Including Position Sensor Patents (Class 29/712)
  • Patent number: 6580971
    Abstract: A multipoint inspection system for evaluating manufactured assemblies includes a robotic arm and a robot controller for controlling the robotic arm. A camera is mounted to an end of the robotic arm and includes a camera controller for capturing images. The robot controller is in communication with the camera controller and the robot controller causes the robotic arm to position the camera at a first inspection point. The camera controller then causes the camera to capture a first inspection point image of a manufactured assembly at the first inspection point. The robotic controller then causes the robotic arm to position the camera at a next inspection point where the camera controller then causes the camera to capture a next inspection point image of the manufactured assembly at the next inspection point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Thierica, Inc.
    Inventors: Shayne J. Bunn, James O. Jongekryg, Keith R. Rollenghagen
  • Patent number: 6578259
    Abstract: An automated filter changing system comprises a rotatable filter dispensing assembly and a filter clamping assembly. The filter dispensing device receives filter storage magazines in which a plurality of filters are initially stored in the form of connected stacks. The filter dispensing assembly includes a filter separating device having a stationary portion. The filter separating device separates one or more stacks of filters into discrete filter units, such that individual filters are transported sequentially from the filter dispensing device. The filter clamping assembly operates in conjunction with the filter dispensing device to receive one or more individual filter units dispensed therefrom, and provides one or more coupling sites which can fluidly communicate with one or more fluid lines. The filter clamping device couples unused filters to fittings associated with the fluid lines by applying an evenly distributed force to the filters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Varian, Inc.
    Inventor: Gregory S. Duckett
  • Publication number: 20030101578
    Abstract: A production organizing method and a method and apparatus for assembling vehicle body are provided. The production line organizing method comprises the steps of classifying all parts for all types of vehicles to be assembled into groups of main part, synchronous subparts, and non-synchronous subparts, and the manhour for the non-synchronous subparts are assigned to the difference in manhours for assembly of main parts and synchronous subparts. In addition, a vehicle body assembly method and a vehicle body assembly line are also provided, which are capable of reducing a length of a main line and increasing the productivity by classifying all of the parts used for all vehicle types into three groups of main parts and two groups of subparts including non-synchronous main parts and subparts, and by assembling and storing the non-synchronous main parts and subparts in the separate section and supplying the sub-assembled non-synchronous subparts to the main line when necessary.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 30, 2002
    Publication date: June 5, 2003
    Inventors: Fumio Moriya, Takehiro Kouno, Kiyoshi Ikumi, Hiroshi Miyashita, Haruji Yoshida, Tatsuaki Son, Kouichi Hosono, Masakazu Kanda, Gengo Kajima, Tomoyoshi Takeuchi, Masanori Yoshida, Jyun Toyoda, Kenji Tatsuda, Yasuo Miyaoka, Michinao Iwami, Ikuo Kanazawa
  • Patent number: 6571530
    Abstract: A component holder is reeled out from a storage reel and conveyed to a component-storage working position by a conveyor device. A control unit stops the conveyance of the component holder if it receives a non-storage or incomplete-storage signal. The component holder includes a multiplicity of component storages for storing the components therein are provided longitudinally and each has an opening on one surface. Each of the component storages has a shutter which becomes stable both at a projectional position and at a retreat position. The shutter is moved between the two positions by more than a certain sufficient level of urging force. The components are stored in the component storages with the shutters in the retreat positions, while the openings of the component storages are directed upward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignees: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd, Nihon Garter Co., Ltd., Daiichi Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Osamu Hikita, Susumu Kubo, Kazunori Oshima
  • Patent number: 6568069
    Abstract: An apparatus for assembling components on printed circuit boards has a central region having two linear guides proceeding parallel in close proximity to one another, and carriages being displaceable on these guides. Each of the carriages has a transverse beam projecting outwardly therefrom, on which a processing head is movable, and the beams of the carriages on one side of the longitudinal guides extend in an opposite direction to the beams of the other side. The two separate processing locations are provided independently served by one or the other of the carriages. Thus, a high processing capacity is obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Johann Melf, Hugo Goller
  • Patent number: 6553653
    Abstract: A vertical assembly table is designed to automatically assemble an insulated glass window structure consisting of two identical glass lites and an edge seal. The seal is added to one glass lite after washing, but prior to conveying to the vertical assembly table. The vertical assembly table includes two independent conveyor tables, each having a plurality of conveyor rolls. A pivotable subframe is associated with each roller table, with each subframe having a plurality of support arms coupled to a common pivot shaft. Each support arm is positioned between the rolls of the associated roller table. Each subframe is moved between a retracted position below a pass line of the roller table and a transfer position adjacent the other subframe in the transfer position. A transfer mechanism is provided for transferring a glass workpiece from one subframe to the adjacent subframe when the subframes are in the transfer position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Billco Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: James E. Hulings, Richard D. Spotts
  • Patent number: 6497037
    Abstract: There is provided a production line having a plurality of mounting apparatus of electronic components in which the overall production efficiency is sustained by an alternation scheme when a mounting apparatus has a long cycle time due to a high malfunction rate. At a predetermined timing, the rate of unsuccessful pick-up procedure for an electronic component is compared to a predetermined value. If the rate is higher than the value, CPU finds out if the mounting apparatus 2, or 3 is available as an alternate. When the alternate is the apparatus 2, CPU 10 changes the command parameter of the particular mounting procedure, stored in RAM 12, from “M” to “S”, and stops mounting the same component. In the mean time, the mounting apparatus 2 accepts the alternate request from the apparatus 1, changes the command parameter as required, and mounts the same component on a print circuit board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2002
    Assignee: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Toshihiro Kawahara
  • Patent number: 6490787
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for aligning and supplying an electrical component capable of aligning a first electrical component to be mounted on a second electrical component relative to a suction head without using a pre-alignment stage. On supplying an IC chip being the first electrical component to a position at which the IC chip is mounted on a liquid crystal panel being the second electrical component with the suction head sucking the IC chip, after the suction head sucks the IC chip in a recessed portion in a container, the suction head is moved in an X direction and the container is moved in a Y direction to thereby cause the IC chip abut a wall of the recessed portion, and thereafter the movements in the X and Y direction are still carried out to thereby displace the suction position of the IC chip relative to the suction head to achieve the alignment thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2002
    Assignee: Ohashi Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masayoshi Ohashi, Ryou Hashiguchi
  • Publication number: 20020170160
    Abstract: The present invention generally relates to a method and apparatus for the assembly of body components to an automotive body that has undergone a progressive series of framing and welding steps so as to produce a structurally rigid body frame, termed a body-in-white. More specifically, this invention relates to creating a new net locating scheme (X-Y-Z coordinate system) for a body-in-white to direct associated tooling to create net attachment features on said rigid body frame so that components may be attached to said automotive body at a net location eliminating the need for any slip plane attachment techniques.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2002
    Publication date: November 21, 2002
    Inventors: Mark A. Savoy, John A. Kline
  • Patent number: 6467155
    Abstract: A transfer control system for enabling technicians to insert a piston assembly into a cylinder of an engine block. The transfer control system ensures that only one technician at a single time is capable of controlling the insertion of the piston assembly into the cylinder of the engine block. The transfer control system has a proximity sensor and a first control system in communication with the proximity sensor. A second control system is in communication with the first control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc
    Inventors: James A. Cook, Brad A. Moore, Kevin R. Shaffer, James L. Thien, Robert L. Walters
  • Patent number: 6463645
    Abstract: An apparatus for mounting a hookplate to a bedrail, including a device that transports bedrails into a hookplate receiving position, a hopper that stores hookplates, a first hookplate pusher sliding under the hopper and pushing a fallen hookplate, a second hookplate pusher clamping onto the hookplate and pushing the hookplate into a hookplate mounting position, a pin supply chamber, pin drivers to determine whether the apertures in the bedrail and hookplate are properly aligned, a holding plate temporarily holding pins, the pin drivers then driving their respective pins into the apertures in the bedrail and hookplate to securely fasten the assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: B and H Panel Company
    Inventors: Herbert L. Mitchell, James A. Morton, Joseph Nalevanko
  • Patent number: 6446331
    Abstract: An electronic component mounting apparatus and an electronic component mounting method are provided which improve the productivity by reducing the cycle time. The electronic component mounting method includes the steps of a) picking up an electronic component from a first supplying section or a second supplying section respectively disposed on each side of a substrate, b) recognizing the electronic component by a recognition section, and c) moving and mounting the electronic component on the substrate. Frequently used electronic components are stored in both of the first and second supplying sections. The electronic components are picked up from the first supplying section and mounted on the substrate in the normal operating conditions. When the electronic components stored in the first supplying section run out, the same kind of components are provided by the second supplying section to continue the mounting operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2002
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Naoyuki Horigome
  • Patent number: 6418614
    Abstract: An apparatus for cutting a roll-formed product for a roll-forming unit has at least a roll-forming machine. The cutting apparatus has a cutter mechanism arranged downstream of the roll-forming machine, for cutting the roll-formed product sent out from the roll-forming machine into a predetermined cut length. The cutters apparatus further has a feed roller rotatable at a controlled rotational speed, for sending out a formed product cut by the cutter mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2002
    Assignee: Calsonic Kansei Corporation
    Inventors: Tomoaki Akutsu, Harumi Obata
  • Patent number: 6415502
    Abstract: An apparatus for receiving a golf club and positioning the head of the club and holding it in a predetermined position and providing a visual indication of that position at a location proximate the extending end of the golf club shaft so that an installer can properly align a grip that is to be installed on the shaft of the club. The apparatus includes a golf club holding mechanism, a club head positioning device, a club head position indicator, an aligner mechanism and a circuit by which the installer controls and monitors the operation of the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: Karsten Manufacturing Corporation
    Inventors: Frank D. Gunshinan, Nicholas Gilbert
  • Patent number: 6393693
    Abstract: An apparatus for the maintenance of a needle-bearing plate of a needle-punching machine equipped with an operating head movable in two perpendicular directions in a parallel relation to the plate mounted on the apparatus. The operating head includes a unit for extracting a damaged or worn needle, a unit for positioning a new needle in the respective seat of the plate, a data processing and storage unit for the operating control and for storing the needle map of each plate. The apparatus further has a unit for detecting the position of the needle seats cooperating with the data processing unit for carrying out the mapping of each plate. The apparatus also has a unit for detecting the presence of a needle in the respective position on the plate to indicate whether the needle is damaged or not.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Montenero O.M.T.P. Officina Meccanica di Finocchi Paolo & C.s.n.c.
    Inventor: Paolo Lodovico Finocchi
  • Patent number: 6374495
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are provided for applying clips to mattress spring assemblies in a highly accurate and fast manner via operating or positioning members that properly position the innerspring coils relative to the borderwires for clipping thereof. Improperly positioned innersprings have their end coils shifted past the borderwires as they travel downstream to be clipped by the apparatus and method herein. In this manner, the positioning members are operable to use the progression of the spring assemblies as they are driven downstream to properly position the innerspring coils relative to the borderwires for being clipped thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Assignee: Stanley Fastening Systems
    Inventors: Paul Lackler, Joseph Chandler
  • Patent number: 6368146
    Abstract: A electrical connector suitable for aligning and connecting a high-density wire bundle to a receiving member. The wire bundle is attached to an adapter positioned within a mounting location containing electronically controlled, adjustable pushrods which are used to make the fine lateral and rotational adjustments to the adapter. A control unit detects the position of the adapter within the mounting location and makes fine adjustments to the adapter position as necessary to insure proper alignment and contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Inventor: Russell Abbott
  • Patent number: 6340107
    Abstract: A motor vehicle body assembly and welding station comprises a pair of facing tool (12) support conformators (11) designed to work on the body and taken between them by a conveyor system (14). The conformators are movable between a rest position in which the body is free to enter and exit the station and a work position in which the tools are near the body to work on it. At least some of the tools (12) comprise measurement means (20) for the relative position of facing body parts and the conformators have an intermediate position between said work and rest positions. On command control means (19) take the conformator into said intermediate position and activate the measurement means (20) to determine the agreement of body dimensions with predetermined measurement intervals and issue acceptance or rejection signals (22) for the body on the basis of the survey result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2002
    Assignee: Advanced Technologies S.r.l.
    Inventors: Sergio Cappa, Antonio Recupero
  • Patent number: 6334248
    Abstract: A technique and machine for transferring discrete areas of material, such as hot stamping foil, from a carrier onto positions spaced apart along a substrate, such as paper. The carrier is dispensed at a rate that is much less than the speed of movement of the substrate. During transfer, a segment of the carrier is moved at the same speed as the substrate while, in between such material transfers, the speed of the carrier is sharply reduced and even reversed in direction in order to maintain the average speed of this carrier segment equal to the reduced speed at which the carrier is being dispensed. This is accomplished by a shuttle mechanism that is moved by its own motor, under control of a microprocessor-based motor control system, in synchronism with the speed of the substrate and transfer operations. This significantly improves the utilization of the material on the carrier, with an improved flexibility to adapt to various substrate speeds and ease of implementation in machinery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2002
    Assignee: Total Register, Inc.
    Inventor: Terence J. Gallagher
  • Patent number: 6317969
    Abstract: In a pull-assembling unit for automatically assembling a pull onto a slider body of a slide fastener, a slider transporting means includes a slider-body-transportation plate member having rectangular notch portions spaced at intervals of plural assembling sections along a top end edge thereof, each for accommodating the slider body. The slider-body-transportation plate member is adapted to be actuated in the slider-transportation path so as to draw a rectangular trajectory in a vertical plane. An actuation upper limit position of a top end of the rectangular notch portion is set to be above a slider-body-placing surface of the slider-transportation path and an actuation lower limit position of the top end of the notch portion is set to be at a retreat position below the slider-body-placing surface. Therefore, the slider-pull-assembling unit has a simple structure and is capable of assembling a pull onto a slider body accurately and securely at a high speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: YKK Corporation
    Inventors: Kazuhiro Funaya, Yukio Maruyama
  • Publication number: 20010023531
    Abstract: On a turntable are disposed a plurality of applicators and their respective terminal reels holding strings of terminals. A rail and a shank holder guide are provided between a press for operating one of the applicators and a waiting position on the turntable. One of the applicators alone moves between a set position in the press and the waiting position on the turntable.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 20, 2001
    Publication date: September 27, 2001
    Applicant: YAZAKI CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hiroshi Hasegawa
  • Patent number: 6293007
    Abstract: In a mounting system including a loading station having a transport conveyer for conveying printed circuit boards, a mounting machine for fabricating circuit devices by attaching electronic assemblies on printed circuit boards supplied thereto from said loading station, and an unloading station having a transport conveyor for conveying circuit devices supplied thereto from the mounting machine, the loading station includes a discriminating device for discriminating the kind or type of printed circuit boards and for generating a discrimination signal for instructing the kind or type of the printed circuit board. A mounting process in the mounting machine is selectively set by the discrimination signal from the discriminating device. According to this mounting system, even when many kinds of circuit devices are fabricated by many kinds of printed circuit boards, mounting processes can be successively carried out by one mounting line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2001
    Assignee: Sony Video (M) SDN. BHD.
    Inventors: Tokio Kuriyama, Masao Tomioka
  • Patent number: 6289264
    Abstract: A debugging system in which, when any trouble occurs in robot program using variables and debugging is to be performed, a specific variable as the probable cause of the trouble and a relevant reference variable are specified, and presence or absence of the specific variable in the called-up robot program is detected. When any specific variable appears, the values of the specific variable and the reference variables are acquired and displayed together with the robot program information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2001
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hideo Zenke
  • Patent number: 6230077
    Abstract: A car glass mounting system includes a glass-species classifying and glass feeding device. The glass-species classifying and glass feeding device is loaded with species-classified front and rear glasses each with a glass spacer to automatically select and feed the required species of front and rear glasses onto a glass serve line. A glass spacer separating device separates the glass spacers from the front and rear glasses fed through the glass serve line. A glass lifting and positioning device correctly controls positions of the front and rear glasses fed through the glass serve line. A glass lifting and turning device correctly controls positions of the front and rear glasses fed through the glass serve line such that the front glass is attached with a first rubber dam and a room mirror, and the rear glass is attached with a second rubber dam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventor: Jong-Bum Choi
  • Patent number: 6210307
    Abstract: A vertical machining center is retrofitted to permit the automatic machining of a plurality of like unfixtured parts loaded into the vertical machining center on a tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2001
    Inventor: Charles A. Van Horssen
  • Patent number: 6199270
    Abstract: An assembly line for mounting tires on wheels, for inflating the tire mounted on a wheel, for placement of the bead heels of the tire and for balancing which also includes apparatus for checking the conformity of the diameter of the tire to be mounted and for checking the conformity of the dimensions of the wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: Compagnie Générale des Etablissements Michelin-Michelin & Cie
    Inventors: Bernard Menard, Frédéric Pature, Jacques Pitou
  • Patent number: 6141861
    Abstract: An improved assembly apparatus and method of assembling workpieces together. The apparatus includes a drive linkage with a linearly movable ram for pushing one workpiece toward the other. The drive linkage also includes a rotatable drive train. In the improved assembly apparatus, a transducer is provided to determine the load existing in the drive linkage, and a resolver is provided to determine the stage of the assembly cycle. A programmable controller is used to correlate this information, and a device is provided for communicating a message related to the correlated information. The transducer may be a strain measuring device or a pressure transducer measuring the pressure in an hydraulic cylinder in the drive linkage. The communications device may be a visual monitor, alarm, recording device, or similar communicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: AMSTED Industries Incorporated
    Inventors: David C. Armenoff, David J. Frey
  • Patent number: 6085407
    Abstract: Apparatuses and methods are disclosed for determining the alignment of leads on components. Physical and/or superficial fiducial markers on components are used to distinguishes the alignment of leads on the component. The alignment of fiducial markers on the component are detected. A predetermined fiducial alignment is provided that corresponds to a predetermined lead alignment. The detected fiducial alignment is compared to a predetermined fiducial alignment to determine the lead alignment. When used in conjunction with a pick and place machine, the methods and apparatuses provide a means for verifying and correcting the lead alignment of components prior to placement and attachment to a substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Darryl L. Gamel, Kreg W. Hines
  • Patent number: 6081981
    Abstract: A method for automatically forming armed surgical needles and for automatically packaging the same in a packaging tray, the automatic forming and packaging operating under control of a control computer, each armed surgical needle including a surgical needle having a suture receiving opening formed therein for attachment of a definite length suture material thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: David D. Demarest, Robert A. Daniele, Anthony Esteves, Michael G. Hodulik, Teresa M. Shaw, George Horst Reinemuth, Richard Paul Branco, Matthew Cafone
  • Patent number: 6035520
    Abstract: To manufacture a film unit, a filmstrip is advanced out of a cartridge shell by rotating a spool of the cartridge shell through a spool drive shaft. The spool drive shaft stops when the filmstrip is advanced a predetermined length out of the cartridge shell. A rotational position of the spool at the stop of the spool drive shaft is detected based on a rotational position of the spool drive shaft. The cartridge shell is disengaged from the spool drive shaft while the rotational position of the spool and the advanced length of the filmstrip are maintained unchanged. The spool of the cartridge shell is engaged with a film supply shaft, after adjusting a rotational position of the film supply shaft to the rotational position of the spool, while the leading end of the filmstrip is secured to a winding shaft. The filmstrip is wound into a roll by rotating the winding shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2000
    Assignee: Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi Yamazaki, Syunji Kumamoto, Fumio Yuito
  • Patent number: 6032343
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to improvements in an Automated Swage Wind and Packaging Machine that is particularly adapted to assist in the automated singulation of surgical needles to enable subsequent automated handling of the needle, automatic swaging of the suture into a receiving end of the needle, automatic pull testing of the combined needle and suture, and automated packaging of the pull tested combined needle and suture into a tray having a cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: John F. Blanch, David D. Demarest, Robert A. Daniele, Anthony Esteves, William F. Smith, Michael G. Hodulik, Teresa M. Shaw, George Horst Reinemuth, Richard Paul Branco, Matthew Cafone
  • Patent number: 6012216
    Abstract: A semi-automated machine for singulating individual surgical needles from an bulk supply and attaching a suture to the surgical needle is described. Each of the surgical needles has a suture receiving opening formed therein for receiving a suture. The machine includes a singulation station having a sliding surface that assists an operator in singulating needles and depositing them in a pair of drop locations for subsequent automatic handling. Indexing conveyors, an articulated robot and a precision conveyor are used with a precise positioning station for orienting each needle for automatic handling. A universal gripper mounted on a rotary indexing device automatically receives each individual needle in a predetermined orientation and conveys the needle for sequential processing from station to station to form the needle-suture assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony Esteves, John F. Blanch, Robert A. Daniele, David D. Demarest
  • Patent number: 6012222
    Abstract: A mounting head, a mounting apparatus, and a mounting method which are capable of contacting an electronic component with a substrate with a small contact load and mounting the component on the substrate, are provided. A suction device 120 is fit on a splined axis portion 118 of a support shaft 84 via a ball spline 126, is biased downward by a first spring 130, and is biased upward by a second spring 134. A suction nozzle 124 is attached to a nozzle holder 122 by engaging engagement ridges 172 of sheet springs 166 fixed to the suction nozzle 124 with engagement grooves 144 of the nozzle holder 122, respectively. Prior to the mounting of electronic components 178, a relationship between contact load and position of lift 28 is obtained, and a position to which the lift 28 is moved downward for mounting each electronic component 178 is pre-determined. Thus, each component 178 is contacted with a printed circuit board with an appropriate load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: Fuji Machine Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koichi Asai, Kunio Oe, Seiichi Terui
  • Patent number: 5992013
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for mounting electronic components in which mounting positions are determined by observing identification marks A, B, C and D on a substrate with a camera. The electronic components are mounted on the substrate by correcting programmed data according to the result of the determination of the mounting positions. Correction values are obtained for coordinates of the mounting position with reference to each of a plurality of combinations of any three positions (e.g. A, B and C) selected among the at least four positions of the identification marks A, B, C and D based on coordinate data of the three selected positions before and after deformation (one based on the design data and the other based on the data determined during mounting process). A correction of the programmed data for coordinates of the mounting position is made using a positional correction value, which is a mean value of the correction values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Takeshi Morita
  • Patent number: 5917726
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for "Intelligent" control of production processes such as machining, casting, heat treating and welding are disclosed. The key enabler of such control is electro-optical or other suitable sensors, generally non contact, capable of rapidly and accurately acquiring data from parts and tools used to produce them in a production "in-process" environment. Systems are disclosed to control not only the instant operation, but those processes connected therewith, both upstream and downstream. Data bases are generated and knowledge bases are used. Application of the invention can improve quality and productivity, and allow the production of parts which have unusual or individual material characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 29, 1999
    Assignee: Sensor Adaptive Machines, Inc.
    Inventor: Timothy R. Pryor
  • Patent number: 5910894
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for assembly particularly addressed to the assembly of automobiles and aircraft done with reconfigurable modular and "intelligent" tooling fixtures (also called jigs, or holding fixtures). Much of the capability of the system is brought by the optical or other non-contact sensing devices incorporated with the tools to provide information on part location, tooling detail location, and automation (such as robots), used to load, weld, rivet, or otherwise perform work with parts in the tool. A preferred version of the invention uses 3-dimensional stereo and/or other simpler electro-optical ranging and feature location sensors operating in real time to perform numerous measurements of location of critical features of assembly tools and the parts placed within them, to even include detection of abnormal features such as missing holes or welds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1999
    Assignee: Sensor Adaptive Machines, Inc.
    Inventor: Timothy R. Pryor
  • Patent number: 5864944
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for improving the productivity and accuracy of mounting electronic components on a substrate. The mounting apparatus includes a line-sensor for image recognition, a carriage head 20 having plural nozzles 21a, 21b and 21c aligned along a predetermined axis. The carriage head 20 is transferred along the direction of the aligned nozzles and above the line-sensor 33 of a recognition member 30. The line-sensor 33 takes images in sequence of the electronic components (chip) vacuum chucked by each nozzle 21a, 21b and 21c in order to recognize positions of the chips 12. Then, based on the recognition results, position deviations of the chips 12 with regard to X, Y and .theta. directions are compensated, and the chips 12 are mounted onto specified coordinate spots of substrate 3. The recognition member 30 includes an adjusting means of rotation angle for crossing the longitudinal direction of line-sensor 33 with the transferring direction of nozzles 21a, 21b and 21c at right angles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1999
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Kashiwagi, Kazuhide Nagao, Takeshi Morita
  • Patent number: 5860208
    Abstract: A mounting apparatus includes two stages each, a carrier which carries two printed boards to respective stages and parts feeders located on both sides of the carrier. The mounting apparatus further includes two heads driven by two-dimensional linear motor system, each of which is arranged to mount electronic components onto the respective board. Since two boards are treated at the same time, large throughput is obtained. Further, since one board is treated by one head, the tangle of the cables does not occur.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroaki Nomura
  • Patent number: 5806174
    Abstract: In an apparatus for mounting electronic components of the invention, a moving part is attached to a frame of the apparatus and moved freely in front and rear directions by a moving device. Also, first and second movable members are attached to the moving part and freely and independently moved in right and left directions by first and second moving members. First and second fitting heads are attached to the first and second movable members, and independently and freely moved between a supply section and a mounting section in the frame. When the electronic components are held at the first and second fitting heads, the first fitting head moves the electronic components from the supply section to mount onto a substrate in one mounting section, and the second head moves the electronic components from the supply section to mount on a substrate of a different mounting section in the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Tenryu Technics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hiroshi Itoh
  • Patent number: 5778517
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device and a method for the assembly of a sliding sunroof frame and for the adjustment of a cover connected with it in a vehicle. The device has a tool that has one portion that can be introduced into the body of a vehicle and another portion that can be positioned above a roof opening of the vehicle. A positioning assembly for the sliding sunroof frame and the cover and various adjusting component with centering devices are provided on a floating frame on part of the tool positioned in the vehicle body, and allow fully automated raising and alignment, as well as fastening of the sliding sunroof frame to the vehicle roof and complete adjustment without play and fastening of the sliding sunroof cover to its tilting mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Assignee: Webasto Sunroofs, Inc.
    Inventors: Georg Amesbichler, Hansjoerg Kauschke
  • Patent number: 5768760
    Abstract: A pipelined system for removing the contents of sealed coin-collection boxes, wherein each box requires a set of different operations to be performed in seriatim to remove the box contents. The operations include removing a seal, opening a box lid, removing the box contents, resetting the lid and resealing the box. The pipelined system comprises a rotary surface for supporting a plurality of the boxes at spaced locations. Stationary surfaces mount a plurality of box-processing units, including pneumatic actuators and processing tools, at spaced stations to form a pipeline. The processing units each perform a different one of the processing operations during each processing cycle. A motor assembly pivots the rotary surface for stepwise positioning the boxes at different ones of the stations. A control system, including computer and pneumatic systems, causes the box-processing units to perform the different processing operations simultaneously on all boxes in the pipeline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1998
    Assignee: Nynex Science & Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Howard M. Citron, David K. Asano, Henry R. Baietto, Sullivan S. Chen, Alexis W. De Frondeville, Jeffrey H. Hahn, Thomas J. Probst, Jr., John E. Massucci, Dinu Costin, Ralph E. Peragine
  • Patent number: 5749142
    Abstract: A mechanism and method for mounting components on a substrate in an accurate location. The components are presented in the sensing station at successive positions to determine the optimum position for their determination and this optimum position is preset into the apparatus and all like components are subsequently measured only in that optimum position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Naoki Hanamura
  • Patent number: 5743005
    Abstract: A component mounting apparatus and method for mounting components on to-be-mounted positions of works, includes a carrying device for continuously and successively carrying the works in a working area, and a first component-mounting device for picking up one component from component supply units in a first component supply section and mounting the picked-up component on the to-be-mounted position of one of the works being continuously and successively carried in the work area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, Ltd.
    Inventors: Osamu Nakao, Masanori Yasutake, Wataru Hirai, Makoto Kawai
  • Patent number: 5675882
    Abstract: The invention provides an apparatus for removing at least one bead from a tire. The apparatus includes a conveyor for tires and a sensor which centers the tire about a debeading device and a cutting device. The conveyor then moves the cut tire to a second position wherein the bead is pulled from the tire. A microprocessor is used to position the tires and for resetting the devices for treating additional tires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 14, 1997
    Inventors: James R. Hunt, Jerry Lee Hunt
  • Patent number: 5671527
    Abstract: An electronic-component mounting system including supporting devices each of which supports and positions an object and is movable along a reference line, mounting units which are arranged along the reference line and each of which includes a mounting device which mounts an electronic component (EC) on the object, and a moving device which moves the mounting device in a three-dimensional space, each mounting unit having a mounting area in which the mounting device mounts the EC on the object, a feeding device which feeds the supporting devices along the reference line from the mounting area of a most upstream mounting unit to the mounting area of a most downstream mounting unit, a positioning error detector which detects an error of positioning of the object with respect to each supporting device located in a waiting area where each supporting device waits for being fed by the feeding device, and a control device which controls each mounting unit so that the mounting device of each mounting unit mounts the EC
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 30, 1997
    Assignee: Fuji Machine Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koichi Asai, Koso Matsumoto, Kunio Ooe, Masayuki Shimmura
  • Patent number: 5640756
    Abstract: An automated continuous manufacturing system which includes a rotatable work table having a plurality of work piece supports for maintaining work pieces during operation of said system, and a plurality of work stations for performing cleaning, pretreatment, treatment or assembly tasks on work pieces secured to said work piece supports. Each of the tasks performed at the work table is performed at a respective work station. Certain of the work stations comprise a removable station subassembly for performing a specific task. The removable station subassemblies are removably engagable with the rotatable work table and may be replaced with an alternate removable station subassembly for performing a desired alternate task. One of the work stations is an assembly station engaged with the rotatable work table for receiving work pieces from their individual work piece supports. The assembly station further includes a removing subassembly for removing the work pieces from the work piece supports for further assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 24, 1997
    Assignee: GenCorp Inc.
    Inventors: Robert L. Brown, James J. McDonald, Max J. Miller, Jr., David E. Baxter, deceased
  • Patent number: 5628112
    Abstract: A peer-to-peer control system for a circuit board production line includes multiple processing stations, each of which has an adjustable width conveyor. Control means are provided at each station for controlling the width of the conveyor, receiving board width data signals from an adjacent upstream processing station, and passing the board width data signal, in turn, to an adjacent downstream processing station. A data signal communication network directly connects the controller of each of the processing stations, such as a programmable logic controller, to the controllers of adjacent upstream and downstream stations. Data signals corresponding to the width of circuit boards to be processed by the circuit board production line progress downstream through the line in tandem with circuit boards of that width.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 13, 1997
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Francis J. Maslar, Robert J. Cantando, Hugh V. Wilson, Virender Sandhu
  • Patent number: 5560100
    Abstract: An apparatus for automatically removing electronic components mounted on printed circuit boards has a lighting device for illuminating the printed circuit boards, an optical sensor, an image processing systems and various devices for removing the electronic components therefrom. The image processing system recognizes the coordinates of the contours and, preferably, also the types of components from the output signals supplied by the optical sensor and controls the device for removing the electronic components. Alternatively, the contours of the electronic components are recognized by infrared radiation. Additionally, a process is disclosed for removing the electronic components from printed circuit boards using the disclosed apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1996
    Inventor: Klaus Englert
  • Patent number: 5513428
    Abstract: An automatic assembling apparatus automatically assembles such parts as an engine and a suspension to each work such as a car body conveyed by a conveyor. The system includes a parts truck and a screwing truck. The parts truck can be moved parallel to the conveying path of the conveyor and includes a coupling mechanism for coupling it to the conveyor and an approach truck for approaching the work while carrying the parts. The system further includes a screwing truck which can be moved parallel to the conveying path of the conveyor and includes a coupling mechanism for coupling it to the conveyor and a screwing mechanism for effecting screwing by approaching the work. The parts truck and the screwing truck are coupled to the conveyor and are moved in synchronism with the work. The parts are positioned as the approach truck approaches, and the screwing is effected as the screwing mechanism approaches. The parts are assembled without stop of the work.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1996
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kosuke Shiramizu, Atsushi Niimi, Hidemi Chiba, Tadakazu Inamori, Keiji Yamauchi, Kiyokazu Uruno, Takashi Ito
  • Patent number: 5509192
    Abstract: The present connector press-fitting apparatus comprises a press-fitting head, a press-fitting block, a cylinder, a positional detector, a pin detector, and a controller. The press-fitting head comes into contact with the connector, and attaches to and detaches from this connector. The press-fitting block supports the press-fitting head elastically. The cylinder is capable of moving the press-fitting block freely in a vertical direction, lowers the press-fitting block, and press-fits pins of the connector into a printed board which is arranged at a press-fitting position. The positional detector detects the displacement of the press-fitting head. The pin detector detects at least one pin lead end part projecting below the printed board in accordance with the press-fitting operation of the connector by means of the cylinder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 23, 1996
    Assignee: Ando Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasunori Ota, Nobuhide Fujita, Keiji Yamamoto