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Publication numberUS2734674 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 14, 1956
Filing dateNov 5, 1951
Publication numberUS 2734674 A, US 2734674A, US-A-2734674, US2734674 A, US2734674A
InventorsFlpyd A. Ray
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bottle cap feeding mechanism
US 2734674 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 14, 1956 F. A. RAY 2,734,674

BOTTLE CAP FEEDING MECHANISM File d Nov. 5, 1951 s Sheets-Sheet 1 Wham Ml W Feb. 14, 1956 F. A. RAY 7 2,734,674

BOTTLE CAP FEEDING MECHANISM Filed Nov. 5, 1951 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 w .127- :F'g' .5

Feb. 14, 1956 F. A. RAY 2,734,674

BOTTLE CAP FEEDING MECHANISM Filed Nov. 5, 1951 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 United States Patent:

BOTTLE CAP FEEDING MECHANISM Floyd A. Ray, Belvidere, Ill., assignor to Mid-West Bottle Cap (19., Belvidere, 11]., 'a corporation of Illinois Application November 5, 1951, Serial No. 254,832

laim (Cl- 2 6F884) This invention relates to a mechanism for feeding. at.- ticles f om stacks of the articles to an articlecarrierand in particul t s a-m chanism for fee i hood-t r bottle caps in a dairy bottle capping mechanism.

It is an object of this invention to provide a novel article feeding mechanism forremoving articles from stacks of the articles automatically in response to the advance of article carriers past the feeding mechanism.

t is lso an objec f this invention to au om a y feed individual bcttle caps to thev capping station at, a greater speed than heretofore obtainable). so as to provide a c p fe ding mechanism which is r adily adapted t u with high speed bottle cappers.

Another object of this invention is to provide a mechanism for removing individual bottle caps alternately from separate stacks automatically in timed relation with the advance or" bottles to the capping-position.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel pneumatically operated mechanism for removingindivid= ual bottle caps from a stack.

Another object .of this inventionis to provide a, novel pneumatically operated mechanism for removing individs al bottle ps f m a s a k, hich me hanism is a tuated automatically in response to the advance of bottles to the capping position.

A further object of this invention is to provide a bottle cap feeding mechanism which includes a control valve ctu e u e i y i sp n to h dvance of bat les to the capping position and which is operative to elfect removal of individual caps alternately from separate stacks of caps.

A still further object of this. invention is to provide a novel control valve for an .article feeding mechanism which is operative to control in a novelmanner the reciprocation of pistons which operate the article feeding mechanism.

Other and further objects and advantages 9f the in.- vention will be apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment thereof, directed specifically to a mechanism which is particularly adapted for use with a dairy bottle capping machine.

in the drawings:

Figure l is a front view in perspective of the bottle cap feeder of the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a rear view in perspective of the device of Figure l; c

Fig. 3 is a front view of the ratchet mechanism and control valve for the pneumatically operated mechanism for removing individual caps from the stacks of caps;

Fig. 4 is a rear view of the ratchet and control valve of Fig. 3, showing the inlet and outlet conduit connections to the control valve;

Fig. 5 is a longitudinal section along the line 5-5 in Fig. 3, illustrating the internal structure of the control valve and its interconnection with the ratchet mechanism with the ratchet disk shown in elevation;

Fig. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the control valve in ne position thereof, taken algng the line 6.-.6 in Fig. 5;

Fig. 7 is a view similar to Fig. 6 after the valve has been actuated by the ratchet mechanism to its next position;

Fig. 8 is a fragmentary section along the line 8-8 in Fig. '4. and; illustrates the communication between the control valve and anoutlet conduit leading to the pneumatically operated cap removing mechanism, when the control valve is in the position of Fig. 6;

Fig. 9 is a view similar to Fig. 8, with the control valve in the position of Fig. 7;

Fig, IQ is a longitudinal sectional view of the pneumatically-operated mechanism for removing caps from one stack,v with the mechanism in its inoperative position retracted from engagement with the stack of caps;

Fig. 11 is a view similar to Fig. 10 and Showing the pneumatic llype a e mechan m p s tio e to e a h fi cap t e s ack of p for emo n hat car from the stack;

Fig. 12 is a section along the line 12-12 in Figure l, and

Fig. 13 is a perspective view, partly broken away, of the air cylinder which controls the removal of caps from a stack.

The present invention embodies improvements in the general type or cap feeding mechanism shown in U. 8'. Patent- 2,349,523 to Rudolph Sonnenberg and enables the cap feeding mechanism to operate successfully with high speed cappers.

Referring to thedrawings, the present invention in its broad outline includes a pair of inclined magazines 20, 21 at which are located stacks of articles, here shown as hood-type bottle caps, pneumatically-operated article selectors, here in the form of suction cup plungers 22, 23, for removing individual caps from the'respect'ive stacks, a control valve 24 for operating the suction cup plungers alternately in sequence, a ratchet mechanism 25 controlling the operation of the control valve, and an actuator 26 interposed in the path of movement of the article carriers, here shown as bottles which are to be capped, and operative when engaged by a bottle to actuate the'ratchet mechanism for effecting removal of a cap from one of the stacks. i

As best seen in Fig. 2 each of the magazines 20, 21 is of tubular formation and is inclined downwardly toward the cap removing mechanism. Wide slots 27, 28, respectively, extend along the length of the magazines at the upper sides thereof to permit ready observation of the stacked bottle caps in the magazines, The bottle caps per se are of the hood type. In general, these caps include a flat mouth spanning portion and a surrounding skirt portion formed with circumferentially arranged pleatswhich are inclined angularlyQ When stacked in nested relation, each successive cap is displaced angularly in the direction of the pleats by an amount equal to the thickness of the cap so that the pleats progress helically around the stack along the magazine. A bracket member 29 supports the magazines intermediate their lengths and is carried by an arm 30, which extends lengthwise of the magazines and at its other end is secured to an upstanding wall 31. The wall 31 is apertured to receive the lower ends of the magazines. The wall 31 carries a pair of crescent shaped fingers 177, l78 located at the lower ends of the magazines and protruding slightly into the path stacked bottle caps so as to normally retard the caps from dropping out through the lower ends of the magazines. Adjustment screws 179 and 180 are provided for adjusting the positions of these retarding fingers.

Another upstanding wall 32 is attached to the wall 31 and provides a pair of annular portions '33 and 34 in spaced relation from the lower ends of the respective magazines and at a lower level. These annular portions define passageways through which the suction cup plungers JP are adapted to reciprocate for moving into engagement with the lowermost cap in the adjacent stack and for withdrawing that cap from the stack.

At its lower end the wall 32 is rigidly attached to a feed cylinder bracket 35, which is formed with a tubular neck 36 for attachment to the supporting post 37. The post 37 is hollow and is vertically adjustable along a hollow standard 165 by means of a rack 166 carried on the post 37 and a gear (not shown) within the protruding housing portion 167 which may be driven by the handle 168. A set screw 169 is provided for locking the post 37 in the position to which it has been adjusted. A pair of separate conduits (not shown) extend downward through the post 37 and standard 165 into communication with two separate vacuum pumps mounted in the base housing 1'70. A bracket 38 attached to the wall 32 and extending rearwardly therefrom and downward at an angle supports the air cylinder 39 for the upper suction cup plunger 22. A bracket 48 is attached to the feed cylinder bracket to extend rearwardly and downwardly therefrom, and supports the air cylinder 41 for the lower suction cup plunger 23.

The lower air cylinder and suction cup plunger 41, 23 will now be described in detail, particular reference being bad to Figs. 1013. The upper air cylinder and suction cup plunger are identical in construction and mode of operation, and hence, need not be described in detail also.

The casing of air cylinder 41 is formed with a pair of elongated bores 42, 43 extending upwardly in the direction of the annular member 34. The upper bore 43 slidably receives a reciprocable rod 44 which is formed with a helical slot 45 extending lengthwise along its periphery and receiving the inner end of a screw 46 (Fig. 12) threadedly received in the casing of the air cylinder. Because of this engagement of the screw 46 in the helical slot 45, the rod is caused to rotate a certain amount as it moves lengthwise in the bore 43. This helical slot causes the suction cup plunger to turn in the same direction as the helical pleat formation of the stacked bottle caps, so that when the suction cup plunger is retracted it easily untwists the lowermost cap from nested relation with the stack of caps. An oil cup 47 communicates with the bore 43 for lubricating the movement of rod 44 therein. One or more transverse passages 173 extends through the cylinder 41 adjacent the front end thereof for effecting communication between the bore 43 and atmosphere.

A valving plunger 48 is carried on the forward upper end of rod 43 and extends beyond the front wall of the air cylinder casing in an upward direction aligned with the axis of the adjacent magazine. The valving plunger 48 is of smaller cross-section than the rod 43, and at its juncture therewith there is formed a transverse shoulder 49 which terminates in an annular beveled surface 50 on the front end of the rod 43. A generally tubular sleeve member 51 slidably receives the forward end of the plunger 48 beyond the bore 43. The sleeve member 51 is formed with an external beveled shoulder 52 against which one end of the compression coil spring 53 seats. At its other end the coil spring seats against a shoulder 54 formed on the annular member 34, so that the sleeve 51 is resiliently urged by spring 53 to seat against the front face of the air cylinder casing. Forward of the external shoulder 52 the sleeve 51 is formed with a relatively small internal bore to snugly slidably receive the smaller forward end 55 of the plunger 48. A cylindrical bearing bushing 56 is carried in the enlarged bore portion at the rear end of the sleeve 51 to snugly slidably receive the larger rear portion of the plunger 48. At its rear extremity, the sleeve 51 is formed with an internal annular bevel 57 which is dimensioned to form a snug seat for the beveled shoulder 50 on rod 44, whereby to define the forward limit of movement of the plunger 48 relative to the sleeve 51. Another beveled 4 shoulder 171 located forwardly on the plunger 48 snugly seats against an internal beveled shoulder 172 on the sleeve 51 in the extreme forward limit of movement of the plunger 48 relative to the sleeve.

At its upper side the sleeve 51 is formed with a hole 58 into which the tube 59 is secured in air-tight fashion. A flexible air conduit 60 is attached to the tube 59 to thereby communicate with the internal bore in the sleeve 51 forward of the bearing 56 therein. The plunger 48 at its forward end carries a suction cup 61 of flexible, resilient material, such as rubber or the like, which is formed with an axial bore 62. The plunger 48 is also formed with an internal axial bore 63, which communicates with the bore in the suction cup. A first series of radial ports 64 is formed in the plunger at its enlarged portion and effect communication between the axial plunger bore 63 and the exterior of the plunger 48. A similar series of radial ports 65 is formed in the plunger 48 closer toward its rear end.

When the rod 44 is moved forward to bring the suction cup 61 into engagement with the lowermost cap in the stack, the sleeve 51 is pushed forward to compress the spring 53, after which the plunger portion 48 continues to move forward relative to the sleeve 51. In the extreme forward position of the plunger 48 relative to the sleeve 51 (Fig. 11) the ports 64 are aligned with the tube 59 to effect communication between the air hose 60 and the suction cup passage 62. In this position of the plunger 48, the rear shoulder 50 and the forward shoulder 171 are seated respectively against the complementary beveled seats 57 and 172 on the sleeve 51, to prevent any leakage around the plunger. Also in this position of the plunger, the ports 65 are snugly surrounded by the bearing bushing 56 to prevent any leakage thereat.

When the rod 44 is retracted, the compressed spring 53 initially moves the sleeve 51 back into abutment against the forward end of the cylinder 41, after which the plunger portion 48 continues to move relative to the sleeve 51. As the rear radial passages 65 in the plunger 48 move into the bore 43 they establish communication between suction cup passage 62 and the passage 173 in the cylinder 41 leading to atmosphere, thereby collapsing the suction effect of the suction cup 61 for release of the cap carried thereby.

The flexible conduit 60 at its end remote from the sleeve 51 is attached to a hollow fitting 174. A similar flexible conduit extends from the fitting 174 to the upper suc tion cup plunger 22. For establishing communication between the conduits 69 and 175 and the vacuum pump there is provided a conduit 176 extending from the fitting 174 into communication with a first one of the separate conduits in the hollow post 37 leading to the first vacuum pump. Thus, the first vacuum pump is connected continuously to establish a vacuum at the suction cups, and the vacuum thereat is determined by the described valving action of the plunger 48.

For actuating the suction cup plunger 23 back and forth between its forward and retracted positions, the rod 44 at its rear end is attached by means of a rigid strap 66 to a piston plunger 67. The connecting strap 66 is snugly received within a reduced neck portion 68 on the rod 44 so that longitudinal movement of the piston plunger 67 imparts longitudinal movement to the rod 44, while at the same time the rod 44 is permitted to turn about its longitudinal axis during its longitudinal movement. The position of strap 66 is controlled by a nut 69, which is adjustable along the threaded rear end of the piston plunger 67 to permit adjustment between the interconnected plungers 67 and 44. At its forward end the piston plunger carries a dual faced piston head 70, which is slidably snugly within the cylinder bore 71. A bearing 72 is seated within the smaller portion of the bore 42 and snugly receives the piston plunger 67 for reciprocation back and forth. An enlarged transverse shoulder 74 on the bearing 72 abuts against the internal shoulder formed at the juncture of the smaller" portion of the bore 42 with the larger piston bore 71. A similar bearing is located at the rear end of the bore 73 and is formed with a transverse bore 76 communicating with the oil cup 47 for lubricating the reciprocatory movement of the plunger 67. A screw 77 extends through the front cover plate 78 and at its inner end defines an adjustable stop limiting the forward movement of the piston plunger. As best seen in Fig. 13, a pair of separate spaced inlets 79, 80 are located on opposite sides of the piston head and communicate with separate air conduits 81, 82 for actuating the piston head back and forth within the bore 71.

For controlling the reciprocation of both of the suction cup plungers 22, 23, there is provided a single control valve and ratchet mechanism, shown in detail in Figs. 3-9. The valve includes a rotor 84 keyed to a shaft 85. A face plate 86, which encloses the rotor 84 within the valve housing 87, is formed with a central aperture 98 which receives a bearing bushing 99, which supports for rotation the reduced diameter end of the valve shaft 85. As best seen in Figs. 4, 6 and 7, the face plate includes five ports 88, 89, 90, 92 and 93 communicating with the fittings 88a, 89a, 90a, 92a and 9364 leading to the respective air conduits 94, 95, 96, 81 and 82. The conduit 94 leads to the second one of the separate conduits extending downward through the post 37 and standard 165 into communication with the second suction pump. The conduits 81 and 82 lead respectively to opposite sides of the piston head which actuates the suction cup plunger 23, as described. The conduits 95 and 96 lead respectively to opposite sides of the piston head which actuates the suction cup plunger 22 in a manner identical with the described arrangement for acmating the suction cup plunger 23. Thus, the second vacuum pump is operative to control the reciprocation of'the suction cup plungers 22 and 23 in accordance with the position 'of the valve rotor 84, as will be described in more detail hereinafter.

As best seen in Figs. 6 and 7, the valve rotor is formed with a central annular passage ltlllwhich at all times communicates with the face plate port 88. A plurality of radially extending passages 181, 102, 103,- 104, 105, 106, 107 and 168 communicate with the annular passage 100 at points spaced evenly therearound and spaced axially inward from the face plate 86. At their radially outer extremities the radial passages 101108 in the rotor communicate respectively with passages 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, and 116, which extend axially and terminate at the adjacent back face of the faceplate 86. At the same radial distance from the rotor axis and midway between pairs of the axial passages 109-116, there are provided a plurality of axial passages 117, 118, 119, 129, 121', 122, 123' and 124 which extend entirely through the rotor 84 and communicate withan annular passage 125 at the back of the rotor. The various axial passages 109--124 are positioned to communicate selectively with the valve ports 89, 90, 92 and 93, as will. appear hereinafter.

At its lower end, the rear annular passage 125 behind the valve rotor communicates with a port 126 in the valve casing. A threaded nipple fitting 127 communicates with the port 126 and with an air filter 128 suspended below the valve casing. The air filter includes a thimbleshaped housing 129 open at its lower end for the intake of air. A plurality of annular felt filters 130 are interposedfbetween the air intake opening 129a at the bottom I of the filter housing 129 and'the inlets 131 in the tubular coupling 132, which communicate with the nipple 127. The coupling 132 is threaded onto the lower end of nipple 127. A screw 133 carrying a transverse lower plate 134 for retaining the felt filters 138 in place is threadedly received in the lower end of coupling 132. .An oil cup 135 extends transversely outward from the air filter casing "6 129 and is positioned to communicate with the exterior ofthe felt filters 130 for supplying oil thereto.

The rotor shaft 85 is formed with a transverse shoulder 136 abutting against the rear face of the rotor 84-, and is slightly enlarged therebehind. A shouldered bearing 137 is seated at the rear of the valve casing in the bore for the rotor shaft 85 to support the latter for rotation. A radial passage 138 is formed in the bearing 137 and communicates through the radial passage 139 in the valve casing with an oil cup 140, whereby to permit lubrication of the rotor shaft 85. A coil spring 141 is under compression between the rear face of the rotor 84 and a washer 142 keyed to the rotor shaft. This coil spring is operative to resiliently urge the rotor 84 forward against the adjacent back face of the face plate 86 and to provide the annular passage 125 behind the rotor.

The turning of the rotor shaft 85 is controlled by a ratchet disk 143 secured to the rotor shaft. The ratchet disk is formed with a plurality of circumferential teeth 144, corresponding in number and position to the axial passages 109-124 in the control valve rotor. Each of theratchet teeth 144 is formed with a long, gradually inclined side 145 and a short, steep undercut side 146.

A pawl 147 is resiliently urged by a coil spring 148 into engagement with the adjacent tooth on the ratchet disk. By its engagement against the steep side 146 on the adjacent ratchet tooth, the pawl 147 prevents rotation of the ratchet disk clockwise in Fig. 3. The pawl 147 is mounted rigidly on a shaft 149, which in turn is secured to the lower end of plate 150 rotatably carried on the rotor shaft 85 by means of a bearing 151. Rotary movement of the plate 150 counterclockwise in Fig. 3 is limited by a transversely extending bolt 152 secured to the rear of the control valve casing.

A horizontal arm 153 is secured to the lower end of plate 151) and extends transversely outward therefrom, just below the adjacent teeth on the ratchet disk. At, its outer end the arm 153 carries a nut which threadedly receives one end of the connecting rod 154. At its other end the connecting rod is received in a fitting 155, a lock nut 156 being provided to permit relative adjustment of the connecting rod and the fitting 155. By means of a vertical pin 157, the fitting is pivotally connected to a generally horizontal arm 158 which is united to the vertical shaft 159. Shaft 159 is rotatably carried by an extension bracket 160 secured to the feed cylinder bracket 35. A lower outwardly extending arm 161 mounted on the shaft 159 carries a rotatably mounted wheel 162, which is normally spring pressed (by means not shown) to project into the path of bottles advancing to the capping position.

In the operation of this valve actuating mechanism, when a bottle advances to the capping position it engages the wheel 162 and turns .the arm 161 to rotate the vertical shaft 159. This rotation of the shaft 159 causes the connecting rod 154 to be retracted, which causes the pawl 147 carried on the plate 150 to rotate the ratchet disk 143 angularly (counterclockwise in Fig. 3) to the next position. Thus, each time a bottle advances to the capping position, the valve rotor is rotated one-sixteenth of a revolution.

In the operation of the suction cup plungers 22, 23, the control valve therefor, and the actuating mechanism for the control valve, assume that initially the control valve rotor 84 is in the position shown in Fig. 6. In this position, communication is established between the conduit 96 and the second vacuum pump through the fitting 90a, face plate port 90, axial rotor passage 110, radial rotor passage 102, the central annular rotor passage 100, face plate port 88, fitting 88a, and conduit 94 leading to the secondconduit within the post 37-a-nd standard 165 which communicates with the second vacuum pump. This communication between the conduit 96 and the second vacuum pump establishes a vacuum at the front side of the piston head which controls the reciprocation of the upper suction cup plunger 22. At the same time, communication between the rear of this piston head and the atmosphere is established throu h the conduit 95, fitting 89a, the passage 124 extending entirely through the valve rotor 84, passage 125 at the back of the rotor, passage 126, and the air filter 128 communicating with the atmosphere. Therefore, atmospheric pressure is established at the rear of the piston head which controls the upper suction cup plunger 22, while a vacuum is established at the front side of said piston head, so that the upper suction cup plunger 2.2 is moved forward into engagement with the lowermost bottle cap in the adjacent stack. Also, at this position of the valve rotor the lower suction cup plunger 23 is retracted by means of the establishment of a vacuum at the rear of the piston head 70, which controls the position of the suction cup plunger 23, and atmospheric pressure at the front side of the same piston head. Thus, the conduit 82 leading to the rear of the piston head 70 communicates with the second vacuum pump through the fitting 93a, face plate passage 93, radial rotor passage 114, axial rotor passage 106, the central annular rotor passage 100, face plate port 88, fitting 28a, and conduit 94 leading to the second vacuum pump. The conduit 81 leading to the front side of the piston head 70 communicates with the atmosphere through the fitting 92a, face plate port 92, the axial passage 120 extending entirely through the rotor, passage 125 behind the rotor, passage 126, and the air filter 128 communicating with the atmosphere. 1

When the next bottle advances toward the capping position, it actuates the ratchet disk to move angularly (counterclockwise in Fig. 3) to the next position. The valve rotor is thereby moved one-sixteenth of a turn (clockwise in Figs. 6 and 7) to the position shown in Fig. 7. This movement of the valve rotor causes the upper suction cup plunger 22 to be retracted and the lower suction cup plunger 23 to be moved forward to engage the lowermost bottle cap in the adjacent stack. In this next position of the rotor, the upper suction cup, plunger 22 is retracted by establishing atmospheric pressure at the front side of the corresponding piston head and a vacuum at the rear of that piston head. Thus, from the rear of this piston head communication is established with the second vacuum pump through the conduit 95, fitting 89a, face plate passage 89, axial rotor passage 1.09, radial rotor passage 101, central annular rotor passage 100, face plate passage 88, fitting 38a, and conduit 94 leading to the second vacuum pump. From the front side of the same piston head communication is established with the atmosphere through the conduit 96, fitting 90a, face plate passage 91 axial passage 118 extending entirely through the rotor, passage 125 behind the rotor, housing passage 126, and the air filter 128 which communicates with the atmosphere. Also, at this position of the valve rotor, the lower suction cup plunger 23 is moved forward by establishing a vacuum at the front side of the corresponding piston head and atmospheric pressure at the rear side of that piston head. Thus, from the front side of this piston head communication is established with the second vacuum pump through the conduit 81, fitting 92a, face plate passage 92, axial rotor passage 113, radial rotor passage 105, and the central annular rotor passage 190, face plate passage 88, fitting 88a, and conduit 94 leading to the second vacuum pump. From the rear side of the piston head communication is established with the atmosphere through the conduit 82, fitting 93a, face plate passage 93, axial passage 122 extending completely through the rotor, passage 125 behind the rotor, valve housing passage 126, and air filter 128 communicating with the atmosphere.

Then when the next bottle moves toward capping position, the valve rotor is again advanced one-sixteenth of a turn. In the next position of the valve rotor, which will not be described in detail, the upper suction cup plunger 22 is moved forward to engage the lowermost bottle cap in the adjacent stack and the lower suction cup plunger 23 is retracted. Thus, as successive bottles advance to the capping station the suction cup plungers 22 and 23 are actuated in alternate succession to remove caps from the adjacent stacks, and the caps are removed from the stacks at the same overall rate at which the bottles advanced to the capping station.

While the foregoing description is directed specifically to a mechanism for removing stacked bottle caps for use in a bottle capping mechanism, it is to be understood that this invention is susceptible of use wherever it is desired to remove stacked articles automatically. The embodiment herein shown and described illustrates only one of the uses to which this invention may be put. It is to he understood also that various changes and modifications of the specifically illustrated form of the invention may he resorted to which fall within the spirit and scope of this invention.

1 claim:

1. In a feeding mechanism for feeding articles from a plurality of separate stacks of the articles onto article carriers, the combination of a plurality of article selectors operative to engage said articles and remove them from the stacks, actuating means operative to effect actuation of said article selectors in cyclic succession, and means actuated in response to the advance of article carriers past the feeding mechanism operative to control the operation of said actuating means to effect the successive actuation of said article selectors in timed relation with the advance of article carriers past the feeding mechanism.

2. In a feeding mechanism for feeding articles one at a time from a pair of separate stacks of the articles onto article carriers, the combination of a pair of article selectors operative to engage said articles and remove them one at a time from the stacks, actuating means operative to effect alternate actuation of said article selectors, and means actuated in response to the advance of article carriers past the feeding mechanism operative to control the operation of said actuating means to effect the individual actuation of one or the other of said article selectors in alternate succession each time an article carrier moves past the feeding station.

3. In a feeding mechanism for feeding articles from a plurality of separate stacks of the articles onto article carriers, the combination of a plurality of article selectors operative to engage said articles and remove them from the stacks, fiuid pressure means for actuating said article selectors, a control valve operative to control the operation of said fluid pressure means to effect actuation of said article selectors in cyclic succession, and means actuated in response to the advance of article carriers past the feeding mechanism operative to control the operation of said control valve to effect the successive actuation of said article selectors in timed relation with the advance of article carriers past the feeding mechanism.

4. In a feeding mechanism for feeding articles from a pair of separate stacks of the articles onto article carriers, the combination of a pair of article selectors operative to engage said articles and remove them one at a time from the stacks, pneumatic means operative to effect the actuation of said article selectors for removing articles one at a time from the stacks, a control valve operative to control the operation of said pneumatic means to effect alternate actuation of said article selectors, and means actuated in response to the advance of article carriers past the feeding mechanism operative to control the operation of said control valve to effect the individual actuation of one or the other of said article selectors in alternate succession each time an article carrier moves past the feeding station.

5. In a bottle capping mechanism, a feeding mechanism for removing bottle caps from a pair of separate stacks thereof comprising: a pair of reciprocable suction cup plungers operative when moved forward to engage the adjacent cap in the corresponding stack and operative when retracted towithdraw said cap from the stack, a pair of reciprocable pistons operative respectively to control the positions of said plungers, a control valve communicating with said pistons at opposite sides thereof operative to establish a vacuum and atmospheric pressure respectively at opposite sides of said pistons, and means actuated in response to the advance of a bottle toward the capping position operative to actuate said valve to reverse the vacuum and atmospheric pressure connections. to said pistons for reciprocating the pistons in alternate succession.

6. In a bottle capping mechanism, a feeding mechanism for removing bottle caps from a pair of separate stacks thereof comprising: a pair of reciprocable suction cup plungers operative when moved forward to engage the adjacent cap in the corresponding stack and operative when retracted to withdraw said cap from the stack, a pair of reciprocable pistons operative respectively to control the positions of said plungers, a control valve communicating with said pistons at opposite sides thereof, a rotor in said control valve operative to establish a vacuum and atmospheric pressure respectively at opposite sides of said pistons, and means actuated in response to the advance of a bottle toward the capping position operative to turn said rotor angularly within the valve to reverse the vacuum and atmospheric pressure connections to said pistons for moving the pistons simultaneously in opposite directions.

77 In a feeding mechanism for removing articles from a pair of separate stacks of the articles, the combination of. a pair of movable article selectors operative to engage said articles and remove them one at a time from the stacks, a pair of reciprocable pistons operative respectively to control the positions of said plungers, a vacuum pump, a control valve communicating with said pistons at opposite sides thereof and communicating with said pump, said control valve including a rotor formed with a first passage which communicates with the vacuum pump in all positions of the rotor, said rotor also being formed with a plurality of separate passages communicating with said first rotor passage and communicating selectively with said pistons depending upon the rotor position, said rotor also being, formed'with a plurality of separate passages communicating with the atmosphere in all positions of the rotor and communicating selective- 1y with said pistons depending upon the rotor position, saidrotor being operative .to establish a vacuum and atmospheric pressure respectively at opposite sides of the pistons and to reverse said vacuum and atmospheric pressure connections to the pistons upon movement of the rotor to its next position.

8. In a feeding mechanism for removing articles from a plurality of separate stacks of articles, the combination of a plurality of m'ovable article selectors operative to engage said articles and remove them one at a time from the stacks, means for pneumatically actuating said article selectors, and a control valve operative to control the operation of said means, said control valve comprising a front face plate formed with a plurality of circumferentially arranged passages extending therethrough, a rotor positioned behind said face plate and having its front face abutting thereagainst, said rotor being formed with an annular passage in its front face positioned to communicate with a vacuum passage in said face plate in all positions of the rotor, said rotor being formed with a plurality of circumferentially spaced axial passages terminating at the front face of the rotor and a plurality of radially extending passages effecting communication between said annular rotor passage and said axial rotor passages, said axial rotor passages being positioned to communicate,

selectively with said circumferentially arranged face plate passages to effect selective communication between said vacuum passage and certain of said circumferentially arranged face plate passages depending upon the rotor position, and-said rotoralsobeing formed with a plurality oficircumferentially arranged axial passages extending entirelythroughsaid rotor and communicating with an air inlet passage at the back side of the-rotor, said last mentioned axial rotor passages being positioned to communicate selectively with said circumferentially arranged face plate passages to effect selective communication between said air inlet passage and certain ofrsaid circumferentially arranged face: plate passages depending upon the rotor position.

9. A control valve comprising a front face plate formed with a plurality of circumferentially arranged passages extending therethrough, a rotor positioned behind said face plate and havingits'front face abutting thereagainst, said rotor being formed with an annular passage in its front face positioned to communicate with a vacuum passage in said face plate in all positions of the rotor, said rotor being formed with a plurality of circumferentially spaced axial passages terminating at the front face of the rotor and aplurality of radially extending passages effecting communication between said annular rotor passages and said axial rotor passages, said axial rotor passages'being positioned to communicate selectively with said circum ferentially arranged face plate passages to effect selective communication between said vacuum passage and certain of said circumferentially arranged face plate passages depending upon the rotor position, and said rotor also being formed with a plurality of circumferentially arranged axial passages extending entirely through said rotor and communicating with an air inlet passage at the back side of the rotor, said last mentioned axial rotor passages being positioned to communicate selectively with said circumferentially arranged face plate passages to effect selective communication between said air inlet passage and certain of said circumferentially arranged face plate passages de- I pending upon the rotor position.

10. A control valve comprising a front face plate formed with a plurality of circumferentially arranged passages extending therethrough, a rotor positioned behind said face plate and having its front face abutting thereaga-i'nst, said rotor being formed with an annular passage in its front face positioned to communicate with a vacuum passage in the face plate in all positions of the rotor, said rotor also being formed with a plurality of separate internalpassages communicating with said annular passage and terminating in a plurality of circumferentially arranged ports in the front face of the rotor positioned to communicate selectively with saidcircumferentially arranged face plate passages to effect communication 'between said vacuum passage and certain of said circumferentially arranged face plate passages depending upon the rotor position, and said rotor also being formed with a plurality of passages extending therethrough communicating with an air inlet passage at the back side of the rotor and terminating in a circumferentially arranged series of ports in the front face of the rotor positioned to communicate selectively with said circumferentially arranged face plate passages to effect communication between said air passage and certain of said circumferentially arranged face plate passages depending upon the rotor position. r

11. In a feeding mechanism for removing articles from a plurality of separate sources of the articles, the combination of a plurality of movable article selectors operative to engage said articles and remove them from said sources, means for pneumatically actuating said article selectors, and a control valve operative to control the operation of said means, said control valve comprising a front face plate formed with a first passage extending therethrough communicating with a first means for establishing a predetermined pneumatic pressure, said face plate also being formed with a plurality of circumferentially arranged passages extending therethrough and communicating with said means for actuating the article selectors, a rotor positioned behind said face plate, said rotor 1 1 being formed with a passage in its front face positioned to communicate with said first face plate passage in all positions of the rotor, said rotor also being formed with a plurality of separate internal passages communicating with said passage in the front face of the rotor and terminating in a plurality of circumferentially arranged ports in the front face of the rotor positioned to communicate selectively with said circumferentially arranged face plate passages to effect communication between said first means for establishing a predetermined pneumatic pressure and certain of said circumferentially arranged face plate passages depending upon the rotor position, and said rotor also being formed with a plurality of passages extending completely therethrough communicating with a passage at the back side of the rotor leading to a second means for establishing a difierent predetermined pneumatic pressure, said last-mentioned rotor passages terminating in a circumferentially arranged series of ports in the front face of the rotor positioned to communicate selectively with said circumferentially arranged face plate passages to effect communication between said second means for establishing a predetermined pneumatic pressure and certain of said circumferentially arranged face plate passages depending upon the rotor position.

12. In a feeding mechanism for removing articles from a pair of separate stacks of articles, the combination of a pair of article selectors each associated with one of said stacks and mounted for movement toward and away from the associated stack, means on each of said article selectors operative in response to movement of the respective selector toward its associated stack to engage an article in the stack and operative in response to movement of the selector away from its stack to remove said article from the stack, pneumatically actuated means for reciprocating said selectors, a control valve operable between successive positions and adapted in one position thereof to apply pressure to said pneumatically operated means to move one of said selectors toward its stack and simultaneously move the other selector away from its stack and in the succeeding position thereof to move said one selector away from its stack and simultaneously move said other selector toward its stack, and means for moving said control valve between successive positions.

13. In a feeding mechanism for removing articles from a pair of separate stacks and for depositing the articles on article carriers, the combination of a pair of article selectors each associated with one of said stacks and mounted for movement toward and away from the associated stack, means on each of said article selectors operative in response to movement of the respective selector toward its associated stack to engage an article in the stack and operative in response to movement of the respective selector away from the stack to remove said article from the stack, operating means actuatable to simultaneously move one of said selectors toward its associated stack and the other selector away from its associated stack, and means actuated in response to the advance of article carriers past the feeding mechanism for actuating the operating means to effect movement of each of said article selectors in opposite directions in timed relation to the advance of article carriers past the feeding mechanism.

14. In a feeding mechanism for removing articles from a pair of separate stacks and for depositing the articles on article carriers, the combination of a pair of article selectors each associated with one of said stacks and mounted for movement toward and away from its associated stack, means on each of said selectors operative in response to movement of the respective selector toward its associated stack to engage an article in the stack and operative in response to movement of the respective selector away from the stack to remove said article from the stack, a reciprocable piston individual to each article selector operative to control the position of the article selector, a control valve movable between preselected positions and operative in one position to apply fluid pressure to said pistons to simultaneously move said article selectors in opposite directions and operative in a second position to apply fluid pressure to said pistons and reverse the direction of movement of said article selectors, and means actuated in response to the advance of article carriers past the feeding mechanism for moving said control valve between said preselected positions to effect movement of each of the article selectors in opposite directions in timed relation to the advance of the article carriers past the feeding mechanism.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,111,169 Clark Mar. 15, 1938 2,260,540 Schramm Oct. 28, 1941 2,304,146 Brinton Dec. 8, 1942 2,324,523 Lund July 20, 1943 2,361,176 Carvey Oct. 24, 1944 2,563,654 Mackin Aug. 7, 1951 2,600,099 Detrez June 10, 1952 Ar a. at

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2866306 *Jul 24, 1956Dec 30, 1958Continental Can CoHigh speed cover feed and control arrangement
US2906072 *Nov 16, 1955Sep 29, 1959W F & John Barnes CompanyCan cover feed
US3064407 *Dec 24, 1959Nov 20, 1962Ekco Containers IncClosure machine for foil pans and the like
US3124042 *Nov 1, 1961Mar 10, 1964International Basic Economy CorporationMultiple sequence valve
US3177898 *Oct 30, 1961Apr 13, 1965Robertshaw Controls CoApparatus for sequential control
US3193136 *Oct 22, 1959Jul 6, 1965Simmons CoCoil feeding apparatus
US3237644 *Sep 7, 1962Mar 1, 1966Robertshaw Controls CoRotary valving mechanism
US3460574 *Feb 6, 1967Aug 12, 1969Us NavyMultiport valve
US3672540 *Mar 20, 1970Jun 27, 1972Benewah Creamery ECapping apparatus
US4322067 *Dec 11, 1978Mar 30, 1982Philip Morris IncorporatedArticle transfer apparatus
US4658564 *Jan 2, 1986Apr 21, 1987Sara Lee CorporationCoupon inserter for cartons
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Classifications
U.S. Classification221/116, 221/262, 221/211, 53/67, 137/625.21
International ClassificationB67B3/062
Cooperative ClassificationB67B3/062
European ClassificationB67B3/062