Patent Number: 6,308,600

Title: Method of orienting and positioning vegetables on a pocketed conveyor

Abstract: A continuous flighted conveyorbelt (18) is fed product (12) from a transverse direction. As the belt moves the product forward, offset water jets (56) cause some of the items not seated in a flight (20) to be rotated and captured in the flights. Further movement brings the product (12) to a zone where water jets (72) force all items to one side against a registration plate (76). Excess product and items not captured are forced off the surface of the belt by water jets (62) and are carried away to be fed again. A cutting blade (84) is set an appropriate distance from the registration plate (76) to trim product captured and registered. The products are then forced across the width of the belt by repositioning water jets 102 and stop against a second registration plate (104). A belt (82) covering the top of the belt flights (22) prevents items from escaping through the top of the conveyor. Products registered are trimmed on their other end and are optionally cut into segments of regular length by a gang cutter (44) set an appropriate distance from the registration plate.

Inventors: Dragt; Steven Richard (Bakersfield, CA)

Assignee: WM. Bolthouse Farms, Inc.

International Classification: A23N 15/00 (20060101); A23N 15/04 (20060101); A23N 015/00 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018