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Publication numberUS2152758 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 4, 1939
Filing dateApr 5, 1937
Priority dateApr 5, 1937
Publication numberUS 2152758 A, US 2152758A, US-A-2152758, US2152758 A, US2152758A
InventorsDavid C Cox
Original AssigneeElectric Sorting Machine Compa
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sorting machine
US 2152758 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

D. C. COX

SORTING MACHINE April 4, 1939.

FiledvApril 5, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet l I IVNIWIIIIIIII WQ [LOD: vw /7 @Q #r OM; I, Pr v lr H1 N S@ s x u M Q0 QCL \\\\\l o n@ T\ vs k v wsu, @N a l, mw w NSVL E Q S s sw @EN BY @wp/7 flf/f ATTORNEYS April 4, 1939. D. c. cox

SORTING MACHINE Filed April 5, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 u 1m EATOR. C. 60x

e2 M/ www? ATTORNEYS D. C. COX

SORTING MACHINE April 4, 1939.

Filed April 5, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR z 6 BY W/M 60X E wwrwd ATTORNEYS D. C. COX

SORTING'MACHINE April 4, 1939.

Fil/ed April 5, 1937 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR.

ATTORNEY.l

BY 00nd C. 60X

Patented Apr. 4, 1939 UNITED STAT? This invention relates to sorting machines.

This invention relates to rii'lizN'rv OFFICE SORTBG MACHINE Application April 5, 1937, Serial No. 135,912 17 Claims. (Cl. 209-111) improvements in improvements.. in

electric sorting machines of the type' disclosed in the patent to Hanson No.

tember 15, 1936, and in my pendingapplications Serial No. 711,374 led February1,?1934, 'and Serial-No. 49,727 filed Novemberyig-liifandf-' improvements- Lin 1- the provisions for retaining objects-to .befsorted on the rotating conveyor wheel and fcnreleasing the same therefrom, and ilhexejecti'rlig ha'.-

rnore particularly relating to nism and actuatingdevices therefij.'

The main objects ofthis inventic'nf First, to. provide an' electric sorting, machine or system for sorting object'sgsuch `-a,'sfbean's' -v'herabypeuilsg' 1 eliminated, the. machine:being.gcharaicteriz V :op "-'atio' of` new ,-de-

-nhprv-edrflf section on line 5--9 of Figs. 1 and 2. ab ing; bj'e'cts y away and in section on a line corresponding to line 6-6 of Fig. 5 illustrating the details of construction of the` rotary conveyor and the relation the like and off-color. objects,

its accuracy and'eici'ency-'i'ri Second, to provide '-a machi scribed, characterized bygno suction conveyor equipment for to be picked up from a hopper; past a viewing and ejecting-stetion fand for facilitating the discharge of passing that station.

the objects after Third, to provide, a novel and. improved con- VeyOI'.

Fourth, to provide a sorting machine having a novel and improved mechanism for ejecting imperfect obiects from a conveyor, the ejector being armature-operated and characterized by provisions rendering the initiation of its actuating movement completely free from resistance,l yet returning the ejector to its rapidly and efliciently.

original position Fifth, to provide an equalized ejector mechanism which is capable of exceedingly rapid operation in either direction of its movement.

Sixth, to provide a sorting machine of the type described, embodying electric judging means for initiating actuation of an ejector mechanism, together with improved timing means for regulating the `ejectdr operation so that it occurs at a xed point in the machine cycle, accordingto whether an impulse is imparted to the Judging Preferred embodiments of thel invention 'are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in

which: Fig. `1 is a fragmentary View 1n. nent emanan,

'tol'igmore clearly illustrating the ejector actuating mechanism and elements associated being partially broken away and partially in section to illustrate details 0I the machine.

Fig. 2 is a fragmentary view in vertical section on line 2-2 of Fig. 5, illustrating the conveying mechanism in association with the article pickup and discharge, and the improved illuminating and viewing arrangements of the machinei Fig. is an enlarged view in front elevation of gthe lamp housing and the ejector mechanism '.'associated therewith, illustrating the relation ci .-thefilluminating lamps andphotoelectric view- 4ing elements thereto.

Fig. 4 i s.a-fragmentary enlarged view similar "therewith for retracting the same, the ejector actuating armature being indicated in ejecting Y position.

5 is a fragmentaryviewmainly in vertical 20 Fig. 61s a diagrammatic viewy partially breken thereto oi the photoelectric viewing means.

Fig. 7 is a detail view in section on line 'I-1 of Fig. 5, illustrating details o1 the regulating and timing commutator.

Fig. 8 is a view of the improved lamp housing employed in the machine in transverse vertical section on line 8-8 of Figs. 9 and 10, the position of the illuminating lamps, conveyor, and objects carried thereby being indicated in dotted lines.

Fig. 9 is a view of the lamp housing in section on line 9-9 of Figs. 8 and 10.

Fig. 10 is aview of the housing in horizontal section on line lil- I0 of Figs. 8 and 9.

Fig. 11 is a fragmentary view of a modied form oi lamp housing in section corresponding tothatofFig.8.

Fig.f12v is a view in horizontal section, illusv trating another modied form of lampl housing l. which may be used with my invention.

1 This invention comprehends a conveyor'which 45 isunfailing in its operation of picking 'up larticles from a bin or hopper and otholding them on the conveyor during its rotation," the said vmeans exertingv a pronouncedgripping effect on varticles in the hopper at the pickup station wherebythey are withdrawn from the hopper regardless of the frictional resistance of other articles in the hopper. u

Other improvements included in the invention are y-in'- the provision of a. relatively light ejector 63 blade driven by an armature and novel retracting means presenting little or no resistance to the initiation of the ejecting stroke yet serving to withdraw the ejector rapidly upon the completion of the stroke and comprising spring structure mounted on the armature in a manner to eliminate the possibility of binding effects.

Further details of improvements characterizing the invention will appear in the specification.

Referring to the drawings. particularly Fig. 1, the reference numeral I indicates a table having provision in the form of troughs or depressions 2 and 3, the former for receivingrculls ejected from the machine by mechanism to be hereinafter described, and the latter for receiving acceptable objects. The troughs deliver to suitable chutes 4, 5, the chute 5 leading to a traveling conveyor belt 6 carried by rollers 1 in a well known manner.

The table I has suitably supported thereon a bearing member or pedestal 8 for a drive shaft 9 provided with pulleys I0 for operating the rotating parts of the mechanism through belts I as will be hereinafter described. In Fig. 1, only a single belt is illustrated which drives a single sorting apparatus; however, it will be understood that two duplicate sorting mechanisms are shown in that figure and that similar drive means for each is provided in the form of a drive belt I I coacting with a pulley I0.

The belt passes around a pulley I2 mounted on a shaft I3 which is carried by ball bearings I4 in extensionsv of a frame I5 which is mounted on the table I. As illustrated in Fig. 5, the shaft I3 carries on its end a pinion I6 meshing with a ring gear I1 suitably secured to the ange |10 of a drum conveyor plate I8. The conveyor plate I8 is in turn secured to the radial ange I9 of a rotating sleeve 20.

'I'he sleeve 20 extends into a cylindrical bearing housing 2| formed in the frame. I5, being rotatably mounted in the housing by means of ball bearings 22 which are maintained in engagement at one end thereof with a shoulder 23 on the sleeve by spacer 24 and by nut 25 threadedly engaging the sleeve. A plate 2.50 bolted to the frame I5 closes the bearing housing.

'I'he sleeve is rotatable on a shaft or spindle 26 fixedly mounted in the frame and closed at one end by a plug 21 secured to the frame by screws 28. 'I'he other end of the spindle is closed by a plug 29 threadedly engaging the spindle interiorly and having communicating passages 16 drilled therein for a purpose to be hereinafter described.

Referring to Fig. 2, at the end adjacent the plug 29, the spindle 26 has flxedly secured thereto a suction fitting 30 which surrounds the spindle, and the spindle and fitting are drilled to provide a suction opening 3| therethrough. The spindle 26 is also drilled at 32 in line with a projecting radial passageway 33 formed in the fitting 30. I'he fitting 30 is held in mounted position on the spindle 26 by a set screw 34.

A segmental suction head 35 having a mouth 36 in line with the passageway 33 is slidably mounted in the passageway by means of a tubular stem or neck 31 secured to the shoe and slidably received in the passage member. A coil spring 38 encircles the stem and urges the head outwardly against the inner periphery of the flange |10 on the conveyor plate I8, the head being formed so as to provide a seal between the rounded ends 39 and 48 thereon, whereby a relatively high vacuum may be maintained in the space 4|. The head 35 has radial side walls on either side of a row of perforations 42 formed in the peripheral wall of the conveyor and a continuous article supporting rim 43 surrounding the conveyor, the walls sealing the space at either side of the pcrforations whereby suction may be created and maintained in space 4|. j

The hollow spindle 26 is connected to a suitable means for creating a vacuum, apertures 438 being formed inthe spindle near the end thereof adjacent the plug 21 and the hollow frame pedestal 44 leading to a vacuum chamber 45 in the table I-see Fig. 5. The conduit 46 leads -to a suitable pump for creating a vacuum in the chamber 45, cylinder 46 which may be termed a suction header, and drum 41.

The apertures 3| in the suction fitting 30 and the spindle 26 communicate with the interior of the conveyor drum, indicated generally by the reference numeral 41, which drum is closed by a disk 48 secured to and rotating with the plate I8. Therefore a partial vacuum exists inside the drum throughout a large portion of its volume. The partial vacuum in the drum 41 need not be as great as that in the space 4| since it only serves the purpose of maintaining the articles against the seats of the holes 42 and it maybe regulated by a valve plate 49 adjustably mounted on an apertured plate 50 extending over and covering the space directly above the tting 30, as illustrated in Figs. 2 and 5.

From the description of the construction of the suction drum, it will be seen that objects, such as beans. will be picked up from the hopper 5| which has face flanges 52 concentric with the rim 43 providing a slot in the hopper face of a width suiicient to accommodate a row of articles such as beans aligned with the openings 42.

A pair of angled article positioning members 52|) are mounted on a rod 52| between the walls of the hopper 5|, the angled extensions or fingers 522 thereof extending between the flanges 52 and into the hopper opening adjacent the conveyor rim 43, being placed on opposite sides of the row of holes 42 to position the articles on the conveyor rim.

The vacuum existing in the space 4| is sufciently great to cause a bean to be gripped to the conveyor over each hole and transported from the objects in the hopper 5|. The vacuum in the drum 41 is merely sucient to resist displacement of the articles from the rim as they are carried to the viewing station. v

The hopper 5| is fed from a feed conduit 53 leading to a storage bin. An agitating finger 54 is suitably clamped to a rockshaft 55 mounted for rocking movement in the hopper walls and extending outwardly therethrough on one side at 56, Fig. 5, where it is suitably connected to a link or connecting rod 51. The connecting rod is joined at its other end to a ring 58 surroundlng a disk 59 rigidly and eccentrically secured to the rotatable sleeve 20. Accordingly, rotation of thev sleeve 20 causes the rockshaft 55 to rock the agitator finger 54 to agitate the articles in the hopper so that they do not become wedged or unduly compacted. An inclined flexible member 60 forms the elfective bottom of the hopper and serves to prevent the articles from jamming between the hopper and conveyor rim 43,

After the beans carried by the conveyor have passed a viewing eld or station, to be hereinafter described and indicated generally by the reference numeral 6| in Figs. 1 and 2, it is necessary to .remove the objects which have not been ejected from the conveyor by the ejecting aisance application,

6|, reference being had to Figs. 2, 3, 6, 8 and 11. A

Such means will now be described.

The fitting 39 has rigidly mounted thereon a thrust abutment t2 carrying pins 63 slidably engaging recesses tti drilled in a divided segmental shoe 95 which constitutes a discharge valve and e. clearance means. The said shoe is supported by these pins in a sliding engagement with the inner side of the peripheral wall of the conveyor at the curved surfaces 66, 61 and 69 so that the compartments 69, 10 are provided between the shoe and the conveyor. The shoe has side walls indicated at 1| .in Fig. 5 and extending into continuous sliding contact with the innerperipheral surface of the anges so that the spaces 99 and 19 are sealed from the remainder of the drum and from each other. Springs 830 surrounding the pins 93 yieldingly urge the shoe Y 65 outwardly,

Space G9 being separated from the source of vacuum, it will be apparent that atmospheric pressure exists therein, Wherefore when 'the portion of the rim supporting an article passes the space 89, the object will drop therefrom into a collector chute 12 leading to the trough 3 and the belt conveyor 6, whereby the said objects are removed. Space 1 9 is subjected at suitable intervals, by the opening of a manually controlled valve, not shown, to a positive pressure through a tting 13 mounted in the shoe 65 which fitting is connected to a flexible hose 14 in turn joined to a further tting 15 communicating with the intersecting passages 16 drilled 'in the plug 29. A

The plugs or closures 21 and 29 carry an axially arranged pipe 11 extending exteriorly of the spindle 2B through the plug 21 and connected on the exterior municates with a pressure chamber 19 formed in the table I and supplied with air under pressure from a suitable source (not shown). Therefore, upon passing the space 19,- the openings 42 will be subjected to a blast serving to clear the same of any matterfclogging their outletsfor example, hulls of beans or the like.

The rim 43 is suitably tinted on its outer periphery to provide a reference background of the proper color, as described in my copending Serial No. 49,721, filed November 14, `4935, and likewise carries a pair'of normalizing spaces enabling the amplifying circuit ci the machine to be given a setting appropriateto the effective lighting, as described in that application. The number of such blank spaces may be varied as desired. I

A pair of contact lugs 8| positioned according to the blank spaces 80 on the rim and xed to ring gear |1, as illustrated in Figs. 5 and 6, rotate with the conveyor drum 41, periodically engaging a switch iinger 82 to complete an elec'- trical contact between pairs of spring switch whereby the said mechanism is periodically given an appropriate setting according to effective lamp- ,brightness afterthe spaces 80 on the rim have been viewed.

I will now describe the improvedstructure for illuminating and viewing objects at the station to a exible hose 18 which comtive to the path of travel of an article on theA conveyor rim t9-that the article passes through the theoretical common focus which is indicated by the reference numeral in Figs. 8 and 9.

Illuminating lamps 9i are placed in socket-like holders 92 formed in the double ellipsoidalhousing 89 so that the theoretical point of radiation of each of the lamps lies on a focus indicated .by the reference numeral 93 of each of the ellipses. The result is that the light rays, as shown in Figs. 8 and 9, converge on the article 96 on the conveyor rim from all directions, the i rays being indicated by broken lines in Figs. 8 and 9.

The slight bulge or enlargement formed at one side in the housing, as shown in Fig. 9, is provided to allow more room for ejected articles to pass to a point of discharge after they are ejected from the conveyor and to prevent their accidental glancing or rebounding into the collector or chute 12.

A pair of lenses 99 are mountedin openings 91 in the housing on the line of intersection of the ellipsoids and on either side of the common focus,

as illustrated in Fig. 9, the mounting being made by a sleeve 98 threadedly engaging in the opening in the lamp housing and carrying a lens support 99 which is adjustable by the knurled Each of the lamps el is provided with arna-l v 40 disk |00 whereby the focusing of the lenses is tively light-impervious area or zone |03 to the Y end that direct glare of the light rays on the ar` ticles being viewed is prevented, the entire illumi-l nation thereof being as a result of rays reiected uniformly thereon. The lamps are energized by feed wires |04 and the photoelectric cells |0| are likewise suitably connected to the amplifying circuit. i

A modied form of lamp housing is illustrated in Fig. 1l, which embodiment relies for its effectiveness on the principle of directing parallel beams rather than converging rays of light on the f article at the viewing station with the effect of illuminating the same through overlapping areas of light rather than through an infinite number of converging points of light. I have found that this principle of lighting is very effective in the elimination of false effects d ue tor shadows, etc. In carrying the idea into practice, I employ a large number of mirrors or other reecting surfaces 89| suitably secured to the housing 89 in a manner not to interrupt the reflecting area of each surface. Channels 892 separate the mirrors and are deep enough to eliminate any reflecting tendency of the housing itself. The rays of light yemanating from the lamps 9| and the limits of the beams reflected from the mirrors 89| are indicated in broken lines in Fig. 11, and it will be seen that -an varticle at.A the viewing station 6| is completely bathed in unimil CFI

form light. 'I'he article being viewed in Fig. l1 is illustrated as being in an up-ended position to clarify the eiect of the individual mirror system of illumination. The article is illuminated throughout substantially its entire area. There is no point which is relatively intensively lighted and the resulting tendency to mask the effect of a discolored portion of the article is not possible as might be the case were the light rays focused by use of a perfect ellipsoidal reflecting surface.

In Fig. 12 I illustrate a lamp housing 893 suitable for illuminating articles on the conveyor, the said housing being internally in the form of a single ellipsoid or approximately so, articles -on the conveyor rim 43 being transported through one focus thereof while lamp 9| is set at the other focus thereof, and the lens mountings 99 are placed in the side walls, the major axis of the ellipsoid extending at right angles to the conveyor periphery as distinguished from the pre- Viously described housing having double ellipsoidal surfaces wherein the major axes are obliquely disposed to the conveyor periphery. The housing illustrated in Fig. 12 is a simplified adaptation of the principle of my invention. However, I nd it provides very satisfactory illumination of articles for the purpose of my invention. My invention also broadly contemplates forming the innerelliptical surfaces of the housing 893.0f a plurality of separate mirrors such as those indicated by the reference numeral 89d of Fig. 11. v

The improved ejector mechanism of the invention will now be described. Referring to Figs. 3 and 4, an aperture 06 is provided in the lamp housing on loneside thereof and at a point slightly below the viewing station and the lenses 96.. The ejector blade or tappet lill operates centrally of the aperture lll6extending transversely of the rim of the conveyor 3. The blade is preferably formed of aluminum so as to be quite light and readily actuated by an iron armature or core E08 connected to the rear end thereof. The armature slides in -an electromagnet, generally indicated by numeral H09, which is energized by .lead H as determined by impulses originating in the photoelectric viewing means, suitably amplified, and controlled by a commutator to be -hereinafter described. The magnet is carried by a bracket IH rigidly mounted to the lamp housing on bosses H2.

For the purpose of retracting the ejector after its inward ejecting stroke rapidly and smoothly and at the same time without imposing a serious starting load on the ejector, a retractor mechanism is employed consisting of a pin H3 having a free sliding t in a diametral hole drilled through armature l 08, the pin having coil springs H4 at the ends thereof attached to anchor screws H5 which threadedly and adjustably engage the bracket Ill. A resilient bumper H6 is carried by the rear end of the bracket to absorb the impact thereof on its return stroke.

By the above construction, it will be seen that since the springs H4 are substantially alignedA with the pin H3 in normal position, they impose no resistance to starting movement-of the armature and will act as a buffer at the end of the inward or ejecting stroke of the ejector blade. They will also return the armature at the same speed at which it was initially projected. A further important feature of the ejecting stmoture just described lies in the fact that the pin centralizes the reaction of virtue of the loose t of the pin in the armature.

the springs H4 by Accordingly, there will be no binding action if the anchor screws H5 should be screwed in the bracket at diierent distances.

In Figs. 5 and 7, an improved commutator is disclosed for timing and controlling the supply of current to magnet |09 to actuate the ejector blade l 01 after an imperfect or discolored article passes the viewing eld, the commutator being mounted on and driven by the shaft I3 in timed relation to the rotation of the conveyor drum. The effect of the commutator is to connect the magnet to a relatively low resistance each time an article passes from a point between the lenses 96 to a point beside the ejector blade ll whereby if an impulse is originated in a photoelectric cell, the same may be amplied and transmitted to the magnet. Until the time that the article reaches the ejector blade, however, the magnet is connected to the amplifying means through a path of relatively high resistance so that the impulse reaching the magnet is not suicient to energize it. When the article is in position for ejection the relatively high resistance is short circuited and the full impulse reaches the magnet.

The commutator structure consists of a disk l l'l rotatable with the shaft i3 and carrying a conducting ring H8 but insulated from the conducting ring by a strip il 9. Four conducting segments 526 are in electrical connection with the ring H8 and the segments are uniformly separated from one another by'segments l2! of nonconducting material. Segments H20 and l2l form a continuous circular periphery for the commutator on which contacts E22, 23 and E24 ride.

The contact 525 is a supply contact riding in continuous contact with the conducting ring H8. An arcuate support i 26 is suitably attached to the frame of the machine and carries contacts 22, H23, 924, and H25, as well as terminal binding posts l2? associated with each of the same.

The contacts E22, 623 are adapted to be connected by a relatively high resistance, not shown, whereby when the said .contacts are not bridged by a conducting segment 20, the impulse reaching magnet M9 is insumcient to actuate blade mi. However, when the segment E20 bridgescontacts E22, |23 the relatively high resistance is short circuited and the magnet suiiciently energized to actuate the blade. The segments are appropriately spaced and the rotation of the commutator timed so that the short circuting action will occur at the exact time that an article on the conveyor reaches the ejecting blade, provided an impulse has been originated by the photoelectric viewing means. A suitable condenser, not shown, is connected between contacts |24, 25 rwhereby sparking at the commutator is minimized.

From the foregoing, the operation of the machine as well as the refinements made possible in the operation should be clear. Articles to be sorted are picked up from the hopper 5|L by substantial suction effective through openings 42 and are carried on the rim to viewing station 6I Where they are completely and uniformly illuminated so that shadows will not produce an improper energization of the photoelectrio tube, or, on the other hand, fail to energize the tube when a cull is present. Of course, the photoelectric cell views the article in comparison with the reference background provided by the rim 43. Periodical normalizing action to make an appropriate adjustment or setting according to the eiective brightness of the illuminations is provided by the blank spaces 80 on the conveyor rim whereby the machine is rendered invulnerable to agresse 5 variations in illumination caused by variations in lamps di, outside influences, etc., in accordance with the description in my copending application Serial No. 49,727.

If an imperfect article is present, an actuating impulse is generated inthe photoelectric cell and transmitted through an amplifying hook-up including a grid-controlled gaseous discharge tube, as described in the above mentioned copending application, tor-magnet I9, the effect of the impulse being practically nullifled by aV relatively high resistance until the resistance is short-circuited by one of the commutator segments i2. The short-circuiting action occurs at the instant when the article is adjacent the hammer blade |01, whereupon the same is projected transversely of the rim to eject the imperfect 'article into the trough 2. Accordingly the blade may be positioned outside of the viewing field 6I. Perfect or acceptable articles retained on the rim are dropped therefrom when the rim passes space 69, being received by the collector 12 and discharged onto the conveyor B. Upon passing the pressure space 10, the holes 42 in the conveyor are subjected to a considerable blast to rid them oi clogging material and then pass to the hopper El.

Impulses originating in the photoelectric tubes HH are amplified and transmitted to the commutator, thencev to the electromagnet through circuits similar to those shown and described in my copending application Ser. No. 49,727, identifled above, and are therefore not duplicated here, inasmuch as the action thereof and the advantageous features characterizing the same are all present in the machine of this invention.

I have shown preferred embodiments of my lnvention but further adaptations and modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and I desire to claim the same specifically as well as broadly, as pointed out in the appended claims.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to secure by Letters Patent, is:

1. A sorting machine comprising a rotary conveyor, means for holding articles on said conveyor, photoelectrlc means for viewing the `articles at va certain point in their travel, means for ejecting certain of said articles from said conveyor, comprising an ejector blade, means controlled by said potoelectric means for actuating said ejector blade, comprising an armature secured to the blade and an armature actuating magnet in circuit with the photoelectricmeans, and means for cushioning the armature on completion of the ejecting stroke and for thereafter retracting the armature and blade, comprising a pin mounted for slidable movement transversely` of thearmature, a fixed bracket, adjustable anchoring means carried by the bracketand coil tension springs connected to opposite ends of said pin and to said anchoring means. i 2. AV sorting machine of the type described having a rotating drum-like conveyor adapted to transport articles past an article viewing station,

photoelectric viewing. and illuminating meansa 'hopper operatively associated with said conveyor, `a suction header about which said conveyor rotates and having outlets inside said-conveyona hollow segmental suction head slidjngly engaging ltheinner periphery of said conveyor and forming therewith asuction chamber, said conveyor having a peripherally spaced series of articles seating holes opening therethrough to the chamber, said suction head connecting said chamber with an outlet in said header, means including another outlet in said header operative to create a partial. vacuum in holes throughout a portion of the travel of said conveyor to hold articles thereon during the travel of the conveyor after leaving the hopper, and means sealing a predetermined volume of said conveyor from said vacuum to form an atmospheric pressure chamber, comprising a segmental hollow shoe.

3. A sorting machine of the type described having a rotating drum-like conveyor adapted to transport articles past an article viewing station, y

photoelectric viewing and illuminating means, a hopper operatively associated with said conveyor, a suction header about which said conveyor rotates and having outlets inside said conveyor, a hollow segmental suction head slidingly engaging the inner periphery of said conveyor and forming therewith a suction chamber, said conveyor having a peripherally spaced series of article seating holes opening therethrough to the chamber, said suction headconnecting said chamber with an outlet in said header, means including another outlet in said header operative to create a partial vacuum in holes throughout a portion of the travel of said conveyor to hold articles thereon during the travel of ,the conveyor after leaving the hopper, and a valve within said conveyor with which said article sealing holes successively coact.

4. In a sorting machine, the combination with a feed hopper, of a rotatably mounted drum-like conveyor having an annular series of suction orifices, said conveyor being disposed so that a portion thereof sweeps through the hopper in contact with the material to be sorted, a suction head disposed within said conveyor in opposed relation to the hopper and coacting with the wall of the conveyor to `form a suction chamber into which/the suction orices successively open while in operative relation to said hopper, means for creating suction within said suction head, means for creating a less degree of suction within said conveyor acting to create a partial vacuum within the conveyor sufficient to hold articles to said conveyor while permitting easy disengagement thereof, a light sensitive means operatively associated with said conveyor and to which the articles translatedl by said conveyor are successivelysubjected, an ejector means for ejecting selectedobjects from said conveyor operatively associated with said light sensitive means, a valve disposed at the rearof said ejector means to successively cut oif the suction on the suction orifices, blast means disposed at the rear of said valve and comprising a pressure space into which the suctiorroriiices successively open, and a nozzle di-v rected .in the path of travel of the orifices.

5. In a sorting machine, the combination with a feed hopper, of a rotatably mounted drum-like head'disposed within said conveyor in opposed relation to the hopper and coacting with the wall of the conveyor to form a suction chamber in which the suction orifices successively open While in operative relation to said hopper, means for' creating 'suction Within said suction head, means for creating a less degree of suction within said conveyor acting to create a partial vacuum within the conveyorsuicient to hold articles to said conveyor while permitting easy disengagement thereof, alight sensitive means operatively associated with said conveyor 'and to which the ar- Aus CII

ticles translated by said conveyor are successively subjected, an ejector means for ejecting selected objects from said conveyor operatively associated with said light sensitive means, and a valve disposed at the rear of said ejector means to successively cut oi the suction on the suction orices.

6. In a sorting machine, the combination with a feed hopper, of a rotatably mounted drum-like conveyor having an annular series of suction orifices, said conveyor being disposed so that a portion thereof sweeps through the hopper in contact with the material to be sorted, a suction head disposed within said conveyor in opposed relation to the hopper and coacting with the wall of the conveyor to form a suction chamber into which the suction orices successively open while in operative relation to said hopper, means for creating suction within said suction head, means for creating a less degree of suction within said conveyor acting to create `a partial vacuum Within the conveyor suiiicient to hold articles to said conveyor while permitting easy disengagement thereof, a light sensitive means operatively associated with said conveyor and to which the articles translated by said conveyor are successively subjected, and an ejector means for ejecting selected objects from said conveyor operatively associated with said light sensitive means.

'7. In a sorting machine, the combination with a feed hopper, of a rotatably mounted drum-like conveyor having an annular series of suction orifices, said conveyor being disposed so that a portion thereof sweeps through the hopper in contact with the material to be sorted, means for creating zones of greater and lesser suction in said conveyor, and means adjacent the zones of vlesser suction for dislodging material picked up from the hopper at said zone of greater suction.

8. A sorting machine of the class described comprising a conveyor adapted to transport articles from a loading station to viewing and discharging stations and provided with a spaced series of suction oriiices, a hopper operatively associated with said conveyor, photoelectrically controlled ejector means operatively associated with said conveyor, a suction head operatively associated with said conveyor at said hopper so that the suction orices are successively subjected to said suction head for providinga Iubstantial suction to engage articles with the conveyor, means for providing a reduced suction on said suction orices at the rear of the loading station, means at the rear of the viewing and ejector station for successively cutting oi the suction from said orifices, and means at the rear of said suction cut-off means for subjecting the orifices to a blast of air.

9. A sorting machine of the class described comprising a conveyor adapted to transport articles from a loading station to viewing and discharging stations and provided with a spaced series of suction orifices, a hopper operatively associated with said conveyor, photoelectrically controlled ejector means operatively associated with said conveyor, a suction head operatively associated with said conveyor at said hopper so that the suctionorilces are successively subjected to said suction head for providing a substantial suction to engage articles with the conveyor, means for providing a reduced suction on said suction orices at the rear of the loading station, and means at the rear of the viewing and ejector station for cutting 01T the suction from said orifices.

10. A sorting machine of the class described comprising a conveyor adapted to transport articles from a loading station to viewing and discharging stations and provided with a spaced series of suction oriiices, a hopper operatively associated with said conveyor, means operatively associated with said conveyor for acting on said articles, a suction head operatively associated with said conveyor at said hopper so that the suction orices are successively subjected to said suction head for providing a substantial suction to engage articles with the conveyor, and means for providing a reduced suction on said suction orifices at the rear of the loading station.

11. A sorting machine having a conveyor adapted to transport articles, a hopper operatively associated with said conveyor, means for xing articles to said conveyor and removing the same from said hopper, comprisng a suction head slidingly engaging the said conveyor' during a portion of the travel-thereof and forming therewith a suction chamber, said conveyor having spaced article seating holes opening to the chamber, means to create a partial vacuum communieating with said holes throughout another portion of the travel of said conveyor to hold articles thereon during the travel of the conveyor after leaving the hopper, means sealing a predetermined volume of said conveyor from said vacuum, and means for clearing said holes after passing said sealing means.

12. A sorting machine comprising a conveyor for carrying articles to be sorted, an ejector blade, means for actuating said ejector blade comprising an armature secured to the blade, an armature actuating magnet, and means for cushioning the armature on completion of the ejecting stroke and thereafter retracting the armature, comprising a pin mounted for transverse floating movement relative to said armature and springs connected with said pin and restrained at their ends for cushioning the ejecting stroke and for retracting the armature, said springs being arranged so as not to resist the initial movement of the armature.

13. A sorting machine comprising a conveyor pro-vided with suction means for carrying articles to be sorted in series past an inspection station, photoelectric inspectingmeans at such station? an ejector, means controlled by said photoelectric means for actuating said ejector comprising van armature, an armature actuating magnet in circuit With said photoelectricmeans, and means :for cushioning the armature on completion of the ejecting stroke and thereafter retracting the armature comprisng a pin slidably mounted relative to said armature and springs operatively associated with said pin for cushioning the ejecting stroke and for retracting the armature, saidV springs being arranged so as not to resist the initial movement of the armature, and a buier cushioning the return stroke` of said armature.

14. In a sorting machine, a rotating drum-like conveyor adaptedto tansport articles, an ejector for ejecting imperfect articles from the conveyor, comprising an ejector blade moving past the conveyor into contact with an article, electromagnetic means for actuating said ejector, comprising an armature, and an electromagnet-adapted to actuate the armature, means for cushioning the blade at the extremity of its operative stroke and for thereafter retracting the blade, means for energizing said magnet comprising a photoelectric element viewing the articles, means for imparting impulses originating in said element to said magnet, and means timing and controlling the energization of said magnet under the inuence of said impulses, comprising a commutator, said impulses normally traversing a highly lresistive path to said magnet whereby they are rendered insufficient to actuate the amature in opposition to said cushioning and retracting means, said commutator periodically short circuiting said path whereby said impulses may actuate the armature.

15. In a sorting machine, in combination, a rotating drum conveyor for transporting articles past an article viewing station, a hopper operatively associated with said conveyor at one point in its travel, means for picking up articles from said hopper and holding the same on the conveyor during the travel thereof, comprising a suction head slidabiy engaging theconveyor internally during a portion of the travel thereof and forming a suction chamber therewith, said conveyor having spaced article seating suction holes opening to the interior thereof, means to create a partial vacuum through said holes during another portion of the travel of the conveyor 'to hold articles thereon after leaving the hopper while at said station, and means for sealing a predetermined volume of said conveyor from said vacuum, ejecting means operatively associated with the conveyor at another point in its travel, photoelectrically controlled means for ejecting imperfect articles from said conveyor,j. comprising an ejector blade, an'electrom'agnet'* controlled by said photoelectrically controlled means for actuating said blade, and means net and for retracting the blade aftersaid stroke.

;,ternally ther and :forming ing a portion of the travel thereof and forming therewith a suction chamber, saidl conveyor having spaced article seating suction holes opening to the interior thereof, means to create a partial vacuum in said conveyor during another portion of the travel thereof, means sealing a predetermined volume of said conveyor from said vacuum, an ejector blade cooperative with said conveyor at a point in its travel, means for actuating said blade, comprising a photoelectricaily controlled electromagnet, said blade having an armature actuated bysaid electromagnet associated therewith, and means for cushioning the ejecting stroke of the blade and for retracting the armature, comprisingI a pair of coil springs floatingly connected to the armature at oney end thereoi and adjustably anchored at the other end thereof whereby initial movement of the armature is not resisted and a uniform retractive force is imparted thereto.

17. In a sorting machine, in combination, a suction drum conveyor adapted to pick up articles 4from a hopper and transport the same past a viewing station, said conveyor having a suction headfslildingly engaging the same in- -d'uring a portion of the travel holes.openingitothefinterior thereof, means to create :ai-partialvacuumjin. saidl conveyor during anotherportion ofzth-jtra'vel thereof, an ejector' bladeg ,cooperative ;.vvith' l saidconveyor at a point 1 in its' travel, ineens' for'4 actuating 'said' blade.

rewith a suction chamber, said lconvey'n-J-rha' ngfsp'aced article seating suction

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Classifications
U.S. Classification209/581, 221/199, 209/905, 209/653, 221/13, 221/211
International ClassificationB07C5/342
Cooperative ClassificationY10S209/905, B07C5/3425
European ClassificationB07C5/342D