US 2379090 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 26, 1945. A. LE BEAU BOX OPENING MACHINE 2 SheetsShe et 1 Filed Jan. 18, 1944 N g 3 3 0E B WW A. LE BEAU BOX OPENING MACHINE June 26, 1945.
Filed Jan. 18, 1944 4 III M? g 4 //Pr//u,? 1: 452-40.
Patented June 26, 1945 BOX OPENING MACHINE Arthur Le Beau, Chicago, Ill., assignor to Petrogalar Laboratories, Inc., a corporation of Delaware Application January 18. 1944, Serial No. 518,737
This invention relates to box openers and primarily to a device of the character set forth, adapted as an attachment for the usual type of box filling machine now in use.
At the present time tablets and the like are being packaged in cardboard boxes rather than the usual metal ones, and such boxes are usually received from the manufacturer in closed 100D.- dition. In addition, boxes of this sort are not so susceptible to handling as are the metal boxes, due to the difference in weight between the two. rendering it more difiicult to present anopened pasteboard box to the depositor :of a filling machine than in the case of metal containers.
An object of the invention is to provide a simple, practical and eiiective method and .means for opening boxes.
Another object of the invention is to provide means for opening closed boxes mechanically in timed relation to the material supplying opera tion of the hopper of a box filling machine.
Another object of the invention is to combine box opening with box filling steps in such a way that both operations may be performed successively on a series of boxes being transported on a moving conveyor,
Another object of the invention is toprovide means whereby boxes may be fed to afilling machine in closed condition and opened for presentation to the filling head of a box filling machine mechanism, and without slowing the filling operation.
Other objects of the invention will be in obvious and in part disclosed herein.
The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements, arrangements of parts, and in the several steps and relation and order of each of said steps to one or more of the others thereof, all as will be pointed out in the following description, and the scope of the application of which will :be indicated in the following claims.
Referring to the accompanying drawings forming a portion of this specification, and in which similar reference numerals are used to indicate the same parts throughout:
Figure 1 is a perspective view, partly'broken away, of the device shown attached to a filling machine, for operation in synchronism and coordination therewith;
Figure 2 is a top plan view of the device;
Figure 3 is a section on line 3--3 of Figure 2;
Figure 4 is a front elevation of a box partly opened as indicated in Figure 3;
Figure .5 is a section on line 5-'5 of Figure 2;
Figure 6 is a front elevationof. a box further opened as indicated in Figure 5; and M Figure '7 is a section on li e l -l f Figure 2.
In the embodiment of the invention shQWn herein closed boxes 10 are elive ed n any su table way, as from the gra ity feed magazine H. onto a travelling conveyor H by which they are transported and-brought into registry-With the hopper of the-box filling machine 13, which is conventionally represented and is o era d by mechanism not shown. Thebox opening steps to be described are preferably periormed in timed relation to the operati n of said bo filling machine so that the same conveyor may convenient ly be employed for supporting and transportin the boxes during both the box openin and b0 filling steps.
As shown herein conveyor 152 is mounted to travel over a bed l4 which prefe ably mayfcomprise the separate central portion 1.4a extending between the downwardly proje ting guides 12o on the conveyor [2, as illustrated in Figure 7, by which the conveyor 12 may be centered and guided in its travel, and side rails 15 and [6,, are provided, projecting upwardly of saidhed Mend spaced apart sufficiently to permit conveyor '12 to travel between them. Extending over and across rails I5 and 16 the g av ty f ed 'h pn r H is shown, which may be se u ed to Said rails'l'5 and It by brackets 11. The conveyor 12 is provided at intervals with the'cleats l8 disposed transversely of the conveyor and spaced apart to receive a box between each pair of said cleats, thereby to confine the boxes against movement longitudinally of the conveyor, and it will be seen that the side rails I5 and i5, shown at the right hand in Figure 1 and the other side rail means to 'be described and which are provided as a continuation of rails t5 and it, serve to "limit and control the position of boxes laterally on the conveyor.
As illustrated side rails t5 and 16 extend a short distance, which may conveniently be approximately the length of two closed :boxes or containers Ill, from the magazine H toward the conventionally indicated box filling mechanism l3. In alignment with side rail 15, and like rail 15 serving to prevent lateral movement :of boxes IE on conveyor 13, are the side rail members [9, 2i! and 21 respectively. As is clearly illustrated in Figures 1, 3 and =5, rail member t9 extends upwardly of the top of rail l5 and is secured on bed l4 by the brackets 22. Rail member 20 is spaced along the conveyor relatively to rail member 119 and is of greater height than rail 1'9 andi sein Figure 1, extends from the far side of rail member 20 to the box filling machine I3.
In laterally spaced relation to rail members I9, 20 and 2|, in continuation of rail I6, and serving like rail member IE to control and limit movement of the boxes laterally of the conveyor I2, rail members 24 and 25 are provided. Member-24 is somewhat angled with respect to rail members I 9, 20 and 2|, being spaced at its rear end a greater distance from rail 2| than the distance between it, adjacent its forward end, and rail member I9. The cover element Illa, of the box shown in the embodiment of the invention described herein, Figures 3 and 5, is hinged to the bottom or receptacle portion IUb-along the line Ito, and it will be understood that, in opening, it increases its width laterally of the cover by a distance equal to the rear depending panel of cover element Iila which in the case of the box shown herein is substantially the height of the box. Rail member 24 is angled sufiiciently to provide the additional spacethus required between the two sets of laterally spaced rail members as the box cover Illa is gradually raised and rotated around its hinge line Inc as will be described. The extreme ends of member 24 may preferably be somewhat curved outwardly, to avoid the possibility of contact between the edges of the boxes moving with conveyor l2, and the respective ends of member 24. Member 24 may conveniently be hingedly mounted on bed I4 as by hinge members 26 and 21 respectively.
The front depending panel of the box illustrated herein is provided with an upwardly extending cut out or thumb notch Illd.
' Secured along one edge to the rail member I9, and projecting over conveyor I2, 2. cover plate or top stop member 28 is provided, and similarly a cover plate or top'stop member 29, is provided, secured along one edge of rail member 23, as by screws, and extending over conveyor I2. Plates 28 and 29 serve to limit upward movement of boxes I and confine them on conveyor I2, as will be described.
Also extending over conveyor I2 from rail me ber 2| is a plate member 33, the edge of which extends toward rail member 24 and may be shaped I irregularly, increasing in width as shown from its forward end 33a rearwardly as indicated by its edge 3|. Plate member 33 may conveniently be secured to rail' 2| by screw 32, which may also secure on top of plate member 39 the bracket 33, having an upwardly extending portion serving to elevate the rear end of member 34, and which may be secured to bracket 33 as by screws 35. The forward end of member 34, which has a laterally projecting portion secured on the top of rail 2| as by screws 36, also extends over conveyor I2 between rails 2| and 24, and is thus in the line of travel of boxes H) as they move on conveyor I2 from magazine II to the box filling mechanism I3, and it will be noted that the forward end 34a of member 34 is positioned over the extreme left hand portion of conveyor I2, when viewed in the direction of movement of the conveyor in Figure 2, and adjacent rail member 2|, and that the edge 3! of member 34, which extends toward rail member 24, extends diagonally across the space between rails 2| and 24 to the point 34b. It will also be noted by reference to Figure 1 that while the forward and rear ends of member 34 are substantially horizontal, in diiferent planes, the middle portion 340 of member 34 is inclined upwardly from front to rear.
Extending through rail members I9 and respectively, at a height in alignment with the edge of a box supported on conveyor I2, orifices 38 and 39 respectively are provided, and communieating with these orifices through the branch connections, 40 and 4| respectively, is a conduit 42 leading from a supply of compressed air (not shown) through valve 43, which in the embodiment of the invention illustrated herein is preferably intermittently operated in synchronism with the intermittent operation of the hopper I3 of the box filling machine and the correspondingly timed step by step movement of conveyor I2. While manual or other suitable valve actuating means may of course be provided, as shown herein valve 43 is actuated by an intermittently operated plunger 44, adjustable as to stroke by means of nut 45, and which is adapted for connection to the hopper feeding mechanism (not shown), and is located in such manner as to engage and disengage piston 46 of valve 43 to alternately open and close said valve to supply air un der pressure to orifices 38 and 39 intermittently, in synchronism with the step by step movement of conveyor I2.
Between valve 43 and the orifices 38 and 39 a manual control valve 47 may be provided.
Locatedwitn its front end beneath the horizontal rear portion 34d of plate 34, and extending parallel with the edge of the conveyor adjacent rail member is a vertically extending box cover guide and positioning member 48. The forward end 49 of member 48 is preferably bent inwardly over the conveyor to direct the raised box covers between it and rail member 25 anda positioning stop 53 is provided adjustably mounted on rail member 2| by clamp 5| and projecting laterally of the conveyor toward guide member 48.
The operation of the device is as follows:
With the conveyor I2 moving from magazine II to box filling hopper I3 boxes I0, initially loaded into the magazine I with their front edge toward side rail I5, are fed by gravity onto the conveyor in end to end relation, and proceed in closed condition and, as described herein, with a step by step movement, into registry successively with orifices 33 and 33, which position of the boxes will be referred to as station. one" and station two respectively. The movement of the conveyor is so timed that when it is stopped to permit a box fillingoperation to be performed by hopper I3 boxes III are located with their thumb notches IDd directly opposite the orifices 38 and 39 respectively. The device is timed so that when boxes IE! are presented opposite the said orifices plunger 44 will be depressed by the box filling mechanism to actuate piston 46 to open valve'43 thereby causing compressed air to be supplied through pipe 42 and branches and 4| to the orifices 38 and 39 respectively. -In station one the relatively small jet of air from orifice 38 impinges against the boxes successively at the thumb notch ltd, opening said closed boxes to the position shown in Figures3 and 4, top stop 28 servingto limit movement upward of each box as a whole while it is subjected to the force of the said jet of air, and lateral movement of the boxes is prevented by rail members I9 and 24 respectively. v The filling operation from the hopper I3 havmg been completed, plunger 44 is retracted and valve 43 closed, and the supply of air to orifices 38 and 39is cut off. The conveyor I2 now moves toward hopper l3 sufiiciently to move the partially opened box shown in Figure 4 to its said station two, directly opposite the orifice 39, whereupon travel of the conveyor 12 stops, another filling operation is performed, and the flow of compressed air to orifices 38 and 39 is repeated as above described. The cover of a box, having been partly opened at station one, stays open during movement to station two, due to friction between the downwardly extending panels of the cover Illa and the upwardly extending panels of bottom element [b which are received within the cover element lOa when the box is closed. The orifice 39 oi-station two, being of larger diameter than the orifice 38 of station one, discharges a stronger blast of air upon the partially opened box in registry with it, opening it further, to the position I shown in Figures 5 and 6, while top stop 29 and rail members 2!] and 2t serve to confine the box upon the conveyor.
When travel of the conveyor 42 is now resumed the leading end 34a of member 34 is interposed between the now slightly separated cover and bottom elements of the box and the cover element Illav rides upon the member 34 and up its inclined portion 340, continuing its travel by intermittent stages until it is completely open when it reaches a position between the rear portion 34a of member 3 8 and rail member 24, as shown in Figure l. During the opening of the cover Ifla, the complete Width of the bottom portion of the box plus the additional width added by the opening of the cover is accommodated by the angled position of rail member 2 Upon further movement towards the filling mechanism represented in the drawing by hopper IS the open cover Illa is engaged by guide 48 which serves to hold it in vertical position by confining it between itself and rail member 25, so that the box is presented to the filling mechanism with its cover in open position, and the box is thusin readiness to be filled. The combined box opening and filling machine once started operates continually, presenting boxes successively to station one and station two, and to the member 34, and since the travel of the conveyor and the flow of compressed air to orifices 33 and 39 is controlled by the filling mechanism, the various operations of the combined machine are synchronously performed.
It will thus be seen that there has been provided by this invention a method and apparatus in which the various objects hereinabove set forth together with many thoroughly practical advantages are successfully achieved. As various possible embodiments might be made of the me-- chanical features of the above invention and as the art herein described might be varied in various parts, all without departing from the scope of the invention, it is to be understood that all matter hereinbefore set forth or shown in the accompanying drawing is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense,
What I claim is:
l. The method of opening a box having a body portion and a hinged cover which comp-rises, directing a jet of air against the box along a portion of the edge of the cover to partially raise the said cover by rotating it on its hinge means, and thereafter directing a second jet of air against the said box along a portion of the edge of the partially raised cover, to rotate the cover a still further distance on its hingemeans, to provide a space between the body portion and the cover, and causing relative movement between said box, and a member enterable into said space between the body portion and the cover of the ing rotation of the top element around its line of I connection with the bottom element, and, while the topand bottom elements are maintained in the thus slightly separated position, by friction, moving the box into alignment with a second source of fluid pressure to further rotate the said top element about its line of hinged connection with the bottom, and thereafter causing relative movement between said box and a member inser'table into the space thus provided between; said top and bottom elements to further rotate said top element to uncover said bottom element.
3. The method of opening boxes having a body portion and a cover hinged thereto along one edge which comprises, successively directingv against the box under an edge of the cover remote from its hinged edge a plurality of streams of air of differential force to thereby slightly raise the unhinged edge of the cover, and thereafter causing relative movement between said partially opened box and a member adapted to enter into the limited space thus provided between the cent the lower edge of its front side wall to overcome the frictional engagement between the side walls of the box cover and the receptacle element respectively, and to slightly separate the cover element from the receptacle element, a member having an inclined portion positioned to be interposed between the partly separated cover and receptacle elements, and means for moving said box and said member relatively to cause the cover element to ride up the inclined portion of said member and thus to assume an angular relation to said receptacle element.
5. Apparatus for opening a box having a bottom element and a cover element adapted to fit over said bottom element and having a hinge connection thereto along a portion of its perimeter, the said cover element including a downwardly extending panel opposite its said hinged connection, said panel having a re-entrant thumb notch in its lower edge, which comprises, a conwhen the conveyor is moved the box thereon may be brought into alignment successively with the nozzles of said fluid conduits to cause the fluid streams therefrom to enter into the said thumb notch of the said cover panel to partially raise the said cover and to cause the cover to ride on and be further opened by said elongated member while said bottom element is confined beneath said elongated member.
6. Apparatus for opening a box comprising bottom and cover portions which comprises, box transferring means, a source of air pressure adjacent said transferring means, a member enterable into a small space between said bottom and cover portions, and means for actuating said box transferring means to successively move said box into alignment with said source of air pressure and to cause said member to be entered into the space provided between said bottom and cover portions by the action of said air pressure.
'7. Apparatus for opening a box comprising a bottom portion and a cover therefor which comprises, means for directing a stream of fluid against said box to initiate separation of the said portions, means insertable between said bottom and cover portions When they are slightly separated, and means for moving said member and said box relatively to cause said member to be inserted between the bottom and cover portions after they have been initially separated by said fluid stream.
8. Apparatus for opening a box having a base portion to be filled and a cover hinged to said base portion along one edge which comprises, a movable conveyor, a plurality of orifices positioned along the said conveyor, means for supplying fiuid under pressure to said orifices, control means for said fluid supply means, and a member having a. relatively thin forwardly extending portion substantially parallel to said conveyor and a portion inclined upwardly with respect to said forwardly extending portion, said conveyor being positioned relative to said orifices and to said member so that when the conveyor is moved a closed box positioned thereon may i be brought successively into alignment with the said orifices with the unhinged edge portion of said cover in opposed relation to said orifices, to thereby partially raise the said cover, and to cause said member to be interposed under said cover in the space thus provided between the cover and the base of the box, and to cause the cover of the box to ride up the said inclined portion of said member.
ARTHUR LE BEAU.