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Jan. 7, 1947.
Original Filed Juné 6. 1941 i
5 sheetsesheet 1
Jan- 7, 1947-
E. w. cAkRoLL
Original Filed June 6,' 1941
5 Sheets-Sheet 2
Jan. 7,‘ 1947.
' 2,413,861
Original Filed June 6, 1941
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Jan. 7, 1947.
, Original Filed June 6, 1941
5 Sheets-Sheet 4
Jan. 7, 194.7;
Original Filed June 6, 1941 -
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aLswokr? m CARROLL. '
Patented Jan. 7, 1947 "
vwmismns PATENT omctf
SINGLE s'r'son ‘mm wen-me asp r
Ellsworth w. Carroll. s... Carlos, cam. swing-1
to 8‘ W Fine Foods; Ino.,,8an_l"raneisoo,.
Calii'.. a corporation at California
Original application June 0,1911, Serial in.‘
396,809. ~- Divided and this application Novem
~ her as, 1942. Serial .No. name
_-1: cm. (01.146948)
Figs. 8 and- 9 are diagrammatical 'views show
My‘ invention relates .to. fruit ‘orienting and
pitting machines and more particularly‘to such
ing how inspection is accomplished at the single
a machine utilizing only a single orienting stage, - '
orienting stage.
whereby a carrier may be dispensed with. The.
. Figs. 10.11 and 12 are
showing‘ an alternative form of . fruit transfer
machine of my invention is ideally adapted for
use in high speed automatic orienting and pit
ting of cherries. _T'his applicationis a division
of my application, Serial No._ 396,809, ?led June
6, 1941, for Single stage fruit orienting and pit- ‘
ting machine, which has matured into Patent No. 10
2,343,496 or March 7, 1944.
views mostly in elevation
mechanism whereby the fruit is transported on .
the pitting knife from the orienting stage to the
pitting stage. .7
' Fig. 13 is a top view in elevation of a modi?ed
fence bar for use on my device.
Fig.v 14 is a sectional view taken as indicated
vThe main object of my invention is to provide
a fully automatic machine which will quickly
orient indented fruit, such as cherries. in a single
' by the line "-14 in Fig. 13.
Fig. 15 is a view partly in section and'partly
in elevation showing means whereby all fruit
stage and thereafter transferthe oriented fruit 15 passed through the machine may be pitted.
Referring directly to the drawings for more
to a pitting stage, where the fruit is pitted.
Another object or my invention is to provide '. detailed description of my invention, and‘ ?rst
to Fig. 1 for the general assembly of a preferred
a novel and improved means for the transfer of
type or machine ‘adapted to orient, inspect, andv '
fruit to the pitting station oi a fruit pittingv
pit cherries, a hopper I0 is. provided with a lower
opening ll whereby cherries in the hopper may
Another object of my invention is to provide a
come in contact with theiperiphery of arotating
novel and improved means for the ‘transfer of
hollow-drum 12, this drum. having parallel rows
oriented fruit from its position of orientation to
of'fruit- apertures i3 extending therethrough.‘
the pitting station with absolute assurance'that
Hollow‘drum I2 is open at one end to allow a
the fruit will be pitted in its oriented position.
stationary skid‘ plate II to be inserted therein,
Other objects oi'my invention will be apparent
this skid plate having a cylindrical surfacev l8-v
or will be speci?cally pointed out in the descrip
tion forming a part-o1’ this speci?cation, but .I , positioned adjacent the inner openings of fruit
vapertures it, this skid plate being attached to
* do not limit myself to the embodiment of the
invention herein described, as various forms may 80 side bracket I‘! which also supports shaft l8 on
which drum I2 is mounted. The other end voi!
be adopted within the scope of the claims.
: shaft II is mounted on opposite side bracket l9
In the drawings:
‘ ‘ .
and is rotated in a clockwise direction by pulley
Fig. 1 is a side view partly in elevation, and
partly in section, of one preferred form of my
9. Skid
plate IIsurface
from a‘Itline
is positionedbeneath
adjacent the lower ';_
invention, comprising a single orienting stage as
edge 20 of hopper 10 around to a discharge posi
and single pitting stage. For convenience and
tion 2!, an arcuate extent of‘ slightly more than
to avoid undue multiplicity of parts, only four
180'. At the top of drum I2 is positioneda brush
rows of stations are shown in the drawings, al
though it will be obvious that by duplication more
may be used.
Fig. 2 is a view in elevation looking at 'the lower
part of the output end of the machine of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a top view in elevation 01' the orienting
and pitting assemblies only.
21 ,mounted on shaft 22, this brush beingrotated ' v S
counterclockwise bypulley 23 in order toinsure
the fact that only one fruit is carried around
the drum I! in each aperture l3. ' Outside the
’ downwardly moving side of the drum l2, a retain
ing plate 24 is positioned-this retaining plate
Fig. 4 is a view partly in section and partly in 45 passing downwardly, spaced from and in concen
tric relation to the periphery of the drum'to ter
‘elevation taken as indicated by the‘ line H in
minate in output chutes 25. Each output chute
Fig. 3.
is in line with each row of apertures 13, and
Fig. 5 is a view partly in section and partly
in a tour line machine there will, oi course; be
in elevation taken as indicated by the line 5-6
50 tour rows of apertures across the drum and’ four =
mm. 3.
delivery chutes 25.
Fig. .6 is a fragmentary view showing the drive
' voi’ the orienting wheels.
Fig. 'l is a view partly in‘ section and partly in‘
elevation taken as indicated bythe line 1-1 in
Fig. 1.
In order toinsure that any broken or mashed ‘ .I, _
fruit may be removed from the apertures I! be
fore they are again presented to the hopper, ro-- .
66 tating piston gears 20 are provided having’ radial
pistons 21 thereon enteringeach aperture after
the aperture has passed the delivery chute. Each
- horizontal frame member 84, each of these frame
rotating piston gear is mounted on an arm 28
allel reciprocating arms 55 and 85' mounted on
parallel shafts 85 and 58', one of each pair of
members being pivoted to the upper end of par
extended from skid plate I5, and is rotated by
engagement of the piston 21 in apertures I3‘. as
the drum rotates. ~As each -piston,2‘l enters an
aperture I3 fullyit closely approaches a sta
tionary scraper bar 38 positioned at the bottom
of the drum I2 so that all material pushed out of
the apertures by the pistons will be scraped from
--which 88 is ‘operated from within the gear box as‘
' shown in Fig. 4.
~_travel of frame members 54 during reciprocation
_ with a‘ slight arcuate motion between the orienta
tion stage and the pitting stage providing a clear
the end of the pistons. One piston gear 28 is pro‘
vided for each row of apertures.
The use of twov parallel arms
65 and 55" on each end of bar 88 insures level
ing- lift at each stage.
Control of the opening and closing of the
Side bracket I1 and opposite side bracket I9
clamps is accomplished by means of an opening
which support shaft I8 on which drum I2 r0.
. rod ‘I8 extending ‘along bar 88 adjacent the bases
tates, are attached to a gear box 35 forming the .15 of clamp arms GI, this rod having collars ‘II
main body of the device and containing the vari
thereon in positionto engage lugs ‘I2 extended
ous synchronized gears, cams, etc., to operate .
from one of the clamp arms 5| in each pair.
Clamp arms 8| are geared together adjacent the
the machine, such mechanical arrangements be
ing well known in the art and, therefore, neither
pivots thereof by gears ‘I3, consequently the
shown nor described. Gear box 35 is supported
on legs 36 to raise the machine su?lelently of! the
‘ ?oor to allow proper discharge of the fruit. Gear
clamps are opened and closed in accordance with
lateral movement of clamp bar 58. Clamp‘ rod
v‘I8 is held in bearings 58 and is laterally moved
box 35 is energized by a large pulley 39 driving
by a stationary cam ‘I4 positioned at one end of
a power shaft 31' on which is mounted a main
driving gear 38, as shown in Fig. 3, making con
nection with the gears and in the gearbox. Main
bar 68. One end of rod ‘I8 is pressed by spring
The other
end of rod ‘I8 is provided with a cam'roller ‘Hi,
this roller being hinged to one side of the re
25 ‘I5 to free collars ‘II from lugs ‘I2.
pulley 39 is driven in any convenient manner, '
such as by a motor 38' and belt 48.
mainder of clamp rod ‘I8 and ‘maintained eo
Immediately below the outlet of each of the
axially with said remainder by spring TI. The
chutes 25 is positioned a horizontal fence bar 4| 30 action of this hinged roller will be described later
as shown from above in Fig. 3. This fence bar
in describing the operation of the machine.
\ has therein a plurality of fruit retaining aper
When the clamp arms are holding fruit in pit
tures 42, one of these apertures being positioned
ting position, the axis of each fruit and pair of
immediately below the outlet opening 43 of each
holding surfaces 52 is directly over a pitting rub
chute, so that as the cherries roll down the chute, 35 ber bar 88 carrying a plurality of conventional
if the bar H is in proper position, they ‘roll into
apertures 42. Bar 4| .is normally maintained in
level position by bar-‘actuating side arms 45 op
pitting rubbers 8| having central apertures 82
through which the pit may be forced by pitting
knives 83 carried by a pitting knife bar 85, usu
erated from within the gear box, these arms being
ally of I-beam section. Pitting knife bar 85 is
capable of' raising bar 4I upwardly to block the 40 supported on each end thereof by upright slides
outlet openings 43 of the chutes 25 as shown by
85 mounted in slide bearings 81 supported by
the broken line position 45 in Fig. 1. The results
bearing arms 88 extended from each side ofv gear
of such a movement will be described later.
box 35. The pitting knife bar is reciprocated by
Positioned beneath and 'coaxially positioned
side pitting arms 98 mounted on pitting shaft 9| '
with respect to each aperture 42 in bar 4| is an 45 extending through and operated from inside the
orientation wheel 41, these wheels being mounted
gear box, and connected to slides 86 by ‘end links
on a drive shaft extending along stationary wheel
82. Reciprocating motion of pitting arm 98 will
bar 48 spaced from the output side of gearbox
35 by brackets 58. Bar 48 is narrow, and be
raise and lower the pitting knife bar thus causing
the pitting knives 83 toDass through any fruit
tween wheels 4‘! has a sharp edge 5| on the 50 held in the clamps and to discharge the pit there
upper surface thereof. Each wheel extends
slightly above a circular platform 52 of prede
Immediately below and parallel with the pitting
termined diameter. The shaft carrying wheels
rubber bar 88 is positioned a pit inspector shaft
41 may be driven in any convenient manner, such
I88 as shown in Fig. 5, having mounted thereon
as by a belt 53 and a wheel motor 54, this motor 55 spaced pit-receiving plates I8I between spacer,
being fastened to the wall of gear box 35 on the
plates I82, there being two spaced pit-receiving
interior thereof.
plates between each spacer plate, with one set of
Means are provided to transfer. fruit stably
plates for each pitting rubber. Each of the two
supported by circular surfaces 52 and wheels 41
pit-receiving plates is symmetrically cut away
on the wheel bar, to a pitting position. Such a
to form four pit-receiving receptacles I83 in
transfer mechanism may comprise a transfer bar
which pits from the pitted fruit may be deposited
68 on which are mounted four fruit clamps as
after passing through rubber apertures 82, Pit
shown in Fig. 3. Each fruit clamp consists of
inspector shaft I88 is rotated in a clockwise di
opposed arms 6| pivoted on bar‘ 58 extending
rection a quarter turn at each reciprocation of
toward the gear box and terminating in fruit 85 the clamp bar with receptacles I83 presented to
grasping surfaces 62. These arms are normally
rubber apertures 82 during pitting. This is ac
kept closed by arm springs 53.
Means are provided to reciprocate the clamp
bar 58 to the orienting stages stopping in a posi
tion where each open pair of opposed fruit
grasping surfaces 62 is in proper position to grasp
a fruit stably supported on a wheel bar surface
complished by mounting on each reciprocating
arm 55', closest to the clamp bar. dogs I85 pressed
I against shaft end ratcheted wheels I88 by springs
I01. Dogs I85 are so arranged as to engage one
of the teeth of each ratchet wheel I85 at the pit
ting end of the stroke, and thereafter, when mov
52 and back to a position where the grasped fruit
ing toward the orienting stage, the engagement
may be pitted. Such means are provided by
of each dog I85 with each ratchet wheel I 88 will
fastening clamp bar 88 at each end thereof to a 75 rotate the pit inspection shaft one quarter turn,
extends upwardly beyond the level of surface I!
thus moving a pit lust deposited in'any recep-,
tacle- I08 beneath the pitting rubber 90°vto the
and the combined wheel and surface is not sum
right at which point a pit feeler I08 enters the
' cient to support any fruit whose convex surface
cavity I08 between each two pit-receiving plates
. IOI. Feeiers I08 are pivoted on a shaft H0 and
the feelers are extended on the other side of this
shaft as operating arms III. -To the end of each
operating arm III is attached an operating rod
II2, this rod being attached to a de?ector chute
is presented thereto. Consequently, instantly the
fence bar ll is raised, all improperly positioned
fruit fall of! wheel bar 88 and will drop through
to the bottom of the machine, where they may be
caught and returned to hopper I0 for another run
through the machine. Ridge 0| on wheel bar 88
H8, this de?ector chute being movable from its 10 is used so that any fruit which might roll at sur
faces 02 laterally cannot possibly be held in stable
normal vertical position assumed under gravity
to an angular position as indicated by the broken" "
lines H5 if a pit forces a feeder I08 outwardly.
Both the top and bottom of each inspection
chute I I3 is open and a fruit chute I I8 is directed
into the top of each inspection chute II8, this
latter chute being pivoted to the back wall I ll
of the fruit chute II8. Consequently, any fruit
position on the wheel bar.
As soon as the improperly oriented fruit have
had time to roll on’ the surfaces II, the clamp
bar 80 is reciprocated toward the wheel surfaces
82. Just before the end of this movement of bar
80, roller 10 on the end of operating rod ‘I0 con
trolling the opening and closing of the clamps,
passes off the thicker portion of stationary cam
dropping down a fruit chute II8 will be directed
into an output chute II8 for improperly pitted 20 ‘I4, thus allowing the clamp arms to close and
grasp any fruit which are resting stably on the
fruit, or, if the inspection chute H8 has been
surfaces 82. The clamp bar 80 is then progressed moved to position I I 5 by pit contact, into an out
back toward the pitting stage. As the cam roller
put chute I20 for properly pitted fruit. The pits,
‘I8 again hits the thick part of the stationary cam
after having operated on feelers I08, are scraped
out of the cavities I03 by scrapers I2I and fall 25 ‘I4, the clamp arms do not open, because the
hinged end of the rod ‘I0 rotates against the ten
into pit-receiving receptacle I22.
sion of spring 11 without moving the operating
Having above described the construction of my
rod ‘I0, and therefore the clamp arms stay closed
machine, I will next describe the operation of this
until they reach the other end of the stroke,
particular modi?cation. Cherries areffed in bulk
into hopper I0 and fall into apertures I8 in drum 30 where the clamped fruit is directly over the pit
ting rubbers 8I. The pitting bar is then recipro
I2 and are carried around in a clockwise direc
cated to drive the pitting knives 83 through the
tion until they meet brush 2| which is rotating
fruit and push the pits‘from the fruit into pit
in a counter-clockwise direction. Brush 2I is ad
receptacles I08 positioned below the rubbers.
Justed to brush off all extra fruit so that only one
fruit is in each aperture I8. The fruit is then 35 After the pitting knives 88 have been withdrawn,
the clamp bar 60 again moves toward the orienta
carried around the drum until it reaches a posi
tion stage.
tion adjacent the output chutes 25. As the fruit
It will be noted that no strippers are necessary,
is discharged from the drum into output chutes,
as the fruit is held during the withdrawal of the
the gearing in the gear box is adjusted so that the
fence bar is in upper position 46, thus holding 40 pitting knives by the clamp arms. As the clamp
bar 80 moves again toward the orientation stage,
the fruit at the end of the chute. Thus, I do not
still grasping the pitted fruit, the clamp bar 60, by
depend for timing on the fruit rolling down
virtue of the design of the internal cam operat
through chute 25 or on any accurate release of
ing the clamp bar, stops momentarily midway be
the fruit from apertures I3. Consequently, drum
tween the pitting stage and the orientation stage,
I2 may be continuously rotated. At a, certain
just as roller ‘I8 rides on to the thick part of sta
time, as predetermined by the machinery within
cam 18. As the operating rod ‘I0, how
the gear box 35, the fence bar lI lowers to hori
in this direction will not hinge, the
zontal position and the fruit held in the chutes
clamps are opened and the fruit drops out of the
25 drops into fence apertures 02 where it is sup
clamps in a‘ position as shown by the dotted fruit
ported by the sides of the apertures and by the 50 outline
I80 midway between the pitting stage and
upper peripheral surfaces of wheels 41. The
wheels are rotated by motor 58 and the fruit is
rotated by frictional contact with the wheels just
the orientation stage in Fig. 5.
The fruit, being released from the clamp arms,
drops through fruit chute II8. Inasmuch as the
inspector shaft I00 has been rotated a quarter
the wheels. When, however, the stem indent of 55 turn by dogs I05 and ratchet wheels I 08 during
a fruit registers with the wheel, the fruit will no
this movement of bar 60 from the pitting stage
longer be rotated by the wheel, as the wheel is
to the discharging position, inspection chute II3
made of su?iciently small diameter that the wheel
has already been set to direct the dropped fruit
will fit into and either not contact the stem in
into the proper output, depending upon whether
dent at all or only lightly contact it. Consequent
or-not a pit was discharged from the dropped
ly, properly oriented fruit will rest stably on sur
fruit. Thus. no fruit, unless it has had a pit re
faces 52.
moved therefrom, can be passed into the good
After a predetermined length of time during
fruit output chute I20.
which time the fruit is being operated on by the
During the pitting and discharging time, new
wheels and whether or not the fruit is properly 65 fruit have been dropped into fence bar apertures
oriented, the fence bar is again raised to position
42 and are being oriented. After the momentary
08 ready _to stop the downward progression of the
pause of bar 60 to allow the fruit to drop, the
next fruit through chutes 20. As the fence bar - - fence bar again moves upwardly and the clamp
is raised, one of two conditions will exist, 'as
bar continues toward the orientation stage to
shown in Figs. 8 and 9; either the fruit will re 70 pick up there the fruit; if properly oriented, and
main stably supported by circular surface 52 as
the cycle is repeated.
shown in Fig. 8, which means that the stem in
Thus, it will be seen that the machine just
dent has registered with the'wheel, or in the case
above described delivers the fruit to a single ori
of improperly oriented fruit, the fruit will fall off
entation stage. The fruit is then inspected for
as shown in Fig. 9, due to the fact that the wheel 75 proper position in that same stage simply by
so long as a convex surface of the fruit contacts
withdrawing the support of the fence apertures.
Any stably supported fruit is then picked up by
so that there maybe no interference with the
removal of the fruit. In Fig. 11 the motion of
the clamps and taken to the pitting stage where
the fruit is pitted. 0n the return the clamps stop
the reciprocating arms is toward the left, with
at a discharge position, the clamp arms are
the fruit just pitted having just been discharged
by the action of the stripper; It will be noted
opened and the fruit is dropped into one of two
outputs, dependent upon whether or not the fruit
that the arms then move to the orienting posi
tion and pick up the fruit with the fence bar in
has had a pit removed from it.
horizontal position around the fruit.
In Figs.’10, 11 and 12, I have shown an alter
In Fig. 10 one fruit is shown as being pitted
nate form of transfer mechanism.‘ In this case I
utilize the pitting knife. itself as the transfer de
and the fruit which has Just been oriented is
shown as being inspected by a momentary lift
vice and thereby eliminate the necessity for
ing of the fence bar ll. The fence bar 4|, as
transfer clamps. I use parallel reciprocating
soon as the improperly positioned fruit has had
arms I50 and I50’ driven‘from the gear box on
time to roll off the wheel bar, is immediately
each side thereof, these arms being connected 15 dropped to its lower position so that when the
at their upper ends by bearing brackets I5I car
fruit is to be picked up by the knives, the fence
rying at one end a pitting bar slide I52 extend
bar will not be in any position to interfere with
ing across the machine. Pitting knife bar 00 is
the pick-up of the fruit, as the arms stay still
reciprocated in slide I52 by side rods I55 driven
until the knives rise to clear the fruit from the
by eccentrics I55 driven around the same shaft 20 fence bar.
I51 on which arms I50’ are mounted. The pit
Fig. 12 shows this pick-up position, with the
ting knives 83 are mounted on the bottom of pit
pitting knives 03 just partially entering the fruit
ting bar 80 and each knife is provided with a
down to a region just approaching the. pit, and
stripper I60 mounted on stripper rod IBI oper
the next position after that of Fig. 12 will be a
ating in stripper brackets I52 attached to slide 25 straight lift of the pitting knife with the fruit
I52. Each stripper rod is pressed by spring I 53
thereon to clear the fence bar before the pit
to normally remain in upper position.
ting knife moves toward the pitting stage.
Eccentrics I55 reciprocate the pitting bar 80
Thus, I have shown and described a single stage
and its attached pitting knives 83 in a double
orlentator with a mechanism transferring the
stroke. When the parallel arms I50 and I50’
fruit from the orientation stage to a pitting
are moved so that the pitting knife is directly over
stage, with alternate forms of transfer mecha
a fruit in the orientation stage with arms I50
nism. In one of these modi?cations, the trans
and I50’ vertical, the pitting knives move down
and partly enter the fruit in apertures 42. The
fer is accomplished by clamps reciprocating be
tween the two stages, and in the other modifica
pitting knives therefore will enter only the top 35 tion the pitting knives pick up and transfer the
meat of stably supported fruit and as the knives
rise they will carry the- fruit on the end of
the knives. Then as the parallel arms I50 re
The modification shown in Figs. 10, 11 and 12
is somewhat simpler mechanically than the clamp
ciprocate to bring the pitting knife bar 00 and
form of transfer mechanism, but the portion of
the knives 83 over the pitting stage with arms 40 the cycle utilized for orientation is somewhat
I50 and I50’ in angular position, the knives are
shortened, due to the fact that the fence bar has
again reciprocated to bring the cherry ?rst in
to be lowered after inspection and prior to pick
contact with the pitting rubber 8| and ‘then
up of the‘ properly oriented fruit, thus slightly
the stroke will be such as to force the pit through
increasing the cycle time of the machine for a
the rubber into the pit inspecting mechanism,
given time of orientation.
which operates in exactly the same manner as
‘ With regard to the cycle time of the machine,
the pit inspector previously described for the
clamp type of transfer mechanism. As the knives
are again “raised, and the arms I50- and I50’
move again toward the orientation stage, the r
upper end I10 of each stripper rod IBI hits a
swinging cam I1I, these cams depending from
cross-bar I12 supported by side arms I13, so that
the fruit, during the approach to the output
position is pushed off the knife at the output
position. Stationary cams "I are hinged to
swing in one direction only and are gravity
stressed to return position, so that on the re
I have found that the overall e?iciency of a sin
gle stage orlentator is very little if any less than
that of a multi-stage orlentator, such as has
been described in my Patent No. 2,220,511 cited
above. When a carrier is used, with multiple
stage orientation, I have found that quite often a
fruit which has been properly oriented in prior
stages is disturbed from its proper orientation in
subsequent stages. Thus, the difference in the
percentage of oriented fruit obtained in a single
stage orlentator as compared with the ‘percentage
attained in a multi-stage orlentator is not so
turn stroke the stripper rods I6I_ are not actu
different asv might at ?rst appear. For example,
ated. '
I have found that it is quite possible to obtain
It will also be noticed that in this modi?cation, 60 percentages of from 70% to 75% where multiple
when the reciprocating arms I50 and I50’ are
stages of the same general construction would
in the pick-up position over the orientation stage,
give at best from 80% to 85% of properly oriented
they are vertical, whereas when they are over .
the pitting stage they are at an angle to the
vertical. This positioning of the reciprocating
By the term “properly oriented” used
65 herein, I mean fruit which is oriented to such a
vclose extent that the fruit will remain stably
supported after inspection.
insure that in the orientation stage the pitting
I have also found that the time required for a
knives do not go all the way through the fruit.
high percentage of proper orientation is surpris
whereas at the pitting stage the angular posi 70 ingly small. Experiments have shown that with
tioning of the arms insures that the knives will
the machine described and shown herein, approx
go all the way through the fruit, the same length
imately 60% of the fruit is oriented in the ?rst
of stroke being used in both positions.
fraction of a second, and that in order to appre
Also, in this modi?cation, there is a slight
ciably raise the percentage, the time must be-ap
change made in the action of the fence bar “ 75 preciably extended. Close observation of the ac
arms I50 and I50’ is all that is necessary to
tion ‘of theorienting device indicates that many
but it will give a large percentage of fruit a proper ;. ,
orientation and greatly aids in making the prod- >
not uniform.
Furthermore. it can also be seen that by vary
cherries subjected to the orienting action’of' the
wheels have "their longest diameter corresponding
to the axis of the fruit passing through the stem '
ing the diameter of the inspecting surface I! by
the use of platforms 208 of varying diameters
indent, the pit, and the blossom end of the fruit,
and that such fruit may tend to rotate stably on
the wheel around this axis with the wheel shaft
parallel to this long diameter. Some of the fruit
so rotating will rotate around this long axis sub
stantially inde?nitely if not disturbed.‘ Conse
surrounding the wheel 41, that I am able to vary
the leeway of inspection as desired. For example, -
if the surface 52 is of very small diameter, then
all the fruit except those which are exactly cen- V
tered on the wheel, will roll on’. vIf, however, the
quently,‘ I have provided a means for reducing
surface 62 is made of a sllghly larger diameter,
any such a tendency towards stable rotation, to be
the wheel may be registered with the stem indent
used with batches of fruit which have a high per
of a fruit but the fruit may be laterally cocked
centage of fruit elongated in the direction of the
main axis, as above de?ned. Such means is 16 to some extent. This fruit will still be held on
shown in Figs. 13 and 14. In this modi?cation the ' the platform in stable position by gravity. Thus,
by varying the diameter of platform 62. I am able
fence bar ‘I is provided with rotatable inserts 200,
these inserts having the fence apertures 42 there
to obtain either strict inspection, or a. general in
in. The inner walls of the apertures 42 are pref
spection which is less strict as to the actual posi
erably provided with smooth regular serrations 20 tion of the fruit.
It may be found desirable "with certain fruit
having -a large, percentage of shallow indents, to
stop the rotation of wheels 41 during inspection.
This is accomplished by energizing wheel motor
64 from a switch operated by the movement of
fence bar- ll so that when the fence bar ll rises
to permit inspection, the wheel isyno longer ro
tating. The instant the fence bar drops to the
2M and each of the inserts is provided with pe-'
ripheral gear teeth 202 meshing with worms 203
mounted on a fence rotating shaft‘ 2“ extending
‘ along the fence bar and journaled in bearings 205.
This shaft may be rotated by small fence motor
206 which is carried on the fence bar and moves
with it. By rotating the fence inserts while the
cherry is being rotated by the wheels 41, the tend
ency for the fruit to assume a stable position with
' position just above the wheel, then the motor will
its long axis parallel to theshaft of wheel 41 is 80 be started again. Likewise, in the same manner,
when the rotating fences are used, as shown in
frustrated, ‘as the serrations on the rotating fence
Figs. 13 and 14, these fences may also be stopped
turn the long axis of the fruit toward the plane
from rotating during lifting of the fence arm. of the rotating wheel and the rotation thereof
almost immediately brings the stem indent of the '
fruit in registry with the wheel.
_ 35
I have found that when fruit which have a high
percentage of elongated units are being run
‘through the machine, that the use of the rotat
ing fence will increase the ‘percentage of prop
erly oriented fruit by at least 10% or 15% and 40
I claim:
1. Fruit orienting and pitting means for in
dented fruit comprising a holder having separable
upper and lower portions, a fruit revolving mem
ber projecting a distance into the lower portion ,
of said holder, said fruit revolving member being
incapable of rotating said fruit when the stem
' I have been able with a single stage, and by the
- indent of said fruit registers‘therewith, means
use of the rotating fence, to properly orient and
pass through the pitter more than 75% of the
fruit passed through the machine, with an ori
for moving said upper portion away from said
lower portion a, su?lcient distance to clear said
fruit, a pitting knife laterally spaced from said
entation time that does not exceed one second. 45 receptacle, and transfer means for grasping and
transporting fruit resting on "said lower portion
I have also been able to orient and pass through
to a position beneath said pitting knife.
'the pitter more than 65% of all the fruit passed
2.. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 where
‘through the machine in an overall-cycle of time
in said lower portion is shaped to be incapable of
less than ‘one second, of which the orientation
portion will be about % of a second. In this 50 alone supporting fruit other than fruit having
registry of said stem indent and said fruit revolv
manner, by using only a single stage and passing
to the pitter only those fruit which are properly v
oriented in a second or less, I have been able to
ing member.
3. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 where
in said fruit revolving member is a wheel.
obtain a higher production from a single stage
machine than has been heretofore obtainable 55 4. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 where
in means are provided to revolve said upper por
with a multi-stage machine using a carrier and a
tion of said‘ holder around the vertical axis
longer operating cycle. Furthermore, the single
vstage machine is, simpler. and has fewer'parts
than the carriertype machine, and therefore can
of both portions.
5. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 where
be operated at higher speeds-with a consequent 60 in means are provided to revolve said upper por
tion of said holder around the vertical axis of
both portions and wherein the inner walls of said
‘upper portion are ?uted.
without inspection, such as may be desirable
'6. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 where
when'running ungraded cherries di?eringlargely
in size, and when it is onlynecessary to orient 65 in said fruit transfer means comprises a pair of
more than 50% thereof, all that is necessary is \ horizontally movable clamp arms, together with
gain in output;
In case .it [is desired to operate‘the machine
to substitute for the small ?at inspecting surface
52 a larger and shallow cupped surface as shown
in Fig. 15. Here the fruit supporting surface 208
is part of an annular platform 209 and of greater
'1 - diameter than \the inspecting surface 52.
means operating to close said arms on a fruit
resting on said lower portion and to open said
arms to‘ release said fruit after pitting by said
7. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 where
fruit will remain on 'the'surface 208 irrespective
in means are provided to'feed a new‘ fruit to said
- of whether or not the fruit are properly oriented.
holder after removal of a prior fruit therefrom by‘
said transfer means.
This eliminates the position inspection and passes
all thefruit, irrespective of position, to the pitter, 76
8. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 where
in means are provided to feed a new fruit to said
holder after removal of a prior fruit therefrom
by said transfer means and wherein movement
of said upper portion of said holder to original
position releases said new fruit into said holder. ' ~
9. In a pitting machine, a holder for holding
a fruit, a pitting rubber spaced from said holder,
a pitting knife, means for moving said knife from
a position over said holder to a position over said
rubber and means for reciprocating said knife at
each position to pick up a fruit by entrance fric
tion into fruit while in said holder and to pass said
knife through said picked up fruit when over said
10. A single stage orienting and pitting machine 15
comprising means for holding a plurality of un
oriented and unpitted fruit or the like: an orient
means oseillatablebetween said orienting station
and said pitting station: means for successively
positioning ‘individual fruit' from said. holdins
means at said orienting station; means for apply
ing orientating forces to said fruit for a period of
time to orientate the same; means for discarding
said fruit if not properly orientated within such
period; means for causing said transfer "means to
transfer an orientated fruit to said pitting sta
tion and return for similar transfer of a suc
cessively orientated fruit; and means for, caus
ing said transfer means to drop a pitted fruit at
a point between said orienting station and said
pitting station during return movement of said
transfer means.
12. A single stage orienting and pitting machine
comprising means for holding a plurality of un
oriented and unpitted fruit or the like, an orient
oscillatable between said orienting station and
ing station, a pitting station, means for succes
said pitting station; means for successively posi 20 sively positioning individual fruit from said hold
tioning individual fruit from said holding means
ing means at said orienting station, means for
at said orienting station, to be orientated; means
applying orientating forces to said fruit for a pre
for causing said transfer means to transfer an
determined period while said fruit is positioned ‘
orientated fruit to said pitting station and return
at said orienting station, means oscillatable be
for similar transfer of a successively orientated
tween said orienting station and said pitting sta
fruit: and means for causing said transfer means
tion for transferring successively orientated fruit
to drop a pitted fruit at- a point between said
from said orienting station to said pitting station
orienting station and said pitting station during
in orientated position to be pitted, and means for
return movement of said transfer means.
causing said oscillatable transfer means to aban
11. A single stage orienting and pitting ma go don control of pitted fruit during return move
chine comprising means for holding a plurality of
ments of said oscillatable transfer ‘means.
unoriented and unpitted fruit or the like; an
ing station; a pitting station; transfer means
orienting station; a pitting station; transfer
mswon'rrr w. CARROLL.
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