US 2863579 A
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Dec. 9, 1958 G. N. MEYER CASE UNLOADER WITH BOTTLE REJECTING HEAD Filed Dec. 29, 1955 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 D 1958 G. L. N. MEYER CASE UNLOADER WITH BOTTLE REJECTING HEAD 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 29, 1955 Z i? 5 k 0% [my 5 Dec. 9, 1958 G. L. N. MEYER CASE UNLOADER WITH BOTTLE REJECTING HEAD 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Dec. 29, 1955 uuumm Dec. 9, 1958 ca. L. N. MEYER 2,863,579
CASE UNLOADER WITH BOTTLE REJECTING HEAD Filed Dec. 29, 1955 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIEEJ 7 2,863,579 CASE UNLOADER WITH BOTTLE REJECTING HEAD George L. N. Meyer, Milwaukee, Wis, assignor to Geo. J. Meyer Manufacturing Company, 'Cudahy, Wis, a corporation of Wisconsin Application December 29, 1955, Serial No. 556,203
6 Claims. (Cl. 214-309) This invention relates to a case unloader adapted to unload empty bottles from a case and to reject bottles with corks, caps or other obstructions in the neck of the bottle. a
In case unloaders used to remove empty beer, carbonated beverage bottles, etc., from cases and deliver them to a bottle washer, or the like, prior to refilling, much trouble has been experienced with bottles that have been re-capped or which have a cork or other obstruction in the neck. Case unloaders heretofore made had no provision for rejecting such bottles and as a result bottles with caps or corks on the necks were processed through the bottle washer. When such bottles reached the inside brush station, or the rinsing station, the brush spindle, or the rinse nozzle, would strike the cap, cork or other obstruction and bend either the spindle or the nozzle, necessitating stopping of the machine to replace the damaged element.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a case unloader for bottles which will reject any bottles having a crown, cork or other such obstruction in the neck, and so prevent such bottles from going through the washing machine.
Another object is to provide a case unloader which will remove only those bottles from the case which have the necks of the bottles free of obstructions.
A further object of the invention is to provide a case unloader for beverage bottles, or the like, which will reduce break-downs in the bottle washing mechinery.
A still further object is to provide a case unloader which will reduce the amount of supervision required to load bottles onto a bottle washer. I
A still further object of the invention is to reduce the overall cost of washing bottles.
Still further objects will become apparent from the following specification, which, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings illustrates a preferred form of the invention.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a front elevatio-nal view of a case unloader involving the present invention and shows the individual bottle grippers in position above a case of bottles;
Fig. 2 is a horizontal cross-section of the case unloader, shown in Fig. 1, and is a section taken on the line 22 of Fig. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;
Fig. 3 is a vertical cross-section taken on the line 33 of Fig. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;
Fig. 4 is an elevational view of a single bottle gripper, the mounting plates being shown in cross-section;
Fig. 5 is a vertical cross-section taken on the line 55 of Fig. 8, looking in the direction of the arrows, but showing the fingers in bottle release position and the actuating plunger fully withdrawn;
Fig. 6 is a view similar to Fig. 5, but showing the fingers in bottle gripping position;
Fig. 7 is a view similar to Figs. 5 and 6, but illustrat- 2,863,579 Pa tented Dec. 9, 1958 ice ing the action of the bottle gripper in rejecting a bottle with a crown on it;
Figs. 8, 9 and 10 are transverse cross-sections taken on the lines 88, 99, and 10-40, respectively, of Fig. 7, looking in the direction of the arrows; and
Figs. 11 and 12 are transverse cross-sections taken on the lines 11-11 and 12-12, respectively, of Fig. 4 looking in the direction of the arrows.
Referring to the drawings, the case unloader is mounted in a frame comprising a pair of end plates 2tl2t} (Figs. 1, 2 and 3) which support a pair of substantially horizontal mounting plates 2223. The frame 28-22-423 is carried by a rectangular beam 25. The beam 25 is adapted to be reciprocated vertically and horizontally parallel to itself to cause bottles to be lifted from a case 26 (Fig. l) and discharged onto a conveyor (not shown). For further details of the movement of the beam 25 and the conveyor, see the co-pending application of George L. N. Meyer entitled Case Unloader Serial No. 230,110 filed June 6, 1951.
The plates 22 and 23 have a plurality of alined hexagonal apertures. 27 and 28 cut therethrough which are arranged to correspond with the spacing of bottles in the case 26.
Bottle grippers, generally designated 30, are mounted in each of the apertures 27 in the upper plate 22 and extend through the corresponding apertures 28 in the lower plate 23, the apertures 27 and 28 maintaining the bottle grippers vertically in position to pick bottles out of the case 26 while at the same time permitting limited vertical movement of the grippers through the apertures.
The individual bottle grippers are shown in detail in Figs. 4 to 12 inclusive. Referring to those figures, the bottle grippers are built with a hexagonal body 35 which has a sliding fit in the apertures 27 and 28 in the plates 22-23. It will be understood that the hexagonal shape of the body 35 and the apertures 27 and 28 is a matter of manufacturing convenience to prevent rotation of the bottles and that other shapes may be used with equal success.
The upper end of the hexagonal body 35 is turned down to a cylindrical end 36 with a diameter equal to the distance across the flats of the hexagon so as to form a shoulder to retain an annular washer 38. The washer 38 is retained on the cylindrical end 36 by a snap ring 39. The washer 38 seats on the top of the plate 22 and limits the downward movement of the gripper through the plates 22-23, while permitting limited upward movement.
The body 35 is provided with a cylindrical bore 40 which opens into a second bore 42 of reduced diameter. A shoulder 43 between the bores 40 and 42 forms a lower limit or stop for a piston 45.
A second bore is formed by an annular sleeve 47 which is received in the bore 42. The sleeve 47 has an enlarged annulus 48 formed integrally therewith at the lower end of the sleeve. The sleeve is secured in the lower end of the bore 42, with the annulus 48 abutting the lower end of the hexagonal body 35.
The annulus 48 has a plurality of downwardly extending lugs 50 (three such lugs being shown on the drawing), the sides of each lug being parallel to the next adjacent lug.
Bottle engaging fingers 52 are provided with substantially rectangular extensions 54 which are carried between the parallel sides of the lugs 50 on pivots 56. The pivots 56 are each mounted between the adjacent lugs 50 an dextend perpendicular to the parallel sides of the lugs so that the fingers 52 are free to pivot in and out of the slots between the lugs.
The fingers 52 are preferably made of molded plastic rather than metal both for ease and economy of manufacture and so that the danger of breaking the bottles in removing them from the cases is minimized.
The fingers are each formedwith .tapered lower ends 57 which guide the neck of the bottle into a recess 53 in the fingers 52-where a shoulder 59 at the-lower edge of the recess is adapted to grip the reinforcingring 60 of the bottle to lift the bottle from the case.
The lower ends of the fingers 52 are normally urged outward by a continuous coil spring 61 which encircles the lugs 50 above the pivots 56 and presses inwardly on the upper ends of the fingers to urge the lower bottle gripping portion outwardly into bottle release position.
The lower ends of the fingers 52 are moved into hottle engaging position by a plunger 62. The plunger 62- is formed integrally with the piston 45 at the upper end of the plunger 62, so that movement of the piston 45 is transmitted to the plunger 62 to move the latter vertically.
The piston 45 comprises a head 65 which supports an upwardly facing U-shaped annular packing ring 67. The packing ring i held in position by a retaining member 68. A spring 70, mounted between the upper end of the sleeve 47 and the bottom of the piston 45 urges the piston upward into engagement with a cylinder head 73. The cylinder head 73 contains a ring packing element '74 and is held in position in the upper end of the cylinder 40 by a snap ring 75.
Air under pressure is supplied through the cylinder head 73 by a hose 77 from one of two manifolds 78.
The plunger 62 terminates at its lower end in a frustro-conical cam, 80, which carries a cylindrical guide plunger 31 at its lower or smaller base, the guide plunger remaining within the fingers 52 to retain the fingers properly spaced.
The plunger 81 also terminates at its lower end in a frustro-conieal guide element 83, which, in turn, carries a bottle rejecting finger 84 at its lower or smaller end.
Operation In operation the bottle grippers 30 are mounted in the plates 22 and 23 and the hoses 77 connected with the the manifolds 78. The plates are carried by the end plates 2t which are carried from the vertically and horizontally movable beam 25. 1 A flexible valve controlled hose 86 connects the manifolds 78 with a source of compressed air.
The frame comprising the plates 29-20 and the plates 22-23, carrying the bottle grippers 30, is moved into bottle removing position at the same time a case 26 filled with empty bottles is'moved across a table 87 by a conveyor chain 88 to a position directly under the bottle grippers 30.
The frame 20-20, 22-23 together with the bottle grippers 39 is then lowered into the case, fingers 52 of the bottle grippers enveloping the necks of each of the bottles in the case.
At this point there is no air pressure in the top of the cylinders and the plunger 62 is at the upper end of its stroke, as seen in Fig. 5, with the piston 45 abutting the cylinder head 73. The upper ends 54 of the fingers engage the plunger 81 to allow the lower ends of the fingers to open sufficiently to pass downward over the neck of the bottles.
Air under pressure is then supplied to the manifolds 78 which, in turn, supply air through the hoses 77 to the cylinders 40 of the bottle grippers causing the plungers 62 and 81 together with the bottle rejecting fingers. 84 to move downwardly toward the bottles.
If there is no obstruction in the mouth of the bottle the finger 84 enters the neck of the bottle, and the frustro-conical cam engages the upper ends of the fingers 52 to cause the lower ends of the fingers to move into bottle engaging position, as seen in Fig. 6, after which the bottles soengaged'are lifted'out of'the caseanddeposited on a second conveyor for movement to a bottle washer or other machine.
Should a bottle in the case 26 contain a cap or other obstruction in the neck of the bottle, the bottle gripper would lower over the neck of the bottle as described above, but when air is admitted to the cylinder 40 the plungers 62 and 81 and the bottle rejecting finger 84 move downward until the finger 84 contacts the cap or other obstruction. Air pressure in the cylinder 40 then raises the entire hexagonal body 35 which moves upward through the plates 2223, raising the gripping fingers above the top of the bottle, as seen in Fig. 7. Thus when the frame 20-40, 2223 is raised to remove the bottles in the case, the bottle gripper over any bottle containing a cap rejects that bottle and leaves it in the case.
It will be apparent that the particular embodiment of the invention shown in the drawings and described in the above specification, is intended merely as a preferred example thereof, and that various changes in size, shape or arrangement of parts may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the subjoined claims.
That which is claimed as new and is desired to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:
I. In a case unloader, a support, a plurality of fluid actuated bottle gripper units slidably mounted in said support and spaced apart thereon to engage bottles in said case, each of said bottle gripper units including a cylinder and piston, means for limiting the movement of the cylinder relative to said support, a hollow sleeve member carried by the lower extremity of the cylinder, a plunger member carried by said piston and extending within said sleeve and projecting from the lower portion thereof, bottle gripping elements pivotally mounted in the lower portion of said sleeve, longitudinally spaced apart shoulder means formed at the lower portion of the plunger for controlling the operation of the gripper elements to engage and disengage bottles, and a detector member projecting from the lower shoulder to engage an obstruction in the bottle to move the gripper unit relative to the support.
2. Apparatus of the character described in claim 1 in which the movement of the detector member in each gripper unit controls only the bottle gripper elements in that unit, whereby any bottles in the case having obstructionsv therein are not engaged by the gripper elements and removed from the case.
3. Apparatus of the character described in claim 1 in which the lower shoulder means on the plunger effects the opening of said gripper elements and the upper shoulder means closes the gripper elements when the movable unit is lowered into bottle engaging position.
4. Apparatus of the character described in claim 1 in which the lower shoulder means effects the opening of said gripper elements and the upper shoulder eifects a closing of the gripper elements when the movable unit is lowered into bottle engaging position and the detector member passes freely into the neck of a bottle.
5. Apparatus of the character described in claim 1 including yieldable means in the cylinder for separating the piston and sleeve member, stop means within the cylinder for limiting the movement of the piston and its plunger relative to the sleeve member to effect the operation of the gripper.
6. Apparatus of the character described in claiml in which an exterior contour element of the cylinder in.
its support serves as a guide for the gripper units during the raising and lowering thereof relative to the bottles in the case.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,348;341 Winkley Aug. 3, 1920