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Número de publicaciónUS3776642 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Fecha de publicación4 Dic 1973
Fecha de presentación1 Ago 1972
Fecha de prioridad1 Ago 1972
También publicado comoCA1004875A1
Número de publicaciónUS 3776642 A, US 3776642A, US-A-3776642, US3776642 A, US3776642A
InventoresJ Anson, Neal D O
Cesionario originalDickey John Corp
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Grain analysis computer
US 3776642 A
Resumen
A grain analyst computer is disclosed which has a quartz-iodide lamp to provide infrared radiation which is directed through a lens toward the surface of a quantity of grain which is to have certain constituents thereof analyzed. The infrared radiation is made parallel by the lens and then passes through selected filters so that only a specific frequency of the radiation impinges upon the grain sample, and this frequency provides a reflected radiation signal which has an amplitude corresponding to the quantity of a given constituent within the sample being analyzed. A plurality of pulse signals is then generated by a photocell which receives the reflected signals. These pulse signals are applied to a signal storage circuit and a signal computing circuit to provide a direct readout in terms of per cent of the constituents being analyzed. A reference standard element is automatically positioned in light-receiving relation with the light source so that the constants within the storage and computing circuits can be adjusted automatically prior to analyzing each grain sample. The plurality of filter elements are adjustably mounted to a rotating filter wheel which provides tilt adjustment to each filter element so that an exact positioning thereof can be obtained, thus accurately selecting the frequency which is to pass therethrough.
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United States Patent [1 1 Anson et al.

[ GRAIN ANALYSIS COMPUTER [75] Inventors: James H. Anson, Auburn; Donald E.

ONeal, Springfield, both of 111.

[73] Assignee: Dickey-John Corporation, Auburn,

ill.

[22] Filed: Aug. 1, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 277,131

Primary Examiner-James W. Lawrence Assistant ExaminerT. N. Grigsby Attorney-Roy H. Olson et al.

[57] ABSTRACT A grain analyst computer is disclosed which has a Dec. 4, 1973 quartz-iodide lamp to provide infrared radiation which is directed through a lens toward the surface of a quantity of grain which is to have certain constituents thereof analyzed. The infrared radiation is made parallel by the lens and then passes through selected filters so that only a specific frequency of the radiation impinges upon the grain sample, and this frequency provides a reflected radiation signal which has an amplitude corresponding to the quantity of a given constituent within the sample being analyzed. A plurality of pulse signals is then generated by a photocell which receives the reflected signals. These pulse signals are applied to a signal storage circuit and a signal computing circuit to provide a direct readout in terms of per cent of the constituents being analyzed. A reference standard element is automatically positioned in lightreceiving relation with the light source so that the constants within the storage and computing circuits can be adjusted automatically prior to analyzing each grain sample. The plurality of filter elements are adjustably mounted to a rotating filter wheel which provides tilt adjustment to each filter element so that an exact positioning thereof can be obtained, thus accurately selecting the frequency which is to pass therethrough.

30 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures REAnv MPUTI Q) mm user [III 155%.? will 'iiciia te ml Penn I PAPER ADVANCE ar s PATENTEU DEC 41973 SHEEI 1 BF 6 L s MN COMP 'H RmT ADVANCE J7 PATENTEU DEE 41973 ShEU 2 OF 6 p I I I 1 I PATENTEU DEC 4 E373 SHEET Q 0F 6 PATENTEU 4 sum s or 6 9- Q W GRAIN ANALYSIS COMPUTER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to grain analyst computers, and more particularly to a grain analyst computer which can be used to measure specific constituents of soybeans or the like.

The use of soybeans to manufacture a wide variety of diversified articles is well-known. Soybeans can be used to produce protein concentrated food products as well as plastics of all types. Also, the oil in soybeans can be used for a multitude of different reasons. Because of the wide variety of substances which can be made from soybeans it is desired to know the relative per cent of each of the primary constituents within soybeans to be processed for each of the different products which are to be made. For example, when utilizing the soybean to manufacture protein food supplements, it is desired to obtain soybeans having a known per cent of protein constituent therein so that the buyer can determine the quality and price of the soybeans. On the other hand, when oils are to be extracted from the soybeans it is desired to know the relative per cent of oil within the soybean for the same reason. In either instance it is always desired to know the relative amount of moisture within the soybeans because this moisture is not used in the refining process of the soybean but only adds to the weight of the unprocessed grain. Therefore, if one were to buy a quantity of soybeans by weight, he would be paying for the moisture which is not used in the end product.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved grain analyst computer which will provide a simple method of determining the amount of oil, protein and moisture in percent by weight within grain samples such as soybeans or the like.

Another object of this invention is to provide a grain analyst computer which is efficient and reliable in operation and which is relatively'inexpensive to manufacture as compared to other known grain analyzing equipment.

As mentioned above, soybeans are processed into many different end products and the processors of the end products have a vital interest in knowing the per cent by weight of such things as inoisture, protein and oil within the soybeans being used. All soybeans are not alike. Some have more or less protein, some have more or less oil, and some have more or less moisture. These variations will occur from soybeans taken from different fields and from soybeans taken from different areas of the same field. This is of interest because the yield of the end product that will be obtained during the process depends on the amount of the constituent to be extracted from the soybeans. The grain analyst computer of this invention is designed to provide an accurate direct readout in per cent by weight of oil, protein and moisture in less than 5 minutes. This would make it feasible to test beans while still on the truck or rail car so that the soybeans can be categorized and placed in storage elevators or storage bins with soybeans of similar characteristics. This in turn permits the elevator operator to buy, bin and sell beans on the basis of the amount of oil, protein and moisture within the soybeans so that similar soybeans can be put in the same this ingredient can be made with assurance that the buyer and seller are in complete agreement on the per cent of protein within the given shipment. The buyer who is looking for soybeans having a high per cent of protein is willing to pay a premium for such beans. The same thing applies to buyers who want a high percent of oil in soybeans.

Users desiring a high oil content will pay a premium for such soybeans because there is less waste in unit weight of the processed bean. The grain analyst computer of this invention provides a readout of the moisture content as a percentage of gross weight and then gives the percentage of protein and oil of the residual dry weight that is left. Therefore, pricing can be done on the basis of weight less the moisture content. A new and improved means of measuring these important constituents in soybeans will give both the buyer and seller a simple and fast means to determine the value of the product during trade and allow for payment on the basis of actual value.

To better satisfy the buyers needs and hence provide a basis for more efficient and effective marketing, large quantities of soybeans of similar constituent analysis, regardless of the field or farmer providing the same, can be placed in large common bins and shipped together without worry of intermixing of soybeans or lesser or different quality. 7

Briefly, the grain analyst computer of this invention is provided with a quartz-iodide or simlar type lamp which is an infrared radiant energy source. The infrared radiation is directed toward the surface of a quantity of grain to be analyzed, this grain sample preferably being in a relatively fine ground state. The infrared radiation is directed toward the grain through a collimating lens to make the light rays thereof substantially parallel. The parallel infrared rays are directed through a baffle box which has an aperture in one wall to prevent outside light from intermixing therewith. This will isolate the parallel infrared radiation passing through the aperture. The parallel rays are then directed through a selected one of a plurality of discrete filter elements prior to impinging upon the surface of the grain sample. The filter elements are selectively adjustable as to angle of incident so that a precise frequency of the infrared radiation can be selected. The reflected rays, preferably of a relatively narrow frequency as selected by the discrete filter elements, are directed to a photocell or other sensing elements to produce output pulses having amplitudes corresponding to the quantity of the constituents being measured. The electrical pulse signal is then delivered to a storage circuit and therefrom to a computing circuit where an output signal is generated for display by a readout device which can take the fonn of either a light unit or a strip chart recorder.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a housing containing the necessary mechanism and circuitry for the grain analyst computer of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a simplified schematic diagram showing the basic principles of operation of the grain analyst computer of this invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a simplified circuit block diagram for providing computation of the pulse signal information obtained;

FIG. 4 is a perspective partially broken away view of the housing of FIG. 1 showing the relative position of a filter wheel and synchronizing wheel utilized to provide pulse signal information and further illustrates the position of a grain sample drawer to be inserted therein;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view showing a baffle box which prevents extraneous light from intermixing with parallel infrared rays used to analyze the grain sample;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the filter wheel constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention to be utilized with the grain analyst computer of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a portion of the filter wheel of FIG. 6 showing certain details of construction thereof;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 88 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged sectional view of the filter wheel taken along line 99 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is an exploded view showing a single filter element of this invention in a disassembled condition from the filter wheel;

FIG. 11 is an elevational partially sectional view of a synchronizing wheel and light-emitting and lightreceiving means to produce synchronizing pulses in accordance with the principles of this invention;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the synchronizing wheel of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a plan view of the filter wheel of this invention showing the relative axial disposition of arcuate slots formed therein to provide synchronizing pulses coincident with the position of the filter elements on the filter wheel of this invention;

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary view showing a drawer in open condition whereupon a reference standard element is positioned in registry with the light source to provide a reference standard pulse for automatically calibrating the grain analyst computer;

FIG. 15 illustrates the drawer of FIG. 14 in a closed condition thus placing a grain sample in registry with the light source and filter elements; and

FIG. 16 illustrates a series of pulse wave forms which correspond to the quantity of a particular constituent being analyzed as selected by a particular filter element.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1 there is seen an elevational perspective view of a grain analyst computer constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention and is designated generally by reference numeral 10. The grain analyst computer 10 includes a housing 11 into which all of the components necessary to analyze a quantity of grain are positioned. The housing 11 preferably includes a front panel 12 which has a lightoperated direct readout panel 13 and a plurality of selector buttons 14 along the left margin thereof. The uppermost button 16 of this column is an automatic opermode of operation, such as Automatic" Makes readout display all percentages and all logs in sequence. Percent Oil Makes readout display only oil reading. Percent Protein Makes readout display only protein reading. Percent Moisture" Makes readout display only moisture reading. Log l"through Log 6 Makes readout display whichever log is selected. Start Starts sequence when automatic mode is desired. Reset" Stops automatic mode in process and returns to Ready". Percent Only Used with Automatic and limits sequence to percent readings. Print Disable" Used with Automatic and limits sequence to visual display (in the event that a printer is interfaced with the grain analysis computer). Print Can make printer record any figure that is displayed on readout. Paper Advance Used to advance paper in the printer. Grain 1 through Grain 3 Selects proper set of fixed data for meal being tested. (Also serve as ON buttons). Off Turns machine and motor completely off.

When an auxiliary strip chart recorder is used in conjunction with the grain analyst computer 10 to provide a permanent record of the different readouts, a pair of button switch controls 17 and 18 are actuated to provide print and paper advance operations, respectively.

A plurality of indicator lights 19 adjacent each of the switches 14 and the switch 16 as well as those indicator lights 19 adjacent the readout panel 13 will provide information as to what the numbers on the readout panel 13 represent. For example, if the readout is to represent oil or protein, the light adjacent the oil or protein selector switch on the front panel will be luminated. Similarly, if a log readout is obtained of any given infrared spectrum, that light will also be energized to indicate the same.

Also provided in the front panel 12 of the grain analyst computer 10 is a drawer 20 which receives a grain sample therein to be analyzed. The drawer 20 is pulled out to a limited extent so that a switch is actuated to energize automatic calibration control circuitry. When the drawer is in this full outward position a reference standard element, preferably of teflon material or the like, is placed in registry with a light source and a filter wheel so that the circuitry can be automatically calibrated to compensate for changes in such things as temperature, moisture or changes in line voltage or supply voltage within the unit. When the drawer is pulled out and the reference standard element is in registry with the light source a grain sample receptacle 24 will be exposed so that a quantity of grain can be inserted therein. Upon closure of the drawer 20 the reference standard element is removed from registry with the light source and the switch for automatic calibration is deactuated. A second switch is provided which will be actuated to indicate the drawer in a full closed condition to thereby give an indication that the grain sample is in the proper place.

Referring now to FIG. 2 a simplified block diagram showing the basic theory of operation is illustrated. Here a light source designated generally by reference numeral 21 produces infrared light rays to be directed toward a collimating lens 22 which causes the infrared rays to be projected toward a movable filter member 23 in substantially a parallel configuration as indicated by the broken lines extending between the lens and the filter member. When a discrete filter element of the filter member 23 is registry with the light source 21 and a grain sample receptacle 24 positioned therebeneath, a quantity of infrared radiation impinges the surface of a grain sample 26 positioned within the receptacle so that only reflected rays, as indicated by the angularly disposed arrowed lines, are directed upwardly from the surface of the grain sample to impinge upon a sensing element 27. Preferably, a photocell 27 is positioned beneath the filter disc 23 and immediately above the grain sample receptacle. The photocell 27 has the top or back side thereof shielded so that only light rays which are reflected upwardly from the grain sample will produce an output signal from the photocell. The sensing element 27 is an infrared sensitive photocell which will produce a pulse output having an amplitude corresponding to the quantity of the constituent being measured. 1

Referring now to FIG. 3 there is seen a simplified block diagram of the electrical operation of the grain analyst computer of this invention. Here the photocell 27 provides an output pulse signal which is delivered to electronic amplifier means 28 which, in turn, provide an output pulse to the input of the plurality of channels within a sample and hold circuit 29. Prefer'ably, there are six channels to the sample and hold circuit 29, one channel for each of the six different filter elements of the rotatable filter wheel 23. The outputs of the sample and hold circuits 29 are delivered to a computer logic circuit 30 which includes a resistor and diode matrix arrangement for providing summation information as to the pulses produced by the photocell 27. Preferably, the amplitude of the pulse produced by the photocell is converted into a voltage having a logarithm characteristic which can be added through a resistor matrix. The output of the computer logic circuit 30 is delivered to a digital readout 31, which may take the form of the visual display 13 on the front panel 12 of FIG. 1. This output signal can also be delivered to a tape printer 32 to provide a permanent record of the information obtained. Similarly, the signal can be delivered to data processing equipment designated generally by reference numeral 33. To insure that the proper pulses from the filter elements are inserted into the corresponding channels of the sameple and hold circuitry 29, a synchronizing circuit means 34 is mechanically connected with the filter wheel 23, FIG. 2, and electrically connected with the computer logic circuit 30 and the output of the amplifier circuit 28.

Referring now to FIG. 4 the grain analyst computer housing 11 has a portion broken away to illustrate the interior structure thereof. The housing 11 includes a vertical internal support wall 36 to which is mounted a drive motor 37 which has a double ended shaft 38 extending substantially vertically within the housing. Also mounted to the vertical support wall 36 is a baflle box 39 which supports the infrared light source 21 and the collimating lens 22, as best seen in FIG. 5. The baffle box 39 is shown in FIG. 4 without the cover so that other structures are more clearly seen. The bafile box is secured to the wall 36 by means of a bracket 40. As seen in FIG. 5 the baffle box 39 is formed of two portions, a cove portion 39a and a base portion 39b which are joined together to form a tight light unit except for an aperture 39c formed in the lower wall thereof. The

baffle box 39 prevents unwanted extraneous light from intermixing with the parallel light rays passing from the collimating lens 22 through the aperture 390 and through the filter elements.

The synchronizing means 34 includes a synchronizing wheel 34a rotatably secured to the double ended shaft 38 at the uppermost portion thereof to rotate in unison with the filter wheel 23. Also associated with the synchronizing means 34 is a plurality of photoresponsive transistors 34b positioned on top of the synchronizing wheel 34a and a plurality of light-emitting diodes 34c positioned directly beneath the synchronizing wheel. The synchronizing wheel 34a has a plurality of arcuately shaped slots 43 disposed at different radially outward positions as measured from the central axis thereof. Also positioned at different radial positions are the light-responsive transistors and light-emitting diodes 34b and 34c, respectively. There is one more lightresponsive transistor and light-responsive diode than there are filter elements. As seen in FIG. 11 there are seven such pairs of light-responsive transistors and light-emitting diodes 34b and 34c. The outboard most light-responsive transistor 35a and light-emitting diode 35b are thus placed in registry with a plurality of arcuate slots 45, FIGS. 12 and 13, which are positioned on a common radius about a synchronizing wheel 34a. The synchronizing wheel 34a allows no signal to pass from the light-emitting diodes to the light-responsive transistors until the associated slots appear. Each arcuate slot 43 is on a different diameter to provide a synchronizing pulse for each of the filter elements of the filter wheel.

On the other hand, each of the slots 45 on the common circumference will produce a synchronizing pulse during the dark or low signal portion of the waveshape of FIG. 16. This, therefore, allows the photocell to sense only when the energy level is at a maximum or peak for each filter and its minimum or valley portion is eliminated. Also, it will be understood that" means may be provided to adjust the arcuate length of the slots by dual disc so that the pulse width produced thereby can be adjusted if desired.

The photoresponsive transistor 34b and lightemitting diodes 340 are secured to a U-shaped support bracket 41 which has the extended arm portions thereof positioned on opposite sides of the synchronizing wheel 34a. This U-shaped support bracket is fastened to a top plate member 42 within the housing 11 and is adjustable so as to permit synchronization of the light column with the filters. The bracket 41 is so arranged that the radial extent of the photoresponsive transistors and light-emitting diodes can be adjusted so that they are in direct registry with their associated slots.

The angular disposition of the arcuate shaped slots 43 correspond substantially to the angular disposition of an associated one of a pluraltiy of discrete filter elements 46 associated with the filter wheel 23, this being 60 where six such filter elements are used. When one of the discrete filter elements 46 is in registry between the light source and the sample to be analyzed, so also is the appropriate arcuate slot 43 in registry between the phototransistor and light-emitting diode. Therefore, when the particular light-emitting diode and phototransistor are operative to produce a gate pulse, it will activate the appropriate channel corresponding to the filter element then in registry with the grain sample.

The drawer 20, in FIG. 4, is shown in its open position and the grain sample receptacle 24 is positioned next to a partition wall 47 which prevents outside light from interfering with a reading taken from a reference standard element 48 which, in turn, is positioned in the drawer but in the rear portion thereof. When the drawer is open as shown, the reference standard element 48 is automatically placed in registry with the lightsource and the appropriate circuitry is adjusted accordingly to compensate for such things as, for example, temperature, power supply voltage deviation, and the like. The reference standard element may be changed when the analyst computer is to be used to analyze different materials.

For a better understanding of one of the novel elements of this invention, reference is now made to FIG. 6 which shows a plan view of the filter wheel 23 which has a plurality of filter elements 46 adjustably disposed therein along a common radius line. As best seen in FIG. 7 each of the filter elements 46 is associated with a filter holding plate and recess which form a nest structure which is readily adjustable so that the angle of incident between the infrared rays and the filter element is adjustable to select the desired frequency of the infrared radiation. For example, the filter holding plate 50 fits into a recess 51 formed in the filter wheel 23 and has the radially innermost portion thereof urged downward by means of a circular spring element 52 which engages an upstanding adjusting screw 53 threaded into the holder plate 50. A pivot point is formed between a pair of pivot screws 54 and 55 so that the radially outward end portion thereof can be adjusted upwardly and downwardly by means of an adjusting screw 56. The plane or angle of incident of the filter element 46 is then readily adjustable relative to the plane of the filter wheel 23 so that the precise infrared frequency that will pass therethrough can be selected. Once the desired frequency has been obtained, the filter element holding disc 50 is locked into position by means of a peripheral locking screw 57.

As best seen in FIG. 8, which is a sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7, the pivot adjusting screw 54 has a rounded end portion 54a which fits into a V- shaped recess or pivot point 58 formed in the recess 51 of the filter wheel 23. This is also true for the pivot screw 55. The spring bias applied to the filter element holding disc 50 is located radially inwardly of the pivot point, as shown in FIG. 9, so that the filter holding plate 50 has the radially outward end portion thereof urged upwardly as seen in the figure. This is then adjusted by means of the adjusting screw 56 and the entire unit is locked in position by the locking screw 57. The filter element 46 then has the proper angle of incident with respect to the infrared rays impinging thereon so that only the desired frequency of radiant energy will pass therethrough.

For a more detailed understanding of the structure of the filter wheel and filter element holding disc of this invention, reference is now made to FIG. which is a perspective exploded view. Here it can be seen that the filter holder plate 50 has a milled out section 50a into which is inserted the filter element 46. The filter element may be held into the milled out section either mechanically or by suitable adhesive such as epoxy or the like. It will be noted that the longitudinal axis of the filter element 42 extends substantially perpendicular to the radius which passes through the center of the recess 51. Therefore, as the filter wheel 23 rotates, the filter element will be in-alignment with the grain sample for a maximum period of time.

Referring now to FIG. 11 the details of the synchronizing unit 34 are shown. Here the support bracket 41 is clearly shown having the spaced apart arm portions thereof on opposite sides of the rotating synchronizing wheel 34a. An arcuate slot 43 is shown in registry between the photoresponsive transistors 34b and the light-emitting diodes 34c, with a light path being indicated by an arrowed line. As each of the arcuate slots 43 pass in between the photoresponsive transistors and the light-emitting diodes, a gating pulse is generated to store the signal information of the constituents being measured within the proper channel. FIGS. 12 and 13 clearly illustrate that the arcuate slots 43 are placed at different radial extents from the center of the synchronizing wheel 34a. Thus, the photoresponsive transistors will be sequentially rendered operative from a radial inward to a radial outward position or vice versa. Therefore, as the discrete filter elements pass over the grain sample being analyzed and reflected radiant energy impinges upon the photocell or other sensing unit, a continuously variable output signal is thus generated. However, by the use of the synchronizing wheel, only that segment of each of the pulses generated which corresponds to the maximumamplitude is utilized. This is best illustrated in FIG. 16 which shows a waveshape configuration 60 corresponding to the output signal of photocell which receives reflected light from the grain sample being analyzed, and which reflected light corresponds in frequency to the filter elements then in registry therewith. However, when the gating pulse signal produced by the synchronizing wheel is generated, only the maximum amplitude portion of the waveshape 60 is thus utilized, this being illustrated by the waveshape 61 which shows a plurality of square wave pulses having an amplitude corresponding substantially to the maximum amplitude of the wave shape 60. The amplitude of each of the pulses thus corresponds to the quantity of the constituent being analyzed, preferably this quantity being in per cent by weight.

Referring to FIGS. 14 and 15 the drawer 20 is here shown in its fully open and in its fully closed conditions, respectively. The reference standard element 48, which is preferably of teflon material, is shown positioned in the drawer in a substantially rearward location. The partition wall 47 prevents outside light from intermixing with the light from the light source 21 while the reference standard element is being used. When the drawer is in the closed condition the reference standard element is displaced from the light source and filter elements and the grain sample receptacle 24 and the grain therein is then placed in registry with the light source and filter elements.

The grain sample receptacle 24 is located within the drawer by means of three spaced apart upstanding pins 62 so that the grain receptacle can be removed for filling and then located precisely within the drawer so that it will be accurately placed underneath the light source and the filter elements. As seen in FIGS. 14 and 15, limit switches 63 and 64 sense the drawer open and drawer closed condition to energize circuitry for automatic calibration of the electronic components while the drawer is in the open position. To insure proper registry of the reference standard element 48 and of the grain sample receptacle 24, a spring bias latching lever 66 is pivoted about a point 67 by means of a coil spring 68 having arm portions thereof engaging the lever and the bottom wall of the drawer. When the drawer is in the closed position as shown in FIG. the lever 66 engages a latch pin 70 and both the limit switches 63 and 64 are actuated to energize the circuitry for providing a direct readout of the constituents being measured, it being understood that a start switch is previously actuated. When the drawer is pulled out to remove the grain sample, the latching lever 66 has the detent end 660 thereof engage a stop pin 71 so that the drawer cannot be pulled out beyond a predetermined point. This then insures that the reference standard element 48 is in exact registry with the light source and the filter element. To completely remove the drawer from the grain sample analyzer, the latching lever 66 is pushed to the side so that the detent end 66a becomes disengagd from the stop pin 71. Thus the drawer can be removed and the reference standard element replaced if desired.

What has been described is an efficient and reliable grain analyst computer which has particular utility when utilized for analyzing constituents such as moisture, protein and oil within soybeans or the like. However, it will be understood that the apparatus of this invention can be utilized to analyze other materials of which the constituents are to be determined. Accordingly, variations and modifications of this invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts disclosed and claimed herein.

The invention is claimed as follows:

1. A grain analyst computer for measuring quantities of predetermined constituents of grain, comprising: a housing, a grain sample receptacle positionable within said housing for receiving a grain sample to be analyzed, movable filter means within said housing sequentially to move a plurality of discrete filter elements into registry with said grain sample receptacle, each filter element passing only a preselected frequency of radiant energy, a radiant energy source positioned within said housing for directing radiant energy through said filter means and onto the surface of a grain sample within said grain sample receptacle to provide a reflected radiant energy signal of said preselected frequency, the number of said reflected radiant energy signals produced for each grain sample corresponding to the number of discrete filter elements associated with said movable filter means, circuit means positioned within said housing for receiving said reflected radiant energy signals to provide an output voltage corresponding to the constituent being measured, and readout means responsive to said circuit means for providing a readout of the constituent being measured.

2. The grain analyst computer of claim 1 wherein said movable means is a filter wheel having a plurality of filter elements positioned at spaced locations about a common radius thereof, each filter element including means for adjusting the plane of the filter element relative to the plane of said filter wheel, thereby providing means for accurately selecting a desired narrow spectrum of frequency of the radiant energy source to pass through each of said filter elements.

3. The grain analyst computer of claim 1 including a baffle box positioned within said housing in registry with said grain sample receptacle when positioned in said housing, said baffle box having saidradiant-energy source mounted at one end thereof and an apertured wall at the other end thereof, whereby radiant energy directed toward the grain sample receptacle is free by unwanted external radiant sources.

4. The grain analyst computer of claim 1 wherein said housing includes a front panel, direct readout means located on said front panel to provide readout in per cent by weight of the constituent then being displayed, and light-indicator means located on said front panel to be energized to indicate which of the constituents is then being displayed on said readout means.

5. The grain analyst computer of claim 4 further including selector switch means for actuating said readout means to display the quantity of a desired constituent of a plurality of constituents being analyzed.

6. The grain analyst computer of claim 1 further including a drawer movable into and retractable from said housing, said drawer including means for receiving a reference standard element at one location in said drawer to be in registry with said filter means and said radiant energy source when said drawer is in a retracted position, and means for receiving said grain sample receptacle at another location in said drawer to be in registry with said filter means and said radiant energy source when said drawer is in an inserted position, switch means actuated by said drawer, said switch means operatively connected to said circuit means to cause automatic calibration of said circuit means when said drawer is in said retracted position to place said reference standard element in registry with said radiant energy source and said movable filter means.

7. The grain analyst computer of claim 1 further including synchronizing means in said housing to enable said circuit means when each discrete filter element of said movable filter means is in registry with said grain sample receptacle.

8. The grain analyst computer of claim 7 wherein said synchronizing means is a rotatable adjustable member and said movable means is a filter wheel arranged for common rotation with said rotatable member.

9. The grain analyst computer of claim 8 wherein said rotatable member of said synchronizing-means includes a plurality of arcuately shaped adjustable slots at different radial positions outwardly of the center of said rotatable member and further including light-emitting means positioned on one side of said rotatable member and light-receiving means on the other side of said rotatable member, the passage of said arcuately shaped slots will cause energization of said light-receiving means to produce a gating signal when the corresponding filter element is in registry with said grain sample receptacle.

10. The grain analyst computer of claim 1 wherein the amplitude of said reflected radiant energy pulses will correspond to the amount of the particular constituent being measured.

11. The grain analyst computer of claim 1 wherein said movable filter means includes a rotatable disc, a plurality of spaced apart recesses formed in said rotatable disc about a common radius, said discrete filter element being inserted into said recesses, and means for adjusting any plane of each filter element relative to the plane of said rotatable disc to thereby adjust the frequency of the radiant energy directed toward the grain sample.

12. The grain analyst computer of claim 11 wherein said pluraltiy of recesses are round in configuration and each of said discrete filter elements is secured to filter holder plate insertable into said recesses, and further including pivot means associated with said filter holder plates, spring bias means for urging said filter holder plates toward said rotatable disc about said pivot, and means to adjust the tension of said spring bias means against said filter holder plates.

13. The grain analyst computer of claim 12 wherein said pivot of each of said filter holder plates is located on a common radius about said rotatable disc, said bias means being formed of a resilient plate urged toward said rotatable disc so that the peripheral portions of said resilient plate engage said filter holder plates to urge them toward the rotatable disc about their respective pivots, and wherein said adjusting means is a threaded member formed at the periphery of said filter holder plates opposite the point engaging said resilient plate.

14. A grain analyst computer comprising: a source or radiant energy for impingement upon a grain sample to be analyzed, movable filter means for moving a plurality of discrete filter elements into registry between said source of radiant energy and the grain sample, said movable filter means including discrete filter receiving portions, and means for adjusting the position of each of said discrete filter elements relative to said discrete filter receiving portion thereby providing means for selectively adjusting the characteristic of the radiant energy that passes through said filter elements and impinges upon the grain sample, and circuit means responsive to an output signal produced by each of said discrete filter elements to provide an output voltage having a characteristic corresponding to the constituent being measured.

15. The grain analyst computer of claim 14 wherein said movable filter means includes a rotatable disc, a plurality of spaced apart recesses formed in said rotatable disc and located about a common radius, said discrete filter elements being inserted into said recesses, and means for locking the position of said filter elements relative to the plane of said rotatable disc after they have been adjusted.

16. The grain analyst computer of claim 15 wherein said plurality of recesses are round in configuration and each of said discrete filter elements is secured to a filter holder plate which is insertable into an associated recess, and further including pivot means associated with said filter holder plates, spring bias means for urging said filter holder plates toward said rotatable disc about said pivot, and means to adjust the tension of said spring bias means against said fiter holder plates.

17. The grain analyst computer of claim 16 wherein said pivot of each of said filter holder plates is located on a common radius about said rotatable disc, said bias means being formed of a resilient plate urged toward said rotatable disc so that the peripheral portion of said resilient plate bears against said filter holder plates to urge them toward the rotatable disc about their respective pivots, and wherein said adjusting means is a threaded member located at the periphery of said filter holder plates opposite the point engaging said resilient plate.

18. The grain analystcomputer of claim 14 further including synchronizing means to enable said circuit means when each discrete filter element of said movable filter means is in registry with the grain sample and said source of radiant energy.

19. The grain analyst computer of claim 18 wherein said synchronizing means is a rotatable member, and said movable filter means is a filter wheel arranged for common rotation with said rotatable member.

20. The grain analyst computer of claim 19 wherein said rotatable member of said synchronizing means includes a plurality of arcuately shaped slots at different radial positions outwardly of the center of said rotatable member, and further including light-emitting means positioned on one side of said rotatable member and light-receiving means positioned on the other side of said rotatable member, the passage of said arcuately shaped adjustable slots between said light-emitting means and said light-receiving means will cause energization of said light-receiving means to produce a gating signal when the corresponding filter element is in registry with said grain sample and said source of radiant energy.

21. An analyst computer for determining-the amount of predetermined constituents within a given material, comprising: a source of radiant energy for impingement upon the material to be analyzed, movable filter means for moving a plurality of discrete filter elements into registry between said source of radiant energy and the material, said movable filter means including discrete filter receiving portions, and means for adjusting the position of each of said discrete filter elements relative to said discrete filter receiving portion thereby providing means for selectively adjusting the characteristic of the radiant energy that passes through said filter elements and impinges upon the material, circuit means responsive to an output signal produced by each of said discrete filter elements to provide an output voltage having a characteristic corresponding to the constituent being measured, and readout means responsive to the output voltage of said circuit means for providing a visual readout of the quantity of the constituent being measured.

22. The analyst computer of claim 21 wherein said movable filter includes a rotatable disc, a plurality of spaced apart recesses formed in said rotatable disc and located about a common radius, said discrete filter elements being inserted into said recesses, and means for locking the position of said filter elements relative to the plane of said rotatable disc after they have been adjusted.

23. The analyst computer of claim 22 wherein said plurality of recesses are round in configuration and each of said discrete filter elements is secured to a filter holder plate which is insertable into an associated recess, and further including pivot means associated with said filter holder plates, spring bias means for urging said filter holder plates toward said rotatable disc about said pivot, and means to adjust the tension of said spring bias means against said filter holder plates.

24. The analyst computer of claim 23 wherein said pivot of each of said filter holder plates is located on a common radius about said rotatable disc, said bias means being formed of a resilient plate urged toward said rotatable disc so that the peripheral portion of said resilient plate bears against said filter holder plates to urge them toward the rotatable disc about their respective pivots, and wherein said adjusting means is a threaded member located at the periphery of said filter holder plates opposite the point engaging said resilient plate.

25. The analyst computer of claim 21 further including synchronizing means to enable said circuit means when each discrete filter element of said movable filter means is in registry with the material to be analyzed and said source of radiant energy.

26. The analyst computer of claim 25 wherein said synchronizing means is a rotatable member, and said movable filter means is a filter wheel arranged for common rotation with said rotatable member.

27. The analyst computer of claim 26 wherein said rotatable member of said synchronizing means includes a first plurality of openings at different radial distances outwardly of the center of said rotatable member and a second plurality of openings at a common radial distance of the center and further including light-emitting means positioned on one side of said rotatable member and light-receiving means positioned on the other side of said rotatable member, the passage of siad first plurality of openings between their associated lightemitting means and said light-receiving means will cause energization of the associated light-receiving means to produce an enable gate signal when the corresponding filter element is in registry with the material and said source of radiant energy, and the passage of said second plurality of openings between their associated light-emitting means and said light-receiving means will cause energization of the associated lightreceiving means to produce a blocking gate signal when the filter elements are not in registry with the material and said source of radiant energy.

28. An analyst computer for determining the amount of predetermined constituents within a given material, comprising: a source of radiant energy for impingement upon the material to be analyzed to provide reflected radiant energy therefrom having a characteristic corresponding to the constituent being measured, circuit means responsive to said reflected radiant energy to provide an output signal corresponding to the constituent being measured, readout means responsive to the output signal of said circuit means for providing a readout of the quantity of the constituent being measured, reference standard means for positioning in registry with said source of radiant energy prior to positioning the material to be analyzed in registry therewith, and means automatically to calibrate said circuit means in response to reflected radiant energy from said reference standard means.

29. The analyst computer of claim 28 further including a drawer movable between first and second positions, said drawer having means to receive the material to be measured at a precise location therein and means for holding said reference standard means so that when said drawer is in said first position said reference standard means is located in registry with said source of radiant energy for automatic calibration of said circuit means, and when said drawer is in said second position the material to be analyzed is in registry with said source of radiant energy.

30. The analyst computer of claim 28 further including, movable filter means for moving a plurality of discrete filter elements into registry with said source of radiant energy and the material to be analyzed, said discrete filter elements selecting a desired frequency from said source of radiant energy to be directed onto the material to be analyzed, said movable filter means further including means for adjusting the angle of incident of said discrete filter elements relative to the ray from said source of radiant energy.

Disclaimer 3,776,642-James H. Anson, Suburn, and Donald E. OlVaaZ, Springfield, I11.

GRAIN ANALYSIS COMPUTER. Patent dated Dec. 4:, 1978. Disclaimer filed June 24, 1976, by the assignee, Dickey-John Gorpomzfion.

Hereby enters this disclaimer to claims 28 and 29 of said patent.

[Ofiicz'al Gazette August 1'7, 1.976.]

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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.356/418, 356/448, 250/339.11, 250/226, 356/243.1, 250/910, 702/28
Clasificación internacionalG01N21/27, G01N21/47, G01N21/31, G01N33/10, G01N21/35
Clasificación cooperativaG01N21/314, G01N21/4738, Y10S250/91, G01N33/10
Clasificación europeaG01N33/10, G01N21/31D, G01N21/47F
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
29 Mar 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: DICKEY-JOHN CORPORATION
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:FLEET CREDIT CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005650/0235
Effective date: 19910328
9 Ene 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: FLEET CREDIT CORPORATION, A CORP. OF RI, RHODE ISL
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNORS:DICKEY-JOHN CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE;DICKEY-JOHN INTERNATIONAL, LTD., A CORP. OF CT;DICKEY-JOHN INTERNATIONAL, LTD., A CORP. OF DE;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:005016/0010
Effective date: 19880419