Conveyor Or Chute Patents (Class 250/223R)
  • Patent number: 6144004
    Abstract: A glass sorting machine optically sorts glass cullet according to different color characteristics by irradiating the cullet with red, green and blue light as the cullet are passed through a sensing region between a light source and light sensors responsive to the different light colors. The attenuation levels of the different light colors are measured by the sensors as the cullet passes through the sensing region. The machine analyzes the attenuation levels to determine the color characteristics of the cullet. A collimator is typically used to enhance shadow definition. In one embodiment, a pixel grid map is made of the sensing region and each cullet that passes through the sensing region. Mapped on to each grid is a red, green, and blue digital signal. Attenuated signals are compared against baseline values to determine the attenuation for given cullet. The pixel grid map may be used with a data erosion technique to compensate for refraction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: Magnetic Separation Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Arthur G. Doak
  • Patent number: 6118132
    Abstract: The present invention is generally directed to a system and method for calculating the velocity, displacement and/or strain of a moving surface or web of material. ("Surface or web" is hereafter referred to simply as "web".) In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a system is provided having a first photosensor array disposed near the web of material and a second photosensor array disposed near the web of material, wherein the second photosensor array is spaced a distance "d" from the first photosensor array. A processing unit is coupled to both the first photosensor array and the second photosensor array and is configured to control or carry out functional operations and computations associated with the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: Agilent Technologies
    Inventor: Barclay J. Tullis
  • Patent number: 6115115
    Abstract: A laser sensor for detecting the volume of particulate material being conveyed by a paddle conveyor. The sensor comprises two opposed units, a master unit and a slave unit. Each unit is provided with a single laser emitting diode and four photo detectors. The master unit is provided with a microprocessor for providing a square wave laser firing signal to the lasers. The slave unit is provided with an inverter for inverting the laser firing signal from the microprocessor. The lasers are fired sequentially when they receive a high pulse from the square wave emitted from the microprocessor. The photo detectors transmit their laser light detection signal when they receive a low pulse from the microprocessor which indicates the opposed laser has fired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Christopher Jason Skarie, Philip Alan Harden, Ahmad Mahin-Fallah
  • Patent number: 6111246
    Abstract: A semiconductor device testing apparatus in which ICs to be tested are transferred to a test tray TST in a loader section, the test tray is transported into a test section to test the ICs, after the completion of the test, the tested ICs on the test tray are transferred from the test tray onto a general-purpose tray in an unloader section, and the test tray which has been emptied of the tested ICs is transported to the loader section, and the above operation is repeated, and which can detect whether there is an IC on the test tray or not is provided. An IC detecting sensor for monitoring whether an IC exists on the test tray or not is provided at at least one of the positions between the unloader section and the loader section, the loader section and the test section, and the test section and the unloader section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Advantest Corporation
    Inventors: Yutaka Watanabe, Hiroto Nakamura, Toshio Yabe, Michirou Chiba
  • Patent number: 6091339
    Abstract: A position detector is provided for use on a spin-drying machine employed in integrated circuit (IC) fabrication to detect whether the spin-drying machine has shifted in position during operation. If the spin-drying machine is positioned incorrectly, the position detector is capable of stopping the operation of robot arms used to grab and position wafers on the spin-drying machine so that the robot arms will not be damaged or crash into the wafers on the spin-drying machine due to the incorrect positioning of the spin-drying machine. The position detector is designed for use on a spin-drying machine having a spinning unit, a fixed platform surrounding the spinning unit, and at least one robot arm mounted on the fixed unit. The position detector comprises a pair of emitters mounted on the spinning unit and a pair of oppositely arranged receivers on the fixed platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Assignees: United Silicon Incorporated, United Microelectronics Corp.
    Inventors: Ming-Te Chuang, Yu-Shan Lin, Kun-Feng Lin, Qing-Yong Chen
  • Patent number: 6087608
    Abstract: A fiber processing method includes the steps of removing fiber tufts from a series of fiber bales; pneumatically conveying the fiber tufts in a duct; forming images of the conveyed material as it passes through a first location of the duct; determining the degree of lightness or the color of the fiber tufts by an image processing device; determining the degree of lightness of foreign substances, conveyed with the fiber tufts, by the image processing device; comparing the measuring values obtained by the image processing device with a settable limit value; and initiating a switching operation when the limit value is exceeded for branching off to a waste receiver the fiber tufts from the duct at a second location thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: Trutzschler GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Stefan Schlichter, Thomas Kramer
  • Patent number: 6075882
    Abstract: An inspection station irradiates a moving cigarette with a one or more strobed arrays of infrared LEDs. The infrared radiation which passes through the cigarette is received by a video camera, which forms a digital image of the cigarette. A computer then detects the edges of the digital image of the cigarette and determines therefrom the length of the filter, hollow acetate tube, void chamber, tobacco plug, as well as the overall length of the cigarette. The computer then compares these measurements with expected standard values of these sections, and outputs the comparison results to the user using various display formats. According to exemplary aspects, the present invention delivers the cigarettes one at a time to the video camera using a parts handling system. The parts handling system comprises a infeed bin for storing a batch of cigarettes, and for dispensing a cigarette to a carriage positioned beneath the infeed bin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2000
    Assignee: Philip Morris Incorporated
    Inventors: Michael J. Mullins, Barry S. Smith, Michael R. Pudas
  • Patent number: 6064056
    Abstract: This invention presents a method of clearing a sensor field of debris, including liquids, through the use of an air curtain. An embodiment of this invention addresses the problem of impurity buildup in the sensing field of an optical sorter. An air curtain is created which prevents film buildup between the light sensor and the light source by blowing material and impurities, which form the film as they fall off articles being sorted, out of the sensing field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Magnetic Separation System, Inc.
    Inventor: Arthur G. Doak
  • Patent number: 6060677
    Abstract: A system for automatically inspecting matter for varying composition comprises one or more detection stations through which one or more streams of matter are advanced and particular materials therein are detected through their diffusely reflected IR spectra, if any, and/or through their variation of an electromagnetic field by their metallic portions, if any. A row of light sources distributed across the overall width of one or more belt conveyors may cause desired portions of the stream to reflect light diffusely onto a part-toroidal mirror extending over that overall width, whence the light is reflected, by a rotating, polygonal mirror through optical filters dedicated to differing IR wavelengths, onto detectors the data output of which is utilized in controlling solenoid valves operating air jet nozzles which separate-out the desired portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Tiedemanns-Jon H. Andresen ANS
    Inventors: Borre Bengt Ulrichsen, Clas Fredrik Mender, Geir Foss-Pedersen, Jon Henrik Tschudi, Ib-Rune Johansen
  • Patent number: 6046462
    Abstract: An improved lighting system which illuminates the parts with both generally collimated and diffused light simultaneously useful with machine vision systems. This lighting system allows determination of part identification, part location, part orientation about a vertical axis thereof as well as side-up orientation of the part. The parts are transported on a conveyor surface which is made of a translucent medium. However, such translucent medium does permit the viewing of the shadows cast by objects thereon. The light source is positioned directly over the parts being inspected. A camera is positioned below the conveyor surface. Residing between the collimated light source and the parts supported on the conveyor surface is a light-diffusing member. The light-diffusing member has a structure such that it permits a portion of the generally collimated light to pass therethrough without obstruction while simultaneously diffusing a second portion of light produced by the source of collimated light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Joseph E. Yokajty, Thomas W. Palone
  • Patent number: 6002125
    Abstract: In an apparatus and a method for optically determining the position of products by means of light-sensitive sensors on a background moving relative thereto such as a conveyor belt, at least one light source radiating light onto the conveyor belt is arranged along at least one scanning line extending transversely with respect to the direction of movement. At least one row of light-sensitive sensors, which row is arranged along at least one scanning line, is operable to register a light effect caused by products passing between the light source and the sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: Gerhard Schubert GmbH
    Inventor: Ralf Schubert
  • Patent number: 5969340
    Abstract: A seed counter for counting seeds flowing through a duct includes a light transmitter on one side of the duct and light receiver on the opposed side of the duct together with an electronic circuit effecting analysis of the signals received by the receiver to generate a seed count value which represents accurately as possible the number of seeds passing through the duct. The transmitter and receiver each comprise a channel-shaped body with diodes at a base of the channel with the channel filled with a translucent potting material facing into the duct. The circuit receives the signals which include for each passage of a seed or a clump of seeds a temporary reduction in light intensity which is converted to a reduction in voltage. Prior to start up the steady state voltage is measured and the current to the transmitter varied to provide a predetermined level of signal at the receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Vansco Electronics Ltd.
    Inventors: Rasvan N. Dragne, James F. White, Nikolai Tevs
  • Patent number: 5969339
    Abstract: A part tracking system comprised of an array of photoelectric sensors positioned at various angles with respect to a conveyor transporting parts such as pieces of poultry to create a field of detection. The angle arrangements of the array of photoelectric sensors circumscribes the parts with lines of varying angles to approximate the part outline or closed line integral with a polygon. As a part is conveyed through the array of photoelectric sensors each transition of the sensors provide a side of the polygon that circumscribes the part. From this the vertices of the polygon can be determined which allows the centroid and angle of the major axis of the part to be calculated thereby providing the coordinates for the part's location on the conveyor. The coordinates are then conveyed to a robotic controller which manipulates an end effector to grasp the part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Georgia Tech Research Corporation Office of Technology Licensing
    Inventors: Gary V. McMurray, Wiley D. Holcombe, Jr., Marlon Moses, John A. Messenger, Christopher Reynolds
  • Patent number: 5966238
    Abstract: A method of arranging an item imager with a least two imaging site, each lit by a beam through a fibre-optic array, this method including: providing a beam-intensity-adjust array including a lens stage for focusing each beam on each fibre optic array such that a shift in lens-focus changes output light from the array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Unisys Corporation
    Inventors: Gary Copenhaver, Johan Bakker, John Vala
  • Patent number: 5955740
    Abstract: A method and apparatus which can reliably inspect three dimensional objects resting on a surface such that part type, part location, side-up orientation, and orientation about a vertical axis can be determined with a single camera. The object to be inspected is supported on a support member which may be a conveyor. The support member possesses two specific optical characteristics. First, the support member must permit direct viewing therethrough of the object supported thereon without any significant loss of clarity. The support member must also be capable of diffuse reflection of a portion of the light incident thereon. A camera is positioned below the support member and a light source is positioned above the support member to back-light the object for the camera. That portion of the light diffusely reflected off the support member serves to illuminate any downward-facing surfaces of the object which are not in contact with the support member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Joseph E. Yokajty, Thomas W. Palone
  • Patent number: 5949086
    Abstract: The object of the invention is a method and apparatus for measuring the characteristic quantities, such as e.g., the length, diameter, volume, and defects of a log (1) or similar in which method the log (1) is moved at a known speed past a photographing station. The photographing station consists of at least one plane of light (4.1) that transects the direction of travel of the log and a video camera (3) set at a fixed angle (a) to this, and a computer apparatus (6), which is arranged to calculate and collect sequential images of a group of surface points (x.sub.l, y.sub.l, z.sub.l ; . . . ; x.sub.n, y.sub.n, z.sub.n) of a three-dimensional model depicting the surface of the log as the log moves through the plane of light, in which the coordinates of each point are calculated with the aid of the geometry of the photography. The log (1) is transported transversely to the direction of the conveyor, the log then traveling along an imagined plane, while the plane of light (4.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Vision Systems Oy
    Inventors: Jorma Reponen, Mauno Kauppinen
  • Patent number: 5949584
    Abstract: An imaging system for viewing indicia on an object to be observed in which the indicia comprises a plurality of either hard and/or soft marks. The light supplied by a light source is collimated by at least one lens and supplied toward an object to be observed and the reflected light is then focussed at a focal plane. The focal plane is located adjacent or coincident with a light receiving entrance of a camera or other imaging device. When a soft mark is imaged, the light is supplied at an angle to but not along the optical axis and is focussed by the lens to from an accurate image of the light source at the focal plane. Any light which contacts the unaltered specular reflective surface of the object to be observed as well as the central area of the soft mark facilitates a true and accurate reflection of the light source at the focal plane while the altered, non-flat areas of the object to be observed at least partially scatter or disperse the supplied light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Northeast Robotics LLC
    Inventors: Timothy P. White, Howard Stern
  • Patent number: 5925889
    Abstract: A printer responds to a media gloss measurement for improved color printing. The printer includes a gloss meter, a controller, and a print engine. The gloss meter includes a solid body having a source tube and a reflection tube each being integral within the body. An LED in the source tube illuminates a reference surface at an angle of incidence. A photo sensor in the reflection tube responds to a first reference spectral reflection from the surface at an angle of reflection equal to the angle of incidence. When a sheet of media is registered by the printer against the reference surface, the photo sensor responds to a second spectral reflection from the media. The ratio of second to first spectral reflection intensities is compared to a selected threshold to identify the media by gloss level. When motion of the media is resumed, the media wipes the reference surface to maintain the accuracy of gloss measurements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Douglas M. Guillory, Michael B. Lloyd, Robert J. Lawton
  • Patent number: 5920056
    Abstract: An optically-guided indicia reader 10 system including a conveyor 12 carrying a parcel 14 bearing a destination address 20. An illumination source 24 defines a static area 26 to assist the positioning of the parcel 14 on the conveyor 12. A scanner 32 and a computer memory 42 of a character recognition system 40 are operated so as to store an image of a region defined with respect to the moving illuminated area 26. A sensor assembly 28, including a height sensor and reflectivity sensor, is located toward the downstream location of the illumination source 24. The scanner 32 is focused in response to height data from the height sensor, and the gain of the scanner 32 is adjusted in response to reflectivity data from the reflectivity sensor, so that the scanner 32 generates a clear image of the top of the parcel 14 as the parcel 14 passes beneath the scanner 32. A photo sensor 45 is positioned upstream from the scanner 32 to detect the presence of the parcel 14.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Assignee: United Parcel Service of America, Inc.
    Inventor: Henri Bonnet
  • Patent number: 5884775
    Abstract: A system and method of operation performing automated optical inspection to remove peel-bearing defective potato pieces from a random mixture of peel-bearing defective and acceptable potato pieces use near infrared light as a source of illumination. The system implements a method of illuminating the mixture with near infrared light, detecting light reflected by the potato pieces under inspection, identifying defective potato piece surface regions based on the detected reflections, and removing the defective items from the mixture. The system and method the system implements permit the inspection of peel bearing potato pieces for the presence of peel covered defects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignee: SRC Vision, Inc.
    Inventor: Duncan Campbell
  • Patent number: 5883383
    Abstract: A seed counter for counting seeds flowing through a duct includes a light transmitter on one side of the duct and light receiver on the opposed side of the duct together with an electronic circuit effecting analysis of the signals received by the receiver to generate a seed count value which represents accurately as possible the number of seeds passing through the duct. The transmitter and receiver each comprise a channel-shaped body with diodes at a base of the channel with the channel filled with a translucent potting material facing into the duct. The circuit receives the signals which include for each passage of a seed or a clump of seeds a temporary reduction in light intensity which is converted to a reduction in voltage. Prior to start up the steady state voltage is measured and the current to the transmitter varied to provide a predetermined level of signal at the receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1999
    Assignee: Vansco Electronics Ltd.
    Inventor: Rasvan N. Dragne
  • Patent number: 5877899
    Abstract: An imaging system for viewing indicia on an object to be observed in which the indicia comprises a plurality of either hard and/or soft marks. The light supplied by a light source is focussed by at least one lens and supplied toward an object to be observed and the reflected light is then focussed at a focal plane. The focal plane is located adjacent or coincident with a light receiving entrance of a camera or other imaging device. When a soft mark is imaged, the light is supplied at an angle to but not along the optical axis and is focussed by the lens to from an accurate image of the light source at the focal plane. Any light which contacts the unaltered specular reflective surface of the object to be observed as well as the central area of the soft mark facilitates a true and accurate reflection of the light source at the focal plane while the altered, non-flat areas of the object to be observed at least partially scatter or disperse the supplied light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Assignee: Northeast Robotics LLC
    Inventors: Howard Stern, Timothy P. White
  • Patent number: 5877506
    Abstract: With rapidly-operating packaging machines for cigarette packages, monitoring of blanks is becoming increasingly necessary, such a system supervising the feed of correct blanks in the correct relative position. The same applies to monitoring systems for revenue seals.In the method according to the invention for monitoring blanks or revenue seals with the aid of a sensor, contours of an edge and of a surface of the blank or of the revenue seal are scanned. Pulses obtained thus are compared with a reference value by an evaluating unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Assignee: Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co.)
    Inventors: Heinz Focke, Dietrich Below
  • Patent number: 5859440
    Abstract: A dual mode non-contact optical sheet edge detection system for detecting either fully transparent or regular sheets being fed in a sheet transport path of a reproduction system, with an illumination source for illuminating the potential sheet edge area at an angle to generate a detectable sheet edge shadow from transparent sheets, and an optical detection system remotely detecting the generated edge shadow to provide sheet edge location or timing information to a control system. Preferably the sheet edge is held spaced above the illuminated sensor an illuminated sensor target area to enhance the shadow effect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Assignee: Xerox Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas Acquaviva
  • Patent number: 5852299
    Abstract: It is an object of the present invention to provide an irregular feeding detection device and a detection method of irregular feeding having high detection precision.The irregular feeding detection device is a device to detect irregular feeding of printing paper 10 (the printing papers overlapped partially or overlapped completely) fed to a direction shown as arrow 90 in a printing machine. An transparent light amount detector 2b carries out a plurality of detection with predetermined interval when the printing paper 10 reaches to the predetermined starting position (FIG. 5A). Thus, the amount (value) of detecting light at a plurality of the detecting places (P1, P2 and P3) can be detected. For instance, when at least two pieces of printing papers are fed into the device, irregular feeding signal are outputted since the irregularity of feeding is detected at least two detecting places.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1998
    Assignee: Ryobi Ltd.
    Inventors: Takashi Kimura, Hideki Dohmoto
  • Patent number: 5847405
    Abstract: A non-contact optical sheet size and/or position detection system for detecting the position of at least one edge of an outside (top or bottom) document sheet stacked in a sheet stacking tray in which thin document sheets of different sizes and/or positions are stacked on top of one another; with an illumination source for illuminating the potential sheet edge areas at an angle generating detectable sheet edge shadows, and an optical detection system remotely detecting the edge shadow positions to provide sheet edge location information to a control system for the imaging or offsetting of the sheet. In a document feeder for sequentially feeding a top or bottom sheet to be imaged, the detection system may be responsive only to a moving sheet edge shadow to determine the size of the sheet being fed to be imaged relative to other sheets in the stack irrespective of intermixed different sizes of sheets in the stack. For a bottom feeder the detection may be through an elongate aperture in the tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: Xerox Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas Acquaviva, Jan Bares
  • Patent number: 5847389
    Abstract: An optical seed flow monitoring system for monitoring seed flow through the primary and secondary seed tubes in an air seeding system. The primary seed tubes include a primary seed sensor having a plurality of emitter lens bodies and receiver lens bodies. Optical fibers connect the emitter lens body to an optical beam generating device and the receiver lens body to an optical beam detecting device both positioned remotely from the seed tubes. Alternately, one or more of the secondary seed tubes can include a secondary seed sensor having an emitter lens body and a receiver lens body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: Phoenix International Corporation
    Inventors: Karl-Heinz O. Mertins, Barry D. Batcheller, Douglas L. Hauck, Christopher J. Skarie, Jon T. Jacobson
  • Patent number: 5841540
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for detection of leading and trailing edges of objects moving along a defined path. A light radiation source directs a light beam toward a beamspot on the path. Light reflected from the beamspot is received by two light sensors. An edge of an object moving along the defined path substantially blocks the light from being received by one light sensor. Circuitry is provided for distinguishing the difference in reflected light received at each light sensor and determining whether the leading edge or trailing edge of the object is blocking the reflected light. Length of detections (leading and trailing edges) and time interval between the detections of the leading and trailing edge are processed to provide information about the object such as height of the leading and trailing edges of the object and length of the object. Further processing of leading and trailing edge detections can detect overlapped objects having relatively uniform surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: Siemens ElectroCom L.P.
    Inventor: George Randolph Mondie
  • Patent number: 5828310
    Abstract: An indicator system (1) having a plurality of hoppers (2) for supplying electrical components (20) to respective dispensing locations. There are actuators (9) associated with the hoppers (2), the actuators (9) being movable during the dispensing. There is a sensor (13) selectively actuatable by some of the actuators (9) when the components (20) in one of the hoppers (2) are below a desired number or threshold level. The system (1) also has a visual indicator (14) coupled to the sensor (13) to provide a warning signal indicative of when the components (20) in one of the hoppers (2) are below the desired number.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 27, 1998
    Assignee: Motorola, Inc.
    Inventors: Kean Fong Foo, Ka Tiek Lim, Ping Chow Teoh, Kon Hing Chooi
  • Patent number: 5811792
    Abstract: The contents of sealed envelopes are accessed using radiation to differentially heat information patterns within the contents and conduction to transfer corresponding thermal patterns to the envelopes' outer surfaces. The radiation is preferably within the wavelengths of microwaves or radio waves for penetrating the envelopes. The information pattern differentially absorbs the radiation by converting the attendant radiant energy into heat by either induction heating or dielectric heating. An infrared camera or other thermally sensitive device converts the thermal patterns conducted to the envelopes' outer surfaces into corresponding electrical patterns for further processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Assignee: Wisconsin Label Corporation
    Inventors: Gerrit L. Verschuur, Chauncey T. Mitchell, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5807605
    Abstract: A method for visualization of a lubricant coating on a surface of an article includes dissolving a fluorescent agent into a lubricant. The method then includes applying the fluorescenated lubricant to coat a surface of the article. The coated article is then irradiated with an electromagnetic radiation capable of inducing a fluorescent emission in the fluorescent agent and the fluorescent emission is observed to detect the coverage of the lubricant on the surface of the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Becton Dickinson and Company
    Inventors: Kevin G. Tingey, Victor A. Williamitis, Charles W. Daugherty, Jeanne E. Lambert, Steven H. Mersch
  • Patent number: 5760413
    Abstract: A plurality of radiation receiving elements disposed outside a pipe at equal distances from the axis thereof so that radiation from a radiation source is received through the pipe wall. As the thickness of the pipe wall varies, the received radiation varies accordingly. If the received radiation fluctuates in excess of the allowable range, the thickness of the pipe wall is judged to be outside the allowable range. When the fluctuation of the received radiation is within the allowable range, the thickness of the pipe wall is within the preset tolerances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hisashi Kurachi, Hideo Sekido, Masao Sasagawa
  • Patent number: 5750979
    Abstract: Pressed articles are arranged substantially vertical in guide grooves, and transferred to pockets of a conveying drum which is intermittently rotated. The pressed articles are rotated at least more than one turn by a pressed article rotating roller while the pockets are stopped at predetermined positions, and the whole side face of the pressed article is observed by an image pickup apparatus. After changing posture of the pressed articles to be substantially horizontal posture by a posture changing apparatus, front and rear surfaces of the pressed articles are observed by image pickup apparatuses while the pressed articles are held and conveyed on respective sides of equilateral polygons of conveying drums which have equilateral polygonal cross-sections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
    Assignee: Japan Elanco Company Limited
    Inventors: Taizo Yamamoto, Motohiro Yagyu, Yosihisa Kawaguchi, Akira Nagao
  • Patent number: 5748322
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for conducting quality inspection of molded/formed articles (2) produced in a molding or forming machine which enables automation of the inspection by sensing surface coordinates using an optical triangulation sensor moved along a suitable sensing path (5), wherein spatial coordinate values of the surface of the article (2) obtained in the course of the movement of the sensor along the sensing path (5) are used to generate actual dimensional parameters which are compared with dimensional parameters determined for the prescribed desired dimensional form of the article, and the quality of the article (2) is evaluated based on the results of the comparisons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: Laeis + Bucher GmbH
    Inventors: Wolfgang Konder, Heinz-Peter Wollscheid
  • Patent number: 5695562
    Abstract: A processing apparatus comprises a carrier rest portion for placing thereon carriers each of which stores a plurality of plate-like target bodies substantially horizontally with gaps therebetween in the vertical direction and which has a front surface forming a target body transfer port and a side surface having a light-transmitting portion, a convey mechanism having a target body holding member which is movable back and forth and movable vertically relative to the carrier rest portion to sequentially extract and transfer target bodies in the carrier to a processing unit, and photocoupler and a mirror, provided to the convey mechanism to oppose each other through part of the target body in the horizontal direction, for detecting presence/absence of a target body in each stage of the carrier on the carrier rest portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 9, 1997
    Assignees: Tokyo Electron Limited, Tokyo Electron Kyushu Limited
    Inventor: Kengo Mizosaki
  • Patent number: 5677787
    Abstract: A lamp projecting a high-intensity optical beam of spectral radiation, with an IR-extracting (cooling) array including an IR-dissipating "black-box" arranged to receive IR and convert it to box-heat, plus an IR-diverting "hot-mirror" interposed along the beam to divert (only) the IR to this "black-box".
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 14, 1997
    Assignee: Unisys Corporation
    Inventors: Gary Copenhaver, Johan Bakker, John Vala
  • Patent number: 5676256
    Abstract: A scrap particle sorting system and attendant sorting process employs a conveyor for conveying the randomly shaped particles in a random orientation, a position sensor for determining the advancement of the scrap particles in the direction of conveyance by determining the position of the conveyor belt, an image detector for periodically recording the image of a predefined viewing area through which the scrap particles are conveyed, and an image processor for periodic acquisition and processing of the images. The image processor includes logic for defining each image of the viewing area into a matrix of cells, and for each acquired image, analyzing the digital data corresponding to the image to determine for each cell in the matrix whether the pixels in that cell satisfy a predetermined criteria, and establishing a discriminator signal for each cell in the matrix as a function of that analysis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 14, 1997
    Assignee: Huron Valley Steel Corporation
    Inventors: Pradeep Kumar, Richard B. Wolanski, Mark S. Wolanski
  • Patent number: 5675144
    Abstract: The ends of cigarettes (10) are verified in a cigarette magazine (12) by testing units (24, 25) coordinated with the ends of cigarettes (10) at a testing level (20). The testing units (24, 25) consist of mutually adjacent and removable testing elements (33) with transmitters (28, 29) and planar receivers (30, 31) at the sides of the cigarettes. The testing units (24, 25) are fitted so that they can move parallel to the axis of the cigarettes (10) relative to the cigarette magazine (12), so that the testing unit (25) can moved back in order to advance the cigarettes from the cigarette magazine (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 7, 1997
    Assignee: Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co.)
    Inventors: Heinz Focke, Dietrich Below
  • Patent number: 5673113
    Abstract: The invention relates to an analysis device for the automatic grading of products, in particular of fruits or vegetables, comprising punctiform lighting means (4, 8, 12) capable of generating a polarised incident beam, means (19) for deflecting the polarised incident beam which are capable of forming a crosswise line of light, lateral reflection means (22, 23) capable of allowing the products to be lighted laterally, lower reflection means (28, 29) capable of allowing the lower face of the products to be lighted, and separation means (6, 10, 14) aligned on the optical axis of the polarised incident beam and suited to separating said incident beam and the backscattered depolarised light energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 30, 1997
    Assignee: Materiel pour l'Arboriculture Fruitiere
    Inventor: Philippe Blanc
  • Patent number: 5661561
    Abstract: The present invention provides a dimensioning system for determining the minimum size box necessary to enclose an object traveling on a moving conveyor. The dimensioning system is comprised of a light source which generates a scan beam that is moved by a mirrored wheel. A line scan camera whose field of view tracks the moving scan beam receives images of the scan beam and outputs a signal which is processed to compute a three dimensional box structure of the scanned object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1997
    Assignee: Accu-Sort Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Albert Wurz, John E. Romaine, David L. Martin
  • Patent number: 5659396
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for detection of leading and trailing edges of objects moving along a defined path. A light radiation source directs a light beam toward a beamspot on the path. Light reflected from the beamspot is received by two light sensors. An edge of an object moving along the defined path substantially blocks the light from being received by one light sensor. Circuitry is provided for distinguishing the difference in reflected light received at each light sensor and determining whether the leading edge or trailing edge of the object is blocking the reflected light. Length of detections (leading and trailing edges) and time interval between the detections of the leading and trailing edge are processed to provide information about the object such as height of the leading and trailing edges of the object and length of the object. Further processing of leading and trailing edge detections can detect overlapped objects having relatively uniform surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 19, 1997
    Assignee: ElectroCom Automation L.P.
    Inventor: George Randolph Mondie
  • Patent number: 5646724
    Abstract: An opto-electronic, threaded parts inspection device. The device includes a source for generating a thin, planar beam of collimated light which is disposed on one side of a parts carrier. The laser light beam is rotatable about two axes, normal to one another and both normal to the longitudinal axis of parts passing through the beam. A sensor unit is disposed on the other side of the parts carrier so that the light beam falls thereupon. The threaded parts inspection device can be adjusted to pass light over different features of the threaded parts as they are moved past the inspection device by the parts carrier. By measuring how much of the light is interrupted by the profile of the passing threaded parts, it is possible to detect deviations in the pitch angle and major and minor diameters of the threaded workpieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 8, 1997
    Assignee: Candid Logic, Inc.
    Inventor: Bruce A. Hershline
  • Patent number: 5646398
    Abstract: A device for counting the number of and determining the direction of travel of articles being conveyed, particularly articles of clothing, hanging on hangers provided with hanger hooks. Each hanger hook has a stem that is conducted through a light barrier connected with a counting and evaluating unit. The light barrier has at least two receivers that are spaced apart vertically in a plane and consist, in each case, of two sensors which operate independent of each other. The sensors are separated by a small distance. With this device, counting of the hangers is possible regardless of their position and, in particular, erroneous counting due to crossed hangers is excluded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 8, 1997
    Assignee: Durkopp Adler AG
    Inventors: Dirk Sieksmeier, Thomas Blattner
  • Patent number: 5627647
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for measuring the x-y-z dimensions of an article such as a ceramic chip carrier are provided. The measuring apparatus and method utilize scanning laser beams to measure the dimensions of the article without physically contacting the article as the article is moved through the measuring device at a controlled speed preferably on a cushion of air. A separate laser beam scanning device is used to measure each dimension of the article and the laser beams are positioned to scan back and forth along the dimension to be measured. As the article moves through the preferred L-shaped apparatus, the direction of the article automatically changes in a transverse direction so that all three dimensions are conveniently and accurately measured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 6, 1997
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Robert L. Baan, Paul J. Damore
  • Patent number: 5617643
    Abstract: An apparatus for continuously and automatically measuring deformation and warp of a shaped electrode plate for electrolysis before the electrode plate includes means for lifting shaped electrode plates 1 hanging from crossbars 2 one by one to a predetermined measurement position by a suspending apparatus having a hanger mechanism and adjusting it about a measurement vertical plane position; for so freely suspending the electrode plate 1 vertically about the underside of a crossbar 2 that the electrode plate is not subject to deformation caused by the influence of its own weight or external forces; and a computing device 23 for continuously scanning the flatness of the electrode plate 1 by a moving mechanism which moves sensors 11a, 11b which measure distances between the electrode plate 1 and planes parallel to and facing the front and rear sides of the electrode plate 1 respectively without making contact with the electrode plate horizontally and vertically over those planes and A/D converting and analyzing
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 8, 1997
    Assignee: Sumitomo Metal Mining Company, Limited
    Inventors: Yoshinobu Kato, Mitsuharu Oonishi, Hideaki Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 5616915
    Abstract: A bill validator comprising a removable magazine having reflective surfaces, such as a prism, which reflects light from a light source, such as a light emitting diode, to a photodetector, such as a phototransistor, is disclosed. The prism can include a recess and the magazine can further comprise a blocker with an arm that can be moved into and out of the recess based on movement of a pressure plate within the magazine, to block light from passing across the recess. This arrangement can be used to determine whether the bill validator can go back into service, whether the magazine has been removed from and reattached to the validator, whether bills have been removed from the magazine, whether the magazine is full and whether a bill is in position for stacking, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 1, 1997
    Assignee: Mars Incorporated
    Inventors: Joseph A. Simpkins, Scott Hudis
  • Patent number: 5614710
    Abstract: Apparatus and method are disclosed for detection of overlapped objects moving along a defined path. A light radiation source directs a light beam toward the path. As an object moves into the light beam, reflected light is received by two light sensors. An edge of an overlapping object moving along the defined path substantially blocks the light reflected from the underlying object from being received by one light sensor. The edges of an overlapping object are detected when a there is a difference in the amount of reflected light received by the light sensors and there exists a substantial rate of change in the amount of reflected light (indicative of a true edge of an overlapping object as opposed to warps, wrinkles, creases, etc. on the surface of an object) received by either light sensor due to the substantial blockage of reflected light by the edge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1997
    Assignee: ElectroCom Automation L.P.
    Inventors: George R. Mondie, Richard G. Van Tyne, Marion W. Neff
  • Patent number: 5614709
    Abstract: A method for counting conveyed workpieces, such as on a variable speed conveyor belt, includes sensing interruptions via an object sensor such as an optical sensor with a light beam, and with a computer, applying a mathematical comparison between duration of interruptions to the light beam path and gaps that separate these interruptions. The comparison determines which interruptions are caused by the passage of conveyed workpieces and which interruptions are caused by the passage of other objects such as components of the conveyor belt. The method described involves the selection of a preset factor used in a ratio comparison between the duration of interruptions to the light beam and the gaps that separate these interruptions such that the computer is able to accurately count objects such as sheets of paper pulled by gripper bars and distinguishing between sheets of paper and gripper bars such that gripper bars and clips are not incorrectly counted as sheets of paper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1997
    Assignee: Golden Gate Microsystems, Inc.
    Inventor: Wayne T. Smith
  • Patent number: 5606251
    Abstract: An improved substrate processing system. The system may be used for double sided scrubbing of a semiconductor substrate. The wet stations of the system has covers which prevent accumulated liquid from dripping outside of the station and which minimize dripping on the substrates. Transport tunnels are provided between modules to prevent leakage between the modules. A substrate transport mechanism which is moveable along a rail is provided with the stabilizer to provide for stable substrate transfer. The processing system has two brush stations which are placed within a single enclosure. The sensors located throughout the system, which sense the presence of a wafer, are fixedly mounted in a frame so that they are self-aligned to one another. In the sender station, two sensors are used, with the system requiring both sensors to sense the presence of a wafer to increase the reliability. In the dry station, the heating lamp is shielded from the substrate to reduce particulate contamination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 25, 1997
    Assignee: OnTrak Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Lynn S. Ryle, Robert M. Ruppell, David L. Thrasher, Martin J. McGrath
  • Patent number: 5563700
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for detecting the presence material irregularities and holes in thin walled opaque objects such as can ends having a generally centrally disposed integral rivet formed therein. A radiation source is focused so that a substantial portion of emitted radiation is concentrated on the portion of a can end in which the rivet is formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 8, 1996
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: Steven W. Holt, Jack Fletcher, Shu An