US 2703653 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 8, 1955 E. K. THOMSON ,703,
MACHINE FOR HANDLING PACKAGES Filed Aug. 26, 1952 7 Sheets- Sheet 2 FIG.3. 54
ATTORNEYS E. K. THOMSON MACHINE FOR HANDLING PACKAGES March 8, 1955 7 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Aug. 26, 1952 FIG.4.
INVENTOR ATTORNEYS FIG.
March 8, 1955 E. K. THOMSON momma FOR HANDLING PACKAGES Filed Aug. 26, 1952 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 mm vm mm March 8', 1955 E. K. THOMSON ,7
MACHINE FOR HANDLING PACKAGES Filed Aug. 26, 1952 7 Shets-Sheet s March 8, 1955 a. K. THOMSON MACHINE FOR HANDLING PACKAGES 7 Sheets-:Sheet 6 Filed Aug. 26, 1952 Ely Knox Thomson INVENTOR'.
March 8, 1955 E. K. THOMSON MACHINE FOR HANDLING PACKAGES 7 Sheets-Sheet '7 Filed Aug. 26, 1952 Ely Knox Thamsan IN V EN TOR.
MACHINE FOR HANDLING PACKAGES Ely Knox Thomson, Orange, Tex., assignor to Package Stacker, lnc., Orange, T ex., a corporation of Texas Application August 26, 1952, Serial No. 306,365
25 Claims. (Cl. 214-6) Broadly, the present invention relates to a machine for handling packages, and more particuarly has reference to an automatically operated apparatus for stacking, loading or otherwise handling packages thereby increasing the elficiency of warehouses and the like. In the ensuing description, the term package designates any article of uniform size and configuration, such as, boxes, crates, bricks, tiles, et cetera.
The machine may be employed to load packages on any type of vehicle or stack the packages on a fioor, or pallet for subsequent transfer by a fork lift truck. In addition, an accessory for the machine will enable it to stack two or more lines at a time to allow for better stability of the stack.
While the specification and drawings depict the use of compressed air as the power supply, it is to be understood that other sources of motive power could be employed.
Viewing the invention generally, it includes a mobile frame, a package supporting member carried by the frame for longitudinal movement in a horizontal plane, package stop means associated with the supporting member, a package moving means for alternately directing the packages along the supporting member toward the stop means, conveying means to move the package onto the supporting member, holding and aligning means on the frame adjacent the conveying means to halt temporarily and align the package prior to deposit on the supporting member, elevating means for the supporting means, stop means and package moving means and air operated control means for actuating the various means in a predetermined sequence.
After the packages have been deposited and moved in alternate directions on the supporting member until the hiatus between the stop means is filled with the packages, the supporting means, the stop means and the moving means are simultaneously displaced forwardly of the frame to the proper location, the supporting member thereafter moves rearwardly to its initial position respecting the frame while the package holding means 'and the moving means remain in the forward position holding the line of packages after which the same move to the rear above the package supporting member and the elevating means moves the supporting member, holding means and the moving means upwardly the height of one package.
An important object of my invention is to provide a package handling machine which is relatively simple in structural detail, positive and efiicient in operation and capable of being manufactured at a reasonable cost.
Yet a further object of the invention is to provide a machine of the type described wherein the control member for initiating the sequence of steps is a part of the package supporting member and is operated by the package being deposited upon the supporting member.
And yet another object of the invention is to provide a package handling machine of the character described wherein the package per se is employed as a fulcrum when the supporting member is being moved from be neath the packages with the packages in position for deposit.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a package handling machine wherein the supporting member may be adjustable lengthwise to permit the machine to be operated in any desired space.
A further object of the invention is to provide a package handling machine wherein the various steps are per- 80 formed automatically and in a predetermined sequence.
nited States Patent With the foregoing and other advantageous objects in view, the invention consists in the details of construction, and in the arrangement and combination of parts to be hereinafter more fully described and claimed.
In describing the package handling machine in detail, reference will be had to the accompanying drawings forming part of this application and wherein the same reference characters indicate corresponding elements throughout the several views, and in which:
Figure 1 is a view in perspective, and partly broken away of one form of the package handling machine.
Figures 2 to 5 inclusive are diagrammatic representations of the various steps of the control circuit for the machine.
Figure 6 is a view in perspective, partly broken away, of another form of package handling machine.
Figure 7 is an enlarged view in perspective, partly broken away, of the catch assembly associated with the carriage elevating means.
Figure 8 is a view similar to Figure 7 illustrating another position of the assembly.
Figure 9 is a perspective view of the package supporting member; and
Figures 10 through 15 are schematic illustrations of the various steps of operation of the invention.
Referring to Figure 1, there is shown a frame 10 of any type, preferably provided with endless tracks 11 (Figure 6) although other mobile carriers may be used and a package supporting member denoted generally 12 is located at the front of the frame.
The member 12 is defined by a rectangular plate 13 of any suitable material and the plate can be of telescopic sections whereby the length of the plate may be adjusted to conform the areal dimensions of the space in question. Attached to the rear edge'of the plate 13 are a pair of spaced apart guide rails 14 which extend through openings in the front and rear of the frame 10 and are guided between sets of rollers 15. The rails 14 are braced or strengthened laterally by struts 45.
At approximately the center of the plate 13, there is provided a well or recess 17 in which is mounted a trip plate 18, the recess being defined by sloping shoulders 17a and the trip plate and recess having complemental sloped shoulders 18a for enabling the packages to be moved thereon, as will later be more fully described. Downward movement of the trip plate will open a valve 19 of the air circuit, the air being led from a source of supply through a pressure regulator 20 to the intake port of the valve 19. The valve 19 may be located at any cclmvenient location and is suitab y connected to the trip p ate.
A package stop and push unit 21 is disposed above the plate 13 and includes a vertical back member 22 and pusher arms 23 and 24 at each end of the member 22. Each of the arms is defined by a hollow rectangular housing 25 and valves 26 and 27 are located Within the arms 23 and 24 respectively. The valves 26 and 27 are of such construction that when a package is forced against them, the valve will open. As depicted in Figure 2, the valves 26 and 27 are in series with the valve 19. Also, piston and cylinder assemblies 28 and 29 carried by the back member 22 is in communication with the pusher arms 23 and 24 to move the arms so as to press the packages together on the plate and thus .give a solid pack.
Also attached to the vertical back member 22 and extending upwardly therefrom are spaced arms 31, each of which has a horizontally projecting element 32. Ends 33 of piston rod 34 movable in a cylinder 35 are fixed in the elements 32 and a pusher plate 36 depends from and is anchored to the cylinder 35. It can be seen that the lower end of the pusher plate has a slight clearance with the plate 13. Valve 37 controls the air flow into the cylinder 35.
To deposit the packages onto the plate 13, a conveyor 38 of the roller type is mounted on the frame and the discharge end thereof is in registry with the trip plate 18. The packages may be deposited in any suitable manner on the conveyor end to temporarily hold the package and at the same time align the package with the trip plate 18. A pair of movable diametrically opposed holding members or arms 39 are provided. Each arm 39 is preferably L-shaped and the end of the horizontal portion has a contact face 40 associated therewith, the contact faces being adapted to be brought into facial engagement with the opposite side walls or comparable walls of the package. Each vertical leg is pivoted at 41 to the conveyor for movement about a horizontal axis. Consequently, when the faces 40 are moved into engagement with the package, the package will be firmly held by the faces 40. In order to move the arms 39, a cylinder and piston assembly 42 is connected between the arms.
In order that the unit 21 canbe moved horizontally respecting the frame, the back member 22 is provided with a pair of spaced guide rails 42 which are of substantially the same length as the rails 14 and which are located above the rails 14. The rails 42' are guided by the rollers 15 in conjunction with the rails 14. To impart horizontal movement to the plate and the unit 21, two cylinder and piston assemblages 43 and 44 are fixed at the base of the cylinders to back plate 22. The piston rod of the cylinder 44 is fixed to cross strut 45 of the rails 14 while the piston rod of the cylinder 43 is attached to strut 46 of the frame 10.
As hereinbefore set forth, means are provided to elevate the frame and such means include a pair of spaced uprights 50 secured at the lower ends thereof to a transverse plate 97. The uprights are attached to forward axle 98 of the endless track 11 and a diagonal brace 99 extends from each upright to-the rearward axle of each track 11 to stabilize the uprights. Each upright is grooved longitudinally along the inner face as shown at 51 and downwardly inclined teeth 52 are suitably carried by the side walls of the groove. A cylinder 53 is located in each groove and is attached to the frame 10, the point of attachment of the cylinder serving as a guide for the frame 10 relative to the upright 50. Piston rod 54 supports an upper set of pivoted dogs 55 cooperating with the teeth 52 and a lower set of similar dogs 56. After the machine has been unloaded, the dogs and teeth will raise the frame as will later be more specifically described.
It is, of course, necessary to be able to release the dogs so as to lower the frame to its initial position, and this is achieved by release assembly 58 shown in Figure 7. The release assembly 58 is associated with each upright and the assembly is attached to the upright at a position determined by the number of packages per stack. The assembly comprises a pair of opposed blocks 59 and since each block is similar, the description will be limited to one. The block is formed with a plurality of teeth 60 at the inner face thereof, the teeth being in alignment with the teeth 52 when the assembly is in the operative position depicted in Figure 7. The block is further provided with two vertically spaced bayonet slots 61 and 62 which receive studs 63 and 64, the studs being conveniently anchored to the upright. A vertical pin 65 extends through an elongated slot 66 in the block and the lower end of the pin is disposed in a bore formed in teeth below the assembly.
Immediately below the lower face of the block 59 and guided on the pin 65 are several vertically displaceable teeth 67, the teeth preferably being three in number. When air escapes from the cylinders 53, the weight now carried by the dogs 55 will be slowly transferred to the dogs 56 and as these latter dogs exert pressure between any two of the teeth 67 (Figure 8), the upper teeth will apply a pressure to the lower face of the block 59 thus forcing the block upwardly whereupon the block will move laterally outward by the studs 63 and 64 riding in the slots 61 and 62. Of course, the dogs 55 will turn about ninety degrees on the pivotal connection to the rod 54 and as more weight is applied, the dogs 56 will likewise turn thereby allowing the dogs and the frame to slide downwardly along the uprights. The downward movement of the frame can be controlled by a suitable counterweight and each block includes spring means to return the blocks from the displaced position of Figure 8 to the operative position of Figure 7.
In Figure 6 a pair of inverted substantially U-shaped arms are secured to the frame 10 and a cross piece 91 connects the outer legs. The outer legs are of a length sufiicient to extend a slight distance below the plate 13.
For illustrative reasons, the machine will be described for stacking three packages to a line and the number of packages per line is dependent upon the setting of the pusher arms 26 and 27. The valves 26 and 27 of the arms are connected in series with the valve 19 and are closed when the trip plate 18 is being loaded. Also, the speed at which the machine functions is controlled by the regulator 20.
When a package leaves the conveyor and depresses the trip plate 18, it opens valve 19 (Figure 2') admitting air into the intake port of valve 70 and from valve 70 the air passes to the intake of valve 37 which is set in the A position. Consequently, the cylinder 35 will be moved toward the left, and at the same time, the pusher plate 36 will force the package off of the trip plate and simultaneously open the valve 26. When the cylinder 35 completes its cycle, it will reverse the position of the valve 37 from A to B" and as the package clears the trip place, the valve 19 will arrest the flow of air.
Whenever the valve 19 is in the open position, pressure is applied to the cylinder 42 which means that the contact face of the arm 39 will hold back the next package and at the same time align the package on the conveyor 38 for proper positioning respecting the trip plate 18. However, when the package clears the trip plate, the pressure in the cylinder 42 is relieved thereby releasing the arm 39 from the package so that the package may move onto the trip plate 18. When the new package depresses the trip plate, the cylinder 35 moves to the right and the foregoing cycle is completed except that it is in the opposite direction.
Bearing in mind that the first package has moved to the left along the plate 13 and the second to the right, and when the third package has depressed the trip plate, the air will flow through the valves 19, 26 and 27 to the cylinder 71 causing it to open the valve 70 and lock the valve 19 in the open position as shown in Figure 4. Hence, air is passing through the valve 19 applying pressure-to cylinder 42 thereby moving the arm 39 over the conveyfr and preventing any passage of packages during the eye e.
Simultaneously, air is flowing through the valve 70 to the intake port of valve 72 and thence to the cylinder 43. This will move the plate 13 and the pusher unit 21 forwardly of the frame until the by-pass 73 of the cylinder 43 is cleared.
Also, air is being admitted through the valve 72 to conduit 74 into the cylinders 53 moving rods 54 and valves 75dcgried thereby upwardly together with the dogs 55 an The air, in addition, passes through the valve 72 to cylinders 28 and 29 by means of conduit 76 thus causing the pusher arms 23 and 24 to press the packages together, and at the same time locks valves 26 and 27 in open position maintaining pressure on the A side of cylinder 71.
When the by-pass 73 has been cleared, air passes to the intake port of valve 77 and then to the port of the cylinder 44 and forces the piston to the right as depicted in Figure 5 and thereby moves the plate 13 from beneath the packages. Simultaneously, the pressure in cylinder 43 is effecting a holding action on the pusher unit whereby the packages are held over the preceding line. Consequently, the only pressure which is applied to the base of the machine is that of cylinder 43 since cylinder 44 is employing the package per se as a fulcrum.
When the plate 13 is moving into the frame for the loading position, air will be diverted through by-pass 80 in cylinder 44. This by-passed air operates a cylinder 81 through line 82 having a check valve 83 therein. The piston rod of the cylinder is connected to the valves 72 and 77 through a throw-over lever 83. When the air is admitted into the cylinder 81, the lever 83 will reverse the position of the valves 72 and 77 and thus apply pressure to the opposite end of the cylinder 43. This returns the assembly to the loading position and applies a holding pressure to the cylinder 81 through the valve 77 and conduit 82.
Air is also being admitted to the upper end of the cylinders 53 which causes the frame to be raised the height of one package. Dogs 55 are engaged with the teeth 52 when pressure is applied to the top of cylinder 53 so that force is exerted between the piston and cylinder causing the cylinders 53 attached to the frame 10 to raise until the arm is allowed to assume a horizontal position. At this time valve 96 opens throwing cylinder 71 which closes valves 19 and 70 shutting off the air supply from the machine. A bleeder valve on the cylinder 81 permits the rest of the air to escape from the system and spring means returns the valves 72 and 77 to the stland-iay position until the next package depresses the trip pate 8.
It should be mentioned that when the position of the valves 72 and 77 is changed, the air pressure is relieved in the cylinders 28 and 29, the springs forcing the arms 23 and 24 to the initial location.
When the air is supplied to the B side of cylinder 43, it is forced against a spring means 86 until the pressure is released at which time the spring means will urge the cylinder 43 forward allowing the plate 13 to be disposed above the packages in the row beneath to to the plate during the loading operation.
After one stack has been completed, on the first' cycle of operation, the machine will be pushed rearwardly the distance of one package rather than pushing the plate by leaving the treads unlocked. After this cycle, the treads are locked and there can be no displacement of the machine respecting the supporting surface. By virtue of this arrangement, the machine can stack succeeding rows without adjustment.
Referring to the Figure 6 machine, a further cylinder and piston unit 92 is provided for the purpose of furnishing added linear thrust to the plate and the pusher unit so that two or more rows of packages may be stacked without raising the carriage. This enables the machine to rack stack or warehouse stack packages.
This modification requires the employment of the valve 93 and the pressure release valve 94. The valve 94 is so constructed that it functions both as a pressure release for the cylinder 92 and to supply the power for swinging the valve 93 from the A side of the cylinder 92 to the A side of the cylinder 43. The valve 94 will include spring means which is adjustable in order that any predetermined pressure built up in the cylinder 92 will actuate the valve 94 to divert the air flow from the cylinder 92 to the cylinder 43 and simultaneously define an escape for the built up pressure in the cylinder 92 when the cylinder 43 is active and applies pressure to the cylinder 92.
To permit the machine to operate as intended, the cylinder 92 must have a variable thrust and this is achieved by making the switchover dependent on the pressure in the cylinder 92 rather than the length of travel of the piston. The cylinder will urge the entire assembly forwardly until the plate 13 or the packages contact the last row of stacked packages. When sufiicient pressure is built up to actuate the valve 94 (which has been set at a pressure higher than that required), the air flow will be diverted to the cylinder 43 and the machine will function as hereiubefore described. However, the cylinder 43 will recompress the cylinder 92 in lieu of moving forwardly. The cylinder-92 has an exhaust through the valve 94 and maintains a constant predetermined pressure on the cylinder 43.
The arms 90 are mounted for pivotal movement about a substantially horizontal axis 100 and as the arms 42' move forward, a cam slot 101 will move the arms 90 upwardly and rearwardly closing valves 96 which are normally open. The valves 96 will remain closed until the arms 42' return to the maximum rearward position. When the machine is to rack stack or stack two or more rows without raising the frame, the arms 90 can return to the position depicted in Figure 6 when the first row of packages has been unloaded. The frame cannot be elevated as the valves 96 will open and arrest the air flow.
After the second or last row of packages has been stacked, the arms will rest on the packages unloaded and the valves 96 cannot open and shut off the air flow until the frame has been raised to the top of the last row of packages so that arm 90 may resume a horizontal position. Hence, the machine will automatically elevate itself to the level of the particular package being stacked and the valves 75 are present solely as safety valves and for operating the means allowing the frame to return to the supporting surface level when the package stack has been completed.
It should be stated that the valve 93 includes a popoif or pressure release device which is set at a slightly higher tension than the spring means of the valve 94. Also, the valves 96 are connected in series and are located at a position on the frame in proximity to the arms 90. When the plate 13 has been unloaded, and the valves 72 and 77 switched, pressure is released from the A side of the cylinders 43 and 92 through the pressure release in the valves 93 and 94 thereby permitting the cylinders to be in the loading position.
give support In Figure 2, the parts enclosed in the area defined by the broken lines is operative only when the piston and cylinder assembly 92 is in use.
Manifestly, if the supporting plate 13 is defined by telescopic sections, the vertical back plate 22 must likewise consist of telescopic sections in order that the back plate may conform to the length of the supporting plate 13.
It will be seen that a power means is connected between the package holding means and the package supporting means and the package supporting means are free to move .within the frame, with the exception of the friction between them and the frame and the predetermined pressure applied to the package holding arm by the cylinder 92. If the same were suspended in space and of the same bulk, when power was applied between the same, each would move an equal distance during the time that the power was applied. Since the holding arm is directly opposed to the packages, it will assume the bulk, or inertia, of the package, and if no friction was involved, the supporting means would move a greater distance than the holding arm and the packages. movement of each member would be determined in direct ration to the inertia of the packages and the holding arm to the inertia of the supporting means. As it is possible for the supporting means to move beneath the packages, the friction of the packages sliding on the supporting means is cancelled out by the force applied to the holding arm to make the package supporting means move or slide from under the packages, and, hence, the packages and holding arm remain in substantially the same position and only the supporting means is moved.
Thus, the power applied between the holding arm and the supporting means can only equal the resistance of the packages to sliding off of the supporting means, and this is true whether the package weight is one pound or one hundred pounds. No side pressure is applied to the mobile supporting means and there is no lost power as both the supporting means and the holding means are free, minus the friction developed in the rollers, to move with respect to the frame and the mobile supporting means.
This arrangement is important since before force can be applied, there must be two points to apply the .force between, and this is referred to either as a fulcrum or a point of purchase. Unless the package per se is used as a point of purchase, another point must be found to be able to withdraw the supporting means from beneath the package. The machine is fully automatic and the packages in a row are tightly pressed so that it is possible to cross stack or warehouse stack since the packages can be admitted onto the trip plate lengthwise in one series and sidewise in another series. By moving the packages alternately in opposite directions on the supporting plate, the machine is maintained in proper balance at all times. The machine will handle any type of package and reduce materially the time heretofore necessary in achieving the various warehouse ends as well as reduce the number of workmen required.
The foregoing can be more readily understood upon reference to Figures 10 through 15 wherein it will be noted that Figure 10 shows the plate 13 and the holding member 22 in position to receive the cases. This is the loading position and reference line 0-0 is used as a reference. The cylinder 43 is attached to the carriage at 46 and remains in a fixed position in relation to reference line 0-0.
When air is applied to the port designated at A of either cylinder 43 or 44, without cases on plate 13, the machine will move into the position shown in Figure 11 as there is no mechanical connection between the plate 13 and the holding member 22, with the exception of the cylinder 44, and the internal friction of the cylinder 44 is not sufficient to move the plate 13 with respect to reference line 0-0.
When cases are placed on the plate 13 and air is applied to port A of cylinder 43, the machine will move into the position shown in Figure 12 because the cases, through friction with plate 13, act as a connecting link between the holding member 22 and the plate 13, and the plate 13 will be moved forward in relation to reference line 0-0 to the unloading position. At this point, cylinder 43 can be and is effectively taken completely out of the machine as its function of positioning the cases for unloading has been completed.
When the machine is in the position shown in Figure 12, and air is applied to the A-port of cylinder 44, with cylinder 43 effectively out of the circuit, the cases will In other words, the.
remain in the same position relative to the reference line in Figure 13 as they are shown in'Figure 12, and the plate 13 will move into the position as is shown in Figure 13.
Therefore, the cases are being used as a fulcrum or point of purchase for the purpose of moving the plate 13 in relation to reference line C-C and the cases per se become an actual operating member of the machine.
Under certain operating conditions, it may be necessary to apply thousands of pounds of force to withdraw the plate 13 from under the cases and without this feature in the machine it will be necessary to apply the force between the plate 13 and the base of the machine, which would make it necessary for a base of such stability and weight that it would no longer be feasible to make the invention mobile.
The invention is not to be confined to any strict conformity with the showing in the drawings but may be changed or modified so long as such changes or modifications mark no material departure from the salient features of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.
1. In a machine for handling packages, a support, a package supporting member carried by the support for movement toward and away from said support, package holding means associated with the support for movement toward and away from said support, said holding means being arranged to engage a package located on said supporting member, power means operatively connected to move the package supporting member and the package holding means away from the support, and further power means operatively connected between the package holding means and the package supporting member to move the package supporting member relative to the package holding means and toward the support.
2. The machine defined in claim 1, wherein the package supporting member and the package holding means are arranged for movement in a substantially horizontal plane.
3. The machine defined in claim 1, wherein the first mentioned power means is connected to move said holding means away from said support, and wherein said further power means is connected to move said package supporting member toward said support while said holding means prevents movement of said package toward said support.
4. The machine defined in claim 1 wherein elevating means are provided for moving said support up and down.
5. The machine defined in claim 1 wherein said package supporting member has a supporting surface which is frictionally engaged with the package, the package holding means is carried above said supporting member, the frictional force between the supporting member and the package is greater than the force required to move the supporting member relative to the support, wherein the first mentioned power means is connected to act through said holding means and package to move said supporting member along with the holding means, and wherein said further power means has sufficient power to overcome the friction between the package and the supporting member to move the supporting member out from under the package toward said support while said holding means restrains said package against movement with said supporting member.
6. In a machine for forming a stack of packages against previously stacked packages forming an obstruction, the machine defined in claim 1, further characterized by the fact that said support is mobile, said first mentioned power means including a primary power means which has sufiicient power to move said holding means, packages, and package supporting means away from said support but insufficient power to displace said mobile support bodily rearwardly from said obstruction, and said first mentioned power means also including a secondary power means which is sufiiciently powerful to displace said mobile carrier bodily rearwardly from said obstruction. and switchover means operative when the package supporting means encounters said obstruction before said primary power means has displaced said packages a predetermined distance to connect said secondary power means to said holding means and said holding means and said package to said obstruction to .displace said mobile support bodily rearwardly from said obstruction using the packages as a gage to determine the distance the mobile support is displaced from the obstruction.
7. The machine defined in claim 1, including end clamps located above and adjacent the ends of said package supporting member and movable toward and away from one another, and clamp power means operative when the package holding means is moved away from said support to move said end clamps toward one another to press together the packages supported on said package supporting member.
8. The machine defined in claim 1 including return means connected to said end clamps to return said end clamps away from one another subsequent to said relative movement of said package supporting member and said package holding means.
9. A machine as defined in and claimed by claim 1 further characterized in that said package holding means is located above and extends longitudinally of the said package supporting member.
10. A machine as defined in and claimed by claim 1 further characterized in that said package holding means is carried by the support for movement relative thereto and power means operatively connected to the package supporting member and the package holding member simultaneously moves the supporting member and the holding means relative to the support.
11. A machine as defined in and claimed by claim 10 further characterized in that said package holding means is located above and extends longitudinally of the said package supporting member.
12. In a machine for handling packages, a mobile frame, a package supporting member, means operatively connecting the supporting member to the frame at one end of the frame for longitudinal movement toward and away from the end of the frame, a package pusher unit operatively connected to the frame above the supporting member for movement toward and away from the end of the frame, a conveying means on the frame for depositing packages onto the supporting member, package moving means supported by the pusher unit for moving packages deposited on the supporting member alternately in opposite directions along the supporting memher, a source of power, connections between the source of power and the means connecting the supporting memher to the frame, the operative connection between the pusher unit and the frame, and the package moving means, control means for each of said connections and an actuating means on the supporting member operative upon the deposit of a package thereon to sequentially actuate said control means to move said package moving means to move the packages alternately in opposite directions on the supporting member to load the member with packages, thereafter moving said supporting member and pusher unit away from the end of the frame, moving the supporting member toward the frame and finally returning the pusher unit to its position above the supporting member.
13. A package handling machine as defined in and claimed by claim 12 further characterized in that a package stop means is carried by the frame and cooperates with the conveyor to arrest the movement of the package when the preceding package has been deposited on the actuating means on the supporting member.
14. A package moving means as defined in and claimed by claim 12 further characterized in that said frame includes elevating means for the supporting member and pusher member operative when the supporting member moves toward the frame to raise the supporting mcmher and the pusher member.
15. A package handling machine as defined in and claimed by claim 12 further characterized in that said pusher unit includes a vertically disposed back plate and end plates carried by the back plate.
16. A package handling machine as defined in and claimed by claim 15 further characterized in that said end plates are adjustable longitudinally respecting the back plate to vary the distance between the end plates.
l7. A package handling machine as defined in and claimed by claim 12 further characterized in that said package supporting member is adjustable longitudinally to vary the length of the supporting member.
18. A package handling machine of the type defined in and claimed by claim l2 further characterized in that the conveying means is supported by the frame perpendicularly with respect to the supporting member.
19. A package handling machine comprising a mobile frame, a carriage supported by the frame for longitudinal movement respecting the frame, a package supporting member arranged transversely of one end of the frame and connected to the carriage, a second carriage supported by the frame above the first carriage for longitudinal movement respecting the frame, a holding unit arranged transversely of the end of the frame above the supporting member and connected to the second named carriage, a conveying means on the frame above the carriages for depositing packages onto the supporting member, a package moving means, a piston and cylinder assembly carried by the holding unit, a connection between the package holding means and the last named piston and cylinder assembly, a source of air, a piston and cylinder unit operatively connected with each of the carriages, air conduits leading from the source of air to the piston and cylinder assembly and units, control valves in said conduits, an actuator on the supporting member operable upon the deposit of a package thereon and a main valve controlled by the actuator whereby upon the deposit of a package on the actuator, air is admitted into the piston and cylinder assembly so that the package moving means will alternately move packages toward the ends of the supporting member to load the same, thereafter air is admitted into the piston and cylinder units to move the carriages away from the front of the frame, air then being admitted into the cylinder and piston unit for the first named carriage to move the carriage toward the frame thus withdrawing the supporting member from beneath the holding unit and packages and finally admitting air into the other piston and cylinder unit to return the second named carriage to its posis tion within the frame.
20. A machine as defined in claim 19 wherein a package stop means is carried by the conveyor and cooperates with the conveyor, a cylinder and piston unit connected with the stop means and the source of air so that air is admitted when the main valve is open to arrest the movement of the packages on the conveyor.
21. A package handling machine as defined in and claimed by claim 19 further characterized in that a further piston and cylinder unit is operatively connected with the said carriages and the frame so that air is admitted into the unit when the second named carriage is returned into the frame to elevate said carriages.
22. A package handling machine as defined in and claimed by claim 12 further characterized in that said frame includes elevating means for the supporting member and pusher unit such means including uprights carried by the frame, teeth on said uprights, an operator member disposed longitudinally with respect to the teeth, a set of pivoted dogs carried by the operator member engageable with said teeth, a second set dogs engageable with the said teeth at a point below the first set, an operative connection between the operator member and the supporting member operable when the supporting member moves toward the frame to move the operator member and further means to move the sets of piv oted dogs about their pivots to disengage the dogsfrom the teeth.
23. In a machine for handling packages, a mobile supporting means, a frame operatively connected with the supporting means for vertical movement relative thereto, a power means connected between the supporting means and the frame for moving the frame upon the supporting means, control means regulating the movement of the frame upon the supporting means, a package supporting means operatively connected with the frame at one end of the frame for longitudinal movement of the package supporting means away from and toward the frame, a package holding means operatively connected with the frame at one end of the frame above the package supporting means for longitudinal movement of the package holding means away from and toward the end of the frame, power means operatively connected between the frame and the package holding means to move such package holding means and the package supporting means away from the end of the frame, further power means operatively connected between the package holding means and the package supporting means to move the said package supporting means with relation to the holding means and the frame, additional power means to return the package holding means toward the frame, control means to regulate said power means, a package conveying means connected with the frame for depositing packages onto the package supporting means, a package moving means associated with the package supporting means for moving packages on such supporting means alternately in opposite directions along the package supporting means, power means connected between the package moving means and the package supporting means, control means for regulating said last named power means, stop means associated with the package holding means, a source of power, connections between the source of power, the control means and the power means, and actuating means associated with the package supporting means operative upon the deposit of a package on such package supporting means to sequentially actuate the above control means and power means to move said package moving means to move the packages alternately in opposite directions on the package supporting means to load the said package supporting means with packages, thereafter moving the package supporting means and package holding means away from the end of the machine, moving the package supporting means from under the packages and the package holding means and toward the end of the frame, returning the package holding means and the package supporting means to their initial position respecting the frame.
24. A machine as defined in and claimed by claim 23 wherein the movement of the package holding means and the package supporting means to their initial position relative to the frame actuates a control to move the frame and the package supporting means to a position above the last stacked packages.
25. A machine as defined in and claimed by claim 24 wherein control means moves the machine a predetermined distance away from the completed package stack and returns the frame and package supporting means to their lowest level.
No references cited.