US2244826A - Sorting machine - Google Patents

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US2244826A
US2244826A US222787A US22278738A US2244826A US 2244826 A US2244826 A US 2244826A US 222787 A US222787 A US 222787A US 22278738 A US22278738 A US 22278738A US 2244826 A US2244826 A US 2244826A
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cathode ray
tube
beam
ray tube
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US222787A
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David C Cox
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ELECTRIC SORTING MACHINE Co
ELECTRIC SORTING MACHINE COMPA
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ELECTRIC SORTING MACHINE COMPA
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B07SEPARATING SOLIDS FROM SOLIDS; SORTING
    • B07CPOSTAL SORTING; SORTING INDIVIDUAL ARTICLES, OR BULK MATERIAL FIT TO BE SORTED PIECE-MEAL, e.g. BY PICKING
    • B07C5/00Sorting according to a characteristic or feature of the articles or material being sorted, e.g. by control effected by devices which detect or measure such characteristic or feature; Sorting by manually actuated devices, e.g. switches
    • B07C5/34Sorting according to other particular properties
    • B07C5/342Sorting according to other particular properties according to optical properties, e.g. colour
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10STECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10S209/00Classifying, separating, and assorting solids
    • Y10S209/919Rotary feed conveyor

Description

June 10, 1941. D. c. cox

SORTING MACHINE Filed Aug. 3, 1938 5 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. BY flay/'0 C COX ATTORNEYS June 10, 1941. D. c. cox

SORTING MACHINE Filed Aug. 5, 1938 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. BY flaw/'0 C. 60X

8 1 $18 K QM ATTORNEYS June 10, 1941. Q o 2,244,826

SORTING MACHINE Filed Aug. 3, 1938 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 III IN VENTOR.

BY iw wi ATTORNEY5 June 10, 1941. D. c. cox 2,244,826

SORTING MACHINE Filed Aug. 3," 1958 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 IN VENTOR.

' A joRNEYs June 10, 1941. c, cox 2,244,826

IIIIIIIIIIII NE Patented June 10, 1941 soa'rmo mourns David 0. Cox. Lowell, Mich, assignor to Electric Sorting Machine Company, Grand Rapids,

Mich.

Application August 3, 1938, Serial No. 222,787 29 Claims. (Cl. 209-111) This invention relates to improvements in sorting machines.

The main objects of my invention are:

a First, to provide a novel and improved machine for sorting articles on the basis of the relative color reflectivity thereof which is operative throughout a practically unlimited color range.

Second, to provide a sorting machine capable of classifying objects in accordance with hue as distinguished from brightness.

Third, .to provide a sorting machine capable of classifying objects in accordance with both hue and brightness simultaneously.

Fburth, to provide a sorting machine which, with a single inspection, can make a plurality of totally independent decisions and subsequently make appropriate disposition of the inspected articles.

Fifth, to provide a sorting machine whose decisions may be based on two independent variables.

Sixth, to provide a machine of the type described having photoelectric means for scanning a plurality of articlw to be sorted in combination with cathode ray tube means for receiving a primary signal originating in said photoelectric means, the said cathode ray means acting to originate a. secondary signal in further photoelectric means viewing the cathode ray screen as exposed by a mask.

Seventh, to provide a machine of the type described embodying a cathode ray tube, the said tube constituting control means for determining the actuation of ejecting means.

Eighth, to provide a machine embodying a cathode ray tube adapted to have signals from a suitable originating source impressed on the deflecting plates thereof, and sentinel means associated with said cathode ray means and adapted to receive an indication therefrom.

Ninth, to provide a selective transmitting means including a cathode ray tube of the defleeting plate type and having a selectively masked fluorescent screen whereby only a predetermined portion of the screen is effective for light transmission.

Tenth, to provide in combination with a cathode ray tube means whereby light impingements on only a portion of its fluorescent screen are translated to subsequently operated means.

Eleventh, to provide a cathode ray controlling and actuating mechanism of broad utility.

Twelfth, to provide a novel sorting machine whose versatility is augmented by including means for making reflectivity measurements of two colors and means whereby acceptance or rejection may be determined in accordance with any prescribed values, either independent of or mutually dependent on said measurements.

Further objects relating to details and economies of my invention will definitely appear from the description to follow. The invention is defined in the claims.

A structure embodying the fetaures of my invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Fig. l is a perspective view of a practical embodiment of my invention especially adapted or designed as a sorting machine for citrus fruit.

Fig. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view in perspective, illustrating the rotatable article carrier, the ejector mechanism, and the article illuminating and scanning housing of my machine in operative relation to one another.

Fig. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the illuminating and scanning housing and the article carrier, partially broken away and in vertical section to illustrate the construction and operative relation thereof.

Fig. 4 is a diagrammatic view illustrating the manner in which the photoelectric scanner views an article to analyze the color components thereof by light reflected therefrom.

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating the operative relation of a cathode ray tube, a mask, and a photoelectric sentinel tube which constitute important features of this invention.

Figs. 6 and 6A illustrate the wiring diagram for the electrical actuating circuit of the machine, the said diagram being broken into two parts along line AA.

Fig. 7 is a representation of the screen of a cathode ray tube, having superposed thereon-a diagram or chart illustrating the behavior of the cathode ray trace while the machine scans various articles.

Fig. 8 is a view illustrating a detail of construction or assembly of a modified embodiment of my invention. 7

The embodiment of my invention illustrated is a machine for sorting articles such as citrus fruits into various classifications according to color and, therefore, generally, degree of ripeness or condition. My invention is not, however, restricted in use to this field and is adaptable and may be employed for the sorting or color classification of any other articles, for example, coil'ee beans, peanuts, and the like, which, when subjected to light focused thereon from a source, are capable of reflecting rays of light having a I plurality of constituent colors. Furthermore,

the machine possesses utility broadly as a sorting device irrespective of the basis on which the sorting is made and may avail itself of any characteristics of the articles, 1. e., weight, hardness, strength, etc., which are capable of being proportionately expressed in the form of electric impulses.

In the embodiment illustrated, the advantages of my machine are emphasized in view of the fact that citrus fruits ordinarily vary through a wide range in the color thereof. It is of great practical importance to sort such fruits thoroughly in order to have articles of the same color crated together, or to remove overrlpe and underripe specimens or for other reasons, and it has heretofore been possible to accomplish such color sorting only by hand, a process which is slow and, in addition, by no means free from error. After a short interval of time, the most skilled sorter is unable to detect differences in color within a very appreciable range, due to fatigue of the eye; thereafter his work is totally unsatisfactory.

The present machine is eminently suited for the sorting of such articles or any articles having a considerable range of color variation, in view of the fact that its operation is based on an analysis of colored light reflected from the articles to be sorted and a consequent electro-mechanical sorting procedure in strict consonance with and by means of the information gained from this analysis of the articles. I am aware that it has hitherto been proposed to assort articles by diiferences in absolute intensity and diflerences in intensity of light reflected from the articles relative to a standard. In my prior copending applications Serial No. 711,374, filed February 15, 1934, now Patent No. 2,131,095 dated September 2'7. 1938, and Serial No. 49,727, filed November 14, 1935 now Patent No. 2,131,096, dated Sept. 27, 1938, I disclose machines assorting according to light intensity.

The present invention differs materially from prior art devices and the subject matter of the above noted applications in that in the instant invention I provide photoelectric means for viewing or scanning the articles through a plurality of color 'fllters or screens so as to analyze light reflected from the articles according to the relative intensity of at least two of its color components.

In thespeciflcation to follow I employ the term "color reflectivity to designate the property possessed by the surface of an article of reflecting a certain component of a multichromatic light to which it is exposed. However, I would not consider it a departure from the spirit of this invention should it be foimd desirable to use fluorescent light excited by a shorter wave length. Although this would not involve true reflectivlty," nevertheless the effect on the light sensitive scanning instrumentality would be the same and I consider such an expedient within the scope of my invention.

In the machine of my invention, photoelectric impulses generated from such a scanning, that is, the separate primary signals, each proportional in strength to the percentage reflectivity of a certain color present in the light reflected from the surface of an article being sorted, are transmitted to the deflection plates of a cathode ray tube. The resulting electrostatic field set up between the respective deflection plates causes the electron stream or beam of the cathode ray tube to be deflected in one' dirctlon or another on the fluorescent screen thereof. By associating a sentinel means unit in this embodiment and a photoelectric viewingmeanswith the screen of the cathode ray tube and blocking out or masking desired portions of said screen, it is possible to expose the sentinel means to the spot or trace on the screen produced by the electron beam in whichever portion of the cathode ray screen it is desired. Bearing in mind that the beam deflection arises as a manifestation of the particular color of an article viewed, for instance, a defective article, it will be seen that the luminous spot or trace thus produced on the screen, if masked from the view of the viewing means, will cause no further action, but if it is permitted to be viewed by the photo-cell or -tube, the latter instantaneously originates a secondary impulse. The impulsegenerated in the said sentinel means may be then amplified and transmitted by suitable instrumentalities to an ejector mechanism and the undesirable article ejected.

, The flexibility of my improved machine will be appreciated when it is realized thatby suitably masking the cathode ray screen in an almost infinite number of ways an almost infinite number of gradations in relative color reflectivity of articles will be recognized by the photoelectric tube and any one thereof ejected if desired. On the other hand, if desired, the cathode ray screen may be so masked that all, except a certain class or coloration of articles, no matter how large or how small the class, will be ejected. It is only necessary that a certain grade or color of article he run through the machine in order to fix the point at which the cathode ray beam impinges on the screen when a given article passes the scanning tube; and the screen may be masked to pass only the beam trace characterizing articles of that color or of a range of color adjacent that color and accordingly set the machine to eject those articles, or, on the other hand, the mask may be selected to obstruct that beam trace and set the machine to elect all articles except those of that color or that range of color.

So far as I am aware, it is broadly novel to adapt the cathode ray tube to an asserting machine of the type described. Up to the present, the cathode ray tube has been restricted in its application to its use as an analysis or testing device, generally in the laboratory and more particularly in servicing radio receiving and transmitting apparatus, and in television. Its use in the cathode ray oscillograph is well known. To

my knowledge, all other practical or industrial adaptations of the cathode ray tube are at most experimental; the idea of employing the same as an element of a control apparatus in combination with a photoelectric viewing means and a selectively variable mask, either broadly or for the particular adaptation in a sorting machine, which I have deemed it expedient to illustrate, have, so far as I am aware, never occurred to anyone prior to myself.

Referring to the drawings, the reference numeral l indicates a supporting standard, table, or framework of the machine of my invention, the said framework rotatably supporting an article carrier wheel or conveyor 2 journaled on an upright axis and having a plurality of article ca rying seats 3 thereon. A supporting bracket I on framework I carries a lamp housing 5 and an ejector mechanism generally indicated at G,

consisting of a battery of ejector hammers I located at one side of and above wheel 2.

The framework I also supports the electrical amplifying and control apparatus generally indicated 3. This consists of a scanner amplifying section 3, a sentinel impulse amplifying and control section II. and .an intermediate enclosed section II, wherein are mounted various control mechanisms to be hereinafter described. For a more particular description of the elements constituting these sections. reference will be had to the wiring diagram to be hereinafter described.

Adjacent the front of framework I, I mount a housing l2 enclosing a plurality of cathode ray tubes l3. Cathode ray tubes of the RCA 908 type have been found to be satisfactory. This type of tube uses an electrostatic field between the plates to control deflection of the beam. It is obvious that electromagnetic deflection of the cathode ray beam is very similar to electrostatic deflection and it is of course possible to employ electromagnetically controlled tubes, such as the RCA 903, in my apparatus. However, voltage amplification is quite as easily accomplished as current amplification and it is believed to be definitely easier to approach absolute proportionality with voltage amplification.

Each tube is operatively associated with a photoelectric cell designated by the reference numeral I4 and for convenience hereinafter referred-to as a sentinel' tube, the said sentinel tubes being placed in operative relation directly adjacent the cathode ray screen (see Fig. 5). On this screen I place a mask IS the function of which has been alluded to and will be more particularly pointed out; As illustrated in Fig. 1, each photoelectric sentinel tube H has a dome l6 enclosing the same and shielding it and also the cathode ray screen from external light. On one side of the machine, I mount a box 16! adapted to contain transformers, rectifiers, and filters, which will be hereinafter more particularly described.

Rearwardly of the cathode ray tube housing l2 and control section I0, I mount a delay commutator or detainer and a rotary switch. generally designated l1 and '3, respectively. Means in the form of a motor (not shown) is provided for rotating article carrier wheel 2, and rotary switch 13 is driven from the wheel through a chain I! so that it is rotated in timed relation with the article carrying wheel. In the present case, then-elation is such that rotary switch '8 makes one rotation in the time it takes a pair of article seats} to pass a predetermined poin Detainer I1 is driven from rotary switch It by means of a chain 23 enclosed in a shield 2|. the ratio of rotary switch angular speed to detainer angular speed being six to one. In other words. detainer l1 makes one rotation in the time it takes six article seats to pass a predetermined point. The detainer and rotary switch are Drovided with brush supporting brackets 22, 23,.respectively, adjacent the same. The brushes carried by these brackets and the arrangement thereof with reference to the detainer and rotary switch, as well as the electrical connections from the brushes to the various other parts of the machine, will be hereinafter particularly referred to Referring to Figs. 2 and 3, the lamp housing 5 consists of a shell 2 which is substantially in the form of an ellipsoid internally, the internal exposed surface thereof being made up of a plurality of mirrors 25 suitably secured as by cementing to the shell. An illuminating lamp 26 is arranged in the housing substantially at one focus thereof. The feed wire for the lamp is indicated by the reference numeral 21. Passages 23 are cut in the housing to provide for the passage of the article seats 3 of the conveyor and articles 29 thereon. The housing is positioned relative to the conveyor so that the articles 23 pass substantially through the other focus of the ellipsoid. A pair of reference background members 30 are secured to the housing at either side of the path of travel of the articles therethrough. These furnish a background for the article being viewed, and are viewed by the photoelectric scanner means during the normalizing operation to be hereinafter described.

I mount photoelectric article viewing means,

generally designated 3i, 32, in the lamp housing on either side of the path of travel of the articles, each consisting of a cylinder 33 inserted and fixedly secured in an opening in the housing and serving to moimt a lens 34, a color filter 3H and a photoelectric article viewing tube. There are four such photoelectric tubes, designated by the reference numerals 35, 36, 31, and 38. Forconvenience, they will be hereinafter referred to as scanner tubes. The tubes are enclosed in housing 40 as illustrated in Figs. 2 and 3 and are arranged in the manner shown diagrammatically in Fig. 4. It will be noted that each scanner tube,

is provided with its separate lens and color filter. Likewise, each tube has a separate viewing cylinder 33 and the latter is provided with a projecting lid ll adapted to shield its cell from the direct rays of lamp 26.

In the embodiment of my invention illustrated, the right side of the lemon is viewed by scanner tubes 36 and 33, the left side by scanner tubes and 31. By using red-sensitive tubes, redtransrnitting filters, and suitable associated amplifying apparatus, tubes 35 and 38 make an extremely rapid measurement of the reflectivity of the lemon with reference to red light. similarly, green-sensitive tubes 36 and 31, aided by greenisolating filters and an independent amplifying channel, make measurement of reflectivity with reference to green light. These measurements appear as voltages at the output of the amplifier, which will be detailed subsequently.

In Fig. "I is presented graphically, using rectangular coordinates, red and green reflectivity measurements of several familiar kinds of fruit selected on account of color. An examination of this chart shows that very dark objects appear near the top, very bright ones near the bottom, gray ones somewhere on the line "black to white. Yellow objects locate near e, orange ones near 1', dark red ones near 17, pale green ones near 0, deep green ones near a. Every object has a location somewhere on this color field and the location is in general characteristic of its appearance. Objects of the same hue appear on radial lines such as mn and mp originating at the apex marked black." Their distance from this apex is a measure of their brightness. Arcs such as tu and rs indicate essentially zones of equal brightness.

It is evident from the diagram that the color of the tangerine i differs from that of the green apple 0 in hue while of practically the same brightness. The green apple 0, on the other hand, differs from the lemon b in brightness, but registers almost identical hue. The light green lemon b may be distinguished from the dark greenlemon a by either hue or brightness, but

the brightness distinction is muchlarger.

Thevariou's'aforementioned objects whose relative color reflectivity. isreadily and accurately -'inclic'ate'd' on the cathode ray screen as illustrated in Fig. 7 have been measured in the lab:

oratory to determine the actual color reflectivity thereof by comparison with a standard. The following percentages of light reflecting char- These figures, determined by actual laboratory 'measurement, correspond exactly with the indications of hue and brightness as determined for the same articles by the scanner and cathode ray tube arrangement of my invention. Were a chart similar to that of Fig. 7 superposed on the cathode ray tube screen, it would be possible to instantly and exactly ascertain the light reflecting characteristic of any article as expressed in terms of the percentage reflectivity of any two different colors present in the article by employing suitable fllters.

It is well known that the luminous spot on the screen of a cathode ray tube may be deflected in two independent directions by voltages applied to certain deflecting electrodes or plates, and in the embodiment of my invention illustrated, the voltages representing the two reflectivity measurements are so applied to the deflecting plates of cathode ray tubes as to delineate both the hue and brightness as shown in Fig. 7.

By means of the scintillator brush and associated mechanism to be explained later, it is provided that the cathode beam. is extinguished most of the time, appearing only momentarily when the object is centered in the field of view. Thus, each object is represented by a dot of .light on the screen and it is evident that by covering any desired sections of the screen with opaque material the scintillations corresponding with certain colors and brightnesses would not be vis ible to an observer. In the embodiment of my invention illustrated, such masks are employed to prescribe the types of lemons to be accepted or rejected.

The observer is represented by a sentinel photo-tube and associated mechanism ever alert to detect the scintillation and register its ap-,

pearance by a charge on the delay commutator or detainer, to be described, which, after an interval sufllcient to bring the lemon before one of the ejectors, actuates that ejector and removes the lemon.

The particular color of the fllters employed and the type of photo-tube are of course susceptible of change depending upon the nature of the articles being Judged. Red and green fllters are preferable in the sorting of citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, and the like, for obvious reasons.

The construction and operation of the oathode ray tube are in general known; however, it may be well to state briefly the principles of operation of the same with reference to the manner in which it is related to the present invention.

Iii-general, a cathode ray tube consists of an evacuated or gas filled envelope wherein are mounted a cathode adapted to emit a stream of electrons when heated and means for heating the same, a plurality of control grids or electrodes, usually two, an anode cooperable with said electrode in accelerating and focusing the stream of electrons emitted from the cathode when the same is heated into a beam, and a plurality of vertical and horizontal deflection plates, four in number, arranged in pairs above and below and at the sides of the said beam. These deflection plates are connected to potential sources, the horizontal to once source and the vertical to another source. In a balanced or neutral con.- dition of the plates, the electron stream flowing therebetween is in the form of a straight line beam from the cathode longitudinally and centrally of the tube. The end of the tube is coated with a fluorescent preparation which, when struck by the negative electron particles of the beam, becomes luminous at the point struck. If one of the horizontal deflection plates be rendered negative in charge relative to the other, the negative stream of electrons will be deflected away from the lower potential plate and towards the higher. The same situation obtains relative to the charging of the vertical deflecting plates;

-- i. e., the stream will be deflected vertically towards the plate at higher potential and away from the plate at lower potential.

Applying these principles to my adaptation of the cathode ray tube, it is apparent that impulses originating in scanner tubes 35, 36, 31, and 38, by causing the beam trace to be deflected to one side or the other of the theoretical line black to "white in the diagram, accurately indicate the relative color reflectivity, or the hue of an article scanned, while the distance the trace is deflected along one of the isochromatic lines, such as mp or mn', or from the black apex, gives a measurement of the brightness of the reflected light, whatever its hue may be.

It will 'be apparent to those skilled in the art from the description so far that my scanning and cathode ray translating apparatus is capable of being considerably altered without afiecting the manner of operation thereof. For example, instead of employing a'pair of fred" and a pair of green filtered scanner tubes with the tubes of each pair generating separate impulses, which are later blended to furnish separate composite red and green" impulses, it is of course possible that two independent views of the article may be made, one on each side thereof, thereafter blending the two views and exposing a pair of photo-tubes to the resultant blended view through two red and green filters, respectively. In other words, the light could be mixed rather than the electrical impulses resulting from the light. This, of course, would cut down ,the number of photo-tubes and filters from four to two and minimize any possible difliculty of phototube matching.

It may be found to be of advantage in assuring a strong signal from sentinel tube M to adopt as a screen material for the cathode ray tube one of the well known series of materials giving a red trace, so that a powerful caesium phototube can be used as the sentinel tube. This would enable the sentinel to pick up the cathode ray trace without great sensitivity demands upon the sentinel amplifier.

' awaaao As'a possible further modification of my invention, coming within the scope of the appended claims, it is indeed'quite possible that the sentinel tube might be omitted entirely so long as some other means were provided to initiate a secondary signal in accordance with the position of the cathode ray beam. For example, as illustrated in Fig. 8, by employing a suitable sensitive foil or plate 4"! inside or outside the cathode ray tube envelope connected to a take-off lead 4| I, it is conceivable that the beam falling on such an element could suffice to bias a gas filled discharge tube directly, without the intervention of either a photo-tube or an amplifier. Of course, the inability to conveniently alter the shape of such an element to alter the type of objects sorted would interfere with the commercial practicality of such an expedient. However, it is referred to as a possible extension of, the basic idea of the present machine.

Primary impulses originating in scanner tubes 35 and/or 33 are amplified by a two-stage amplifier generally indicated by the reference numeral 42, including a pair of triodes 43, 44 of the type generally designated as 56" and technically known as unipotential cathode triodes. whilescanner tubes 36, 31 are connected to a similar amplifier. In view of the fact that the wiring for the amplifier circuits for tubes 35, 33 on the one hand and tubes, 31 on the other hand, is identical, only one thereof will be described and corresponding reference numerals will be used for the other.

The output of amplifier 42 is impressed on a cathode ray tube i3. There are a plurality of such cathode ray tubes, the number thereof depending upon the number of hammers or ejectors l which it is desired to actuate, and each cathode ray tube is connected'so as to be capable of actuating any one of the hammers. For the purpose of simplification, only one of these identical cathode ray tube-to-hammer circuitswill be described. The corresponding parts of the other circuits will be denoted by similar reference numerals. It should be understood, however, that the number of cathode ray tubes which may be employed is in no way limited and if it were desired to sort articles into five, ten, or more receptacles, a mere multiplication of the elements and connections which I shall describe would accomplish this result.

Cathode ray tube l3 has mounted adjacent thereto a photoelectric tube l4 which is adapted to be selectively exposed or not to the beam trace on the screen of the cathode ray tube, depending upon whether the mask Ii thereon permits said beam trace to reach, or prevents it from reaching, the photoelectric tube l4 and thereby originating what may be termed a secondary impulse or signal. Because of the function which it fulfills, the said photo-tube is referred to as a sentinel tube.

Regarding mask l5, it may be formed of any material which is opaque and capable of having a light admitting opening or openings formed therein. In developing this invention and in actual practice in the machine illustrated, I have found that ordinary electricians adhesive tape is admirably well suited to this purpose, inasmuch as it is opaque and a plurality of strips thereof may be adhered to the outside of the screen in any desired position so as to mask off all portions of the screen except a predetermined area or areas through which the beam trace is to be viewed by the photoelectric sentinel tube l3 or which is to activate the sentinel tube. In this connection, reference is again made to the latitude available in disposing the masks on the screen to sort a wide range of colors, no matter what the construction of the mask per se may be. As stated above, all of the screen may be rendered opaque except a certain small area whereby to pass the beam trace when caused to be deflected to that area by a certain small range of colors. This area may be enlarged at will to increase the range of the said color, or on the other hand a smaller or larger area may be rendered opaque whereby all articles save those in the range protected by that area will be ejected.

Other manipulations of the mask will suggest themselves. For example, the same may be made opaque throughout except in a plurality of portions, whereby to eject articles of different color causing a deflection of the beam to those various portions.

A further aspect of my invention resides in the fact that with the hammers disconnected a number of articles may be placed on the article conveyor, for example, articles of various colors'other than a given standard acceptable color. If a photograph of the entirely exposed cathode ray screen be now taken, so as to record on a negative photographic film the positions of the luminous trace under the various influences of the different colored articles and controlled by the scintillator mechanism to be described, it is apparent that a positive transparency of the negative may thereafter be employed as a mask for the cathode ray tube, thus eliminating the necessity of making individual masks each time a group of articles is to be sorted. On the other hand, if a group of standard colored articles, all acceptable,

be employed as test objects and the exposed screen photographed, the resultant negative may be used as a standard mask which will thereafter govern the cathode ray tube l3 and sentinel i4 to initiate ejection of all articles other than the acceptable standard colors. From this it appears that the device of my invention lends itself to use in making its own control elements.

The secondary impulses originating in sentinel tube I4 are amplified by the multiple-stage amplifier tube 45 and pass from the plate thereof to a grid controlled gaseous discharge tube 46. The plate of this tube is connected to a selector switch 41. The grid controlled gaseous discharge tube 48 furnishes the actual signal which actuates the electromagnetic ejector mechanism 3, but between tube 48 and selector switch 41 I interpose the delay commutator or detainer II, which times impulses on the grid of tube 48 so that they occur only when an article seat 3 is directly before a hammer l. Detainer ll withholds ionization of discharge tube 46 until a secondary impulse has been impressed on the grid thereof. When this happens, the condition of the detainer is altered by a condenser discharge, to be described, with the result that after a predetermined interval, the discharge tube 48 is fired and the ejector actuated.

I preferably provide means in the form of a suitable conducting lug on rotary switch I 8, engaged by a scintillator brush, to ignite the cathode ray tube only intermittently and durin a very short period in the scanning cycle, namely, when the articles being sorted are exactly in scanning position before the scanner tube, or, if desired, midway between articles. This causes the sentinel I4 to view a beam trace in the form oi a small distinct dot. Such provision, of course,

greatly increases the life of the cathode ray tube, which wouldbelikelytowearoutorcrackin a relatively short time were it permitted to operate continuously.

The various particulars of the hookup will now be described. The reference numeral 4! indicates an alternator or source of altematingcm-rent; the terminals of which are connected to the primary 50 of a transformer 51 having a plurality of secondary coils. From certain of these coils I derive a potential, rectified through the all-wave rectifier 52, for the anode circuits of the scanner tubes and the amplifiers described above, the said potential being smoothed out by the pulsation eliminating chokes 53, ii and condensers 55, 55 across the terminals thereof. Other 01' the secondaries furnish a voltage which is rectified by the half-wave rectifier tube 51. This voltage traverses a 30,000-ohm resistor and serves as a fixed potential for the cathode ray anode.

The cathode ray grid voltage is controllable by the 20,000-ohm potentiometer 53. The voltage for the first anode of the cathode ray tube is controllable by an adjustable tap on the 36,000-ohm potentiometer 50. The voltage dropping resistors 63, 14 of 33,000 and 100,000 ohms respectively, along with potentiometers 55, constitute a voltage divider generally designated ii. The filament of the cathode ray tube is connected to the transformer filament winding as indicated by the reference characters 1:, 1 One of the horizontal and one of the vertical deflecting plates, as well as the second anode, of the cathode ray tube are connected to ground at 52. The control grid and first anode voltages are variable by adjusting potentiometers 59 and il. A resistance 65 of 1 megohm is included in the line from the adjustable tap on potentiometer 55 to the cathode ray tube.

A voltage divider, generally indicated by the reference numeral 55, made up of a 1000-ohm resistor 51, a 100-ohm resistor 63, a 100-ohm potentiometer 69, a 20-ohm resistor II, a GO-ohm potentiometer II, a 2000-ohm resistor 12, and a 200-ohm resistor I3, is connected between the output of rectifier 52 and a further voltage divider, generally indicated by the reference numeral I4, which is employed for energizing the scanner tubes and amplifier l2 and for matching and controlling the same. The anodes of scanner tubes 35, 36, 31, 38 are adjustably tapped to parallel 4000-ohm potentiometers 15, 15 respectively in the last named voltage divider, and a suitable high resistance I1, say of 3 megohms, is interposed between the cathodes of those tubes and the minus side of the scanner amplifier voltage divider l4. Aside from potentiometers I5, 15, the voltage divider ll consists of the 40-ohm resistor 13, the 200-ohm potentiometer I9, the 20-ohm resistor 30, the 'IOO-ohm resistor ll, the loo-ohm potentiometer l3, and the 55- ohm resistors 83. The cathodes of amplifier tubes 43, ll are connected to the adjustable tap of potentiometers 02 and I! as illustrated.

The plate of the triode amplifier I3 is connected to the grid of amplifier 44 through a .25-microfarad condenser 35; i. e., the two amplifier tubes are capacity-coupled. A normalizing switch 86 is placed in shunt from a point between condenser 35 and the grid of tube II to a point between resistors II and 3! in the scanner amplifier vol a e divider.

In practice, this switch 35 takes the form of a rotary commutator having a circuit-making conducting lug thereon, substantially as disclosed in my Patent No. 2,131,006, dated September 27, 1938, this commutator being driven in synchro nismwiththe conveyorzsoastomomentariiy close a circuit through switch 35 between meanningperiodsirom thegridoftubelltovoltage divider II. The said commutator may convenientlybearrangedasapartofrotaryswitch I3, but the actual detail of cousin-action has not been shown, in order to avoid complicating and confusing the disclosure. Sufiice it to say that thesaidrecurrentlyactuatedswitchliaerves toestablishasuitablebiason thegridottube fleachtimethesameisclmed. Thisimtantaneous setting of the tube to a normal condition between scanning operations I refer to as normalizing.

The plate of amplifier tube'l3 isoonnected to the plus side of the voltage divider ll through a 5000-ohm resistor 31.

The plate of amplifier tube ll is connected through a200,000-ohm resistor Bl to the plus side of resistor 13 of voltage divider 55. The output of the red scanner amplifier tube 44 is connected to the vertical deflection plates of the various cathode ray tubes, while the output of amplifier tube M for the "green" scanner is applied to the horizontal deflection plates or the various cathode ray tubes.

Potential for the anode of ll adjacent cathode ray tube I3 is supplied Iran a connection to the voltage divider 55 between re- Sistorsfl and i3 andthissourcelikewiseserves to supply a plate voltage for the plates of the twin triode amplifier tube 45, which is the type generally referred to as a 53. The cathode of sentinel tube 54 and the first grid of tube 45 are connected to ground through a suitable high resistor 35 of 15 megohms. Resistors 5|, 9] are 200,000-ohm plate circuit resistors for tubellandthegridhiasforhibcfiiscontrolled by an adjustable tap on resistor H.

The cathode or the sentinel tube M is connectedtotheiirstgridofthetwintriodembe 45 and the plate of the first triode element of tubeliisconnectedtothesridofthcsecimd' iu'iode element of that tube through the ill-microfarad condenser 33 so as to effect a capacitycoupling therein, and the said last named grid has .a 0.2-megohm resistor 53 between the same and ground.

The output of the amplifier tube 45 is impressedonthegridofthesmallgridcontrdled gaseous discharge tube 5 through a (Ll-microfarad condenser SI and a 10,000-ohm resistor 35. A Oil-megohm resistor 35 is inserted between thedischarge sideoicondenser 35andanadjustable tap on voltage divider resistor 55 to vary the bias on the grid of tube 45. A 0.01-microfarad condenser i'l between the grid of tube 45 and groundservestoavoidhesitationintheperformanceoftubeli. Thecathodeoftubeli isconnectedbetweenthem-ohmandmmohm resistances 38, 53, respectively, of a voltage divider generally designated Ill, and also to ground through the OJ-microiarad cmdenser iii. One end of voltage dividmill'is connected to ground and the other endis connected through conductor ll! toalinewhichinturnis cgiamected to the filtered ISO-volt D. C. source The plate oigaseousdischargetubeliisconnected to the selector switch 41, the various contactlugsofwhichareconnectedwithbmshes on delay commutator or detainer II. By flfis switch, I amable to connect the gaseous discharge tube 40 actuating any one of ejector hammere 1 with any one of the cathode ray tube circuits. As illustrated, the switches 41 are arranged to connect their respective cathode ray circuits with the gaseous discharge tube circuits immediately adjacent the same. However, the

arrangement might be an entirely difierent'one or, if desired, one or more of the switches might be disposed in of! position so as not to make connection with any of the discharge tube circuits.

The contact lugs of switch 41 are each connected through a GOOD-ohm resistor I04 to a brush I05 riding on the periphery of detainer I1. This detainer carries a plurality of spaced sets I06 of condenser and brush engaging conducting elements or lugs, the condensers and conducting lugs being indicated by the reference numerals I01, I08 respectively. There are in the illustrated example six such sets spaced equally circumferentially of the detainer. Each set consists of three condensers I01 each having a plate connected to a conducting lug I08 and spaced axially along the detainer. The condensersl'l are of 0.25 microfarad capacity. The brushes I06 are spaced axially of the detainer to correspond to the axial spacing of the lugs and condensers, so that each brush engages one of the circumferentially alined and spaced lugs I08 of the several sets. The other plate of each condenser is connected to a continuous conducting ring I08 on the detainer. It will be appreciated that the expedient of illustrating the elements of sets I06 in radial order has been adopted only to simplify the disclosure. It is believed that in the light of the foregoing description the actual circumferential and axial disposition of condensers I01, lugs I08, and brushes I will be clear.

I provide further peripherally and axially spaced brushes IIO, one for each ejector hammer 1, these being connected respectively to one end of the three coils III of the iron core step-down transformers III in the discharge tube circuits. The other ends of the respective coils III are connected to a still further brush III which rides on the continuous conducting ring I08. Brush II! is connected to the aforesaid D. C. source I03 through a 30-henry choke H3 and serves to maintain a charge on the innermost plate of condensers I01.

The three brushes IIO are spaced axially to engage the respective axially spaced lugs I08 and furthermore they are spaced peripherally from one another and from brushes I06.distances in proportion to the spacing of the three ejector hammers 1v from the viewing station or are in engagement with brushes I00 at the moment an article on the wheel is being viewed by scanners 86, I8, 81, I8.

The. foregoing construction of detainerand brushes constitutes a delay timing mechanism somewhat similar in function to the instrumentality described in my above mentioned Patent No. 2,131,096. and therein-referred to as an isochronous ejector mechanism. The present timing or delay mechanism is shown and claimed in my copending application Serial No. 244,821, filed December 9,1938; An impulse originating in sentinel tube I4 and considerably amplified through amplifier tube 46 will be impressed on the grid of gaseous discharge tube 46 at the instant an article is scanned, assuming that the cathode ray trace has been permitted by mask I6 to impinge the sentinel tube. At this same instant, brushes I06 engage lugs I88. Immediately field in lamp housing 6. For example, with the hammer nearest the viewing field spaced a distance from the lamp housing equal to approximately the distance between three and one-half article seats on the conveyor wheel, the first brush IIO will be circumferentially spaced from brushes I05 a definite proportionate distance in the direction of movement of detainer I1. Since the second or middle hammer 1 is spaced from the first hammer a distance equal to the distance between article seats, the second brush H0 will be spaced from the first brush IIO a distance prior to this engagement, the plates of condensers I 01 are in an equally charged condition, by reason of the voltage impressed thereon through brushes H0 and III from source I83, and when the engagement of lug I88 and brush I06 takes place the outermost condenser plate discharges on the plate of one of the tubes 46, depending on the setting of switch 41, causingthat tube to fire. In the event that no impulse or signal has been received on the grid of tube 46, of course, ionization will not take place. The bias of tube 48 may be properly set by an adjustable tap on potentiometer H to a suitable value. The events attending the scanning of the article and the ionization or non-ionization of tube 06 may be regarded as occurring in what may be termed an instantaneous scanning and signalling period.

The detainer I1 now rotates until the conducting lugs I08 reach and engage brushes IIO. Since the outermost plate of one of the condensers I01 has been assumed to have discharged, it follows that that condenser is in an unbalanced condition so that when its lug I08 engages the corresponding brush IIO the plates of the condenser will be short-circuited. This short circuit includes the coil III'of transformer II! and the result is that a distinct signal is sent through the secondary coil Ill of the transformer onto the grid of gaseous discharge tube 48. The interval during the rotation of detainer I1 to bring the lugs I08 into contact with one or another of brushes IIO corresponds to the time required for.

conveyor wheel 2 to transport an article from the housing 5 to a position before one or another of the ejector hammers 1. It may be designated the detaining or timing and ejecting period.

It need hardly be stated that if the tube 46 has not been'fired, then condensers I01 remain in balanced condition and the tube 48 is not lighted.

I illustrate six sets I06 of condensers and conducting lugs. Detainer I1 is driven in synchronism with article carrying wheel 2 so far as the linear speed of the article bearing seats and sets I06 is concerned. Therefore, in the embodiment shown, detainer I1 will make one revolution in the length of time that it takes sixarticle seats to pass a given fixed point, or stated otherwise, the length of time between the departure of one set of conducting lugs I08 from angular alinecondensers I32.

is disposed between the terminals of coil III. The grid of tube 48 is given suitable bias [by connecting the same through a 50,008-ohm resistor H8 and coil II4 to a point on voltage divider 86 between resistors 81 and 68.

A 0.02-microfarad condenser III is connected between resistor H8 and the grid of tube 48 and to ground. with the cathode of tube 48 connected between the condenser and ground.

The plate of discharge tube 48 is connected to the coil II8 of an electromagnet, the core II9 of which functions to actuate hammer TI. The said coil is connected through a -ohm resistor I28 to a brush I2I bearing on rotary switch I8, through which plate current for tube 48 is transmitted during the ejecting period.

A scintillator brush l22.and a further brush I23 also bear on the rotary switch and are con- I nected through a 0.05-microfarad condenser I24 and a 500-ohm resistor 'I25.- Brush I23 is in engagement with a continuous conducting ring I26 on the rotary switch, while scintillator brush I22 periodically engages a relatively small conducting segment I2I thereon.

The said segment I21 and conducting ring I26 are in conducting relation to or integral with the large or semi-circular conducting segment I28, which latter segment is engaged by brush I2I during one-half of each rotation of rotary switch I8. The rotary switch is, as pointed out above, driven in predetermined relation to the speed of detainer H, in this case, six times as fast, so that the rotary switch makes one revolution between the departure of an article seat from a given point and the arrival of the succeeding article seat at that point. In other words, rotary switch I8 performs one cycle of its operations for each article.

When'the small segment I2! is in engagement with'sc'intillator brush I22, the cathode ray tube I3 is energized by a surge passing through 0.01- microfarad condenser I32. This takes place at the exact instant that an article is being scanned by scanner tubes 35, 36, 31, 38; during the remainder of the cycle of rotation of switch I8 the cathode ray tube is extinguished. Thus, the life of the tube is greatly increased.

The tapped resistor I38 permits a suitable fraction of the voltage picked up by brush I22 to reach and fire the cathode ray tube.

In practice, I have found it desirable in setting the machine to be able tolight the cathode ray tube during an instant when the space between article seats is at the scanners, as well as when the seats themselves are in position for scanning. To this end I furnish a'second scintillator brush bearing on rotary switch I8 diametrically opposite brush I22, and designated by the reference numeral I22. The connections from this brush to the cathode ray tube are similar to or common with those from brush I22 to the tube so that like reference numerals primed will be employed toidentify the secondary connections. The twopole manually controlled switch I29 is provided to enable brush I22 or I22 to be employed to cause the cathode ray tube to be energized at or between article seats, as will be understood.

Assuming. brush I22 to engage segment I21, then a circuit is completed from voltage source I83 through'brush I23, ring I26, segment I21, brush I22, resistor I25, switch.l29, a suitable resistor I38, and conductor I3I to the parallel Each cathode ray tube I3 has a control grid connected to one side of one of these condensers. This control grid must have a plus voltage impressed thereon for the tube to light and ifthe same goes negative the tube will extinguish. Therefore, the scintillator signal charges the said grid for an instant, causing tube I3 to produce an instantaneous electron beam trace, which impinges on sentinel tube I4 or is intercepted by mask I5, as the case may be. When the segment I2I passes brush I22, the tube I3 goes out, the grid charge referred to leaking 01f through resistor 65 and the adjustable tap on potentiometer 59, which is set appropriately for this purpose. 1

The normal plate voltage for discharge tube 48 during the ejecting period is derived from voltage source I83 through brush I23, large conducting segment I28, brush I2I (during the half revolution of the rotary' switch I8 when the last named brush and segment are in conducting engagement), and through the resistor I28 and electromagnet coil H8. The grid of tube 48 is connected by conductor I33 to a point on voltage divider 86 between the resistors 81 and 68 thereof. The values of the grid bias and the plate voltage for tube 48 are such that the tube is barely held from ignition during the engagement'of brush I2I and large segment I28, and in order to trip electromagnet core II9, it is necessary that a further signal be impressed on the coil of transformer I I2. This signal comes from transformer secondary II4, as explained, and when it occurs, tube 48 ionizes and hammer I trips.

The -microfarad condenser I34 and 16,080- ohm resistor I35 arranged in series between electromagnet coil IIB and voltage source I83 serve to prevent sparking. I

The lfi-microfarad condenser I36, in conjunction with choke 2I3, constitutes a filter to quiet that part of the direct current used by the detainer.

From the foregoing, it is apparent that the present machine will sort articles through a very large range of color variations as manifested in relative color reflectivity. It is to be emphasized that the sorting of this large range of colors is not on thebasis of merely the presence or absence of an impulse in the photoelectric tube scanners as has been the case in hitherto known photo-- electric sorting machines, but on the contrary, the sorting of such a range of color compositions depends on the relative strength of the impulses generated in the red and green filtered scanner tubes, which impulses accurately reflect the percentage color composition and relative brightness'of colors in the article and result in displacement of the cathode ray trace in exact accordance with such composition and brightness.

For each of the combinations of signals origi nated in the four scanner tubes there is a cor responding point on the cathode ray screen to which the cathode ray beam trace is deflected; actuation of the ejector hammers I may be initiated by whichever of such signals is desired by appropriately masking the screen.

A feature of considerable practical value and importance in the machine of my invention resides in the ease with which any difficulties causing the same to operate improperly may be traced. Thus, for example, if it is found that an ejector hammer I is being actuated to displace an article from the conveyor wheel when such displacement should not take place, or if it is found, on the other hand, that a hammer fails to act when it should, it is only necessary to remove the shield for the sentinel tube I4 and observe the screen of cathode ray tube I3 and the occurrence of the beam trace thereon relative to the mask opening or openings. If the beam is visible when it should be visible, i. e., when an article should be ejected, then of course it follows that the trouble lies somewhere behind, or on the ejector side of, the cathode ray tube, which considerably narrows the field to be checked. If, on the other hand, the beam trace is not visible through the mask when it should be visible, then it follows that failure of the hammer to act is caused by some difliculty in front of, or on the scanner side of, the cathode ray tube, which may accordingly be checked without disturbing the apparatus behind the said tube. In this manner, the cathode ray tubes, because of their characteristic of permitting visual analysis of the voltages impressed thereon, are of great importance in my application thereof.

The herein disclosed device for delaying the actuation of the ejector, namely, detainer l1, operates as described above to insure that, once the impulses emanating from the sentinel tubes l4 have been ascertained and recognized by the ionization of tube 45, the ejector will be actuated at a definite time interval thereafter. By this arrangement, perfect timing of the hammers is provided for, which is of considerable importance in view of the fact that the various article judging, impulse amplifying, and impulse transmitting elements of the machine are instantaneous in action and accordingly capable of being operated at exceedingly high speeds. With such po tential high speeds of operation, it becomes of primary importance to assure that the mechanical elements of the machine are precisely and practically instantaneously actuated. The detainer l1 and elements associated therewith insure such action.

The foregoing description of my invention relates to an embodiment thereof in a machine for sorting articles on the basis of the relative color reflectivity thereof, but it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention has broader aspects, that the structure described, with minor alterations, can be adapted for the sorting of practically any articles on the basis of several different factors other than relative color reflectivity, such as weight, hardness, strength, etc, whether such factors are made independent of or dependent on one another. Moreover, the machine may be readily adapted for the sorting of elongated objects, such as, for example, asparagus stalks, by the simple expedient of providing a conventional time sweep voltage impressed on one of the deflecting plates. By such provision, the cathode ray beam could be swept horizontally by a sawtooth voltage and vertically with a single impulse proportional to the brightness of the object. Using an appropriate mask providing individual brightness tolerances to each section of the length of the object, it is apparent that any inverted stalks or stalks of incorrect length could be rejected.

Utilizing the principle of my invention, it is, moreover, theoretically possible to extend the system to cover a three-color process employing a double-beam cathode ray tube. This possibility is limited by the fact-that the sum of the three-color measurements must be a constant, which is never the case with reflectivities. In the overwhelming number of cases in the commercial sorting field, analysis on the basis of two-color reflectivities is ample. Should a case occur requiring three-color analysis, it .could be very simply handled by the structure shown and described by passing the objects first through a broadly novel with me.

machine operating on the basis of red and green light, for example, then through another operating on the basis of, say, green and blue light for a further sub-division.

The normalizing provisions of this machine are also of considerable importance since they assure an independent judging of each article by resetting the scanner amplifier to original condition after each scanning period.

Further advantages of the instant device will be obvious. As previously stated, I regard the provision of a cathode ray tube in combination with a sentinel photo-tube and a mask or other governing means between said tubes, to be used as an actuating and control mechanism, as

This arrangement constitutes a device which is of wide utility. In my copending application, Serial No. 222,788, filed August 3, 1938, I disclose and claim such means in various important general applications or adaptations.

I have illustrated and described my invention in embodiments which I have found highly satisfactory. I have not attempted to illustrate or describe other embodiments or adaptations as it is believed that this disclosure will enable those skilled in the art to embody or adapt my invention as may be desired.

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

1. In a machine for assorting articles according to color, article scanning means adapted to originate an electrical impulse, article ejecting means, and means for actuating said ejecting means in accordance with variations in light reflectivity of the articles as viewed by said scanning means, comprising a cathode ray tube having one of the deflection plates thereof connected to said scanning means and adapted to :beactuated thereby to deflect the cathode ray beam,

in one direction, further impulse originating means connected to another deflection plate of the tube for deflecting said beam transversely of said first named direction, light-sensitive means adjacent the cathode ray tube adapted to View the trace of said beam in certain of 'the resultant positions of the same on the cathode ray screen produced by said impulse originating means, and means for controlling the positions of the beam trace in which the same is viewed by said light-sensitive means.

2. In a machine for assorting articles according to color, a cathode ray tube having beam deflection plates, means for originating a pair of independently variable signals including photoelectric article scanning means adapted to View articles, means for operating on said articles, and means for actuating said operating means in accordance with the variations in relative intensity of light reflected from the articles, said cathode ray tube having one of the deflection plates thereof connected to said scanning means and adapted to be energized thereby to deflect the cathode ray beam in one direction, another of the deflection plates being connected to said first named means whereby to deflect the beam transversely of said first named direction, and light-sensitive means adjacent the cathode ray tube adapted to view the beam trace in certain positions of the same.

3. Control and actuating means for an article sorting machine of the type described comprising a cathode ray tube, electrical means including means operable in accordance with one or more characteristics of an article to be sorted, said flrst named means being connected to said tube for controlling the positioning of the beam thereof in a plurality of directions transversely of the screen of the tube, photoelectric viewing means disposed adjacent the screen of said tube, means between said viewing means and said tube for selectively exposing said screen whereby to mask the beam trace of the cathode ray tube from the viewing means in various positions of the beam, said viewing means viewing the trace in other positions thereof and generating electrical impulses accordingly, and an ejector mechanism controllable in response to said im pulses.

4. In a machine of the type described, the combination of a beam emitting tube having a viewing screen, means connected to said tube for originating a primary impulse in accordance with a predetermined characteristic of articles to be operated on, and operative to deflect the beam of the tube in one direction, further impulse originating means connected to the tube to deflect the beam in a direction transverse said first named direction, said impulse originating means coacting to control the positioning of the beam laterally and longitudinally of the screen of the tube, light-sensitive viewing means disposed adjacent the screen of said tube, means for selectively exposing said viewing means to said screen whereby to mask the beam spot of the cathode ray tube on the screen from the viewing means in various positions of the beam means in accordance with variations in the articles as viewed by said scanning means comprising a cathode ray tube having beam deflecting means operatively connected to said plural impulse originating means to deflect the beam of the tube in two directions transverse to one another, and light-sensitive means operatively associated with said cathode ray tube and adapted to view the beam trace of said tube in certain positions only on the cathode ray screen.

6. In a machine for sorting articles according to color, the combination of plural article scanning means, article ejecting means, means for actuating said article ejecting means in accordance with variations in relative color reflectivity of the articles as viewed by said scanning means comprising a cathode ray tube having beam deflecting means operatively associated with said plural scanning means to deflect the beam of the tube in two directions transverse to one another on the screen of the tube, and light-sensitive means operatively associated with said cathode ray tube and adapted to view the beam trace in certain positions only on the cathode ray screen.

7. In a machine for sorting articles according to color, the combination of plural article scanning means, article ejecting means, means for actuating said article ejecting means in accordance with variations in relative color reflectivity of the articles as viewed by said scanning means comprising means for emitting a beam producing a luminous trace, said emitting means having beam controlling means operatively connected to said plural impulse originating means to deflect the beam in two directions transverse to one another, and light-sensitive means adapted to generate electrical impulses in response to said beam under certain predetermined conditions thereof controlled by said controlling means.

8. In anarticle sorting machine, the combination of a cathode ray tube, article judging means adapted to originate a primary impulse in accordance with a characteristic of the articles and operatively associated with the beam deflecting means of said cathode ray tube whereby the beam trace is caused to traverse the cathode ray screen in one direction in accordance with the variations in the primary impulse, further impulse originating means connected to said beam deflecting means and operative to deflect the beam in a direction transverse the flrst named direction, the resultant positioningof the beam being determined by the coacting effects of said primary and further impulse originating. means, light-sensitive activating means operatively associated with the screen of said cathode ray tube, and means for selectively exposing said lightsensitive activating means to the trace of the cathode ray tube beam in various positions of th beam.

9. In a machine for sorting articles on the basis of relative color reflectivity, the combination of a cathode ray tube, primary impulse initiating and transmitting means operatively associated with the beam deflecting means of said cathode ray tube, said first named means actuating the deflecting means to cause the beam trace to be deflected in one dimension in accordance with the intensity of one reflected color and in another dimension in accordance with the intensity of another reflected color, and light-sensitive means operatively associated with said cathode ray tube and activated by the beam trace.

10. In a classifying machine, the combination of a cathode ray tube, plural impulse originating means including article judging means adapted to originate a primary impulse, said plural impulse originating means being connected to said cathode ray tube whereby to control the positioning of the beam thereof in two directions transverse to one another in accordance with the variations in the impulses originated by said first named means, light-sensitive activating means operatively associated with the screen of said cathode ray tube and exposed for energization by the trace of said beam in accordance with variations in the positioning thereof effected by said impulses, article classifying means, and means controlled by said light sensitive activating means for actuating said classifying means.

11. In a machine of the type described, means for scanning articles and initiating impulses proportional in intensity to the intensity of light reflected from the articles, further impulse initiating means, a cathode ray tube, means connecting said tube to said impulse initiating means to control the lateral positioning of the electron beam of the tube in two directions transverse to one another. in accordance with said impulses, light-sensitive means distinct from said first named for viewing the trace of said beam, said last named means initiating impulses in accordance with the controlled condition of the beam,

cles from said translating means including a pluand means for limiting the effective range of said light-sensitive means with reference to the screen of the tube.

12. In a sorting or like machine, separate impulse originating means including light-sensitive means for scanning articles, said first named means simultaneously initiating separate sets of electrical impulses at least one of which is impulses proportional in intensity to the intensity of light reflected from the articles, a cathode ray tube having the deflecting plates thereof connected respectively to said flrst named separate means whereby the electron beam of the cathode ray tube assumes various positions laterally and longitudinally of the screen of the tube in accordance with the intensity of said impulses, light-sensitive means for viewing the trace of said beam in certain of said positions and acti-- vated thereby in those positions, article shifting means, and means controlled by said light sensitive viewing means for actuating said shifting means.

13. In a machine for sorting articles according to color, the combination of plural article scan-' ning means, article ejecting means, means for actuating said article ejecting means in accordance with variations in relative color reflectivity of the articles as viewed by said scanning means comprising a cathode ray tube having plural beam deflecting means connected to said respective scanning means whereby the point of impirigement of the beam on the cathode ray screen shifts in two directions transverse to one another with variations in .relative color reflectivity of the articles scanned by said scanning means, and light-sensitive means operatively associated with said cathode ray tube and activated by the beam trace thereof in certain positions only on the cathode ray screen.

14. The combination of a pair of article scanning means, a cathode ray tube having a screen and plural beam deflecting means disposed at an angle to one another and operatively associated with and controlled by said respective scanning means whereby the beam of the tube is deflected in two directions transverse to one another on the screen, so that the .point of impingement of the beam on the cathode ray screen is selectively positioned on any portion thereof in accordance with variations in the scanned articles, light-sensitive means operatively associated with said cathode ray tube and activated rality of ejecting members operatively associated with said translating means, a cathode ray tube for each ejecting means, said cathode ray tubes having the beam deflecting means thereof operatively associated with said scanning means, adjustable masking means for the cathode ray screens of said tubes leaving only a portion thereof exposed for the transmission of light, a light-sensitive means operatively associated with each cathode ray tube screen, and means for transmitting signals from said light-sensitive means and for imposing corresponding actuating impulses on said ejecting means in timed relation to said translating means.

17. In a machine for sorting articles according to color, an article scanning means, means for translating articles successively to said scanning means, means for selectively ejecting articles from said translating means including a plurality of ejecting means operatively associated with said translating means, a cathode ray tube for each ejecting means, said cathode ray tubes having the beam deflecting means thereof operatively associated with said scanning means, a light-sensitive means operatively associated with each cathode ray tube screen, and means operatively connecting said light-sensitive means with the ejecting means to initiate the actuation thereof.

18. In a sorting machine of the type described, means for scanning articles, a cathode ray tube, means connecting said scanning means to the plates of said cathode ray tube whereby to defiect the beam thereof in accordance with the relative color reflectivity of an article, means for controlling said cathode ray tube to cause a beam to be emitted thereby only when an article to be by the beam in certain positions only, and means acting on the articles scanned operatively associated with said light-sensitive means.

15. The combination of a'pair of electrical impulse originating means including article scanning means, a cathode ray tube having a pair of beam deflecting means disposed at an angle to one another and connected to said respective impulse originating means whereby the beam of the tube is deflected longitudinally and laterally relative to the screen of the tube and the point of impingement of the beam on the cathode ray screen is selectively positioned on any portion thereof in accordance with variations in the impulses, means operatively associated with said cathode ray tube and activated by the beam in certain positions only, and means acting on the articles scanned operatively associated with said last named means.

16. In a machine for sorting articles according to color, an article scanning means, means for translating articles successively to said scanning means, means for selectively ejecting artiassorted is adjacent the scanning means, ejector means, and means for actuating said ejector means including a light-sensitive element adja cent the cathode ray tube and'means for limiting the effective range of the light-sensitive element with reference to the beam trace on the screen of the cathode ray tube.

19. In a sorting or like machine, means for scanning articles, a cathode ray tube, means connecting said scanning means to said cathode ray tube whereby to control the beam thereof in one direction in accordance with the light reflectivity of an article, means connected to the tube for controlling the beam in a direction transverse to the first named direction, means for actuating said cathode ray tube to cause a beam to be periodically emitted thereby, article -jecting and deflecting an electronic beam connected to said plural impulse originating means to deflect the beam in different directions transverse to one another, the deflecting of the beam being controlled at least in part by the scanning means'as influenced by the articles scanned, and means activated by said beam when it is projected in a predetermined area of limited extent as compared to the area throughout which it is projected as a result of the scanning of articles of varying hue and/or brightness.

21. In a sorting machine of the type described, intermittently operative article judging means, an electron emitting tube adapted to emit a beam of electrons and having means for controlling the position of the beam, means connecting said controlling means to said article judging means for deflecting the beam substantially simultaneously with the operation of said judging means, and means for initiating the emission of the beam only at that instant.

22, In a machine for sorting articles, photosensitive means for scanning the articles adapted to originate electrical impulses proportionate to a plurality of characteristics of the articles being sorted, sorting means, and means for controlling the actuation of said sorting means from said scanning means, comprising a device having a viewing screen and means for producing a visible signal on said screen, means electrically connecting said scanning means to said device for altering the position of said visible signal in accordance with said characteristics, and means adjacent said screen sensitive to said signal in certain positions of the same .on the screen for initiating an impulse for activating said sorting means.

23. In a machine of the type described, photosensitive means for scanning articles to be operated on adapted to'originate separate electrical impulses proportionate to a plurality of char- -'acteristics of the articles being sorted, means for operating on the articles, and means for controlling and actuating said operating means comprising a device having means for producing a visible signal, means electrically connecting said scanning means to said device for altering said visible signal in accordance with said separate impulses, and means sensitive to said signal for transmitting an activating impulse to said operating means.

24, In a machine of the type described, means for originating a pair of independently variable electrical signals, a cathode ray tube, means for amplifying and transmitting certain of said signals to one deflection plate of the cathode ray tube, means for amplifying and transmitting the other of said signals to another deflection plate of the cathode ray tube, means for restoring the amplifying means to a normal condition between transmission of signals, photoelectric means for viewing the cathode ray beam trace as deflected on the cathode ray screen under the influence of said signals, and means periodically placing said cathode ray tube in beam emitting condition.

25. In a machine of the type described, means for originating a pair of independently variable electrical signals, a cathode ray tube, means for amplifying and transmitting certain of said signals to one deflection plate of the cathode ray tube, means for amplifying and transmitting the other of said signals to another deflection plate of the cathode ray tube, photoelectric means for viewing the cathode ray beam trace as deflected on the cathode ray screen under the influence of said signals, and means periodically placing said cathode ray tube in beam emitting condition.

26. In a sorting machine of the type described, means for conveying a series of articles in spaced relation, photoelectric scanning means for viewing said articles, comprising a pair of photoelectric tubes each provided with a color filter different in color from the filter for the other whereby each filter isolates a certain part of the light reflected from the articles, means for amplifying the separate impulses originating in said tubes, a cathode ray tube, means for connecting the output of said amplifying means to the deflecting plates of the cathode ray tube, means for periodically energizing said cathode ray tube to produce an electronic stream therein, variations in the charges on said deflecting plates causing the beam to be deflected on the cathode ray tube screen, photoelectric sentinel means adapted to view the beam trace on said screen, a control mask associated with said screen to expose said I sentinel means to the beam trace in certain positions of the latter, an electrically actuated ejector, and means for amplifying and transmitting impulses originating in said sentinel means in response to said trace to said ejector including a device for timing said impulses so as to be effective on the ejector at predetermined intervals.

27. In a sorting machine of the type described, means for conveying a series of articles in spaced relation, photoelectric scanning means for viewing said articles, comprising a pair of photoelectric tubes each provided with a color filter different in color from the filter for the other whereby each filter isolates a certain part of the light reflected from the articles, a cathode ray tube, means for connecting the output of said scanning means to the deflecting plates of the cathode ray tube, means for energizing said cathode ray tube to produce an electronic stream therein, variations in the charges on said deflecting plates causing the beam to be deflected on the cathode ray tube screen, photoelectric sentinel means adapted to view the beam trace on said screen,

an electrically actuated ejector, and means for amplifying and transmitting impulses originating in said sentinel means in response to said trace to said ejector including a device for timing said impulses so as to be efiective on the ejector at predetermined intervals.

28. In a machine of the type described, photoelectric scanning means for viewing a plurality of spaced moving articles, comprising a pair of photoelectric tubes each of which is provided with a color filter different in color from the filter for the other, whereby to isolate predetermined components of the light reflected from the articles, separate means for amplifying impulses originating in said tubes and proportional to certain color reflectivity of the articles, a cathode ray tube, means for connecting the output of one of said amplifying means to one deflecting plate of the. cathode ray tube, means for connecting the output of the other amplifying means to another deflecting plate of the cathode ray tube, and means for energizing said cathode ray tube to produce an electronic beam therein, said beam being deflected in one dimension in accordance with the intensity of one color and in another dimension in accordance with that of another color.

29. A sorting machine comprising an electron beam emitting tube having a screen toward which the beam is directed, light-sensitive means for scanning objects to be sorted connected to the tube to control the beam thereof in accordance with the relative color reflectivity of an object with reference to a plurality of colors, the beam of said tube impinging the screen thereof in various positions depending on said relative color reflectivity, and means for masking the beam trace on the screen in certain of said positions.

DAVID C. COX.

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Cited By (53)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2483452A (en) * 1946-11-19 1949-10-04 Du Mont Allen B Lab Inc Color sorting device using differently color-selective photocells and a cathode-ray tube
US2502503A (en) * 1947-05-08 1950-04-04 Du Mont Allen B Lab Inc Photosensitive device using a semitransparent mirror and an oscilloscope for testing razor blades for sharpness
US2518948A (en) * 1949-02-01 1950-08-15 Simmon Brothers Inc Light measuring device for photographic color printing having color filters and photocell circuit timing means
US2540798A (en) * 1946-05-07 1951-02-06 American Cyanamid Co Color predictor for pigments
US2547545A (en) * 1947-12-24 1951-04-03 Libbey Owens Ford Glass Co Means for measuring the optical properties of films
US2574264A (en) * 1949-03-04 1951-11-06 Henry A Gardner Lab Inc Color and color difference meter
US2595762A (en) * 1947-08-13 1952-05-06 Caldwell John Brodhead Conveyer feeding device
US2609926A (en) * 1948-07-21 1952-09-09 Pabst Brewing Co Bottle sorting machine
US2625265A (en) * 1947-04-01 1953-01-13 Electric Sorting Machine Compa Photoelectric sorting apparatus
US2627347A (en) * 1949-08-22 1953-02-03 Univ California Photoelectric control circuit
US2647627A (en) * 1948-12-03 1953-08-04 Sheffield Corp Gauging device
US2648723A (en) * 1948-12-30 1953-08-11 Rca Corp Inspection system
US2678725A (en) * 1949-12-29 1954-05-18 Gen Electric Apparatus for classifying articles by color
US2688099A (en) * 1949-09-14 1954-08-31 Everett H Bickley Scanning mechanism for color sorting machines
US2696297A (en) * 1949-03-17 1954-12-07 William S Scull 2Nd Sorting apparatus
US2697918A (en) * 1949-11-16 1954-12-28 Alfred E Comstock Ice dispensing apparatus
US2708515A (en) * 1953-05-26 1955-05-17 George N Bliss Automatic egg candler
US2714327A (en) * 1950-06-03 1955-08-02 Weaver Mfg Co Photoelectric cell circuit
US2717693A (en) * 1949-09-06 1955-09-13 Fred T Holmes Method of and apparatus for sorting radiation emissive material
US2732896A (en) * 1956-01-31 lundahl
US2759601A (en) * 1951-07-19 1956-08-21 Baigent George Mattey Apparatus for observing and/or measuring light
US2759602A (en) * 1951-07-19 1956-08-21 Baigent George Mattey Apparatus for detecting variation of surface characteristics of objects
US2766939A (en) * 1951-11-30 1956-10-16 Weston David Automatic control case
US2823800A (en) * 1953-06-26 1958-02-18 George N Bliss Automatic candler for brown or white eggs
US2838682A (en) * 1955-02-16 1958-06-10 Kahle Eng Co Lead wire detector
US2840237A (en) * 1953-12-21 1958-06-24 Burroughs Corp Machine for sorting record forms
US2881919A (en) * 1954-04-05 1959-04-14 California Packing Corp Spot scanner for comestibles
US2882786A (en) * 1954-11-08 1959-04-21 Perkin Elmer Corp Color measuring circuit
US2933613A (en) * 1952-11-24 1960-04-19 Univ California Method and apparatus for sorting objects according to color
US2966264A (en) * 1952-06-19 1960-12-27 Mandrel Industries Sorting apparatus
US2988219A (en) * 1953-03-23 1961-06-13 California Packing Corp Means and methods for color sorting articles
US2991369A (en) * 1956-05-24 1961-07-04 Int Standard Electric Corp Apparatus for determining the position of printed items
US2992729A (en) * 1955-05-21 1961-07-18 Kilian & Co G M B H Tabletting presses
US3009571A (en) * 1958-05-05 1961-11-21 Fmc Corp Method of and apparatus for sorting articles
US3012666A (en) * 1961-12-12 Electrical color separation
US3016788A (en) * 1952-05-24 1962-01-16 Genevieve I Magnuson Methods and apparatus for color grading of fruits and vegetables
US3024692A (en) * 1958-06-12 1962-03-13 Technicon Instr Chart readers and comparators and method of translating light transmittance values of colorimeter recordings into concentration values
US3066570A (en) * 1952-09-26 1962-12-04 American Electronic Lab Apparatus for color analysis
US3114445A (en) * 1961-03-14 1963-12-17 Automatic Canteen Co Currency testing system
US3127560A (en) * 1952-05-24 1964-03-31 Genevieve I Magnuson Amplifier for photoelectric bridge spectrophotometer
US3133201A (en) * 1960-08-30 1964-05-12 Frank C Rock Color analyzing arrangement
US3145844A (en) * 1958-03-10 1964-08-25 Univ California Sorting and selecting apparatus
US3173017A (en) * 1961-07-17 1965-03-09 Fmc Corp Apparatus for sorting objects according to color
DE1276785B (en) * 1958-03-14 1968-09-05 Mandreal Ind Inc Sorting device for testing and separating of articles in various property classes
US3462014A (en) * 1967-05-15 1969-08-19 Honeywell Inc Control apparatus
US3598907A (en) * 1968-05-20 1971-08-10 Emhart Corp Article inspection by successively televised images
US3836710A (en) * 1971-12-09 1974-09-17 Nac Inc Pattern discrimination system using television
USRE28984E (en) * 1968-05-20 1976-09-28 Emhart Industries, Inc. Article inspection by successively televised images
USRE29031E (en) * 1972-05-03 1976-11-09 Fmc Corporation Circuitry for sorting fruit according to color
EP0105453A2 (en) * 1982-09-30 1984-04-18 Pennwalt Corporation Apparatus for processing fruit and the like
US4450073A (en) * 1981-12-24 1984-05-22 Burnett C H Automatic weight grading and sorting apparatus
WO1987001974A1 (en) * 1985-09-30 1987-04-09 Cra Services Limited Particle feed apparatus
WO1987001975A1 (en) * 1985-09-30 1987-04-09 Cra Services Limited Classifier

Cited By (55)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3012666A (en) * 1961-12-12 Electrical color separation
US2732896A (en) * 1956-01-31 lundahl
US2540798A (en) * 1946-05-07 1951-02-06 American Cyanamid Co Color predictor for pigments
US2483452A (en) * 1946-11-19 1949-10-04 Du Mont Allen B Lab Inc Color sorting device using differently color-selective photocells and a cathode-ray tube
US2625265A (en) * 1947-04-01 1953-01-13 Electric Sorting Machine Compa Photoelectric sorting apparatus
US2502503A (en) * 1947-05-08 1950-04-04 Du Mont Allen B Lab Inc Photosensitive device using a semitransparent mirror and an oscilloscope for testing razor blades for sharpness
US2595762A (en) * 1947-08-13 1952-05-06 Caldwell John Brodhead Conveyer feeding device
US2547545A (en) * 1947-12-24 1951-04-03 Libbey Owens Ford Glass Co Means for measuring the optical properties of films
US2609926A (en) * 1948-07-21 1952-09-09 Pabst Brewing Co Bottle sorting machine
US2647627A (en) * 1948-12-03 1953-08-04 Sheffield Corp Gauging device
US2648723A (en) * 1948-12-30 1953-08-11 Rca Corp Inspection system
US2518948A (en) * 1949-02-01 1950-08-15 Simmon Brothers Inc Light measuring device for photographic color printing having color filters and photocell circuit timing means
US2574264A (en) * 1949-03-04 1951-11-06 Henry A Gardner Lab Inc Color and color difference meter
US2696297A (en) * 1949-03-17 1954-12-07 William S Scull 2Nd Sorting apparatus
US2627347A (en) * 1949-08-22 1953-02-03 Univ California Photoelectric control circuit
US2717693A (en) * 1949-09-06 1955-09-13 Fred T Holmes Method of and apparatus for sorting radiation emissive material
US2688099A (en) * 1949-09-14 1954-08-31 Everett H Bickley Scanning mechanism for color sorting machines
US2697918A (en) * 1949-11-16 1954-12-28 Alfred E Comstock Ice dispensing apparatus
US2678725A (en) * 1949-12-29 1954-05-18 Gen Electric Apparatus for classifying articles by color
US2714327A (en) * 1950-06-03 1955-08-02 Weaver Mfg Co Photoelectric cell circuit
US2759601A (en) * 1951-07-19 1956-08-21 Baigent George Mattey Apparatus for observing and/or measuring light
US2759602A (en) * 1951-07-19 1956-08-21 Baigent George Mattey Apparatus for detecting variation of surface characteristics of objects
US2766939A (en) * 1951-11-30 1956-10-16 Weston David Automatic control case
US3127560A (en) * 1952-05-24 1964-03-31 Genevieve I Magnuson Amplifier for photoelectric bridge spectrophotometer
US3016788A (en) * 1952-05-24 1962-01-16 Genevieve I Magnuson Methods and apparatus for color grading of fruits and vegetables
US2966264A (en) * 1952-06-19 1960-12-27 Mandrel Industries Sorting apparatus
US3066570A (en) * 1952-09-26 1962-12-04 American Electronic Lab Apparatus for color analysis
US2933613A (en) * 1952-11-24 1960-04-19 Univ California Method and apparatus for sorting objects according to color
US2988219A (en) * 1953-03-23 1961-06-13 California Packing Corp Means and methods for color sorting articles
US2708515A (en) * 1953-05-26 1955-05-17 George N Bliss Automatic egg candler
US2823800A (en) * 1953-06-26 1958-02-18 George N Bliss Automatic candler for brown or white eggs
US2840237A (en) * 1953-12-21 1958-06-24 Burroughs Corp Machine for sorting record forms
US2881919A (en) * 1954-04-05 1959-04-14 California Packing Corp Spot scanner for comestibles
US2882786A (en) * 1954-11-08 1959-04-21 Perkin Elmer Corp Color measuring circuit
US2838682A (en) * 1955-02-16 1958-06-10 Kahle Eng Co Lead wire detector
US2992729A (en) * 1955-05-21 1961-07-18 Kilian & Co G M B H Tabletting presses
US2991369A (en) * 1956-05-24 1961-07-04 Int Standard Electric Corp Apparatus for determining the position of printed items
US3145844A (en) * 1958-03-10 1964-08-25 Univ California Sorting and selecting apparatus
DE1276785B (en) * 1958-03-14 1968-09-05 Mandreal Ind Inc Sorting device for testing and separating of articles in various property classes
US3009571A (en) * 1958-05-05 1961-11-21 Fmc Corp Method of and apparatus for sorting articles
US3024692A (en) * 1958-06-12 1962-03-13 Technicon Instr Chart readers and comparators and method of translating light transmittance values of colorimeter recordings into concentration values
US3133201A (en) * 1960-08-30 1964-05-12 Frank C Rock Color analyzing arrangement
US3114445A (en) * 1961-03-14 1963-12-17 Automatic Canteen Co Currency testing system
US3173017A (en) * 1961-07-17 1965-03-09 Fmc Corp Apparatus for sorting objects according to color
US3462014A (en) * 1967-05-15 1969-08-19 Honeywell Inc Control apparatus
US3598907A (en) * 1968-05-20 1971-08-10 Emhart Corp Article inspection by successively televised images
USRE28984E (en) * 1968-05-20 1976-09-28 Emhart Industries, Inc. Article inspection by successively televised images
US3836710A (en) * 1971-12-09 1974-09-17 Nac Inc Pattern discrimination system using television
USRE29031E (en) * 1972-05-03 1976-11-09 Fmc Corporation Circuitry for sorting fruit according to color
US4450073A (en) * 1981-12-24 1984-05-22 Burnett C H Automatic weight grading and sorting apparatus
EP0105453A2 (en) * 1982-09-30 1984-04-18 Pennwalt Corporation Apparatus for processing fruit and the like
EP0105453A3 (en) * 1982-09-30 1985-11-21 Pennwalt Corporation Apparatus and method for processing fruit and the like
WO1987001974A1 (en) * 1985-09-30 1987-04-09 Cra Services Limited Particle feed apparatus
WO1987001975A1 (en) * 1985-09-30 1987-04-09 Cra Services Limited Classifier
US4951825A (en) * 1985-09-30 1990-08-28 Cra Services Ltd. Apparatus for classifying particulate material

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