Separates Stack Into Smaller Stacks Patents (Class 414/796)
  • Patent number: 9844883
    Abstract: The invention concerns a gripper (1) adapted to be used in an automated system for handling flexible substrates provided in a pile. The gripper (1) is rotatably arranged on an arm (6) of a robot and comprises a lower finger (7) and an upper finger (8). The lower finger (7) comprises a sharp, wedge-shaped edge (14), which is adapted to enable insertion of the lower finger (7) between substrates of the pile. The lower finger (7) has a round tip (11), which extends to at least one side of the lower finger (7) and forms a smooth, wedge-shaped edge (15), wherein the sharp, wedge-shaped edge (14) is arranged on the at least one side remote from the round tip (11) and substantially in level with but protruding further than the smooth, wedge-shaped edge (15).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Inventor: Bo Genefke
  • Patent number: 9387992
    Abstract: A gripping head (1) comprises a supporting element (11), e.g. a horizontal plate, adapted to rotate about a first rotation axis (&alpha,-) with which two or more grippers (12) are pivotally associated, so that each gripper is adapted to rotate about a symmetry axis (?) thereof, said rotation axes being parallel to each other, and being the rotation motion of each gripper independent from the others. Therefore, each gripper is adapted to rotate about a symmetry axis (?) thereof and revolve about the rotation axis (?) of the supporting element with which they are pivotally associated. A preferred plant, comprising said gripping head (1), comprises a belt conveyor and a mechanical limb (2) with which said gripping head (1) is pivotally associated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2016
    Assignee: S.I.P.A. Societa' Industrializzazione Progettazione E. Automazione S.P.A.
    Inventors: Andrea Boschi, Matteo Zoppas
  • Patent number: 9162817
    Abstract: A conveyor system for conveying unit loads, comprising at least one conveyor element, said conveyor element comprising a conveyor for transporting at least two unit loads in a conveying direction, the at least two unit loads being arranged side-by-side in a direction transverse to the conveying direction and to a storage and retrieval device comprising at least one carrier and a load bearing module, wherein the load bearing module has at least two carriages. A logistics system for storage, retrieval and collation of unit loads, comprising at least a store for storing unit loads, and at least one conveyor system. Moreover, a method of operating a logistics system with at least one storage and retrieval device and/or a conveyor system is disclosed, wherein at the storage and retrieval device and/or the conveyor system at least two unit loads are operated at the same time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Inventor: Walter Winkler
  • Patent number: 9033333
    Abstract: An absorbing mechanism includes a positioning member, an absorbing member, and at least one separating member. The positioning member defines a receiving chamber, for receiving a plurality of workpieces. The attaching member is constructed for absorbing the workpieces. The at least one separating member comprises a main body and a detaching portion. The main body is mounted on the positioning member. The detaching portion protrudes from the main body toward an axis of the positioning member, and forming an inclined surface away from the main body. The inclined surface defines at least one blow hole. The inclined surface towards the receiving chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Inventors: Bing Li, Bo Yang, Yong Zhang
  • Patent number: 8473094
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for automatically removing pieces of luggage that have different surface properties and dimensions and getting the pieces of luggage ready for further transport by means of a gripper that is hingedly connected to a robot arm is described. The method includes: a) moving the gripper and the container that is to be emptied close together; b) determining the first piece of luggage to be removed; (c) gripping the piece of luggage using a horizontal suction elements (3) and withdrawing the luggage horizontally; d) if the vertical suction elements (4) are not yet able to sufficiently grip the luggage, the vertical suction elements (4) are repositioned and turned off, the vertical suction elements (5) are repositioned, and then turned on to re-grip the piece of luggage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH
    Inventors: Felix Becker, Peter Rosenmeyer
  • Publication number: 20130004285
    Abstract: The invention provides a method and apparatus for separating a stack of folded sheets by inserting a first, second, third and fourth count fingers into four successive openings in the stack, and separating the stack between the second and third count fingers. Where separation is carried out after a desired number of folded sheets have passed the third count finger, a completed pack having the desired number of sheets may be formed downstream from the third count finger. The count fingers may be operatively mounted in count finger cassettes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 13, 2012
    Publication date: January 3, 2013
    Applicant: C.G. Bretting Manufacturing Co., Inc.
    Inventor: James Andrew Walsh
  • Patent number: 8337138
    Abstract: A thermoformed article stack segmenting apparatus is provided. The apparatus includes a frame, a stacked article guide channel, a forward engaging drive finger, a reciprocating actuator and a rearward engaging holding finger. The stacked article guide channel is carried by the frame and configured to receive and guide a stack of inter-nested articles exiting a female die of a thermoforming trim press. The reciprocating actuator is coupled with the finger to drive the finger forward in engagement with one separated stack of articles. The actuator also drives the finger rearward in a retractable state to separate another, successive stack of articles. The rearward engaging holding finger is supported by the frame and is configured to hold the another, successive stack while driving the forward engaging drive finger forward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Inventor: Jere F. Irwin
  • Publication number: 20120219397
    Abstract: A system for storing and retrieving containers (108) comprises a first conveying means (1) operable to move stacks of containers between a loading position (2) and a discharge position (4), a container store (5), a container store dispatch conveyor (28) and a container store delivery conveyor (26). A first transfer means transfers containers from the container store dispatch conveyor (28) to the first conveying means (1) and a second transfer means transfers containers from the first conveying means (1) to the container store delivery conveyor (26). A container store storage/retrieval means (9) moves containers from the container store (5) to the container store dispatch conveyor (28) and from the container store delivery conveyor (26) to the container store (5).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 3, 2010
    Publication date: August 30, 2012
    Applicant: SODIUM LIMITED
    Inventor: John Russell Baker
  • Publication number: 20120201643
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are provided, for alternatively producing either small or bulk packs of napkins from a stack of folded napkins produced by one folding machine, through use of a pack dispatching arrangement having an inlet, a small pack transfer station and a bulk pack transfer station, and configured for operation in a small pack mode for dispatching a stream of spaced apart small packs of folded sheets separated from the stack of folded sheets, and received at an inlet of the pack dispatching arrangement, to the small pack transfer station, and alternatively operable in a bulk pack mode for dispatching a stream of spaced apart bulk packs of folded sheets separated from the stack of folded sheets, and received at an inlet of the pack dispatching arrangement, to the bulk pack transfer station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2012
    Publication date: August 9, 2012
    Inventors: James Andrew Walsh, James R. Michler, Tim Schramm
  • Patent number: 8142133
    Abstract: A method and system for converting mail between trays in a multiple pass mail sorting system using a plurality of different tray types. Mail from a first type of tray is unloaded and stacked along with mail from other trays to form a large stack. The large stack of mail is then broken down into smaller stacks which are transferred to one of several outputs where the mail is loaded into different types of trays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2012
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Systems Corp.
    Inventors: Mark Neebe, Matthew Good, Charles Miller
  • Patent number: 8113503
    Abstract: The present disclosure includes an apparatus for feeding a stack of sheet stock in blocks. The apparatus includes a backstop, a block pusher plate, and at least one sensor for determining a height differential between the stack at generally near a lead edge of the stack and the stack at generally near a trail edge of the stack. The apparatus automatically adjusts for warp in the sheet stock. The present disclosure further includes a method comprising obtaining a first measurement at generally near a lead edge side of the stack, obtaining a second measurement at generally near a trail edge side of the stack, comparing the first and second measurements, and pushing the portion of sheet stock from the stack with a block pusher plate when the second measurement is within a predetermined tolerance of the first measurement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: J&L Group International, LLC
    Inventors: Curtis A. Roth, Craig Gendreau, Chad Faith
  • Publication number: 20120020766
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for prefeeding corrugated boards to a box finishing machine wherein a stack of rectangular boards are moved to a first conveyor with the long dimension of the boards extending transverse to the direction of movement of said first conveyor. The stack is then rotated to place the long dimension of the boards in alignment with the direction of movement of said first conveyor, and then moving the rotated stack to a second conveyor for feeding to a box finishing machine with the long dimension of the boards in alignment with the direction or path of movement of the boards through the box finishing machine. The stack is transferred to the first conveyor from an elevator which contains a supply of boards larger than the stack. Three different types of apparatus are disclosed for rotating the stack. One is a plurality of conveyor belts whose speeds may be varied to rotate the boards. Another is a turntable with a set of belt conveyors and a set of rollers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 26, 2010
    Publication date: January 26, 2012
    Inventor: Louis M. Sardella
  • Publication number: 20110268551
    Abstract: A counter ejector of cardboard sheet box-making machine is disclosed. A front contact plate 61 contacting cardboard sheets BS is movable in a feed direction FD. A spanker 62 is disposed to face the front contact plate in the feed direction, and contacts the back edge portion of the cardboard sheet, aligning the sheet edge portions. Ledges 63, 64A, and 64B separate cardboard sheets loaded between the front contact plate and the spanker, forming a batch BT of a predetermined number of sheets. A transfer conveyor 60 transfers batches in a transfer direction TD, which is the same direction as the feed direction. An elevator 65 is furnished with a table 65A, and carries batches from the height at which the front contact plate and the spanker are disposed to the height at which the transfer conveyor is disposed. The table is moved by the same amount and in the same movement direction as the movement of the front contact plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 29, 2011
    Publication date: November 3, 2011
    Inventors: Hidenori Kokubo, Yusuke Tozuka
  • Publication number: 20110268550
    Abstract: The present invention is a cardboard sheet batch division device for dividing batches, disposed on the downstream side of a batch-forming device for separating loaded cardboard sheets and forming batches of a predetermined sheet count. The cardboard sheet batch division device for dividing batches comprises: a transfer conveyor for transferring batches formed by the batch-forming device in a predetermined transfer direction; and batch division means furnished with two separating members respectively contacting the leading edge portion and the trailing edge portion of a batch on the transfer conveyor, for dividing the batch into two sub-batches, upper and lower, by moving the two separating members relative to one another in a direction parallel to the predetermined transfer direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 29, 2011
    Publication date: November 3, 2011
    Inventors: Hidenori Kokubo, Yusuke Tozuka, Jiro Minami
  • Patent number: 7832978
    Abstract: An apparatus for forming stacks (2) of panels (3) from a vertical pile (4) of panels (3) to be fed to a user station comprises: a crossbar (5) that moves above the pile (4) of panels (3) and mounts selector means (6; 7, 8) designed to separate a certain number of panels (3) from the top of the pile (4); first gripper means (9; 10) and second gripper means (11; 12, 16) for clamping the panels (3); the selector means (6; 7, 8) include a first wedge-shaped selection element (8) that can be inserted between the panels (3) in the pile (4) to create a gap; the apparatus (1) also comprises second selector means (16) mounted on the crossbar (5) and mobile in a feed direction (40) and relative to the crossbar (5), lengthways along the crossbar (5) itself in a first horizontal direction (13), in such a way that they can be inserted into the pile (4) next to the first wedge-shaped element (8) at the gap so as to completely separate the pile (4) at a point away from the first wedge-shaped element (8) by sliding in the fi
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2010
    Assignee: Giben International S.p.A.
    Inventor: Piergiorgio Benuzzi
  • Patent number: 7775757
    Abstract: A device for receiving and for transporting an article having a receiving plate which is slid under the article is provided in which the improvement involves a more effective way for an article to rest on the receiving plates during transportation. A more effective way for an article to rest on a receiving plate that is slid under the article is the addition of a hold down element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Assignee: MULTIVAC Sepp Haggenmueller GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Jan Binder, Steffen Mayer, Thomas Unmuth
  • Patent number: 7770882
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for processing sets of sheets. The apparatus includes a frame, a hopper for moving a stack of sheets, a pre-singulator for separating a portion of a sheet from the stack, a sheet peeler for peeling part of a pre-singulated sheet from the stack, a sheet picker for gathering peeled sheets into a set, and a sheet discharger for clearing the set of sheets. The sheet peeler may include at least one rotating drum. The sheet picker may include one or more augers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2010
    Assignee: Wind Hill Concepts LLC
    Inventor: Michael Schum
  • Patent number: 7726932
    Abstract: The separation tool allows separation of a horizontal pile of recipients into sub-piles of recipients, the first or last recipient of each sub-pile have been previously marked with ultra-violet detectable ink. The tool comprises a frame; a sensor mounted to the frame for detecting the last recipient of a current sub-pile or the first recipient of the next sub-pile upstream therefrom, which ever has been previously marked, and a manipulator arm provided with a fixed finger assembly for holding the recipients upstream from the last recipient of the current sub-pile and a separation finger for creating a gap between the held recipients and those from the current sub-pile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2010
    Assignee: Axium, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Leblanc, Robert Battaglia, Dominic Prevost, Philippe Hakier
  • Patent number: 7470102
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for creating stacks of sheets. In some embodiments, the sheets separated are those in or issuing from a starwheel assembly. The present invention includes a first separator finger that is inserted between two adjacent sheets to separate first and second sheets. The first separator finger retains the first sheet upstream to begin a first stack upstream of the first separator finger and allows the second sheet to complete another stack downstream of the first separator finger. In some embodiments, the first separator finger is inserted between the two adjacent sheets in a closed position and, after the first separator finger is inserted, the first separator finger moves to an open position to create a gap between the first and second stacks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2008
    Assignee: C.G. Bretting Manufacturing Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey A. Gendron, James R. Michler, Charles L. Schmidt, V.
  • Publication number: 20080014073
    Abstract: A robotic die sorter having pick and place arm assemblies and a mutli-camera optical inspection system is disclosed. A pick arm of the pick arm assembly picks a die from a semiconductor wafer, and a place arm of the place arm assembly receives the die from the pick arm and places same in a reel of pocketed tape. After picking, the pick arm and the place arm are rotated into facing arrangement, whereupon the die is transferred to the place head of the place arm and a camera of the optical inspection system to detect defects in the die. After inspection, the place arm rotates toward the pocketed tape and places the die into the pocketed tape. Additional cameras of the optical inspection system allow for calibration of the pick and place arms, as well as monitoring of the die transfer process.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2006
    Publication date: January 17, 2008
    Inventors: John D. Moore, Lawrence F. Roberts, Miroslaw Sokol
  • Patent number: 7048492
    Abstract: A method and device for picking up stacks of blanks, arranged in at least one layer on a separating sheet having a peripheral portion projecting outwards of the layer; the stacks are removed successively by a pickup member, a free end of which is pressed onto the separating sheet in a position facing a stack for removal, and is then slid in a given pickup direction, and in contact with the separating sheet, beneath the stack for removal. A portion, crosswise to the pickup direction and facing the pickup member, of the peripheral portion of the separating sheet is blocked in position both crosswise to its plane and in the pickup direction by a gripping device before and during removal of the stacks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2006
    Assignee: G.D Societa' Per Azioni
    Inventors: Mario Spatafora, Alberto Stagni
  • Patent number: 6871893
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for carrying signature bundles are provided that allow for many different sizes of bundles to be handled and manipulated in an easy and very agile fashion for low cycle times and for being deposited in various pallet patterns. The apparatus can include several units adjustably mounted relative to each other with each having bundle gripping members that can likewise be adjusted for varying signature formats. The upper clamp head gripping member preferably has a universal mount so that it self-adjusts to pivot for staying in flush engagement with sloped bundles. The units have a very thin housing to allow an operator to gain a good view of the bundles carried in front thereof. The units preferably include pulley drive systems provided with drive ratios to keep the housing size to a minimum while allowing a large advancing stroke for the gripping members for handling of different sized bundles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2005
    Assignee: Gammerler Corporation
    Inventors: Macy Langston, Wojciech Czubin
  • Patent number: 6804939
    Abstract: A product packaging system for organizing and packing a number of different items into a set. The system may include a number of staging conveyors. Each of the staging conveyors may carry a stack of items from the number of different items. The system further may include a positioning conveyor positioned adjacent to the staging conveyors and a number of removal devices positioned adjacent to the positioning conveyor. The removal devices may remove one item from the stack of items on each of the staging conveyors and place the item on the positioning conveyor. The system also may include one or more rotation devices positioned about the positioning conveyor so as to rotate the one items on the positioning conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Phoenix Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael R. Samborn, Parks C. Stewart, John Shoupp
  • Patent number: 6769863
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for manipulating lightweight strips in parallel, laterally edge-adjacent array into spaced apart array for processing includes a platen having channels for receiving the strips, and a comb device for translating the strips of alternating channels to form two groups of laterally spaced strips. A pick-and-place conveyor has suction cups to remove each group in unison from the platen and place it on a belt conveyor. Suction holes in the channels selectively retain the groups on the platen. The comb, pick-and-place conveyor, and belt conveyor operate in synchrony and reiteratively to create a continuous stream of spaced apart strips.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2004
    Assignee: Kinematic Automations, Inc.
    Inventors: David L. Carlberg, Dennis May, Theodore V. Meigs
  • Publication number: 20040052633
    Abstract: A pickup device for stacks of blanks arranged in at least one layer on a substantially horizontal separating sheet, wherein a fork, movable in a given pickup direction to and from the separating sheet to successively pick up the stacks by sliding in contact with the separating sheet, has a skid hinged to a free end of the fork; the skid sliding in contact with the separating sheet, and oscillating, with respect to the fork, about a substantially horizontal axis crosswise to the pickup direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2003
    Publication date: March 18, 2004
    Applicant: G.D SOCIETA' PER AZIONI
    Inventors: Mario Spatafora, Alberto Stagni
  • Publication number: 20040022619
    Abstract: A method of picking up stacks (3) of blanks by means of a gripping device (1) having a gripper (13, 14, 15) hinged to a frame (11) and equipped with a first gripping member (15) having a free end (P); and actuating means (30, 41; 24, 25) for opening and closing the gripper (13, 14, 15); the method providing for pressing the free end (P) on a support (F) on which a stack (3) for pickup rests, and feeding the free end (P) along the support (F) and beneath the stack (3) while pressing the free end (P) against the support (F).
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 15, 2003
    Publication date: February 5, 2004
    Inventors: Mario Spatafora, Franco Carini
  • Patent number: 6665583
    Abstract: An article holder has sensors that detect whether an article held in the holder is a workpiece or a piece of packaging material. Examples are end effectors suitable for picking up semiconductor wafers and packaging material from a pod or some other carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: Tru-Si Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Frank E. Kretz, Alexander J. Berger, Sean A. Casarotti
  • Publication number: 20020187036
    Abstract: A transfer unit for transferring blanks and supplying a feed store of a packing machine has two transfer devices, and a first and a second store in which the blanks are arranged in stacks; and the transfer unit supplies the feed store by transferring the stacks of blanks selectively from the first store to the feed store, and from the second store to the feed store.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 10, 2002
    Publication date: December 12, 2002
    Applicant: G.D SOCIETA' PER AZIONI
    Inventors: Mario Spatafora, Franco Carini, Vincenzo Luca Ponticelli
  • Publication number: 20020185803
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to an apparatus and method for separating an entire collation of individual sheets from a supply stack for downstream processing. The apparatus generally includes a supply stack tray for containing the supply stack while the collations in the supply stack are being separated; a separator device positioned adjacent to the supply stack tray for separating a corner of each sheet of the collation from the supply stack; a deflector positioned adjacent to an edge of the collation for deflecting the collation from the supply stack after the collation has been separated by the separator; and a gripper device positioned in a plane proximate to the first sheet in the collation for gripping the entire collation after the collation has been deflected from the supply stack and for moving the entire collation downstream for processing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 13, 2002
    Publication date: December 12, 2002
    Applicant: Pitney Bowes Incorporated
    Inventor: Eric A. Belec
  • Publication number: 20020172586
    Abstract: Successive palletized stacks of blanks in a layer of such stacks on a penetrable support of cardboard or the like are lifted off the support by a substantially horizontal plate- or blade-like implement which is caused to penetrate between the upper side of the support and the underside of a selected stack prior to lifting of the selected stack off the support for transfer onto a conveyor or into a blank converting machine, such as a cigarette packing machine. An optical or other suitable monitoring unit has one or more sensors which share the movements of the implement to detect, and to effect the generation of defect signals in response to the detection of, improper operation of the apparatus, such as the penetration of the implement through and subsequent lifting of a portion of the support with a selected stack.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 3, 2002
    Publication date: November 21, 2002
    Inventors: Knut Donner, Hans-Jurgen Hoppe, Uwe Keil
  • Patent number: 6481953
    Abstract: In a process and an apparatus for isolating flexible flat objects (5) by lifting the objects (5) off a stack (1) and removing the lifted objects in a transport direction (9) it is provided that each object be aligned into a set position while being in a partially lifted state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2002
    Assignee: LTG Mailander GmbH
    Inventors: Bjoern Michel, Rainer Buschulte
  • Patent number: 6481954
    Abstract: The feeding method concerns the transfer of panels (2) from the top of a vertical stack (17) to a loading table (4) on a panel saw machine. The panels (2) are pushed by mobile horizontal pushers (7) from the stack (17) until they arrive at an infeed device (8) which conveys the panels (2) to the loading table (4). The pushers (7) and the vertical stack (17) perform relative movements controlled by control means (70), so as to allow the pushers (7) to transfer from the stack (17) one or more panels (2), depending on the extent (h) of the relative translation. The infeed device (8) comprises at least two pairs of rollers, each pair comprising a motor-driven roller and an idler roller. The center distance of a pair of rollers may be adjusted by adjusting the idler roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2002
    Assignee: Giben Impianti S.p.A.
    Inventor: Piergiorgio Benuzzi
  • Patent number: 6402456
    Abstract: A lifting method and device. A first lifting device lifts a multi-layer stack of articles from a lower position upwardly to a raised position at which the uppermost layer is at a desired level for removal of articles. The first lifting device continues to move the stack upwardly in increments for subsequent removal of articles in subsequent layers at the desired level. A second lifting device engages the bottom of the stack at locations different from the areas engaged by the first lifting device for continuing upward movement of the stack for positioning the remaining layers at the desired level for the removal of articles therefrom. The first lifting device is then movable downwardly to receive a new stack and the second lifting means is foldable to a retracted position and movable to a position below the new stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems, B.V.
    Inventors: Bart van Walderveen, Martin Doornekamp
  • Patent number: 5984622
    Abstract: A method of and apparatus for separation from a stack of sheets a block of a predetermined number of sheets, the method including moving the stack in a forward direction, directing an air stream across one corner of the forward portion of the stack to spread the corners apart, sensing and counting the number of spread sheet corners that pass a predetermined location, and separating the group of sheets from the remainder of the stack when the sensed and counted sheets reach a predetermined number. Further directing a thin plane of air toward the corner and center of the sheets at said location to cause a greater space between the sheets in the group and the next sheet in the stack. Also, vacuum nozzles are provided to remove unwanted air from above and below the stack and group. With the group so formed, separation includes imparting lateral force on the group edges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Asomm, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Schum, Vladimir P. Vasiliev, Oleg M. Gerasimov, Alexander V. Kislov
  • Patent number: 5924839
    Abstract: The order in which printing work products, such as finished books, book blocks and other similar objects, are transported is rearranged intermediate serially arranged entry and discharge conveyors. In a destacking mode of operation, stacks of products are positioned at an intermediate destacking station and the product which is uppermost in the stack is separated from the stack and delivered onto the receiving end of the discharge conveyor, the receiving end of the discharge conveyor being caused to move vertically in steps so as to remain in position to receive individual products as the stack height is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Assignee: Kolbus GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Karl-Heinz Dopke, Siemen Garlichs, Horst Rathert
  • Patent number: 5788050
    Abstract: An apparatus for moving a series of disk-like articles, such as can ends. The apparatus includes an article moving assembly, an article counting system and an article separating assembly. The article moving assembly includes an adjustment assembly for adjusting the article moving assembly to accommodate a range of can end diameters moving through a path of travel. The can end counting system includes a sensor which detects the rotation of a component of the can end moving assembly. The sensor is coupled to a control device which receives sensing information from the sensor to determine the number of can ends passing through the end moving assembly. The separator assembly includes a blade attached to an actuation assembly. The blade is inserted a sufficient distance to contact an edge portion of an article and the actuation assembly moves the contacted group of articles by moving the blade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Mojden, Paul M. Ross
  • Patent number: 5738486
    Abstract: An apparatus for unloading blocks that are stacked on pallets and have flat separators interposed between the blocks is provided. The apparatus has a three-dimensionally controlled and movable pick-up head on which is disposed an approximately horizontally oriented insertion tool that terminates in a pointed insertion tip. The insertion tool is adapted by means of a horizontal movement to extend below a respectively to be removed block of blanks. In order to recognize an improperly taken up block of blanks prior to further processing thereof, a sensor unit is provided that cooperates with a reflective element that is disposed on the underside of the insertion tool. This makes it possible to inspect if a portion of the bottom blank is disposed below the insertion tool. A block of blanks that has been recognized as improper is initially separated out.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1998
    Assignee: Topack Verpackungstechnik GmbH
    Inventor: Arno Schroeder
  • Patent number: 5722811
    Abstract: A method of separation from a stack of sheets a block of predetermined number of sheets, the method including retaining the stack so that a portion of one edge of each consecutive foremost sheet is free to bend away from the stack, directing a plane of air flow sequentially on to the foremost surfaces of a predetermined number of foremost sheets to bend at least a portion of the free edge of each of the predetermined number of foremost sheets away from the stack, separating the bent predetermined number of foremost sheets into a block and removing the block from the remaining sheets in the stack. Preferably, the plane of the air flow intersects the plane of the sheets in the stack in the range of The plane of the air flow can be directed to bend the free edge or just the corners of sheets in the block to be separated. In one example, the stack foremost end is inclined downward and the air flow is directed upward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Assignee: Asomm, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Schum, Boris M. Akselrod, Alexander N. Gerasimov, Alexander L. Ljubomirsky, Alex M. Piniaev, Alexey N. Zakharov, Simon S. Litvin, Vladimir M. Gerasimov, Michael Valdman
  • Patent number: 5709524
    Abstract: A device for picking up stacks of products from a support, wherein a head for picking up a stack of products from a flat support is provided with presser elements adapted to act on the stack and with a flexible lamina adapted to enter between the stack and the flat support; the pick-up head supports presser cylinders to act on the flat support, and the lower end of the presser cylinders has feet that are movable between an inactive position and a position for insertion between the stack and the flat support to raise the stack at least at the region for the insertion of the lamina between the stack of products and the flat support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 20, 1998
    Assignee: G.D. S.p.A.
    Inventors: Alver Tacchi, Antonio Gamberini
  • Patent number: 5657618
    Abstract: The selection device includes a sensor unit which checks the flatness of the free surface of a sheet pack at an edge, and which moves vertically away from and into contact with the free surface of the pack; the sensor unit extends along an axis transversal to a direction of feed and operates a blade which defines the ream and is opposite and attached to the said sensor unit, moving with the unit near to the edge, and may be positioned parallel to the free surface of the pack; drive means are envisaged for the blade, to move it from a position away from the edge until it makes contact with the ream, at which point the blade penetrates the pack, and a position in which it defines a gap between the ream and the pack, in which the blade is turned about the transversal axis through an angle sufficient to allow the transfer means to penetrate the ream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 19, 1997
    Assignee: Wrapmatic S.p.A.
    Inventors: Davide Dall'Omo, Claudio Pederzani
  • Patent number: 5642980
    Abstract: The device for picking up stacks of products from a support has a head for picking up a stack of products from a supporting platform, and is provided with presser elements for pressing on the stack. The presser elements act in an upward region of the stack and with a flexible lamina that is adapted to fit between the stack and the supporting platform. Additional presser elements are supported by the pick-up head to act on the stack, whereby to take the weight of the stack off the supporting platform and facilitate the insertion of the lamina between the platform and the stack of products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 1, 1997
    Assignee: G.D. S.p.A.
    Inventors: Alver Tacchi, Antonio Gamberini
  • Patent number: 5641266
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for feeding a sheet substack formed by one or a greater number of stacked sheets from a sheet stack (8), in particular feeding the sheets into a cutting saw from a feed station (1) or similar unit, the feed station comprising a pusher (11) for transferring the sheet substack from atop a sheet stack (8) and a back gauge (12) or similar element, in which station at least one of the following, either the back gauge (12) or the sheet stack (8), or even both, is/are movable relative to each other in the vertical direction, in which method the sheet stack (8) or the back gauge (12), or both, is/are moved relative to each other in the vertical direction and the pusher (11) is employed for pushing the sheet substack remaining above the upper edge of the back gage (12) to further processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 24, 1997
    Assignee: Sunds Defibrator Panelhandling Oy
    Inventor: Teuvo Junhani Lehtimaki
  • Patent number: 5605432
    Abstract: A robot manipulator has an arm with a head which is mounted for movement up and down, along a first horizontal path, along a second horizontal path at right angles to the first path, about a vertical axis and about a horizontal axis so that it can reach all portions of a storage facility for bobbins, stacked blanks and/or other commodities which are to be fed to one or more tobacco processing machines. The head has a jaw chuck which can engage a cylindrical internal surface of a bobbin or the cylindrical internal surface of a tool which is used for the transport of stacks of superimposed blanks of paper or the like. The head further has a vertically movable annular pusher which can strip a bobbin off the chuck or which can actuate one or more pivotable supports forming part of the tool and serving to prop one or more stacks from below.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 25, 1997
    Assignee: Hauni Maschinenbau AG
    Inventors: Friedhelm Fink, Klaus Panthel, Hans-Werner Fuchs
  • Patent number: 5439344
    Abstract: A device for counting and discharging corrugated cardboard boxes which is provided in a corrugated cardboard box making machine wherein a rotary screw is arranged for receiving corrugated cardboard boxes one by one forwarded thereto and successively stacking and storing said boxes vertically upward from the bottom, and when the number of the boxes have reached a predetermined number, a group of said boxes are sorted and discharged in a horizontal direction by a first and second pusher bars for a next manufacturing process wherein each of the pusher bars is provided with a dividing member for sorting the boxes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 8, 1995
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Ishikawa Seisakusho, Ltd.
    Inventors: Haruo Yoshizuka, Junichi Takeda
  • Patent number: 5425457
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a document storage device which allows for temporary and secure storage of a number of documents upon their exit from a document processor. The device (10) is comprised of a document stack system (12), a retrieval system (14), and a control unit (16) for tracking the position of each document in the stack. As documents are deposited into the document stack, an identifier is attached to each document's position in the memory of the control unit (16). After deposit of a first document, a first pair of separator sheets (6a, 6b) are deposited above the document. A second document can then be deposited above the first pair of separator sheets. Thereafter, a second pair of separator sheets are deposited above the second document. One sheet from each pair acts as the top or bottom cover for the document (5) against which it is in contact. This deposit process can be continue for additional documents.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 20, 1995
    Inventor: Scott V. Williams
  • Patent number: 5423657
    Abstract: An improved prefeeder assembly for shingling planar sheets in which a sheet stack is positioned on a prefeeder lift conveyor which lowers the sheet stack into a floor pit to incrementally elevate the sheet stack. A block pusher assembly sequentially pushes bock segments to a conveyor assembly where a shingling assembly shingles the sheets. A bottom sheet removal assembly having an in-path diverter plate contacts and diverts only the bottom sheet of the bottommost block segment as this block segment is being shingled. As shingled sheets are discharged to other process equipment, a tamping assembly tamps the sheet edges for uniform restacking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 13, 1995
    Assignee: ASC Machine Tools, Inc.
    Inventors: Terry M. Frost, Terry B. Smith, Jon P. Drake, Hugh F. Moran
  • Patent number: 5391050
    Abstract: The device (1) for picking up, moving and depositing a pile (9) of carton blanks comprises an element (3) suitable for moving according to three Cartesian axes, and to cause to rotate on itself, according to a vertical axis (7), a clamping element (2) which comprises three movable plates (11-13) cooperating with a pressing element (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 21, 1995
    Assignee: OCME S.r.l.
    Inventor: Emanuele Gatteschi
  • Patent number: 5387078
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for separating groups of sheets from a stack for a punching or binding operation. The invention uses a dual disk arrangement having a front disk and a rear disk. The arrangement is for separating a substack from a stack of pages, the substack temporarily resting on the rear disk, and divided by the front disk. The arrangement includes a plurality of rollers downstream of the substack to transport the substack to a downstream processing station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 7, 1995
    Assignee: General Binding Corporation
    Inventor: Frank A. Todaro
  • Patent number: 5380147
    Abstract: A device for lifting one or more flexible, flat parts such as stacked pap pasteboard, cardboard, plastic is disclosed. The device relies on the propensity of a bundle of such parts to flex up around its edge when compressed at a point away from that edge. In one embodiment, a compression device presses down on one bundle in a stack of several bundles of parts to be lifted and a second compression device presses down the underlying stack, thus opening up a gap between the upper bundle and lower stack. A lifting arm is driven into this gap, and a clamp presses down on the bundle above the lifting arm, grasping the bundle. Two retainers are extended down onto the lower stack to prevent the stack from moving as the bundle is lifted. Once contact between the lifted bundle and the remaining stack is broken, the retainers are withdrawn and the lifting device is maneuvered to a delivery position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 10, 1995
    Assignee: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Angewandten Forschung e.v.
    Inventors: Frank-Jurgen Hess, Torsten Schreiber, Frank Wollboldt
  • Patent number: 5352085
    Abstract: A sheet transfer method for carrying a predetermined number of sheets from a destacking position to a restacking position by a vertically and horizontally movable transfer unit incorporating an entry-conveyor, a mid-conveyor, and an exit-conveyor. In this method, at the time of destacking a pile from the remaining stack, the advance of the transfer unit from one end to the other end of the stack, and the rotation of the pair of the entry-conveyor and mid-conveyors are concurrently effected substantially at the same speed, but in directions opposite to each other until the pile is progressively supported on the mid-conveyor. After the arrival of the transfer unit at the restacking position, the retraction of the transfer unit toward the destacking position, and the actuation of the pair of the mid-conveyor and exit-conveyor are concurrently effected substantially at the same speed, but in directions opposite to each other until the pile is clear of the transfer unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1994
    Assignee: Fuji Photo Film, Inc.
    Inventors: Max L. Sargent, Ervin P. Koone