve time-release characteristics of the pellet-shaped articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2010
    Assignee: Ackley Machine Corporation
    Inventors: E. Michael Ackley, Jr., Daniel J. Palmer
  • Patent number: 7659486
    Abstract: A method, apparatus and system for sorting contaminated glass from a stream of glass particles used light of a wavelength suited to inducing fluorescence in the contaminated glass pieces. Automatic cleaning mechanisms are included in some embodiments to facilitate removal of coatings which would prevent the contaminated particles from fluorescing. The identified particles are then automatically separated from the remaining particles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2010
    Inventor: Thomas A. Valerio
  • Patent number: 7654380
    Abstract: A handling system able to efficiently process information relating to a plurality of conveyed articles, the handling system provided with a conveyer for conveying workpieces, a visual sensor for detecting positions of workpieces by acquiring images of a plurality of tracking ranges obtained by dividing a belt into sections, an encoder for detecting an amount of movement of the belt, a tracking manager for monitoring amounts of movement of the plurality of tracking ranges based on the amount of movement detected by the encoder and specifying the tracking range passing through a workpiece detection area, a workpiece manager for selecting the article in the tracking range specified by the tracking manager, and a controller for controlling operations of robots so as to hold the workpiece selected by the workpiece manager.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2010
    Assignee: Toshiba Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yasunori Nishihara, Toshihiko Nakane
  • Patent number: 7629551
    Abstract: An apparatus and method of recycling exhaust tubes used to manufacture optical fiber includes the automated use of 1) a machine vision system that signals a conveyor system when to stop so that a cutting machine will cut contaminates and discoloration from an exhaust tube at the correct place and provides an indication on whether the exhaust tube is reusable, 2) a conveyor system to transport reusable exhaust tubes to different stations, and 3) a robotic arm to load exhaust tubes onto the conveyor system, and unload exhaust tubes from the conveyor system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2009
    Assignee: Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc.
    Inventors: Ivan Pawlenko, Larry Samson
  • Publication number: 20090266749
    Abstract: The washing of items of linen is preceded by a plurality of treatments. The items of linen have to be singled out and sorted. In addition, processes for transferring the items of linen are required. In the past, items of linen have been singled out, sorted and transferred in an only partly automated manner. Manual activities are therefore still required. The invention provides for the items of linen to be singled out automatically, the singled-out items of linen to be transferred automatically from a conveyor to a transportation device, various sorting criteria to be determined automatically, in particular the color and the structure of the items of linen, and finally the items of linen to be sorted automatically in accordance with the detected sorting criteria in that they are blown downward at the intended point of a distributor conveyor. The measures according to the invention render manual activities superfluous.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 23, 2009
    Publication date: October 29, 2009
    Inventors: Engelbert Heinz, Andreas Olivieri, Friedhelm Mehrhoff, Alexander Farchmin, Jan Hellmig
  • Patent number: 7608794
    Abstract: Drupaceous fruit pieces, including fruit flesh with and without pit matter adhering to the flesh as well as loose pits and pit pieces themselves, are passed through an integrated system of multiple sorting units utilizing different sorting methodologies. The sorting units include a laser-based sorting unit that sorts according to differences in light scattering, a diode-based sorting unit that sorts according to differences in light reflectance, and in certain embodiments a camera-based sorting unit that sorts according to differences in color. The system also includes an impact separator that dislodges pit material from fruit flesh from which the pit material has not been dislodged by any preceding units, most notably by pitting machinery through which the fruit has passed prior to entering the system of the invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2009
    Assignee: Sunsweet Growers, Inc.
    Inventor: Brian N. Pierce
  • Publication number: 20090216368
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and a system for increased efficiency during grading and/or batching. Partial batches are formed based on their characteristics and the fact that the items (1) forming a partial batch have appropriate and desired characteristics. The items (1) are then transported jointly to its destination where they form an intermediate or final batch. The present invention therefore provides a method for grading and batching items with increased efficiency. The method of the present invention is applicable to the devices and processing lines of modern item processing such as food processing lines and grading systems such as cabin grading etc.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2007
    Publication date: August 27, 2009
    Inventor: Brynjolfur Thorsson
  • Patent number: 7571818
    Abstract: An apparatus for automatically processing random width wood-boards and selecting a matched set according to their surface colors and widths. The boards are manually placed on a conveyor, from a stacked supply, and subsequently measured for width and color. Thereafter, each board is electronically identified, incrementally tracked and stored in a linear array above the conveying surface. After filling the storage level to its full capacity, a microprocessor in combination with an incremental encoder, selects and matches a set of boards from the stored inventory, while continuously restoring its full capacity, and queuing the best blended order of contiguous boards. Moreover, the matching set of boards will have an overall dimension that falls within a prescribed value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2009
    Assignee: James L. Taylor Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Bradley S. Quick