Removes Layer As Unit Patents (Class 414/796.2)
  • Patent number: 10994948
    Abstract: Item singulation systems and methods may include an input conveyor, a separation conveyor, and an output conveyor that is positioned orthogonally to the input conveyor. A vision system may determine individual columns of items from among a plurality of items on the input conveyor. Operations of the input conveyor, separation conveyor, and output conveyor may be controlled substantially as a pull system to transfer individual columns of items to the output conveyor, such that singulated items can be transferred by the output conveyor to downstream processes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Rajeev Dwivedi, Mohit Malik, Vivek S. Narayanan, Shahid Azad, Ganesh Krishnamoorthy
  • Patent number: 10974912
    Abstract: A method for transferring a plurality of columnar honeycomb structures according to the present invention includes: subjecting first side surfaces of the plurality of columnar honeycomb structures to vacuum suction; and correctively transferring the plurality of the columnar honeycomb structures, optionally while supporting second side surfaces opposing to the first side surfaces of the plurality of columnar honeycomb structures by a supporting member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: NGK Insulators, Ltd.
    Inventors: Chikashi Ihara, Masato Shimada, Shinya Yoshida
  • Patent number: 9926147
    Abstract: A method and device for stacking layers of goods (2) is based on a stacking device (1) that includes a handling mechanism (15) which handles, laterally moves, and stacks loose slip-on receptacles (3). The loose slip-on receptacles (3) are open on the bottom, accommodate a layer of goods (2) in the interior (11) thereof, and carry the layer of goods (2) along as the receptacles (3) are slidingly conveyed. An upward-facing bottom (7) of the slip-on receptacles (3) forms the supporting surface (8) for the subsequent layer of goods (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Inventors: Rudolf Kuhn, Peter Knobloch
  • Patent number: 9481530
    Abstract: A depalletizing system is disclosed which enables fully automatic depalletizing. Furthermore, a removal unit with at least one ‘knife edge’ is disclosed. The latter may have an all-around belt which wraps around a drive pinion and a deflection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Inventors: Ludwig Brandmüller, Herbert Fellner
  • Patent number: 9309051
    Abstract: An order-picking installation, a method for order picking and an order-picking system for the purpose of fully automated repacking of stock-keeping units from an inbound unit having a plurality of identical stock-keeping units into an outbound unit having a plurality of different stock-keeping units. The installation, method and system includes a separating station for separating the stock-keeping units, which are delivered in an inbound unit composed of a plurality of identical items, into stock-keeping units and/or sub-units of several stock-keeping units, a small-parts store including a storage location for each type of stock-keeping unit, with an item-storing position and an item-retrieval position, and a stacking and/or packaging station for assembling different stock-keeping units and/or sub-units in an outbound unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2016
    Inventor: Walter Winkler
  • Patent number: 9260256
    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: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2016
    Assignee: UNIVEYOR A/S
    Inventors: Torben Christensen, Henrik Kjeldgaard Hansen
  • Publication number: 20150078877
    Abstract: A depalletizing system is disclosed which enables fully automatic depalletizing. Furthermore, a removal unit with at least one ‘knife edge’ is disclosed. The latter may have an all-around belt which wraps around a drive pinion and a deflection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Publication date: March 19, 2015
    Inventors: Ludwig Brandmüller, Herbert Fellner
  • Patent number: 8915696
    Abstract: In a method and device for depalletizing stack containers, the stacked containers are supported by at least one support base, and the stacked containers on the support base are frictionally engaged and lifted on two opposite sides thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Kuka Roboter GmbH
    Inventors: Michael Baumann, Herbert Fellner
  • Publication number: 20140255141
    Abstract: This invention relates to gripper head for unstacking a stack of trays, each tray provided with a relief of pockets with edge portions and loaded with eggs, the gripper head provided with a holder frame,—having included therein a matrix of suction heads connected with an air suction system, the suction heads, during pickup, transfer and deposition of one tray, being placed on the eggs and engaging them with suction,—having connected therewith at least two oppositely arranged grippers for engaging, simultaneously with the eggs, the tray at corresponding sides during pickup, transfer and deposition of the tray, and—having at least a mast piece which extends perpendicularly with respect to the matrix and is connected with at least an arm for displacing the gripper head between a pickup location and a delivery location, wherein the gripper head furthermore comprises a carrier unit which is connected through at least one spacer with the holder frame in a carrying manner, movably in at least three degrees of freedo
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2012
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Inventors: Mender Koure, Bart Van Walderveen
  • Publication number: 20140126989
    Abstract: The present invention describes a machine (100) for moving overlapped layers of objects (S1-SN), said overlapped layers forming a stack (1) having a main developing direction (D1), comprising: means (2) for picking up at least one layer of objects (SI) arranged on the top of the stack (1), said picking up means (2) being configured to perform a first translation along a direction (D2) parallel to the main developing direction (D1) of the stack to engage with said at least one layer of objects (SI) and to perform a second translation reversibly along a direction (D3) orthogonal to the main developing direction of the stack (1), a plane (10) for transferring said at least one layer of objects (SI), said transferring plane (10) being configured to perform a reversible translation along a direction (D4) parallel to the main developing direction of the stack (1) between a loading position (A) of said at least one layer of objects (SI) and an unloading position of said at least one layer of objects (SI) towards a w
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2012
    Publication date: May 8, 2014
    Inventor: Valentina Silva
  • Patent number: 8534985
    Abstract: A feeding device includes a support mechanism, a movable platform, a driving mechanism, a clutching mechanism, and two or more holding mechanisms. The movable platform is movably connected to the support mechanism, and loads feed trays stacked together. The driving mechanism drives the movable platform to move relative to the support mechanism. The holding mechanisms are fixed on the support mechanism, and switch from a first position to a second position. When the holding mechanisms are positioned in the first position, the holding mechanisms grasp one feed tray adjacent to a feed tray at a top of the feed trays, and the clutching mechanism clutches the feed tray at the top of the feed trays. When the holding mechanisms are positioned in the second position, the holding mechanisms separate from the feed trays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Assignees: Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (ShenZhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Xiao-Ming Xu, Jin-Jin Song
  • Publication number: 20130177380
    Abstract: The apparatus for handling layers of palletized products includes a gripping head associable to a transfer machine adapted to displace the gripping head at least along a substantially vertical direction, the gripping head being provided with: a support framework associable to the transfer machine, a substantially horizontal suction plane associated to the support framework and adapted to suction a layer (S) of palletized products (P), and a fall-prevention plane associated to the support framework and mobile between a rest configuration, wherein the space underlying the suction plane is clear and the suction plane is free to be arranged at contact with the upper surface of the layer (S) of products (P), and an operating configuration wherein the fall-prevention plane is arranged below the suction plane and the layer (S) of suctioned products (P).
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 22, 2011
    Publication date: July 11, 2013
    Inventor: Emilio Murarotto
  • Patent number: 8401693
    Abstract: In a method for spacing bundles of a bundle layer by means of a manipulator gripper with at least one support base that engages bundles and a stop for the placement of bundles, separation between an edge of the support base and the stop is reduced, by a placement motion of the support base in a placement direction that is superimposed on the relative motion of the support base and the stop and is synchronized with this relative motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Kuka Roboter GmbH
    Inventor: Michael Baumann
  • Publication number: 20130015675
    Abstract: An apparatus for picking and placing a layer of product, comprising: a frame, the frame movable from a first position above and clear of the layer of product to a second position over and enclosing the layer of product; paddles mounted on internal sides of the frame, each paddle moveable from a first position in which the paddle is clear of the layer of product to a second position in which the paddle engages and grips a respective side of the layer of product by applying mechanical force thereto; a vacuum duct mounted in the frame over the layer of product, the vacuum duct moveable from a first position in which the vacuum duct is clear of the layer of product to a second position in which the vacuum duct engages and grips a top of the layer of product by applying vacuum force thereto; and, a control system adapted to selectively control respective mechanisms for positioning of the frame, paddles, and vacuum duct to thereby pick and place the layer of product.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 15, 2011
    Publication date: January 17, 2013
    Inventors: DOUGLAS PICKARD, Luis Graca
  • Publication number: 20120034060
    Abstract: The invention relates to a depalletizing device comprising a carriage as well as a friction roller attached to the carriage, which friction roller is rotatable about a horizontal rotation axis and is coupled to a rotational drive in order to rotate. The carriage can be moved to and fro in a direction at right angles to the rotation axis of the friction roller in order to push the friction roller against a side of an object on the pallet in such a manner that the friction roller exerts an upward friction force on the object as a result of which the object is raised on that side, and in order for the friction roller to pass underneath said object after the latter has been raised. The depalletizing device comprises drive means with variable driving power in order to drive the carriage. The drive means comprise detection means.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2011
    Publication date: February 9, 2012
    Applicant: CSI Industries B.V.
  • Publication number: 20120020767
    Abstract: An order-picking system and method that includes a high-bay warehouse, at least one tray warehouse, at least one packing station, at least one shipping station and a conveyor technique to bring the tray loaded with the pallet layer into the tray warehouse. The conveyor technique may be a conveyor, a storage machine and/or a lift.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 1, 2011
    Publication date: January 26, 2012
    Inventor: Gerhard Schafer
  • Patent number: 7992363
    Abstract: A method for palletizing confectioned units including the steps of grouping the confectioned units to a layer of confectioned units in a grouping device, providing a material for an intermediate layer comprising a partly elastic foil material, cutting a single sheet from the material for the intermediate layer, moving the layer of confectioned units and the single sheet of the intermediate layer to a transport device, moving the layer of confectioned goods and the single sheet of the intermediate layer into the loading station of the transport device, transporting the layer of confectioned goods and the single sheet of the intermediate layer to an unloading station, and positioning the layer of confectioned goods and the single sheet of the intermediate layer at the unloading station onto a pallet or onto layers of goods which are already positioned on the pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Krones AG
    Inventors: Peter Zeiner, Kurt Perl
  • Patent number: 7934759
    Abstract: A packaging system for handling palletized product arranged in multiple layers of product cases, a pallet de-layering system includes a gripper mechanism. The gripper mechanism is configured to clamp a layer of the multiple layers by applying a clamping force to one or more product cases of the layer such that the layer can be removed from an adjacent layer of product cases to a different location. The layer includes a void between adjacent product cases. The gripper mechanism includes a void filling member carried by the gripper mechanism. The void filling member is sized and located to be positioned within the void to limit movement of the adjacent product cases into the void during a clamping operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2011
    Assignee: Brenton LLC
    Inventor: Samuel D. Weller
  • Publication number: 20100226746
    Abstract: A method for handling packages in a beverage bottling plant, a method for unstacking packages in a container filling plant, a method for stacking packages in a container filling plant, and arrangements for accomplishing the methods. The abstract of the disclosure is submitted herewith as required by 37 C.F.R. §1.72(b). As stated in 37 C.F.R. §1.72(b): A brief abstract of the technical disclosure in the specification must commence on a separate sheet, preferably following the claims, under the heading “Abstract of the Disclosure.” The purpose of the abstract is to enable the Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and gist of the technical disclosure. The abstract shall not be used for interpreting the scope of the claims. Therefore, any statements made relating to the abstract are not intended to limit the claims in any manner and should not be interpreted as limiting the claims in any manner.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 8, 2010
    Publication date: September 9, 2010
    Inventor: Joachim JUNGHANS
  • Patent number: 7792609
    Abstract: A gripping device for a manipulation system, particularly a robot, for receiving workpieces and feeding them from a readied stack of the workpieces to a manufacturing plant such as a metal sheet folding machine, punching press, welding plant, etc. The device has a gripper head fitted with gripping means such as suction cups, magnets, tongs, etc., and a detection system for detecting characteristics of the workpiece gripped by the gripping means. A pulse emitter excites vibrations in the workpiece and the vibration spectrum of the workpiece is compared to reference vibration data to determine characteristics of the gripped workpiece, such as whether two or more workpieces are stuck together, or whether the workpiece is the correct workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignee: Trumpf Maschinen Austria GmbH & Co. Kg.
    Inventors: Hagen Strasser, Gerhard Sperrer
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20100057246
    Abstract: The invention describes a conveying apparatus (1) for depalletising and removing, or advancing, goods (4), or goods containers (5) which are stacked in a number of layers (3) on a goods support (2), in particular a pallet, with a lifting action conveying arrangement (7) with load carrying means (13) for the goods support (2) and with a conveying apparatus, e.g. a belt conveyor, roller conveyor etc., extending in a conveying plane (21) perpendicular to a lifting direction, adjustable in the direction of removal of the goods (4) relative to the load carrying means (13) and having an inclined run-on plane (35) facing the conveying plane (21), and with a removal and/or lifting device (45) for separating layers (6), e.g. cardboard separating sheets, arranged between the layers (3) or goods (4) or goods containers (5).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2007
    Publication date: March 4, 2010
    Applicant: TGW Transportgeräte
    Inventors: Rudolf Hansl, Jörg Bergmann, Thomas Radler
  • Publication number: 20090148266
    Abstract: In a method and device for depalletizing stack containers, the stacked containers are supported by at least one support base, and the stacked containers on the support base are frictionally engaged and lifted on two opposite sides thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2007
    Publication date: June 11, 2009
    Inventors: Michael Baumann, Herbert Fellner
  • Patent number: 7537427
    Abstract: A clamping apparatus includes a frame and a pair of opposing clamping arms mounted on the frame for movement towards and away from each other to grasp or release a load. In one embodiment, each clamping arm is guided for movement with respect to the frame by an adjustable bushing which can be rotated to adjust the position of the bushing with respect to the clamping arm. In another embodiment, each clamping arm defines a four-bar linkage which controls the angle with respect to the vertical of a contact portion of the clamping arm. The clamping apparatus may be mounted on a lift truck or other support member by a connector which permits the angle of the clamping apparatus with respect to the horizontal to be adjusted and which enables the clamping apparatus to pivot about an axis between a position in which it is disposed outboard of the axis and a position in which is it disposed forward of the axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2009
    Assignee: Tygard Machine & Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Edward Tygard
  • Patent number: 7503557
    Abstract: An apparatus for dividing a bundle of sheet material into smaller bundles includes a platform having a front and back on which the bundle is placed on an edge, a back wall against which the bundle is placed, a recess in the platform, a sliding member moveable from the front to the back of the recess along an axis and pivotable about the axis and having a portion which extends above the platform, and a finger protruding rearwardly from the sliding member offset from the axis and having a length equal to the thickness of the smaller bundles. The sliding member is moved backwards until the portion which extends above the platform abuts the bundle. It is then pivoted to lift the finger under a part of the bundle and a smaller bundle is lifted upwards from the bundle such that a user can then remove that smaller bundle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2009
    Assignee: ACCO UK Limited
    Inventors: Gary Andrew Badham, Christopher Arnold, Richard Nicholas Steer
  • Patent number: 7452179
    Abstract: A method and device for transferring packets, whereby two parallel, superimposed rows of packets are fed in a horizontal direction to a first transfer station, and the lead packets in the two rows are then conveyed in a vertical direction from the first transfer station to a second transfer station, where the lead packets are parted in the vertical direction; at this point, the parted lead packets are transferred in the horizontal direction to a heat-shrink unit having two parallel, superimposed, substantially horizontal channels, each of which is engaged by a respective row of packets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2008
    Assignee: G.D Societa' per Azioni
    Inventors: Silvano Boriani, Stefano Negrini
  • Publication number: 20080124208
    Abstract: A stacking apparatus for a conveyor system raises a two-dimensionally arrayed layer of objects conveyed by the conveyor system and stacks the raised layer of objects on a subsequent layer of objects conveyed by the conveyor system. The apparatus then dispenses the stacked layers of objects from the apparatus, whereby the stacked layers of objects can be received by a palletizer for loading on a pallet in a more time efficient manner.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 28, 2007
    Publication date: May 29, 2008
    Inventors: Joseph F. Ouellette, Richard J. Ouellette
  • Publication number: 20080014074
    Abstract: A depalletizer for removing articles stacked on a pallet that removes the pallet from the below the stack of articles and then removes layers of the stack from the bottom. The depalletizer comprises a receiving section that transfers the loaded pallet to a support structure in a load separating section. The support structure has a chain conveyor and perpendicularly disposed roller conveyor and a clamping mechanism configured to clamp layers of the stack. The clamping mechanism clamps the bottom layer of the stack, the support structure lowers to separate the pallet and the chain conveyor transports the pallet away. The support structure moves up to support the stack and then is lowered to reclamp at the layer above the bottom layer. The support structure lowers again to separate the bottom layer from the stack and the roller conveyor transports it away. The process is repeated until the stack is empty.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 12, 2007
    Publication date: January 17, 2008
    Inventor: Lorin Reed
  • Patent number: 7114908
    Abstract: An apparatus for stacking semiconductor wafers comprises a housing configured to releasably maintain a plurality of semiconductor wafers in fixed positions relative to the housing. The apparatus also includes a transfer guide proximate to the housing, the transfer guide configured to facilitate the transfer of the plurality of semiconductor wafers into the housing. Also included is a member configured to detach the semiconductor wafers from the housing so as to collect the semiconductor wafers into a stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2006
    Assignee: National Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: Roger Sarver, Dennis Moffat MacDonald
  • Patent number: 7033130
    Abstract: A depalletizer includes an input assembly for supporting a loaded pallet loaded with at least one product, a lift assembly, and a product take-away assembly. The input assembly presents the loaded pallet to the lift assembly, which moves the loaded pallet to a product unloading elevation. The product take-away assembly is positioned for receiving a product from the pallet at the unloading elevation. The depalletizer assembly also includes a pallet take-away assembly. After the product is unloaded from the pallet, the lift assembly moves the unloaded pallet to a pallet discharge elevation, where the pallet take-away assembly is positioned to receive an unloaded pallet from the lift assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2006
    Assignee: Rapistan Systems Advertising Corp.
    Inventors: Michael B Watson, Troy E Coolbaugh, Thomas B Smith
  • Patent number: 6802688
    Abstract: An apparatus for handling layers of palletized goods is described, comprising a vertically displaceable lift head with a mainly horizontal suction face which is substantially adjusted in size for a pallet, for example an EU pallet. The head has a large number of downward open suction chambers arranged for being moved downward against the upper side of an upper layer of individually or groupwise packed goods on a pallet. Individual valves are connected with a vacuum source preferably integrated in the lift head, with individual valves between the suction chambers and the vacuum source being ball valves with spherical valve bodies interacting with round valve openings with preferably spherical valve seats. The valve openings are arranged for being automatically actuated to shut off the ball valves if an associated suction chamber is not blocked downwardly by contacting the upper side of the goods at the uppermost pallet layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2004
    Assignee: Univeyor A/S
    Inventors: John Sjælland Andersen, Torben Christensen
  • Patent number: 6619652
    Abstract: An arrangement for separating an entire collation of individual sheets from a supply stack for downstream processing. The arrangement 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: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Eric A Belec
  • Patent number: 6543986
    Abstract: The present invention discloses either an apparatus that is adapted for selective mounting to and demounting from a pallet jack for use therewith or a transport vehicle having an apparatus permanently mounted thereto, which can effectively and efficiently transport articles or stacks of objects, such as boxes, furniture, trays, or the like from one location to another. The apparatus comprises a housing and an article engaging and lifting member, which includes a base and a back support member for supporting the article or stacks of objects. The article engaging and lifting member is pivotally mounted to the housing, preferably adjacent the bottom of the back support member. In one embodiment, the apparatus further includes a first clamp member for maintaining the article adjacent the back support member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Multi-Shifter, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric D. Springston, John R. Pratt, John Schoenma ker, Dale A. Williams
  • Patent number: 6431817
    Abstract: Palletizing or depalletizing unstable articles is disclosed. A first conveyor, connected with a first carriage, has a plurality of pick-up units, each with mechanically movable elongated arms, to engage plural articles in different ones of associated rows of articles at a first area, located at either a load station or at a depalletizing station, enabling pick up and removal of articles by groups (normally layers) in plural rows with plural articles in each row, and transfer of the removed articles from the first area to a second area, located at either a palletizing station or at an unload station, for deposit of the articles thereat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: Goldco Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald J. Simkowski
  • Patent number: 6379105
    Abstract: The present invention provides a lumber unloading and feeding method and apparatus that can reliably separate individual boards from a stacked unit and feed the individual boards into other automatic machinery. One embodiment comprises a first load supporting surface and a second load supporting surface that cooperate to support a first end and a second end of at least one tier; a tier receiver located below the first and second load supporting surfaces; a first pusher that biases the first end of the tier off the first load supporting surface; and a second pusher that biases the second end of the tier off the second load supporting surface, thereby allowing the tier to drop onto the tier receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Inventor: Steven L. Aylsworth
  • Patent number: 6318955
    Abstract: An apparatus that is one part of a conveying system for transferring objects, such as bottles, removes layers of the objects from a pallet on which the layers have been stacked or, in reverse operation, arranges the objects in layers stacked on one another on a pallet. The apparatus may be employed to depalletize objects or to palletize objects, wherein in the depalletizing mode of operation the apparatus has a slipsheet retainer that holds a slipsheet below a layer of objects being depalletized from the stacked layers of objects on the pallet and prevents the slipsheet from moving with the layer of objects as the layer of objects is depalletized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: Ouellette Machinery Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph F. Ouellette
  • Patent number: 6290452
    Abstract: A conveyor delivers successive stacks of blanks to a position at a level above a single magazine or to positions at levels above discrete plural magazines for stacked blanks. In order to avoid misalignment of blanks during replenishment of supplies of such blanks in the magazine or magazines, the level of the uppermost blank in each magazine is monitored and the thus obtained signals are utilized to release stacks of blanks for gravitational descent onto the remnant(s) of blanks in the magazine or magazines when the lowermost blank of a stack is located at a preselected distance from the uppermost blank(s) of the remnant(s) of the supply or supplies of blanks in the magazine(s). This can be accomplished by causing a stack of blanks above a magazine to descend relative to the dwindling supply of blanks in the magazine until the lowermost blank of the descending stack reaches a position at the selected distance from the topmost blank in the magazine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2001
    Assignee: Topack Verpackungstechnik GmbH
    Inventor: Michael Kleine Wächter
  • Patent number: 6273663
    Abstract: An apparatus for accumulating a stack of bags having wicket receiving holes comprises a paddle wheel conveyor for placing bags, a motorized stacker wheel adjacent the paddle wheel conveyor to receive the placed bags from the paddle wheel, a plurality of stacker bar units each rotatably mounted to the stacker wheel and a pick up head operatively positioned adjacent said plurality of stacker bar units for receiving the stack of bags from one of the stacker bar units. The pick up head has two tubes that receive and maintain alignment of the bags, a restraining jaw for restraining the stack of bags on the tubes and a pusher plate for pushing the stack of bags off the two tubes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Huntsman Packaging Corporation
    Inventors: Gordon F. Pickering, Richard E. Partch, Stewart L. Fluent, Colin R. Hart
  • 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: 6241449
    Abstract: A receiving frame, mounted on a horizontal platform includes a sub-frame that is tiltable, with respect to the platform, and has an elevator and elevator platform on its rear wall. The receiving frame receives a stack of tiers of plastic containers on a pallet. The pallet is positioned on the elevator platform. The sub-frame tilts 30 degrees off the vertical, out the open back of the receiving frame. A cover and tier sheet gripping device is provided, located above the top of the sub-frame, for securing and removing the top cover and tier sheets from the stack of tiers on the pallet, on the elevator platform. With the sub-frame tilted at 30 degrees off vertical, the elevator incrementally lifts its platform so that the base of the containers in the top tier and adjacent the rear wall of the sub-frame are at level with the top of the rear wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2001
    Inventor: Robert J. Krooss