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Feed mechanism and method for feeding minute items

United States Patent

October 20, 2009
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A feeding mechanism and method for feeding minute items, such as capacitors, resistors, or solder preforms. The mechanism is adapted to receive a plurality of the randomly-positioned and randomly-oriented extremely small or minute items, and to isolate, orient, and position one or more of the items in a specific repeatable pickup location wherefrom they may be removed for use by, for example, a computer-controlled automated assembly machine. The mechanism comprises a sliding shelf adapted to receive and support the items; a wiper arm adapted to achieve a single even layer of the items; and a pushing arm adapted to push the items into the pickup location. The mechanism can be adapted for providing the items with a more exact orientation, and can also be adapted for use in a liquid environment.
Stringer; Timothy Kent (Bucyrus, KS), Yerganian; Simon Scott (Lee's Summit, MO)
Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, LLC (Kansas City, MO)
10/ 385,122
March 10, 2003
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM The present invention was developed with support from the U.S. government under Contract No. DE-AC04-01AL66850 with the U.S. Department of Energy. Accordingly, the U.S. government has certain rights in the present invention.