Responsive To Complete Group Or Subgroup Patents (Class 53/495)
  • Patent number: 9469485
    Abstract: A device (1) for alignment of elongated food products to be further processed, wherein the device comprises an incoming product conveyor (21) for transporting incoming elongated products into the device, a displacement device (23) displaceable arranged on a displacement track (29) for relocating the incoming products from the incoming product conveyor (21) onto an outgoing product conveyor (26) having capacity for arranging two or more incoming products (20?) side by side, before transporting the two or more incoming products simultaneously out from the device, is described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: Trosterud Mekaniske Verksted AS
    Inventor: Gisle Espolin Johnson
  • Patent number: 9346224
    Abstract: A method for transferring objects such as ophthalmic lenses or contact lenses between two consecutive processing stations, particularly processing stations having differing cycle times or cycle speeds is disclosed, including removing the objects from a preceding processing station, in which the objects are advanced with a first cycle speed, transporting the removed objects to a subsequent processing station including a plurality of consecutively arranged receptacles (1-10), which are advanced through the subsequent processing station with a second cycle speed faster than the first cycle speed. The objects may be transported via at least one feed tube (12, 13), each feed tube ending in a respective transfer nozzle (14, 15) which is arranged in vicinity of a corresponding one of the receptacles (1-10) and which is aligned with an inlet of the receptacle (4, 5; 4, 6).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2016
    Assignee: NOVARTIS AG
    Inventors: Swen Herrmann, Roger Biel, Harald Schott
  • Patent number: 9346629
    Abstract: A transferring device for transferring and/or receiving cans, can blanks, or other containers out of or into a transferring or respectively receiving axis (U) which extends at an angle to a transport path (T), with multiple suction elements (3), which can be moved along the transport path (T) during transfer, each of which has at least one suction opening (4), and which can be connected to a negative pressure source, in order to retain the cans, can blanks, or other containers by means of suction during transport along the transport path (T), wherein the suction elements (3) are designed and/or arranged in a movable manner between a retracted and an extended position at least along some sections of the transferring and/or receiving axis (U), characterized in that the suction elements (3) are designed and arranged so as to be reversibly deformable during the movement along the transferring and/or receiving axis (U) such that the movement of the suction openings (4) together with the suctioned cans, can blanks
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2016
    Assignee: Mall Herlan MB GmbH
    Inventors: Uwe Luz, Uwe Reich
  • Patent number: 9021768
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for conveying articles, in particular product slices produced by simultaneous slicing of a plurality of food products or respective portions including a plurality of product slices, wherein the articles are conveyed in a conveying direction on a main conveying path in multitracks in desired arrangements formed by articles from different tracks, in particular in rows extending transverse to the conveying direction, incomplete arrangements of articles having at least one deficient point are expelled onto a secondary conveying path and desired arrangements are formed from the articles forming the incomplete arrangements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Weber Mashinenbau GmbH Breidenbach
    Inventor: Günther Weber
  • Patent number: 8997441
    Abstract: There is provided a medicine packaging method, which is capable of rapidly coping with errors occurring during processes. The medicine packaging method includes the following steps: a medicine supplying step for supplying a relevant medicine according to a prescription data; a medicine standby step for allowing the supplied medicine to temporarily stand by; a medicine detecting step for detecting the standing by medicine; a printing step for printing a packaging paper when the medicine based on the prescription data is detected; a conveying step for conveying the packaging paper; and a packaging step for supplying the temporarily standing by medicine to a printed portion of the packaging paper and packaging the medicine. The steps are performed in sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Yuyama, Tomohiro Sugimoto
  • Patent number: 8333053
    Abstract: A system for automatically packaging prescription orders composed of one or more prescription containers. The system includes a printer for generating literature associated with each order and a packer for packing the prescription containers and the associated literature into a package. The packer has a scale or other means for determining the weight of the prescription containers. A packer controller calculates package weight information based on the container weight information. The package weight information is transmitted to a mail manifest system, which generates shipping information comprising postage. A labeler applies the shipping information to the package. The packer also includes a loading mechanism for inserting the prescription containers and the literature into the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Assignee: Express Scripts, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael L. Mahar
  • Patent number: 8307614
    Abstract: A support assembly for use in packaging and other purposes which includes a pivotable support member engaged by a pawl. The support assembly may move along a rail and collect articles thereagainst which are moving at a rate greater than the support assembly. Once the support member accumulates a predetermined number of articles, a pawl rotates and the support member pivots to allow the accumulated group of articles to pass thereby and be removed from the rail for packaging or other purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Inventor: Stephen Louie
  • Patent number: 8146777
    Abstract: There is provided a medicine feeding device which can apply uniform tension to wrapping paper wound in a roll state to wrap a medicine. The medicine feeding device comprises a tablet case which stores a medicine, and the wrapping paper wound in the roll state, wraps a medicine discharged from the tablet case in wrapping paper 72, and comprises a tension application mechanism 113 which applies predetermined tension to the continuously pulled-out wrapping paper. This tension application mechanism is constituted to freely move up-and-down, and to apply tension to the pulled-out wrapping paper by its own weight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2012
    Assignee: SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Atsuo Inamura
  • Patent number: 8136332
    Abstract: Computer assisted systems, methods and mediums for filling one or more orders. One embodiment of the present invention is a system that includes an order consolidation station configured to receive at least one bottle containing pills individually counted and/or at least one package containing pharmaceutical products without having been designated for any of the orders when the package was created and/or at least one literature pack optionally including patient specific information. The order consolidation station is further configured to combine automatically the received bottle and/or package and/or literature pack into a container to be sent to a recipient including, for example, mail order pharmacies, wholesalers and/or central fill dealers for subsequent distribution or sale including retailer distribution or sale. The bottle is specifically designated for the order, and the order generally includes at least one prescription for the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: Medco Health Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis Wayne Rice, James G. McErlean, E. Christian Hess, P. Thomas Shupert, Chih-Jen Leu, Robert G. Howell, Michael J. Szesko, Andrew P. Booler, Peter Monkhouse, Douglas W. Walton, Michael W. G. Bell, Christopher J. Lasher, Thomas P. Bonkenburg
  • Patent number: 8091320
    Abstract: A system for automatically packaging prescription orders composed of one or more prescription containers. The system includes a printer for generating literature associated with each order and a packer for packing the prescription containers and the associated literature into a package. The packer has a scale or other means for determining the weight of the prescription containers. A packer controller calculates package weight information based on the container weight information. The package weight information is transmitted to a mail manifest system, which generates shipping information comprising postage. A labeler applies the shipping information to the package. The packer also includes a loading mechanism for inserting the prescription containers and the literature into the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: Express Scripts, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael L. Mahar
  • Patent number: 8056305
    Abstract: A cash recycler or other currency handling device includes modules for automatically strapping a plurality of bills together and bagging the strapped bills for transport. A user may determine a number of bills to be bundled in a stack or unit. Once the predetermined threshold is met, the bills will be automatically transferred to a strapping area where the bills will be strapped together for storage or transport. Additionally or alternatively, the bills may be strapped together as they enter a cartridge, such as an overflow cartridge. The strapped bills may be transferred to a bagging module where the stacks of bills will be automatically bagged, each bag including a predetermined number of stacks of bills. The bags will then be transferred to storage for transport.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: Bank of America Corporation
    Inventors: Amy Baker Folk, William Thomas Sanders, Daniel Christopher Bohen, Shane Anthony Johnson
  • Patent number: 7941992
    Abstract: A method and unit for feeding products to a group-forming unit for forming groups of products, each containing a given number of products; an orderly succession of products is fed in a first direction by means of a first conveyor; an orderly succession of products is fed in a second direction, parallel to the first direction, by means of a second conveyor parallel to the first conveyor; and the products are transferred from the first conveyor to the second conveyor by means of a transfer device which is permanently integral with an output end of the first conveyor, is moved in the second direction upon detection of a gap along the first conveyor, and is moved in the opposite direction to the second direction to form, along the second conveyor, a number of consecutive gaps equal to the number of products in each group of products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2011
    Assignee: G.D Societa'per Azioni
    Inventors: Mario Spatafora, Fabrizio Tale′
  • Patent number: 7895814
    Abstract: A case loader for forming arrays of articles such as milk jugs carried by a relatively upper supply conveyor to the loading gate of a loading station and dropping the articles into cases delivered by conveyor to the loading station and raised by an elevator up under the loading gate. A conveyor article sensor is employed to ensure the presence of articles on the supply conveyor a sufficient distance upstream to develop sufficient line pressure force for reliable operation. A plurality of cases are loaded at the same time, and an array of case sensors are employed for reliable case position sensing and operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Milkco, Inc.
    Inventors: Jack A. Levins, Sr., Kevin S. Willett
  • Publication number: 20110023422
    Abstract: A case packer is adapted to convey a plurality of packages and to pack the plurality of conveyed packages in a box. The case packer includes a first conveying unit, a detector, a second conveying unit and a control unit. The first conveying unit is configured and arranged to convey the packages. The detector is configured and arranged to detect a thickness of at least one of the packages. The second conveying unit includes an accumulating portion where the packages are accumulated with the packages being partially overlaid on one another. The second conveying unit is configured and arranged to convey the packages overlaid in the accumulating portion. The control unit is configured to adjust operation of the second conveying unit based on a detected value from the detector.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 21, 2010
    Publication date: February 3, 2011
    Applicant: ISHIDA CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Motoki Takayama, Tatsuya Arimatsu
  • Patent number: 7668618
    Abstract: Computer assisted systems, methods and mediums for filling one or more orders. One embodiment of the present invention is a system that includes an order consolidation station configured to receive at least one bottle containing pills individually counted and/or at least one package containing pharmaceutical products without having been designated for any of the orders when the package was created and/or at least one literature pack optionally including patient specific information. The order consolidation station is further configured to combine automatically the received bottle and/or package and/or literature pack into a container to be sent to a recipient including, for example, mail order pharmacies, wholesalers and/or central fill dealers for subsequent distribution or sale including retailer distribution or sale. The bottle is specifically designated for the order, and the order generally includes at least one prescription for the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2010
    Assignee: Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael J. Szesko, Douglas W. Walton, Chih-Jen Leu, P. Thomas Shupert, James G. McErlean, Peter Monkhouse, E. Christian Hess, Thomas P. Bonkenburg, Michael W. G. Bell, Andrew P. Booler, Christopher J. Lasher, Robert G. Howell, Wayne Rice
  • Patent number: 7587884
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method for adjusting height of a crate or box made of flexible material, having a base and at least four side walls by folding. After the base has been placed in a generally horizontal, a horizontal crease is produced on each side wall, parallel to the base and at a height substantially equal to a top of a stack of objects. At least one oblique crease is produced in each corner of the crate, with one end located at the intersection between two horizontal creases and the other end located on an upper ridge of one side wall. The upper part of each side wall is folded towards the center of the crate, at an angle substantially equal to 90°. The various flaps are folded on one another, being separated by oblique creases, bringing the upper part of side walls in a substantially horizontal plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: B Plus Development, Societe Anonyme
    Inventors: Claude Durand, Frédéric Duffes
  • Patent number: 7555880
    Abstract: An apparatus for delivering desired counts of products to containers. The apparatus includes a conveyor for moving discrete product portions along a path of travel. A force detecting device located along the path of travel measures force applied to the force detecting device. A counter adds one to a product count each time a force in a product identifying range is measured. A directing structure directs the product portions into a first container until the product count reaches a desired container count and directs the product portions into a second container after the product count reaches the desired container count.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Assignee: Gainco, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian Porter, Robert Scott
  • Publication number: 20090120040
    Abstract: A method and unit for feeding products to a group-forming unit for forming groups of products, each containing a given number of products; an orderly succession of products is fed in a first direction by means of a first conveyor; an orderly succession of products is fed in a second direction, parallel to the first direction, by means of a second conveyor parallel to the first conveyor; and the products are transferred from the first conveyor to the second conveyor by means of a transfer device which is permanently integral with an output end of the first conveyor, is moved in the second direction upon detection of a gap along the first conveyor, and is moved in the opposite direction to the second direction to form, along the second conveyor, a number of consecutive gaps equal to the number of products in each group of products.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2008
    Publication date: May 14, 2009
    Inventors: Mario Spatafora, Fabrizio Tale'
  • Patent number: 7506490
    Abstract: A system for packaging articles includes a first collection area for receiving and arranging a plurality of articles having a substantially non-uniform geometry. A transport device is included and a consolidation area for constructing an article layer, each article layer constructed from the plurality of arranged articles transported from the first collection area by the transport device. The consolidation area includes a stabilizer providing substantially continuous lateral support along the periphery of arranged articles of the article layer being constructed to substantially prevent tipping of the plurality of arranged articles. A portion of the arranged articles transported by the transport device is oriented differently from the other arranged articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: Dyco, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter D. Yohe, Ronald H. Cordingly, Timothy D. Hoffman
  • Publication number: 20090049798
    Abstract: An apparatus for cutting gas-filled filling bodies (12) to size, wherein the filling bodies are fed to the apparatus in the form of a string of successive gas-filled filling bodies that are connected by flat connecting sections (13); wherein a cutting device (11) having a cutting element (15) is provided for cutting the gas-filled filling bodies (12) in the connecting section (13) between two filling bodies; wherein at least one catch (21) is provided that is preferably arranged on a wheel (20) and has an engagement area (21a) for receiving a filling body (12); wherein the catch (21), together with the filling body (12) is movably arranged and configured such that the filling body (12) situated in the catch (21) is centered. A counter (23, 24) is provided for receiving a number of filling bodies (12) moved across a reference point. An evaluation and control unit is provided for receiving data of the counter (23, 24) and for triggering the cutting process.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 25, 2008
    Publication date: February 26, 2009
    Inventor: JOHANNES LORSCH
  • Patent number: 7467503
    Abstract: An automatic system for the delivery and distribution of articles in groups comprises a store of articles, a unit for the collection and delivery of articles from the store and a controller associated with the collection and delivery unit in order to control the selective collection of articles from the store and their output as sets of articles logically grouped together. The system further comprises a grouping device which receives the sets of articles logically grouped together as inputs and outputs corresponding packs, groups or bundles of articles physically connected to one another by a restraining loop or strip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2008
    Assignee: Swisslog Italia S.p.A.
    Inventors: Maurizio Davolio, Franco Gambarelli
  • Patent number: 7430838
    Abstract: Computer assisted systems, methods and mediums for filling one or more orders. One embodiment of the present invention is a system that includes an order consolidation station configured to receive at least one bottle containing pills individually counted and/or at least one package containing pharmaceutical products without having been designated for any of the orders when the package was created and/or at least one literature pack optionally including patient specific information. The order consolidation station is further configured to combine automatically the received bottle and/or package and/or literature pack into a container to be sent to a recipient including, for example, mail order pharmacies, wholesalers and/or central fill dealers for subsequent distribution or sale including retailer distribution or sale. The bottle is specifically designated for the order, and the order generally includes at least one prescription for the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2008
    Assignee: Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis W. Rice, James G. McErlean, E. Christian Hess, P. Thomas Shupert, Chih-Jen Leu, Robert G. Howell, Michael J. Szesko, Andrew P. Booler, Peter Monkhouse, Douglas W. Walton, Michael W. G. Bell, Christopher J. Lasher, Thomas P. Bonkenburg
  • Patent number: 7412814
    Abstract: Computer assisted systems, methods and mediums for filling one or more orders. One embodiment of the present invention is a system that includes an order consolidation station configured to receive at least one bottle containing pills individually counted and/or at least one package containing pharmaceutical products without having been designated for any of the orders when the package was created and/or at least one literature pack optionally including patient specific information. The order consolidation station is further configured to combine automatically the received bottle and/or package and/or literature pack into a container to be sent to a recipient including, for example, mail order pharmacies, wholesalers and/or central fill dealers for subsequent distribution or sale including retailer distribution or sale. The bottle is specifically designated for the order, and the order generally includes at least one prescription for the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2008
    Assignee: Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis Wayne Rice, James G. McErlean, E. Christian Hess, P. Thomas Shupert, Chih-Jen Leu, Robert G. Howell, Michael J. Szesko, Andrew P. Booler, Peter Monkhouse, Douglas W. Walton, Michael W. G. Bell, Christopher J. Lasher, Thomas P. Bonkenburg
  • Patent number: 7337594
    Abstract: An automated food processing system and method is provided that allows food to be dispensed, fried and packaged in a suitable container, which may be an individual portion-sized container. In one embodiment, the system includes separate automated modules for dispensing, frying and packaging the food. In one embodiment, an automated dispensing device dispenses a predetermined portion of food from a food dispensing magazine located in a freezer. Food is dispensed from the magazine to a secondary container located within the freezer for containing a plurality of pieces dispensed from the food magazine. A device is provided for determining the number of food pieces in the container located in the secondary container and for dumping the secondary container so that food pieces contained in the secondary container are dumped to a location outside of the freezer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2008
    Assignee: Restaurant Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald A. Sus, Ron Dorsten, Jenny Hong, Glenn Schackmuth, David Bone, Tiffany Curry, Eddie Mann, Douglas Christian Greening, John Meisner, John A. J. Wedel, Mario G. Ceste, Curtis Clarence Pinnow, Kevin Keough
  • Patent number: 7281361
    Abstract: A method for detecting and discriminating articles that are within a predetermined range of a specification into lots feeds a plurality of articles into an article portioning system having a counting head assembly that includes an article detecting unit located above and cooperatively controlling through generated signals an upper diverting gate and lower outlet gate which control the passage and/or accumulation of articles in adjacent channels to permit filling of article containers with predetermined article portions as containers are placed beneath, and removed from, the assembly outlet. The method for portioning discrete articles by feeding the articles and generating signals controlling the gates is suited for a combined plurality of such assemblies to provide high speed continuous container filling operations for simultaneous filling of groups of containers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2007
    Assignee: Diamond Machine Werks, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald R. Wooldridge
  • Patent number: 7185477
    Abstract: Computer assisted systems, methods and mediums for filling one or more orders. One embodiment of the present invention is a system that includes an order consolidation station configured to receive at least one bottle containing pills individually counted and/or at least one package containing pharmaceutical products without having been designated for any of the orders when the package was created and/or at least one literature pack optionally including patient specific information. The order consolidation station is further configured to combine automatically the received bottle and/or package and/or literature pack into a container to be sent to a recipient including, for example, mail order pharmacies, wholesalers and/or central fill dealers for subsequent distribution or sale including retailer distribution or sale. The bottle is specifically designated for the order, and the order generally includes at least one prescription for the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2007
    Assignee: Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis W. Rice, James G. McErlean, E. Christian Hess, P. Thomas Shupert, Chih-Jen Leu, Robert G. Howell, Michael J. Szesko, Andrew P. Booler, Peter Monkhouse, Douglas W. Walton, Michael W. G. Bell, Christopher J. Lasher, Thomas P. Bonkenburg
  • Patent number: 7174693
    Abstract: A system and an apparatus and method for detecting and discriminating articles that are within a predetermined range of a specification into lots. A counting head assembly includes at least an article detecting unit located above diverting gates which control the passage and/or accumulation of articles in adjacent channels to permit filling of article containers with predetermined article portions as containers are placed beneath, and removed from, the assembly outlet. A plurality of such assemblies may be combined to provide high speed continuous container filling operations, for example by location of a plurality of counting head assemblies about the periphery of a rotating carousel or on a linear platform which moves containers beneath the assemblies for simultaneous filling of groups of containers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignee: Diamond Machine Works, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald Wooldridge
  • Patent number: 6996955
    Abstract: There is provided a system that automatically delivers, monitors and replenishes a string of packaging cushions to hoppers located at multiple packing stations through an elongated cushion delivery duct having a series of intermediate outlets to permit the string of cushions to drop into the hopper located below the delivery duct and above the packing station. A blower is positioned near the inlet of the elongated duct to provide air flow in the duct to carry the string of cushions through the duct to one of the outlets. When the hopper is full of cushions sensors signal the controller to close the diverter and the string of cushions is delivered to another packaging station. The system may include a knife assembly to cut the string of cushions holding pins and the tension-relief diverter it is located at the inlet of the duct to hold tension on the string of cushions while the string is being separated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2006
    Assignee: Sealed Air Corporation (US)
    Inventors: Robert A. White, Jr., Paul Van Huis, Ronald Sledzieski
  • Patent number: 6983580
    Abstract: A device and method for stacking and packaging cylindrical products having variable size. Products are placed on edge and organized to a uniform stack size by means of a product compressing drum. The stack is placed in a trough between a cam operating front lug and a back lug. Once between lugs, the uniformly sized stack maybe packaged into uniform size packages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2006
    Assignee: Delta Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Ken Layton, Jon Chandler, Robert Doug Robinson, Clyde Spinks
  • Patent number: 6983579
    Abstract: Computer assisted systems, methods and mediums for filling one or more orders. One embodiment of the present invention is a system that includes an order consolidation station configured to receive at least one bottle containing pills individually counted and/or at least one package containing pharmaceutical products without having been designated for any of the orders when the package was created and/or at least one literature pack optionally including patient specific information. The order consolidation station is further configured to combine automatically the received bottle and/or package and/or literature pack into a container to be sent to a recipient including, for example, mail order pharmacies, wholesalers and/or central fill dealers for subsequent distribution or sale including retailer distribution or sale. The bottle is specifically designated for the order, and the order generally includes at least one prescription for the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2006
    Assignee: Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis Wayne Rice, James G. McErlean, E. Christian Hess, P. Thomas Shupert, Chih-Jen Leu, Robert Gregory Howell, Michael Joseph Szesko, Andrew P. Booler, Peter Monkhouse, Douglas W. Walton, Michael W. G. Bell, Christopher J. Lasher, Thomas P. Bonkenburg
  • Patent number: 6892512
    Abstract: Computer assisted systems, methods and mediums for filling one or more orders. One embodiment of the present invention is a system that includes an order consolidation station configured to receive at least one bottle containing pills individually counted and/or at least one package containing pharmaceutical products without having been designated for any of the orders when the package was created and/or at least one literature pack optionally including patient specific information. The order consolidation station is further configured to combine automatically the received bottle and/or package and/or literature pack into a container to be sent to a recipient including, for example, mail order pharmacies, wholesalers and/or central fill dealers for subsequent distribution or sale including retailer distribution or sale. The bottle is specifically designated for the order, and the order generally includes at least one prescription for the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis Wayne Rice, James G. McErlean, E. Christian Hess, P. Thomas Shupert, Chih-Jen Leu, Robert Gregory Howell, Michael Joseph Szesko, Andrew P. Booler, Peter Monkhouse, Douglas W. Walton, Michael W. G. Bell, Christopher J. Lasher, Thomas P. Bonkenburg
  • Patent number: 6799413
    Abstract: There is provided an automated packaging apparatus for depositing a predetermined number of pills into a series of containers. The packaging apparatus includes a plurality of independently rotatable rotary slats. Each rotary slat includes an outer peripheral edge portion and the rotary slats are configured so that the outer peripheral edge portions define a common interior space. Each outer peripheral edge portion also defines an inner surface and a plurality of pill apertures. The pill apertures are configured to receive one of the pills from the common interior space at a first position and transmit the pill outside the rotary slats at a second position. A conveyor is configured to move a plurality of open containers along a predetermined path of travel and position each of the containers adjacent a respective rotary slat to define a delivery path that extends between the second position of the rotary slat and the container. At least one drive motor is in driving engagement for rotating the rotary slats.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Assignee: Aylward Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: John Thomas Aylward
  • Patent number: 6796108
    Abstract: The method comprises viewing by of a magnetic recording camera the zone for the opening of vials and for metered filling thereof and continuously recording the zones visually during the operation of the installation and simultaneously carrying out the identification marking of each full glass container, with indelible marking means, at the outlet of the installation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2004
    Assignee: Probitas Pharma S.A.
    Inventors: Javier Jorba Ribes, José R. Sanchez Sabate, Ramón Morales Pérez
  • Patent number: 6694706
    Abstract: The invention relates to a facility and method for filling product receptacles (1), especially cartons, with a predetermined amount of products (2), especially flexible bag packaging, which are individually fed at regular or irregular intervals and assembled to form a group of products (11) and which are subsequently fed to an available product receptacle (1). The products (2) in the group of products (11) can be selectively placed on or under the preceding product. The group of products (11) can be selectively fed to the product receptacles (1) vertically or horizontally.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2004
    Assignee: Nor-Reg A/S
    Inventors: Heinz Odenthal, Herbert Schulte
  • Patent number: 6681550
    Abstract: There is provided an automated packaging apparatus for depositing a predetermined number of pills into a series of containers. The packaging apparatus includes a plurality of independently rotatable rotary slats. Each rotary slat includes an outer peripheral edge portion and the rotary slats are configured so that the outer peripheral edge portions define a common interior space. Each outer peripheral edge portion also defines an inner surface and a plurality of pill apertures. The pill apertures are configured to receive one of the pills from the common interior space at a first position and transmit the pill outside the rotary slats at a second position. A conveyor is configured to move a plurality of open containers along a predetermined path of travel and position each of the containers adjacent a respective rotary slat to define a delivery path that extends between the second position of the rotary slat and the container. At least one drive motor is in driving engagement for rotating the rotary slats.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2004
    Assignee: Aylward Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: John Thomas Aylward
  • Publication number: 20030024212
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a method and system for packing an order of parts. An operator is prompted to select an indicated part. The part is read by the system to verify the selection of the part. An array of indicators directs the operator to where the part should be placed in a shipping tote. An array of sensors confirms the packing of the part.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2001
    Publication date: February 6, 2003
    Applicant: Schneider Automation Inc.
    Inventors: James V. Schaefer, Robert J. Bell
  • Patent number: 6505460
    Abstract: An automated positive count rotary slat packaging apparatus and related methods include independently rotatable rotary slats. In one embodiment, the apparatus also includes a positive count mechanism disposed in the pill delivery path adjacent the containers and a controller which is capable of generating an alarm or determining when a bottle is filled incorrectly. Accordingly, underfilled containers can be independently filled by further rotating only the respective rotary slat. A drive device for each rotary slat is also provided having frustoconical drive wheels connected to the ends of counterrotating drive shafts. The drive wheels, which are driven by a motor, engage corresponding frustoconical drive surfaces of the rotary slats to thereby rotate the slats.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2003
    Assignee: Aylward Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: John T. Aylward
  • Patent number: 6401429
    Abstract: An automated positive count rotary slat packaging apparatus and related methods include independently rotatable rotary slats. In one embodiment, the apparatus also includes a positive count mechanism disposed in the pill delivery path adjacent the containers and a controller which is capable of generating an alarm or determining when a bottle is filled incorrectly. Accordingly, underfilled containers can be independently filled by further rotating only the respective rotary slat. A drive device for each rotary slat is also provided having frustoconical drive wheels connected to the ends of counterrotating drive shafts. The drive wheels, which are driven by a motor, engage corresponding frustoconical drive surfaces of the rotary slats to thereby rotate the slats.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Aylward Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: John T. Aylward
  • Patent number: 6363687
    Abstract: The present invention tablet filler device system includes a plurality of individually secured cells with a tablet hopper and drum functionally adapted to regulate and orient gravity outflow of tablets, a gravity feed chute connected to and downstream from the hopper to singularly align and feed tablets, and a rotatable starwheel having slots to receive tablets from the feed chute to move tablets to a container filling substation. There is also a tablet inspection mechanism located on the feed chute to discern quality characteristics of tablets moving down the feed chute in accordance with a predetermined standard, and a tablet ejector to eject unacceptable tablets. A stepper drive motor with a counter capability for driving the starwheel in a step fashion for controlled release of tablets is included, and an optional counting verification sensor. The cells are interconnected for computer controlled automatic order filling for a variety of tablet types and container sizes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Luciano Packaging Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Luciano, Lawrence W. Luciano, Richard L. Smith
  • Patent number: 6050060
    Abstract: A unit and method for forming a group of products on a wrapping machine, whereby a continuous supply conveyor feeds a succession of products to an input of a group-forming screw device; and a step-operated supply device, located at an output of the screw device, is controlled by a sensor for detecting the length of each group, to only feed complete groups to a wrapping unit of the wrapping machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2000
    Assignee: Azionaria Costruzioni Macchine Automatiche A.C.M.A. S.p.A
    Inventors: Mario Spatafora, Enrico Campagnoli
  • Patent number: 6041578
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for a packaging machine to form groups of products and insert them into cartons at a cartoning station. The device comprises a stacking line equipped with a controlled outfeed hopper in which an alternating product presser operates. The stacking line comprises a container located at the bottom of the hopper and having a tongue inside it designed to retain the products forming the group which thus grows downwards towards an endwall of the container. The container moves alternately from a position in which it is connected with the hopper to a position in which it is connected with the cartoning station where the group is extracted from the container and transferred to the carton. The tongue is actuated by linear actuating means synchronized with the packaging machine by programmable control means and providing the enable signal to cut off the hopper to allow the container to move to the cartoning station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Assignee: Tecnomeccanica S.r.l.
    Inventor: Andrea Romagnoli
  • Patent number: 5893259
    Abstract: A product filler head system having an input conveyor with a first drive motor for delivering product items, an index pusher for receiving the product items from the input conveyor, accumulating the product items into groups of a selected size and releasing the groups onto a staging area, the index pusher including a second drive motor, an index lug chain for receiving selected numbers of the groups of product items from the index pusher and displacing the selected number of groups of product along the staging area, the index lug chain including a third drive motor, a ram for displacing the groups of product items from the staging area into a receptacle, the ram including a fourth drive motor, and a selectively programmable computer control for individually actuating the first, second, third and fourth motors such that speeds of the conveyor, index pusher and lug chain are synchronized with respect to each other and with sequencing of the ram, so that changes in the size of the groups of product items and cha
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1999
    Assignee: Planet Products Corporation
    Inventor: Joe F. Posge
  • Patent number: 5890350
    Abstract: An automatic packaging machine inserts small items, such as candy coated chewing gum, into a box with the small items arranged in a desired orientation. First, the small items are swept into a grid of individual pockets in plates on a conveyor. Then, the grid is inverted over an insertion tray having grooves which receive the small items without disturbing the desired orientation. The entire tray is inserted into a box and then withdrawn from the box. A ridge is formed adjacent said grooves for lifting a side of the box confronting the small items while the tray is inserted into the box so that there is almost no friction between the small item and the box, which might otherwise disturb the desired orientation. The small items are blocked during a withdrawal of the tray so that they are laid down in the desired orientation on the bottom of the box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: Tisma Machinery Corporation
    Inventor: Steven Tisma
  • Patent number: 5855104
    Abstract: An automated apparatus for controlling the automatic packaging of contact lenses in a contact lens fabrication facility includes: a first robotic transfer device for periodically transferring a first predetermined amount of individual packages from an inspection station to an intermediate consolidation buffer and depositing the packages on the consolidation buffer; a control device for tracking and identifying each individual contact lens conveyed from the inspection station to the consolidation buffer and including memory and logic circuits for storing the identity of individual packages containing contact lenses that have been previously determined at the inspection station as being out of specification, and, generating a signal to enable the first robotic device to discard any individual package identified as out of specification; and; a second robotic assembly for periodically transferring a second predetermined amount of individual packages from the consolidation buffer to a second processing station, th
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Schlagel, Russell J. Edwards, Mary L. Dolan, Svend Christensen, Borge P. Gundersen, John M. Lepper, Daniel Tsu-Fang Wang, Richard W. Abrams, Thomas C. Ravin
  • Patent number: 5802813
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for producing and bagging decorative grass, such as Easter grass. The apparatus includes an extruder, a godet, a slitter, a cutter, a bagging assembly and a programmable logic controller. The extruder produces a continuous sheet of material, which is fed by the godet into the slitter and cutter. A thickness gauge is provided between the extruder and slitter to measure the thickness of the sheet of material. The slitter has a row of blades which slit the sheet into a continuous length of slitted material. The cutter includes a rotatable blade which transversely cuts the slitted material into a number of individual filaments. The sheet of material is urged through the slitter and cutter by the godet and an air flow produced by a blower. The blower then forces the filaments to the bagging assembly, which has a rotatable turret, an inserter and a bag handler. The turret has a number of magazines for receiving from the cutter and for discharging the filaments into bags.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: Southpac Trust International, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald E. Weder
  • Patent number: 5782056
    Abstract: Apparatus for packaging includes a pivoting transport arm for removing a product from a moving conveyor and placing the product at a first work station. A pusher mechanism pushes the product delivered to the first station between spaced plates into a plastic bag and then through gates of a closure device to the second station. The closure device seals the bag with the product therein and the bagged product is subsequently discharged from the second station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1998
    Assignee: Delaware Capital Formation, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis J. May, Eddie M. Norton, Brian K. Digeso, Kuo-Raid Grant Chen, Christopher T. Booker
  • Patent number: 5724791
    Abstract: A system for coordinating an operational speed of an envelope inserter receiving incoming packets containing a predetermined number of document pages with an interval of time required to generate each incoming packet. A printer generates the document pages within each of the packets and a computer coordinates the operational speed of the envelope inserter with the interval of time required by the printer to generate each incoming packet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1998
    Assignee: United States Computer Services
    Inventors: Jeff M. Pishny, Marc J. Fagan, Remesh Kuruppath, Steven L. Mulkey, Jonathan D. Emigh
  • Patent number: 5722221
    Abstract: An envelope opening apparatus for mail assembly operations which employs timed intermittent bursts of compressed air or other gas. One or more gas jets are used in association with an inserter arm, and envelopes are sequentially conveyed past the inserter arm and gas jets. As each envelope is positioned adjacent to the inserter arm and gas jets, a controller computer activates a control valve, supplying compressed air to the gas jets, which direct a blast of air at the envelope, opening the envelope to form a pocket suitable for insertion thereinto of mail materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Assignee: United States Computer Services
    Inventors: Richard D. Maltman, Robert E. Valentine, Robert J. Leitner, Gerry E. Leick
  • Patent number: RE37432
    Abstract: An apparatus is provided for removing and transporting articles, such as contact lens sections from a manufacturing line to inspection and packaging stations. The lenses are deposited in a transparent plastic primary package which carries the lenses through the inspection station and becomes part of the primary package when a cover is sealed thereto. The invention includes various assemblies, including lens transfer assemblies, deionized water filling and removal assemblies, a water degassing assembly, a lens inspection assembly, and a lens package sealing assembly. The lenses are removed from pallets at a post hydration station, transported and spatially redistributed, and deposited in the primary packages disposed on a second set of pallets. The packages on the second set of pallets are filled with degassed deionized water. The contact lenses and packages are then transported to an inspection station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Wallace Anthony Martin, Russell James Edwards, Borge Peter Gundersen, Darren Scott Keene, Ture Kindt-Larsen, John Mark Lepper, Niels Jørgen Madsen, Thomas Christian Ravn, Daniel Tsu-Fang Wang, William Edward Holley
  • Patent number: RE40453
    Abstract: In an automated prescription pill dispensing system, a multiplicity of pill dispensers are provided each operable to count out and dispense pills from supply hoppers. The dispensers are controlled by a computer which selects up to five of the dispensers to operate and control the selected pill dispensers to count out pills simultaneously. The pill dispensers dispense the pills into the first set of output hoppers, from which the pills can be released into a second output hopper under the control of the computer. The computer will release the pills from the second output hopper corresponding to a selected pill dispenser through a snout into a pill vial in response to sensing the presence of a pill vial at the snout. The computer controls a prescription label printer to print prescription labels for the pill vials. The computer also controls indicator lights to indicate which dispensing cell is selected and ready to have pills released from the second output hopper corresponding thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2008
    Assignee: Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher J. Lasher, Dennis W. Rice, Michael J. Szesko, Michael L. Mahar