Separately Acting Series Controllers Patents (Class 221/298)
  • Patent number: 9633503
    Abstract: The present application provides a vendor for vending a number of products. The vendor may include a cooler and a vending device positioned within the cooler. The vending device may include a number of product shelves with a number of product gates and one or more product locking systems that permit the removal of only one product at a time from the product gates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Jurgen Roekens, Antonio Feltrin, Willy Van Esch
  • Patent number: 9463540
    Abstract: A ring installer and method for installing piston rings on a piston includes an axial pusher, a radial pusher and a translating device. The axial pusher axially moves a cartridge of piston rail rings to position an end rail ring of the piston rail rings into a preinstall position. The radial pusher radially enlarges the end rail ring to separate the end rail ring from the piston rail rings. The translating device receives the end rail ring from the radial pusher and axially moves the end rail ring to an install position that is axially spaced apart from the cartridge of piston rail rings and from the preinstall position wherein the end rail ring is in alignment with a piston groove of the piston.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Brian G. Jones
  • Patent number: 9049949
    Abstract: A dispensing device and method is provided for separating individual food or drink container lids from a multiple-lid stack for use. The device supports a vertical stack of nested lids and allows a single bottom-most lid to fall away from the remaining lids in the stack. The device may be incorporated in a stand-alone dispenser for consumer use or be incorporated into existing or other incidental structures such as fast food restaurant countertops.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Inventor: James M. Taylor
  • Patent number: 8955713
    Abstract: An automated magazine feeder device is provided for supplying a manufacturing operation with elongate members of varying sizes in an assembly order dictated sequence. An apparatus for dispensing elongate members may include a magazine and a rotatable support member. The magazine may contain a plurality of elongate members including an elongate member in a first location and an elongate member in a second location immediately adjacent the elongate member in the first location. The first rotatable support member may include a first arm and a second arm. The first arm of the first rotatable support member supports the elongate member in the first location when the first rotatable support member is in a first position. The elongate member in the first location is ejected from the magazine by the second arm of the first rotatable support member in response to the first rotatable support member being rotated from the first position to a second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald Edward Findley
  • Patent number: 8505772
    Abstract: A container for packing and shipping stud welding ferrule aligned along a spindle. The container comprises a body having a top, a bottom, opposing side walls and opposing end walls defining a storage space therein. The container further comprises a spindle retainer operatively connected to the body. The spindle retainer has a transverse portion and a longitudinal portion connected to the transverse portion. The transverse portion extends from one of the end walls and toward and into the storage space, while the longitudinal portion extends from the transverse portion and toward the bottom of the body. The transverse portion and the longitudinal portion are sized and shaped to accept and to retain ends of the spindle to contain the spindle within the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: New Rule Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Gerald Martin
  • Patent number: 8459496
    Abstract: A machine particularly adapted for dispensing light items (19) packaged in symmetrical, frustum-shaped containers. The items are propelled through a tubular cartridge (3) by compressed air, and in the absence of any solid pushing, pulling or carrying device, then individually dispensed. A flow of compressed air generated by a blower (28) is s fed to the back of the cartridge. The items are dispensed under control of a toggling dual-gate mechanism (26, 27) at the front end of the cartridge. The dual-gate mechanism of a removable magazine (2) grouping a number of cartridges can be selectively addressed and activated by means of a solenoid-driven cross-bar assembly (38).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Inventors: Anton K. Simson, Henri J. A. Charmasson
  • Patent number: 8132691
    Abstract: A dispensing system for a vending machine includes a vend motor, a cradle, a load bar and a push arm. Upon selection of a particular product, the vend motor rotates the cradle, causing the product to emerge from the vending machine. The cradle is designed to accommodate a wide array of container sizes. The dispensing system incorporates a rotation sensor, a position sensor, and a lift arm. The sensors enable accurate rotation of the cradle through a plurality of vend angles depending upon the particular product being vended, while the lift arm cooperates with the push arm and load bar to refill the cradle after a series of product containers have been dispensed. In addition, the vend motor includes a soft start control that prevents instantaneous rotation of the output shaft so as to prolong an overall operational life of the motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2012
    Assignee: Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Talbert James Black, Jr., Thomas Roger Meinardi, Edmund Scott Richardson, Terring M. Ware
  • 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: 8061556
    Abstract: An automated freezer stores food items stacked in a removable cartridge. The food items are dispensed from the automated freezer in response to a request for the food items. The food items are loaded into the cartridge outside of the automated freezer. When the cartridge is inserted into the automated freezer, the upper end of the cartridge is inserted into a buffer, pushing a plurality of arms in the buffer upwardly to allow food items to pass through the buffer. When the cartridge is removed from the freezer for reloading of food items, a resilient member biases the arms downwardly to retain any food items in the buffer and to prevent any food items in the buffer from falling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Assignee: Restaurant Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Sands, Ronald J. Glavan, Andrew Paul Franklin, Randy L. Ginner, Henry Thomas Ewald
  • Patent number: 8006865
    Abstract: A disc feeding apparatus comprises a supporting base, a pusher and an electric driving device. The pusher is driven by the electric driving device to back and forth, such that one edge of the disc is protruded out of the first protruding portion of the supporting base, and the other edge of the disc is limited by the avoiding groove of the second protruding portion and will be pushed by the pusher. Thereby, the disc will fall out of the disc feeding apparatus, thus finishing the feeding of the disc. The present invention can use the precise control electric driving device to cooperate with other structures. With the simplified structure design, the present invention can perform the disk feeding operation efficiently and precisely for a long tome.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Inventor: Shu-Yuan Lee
  • Patent number: 7975875
    Abstract: An entirely mechanical gas bottle dispensing machine that allows to either only dispense by gravity a filled bottle upon insertion of a first token or dispense a filled bottle with return of an empty bottle upon insertion of a second token.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Inventor: Andrzej Borzym
  • Patent number: 7950513
    Abstract: A coin drop mechanism comprises a support member movably connected to a channel member. A contoured channel configured to receive at least one coin is formed on at least one of the members and defines a coin slot when the members are in contact with each other. The channel is configured to guide the at least one coin to a desired location aligned with an actuator opening on the members. The mechanism further comprises an actuator. The actuator comprises a actuation member configured to travel through the actuator opening, engage the at least one coin against a surface of the channel member, and displace the channel member relative to the support member causing a selected product to be dispensed from a product receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Bobrick Washroom Equipment, Inc.
    Inventor: James G. Horian
  • Patent number: 7784644
    Abstract: A vending machine includes first and second integrated dispensing systems mounted at front portions of adjacent product shelf dividers establishing at least first, second and third product queues. Each of the first and second dispensing systems includes first and second release mechanisms having a plurality of hinged plates supported by a frame. The plurality of hinged plates are selectively shifted into and out of corresponding ones of the first, second and third product queues, such that each product queue has associated therewith two opposing release mechanisms. Preferably, at least one of the first and second release mechanisms for each dispensing system includes a queue spacing member which is mounted to one of the hinged plates and projects into the product queue to establish a desired spacing between the release mechanisms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: Dixie-Narco, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard T. Albert, Dan Bowen, Bryan Alan Collins, Aron Phillip Lewis, Paul Miller, Charles Wayne Percy, John Robinson, William E. Roe, Russell Watts
  • 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: 7694847
    Abstract: A snap-ring supplying device includes a magazine (10) containing C-shaped snap rings (S) piled together each of which has a gap, an extrusion member (25) that pushes out a snap ring occupying the lowest position in the magazine so that the gap (S1) of the snap ring is directed forwardly in an extruding direction, a conveying path (23) that conveys the snap ring pushed out by the extrusion member to an area in which the snap ring is contracted to reduce the diameter of the snap ring, a projection-strip guide wall (26) formed to stand upwardly in a substantially vertical direction with a width that is defined by forming a pair of concave parts (28) and that can enter the gap of the snap ring in a termination area of the conveying path, and an oscillating member (31) and urging members (32, 33) serving as a restricting mechanism (30) that restricts the gap of the snap ring so that the gap is directed in a direction from the magazine to the projection-strip guide wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: Hirata Corporation
    Inventor: Yuichi Iwamoto
  • Patent number: 7568595
    Abstract: A stamped gate bar for a vending machine having an elongated body with opposing ends. The elongated body is formed first and second side walls extending from an integrally formed edge wall. A support member is disposed along at least one of the opposing ends, and an actuation member is also disposed along at least one of the opposing ends. A method of forming the gate bar from a sheet of metal is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2009
    Inventors: Joseph J. Krish, Sr., William R. Reis, Donald R. Mikuluk
  • Patent number: 7451893
    Abstract: This invention relates to a ferrule dispenser for dispensing stud welding ferrules and to a package of ferrules for use with the dispenser. The dispenser comprises a rod that supports a spring loaded cam system. The cam system moves relative to the rod and includes a compression spring and a cam. The spring and cam work together to bias a pair of ferrule release pins inward and outward of the rod, selectively holding ferrules on an outer surface of the rod or releasing them onto a work surface. The package of ferrules used with the dispenser includes multiple sets of ferrules, each set including multiple ferrules uniformly stacked on a spindle. Each spindle has one open end that can pass through an opening in a handle of the dispenser and down a center bore of the dispenser for loading the ferrules from the spindle onto the dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2008
    Inventor: Gerald D Martin
  • Patent number: 7213724
    Abstract: A table tennis ball delivery device adapted to be secured to or adjacent the side of a table tennis table for directing a ball to a player upon the activation of a switch by the player. The device includes a chamber for carrying a supply of table tennis balls, a ball transfer mechanism for selectively advancing an individual ball from the chamber to a location over a flexed or cocked delivery spring oriented such that upon activation of the switch by a player, the spring is released so as to strike a ball and launch the ball to the player. The ball transfer mechanism is coordinated with the spring cocking and release mechanism so as to position another ball over the delivery spring and re-cock the spring immediately upon the launching of the ball to the player.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2007
    Inventors: David S. Langer, John Stump
  • Patent number: 7128240
    Abstract: A pill dispenser for use with a conventional pill bottle includes a hollow housing having an upper end with an internally threaded collar thereon for coupling the housing with the externally threaded neck of a conventional pill bottle. A tubular passageway extends from the upper end of the housing to the lower end. A spring-biased reciprocal plunger extends from a side of the housing that operates a gear actuated dispensing arm that pivots into and out of the passageway. By reciprocating the plunger, a user can individually dispense a pill through the lower end of the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Inventor: Mark B. Oesch
  • Patent number: 7104421
    Abstract: A golf ball teeing device comprising, a platform having an upper surface, an opening in the platform, a tee for a golf ball the tee being arranged for reciprocal movement with respect to the opening between a lower position where the top of the tee is at a level below the upper surface of the platform to an upper position where the top of the tee is above upper surface of the platform, and golf ball deliver means arranged to load a golf ball on top of the tee when it is in the lower position, wherein the golf ball is at a level below the upper surface of the platform when it is loaded onto the tee by the golf ball delivery means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2006
    Assignee: Tee Up Pty Ltd.
    Inventors: Franz Charles Eckhardt, Jr., Christopher Patrick Heffernan, James Francis Howe
  • 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: 7007821
    Abstract: A pill delivery and packing apparatus having a feeder tube for delivering pills is provided. The feeder tube has a helical delivery chute that extends between an inlet side and an exit side of the tube. The delivery chute has a helical inner contour and a rectangular cross section that corresponds to the shape of the pills. The helical delivery chute is configured such that each of the pills rotates while proceeding through the delivery chute, whereby such rotation of the pills prevents jamming of the pills in the delivery chute. Independently extendable pins are used to alternately block and open the delivery chute, thus providing an escapement mechanism for dispensing pills. The tube also has an outer surface defining a helical outer contour that guides a rotatable tray on which pills are disposed. Associated apparatuses and methods are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Assignee: Aylward Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: John Thomas Aylward
  • Patent number: 6971546
    Abstract: A dispenser of single-use portions of preparations for beverages, comprising a structure that supports at least one storage assembly for single-use portions provided with a discharge outlet for the discharge of the portions, at least one distribution assembly for the portions which is provided with an outlet for dispensing said portions and with a device for transferring the portions from the discharge outlet to the dispensing outlet, which are interposed between the storage assembly and the distribution assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Inventor: Marc Robert Costa
  • Patent number: 6968975
    Abstract: A selectively cascadeable storage unit allows a variable number of containers to be stored and dispensed in a first-in, first-out manner. The storage unit includes a receiving area, a storage track, a dispensing area, and a selectively engageable stop. The storage track conveys containers from the receiving area to the dispensing area, where the selectively engageable stop either holds the containers or passes the containers to a cascaded storage unit. In one embodiment, multiple storage units are substantially overlapped such that containers may be selectively passed from the dispensing area of one unit to the receiving area of the connected unit. The present invention facilitates better utilization of storage facilities and simplifies inventory management of a variety of containers such as barrels, bottles, boxes, cans, cartons, casks, crates, drums, jars, kegs, packages, sacks, tins, and tubs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2005
    Inventor: Coston L. Christensen
  • Patent number: 6881380
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a cup handling subsystem for an automated clinical chemistry analyzer system which includes a nestable sample cup for holding sample mixtures, a cup dispenser mechanism for holding and dispensing a supply of the cups into a sample shuttle for transporting them, and an incubator for controlling the temperature of the cup and its contents. In one embodiment, the cups include a conical lower portion and a cylindrical upper portion having a top flange, a bottom flange and a groove formed therebetween. An apparatus is provided for holding and dispensing a plurality of such cups including a supply tube for holding the cups in a stack wherein the stack has a bottom-most cup and a next-bottom-most cup located above the bottom-most cup. The apparatus also includes an escapement located at a lower end of the supply tube which includes a disk having an aperture formed therein, a first leaf attached to a top side of the disk and a second leaf attached to a bottom side of the disk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2005
    Assignee: Bayer Corporation
    Inventors: Frederick E. Mootz, Carl R. Gebauer, Frank Bakonyi, Nicolae Dumitrescu
  • Patent number: 6824010
    Abstract: A selective actuating apparatus involves a barrel 17 rotated due to rotation of a driving motor 2, a revolving shaft 3A supporting rotatably the barrel 17, and a barrel 16 rotated as a result of transmitting torque in the case where the barrel 17 is rotated in a direction b indicated by an arrow wherein a cam section 16B is defined on the barrel 16. In this condition, when the barrel 17 rotates in a direction a indicated by an arrow, the torque does not transmit to the barrel 16, but the barrel 16 is allowed to displace along the revolving shaft 3A due to sliding motion in between a projection 16A formed on the barrel 16 and a projection 17D formed on the inner circumference of the barrel 17 in a stepped manner. As a result, the selective actuating apparatus by which a plurality of driving objects can be driven without requiring a plurality of driving sources, so that its driving system can be downsized is obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hajime Erikawa
  • Patent number: 6807792
    Abstract: A closure feed system for use on an associated form, fill and seal packaging machine for feeding and singulating closures from a closure storage region to a closure applicator. The feed system includes a chute for conveying the closures from the storage region to the applicator along a conveyance path defined by the chute. A singulator includes upper and lower reciprocating members configured for alternatingly reciprocating into and out of the conveyance path. The upper member includes a separating element having an upper surface and a lower surface. One of the upper and lower surfaces is formed at an incline relative to the other surface such that a distance between the upper and lower surfaces increases as the lower member moves into the conveyance path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance, SA
    Inventors: Petr Sevcik, Stefan Annehed, Hisami Mitsuishi, Sheila Moss, Ken Pokusa
  • Patent number: 6655902
    Abstract: An apparatus for transferring rows of side-by-side elongated members from a conveyor to a stacking platform to form bundles. A plurality of parallel stacker arms are displaceable in a direction parallel to the conveying of the elongated members, between a retracted position, and a stacking position, wherein the stacker arms are positioned above the stacking platform for disposing rows of elongated members thereon. A ramp is displaceable between an inclined position and a horizontal position, for guiding the pivoting of the stacker arms about carriages, such that stacker arms moving from the retracted portion to the stacking position are pivoted upward to pick up a row of elongated members from the conveyor portion, and that stackers arms moving from the stacking position to the retracted position are kept generally horizontal, so as to encompass the rows of elongated members conveyed on the conveyor portion. A slat positioner is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Assignee: Leggett & Platt LTD / Leggett & Platt LTEE
    Inventors: Richard Dubé, Dany Blanchet
  • Publication number: 20030062378
    Abstract: This invention relates to product vending and relates particularly but not exclusively to product vending apparatus and parts therefor suitable for vending high cost products such as consumables for computer printers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 4, 2000
    Publication date: April 3, 2003
    Inventors: BRIAN COOKE, MARK GRONDMAN, ALAN JENKINS, GERRY MUSSETT, MAGNUS CAMERON, GOWER SMITH
  • Patent number: 6513679
    Abstract: A device to automatically dispense solid medicinal units, such as pills, capsules, or the like, based upon patient needs. The medicinal units are stored in long, thin tubes. Each tube stores, in single-line, vertical fashion, a series of units of the same drug. The medicinal units, thusly stored, are efficiently dispensed from the bottom portion of the tube through a novel valve. In some embodiments, the valve is a permanent part of the tube; in others, the valve separates and re-connects to the tube to facilitate refilling of empty tubes at a drug refilling center. In still another embodiment, the valve comprises a thin wall molted elastic rubber tube sleeve mounted on the lower part of the plastic tube containing the medicinal units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2003
    Inventors: Shlomo Greenwald, Zipora Greenwald
  • Publication number: 20020175180
    Abstract: A dispenser for dispensing solid dosing forms which include a storage compartment and a releasing portion at the bottom of the storage compartment. The releasing portion is adapted to receive a releasing device which dispenses a single solid dosage form while providing security against the release of multiple solid dosage forms as well as clogging which may prevent the release of a single solid dosage form.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 21, 2002
    Publication date: November 28, 2002
    Inventors: Christopher T. Evans, Christopher Gieda
  • Publication number: 20020162723
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for singulating IC devices or semiconductor devices and/or components thereof. The apparatus includes a flexible membrane or bladder configured to receive an applied fluid pressure on a surface thereof and expand in response to the applied fluid pressure. Upon expansion of the flexible membrane, a semiconductor device or semiconductor device component is contacted by the flexible membrane and immobilized. The semiconductor device may then be subjected to a predetermined test or manufacturing operation. Subsequent any processing to the semiconductor device or component, the fluid pressure is released such that the flexible membrane contracts and releases the semiconductor device to be advanced for further processing, testing, or preparation for shipping.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 2, 2001
    Publication date: November 7, 2002
    Inventor: Daniel P. Cram
  • Patent number: 6474503
    Abstract: This apparatus and method for dispensing lids, such as plastic cup lids for drinking cups, one-by-one from a nesting stack of lids disposed slidable inside a vertically oriented elongated housing, such stack being initially supported from underneath the bottommost lid by a pair of lateral pivoting support plate members. Operating the dispenser by depressing a yoke-lever member urging a symmetrical outboard pair of resilient flat spring jaws laterally inward, engaging from opposing sides, flanged outer rim on such cup lid that immediately overlays the bottommost lid, causing the overlaying cup lid to be flexed, lifted, and ovally distorted. Such oval distortion wedges the overlaying lid between the resilient flat spring jaws and against the inner wall of the elongated housing vertically supporting the overlaying lid and all lids lying thereon. Further action of the yoke-lever will move the pair of support plates to an unsupporting position allowing bottommost lid to fall free, dispensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2002
    Inventor: Larry E. Davis
  • Patent number: 6409045
    Abstract: A vending machine for vending a plurality of bottles each of which are supported in an upright position only at a top portion of each of the bottles include a planar dispensing rack having a plurality of elongated slots therein for storing and dispensing bottles. The elongated slots each include a pair of substantially parallel spaced apart side walls which are spaced apart a distance less than a diameter of the top portion of the bottle to be supported in the slots. The distance between the side walls of the slot is adjustable to enable the slot to support bottles having various diameters. The side walls of each of the slots terminate in an opening at one end of each of the slots which opening has a diameter larger than the diameter of the top portion of the bottles supported by the slots to enable bottles which move from the slot to the opening to drop through the opening from the planar dispensing rack to a dispensing station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Inventor: Thomas Robert Lauer
  • Patent number: 6379105
    Abstract: The present invention provides a lumber unloading and feeding method and apparatus that can reliably separate individual boards from a stacked unit and feed the individual boards into other automatic machinery. One embodiment comprises a first load supporting surface and a second load supporting surface that cooperate to support a first end and a second end of at least one tier; a tier receiver located below the first and second load supporting surfaces; a first pusher that biases the first end of the tier off the first load supporting surface; and a second pusher that biases the second end of the tier off the second load supporting surface, thereby allowing the tier to drop onto the tier receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Inventor: Steven L. Aylsworth
  • Patent number: 6371715
    Abstract: A predetermined number of IC (integrated circuit) packages are transferred from a first IC package tube to a second IC package tube. A chosen IC package track has dimensions that fit to dimensions of each of the IC packages. The first IC package tube is placed on a first end of the chosen IC package track, and the second IC package tube is placed on a second end of the chosen IC package track. A stopper gate and a singulator are disposed above the chosen IC package track between the first end and the second end of the chosen IC package track. The first IC package tube, the chosen IC package track, and the second IC package tube are tilted to a slant with the first IC package tube being disposed toward a top of the slant and with the second IC package tube being disposed toward a bottom of the slant such that the IC packages slide out from the first IC package tube, down along the chosen IC package track, and toward the second IC package tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Sa-nguan Boochakorn, Somboon Rungsawang, Watcharin Pinlam
  • Patent number: 6360901
    Abstract: A merchandising device is useful to display flanged bottles. The device includes an elongate track for supporting a row of flanged bottles such that the bottles in the row are suspended by their neck flanges for movement along the track and are removable from the track through the front end of the track. The track comprises a track body including a pair of opposed side walls extending along the track, and a pair of rail members detachably attached respectively to the side walls of the body to be disposed substantially parallel to each other. Each rail member comprises a connector panel extending alongside a respective one of the side walls and a supporting ledge joined to and extending along the panel. The ledges of the rail members project laterally of the panels toward each other and are disposed with a gap therebetween to receive in the gap the necks of the bottles such that the bottles are slidably engaged at the undersides of their neck flanges with the ledges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Assignee: Display Industries, LLC.
    Inventor: Dennis E. Parham
  • Patent number: 6260734
    Abstract: A device for dispensing single components, in particular rivets of different shapes and sizes, wherein the rivets are conveyed to a riveting station one by one in a given direction along a path; the rivets are moved along and within an elastic sheath (11) by a pressure source (P); the device also includes a device for storing the components and includes a holder (24) for feeding the components one by one to the elastic sheath (11); the device provides for the uniform and steady feeding of rivets to riveting machines such as are used in the aircraft industry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2001
    Assignees: Ste Ateliers de la Haute-Garonne-Ets Auriolo Et Cie, Dassault Aviation
    Inventors: Jean-Marc Auriol, Philippe Bornes, Sylvain Guerin
  • Patent number: 6254332
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a nut feeder for the feeding of nuts for resistance welding. A stopper 12 is provided which is so energized as to enter into the inside of a chute 7 from a lower-end lateral side of the chute 7. A lowermost nut 5 in the chute 7 is held by the stopper 12, thereby being prevented from falling. With a pin 11 of the nut receiver 9 set against a projection part 29 of the stopper 12, a nut receiver 9 is moved backward together with the stopper 12, by which the holding of the nut 5 is released. Then the nut 5 is placed at a position ahead of the pin 11 of the nut receiver 9 while leaning against the stopper 12. Thereafter the nut receiver 9 is moved forward and the nut 5 falls down so that its threaded hole fits onto the pin 11 and is delivered to under the upper electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2001
    Assignee: Seki Kogyo Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masaaki Miura, Kouji Sakota
  • Patent number: 6199720
    Abstract: A vending machine is provided with a cabinet having a plurality of inclined, vertically spaced shelves. The shelves are able to selectively feed a beverage container to an elevator which is located adjacent an interior, right side wall of the cabinet of vending machine. A beverage container is dispensed by an escapement block of a shelf onto the elevator. The elevator vertically moves the beverage container, and then dispenses the beverage container to a delivery mechanism which gently lowers the beverage container to a delivery port which communicates with the exterior of the vending machine. The shelves in the cabinet are readily reconfigurable such that their vertical spacing within the cabinet can be easily altered. The escapement blocks of the shelves are mechanically activated to dispense a beverage container by an activation device on the elevator. Thus, electrical power and control signals for the individual shelves are not necessary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Arthur G. Rudick, Paul Carlson, Tom P. Howell
  • Patent number: 6117391
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a cup handling subsystem for an automated clinical chemistry analyzer system which includes a nestable sample cup for holding sample mixtures, a cup dispenser mechanism for holding and dispensing a supply of the cups into a sample shuttle for transporting them, and an incubator for controlling the temperature of the cup and its contents. In one embodiment, the cups include a conical lower portion and a cylindrical upper portion having a top flange, a bottom flange and a groove formed therebetween. An apparatus is provided for holding and dispensing a plurality of such cups including a supply tube for holding the cups in a stack wherein the stack has a bottom-most cup and a next-bottom-most cup located above the bottom-most cup. The apparatus also includes an escapement located at a lower end of the supply tube which includes a disk having an aperture formed therein, a first leaf attached to a top side of the disk and a second leaf attached to a bottom side of the disk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: Bayer Corporation
    Inventors: Frederick E. Mootz, Carl R. Gebauer, Frank Bakonyi, Nicolae Dumitrescu
  • Patent number: 6116463
    Abstract: A high-speed sluice assembly and method for transporting semiconductor devices includes a slide along which the semiconductor devices are transported and two independently controlled stoppers which control the transport of the semiconductor devices along the slide. Each of the independently controlled stoppers is connected to a separate actuator. Each of the actuators is also independently controlled. Several sensors are coupled to the slide to determine the position of the semiconductor devices as they are transported along the slide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Inventor: Arnold T. M. Telkamp
  • Patent number: 6112944
    Abstract: A ferrule delivery system for placing a ferrule in a desired position on a flat surface quickly and with ease is disclosed. The system includes an elongated shaft having a tapered end and a delivery end, ferrules loaded on the outer circumference of the shaft, and two sets of ball bearings and two O-rings attached to the shaft for retaining the ferrules on the shaft and for releasing a ferrule from the shaft as needed when a plunger slidably mounted within the shaft and extending outwardly from the delivery end of the shaft is depressed. The present invention also discloses a method for loading a plurality of ferrules onto the outer circumference of the shaft easily and without much effort.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Inventors: Craig M. Van Hoorn, Stephen R. Swartz, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6073801
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a dispensing device for a vending apparatus which includes a shaft, having articles for dispensing, a pump, a first tube provided substantially near the bottom end of the shaft and connected to the pump for repeated inflation and deflation, and a second tube provided at a distance above the first tube and connected to the pump for repeated inflation and deflation. The distance defines a dispensing area containing an article for dispensing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2000
    Assignee: PepsiCo, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert G. McGarrah
  • Patent number: 6065637
    Abstract: In a connector supply apparatus, a plurality of connectors are successively shifted along a shifting passage of a rail member, and a desired number of preceding connectors are separated from the succeeding connectors by the rise/fall of a pair of stoppers spaced from each other by a prescribed distance L above the shifting passage and the air blow-off from a separator located above the shifting passage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2000
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventor: Kazuhiko Takada
  • Patent number: 5957043
    Abstract: A fruit feeder for vending machines includes a container for fruit storage, a fruit elevator and a horizontal fruit conveyor. The elevator is composed of two vertical endless chains between which are mounted horizontal vanes and which elevate and eject the fruit. The horizontal transporter is composed of two rollers turning in different directions and which have helical ribbings of opposite inclinations, receiving the fruit from the elevator to transport them to a collecting trough of the squeezer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Innovaciones Mecanicas, S.A.
    Inventor: Rafael Olmos Font
  • Patent number: 5947303
    Abstract: A consumer display and dispensing rack having a front and a back, and a container rail inclined downwardly and forwardly from the back to the front for supporting a series of bottles thereon is disclosed. The rail provides a spaced apart pair of support flanges for supporting a series of bottles adjacent their tops. Adjacent the front end of the rail, a control lever is pivotally mounted to intercept and engage the tops of bottles supported on the support flanges as they reach the front end of the rail to control removal of bottles from the rail and to control movement of succeeding bottles as they slide along the support flanges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: RHC/ Spacemaster Corporation
    Inventor: Claude J. Robolin
  • Patent number: 5806122
    Abstract: This invention relates to a more improved Golf Ball Cleaner, ball storage with accessories such as a clipboard, area for storing tees, pencil, liquid solution and a towel. This invention is an Automatic Golf Ball Washer Caddy. This Golf Ball Washer can be used on a stationary surface, attached to a golf cart, golf bag or a power driven cart. With the aid of an electronic timer and/or a conventional switch, the primary objective of this invention is to provide an improved ball cleaner that can be used anywhere or anytime. The ball is therefore placed in the receiving chamber by a cradle. This chamber has brushes strategically placed as to promote effective ball rotation. The cleaning action is realized by the ball travelling upward and downward by a motor, shaft and a spring. The ball is rubbed against the imbedded brushes causing a cleaning action.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Inventors: Evard Bogle, Narayan Jariwala
  • Patent number: 5799824
    Abstract: An apparatus and method of deterring or reducing breakage or deformation when dispensing a vertical stack of containers. A blocking member used to restrict dispension of vertical stack containers above a container being dispensed, can have a biasing member associated with it to allow it to vertically move to cause the stack to drop in a controlled fashion so that the block is not forced into the side walls of the containers, and so the dropping of the containers is controlled in a manner to reduce or deter the likelihood of breakage or deformation of the containers. An alternative feature of the invention is the use of a biasing member to return the blocking member to an original member to an original position once the weight of any vertical stack above it is removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 1, 1998
    Assignee: Fawn Engineering Corporation
    Inventor: Joseph F. Gasiel
  • Patent number: 5799823
    Abstract: A device for releasing the products in a vending machine includes a structure for containing the stack of products consisting in a front plate (1) and a rear plate (2) to which two flanks (3a, 3b) and two walls (4a, 4b) are secured, a pair of rocker levers (5a, 5b) and a revolving basket (6) being rotatably mounted inside structure for alternately supporting the two staggered columns forming the stack of products and for releasing the products. The driving components, which impart a unidirectional revolving motion to the basket (6), and the controlling components of the rockers (5a, 5b), which consist in a pair of cams (14) which rotate at half the revolving speed of the basket (6), are positioned outside said structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 1, 1998
    Assignee: Vendo Italy S.p.A.
    Inventor: Antonio Feltrin