Sorting machine

  • US 6,787,724 B2
  • Filed: 08/23/2002
  • Issued: 09/07/2004
  • Est. Priority Date: 08/24/2001
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
First Claim
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1. A sorting machine for inspecting and sorting a workpiece, the sorting machine comprising:

  • a central controller;

    a hopper unit for bulk storage of a plurality of workpieces;

    a feed station having a distribution assembly and a belt drive system, wherein the plurality of workpieces loosely fall from the hopper unit into the distribution assembly and wherein the belt drive system receives the plurality of workpieces in an orderly fashion from the distribution assembly;

    an inspection station having a variable speed transport system, a trigger sensor, a dimensional sensing apparatus, and a reject mechanism, wherein the transport system receives the plurality of workpieces one-by-one in a linear fashion and each respective one of the workpieces travel via the transport system past the trigger sensor which sends a signal to the controller to actuate the dimensional sensing apparatus disposed along the transport system and between the trigger sensor and the reject mechanism; and

    wherein the central controller receives a dimension signal from the sensing apparatus and activates the reject mechanism to remove the respective one of the plurality of workpieces from the transport system if the respective one of the plurality of workpieces is nonconforming.

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