Charge-supporting Elements Moving Vertically Patents (Class 414/331.04)
  • Patent number: 9022717
    Abstract: A panel-storing shelf comprises at least two support members, at least two tracks disposed around a surface of each of the at least two support members, respectively, to rotate about respective support member, and at least two brackets disposed on each of the at least two tracks, respectively, and at the same level, to hold the panel and rotate along with the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Beijing BOE Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Peng Liu
  • Patent number: 8998554
    Abstract: A multilevel vertical conveyor system for transporting uncontained case units to and from a multilevel storage structure having an array of vertically stacked storage levels is provided and includes a frame having platform guide members, a drive member connected to the frame, and support platforms coupled to the drive member. The drive member is configured to move the support platforms relative to the frame in a substantially continuous vertical loop, each of the support platforms being configured to support multiple uncontained case units where each of the multiple uncontained case units is disposed at a respective predetermined area of a respective support platform, the support platforms have support members that are guided by guide members substantially throughout a path of the substantially continuous vertical loop, where the support members are guided in three point contact by the guide members substantially throughout the path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Symbotic LLC
    Inventors: Stephen C. Toebes, Robert Sullivan
  • Patent number: 8596947
    Abstract: A rack for loading and accumulating bags comprises: a) a frame; b) a plurality of similarly sized shelves maintained in a horizontal position; c) said frame carrying similar shelves on an opposite side; d) tracks and a powered mechanism to rotate the shelves. After a first shelf positioned on a bottom portion of the first long side is loaded, it can be moved upwardly, generally concurrently rotating all of the shelves around the rack. All of the shelves can be thereby loaded from the portion position on a first long side. Lifting and carrying required to completely fill the rack is thereby minimized. Most preferably a shelf unloading mechanism is provided to push the shelf and/or bags loaded thereon off the rack; so that all of the shelves can be discharged therewith, by rotatably moving all of the shelves after each shelf has been unloaded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Inventor: Kent J. Stenzel
  • Patent number: 8590690
    Abstract: A device for taking over, temporarily storing and passing on elongated, hollow-cylindrical product units, preferably tubes, sleeves or cans, which come from a production line, has a first supplying conveyor belt and a continuously delivering second conveyor belt. The first and the second conveyor belts are disposed horizontally lying one above the other in a transfer zone. An intermediate storage arrangement is designed as a high-rack storage arrangement or as a paternoster storage arrangement. At least one handling robot is also located in the region of the transfer zone between the conveyor belts and the intermediate storage arrangement. This handling robot is designed either (a) to take a number of product units from the first conveyor belt and to feed them to the second conveyor belt or the intermediate storage arrangement, or (b) to remove a number of product units from the intermediate storage arrangement and to feed them to the second conveyor belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignees: Texal AG, Boxal Netherlands BV
    Inventors: Gottlieb Benz, Albertus Robbertson
  • Patent number: 8286779
    Abstract: A vertically accumulating storage and retrieval apparatus has a first and second plurality of substantially vertically spaced shelf assemblies supported by support structure. Each of the shelf assemblies includes a shelf tray for receiving, storing, and discharging containers. Spring biasing structure is provided for urging the shelf to the receiving position. Dampening structure dampens the movement of the shelf between the upwardly tilted receiving position and the downwardly tilted discharge position. A transfer control and transfer control linkage are provided for retaining the shelf when a shelf of a next lower shelf assembly is not prepared to receive a container, and allowing the shelf to move to the discharge position under the weight of a container disposed on the shelf when the shelf of the next lower shelf assembly is prepared to receive a container. A method for storing and retrieving containers is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: Vertique, Inc.
    Inventors: Frederick J. Stingel, III, Ernest Emory Devlin, Jr., John Robert French
  • Publication number: 20120207570
    Abstract: Disclosed is an automatic apparatus for feeding and measuring radioactive medicine. The automatic apparatus includes a base, two elevators, two clamping units, a translation unit, a limiting unit, and a holder. The first elevator is movably supported on the base. The first clamping unit includes a sliding block movably supported on the first elevator, a shaft rotationally connected to the sliding block, and a quick-release clamp connected to the shaft. The translation unit is located on the base. The second elevator is movably supported on the translation unit. The second clamping unit includes a sliding block movably supported on the second elevator, a shaft connected to the sliding block thereof, and a pneumatic clamp connected to the shaft thereof. The limiting unit is connected to the second elevator and operable for limiting downward movement of the second elevator. The holder is located on the base.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 15, 2011
    Publication date: August 16, 2012
    Applicant: ATOMIC ENERGY COUNCIL-INSTITUTE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY RESEARCH
    Inventors: Chia-Jung Chang, Chung-Li Chen, Mei-Hsiu Liao, Lie-Hang Shen
  • Publication number: 20120186192
    Abstract: A multilevel vertical conveyor system for transporting uncontained case units to and from a multilevel storage structure having an array of vertically stacked storage levels is provided and includes a frame having platform guide members, a drive member connected to the frame, and support platforms coupled to the drive member. The drive member is configured to move the support platforms relative to the frame in a substantially continuous vertical loop, each of the support platforms being configured to support multiple uncontained case units where each of the multiple uncontained case units is disposed at a respective predetermined area of a respective support platform, the support platforms have support members that are guided by guide members substantially throughout a path of the substantially continuous vertical loop, where the support members are guided in three point contact by the guide members substantially throughout the path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 15, 2011
    Publication date: July 26, 2012
    Applicant: CASEPICK SYSTEMS, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen C. Toebes, Robert Sullivan
  • Patent number: 8154314
    Abstract: In a side-docking type test handler, a descending mechanism lowers a horizontally postured test tray, which has been transferred into a soak chamber, down to a descent finish position and a vertical posture changing mechanism changes the posture of the test tray, which has been lowered to the descent finish position, from the horizontal state to a vertical state, to transfer the test tray into a test chamber. Further, a horizontal posture changing mechanism changes the posture of the test tray in the test chamber from the vertical state to the horizontal state while transferring the test tray to an ascent start position in a desoak chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: Techwing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jae Gyun Shim, Yun Sung Na, In Gu Jeon, Dong Hyun Yo, Bong Soo Kim, Choung Min Joung
  • Patent number: 8006625
    Abstract: The present invention provides a new personal transport system for passengers and goods, which comprises: a tube car comprising a self-powered closed tube car carrying passengers or goods from door to door; and a network of tubes comprising a plurality of tubes, the said network of tubes combined with the existing blocks or buildings, with each tube in the network of tubes provided with an upper rail and/or a lower rail for supporting and/or guiding the said tube car carrying passengers or goods. According to the invention it is possible to achieve a door-to-door transport between two buildings. In comparison to other traffic systems, the inventive system's velocity, line capacity, safety and reliability, ability of resisting disasters and comfortableness are much increased while its consumption of energy, construction cost, occupied space, operating cost, noise and visual pollution are greatly reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Inventor: Nanzheng Yang
  • Patent number: 7963383
    Abstract: A vertically accumulating storage and retrieval apparatus has a first and second plurality of substantially vertically spaced shelf assemblies supported by support structure. Each of the shelf assemblies includes a shelf tray for receiving, storing, and discharging containers. Spring biasing structure is provided for urging the shelf to the receiving position. Dampening structure dampens the movement of the shelf between the upwardly tilted receiving position and the downwardly tilted discharge position. A transfer control and transfer control linkage are provided for retaining the shelf when a shelf of a next lower shelf assembly is not prepared to receive a container, and allowing the shelf to move to the discharge position under the weight of a container disposed on the shelf when the shelf of the next lower shelf assembly is prepared to receive a container. A method for storing and retrieving containers is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2011
    Assignee: Vertique, Inc.
    Inventors: Frederick J. Stingel, III, Ernest Emory Devlin, Jr., John Robert French
  • 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: 7811042
    Abstract: A vertical carousel for lumber that provides storage for various lengths, sizes, and grades of wood. It comprises a housing structure, a carousel assembly, a motor assembly, and first and second gear assemblies. The carousel assembly is housed within the housing structure and comprises first and second drive chains that engagingly travel upon respective pulleys. The first and second drive chains have at least one cradle that is perpendicularly disposed and fixedly secured between them. The cradle has a first end and a second end. Extending from the first end to the second end is a concave base having first and second longitudinal edges. The first and second longitudinal edges have peripheral notches to receive forks of a forklift vehicle so that lumber may be placed onto the concave base. The cradle also has spindles with means to rock while it moves with the drive chains around the carousel assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2010
    Inventors: Manuel J Menendez, Paul Abramovici
  • Patent number: 7610108
    Abstract: A method for providing independent static and dynamic models in a prediction, control and optimization environment utilizes an independent static model (20) and an independent dynamic model (22). The static model (20) is a rigorous predictive model that is trained over a wide range of data, whereas the dynamic model (22) is trained over a narrow range of data. The gain K of the static model (20) is utilized to scale the gain k of the dynamic model (22). The forced dynamic portion of the model (22) referred to as the bi variables are scaled by the ratio of the gains K and k. The bi have a direct effect on the gain of a dynamic model (22). This is facilitated by a coefficient modification block (40). Thereafter, the difference between the new value input to the static model (20) and the prior steady-state value is utilized as an input to the dynamic model (22). The predicted dynamic output is then summed with the previous steady-state value to provide a predicted value Y.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2009
    Assignee: Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugene Boe, Stephen Piche, Gregory D. Martin
  • Publication number: 20090255288
    Abstract: A unique device for facilitating insertion and retrieval of biological specimens into and from a liquid nitrogen storage tank and a method of using the device is disclosed. The device basically has one U-shaped mainframe body, two handles, one semi-circular switch, four hooks, one rack rod locker, and one cross-shaped sample box holder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 8, 2008
    Publication date: October 15, 2009
    Inventor: Yu Jia
  • Patent number: 7585143
    Abstract: A stocker apparatus includes a first tray stock section (70) for storing a plurality of empty trays (11a), a second tray stock section (80) for storing the plurality of empty trays (11a) loaded with products, tray supporting means (130) provided in the first tray stock section (70) and the second tray stock section (80) for mounting the trays (11) thereon, and lifting and lowering means for lifting and lowering the tray supporting means (130). The stocker apparatus further includes carrier means (140) for carrying the loaded tray to the second tray stock section (80). The stocker apparatus further includes an outer wall constituting member covering the first tray stock section (70) and the second tray stock portion (80) for shielding the first tray stock section (70) and the second tray stock section (80) from an external atmosphere.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2009
    Assignee: Tsubaki Seiko, Inc.
    Inventor: Yukihiro Hanaoka
  • Publication number: 20090215367
    Abstract: An apparatus and system for loading items onto a rack is described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 16, 2009
    Publication date: August 27, 2009
    Inventor: Eggo L. Haschke
  • Publication number: 20090116941
    Abstract: An inner wall surrounding an inner space for vertically circulating a rack, and an outer wall surrounding the inner wall are provided. Then, a rack is disposed in the inner space. A pair of extensions are provided at diagonal positions of the rack. The extensions are attached to an endless drive member in a manner that the extensions protrude toward an outer space between the inner wall and the outer wall through slits of the inner wall, and, a drive mechanism for a drive member is provided in the outer space. Further, a tunnel passing through the outer space to connect the inner space and an area outside of the vertical carousel is provided for transportation of an article into, and out of the tunnel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 4, 2008
    Publication date: May 7, 2009
    Applicant: MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventors: Toru SUZUKI, Takanori IZUMI
  • Patent number: 7396200
    Abstract: A multiple loader, also adapted to operate as a magazine for storing vertically arranged panels, comprises, at a front head portion thereof, a step-by-step pushing device including a carriage driven by pneumatic cylinders causing the carriage to slide with a rectilinear reciprocating horizontal movement, to provide a pushing action on a first of a series of separating elements, arranged at a top sliding platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2008
    Assignee: R.E.M. S.r.l.
    Inventor: Luigi Reguzzi
  • Patent number: 7181313
    Abstract: This system includes a base unit having an array of data storage locations mounted in a rectangular form factor along a back wall of the housing and at least one read/write device. The robotic mechanism includes a stationary vertical shaft on which is mounted on a horizontal track, movable in the vertical direction. The horizontal track extends from end to end of the base unit housing. The robotic mechanism includes a rotatable gripper that moves on the horizontal track and swivels on a pivot about an axis that is parallel to the vertical shaft to provide access to all interior surfaces of the base unit housing where data storage locations reside. An expansion module, comprising a rotary carousel of data storage locations, can be connected to either end of the base unit which enables the robotic mechanism to access the data storage elements within the expansion module without modification.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2007
    Assignee: Qualstar Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas J. Studebaker, William R. Brennan, Jr., Chad A. Follmar, Everette C. Van Wert, William H. Vermeer
  • Patent number: 7073657
    Abstract: A conveying arrangement for processing printed products, comprising a conveying section, a plurality of deposit trays on which the printed products are transported along the conveying section, the conveying section having an intake area where the printed products are fed to the deposit trays and a delivery area at an end region of the conveying section where the printed products are removed from the deposit trays, and a control mechanism for controlling a distance between respectively adjacent deposit trays in the intake area based on a thickness of the printed products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Assignee: Muller Martini Holding AG
    Inventors: Daniel Langenegger, Hansjörg Schneeberger
  • Patent number: 6907317
    Abstract: An intelligent assist system having a modular architecture, coordinated by electronic communication links between the modules is provided. A multi-function hub for use in the assist system includes a physical interface for providing mechanical support within the assist system. The hub can implement controlled functions. Furthermore, the hub can include an input/output (“I/O”) interface for communication to computational nodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2005
    Assignee: The Stanley Works
    Inventors: Michael A. Peshkin, J. Edward Colgate, Julio Santos-Munne, David Meer, James Lipsey, Witaya Wannasuphoprasit, Stephen H. Klostermeyer
  • Patent number: 6846145
    Abstract: A process and a device for the on-line storage of sets of flat products such as, in particular, disposable liners or sanitary napkins, in which said products are transported between one or more input stations and one or more output stations. The sets are introduced at a given input rate at input station or stations between a pressing device, capable of moving with the sets, the pressing device being in a first, so-called open, configuration. The products are pressed against one another by causing the pressing device to change over from their open configuration to a second, so-called product holding, configuration. The sets are directed towards the output station or stations at which they are ejected, at a given output rate, adapted as a function of the input rate, to manage an accumulation of sets between the input station or stations and the output station or stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Assignee: Societe Industrielle d'Etudes et de Realisations Electriques et Mecaniques S.I.E.R.E.M. Societe Anonyme
    Inventor: Maurice Remericq
  • Patent number: 6814214
    Abstract: A pallet and conveyor system for loading pallets onto a transport vehicle is described. The conveyor system has a first and a second conveyor which positions the pallets between the conveyors and maintains the pallets in upright orientation. The conveyor defines an upper conveyance track and a lower conveyance track which may be placed on the bed of a transport truck. The pallets maintained in the conveyor system are easily loadable on the truck and can be captured without operator lifting by the conveyor system. The pallets may be forked from any direction and provide a stabilization device for maintaining the cargo within the pallets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Mobil Concepts, Inc.
    Inventors: Jerry L. Warlow, Boris Fridman
  • Patent number: 6813542
    Abstract: An intelligent assist system having a modular architecture, coordinated by electronic communication links between the modules. Modules for motion, computation, interface, and programming are disclosed in exemplary embodiments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: The Stanley Works
    Inventors: Michael A. Peshkin, J. Edward Colgate, Julio Santos-Munne, David Meer, James Lipsey, Witaya Wannasuphoprasit, Stephen H. Klostermeyer
  • Patent number: 6808355
    Abstract: A chain store comprising a plurality of intermittently movable gondolas which serve for receiving products to be stored and are suspended and fastened on at least one articulated chain running vertically over a plurality of deflection rollers, and a plurality of shelves which serve for receiving the products, and at least one unloading station which is arranged on an upward- or downward-moving outer side of the chain store and has transfer means for ejecting the products onto a horizontal discharge belt leading away from the unloading side, wherein the transfer means has two ejectors for simultaneously ejecting products from in each case two shelves one on top of the other, wherein a storage plate which is fastened with its end facing away from the gondola train to a retaining apparatus and is pivotable from a horizontal into a skew position inclined toward the discharge belt and is displaceable away from the gondola train is provided above the discharge belt, wherein the storage plate has rake-like or comb-l
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: Rotzinger AG
    Inventor: Kurt Philipp
  • Patent number: 6728597
    Abstract: A storage system for receiving, delivering and storing items, e.g. mail items, to be distributed. Items are stored in a flexible manner allowing sufficient space to be allocated to each item while ensuring that the total available space is utilised in an optimal manner. Items may be carried on trays. The size of the items is determined in order to allocate the correct amount of space. Items may be repositioned during non-operational periods in order to reduce time consumed during delivery of items from the system. Further, methods for receiving and delivering items to/from the system. A payment system is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: Crisplant A/S
    Inventors: Jan Didriksen, David Simon
  • Patent number: 6685419
    Abstract: A portable assembly allows semiconductor wafer boats to be transported safely from one semiconductor processing device to another semiconductor processing device at low cost using a small amount of the fabrication area without the need for complicated automated systems. The portable assembly includes two hollow bodies, of which one body may be elevated electromechanically to the height of a cantilever oven opening. The elevation may be conducted manually or automatically. The upper body of the assembly contains a rotating drum which further includes four segmented cylinders, which store and queue the wafer boats. The lower body contains a safety shoe locking apparatus which allows the elevator mechanism to be activated only when the assembly is docked in the appropriate location. The assembly also contains storage areas for wafers in progress. The assembly is moved manually on a set of wheels and may be rotated about its axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2004
    Inventor: Christopher John Bayne
  • Publication number: 20030118428
    Abstract: The invention relates to a circulating storage system (1) comprising at least two storage columns (4) of stored-goods carriers (5) that are arranged one above another and circulate during operation, comprising at least one horizontal conveyor device (9) which [sic] by means of which, during operation, the stored-goods carriers can be transferred from one storage column to the other storage column, and comprising a vertical conveyor device (7) which, during operation, can be moved in the vertical direction by at least one part of the storage column [sic]. Known circulating storage systems of this type have the disadvantage that they can be expanded only by lengthening the storage column, for which purpose an appropriate amount of space is needed at the place where they are erected and that, in the case of high storage capacities, the access times are too long.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2002
    Publication date: June 26, 2003
    Inventor: John McFarland
  • Patent number: 6511277
    Abstract: A device for transporting cartridges comprises a housing for holding a plurality of cartridges in a temperature controlled environment. A transport system is also provided and has a grasping mechanism for grasping one of the cartridges. The transport system is further used to remove the cartridge from the housing and to place the cartridge into a scanner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2003
    Assignee: Affymetrix, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael C. Norris, Peter Lobban, Donald Besemer, Andrew B. Carlson
  • Publication number: 20030012629
    Abstract: A portable assembly allows semiconductor wafer boats to be transported safely from one semiconductor processing device to another semiconductor processing device at low cost using a small amount of the fabrication area without the need for complicated automated systems. The portable assembly includes two hollow bodies, of which one body may be elevated by electromechanical means to the height of a cantilever oven opening. The elevation may be conducted manually or automatically. The upper body of the assembly contains a rotating drum which further includes four segmented cylinders, which store and queue the wafer boats. The lower body contains a safety shoe locking apparatus which allows the elevator mechanism to be activated only when the assembly is docked in the appropriate location. The assembly also contains storage areas for wafers in progress. The assembly is moved manually on a set of wheels and may be rotated about its axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2001
    Publication date: January 16, 2003
    Inventor: Christopher John Bayne
  • Publication number: 20030002961
    Abstract: A processor for processing articles, such as semiconductor wafers, 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. An article extraction mechanism adapted to seal with the pod removes articles from the pod without exposing the articles to ambient atmospheric conditions in the interface section. The article processor also preferably includes an article insertion mechanism adapted to seal with a pod in the interface section. The article insertion mechanism allows insertion of the articles into the pod after processing by at least one processing station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2002
    Publication date: January 2, 2003
    Applicant: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffry A. Davis, Kert L. Dolechek, Gary L. Curtis
  • Publication number: 20020182040
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus comprises a processing section for performing processing for a substrate, a substrate carrier transfer section into/out of which a substrate carrier holding a plurality of substrates is carried, and a substrate transfer mechanism for taking an unprocessed substrate out of the substrate carrier carried into the substrate carrier transfer section to deliver it to the processing section and for receiving a processed substrate from the processing section to deliver it into the substrate carrier placed on the substrate carrier transfer section. The substrate carrier transfer section shifts the position of the substrate carrier between a first position at which the substrate carrier is carried to/from the outside and a second position at which the substrate in the substrate carrier is delivered to/from the substrate transfer mechanism.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2002
    Publication date: December 5, 2002
    Inventors: Yoshio Kimura, Issei Ueda, Mitiaki Matsushita, Kazuhiko Ito
  • Publication number: 20020164235
    Abstract: A device for transporting cartridges comprises a housing for holding a plurality of cartridges in a temperature controlled environment. A transport system is also provided and has a grasping mechanism for grasping one of the cartridges. The transport system is further used to remove the cartridge from the housing and to place the cartridge into a scanner.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2002
    Publication date: November 7, 2002
    Applicant: Affymetrix, Inc., a California corporation
    Inventors: Michael C. Norris, Peter Lobban, Donald Besemer, Andrew B. Carlson
  • Publication number: 20020164232
    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: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2002
    Publication date: November 7, 2002
    Applicant: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffry A. Davis, Kert L. Dolechek, Gary L. Curtis
  • Patent number: 6468353
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for substrate handling. In a first aspect, a temperature adjustment plate is located below a substrate carriage and is configured such that a substrate may be transferred between the temperature adjustment plate and the substrate carriage by lifting and lowering the substrate carriage above and below the top surface of the temperature adjustment plate. The temperature adjustment plate may be configured to heat and/or cool a substrate positioned thereon. In a second aspect, the substrate carriage is magnetically coupled so as to rotate and/or lift and lower magnetically, thereby reducing particle generation via contact between moving parts (and potential chamber contamination therefrom). In a third aspect, a substrate handler positioned below the substrate carriage is both magnetically coupled and magnetically levitated, providing further particle reduction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Ilya Perlov, Alexey Goder, Eugene Gantvarg, Howard E. Grunes
  • Patent number: 6447232
    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: December 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2002
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffry A. Davis, Kert L. Dolechek, Gary L. Curtis
  • Patent number: 6439822
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus comprises a processing section for performing processing for a substrate, a substrate carrier transfer section into/out of which a substrate carrier holding a plurality of substrates is carried, and a substrate transfer mechanism for taking an unprocessed substrate out of the substrate carrier carried into the substrate carrier transfer section to deliver it to the processing section and for receiving a processed substrate from the processing section to deliver it into the substrate carrier placed on the substrate carrier transfer section. The substrate carrier transfer section shifts the position of the substrate carrier between a first position at which the substrate carrier is carried to/from the outside and a second position at which the substrate in the substrate carrier is delivered to/from the substrate transfer mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Yoshio Kimura, Issei Ueda, Mitiaki Matsushita, Kazuhiko Ito
  • Publication number: 20020106271
    Abstract: The invention relates to a process and a device for the on-line storage of sets (2) of flat products (1) such as, in particular, disposable liners or sanitary napkins, in which said products (1) are transported between one or more input stations (3) and one or more output stations (4) and in which:
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2002
    Publication date: August 8, 2002
    Applicant: Societe Industrielle D'Etudes et de Realisations Electriques et
    Inventor: Maurice Remericq
  • Patent number: 6357985
    Abstract: A system for the automatic loading and/or unloading of products comprises a store (13, 19) with shelves inclined and provided with a mobile transversal blocking means (9, 12), and at least one traveling lift (3) provided with mobile bearing tops (4), also inclined and provided with at least one mobile transversal blocking means (9, 12). Said inclined shelves and bearing tops (4) are provided with transversal, parallel, idle and inclined rollers (5) whereon a product or a product container (1) can slide by gravity when the blocking means is lowered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Inventors: Lanfranco Anzani, Onorio Anzani
  • Patent number: 6341931
    Abstract: The material handling system includes a frame supporting a horizontally extending axle. A rotatable superstructure is rotatably mounted to the axle. The rotatable superstructure is generally circular and includes a plurality of spaced apart horizontal support rod members which are generally parallel to the axle and are arranged about the outer circumference of the rotating superstructure. Engagement clips attached to each of the support rod members are sized and configured so as to grasp the rims of metal storage barrels. The clips extend from points near the central portions of the rods to out past the ends of the barrels. The weight of the barrels forces the clips into snug engagement with the barrel rims. Thus, the barrels are held on a rotating wheel-like structure which may be motor driven to cause the frame to rotate about the horizontal axle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Inventor: Byron Bates
  • Patent number: 6321138
    Abstract: A basket storage and retrieval apparatus and method has spaced parallel rows of storage racks with multiple horizontal tiers having aisles between the storage racks. Guides are connected to the aisle and a stacker retriever is connected to the guides. The stacker retriever has at least one vertical member. A carriage is mounted on the vertical member for moving up and down the vertical member and for aligning with storage rack tiers on opposite sides of the aisle. Carriers are mounted on the carriage for moving into horizontal tiers and for lowering baskets within the tiers for resting on the tiers and raising baskets from the tiers for moving the raised baskets toward the carriage. A robotic input lane extends through the storage racks. A robotic output lane extends through the storage racks. An input transfer conveyor is connected to the robotic input lane and an output transfer conveyor is connected to the robotic output lane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: Woodson Incorporated
    Inventors: Mark F. Livesay, J. Thomas Woodson, III
  • Publication number: 20010014270
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for collating a plurality of groups of mail items, such as flats mail, each group being pre-sequenced according to prioritized delivery addresses, into a final sequenced set of the mail items from the groups, utilizing the prioritized delivery addresses. Each bundle of mail items is formed into a single input stream of the individual mail items. The mail items are transported along a conveyor system from the input stream to a staging tower assembly. The mail items are sorted at the staging tower assembly into a plurality of subsets of mail items re-sequenced as an intermediate step to achieving the final sequenced sets. The mail items are then collated and merged into a single output stream from the respective subsets of mail items in the final sequenced set. Portions of the output stream from the staging tower assembly are collected in batches which maintain the sequence consistent with the prioritized delivery order sequence of the mail for a given carrier route.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2001
    Publication date: August 16, 2001
    Applicant: Northrop Grumman corporation
    Inventors: David Brian Hendrickson, Daryl Mileaf, William P. McConnell, David Jcrome Tilles