Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2615567 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 28, 1952
Filing dateMay 29, 1948
Priority dateMay 29, 1948
Publication numberUS 2615567 A, US 2615567A, US-A-2615567, US2615567 A, US2615567A
InventorsJohn A Campbell
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sorting apparatus
US 2615567 A
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 28, 1952 J. A, AMPBELL 2,615,567

SGRTING APPARATUS 4 Filed May 29, 1948 Inyewtrov: John A. CampbeLL,

b5 MP; K

His A lr t'ovneg.

ment of burred .and bent pins.

alesser effectiveness thereof.

Patented Oct. 28, 1952 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE S ORI-ING APPARATUS "John A. Camphell,-East Cleveland, Ohio, assignor to General "Electric Company, a'corporationof New York Application May 29, 1948, Serial No. 29,985

4 Claims.

My invention relates generally ,to sorting or screening .apparatus, and more particularly to apparatus for automatically sorting pin-like cylindrical .articles to segregate those articles whichare defective in that they are deformed, asby being bent or burred.

.My invention also has particular reference to-automatically operated apparatus-for inspecting cylindricalpins by causing said pins to pass through the limited-sized openings of an in- :spection tray or screen, and'to apparatus of this type wherein means are provided for handling considerable quantities of pins without inter- ,ruption.

.One object ofmy inventionis to provide apparatus forinspecting pins and other cylindrical .articlesbycausing them to be shaken over "the upper surface and through one or another of \a, multiplicity of accurately shaped openings in -a tray. ,The inspection operation is controlled .by the size and length of the barrel or bore of periods of. operation ofthe apparatus in order to recover the productive capacity thereof.

vAnother object. of my invention isto provide in combination with a tray-type sorting apparatus means for maintaining athin layer of pins in the tray to insure efficient sorting. Inasmuch as the pins do not work into and pass through the openings in the trayat a. uniform rateand some of the said openings are constantly beingblocked by defective pins, a control must be provided to prevent an excess of pins-from collecting on the tray. Such a man- ,nerofoperating the apparatus is highly desirable, as the excess pins wedge into the openings in groups and block said openings so that the effectiveness of the tray is considerably reduced.

An excess of pinsflis also objectionable inasmuch asthe blocking of one opening contributes to the "further overloading of the tray and still To attain this objectI provide means for-automatically limiting the-amount of pinssupplied to the tray in proportion to those passed through the openings thereof and discharged from the apparatus. By controllingthefeed cycle from the volume of :the output, I provide automatic compensation forthe varied output due to the openings in Jthe'tray becoming plugged with defectivepins.

Other objects and advantages of 13116.34)-

paratus I of any invention will appear :from .the following detailed description of a speciesithereof and from the drawing.

Inthe drawing, Fig. l is a combined perspective view and a diagrammatic .wiring .diagram of --the apparatus for sorting relatively short wire-size pins used in the manufacture :of radio tubes and the like; :Fig. 2 isa :sideelevation, taken from a transverse .section through the tray, of said tray, the adjacent portions .bf :the

support means therefor and thefeedingmeans of said apparatuspand-Fig. 3 is .avfrontielevation of -a bucket and associatedweighing means for receiving the acceptable pins discharged by :the tray.

The J sorting functionof the. apparatus occurs when the pins ll are caused ato .pass end --f,0 re mostinto the openings23in the tray 33 ,andis effected by the restricting properties of the limited passageway provided by .the .,-cylindrical walls of thelower barrel :Lof said openings :2.

The tray "3is carried on .theinwardly extending shoulder 35 of the surrounding support frame 6 and'is agitated-back and forth in agenerally longitudinal direction by the movements ofzt e support frame 1-6 so 3 that .the pins l, which; are generally distributed over the upper surface thereof, (are caused :tO pass end first -into the flared upper ends of the openings]. -;f-Ihe-;p-ins I/are automaticallyfedto ,theqtrayxfi iromi'l he funnel-shaped storage ,hopper {1 according to the needs oft-he apparatus, and-areshaken over theupper surface 10f the tray" 3 by- -,th-e constant motion 0f;the trayiiahd theframe fi which are rocked back .and forth pm the arms -;8 depart d at vthe .four corners ithereof. The crank gnotion of the link;9,..which is-attached byafastening lfl toone end of the frame fi and which engages theoffset-pin ;Il inthe disc 12, creates-movement in said "frame fi in a d t the rotative motion of sai-d disc l2 which;-=is-attached-togone end of the;shaftl 3. ;I2uri ng the entire operat v p rio ;of t ap aratu th shaft l3, which issupported-ina bearing ;in thesupport bracket [4,,is underthe constant rotativainfiuence of :means (not shown) preferabl consisting of an electric motor ,.and; speed reducer, which means. engages the end-of .said

shaft -l3 opposite from that carryingthezdisc The rocker arms 18, which pivot onthe pins. l5 extending from the frame 6 and the pins (6 extending from the uprights ll, impart to the .tray

3 and the pins'thereon a lifting as well as a hori- 3 zontally directed action causing the pins to separate readily from each other and to move freely over the perforated surface of said tray 3. This manner of agitating the tray 3 is preferable in that the pins I gather in groups in some of the pockets formed by the flared upper ends of the openings 2 in the tray and must therefore be agitated to break up the groups and shift the pins into other openings 2 before they can pass completely into respective openings 2. Inasmuch as ordinarily very few of the pins I are defective and so proportioned that they do not pass through the openings 2 of the tray 3, only a few of said openings are blocked during the normal operative period of the apparatus and a considerable number of openings 2 are in condition to care for the pins I. On the other hand, a small burr or bend in the pins I is sufiicient to prevent said pins from passing through the only slightly longer and larger barrels 4 of the openings 2 and causes them to be separated from the acceptable pins I which fall completely through the openings 2. After the productive capacity of the apparatus has been considerably reduced by the blocking of a goodly portion of the openings 2 in the tray 3, said tray 3 is lifted from the frame I and turned to an inverted position where it is cleared of defective pins I. The defective pins I are dislodged from the tray 3 by a manually operated ram (not shown) forced into said openings 2.

In one particular application of the apparatus having to do with the sorting of pins 8 mm. in length and .040 inch in diameter, a tray 3 is used having two hundred and forty-eight openings 2 with a barrel 4 length of mm. and a diameter of .043 inch. These particular pins I were made by a process which provides them with rounded ends and which, if improperly performed, renders them defective either by bending them or developing a burr thereon. A number of defective pins I normally sorted out by the apparatus is such that two to four hours of continuous operation occurs between periods when the tray 3 is removed and cleared.

The pins I that are to be sorted by the apparatus are placed in the hopper I and those pins I that are found to be acceptable pass to a container (not shown) placed below and to the left (Fig. 1) of the bucket I8 at that end of the apparatus. The hopper T has sufiicient capacity for an extended period of operation and discharges pins I to the tray 3 in an automatic function of the apparatus which is carried out by dumpin movements of the bucket I9. The pins I flow by gravity through the hopper T and the discharge snout 2D to the bucket I9 located permanently therebelow. The flow of pins from hopper l to bucket I9 is stopped by piling up of the pins in said bucket I9. These dumping movements of the bucket I9, in turn, provide for the periodic discharge of comparatively small quantities thereof onto the distribution plate 2I over said center portion of the tray 3 and provide a means of restricting the number of pins I on said tray 3 at any one time. The hopper I rests within the ring-shaped bracket 22 on the vertical support standard 23 and conducts the pins I by means of the shout t0 the bucket I9 which is so balanced about oppositely positioned support pins 24 (only one appearing in the drawing) in the arms of the yoke 25 attached to said support standard 23 that it is not tipped by being loaded. Additional means of keeping the bucket is in this position is provided by the contracgame tion force of a spring 26, extending between an end of the push rod 27 engaging the arm 28 on the pin 24 and a post on the bracket 22, and by the controlling force of said push rod 27 which extends to actuating means below the supporting table 23. At moments when the bucket I9 is dumped, a downward movement of the push rod 2'! occurs and the resulting movement of the arm 28 and the pin 24 tip said bucket I9 so that the pins I therein spill out onto the plate 2I covering the center portion of the tray 3. The flow of pins I from the snout 20 of the hopper l is blocked off during the dumping movement of the bucket I9 as the pin 30 carried by the side Wall thereof is moved away from the gate 3| at such times and the contraction force of the spring 32, which extends between a post 33 on the collar 34 surrounding the snout 20 and a projecting portion of the gate 3|, swings said gate 3I about a supporting pin 35 held by the collar 34 so that it passes under the open end of said snout 20.

When the apparatus is initially started, the bucket I9 is tipped two or three times manually to deposit a working supply of pins I onto the distribution plate 2I, after which the back-andforth agitations of the tray 3 cause the pins I to gradually pass off opposite sides of said plate 2: and to circulate to the various openings 2 in said tray The plate 2i functions both to assist distribution of the pins I over the surface of the tray 3 and to prevent large quantities of said pins I from filling and interfering with the function of those openings 2 directly below said plate 21. To this end, the plate 2| is mounted at the corners thereof on studs 35 which lit in correspondingly positioned openings 2 in the tray 3, and a shoulder 37 on the studs 35 keeps the plate 2! sufficiently spaced from the top surface of the tray 3 to allow the pins I to circulate freely therebetween. As the operation of the apparatus progresses, the acceptable pins I fall through the openings 2 in the tray 3 and onto the inclined chute 38 located below the full length thereof where they are again subject to the vibrations of this portion of the apparatus and travel down to the lowermost end of said chute 38 located over the discharge bucket I8. The chute 38 is attached to the supporting frame 6 for the tray 3 so that it vibrates in unison therewith and directs the pins I by means of its convergent lower end to the opening 39 where they fall therefrom to bucket I8 below.

The weight of the acceptable pins I collecting in the output bucket I3 is the basis for controlling the dumping movements of the input bucket I9, thereby replacing those pins I passing through the openings 2 in the tray 3 with a like number from the hopper l. The control is effected when the number of pins I collected in the bucket I8, which is supported through studs 40 (only one being shown) extending from opposite sides there of into the opposite branches of one end of the balance beam 4 I, is sufiicient to tilt said beam M.

t such times, the pins I contained in the bucket i8 offset the counter weight 42 on the opposite end of the beam 4| and tip said beam 4i about the pin .3 carried by the support bracket 44 extending from the table 23 an amount causing it to engage and actuate the control pin 45 of the switch 45 on bracket 4%. The remainder of the actuating means for the bucket I9 consists of the electrical relay 4'! which has an actuating coil 48 permanently connected through wires 49 and 50 to the electric current supply line and switch 46, respectively, and the solenoid 5i which provides for the rotation of the operating shaft 52 and the downward dumping movement of the the line. The solenoid 5|, in turn, has an arma- 'ture 55 connected by the helical spring 56 to the operating arm 51 on the operating shaft and,

when: energized, moves said armature 55 so that the shaft 52 is turned suiiiciently to cause the arm 58 thereonto effect the proper movement in rod 21.

In order that the bucket I8 and associated means be in condition to measure succeeding quantities. of acceptable pins I and cause the repeated dumping movement of the bucket I9,

means are provided for turning the bucket I8 to cause the pins I therein to be spilled therefrom. This motion of the bucket I8 is brought about in conjunction with the dumping movement of bucket I9 by the rotation of the operating shaft 52, which movement swings the arm 59 so that the rod to is moved longitudinally and the connected arm GI and stud 40 move to produce the desired rotation in the bucket I8. When the dumping motion of the bucket I8 is completed, the bucket I8 is so positioned that the partition 62 therein is under the stream of incoming pins I and directs said pins I toward the back portion of said bucket I8. All but a few of these latter pins I are retained by the bucket I8 and contribute to the weight of the succeeding loading thereof.

Inasmuch as the action of the armature 55 of the solenoid 5i is quite rapid, means are provided in the dash pct 63 for slowing the rotation of the operating shaft 52 and the dumping movements of the buckets I8 and I9. This function of the apparatus prevents the buckets I3 and I9 from moving so rapidly as to throw the pins I some distance therefrom and is produced by slowly bleeding the air from the dash pot 63 through the opening controlled by the adjusting screw 64. The piston within the dash pot 63, which is attached to the table 29 in a manner not shown, is connected by means of rod 65 to the arm 59 on the operating shaft 52 and is capable of slowing the rotation of said shaft 52 as the more rapid motion of the armature 55 is taken up in stretching the spring 56.

The dumping interval of the buckets I8 and I9 is established separately in a manner eliminating as much as possible the injurious effect of the vibrations of the entire apparatus and assuring a definite period to said dumping interval. The means of establishing the dumping control is provided in the limit switch 66 which is connected in a shunt circuit around the switch 46 by the movement of the contact arm 61 of the relay 41 at the time switch 46 is actuated and is located at a fixed position on support means not shown below the table 29 so as to be actuated by the engagement of arm 59 on the operating shaft 52 with the control pin 68 at the limit of the dumping movement. By this time, all of the original loading of pins I in the buckets I8 and I9 have spilled therefrom and the breaking of the shunt circuit through switch 66 to the relay 41 has the effect of actuating said relay 41 and de-energizing the solenoid 5|. The operating shaft 52 (which is mounted in a stationary bracket 69 only partially shown on the bottom surface of the table 29) is turned back to its former position and the buckets I8 and I9 are turned to their upright position by trol of the relay 41.

6 the-contraction force'of the spring-32 located adjacent I bucket I9. The reduced weight of the bucket I8 immediately after the start of the dumping operation causes the balance -beam -'4I to swing up from the control pin '45 of the switch 46 andto open'the circuittherethrough so that the switch 66in the shuntcircuit is in full -con- This movement of the beam -4I also'prepares the apparatusfor a suc- 'ceeding cycle of operation.

To recapitulate briefly, it will be seen that I provide a incombination-with a screening or sorting tray '3, -an automatic variable feed mechanism which periodically feeds a'given quantity ofpins from the input pan or bucket I9 to the upper surface of the tray only upon accumulation of 'a'predetermined weight of the screened pins in a weight-responsive counter-balanced output-pan or bucket l8 which collects the pins until their weight is sufficient to close a circuit that causes both buckets I8 and I9 to be tripped and emptied, thus automatically compensating for the varied output due to the holes in the tray 3 becoming plugged with defective pins.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. Apparatus for sorting pin-like cylindrical articles comprising a tray having a multiplicity of openings therethrough permitting the endwise passage of acceptable articles and restricting the passage of deformed articles, feeding means including a tiltable bucket above said tray for periodically delivering a quantity of articles to the upper surface of the tray, means for agitating the tray, means located below the tray including a second tiltable bucket for receiving the cylindrical articles, and means connected to both of said buckets and actuated by an accumulation of a predetermined weight of articles in said second bucket for momentarily tilting both of the said buckets to discharge the articles therefrom.

2. Apparatus for sorting pin-like cylindrical articles comprising a tray having a multiplicity of openings therethrough permitting the endwise passage of acceptable articles and restricting the passage of deformed articles, a hopper located above the tray holding a supply of the cylindrical articles and having a discharge snout, a tiltable bucket located below the snout of the hopper and adapted to accumulate and periodically discharge a quantity of the articles to the tray, means for agitating the tray, means located below the tray including a tiltable bucket for receiving the articles, and means connected to both buckets and actuated by an accumulation of a predetermined weight of articles in the last-mentioned bucket for momentarily tilting both of said buckets to discharge the cylindrical articles therefrom.

3. Apparatus for sorting pin-like cylindrical articles comprising a tray having a multiplicity of openings therethrough permitting the endwise passage of acceptable articles and restricting the passage of deformed articles, a hopper located above the tray holding a supply of the articles and having a discharge snout, a tiltable bucket located below the snout of the hopper and adapted to accumulate and periodically discharge a quantity of the articles to the tray, means for agitating th tray, means located below the tray including a movable and tiltable counter-weighted bucket for receiving the articles, means connected to both of said buckets for tilting them and discharging the articles therefrom, and

means controlled by the movement of the lastmentioned bucket upon accumulation therein of a quantity of the articles for momentarily tilting both buckets to discharge the articles therefrom.

4. In apparatus of the class described, the combination of a screening tray, storage means including an input pan means arranged above said tray to deliver material to be screened to the upper surface of the tray, a counter-balanced output pan means arranged below said tray to collect material screened therethrough, actuating means connected to tilt both said input and said output pan means and including electrical control means arranged in a circuit adapted to be closed only upon movement of said output pan 15 means by virtue of collection therein of a predetermined Weight of screened material to concomitantly tilt and empty both said pan means.


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

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 159,082 Coyne Jan. 26, 1875 382,931 Allen May 15, 1888 '7 66,623 Huntley Aug. 2, 1904 946,171 Taylor Jan. 11, 1910 1,325,752 Pope Dec. 23, 1919 2,164,796 Bird July 4, 1939 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 649,092 Germany Aug. 14, 1937

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US159082 *Mar 29, 1873Jan 26, 1875Himself And Eobeet ChessImprovement in nail-assorting machines
US382931 *Aug 11, 1886May 15, 1888 Rice-separator
US766623 *Dec 27, 1898Aug 2, 1904Huntley Mfg CompanyGrain-separator.
US946171 *Nov 21, 1908Jan 11, 1910Taylor & CompanyTack-weighing machine.
US1325752 *Dec 14, 1916Dec 23, 1919 sheets
US2164796 *May 20, 1936Jul 4, 1939Traylor Vibrator CoMethod and apparatus for feeding coal
DE649092C *Jun 21, 1935Aug 14, 1937Alfred Bauer Dipl IngSelbsttaetige Waage
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2788124 *Mar 19, 1952Apr 9, 1957Rca CorpSorting apparatus
US2995775 *Dec 26, 1957Aug 15, 1961Richardson CoInjection molding
US3172588 *Nov 7, 1963Mar 9, 1965Frederic WiseVibrating method and apparatus
US3240332 *Jun 4, 1963Mar 15, 1966Western Electric CoApparatus for feeding articles
US3269534 *Aug 11, 1964Aug 30, 1966Arthur C ClarkCombined nail conveyor and cleaner
US3325006 *Feb 19, 1965Jun 13, 1967Locke Steel Chain CompanySorting and classifying machine for pintle pins and the like
US3483972 *Nov 29, 1966Dec 16, 1969Elliott James EWool cleaning and sorting method and apparatus
US3784006 *Jun 28, 1972Jan 8, 1974Boehringer Mannheim GmbhDragee sorting apparatus
US3796349 *May 18, 1972Mar 12, 1974R WeberWeighing dispenser
US3954181 *Jul 28, 1975May 4, 1976General Motors CorporationParts sorting gauge
US3990580 *Jan 22, 1975Nov 9, 1976Gunson's Sortex LimitedMethod and apparatus for sorting sultanas
US4024877 *Mar 4, 1975May 24, 1977Welborn Woodrow WVegetable peas and separating the hulls therefrom and the like
US4573751 *May 7, 1984Mar 4, 1986Leiter Swank Industries, Inc.Combination multiple compartment storage bin and sorting tray
US4615571 *Jun 3, 1985Oct 7, 1986Leiter Industries, Inc.Storage apparatus and sorting tray
US4789106 *Sep 18, 1987Dec 6, 1988Grindmaster CorporationCombined coffee bean weigher and grinder with selectable measured quantities
US4960195 *Nov 30, 1988Oct 2, 1990Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.Component-orienting apparatus
US5082555 *Jan 26, 1990Jan 21, 1992The Read CorporationSoil feeding apparatus and method
US5292006 *Jan 8, 1992Mar 8, 1994Girts Jr David MScreening apparatus
US8162172 *Feb 23, 2007Apr 24, 2012Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc.Depression for feeding ball-shaped bodies and a device for the stacking and distribution of a defined number of ball-shaped bodies
US8336716Feb 23, 2011Dec 25, 2012Yoshitaka AoyamaShaft-like parts feeding apparatus
US20070199950 *Feb 23, 2007Aug 30, 2007Roche Diagnostics GmbhDepression for feeding ball-shaped bodies and a device for the stacking and distribution of a defined number of ball-shaped bodies
DE3839892A1 *Nov 25, 1988Jun 22, 1989Murata Manufacturing CoOrientierungsvorrichtung fuer parallelepipedfoermige bauteile
WO1991011268A1 *Jan 25, 1991Jul 26, 1991Read CorpSoil separating apparatus and method
U.S. Classification209/680, 209/920, 209/239, 209/933, 209/397, 209/925, 209/910, 209/235, 209/242, 222/55, 177/115
International ClassificationB07C99/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S209/91, Y10S209/925, Y10S209/933, Y10S209/92, B07C9/00
European ClassificationB07C9/00