US 2687796 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 31, 1954 "r. B. KEESLING 2,687,796
CONVEYER CHAIN FOR CAN FEEDING MECHANISMS Original Filed Feb. 25, 1946 INVENTOR 62 52 57 THOMAS E. KEESLING- BY FIE :3 ,6 c I ATTORNEY Patented Aug. 31, 1954 .CO'NVEYER CHAIN FOR CAN FEEDING MECHANISMS Thomas B. Keesling, to Food Machinery San Jose, Calif.,a
Original application F Campbell, Calif., assignor and Chemical Corporation, corporation of Delaware ebruary 25, 1946, Serial No.
650,017. Divided and this application October 18, 1948, Serial No.
I 1 Claim. 1
This invention relates tofeed mechanisms and moreparticularly to a chain conveyor for elevating cylindrical objects, such as cans or the like, to the rotary valve of a cooker.
This invention is a division of my copending application Ser. No. 650,017, filed February 25, 1946, and now Patent No. 2,592,909 on a Feed Mechanism.
It is one object of the present invention to provide an elevator mechanism for feeding containers to a continuous cooker at a maximum speed with a minimum of shock to the containers.
Another object is to provide an elevator mechanism for rolling cylindrical containers along a confined path with a minimum of sliding or scraping so that the containers will not become marked or scratched.
Another object is to provide a conveyor mechanism for camming the containers from a feed elevator into a rotary receiver while permitting continuous rolling motion of the containers relative to the conveyor.
Another object is to provide a conveyor chain for an elevator mechanism for rolling cylindrical containers along a confined passage and for per- Initting deflection of the container out of such passage into a substantially vertical path merging into the arcuate path of a rotary receiver.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will appear more fully from the following description in connection with the drawings in which: i
Fig. 1 is a longitudinal section through an elevating mechanism embodying the present invention.
Fig. 2 is a section of a portion of Fig. 1 taken along line 2--2 thereof.
Fig. 3 is a section of a along line 3-3 thereof.
Fig. 4. is a section through the conveyor track taken along line 4-4 in Fig. 1. i
The present invention has "been illustrated in connection with a container feed mechanism for a continuous pressure cooker. Such container feed mechanism, in general, comprises a feed chute I, an elevator 2, and a feed valve 3 associated with the pressure cooker4.
The pressure cooker 4, which has been partially illustrated herein, may be of any conventional construction such as, forinstance, shown in U. S. Letters Patent No. Re. 15,334,dated April 11, 1922,1to A. R. Thompson. 7
Continuous cookers of this type comprise'a cylindrical shell closed at its ends to provide portion ofFig. 1 taken the rotary reel ll.
a pressure treating chamber 12 and having an inlet opening [5 for admitting containers, presented thereto by the feed valve 3, into the chamber I2. A T shaped track It is secured to the inner wall of the shell and extends helically therealong from the inlet to the discharge end thereof. The containers are advanced along the track I6 by a rotary reel ll comprising a plurality of spider wheels [8 suitably secured to a drive shaft (not shown) journalled for rotation coaxially of the shell in a manner well known in the art. The spider wheels carry a plurality of pusher bars on their periphery and longitudinally of the shell so as to form a series of pockets 2! for supporting containers along the track [6.
Secured to the shell 10 adjacent the inlet opening l5 by means of rivets is a casting 25 to which the housing 2'! of the rotary feed valve 3 is secured by bolts 28. The periphery of the housing 2'1 has a valve outlet opening adjacent to and communicating with the inlet opening I5 of the treating chamber l2 and also has a valve inlet opening 3| spaced therefrom exteriorly of the chamber. The housing 27 is provided with pressure tight bearings (not shown) at its sides and rotatably mounted within the same is a shaft disposed parallel to the drive shaft for Within the housing '2'! and keyed to the shaft 35 for rotation therewith is a rotary turret 36 having a plurality of peripheral pockets 31 sealed with respect toeach other. Each pocket is adapted to receive an individual container for transferring the same from the valve inlet 3| to the valve outlet 30.
The shaft 35 extends beyond one end of the housing 21 and is drivingly connected to the drive shaft for the reel I! in the manner as taught in the aforesaid Thompson patent, Re. 15,334, so that the turret 30 is driven in synchronism with the reel ll. As seen in Fig. 1, the reel I l is rotated counterclockwiseand the turret 35 clockwise whereby the reel pockets 21 are caused to register with the turret pockets 37 as they pass the communicating inlet and outlet openings l5 and 30 of the chamber and feed valve, respectively. The lower margin 38 of the valve inlet opening 3! is located horizontally opposite the axis of the turret. The upper margin 39 of the opening 3| is spaced peripherally from the: lower. margin 38 so as to permit containers to enter the feed valve from above, that is, along a path which is substantially vertically tangent to the path the containers will travel while in the turret pockets 31.
The elevator 2 comprises a housing 45 having its lower end supported by a pedestal 46 and its upper end formed as a head casting 41 supported by the housing 21 of the rotary feed valve 3. The elevator housing 45 is provided with a trough-like closure 48 intermediate the pedestal and head casting which forms a guard for moving parts of the elevator as will later become apparent.
The head casting 41 is formed by two circular shaped side plates 5I and 52, each having downwardly extending sections 53 and 54, respectively. Adjacent the upper margin of the inlet opening 3I each side of the valve housing 21 is provided with a boss 55, adjacent the plate 5I, Fig. 1, and 56 adjacent the plate 52, Fig. 3. A flange 51 extends horizontally from the respective side plates 55 and rests upon the boss 55 and a similar flange 58 on the plate 52 rests on the boss 55. Each adjacent side of the valve housing 21 at the lower margin of the inlet opening 3| is likewise provided with bosses 50 and 60. The flanges 51 and 58 of the side plates 5i and 52 are secured by bolts 63, Fig. 3, to the respective bosses 55 and 56 and the lower ends of the plates 5| and 52 are similarly secured to the bosses 59 and 50 adjacent the lower margin of the inlet opening 3!. In this manner, the plates 5i and 52 are disposed with their inner races flush with the end walls of the turret pockets 31 so as to permit passage of containers lengthwise therebetween.
The pedestal 46 comprises a substantially U shaped casting 10 having a downwardly extending sleeve 1I which fits over a standard 12 having a foot portion 13. Bolted, as shown at 14, Fig. l, to the sides of the casting 10 are a pair of side plates 15 each having a guide slot 11 formed therein. Arranged in these slots for sliding movement therealong are floating bearings formed as a part of a yoke 80, later to be more fully described. A shaft 85 is supported for rotation in the floating bearings of yoke 80 and has a sprocket 80 secured thereto by set screws.
The circular side plates 5I and 52 are each provided with a laterally projecting bearing (not shown) and an elevator drive shaft 02 is supported in these bearings for rotation about an axis parallel to the shaft 35. A drive sprocket 03 is keyed to the shaft 92 for rotation therewith between the side plates 5I52 and one end or the shaft 92 extends beyond the head casting for driving connection in a conventional manner to the shaft 35.
Trained around the sprockets 03 and 85 is an endless elevator chain I00. The lower reach of chain I extends substantially parallel to a chord line struck across the periphery of the housing 21 from upper to lower margins 33 and 38, respectively, of the inlet opening 3I. As best seen in Fig. l, the lower reach of the chain I00 is spaced from the inlet opening ill to permit the passage of containers between the chain and turret housing 21. The upper reach of the elevator chain I00 is also inclined and is supported parallel to an elevator track I05, as shown in Figs. 1 and 4. The elevator track I comprises two angle irons I06 and I01 spaced from each other by U straps I08. The straps I03 are welded to the lower faces of inwardly extending flanges I00 and H0 of the angle irons and have a chain supporting channel III welded to their recessed portion.
The trough-like closure 48, mentioned above, has its open upper edges secured by bolts II5 to the outer faces of vertical flanges H1 and H0 of the angle irons I00 and I01, respectively. The
upper end of the closure 48 fits between the side plates 5I-52 and each side of the closure, as well as the upper ends of the angles I06 and I01, is secured to the respective side plates 5| and 52 by machine bolts I20. The lower end of the closure 48 fits between the side plates 15 which are secured to the casting 10 of the pedestal 46. Each side of the closure 48, as well as the lower ends of the angles I06 and I01, is secured to the respective side plates by machine bolts I2 I. The elevator track I05 is thereby fixed between the pedestal and head casting and the closure 48 provides a chain guard therebetween.
The present invention is embodied in the single endless chain I00, the spacers between the respective links of which are rollers I24 adapted to ride upon the channel I I I as they travel along the same. Every third link of the chain I00 is provided with a flight I25 comprising outwardly extending brackets I26 and I21, each flared laterally with respect to the center of the chain. A pin I20 extends between the upper ends of each pair of brackets I26 and I21 and supports a roller I30 adapted to engage a container for pushing the latter upwardly and over the drive sprocket 93.
The containers are fed onto the upper reach of the elevator chain I00 by the gravity chute I, hereinbefore mentioned, as seen in Fig. l. The gravity chute I has a lower wall I terminating adjacent the elevator chain and also has side walls I36 secured to the sides of the closure 48 to support the discharge end of the gravity chute adjacent the elevator chain.
The containers gravitate along chute I in a steady stream toward the elevator and fall one after another into successive pockets I40 formed between the pusher rollers I30 of the chain I00. The containers fall into the respective pockets I40 and are supported on the inwardly extending flanges I09 and I I0 of the elevator track I05. The upper reach of the chain is disposed at such an angle as to assure that each container will be supported in its respective pocket I40 as the containers are elevated.
The pusher rollers I30 are so disposed relative to the longitudinal axes of the respective containers engaged thereby that the periphery of each roller engages the periphery of a container, i. e., the rollers have single line contact with the respective containers. Therefore, while the containers are pushed up theinclined track I05 they are free to roll upon the inwardly extending flanges I09 and I I0 thereof and also are free to rotate with respect to the pusher rollers I30. Accordingly, scraping of the containers along the track I05 and against the pusher rollers I30 is minimized and the containers are elevated with the least possible resistance to the drive mechanism for the chain I00.
The circular sections 5I and 52 of the head casting 41 are providedwith inwardly extending flanges MI and I42, respectively, which are tangent with respect to the flanges I09 and H0 of the track I05 to form a continuation thereof. The circular sections 5I and 52 are also provided, adjacent their peripheries, with inwardly extending flanges I43 and the spaces between the flanges MI and I43 provide a track I45 around the sprocket 93. Therefore, as the containers leave the upper end of the track I05 they pass into the track I45 and are maintained within their respective pockets I40 as the chain I00 travels around the sprocket 93.
As the chain I00 begins. its descending. reach, the'pockets I are invertedlso that thecontainers willrnormally gravitate toward :the feed valvei3. The valve .housing 21 is :provided with inclined surfaces .148 above the upper :margin 39 of the inlet23 I. "Thesesurfaces I48 are tangent to the ends of the flanges I43 at the periphery While the containers are thus pushed, they are. guided by the arcuatetrack I45 andsubsequently descend towardthe inlet opening 3I of .the valve housing. In order .to assure that containers fed. at such speed will transfer from the chain pockets I40 to the turret pockets 31a stripper guide I is provided.
The stripper guide I 50 comprises a pair of stripper rails I5I and I52 (Fig. 2) spaced apart and in alignment with the respective inside flanges I 4I and I42 on the inner faces of the side plates 5I. The rails I5II52 are formed as an integral part of a casting I55 and each of them is reinforced by a triangular shaped web' I56 extending rearwardly from the rails. The webs I56 are joined by a web I58 extending normal to the chain I00 and rearwardly therefrom to the apex of the triangular webs where the latter are joined by a transverse portion I60.
The casting I55 is mounted between the side plates 5I-52 and is suitably secured in place oppositethe inlet 3I by bolts (not shown). The upper end of each rail I5II52 abuts against the lower end of the inside flanges I4II42 and the descending reach of the chain I 00 passes be tween the rails I 5I-I 52, as best seen in Fig. 2. The rails I5I-I52 are curved to guide the containers out of the chain pockets I40 and into a substantially vertical path which is tangent to the path the containers will travel while in the turret 36. The lower ends of the stripper rails I 5I-I 52 terminate adjacent the lower margin 38 of the inlet 3|.
It may sometimes happen that containers rebound from the outside flanges I43 toward the chain pockets as the containers approach the inlet opening 3I. Consequently, without the stripper guide I50, such containers would be carried beyond the desired path and might become jammed between the lower margin of the inlet opening SI and the pusher roller I30 and would, therefore, be crushed or damaged due to shock so that they would not withstand the cooking pressure to which they are subsequently subjected. However, containers that rebound as aforesaid are positively deflected from the chain pockets into the turret pockets by the stripper I50 and damage to the containers is, therefore, avoided.
The lower reach of the chain I00 will normally hang in a slight catenary curve and when operating will vibrate relative to the normal pitch line between sprockets 03 and 86. As seen in Fig. 1, the stripper guide casting I55 is provided with a stabilizer shoe I65 which extends parallel to the lower reach. of the chain .100 and .:opposite the inletl3l:ofthe'valve. .Thissshoe I65nis'so positioned that the spacer srollers I I24 of :the chain I 00 will normally engage the same when the chain isonits'pitchline. Consequently,.as the links of the elevator chain I00 leave the drive sprocket 93, their spacer rollers I24 engage :the shoe I65 and the normal vibratory action of the chain is, accordingly; minimized.
The maintenance of the chainon the normal pitch line thereof as. the containers flow into the turret pocketuis very important. It is apparent that movement of the-chain outwardly from the inlet openingislimited by the shoe I65. The chain, however, tends to droop toward the opening BI and, therefore, the chain must bemaintained at-aproper tenseness between the two sprockets. 83 c and 86. This is essential, otherwise the pusher rollers I30 are likely to extend into the opening3I andare liable to become caught .on'the turret or on the lower margin 38 ofthe inlet 3|. 0
In order to maintain the elevator chain under tension, the floating sprocket 86 is associated with a tension carriage. As hereinbefore explained, the sprocket -86 .is secured to ashaft 85 having its ends rotatably mounted in bearings formed as a part of the yoke 80. These bearings have parallel spective guide slots 11 for sliding movement longitudinally with respect to the elevator housing 45. The yoke has legs I12 extending downwardly along the longitudinal axis of the housing 45 and has a threaded boss I14 at its bight. A screw I15 has one end threaded into the threaded boss I14 of the yoke and is secured thereto by a tapered pin I16. The screw I15 also extends downwardly along the longitudinal axis of the elevator housing and fits through an aperture I80 in the bottom of the casting 10 adjacent the standard 12.
A cylindrical cup I BI is formed concentric to the aperture I80 on the underside of the casting 10 and a compression spring I82 is arranged in this cup IBI and around the shank of the screw I15. The spring I82 normally extends beyond the rim I83 of the cup IN and is compressed by an adjusting nut I84 which is threaded onto the screw I15. The nut I84 is secured in its position of adjustment by a locking sleeve I85 threaded onto the end of the screw I15 to tightly engage and lock the nut I84 on the threads of the screw.
By the foregoing arrangement, the elevator chain I 00 is properly tightened and any manufacturing tolerances, i. e., variations in link length or the like, are taken up by the spring I82. Consequently, as the chain travels around the sprockets 93 and 86, a pulsation of the floating sprocket is permitted.
As the chain I00 and sprockets 93and 86 Wear clue to constant running, the floating sprocket 86 is free to move under the influence of the compression spring I82. The compression spring will urge the yoke, its floating bearings, and the sprocket 86 longitudinally away from the drive sprocket 93 and maintain the chain I 00 under tension. When wear of the chain and sprockets becomes excessive, the nut I84 is readjusted in order to obtain the desired tension of the elevator chain, as hereinbefore explained.
While I have described a particular embodiment of the present invention, it will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made Without departing from the spirit of the invention. I, therefore. do not limit myself to faces fit'into the rethe specific arrangement disclosed, but desire to at equally spaced intervals, comprising a lower sprocket, an upper sprocket in vertical spaced alignment with said lower sprocket, an endless chain disposed over saidsprockets and providing substantially straight ascending and descending runs, uniformly spaced flights carried by said chain and projecting away therefrom to define container-receiving pockets which open upwardly in the ascending run of the chain and substantially downwardly in the descending run, a track disposedadjacent the chain and extending along the ascending run of the chain, along the curved upper portion of the chain on said upper sprocket and part way along the descending run of the chain, stationary guide means extending around the curved upper portion of the chain and part way along the descending run, said guide means being uniformly spaced from said track and cooperating therewith to provide a curved passageway around the upper curved end of the chain and a straight passagewayadapted to retain each container in its associated inverted pocket as it moves a predetermined distance along the descending run of the chain, and a curved stripper member forming anextension of said track and extending across the path of movement of the containers at a point below the lower end of said straight passageway and at a point where the container is supported on a flight of the substantially straight descending run of said chain.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 362,103 Nason May 3, 1887 539,659 Adamson May 21, 1895 732,970 1 Steward July 7, 1903 913,886 Hebrank Mar. 2, 1909 1,178,166 McCue et a1 Apr. 4, 1916 1,418,572 Hoyt et al June 6, 1922 1,444,919 I-Ioy Feb. 13, 1923 1,952,418 Chapman Mar. 27, 1934