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US4512428: Weighing apparatus and method

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Kenneth W. Bullivant ·
Assignee(s) K-Tron International, Inc. ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Parkhurst & Oliff ·
Primary Examiner Miller, Jr.; George H. ·
Application Number US6491765
Filing date 05/05/1983
Issue date 04/23/1985
Predicted expiration date 05/05/2003
U.S. Classifications 177/25  · 177/1  ·
International Classifications G01G 2322  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 1771;25;200;50 ·
28 Claims, No Drawings


Abstract

An electronic weighing apparatus and method is disclosed which enables the counting of an unknown quantity of items or samples such as currency, coupons, coins or similar items of a nominally uniform weight. The apparatus includes an electronic scale which provides a signal representative of the weight of an unknown quantity of items, a microprocessor which stores a representative unit weight of the items being counted and calculates an item count, and a display for providing an output representing the running count or other value representative of the items being weighed. An accurate count of the items is obtained by placing items on or removing items from the scale in incremental groups such that the net weight of any incremental group of items must have a stable net weight equal to or below a predetermined threshold weight before the count is made. If any incremental group has a net weight which exceeds the threshold weight, items must be removed/added until the number of items in the group produces a net weight equal to or below the preset threshold and allows counting to continue. The apparatus automatically accumulates the total count made in a number of successive weighments by incrementing a memory device automatically when the scale weight reading returns to or below zero. The weighing apparatus may also be constructed to automatically sequence and count through a plurality of groups of different items to minimize operator intervention. The apparatus may additionally be constructed and operated to produce automatic verification of predetermined quantities of items without operator intervention.

Independent Claims | See all claims (28)

  1. 1. A weighing apparatus for measuring a quantity of items of nominally uniform weight comprising:means associated with the apparatus for receiving items of nominally uniform weight to be counted and for providing an output of the weight of such items;means for detecting said weight to determine a change in a number of said items;means for detecting the weight of the number of items changed and comparing that weight with a preset threshold weight; andmeans for computing a count of the number of items changed for each weight less than or equal to said preset threshold.
  2. 4. A scale for measuring the number or value of an unknown quantity of items of nominally uniform weight comprising:means for receiving successive groups of items from an unknown quantity of items of nominally uniform weight and providing an output proportional to the weight of each group;means for comparing each output to a preset threshold weight;means responsive to each output being less than or equal to said preset threshold weight for computing a count of the items in each group; andmeans for successively adding the counts computed for each group to provide a total count of the unknown quantity of items.
  3. 14. A scale for automatically counting groups of unknown quantities of items of nominally uniform weight comprising:means for receiving a group of an unknown quantity of items of nominally uniform weight and providing a signal proportional to the weight of said group;means for storing a plurality of ranges proportional to weight with each range associated with a different item type;means responsive to said means for receiving for detecting said signal to determine if the detected signal falls within one of said ranges; andmeans responsive to said signal falling within one of said ranges for calculating a count of the total number of items in said group for the type of item associated with said one range.
  4. 19. An electronic scale for providing automatic sequencing for counting different types of items, wherein items of the same type have nominally uniform weights, comprising:means for receiving successive groups of items and providing an output proportional to the weight of each group received and an output less than or equal to a predetermined weight when no items are received;means for storing a plurality of unit weights each representing the weight of a different type of item;means responsive to said means for receiving and said means for storing for selecting one of said unit weights and for providing a count of each group of similar items by dividing said output by said selected one of said unit weights and rounding to the nearest integer;means for successively adding each count; andmeans responsive to said output being less than or equal to said predetermined weight for automatically causing said responsive means to select a different one of said unit weights.
  5. 22. A method for measuring the number or value of an unknonwn quantity of items of nominally uniform weight comprising:placing successive groups of items of nominally uniform weight on a scale to provide an indication of the net weight of each successive group of items;comparing the net weight of each successive group of items with a predetermined threshold weight;calculating the count of the items in each successive group by dividing the net weight by a unit weight and rounding to the nearest integer only when the net weight of the group is less than or equal to said predetermined threshold; andsuccessively adding the count of each group to provide an indication of the total count of the unknown quantity.
  6. 25. A scale for measuring a quantity of items having the ability to operate in at least three different modes, comprising:(a) first means for measuring a quantity of items in a first mode, the first means further comprising:means for receiving items of nominally uniform weight to be counted and for providing an output of the weight of such items;means for detecting said weight to determine a change in a number of said items;means for detecting the weight of the number of items changed and comparing that weight with a preset threshold weight; andmeans for computing a count of the number of items changed for each weight less than or equal to said preset threshold;(b) second means for measuring groups of unknown quantities of items in a second mode, the second means further comprising:means for receiving a group of an unknown quantity of items of nominally uniform weight and providing a signal correlatable to the weight of said group;means for storing a plurality of ranges correlatable to weight with each range associated with a different item type;means responsive to said means for receiving for detecting said signal to determine if the detected signal falls within one of said ranges; andmeans responsive to said signal falling within one of said ranges, for calculating the total number of items in said group for the type of item associated with said one range; and(c) third means for providing sequencing for counting different type of items in a third mode, wherein items of the same type have nominally uniform weights, said third means further comprising:means for receiving successive groups of items and providing an output correlatable to the weight of each group received;means for storing a plurality of unit weights each representing the weight of a different type of item;means responsive to said means for receiving and said means for storing for selecting one of said unit weights and for providing a count of each group of similar items; andmeans for adding each count.
  7. 26. An electronic scale for automatically measuring a quantity of items having the ability to operate in at least three separate modes, comprising:(a) first means for measuring a quantity of items in a first mode, the first means further comprising:means for receiving successive groups of items of nominally uniform weight from an unknown quantity of items and providing an output proportional to the weight of each group;means for comparing each output to a preset threshold value;means responsive to each output being less than or equal to said preset threshold value for computing a count of the items in each group; andmeans for successively adding the counts computed for each group to provide a total count of the unknown quantity of items;(b) second means for automatically measuring groups of unknown quantities of items in a second mode, said second means further comprising:means for receiving a group of an unknown quantity of items of nominally uniform weight and providing a signal proportional to the weight of said group;means for storing a plurality of ranges proportional to weight with each range associated with a different item type;means responsive to said means for receiving for detecting said signal to determine if the detected signal falls within one of said ranges; andmeans responsive to said signal falling within one of said ranges for calculating the total number of items in said group for the type of item associated with said one range; and(c) third means for providing automatic sequencing for counting different types of items in a third mode, wherein items of the same type have nominally uniform weights, said third means further comprising:means for receiving successive groups of items and providing an output proportional to the weight of each group received and an output less than or equal to a predetermined weight when no items are received;means for storing a plurality of unit weights each representing the weight of a different type of item;means responsive to said means for receiving and said means for storing for selecting one of said unit weights and for providing a count of each group of similar items by dividing said output by said selected one of said unit weights and rounding to the nearest integer;means for successively adding each count; andmeans responsive to said output being less than or equal to said predetermined weight for automatically causing said respective means to select a different one of said unit weights.
  8. 27. A scale for counting currency comprising an unknown quantity of currency items of nominally uniform weight comprising:means for receiving successive groups of currency items of nominally uniform weight from an unknown quantity of currency items and providing an output proportional to the weight of each group;means for comparing each output to a preset threshold weight;means responsive to each output being less than or equal to said preset threshold weight for computing a count of the items in each group;means for successively adding the counts computed for each group to provide a total count of the groups;means responsive to the weight on said scale for detecting when the weight on said scale becomes less than or equal to zero; andmeans for automatically summing the total count of the groups of currency items weighed for each successive return of the weight on the scale to zero or below.
  9. 28.28. A scale for automatically counting rolls of unknown quantities of coins having nominally uniform weight comprising:means for receiving a roll of an unknown quantity of coins and providing a signal proportional to the weight of said roll;means for storing a plurality of ranges proportional to weight with each range representing predetermined dollar amounts associated with a different coin type;means responsive to said means for receiving for detecting said signal to determine whether the detected signal falls within one of said ranges; andmeans responsive to said signal falling within one of said ranges for calculating a count of a total number of coins in said group for the type of coin associated with said one range.

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US3552511 FAIRBANKS MORSE INC Marcheso et al. Jan 1971
US3716706 HOWE RICHARDSON SCALE CO Gray Feb 1973
US4043412 National Controls, Inc. Rock Aug 1977
US4139070 National Controls, Inc. Hanson et al. Feb 1979
US4157738 Shinko Denshi Company Limited Nishiguchi et al. Jun 1979
US4219089 Pennsylvania Scale Company Gard et al. Aug 1980

Foreign Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
JP142419Jun 1981
NL9227Mar 1923
GB2076979PERKAM LTDSep 1981

Referenced By

Document NumberAssigneeInventorsIssue/Pub Date
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GB2368178 CARTER ODIE KENNETH CARTER ODIE KENNETH Apr 2002
US7559418 Balance Innovations, LLC Kenneth Carter Jul 2009
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