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1. US20090127076 - Apparatuses and Methods

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Claims

1- 251. (canceled)
252. Apparatus, comprising a carousel arrangement, operating devices associated with said carousel arrangement and arranged for interacting with objects and conveying units supported by said carousel arrangement and movable in relation to said carousel arrangement to transfer said objects, wherein each of said conveying units supports a plurality of said operating devices.
253. Apparatus according to claim 252, and further comprising a driving device arranged for rotating continuously said carousel arrangement.
254. Apparatus according to claim 252, and further comprising a driving device arranged for angularly indexing said carousel arrangement.
255. Apparatus according to claim 252, wherein said conveying units comprise carousels rotatably supported on said carousel arrangement.
256. Apparatus according to claim 255, wherein said carousels are arranged circumferentially on said carousel arrangement.
257. Apparatus according to claim 255, wherein said carousels are arranged in a peripheral zone of said carousel arrangement.
258. Apparatus according to claim 255, wherein said carousels are positioned on said carousel arrangement at substantially constant angular intervals.
259. Apparatus according to claim 255, and further comprising a further driving device arranged for rotating continuously said carousels.
260. Apparatus according to claim 255, and further comprising a further driving device arranged for angularly indexing said carousels.
261. Apparatus according to claim 255, wherein said carousels are arranged substantially parallel to said carousel arrangement.
262. Apparatus according to claim 255, wherein said carousels are arranged substantially transversely in relation to said carousel arrangement.
263. Apparatus according to claim 262, wherein said carousels are arranged substantially radially in relation to said carousel arrangement.
264. Apparatus according to claim 255, wherein said operating devices are arranged circumferentially on each of said carousels.
265. Apparatus according to claim 255, wherein said operating devices are arranged in a peripheral zone of each of said carousels.
266. Apparatus according to claim 255, wherein said operating devices are positioned on said carousels at substantially constant angular intervals.
267. Apparatus according to claim 252, wherein said conveying units comprise loop conveying units.
268. Apparatus according to claim 267, wherein said loop conveying units comprise flexible loop elements movable in relation to said carousel arrangement and arranged for receiving said objects.
269. Apparatus according to claim 267, wherein said loop conveying units are arranged circumferentially on said carousel arrangement.
270. Apparatus according to claim 267, wherein said loop conveying units are positioned on said carousel arrangement at substantially constant angular intervals.
271. Apparatus according to claim 267, and further comprising a still further driving device arranged for driving continuously said loop conveying units.
272. Apparatus according to claim 267, and further comprising a still further driving device arranged for indexing said loop conveying units.
273. Apparatus according to claim 268, wherein said flexible loop elements extend between a peripheral region of said carousel arrangement and a central region of said carousel arrangement.
274. Apparatus according to claim 273, wherein said flexible loop elements extend substantially parallel to said carousel arrangement.
275. Apparatus according to claim 268, wherein said flexible loop elements comprise a portion nearer to said carousel device and a portion farther from said carousel arrangement.
276. Apparatus according to claim 275, wherein said flexible loop elements extend transversely in relation to said carousel arrangement.
277. Apparatus according to claim 276, wherein said flexible loop elements extend substantially perpendicularly in relation to said carousel arrangement.
278. Apparatus according to claim 267, wherein said operating devices are positioned on said loop conveying units at substantially constant intervals.
279. Apparatus according to claim 252 and further comprising a moving arrangement arranged for transferring said objects to, and/or removing said objects from, said carousel arrangement.
280. Apparatus according to claim 279, wherein said moving arrangement comprises a flexible moving arrangement.
281. Apparatus according to claim 280, wherein said flexible moving arrangement comprises a flexible moving element provided with containing portions that are arranged for receiving said objects and for transferring said objects to said conveying units and/or removing said objects from said conveying units.
282. Apparatus according to claim 281, wherein said flexible moving element comprises a branch that is partially wound around a cylindrical surface concentric with a rotation axis of said carousel arrangement.
283. Apparatus according to claim 282, wherein said branch extends along a portion of a trajectory travelled by said operating devices.
284. Apparatus according to claim 281, wherein said containing portions are substantially angularly equidistant from one another.
285. Apparatus according to claim 281, wherein said flexible moving arrangement comprises a first discoidal element and a second discoidal element on which is partially wound said flexible moving element.
286. Apparatus according to claim 285, wherein said first discoidal element and said second discoidal element are rotatable around respective rotation axes.
287. Apparatus according to claim 285, wherein said first discoidal element and said second discoidal element are arranged so as to partially overlap a peripheral zone of said carousel arrangement to interact with said conveying units.
288. Apparatus according to claim 252, and further comprising a receiving arrangement cooperating with said conveying units and arranged peripherally on said carousel arrangement.
289. Apparatus according to claim 288, wherein said receiving arrangement is arranged at substantially constant angular intervals.
290. Apparatus according to claim 288, wherein said receiving arrangement comprises a plurality of receiving elements, said receiving elements being more numerous than said conveying units.
291. Apparatus according to claim 290, wherein the number of said receiving elements is the same as the number of said conveying units multiplied by the number of supplying devices arranged for supplying said objects to said conveying units.
292. Apparatus according to claim 288, wherein with each conveying unit an arm element is associated arranged for moving said objects between said conveying unit and said receiving arrangement.
293. Apparatus according to claim 292, wherein each arm element is connected to a peripheral edge portion of said carousel arrangement.
294. Apparatus according to claim 292, wherein said arm elements are rotatably supported on said carousel arrangement.
295. Apparatus according to claim 294, wherein said arm elements can be rotated around respective moving axes, between a position in which said arm elements are oriented towards said conveying units in a direction that is substantially radial in relation to said carousel arrangement, and a position in which said arm elements are oriented in a direction that is tangential in relation to said carousel arrangement.
296. Apparatus according to claim 292, wherein said arm elements are extendible and retractable parallel to a longitudinal axis thereof.
297. Apparatus according to claim 296, wherein said arm elements are movable, substantially tangentially in relation to said carousel arrangement towards, and away from, said receiving arrangement.
298. Apparatus according to claim 296, wherein said arm elements are radially movable in relation to said carousel arrangement towards, and away from, said conveying units.
299. Apparatus according to claim 252, and further comprising a moving wheel device arranged for transferring said objects between a conveying device and said carousel arrangement.
300. Apparatus according to claim 299, wherein said moving wheel device comprises a removing arm arrangement that is movable between a removing position, in which said removing arm arrangement interacts with said conveying device, and an unloading position, in which said removing arm arrangement interacts with said conveying units.
301. Apparatus according to claim 300, wherein said removing arm arrangement comprises a plurality of removing arms.
302. Apparatus according to claim 301, wherein said removing arms is radially movable in relation to a rotation axis of said moving wheel device.
303. Apparatus according to claim 301, wherein each of said removing arms comprises a guiding element engaged in a groove that defines a cam profile.
304. Apparatus according to claim 252, wherein said operating devices comprise mould devices.
305. Apparatus according to claim 304, wherein said mould devices comprises moulds for compression moulding of plastics.
306. Apparatus according to claim 252, and further comprising a filling device for filling said objects with a product, whereas said objects are supported by said operating devices.
307. Apparatus according to claims 252, and further comprising a sealing device for sealing said objects, whereas said objects are supported by said operating devices.
308. Apparatus according to claim 307, wherein said sealing device comprises a closing device arranged for associating a cap with an opening of a container.
309. Apparatus according to claim 252, and further comprising an applying device for applying labels to said objects, while said objects are supported by said operating devices.
310. Apparatus according to claim 252, and further comprising a decorating device arranged for decorating said objects, while said objects are supported by said operating devices.
311. Apparatus according to any claim 252, wherein said operating devices comprise moulds for injection-compression moulding.
312. Apparatus according to claim 252, wherein said operating devices comprises moulds for blow-moulding preforms made of plastics.
313. Apparatus, comprising a rotatable carousel arrangement, operating devices associated with said carousel arrangement and arranged for interacting with objects and a moving arrangement arranged for transferring said objects to, and/or removing said objects from, said carousel arrangement, said moving arrangement comprising a flexible moving arrangement, said flexible moving arrangement comprising a flexible moving element provided with containing portions that are arranged for receiving said objects and for transferring said objects to said carousel arrangement and/or removing said objects from said carousel arrangement, said flexible moving element comprising a branch that is partially wound around a cylindrical surface concentric with a rotation axis of said carousel arrangement.