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Publication numberUS3774368 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 27, 1973
Filing dateJun 19, 1972
Priority dateJun 19, 1972
Publication numberUS 3774368 A, US 3774368A, US-A-3774368, US3774368 A, US3774368A
InventorsHill C, Kennedy E, Martinez H, Paprzycki H, Stabilito D
Original AssigneeHill C, Kennedy E, Martinez H, Paprzycki H, Stabilito D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tablet counting and filling apparatus
US 3774368 A
Abstract
A tablet counting and filling apparatus which employs a counting board including a plurality of counting chutes. The counting chutes are disposed adjacent a hopper for a mass of tablets. The counting board is supported at its lower end upon a pivot pin and the top end thereof is driven in a path varying from an arc through an elliptical path to and including a circular path to agitate the tablets so as to pass into the chutes and assume a stacked relationship therein. A pair of support bars pivoted at the upper portion of the counting board both support a dumping gate which selectively closes off the lower end of the chutes and a counting gate which selectively closes off the chutes intermediate their length and which operates in coordination with the dumping gate to effect counting of the tablets. A discharge chute is attached to the dumping gate and funnels the tablets from the counting chutes into bottles disposed beneath the discharge chute. A solenoid motor operates to concurrently open the dumping gate and vibrate the discharge chute to facilitate filling of the bottles.
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United States Patent r 1 Paprzycki et al. Nov. 27, 1973 TABLET COUNTING AND FILLING Primary ExaminerTravis S. McGehee APPARATUS Att0meyCharles F. Duffield [76] Inventors: Herman J. Paprzycki, 629 Highland Ave., Cherry Hill, NJ. 08034; ABSTRACT Kenfledyi 436 vankirk A tablet counting and filling apparatus which employs phllfidelphla" 19120; Henry a counting board including a plurality of counting GQMamneF, 6052 Lorem) i -g chutes. The counting chutes are disposed adjacent a phlladeyfhlai 19149; Dommlck hopper for a mass of tablets. The counting board is Llttle Farm? Estates, supported at its lower end upon a pivot pin and the Box 4251 County Lme top end thereof is driven in a path varying from an arc Chalfontv 18914 through an elliptical path to and including a circular [22] Filed; June 19, 1972 path to agitate the tablets so as to pass into the chutes and assume a stacked relationship therein. A pair of PP 63,940 support bars pivoted at the upper portion of the counting board both support a dumping gate which 52 us. Cl 53/78, 53/254, 53/390, Selectively closes Qffthe lower end of the hutes and a 133/8 R counting gate WhlCh selectively closes oh the chutes 51 Int. Cl B65b 57/20 intermediate their length and which 01%rates 58 Field of Search 53/78, 254, 390; dihafioh with h dumping 15 to effect Counting of 133/8 R the tablets. A discharge chute is attached to the dumping gate and funnels the tablets from the counting [56] References Cited chutes into bottles disposed beneath the discharge UNITED STATES PATENTS chute. A solenoid motor operates to concurrently open the dumping gate and vibrate the discharge 3 532 g2 chute to facilitate filling of the bottles.

' 12 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures 45 QT 46 k 47 Patented Nov. 27, 1973 3,774,368

4 Sheets-Sheet l Patented Nov. 27, 1973 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 m QE on, r T

Patented Nov. 27, 1973 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Patented Nov. 27, 1973 4 Sheets-$hedt 4 1 TABLET COUNTING AND FILLING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF INVENTION case of smaller runs of pills, by manually filling the botties.

In the case of the larger equipment, one of the disadvantages encountered is the large initial acquisition cost. Additionally, these machines are relatively expensive to operate and maintain. Manually filling of bottles is, on the other hand, also expensive due to the inefii-' ciencies of manually counting the pills. Additionally, manual counting is quite less accurate than machine counting.

The pharmaceutical industry has developed to a point where an extremely large number of differentsizes and types of pills and tablets are employed. his not at all uncommon for many runs of different tablets to be undertaken in a relatively short time. This gives rise to the problem of loss of time in the changing of the larger machines from one size of tablet to another.

The large automatic machines have the additional problem of pills jamming in the machine. Due to the size and complexity of the machines, complex equipment such as conveyors and paddle wheels as well as vibrators must be employed to insure that the pills are moved into the counting apparatus and conveyed there through without sticking or otherwise jamming in the.

apparatus, thus mixing pills from a prior run into a subsequent run.

OBJECT AND SUMMARY OF INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide an intermediate sized tablet counting and filling apparatus which overcomes the dichotomy between manual and fully automatic operation. This object is carried out by the present invention which is simple in operation and employs a small number of parts, the main one of which is a counting board which includes a plurality of parallel counting chutes. The upper ends of the counting chutes are disposed adjacent a hopper and are tilled through their open upper ends from the hopper. Cooperating counting and dumping gates are supported upon a common pivoted support member and operate in a manner such that the counting gate will close off the counting chutes intermediate their length as the dumping gate opens the bottom of the chutes, and vice versa, to effect a counting function. A discharge chute is carried by the dumping gate and serves to funnel the counted tablets into bottles or the like which are hand held at the discharge end of the counting chute.

It is another object of the present invention to overcome the problem of pill jamming without use of complicated apparatus by providing a unique motion to the counting board. The lower-central portion of the counting board is supported in a manner to provide for pivotal and vertical translational movement. Motor means are employed to drive the upper portion of the counting board in a manner varying from arcuate through elliptical to a circular path of motion in a plane parallel to the counting board. This unique action provides a superior agitating motion to the tablets to insure that they move from the hopper into the entrance end of the chutes and into proper stacked relationship in the counting chutes. Additionally, the discharge chute is operated by a vibratory solenoid motor which concurrently opens the dumping gate while vibrating the discharge chute.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a pill or tablet counting apparatus in which accidental confusion of a tablet of one kind with a subsequent run of tablets is at a minimum. This is accomplished in the present invention by making the counting chutes as well as other parts of the apparatus of a clear plastic material in order that any stuck or lodged tablets can be readily seen. i

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a tablet counting and filling apparatus which can be quickly converted from one sized tablet to another.

This is accomplished in the present invention by sup- DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the tablet counting and filling apparatus of the present invention in assembled relationship;

FIG. 2 is a side view, partially in section, of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a rear view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional side view of the counting board and associated gates before dumping;

FIG. 5 is a sectional side view of the counting board and associated gates following the counting and filling operation;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged detail-of one species of cam drive for generating arcuate motion of the counting board taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a l view, partially in section, of and filling species of carn drive for effecting elliptical to circular motion of the upper portion of the counting board; foundation FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the cam drive of FIG. 7 further representing the path of motion of the counting board.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION The drawings, in FIGS. 1 3, illustrate the tablet counting and filling apparatus of the present invention in assembled form. The machine employs a box-like supporting frame which provides the foundation for the hopper, counting board and related apparatus to be described hereinafter. The frame employs identical opposed side walls 10 and, 11. Interconnected with the side walls are a bottom panel 12 and a top panel 13. The top and bottom panels and side walls may be bolted or screwed together or, in the case of plastic ma terials, glued together.

Supporting angle braces 15 running along the front and back edge of the bottom panel 12 provide added reinforcement to the bottom panel. Each of the supporting braces provide the support for a pair of legs .14 upon which the entire machine is supported. The

legs 14 are of a height sufficient to elevate the entire apparatus such that bottles to be filled can be inserted between the worktable upon which the machine is disposed and the discharge chute of the apparatus to be described hereinafter.

A machine platform 16 is deposited between the walls 10 and 11 of the apparatus at a position slightly above the bottom floor panel 12. The machine platform 16 serves a dual function. The first is the platform provides the foundation for a pivot pin 17 at the central front portion of the platform upon which the counting board and associate apparatus are supported as will be described hereinafter. Secondly, the machine platform provides the foundation for the driving equipment in the apparatus, i.e., an electric motor 18 and an electric solenoid 30.

The electric motor 18 is appropriately bolted to the platform by threaded fasteners 19. Disposed directly above the electric motor 18 is an arbor shaft 20. The arbor shaft is secured by-two bearing housings 21 and 22 and their included bearings and are disposed at the front and rear of the arbor shaft respectively. The bearing housings 21 and 22 are secured in place by threaded fasteners 23 and 24 which hold the bearing housings in place on the bottom side of the top panel 13.

Belt pulleys 25 and 26 are disposed on the rear end of the drive shaft of the electric motor and of the arbor shaft respectively. A conventional V-belt 27 interconnects the two V pulleys to transmit the motor torque to the arbor shaft. The relative diameter or sizes of the pulleys 25 and 26 are adjusted to provide the desired rotational speed of the arbor shaft 20. An on-off switch 28 controls the electric motor 18 and is positioned on the lower right side of the machine and secured to the under surface of the bottom panel 12. The switch 28 is merely an on and ofi switch. However, it is contemplated that a variable speed motor control could be employed in conjunction with the motor 18 to vary the speed of operation of the apparatus as desired.

The arbor shaft includes a coupling 29 disposed intermediate the front and rear bearing housings. The coupling 29 is of the type which absorbs vibration and misalignment and aids in reducing vibration being transmitted back through the arbor shaft 20 during operation.

The machine platform 16 also provides the foundation for a solenoid motor 30. The solenoid motor 30 is secured to the underneath portion of the machine platform 16 essentially underneath the motor 18. The solenoid includes an armature coil 31 and armature 32 movable within the armature coil in a conventional manner. The solenoid 30 operates, as hereinafter described in more detail, to actuate th dumping gate asso ciated with the counting board all as later hereinafter described.

Disposed immediately above the top panel 13 of the frame of the apparatus is an inclined floor 36. The inclined floor is of a width to fit snugly between the side walls 10 and 1 l. The inclined floor also includes an upturned backing plate 37 extending above the floor. Disposed at either end of the backing plate 37 are side plates 38. The inclined floor 36 and its associated end plate 37 and side plates 38 operate in conjunction with the sides 10 and 11 to form the bottom and three sides of the hopper into which the pills to be counted are placed.

The angle of inclination of the floor 36 may be adjusted by means of an adjusting screw 39 and lock nut 40 disposed in the central rear portion of the top panel 13. The inclination of the floor aids in moving the tablets from the rear of the hopper toward the counting board. Additionally, this inclination may be varied, as desired, to suit the particular type or form of tablet being counted.

The details of the counting board and its associated gates and discharge chute are shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.. The counting board employs a rigid backing plate 39. A Teflon bearing block 40is secured along the entire length of the lower edge of the backing plate 39. In a like manner, a similar Teflon bearing block 41 is ce mented along the entire length of the upper edge of the backing plate 39. The pivot pin 17 is disposed in the central front portion of the machine platform 16. The pivot pin projects from the front edge of the machine pladorm 16 approximately one-half of the thickness of the backing plate 39. The pivot pin 17 cooperates with a pivot pin slot 43 in the Teflon bearing block. In this manner, the lower portion of the backing plate 39 is supported on the machine platform for pivotal movement.

The upper central portion of the backing plate 39 has a cutout 44 therein. The cutout, as also shown in detail in FIG. 6, provides the support for a cam race assembly within which a cam operates. More particularly, a pair of opposed and vertically disposed Teflon cam races 45 are disposed on either edge of the cutout 44. A pair of opposed retaining plates 46 are disposed on either side of the cutout 44 and maintain the cam races 45 in place. The retaining plates 46 are held in place by four nut and bolt fasteners 47.

One end of the arbor shaft 20 extends into the cutout 44. A cam bearing 48 is secured to the end of the arbor shaft 20. As may be seen in FIG. 6, the cam bearing 48 is an eccentric bearing. As the shaft 20 rotates, the cam bearing will engage first one side and then, of rotation later, engage the other side of the cam race. As this occurs, the backing plate 39 will be moved in a leftright arcuate manner to pivot upon the pivot pin 17. The bearing block 41 slides in engagement with the front edge of the inclined plate 36 to provide a bearing action between the two members. In a like manner, the lower bearing block 40 provides a bearing surface between the bearing block 40 and the front edge of the machine platform 16.

The upper portion of the backing plate 39 has secured thereto a horizontally extending upper counting tube bracket 49. As also shown in FIG. 1, the counting tube bracket 49 abuts against the bearing block 41 for the entire width of the hopper and at the same level as the top of the inclined plate 36. Additionally, the front and side edges of the upper bracket 49 include an upstanding front wall 50 and opposed side walls 51 which likewise extend to the front edges of the side panels 10 and 11 to complete the front portion of the side panels 10 and 11 to complete the front portion of the hopper which is retaining the tablets.

The lower portion of the backing plate 39 carries a similar lower counting tube bracket 52. Both the upper counting bracket 51 and lower bracket 52 include a plurality of apertures therein. A plurality of counting tubes 53 are secured, at their top and bottom, in the apertures of the upper and lower brackets.

The counting tubes 53 are hollow and of a diameter suitable for a given size of tablet. The upper portion of each counting tube is flush with the upper surface of the upper bracket 49. In this manner, tablets may pass from the hopper to the upper end of the tube as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.

The upper left and right edges of the backing plate 39 form a pivot support 54, as best shown in FIG. assembly Each pivot support has anchored therein a pivot pin 55. A pair of downwardly to extending pivot arms 56 are carried by the pivot pins 55 by means of apertures in the upper ends of each pivot arm.

An anchor pin 57 is secured into each side wall and 11 adjacent the pivot pins 55. A leaf spring 58 is positioned over each anchor pin 57 and has its opposite end extending forward into contact with the side of the pivot support 54. In a like manner, a first end of a tension coil spring 59 is anchored into the pivot pin 55. Both the pivot pins 55 and anchor pins 57 include annular grooves around their outer ends which cooperate with the hooked ends of the springs 59 in a manner such that the springs are retained upon the pins in the grooves and, likewise, retain the pivot arms 56 and leaf spring 58 in place. 7

The spring arrangement above described serves a dual function. First, the leaf spring 58 provides a reslient stop or bufi'er for the arcuate motion of the backing plate during operation of the counter. Secondly, the tension coil spring 59 serves to maintain the counting board in place upon the pivot pin while also providing the necessary resiliency to permit movement of the backing board while being driven by the cam arrangement previously described.

The pivot arms 56 provide the support for a counting gate assembly 60, a dumping gate 61 and a discharge chute assembly 62. More specifically, the counting gate employs a support bar 63 which extends across the front of the counting tubes 53 and is secured at either end to support blocks 64 carried by the pivot arms 56. A counting bar 65 is secured to the top portion of the support bar 63. The counting bar 65 has a leading edge which projects rearwardly toward the counting tubes 53. Each counting tube 53 has a slotted aperture 66 in the tube adjacent the front edge of the counting bar 65, as best shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The counting bar 65 will pass into the apertures 66 to effectively block the counting tubes at that point whenever the counting bar is swung inwardly upon the pivot arms 56.

The dumping gate 61, disposed on the lower ends of the pivot arms- 56, includes a vertical flat plate portion 67 which extends across the entire front of the machine. The fiat plate portion 67 of the dumping gate is secured to positioning blocks 69 which, in turn, are secured to the lower ends of the pivot arms 56 to maintain the dumping gate in position. The upper portion of the dumping gate has a horizontal dumping gate flange 68 which, likewise, extends throughout the entire length of the bottom bracket 52. The dumping gate flange 68 is so positioned as to pass directly beneath the bottom openings of the counting tubes 53. As the dumping gate is pivoted upon the pivot arms 56, the dumping gate flange 68 will pass between a blocking position beneath the bottom of the counting tubes to an open position as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.

The vertical flatplate 67 in the dumping gate becomes the back wall and support for the dumping chute 62. The dumping chute 62 further employs end walls 70 secured to the plate 67 and a front wall 71 secured to the end walls 70.

A discharge spout 72 encloses the bottom portion of the discharge chute 62. The discharge spout includes two bottle openings 73 therein into which the necks of bottles to be filled are disposed as shown in FIG. 5. A divider block 74 is positioned in the bottom of the discharge spout 72 between the bottle openings 73. The divider block is triangular shaped and operates to divide the plurality of counting tubes into particular sets which will discharge into a given bottle opening as well as to help divert the tablets, once in the discharge chute, toward the bottle openings. In a like manner, the

, sides 71 of the discharge chute are sloped inwardly shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the armature 32 of the solenoid is interconnected to the back side of the dumping gate 62. This interconnection is made by means of a connecting rod 75 secured at one end to the armature and a tang 76 connected to the flat plate 67 of the dumping gate. A pin and cotter key fastener 77 secure the tang and connecting rod together through an aperture in each.

The dumping gate 62 is maintained in the closed position by means of an compression coil spring 78 positioned between the flat plate portion 67 of the dumping gate and the front angle brace 15 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. A cylindrical projection 79 is secured to the back side of the flat plate 67 and provides the centering and retaining member for one end of the coil spring. In a like manner, the opposite end of the coil spring is captured by a similar cylindrical projection 80 which is, in turn, carried upon vertical standard 81 which is secured to the angle brace 15.

The solenoid 30 is energized, via conductor 85, through a manually operated switch 82. The switch 82 includes a lever 83 which triggers the switch. The lever is so designed that it can be actuated by an operatorls hand while also holding a bottle in the same hand in a bottle opening. I

The solenoid 30 is energized with an AC current. Accordingly, the solenoid, when energized, will pull the dumping gate to the discharge position as shown in FIG. 5. The dumping gate flange 68 of the dumping gate will, when in the open position, engage a stop block 84 as shown in FIG. 5. Due to the AC current passing through the solenoid 30, the solenoid will vibrate and the vibration will pass through the connecting rod 75 to the dumping gate and discharge chutes. This vibration continues as long as the solenoid is energized and aids to help shift the tablets through the discharge chute and into the bottles.

In operation, a mass of tablets are placed in the hopper. At that point, the machine motor 18 is turned on.

I .When this occurs, the cam cam race arrangement pregate 67 will be in a closed position at the bottom of the counting tubes and the counting bar 65 will not be in interfering relationship with the counting chutes.

After the counting tubes are filled, as shown in FIG. 4, then the tops of two bottles are placed intothe bottle openings 73 and the solenoid 30 energized by one of the hands holding the bottles. At this point, the solenoid will draw the dumping gate into the discharge position, as shown in FIG. 5. Simultaneously, the counting bar 65 will pass into the apertures 66 of the counting chutes and stops any tablets above the bar from falling vigorously, he vibration aid hsl et iRXYQIkiPi.

EH51; 'waf ih'rdiigii the discharge chute into the bottles. Once the tablets have cleared the discharge chute, the solenoid is de-energized and the dumping gate closes and the counting gate opens. At this point, the lower portions of the counting chutes refill and the cycle is repeated.

The embodiment of cam and cam race arrangement shown in FIG. 6 operates to move the top of the backing plate in an arcuate path. In some situations, it may be also desirable to impart a vertical movement to the backing plate in conjunction with the arcuate motion. Such a cam drive arrangement to accomplish this motion is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 of the drawings.

In the arrangement of FIGS. 7 an 8, the same backing plate 39 is used as well as the same configuration of cutout in the top central portion of the backing plate. Additionally, the same arbor shaft and its associated cam 48 are also employed. In a like manner, the same pivot pin 17 which is secured into the machinery support platform 16 is employed, however, the pivot pin slot in which the pivot pin rides is made elongate as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. In this manner, the backing plate 39 is free to move in a vertical direction as well as pivoting upon the pivot pin.

The cam race shown in the embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8 is continuous and may be of a configuration ranging from an ellipse to a complete circle. As shown in FIG. 7, when the lobe of the cam 38 reaches the topmost position, the backing plate 37 will be moved upwardly and the guide pin will be in the bottom of the pivot pin slot. When the reverse is true, i.e., the cam lobe is in the lowest position, as shown in phantom in FIG. 7, then the backing plate 37 will be in its lowered position.

As shown in FIG. 8, when the lobe of the cam 48 is in a left-hand position as shown in solid lines, then the backing plate 37 will be tilted at a slight angle to the left and be at a midway position vertically upon the pivot pin 17. When the cam lobe is to the right-hand position, the backing plate 39 will be inclined at a slight angle to the right, as shown in phantom.

The full path of movement of the top of the backing plate 37 will, when employing a round cam race, define a circular path. This path of motion will decrease from a full circle toward an elliptical pattern wherein the major axis is vertically disposed as the path of movement is traced in a direction moving toward the pivot pin 17. When the path of motion is taken essentially at the guide pin, the path of motion is essentially vertical translational movement.

The cam race shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 can be modified to be an ellipitical race with its major axis disposed in a vertical direction. An elliptical race, depending upon the deviation of the race between a long ellipse and a circle, can vary the path of motion of the top of the backing plate between the pure arcuate motion shown in FIG. 6 and the circular motion shown by the circular cam race in FIGS. 7 an 8. When the major axis of the elliptical cam race equals or exceeds the maximum throw of the cam lobe 48 through its entire vertical travel, then there will be no'vertical motion imparted to the backing plate and the motion will be essentially an arcuate motion as shown in FIG. 6. I

The cam drive arrangement described in respect to FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 provides a unique oscillatory motion and force in the upper region of the counting chutes to facilitate the quick and efficient loading of the chutes. In accordance with the invention, this motion can be varied between a pure arc and that of a circular motion depending upon the type of tablet being filled and the conditions encountered. One of the advantages of this type of motion is that the lower ends of the counting tubes are not so agitated since they do not require such motion as they have been previously loaded.

Additionally, from the foregoing description of the invention, it is to be appreciated that the machine is simple in its construction and operation. Whenever it is desired to change the counting board for different sizes of tablets, all that need be done is to release the springs retaining the counting board and disconnect the connecting rod from the solenoid. Thereafter, a new counting board can be quickly installed in place and the machine returned to operation.

The counting tubes 53 are preferably made of a clear plastic. Additionally, the materials in the hopper area could also bemade of a clear plastic. In this manner, an operator can observe whether or not the counting tubes have been completely filled before dumping the pills into the bottles. Additionally, the clear plastic gives the advantage that any lodged tablets can be quickly unlodged or disposed of and thus avoid the possible error of placing a wrong tablet into a bottle being filled with tablets of a subsequent different run.

A further essential and important advantage of the machine of the present invention is the vibratory action which the solenoid 30 imparts to the dumping gate and its associated discharge chutes. This vibratory motion aids in the speed of which the tablets are discharged from the chute into the bottle. Additionally, it combines the function of imparting the vibration and retracting the dumping gate into one solenoid operation.

The foregoing invention has been described in respect to particular embodiments thereof. However, other modifications and variations thereof will become apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, no limitation as to the scope of the invention is intended by the showing of only particular embodiments thereof.

We claim:

1. Tablet counting and filling apparatus comprising,

a counting board including a plurality of counting chutes having an upper and lower end;

a hopper for delivering a mass of tablets to the upper ends of the chutes;

a dumping gate for selectively closing off the lower ends of the chutes;

a counting gate for selectively closing off the chutes intermediate their length in coordination with the dumping gate to effect counting of the tablets;

support means supporting said counting board at its lower central end for pivotal movement; and,

motor means connected to the counting board to drive the upper portion thereof in an arcuate path upon the support means whereby the tablets in the hopper will be agitated so as to pass into the chutes and assume a stacked relationship therein.

2. The tablet counting and filling apparatus of claim 1 wherein the support means additionally supports the counting board for vertical translational movement and wherein the motor means drives the upper portion of the counting board in an elliptical path in the plane of the counting board.

3. The tablet counting and'filling apparatus of claim 2 wherein the motor means includes an eccentric cam race secured to the central upper portion of the counting board wherein the major access of the race is in a line parallel with the counting chutes and further including an eccentrically mounted cam driving the eccentric carn race.

4. The tablet counting and filling apparatus of claim 1 wherein the support means additionally supports the counting board for vertical translational movement and wherein the motor means drives the upper portion of the counting board in a circular path in a plane parallel to the counting board.

5. The table counting and filling apparatus of claim 4 wherein the motor means includes a circular cam race secured to the upper central portion of the counting board and further including a cam for driving the circular cam race.

6. The tablet counting and filling apparatus of claim 1 further including a discharge chute disposed beneath the dumping gate for funneling the tablets into containers to be filled and including second motor means for jointly actuating the dumping gate to its open position while vibrating the discharge chute to facilitate passage of the tablets from the counting chute through the discharge chute into the containers.

7. The tablet counting and filling apparatus of claim 6 further including a manually operated switch for operating the second motor means wherein the switch is disposed in close enough proximity to the discharge chute to be concurrently actuated by an operators hand which is supporting a container to be filled beneath the discharge chute.

8. A tablet counting and filling apparatus comprising, a counting board including a plurality of counting chutes having an upper end and a lower end; a hopper for delivering a mass of tablets to the upper ends of the chutes; a dumping gate for selectively closing off the lower ends of the chutes; a discharge chute disposed beneath the dumping gate for funneling the tablets into containers to be filled; a counting gate for selectively closing off the chutes intermediate their length in coordination with the dumping gate to effect counting of the tablets; and, motor means for jointly actuating the dumping gate to its open position while vibrating the discharge chute to facilitate passage of the tablets through the discharge chute into the containers to be filled. 9. The tablet counting and filling apparatus of claim 8 wherein the dumping gate supports the discharge chute and moves with the discharge chute upon actuationthereof to the open position by the motor means. 10. The tablet counting and filling apparatus of claim 8 further including a manually operated switch for operating the motor means wherein the switch is disposed in close enough proximity to the discharge chute to be concurrently actuated by an operators hand which is supporting a bottle beneath the discharge chute.

11. The table counting and filling apparatus of claim 8 including at least one elongate supported member pivoted at the upper portion of the counting board and wherein the counting gate and the dumping gate are supported by the elongate member for simultaneous operation between their respective open and closed positions.

12. The tablet counting and filling apparatus of claim 1 1 wherein the discharge chute is supported by the dumping gate and moves with the dumping gate during opening thereof.

Patent Citations
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US7451583May 29, 2007Nov 18, 2008Jvm Co., Ltd.Automatic medicine packaging machine with door lock unit
US7523594 *Aug 24, 2006Apr 28, 2009Greenwald Technologies, Llc.Systems and methods for packaging solid pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical products and automatically arranging the solid pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products in a linear transmission system
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US20070044432 *Aug 23, 2006Mar 1, 2007Shlomo GreenwaldSystems and methods for packaging solid pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical products and automatically arranging the solid pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products in a linear transmission system
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US20100077708 *Apr 1, 2010Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.Tablet supply apparatus
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WO2013026848A1 *Aug 21, 2012Feb 28, 2013I.M.A. Industria Macchine Automatiche S.P.A.Device and method for filling capsules
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/167, 53/254, 53/390, 453/30
International ClassificationB65B57/20, B65B57/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B57/20
European ClassificationB65B57/20