Kentucky Patent of the Month – August 2023

In the ever-evolving world of conveyors and sorting systems, innovation is the key to improving efficiency and ensuring smooth operations. Aegis Sortation, LLC is a technology and innovation leader specializing in this industry. Recently, the company has patented their new “smart shoe” technology and “missing pin detection” system that aim to streamline conveyor maintenance.

Traditional conveyor systems, including sliding shoe sorters, have faced challenges in timely detection of dislodged shoes or missing pins, leading to operational inefficiencies and potential breakdowns. Aegis Sortation’s improved conveyor maintenance by detecting dislodgements immediately, preventing downtime from the start.

At the heart of this innovation is the “smart shoe” – a conveyor shoe equipped with a housing, a circuit comprising a radio frequency transceiver, and a mechanism securing the circuit to the shoe. This radio frequency transceiver, often in the form of a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, transmits unique information associated with the shoe. This game-changing technology allows for selective wireless tracking and identification, providing precise and real-time data on the shoe’s status and location.

The “smart shoe” is designed to securely attach the RFID tag within its housing, ensuring reliable performance even during the most rigorous operations. This breakthrough development enables the conveyor system to autonomously monitor the location and status of each shoe, revolutionizing the way conveyors are managed.

Aegis Sortation’s innovation extends to addressing the age-old issue of missing pins in pin and roller arrangements of conveyor shoes. Through a similar approach, the “missing pin detection” system incorporates another circuit with a radio frequency transceiver, often in the form of another RFID tag, transmitting information uniquely associated with the pin component.

With this comprehensive system in place, Aegis Sortation has empowered conveyor operators with a wealth of data and control. The system includes read stations that establish communication with the RFID tags, enabling them to receive information about each shoe and pin. This information can be displayed on a user interface, whether a portable computer, handheld communication device, server, or dedicated display.

The advantages of Aegis Sortation’s innovative system are numerous. Conveyor operators gain real-time insights into shoe and pin status, allowing them to promptly address any issues that may arise. The system enables swift identification of missing shoes or pins, reducing potential mishandling of packages and minimizing operational disruptions.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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