With Stack Forming Means Patents (Class 221/175)
  • Patent number: 10179705
    Abstract: A system for presenting isolated components to an assembly line over a plurality of cycles includes a container configured to direct components towards a central axis. An elongated pedestal within the container has ribs which define an upper surface and a plurality of channels. The pedestal is reciprocally mounted to move along the central axis, and isolates components during each cycle. The isolated components are transferred to an assembly line. The number of isolated components of each cycle is measured and the value stored. A threshold value is calculated based on a number of stored values. A running average of the quantity of isolated components for a number of cycles can then be compared to the threshold to determine when to refill the component container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2019
    Assignee: SENSATA TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventor: Matthew Ryder
  • Patent number: 10029402
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods are described for manufacturing contact lenses by forming a contact lens mold half, and removing the mold half. The mold half can then be combined with a complementary mold half and used to cast-mold a contact lens. The apparatus includes first and second plates each carrying tool halves. The plates reciprocate between an open, spaced apart configuration, and a closed configuration in which they hold complementary tool halves in contact with one another. When the plates are opened after forming a mold half, a gripper plate removes the mold half from the first plate or the second plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Assignee: CooperVision International Holding Company, LP
    Inventors: John Robert Gibson, Hayden Atkinson, Terence Michael Cook, James Bryan Cook
  • Patent number: 9474287
    Abstract: The present invention concerns a separation device for separating a rod-like element from a plurality of rod-like elements stored in a storage. The separation device may include a storage space having an approximately V-shaped cross section, for storing a plurality of at least approximately horizontally aligned rod-like elements, wherein the storage space includes at least a front wall element, a rear wall elements, and two side wall elements, having a bottom section and a top section. Moreover, a first discharge unit may be included for discharging a single rod-like element out of the plurality of rod-like elements stored in the storage space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2016
    Assignee: Poly-clip System GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Peter Wiemer, Günter Kessler
  • Patent number: 8925762
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides systems and methods for counting a plurality of objects and parsing the objects into groups of varying quantities. In various embodiments, the system includes a singulating and counting module operable to singulate and count a plurality of objects from a large volume of the objects. Additionally, the system includes a diverter and accumulator module operable to receive the singulated objects, parse the objects into groups of varying quantities, and direct each group into a selected one of a plurality of discharge funnels. Furthermore, the system includes an object collection module operable to sequentially position each one of a plurality of object collection receptacles adjacent the discharge funnels such that each group of objects is deposited into a respective corresponding one of the object collection receptacles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Monsanto Technology LLC
    Inventors: Kevin Deppermann, Elias J. Yannakakis, Allen N. Ondes, Brian J. Forinash
  • Patent number: 8739557
    Abstract: A system and method according to which ice is automatically disposed in respective bags and the bags of ice are distributed and stacked within a temperature-controlled storage unit, such as an ice merchandiser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Reddy Ice Corporation
    Inventor: Mark C. Metzger
  • Patent number: 8087541
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an automatic product dispenser, i.e. vending machine featuring improved product delivery ability. The vending machine according to the present invention comprises at least one tray (5) for supporting the products (2) to be dispensed, which is arranged in a substantially horizontal manner and is subdivided into a plurality of compartments (6), at least a conveyor belt (9) for handling the products (2) within said compartments (6) and conveying said products (2) towards a release section (35); the inventive vending machine further comprises delivery means (17) provided close to said release section (35). The inventive vending machine is characterized in that at least one of said compartments (6) is so configured as to be able to receive products (2) arranged along two rows, and in that it comprises selection means (19) adapted to arrange said products (2) into a single row in proximity of said release section (35).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignee: N&W Global Vending S.p.A.
    Inventors: Gabriele Valota, Aristide Domenico Roncari, Sergio Pesenti Barili
  • Patent number: 7975877
    Abstract: A bead feeder for serially delivering beads to a downstream location comprises a bead supply wheel which rotates about a vertical axis. The bead supply wheel includes a bead supply bowl and a plurality of radially arranged channels below the bowl connected to rotate with the bowl. Discharge openings in the bowl are in alignment with the radially arranged channels to delivery beads to those channels, and a bead receiving pocket is positioned at the outer end of each channel. A transfer wheel picks up beads from the bead receiving pockets and transfers those beads to a delivery wheel by vacuum transfer and release. The delivery wheel serially delivers the beads to the downstream location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Assignee: Philip Morris USA Inc.
    Inventors: Martin T. Garthaffner, Travis M. Garthaffner, George R. Scott, Jeremy J. Straight, James D. Evans, David Goldstein, Martin Heidorn
  • Patent number: 7823749
    Abstract: A positioning mechanism for a vending machine is provided to properly align product containers for vending purposes. The vending machine includes a cabinet that establishes a product storage zone, a product delivery zone and a dispensing chamber. Arranged within the product storage zone are a plurality of shelves which include dividers that separate the shelves into a plurality of product queues. Each product queue includes an dispensing mechanism that releases a selected product from the product queue for delivery to the dispensing chamber. In addition, each product queue includes a positioning mechanism to align products in the product queue. The positioning mechanism includes a support member secured to the divider and a spacer bar pivotally secured to the support member. The spacer bar automatically adjusts to a width of a product container placed in the product queue in order to assure proper alignment of the product for dispensing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul Hayward Kelly
  • Patent number: 7730608
    Abstract: A hinge feeder for feeding open hinges at a predetermined orientation to a receiver ready for use by an automatic door hinger. A dispenser is provided to hold a stack of closed hinges. The orientation of the top end and hinge joint of each hinge is sensed and the hinges sequentially dispensed at a uniform orientation, except for the pinhead location, to a rotator that rotates those hinges to bring their top ends to a desired side. The hinges are then opened by a leaf turner, fed to a stacker and the opened and oriented hinges then deposited in a stack by a stacker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: Kval, Inc.
    Inventor: Andrew M. Kvalheim
  • Patent number: 7686185
    Abstract: A tray for a product vending machine including a flat base upon which product to be vended may be placed. A plurality of walls are attached to the base which define rows into which product is organized. A channel within the flat base houses a threaded shaft. The threaded shaft threadingly attaches to a product drive member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Assignee: Coin Acceptors, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven M. Zychinski
  • Patent number: 7540483
    Abstract: A customer access apparatus for an automatic media dispenser is provided. The customer access apparatus may include a pivotable supporting plate that supports an end of the media standing upright, and a stacker guide which is movably installed on the supporting plate. A push plate moves integrally with the stacker guide and relative to the stacker guide, and a driving unit recovers media which have been compressed and conveyed by the stacker guide and the push plate. Upper ends of the stacker guide and plate are selectively located at a position where the media are raised toward an inlet to which a customer has access, by means of a rotation of the supporting plate, such that a process of depositing and withdrawing the media can be performed. A contact point between the customer and the customer access apparatus may be located outside of the customer access apparatus such that the operation of depositing and withdrawing the media can be performed more accurately and easily.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: LG Electronics Inc.
    Inventor: Eung Min Park
  • Patent number: 7401756
    Abstract: An extendable tray structure is disclosed for receiving a server. The extendable tray structure is composed of a tray main body, a tray extension body and a plurality of locking elements, wherein the tray main body has a plurality of locking holes, and the tray extension body has a plurality of stripe-shaped openings which are parallel to each other, and the locking elements are installed on the locking holes of the tray main body through the stripe-shaped openings. The extendable tray structure is featured in extending and adjusting the length of the tray structure by positioning the locking elements in the stripe-shaped openings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Quanta Computer Inc.
    Inventors: Chun-Yi Lien, Sheng-Fu Hsu
  • Patent number: 7311222
    Abstract: A drug dispenser which can easily align drugs when filling it with the drugs. In a drug dispenser in which a lowermost drug of a plurality of drugs (100) stacked in a vertical direction and contained in a drug case (1) is pushed out in a horizontal direction to dispense it, a door (7) is provided on the front surface of the drug case (1). A drug aligning device (second door 11) is provided on the inner surface of the door (7), the drug aligning device pushes the front ends of the plurality of drugs (100) contained in the drug case (1) to align the rear ends thereof when the door (7) is closed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2007
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Shigeyama, Hiroyuki Kanda
  • Publication number: 20070289989
    Abstract: In combination, a vending machine for newspapers which includes a storage area for newspapers, a dispensing device, and an output device through and from which the newspapers fall downwards and an output chute including a lower newspaper-receiving support slot having a rearwardly angled lower wall, an upper wall extending generally parallel with the lower wall and spaced thereabove, a base wall and side walls which together form the generally rectangular box shape of said lower newspaper-receiving support slot. The lower and upper walls extend at an angle between 10° and 40° from vertical, and the lower wall has a height of between one-half inch and three inches less then the height of the newspaper such that upon the newspaper being dropped therein, a graspable portion of the newspaper protrudes whereby the newspaper is easily removable from said lower newspaper-receiving support slot.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 18, 2007
    Publication date: December 20, 2007
    Inventor: Gerald Blankenau
  • Patent number: 7140293
    Abstract: A twine box is provided for an agricultural baler. The twine box permits ready access to twine balls housed therein because all twine balls are located on a single row or tier. The twine balls are not compartmentalized and thus relocation of twine balls within twine ball groups is facilitated. Twine ball separators are employed to secure, locate and separate twine balls when the baler is operating. The twine ball separators may serve to maintain twine balls in a staggered configuration whereby it is possible to house a greater number of twine balls in a given space. The twine ball separators do not interfere with the movement of twine balls within the twine box during reloading of twine. The single row twine box allows the baler operator to access the twine balls from the ground and permits moving of twine balls without the need to cut and retie twine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2006
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: David Vincent Rotole, Stanley Ray Sumsion
  • Patent number: 7004111
    Abstract: An animal reward dispensing apparatus for attaching to an animal trainer's forearm, the apparatus having a dispensing tube defined about a longitudinal axis, the dispensing tube having at least a first and second attaching straps for attaching the dispensing tube to the animal trainer's forearm. The dispensing tube also having a first and second spaced apart ends defining an interior cavity, and a spring located inside the interior cavity of the dispensing tube and positioned between the first and second ends of the dispensing tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2006
    Inventor: Keryl Olson
  • Patent number: 6546847
    Abstract: The invention is an apparatus for producing pizza by a mechanical, automated system without using baking tins for the dough bases and without using pre-prepared or pre-shaped bases. Dough bases are individually prepared from fresh pre-proportioned dough ingredients by a kneading and extrusion device. The dough base is then passed through a series of processing stations, such as a shaping press, a metering and distribution device for tomato purees or sauces, at least one metering and distribution station for garnishing (topping) ingredients and a baking station. The dough bases pass through the series of stations on a preheated or continuously heated transportation sheet. No pre-produced or pre-cooked, semi-finished products are used in the method. Each dough base is prepared and provided with toppings according to individual orders selected from a list.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Carpos, S.A.
    Inventors: Marco Pilati, Pierluigi Malfatti, Claudio Torghele
  • Publication number: 20010000286
    Abstract: A leaflet dispensing apparatus having a main structural body on which is mounted a carousel including a plurality of magazine for storing leaflets and an intermediate chute for transferring the leaflets from the carousel to a dispensing wheel. The dispensing wheel is adapted to remove a leaflet from the intermediate chute and to transport the leaflet to a dispensing area where a dispensing blade pushes the leaflet onto or into a container being transported by a conveyor located adjacent to the leaflet dispensing apparatus. The magazines for storing leaflets are the vehicle for reloading the carousel. The magazines may be discarded after use or may be re-used.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2000
    Publication date: April 19, 2001
    Inventors: Graham Lewis, Louis Pallay
  • Publication number: 20010000039
    Abstract: Disclosed are novel NO-releasing compounds which comprise a stabilized S-nitrosyl group and a free alcohol or a free thiol group. Also disclosed is a method of preparing the NO-releasing compounds. The method comprises reacting a polythiol or a thioalcohol with a nitrosylating agent. Also disclosed are medical devices coated with the disclosed compounds, methods of delivering NO to treatments sites in a subject by utilizing the medical devices and methods of sterilizing surfaces.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 29, 2000
    Publication date: March 15, 2001
    Inventors: Eric J. Toone, Jonathan S. Stamler
  • Patent number: 6135313
    Abstract: An apparatus for storing and isolating components that are accommodated as bulk material has a supply reservoir for receiving the bulk material. An orientation canal is connected to the supply reservoir through which the parts are transported succesively and in a proper orientation. A reliable and non-damaging isolation of the parts is achieved by an exit region of the supply reservoir. The exit region includes an inlet funnel for the orientation canal. The inlet funnel has two funnel walls that are oriented parallel to one another and that lie in one plane with bordering walls of the orientation canal. The apparatus of the invention is particularly suited for the isolation and provision of electronic components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2000
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Albert Lintner
  • Patent number: 5568881
    Abstract: The invention is an apparatus for organizing and dispensing pipette tips. A hopper receives bulk pipette tips which pass through a diamond shaped apertures in a sieve and drop into the troughs of a separator which moves the aligned and oriented tips to an organizer which separates the tips and aligns them with storage tubes and drops the tips into tubes where they are stacked and stored. An ejection membrane at the opposite end of the tube allows the tips to be removed into a tip holder box one layer at a time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 29, 1996
    Inventor: Wen Y. Chi
  • Patent number: 5503300
    Abstract: A vending machine includes a refrigeration compartment, an oven compartment, structure for transferring a food product from the refrigeration compartment to the oven compartment, and structure for transferring the food product from the oven compartment to a user of the vending machine. The vending machine provides automated handling and cooking of packaged food products that enables a hot cooked food to be delivered to a customer in a cool package sleeve. The vending machine also includes a system for inventory control that enables vertical storage of packaged food products while minimizing crushing of packaged food products at the bottom of a stack. A magazine empty indicator automatically indicates when an inventory magazine is empty. An oven door latch mechanism eliminates the possibility that the oven can be operated while the oven door is open.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 2, 1996
    Assignee: KRh Thermal Systems
    Inventors: Jack R. Prescott, John D. Smead, Edward Durbin, Michael Kanyon, Michael E. Rudder, James W. Bradfield, Gregory Elliott, Stanley Arai, Mark A. Hopkins, Donald Morrison, Paul T. Rudewicz, Kenneth Sinera, Thom Thomas, Dale Weber
  • Patent number: 5379915
    Abstract: Apparatus for storing and dispensing pieces of chalk, the apparatus comprising a container including an outside surface having an input port and an output port formed therein such that the output port is positioned other than directly beneath the input port, a chalk channel positioned within the container and connecting the input port to the output port such that the input port is located at a highest point of the channel and the output port is located at a lowest point of the channel, the channel having a width so as to allow each piece of chalk within the channel to contact no more than two other pieces of chalk in the channel, and a dispensing rack extending from the outside surface of the container proximate to the output port for holding at least one piece of chalk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 10, 1995
    Inventors: Brett A. Hudspeth, Earl L. Hudspeth
  • Patent number: 5009329
    Abstract: An apparatus for dispensing articles is disclosed. The apparatus includes a storage rack associated with a vertically disposed conduit proximate an outlet of the storage rack. A carriage adapted for a manual or spring-assisted upward and downward displacement within the conduit is configured to receive an article from the storage rack. A finger member mounted within the channel is formed to permit an upwardly directed passage thereby of an article loaded carriage and operates subsequently to unload that carriage of its article and thereafter retain that article within that channel at a location elevationally above the finger member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1989
    Date of Patent: April 23, 1991
    Inventor: Anselmo N. Farrentine
  • Patent number: 4720215
    Abstract: An apparatus for delivering properly positioned rivets to a hopper and including a venturi station, a conduit connected to the venturi station for delivering the rivets from the venturi station to the hopper and having a restricted end for automatically properly positioning the rivets, a rivet shaped slot for introducing the rivets into the venturi station, and components for creating a suction in the venturi station so that when the rivets are introduced into the venturi station by the rivet shaped slot the rivets are drawn by the suction created by the suction creating components through the venturi station and the delivering conduit from the rivet shaped slot to the restricted end of the delivering conduit where the rivets are automatically properly positioned in the hopper for riveting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1987
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1988
    Assignee: Grumman Aerospace Corporation
    Inventor: Pat S. Arena
  • Patent number: 4669633
    Abstract: A machine for the insertion of elongated cylindrical objects into a rapidly moving stream of envelopes at a rate of delivery equal to that of the basic machine. The invention comprises a supply hopper for the objects, a trough to feed the objects to a delivery station and a horizontally reciprocating assembly which takes one object at a time from the trough and feeds it into an open envelope. This assembly is operated by the basic machine and so feeds the objects at whatever rate the basic machine is moving the open envelopes past the insertion stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1984
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1987
    Inventor: David F. Tennent
  • Patent number: 4653964
    Abstract: An air single filer apparatus for receiving cylindrical articles in upright position in random bulk and discharging them serially in horizontal single file is provided. Articles are received into a bulk storage zone, from where they move to a layout zone where they are aligned in horizontal single file and discharged along a path. Alignment is achieved by gravity and also by impacting the articles with pressurized air from a plenum. The invention uses slanted slots in a top plenum wall of the layout zone to use the Coanda effect to direct blow-back air along this wall without disturbing properly aligned articles therebelow. Also an adjustable horizontal blow-back slot at the downstream end of the layout path is provided for blowing air back upstream along the top wall, thereby creating a low pressure area adjacent the top wall in accordance with the Bernoulli Principle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1985
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1987
    Assignee: Precision Metal Fabricators, Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald A. Lenhart
  • Patent number: 4646938
    Abstract: Cigarette magazine consisting of several shafts (12), in each of which cigarettes are supported in rows on top of one another so as to be pushed out in groups from a rest at the lower end of the shafts (12). To prevent the following cigarettes from becoming jammed after a group of cigarettes has been pushed out, there is a supporting bar on which the cigarettes are temporarily supported during their downward movement. The supporting bar is subsequently lowered from its supporting position, so that the following cigarettes finally sit properly aligned on the lower rest prior to the pushing out of another group.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1984
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1987
    Assignee: Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co.)
    Inventor: Heinz Focke
  • Patent number: 4271953
    Abstract: An automatic feeding hopper employs a reservoir for storing disk-like objects in a plurality of substantially horizontal rows in a substantially vertical plane. A conveyor adjoins the reservoir for engagement with a substantial portion of the lowermost row of disk-like objects in the reservoir to remove the disk-like objects from the reservoir, an exit chute is positioned adjacent the conveyor to receive the disk-like objects in a single row, and a deflecting member is positioned near the entrance to the exit chute to guide and maintain the flow of disk-like objects in a single row from the conveyor into the exit chute. The deflecting member has an upper concavely curved surface intersected by a lower curved surface which leads into a side of the exit chute, the curved surfaces meeting at an edge located a distance above the surface of the conveyor slightly more than the diameter of a disk-like object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1978
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1981
    Assignee: Zapata Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald C. Smith
  • Patent number: 4174028
    Abstract: An unoriented supply of similar articles, each having a shank and a head of greater dimension than the shank are introduced into orienting means which include a trough having an inclined slot at its bottom and a plurality of cleats positioned at fixed locations on its side walls. Upon vibration, the articles become separated resulting in certain of the articles becoming oriented within the slot, with the unoriented articles being returned to the supply. The oriented articles are then directed to storing means which include a track including a straight lower portion, level maintaining means and a discharge end wherein the articles are discharged at a predetermined rate to article receiving, positioning and carrying means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1978
    Date of Patent: November 13, 1979
    Assignee: Amerace Corporation
    Inventor: Gerald Barnes
  • Patent number: 4092990
    Abstract: An apparatus for feeding coins by vibration. An electromagnet is mounted upon a frame being operable to cyclically attract and repel an armature fixedly mounted to and beneath a horizontally extending platform supported above the frame by a plurality of springs. A coin cup is mounted atop the platform and receives coins from a hopper suspendedly mounted above the cup by a plurality of members mounted to the frame. In the alternate embodiment, the hopper includes a top portion supported by the members and a bottom portion connected to the top portion by a vibration isolator. The bottom portion extends freely into the cup which includes a coin outlet opening onto the platform. The coins exit the platform through a second outlet falling into a coin tube leading to a coin dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1975
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1978
    Assignee: Standard Changemakers, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert T. Bayne