Darling Ingredients has filed a patent for a system that sizes natural intestines. The system includes a carrier, a product transport and sealing system, a measuring system, and a control system. The carrier has a fluid channel and a measuring portion with perforations connected to the channel. The product transport and sealing system moves the intestine over the carrier and temporarily seals it along the measuring portion. The measuring system uses a radiation sensor, a pressure sensor, and a flow sensor to determine the cross-sectional size of the intestine. GlobalData’s report on Darling Ingredients gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Darling Ingredients, fatty oil extraction was a key innovation area identified from patents. Darling Ingredients's grant share as of September 2023 was 50%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

A system for sizing natural intestines using sensors and control

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Darling Ingredients Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230255217A1) describes a system for sizing a natural intestine. The system consists of four main components: a product carrier, a product transport and sealing system, a measuring system, and a control system. The product carrier includes a fluid channel and a measuring portion with perforations connected to the fluid channel. The product transport and sealing system is responsible for moving the intestine over the product carrier and temporarily sealing it along the measuring portion.

The measuring system comprises a radiation sensor system, a pressure sensor, and a flow sensor. The radiation sensor system measures the cross-sectional dimension of the intestine using a radiation source and detector. The pressure sensor and flow sensor sense the fluid pressure and flow in the fluid channel. The control system combines the signals from the radiation sensor system, pressure sensor, and flow sensor to determine the cross-sectional size of the intestine at the measuring portion.

The patent also mentions the ability of the radiation sensor system to detect the presence of cavities in the intestine. This information can be used by the control system to further analyze the intestine's condition.

The radiation sensor system is described as a shadow sensor system, with the radiation source emitting radiation in a two-dimensional beam. The radiation detector consists of an array of detecting elements. The measuring system includes two sets of radiation sources and detectors, positioned at a mutual angle of 80°-100° at the measuring portion.

The product transport and sealing system utilize two sets of wheels with circumferential grooves that match the shape of the product carrier's surface. These wheels move the intestine over the product carrier and seal it in place.

The system also includes a position system with a position sensor to determine the longitudinal position and velocity of the intestine. The control system uses this information, along with the signal from the position sensor, to determine the longitudinal position of the intestine at the measuring portion.

Additionally, the patent describes a cutting system that can cut the intestine at a predetermined longitudinal position based on changes in the cross-sectional size and the presence of cavities. The system can collect and sort the resulting parts of the intestine based on their cross-sectional size and the presence of cavities.

The patent also includes a method for sizing a natural intestine using the described system. The method involves providing the intestine on the product carrier, supplying fluid to the fluid channel, moving the intestine over the product carrier while sealing it, emitting radiation to the measuring portion, and determining the cross-sectional size of the intestine based on the fluid pressure, flow, and radiation sensor system's signal. The method can also determine the presence of cavities and the longitudinal position of the intestine, allowing for precise cutting and sorting of the intestine.

In summary, the patent describes a comprehensive system and method for sizing natural intestines using a combination of fluid pressure, flow, and radiation measurements. The system includes various components such as a product carrier, transport and sealing system, measuring system, control system, and position system. The system can accurately determine the cross-sectional size of the intestine, detect cavities, and perform precise cutting and sorting.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.