• New Product Development - Quick Release Non Contact Mechanism patent - gripper project

New Product Development – Quick Release Non Contact Mechanism

New Product Development – Quick Release Non Contact Mechanism

While developing a system for conveying newspapers in a way that augmented the changes in demographic advertising known as zoning, the company I was working with found itself wrestling with a serious mechanical problem.  The gripper conveyor would collect and carry individual newspapers in a gripper mechanism.  This mechanism held onto the newspaper until it was transported to a specific location.  At that location the gripper needed to open so the newspaper would be deposited at that location.

The problem was that these grippers needed to be opened at rates up to 80,000 newspapers per hour.  This rate of opening allowed for very little reaction time so the discharge needed to be quick and equally as important the mechanical wear and tear was needed to be eliminated to stop the breaking of the grippers.

I proposed a solution that solved both of these problems.  A non-contact actuator that operated by energizing an electromagnet that once energized would oppose a permanent magnet mounted on the gripper.  The result was a very fast non contact method of opening the gripper to release the newspaper.


Projects Overview

Company:  Hall Processing Systems
hall Process Logo

Project Outcome: Eliminated mechanical wear and gripper breakage

Time to develop: 14 months

Patent No: #4,968,081

Organization structure:  traditional organization

Project Type: New product development

Number of Projects Managed: 1

Several specific projects where implemented:  Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald, Louisville Courier, Camden Press Herald, Arizona Republic Phoenix Gazette

Largest single project team: 2

Organizational authority of project manager:  engineering and materials, manufacturing


  • Date June 23, 2015
  • Tags Product Development

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