Inverting One Or More Units Patents (Class 53/143)
  • Patent number: 11198525
    Abstract: One aspect of the disclosure is a method of packaging a plurality siding panels. The method includes providing a plurality of siding panels, each siding panel having a front face, a rear face, top edge, a bottom edge, and a support member secured to the rear face, placing a first siding panel vertically within a box, the box having a first side, a second side, a top side, and a bottom side, and placing a second siding panel vertically within the box next to the first siding panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2021
    Assignee: CertainTeed LLC
    Inventor: Ashley A. Schultz
  • Patent number: 8899003
    Abstract: A method of reducing a wetness gradient development for a package of wet wipes is provided. The method includes, after wet wipes are enclosed within a package to form the package of wet wipes, locating the package of wet wipes in a first orientation such that a first side of the package of wet wipes faces downward and an opposite second side of the package of wet wipes faces upward to form a first wetness gradient after a preselected amount of time. Prior to opening the package of wet wipes to access the wet wipes enclosed within the package of wet wipes, inverting the package of wet wipes according to a predetermined turning schedule to place the package of wet wipes in a second orientation such that the first side of the package of wet wipes faces upward and the second side of the package of wet wipes faces downward to form a second wetness gradient that is different from the first wetness gradient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company
    Inventors: Joerg Mueller, Randall Glenn Marsh, Jacqueline Marie Duderstadt, Luis Omar Gonzalez Mendez
  • Patent number: 8256192
    Abstract: This invention is directed to film wrapped and heat shrunk bundles of gabled containers to form bundles that can be stacked on pallets and not be constrained by the gables in determining the size of the bundles. This is accomplished by nesting the gable containers on a conveyor on their side. The nesting of the gable containers on their side provides a stable structure that can be moved on a conveyor to be film wrapped. After film wrapping, the containers are conveyed to a heat shrink tunnel to form bundles of gable containers that can be placed on a pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Inventor: Alain Cerf
  • Publication number: 20110185677
    Abstract: Method and system for handling a plurality of hot-filled and capped containers having temporary deformations or distortions caused by vacuums induced in the containers. For each container, temporary deformations are confined or directed to a particular portion of the container. Annular hoop rings can be provided to confine the temporary deformations to a smooth sidewall portion of the container between the annular hoop rings. Alternatively, one or more supplemental vacuum panels can be provided to confine or direct the temporary deformation thereto. The annular hoop rings and the one or more supplemental vacuum panels can provide for substantially stable touch points for the container. The containers are conveyed with temporary deformations such that substantially stable contact points of each container are in contact with corresponding substantially stable contact points of other containers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 15, 2011
    Publication date: August 4, 2011
    Applicant: Graham Packaging Company LP
    Inventors: Paul V. KELLEY, Scott E. Bysick
  • Publication number: 20100170199
    Abstract: Method and system for handling a plurality of hot-filled and capped containers having temporary deformations or distortions caused by vacuums induced in the containers. For each container, temporary deformations are confined or directed to a particular portion of the container. Annular hoop rings can be provided to confine the temporary deformations to a smooth sidewall portion of the container between the annular hoop rings. Alternatively, one or more supplemental vacuum panels can be provided to confine or direct the temporary deformation thereto. The annular hoop rings and the one or more supplemental vacuum panels can provide for substantially stable touch points for the container. The containers are conveyed with temporary deformations such that substantially stable contact points of each container are in contact with corresponding substantially stable contact points of other containers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 6, 2009
    Publication date: July 8, 2010
    Inventors: Paul V. Kelley, Scott E. Bysick
  • Patent number: 7681374
    Abstract: A method and device to form packing units (12) consisting of at least two packs (10, 11). To this end, the successively conveyed packs (10, 11) are tilted by 90° in the region of a turning line (20) in such a way that the associated packs (10, 11) are oriented towards each other in the correct relative position for the packing unit (12). Every second pack (11) is delayed during the turning process so that it can be oriented towards the associated pack (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2010
    Assignee: Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co. KG)
    Inventors: Josef Schulte, Wolfgang Kern
  • Patent number: 6349526
    Abstract: As a substrate (10) is carried on a conveyor (20), an image analysis system (40) detects its presence and derives the various data, at least indicative of the footprint. The footprint data are used in selecting appropriate packaging components. Data may also indicate the transverse location and/or orientation and/or alignment of a substrate, and be used to control position adjustors for adjusting one or more of these. Data may also serve for categorizing the substrate, e.g., in terms of size or color. Such data may be used to control rejection of products, or categorization, e.g., by selection of distinguishable packaging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Inventor: Paul Bernard Newman
  • Patent number: 6257802
    Abstract: A package of rock stabilizer sets and a method for arranging the sets where six sets are provided and each set includes an elongated tube and a bearing plate. Each tube has a tapered end, an end with a flange, and a slit running the length of the tube. Each bearing plate has a flat base and a central domed section having a central aperture therethrough. In a first embodiment, the tubes of four of the sets are arranged in a first or bottom layer so that the flanged and tapered ends of the tubes are aligned alternatively and the slits face downwardly. Next, the plates of three of the sets are placed along the length of the four tubes so that the domed sections face upwardly, thereby forming a second layer. A third layer is formed by placing the three remaining plates on top of the first three plates, respectively, so that the domed sections of the second layer nest within the respective domed sections of the third layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2001
    Assignee: International Rollforms Incorporated
    Inventor: Jack Vosbikian
  • Patent number: 5724711
    Abstract: An apparatus for manufacturing multilayer steel wool filter pads includes a gantry which orbits heads about a central axis. The heads transfer portions of steel wool cut from a web onto a rotatable turntable to form a multilayer steel wool filter pad. Detection devices and a tool controller cooperate to synchronize the rotation of the turntable with the transfer of the steel wool portions to the turntable, so that each of the layers of the steel wool filter pad has its steel wool filaments oriented differently from those of the adjacent layer by an angle of approximately 90 degrees. A method for making rectangular steel wool filter pads involves advancing multiple steel wool webs through rollers, with each of the webs moving at the same rate, to form a combined web. The combined web is then cut into square portions with sides at least twice as long as the width of the rectangular steel wool filter pads. The portions are stacked so that the filaments of overlying layers are shifted 90 degrees from each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1998
    Assignee: Global Material Technologies Incorporated
    Inventors: Alexander Krupnik, Leonid Vaysberg, Mieczystow Boczek
  • Patent number: 5647190
    Abstract: A method and machine whereby two rigid packets, traveling in a first direction parallel to the longer longitudinal axes of the packets, are transferred to the inputs of respective conveyors, one of the two packets being rotated 180.degree. about its longitudinal axis, and the other packet being rotated 180.degree. about an axis crosswise to its longitudinal axis; and the two packets are fed along the respective conveyors in a second direction crosswise to the respective longer longitudinal axes and to the crosswise axis into a position wherein the two packets present a common longitudinal axis, are oppositely oriented along the common longitudinal axis, are rotated 180.degree. in relation to each other about the common longitudinal axis, and are connectable to form a twin packet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 15, 1997
    Assignee: G.D Societa' Per Azioni
    Inventors: Alessandro Minarelli, Roberto Osti
  • Patent number: 5622025
    Abstract: A transport apparatus (C) for transporting products (X), supplied onto a lower transport path, successively to an upper transport path, and a loading apparatus for loading the products (X), which have been transported by the transport apparatus, into a receptacle (Y). The system includes a first transport mechanism (2) for transporting the products (X) towards a pick-up station (P2), a lifter mechanism (4) for holding the products (X), having been transported to the pick-up station (P2), and transferring the products (X) from the pick-up station (P2) towards a delivery station (P3) defined generally above the pick-up station (P2), and a second transport mechanism (5) for receiving the products (X), which have been transferred to the delivery station (P3) by the lifter mechanism (4), and transporting the products (X) towards a stand-by station (P4) defined above a loading station (P5) at which the bagged products are loaded into the receptacle (Y).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 22, 1997
    Assignee: Ishida Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazumi Kitagawa, Atsushi Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 5560183
    Abstract: A collator and stacking apparatus, system and method for the collation and stacking of asymmetric plastic blister packages having a blister at or toward one end on a flat card, which comprises package-receiving inverter and sliding trays each with a tray surface, upwardly extending sides and a one and other end, for receiving each a package thereon, the received package being in the same orientation on each tray surface. The inverter trays have stops to position the received package on the tray surface as it moves between a package receiving position and an inverted package discharge position, wherein the package is inverted and placed within a collation track perpendicular to the trays, the track having a first and second end for receiving periodically an inverted package from the inverter tray and a slidable package from the sliding tray in a spaced-apart alternating arrangement within the track rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1996
    Assignee: Sencorp Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald R. James
  • Patent number: 5555706
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for stacking preforms for blow molded containers wherein the preforms are generally tubular in shape having a closed end and a threaded end. The preforms are arranged so that they are in an array of predetermined size and shape. The preforms in the array are arranged in a plurality of side-by-side horizontally extending rows in which the preforms are upright and in a "threads up" orientation. Alternate rows of the preforms are picked up and inverted so that they are in a "threads down" orientation. The remaining rows are then picked up and positioned in an alternating relationship with the "threads down" rows of preforms, so that multiple layers of preforms can be stacked in a container so as to fully use all of the space in the container for storage and transfer of the preforms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1996
    Assignee: Hoover Universal, Inc.
    Inventors: Domenico Maoloni, Adriano Pizi, Enrico Buonfigli, Alastair R. Tweedie
  • Patent number: 5257493
    Abstract: The method of packing into boxes ice cream cones comprises the following operative steps: positioning of at least one basket (C) with the ice creams G, in position with at least one empty box (S) which is open upwards; lifting and removal of two parallel rows of ice creams from their seats in the basket; composite rotation of the two rows of ice creams, upwards and in opposite directions through 90.degree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1993
    Assignee: Catta 27 S.r.l.
    Inventors: Giuliano Cocchi, Gianni Zaniboni, Angelo Righi
  • Patent number: 5228267
    Abstract: Frozen dessert cones made from a cooked batter capable of having lower and higher moisture contents, which respectively cause the cone to assume dimensionally contracted and expanded states, are provided with sanitary jackets while in their dimensionally contracted state. When the cooked batter forming the cone attains a higher moisture content, the cone will dimensionally expand against the walls of the sanitary jacket thereby exerting a restraining force against removal of the jacket from the cone. The sanitary jacket is applied to an interior handle region of a cone so that the sanitary jacket will nest with the exterior surface of a downstream cone handle when stacked therewithin. A chute is provided so as to align and direct the sanitary jacket with respect to the interior handle region of the cone. A stream of pressurized fluid (e.g., air) is then preferably directed against the sanitary jacket so as to propel the same into a seated relationship with the interior handle region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1993
    Assignee: Sweetheart Cup Company Inc.
    Inventors: R. Carl Blankenship, Kenneth H. Kuykendall, Sr., Robert D. Heckner, Kenneth L. Schultz
  • Patent number: 5024045
    Abstract: A vinyl siding panel package system is disclosed that prefolds corrugated paper blanks and then forms panel containers that are packed with a pre-specified number of panels. The panel packer receives a plurality of panels from a panel extrusion operator, re-orients panels into desired combinations and packs each combination, up to the limit, in a waiting container. The loaded container is sent to a container closing operation whereby the lid is sealed around the container body, and the container is weighed. A palletizer transports a loaded container from the closer to a waiting pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1991
    Assignee: CertainTeed Corporation
    Inventors: Stewart L. Fluent, Colin Hart, Charles D. McCree, Charles F. Lotsch
  • Patent number: 4941309
    Abstract: A vinyl siding panel package system is disclosed that prefolds corrugated paper blanks and then forms panel containers that are packed with a pre-specified number of panels. The panel packer receives a plurality of panels from a panel extrusion operator, re-orients panels into desired combinations and packs each combination, up to the limit, in a waiting container. The loaded container is sent to a container closing operation whereby the lid is sealed around the container body, and the container is weighed. A palletizer transports a loaded container from the closer to a waiting pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 1989
    Date of Patent: July 17, 1990
    Assignee: CertainTeed Corporation
    Inventors: Stewart L. Fluent, Colin Hart, Charles D. McCree, Charles F. Lotsch
  • Patent number: 4901502
    Abstract: In a boxing plant for cones and/or conoids which at its inlet are disposed in groups of a certain number each, an apparatus for feeding groups of cones in an orientated and ordered arrangement to boxes comprises a first section (A) in which groups of cones (11) positioned on a container tray (12) in an essentially horizontal plane are orientated in a predetermined manner on opposite sides so that they all lie with their tails pointing towards the center, and a second section (B) in which they are discharged from the container trays (12) onto racks (15) and the cones (11) on one side are offset relative to the cones on the other side, and then moved while offset onto a central region (16) which can be opened in the manner of a sliding door above boxes (17) and in which the cones (11) disposed side by side in a head-tail arrangement are compacted (18) into matrices (44) having the same dimensions as the boxes and are then allowed to fall into the boxes by opening the sliding door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1988
    Date of Patent: February 20, 1990
    Assignee: Vortex Systems S.r.l.
    Inventor: Arturo Colamussi
  • Patent number: 4799351
    Abstract: According to the invention, bodies are oriented head-to-foot by propelling the bodies and deflecting them onto adjacent guide members so that the bodies on one guide member are inverted with respect to the bodies on the adjacent guide members. The bodies are then guided to a packing station where the bodies are packed head-to-foot so as to maximize the use of space in the package. The apparatus of the invention includes a feed device which holds the bodies vertically with the same orientation. A throwing device propels two adjacent bodies upward, which are deflected by a deflecting device so that one of the bodies lands on a ramp and is oriented in one direction, and the other body lands on a second ramp and is oriented the opposite way. The bodies are then fed to a packing apparatus which packs the bodies head-to-foot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1987
    Date of Patent: January 24, 1989
    Assignee: Sanofi
    Inventor: Guy Blanda
  • Patent number: 4776148
    Abstract: Automatic packaging machine, in particular for bags with at least one flattened edge, comprising a frame which downwardly supports a lateral magazine of flattened boxes, an assembly for folding individual boxes to a parallelpipedal shape and an assembly for closing the bottom and transferring boxes into a filling area. The frame upwardly supports a bag feed line ending at the inlets of two co-planar, parallel and lateral transport lines for arranging side to side the bags. The transfer lines end at the machine filling area, where an assembly is provided for transferring groups of bags in the underlying box with the bottoms thereof substantially resting against the counterposed side walls of the box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1987
    Date of Patent: October 11, 1988
    Assignee: Ciba Leasing S.r.l.
    Inventor: Paolo Mingozzi
  • Patent number: 4771589
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are disclosed for forming a package of alternately inverted containers, wherein an array of the containers is formed with adjacent containers relatively inverted. In accordance with the invention, a supply of containers is formed into first and second product streams, with each of the containers in the second product stream inverted. The containers are presented by an indexing mechanism to a reciprocating diverting gate mechanism, wherein the forward-most container of each product stream is diverted. In this manner, a pair of further product streams are formed, wherein the containers of each stream are alternately inverted. The containers are subsequently collated for heat-shrink packaging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1988
    Assignee: Osgood Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin J. Mueller, Michael A. Weigandt
  • Patent number: 4731977
    Abstract: A robot system for encasing conical articles, having along a moving path of a robot a conical article arraying and feeding device, an empty case for enclosing therein said conical articles and an inverting device for carrying and inverting a plurality of said conical articles, the robot having two kinds of grippers, one functioning to grip and convey the conical articles arranged on the arraying and feeding device and the other functioning to grip and convey the conical articles inverted on the inverting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1987
    Date of Patent: March 22, 1988
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroshi Maekawa
  • Patent number: 4686813
    Abstract: A robot system for encasing cone-like articles, comprising a robot movable along a path, and an aligning and supplying device for cone-like articles, empty cases for receiving the cone-like articles and an inverting device for carrying and inverting the plurality of cone-like articles which are disposed along the path of the robot. The robot includes a first gripper for gripping and carrying the cone-like articles aligned on the aligning and supplying device and a second gripper for gripping and carrying the cone-like articles inverted on the inverting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1986
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1987
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Morio Sawada
  • Patent number: 4530435
    Abstract: A packaging apparatus for assembling wrapped stick confections from a multi-lane packaging machine into groups with the stick ends of the wrapped stick confections overlapping. The packaging apparatus comprises endless type first and second conveyors each having product pushers at uniformly spaced locations therealong for advancing stick confections crosswise of their length from a loading station sequentially past a weighing station and an ejecting station to a stacking station. Mechanism is provided at the loading station for feeding wrapped stick confections from the multi-lane wrapping machine into the pockets on first and second conveyors with the stick ends in juxtaposition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1982
    Date of Patent: July 23, 1985
    Assignee: APV Anderson Bros. Inc.
    Inventor: Roger H. Stohlquist
  • Patent number: 4498273
    Abstract: A system for packaging into cartons cones for ice-cream and other cornet-like articles coming loosely from a production unit wherein in a first processing station (A) splitting of the cone feed main stream into a plurality of individual sub-streams occurs. In a second processing station (B) a temporary cone-storage field is made up, the cones being orderly marshalled in a number of rows, the cone axes being vertical with the cone tips upside down and the cones being closely spaced apart from each other. From said second processing station (B) the cone rows are transferred into a third processing station (C), wherein, for each cone row, a belt having evenly spaced apart bores is provided for receiving individual cones. Each belt is independently motorized for stepwise forward motion. As a predetermined number of bores in each belt carries as many cones as there are bores, a cone-grasping unit (E) draws the cone row and transfers it into empty cartons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1981
    Date of Patent: February 12, 1985
    Inventor: Arturo Colamussi
  • Patent number: 4300325
    Abstract: A holder assembly is described for releasably receiving and supporting successive groups of containers in a case packing machine. The machine is operable to move successive groups vertically downward from a first station to the holder assembly at a second station. Subsequently the containers are forced downwardly again from the holder assembly to a case packing station below. The holder assembly functions to group received containers into defined rectangular clusters. The holder assembly also permits vertical movement of the containers while holding them in the rectangular array. Rotary mechanisms enable selective inversion of the holders and containers supported within.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1979
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1981
    Assignee: R. A. Pearson Company
    Inventor: Barry Campbell
  • Patent number: 4246739
    Abstract: A bifurcated funnel presents small fish in alternating orientation to a canning apparatus. The canning apparatus is moved incrementally forward to receive the oncoming fish by a distance equivalent to the width of that individual fish. A flap is disposed in the funnel and each fish displaces the flap by a distance equivalent to its width. The flap is connected to a ratchet wheel which contains electrical contacts for actuating a plurality of solenoids which determine the position of a stop mechanism for the canning apparatus. The distance of movement of the ratchet wheel is designed in accordance with the size of the apparatus which is to receive the fish. When the ratchet wheel moves its total allotted distance, a set of contacts resets the ratchet wheel and the canning apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 1979
    Date of Patent: January 27, 1981
    Inventor: John R. Rogerson
  • Patent number: 4192415
    Abstract: Apparatus for receiving frozen confections supplied in a single row on a supply conveyor and delivering the confections to a discharge conveyor located at a lower level. The supply conveyor overlaps a rotary turret and a movable stop provided above the turret halts every second confection arriving on the supply conveyor following which a carrier on a movable chain pushes the confections along a transverse chute down onto the discharge conveyor. The remaining confections are allowed to travel through 180.degree. on the turret following which they are halted by a stationary stop. Carriers on a second movable chain then push each of the latter confections along a second transverse chute onto the discharge conveyor in a space between two confections delivered via the first chute and with reversed orientation. The discharge conveyor, the carrier chains and the turret move continuously and in synchronism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1978
    Date of Patent: March 11, 1980
    Assignee: O.G. Hoyer A/S
    Inventors: Ole G. Krener, Ejvind Waldstrom
  • Patent number: 4189898
    Abstract: An egg packer in which the eggs are aligned while being conveyed to a transfer position with the eggs thereat having their narrow ends in an abutting relation with a transversely disposed vertical wall. A receptacle is disposed adjacent the end of the conveyor into which the eggs are guided with the larger end of the egg first entering into the receptacle. Upon rotation of the receptacle, the egg is turned and assumes a position with the narrow end facing downwardly. A pair of shell members receive the egg and move it into alignment with the egg carton or other receiving means at which the shell members are opened and the egg is deposited with the narrow end thereof downwardly facing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1978
    Date of Patent: February 26, 1980
    Assignee: Diamond International Corporation
    Inventors: Frank G. Moulds, Michael A. McCord
  • Patent number: 4124128
    Abstract: Shingles or the like are usually rectangular in shape and of non-uniform thickness being of a greater thickness at one long edge and of lessor thickness at the other. Such shingles are arranged by automatic equipment for stacking in squared bundles by delivering the shingles one at a time successively and individually onto a pair of laterally-spaced movable shelves formed by a pair of starwheels. By intermittent simultaneous angular movement of both starwheels, or by intermittent angular movement of only the front starwheel while maintaining the rear starwheel motionless, a group (such as five) of accumulated shingles is dropped without flipping onto a transversely moving conveyor belt. By intermittent angular movement of only the rear starwheel while maintaining the front starwheel motionless, a group of shingles is flipped, i.e. turned over on to its other side. If the spacing between the starwheels and the moving conveyor belt is sufficient, the group of shingles will flip through 180.degree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 1977
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1978
    Assignee: Certain-teed Corporation
    Inventors: Albert A. Adams, Karoly G. Balogh, Tommy J. Prugh
  • Patent number: 4085561
    Abstract: A method and apparatus to deposit packages of soft-pack goods in a face-up, end-to-end arrangement in a box. A discharge apparatus deposits successive packages in the box by flipping the packages through substantially 180.degree. about the ends of the packages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1977
    Date of Patent: April 25, 1978
    Inventor: Marless Wayne Waldrop
  • Patent number: 4002005
    Abstract: Multiple rows of nestable containers are continuously filled with product and sealed with a cover structure. Every other container in each row is inverted and the container inversion is alternated between rows to produce alternate rows of alternately inverted containers which are accumulated into nested groups. Cardboard support blanks are fed beneath the container groups in timed relationship with their accumulation into groups. Each group and cardboard support are simultaneously conveyed from the accumulation area to position the group on the cardboard support and form an assembly. The assembly is enveloped in a sheet of heat shrinkable film which is shrunken about the assembly to complete the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1975
    Date of Patent: January 11, 1977
    Assignee: Owens-Illinois, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin Mueller, David L. St. Clair