US 2043293 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
4 Sheets-Sheet l C. 8. JENNINGS CONVEYER SYSTEM F'lled Nov 5 1930 June W36. c. 5. JENNINGS J 3 CONVEYER SYSTEM Filed Nov. 5, 1950 4 Sheets-Sheet 2' c. 5. JENNINGS 2,3,93
CONVEYER SYSTEM Filed Nov. 5, 1930 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 c. s. JENNINGS Jimmie: H36.
Q I GONVEYER SYSTEM 4 Sheets-$heet 4 Filed Nov. 3, 1950 Patented June 9, 1936 Application "November 3; 1930; Serial' N o. 192:5348
"Thisj invention relates to an improvement in "conveyer systems and moreparticularly/tothe employment"therein ,of an automatic electric control device-such for example as that commonly 5 referred'to asan Electric eyefwherein advantage is taken of the deflection"or'interruptionof a beamof light to affect a photo-electric celljand "thereby cause the desired'operation.
Such electricicontrol devices have wide applicability in 'conveyen systems" and may be used to *cohtrolthe operation ofJmany various "devices "such as for'example' deflector switches, elevators, signals, counters, motors. movable .conveyer sec- :ftions' and the like butfor the purpose ofillustrationfi?"haveelected to show its application to -theoperationof. switch deflectors'and the control therebydf the'course'of travel of an article'trans- 'portedbythe conveyor system.
.Heretofore various' arrangements have been fiproposd whereby the diversion of articles in the courseiof theirtravel is controlled either by'con- 'tact'of ayportion of, the article with a. properly set trip or finger. 'by";which mechanism is either *electric'ally or mechanically or by electrical for mechanical means operatedindependentlyof the article.
'FThe primary objecti of this'invention isto conftrlol the operation of article treating mechanism "at "various stations in the system by thepa'ssage er the articles'across a beamof lightajnd'by' the consequent reflection or interruption'of'the "beam and" thereby to afiect a photo-electric cell or "s'imi lar'jde'vice.
' 'A further object of this invention. is'toiprovide *upon theiarticles' for such system targets oi'one fiqrmyorandther by which the beam or light. is -affected,"such1targets being, if desired, adjustable 'ormovable 'softhatin one position theygabsorb "the light and in another position theyrefiect it, "being'thus inoperative intheiflrstfposition and operative in the second.
,Another object of ,the inventiontisfto p'rovide upon ithe articles. targets which break up the light beam, intoa' series of successive impulses and thereby determine the response "or "the partic'ular station mechanism.
Other objects will appear'fr'om a, consideration of the following specification wwherein "is set forth several embodiments illustrative of'the application of this 'inventionand ofthe drawings which *Iorm'a part thereof andin which Fig; iris a view "illustrating one embodiment-of this" invention as ;applied to a'conveyer' of the pn'eumatictype; 55 wlhFigs 2-53 and Ir-are views partially in section-il- 'lustratingvarious'iorms of operatingmeans and "carriers that 'mightjbe employed in the Fig. 1
:Figu5 is an endeleva'tion of. the carrierjillustrated in'Fig. 4;
Figifi'is a perspective view illustrating another embodiment'ofithis invention as applied to a conveyer of "another type;
'Figt'l'is a sectional plan View of a portion'of the mechanismillustrated in Fig. 6;
"Figf'8 is a view similar torFig. 'lfillustrating another'embodiment of this invention;
Figs. 10, 11, 12 and 13*are'perspective 'views l5 illustrating variousarticles or carriers adapted to be "employedin connection with the mechanism "illustrated in Figs. 6' and 8;
Fig. l l'is a Wiring'diagram illustrating one type of electric circuitwhichmight be employedin connection with this invention, and
Fig; 15'is a similar diagram illustrating another "type'of such electric circuit.
"In-Fig; 1 is illustrated a pneumaticfde'spatch system of the double tube type leading froma central" station desk 20 to an out-station 2|. Carriers are" transmitted from thecentralf station to theout-station through the transit tube 22 "and are'returnedtherefrom through the transit tube 23. Leading from transit tube 22 are a plurality of; branch'tubes 24,-25 and 25 to which carriers "sentfrom stationZD are diverted by the useof .switchg. mechanism 130 located in a coupling'3 l, which connects the main tube with the branch tubes. While in thedrawings the branch tubes are shown terminating'at stations 21, 28 and 29 (they obviously may include switch mechanism by which carriers are deflected to other tubes as desired. "The switclrmechanism 30, as shown at "the left'side ofFig. 1, includes adefiector'32 operated' by an arm35 pivotally. secured atits outer end to a solenoid core 36 of a solenoid 31. [The operation'ofqthe solenoid 37 is controlledbyautomatic means, indicated generally on Fig. l by the 'reference numerali'4i These meansmay'be of anyde'sired type and, irrFigs, 2; 3 and 4 are illustratedthree various embodiments thereof.
QIn Fig. 2 theautomatic-means 40 is illustrated as comprising a source of light M; which may be an-'electric'bu1b, fromwhich abeam of light passes into the path'of' travel of the carriers through lenses-M and 43 and asl'ot formed in the wall of "thetransit tube '23- and a photo-electric cell 45 mounted adjacent the source of light 4| andactivated when a beam of light from thesource falls upon it through a lens 36. The operation of this photo-electric cell is well-known, and since its construction forms no part of the present invention, it will not be described in detail. The source of light ll and cell as are enclosed within a housing t! carried by the transit tube and divided by a partition 38 into two separate compartments, both of which are connected through the slot 4-4 with the interior of the transit tube 22. It will be understood that the joinder between the housing 61 and the tube 22 is such that no light can enter.
The cell es is electrically connected with the solenoid 31 in any desired manner, and the wiring illustrated in Figs. 1 and 14 will be described. Current controlled by a main switch 59 will under conditions to be described energize the solenoid 3i and also the relay magnet of a switch 5i. As illustrated in Fig. 14, the main line circuit is normally open at 52 and consequently no current flows. The photo-electric cell 45 is associated with an amplifier 53 here shown as a thermionic tube, the elements of which are connected in the usual manner with batteries 56, 55 and 55. When the photo-electric cell is activated by the falling of a beam of light thereon a relay 5'! in the line of the battery 55 is energized suiiiciently to raise the normally open switch plate 58 so that the circuit from the main line through the magnet 5i is closed and current flows therethrough energizing the switch. The circuit from the main line through the solenoid 3'! is thereby closed energizing the solenoid and causing the core 36 to move to the left in Fig. 14, and consequently swinging the deflector 32 into operative position.
In place of the connections just described there may be employed an electrical connection by which the deflector 32 is swung into operative position only after the automatic means II has received two or more impulses. One form of such connection is illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. 14 wherein are provided a plurality of relays A to L respectively by which switches fill, BI or 62 are controlled. The switch 68 controls the operation of the deflector trip 63, the switch 6! controls the trip M and the switch 62 controls the trip I55. The various wiring connections will not here be described in detail since they form no part of the present invention. However if the relay A receives two impulses, relays B to H will be energized and the switch SIB will close the circuit to trip 63, if the relay A receives three impulses the relays B to J inclusive will be energized and the switch ti will close the circuit to trip 64 and if the relay A receives four impulses the relays B to L inclusive will be energized and the switch 62 will close the circuit to trip 65. Obviously by increasing the number of relays the number of impulses to which the relay A might respond is similarly increased. Moreover by selecting the number of relays associated with any desired deflector the operation of that deflector only by a predetermined number of impulses can be assured.
The tube is adapted to transport carriers of the well-known type, one of which is illustrated in Fig. 2 and designated by the numeral 70. The body portion of the carrier is provided with a series of targets, here shown as annular bands I I. The outer surface of the bands is light-reflecting and the source of light 4i and cell 45 are so positioned that when the carrier it passes along the line the bands II will pass through the beam of light from the source GI and reflect it through the lens 46 onto the cell 45.
Fig. 3 illustrates another form of the automatic means 40 wherein the source of light 80 and the photo-electric cell GI are enclosed in a single housing 82. The direction and intensity of the beam of light from the source Bil is controlled by the lenses 83, so that it normally passes out into the interior of the tube 23 through a slot 84 and the beam of light affecting the cell 8| passes through a lens 85. The carrier 9!! here employed is provided with a target in the form of an annular band 9!, one surface of which is inclined toward the body of the carrier. The inclination of the band may be varied as desired, or separate carriers provided with bands of difierent inclinations may be provided. Such inclinations are i1- lustrated for example by dotted lines in Fig. 3.
When the carrier travelling through the tube 22 passes through the beam of light from the source 80 its target reflects that light back onto the photo-electric cell 8! through the lens 85 so arranged that only when the carrier bearing a target having the proper inclination crosses the beam of light, is that beam reflected through the lens 85 on to the cell. It will thus be clear, that by selecting a carrier provided with a band of the proper inclination the carrier may be sent to any desired station.
In place of providing the carrier with the target in the form of annular body-surrounding bands, the target may be in the form of a series of bands on one end of the carrier, such for example as is shown in Figs. 4 and 5, wherein the carrier I00 is provided at its head with a series of concentric bands IDI. The exposed surface of such bands is of light-reflecting quality, so that the carrier Will set in operation the automatic switch-controlling means 20. While the carrier I MI has three bands It! it will be understood that other carriers have a greater or smaller number of bands.
In this embodiment the source of light I05 and the lenses I06 are enclosed within a housing It! at one side of the transit tube 22, While the photo-electric cell HQ and its lens I II are enclosed within a housing H2 at the opposite side of the tube. The interior of the tube 22 is connected to the interior of the housing I01 by a slot I68, and to the interior of the housing II2 by a slot I I3. The beam of light from the source I05 normally enters the tube 22 and may be adjusted so that it will focus at any desired point. In the present instance it was desired that the focus of the beam from the source I55 be at the center line of the tube, and consequently upon the arrival at this mechanism or the carrier I00 the central portion IDI reflects the light through the lens III on to the cell III]. The focus of the beam may of course be changed so that it will be reflected on to the cell I It when it comes into contact with the intermediate or the outer band I0 I As in the previous case, by selecting the carrier having the proper number of bands, the destination can be automatically determined.
In Fig. 6 is illustrated the application of this invention to a conveyer mechanism of the belt type, but it will be understood that it will be applicable to other types of conveyer mechanism, such as gravity, chute or live roll for example. Transported by the main belt I29 of the conveyer mechanism shown in Fig. 6 are illustrated a pair of boxes I2I Leading from the main belt I20 are shown two branch belts I23, I24 to which the boxes or other articles transported by the main belt I20 may be deflected by suitable switch mechanism illustrated generally by the reference numeral I25. As here illustrated, the switch mechanism comprises a: deflector I26 pivotally mounted upon a pin lz'land positively swung on its pivot by an arm I28 oscillated by the reciprocation of; asolenoid core I29, controlled by a solenoid coil I3Il.. In the present instance the de-' flectors I26 are normallyin the inoperative position,.being held therein by the springs I 3 I Upon theenergizing of the coil ltihhowever, the arm I28. is caused to oscillate and the deflector I26 is consequently swung over the main belt I20 so'that any articlesicontacting with: the deflector while in that position are deflected over the branch conveyer I23. or I24 associatedtherewith.
Onexform of the automaticmeans employed for energizing the'solenoid 0011 I30. and causing the operation of the deflector I26 is illustrated in Fig. 7., wherein is shown a structure substantially like that illustrated in Fig. 2, a source of light l3! being enclosed in one compartment of ahousing I32, While a photo-electric cell I33 is enclosed in the other compartment and lenses I34 and I35 are provided for concentrating the beam of light.
Each article I2l is provided with a vertical series of targets, as shown in Fig. 10. wherein the article I2I is shown to support a rod M0 in brackets MI, upon which rod are pivotally mounted a plurality of targets I42. These targets are so constructed that one surface is light-reflecting, While the other surface is light-absorbing. In Fig. 10 the upper target I42 is shown with its light-reflecting surface exposed, while the other targets are arranged with the light-absorbing surfaces exposed. The vertical position of the beam of light from the source I3I can, of course, be adjusted, and with the article IZI set, as shown in Fig. 10, it is obvious that it will function only when it passes through a beam of light which falls upon the reflecting surface of the upper target I42. The leading box I2I in Fig. 6 has the next to the top target operative while the other box has its upper target operative as in Fig. 10.
In Fig. 11 is illustrated another embodiment of this invention, wherein a horizontally extending rod I45 is supported in brackets I46, I41 on the wall of the box of the article and upon it are secured a plurality of targets I 48. These targets, like the targets I42, have one surface light-reflecting and the other surface lightabsorbing. The article shown in Fig. 11 of the drawings has three targets I48 with their lightreflecting surfaces exposed and the remaining targets with their light-absorbing surfaces exposed. Obviously the passage of this article will function only when it passes an automatic means, the beam of which will be reflected by the targets of the first group.
In Fig. 12 is illustrated an article having both a vertical series of targets I50 and a horizontal series of targets I5I. It is obvious that by this construction a number of different combinations can be provided since the article can be set to operate successively various automatic means, and as a result can be directed in its travel to any desired destination.
In Fig. 8 is illustrated, somewhat diagrammatically, another embodiment of this invention applicable to the conveyer mechanism illustrated in Fig. 6. In this embodiment the source of light I60 is enclosed within a housing I BI at one side of the article conveyer, while a photo-cell IE5 is similarly enclosed in a housing I66 at the other side of the conveyer. As illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9, the beam of light from the source I Ell normally falls upon the photo-electric 0611 I65, and, as intimated above in connection with the first described embodiment, activates that cell so that it causes the operation of certain mechanism Thus-for instance with the parts in the position shown in Fig. 8, the solenoid coil I33 may be normally energized andthe deflector I26 normally extended across the path of the main conveyer.
Articlesadapted to be used in connection with this embodiment are designated by the reference numeral III], and, as shown in detail in Fig; 13, are provided with a horizontal row of targets I II which, when in one position, project beyond the line of the carrier into the beam thrown out by the source I653. The interruption of. the beam by the passage of the carrier I16 upsets the electrical condition of the automatic mechanism, and as a result causes the deflector" I26 to be retracted into the position shown in Fig. 6, and to permit the article to pass through undisturbed; The article I'Ill may also be provided with a vertical series of targets i'l2 so that it may also coact with the reflecting type of automatic means as well. The mechanism by which the solenoid coil I38 is operated may be of any desired type, preferably one in which it is necessary that the beam of light be interrupted several times in succession before the switch bar is retracted. This embodiment, unlike the embodiment previously described in connection with Figs. 4 and 5, depends upon the interruption of a beam of light which normally activates the photo-cell, whereas the other embodiments depend upon the reflection of a beam of light upon the cell.
While the selected embodiments illustrate the application of this invention to deflector switch operating mechanism it will be understood that it is not limited thereto since it can be em ployed in operating various forms of mechanism associated with the travel of an article as pointed out above and that other embodiments of the invention can be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof as set forth in the following claims.
1. The combination in a pneumatic despatch conveyer by which carriers are transported of a deflector for changing the direction of travel of a. carrier and automatic means for operating said deflector, said means comprising a source of light, a photo-electric cell adapted to be activated by a beam of light from said source, and mechanism actuated by said cells for operating the switch, said automatic means being set into operation upon the passage across the beam of light of a carrier having at least one annular target by which the beam of light is reflected upon the photo-electric cell to actuate the switch operating mechanism.
2. A carrier for a pneumatic despatch conveyer of the type set forth in claim 1, said carrier having a plurality of annular bands by which a beam of light is reflected seriatim.
3. A carrier for a pneumatic despatch conveyer. of the type set forth in claim 1, said carrier having a plurality of annular bands surrounding the body thereof by which a beam of light is reflected seriatim.
4. A carrier for a pneumatic despatch conveyer of the type set forth in claim 1, said carrier having a plurality of annular bands at an end surface thereof by one of which a beam of light is reflected.
5. A carrier for a pneumatic despatch conveyer of the type set forth in claim 1, said carrier having at least one annular band, one surface of which diverges at an angle from the body of the carrier, by which surface a beam of light is reflected.
6. An article for transportation by a conveyer having a plurality of guideways, switch mechanism for controlling the course of travel of articles thereover and automatic means associated With each said switch mechanism for operating the same, each of said means including a source of light, a photo-electric cell and switch mechanism operating means actuated by said cell when the beam from the source of light is reflected upon the cell, said article having a series of targets vertically arranged on one wall thereof, one face of each of said targets being light reflecting and the other face being light absorbing, and said targets being so arranged that as the article is transported it is automatically deflected along the desired course of travel.
'7. An article for transportation by a conveyer having a plurality of guideways, switch mechanism for controlling the course of travel of articles thereover and automatic means associated with each said switch mechanism for operating the same, each of said means including a source of light, a photo-electric cell and switch mechanism operating means actuated by said cell when the beam from the source of light is reflected upon the cell, said article having a series of targets horizontally arranged on one wall thereof, one face of each of said targets being light reflecting and the other face being light absorbing, and said targets being so arranged that as the article is transported a predetermined number of beams of light are reflected upon certain photo-electric cells.
CHESTER S. JENNINGS.