Fluid Jet Changes Trajectory Of Item Patents (Class 209/639)
  • Patent number: 9993846
    Abstract: Various arrangements involving a single-stream sorting system are presented, such as for use in sorting a single stream of recyclable materials. The single-stream sorting system may include a platform for an operator to stand on. The single-stream sorting system may include a circular conveyor that rotates in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction to move the stream of items around the platform. The single-stream sorting system may include a plurality of item collector chutes arranged in a circular pattern around an outer circumference of the circular conveyor. The stream of items deposited on the conveyor is rotated around the circular platform and proximate to each item collector chute of the plurality of item collector chutes to allow items from the stream of items to be moved from the circular conveyor into the plurality of item collector chutes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: Ultimate Specialties LLC
    Inventor: Danny E. Alsop, Sr.
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8955689
    Abstract: A propulsive element usable for producing a jet of fluid using a pressurized fluid. An inlet receives the pressurized fluid; a propulsive element passageway extends from the inlet; two main outlets are in fluid communication with the propulsive element passageway and are configured and sized for releasing each a respective main jet portion when the pressurized fluid is injected in the inlet, the two main jet portions being each substantially divergent, the two main jet portions creating a low pressure zone therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Inventor: Michel Couture
  • Publication number: 20140346098
    Abstract: A device for processing a material mixture, with a first conveyor belt which is connected to a chamber, has at least one pressure blower provided in the internal space of the chamber for generating an airflow aimed from below at the material mixture falling into the chamber. At least two collectors are arranged offset along the chamber floor at different distances to the entry point of the material mixture which faces the chamber. These collectors are delimited from one another in terms of surface area by at least one separating crest, which is movably arranged on the chamber floor and extends from the chamber floor in the direction of the chamber upper side. A first material group, such as stones and/or inert materials and/or heavy parts, with the lowest fluid resistance of all material groups of the material mixture, is separable at least to some extent from the material flow in a first separation region, in which a fluid flow and a material mixture flow through the device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 23, 2014
    Publication date: November 27, 2014
    Applicant: Komptech Umwelttechnik Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Bernd THIELEPAPE, Joerg BRINKSCHMIDT
  • Patent number: 8893723
    Abstract: Method and device for removing foreign bodies from a first tobacco stream that is conveyed via an air flow in a region of a first foreign body detection device. Method includes detecting, with a first foreign body detection device, the foreign bodies in the first tobacco stream based on at least one property, and removing, with a jet of compressed air, the foreign bodies from the first tobacco stream. In this manner, a foreign body freed tobacco stream and a second tobacco stream including tobacco particles and the foreign bodies entrained by the jet of compressed air are formed. Method also includes at least one of: accelerating the second stream at a distance from the first tobacco stream; and detecting, with a second foreign body detector, foreign bodies in the second stream based on at least one property and removing the detected foreign bodies with a second jet of compressed air.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Hauni Maschinenbau AG
    Inventors: Matthias Jahnke, Harry Drewes, Torsten Grigutsch, Hans Dierken, David Felts, Jeroen Erinkveld, Diederick van Klaarbergen
  • Patent number: 8833564
    Abstract: A method of removing dust from granular polysilicon includes introducing a stream of granular polysilicon, dispersing the longitudinal stream of granular polysilicon by redirecting the stream into a radially outward flow having a circular pattern, and introducing a counter flow of gas in an opposite direction to that of the longitudinal stream of granular polysilicon to contact the radially outward flow to separate the dust from the granular polysilicon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: SunEdison Semiconductor Limited
    Inventors: Seok-Min Yun, Seong-Su Park, Se-Myung Kim, Won-Jin Choi, Woo-Jin Yoon
  • Patent number: 8662314
    Abstract: The present invention is an apparatus and method for sorting foreign material and undesirable articles from a product stream. A mechanical diverter having a concave shape is responsive to an inspection station coupled to the product stream. The mechanical diverter is employed to effectively launch or otherwise redirect undesirable articles in an alternate path. In addition, an air ejector in one form of the invention is provided and is responsive to the inspection station and is employed to dislodge foreign material from the product stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: Key Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter T. Jones, Philip L. Hoffman, Hans G. Halmberger, Ken McGarvey, James Ruff, Mike Lemke, Timothy Reardon
  • Patent number: 8609422
    Abstract: A droplet interference system for sorting cells and a method for the same. The droplet interference system including a droplet generating system for producing a droplet which hits a fluid stream causing a selected segment of the fluid stream, and the cells contained therein, to be separated from the fluid stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Inguran, LLC
    Inventors: Gary Durack, Jeffrey D. Wallace, Gary P. Vandre, Lon A. Westfall, Jeremy T. Hatcher, Niraj V. Nayak
  • Patent number: 8393476
    Abstract: A machine enabling automatic sorting of defective gelatin capsules based on the diameter and the weight of the capsule. The machine enables the automatic selection and rejection of the gelatin capsules having assembly and metering defects. The device consists of a rimmed selection disk rotating on an inclined plane of about 20 degrees relative to the horizontal direction. The disk has one or two rows of suitably sized apertures drilled about its circumference for holding the defective gelatin capsules until the defective gelatin capsules are automatically expelled by a blast nozzle. The properly assembled gelatin capsules pass freely through the sized apertures. While falling, the gelatin capsules individually pass a blast screen which expels the flawed gelatin capsules. Acceptable gelatin capsules are not deflected by the air blast and are discharged from the machine via the outlet chute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: Soldopha S.A.R.L.
    Inventor: Roland Vicherat
  • Patent number: 8286798
    Abstract: The cob cleaning conveyor system provides a capability for positively removing or cleaning lighter crop residue from a flow of cobs. The system can be incorporated with a cob collection device, such as on a trailer, and can be adjustable in several ways for accommodating varying corn varieties, conditions and the like. The system includes a first conveyor which propels the flow into a gap or passage toward a second conveyor, while a flow of air is directed downwardly through the passage to remove or clean the lighter residue material from the cobs. The angle of attack of the air flow can be selectable, and optionally be directed downwardly along the second conveyor to the passage, and upwardly along the second conveyor to travel with or follow the residue flow, to suit present conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: CNH America LLC
    Inventors: Jonathan E. Ricketts, John J. Borsdorf, Kenneth W. Brown, Joshua D. Werning, Tyler Nelson
  • Patent number: 8002117
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for sorting a gas-driven stream of generally flat and light-weight articles of varying dimensions execute a, preferably optical, inspection and upon so finding a non-conforming article remove the latter from the stream. In particular, the inspection and the sorting are executed during a substantially straight movement of the articles. The removing is executed through gas driving in a direction substantially transverse to the straight movement. Advantageously, the inspection is preceded by orienting the articles through a centrifugal force that orients said articles against an inclined wall in a transition to the vertical movement. Also airflow means (83,84) can be used to confine the articles in a thin layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2011
    Assignee: Comas, S.p.A.
    Inventors: Thomas Marinus Antonius Van de Laak, Mario Martin, Robertus Cornelis Van Hoek
  • Publication number: 20110186482
    Abstract: An apparatus for the separation of waste paper includes a slanted conveyor belt with a lower end and an upper end, the upper end being positioned at a height above the lower end, the conveyor belt traveling from the lower end to the upper end. A plurality of drive mechanisms drive the slanted conveyor belt. At least one load mechanism supplies the waste paper at the lower end of the conveyor belt. At least one air pressure system is positioned adjacent to the upper end of the conveyor belt. The plurality of drive mechanisms provide a minimum speed of 3 meters per second.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2010
    Publication date: August 4, 2011
    Inventor: Lourens Zwart
  • Patent number: 7905356
    Abstract: A method for separation of heterogeneous products included in household waste (HW) comprises separating the products in a fractionation vessel containing a liquid. The waste includes components, of which at least some are capable of floating in the liquid. The components are exposed to a first essentially horizontal force (P1) in a first direction (D1) enforced by a flow of the liquid in the fractionation vessel and to a second essentially horizontal force (P2) in a second direction (D2), which is substantially different from the first direction (D1). The combined impact of the forces (P1; P2) on the components spreads the components and leads them to at least two collection areas. Products of varying buoyancy may thus be treated separately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2011
    Assignee: Holm Christensen Biosystemer APS
    Inventors: Borge H. Christensen, Lena H. Christensen
  • Patent number: 7740140
    Abstract: A method for sorting tablets at a rotary press for making tablets, comprising the following steps: the individual tablets are monitored with regard to at least one property of their condition during the pressing process, and a bad-signal is generated, if a tablet does not fulfill the property, and tablets which do not generate a bad-signal being good-tablets; the good-tablets are directed from a die plate of the rotary press into a good-channel; after a bad-signal has been generated, a bad-tablet is directed into a bad-channel by means of an air blast; by means of a further air stream, which is directed into the bad-channel, the bad-tablet is accelerated into the bad-channel whereby a returning to the die plate is avoided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2010
    Assignee: Fette GmbH
    Inventors: Ingo Schmidt, Andreas Arning, Kai Hübner
  • Publication number: 20090084714
    Abstract: The invention relates to a cyclone separator for separating a mixture containing solid particles, liquid and/or gas into a heavy fraction and a light fraction, the separator comprising:—a casing (2) defining a flow space through which the mixture is to flow;—an elongated flow body (5) arranged in the flow space along which the mixture to be separated can be carried;—at least one swirl inducing element (10) arranged between the flow body and the inner casing, the swirl inducing element being curved so as to set the incoming mixture into a rotating movement for the purpose of separating the mixture into the heavy fraction and the light fraction;—discharge means for discharging the separated heavy and light fraction, wherein the discharge means comprise at least one flow passage defined inside said at least one swirl element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2006
    Publication date: April 2, 2009
    Inventor: Robert Schook
  • Patent number: 7506764
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for separating a particle stream into particle groups and treating a particle stream, comprising a dilution treatment chamber defining an upstanding passageway to receive a particle stream, such that the particle stream falls toward a first-particle-group outlet in the dilution treatment chamber. A transfer chamber casing is adjacent and interconnected to the dilution treatment chamber, and defines a transfer chamber to receive second particle group Second-particle-groups outlets of the transfer chamber are laterally positioned with respect to the passageway and allow jet fluid communication there between. A distributor in the passageway is provided to spread out the particle stream and to distribute the particle stream over a surface area of the dilution treatment chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Inventor: Michel Couture
  • Patent number: 7347333
    Abstract: A system and process for separating high and low density materials by air flow. Mixed solid material is delivered into an entrance of a cascade separation chamber where it is allowed to free fall and tumble over inclined surfaces. A fan forces air through a “closed” path that includes a duct from the fan outlet to return air to the separation chamber, and a branch duct that supplies an air knife disperser arranged to direct a high velocity air jet against free falling material in the chamber. The fan draws air that has entrained relatively light materials in the chamber, and thereby separates the same from the heavy materials, from the chamber through a duct connected to the inlet of an air cleaning device such as a cyclone separator. Cleaned air exhausted from the cyclone cleaning device and driven by the fan is continuously returned to the separation chamber. Air flow through the chamber is generally in counter-flow relation to the movement of heavy material through the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2008
    Inventor: Leroy R. Josephs
  • Patent number: 7335847
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for the separation of foreign bodies from a material flow, in particular a tobacco stream. Method is characterized in that at least a portion of the material from the material flow is conveyed into the area of a foreign-body detection device in the form of a partial material flow, whereby foreign bodies are identified by the foreign-body detection device in the partial material flow and subsequently removed from the partial material flow, whereby the partial material flow is formed by a separation step by an air flow upstream from the foreign-body detection device. Apparatus is characterized in that a material flow conveyor and a separation device arranged diagonal to the material flow conveyor are provided by which a partial material flow can be separated from the material flow. A foreign-body detection device is arranged after the separation device and after this, a foreign-body separation device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2008
    Assignee: HAUNI Primary GmbH
    Inventors: Harry Drewes, Frank Schuster
  • Patent number: 7328808
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for sorting wood chips, said apparatus having a feeder for supplying the wood chips onto a sloping support surface so that the chips slide along the support surface and over a slit extending across the support surface. A flow of gas through the slit providing an impulse action to the chips as the chips pass over the slit. Alongside the impulse-action generating gas flow discharging from the slit is mounted a baffle/guide plate for controlling turbulence created by the gas flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2008
    Assignee: Andritz Oy
    Inventor: Pekka Kokko
  • Patent number: 7262380
    Abstract: A system for automatically inspecting matter for varying composition comprises one or more detection stations through which one or more streams of matter are advanced and particular materials therein are detected through their diffusely reflected IR spectra, if any, and/or through their variation of an electromagnetic field by their metallic portions, if any. A row of light sources distributed across the overall width of one or more belt conveyors may cause desired portions of the stream to reflect light diffusely onto a part-toroidal mirror extending over that overall width, whence the light is reflected, by a rotating, polygonal mirror through optical filters dedicated to differing IR wavelengths, onto detectors the data output of which is utilized in controlling solenoid valves operating air jet nozzles which separate-out the desired portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2007
    Assignee: Titech Visionsort AS
    Inventors: Borre Bengt Ulrichsen, Clas Fredrik Mender, Geir Foss-Pedersen, Jon Henrik Tschudi, Ib-Rune Johansen
  • Patent number: 7128216
    Abstract: The invention relates to a closed air circulation system for an apparatus used for sorting wood chips, containing chips in a variety of sizes and/or fines particles, in a wood chips processing chamber, in separate fractions by means of a gas flow, which is delivered from one or more nozzle chambers by way of a nozzle slit into the wood chips processing chamber and which applies an impulse action to the processing-bound wood chips sliding along an inclined support surface. Air is circulated from the wood chips processing chamber by way of a dedusting cyclone into said one or more nozzle chambers. The wood chips processing chamber is maintained at a negative pressure by regulating the volume of air removed from the chamber. A conduit extending between the wood chips processing chamber and the one or more nozzle chambers is open to the ambient atmosphere.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: Andritz Oy
    Inventor: Pekka Kokko
  • Patent number: 7116407
    Abstract: A method of using elongate multicellular organisms in conjunction with a specialized flow cytometer for drug discovery and compound screening. A stable, optically detectable linear marker pattern on each organism is used to construct a longitudinal map of each organism as it passes through the analysis region of the flow cytometer. This pattern is used to limit complex data analysis to particular regions of each organism thereby simplifying and speeding analysis. The longitudinal marker pattern can be used to alter signal detection modes at known regions of the organism to enhance sensitivity and overall detection effectiveness. A repeating pattern can also be used to add a synchronous element to data analysis. The marker patterns are established using known methods of molecular biology to express various indicator molecules. Inherent features of the organism can be rendered detectable to serve as marker patterns.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2006
    Assignee: Union Biometrica, Inc.
    Inventors: W. Peter Hansen, Anthony A. Ferrante, Russell J. Gershman, Petra B. Krauledat, Donald F. Perrault, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6978899
    Abstract: An apparatus for sorting wood chips includes a feeder for supplying wood chips onto a sloping support surface to slide along the support surface over a slit extending thereacross. The slit is configured to provide an impulse action by means of a continuous gas flow on the chips or the fines particles presently in line with the slit. The bottom end of the support surface upstream of the slit is provided with a section (a) diverging from the rest of the support surface in terms of its gradient, over which section an angle of inclination (?) relative to the horizontal plane is smaller than an angle of inclination (?) of the support surface upstream of the same in the advancing direction of the wood chips.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2005
    Assignee: Andritz Oy
    Inventor: Pekka Kokko
  • Patent number: 6936784
    Abstract: An illumination source for a machine vision viewer for a sorter that provides a flow of articles along a scan line includes an elongated, cylindrical shroud with illumination sources mounted interior of the shroud. The illumination sources are arranged longitudinally within the shroud and are angularly spaced along the inner circumference of the shroud. Linear slots running parallel with the shroud axis are provided in the shroud for the subject articles to enter and exit the shroud. A linear slot running parallel with the shroud axis is provided for receptors to view the articles passing through the shroud. The cylinder interior is otherwise uniform and light reflecting. An alternative embodiment of the shroud comprises two shroud arc components with openings between the arcs to allow articles to pass between the shroud arc components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2005
    Assignee: Satake USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Ogburn, Klaus Oestreich, Jeff Pawley
  • Patent number: 6891119
    Abstract: A paper handling system includes an acceleration conveyor having an acceleration belt operating at an acceleration speed. The system includes a pinning structure operably positioned to pin paper to the acceleration belt. The pinning structure is a rotary feeder which includes a plurality of flexible bristles extending radially from a roller into engagement with the acceleration belt. The speed of the acceleration belt is sufficiently high to create a suction phenomena such that when paper is pinned to the acceleration belt with the rotary feeder, the paper will be accelerated to a paper speed substantially equal to the acceleration speed. The system also includes a blower system operative to facilitate carrying the paper off of the acceleration belt across a transition gap between the acceleration belt and a product belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2005
    Assignee: Advanced Sorting Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Michael R. Grubbs, Garry R. Kenny
  • Patent number: 6884956
    Abstract: A color-based sorting apparatus comprising, a material supplying device provided so as to discharge and supply the grains stored therein, a color detecting device detecting a color of each of the grains passing through a setting region, a sorting processing section operating to change a transference path for defective grains, a control device, which determines whether each of the grains to be sorted is defective or not based on a detection signal from the color detecting device, and when it is determined that one of the grains is defective, the control device activating the sorting processing section, and a feeding roll disposed between the material supplying device and the color detecting device and rotating around an axial line thereof to cause the grains to be sorted, which are supplied from said material supplying device aligned in an axial direction, to freely fall down toward the color detecting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yamamoto-Seisakusho
    Inventors: Takehiro Murata, Tsuneyoshi Goto, Mikio Tamura, Kenichi Kikuchi
  • Patent number: 6817474
    Abstract: A magnetic metal removing device for color sorting apparatus includes a hollow feeding roll. Within a hollow portion of the feeding roll, a magnet is arranged such that it closely opposes to a part of an inner surface of the hollow feeding roll to form a magnetic force active surface on the corresponding outer surface of the feeding roll. Magnetic metal mixed in raw granular objects is attracted on the magnetic force active surface. The magnetic forced active surface changes to a magnetic force inactive surface as the feeding roll rotates. The magnetic metal caught on the feeding roll is released from the magnetic forced inactive surface and colleted by a collecting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Assignee: Satake Corporation
    Inventors: Norimasa Ikeda, Hiroshi Tanimoto
  • Patent number: 6805245
    Abstract: An object sorting system automatically inspects a plurality of objects and sorts acceptable objects from defective objects. The system includes a feed conveyor, a barrier, a sorting camera, at least one rejection valve and a processor. The feed conveyor receives a plurality of objects and moves the objects through an inspection area, which is defined by the barrier, which is placed across and above a top surface of the feed conveyor. The barrier is configured to redirect the plurality of objects and cause the objects to rotate about an object axis such that the sorting camera can capture an image of each of the plurality of objects as the objects rotate and move through the inspection area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Dunkley International, Inc.
    Inventor: Ernest K. Kenneway
  • Publication number: 20040144696
    Abstract: A valve device is disclosed for controlling the delivery of gas from a pressurised source, suitable for use in a pneumatic ejector in sorting apparatus. The device comprises a housing defining a valve element chamber with an input for connection to a source of pressurised gas. A body in which at least one output duct is formed, has an end face in the chamber with a valve seat thereon surrounding the output duct or ducts. A valve element overlays the valve seat, and means are provided for moving the element between a closed position in engagement with the valve seat and an open position spaced from the valve seat. Additional abutment surfaces can be provided for engagement with the valve element on closure. At least one pocket is formed in one of the juxtaposed body end face and the valve element, which pocket forms a cushion of gas as the element moves towards its closed position. The pocket or pockets or additional pocket or pockets can be formed on one or more abutment surfaces spaced from the valve seat.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2003
    Publication date: July 29, 2004
    Inventor: Stewart Mills
  • Patent number: 6734383
    Abstract: A method for sorting products including the steps of conveying the products in a product stream, scanning the products in the product stream casting light onto the products on the basis that certain products will emit light, observing emitted light from the products, making a selection of certain products from the product stream as a function of the observed light, and separating certain products from the product stream as a function of the selection. A device is provided that is arranged to sort the products according to the method of the invention and includes a light device that is arranged to cast light onto products and an observation device that is arranged to observe light emitted from the products. A selection device is also provided that is arranged to make a selection of whether to separate certain products from the product stream observed by the observation device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Barco Elbicon, naamloze vennootschap
    Inventors: Johan Calcoen, Jan Cuypers, Nathalie Debaes, Carlo Janssens
  • Patent number: 6727452
    Abstract: A system and method of the present invention removes defects from citrus pulp. An advancing mechanism advances citrus pulp along a predetermined path of travel into an inspection zone. A citrus pulp imager is positioned at the inspection zone and acquires image data of the citrus pulp. A processor is operatively connected to the citrus pulp imager and receives the image data and processes the image data to determine defects within the citrus pulp. A rejection mechanism rejects any citrus pulp determined to be defective.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Gregory W. Schrader
  • Publication number: 20040035759
    Abstract: The invention relates to a closed air circulation system for an apparatus used for sorting wood chips, containing chips in a variety of sizes and/or fines particles, in a wood chips processing chamber, in separate fractions by means of a gas flow, which is delivered from one or more nozzle chambers by way of a nozzle slit into the wood chips processing chamber and which applies an impulse action to the processing-bound wood chips sliding along an inclined support surface. Air is circulated from the wood chips processing chamber by way of a dedusting cyclone into said one or more nozzle chambers. The wood chips processing chamber is maintained at a negative pressure by regulating the volume of air removed from the chamber. A conduit extending between the wood chips processing chamber and the one or more nozzle chambers is open to the ambient atmosphere.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 19, 2003
    Publication date: February 26, 2004
    Inventor: Pekka Kokko
  • Patent number: 6657713
    Abstract: An instrument for analyzing and dispensing objects larger than about 70 &mgr;m in diameter is based on a flow cytometer with a novel fluidic switch arrangement for diverting a portion of a sample stream in response to detector signals in a flow cell. The instrument is particularly adapted for dispensing multicellular test organisms like nematodes or large microspheres for use in screening large libraries of potential pharmaceutical agents. Hydrodynamic focussing is used to center and align the objects in the flow cell. The objects pass through a sensing zone where optical or other characteristics of the objects are detected. The detector signals are processed and used to operate a fluidic switch that is located downstream from the sensing zone. The fluid stream containing the detected objects emerges from the flow cell into air where a fluid stream controlled by the fluidic switch diverts portions of the stream containing no sample objects or sample objects not meeting predetermined characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Assignee: Union Biometrica, Inc.
    Inventor: W. Peter Hansen
  • Patent number: 6637598
    Abstract: A foreign substance eliminating apparatus transfers raw material by passing the raw material between an upstream conveyor (6) and a downstream conveyor (8), and detects a foreign substance on the upstream transfer conveyor with a foreign substance detector (9). An eliminating airflow (R) is ejected from a row of air nozzles (13) when the detected foreign substance falls down, and deflects the falling direction of the foreign substance. At this point, a small foreign substance (BS) is blown off by the eliminating airflow, and sent to the foreign substancereceiving box (16). On the other hand, a large foreign substance (BL) goes across the eliminating airflow, and falls down onto the bar screen conveyor (20). The bar screen conveyor captures the large foreign substance, and removes it outside of the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Assignee: Japan Tobacco Inc.
    Inventors: Yoshio Takai, Shigeru Watanabe, Hironori Watanabe, Katsuhiko Kan, Shinichi Kudo
  • Patent number: 6639167
    Abstract: The invention relates to an arrangement for sorting pellets (2), that includes a transportation device (3) for feeding the pellet (2), a first container (8) for faultless pellets (2a) fed over the end portion of the transportation device (3), a second container (13) for defective pellets (2b), a detector (9) for detecting defective pellets (2b) and a sorting device (11) for feeding any defective pellets (2b) detected to the second container (13). The invention is characterised in that the transportation device (3) is arranged with an angle of inclination (&agr;) relative to the horizontal plane which is selected within a predetermined interval corresponding to a predetermined, limited scattering of the trajectory of the faultless pellets (2a) fed over the end portion of the transportation device (3). The invention also relates to a method for such a sorting. Thanks to the invention, an improved sorting with an even and controlled flow of pellet and a high capacity is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Assignee: Svante Bjork AB
    Inventor: Svante Björk
  • Patent number: 6630633
    Abstract: A pneumatic weighing device has a weigh pan, which is supported for vertical movement by a load cell in response to the weight of an article; the weigh pan is provided with a plenum chamber having an apertured upper surface through which air under pressure is directed for purpose of providing an air cushion for supporting and transporting articles to be weighed. The weighing device additionally includes pneumatic means for rejecting articles of improper weight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2003
    Assignee: Hi-Speed Checkweigher Co., Inc.
    Inventors: John E. Uber, Peter R. Braun, Eric A. Inglin
  • Patent number: 6541725
    Abstract: An object, such as a pistachio nut, is sorted based on a given trait. The sorting process commences by bouncing the object off a body so that the object emits a sound. The sound emitted by the object is converted to an electrical signal which is analyzed to determine electrical characteristics that indicate the trait of the object. For example, the electrical signal can be integrated and a signal gradient produced to discriminate among signals from different classes of objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture
    Inventor: Thomas C. Pearson
  • Publication number: 20030034281
    Abstract: A system for sorting randomly positioned, irregularly shaped scrap metal particles on a moving conveyor employs laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), and includes an image detector for locating the particles as they path through a predefined viewing area, a position detector for detecting movement of the conveyor, a laser system for providing laser pulses, a scanner assembly for directing the pulses to selected locations within a target area, a light collector, a light distribution and spectral analyzer for isolating and measuring at least one selected band from the collected light, a separator, and suitable logic for identifying the particles, monitoring their position, monitoring the output of the laser and, operating the scanner assembly to direct the pulses to the identified particle. The spectral data is then analyzed, each particle is categorized, and thereafter sorted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2001
    Publication date: February 20, 2003
    Applicant: Huron Valley Steel Corporation
    Inventor: Pradeep Kumar
  • Patent number: 6506991
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for sorting waste paper pieces of different grades and conditions. The method includes moving a plurality of waste paper pieces in a conveying direction on at least one sorting belt, each waste paper piece having a surface, irradiating at least one area of the surface with radiation, registering the radiation reflected from the surface, and sorting the waste paper on the basis of the reflected radiation, wherein waste paper pieces of at least one type are separated from waste paper pieces of at least one other type.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2003
    Assignee: Binder & Co. Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Rainer Eixelberger, Peter Friedl, Karlheinz Gschweitl
  • Patent number: 6504124
    Abstract: A glass sorting machine optically sorts glass cullet according to different color characteristics by irradiating the cullet with red, green and blue light as the cullet are passed through a sensing region between a light source and light sensors responsive to the different light colors. The attenuation levels of the different light colors are measured by the sensors as the cullet passes through the sensing region. The machine analyzes the attenuation levels to determine the color characteristics of the cullet. A collimator is typically used to enhance shadow definition. In one embodiment, a pixel grid map is made of the sensing region and each cullet that passes through the sensing region. Mapped on to each grid is a red, green, and blue digital signal. Attenuated signals are compared against baseline values to determine the attenuation for given cullet. The pixel grid map may be used with a data erosion technique to compensate for refraction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: Magnetic Separation Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Arthur G. Doak
  • Patent number: 6497324
    Abstract: A system for sorting articles includes a feed conveyor for launching the articles across an airspace toward a first destination. A light source shines light energy on the articles in the airspace. A collector collects light energy reflected from the articles. A deflector is provided for deflecting selected articles toward an alternative destination as the articles fly across the airspace. A control system is operably connected to the collector and the deflector for actuating the deflector in response to a sensed parameter, such as an electromagnetic radiation frequency spectrum, of the light energy collected in the collector. Preferably, this system is utilized with a retro-reflector located on an opposite side of the airspace from the light source and the collector. This system also preferably includes the use of a multi-plexer which allows a single analyzer unit to be utilized to analyze light signals from each of a large plurality of collector units of the collector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2002
    Assignee: MSS, Inc.
    Inventors: Arthur G. Doak, Mitchell G. Roe, Stephen C. Greene
  • Publication number: 20020175113
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for the sorting of chips (3). The chips, which have kinetic energy, are separated from each other on the basis of the form or the length of their flight curve which depends on their air resistance. The kinetic energy of the chips is generated by a mechanical ejecting device (6) ejecting the chips or by means of a fan conveyor or by means of the wings of a blowing chipper.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2002
    Publication date: November 28, 2002
    Inventor: Hannu Tahkanen
  • Patent number: 6467629
    Abstract: An apparatus for separating mixed particles divides the material to be sorted into constituent fractions comprising non-ferromagnetic particles of different electrical conductance. The particles are fed onto a conveyor, e.g. a conveyor belt that linearly moves the particles in a given direction. A rotating magnetic system is arranged below and/or above the conveyor belt. The rotary direction of the magnetic system is chosen so that the direction of movement of the surface of the magnetic system and the direction of movement of the surface of the conveyor belt are different. The fractions of non-ferromagnetic particles that are electrically charged to varying degrees are thereby divided between a plurality of collecting containers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Inventor: Hurbertus Exner
  • Publication number: 20020130067
    Abstract: A foreign substance eliminating apparatus transfers raw material by passing the raw material between an upstream conveyor (6) and a downstream conveyor (8), and detects a foreign substance on the upstream transfer conveyor with a foreign substance detector (9). An eliminating airflow (R) is ejected from a row of air nozzles (13) when the detected foreign substance falls down, and deflects the falling direction of the foreign substance. At this point, a small foreign substance (BS) is blown off by the eliminating airflow, and sent to the foreign substancereceiving box (16). On the other hand, a large foreign substance (BL) goes across the eliminating airflow, and falls down onto the bar screen conveyor (20). The bar screen conveyor captures the large foreign substance, and removes it outside of the conveyor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2002
    Publication date: September 19, 2002
    Inventors: Yoshio Takai, Shigeru Watanabe, Hironori Watanabe, Katsuhiko Kan, Shinichi Kudo
  • Patent number: 6435191
    Abstract: Apparatus for separating particles contained in threshed leaf tobacco includes a plurality of separating chambers, each including a separation chamber and having a fan system for establishing a generally upward air flow. A covered, high speed conveyor of projects the tobacco across the upward flow of air in each chamber in conjunction with additional make up air from the covered, high speed conveyor. Lighter particles of tobacco are carried upward and exit the chamber via a separating mechanism. Heavier particles of tobacco fall onto an integral conveyor and are discharged from the chamber onto another covered, high speed conveyor connecting it to the next chamber. The separating chambers are mounted in line in a configuration to suit the tobacco being processed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Assignee: DIMON Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Roudabush, Jack Morrison
  • Patent number: 6400453
    Abstract: An instrument for analyzing and dispensing objects larger than about 70 &mgr;m in diameter is based on a flow cytometer with a novel fluidic switch arrangement for diverting a portion of a sample stream in response to detector signals in a flow cell. The instrument is particularly adapted for dispensing multicellular test organisms like nematodes or large microspheres for use in screening large libraries of potential pharmaceutical agents. Hydrodynamic focussing is used to center and align the objects in the flow cell. The objects pass through a sensing zone where optical or other characteristics of the objects are detected. The detector signals are processed and used to operate a fluidic switch that is located downstream from the sensing zone. The fluid stream containing the detected objects emerges from the flow cell into air where a fluid stream controlled by the fluidic switch diverts portions of the stream containing no sample objects or sample objects not meeting predetermined characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Union Biometrica, Inc.
    Inventor: W. Peter Hansen
  • Patent number: 6353197
    Abstract: A system for automatically inspecting matter for varying composition includes one or more detection stations through which one or more streams of matter are advanced and particular materials therein are detected through their diffusely reflected IR spectra, if any, and/or through their variation of an electromagnetic field by their metallic portions, if any. A row of light sources distributed across the overall width of one or more belt conveyors may cause desired portions of the stream to reflect light diffusely onto a part-toroidal mirror extending over that overall width, whence the light is reflected, by a rotating, polygonal mirror through optical filters dedicated to differing IR wavelengths, onto detectors the data output of which is utilized in controlling solenoid valves operating air jet nozzles which separate-out the desired portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2002
    Inventors: Borre Bengt Ulrichsen, Clas Fredrik Mender, Geir Foss-Pedersen, Jon Henrik Tschudi, Ib-Rune Johansen
  • Patent number: 6332543
    Abstract: There is provided an apparatus which can simplify, expedite and enhance the segregation of undesirable particles from desirable particles in a multiple-layer flow wherein the desirable and undesirable particles are randomly intermixed with each other. This is accomplished by a stepwise reduction of the thickness of the flow to thus locate all or nearly all undesirable particles at or close to the exposed sides of the resulting relatively thin flow so that the undesirable particles can be readily detected and segregated from the thin flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2001
    Assignee: Hauni Maschinenbau AG
    Inventors: Heiko Niehues, Torsten Koch, Renke Schlarmann, Harry Drewes, Hans Dierken
  • Publication number: 20010052346
    Abstract: A hopper is connected with a machine for manufacture of tobacco industry products including a tangential separator sequentially feeding an entry stock of the hopper. The distribution between portions of tobacco streams including a large proportion of short tobacco fibers and portions including a large proportion of long tobacco fibers of the tobacco stream set apart in advance in the entry stock is essentially longitudinal when the stream arrives on a transfer belt of the hopper. By imposing a change of direction on the tobacco stream as well as a reduction of speed of displacement of this stream, this longitudinal distribution is transformed into a transverse distribution. A spiked or barbed roller, placed at a right angle to this latter stream, homogenizes the distribution, making it possible for the distribution to be regular between short fibers and long fibers in the tobacco stream arriving through the chimney for the manufacture of the tobacco rod.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 12, 1998
    Publication date: December 20, 2001
    Inventors: DAVID VUILLEUMIER, BERNARD TALLIER