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1. US20190359463 - Test Tube Capping And De-Capping Apparatus

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

Claims

1. (canceled)
2. A capping and de-capping gripper comprising:
a capping and de-capping socket configured to engage and retain a cap and having an axial throughgoing passage;
an ejector pin extending through the throughgoing passage of the socket and configured to translate through the throughgoing passage to contact the cap contained in the socket to eject the cap from the socket;
an actuator coupled to the ejector pin, at an end of the capping and de-capping gripper opposite to the socket, to induce a rotational movement in the ejector pin, the ejector pin configured to transfer rotational movement to the socket; and
a drive mechanism that translates the ejector pin through the throughgoing passage of the socket to cause the ejector pin to contact the cap retained in the socket to eject the cap from the socket.
3. The capping and de-capping gripper as claimed in claim 2 further comprising:
an ejector pin guide having a throughgoing passage through which the ejector pin translates; and
a gripper connector detachably connecting the socket to the ejector pin guide to rotate with the ejector pin guide, the ejector pin configured to transfer rotational movement to the socket by transferring rotational movement to the ejector pin guide.
4. The capping and de-capping gripper according to claim 3 wherein said capping and de-capping socket further comprises a biasing means external to a detachable mechanical connection between the socket and the ejector pin guide.
5. The capping and de-capping gripper according to claim 3 wherein the socket is attachable and detachable to be rotated by the ejector pin guide to which rotational movement of the ejector pin is transferred.
6. The capping and de-capping gripper according to claim 2 further comprising a control unit configured to detect a torque on the actuator unit and to halt the rotational movement of the actuator unit if a predetermined threshold value of torque acting on the actuator unit is exceeded.
7. The capping and de-capping gripper according to claim 2 wherein the capping and de-capping socket further comprises at least one friction pin oriented to either grab around a cap or to be inserted into a cavity within the cap or both.
8. The capping and de-capping gripper according to claim 2 wherein said capping and de-capping socket is made from plastic.
9. The capping and de-capping gripper according to claim 8, wherein capping and de-capping socket is injection molded.
10. A method of the capping and de-capping a tube using the capping and de-capping gripper of claim 2 comprising:
moving the socket and tube toward each other to engage a cap on the tube with the socket;
detaching the cap from the tube by movement of the socket away from the tube with simultaneous rotational movement of the socket caused by the actuator connected to the ejector pin to translate rotary motion to the socket;
attaching the removed cap by reversing the above steps;
rejecting the capped tube by translating the ejector pin through the throughgoing passage of the socket to bring the ejector pin in contact with the cap to press the cap and tube from the socket.
11. The method of claim 10 further comprising, during the step of attaching the removed cap, sensing torque on the ejector pin and stopping the rotation when sensed torque exceeds a threshold torque.