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Publication numberUS3262639 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 26, 1966
Filing dateFeb 8, 1965
Priority dateFeb 8, 1965
Publication numberUS 3262639 A, US 3262639A, US-A-3262639, US3262639 A, US3262639A
InventorsEdward C Karp
Original AssigneeEdward C Karp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic weighing and computing and registering system
US 3262639 A
Images(5)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

E. c. KARP 3,262,639

AUTOMATIC WEIGHING AND COMPUTING AND REGISTERING SYSTEM July 26, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 8, 1965 WEIGHIFIG I YQJ 50 f SET 59- TARE OPER. 53 55%)5 T SET M E IIITII. .1! Dn 6 R F. 3 DH PEN I 7 F. H 5 CM ET X m 9 ru b vn 3 N E mmw y R Du M J VI 7 R mm P M R m E% fl N m E IMA TI I N4EWLG Wmm 0 Th U C I 4/ S m I A r 5 ID 00a 3 3 A .l E 3 Rmw llll IIIIIJITIII 0 Am nC ,3

POT ROAST TE? A'lf'} PRICE LB, NET WT. 5 ICE 1.20 5 L.

APR. 2|, 62

STATION INVENTOR. BY Edward C Karp July 26, 1966 E. C. KARP Filed Feb. 8, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 WEIGH FIG. 4(a) I09 CE TARE no fikopemna m I6 J F F -X- '7 D Monos'ruble o- F F (one shot) Zero I30 [Q8 13 Weight L;

F F I I44 I Monosruble (one shor) ///(/f// :f I42 MOTION AMPLIFIER BIINVERTER DETECTOR |30 8| INVERTER F F -o I40 ENCODER I Monostuble (one shoi) InvenIor By EDWARD C. KARP July 26, 1966 Filed Feb. 8, 1965 E. C. KARP AUTOMATIC WEIGHING AND COMPUTING AND REGISTERING SYSTEM 5 Sheets-Sheet :5

I2I CLOCK 4w) I25 O I58 I20 {.74 L- 24 F F I 0m. II9 M IabI 55 onos e )2 7 (Schmidt F l 2 DELAY F F Trigger) I ll? fi Q GROSS WEIGHT REGISTER jjjjjjjjjjjjy f f f f f f I f l f f f f s, GROISS WEIGHT REIGISTER T I54 I A I I I I A I I J J J J J J J J J J J J F f f f f @ifi I I I IT [02 SITIIARE ACCU MUL A OR T 23 O O L l E Z O 3 0 C E I06 [g TIARE STORAGE T T T T A DELAY I36 I46 0 O O C j JJ TENS TENTHS HUNDREDTHS OF POUNDS POUNDS V OF POUNDS 0F POUNDS 29 IIIIIIII'IIIIIII L NET WEIGHT REGISTER Invenror EDWARD C. KARP IIvs.

July 26, 1966 E. c. KARP 3,262,639

AUTOMATIC WEIGHING AND COMPUTING AND REGISTERING SYSTEM Filed Feb. 8, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 F 6 4 PRICE PER POUND CONTROL SWITCHES TENTHS HUNDREDTHS DOLLARS OF DOLLARS OF DOLLARS DOLLARS PRODUCT R GISTER HUNDREDTHS OF TENTHS OF DOL. DOLLARS Invnior EDWARD C. KARP Mood W AHys.

July 26, 1966 Filed Feb. 5, 1965 c. KARP 3,262,639

5 Sheets-Sheet 5 GENERATOR FUNCTION PULSE FUNCTION NOT FUNCTION HG. 5

a b c d o. b c d. START o o o o L l I l 1 I o o 0 o I I I 2 o I o o A o l I 3 I I o o o o I 4 o 0 I 0 2L I 5 I 5 I o I o o I o I e o I I o I 0 o I 7 I I I o 0 o o J a 0 o o I I I I '0' 9 I o o I T I I o 'TZF ISI'IEI' I'IF' SET A B C 0 FIG. 6

I ON

2 ON ON 3 ON ON 4 ON ON ON 6 ON ON 7 ON ON ON 8 ON ON ON 9 ON ON ON ON CUMULATIVE PULSE INPUT TO THE LEAST SIGNIFICANT DECADE OF THE PRODUCT REGISTER (INCLUDING PRESET 5) PULSE PRICE SWITCH PRESET l 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 7 1 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 6 2 5 5 6 6 6 6 6 T 7 3 5 5 6 6 7 7 7 8 8 4 5 6 7 7 7 7 8 8 9 5 5 6 7 7 8 B 9 9 6 5 6 8 8 8 8 9 7 5 6 8 8 9 9 8 6 7 8 8 9 9 6 7 8 9 lnvenIor By EDWARD c. KARP United States Patent 3,262,639 AUTOMATIC WEIGHING AND COMPUTING AND REGISTERING SYSTEM Edward C. Karp, 1001 E. Lincoln, Belvidere, Ill. Filed Feb. 8, 1965. Ser. No. 434,169 8 Claims. (Cl. 235--58) The present invention relates to an automatic weighing, price computing and registering system for random weight pie-packaged commodities. This is a continuation in part of application No. 228,144, now abandoned, of the same title filed on October 3, 1962.

Pre-packaging of deteriorable commodities has become a common practice in retail merchandising of food products. For some food products such as meat, each cut of which has its own individual random weight, it is the practice in the industry to weigh and adjust the price of each package rather than adjust the weight of each individual package. Automatic weighing, computing and registering systems have been devised for accomplishing this purpose. These systems are either of the feedback servo type which has the disadvantage of requiring a preloaded system and the attendant problems of securing the requisite adjustment, or they are of the direct reading type characterized as being complex and expensive. All of the systems so provided rely upon manual adjustment for tare weight compensation, that is, to adjust the gross weight of the prepackaged commodity for the weight of the packaging materials, including the paper boat and the cover wrap. Such adjustment is unsatisfactory because of the greatly variable human error involved and the resulting injustice to seller and buyer alike.

It is a general object of the present invention to provide a new and improved automatic weighing, computing and registering system for random weight pre-packaged commodities wherein there is no appreciable loading in the system, and wherein compensation for the weight of the packaging materials can be automatically set into the system.

It is a more specific object of the invention to provide a new and improved automatic weighing, computing and registering system including an optical weight encoding system substantially free of frictional resistance and capable of providing an unambiguous weight signal.

A further object of the invention is to provide a new and improved automatic weighing, computing and registering system including a computer which, upon command, measures and stores information ,with regard to the weight of the packaging materials and thereafter compensates each gross package weight for the weight ofthe package in order to secure an accurate and true net commodity weight.

A specific object of the invention is to provide an improved automatic weighing, computing and registering system including a compound lever platform scale of the automatic indicating type and driving an optical angular shaft position encoder; a computer capable of storing information with regard to the weight of the packaging- 3,252,639 Patented July, 26, 1 966 following specification and drawings forming a part thereof, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a block schematic arrangement of the system in accordance with the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a graphic display of a binary coding system that may be employed in the arrangement of FIG- URE 1;

FIGURE 3 illustrates a label prepared in accordance with the invention;

FIGURE 4 (a-c) is an exemplary detailed schematic logic circuit for the block schematic of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 5 is a table of the sequential output functions of one decade of the product generator of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is a table of the binary switch functions for each decimal price per pound control switch in FIGURE 4; and

FIGURE 7 is a table showing the cumulative pulse count, including the preset, in the least significant decade of the product register of FIGURE 4.

Referring to the drawings, there is shown in FIGURE 1 an automatic weighing, computing and registering system 10 including generally a weighing device 20, a computer 30, an oper-ators console 50, and a display register 70.

The weighing device 20 is shown schematically in FIG- URE l to be a compound lever platform scale including 'a platform 21 carried on a lever system 22 operating against a resistance 26. An encoder 2-8 is selectively operated from the lever system 22 through a rack 23 and a pinion 24, in accordance with the weight placed on the platform 21. The signal derived from the encoder 28 is transmitted via conductor 29 to the computer unit 30.

The computer unit 30 is comprised basically of a tare register 32, a weight register 34, a price register 36, a controller 38, a subtracter 40 and a multiplier 42. The tare register 32 and the weight register 34 alternatively are conne-ctible to the incoming conductor 29 vdaa switch 31. The tare register 32 is adapted to receive a coded weight from the scale 20 and to store that weight information therein for cyclic application to the subtracter 40. The Weight register 34 also receives weight information from the encoder 28 in the scale 20 but is cyclicly cleared and receives new weight information after each cycle of operation as directed from the controller 38. The price register 36 has registered therein unit weight price, or rate information as set by switches 60 associated therewith. Storage registers of the type suitable for use as the tare'register 32, the weight register 34 and the price register 36 are disclosed and discussed in the text .Digital Counters and Computersby Ed Bukstein, Technical Division, Rinehart and Company, Incorporated, New York, 1960, at pages 152 to 154.

The tare register 32 is connected to the controller 38 via a conductor 33A for signalling the controller when a tare weight is registered therein. Also, the tare register is connected via conductor 33B to the subtracter 40 for furnishing thereto the tare register weight. The weight register 34 is connected to the controller 38 via a control conductor 35A and is connected via the conductor 35B to the subtracter 40 for furnishing thereto the gross weight signal registered therein via the conductor 29 and switch 31 from the scale 20. The net weight of the commodity as determined in the subtracter 40 by subtracting the tare weight from the gross Weight which net weight signal is applied via the conductor 41 to the multiplier 42. A suitable arrangement for the construction of thesubtracter 40 may be as described in the text, Automatic Digit-a1 Calculators, by Andrew and Kathleen Booth, Butterworths Scientific Publications, London, second edition, 1956, in chapter 6 entitled, The Arithmetic Unit, beginning at page 36 and specifically on pages 44 and dealing with the subject of Subtraction. Another description is given on pages 161 and 162 of the publication titled, Digital Counters and Computers above referred to.

The weight register 34 is signalled from the controller 38 via a conductor 39A; the multiplier 42 is signalled via a conductor 39B; and the display register is signalled via a conductor 39C. The price register 36 signals the controller 38 via a conductor 37A to indicate the storing of a unit price therein and the unit price information is transmitted via conductor 37B to the multiplier 42. Multipliers such as may be useful in carrying out the multiplic-ation function of the multiplier 42 are described in the text, Automatic Digital Calculators," above referred to, on pages 45 to 48, inclusive, and also in the Bukstein publication at pages 163 to 167, inclusive. The output from the multiplier 42, which is the computed price, is applied via conductor 43 to the display register 70. Completion of a weighing, computing and displaying cycle is indicated to the controller 38 by a signal applied from the display register 70 via the conductor 72. Thereupon the controller 38 operates via conductors 39A, 39B, and 39C to clear and reset the weight register 34, the multiplier 42, and the display register 70. Resetting of the weight register 34 clearsany difference signal from the subtracter 40.

The console is connected to and preferably closely associated with the computer 30 and includes the switch control 51 by means of which the switch 31 in the computer is operated and also individual signal lights 53,

and 57. The lamp 53 is designated the set tare lamp whichis operated from the controller 38 responsive to a change in the rate price signal furnished to the price register 36 without a change in the signal registered in the tare register 32. The lamp 55 is designated the operate lamp which is illuminated whenever a tare weight signal has been inserted into the tare register 32 and the operate switches 51 and 31 have been moved from the set tare position to the operate position. The operate lamp remains on throughout the operating period. The lamp 57 is a cy-clicly operated weigh lamp which is illuminated whenever the price register 36 has a signal inserted therein and the tare register-32 has a signal inserted therein but the weight register 34 is without a signal. Whenever a signal is registered in the weight register 34 the weigh lamp 57 is extinguished. At the end of the cycle and after the controller 38 has been signalled from display register 70 via conductor 72, the controller 38 operates to clear and reset the weight register 34, the multiplier 42, and the display register 70 and cause illumination of the weigh lamp 57.

As will be appreciated from the foregoing, the controller 38 is that portion of the computer 30 which automatically executes the previously prepared program instructions and performs an aggregate of gating, timing, and counting functions. Thus the controller 38 is constructed so as to retain and recycle a prepared instruction program and may be of a construction of the type out- I lined in the text Handbook of Automation, Computation, and Control, volume 2, by Grabbe, Remo, and Woolridge, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1959, at pages 2-44 and pages 18-33, to 1839, inclusive. The specific design employed for the controller 38 may vary according to the chosen methods of the engineer skilled in the computer art.

It is to be appreciated that the console 50 or components thereof such as the switch control 51 may be located remotely from the weighing device 20 or computer 30 in certain applications. For example, in an automatic weighing, pricing and wrapping processing line it may be desirable to have all controls at a single station so that one person may control the entire operation. Remote control may be accomplished through cable or other conventional means.

Considering now the mode of operation of the system 10 shown in FIGURE 1 and assuming that the station clerk is going to weigh, compute and price a commodity such, for example, as pot roast which is selling at $1.20 a pound, the price rate information is set into the price register 36 in the computer 30. The registering of the unit price information in the price register 36 causes a signal to be sent via the conductor 37A to the controller 38 which causes the set tare lamp 53 on the console 50 to be illuminated. Thereupon the operator operates the switch 51 into the set tare position thereby connecting the conductor 29 extending from the scale 20 directly to the tare register 32 in the computer 30. The operator then places upon the platform 21 of the scale 20 the packaging materials used to wrap the pot roast such, for example, as the paper boat in which the meat is carried and the Wrap that is placed around it. This weight is determined at the scale 20 to be a tenth of a pound which weight and any zero error in the scale is detected at the encoder 28 and transmitted via the conductor 29 to the tare register 32 and stored therein. The registration of a weight therein is signalled to the controller 38 via the conductor 33A which causes the operate lamp 55 to be illuminated along with the set tare lamp 53. This signals to the operator that the switch 51 should be moved from the set tare position to the operate position. Upon movement of switch 51 to the operate position the conductor 29 extending from the scale 20 is connected directly to the weight register 34 and the controller 38 is signalled via the conductor 35A to extinguish the set tare lamp 53 and illuminate the weigh lamp 57.

Subsequently, as the pre-packaged commodity is placed upon the scale 20 and the weight thereof, for example, five and one-tenth pounds is determined at the scale this Weight and any zero error in the scale is detected at the encoder 28 transmitted via the conductor 29 to the weight register 34 and registered therein. Thereupon the controller 33 is signalled via conductor 35A to cause the lamp 57 to extinguish. The gross Weight in the weight register 34 is transmitted via the conductor 35B to the subtracter 4t and the tare weight in the register 32 is transmitted via the conductor 33B to subtracter 40'. Therein the tare weight is subtracted from the gross weight to provide a net commodity weight of, in the case of the present example, five pounds to the multiplier 42 via conductor 41. In the multiplier 42 the net weight information is multiplied with the unit price information furnished thereto via the conductor 37B from the price register 36 and the net price determined therefrom, in the present example six dollars, is furnished via the conductor 43 to display register 70.

Receipt of the net price information at the display register is signalled to the controller 38 via the conductor 72 and the display register operates to render a visual display of the net price of six dollars. Shortly thereafter the controller 38 operates to clear the weight register 34, the multiplier 42 and the display register 70 via the conductors 39A, 39B, and 39C, respectively, and to again illuminate the weigh lamp 57. Thereby the operator is signalled that he may place another package on the scale and proceed through another weighing, computing and displaying operation.

From the foregoing it is clear that the display furnished at the display register 70 is an accurate net price for the commodity furnished in the package. Specifically, the tare register 32 records as a reference weight whatever the preliminary reading of the scale might be including any zero scale error and the weight of the packaging material. Accordingly, the weight information furnished at the subtracter 40 is the gross scale weight of the prepackaged commodity at the scale minus the weight of the packaging material and zero scale error, or a true net weight for the commodity. The output from the multiplier 42 as displayed at the display register 70 is an accurate net price for the commodity.

The foregoing has been explained in terms of the most simple embodiment, wherein the display register 70 makes only a visual display of the net price to be charged for the pre-packaged commodity. It is contemplated that the display register 70 may be a printer which provides a printed ticket carrying thereon the net price :of the commodity, which ticket can then be attached to the pre-packaged commodity. Such a printer may be of any convention-a1 form as presently available on the market.

In the circumstance where the display register 70 is a printer and a label is printed it may be desirable to include on the label additional information such as, the net weight of the commodity and the unit price charged for the commodity, both of which are available within the computer 30. 36 would be connected via conductor 137 to the display register 70 for furnishing thereto unit price information and the subtracter 40 would be connected to the display register 70 via the conductor 141 for furnishing thereto the net weight information. Accordingly, the display register 70 would then be operated to print on the label the net price, the price per pound and the net weight of the commodity therein. I

It is easily understood that in the circumstance where the display register is a printer, additional information may be included such as identification of the commodity, in the case of the present example pot roast, the date of the packaging operation and any identification symbols that may be desirable. This could be accomplished, for example, by inserting into the printer specific printing slugs. Such a complete prepared label might appear as illustrated by the reference character 145 in FIGURE 3 and include total net price, price per pound, net weight, identification of commodity, date and station.

In the circumstance where the. display register 70 is actually a printer carrying out the function of printing a label, the controller 38 could be adapted so that upon presentation to the register 70 of the pertinent net price information via conductor 43, net weight information via conductor 141 and the price per pound information via the conductor 137, the controller 38 would be signalled via conductor 72 whereupon the register 70 would be operated via the control conductor 39C to print the label. At the same time, the controller 38 could operate in the manner as previously described to clear the signal in the weight register 34, the multiplier 42 and the display register 70. Illumination of the weigh lamp 57 may be retarded until the printed label had been manually removed from the display register 70. Removal of the label would then indicate a completion of a total cycle which would be indicated via the conductor 72 to the controller 38 and cause illumination of the weigh lamp 57. I

Actually the operation of the controller 38 in clearing the weight register 34, the multiplier 42 and the display register 70 and also in illumination of the lamps in the console 50 is subject to many possible variations not critical to the operation of the system as described herein. It is within easy contemplation of those skilled in the art that the operators console might include more or less instruction lamps. The controller 38 is preferentially arranged to operate so that while the display register 70 is In this circumstance the unit price register printing a label in completion of one weighing, computing accurate information, not only from the standpoint of weighing accurately over a broad range of weights but also providing accurate and unambiguous weight signals to the computer 30. In the circumstance where the'scale 20 might be capable of weighing from 0 to 24 pounds to an accuracy of of a pound, the scale must be capable of measuring one pant in 2400 and it must be linear over the total 2400 unit range. At the same time it must be capable of transmitting any one of 2400 corresponding damping cycle to equilibrium is a compound multiplying lever platform scale of the automatic indicating type such as disclosed in the copending application Serial No. 358,-- 672, E. C. Karp, filed on April 9, 1964 andassigned to the same assignee. As disclosed in greater detail therein an appropriate encoder providing minimum loading to the scale is an optical type angular shaft position encoder for which the output signals are presented according to the Gray binary code. Optical type angular shaft position encoders suitable for use herein may be one such as disclosed in United States Patent No. 2,941,088 granted to W. H. Maboney and entitled Optical Encoder. Through the use of an optical type encoder the frictional drag upon the system and the moment of inertia of the scale is held to a minimum. By using a Gray binary encoding system it is possible to provide an output signal which if made ambiguous because of a weight between two distinct increments, the maximum possible error is only the difierence between two adjacent increments. Specifically, in the Gray binary encoding system only one bit changes per change in increment. This is illustrated in FIGURE 2 wherein there is demonstrated a four bit binary numbering system according to the Gray encoding schedule for increments from 0 to 15 and wherefore any change as between individual increments only one of the four hits A, B, C and D changes. Accordingly, if the angular shaft position of the encoder 28 stops at any point intermediate two adjacent increments, the greatest error that the encoder can make is the selection of one adjacent increment rather than the other adjacent increment. Thus, where the scale has capacity to measure in increments of A of a pound over a range of 24 pounds, the maximum error presented by an encoder scheduled according to the Gray binary system is of a pound and to an accuracy of one in 2400 parts.

Referring now to FIGURE 4, there is shown therein a detailed exemplary schematic logic circuitry arrangement for the automatic weighing, computing and registering system 10. Specific electronic components for individual cordingly, only the novel logic combination and its operation need be described herein. It will be appreciated that the logic circuitry shown is merely exemplary and other digital computing systems could be devised.

It will be noted generally that the exemplary circuit herein preferably employs binary weight sensing and logic, i.e., logic components which may be actuated to one of two possible states, referred to herein as the one state and the zero state. The logic units.here include pure binary registers for gross weight (101), tare accumulation (102), and tare storage (103), and binary coded decimal (BCD) registers for a product generator 127, a product register 128 and a net weight register 129. There is provided by binary-decimal conversion and 'display a displayed decimal output at the net weight and the product registers. Correspondingly there is provided a decimal input by the settings of price per pound switches 132.

Considering the state of the circuitry at the completion of any preceding machine cycle, the gross weight register 101 and the. tare accumulator 102 of FIGURE 4(b) will both be found with all positions set to zero. However, the tare storage register 103 will still have stored whatever tare information was put into it during the last preceding tare weighing. Further, a set tare (zero tare) lamp 109 will be off, an operate (tare in) lamp 110 will be on; a Weigh (ready) lamp 111 will be on; and a zero weight lamp will be on if there is no load on the scale platform. The price per pound switches 132 will of course have been previously set by the operator 7 by turning them to the proper displayed decimal setting on decimal dials 134. Each switch 132 preferably has a four deck set of contacts which provide four binary settings for each decimal setting, as shown in the table of FIGURE 6.

Now beginning a new cycle of weighing and computation, and assuming it is desired to insert new tare information, the operator momentarily closes a normally open set tare switch 104 shown in FIG. 4(a). This immediately supplies an input to a monostable (one shot) flipflop 105. The flip-flop 105 thereupon provides a single fixed time pulse output. This pulse is routed to each set zero" input lead into the binary tare storage register 103 to set each register unit to zero. The tare storage register 103 is thereby cleared. Connected to the zero output lead of all units in the tare storage register 103 is a zero responsive and gate 106. Since all the outputs are now zero, this and gate 106 opens. This provides a signal to a time delay circuit 136. After a short time delay the output from the delay circuit 136 goes to an adjacent and gate 107. The same output from the delay circuit 136 lights the set tare lamp 109 and is applied through an inverter 138 to inhibit a start and gate 108. The same signal through the inverter 138 on another lead turns out the operate lamp 110 and inhibits an and gate 113 controlling the weigh lamp 111. The circuit is now ready to make a tare weight measurement, as indicated by the lighted set tare lamp 109.

Placing a tare weight on the scale causes an encoder 140 to rotate and provide an output signal, The encoder 140 is preferably a 12 bit optical binary type. A zero responsive and gate 112 is connected to all of the encoder 140 outputs through a multi-channel amplifier and inverter 142. When the encoder is actuated by any weight this and gate 112 is blocked, due to the absence of one or more outputs. The closing of the an gate 112 causes the connected inverter 144 to provide another enabling input to the and gate 107. However, the and gate 107 has a third input which must be enabled.- This is provided by the output of a motion detector and inverter 130. The motion detector 130 is connected to a channel of the encoder 140 and senses any motion therein (sensing an alternating output signal). As soon as the encoders motion ceases it provides a final enabling signal to the gate 107. Closing the gate 107 applies an enabling input to each of a set of transfer and gates 146 which control the input to each unit of the tare storage register 103. This allows each bit of the encoder reading to pass through a gate 146 into a corresponding set one input of a unit in the tare storage register. Thereby the binary coded weight sensed by the encoder is stored in the tare storage register.

It will be noted that there is provided herein a tare storage register which has only six binary storage units and is connected with only the last six channels (six least significant information bits) of the encoder. This is an economy which may be made where the tare weight is low (i.e., less than .63 1b., preferably). It should also be noted that the amplifier and inverter 142 have inverted the encoder output, so the tare storage register 103 is actually being set to the complement, or inverse, of the tare weight. Further, if the encoder 140 employs a non-ambiguous code such as the Grey code, it should provide a conversion to standard binary code output.

The placing from the encoder of any ones into the tare storage register 103 results in the absence of one or more zero outputs, which condition is sensed by the and gate 106. The closing of the gate 106 actuates the delay circuit 136. Accordingly, after a short time delay, the transfer control and gate 107 is again gated off, thereby elosing the transfer gates 146 to block any further input to the tare storage register. This same zero signal from the delay circuit 136 turns olt the set tare lamp 109, and, through the inverter 138, relights the operate lamp 110. The operate lamp 110 thus indicates that the w tare weight is now in the tare storage register. Further, the output of the inverter 130 applies an enabling input to the weigh lamp gate 113 and to the start control gate 108. Accordingly, the circuit is now in condition for the main weighing cycle, and the commodity or produce to be weighed may be applied to the scale platform.

To start the weighing cycle the operator momentarily closes an operate switch 114 shown in FIGURE 4(a) to apply an input to the monostable (one shot) flip-flop 115. This input is of an indefinite duration depending upon how long the operator holds the operate switch 114 closed. However, the one shot flip-flop 115 provides an output which is a single pulse of a fixed time duration and applies it as an input to a (bi-stable) flip-flop 116. Actuation of the flip-flop 116 applies a steady input to the start and gate 108'.

The commodity load on the scale platform actuates the encoder and its associated circuitry in the same manner as previously described for the tare weighing. That is, when the motion detector and inverter detects the absence of further movement in the encoder (i.e., when the scale has achieved equilibrium) it provides an output signal. This output signal provides an input to the start and gate 108. A further input signal to the start and gate 108 is provided by the closing of the and gate 112 upon an output from any of the encoder channels. The final enabling input to the start and gate 108 is provided from the output of a zero detect and gate 117 in FIGURE 4(b) which has inputs from all zero outputs of the gross weight register 101.

All the above necessary enabling inputs being provided to the start and gate 108, it closes and the output triggers a monostable flip-flop 118. One lead from the output of this flip-flop 118 restores or resets the flip-flop 116 to its original off position.

Considering the operations initiated by the single pulse output of the monostable flip-flop 118, this pulse is passed through a lead to each set zero input of the net weight register 129 in FIGURE 4(b) and the product generator 127 and product (output) register 128 in FIG- URE 4(a) to clear these registers. However, in the product register 128 the inputs to the least significant BCD decade register 162 are connected so as to preset this one unit to a binary five setting rather than zero. Simultaneously the same pulse from the monostable flipfiop 118 is applied to each of the transfer and gates 152 at the inputs to the tare accumulator 102. This allows the ones output of each unit of the tare storage register 103 to pass through these transfer gates 152 into each corresponding ones input of the tare accumulator 102. Further, the pulse from flip-flop 118 is also applied to each transfer and gate 154 at the inputs tothe gross weight register 101. This allows the binary gross weight reading from the encoder 140 to enter the set ones inputs of the gross weight register.

The zero detect an gate 117 associated with the zero outputs of the gross Weight register 101 responds to any ones outputs, and thereby closes when the gross weight is entered in the gross weight register. When the and gate 117 closes it removes one of the enabling inputs to the start and? gate 108. The and gate 117 closing also removes an enabling input from the weigh lamp gate 113, to gate 011 the weigh lamp 111. The gross weighing operation is now completed.

Now returning again to the output pulse from the monostable flip-flop 118, this output is also connected through a delay circuit 156 to trigger a gating flip-flop 119, which in turn triggers a clock gate flip-flop 120 through an and circuit 158. The other input to the and gate 158 is from the pulse train output of a clock circuit 121. Thus the actuation of the flip-flop 120 is synchronized to a clock pulse by the gate 158. The gating flip-flop 119 is returned to its initial off position by the output of the gate clock flip-flop 120. The clock gate flip-flop 120 itself remains on, and its output allows the zero the clock 121 pulse train to pass through an and gate 159. The gate 120 is not flipped back until the conclusion of the computation cycle described below, when it is re-- stored by a diiferentiated pulse from the reopening of the and gate 117.

A monostable (Schmidt trigger) flip-flop 122 is biased to normally provide an enabling output to the and gate 125 to allow the pulses from the clock 121 to pass through this gate and into the product generator 127. However, the presence of a tare reading in the tare accumulator 102, as is the condition at this pointin the cycle, causes a ones sensing or gate 123 at the tare accumulator outputs to provide a gating input to the Schmidt trigger 122. This causes the Schmidt trigger to remove its enabling input to the and gate 125 and to apply an enabling input to an an gate 124 instead. Thus at the present point in the cycle the train of clock pulses passes through the gate 124 and is routed into the totaling, or counting, input of the gross weight register 101. The clock pulses are also routed through an and gate 160 into the counting input of the tare accumulator 102. A diode 126 blocks the clock pulses from entering the net weight register 129.

It will be remembered that both the gross weight register 101 and the tare accumulator 102 have been set with the complement of the measured gross weight and tare weight respectively. Thus the application of the clock pulse train into the counting input of each causes an efiective count-down toward a zero setting.

Since the gross weight will in every case exceed the tare weight, it is evident that the tare accumulator will be the first to be counted down to zero (by a number of clock pulses equal to the tare weight applied plus one). Since the gross weight register 101 is simultaneously being counted down at the same rate, when the tare accumulator 102 reaches zero the gross weight register will have.

remaining therein the eflectiv-e net weight complement, i.e., the measured gross weight complement minus the measured tare weight complement.

Immediately upon the tare accumulator 102 reaching or gate 123 will sense the absence of any ones outputs and close. This gates off the and gate obtained through the and gates 165 are passed to the collector bus170 and thereby applied into the counting input of the BCD product register 128. Selective gating of the matrix 164 by the selective setting of the price per pound switches 132, as shown in FIGURE 6, results in a selective output count applied into the product register 128.

The table of FIGURE 7 represents a cumulative pulse count into the first, or least significant decade, register 162 of the product register 128. The vertical column at the leftside of the table indicates the pulse count into the product generator. The first horizontal row, immediately under price switch pre-set, indicates the decimal setting of one price per pound control switch 132. Each such decimal setting provides a price switch func tion as shown in the table of FIGURE 6 which correspondingly. controls the gate in the matrix 164, and there- 160 and thereby prevents further clock pulse inputs to the tare accumulator. Closing the or gate 123 also removes the actuating signal to the Schmidt trigger 122, so that it returns to its normal state. This closes the and' gate 124 and opens the and gate 125. Thereby the clock pulse train is removed from the gross weight register 101 and redirected into the counting input of the product generator 127.

The product generator 127 herein contains three fourplace 8-4-2-1 BCD (binary coded decimal) registers inseries. Such registers are commercially available for example from Texas Instruments, Incorporated, Dallas, Texas. The pulses applied into the counting input of each decade register produce a cumulative binary function therein as shown in FIGURE 5. In addition, each tenth pulse from the first decade unit is applied into the second decade unit, and each tenth pulse from the second decade unit (each hundredth pulse into the first decade) is applied to the third decade.

Multiplication of the net weight times the price per pound is accomplished with the product generator 127 together with a price gate matrix 164 and the product register 128. An output from each binary unit in each decade register in the product generator is connected into an input of one of the and gates 165 forming the matrix 164. The pulses applied thereby from the product generator are derived from the sequential dynamic changes in the not function at the zero output plates (see FIGURE, 5). The other input to each of the and gates 165 is provided from the price per pound switches 132. For example, the dollar switches A, B, C, and D control respectively the gates a, b, c, and d associated with the first decade register. The sequential outputs by provides a pulse count as indicated in the table. It will be remembered that this first decade 162 has been pre-set to a count of 5 through the lead 150.

The number of clock pulses applied into the product generator 127 must of course be controlled and determined by the net weight complement reading in the gross weight register 101. This is accomplished by simultaneously countingdown the gross weight register until it reach zero, at which point the clock pulse input is immediately halted to the product generator.

To provide this function a lead 172 is taken from the output of the second decade register in the product generator and connected through the diode 126 into the gross weight register 101. This lead is also connected into the net weight BCD register 129 so that the net weight will be registered therein. The pulse count on this lead 172 is only one pulse for every l00-clock pulses applied into the product generator as previously explained.

Immediately uponthe completion of the net weightcomplement countdown in the gross weight register 101 (signalled by a Zero output from all units) the and gate 117 is actuated to apply through a differentiator 174 an impulse to the clock gate flip-flop 120. Operation of the flip-flop 120 gates off the and gate 159, which stops the clock pulse train output. Further, the and" gate 117 provides an enabling input to the start and gate 108 and relights the weigh lamp 111. The product register 128 and net weight register 129 are preferably associated with mechanical printout means for automatically printing the decimal price and net weight respectively.

By way of an example, a desired price per pound setting of $1.29 and a net weight of one pound corresponding to a pulse count of will be assumed. For the 100 pulses to be counted into the gross weight register 101, 10,000 clock pulses must be applied into the first decade register of the product generator 127. The price switch function for a 1 dollar price per pound setting (note FIGURE 6) results in only gate d of the matrix 164 being open. Accordingly, from the dynamic not function table of FIGURE 5 it may be seen that only one pulse in ten, or 1000 pulses in the example, will be selectively passed through the matrix 164 and applied into the product register. Meanwhile the second decade in the product generator will have received an input of 1000 pulses from the output of the first decade. Since the price per pound tenths of dollars switch is set to 2 here, gates 0 and d are open and two of each ten applied pulses will be passed to the product register for a pulse count of 200 in this case. Similarly, 100 of the original 10,000 pulses are applied into the third decade of the product generator,

and since the hundredths of dollars switch has been set to 9 the gates a [2 c and d are open and 9 out of each 10 pulses (see FIGURE 5 again) will be applied to the product register.

From the above it may be seen that for the 10,000 pulses applied into the product generator in this example, and adding the preset 5, there are 1,295 sequential pulses 1 i into the product register 128. Accordingly, the product register unit will provide a decimal registration of $1.29. The preset 5 provides automatic rounding oif to the closest hundredth of dollars. That is, a product register count resulting in a least significant value of .0045 dollar will result in a carry pulse to the hundredths of dollars.

decade, rounding the price to the nearest cent.

The above-described logic system and circuit provides simple non-critical control and function. .The clock rate may be moderate, and is not critical as to frequency stability. A 300,000 pulse per second clock rate will allow complete cycling in somewhat less than 1 second.

In view of the foregoing, it is clear that there has been provided hereby a new and improved automatic weighing, computing, and registering system for random weight pre-packaged commodities. The system as presented is completely automatic yet simple and easy to maintain. Its primary advantages are that it will automatically compensate for tare weight and zero error in the scale, so as always to provide a true net weight indication for the prepackaged commodity. Further, through the use of an optical encoder employing a non-ambiguous Gray binary coding system it is possible to provide in a compact system for the easy detection of a weight signal over a broad range of weight signals for which the maximum error in the system is only the difference between two adjacent increments in the total range of increments.

It is to be appreciated that the arrangement disclosed herein is merely exemplary of the invention and that variations and modifications may be made therein by those skilled in the art. It is intended to cover in the appended claims all such variations and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of this invention.

I claim:

1. An automatic weighing and computing and registering system for preparing price labels for random weight pre-packaged commodities including, a weighing scale providing a weight signal corresponding to the weight of a package placed thereon, a pricing switch selectively operable for providing a rate signal corresponding to a unit weight price for the commodity to be labelled, a computer responsive to said weight signals and rate signals for providing corresponding price signals, and a register responsive to said price signals for displaying the vprice of a pre-packaged commodity to be labelled; said computer comprising means for storing the first weight signal from said scale as a reference weight and for sensing each of the subsequent weight signals from said scale as gross weights, and further means for determining the diiference between said first weight signal and each of said subsequent weight signals, whereby each price signal furnished to said register corresponds to the net price for the commodity as determined from the gross weight of the pie-packaged commodity and said reference weight.

2. An automatic weighing and computing and registering system for preparing price labels for random weight prepackaged commodities including, a weighing scale providing a weight signal corresponding to the weight of a package placed thereon, a pricing switch selectively operable for providing a rate signal corresponding to a unit weight price for the commodity to be labelled, a computer responsive to said weight signals and rate signals for providing corresponding price signals, and a register responsive to said price signals for displaying the price of a prepackaged commodity to be labelled; said computer comprising means for storing a first weight signal from said scale as a reference Weight and for detecting each of said subsequent weight signals from said scale as gross weights, a subtracting unit for determining the difference between said first weight signal and each of said subsequent weight signals thereby to provide a corresponding net weight signal, and a multiplier unit responsive to each said net weight signal and said rate signal for producing as a product a corresponding price signal, whereby each price signal furnished to said register corresponds to the net price for the commodity as determined from the gross weight of the pre-packaged commodity and said reference Weight.

3. An automatic weighing and computing and registering system for preparing price labels for random weight pre-packaged commodities including, a weighing scale providing a weight signal corresponding to the weight of a package placed thereon, a pricing switch selectively operable for providing a rate signal corresponding to a unit weight price for the commodity to be labelled, a computer responsive to said weight signals and rate signals for providing corresponding price signals, and a register responsive to said price signals for displaying the price of a prepackaged commodity to be labelled; said computer comprising a first storage unit and a second storage unit for storing respectively a reference weight signal and a gross weight signal, a subtracting unit for determining the difference between said reference weight signal and said gross weight signal thereby to provide a net weight signal, and a multiplier unit responsive to said net weight signal and said rate signal for producing as a product said price signal, and a controller selectively operative for storing said reference weight signal in said first storage unit and cyclically operative for sequentially storing and clearing said gross weight signal at said second storage unit and said net weight signal at said subtracting unit and said price signal at said multiplier unit, whereby each price signal furnished to said register corresponds to the net price for the commodity as determined from the gross weight of the pre-packaged commodity and said reference weight.

4. An automatic weighing and computing and registering system for preparing price labels for random weight pre-packaged commodities including a weighing scale providing a weight signal corresponding to the weight of a package placed thereon, -a pricing switch selectively operable for providing a rate signal corresponding to a unit weight price for the commodity to be labelled, a computer operative through a start cycle and operative through each of a plurality of weighing cycles for providing a corresponding plurality of price signals, and a register reprice for each of the pre-packaged commodities to be labelled; said computer comprising means operative during said start cycle for storing a reference weight signal from said scale and operative through each of said weighing cycles to sense a gross weight signal from said scale, and further means for determining the difference between said reference weight signal and gross weight signal, whereby each price signal furnished to said register corresponds to the net price for the commodity as determined from the gross weight of the pre-packaged commodity and said reference weight.

5. An automatic weighing and computing and registering system for preparing price labels for random weight pre-packaged commodities including a Weighing scale providing a weight signal corresponding to the weight of a package placed thereon, a pricing switch selectively operable for providing a rate signal corresponding to a unit weight price for the commodity to be labelled, a computer operative through a start cycle and operative through each of a plurality of Weighing cycles in response to said rate signals and to each of a plurality of weight signals for providing a corresponding plurality of price signals, and a register responsive to said weight signals and said rate signals and said price signals for displaying the weight and the unit price and the net price of a commodity to be labelled; said computer comprising a first storage unit and a second storage unit for storing respectively a reference weight signal and a gross weight signal, a subtracting unit for determining the difference between said reference weight signal and said gross weight signal thereby to provide a net weight signal, and a multiplier unit responsive to said net weight signal and said rate signal for producing as a product said price signal, and a controller selectively operative into a start condition for storing said reference weight signal in said first storage unit and selectively operative thereafter into an operate condition, wherein responsive jointly to the storage of a rate signal in said multiplier unit and cyclically to each providing of weight signals at said scale and to the subsequent display of weight and unit price and net price information at said register, said weight signal is sequentially stored and cleared at said second storage unit and said net weight signal is cleared at said subtracting unit and said price signal is cleared at said multiplier unit, whereby each price signal furnished to said register corresponds to the net price for the commodity as determined from the gross Weight of the pre-packaged commodity and said reference weight.

6. The automatic weighing and computing and registering system of claim wherein said weighing scale includes encoding means for providing a weight signal according to the Gray binary system.

7. The automatic weighing and computing and registering system as set forth in claim 6 wherein said register is a label printer and displays said price by printing on a label.

8. An automatic weighing and computing and regis tering system for preparing price labels for random weight pre-packaged commodities including, a weighing scale including encoding means for providing a weight signal according to the Gray binary system and c0r responding to the weight of a package placed thereon, a pricing switch selectively operable for providing a rate signal corresponding to a unit weight price for the commodity to be labelled, :a computer operative through a start cycle and operative through each of -a plurality of .weighing cycles in response to said rate signals and to each of a plurality of Weight signals for providing a corresponding plurality of price signals, and a printer responsive to said price signals for printing a corresponding price on a commodity label; said computerv comprising a first storage unit and a second storage unit for storing respectively a reference Weight signal and a gross weight signal, a sub signal in said first storage unit, said controller in said I operate condition being responsive jointly to the storage of a rate signal in said multiplier unit and to each subsequent weight signal at said scale for storing said weight signal in'said second storage unit and being responsive thereafter to printing of said price at said printer to clear said weight signal from said second storage unit and to clear said net weight signal from said subtracting unit and to clear said price signal from said multiplier unit, whereby each price signal furnished to said printer corresponds to the net price for the commodity as determined from the gross weight of the pre-pack-aged commodity and said reference weight.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,123,164 3/1964 Echenique et a1. 177l LOUIS CAPOZI, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3123164 *May 24, 1960Mar 3, 1964 Electronic-measuring and recording system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3447617 *Apr 7, 1967Jun 3, 1969Reliance Electric & Eng CoControl circuitry for discriminating price computation
US3532865 *Apr 18, 1967Oct 6, 1970Edward C KarpMultiple unit pricing
US3777828 *Sep 30, 1971Dec 11, 1973Reliance Electric CoElectronic weighing system with digital readout
US3812923 *Jul 20, 1972May 28, 1974Nat ControlsWeight display system and method
US3962570 *Apr 30, 1975Jun 8, 1976Reliance Electric CompanyScale with manual tare entry
US4029161 *Sep 4, 1975Jun 14, 1977Sanitary Scale CompanyDigital scale
US4091449 *Jan 27, 1976May 23, 1978Hobart CorporationComputing scale system
US4446528 *Feb 18, 1982May 1, 1984Marmon Robert AShoppers calculator
US20140024120 *Sep 27, 2013Jan 23, 2014Cem Corp.Automated protein analyzer
Classifications
U.S. Classification235/58.0PS, 177/DIG.200, 235/61.00R, 177/3, 177/DIG.300
International ClassificationG01G23/16, G01G19/414
Cooperative ClassificationG01G23/163, Y10S177/02, Y10S177/03, G01G19/4144
European ClassificationG01G19/414C, G01G23/16B