Of Charging Or Discharging Plural Static Structures For Supporting Discrete Loads And Utilizing Charging Or Discharging Means Therefor Patents (Class 414/807)
  • Patent number: 11163314
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided herein for mitigating contentions between mobile drive units (MDUs) within a workspace. A schedule may be generated that identifies execution steps associated with respective tasks to be performed by each of a plurality of mobile drive units (MDUs) within the workspace. A contention related to a first execution step associated with a first mobile drive unit (MDU) and a second execution step associated with a second MDU may be identified. The schedule may be altered to include an indication of the contention. It may be determined that the first MDU is at the location of the contention. Accordingly, the contended space may be reserved for the first MDU, and the schedule may be modified to restrict the second MDU from executing the second execution step until the first MDU has completed the execution of the first execution step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2021
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Matthew Paul Bell
  • Patent number: 11104520
    Abstract: A method for monitoring a conveyor system transporting separated piece goods is disclosed. The conveyor system has a display device extending in sections along a transport path for the piece goods. The display device is designed to display at least one optical signal at different points of the transport path, and the display device is coupled to a control device. The control device determines information relating to the relationship of the actual conveyance of the piece good along the transport path with respect to the predetermined conveyance of the piece good along the transport path. An optical signal running along parallel to a piece good transported along the at least one transport path is displayed by the display device. The optical signal indicates the relationship of the actual conveyance of the piece good with respect to the predetermined conveyance of the piece good.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Assignee: Deutsche Post AG
    Inventors: Bernd Hartmann, Manfred Krup, Arnd Kraemer
  • Patent number: 11073527
    Abstract: An automated sample inspection system is provided with a conveyance line for conveying sample carriers; an empty sample carrier line for conveying empty sample carriers; and a buffer line for temporarily holding empty sample carriers supplied from the empty sample carrier line to the conveyance line. According to the depletion status of the buffer line of each processing system, and the depletion status of other processing systems adjacent to each processing system, the number of empty sample carriers to be conveyed from the empty sample carrier line to the buffer line of each processing system, and the number of empty sample carriers to be conveyed from the empty sample carrier line of each processing system to the empty sample carrier line of another adjacent processing system are determined. Consequently, delays in the processes in the system can be suppressed due to the suppression of the depletion of sample carriers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2021
    Inventors: Takeshi Matsuka, Shigeru Yano, Masaki Chikahisa
  • Patent number: 10769587
    Abstract: Apparatuses and methods are provided herein useful in retail store inventory storage and retrieval. Some embodiments provide systems, comprising: a rack system positioned above a dropdown ceiling and extending over the sales floor, and comprising: a plurality of racks, a rail system and the plurality of access passages; a plurality of unmanned vehicles; a plurality of access stations, wherein the access stations physically cooperate with one of the access passages; each rack comprises storage cells to receive a reusable tote; and wherein the central control circuit is configured to receive a request for a first product, identify a first access station, access the inventory tracking system to identify a first storage cell in which the first product is stored, identify an available unmanned vehicle, and communicate to the unmanned vehicle directing the unmanned vehicle to retrieve the tote and transport the tote to the first access station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Paul E. Durkee, Brian C. Roth
  • Patent number: 10766699
    Abstract: An order fulfillment system is disclosed including a storage structure and mobile robots capable of moving vertically and horizontally within the storage structure to transfer product totes to and from storage locations within the storage structure. The mobile robots may move along a track system including horizontal rails for horizontal travel of the mobile robot and vertical towers for vertical travel of the mobile robot. The vertical towers include two opposed pairs of tracks having U-shaped slots. The order fulfillment system may further comprise a mobile robot configured to travel vertically and horizontally along the track system to transfer product containers to and from the storage locations in the storage structure, and horizontally about a horizontal deck spanning the storage aisles. The mobile robot includes four wheel assemblies, each assembly including a pair of wheels mounted on ends of a climbing link.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: Alert Innovation Inc.
    Inventor: Julian Warhurst
  • Patent number: 10759601
    Abstract: A method for operating an automated storage and retrieval system includes transferring a first item storage container from an aisle to a first region of a first storage location, positioning a second item storage container in the aisle proximate the first item storage container, interlocking the second item storage container to the first item storage container by engaging a releasable coupling structure extending there between, and applying, in a first direction transverse to the aisle, a force to the second item storage container sufficient in magnitude and duration to cause the first item storage container to occupy the second region of the first storage location and the second item storage container to occupy the first region of the first storage location, whereby the first and second item storage containers remain interlocked while in the first storage location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: OPEX Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph Valinsky, Robert R. DeWitt, Alexander Stevens, Dhruva Kumar
  • Patent number: 10745200
    Abstract: A method for collecting products listed in an order in a product collecting system having a plurality of modules, the method including: assigning the order to a module, allocating a product listed in the order to the order if the product is already available in the module, allocating a product to the order from another module if the product of the “slow-moving” type is not already available in the module whereas it is available in the other module, allocating a product to the order from a pallet warehouse if the product of the “slow-moving” type is not already available in the module nor in another module, and releasing the order and loading the products onto a collecting carrier when all the products listed in the order have been collected in the module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Inventor: Wilco Johannes Adrianus Anthonius Van De Veerdonk
  • Patent number: 10710803
    Abstract: A method transfers unit loads to storage channels for storage by conveying the unit loads to the storage channels using a unit load receiving device movable along the storage channels in an x-direction and a transporter extendable into the storage channel in a z-direction. The transporter includes outer transport elements in opposite end sections and optionally an in-between inner transport element. The unit load is moved from the unit load receiving device into the storage channel up to an intermediate position using one transport element by moving the transporter in a first direction. The transporter is then moved to a second direction to position the other transport element behind a unit load side wall facing the unit load receiving device. The unit load is finally shifted in the storage channel from the intermediate to the second depth position using the other transport element by moving the transporter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: TGW Mechanics GmbH
    Inventors: Eric Grosse, Dieter Haslinger, Martin Rausch
  • Patent number: 10625939
    Abstract: A method for placing packets into and/or out of storage with or without loading aids into/from a particular storage rack aisle of a storage rack, wherein a distribution path conveys packets into storage and/or out of storage, wherein the distribution path comprises adjacent introducing and/or discharging devices which lead to incoming and/or outgoing paths which each supply goods to a storage rack aisle or remove goods therefrom. If the incoming/outgoing path of a destination storage rack aisle is overloaded, the packet is supplied to another incoming/outgoing path of another intermediate storage rack aisle, wherein a transfer takes place from the intermediate storage rack aisle to the destination storage rack aisle or vice-versa within the storage rack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Assignee: Dematic GmbH
    Inventor: Hans Christoph Meurer
  • Patent number: 10528061
    Abstract: Described herein is system in which separate networks are operated on behalf of system components associated within an inventory system. Mobile drive units may receive initial instructions from a central authority and may identify a number of system components relevant to the provided instructions. The mobile drive unit may be configured to traverse to locations associated with the identified system components. As the mobile drive unit traverses the inventory floor, it may connect to the separate networks that it comes into contact with. Upon connecting to a network associated with a system component relevant to its set of instructions, the mobile drive unit may provide instructions to the system component to cause it to execute an action. In some embodiments, the mobile drive unit may connect to a system component in order to perform a route guidance algorithm and/or collision avoidance algorithm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeremiah David Brazeau
  • Patent number: 10457482
    Abstract: A method for fetching a target bin stored in a storage system (100), wherein the storage system includes a three-dimensional storage grid containing a plurality of bins stacked in vertical stacks, supporting rails (13) on the grid structure, and a plurality of vehicles (1), controllably arranged to move individually on the supporting rails. The method is performed by a control device in the system and comprises controlling at least one non-target vehicle to operate as intermediate storage for a bin located vertically above the target bin (5); controlling a target vehicle to pick up the target bin, and controlling the at least one non-target vehicle and the target vehicle to be positioned adjacent to each other in a linear manner on the supporting rails. A corresponding storage system has also been disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: Autostore Technology AS
    Inventor: Ingvar Hognaland
  • Patent number: 10274960
    Abstract: An automatic guided vehicle comprising a fork carriage with a fork, a propulsion drive system, a sensor to acquire position data of objects located in a detection field and a computer. The vehicle comprises a reference member located in the detection field of the sensor rigidly secured to a common rigid frame with the sensor. The sensor periodically acquires control position data indicative of a position of the reference member. The computer periodically compares the control position data with a reference value stored in a memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: BALYO
    Inventors: Fabien Bardinet, Pierre Bureau
  • Patent number: 10239692
    Abstract: A transport vehicle controller causes a travel speed of the corresponding one of the plurality of article transport vehicles to which the transport vehicle controller is provided to be reduced based on position information of corresponding one of the plurality of article transport vehicles to which the transport vehicle controller is provided and the position information on another of the plurality of article transport vehicles if a separation distance between the corresponding one of the plurality of article transport vehicles to which the transport vehicle controller is provided and the another of the plurality of article transport vehicles is less than, or equal to, a set separation distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Natsuo Takagawa, Toshikazu Kato
  • Patent number: 10032239
    Abstract: Systems, methods, apparatus, and computer program products are provided for initiating shipment of and payment for shipping a parcel. For example, in one embodiment, a customer/user can receive a message on a user device from a carrier that includes an authorization code for shipping a parcel. After the customer/user ships the parcel, the carrier can charge a variety of accounts for the shipping charges, including a wireless services provider associated with the user device. In another embodiment, the customer/user can interact with a kiosk to ship the parcel. In this embodiment, the carrier can also charge a variety of accounts for the shipping charges, including a wireless services provider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Assignee: United Parcel Service of America, Inc.
    Inventors: Sathiyan Parameswaran, Bruce Besserer, Nicholas Costides, Mark Hilbush
  • Patent number: 9764899
    Abstract: The invention provides a system for storing product containers. The control system of the system comprises a central control unit to determine a route for a carriage along a part of a guide system and to send a control signal for the route in question to the carriage control unit of the carriage. The guide system is provided with unique identification signs at at least some of the junctions. Each carriage is provided with a reader for reading an identification sign and communicating said identification sign to the carriage control unit. The central control unit is designed to mark certain junctions as “blocked” under certain circumstances and to generate a list of unique identification signs associated with the “blocked” junctions. Each carriage control unit is designed to store said list in a database of the carriage control unit and to cause the carriage to stop if the identification sign is on the list as stored in the database of the carriage control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Inventor: Franciscus Maria Van Den Berk
  • Patent number: 9592960
    Abstract: A storage rack (30) for use in an order-picking system (100) includes a plurality of rack planes (44) being arranged on top of each other, which respectively comprise a plurality of rack compartments (46, 48) being arranged side-by-side, a filling side (34) and a removal side (32), being different to the filling side (34), wherein the removal side preferably is arranged oppositely, wherein the rack compartments (46, 48) are filled with articles (66-70) at the filling side (34), wherein the articles in term are removed at the removal side (32) for the purpose of order-picking, and a plurality of serving units (52), each of which comprises at least a display element (54), a transmitter (62) and a receiver (64) and is at least arranged such at the filling side (34) that each of the rack compartments (46, 48) is assigned to one serving unit (52).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: SSI Schäfer Noell GmbH Lager- und Systemtechnik
    Inventor: Gerhard Schäfer
  • Patent number: 9396451
    Abstract: Order allocation techniques pertaining to stops that a container makes in the process of fulfilling a customer order is disclosed. In one embodiment, this is accomplished by first identifying a pod that stocks the largest number of different items in a customer order. Then, a second pod is identified that stocks the largest number of remaining items in the customer order. The collection of pods defines a container path through the distribution center.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: June Ray Limited
    Inventors: William Henry Waddington, Patricia C. Grewell, Peter Ham, Boris Klots
  • Patent number: 9390748
    Abstract: This disclosure describes systems and methods for automatically verifying the processing of items within a materials handling facility. In many instances one or more items are processed in a materials handling facility and an agent processing the item must place the item in a designated container so that the item can be routed to the appropriate destination. By using image capture and analysis, the placement of the item in the appropriate container can be verified without requiring the agent to scan or otherwise identify the container into which the item was placed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Alexander Jacob Kritchevsky
  • Patent number: 9063538
    Abstract: An article processing facility includes a transport control device which controls operation of at least one article transport device, management control device which transmits to the transport control device a transport command for transporting the article from a transport origin to a transport destination based on transport data with identifying information, and a display control which causes a display device to display transport-data-associated information. The management control device manages and stores attribute information of the article such that the attribute information is associated with identifying information which identifies the transport data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kenji Yagawa
  • Patent number: 9044786
    Abstract: A system, method, and software are for moving inventory items to an unloading station in response to a fulfillment order. An input device is used to enter identification information about the inventory items. At a loading station, the inventory items are received and loaded into holders. The holders are then moved to storage area. A controller is configured for creating and storing a first association between the entered identification information and each of the holders in which each of the inventory items is placed. A selector and transporter are responsive to the fulfillment order and the first association, and are configured to select a holder which holds the inventory items corresponding to the fulfillment order, and configured to transport the holder from the storage area to the unloading station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2015
    Inventor: Denis J. Stemmle
  • Publication number: 20150110587
    Abstract: An article transport system includes: a first transport device configured to transport an article within a first article storage area or a second article storage area; a second transport device configured to transport the article between the first article storage area and the second article storage area; an alternative power supplier configured to supply the second transport device with first power output by a first power part in the first transport device; and a power switcher configured to switch a power source for the second transport device from a second power part in the second transport device to the alternative power supplier, based on operation of the first transport device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 14, 2014
    Publication date: April 23, 2015
    Inventor: Daisuke HORI
  • Publication number: 20150104277
    Abstract: According to the disclosed embodiments, an illustrative product cartridge comprises first and second opposing walls separated by a distance defined by a product to be transported by the cartridge, the first and second walls configured to define a product access aperture to allow ingress and egress of a plurality of instances of the product between the first and second walls. The product cartridge also comprises product engaging members disposed on the first and second walls, the product engaging members configured to slidingly engage and secure the plurality of instances of the product in parallel when inserted into the product access aperture and at a defined spacing between the plurality of instances of the product. A transfer access aperture opposite the product access aperture is configured to allow an external object to substantially simultaneously push each of the plurality of instances of the product out of the product access aperture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2014
    Publication date: April 16, 2015
    Inventors: David J. Dubiel, Glenn T. Douglas, Steven Garrant
  • Publication number: 20150096682
    Abstract: In a chemical liquid container replacement device D2 configured to replace a chemical liquid container 50, multiple chemical liquid containers 50 respectively connected to base end sides of chemical liquid supply paths configured to supply chemical liquids, and a nozzle attachment/detachment device 61 is configured to attach/detach the base end side of the chemical liquid supply path with respect to the chemical liquid container 50 of a container arrangement section 60. A loading/unloading port 62 loads a new chemical liquid container 50 for performing a liquid process on a substrate W and unloads a completely used chemical liquid container 50. A container transfer device 7 unloads the completely used chemical liquid container 50 from the container arrangement section 60 toward the loading/unloading port 62 and loads the new chemical liquid containers 50 from the loading/unloading port 62 toward the container arrangement section 60.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2014
    Publication date: April 9, 2015
    Inventor: Tsunenaga Nakashima
  • Publication number: 20150098774
    Abstract: A system and method for surface mount assembly of PCBs, using an automated pick-and-place machine into which component tapes on reels are fed, uses component tape reels each of which has been pre-threaded into its appropriate tape guide and been stored as a reel/tape guide packet in an automated SMD storage tower, from which appropriate packets are retrieved for coupling to the pick-and-place machine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2013
    Publication date: April 9, 2015
    Inventor: Nils Jacobsson
  • Publication number: 20150098775
    Abstract: An order picking system includes a storage system for storing containers arranged in multiple rows at various horizontal levels with respect to ground, the containers including source containers with goods stored in the storage system and reception containers to be filled with the ordered goods. At least one mobile picking unit may be moved in a horizontal direction along an upper level of the storage system, the picking unit is configured for taking ordered goods from the source containers arranged at the upper level and placing the ordered goods into the reception containers for delivery to the customers. At least one transportation unit may be moved along a lower level of the storage system arranged lower than the upper level. The transportation unit is configured for taking the containers from levels of the storage system lower than the upper level, and delivering the containers to the upper level.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 9, 2013
    Publication date: April 9, 2015
    Inventor: Sergey N. RAZUMOV
  • Publication number: 20150086304
    Abstract: A method and system for fulfilling orders includes establishing a queue of orders that are available to be filled, each order in the queue containing at least one unique item type. An order from the order queue is selected and opened as a first order. Another order from the order queue is selected and opened as a second order. Inventory containers each having a unique item type for at least one of the orders are delivered and an operator picks the unique item type from the inventory container. The orders are assembled at order assembly locations that are a particular distance from the operator. The orders are selected and/or the assembly locations assigned in a manner that improves order fulfillment productivity, such as by reducing order fulfillment time, reducing operator travel distance, and the like.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 2, 2014
    Publication date: March 26, 2015
    Applicant: Dematic Corp.
    Inventors: Anthony W. Hasman, Fredrick D. Herlacher
  • Publication number: 20150071743
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for selecting and combining items in an outbound container through the use of autonomous vehicles, each of which includes means for automatically loading and unloading a payload, to perform both transfer and transport functions in moving containers of items within a workspace via a network of roadways. Under computer control, said autonomous vehicles transfer and transport case containers of item units between incoming receiving stations, intermediate storage locations, and outgoing order-assembly stations where entire containers or individual item units are combined in the outbound container.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 21, 2014
    Publication date: March 12, 2015
    Inventor: John G. Lert, JR.
  • Publication number: 20150050106
    Abstract: A storage library is described that includes a shelf system adapted to support a number of tape cartridges. The storage library further includes a tape drive adapted to read and write data to and from tape cartridges. The storage library further possesses a temporary repository near the tape drive that is adapted to facilitate an exchange of a first tape cartridge intended to be loaded in the tape drive with a second tape cartridge ready to be removed from the tape drive with a single tape picker device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 14, 2013
    Publication date: February 19, 2015
    Applicant: Spectra Logic Corporation
    Inventors: Nathan Christopher Thompson, Matthew Thomas Starr
  • Publication number: 20150003941
    Abstract: A storage system comprises a storage structure having storage sections and a carry-in-and-out portion, one or more environment adjusters for adjusting storage environment individually for each of the storage sections, an environment managing portion for collecting information about storage environment and controls operation of the one or more environment adjusters, a storage transport device for performing a transport operation, and a carry-in-and-out managing device for managing the locations of storage sections.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 20, 2014
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Inventors: Masahiro Takahara, Toshihito Ueda
  • Publication number: 20140377050
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method for retrieving medication packages from a pharmacy order-picking device. In the method according to the invention, an operating device is displaced in a displacement position to a predetermined shelf position, at least one medication package on a shelf belonging to the shelf position is moved with a gripping device in the direction of a support and it is then checked whether the at least one medication package has moved fully onto the support. If the check has a negative outcome, an edge of the shelf on which the at least one medication package is stored is detected with a sensor of the operating device and said operating device is displaced to a corresponding shelf position, the gripping device having been brought into the displacement position before displacement.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Applicant: Carefusion Germany 326 GmbH
    Inventors: Christoph Hellenbrand, Andreas Klapperich, Dennis Reif
  • Publication number: 20140377041
    Abstract: The apparatus is a Lift and Storage Racking Apparatus for Human Remains to store human remains in an efficient manner. The lift component of the apparatus, through other connected components, when operated will either raise or lower human remains vertically, while maintaining the horizontal orientation of the human remains. The storage component of the apparatus accommodates extraordinary variations in the height, width, depth, and weight of human remains. Parallel storage rollers, glides, slides, and/or bearings facilitate efficient loading and unloading, as well as, expansion of the depth of storage for multiple human remains. Additional vertical levels placed within the storage component proportionally increase the capacity of the storage component. The apparatus is suitable for new installation as well as existing spaces for the storage of human remains; including but not limited to temperature controlled environments, such as buildings, structures, rooms, coolers, and/or freezers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 24, 2014
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Inventor: Kevin Edwin Humphreys
  • Patent number: 8915690
    Abstract: A transport system includes a first track that passes above loading ports of the processing devices, and an overhead travelling vehicle that travels along the first track and includes a hoist. A second track is below the first track, passes above the loading ports, and is disposed in parallel or substantially in parallel with the first track. A buffer is provided below the second track at a position higher than the loading ports, and is arranged such that the articles can pass in a vertical direction over the loading ports. The buffer is disposed such that the articles can pass through the height position of the buffer in a vertical direction over the loading ports. A local vehicle travels along the second track and includes a hoist to perform delivery and receipt of the articles between the buffer and the loading ports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Tatsuji Ota
  • Publication number: 20140308098
    Abstract: An autonomous transport vehicle for transferring case units to and from predefined storage areas in an automated case unit storage system, the automated case unit storage system including an array of multilevel storage racks with picking aisles passing therebetween and at least one multilevel vertical conveyor having movable shelves, the autonomous transport vehicle including a frame configured to traverse the picking aisles and a transfer deck connecting the picking aisles to the at least one multilevel vertical conveyor for transferring case units between the predefined storage areas and the at least one multilevel vertical conveyor, and a controller connected to the frame, the controller being configured to effect movement of the autonomous transport vehicle through the picking aisles for accessing each storage area within a respective level of the array of multilevel storage racks and each shelf of the at least one multilevel vertical conveyor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 11, 2013
    Publication date: October 16, 2014
    Applicant: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: John Lert, Stephen Toebes, Robert Sullivan
  • Publication number: 20140301811
    Abstract: There is provided a vertical lift storage system (101), comprising a storage rack (105) configured to store load units and a lift system with an upwardly and downwardly movable carrier structure (108), where the carrier structure (108) is configured to carry multiple load units at respective sections and with first transportation means configured to insert and withdraw respective load units into and from the storage rack. The system is characterized in that the carrier structure is configured with second transportation means to shift load units sideways on the carrier structure between its sections. In some embodiments the first transportation means comprises telescopic arms and the second transportation means comprises rollers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Publication date: October 9, 2014
    Inventor: Tommy Langhoff
  • Patent number: 8851827
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for automatically order-picking or consolidating articles of a wide variety of different formats and varieties, using the following steps: separating the stored articles, storing the articles in a rack bay, retrieving the articles and palletizing them. The method is predominantly characterized in that the articles which are to be order-picked for an order are put together in a rack bay already in the sequence which is necessary for palletizing. The invention also relates to an installation for implementing the method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Salomon Automation GmbH
    Inventors: Albert Burgstaller, Michael Gruber, Franz Bauer-Kieslinger
  • Patent number: 8855805
    Abstract: A conveyance vehicle system that achieves an increased efficiency of loading an article from a conveyance vehicle into a loading opening of an automated warehouse, includes a stocker, a conveyance vehicle, and a conveyance vehicle controller. The stocker includes racks, a loading port, and a stocker controller. The conveyance vehicle loads an article into the loading port of the stocker. The conveyance vehicle controller assigns the conveyance vehicle with an article conveyance command to convey the article to the stocker. The stocker controller receives a predicted conveyance command before the article is loaded from the conveyance vehicle into the stocker. The predicted conveyance command includes ID information of the article and information indicating whether or not the article is to be loaded into a rack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Kazunori Shimamura
  • Publication number: 20140271065
    Abstract: A system for selectively disallowing unwinding of a storage library robotic mechanism cable assembly in a direction that would otherwise allow a platform of the robotic mechanism to move downwardly via the force of gravity while at the same time allowing for winding up of the cable assembly and the platform, such as during shipping, manual access, replacement of the robotic mechanism, and/or the like. The system may include a ratchet pawl for engaging between adjacent teeth of a drive assembly of the robotic mechanism and an actuator for selectively moving or allowing for movement of the ratchet pawl into and out of the engaged position. In one embodiment, the system may include an electric switch or the like to sense when the pawl is engaged with the drive assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventor: Joseph P. Manes
  • Publication number: 20140271064
    Abstract: An example system may include the following features: slots configured to receive devices to be tested; a device transport mechanism to move devices between a shuttle mechanism and slots; a feeder to provide devices untested devices and to receive tested devices; and a shuttle mechanism to receive an untested device from the feeder and to provide the untested device to the device transport mechanism, and to receive a tested device from the device transport mechanism and to provide the tested device to the feeder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventors: Brian S. Merrow, Philip Campbell, Eric L. Truebenbach, Adna Khalid, John P. Toscano, Nathan James Blosser, Jianfa Pei, Marc LeSueur Smith
  • Publication number: 20140255132
    Abstract: A storage and distribution device and method based on an arrangement whereby the largest sides of boxed products are in contact with one another are disclosed. The device includes a storage device, a blind door and a restocking manipulator. The blind door is disposed at the front of the storage device, and the restocking manipulator is disposed at the rear of the storage device. The storage device includes a plurality of storage units. Each of the storage units includes a matrix storage rack provided with a plurality of storage passages in a matrix arrangement. Each of the storage passages includes two baffle plates having brushes and a bottom plate. A discharge control device is disposed at the front of a discharge end of each storage passage. A spiral spring driver is further disposed on each storage passage. The driver is driven by a spiral spring energy-storage device to move stored items towards the discharge end of the passage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2012
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Inventors: Zhonglin Gong, Zhiqiang Chen
  • Publication number: 20140225007
    Abstract: A system for loading workpieces into a process chamber for processing in a matrix configuration includes a conveyor configured to transport multiple workpieces in a linear fashion. A workpiece hotel is configured to receive the multiple workpieces from the conveyor. The workpiece hotel comprises a matrix of cells arranged in N columns and M floors. A pick blade is configured to insert into the hotel and retract from the hotel in order to unload a plurality of substrates from a first floor into a single row of the pick blade, and to repeat the unloading operation to form a matrix comprising a plurality of rows of substrates disposed on the pick blade. In one example, the workpiece hotel has a staggered configuration that provides individual accessibility of each hotel cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 15, 2014
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Inventors: William T. Weaver, Jamie A. Carrera, Robert B. Vopat, Aaron Webb, Charles T. Carlson
  • Publication number: 20140219751
    Abstract: A storage structure (10) according to the invention comprises a plurality of pallets (14) that is each configured to carry a load such as a car (16), a vertical conveyor (12) including a number of endless chains (26), a support structure (24) that defines storage bays (18) in which the pallets (14) and cars (16) can be stored, a number of brackets (30) on each chain (26), and a sliding mechanism (44,46) on each level, for sliding the pallets (14) between the bays (18) and a position in which the pallet (14) is supported on some of the brackets (30) on the chains (26). The bays (18) are provided on opposing sides of the vertical conveyor (12) and are spaced apart vertically on multiple levels, with equal vertical spacing between the levels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2012
    Publication date: August 7, 2014
    Inventor: Maurice Segal
  • Publication number: 20140212257
    Abstract: An automated warehouse includes first and second stacked racks parallel to each other; first and second shipping-and-receiving stations placed at the same end of the stacked racks; transfer shuttles located between the stacked racks and between the shipping-and-receiving stations; elevator mechanisms equipped with first and second elevator platforms for receiving or transferring the packages to stand-by conveyors; and means for transferring the packages to and from the first and the second elevator platforms. The direction of motion of the stand-by conveyor of the first shipping-and-receiving station and the direction of the motion of the stand-by conveyor of the second shipping-and-receiving station, on the same level of stack, may be opposite; and the direction of motion of some of the stand-by conveyors pertaining to the first shipping-and-receiving station may be opposite to that of the rest of the stand-by conveyors of the first shipping-and-receiving station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 3, 2014
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Inventor: Shin Yamashita
  • Publication number: 20140212247
    Abstract: A chassis stacker having a first and a second vertical storage rack displaced from one another by a distance wide enough to accommodate a trailer chassis, and connected at a top end by a trolley rail support beam. A trolley is positioned on the trolley rail support beam, said trolley having an elevation system capable of raising and lowering a first and a second stabilizing beam that are suspended from the trolley and guided in their vertical motion by low-friction, storage-rack contact members attached at respective first and second ends of the elevating structure, said contact members in contact with an inner surface of the respective first and second vertical storage racks. A first and a second stabilizing-beam trolley is attached to the, respective, first and second stabilizing beams while a spreader containing a chassis-clamping mechanism extends between and attaches to the first and the second stabilizing beam trolley.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 26, 2012
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Applicant: MI-JACK PRODUCTS, INC.
    Inventors: Myron Glickman, John J. Lanigan, SR., John J. Lanigan, JR.
  • Publication number: 20140205423
    Abstract: Method for providing transport units from a storage facility on at least one removal line, wherein the transport units are stored in a plurality of storage racks and storage rack levels, wherein interior storage racks are arranged in pairs adjoining one another and have a storage aisle on each side of the pair. At least one storage line and at least one removal line is provided. The transport units are placed into storage in, and removed from storage from, the storage rack via a storage and removal apparatus for each access aisle. For each access aisle, a storage and removal apparatus is provided. At least one removal lift is used to transfer the transport units to the removal line connected downstream thereof. A direct exchange of transport units takes place between two adjoining storage racks from one access aisle to an adjacent access aisle via transverse conveyance locations in the storage racks. The storage and removal apparatus moves the transport units in the transverse conveyance locations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2013
    Publication date: July 24, 2014
    Inventor: Shin Yamashita
  • Patent number: 8784034
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for selecting and combining items in an outbound container through the use of autonomous vehicles, each of which includes means for automatically loading and unloading a payload, to perform both transfer and transport functions in moving containers of items within a workspace via a network of roadways. Under computer control, said autonomous vehicles transfer and transport case containers of item units between incoming receiving stations, intermediate storage locations, and outgoing order-assembly stations where entire containers or individual item units are combined in the outbound container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Assignee: Symbotic Systems, LLC
    Inventor: John G. Lert, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20140199141
    Abstract: A lift mechanism is provided. The lift mechanism includes a frame having a base, a spine extending from the base and a table, adjustment units configured to permit table adjustments, an attachment mechanism by which the table is attachable to a rack frame and a driving unit configured to drive a load relative to the rack frame.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2013
    Publication date: July 17, 2014
    Applicant: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Lannie R. Bolde
  • Publication number: 20140193225
    Abstract: A modular system for storage of cargo units in a designated space. The modular system includes: a plurality of interconnected active cell units, each cell unit including a cell transporting mechanism with at least one active shuttle unit moveable between the plurality of cell units. Each shuttle unit includes a shuttle transporting mechanism adapted to transport at least one pallet of the plurality of pallets to and from one of the plurality of cell units and also to and from at least one shuttle unit. The system also includes a central controller adapted to control the operation of the cell and the shuttle transporting mechanisms, the operation of which is performed in an independent manner via the central controller such that a construction of any arrangement of the cell units is performed to effectively exploit a designated space.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2014
    Publication date: July 10, 2014
    Inventors: Ilia KHARKOVER, Yakov MONASTYRSKY
  • Publication number: 20140182242
    Abstract: An automatic system for replenishing display shelves in retail businesses. The display shelves each including a shelf board having a conveyor belt circulating around the respective shelf board. Each of the display shelves further including a stop bar and a removable fall-off guard at respective front and rear sides of the display shelves to prevent goods from falling off the display shelves and, wherein, the display shelf is designed to cooperate with a shelf-stocking vehicle such that the fall-off guard is automatically opened when the display shelves are refilled by the shelf-stocking vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Inventor: Walter Winkler
  • Publication number: 20140178169
    Abstract: A microscope slide holding cassette includes a main body for surrounding and protecting microscopes, and shelves capable of holding the microscope slides. The shelves have support members that extend outwardly in order to support label ends of slides. Catches carried at the end of the support members are capable of limiting movement of the slides during transport of the cassette. To transport slides to different workstations, a pickup device can use a vacuum to pick up a slide without contacting areas of the slide that may have glue. The pickup device can load and unload the cassette. The pickup device can have a low-profile configuration in order to access relatively small spaces for processing flexibility.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 21, 2012
    Publication date: June 26, 2014
    Inventors: Raphael Hebert, Gregory C. Loney, Keith Moravick, David Moriconi, Christopher Eugene Todd
  • Publication number: 20140154044
    Abstract: A storage apparatus has an rack of storage bins, a pick head drive unit to drive a pick head to an access location for a selected bin, and a platform drive unit to drive a platform forming part of the pick head into and out of the rack to pick or load packages at a selected bin of the rack. The platform has a cam formation which, in the course of entry of the platform into the rack acting to lift a desired package until the platform reaches a clearance position at which the cam formation clears the package. Subsequent withdrawal of the platform from the rack acts to drag the desired package from the selected bin.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 10, 2013
    Publication date: June 5, 2014
    Inventors: Wes van Ooyen, Todd Willick, Derek Bessette