Means Movable Between Horizontal Item-supporting Position And Gravity Discharge Position Patents (Class 209/698)
  • Patent number: 10870131
    Abstract: A platform assembly for use with sorting articles includes a first panel including a plurality of markers thereon, the markers forming a track on the first panel for transit thereabout by a plurality of vehicles. Each marker includes one or more magnetic characteristics for determining an orientation of the marker. A container is positioned about at least one of the plurality of markers. The platform assembly defines a first orientation in which the platform assembly is in a retracted position and a second orientation in which the platform assembly is in an extended position with a horizontal disposition. During operation, the vehicle is directed by a control system to deposit an article carried thereon into a container associated with a marker based on the location and the orientation of the marker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2020
    Assignee: TOMPKINS INTERNATIONAL
    Inventors: Michael C. Futch, James M. Serstad, Ryan Fehrenbacher, Milan Patel, Ray Wells, Steven Wu, Richard C. Kaminska, III, James Edouard, Denny McKnight, John C. Spain
  • Patent number: 9863747
    Abstract: A system for inspecting, fixing, or screening ammunition comprises an ammunition conveying track, a plurality of ammunition trays arranged on an outer surface of the ammunition conveying track, an ammunition inspector disposed at right and left sides of the ammunition conveying track, an ammunition fixer disposed downstream of the ammunition inspector at right and left sides of the ammunition conveying track, and an ammunition discharger disposed at an end point of the upper portion of the ammunition conveying track, ammunition cartridges being sequentially discharged through the ammunition fixer and the ammunition discharger, wherein at least one of the ammunition inspector and the ammunition fixer includes ammunition-shaped chambers and actuators, wherein the ammunition cartridges placed on the ammunition trays are moved horizontally and inserted into the chambers, and wherein the actuators horizontally move the ammunition cartridges inserted in the chambers back to the ammunition trays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Inventor: Woo Hyun Kim
  • Patent number: 9162828
    Abstract: Mail processing systems, methods, and computer-readable media. A method includes assigning first and second delivery points to a single output at the same time. The method includes sorting a first mail piece sorted to the first delivery point and a second mail piece sorted to the second delivery point. The method includes placing both first and second output containers, associated with the first and second delivery points, into a position proximate to the output. The method includes moving the first output container into a position to receive the mail pieces sorted to the first delivery point from the output and to moving the second output container into a position to receive the mail pieces sorted to the second delivery point from the output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Assignee: Siemens Industry, Inc.
    Inventor: Luiz Carlos Harres
  • Patent number: 8857625
    Abstract: A sorting system configured to sort materials by size, and/or weight is disclosed herein. The sorting system is configured to operate in a smaller footprint as compared with conventional sorting systems. For instance, a main sorting track of sorting system is configured to deliver sorted material to either side of the main sorting track. Additionally, the sorting system is configured to reduce mechanical damage imparted on the material to be sorted by sorting system by a sliding and/or rolled delivery. Aspects of the sorting system may be mounted on a mobile platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Inventor: Jesus R. Oropeza
  • Patent number: 7896164
    Abstract: A device for sorting out waste parts of workpieces on saws has a saw having at least one saw blade for cutting workpieces into workpiece parts. At least one feed roller is arranged upstream of the saw in a transport direction of workpieces. At least one feed roller is arranged downstream of the saw in the transport direction. At least one transport device is provided for the workpiece parts cut at the saw. At least one acceleration roller is arranged in the transport direction of the workpieces downstream of the saw so that the cut workpiece parts are transported by being accelerated away from the cutting area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: GreCon Dimter Holzoptimierung Süd GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Thomas Schmid, Georg Reinbold
  • Publication number: 20090159513
    Abstract: The invention relates to a gravity separator having the following features: a channel-like portion having a transport unit, along which a material to be classified can be transported from a feeding end to a classification chamber, a closure unit which is arranged on and/or in the channel-like portion, the closure unit can be moved perpendicularly relative to the transport direction of the material to be classified and is arranged in such a manner that it rests on the material which is transported through with at least a portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2008
    Publication date: June 25, 2009
    Inventors: Erich Kohl, August van der Beek
  • Patent number: 7431164
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for sorting products, which device comprises adjacently arranged supporting units which are movable in a direction of transport along a conveying path, each supporting unit being provided with at least one load carrying platform comprising a supporting surface for supporting a product. The load carrying platform is supported by a support member, which can be tilted by tilting means about an axis of tilt parallel to the conveying path with respect to a conveying element forming part of a supporting unit, which conveying element is movable along a guide extending according to said conveying path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2008
    Assignee: Vanderlande Industries Nederland B.V.
    Inventors: Frits Franciscus Carolus Groot, Gregorius Maria Adrianus Van Vught, Cornelis Christiaan Goelema, Jacobus Marie Van Den Goor
  • Publication number: 20080217216
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for removing undesirable products, for instance eggs or fruits, from a stream of products which are fed in at least one single row on well-defined positions of an endless feed conveyor, for instance lying on rollers of a roller conveyor, and which are transferred in conveying direction to and onto at least one single row of an endless follow-on conveyor which is placed at virtually the same height in alignment with said feed conveyor, wherein the transfer of each product is carried out by a product transfer element which, upon transfer, takes up a transfer position between and in alignment with the two said rows, wherein the said undesirable products are removed from the stream of products at the end of said feed conveyor, wherein the product transfer element is energized and is removed from the transfer position, wherein the product transfer element takes up the transfer position only during transfer of the products from the feed conveyor to and onto the follow-on convey
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 17, 2006
    Publication date: September 11, 2008
    Applicant: FPS FOOD PROCESSING SYSTEMS B.V.
    Inventor: Hendrikus Louis Stephanus De Vlaam
  • Publication number: 20080217219
    Abstract: A screening apparatus, in particular for mixtures, which are difficult to separate, as e.g. crude oil sand mixtures, comprising a base support frame, aligned substantially horizontally, supported relative to the support floor through damping springs as an opposite oscillating mass; several inclined energy storage spring packages, each provided as a double coil spring assembly, carrying a screening box as an oscillating mass; and several unbalanced mass motors, flanged to the base support frame, imparting an oriented box oscillation with an effective KV value of 9.5 upon the base support frame and through the energy storage spring packets upon the sieve box.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 7, 2007
    Publication date: September 11, 2008
    Applicant: Paul GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Ralph NABERG, Udo Artur ZOLLNER
  • Patent number: 7341140
    Abstract: An off-loading conveyor of produce having utility in the discrimination and separation of watermelons includes a support structure defining a conveying path, an endless flexible element mounted on the support structure to extend and to move along the conveying path and support elements mounted to pivot from the conveying path and to move with the endless flexible element along the conveying path. The support elements are mounted to mounts which are attached to the endless flexible element. These elements are pivotally mounted to the mount and extend transversely across the conveying path of the conveyor from pivots in alternation from opposite sides of the conveying path. The support elements include elongate bodies which are pivoted adjacent one end and employ a rotatably mounted wheel adjacent the other end. The wheels define a conveying channel and are able to be lifted by cams upwardly to off load produce from either side of the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2008
    Inventor: A. James Warkentin
  • Patent number: 7337892
    Abstract: The invention provides a device for sorting products, comprising bogies which are movable in a direction of transport along a conveying path, which bogies are pivotally interconnected, and supporting platforms comprising a supporting surface for supporting products to be sorted. Each of the supporting platforms includes supporting elements which are movable with respect to an adjacent supporting element for changing the circumference of the supporting platform in question during passage of a bend in the conveying path, which supporting elements include two outer supporting elements which, seen in the direction of transport, are located at the front side and the rear side, respectively, of the supporting platform in question and at least one intermediate supporting element positioned between the outer supporting elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2008
    Assignee: Vanderlande Industries Nederland B.V.
    Inventors: Frits Franciscus Carolus Groot, Gregorius Maria Adrianus Van Vught, Cornelius Christiaan Goelema, Simon Stikkelorum
  • Patent number: 7240800
    Abstract: An attrition mill for reclaiming foundry sand from deposited material having lumps of used foundry sand and included material includes a housing defining a chamber for receiving the lumps of used foundry sand and included material. A base is disposed within the housing and has an elevated end defining a reject outlet adjacent a reject end of the mill and a lower end, and a discharge wall is positioned adjacent the base lower end to define a sand outlet adjacent a sand end of the mill. A resilient support is attached to the housing, and a vibratory drive is attached to the housing and includes first and second eccentrically loaded motors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2007
    Assignee: General Kinematics Corporation
    Inventors: Paul R. Musschoot, William G. Guptail, Steve C. Wiechmann
  • Publication number: 20040232056
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for sorting products, which device comprises adjacently arranged supporting units which are movable in a direction of transport along a conveying path, each supporting unit being provided with at least one load carrying platform comprising a supporting surface for supporting a product. The load carrying platform is supported by a support member, which can be tilted by tilting means about an axis of tilt parallel to the conveying path with respect to a conveying element forming part of a supporting unit, which conveying element is movable along a guide extending according to said conveying path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 13, 2004
    Publication date: November 25, 2004
    Applicant: Vanderlande Industries Nederland B.V.
    Inventors: Frits Franciscus Carolus Groot, Gregorius Maria Adrianus Van Vught, Cornelis Christiaan Goelema, Jacobus Marie Van Den Goor
  • Patent number: 6817462
    Abstract: A return device for containers, such as bottles, cups, cans, or the like, comprises an insertion opening for receiving the container and at least one distributing means for transporting the container from the insertion opening to a selectable processing means of the return device. For a faster and easier sorting of the containers in a compact way, the distributing means comprises at least one intermediate bottom and a receiving means which is movable relative to the bottom, transports the container away from the insertion opening and is provided with a bottom opening, the intermediate bottom being movably supported in the return device and comprising at least one sorting opening which can be positioned below the bottom opening for passing the container therethrough to the selected processing means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Assignee: C.M.S. S.P.A.
    Inventor: Luciano Salda
  • Patent number: 6662925
    Abstract: The invention concerns an automatic selective sorting device (10), for simultaneously loading, transporting and placing objects having very different characteristics in receiving containers, comprising a frame (11) bearing two toothed wheels (12, 13) arranged at each end of the frame (11), and whereon is stretched an endless conveyor (15). The loading mechanism consist of a line of conveyor belts (32) made up of a belt for manual insertion (32a) two accelerating belts (32b) and a belt for automatic insertion (32c). The acceleration belts (32b) are arranged respectively beneath two columns of a buffer storage and untiering system (33) which bring the objects to be sorted (8) and set them onto the acceleration belts which then place them on the automatic insertion belt (32c) to bring them onto the transporting mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: Internova International Innovation Company B.V.
    Inventor: François-Marie Franci
  • Publication number: 20010022285
    Abstract: A device for the selection and elimination of crop ends of rolls of kitchen towel and/or toilet paper, in which the device is supplied by at least one row of finished rolls (12) and by top and tail crop ends (13) cut in sequence from at least one log, and including a structure (14) supporting an upper belt unit (16) and a lower belt unit (15a, 15b), facing each other to receive the rolls (12) and crop ends (13), the lower belt unit (15a, 15b) having a first, belt subunit (15a) and a second belt subunit (15b) separated by an opening (26), upstream the first belt subunit (15a) with a fixed lower surface (32) underneath the upper belt unit (16) to turnover the crop ends (13) and with a contact means (33, 35) being provided a the entrance of opening (26), on the turned crop ends to rotate them into the opening (26), letting the cut and finished rolls (12) pass by.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2001
    Publication date: September 20, 2001
    Inventor: Giovanni Gambini
  • Patent number: 6241460
    Abstract: Envelopes in a vertical orientation are delivered in sequence to an envelope bundling table from a sheet insertion table where sheets are inserted into envelopes. A stationary vertical wall forms a part of the envelope bundling table and the respective short ends of envelopes of a preselected bundle of envelopes successively abut it when discharged onto that table. A movably mounted vertical wall has a first deployed configuration where it is disposed parallel to the first vertical wall, between the sheet insertion table and the stationary vertical wall. When so deployed, the envelopes of a preselected bundle successively abut it and therefore do not reach the first vertical wall. Those envelopes are therefore laterally offset from envelopes of a different bundle that abut the first vertical wall. The movable vertical wall has a retracted position so that envelopes delivered to the envelope bundling table abut the first vertical wall when the second vertical wall is retracted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2001
    Inventor: Todd C. Werner
  • Patent number: 6227378
    Abstract: A sorting system is disclosed, for example for mail items. In the disclosed system, a circulating storage system can receive items from an inlet, and deposit them in an appropriate output receptacle which has been allocated to items in a particular group. For example, the items can be sorted by destination, and each output receptacle can be allocated to a particular destination. In the event that the destination of an item has not output receptacle allocated thereto, the system controller can determine whether to allocate a receptacle, or whether to recirculate the item within the circulating storage system. This possibility allows items to be grouped together within the system, until there are sufficient items for a particular destination to allow them to be handled efficiently, and in particular allows the allocation of output receptacles to destinations to be controlled efficiently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Assignee: the Post Office
    Inventors: Keith Malcolm Jones, Gregory Charles Hopkins
  • Patent number: 6179129
    Abstract: An article transporting, and preferably also color and/or weight sorting, assembly and method, support the articles (.g. apples or like pieces of fruit), and effect precise rotation (e.g. within about 5°) of all apples transported thereby. This allows accurate determination of the apple's color by color sensing equipment (e.g. a color camera). The assembly comprises a support element, and two sets of cones mounted to the support by rotatable shafts, each set comprising first and second cones having a tapered exterior surface, the cones on each shaft facing each other and tapering to an imaginary substantially common midpoint. The cones support an apple essentially without the apple engaging the shaft. The cones may be of soft yieldable plastic or rubber with a first taper of about 25-35° (e.g. about 28°), and optionally one or more steps of different taper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2001
    Assignee: Powell Machinery, Inc.
    Inventor: Harry C. Powell, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6126017
    Abstract: The device for sorting objects, for example mail items, includes a conveyor (1) that directs the objects to be sorted to sorting output receptacles (7) associated with corresponding sorting outputs and in which the sorted objects are stored. A buffer receptacle (11) is provided at each sorting output. Each buffer receptacle (11) has a retractable bottom (12) and temporarily stores sorted objects before they are transferred into a sorting output receptacle and/or while that sorting output receptacle is replaced by an empty receptacle. Because of these buffer receptacles, the throughput of the sorting device may remain constant while sorting output receptacles are replaced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Assignee: Mannesmann Dematic Postal Automation S.A.
    Inventor: Patrick Hours
  • Patent number: 5998754
    Abstract: A feed device for a unit for sorting elongate items, particularly vegetables such as carrots, includes a slanted conveyor (23) with a plurality of freely rotatable transverse rollers (24) driven by two endless chains. The conveyor includes three longitudinal sections, i.e. a lower section (23a) having a device (30) for rotating the rollers (24) in the same direction as the forward direction of the conveyor (23), an intermediate section (23b) where the rollers (24) are freely rotatable, and an upper section (23c) having an element (33) for rotating the rollers (24) in the opposite direction to the forward direction of the conveyor. A unit for sorting elongate items is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Materiel Pour L'Arboriculture Fruitiere
    Inventor: Jacques Pervieux
  • Patent number: 5994657
    Abstract: A device and method for sorting flat mailed pieces. The mailed pieces are individually transferred to conveying cells which can be conveyed one behind the other along a conveying path and are delivered to receptacles which are arranged along the conveying path. The mailed pieces are transferred by a transfer device to the conveying cells. The main planes of the mailed pieces (14) are oriented essentially vertically. The receptacles for the mailed pieces conveyed by the conveying cells are determined on the basis of a preset sequence of all possible mailing addresses, the mailing addresses of all mailed piece transferred to the conveying cells, and the association data representing the association between the individual mailed pieces and the conveying cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: GRAPHA-Holding AG
    Inventors: Wilhelm Maier, Jean-Claude Oppliger
  • Patent number: 5901854
    Abstract: The invention relates to an object sorting and conveying apparatus used in the work for sorting and conveying objects, wherein multiple rotary support elements for mounting objects are disposed at the side of a conveying belt stretched in a conveying route orthogonally in the feed direction, the rotary support elements are rotated at the object inspection position for inverting and rotating the objects, the rotary support elements are designed to turn between a mounting position for mounting on the upper part and a tilting position for discharging objects, about the conveying belt side, and the objects can be inspected accurately by inverting and rotating the objects, and the position control and discharge of objects are also easy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Inventor: Toru Ishii
  • Patent number: 5720593
    Abstract: An apparatus for counting, inspecting, and stacking flexible, generally planar food products such as tortillas, or the like. The apparatus has an inclined infeed conveyor with adjustable alignment guides thereon to adjust the lateral position of each tortilla as it moves to a transit conveyor. Sensors mounted on the transit conveyor count the tortillas and inspect the size and shape of the tortillas to detect any defective tortillas moving along the transit conveyor. At the end of the transit conveyor, an arcuate-shaped trajectory guide bends the tortilla into an arcuate shape as the tortilla leaves the trajectory guide and flies through a known flight trajectory to a stacking mechanism. The arcuate shape allows the leading edge of the tortilla to resist bending or folding. A rejection mechanism positioned between the end of the transit conveyor and the trajectory guide redirects any rejected tortillas detected by the sensors downward away from the trajectory guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1998
    Assignee: Arr-Tech Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd D. Pleake
  • Patent number: 5641072
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for sorting post-consumed bottles exactly and efficiently and an apparatus for carrying out the method. The sorting apparatus comprises a supply section, a separating section, a detecting section comprising a first image pickup camera for detecting the size and contour of each post-consumed bottle and a second image pickup camera for high speed detection of color by a defined image pickup utilizing data from the first image pickup camera, a sorting section for sorting and discharging only post-consumed bottles already classified to sorting containers preliminarily placed in accordance with data received from the detecting section, and a control section for controlling a series of operations timely. Since the scope of the image pickup for detecting color of the post-consumed bottles is defined in accordance with the data from the detecting section, picture processing at a high speed is achieved resulting in remarkable sorting performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 24, 1997
    Assignee: Kurimoto, Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshiyuki Otake
  • Patent number: 5538143
    Abstract: An apparatus for separating cutlery from food waste, such as for use in a restaurant, includes a glacis which is angled toward the opening of a waste container. Extending from an end of the glacis are a set of flaps having a closed position whereby they guide the food waste into the waste container, and having an open position whereby they separate and expose a receptacle for receiving cutlery. A detector is disposed relative to the glacis for detecting a cutlery item inadvertently mixed with the food waste on the glacis. If a cutlery item is sensed by the detector, the flaps are caused to open and the cutlery item falls into the cutlery receptacle, thereby the cutlery is separated from the food waste.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 23, 1996
    Assignees: Bjorn Bygge, Jan Hellman
    Inventor: Tord Pettersson
  • Patent number: 5311998
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for grading items such as roots and tubers in which a succession of items are conveyed one after the other in a U-shaped channel of a conveyor. As each item passes a measuring station a grading characteristic of the item is measured and compared with a predetermined value. The items are transferred from the conveyor to addressing stations based on the compared grading characteristics of the items. The grading characteristics of each item is measured by measuring the orthogonal projection of each item onto the conveyor, and the conveyor is formed by successive transverse conveyor elements, each item having an orthogonal projection extending over at least three adjacent conveyor elements. The items are transferred from the conveyor by displacing the at least three conveyor elements either to lift the item off the conveyor or to allow the items to drop below the conveyor. The conveyor can be a linear conveyor or a loop conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 17, 1994
    Inventors: Moisei M. Lerner, Svyatoslav M. Voldman, Moisei F. Milgrom, Petr L. Buryan, Khaskel A. Tarandash, Alexei I. Suschenko
  • Patent number: 5301790
    Abstract: In a sorting system for flight luggage it it well known to put individual pieces of luggage in totes (4) which are entered onto a conveyor with sideways tiltable carrying platforms (2), whereby the pieces of luggage may be selectively unloaded from the totes at their destinations (D1,D2) or at a storage unit (W) where the totes are released and stored with their content for later re-introduciton into the sorting system. This known art has required a particular construction of the sorting conveyor with a large-angle tilt and a complex mechanism for releasibly holding the totes. According to the invention the totes have upper surfaces (8) which are of a concave shape in order that the pieces of goods may be slid off the totes while secured, at the same moderate angle required for the sliding-off at the storage unit. Hence the conveyor itself may be quite conventional, at the same time as the holding mechanism may be limited to mere retractable flanges (14) on the sides of the carrying platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 12, 1994
    Assignee: Kosan Crisplant A/S
    Inventors: Ole Prydtz, Uffe Lykkegaard, Ralph Kofoed
  • Patent number: 5294004
    Abstract: In an article sorting apparatus with two parallel, spaced-apart continuous conveyors which pass through a loading zone, a weighing zone, and a discharge zone, having fabric flaps disposed on spaced-apart rods connected between the two conveyors for gently receiving articles selectively discharged for grouping with other articles having a similar determinable characteristic, an article-holding cup and scale providing such apparatus capability to select by weight. The cup includes an L-shaped arm extending outward and downward from one side and a pin extending outward from an opposite side. The free end of the arm extends to the scale below the horizontal plane in which the rods travel. The rods pass over the scale while the cups travel on rails in the weighing zone so that the weight of the article in each cup may be determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 15, 1994
    Assignee: Durand-Wayland, Inc.
    Inventor: William H. Leverett
  • Patent number: 5277320
    Abstract: An improved shell egg culling system includes a conveying system having sites for conveying shell eggs, an illuminator together with a video camera in conjunction with a computer having a first algorithm and a second algorithm for determining which of the sites contain shell eggs having broken shells and which contain shell eggs having soiled shells, a plurality of bridges in side-by-side relationship which are controlled by the computer to remove shell eggs having broken shells from the conveying system for discarding, and a platform having a plurality of downwardly directed, suction-activated lifters which are controlled by the computer to remove shell eggs having soiled shells from the conveying system for recycling through a washer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 11, 1994
    Assignee: Seymour, Inc.
    Inventors: Duane E. Corkill, Norman B. Guy, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5238120
    Abstract: A machine for sorting graphic and/or printing products in which the products are fed one after the other, comprising a framework, a conveyor for receiving individual products one after the other sensors for identifying each of the individual products on the receiving conveyor a central computer, a control console for the entry of predetermined data, selectively actuated elements for unloading the products from the receiving conveyor and at least one conveyor for discharging the unloaded products, wherein the receiving conveyor consists of a sliding surface and is disposed on the framework inclined at an angle of between 10.degree. and 90.degree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1993
    Assignee: Sitma S.p.A.
    Inventors: Aris Ballestrazzi, Lamberto Tassi
  • Patent number: 5230432
    Abstract: An apparatus (19) for singulating a series of packages (17). The apparatus (19) includes a vertical wheel (12), a retainer spring (10), a gravity feed track (14), a pass track (15), and a reject track (16). The vertical wheel (12) comprises a plurality of slots (22-29), and rotates in a clockwise direction to deliver the packages (17) to an electrical test fixture (18). Upon completion of testing, the vertical wheel (12) rotates in a clockwise direction and delivers the packages (17) to either the pass track (15) or the reject track (16). A motor driven eccentric (37) actuates the retainer spring (10) to unblock the appropriate slot (22-29), thereby releasing the packages (17) from the appropriate slot (22-29).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1993
    Assignee: Motorola, Inc.
    Inventor: Maureen Sugai
  • Patent number: 5207332
    Abstract: An apparatus for classifying photographic films in which cartridges are classified according to a customer's order information, each cartridge storing a photographic film having a recording portion on which a customer's order information is magnetically recorded. The apparatus includes a plurality of classifying portions, a selector unit for selecting one of the plurality of classifying portions based on the customer order information read from the recording portion of the film, and a transfer unit for moving the cartridge into the selected classifying portion. In consequence, the cartridge can be automatically classified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1993
    Assignee: Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Katsuhiko Tanaka
  • Patent number: 5195641
    Abstract: A sorting line for processing envelopes, particularly for photographic laboratories, including at least one endless conveyor, for a plurality of boxes, provided with a base which opens under a command correlated with the position of the boxes along their path and a plurality of compartments arranged on several levels in a position below the endless conveyor and provided with upperly open communication channels which emerge in positions corresponding with the different positions in which the base of the boxes opens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1993
    Assignee: Systel International S.p.A.
    Inventor: Roberto Signoretto
  • Patent number: 5193685
    Abstract: An automated gemstone sorting apparatus and method that handles, tests, and sorts a batch of irradiated topaz, or similar gemstones, in an efficient manner in accordance with residual radiation levels. The sorting apparatus and methods of the invention include a system of three parallel conveyors, i.e., input, accept and reject conveyors, as well as a vibrator bowl for automatically loading the gemstones in an orderly fashion onto the input conveyor. A multiplicity of isolated testing chambers is located to the side of the conveyor systems, each having a radiation detector and appropriate radiation measuring apparatus. Each of the isolated testing chambers has a single robot station associated therewith for manipulating the gemstones into and out of its respective testing chamber. Each robot station includes a pneumatic "puffer", responsive to a sensing device for directing a puff of air at a specified point on the input conveyor belt when a gemstone is sensed at the specified point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1993
    Inventor: William J. Trevithick
  • Patent number: 5190162
    Abstract: A machine for sorting packages having individual bar code identifications. The packages are received at an induction station and an induction conveyor moves the packages up to a gate which is driven by an actuator to allow individual packages to pass through the gate at predetermined intervals. The packages are driven by a transport mechanism along a slider bed having trap doors moveable between an elevated position in alignment with the slider bed and a lowered position providing openings in the slider bed for the packages to fall from the slider bed. The transport mechanism includes individual pushers to move over the slider bed spaced from one another by the predetermined interval so that each pusher receives a respective one of the packages from the induction conveyor and pushes that package along the slider bed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1993
    Inventor: Karl Hartlepp
  • Patent number: 5184712
    Abstract: A device for transporting articles from a plurality of dispenser machines to a packaging machine including at least two delivery belts, a delivery device assigned to a furnishing device with furnishing places. Drivers that transfer the furnished articles to receiving cups of a conveyor apparatus of a packaging machine. For transferring the articles furnished to two furnishing places to the conveyor apparatus at a single transfer point, some of the drivers are disposed fixedly relative to the conveyor, and the others are disposed displaceably, transversely to the conveyor direction on the delivery device. The drivers are connected to bars, which extend transversely to a pair of conveyor chains. Stationary guide rails transmit the additional transverse motion to the displaceable drivers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1993
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Helmut Leypold, Guenther-Eberhard Lade
  • Patent number: 5181596
    Abstract: An off-loading conveyor including a support structure mounting an endless chain to extend along a conveying path. Roller carriages including roller mounts and laterally extending elements are pivotally mounted to the chain on either side thereof. The laterally extending elements and the laterally extending rollers define cavities for receipt of conveyed product units. The roller carriages and associated rollers are positionable in a first, conveying position and a second, off-loading position. The roller carriages rotate downwardly about axes extending laterally of the chain to achieve the second, off-loading position. Control members pivotally mounted to the chain selectively control rotation of the roller carriages from the first to the second positions upon actuation by a solenoid cam mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1993
    Inventor: A. James Warkentin
  • Patent number: 5147048
    Abstract: A sorting line for processing envelopes for photographic laboratories including a feeder unit of the processing envelopes to be sorted, a main leg for supporting and guiding a first endless conveyor for a plurality of boxes provided with a base which opens under a command correlated with a position of the boxes along their path, the boxes being individually fed by a feeder unit, at least one branch leg for supporting and guiding a second endless conveyor for a plurality of boxes substantially similar to the boxes of the main leg, the branch leg being located at a lower level than the main leg, the arrangement of each branch leg with respect to the main leg being such that there exists at least one position which a box of the first conveyor is exactly above a box of the second conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1992
    Assignee: Systel International S.p.A.
    Inventor: Roberto Signoretto
  • Patent number: 5139150
    Abstract: A gravity conveyor (12) delivers drill bits (10) to carrier tubes (24) which are on an endless conveyor. An optical micrometer (22) or the like identifies the drill bits (10), as to shank type, maximum diameter, overall length, helix angle, back taper, number of margins, etc., and produces an identification signal which is directed to a control computer (B). An identified drill bit (10) is delivered into a given carrier tube (24). The computer (B) controls the endless conveyor (EC) to move the conveyor tube (24) into a position adjacent a dedicated receptacle (30) for the identified drill bit (10) which is one of a large number of dedicated receptacles (30) which are arranged in series alongside the path traversed by the endless conveyor (EC).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1992
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Robert L. Fuller, Jr., Paul E. Faville
  • Patent number: 5101982
    Abstract: The conveying and off-loading apparatus, used in machines for the automatic selection and distribution of products, comprises a conveyor for transporting individual products from examination stations to discharge stations along a path, including an elongate flexible closed-loop belt and a plurality of rollers distributed on the conveyor. The rollers have axes extending transversely to the longitudinal extension of the conveyor, and adjacent rollers define between one another elongated holders for individual products. Forks rotatably support the rollers on the chain and are adapted to allow small vertical oscillations of the rollers, as the weight of the product and its holder is lifted from the chain and transferred to a level section of the ramp associated with a weighing device at an examination station. The forks are mounted along the chain and oscillate about an axis parallel to the path. The rollers are selectively tiltable for off-loading a product from the conveyor at one of the discharge stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1987
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1992
    Assignee: Decco Roda S.p.A.
    Inventor: Luciano Gentili
  • Patent number: 5101983
    Abstract: A device for identifying and sorting objects includes a low-friction surface for supporting parcels to be identified and sorted, each provided with a bar code on at least one side thereof, a dragging mechanism capable of conveying parcels from a staging area to a sorting area via a readout station which identifies each parcel by means of its bar code, and a plurality of trap doors, responsive to the readout station and located at predetermined positions on the low-friction surface, through which the identified parcels are selectively discharged and thereby routed to a corresponding plurality of intermediate or final destinations. The dragging mechanism comprises a pair of pulleys between which a flexible cable is operatively engaged which in turn pulls a plurality of drag arms over the low-friction surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1992
    Assignee: Meccanizzazione Postale E. Automazione S.p.A.
    Inventor: Mario Scata
  • Patent number: 5086929
    Abstract: A sorter (3) is disclosed in which an article (A) to be sorted is delivered to a carrier. The carrier is moved by a conveyor drive along a path to a selected one unloading station UL at which two or more receptacles or bags (3) are located and the article is unloaded (dropped) from its carrier into its predetermined receptacle. After an article is loaded into the carrier, the carrier is inclined in one direction or the other and is conveyed to its selected one unloading station such that the carrier is in position to deliver its article to the proper receptacle. At each turn of the conveyor, the carriers inclined toward the inside of the turn may, optionally, be moved back toward their centered (vertical) positions as they are moved into and through the turn thereby to prevent interference between the carriers. A method of sorting is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1990
    Date of Patent: February 11, 1992
    Assignee: G B Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Richter, Maurice C. Rochman, Stephen M. Gordon
  • Patent number: 5069019
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for conveying, classifying, and packing goods is disclosed. The goods move on a plurality of lanes to containers for packing. The goods move on conveyors to classifiers where goods outside a predetermined specification are discarded. Goods which meet the specifications move to a counter and retainer. A predetermined number of goods moves to a stacker in a cycle. The stacker moves within a set of spindles configured to receive the goods there between. A controller counts the number of goods stacked in the set of spindles. When a full count is reached the spindles rotate and the goods are placed into a box which is positioned proximate the spindles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 3, 1991
    Inventor: Lloyd E. Lodewegen
  • Patent number: 5048695
    Abstract: A first rotatable conveyor section (16) is positioned axially between upper and lower fixed sections (14,18) of a gravity conveyor. Rotatable conveyor section (16) rotates about an axis extending perpendicular to the conveyor section. A gate (42,44) is provided at each end of the rotatable conveyor section (16). An identification device (84) is positioned upstream of the rotatable conveyor section (16). It identifies the end-to-end orientation of an article (10) which is travelling along the gravity conveyor (12). A computer controls the gates (42,44) and a mechanism (104) for rotating the rotatable conveyor section (16). When an article (10) having an improper end-to-end orientation is encountered, the rotatable conveyor section (16) is rotated 180.degree. for the purpose of reversing the article's orientation. A second rotatable conveyor section (120) is mounted for sideways rotation about an axis which extends longitudinally of the slide conveyor (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1991
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Robert L. Fuller, Jr., Paul E. Faville, Mark C. Maier
  • Patent number: 5040440
    Abstract: A product switching mechanism, located downstream of a rotary shear for rod and bar product, includes first structure defining a horizontally elongate chamber with a top, bottom and one side wall, the chamber being open at the side opposite the one side wall, the chamber having one end remote from the rotary shear and another end adjacent the rotary shear with the one end being open; a second structure defining a substantially flat vertical surface closing the open side of the chamber and providing first and second substantially horizontal passages; the first passage is enclosed above, below and on either side and has a downstream opening and an upstream opening, the second passage having an upstream opening vertically adjacent the upstream opening of the first passage, the second passage opening through the surface of the second structure and having a side wall angling toward the surface as it extends away from the upstream opening of the second passage, so that product entering the upstream opening of the s
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 20, 1991
    Assignee: Stelco, Inc.
    Inventor: George R. Harvey
  • Patent number: 5024316
    Abstract: A sorting unit for belt conveyor systems is disclosed wherein the actuating mechanisms of the sorting conveyor belt comprise a driving roller exially connected to one of the transmission rollers between which the sorting belt extends, and controlled by an actuating belt friction-coupled thereto by two counter-rollers. When the belt, upon action of control mechanisms, lowers laterally for the discharge of the carried object, the contact driving roller-actuating belt lacks, thus causing a quasi-instantaneous stop of the sorting belt and therefore a controlled trajectory of the sorted object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1989
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1991
    Assignee: Meccanizzazione Postale E Automazione SpA
    Inventors: Mario Scata, Adolfo Passero
  • Patent number: 5011024
    Abstract: A rotary drum log sorter for sorting logs received from a log feeder adjacent to the log sorter. A circular rotating drum is mounted to a frame and has a set of circumferential pockets for receiving logs from the log feeder as the pocket rotates to a position adjacent to the log feeder. Gates are provided which are mounted to the frame and adjacent to the rotating drum. The gates can be in a closed position so that a log in a pocket of the drum is prevented from leaving the packet as the pocket rotates past the closed gate. The gates also can be in an open position which will allow a log to drop from the pocket. An operator using conventional controls linked to the gates can selectively permit a log to drop from a pocket into a given collection bin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1989
    Date of Patent: April 30, 1991
    Inventor: Leroy R. Bunney
  • Patent number: 4993535
    Abstract: A bidirectional travelling device for side sorting of articles in a flexible path transporting system made of at least one support fastened to a guide tow element of the system. Each support is made of a channel iron which is positioned to transversely with respect to the flexible path. The travelling device also includes a swiveling member positioned on each support for loading the article to be sorted. The swiveling member is made of two complementary, fork-shaped elements facing and interpenetrating one another. The fork-shaped elements pivot on sideboards of the channel iron. Due to gravity, the elements are in a horizontal, stable equilibrium position to define a plane for supporting the article. The travelling device further includes a scheme for actuating and resetting the swiveling member for rotating and raising the respective fork-shaped elements causing the downward discharge of the article transverse to the flexible path transporting system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1989
    Date of Patent: February 19, 1991
    Assignee: Meccanizzazione Postale e Automazione S.p.A.
    Inventor: Mario Scata
  • Patent number: 4961489
    Abstract: A system for the processing and handling of products including the method and apparatus therefor. A conveyor includes rocker elements fixed thereto which may be selectively tipped by means of an actuator and camming surface to off-load products conveyed in a single file arrangement. The rocker elements are positioned on a chain to form an elongate support for the conveyed products. Two conveyors positioned side by side for receiving product in series may be used to provide a full view of the surface of the product for sensing by multiple sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1983
    Date of Patent: October 9, 1990
    Assignee: MAF Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Aaron J. Warkentin