PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1192850 13.05.2004
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001192850
Titel Verbesserung der Fördermittel einer Fruchterntemaschine
Anmelder New Holland Braud S.A., Coex, FR
Erfinder Merant, Jean Camille, 85220 La Chapelle-Hermier, FR
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 60009702
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, CH, CY, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, IE, IT, LI, LU, MC, NL, PT, SE
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 02.10.2000
EP-Aktenzeichen 004027025
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 03.04.2002
EP date of grant 07.04.2004
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 13.05.2004
IPC-Hauptklasse A01D 46/28

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to machines according to the preamble of claim 1 continularly to machines for harvesting fruit grown on trees or shrubs, such as grapes, berries, coffee beans, olives and the like. More particularly it relates to apparatus for conveying the crop material which has been detached by the harvesting unit from the trees or shrubs to a container.

Fruit harvesting machines such as grape harvesters machines commonly are equipped with a shaker assembly which straddles a row of shrubs or vines. The shaker assembly comprises sets of shaker rods which are oscillated to beat or shake the vines vigorously to detach the grapes or bunches of grapes from the vine shrubs. The detached fruit is guided into conveyors on both sides of the vines and conveyed by these conveyors to bins or containers on top of the grape harvester. When the machines reaches the end of a vine row, the bins may be unloaded into a towed cart for further transport to the winery.

The action of the shaker rods on the vines will also detach some foliage therefrom. These leaves are equally received in the conveyors and may get mixed up with the grapes in the bins. Conventionally the harvesting machine is equipped with cleaning means for separating the leaves and other foreign material such as detached wood from the fruit. For example the New Holland Braud grape harvester model SB64 has below the upper run of each conveyor an intermediate apron conveyor for receiving the detached fruit and tipping the same into the bins on each side of the harvester. Over the discharge end of the apron a cleaning fan is installed for extraction of the leaves from the crop material on the apron. The cleaning action is enhanced by the air stream acting on the falling crop.

It has been observed that the fan not only sucks away the foliage, but also drops of valuable fruit juice. The fruit juice results from grape berries which have burst under the impact of the shaker rods. At the discharge end of the intermediate conveyor the air flow sucks away the juice drops and deposits them together with the leaves aside the machine. These losses can be reduced by decreasing the fan speed in order to diminish air speeds, but such action inevitably also reduces the amount of foreign material which is removed from the crop. EP-A-0 893 049 for example tries to remedy to the problem of losses of fruit juice.

FR-A-2.686.530 proposes to provide the fruit harvester with a cleaning system comprising inwardly extending rods retaining the leaves, a mesh funnel installed beneath the rods retaining the grape bunches and the berries, and a full plate funnel receiving the fruit juice which migrated between the rods and through the mesh funnel. Such system is voluminous in size and prone to pollution by crop material sticking to the inner or outer funnels. Furthermore there is no easy access for cleaning the polluted components.

FR-A-2.298.266 discloses a conveyor and cleaning system including conveyor cups or buckets which are provided with transverse ribs for retaining thereon the leaves. Loose grapes and juice are received in tub sections below or between the ribs. The buckets are provided with air inlets on their sides for allowing an effective upward air stream removing the leaves from the ribs. Such arrangement drastically reduces the conveying capacity of the buckets. Furthermore the lower section of the buckets is partially closed such that crop and other material can easily accumulate therein, while access for cleaning is seriously hindered.

It is an object of the present invention to remedy to the problems indicated above and to provide an improved conveyor and cleaning arrangement which is capable of reducing the losses of fruit juice while being less susceptible to the accumulation of material thereon.

This object is achieved by the present invention according to claim 1. Further advantageous arrangements and developments of the invention appear from the dependent claims.

According to the present invention there is provided a fruit harvesting machine, comprising:

  • a frame equipped with means for travelling the frame over a field;
  • a harvesting assembly for detaching crop material, comprising fruit and foliage from trees, shrubs and the like standing on said field;
  • a conveyor means for receiving said detached fruit and foliage, together with juice from said fruit, and transporting the same either directly or indirectly to a container;
  • a screen means for retaining thereon solid fruit portions and for allowing passage therethrough of said juice; and
  • a cleaning means installed above said conveyor means for separating said foliage from said detached fruit;
   characterised in that:
  • said screen means is positioned at a fixed location above said conveyor means and below said cleaning means; and
  • said conveyor means is provided with tine means extending through said screen means for engaging and moving said solid fruit portions to said container.

These tine means assure the positive transport of the crop material along the screen. In a preferred embodiment, the conveyor means comprises an apron to which is affixed an array of outwardly extending fingers. In this manner no separate means have to be provided for advancing the fingers through the screen. Juice and small crop portions, such as loose berries, are received on the apron surface below the screen. They may be held back by the solid base portion of transverse ridges from which the fingers project upwardly. The upper, crop receiving run may be inclined upwardly, e.g. at 15°, in its normal conveying direction to optimise the trajectory of the crop material at the downstream end of the conveyor. The ridges the may be curved to concentrate crop and juice near the middle of the apron.

Preferably the screen extends substantially parallel to the conveyor means. Advantageously it comprises an array of parallel bars extending in the transport direction of the conveyor. The fingers may be dimensioned to act as scrapers along the bars to prevent the accumulation of crop material below and on the sides of the bar. The height of the solid base portion of the ridge may be chosen to provide additional support for the bars.

In order to provide sufficient free space for the crop on the apron to be discharged from the conveyor, the bars may be mounted in a cantilever fashion, with their free ends adjacent the downstream end of the conveyor. Each bar may be mounted to a separate bar mount, providing space in between for the passage of the fingers. The bar mounts can be detachably mounted to a common support plate, for easy replacement of worn or damaged bars.

Preferably the bars are made of corrosion resistant material, e.g. stainless steel or composite material.

A fruit harvesting machine in accordance with the present invention will now be described in greater detail, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

  • Figure 1 is a side elevational view of a harvesting machine fitted with a bucket conveyor, an intermediate apron conveyor and a cleaning fan installed over said intermediate conveyor;
  • Figure 2 is a perspective view showing the relative positions of the apron conveyor and a guide plate for guiding the crop material thereto;
  • Figure 3 is a longitudinal cross sectional view of the apron conveyor and the screen which is positioned above the upper apron run;
  • Figure 4 is a transverse cross sectional view of the apron conveyor taken along line IV-IV in Figure 3; and
  • Figure 5 is a perspective view of the conveyor and the screen of Figures 3 and 4.

In the following description "right hand" and "left hand" references are determined by standing at the rear of the harvester and facing in the direction of normal forward travel. It is also to be understood that, throughout this description, terms such as "forward", "rearward", "upward", "downward", etc. are words of convenience and are not be construed as limiting terms.

The fruit harvesting machine shown in Figure 1 is a grape harvester, generally indicated by reference numeral 1 and comprising a chassis or main frame 2, provided with front steerable wheels 3 and rear wheels 4. Both the front wheels 3 and the rear wheels 4 are driven for moving the frame 2 over the ground. It is also conceivable to replace the wheels with other ground-engaging members such as tracks. The frame 2 is in the form of a gantry in order to be able to straddle a row of plants or shrubs, such as grape-vines. In known manner, the frame 2 carries a harvesting assembly 5, comprising a shaker assembly (not shown) for dislodging the grapes from the vines and two elevator conveyors 8 for collecting the detached grapes and conveying them to two storage tanks or bins 9 on both sides of the harvester 1. The frame 2 further carries an engine 11, providing the rotational power necessary to drive the various active members of the harvesting assembly 5 and the conveyors and also providing motive power to the wheels 3, 4, since the vehicle 1 is of the self-propelled type.

The harvesting assembly 5 may be fixed in a permanent manner to the main frame 2 of the machine, or else, it may be made in the form of a removable assembly which is detachably affixed to the main frame 2, so as to be capable of being replaced by other equipment or accessories, such as spraying equipment, pruning equipment, equipment for tilling the ground, etc.

The driving and harvesting functions of the vehicle are controlled by the operator from an operator's platform 13, which is attached to the front portion of the frame 2 above the left steering wheel 3. To increase the comfort of the operator, an environmentally insulated cab 14 is provided which surrounds the position of the operator on the platform 13.

The elevator conveyors 8 each form a closed loop around the shaker assembly 5 and comprise each a closed chain provided with a series of interconnected cups or buckets 16. Preferably the bottom runs 8a of the two conveyors 8 are adjacent to each other and guided on either side of the vine row so as to clamp the foot of the vines and capture the crop material detached by the shaker assembly. The vertical rear runs 8b and front runs 8d of the elevator conveyors 8 diverge upwardly and outwardly from the longitudinal axes of the bottom runs 8a to clear the passage of the upper portion of the plants into and out of the harvesting assembly 5. The velocity of the bottom runs 8a in relation to the frame 2 is equal and opposite to the velocity of the machine along the vine row, such that there is no relative movement of the bottom runs 8a to the stems of the plants which they enclose. Such arrangement precludes premature wear of the buckets 16 and damages to the vines.

When the conveyors 8 enter their upper run 8c the buckets 16 are tipped over to deposit their contents onto guide plates 18 installed on both sides of the frame 2. Each guide plate 18 (Figure 2) is slantingly arranged to convey the dislodged crop material forwardly to the lower portion of an intermediate apron conveyor 20. The apron conveyors 20 transport the crop material outwardly and slightly upwardly to the bins 9. A longitudinally arranged divider auger (not shown) installed below the discharge end of each apron conveyor 20 assures the proper distribution of the grapes into the bins 9.

Above the discharge ends of the conveyors 20, cleaning means 27 have been installed for extraction of the foliage from the crop material (Figure 1). The cleaning means 27 comprise a hood 29 directed to the discharge area of the conveyor 20 and an extractor fan 30 registering with the top of the hood 29. The fan rotor 32 can be driven at various speeds, e.g. by a hydraulic motor, for creating an upwardly directed air flow which engages the crop material as it is being conveyed on top of the apron conveyor 20 and projected into the bins 9. The trajectory of the heavier crop elements, such as loose grape berries or complete grape bunches, is substantially unaffected by the air flow, but the leaves, which have a larger surface to weight ratio, are lifted up and drawn into the fan 30. The extracted leaves are expelled by the fan 30 through a discharge duct 34 mounted over and to the front of the bin 9 and are deposited onto the field besides the grape harvester 1. By adjusting the rotational speed of the fan rotors 32, e.g. by controlling the hydraulic pump feeding the hydraulic motor of the fan, a more or less aggressive action of the fan on the crop material which is being discharged into the bins 9, can be obtained. When the leaves are dry and easily removable the rotor speed may be lowered. When the quantity of leaves in the crop material increases or when they become more adhesive, it may be required to increase the rotor speed for effective cleaning of the crop.

As illustrated in Figures 2 to 4, each apron conveyor 20 comprises a pair of rollers 50, 51, extending in the longitudinal direction of the harvester 1, and an apron 53 which is wrapped over the roller pair. One of the rollers 50, 51 is rotated by appropriate motor means (not shown) such as a hydraulic or electrical motor. The linear speed of the apron can be varied in order to adapt to various harvesting and/or crop conditions. In an embodiment of the present invention the apron 53 is driven at a maximum linear speed of approximately 80 m/min. The outer roller 51 is installed somewhat higher than the inner roller 50, such that the upper run 53a of the apron 53 has an inclination α of approximately 15° to the horizontal. The guide plate 18 directs the flow of crop material discharged by the elevator conveyor 8 forwardly and somewhat inwardly as indicated by arrow 56 in Figure 2, such that the bulk of the material is received by the apron 53 at an angle of about 30° to the transport direction of the apron conveyor 20.

The crop material gathered by the buckets 16 does not only contain loose grapes, grape bunches and leaves, but also fruit juice emerging from the grapes which are burst or bruised by the action of the shaker assembly or by their fall onto the elevator conveyor 8. When collected in the bins 9, this juice can be used for further wine-making. The juice is projected in the form of drops from the apron conveyor 20. When the crop material reaches the end of the conveyor 20, it has been experienced that, when no special precautions are taken, a substantial portion of these drops is sucked away by the fan 30 and ejected through the discharge duct 34 together with the leaves. Hence it is advantageous to remedy to these losses and to reduce the exposure of the juice to the action of the fan 30.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention the conveyor 20 is equipped with a screen 60 arranged above the upper run 53a of the apron 53, as illustrated in Figures 3-5. The screen 60 is constituted by a set of parallel bars 62 which extend substantially parallel to this upper run. The diameter of the bars 62 and the distance inbetween is chosen to permit the passage of single grape berries and juice and to retain materials having a larger surface, such a grape bunches and leaves. For instance the bars may have a diameter of about 10 mm and may be disposed at a mutual distance of 30 to 40 mm and at a distance of 30 to 40 mm above the surface of the apron 53. The bars 62 extend in the direction of the movement of the conveyor 20. Upstream and downstream are defined with respect to the normal direction of conveyance of the apron 53. Each bar 62 is connected, e.g. by welding, by its upstream end to a crescent-shaped bar mount 64, which is positioned in front of and below the conveyor roller 50. The bar mounts 64 are provided with a plurality of ears 65 for installing the mounts 64 parallel to each other into apertures of a curved front plate 67 of the conveyor 20. The bars 62 should be made of rigid and wear-resistant material, such as stainless steel or composite material, e.g. glass-fibre reinforced resin material.

The downstream ends of the bars 62 end short of the downstream end of the conveyor 20. The bars are cantilevered such that the material which is conveyed above and below the bars 62 can be projected outwardly into one of the bins 9.

The apron 53 is wrapped around the rollers 50, 51 and then secured in place by connecting together the end portions of the apron by appropriate means such as rivets or bolts (not shown). The apron 53 may be made out of polyvinylchloride, polyurethane or any other suitable flexible material. Transverse ridges 70 have been attached, e.g. by gluing, vulcanising or by a thermal process, to the surface of the apron 53. The ridges 70 are curved to collect the fruit near the middle of the apron 53 while it is conveyed upwardly to the bin 9. They have an upper rim showing a series of indentures 72 and fingers 74 (Figure 4). The indentures 72 accommodate the screen bars 62. The fingers 74 extend above the bars at a level sufficiently high to engage and convey the grape bunches and leaves deposited on top of the screen 60. As the apron 53 moves around the rollers 50, 51, the fingers 74 pass between the crescent portions of the bar mounts 64.

During harvesting operations, the detached crop material is deposited by the elevator conveyor 8 onto the screen 60. Loose grape berries and juice migrate between the bars 62 onto the surface of the apron 53. The berries and the juice tend to run down the inclined conveyor, but they are retained by the solid lower portions of the ridges 70. The curvature of the ridges concentrates them near the middle section of the apron. At the end of the conveyor 20 they are launched along a trajectory 6a (Figure 2) below the fan hood 29 into the bin 9.

The leaves and the grape bunches are retained by the screen 60. The ridge fingers 74 engage this portion of the crop material and convey it downstream to the deposit zone below the fan 30. At the discharge end of the apron conveyor 20, leaves and bunches are projected along a second trajectory 6b, above the trajectory 64 of the loose berries and the juice. They pass closer to the fan 30 such that the leaves are lifted up the hood 29 more easily. Meanwhile the stronger air stream has hardly any effect on the bunches which fall down into the bin 9. As most of the juice was collected below the grape bunches and the leaves, it is sheltered thereby from the direct action of the fan 30. Furthermore, the juice drops are projected at a greater distance from the fan, such that significantly less juice drops are that suck into the fan and ejected through the discharge duct 34 onto the ground next to the harvester 1.

Although the bars 62 are mounted in a cantilever way, they are still able to sustain a substantial amount of material without deflecting, as they are sustained by the bottoms of the indentures 72 in the apron ridges 70. By adapting the dimensions of the indentures to the section of the bars 62, a tight fit can be realised such that each ridge 70 acts as a scraper, removing any material which stick to the bars. Hence such system is self-cleaning.

It will be appreciated that thus is provided a simple, yet effective means for separating the juice from the detached fruit and providing a distinct trajectory to the fluid and the solid crop material at the exit of a conveyor.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to a particular type of fruit harvester and conveyor assembly, it will be appreciated that other embodiments can be thought of, without departing however from the original idea of the invention. For example, the screen may be constituted by longitudinal elements having a rectangular or triangular cross section. The screen elements may be attached at both their upstream and downstream ends to the conveyor structure in order to provide for a more rigid screen. The fingers extending from the apron 53 need not to be aligned, but may be distributed over the full apron surface. It is also conceivable to replace the apron conveyor with another type of conveyor, for instance a bucket conveyor, and to provide the conveying elements, for instance the buckets, with elements extending through the screen for transporting the crop material which is deposited onto the screen, while the juice is received on or in the conveying elements below the screen.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Fruchterntemaschine (1) mit:
    • einem Rahmen (2), der mit Einrichtungen (3, 4) zum Bewegen des Rahmens über ein Feld ausgerüstet ist;
    • einer Emtebaugruppe (5) zum Ablösen von Emtematerial, das Früchte und Blattwerk umfasst, von Bäumen, Büschen und dergleichen, die auf dem Feld stehen;
    • einer Fördereinrichtung (20) zum Empfang der abgetrennten Früchte und Blätter, zusammen mit Saft von den Früchten, und zu deren bzw. dessen Transport entweder direkt oder indirekt zu einem Behälter (9);
    • einer Siebeinrichtung (60) zum Festhalten fester Fruchtteile auf dieser und zur Ermöglichung eines Durchgangs des Saftes durch diese; und
    • einer Reinigungseinrichtung (27), die oberhalb der Fördereinrichtung (20) eingebaut ist, um die Blätter von den abgetrennten Früchten zu trennen;
       dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass:
    • die Siebeinrichtung (60) an einer festen Position oberhalb der Fördereinrichtung (20) und unterhalb der Reinigungseinrichtung (27) angeordnet ist, und
    • die Fördereinrichtung (20) mit Zinkeneinrichtungen (74) versehen ist, die sich durch die Siebeinrichtungen (60) erstrecken, um mit den festen Fruchtteilen in Eingriff zu kommen und diese zu dem Behälter (9) zu bewegen.
  2. Fruchterntemaschine nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Fördereinrichtung (20) einen Bandförderer (53) umfasst, und dass die Zinkeneinrichtungen eine Anordnung von sich nach außen erstreckenden Fingern (74) umfassen, die an dem Förderband (53) befestigt sind, und sich durch die Siebeinrichtungen (20) nach außen erstrecken.
  3. Fruchtemtemaschine nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sich die Finger (74) von im wesentlichen in Querrichtung erstreckenden Wülsten (70) erstrecken, die einen massiven Basisteil aufweisen, der zum Festhalten des Saftes betreibbar ist.
  4. Fruchtemtemaschine nach Anspruch 2 oder 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der obere, das Erntematerial empfangende Strang (53a) des Förderbands (53) in seiner normalen Förderrichtung nach oben geneigt ist.
  5. Fruchtemtemaschine nach Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der obere Strang (53a) unter einem Winkel von im wesentlichen 15° zur Horizontalen geneigt ist.
  6. Fruchtemtemaschine nach Anspruch 4 oder 5, unter Rückbeziehung auf Anspruch 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Wülste (70) in ihrer Form gekrümmt sind und einen niedrigsten Punkt in der Nähe der Mitte des Förderbands (53) aufweisen.
  7. Fruchterntemaschine nach einem der vorhergehenen Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sich die Siebeinrichtung (60) im wesentlichen parallel zu der Fördereinrichtung (20) erstreckt.
  8. Fruchterntemaschine nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Siebeinrichtung (20) eine Anordnung von Stangen (62) umfasst, die sich oberhalb der Fördereinrichtung (20) erstrecken.
  9. Fruchtemtemaschine nach Anspruch 8, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sich die Stangen (62) parallel zueinander in der normalen Transportrichtung der Fördereinrichtung (20) erstrecken.
  10. Fruchtemtemaschine nach Anspruch 8, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Zinkeneinrichtungen (74) mit den Stangen (62) in Eingriff kommen, um Material von den Stangen abzustreifen, während die Fördereinrichtung (20) Erntematerial zu dem Behälter (9) transportiert.
  11. Fruchterntemaschine nach Anspruch 9 oder 10, unter Rückbeziehung auf Anspruch 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der massive Basisteil der Wülste (70) zum Abstützen der Stangen (62) betreibbar ist.
  12. Fruchtemtemaschine nach einem der Ansprüche 8 bis 11, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Stangen (62) in einer freitragenden Weise befestigt sind, wobei ihre freien Enden benachbart zum stromabwärts gelegenen Ende der Fördereinrichtung (20) angeordnet sind.
  13. Fruchterntemaschine nach Anspruch 12, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jede Stange (62) mit einer getrennten Stangenbefestigung (64) benachbart zum stromaufwärts gelegenen Ende der Fördereinrichtung (20) verbunden ist, wobei die Zinkeneinrichtungen (74) so betreibbar sind, dass sie zwischen den Stangenbefestigungen (64) hindurchlaufen.
  14. Fruchtemtemaschine nach Anspruch 13, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Stangenbefestigungen (64) an einer gemeinsamen, sich in Querrichtung erstreckenden Platte (67) befestigt sind.
  15. Fruchterntemaschine nach Anspruch 14, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Stangenbefestigungen (64) lösbar an der Befestigungsplatte (67) befestigt sind.
  16. Fruchterntemaschine nach einem der Ansprüche 8 bis 15, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Stangen (62) aus einem korrosionsbeständigen Material hergestellt sind.
  17. Fruchtemtemaschine nach Anspruch 16, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das korrosionsbeständige Material aus Edelstahl oder einem zusammengesetzten Material ausgewählt ist.
  18. Fruchtemtemaschine nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Reinigungseinrichtung (27) benachbart zu einem Abgabeende der Fördereinrichtung (20) angeordnet ist.
  19. Fruchtemtemaschine nach Anspruch 18, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Reinigungseinrichtung (27) eine Haube (29) mit einem Einlass, der über dem Abgabeende angeordnet ist, und einem Auslass aufweist, der mit einem Gebläse (30) zum Absaugen der Blätter in den Einlass ausgerichtet ist.
  20. Fruchterntemaschine nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Betriebsgeschwindigkeit der Fördereinrichtung (20) und/oder der Reinigungseinrichtung (27) einstellbar ist.
  21. Fruchterntemaschine nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass:
    • die Siebeinrichtung (60) eine Anordnung von Halteelementen (62) umfasst, die unter einem gegenseitigen Abstand angeordnet sind, der ausreicht, um den Durchgang von losen Beeren zu ermöglichen; und
    • die Fördereinrichtung (20) Einrichtungen (53) zum Empfang der losen Beeren und zu deren Transport unterhalb der Siebeinrichtungen (60) zu dem Behälter (9) umfasst.
Anspruch[en]
  1. A fruit harvesting machine (1), comprising:
    • a frame (2) equipped with means (3, 4) for travelling the frame over a field;
    • a harvesting assembly (5) for detaching crop material, comprising fruit and foliage from trees, shrubs and the like standing on said field;
    • a conveyor means (20) for receiving said detached fruit and foliage, together with juice from said fruit, and transporting the same either directly or indirectly to a container (9);
    • a screen means (60) for retaining thereon solid fruit portions and for allowing passage therethrough of said juice; and
    • a cleaning means (27) installed above said conveyor means (20) for separating said foliage from said detached fruit;
       characterised in that:
    • said screen means (60) is positioned at a fixed location above said conveyor means (20) and below said cleaning means (27); and
    • said conveyor means (20) is provided with tine means (74) extending through said screen means (60) for engaging and moving said solid fruit portions to said container (9).
  2. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 1, characterised in that said conveyor means (20) comprises a conveyor apron (53) and said tine means comprise an array of outwardly extending fingers (74) affixed to said apron (53) and extending outwardly through said screen means (20).
  3. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 2, characterised in that said fingers (74) extend from substantially transverse ridges (70) having a solid base portion which is operable to retain said juice.
  4. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 2 or 3, characterised in that the upper, crop receiving run (53a) of said apron (53) is inclined upwardly in its normal conveying direction.
  5. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 4, characterised in that said upper run (53a) is inclined at an angle of substantially 15° to the horizontal.
  6. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 4 or 5, when appended to claim 3, characterised in that said ridges (70) are curved in shape and have a lowest point near the middle of said apron (53).
  7. A fruit harvesting machine according to any of the preceding claims, characterised in that said screen means (60) extends substantially parallel to said conveyor means (20).
  8. A fruit harvesting machine according to any of the preceding claims, characterised in that in that said screen means (20) comprises an array of bars (62) extending above said conveyor means (20).
  9. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 8, characterised in that said bars (62) extend parallel to each other in the normal direction of transport of said conveyor means (20).
  10. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 8, characterised in that said tine means (74) contact said bars (62) for scraping material off said bars while said conveyor means (20) transports crop material to said container (9).
  11. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 9 or 10, when appended to claim 3, characterised in that said solid base portion of said ridge (70) is operable to sustain said bars (62).
  12. A fruit harvesting machine according to any of the claims 8 to 11, characterised in that said bars (62) are mounted in a cantilever fashion with their free ends adjacent the downstream end of said conveyor means (20).
  13. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 12, characterised in that each bar (62) is connected to a separate bar mount (64) adjacent the upstream end of said conveyor means (20), said tine means (74) being operable to pass between said bar mounts (64).
  14. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 13, characterised in that said bar mounts (64) are affixed to a common, transverse mounting plate (67).
  15. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 14, characterised in that in that said bar mounts (64) are detachably affixed to said mounting plate (67).
  16. A fruit harvesting machine according to any of the claims 8 to 15, characterised in that said bars (62) are made out of corrosion resistant material.
  17. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 16, characterised in that said corrosion resistant material is chosen from stainless steel or composite material.
  18. A fruit harvesting machine according to any of the preceding claims, characterised in that said cleaning means (27) is installed adjacent a discharge end of said conveyor means (20).
  19. A fruit harvesting machine according to claim 18, characterised in that said cleaning means (27) comprise a hood (29) having an inlet installed over said discharge end and an outlet registering with a fan (30) for drawing said foliage into said inlet.
  20. A fruit harvesting machine according to any of the preceding claims, characterised in that the operating speed of said conveyor means (20) and/or said cleaning means (27) is adjustable.
  21. A fruit harvesting machine according to any of the preceding claims, characterised in that:
    • said screen means (60) comprises an array of retaining elements (62) disposed at a mutual distance which is sufficient for allowing the passage of loose berries; and
    • said conveyor means (20) comprises means (53) for receiving said loose berries and conveying them below said screen means (60) to said container (9).
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Récolteuse de fruits (1) comprenant:
    • un châssis (2) équipé de moyens (3, 4) pour déplacer le châssis au-dessus d'un champ;
    • un ensemble de récolte (5) destiné à détacher du matériau de récolte, comprenant des fruits et du feuillage provenant d'arbres, d'arbustes et de plantes similaires plantés sur ledit champ;
    • un moyen de convoyeur (20) destiné à recueillir lesdits fruits et feuillage détachés, en commun avec du jus issu desdits fruits, et à transporter ces derniers soit directement, soit indirectement vers un conteneur (9);
    • un moyen de filtration (60) pour retenir les portions solides des fruits et permettre le passage dudit jus de fruits à travers ce moyen de filtration ; et
    • un moyen de nettoyage (27) installé au-dessus dudit moyen de convoyeur (20) pour séparer ledit feuillage desdits fruits détachés ;
       caractérisé en ce que :
    • ledit moyen de filtration (60) est positionné à un emplacement fixe au-dessus dudit moyen de convoyeur (20) et au-dessous dudit moyen de nettoyage (27) ; et
    • ledit moyen de convoyeur (20) est doté de moyens de dents (74) qui s'étendent à travers ledit moyen de filtration (60) pour engrener et transporter lesdites portions solides des fruits jusqu'audit conteneur (9).
  2. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 1,caractérisée en ce que ledit moyen de convoyeur (20) comprend un tablier de convoyeur (53) et lesdits moyens de dents comprennent une rangée de doigts s'étendant vers l'extérieur (74) fixés audit tablier (53) et s'étendant vers l'extérieur via ledit moyen de filtration (20).
  3. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 2,caractérisée en ce que lesdits doigts (74) s'étendent à partir de nervures substantiellement transversales (70) possédant une base solide qui peut être utilisée pour retenir ledit jus.
  4. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 2 ou 3, caractérisée en ce que le brin supérieur de réception du matériau de récolte (53a) dudit tablier (53) est incliné vers le haut dans son sens normal de transport.
  5. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 4,caractérisée en ce que ledit brin supérieur (53a) est incliné selon un angle de 15° par rapport à l'horizontale.
  6. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 4 ou 5, lorsque celle-ci est jointe à la revendication 3,caractérisée en ce que lesdites nervures (70) ont une forme incurvée et que leur point le plus bas est situé à proximité du centre dudit tablier (53).
  7. Récolteuse de fruits selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que ledit moyen de filtration (60) s'étend substantiellement, de manière parallèle audit moyen de convoyeur (20).
  8. Récolteuse de fruits selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que ledit moyen de filtration (20) comprend une rangée de barres (62) qui s'étendent au-dessus dudit moyen de convoyeur (20).
  9. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 8,caractérisée en ce que lesdites barres (62) s'étendent parallèlement les unes aux autres dans le sens normal de transport dudit moyen de convoyeur (20).
  10. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 8,caractérisée en ce que lesdits moyens de dents (74) entrent en contact avec lesdites barres (62) pour racler le matériau desdites barres tandis que ledit moyen de convoyeur (20) transporte le matériau de récolte vers ledit conteneur (9).
  11. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 9 ou 10, lorsqu'elle est jointe à la revendication 3,caractérisée en ce que ladite base solide de ladite nervure (70) est utilisée pour soutenir lesdites barres (62).
  12. Récolteuse de fruits selon l'une quelconque des revendications 8 à 11, caractérisée en ce que lesdites barres (62) sont montées en porte-à-faux, leurs extrémités libres étant adjacentes à l'extrémité d'aval dudit moyen de convoyeur (20).
  13. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 12, caractérisée en ce que chaque barre (62) est reliée à un support de barre séparé (64) adjacent à l'extrémité d'amont dudit moyen de convoyeur (20), lesdits moyens de dents (74) pouvant être utilisés pour passer entre lesdits supports de barre (64).
  14. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 13,caractérisée en ce que lesdits supports de barre (64) sont fixés à une plaque de montage transversale commune (67).
  15. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 14,caractérisée en ce que lesdits supports de barre (64) sont fixés de manière amovible à ladite plaque de montage (67).
  16. Récolteuse de fruits selon l'une quelconque des revendications 8 à 15, caractérisée en ce que lesdites barres (62) sont réalisées dans un matériau résistant à la corrosion.
  17. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 16,caractérisée en ce que ledit matériau résistant à la corrosion est sélectionné à partir d'acier inoxydable ou de matériau composite.
  18. Récolteuse de fruits selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que ledit moyen de nettoyage (27) est installé de manière adjacente à l'extrémité d'expulsion dudit moyen de convoyeur (20).
  19. Récolteuse de fruits selon la revendication 18, caractérisée en ce que ledit moyen de nettoyage (27) comprend un capot (29) qui possède une entrée installée sur ladite extrémité d'expulsion et une sortie qui agit avec un ventilateur (30) pour pousser ledit feuillage dans ladite entrée.
  20. Récolteuse de fruits selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que la vitesse de fonctionnement dudit moyen de convoyeur (20) et/ou dudit moyen de nettoyage (27) est réglable.
  21. Récolteuse de fruits selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que :
    • ledit moyen de filtration (60) comprend une rangée d'éléments de retenue (62) disposés à une distance mutuelle qui est suffisante pour permettre le passage des baies séparées ; et
    • ledit moyen de convoyeur (20) comprend des moyens (53) pour recueillir lesdites baies séparées et les transporter au-dessous dudit moyen de filtration (60) vers ledit conteneur (9).






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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