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Publication numberUS2457220 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 28, 1948
Filing dateMar 16, 1945
Priority dateMar 16, 1945
Publication numberUS 2457220 A, US 2457220A, US-A-2457220, US2457220 A, US2457220A
InventorsClark George T, Fowler Chester C
Original AssigneeLanteen Medical Lab Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tablet counting apparatus
US 2457220 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 28, 1948. c. c. FOWLER ET AL 2,457,220

TABLET COUNTING'APPARAT'JS Filed March 16, 1945 I 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Dec. 28, 1948. c. c. F OWLER E I'AL 2,457,220 TABLET COUNTING APPARATUS Filed March 16, 1945 '3 Sheets-Sheet '2 Dec. 28, 1948. c c, FOWLER ET A 2,457,220

TABLET COUNTING APPARATUS Filed March 16, 1945 5 She'e'ts-Sheet 3 MmM/VW Patented Dec. 28, 1948 2,457,220 TABLET COUNTING APPARATUS Chester C. Fowler, Evanston, and George T. Clark, Chicago, Ill., assignors to Lanteen Medical Laboratories, Inc a corporation of Delaware Application March 16, 1945, Serial No. 583,114

This invention relates to a machine for counting tablets, pills and other articles of a shape and size adaptable to being counted in this machine, and which for convenience will hereinafter be referred to as tablets. In the present machine the tablets are dumped into a hopper or the like, and thereafter are automatically handled without being touched by human hands, are arranged in groups so that a certain predetermined number of tablets will be in each group, and conveyed in that definite grouping to a place of deposit into a container, with a certainty that the correct number of tablets will be in each container.

Among the objects of our invention is to provide a machine capable of effecting the accomplishment of the above mentioned advantages, continuously for as long as desired, and without error that might occur if the counting were done by hand.

A further object is to provide such a machine that is efficient in operation, can be operated by a single attendant, requires no outside attention other than bringing tablets to be deposited into the hopper and taking away the containers containing the counted tablets, and is simple in construction and safe to operate.

Another object is to provide a turntable formed in an annular zone around its circular extent with regularly arranged openings so that desired portions of the perforated zone may be selectively covered over to leave exposed the predetermined number of openings corresponding to the definite number of tablets desired to be introduced into the container.

A still further object is to provide a novel sweeping device to sweep away excess tablets when the exposed openings in the turntable, correspond ing to the number of tablets desired, have been filled, to insure that the number of tablets filled into the container will be correct.

Another object is to provide removable means for covering up those holes not desired, and leave exposed in spaced groups the desired predetermined number of holes, so that as the turntable rotates, such groups of holes will be spaced apart such distances as to enable the filling of one container with the predetermined number of tablets, removing the filled container and positioning an empty container in place before the next group of holes with the proper number of tablets passes over the hopper leading to the container, and so on for the succeeding groups of ment of hopper and associated parts for placing 7 Claims. (01. 226-2) only one tablet in each opening of each group, as

the groups successively pass under this hopper.

A still further object is to provide novel means H for guiding stray tablets back to the hopper which places the tablets in the spaced groups of holes in the turntable.

Other objects, advantages and capabilities in herently possessed by our invention will later more fully appear.

Our invention further resides in the combination, construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and While we have shown therein a preferred embodiment-,.- we wish it understood that the same is susceptible of modification and change without departing from the spirit of our invention.

In the drawings: Fig. 1 is a top plan view of a tablet counting apparatus embodying our invention, parts being broken away for the sake of clearness.


Fig. 3 is a fragmentary vertical section onithe" line 3-3 of Fig. 2.

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary vertical section on the line 4-4 of Fig. 2,

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary plan view of a portion.

of the turntable and supporting table, with *a portion of the supporting table and the turntable" broken away to show the container filling hopper ,therebel ow.

with laterally extending braces 3 upon which are mounted a motor 4, reduction gearing 5 and 6,- from the latter of which upwardly extendsa drive shaft 1 provided at its upper end with a hub 8 fixed thereto by a set screw or the like 9, and

further supported on the shaft by a collar. Ill, shaft 1 being driven through suitable mechanism i from motor 4 and controlled as desired-by clutch H. Fixed to hub 8 by any suitable number of screws I2, or other suitable connecting means;- is a turntable l3, spaced by means of a thin sepa-'- rating metal disc I4 a slight distance fromia facing layer l5 fixed by bolts or the like l6 to the supporting table I.

Fixed at diametrically opposite points'to table I, by screws or the like H, are a pair. of supporting members l8 and I9, preferably of wood. To the outer face of member i9, and to the adjacent end of table I, are secured a pair of hinges 2B and 2|, the other portion of which hinges are secured to the end member 22 of a rectangular frame 23. Within this frame is secured between cross members 24 and 2.5, .a. hopper 26 having as shown in Fig. 2 neamitsfihbttom pfortion a -perirnetaliflange 21 adapted to restup'on cross members 24and 25 and at their other two sides upon the upper edges of frame 23. Extending laterally across the" interior of the hopper 26 is a V-ShEJIEEdl baiiierZSr as will be understood in Fig. 4. The bottom edges of baflle 28 are spaced a distance 'away 'from tlreadjacent inner side walls ofthe"liopp'

spread the tablets or the like laterally towardthe '1 sides of the hopper, and preven't theitctali weight: of the tablets in the hopper from bearing directly upon the turntable. v

As seen in Fig. 2, the frame 23 normally rests at 'its ehd 's on members P8 and l 9 an'd' 't1irough" the medi i'irn of I hinges w and 2 I may be swung upwardly 'a desired distan ce' as shown in dotted lifies in 2 Ais 'shown in {F'i'g'Z ii,'one of the' side fa'ces 'of the bottoIi-i portion of tirehopper coir-- tacts tne inner"fate ofthe loligitudi riail rnem ber' 29 of the frame, the bottom edge 30 of the hopper beiiig sp abed at suitz tblerdistarice above 'the"tu rn=- tlfilfl 3 1 The atirer'siderace ofthe bottom per-'- tion of the hopper is spaced inwardlistt'a distance from 'tl-i'e other loirgitirdinal member 3i" of the frame to: receive as brush support 32 vertically siiiabiefin tlre 'spae'e betweentne bottom :porticn or; the hopper antriontgrtudruaii merriber r at by means-T of? an: adjusting screw- 33G- threadably monrited in the' bracket sl fiked to ierigitudinai member3l.

This brush is provided with downwardly ex temiing tuits 35, which ares-positions d: to bear wrtlisuitable pressurei againsftli'efi upperf fa'ceof the turntablei' so? a's toihaver a; sweeping a'ctiorr as theetumntable passes thereunder: The thrcliness of thetirrntable issuelr'as toinsuretliat-only oneitabnietzwiibbepresenturreach hues l asethesei holes inetlie'cturntable passunderi tli'e' hopper '26; thezbuusrl 35 holding back. anyrexc'essstablets' the turntable passes under the hopper andi iirs'uii mgitheopr'esen'ce ersonty' onetabieti'meach hole.-

Fixed by screws or the like tlr'i'e:bottom f thetimrerifaceiofrtlreclongitudtealim'emberr 29; is an angle plate 39 at one side of tlfie borttonrofith'e happen toeprevent the 1 tablet'sfsiironirr'excess crowdin-gr atttliecsidvwherei the? turntable: passes :into: thespace below the'hepper. As'willz'be Lmderstood: thecbm'shifitis positioned on :theWrai-ling sideaoi the hopper where the turntable passesiouti-fromi thereunderr. AssseeniineEig-flz therbolllibll'k') face of. tlirestablets when: in: holessSrT: sues: alongrthe; upperffaces'of' the stationamy facingimember '5. fixed :toithe 'topi f a'ces of the table? i; which facing member is circular androffslightlygreaterfdi'amreter: than :therdiameterrof thei'turntabl'e aS'JWiIIbE understoodiin 3: Fixed to 'thei'p'erimeterr of facing membenl'fi andrextendingz-upwardlyn azshort distancetherefrom; is: amannulah flange 4B which" extends high ehtnigil'r toa preventany otrthetablets f rom: f allihg laterally *ofifi cit the E turntable: The space betweeriz thiez bottom face of; the turntable andith'e: upper-face-of=therfaeing:member'is small enoughitb pneventanysofithe ata'blets becomingiwedged; therelrretweehe 1 The: end the? reetangulanframe away" from the hopper 2B is releasably held against thesmems beta k8 by: hooks M removablyengaging;- eyesa 42 in: the: table;v or any: othenf' suitable releasable 4 securing means may be used as desired. By releasing this securing means the rectangular frame 23 may be raised to enable inspection, repairs, or cleaning of the turntable underneath the same. Extending laterally between the longitudinal members 29 and 3! of the frame is a cross member 33, the bottom edge of which, as seen in Fig. 2, iskspa'cedabove the upper surface of the turntable. E xten'dingdiagonally across'the space between the cross member t3 and the end member i' 't of the rectangular frame is a supporting menibeiY4 tOHVhJiGh is mounted a brush support member 45 upon which are mounted a number of b'rushesfl} asseenin- Fig. 2, the bottom ends of the'tuftsbfwhich brushes contact the upper face of the" turntable and are positioned an in wardly-extending angle as seen in l, to brush any excess tablets toward the insideof the turntablean'd away from the hole groups, as the turntable rotates under this bi-ush.

E i-flied to'the outer side faces of the lcngitudinal members ZS 'and 31 of the rectangular frame by means of screwsor the like it; and along'twov sides of th'e hopper: are theiend's of abarrier-ba'nds 49 wh'ich -is extended inthe form'of a curved loop inwardly from thehopper, the upper edges of this bai'rier-band passing through notches 5d and 5i into the bottom edges" of the longitudinal merni bers 29 and 31 of1the'frame'as will be understood mun-Figs; I aridZ; This. construction enables the barriersbandi to be. carried. with the rectangular frame and. extended downwardly therebelow a sufficient distance to be'plose to, but not in rub= bing contact with, the turntable. 1 the. purposeof'tlris barrier-band. is to prevent any said tablets-fromssmoving" into the middle of the turntable and-to guidesuch" tablets around the-turntable? C1"0$6i 30 the barrieraband and; cause themf to'ibe' returned; to :p ass underthe bctt 49' the hopper 2-5.

As -seenlirrz Fig; 11 the turntable has formed cm of therein' a" large number of regularly positioned ho1es3l whichi'may; if desired; extend entirely around th'ei-outerannular: zone of the turntable, 'or'at least ttrsaf large 'portion.oi. the same: As noted in Fig; lithese holes: are arranged in series of aligned annular paths; at regular distances apart;thesesannular series' orcircles being radially: space-dl'apart equal distances; so that by 50* blocking oif'any desiredportion'of the upper face of'the' turntab-le'; fouexample by a plurality of masks: 52 0f paper on other suitablev flexible masterihzltg-lued-ior"otherwise caused'to adhere to the topiaeeoT the turntable. These masks coverthe 555- desired number of holes in the turntable, leaving expnsed 'such number of groups of holes, as indicated iir-the spaces 53; 54; 55. and 55. Each of these: SDQICES. areof such extent as to leave: ex-

posed the same number of holes in each space or eoegroup; theunumber of holes so left exposed in.

each group beingthe'rrum-ber of tablets desired to bez'deposite'd in'the container 51 '(see Fig; 3) when eachsofvthese groups-of holes move singly into position-above: the hopper 58; the enlarged upper endiofwhich isopen, and the :lowerend of which is-constrictedftosa:sizeto fit thenecl: of the con tainer. being filled therefrom.

For-example'inispacel'riiiFig. 1) there are' 30 hcrl-es---left exposed-which means that as these 30 end ofi :l'ropperf 58; at: which time 'the :radial rows? of tablets will be successively positioned over: the? hopper-randetheitabletssdropped throughcthezhop- As seen in Fig per into the container, thus insuring that the desired number of tablets will be filled into the container. While for illustrative purposes we have shown four of these spaces or groups 5356 of exposed holes, we wish it understood that any other number of such spaces, or groups, may be used around the turntable as will best suit the operation of the particular apparatus being used. We also wish it understood that in each group, or space any other number than of exposed holes may be used as desired, the important feature being that whatever number of holes is left exposed in each group, that will be the number of tablets deposited for each group through hopper 53 into each container positioned in the bottom of this hopper. When one container has been filled from one group of holes an empty container will be immediately positioned in the bottom of this hopper and filled from the next successive group of holes. and successive containers will be filled from successive groups of holes as the turntable rotates to bring these groups successively over the hopper.

From the above it will be understood that all that is necessary is to fill hopper 26 with a sufficient supply of tablets, and start the turntable in operation through the motor and connecting mechanism therebelow, after which the tablets, one for each hole in each group, will be carried around with the turntable until deposited through hopper 58 into the successive containers 51, thus insuring a predetermined number of tablets in each container, the number of which tablets will be that determined by the number of holes in each group or space 53-56. Also as understood, the flange will prevent stray tablets from falling off the turntable, the brushes 46 will guide any stray tablets towards the interior of the turntable, and the barrier-band 49 will guide any such stray tablets back to a position beneath hopper 26.

As will be understood the masks 52 may be of paper or other suitable material, and so attached to the upper face of the turntable that when it is desired to change the number of holes in each group, an additional strip or strips of masking paper may be fastened over the number of holes desired to cover up some of the holes if the number is smaller than what the masks are set for, or portions of the mask may be removed to expose more holes if the number of holes desired is larger than what the masks are set for. In other words, the number of holes in each group (which controls the number of tablets to be filled in each container) may be positively controlled by the number of holes permitted to remain exposed in the spaces between the ends of the masks. The container filling hopper 58 is removably mounted to the table by means of a flange 60 seated in a correspondingly shaped depression in the facing layer l5 so that when the turntable is removed the filling hopper can be removed and replaced by any other hopper desired for filling other sizes of containers. Shelf BI is provided below the hopper 58 and serves as a work table upon which the containers 5! may be stocked empty on one side, then filled, and the filled containers moved to the other side of the table for removal as desired. As will be understood, the operator stands in front of shelf 6| to facilitate the handling of the containers and operation of the apparatus.

Having described our invention, we claim:

1. In a tablet counting machine, a stationary table having an upstanding circumferential flange, a turntable rotatably mounted on the stationary table within said flange, a frame hingedly mounted on the stationary table for vertical swinging movement thereon, a hopper on the' frame on one side of the table adapted to have tablets placed therein; said turntable having'a plurality of annularly spaced groups of holes, each group having the same predetermined number of holes, said .groups of holes successively passing under the hopper to receive tablets in the holes as the turntable rotates, a wiper on the trailingside of the hopper to brush back any excess tablets from the surface of the group, a wiper in the;

frame on the opposite side of the table, said wiper being positioned at an angle to divert inwardly.

any stray tablets so as to insure that the hole groups passing under the angularly positioned wiper will have only one tablet for each hole, and

a second hopper below the stationary table into the open mouth of which. the tabletsof a group that has passed the angular wiper will be releasedfor passage into a container so that each conpredetainer thus. filled will contain the exact termined number of tablets. 2. In a tablet counting machine, a stationary table having an upstanding circumferential. flange, a turntable rotatably mounted on the stationary table within said flange, a frame hingedly mounted on the stationary table for vertical swinging movement thereon, a hopper on the frame on one side of the table adapted to have tablets placed therein; said turntable having a hole groups passing under the angularly posi-- tioned wiper will have only one tablet for each hole, anda second hopper below the stationary table into the open mouth of which the tablets of a group that has passed the angular wiper-will: be released for passage into a container so thateach container thus filled will contain the exact predetermined number of tablets, and a curved barrier band secured to the lower side of the frame to guide stray tablets back to the space beneath the first mentioned hopper.

3. In a tablet counting machine, a turntable having around its circular extent a plurality of annularly spaced groups of a predetermined number of holes, means for rotating the turntable, a. hopper above the turntable and having anopen= bottom under which all of the holes of each group can successively pass as the turntable rotates so that one tablet will be deposited in each hole of each group as the holes and the groups successively pass under the hopper, means at the trailing edge of the hopper to wipe back from the moving surface of the turntable any excess of tablets over one for each hole, a second hopper below the turntable at a point from the first mentioned hopper and having a mouth of a size to successively receive all of the tablets of one group as they successively pass thereover whereby a predetermined counted number of tablets may pass through the second hopper into a container, means on the opposite side of the turntable from the first mentioned hopper for diverting stray tablets away from the location of said second hopper, a frame pivotally mounted above said lime vertical: swinging cmovement" with:

relation theretmjsaidvfirsfz mentioned :hopp erand; said stray; tablet diverting means being: carried l by saidzframevfon movement upwardly away frozn thesttumtabler WhBIIJtFIEifIELmEliSiTSO moved.

45111: as tablet; countingmachine; a turntable having: around: its; circular "extent a pluralityof :mnnlarlyfspacedgroupssofia predetermined mint-E berrof holes;- means .fon'rotatingrthe turntable; ,a: above the" turntable and having an open button under" which all of theaholess. of T each" gmupzcaxrsuccessively' pass: as the! turntable. rotfiasssmthatone tablet will be deposited: in each. hole: oiieachi group as theholes andithe groups successivelypass' underrthe.hopper; means-at thetrailing-t. edge". of the hopper: to time back" from theamuvmgz-surfacei of the turntable any excess n'remhy said'iframeifor movement upwardly away from theaturntablei: when: the frame is so moved, at; curved; loopei barrier-bar fixed to. said frame for guiding.straystabletsback'to the first mentioned hopper when thebframe isin lower position:

*5 ::Irr. a tablet counting machine; a turntable liavingrinnan annular. path a plurality of "spaced g-mupspf atpredetermined number of holes, a

under! which said groups of holes sucoasiivelyhpasslso that one tablet will-fall into eaemhol'e ofithe group under the hopper, means fonrotatingthe-turntable; and means forreleasingthe tablets. of'a' group'at a point removed from the rhopperfto. pass 1 into a container so that the container contain an exact predetermined numberrof tablets, a vertically swingable frame abolvessaid turntable; means for guiding any stray tablets? away'from the location ofthe tabletreleasingt point};.saidfirstmentioned hopper and said stray tablet ,guidingmeans being fixed 130' saidsirame forrswingi-ngxmovement therewith towarch andxaway from the turntable.

61.111" a: tablet counting machine, a turntable havimsim an annular 'path a pl'ura-lityof spacedgrrmpsw of; at predetermined number or holes; a

hopper." under" which" saidgroups." or holes. sue-- cessively. pass sothat oneitabletiwillliall into each; hole of: thesgroup: under the hopper, means for rotatingztheizturntable, and means for releasing the tabletsrofiagroup at a point removed. from the hepperrtozpassinto a container so that the container wilLcontainran exact predetermined numhen-of tablets; a: vertically swingable frame: above saidzturnta'ble; means-for guiding any stray tab lets-away from theilocation of the tabletreleasing point; saidifirst: mentioned hopper and said stray tabletguidingimeansbeing fixed to said'frame for: swinging movement therewith toward and away from-the turntable, and releasable fastening: meansxfor'holding said frame in close proximity to. saidturntable.

7; In a, tablet. counting machine a turntable having inran-annular path a plurality of-spaced groups of apredetermined number of holes, a supporting table upon which said" turntable is rotatabiyfimounted, a frame swingably mounted uponisaid'isupporting' table and extending thereacross, a hopperonisaid frame under which hopper said groups ofholes successively "pass so that OIIEatEtblGt-WiH fall'in eachhole of'the groupunderthe hopper; a. second hopper below the turntable .at a point removed from the first mentionedihopper'for releasing tablets into a contamer, a=curved looped barrier-baron said frame forJguiding stray'tablets back into the space below thefirst mentionedhopper; said first mentioned hopper and said'barrier-bar being swingable with the frame toward and 'away from said turntable.



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U.S. Classification222/352, 222/370, 53/244, 222/164, 414/675
International ClassificationA61J7/02, A61J7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61J7/02
European ClassificationA61J7/02