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Publication numberUS2863572 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 9, 1958
Filing dateJul 23, 1957
Priority dateJul 23, 1957
Publication numberUS 2863572 A, US 2863572A, US-A-2863572, US2863572 A, US2863572A
InventorsBethard William F, Halligan Henry W
Original AssigneeBethard William F, Halligan Henry W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for counting pills
US 2863572 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

0%5000 moggoo Filed July 25, 1957 W. F. BETi-IARD ETAL DEVICE FOR COL/INTING PILLS Dec. 9, 1958 INVENTORS. w. F." 55744420 A/. w. HALL/601V 2,863,572 DEVICE FOR COUNTING PILLS William F. Bethard and Henry W. Halligan, La Jolla, Calif.

This invention relates to a device for counting medicinal pills or capsules and discharging the counted articles into a bottle or other container.

It has been the practice for pharmacists to count out by hand pills or capsules and when lots of 50 or more are required, considerable time is consumed in the process. A main object of this invention is to count out the pills much faster than is possible by hand and thus effect a large saving in timefor the pharmacist and cause him less fatigue.

Another object is to provide a device which will count out accurately a desired number of pills. There is thus less chance of mistake in counting with consequent loss in profit for the druggist.

A further object is to provide a movable member which can be adjusted so that the number of pills to be counted out may be varied as required.

Another object is to provide a device capable of counting out different sizes and shapes of pills and capsules.

A further object is to provide a converging outlet on the device for discharging the counted-out pills, into an empty bottle orbox.

Another object is to provide a device in which the pills to be counted out need not be touched by the operators hands.

A still further object is to provide a counting device composed of few parts which can be easily cleaned or sterilized whenever desired and yet are inexpensive to manufacture.

Further objects will become apparent as the description of the device proceeds. For a better understanding of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawing, in which:

Fig. 1 is a top view of the counting device; with the fences in position ready to receive a charge of pills, the numerical graduation being omitted for clarity;

Fig. 2 is a rear view of the device of Fig. 1 also showing a supporting table;

Fig. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 33 of Fig. l; I

Fig. 4 is a top view of the device after the fences have been removed and with the counted-out pills in position prior to being discharged;

Fig. 5 shows a portion of a counting plate apertured to receive pills of hexagon shape, and;

Fig. 6 shows a number of capsules in a portionof the counting plate of Fig. 4.

The counting device shown consists of four parts, namely, a main base 1, a counting plate 2, a rear fence 3 and a front adjustable fence 4. Each of these parts may be made of rigid metal or thermosetting plastic resin and molded or cast to the required shape so that no machining is required in their manufacture, thus minimizing the cost of production. Base 1 comprises a flat plate 5 which is supported by a pair of side walls 6, 7 adapted to rest on any flat table 8. Side walls 6, 7 extend United States Patent 0 Fatented Dec. 9, 1958 ice above plate 5 and their upper portions are provided with a plurality of vertical grooves 9, each groove in wall 6 being in alignment with its opposite groove in wall 7 to receive the ends of front fence 4 when the latter is low ered into place as shown in Figs. 1 to 3. The rear end of plate 5 has a tapered portion 11 which has upwardly projecting'converging side walls 12, 13 whose frontends meet the rear ends of side walls 67 at 14. Adjacent the regions 14 plate 5 has two short upwardly projecting lugs 15 adapted to engage the ends of rear fence 3 when the latter is lowered into position, as shown in Figs. 1 to 3. The top portions 16 of side walls 6, 7 are wider than their bottom portions to provide room for the marking of the numbers 10, 20, 30 etc. thereon, as shown.

Instead of the numbers being marked directly on the top of one or both portions 16, they may be printed on a narrow strip of paper and the strip cemented to the top of portion 16. A front wall 17 connects the front ends of side walls 6 and 7 together. At its top front fence 4 has a horizontal projection 18 extending across approximately half its length for a purpose to be described.

Counting plate 2 is rectangular and adapted to be lowered into position on plate 5 between side walls 6, 7. At its front end plate 2 has an upstanding rectangular portion serving as a handle 19. Plate 2 is provided with a plurality of openings 21 extending vertically therethrough, each opening in the form shown in Figs. 1 to 4 being circular and of a diameter sufficient to freely receive a pill 22 in the usual form of a disc. The thickness of plate 2 is preferably equal to or slightly greater than the thickness of the pills to be counted. Openings 21 are arranged in rows of ten, as shown, to facilitate the counting and although only six rows are shown, it will be understood that ten rows may be used when pills are to be counted out at one time or still more rows if desired. If each opening is inch in diameter, plate 2 is capable of receiving and counting pills having a diameter of from about A to inch. To count pills having a diameter of less than 4 inch, a second plate similar in all respects to plate 2 is provided except that the diameter of each hole 21 will be about inch. If the pills are hexagonal in shape, then a plate is made in which each opening 21 is hexagonal as shown in Fig. 5, each opening being large enough to freely receive a pill. Or the openings may be square or triangular to accept pills of these shapes. Plate 2 with circular openings is also capable of counting capsules 23 (Fig. 6) of the type in common use and of generally cylindrical shape, as shown. Each capsule must be large enough so that only one will fit in each hole 21, as shown.

To use the device counting plate 2 is lowered onto plate 5 and rear fence 3 lowered into position so that it contacts the rear end of plate 2 and the lugs 15 as shown. Front fence 4 is then lowered into position, its ends sliding in the proper pair of aligned grooves depending on the number of pills to be counted out. If 10 pills or a multiple of. 10 are to be counted, fence 4 is inserted so that its projection 18 is on top as shown, the illustrated position being for counting 20 pills. A supply of pills is then poured directly from the container in which they were shipped by the manufacturer onto plate 2 in the region between fences 3 and 4, this supply being several more than the number to be counted out. The entire assembly is then shaken in a substantially horizontal plane until a pill has dropped into each of the holes 21 between the fences. This will leave several pills on top of plate 2 which have not entered holes therein. Rear fence 3 is now raised and removed and the rear end of portion 11 held over the pill shipping container. The front end of the assembly is now raised enough to cause the excess pills to slide off plate 2 and 3 tapered portion 11 and be returned to the container. The assembly is then leveled and front fence 4 removed. This leaves the counted-out pills 22 in the holes 21 as shown in Fig. 4. By grasping-handle 1-9 the operator raises and removes counting plate 2 from base I The box or bottle into-which; the pillsare to;be;d isp'ensedis now'placed under the rear en d of; plate portion 11v and that its projection l 8 restedon topof plate 2 and covered up five adjacent holes 21, therein so that; no pills could; enter these five holes when the supply of pillsgfwas placed on plate 2. Otherwise the method for CDlllltiDEyOllL 15 pills is the same as that described. It will be obvious that by inserting fence 4 in other aligned pairs of grooves 9, thirty, thirty-five, forty or more pills can be counted, out. If the discharge opening provided by the converging walls 1213 is too large, a smaller spout (not shown), can be made on this portion of base 1. It will. be ob-- served that the scale graduations 10, 2,0, 30 etc. on top of walls 16 assist the operatorin placing fence 4 in the proper grooves to count out a desired number of pills.

Other modifications of the construction may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of our invention as covered by the following claims. What we claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is;

1. A device adapted to count a number ofipills or v the like comprising, in combination: a one-piece base having a rectangular imperforate front portion and an imperforate rear portion with converging. sides, the, top face of said base being flat; a pair of parallel side walls projecting up from the opposite sides of said frontl portion and integral therewith; a pair of converging side walls projecting up from said converging sides amintegral therewith, the front ends of said converging side' walls merging with the rear ends of said parallel side walls and the rear ends of said converging side-walls. being spaced apart to provide. a discharge opening there-. between, said parallel side walls being provided with a plurality of pairs of aligned vertical grooves; a rectan- If 15 were desired, fence 4 would-be reversed and lowered; into the same two grooves 9 so;

gular detachable counting plate whose thickness is substantially equal to the thickness of the pills to be counted, said counting plate being adapted to freely slide along said parallel side walls as it is lowered between said side walls onto the rectangular portion of said base, said counting plate being provided with a plurality of similar sized openings extending from top to bottom therethrough, said openings being arranged in rows of ten and the openings in each row being in alignment with each other in a vertical plane normal to said side walls; a detachable plate resting on the front portion of said base and in contact with the rear face of said counting plate and having its ends in contact with the inner faces of said parallel side walls, said plate extending a substantial distance above the top face of said counting plate; and a thin fence whose ends are adapted to be lowered into two aligned grooves of either of said pairs of grooves to guide said fence downward until it rests on top of said counting l plate.

2. A- eounting deviceas-claimed in claim- 1, in which said fence has an integral shelfprojecting at right angles from the top end thereof, said shelf terminating a short distance from the left hand-end of the fence and having a'length' such that; itcovers five aligned holes in said counting plate whenthe fence is turned upside down and its endslowered intotwo aligned grooves until said shelf rests on said counting plate.

3. A counting device as claimed in claim 1, inwhich the topface of one of said parallel side wallsis inscribed with the numbers 10, 20,- 30, 40, and in succession, number 10 being disposed opposite the row of holes in said counting plate nearest to said detachable plate and the succeeding numbers being disposed in succession opposite the remaining rows of holes.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 663,726 Carlen Dec. 11, 1900 2,664,224 Winneberger Dec. 29, 1953 2,771,198 Danchig Nov. 20, 1956 2,812,076 Mistretta Nov. 5, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 19,326 Great Britain n Sept. 15', 1908"

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US663726 *Apr 9, 1900Dec 11, 1900John CarlenReceiver for folded paper bags.
US2664224 *Aug 15, 1951Dec 29, 1953Winneberger William ACapsule computer and delivery device
US2771198 *Aug 31, 1950Nov 20, 1956Peter Fries JrCounting and sorting device
US2812076 *Oct 21, 1955Nov 5, 1957Mistretta Salvatore ASorter and counter for pharmaceutical products
GB190819326A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3150785 *Dec 24, 1962Sep 29, 1964Clasen Edward WPill counting device
US3255894 *Apr 14, 1964Jun 14, 1966Handel Ambrose B VanPill and capsule counting tray and finger spatula
US3662904 *Sep 3, 1970May 16, 1972Tune Vincent JohnCounting device
US4047620 *Oct 10, 1975Sep 13, 1977Deininger Warren LPill and capsule counter
US6821079 *Mar 1, 2002Nov 23, 2004Apothecary Products, Inc.Pill and capsule counter
US7021492Sep 2, 2003Apr 4, 2006Apothecary Products, Inc.Pill and capsule counter and dispenser
US20040074916 *Sep 2, 2003Apr 22, 2004Priebe Robert N.Pill and capsule counter and dispenser
US20070262273 *May 15, 2006Nov 15, 2007Tzam-Fu SunDrug counter
US20140305833 *Apr 10, 2013Oct 16, 2014Écolopharm Inc.Blister sheet holder for the verification of the contents thereof
CN104443597A *Nov 25, 2014Mar 25, 2015成都群侠科技有限公司Counter for taking drugs quickly used in pharmacy department
U.S. Classification414/675
International ClassificationA61J7/00, A61J7/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61J7/02
European ClassificationA61J7/02