With Means Vertically Aligning Stack Patents (Class 414/795.7)
  • Publication number: 20140271089
    Abstract: Embodiments of a system and method for unloading articles from a container of items for use in an automatic stack feeder are disclosed. The automatic stack feeder may comprise a belt, a moveable lower paddle, and a moveable upper paddle, wherein the lower paddle is configured to partially extend through a belt of the automatic stack feeder. The movement of the belt, the lower paddle, and the upper paddle are coordinated such that there is no need to interrupt the operation of the automatic stack feeder to unload the container.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventor: United States Postal Service
  • Publication number: 20140271088
    Abstract: An automatic stack feeder having a moveable stack or product guide is disclosed. The automatic stack feeder may be configured to receive a stack of articles and a container enclosing a stack of articles. To ensure the stack of articles is properly supported following unloading from the container, the stack guide is moveable between a first and a second position, wherein the stack guide is in contact with the stack of articles while in the first position, and not in contact with the stack when in the second position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventor: United States Postal Service
  • Patent number: 8540476
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention relate to a system for storing and/or transporting platforms of pipette tips. The system includes packaging in which a stacked tower of platforms may be transported. Embodiments of the present invention further include a loader for transferring platforms from the packaging to a rack for holding pipette tip platforms. The loader transfers the platforms by accessing the uppermost platform in the stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2013
    Assignee: Labcon, North America
    Inventor: Thomas Moulton
  • Patent number: 8226346
    Abstract: A tray handling apparatus comprises a plurality of guides, a chuck device, a linear movement device, and a rack and pinion device. A space defined by the erected guides is used to hold a tray stack. The chuck of the chuck device is located at the center position of the bottom area of the space. The linear movement device is used to move the chuck relative to the guides. The rack and pinion device is used to cause the guides to move symmetrically. When an operator moves any one of the guides, the other guides move symmetrically and the center of the bottom area of the space surrounded by the guides remains at the same location during the movement of the guides. The operator does not need to adjust the position of the chuck if the positions of the guides are changed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: Cheng Mei Instrument Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Cheng Tao Tsai
  • Patent number: 7959401
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are disclosed for separating a pile of tortillas and individually depositing the tortillas on a conveyor to form a row of tortillas. The apparatus may include an accumulating device, an elevating device that is operable to remove a pile of tortillas from the accumulating device and elevate the pile of tortillas towards a vacuum conveyor. The vacuum conveyor is operable to continuously remove an uppermost tortilla from the pile of tortillas and transport the separated tortillas to a receiving conveyor. The separated tortillas are deposited on the receiving conveyor and may be transported to a subsequent processing operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. DE C.V.
    Inventor: Joaquin Alverde Trejo
  • Patent number: 7775362
    Abstract: A substrate accommodating apparatus (10) is constituted by stacking a plurality of accommodation bodies (20) on an upper surface of a rigid plate (15). Each accommodation body (20) is provided with a buffer (21) having elasticity and some conductivity and a load receptacle (22) having a frame-shaped body, while an upper surface of the buffer (21) is provided with a substrate protect layer (23) made of cellulose. The substrate accommodating apparatus (10) is arranged to enclose a substrate (S) therein by stacking the accommodation bodies (20) where the substrates are placed, and when the accommodation bodies (20) are stacked, each load receptacle (22) places the load of the respective accommodation body (20) on a periphery of the adjacent lower accommodation body (20) so that any load is not placed on the central portion of the lower accommodation body (20) where the substrate (S) is placed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takenori Yoshizawa
  • Publication number: 20100166536
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for the separating of stacked plate-shaped elements. It is the object of the invention to provide possibilities with which stacked plate-shaped elements, in particular plate-shaped elements prone to breakage, can be reliably separated in a short time and to increase the useful operating time of an apparatus. In the invention, a stack of plate-shaped elements is placed onto a lifting device with which a stepped raising in vertical stages takes place. A conveying device for plate-shaped elements is arranged above the stack, with at least one conveying element being fastened to a conveyor belt made in the form of a continuous conveyor or to at least one rotating roller at said conveying device. Conveying elements are made from an elastically deformable material and have at least one end face in the direction of the surfaces of plate-shaped elements to be separated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 8, 2009
    Publication date: July 1, 2010
    Inventors: Lothar Andritzke, Ulrich Goedicke, Juergen Doepping, Lars Esser
  • Patent number: 7712735
    Abstract: An unstacker device for unstacking flat objects comprises a motor-driven feed magazine controlled so as to move flat objects in a stack and on edge facing an unstacking head provided with a motor-driven drive having a perforated belt and a suction chamber, which motor driven drive is actuated so as to separate a current first object from the stack and so as to eject it in a direction that is transverse to the direction in which the stack of flat objects is moved, in which device the motor-driven drive is actuated and stopped each time a current object is unstacked, and the stack of flat objects is straightened up in the magazine in response to detection of signals delivered by a plurality of sensors disposed in the unstacking head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Assignee: Solystic
    Inventors: Pierre Chorier-Pichon, Stephane Ambroise, Stephane Samain
  • Patent number: 7704037
    Abstract: A device for destacking books, brochures, or similar cubic printed products (2), wherein said device comprises a separating belt (6) that is powered by a controllable drive and serves for the cyclic separation of the respective bottom printed product (2a) from the stack (3a), lateral boundaries (8a, b) that can be adjusted to the respective format and position the stack (3a) on the separating belt (6), a height-adjustable retaining element (9) that forms a passage for the respective printed product (2a) to be separated, a support (10) in the infeed region of the separating belt (6) in order to support the rear edge of the printed product (2) lying on top of the bottom printed product during the separation of the bottom printed product (2a), and a feeding belt (5) that is arranged upstream of the separating belt (6) and serves for delivering the next stack (3b) into the separating position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2010
    Assignee: Kolbus GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Klaus Gerke
  • Publication number: 20090297324
    Abstract: The invention describes a supply module for stackable pallets, on which workpieces and/or tools can be disposed. On the supply module there are disposed several stacking bays arranged in succession in a row, at each of which a stack of pallets can be mounted in holding means, such as hooks. At least one transport module can be driven along the row beneath the stacking bays, the transport module carrying a lifting device with it. A pallet or a stack of pallets can be gripped from below by the lifting device. The supply module according to the invention can manage a large number of stacking bays, and hence pallets, in a cost-effective manner, even large stack heights being possible.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 16, 2007
    Publication date: December 3, 2009
    Inventor: Helmut Jaeger
  • Patent number: 7427003
    Abstract: The disk feeder removes disks from the bottom of a stack of disks by pushing them one at a time with a ram traveling back and forth under a tower holding the stack of disks. The tower has a gap at the base for allowing one disk at a time to be pushed out by the ram. The tower may be tilted to provide for a stack of disks, which rest partly on a wall of the tower to reduce the weight of the stack on the bottom disk. The workstation fed by the disk feeder can be a disk destroyer, a printer, a writer or any other disk processing device. Combinations of disk feeders and workstations can produce batches of copies of disks with labels printed on them. The disk feeder provides a low cost reliable way to feed disks to work stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2008
    Assignee: Condre, Inc.
    Inventor: Keith R. Peterson
  • Publication number: 20080226438
    Abstract: The invention relates to a separating device (1) with a manipulating device (5) and with at least one carrier support (2) with at least one stacking shaft (3) for workpieces (4) disposed on it, in particular metal plates made ready for a bending operation on a bending press, and with a gripping mechanism (14) for removing the workpiece (4) from the stacking shaft (3) and transporting the workpiece (4) from a pick-up position into a transfer position. The manipulating device (5) and the carrier support (2) are positioned relative to one another by means of positioning means (65), and at least one fixed positioning space (27) for the carrier support (2) is provided in a reference position of the stacking shaft (3) with respect to the manipulating device (5).
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2007
    Publication date: September 18, 2008
  • Patent number: 7066708
    Abstract: Devices and methods for holding a tray stack having a plurality of trays configured to carry and store microelectronic devices. Several devices in accordance with the present invention are particularly applicable to carrying a stack of JEDEC trays that have been loaded with a plurality of microelectronic devices. In one embodiment, the device is a tray retainer including a guide structure configured to allow the tray stack to move in a direction of a load/unload path, and to restrict lateral movement of the tray stack with respect to the load/unload path. The guide structure can have a first end, a second end, and an opening at least proximate to the second end. The guide structure, for example, can have first and second channel sections extending in the direction of the load/unload path. The second channel section can also face the first channel section. The tray retainer can also include a cross-member and a moveable retaining element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Darin L. Peterson, Michael R. Slaughter, Keith P. McCall
  • Patent number: 7014415
    Abstract: A substrate transfer apparatus, for removing a substrate from a substrate accommodating tray accommodating the substrate in a horizontal state, includes a plurality of support pins for raising the substrate accommodated in the substrate accommodating tray above the substrate accommodating tray. The substrate accommodating tray includes a plurality of openings through which the plurality of support pins are to be inserted. The plurality of support pins are moved up relative to the substrate accommodating tray and are inserted through the plurality of openings of the substrate accommodating tray, so as to raise the substrate. The plurality of support pins each have a length sufficient to be vertically inserted through a plurality of substrate accommodating trays stacked vertically.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2006
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takenori Yoshizawa
  • Patent number: 6934605
    Abstract: A palletizer system is described for transferring a object that are conveyed along a conveyor to a rack, the object having a surface, the palletizer system comprising a camera, a robot transfer subsystem and a control module. The camera is configured to generate images of the object as it is being conveyed along the conveyor. The robot transfer subsystem comprises a gripper module mounted on a robot, the robot being configured to move the gripper module, and the gripper module being configured to controllably grip the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Assignee: I-Scan Robotics Ltd.
    Inventors: Dan Dothan, Erez Dothan
  • Patent number: 6755323
    Abstract: An adjustable frame for dispensing stackable items. The adjustable frame includes a first panel having a first edge, a first-panel-dispensing-end, and a first major surface. The major surface is configured to guide stacked items prior to dispensing. A second panel has a second edge, a second-panel-dispensing-end, and a second major surface. The second major surface is configured to, in combination with the first major surface, guide stacked items prior to dispensing. An adjustable panel has a third edge and a third major surface. The third edge is detachably securable in one of a plurality of locations on the second major surface of the second panel. The adjustable panel can be positioned proximate to any one of the plurality of locations to accommodate items of various sizes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Accu-Sort Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Theodore C. Haven, Larry Brown
  • Patent number: 6638002
    Abstract: The invention is a magnet for facilitating separation of individual sheets from a stack of ferro-magnetic sheets; the invention is in the form of an elongate housing containing an elongate array of magnets which may be selectively positioned in relation to the housing so as to bring the array in proximity to the edge of the stack of ferro-magnetic sheets, thereby inducing a magnetic field in said sheets and causing the sheets to separate, thereby facilitating manipulation of the uppermost sheet from the stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Inventor: Claire T. Martin
  • Patent number: 6554561
    Abstract: An automated cell is provided for handling parts received in part carriers. The device comprises a working space closed to the outside, within which a first, second and third stack position are sequentially arranged. A transfer device is provided with a first linear axis extending in a horizontal direction and a second linear axis coupled thereto extending in vertical direction. A bulkhead wall is arranged between the first and the second stack position, which together with a driveable hood guarantees a closure free of contact when the door on the front side of the device is opened. Handling procedures within the working space can then be decoupled from loading and unloading operations at the first stack position. The automated cell is very space-saving and inexpensive and also allows a stack-specific logistics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Felsomat GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Helmut F. J├Ąger
  • Patent number: 6524058
    Abstract: An assembly for conveying and stacking lids for containers includes a doubled-strand conveyor, a stacking and alignment column at an input end of the conveyor for aligning a stack of lids, and a vertical feed column at an output end of the conveyor for incrementally lifting the stack of lids for removal and placement onto a container. Both the stacking and alignment column and the vertical feed column are each defined by a set of four guide rods for alignment of the lid stack. Each set of guide rods includes a pair of inboard, pivotable guide rods which pivot out of the path of the conveyed lid stack to allow the stack to move out of the stacking and alignment column or into the vertical feed column, respectively. A vertical feeder disposed under the vertical feed column comprises a vertical feed plate and a linear actuator regulated by a sensor device that controls the raising and lowering of the plate and senses when the feeder plate has been depleted of lids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Inventor: Robert Watters
  • Publication number: 20020041804
    Abstract: A newspaper product conveyance device is provided for feeding a newspaper inserter including a chassis having a transfer belt extending at an incline between a first end of the chassis and a discharge area located adjacent a second end of the chassis. The conveyance device further comprises a roller assembly including a plurality of rollers, the roller assembly extends at an angle from the chassis adjacent the first end and defines with the first end of the chassis a newspaper product feed area for holding a stack of newspaper products. A motor is provided for advancing the transfer belt to move the newspaper products from the product feed area to the discharge area, whereby the roller assembly and transfer belt cooperate to cause a uniform stream of newspaper product to be transported to the discharge area for discharge to the inserter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2001
    Publication date: April 11, 2002
    Inventor: Gary D. Cooper
  • Patent number: 6354792
    Abstract: An IC receiving tray storage device is provided which is capable of securedly identifying the category of the tested ICs sorted for each category and received in the corresponding tray in the unloader section after end of test. Mounted to the tray storage is a casing comprising a generally rectangular base plate and a plurality of outer walls standing substantially upright and separately from each other on the base plate. A category identifying indicator is attached to at least one outer wall of the casing. This category identifying indicator indicates the category of ICs received in the tray. Also, in the base plate of the casing is formed an opening through which vertically movable unit is free to move. By the category identifying indicator, the category of the tested ICs received in the tray can be easily confirmed after the tray storage device has been taken out from the IC handler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Advantest Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshito Kobayashi, Hiroto Nakamura
  • Patent number: 6273670
    Abstract: A robotic tire end effector apparatus and system including a method for picking up and placing tires positioned horizontally onto vertical stacks of tires. The apparatus and system includes a totem support assembly having a support housing and support bars capable of bearing against the inside diameter of a tire bead and a bottom assembly mounted to the support housing of the totem support assembly. The bottom assembly includes pivot arms and fingers. The fingers are capable of bearing against the inside diameter of the tire bead and supporting the weight of the tire. The support bars are also capable of supporting the weight of a tire. The system includes a computer and program capable of receiving data from the tires for identification, tracing tire location, allocation, pick optimization and continuous calculation of sorting and pick options.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: C & D Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael L. Henson, David L. Hayes, Joseph L. Glenn
  • Patent number: 6247890
    Abstract: An automatic goods picking device has a frame provided at least in one side thereof with a placing platform and a support rod which is provided with a plurality of goods placing areas each being fastened by two fastening members to form a stacking space along with the placing platform. The support rod is provided with a horizontal connection portion. The fastening members are respectively provided with a vertical connection portion enabling the fastening member to move adjustably upwards, downwards, leftwards, and rightwards such that a predetermined position of the vertical connection portion is corresponding in location to a predetermined position of the horizontal connection portion of the support rod, so as to form jointly with the placing platform a stacking space for goods of various heights and widths by using a fastening object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2001
    Assignee: Industrial Technology Research Institute
    Inventors: Wei Chang, Sheng-Feng Liu, Hai-Chiao Sun, Chin-Lu Huang, Shiuan-I Shau