US 2827998 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 25, 1958 R. H.'BREEBACK 2,827,998
' CONTAINER FEEDING MECHANISM Filed NOV. 5, 1954 a Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR RUDOLPH H. BREEBACK ATTORNEYS I March 25, 1958 R. H. BREEBACK 2,
CONTAINER FEEDING MECHANISM Filed Nov. 5, 1954 a Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR RUDOL PH H. BRE E BA 0K ilawwigvw g ATTORNEYS March 25, .1958 R. H. BREEBACK 2,827,998
CONTAINER FEEDING MECHANISM Filed Nov. 5, i954 s Sheets-Sheet 5 RUDOL PH h. BREEBACK M ATTORNEYS March 25, 1958 R. H. BREEBACK 2,827,993
I CONTAINER FEEDING MECHANISM Filed Nov. .5, 1954 8 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR RUDOLPH H. BREEBAOK- ATTORNEY3 R. H. BREEBACK CONTAINER FEEDING MECHANISM March 25,1958
8 Sheeis-Shet 5 Filed Nov. 5, 1954 1 NVENTOR RUDOLPH H. BREEBAGK ATTORNEYS March 25, 1958 R. H. BREEBACK CONTAINER FEEDING MECHANISM 8 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Nov. 5, 1954 INVENTOR RUDOLPH H. BREEBA GK W IQMWM ATTORNEYS March 25, 1958 R. H. BREEBACK CONTAINER FEEDING MECHANISM I Filed Nov; 5, 1954 8 Sheets-Sheet 7 1N VEN TOR RUDOLPH HBREEBAGK BY v 7 G l e,
M ATTORNEYS March 25, 1958 R. H. BREEBACK 2, 7,
' CONTAINER FEEDING MECHANISM Filed Nov. 5, 1954 V I s Sheets-Sheet a I585 Y INVENTOR RUDOLPH H. aREEeAok' ATTORNEY$ CONTAINER FEEDING MECHANISM Rudolph H. Breeback,Baltimore, Md., assignor to Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc., Baltimore, Md., a corporation of New York Application November 5, 1954, Serial No. 466,983
24 Claims. (Cl. 198-31) The present invention relates to a container feeding mechanism and, more particularly, to a mechanism: for
United States Patent moving containers to and from filling machines or the like. The feeding of bottles and cans smoothly between various machines in a bottling plant involves substantial dithculties, particularly when feeding bottles or cans from. a
a single source of supply into a plurality of rows on a slower travelling conveying mechanism, the articles which are divided being separated or spaced from one another until they arepositioned in separate rows on the takeofil conveying elements.
A still. further object of the present invention is the provision of a transfer mechanism which will positively divide a row of containers into a plurality of rows. In other words, at the point of division of the rows of containers, the containers are positively transferred to one row or the other so as to prevent contact, jamming or breakage at the point of division.
These and other objects of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, claims and accompanying drawings.
p In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a plan view of the transfer or divider mechanism with the drive gear casing for the drive of the machine supplying them at high speed to other machines operating at substantially lower speeds. For example, if a filling machine has the capacity to fill and closeapproximately 400 containers per minute, but themixer, labeler orv casing machines, or double deck pasteurizer to which capacity of approximately 200 containers per minute, then the single line of container being supplied from the filling machine must be smoothly divided into two lines of containers for delivery to the mixer, labeler or casing machines. creased with the increased speeds of machines used in present day bottling plants because containers moving at high speeds may be easily marred or abraided bycontact with each other or may be easily upset.
The aforementioned problems have been stated in terms of containers but the embodiment of the invention'hereinafter described will be disclosed for a mechanism to handle beverage containers, it being understood. that the invention is entirely applicable to the handling of articles other than containers and which are in various shapes and forms.
Arrangements heretofore proposed for the handling of containers are not entirely suitable for handling of containers moving at high linear speeds required by present day filling machines or other bottling plant equipment. As previously mentioned, the bottles or cans are apt to be marred or upset during transfer action and this disadvantage causes many rejects of containers merely because of the condition or appearance of the container after filling. Bottles and cans which are of a relatively light weight and substantial height, have a small base area and, consequently, are not as stable as might be desired when being transferred from a single row into a plurality of rows while travelling at high linear speeds.
An object of the present invention is to provide a mechanism for smoothly transferring articles with respect to two sets of conveying elements, one arranged to handle more articles per minute than the other.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a mechanism which can smoothly transfer articles travelling in a row to a plurality of rows with a minimum possibility of the articles being marred, upset or jammed.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a mechanism for transferring articles from a single row to a plurality of rows, the articles successively fed to the transfer mechanism being alternately positioned into two rows. i i
A still further object of thepresent invention is to pro' vide a mechanism to transfer articles travelling from a 'the containers are fed from the filling machine, have a The problem of dividing containers is in- Figure 2 isa sectional view of the invention taken on the line Z-Zof Figure 1, but having portions thereof in elevation;
Figure 3- is a sectional view of. the invention taken on the line 3--3 of Figure 1 the drive gear casing andv other portions of the device-being shown in elevation;
. -Figure 4- is attenlargedfragmentary sectional view of the transfer spider disclosed in Figure 2; -.,.Figure 5 is anenlarged fragmentary plan view of one of the transfer spiders showingthe travel of. the container being ejected from a pocket of the spider;
Figure 6 is an enlarged fragmentary view taken on the line 6--6 of Figure 3;
Figure 7 is an enlarged plan view of the air cylinder casing of one ofv the transfer spiders;
valve taken on the line 11-11 of Figure 10, and
Figure 12 is a schematic view of the gear drive in the .drive gear casing.
General description: Referring to Figures 1 to 3 the apparatus there illus- "trated includes a crowner or container. closing mechanism-indicated generally by the numeral 10 which represents a first conveyor means and the conveying elements 12 and 14 which represent a second or take-off and discharge conveyor means. Crowner or container closing mechanism 10 is usually positioned adjacent the outfeed of a rotary filling machine (not shown) and is geared to rotate at a speed which will give containers travelling thereon the same linear speed as they had when they were fed to and were on the filling machine. In other words, the crowner or container closing mechanism can cap or close as many containers per minute as are fed from the filling machine to which it is associated, even though it has less container receiving platforms because it is rotated at a faster speed than the filling machine.
Although the first conveyor means is disclosed in this ably mounted in the upper surface of a table structure 16 in parallel and spaced relationship with each other. The elements 1 2 and 14 are adapted to convey containers delivered from crowner or container closing mechanism '10 to separate mixers, labelers or casing machines.
In the arrangement under discussion, containers are fed in a single row or line from crowner 10 directly to a transfer or divider mechanism generally indicated at 18 where they are positively directed into separate rows or lines on conveying elements 12 and 14. The linear speed of containers on take-01f conveying elements 12 and 14 is somewhat slower than the linear speed at includes a pair of oppositely disposed transfer spiders 20 and 22 and a pair of discharge spiders 24 and 26. Each of the transfer and discharge spiders is provided with an equal number of peripheral pockets 28 which are adapted to encircle approximately'one-half of a container. A suitable drive mechanism is provided to drive spiders or dials 20 and 22 with their pockets in registry 'while also driving spiders or dials 24 and 26' with their pockets in registry respectively with the pockets of spiders 20 and 22. A guide element 30 is provided adjacent the outfeed of crowner 10 and is adapted to guide containers discharged therefrom into successive pockets 28 of transfer spider 22. Guide element 30 is curved and terminates adjacent a position X where the pockets of spider 22 are in registry with the pockets of spider 20. Ejector means, generally indicated at 32 in 'Figure 1,
'are 'provided on each transfer spider for ejecting containers alternately from one transfer spider or the other so that the containers direction of travel will be deter mined after'reaching the dividing point X shown in Figure 1.. It will be noted that on the outfeed side of spiders 20 and 22 a wedge-shaped guide member 34 is provided, it having itsapex A at the medial position of spiders 20 and 22. Thepurpose of guide elements 34 is to cooperate with ejector members 32 to guide the articles being divided to the discharge spiders 24 and 26.
A more detailed description of the transfer or divider mechanism, its drive, and associated structure will follow later in the specification, as well as a detailed description of the operation of thedevice. For the present, the operation of the device might be described briefly as follows: After containers are filled on a rotary filling machine or the like, they are transferred to the crowner or container closing mechanism 10 where they are closed. The linear speed of the containers on the rotary crowner or container closing mechanism is the same as the linear I speed of the containers travelling on the rotary filler and this speed, as previously mentioned, is approximately 400 containers per minute. After a container has been closed, it will be guided by guide 30 into successive pockets on transfer spider or dial 22, this dial being rotated at a speed which will give containers being transferred thereby a linear speed substantially the same as a the linear speed of containers travelling on the crowner or container closing mechanism. The containers are transferred by spider 22 to a position X, as indicated at Figure 1, the guide 30 cooperating to keep the containers in pockets 28 of spider 22. At the point X, coacting pockets of spiders 2G and 22 will be in registry and further movement of the container will be made by the rotation of both spiders. However, at the point X, the path which a particular container is to take so as to be transferred to one or the other conveying elements 12 the surface of the table structure (Figure 3). .noted that conveying element 12 is driven by a drive gear 40. .for rotation beneath the table by brackets 42. clutch conveyor chain sprocket mechanism 46 is adapted V or the other of the coacting pockets in registry so as to eject the container therein in one direction or the other. In other words, the container is ejected out of one of the coacting pockets of the spiders 20 and 22 while remaining in the other pocket of the other spider. To maintain the container in the pocket of a particular spider once the ejector means is free of the container, the wedge-shaped guide member 34 cooperates with spiders 20 and 22. The container, once its path has been determined, is conveyed by the particular transfer spider or dial to the cooperating discharge spideror dial. As has been previously mentioned, the two oppositely disposed discharge spiders 24 and 26- are also adapted to rotate at the same speed as spiders 2t) and 22 and with their pockets in registry, respectively, with the pockets of spiders 20 and 22. Discharge spiders 24 and 26 will transfer the containers onto the slower moving conveying elements 12 and 14 which in turn transfer the containers "to the machine which performs the next operation, such "as mixing, labeling or casing. As will be explained later in the specification, ejector means 32 are provided on each spider insuch a manner that they will cause suc- 'cessively fed containers to spiders 20 and 22 to be transferred alternately onto conveying elements 12 and 14.
Transfer mechanism structure and drive ,crowner or container closing mechanism 10. Conveying elements 12 and 14,'which are of the endless link type, are suitably mounted inzthe top of table structure 16'so that the upper surface of the link conveyor is level with It will be 38, which is suitably connected through gearing (not shown) to a main conveyor drive gear 40 supported below table structure 16. Conveying element 14 is driven in a similar manner by gearing connected to main drive gear Drive gear 40 is mounted on a shaft 44 supported A slip to engage the end of shaft 44 and rotate the same so .as to rotate drive gear 40. A suitable source of power (not shown) can be utilized to turn the sprocket 46 through a conventional type of chain drive. Should either of the conveyors 12 or 14, shown in Figure 1, jam, the slip clutch sprocket mechanism wil become disengaged fromshaft 44 on which drive gear 40 is mounted and, thus, no damage will be done to the drive or conveying elements.
Transfer spiders 20 and 22, which are mounted for rotation on the upper surface of table structure 16 in oppositely disposed position to each other, are each mounted thereon in a different manner.
bearing assembly 50. The lower end of vertical shaft 52 is supported by-the inner race of bearing 50, as indicated at 51, and is capable of rotation with respect to bearing holder 48 and table structure 16. Transfer spider 20 is keyed to the rotatable vertical shaft 52 by a key element indicated at 54 in Figure 4. The upper end of shaft 52 is received in a bearing 55 mounted in a drive gear casing 56 supported above table 16, as shown in Figure 2. A more detailed description of the drive gear casing and its associatedelements. will follow later in the specification.
Referring now to Figure 3, it will be noted that table structure 16 is provided with a downwardly depending boss 60 having a vertical bore 62 therethrough. A bushing 63 is provided in bore 62 of boss 60. ,A main drive shaft '64 for the transfer and discharge spiders extends upwardly as eas through the bearing 63 inhoss. 60 and. hasits upper end received in a bearing (not shown) mounted mauve gear casing 56. Main drive shaft 64 is adapted to be supported beneath table structure 16 in any suitable bearing bracket (not shown). Further, drive shaft 64 is provided with a gear 65, which is adapted to be rotated through a train of gears driven off ofv the column of rotating crowner or container closing mechanism 10.
As best shown in Figure 3, drive shaft 64 has its upper portion provided with a reduced diameter so as to receive transfer spider 22. Transfer spider 22 is keyed to drive shaft 64 by a key, as indicated at 66.
Each of the discharge spiders 24 and. 26 is supported 'on table structure 16 in a substantially identical manner. As best shown in Figure 2, a collar element 68 is rigidly supported on table structure 16 by means of bolts 70 or the like. Two such. collar elements 68 are provided, one. being in'longitudinal alignment'with bearing collar 48 while the other is in longitudinal alignment. with drive shaft 64. Each of the collar elements 68 has a downwardly depending bore 69 therein, which is adapted to receive the lower ends of vertical support shafts 72. Shafts 72 are keyed to collar elements 68 by means of a radially extending pin 74 or the like. The upper end of each of the shafts 72 is provided with a circumferential groove 76,'which receives a lock screw 78 provided in drive gear casing 56. In other words, drive. gear casing 56 is supported above table structure 16 by the fixed shafts 72 through meansof the lock screws. 78 cooperat ing with grooves 76 in the ends of. shafts 72.
Aspreviously mentioned, the arrangement for supporting both discharge spiders 24 and 26 is substantially identical, therefore, the description with respect. to discharge spider 24 shown in Figure .2 will sufiice for dis charge spider 26. Discharge spider 24 is supported for rotation on a bearing 80 mounted on the top of collar 68 and surrounding shaft 72. ,An additional bearing 82 is. provided between spider 24 and shaft 72. Spider 24 is provided with an upwardly extending cylindrical sleeve portion 84 flanged at its upper end. A flanged sleeve element 86 is bolted to the flange 85 and extends upwardly into drive gear casing 56. A drive gear 88. is bolted to the top of sleeve 86,.as shown at 89.
Suitable oil passages 90 are provided in the lower end of fixed support, shaft 72 and collar 68 so that bearings 80 and 82 may be lubricated. Oil passages 92 are provided in the upper end of shaft 72 for lubrication of the bearings 93 between the shaft and drive gear 88.
Drivegears 94 and 94' are keyed to the upper ends of shafts 52 and 64, respectively, and are housed in drive gear casing 56. A drive gear 88 is mounted on the upper end of a sleeve 86' which supports discharge spider 26. Referring now to Figure 12, which shows the planetary gearing for driving each of the transfer and discharge spiders, it will be noted that a pair of idler gears 96 and 98 are interposed between drive gears94 and 88'. The aforementioned idler gears will cause drive gear 88 to rotate at the same speed but in a reverse direction to the rotation of drive gear 94 when the lastmentioned gear is rotated by main drive shaft 64.
Rotary movement is transferred from drive gear 88' to drive gear 88 by a gear train comprising the idler gears 89 and 91. Interposed between drive gears 88 and 94' is a third pair of idler gears 96 and 98 which in turn transmit rotary movement from drive gear 88 to drive gear 94. i
To briefly review the drive of the transfer and discharge spiders, main drive shaft 64 is rotated by an ex.- ternal source of power previously mentioned. Rotation of shaft 64 causes transfer spider 22 as well as drive gear 9.4 to rotate in a counterclockwise direction, as shown by the arrows in Figures land 12. Rotary movement is transmitted simultaneously to discharge spiders 24 and Ztiand transfer spider 20 by means of the planetary gear ing. supported in gear casing 56. In other words, rotationof gear 94 through the gear trains previously de scribed will simultaneously cause rotation of drive gears 88", 88 and 94. Consequently, discharge spider 26 and transfer spider 20 are rotated in a clockwise direction while transfer spider 24 is rotated in a counterclockwise direction.
Mounted on shafts 52 and 64 adjacent the upper surface-of table 16 and forming part of transfer spiders 20 and 22 are spider timing flanges 100 and 102, respectively. Although flange 100 is of a slightly different shape than flange 10,2 they each function for the same purpose. Each timing flange which supports its respective transfer spider is provided with arcuate shaped slots through which bolts, such as the bolts 106 shown in Figure 4, are passed and threadedinto the air cylinder casing 108 of the spider. By loosening of bolts 106, the. relative position of the transfer spiders can be adiusted so that their pockets can be made. to register accurately with the pockets of the cooperating discharge spiders or with. each other.
As shown in Figure 2, discharge spider 24, which is identical with discharge spider 26, is comprised of an upper dial element 110 and a spaced lower dial element 112 integrally connected thereto by a downwardly de pending collar or body 114., Spider 24 has an inwardly extendingflange 116 integral with the upper dial element 110 which is received by and bolted to a flange 118 on the lower end of cylindrical sleeve 14.
Ejector mechanism Transfer spiders 20 and 22 areof a different construction than discharge spiders 24 and 26 in that each of the transfer spiders must be provided with ejector means 32. Since transfer dial 20 and transfer dial 22. are of substantially the same construction except for their attachmentto shafts 52 and 64, a detailed description of only one of' the transfer dials will be. given.
Referring now to Figures 2, 4 and 8, it will be noted that transfer dial 20 includes the air cylinder casing 108 and upper and lower dial elements 120 and 122, respectively. Air cylinder casing 108., which is the body of the transfer spiders, is provided with a circumferential groove or recess 124 on its upper surface in which upper dial element 120 is adapted to fit. .The lower dial element 122 fits on the lower surface 126 of air cylinder casing 108. An annular retaining ring 126 having a plui-ality of threaded holes therein is adapted to receive a bolt 130 passing downwardly through the upper dial element 120, air cylinder casing 108 and lower dial element 122. If it is necessary to make a change to accommodate containers of various sizes, the dial elements 120 and 122 can be replaced by dial elements of desired sizes by merely removing bolts 130 from retaining. ring 126.
As previously mentioned, transfer spider 20. is supported on shaft 52 by means of the spider timing flange 100, which is keyed to shaft 52, as indicated at 54. Timing flange 100 is adapted to be received in the annular cut-out or recessed portion 132 provided in the lower face of air cylinder casing 108.
Each transfer spider 20 and 22 is provided in alternate pockets with an ejector cylinder 134 having a double acting piston 136 mounted therein for reciprocal movement. Piston element 136 has a piston rod 138 connected centrally thereto which is adapted to be extended through the outer end of cylinder 134 into the pockets 28 of the transfer spiders. Mounted on the end of piston rod 138 is a rubberbuifer member 140 or the like, which is adapted to engage containers in the pocket and eject the same from the pocket. Suitable gaskets 142 are provided in the outlet end of cylinder 134 so as to provide a seal around the piston rod 13.8 to prevent leakage of air pressure.
Referring to Figure 5', which discloses the movement ofthe ejector means 32, as transfer spider 20 rotates,
it will be noted thatthe cylinders vl 3d in air cylinder will engage the container at a point forward of a radius of spider 24) through the center of the container and pocket. ,This prevents the container, which is being v,
jdragged along over the table structure 'by spiders and 22 at this point of its transfer, from slipping off of the ejector and becoming jammed between the ejector, dial 24 and apex A of guide member 34., Again referring to Figure 5, it will be noted that whenthe ejector is fully extended, as shown in thedotted line position E, the ejector is contacting the container rearwardly of a radius of the spider through the center of the pocket. Further, the container at this position will lose contact with the ejector 140 and be guided by the spider 22. (not shown in Figure 5) and the guide member 34.
It will be noted in Figure 6, which is a view taken on the line 6-6 of Figure 3, that the cylinders 134. of air cylinder casing 108' of the spider 22 are disposed just the reverse of the cylinders 134 of spider 20. In other words, the cylinders 134' and their pistons and ejectors must operate on a container in the same manner as the cylinders and ejectors of spider 20 so as to obtain the' same end result. Otherwise, the air cylinder casing and the dial of spider 22 is substantially similar to the air cylinder casing and dials of spider 20.
Referring now to Figures 6, 7 and 8, air cylinder casing 108 is provided with an upper surface which is annular and bevelled, as indicated at 144. Each cylinder 134 is provided with a port 146 at its forward end and a port 148 at its rearward end. Ports 150 and 152 are provided on the annular bevelled surface 144. Port 150 is connected to port 148 by means of vertical passage 154 extending downwardly into the rear end of the charmher of cylinder 134. Port 152 is connected in open communication with the port 146 by means of a passage 156 extending downwardly from port 152 and then horizontally to the forward end of cylinder 134 where itcommunicates with port 146. Consequently, air can be supplied through port 156 to the port 148 to cause piston 136 and its piston rod 138 to extend outwardly into pocket 28 of spider 2! On the other hand, when his desired to retract the ejector element 146 from the pocket, air is supplied to the forward side of the piston through passage 156 and port 146. The air on the other side of the double acting piston 136 can be exhausted back through passage 154 to atmosphere as will be disclosed later in the specification.
Positioned above spiders 20 and 22 and cooperating with air cylinder casings 108 and 108' are stationary air valve members 158 and 158, respectively. Air valve members 158 and 158' are substantially identical and provide a means for supplying compressed air to one side or the other of the pistons of each of the transfer spiders in a specific timed relationship previously mentioned in the specification. Referring now to Figures 2, 4, 10 and 11, it will be noted that the lower surface 16?) of air valve member 158 is complementary of the upper bevelled surface 144 of air cylinder casing 108. Consequently, a tight moving fit can be obtained between the stationary air valve and the rotating air cylinder casing of the transfer spiders.
As shown in Figures 2 and 4, air valve member 158 is preventedfrom rotation because of its rigid connection to the air pressure conduit 162. In order to maintain a tightseal between tlie surfaces' 160 and 144 of the air a tendee valve member and the air cylinder casing, respectively, a bearing retainer 166 ismounted on shaft 52 and is adapted to be pressed downwardly bymeans of a spring 168 positioned between the upper surface of thebearing re tainer and anair yalve spring pressure plate 170. The pressure. exerted ,upon the topof bearing retainer 166 can be adjusted by the provision of a second air valve pressure plate 172 positioned above the pressure plate 170. Pressure plate 172 is rigidly connected to shaft 52 by means of a'pin .174. Provided around the periphery of plate 172 are a plurality of downwardly depending studs 176 which have their lower ends extending through plate 172 and bearingon the top surface of plate 170. Lock nuts 178 retain the studs in fixed position. Should it be desired to increase the pressure of air valve member 158 on air cylindercasing 188; it is merely necessary to loosen the lock nuts 178 and thread the studs 176 downwardly so as to move'the plate170 away from the plate 172 and, thus, compress spring 168. Since plate 172 rotates with shaft 52 ,the ends of studs 176 are preferably rounded so that they will have a minimum friction with the upper surface of pressure plate 179.
Thrust'onstationary air valve member 158 caused by pressure plate 174? and spring 168 is carried through hearing retainer 166 by means of a thrust bearing 1 having itsupper race bearing against the under surface of bearing retainer 166 and its lower race bearing against a thrustring 182; The lower surfaceof thrust ring 182 bears against the upper surface of stationary air valve member 158. The arrangement just previously described may possibly rotate because of the frictional engagement of studs 176 with pressure plate and, therefore, this rotation will be taken by bearing 180 and, consequently, there willb'e a minimum of friction between the thrust ring 182 and the downwardly depending'sides of hearing retainer 166. V,
Stationary air valve member .158, as best shown in Figures 7 l0 and 11, is provided with elongated semiannular ports on the tapered'walls of its lower surface 160. On the innermost sloping wall of the surface 160 a relatively short semi-annular exhaust port 186 is provided as well as a relatively longsemi-annular pressure port 188. The outer sloping wall of undersurface 160 is provided with a relatively sort semi-annular pres sure port 190 and a relatively long semi-annular exhaust port 192. A lateral'inlet port 194 is provided in the side wall of air valve member158 for connection to the rigid air pressure supply conduit 162. Port 1% is placed in communication with each of the ports 1% and 188 by a passage 196, as shown in Figure 10, so that these ports will have compressed air supplied thereto. A second passage 1% is provided in the body of air valve member 158'and this passage communicates with ports186 and 192. 'In addition to communicating with ports 186 and 192, passage 198 also communicates with a port 200 in the side wall of air valve member 158, this port providing the exhaust from the air valve member to atmosphere. Referring now to Figures 4 and 5, which disclose the air valve member of the transfer spiders superimposed on the rotating air cylinder casing member, it will be noted that when the port 152 of the rotatable air cylinder casing is in communication with the port 188 in air valve member 1 58, compressed air is supplied through the air valve member to the forward side of the piston thereby causing the piston and its ejector member to be retracted. While in this position, the port 151 on air cylinder casing 108 will bein communication with the port 192 on air valve member 1.58 and, thus, as the piston is moved realwardly inthe cylinder, air will exhaust therefrom through the passages 15% and 198 to the outlet port 204 Since an ejector member is ejected for only a small portion of the arc of rotation of the transfer spider, ejection of the piston occurs when the port 159 is in communication withthe port 198 on air valve member 158 and the port 152 is in communication with the port 186. During this short portionof rotation, pressure is supplied behind the piston causingit to be extended With the air. on the forward side being exhausted through the passages 156 and 198 twatmosphere. As previously mentioned, an air conduit 162 is rigidly connected to each of the air valve members 158 and 158' at the ports 194. The conduits162fromeach air valve member are held rigidly to. the air valve members by a bracket204, such as shown inFigure 3. The conduits 162 meet in a T connection 206 where. they have a common manifold 208 which leads tosa suitable source of compressed air (not shown). An air filter 210 and a pressure regulator 212 are proyided in-conduit208 for filtering and metering the air to the air valve members. A suitable pressure gauge 214v is: also mounted in the line 208 at a convenient positionon the apparatus so that the operator, at a glance, can. determine if the properamount of air pressure is being supplied to theair valve members of eachof the transfer spiders. p
Referring tothe. arrangement of the device, as best disclosed in Figure 1,. it will be noted that the curved infeed guide element 30 may be. bolted to the table structure 18., as indicated at 216. Suitable curved outfeed guide members 2 18 and-2.20am. provided on the out- .feed. side of transfer spiders 20 and 22, respectively. Guide members 2l8 and -220will cause containers being transferred. but remaining in the pockets of the individual transfer spiders to be. ejected therefrom as the container comes. intocontact with. the pockets on the discharge spiders M ami. 26,.- As previously mentioned, to. further aid in. the. dividing ofwcontainers' being transferred by spiders 20 and 22, the wedge-shaped divider member 34 having... an apex. A ispositioned intermediate the outfeed of. spiders 2.0 and 22. Guide element 34 is supported by a. support-bracket 222 depending downwardly from drive. gear casing 56., Support bracket 222. may be attached to drive gear casing 56 in any convenient manner, such, asby the b.olts.224. Inner guide .rails 226 .and. 228 are. provided on the outfeed side of. discharge spiders 24 and .26 and extend adjacent the inner side. of each of theconveying elements 12 and 14. The outer side of eachoftheconveyor elements. 12 and Misprovided with a. safety. gate 230 posi- ,tioned adjacent. the outfeed. from discharge spiders 2.4 and, 26. Gates230. are hinged at their forward end, as indicated. at 232, and are spring pressed. inwardly .by. a suitable spring 234.. This. arrangement provides a safety device for. release of containers from the divider mechanism should there be a jam on the outfeed side of the divider mechanism. If. a jam occurs on either of the. conveying elements, 12. or 14, the pressure. of containers builds up on that particular conveying element and will cause. the. gates 23.0 to be pivoted open. Containers being discharged from the transfer anddischarge spiders will. then be moved outwardly onto the table structure 16... A pivotedguide plate 23.6 is provided just-forward of each of; the. safety gates 230. Pivoted guide plate 2.3- will swing away from the guide rails 226 and 228 .On' its pivot 238 if. a jam occurs and thereby operate a switch mechanism 240. which will stop the movement of at least the. divider mechanism 18.. Because there is a lag between the time there is an indication on the switch mechanism 240 and the stopping of. divider,- mechal isrn. 1.3., the. safety gate 230 will open and prevent containers jamming in the divider mechanism 18.
' Operation The operation of the divider mechanism heretofore disclosed is. as. follows:
Containers travelling on the first conveyor means, such as crowner 10., are received in successive pockets 28- of trapsfer spider 22ywhich isrotating in a counterclockwise.direction, as viewed in Figure 1. The containers are held in the pockets of transfer spider 22 by means'of the curved-guide member 30 until the containers reach the point indicated at X where they are also received in coacting pockets of the oppositely disposed transfer spider 20. As previously mentioned, transfer spider 20, which rotates in an opposite or clockwise direction, as viewed in Figure l, is rotated in timed sequence with transfer spider 22 so that the pockets of the transfer spiders coact with each other and rotate in registry at the point X.
When a container has reached point X, its further movement must be positively determined so as to feed it either onto conveying element 12 or conveying element 14. Because it is desirable to alternately feedsuccessive containers to the conveying elements 12 and 14, ejector means 32 are provided on each of the transfer spiders 20- and 22 for positively directing the container in the proper direction. It Will be noted that transfer spiders 2t) and 22 have an ejector means for each alternate pocket and, further, the dials of transfer spiders 20 and 22' are so arranged with respect to each other that coacting pockets. in registry will have only one ejector means. 32 associated therewith. In Figure 1 the container, which is indicated by the letter C, is shown being directed to the conveying element 12 by means of the ejector 32 on transfer spider 22. The next succeeding container C will be guided in an opposite direction by the ejector 32 on the transfer spider 20.. As soon as container C has moved past the point X, ejector 32 on transfer spider 20 will be extended into its pocket 28 thereby causing the container C to move out of the pocket of the spider while remaining in the pocket of transfer spider 22. Container C will be maintained in the pocket of transfer spider 22 by means of the wedge-shaped guide 30 until container C reaches a position where the discharge spider 2.6. will also encompass it. As previously mentioned, spider 26 rotates in an opposite di: rection to spider 22' and at the same speed with spider 22 so that its pockets coact with the pockets of spider 22 and are in registry. therewith. Discharge spider 26 cooperating with the guide element220 will cause the con.- tainer C to move out of the pockets on the transfer spider 22 and will direct the container to the flat, top conveying element 14. Container C will move similar to container C but in an opposite direction between spiders 20 and 24 to conveying element 12.
Figure 5' discloses the progressive movement of the container C out of the pocket 28 of transfer spider 20. In the position D, port 152 is shown coming into registry with the port 1860f air valve member 158 while the port 150 is just. beginning to register with the port 190 and air valve member 158. Compressed air being, supplied through port 194 Will travel through the port 190 into the air cylinder casing 108 behind the piston member in cylinder 134. The air on the forward side of the piston will be exhausted through the passage 154 in air cylinder casing 108 and the ports 152 and 186 to atmosphere through the port 2%. As. long as the ports 150 and 152 of air cylinder casing 134 are in registry with the ports 190 and 186, respectively, of the air valve cylinder, the piston and its ejector element 140 will remain extended into the pocket218 of spider 2 0. It will be noted that the,ports;190 and lgd are relatively short in length and,
thus, the: ejector member will remain in its extended position through a short portion of the. rotation of. spider 20. As soon as transfer spider 20 is rotated to a position, E' where the ejector no longer need be extended, the port 152 will register with the port 188 of air valve member 158 and the port will: register with the port 192 so that the compressed air will be supplied to the forward side. of the piston and, thus, cause the piston to move to the rear of the cylinder. and retract the ejec' tor from the pocket. Position F of Figure 5 shows the cylinder withits ejector fully retracted. The ejector will acetone 11 nism 18 omitted for the purpose of clarity, discloses the relative positions of the passages in the air valve member 158' and air cylinder casing108' for the transfer spider 22. It will be noted that the passages of the various cylinders 134' will cooperate with the ports in the stationary air valve member 158' in the same manner as previously discussed with respect to Figure 5.
The conveying elements 12 and 14 will, respectively transfer containers to separate labelers, mixers or casing machines. Should there be a jam at one or the other casing machine, containers on the particular conveying element supplying that casing machine will back up on the conveying element causing the guide plate 236 to pivot on its pivot 233. This will actuate switch mechanism 240 to at least stop the divider mechanism 18 and preferably stop the particular machine supplying containers to the divider mechanism. However, there may be a lag between the actuation of switch 240 and the stoppage of divider mechanism 18. To take care of containers being divided during this lag period, the safety gate 230 will pivot about its pivot 232 permitting the containers to be transferred onto the table structure 16.
It is, of course, within the scope of the invention that dilferent size spiders can be substituted for the transfer and discharge spiders thereby to accommodate containers of various shapes and sizes. Further, the fixed guide rails adjacent the discharge conveying elements 12 and 14 may also be adjusted to accommodate containers of various shapes and sizes.
The terminology used in the specification is for the purpose of description and not limitation, the scope of the invention being defined in the claims.
1. A mechanism for feeding articles, a first conveyor means, a second conveyor means including two article conveying elements, means to transfer articles from said first conveyor means alternately to the two article conveying elements of said second conveyor means, said lastmentioned means including a pair of pocketed rotary dials, means to rotate said dials with their pockets in registry so that articles successively fed to said dials will be embraced by coacting pairs of pockets of said dials as they are being transferred therethrough, means to eject successive articles alternately from the pockets of one of said dials and then the other of said dials once the articles have moved through said dials, said lastmentioned means including pistons on each of said dials operable in timed sequence with each other to discharge successively fed articles in diiferent directions after the articles are fed through co-acting pockets of said dials, and means cooperating with said ejector means of said dials to maintain articles ejected from the pockets of one of said dials in the pockets of the other of said dials so that the articles are carried to said article conveying elements.
2. A mechanism of the character described in claim 1 includinga second pair of pocketed rotary dials positioned adjacent to and on the discharge side of said first mentioned dials, means to rotate one of said second pair of dials with its pockets in registry with the pockets on one of said first-mentioned dials while the other of said second pair of dials rotates with its pockets in registry with the other of said first pair of dials.
3. A mechanism of the character described in claim 1 wherein guide means are provided adjacent said firstmentioned conveyor means, said guide means being adapted to guide articles into pockets of at least one of said first-mentioned dials.
4. In a mechanism for feeding articles, a first conveyor means, a second conveyor means, a first pocketed rotary dial positioned adjacent the outfeed end of said first conveyor means, a second pocketed rotary dial positioned adjacent said first dial, means to rotate said first and second pocketed dials with their pockets in registry, and means on each of said first and second pocketed dials 12 V operable in sequence to positively eject articles moving from said first and second dials into a plurality of rows on said "second conveyor means, said last mentioned means ejecting an article from one of said dials while the article iscarried by the other of said dials to one of the rows on said second conveyor means.
5. A mechanism of the character described in claim 4 wherein said means to eject articles being transferred are piston members on each of said dials and extensible into the pockets of said dials in proper timed sequence so as to eject successive articles moving through said dials into a plurality of rows on said second conveyor.
6. In a mechanism for feeding articles, a first conveyor means, a second conveyor means, a pair of pocketed rotary dials, at least one of said dials being positioned adjacent said first conveyor means with its pockets adapted to receive successive articles moving on said first conveyor means, means to rotate said dials with their pockets in registry, ejector means in alternate pockets of each of said dials for-positively ejecting articles from the pockets, the ejector means in a pocket of one of said dials adapted to register with an ejector free pocket of the other of said dials when a coacting pair of pockets of said dials are'in registry, means to individually actuate each of said ejector means after'registry of coacting pockets of said dials and means cooperating with said ejector means to maintain articles in the ejector free pockets of said dials.
7. A mechanism of the character described in claim 6 wherein said ejector means are pistons extensible into the pockets of said dials to free articles from the pockets and alternately position them in rows on said second conveyor.
8. A mechanism of the character described in claim 6 wherein a guide member is provided adjacent said first conveyor for directing articles thereon into successive pockets of the one of said dials adjacent the first conveyor means.
9. A mechanism of the character described in claim 8 wherein said guide member is curved and extends from said first conveyor means around one of said dials to a position adjacent a point where said dials and their pockets are in registry.
' 10. In a mechanism for feeding articles, a first conveyor means, a second conveyor means having two article conveying elements, a pair of pocketed rotary dials positioned adjacent the outfeed of said first conveyor means and adapted to receive articles therefrom, means to eject successive articles alternately from the pockets of one of said dials while the articles remain in the pockets of the other of said dials, a second pair of pocketed rotary dials oppositely disposed from said first pair of dials, means to rotate said second pair of dials with the pockets of one of said second pair of dials in registry with the pockets of one of said first pair of dials while the pockets of the other of said second pair of dials being in registry with the pockets of the other of said first pair of dials, said second pair of dials cooperating with said first pair of dials to move the articles successively fed from said first conveyor means alternately to the two article conveying elements of said second conveyor means.
11. A mechanism of the character described in claim 10 wherein a guide element is provided centrally of said first pair of dials on the outfeed side thereof, said guide element adapted to cooperate which the ejector means on each of said first pair of dials to maintain an article 'in the pocket of one or the other of said first pair of dials until the article is received in the pocket of one or the other of said second pair of dials.
12. A mechanism of the character described in claim 10 wherein'a guide member extends from adjacent the outfeed of said first conveyor means around one of said first pair of dials to a position adjacent the point of registry of pockets of said first pair of dials, and a guide-element positionedon the outfeed side and centrally of said first pair of dials, said guide element being adapted to co alternately to the two article conveying elements of said second conveyor.
13. In a mechanism for feeding articles, a first conveyor means, a second conveyor means, means to transfer successively fed articles from said first conveyor means to said second conveyor means and to alternately position the articles in a plurality of rows on said second conveyor means, said transfer means including a pair of pocketed rotary dials positioned to receive articles from said first conveyor means, means to rotate said dials with their pockets in registry, each of said dials including piston members extensible into'alternate pockets on each of said dials, the dials being arranged for rotation so that coacting pockets in registry will have only one of said piston members capable of extension therein, means to extend said piston members after registry of coacting pockets to cause an article being transferred by said dials to be ejected from the pocket of one of said dials while remaining in the pocket of the other of said dials.
14. A mechanism of the character described in claim 13 wherein the means to extend said piston members is air and whereinthe extension of said piston members is in timed relationship with the rotation of said dials so that the piston members will engage an article after the article has passed .a point of registry of coacting pockets.
15.. A mechanism of the character described in claim 13 wherein each of said piston members is positioned in said dials so as to extend into the pockets on an angle to a radius of said dials through the center of the pockets.
16. A mechanism of the character described in claim 15 wherein each of said piston members extends into the pockets of said dials in a rearwardly disposed direction to the rotation of said dials.
17. A mechanism of the character described in claim 13 wherein each of said piston members engages an article positioned in coacting pockets of registry of said dials forward of a radius of the dials through the center of the pockets and wherein each of said piston members engages the article rearward of a radius of said dials through the center of the pockets of said dials when said piston member is fully extended.
18. For use with an apparatus to transfer articles travelling on a first conveyor means into a plurality of rows on a second conveyor means, a dividing mechanism comprising a pair of oppositely disposed rotary dials having peripheral pockets thereon, means to rotate said dials with their pockets in registry, means to alternately feed successively fed articles from each of said dials in different directions, said means including reciprocable piston members mounted in each of said dials in alternate pockets, the pockets having piston members of one of said dials coacting and registering with the pockets of the other of said dials that are free of piston members so that coacting pockets of said dials will have only one of the piston members in association therewith, a second pair of rotary pocketed dials oppositely disposed to each other and relative to said first pair of dials, one of said second pair of dials being rotated with its pockets in registry with one of said first pair of dials while the other of said second pair of dials is rotated with its pockets in registry with the other of said first pair of dials, said second pair of dials cooperating with said first pair of dials to position articles in a plurality of rows on the second conveyor means.
19. A mechanism of the character described in claim 18 wherein a dividing guide member is placed centrally ofthe outfeed of said first pair of dials, said guide member being adapted to direct articles ejected from one or 20. A mechanism of the character described in claim 18 wherein curved guide means are provided adjacent the outfeed of each of said first pair of dials, said curved guide means capable of engaging and ejecting articles from the pockets of saidfirst pair of dials after the articles have been divided by the piston members.
21. For use with an apparatus for transferring articles travelling on a first conveyor means into a plurality of rows on a second conveyor means, a dividing mechanism comprising a pair of oppositely disposed rotary dials having peripheral pockets thereon, means to rotate said dials with their pockets in registry, means to alternately feed successively fed articles from said dials in different directions, said last-mentioned means including double acting air operated piston members mounted in each of said dials for extension into alternate pockets thereon, the piston members of one of said dials extending into pockets'which coact and register with the pockets on the other of said dials that are free of piston members, means for supplying air to said piston members in timed sequence so said piston members will be actuated and extended after an article is transferred past a position where it is embraced by coacting pockets in registry and means cooperating with said piston members to maintain articles in the piston free pockets of said dials so that the articles may be carried to separate rows on said second conveyor.
22. For use with an apparatus to transfer articles travelling on a first conveyor means into a plurality of rows on a second conveyor means, an article dividing mechanism comprising a pair of oppositely disposed rotor members having peripheral pockets thereon for receiving articles from the first conveyor means, means to rotate said rotor members with their pockets in registry, means to eject successive articles being trans ferred by said rotor members alternately into a plurality of rows, said last-mentioned means including a cylinder for alternate pockets of each of said rotors, a piston reciprocable in each cylinder and having an ejector member connected thereto for extension into and retraction from said pockets, said rotor members having passages therein communicating opposite ends of each cylinder with vents on said rotor member, a stationary valve member cooperating with each of said rotor members and having apassage for a source of compressed air and a passage venting to atmosphere, the vents of the passages in said rotor members being adapted to communicate with the passages in said valve member in timed relationship with rotation of said rotor members whereby said pistons and ejectors are extended into and retracted from the pockets so as to alternately transfer successively fed articles into a plurality of rows.
23. A mechanism of the character described in claim 22 wherein means are provided in each stationary member so that the compressed air passage therein may first cooperate with the passages in said rotor members communicating with one end of the cylinders during a portion of the revolution of said rotor members and may cooperate with the passages in said rotor members communicating with the other end of said cylinders during the remaining portion of the revolution of said rotor members, the rotation of said rotor members being such that only one piston and its ejector are extended at a time.
24. A mechanism of the character described in claim 22 wherein the compressed air passages of each of said valve means is connected to a unitary source of compressed air.
Currivan Mar. 10, 1 953