US2681757A - Vacuum packing and lifting device - Google Patents

Vacuum packing and lifting device Download PDF

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US2681757A
US2681757A US26210351A US2681757A US 2681757 A US2681757 A US 2681757A US 26210351 A US26210351 A US 26210351A US 2681757 A US2681757 A US 2681757A
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vacuum
cylinder
nozzle
tube
piston
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Kellersman Robert
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Kellersman Robert
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B35/00Supplying, feeding, arranging, or orientating articles to be packaged
    • B65B35/10Feeding, e.g. conveying, single articles
    • B65B35/16Feeding, e.g. conveying, single articles by grippers
    • B65B35/18Feeding, e.g. conveying, single articles by grippers by suction-operated grippers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B31/00Packaging articles or materials under special atmospheric or gaseous conditions; Adding propellants to aerosol containers
    • B65B31/04Evacuating, pressurising, or gasifying filled containers or wrappers, or containers or wrappers to be filled, by means of nozzles through which air or other gas, e.g. an inert gas, is withdrawn or supplied

Description

June 22, 1954 R, KELLER MAN 2,681,757

VACUUM PACKING AND LIFTING DEVICE Filed Dec. 17, 1951 2 Shee'tS-SheGt 1 A INVENTOR. ROBERT K544 ERSMA N ATTORNEYS June 22, 1954 Filed Dec. 17, 1951 R. KELLERSMAN VACUUM PACKING AND LIFTING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. iPoae-krfsasksMnA: BY

WWW

- ATTORNEY-9 Patented June 22, 1954 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 11 Claims.

This invention relates to an improved vacuum packing device, and more particularly to a device especially adapted for use in vacuum packaging poultry or the like in collapsible air-tight bags.

It is more or less conventional practice for processors and packagers of turkeys and chick ens to individually vacuum pack each bird in a collapsible air-tight bag which may be made of a suitable synthetic plastic material, such as, for instance, Pliofilm or poly-ethylene. Conventional equipment employed for such processing may comprise a vacuum pipe or nozzle supported in a relatively fixed position above a packing table. In packaging, the birds are first placed in the plastic bag and then the operator must lift each bag containing a bird on the table in order to engage the mouth of the bag over the vacuum pipe or nozzle. While the operator holds the bag mouth over the vacuum nozzle in ai1tight engagement therewith, air is exhausted from the interior of the bag. Thereupon the bag is rotated causing the upper neck or mouth portion of the bag to twist tightly around itself forming an airtight constriction to prevent air from entering the bag after it isremoved from the nozzle.

An attendant disadvantage in such practice is that considerable physical exertion is required on the part of the operator to lift the bags with the birds contained therein above the packing table into engagement with the vacuum nozzle. Large turkeys weigh twenty pounds and over, audit is evident that considerable physical effort is requiredto manually lift and lower a large num ber of such birds in rapid succession.

Another drawback encountered in conventional packaging procedure is that operators frequently let the bags containing the birds suddenly drop onto the packing table from the vacuum nozzle which may result in the tearing or rupturing of the bag.

The embodiment of the present invention illustrated in the drawings and to be described hereinafter in more detail, comprises generally, and in association with a packing table, a novel vacuum actuated lifting mechanism supported above said packing table and carrying an associated vacuumnozzle assembly. Valve means associated with the nozzle are provided to open and close communication between a vacuum source and the interior of said nozzle and said vacuum lifting mechanism. The arrangement is such that when a vacuum condition is established within the lifting mechanism, the latter will operate' to cause the nozz'leto raise upwardly a desired distance above the table.

A principal object and advantage of such an arrangement is to provide a means for mechanically lifting the entire weight of a bird encased within a bag during vacuum packaging operations in appropriate timed relationship to the suctioning of air from the bag. The mechanism also operates to cause the gentle lowering of the bird and bag to the packing table after vacuum operations have been completed.

Another object of the present invention is to provide vacuum packaging equipment of the type briefly referred to above which incorporates certain novel component assemblies and elements which will more specifically be described hereinafter.

Other objects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification and referring to the accompanying drawings in which similar characteristics of reference represent corresponding parts in each of the several views.

In the drawings:

Fig. 1 is a side elevational view of an embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 2 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the vacuum nozzle assembly and vacuum actuated lifting mechanism.

Figs. 3-5, inclusive, are vertical sectional views of the vacuum nozzle assembly and lifting mechanism showing the component parts thereof in different positions of operation.

Referring now'more particularly to the drawings, an embodiment of the invention is shown as comprising, generally, a packing table A, a primary support assembly B, a secondary support assembly C, a vacuum source D, a vacuum actuated lifting mechanism E, and an associated nozzle assembly F.

The packing table, heretofore designated generally at A, may be. of conventional construction to present a flat table surface for initially packaging birds to be processed. Preferably the table A is made of, or sheathed with, stainless steel or the like for purposes of cleanliness and sanitation. 7

The primary support assembly, heretofore designated generally at B, comprises a vertical standard H), which may be bolted or otherwise anchored, as at H, to the table A or other stationaryfixture. Sleeve [2 is mounted for vertical slidable movement on standard H1, and a clamping knob I3 is provided to permit adjustable clamping of sleeve It at any desired location along standard "I.

The secondary support assembly, heretoforeim dicated generally at C, comprises an outwardly projecting lower arm i4 pivotally hinged as at I5 adjacent the lower end of sleeve I2; and a bellcrank lever comprising approximately rightangularly disposed lever arms [6 and I1, respectively, hinged pivotally, as at I8, to the top extremities of sleeve l2. Arm I1 is provided with a rigidly afiixed threaded sleeve I9 adapted to threadedly receive hand crank 2|.

The vacuum nozzle assembly, heretofore designated generally at F, and the vacuum actuated lifting mechanism, heretofore designated generally at E, are supported vertically above packing table A by the secondary support assembly C by means which will hereinafter be described in more detail.

Mechanism E comprises a cylinder or housing 22 and a piston diaphragm 23. Cylinder 22 comprises, more specifically, similarly formed top and bottom casings 24 and 26 which are joined and bolted together around their peripheries as at 2'1. Top casing 24 is formed with air vent apertures 25. Piston diaphragm 23 consists of a resiliently stretchable sheet, such as sheet rubber, which is clamped about its periphery, as at 23, between top and bottom casings 24 and 26. A piston rod or shaft 29 is connected centrally to piston diaphragm 23 by means of washers 3i and 32, which engage opposite faces of said diaphragm and are secured in position by locknut 33 threadedly mounted on the lower end of piston rod 29.

The lower portion of cylinder 22 terminates in a depending vacuum chamber 34 which, in turn, houses the upper end of nozzle tube 36. Tube 36 carries at its lower end a flared nozzle 31 having nozzle apertures 38.

Flexible conduit 39 and pipe 41 are provided to establish vacuum communication between a suitable vacuum source (not shown) such as a conventional vacuum pump, to the interior of vacuum chamber 34. Pipe 4! is formed with a valve seat 42, and the upper end of vacuum tube 36 is capped by a valve head 43 adapted for seating engagement with said valve seat 42. Valve elements 42 and 43 provide a means for opening and closing communication between the vacuum source and the interior of vacuum chamber 34, cylinder 22, and tube 36.

Lower housing or casing 41, bolted as at 48 to chamber 34, carries depending sleeve 49, which latter element slidably telescopically retains vacuum tube 36. Tube 36 is provided with outwardly extending pins 51 which project through associated slots 52 formed in the opposite sides of sleeve 49. The pin and slot arrangement provides a means for limiting the extent of permissible slidable movement of tube 36 within said sleeve.

Resilient membrane or diaphragm 53 is clamped about its. peripheral portions between the vacuum chamber 34 and housing 41 by means of bolts 48. Membrane 53 is formed with a central aperture through which the upper end of tube 36 projects, and a suitable lock-nut 54 is provided to maintain the membrane securely clamped to the tube in air-tight engagement therewith. Coil spring 56 mounted on the upper end of tube 36 within casing 41 is adapted to normally urge valve head 43 carried by tube 36 upwardly into seating engagement with valve seat 42. Membrane 53 functions to seal 01f air communication between vacuum chamber 34 and casing 41. In this connection it is noted that one or more apertures 46 formed in tube 36 are 3-5, inclusive.

disposed between the valve head 43 and menibrane [53.

As above indicated, the vacuum lifting mechanism and the nozzle assembly are supported vertically above table A by secondary support assembly C. More specifically, bell-crank arm [6 pivotally supports, as at 51, the upper end of piston rod 29, whereas the outer end of arm [4 is connected pivotally, as at 58, to bracket 59 projecting outwardly from sleeve 49.

A coil spring 6! mounted on piston rod 29 with its opposite ends engaging connection 51 and the top of cylinder 24, respectively, functions to normally spring bias the cylinder downwardly toward packing table A, causing the piston diaphragm 23 to normally occupy the upper end of said cylinder.

From the foregoing it is seen that nozzle assembly F and lifting mechanism E may be adjustably vertically spaced a desired distance above packing table A by moving sleeve l2 upwardly or downwardly along standard 10 and clamping the same in desired location by means of clamping knob [3. More limited vertical adjustment of units E and F may be accomplished by manipulation of hand-crank 2i forming a part of secondary support C. More specifically, when hand-crank 2i is cranked in a direction appropriate to cause threaded sleeve 19 to move outwardly toward the handle portion of said crank, parallel arms l4 and I6 move swingably upwardly about their respective pivotal axes l5 and 13, causing assemblies E and F to raise up wardly from the table. Similarly, when handcrank 21 is cranked in the opposite direction, parallel arms 14 and 16 will swing downwardly about their respective pivotal connections l5 and I8, resulting in the lowering of units E and toward packing table A.

The operation of the lifting mechanism E and the vacuum nozzle assembly F will now be described by having particular reference to Figs. Fig 3 shows the position of the various parts comprising the device when the machine is at rest and not in use.

During vacuum packaging of poultry the primary and secondary support assemblies are first, manipulated to raise or lower the nozzle assembly above the packing table the desired distance. In this connection it is pointed out that if large birds are to be packed, the primary and secondary supports would be adjusted so as to raise the nozzle 31 further above table surface A than would be the case if smaller birds were being packaged. Assuming that initial adjustment has been made with respect to the primary and secondary supports as aforesaid, an operator would first manually position the bird to be packaged (indicated in broken lines at 62) within the interior of a collapsible bag 63 formed of air-tight material, such as may be made of Pliofilm or poly-ethylene.

Bag 63, containing the bird, is then stood up right, as shown in Fig. 4, and the mouth of the bag 65 gathered around nozzle 3'! and the lower portion of tube 36 (as indicated in broken lines at 65a). The bird is preferably uprighted with its tail extremities facing up and disposed immediately below nozzle 31. It is pointed out that acetate With the bag and bird thus positioned, the op erator' need only exert slight manual downward pressure against the tube and nozzle to cause said tube to move slidably downwardlywithin sleeve 49; whereby valve head 43 will unseat from valve seat 42, thereby establishing vacuum communication between the vacuum source (via conduits 39 and 4|) and chamber 34 and cylinder 22. Opening of the valve will also establish vacuum communication between the source and tube 36 and nozzle 3! via apertures 46 formed adjacent the upper end of said tube. Until such time as substantially all of the air has been sucked out of bag 63 and cylinder 22, a vacuum condition will notbe created within the cylinder, and hence the vacuum actuated lifting mechanism will not operate immediately upon opening of the valve. As soon as a partial vacuum is established in the lower portion of the cylinder, the difference in atmospheric pressure acting on opposite sides of the piston diaphragm 23 will cause the cylinder to raise upwardly with respect to the piston diaphragm to a point whereat the bottom of the cylinder strikes against piston washer 32 and inhibits further upward movement of said cylinde'r.

Fig. 4 illustrates the position of the elements after a partial vacuum has been created within the cylinder, and said cylinder has moved about half-way up piston 29. It is noted that upward movement of the cylinder will cause nozzle element 3'! to raise correspondingly above the table surface A. Because the mouth of the bag is manually clasped in engagement around the nozzle, the bag with its contained bird will automatically be lifted off the table. Fig. 5 illustrate's the position of the elements at maximum lift position, and it is seen that the bag with the bird contained therein has been raised compietely off table surface A. While in this position the operator with his free hand can rotate the bag to cause the upper portions thereof to twist into an air-tight constriction, as indicated at 61, thereby sealing oil the interior of the bag from air communication.

In order to lower the bag and bird back to the table, the operator need only loosen his grip around the mouth of the bag to permit air to enter nozzle apertures 38. Air entering the cylinder 22' via tube 36 and apertures 42 will overcome the vacuum condition therein existing, and the cylinder, being subject to gravity and downward pressure of spring 6|, will lower the nozzle assembly toward table A and move the bag back to rest on the table surface. Thereupon, the operator may entirely disengage the bag from the nozzle. Release of downward pressure on the nozzle will permit spring 56 to urge the valve head 43 upwardly into seating engagement with seat 42, and the component elements comprising the device will have been returned to their original positions as shown in Figs. 1 and 3.

From the foregoing description it is seen that practically no manual effort is required on the part of an operator during the entire packaging operations. In short, at no time is it necessary for an operator to manually lift or lower the full weight of the bird.

Although the present invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and exampIe for purposes of clarity of understanding, it is understood that certain changes and modifications may be made within the spirit of the invention and scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

' 1. Vacuum packing equipment comprising in association with a vacuum source and a table surface; a vertically disposed air cylinder and piston element, means supporting said piston element in relatively fixed position above said table, said cylinder mounted over said piston for relative upward and downward movement with respect to said piston and table, a depending nozzle assemblyin'cluding a nozzle tube and nozzle carried by and movable with said cylinder, passages connecting said vacuum source with the interior of said nozzle assembly and lower end of said cylinder to a first side of said piston, the upper end of said cylinder and second side of said piston being open to atmosphere, valve means dis posed in said passages for opening and closing communication between said vacuum source and said nozzle assembly and cylinder, and manually operable valve control means associated with said nozzle assembly for operating said valve means, said cylinder movable from a down position whereat said piston occupies the upper end of said cylinder to an up position whereat said piston occupies the lower end of said cylinder when said valve means is opened creating a vacuum. condition in said cylinder.

2. The combination of claim. 1 and wherein saidpiston element comprises a resilient diaphragm mounted transversely within said cylinder, the central portions of said diaphragm resiliently stretchable from one end of said cylinder to the other.

3. The combination according to claim 1 and wherein said nozzle tube has its upper end supported for limited upward and downward movement within the lower portion of said cylinder, and wherein said valve means comprises a valve seat located in the lower end of said cylinder and a valve head carried adjacent the upper end of said tubular member movable with said tubular member intoand out of seating engagement with said valve seat.

4. Vacuum packing equipment comprising in association with a table surface and a vacuum source, a vertically adjustable primary support and an independently vertically adjustable secondary support assembly supported by said primary support above said table surface, a lifting mechanism supported by said secondary support assembly above said table surface, said lifting mechanism independently operable to move upwardly and downwardly relative to said primary and secondary supports and to said table surface, a vacuum nozzle connected to said vacuum source, said vacuum nozzle carried by said lifting mechanism and movable correspondingly therewith upwardly and downwardly with respect to said table surface, and means comprising said vacuum source and a manual control assembly including said vacuum nozzle for operating said lifting mechanism to raise and lower said vacuum nozzle with respect to said table surface.

5. A combination according to claim 4 and wherein said primary support comprises a vertical standard and an adjustably movable element mounted thereon, wherein said secondary support assembly comprises a pair of parallel arms hinged at their opposite end extremities to said adjustable element and said lifting mechanism, respectively.

6. Vacuum packing equipment comprising in association with a table surface and a vacuum source; a vertically disposed air cylinder, a piston diaphragm secured about its peripheral portions interiorly and transversely of said cylinder approximately mid-way between opposite ends of said cylinder, said piston diaphragm being formed of a resiliently stretchable material, a piston rod mixed to said diaphragm centrally thereof and projecting upwardly through the upper end of said cylinder, means supporting said piston rod in relatively fixed position above said table surface, said cylinder mounted for free upward and downward movement with respect to said piston rod and said diaphragm at the latters point of connection with said piston rod, the interior of the cylinder above said diaphragm in communication with atmosphere, a depending vacuum nozzle assembly including a nozzle tube and nozzle carried by said cylinder and movable upwardly and downwardly correspondingly with said cylinder, passages connecting said vacuum source with the interior of said nozzle assembly and the interior of said cylinder located beneath said diaphragm, and valve means disposed in said passages for opening and closing communication between said vacuum source and said nozzle as sembly and cylinder.

7. A combination according to claim 6 and wherein said nozzle tube has its upper end sup- .ported for limited upward and downward movement within the lower portion of said cylinder, and wherein said valve means comprises a valve seat located in the lower end of said cylinder and a valve head carried adjacent the upper end of said tubular member movable with said tubular member into and out of seating engagement with said valve seat.

8. A combination according to claim 6 and wherein said nozzle tube has its upper end supported for limited upward and downward movement within the lower portion of said cylinder, a resilient membrane closing off the lower end of said cylinder, the upper end of said nozzle tube projecting through and affixed to said membrane in air-seal relationship therewith, and wherein said valve means comprises a valve seat located in the lower end of said cylinder and a valve head carried adjacent the upper end of said nozzle tube movable with said nozzle tube into and out of seating engagement with said valve seat.

9. Vacuum packing equipment comprising in association with a table surface and a vacuum source, a lifting mechanism positioned. above said table surface movable upwardly and downwardly relative to said table surface, a vacuum nozzle tube and nozzle connected to said vacuum source, said vacuum nozzle tube and nozzle carried by said lifting mechanism and movable correspo-nd-' zle tube and nozzle, and valve control means com:

prising said nozzle tube and nozzle for manually operating said valve means.

10. A combination according to claim 9 and wherein said lifting mechanism comprises a vacuum actuated cylinder and piston assembly, said cylinder connected to said vacuum source, said piston supported in relatively fixed position above said table surface, said cylinder mounted over said piston and arranged for upward movement with respect to said piston and said table surface upon a vacuum condition being created in said cylinder, said nozzle tube and nozzle carried by and depending from said cylinder and movable correspondingly therewith, and means comprising said valve means for opening and closing communication between said vacuum source and said cylinder.

11. A combination according to claim 9 and wherein said lifting mechanism comprises a vacuum actuated cylinder and piston assembly, said cylinder connected to said vacuum source, said piston supported in relatively fixed position above said table surface, said cylinder mounted over said piston and arranged for upward movement with respect to said piston and said table surface upon a vacuum condition being created in said cylinder, said nozzle tube and nozzle carried by and depending from said cylinder and movable correspondingly therewith, and wherein said valve means is also operable to open and close communication between said vacuum source and said cylinder simultaneous with the opening and closing of communication between said vacuum source and said tube and nozzle.

Name Date Casey Nov. 30, "1943 Number

US2681757A 1951-12-17 1951-12-17 Vacuum packing and lifting device Expired - Lifetime US2681757A (en)

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Cited By (16)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE1034095B (en) * 1955-02-08 1958-07-10 Ralph Sherman Randall Closing machine for Konservierbeutel
US2916059A (en) * 1958-02-18 1959-12-08 Lan J Wong Evacuation valve cup
US3040920A (en) * 1958-09-15 1962-06-26 Hyster Co Method and apparatus for handling loads
US3054521A (en) * 1958-12-22 1962-09-18 Hyster Co Apparatus for handling loads
DE1154760B (en) * 1959-03-04 1963-09-19 Albert A Vail Packaging for food and food products od. Like.
US3175590A (en) * 1960-04-22 1965-03-30 Mohr & Sons John Retractable cavity nozzle for vacuum packing and lifting device
DE1236155B (en) * 1961-03-16 1967-03-09 Hyster Co Device for transporting a group consisting of several parts by means of a load disposed on a hoist vacuum gripper
US3580300A (en) * 1969-07-25 1971-05-25 Grace W R & Co Vacuum apparatus and snorkel nozzle
US3628576A (en) * 1969-07-25 1971-12-21 Grace W R & Co Vacuum nozzle device
US3775931A (en) * 1972-02-10 1973-12-04 Mohr J & Sons Method and apparatus for packaging poultry utilizing controllably actuated positive pressure lifting means
US3812642A (en) * 1970-12-21 1974-05-28 Industrial Knitting Method and apparatus for packaging a product
US4457122A (en) * 1981-08-21 1984-07-03 W. R. Grace & Co., Cryovac Div. Vacuum packaging goods in heat shrinkable plastic bags using flexible diaphragms
US4657470A (en) * 1984-11-15 1987-04-14 Westinghouse Electric Corp. Robotic end effector
US4787812A (en) * 1983-02-24 1988-11-29 Goepfert Reinhard Apparatus for lifting arrays of paving stones and the like
US7543868B1 (en) * 2005-04-13 2009-06-09 The Caldwell Group, Inc. Mechanically actuated vacuum lifting device
US20100247720A1 (en) * 2004-10-28 2010-09-30 Jennie-O Turkey Store, Llc Method of Cooking Frozen Meat

Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2335738A (en) * 1940-07-24 1943-11-30 Dewey And Almy Chem Comp Packaging machine

Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2335738A (en) * 1940-07-24 1943-11-30 Dewey And Almy Chem Comp Packaging machine

Cited By (16)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE1034095B (en) * 1955-02-08 1958-07-10 Ralph Sherman Randall Closing machine for Konservierbeutel
US2916059A (en) * 1958-02-18 1959-12-08 Lan J Wong Evacuation valve cup
US3040920A (en) * 1958-09-15 1962-06-26 Hyster Co Method and apparatus for handling loads
US3054521A (en) * 1958-12-22 1962-09-18 Hyster Co Apparatus for handling loads
DE1154760B (en) * 1959-03-04 1963-09-19 Albert A Vail Packaging for food and food products od. Like.
US3175590A (en) * 1960-04-22 1965-03-30 Mohr & Sons John Retractable cavity nozzle for vacuum packing and lifting device
DE1236155B (en) * 1961-03-16 1967-03-09 Hyster Co Device for transporting a group consisting of several parts by means of a load disposed on a hoist vacuum gripper
US3580300A (en) * 1969-07-25 1971-05-25 Grace W R & Co Vacuum apparatus and snorkel nozzle
US3628576A (en) * 1969-07-25 1971-12-21 Grace W R & Co Vacuum nozzle device
US3812642A (en) * 1970-12-21 1974-05-28 Industrial Knitting Method and apparatus for packaging a product
US3775931A (en) * 1972-02-10 1973-12-04 Mohr J & Sons Method and apparatus for packaging poultry utilizing controllably actuated positive pressure lifting means
US4457122A (en) * 1981-08-21 1984-07-03 W. R. Grace & Co., Cryovac Div. Vacuum packaging goods in heat shrinkable plastic bags using flexible diaphragms
US4787812A (en) * 1983-02-24 1988-11-29 Goepfert Reinhard Apparatus for lifting arrays of paving stones and the like
US4657470A (en) * 1984-11-15 1987-04-14 Westinghouse Electric Corp. Robotic end effector
US20100247720A1 (en) * 2004-10-28 2010-09-30 Jennie-O Turkey Store, Llc Method of Cooking Frozen Meat
US7543868B1 (en) * 2005-04-13 2009-06-09 The Caldwell Group, Inc. Mechanically actuated vacuum lifting device

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