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Publication numberUS2509069 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 23, 1950
Filing dateOct 4, 1945
Priority dateOct 4, 1945
Publication numberUS 2509069 A, US 2509069A, US-A-2509069, US2509069 A, US2509069A
InventorsClarence Mrachek
Original AssigneeClarence Mrachek
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Machine for sorting, counting, and packaging medicinal tablets
US 2509069 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

2,509,069 AND May 23, 1950 c. MRACHEK MACHINE FOR SORTING, COUNTING PACKAGING MEDICINAL TABLETS 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 4, 1945 May 23, 1950 c. MRACHEK MACHINE FQR SORTING, COUNTING, AND PACKAGING MEDICINAL TABLETS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 4, 1945 May 23, 1950 2,509,069

C-MRACHEK MACHINE FOR SORTING, COUNTING, AND PACKAGING MEDICINAL TABLETS 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Oct. 4, 1945 May 2 3; 1950 c. RAcHEK 2,509,069

MACHINE FOR so TING, COUNTING, AND PACKAGING MEDICINAL TABLETS 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Oct. 4, 1945 III/III,

y 3, 1950 c. MRACHEK 2,509,069

' MACHINE FOR SORTING, COUNTING, AND

PACKAGING MEDICINAL TABLETS 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 4, 1945 INVENTOR C/dmnce Wrarfia} ATTORNEY Patented May 23, 1950 UNITED STATES PATENT MACHINE FOR son'rINiG, COUNTING AND PA KAG N MEDICINAL TABLE-Ts Clarence Mrachek, Winona, ew e l v vbe' 4, 194.5, seri .NP- 6 39 8 G'l'aims.

1 My invention relates to improvements in sorting,'c'ounting and packaging machines and, inpre particularly, to a machine for sorting, counting and packaging medicinal tablets.

The objects of this "invention are: first, to provide a machine of the class described that is e nra automatic in its action from the time tablets are fed thereto 'until they are packaged; sec- "end, to provide a novel means for sorting medicinalta'bIets into rows and positions in which they will roll, by the force of gravity; third, to provide libvel nieans for agitating medicinal tablets while they are being sorted; "fourth; to provide novel means for guiding inedjicinal tablets precipitated from a sorter to a counting and dispensing de vice; fifth, to provide novel counting and dispens'ing device; and sixth, to provide novelmeans for conveying packages to and from a counting an isnnsin e ce.

These and other objects of this invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings.

To the above end, generally stated; the inven tion consists of the novel devices and combination of devices hereinafter a senpesana c n nes f pt eslaims- I he ace p dra in s hi 1 1. n h i i erit q k'l cha te some l e pa ts throughout the several VleWs Referring to the drawings:

Fig. 'i is a View in sidefelevation, a portion of th ram be i r e awa t a e n f o e v ion 9m? p t rs-ken aw and the can bei 5 9- y elevation and partly in sq fi l nfi fili l e 19 F 11 121' vi o t ee 'rbo iend. dri ili 'bsiin hnse sqe eies iti ew i h s; 11 is a View o amedic'm tablet-inge elevation on an enlarged some:

2 Fig. 12 is a modification of the machine in Figs. 1 to 10, inclusive, for handling coated medicinal tablets; and.

Fig. 13 is an elevational View of the counting and dispensing wheel shown Fig. 12 removed from the machine.

Referring first to the invention shown in detail in Figs. 1 to 10, inclusive, the numeral 14 indicates, as an entirety, the skeleton :frame =of the machine. A hopper i5 is mounted on the upper portion of the frame M for holding bulk medicinal tablets at, *one of which is shown in Fig; 11,

on an enlarged scale. The tablets .1? are in'the form of dis-ks having convex sides.

In the front wall of the hopper 15, at the bot"- tom thereof, is a tablet escape passageway {-6 that extends .to the side walls of said hopper. On the front wall of the hopper i5 is a deflector "l1 spaced forwardly of and above the passageway 16.

In front of the hopper -l 5 and mounted thereon is a brush housing i8 having an op n bottom and an opening 19 in its .4704). Within the housing (I8 is a brush assembly 20 lwhich includes a shat-t 2,] that extends" transversely through said housing and is journaled in bearings 22 on the frame IA. A long brush holder 23 in the housing I8,Ithat square ingress-section, is mounted on the shai t 2| by having said snanextenoea axially therethmugh Four circumferentially Spaced series of tabletagit'ating brushes .24" are secui1ed to the' brush hold er 23. "shown; there are four'p'f these bru hes 4 in e ch s i s; endwis pace lon i- 'i y oi th brush ho de 2 n 'secii ed, to each of the four flatls'idjesof saidholden' "It wi h s b seen hat ii h fo r brushe fitofea h seri s e e d'sr'z ra l ardu' the b u o de 23- Fojr he sa e o cla i 'q' il on ser of b shes 2,4 isishown in F i gJi. Connections for drivinglie sha 2! inc u es e s ocket whee 25' n aid Shaft- 4 V Direct y belo thebrn h hou ing 1.8 a a letsort ne a emb y 25 T is s fiih 'y .6 [is I9 wa ly emf-downwa dl i cl and include at ar .2 an flow a a' a rier 121 Each grate bar 27 is formed of a fol .singlvesheo't of metal- In c oss-sect on he n .b'f eac grate bar 2.1mm ther in! ofan nvite Va itnesid s r an r Said apron 28 and barrier 29 afford cross-ties for the sides of the grate bars 21. The end portions of the tops of the grate bars 21 are drawn to points and extend onto the apron 28 and the barrier 29.

A track rail 30 extends longitudinally in each channel 3| formed by the grate bars 21. Nutequipped bolts 32 and spacing sleeves 33 support the track rails 30 from the grate bars 21 and hold said grate bars parallel as well as their sides. The track rails 3|] extend below the grate bars 21 and are further supported on an upper rail 34 and a lower rail 35. These rails 34 and 35 extend transversely under the assembly 26 and have therein deep notches 36 into which the track rails 38 are fitted. The assembly 26 is supported from the hopper. 15 by a bar 31 and hanger straps 38. This bar 31 extends parallel to the rail 35 and is secured thereto by nutequipped bolts 39. The hanger straps 38 are attached to said bar at its end portions and to the hopper l5.

Bulk tablets :r in the hopper l slide and roll downwardly from the inclined walls of said hopper, by the force of gravity. through the passageway l6. over the inclined apron 2 and onto the inclined grate bars 21. The reversely inclined surfaces of the tons of the crate bars 21 tilt the tablets a: into inclined positions in which they slide sidewise into the channels 3! and drop edgewise into rows on the track rails 30 and roll thereon to a feed assembly 40.

The tablet-agitating brushes 24. which are rotated in the direction of the arrow shown in Fig. 3, wipe over the inclined barrier 29, over the inclined surfaces of the tops of the grate bars 21' and between said bars. Any tablets x coming in contact with the brushes 24 or onto the barrier 29 will be brushed by the brushes 24 upwardly on the grate bars 2! and directed thereby into the channels 3|. Tablets :1: on the apron 28 and the barrier 29 coming in contact with the pointed end of the tops of the grate bars '21 will be directed thereby onto the inclined surfaces of said top and in turn be directed thereby into the channels 3|. The two outermost grate bars 2'! are half bars and have thereon upwardly and outwardly inclined side members 4|.

The feed assembly 46 has a plurality of upright feed spouts 42 that lead, one from each channel 3! to a tablet counting and dispensine assembly 43. In other words. the feed spouts 4?. are continuations of the channels 3| and keep the tablets in the same positions as they were in said channels. Each spout 42 is formed by a pair of laterally spaced side rails 44, a back rail -5 and a glass panel 46. and which panel covers all of the feed spouts 42. The back rails 45 extend midway between the side rails 44 and upper and lower rivets 41 and spacing sleeves 48 ri idly connect and space each pair of side rails 44 and the respective back rail 45. The side rails 44 are continuations of the sides of the grate bars 2'! and rigidly secured thereto. and the back rails 45 are continuations of the track rails 3|l and are rigidly secured thereto.

The side rails 44. below the glass panel 46, are rigidly connected by a cross-tie-plate 49 that rests on the front edges of said rails. The assemblies 2E and 40, in addition to the hanger straps 38, are further supported and held in the frame M by a pair of forwardly projecting arms 50 on the cross-tie plate 49 and attached to said frame. As shown, the spouts 42 are arranged in pairs and the spouts of each pair converge downwardly and their lower ends are close together.

The counting and dispensing assembly 43 includes a drum-like wheel 5| mounted on a horizontal shaft 52 journaled in bearings 53 on the frame l4. This wheel 5| includes a plurality of axially spaced disks 54, each having in its periphery, two rows of circumferentially spaced tablet pockets 55. This wheel 5| also includes cylindrical members 56 that axially space the disks 54 and a pair of heads 51. Nut-equipped tie-rods 58 extend through aligned holes in the heads 51 and disks 54 and through the cylindrical spacers 55. These tie-rods 58 rigidly clamp the several members of the wheel 5| together.

It is important to note that the several rows of pockets 55 do not extend completely around the wheel 5! which leaves a blank space 59 on the periphery of said wheel between the ends of said rows. During rotation of the wheel 5|, the pockets 55 are successively brought under the delivery ends of the spouts 42 and in registration therewith.

It may be assumed that there is a stack of tablets a: in each spout 42 and as the pockets 55 are successively brought into registration therewith, the lowermost tablet in each of said stacks drops into the underlying pocket 55. A semicylindrical plate 60, on the frame |4, holds the tablets :1: in the pockets 55 during the period of time in which they are carried from a position at the top of the wheel 5| to a position thereunder. This plate 60 has a short depending spout 6| for each double row of pockets 55.

During each cycle of operation of the wheel 5|, there is a period of time in which no tablets a: are dispensed by said wheel, due to the interruption caused by the blank space 59 thereon. As the tablets :r are positioned by the rotating wheel 5| over the spouts 6 I, they are precipitated from the pockets 55, through said spouts and into hottles 31 positioned under the spouts 6|. It will thus be seen that the counting and dispensing wheel 5| removes tablets a: from the spouts 42 and discharges the same through the spouts 6| and into the bottles 11.

The bottles y are moved under the spouts 6| by a conveyor 62 comprising a pair of parallel block chains 63 that run over a pair of idle sprockets 6t and a pair of driven sprockets 65. The upper or operative sections of the chains 63 rests on a bed 66 having side members 61. This bed 66 is mounted on the frame l4 and the pairs of sprocket wheels 64 and 65 are mounted on the shafts 58 and 59, respectively, and which shafts are journaled in the bed side members 61.

The conveyor 63 is operated from an electric motor 19 on the frame E4 by the following connections, to wit: a V belt H runs over a pair of aligned v pulleys I2 and 13. The pulley 12 is on the armature shaft of the motor '10 and the pulley I3 is on a shaft i4 that extends into a gear box 15, on the frame l4 and containing difierential gear mechanism of which said shaft forms a part. Projecting from the gear box I5, as a part of said mechanism, is a shaft 16 having thereon a bevel gear ll that meshes with a bevel gear 18 on a shaft 19 iournaled in bearings on the frame M. A roller chain runs over a pair of aligned sprocket wheels 8| and 82, the former is on the shaft 19 and the latter is on the shaft 59 of the conveyor 62. This completes the driving connections from the motor 10 to the conveyor 62.

The driving connections for the counting and dispensing wheel 5| start from the gear box 15 and include a roller chain 83. Gr, in other words,

the driving connections for the wheel 5I also includes those from the motor I to the differential gear mechanism in the gear box I5. The roller chain 83 runs over a pair of aligned sprocket wheels 84 and 85. The sprocket wheel 84 is on a shaft 8.8 projecting out of the gear box I from the mechanism therein, and the sprocket wheel 85 sprocket wheel on the brush shaft 2'I.

During the operation of the machine, the conveyor chains 63 move continuously and the botties *y thereon are moved intermittently by said chains.

The bottles 11, on the moving conveyor chains 63, are held stationary during the filling of the pockets 55 with tablets cc from the spouts 42 and said bottles are moved by the conveyor chains 63 during the period of time in which the blank space 59 on the wheel 5I is moving under the spouts 42. The blank space 59, while under the spouts 42, acts as a closure therefor.

To hold the bottles 3 stationary relative to the moving conveyor chains 63 on which they are supported, I provide a stop finger 89 on a lever 90 pivoted at 9! on the frame I4. This lever 90 is yieidingly held in an operative position, by a coiled spring 92 anchored to the frame I4. The stop finger 89 works in an aperture in one of the bed side members 61 and projects in the path of movement of the last bottle y being filled with tablets :c. The lever 90 is operated, against the action of the springs 92, to Withdraw its finger 89 out of the path of movement of the bottles 3 by a cam lug 93 having a collar 94 on the wheel shaft 52. The position of the cam lug 93 on the shaft 52 is such as to have operated the lever 90 to release the bottles y at the time the blank space 59 is positioned under the spouts 42 and continues to hold said lever inoperative until the first pockets 55 in the several rows are about to be positioned under said spouts.

As shown, the Wheel 5I has four double rows of pockets 55 and tablets a: are discharged from each double row of said pockets into a single bottle 1/. It will thus be seen that tablets a; are

being discharged simultaneousl into four cf the bottles 1 The number of tablets a: in each double row of pockets is one-quarter of the entire number of tablets a: required to fill the bottles :1 The axial spacing of the double IOWs of pockets 55 is such that there is a bottle 3 not being filled between each two bottles y being filled, which acts as spacers therefor. Hence, tablets :c are being discharged into each bottle y being filled during each second rotation of the wheel 5|.

Bottles 1/ may be placed on the conveyor chains 53 by hand or otherwise. and after the filled bottles y pass beyond the stop finger 89, they are moved forwardly by said conveyor chains and removed therefrom by hand or otherwise.

The glass panel 46 permits an operator to watch the feeding of the tablets a: from the sorting assembly 26 to the counting and dispensing assembly 43.

The modification of the machine shown in Figs. 12 and 13 is designed for handling coated tablets and includes a main hopper 95, similar to the hopper I5, and a secondary hopper 96. Tablets are gravity fed through the discharge passageway 91 in the secondary hopper 95 from a spout 98, which conveys the same to the secondary h p The secondary hopper 96 has an open bottom in which a counting and dispensing wheel 99 rotates. This wheel 99 includes a'cylindrical shell I00 between two heads II on a shaft I02 and clamped thereon by a plurality of nutequipped rods I03, which extend through said shell. Found in the shell I00 are double rows of circumferentially spaced round tablet pockets I04. These pockets I04, like the pockets 55, do not extend completely around the shell I00 and leave a blank space 105 on said shell between the ends of said rows. Within the shell I00 is an imperforate shell I06 that forms the bottoms of the pockets I04.

The sprocket wheels 101 and I08, the cam lug I09 and the collar I I0 on the shaft are identical with like parts 85, 88, 93 and 94, respectively. Tablets are held in the pockets I04 during their movement from the secondary hopper 98 to the wheel 99 by a semi-cylindrical plate III that is concentric with said wheel. The plate III is attached to the secondary hopper 95 and has in its under side a short discharge spout II2 for each double row of pockets I04. Bottles 2, only one of which is shown, are conveyed in the same manner in which the bottles 3/ are conveyed.

Tablets are fed from the main hopper 95 to the secondary hopper 98 at such rate that there is never a large accumulation of tablets in said secondary hopper at any one time. so that there is very little weight on the tablets being picked up in the pockets I04. I

It will be understood that the invention described is capable of various modifications within the scope of the invention herein disclosed and claimed.

'What I claim is:

1. In a machine of the class described, a continuously rotated dispensing wheel having axial- 1y spaced circumferential rows of article pockets, the ends of said row being spaced apart to m terrupt the dispensingof the articles, automatic means for sorting the articles to be dispensed and positioning the same in predetermined positions relative to the pocket in thedispensing wheel, a continuously moving endless conveyor for-carryingreceptacles to receive the dispensed afltjfi' cles, automatic means for successively positioning every other one of the receptacles to receive the articles from each row of pocket whereby the intervening receptacles act as spacers between the receptacles being filled, and for holding the receptacles from being moved by the conveyor during the period of time articles are being dispensed during each rotation of the wheel.

2. In a. machine of the class described, a tabletsorting assembly including a plurality of parallel inclined grate bars, a runway between each adjacent grate bar, a hopper for holding bulk tablets and from which hopper tablets are gravity fed to the sorting assembly at its upper end portion, the top of each of the grate bars being transversely inclined for tilting the tablets and directing the same into the runways, a tabletdispensing device, and mean for conveying sorted tablets from the sorting assembly to the dispensing device in the same position in which they are sorted.

3. A machine as claimed in claim 2 wherein each grate bar includes a pair of spaced apart parallel side walls and a top wall of inverted V-section whereby the tablets are tilted for deposit in the runways.

aaoaoee 4. In a machine of the class described, a tabletsortlng assembly including a plurality of parallel inclined grate bars, a runway between each adjacent grate bar, a hopper for holding bulk tablets and from which hopper tablets are gravity fed to the Sorting assembly at its upper end portion, the top of each of the grate bars bein transversely inclined for tilting the tablets and directing the same into the runways, a tabletdispensing device having pockets for holding tablets in predetermined positions relative to said device, and means for conveying tablets from the sorting assembly to the dispensing device in the same positions they are to assume in the pockets.

5. In a machine of the class described, a tabletsorting assembly including inclined grate bars and runways therebetween, means for feeding tablets to the sorting assembly, and a, brush assembly including a driven shaft, a brush holder on the shaft, having a plurality of circumferentially spaced sides, a plurality of brushes on the brush holder corresponding in number to the number of sides on the brush holder, each brush comprising sections corresponding in number to the number of sides on the brush holder, the sections of each brush being secured, one to each side of the brush holder, said brush assembly being positioned over the lower end portion of the sorting assembly and its shaft rotated in a direction in which the brushes brush upwardly on the grate bars and therebetween.

6. In a machine of the class described, a tablet-sorting assembly including inclined grate bars and runways therebetween, means for feedin tablets to the sorting assembly, and a brush assembly including a driven shaft, a brush holder on the shaft that is square in cross-section, four brushes, each comprising four sections secured one to each side of the brush holder, said brush assembly being positioned over the lower end portion of the sorting assembly and its shaft rotated in a direction in which the brushes brush upwardly on the grate bars and therebetween.

7. In a machine of the class described, a hopper for holding bulk disk-like tablets, a sorting assembly to which tablets are gravity fed from the hopper, said sorting assembly including inclined grate bars and inclined runways into which tablets are directed by the grate bars to roll therein, a counting and dispensing wheel having in it periphery axially spaced double rows of tablet pockets that extend circumferentially around said wheel, the ends of said rows of pockets being spaced apart, a spout leading from each runway for successively depositing tablets in the pockets in one of said rows and in positions in which they are, positioned in the runways, means for conveying receptacles beneath said spouts and automatic means for successively positioning every other one of the receptacles to receive tablets dispensed from each double row of pockets whereby the intervening receptacles act as spacers between the receptacles being filled.

8. In a machine of the class described, a continuously rotating dispensing wheel having axially spaced circumferential rows of article pockets, the ends of said rows being spaced apart to interrupt the dispensing of the articles, a, continuously moving conveyor for carrying receptacles to receive the dispensed articles beneath said dispensing wheel, automatic means to successively position every other one of the receptacles to receive the articles from each row of pockets whereby the intervening receptacles act as spacers between the receptacles being filled and for holding the receptacles from being moved by the conveyor during the period of time articles are being dispensed during each rotation of the wheel.

CLARENCE MIRACHEK.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS France Mar. 2, 1915

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2617517 *Feb 15, 1946Nov 11, 1952Daniels George HReceptacle filling machine
US2634022 *Feb 14, 1951Apr 7, 1953Sharp & Dohme IncFeed mechanism
US2656962 *Oct 8, 1949Oct 27, 1953Daniels George HReceptacle filling machine
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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/244, 414/680, 414/675, 221/174, 141/180, 221/266, 53/501
International ClassificationA61J7/02, A61J7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61J7/02
European ClassificationA61J7/02