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Publication numberUS1427264 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 29, 1922
Filing dateNov 11, 1919
Priority dateNov 11, 1919
Publication numberUS 1427264 A, US 1427264A, US-A-1427264, US1427264 A, US1427264A
InventorsCharles J Clear
Original AssigneeCharles J Clear
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 1427264 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




Patented Aug. 29, 192;.



0. J. CLEAR.



Patented Aug. 29, 1922.


Awe/z far Y 7 hm,

' embodiment, the middle portion w s vw- W 3 It; in} lfi i Sill i i ll GEADER.

Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented Ari 25%),i922.

Application filed. November 11, 1919. Serial No. 337,298.

T all whom it may concern Be it known that Cnannns J. CLEAR, a citizen of the United States of America, a resident of Vancouver, in the county of Clarke, in the State of dD-ishington, has invented certain new and useful Improvements in Graders, of which the following is a specification, reference being had to the accog iianying drawings.

y invention relates to machines for grading articles by size, and has for its object the production of. an improved machine for sorting: and selectively separating a variety of articles according to uniformity of size.

My invention is particularly designed and adapted for the grading of delicate fruits and vegetables whose surfaces abrasion might damage, and especially of objects of irregular shape, for example, pears, lemons, cucumbers and carrots, which, by reason or theirirregularity of shape, resist the usual methods of selective separation.

il hat constitutes my invention will be hereinafter specified in detail and succinctly set forth in the appended claims.

In the accompanying drawings,

Figure l is a top plan view of my invention complete in present preferred form oi thereof being broken out for the accommodation of the scale to which the drawing is made.

Figure ll is a side elevation ofthe subject matter ot Figure I looking towards the main drive-pulley of the machine.

Figure ill is a transverse section on an enlarged scale of the traveling belts shown in the previous figures and illustrative of their relative operative disposition toward ea h other and in respect to their longitudinal guides and supporters.

F U is a section on the line lV-lV of Figure ll.

Figure V is a detail view in transverse section on enlarged scale of my machine showing a fruit 'pocket in section, the dis charge chute thereof being shown open in full lines, and closed in dotted lines.

Figure Vl is a front view of the subject matter otFigure V.

Figure Vll is a top plan ject matter of Figure V.

l igiirevllli is a composite detail view oi one of the sorting belt pulleys and a sec tion of belt thereon detached.

Referring to the numerals on the drawings, 1 in dcaies'a frame consisting prefer view of the subassemblage and 20 upon the shaft 5. The

diameter one with another.

ably of an oblong rectangular structure, but constituting in effect a single or composite structure, of any suitable configuration and of parts and which may be made of wood or metal as preferred. The frame preferably comprises supporting members 2 and 3 disposed in pairs, respectively, towards its opposite ends. The paired members 2 carry, in suitable bearings 4 provided thereon, a shaft, 5. In like manner, and on the same level with shaft 5, as in bearings 6 and 7, respectively, the paired members 3 carry two parallel shafts 9' and 10 which are geared together as by sprocket wheels ll and 12 andan intermeshing sprocket belt 13. To the shaft 10 is secured at one end a main driving pulley 15 that is operatively connected as by a belt 16 with a source of power not illustrated.

To the shaft 9 is secured a belt pulley and to the1shait 10 is secured a 18. in line with the pulleys 17 are loose pulleys 19 pulleys, 1'? to 20 inclusive, preferably correspond in About the pulleys 1'4" and 19 is tautly passed an endless conveyor belt 23, having a fiat smooth work ing face, and about the pulleys l8 and 20 is, in like manner, disposed a corresponding belt 24. The pulleys 17 and 18 are spaced at greater distance apart than the pulleys l9and 20. Consequently, there is a gradual divergence provided between the respective belts in their stretches from the pulleys l9 and 20 towards the pulleys l7 and 18, respectively.

1'? pulley and 18, respectively,

The shafts 9 and 10 be if preferredv driven at the same or slightly variant speeds, as preferred, in order to impart the same or variant speeds to the belts 23 and 24.

Adjacent to guide rollers 25 and 26, carried, respectively, in open clevis-like frames 27 and 28, fixed adjustably, if desired, to the frame 1, as upon stringers 29 and 30 provided for them. in like manner, adjacent to the pulleys l? and 18, C(HI'GSPOIKllHg guide rollers 31 and 32- are provided. The respective pairs of guide rollers 25 and 26, and 31 and 32, are obliquely disposed towards each other, as shown in Figure IV so as to impart to their respective belts 23 and 24 in passing under them a uniform angle of disposition relatively to each other, as is clearly shown in Figure 111. By inclination of the surfaces belt the 'iulleys l9 and 20 are can of the pulleys l7 and 18 towards each other, and likewise of the pulleys l9 and 2\), the relative angular disposition of the belts 23- and 24 may be directly obtained without the necessity of guide rolls but this is a mere mechanical detail. It is, however, essential that the vertical convergence of the belts shall conform to a sufficiently small angle to insure to each article a transversely traversable course between the working faces of the belts before its final selective point of discharge.

In order to stiffen the belts and maintain their flat Working faces in uniform regularity of angular disposition "towards oar-h other between the ZQSI'XECllVQ rollers and 31-32, last above specified, l nrovivle against the backs of the belts, in their respective upper stretches, longitudinally disposed flat supporting plates 35. eucli of which is fixedly supported upon the frame 1, and extends substantially ine full length of each stretch of belt between its respective guide rollers. li the length of the plates 35 should require it. as it usunll does, supporting members 36 for said plates may be provided al intervals upon the frame 1. Upon the opposing faces of the plates 35 are provided longitudinal guide plates 37 and 35 spaced and shaped to eccommodate between them guide lauttons 39 fixed to the backs of the respective belts 23 and 24, the pulleys lT Q heing suitably split or channeled "For their ac.onimoontion. for example. as indicated at l0 in l' ig-ure l' lll. The buttons 39 serve to hold the respective hells snugly in juxtaposition againstthe faces of their respective guide plates 37 and 38.

in consequence o? the angle of ergence otel e stretches of the belts 23 and iriun their. respective pulleys l9 11ml 2 anrl that of their vertical downward convergence. as shown in Figure ill, said belts cooperate to effect the sorting function oi the machine in the manner explained in the iollowing paragraph.

The longitudinal (livergez'ice of the hells 23 and a necessary feature of my machine and it must every gradual, but may be somewhat Varied at' discretion. it is the angle of vertical downward convergence of longituciinally divergent, movable hell's that rlistinguishes my invention from what is old in the m. in respect to the SOi'llllfjj function of the machine. As between the belts and the vertical and. the horizontal conseitute the extreme theoretical limits within which their relative disposition may he eii eeted. Pint, if bot-h belts are locelerl either in horizontal planes or in vertical planes, there will he no vertical eonvergrenee between them, though they still he lo itudinally divergent and may sti l one his in fsshiones sorting elements. .I

relatively disposed at a Wll angle. ninety (legrees they will constitule in. one

nothing more than fiat divergent belts ii-r ridecl with a trough tending to hold hemveen them articles to be sorted ancl prevent the spilling of the same over the SKlQS of belts. trough-like efl'ect is all lliatshown in the prior art. but my invention is differentiated therefrom by prorirlin I l i'znctionally effective transverse extend the two belts and by disposing them. rela-' tivelv towards each other at an acute By main means an article may he can suspended by the belts oetween jacent to their upper edges whe" travel between their: in a oblique direction in order to .l tion from confinement hy the l;- s

. is during its period of travel along this oblique line between the belts that (he articl is as made to respond to the action of y, with the effect of h "lug imparted 1; delicate halano between opposite points suspension. Such method of susp nsion is available for the sorting of all an *ies. and;

is essential to the sorting of articles of irregular shape, like a pear for example. it the same time, during the selec ive opera tion *he movement or the hers I spurts to each ar icle a slight rolling moti about its vertical axis that adjusts es i article towards that delicate degree of iau'is 'iension between the belts that neoessai i to lie liberatimi therefrom by era a saifi, with that suhstantial nc: cision which the object o l n l ands. To the end shove spel'ed into the machinehv an ass for example. upon a hran her 4-1 that travels over represented by one pulley between l e rails at point at. Which the belt c eels Q3 and 24: is provided. a seems i. prererelilv consisting of s curve-cl extension ol 'l si le rail 4? across anrl shove 521. so that by the movement or in the direction of the arrows shoe in Figure l, the fruit is srnooth i' a gentle motion carries it tween the lower edge 3 "1. t iron iru.

sized. object ester 01" j :3 (\7- I all (L.- /(LA. I

1 indn ideal by a s; m'i'iv-xeroly convergent opposing;

hells one. it is 1 nelrlhetween them only Ste rontact points 459 and 55'. ill:

pear-sluioecl.,. es inrlic menace I Figure In, the contact points 49 and 50 constitute an axis of suspension therefor between the faces 23 and 24 that is disposed transversely to the fruit and toward its larger end. Consequently its preponderant weight causes the stem-end 51 of the fruit to swing downwardly upon the axis 49-50 substantially to the vertical position as shown in Figure H1. Because the opposing faces of the belts 23 and 24 gradually diverge in a horizontal angle from the point of fruit intake, the axis 4-9-50 is permitted thereby gradually to slide downwardly and obliquely along the convergent smooth working faces of said belts until a point is reached in the travel of the belts at which the length of said axis approximates something less than the distance between the points 46 and 47, when the fruit, by its own weight, drops from between the belts 23 and 24 to the receptacles provided below the same for its reception.

Because of the fact that a pear is, by

reason of its peculiar shape, found most difiicult of selective separation according to size, the pear is employed by way of ex-- ample in the foregoing description and in the accompanying drawings. A. tapered vegetable like a carrot is in effect pear shaped. In respect to an oblong object. such as a cucumber, for instance, instead of one axis of suspension indicated by 49-50 in Figure Ill of the drawings, there may be, and generally is, a plurality of axes of suspension between the faces of the belts 23 and 24. Consequently, while there would, in such case, be a dropping of the preponderant end of the object between the belts 23 and 24, the object would not immediately reach a vertical position. lfthe belts or conveyors 23 and 24 be driven at slightly different speeds, the result would tend to effect longitudinal alignment of articles interposedbetwecn them, but even when they travel at the same rate of speed, the drop from the belt 41 to the movin and longitudinally divergent belts 23 an 24 appears to be generally all suihcient to accomplish the desired alignment. In other respects the principle of selective separation is substantially the same as that already described.

For the reception of the graded fruit. I prefer to provide, at. a short distance immediately below the belts 23 and 24 a longitudinally disposed row or series of pockets 52, 53, 54 and 55, the number of pockets being indefinite and determinable by the work which the machine is to do.- Each of the pockets is preferably inclined and has a bottom 56 made, for example, of canvas or other yielding material to catch the fruit without bruising it. Each pocket terminates in a discharge-chute 57 that is preferably hinged, as indicated at 58, to an upright of the frame 1, and which may be raised and lowered at will. When raised, it may be seecured in the pocket-closing position as b latch mechanism of any suitable description, for example that indicated in the drawing by the numeral 60. The dischargeehute 57 serves as a means for confining fruit dropped into its respective pocket until such time as the extent of accumulation therein.

demands discharge. For convenience of such discharge, I prefer to provide below the several discharge-chutes that extends the collective length of ail the pockets and is adapted to support, for each pocket individually, a pan or other receptacle for the fruit discharge of its respective ppcket. it is important in sorting delicate articles to make the chute 57 long enough to reach. when open, substantially to the bottom of the receptacle into which it die charges, so that the contents of the chute may roll or slip into the receptacle without any drop or bruising impact.

In view of such ready been given, the operation of my machine may be briefly described in the following language. By power communicated through the belt 16 the pulley 15 imparts rotative motion to both the shafts g and 10 which causes the belts 23 and 24 to travel in one direction. For such traits as pears that are suspended between them on a single axis, it is best that the belts 23 and 2% travel at equal rates of speed. but with oblong fruits like cucumbers. suspended from a plurality of axes. there may be an aligning advantage in causing the belts to travel at slightly ditierent rates of speed. it now the belt 4-1 be in operation in the direction of the arrows applied to it in Figure Land fruit, for example, be supplied thereto. the fruit will be deposited one by one in the manner already described,between the traveling belts 23 and 24-, through the action of the sweeper 45. The smallest fruit will, in accordance "r with the principle of operation hereinbel'orc specified. drop by gravity at once into the pocket 52. A next larger sizefalls into the pocket 53, and so on until the last pocket. indicated in. the drawings by tbennmeral 55, is reached. Some pockets will Fillmore rapidlythan others, according to the run of fruit in point oi size. but all the fruit will be taken care of in their respective pockets until, as each pocket becomes tilled, the accumulation of fruit therein is drawn byt' an attendant through manipulation. of its discharge-chute 57 in the manner specified. The accumulation of the fruit in the several pockets is always gradual, so that the atten- .M

tion of a single attendant is suihcient for the proper care and manipulation of the machine. 1

it is found in use that my machine may be relied upon to perform the selective func- 57 a bench 61 description as has alties required of it, and to deposit even peers, which require the most delicate handling, Without danger of bruising the fruit in the slightest degree. its utility, however,

5 is limited to the sorting of pears, nor

e of fruits and vegetables, such as.

ve arrots, cucumber, lemons, etc, but may be est ended to the sorting of any objects which differ in site one from another.

0 l t hat I claim is:

l. in a machine for grading articles by size, the combination with driving mechanism, of 22 pair oi fiat, endless belts having cooperative longitudinally divergent and transverseiy downwardly convergent Working tacos. and means (lli'$})().ll against the her of each belt so wholly to support its woiiting in true cooperative relationship to the other belt. 26.- 2. a machine for grading articles by tine combination with driving mechanisin, oi. a pair of longitudinal divergent flat, endless belts, each having only a single article-ere *ig face. and both of said lniving inoctionaliy eliicient transve sorting convergence one tovards the other.

-5. in a machine for grading articles by the combination. with driving mechaor a pair of flat'endless belts having sn'iooth working faces angularly disone towards the other, and supportoperetively disposed against the 1 i Y i i 7 .l i melts or said belts. respectively, to stilien port and nntintain them in position.

a machine for grading articles by combination with driving mechamir oi belts having fiat working l disposed one towards the c snowed backing plates for each belt, on buttons on the hack of each belt, workin the groove oi its respective plate.

5. lln. a, machine for grading articles by size, the cmnbination with driving mechak and :1 pair of bolts adapted in operat ialre selection of articles. of a series inclined pockets operatively dissaid belts and adapted to rective discharge of articles each pocket being provided with attached discharge-chute. and .,r operatively eti'ecting, at will, a ng or a discharging position with re- 0 each ol'iute.

bins for grad comoinsfticn with nism, and a pair of belts adapted in operation to make selection of articles. of a series of yielding pockets operatively disposed be low said belts and adapted to receive the selective discharge of articles therefrom, each pocket being provided with a flexibly attached discharge-chute terminating within close reach of a receptacle for graded articles. and operative means for lifting or for lowering each discharge chute.

7. Ina machine for. grading articles by size, the combination with driving mechanism, of a pair of longitudinally divergent, flat, endless belts. and guide rollers for each belt. said guide rollers constituting means for holding and directing the belts in vertically convergent planes between the points of supply and discharge.

8. In a machine for grading articles by size, the combination with driving mechanism, of a pair of longitudinally divergent, flat, endless belts having smooth working faces held in cooperative, angular disposition one towards the other by means of guide rollers provided therefor, and correspondingly downwardly convergent supporting plates operatively disposed against thebaclrs of said belts, respectively, to support and maintain them in cooperative positions.

9. In a machine for grading articles by size, the combination with driving mechanism, and a pair of selectively disposed belts, of a series of yielding inclined pockets operatively disposed below said belts and adapted to receive the selective discharge oi articles therefrom, each pocket terminating in a flexibly attached dischargechute, and means for fixedly adjusting said chute in either or" two operatively effective positions.

10. In a machine for grading articles by size, the combination with driving mechanism, of a pair of single faced smooth surfaced endless belts having portions thereof disposed longitudinally in complen'ientary divergent relationship, said portions being uniformly disposed in downwardly convergent planes, the angle of Whose convergence is functionally ellicient for the suspension of articles between them.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand in the presence of two subscribing witnemes.

CHARLES J. CLEAR. Witnesses:

Josnrn L. ATKINS, LEICESTER B. Arrows.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2471479 *Dec 5, 1944May 31, 1949Fmc CorpPear orienting and feeding apparatus
US2686591 *Jul 15, 1950Aug 17, 1954Brown Citrus Machinery CorpSizer
US3190329 *Jul 22, 1963Jun 22, 1965Bradway Malcolm SArticle scouring conveyor
US4091931 *Sep 17, 1975May 30, 1978Robert L. ButtonFruit sorting method and apparatus
US4432457 *Feb 19, 1981Feb 21, 1984Kureha Kagaku Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaArticle selection apparatus
DE102009016261A1 *Apr 3, 2009Oct 14, 2010Siemens AktiengesellschaftFlat objects separating device, has separating layer including upper conveyor belt, where gravitational force of object is passed through separating layer between upper and lower conveyor belts and is obtained in flat objects at slots
U.S. Classification209/620, 209/933, 209/924
International ClassificationB07B13/065
Cooperative ClassificationY10S209/933, B07B13/065, Y10S209/924
European ClassificationB07B13/065