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Патент USA US2403518

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11159119465
,
N. E. GADDINI
‘r ‘
: ‘HOLDING UNIT
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FOR‘ FRUIT
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_Filed April 14, v 1945
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INVEINTOR
ME G'addzlni
4% WELL
ATTORNEYS
Patented July 9, 1946
2,403,518
UNITED STATES PATENT orrlce
2,403,518
HOLDING UNIT FOR FRUIT
Norman E. Gaddini, Winters, Calif.
Application April 14, 1945, Serial No. 588,336,
14 Claims. (Cl. 146-23)
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1
The present invention relates in general to the
art of automatic fruit machinery, and especially
machinery of such character adapted to accom
plish mechanical halving and pitting of stone
fruit, such as peaches andv apricots.
This invention represents a modi?cation of the
Fruit holder shown inv co-pending application,
Serial No. 588,335 ?led April 14, 1945.
One object of this invention is to provide an
individual fruit holder of novel construction
adapted for use, in an automatic fruit. machine,
to firmly hold the fruit in a predetermined posi
tion for sequential operations thereon, which re
a holding unit for fruit which will be effective
for the purpose for which it is designed.
These objects are accomplished by means of
such structure and relative arrangement of parts
as will fully appear by a. perusal of the follow
ing speci?cation and claims.
In the drawings similar characters of reference
indicate corresponding parts in the several views:
Figure 1 is a longitudinal. sectional elevation
of the fruit holder with the-fruit supported there
by and the bottom cut made by the upstanding
supporting knives.
Figure 2 is a cross section of the holder with.
sult in halving and p‘itting of. the fruit; there
the fruit therein, illustrating the side cutting op
being a number. of said holders mounted on a 15 eration.
conveyor which moves the same intermittently
and step by step through separate stations at
which different operations are performed on said
fruit. An automatic fruit machine of the above
type is illustrated in copending application, Se
Figure 3 is a longitudinal sectional elevation of
the holder after the fruit has been cut both bottom
and sides; the fruit halves being spread apart
about the uncut top portion as a- hinge and pre
20 paratory to ejection ofthe pit.
rial No. 533,548, ?led May 1, 1944; the essence
Figure 4 is a fragmentary plan view of the fruit
of the instant invention residing in the particu
holder.
lar form and operation of the fruit holders.
Referring now more particularly to the char
Another object of the invention is to provide a
acters of reference on. the drawings, the fruit
fruit holder, for the purpose described, which is
holder, of which a number are used ineach auto—
arranged to be actuated at a. predetermined sta
matic fruit halving and pitting machine in. spaced
tion, after certain bottom and side cutting oper
relation on an endless conveyor, comprises the
following:
ations on the fruit, to cause separation of the
fruit halves at the bottom and about the uncut
The numeral 1 indicates a rectangular frame,
top portion of said fruit as a hinge, whereby to 30 said frame being open top and bottom on oppo
maintain the fruit in proper position for engage
site sides and centrally of its ends theframe l
ment and ejection of the pit by a downwardly
includes depending attachment ears 2 which con
moving pit ejection rod at said station. The
nect with corresponding ones of transversely
separation of the fruit halves at the bottom per
spaced chains 3 which the endless conveyor of
mits clean and unrestricted ejection of the pit
the machine includes. At their lower edges the
from the fruit without tearing or bruising of the
sides 4 0f the frame include laterally inwardly
fruit halves.
disposed, downwardly depending full-length sta
A further object of the invention is to provide
bilizing rails 5 which. ride on top of the chain
the fruit holder with fruit supporting means
rollers to prevent teetering of the fruit holder.
which ?rmly maintains the fruit in position for 40 A pair of transversely extending base plates 6
the sequential operations thereon; such holding
are disposed in the holder between the sides 4
means functioning without puncturing or other
thereof; said base plates being spaced apart
wise mutilating the fruit halves, as is desirable
slightly in the’ direction of travel, and parallel
in processing fruit for certain select uses.
An additional object of the invention is to pro 45 transversely of the‘ holder. The base plates are
normally horizontal and alined in the manner
vide a fruit'holder, as in thee-preceding paragraph,
shown in Fig. 1.
in which the fruit holding means includes ?at,
The base plates 6 are each supported, from be
upstanding knives which- initially perform a
low, by a pair of transversely extending, longi
transverse bottom out on the fruit between the
tudinally spaced parallel cross shafts 1 and 8;
halves, and thereafter remain in engagement with
said cross shafts, adjacent the ends of the plates,
the inner sides thereof and serve as supporting
extending through bearings 9 formed on and de
elements for said halves; the latter- being engaged
pending fronf said plates. The sides 4 of the
on the outer sides by corresponding spring urged,
‘
frame I are formed, adjacent opposite ends of
A further object of the invention‘is to provide 55 each plate, with elongated‘ cam slots l0. Flanged
?ngers.
2,403, 518
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rollers II and I2 are secured on the shafts ‘I and
direction of travel of the conveyor; said knives
8, respectively, and ride in the cam slots ID.
The rollers II have axially outwardly project
ing roller extensions l3 thereon for the purpose
which hereinafter appears.
Each side 4 exteriorly thereof and between the
corresponding cam slots II} is ?tted with a spool
I4 on which an opposed leg, coil spring I5 is
being spaced apart a distance substantially equal
to the width of the pit 25. The knives 28 are
mounted by parallel links 29 on a cross head 30
for parallel separating movement, and are nor
mally urged towards each other by a connecting
tension spring 3I. The cross head 38 is opera
tively suspended in the machine by a vertical
member 32 adapted to be reciprocated in timed
disposed, the legs I6 extending from the spool
in opposite directions and engaging with enlarged 10 relation to movement of the holder 'to the fruit
side cutting station. The knives 28 are sharpened
pulley-like guides H on the rollers I I'between the
along adjacent edges, and are relatively pointed
latter and the roller extensions I3. The action
at their lower ends and sharpened on both edges
of the spring legs I6 is to cause the rollers II to
of said points,
normally move toward and engagein adjacent
After the holder comes to rest at the side cut
ends of the cam slots I0, whereby the base plates 15
ting station, the side cutting unit 21. descends
6 are then in the horizontal and adjacent posi
and knives 28 cut the fruit 25 on both sides of the
tion shown in Fig. 1.
pit; the cuts running inwardly directly to the pit,
Adjacent end portions of the cam slots ID are
and. extending from top to bottom of the fruit.
straight and horizontal, and the rollers I I engage
therein with an easy running but relatively close 20 In order to assure that the descending knives 28
clear, the outer edges of the upstanding knives
?t. The opposite or outer end portions of the cam
I8, upwardly and inwardly inclined cam edges 33
slots III incline upwardly and are progressively
are formed on adjacent edges of the knives 28
increased in height toward the outer end. It Will
intermediate their ends; said cam edges engaging
thus be seen that when the rollers I2 ride into
?xed cam pins 34 on rigid cross member 35 when
the outer end portions of the cam slots I0, con
the side cutting unit hasdescen'led to an extent
siderable vertical play is possible, for the reason
that the sharpened points of the knives 28 closely
as will hereinafter appear;
approach the knives I8. With continued descent
A pair of ?at upstanding knives I8 are normal
of the side cutting unit the cam pins 34 riding
ly disposed transversely in edge-to-edge but
spaced relation centrally between adjacent edges 30 against the cam edges 33 cause the knives 28 to
separate slightly and to an extent such that said
of the base plates 6; the knives I8 including op
knives pass closely along the outer edges of the
positely projecting, normally horizontal bottom
knives I8. It will be noted that with the bottom
?anges I9. The bottom ?anges I9 intersect the
cut made by the knives i 8 and the side cuts made
corresponding base plates and are secured there
to by bolts 28. The upper edges of the knives 35 by the knives 28, the peach halves 36 are cleanly
cut apart about the sides and bottom. The only
I9 are sharpened, as at 2!, and these sharpened
remaining uncut portion is the top portion above
edges converge inwardly and downwardly, the
the pit.
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lower end of the sharpened edge of one knife
After the side cutting unit 2'5 descends and
being drawn toward and substantially into en
gagement with the lower end of the sharpened 40. subsequently elevates clear of the supported fruit
on the holder, the latter moves to a pit eject
edge of the other knife, whereby to form’ a sub
ing station, as shown in Fig, 3, and at which
stantially continuous V-shaped cutting edge
station a pair of transversely spaced, depend
when the knives I8 are in their normal position,
ing tongue-like cams 3i descend between the
as shown in Fig. 1.
Each base plate 6 is ?tted, centrally of its ends 45 roller extensions I3 on opposite sides of the frame
I. With such descent of the cams the roller
and intermediate its side edges, with a spring
extensions I3 will move apart equally in oppo
urged, upstanding fruit engaging ?nger 22 of sub
site directions and the rollers It and I2 move
stantial width and curved outwardly at the top
along the cam slots It} to effect a corresponding
for ease of fruit engagement between said ?ngers.
The ?ngers 22 are pivotally mounted between 50 movement of the base plates 5. Due to the shape
of the cam slots IS] the rollers I2 elevate relative
upstanding ears 23 for swinging movement in a
to the rollers Ii, causing the base plates to be
direction lengthwise of the direction of travel;
tilted upwardly at their outer edges at the same
springs 24 urging said ?ngers toward each other.
time that the separating movement thereof oc
In operation of the above described holder,
each holder moves in the automatic machine in 55 curs. When the base plates are thus tilted to
wards each other the knives l8 corresponding to
termittently, and step by step, through diiferent
said base plates move apart but assume an up
stations. At one station a fruit 25, such as a
wardly and inwardly converging position, as
peach or apricot, is impaled upon the knives IS
clearly shown in Fig. 3. Such relative move
with the suture of the fruit extending transverse
ly of the direction of travel; said knives thus per 60 ment of the knives I3 separates the fruit halves
36, with the uncut top portion of the fruit then
forming a bottom out on the fruit which extends
upwardly to adjacent the pit 26 and of a width
serving as a hinge to maintain the fruit cen
substantially equal to that of the pit. The V
tered in the holder. The fruit halves are thus
shape de?ned by the cutting edges 2| of the
separated at the bottom and about the top hinge
knives I8 permit the bottom out to be made to
a point Very close to the pit. As so impaled on
the knives I8 the fruit is frictionally engaged
on opposite sides by the spring urged ?ngers 22.
With the fruit so positioned in the holder the
latter moves to the next station, where the fruit
is acted upon by a downwardly moving side cut
without any tearing or rupturing of the ?esh
ting unit, indicated generally at 21, and which
of the fruit halves; said halves being ?rmly and
frictionally
engaged
between
corresponding
knives I 8 and spring-urged ?ngers 22.
The holder compensates, in the above opera
tion, for fruit of different sizes by reason of the
fact that the rollers I?! may ?oat vertically in
the progressively increased-width outer end por
unit includes a pair of transversely spaced, ver
tions of the cam slots ill.
tically disposed knives 28. The knives 28 are dis
posed parallel to each other but flatwise to the
?oating feature the angle of convergence of the
By reason of this
‘separate knives I8 may vary, depending on the
‘2,403,518
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size of the‘ fruit. Various size fruit is thus pro
portionately equally separated or opened at the
bottom for a clean and unrestricted ejection 'of
the pit, and which ejection is accomplished as
follows:
With the base plates 6 held apart by the cams
31, with resultant separating of the fruit halves
and tilting of said plates, a pit‘ejecting unit,
direction. of separating movement, means rigidly
mounting the knives in connection with'corre
spending vsupports so that‘ the knives separate
.relative'to each other upon separation of the
supports, and. fruit holding means upstanding
from the supports in spaced‘ but'cooperative rela'—’
tion to corresponding knives; vsaid last named
means comprising upstanding spring-urged ?n
gers pivotally mounted for swinging movement in
the direction of separating ‘movement of said
indicated generally at 33, moves downwardly
from above, engaging the pit 25 and ejecting it
supports.
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downwardly from the fruit between the then bot
4. A fruit holder for'automatic fruit machin
tom separated halves ‘36. The pit ejecting unit
ery, said holder comprising a frame, a‘ pair of ad
includes a cutter blade 39 disposed to ‘out through
jacent supports mounted on the ‘frame for sep~
the top portion of the fruit as the pit is ejected,
with the cut in the same trariverse plane as the 15 arating movement, means to separate! the sup
ports, a-pair of top sharpened knives upstanding
side cuts made by the knives 23. The halves 36
are thus separated from each other.
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intermediate the supports in normally adjacent
edge to edge relation transversely of said direc
After the pit is ejected and the top of the fruit
tion of separating movenient,' means rigidly
cut as above, the pit- ejecting unit 38 lifts free
of the holder and the latter moves forwardly 20 mounting ‘the knives in ‘connection with corre
' sponding'supports so that the" knives‘, separate
to another station, .where the separate halves
relative to each other upon separation ‘of ‘the sup
are removed from said holder for subsequent
ports, and fruit holding‘ means upstanding from
processing.
.
‘
the‘supports in spaced but cooperative relation to
From the foregoing description it will be read
corresponding-knives; the sharpened top edges
ily seen that there has been produced such a
of the knives converging/downwardly and form»
holding unit for fruit as substantially ful?lls the
ing a substantially V-shaped cutting edge.
'
objects of the invention, as set forth herein.
5. A fruit holder as in claim 4 in which the
While this speci?cation sets forth in detail the
knives are spaced apart slightly, but said cutting
present and preferred construction of the hold
ing unit for fruit, still in practice such deviations 30 edges being substantially'in engagement at their
lower ends whereby the V-shaped cutting edge is
from such detail may be resorted to as do not
form a departure from the spirit of the inven
tion, as set forth herein.
substantially continuous.
‘
6. A fruit holder as in claim 3 in which said
spring-urged ?ngers are of substantial width, and
Having thus described the invention the fol
lowing is claimed as. new and useful and upon 35 at the top portion ?are outwardly in the direc
tion of swinging movement.
which Letters Patent is desired:'
'I. A fruit holder for automatic fruit machinery,
1,. A fruit holder for automatic fruit machinery,
said holder comprising a frame adapted for travel
said holder comprising a frame, a pair of adja
in a predetermined direction, a pair of supports
cent supports mounted on the frame for separat
mounted on the frame transversely thereof and
40
ing movement, means to separate the supports, a
in adjacent side by side relation, said supports
pair of top sharpened knives upstanding inter
being mounted for separating movement in the
mediate the supports in normally adjacent edge
direction of travel of the frame, means to sep
to edge relation transversely of said direction of
arate the supports, a pair of top sharpened knives
separating movement, means rigidly mounting 45 upstanding
intermediate the supports in normally
the knives in connection with corresponding sup
adjacent
edge
to edge relation transversely of
ports so that the knives separate relative to each
said
direction
of
separating movement, means
other upon separation of the supports, and fruit
rigidly mounting the knives in connection with
holding means upstanding from the supports in
spaced but cooperative relation to corresponding 50 corresponding supports so that the knives separate
relative to each other upon separation of the
knives.
'
supports, and fruit holding means upstanding
2. A fruit holder-for automatic fruit machinery,
from the supports in spaced but cooperative rela
said holder comprising a frame, a pair of adja
tion to corresponding knives.
cent supportsmounted on the frame for sepa
8. A fruit holder for automatic fruit machinery,
rating movement, means to separate the sup 55 said holder comprising a frame adapted for travel
ports, a pair of top, sharpened knives upstand
in a predetermined direction, a pair of supports
ing intermediate the supports in normally adja
mounted on the frame transversely thereof and
cent edge to edge relation transversely of said
in adjacent side by side relation, said supports
direction of separating movement, means rig
being mounted for separating movement in the
idly mounting the knives in connection with cor
direction of travel of the frame, means to separate
responding supports so that the knives separate
the supports, a pair of top sharpened knives
relative to each other upon separation of the
upstanding intermediate the supports in normally
supports, and fruit holding means upstanding
adjacent edge to edge relation transversely of
from the supports in spaced but cooperative rela
said direction of separating movement, means
tion to corresponding knives; there being means, 65 rigidly mounting the knives in connection with
operative upon separation of the supports ar
corresponding supports so that the knives sep
ranged to cause the supports to tilt toward each
arate relative to each other upon separation of
other.
the supports, and spring-urged engaging ?ngers
'3. A fruit holder for automatic fruit machinery,
upstanding from the supports in spaced but co
said holder comprising a frame, a pair of ad 70 operating relation to corresponding knives.
jacent supports mounted on the frame for sep
9. A fruit holder for automatic fruit machinery,
arating movement, means to separate the sup
said holder comprising a frame adapted for travel
ports, a pair of top sharpened knives upstand
in a predetermined direction, a pair of supports
ing intermediate the supports in normally ad
mounted on the frame transversely thereof and in
jacent edge to edge relation transversely of said 75 adjacent side by side relation, said supports be
2,403,518
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ing mounted for separating movement .in the di
operate with a vertically movable side cutting
unit; said side cutting unit including transversely
spaced bottom sharpened knives operative to out
through vthe supported fruit from top to bottom
rection of travel of the frame, means to separate
the supports, a pair of top sharpened knives up
standing intermediate the supports in normally
adjacent edge to edge relation transversely of said
on opposite sides and in the plane of said bot;
direction of separating movement, means rigidly
tom'cut.
mounting the knives in connection with corre
12. ‘In the combination in an automatic fruit
sponding supports so that the knives separate rel
machine‘ of a fruit holder, and a‘ vertically mov
ative to each other upon separation of the sup
able side cutting unit mounted to cooperate with
ports, and spring-urged engaging ?ngers up
l0 said holder; said‘ holder including a pair‘ of top
standing from the supports in spaced but co
operating relation to corresponding knives; there
being means, operative upon separating of said
supports and knives, to cause the supports to tilt
toward each other whereby the then separated 15.
knives converge upwardly relative to each other.
10. A fruit holder for automatic fruit machin
ery, said holder comprising a frame, 'a pair of
adjacent supports mounted on the frame for sep
arating movement, vmeans to separate the sup
ports, a pair of top sharpened knives upstanding
intermediate the supports in normally adjacent
edge to edge relation transversely of said direc
tion of separating movement, means rigidly
sharpened knives upstanding from‘ the ‘holder-in
normally adjacent edge to edge relation, said up
standing knives when in edge to edge relation
being adapted, ‘to have a stone fruit impaled
thereon from above whereby to bottom out the
fruit upwardly to adjacent-the stone, and means
to supportingly engage the impaled fruit ‘from
opposite sides; the vertically movable side cut
ting unit including transversely spaced bottom
sharpened knives operative, upon lowering of the
unit, to cut through the supported fruit from top
to bottom on opposite sides and in the plane of
said bottom cut.
‘
13. A combination as inclaim 12 in which the
mounting the knives in connection with corre
_ knives of the side cutting unit are transversely
sponding supports so that the knives separate rel
ative to each other upon separation of the sup
ports, said upstanding knives when in such nor
mally adjacent edge to edge ‘relation being ex
knives toward each other, and cam means, opera
separable, spring means urging said side cutting
tive upon predetermined descent of said'unit, ar
ranged to cause separation of the side cutting
posed above the supports and thus adapted to ._ _ knives» su?icient to; clear the upstanding bottom
have a stone fruit impaled thereon from above
cutting knives.
'
whereby the knives bottom-cut said fruit ‘up
14. A combination as in claim 12 in which the
wardly to adjacent the stone, and fruit engag
upstanding cutting knives of the holder include
ing members upstanding from the supports
sharpened top edges which converge inwardly and
adapted to engage the impaled fruit on opposite .35 downward; the side cutting knives of said unit
sides whereby each fruit half is engaged between
each being pointed at the lower end, each point
one such member and the corresponding knife.
11. A fruit holder as in claim IO'adapted to co
having downwardly converging sharpened edges.~
NORMAN E. GADDINI.
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