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Publication numberUS3327850 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 27, 1967
Filing dateFeb 8, 1965
Priority dateFeb 8, 1965
Publication numberUS 3327850 A, US 3327850A, US-A-3327850, US3327850 A, US3327850A
InventorsPatrick M L Simmons
Original AssigneeGenevieve I Magnuson, Magnuson Robert, Louis J Fox
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for separating produce
US 3327850 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 27, 1967 M. L. SIMMONS 3,327,850

APPARATUS FOR SBPARATING PRODUCE Filed Feb. 8, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 //4, [/5 65 m cf" 6 run- ATTQRNEYS Patrick M. L. Simmons APPARATUS FOR SEFARATING PRODUCE Filed Feb. 8, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet INVENTOR. Puirick M. 'L. Simmons ATTORNEYS June 27, 1967 P. M. 1.. SIMMONS 3,327,850

APPARATUS FOR SEPARATING PRODUCE Filed Feb. 8, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet O 31 QJ l =5 INVENTOR.

Patrick M. L. Simmons ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,327,850 APPARATUS FOR SEPARATING PRODUCE Patrick M. L. Simmons, San Jose, Calif., assignor of one-half to Genevieve I. Magnuson, Saratoga, Calif.,

and one-half to Genevieve I. Magnuson, Robert Magnuson, and Louis J. Fox, as trustees of the estate of Roy M. Magnnson Fiied Feb. 8, 1965, Ser. No. 431,122 Claims. (Cl. 209111.7)

This invention relates to an electronic apparatus for separating produce and other items into several difierent length categories.

An object of this invention is to provide an improved electronic apparatus for separating produce such as cucumbers and pickles and other items into several length categories, one of which may be characterized as a normal length and the others of which may be characterized as abnormal lengths.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved electronic apparatus for length sorting produce and other items whose grade or character is determined by length.

Still another object of this invention is to provide an improved length sorter for produce or the like in which the articles are fed single file to an optical scanning apparatus in which electrical signals are produced, said signals being characterized by the diflierent lengths of the articles to be sorted.

Still another object of this invention is to provide an improved electronic apparatus for separating produce and other items into several length categories; this apparatus is provided with a conveyor for moving a single file of the articles through an optical scanning apparatus in which an electrical signal comprising a short pulse is produced shortly after the complete article enters the scanning area; said apparatus also producing additional electrical signals when a short article is scanned, said additional signals being interrupted when a long article is scanned, whereby the apparatus is enabled to difierentiate between these articles of abnormal length so that these articles are deflected by the apparatus from the path followed by the articles of normal length.

Other and further objects of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art to which it relates from the following specification, claims and drawing, in which, briefly:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the optical scanning apparatus showing an article entering the scanning area, and also showing an article of shorter than normal length being deflected from the normal path to be received by the receiver for short articles;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the optical scanning head of this apparatus showing an article of median or normal length positioned therein;

FIG. 2A is a plan view of the optical scanning head showing an article of short length positioned therein;

FIG. 2B is a plan view of the optical scanning head showing an article of long length positioned therein;

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of connections showing the connection-s to the Iight sensitive cells of the optical scanning head and also showing the output connected to the solenoids which control the air jets for deflecting the articles of other than the selected median length;

FIG. 4 is a wiring diagram of the amplifier connected to each of the light sensitive cells;

FIG. 5 is a schematic wiring diagram of the control circnit which is responsive to the electrical signals from the three photo amplifier outputs;

FIG. 6 is a schematic wiring diagram of the power switch that is connected to the output of the control circuit and the output of which is connected to the solenoids of the air valve; and

FIG. 7 is a schematic wiring diagram of the power supply employed in accordance with this invention.

Referring to the drawing in detail, reference numeral 10 designates a conveyor for conveying a single file of the articles C which are to be separated according to length. This conveyor may be made up of belts forming a trough or V between them, such as disclosed in application Ser. No. 122,970, filed July 10, 1961 (Case 1402A) and assigned to a common assignee. The output end of this conveyor may be provided with suitable ramps leading to three receptacles 10a, 10b and 10c. The receptacle 1011, which is in direct alignment with the conveyor 10, is provided for receiving the artciles C of a selected median or normal length. The receptacle 10b is provided for receiving articles of longer than median or normal length, and the receptacle 10c is provided for receiving articles of shorter than median or normal length.

The light bank 11 is provided alongside of the conveyor 10, and this bank includes lights 11a, 11b and which are spaced predetermined distance apart, depending upon the lengths selected for the different categories. The light sensitive cell bank 12 is provided on the other side of the conveyor 10 and it includes light sensitive cell housings 13, 14 and 15 which are aligned with the light sources 11a, 11b and 110, respectively, so as to receive light transmitted from these sources, unless the light is interrupted by the article C passing along the conveyor. The distance between the respective light sources and the corresponding. light sensitive cells may be made adjustable so that the median, short and long lengths of the articles to be sepa-. rated may be adjusted as desired. The light sensitive cells, 16, 17 and 18 are positioned in the housing of the bank. 12 in alignment with the c-ollimating tubes 13, 14 and 15, respectively, and these light sensitive cells are connected to the inputs of amplifiers 19a, 20a and 21a, respectively, as shown in FIG. 3. The diagram of connections of one of these amplifiers is shown in FIG. 4.

FIGS. 2, 2A and 2B show articles of different lengths passing through the scanning area between the light bank 11 and the light sensitive cell bank 12. FIG. 2 shows an article C of normal length positioned in the scanning area just after the rear end of this article has cleared the light beam between the light source 11a and the tube 13 and with the forward end of this article interrupting the light beam between the light source 11b and the tube 14. Thus, when the rear end of the article C has cleared the light path between the source 11a and the tube 13, the reestablished light beam causes a short pulse to be applied to the input of transistor 55 of the control circuit shown in FIG. 5 through capacitor 67. Since the light beam between the source 11b and the tube 14 is interrupted by the article C, the DC signal normally supplied to the input line 23 of transistor 60' is interrupted. However, since the light beam from source 110 to tube 15 has not been interrupted, a DC signal is supplied to the input line 24 of transistor 66 of the control circuit.

In the case of the short article Cs shown in FIG. 2, after the rear of this article has cleared the light path between the light source 11a and the tube 13, the article is positioned so that it does not interrupt any of the light beams. Thus, for such an article the short pulse is supplied to the base of transistor 55 and DC signals are also supplied to bases of transistors 60 and 66. In the case of the longer than normal article Cl, shown in FIG. 2B, the beams from sources 111) and 110 to tubes 14 and 15, respectively, are both interrupted just after the rear of the article clears the path of the beam passing from source 11a to tube 13 and when the short pulse is supplied by amplifier 19a to transistor 55 of the control circuit.

The amplifier shown in FIG. .4 illustrates one of the amplifiers 19a, 20a and 21a, shown in FIG. 3, and each of these amplifiers employs three transistors 48, .41 and 42. The base of transistor 40 is connected to one side of the light-sensitive cell 16 and to the lower terminal of resistor 43 through which it is connected to the 12-16 volt supply line 2 1. The collector of this transistor is connected to line 21 through resistor 44 and to the base of transistor 41 through resistor 47. The emitters of transistors 40 and 41 are connected together to provide emitter-coupled feedback and they are both connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 49. The base of transistor 41 is connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 48. Resistors 44, 47 and 48 are connected in series between the 12-16 volt supply line 21 and ground 19, and the base of transistor 41 is connected to the common connection between resistors 47 and 48. The collector of transistor 41 is connected to the supply line 21 through resistor 45. This collector is also connected to the cathode of diode 51, the anode of which is connected to the base of transistor 42. The anode of diode 51 and base of transistor 42 are also connected to the upper terminal of resistor 50, the lower terminal of which is connected to the ground line 19. A capacitor 52 is connected across diode 51. The collector of transistor 42 is connected to the output line 22 and to the lower terminal of resistor 46, the upper terminal of which is connected to the line 21. The emitter of transistor 42 is connected to ground line 19.

The control circuit 20, shown in FIG. 5, is provided with transistors 55, 56, 57, 58 and 59 in the upper transistor bank thereof, and leading to the output line 29 which may be referred to as the signal output for the short articles. Additional transistors 60, 61, 62, 63, 64 and 65 are provided to the control circuit, and these lead to the output line 30 which may be designated as the signal output for the long articles. It will be noted that there are interconnections between these two transistor lines, for example, the output of transistor 55 is connected by line 55a to the cathode of diode 88, the anode of which is connected to the base of transistor 62, and the output of transistor 60 is also connected by line 60a to the cathode of diode 71, the anode of which is connected to the base of transistor 56. Transistor 66, which receives its input from the output of the third amplifier 21a, is not provided with a separate output line but furnishes its sig-. nal output to the base of transistor 61 through the re sistor 86.

Transistors 55 to 66 inclusive of the control circuit are connected as follows. The input line 22 is coupled through capacitor 67 to the base of transistor 55, as previously mentioned, and the cathode of diode 68 is also connected to the base of this transistor. The anode of this diode is connected to the ground line 19. The emitter of transistor 55 is connected to this ground line through resistor 69, and the collector of this transistor is connected to the positive supply line 21 which leads to the power supply 25, as shown in FIG. 3. The emitter of transistor 55 is also connected to the cathode of diode 70 and to the cathode of diode 88 by line 55a. The anode of diode 70 is connected to the base of transistor 56, to the anode of diode 71 and to the bottom terminal of resistor 72. Diodes 70 and 71 form a coincidence AND gate connected to the base of transistor 56. This gate allows the transistor 56 to conduct current only when the signals at the cathodes of diodes 70 and 71 are simultaneously positive. The upper terminal of resistor 72 is connected to the positive supply line 21, and the collector of transistor 56 is also connected to this line. The emitter of transistor 56 is connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 74 and to the base of transistor 57 through resistor 73. The collector of transistor 57 is connected to the positive supply line 21 through resistor 75 and to the base of transistor 58 through resistor 77. The base of transistor 58 is also connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 78. The emitters of transistors 57 and 58 are connected together to provide emitted coupled feedback and both of these emitters are connected to the ground line 19 through the resistor 79.

The collector of transistor 58 is connected to the supply line 21 through resistor 76 and to the output line 29. It is also coupled through capacitor 83 to the upper terminal of the resistor 81. The lower terminal of this resistor is connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 80. A variable contact 82 is provided to resistor 81, and this variable contact is connected to the base of transistor 59. The collector of this transistor is connected to the supply line 29 and the emitter is connected to the base of transistor 57 to provide capacitative regenerative feedback to the latter transistor which is variable by varrying contact 82, that is, by varying the strength of the signal applied to the base of transistor 59.

Transistors 60, 61, 62, 63, 64 and 65 are connected in a circuit similar to that of transistors 55-59 with differences which Will be apparent from the following description. No capacitor is provided in the input line 23 leading to the base of transistor 60 so that DC signals are supplied to the base of this transistor from the output of amplifier 20a. The same is true of transistor 66 and the input line 24 thereof is connected to the output of amplifier 21a so that DC signals are provided to this transistor also. The collectors of both transistors 60 and 66 are connected directly to the supply line 21. The emitters of transistors 60 and 66 are connected to the ground line 19 through resistors 84 and 99* respectively. The emitter of transistor 60 is also connected to the cathode of diode 71, the anode of which is connected to the base of transistor 56. The emitters of transistors 60 and 66 are connected to the base of transistor 61 through resistors 85 and 86, respectively. Resistors 85 and 86 and transistor 61 form an inverting OR gate and an output is produced 1f an input is provided from either transistor 66 or transistor 66. No resistor is provided in the emitter. circuit of transistor 61 and this emitter is connected directly to the ground line 19. Resistor 87, however, is provided between the collector of this transistor and the supply line 21. The collector of this transistor is also connected to the cathode of diode 89, the anode of which is connected to the base of transistor 62. The anode of diode 88 and the lower terminal of resistor 90 are also connected to the base of transistor 62. Thus, if transistor 61 does not conduct and a pulse is supplied to the cathode of diode 88 over line 55a, transistor 62 will be rendered conductive.

The upper terminal of resistor 90 is connected to the supply line 21. The collector of transistor 62 is also connected directly to the supply line 21, and the emitter thereof is connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 100. This emitter is also connected to the base of transistor 73 through resistor 102. Resistors 91, 92 and 93 are connected in series between the line 21 and the ground line 119, and the common connection between resistors 91 and 92 is connected to the collector of transistor 63. The common connection between resistors 92 and 93 is connected to the supply line 21, and this collector is also sistors 63 and 64 are connected together to provide emitter coupled feedback, and both of these emitters are connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 101. The collector of transistor 64 is connected to the lower terminal of resistor 94, the upper terminal of which is connected to the supply line 21, and this collector is also connected to the upper terminal of capacitor 95 and to the output line 30. The lower terminal of capacitor 95 is connected to the upper terminal of resistor 97, and the lower terminal of this resistor is connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 96. Resistor 97 is provided with a variable contact which is connected to the base of transistor 65. The collector of this transistor is connected to the supply line 21 and the emitter is connected to the base of transistor 63 to provide capacitative regenerative feedback thereto.

Each group of transistors 57, 58 and 59 and transistors 63, 64 and 65 form a multivibrator which is basically of the Schmitt trigger type with a very long coupling time constant and regenerative feedback which alters the bistable Schmitt trigger circuit to a monostable vibrator. These multivibrators in each case function as pulse stretcher circuits with a relatively high amplification factor, and they are capable of being triggered by a pulse a millisecond long to provide an output pulse which may be adjusted by a variable RC circuit from approximately 100 milliseconds to several seconds.

Thus, the monostable multivibrator comprising the transistors 57, 58 and 59 may be triggered by supplying a relatively short pulse to the base of transistor 57, and by adjusting the variable contact 82 of resistor 81, the output pulse supplied by transistor 58 to line 29 may be adjusted to have a length from approximately 100 milliseconds to several seconds.

Likewise, the monostable multivibrator comprising the transistors 63, 64 and 65- may be triggered by supplying a relatively short pulse to the base of transistor 63 from the output of transistor 62 by controlling the variable contact 98 of resistor 97 so that a relatively long pulse may be supplied to the line 30, varying in length from approximately 100 milliseconds to several seconds.

The output supplied to line 29 of the control unit is derived from the collector of transistor 58. This output is supplied to the cathode of diode 110 of the power switch 28, the wiring diagram of which is shown in FIG. 6, and output line 30 of the control unit is connected to the cathode of diode 123 of the power switch.

The first unit of the power switch 28 is provided with the diode i110, the anode of which is connected to the base of transistor 112. The emitter of transistor 112 is connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 117, and the collector of this transistor is connected to the 2-4-volt line 37 through resistors 115 and 116 which are connected in series. The common connection of resistors 115 and 1116 is connected to the base of transistor 113. The collector of transistor 113 is connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 119, and the emitter of this transistor is connected to the positive 24-volt line 37 through resistor 118. The emitter of transistor 113 is also connected to the base of transistor 114. The collector of transistor 114 is connected to the cathode of diode 1122, to the anode of diode 121, and to the output line 35. The anode of diode 122 is connected to the ground line 19. The cathode of diode 121 is connected to the emitters of transistors 114 and 126 and to the cathode of diode 120, the anode of which is connected to the positive 24-volt line 37 which is connected to the power supply 25.

The second unit of the power switch 28 is provided with the diode 123, the anode of which is connected to the base of transistor 124. The emitter of transistor 124 is connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 129, and the collector of this transistor is connected to the 24-volt line 37 through resistors 127 and 128 which are connected in series. The common connection of resistors 127 and 128 is connected to the base of transistor 125. The collector of transistor 125 is connected to the ground line 19 through resistor 131, and the emitter of this transistor is connected to the positive 24-volt line 37 through resistor 130. The emitter of transistor 125 is also connected to the base of transistor 126. The collector of transistor 126 is connected to the cathode of diode 138, to

' line 22 and a short 5 the anode of diode 132, and to the output line 36. The anode of diode 138 is connected to the ground line 19.

Output line 35 of power switch 28 is connected to one side of the solenoid 31 and the other side of this solenoid is connected to the ground line 19. Output line 36 of power switch 28 is connected to one side of the solenoid 32 and the other side of this solenoid is connected to the ground line 19.

The wiring diagram of the power supply 25 is shown in FIG. 7. This power supply includes a transformer 140 having a primary 141 that is adapted to be connected to a conventional 115 volt, 60 cycle power supply and a secondary 142, the output of which is rectified by rectifiers 143, 144, and 146. One side of the secondary 142 is connected to the anode of diode 145 and to the cathode of diode 143. The other side is connected to the anode of diode 146 and the cathode of 144. The anodes of diodes 143 and 144 are connected together and to the ground line 19. The cathodes of diodes 145 and !146 are connected together to the inputof the filter circuit and to output line 37 which supplies the unfiltered 24-volt rectified AC for the solenoids 31 and 32 through power switch 28.

A resistor 148 is connected between the lower termirials of capacitors 147 and 149, the upper terminals of which are connected together to ground line 19. Resistor 153 is connected between the lower terminal of capacitor 149 and the collector of transistor 155. Transistor 155 functions as a series voltage regulator and transistors 156 and 157 form an amplifier supplying bias to the base of transistor 155, the collector-emitter circuit of which is connected in the positive line 21. A resistor 152 is connected between capacitor 149 and a common connection between capacitor 151 and the upper terminal of resistor 158. The upper terminals of capacitors 147, 149, 150 and 151 are connected to the ground line 19. The lower terminal of capacitor 150 is connected to the collector of transistor 155, and the lower terminal of the resistor 158 is connected to the collector of transistor 156. The emitter of transistor 156 is connected to the base of transistor 155 and the base of transistor 156 is connected to the collector of transistor 157 and to the upper terminal of resistor 161. The emitter of transistor 157 is connected to the cathode of diode 160 and the anode of this diode is connected to the ground line 19. The emitter of transistor 157 is also connected to the upper terminal of resistor 162 and the lower terminal of this resistor is connected to the emitter of transistor 155 and to the anode of diode 190. The cathode of diode 190 is connected to the lower terminal of resistor 161 and to the left hand terminal of resistor 154. The left hand terminal of this latter resistor is connected to the common connection between resistors 148, 152 and 153. The emitter of transistor 155 is connected to the lower terminals of resistors 162 and 163, and to the lower terminal of capacitor 167 and also to the output line 21 which supplies the current to the photo amplifiers 19a, 20a and 21a, and the control amplifier 20. Resistors 163, 164 and 165 are connected in series between the ground line 19 and the output line 21, and resistor 165 is provided with a variable contact 166 which is connected to the base of transistor 157. Variable contact 166 provides a control whereby the output voltage supplied to line 21 may be varied between certain limits.

The operation of this apparatus may be summarized as follows. Assuming that a median length article C is positioned in the scanning area, as shown in FIG. 2, so that the rear end of this article has just cleared the path for the light rays 'between source 11a and tube 13, at such time a signal is supplied by amplifier 19a to the input pulse is passed to the base of transistor 55 through capacitor 67. This pulse is transmitted to the cathode of diode 70. However, since no signal is supplied over line 23 to the base of transistor 60 from the amplifier 2011, because the light path between the light source 11!) and the tube 14 is interrupted, no signal is by another signal supplied by transistor 61 to the cathode of diode 89. This latter signal is produced by the amplifier 21a inasmuch as the light sensitive cell 18 is energized by the light beam passing from light source 110 to the tube 15, and this signal is supplied over the line 24 to the base of transistor 66 which supplies it to the base of transistor 61. It will be noted that the anodes of diodes 88 and 89 are connected to the base of transistor 62 and that this base is supplied through resistor 90 from the supply line 21. Resistor 90 is provided with a relatively high resistance value and as a result, if both diodes 88 and 89 are activated simultaneously by signals, the voltage drop across resistor 90 is sufiiciently large to prevent transistor 62 from conducting current. Thus, when the median size article C is positioned in the scanning area, neither output line 29 nor output line 36 of the control circuit 20 is supplied with output.

On the other hand, when a shorter'than median length article Cs is positioned in the scanning area, as shown in FIG. 2A, light from the light sources activates all three of the light sensitive cells 16, 17 and 18. Thus, in this case signals are supplied to the cathodes of both diodes 70 and 71 and this AND gate supplies a signal to the base of transistor 56. Since the signal supplied to diode 70 is relatively short, the output signal of transistor 56 supplied to the base of transistor 57 will be in the form of a short pulse. This, however, is sufiicient to trigger the monostable multivibrator comprising transistors 57, 58 and 59, which produces a relatively long pulse that is supplied to output line 29. The length of this pulse may be controlled, as previously described. At the same time, no output is supplied on line 30 inasmuch as transistor 62 is cut off, since both diodes 88 and 89 are supplied with signals. The signal from line 29 is supplied to the power switch 28 and is amplified in the upper section of this power switch including transistors 112, 113 and 114. This amplified signal is supplied to output line 35 which is connected to the solenoid 31. Thus, solenoid 31 is energized and it functions to open the air valve 33 so that a jet of air is applied to deflect the short article Cs, as shown in FIG. 1. This short article is thus diverted to the receptacle or conveyor c which is provided for receiving the shorter articles.

When the longer than median length article Cl is positioned in the scanning area, as shown in FIG. 2B, it interrupts the light beams from light sources 11b and 110. Thus, no signals are supplied to the bases of transistors 60 and 66. A short signal is supplied to the base of transistor 55 which functions to supply this signal to line 55a and to the cathode of diode 88. The AND gate comprising diodes 7t) and 71 is inetiective since no signal is supplied to the cathode of diode 71. The signal supplied to diode 88 is, however, passed to the base of transistor 62, and from this transistor to the base of transistor 63. Transistors 63, 64 and 65 comprise a monostable multivibrator which is arranged to lengthen the pulse supplied to the base of transistor 66 and supplies this lengthened pulse to the output line 30 which is connected to the power switch 28. The lower channel of the 'power switch, including transistors 124, 125 and 126, receives and amplifies this signal. The amplified signal is supplied to the output line 36 which is connected to the solenoid 32. Thus, solenoid 3 2 is energized and functions to open the air valve 34 which supplies an air jet that operates to deflect the longer than median length article Cl to the receptacle or conveyor 10b, shown in FIG. 1.

While I have shown a preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be understood that the invention is capable of variation and modification so that the form shown should be limited only by the scope of the claims appended hereto.

\Vhat I claim is:

1. In apparatus for separating articles such as cucurn-' bers or the like according to median lengths and abnormal.

lengths, comprising the combination of an article conveyor, means associated with said conveyor producing a signal comprising an electrical pulse when an article passes said means, means producing additional signals associated with said conveyor, electrical control apparatus having means responsive to said pulse and to the presence or absence of said additional signals, said last mentioned means controlling which of a pair of output circuits of said control apparatus is to be activated, means connected to said output circuits separating the articles of abnormal.

length from those of median length, said signal producing means comprising a plurality of spaced light sources and a light sensitive cell aligned with each of said light sources, said sources being spaced such that a shorter than median article does not interrupt any of the light passing from said sources to said cells when the length of this article is being classified, and an article of median length interrupts light passing from one of said sources to an aligned cell, and a longer than medium length article interrupts light from more than one of said sources to aligned cells when the lengths thereof are being classified.

2. In apparatus for separating articles such as cucumbers or the like according to median lengths and abnormal lengths, comprising the combination of an article conveyor, means associated with said conveyor producing a signal comprising an electrical pulse when an article passes said means, means producing additional signals associated with said conveyor, electrical control apparatus having means responsive to said pulse and to the presence or absence of said additional signals, said last mentioned means comprising a pair of circuits selecting which of a pair of output circuits of said control apparatus is to be activated, means disabling one of said selecting circuits and means activating the other of said selecting circuits, when a shorter than median length article is being classified, said responsive means including means responsive only to said electrical pulse activating only said one of. said selecting circuits when a longer than median length article is being classified.

3. In apparatus for separating articles such as cucumbers or the like according to normal lengths or abnormal lengths, as set forth in claim 1, and further characterized in that said responsive means includes an AND gate that is activated when a shorter than median length article is being classified, and a pulse lengthening circuit connected to receive the pulse passed by said AND gate, the output of said pulse lengthening circuit being connected to one of said output circuits.

4. In apparatus for separating articles such as cucumbers or the like according to normal lengths or abnormal lengths, as set forth in claim 3', and further characterized in that said responsive means includes means activated by said pulse in the absence of said additional signals to activate another pulse lengthening circuit when an article of longer than median length is being classified, said last mentioned pulse lengthening circuit being connected to the other of said output circuits.

5. In apparatus for separating articles such as cucumbers or the like according to length, comprising the combinati n of article conveying means, means associated 9 10 and means controlling the transmission of said pulse to 2,982,403 5/1961 Harmon 209-111.7 X the other of said pulse lengthening circuits when a longer 3,038,604 6/1962 Muller 20982 than median length article is being classified, and means 3,232,429 2/ 1966 Norwich 2091l1.7

connected to said pulse lengthening circuits separating the shorter than median length articles and the longer than 5 M. HENSON WOOD, 111., Primary Examiner. median length articles from the median length articles. ERLICH Assistant Examiner.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,916,633 12/1959 Stone et a].

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3395269 *Mar 22, 1965Jul 30, 1968Delta Engineering CorpArticle counting machine with means for preventing miscount of overlapping and irregularly shaped articles
US3472506 *Aug 23, 1967Oct 14, 1969Control Data CorpRotary diverter sorter
US3512002 *Jun 14, 1965May 12, 1970Decker Robert WRadiation sensitive counting method and apparatus
US3526319 *Mar 15, 1968Sep 1, 1970Alvey IncArticle handling apparatus and control means therefor
US3553465 *Aug 30, 1968Jan 5, 1971Koppers Co IncElectronic counter for counting serially advancing oscillating objects
US3813543 *Nov 29, 1972May 28, 1974Minolta Camera KkPattern detecting apparatus
US3837486 *Jul 9, 1973Sep 24, 1974Emhart CorpArticle inspection system
US4141390 *Dec 9, 1977Feb 27, 1979Weyerhaeuser CompanyOptical electronic seed sowing system
US4279346 *Dec 12, 1978Jul 21, 1981Southeastern Blueberry Council, Inc.Asynchronous blueberry sorter
US4381447 *Sep 19, 1980Apr 26, 1983Brandt, Inc.Method and apparatus for evaluating and sorting sheets in a high speed manner
US4420153 *Sep 19, 1980Dec 13, 1983Brandt, Inc.Document handling counting and examining device incorporating high speed rotary gating means
US4457434 *Feb 1, 1982Jul 3, 1984Fmc CorporationApparatus for orienting, singulating and sizing mushrooms and like objects
US4561546 *Nov 12, 1981Dec 31, 1985Marion Van SlootenSeedling grading machine
US4754881 *Sep 9, 1986Jul 5, 1988Lorenz BohleApparatus for classifying objects according to their lengths
US5058749 *Jun 19, 1990Oct 22, 1991Jung-Mei Jong ChiuApparatus for sorting articles according to size
US5322152 *Jun 18, 1991Jun 21, 1994Halton OyMethod and apparatus for sorting returnables
US5615778 *Jul 27, 1992Apr 1, 1997Rwe Entsorgung AktiengesellschaftProcess to sort waste mixtures
US6958465 *Apr 10, 2003Oct 25, 2005Sick AgMethod for detecting objects and light barrier grid
DE3731051A1 *Sep 16, 1987Mar 30, 1989Krull MargretMethod and apparatus for sorting small sausages
WO1992001272A1 *Jun 18, 1991Jan 7, 1992Halton OyA method and a device for sorting returnable bottles, cans, returnable packages and the like
Classifications
U.S. Classification209/586, 250/223.00R, 250/559.26, 250/559.2, 209/933, 209/644
International ClassificationB07C5/10
Cooperative ClassificationB07C5/10, Y10S209/933
European ClassificationB07C5/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 23, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: MAGNUSON CORPORATION
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:CHEMICAL BANK, A NY BANKING CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004800/0978
Effective date: 19821130
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:CHEMICAL BANK, A NY BANKING CORP.;REEL/FRAME:4800/978
Owner name: MAGNUSON CORPORATION,NEW YORK
Owner name: MAGNUSON CORPORATION, NEW YORK
Dec 28, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: CHEMICAL BANK, A NEW YORK BANKING CORPORATION
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MAGNUSON CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004080/0912
Effective date: 19821130
Owner name: CHEMICAL BANK, A NEW YORK BANKING CORPORATION, NEW
Nov 22, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: MAGNUSON CORPORATION, 475 EDISON WAY, RENO, NV A D
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:MAGNUSON ENGINEERS, INC., A CA CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004068/0581
Effective date: 19821026
May 1, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: MAGNUSON ENGINEERS, INC., A CORP. OF CA.
Free format text: CONDITIONAL ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:THOMSON, LOIS J; HANSCOM,GENEVIEVE I., TRUSTEES AND HANSCOM, GENEVIEVE (OWNER);REEL/FRAME:003860/0402
Effective date: 19810225