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Publication numberUS2567223 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 11, 1951
Filing dateAug 10, 1948
Priority dateAug 10, 1948
Publication numberUS 2567223 A, US 2567223A, US-A-2567223, US2567223 A, US2567223A
InventorsMaher William W, Peterson Howard B
Original AssigneeAmerican Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Blank separating and feeding device
US 2567223 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

P 1951 w. w. MAHER EFAL 2,567,223

BLANK SEPARATING AND FEEDING DEVICE Filed Aug. 10, 1948 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 VACCUl/M 1 65 v 11w m TOR.

A 7 TOgV EYS Sept. 11, 1951 w. w. MAHER ETAL 2,567,223

BLANK SEPARATING AND FEEDING DEVICE Filed Aug. 10, 1948 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN V EN TOR.

Sept. 11, 1951 w. w. MAHER ETA BLANK SEPARATING AND FEEDING DEVICE 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Aug. 10, 1948 INVENTOR.

.42 HTTOENEYS Patented S ept. II, 1951 BLANK SEPARATING AND FEEDING DEVICE William W. Maher and Howard B. Peterson, San Francisco, Calif., assignors to American Can Company, New York, N. Y., a corporation of New J crsey Application August 10, 1948, Serial No. 43,458

10 Claims. (01. 271- 1) This invention relates to separating and feeding devices for blanks, discs or substantially fiat articles and has particular reference to the separation of individual articles from a stack of articles at high speeds.

An object of the invention is the provision of a blank, disc or article separating and feeding device wherein a blank is shiftedor slid relative to an adjacent blank in a manner so as to prevent scratching' of the engaging faces of the blanks a'lldis then engaged by a gripping device for further feeding.

Another object is the provision of a separating device of the character described wherein a blank, disc or article upon being gripped is swung or drawn away from an adjacent blank separating device wherein the lowermost blank or article in a stack of blanks or articles is shifted on a support ledge into a receiving slot,

the width of such a 'slot being slightly greater than the thickness of the article being fed so that only a single or lowermost blank enters the slot at a time. I

' Numerous other objects and advantages of the invention will be'apparent as it is better understood from the following description, which, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, discloses a preferred embodiment thereof.

Referring to the drawings:

Figure l is a top plan view of a separating and feeding device embodying the present invention, with parts broken away and parts shown in section;

Fig. 2 is an end elevational view of the separating and feeding device illustrated in Fig. 1, showing the device as being viewed from the lower end of the figure with parts in section;

Fig. 3 is an enlarged transverse sectional view taken substantially along the broken line 3-3 in Fig. l, with parts broken away;

Figs. 4 and 5 are views similar to Fig. 3 with parts shown in different positions during the shifting and the separation of the lowermost blank from a stack of blanks in the magazine;

Fig. 6 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional I view taken substantially along the broken line 5 -5 in Fig. 1, with parts broken away; and

Fig. '7 is a perspective view drawn to an enlarged scale and illustrating the details of a pivotal support ledge formed adjacent a blank receiving slot on one end of a rock shaft.

As an exemplary embodiment of the present invention the drawings illustrate a device for separating and feeding blanks, discs or. substantially fiat articles A (Figs. 3, 4 and 5) from a stack of such blanks retained in a magazine B which is preferably inclined. The blanks A are substantially uniform in thickness and because of the angular position of the magazine are disposed in an inclined position relative to the device. The blanks are fed individually from the bottom of the magazine the lowermost blank in the stack being first slid transversely to separate this blank from the blank next above to prevent feeding doubles. This lowermost or outermost blank is then swung or pivoted on its edge from its angular position into a horizontal position clear of the stack and into the path of travel of a feeding device disposed adjacent the bottom of the magazine, for removing the blank from the magazine and for feedingit along a straight line path of travel into a can making machine or to any other suitable place of deposit. The drawings disclose a device for feeding circular blanks or discs although the invention is equally well adapted to feeding rectangular or othershaped blanks.

The magazine B comprises a plurality of spacedguide posts ll. secured to an angularly disposed support plate 12 (Figs. 1 and 2) Four of such guide posts II extend upwardly fromthe support plate for holding the stack of blanks in the magazine at an angle. The support plate 12 is mounted on a frame l3 which may constitute the main frame of a more elaborate machine of g stack of blanks rests on a pivotal support ledge l5 disposed at one side of the device (as viewed at the right in Figs. 3, 4 and 5). The support ledge I5 is formed on the inner end of a cylindrical rock shaft l6 which is pivotally mounted in a bearing l1 formed integral with the support plate l2 (Fig. 1).

At the opposite side of the magazine, the stack of blanks rests on a pair of spaced stationary support ledges l8 (Figs. 1, 3, 5 and 6). These ledges are provided on the inner edges of a pair of raised lugs 2| at one side of the frame 13 bordering upon an opening 22 in the frame.

In the separation of the blanks A from the stack of blanks in the magazine, the lowermost blank A initially is shifted laterally or edgewise relative to its adjacent blank on the support ledges l5, !8, which is toward the right (as viewed in Figs. 3 and 4). This shifting of the blanks overcomes the tendency of the blanks to stick and thus permits them to be separated easily thereafter. The relative movement of the blanks is slight and any scratching that. might occur due to projecting burrs or other projections on the edges of the blanks when such blanks are metal, would be confined to a small area along the marginal edge.

The shifting of the lowermost blank A preferably occurs when the pivotal support ledge 5 is in its normal or inclined position (Figs. 3 and 4). In this position the blank A finall is shifted free of the stationary support ledges i8 and along the support ledge it with the leading. or forward edge of the blank entering into a blank receiving slot 23. Such a slot is formed in an abutment wall 24 (see also Fig. 7) of the rock shaft l6 adjacent the support ledge l5 and has a lower side wall of the slot preferably in the plane of the ledge and extending as a continuation of the ledge.

The widthof the slot 23 may be uniform for its full depth or it may be wider inside of the blank receiving entrance. In either case the minimum width of such a receiving slot is slightly larger than the thickness of a single blank being fed but less in width than the thickness of two such blanks. This restricts the reception to one blank at a time and prevents the feeding of doubles.

The separating and shifting of the lowermost blank A is effected by a separating finger 25 (Figs.

1, 3, 4 and 6) located and movabl at one side of the magazine B between the stationary support ledges l8. Such a separating finger is yieldable and is carried on a pivot pin 26 within a slot 2'! formed in the upper end of a movable mounting 28. This movable mounting is secured at its lower end to a shaft 3| pivotally carried in bearings 32 on the main frame l3.

The separating finger 25 adjacent its forward end is formed with a step or feed shoulder 33 which preferably is equal in height to the thickness of a blank to be separated. The base of the step, i. e. the top surface of the finger forward of the step provides a blank engaging ledge 34 sloping forward and merging into a rounded inner edge (Figs. 3, 4 and 5).

The separating finger 25 normally is held in a raised position in the slot 21 by a spring. 35 which is carried in a bore 33 in the mounting 28 (Figs. 4 and 5). When the separating finger 25 moves forward in a blank separating andshifting opera-tion, the inner edge of the finger passes beneath th lowermost blank A in the stack of blanks and the blank engaging ledge 3-4 gradually moves into yielding and supporting engagement with the blank. The ledge 34 continues to support the lowermost blank as the feed shoulder 33 engages the edge of such a blank and shifts it on the support ledges l5, l8 and finally shifts it free of the stationaryledges and into the blank receiving slot 23 in the rock shaft i6 (Fig. 4).

The movable mounting 28 is actuated by a lever 31 in any suitable manner, in time with the other operations of the machine. This lever is connected at its upper end to the movable mount ing by a pivot pin 38.

The shifted blank A now is ready to be separated from its adjacent blank in the stack of blanks and to b swung from its inclined positionshown in Fig. 4 to the horizontal position illustrated in Fig. 5. This is accomplished by gripping the bottom face of the shifted lowermost blank and simultaneously drawing or swinging the blank downward while rotating or pivoting its edge about the axis of the rock shaft I 6. Such pivoting action during separation of the blank prevents the slot engaging edge of the blank from becoming bent or otherwise deformed.

Suitable gripper means are provided such as a suction cup 4| of the conventional form which engages, grips and holds the blank during its separation. ,Such a cup is located beneath the magazine and is movable relative thereto and to the blanks A within the opening 22 in the main frame. The suction cup 4| is mounted on the upper end of an extension 42 of a rocker arm 43 secured to the outer end of the rock shaft i6 (Figs. 1 and 2).

The suction cup 4| normally is in a raised position adjacent the lowermost blank in the stack of blanks. This suction cup has no gripping or drawing effect upon the blank until after the blank has been shifted as best illustrated in Fig. 4. A source of vacuum then is connected to the suction cup for gripping the blank and holding it While it is drawn downward away from its adjacent blank.

Provision is made for connecting the source of vacuum with the suction cup 4|. This is effected by means of a flexible tube 44 connected at one end to the extension 42 through which communication is had with the cup 4|. The opposite end of the tube 44 leads to a vacuum supply valve 45 (Fig. 2) including a valve housing 46 which is bolted to the main frame I3. The valve 45 preferably is of the slide valve type having a valve slide 41. The valve slide is formed or secured to the lower end of a vertical valve stem 48 and is movable in a bore 5| of the housing 46.

The valve slide 41 normally is in a raised position (Fig. 2) closing off the inlet end of a supply pipe 52' which leads from any suitable source of vacuum. With the valve slide in the position just described the tube 44 is in communication with the housing bore 5| and is open to the atmosphere at the lower end of the bore.

The source of vacuum is connected to the suction cup 4| through the shifting of the valve slide 41 in the bore 5| and this is brought about by de-energizing a normally energized electric solenoid 53 enclosed within the valve housing. This solenoid has a movable core 54 which is connected to or formed as an integral part of the upper end of the valve stem 48. The coreis maintained under pressure of a compression spring 55 interposed between the upper end of the core and a cap 56 of the valve housing.

The normally energized solenoid 53 is connected into an electric circuit C. Such a circuit includes a generator 51 or other suitable means for supplying electric current to the circuit and a switch 58 for opening and closing the circuit (Fig. 2). A lead wire 59 connects the generator to one side of the solenoid 53, a connecting wire 6| connects the solenoid 53 to the switch 58 and a return wire 62 connects the switch 58 to the generator 51. The switch 58 is mounted on a bracket 63 secured to a depending lug 64 on the bearing 32 (see also Fig. 6).

Hence under normal machine operations the switch 58 is closed and current from the generator passing along the lead wire passes through the solenoid 53 for energizing it and then along the connecting wire 3| to and through the closed switch 58 and returning along the return wire 62 to the generator 51. This maintains the vacuum supply valve slide 41 in its normally raised and closed position as previously described.

The actuation of the switch 58 is effected in time with the shifting of the blank A. For this purpose a switch actuating finger 65 is provided which is secured to one end of the shaft 3|. Thus as the movable mounting 28 is rocked inwardly during the shifting operation as previously described, the actuating finger is rocked downwardly and is engageable with a switch element 66 of the normally closed switch 58 for opening it and this breaks the circuit C' (Fig. 4)

Breaking of the circuit C de-energizes the solenoid 53 and thus permits the valve slide 41 to move downwardly in the housing bore 5|. This opens the vacuum supply valve 45, uncovering the inlet end of the supply pipe 52 and thus brings it into communication with the tube 44. The suction cup 4| now is connected to the source of vacuum and the cup grips and holds the shifted blank A.

The shifted and gripped blank A is held in place while the movable mounting 28 moves back through a return stroke. When this mounting is clear of the blank, the latter is swung from its inclined position illustrated in Fig. 4 to the horizontal position shown in Fig. 5. This is effected by actuating the rocker arm 43.

Rocker arm 43 is actuated by a lever 61 in any suitable manner, in time with the movement of the lever 31. The lever 61 is connected at its outer end to the rocker arm 43 by a pivot pin 58.

During the swinging and lowering action of the shifted blank A, the suction cup 4| continues its hold on the blank A. Simultaneously with this swinging action, the arm 43 rotates the shaft l6 and the support ledge I5 and slot 23 formed therein and thus allows the blank to remain flat without any bending during the swinging movement. Upon reaching its horizontal position best illustrated in Fig. 5, the blank A is brought to rest momentarily on a reciprocating feed bar 1| and supporting edges 12, 13 on two adjoining side edges of the opening 22 of the main frame i3. The blank A new is ready to be released from the grip of the suction cup 4|.

Hence as the rocker arm 43 is swung to the right (Fig. 5), the extension 42 moves down and engages and actuates a switch element 14 of the switch 58 for reclosing the circuit C. Electric current for the generator 51 thence flows through the circuit and re-energizes the solenoid 53 for effecting the lifting of the valve slide 41 in the housing bore 5| against the pressure of the spring to its normally raised position. This closes the valve 45 shutting off the inlet end of the supply pipe 52 (Fig. 2)

With the valve slide 41 returned toits normal position the valve inlet end ofthe tube 44 is uncovered and in communication with the atmosphere through the open end of the bore 5|. This vents the tube 44 and releases the grip of the suction cup 4| on the blank A.

The separated and released blank A now is ready to be fed from the bottom end of the magazine B. This is effected by the reciprocating feed bar 1| which is movable in a slideway 15 formed in the main frame l3 (Figs. 1, 5, and 6). The bar 1| carries a plurality of spaced feed dogs 16 which are yieldably mounted in the bar. The feed dog 16 (shown to the left of the magazine Fig. 6) is engageable with a blank A during a forward or feeding stroke of the bar 1| to feed the blank from the magazine and advance it along a straight line path of travel on the main frame i3, as for example, to a position as illustrated by the dot and dash outline (Fig. 1. The blank remains here temporarily during a return stroke of the bar and thereafter is advanced intermittently during the next and subsequent feeding strokes of the bar by the adjacent feed dogs along the path of travel into a can making machine'or other suitable place of deposit.

The blanks A are guided along the straight line path of travel by grooved guides 11 which are secured to the top surface of the frame |3 (Figs. 1, 2 and 6).

The feed bar 1| is operated in the slideway 15 in time with the other operations of the machine and more particularly with the actuation of the levers 31 and 61. For this purpose a feed bar operating lever 18 is provided. This lever is connected to a rock lever 8| by a pivot pin 82 (Figs. 1, 2 and 6). The rock lever 8| is pivoted at its lower end on a shaft 83 which is mounted in any suitable manner in the machine main frame. The upper end of this rock lever is connected to an end of the feed bar 1| through links 84 on pivot pins 85.

Following the feeding of the blank A from the magazine B, the lever 61 is operated to rock or rotate the rock shaft l6 for returning it to its normal and inclined position as best illustrated in Figs. 3 and 4. This action simultaneously returns the suction cup 4| to its raised and normal position adjacent a succeeding or lowermost blank in the stack of blanks in readiness for gripping it as the operations of the device are repeated.

It is thought that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description, and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the form hereinbefore described bein merely a preferred embodiment thereof.

We claim:

1. In a separating device for blanks, discs or other substantially fiat articles, the combination of a magazine, a stationary support ledge at one side and a movable support ledge at the opposite side of said magazine for holding a stack of blanks Within the magazine, a separating finger movable into engagement with the outermost blank at one end of said stack for shifting the leading edge of said outermost blank onto and over said movable support ledge and simultaneously freeing said outer most blank from said stationary ledge, gripper means movable relative to said magazine and engageable with a shifted blank, and means for moving said movable support ledge and said gripper means simultaneously and in the same direction for separating the shifted blank from an adjacent blank in said magazine.

2. In a separating device for blanks, discs or other substantially flat articles, the combination of a magazine, a stationary support ledge and a movable support ledge disposed in spaced relation at opposite sides of said magazine for holding a stack of blanks within the magazine, an abutment wall adjacent said movable support ledge and having a slot formed therein, a separating finger movable adjacent said stationary support ledge at one side of said magazine and engageable with an edge of the outermost blank for shifting the edge of the blank free from said stationary support ledge and the opposite edge of l the blank over said oppositely disposed movable support ledgee into said slot, gripper means movable relative to said magazine and engageable with a shifted blank, and means for moving said movable support ledge and said gripper means simultaneously and in the same direction for separating the blank from other blanks in said magazine.

3. In a separating device for blanks, discs or other substantially flat articles, the combination of a magazine, a stationary and a movable support ledge oppositely disposed in said magazine for holding a stack of blanks within the magazine, an abutment wall having a slot therein adjacent said movable support ledge, a separating finger and a movable mounting for said finger located at one side of said magazine adjacent said stationary ledge, said separating finger being engageable with an edge of the lowermost blank for shifting the opposite edge of the blank on said movable ledge into said slot and simultaneously freeing the blank from the other of said support ledges, gripper means movable relative to said magazine and engageable with a shifted blank, and means for moving said movable ledge and said gripper means simultaneously and in the same direction for separating the blank from an adjacent blank in the stack of blanks within the magazine.

4. In a separating device for blanks, discs or other substantially flat articles, the combination of a magazine, support ledges in said magazine comprising a pair of spaced stationary support ledges at one side of said magazine and at least a single movable support ledge at the opposite side of said magazine cooperating for holding a stack of blanks within the magazine, a movable mounting located at one side of said magazine between said pair of support ledges, an abutment wall adjacent said movable support ledge and having a slot formed therein, a yieldable separating finger carried on said mounting and engageable with an edge of the lowermost blank for shifting the blank on said single movable support ledge and for freeing the blank from the other of said support ledges, and gripper means movable relative to said magazine and engageable with a shifted blank, and means for moving said movable support ledge and said gripper means simultaneousl and in the same direction for separating the blank from an adjacent blank in the stack of blanks within the magazine.

5. In a separating device for blanks, discs or other substantially fiat articles, the combination of a magazine, a support ledge pivotally mounted at one side of said magazine, stationary support ledges at the opposite side of said magazine and cooperating with said pivotally mounted support ledge for holding a stack of blanks within the magazine, an abutment wall adjacent said pivotally mounted support ledge and having a slot formed therein, a separating finger movable adjacent said stationary support ledges at one side of said magazine and engageable with an edge of the lowermost blank for shifting the blank free from said stationary support ledges and an opposite edge of the blank over said pivotally mounted support ledge and into said slot, gripper means movable relative to said magazine and engageable with the shifted blank, and means for oscillating said pivotally mounted support ledge and said gripper means simultaneously and in the same direction for swinging the blank with said pivotally mounted ledge for separating the blank from other blanks in the magazine.

6. In a separating device for blanks, discs: or other substantially flat articles, the combination of a magazine, stationary and movable support adjacent said magazine for holding a stack of blanks within the magazine, one of said sup port ledges being movable and having an abutment wall thereon formed with a blank receiving slot, one side wall of said slot extending from and lying in the plane of said ledge, said slot having a widthwise restricted entrance for the entry of onl an edge of asingle blank at a time, a separating finger movable adjacent said magazine and engageable with an edge of an individual blank for shifting an opposite edge of the blank on said movable support ledge laterally relative to the next blank in the stack and into said slot and for freeing the shifted blank from the stationary support ledges, and a suction cup movable relative to said magazine and engageable with a shifted blank, and means. for moving said movable support ledge and said suction cup simultaneously and in the same direction for separating the shifted blank from other blanks in the magazine.

'7. In a separating device for blanks, discs or other substantially fiat articles, the combination a magazine, a support ledge pivotally mounted one side of said magazine, stationary support ledges at the opposite side of said magazine and cooperating with said pivotally mounted support ieclge for holding a stack of blanks within the magazine, said pivotally mounted support ledge having an abutment wall thereon and a blank receiving slot formed in said abutment wall, one side wall of said slot being common to and in the plane of said ledge, the width of said slot being greater than the thickness of one and less than the thickness of two blanks thus limiting the entry to a single blank at a time, a separating finger movable adjacent said stationary support ledges at one side of said magazine and engageable with an edge of the lowermost blank for shifting the blank free from said stationary support ledges and over said pivotally mounted support ledge into said slot, gripper means movable relative to said magazine and engageable with the shifted blank, and means for moving said gripper means and for simultaneously rotating said pivotally mounted support ledge for swinging the blank with said pivotally mounted ledge and said slot for separating the blank from other blanks in the magazine.

8. In a separating device for blanks, discs or other substantiall fiat articles, the combination of a magazine, a rock shaft pivotally mounted at one side of said magazine, a support ledge formed on said shaft and extending into said magazine, said shaft having a blank receiving slot adjacent said ledge and having one side wall of said slot extending as a continuation of said ledge, stationary support ledges at the opposite side of said magazine and cooperating with said slotted shaft support ledge for holding a stack of blanks within the magazine, a separating finger movable between said stationary support ledges at one side of said magazine and engageable with an edge of the lowermost blank for supporting it and for shifting the blank free from said stationary support ledges and over said shaft support ledge into said slot, a movable rocker arm secured to said rock shaft, and gripper means mounted on an extension of said rocker arm and engageable with the shifted blank, said gripper means being movable relative to said magazine through the actuation of said rocker arm for swinging the gripped blank .disposed on said shaft support ledge and in said slot about the axis of said shaft forseparating the blank from other blanks in the magazine.

9. In a separating and feeding device for blanks, discs or other substantially fiat articles, the combination of a magazine, a plurality of support ledges disposed adjacent said magazine on opposite sides thereof for holding. a stack of blanks within the magazine, one of said support ledges being movable and having an abutment wall thereon and a blank receiving slot formed in said Wall, a separating fing'er'movable at a side of said magazine opposite said movable ledge and engageable with an edge of the lowermost blank in the stack for shifting the opposite edge of the blank on said movable supportdedge into said slot and for freeing the blank-from the other of said support ledges, a suction cup movable relative to said magazine and engageable with a shifted blank, means for moving said movable support ledge and said suction cup simultaneously and in the same direction for separating the shifted blank from an adjacent blank in said stack, and feed means located adjacent said magazine and operable in time with the movement of said suction cup and movable ledge for feeding the separated blank from said magazine.

10. In a separating and feeding device for blanks, discs or other substantially flat articles, the combination of a magazine, a plurality of support ledges disposed adjacent said magazine on opposite sides thereof for holding astack .of blanks within the magazine, one of said support ledges being movable and having an'abutment wall thereon and a blank receiving slot formed in said wall, a separating finger movable at one side of said magazine and engageable with an edge of the lowermost blank in the stack for shifting the opposite edge ofthe blank on said movable support ledge and for freeing the blank from the other of said support ledges, a suction cup movable relative to .said magazine and engageable with a shifted blank, means for moving said movable support ledge and said suction cup simultaneously and 'in the same direction for separating the blankfrom an adjacent blank in said magazine, and vacuum control means actuated in time with the movements of the said separating finger saidmovable ledge and said suction cup for opening and closing a source of vacuum to said suction cup for effecting the separation of said shifted blank.

WILLIAM W. MAHER. HOWARD B. PETERSON.

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

: UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 769,927 Zeh Sept. 13, 1904 1,071,243 Kurkiewicz Aug. 26, 1913 1,202,315 Reifsnyder Oct. 24, 1916 1,275,679 Harrold Aug. 13, 1918 1,283,659 Cameron Nov. 5, 1918 1,407,318 Blankenhorn Feb. 21, 1922 1,707,928 Sedwick Apr. 2, 1929 2,395,497 Nordquist Feb. 26, 1946 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 22,599 Denmark Nov. 19, 191.7

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Classifications
U.S. Classification271/102, 271/132, 271/135, 271/33, 271/105
International ClassificationB65G59/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65G59/062
European ClassificationB65G59/06B2