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Apparatus for pitting dates or the like

Image Number 6 for United States Patent #4313373.

Apparatus for pitting dates wherein an endless apron consisting of plates with sockets for dates is transported stepwise by two chains past a hopper which dispenses randomly distributed dates onto the upper sides of successive plates, past an adjustable elastic refuser which intercepts overlapping dates and directs some intercepted dates into empty sockets, past a rotary brush which inclines partly inserted dates in a direction counter to the direction of movement of the plates, past a centering station wherein semicylindrical extensions of tubular centering elements penetrate into the sockets of the adjacent plate to promote or cause complete penetration of partly inserted dates into the respective sockets, and thereupon past a removing station where the cutting edges at the leading ends of reciprocable tools penetrate into the sockets to expel pits from the dates. A first nozzle sprays water onto the leading ends of pit removing tools while the leading ends extend beyond the sockets of the plate at the removing station, a second nozzle sprays water onto the outer sides of successive plates and the surfaces bounding the sockets of such plates ahead of the hopper, and a third nozzle intermittently discharges sprays of water against the inner sides of successive plates to remove sugar from the plates, when necessary.

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