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Publication numberUS3266664 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 16, 1966
Filing dateJun 9, 1965
Priority dateJun 9, 1965
Publication numberUS 3266664 A, US 3266664A, US-A-3266664, US3266664 A, US3266664A
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 3266664 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1966 w. G- PEARSON ETAL 3,266,664

ARTICLE COUNTING DEVICE 5 Sheets-$heet 1 Filed June 9, 1965 .mmlll FIG.|

0 5 R R U AH E J w m MM W INVENTORS FIG. 2

1966 w. G. PEARSON ETAL 3,266,664

ARTICLE COUNTING DEVICE Filed June 9, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 4 2 40 '38 .30 fae 2e 38 40 34 VA"//I//////.'{////////////////1 J i\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ W k\ i R v 56 #4 2/ /3 20 FIG. 3 /1/ 4 FIG. 5

WALTER G. PEARSON KERN EY J. H U RST INVENTORS.

w. G. PEARSON ETAL 3,266,664

ARTICLE COUNTING DEVICE Aug. 16, 1966 Filed June 9, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS.

WALTER G. PEARSON BY KERNEY J. HURST W 6 United States Patent Filed June 9, 1965, Ser. No. 462,672 Claims. (Cl. 221-7) The present invention is a continuation-impart of an application filed by us in the United States Patent Office on July 3, 1962, Ser. No. 207,305 for Article Counting Device, now Patent No. 3,215,310.

The present invention relates to machines for counting small articles such as pills, tablets, capsules or any other small article of similar nature.

Considerable valuable time is consumed by pharmacists in the tedious operation of counting the exact number of 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.

This invention is an improvement over our above referred to application in that it provides an improved article containing hopper which is more positive in operation adapted for use with a conventional article counting control or with our electrical counting control means as hereinafter described.

It is, therefore, the principal object of this invention to provide an improved article counting machine which will accurately count or separate a selected number of articles 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 stand 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 manufa-cturers, or the like, in counting out a large volume of pills, or the like.

Yetanother 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 otherobjects by providing a frame having an upper inclined support. 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 three sheets of drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the article holding hopper and its support connected with a counting control unit, the latter being shown in elevation;

FIGURE 2 is atop view of the article holding hopper, per se;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 55 of FIG. 2; and,

FIGURE 6 is a wiring diagram of a counting control means.

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

In the drawings:

Referring to FIGURES 1 to 4, the reference numeral 10 indicates the device, as a whole, comprising an article holding and selecting means 12 connected to and operated by a counting control means 14. The article holding means 12 is substantially rectangular box-like in general configuration adapted to be slid into and out of a supporting cabinet, not shown, by slide rails 16 wherein a front panel 18 forming one wall of the box 12 closes the opening in the cabinet to provide a pleasing appearance. The configuration of the article holding means 12 is shown by way of example only but it is preferred that the top 13 ofthe box' have an upper inclined surface 20 for the reasons which will be readily apparent.

An article receiving hopper 22, cup-like in general configuration, is mounted on the upper surface 20. A motor M1 is mounted within the box 12 adjacent the under surface 21 of the top 13. The motor is provided with a drive shaft 24 which projects upwardly through an opening 26 formed in the top 13. A hearing support 28 surrounds the motor shaft 24 and spans the opening 26. A bearing 30, surrounding the shaft 24, has its upper surface maintained in selected spaced relation with respect to the upper surface 20 and bearing support 28 by a spacer ring or blocks 32. The vertical height of the ring or blocks 32 is selected to position the upper surface of the bearing 30 a selected distance above the surface 20 in accordance with the size of the articles to be counted as hereinafter described.

A slotted disk 34 is coaxially connected to and rotated by the motor shaft 24 by a key 36. The slotted disk 34 contacts the upper surface of the bearing 30 which maintains the slotted disk 34 in spaced relation with respect to the upper surface 20. The disk 34 is provided with a pluralityof vertical elongated slots or openings 38 open at one end to the peripheral edge of the disk 34 and terminating at their other inward end in spaced relation with respect to the motor shaft 24 thus forming a slotted disk. Each of the slots 38 :are angularly inclined, toward the direction of rotation of the disk, with respect to a diametric line taken across the disk 34 and through the inward end portion of the respective slot. The width of the slots 38 is preferably such that articles, such as tablets 40, may freely enter each of the slots 38. The length of the slots 38 is preferably such that a plurality of the tablets 40 maybe positioned in side by side relation within each slot.

An open ended cylindrical wall or hopper ring 42 surrounds the periphery of the slotted disk 34 in closely spaced relation and is supported by the upper surface 20. Stops 44, connected with the surface 20, maintain the hopper ring 42 coaxial with respect to the slotted disk 34. A cover disk 46 is coaxially connected to the motor shaft 24 by the key 36 and flatly contacts the upper surface of the slotted disk 34. Diametrically the cover disk 46 is smaller than the diameter of the slotted disk 34 by a distance slightly greater than the diameter of the tablets 40, the length of capsule or other articles being counted, so that a reserve supply of the tablets 40, contained by the hopper wall or ring 42, may enter or be removed from the outer end portion of the respective slot 38 in the manner more fully described hereinbelow. The motor M1 revolves the disks 34 and 46 in the direction shown by the arrows (FIGS. 1 and 2).

. A drop-out hole or opening 48 is formed through the top 13. The opening 48 is positioned so that the inwardly disposed end portion of each of the slots 38 pass or travel across the opening 48 as the disk 34 is revolved.

The overlapping distance of each slot 38, with respect to the opening 48, is such that only one of the articles contained by the slot 38 will fall by gravity out of the slot and through the opening. The circumferential distance of the opening 48, along the path of travel of the innermost end portion of the slot 38, is great enough to insure that articles passing through the opening 48 from the respective slot will have sufficient time to pass through the opening 48 even when the rate of rotation of the slotted disk 34 is relatively fast.

A tubular housing 50 is connected to the lower surface 21 around the marginal edges of the opening 48 and is extended outwardly of the box 12 through the forward panel or front 18, for retaining the articles counted or conveying the latter to a suitable receptacle, not shown. A microswitch M81 is connected to the lower surface 21 so that its switch arm 54 lies in the path of travel of the innermost end portion of the slots 38 as the disk 34 is rotated. The microswitch arm is provided with a roller or wheel 56 which projects upwardly through an opening 58 formed in the top 13 in communication with the opening 48 so that a portion of the periphery of the microswitch roller 56 extends above the plane defined by the upper surface 20. Thus when a tablet or article 40, contained by the innermost end portion of the respective slot 38, contacts the microswitch roller 56 the arm 54 is forced downwardly to close the microswitch contacts. During this action the cover plate 46 prevents upward movement of the tablet or article 40 to insure that the passage of the article 40 closes the microswitch contacts.

During the counting operation, as hereinafter described, while the slotted disk 34 is being rotated the configuration of some articles being counted such as tablets or capsules frequently tend to obstruct the outermost end portion of the respective slots in that area between the periphery of the cover disk 46 and the inner periphery of the wall 22. This sometimes happens when two of the articles, such as tablets, stand on edge within the slot or a capsule standing on end and riding around the path of F of relay R1.

travel of the slots thus blocking the entry of the articles into that area of the slot underlying the cover disk 46. To prevent such an occurrence a flipper spring 60 is connected to the upper surface 20. The flipper spring extends longitudinally substantially along the path of travel of the outermost end portion of the slots 38 so that its free end portion is positioned at substantially 45 between vertical and horizontal diametric lines taken through the hopper, as seen in FIG. 2. The flipper spring is inclined upwardly throughout most of its length toward the under surface of the cover disk 46 (FIG. 5 The free end portion of the flipper spring is turned upwardly, as at 62, so that this end portion 62 projects upwardly into the respective slot 38 as the latter is rotated across the spring 60 to produce a snapping or upward flipping action against an article carried by the slot to remove such article from within the outermost end portion of the slot.

Referring to FIG. 1 the counting control or selector mechanism 14 is connected to the device 10 by wiring 64. The counting control 14 is preferably housed within a separate unit, as shown, so that the control 14 may be connected in parallel with and control a plurality of the devices 10. As stated hereinabove the counting control 14 may be conventional. A commercially available counting unit which we have found satisfactory is manufactured by the Standard Instrument Corp., New York, New York, model TC-242.

Referring more particularly to FIG. 6, our counter 14 includes a pair of selector switches S7 and S8 which are manually set by moving their respective indicators 66 and 68 to a preselected number representing the number of articles to be counted as more fully described hereinbelow. The switch S7 records units while the switch S8 records tens. The switches S7 and S8 are interconnected and respectively connected with a pair of direct current stepping relays R7 and R8 as hereinafter described more fully.

The components of FIG. 6 are shown in de-energized position. Alternating current A.C., connected with a source of electrical energy, not shown, supplies current to the counter 14 by wires 70 and 72 through an off-on control switch S1.

The wire 70 is connected with one contact of the microswitch MSl. A wire 73 is connected at one end with the wire 70 and connected at its other end to one terminal of a relay Rd having four pairs of contacts orpoints A, B, E and F. The other tenniinal of the relay R1 is connected to the wire 72 through a pair of normally closed contacts G controlled by a relay R6 by wires 74 and 75. A normally :open push button starting switch S4 is inter-posed in the wire 73. The switch S4 is ganged with a cooperating normally open starting switch 183 for the purposes presently described. Closing switch S4 energizes the coil of relay R1 to close its respective contacts A, B, E and F. One of the contacts A of relay R1 is connected to the wire 70 by a wire 85 through a stop switch S2. The other contact of the contacts A is connected by a wire 85a to the wire 73 between relay R1 and the switch S4. Thus when the starting switch S4 is released the holding contacts A maintain relay R1 energized. The wire 72 is connected :to one terminal of a direct current relay R2, having contacts H and J, by wires 76 and 76a through a rectifier or diode D1, a suitable resistor and the contacts The lowermost contacts of contacts E and 1F of relay R1, as viewed in FIG. '6, are connected together. The other terminal of relay R2 is connected by a wire 77 to the wire 70. A suitable resistor, a condenser 02 and a second diode D2 are connected in parallel between the wires 76 and 77. One of the contacts E of relay R1 is connected to the wire 76a by a 'wire 80 through a potentiometer P1. A condenser C3 is connected across the wires 77 and 80 to discharge through the potentiometer P1 and relay R2 for the reasons presently explained. Thus, when relay R1 closes its contacts F direct current is applied to relay R2 to energize and close its contacts H and J.

One terminal of the motor M1 is connected to the wire 70 by a wire 78. A relay R3, having two pairs of contacts K and L, has one of its terminals connected to the wire 78. The other terminal of the motor M1 is connected to one of the contacts K of relay R3 by a wire 79. The other terminal of the relay R3 is connected to the wire 79. The other contact of the contacts K is connected with one contact of the contacts J of relay R2 by a wire 81. The other contact of the contacts I otf relay R2 is connected to the wire 76 by a wire 82. The switch S3 is connected across the wires 79 and 81. One of the contacts L of the relay R3 is connected to the other contact of the microswitch MS1 by a wire '83 and the other contact of the contacts L is connected to one of the contacts B of relay R1 by a wire 84. Thus, when the contacts I of relay R2 are closed the coil of relay R3 is energized through the switch S3 when the switch S4 is closed simultaneously energizing the motor M1. When the starting switch S4 is released relay R3 remains energized through its holding contacts K.

One terminal of relay R-5, having normally closed contacts O and N, is connected to the wires 73 and 85a by a wire 86. The other terminal of the relay R5 is connected to the wire 74 by a wire 87. Thus, when relay R1 is energized and its contacts A are closed, relay R5 is energized and opens its normally closed pairs of contacts and N. [One terminal of the relay R6 is connected to the wire 70 by a wire 88. The other terminal of the relay R6 is connected to the indicator 6-8 of tens switch S8 by a wire 90 tor the purposes presently described.

A diode D and condenser C5 are connected in series between the wires 74 and 88. One terminal of each of the relays R7 and R8 is connected in series by a wire 91 in turn connected at one end between the diode D5 and condenser C-S. Each of the relays R7 and R8 have two pairs of contacts P-Q and T- U, respectively. The other terminal of the relay R7 is connected by a wire 92 to the other one ot the contacts B of relay R1. The stepping relays R7 and R8 each have a first level circuit of numbered points interconnected with similarly numbered points of the switches S7-and S8, respectively. The other terminal ot the relay R8 is connected to a second level circuit of the relay R7 by a wire 93. One of the contacts T of relay R8 is connected to the wire 93 while the other contact of the contacts T is connected to one of the contacts U of relay R8 by a wire 94. The other contact of the contacts U is connected by a wire 95 to one of the contacts N oi relay R5. The other contact oi the contacts N is connected to one of the contacts 0 of relay R=5 by a wire 96 and to the wire 88 by a wire 97 The junction of the wires 88 and 97 is connected to the second level and a third level circuit of the relay R-7 by a wire 89. The other one oi the contacts 0 of relay R5 is connected by. a wire 98 to one of the contacts Q of relay R7 and to the second level circuit of relay R7 One of the contacts P of relay R7 is connected to the wire 92. The other contact of contacts P is connected to the other contact of the contacts Q by a wire 99.

A stepping arm or indicator .100 of relay R7 is connected by a wire101 to its point zero which is in turn connected to the point zero of switch S7 by a wire 102. The indicator 66 of switch S7 is connected by a wire 104 to the point zero oi relay R-8 and to its stepping arm or indicator 105. Thus, when relay R1 closes its contacts B and relay R3 is energized, as describe-d hereinabove, an energizing circuit is established by the closing ot the contacts ot microswitch MS1 from wire 70 through the microswitch MSI contacts L of relay R 3 over wire 84 through the contacts B of relay =R1 over wire 92 to relay R7. The

direct current circuit is completed to relay R7 (from the wire 72 over wire 74 through the diode D5 and over wire 91. This energizing otfthe relay R7 occurs each time an article 40 being counted closes microswitch MS1. Each 6 time relay R7 is energized it advances its indicator arm 100 toward one position.

In the example shown by FIG. 6, the indicator 66 of units switch S7 is set on 5 while the indicator 68 of tens switch S8 is on 4 for a count of 4 5. When 45 items or articles 40 have closed microswitch MS1 that number of times, a circuit is completed from the wire 72 over wires 74, 87, 87a, 101, indicator 100 of relay R7, by Wire .103 to the indicator 66 of switch S7, over wire 104 to the indicator 105 of relay R8, by wire 103a to the indicator 68 of .switch S8 and over wire 90 to energize relay R-6 by the wire 88 connected with the line 70. When relay R6 is energized it opens its normally closed contacts G thus interrupting the circuit to relay R1 to stop the counting operation.

Duning the counting operation when relay R7 advances its indicator to its point 10 a circuit is completed from the wire 72, as described hereinabove to energize the relay R8 from the third level contacts of relay R7 over wires 93 and 91. Energizing relay R8 advances its indicator 10 5 one point or position forward. When relay R7 advances its indicator to the point 10 simultaneously the contacts Q of relay R7 are closed by the second level contacts to energize relay R7 and step or return its indicator 100 one point toward the zero position and at the same time open the contacts Q de-energizing relay R7 and allowing the contacts Q to close again. This repeating action results in a repeated stepping of the indicator 100 to the zero position at which time the stepping stops due to de-energizing relay R7 by the opening of its contacts P.

When relays R6 and R1 de-energize, as explained hereinabove, relay R5 de-energizes permitting its contacts 0 and N to close. This places a voltage from wires 70' and 72 on relays R7 and R8 which causes them to repeatedly step their indicators 100 and '105 to their zero positions and then de-energize as explained thereinabove. This resetting to zero of the indicators of relays R7 and R8 'occurs whenever a selected count has been completed thus automatically resetting the counter to the starting position.

When relay R1 is initially energized current through its contacts F is applied to relay R2 from the diode D1 and through the contacts E of relay R1 to capacitor C3. This allows relay R2 to energize immediately and capacitor C3 to charge immediately. Without the two sources of current either relay R2 would not energize firmly or the capacitor C3 would delay charging fully.

As explained hereinabove, when 'a count is completed relay R1 is immediately de-energized opening its contacts E and P which would normally de-energize relay R2 immediately but when this occurs capacitor C3 discharges through potentiometer P1 and associated resistors and the coil of relay R2 to form a time delay and maintain relay R2 energized for a period of time previously selected by the adjustment of potentiometer P1 from zero time to several seconds. This time delay permits relay R3 to remain energized a time after the completion of a count so that the motor M1 continues the movement of disks 34 and 46 so that the last article 40 counted will clear the roller 56 of microswitch MS1 and fall by gravity through the drop-out hole 48; Without the time delay feature provided by capacitor C3, the rapid action of the count cut-oif and a brake, not shown, on the motor M1 would stop the last item counted on the microswitch roller resulting in an inaccurate count.

The function of the diode D2 is to provide a constant value direct current voltage from the current source wires 70 and 72. This constant or regulated direct current voltage allows the time lapse or delay, set by potentiometer P1, to remain the same each time the counting operation stops to assure a constant time delay movement of the disks 34 and 46.

, We have found that it is sometimes desirable to provide an additional time delay for the counter in addition to the time delay of potentiometer P1 due to the different characteristics of the hopper disks or the articles being counted. In this event an additional time delay is provided which is controlled by a second potentiometer P2 which-adds to the time delay established by potentiometer P1. The circuit adding potentiometer P2 to the counting circuit 14, is shown within the shield lines 110, and is similar in function to the circuit shown within the shield lines 12 and is connected in the following manner. A Wire 111, connected with the wire 70, is connected to one terminal of a direct current relay R4 having three pairs of contacts V, W and X. The other terminal of relay R4 is connected by wires 112 and 113 through the contacts V to one of the contacts H of relay R2. The other one of the contacts H of relay R2 is connected to the wire 76 by a wire 76b.

A starting switch S5 is connected across the wires 112 and 113. The starting switch S5 is ganged with a starting switch S6 interposed in a wire 114 connected at one end with the wire 78 and connected at its other end to the wire 111. A wire 111a connects one of the contacts of a microswitch MS2 to the wire 111. The other contact of the microswitch M82 is connected to one of the contacts X of relay R4 by a wire 115. The other contact of the contacts X is connected to the wire 84 by a wire 116. A resistor is connected bet-ween the wires 115 and 116 adjacent the contacts X.

A motor M2 has one of its terminals connected to one terminal of the switch S6 by a wire 117. The other terminal of the motor M2 is connected to one of the contacts W of relay R4 by a wire 118. The other contact of contacts W is connected to the wire 82 by a wire 119. The potentiometer P2 is connected in series with a diode D4 between the wires 111 and 112 by a wire 120 in parallel with the relay R4. A wire 121 is connected to the wire 8'1 and to a diode D3 which is in turn connected to the wire 120 between the diode D4 and potentiometer P2 by a wire 122. A capacitor C4 and a suitable resistor are connected across the wires 111 and 122 in parallel with the diode D4. The contacts I of relay R2 apply A.C. voltage to diode D3 and therefore direct current voltage to relay R4. Thus diodes D3 and D4 apply direct current voltage from two different sources to relay R4 and capacitor C4 which insures direct current regulation and permits immediate energization of relay R4 and allows capacitor C4 to immediately charge.

As stated hereinabove, the motor M2, rnicroswitch MS2, and ganged starting switches S5 and S6 correspond in their function to motor M1, microswitc-h M81 and starting switches S3 and S4. The operation of the circuit and componentsfwithin the shield lines 110, is similar to that described hereinabove for the circuit and components within the shield lines 12, except that, to achieve additional time delay, relay R4 must remain energized for a time after relay R2 is de-energized. When relay R2 de-energizes, both of its pairs of contacts H and I open. When the contacts H and I open direct current voltage is removed from the relay R4. This permits the capacitor C4 to discharge through potentiometer P2 to maintain relay R4 energized and assuring motor M2 of A.C. voltage through contacts W or relay R4 as long as relay R4 remains energized.

When a commercial predetermining counter is used, as disclosed hereinabove, the commercial counter, not shown, replaces the function of the relays R5, R6, R7, R8 and the selector switches S7 and S8. The commercial counter is connected to the wires 88 and 92 at the position of the connector plate 125. The commercial counter includes a pair of normally closed contacts similar to the contacts G of relay R6 which open when the predetermined count is reached and are connected to the wires 74 and 75 at the position of the plate 125.

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 support having an inclined upper surface; a ring removably mounted on the inclined surface forming an article receiving hopper; a motor, said motor havinga drive shaft projecting through said support coaxial with respect to said ring; a radially slotted disk coaxially secured to said drive shaft above the inclined surface; a cover disk coaxially secured to said drive shaft and overlying said slotted disk in circumferential inwardly spaced relation with respect to the periphery of the latter, said support having an opening underlying the path of travel of the innermost end portion of the slots in said slotted disk; a normally open switch mounted on said support adjacent the opening therein and in the path of travel of the innermost end portion of the slots; and article counting control means 1 interconnecting a source of electrical energy with said motor and said normally open switch.

2. An article counting device, comprising: a support having an inclined upper surface; an open ended cylindrical ring removably mounted on the inclined surface forming an article receiving hopper; a motor, said motor having a drive shaft projecting through said support coaxial with respect to said ring; a slotted disk coaxially secured to said drive shaft above the inclined surface in closely spaced relation with respect to the inner periphery of said ring, the slots in said slotted disk extending inwardly from its periphery substantially tangential with respect to said drive shaft; a cover disk coaxially secured to said drive shaft and overlying said slotted disk in circumferential inwardly spaced relation with respect to the periphery of the latte-r, said support having an opening underlying the path of travel of the innermost end portion of the slots in said slotted disk; a normally open switch mounted on said support adjacent the opening therein, said normally open switch having an arm projecting through the support opening in the path of travel of the innermost end portion of the slots; and article counting control means interconnecting a source of electrical energy with said motor and said normally open switch.

3. Structure as specified in claim 2 and a flipper spring secured to the inclined upper surface of said support transversely of the path of travel of the outermost end portion of the slots in said slotted disk, said flipper spring having an upturned free end portion adapted to enter the outermost end portion of the respective slot to dislodge an article carried by the latter.

4. An article counting device, comprising; a support having an inclined upper surface; an open ended cylindrical ring removably mounted on the inclined surface forming an article receiving and holding hopper; a motor mounted below said support, said motor having a drive shaft projecting upwardly through said support coaxial with respect to said ring; a slotted disk closely received. by said ring above the inclined surface and coaxially secured to and rotated by said drive shaft, the slots in said slotted disk extending inwardly from its periphery substantially tangential with respect to said drive shaft and having a length great enough to receive a plurality of the articlesv to be counted in side by side relation; a cover disk coaxially secured to said drive shaft in contiguous contact with said slotted disk, the diameter of said cover disk being less than the diameter of said slotted disk a distance at least as great as the greatest dimension of one of the articles to be counted, said support having an opening underlying the path of travel of the innermost end portion of the slots in said slotted disk; a normally open switch mounted on said support, said normally open switch having an arm projecting through the support opening in the path of travel of the innermost end portion of the slots; first, second and third relays; time delay means interposed between said first and second relays; wiring connecting a source of electrical energy with said normally open switch and said motor through said first, second and third relays; a manually set article counting control means; and other wiring connecting said article counting control means with the source of electrical energy through said normally open switch and said first relay.

5. Structure as specified in claim 4 and a flipper spring secured to the inclined upper surface of said support transversely of the path of travel of the outermost end portion of the slots in said slotted disk, said flipper spring having an upturned free end portion adapted to enter the outermost end portion of the respective slot to dislodge an article carried by the latter.

No references cited.

RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner. A. L. LEIMER, Assistant Examiner.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
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US5703786 *Aug 14, 1995Dec 30, 1997Profile Systems, LlcMedication dispensing and timing system utilizing time reference message
US5850344 *Aug 14, 1995Dec 15, 1998Profile Systems, LlcMedication dispensing and timing system
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US7555362May 25, 2006Jun 30, 2009Parata Systems, LlcArticle dispensing and counting method and device
US7753229Sep 26, 2007Jul 13, 2010Mckesson Automation Systems Inc.Vacuum pill dispensing cassette and counting machine
US7789267Sep 26, 2007Sep 7, 2010Mckesson Automation Systems, Inc.Vacuum pill dispensing cassette and counting machine
US7831334Apr 26, 2007Nov 9, 2010Mckesson Automation Systems Inc.Method of transporting vials and cassettes in an automated prescription filling apparatus
EP2055293A1 *Oct 6, 1998May 6, 2009Sensidos ABA method and apparatus for dosing a medical preparation
WO1999029467A2Dec 7, 1998Jun 17, 1999Mckesson Automated PrescriptioPill dispensing system
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/7, 221/277, 235/98.00R
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