With Container Opening Means Patents (Class 414/411)
  • Patent number: 10384901
    Abstract: A splicing device includes a first detection section which detects whether or not the component storage section protrudes downward from the conveyance reference surface; a second detection section which detects the component storage section of the paper tape; a discrimination section which determines whether a tape inserted into the splicing device is the embossed tape or the paper tape based on a detection signal of the first detection section; a first calculating section which calculates a pitch of the component storage section of the embossed tape by using the first detection section in a case where the embossed tape is determined; and a second calculating section which calculates a pitch of the component storage section of the paper tape by using the second detection section in a case where the paper tape is determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: FUJI CORPORATION
    Inventor: Xiao Dong Chi
  • Patent number: 10225969
    Abstract: An electronic component supply apparatus transports a component supply tape having accommodation sections in which electronic components are accommodated and that supplies each of the electronic components accommodated in each of the accommodation sections to a component mounting apparatus. The electronic component supply apparatus includes a component depletion determining unit that determines that the electronic components are depleted in the component supply tape when a determination result of a component presence/absence determining unit is “absence” or determination results of the component presence/absence determining unit are “absence” a plurality of consecutive times; and a tape discharge processing unit that causes a component supply tape transport unit to transport the depleted component supply tape to a discharge port after a final component is picked up at a component picking-up position after the component depletion determining unit determines component depletion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Masashi Matsumori, Takashi Nakamura
  • Patent number: 10144585
    Abstract: The disclosure describes a novel collection bin for a waste collection vehicle. The collection bin includes an automated cover system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: The Curotto-Can, LLC
    Inventor: John Domenic Curotto
  • Patent number: 10065821
    Abstract: Provided are an accommodating device that performs appropriate processing in order to discard an empty paper pack remaining in the accommodating device and an image forming apparatus including the accommodating device. The accommodating device includes an accommodating unit, a processing unit, and a discarding unit. The accommodating unit accommodates a paper pack including a bundle of stacked sheets of printer paper wrapped with wrapping paper in such a manner that the printer paper is freely taken out. The processing unit flatly crushes and conveys an empty paper pack from which all of the sheets of the printer paper have been taken out and in which only the wrapping paper has remained. The discarding unit stores a flatly crashed empty paper pack conveyed from the processing unit in order to discard them.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Assignee: KONICA MINOLTA, INC.
    Inventors: Hiroaki Takada, Naoki Watanabe, Daisuke Kawate
  • Patent number: 9983487
    Abstract: Provided is a method and apparatus for moving and exchanging reticles within a vacuum lithographic system with minimum particle generation and outgassing. In an example of the method, a first arm of a rotational exchange device (RED) receives a first baseplate holding a first reticle. A second arm of the RED supports and buffers a second baseplate. The first and second baseplates are located substantially equidistant from an axis of rotation of the RED.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignees: ASML Holding N.V, ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Robert Gabriël Maria Lansbergen, George Hilary Harrold, Richard John Johnson, Hugo Jacobus Gerardus Van Der Weijden
  • Patent number: 9939200
    Abstract: A substrate transfer system includes a substrate transfer part capable of transferring a substrate while holding the substrate, an elevating mechanism including a support axis extending in an upper-lower direction and being capable of moving the substrate transfer part along the support axis within a predetermined range, a first exhaust port located at a position selected from at least one of on the supporting axis and near the supporting axis above an upper limit of the predetermined range, a second exhaust port located at a position selected from at least one of on the supporting axis and near the supporting axis below a lower limit of the predetermined range, and an exhaust part connected such that exhaust is available through the first exhaust port and the second exhaust port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2018
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Koyu Hasegawa, Kyoko Ikeda
  • Patent number: 9802757
    Abstract: The disclosure describes a novel collection bin for a waste collection vehicle. The collection bin includes an automated cover system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: THE CUROTTO-CAN, LLC
    Inventor: John Domenic Curotto
  • Patent number: 9802724
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for processing open-mouth bags comprising a handling device for exchanging open-mouth bags with a rotary packaging machine. The handling device comprises a rotating device that circulates around a rotation axis of the handling device and is provided with two gripping arms for gripping the open-mouth bags. The two gripping arms are disposed for separate, longitudinal movement transverse to the rotation axis of the rotating device to enable longitudinal movement of the gripping arms relative to the rotating device in addition to the circulating motion around the handling device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: HAVER & BOECKER OHG
    Inventor: Willi Vollenkemper
  • Patent number: 9801319
    Abstract: A second tape conveying mechanism 20B includes a sprocket 21B allowed to rotate freely only in a first rotating direction corresponding to a tape conveying direction, and a first urging member 30 which urges and causes a carrier tape 14 to engage the sprocket 21B. When a preceding tape 14(1) engages the sprocket 21B and a subsequent tape 14(2) is inserted, the second tape conveying mechanism 20B abuts against a leading end of the subsequent tape 14(2) to prohibit entry of the subsequent tape 14(2). After the preceding tape 14(2) passes a tape stopper 35a, a position of the second tape conveying mechanism 20B is changed from a tape entry prohibition position to a tape entry permission position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Minoru Kitani, Shigeru Matsukawa, Kazunori Kanai, Tatsuo Yamamura
  • Patent number: 9751648
    Abstract: An embossing device comprises a first embossing roller and a second embossing roller forming a passage for a web of wrapping material to be embossed, which has a main line of extension and a direction of feed; the first embossing roller comprises on its outer surface toothings to make an imprint on the web; a first toothing having a first impression to imprint on said web a first segment of a reference for identifying a section of the web and a second toothing to imprint a decorative pattern on the web; the second toothing comprises a zone without teeth for defining on the web a second, unembossed segment of the reference; the first toothing and the zone without teeth are offset from each other along a directrix of the first roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: G.D. S.P.A.
    Inventors: Roberto Polloni, Marco Ghini, Stefano Negrini
  • Patent number: 9663262
    Abstract: A method of, and apparatus for, unwrapping a module of cotton or other fibrous material from a wrapping having at least one layer of plastics-sheet material, the method including the steps of: raising the module to a first, or elevated, position on a lift conveyor or vertically-movable support surface; advancing a plurality of gripper heads, mounted on a support frame, to an advanced position, into gripping engagement with the layer(s) of the sheet material wrapping; lowering the lift conveyor or vertically-movable support surface from the first position towards a second, or lowered, position; and retracting the plurality of gripper heads, to expand the wrapping to progressively release the cotton or other fibrous material from the lower portion to the upper portion of the module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: QUEENSLAND COTTON CORPORATION PTY LTD
    Inventors: Jeff Ballentine, Bobby R. Irons, Steven Ronald Macnellie
  • Patent number: 9611685
    Abstract: A novel method for preventing material contained inside a collection bin from being blown out of the collection bin is provided. The collection bin includes an automated cover system. The automated cover system comprises an actuator system that is actuated in response to movement of a specific item, such as the fork assembly and/or the collection bin. Upon actuation, the actuator system of the automated cover system automatically moves a cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: The Curotto-Can, LLC
    Inventor: John Domenic Curotto
  • Patent number: 9378995
    Abstract: A loadport has a port door and a frame with an opening through which the port door interfaces with a container door of a container for holding semiconductor workpieces. In one embodiment, a movable closure mechanism is connected to the port door and is defined to be movable in a controlled manner relative to both the port door and the frame. In this embodiment, a stationary closure mechanism is disposed on the frame proximate to the opening. In another embodiment, a stationary closure mechanism is connected to the port door, and a movable closure mechanism is disposed on the frame proximate to the opening. In both embodiments, the movable closure mechanism is defined to engage with the stationary closure mechanism such that movement of the movable closure mechanism to engage with the stationary closure mechanism applies a closing force between the port door and the container door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Anthony C. Bonora
  • Patent number: 9033638
    Abstract: A storage system for items such as substrate carriers includes at least one stocker including a plurality of storage areas each adapted to store at least one storage device. At least one movable support is arranged on the at least one stocker. A control controls movement of the at least one movable support at least between a first position wherein the at least one movable support receives the at least one storage device outside one of the storage areas and a second position wherein the at least one movable support is arranged substantially within the one of the storage areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Jeffrey P Gifford, David J. Pinckney, Peter J. Shaffer, Uldis A. Ziemins
  • Publication number: 20150110588
    Abstract: A feeder and a feeder control method, as well as an electronic component device, reliably engaging a supply tape in a loading operation even if there is an accumulated pitch error between sprocket holes. Third, second and first sprockets are arranged successively from an insertion port. The sprocket hole on a forward end portion of the inserted supply tape is fitted with a third tooth of the third sprocket in the loading operation. The supply tape is rotated by rotation of the third sprocket until fitting with a second tooth of the second sprocket, and the rotation of the third sprocket is stopped after the second tooth fits with the sprocket hole on the forward end portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 24, 2014
    Publication date: April 23, 2015
    Applicant: HITACHI HIGH-TECH INSTRUMENTS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Kazuyoshi OHYAMA, Tsutomu YANAGIDA, Yoshinori KANO, Yuuki TOMITA, Yutaka CHIDA
  • Patent number: 8931396
    Abstract: Apparatus for the removal of sediment from sparkling wines, designed to remove the capsule covering the neck of a bottle (18) containing sparkling wine, comprising: a frame (12), a tilting mechanism (14) comprising: a holder (16) for supporting a bottle (18) in a predetermined position, said holder (16) being movable on the frame (12) between a low position, in which the neck is inclined downwards, and a high position in which the neck is inclined upwards, and a capsule removing mechanism (32) provided with at least one capsule removing knife, said capsule removing mechanism (32) being movable on the holder (16) and synchronized with said holder (16) so that the said capsule removing knife or knives remove(s) the capsule, when the holder (16) is in a predetermined angular position relative to the horizontal. The capsule removing knife is movable relative to the capsule removing mechanism (32).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignee: MHCS
    Inventor: Freddy Dugas
  • Publication number: 20150003943
    Abstract: A proppant discharge system has a container with an outlet positioned in a bottom thereof and a gate affixed adjacent the outlet so as to be movable between a first position covering the outlet to a second position opening the outlet, and a support structure having an actuator thereon. The container is removably positioned on the top surface of the support structure. The actuator is engageable with gate so as to move the gate from the first position to the second position. A conveyor underlies the container so as to receive proppant as discharged from the container through the outlet. The container can be a ten foot ISO container.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 13, 2014
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Inventors: John Oren, Joshua Oren
  • Patent number: 8915368
    Abstract: A liquid crystal display (LCD) glass substrate storage tray includes a frame. Each surface of the frame is configured with a plate, the frame and the plates enclose to form a closed box, and the plate on surface of the frame where an opening for the LCD glass substrate to be selected and placed is located forms a box door that is installable or removable from the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Inventor: Rui Fang
  • Patent number: 8905700
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus includes an inspection chamber in which low-temperature inspection of an inspection object is performed; and a transfer chamber including therein a transfer device. The transfer device includes a transfer arm for transferring the inspection object to the inspection chamber; an arm-receiving compartment having a gateway via which the transfer arm is moved into or out of the arm-receiving compartment; and a gas supply means having a first and a second supply part for supplying a low-dew-point gas to the arm-receiving compartment from different locations. Herein, the first supply part is configured to supply the low-dew-point gas toward the inspection object introduced into the arm-receiving compartment by the transfer arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventor: Tadashi Obikane
  • Patent number: 8876173
    Abstract: The substrate storage pod includes an engagement portion in an outer side surface of a lid of the pod, and an insertion slot through which the engagement portion can be accessed from an external space; the insertion slot is formed in a flange portion arranged around the periphery of an opening in the pod and into which the lid can be fitted, and a latch mechanism supported so as to be slidable in a direction parallel to a flange side wall in a pod main body-surface of the flange portion. An engaging portion of the latch mechanism reaches the engagement portion via the insertion slot. The engagement portion is switched between an engaged state and a non-engaged state in response to movement of the latch mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: TDK Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Igarashi, Toshihiko Miyajima, Tsutomu Okabe
  • Patent number: 8870516
    Abstract: A loadport has a port door and a frame with an opening through which the port door interfaces with a container door of a container for holding semiconductor workpieces. In one embodiment, a movable closure mechanism is connected to the port door and is defined to be movable in a controlled manner relative to both the port door and the frame. In this embodiment, a stationary closure mechanism is disposed on the frame proximate to the opening. In another embodiment, a stationary closure mechanism is connected to the port door, and a movable closure mechanism is disposed on the frame proximate to the opening. In both embodiments, the movable closure mechanism is defined to engage with the stationary closure mechanism such that movement of the movable closure mechanism to engage with the stationary closure mechanism applies a closing force between the port door and the container door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Anthony C Bonora
  • Patent number: 8858150
    Abstract: A door detection system includes a robot arm unit and a movable unit. The robot arm unit includes at least one bearing platform and at least one level sensing structure disposed on the at least one bearing platform. The level sensing structure includes a plurality of contact sensors, and the wafer carrier device is disposed on the at least one level sensing structure. The movable unit includes at least one movable structure disposed on the robot arm unit. The wafer carrier device has a wafer pick-and-place opening corresponding to the door, and one end of the at least one movable structure can selectively contact the door of the wafer carrier device or been inserted into the wafer carrier device from the wafer pick-and-place opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Inotera Memories, Inc.
    Inventors: San-Chuan Hsu, Ming-Hsuan Shao, Yan-Jang Lin
  • Patent number: 8834089
    Abstract: A package assembly handling system for handling package assemblies in an automated aliquot and/or dispersal processes is provided. Embodiments of the present invention include, but are not limited to, a package assembly handling system for handling a package assembly comprising first and second portions that cooperate to contain a particulate aliquot, the system including a package assembly handling device configured for applying a force to the package assembly so that the first and second portions at least partially separate, thus releasing at least a portion of the particulate aliquot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel M. Goldman, Michael E. Hartman, James L. Hunter, David L. Johnson, Griffiths J. Tucker
  • Patent number: 8821098
    Abstract: A load port is disclosed which allows a wafer to be transferred between the inside of a FOUP and the inside of a semiconductor fabrication apparatus even during a purge operation. The load port is provided adjacent the semiconductor fabrication apparatus in a clean room and includes a purge stage having a purge port through which a gas atmosphere in the FOUP is replaced into nitrogen gas or dry air, an opener stage provided in a juxtaposed relationship with the purge stage and having an opening communicating with the inside of the semiconductor fabrication apparatus and a door section capable of opening and closing the opening, and a moving mechanism for moving the FOUP between the purge stage and the opener stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Sinfonia Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mitsuo Natsume, Shin Kawahisa, Takumi Mizokawa
  • Patent number: 8764934
    Abstract: A container or array of containers that is are sealed with a peelable seal is transported via a conveyor along a processing path toward a desealing station at which an adhesive surface having a width substantially the same as or greater than the width of the seal is pressed against the upper surface of the peelable seal. A collection rod applies a downward pressure on the adhesive surface, pressing it against the seal and keeping the container or container array in position on the conveyor as the plate moves with the conveyor. As the leading edge of the seal passes the collection rod, the adhesive surface is rolled upward, away from the plane of the seal, pulling up on the leading edge of the seal to separate it from the container or container array while the container or container array is held down by the roller. The removed seal is then discarded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, Roger Howard
  • Patent number: 8714110
    Abstract: The present invention concerns a system for the disassembly, handling and reassembly of animal containment cages for use in a lab animal room, comprising automated means for handling and moving the cages (2, 3), at least one disassembly station (60) where said cages are placed during their disassembly, and a control unit that governs said automated means (2, 3) as a function of the parameters identified by suitable detection sensors (62, 63, 64) located at said disassembly station. The present invention also concerns the method implemented by said system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: IWT S.R.L.
    Inventors: Luciano Savoia, Roberto Tosi
  • Patent number: 8702371
    Abstract: A method for handling package assemblies in an automated aliquot and/or dispersal processes is provided. Embodiments of the present invention include, but are not limited to, a method of handling a package assembly containing a particulate aliquot (such as a selected type of agricultural seed) that includes first and second portions which cooperate to contain the aliquot, the method including receiving the package assembly in a package assembly handling device, and applying a force to the package assembly using the package assembly handling device so that the first and second portions at least partially separate in response to the force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Pioneer Hi Bred International Inc
    Inventors: Daniel M. Goldman, Michael E. Hartman, James L. Hunter, David L. Johnson, Griffiths J. Tucker
  • Patent number: 8696294
    Abstract: An apparatus for orientating a solid growth culture medium plate from an original orientation to a worked orientation, the plate having a lid and a bottom, the apparatus including an orientation mechanism that includes opposed jaws able to receive and hold a plate therebetween in a held position that defines a notional tube above and below the plate, the orientation mechanism being mounted on a jaw support member such that the jaw support member is rotatable such that at least the plate bottom rotates about a generally horizontal axis that intersects the notional tube to orientate at least the plate bottom from the original orientation to the worked orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: LBT Innovations Limited
    Inventors: Rajiv Gupta, Stephen Lewis Leckenby, Phillip James Duncan, Daniel Patrick Torpy, Colin William Potter
  • Patent number: 8696293
    Abstract: A component transfer device includes a holding mechanism (20) that positions and holds a component on a carrying surface (S) located at a predetermined height and a pull-out unit (40) that pulls out the component held on the carrying surface by the holding mechanism in a horizontal direction. The pull-out unit includes a grasping member (43, 44) that can separably grasp the component from a vertical direction, a cam member (42) that causes the grasping member to perform a component grasping operation and a component releasing operation at predetermined timings by exercising a cam function to the grasping member, a driving mechanism (41, 46, 47) that drives the cam member and the grasping member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Hirata Corporation
    Inventors: Katsuyoshi Tachibana, Soichi Tateno, Toshihito Seki
  • Patent number: 8694161
    Abstract: A collaborative robotized system comprises: a mobile platform furnished with running device, with an electric motor propulsion assembly, and with a longitudinal mechanical linkage assembly comprising an articulation; an electrical power source; manual control device of the system; remote control device of the system; a computer assembly of at least one computer; hardware-incorporating device suitable for integrating sensors and effectors, and software-incorporating device suitable for integrating software elements; and management device for managing integrated sensorimotor behaviors, suitable for arbitrating implementations of several sensorimotor behaviors in parallel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Thierry Deveze, Joël Morillon, Laurent Vasseur
  • Patent number: 8678065
    Abstract: A carrier tape feeder is provided. The carrier tape feeder includes a unit for loading a carrier tape, a picking-up unit where chips are picked up, and a driving unit. The pick-up unit includes a knife portion, a folding-guiding portion, and an inversion-guiding portion. The knife portion separates a cover tape from a base tape in a first adhesive portion. The folding-guiding portion is spaced from one lateral side of the knife portion to induce folding of the cover tape separated by the knife portion in the lengthwise direction in a state in which the cover tape is partially attached to the base tape in a second adhesive portion. The inversion-guiding portion extends in an oblique direction from the knife portion and the folding-guiding portion toward the outside of the carrier tape to induce inversion of the upper and lower surfaces of the cover tape folded in the folding-guiding portion so as to be superimposed on the base tape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: STS Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Young Soo Hwang, Yong Sung Kim, Su Hong Park, Hee Jong Kim
  • Patent number: 8657346
    Abstract: The FIMS system is for use with a pod composed of a lid having an engaged portion provided on the outer surface thereof and a pod body having a latch mechanism including an engagement portion that engages the engaged portion as it moves along a predetermined axis to fix the lid to the pod. The FIMS system has a latch mechanism drive means for driving the latch mechanism along a certain axis and an engagement portion position sensor that can generate a signal indicating whether the engagement portion is at an engagement position or non-engagement position when the latch mechanism drive means drives the latch mechanism. The latch mechanism drive means and the engagement portion position sensor are provided in the vicinity of a first opening portion of the FIMS system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: TDK Corporation
    Inventors: Tsutomu Okabe, Toshihiko Miyajima, Hiroshi Igarashi
  • Patent number: 8655488
    Abstract: A position control method for controlling a position of a movable portion, includes: performing control of allowing the movable portion to approach a predetermined position by moving the movable portion; and performing control of moving the movable portion to the predetermined position by moving the movable portion and detecting a relative position of the movable portion with respect to the predetermined position by using an imaging unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Izumi Iida
  • Patent number: 8651790
    Abstract: A system and method for the safe storage of items wherein a storage structure is provided having a first section in which storage units are stored in vertically oriented cells with each storage unit being stacked one upon another and wherein at least one transfer vehicle is provided for selectively engaging and conveying the storage units along an overhead grid track system between the first section and a second section wherein the at least one transfer vehicle may be used to either lift or lower a storage unit and move the storage unit to and from a storage position in one of the vertical storage cells of the first section of the storage structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Inventors: Charles E. Benedict, Brian G. Pfeifer, Christian A. Yates, Scott K. Bladen, Richard E. Lackinger, James R. Dobbs
  • Patent number: 8628289
    Abstract: A system and method for optimizing the storage capacity of an automated material handling and storage system wherein rows of vertical columns of storage bins are spaced in opposing relationship with one another such that at least one elevator is vertically movable in engagement with the opposing columns of storage bins so that pallets, support platforms or containers may be transferred to or from the elevator to bins of the opposing rows and wherein the elevator may be selectively elevated by overhead carriers that are movable along an intersecting grid track system that is disposed above the storage bins. In one embodiment, the at least one elevator may be independently vertically movable between the opposing column of storage bins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Inventors: Charles E. Benedict, Brian G. Pfeifer, Christian A. Yates, Scott K. Bladen, Richard E. Lackinger, James R. Dobbs
  • Patent number: 8628288
    Abstract: In accordance with one aspect of the exemplary embodiments, a substrate transport apparatus is provided comprising a drive mechanism, a movable arm assembly connected to the drive mechanism, an end effector connected to the arm assembly. A chuck for holding a substrate is mounted on the end effector and having a movable edge gripper with a contact surface and an edge of the substrate may be gripped by actuating the movable edge gripper to engage the substrate with the contact surface. The apparatus further comprising a motion sensor for providing a signal to actuate the movable edge gripper to close and open the moveable edge gripper for capturing and releasing the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Duhamel, Richard J. Pickreign
  • Patent number: 8591163
    Abstract: To ensure that an abnormality in a closed state of a FOUP door serving as a lid of a FOUP can be detected quickly and reliably, a FOUP opener includes a port door attached detachably to an opening window in a port plate for separating the interior and exterior of a semiconductor processing device, and a dock unit for positioning the FOUP in a FOUP door attachment/detachment position. A suction disc mechanism and a lock mechanism for fixing the FOUP door to a FOUP main body and releasing the FOUP door are disposed on the port door. A FOUP door detection sensor for determining whether or not the FOUP door fixed to the FOUP main body, which is positioned in the FOUP door attachment/detachment position on the dock unit, is attached correctly to an opening portion of the FOUP main body is disposed on the port plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Hirata Corporation
    Inventors: Noriyoshi Toyoda, Hirofumi Nakamura
  • Patent number: 8585341
    Abstract: A proppant discharge system has a container with an outlet formed at a bottom thereof and a gate slidably affixed at the outlet so as to be movable between a first position covering the outlet to a second position opening the outlet, and a support structure having an actuator thereon. The container is removably positioned on the top surface of the support structure. The actuator is engageable with gate so as to move the gate from the first position to the second position. A conveyor underlies the container so as to receive proppant as discharged from the container through the outlet. The container is a ten foot ISO container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Inventors: John Oren, Joshua Oren
  • Patent number: 8549824
    Abstract: A capsule-treatment machine is arranged for separating a packaging of a capsule, in particular made of metal such as aluminum or plastic, from a capsule food or beverage ingredient contained therein. The machine includes a mechanism for opening the capsule packaging that is fed to the machine and for removing the capsule ingredient from the opened capsule packaging; a parting mechanism for parting the opened capsule packaging from the capsule ingredient; a collector for collecting the opened capsule packaging; and means a collector for collecting the capsule ingredient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Nestec S.A.
    Inventors: Christophe S. Boussemart, Maxime Loretan, Alexandre Perentes
  • Patent number: 8540473
    Abstract: A load port including a frame having an opening, a vessel receiving table that receives the wafer vessel, a door removably attached to the opening, a door opening and closing mechanism that opens and closes the door, and a closing mechanism that exerts force on the door when the door opening and closing mechanism closes the door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2013
    Assignee: Sinfonia Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Fuminori Asa, Yasushi Taniyama
  • Patent number: 8528947
    Abstract: In a pod used in an FIMS system, diffusion of dust particles or the like adhering on the lid of the pod to the interior of the system is reduced. An engaged portion is provided inside the outer surface of the lid of the pod, and a flange portion provided around a pod opening to which the lid can be fitted is provided with an insertion hole that allows access to the engaged portion from the exterior space. A latch mechanism is supported on the pod body side surface of the flange portion in such a way that the latch mechanism can slide along a direction parallel to the side wall of the flange. An engagement portion of the latch mechanism reaches the engaged portion through the insertion hole, and the state of the latch mechanism changes between an engaged state and a disengaged state with movement of the latch mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: TDK Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Igarashi, Toshihiko Miyajima, Tsutomu Okabe
  • Patent number: 8485771
    Abstract: In a load port apparatus, a door driving mechanism that supports a door through a communication opening portion leading to a mini-environment is housed in a housing chamber that is in communication with the mini-environment through the communication opening portion. Exhaust opening portions are provided in the upper portion of a wall of the housing chamber that is opposed to the communication opening portion and a bottom wall of the housing chamber. Thus, gas passages from the mini-environment to the housing chamber and then to the external space are formed. Thus, dust in the load port apparatus is removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: TDK Corporation
    Inventors: Mutsuo Sasaki, Hitoshi Suzuki, Koichiro Oikawa
  • Patent number: 8454293
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus having a station for loading and unloading substrates from the apparatus, includes an aperture closure for sealing a loading and unloading aperture of the station, a fluidic magazine door drive for removing a door of a substrate magazine and thus opening the substrate magazine and for operating the aperture closure to open the aperture, and sensor for mapping vertical locations of substrates mounted to the magazine door of the drive. The fluidic magazine door drive may include an encoder different from the sensor, the encoder being configured for determining the vertical location of the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Ulysses Gilchrist, David R. Beaulieu, Peter F. Van der Meulen
  • Patent number: 8452449
    Abstract: A position control method for controlling a position of a movable portion, includes: performing control of allowing the movable portion to approach a predetermined position by moving the movable portion; and performing control of moving the movable portion to the predetermined position by moving the movable portion and detecting a relative position of the movable portion with respect to the predetermined position by using an imaging unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Izumi Iida
  • Patent number: 8442659
    Abstract: A rotary actuator position sensor comprises a target with a target surface coupled to a rotatable shaft and a sensor positioned to face the target surface. The target surface is configured to vary the distance between the target surface and the position sensor as the shaft is shifted from one rotational position to another. The sensor provides an analog output signal that corresponds to distance to the target and therefore to the rotational position of the shaft. A controller processes a signal corresponding to the sensor output signal to determine the rotational position. The controller can control the rotation of the shaft from one rotational position to another. The position sensor can be used in a wafer processing system with the controller also controlling movement of a wafer cassette holder into and out of wet tanks and between tanks. The controller can also control an optional agitator and front to back and back to front movement of the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: MEI, LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey M. Wagner, Daniel L. Schloesser
  • Patent number: 8418733
    Abstract: A pod opener is an apparatus for purging the inside of a reticle pod having a pod cover and an openable bottom lid by supplying and discharging a clean gas to and from the inside of the reticle pod. The pod opener includes a stage, an elevator driving mechanism, a latch mechanism, and a supplying-discharging section. The stage can attach and remove the bottom lid to and from the pod cover. The elevator driving mechanism can move the stage. The latch mechanism serves to move a latch member that locks the bottom lid to the pod cover such that it cannot be detached and to release the locked state of the bottom lid. The supplying-discharging section starts purging before the latch member has completed an operation of locking the bottom lid to the pod cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventors: Nobuhide Shikata, Takanori Izumi
  • Patent number: 8423173
    Abstract: A load port apparatus is disclosed wherein the total period of time of operation of a lid member mounting and dismounting apparatus and a mapping apparatus is minimized while avoiding interference of the two apparatus with each other. An interference avoiding sensor apparatus is provided on the lid member mounting and dismounting apparatus and the mapping apparatus and detects that a lid member suction plate of the lid member mounting and dismounting apparatus is disposed at a position lower by a value exceeding a preset value than the arm to which the mapping sensors are attached to enable pivotal motion of the arm without interfering with the lid member suction plate. Then, immediately after the preset value is detected by the interference avoiding sensor apparatus, the arm is pivoted to the mapping position to start the mapping.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: Sinfonia Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kensuke Suzuki, Fuminori Asa, Yuuki Taira
  • Patent number: 8414242
    Abstract: A processing apparatus including: a carry-in area into which a container containing substrates to be processed is carried, the container having a flange part on an upper part thereof and an opening in a front surface thereof, with a lid being detachably fixed to the opening; a transfer area whose atmosphere is maintained differently from an atmosphere of the carry-in area; a partition wall separating the carry-in area and transfer area; a through-hole formed in the partition wall; a door configured to open and close the through-hole; and a table on which the container can be placed in the carry-in area. After the container has been placed and then held on the table, the container is brought into contact with the through-hole, the door and the lid are opened, and the substrates to be processed in the container are conveyed to the transfer area so as to process the substrates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventor: Katsuyuki Hishiya
  • Patent number: 8413693
    Abstract: A curtain nozzle is located above an opening portion in a FIMS. A gas curtain formed of inert gas for closing the opening portion is formed. A cover is so provided as to cover a part of the curtain nozzle so as to prevent peripheral gas around an opening of the curtain nozzle from being involved in the gas curtain of the inert gas emitted from the curtain nozzle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: TDK Corporation
    Inventor: Tsutomu Okabe
  • Patent number: 8408860
    Abstract: An apparatus for orientating a solid growth culture medium plate from an original orientation to a worked orientation, the plate having a lid and a bottom, the apparatus including an orientation mechanism that includes opposed jaws able to receive and hold a plate therebetween in a held position that defines a notional tube above and below the plate, the orientation mechanism being mounted on a jaw support member such that the jaw support member is rotatable such that at least the plate bottom rotates about a generally horizontal axis that intersects the notional tube to orientate at least the plate bottom from the original orientation to the worked orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: Labtech Systems Limited
    Inventors: Rajiv Gupta, Stephen Lewis Leckenby, Phillip James Duncan, Daniel Patrick Torpy, Colin William Potter