Movable Through Hopper To Separate And Elevate Articles Patents (Class 221/254)
  • Patent number: 9022841
    Abstract: Coin processing apparatuses, such as consumer or commercial coin processing apparatuses for counting and/or sorting coins, are described herein. The apparatuses can include coin conveyors having a plurality of individual coin carriers linked together to form a chain. In some embodiments, each of the coin carriers includes a corresponding pocket that is configured to receive a coin from a coin hopper as the carrier chain passes through the coin hopper during its cycle. The coin carriers can carry the coins past one or more sensors for identification or “discrimination” of the coin denomination. After discrimination, the coins can be knocked from the carrier pockets and into, e.g., a selected coin chute for transfer to a collection bin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Outerwall Inc.
    Inventor: Douglas A. Martin
  • Patent number: 9004314
    Abstract: A dispenser is disclosed for flat items such as disposable gloves that are contained within a dispensing bag that has an at least partially-open front side. The dispenser includes a base that has a rear wall and a pair of opposing side walls. A non-opaque cover with a dispensing aperture therethrough is pivotally fixed between each side wall and adapted to swing between an open and a closed position. At least one elastic cord is stretched between each side wall to urge the dispensing bag towards the cover when the cover is in the closed position and the dispensing bag is between the cover and the at least one elastic cord. The front side of the dispensing bag may be non-opaque and open at a dispensing bag aperture therethrough, a temporary adhesive being fixed proximate a periphery of the dispensing bag aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Inventor: David Cohen
  • Patent number: 8985388
    Abstract: Present invention discloses a dispenser having means to dispense desired number of pills from a bulk supply of pills contained in the dispenser. The dispenser comprises of storage compartment having bulk supply of pills and having a discharge port emptying into counting compartment. The counting compartment contains first and second conveyors moving at first and second speed; wherein the second speed is greater than the first speed thereby enabling pill separation; the second conveyor discharges pills into dispensing compartment. Sensors are strategically placed along the conveyors to count pills discharged into dispensing compartment. A pill recovery system and apparatus is disposed inside the dispenser having means to recover pills remaining on first and second conveyors upon completion of a dispensation cycle and there after deposit recovered pills back into the storage compartment for use in future dispensation cycles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Inventor: Nitesh Ratnakar
  • Patent number: 8944281
    Abstract: The medicine packing machine is equipped with a loading unit that is capable of receiving and delivering vials retrieved from a stocker, and a supplying unit that is capable of delivering the vials from the loading unit in an upright position. A control unit is also disposed between the loading unit and the supplying unit. As a result of the presence of the control unit, the transfer of vials received by the loading unit is controlled by the control unit in such a manner that the vials are not ejected towards the supplying unit. The vials are also controlled so as to be in an upright position once loaded into the loading unit. As a result of these actions, the vials received by the loading unit are reliably delivered to the supplying unit without being ejected or jamming at unanticipated locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mitsuhiro Inoue, Kazunori Tsukamoto, Yoshinori Maeji
  • Patent number: 8651320
    Abstract: An apparatus for dispensing open-ended objects such as pharmaceutical vials includes: a housing having an internal cavity configured to house open-ended objects, the housing including a guide and a floor; a pick-up unit mounted to the housing, the pick-up unit including an endless member and at least one pick-up member attached to the endless member; and a drive unit. The endless member engages the drive unit and the guide for movement relative thereto. As the drive unit drives the endless member, the at least one pick-up member travels on a pick-up path, at least a portion of which is within the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Parata Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Jody DuMond, Charles H. Guthrie, Joseph C. Moran, Jr., Demetris P. Young, George Raymond Abrams, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8651322
    Abstract: An article dispensing apparatus has a housing defining a first chamber and a second chamber that are divided by a dividing wall, a lid covering the second chamber and a cover covering the first chamber, with the first chamber holding a plurality of articles, and an opening provided in the dividing wall to allow an article to pass through to the second chamber. A figure is retained inside the second chamber, the figure having a pair of arms that are normally positioned adjacent the opening in the dividing wall to receive an article that is transferred from the first chamber via the opening in the dividing wall. An actuator is coupled to the figure to push the figure upwardly through the lid so that the figure, and the article held in the arms of the figure, are delivered outside the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Sweet N Fun, Ltd.
    Inventor: Candona Y. S. Fung
  • Patent number: 8567640
    Abstract: A portable carousel assembly for storing and facilitating access to medicine containers, such as plastic bottles commonly used for prescription or over-the-counter medications. Each medicine bottle is housed in a station that includes an aperture formed in a top plate of a rotatable receptacle. The rotatable receptacle is coupled to a stationary base. An ejection mechanism, such as a lever, cam track or ramp is operable to partially eject a selected medicine bottle from the receptacle so that it can be viewed or removed from the receptacle. The medicine bottle is maintained in the partially ejected condition by grasping means, such as flaps, gaskets, or webbing, or by operation of the cam track or ramp, so that the user need only use one hand to operate the carousel assembly and remove the medicine bottle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: LJC Therapy Services. Inc.
    Inventor: Connie Johnson-Lofton
  • Publication number: 20130248555
    Abstract: An beverage vending apparatus for dispensing elongated articles such as straws, comprising: a container for holding the elongated articles; a hopper (130) operationally coupled to said container to receive at least a portion of the elongated articles, wherein said hopper is reversibly movable between a closed state and an open state; whereby the hopper is composed from an elastic material, whereby the hopper pivots about a first axis, a manipulator (180) for performing a cycle to release a single one of said elongated articles, whereby the manipulator pivots about a second axis, the apparatus is configured to move said manipulator cyclically through a sequence of states including: an idle state, wherein said manipulator is positioned above a single layer of elongated articles resting on an inner surface of said elastic hopper; an isolating state, wherein an isolating blade of said manipulator comes to rest on said inner surface of said elastic hopper between a first elongated article and a second elongated ar
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2011
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Inventors: Niri Klier, Shai Gal, Yarom Goren
  • Patent number: 8523013
    Abstract: Containers for contents in a liquid bath, which are resealable and have an elevating lift therein. The lift is preferably operated by an operator that fits within the container. The lift engages both a feature on the operator and a feature on the container. A slope differential exists between the operator feature and the container feature. Rotation of the operator relative to the container results in longitudinal movement of the lift within the container. The lift can be moved toward an upper position to raise at least a portion of the contents out of the liquid bath to facilitate dispensing of the contents.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Inventor: Randy D. Sines
  • Patent number: 8485391
    Abstract: Systems for deterring theft of retail products. Systems of this invention provide theft deterrent dispensing modules for dispensing products and may incorporate theft deterrent measures including mechanical deterrents, time delays and sound. The dispensing modules may include one or more pusher assemblies for dispensing product. Certain systems of this invention may also include a lockout feature, so that only one pusher assembly may be activated to dispense a product at one time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: Rock-Tenn Shared Services, LLC
    Inventors: Kirk A. Vlastakis, Roger K. Miller, Thomas A. Lockwood
  • Patent number: 8403010
    Abstract: There is provided a tablet filling device, which can smoothly supply vials without any stop of the device even if the vials cause a jam within a stocker. The tablet filling device is related to removing a vial 9 from a stocker 21 accommodating a large number of vials 9 according to a prescription data, dispensing tablets into the vial 9 to fill the vial, and discharging the vial 9 filled with the tablets. The stocker 21 includes: a vial removing device 24 configured to scoop the vial 9 accommodated in the stocker 21 upward to remove the vial; and a vial conveying device 23 configured to convey the vial 9 toward the vial removing device 24. When a jam of the vial 9 occurs, the vial conveying device 23 is reversely driven.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg., Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Akira Taniguchi, Minoru Tano, Yoshinori Maeji
  • Patent number: 8261936
    Abstract: An apparatus for dispensing open-ended objects such as pharmaceutical vials includes: a housing having an internal cavity configured to house open-ended objects, the housing including a guide and a floor; a pick-up unit mounted to the housing, the pick-up unit including an endless member and at least one pick-up member attached to the endless member; and a drive unit. The endless member engages the drive unit and the guide for movement relative thereto. As the drive unit drives the endless member, the at least one pick-up member travels on a pick-up path, at least a portion of which is within the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Parata Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Jody DuMond, Charles H. Guthrie, Joseph C. Moran, Jr., Demetris P. Young, George Raymond Abrams, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8261940
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention provide vending dispenser assemblies for beverage dispensers. In particular, embodiments of the invention can provide a beverage dispenser with a manually operated vending dispenser assembly that consumes little or no additional electrical power to dispense a beverage container using the assembly. Embodiments of a vending dispenser assembly can be used with a heated or chilled compartment associated with a beverage dispenser. Furthermore, embodiments of a vending dispenser assembly can operate in conjunction with a relatively small dispenser opening to limit heat transfer loss via the dispenser opening. One embodiment can provide a dispenser for dispensing a number of products. The dispenser can include at least one storage column adapted to dispense a number of products, and a product selection device operable to permit one of the number of products to advance from the storage column, wherein the advanced product can be dispensed from the dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Steven C. Pfister, Craig J. Cochran, Kirk W. Charles
  • Patent number: 8191731
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus for feeding screws. In the apparatus, screws are scooped up from the storage container by a scooping unit and put onto a carrying unit. The screws are arranged in line and carried by the carrying unit and discharged through a discharge unit. The scooping unit includes a rotating arm which rotates on the outer wall of the storage container, and a magnet which is fastened to the front end of the rotating arm. The carrying unit includes a screw receiving part. The rotating arm rotates on the outer wall of the storage container to scoop up the screws using magnetic force of the magnet and load the screws onto the screw receiving part. The scooping unit further includes a magnet spacing part which is provided on the outer wall of the storage container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: Ohtake Root Kogyo Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshitake Ota
  • Patent number: 8091733
    Abstract: Disclosed is a system for collecting, sorting, counting and consolidating an unorganized pool of solid or semi-solid articles such as pills for dispensation. Specifically, the articles are extracted from inside a bin using attraction points on a transport substrate and sorted into containers in finite quantities. The system consists of several components, preferably including a torque source, a counter and a vacuum source, which are uniquely integrated onto a single end-effector to reduce cost and redundancy by servicing several bins. Further, the system presents a method of attracting and carrying pills using negative vacuum pressure, gravity and centrifugal force. This centrifugal force holds articles to the local attraction points and is provided by the spinning of the transport substrate. Pills are collected from the bin or plenum at the local attraction points, counted, cleaved from the local attraction points and guided to a container or vial.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: RxMedic Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Jason A. Janet, David Reinfeld
  • Patent number: 8061157
    Abstract: A refrigerator is shown having a dosing unit for dispensing ice pieces one by one from an icemaker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Assignee: Arcelik A.S.
    Inventor: Cumhur Ayvazoglu
  • Publication number: 20100308107
    Abstract: Apparatuses and methods for dispensing magnetic stripe cards, smart cards, other cards, and/or other items from kiosks and other structures are disclosed herein. In one embodiment, a card dispensing apparatus includes at least a first card hopper and a card transport assembly. The first card hopper is configured to hold a stack of cards that includes at least a first card stacked on a second card. The card transport assembly includes a card carrier moveable between a first position proximate to the first card hopper and a second position spaced apart from the first card hopper. The card carrier is configured to lift the first card off the second card when the card carrier is in the first position. The card carrier is further configured to release the first card toward an outlet when the card carrier is in the second position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2010
    Publication date: December 9, 2010
    Inventors: Douglas A. Martin, Patrick E. Morford, Gregory P. Winters
  • Patent number: 7731056
    Abstract: A dispenser for dispensing gloves is provided which includes a housing having an exit port, the housing also formed to include a compartment which is configured to hold a plurality of gloves therein. The dispenser includes a glove pusher movably coupled to the housing. At least a portion of the glove pusher is configured to move within the compartment of the housing and push at least a portion of a glove disposed in the compartment through the exit port. A cartridge configured to be disposed into a compartment of a dispenser is disclosed. The cartridge is formed to permit a portion of a dispenser to move into the internal compartment of the cartridge to move at least one of the plurality of gloves at least partially through the at least one opening in the cartridge. A dispensing assembly also may include a stack of gloves or a cartridge containing a plurality of gloves. A method of using a glove dispenser is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul Francis Tramontina
  • Patent number: 7726514
    Abstract: Disclosed is a system for collecting, sorting, counting and consolidating an unorganized pool of solid or semi-solid articles such as pills for dispensation. Specifically, the articles are extracted from inside a bin using attraction points on a transport substrate and sorted into containers in finite quantities. The system consists of several components, preferably including a torque source, a counter and a vacuum source, which are uniquely integrated onto a single end-effector to reduce cost and redundancy by servicing several bins. Further, the system presents a method of attracting and carrying pills using negative vacuum pressure, gravity and centrifugal force. This centrifugal force holds articles to the local attraction points and is provided by the spinning of the transport substrate. Pills are collected from the bin or plenum at the local attraction points, counted, cleaved from the local attraction points and guided to a container or vial.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2010
    Assignee: RxMedic Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Jason A. Janet, David Reinfeld
  • Patent number: 7641072
    Abstract: Systems for deterring theft of retail products. Systems of this invention provide theft deterrent cabinets for dispensing products and may incorporate theft deterrent measures including mechanical deterrents, time delays and sound.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2010
    Assignee: Rock-Tenn Shared Services, LLC
    Inventors: Kirk Vlastakis, Roger K. Miller, Thomas A. Lockwood
  • Patent number: 7506780
    Abstract: A medication storing and dispensing cassette is comprised of a housing defining at least a portion of a bulk storage chamber for storing a medication, defining at least a portion of a pick-up area, and defining at least a portion of a discharge chute sized to temporarily store a quantity of the medication. A divider wall is positioned between the bulk storage chamber and the pick-up area. A gate is positioned to control an exit end of the discharge chute. A rotatable conveying wheel having openings proximate to the periphery thereof is positioned such that a portion of the wheel is in communication with the pick-up area while another portion of the wheel is adjacent to an entrance end of the discharge chute. A calibration arm is positioned adjacent the openings of the rotatable wheel. A baffle is positioned to block those openings in that portion of the rotatable wheel adjacent to the discharge chute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: McKesson Automation Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin Hutchinson, Anthony Self, Joseph Inabnet, Monroe Milton, Mike Bergeron
  • Patent number: 7504067
    Abstract: An automatic tube-type specimen container supply apparatus includes a container storing box a bottom of which has a tapered surface having a container collecting position in a lowest part thereof to collect a plurality of tube-type specimen containers in one spot, a container individually-sending mechanism which lifts up the collected specimen containers one by one along one-side wall located close to the position, an outlet which allows the specimen containers to be discharged outside the box, and a container carry-out mechanism including a conveyor to automatically carry out the discharged specimen containers. The container individually-sending mechanism includes a lifting plate driven up and down and having a top end with a tapered surface. The tapered surface has a space to place only one specimen container lying on a side thereof and descending toward an outside of the container storing box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2009
    Inventor: Teruaki Itoh
  • Publication number: 20080245810
    Abstract: An apparatus for dispensing solid pharmaceutical articles includes a housing, a flow generator and a sensor. The housing defines a dispensing passage. The flow generator is operable to generate a first flow of gas to force the articles along a first path through the dispensing passage. The sensor is positioned to detect articles passing through the dispensing passage. A port is defined in the housing adjacent the sensor and configured to direct a second flow of gas along a second path to agitate dust adjacent the sensor and thereby remove dust from the sensor and/or prevent dust from depositing on the sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 5, 2007
    Publication date: October 9, 2008
    Inventors: Edward Joseph Karwacki, Jr., Richard D. Michelli, Jennifer Ann Mauger
  • Patent number: 7334701
    Abstract: An article handling apparatus having an article storage area (215) includes a movable storage structure (219). The movable storage structure (219) has a bin segment guidance structure to form a plurality of axially aligned article storage columns (216). The guidance structure includes a receiving device providing individual coupling to article storage bin segments (1202) so as to allow grouping of bin segments into the plurality of aligned article storage columns.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2008
    Inventors: Munroe Chirnomas, David K. Giegerich, Raymond B. Leski
  • Patent number: 7269476
    Abstract: A medicine dispensing system is provided that comprises of a medicine container with an inbuilt pill dispensing assembly which automatically dispenses a prescribed dose of medicine at prescribed times. It alerts the patient when a dose of medicine has been dispensed. The alert signal is a local audio or visual alarm or a remote reminder by phone, wireless network or internet. A modem and communication ports are provided which enable the said medicine container to communicate with remote parties like health care professionals and medical devices such as glucose meter. This feature allows remote medicine management, disease management and health education. An internal microprocessor and a memory chip control and execute electronic functions of the said medicine container. Sensors are provided to detect whether a dose has been dispensed and whether it is consumed. The said medicine container is able to record, analyze and report patient's compliance with a medicine regimen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2007
    Inventor: Nitesh Ratnakar
  • Patent number: 7255247
    Abstract: A brush for a pill handling apparatus and an associated pill handling apparatus and method are provided. The brush defines a non-circular profile and agitates the pills when rotated. For example, the brush can be rotatably mounted proximate a rotary slat of the pill handling apparatus so that the brush is configured to seat the pills into the receptacles of the apparatus, such as into receptacles defined by one or more rotary slats. Multiple brushes can be provided in a single pill handling apparatus, e.g., to define therebetween a reservoir for holding the pills.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2007
    Assignee: Aylward Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: John Thomas Aylward
  • Patent number: 7213723
    Abstract: A bulk vending machine provides a dispensing conduit having a revolving mouth that floats on top of a heap of articles in the product bin. The mouth is movable between a horizontal orientation, in which the mouth can scoop articles off of the surface of the heap, and a vertical orientation in which a throat of the dispensing conduit opens to allow an article which has been scooped into the mouth to fall through the dispensing chute. Revolution of the dispensing conduit by turning the handle causes the mouth to revolve around the heap of articles, scooping up one or more articles in its path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2007
    Assignee: Beaver Machine Corporation
    Inventor: Josef W. Schwarzli
  • Patent number: 7147552
    Abstract: An apparatus is described for separating coins (1) whose diameter and thickness lie within predetermined magnitudes, with a coin funnel (12), with at least one revolving coin conveyor (3) whose conveying strand which rises in the conveying direction and leads upwardly out of the coin funnel (12) forms a part of the rear wall (13) of the coin funnel (12) and comprises coin receivers for individual coins (1), with an ejector device for coins (1) axially lying above one another in the coin receivers and with a removal device (24) for the separated coins (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2006
    Assignee: Novotech Elektronik Gesellschaft m.b.H.
    Inventor: Johannes Schimpl
  • Patent number: 7089654
    Abstract: There are provided with a ball given quantity supply apparatus for supplying a given quantity of balls to an apparatus using a given quantity of balls such as a bearing, a ball screw and a linear guide, and a method and apparatus for assembling a ball screw apparatus for use in a feed mechanism employed in various machines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2006
    Assignee: NSK Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuyasu Chiba, Hiroshi Araki
  • Patent number: 7044306
    Abstract: An automated machine is used to handle and manipulate individual pieces of particulate matter. The particulate matter is contained in a bin. The machine operates to pick single individual pieces of the particulate matter from the bin. The picked individual pieces are then conveyed for further handling. Pneumatic transport is primarily used for the conveying operation. One aspect of the handling involves individually weighing each piece of the picked particulate matters. Another aspect of the handling involves sorting the individual pieces of particulate matter into a plurality of receptacles. Yet another aspect of the handling involves both weighing and then sorting the individual pieces of particulate matter, wherein the sorting operation may be performed based upon the measured weight of each piece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Assignee: Monsanto Technology LLC
    Inventor: Kevin L. Deppermann
  • Patent number: 6799696
    Abstract: An apparatus for delivering parts such as pipette chips in succession to an intended position includes a transfer section. The transfer section includes a stepped portion for changing a transfer passage to upper and lower passages to provide a difference in height between the upper and lower passages, which is in more than a size of the parts. The transfer section further includes a separator for holding on the upper passage an upper part of at least two parts being transferred in overlapping relationship one on the other and causing the lower part of the two parts to drop by gravity onto the lower passage and continuously thereto causing the upper part itself to drop onto the lower passage. A recovery duct is preferably provided upstream of the transfer section. With the above construction, no overlapping parts are delivered to a part supply section and no waste parts occur due to a trouble in transferring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Assignee: Olympus Corporation
    Inventors: Noriyoshi Okada, Sadahiro Watanabe
  • Patent number: 6789996
    Abstract: A support member (7) is positioned at a lower part of a storage container (3). The support member (7) supports a second medicine container (10, 16, 17) placed on the lowermost medicine container so that the lowermost medicine container falls off by its own weight. The discharge member (8) discharges the medicine container which fell off from the support member (7). The collecting mechanism (24) conveys the medicines containers discharged from the discharge member (8) to one position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Hiroyuki Yuyama, Toshihiro Amatsu
  • Patent number: 6718892
    Abstract: A disc for a rotating disc seed meter improves singulation by reducing blanks and by reducing multiples. The disc contains a circular array of openings against which the seeds are held on one side by means of a pressure differential as they are carried from a seed chamber to a seed discharge. The disc also contains a plurality of tabs on the seed-holding face of the disc. Each tab is positioned radially adjacent the trailing edge of its associated opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Inventor: Lyn A. Rosenboom
  • Patent number: 6681954
    Abstract: A product dispenser which includes a main housing and a second housing. The main housing contains a pivot arm that closes an electrical switch via a tension spring for producing a desired sound. The pivot arm is operated by a push button which functions to raise a scissor jack which in turn raises a conveyor tube in which a product has been loaded from a product reservoir. The conveyor tube is provided with a slide door that prevents discharge of a product from the reservoir. The conveyor tube also includes a push rod that contacts a pivotable character when the conveyor tube is raised. The push rod pushes the character over so it appears that the character is pouring a product from a container. At the same time the product moves from the conveyor tube to an exit tube. Then the movements are reversed to a rest position from which they started.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2004
    Inventors: Thomas J. Coleman, William K. Schlotter, IV, Princess Ann Coleman, Ann M. Schlotter
  • Patent number: 6640428
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for fabricating a needle assembly which includes a blunt in a cannula of a needle. In one example of a method, at least one blunt is collected in a cutout of a blade from a set of blunts and a fluid is passed across said cutout. Any further blunts around the cutout are dislodged by the fluid, leaving only one blunt on the blade. In another example of a method, a blade is moved to a first position to collect at least one blunt from a set of blunts, and the blade is moved to a second position to singulate the one blunt from the set of blunts; the blade has a tip end which is designed to capture securely only one blunt, wherein any further blunts are not securely maintained in the tip end. An exemplary apparatus includes a container for holding a set of blunts, a motor, and a blade coupled to the motor and disposed at least partially within a slot of said container. The blade includes a tip end which is designed to capture securely only one blunt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2003
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventor: Brian Barber
  • Patent number: 6505756
    Abstract: In a delivery device small parts (15) in the nature of studs, bushes, pins and suchlike are conducted by means of a perpendicularly displaceable strut (6) into a transportation channel (11) from a sloping collection area (1). The strut (6) slides along a retaining and dividing wall (3) and has an upper narrow side 6a which slopes obliquely downwards towards the retaining and dividing wall (3). Owing to the obliquely downwards directed slope of the upper narrow side (6a) the small parts (15) become reliably lodged on the retaining and dividing wall (3) when the strut (6) is located in its lower operating position (FIG. 2). In the upper operating position the small parts (15) slide obliquely downwards over the retaining and dividing wall (3) into the transportation channel (11). A metering plate (7) with projections and gaps, located on the strut (6) in its upper region, determines how many small parts (15) are to be conducted into the transportation channel (11) each time the strut (6) is lifted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2003
    Assignee: Newfrey LLC
    Inventors: Hugo Walldorf, Stefan Schneider
  • Publication number: 20020158078
    Abstract: This invention provides log singulators which allow for the vertical singulation of piles of logs fed from typical in-feed log decks, so that these logs may be fed individually to typical out-feed conveyors. Devices provided by this invention may be high-speed singulators occupying minimal floor space area. Singulators provided by this invention comprise arcuately oscillating lifting devices (“primary lifting devices”), preferably rotating synchronously in opposite directions. Preferably, these singulators elevate logs against vertically successive barriers. These barriers are shaped so that only one of either a largest log or a smallest log, which it is expected that the singulator should handle, can rest on the primary lifting devices and be carried upward at a time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 30, 2001
    Publication date: October 31, 2002
    Inventor: George H. Goater
  • Patent number: 6371330
    Abstract: An automatic machine for storing and dispensing a desired number of spherical objects (1), for example golf balls. A magazine has at least one sloping floor surface (2, 3, 4, 7), a conveyor belt (11) extending from an infeed position to a discharge position, and an object counter (16) disposed at the conveyor belt (11) for counting the number of objects (1) displaced on the conveyor belt (11) past the counter (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Inventor: Jordan Knez
  • Patent number: 6332558
    Abstract: A chip feeder for feeding chips stored in bulk in a case thereof, one by one, from a chip-supply portion thereof, the chip feeder including a partition plate which parts an inner space of the case into a plurality of rooms, the partition plate having an opening which extends in a direction intersecting a horizontal plane and which communicates the respective rooms on both sides of the partition plate, with each other, a movable partition member which extends across the opening of the partition plate and which is movable relative to the opening in the direction intersecting the horizontal plane, and a movable-partition-member control device which controls the movable partition member so that a lower portion of the movable partition member sinks in an upper portion of a mass of the chips stored in bulk in the case and an upper portion of the movable partition member projects upward from the mass of the chips.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2001
    Assignee: Fuji Machine Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Akihiro Udagawa, Mamoru Tsuda
  • Patent number: 6273010
    Abstract: A singulating brush for a finger pickup seed meter comprising a flat carrier on which two sets of bristles are mounted. The flat carrier defines two mounting positions for the singulating brush. In its first mounting position the first set of bristles of the singulating brush contact the seed engaging spoons of the radially extending fingers for dislodging extraneous seed. In is second mounting position the second set of bristles of the singulating brush contact the seed engaging spoons of the radially extending fingers for dislodging extraneous seed. The first set of bristles is stiffer than the second set of bristles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventor: Gary Deloy Luxon
  • Patent number: 6266864
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for fabricating a needle assembly which includes a blunt in a cannula of a needle. In one example of a method, at least one blunt is collected in a cutout of a blade from a set of blunts and a fluid is passed across said cutout. Any further blunts around the cutout are dislodged by the fluid, leaving only one blunt on the blade. In another example of a method, a blade is moved to a first position to collect at least one blunt from a set of blunts, and the blade is moved to a second position to singulate the one blunt from the set of blunts; the blade has a tip end which is designed to capture securely only one blunt, wherein any further blunts are not securely maintained in the tip end. An exemplary apparatus includes a container for holding a set of blunts, a motor, and a blade coupled to the motor and disposed at least partially within a slot of said container. The blade includes a tip end which is designed to capture securely only one blunt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventor: Brian Barber
  • Patent number: 6227407
    Abstract: A system for dispensing articles such as candy, lollipops, or other oddly shaped objects is provided. A helix, turned by an electric motor or the purchaser of the article, delivers a single unit from a loading area to one basket in a chain of baskets. The baskets are mounted on a belt that is part of a chute assembly, carried to the top of the chute, and rotated to dump the article onto a dispensing shelf from where gravity delivers it to the purchaser. By introduction of a coin, the lollipop machine will start, and, by way of the belt mechanism a product is carried up and over the top of the chute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Inventors: Patrick J. Simeri, John Carl Walden
  • Patent number: 6182857
    Abstract: The preferred embodiment of the present invention is an integrated product supply network comprised of a computer network linked through a variety of methods to a plurality of intelligent vending or dispensing machines and each component of the overall product supply network. The intelligent vending or dispensing machine is comprised of a combination of dispensing mechanisms including one type that it allows for both vertical and horizontal displacement of products to allow a wider variety of products to be offered for sale. In particular, the dispensing mechanism allows paper and art supplies to be dispensed. The intelligent dispensing machine is particularly useful in catering to small offices that need supplies any time, day or night.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Inventors: Doug A. Hamm, William O. Swift
  • Patent number: 6119737
    Abstract: A tablet packing apparatus of the present invention have a tablet feeding section 2 for feeding tablets, tablet vessel feeding sections 3 for feeding tablet vessels 11, and a tablet packing section 4 for packing tablets fed from the tablet feeding section 2, into a tablet vessel 11 fed from the tablet vessel feeding sections 3. The tablet feeding section comprises a plurality of feeder vessels 36 for storing different types of tablets and a tablet conveyor 27 for conveying the tablets discharged from the feeder vessels 36, to the tablet packing section 4. In the apparatus, the following restoring process is executed. After the apparatus is stopped due to abnormality, the tablets remaining in the guide paths 31 and the tablets conveyor means 27 are conveyed to the tablet packing section 4 by the tablets conveyor means 27 to recover them into the tablet vessel 11 and then the tablet vessel 11 is transferred to the container chamber 6 of the storage shelves 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Tsuyoshi Kodama, Shinichi Honda, Hirotaka Hayashi, Hirofumi Hayashi, Kouichi Sugimoto, Akitomi Kohama
  • Patent number: 6098838
    Abstract: In a bulk feeder, chips, stored randomly in a storage chamber, are fed one by one into a pipe extending vertically downwardly from the bottom of the storage chamber, and are further sequentially fed to a pickup position. In order to prevent the incomplete feeding of the chips into the pipe, an outer tube is provided in a manner to insert the pipe into the outer tube, and two projections are formed around an outer peripheral surface of the outer tube, and a pin is received between the two projections. The pin is rotated by a motor in eccentric relation to a horizontal axis of rotation of this motor, and the outer tube, while rotating, moves upward and downward, so that an upper end portion of the outer tube projects upwardly beyond an upper end of the pipe. As a result, the outer tube breaks into and disperses the group of chips residing above the pipe, so that the chips can be fed one by one into the pipe, and then the chips are fed sequentially to the pickup position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hidehiro Saho, Yuji Tanaka
  • Patent number: 6039209
    Abstract: An ampule feeder which is simple in structure and which can discharge ampules one by one with a high degree of efficiency without the possibility of clogging. The feeder includes an ampule container having a bottom plate that is pivotable in one direction. Ampules stored randomly in the container are moved onto an inclined top surface of an ampule receiver and raised. When the ampule receiver rises to its highest level, the ampules slide on its surface and drop onto a conveyor belt of a dispenser provided outside of the side wall of the ampule container. Ampules are thus discharged by the dispenser. As the number of ampules remaining in the container decreases, the bottom plate is inclined in increments to prevent the ampule receiver from rising with no ampules on its top surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yuyama Seisakusho
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Yasuhiro Shigeyama
  • Patent number: 5899357
    Abstract: An ampule dispenser for dispensing ampules from an ampule container in which a plurality of ampules are stored in a disorderly manner. It has a stocker for stocking ampules discharged from the ampule container. The stocker has a bottom wall sloping downward both in a first direction in which ampules are discharged from the ampule container and in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction. A cylindrical rotor is provided in the bottom wall at one side thereof for rotation in one direction. The rotor has axial grooves formed in the outer periphery thereof and extending axially to receive a single ampule discharged at a time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1999
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yuyama Seisakusho
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Nakaji Takeda
  • Patent number: 5857587
    Abstract: An automatic fastener supplier includes a frame having a receiving section for receiving fasteners. A track is removably and partially mounted in the receiving section. The track includes a gap defined therein for receiving shanks of the fasteners and an upper open edge for retaining heads of the fasteners. A fastener feeding device is mounted in the receiving section and is vertically movable for feeding fasteners in the receiving section onto the track. A main driving device is provided for driving the fastener feeding device to move vertically. A stop is mounted to the front end of the track for preventing further forward movement of the fastener. A track supporting device has a supporting member for supporting the track yet allowing insertion and removal of the track. A position deciding device is mounted to the supporting member for adjusting a longitudinal position of the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Inventor: Yoshitake Ota
  • Patent number: 5842428
    Abstract: Vacuum seed metering apparatus is operably arranged in combination with a seed storage hopper. The seed metering apparatus includes a rotatable disc having a circular row of apertures for movement along a predetermined path during rotation of the disc. A housing is arranged in seed receiving relation relative to the seed hopper, and includes an interior divided by the disc into a seed chamber to hold seeds and a vacuum chamber extending at least partially around the path of movement of the apertures. The vacuum chamber has a leading end, a trailing end, and a vacuum exhaust port in communication with a vacuum source therebetween. The trailing end of said chamber is arranged adjacent to a seed discharge area where seeds are released from the disc, and an opening is provided proximate to the seed discharge area to enhance the release of seeds from the disc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Case Corporation
    Inventors: John F. Stufflebeam, Thomas A. Olson, Lisle J. Dunham, Donald T. Johnson
  • Patent number: 5784985
    Abstract: A mechanical seed meter having a stationary housing and a rotatable bowl. The stationary housing is provided with a first axial wall, an outer radial wall and a flexible inner radial wall. The bowl is provided with seed receiving cells that form a second axial wall for trapping singled seeds in the seed trapping area. A flexible and resilient flap maintains the seed in the seed receiving cells. An axially extending brush removes excess seeds from the seed receiving cells as they pass through the seed puddle before entering the seed trapping area. The seed slides along the radial outer wall by centrifugal force until it enters the outlet area from which the outer radial wall becomes part of the outlet and the metered seed is deposited through the outlet to a seed tube. Jammed seed, that is seed trapped in the seed receiving cells, are provided with a downward force by a bump located in the outlet and an upward force by a rotatable wheel located downstream from the outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: James Irwin Lodico, Terry Lee Snipes, Donald Raymond Wisor