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Publication numberUS2039473 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 5, 1936
Filing dateAug 8, 1931
Priority dateAug 8, 1931
Publication numberUS 2039473 A, US 2039473A, US-A-2039473, US2039473 A, US2039473A
InventorsBennington Earl T
Original AssigneeCleveland Crane Eng
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic dispatch and discharge system
US 2039473 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 5, 1936. E. T. BENNINGTON ,039,473

AUTOMATIC DISPATCH AND DISCHARGE SYSTEM Filed Aug. 8, 1931 '7 sheets-Sheet 1 I I I i A I II' II I R IN FII TII N\ I I w I 3 I N I I I I I V I I I I I N W I E I I I\ II I I I I I I I I t I A I I I I I I N I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I N I I N I I I I I I I I Qq N I m n I I II g; E v N l 4 I I 6 I I I I I I I I I I l Lt: lrf)l I I I I a: I I I I I I k fizz/87172:)"-

M y 1936- E. T. BENNINGTON 2,039,473

AUTOMATIC DISPATCHAND DISCHARGE SYSTEM Filed Aug. 8, 1931 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 y 5, 1936- E. T. BENNINGTON 73 AUTOMATIC DISPATCH AND DISCHARGE SYSTEM Filed Aug. 8, 1931 7 Sheets-Sheet 3 3me 75: 8. ufflwm' MWY'M M y 1936- E. "r. BENNINGTON AUTOMATIC DISPATCH AND DISCHARGE SYSTEM Filed Aug. 8, 1931 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 3 WWW May 5, 1936. E. T. BENNINGTON 2,039,473

AUTOMATIC DISPATCH AND DISCHARGE SYSTEM Filed Aug. 8, 1931 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 May 5, 1936. 1 BENNINGTON 1 039,473

AUTOMATIC DISPATCHAND DISCHARGE SYSTEM Filed Aug. 8; 1931 7 Sheets-Sheet 6 I 'E rz vent 07$ fflmw fiu w'mww May '5, 1936. E. T. BENNINGTON 2,039,473

AUTOMATIC DISPATCH AND DISCHARGE SYSTEM Filed Aug. 8, 1931 7 Sheets-Sheet '7 Patented May 5, 1936 UNITED STATES AUTOMATIC DISPATCH AND DISCHARGE SYSTEM Earl T. Bennington, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, as-

signor to The Cleveland Crane & Engineering Company, Wicklifie, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Application August 8, 1931, Serial No. 555,978

21 Claims.

This invention relates to an article dispatch and delivery system and is particularly adapted for use in connection with the automatic dispatch and selective delivery of bags of mail.

, An object of the present invention is to provide an article or mail dispatch system which is capable of efliciently delivering bags of mail or similar articles to predeterminately selected locations or stations with the chances for misdelivery substantially eliminated.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a system of the character referred to in which selective delivery of the bags of mail or similar articles at relatively high speeds and over long distances is effected without the use of mechanical contacting parts thus eliminating wear and reducing the upkeep to a minimum.

Another object of the present invention, in its more specific form, is to employ a photoelectric cell and a source of light to excite the former for efiecting the discharge of the bags of mail or other similar articles at their proper preselected stations.

Another object of the present invention, in its more specific form, is to provide an overhead monorail system arranged along the various stations to which the bags of mail or similar articles are to be delivered and having traversing the same a plurality of independent self-propelled carriers with settable means upon the carriers adapted to be actuated by means at the various stations to efi'ect a discharge of the bags of mail or other similar articles at the proper station and at that station only.

A further object of the invention is to provide means for automatically reducing the normal speed of the individual carriers as they pass a loading platform or around short curves with additional means under the control of the operator upon the loading platform for stopping the individual carriers when so desired.

A further object of the present invention is to provide means whereby the circuit to the propelling motor of a succeeding carrier is broken or interrupted upon accidental collision with a preceding carrier and to cause completion of the circuit upon movement of the preceding carrier in a forward direction.

With the objects above indicated and other objects hereinafter explained in view the invention consists in the construction and combination of elements hereinafter described and claimed.

Referring to the drawings,

Figure 1 is a top plan view of a portion of an article distributing system embodying the present invention.

Fig. 2 is a vertical longitudinal sectional view taken on line 2-2 of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is an enlarged end elevational view of Figs. 1 and 2 showing the relative position of the carriers with respect to the receiving stations.

Fig. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view in side elevation showing the bumper and circuit breaker on each train of carriers.

Fig. 5 is a. front elevational view of the bumper shown in Fig. 4 with the supporting rail or track in section.

Fig. 6 is an enlarged side elevational view of one of the article supports or trays. v

Fig. '7 is a rear view of that shown in Fig. 6.

Fig. 8 is a transverse horizontal sectional view taken on line 8-8 of Fig. 7.

Fig. 9 is an enlarged side elevational View of one of the station selectors.

Fig. 10 is an end view of that shown in Fig. 9 having a portion broken away to show the pivotal connection.

Fig. 11 is a transverse vertical sectional view of the supporting track or rail showing the relative position of one of the station light sources.

Fig. 12 is a top plan view of that shown in Fig.

Fig. 13 is an elevational view showing the relationship between a station light source and its associated photoelectric cell on a carrier for discharging an article.

Fig. 14 is a side elevational view of a portion of the system adjacent a means for returning the article supports or trays to their normal sup- 5 porting positions.

Fig. 15 is a top plan view of that shown in Fig. 14.

Fig. 16 is an end elevational view of that shown in Fig. 14.

Fig. 17 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view showing the control means for the trains of carriers.

Fig. 18 is a schematic wiring diagram for the control means shown in Fig. 1'7.

Fig. 19 is a schematic wiring diagram of the circuit for actuating the solenoid trip mechanism by excitation of the photoelectric cell.

In the drawings the invention is illustrated in connection with a mail distributing system, but it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited thereto but may be employed in various manners with various apparatus wherein it is desired to automatically dispatch and discharge articles at a predeterminately selected station. Various systems for accomplishing similar results have been heretofore devised, but in all such systems, so far as I am aware, they have had the disadvantages of mechanical contacting parts which were subjected to wear and which were not absolutely dependable. A system embodying the present invention is dependable, in the first place due to the fact that the parts are so arranged and cooperate in such a manner as to render the system foolproof, and in the second place, mechanical contact and consequently wear and tear are eliminated with the result that it is practically impossible for the system to get out of order.

In the distribution of mail it is absolutely important and necessary that the bags of mail to be distributed be dispatched and discharged at the proper station, otherwise the system could not be employed. It is customary in the distribution of bags of mail to have the mail cars spotted along the track and all bags of mail addressed to a certain destination are deposited inthe proper car. The work of distributing bags of mail at the present time is accomplished by means of hand trucks and operators which involves considerable time and is a very inefiicient method. It is therefore one of the important features of the present invention to design a system and apparatus which will be automatic in its operation and absolutely dependable.

A concrete platform 20 of sufllcient width extends longitudinally between pairs of rails 2| upon which the mail cars 22 are adapted to run and along which they may be spotted or otherwise located. While in the drawings only two mail cars 22 are illustrated it is to be understood that a train of such cars is customarily located along the tracks or rails 2| upon both sides of the platform 20. As a matter of fact the design contemplates the spotting or locating of thirteen mail cars along the platform 20 and each mail car 22 is customarily provided with a pair of door openings 23 located at substantially the opposite ends thereof through which the bags of mail are discharged. The tracks or rails 2| are supported upon a suitable foundation at a level low enough to position the floors of the mail cars 22 in substantial alignment with the upper surface of the platform 20. Mail chutes 24 having rollers 25 are adapted to be moved along the platform 20 and are normally positioned adjacent the door openings 23 so that the bags of mail may be discharged along an extension 26 pivoted thereto and into the mail cars. When the mail cars 22 have been dispatched the chutes 24 may be moved to any convenient location upon the platform 20 for future use.

A monorail track 21 in the form of a continuous loop is supported by hanger rods 28 above the foundation 20 and extends longitudinally thereof past the door openings in the cars. A so-called crows nest or loading platform 29 is provided at a convenient location and it is to be understood that all' of the bags of mail are collected at this point for distribution to the various stations. The monorail track is looped at 30 at the end adjacent the crows nest for a purpose to be later described and traversing the track preferably in one direction are a plurality of trains of carriers 3| upon which the bags of mail are loaded when the trains of carriers pass the crows nest or loading platform. Each of these trains of carriers 3| is provided with mail bag supporting members or trays 32 more clearly shown in detail in Figs. 6 and 7, it being preferable to provide on each train of carriers a number of supporting members or trays 32 corresponding to the number of stations to which the bags of mail' are to be distributed. Each train of carriers is connected to a motor propelled carrier 33 which preferably pulls the trains of carriers around the monorail track, the current therefor being obtained by current collectors 34 mounted upon the carrier and which engage the conductor bars 35 extending upon opposite sides of the monorail track 21 and coextensive therewith. The trains of carriers 3| as well as the motor carrier 33 are suspended by yokes which are provided with wheels 36 adapted to engage the laterally extending flanges upon the opposite sides of the monorail track 21.

Upon each of the trains of carriers 3| there is mounted a plurality of station indicators 31, one being associated with each of the supporting members or trays 32 and being settable by the operator at the loading platform or crows nest 29 for discharging the bags of mail at the predeterminately selected station for which the station indicator is set. The station indicators 31 include photoelectric cells which are reactive to light sources at the various stations but each being reactive only to the light source at the selected station to which the bag or bags of mail upon the associated supporting member or tray 32 are to be discharged.

Light sources are located along the monorail track 21 one at each station or car door 23 and in Fig. 1 have been indicated as A-38, B-39, 0-40 and D-4|. These lights are preferably arranged so as to distinguish one station from the other, the preferable manner of mounting being to vary the vertical positions of the light sources. When this vertical adjustment is once made it is not again necessary to change their relationships as the cars to receive bags of mail for the destination indicated by the light source may if desired remain constant. It will further be noted in Fig. 1 that the light sources are disposed upon opposite sides of the monorail track 21 for a purpose to be later described and attention is directed to the fact that the trains of carriers 3| preferably continuously traverse the monorail track in the direction indicated by the arrows.

The photoelectric cells of the station indicators 31 are adjustable vertically so as to be positioned in alignment with the light source at the selected stations at which the bags of mail are to be distributed but in spaced relation thereto and in order to simplify the construction the station indicators 31 are also pivotally adjustable about a vertical axis for four positions which will be termed A, B, C and D, these positions being selected depending upon the location of the light sources at the respective stations with respect to the monorail track 21 and the position with respect to the train of carriers 3|.

It will therefore be clearly understood that as the trains of carriers 3| are propelled along the monorail track 21 they at some time in their travel pass the loading platform or crows nest 29 and while so passing the speed of the carriers is reduced so that the operators upon the loading platform or crows nest 29 will have suificient time to load the bags of mail onto the supporting members or trays 32 and at the same time set F the station indicators 31 to correspond with the light sources at the stations at which the bags of mail are to be discharged. For example, if a bag of mail is placed upon the first supporting member or tray 32 upon the train of carriers 3| the selector indicator 3'! associated therewith is set for instance to correspond with the light source at-station A48. The photoelectric cell of the station indicator 3! associated with the first supporting member or tray 32. of the train of carriers 8| will not, as will be seen, be afl'ected by the light sources at any other station by reason of the fact that the rays at the remaining stations are located in such a manner as to have no eilect upon the photoelectric cell associated with the station indicator 3! of the first supporting member or tray 32. It is impossible therefore to discharge a bag of mail at a wrong station because of the failure of the system or apparatus. The only time at which such a wrong discharge of the bag of mail would occur would be because of the wrong setting on the part of the operator at the loading platform or crows nest 29.

It is to be understood of course that all of the station indicators 31 on a particular train of carriers 3| may be loaded with bags of mail for distribution to the same station in which event the station .indicators will all be set alike and again the station selectors 31 on a train of carriers it may be set for different stations if the bags of mail which are loaded upon the sup-.

porting members or trays 32 are to be discharged at different stations.

It is quite important to understand however that when a station selector 31 has been set by the operator to correspond with the light source at a certain station it is impossible to discharge such bag of mail at any other station than the one for which it is set. If for any reason the bag of mail should not be discharged at the station for which the station indicator 3'! is set, all that could happen would be that the bag of mail would be returned to the loading platform or crows nest 29 when the train of carriers again reaches the latter and this condition would at once bring to the attention of the operator the fact that the light source at the station was possibly slightly out of adjustment with respect to the photoelectric cell of the station indicator 31.

After the bags of mail have been discharged at the various stations the trays 32 are in inoperative position and a camming means 42 is located along the monorail track and engages the trays 32 and returns the latter to their normally supporting position before the trays of carriers again pass the loading platform or crows nest 29.

It is also possible that there might be a collision between adjacent trains of carriers 3| in view of the fact that the trains of carriers are individually motor driven and in order to avoid any damage under this circumstance bumpers 43 are mounted upon the forward ends of the carriers. These bumpers briefly consist of a pair of telescoping members mounted in extended position by means of a spring and adapted when moved relatively in an inward direction to actuate a limit switch which is in circuit with the motor on the associated train of carriers. This automatically cuts off the current to the motor and stops the forward movement of the train of carriers. When the forward train of carriers moves out of interference the telescoping members are extended by reason of the spring and in their separation the limit switch 44 is automatically actuated to close the circuit to the motor and the succeeding carrier will again continue under its own motor power. While the drawings illustrate the use of a bumper which operates, as prey 3 viously explained, it is to be understood that other systems may be employed for preventing adjacent carriers from colliding such as the use of a. photoelectric cell and a source of light mounted upon adjacent carriers to interrupt the circuit of the following carrier when the following carrier gets within a predetermined distance of the forward carrier.

In Figs. 6, 7, and 8, one of the supporting members is shown in detail and on an enlarged scale. The train of carriers is of course made up of a plurality of these bag supporting mem--. bers which are suspended from the overhead monorail track 21 by longitudinally spaced yokes 45 one of which is herein shown, it being understood that it is preferable to provide one of these yokes 45 between each supporting member or tray. Extending between each pair of yokes 46 is a load bar 46 of typical construction which is provided at one end with a-pair of spaced ears 41 and at the opposite end with an extension 48 adapted to be normally interposed between the spaced ears 41 as clearly shown in Fig. 7, The'members 41 and 48 are provided with aligned openings to receive a bushing 49 shown more clearly in Fig. 10 which is constructed to permit pivotal movement between the load bars 46 of adjacent supporting members or trays so as to aflord unrestricted movement around sharp curves. The load bar 46 consists of a pair of longitudinally extending channels which are spaced apart as shown in Fig. 6 and adjacent the opposite ends a pair of spaced plates 49 are welded or otherwise secured thereto. The supporting member consists of a pair of uprights 50 spaced a suiiicient distance apart and preterably in the form of pipe or round rods. The upper ends are disposed between the plates 49 and are pivoted to the latter by means of pins to thereby permit of a certain amount of lateral movement for a purpose which will be later described. The lower ends of the uprights 50 are held in spaced relation by a spacer pipe or rod 52 which has secured to its opposite ends flanged members 53 which are bolted at 54 to the lower ends of the uprights 56. A mail bag supporting tray 55 of any desired size is positioned adjacent the lower portions of the uprights 50 as shown in Fig. 6 and is pivotally mounted upon the spacer 52 by means of collars 56 which are welded or otherwise secured to the rear portion of the tray 55 and encircle the spacer pipe or rod 52. Adjacent the middle portion of the tray 55 and at its.rear is welded a member 51 which like the sleeves 56 has an opening to receive the spacer pipe or rod 52 and to be freely movable thereabout. This member 51 has a rearward extension 58 which cooperates with a roller 59 fixed to one end of a bell-crank lever or latch 60 which is suitably pivoted at 6! within an enclosure or housing 62. The opposite end of the bell-crank lever or latch 60 extends rearwardly and lies normally above a head 63 fixed to the lower end of an armature 64 which is part of a. solenoid 65. A spring 66 is connected to the housing 62 and to the free end of the bell-crank lever 60 to normally hold the armature 64 in its lowermost position so that the roller 59 is always in position for engagement by the extension 58. The housing 62 is welded or otherwise secured to a transversely extending angle 61 having its ends welded or otherwise suitably secured to the upright members 50 as shown in Fig. 7. Bag supporting members 68 in the form of strap irons have their ends secured to the upright members 58 and are bowed in such a manner as to receive the bag of mail. The upright members 58 extend at an angle upwardly as shown in Fig. 6 so as to position the load or weight of the bag of mail as nearly as possible under the load bar.

It will therefore be seen that the tray 55 is normally maintained in bag supporting position by means of the bell-crank lever or latch 88 and that when it is desired to discharge the bag of mail at the proper station the solenoid 85 is energized which raises the armature 84 causing the bell-crank lever or latch 88 to pivot at 8! which disengages the roller 58 from the extension 58 with the result that the bag of mail is discharged. When the solenoid 85 is deenergized the spring 88 returns the bell-crank lever or latch 88 to its normal position and by raising the tray 55 from the position indicated in dotted lines in Fig. 6 to that indicated in full lines the extension 58 is brought into engagement with the roller 58 and the tray is then in its bag supporting position.

Referring to Figs. 9 and 10 there is shown on an enlarged scale the details of construction of the station selector 81. These station selectors are suspended from and supported by the yokes 45 and consist of a vertically extending rod 88 which at its upper end is reduced and extends through a longitudinally extending opening 10 on the bushing 49 as clearly shown in Fig. 10, A plate H is provided with a central opening and the portion of the metal therearound is bent downwardly to form a flange 12 which seats itself in a counterbore in the upper end of the bushing 41. The upper end of the rod 88 is screw-threaded and receives a nut 18 thereon which is screwed down into engagement with the plate ll. At the lower end of the yoke 45 there is a U-shaped member 14 preferably made of strap iron which has its free ends bolted at 14' or otherwise secured to the sides of the yoke 45 as clearly shown in Fig. 9. This U-shaped strap is provided with a central opening through which the rod 88 extends and secured to its upper surface is a plate 15 provided in its upper surface with a plurality of radially extending grooves 18 preferably spaced 90 apart. The rod 88 has a laterally extending pin 'I'l which is adapted to cooperate with the grooves 18. Below the yoke and secured to the rod 89 are a pair of spaced collars 18 which have lateral extensions 18 and to which is secured by means of rivets 88, or otherwise, an indicator plate 8!. This plate in the present instance is provided with transversely extending slots 82, there being thirteen in number and which are relatively small in depth but rather wide. The purpose of these slots is to permit the light rays to enter, but are spaced a suflicient distance apart so that the light rays intended for a certain slot cannot project through another slot. A coil spring 83 encircles the rod 88 and is disposed between the upper collar I8 and the underside of the U-shaped strap 14 the purpose being to maintain the pin I'I in one of the grooves 18 against accidental displacement. A hand wheel 84 is secured to the lower end of the rod 88 and is provided for the purpose of rotating the rod 88 so as to push the pin 11 in the desired groove 18. It will be also noted that when this rod 88 is turned so as to push the rod 11 in the desired groove 18 the plate 8| is likewise rotated and secured in any one of the four positions. This arrangement therefore enables the operator to set the station selector to correspond to any one' of fifty-two stations by reason of the fact that the plate 80 can be locked in any one of four positions and there are thirteen slots indicating thirteen positions for each position of the pin 11 in thegroove 18. A housing 88 is secured to a sleeve 88 which is slidably mounted upon the rod 88 and is further provided with a handle 81 for moving the sleeve 88 along the rod 88. A photoelectric cell 88 is supported within the housing 85 and the latter is provided with an elongated enclosure 88 between the photoelectric cell 88 and the back of the plate 8| in alignment with the slots 82. The front of the rod 88 is provided with a plurality of depressions 88 which are in alignment with the slots 82 in the plate 8| and the sleeve 88 has mounted therein a spring pressed ball or plunger 8| which is adapted to engage with the depressions 88 so as to retain the elongated enclosure 88 immediately behind the selected slot. It will therefore be seen that a source of light shining through one of the slots 82 behind which the photoelectric cell is located will cause the photoelectric cell through the proper electrical circuit to energize the solenoid 85 which trips the tray 55 of the supporting members.

In Figs. 11, 12 and 13 there is shown on an enlarged scale the supporting mechanism for the light sources at the different stations and in Fig. 13 particularly the relationship between a light source and the photoelectric cell of the station indicator is shown. The overhead monorail track 21 has secured thereto a laterally extending arm 82 and secured to the free end thereof is a depending channel member 88 which is reenforced by means of a strap 84 secured to the support 83 and the member 82. This support 98 has a longitudinally extending slot 85 in the flange of the channel to adjustably receive a casing 88 within which is mounted a light source. This casing may be adjusted vertically within the extremities of the slot 95 and locked in any desired position by means of a nut 81 the position of which indicates a certain predetermined station with respect to a certain setting of the station indicator. One of these adjustable light sources is mounted at every station and is preferably adjusted so as to distinguish one station from another. In Fig. 13 the light source 88 is shown after having been previously adjusted to correspond with the setting of the station indicator and it will be seen that the rays 88 are projected in a flat stream thru space which will enter the slot 82 immediately in front of the elongated enclosure 89 and through which the light rays pass into contact with the photoelectric cell 88 which due to the light rays energizes the solenoid through a suitable circuit and trips the latching mechanism of the bag supporting tray with the result that the bag is discharged at the predeterminately selected station.

In the event that the car doors should not be located along the monorail track in the exact locations at different times, provision is made to accommodate for this variation in the location of the cars or car doors. The source of light 88 may be adjusted longitudinally of the monorail track 21 so as to position this source of light in the proper position and such adjustment is accomplished by providing a pair of blocks 98 welded or otherwise secured to the outer end of the laterally extending arm 82. One block 88 is positioned adjacent the inner edge of the flange of the monorail track 21, while the other block is placed adjacent the outer edge of the flange.

The inner block carries a clamp I00, which projects through a suitable opening in the web of the member 92, and engages the flange oi the. monorail 21 in rigid relationship. An adjustable clamp IOI engages the opposite side of the flange of the monorail 21 and is maintained in rigid relation therewith by means of a hand wheel I02, which is secured to the end of a rod I03, which passes through an opening in the upstanding leg I M and an aligned opening in the outer block 99, the inner end of the rod I03 being screw-threaded and engageable with an interiorly screw-threaded opening provided in the inner block 99. Rotation of the hand wheel I02 in one direction forces the clamp IOI into rigid engagement with the flange of the monorail track 21, while rotation in the opposite direction releases the clamp IOI and thereby permits adjustment longitudinally along the monorail track 21 of the laterally extending arm 92.

In Figs. 14, 15 and 16, there is shown on an enlarged scale the details of the camming mechanism 42 for returning the supporting members or trays to their normal bag supporting positions after the bags of mail have been discharged at the desired selected station. Thismechanism is supported by the overhead monorail. track 21 and comprises a plurality of laterally extending angles I 04, which have their inner ends secured as by welding to the top surface of the flange of the monorail track 21, and are spaced apart longitudinally any desired distance. At the outer ends of these angles I04 upright angles I05 are provided which have their upper ends secured to the outer ends of the angles I04 by welding or other suitable means. Gusset plates I06 are preferably provided to suitably reinforce the structure at both the upper ends of the upright angles I05 and at the lower ends. The upright angles I05 extend downwardly a suitable distance and have their lower ends connected by means of a longitudinally extending angle I01 which is preferably secured by means of welding. A back plate guide I08, in the form of a pipe or round rod, is secured to the upright angles I05 and extends longitudinally in the direction of travel of the carrier and supporting trays. This guide is positioned at such a height as to engage a portion of the supporting members, such as the solenoid housing 62, to prevent swinging of the supporting member while the tray is being returned to its normal bag supporting position. This guide I08 has its rear end positioned upon the inner side of the monorail 21 and extends forwardly at an incline to approximately the mid portion of the apparatus where it continues to extend in substantial parallelism with the monorail track 21. It is the longitudinally extending portion of the guide I 08 which engages the solenoid housing 62 of the supporting member and tends to prevent swinging of the same during the closing operation.

A tray raising bar or pipe I09 is likewise supported from the upright angles I 05 and extends, in a similar direction, to the guide I 08. This tray raising pipe I09, however, has its rear end at a substantially lower elevation than the guide I08, as clearly indicated in Figs. 14 and 16, and extends forwardly at an incline until the forward end is at substantially the same elevation as the forward end of the guide I08. This raising pipe is so arranged as to engage with the tray 55 after it has discharged its load and, due to the travel of the carrier, the tray is caused to move along the tray raising pipe I09 assuming the positions indicated in dotted lines in the drawings until it reaches the position indicated in full lines, in which event the latch 01 the solenoid device has operated to rigidly maintain fire tray 55 in its normal article supporting posi- In Figs. 17 and 18 there is disclosed the manually operated switch mechanism located in the crows nest or loading station 29 for the purpose of permitting the operator to reduce the speed of the traveling carrier sufficiently to enable him to set the station indicator for the desired station to which the article is to be discharged. This consists of a depressible foot bar IIO which is maintained in normally raised or elevated position by means of springs I II at the opposite ends of the bar. The bar is guided in its movement by means of pins II2 secured to the ends of the bar and adapted to pass through suitable openings in a portion of the platform or floor II3. A pair of normally opened switches I I4 are secured to a portion of the floor I I3 and are connected with the foot bar IIO so that depressing the foot bar II will cause the switches to be closed to thereby reduce the speed of the carriers at this particular point or to stop the carriers when desirable.

A wiring diagram is shown in Fig. 18 illustrative of the manner in which the switches I I4 are connected into the circuit and the main line wires are indicated by L-I and L-2. A switch H is manually operable to close the circuit to the main line. The high voltage lines 35, which indicate the conductor bars, are connected to the low voltage lines 30 by means of line insulators I I 6. The high voltage lines are connected respectively by lines H1 and H8 with terminals associated with the manually operable switch II5 connected with the main lines. The line H8 is connected by a line II9 with one side of the normally open switches II4, while the other side of the normally closed switches H4 is connected by a line I20 to one side of the low voltage line 30. The line II 1 is connected by line I2I to one side of a resistance I22, while the opposite side of the resistance is connected to the other low voltage line 30. It will, therefore, be seen that, when the switches II4 are normally open, the current from the main line is being fed directly to the high voltage lines 35 and through the line insulators to the low voltage lines 30 which reduces the speed of the carrier, as already explained heretofore. If, however, the operator is desirous to still further reduce the speed of the carrier, or bring the carrier to a stop, depressing the foot bar IIO will cause the switches ill to be closed, with the result that the resistance I22 is introduced into the circuit of the low voltage lines 30, further reducing the voltage of the carrier motor and consequently reducing the speed of the carrier.

In Fig. 19 there is illustrated a diagrammatic wiring diagram of the circuit employed for operating the solenoid from the photoelectric cell. It is essential that the current produced, as a result of exciting the photoelectric cell, be amplified in order to efliciently operate the solenoid tripping mechanism for the trays but, inasmuch as this is a common amplification system employed in a circuit of this character, further description is believed to be unnecessary.

While I have described the preferred embodiments of the invention, it is understood that I am not to be limited thereto but changes and modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the. invention and scope of the appended claims.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. In an article distributing system, a plurality of stations to which articles are to be distributed, means for conveying said articles to said stations, light sources at said stations, and means on said conveying means reactive to said light sources for discharging said articles at said stations.

2. In an article distributing system, a plurality of stations to which articles are to be distributed, means for conveying said articles to said stations, light sources at said stations. and settable means on said conveying means reactive to said light sources for discharging said articles at said stations.

3. In an article distributing system, a plurality of stations to which articles are to be distributed, means for conveying said articles to said stations, light sources at said stations, and settable means on said conveying means predeterminately arranged to correspond with said light sources at said stations and reactive to said light sources for discharging said articles at said stations.

4. In an article distributing system, a plurality of stations to which articles are to be distributed, means for conveying said articles to said stations, light sources at said stations so arranged as to distinguish one station from another, and station selector means on said conveying means predeterminately settable to correspond to any one 01' said light sources at said stations and reactive to said light sources for discharging only said articles at the station selected.

5. In an article distributing system, a plurality oi stations to which articles are to be distributed, means for conveying said articles individually to said stations, light sources at said stations so arranged as to distinguish one station from another, and individual station selector means associated with said articles and predeterminately settable to correspond to any one of said light sources, said means being reactive to said light source for which it is set for discharging articles only at the station selected.

6. In an article distributing system, a plurality of stations to which articles are to be distributed, means for supporting and conveying articles to said stations, light sources at the respective stations so arranged as to distinguish one station from another, and station selector means on said conveying means predeterminately settable to correspond with the station to which an article is to be dispatched and reactive to the light source at that station for discharging said article.

7. In an article distributing system, a plurality of stations to which articles are to be distributed, conveying means extending past said stations, means on said conveying means for supporting independently articles to be distributed at different stations, light sources at said stations so arranged as to distinguish one station from another, and station selector means individual to each article on said conveying means and predeterminately settable to correspond with the light source at the selected station, said means being reactive to said light source only at the selected station for discharging said article.

8. In an article distributing system, a station to which an article is to be distributed, means for conveying the article to said station, a light source at said station, and means on said conveying means reactive to said light source for discharging said article at said station.

9. In an article distributing system, a way, 9,

plurality of stations along said way, conveying means traversing said way past said stations, article supporting means on said conveying means, light sources at said stations, and station selector means on said conveying means associated with said articles, said means being reactive to said light sources for discharging said articles at said stations.

10. In an article distributing system, a way, a plurality of stations along said way, conveying means traversing said way past said stations, a plurality of article supporting means, light sources at said stations, and station selector means individual to said article supporting means and reactive to said light sources for discharging said articles at said stations.

11. In an article distributing system, a way, a plurality of stations along said way, conveying means traversing said way past said stations, a plurality of article supporting means on said conveying means, light sources at said stations so arranged as to distinguish one station from another, and station selector means for said article supporting means and settable to correspond with a selected light source at one of said stations, said means being reactive to said light source for discharging said articles to said selected stations.

12. In an article distributing system, a way, a plurality of stations along said way, conveying means traversing said way past said stations, a plurality of article supporting means on said conveying means, light sources at said stations so arranged as to distinguish one station from another, and station selector members individual to said article supporting means and settable to correspond with a selected light source at one or said stations, said members being reactive to said selected light sources for discharging said articles only at the selected stations.

13. In a material handling apparatus, a continuous track extending along a predetermined path, a plurality of stations located along said track, light sources one of which is located at each station, a carrier movable along said track past said stations, an article supporting member on said carrier, and a station selector means associated with said article supporting member and settable to correspond with any one of said light sources at said stations, said means being reactive to said selected light sources for discharging said article at said station.

14. In a material handling apparatus, a continuous track extending along a predetermined path, a plurality of stations located along said track, light sources one of which is located at each station, a carrier movable along said track past said stations, article supporting members on said carrier, and station selector members associated with said article supporting members and settable to correspond with any selected light source at any station, said members being reactive only to the selected light source for discharging articles at said stations.

' 15. In a material handling apparatus, a continuous track extending along a predetermined path, a plurality of stations located along said track, light sources, one of which is located at each station and so arranged as to distinguish one station from another, a carrier movable along said track past said stations, article supporting members on said carrier, and station selector members on said carrier associated with said article supporting members and settable to correspond with any selected light source at any station, said members being reactive only to the selected light source for discharging articles at said selected station.

16. In a material handling apparatus, a continuous overhead track, a plurality of stations located along said track, light sources, one or which is located at each station and so arranged as to distinguish one station from another, a carrier movable along said track, article supporting members suspended from said carrier and adapted to discharge said articles, station selector members on said carrier associated with said article supporting members and settable to correspond with any selected light source at any station, said members being reactive only to the selected light source for actuating the associated supporting member to discharge said article at one of said stations, and means for returning said article supporting members to operative position.

17. In an article distributing system, a plurality of stations to which articles are to be distributed, means for conveying said articles to said stations, energy converting means located at said stations and adapted to transmit energy thru space, and energy receiving means located upon said conveying means in predeterminately spaced relation with respect to said energy converting means and reactive to said transmitted energy for discharging said articles at said stations.

18. In an article distributing system, a continuous trackway, stations located along said trackway, article conveying means traversing said trackway past said stations, energy converting means located at said stations and adapted to transmit energy thru space, and energy receiving ous overhead trackway, article receiving stations located along said trackway, a plurality 01' carriers independently propelled along said trackway past said stations, article supporting members suspended irom the respective carriers, sources of energy converting means, one 01 which is located at each station and adapted to transmit energy thru space, and a plurality of energy receiving means, one of which is associated with each article supporting member upon said carriers and predeterminately settable in spaced relation with respect to said energy converting means at any selected station, said means being reactive to said transmitted energy for actuating said article supporting members to discharge said articles at the stations selected.

21. In an article distributing system, a continuous overhead trackway, article receiving stations located along said trackway, a plurality of carriers independently propelled along said trackway past said stations, article supporting members suspended from the respective carriers, sources 01' energy converting means adapted to transmit energy thru space, one of which is located at each station and adjustable to distinguish one station from'another, and a plurality of energy receiving means, one of which is associated with each article supporting member upon said carriers and predeterminately settable in spaced relation with respect to said energy converting means at any selected station, said means being reactive to said transmitted energy for actuating said article supporting members to discharge said articles at the stations selected. I

EARL '1. BENNING'ION.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2586263 *Oct 12, 1944Feb 19, 1952Webb Co Jervis BConveyer
US2595992 *Aug 26, 1947May 6, 1952County Commercial Cars LtdAmusement track apparatus
US2617546 *Feb 17, 1947Nov 11, 1952Glass Containers IncAutomatic conveying apparatus
US2766896 *Jun 15, 1953Oct 16, 1956Jervis Smith StuartCharging of cupolas or the like
US3040916 *Jul 13, 1959Jun 26, 1962American Monorail CoLap carrier
US3207084 *Jul 12, 1963Sep 21, 1965Cleveland Crane EngOverhead material handling system
US3337102 *Oct 20, 1965Aug 22, 1967Shannon Howard HArticle carrier
US3347033 *Jan 21, 1965Oct 17, 1967Deering Milliken Res CorpAutomatic object handling apparatus
US4122778 *May 19, 1977Oct 31, 1978F.A.T.A - Fabbrica Apparecchi Di Sollevamento E Trasporto Ed Affint S.P.A.Damped suspended conveyor trolley
Classifications
U.S. Classification104/88.2, 212/328, 104/295, 246/29.00R
International ClassificationB65G47/49, B65G47/48
Cooperative ClassificationB65G47/493
European ClassificationB65G47/49A