US 2124962 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1938. J. L. FERGUSON ET AL 2,124,92
CASE LOADER Filed March 50, 1956 7 Sheets-Sheet l July 26, 1938. J. L. FERGUSON ET AL 2,124,962
CASE'LOADER Filed March so, 19se 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 July 26, 193%. J. L. FERGUSON ET AL 291249962 CASE LOADER Filed March 30, 1936 7 Sheets-Sheet 3 July 26, 193. J. L. FERGUSON ET AL CASE'LOADER 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed March 30, 1936 J. L. FERGUSON ET Al. 4, 6
July 26, 1938.
CASE LOADER Filed March 30, 1936 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 7 Sheets-Sheet 6 Q Q I ght My J. L2FERGUSON ET AL CASE LOADER Filed March so, 1936' July 26, 1938.
July. 26, 1938. J. FERGUSON ET AL 2,124,962
CASE LOADER Filed March so, 1936 7 Sheets-Sheet 7 Patented July 2c, 1938 UNITED STATES P PATENT oFFicE Ill., assignors to J.
Jollet, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Application March 30, 1936, Serial No. 71,667
containers may be of any suitable type, the present embodiment being particularly adapted for use in loading empty cylindrical containers, such as so-called tin cans having one'end open, into suitable cases.
The cases to be filled are preferably the usual paper-board cases having outwardly extending flaps which are arranged to be folded and sealed after the cases are filled. I
In the present embodiment, a stock of collapsed cases is supported in a vertical magazine or chute which is positionedover an intermittently operable endless conveyor by which the cases are moved consecutively to two loading stations where they are automatically squared out, and a layer of cans is inserted at each-station. The empty cans are automatically delivered to the filling mechanism .through suitable can chutes, and each layer inserted at the second station pushes the layer inserted at the first station farther into the case and thereby completely fills the case.
It'will be understood that although only two loading stations are shown and described herein, more or less may be used if desired, the number of stations corresponding with the number of layers of cans to be inserted in a case. Also, while the'present embodiment discloses the layers loaded from only one end of the case they may be loaded from both ends simultaneously if desired. After the cases are loaded, the flaps are automatically folded and sealed during further movement of the conveyor and are then discharged from the machine.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a case loader for containers, such as empty cans, in which the cans are automatically fed to a plurality of filling stations and inserted into suitable cases which have previously been automatically squared out at the filling stations.
A further object is the provision of suitable means for automatically controlling the delivery of cans to the loading stations and automatically guiding segregated cans into the containers.
A further object is the provision of an automatically operable device having a plurality of filling stations and filling devices associated therewith whereby the cases will be completely filled at the final station and the flaps properly folded and sealed after being filled.
A further object is the provision of a suitable case loading machine for empty containers which will be capable of comparatively high speed production and which will be automatic in operation, comparatively cheap to manufacture, and which will not easily get out of order.
Further objects will be apparent from the specification and the appended claims.
In the drawings: Figure 1 is a top plan view of one embodiment of the invention;
Fig. 2 is a somewhat diagrammatic view of the control mechanism for the conveyor taken from the lefthand end of the machine, as illustrated in Fig. 1; j I
Fig. 3 is a side elevation of the embodiment illustrated in Fig. 1 with the loading mechanisms removed for purposes of illustration;
Fig. 41s a fragmentary side elevation of the machine and illustrates particularly the loading mechanism with the loading plungers shown in cross section for purposes of illustration;
Fig. 5 is a transverse sectional view through the gluing mechanism and taken on line 5-5 of Fig. l with the loading mechanism illustrated in full lines;
Fig. 6 is a top view of the mechanism formovlng collapsed containers from the magazineand squaring them out at the first filling static" Fig. '7 is a fragmentary side elevatiomolj the mechanism illustrated in Fig. 6;
Fig. 8 is a fragmentary side elevation adjacent the delivery end of the machine and illustrates the mechanism for folding the fiaps of the filled case;
Fig. 9 ls an end elevation, partially in section, of the mechanism illustrated in Fig: 8;
Fig. 10 is a diagrammatic view of the electrical control system whereby the machine is automatlcally stopped if cases are not properly supplied to and squared out at the loading station or if cans are not properly supplied to the loading mechanism;
Fig. 11 is a diagrammatic top view of the can retainer and associated guide member and means for retaining the switches open until the cans view of modified case conveyor 2 extending substantially the entire length of the machine and comprising chains 3 supported on suitable sprockets secured to transverse shafts 4 and 5 at opposite ends of the machine. The case conveyor chains are provided with spaced transverse flights 6 thereon for moving the cases I intermittently throughout the length of the machine and discharging the filled cases to a. suitable conveyor not shown.
A magazine 8 is mounted at one end of the machine directly over the case conveyor, as shown in Fig. 3, and a supply of collapsed cases is provided therein. The flights 6 of the conveyor pass directly under the magazine 8 and, during their movement thereunder, intermittently engage and remove consecutive cases from the magazine to the filling stations.
A motor 9 (Fig. 3) is mounted on the-frame and drives the conveyor 2 through a transmission comprising a transverse shaft I driven from the motor by means of a chain II on suitable sprockets. A second transverse shaft I2 forming a part of the transmission is driven from the shaft I by means of a chain l3 on suitable sprockets secured to the shafts, and a third transverse shaft I4 is driven from the shaft l2 by means of a chain I also on suitable sprockets secured to the respective shafts. The shaft I4 is provided with a suitable sprocket secured thereto and connected in driving relation to a sprocket l6 on the case conveyor shaft 4 by means of a chain II. The sprocket i6 is freely rotatable on the case conveyor shaft 4 and is intermittently connected to the shaft 4 by a suitable clutch mechanism which will be described later.
The transmission shaft I4 is provided with a bevel pinion secured thereto and in mesh with a bevel gear I8 secured to a longitudinal cam shaft l9, which shaft is mounted underneath the conveyor, as illustrated in Fig. 3, and arranged for continuous rotation through the drive transmission just described.
As previously stated, the conveyor 2 is intermittently operated, and during each intermittent movement the flights 6 engage the bottom collapsed case in the magazine 8 and move the case to the first loading station A (Fig. 3) to receive one layer of cans. Succeeding intermittent movements move the case to the station B where another layer is inserted, and from sta tion B the case is moved through suitable flapfolding and sealing mechanism and then discharged from the machine.
In order to intermittently move the case conveyor 2 the mechanism illustrated in Fig. 2 is provided, and comprises the sprocket member l6 which, as previously stated, is freely rotatable on the shaft 4 and forms the driving member of a clutch 20. A driven member 2| is secured to the shaft 4 and provided with an outwardly extending pawl 22 which normally engages the end of a longitudinally movable rod 23, whereby the clutch is normally disengaged. The rod 23 is connected to a lever 24 pivoted on the frame at 25 and normally maintained in the position shown by means of a spring 26. The opposite end of--the lever 24 is provided with a roller 21 engaging a cam 28 on the constantly driven longitudinal cam shaft i9. It will be apparent that with each revolution of the cam shaft IS the mechanism just described will be operated to release the clutch 20 and permit it to engage and rotate the conveyor shaft 4 at least one revolution, whereby the case conveyor 2 is moved to transfer a collapsed case from the magazine I to station A and move the partly fllled case from station A to station B. Any other filled cases on the conveyor will be moved accordingly. The clutch 20 may be of any suitable type, preferably similar to that illustrated in Figs. 2, 3, and 4 of Patent No. 1,967,374.
An auxiliary conveyor chain 28 is provided with alternating flights 30 and 30 and is mounted directly above the conveyor 2 and supported on suitable sprockets secured to transverse shafts 3| and 3|. The shaft 3| is driven from a sprocket 32 on a short shaft 33 by means of a chain 34 (Figs. 1 and 2). The sprocket 32 is driven from the conveyor shaft 4 by means of gears 35. The auxiliary conveyor 29 therefore is arranged to move the flights 30 and 30* thereon in synchronism with the flights 6 of the conveyor 2, whereby the cases I are moved into position and supported at the loading stations after being squared out.
The magazine 8 is vertically positioned above one end of the conveyor 2, as illustrated in Fig. 3, and a stackv of collapsed cases is supported therein. During each intermittent movement of the conveyor, the .edge of the bottom collapsed case will be engaged by one of the flights 6 and will be moved forwardly until the forward end of the collapsed case engages the downturned ends of so-called opening hooks 36. The hooks 36 are secured to a transverse rock shaft 31 having an arm 38 which is connected to a cam lever 39 by means of a link 46. The cam lever 39 is provided with a suitable roller engaging a cam 4| on the main cam shaft IS. A spring 42 on the link 40 tends to maintain the hooks 36 in the lowered position (Fig. 3), in which position the down-turned ends of the hooks are in the path of the forward edge of each collapsed case as it is moved by the conveyor 6 toward the first loading station A. The hooks 36 are arranged to be mechanically raised by the cam 4| in synchronism with the movement of the conveyor flights 6 and the opening of the collapsed case.
It will be understood that with the parts in the position illustrated in Fig. 3, forward movement of the case conveyor will tend to cause the hooks 36 to open' the case I. The still further movement of the case by the conveyor will cause the complete opening up and squaring of the case, as indicated by dotted lines at station A. However, these cases are usually made of stifl board with the fold lines creased and are not always easily opened by this means alone. Therefore, further means have been provided to assist the opening operation and comprise vacuum cups 43 and 44 (Figs. 3 and '7 which are arranged to engage the side and bottom portions, respectively, of the moving case and cooperate with the opening hooks 36 to open the case. The vacuum cup 43, which is arranged to engage the upper surface of the side of the case, is mounted on a carriage 45 which latter is, in turn, slidably mounted on rods 46 secured to a transverse rock shaft 41. The shaft 41 is provided with an arm 43 secured thereto and connected, by means of a link 43 to a cam lever 50 having a suitable roller thereon in engagement with a cam 5| on the main cam shaft l9. The movement of the vacuum cup 43 is therefore controlled by the cam Si in such .a manner that it engages the side of the moving collapsed case and is automatically raised to open the case in synchronism with the forward movement of the conveyor.
In order to prevent the raising of the lower side of the case when the vacuum cup 43 is raised, the vacuum cup 44 which engages the bottom side of the case is slidably mounted on a longitudinal frame 52. This frame is supported on bell cranks 53 and 54 which are connected by means of a link 55. The bell crank 54 is provided with an arm 56 connected by means of a link 51 to a cam lever 58 provided with a suitable roller co-operating with a cam 59 on the main cam shaft I 9. The cam 59 is arranged to raise and lower the frame 52 and vacuum cup 44 thereon through the mechanism just described. Normally, the cup 44 is lowered below the path of the moving case, and when the case reaches a predetermined point the frame 52 and vacuum cup thereon are raised until the vacuum cup contacts with the case and both of the cups then move on their supports in accordance with the movement of the case. The vacuum cup 43 is returned to its normal position by gravity. The lower vacuum cup 44 may be returned by means of a flexible cable secured thereto and extending over a pulley 44*, the cable having a suitable weight 44 secured thereto. 1
It will be understood, of course, that mechanism is provided whereby a suitable vacuum source is automatically connected to the cups at the time of contact with the case, and this vacuum is automatically released after the case is sufficiently -opened.
After the,cas'e has been squared out at station A, the filling mechanism automatically operates to move one layer of containers or cans into the case and adjacent the open end thereof. The next intermittent operation of the conveyor moves the case I to station B where a second layer of containers is inserted simultaneously with the insertion of a layer in a newly positioned case at'station A. As the partially filled case is moved to station B, the forward vertical flap on the end opposite the loading mechanism is folded rearwardly by means of a stationary folder 62 supported in the path of the flap. The rear vertical flap is folded forwardly by means of a movable arm 60 secured to an oscillatable shaft M. The next intermittent movement moves the filled case to station C, and during this movement the outwardly extending upper and lower flaps of the case pass between glue rollers 63 and correspending pressure rollers 64, whereby glue is applied thereto.
The next intermittent movement of the case moves it past suitable rotary folders 65 which are positioned above and below the path of the flaps and which rotate to fold and seal the flaps. The shafts on which the rotary folders 65 are mounted are operatively connected by means of a chain 66 on suitable sprockets and are driven from the conveyor shaft by a sprocket chain 61.
The filling ends of the cases are preferably not sealed. However. they, of course, may be sealed if desired by providing similar mechanism on that side of themachine. The unglued flaps are folded in adjacent station C by astationary shoe or folder member 68 engaging the forward flap, and an oscillatable arm 69 engaging the rear flap. This arm 69 is similar to the previously described folding arm 60 and is connected thereto by means of a linklil. A link H connects the arms to a pivoted lever 12 which is provided with a roller 13 operating on a cam M. This cam is mounted on the same shaft as the lower folding member 65 and moves the folding levers 60 and 89 synchronously with movements of the cases.
After the cases have been properly folded and sealed, they are discharged from the conveyor by the next intermittent movement and preferably carried by a suitable conveyor between vertical belts 15 which retain the flaps in closed position until the adhesive is dry. The glue rollers are provided with the usual glue containers for delivering glue thereto and are operatively connected together by a gear train 63 (Fig. 5) and may be driven in synchronism with the conveyor and cases thereon by any suitable transmission such as a sprocket and chain drive from any constantly driven shaft. For instance, a suitable transmission including the chain 63 (Fig. 3) may be arranged to drive the gear train 63.
In order to properly align the partly filled,case at station B, and to maintain the alignment during further movement, an auxiliary conveyor chain 3 is mounted between the main conveyor chains 3, as illustrated in Figs. 3, 4, 5, and 9. The auxiliary chain 3 is driven by means of a sprocket 3 on the conveyor shaft 5, the front end of the chain being supported on an idler sprocket 3 positioned between the loading stations and rotatably mounted on a shaft 3. The auxiliary conveyor is provided with spaced flights or lugs Ii so positioned that the lower frontedge of each case as it is moved toward station E engages one of these lugs and the case is thereby retained in alignment by lugs or flights engaging each of the four corners thereof.
A loading mechanism is provided in transverse alignment with each loading station, and these loading mechanisms are substantially identical with the exception that the containers or cans are directed to the loading stations from opposite directions, as shown in Figs. 4 and 5. Each loading mechanism comprises laterally extending brackets 16 having guide rods I! supported thereon and on which a suitable plunger 18. is supported for longitudinal movement to push consecutive layers or groups of cans 19 into consecutive open cases. The cans I9. are moved by gravity through a plurality of superposed chutes to a position in front of the plunger to form a layer, as shown in Figs. 4 and 5. The layer preferably consists of 12 cans as shown.
The plunger l8is provided with forwardly extending arms 8| having heads 82 thereon, each head 82 being arranged to engage a row of cans l9 and push the entire layer from the chutes 80 into the case i. The plunger 18 is connected by means of a link 83 to a lever 84 pivoted at 85 on the bracket l6 and connected by means of a link 86 to a cam lever 81 pivoted at 88 on the frame. The cam lever 81 is provided with a roller 89 engaging a cam 90 on the main cam shaft. The rotation of this cam 90 operates the plunger 18 through the mechanism just described, and moves the cans from the chutes 80 into the case I. The roller 89 is maintained against the cam 90 by means of a spring 9|, thereby returning the plunger to normal outward position after each layer has been inserted in the cases.
A horizontally reciprocable plunger Iii having a head 18 is mounted on the opposite side of the machine from the first loading station A. This plunger is moved into the squared out case substantially simultaneously with the movement of the first layer of cans to its initial position and prevents the cans from being thrown out of alignment during the loading operation. The plunger I8 is mounted on pivoted parallel levers 18, one of which is operatively connected to the cam lever 81. by means of an adjustable link 81.
In order to separate the flaps of the case 1 so that the cans may easilyv enter therein, 9. rectangular open end frame 92 is slidably mounted on the rods 11 between the chutes 88 and the case 1. The forward edges of this frame 92 are provided with inturned lips 98 for easy insertion between the flaps of the case. These lips 93 are positioned in such a manner that the cans move between them as they enter the case, and they are therefore not in the path of the cans. The frame 92 is longitudinally moved by means of a lever 94 pivoted at 95 and connected to a cam lever 86 by means of a link 91. The cam lever 96 is provided with a roller 98 engaging a cam 98, and the cam 98 and cam 98 are so arranged that the movements of the plunger 18 and the flap separating frame 92 are synchronized so that the frame moves inwardly to open the flaps simultaneously with the inward movement of the cans and to act as a guide for the cans. However, the contour of the cams is such that the stroke of the frame 92 is much shorter than the stroke of the plunger 18. The cans, therefore, are moved through the frame 92 and guided thereby into the position shown by dotted lines in Fig. 5, and the plunger 18 and frame 92 return to the normal position illustrated. The frame 92 is moved forwardly by means of a spring 99 which retains the roller 88 against its cam 98", and the plunger 18 is moved forwardLv by means of the cam 98 and returned to its normal position by means of the spring 9| which is connected to the cam arm 81 and retains the roller 89 against the cam 88.
As previously stated, the cans 19 in the chutes 88 move into position in front of the plungers 18 by gravity. It is therefore desirable that the cans in each row following the layer which it is desired to load into the case should be slightly separated therefrom when the plunger moves forwardly. In order to accomplish this, a vertical oscillatable shaft I8I (Fig. 4) is provided with a plurality of hooks 'I82 which are arranged to enter the open ends of the vertical rows of cans following the group to be loaded and to move these cans rearwardly to separate them from the group or layer. The shaft I8I is provided at its lower end with an arm I83 (Fig. 5) having a link I84 connected thereto. -This link I84 is slidably supported on the main cam shaft I9 or in any other suitable manner, and is provided with a roller I85 which engages a cam I88 on the main cam shaft. The hooks, therefore, will enter the vertical row of cans, as illustrated in Figs. 4 and 11, and will engage the inner surfaces and slightly separate this row of cans from the rows in front of the plunger.
It is desired also to provide a suitable guide and retainer to retain the cans in position as they are moved by the plunger 19 and to guide these cans in such a manner that the overhanging rims of the cans in the row adjacent the row restrained by the fingers or hooks I82 will not engage the rims of the stationary cans whenthe layer is moved forwardly into the case. For this purpose a fork I81 is provided with forwardly extending tines I88. The fork I81 is supported on parallel levers I89 which are suitably pivoted on the bracket 18. The tines of the fork I81 guide the cans into the frame 92 and prevent the flanges of the cans adjacent the conveyor from catching on the flanges the cans in the conveyor. The switches and their function will be described later.
One of the parallel levers I89 is provided with a downwardly extending arm H8 which is provided with a link III having a cam roller ll! at the opposite end thereof. This cam roller is in engagement with a. cam I I3 on the main cam shaft I8. It will be apparent that with each rotation of the cam N3, the forked member I81 will move forwardly and the tines I88 will enter in the open spaces between adjacent cans and the downward arcuate movement of the forked member will cause the tines to move downwardly substantially into horizontal alignment with the axial center of the cans. The tines, therefore, when in this forward and downward position, act as suitable guides for the layer of cans as they move forward toward the case.
It will be understood that, while the cams for controlling the movement of the various parts are shown more or less diagrammatically, it is intended that they should be of suitable contour so that the parts will function in proper timed relation.
Themachine is provided with a suitable electrical control system whereby it will be stopped if one of the cases fails to properly open at the first filling station. Also, the machine will be stopped if the cans fail to properly enter the space in front of the plungers to form complete layers of the desired number of complete rows of cans.
The electrical control system is diagrammatically shown in Fig. 10. The switches controlled by the cases are illustrated in Fig. 7, and the switches controlled by the layers of cans in front of the plunger are illustrated in Figs. 4 and 11. The control, as illustrated in Fig. 10, is arranged for use with a three-phase power line comprising the line conductors A, B, and C, leading to the motor 9 and having a three-pole solenoid-operated switch II for controlling the circuit. The switch Ill may be manually or otherwise closed to start the motor, and, while the machine is running, is maintained in closed position by the solenoid associated therewith. The solenoid is in series in abranch circuit C provided with a normally closed single-pole solenoid-operated switch H8 in series with the solenoid of switch Ill. It will therefore be apparent that as long as the switch IIli remains closed, the switch I I8 will also remain closed, and the motor 9 and mechanism associated therewith will continue to operate.
In order to open the switch IIS, and break the circuit C if a case does not properly open at station A, or if the cans do not properly fill the chutes in front of the plungers, an auxiliary circuit D is provided which may be connected to any suitable power source and is provided with an intermittently operated switch II8. This switch I I6 is arranged to intermittently break the circuit 1;) by means of a cam II1 which may be operated from any suitable part of the driven mechanism. A switch H8 is positioned above the station A and a similar switch H9 is positioned below the station A. These switches are in parallel in circuit D and in series with switch H6, and are provided with pivoted arms H8 andv H9, respectively, which arms extend into the path of the carton in such a manner that the switches are normally closed when a case is not at the station and are opened by contact with the case when it is correctly squared out at station A. The operation of opening each case 1 is synchronized with the closing of the switch H8 in such a manner that while the switch I I6 is closed the switches H8 and H9 will be open if a completely opened case is properly positioned. thereby preventing the energizing and consequent opening of the solenoid switch H5 in circuit C. If, however, the case I does not properly open, at least one of the switches H8 and H9 will remain closed, and when the mechanically operated switch H6 closes, the circuit D will be energized and the switch H5 of the branch circuit C will be opened, thereby de-energlzing the solenoid of the three-pole switch Ill and breaking the main j power circuit.
It is desirable also that the control circuit D be energized and the motor thereby stopped if the cans 19 do not properly fill the spaces in front of the plungers l8. Switches I20 are provided adjacent the plungers and in alignment with each horizontal row of cans as they enter the space in front of the plungers. parallel with the case switches H8 and H9, and are normally closed when no cans are in the chutes 80 and are opened by the pressure of the cans thereagainst if the space in front of each plunger is properly filled with a complete layer of cans. A
After the layers of cans have opened the switches I20, or simultaneously therewith, the can retaining hooks W2 are operated in the manner previously described toseparate the cans in the chutes 80 from the cans in front of the plunger. In order to retain the switches I20 open and move the switch operating plungers I20 (Fig. 11) out of contact with the cans and out of the path of the end heads thereon until the cans arelnserted in the case, bell crank levers I2I are pivoted-at I22 and connected by means of a link I23 to an arm I24 secured to the vertical shaft IllI. One of the arms of each bell crank I22 engages a corresponding switch plunger I20 so that when the shaft IOI is operated to separate the cans the bell crank I22 retains the switches open and the plungers out of the path ,of the cans until the shaft Iill is returned to normal position to release the cans in the chutes.
It will be apparent that, as the switches I20 are all in parallel with the switches H8 and H9,
if any one of these switches is closed during the time the mechanically operated switch H6 is closed, the solenoid switch H5 will open and the motor will stop as previously described.
In order to maintain the motor and associated mechanism in continuous operation, the case I should completely square out at station A and all of the layer of cans must be in position in front of each plunger, and the movements of these cans and cases are therefore accurately synchronized with the opening and closing of the switch H6.
In using some collapsed cases, particularly those made of fiber, the enlarged scores at the folded corners sometimes catch on adjacent cartons in the magazine. Also, the flaps on paper or fiber cartons may catch when the magazine 8 is positioned to deliver collapsed cases in alignment with the filling conveyor as shown in Figs. 1 and 3. An arrangement such as shown in Fig. 12 is therefore provided whereby the collapsed cases may be delivered laterally instead of longitudinally. This comprises a magazine 6 positioned at the side of the filling conveyor 2 and having a short conveyor i23 positioned thereunder and provided with flights I24 for removing the collapsed cases from the magazine and positioning them on the filling conveyor.
ihe conveyor I23 is intermittently driven from These switches are in the main cam shaft I! by means of a sprocket fixed thereto and connected in driving relation to a sprocket I25 by means of a chain I 26. The sprocket I25 is rotatably mounted on a shaft I2'l having suitable sprockets thereon for driving the conveyor I23. The sprocket I25 forms the driving member of a clutch I28 which may be of any suitable type,for instance, such as shown in Figs. 1,2, and 3 of Patent #1967374 issued to Scott July 24, 1934. The clutch is provided with a pawl I29 which is similar to the clutch pawl illustrated in the above noted patent, and the clutch is normally retained disengaged bymeans of a spring pressed lever I30, which latter is normally in a position to prevent engagement of the clutch by retaining the pawl I29 in clutch disengaging position. The opposite end of the pivoted lever I30 is in engagement with a cam I3I on the cam shaft I 9 so that, during the operation of the cam shaft, the clutch I28 will be intermittently engaged and the conveyor I23 intermittently operated to move consecutive collapsed cases onto the filling conveyor. It will, of course, be understood that the operating parts are so related that collapsed cases are positioned on suitable supports so that they are engaged and moved by consecutive flights on the filling conveyor. Also, the conveyor I23 may be driven from any suitable operating part of the machine although preferably from the cam shaft i9.
Modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is therefore desired that the invention be limited only by the prior art and the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus described this invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A case loader comprising means for positioning an open case, means for directing containers to form a group adjacent said 'case, means to insert said group, guide means automatically insertable between said group and the remaining containers to guide said group, and means for maintaining said guide means substantially stationary during movement of said group from assembled position. g
2. AIcase loader for cylindrical open cans comprising means for consecutively positioning open cases at a loading station, a can pocket in axial alignment with the positioned case, means for directing a plurality of superposed rows of cans to .form a complete layer in said pocket, horizontally oscillatable arms adapted to engage the cans in each row adjacent said layer to slightly separate said adjacent cans from said layer, longitudinally movable guide means arranged to enter between the layer and adjacent cans, and means movable relative to said guide means to insert said layer.
3. A case loader for cylindrical open cans comprising means for consecutively positioning open cases at a loading station, a can pocket in axial alignment with the positioned case, means for directing aplurality of superposed rows of cans to form a complete layer in said pocket, horizontally oscillatable arms adapted to engage the cans in each row adjacent said layer to slightly separate said adjacent cans from said layer, guide means movable in a vertical plane between said layer and said adjacent cans, and means to insert said layer.
4. In a case loader having a plurality of loading stations, means for positioning open cases consecutively at said stations, means for directing a plurality of rows of containers to positions adjacent each of said stations, means for engaging inside the containers adjacent each group to prevent pressure of said adjacent containers on said group, guide means insertable between said group and adjacent containers, and means for inserting said groups.
5. A case loader comprising an intermittently movable conveyor for consecutively positioning squared out cases at a filling station, means for assembling consecutive groups of containers in axial alignment with said open cases, a pusher for inserting said groups into said containers, an axially movable group-guide and flap-opener means between said group and said case, a constantly driven transmission, and means operable by said transmission to intermittently and synchronously move said pusher and said guide to cause the insertion of consecutive layers in con secutive cases.
6. A case loader for empty containers having one end open comprising a conveyor for intermittently moving containers to consecutive loading stations, a plurality of container chutes arranged to enable the automatic assembly of a complete layer of containers at each station and in axial relation with the open ends of the cases, means to engage inside the containers adjacent the layer to enable the segregation of the layer from the succeeding containers, a combined container guide and flap-opener axially movable between said layer and said case, means for moving said layer through said guide and into said case, and inwardly and downwardly movable guide members adapted to move between the layer and the succeeding cans to guide said layer into said container guide.
'7. A case loader of the character described comprising an intermittently movable conveyor for consecutively moving cases to and from a plurality of consecutive loading stations, means adjacent the first station to square but cases,
means to enable rows of cans to roll adjacent each station to form layers of superposed rows, means to segregate said layers from the remaining cans, means to insert said layers, said inserting means being arranged to cause a succeeding layer to push the preceding layer farther into its case, means for folding the unsealed flaps at the receiving end of the case, and means for folding and sealing the flaps at the other end of the case.
8'. In a case loading machine, means for positioning cases, means for positioning groups of containers for insertion in said cases, means for inserting said groups, a motor, a power circuitfor said motor, a branch circuit associated with said power circuit and having electrically operable means for controlling said motor, an auxiliary circuit having means for controlling said branch circuit, a continual interrupter for making and breaking said auxiliary circuit, means in said auxiliary circuit responsive to correctly positioned cases, and means in said auxiliary cir cuit responsive to correctly positioned containers, said responsive means co-operating with said interrupter to close said auxiliary circuit if said cases or said containers orboth are not properly positioned.
9. A case loader comprising means for moving cases to and from consecutive loading stations,
case, and means for folding end flaps of said case opposite the loading end before inserting the last layer of containers.
10. A case loader comprising means for inserting consecutive layers of containers into a squared out case, automatic means to prevent movement of the containers of one layer beyond a predetermined limit in said case, and means to fold end fiaps of said case opposite the inserting end before insertion of the last layer of containers.
11.' A case loader comprising means for inserting consecutive layers of containers into one end of a squared out case, a plunger automatically movable into the opposite end of said case to prevent movement of containers beyond a pre determined limit, and means to close the said opposite end before insertion of. the last layer of containers.
12. A case loader comprising a conveyor having flights thereon arranged to engage the rear edge of collapsed cases and move said cases intermittently to and from consecutive loading stations, means for squaring out said cases at the first loading station, and a second conveyor having means thereon automatically movable closely adjacent the lower front corner of each squared out case and in synchronism therewith to prevent misplacementof said cases on said first conveyor.
13. In a case loader having a can pocket and means for directing cans into said pocket, means for moving said cans from said pocket into a case, means operable by correctly assembled cans in said pocket to control said can moving means, means to slightly separate adjacent cans from the cans in said pocket, and means operable substantially simultaneously with said separating means to hold said control means out of the path of said cans while they are being moved into said case.
14. In a case loader, means for feeding containers by gravity to a loading zone to form a group, means normally outside of the path of said containers and automatically movable to engage the inside of containers adjacent said group to segregate said group, and means for inserting said group in a case.
15. A case loader for open end cans comprising means for feeding cans in horizontal axial relation by gravity to form a group, and horizontally oscillatable means adjacent the open ends of the cans adjacent said group, and arranged to engage the inner surface of said cans to thereby segregate said group from said adjacent cans.
16. A case loader for open end cans comprising means for feeding cans in horizontal axial relation by gravity to form a group, horizontally oscillatable means adjacent the open ends of the cans adjacent said group and arranged to engage the inner surface of said cans to thereby segregate said group from said adjacent cans, and a switch controlling member movable by a correctly assembled group to cause switch controlling member movable by a correctly assembled group to cause the operation of said segregating means, means to insert said group in a case, and means controlled by said segregating means to retain said member out of the path of said cans until said group has been inserted.
18. A case loader comprising means for positioning open cases at a loading station, means for directing a row of containers to be inserted in said cases, means for segregating a group of containers for each case, said last means comprising means adapted to engage a container adjacent each group to be segregated and movable to slightly separate said group and said container, movable guide means arranged to enter between said group and said container, and means movable relative to said guide means to insert said group.
19. In a case loader the combination with means for assembling containers, of means for segregating a group of said containers for insertion in a case, movable means adapted to be engaged by a container to control said segregating means, and means operable by said segregating means to cause disengagement of said movable means and said containers.
20. In a case loader having a plurality of loading stations, means for consecutively squaring out cases at the first station. means for inserting a group of containers in each squared out case, means for moving each case to a second loading station, means for inserting a second group of containers into each case, substantially simultaneously with the insertion of a group at said first station, and means for closing at least one end of said case.
JOHN L. FERGUSON. RICHARD C. TALBOT.