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Twisted conveyor belt for scanning all sides of an object Disclosure Number: IPCOM000031470D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Sep-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Sep-27
Document File: 3 page(s) / 95K

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is a system of twisted conveyor belts that automatically turns an item on its side so that a bar code on the item's bottom can be scanned and returns the item to its original orientation.

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Twisted conveyor belt for scanning all sides of an object

    This invention uses a pair of parallel conveyor belts running in the same direction, but are perpendicular to each other. At the entrance of the two belts, one belt is oriented in the typical horizontal orientation and the other belt is oriented vertically. The two belts are twisted to gently tilt the object into the "corner" between the two belts, so that the object doesn't simply flop over and get damaged. The two belts continue twisting until the object's bottom is close to vertical and can be visible from the side. A bar code on the object's bottom can then be scanned through a gap between two belts.

    The object need only be tilted enough so that it doesn't slip through the vertical gap (or almost vertical) between the two belts. Thus, the object doesn't need to be turned completely on its side, which would permit things like bottles from slipping out of their carton.

    A second pair of twisted conveyor belts can, if desired, be used to rotate the object back to its original orientation.

    This idea will eliminate the need for a human to orient an object prior to being scanned. The bar code can be placed on any side of the object.

    The image below (Figure 1) shows an overview of the model of the twisted conveyor belt arrangement. Note the following:

The belt that is vertical at the entrance of the pair of conveyors does not start until


after the horizontal belt. This enables scanners to have access to all sides of the object except the bottom.

As the object is moved down the conveyors, the top of the object (side with 6 dots) is


rotated away from the viewer of the image. The horizontal belt twists until it is vertical at the scanning position (the center of the image, where the single dot side of the object is visible through the gaps between the belts). The belt that is vertical at the e...