Includes Suction-type Article Gripping Means Patents (Class 414/793)
  • Patent number: 10625332
    Abstract: A handling apparatus including a support plane configured to support a plurality of metal products with an oblong development, and handling devices configured to pick up a metal product from a pick-up zone of the support plane and to deliver it to a delivery zone. Movement devices are associated with the support plane configured to distribute the metal products on the support plane and to move them toward the pick-up zone. The handling devices comprise a plurality of transfer arms provided with magnetic holding elements in order to magnetically hold one of the metal products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Inventor: Giorgio Del Fabro
  • Publication number: 20150044010
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method for separating and stacking slices of food, in particular slices of cheese (2). In said method, a plurality of slices of food (2) is continuously conveyed by a feeding belt conveyor (3) such that the slices of food adjoin each other in rows. A rotating transfer roll (5) picks up the slices of food (2) from the feeding belt conveyor (3) and places same on top of each other in a stacking zone (4), the transfer roll (5) jointly accommodating a row of slices of food by means of a corresponding plurality of holding units (6). During rotation of the transfer roll, the individual slices of food (2) are separated from each other as a result of a relative movement of the holding units in the axial direction, and the separated individual slices (2) detach from the holding units (6) and are stacked on top of each other in the stacking zone (4).
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2013
    Publication date: February 12, 2015
    Applicant: Hochland SE
    Inventors: Andreas Biggel, Tobias Schellheimer
  • Patent number: 8951003
    Abstract: A device for stacking veneer sheets (1, 2) while substantially horizontal, the device including a supporting element, that escapes in the advancement direction at a release area from beneath the veneer (2) to be stacked, the supporting element being moved by a conveyor (7), and a controlled element for stopping the veneer to be stacked in a corrected position at a release point. An element for stopping the veneer to be stacked is a gripper (10) that grips the trailing edge of the veneer (2) from below and moves up and down, in the advancement direction of the veneer, and transversely to it, the gripper having a gripping point to the veneer at the trailing edge in the veneer's advancement direction, extended at a distance in the advancement direction from the gripper's transverse travel path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2015
    Assignee: Raute Oyj
    Inventor: Reijo Salovaara
  • Publication number: 20150037130
    Abstract: Device (10) for forming packs of bags (P) for moving from a first area (S1), where an already produced bag (P) is arranged, to a second area (S2) for collecting the bags in packs, comprising at least one rotor (14) carrying a pair of supports (17) for the bag (P) and suction means to fix the bag (P) to the support while the rotor (14) rotates. The device advantageously comprises means (18) designed to maintain said support (17) in a position parallel to itself during the movement between the first area (S1) and the second area (S2).
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 14, 2011
    Publication date: February 5, 2015
    Inventor: Gianfranco Galimberti
  • Publication number: 20130164111
    Abstract: A device for stacking veneer sheets (1, 2) while substantially horizontal, the device including a supporting element, that escapes in the advancement direction at a release area from beneath the veneer (2) to be stacked, the supporting element being moved by a conveyor (7), and a controlled element for stopping the veneer to be stacked in a corrected position at a release point. An element for stopping the veneer to be stacked is a gripper (10) that grips the trailing edge of the veneer (2) from below and moves up and down, in the advancement direction of the veneer, and transversely to it, the gripper having a gripping point to the veneer at the trailing edge in the veneer's advancement direction, extended at a distance in the advancement direction from the gripper's transverse travel path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2012
    Publication date: June 27, 2013
    Applicant: RAUTE OYJ
    Inventor: RAUTE OYJ
  • Patent number: 8152160
    Abstract: A tier sheet dispensing apparatus for a conveyor system stores a stack of tier sheets and sequentially dispenses the tier sheets, one at a time, onto the top of a two-dimensionally arrayed layer of objects that is being conveyed on a conveyor system. The tier sheet dispensing apparatus has a curved surface that supports the stack of tier sheets. The curved surface bends the stack of tier sheets in a convex curve that facilitates the removal of a single sheet from the top of the stack. The apparatus also has a lift mechanism that moves vertically over the stack of tier sheets to selectively attach to the top tier sheet in the stack and raise the top tier sheet from the stack. The lift mechanism also moves transversely relative to the stack of tier sheets to position the attached tier sheet over the conveyor for placement of the tier sheet on the layer of objects conveyed by the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: Ouellette Machinery Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Ouellette, Richard J. Ouellette
  • Publication number: 20120045309
    Abstract: An apparatus for handling layers of palletized goods is disclosed including a lift head with a substantially horizontal suction face sized for a pallet including downwardly open suction chambers, which via individual valves are connected to a vacuum source, incorporated in the lift head or provided externally. The suction face is movable against a top side of an upper layer of goods on a pallet. The valves are closed if the associated suction chamber is not closed downwardly by contacting the top side of the goods on the uppermost pallet layer. The lift head along the outer sides of the suction face includes a vertically adjustable skirt with inflatable squeezing pads for exerting an inwardly directed pressure on the outer sides of at least the goods in the upper pallet layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 25, 2010
    Publication date: February 23, 2012
    Applicant: Univeyor A/S
    Inventors: Torben Christensen, Henrik Kjeldgaard Hansen
  • Patent number: 7637711
    Abstract: A system for moving envelopes including a stacking system for creating or placing stack of envelopes on a support surface. The stack of envelopes has a plurality of gaps with each gap being located between adjacent envelopes of the stack. The system further includes a suction head for applying suction to the stack of envelopes to pull air through the plurality of gaps to aid in lifting the stack of envelopes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Assignee: MeadWestvaco Corporation
    Inventors: Richard E. Wronski, Anatoly P. Kondel, Paul M. Gauthier
  • Patent number: 7596926
    Abstract: For the dispatch-ready packing of, in particular, cigarette packs or cigarette bundle packs (12), a device is provided, in which the box packer (14) and the palleting station (29) are combined, in order to introduce the bundle packs (12) into boxes (10) and to deposit the latter on pallets (11). The structurally combined units form an overall device which can be operated jointly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2009
    Assignee: Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co. KG)
    Inventors: Josef Schulte, Andreas Prahm, Horst Guss
  • Patent number: 7559737
    Abstract: A new type of pallet stacking assembly line. Two pick-and-place robots are used. The first robot has a relatively low position. The second robot is in an elevated position. A pallet dispenser dispenses a first pallet onto a pallet conveyor. The pallet conveyor then moves the first pallet to a first build position in front of the first robot. The first robot then begins picking products from a first pick position and stacking them on the first pallet. Once the products on the first pallet reach approximately half the finished height, the pallet conveyor carries the first pallet over to a second build position in front of the second robot. At the same time, the pallet dispenser dispenses a second pallet which is carried to the first build position. The second robot picks products from a second pick position and places them on the upper portion of the first pallet in order to complete the stack. Meanwhile, the first robot is picking and placing products on the lower portion of the second pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: Sentry Equipment Erectors Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher A. Ray, David N. Cooley, Gary D. Hunt, J. Michael Connor, Gert B. Gast, Donald Peter Welch, Mark T. Brogan, John P. Choufani, Kevin F. Keyes
  • Publication number: 20080310948
    Abstract: A material moving device is beneficial for manufacturing. The material moving device has a tower assembly, a vertical trolley assembly adapted to travel up and down the tower assembly, a horizontal trolley assembly adapted to travel back and forth along the vertical trolley assembly, and a material pickup assembly connected to the horizontal trolley assembly. The trolleys are adapted to move the material pickup assembly relative to the tower assembly to thereby move materials for manufacturing on to and off of a work surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2007
    Publication date: December 18, 2008
  • Publication number: 20080305398
    Abstract: A stacked nonaqueous electrolyte battery, a method of manufacturing the battery, and a stacking apparatus for the battery are provided. The stacked nonaqueous electrolyte battery includes a plurality of electrode bodies alternately stacked, each of the electrode bodies including an anode and a cathode laminated through a separator. The separator has a raised edge portion leading along an edge portion of one of the anode and the cathode, and the raised edge portions of the plurality of the separators overlap one another.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 18, 2008
    Publication date: December 11, 2008
    Applicant: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Takashi Komiya
  • Publication number: 20080138187
    Abstract: During operation of a blister in a blister packaging machine, the blister is grasped by a relocating device at a supply position and disposed at a deposition location of a continuous conveying device which is driven in cycles, wherein several blisters are stacked at the deposition location during one cycle of the conveying device to form a stack. The individual blisters of the stack are associated with different motions of the relocating device. The relocating device comprises a main arm which can be pivoted about a first pivot axis using a first drive device, and a side arm disposed on the main arm, which can be pivoted relative to the main arm about a second pivot axis using a second drive device, and which carries a receiving device for receiving the blister.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 1, 2005
    Publication date: June 12, 2008
    Inventor: Richard Christ
  • Publication number: 20080101911
    Abstract: An automatic pallet stacking machine for loading bags of ice cubes onto a pallet has a first infeed conveyor with a pick and turn device for orienting the bags, and a collating conveyor adjacent a pallet holder or pallet elevator where the bags are accumulated until a row of bags is formed. Then a gantry picks up the bags and places transports the row to the pallet. The pick and turn device and the gantry employ vacuum heads that have closed cell foam side walls to accommodate the lumpy and shifting nature of the bag contents. A programmable controller ensures that the bags rows are formed in appropriate patterns so that the bags in each tier interlock with the bags in the tier beneath.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2006
    Publication date: May 1, 2008
    Inventor: Richard Hulchanski
  • Patent number: 7329083
    Abstract: A loader picks up a workpiece from a container, and delivers it to a workstation downstream. An unloader receives the workpiece from the workstation upstream and puts it into a container. In the loader and the unloader respectively, a first stacker and a second stacker, for holding containers in stacked manner, are placed in parallel along direction Y. A table working as a container moving mechanism moves an extracted container along direction Y. A first container transfer mechanism extracts a container from the containers stacked in the first stacker and delivers it to the container moving mechanism. A second container transfer mechanism receives the container from the moving mechanism, and stacks it in the second stacker. A transfer-head working as a workpiece transfer mechanism picks up the workpiece from the container on the table, moves it along direction X, and delivers it to the workstation downstream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2008
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Shinichi Nakazato, Noriyuki Kawanishi, Shigetoshi Koga
  • Patent number: 7267522
    Abstract: One embodiment of the invention is a method for placing circuit boards in a receiving container, comprising the following steps: a) gripping and lifting a circuit board with a first grappling device, b) moving the first grappling device and the receiving container relative to each other, such that the receiving container is located below the first grappling device, c) the first grappling device lowers the circuit board into the receiving container, d) gripping and lifting a partition layer from a dispenser with a second grappling device, e) reversion to step b), such that the receiving container is accessible from above and is below the second grappling device, f) the partition layer is placed in the receiving container on top of the previously placed circuit board and g) start the process at a).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2007
    Assignee: Gebr. Schmid GmbH & Co.
    Inventor: Heinz Kappler
  • Patent number: 7131361
    Abstract: The present invention provides a workpiece-transfer device that has functions for both loading and unloading workpieces, without requiring a workpiece-storage device to enable a function for replacing material and product workpieces with each other, and that requires only a simple configuration and low costs. A workpiece-transfer device loads a material workpiece W1 in a workpiece-machining device 1 and unloads a product workpiece W2 from the workpiece-machining device 1. A movement means with a rectangular coordinate system 30 is provided to move a traveling body 27 in a first direction along the direction in which the workpiece-machining device 1 and a workpiece-storage device 2 stand in a line (direction X) as well as in a second horizontal direction orthogonal to the first direction (direction Y). The traveling body 27 includes a gripping means 28 for gripping a material or product workpiece W1 and W2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2006
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Akio Nakajima
  • Patent number: 6976574
    Abstract: In an arrangement for the transfer of plates between a plate conveyor and a holding structure by a transport arm, which is pivotally supported with one end on a support structure and pivotally supports at its other end a plate holder for engaging a plate selectively from the top or the bottom thereof, and wherein the conveyor includes a recess for receiving the plate holder to permit engagement of a plate on the conveyor from the bottom thereof, two linkages are provided for controlling the pivot movement of the plate holder during the transfer of the plates and provided with releasable engagement structures for a selective connection with the plate holder to control the pivoting of the plate holder during plate transfer such that the plate surface opposite the plate holder is disposed adjacent the holding structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2005
    Assignee: J. Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH
    Inventor: Roland Franz
  • Patent number: 6799411
    Abstract: An apparatus for inserting individual piece goods (3) into containers (4) has a first conveyor (1) for feeding the individual piece goods (3), and a second conveyor (2) for feeding the containers (4), and at least one picker unit (5). At least one of the at least one picker units (5) inserts a number x of piece goods (3) from the first conveyor (1) into a container (4), the container (4) holding a number N>x of piece goods (3). The apparatus also has at least one separate transfer unit (U) for transferring the final N−x piece goods (3) into the container (4) holding N piece goods (3), at least one of the at least one picker units (5) transferring the N−x piece goods (3) from the first conveyor (1) into the transfer unit (U).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Assignee: SIG Pack Systems, AG
    Inventors: Markus Gasser, Michael Preuss, Frank-Peter Kirgis
  • Patent number: 6595739
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for stacking slices of food products such as wrapped cheese slices and the like at high speeds. The apparatus comprises a vacuum conveyor for supporting slices from above, and at least one transfer bridge for mechanically peeling the slices sequentially from the conveyor and directing them downward into one or more stacking locations. The transfer bridge preferably comprises a plurality of downwardly sloping surfaces disposed beside the belts. To assist the transfer bridge in separating the slices from the belts, and to control slice position after separation, fluid pressure is applied to the slices during and after separation from the belts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Kraft Foods Holdings, Inc.
    Inventors: Christian LaPlace, Bruno Omann
  • Patent number: 6402455
    Abstract: A palletizer assembly is comprised of a conveyor (14), a pattern-making apparatus (18) for arranging objects received from the conveyor into a pattern, a main hoist (26) for supporting a pallet in position to receive a layer of objects, a sweep apparatus (22) for moving a discrete number of objects from the pattern-making apparatus into a layer of objects on the pallet, and a separator sheet handler assembly (50) for delivering separator sheets to the main hoist for separating layers of objects on the pallet. The separator sheet handler assembly (50) includes a first stage handler (70) including a chute (86), for moving a single separator sheet into the chute. The separator sheet handle assembly (50) also includes a second stage handler (74) for moving the sheet from the chute (86) into position in the main hoist (26).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Arrowhead Systems LLC
    Inventors: Patris E. Vincent, Brian E. Busse
  • Publication number: 20020026258
    Abstract: For testing electrical properties of packaged IC devices, there is provided an apparatus which includes a test board which is located at a testing station and provided with a plural number of contacting sockets for connecting individual IC devices to an IC tester separately and independently of each other, a loader which is located at a loading station and adapted to feed untested IC devices toward the test board, an unloader which is located at an unloading station and adapted to discharge tested IC devices from the test board at the testing station, and a device transfer mechanism which is movable across the testing station to transfer untested IC devices from the loader to the test board and also to transfer tested IC devices from the test board to the unloader. Upon detecting completion of a test on one of IC devices in one socket of the test board, a fresh untested IC device is transferred to the testing station to replace the tested IC device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2001
    Publication date: February 28, 2002
    Applicant: Hitachi Electronics Engineering Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tetsuya Suzuki, Akira Okitsu
  • Patent number: 6264421
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for palletizing packing drums (7) on a load platform (P), especially barrels, kegs or the like in substantially cylindrical or barrel-shaped receptacles, and/or for depalletizing the packing drums. The inventive method provides as high turnover speed as possible for a layer of, for instance, six or eight packing drums (7*) without causing problems related to the inertia of masses and oscillating phenomena limiting turnover speed. This is achieved by vertically lifting each respective layer (7*) of packing drums in relation to a direct or indirect carrier contact surface (A1, A2) to the packing drum layer during transfer to or from a palet (P). The packing drum layer and the pallet are placed separately from each other (palletizing) or together (depalletizing) in a continuously identical receiving and lift movement position (G) by displacing their contact surface on a plane on which the lift movement is vertically performed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Assignee: GEA Till GmbH & Co.
    Inventor: Ulrich Burkert
  • Patent number: 6168370
    Abstract: A counter-stacker (10) for tortillas includes a housing (12), a perforated belt (16) within the housing (12), the perforated belt (16) adapted and arranged to receive incoming tortillas (42) and form vacuum-lifted tortillas (42A). At least one stacker belt (26) is rotatably mounted within the housing (12). A vacuum housing (28) is sealably mounted to the housing (12), the vacuum housing (28) connected to a means of producing vacuum (30). At least one stacker canister (32) is positioned under a rear end of the perforated belt (16). A bottom perforated plate (36A) has a plurality of bottom perforated plate openings (36AA) therethrough positioned within the perforated belt (16). A top perforated plate (36B) is slidably positioned on top of the bottom perforated plate (36A), the top perforated plate (36B) comprising a plurality of complimentary positioned top perforated plate openings (36BA).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2001
    Assignee: ITE, Inc.
    Inventors: Jose L. Longoria, Steven M. Kenison
  • Patent number: 6086063
    Abstract: A sheet stacking apparatus includes laterally spaced, longitudinally arranged conveyors for supporting edge regions of a sheet, the conveyors driven to deliver the sheet horizontally to a stacking area. At the stacking area the conveyors are separated to drop the sheet onto a stack of sheets. During the delivery of the sheet to the stack, the mid-span of the sheet is supported from above to prevent sagging of the sheet. The mid-span is supported by at least one low pressure chamber which extends along the delivery path of the sheet. The low pressure chamber includes a plurality of suction compartments arranged in sequence, each suction compartment including a horizontally disposed air nozzle and an air outlet to create a horizontal "Fanno effect" air stream adjacent a top surface of the sheet to create suction within the low pressure chamber which holds the sheet in sliding contact against a bottom surface of the low pressure chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Inventor: Paul Esenther
  • Patent number: 6086321
    Abstract: A method of handling a robot, comprising a work search step of allowing an arm to approach a stack base at high speed and then at low speed until a work is detected; a step of stopping the arm when the work is detected, storing the position of the work as the work height, and gripping the work; a step of allowing the arm at high speed to approach a deceleration starting position defined by adding a predetermined value to the stored work height when the arm again approaches the stack base, allowing the arm to approach the work to the stored work height at low speed, detecting the work, and allowing the arm to grip the work; and a step of correcting value of the work height when the work is not detected and again allowing the arm to approach the work at low speed. Since the range in which the arm moves at low speed is reduced, the cycle time is shortened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: Toyo Kohan Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshiyuki Takahashi, Atsushi Nakajima, Yukimasa Shiomichi
  • Patent number: 6022187
    Abstract: Stacks of blanks (10) for cigarette packets and other types of application are delivered on pallets (19). The stacks of blanks (10) are arranged in rows (20) and layers (21) on the pallet (19). A depalletizing device (25) is provided to empty the pallet (19), on the articulated arm (28) of which device a pick-up head (29) is arranged for grasping and handling one stack of blanks at a time. The pick-up head (29) is fitted with two holding jaws (30, 31), positioned at a right angle to one another and which grasp the stack of blanks (10) on two adjacent upright surfaces, namely a side surface (11) and an end sumrface (14), and hold them by suction air.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2000
    Assignee: Focke & Co.
    Inventors: Heinz Focke, Harald Freudenberg
  • Patent number: 6016747
    Abstract: A sheet accumulator for advancing successive sheets between first and second color printing presses comprising an accumulator sheet conveyor for advancing sheets from one press to the other press, a sheet lifter at the conveyor to lift a first sheet and thereby enable the sheet conveyor to advance a second sheet beneath the first sheet, and a sheet sensor at the conveyor, operably associated with the sheet lifter to actuate and deactuate the sheet lifter based on the position of the sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Assignee: BecMar Corp.
    Inventors: Gregory M. Beduhn, David G. Sandison
  • Patent number: 6006638
    Abstract: An automated sheet metal blanking apparatus includes a loading table having a conveyor horizontally moveable between a loading position wherein sheet metal pieces are loaded onto the conveyor and a destacking station wherein the conveyor transfers the sheet metal pieces onto the destacking station for subsequent processing. A qualifier receives and positions destacked sheet metal pieces. A steel rule die blanking press receives prepositioned sheet metal pieces from the qualifier. The lower die includes mechanical positioners for final positioning the sheet metal pieces. A feed manipulator including an elongated arm mounts a plurality of controllable vacuum pickups operable for transferring sheet metal pieces between the destacking station, qualifier and blanking press. The feed manipulator is moveable over the destacking station and qualifier and moveable in between the upper and lower dies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Assignee: Kendor Steel Rule Die, Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth Dale Eltringham
  • Patent number: 5765984
    Abstract: In order to load and discharge pieces of sheet metal automatically onto and from a machine tool having a horizontal table movable along a first horizontal axis, a horizontal discharge table and a horizontal loading table are provided in positions in which the tables are side by side and substantially aligned with the horizontal plane of the table of the machine tool. An unprocessed piece of sheet metal to be supplied to the machine tool is placed on the loading table. Initially, the piece-holding table of the machine tool is positioned beside the discharge table. The piece of sheet metal on the piece-holding table is transferred to the discharge table by being slid on the bearing surfaces of the tables in the direction of a second horizontal axis perpendicular to the first axis. The table of the machine tool is then moved to a position in which it is beside the loading table.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1998
    Assignees: Amada Metrecs Company, Limited, Crea S.R.L.
    Inventors: Vergano Stefano, Scavino Mario, Azzinnaro Franco, Francesco Leone
  • Patent number: 5700128
    Abstract: A feed and stacking device for slab-shaped workpieces has a rigid frame which is pivotally mounted on a base stand for movement between a horizontal position and a raised position. A support bar is movable along the length of the frame and carries a plurality of vacuum operated pick-up devices for transferring a workpiece from a stack to a processing device or vice versa.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 23, 1997
    Assignee: Ligmatech Maschinenbau GmbH
    Inventors: Bodo Tonnigs, Dietmar Kaden
  • Patent number: 5697762
    Abstract: A garment stacker for stacking garments in a garment stack. The apparatus includes a stacking tray having a support tray for supporting garments placed thereon in a garment stack and a tray actuator for adjusting the position of the support tray. A rotary stacker is positioned adjacent the stacking tray, wherein the rotary stacker repeatedly moves between a loading and an unloading position to successively stack garments on the stacking tray in a garment stack. A controller directs the tray actuator to position the support tray upwards when the rotary stacker is in the unloading position so as to press the garment stack between the stacking tray and rotary stacker. An unloader moves the garment stack from the stacking tray after a garment stack has been formed thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 16, 1997
    Assignee: Sara Lee Corporation
    Inventors: Ken J. Thompson, John R. Everhart, Wayne G. Foster, Joel C. Rosenquist
  • Patent number: 5665197
    Abstract: A plywood layup system for assembling veneer plies includes a carousel feeder that supplies core veneer plies to an accumulator gate system. The accumulator gate system accumulates one or several plies into a predetermined ply assembly pattern before releasing the accumulated plies. A glue application system is controlled to apply glue to either or both sides of a core veneer ply to allow many different assemblies to be made. The accumulated plies can be dropped aligned with and synchronized with a ply or assembly of plies, to form a complex assembly. The accumulator gate system can be arranged above a conveyor carrying passing plies or partial assemblies from other veneer supplying devices. Two carousels and accumulator gate systems can be arranged in tandem to provide more complex patterns of assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 9, 1997
    Assignee: Kitagawa Seiki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yutaka Fujii, Fuminori Akao, John Omelchuk
  • Patent number: 5636965
    Abstract: A vacuum assisted stick placer for (a) retrieving a spacing stick from a J-hook on a J-hook stick conveyor, whereon a first broad side of the stick is supported on the J-hook, and (b) placing the stick onto a top surface of a stack of lumber has a selectively actuable vacuum gripping device for (a) selectively applying a vacuum to the first broad side of the stick whereby the stick may be adhered to the vacuum gripping device when the vacuum gripping device is in a stick retrieving position snug beneath the first broad side of the stick supported in the J-hook, and (b) selectively removing the vacuum from the first broad side of the stick whereby the stick may be released from the vacuum gripping device, when the vacuum gripping device is in a stick placing position substantially opposed to the stick retrieving position and proximate the top surface of the stack of lumber, a first translation device for rotatably translating the vacuum gripping device in an arcuate path and a second translation device for sub
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 10, 1997
    Assignee: Newnes Machine Ltd.
    Inventors: William R. Newnes, Steven W. Michell
  • Patent number: 5616204
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an apparatus and a process for a half-cell structure to make a hexagonal-cell honeycomb core. The structure has a plurality of peaks and valleys and a diagonal surface between each consecutive peak and valley. The apparatus comprises a stack holder for stacking the structure so that as one sheet is placed on top of a stack comprising at least one sheet, the peaks of one sheet contact the peaks of an adjacent sheet. The apparatus also comprises an air blower disposed beneath the top of the stack for reducing the air pressure surrounding the stack to a pressure below the air pressure on the top of the stack, thereby pressing the layers together to form the core. The present invention also relates to a transfer head and a process for holding a half-cell structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 1, 1997
    Assignee: E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company
    Inventors: Joseph J. Duffy, Birol Kirayoglu, Pui-Yan Lin, Robert A. Marin, Robert J. Santucci
  • Patent number: 5569016
    Abstract: An apparatus for stacking sheet-like products delivered one after another in a spaced relationship to each other with a transporting device, including a conveyor arranged above a transporting plane of the transporting device for conveying the delivered sheet-like products to a stacking position, and a braking device located beneath the conveyor, with the conveyor having a conveying surface provided with suction openings or magnets for lifting the sheet-like products off the transporting device and for retaining the sheet-like products as they are conveyed to the stacking position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 29, 1996
    Assignee: LTG Lufttechnische Gesellschaft M.B.H.
    Inventor: Bernhard Mokler
  • Patent number: 5487808
    Abstract: An apparatus for laminating plates having guide holes for aligning each plate to a predetermined position. A horizontal base is provided for stacking the plates thereon. A conveyor device conveys the plates to a predetermined position over the horizontal base one by one, the conveyor device dropping the plates on the horizontal base from the predetermined position so as to laminate the plates to each other. A guide device including guide pins which are disposed perpendicular to the conveyed plate at the predetermined position above the conveying device, the guide pins moving together with the falling plate to engage in the guide holes, respectively, to align each of the plates along the guide pins while laminating the plate on the horizontal base, and to return the guide pins to the initial position thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 30, 1996
    Assignee: Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Isao Suzuki, Masuo Shindo, Kiyoshi Nakao
  • Patent number: 5460479
    Abstract: A vertical signature stacking machine includes a frame, a vertical support wall, and a sliding support which intersects the vertical support wall. The sliding support translates along the support wall. Signatures are fed to a support plane on the sliding support to form a stack of signatures. There is a base support disposed to receive a stack of signatures from the sliding support. End boards are placed on the top and base of the stack by a rotatable end board gripper with a vacuum which can pick up end boards from an end board hopper and can release the end boards. A carriage is provided for bracing the completed stack. The carriage is disposed to travel along a path juxtaposed to the base travel path. The carriage has rotatably mounted arms having a bracing surface for moving the stack. The arms are positioned transverse to the support wall causing the bracing surface to intercept the stack and propel the stack along the base travel path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 24, 1995
    Inventors: Irving H. Neumann, Kolbjorn Roste
  • Patent number: 5426921
    Abstract: During the packaging of articles in cartons, preparatory to shipment to consumers, the cartons are removed from filling/closing apparatus and stacked on pallets. The removal apparatus includes transporting the cartons singly to a stacking plane, orienting the cartons and then employing a robotic gripping device to move the oriented cartons to the proper stacking positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 27, 1995
    Assignee: Maschinenfabrik Alfred Schmermund GmbH & Co.
    Inventor: Harald Beckmann
  • Patent number: 5415518
    Abstract: In order to automate the palletizing of bundles of books in an efficient manner, an automated method and system is provided for achieving the objective of having mail bundle positions of substantially equal accumulative height. The method includes dividing the pallet into a grid consisting of a plurality of mail bundle positions adapted to receive one or more book mail bundles in rows and columns. The books are gathered into book mail bundles for placement on the grid of the pallet in accordance with a book gathering program. The books are gathered to form book mail bundles having a preselected minimum and maximum number of books with any grouping of books in numbers between the minimum and maximum number being divided into one or more book mail bundles of various sizes. The books are also gathered such that any grouping of books in numbers greater than the maximum number is divided into one or more book mail bundles having a number of books between the minimum and maximum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 16, 1995
    Assignee: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company
    Inventor: William T. Montgomery
  • Patent number: 5358593
    Abstract: In this apparatus, a ceramic green sheet which may be formed with internal electrodes for forming laminated ceramic capacitors, is first punched out by a punch. After this punching operation, the punched-out ceramic green sheet held by the punch is conveyed to a transfer head by the punch and then conveyed to a stacking block by the transfer head. With these steps repeated, a plurality of punched-out ceramic green sheets are stacked on the stacking block. Each time a punched-out ceramic green sheet is stacked on the stacking block, a hot iron is applied to the uppermost one of the punched-out ceramic green sheets so as to pressure-weld it to the underlying punched-out ceramic green sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 25, 1994
    Assignee: Murata Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mitsuro Hamuro, Kunikazu Nakahara, Hirokazu Higuchi, Kenich Watanabe
  • Patent number: 5348440
    Abstract: An apparatus for loading cartons (11, 12) which arrive on feed conveyors (13, 14) onto pallets (10) is disclosed. A palletizer (15 ) is used for loading the catons (11, 12) arriving on feed conveyors (13, 14 ) onto the pallet (10). This palletizer (15) lifts the cartons (11, 12) off the feed conveyor (13, 14 ) with a suction head (27) and conducts upward and downward movements as well as pivoting movements in order to deposit the cartons (11, 12) on the pallet (10). To increase the capacity of the palletizer (15), it is equipped with two independently operating articulated arms (16, 17 ) which both load cartons (11, 12) onto a pallet (10). As a result, the capacity of the palletizer (15 ) is increased while the operating velocity of the articulated arms (16, 17) remains invariable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1994
    Assignee: Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co.)
    Inventor: Heinz Focke
  • Patent number: 5313882
    Abstract: Apparatus is provided for automatic transport of compact discs one-at-a-time from a loading station in a horizontally disposed, circular defined path through various work stations e.g., silk-screen printing and UV-curing, to an off-loading station. The compact discs are automatically loaded by loading apparatus onto the transport apparatus one-at-a-time in a predetermined location from apparatus automatically supplying compact discs to the loading apparatus for loading onto the transport apparatus in a plurality of vertically disposed stacks, each stack providing a plurality of discs horizontally disposed and superposed one above the other. Subsequent to printing and curing of the printing ink, the printed compact discs are off-loaded from the annular-shaped transport apparatus one-at-a-time by unloading apparatus and provided in a plurality of vertically disposed stacks of compact discs, each stack containing a plurality of horizontally disposed printed discs superposed one above the other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 24, 1994
    Inventors: William M. Karlyn, Frederick C. Pink, William L. Lamarre, Edward J. Berry
  • Patent number: 5187919
    Abstract: A method for automatically filling a plurality of containers with products arranged therein in rows in one layer or a plurality of superposed layers in a pre-programmed geometric pattern. Empty containers are delivered in N rows to a container-filling station. The products to be contained in respective containers are automatically delivered one-by-one to supports equidistant from a vertical axis at the station. A vacuum suction is applied to the products on supports and they are raised above a level of the containers and held raised in fixed relative positions. While raised the products are rotated jointly about a vertical axis. Simultaneously during successive raisings of the products the containers are automatically positioned incrementally in a longitudinal direction and transversely thereof preparatory for lowering of the products vertically into the containers after each raising thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1990
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1993
    Assignee: Talleres Daumar S.A.
    Inventor: Agustin D. Guardiola
  • Patent number: 5165340
    Abstract: Apparatus is provided for automatic transport of compact discs one-at-a-time from a loading station in a horizontally disposed, circular defined path through various work stations e.g., silk-screen printing and UV-curing, to an off-loading station. The compact discs are automatically loaded by loading apparatus onto the transport apparatus one-at-a-time in a predetermined location from apparatus automatically supplying compact discs to the loading apparatus for loading onto the transport apparatus in a plurality of vertically disposed stacks, each stack providing a plurality of discs horizontally disposed and superposed one above the other. Subsequent to printing and curing of the printing ink, the printed compact discs are off-loaded from the annular-shaped transport apparatus one-at-a-time by unloading apparatus and provided in a plurality of vertically disposed stacks of compact discs, each stack containing a plurality of horizontally disposed printed discs superposed one above the other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1992
    Inventors: William M. Karlyn, Frederick C. Pink, William L. Lamarre, Edward J. Berry
  • Patent number: 5149162
    Abstract: The invention concerns a device for conveying layers comprising a multitude of individual objects, in particular glasses, cans, etc., preferably for loading and unloading pallets, a suction head being provided for picking up a layer of individual objects, which suction head has a plurality of suction holes. On the one hand, said suction holes face the top side of the objects and, on the other hand, are connected to a source of negative pressure. To avoid a breakdown of the negative pressure as a result of suction holes not being allocated over individual objects, a long flow duct is connected to each suction hole on the side facing away from the individual objects, which flow duct is coupled with the source of negative pressure or the suction chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1992
    Assignee: Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co.)
    Inventors: Heinz Focke, Johannes Holloch
  • Patent number: 5100284
    Abstract: A robot of a cylindrical structure with vertical axes of rotation comprises a base for support on a ground surface; a column mounted on the support for rotation about an axis; a support element for linking and for driving, which is flexible and inextensible and closed in a loop, mounted on and along the column; a first assembly including a carriage fixed to one of the vertical sections of the element, a horizontal bracket mounted on the carriage for rotation about a second axis, a head mounted on the bracket for rotation about a third axis; a second assembly including a second carriage fixed to the second section of the element, a second bracket, a second head mounted on the second bracket; and a control arrangement for driving and controlling so that the two assemblies are displaced synchronously along the column in opposite vertical directions to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1992
    Assignee: Vega Automation
    Inventor: Jean-Louis Boisseau
  • Patent number: 5095680
    Abstract: Machine for filling containers with products, in a predetermined distribution includes simultaneous feed means, with as many vibratory ducts transporting respective rows of products and with corresponding unit supports thereof; at least one rotating frame with vertical pneumatic cylinders and with as many lower suction cups at their pistons, communicating with sources of vacuum; a carriage with alternating transverse displacement, with means of longitudinal advance for at least one pair of containers and with transverse barrier and constraint means for the products, both coordinated; and a process programming unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1992
    Assignee: Talleres Daumar S.A.
    Inventor: Agustin D. Guardiola
  • Patent number: 5088878
    Abstract: The lifting and transportation of sensitive articles incapable of bearing a mechanical load, without manual involvement, presents special difficulties in packaging technology. This applies, above all, to tray packs in which articles are arranged standing on a bottom part (11) of small height, without any additional anchoring. For grasping and lifting articles of this type, there is provided a raisable and lowerable suction box (15) which, with suitable dimensions, is placed over the article in the manner of a bell. By the generation of a vacuum within the suction box (15), the article (tray pack 10) is held carefully and can be lifted by means of the suction box (15). Side walls (22) of the suction box (15) are arranged pivotably, to make it easier to place the suction box (15) onto the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 18, 1992
    Assignee: Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co.)
    Inventors: Heinz Focke, Johannes Holloch
  • Patent number: 5074735
    Abstract: A wicket post mounting in a bag stacking machine includes a base unit bolted to a conveyor plate. The base unit includes an upstanding wall with a plurality of machined, vertical post receptacles or openings. Each receptacle is identical to receive and physically support one post in precise accurate relation to a longitudinal location on the station plate of a second post. The spacing of the receptacles and posts is selected to receive bags with spaced holes. A releasable latch pin is secured to each receptacle. The pin projects into an appropriate opening in the post and locks the post in the receptacle. The base unit may include a pair of post mounting bases each having an offset edge wall abutting the station plate to accurately locate the base. Bolts pass through the mounting base into threaded holes in the station. Each base has two spaced receptacles, providing for post spacing of 4, 5 and 6 inches.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 24, 1991
    Assignee: Amplas, Inc.
    Inventor: David K. Stock