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(21)Application Number:    KE/P/20021 000213       
       
(22) Filing Date: 26/03/2002       
       
(30) Priority data:       
       
(86) PCT data PCT/!802/001160    26/03/2002 wo 2003/080260    02110/2003   

(73) Owner: COUNCIL OF SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH  of Anusandhan Bhavan I, Raft Marg, New Delhi l!O 001, India

(72) Inventors: DESIKACHAR., Ravindranath, Srigiripuram of Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology Palampur, Himachal Pradesh 176 061 and SINGH, Krishna, Kumar of Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology Palampur, Himachal Pradesh176 06I,India

(74) Agent/address for correspondence: Waruinge & Waruinge Advocates, P. 0. BOX 72384, NAIROBI

(54) Title: A CONTINUOUS TYPE MULTIPURPOSE TEA SHOOT SORTER

(57) Abstract: The present invention relates to a continuous type multipurpose tea shoot sorter, used for sorting leaves, stem, rools, flowers, fruits and nuts of various medicinal and aromatic plant types, comprising sieving trays (2, 3), collection trays (9, 10) and discharging conveyor bells (4, 5, 11) .

A CONTINUOUS TYPE MULTIPURPOSE TEA SHOOT SORTER TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a continuous type multipurpose tea shoot sorter, for sorting leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruits and nuts of aromatic, medicinal plants and tea plants.

BACKGROUND ART Many agricultural produces like seeds, potatoes, onions and grains which are elliptical or oval shape are separated and graded with sorting machine which uses the property of the above material to roll on inclined surfaces.

\Vith uneven and flat surfaced produces like flowers, lea.ves, small branches of herbs, llat and thin roots, by virtue of their resistance to rolling tend to hug to inclined surfhces. Hence, it is difficult to sort out into uniform grades. This results in the final product either of mixed

quality or of an average quality.

Tea shoots are one such products that grow uneven due to the stochastic nature of rain fall, dynamic nature of weather conditions, dissimilar land productivity, organic matter content, shade management practices and crop varieties. The variation in tea leaf tine ness will create lot of difficulties in almost every step oftea.manufacture viz. improper withers, modification in maceration procedures to hide exposed fibre, withering and fermentation, uneven drying, affecting final characteristics of made tea. Moreover, extra efforts are needed for sorting and grading of made tea. To overcome these difficulties, a lot of e~ergy and manpower is utilised resulting in the escalation of cost of production.

In order to minimise cost of plucking, a high plucking task is assigned to the pluckers and mechanised tea leaf plucking method is also adopted for meeting domestic as well as export requirements, which reduces the quantity and quality of plucked tea leaves.

The cup quality will decline due to decrease in plucking standards. The plucking of 3-4 leaves and a bud plucked for fulfilling the high plucking tasks will increase the overall bio-mass i.e. leaves, stems, crude fibres and chlorophyll by 107, 116, 400 and l32 % respectively. This increased bio- mass will reduce the per cent of quality of buds, caftCinc, soluble solids, pot}1lhenol and total amino acids by 430, 150, 190, 200 and 133% respectively in comparison to two leaves and a bud. The consumer may not get the value lbr his money.

Presently, tea industry is facing a lot of difticultics to bring about increments in tea production, in terms of quality and quantity tbr facilitating export. Many times the export consignments arc rejected due to failing to meet the stringent internation;:tl standards.
 
Sorting of tealeaf is a tiresome, labour consuming and uneconomical operation that puts undue pressure on a~ready troubled tea industry.

Conventionally, the separati?n of any material maY be done on the principles of sieving and density methods. In winnowing process, a mixture of chaff and grain falls in front of winnowing rnachine, which creates a stream of forced air and the chaffs and grains get separated on the basis of density.

Development of threshing machine, where winnower and sieving drum were mounted on a threshing machine, where seeds are allowed to fall under gravity from the sieving drum and chaffs were blown out by the winnowing fan. (Roy, S. E. 1960. Development of harvesting and threshing equipment for India. The Agriculrural Engineer, 5:47-59;)

A cam type winnowing syste~ with air blower combination and two-conveyor assembly with blower were evaluated for removing debris of Maine wild blueberries. (Donahue, D.W.; Bushw~y, A.A.; Moore, K.E., LaGilsse, B.J. 1999. Evaluation of current winnowing system for Maine wild blueberries. Applied Engineering in Agriculrure. 15:5423-427; !O.ref.)

The major drawbacks of these machines ilre that these are designed to separate different materials of different densities but it canns>t separate milterials of the same density having variable sizes. These materials have a low rolling friction, but it may not overcome the •bridging problem which is obvious in the case ofbio-masses (green, rolled and dried \eaves) or like tea shoots, rose buds and ;flowers or like.

DISCLOSURE OF TIIE INVENTION

The main object of the present invention is to provide a continuous type multipurpose plant parts sorting machine that can successfully sort, cut and coarsely pluck tea shoots from fine green tea shoots economically.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a continuous type multi purpose plant parts sorting machine for withered and rolled ten leaves.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a continuous type multi purpose

plant parts sorting machine whose repair and maintenance arc comparatively easier.
I
Further anoth~r object of the present invention is to provide a continuous multipurpose plilnt pans soning machine for sorting out the leaves of medicinal and aro'matic plants.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a continuous type multi purposc plant parts sorting machine tOr sorting stem pieces of medicinal and aromatic plants.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a continuous type multi purpose plant parts sorting machine for sorting nowers of different shapes and sizes.
 
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a continuous type multi purpose plant parts sorting machine for sorting roots of different plants having variable shapes and sizes.

Further yet another object of the present invention is to provide a continuous type multi purpose plant parts sorting machine for sorting fruits of variable shapes and sizes.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a continuous type multi purpose ptant parts sorting machine which has a capacitX to cater to the small, marginai and large processing units for separating out good quality raw materials for manufacturing different products.

SUM1HARY OF THE PRESENT INVENT!ON

The present inve~tion reiates to a ~ontinuous type multipurpose tea shoot sorter, capable of sorting leaves, stem, roots, flowers, fruits and nuts of aromatic and medicinal plant varieties.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENT!ON

Accordingly, the present invention provides a continuous type multi-purpose medicinal and tea shoot sorter machine, said sorter machine comprising:
a wedge type conveyor belt assembly (I) for unifolll1 collection of green tea shoots/biomass to sieving trays with on~ and more meshes of variable sizes (2) and (3); a wedge type conveyor belt (4) for disCharging smaller grade materials to requisite place;

a wedge type conveyor belt(5) for discharging intennediate grade materials to requisite place;

a prime mover with pulley cam assembly (6) mounted on a platfolll1 (7) to transmit power to the unit;

an anti-vibration cushion rubber pad with bracket assembly (8) to support the sieving tray at the free end sorting machine;
collection trays (9) and (10);

a wedge type conveyor belt (U) for discharging unsieved graded materials at requisite place;

a conveyor belt mounting assembly (12) tbr supporting the conveyor bi!lts; a bracket assembly (13);
a blind mesh (14) to sepnrate gratlcd materials, mounted on an inclined platform with mild steel flat support (15) at the head end;

a charging: hopper (16) with wctlgc typl! conveyor bdt <JSscmbly ( 17): and

said  hopper  having  a  metering  t.icvicc  (18)  ami  a  slit  opcning  (l9)  for  fcctling  tea

shoots/biomass.

An embodiment of the present invention, wherein the metering device is fitted with a regulation device to control the feeding quantity to prevent under feeding and over feeding tea shoots/biomass to the sorting machine.
Another embodiment of the present invention, wherein the prime mover with pulley is used to transfer power from motor to the main shaft and to the hopper for causing the movement

of hopper.

Yet another embodiment of the present invention, wherein the prime mover with pulley is used to transfer power in downward direction for conveyance of wedge type conveyor belt. Still another embodiment of the present invention, wherein the collection tray (9) is used for smaUer graded green tea sl\ootsfbiomass material.

Yet another embodiment of the present invention, wherein the collection tray (IO) is used for intermediate graded green tea shoots/biomass material.

Still another embodiment of the present invention, wherein the bracket assembly is used to transfer movement from the Uead end of collection tray (9) to head end of collection tray (l 0) resulting in movement of whole of the sorting machine.

Further embodiment of the present invent.ion, wherein the blind mesh is a thin MS sheet provided on the sieving tray for separating plant parts of different shapes and sizes .

.In another embodiment of the present invention, said machine consis.ts of meshes of different sizes ranging from 5 ~100 mm.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention, said meshes are in square, rectangular and diamond shapes with different combinations.

In still another embodiment of tl\e present invention, said meshes having height adjustment system ranging from 0-60° angle.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention, the least count of the height adjustment system is 1°'

In still another embodiment of the present invention, the said machine consisting of a single motor that provides power to collection trays in addition to all the units of sorting operu.tions.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention, said machine consisting of a conveyor belt that can be mo~ified to charge the sorting unit by pneumatic process.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention. an anti-vibration rubber pad cushion is provided under the separating tray for avoiding hanging of the unit and to reduce the noise when the machine is in operation.
 
In still another embodiment of the present invention, the elliptical motion of the sieving tray with mesh avoids the bridging problem in the sorting system.
In yet anot.her embodiment .of the present invention, the plant materials are fed to the charging hopper comprising conveyor belt assembly charged to the separating trays passing over sieve and mesh where the bio-mass fall is unifonnly regulated and passed over the meshes to sort out different plant parts.

In still another embodiment of the present invention, the charging lever monitors the rate of charging.
In further another embodiment of the present invention, the sorted materials are collected in the collection trays and transported to the processing sites by the low height wedge type conveyor belt assembly.

In still another embodiment of the present invention, the said machine consisting of a low height wedge type conveyor belt that provides about 99 % conveying efficiency ~ver a simple belt.

In further another embodiment of the present invention, wherein said sorter can sort materials of the same density with variable sizes.

In yet another embodiment of the presept invention, the said machine having a leaf gradation capacity of70 -80 %.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention, said machine is used to sort green, withered and rolled tea leaves of plants selected from the group consisting of Chinary, Assamica and Combed.

In still another embodiment of the present invention, the said machine is used to sort leaves of medicinal and aromatic plants selected from the group consisting ofTagetus minuta, Eucalyptus, Citronella, Mentha, and Lavender.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention, the said machine is used to sort roots of medicinal and aromatic plants selected from the group consisting of Tagetus minuta, Valeriana and Viola.

In still another embodiment of the present invcnti~n, the said machine is used to sort tlowers of other medicinal and aromatic plants selected from the group consisting of Damask rose, Tagetus min uta and Jasmine.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention, the said machine is used to sort fruits selected from the group consisting of Bcctlenut, Cashew nut, Walnut. Almond and Pecan nut.

The constructional  features of said machine arc provided below  in  the  tbmt of preferred embodiments.

A hopper (\6) with 350-4\00mm width X 350-4l00mm length, a low height wedge type conveyor belt assembly (l) with 300-4,000mm, widtn and 5-75mm wedge height, or pneumatic type charging device capacity 0.3-20 kg/s, tray assemblies mild steel (MS) 350-4,500mm width X 500-lO,OOOmm length each (2) and (3), blind sheet (14) 20-150mm for gradation of plant materials, motor 0.50-7.5 HP with cam assembly (6), collection tray 325-4,500mm width X 550- l0,500mm length for each sieving mesh (9) and (10), different shapes and size meshes from 5-lOOmm square, rectangular and diamond sh.ape, height adjustmerit system from 0-60° angle. with least count of 1°, brackets assembly device 25-150mm square, rectangular or polygonal shape for synchronisation of the movement, rubber pad cushion (8) 20-lOOmm thick under the tray to absorb the vibrating and hanging effect of sieving trays, conveyor belt mounting assemblies (12) 300-1 JOOO mm height, conveyor belt assemblies with low height wedge type (4), (5) and (II) 300-3000mm width and 5-75mm wedge height for transportation of plant bio-mass to the processing sites.

The inventive constructional features of the present sorter machine are further explained in the form of following preferred embodiments:

The meshes provided in the machine a~ adaptable to height adjustments and can be replaced easily;
(a)    the speed ofth.e machine can be varied;

(b)    The meshes have both horizontal and vertical motion;

(c)    The. pr?vision of blind mesh overcomes the problem of bridging;

(d)    A simple motor responsible for the movement of sorting system;

(e)    Incorporating dependent and independent systems in synchronising a single unit, and

(f)    Incorporating a winnowing system for effective sep;1ration of materials with varying densities.

The flow mechanism of the sorter machine is further explained in the form of tbllowing embodiments.

A flywheel, is attached with a cam assembly from the main shaft to the sieving tray at free end gives an elliptical motion. The major axis will be the diameter of the flywheel and minor nxis will be the difference of the eccentric attachment of thl! flywheeL

A flywheel is attached at stand (7) vertically up at the tail end of sieving tray. which is free, gives upside and down side movement of sieving tray at tail end. This movement is tr;;~.nsferred in terms of agitation to the soning machim:.
 



As the prime mover is under motion, it gives motion to the main shaft from which a fly wheel is attached with a cam assembly and the tail end of sorting mnchine to give movement in the whole body of the sieving trny, which is attached by a thin MS flat (15). It passes the movement in collecting tray (9) from wher~ it passes to collecting tray (!0) by the bracket assembly (13). This motion is sufficient to slide the feed material to the conveyor belt. The sieving tray is not sitting on a fixed platfonn.

The Sieving tray is hinged by two MS flat pieces (15), which are flexible in nature at head end and free at tail end. So the total movement by prime mover in tail is transferred to lower portion of t~e body of the sorting machine. The collecting tray (9) is attnched to the same MS flat ( 15) transfer motion at head end of collecting tray. The head end of collecting tray is attached to a bracket assembly to the head end of the collecting tray (10). So the total agitnting motion is synchronized and the free fall feed material started sliding towards gravity to the conveyor belts (4,5 and II).

The blind mesh is a thin piece of MS sheet is provided to clearly separate two different quality materials. This blind mesh also regulates to fall free falling material at the collecting trny.

A line diagram of the conveyor belt assembly (12) is as below:

j Motor   I

Pulley

Conveyor belt    Eccentric loaded    Differential assembly for
For feeding    sieving tray    change of direction of
(motion in same    motion in same    motion in downward
direction)        direction   
                    l   
            Multi        pulley    shart   for
            th!!    conveyor belts
                   
Wedge  type  conveyor    Wedge  type  conveyor    Wedge  type    conveyor
Belt (II)    Bclt(.J)    Belt (5)   
 




The prime mover is giving motion to a multi pulley shaft from where a pulley is n.ttached to the continuous typ~-feeding hopper, which is moving in the same direction. The oth~r one is attached to the free end of the sieving tray through a cam assembly to give an eccentric movement to the sieving tray. The third pulley is attached to a differential assembly to change the direction of motion. The out put motion of differential assembly is attached to the conveyor belt, which is used for collectio_n of sorted materials.

Height adjustments: Height adjustments n.re made to the green tea shoot.sorter for the lbst movement of the feed material

Mesh size: Mesh size is chosen on the basis of desired tine material need

10    in the different lots.

Speed variation: Different speeds are chosen to avoid bridging on the fed materinL Speed variation: Different speeds are chosen to avoid bridging on the fed material.
Horizontal and vertical movement: This movement is given to the sieving tray is to avoid bridging.

15    A pulley is mounted the prime mover (motor), which transfer pO\Ver to the main shufr, which has a multiple pulley. Power from the shilft is directly taken to the conveyor belt for self-feeding device as the motion is in Silrrte direction. In second pulley the power is brought to down ward and attached to a differenciill unit. This differential unit will change

the direction of motion and is ilttached to second main shaft, whi~h hns also got multiple

20    pulleys. These pulleys are ilttached with the wedge type conveyor bdt assembly. The third flywheel with cam assembly is attached at the tail end of sieving mesh to give horizontal and vertical motion to the sieving tea y.

BRJEF DESCRlPTION OF THE ACCO~!PAN!ED DIAGRAMS

25    In Fig 1 of the drawing accompanying this specit1cation, a schcm<~.tic diagram of embodiment of the machine of the present invention is shown. Description of parts of <1. continuous type multi purpose tea shoot s_ortcr machine

Purt 'Nos.    Description

I.    Wedge   type   conveyor   bdt   tbr   unitbrm   collection   of  grc~:n tea

30    shoots/ biomass to thl.! sil.!ving tr<.ly.

Sieving    tray   (sm<.lllcr   sizc)   thr   st)rting   :mmlkr   grat.Jc   gn.:l.!n   tca

shoots/ bionwss.

).    Sit::ving   tray   lhi:;gcr   sb:l.')   t\Jr   surung   inccnncdt.llc   ~r:uh:  green

tea shoots/ bimnas~
 
4.    Wedge type conveyor belt lor discharging smaller grad~ materials grade green tea shoots/ biomass to requisite p\~ce.
5.    W~dge type conveyor belt for discharging interniediate grade green tea shoots/ biomass materials to requisite place.
6.    5 Prime  mover  \'lith   pulley  to  lranster  power  from   motor  to  the

main shaft from where it transfer to m:tin ~haft and to continuous type hopper (as the ma\o•ement is in same direction), cam type movi.ng by devise
(as    movement    is    in

same  direction)  and  to  differential  assembly  (as  the  movement  is  in

10    opposite) direction in dowmvard direction for conveyance of v..-edge tylJe conveyor belt.

7.    Platform for installation of motor and. to support the sieving Ira y at tail end.

8.    Cushion   pad   with   bracket  assembly  to   support   the   sieving   tray

15    at free end of leaf sorting machine.

9.    Collection tray for gr-aded material (Smaller graded green tea shoots/ biomass marerial)

10.    Collection   tray   for   graded   material   (inten:nediate   graded   green

tea shoots/ biomass material)

20 1!. Wedge . type convey'or belt for dischargin'g unseived graded materials at requisite place.

12.    Conveyor be\t mounting assembly (Prime mover- Main shaft

Fig 2 depicts continuous type hopper and charging !ever

25

The following examples arc given by way of illustration of said machine and should not be considered o.s limiting factor.

Example l

To see the constituent of sorted material of tea. 30 kg of fresh green tea leaf plucked by the

30    machine was charged in to the hupper and conveyor ~Jsscmbly ;;md alhJ\Vt::t.l to p:.t:;~ O\'cr th.: Lt::afsorting !iystem. The results :m: t:1b~1ktt.:d in the Table I. T:.1blc I d.::Jrly :ihuws th;lt the
111:1j1Jr lot has almost same dmractcr

~ f)5 pl!r cent cut \cuvc:; aml bud

- ;o p~:r cl.!nt two h::J•.c-; .md .1 h11d .md h.mJht
 

lO

Mesh -3    -75 percent three or more leaves and a bud and above.

Control (unsorted)  -58 per cent three or more leaves and a bud and above.

The fine r~af character in l!OSOrted leaves has got a mixed character a tine percentagl! of

48~52 per cent of two leaves and a bud. A unitbrm treatment makes the 30 per cent green tea leaf over wither and deteriorate th.e quality. The unifonn ch~racter of sorted leaves has a privilege to put under uniform treatment to get a uniform and better quality.

                        TABLE 1               
10    SINo.  I Mesh No    Constituent of sorted materi:.!ls of tea.   
                Constituents (per cent by weight)       
                       
        J        Cut buds    ITwo leaves & a    l Three leaf & a bud       
                               
                               
                Leaf        bud and banjhi        Leaf or above       
    1    I    1    65    I    25    I    10       
    2    I    2    8    I    70    I    22       
    3    I    3            25    I    75       
    4        Control    12        30        58       

Generally, a machine plucked green tea l~ves contains 43~52 per cent of fine (two leaves

and a bud) materials whereas it is evident from the invention that (data as tabulated above) the machine plucked leaves when separated by th.e sorting ~nit contains 70-80 per cent fine iS     and  uniformly groded materials. This unifonnity dt:Pends on th~ standardisation of mesh sizes. This uniformity in sorted materials will facilitate a product diversitication vi=. instant tea, dip tea or like product can easily be achieved through low graded green tea shoots and high  graded shoots can be processed  ror conven~ional tea  to  meet  international standard

and domestic requirement.

20

The present invention was effectively .employed  ror improving the quality of raw matl.!riul

of Damask rose ror essential oil c.xtraction. The cup shaped Damask rose tlowers contain maximum oil. The loose p~tals, calyx, and mature rose flowers can bi.! us~d for pradu~t

diversitication i.e. rose water, gulbnd, dry rose pctals like pcoducts.  [t is cmphasizct.l tlmt

25    the mechanisation in esscntbl oil int.lustry shall go a long w<ty in sorting out tllc lubour problem and bringing t.lown the co:;t ot'pmduction. Th~.: r~.:sult:i arc t•tbutmcd in T;~bll! 2. r:rom thl! table 2. also a un.it~)f\l\ trl.!;.\\mcnt i!i gh•cn to cxtract llt;l.'(lllllllll t>il from tht! Damask rosl! tlowcrs. Thr.: iol):ie [lCtals. c:tlyx :111d m;.uurc tlt)\vcr:; can be hr.:ttt:r usct.l under product t.livcrsiliciltion.
 

ll

Table-2

Constituents of rose (Damask Rose) flowers for essential oil.

                                                           
Sl                Mesh No                    Constituents (per cent by weight)    I   
No.                                                       
                                                       
                    Loose    petals I    Cup shape    I    Mature rose tlowers    I   
                    calvx                           
I                I        70        I    25    I    5        I   
                                                           
~--        •    2    I        7        !    75    !    IS        I   
                                                       
            3    J        5        I    IS    I    77    I   
3    I                                           
                                               
4    I    Control        27        I    39    I    34    I   
                                                           

ADVANTAGES OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

!.    The unit is useful for sorting leaves, stems, flowers and roocs of different aromatic

and medicinal pbnts.

2.    This machine has been designed to meet the needs of small, marginal and large processing units.

10    3.    The unit is useful for soning fruits of variable shapes and sizes.

4.    It brings about qualitative and quantitative changes in sorting of rnw materials over manual methods.

5.    The unit is being cost effective and sturdy even a small processing unit can install their individual unit.

15    6. The unit is simple in design and all the fabrication materials are locnlly nvailab(e. 7. The repair nnd maintenance can be done (ocally.
 

Claims:

1.    A continuous type multi-purpose medicinal and tea shoot . @r machine, said machine comprising:

a charging hopper (16) for uniform collection of green tea shoots/biomass;

sieving trays with one or more meshes of variable sizes (2,3);

a pritne mover with pulley can assembly (6) mounted on a platform

(7);

collection trays (9, 10);

-   a   conveyor  belt  mounting  assembly  {12)   for  supporting  the

conveyor beltsj

a •bracket  assembly  (13)  for  transferring  movement  between  the

collection trays;

characterized in that it further comprises,

-wedge type conveyor belt assembly (1,17)  for uniform collection of

green tea shoots/biomass;

-    a first wedge type conveyor belt (4) for discharging smaller grade materials to requisite place;

-    a second wedge type conveyor belt {4) for discharging intermediate grade materials to requisite place;

-    a third wedge type conveyor belt (11) for discharging unsieved graded materials at requisite place;

-    an anti-vibration cushion rubber pad with bracket assembly (8) w support the sieving trays;

- a blind mesh (14) mounted on an inclined platform with mild steel flat support;
-    a  regulation  device  for  controlling  the  feeding  quantity  to  the

sorting machine; and

that the charging hopper (16) is provided with a slit opening.

2.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the metering device is fitted with a regulation device to control the feeding quantity to
 
prevent  under  feeding  and  overfeeding  tea  shoots/biomass  to  the

sorting machine.

3.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the prime mover (6) with pulley is used to transfer power from motor to the main shaft and to then hopper (16) for causing the movement of hopper.

4.    A sorter machine as clai':l'ed in claim 1, wherein the prime mover (6) with pulley is used to transfer power in downward direction for conveyance of wedge type conveyor belt (1).

5.    A sorter machine as claimed in clai'!' 1, wherein the collection tray (9) is used for smaller graded green tea shoots/biomass material.

6.    A sorter machine as  claimed  in  claim  1,  wherein  the  collection  tray

(10)    is  used  for  intermediate  graded  green  tea  shoots/biomass

material.

7.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the bracket assembly is used to transfer movement from the head end to collection tray (9) to head end of collection tray (10) resulting in movement of whole of the sorting machine.


8.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the blind mesh is a thin MS sheet provided on the sieving tray for separating plant parts of different shapes and size.

9.    A  sorter  machine  as  claimed  in  claim  l,  wherein  said  machine

consists of meshes of different sizes ranging from 5-100 mm.

10.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said meshes {9,10) are in square, rectangular and diamond shapes with different combinations.
 
11.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said meshes (9, 10) are having height adjustment system ranging from 0-60' angle.

12.    A sorter machin~ as claimed in claim 1, wherein the least count of the height adjustment system is 1•.

13.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the said machine consisting o~ a single motor that provides power to collection trays in. addition to all the units of sorting operations.

14.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said machine consisting of a conveyor belt that can be modified to charge the sorting unit by pneumatic process.

15.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein an anti-vibration rubber and cushion (8) is provided under the separating tray for avoiding hanging of the unit and to reduce the noise when the machine is in operation.


16.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the elliptical motion of the sieving tray (2,3) with mesh avoids the bridging problem in the sorting system.

17.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the plant materials are fed to the charging hopper comprising conveyor belt assembly charged to the separating trays passing over sieve and mesh where the bio-mass fall is uniformly regulated and passed over the meshes to sort out different plant parts.

18.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the charging lever monitors the rate of charging.
19.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the sorted materials are collected in the collection trays (9,10) and transported to the processing sites by the low height wedge type conveyor belt assembly (11,12).


20.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the said machine consisting of a low height wedge type conveyor belt that provides about 99% conveying efficiency over a simple belt.

21.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the sorter can sort materials of the same density with variable sizes.

22.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said machine having a lea[ gradation capacity of 70-80%.

23.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said machine is used to sort green, withered and rolled tea leaves of plants selected from the group consisting of Chinary, Assamica ad.Combod.

24.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the said machine is used to sort leaves of medicinal and aromatic plants selected from the group consisting of Tagetus minuta, Eucalyptus, Citronella, Mentha, and Lavender.

25.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the said machine is used to sort roots of medicinal and aromatic plants selected from the group consisting ofTagetus minuta, Valeriana Viola.

26.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim• 1, wherein the said machine is used to sort flowers of other medicinal and aromatic plants selected from the group consisting of Damask rose, Tagetus minuta and Jasmine.


27.    A sorter machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the said machine is used to sort fruits selected [rom the group consisting of Beetle nut, Cashew nut, Walnut, Almond and Pecan nut.
 
The present invention relates to a continuous type multipurpose tea shoot sorter, used for

sorting leaves, stem, roots, tlowers, fruits and nuts of various medicinal and aromaric plant

types.

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