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Publication numberUS2817517 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 24, 1957
Filing dateJan 5, 1954
Priority dateJan 5, 1954
Publication numberUS 2817517 A, US 2817517A, US-A-2817517, US2817517 A, US2817517A
InventorsHill Gilbert F, Wittkuhns Bruno A
Original AssigneeGardner Board & Carton Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Blank feeding apparatus
US 2817517 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec; 24,1957 B. A. WITTKUHNS Er BLANK FEEDING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 5. 1954 INVENTORS .B/ru v A. W/TTKUHNS. BY G/LBERT E H/LL ATTORNEY Dec. 24, 1957 a. A. WITTKUHN S ETA 2,817,517

' BLANK FEEDING APPARATUS Filed Jan. 5, 1954 V 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR$=. BRUNO A. WITTKUHNS G/LBERT F HILL Maw A TTORNEK Dec. 24, 1957 a. A. WITTKUHNS ETAL 2,8

7 BLANK FEEDING APPARATUS Filed Jan. 5. 1954 '4 Sheets-Sheet :s

INVENTORS -BRUNO ,4. WITTKUHNS BY GILBERT E HILL M J W A TTORNEX Des. 24, 1957 B. A. WITTKUHNS EIAL 2,8

BLANK FEEDING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Jan. 5. 1954 INVENTORS BRu/vo A. WITTKUHNS G/LBERT F H ATTORNEY United States Patent BLANK FEEDING APPARATUS Bruno A. Wittkuhns and Gilbert F. .Hill, Skaneateles, N. Y., assignors to TheGardner Board &. Carton (10., Middletown, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio eApplication January 5, 1954, Serial No. 402,242

12 Claims. (Cl. 271-23) Thisinvention relates to blank feeding apparatus and more particularly to apparatus for positively andsuccessively separating and removing relatively long and flexible blanks from an edge supported stack of similar blanks and depositing the same in predetermined spaced relationshipon a blank conveyor.

Elongated and flexible blanks made from paperboard, fiberboard and like sheet material are diflicult to separate and deposit on a blank conveyor in predetermined spaced relationship. One of the reasons for this difficulty is the tendency of the endmost blank to adhere to the next adjacent blank which often resultsin the disposition of two or more blanks in adhered relation on theblank conveyor. Also, a stack of elongated and flexible blanks supported in-the blank tray in vertically tilted position, have a decided tendency to outbow along their longitudinal lengths, making it difiicult to' grip and engage onlyathe endmost blank in a mannerto remove the same from the blank stack for disposition on the blank conveyor. As a result, two or more adhered blanks are often removed and deposited, or no blank is deposited on-the blank conveyor. Such outbowing flexure of the elongated blanks when stacked and supported on tliebottom edges thereof oftenresults from the bowed set which the'blanks have assumed'from previous stacking,.oras a result of surface irregularities, or as a result of scoring previously applied to the blanks, or as a result of the inherent flexibility characteristics of the material from :whichthe elongated blanks are formed. Devices presently employed for feedingsuccessive endmost'blanks from a blank'pile stackedionedge and in tilted position, in the blank trayare also: rendered inoperative or unreliable in operation when. more than .a relatively few blanks are stacked in the tray, because of the pressure which theweight of the following, blanks exert on the endmost blank to be removed.

This invention is directed .to the provision of blank feeding apparatus operative to separate successive endmostblanks ,from an edge-stacked file of similarqblanks of elongated form and having flexibility characteristics and to deposit the successive endmost blanksin accurate sequential order and in any desired predetermined and uniform spaced relationship.

Another object of this invention is to providemechanism for feeding elongated flexible blanks operatingin synchronism with a blank conveyor in a manner to insure any desired and selective spacing deposition of the successive separate blanks onto the blank conveyor.

Another object of this invention is to provide. animproved method and apparatus for positively and successively withdrawing and ejecting the endmost blank from a pile of blanks supported on edge in-inclined position in a blank supporting tray, irrespective of the number of blanks which are stacked-in thetray.

Other objects; and advantages of :thisinvention will become apparent as the disclosure proceeds.

Although the-characteristic features =ofathis invention l b ma t cula y pqin l out i th laims the i ention itself, and the manner in which it may be carried Patented Dec. 24, 1957 out, may be better understood by referring to thefollowing description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, in which Fig. 1 is a side elevational view of the blank feeding apparatus in association with one end of ablankconveyor, certain parts being shown in section to revealstructural details;

Fig. 2 is a plan-view of one form of elongated flexible blank on which the blank feeding apparatus ofthis invention is adapted to operate;

Fig. 3 is a transverse vertical section of the *blank feeding apparatus and associated conveyor as'thesame would appear when viewedalong line 33 of-Fig. 1;

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary horizontal cross sectionalview of the blank feeding apparatus as the samewould appear when viewed alongline 4-4 of Fig. l, thisview showing the endmost blank of the blank stack in dot and -dashlines as'it would appear when in process of removal from'the blank stack and outbowed along its vertical axis;

Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic cross section of the'upper and lower blank picker-rolls and a fragmentary crosssection of the blank stack to be successively removedjfrom .the blank supporting tray;

Fig. 6 is another diagrammatic cross section of'the paired blank picker rolls in process of removing theiendmost blank from the blank stack;

Fig. 7 is a further diagrammatic'cross section of" the paired blank picker rolls as the same would appear when the endmost blank has been released from the lower picker rolland in process of discharge onto the blank conveyor;

Fig. 8 is a diagrammatic view of the power drivewhich may be employed to drive the blankppickerrolls and blank conveyor in operating synchronism;

Fig. 9-is a verticalcross section'of a modifiedblank feeding mechanism having a single blank picker roll mounted in operating association with a blank conveyor; and

Fig. 10 is a diagrammatic cross section of the single picker roll of Fig. 9 in process of removing the endmost blank from the blank stack.

Similar reference characters refer to similar "parts throughout the several views of'the'drawings and specification.

Thereis shown in Fig. '2 byway of illustration a plan view of one form of elongated flexible blank A made from paperboard or fiberboard and calipering only twenty to Lthirty thousandths of aninch in thickness which the feeding mechanism of this invention is adapted'to operate toseparate andfeed successive endmost blanks from a blank stack in positive, uniform and successive order onto the blank conveyor. The blank AshowninFig. 2 is particularly designed to provide a carrier for a group of six cans measuring in the order of eight inches in width and twenty-one inches long and which 'has substantial longitudinal flexibility by reason of the seriesof transverse scores 0 extending substantially parallelito the end edges b--b' thereof and between the side edges aa' thereof. While blank feeding aparatus may be made in accordance with this invention to feed other'andldifferent'types of elongated flexible blanks than theblank shown in Fig- 12, theblank shown in Fig. 2 will be taken as typicalin describing the operation of the'blank feeding apparatus of this invention.

The improved blank feeding apparatus of this invention comprises a blank supporting tray 10 as shownin Figs. 1, 3 and 4, supported upon vertically inclined front .frame members 11 which may be swingably connected'as by hinge. pins 12 to a frame structuresuc h' as the vertical'end posts 61 associated with the blank conveyor. The upper end ofeach of the =inclined frame members 11 maybe adjustablyattached'tosapair of inclined bracing struts 13, one end of which is attached to the framework of the ma- 2,817,517 D r h chine and the other end provided with a series of spaced attaching holes 13 to which a securing bolt 13" may be selectively inserted to thereby permit adjustment of the adjacent frame member 11 to any desired inclination. The tray framework may comprise a bottom frame member 14 suitably connected to the inclined frame members 11 adjacent the lower ends thereof, a rear frame member 16 and a pair of spaced side frame members 15 secured to the front frame member 14- and the rear frame member 16. Thus the front frame member 14, side framemembers 15 and rear frame member 16 provide a rigid bottom framework for the blank supporting tray.

To protect the bottom horizontal edge of the blank stack, a false bottom member 17 is provided which may be made of sheet metal and may be supported upon and secured to the bottom frame members l4, l5 and 16. The blank stack placed in the tray rests on an inclined slide plate 18 extending longitudinally of the tray and fixed to and supported upon the false bottom member 17. It will be noted by referring to Fig. 4 that the slide plate 18 is relatively narrow in width so that only a relatively narrow length of the bottom edge of the blanks is supported thereon, thereby reducing friction between the supporting slide plate and the blank stack so that the blank stack will readily slide forward on the inclined slide plate 18 as the successive endmost blanks are removed.

The blank supporting tray is also provided with side .panels 19 of any desired height which may be formed of sheet metal and secured as by clips 20 to the vertically inclined frame members 11 as shown in Fig. 4 so that the inside face of each side panel 19 presents a substantially flush surface 19' with the adjacent inside face of the inclined frame members 11. To strengthen the construction, a pair of bracing bars 21 may be secured at one end thereof by a connecting pin or bolt 21' to the upper end of the adjacent inclined frame members 11 and similarly secured at the other end thereof as by a connecting pin or bolt 21" to the rear end of the side frame members 15.

To further guide the forward movement of the blank stack within the blank supporting tray 10, a horizontally extending blank guiding bar 22 may be provided as shown more particularly in Figs. 1 and 3 which presents an inclined guide leg 22' whose front horizontal edge is in close proximity to the upper horizontal edge of the endmost blank. The guide bar 22 may be adjustably mounted on spaced brackets 23 adjustably secured as by screws 23' to the adjacent inclined frame members 11. The inside face 19 of the side panels 19 and adjacent inside face of the inclined frame members 11 are so spaced as to comfortably receive the elongated blanks A therebetween but to nevertheless maintain the blanks in the stack in true alignment without imposing friction on the end edges b-b' of the blanks or otherwise impede the normal forward sliding movement of the blank stack as the successive endmost blanks are removed.

To maintain the forwardly inclined endmost blank in proper operative position within the tray until positively removed therefrom by mechanism which will be presently described, a pair of semicircular retaining ribs 25 are provided at the forward end of the tray as shown in Figs. 1, 3 and 4 which have an overall length somewhat less than the overall vertical height of the blanks contained in the blank tray. Each retaining rib 25 is secured to a mounting bracket 26 which may be angular in form and which presents a blank guiding leg 27 whose interior face 27' is substantially flush with the inside face of the adjacent inclined frame member 11. Each of the mounting brackets 26 is also provided with an attaching leg 28 which is suitably secured to the adjacent inclined frame member 11. Each of the semicircular retaining ribs 25. shown in Fig. 3, is secured to the inside face of the guide leg 27 of the mounting bracket and adjacent the free edge of the guide leg 27. Thus the semicircular retaining ribs 25 normally provide abutments against which the vertical end edges b-b of the endmost blank is designed to abut and thereby retain the endmost blank in forwardly inclined position within the tray until forcibly removed from the tray.

An important feature of this invention is the PIOVISIOII of mechanism for positively and successively removing only the endmost blank from a stack of elongated flexible blanks contained within and supported by an inclined blank tray of the general type above described. This mechanism may comprise an upper blank picker rod or roll 30 and a lower blank picker roll 35 as shown in Figs. 1, 3 and 4 and which may be made of steel or other metal. The upper blank picker roll 30 may be formed integral with or mounted on a separate mounting shaft 31 extending horizontally adjacent the upper edge of the endmost blank. The picker shaft 31 is journaled in spaced bearing blocks 32 which may be secured to the adjacent inclined frame members 11. One of the ends of the picker shaft 31 projects through the adjacent bearing block 32 and has a driven sprocket 33 secured to the projecting end thereof.

The lower blank picker roll 35 extends horizontally along and directly adjacent the lower horizontal edge of the endmost blank of the blank stack and may be formed integral with or suitably secured directly to a mounting shaft 36 journaled in spaced bearing blocks 37 secured to the adjacent inclined frame members 11. The picker shaft 36 has an end portion which projects through one of the bearing blocks and has a driven sprocket 38 attached thereto.

As shown more particularly in Figs. 3 and 4, the upper and lower blank picker rolls 30 and 35 are centered with respect to the longitudinal length of the endmost blank and have a length which may be varied in accordance with the longitudinal length of the blank and its flexibility characteristics. It has been found advantageous to make the length of the blank picker rolls 30 and 35 in the approximate order of one-half the length of the blank but may vary between one-fourth to three-fourths of the blank length. The terminal ends of the blank picker rolls 30 and 35 should be spaced some distance from the blank retaining ribs 25. The diameter of the blank picker rolls 30 and 35 should be relativelysmall in comparison to the blanks to be removed from the blank supporting tray.

Thus the diameter of the picker rolls 30 and 35 may be in the order of one-twentieth to one-fifth of the width of the blank, and a preferable diameter in the order of oneeighth to one-twelfth of the width of the blank.

It will also be noted by referring to Figs. 5, 6 and 7 that the horizontal axis of the upper and lower picker rolls 30 and 35 is positioned approximately in the plane of the respective upper and lower horizontal edges of the blank stack and so located that the upper edge a of the endmost blank normally rests against and is supported by the convolute shaped peripheral surface 30 of the upper picker roll 30, with the lower horizontal edge a of the endmost blank in supporting contact with the convolute shaped surface 35. By referring to Figs. 5, 6 and 7, it will also be noted that the discharge end 18 of the slide plate 18 terminates short of the lower horizontal edge of the endmost blank A so that the endmost blank no longer rests on the discharge end 18' of the slide plate 18, but only the following blanks are so supported. The endmost blank is nevertheless temporarily retained in aligned association with the following blanks by the inner abutment edge 25' to the semicircular retaining ribs 25 and by the convolute peripheral surfaces 30 and 35 of the upper and lower picker rolls 30 and 35.

It will be noted that the convolute peripheral surface 30' of the upper picker roll 30 is provided with a shoulder 30 extending substantially radially of the roll and has a radial length which closely approximates the thickness of the blank to be fed. The convolute surface 35' of the lower picker roll 35 is also provided with a similar radially extending shoulder 35" whose radial length '5 also "approximately equal to the thickness of-the blank to befed.

It will also be noted by referring to Figs. 5 and 7 that the-upperand lower picker rolls 30and 35 rotate in oppositedirections and in timed relationship so that the radial shoulder 35" of theclockwise rotated lower picker roll 35 will strike the lower horizontal edge of thewendmost blank slightly in :advance of engagement ibetween the radial shoulder 30" of the counterclockwise rotated upper picker roll 30 and the upper horizontal edge of the endmost blank. Thus the clockwise and counterclockwise rotation of the lower and upper picker rollst'dlliand :35 .is so synchronizedythat the radial shoulder 35".:0f31the: lower rollwill contactthe lower horizontal edge of the endmost blank and give the blanka slight upwardly lifting movement so as to thereby break the adhesion between the endmost blank and adjacent following blank before the radial shoulder :30" ofthe upper roll engagesthe upper horizontal edge of the endmost blank.

Upon continued.counterclockwise and clockwise .rotation of the upper and lower ,picker rolls 30 and35, the top and bottom horizontal edges of the endmost blank will be' firmly gripped by the roll shoulders 35 and 30" to thereby buckle the blank outwardly, as illustrated in Fig. 6. During continued buckling -movement of the endmost blank, the end edges b--b' thereof are drawn over the crown bulge 25 of the retaining ribs '25 and thus freed fromfurther abutment support and are thenceforth supported only by 'the pickershoulders 30" and 35 of the upper and lowerrolls. When the lower picker roll 35 has been rotated to the approximate position shown in Fig. 6, the lower horizontal edge of the longitudinally buckled blank will snap loose from the lower roll 35, thereby causing the endmost blank to reflatten to its originally approximatelyflat condition as shown in Fig. 7. The dispensed blank will then drop onto the blank conveyor associated with the blank feeding mechanism without further assistance.

It will also be noted by referring to ,Fig. 6 that as the endmost blank has been firmly gripped by the picker shoulders 30" and 35" of the upper and lower rolls, the next adjacent blank is free to slide forwardly in the blank tray beyond the dischargeend 18' of theslideplate 18, and the end edges bb of the endmost blank thus moved into abutment with the inner abutment edge 25 ofthe retaining ribs 25, and with the upper and lower horizontal edges of the .blank also moved into supported abutment against the :convolute peripheries .30 and 35' of the upper and lower picker rolls. It will be noted by referring to Figs. 4 and 6, that the endmost blank is progressively outbowed along both its horizontal and vertical axes until finally released by the rotating picker rolls 3%) and 35 and the-end abutment ribs 25. By driving the upper and lower blank picker rolls 30 and 35 in timed relationship as above indicated, thesuccessive endmost blanks may be positively removed from the blank stack in successive order and at high speed irrespective of the length or the flexibility characteristics of the blanks in the blank tray. The blank picker rolls 30 and 35 are driven in timed synchronism with the blank conveyor 40 so as to successively remove endmost blanks in a positive manner and deposit thesame insuccessive order on the blank conveyor in accordance with any desired but uniform spacing.

It will be noted that the blank feeding apparatus illustrated in Figs. 1, 3 and 4 has the blank supportingtray 10 thereof downwardly inclined in the direction of move" ment of the blank supporting run of the blank conveyor. When the blank tray is so arranged, it is desirable to employ upper and lower blank picker rolls 30 and 35 as above described. However, the blanksupporting tray 10 may be downwardly inclined in adirection opposite to the travel of the blank receiving run of the .blankconveyor as shown inFig. 9, and which requires thecuse of an upper "blankpicker roll only. The .blanksupportiu'g tray 10 associatedwith the 'blankfeeding apparatus shown in *Fig. 9 may be similar in construction to the fblank tray shown 1 in Figs. land '3 and above described, except" that the discharge end 18 of the slide plate18 projects :asufficient distance to provide temporary support for the lower horizontal edge a of the endmost blank as it is being buckled by the upper picker roll 30 preceding complete dischargeofthe endmost blank from the tray.

As shown in Figs. 9 and 10, the upper picker -rol1'30 is mounted on a shaft 31 to which the driven sprocket 33 is attached as"heretoforedescribed. The upper horizontal edge of the endmost blank is initially supported by the convolute peripheral surface 30 of the upper picker roll 30 until-engaged bythe radial picker shoulder 30 during clockwise rotation of the upper pickerroll 30 as shown in Figs. 9 and 10. "When the upper horizontal edge of the endmost blank has been engaged bythe radial shoulder 30", the lower horizontaledge of the blank is compressed against the discharge end 181' of the slide plate 18, causing the endmost blank to buckle during continued rotation of the upper picker roll 30 as shown in Figs.9 and 10. When the upper picker roll has been rotated to the approximate position shown in Fig. 10, the upperedge of the blank will snap out of engagement with the roll, and in its thus reflattened condition, will drop as a dispensed blank onto-the oppositely moving blankr-eceiving run of the conveyor. As soon as the upper edge of the endmost blank has been gripped by the radial shoulder 30'', the horizontal edge of the next adjacent blank drops into supported position against the convolute periphery 30' of the picker roll 30until the roll has made a complete revolution. The longitudinal buckling .of the'endmost blank to the approximate position shown in Fig. 10 serves to withdraw the end edges b-b' of the blank from supported engagement by the blank abutment ribs 25, whereupon the edges b*b' of thenext adjacent blank will move into supported position against the semicircular ribs 25.

It will thus be noted that this improved blank'feeding apparatus may be equipped and successfully operated by the-use of only a single blank picker roll 30 whose horizontal axis is approximately in the plane of the upper horizontal edge a of the blank stack as shownin Figs. 9 and 110, or the apparatus may be equipped with twoblank picker rolls 30 and 35 whose horizontal axes extendysubstantially in the plane of the upper horizontal edge a and the lower horizontal edge a respectively of the blank stack.

The improved blankfeeding apparatus of thisinvention maybe associated with any desired type of blank conveyor. As fragmentarily illustrated in Figs. 1, 3 and 9 and diagrammatically illustrated in Fig. 8, the blank conveyor 40 may comprise any suitable conveyor or belt 41 having transversely extending blank guides 42 secured thereto which serve to align the blanks as: successively dropped on the belt. The conveyorbelt may be trained around a belt supporting drum 43 supported on a shaft 44 at the feed end of the conveyor, anda belt supporting drum 45 fixed to a shaft 46 at the discharge-end of the conveyor, the drum supporting shafts 44 and 46 being journaled in suitable bearings fixed to the framework of the conveyor.

Each of the conveyor belt supporting drums 43-45 may be similar in construction andmay assume various forms. For example, the .belt supporting drums maybe constructed as shown in Figs. 1 and 3 to providean intermediate drum section.48:and a pair of end drum sections 54 arrangedin spaced relation. to the intermediateldrum section. The intermediate drum section 48may: be formed by a pair of polygonal shaped side plates 49 fixed to a hub portion .50 which is in turnwsecured as by a spline 50' to the drum-shaft. The sideplates 49 maybe separated by spacing collars 51 and .the'platessecured together by the bolts 52. Each of the end drum sections 54 maybe formedibyl aside wall SShavins a polygonal shaped drum flange 56 and a hub portion 57 secured as .by avset screw 57' to the drum shaft. 'I'he side plates 49"formingthe intermediate drum section 48, and the polygonal drum flanges 56 of the end drum sections 54, may be provided with aligned grooves 58 extending transversely across the peripheries thereof and designed to receive the spaced and transversely extending cleats 59 secured to the underside of the blank conveyor belt 41 to thereby prevent slippage of the blank conveyor and assure movement of the blank conveyor belt in timed synchronism with the blank picker rolls 30 and 35.

The framework 60 of the belt-conveyor may be of any desired construction, and as shown in Figs. 1 and 3, may comprise supporting posts 61 connected by longitudinal extending side frames 62 which are in turn connected by cross frames 63 positioned between the belt supporting drums 43 and 45 at the head and discharge endsof the conveyor. Support for the drum shafts 44-46 may be provided by a pair of channel shaped beams 64 secured to the cross frames 63, with each end of each channel beam 64 projecting between the adjacent intermediate drum section 48 and the adjacent end drum section 54 as shown in Fig. 1. An underslung bearing bracket 65 may be secured at each end of each of the channel beams 64 as by securing bolts 65' shown in Fig. 3. Each underslung bearing bracket 65 may be provided with a bearing sleeve 66 which provides a bearing journal for the drum shaft. As thus constructed, the belt supporting drums 4345 are free to rotate without interference from the supporting framework.

In the event the belt conveyor is of considerable length, the upper blank supporting run of the conveyor belt 41 may be suitably supported to prevent sagging thereof. As shown by way of example in Fig. l, a series of spaced cross bars 67 may be secured in spaced relation to the longitudinal extending channel beams 64. A belt supporting plate 68, secured to the cross bars 67, provides support for the upper run of the blank conveyor belt and prevents sagging thereof. The blank conveyor may also be provided with side walls 69 extending along the upper run of the conveyor belt to guide the end edges b-b' of the blanks during travel on the conveyor belt.

As indicative of the numerous forms in which the belt supporting drums may be made, there is shown in Fig. 9 a cylindrical belt supporting drum 43 at the head end of the machine which has a friction surface 47 around the periphery thereof which serves to grip the conveyor belt to prevent slippage thereof, and which permits elimination of transverse driving cleats 59 on the underside of the belt. The belt supporting drum at the discharge end of the conveyor may also be provided with a friction surface 47 and may be constructed similar to the belt supporting drum at the head end of the conveyor as shown in Fig. 9. Where cylindrical belt supporting drums are used, a conveyor framework of any desired construction may. be employed to provide journaled support for the drum shafts.

The paired blank picker rolls 30 and 35 as shown in Figs. 1 to 8 inclusive, or the single blank picker roll 30 shown in Figs. 9 and 10, are preferably driven in synchronism with the movement of the upper blank receiving run of the conveyor belt 41 and from a common power source. As diagrammatically illustrated in Fig. 8, driving synchronism between the conveyor belt 41 and the blank picker rolls may be obtained by providing a common driving motor 70 and associated gear reducer 71 which drives a sprocket 72. The driving sprocket 72 is connected as by chain 73 to a driven sprocket 74 fixed to a horizontally extending shaft 75 journaled in bearing brackets 76 which may be attached to the supporting posts 61 of the conveyor. The conveyor shaft 75 may be provided with a worm 77 which meshes with a worm wheel 78 fixed to the drum shaft 46 at the discharge end of the conveyor, thereby providing a power drive for the belt conveyor.

A helical gear 79 may be attached to the other end of the conveyor shaft'75 which serves to drive the single blank picker roll 30 of Fig. 9, or the paired blank picker rolls 30 and 35 of Fig. 1, through suitable drive transmission. For example, the helical gear 79 may mesh with a transfer helical gear 80 as shown in Fig. 3 fixed to a stub shaft 81 journaled in a bearing block 82 attached to the adjacent side frame 62 of the conveyor. A drive sprocket 83 is fixed to the outer end of the stub shaft 82 and receives a drive chain 84 which is also trained around the picker roll'sprocket 33 of Fig. 9, or around the paired picker roll sprockets 33 and 38 in the construction shown in Figs. 1 and 3. An idler sprocket 85 suitably fixed to a stub shaft 86 journaled in a supporting bracket 87 attached to the adjacent supporting post 61 of the conveyor, may be provided to maintain the desired driving tension on the drive chain 84.

By a proper proportioning of the sprockets and driving connections, it will be appreciated that the upper run of the blank conveyor may be advanced at any desired speed relative to the rotation of the upper and lower blank picker rolls 30 and 35 to thereby establish any desired and predetermined spacing deposition of the blanks on the upper blank receiving run of the conveyor.

In the form of the invention illustrated in Figs. 1 to 8 inclusive, it will be noted by referring to Fig. 7 that the endmost blank as released from the lower picker roll 35 drops downward in a forwardly inclined direction. The transverse blank guides 42 on the conveyor belt may be so adjusted that the lower horizontal edge a of the dispensed blank falls into abutment against an upwardly rising and forwardly advancing transverse blank guide which thus serves as an abutment therefor. The dispensed blank will then fall downwardly to rest on that section of the conveyor belt directly ahead of the blank guide 42 against which the lower horizontal edge a of the blank rests, the directly preceding blank guide 42 being sufficiently spaced from the upper horizontal edge a of the dispensed blank so as not to interfere with the flat deposition thereof on the conveyor belt. By an appropriate spacing of the transverse blank guides 42 on the conveyor belt 41, and by driving the conveyor belt at a predetermined speed relative to the blank ejecting rotation of the blank picker rolls 30 and 35, successive blanks may be deposited on the upper run of the conveyor belt in any desired spaced relationship. If desired, the conveyor may also be provided with suitable drag devices to sweep the top horizontal edge a of the blank into firm abutment against the adjacent transverse blank guide 42.

In the form of the invention shown in Figs. 9 and 10, the upper horizontal edge a of the dispensed blank drops to approximately horizontal position before the lower horizontal edge a thereof drops loose from the discharge end 18 of the slide plate 18 of the blank supporting tray. As shown in Fig. 9, the transverse blank guides 42 fixed to the conveyor belt 41 are so spaced, and the traveling speed of the upper run of the belt is so synchronized with the rotating movement of the upper picker roll 30, that the upper horizontal edge a of the dispensed blank will fall slightly in advance of the adjacent blank guide 42.

When the dispensed blank has been deposited on the conveyor belt 41 as shown in Fig. 9, suitable friction means may be provided to drag the horizontal edge a of the dispensed blank into uniform abutment against the following transverse blank guide 42.

It will be noted by referring to Figs. 1 and 9 that the blank supporting tray 10 may be adjusted by means of the adjusting struts 13, to place the slide plate 18 which supports the bottom edge of the blank stack in any desired inclined position. By thus adjusting the inclination of the blanks: which are stacked into the tray. Thus, wherea large number of blanks are to be stacked into the tray, the inclination of the blank tray will be adjusted so as to place the blank supporting slide plate 18 at a lesser inclination than in the case where a relatively few blanks are stacked in the tray. By this adjustment, the pressure exerted by theupper horizontal edge of the endmost. blank against the upper blank ejection roll 30 as shown in Figs. 1 to 9, as well as the pressure exerted by the bottom horizontal edge of the endmost blank against the bottom ejection roll 35 as shown in Fig. 1, may be maintained sub stantially uniform, thereby insuring positive withdrawal and ejection of successive endmost blanks from the blank stack, irrespective of the number of blanks which are stacked in the blank tray.

Blank feeding apparatus operating in synchronized association with any form or kind of blank conveyor may be constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention to separate endmost blanks in successive and rapid order from a blank stack and deposit the same in uniform spaced relationship on the blank conveyor. Blank feeding apparatus may be provided in accordance with this invention to positively separate, eject and deposit almost any kind and form of blank, including elongated blanks which have serious flexure and bowing characteristics, and which are particularly difficult to separate and deposit on a blank conveyor in successive and uniform order. The blank feeding apparatus of this invention is simple in design and construction, has relatively few moving parts, and is designed to permit replacement and substitution of picker rolls of varying diameters and lengths, with picker shoulders of varying radial depth, and best suited to the separation and feeding of individual blanks from a blank stack whose blanks are of various lengths, thickness and flexibility characteristics.

While certain novel features of this invention have been disclosed herein and are pointed out in the claims, it will be understood that various omissions, substitutions and changes may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A method of successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, supporting the. bottom edges of the blank stack on a supporting surface, releasably supporting the end edges of the endmost blank in upwardly extending and forwardly inclined position with the upper side edge of the endmost blank forwardly overhanging the bottom side edge thereof to thereby retain the blank stack in upwardly extending forwardly inclined position, and while releasably support ing the end edges of the endmost blank, applying a forwardly directed blank compressing force. against the upper horizontal side edge of the endmost blank at only edge points which are inwardly spaced from the releasably supported end edges of the blank to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both its horizontal and vertical axes a sufficient extent to elfectuate separation of the endmost blank from the next adjacent blank and inward withdrawal of the end edges of the endmost blank from supported position.

2. The method of successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, supporting the bottom edges of the blank stack on a supporting surface, releasably supporting the end edges of the endmost blank in upwardly extending and forwardly inclined position with the upper side edge of the endmost blank overhanging the bottom side edge thereof to thereby retain the blank stack in upwardly extending forwardly inclined position, and while releasably supporting the end edges of the endmost blank, applying a forwardly directed blank compressing force against the top and bottom side edges of the endmost blank at only edge points which are inwardly spaced from the releasably supported end edges 10 of the, blank to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both its horizontal and vertical axes a sufiicient extent to effectuate separation of the endmost blank from the next adjacent blank and inward Withdrawal of the end edges of the endmost blank from supported position.

3. The method of successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, supporting the bottom edges of the blank stack on a forwardly inclined supporting surface, releasably supporting the end edges of the endmost blank in upwardly extending and forwardly inclined position with the upper side edge of the endmost blank overhanging the bottom side edge thereof to thereby retain the blank stack in upwardly extending forwardly inclined position, and while releasably supporting the end edges of the endmost blank, applying a downwardly and forwardly directed force against the upper horizontal side edge of the endmost blank at only edge points which are inwardly spaced from the releasably supported end edges of the blank to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both its horizontal and vertical axes a sufficient extent to effectuate separation of the endmost blank from the next adjacent blank and inward withdrawal of the end edges of the endmost blank from supported position.

4. A method of successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, supporting the bottom edges of the blank stack on an inclined supporting surface, releasably supporting the end edges of the endmost blank in upwardly extending and forwardly inclined position with the upper side edge of the endmost blank forwardly overhanging the bottom side edge thereof to thereby retain the blank stack in upwardly extending forwardly inclined position, and while releasably supporting the end edges of the endmost blank, applying an upwardly and forwardly directed force against the bottom side edge of the endmost blank and substantially simultaneously applying a downwardly and forwardly directed force against the upper side edge of the endmost blank at only edge points which are inwardly spaced from the releasably supported end edges of the endmost blank to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both its horizontal and vertical axes a sufiicient extent to effectuate separation of the endmost blank from the next adjacent blank and inward withdrawal of the end edges of the end-most blank from supported position.

5. Apparatus for successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, an inclined member for supporting the bottom edges of the blank stack, a pair of upwardly extending and forwardly inclined, abutment means designed to releasably engage the opposite end edges of the endmost blank and releasably retain the endmost stack in upwardly extending and forwardly inclined position with the upper side edge of the endmost blank forwardly overhanging the bottom side edge thereof and thereby retain the blank stack in up wardly extending forwardly inclined position, rotatable means operative to engage a horizontal side edge of the endmost blank at only edge points which are inwardly spaced from the releasably supported end edges of the endmost blank, and means for driving said rotatable means while the end edges of the endmost blank are releasably supported by said abutment means to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both its horizontal and vertical axes a sufficient extent to effectuate separation of the endmost blank from the next adjacent blank and inward withdrawal of the end edges thereof from engagement with said abutment means.

6. Apparatus for successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, a forwardly inclined member for supporting the bottom edges of the blank stack, a pair of upwardly extending and forwardly inclined abutment elements designed to releasably engage the opposite end edges of the endmost blank and releasably retain the endmost blank in upwardly extending and forwardly inclined position with the upper side edge of the endmost blank forwardly overhanging the bottom side edge thereof and thereby retain the blank stack in upwardly extending forwardly inclined position, rotatable means operative to engage the upper side edge of the endmost blank at only edge points which are inwardly spaced from the releasably supported end edges of the endmost blank, and means for driving said rotatable means while the end edges of the endmost blank are releasably supported by said abutment elements to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both its horizontal and vertical axes a sufficient extent to effectuate separation of the endmost blank from the next adjacent blank and inward withdrawal of the end edges thereof from engagement with said abutment elements.

7. Apparatus for successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, an inclined bottom member for supporting the bottom edges of the blank stack, a pair of upwardly extending and forwardly inclined abutment elements designed to releasably engage the opposite end edges of the endmost blank and releasably retain the endmost blank in upwardly extending and forwardly inclined position with the upper side edge of the endmost blank forwardly overhanging the bottom side edge thereof and thereby retain the blank stack in upwardly extending forwardly inclined position, means for limiting the upward movement of the endmost blank, rotatable means operative to engage the bottom side edge of the endmost blank at only edge points which are inwardly spaced from the releasably supported end edges of the endmost blank, and means for driving said rotatable means while the end edges of the endmost blank are releasably supported by said abutment elements to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both its horizontal and vertical axes a sufiicient extent to effectuate separation of the endmost blank from the next adjacent blank and inward withdrawal of the end edges thereof from engagement with said abutment elements.

8. Apparatus for successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, a forwardly inclined bottom member for supporting the bottom edges of the blank stack, a pair of upwardly extending and forwardly inclined abutment elements designed to releasably engage the opposite end edges of the endmost blank and releasably retain the endmost blank in upwardly extending and forwardly inclined position with the upper side edge of the endmost blank forwardly overhanging the bottom side edge thereof and thereby retain the blank stack in upwardly extending forwardly inclined position, spaced rotatable means operative to engage the upper and lower side edges of the endmost blank and apply a forward flexing force to the endmost blank at only edge points which are inwardly spaced from the releasably supported end edges of the endmost blank, and means for driving said rotatable means in opposite directions while the end edges of the endmost blank are releasably supported by said abutment elements to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both its horizontal and vertical axes a sufiicient extent to effectuate separation of the endmost blank from the next adjacent blank and inward withdrawal of the end edges thereof from engagement with said abutment elements and discharge the endmost blank between said rotatable means.

9. Apparatus for successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, a forwardly inclined bottom plate for supporting the bottom edges of the blank stack, side walls for guiding the forward movement of the blanks in the stack, a pair of upwardly extending and forwardly inclined abutment elements designed to releasably engage the end edges of the endmost blank and releasably retain the endmost blank in upwardly extending and forwardly inclined position with the upper side edge of the endmost blank forwardly overhanging the bottom side edge thereof and thereby retain the blank stack in upwardly extending forwardly inclined position, spaced rotatable members operative to engage the upper and lower' side edges of the endmost blank at only edge points which are inwardly spaced from the releasably supported end edges of the blank, and means for continuously rotating said members in opposite directions while the end edges of the endmost blank are releasably supported by said abutment elements to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both its horizontal and vertical axes a sufficient extent to effectuate separation of the endmost blank from the next adjacent blank and inward withdrawal of the end edges of the endmost blank from engagement with said abutment elements and discharge the endmost blank between said rotatable members.

10. Apparatus for successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, a stack holder having a forwardly inclined bottom member for supporting the bottom edges of the blank stack, a pair of upwardly extending and forwardly inclined abutment elements designed to releasably engage the end edges of the endmost blank and releasably retain the endmost blank in vertically extending and forwardly inclined position with the upper side edge of the endmost blank overhanging the bottom side edge thereof and thereby retain the blank stack in upwardly extending forwardly inclined position, a blank picker roll having a substantially radially extending abutment shoulder in the periphery thereof with the ends of said abutment shoulder terminating substantially inwardly of and in spaced relation to said blank supporting abutment elements, said roll being rotatably mounted adjacent a horizontal side edge of the endmost blank, and means for continuously rotating said blank picker roll in the same direction to thereby move the abutment shoulder thereof into engagement with the adjacent horizontal side edge of the endmost blank while the end edges thereof are releasably supported by said abutment elements and thence apply a forward flexing force to the endmost blank at edge points which are inwardly spaced from the releasably supported end edges of the endmost blank to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both its horizontal and vertical axes for a suflicient extent to withdraw the end edges thereof from engagement with said end abutment elements.

11. Apparatus for successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, a stack holder having a bottom member for supporting the bottom edges of the blank stack, abutment means designed to releasably engage the end edges of the endmost blank and releasably retain the endmost blank in upwardly extending and forwardly inclined position, a blank picker roll having a substantially radially extending abutment shoulder Whose radial depth is substantially equal to the thickness of a single blank and whose ends terminate substantially inwardly of and in spaced relation to said abutment means, means for rotatably mounting said picker roll adjacent a horizontal side edge of the endmost blank with the periphery of said roll in a position to provide an abutment support for the adjacent horizontal side edge of the endmost blank, and means for continuously rotating said picker roll in the same direction to thereby move the abutment shoulder thereof into engagement with the adjacent horizontal side edge of the endmost blank at edge points which are inwardly spaced from the end edges of the blank while the end edges thereof are releasably supported by said abutment means and thence to apply a forward flexing force to the endmost blank to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both its horizontal and vertical axes for a sufficient extent to effect withdrawal of the end edges thereof from engagement with said end abutment means.

12. Apparatus for successively removing the endmost blank from a stack of blanks which includes, a stack holder having a forwardly inclined bottom member for supporting the bottom edges of the blank stack, a pair,

, 13 of upwardly extending and forwardly inclined abutment elements designed to releasably engage the opposite end edges of the endmost blank and releasably retain the endmost blank in upwardly extending and forwardly inclined position with the upper edge of the endmost blank overhanging the bottom edge thereof, a pair of rotatably mounted rolls each having a radially extending abutment shoulder on the periphery thereof whose ends terminate substantially inwardly of and in spaced relation to said abutment elements, said rolls being positioned to provide abutments for the adjacent upper and bottom side edges of the endmost blank, means for rotatably mounting said rolls adjacent the upper and bottom side edges of the endmost blank, and means for continuously rotating said rolls in opposite directions whereby the abutment shoulders thereof will engage the upper and lower side edges of the endmost blank and apply a for- 14 a ward flexing force to the endmost blank along points inwardly spaced from the end edges of the endmost blank, and While the end edges of the endmost blank are releasably supported by said abutment elements, to thereby outbow the endmost blank along both the horizontal and vertical axes thereof for a suificient extent to withdraw the end edges of the endmost blank from engagement with said end abutment elements and discharge the endmost blank between said rolls during rotation thereof.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 770,696 Peters et a1. Sept. 20, 1904 907,944 Abrams Dec. 29, 1908 1,916,723 Ferrar July 4, 1933

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US770696 *Oct 11, 1902Sep 20, 1904 peters
US907944 *Apr 27, 1907Dec 29, 1908Continental Can CoBlank-feeding machine.
US1916723 *Aug 26, 1930Jul 4, 1933Bernard FerrarSlip-sheeter
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3372923 *Nov 30, 1965Mar 12, 1968Rca CorpFeeder apparatus
US3391925 *May 25, 1966Jul 9, 1968Int Computers & Tabulators LtdDocument feeding apparatus
US4093207 *Dec 1, 1976Jun 6, 1978R. A. Jones & Co. Inc.Magazine and feeder for carton blanks
US4431323 *Aug 5, 1981Feb 14, 1984Kulow Products, Inc.Envelope feeder method and apparatus
US5407187 *Jun 11, 1993Apr 18, 1995Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance S.A.Apparatus for separating stacked sheets using rotatable, recessed shafts and vacuum members
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/23
International ClassificationB65H3/30
Cooperative ClassificationB65H3/30
European ClassificationB65H3/30