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Publication numberUS2370539 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 27, 1945
Filing dateJun 21, 1943
Priority dateJun 21, 1943
Publication numberUS 2370539 A, US 2370539A, US-A-2370539, US2370539 A, US2370539A
InventorsHodecker Fred
Original AssigneeHodecker Fred
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Grader or sizer
US 2370539 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 27, 1945. F. HODECKER GRADER OR SIZER Filed June 21, 1943 3 Sheets-Sheet l FRED HODECKER INVENTOR ATTORNEYS Feb. 27,1945. HODECKER 2,370,539

GRADER OR S I ZER Filed June 21, 1943 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 FRED HODECKER INVENTOR ATTORNEYS Feb. 27, 1945. HQDECKER 2,370,539

GRADER OR SIZER Filed June 21, 1943 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 FRED HODECKER INVENTOR ATTORNEYS BY nMl Patented Feb. 27, 1945 UNITED STATES PATENTOFFICE GRADER R SIZEB Fred Hodecker, Redmond, Oreg.

Application June 21, 1943, Serial No. 491,646

6 Claims.

This. invention relates broadly to "sizers or graders which are employed for sorting or grading fruits and Vegetables as to size. More particularly, this invention relates to sizers or graders for potatoes, and, since the device is employed chiefly in connection with the grading of potatoes, it will be described as a potato sizer, although it is to be understood to be adapted for similar use with other vegetables or fruits which require like grading as to size, and with various other products and materials.

In order to comply with market specifications and to meet requirements for definite price schedules it is necessary tosort potatoes carefully according to their size. In the device of the present invention the largest or oversize potatoes, which require no definite minimum size, are first separated from the pack. Then the remainder of the pack is segregated into successively varying sizes, each particular size being segregated separately as desired.

In-my grader, as in other similar devices, the sorting out of the different sizes is done by means of rotating rollers which are so arranged as to allow the potatoes of smaller size than the size being sorted by the particular row of rollers to pass down between the rollers. One of the difiiculties in general with such graders or sizers is th danger that potatoes which are slightly larger than the proper size to pass between the rollers will nevertheless attempt to go between them and become squeezed or wedged in so doing.

One of the objects of this invention is to provide an improved "sizer in which such danger of the potatoes attempting to pass between the rollers, when they are not small enough to be able to do so without being squeezed by the rollers, will be eliminated.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved arrangement of splitting rollers in order first to separate from the pack the potatoes to be classified as oversize, before the subsequent grading of the remaining potatoes, and to provide for suitable adjustment of such "splitting rollers.

A further object of this invention is to provide simple means for combining or mixing potatoes of two or more sizes to comply with requirements when fewer separate grades are needed.

These and other incidental objects I have been able to accomplish by constructing my grader or sizer in the manner hereinafter briefly described. In the description reference is made to the accompanying more or less diagrammatic drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of the entire grader and of its mode of operation;

Figure 2 is a fragmentary sectional side elevation of the adjusting mechanism and mounting for one end of the first row of rollers or splitting rollers, the section corresponding to the line 22 of Figure 3;

Figure 3 is a fragmentary sectional plan of the same end mounting of the splitting rollers, showing also the driving means for the rollers, the plan corresponding to line 3-3 of Figure 2;

Figure 4 is a fragmentary plan view of one row of the sizing rollers, of which there are a plurality of rows in the grader;

Figure 5 is a diagrammatic illustration of the manner in which the "splitting rollers are driven;

Figure 6 is a diagrammatic illustration of a modified form of my grader or sizer and its mode of operation; and

Figure 7 is a diagrammatic end view of the modified device of Figure 6.

As indicated in Figure 1, my grader includes a plurality of rows or tiers of rollers l0, I9, 24, 26 and 21 arranged in consecutive spaced horizontal relation one below the other. Each row of rollers discharges on to a separate conveyor. The number of rows is determined by the number of grades or sizes of potatoes, or other produce, customarily required, but provision is also made for combining the discharges from two or more consecutive rows of rollers should fewer grades or sizes be required for the particular sorting.

The top row or tier I0 I designate as splitting rollers. The purpose of the splitting rollers in this row is to separate and remove the oversize potatoes, which are too large for any exact sizing even under minimum requirements. These oversize potatoes are removed from the rest of the pack, so as to permit the balance of the pack to be sorted and sized separately. This row of splitting rollers includes one set of spaced rollers I0, journalled at each .end in bearings H (see Figure 2) which bearings are secured to suitable longitudinal members l2 of the grader frame, and another set of rollers l3 journalled at each end in bearings H which are secured to movable side plates l5 mounted so as to slide longitudinally between the frame members l2. As shown in Figures 1 and 2, the rollers l0 and I3 are arranged alternately. The positioning of the side plates I 5, and consequently the positioning of the movable rollers l3 with respect to the stationary roller I0, is done by means of a pair of hand wheels l1, one at each side, which are secured to adjusting screws it. Ordinarily the rollers l3 will be so positioned that there will be a relatively large space l8 between each roller l3 and the preceding roller l (reading from left to right in Figure 1) and a relatively small space l8 between such roller (2 and the next succeeding roller Ill. The position of the rollers HI is ad- Justed so that the spaces I! will be of the proper size to permit an the potatoes which are to be graded further to pass through these spaces while not being large enough to accommodate the oversize potatoes. In this way the oversize potatoes are separated at the outset from the rest of the 'in unison in the same direction but at a greater rate of speed than the rollers l0. Rollers II are similarly driven through the medium of sprockets 38, sprocket chain 40 and suitable driving means 4|. The driving of the adjustable rollers l3 at a speed diiferent from and faster than that of the fixed rollers I0 is an important feature in my improved grader. Any potatoes which are only very slightly oversize ordinarily might have a tendency to become wedged or squeezed in the large space I8, but the fact that roller i3 will be rotating at a faster rate of speed than the preceding roller Iii and that both rollers are rotating in the same direction will prevent any wedging or squeezing of such potato in this space it and will cause the oversize potato to be moved forward over the space and over the roller l3. Since the next space I8 is comparatively small there will be no danger of the wedging of the 2| are formed between the surface of adjacent rollers. The circular openings are of uniform diameter throughout the entire row but are of successively smaller diameterin the variou rows of the sizing rollers. Consequently as the rollers in successive rows are made smaller with the diameters of the cylindrical sections 43 smaller, the

- circular passageways 2 I in these rows will be correspondingly smaller and adapted for potatoes of smaller sizes.

The speed of the rollers in each sizing row increases from left to right (as viewed in Figure 1). Thus each roller is rotated more rapidly 'than the roller immediately preceding it. This increase in the speed of rotation of the rollers throughout the row prevents any wedging or damaging of the potatoes between the sizing rollers.

' of metal without any softer covering. The relatively smooth contact surfaces of the rollers and potatoes in this space in spite of the factthat the. I

roller I3 is rotating more rapidly than the next succeeding roller Ill.

, y 4s The splitting rollers I0 and I3 are all the same size and I prefer to cover them on the out side with any suitable surfacing, preferably of rubber or other resilient material,.whichsurfacing may have short fingers or-kn'obs as l'scusf tomary with the rollersurfacings found in many grader the size of the rollers is diminished in the successive downward rows.

Since the rollers in all the sizing rows are similar it will sufllce to describe those of a single row. The shape of the sizing rollers is shown in Figure 4. The sizing rollers are spool-shaped, each roller having a series of cylindrical sections 43 of the same diameter with concave hour-glas sections 44 between the cylindrical sections. The rollers are set very close together, as shown in Figure 4, and the concave hour-glass sections 44 are substantially semi-circular in longitudinal section so that substantially circular passageways or spaces the rigid mounting of the rollers are factorsin preventing any potatoes from becomingsqueezed 7 during the sizing process.

Chutes .25, similar to the chutes 20, deliver the potatoes. which are small enough to pass through the openings 2| of one sizing row to the next lower sizing row. Discharge chutes 22, 28,

28 and 30 carry the potatoes which are sized ac-,

cording to the rollers in the row I 9, 24, 28 and 21 respectively to the conveyors 23, ll, 32 and 33 respectively. The under sized product, or very small potatoes, passing through the openings of the last sizer row 21, are delivered to a conveyor 34.

Each of the discharge chutes 22, 28, 29 and 30,

is equipped with a trap door 25 which may be opened to cause the potatoes sorted by one row 0! rollers to be combined with those collected fromthe next lower row. In this manner two or more sizes can be combined'in the sizer and the total number of sizesinto which the pack is divided may be altered to meet requirements.

g A similar trap door 35 may be placed in the chute 46 leading from the row of splitting" rollers in case it should sometime be desired to mix some over-sized potatoes with some of the smaller sizes from the sizing rollers below.

Due to the means provided for adjusting the spacing in the first row of "splitting" rollers and to the means provided for combining the potatoes collected from each sizing row of rollers with those collected from one or more subsequent rows, a very flexible type of sizer is obtained whichcan easily be adjusted to meet the special conditions of a particular pack of potatoes and to comply with any special sizing requirements.

Although I consider that the most important use of my improved grader .will be in connection with the grading or sizing of potatoes as described, nevertheless it will be obvious that the sizer can also be employed in the same manner forgrading various vegetables, fruits and other materials. For smaller vegetablesor fruits it might be necessary to change the sizing rollers and to substitute smaller rollers with smaller passageways or openings, and vice versa for larger products or materials, but-further than this no changes would be necessary.

In the modified form of my sizer, illustrated diagrammatically in Figures 6 and "I, the rows of sizing rollers instead of being arranged in spaced horizontal relation, one below the other, are all in the same horizontal plane. This arrangement would be more advantageous under some conditions. In Figures 6 and 7, B, C, D, and E indicate the groups or rows of sizing rollers and these correspond to the rows 21, 26, 24 and I9 respectively of Figure 1. In this modification of my "sizer the order of the rows of sizing rollers is reversed and consequently the row of smallest sizing rollers B (corresponding to row 21 in Figure 1) is placed first, and the potatoes or other product or material to be sized will come into contact with this row after passing through the "splitting rollers A, The smallest size, removed by the first row B passes through openings between the spool-shaped rollers to a suitable conveyor F. The larger sizes, which are tor large to pass through the openings in the row B, move on to the next larger row C, and so on, there being corresponding suitable conveyors F, F

and F for the sizes sorted out by eachsizing row.

In this arrangement however the splitting rollers A preferably have their axes normal to the axes of the sizing rollers, as indicated in Figures 6 and '7, and are located above the first or smallest sizing rollers B. The oversize potatoes, or other product, which are too large to pass between the "splitting rollers, and thus too large for any minimum sizing, are delivered to a separate conveyor H corresponding to the conveyor 42 of Figure 1. Diversion gates (not shown) associated with the various conveyors can be used for mixing and combining the resultant sizes in any manner desired.

Various types of conveyors may be used to convey the sized potatoes or other product from the different sets of rollers. Thus the conveyors could be moving belts or chain sorting tables.

Further modifications in the structure of my sizer" would be possible within the scope of my invention and it is not my intention to limit my invention otherwise than as set forth in the claims. I

I claim:

1. A sizer of the character described comprising, a row of splitting rollers, said row composed of one set of spaced rollers journaled in fixed bearings and a second set of spaced rollers journaled in movable bearings, the rollers of both sets arranged alternately in said row, means interconnecting said movable bearings at each side of said row and means for moving said movable bearings at each side in unison, whereby to adjust the spacings between the alternate rollers in said row in the manner and for the purpose described, means for rotating the rollers in said first-mentioned set in unison, means for rotating the rollers in said second-mentioned set in unison at a different rate of speed from the rollers of said first-mentioned set, a plurality of tiers of sizing" rollers arranged in consecutive spaced relation one below the other and located below said row of splitting" rollers, the sizing rollers in said tiers being similar, those in the same tier being identical and those in one tier differing from those in another tier only in size, the size diminishing in the successive downward tiers, a conveyor leading from said splitting" row, a conveyor associated with each of said tiers of sizing rollers, a discharge chute leading from each tier to such conveyor, and means in each chute adapted, when operated, to cause material in the chute to, drop through said chute instead of passing along the chute to the conveyor, whereby to combine the material sorted by two or more tiers.

2. A sizer comprising, a row of splitting" rollers, said row composed of one set of spaced rollers Journaled in fixed bearings and a second set of spaced rollers of the same size as those of the first-mentioned set and located in the same horizontal plane with the first-mentioned set journaled in movable bearings, the rollers of both sets arranged alternately in said row, a movable member at each side of said row, said movable bearings connected with said members respectively, means for moving said movable members and therewith said second set of rollers in the plane of said row, whereby to adjust the spacings between the alternate. rollers in said row, means for rotating the rollers in said firstmentioned set in unison, and means for rotating the rollers in said second-mentioned set in unison in the same direction as and at a faster rate of speed than the rollers of said first-mentioned set, a plurality of tiers of sizing rollers arranged in consecutive spaced horizontal relation one below the other and located below said row of splitting rollers, the sizing rollers in said tiers being similar, those in the same tier being identical and those in one tier differing from those in another tier only in size, the size diminishing in the successive downward tiers, the rollers in each tier placed close together, said sizing rollers being spool-shaped and composed of series of cylindrical sections with concave hour-glass sections there between, the concave surface of said hour-glass sections being substantially semicircular in longitudinal section, the speed of rotation of said sizing rollers increasing consecutively in each tier towards the discharge end oi said tier, conveyors associated with said splitting row and with said tiers of sizng rollers respectively, a discharge chute leading to each conveyor, and a trap door in each chute adapted, when operated, to cause material in the chute to drop through said chute instead of passing along the chute to the conveyor, whereby to combine sizes of material as desired.

3. A sizer of the character described including, a row of splitting rollers composed of two sets of spaced rollers arranged in the same horizontal plane with their axes parallel, the rollers of said sets placed alternately in said row, the spacing between the rollers of each set being fixed but one set movable with respect to the other set whereby to adjust the spacings between alternate rollers in said row, means for rotating the rollers in each set is unison and for rotating the rollers of one set faster than those of the other set, a row of izing rollers below said row of "splitting rollers with their axes at right angles to the axes of the splitting" rollers, said sizing rollers comprising a plurality of groups, the rollers in said groups being similar, those in the same group being identical and those in one group diifering from those in another group only in size, the group representing the smallest size being located directly below said splitting rollers and the other groups arranged consecutively in the order of increasing size, said sizing rollers all rotatin in the same direction, whereby the material which is too large to be removed by one group of sizing rollers will be caused to move on to the next group, said sizing rollers being spool-shaped, and conveyors associated with said "splitting" rollers and with each group of sizing rollers respectively.

4. In a sizer of the character described, a row of splitting rollers composed oi two sets oi spaced rollers arranged in the same horizontal plane with their axes parallel, the rollers of said sets placed alternately in said row, the spacing between the rollers or each set being fixed but one set movable with respect to the other set whereby to permit adjustment of the spacings between alternate rollers in said row, means for rotating the rollers in each set in unison in a direction adapted to cause material to travel transversely over said rollers along said row,

' means for discharging material from the end of said row, and a row of sizing rollers located below said splitting" rollers for sizing material dropped down between the splitting rollers.

5. In a sizer of the character described, a row of "splitting rollers composed of two sets of spaced rollers arranged in the same horizontal plane with their axes parallel, the rollers of said sets placed alternately in said row, the spacing between the rollers of each set being fixed but one set movable with respect to the other set whereby to permit adjustment of the spacings between alternate rollers in said row, means for rotating the rollers in each set in unison in a direction adapted to cause material to travel transversely over said rollers along said row and for rotating the rollers of one set faster than those of the 6. In a sizeroi-the character described, a row a of splitting rollers composed of two sets 01' spaced rollers arranged in the same horizontal plane with their axes parallel, the rollers of said sets placed alternately in said row, the spacing between the rollers of each set" being fixed but one set movable with respect to the other set whereby to permit adjustment of the spacings between alternate rollers in said row, means for rotating the rollers in each set in unison in a direction adapted to cause material to travel transversely over said rollers along said row and for rotating the rollers of one set faster than those of the other set for the purpose explained, means for discharging material from the end of said row, and a plurality of rows of sizing rollers located below said "splitting" rollers and arranged in tiers for sizing material dropped down between the "splitting" rollers.

FRED HODECKER.

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification209/668, 209/924
International ClassificationB07B13/00
Cooperative ClassificationB07B13/00, Y10S209/924
European ClassificationB07B13/00