US2114727A - Hop picking machine - Google Patents

Hop picking machine Download PDF

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US2114727A
US2114727A US4953135A US2114727A US 2114727 A US2114727 A US 2114727A US 4953135 A US4953135 A US 4953135A US 2114727 A US2114727 A US 2114727A
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picking
belt
vine
means
hops
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Thys Edouard
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CLEMENS HORST CO E
E CLEMENS HORST Co
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CLEMENS HORST CO E
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01DHARVESTING; MOWING
    • A01D46/00Picking of fruits, vegetables, hops, or the like; Devices for shaking trees or shrubs
    • A01D46/02Picking of fruits, vegetables, hops, or the like; Devices for shaking trees or shrubs of hops

Description

April 19, 1938. THYS v 2,114,727

HOP PICKING MACHINE Filed Nov. 15, 1935 9 Sheets-Sheet l IIIHIM iF nl., JNVENTOR.

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HOP PICKING MACHINE Filed NOV. 13, 1935 9 Sheets-Sheet 3 A TTORNEX I Il ai" mr i;

9 Sheets-Sheet 4 l 'lullin E. THYS HOP PICKING MACHINE Filed Nov. 15, 1935 nl' l yApril 19, 1938.

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6M @www ATTORNEY April 19, 193s. E. THYs 2,114,727

HOP PICKING MACHINE Filed Nov. 15, 1935 n 9 sheets-sheet 5 nolo INH"

., l mmmmml llulul" @Kad/ ATTORNEY.

April 19, 1938. E. THYs HOP PICKING MACHINE Filed Nov. 13, 1955 9 Sheets-Sheet 6 April 19, 1938. E. THYS 2,114,727

HOP PICKING MACHINE Filed Nov. 15, 1935 9 Sheets-Sheet 7 INV TOR. iowa/ub April 19, 1938. E. THYS 2,114,727

HOP PICKING MACHINE Filed NOV. 13, 1955 9 Sheets-Sheet 8 INI/ENT R. dowalwl,

A TTORNEY.

April 19, 1938. E. THYs 2,114,727

HOP PICKING MACHINE Filed Nov. 13, 1935 9 sheets-sheet 9 m y F.r. 26.

`Patented Apr. 19, 19.38 I

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE HOP PICKING MACHINE Edouard Thys, San Francisco, Calif.. assignor to E. Clemens Horst C0., San Francisco, Calif., a corporation of New Jersey Application November 13, 1935, Serial No. 49,531

16 Claims. (Cl. 130-30) This invention relates to hop picking machines ing between the rows of vines atA a slow speed. and particularly to a portable machine to permit The machine contains a main feeding and picking picking of hops in the field where they are grown. unit and separating and cleaning units. The

The picking of hops by means of machinery is picked and cleaned hops are sacked and hauled to now a comparatively old art, as machine picking the dry kilns, while all waste material, such as the has been in continuous use on a comparatively picked vines, leaves, stems, etc., is left in the field large scale in California and other States, at least as the machine advances.

since 1910, or earlier; the type of machine em- The machine intended for eld picking of hops ployed being that illustrated in Patents Numbers is shown by way of illustration in the accompany` 1,054,119 and 1,054,551. These machines are ing drawings, in whichlo large affairs, the main picking machine being Fig. 1 is aside elevation of the machine;

about two hundred feet long, thirty feet high, and Fig. 2 is a central, vertical, longitudinal section; about twenty-five feet wide. .Besides the main Fig. 3 is a plan view partially broken away; picking machine there are machines for separat- Fig. 4 is a vertical cross section taken on line l5 ing the stems and leaves from the hops and there IV-IV of Fig. 1; 16 are arm pickers and cluster busters. The several Fig. 5 is an end view of the feeding end of the machines are connected by conveyors and form a machine; combined unit all assembled under one roof and Fig. 6 is an end View looking into the discharge known as the packing plant. end of the machine;

Hops. as is well known, grow on vines supported Fig. 7 is a plan view of the separating mecha- -20 by trellises twelve to eighteen feet high and benism whereby the leaves and the stems are sepafore they can be picked by machines of the charrated from the hops;

acter above referred to, it is necessary to cut down Fig. 8 is a longitudinal section of one end of one the vines and pull them free from the trellises and oi the vine grasping and feeding bars, said view load them onto wagons whereby they are hauled showing the vine clamping or gripping mechanism 25 to thc main packing plant. They are there unin clamping position; loaded and fed into the picking machine and are Fig. 9 is a view similar to Fig. 8, showing the thereafter separated from leaves and stems and vine clamping or gripping mechanism in open poare finally delivered to the hop kilns to be dried. sition;

While this method of handling and picking is Fig. 10 is a cross section taken on line X-X of 30 more efficient and less costly than hand picking, Fig, 8; there is, nevertheless, considerable waste, break- Fig. 1l is an enlarged view of the entrance of age of vines and loss; the main loss encountered the cam tracks whereby the vine grasping bars are being the cost of hauling the vines from the elds actuated;

to the main picking plant, the breakage encoun- Fig. 12 is a side elevation showing the manner 35 tered in loading and unloading the vines, and the in which a vine grasper bar is attached to the re-hauling of all waste material back to the fields. chains 2--2 Machine picking directly in the field would' Fig. 13 is an enlarged cross section of the last eliminate these losses and is the purpose of the unit of the separating mechanism hereinafter to 40 present invention. For some time experimental be referred to as a rotary separator; work has been carried on with field picking ma- Fig. 14 is a side elevation of the same unit showchines and during the last season or so the reing the manner in which it is adjusted with relasults obtained have become so successful that tion to the conveyor delivering the hops thereto; plant picking may be abandoned. The eld ma- Fig. 15 is a side elevation partially in section of chine forming the subject matter of this patent is the cluster buster or breaking unit indicated at D; 45

portable and may be hauled by tractor or placed Fig. 16 is a plan view of the same; directly upon a truck or trailer. The machine Fig. 17 is a perspective view of one of the bars travels through the field between the rows of whereby the resilient wire picking fingers is setrellises and will remain stationary while the vines cured;

are being cut down and fed into the machine. Fig. 18 is a side elevation partially in section of 50 After a certain area has been cleared off the mathe separating unit E; chine will be moved ahead, and so on, until the Fig. 19 is a plan View thereof, said view being row is finished, after which, row after row will be partially broken away; handled in the same manner, or alternatively the Fig. 20 is a front view of the discharge spout M vines may be fed to the machine while it is travelshowing the position of the wire lingers 63; 55

' gripping and feeding bars 1.

Fig. 21 is a side elevation partially in section of the air separating unit F;

Fig. 22 is a plan view thereof, said view being partially broken away;

Fig. 23 is an end view of the same;

Fig. 24 is a side elevation partially in section of the rotary vacuum separating unit indicated at H;

Fig. 25 is a side elevation of the same;

Fig. 26 is a plan view partially broken away and partially shown in section;

Fig. 27 is an end view partially in section and partially broken away;

Fig. 28 shows a modified form of separating cylinder.

'I'he machine illustrated in this patent is particularly constructed to make it possible to pick the hops directly in the field and to separate the picked hops from the leaves, stems, etc., removed wth the hops during the picking operation. The machine is portable and may be mounted on a trailer, a truck, or may be hauled by a tractor, or other suitable means.

The means consists of a main frame A consisting of a platform carrying suitable timbers to support the several shafts and mechanism forming the machine. The machine comprises a vine grasping and feeding unit generally indicated at B; a picking unit C; a cluster busting unit D; a leaf, stem and hop separator E; an air blast separator F; and a rotary vacuum separator H.

The first unit, to wit, the vine grasping and feeding unit consists of a pair of spaced endless sprocket chains 2 2, supported by upper and lower pairs of sprocket gears 3 3 and 4 4. The sprockets 4 are secured on the shaft 5, which is driven as shown from a shaft 6. The sprocket gears 4, accordingly, function as the drive for the feeding unit while the sprocket gears 3 3 and 4a are idlers.

Disposed between the chains 2 2 and extending crosswise thereof are a plurality of vine These bars are identical in construction and function, hence the description of one will sufllce. Referring to Figs. 5, 8 and 12, inclusive, it will be noted that the vine gripper and feeding bar consists of a tube 1 having a head 8 secured at each end. A pin 9 is secured to each head andextends through bearing lugs I0 formed on the links of the chains 2 2. The tube and pins 9 must be free to rotate in the bearing lugs I0 as this is an important feature later to be described. 'I'he tube 1 is profided with two openings II II, see Figs. 5, 8 and 9, these openings being provided to permit insertion of the heavy or stem ends of the vines so as to permit them to be grasped and secure the clamp against removal during feeding and picking operation.

The clamping mechanism comprises a pair of stationary jaws I2 arranged one adjacent each opening and a pair of movable jaws I3 cooperating therewith; means are provided for automatically separating and maintaining the jaws separated for a suilicient period of time to permit insertion of the stem ends of the vines and for automatically applying a clamping action thereto after the stem ends of the vines have been inserted. This is accomplished as follows: Attached to each movable clamping jaw is a rod Il which is guided by bearing I5, a spring I6 is interposed between the bearing and the movable jaw I3 and this spring normally maintains the movable jaw in clamping position with relation to the stationary jaw. The outer end of each rod I4 is provided with a cross pin I1 projected through slots I9 formed in the tube 1, said pin being anchored in a collar I9 slidably mounted on the exterior of the tube, it being understood that there are two collars I9 one at each end of the tube 1 so that separate actuation of the re spective movable jaws is made possible.

A pair of cam tracks 2li-20 are suitably se cured to the main frame in opposite ends of the vine gripping feeding bars, or in other words, the tube 1. These cam tracks, see Figs. 1 and 2, 'are positioned parallel to the chains 2 2 and follow the same path of travel as said chains and they extend from the point 2I to that indicated at 22. These serve two functions, rst that of actuating or opening the movable clamping jaws I3 and, secondly, that of properly positioning the vine gripping and feeding bars; that is, maintaining them in a position where the openings I I will be horizontally disposed so that the stem ends of the vines may be readily inserted when the jaws I2 and I3 are separated. Secured to the extreme outer end of each tube 1 is a guide tongue or lug 23. 'I'his serves the function oi' positioning the tube 1, as just described, that is when a vine gripper bar approaches the entrance end 2| formed between the cam tracks 20, the tongue 23 will strike the curved ends of the cam track and will be swung so as to trail behind the tube or bar. The cam tracks then engage opposite sides of the tongue or lug 23 and hold and guide it during the entire period while the bars and tubes 1 travel in alignment with the cam tracks. It was previously stated that the tubes and the pins 9 were free to rotate in the bearing lugs Il! of the sprocket chains, hence it is obvious that when the guide tongue 23 engages the cam tracks at the point 2| the tube or bars are free to swing so that the tongue will assume a trailing position. In this position the openings II through which the stem ends of the vines are inserted will be in the proper position and they are maintained in this position during the travel of the vine gripper bars or tubes during theentire vertical portion of the cam tracks, see Fig. 2.

By again referring to this figure it will be noted that the cam tracks have an inclined step, such as indicated at 2l. This step engages the collars I9 and forces them outwardly, or in other words, toward the ends of the tubes 1 and as the collars are attached to the rods Il by means of the cross pin I1 the movable jaws I3 will be moved outwardly or away from the stationary jaw I2. They are thus held in open position by the cam track while the collars I9 are 'maintained in engagement therewith and ample time is thus provided for the insertion of the stem ends of the vines but the moment the collars travel out of engagement with the cam tracks at the point 22, spring I6 will force the jaw I3 into clamping position and the vines will be rigidly grasped and secured. After the vine has been inserted and grasped, it will be elevated by the bars to the first or outermost of the idler sprockets 3. At this time the vine will be elevated to a point where the trailing end will be engaged by the conveyor 25 which runs in the direction of arrow a. 'I'he trailing end of the vine is carried upwardly by this conveyor and it is delivered at the point 26 to the hop picking unit C. This unit consists of a conveyor belt consisting of a pair of spaced parallel sprocket 4'chains 21 carried by sprockets 28 and 29, said chains being driven from shaft 30, as clearly shown in Figs. 1 and 2. 'I'he chains are connected crosswise by bars 3i, these bars being provided 75 with a series of V-shaped flexible wire fingers 32 throughout their length which comb the vines and pull off the hops. The chains 21, the bars 3| and the fingers carried by the bars form a picking belt, which cooperates t'ith a pair of picking cylinders indicated at 33 and 34. These cylinders consist of heads spaced apart and secured at opposite ends on shafts as shown, the heads being connected by bars 35 carrying picking flngers 36 identical to those carried by the bars 3|. 'I'he shafts carrying the drums are each provided with a sprocket and these are connected by a chain 31, one of the shafts being driven as shown and the ratio of speed being such that both drums rotate in the direction of arrow b, while the belt travels in the direction of arrow c; the speed of rotation of the drums being substantially the same as the travel of the belt so that the vines are thoroughly combed not only by the fingers 32 but also by the fingers 36. Thetop end of the vine enters between the picking fingers at the point 26 and is moved forwardly the moment it is grasped by the fingers; the whole vine passing completely through to the point indicated at 26. At this time the vine grasper bar Will have reached the dotted position indicated at 1a. From there on it travels downwardly and as it is traveling downwardly it will pull the vine back between the picking fingers in the reverse direction to that which it was originally fed inwardly. This is also important as it again subjects the vine to a combing action and it also permits removal of the vine after it has been picked. After the vine has been picked and completely removed from between the picking fingers it travels downwardly around the sprockets 4 and the moment the collars are engaged by the steps of the cam track, indicated at 24, the collars I9 open the gripping jaws and the stem end of the vine will thus be released and will drop by gravity to the ground.

In the present instance the chains 2-2 are shown as carrying four vine gripping bars, hence there will always be one vine in picking position;

Y a second vine in feeding position; a third vine which is being released; and a fourth one which has just been picked and is on its Way to be discharged. Obviously more or fewer bars may be employed if desired.

The picking mechanism C is completely enclosed by a housing 40. The hops which are combed out by the fingers 32 and 33 will most of them discharge through an opening 4| in the housing onto aconveyor42. Many of the hops will fall between the fingers 32 down into the lower part of the housing but they will here be picked up by a conveyor 43 which will deliver them to the discharge opening 4|. hence all of the hops which are picked, together with the arms, leaves, stems, etc., which are accidentally removed during the picking operation are all delivered to the conveyor 42. Many of the hops growing on the vine grow in the form of clusters and complete clusters are often removed and the conveyor, indicated at 42, and the mechanism cooperating therewith is intended for the purpose of breaking up the cluster and for removing a large portion of leaves and arms. The single hops and small leaves fall through the conveyor 42 into a discharge chute 44 and are delivered to the separating unit, indicated at E, which will hereinafter be described. 'Ihe cluster buster or cluster breaking mechanism, generally indicated at D, consists of a conveyor belt 42 constructed of substantially diamond shaped Wire netting, somewhat similar to chicken fencing wire. This conveyor is' disposed on an angle as shown and is secured between chains carried by sprocket gears 43 and 45, the gears being mounted on shafts and the shafts being journaled on frame 41 which is pivoted to the main frame; a chain 48 being attached to the free end of the frame to permit it to be raised or lowered so as to vary the angle of the conveyor 42. Disposed in front of the sprockets 45 and between the upper and lower runs of the conveyor 42 is a shaft 49, which carries a series of bars having picking fingers U mounted thereon which are similar to the picking fingers 32 and 36 heretofore described. Shaft 49, together with the bars and picking fingers carried thereby, is driven as shown and in the direction of arrow d, while the conveyor travels upwardly. All single hops and small leaves, stems, etc., as previously stated, drop through the open meshes of the conveyor 42 directly into the discharge spout 44, but arms, large leaves and clusters of hops, on the other hand. are too large to drop through and are, accordingly, hung up in the meshes, the clusters being broken up by the fingers 50 as they rotate against the upwardly traveling conveyor 42. They are also broken by a picker belt 5| disposed above the conveyor, said picker belt being similar in construction to that shown at 21 and being operated in the same manner. Any arms, leaves, or stems, or portions of clusters tending to adhere to the conveyor 42, after it passes over the sprockets 45, are removed by the revolving brush 52: hence the conveyor functions not only as a separator but also as a cluster buster. All of the hops, leaves and stems dropping through the meshes of the conveyor 42, together with the clusters which are broken up by the fingers 50, or by the fingers of the picker belt 5|, discharge through the spout 44 onto a conveyor belt 53, forming a portion of the separating unit indicated at E. 'This conveyor belt is constructed of al fabric, such as coarse canvas. or the like. It is supported by two drums 54 and 55, which are carried by shafts. These are, in turn, supported by a frame 56 which is adjustable by means of a chain 51 so that the angle of the conveyor belt may be adjusted. The belt travels in an upward direction and a vacuum or suction action is applied to the upper surface of the belt while it is traveling upwardly so as to cause leaves and stems to adhere thereto. This is accomplished as follows.

Disposed beneath the upper surface of the conveyor belt is a box or housing 58 which is connected by means of a pipe 59 to the suction side of a fan or blower 60. This fan or blower tends to evacuate or maintain a comparatively high suction in the box 58 and air must thus enter through the fabric belt. The ow of air, accordingly, tends to cause leaves and similar foreign matter to adhere to the surface of the belt, while hops which are comparatively round afford a comparatively small suction area and as such roll down over the lower surface of the belt and discharge from the lower pulley or drum 55. An air blast nozzle 6| connected. through pipe 62 with the discharge side of the fan or blower 60 directs a blast of air against the upper end of the conveyor belt and against a series of fiexible wire fingers 63; hence as the hops, leaves, stems, etc., discharge from the spout 44 they fall through the upwardly directed blast of air from the spout 6| and a great proportion of this waste material is blown over the upper end of the conveyor belt, thus relieving it of that much work.

All material blowing over and all material carried upwardly by the belt discharges into a spout 64 from where it drops by gravity to the ground. A great proportion of the hops dropping through the conveyor 42 impinge against the slanting bottom of the spout 44 and they then roll down the angular slop' or bottom of the spout and impact against the fingers 63 from which they rebound and are thrown downwardly a considerable distance before they strike the separating conveyor 53. This is an important feature as it is desirable to keep the hops bounding and moving as much as possible so as to separate them with relation to the leaves and stems and to prevent them from adhering by suction to the conveyor 53. The leaves, on the other hand, are blown against the ngers 63 by the air blast from the spout or nozzle 6I `and while they slide downwardly on these fingers they are blown off from the lower ends and upwardly over the drum 54 to -be discharged. Thus, there is very little tendency of leaves falling toward the lower portion of the conveyor 53 but, if they do, most of them will adhere and will be removed as the vacuum or suction action is released the moment the belt or conveyor 53 passes beyond the upper end of the box 58. At this end they are actuated by the blast from the nozzle 6| and as such are carried over as waste.

In the operation of a machine of this character it happens that some of the wire picking fingers become broken and fall off. It may also happen that screws, bolts or nuts shake loose and it is obviously desirable to remove -any heavy or metallic particles; also, it is possible that in dragging the vines over the ground before they are delivered to the feeder that lumps of soil or other foreign material may be caught up or adhere to the vines and this should also be removed. It has been found that tools are lost, such as wrenches, screw drivers, etc., while mechanics are working around the machine while it is operating. All such material must be removed from the hops and this is accomplished at the discharge end of the conveyor 53. An air blast nozzle 10 is disposed just below the drum 55, said nozzle being supplied with air from the discharge side of the blower B0. This nozzle directs air upwardly in the direction of the arrows as shown. Above the same is a rounded housing 1I and connected therewith is the nozzle 6I. In other words the nozzle 6l is supplied with air from the nozzle 10. The rounded housing terminates in two discharge spouts, one indicated at 12 and one at 13. The clean separated hops discharging from the lower end of the drum 55 enter the air blast from the nozzle 10 and are blown thereby over into the discharge spout 13. Any heavy particles such as lumps, clods of dirt, broken wires, screws, bolts, or whatever it may be are too heavy to be blown over and as such discharge into the discharge spout 12 and are thereby automatically removed. Care must be taken in the operation of the air blast separator that-hops and fragments of leaves, which may have escaped the separating action, do not clog the entrance to the nozzle El; hence wire fingers 14 are placed at the entrance end thereof. These form an obstruction to particles of leaves, hops, etc., and are blown off from time to time and as such are self-cleaning.

The hops entering the discharge spouts 13 are for all practical purposes substantially clean but they may contain a small amount of leaves and stems and it is, accordingly, desirable to subject them to final separating action before sacking them and hauling them into the drying kilns. To accomplish this the last separating unit indicated at H is employed. This unit is best illustrated in Figs. 2, 13 and 14. It consists of a conveyor belt 15 upon which the hops are received from the spout 13. Disposed below the discharge end of the conveyor belt is a drum 18, which is perforated throughout its entire surface. 'I'here is an annular flange 11 at each end of the drum which is held in frictional engagement with the surface of the conveyor belt 15, hence as the conveyor belt is being driven the drum 18 will be driven through the annular flange 11 by frictional contact between said anges and the surface of the conveyor belt. the drum and extending therethrough is a hollow shaft 18 on which is formed two wings 18 and 88.

The shaft 18 is perforated as shown at 8l be-k tween the wings 19 and 80 so as to cause a vacuum in the chamber 82 formed inside of the drum between the wings; that is, rst the hollow shaft 18 is connected with the suction side of the blower so as to maintain a continuoussuction or vacuum in the chamber 82. The shaft 18 and the wings 19 and 88 are stationary, hence as the perforated drum rotates there will be a suction action on the upper surface thereof but the remaining surface will be dead and inactive; hence as the hops delivered to the belt 15 drop down on the upper surface of the drum they will again be subjected to a suction or vacuum action, the hops themselves bouncing off and discharging While the leaves and similar foreign matter will have a tendency to adhere to the surface. The drum rotates in the direction of the arrow as shown and as it passes the wing 19 it is released of suction action and leaves will be discharged and fall to the ground. The hops on the other hand discharge in the opposite side of the drum and are picked up by a spout conveyor or other suitable means not shownwhereby it is delivered toa sacker.

In actual practice it has been found that the vertical distance between the upper surface of the belt 15 and the top surface of the drum 16 may be adjusted to advantage and that the drum 16 may be moved forwardly of the conveyor under certain conditions. To accomplish this a pair of links 83 are mounted on each side of the frame. Pivoted to these links are hanger arms 84 in which the drum 16 is journaled, the outer ends of the hanger arms being connected to the frame by means of tension springs 85 which hold the flanges 11. The opposite ends of the drum are in frictional engagement with the surface of the conveyor belt 15. 'Ihe lower ends of the links 83 are connected to adjustable slotted links 86, hence by adjusting these the drum may be swung forwardly of the conveyor as far as desired and its vertical position with relation to the upper surface of the conveyor 15 may also be adjusted until the best separating action is obtained. While a perforated cylinder employing a vacuum has been described, actual practice has proven that a cylinder presenting a, surface to which the leaves tend to adhere and employing no vacuum may be successfully employed. 'I'his type of cylinder is illustrated in Fig. 28. It is covered with a fabric material either metal or cloth and, as such, presents a surface over which the hops will freely roll but the leaves tend to adhere.

From the foregoing it will be noted that a machine has been provided which is suitable for Mounted within portable use. It is provided with means for grasping and feeding the vines, for delivering the vines into a picking unit, and for subjecting the picked hops, first to the action o1' a cluster buster, and, secondly, to several cleaning or separating operations; hence insuring the delivery of cleaned hops and the return of all waste material to the ground where the hops are picked. The mechanism is exceedingly simple in construction and it is efficient in operation, the cost of operation being comparatively small as an ordinary gas engine, such as indicated at I0. gives all the power required for driving the several units; the manner of driving the several units being clearly shown in Figs. 1 and 2.

While the machine has been described for portable use, it is obvious it may be used in a stationary plant, if desired, but it would then be necessary to haul the vines into the plant, and while the machine illustrates means for separating and cleaning the hops, I wish it understood that the cleaning units may be entirely eliminated as it may be an advantage in some instances to merely pick the hops in the field and then to sack them and bring them into a plant where they can be subjected to cleaning and separation; in other words, the portable picking unit consists of the vine grasping and feeding mechanism, together with the picking mechanism only. In that case a comparatively small easily handled unit may be moved through the field. The several separating and cleaning units, however. take comparatively little space and for this reason are used in actual practice, and whilev other features of the invention are not specifically illustrated. I wish it understood that various changes may be resorted to within the scope of the appended claims. Similarly, that the materials and finish of the several parts employed may be such as the manufacturer may decide, or varying conditions or uses may demand.

In view of the fact that the several units may be employed independently of each other the cluster buster or breaking unit is shown separately in detail in Figs. 15, 16 and 17; the separating unit E in Figs. 18. 19 and 20; the air blast separator in Figs. 21, 22 and 23; and the rotary vacuum separator in Figs. 24, 25, 26 and 27.

In connection with the separating unit E means are described for maintaining a partial vacuum on one side of the belt in order to maintain a flow of air therethrough. Any other means may be employed as the essential feature is a ow oi' air through the belt which will cause the leaves to adhere thereto.

In connection with the separating cylinder 10 it is desired to point out the fact that the suction pipe 1B is secured in the outer ends of the arms 84 by means of set screws Il", see Fig. 27. This is important as it permits rotational adjustment of the suction pipe 18, together with the wings 19 and l0, carried thereby. That is, it permits the zone of suction formed on the exterior surface of the cylinder 18 to be shifted either to or away from the discharge end of the conveyor belt 15, thereby insuring the most efcient separating action possible. Also, it should be noted that a wire I8a is secured between a pair of arms 'I6b and extends longitudinally oi' the cylinder. This wire serves as a stop or barrier against which leaves lodge and as such retains the leaves in the zone of suction to be carried over by the cylinder to the leaf discharge side.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:-

1. In a hop picking machine, a picker belt composed of transverse rows of V-shaped picking fingers, a cylinder disposed above said belt and provided with rows of V-shaped picking fingers parallel to the rows of fingers on thebelt, means for driving the fingers on the belt and cylinder in the same direction, and means for feeding a hop vine between the belt and cylinder and longitudinally of the belt first in one direction to cause a preliminary picking of the vine and means for pulling the vine in a reverse direction between the same picking fingers to complete picking and to remove the vine.

2. In a hop picking machine, a picker belt composed of a pair of spaced endless sprocket chains, bars disposed transverse of the chains and secured thereto, a plurality of resilient V-shaped picking fingers on each bar, a cylinder disposed above the belt, a plurality of bars extending longitudinally of the cylinder and parallel to the belt bars, a plurality of resilient V-shaped ngers on the cylinder bars, means for driving-the belt and the cylinder in the same direction, means for feeding a hop vine between the belt and the cylinder and longitudinally of the belt rst in one direction to cause a preliminary picking of the hops and means for pulling the vine in a reverse direction between the same picking fingers to complete the picking of the hops and to remove the vine.

3. In a hop picking machine, a plurality of upper and lower spaced movable V-shaped picking fingers, a pair of endless spaced sprocket chains, pairs of sprocket wheels disposed above and below the picking fingers to support and drive the chains, a vine grasping and feeding bar disposed crosswise of the chains and secured there; to, said sprockets causing the chains and the bar to travel in a substantially rectangular-shaped path with the bar traveling upwardly on one side of said path, then toward the picking ngers, then downwardly and past the picking fingers, and returning toward the upwardly traveling side, and clamping means on the bar for receiving and securing the stem end of a hop vine, said means and the chains elevating the vine, and a conveyor for feeding the vine to and between the picking fingers in one direction, said vine grasping bar then pulling the vine out from between the fingers in a reverse direction.

4. In a hop picking machine, a plurality of upperl and lower spaced movable V-shaped picking fingers, a pair of endless spaced sprocket chains, pairs of sprocket wheels disposed above and below the picking fingers to support and drive the chains, a vine grasping and feeding bar disposed crosswise of the chains and secured thereto, said sprockets causing the chains and the bar to travel in a substantially rectangular-shaped path With the bar traveling upwardly on one side of said path, then toward the picking fingers, then downwardly and past the picking fingers, and returning toward the upwardly traveling side, clamping means on the bar for receiving and securing the stem end of a hop vine, said means and the chains elevating the vine, a conveyor for feeding the vine to and between the picking fingers in one direction, said vine grasping bar then pulling the vine out from between the fingers in a reverse direction, means for opening the clamping means to permit automatic release of a picked vine and to permit insertion of the stem end of a Vine to be picked, and other means for clos- Cil ing the clamping means after the stem end of a vine has been inserted to secure it during the picking operation.

5. In a hop picking machine, a plurality of upper and lower spaced vmovable V-shaped picking fingers, a pair of endless spaced sprocket chains, pairs of sprocket wheels disposed above and below the picking lingers to support and drive the chains, a vine grasping and feeding bar disposed crosswise of the chains and secured thereto, said sprockets causing the chains and the bar to travel in a substantially rectangular-shaped path with the bar traveling upwardly on one side of said path, then toward the picking fingers, then downwardly and past the picking fingers, and returning toward the upwardly traveling side, clamping means on the bars for receiving and securing the stem end of a hop vine, said means and the chains elevating the vine, a conveyor for receiving the head of the vine and for directing it into and between the picking ngers, said vine grasping and feeding bar, then pulling the vine out from between the fingers in a reverse direction.

6. In a hop picking machine, a plurality of upper and lower spaced movable V-shaped picking lingers, a pair of endless spaced sprocket chains, pairs of sprocket Wheels disposed above and below the picking ngers to support and drive the chains, a vine grasping and feeding bar disposed crosswise of the chains and secured thereto, said sprockets causing the chains and the bar to travel in a substantially rectangular-shaped path with the bar traveling upwardly on one side of said path, then toward the pickingflngers. then downwardly and past the picking fingers, and returning toward the upwardly traveling side, clamping means on the bars for receiving and securing the stem end of a hop vine, said means and the chains elevating the vine, a conveyor for receiving the head of the vine and for directing it into and between the picking fingers, said vine grasping and feeding bar, then pulling the vine out from between the fingers in a reverse direction, and means for automatically releasing the vine with relation to the bar when the vine has been picked.

7. In a hop picking machine of the character described a picking mechanism comprising upper and lower spaced picking fingers, means for feeding vines to the picking mechanism in one dinection, other means comprising a pair of sprocket chains mounted to travel toward and away from the picking mechanism, a bar extending crosswise of the chains and carried thereby and adapted to pull the vines from between the picking :lingers in a reversed direction, and clamping means on tlile bar to receive and secure the stem end of a 8. In a hop picking machine of the character described a picking mechanism comprising upper and lower spaced picking lingers, means for feeding vines to the picking mechanism in one direction, other means comprising a pair of sprocket chains mounted to travel toward and away from the picking mechanism, a bar extending crosswise of the chains and carried thereby and adapted to pull the vines from between the picking fingers in a reversed direction, clamping means on the bar to receive and secure the stem end of a vine. and means for automatically opening the clamping means to permit release of a picked vine and to permit insertion'of a new vine to be picked, and other means for closing the clamping means after insertion of a vine.

9. In a hop picking machine of the character described a picking mechanism comprising upper and lower spaced picking fingers, means for feeding vines to the picking mechanism in one direction, other means comprising a pair of sprocket chains mounted to travel toward and away 'from' the picking mechanism, a bar extending crosswise of the chains and carried thereby and adapted to pull the vines from between the picking fingers in a reversed direction, clamping means on the bar to receive and secure the stem end of a vine, spring actuated means for normally maintaining the clamping means closed, a rod on the bar connected at one end with the clamping means and connected with a collar at the opposite ends, and a cam track engageable with the collar to open the clamping means.

10. In a hop picking machine of the character described a picking mechanism comprising upper and lower spaced picking lingers, means for feeding vines to the picking mechanism in one direction, other means comprising a pair of sprocket chains mounted to travel toward and away from the picking mechanism, a tubular bar extending crosswise of the chains and carried thereby, said bar being rotatable with relation to the chains and having an opening formed therein for the reception of the stem end of a hop vine, a stationary clamping jaw within the tube at one side of the opening, a movable jaw within the tube cooperating ,with the stationary jaw, a spring Within the tube normally maintaining the jaw closed, a rod connected at one end with the movable jaw, means on the opposite end of the rod projecting through the tube, a cam track with which said projecting means engages to open the jaw, and a guide tongue on the tube engageable with the'cam track to position the tube so that the opening formed therein will be properly positioned when the stem end of a vine is to be inserted.

11, A machine for removing arms, large leaves, etc., and for breaking hop clusters comprising an endless wire mesh belt, the meshes of which are substantially diamond shaped, a pair of chains for driving the belt and for supporting it, means for delivering material including clusters of hops to the upper surface of the lbelt, a cylinder disposed under the upper surface of the belt, and a plurality of V-shaped flexible picking ilngers secured to said cylinder and engaging and pulling oilr hops projecting through the meshes of the belt.

12. A machine for removing arms, large leaves, etc., and for breaking hop clusters comprising an endless wire mesh belt, the meshes of which are substantially diamond shaped, a pair of chains for driving the belt and for supporting it, means for delivering material including clusters of hops to the upper surface of the belt, a cylinder disposed under the upper surface of the belt, a plurality of V-shaped ilexible picking fingers secured to said cylinder and engaging and pulling off hops projecting through the meshes of the belt, and means for rotating the cylinder and the fingers carried thereby in a direction opposite to the travel of the belt.

i3. A machine for removing arms, large leaves, etc., and for breaking hop clusters comprising an endless wire mesh belt, the meshes of which are substantially diamond shaped, a pair of chains for driving the belt and for supporting it, means for delivering material including clusters of hops to the upper surface of the belt, a cylinder disposed. under the upper surface of the belt, a

plurality of V-shaped iiexible picking fingers secured to said cylinder and engaging and pulling 'off hops yprojecting through the meshes of the belt, means for rotating the cylinder and the fingers carried thereby in a direction opposite to the travel of the belt, and means for adjusting the inclination of the belt.

14. A machine for' removing arms, large leaves, etc., for breaking hop clusters comprising an endless wire mesh belt, the meshes of which are substantially diamond shaped, a pair of chains for driving the beltand for supporting it, a second belt disposed above the wire mesh belt, said second named belt having a plurality of V-shaped resilient fingers projecting therefrom, means for delivering material including clusters of hops to the wire mesh belt to cause said belt to feed the clusters in under the picking fingers of the second belt, and means for driving the second belt in the same direction as the wire mesh belt but at a greater speed to cause the picking fingers to break up the clusters.

15. A machine for removing arms,`1arge leaves,

etc., and for breaking hop clusters comprising an endless wire mesh belt, the meshes of which are substantially diamond shaped, a pair of chains for driving Athe belt and for supporting it, a second belt disposed above the wire mesh belt, said second-named belt having a plurality of V-shaped resilient iingers projectingtherefrom, means for delivering material including clusters of hops to through the meshes of the belt.

the wire mesh belt to cause said belt to feed the clusters in under the picking lingers of the second belt, means for drivingithe second belt in the same direction as the Wire mesh belt but at a greater speed to cause the picking ngers to break up the clusters, and movable picking lingers disposed below the Wire mesh belt to pick oi hops hanging through the meshes.

16. A machine for removing arms, large leaves, etc., and for breaking hop clusters comprising an endless wire mesh belt,- the meshes of which are substantially diamond shaped, a pair of chains for driving the belt and for supporting it, a second belt disposed above the Wire mesh belt, said second-named belt having a plurality of V-shaped resilient fingers projecting therefrom, means for delivering material including clusters of hops to the wire mesh belt to cause said belt to feed the clusters in under the picking lingers of the second belt, means for driving the second belt in the same direction as the wire mesh belt but at a greater speed to cause the picking fingers to break up the clusters, a cylinder disposed below the wire mesh belt, a plurality of V-shaped resilient'iingers carried by the cylinder, and means for rotating the cylinder in a direction opposite to the travel of the wire mesh belt to cause the iingers on the cylinder to break off hops hanging EDOUARD vso

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Cited By (16)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2481897A (en) * 1948-03-02 1949-09-13 George R Anderson Device for separating leaves, stems, and other material from hops
US2504946A (en) * 1946-02-13 1950-04-18 American Machinery Corp Vegetable cleaning machine
US2536927A (en) * 1946-01-19 1951-01-02 Porter E Griswold Hop-picking machine
US2570844A (en) * 1947-07-07 1951-10-09 Oslund Axel Hop-picking machine
US2608297A (en) * 1947-05-09 1952-08-26 Res Ass Of British Flour Mille Process for recovering or separating valuable nutrients in flour milling
US2667969A (en) * 1950-10-26 1954-02-02 William H Mead Air separator for reclaiming abrasives from waste materials
US2668619A (en) * 1950-04-17 1954-02-09 S & W Fine Foods Inc Device for assorting long stemmed cherries from short stemmed cherries
US2681066A (en) * 1950-08-16 1954-06-15 Florian F Dauenhauer Apparatus for picking hops from hop branches and clusters and for separating leaves and stems therefrom
US2714411A (en) * 1951-05-16 1955-08-02 John G Aguilar Cherry stemming and sorting machine and method
US3106522A (en) * 1960-11-14 1963-10-08 Florian F Dauenhauer Hop separation flights
DE1179038B (en) * 1963-03-28 1964-10-01 Georg Leeb Jun Apparatus for cleaning the Pflueckfinger of Hopfenpflueckmaschinen
US3306440A (en) * 1963-08-23 1967-02-28 Kenneth H Russell Winnowing machine for blueberries
US3469691A (en) * 1967-12-06 1969-09-30 Fmc Corp Aerodynamic sorting
US3471013A (en) * 1968-02-23 1969-10-07 Fmc Corp Conveyor-fed aerodynamic separator
US3527036A (en) * 1967-10-11 1970-09-08 Henry Siebol Hop picking machine
US9699969B2 (en) 2015-04-09 2017-07-11 Hopsharvester, LLC Portable hops harvester

Cited By (17)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2536927A (en) * 1946-01-19 1951-01-02 Porter E Griswold Hop-picking machine
US2504946A (en) * 1946-02-13 1950-04-18 American Machinery Corp Vegetable cleaning machine
US2608297A (en) * 1947-05-09 1952-08-26 Res Ass Of British Flour Mille Process for recovering or separating valuable nutrients in flour milling
US2570844A (en) * 1947-07-07 1951-10-09 Oslund Axel Hop-picking machine
US2481897A (en) * 1948-03-02 1949-09-13 George R Anderson Device for separating leaves, stems, and other material from hops
US2668619A (en) * 1950-04-17 1954-02-09 S & W Fine Foods Inc Device for assorting long stemmed cherries from short stemmed cherries
US2681066A (en) * 1950-08-16 1954-06-15 Florian F Dauenhauer Apparatus for picking hops from hop branches and clusters and for separating leaves and stems therefrom
US2667969A (en) * 1950-10-26 1954-02-02 William H Mead Air separator for reclaiming abrasives from waste materials
US2714411A (en) * 1951-05-16 1955-08-02 John G Aguilar Cherry stemming and sorting machine and method
US3106522A (en) * 1960-11-14 1963-10-08 Florian F Dauenhauer Hop separation flights
DE1179038B (en) * 1963-03-28 1964-10-01 Georg Leeb Jun Apparatus for cleaning the Pflueckfinger of Hopfenpflueckmaschinen
US3306440A (en) * 1963-08-23 1967-02-28 Kenneth H Russell Winnowing machine for blueberries
US3527036A (en) * 1967-10-11 1970-09-08 Henry Siebol Hop picking machine
US3469691A (en) * 1967-12-06 1969-09-30 Fmc Corp Aerodynamic sorting
US3471013A (en) * 1968-02-23 1969-10-07 Fmc Corp Conveyor-fed aerodynamic separator
US9699969B2 (en) 2015-04-09 2017-07-11 Hopsharvester, LLC Portable hops harvester
US10085381B2 (en) 2015-04-09 2018-10-02 Hopsharvester Llc Portable hops harvester

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