Feeder Conveyor Having Opposed Grippers Patents (Class 209/903)
  • Patent number: 8100266
    Abstract: A laboratory storage and retrieval system and a method to handle laboratory sample tubes are disclosed. The laboratory storage and retrieval system for storing sample tubes and retrieving stored sample tubes comprises a rack handler section (12) and a storage section (14), the rack handler section (12) comprising a transport system and a determination unit, wherein the transport system receives and transports incoming primary racks (PR) containing sample tubes (S) to the determination unit for determining at least one given parameter of the sample tubes (S) relating to predetermined sort criteria in order to have the transport system unload the sample tubes from the analysed primary rack (PR) and resort the unloaded sample tubes into appropriate storage racks (SR) depending on the determined sample tubes' sort criteria parameter for storage in the storage section (14) in the storage racks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2012
    Assignee: Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Joachim Lackner, Ueli Stettler
  • Patent number: 8066113
    Abstract: An apparatus for segregating electronic components that engages and stops each of a plurality of electronic packages passing down a singulation tube is disclosed. In addition, the segregating apparatus is cable of segregating the electronic packages even though some of them had been linked together during the sealing process. The segregating apparatus includes a first swing arm to clip a electronic component, a second swing arm to clip another electronic component, and a third swing arm to depart the two electronic components, where all of components of the segregating apparatus are driven by a single driving force, reducing the size of the apparatus and the time needed for the segregating process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2011
    Assignee: King Yuan Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yuan-Chi Lin, Chih-Hung Hsieh, Bob Huang
  • Patent number: 7926664
    Abstract: An apparatus for transferring products such as eggs from a first conveyor to a second conveyor. During transfer products with certain properties which have been previously detected are allowed to fall into a gap between the conveyors. The transfer uses a rotatable cylinder with radially extending grippers having an open position and a closed position. When a gripper does not grip a product it falls into a gap between the conveyors. Other products are gripped and transferred to the second conveyor. A method for transferring products from a first conveyor to a second conveyor wherein products having certain properties are removed and caused to fall down into a gap between the first and second conveyors. A detected signal upstream from the gap to control positioning of grippers to either transfer products to the second conveyor or allow them to fall into a gap between the two conveyors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2011
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems B.V.
    Inventor: Hendrikus Louis Stephanus De Vlaam
  • Patent number: 7442896
    Abstract: A method for processing mail, wherein a plurality of mailing items inserted into insertion places are collected and subsequently transported in a container to postal centers where they are sorted in sorting devices according to postal categories. The invention is characterized in that the mail is placed in transport containers which are transported to unloading areas in postal centers. When the transport container is filled and/or during the transportation of the container to the postal centers, random partial pre-sorting of mail takes place according to postal categories so that, when, the mail is removed from the containers at the unloading areas, it is in the form of piles formed by the predetermined pre-sorting method and sorted according to the postal categories, whereupon it is guided to subsequent processing stations according to said postal categories.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2008
    Assignee: Deutsche Post AG
    Inventors: Josef Ehrat, Werner Halder, Karl-Josef Kurtz, Heinz Pechtl, Norbert Weber
  • Patent number: 6341699
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for sorting carpet or similar pieces of material to material type and the like, wherein the method comprises the following steps of: placing pieces of carpet on a transport system; disentangling or separating the pieces of carpet on a transport system; fixing pieces of carpet individually to a guide system; recognizing the type of carpet during movement along the guide system; and releasing a piece of carpet into or onto a relevant location determined by the recognition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast-Natuurine Tenschappelijk
    Inventors: Edwin Langerak, Cornelis Verschut, Johannes Fransiscus Van Middelkoop
  • Patent number: 5727668
    Abstract: A needle sorting device includes an infeed device which singulates and randomly deposits surgical needles upon a first conveyor for transmission to a processing station. Upon transit, one or more cameras to obtain an image of the deposited needles. The image is digitized and the digital signals are transmitted to a control system computer which evaluates the position and orientation for randomly positioned needles and processes the information to obtain data for communication to one or more robot assemblies having grippers. Utilizing the position and orientation data, the robot assembly grippers removes selected needles from the first conveyor and transfers each needle to an engagement device located upon a second precision conveyor. This second precision conveyor is provided with additional devices to further orient the needle transferred thereto. Each oriented needle is conveyed by the second conveyor to an automatic swaging station where sutures are automatically attached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1998
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: David Demarest, John F. Blanch
  • Patent number: 5238121
    Abstract: A device for the automatic and rapid inspection of ears of corn to select ears having a predetermined length wherein the kernels meet selection standards and the ear has uniform characteristics which length will be trimmed from the ear to provide cut lengths of corn for subsequent treatment. The device includes a first conveyor and inspection area for segregating ears as to conditions of acceptability and determination of quality for ultimate use including trimming of certain of the ears into predetermined lengths with a second transport station arranged to receive the ears and to sort them for subsequent use and to convey the ears of predetermined quality to a trimming device wherein the ear of corn is cut into at least one acceptable length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1993
    Assignee: Computer Controlled Machines of Mn., Inc.
    Inventor: Donald Frisbie
  • Patent number: 5193691
    Abstract: A can seam inspection apparatus. The apparatus has a pathway for a can and the pathway having an inlet and a pair of outlets. There is one outlet for can with a defective seam and another outlet for acceptable cans. A releasable holding device holds the cans as the cans move along the pathway. This holding device is rotated as they move along the pathway. The cans rotate with the holding device. The holding device can be released adjacent the inlet and the outlet. The can is inspected, preferably by a roller moving around the seam, as the can rotates. If the can is found defective then the inspection apparatus includes mechanisms to open the first outlet to allow rejection of the can. If the can is acceptable the can rolls over the first outlet to the second outlet. The equipment operates at high speed and with excellent accuracy. It can operate effectively in hostile environments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1993
    Inventor: Wun C. Chong
  • Patent number: 5160019
    Abstract: The invention relates to a carrier for articles such as fruits, eggs, comprising a frame, two gripper members each having a free end in which an opening is provided for receiving an article between the free ends, the free ends of the gripper being movable relative to each other in such a way that an article can be received between the ends and subsequently released therefrom, wherein one of the gripper members consists of two parts and the two parts are mounted under a spring load on one and the same shaft for pivotal movement relative to each other. The axis of the shaft on which the pivoting gripper member is mounted for pivotal movement, is parallel to the direction of travel of a conveyor, for instance a chain, to which the shaft is connected. The other gripper member is fixedly connected to the conveyor, for instance a chain part. The invention further relates to a conveying apparatus comprising such a carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1992
    Assignee: Staalkat B.V.
    Inventor: Leonardus J. Temming
  • Patent number: 5115144
    Abstract: An automatic selection apparatus for sheet material can automatically distinguish whether sheet materials such as sheets of paper are good or bad. While the sheet materials are carried one by one in the direction perpendicular to the flow direction in the manufacturing process or working process of the sheet materials with a leading edge thereof being held by a gripper, an optical type defect detection device detects a defect in the sheet material. Accordingly, vibration of the sheet material is avoided and the defect can be accurately detected. A controller receives a signal from the defect detection device and drives a switching device which opens and closes the gripper at a defective sheet discharged portion or a good sheet stacked portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1992
    Assignees: Mitsubishi Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha, Oji Paper Company Ltd., Toei Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kouji Konishi, Tadayoshi Ohshima, Masakazu Fujii, Motoyuki Hagino, Satoshi Hosono, Masayoshi Miyake
  • Patent number: 4956079
    Abstract: Apparatus for transporting objects in succession through a measuring head. A common drive shaft provides synchronised movement of transfer apparatus, gripper apparatus and indexing apparatus. The transfer apparatus receives objects from a supply and carries the objects to the measuring head. The gripper apparatus receives the objects from the transfer apparatus and carries the objects through the measuring head. The indexing apparatus receives objects from the gripper means and conveys the objects to an outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 11, 1990
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels plc
    Inventors: Alan Bailey, David K. Yew
  • Patent number: 4869813
    Abstract: Apparatus for inspecting and sorting drills oriented in the same direction in a hopper assembly. The hopper assembly feeds the drills, one at a time, and places them in a predetermined ready location. A camera, part of the inspection assembly, mounted directly over the predetermined ready location, takes preliminary measurements and alerts the system controller that a drill is available for a high resolution second inspection for wear and then for sorting. A robot assembly then picks up the drill from the ready location and orients it in front of two high resolution cameras, also part of the inspection assembly, for a visual inspection for wear. A control assembly then analyzes the results of the inspection and determines the drill size and whether or not it needs to be re-ground. The robot assembly then sorts the drill into an appropriate predetermined bin within a bin assembly as a function of size and wear. The process is then repeated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 26, 1989
    Assignee: Northrop Corporation
    Inventors: Mark L. Bailey, Horst W. Neu, Deanna C. Silverman
  • Patent number: 4757891
    Abstract: A rotating, vertically adjustable wheel is positioned above a linear conveyor chain in an operative position to move containers from a linear conveyor chain to an off-line station and then back to the linear conveyor chain downstream of the off-line station. The rotating wheel is movable to an inoperative position away from the linear conveyor chain when it is not desired to divert the containers from the linear conveyor chain. A base plate positioned adjacent to the linear conveyor chain adjustably supports flexible support bands in spaced relation to the peripheral face of the center of the rotating wheel. The bands are biased toward the rotating wheel so that when a container moving in a linear conveyor chain contacts the face of the rotating wheel, it is engaged by the edge of the wheel and the bands and is moved to the off-line station. The flexible support bands are adjustably positioned to accommodate various sizes and shapes of containers so as to preclude change of parts and downtime.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 1987
    Date of Patent: July 19, 1988
    Assignee: American Glass Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Karen E. Krumpe, Leon E. Thompson
  • Patent number: 4651879
    Abstract: A bottle sorting system includes a carousel which transports bottles through various stations to classify and separate bottles according to identifying characteristics. At a transfer station, bottles are brought into alignment with gripper mechanisms that are automatically closed to engage the bottles. The bottles are then transported through an inspection staton where they are electrooptically scanned to determine their identifying characteristics. A central processing unit compares the bottle characteristics with stored sets of characteristics to classify each bottle. The locations of each classified bottle is monitored by the central processing unit as the bottles are transported by the carousel. When a particular bottle reaches a location associated with one of a plurality of discharge conveyors, the central processing unit actuates an opening device to open the gripper mechanism and release the bottle onto the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1987
    Assignee: Clayton Durand Mfg. Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Harris, Duane Copeland
  • Patent number: 4455225
    Abstract: A rotary light tester for continuously inspecting empty cans discriminates between good cans and defective ones by judging the amount of transit light entering the interior of the empty cans. The light seal circular plate and the freely-reciprocative slide pusher which rotates with the continuous rotating star wheel face each other sandwiching each can receiving seat therebetween. The nozzle opening of the tip of the slide pusher vacuously holds the bottom end of an uncoated or unprinted bright can received in the can receiving seat one by one when the can enters into the empty can supply station just after the trimming. Then, in the light detection station, the opening end of the can is inserted into a groove of the light seal circular plate having a black non-luster surface to further the reflection attenuation of outer entry light, a trap is disposed in the deepest portion thereof, and a conical introduction arrangement makes it easy to insert the opening end therein by advance pushing of the slide pusher.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 1983
    Date of Patent: June 19, 1984
    Assignee: Toyo Seikan Kaisha, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenji Morimoto, Masato Ashina
  • Patent number: 4373638
    Abstract: Apparatus for sorting ore rocks in which rocks are fed in stream past detector to measure characteristic selected as basis for sorting and into free flight trajectory from which selected individual rocks are deflected according to measure of said characteristic for those rocks. Apparatus is characterized by rock feed means comprising pair of movable elements having surfaces defining upwardly facing nip and which move downwardly at nip to grip rocks and accelerate them downwardly into free flight such that the free flight trajectory is substantially vertical.The movable elements may be a pair of horizontal rollers having resiliently deformable peripheral surfaces or a pair of flexible endless belts arranged in loops having upper parts defining the nip and, below the nip, adjacent downwardly extending runs between which the rocks are gripped and moved downwardly for some distance below the nip before being projected into vertical free flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1981
    Date of Patent: February 15, 1983
    Assignee: Sphere Investments Limited
    Inventor: Mark A. Schapper
  • Patent number: 4349112
    Abstract: Apparatus for inspecting nuclear fuel pellets in a sealed container for diameter, flaws, length and weight. The apparatus includes, in an array, a pellet pick-up station, four pellet inspection stations and a pellet sorting station. The pellets are delivered one at a time to the pick-up station by a vibrating bowl through a vibrating linear conveyor. Grippers each associated with a successive pair of the stations are reciprocable together to pick up a pellet at the upstream station of each pair and to deposit the pellet at the corresponding downstream station. The gripper jaws are opened selectively depending on the state of the pellets at the stations and the particular cycle in which the apparatus is operating. Inspection for diameter, flaws and length is effected in each case by a laser beam projected on the pellets by a precise optical system while each pellet is rotated by rollers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1980
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1982
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Robert S. Wilks, Alexander Taleff, Robert H. Sturges, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4330061
    Abstract: Cigarette packs which leave a packing machine by moving sideways so that one of the major surfaces of each pack faces forwardly are monitored for the presence of defective envelopes during travel between two endless belt conveyors. When the monitoring system or systems detect a defective pack, such system or systems generate one or more signals which are used to expel the defective pack from the path between the conveyors. The ejection is effected by changing the orientation of defective packs relative to the conveyors so as to reduce the frictional hold of conveyors upon the relatively narrow lateral faces of the defective packs with the result that the thus released defective packs can descend by gravity. The orientation of defective packs can be changed by discrete pins which move into the path of the packs from above, from below or from one side so as to be nearer to the one than to the other conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1980
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1982
    Assignee: Hauni-Werke Korber & Co. KG.
    Inventors: Willy Rudszinat, Siegfried Abrahams
  • Patent number: 4168004
    Abstract: An improvement in mail processing equipment is provided in which items of mail are presented to operators at stations adjacent a continuous transporter. An operator works at any desired pace because items of mail are presented repeatedly until removed by the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1978
    Date of Patent: September 18, 1979
    Assignee: Owen Tri-Cut Limited
    Inventor: Trevor W. Owen