Including Additional Means To Move Surface Horizontally Relative To Device Patents (Class 414/282)
  • Patent number: 10301112
    Abstract: A honeycomb storage system with at least one shelf unit, including a plurality of storage units arranged side-by-side and overtop of each other, accessible from an operating side, for receiving cartridges. The storage units are embodied such that the cartridges can be removed horizontally at the operating side in the longitudinal direction and can be inserted therein. A shelf operating device is arranged at an operating side and a commissioning device is arranged on a front side of the shelf opposite the operating side. The commissioning device is allocated to a plurality of storage units used as marshaling storage units, which are embodied such that cartridges located therein can also be removed at the front of the shelf. The commissioning device has several commissioning sites for placing cartridges as well as a commissioning cart that can move along the front of the shelf perpendicular in reference to the cartridges. This cart is embodied such that it can approach all commissioning sites.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: KEURO Besitz GmbH & Co. EDV-Dienstleistungs KG
    Inventor: Armin Stolzer
  • Patent number: 10160597
    Abstract: A plurality of transport controls selectively performed by a transport control device include a second transport control performed on a selected one of a first article transport device and a second article transport device as a target article transport device such that the target article transport device is moved only in a first path portion to transport articles when the target article transport device is the first article transport device, and that the target article transport device is moved only in a second path portion to transport the articles when the target article transport device is the second article transport device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshihito Ueda, Hiroshi Otsuka, Takeshi Abe
  • Patent number: 10124957
    Abstract: A shelf warehouse comprises a loading/unloading station, at least one shelf and a shelf storage and retrieval system that can be moved between the loading/unloading station and the shelf. The shelf storage and retrieval system has a load receiving device with a transfer device that can be moved along a transfer direction to transfer clothes rails and with a plurality of vertically movable lifting mechanisms arranged on the transfer device for lifting a respective clothes rail from below.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: DÜRKOPP FÖRDERTECHNIK GMBH
    Inventor: Michael Wend
  • Patent number: 10040629
    Abstract: An automated storage and retrieval system for storing and picking a pallet and a case includes: a storage rack; a storage rack with a built-in conveyor that includes a configuration of the storage rack and a conveyor for unloading the case, wherein the conveyor is inserted through the storage rack with a built-in conveyor at a predetermined level; a travel lane; a pallet crane traveling on the travel lane to store or pick the pallet onto or from each shelf board; and a case picking crane traveling on a travel lane identical to the travel lane that lets the pallet crane travel, wherein the case picking crane is provided with two independent transfer units capable of moving on and down and each transfer unit picks one piece of the case placed on the shelf board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: JB-Create, Inc.
    Inventor: Juro Yamagishi
  • Patent number: 9663293
    Abstract: A system includes storage shelves and display shelves at a retail facility. The system also includes a management module operable to determine to replenish a display shelf with an inventory item stored by a storage shelf. The management module is also operable to coordinate movement of mobile drive units to replenish the display shelf with the inventory item at an inventory restocking station. The system also includes a first mobile drive unit and a second mobile drive unit. The first mobile drive unit is operable to receive first instructions from the management module to transport the display shelf to the inventory restocking station. The second mobile drive unit is operable to receive second instructions from the management module to transport the storage shelf to the inventory restocking station. At the inventory restocking station, the display shelf receives the inventory item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter R. Wurman, Michael C. Mountz
  • Patent number: 9383755
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing a plurality of objects in storage locations, the automated storage system comprising a master control computer, a guidance network, a plurality of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) each having an onboard microprocessor for providing a position of each AGV relative to the guidance network to the master control computer and a receiver for receiving control commands from the master control computer, and a plurality of trays for engagement with the plurality of AGVs for transportation and storage of the objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: Boomerang Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Stott Barwick, Merin Swasey, Lance Beeny, John A. M. Petersen
  • Patent number: 9365005
    Abstract: A method of controlling the management of annular anchoring structures in a process and a plant for building tires for vehicle wheels, includes: a) feeding pairs of first annular anchoring structures from a first storage region to a bead-forming machine; b) loading a plurality of second annular anchoring structures into a second storage region; c) carrying the second annular anchoring structures from the second storage region to the first storage region; and d) feeding pairs of second annular anchoring structures from the first storage region to the bead-forming machine. The method includes the sequential cyclic repetition of the above actions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: PIRELLI TYRE S.P.A.
    Inventors: Maurizio Marchini, Gianni Mancini, Andrea D'Ambrosio, Stefano Balia
  • Patent number: 9061334
    Abstract: A device for handling and/or transporting work rolls and/or support rolls of a roll stand, by which the work rolls and/or support rolls can be brought from the roll stand into a roll workshop by a locomotive movable on a track. In order to be able to handle and transport different rolls using just one locomotive, without complicated coupling mechanisms, at least two tracks disposed at different heights are provided, on which a roll can be moved by the locomotive, and a lifting table is available, which is intended and suitable for raising or lowering the locomotive to one of the at least two different heights in order to bring it onto the respective track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: SMS SIEMAG AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
    Inventors: Hans-Jürgen Bender, Hans-Jürgen Hanke
  • Patent number: 9063550
    Abstract: An automated guided vehicle (AGV) adapted to follow a guide wire or the like, the AGV comprising at least one antenna in communication with a master control system and having a programmable microprocessor that enables the AGV to dynamically assume a linear, angular or skewed offset position relative to the guide wire or the like in accordance with instructions provided by the control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: Boomerang Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Stott Barwick, Merin Swasey, Lance Beeny, John A. M. Petersen
  • Publication number: 20150098775
    Abstract: An order picking system includes a storage system for storing containers arranged in multiple rows at various horizontal levels with respect to ground, the containers including source containers with goods stored in the storage system and reception containers to be filled with the ordered goods. At least one mobile picking unit may be moved in a horizontal direction along an upper level of the storage system, the picking unit is configured for taking ordered goods from the source containers arranged at the upper level and placing the ordered goods into the reception containers for delivery to the customers. At least one transportation unit may be moved along a lower level of the storage system arranged lower than the upper level. The transportation unit is configured for taking the containers from levels of the storage system lower than the upper level, and delivering the containers to the upper level.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 9, 2013
    Publication date: April 9, 2015
    Inventor: Sergey N. RAZUMOV
  • Patent number: 8956099
    Abstract: A rack-serving unit for storing boxes having an open box bottom, including a load pick-up device and at least one substantially horizontally telescopic article transport gripper including at least one rest for the articles for gripping under an article, is provided with a single telescopic gripper pin serving as article transport gripper and having a rest for the articles for gripping under the article in a just unstable position and at least one telescopic flank and/or a telescopic hold-down device for setting a stable transport position of the gripped article. In an order-picking warehouse equipped with said rack-serving unit having storing boxes with bottoms which are open in the center thereof, the telescopic gripper pin includes a rest for the articles of a width which is transverse to the telescoping direction for supporting the article in a just unstable position on the rest for the articles and the box bottom opening being just slightly broader than the width.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Krones AG
    Inventors: Tilo Olszak, Peter Tiebel
  • Patent number: 8882432
    Abstract: A robotic automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) mixed pallet build system includes a rack that includes two or more verticals levels upon which items are stored. The system includes a three-dimensional robotic AS/RS that includes a carriage, robot arm, vertical lift, and horizontal propulsion system. The items from the rack are loaded upon the carriage to create a pallet. The robot arm is configured to stack the items from the racks onto the pallet. The vertical lift is configured to move the carriage vertically between the vertical levels of the racks. The horizontal propulsion system is configured to move the carriage horizontally along the rack so that the carriage is able to service the entire length of the rack. The three-dimensional robotic AS/RS also includes a stretch wrapper that progressively secures the layers of items on the pallet to prevent the items from falling off the pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: Bastian Solutions, LLC
    Inventors: William A. Bastian, II, Britt Calloway
  • Patent number: 8851818
    Abstract: An automatic warehouse includes a rack including vertically arranged shelves and traveling vehicles each of which is provided to a corresponding one of the shelves. The automatic warehouse includes stations receiving an article to be stored on and an article unloaded from the rack, elevators each mediating traffic of articles between the corresponding station and at least one of the traveling vehicles, and a shelf assigning unit assigning, to each of the stations, one or more of the shelves to which the station has priority of use over the rest of the stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Kazuhiko Ogawa
  • Patent number: 8827620
    Abstract: A lengthy article transferring apparatus transfers lengthy articles between the apparatus and target locations for the transfer. A lifting driving device lifts and drives a platform and a transferring device mounted thereon by winding a cord-like member. A controller controls actuation of the lifting driving device and the transferring device. A lifted position detector monitors the position of the platform. The controller performs the transferring operation to actuate the transferring device when end portions of the platform are received and supported by receivers provided at the target locations for the transfer, and performs a lifted position adjustment procedure controlling actuation of the lifting driving device based upon information detected by the lifted position detector during the transferring procedure to absorb variation in the position of the platform caused by a shift in the load acting on the platform as the article is transported in the article transferring direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Naoki Toguri
  • Patent number: 8827621
    Abstract: In a substrate processing apparatus, a storage device, an indexer block, a processing block and an interface block are arranged to line up in this order. The storage device includes a plurality of openers on which a carrier storing a plurality of substrates can be placed. The carrier is carried in the storage device. In the storage device, the carrier is transported among the plurality of openers by a transport device. The transport device includes first and second hands configured to be able to hold the carrier and move in a horizontal direction and a vertical direction. The second hand is provided below the first hand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Sokudo Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yukihiko Inagaki, Kensaku Onishi, Jun Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 8770111
    Abstract: A transport vehicle that reduces shaking of a transport article includes a travelling unit, a transport unit, a fall prevention member, and a shaking reduction member. The travelling unit travels along a rail provided on a ceiling. The transport unit transports a transport article. The fall prevention member is rotatably supported such that it can rotate between a fall prevention position and a retracted position. The fall prevention member is, at the fall prevention position, below the transport article. A pushing portion of the shaking reduction member pushes against a side surface of the transport article with a pushing surface thereof in conjunction with the rotating of the fall prevention member from the retracted position to the fall prevention position. A lever portion of the shaking reduction member has one end supporting the pushing portion and the other end rotatably supported in a manner coaxial with the fall prevention member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventors: Taro Yamamoto, Yusuke Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 8734079
    Abstract: A robotic device movable in a vertical direction between rails arranged in multiple rows at various levels with respect to ground. The robotic device has a frame, wheels coupled to the frame for moving the frame along the rails, and a movable platform provided on the frame. The platform is configured for moving the frame in a vertical direction between first rails and second rails arranged above the first rails, and for placing onto the robotic device first and second loads arranged at different levels with respect to the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Inventor: Sergey N. Razumov
  • Patent number: 8726811
    Abstract: An overhead transport vehicle comprises a travelling unit that travels on a rail, a conveying unit that moves and conveys an article and a swing inhibiting member that moves between a pushing position and a retracting position. The swing inhibiting members includes a pushing member that pushes a side surface of the article, lever members that support the pushing member at a first end side and are pivotally supported by the conveying unit at a second end side, and a biasing member that biases the pushing member toward the article. The pushing member includes a main body member pivotally supported by the lever members, slide members slidably supported by a main body member, and elastic bodies arranged between the main body member and the slide member that slide elastically the slide member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Makoto Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 8721250
    Abstract: A robotic device movable in first, second and third mutually perpendicular directions along rails arranged in multiple rows, where the rails in a row are arranged along the first and second mutually perpendicular directions, and the multiple rows are arranged along the third direction perpendicular to the first and second directions. The robotic device has a frame, wheels coupled to the frame for moving the frame along the rails in the first and second directions, and support handles for lifting the frame in the third direction from first rails arranged in a first row of the rails to second rails arranged in a second row of the rails. The support handles are configured for providing engagement with the second rails so as to lift the robotic device in the third direction from the first rails to the second rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Inventor: Sergey N. Razumov
  • Patent number: 8641354
    Abstract: The in-building storage apparatus includes a guide rail mounted in a storage space in which articles are stored, and making slidal movement in a direction perpendicular to a direction in which main rails extend, a platform car including a travelling section for running on the guide rail, and a lifting/lowering section which lifts or lowers an article, suspenders each of which suspends an article at such a height that the platform car can pass therebelow, and a control unit having functions of causing the guide rail to make slidal movement, causing the platform car to move along the guide rail, causing the lifting/lowering section to lift or lower for taking a target article out of the suspenders, and causing a target article to be suspended by the suspenders.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Inventor: Seo Tokuyama
  • Patent number: 8606394
    Abstract: A robot includes an arm member, a rotary actuator that swings the arm member, a hand member provided at an end of the arm member, a joint member that connects the arm member and the hand member to each other such that the arm member and the hand member are rotatable with respect to each other, a linear actuator that supports and linearly moves the rotary actuator, and a controller that operates the rotary actuator and the linear actuator in association with each other to linearly move the hand member in a forward-backward direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki
    Inventors: Manabu Okahisa, Kazunori Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 8554643
    Abstract: A method and equipment to stack palletless and as to their size variable packages (1) on warehouse rack (15) and to retrieve them from the rack and to control the logistics of packages, in which the warehouse rack is furnished with an automatic packages stacking and retrieving robot, and in which the control of warehouse data and logistics takes place by a data system. Equipment (5) receives package (1), for instance, onto conveyor belt (2), equipment (5) carries out weighing of package (1), determination for the necessary space requirement, reading of remote code connected to package (1), as RFID code (20) in order to choose the rack space determined for it on basis of previous functions, and package (1) is retrieved from the rack steered either by the order of the user or of the data system, and the data from above mentioned stacking and retrieving functions are transmitted to the data system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Suomen Teollisuusosa Oy
    Inventor: Sami Kortelainen
  • Publication number: 20130251483
    Abstract: A storage apparatus includes: a storage member provided with a pair of first rail members, extending along a horizontal direction, on both side faces thereof; a storage rack; a carrying mechanism to carry the storage member placed thereon in the horizontal direction to a storage location of the storage rack; and a pair of walls, provided so as to be opposed to the side faces of the storage member, respectively, having a pair of second rail members, extending in the horizontal direction, provided on side faces thereof opposed to the pair of first rail members, respectively, in a state where the storage member is stored in the storage rack, the storage member being guided to the storage rack with the pair of first rail members being supported by the pair of second rail members, when the carrying mechanism is moved in the horizontal direction toward the storage rack.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 17, 2013
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Applicant: SANYO ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Masahiko KOBAYASHI, Mikio HOUJOU
  • Patent number: 8457780
    Abstract: The invention relates to a system of enabling automated receiving/retrieving of stocks of cargo for storing purposes. The system uses at least one service level and one or more storage levels. The service level is operated and organized in such a way that it is able to receive, interchange cargo, and extract cargo simultaneously and batch way. The system is redundant and allows continued operation even if some of its components malfunction. The service area comprising (a) a plurality of pallets for conveying said cargo; (b) a matrix of blocks of predetermined shape upon which said cargo and said pallets located; (c) at least one elevator block for transporting said pallet to different areas of said system; (d) at least one box; (e) at least two buffer for allowing transport of said pallets in at least two orthogonal directions in each of said areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Inventor: Ilia Kharkover
  • Patent number: 8403614
    Abstract: A robotic automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) mixed pallet build system includes a rack that includes two or more verticals levels upon which items are stored. The mixed pallet build system further includes a three-dimensional robotic AS/RS that includes a carriage, robot arm, vertical lift, and horizontal propulsion system. The items from the rack are loaded upon the carriage to create a pallet. The carriage has a length that is shorter than the length of the rack. The robot arm is configured to stack the items from the racks onto the pallet. The vertical lift is configured to move the carriage vertically between the vertical levels of the racks. The horizontal propulsion system is configured to move the carriage horizontally along the rack so that the carriage is able to service the entire length of the rack. The three-dimensional robotic AS/RS also includes a stretch wrapper that progressively secures the layers of items on the pallet to prevent the items from falling off the pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Assignee: Bastian Solutions, LLC
    Inventors: William A. Bastian, II, Britt Calloway
  • Patent number: 8342792
    Abstract: Storing and retrieving articles in and from rack warehouses which are filled and emptied, wherein articles are stored on load supports at storage locations of at least one rack of rack warehouse comprises moving a storage and retrieval device, which is movable in a longitudinal direction of the rack and has a lifting table movable in height, to a receiving point of the rack; receiving a load support, which is loaded with an article, from the rack on a load suspension device of the storage and retrieval device; separating article from the received load support on the lifting table by means of a separation station; moving storage and retrieval device to hand-over point, where storage and retrieval device is coupled in a transverse direction of the rack to article conveyor extending in longitudinal direction of rack; and delivering separated article from lifting table to the article conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Inventor: Rob A Schmit
  • Publication number: 20120328397
    Abstract: A high-throughput performance automated storage/retrieval system is provided that has a large storage capacity and can reduce a facility cost and an installation space. An automated storage/retrieval system (10) according to the present invention is characterized in that two pairs of multi-tier racks (12L1, 12R1; 12L2, 12R2) are arranged in series, not in parallel, one elevator (16) is disposed between the two pairs of multi-tier racks, the only elevator enabling a load to delivered to and received from the two pairs of multi-tier racks. The automated storage/retrieval system having such a tandem structure not only can secure the same storage capacity as that of a conventional configuration in which two pairs of multi-tier racks are arranged in parallel, but also can be applied to a building with a height limit since the system does not need to be extended above.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 3, 2011
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Applicant: DEMATIC ACCOUNTING SERVICES GMBH
    Inventor: Shin Yamashita
  • Patent number: 8277163
    Abstract: A substrate transfer apparatus includes forks that are vertically spaced apart from each other with a predetermined distance. When the forks take out the substrates from the first substrate containing part, each of the forks lifts the substrate and supports the same by moving upward from a pre-loading position located below the substrate to be taken out by a predetermined unloading stroke amount. A value of the predetermined distance is set to be equal to the sum of the distance between the substrates contained in the first substrate containing part and the unloading stroke amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Akira Murata, Suguru Enokida, Yuichi Douki
  • Patent number: 8183829
    Abstract: A system employing wheeled vehicles, such as strollers. A plurality of the wheeled vehicles is provided, each having a docking element. A vehicle station has a docking port for each of at least some of the wheeled vehicles. Each docking port has a charging device and is shaped to engage a docking element of an engaged wheeled vehicle. At least two display screens are provided on the wheeled vehicle, one for an occupant and one for an operator. One or more screen drivers is provided for the display screens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Assignee: Nelson Wittaker
    Inventor: Jay A. Maher
  • Patent number: 8105005
    Abstract: An article transport facility includes an article carrier movable along a track, and an article rack arranged along the track. Each article rack has a fixed frame, and a movable frame supported to be movable relative to said fixed frame between an extended position projecting toward the track and a retracted position retracted away from the track. A movable guide shiftably supports and guides the movable frame to be movable relative thereto in a shifting direction. A fixed guide is mounted on the fixed frame for supporting and guiding the movable guide to be movable in the shifting direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mitsuru Yoshida, Yoshitaka Inui
  • Patent number: 7972104
    Abstract: A lower buffer 6 is placed under a traveling rail for an overhead traveling vehicle 16, and a side buffer 8 is provided on a side of the traveling rail. The overhead traveling vehicle 16 has a hoisting frame 30, and a lateral feeding unit 24 for laterally feeding the hoisting frame 30.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2011
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Tamotsu Shiwaku, Takashi Nakao
  • Publication number: 20110142582
    Abstract: A shipping bay arrangement (1), preferably in an order-picking installation, for accepting and delivering containers (2), with ramps (3) which are arranged next to one another and one above the other, the outlets (A) of which can be reached manually by an operator and on the filling side of which, feeding and filling devices are arranged, wherein the ramps arranged next to one another respectively form a rack level (I, II, III, IV, V) of the shipping rack. A container feeding section (4) leads to a lift (5) of the shipping rack. The lift (5) transports a fed container (2) to a selected rack level, wherein a dedicated rail-guided level conveyor device (6) is provided at each rack level, and receives the fed container (2). The level conveyor device (6) can be made to move transversely in relation to the inlets (E) of the ramps (3) for transporting the fed container (2) to a selected ramp, and for filling the selected ramp with the fed container.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2009
    Publication date: June 16, 2011
    Inventor: Karl Freudelsperger
  • Patent number: 7909559
    Abstract: The invention relates to a system for operating storage units. The inventive system enables quick storage and removal therefrom and exhibits an optimum redundancy capacity. In order to counteract shortfalls in individual shelf operation devices, the inventive load receiving means acts as a support for a system for operating storage units, especially high shelf storage units, comprising means for mechanical connection to shelf unit, a lift device and a device arranged thereon for the transversal movement of loads, whereby the means for connection to a shelf unit has an electric drive unit with a pinion gear, driving a toothed rack and the toothed rack is arranged and embodied in such a way that when the pinion gear is rotated said toothed rack moves laterally outside the load receiving means, and the toothed racks are respectively provided with means which protrude from the ends thereof above the load receiving means, engaging into corresponding receiving devices on the shelf units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: Westfalia Intralogistic GmbH
    Inventors: Gunther Lukas, Arnold Krusche, Anton Hafeneder
  • Patent number: 7871232
    Abstract: A line feed system of the invention comprises a framework having a first end and a second end. At least one conveyor is carried on the framework. The conveyor comprises a drive system and a cart configured to engage the drive system. In one embodiment, the cart has a base that engages the drive system and a carriage that is movable, e.g., extensible and retractable, with respect to the base. In another embodiment, the drive system is extensible and retractable. The cart can also include one or more lift devices that can be raised and lowered with respect to the carriage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2011
    Inventor: David W. Lutz
  • Patent number: 7871231
    Abstract: An elevation conveyor 5 includes a turntable 17 and a roller conveyor 18. The roller conveyor 18 is supported onto the turntable 17. A turntable controller 7 turns the turntable 17 so that the roller conveyor 18 matches with a carrying direction of a conveyor rail for receiving or delivering a load and then drives the conveyor rail and the roller conveyor 18 to receive or deliver an FOUP 8. An elevation conveyor 5 is held in a cable 20a installed in an elevation space 9 through a coupling member 20b of a cableveyor 20, and can freely elevate and stop at a port 21 installed on each floor while being interlocked with motion of the cableveyor 20 caused by reciprocating circulation of the cableveyor 20 in a vertical direction by an elevation conveyor controller 4.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2011
    Assignee: Muratec Automation Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Munekuni Oshima
  • Patent number: 7857161
    Abstract: The present invention provides a random access and random load dispensing unit including a housing, at least one support located in the housing and defining a first axis, a plurality of platforms movable along the support along the first axis, a plurality of bins supported on the platforms, the bins being movable with the platforms, and a shuttle assembly movable along the first axis and further movable along a second axis substantially perpendicular to the first axis between the plurality of platforms to access and retrieve products stored in the bins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Assignee: Asteres, Inc.
    Inventors: Linda J. Pinney, John A. Beane, Angus R. Colson, David R. Williams, Keith Kopitzke, Keith W. Reynolds, Erik Howard Barnes
  • Patent number: 7837424
    Abstract: A storage and retrieval system includes a continuous track and a plurality of individual storage units stacked in multiple columns or rows. Each storage unit is engaged with the track for selective movement along the track. Each storage unit includes two sets of wheels, a first set of wheels for engaging the continuous track, and a second set of wheels for engaging support rails disposed above an upper rail of first and second tracks of the continuous track, so as to support the storage unit as the storage unit passes gaps in the upper rail due to intermediate vertical rails extending downwardly intermediate ends thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: Worthwhile Products
    Inventor: Stanley B. Solomon
  • Patent number: 7780020
    Abstract: An article transport facility comprises an article transporting mobile body movable along a moving path and having an article holding unit; an article support for article storage, the article support movable between an article transfer position for receiving an article from the holding unit of the mobile body and transferring the article to the holding unit, and an article storage position; and a operating device provided on the mobile body for moving the article support between the article storage position and the article transfer position when the mobile body is at an article transfer location corresponding to a location of the article support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Inui Yoshitaka
  • Patent number: 7753639
    Abstract: An automatic warehouse 8 is provided parallel to a running rail 4 for an overhead travelling carriage 6. Open shelves 16 each of which is open on its side are provided in a rack 10. According to the present invention, articles can be transferred directly to and from a shelf in the automatic warehouse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kenji Hoshino
  • Patent number: 7708514
    Abstract: A system and method for automated handling, transferring and storing conventional cargo storage containers on a cargo ship wherein the containers are stored in a multi-tier cell system and are manipulated by powered transfer units which are selectively moveable along an intersecting overhead track system such that containers may be simultaneously retrieved from, moved or placed within any of the cells of the ship. The transfer units are equipped both with hoists, which control spreader beams which are selectively secured to the cargo containers, and guide stabilizers, which prevent undesirable movement of the cargo containers when they are elevated above the cell structures such that the containers may be manipulated even during rough sea conditions such that the system is essentially continuously operable as a floating supply distribution system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2010
    Assignee: BEC Companies, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles E. Benedict, Brian G. Pfeifer, Christian A. Yates, Scott K. Bladen
  • Publication number: 20090238666
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to a stocking system and its operating method. The stocking system comprises a shelf assembly, a first crane, and a second crane. The shelf assembly stores a plurality of cassettes. The first crane is installed at one side of the shelf assembly and loads/unloads the cassettes to/from the shelf assembly. The second crane is installed at the other side of the shelf assembly and loads/unloads the cassettes to/from the shelf assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2009
    Publication date: September 24, 2009
    Inventor: Hee Uk Chung
  • Patent number: 7591630
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for selecting and combining items in an outbound container through the use of autonomous vehicles, each of which includes means for automatically loading and unloading a payload, to perform both transfer and transport functions in moving containers of items within a workspace via a network of roadways. Under computer control, said autonomous vehicles transfer and transport case containers of item units between incoming receiving stations, intermediate storage locations, and outgoing order-assembly stations where entire containers or individual item units are combined in the outbound container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2009
    Assignee: CasePick Systems, LLC
    Inventor: John G. Lert, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7516859
    Abstract: An overhead traveling vehicle has a lateral movement mechanism for moving a transfer apparatus toward left and right sides. The lateral movement mechanism includes a fixed base unit having drive means, and a middle unit supported by the base unit. The middle unit is slidable laterally by the drive means toward both of the left and right sides and is provided at an intermediate position below the base unit. The mechanism has further a front unit supporting the transfer apparatus, and being supported by the middle unit. The front unit is slidable laterally, moves with the movement of the middle unit, and is provided at a front end position below the middle unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Hiroto Taniguchi
  • Patent number: 7367747
    Abstract: A cradle assembly for moving and positioning a watercraft with respect to a support module. The cradle assembly comprises a plurality of horizontally varying cradle beams, a cradle wall extending upward from the cradle beams and a transportation track traversing the cradle beams. A transportation rail is slideably positioned on the transportation track to engage the bottom of the water craft as the cradle assembly moves the watercraft with respect to the support module. A positioning system is operatively connected to the transportation rail to extend a substantial portion of the transportation rail within the support module to place the watercraft in and retrieve it from the support module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2008
    Assignee: Maff-Stack, LLC
    Inventors: William C. Maffett, Brian D. Maffett
  • Patent number: 7191874
    Abstract: The present invention provides a carrying apparatus that prevents an elevating motor and the like from projecting from a stacker crane to hinder the stacker crane from interfering with walls of an automatic warehouse. A traveling vehicle 2 of a stacker crane comprises traveling driving means 20, 20 for wheels 9, and elevation driving means 35 for elevating and lowering a platform 4. Both driving means 20, 35 are arranged so that a longitudinal direction of both driving means 20, 35 is almost parallel with a direction in which the traveling vehicle 2 runs. The traveling vehicle 2 comprises a pair of frames 17, 17 spaced at a predetermined distance from each other and a plurality of connecting members that connect both frames 17, 17 together. Both driving means 20, 35 are arranged outside the respective frames 17. Wheels 9, 9 are arranged in the front and rear, respectively, of the traveling vehicle 2. The traveling driving means 20 is connected to each wheel 9.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Akito Tai, Yuji Imamura, Fumiki Goto
  • Patent number: 6997665
    Abstract: A storage lift has at least one chain drive (14, 15) used for loading and unloading storage goods carriers (4). Each chain drive has two chains (16, 17) that are laterally and vertically offset from each other and are interconnected by coupling members (22, 23). The chains propel drivers (27) fixed to extension arms (24, 25) of the coupling members (22, 23) and are used to transfer the storage goods carriers (4) to a vertical conveyor (1) and to hold them in a position in which the vertical conveyor is movable upwardly and downwardly. The chains (16, 17) of the chain drive or drives (14, 15) are located between the front edges of the storage goods carriers (4), which lie opposite one another in storage columns (2, 3), to enable the vertical conveyor (1) to have a relatively narrow construction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2006
    Assignee: Bellheimer Metallwerke GmbH
    Inventors: Norbert Bouche, Hubert Doser, Rolf Süss
  • Patent number: 6948899
    Abstract: The invention provides a palletless loading structure for a storage system which comprises a plurality of storage forks including a first support beam and a plurality of storage fork bars mounted in regular interval to cross the first support beam at a right angle; a stacker crane and a including a plurality of transporting fork bars horizontally arranged in a regular interval to be alternatively positioned between the storage fork bars and a third support beam supporting the lower middle portion of the transporting fork bar, wherein any one height of the storage fork bar transporting fork bar is set to be relatively higher than the other one, and the fork bar of a relatively lower height includes a projecting tap mounted on the lower portion thereof, the projecting tap being mounted on the supporting beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Inventor: Wan Young Lee
  • Patent number: 6851909
    Abstract: A system for relocating elements within a storage library is provided, the library comprising plurality of adjacent horizontal arrays of storage cells and at least one robot that moves along the horizontal arrays and can retrieve objects from and place objects into the storage cells. The present invention comprises a cross-cabinet guide rail that is placed at the end of the adjacent horizontal arrays and serves as a means 1) to move media elements and robots between adjacent arrays of storage cells, 2) to provide an easy access method for the entry and removal of components from the library, and 3) to provide a method for movement of cartridges and robots between separate library enclosures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2005
    Assignee: Storage Technology Corporation
    Inventors: James P. Campbell, Timothy C. Ostwald
  • Patent number: 6824345
    Abstract: The invention relates to a load-bearing frame (18) for a conveyor device, in particular a shelf-stacking device (1), with a support frame (19) which can be secured on a lift (17) of the conveyor device and, disposed on it, mutually parallel support mechanisms with displaceable telescopic support arms for receiving a storage unit such as a pallet (6), box, etc., and a conveyor system forming a conveying direction extends parallel with a displacement direction of the support mechanisms (21). The conveyor system consists of conveyor mechanisms (27) with two linear conveyors (26) arranged in pairs, disposed symmetrically by reference to a mid-plane (31) and extending between the support mechanisms (21) perpendicular to the standing surface (8) of the shelf-stacking device (1), forming a conveyor direction parallel with a displacement direction of the support mechanisms (21).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: TGW Transportgeräte GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Rudolf Hansl, Josef Reischl
  • Patent number: 6799932
    Abstract: A processor for processing articles, such as semiconductor wafers, in a substantially clean atmosphere is set forth. The processor includes an enclosure defining a substantially enclosed clean processing chamber and at least one processing station disposed in the processing chamber. An interface section is disposed adjacent an interface end of the enclosure. The interface section includes at least one interface port through which a pod containing articles for processing are loaded or unloaded to or from the processor. The interface section is hygienically separated from the processing chamber since the interface section is generally not as clean as the highly hygienic processing chamber. An article extraction mechanism adapted to seal with the pod is employed. The mechanism is disposed to allow extraction of the articles contained within the pod into the processing chamber without exposing the articles to ambient atmospheric conditions in the interface section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffry A. Davis, Kert L. Dolechek, Gary L. Curtis