US 2671549 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March g, 954 l 1 LUBETK|N 2,671,549
Row FORMING DEVICE Filed Jan. 1:5, 1951 l s sheets-sheet 1 r Lf @.I f
lll f March 9, i954 1. LUBETKIN ROW FORMING DEVICE 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 13, 1951 J. LUBETKIN ROW FORMING DEVICE 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Jan. 13, 1951 Patented Mar. 9, 1.954
UNITED STATES PA'EENT OFFICE ROW FORMING DEVICE Jacques Lubetkin, New York, N. Y.
Application January 13, 1951, Serial No. 205,874
This invention relates to counting devices and more particularly to a device for rapidly counting small things and delivering them in predetermined lots into shipping receptacles or other containers for convenience in handling.
In the manufacture and packing of large numbers of small articles or products it is desirable that the articles be counted automatically and separated into convenient lots as they are moved to a place for loading into containers.
An object of the invention is to provide an irnproved device for doing this in a rapid and accurate manner.
Another object is to provide an article counting and packaging device that moves the articles into a single file and maintains them in a spaced apart relation for accurate counting. l
Another object is to provide a novel arrangement for belt conveyors in an article aligning and packaging device that is short and compact and yet aiiords a sufficient length of travel for the articles in which they may be arranged from a haphazard mass to a single le.
Another object is to provide a belt conveyor type counting and packaging device that may be quickly and easily broken down into sections for ease in handling and moving from place to place.
Further objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
Figure 1 is a plan view of one embodiment of the invention.
Figure 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view of this embodiment of the invention, the section being taken on the line 2 2 of Figure 1,
Figure 3 is a vertical cross-section taken on the line 3--3 of Figure l,
Figure 4 is a vertical cross-section taken on the line 4- of Figure 2,
Figure 5 is a section substantially on line 5*-5 of Figure 2,
Figure 6 is a fragmentary vertical section, substantially ron line 6 8 of Figure 1, illustrating hcw the articles to be counted and loaded into containers may be delivered to the device of the invention,
Figure 7 is a fragmentary section on line 'I-l of Figure 1,
Figure 8 is a section on line 8--8 of Figure 1,
Figure 9 is a View in elevation of the top portion ofthe article receiving end of the illustrated device,
Figure 10 is a detail fragmentary view taken Z in section substantially on line Ill--I 0 of Figure 1,
Figure 1l is a detail perspective view of one of the fans in the feeding section of the counting device,
Figure 12 is a view in general similar to Figure 3, showing the modiied arrangement of the conveyor belts,
Figure 13 is a diagram of one form of an electrical circuit for the invention, and
Figure 14 is a circuit diagram illustrating another form for the electrical circuit for the device of the invention.
Similar reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several figures of the drawing.
While for convenience,- the invention will be described with reference to devices particularly adapted to handle bakery products such as hard rolls and the like, it will, of course, be understood that the invention is not limited to this application, as it is applicable to the handling of numerous types of articles.
Referring to `said drawing, the mechanism herein disclosed consists of an article receiving and aligning section, designated generally by the letter A, connected to a counting and batching section B, for moving the articles, e. g., bakery rolls, while counting and hatching them, from a point of delivery, such as the belt conveyor C (Figures 2, 4 and 6) to baskets or other suitable receptacles D.
The article receiving and aligning section A includes a support in the form of a table having four legs, indicated by reference numbered I, a top plate II, With side flanges I2 and I3 and end flanges I4 and I5 extending downwardly from its rim, side braces I6 and I'I for thelegs ID and a shelf I8.
The top plate II supports the upper course of a wide endless belt I9 Which receives the bakery rolls from the delivery conveyor C and carries them in the direction shown by the arrow 20 Figure 1. Belt I9 is driven by the driver pulley 2| keyed to a shaft 22 journaled in the side flanges I2 and I3 under the top plate II and near the end of the top plate that is arranged for operation adjacent the counting and hatching section B. From around the driver pulley 2I, vthe belt I9 passes upwardly through an opening 23 in the top plate I-I and thence over the top plate to the tightener idler pulley 24. The .idler pulley 24 is rotatable on shaft 2.5 in bearing plates 25 which are carried by the arms 2l that `extend beyond the far end of the top plate Il and are supported by the end flange l5. From 'th- 3 tightener idler pulley 24, the belt I9 travels back to the driver pulley 2| by passing under the top plate I I where it is supported on the idler rollers 28 rotatable in the side braces I8 and Il'. Belt IE] may be tightened as desired by means of the set screws 29 in the extension arms 2.
On each side of the wide belt I3 is a narrow endless belt 3U which travels in the horizontal plane of the wide belt but in a direction opposite to that traveled by belt I3. Only one of these narrow belts 30 will be described in detail since they are alike in construction and mode of operation.
The side flanges I2 and I3 extend beyond the end fiange I4 of the top plate II providing support arms 3I for the driver pulley 32 keyed to a cross-shaft 33 that is jcurnaled in said support arms 3l. Narrow belt 30 passes over and is supported by the top plate II, from where the belt passes around the driver pulley 32 and under the top plate, and over the idler rollers 28 that support the lower course of the wide belt I9. The idler tightener pulley 34 for the narrow belt 30 is positioned under an opening 35 in the top plate, said opening 35 being located near the far end of the plate I I where it provides for passage of the belt 30 from around the idler pulley 34 to the top surface of the plate I I. Idler pulley 34 is rotatable on cross-shaft 36 carried by the shiftable bearing plates 3'! in the side flanges I2 and I3.
In order that the narrow belts 36 may properly align the bakery rolls in single le, I provide a vertical guide rail 38 on top of each of said narrow belts, and I space these guide rails from the inner edges of the belts by a distance that is slightly greater than the diameters of the bakery rolls. The guide rails 33 may be moved sideways over the narrow belts 30 to adjust the device of my invention to accommodate articles of various widths, and in order that the guide rails on each side of the device may be adjusted simultaneously I mount them on support arms 39 that are operatively engagable with a crank shaft 40 that is rotatably mounted under the top plate II. The crank shaft 49 is screw threaded at each of its ends, the threads on one end being pitched in a direction opposite to the pitch of the threads on the other end. Thus when the shaft 40 is rotated by hand it will cause the guide rails to move toward or away from each other depending on the direction of rotation of the shaft. The support arms 39 are slidable in the sleeves 4I that are fastened on angle irons 42 mounted on the top plate and arranged along the outer edges of the narrow belts 30.
In addition to providing a support means for the guide rails 38, the angle irons 42 also serve tosupport the curved plates 43 that transfer the bakery rolls from the wide belt I9 to the narrow belts 3D. The curved plates 43 are fastened at their ends to the angle irons as indicated at 44 in Figure 1, and the forward ends of the plates 43, i. e., the V-shaped portion 45, is hung by the threaded bolt 48 from support bar 41 which is bolted or otherwise fastened to the angle irons 42.
For driving the belt conveyors I9 and 30, I provide a motor 50 seated upon the shelf I8 and bolted thereto. The shaft of the motor 50 is connected by belt I to a speed reducing unit 53 which in turn drives the pulley 32 for the narrow conveyors 3U by means of the chain belt 54.
As explained above and in order to reduce the overall length of the article receiving and aligning section A by positioning the article receiving belt between the aligning conveyors and still maintain a length of travel for the bakery rolls that is substantially equal to the combined lengths of the article receiving and the article aligning conveyors, it is necessary that the wide article receiving conveyor I9 be driven in a direction opposite to that of the article aligning conveyors 3B. I do this with a single drive means by providing on the drive shaft 22 a spur gear 55 meshing with another spur gear 56 rotatable in bearings 5'! and driven by the chain belt 58 from the driver pulley 59 of the speed reducing unit 53.
Referring now to the details of construction of the counting and batching section B, it will be seen from the drawing that this section includes, broadly, a support table 35, article guiding conveyors 66 for guiding the bakery rolls between the lamps 6l and photo-electric cells 68, discharge chutes 6B each of which carries a movable gate or vane 'I0 for directing the bakery rolls into the several baskets D, and counting mechanisms 'II actuated by the photo-cells 63 for operation of the vanes 73.
The support table 65 is similar to but preferably not as long as the support table described above for the article receiving and aligning section A. As best shown in Figures 2 and 3, the support tables for the sections A and B are connected together by means of the tie rods I2 that are bolted or otherwise suitably attached to the adjacent legs of the tables. Thus it will be seen that when it is desired to move the article handling device of my invention from place to place, the sections A and B may be easily and quickly separated from each other by merely disconnecting the tie rods 'I2 from the legs on one of the tables and then removing a conveyor drive chain 83 which is more fully described hereinafter.
The conveyor belts 66 pass around the driver pulleys 'I3 and idler tightener pulleys 14, the upper courses of said belts being supported on the top plate 'l5 of the table G5 and made to travel in the direction of the article aligning belts 30. Driver pulleys 73 are keyed on the cross-shaft 75 that is rotatable in bearings carried in table extension arms T1. In a somewhat similar manner to the idler pulleys for the con- Veyor belts 30, the tightener idler pulleys 'I4 are mounted on a shaft 'IS journalled in bearing plates 33 in extension arms 8| on the article discharge end of table 65. The conveyor belts 66 are substantially equal in width tc the narrow belts 30 and they are spaced apart like the belts 39 so that they may be aligned with said belts 30 to form a straight line path for the bakery rolls to travel.
As stated above the conveyor belts 66 guide the bakery rolls between photo-cells 68 and lamps 51 where the rolls on each conveyor intercept a beam of light and cause negative impulses to be generated in a photo-cell. These impulses are passed to a counting mechanism 1I which operates to ip one of the vanes I0 after a predetermined number of rolls has passed the light source. In order that an accurate count of the rolls may be had, it is necessary that they be spaced from each other to allow a light beam to pass between the rolls and impinge upon the light sensitive plate of the photocell after the passage of each roll. As the rolls pass from the article receiving conveyor I9 to the aligning vcon-- veyors 30, they are often hunched together and frequently become aligned on the conveyors 30 one directly behind and contacting another as is lshown in Figures 1 .and 3. If a group of rolls were permitted to remain in this contacting relation as they passed the light sensitive cell they would register as a single unit rather than a`s individual rolls.
In order, therefore, to cause the bakery rolls to travel in spacedapart relation as they pass by a. light sensitive cell, I provide a stationary platform. 82 between each set of the article aligning conveyors 30 and the guiding conveyors 6.6 whereby the rolls will pass over the platform .82y before they are picked up by the conveyors 60. Also, for this purpose, I cause the conveyors G6 to travel at a greater speed than the conveyors 30. Thus it will be seen that when a bakery roll reaches the article discharge end of a conveyor 30, it will slide upon a platform 82 and will be slowed down in its travel, whereupon a roll or several rolls behind it on the conveyor 30 will bump up against the iirst roll and push it over the platform and on to the upper course of a conveyor belt 66. Since the conveyors 66 travel at a greater speed than do the conveyors 30, each bakery roll when picked up by a belt 66 will be moved for a substantial distance, depending on the relative speed of belts 66, before the next following roll is picked up by a belt. In this way the rolls become suitably spaced from each other and so long as there is a sufcient Supply of rolls on the conveyors 30, they will become equally spaced on the belts 68 whereby the device will operate smoothly and rapidly and will count each and every roll that passes before one of the photo electric cells.
As best shown in Figure 10, the belts 8S are driven by a chain 83 that passes around spur gears 84 and 85 on the cross shafts 16 and 32 respectively. A spring actuated idler roller 86 for tightening the chain 83 is provided on the tie rod 12. The spur gear 84 is smaller in diameter than the spur gear 85 whereby it will rotate faster than the spur gear 85, and thereby cause the belts 86 to travel faster than the belts 30.
On top of each of the conveyors 68 there is arranged an upright guide rail 86 that is adjustable by means of the slotted support arms 81 to allow the conveyor belts to carry articles of various widths. Support arms 81 are mounted on angle irons 88 by vertical pins 89 that pass through the slots in said arms. The rails 88 guide the bakery rolls close to the light sensitive cells 68, thus causing the light to the cells to be cut oif sharply by each bakery roll that passes by the photo-cells.
After the rolls have passed by the photo-cells, they fall from the discharge end of a conveyor 65 onto a chute 69 for loading into the baskets D. The chutes 69 may be supported in any suitable manner and as here shown they are supported by the brackets 9| mounted to the legs of table 65. Each of the chutes 69 is provided with a gate or vane 10, previously mentioned, for directing a predetermined number of bakery rolls into first one and then another of the baskets C. The vane is fixed on a shaft 92 passing through and normal to the base of the chute which supports it and on which the vane is adapted to swing. The lower end of the shaft 92 is xed to a lever arm 93 (Figure 3) engageable with the plunger 94 of solenoids 95 and'96 mounted on the bracket 9|.
Referring now to Figure 13, I will describe the counting mechanisms 1| which energize the solenoids and 9E for oscillation of the venes 10. In this iigurethere is illustrated an electric circuit including the elements of each ofthe mechanisms 1|, and since they are alike, Iwill describe the circuit for only one of the mechanisms.
A photo-cell 68., diagrammatically shown in Figure 13, is connected across the leads |00 and |01 of a current supply source indicated at |02. The cell 88 passes electric impulses through leads |03 and |04 to the solenoid |05, the armature of which is connected to a cam |01 by any suitable ratchet mechanism |06, not detailed on the drawing. When the solenoid |05 becomes energized by an electrical impulse from the cell 68, its armature will move to rotate the cam |01 step by step. Thus the cam will rotate one unitfor each bakery roll that passes by the photo-cell 58, and, when, for example, it is desired to place 60 bakery rolls into each basket, the ratchet |06 and cam |01 are constructed to cause the cam to rotate 360 degrees upon 60 movements of the armature of the solenoid |05. y
A contact switch |08 is associated with the cam |01 so that it will close when contacted by the lug |00 on the rim of the cam.
The switch |08 controls the energization of a solenoid |08a of a latching relay that includes two switch contacts |081) that cooperate with the respective contact members |08c each 4of which controls one of the solenoids 95 and `96. With this construction one of the switches |0817, |08c is lclosed ea-ch time the switch |08 is closed upon one revolution of the cam |01, so that the vane 10 is alternately swung from one basket D to another, sixty pulses vof the vsolenoid |05 causing one revolution of the cam |01, whereby sixty rolls will be deposited in each basket.
It is desirable that the total production of bakery rolls, as for one days operation, be maintained, and for this purpose I connect a revolution counter |10 of known type, across the leads |03 and |04 to the photo-cell 68. The counter I I0 will indicate the total number of bakery rolls that have passed by the photo cell since .the last setting of the counter ||0.
In Figure 14 I have illustrated a modied circuit for operating a vane |01a. -In this embodiment the cam |01a is adapted to be rotated stepwise by the solenoid |f05a, so that if, for example, it is desired to place 60 bakery rolls into one of the baskets D, the cam will be rotated only degrees by a total of 60 pulses of the armature of the solenoid |0541.. Contact switches 5a and HBa, are positioned on opposite sides of the cam |01a, switch ||5al being electrically connected to solenoid 95a and switch ||6a being connected in the conductors to the solenoid 96a. When the cam |01a turns to the position shown in Figure 14, it will close the contact switch ||5a, thereby energizing solenoid 95a and causing the plunger 94a to swing the vane 1 in the direction shown by the arrows |I1a. After 60 rolls have passed by the photo cell, and have been directed by the vane into one of the baskets D, the cam will have been rotated 180 degrees whereby the projection on the cam rim will close the contact switch 6a causing energization of the solenoid 96a which will then flip the vane 1 to direct the rolls into another basket. This operation continues auto-- matically so long :as articles pass by the photo cells.
During operation of the machine, the rolls are dropped by gravity from the conveyor .C in haphazard fashion, and to limit the movement of the rolls on the conveyor in a direction away from vthe guide plates 43, a wall H8 is located above and adjacent the end of the conveyor belt I9 opposite the guide plates 43, and to save the time that would be consumed in the movement of the rolls from said wall I8 to the guide plates, means is provided for quickly displacing the rolls from the main conveyor I9 onto the side belts 30. As shown, this means comprises two elements, one adjacent each edge of the main belt |9 and comprising a hub |20 having two soft flexible vanes or arms |2| projecting laterallytherefrom, each hub being mounted on a vertical shaft |22 so that the vanes |2| will be successively swung outwardly through cut away portions I9 in the wall ||8 and engage and position rolls adjacent said out out portions from the main belt I9 to the adjacent side belt 30. The shafts |22 are driven at high speed in any suitable manner, but as shown each has a belt and pulley connection |24 with the output shaft |23 of a speed change gearing the input shaft |25 of which has a pulley engaging the belt 5| for driving said input shaft. With this construction the operation of the ma chine may be maintained at high speed and the rolls will be caused to move in rapid succession past the counters and into the baskets D.
In order to ensure that the rolls on the counting belts 66 shall be adequately spaced apart to ensure accurate operation of the photoelectricl mechanism that controls the counters, one or more intermediate conveyors may be interposed between the side belts and the counting belts 66 as shown in Figure 12. In this ligure the side belts corresponding to the belts 30 are designated l 26 while the counting belts corresponding to the belts 66 are designated |29. Between these belts is interposed another endless belt |30 which may be driven at a slightly higher speed than the belt |26 by gearing |3| that may be identical with the gearing 83', 84, 85, and the belt |29 may be driven at a still higher speed by similar gearing |32. A platform |33 similar to the platform 82 is disposed between the conveyors |26 and |30 and a similar platform |34 is located between the conveyor |30 and the conveyor |29.
From the above description it Will be seen that I have provideda simple and improved device for counting any number of articles and loading them by lots of predetermined size into suitable receptacles. divide into sections. It operates rapidly and accurately and is especially suited for the counting of small articles that can be moved on belt conveyors.
My device is compact and easy tol The foregoing disclosure -is to be regarded as descriptive and illustrative only and not as restrictive or limitative of the invention of which obviously an embodiment may be constructed including many modications without departing from the general scope herein indicated and denoted in the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. In an article handling mechanism, a main endless belt having an upper horizontal reach on which articles are to be deposited, means for driving said belt to move said reach in one direction, a secondary belt having an upper reach flush with and at one edge of the rst-mentioned reach to receive articles from said reach of the main belt, means for driving the secondary belt to move its said upper reach in the direction opposite to that of the upper reach of the main belt, a deilector above and closely adjacent said reach of the main belt for deflecting articles thereon onto said reach of the secondary belt, a baille wall spaced from said deflector and extending transversely and above said reach of the main belt with one end closely adjacent said reach of the secondary belt, so that said articles may be deposited on said reach of the main belt between said delector and said baille wall, and automatic means for pushing an article that is located adjacent said end of said baille wall from said reach of the main belt onto said reach of the secondary belt.
2. In an article handling mechanism as dened in claim 1, the last-named means comprising a member rotatable about a vertical axis and having laterally projecting vanes to strike said articles that are located in the zone adjacent said end of the baille Wall.
References oitea in the sie of this patent UNITED sTATEs PATENTS France Sept. 4, 1930