Of Charging Or Discharging Plural Static Structures For Supporting Discrete Loads And Utilizing Charging Or Discharging Means Therefor Patents (Class 414/807)
  • Publication number: 20100158647
    Abstract: An automated case order preparation system including a crane for transporting groups of depalletized product cases to temporary storage on shelving, and to a plurality of gravity-powered case guides, for accumulating and dispensing cases to fulfill client order pallets.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2008
    Publication date: June 24, 2010
    Inventor: Daniel R. Lafontaine
  • Publication number: 20100158648
    Abstract: An order-picking system comprising a storage rack, wherein the rack (16, 18) is divided into a number of planes (RPi) arranged on top of each other each having rack-storage locations (54) arranged side-by-side, which are preferably formed by hold elements mounted laterally to rack posts, and wherein the rack is coupled to a vertical elevator, wherein the vertical elevator (12, 14) serves for transporting load supports (50) from a rack-plane level (RRi) of the storage rack (16, 18) to a handing-over level, and vice versa, wherein the elevator (12, 14) is provided with a first vertical traction unit (40) endlessly rotating, and a second vertical traction unit (42) endlessly rotating, wherein the first and second traction unit (40, 42) can be driven substantially synchronous and are distanced to each other such that a plurality of first support elements (48), which are mounted on the first traction unit (42), and a plurality of second support elements (48), which are mounted on the second traction unit (42), def
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 11, 2008
    Publication date: June 24, 2010
    Inventor: Gerhard Schäfer
  • Publication number: 20100150689
    Abstract: A method of assembling pallets containing stock units is disclosed using a negative pick/put transfer having donor pallets 14 containing quantities of stock units and recipient pallets 20 receiving stock units. A distribution system 10 and control system 32 is provided to implement negative pick/put transfers of pallets. Also disclosed are methods and systems for sequencing the assembly of pallets by matching stock orders to create negative pick/put transfer opportunities.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 15, 2008
    Publication date: June 17, 2010
    Inventors: Paul A. Berry, Adrian A. Grunbach, Max F. Ferrigni
  • Patent number: 7731474
    Abstract: A cassette insertion control method, wherein when a cassette (1) is sent to the storage part (41) of a garage (8a), the cassette (1) is tilted without positioning the garage (8a) and the cassette (1) to oppose to each other, and sent to the front opening part (40) of the garage (8a) from a tip corner part (45) of the cassette (1), thereby to securely store the cassette (1) in the garage (8a). Thus, even if the accuracy of the stop position of a picker running in a direction parallel with the arranged direction of the garage is not so high, the cassette can be securely stored in the garage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventor: Makoto Hiroyasu
  • Patent number: 7722307
    Abstract: A system for controlling stocked items to be picked in a warehouse. The system has a first support assembly upon which a plurality of items can be stored in a predetermined array, including a plurality of rows, and from which stored items can be picked from a first location. The first support assembly has at least (a) a first state with no item upon the first support assembly, (b) a second state with at least one item in at least one of the rows and no items in another of the rows and (c) a third state with at least one item in each of the plurality of rows. The system includes a repositioning assembly that is operable to cause an item upon the first support assembly to be shifted from a first position in a first row to a second position in a second row. An item upon the first support assembly is situated to be more accessible to an operator for picking from the first location with the item in the second position than with the item in the first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2010
    Assignee: Daifuku America Corporation
    Inventor: Steven G. Bell
  • Patent number: 7686560
    Abstract: A rack and conveyor shuttle system for placing and retrieving articles of various sizes including a rack system having a shelving framework of at least two tubes spaced apart from one another at a distance, wherein the distance between the tubes is sufficient to support the article in a single stack and a motorized, conveyor shuttle system having at least two finger-like conveyors spaced apart from one another at a distance, wherein the distance between the finger-like conveyors is sufficient to move in between the two tubes so as to engage the article wherein the conveyor shuttle system is adapted to interlace in between the rack system for both placing and retrieving the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Assignee: Conestoga Cold Storage
    Inventors: Larry Hermas Laurin, Gavin Leigh Sargeant, Fred James Kuper, George Richard Pipes, Sergay Douglas Liston
  • Publication number: 20100054906
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a racking system and method of storing palletized items in the racking system. The present disclosure also relates to a racking system for storing multiple pallets stacked with the palletized items, the multiple pallets being deliverable for storage in the racking system by a fork lift vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2007
    Publication date: March 4, 2010
    Applicant: J&D GLOBAL, LTD.
    Inventors: Dennis Hartman, John Terry
  • Publication number: 20100040444
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method of storing storage products in a storage rack, the storage rack comprising several rack units providing a plurality of storage spaces for the storage products. The storage rack comprises a transport shaft, a transport device being traversable on the transport shaft to transport the storage products between a service opening and a storage space. A first rack unit has the service opening and a second rack unit is spaced from the first rack unit by the transport shaft. In the method, a first storage product is transported into a buffer area spaced from the service opening of the first rack unit by the transport device for intermediate storage. A second storage product is supplied to the transport device via the service opening. The second storage product to be stored is transported into the buffer area using the transport device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 10, 2008
    Publication date: February 18, 2010
    Applicant: HÄNEL & CO.
    Inventor: Joachim Hänel
  • Patent number: 7661920
    Abstract: A method and a storage and manipulation system for manipulating and transferring cassettes used for storage. The system includes a rack for storing cassettes. The rack includes supports on which the cassette rests. A transfer device includes a slide, onto which the cassette can be transferred. The slide includes a lifting and lowering movement. The transfer device also includes grippers that grip the cassette and moving it onto or off the slide. The slide can be placed underneath the front part of the cassette and, by a lifting movement, elevate the front part of the cassette such that the cassette can be transferred along the support onto the slide. A rear part of the cassette is simultaneously supported by the support. The slide can also lower the front part of the cassette onto the support when the rear part of the cassette is transferred onto the support of the rack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2010
    Assignee: Fastems Oy AB
    Inventors: Juhana Kantola, Tero Rapila, Teppo Halkola, Vesa Raevaara, Jyrki Kortesmäki
  • Publication number: 20100036675
    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: Application
    Filed: September 4, 2009
    Publication date: February 11, 2010
    Inventor: Gerhard Schäfer
  • Patent number: 7611323
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to a stocking system and its operating method. The stocking system comprises a shelf assembly, a first crane, and a second crane. The shelf assembly stores a plurality of cassettes. The first crane is installed at one side of the shelf assembly and loads/unloads the cassettes to/from the shelf assembly. The second crane is installed at the other side of the shelf assembly and loads/unloads the cassettes to/from the shelf assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: LG Display Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hee Uk Chung
  • Publication number: 20090245989
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention address deficiencies of the art in respect to construction waste removal and provide a method, system and apparatus for construction waste removal. In one embodiment of the invention, a construction waste removal system can be provided. The system can include an assembled waste chute, the assembled waste chute comprising a set of waste chute sections that are joined together in an end-to-end matter and a collapsible waste container configured to receive waste from a downstream end of the assembled waste chute. The system further can include a waste transport vehicle including a main frame disposed along the longitudinal axis of the waste transport vehicle, a grasping mechanism configurable for removing waste from the collapsible waste container and disposed adjacent to an operator cab, and a waste-receiving vehicle bed coupled to the main frame.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2008
    Publication date: October 1, 2009
    Inventor: Sheldon Mickelson
  • Publication number: 20090241810
    Abstract: A pallet includes a platform and a plurality of support assemblies located at multiple positions on the platform. One support assembly is associated with each location of the component to be supported. Each support assembly has a linkage assembly to support and enable movement of a support element. The support assemblies also each include multiple bases secured to the platform, to position the support element in a desired location for each version of a component. A locking mechanism on each support element allows for selectively preventing vertical movement of the support element relative to the pallet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 27, 2008
    Publication date: October 1, 2009
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS, INC.
    Inventors: Nicolas Lauzier, Robin Stevenson
  • Patent number: 7591630
    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: August 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2009
    Assignee: CasePick Systems, LLC
    Inventor: John G. Lert, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20090185884
    Abstract: A method for fulfilling requests in an inventory system includes receiving a request indicating an activity to be completed. The method also includes selecting a holder to fulfill the request and an inventory station at which to fulfill the request. The inventory station is associated with a queue that includes a plurality of queue spaces. The method further includes moving the selected holder from a first location to a second location remote from the selected inventory station. Additionally, the method also includes determining that a trigger event has occurred and, in response to determining that the trigger event has occurred, moving the selected holder from the second location to a queue space of a queue associated with the selected inventory station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 27, 2009
    Publication date: July 23, 2009
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter R. Wurman, Daniel T. Brunner, Michael T. Barbehenn
  • Publication number: 20090148260
    Abstract: A tire loading apparatus and method of packing tires that includes placing the tires in a rack, compressing the tires, and assembling the rack are disclosed. The apparatus includes one or more conveyors, scanners, and robots that load tires from a conveyor to a rack. A tire unloading apparatus is also disclosed. The unloading apparatus includes a scissor mechanism to raise and/or lower tire racks to an unloading platform. The unloading apparatus additionally includes one or more unloaders and conveyors. The sorting and unloading of tires is accomplished with one or more automated conveyors, scanners, and storage structures for reading information from incoming tires and using the tire information to sort and store the tires. A rack to improve compression and support of tires during storage and shipment is also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2008
    Publication date: June 11, 2009
    Applicant: LINWELL, INC.
    Inventors: Wendell B. Leimbach, James Wheeler Marshal, Rick Wallace
  • Publication number: 20090136333
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for operating an order-picking systems (100; 100?), wherein the order-picking system comprises a high-bay warehouse (10), at least one tray warehouse (16), at least one packing station (20; 32), and at least one shipping station (22), comprising the following steps: a) depalletizing (S20) in a layerwise manner packing units (42), which form a, particularly complete, pallet layer (40), from a pallet (44), particularly a EuroPallet, which respectively carries a plurality of packing units (42), which are to be picked, of a type of article, onto a correspondingly dimensioned tray (46); b) bringing (S30) the tray (46) loaded with the pallet layer (40) into the tray warehouse (16), preferably by means of a conveyor technique (14), a storage machine and/or a lift; c) recalling (S40) the tray (46) loaded with the pallet layer (40) in accordance with an order-picking order or several order-picking orders to the packing station (20; 32); removing in accordance with the order-picking or
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2008
    Publication date: May 28, 2009
    Inventor: Gerhard Schafer
  • Publication number: 20090136328
    Abstract: It is disclosed: a method and a work station (28; 28?, 28?; 28??) for order-picking and, simultaneously, packing articles onto a shipping support (54), comprising: at least one rack (12; 14), which is divided into at least one rack plane (16) respectively comprising a plurality of rack positions for storing load supports, wherein the articles to be picked are stored preferably in or on the load supports in rack positions; at least one vertical lift unit (18; 20) arranged adjacently to a longitudinal side of the rack (12) and being adapted to retrieve load supports from such rack positions being adjacent to the lift unit (20); and at least a packing station (42; 42?), which is arranged within an immediate area (62) of the lift unit (20).
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2008
    Publication date: May 28, 2009
    Inventor: Gerhard Schafer
  • Publication number: 20090060697
    Abstract: A container changing system able to prevent deterioration in the working rate of substrate processing apparatuses and deterioration in the amount of production of semiconductor devices. A second mounting portion is arranged between a carrier of a container conveying unit and a first mounting portion of a substrate processing apparatus with respect to a lifting direction of a container. The second mounting portion is configured to freely advance and withdraw to/from a lifting path of the container. A container lifting unit is arranged between the carrier and the second mounting portion with respect to the lifting direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 12, 2008
    Publication date: March 5, 2009
    Applicant: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventor: Shinji WAKABAYASHI
  • Publication number: 20080317567
    Abstract: A method of automatically depositing and withdrawing storage-goods carriers (2) in and from a storage rack (4, 4?) with the aid of transport vehicles (1) is improved according to the invention in that at least two storage-goods carriers (2) are stored each in a first and at least one other storage level (28) one upon the other on a transport vehicle (1), the transport vehicle (1) is driven near the storage rack (4, 4?) and positioned in a transfer position (U) at the storage rack (4, 4?), and subsequently the storage-goods carriers of the first and then of the at least one other storage level (28) are deposited in or withdrawn from the storage rack (4, 4?) in the transfer position (U), wherein a relative difference of level (?Y) between a working level (E) of a transfer device (3, 36, 36?) and the respective storage levels (28) of the storage-goods carriers (2) is automatically compensated for deposition and withdrawal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2008
    Publication date: December 25, 2008
    Inventors: Michael Rother, Bernhard Sproll
  • Publication number: 20080273960
    Abstract: A glass substrate distribution system includes a cassette, a first transmission mechanism, and a second transmission mechanism. The first transmission mechanism transmits the glass substrate to several standby positions outside the cassette. The second transmission mechanism transmits the glass substrate between the standby positions and the glass substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2008
    Publication date: November 6, 2008
    Applicant: AU OPTRONICS CORP.
    Inventor: Kai-Yu Liu
  • Publication number: 20080260504
    Abstract: A storage system for items such as substrate carriers includes at least one stocker including a plurality of storage areas each adapted to store at least one storage device. At least one movable support is arranged on the at least one stocker. A control controls movement of the at least one movable support at least between a first position wherein the at least one movable support receives the at least one storage device outside one of the storage areas and a second position wherein the at least one movable support is arranged substantially within the one of the storage areas.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 17, 2007
    Publication date: October 23, 2008
    Applicant: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Jeffrey P. Gifford, David J. Pinckney, Peter J. Shaffer, Uldis A. Ziemins
  • Publication number: 20080247848
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and a system for operating a shelf in a commissioning system, comprising a shelf (1) and a storage and retrieval unit (2) associated therewith for storing and retrieving containers (3), trays or the like in or from the shelf. A height range of the shelf (1) comprising a plurality of superimposed shelf planes (a, b, c, d) can be operated as an autonomous shelf unit (I, II, III or IV) via at least one mechanically coupled longitudinally adjustable storage and retrieval unit (2) and at least two autonomous shelf units are provided for a single shelf. The invention is characterized in that the storage and retrieval unit (2) is displaced from a shelf unit (I; II; III or IV) to another shelf unit (II, III, IV or I, III, IV or I, II, IV or I, II, III) of the same shelf (1) or of another shelf (1?), preferably to another shelf unit which is not yet provided with a storage and retrieval unit of the same kind.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2005
    Publication date: October 9, 2008
    Inventor: Karl Freudelsperger
  • Publication number: 20080226432
    Abstract: A storage and retrieval unit (1) and a method for transporting goods (2) from or to a shelf (3) in a commissioning unit are provided. The storage and retrieval unit includes a vertical mast (4) and a longitudinal drive (5), linked with the mast, for longitudinally displacing and longitudinally positioning the storage and retrieval unit on a site of operation of the shelf on the shelf front or the shelf rear. A height-adjustable goods receiver (7) is provided on the vertical mast. The is configured as an articulated mast (4) having at least one joint (8) which enables a deflection (A) of the articulated mast in the direction of longitudinal displacement (L). A guide/readjusting device (9) having articulated rods, especially an articulated oscillating crank (9?), is provided on the articulated longitudinal end of the articulated mast for the purpose of stability.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2005
    Publication date: September 18, 2008
    Inventor: Karl Freudelsperger
  • Publication number: 20080181753
    Abstract: Individual items or multiple items are stored on vertical stacks (or racks) of conveyors. The stacks of conveyors are located on both sides of a vertical transport on which cartons, totes, and/or pallets are loaded. The vertical transport is able to be vertically lifted in a fashion similar to an elevator so that the totes on the conveyor can receive items from the various levels of the storage rack conveyors. To speed up the loading process, items can be loaded in the containers simultaneously from both sides of the container and/or sequentially. In one form, a cross-belt conveyor is used to load the items. Alternatively or additionally, robotic arms can be used to load the items. One or more conveyor drivers can be used to power multiple conveyors in order to index items to a loading position on the conveyors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2007
    Publication date: July 31, 2008
    Inventors: William A. Bastian, Elizabeth Sobota
  • Patent number: 7381022
    Abstract: An automated storage and retrieval system wherein electrically driven, computer-controlled carriages (58) can navigate a system of rails (78) in three-dimensions. Multiple carriages (58) can independently operate at the same time to accomplish a task faster or to work on several different tasks at the same time. The rails (78) have a system of trap doors (95) that allow a carriage (58) to use a single reversible motor (67) to navigate the rails (78) in three-dimensions. With the carriage (58) in positioned in font of a bin position, the carriage mounted manipulating device (125) can move bins (115) to and from the racks (107) from either side with a single reversible motor (131). The rails (78) are electrified to provide power for the drive (67) and manipulator motors (131). A main computer (146) maintains the inventory, handles transactions and assigns tasks to the computer-controlled carriages (58).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2008
    Inventor: Rodney Joe King
  • Publication number: 20080075568
    Abstract: A system and method for the safe storage of boats wherein a storage structure is provided having a first section in which boats are stored in vertically oriented cells with each boat being carried within a boat storage unit such that the units may be stacked one upon another and wherein at least one transfer vehicle is provided for selectively engaging and conveying the boat storage units along an overhead grid track system between the first section and a second section wherein the grid track system is at least partially oriented over a body of water such that the at least one transfer vehicle may be used to either lift or lower a boat contained within a boat storage unit relative to the body of water and move the storage unit to and from a storage position in one of the vertical storage cells of the first section of the storage structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 2, 2007
    Publication date: March 27, 2008
    Inventors: Charles E. Benedict, Brian G. Pfeifer, Christian A. Yates, Scott K. Bladen, Richard E. Lackinger, James R. Dobbs
  • Patent number: 7287953
    Abstract: Method for loading and unloading long-distance transportation means (1, 2) and for temporarily storing a standardized cargo (18) in an intermediate storage facility (3) includes a rail-guided hoist (5) with gripper (8). The cargo is lifted from a long-distance transportation means (1) and transferred to a transfer zone (4), lowered and set down. The cargo (18) is then transferred to an intermediate storage facility (3) and stored therein, then removed, transferred to a predetermined location in the transfer zone (4), and lowered and deposited onto a rail-guided long-distance transportation means (2) by the hoist (5).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2007
    Assignee: Rail Cargo Austria AG
    Inventors: Dietmar Schratt, Helmut Klaus Schimany
  • Patent number: 7273344
    Abstract: A data storage library and method of operation are disclosed wherein access at least to part of at least one robotics mechanism from the data storage library's exterior is permitted. Access is accomplished through a service port in the library's housing. Access to the storage cells, and thus the data cartridges sitting therein, from the library's exterior is blocked. Blocking access to the storage cells may be provided by a geometry of the service port itself, or by a combination of a door and the robotics mechanism being serviced filling the opening created by the service port. For robotics mechanisms operating on a track, part of the track may be routed through the service port to bring the robotics mechanisms to the exterior of the library for maintenance purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2007
    Assignee: Storage Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy C. Ostwald, Daniel James Plutt
  • Patent number: 7261509
    Abstract: A method for operating a rack system preferably in a dispatch unit (1), with a rack (2) and an associated rack serving device for the storage and retrieval of containers (3), trays or the like to or from the rack. A rack region of the rack (2) has a plurality of rack planes (13) arranged one above the other and is served by a dedicated, mechanically coupled, height and length-adjustable rack serving device (4). In each track region embodied as an independent, closed rack unit (A, B, C), containers (3), trays or the like undergo interim storage in a buffer zone (P1, P2, P3) on the same level, are transferred for storage or retrieval and transported by an elevator (5; 6a, 6b) and/or a preferably horizontal transport connection (F1, F2) arranged in the region of the rack unit (A, B, C) at the same level, from or to a transport system or workplace outside the rack system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2007
    Assignee: Knapp Logistik Automation GmbH
    Inventor: Karl Freudelsperger
  • Patent number: 7159722
    Abstract: A system and method are set out for automatically extracting pods from a carousel shaped casing tower which include elements for engaging and moving the pods within the carousel while the carousel maintains its place. The pods travel on a track within the carousel which comprises six layers of pods. The extracting is performed in an extraction zone which may be located at least one end of the carousel while the loading of pods occurs at other locations. The pods include pockets for accommodating articles. The articles may be mail pieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2007
    Assignee: Siemens AG
    Inventor: Peter Berdelle-Hilge
  • Patent number: 7128521
    Abstract: A method of transferring storage units into and out of a racking system and picking them up from delivery areas and discharging them to despatch areas, in which the storage units are placed on a loading platform of a conveyor vehicle, e.g. rack serving unit, and conveyed thereby to various regions of the racking system or into the delivery and despatch regions, characterized in that the loading platform is designed for receiving two storage units one immediately after the other in the feed direction of the storage units and at least one storage unit is pushed from the region of the racking system or the delivery or despatch areas onto the loading platform, being laterally guided, after which the at least one storage unit is placed and aligned on the loading platform in a pre-determined placement position according to the manipulation step about to be performed, whereupon the at least one storage unit is pushed onto the racking system or the despatch area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: TGW Transportgeräte GmbH
    Inventor: Rudolf Hansl
  • Patent number: 7112031
    Abstract: A method for sweeping mail pieces from pockets of a sorter including the steps of (1) sorting mail pieces to a plurality of pockets based upon a preselected sorting criteria, (2) positioning an unloading robot adjacent to a selected one of the pockets when the pocket has received a predetermined volume of mail pieces, the robot carrying a tray having upright side walls and bottom wall, (3) engaging the pocket with a sweeping apparatus, (4) removing mail pieces in the pocket with the sweeping apparatus, (5) loading the removed mail pieces into the tray carried by the robot, and (6) carrying the tray containing the removed mail pieces to a destination with the robot. An apparatus for implementing the method is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignee: Siemens Energy & Automation Inc.
    Inventors: Luiz C. Harres, Richard C. Hickey, Harold G. Burkett, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7108472
    Abstract: A device for transporting cartridges comprises a housing for holding a plurality of cartridges in a temperature controlled environment. A transport system is also provided and has a grasping mechanism for grasping one of the cartridges. The transport system is further used to remove the cartridge from the housing and to place the cartridge into a scanner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2006
    Assignee: Affymetrix, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael C. Norris, Peter Lobban, Donald Besemer, Andrew B. Carlson
  • Patent number: 6930050
    Abstract: A multi-chamber system of an etching facility for manufacturing semiconductor devices occupies a minimum amount of floor space in a cleanroom by installing a plurality of processing chambers in multi-layers and in parallel along a transfer path situated between the processing chambers. The multi-layers number 2 to 5, and the transfer path can be rectangular in shape and need only be slightly wider than the diameter of a wafer. The total width of the multi-chamber system is the sum of the width of one processing chamber plus the width of the transfer path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2005
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ki-sang Kim, Gyu-chan Jeoung, Gyu-hwan Kwag
  • Patent number: 6866471
    Abstract: A robotic containerization and palletizing system having a multiple-fingered end effector. In one embodiment, the system carries out a method of loading a tray in a container where the method includes creating a cell with a plurality of bays; assigning each bay a location; moving trays through the cell along a path; grasping a tray off the path with a robot positioned above the path; moving the robot, with the grasped tray, to the location of one bay; and instructing the robot to release the tray at the location of the one bay.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Assignee: ABB Flexible Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert S. Grams, Thomas Watson, Patrick Resch, Gilbert Dominguez
  • Patent number: 6841033
    Abstract: A plasma treatment system in which untreated workpieces are serially received one at a time on an infeed table but stored in parallel on the infeed table. The untreated workpieces are transferred simultaneously, in parallel, into a plasma treatment chamber. Thereafter, treated workpieces are transferred simultaneously, in parallel, out of the plasma treatment chamber onto an outfeed table; and the outfeed table serially discharges the treated workpieces one at a time from the outfeed table.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: Nordson Corporation
    Inventors: Robert S. Condrashoff, James P. Fazio, David E. Hoffman, James S. Tyler
  • Patent number: 6834215
    Abstract: A data storage library is disclosed that provides a variable sized load/unload area within the library. The data storage library includes a housing defining an exterior and an interior region, storage slots disposed in the interior region for storing data cartridges, a barrier door, a front door, and a controller. The barrier door has a closed position for dividing the interior region into a first interior region and a second interior region. Thus, the interior region is divided into two regions when the barrier door is closed. The controller closes the barrier door prior to the front door being opened, and opens the barrier door after the front door is closed. Thus, access is permitted to only the first interior region from the exterior region when the front door is opened. The first interior region is sized to permit a user to entirely physically enter the first interior region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Assignee: Storage Technology Corporation
    Inventor: Timothy C. Ostwald
  • Patent number: 6826453
    Abstract: A system and method for minimizing electromagnetic radiation emissions from a data cartridge handling library employs intermittent operation of the video camera to ascertain correct bin locations and verify automated access between bin locations. This intermittent operation is utilized when an error is suspected or upon a predetermined routine to verify manipulation accuracy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: Storage Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Charles Grasso, Monte Pearson, Robert S Creager
  • Patent number: 6814535
    Abstract: A method and system of relocating materials in shelf list order includes at least one book caddie, at least one conveyor section and at least one cart. The conveyor sections may be detachably coupled to extend the length of a plurality of shelves containing a collection of materials in shelf list order. The book caddies may be placed on the conveyor sections and sequentially filled with materials such that shelf list order of the materials is maintained. The book caddies may then be conveyed along the conveyor to the carts. Groups of the book caddies may be arranged on the carts to maintain shelf list order of the materials. The carts may be relocated to a new location. At the new location, the conveyor sections may again be detachably coupled and the book caddies may be sequentially removed from the carts and conveyed along the conveyor sections. The book caddies may be adjacently positioned on shelves and the material slid out to recreate the collection in shelf list order at the new location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Inventor: Cecil Eugene Maness
  • Patent number: 6808353
    Abstract: A method for scaling a media storage library is provided, wherein the library comprises a plurality of media storage cells and at least one media picker robot. The method comprises connecting a new physical component to a section of the library. Examples of new components include additional robots, storage cell arrays, media players, as well as connecting a second adjacent library by means of a pass-through mechanism. Control software integrates this new physical component into the function of the library by auditing the content and function of the new component. During the connection and functional integration of the new component, the rest of the library continues its current operations. The method may further comprise defining at least one work zone within the library, wherein robots do not enter the work zone but continue to operate in other areas of the library.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: Storage Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy C. Ostwald, Daniel James Plutt
  • Publication number: 20040151572
    Abstract: A method for storing loads (P), especially cylindrical objects such as paper rolls, in a storage (1), where the loads are brought in and stored and from where the loads are taken out by means of a load manipulating device for further processing. At least one load (P) at a time is moved into storage and/or out of storage by means of at least two separate carriage units (10) working in an at least substantially synchronized manner relative to each other, which together move the at least one load.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2003
    Publication date: August 5, 2004
    Inventors: Juha Haimala, Tuomas Mantere, Pentti Vartto
  • Publication number: 20040096302
    Abstract: A storage lift has at least one chain drive (14, 15) used for loading and unloading storage goods carriers (4). Each chain drive has two chains (16, 17) that are laterally and vertically offset from each other and are interconnected by coupling members (22, 23). The chains propel drivers (27) fixed to extension arms (24, 25) of the coupling members (22, 23) and are used to transfer the storage goods carriers (4) to a vertical conveyor (1) and to hold them in a position in which the vertical conveyor is iovable upwardly and downwardly. The chains (16, 17) of the chain drive or drives (14, 15) are located between the front edges of the storage goods carriers (4), which lie opposite one another in storage columns (2, 3), to enable the vertical conveyor (1) to have a relatively narrow construction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 14, 2003
    Publication date: May 20, 2004
    Inventors: Nobert Bouche, Hubert Doser, Rolf Suss
  • Patent number: 6648574
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a storage system (10) including at least two tape libraries (11) and a transport mechanism (22) for transferring cartridges (20) between the tape libraries (11). The transport mechanism (22) includes a frame (64), a transporter (68) and a mover (66). The transporter (68) is sized and shaped to retain the cartridge (20). The mover (66) moves the transporter (68) along the frame (64). Additionally, the mover (66) pivots at least a portion of the transporter (68) between a first, almost horizontal, load/unload position (70A), a transport position (72) and a second, almost horizontal load/unload position (70B) during movement between the tape libraries (11). Further, the transport mechanism (22) includes a latch (140) that selectively retains the cartridge (20) in the transporter (68) during movement between the tape libraries (11).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2003
    Assignee: Quantum Corporation
    Inventor: David Lloyd Williams
  • Publication number: 20030147738
    Abstract: A storage shelf (10) comprising a plurality of stacked supports (12) for supporting containers (13) of articles suitable for handling by an automated storage and retrieval device (15) including at least one storage and retrieval opening (20) for storage and retrieval of the containers (13) and a computer (17) in which information as to the stored articles (14) is memorized. To improve the overview of the stored articles at least one digital camera (16) is provided which senses the articles (14) held in the containers (13). The resulting digital information is memorized in the computer (17) for display by means of a monitor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2002
    Publication date: August 7, 2003
    Inventor: Joachim Hanel
  • Patent number: 6589001
    Abstract: Goods units are handled in a stock area and a loading area. The stock area and the loading area are in close proximity to each other. A robot system includes a picking robot movable in the stock area for picking goods units and forming transfer piles and a moving system for moving transfer pile rows formed by the picking robot. The working area of the picking robot reaches to the stock area and the working area of the moving system reaches both to the stock area and to the loading area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Assignee: Cimcorp Oy
    Inventor: Tero Peltomäki
  • Publication number: 20030123970
    Abstract: A robotic containerization and palletizing system having a multiple-fingered end effector. The system includes a frame that defines one or more cells. Each cell has one gantry-type robot, which is mounted in a set of tracks on top of the frame. The robot is movable along two axes and has an arm to which the end effector is mounted. The end effector is designed to grasp trays, tubs, and similar items from a conveyor system running through the cell and load them in a cart or on a pallet. The items are gripped by two sets of fingers. One set of fingers may be mounted to a first plate and another set of fingers may be mounted to a carriage that moves in a horizontal direction, either toward or away from the first set of fingers. Each finger has a main shaft and a bent tip. The shafts are rotatable such that the tips can be moved underneath or out from under a load, depending upon whether a pick-up or drop-off operation is being performed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 12, 2003
    Publication date: July 3, 2003
    Applicant: ABB Flexible Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert S. Grams, Thomas Watson, Patrick Resch, Gilbert Dominguez
  • Patent number: 6520735
    Abstract: An autonomous remote controlled vehicle for use in the automation of an existing refrigerated flow through storage facility food processing application. The remote vehicle is specifically designed to operate within a network of centrally controlled remote vehicles that are adapted to receive selectable items from production and temporarily store them for later retrieval. The system is adapted to minimize travel time for the remote vehicle and optimize cycle time. The system is specifically adapted to handle cardboard shipping boxes containing meat products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: IBP, Inc.
    Inventors: Larry W. Fallin, Barbara J. Scalia, Ronald D. Smith, James F. Dill, Timothy J. Mason, Edward M. Kolvek, Stephen N. Forti, Roland H. Estey, III, James R. Downer, Carl Brian Candiloro, Andrew S. Courier
  • Patent number: 6516234
    Abstract: An information transmitting system for use in a factory, which is capable of transmitting information among controllers simply without the complicated lead-around of a communication line nor the need of complicated communication protocol. A controller for every molding cell Ai, where i=1,2 . . . max and max is a maximum number of molding cells, a conveyance controller to control an automatic conveyor, a stock cell and a centralized controller are connected to each other via an Ethernet line to provide a common information storage unit, and information is transmitted among the controllers through the common information storage unit. Since there is no need of parallel communication lines between the controllers, an I/O port or a communication line may be prevented from increasing in number and the lead-around of the communication line is prevented from being complicated, resulting in a reduction of cost required for setting up the devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2003
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd.
    Inventors: Masao Kamiguchi, Osamu Saito, Atsuyuki Kukita
  • Publication number: 20020168252
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a storage system (10) including at least two tape libraries (11) and a transport mechanism (22) for transferring cartridges (20) between the tape libraries (11). The transport mechanism (22) includes a frame (64), a transporter (68) and a mover (66). The transporter (68) is sized and shaped to retain the cartridge (20). The mover (66) moves the transporter (68) along the frame (64). Additionally, the mover (66) pivots at least a portion of the transporter (68) between a first, almost horizontal, load/unload position (70A), a transport position (72) and a second, almost horizontal load/unload position (70B) during movement between the tape libraries (11). Further, the transport mechanism (22) includes a latch (140) that selectively retains the cartridge (20) in the transporter (68) during movement between the tape libraries (11).
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2002
    Publication date: November 14, 2002
    Inventor: David Lloyd Williams