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Publication numberUS3802559 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date9 Apr 1974
Filing date2 Jan 1973
Priority date2 Jan 1973
Publication numberUS 3802559 A, US 3802559A, US-A-3802559, US3802559 A, US3802559A
InventorsR Luchetti, J Richards
Original AssigneeEastman Kodak Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Code detecting mechanism for detecting incorrect, missing, or misplaced codes on an article
US 3802559 A
Abstract
A code detecting mechanism for detecting articles having incorrect, missing, or misplaced codes travelling along one path, and in response thereto diverting the articles to another path. A predetermined code is sensed by a sensing system selectively set to the predetermined code, and the output thereof fed into a logic control circuit. If the sensing system does not sense the predetermined code for which it is preset, the control logic circuit is actuated to divert the article.
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United States Patent [191 MISPLACED CODES ON AN ARTICLE [75] Inventor: ioh ald l u clietti jjanies J.

Richards, both of Rochester, N.Y.

[73] 'Assignee: Eastmanliddalt ompany,

Rochester, NY.

221 Filed: Jan. 2, 1973 211' Appl. No.: 320,049

[52] US. cl. 209/111.7

[51] Int. Cl. B07c 5/342 [58] Field of Search 209/l11.7, 111.8, 73, 74 R [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,133,640 5/1964 Calhoun 209/1 1 1.7

Luchetti 1 Apr. 9, 1974 541 com; DETECTING MECHANISM FOR 3,473,034 10/1969 Goldstem 209/1111 x DETECTING INCORRECT, MISSING, 0 3,529,132 9/ 1970 lsobe 209/1 1 1.7 X

' 3,547,265 12/1970 Braun 209/11 1.7

Primary ExaminerRichard A. Schacher Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Steve W. Gremban 57 ABSTRACT A code detecting mechanism for detecting articles having incorrect, missing, or misplaced codes travelling along one path, and in response thereto diverting the articles to another path. A predetermined code is sensed by a sensing system selectively set to the predetermined code, and the output thereof fed into a logic control circuit. If the sensing system does not sense the predetermined code for which it is preset, the control logic circuit is actuated to divert the article.-

4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures ,1 o 0 AND FLIP FLOP K 30 724 I data $8 5 input 2B 0- SHIFT REG/575R /30 T-5 shift data 9 pulse output 26 FLIP FL 0P resell] 1 CODE DETECTING MECHANISM FOR DETECTING INCORRECT, MISSING, OR MISPLACED CODES ON AN ARTICLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to detectors, and more specifically to a code detecting mechanism for detecting incorrect, missing, or misplaced codes on an article, such as a film cartridge.

. 2. Description of the Prior Art It is old in the art to provide packaging lines in which articles to be packaged are transported. along a conveyor to a packaging station. A problem of article separation develops, however, in packaging applications in which the articles all have the same outward appearance, but inwardly contain a different product. An example of this are film cartridge packaging lines in which the film cartridges are outwardly identical, but may contain different types of film. In situations of this type, the cartridge is normally provided with a label affixed thereto and indicating thereon the type of film contained in the cartridge. Although efforts are normally made to separate the cartridges before they are placed on the conveyor, inevitably cartridges containing one type of film are mixed in with cartridges containing a different type of film. As a consequence, customers who are expecting to receive a package containing one type of film, find that the package may contain one or more cartridges containing a different type of film.

It is known in the prior art to provide a photosensitive code detecting system, of which US. Pat. No. 3,086,121 is exemplary, for scanning bits of coded indicia on an article, and simultaneously producing output signals in response to the bits of coded indicia. The output signals are used to control certain utilization circuits, such as sorting gates, so that all packages having a predetermined information code will go into one group. Although this code detecting system operates satisfactorily for sorting articles, it suffers from the disadvantage that the code sensing portion of the system cannot be readily changed to sense a different code format. In addition, in'this code detecting system, the code sensors are operated for the entire length of the article, and no means are provided for controlling the starting and stopping of the sensors to sense only a predetermined portion of the code. Lastly, the electrical circuitry for the code detecting system appears to be relatively complicated.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, a code detecting mechanism is disclosed comprising a code sensing means that is selectively'set-- table by selector switches to one of a number of code formats for detecting codes on articles transported at a rate of up to 600 articles per minute. When the sensing means senses a code corresponding to' the code for which it is preset, a signal produced thereby is fed into a detector logic control circuit which remains inactive. 1

However, if the sensing means senses a code that is different than the preset code, the signal produced thereby actuates the detector logic control circuit, causing a mechanism to divert the article from its normfal path. Means are provided for controlling the activity of the logic circuit so that it is responsive to the sensing means only during the scanning of a selected portion of the code format, such as 1/32 of an inch.

The advantages of the code detecting mechanism of this invention is that the sensing means may be selectively changed in a facile manner to sense any one of a number of different possible code formats. In addition, the mechanism can be readily controlled to be responsive to only a predetermined portion, such as approximately l/32 of an inch, of the sensed, coded area, thereby making the mechanism more sensitive in detecting errors in a displaced code or label. Also, the detecting mechanism ofv this invention is believed to be more compact and less expensive than prior known mechanisms.

It is accordingly one of the objects of the present invention to provide an improved code detecting mechanism that can be selectively adjusted to detect or sense one of a plurality of possible code formats.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved code detecting mechanism that is readily adjusta'ble to sense or detect only apredetermined portion of the code format. 7

Another object ofthe invention is to provide an improved code detecting mechanism that is of simple design and construction, thoroughly reliable and efficient in operation, and economical to manufacture.

The invention and its objects and advantages will become more apparent from the detailed description of the preferred embodiment presented below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the detailed description of the preferred'embodiment of the invention presented below, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the code detecting mechanism of this invention positioned to detect a code on a conveyed cartridge;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the detecting mechanism of FIG. 1; v

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of an article having a label attached thereto provided with one possible code for mat, and diagrammatically indicating the positions that the selector switches of the sensing unit would beset;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating another possible code format; and I FIG. 5 is a schematic circuit diagram of the code detecting mechanism of this invention.

i I DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Because code detectors'are well known, the present description will be directed in particular to elements forming part of, cooperating more directly with, apparatus in accordance with the present invention. Detector and logic circuit elements not specifically shown or described herein should be understood to be selectable from those known in the art.

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawing, a preferred embodiment of the code detecting mechanism 10 of this invention is shown in position to sense or scan a code format 12 (FIGS. 3 and 4) on an article, such as a cartridge 14 transported beneath the mechanism on a conveyor 16 or the like. The code format 12 of any desired type, such as a combination of light and dark areas, is provided on a label 18, and the label attached by glue or the like to cartridge 14. Normally, the

label background 20 provides the light code marks and is a light reflecting color, such as yellow, and the nonlight reflecting code marks 22 are supplied by a dark color, such as a flat black ink. The code detecting mechanism of this invention detects missing, misplaced, or incorrectly coded labels 18 on the cartridge, and in response thereto, actuates any suitable article diverting mechanism, such as an air eject valve 24 (FIG. 5), for removing a rejected cartridge 14 from the conveyor 16.

Although only two possible code formats 12 are illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, using a four-dotted code, it should be understood that many other possible different codes are available. For example, the number of possible codes is: (2 2) where N is the number of code positions. Each selected code could designate a particular type of film in the cartridge.

The sensing means (FIGS. 1, 2, and 5) for sensing the code format 12 on a label 18 comprises supports 25 for a plurality of photocell sensing units 26 of a known commercially available type having a light source, not shown, focusable on the label and a light receiving photocell, not shown, mounted in the same enclosure. The supports 25 are adjustably mounted for movement in three planes for adjusting the photocell sensing units 26 relative to a cartridge 14. Since the black ink used for coding the labels 18 ideally will not reflect light, whereas the yellow background on which it is placed does reflect light, the photocell sensing unit 26 is ideally suited. Each of the photocell units 26 is coupled to any suitable amplifier 28, the output of which is connected to a selector switch 30 selectively movable from a normal off position to either a light position, in which the photocell and related logic circuit will look for a yellow or reflecting light portion 20 of the label, or a dark position, in which the photocell and related logic circuit looks for a dark or non-reflecting light portion, such as black code marks 22, in which substantially no light is reflected. By setting the four code selector switches 30, the code format 12 which is to be detected by the sensing unit and logic circuit is selected. Cartridges 14 having a label 18 which is missing, misplaced, or contains a code format 12 different from the one selected by the selector switches 30 will be sensed by the sensing unit and later ejected from the conveyor 16. If the photocell sensing unit 26 senses a code on a cartridge 14 for which it is set, the cartridge will remain undisturbed, and will travel on the conveyor to the packaging station, where it is packaged.

The detector logic circuit for receiving the signals from the photocell sensing units 26, as best seen in FIG. 5, comprises an AND gate A. The output of each of the photocells 26, which is arbitrarily designated logic 1 if the photocell senses the code for which it is set, and arbitarily designated logic 0 if the photocell senses a different code, are applied to AND gate A. The leading portion or area of the code to be sensed is established by a timing pulse T-l provided by a commercially available rotoswitch, not shown, attached directly to the main drive of conveyor 16. The pulse T-l is applied to a flip-flop A which is normally set to logic 0. Flip-flop A is reset, applying a signal 1 to AND gate A. As soon as another timing pulse T-2 from the rotoswitch is applied to AND gate A, the gate operates, and continues to operate, until still another timing pulse T-3 from the rotoswitch is applied to flip-flop A, resetting it. Accordingly, it is possible to control the detector to scan or sense as little as 1/32 of an inch at a transport speed of substantially 600 cartridges per minute, thereby making it possible to detect labels that are displaced approximately l/32 of an inch. If desired, the gating of the photocells 16 into AND gate A may also be accomplished by a photocell, not shown, which is designed to look for the leading edge of a cartridge 14. If the code sensed by the photocell sensing units 26 corresponds to the code set by switches 30, all of the outputs thereof fed into AND gate A" are 1," and hence the output of AND gate A is 1. The AND gate A output 1 is coupled to a detecting flip-flop B which is normally set to logic 1, indicating a bad label 18 or one that is either missing, misplaced, or improperly coded. The logic output 1 from AND gate A resets flip-flop B to a logic 0, indicating a good label. This information is then clocked into a storage shift register and before the next cartridge arrives at the detection station, a timing pulse T-4 from the rotoswitch sets or returns the detecting flip-flop B to logic 1, and timing pulse T-S shifts the shift register one increment. The 0 output from the shift register along with another timing pulse T-6 from the rotoswitch is applied to another AND gate B, whose output is O." Accordingly, the cartridge diverting means in the form of eject air valve 24 for blowing the cartridge off of the conveyor 16 is not actuated, and the cartridge 14 continues on the conveyor to the packaging station. This completes one cycle of operation. Let us assume that the next cartridge 14 that arrives at the detection station does not have the proper code format 18 or the label is misplaced. Accordingly, the output of one or more of the photocells 26 will be 0, which is gated into AND gate A by the rotoswitch time pulses T-l and T-2. Accordingly, AND gate A" output 0" is coupled to the detecting flip-flop B which remains in its normal set position of logic 1. The logic 1 output is gated into the shift register which stores and advances the cartridge status for a predetermined number of positions until the cartridge arrives at the ejection station. At such time, the logic 1 output of the shift register is fed into AND gate B, along with a rotoswitch pulse T-6, and AND gate B logic output 1 actuates eject air valve 24, causinga blast of air to eject the defective cartridge 14 from conveyor 16.

The invention has been described in detail with particular reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, but it will be understood that variations and modifications canbe effected within the spirit and scope of the invention as described hereinabove.

I claim:

1. In a code detecting mechanism for detecting one of a number of possible codes comprising a combination of light reflecting and non-light reflecting areas on an article such as a film cartridge or the like, the combination comprising:

transport means for transporting a plurality of coded articles along a path containing said one code among other codes;

means for diverting from said path all articles not containing said one code whereby-articles containing said one code continue to be transported along said path;

means comprising a plurality of photocells for sensing said codes on said articles during transport thereof by said transport means;

logic circuit means including an AND gate responsive to said photocells when codes other than said one code are sensed for operating said diverting means for diverting all articles containing codes other than said onecode; and

means for selectively varying said one code comprising a plurality of selector switches in which each switch couples one of said photocells to said AND gate and is movable between one position for sensing a light reflecting area and asecond position for sensing a non-light reflecting area.

2. The invention according to claim 1 and further including means for controlling the duration of operation of said AND gate to sense said code on a finite length of said article as little as 1/32 of an inch.

3. The invention according to claim 2 wherein said controlling means comprises a flip-flop circuit connected to said AND gate, means for feeding a first timing pulse to said AND gate to initiate operation of said AND gate, and means for feeding a second timing pulse to said flip-flop circuit causing said flip-flop circuit to discontinue operation of said AND gate.

4. The invention according to claim 2 wherein said controlling means comprises a flip-flop circuit connected to said AND gate and movable between a set state in which the AND gate will not operate and a reset state in which the AND gate will operate, means for feeding timing pulse to said flip-flop circuit for moving said flip-flop circuit to said reset state, means for feeding a second timing pulse to said AND gate to initiate operation of said AND gate, and means for feeding a third timing pulse to said flip-flop circuit for moving said flip-flop circuit to said set state causing said flipflop circuit to discontinue operation of said AND gate. i

UNITED STATES I ATENT "OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Parent No. 3;802,.559 Dared vApril 1 4 Invencofl) Ronald A. Luohetti; James J. Richards It is certified that: error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

F @oiumn 6 9 lim; M. after word Eweiing insort fang a firr-it -n Signed and sealed this 22nd day of bctober 1974.

(SEAL) Attestz' MCCOY M. GIBSON JR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3933248 *30 Sep 197420 Jan 1976Owens-Illinois, Inc.Bird-swing detector
US3975261 *18 Feb 197517 Aug 1976Tac Technical Instrument CorporationSequential event memory circuit for process and quality control
US3980180 *20 Nov 197414 Sep 1976Jamieson John ATransmissive article sorting apparatus
US4316533 *4 Mar 198023 Feb 1982The Coca-Cola CompanyContainer deposit refund system
US4386708 *12 Feb 19817 Jun 1983American Can CompanyContainer reject system
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US4596332 *22 Jun 198424 Jun 1986Photomatrix CorporationMicrofiche transfer system
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US76012836 Feb 200613 Oct 2009Micron Technology, Inc.Methods and apparatuses for shaping a printed circuit board
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Classifications
U.S. Classification209/583, 209/528, 209/565
International ClassificationB07C5/34, G03B17/24
Cooperative ClassificationG03B17/24, B07C5/3412
European ClassificationG03B17/24, B07C5/34B