US 2752027 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 26, 1956 H. G. GENTRY SEPARATING MEANS 2 Sheets-Sheet Filed Feb. 15, 1955 QNN ATTORNEYS H. e; GENTRY 2,752,027
SEPARATING MEANS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 June 26, 1956 Filed Feb. 15, 1955 INVENTOR.
///?MOND G. GE/YTRV ATTORNEYS United States Patent O SEPARATING MEANS Hermond G. Gentry, Atlanta, Ga., assignor to Atlanta Paper Company, a corporation of Georgia Application February 15, 1955, Serial No. 488,291
4 Claims. (Cl. 198-31) This invention relates to separating means, and more particularly to an improved means of this sort for separating or dividing a traveling row of articles, such as cans or bottles and the like, into a plurality of rows while maintaining the articles traveling.
The separating means of the present invention is adapted in particular for use in a packaging apparatus of the type disclosed and claimed in copending application Serial No. 476,650, filed December 21, 1954, and is described in detail below in relation to an embodiment arranged especially for that purpose, but it should be noted that the invention is not limited to this use and may be employed to good advantage in any instance where article separation must be effected in the above noted manner.
An important feature of the separating means provided according to the present invention is that it requires no positively operated elements, but is characterized by a simple, self-adjusting member that accomplishes the separation of the traveling articles through abutment therewith while adjusting automatically so that jamming of the articles cannot occur during separation. This arrangement of the separating means also provides the substantial advantage of eliminating any need for synchronizing its operation in the apparatus with which it is used.
These and other features of the present invention are described in further detail below in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a plan view of a separating means embodying the present invention;
Fig. 2 is a vertical section taken substantially at the line 2-2 in Fig. 1; and
Fig. 3 is a sectional detail taken substantially on the line 3-3 in Fig. 2.
Referring in detail to the drawings, the illustrated embodiment of the separating means of the present invention is indicated generally by the reference numeral 200 arranged in relation to spaced guides 201 and 201' having inlet sections 202 and 202, outwardly flared intermediate sections 203 and 203' that are preferably unbalanced as shown, and outlet sections 204 and 204 for guiding cans C or the like while traveling on a conveyor 101 as illustrated and described in the above noted copending application Serial No. 476,650. The spacing of the guides 201 and 201' at the inlet sections 202 and 202' is just wide enough to allow a single row of cans C to travel therethrough on the conveyor 101, while the guides 201 and 201' flare outwardly at their intermediate sections 203 and 203' to a spacing sufficient to allow lateral spreading of the cans C into separate rows at each side of the separating means 200, which is disposed centrally and longitudinally between the outlet guide sections 204 and 204 that extend beyond the intermediate guide sections 203 and 203 at the fully flared spacing thereof.
The separating means 200, in addition to serving as a partition between the separated rows of cans C at the outlet guide sections 204 and 204', also incorporates a yieldable abutment member 205 at the leading edge thereof (i. e., the end edge adjacent the intermediate guide sec- 2,752,027 Patented June 26, 1956 tions 203) by which the cans C are caused to shift or spread laterally into separate rows at each side thereof as they enter the outlet guide sections 204. This abutment member 205 suitably comprises a plunger element or plate having an abutment edge portion 206 coextensive with the adjacent end edge of the separating means 200, and a shank portion 207 at which it is mounted for sliding movement longitudinally of the separating means 200. In order to support this plunger element 205, the separating means 200 is conveniently formed with spaced partition members 208 between which a slide yoke 209 is secured to receive the plunger element shank portion 207. The plunger shank portion 207 is slotted as at 210 to have compression springs 211 arranged therein for biasing the plunger element 205 at an extended position by reaction at bearing pins 212, which are fixed to one of the partition members 208 so as to ride within the plunger shank slots 210 and thereby allow retraction of the plunger element 205 from its normally extended position. A cross brace 213 is attached to the upper edge of'the slide yoke 209 and is secured at each end on vertical supporting legs 214 arranged outside the spaced guides 201 and 201' for supporting the separating means 200 above the conveyor 101 by suitable attachment to the conveyor frame structure (not shown).
In arranging the separating means of the present inven tion for use in any particular apparatus, the inlet guide sections 202 and 202 may be extended to the left as seen in Figs. 1 and 2 as far as desired and arranged-as necessary or convenient for directing a supply of the cansC serially in a row to the apparatus. Likewise, the outlet guide sections 204 and 204, and the partition members 208 of the separating means 200, may be extended as far as desired to the right as seen in Figs. 1 and 2 for directing the separated rows of cans C to a succeeding operating station in the apparatus. a
As described in the above noted copending application Serial No. 476,650, the conveyor 101 is preferably of :the chain type and is arranged to present a flat, smooth surface at its upper reach on which the cans C-will slide when caused to, but will otherwise follow the conveyor movement. Also, the conveyor 101 should be driven at a faster rate (e. g., about-20% faster) than the rate at which the cans C are to travel through the subsequent operating stations of the apparatus so as to maintain a continuous supply of cans C feeding thereon to the subsequent operating stations.
When arranged in this manner, the cans C traveling on the conveyor 101 through the inlet guide sections 202 and 202' enter the intermediate guide sections 203 and 203' offset longitudinally toward the outlet guide section 204 in relation to the separating means 200, but aligned so that upon continuing travel the cans C are carried toward the abutment edge portion 206 of the yieldably biased plunger element 205. Upon abutment of a can C with the plunger element 205 at its abutment edge 206, the first abutting can C will tend to slide laterally on the conveyor 101 to the side of the separating means 200 adjacent the outlet guide section 204, because of the above noted offset alignment, and as this first abutting can C commences to slide laterally in that direction, the following can C will tend to slide laterally in the other direction. This lateral sliding of the cans C is forced by the feeding pressure of succeeding cans C on the conveyor 101, and the general result is to cause lateral shifting or spreading of the cans C alternately to each side of the plunger element 205 for travel into the outlet guide sections 204 and 204' at each side of the separating means 200.
Because the cans C are free to shift laterally in any direction within the intermediate guide sections 203, however, it is possible for two or more succeeding cans C all to shift laterally in the same direction, or for the shifting to occur irregularly otherwise, so that the cans C tend to jam in the intermediate guide sections 203 as they try to pass to one side or the other of the plunger element 7 205. When this happens, the plunger element 205 simply adjusting action to separate the cans C as they are fed.
v The present invention has been described in detail above for purposes of illustration only and is "not intended to be limited by this description or otherwise except as de finedin the appended claims. a
I claim: r "1. Separating ineans for-dividing a traveling row of cans or the like into two rows whilemaintaining said cans traveling, said means comprising spaced guides having an inlet section confining said traveling cans in a single row and an outlet section permitting lateral shifting of said cans to form two rows, and means spaced centrally between said guides at said outlet section and incorporating a yieldable retractable abutment member by which said cans are caused to shift laterally at said outlet section and are relieved from jamming during lateral spreading thereof.
2. In combination with conveying means for supporting cans or the like standing endwise to travel thereon with spaced guides arranged for initially confining said' cans in a single row and then allowing said cans to spread laterally into two rows, means forming a partition between said two rows of cans and incorporating a leading edge member through abutment with which said cans are caused to spread laterally, said leading edge member being shiftable longitudinally of said partition means and being yie'ldably biased at a normally extended position for abutment with said cans, whereby said member is automatically retractable for relieving any jamming of said cans during lateral spreading thereof.
'3. Means for separating traveling articles standing endwise on a moving surface from a single row into two rows, said means comprising spaced guides having inlet, intermediate, and outlet sections, said inlet sections being spaced for confining said articles serially in a single row on said moving surface, said intermediate sections being flared outwardly from said inlet to said outlet sections for allowing said articles to spread laterally into two rows, and said outlet sections being spaced for confining said articles serially in two rows on said moving surface, and centrally disposed partition means extending longitudinally between the outlet sections of said spaced guides for separating and maintaining said articles in two rows, said partition means having a longitudinally shiftable leading edge member mounted at the end thereof adja-' cent said intermediate guide sections, and said leading edge member being yieldably biased at a normally extended position with respect to said partition means for abutment with said articles to force lateral spreading thereof between said intermediate guide sections and for automatic retraction longitudinally of said partition means to relieve any jamming of said articles during lateral spreading thereof. 7
4. Means for separating traveling articles, such as cans and the like, from a single row into two rows while said articles are supported endwise on a moving surface, said means comprising spaced guides disposed for directing the travel of said articles on said moving surface, said spaced guides having inlet sections at which they are spaced for confining said traveling articles serially in a single row on said moving surface, intermediate sections flaring outwardly for allowing said articles to spread laterally on said moving surface into two rows, and outlet sections at which said guides are spaced for confining said laterally spread articles serially in a row at each side of a central partition means disposedlongitudinally between References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,671,568 Rnndt Mar. 9, .1954
FOREIGN PATENTS 682,520 Great Britain Nov. 12, 1952 715,132
Great Britain Sept. 8, 1954