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Publication numberUS3215310 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 2, 1965
Filing dateJul 3, 1962
Priority dateJul 3, 1962
Publication numberUS 3215310 A, US 3215310A, US-A-3215310, US3215310 A, US3215310A
InventorsHurst Kerney J, Pearson Walter G
Original AssigneeHurst Kerney J, Pearson Walter G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Article counting device
US 3215310 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1965 K. J. HURST ETAL 3,

ARTICLE COUNTING DEVI CE Filed July 3, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 H6 2 KERNEY J. HURST WALTER G. PEARSON INVENTORS Z KK AGENT 1965 K. J. HURST ETAL 3,

ARTICLE COUNTING DEVICE Filed July 3, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 3g KERNEY J. HURST WALTER G. PEARSON li INVENTORS ZAMW AGENT United States Patent 3,215,310 ARTICLE COUNTING DEVICE Keruey J. Hurst, 2'5 Rockledge Road, Hartsdale, N.Y.,

and Walter G. Pearson, 1615 Military Highway, Pineville, La.

Filed July 3, 1962, Ser. No. 207,305 3 Claims. (Cl. 221-7) pills or tablets required to fill individual prescriptions particularly so where the volume of prescriptions being filled is relatively large.

The prior art reveals a number of counting machines adapted to count a predetermined number of pills or tablets and deposit them in separate containers, some of which are progressively conveyed past the counting device. Some of these counting devices are designed for use by the manufacturer of such pills or tablets, rather than by the individual pharmacist, wherein each successive prescription filled has a number of pills or tablets which is different from the previously filled prescription. These machines, as shown by the prior art, so far as we have been able to determine, do not provide a device capable of being actuated for counting a selected number of pills for individual prescriptions. It is highly important in the handling of pharmaceutical tablets, which are to be internally consumed, that the tablets be undamaged and be kept clean to present a perfect appearance to the consumer.

It is, therefore, the principal object of the instant invention to provide a machine or device which will actually count or separate a selected number of pills or tablets from a hopper containing a reserve supply.

Another object is to provide a device which will count a selected number of articles without any damage thereto.

Another object is to provide a counting machine which is controlled by a preset electrical means for counting out the predetermined number of articles.

A further object is to provide a device which is fully automatic in operation and does not require manual supervision once the machine has been placed in operation.

Another object is to provide a device or machine adaptable for handling small articles of various shapes and sizes.

Still another object is to provide a machine of this class which is relatively simple in construction, positive in operation, and which can easily withstand continuous usage with a minimum of service or repair.

A further object is to provide a device of this class which may be readily used by pharmaceutical manufacturers, or the like, in counting out a large volume of pills or the like.

Yet another object is to provide a device of this class which may comprise a single unit, or a multiplicity of such units, all electrically controlled wherein a plurality of counting operations may be performed.

The present invention accomplishes these and other objects by providing a frame having an upper inclined sup- Ice port. Motor driven disk means, mounted on the inclined support, is provided with article receiving openings. Electrical counting means operates the motor for rotating the disk means and stops the latter at a predetermined setting when the counting means has been actuated by the passage of the selected number of articles being counted.

Other objects will be apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying two sheets of drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the device;

FIGURES 2 and 3 are vertical cross-sectional views taken substantially along the respective lines 22 and 33 of FIG. 1;

FIGURE 4 is a wiring diagram of the counting control means; and,

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3.

Like characters of reference designate like parts in those figures of the drawings in which they occur.

In the drawings:

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the reference numeral 10 indicates the device, as a whole, including a rectangular frame 12 having an inclined support 14. The support 14 may be positioned horizontally if desired. A motor 24 is mounted on the support 14 within the frame 12 and includes a drive shaft 26 which projects centrally upward through the support 14. A disk 28 is axially connected to the upwardly disposed end of the drive shaft 26 in flat face to face contact with the upwardly inclined surface 30 of the support 14. The disk 28 is provided with a circumferential row of spaced-apart apertures 32, adjacent its peripheral edge for the purposes more fully explained hereinbelow.

A barrier 34 having an arcuate edge 35 is connected to the support 14 and positioned so that its arcuate edge 35 overlies an arc of the disk 28 exteriorly of the circumferential row of apertures 32 for cooperatively receiving a cylindrical ring 36 in contact with the upwardly disposed surface of the disk and forming, in cooperation with the disk, an upwardly open hopper for receiving a plurality of articles 38 to be counted. Thus it may be seen that the articles, such as pills, tablets, capsules or the like, are retained by gravity within the hopper adjacent the inner surface of that portion of the ring 36 in contact wth the barrier 34. As shown more clearly in FIG. 2, the inner surface of the ring 36 is tangential to an arc of each of the openings 32 to insure entry of the articles contained by the hopper into the openings. The size of each aperture 32 is such that one of the articles 38 is received within each aperture and carried thereby as the disk rotates in the direction shown by the arrow 40.

An opening 42 is formed through the support 14, in cooperating spaced relation with respect to the supply of articles 38 within the hopper and below the path of travel of the apertures 32, which permits the article 38, carried by the respective aperture, to fall by gravity out'of the aperture and through the opening 42 as the disk is rotated. A tube member or chute 44 extends between the. support and frame and is connected at one end with the lower surface of the support 14 around the opening 42 and is connected at its opposite end with the forward wall 46 of the frame for conveying the articles 38 released by the apertures outwardly of the frame wall 46.

A microswitch 47 is connected to the lower surface of the support 14 and positioned so its contact arm 48 lies within a suitable groove or recess 42A, formed in the lower surface of the disk 28 and spanning the path of travel of the apertures 32 so that just before each aperture is positioned over the support opening 42 an article 38, carried by an aperture 32, contacts the microswitch arm to close a circuit connected with a counting control 54 in a manner more fully described hereinbelow.

Adjacent its depending edge the ring 36 is provided with a circumferential inwardly extending ledge or lip 37 spaced upwardly of the plane defined by the upper surface of the disk 28, along the arc of the disk underlying the barrier 34, a distance great enough to permit entry thereunder of the articles 38 for reception of the latter by the openings 32. The lower edge surface 37A of the lip 37 is inclined downwardly in merging relation with respect to the plane defined by the upper surface of the disk 28 (FIG. 5) along an arc of the lip 37 in the direction of rotation of the openings 32 as they approach the dropout opening 42 so that a portion of the lower surface 37A of the lip contacts the upwardly disposed surface of each of the tablets 38 and insures that the latter contacts the microswitch arm 48 to close the switch 47. The merging relation of the lips lower surface 37A toward the plane of the disk 28 extends slightly beyond the erally by the numeral 54 which operates the counting mechanism 10. The counting control 54 may be housed within the frame or within a separate unit, as shown, and connected with the device 10 by wiring. The counter 54 includes a pair of selector switches S1 and S2 which are manually set by moving the respective indicator 96 and 102 thereof to a preselected number representing the number of articles to be counted as more fully explained hereinbelow.

An alternating current source, indicated by reference character AC, applies current to the counter 54 over con- 'ductors 56 and 58 through an off-on control switch 57.

The coil of a first relay R3 is interposed in a wire 58A, connected at one end with the wire 58, which is connected at its other end to the wire 56 through a set of contacts 63 controlled by a second relay R4. A deenergizing safety switch 59, is interposed in a wire 60 connected with the wire 58A and connected, at its other end, with a current source wire 61 through a set of contacts 62 controlled by relay R3 to interrupt the counting action when desired.

A counting or ratchet relay R1, having contact points numbered to 10, has each of these points interconnected with corresponding points of the indicator dial of the switch S1. A second counting or ratchet relay R2, having contact points numbered 0 through 10, is similarly interconnected with the dial of the switch S2. A wire 67, connected with the wire 56, is connected with one end of an inductor coil C1 of relay R1 and the other end of the coil C1 is connected by a wire 67A to the wires 58 and 61. At least one microswitch 47 is interposed in the wire 67. Other microswitches 47A and 47B may be connected in parallel to the wire 67.

The other inductor coil C2 of relay R1 is connected to the indicator point or contact 10 of relay R1 which is in turn connected with one end of the winding of coil C3 of a fifth relay R by a wire 64. The other end of the coil C3 is connected to the wire 61 by a wire 64A through a set of contacts 65 associated with a sixth relay R6. The coil C4 of relay R6 is connected to the wire 61 and to the 0 contact of relay R1 by a wire 66A. The contact 10 of relay R1 is connected with the point 10 of the dial of selector switch S1 by wires 68 and 70 through a set of contacts 72 associated with the relay R6. A wire 74, connected to wire 64, connects one end of the coil C2 of relay R1 with the coil C5 of relay R2 through a set of contacts 76, associated with relay R3, and a wire 78. The other end of coil C5 is connected to the wire 61. The other coil C6 of relay R2 is connected at one end to the wire 58 and at its other end to the wire 56 through a set of contacts 80, controlled by the relay R3, by a wire 82.

The motor 24 is connected to the wires 56 and 61 through another set of contacts 84, controlled by relay R3, by wires 86, 87 and 87A, through a selector switch S3. Additional motors 24A and 24B, corresponding to the number of other units 10 controlled by microswitches 47A and 47B, may be connected in parallel to the selector switch S3 and wire 86.

A push button switch 88 is interposed in the Wire 58A before its connection with the relay R3 for energizing the relay R3, starting the motor 24 and starting the counting operation.

The indicator 96 of the switch S1 is interconnected with the indicator 98 of relay R2 by a wire 100 and the indicator 102 of switch S2 is connected to the coil C7 of relay R4 through a set of contacts 104 associated with the relay R5 by wires 106 and 108. Wire 110, connecting the contact 5 of the relay R1 with the indicator contact 5 of the switch S1, illustrates the manner in which the respective contacts are interconnected. Wires 111 and 112 similarly illustrate the manner of interconnecting contacts of relay R2 with the respective indicator contacts of the switch S2.

Operation In operation a reserve supply of the articles 38 to be counted are placed in the hopper formed by the ring 36. All relay contacts are shown, by solid lines (FIG. 4), in a de-energized position. With switch 57 closed, coil C2 of relay R1 and coil C6 of relay R2 are energized through contacts 76 and of relay R3. The counting selector switches S1 and S2 are positioned for a count of 15. For example, the indicator 96 of selector switch S1 is positioned at the point 5 while the indicator 102 of selector switch S2 is positioned at 1. The starting switch 88 is closed, which energizes relay R3 and operates its associated contacts. Opening contacts 76 and 80 of relay R3 interrupts the circuit and de-energizes the coil C2 of relay R1 and the coil C6 of relay R2. While the indicator of relay R1 is at point 0 a circuit is completed from the wire 56 through the coil C4 of relay R6 over 'wires 66 and 66A which opens its contacts 65 and 72 and de-energizes the contact 10 of relay -R1. As the articles being counted, carried by the disk 28, successively close the microswitch 47, coil C1 of relay R1 is energized over wires 67 and 67A which progressively moves the indicator of relay R1 from 0 to point 10. When the indicator 95 reaches point 10, a circuit is completed through the coil C2 of relay R1 to release the indicator 95 and reset or bias the latter to 0 position. Simultaneously a circuit is completed to energize the coil C5 of relay R2 over wires 64, 74 and 78, through the contacts 76 of relay R3 which moves the indicator 98 of relay -R2 to point 1 for the count of 10. During its return sweep to 0 position, the indicator 95 of relay R1 is prevented from causing an unwanted count .or trip-out by contact with the interconnected points, such the coil C4 of relay R6 is again energized to open contacts 65 and 72 which de-energizes relay R5. Subsequent articles closing the switch 47 progressively move the indicator 95 to the point 5 of relay R1 to complete the count of 15. When the indicator 95 reaches the point 5, a circuit is completed to the indicator '96 of switch S1 over wire 110 and to the indicator 98 of relay R2 over wire 100 and to the indicator 102 of selector switch S2 which is in turn connected to coil C7 of relay R4 over wire 106 through the points 104 of relay R5 and wire 108 which energizes the coil C7 thus opening the points 63 de-energizing relay R3 and returning its associated contacts to de-energized position to complete the cycle. In this position the coils C2 of relay R-1 and C6 of relay R2 return the respective indicators 95 and 98 to 0 position.

Obviously the invention is susceptible to some change or alteration without defeating its practicability, and we therefore do not wish to be confined to the preferred embodiment shown in the drawings and described herein, further than we are limited by the scope of the appended claims.

We claim:

1. An article counting device, comprising: a frame; a support connected to said frame, said support having an inclined upper surface; a motor mounted within said frame, said motor having a shaft projecting upwardly through said support; a disk axially connected with said shaft in face to face contact with the upper surface of said support for rotation with said shaft; hopper means connected with said disk, said hopper means comprising an upstanding wall adapted to receive and hold aplurality of small articles, said disk having a circumferential row of apertures adjacent its periphery, each said aperture bemg adapted to receive only one of the articles therein as the disk is rotated, said support having an opening disposed below the path of travel of the openings; chute means connected at one end with the lower surface of said support around the opening therein and extending at its other end outwardly of said frame for removing articles released through said openings to a point outwardly of the frame; normally open switch means comprising a microswitch mounted on said support and having an arm disposed adjacent the path of travel of the apertures in said disk so that articles carried by the apertures in said (llSk successively close said switch means as the disk is rotated; an inwardly extending lip connected with the inner surface of said wall, said lip having a lower surface slidably contacting a portion of the upper surface of said disk overlying the position of said microswitch arm and the path of travel of said openings and preventing upward movement of an article Within each of the openings as the latter is rotated across said microswitch arm; and electrical counting means connected with a source of electrical energy for operating said motor, and rotating said disk, said electrical counting means including, a single pole-eleven throw selector switch having a manually positioned indicator, a single pole-eleven throw ratchet relay having an indicator biased to starting position, wiring interconnecting the indicator and contacts of said ratchet relay with the respective indicator and contacts of said selector switch, a first relay and a second relay, make and break contacts controlled by said first and second relays, a normally open starting switch, other wiring interconnecting the source of electrical energy with said first and second relays and said ratchet relay through said starting switch and the indicators of said ratchet relay and said selector switch, said first relay being energized by the closing of said starting switch and in turn energizing said ratchet relay and said motor so that each time an article carried by said apertures closes said normally open switch means said ratchet relay is energized to advance the indicator of the latter and said motor is de-energizcd by the breaking of said make and break contacts when the indicator of said ratchet relay is advanced to the predetermined setting of the indicator of said selector switch energizing said second relay and de-energizing said first relay.

2. An apparatus for counting small articles, including: a platform; a disk flatly contacting the upper surface of said platform, said disk having a circumferential row of spaced-apart article receiving apertures; means comprising an upstanding wall supported by said platform and co.- operating With said disk to form an article receiving hopper; motor means for rotating said disk, said platform having an opening disposed below the path of said row of apertures as the disk is rotated for permitting articles deposited in said row of apertures to fall therethrough by gravity; normally open switch means comprising a microswitch supported by said platform and having an arm positioned so that articles carried by said row of apertures successively contact said microswitch arm; an inwardly extending lip connected with the inner surface of said wall, said lip having a portion of its lower surface slidably contacting a portion of the upper surface of said disk overlying the position of said microswitch arm and the path of travel of said row of apertures and preventing upward movement of an article within each of the apertures as the latter is rotated across said microswitch arm; and electrical circuit means connecting a source of electrical energy with said motor and said normally open switch means for stopping said motor after the passage of a predetermined number of articles through the opening in said platform, said electrical circuit means including, at least one single pole-multiple contact selector switch having an indicator selectively positioned manually, at least one single pole-multiple contact ratchet relay having an indicator biased to a starting position and progressively movable between its contacts, a first relay connected with said ratchet relay for stopping the motor, a starting switch for energizing said first relay, a second relay connected with said first relay, other electrical wiring interconnecting the contacts of said selector switch with the indicator of said ratchet relay and interconnecting said normally open switch means and said ratchet relay to a source of electrical energy through said starting switch and connecting the indicator of said selector switch with said second relay whereby the indicator of said ratchet relay is advanced from one contact to the next toward a predetermined setting of said selector switch indicator each time an article carried by said apertures closes said normally open switch means and said motor is de-energized when the indicator of said ratchet relay is advanced to the predetermined setting of the indicator of said selector switch energizing said second relay and de-energizing said first relay.

3. An article counting device, including: a frame; a support connected to said frame, said support having an upper surface; :a motor mounted within said frame, said motor having a drive shaft projecting upwardly through said support; a disk axially connected with said drive shaft in face to face contact with the upper surface of said support for rotation with said drive shaft; hopper means associated with said disk, said hopper means comprising an upstanding circular wall adapted to receive and hold a quantity of relatively small articles, said disk having a single circumferential row of apertures adjacent its periphery, each said aperture being adapted to receive only one of the articles therein as the disk is rotated, said support having an opening disposed below the path of travel of the apertures; an inwardly projecting lip connected with the inner periphery of said wall in spaced relation with respect to the upper surface of said disk, said lip having a portion of its lower surface slidably contacting a portion of the upper surface of said disk overlying the position of the opening in said support and the path of travel of said row of apertures and preventing upward movement of an article within each of the apertures as the latter is rotated across the opening in said support; an elongated chute connected at one end with the lower surface of said support around the opening therein for removing articles released from said apertures to a point outwardly of the frame as said disk is progressively rotated; and electrical circuit means, said electrical circuit means including, a normally open microswitch mounted on said support, said microswitch having an arm positioned adjacent the path of travel and successively closed 7 by the passage of the articles in the apertures in said disk as the disk rotates, at least two single pole multiple contact selector switches each having an indicator, at least two single pole multiple contact ratchet relays each having an indicator biased to starting position, wiring interconnecting'the contacts of said selector switches with the contacts of said ratchet relays, a starting switch, a relay and relay operated switches, and other electrical wiring con- 'nected with a source of electrical energy through said starting switch and interconnecting said motor, said normally open microswitch, said relay and said relay operated switches with said ratchet relays and said selector switches, whereby said relay is energized by closing said starting switch and the indicators of said ratchet relays are progressively advanced toward a predetermined setting of the indicators of said selector switches by the passage of articles closing said normally open microswitch and said Cir 8 r a circuit to de-energize said relay and operate said relay operated switches.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,087,039 7/37 McMaster. 2,346,869 4/44 Poole. 2,515,594 7/50 Fischman 221-265 X 2,737, 1-29 3/56 Johnson et al 221-7 X 2,742,184 4/56 Yerkes et a1 221*265 X 3,045,864 7/ 62 Hurst et a1 22 l-'-7 3,045,910 7/62 McLearn.

FOREIGN PATENTS 822,765 10/59 Great Britain.

LOUIS I. DEMBO, Primary Examiner.

KENNETH N. LEIMER, RAPHAEL M. IJUPO,

Examiners.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification221/7, 235/98.00B, 235/132.00E, 221/265, 221/129
International ClassificationA61J7/00, A61J7/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61J7/02
European ClassificationA61J7/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 29, 1999ASAssignment
Owner name: BAKER MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC., LOUISIANA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PEARSON, WALTER G.;PEARSON, MAY M.;REEL/FRAME:010425/0454
Effective date: 19980803
Owner name: BAKER MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC. 75 WADLEY STREET