US 2924357 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 1960 KlNGSLEY ET AL 2,924,357
SLAT FEEDER Filed Oct. 18, 1955 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 I L.J 12 4211 INVENTOR. Dav/'0 6.- lfihgs/ey BY John R Greene ATTORNEYS.
Feb. 9, 1960 KlNGSLEY ETAL 2,924,357
SLAT FEEDER Filed Oct. 18, 1955 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
Dav/d G. K/hgs/ey John F. Greene AT TOR/VE Y5.
Feb. 9, 1960 KlNGSLEY ETAL 2,924,357
SLAT FEEDER INVENTOR. Dav/d G. Kingsley y John R Greene Mm r ATTORNEYS.
Feb. 9, 1960 D. G. KINGSLEY ETAL 2,924,357
SLAT FEEDER 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Oct. 18, 1955 INVENTOR. Dav/'0' 6. A By John M,
If) 3/6 P Gree e y ATTORNEYS.
SLAT FEEDER David G. Kingsley, Mountain Lakes, andJohn P. Greene, Denville, N.J., assignors to stapling Machines (10., Rockaway, N., a corporation of Delaware Application October 18', 1955, Serial No. 541,218 3 Claims. Chan- 224 This invention relates to apparatus for mechanically dispensing slats to the box-part conveying elements of wirebound box-making machines of the general type disclosed in United States Patents Nos. 2,304,510 and 2,482,370.
In such machines, properly assembled slats and cleats are engaged by box-part pushing elements adjustably positioned on continuously moving conveyor bands and conveyed beneath a transverse bank of stapling mechanisms by which they are stapled together to form complete wirebound box blanks or subassemblies therefor. In order to reduce the amount of manual labor involved in the operation of such machines, various types of r'nechanical devices have been employed for feeding slats into proper positions on the conveyor bands. How ever, considerable difficulty has been encounted in achieving proper feeding of the slats because they are made of thin stock and are frequently warped, bowed, twisted, split, broken or otherwise deformed. This has made it difficult to remove the slats one at a time from a stack and has resulted in non-feeding, multiple feeding, jamming and other malfunctions of previous types of feeders. These malfunctions have often necessitated stoppage of the box-making machines, reducing their output and at least partially defeating the purpose of the mechanical feeding apparatus.
It is therefore one of the objects of the present invention to provide a slat feeding mechanim which is capable of reliably feeding slats one at a time even though the slats are substantially deformed. Another object is the provision of such an apparatus which is practical in operation, inexpensive in construction and which may be integrated into existing box-making machines without appreciable modification thereof.
Inbrief, the present invention accomplishes these objects by providing a slat feeder wherein a generally vertical stack of slats is supported above and slightly displaced laterally from the path of the conveyer bands of the box-makingmachine. The bottom slat in the stack is engaged at one end and pushed endwise a short distance. This accomplishes two results: First, it removes one end of the slat from a fixed support. Second, it causes the opposite end of the slat to protrude beyond the stack, exposing its upper face and allowing it to be used as a guide in driving a pair of knife-edged fingers between the bottom slat and the next slat above. These fingers support the adjacent end of the stack while a movable support member is retracted to clear that end of the bottom slat and allow it to fall freely into the path of the oncoming slat pushing elements.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a longitudinal view of the left-hand side ice stage of its operation, wherein moved endwise a short distance.
Figure 3 is a view generally similar to Figure 2, but at a slightly reduced scale, and showing the bottom slat moved endwise the full distance.
Figure 4 is a view generally similar to Figure 3, showing the mechanism at eitherendof the bottomslat being retracted to drop thebottom slat.
Figure 5 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken generally along the line 5-5 of Figure 2, showing the mechanism which moves the bottom slate endwise.
Figure 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of,the mechanism which is positioned at the left-hand end of thehopper, as viewed in. Figure 2.
Figure 7 is a perspective view similar to Figure 6, showing the slat supporting element fully retracted and the stack-supporting fingers fully extended in stack-sup.- porting position.
Figure 8 is a side elevational view of the mechanism shown in Figures 6 and 7, looking toward the side which appearsat the left in said figures, with certain parts broken away to reveal its inner construction.
As may seen in Figure 1, the slat feeding. apparatus is supported on a pair of upstanding members 2 spaced apart to stand at the outer side of the work conveying elements, and braced by, a crosstie 4 secured to. their inner faces. As shown in Figuresl and 2, a pair of angle members 6, tilted downwardly toward the right, as viewed'in Figure 1, are respectively bolted tothe inner faces of the two upstanding members 2, adjacent their upper ends, and in turn support a pair of upwardly pro jecting frame members 8 with spaced cross braces 10. The cross braces 10 supportthe framework of the slat hopper H, which includes a pair of angle members .12 to guide the ends of the slats, and adjustable intermediate bars 14 which support one side of the stack of slats.
the bottom slat has been The angle member 6 which appears at the.right-hand sdeof Figure 2 supports a relatively short, inwardly extending base plate 16, while the otherangle member 6 (not shown in Figure 2) supports at the same level a somewhat longer base plate 18. Secured to the upper surface of base plate 16 adjacent its inner end is an arm 20, the end portion of which extends beneath the hopper Hand bears a pair of spaced members 22 which project upwardly to support the adjacent end of the stack of slats.
In Figures 1 and 5 is shown the mechanism by which the bottom slat in the hopper H is moved endwise, preparatory to being dropped onto the box-part conveying elements. As may be seen in these figures, a pair. of angle members 24, suitably spaced apart and secured to. the upper surface of the right-hand angle member 6, provide, by their upstanding flanges, a pivotal mounting for the lower ends of short links 26 and 28, the upper ends of which are pivotally fastened to a rectangular frame 30 (Figure 5). As may be seen in Figure l, the lower ends of the links 26 are fixed by pins 32 on a rock shaft 34 journalled in the upstanding flanges of the angle members 24.
As maybe seen in Figures 1 and 5, the rectangular frame 30 supports a fixed transverse shaft 36 which pivotally supports an irregularly shaped feed member 38 which is maintained in a lateral position midway between the side members of the on the shaft 36.
As shown in Figures 2, 3 and 4, the upper surface of the free endof feed member 38 is bevelled to insure that it will pass beneath the bottom slat in the hopper H. It is also shaped to provide a hook 42, the height of which is slightly less than the thickness of theslats tobe'engaged thereby so that it will engage the end'of'only the bottom slat in the hopper H. To insure properengag'eframe 30 by stop collars 40 fixed e 3 ment of the slat end by the hook 42, the free end of feed member 38 is urged upwardly against the undersurface of the bottom slat by a pair of tension springs 44, the lower ends of which are secured to studs 46 (Figure threaded in either side of feed member 38 and the upper ends of which are fastened to studs 48 threaded into a cross member of rectangular frame (Figure 2).
The reciprocating movement of feed hook 38 is provided, by a suitable driving mechanism shown in Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4. This mechanism includes a crank arm 56 which is fixed on the aforementioned rock shaft 34 by a set screw 58. The crank arm 56 is provided at its free end with an enlongated slot 54 in which is adjustably secured a bolt 52 which is pivotally received through the upper end-of a pitman 50. The lower end of the Pitrnan is pivotally fastened to an eccentrically mounted stud 61 on the hub 62 of a clamping member 68 (Figure 1) which, is keyed on a shaft 74 (Figure 3). The clamping member and a cooperating plate 76 adjustably clamp the opposite faces of a cam 78, being secured by bolts 80 which passthrough an enlarged bore in the cam 78, thereby 'permitting adjustment of the orientation of the cam 78 relative to the shaft 74.
The shaft 74 is driven by a variable speed motor 64 mounted on crosstie 4 (Figure 1), through a drive train which includes an electrically controlled clutch 67, a shaft 68 journalled in an upstanding plate 7 0 mounted on cross tie 4 and a right-angle drive unit 66 mounted on the inclined upper surface of a supporting member 72 (Figure 1) also mounted on crosstie 4.
As may be seen in Figures 1, 2 and 3, mechanism is provided to align the ends of the several slats approaching the lower portion of hopper H as well as to position the end of the bottom slat properly prior to its engagement by the hook 42. This mechanism is suspended from the outwardly-projecting arm 82 of a bracket 84 fastened to the face of frame member 8.
Secured to the underside of arm 82 adjacent its outer end is a platemember 86 supporting on its lower face, at either end, crossbars 88 and 90 provided with horizontal bores in which a pair of spaced rods 92 are slidably supported. The inner ends of the rods 92 carry a head member 94, which is urged toward the left, as viewed in Figures 2, 3' and 4, by springs 96 encircling rods 92 and compressed between the head member 94 and the adjacent crossbar 88.
The plate member 86 is centrally slotted to receive the downwardly extending leg 98 of a crank arm 100 which is pivotally mounted on a pin 102, the ends of which are secured in the upper portions of tabs 104 fastened at either side of plate member 86 adjacent crossbar 88. As shown in Figure 2, the lower end of the leg 98 of crank arm 100 bears against the inner edge of a crossbar 106 which is adjustably secured on rods 92 by set screws 108. The. horizontal leg of the crank arm 100 is provided with a slot 112 to which the upper end of a connecting rod is pivotally and adjustably secured by a bolt 114. The connecting rod 110 projects downwardly through the. slotted plate 86 and its lower end is pivotally secured to the upwardly-projecting leg 116 of an inverted T- shaped member 118 which is pivotally fastened to a block 120 secured to the inner face of upstanding members 2.
To actuate the driving linkage just described, a roller 122 is rotatably secured to the face of cam 78 opposite the face to which the rod 50 is attached, so that counterclockwise rotation of cam 78, as indicated by arrow B in Figure 2, causes roller 122 to engage the lower edge of T-shaped member 118 and raise it, as shown in Figure 2, rocking the crank arm in a counterclockwise direction and withdrawing the head member 94 from engagement with the ends of the slats in the hopper H. When the roller 122 passes beyond the end of the T-shaped member 118, the compression springs 96 move the head member 94 quickly back to its initial position against the ends of he slats, as shown in Figure 3. v This spanking 4 v action of the head member 94 keeps the ends ofthe slats in proper alignment.
In Figures 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 is shown the mechanism which supports the opposite or left-hand end of the stack of slats. As shown in these figures, this mechanism, which is mounted on the upper surface of the base plate 18, includes side supporting members 124 secured to a base member 126, with a plate member 128 secured to the upper edges of the side members 124. A bearing block 130, secured to the upper face of base member 126 midway between the side members 124, slidably sup ports a rod 132', the inner end of which, as best shown in Figure 6, is reduced incross-sectional area, flattened and tapered to provide a support 134 for the slats in the hopper H.
Rotatably secured at opposite sides of the outer end of rod 132 are a pair of rollers 136 which actuate a pair of levers 138, the lower ends of which are provided with irregular openings which serve as cam surfaces. in cooperation with the rollers 136. The levers 138 are pivotally mounted on bolts 140 (Figure 8), and have narrower upwardly projecting portions, the ends of which are pivotally attached to the outer ends of a pair of stack support members 142. The inner ends of the stack support members 142 are reduced in thickness and tapered to form knife-edged, fingers 144, as best shown in Figures 6' and 7,. The stack support members 142 are respectively pivotally connected by bolts 145 to one end of each of apair of links 146, the opposite ends of which are pivotally attached to the headed inner ends of a pair of arms 148 which in turn are pivotally supported on studs 150 seecured to the inside faces of side support members 124. The arms 148 are urged downwardly (in a clockwise direction as viewed in Figures 6, 7 and 8) by springs 154 interposed between the upper edges thereof and'the lower face of plate member 128. The plate member 128 has attached to its inner edge a downwardly projecting member 156 which supports at its lower edge a buffer 158 of sponge rubber or similar resilient material which engages the upper surfaces of the stack support members 142 and prevents marring thereof.
Figures 2, 3 and 4 show the drive means for imparting movement to the mechanism just described. Thisdrive means includes the aforementioned cam 78 the periphcry of which engages a roller 166 rotatably supported at the lower end of a lever 168 which is pivotally attached to a bracket 170 secured to the upstanding member 70. Pivotally fastened to the upper end of lever 168, is one end of a horizontal rod 172, the other end of which is pivotally attached to the forked lower end of a lever 174 The lever 174 is centrally pivoted on one end of a link member 176, the other end of which is pivotally connected to the lower end of downwardly projecting bracket 178 secured to the lower face of base plate 18. The. upper end of lever 174 is'pivotally connected by a pin 180.110
the forked lower end of a foot member 182 extending downwardly from the outer end of rod 132.
The rod 132 is urged to itsinner position, as shown in Figure 2, by a pair of tension springs 160, the upper ends of which are fastenedto a block 184 secured to the upper face of plate member 128, and, the lower ends of which are hooked to studs 186 threaded in the top surface of the foot member 182 and by tension springs 162, one end of each of which is attached to the upper portion of lever 174, while their other ends are hooked to studs in either side of bracket 178 (Figure 2). The levers 138 are urged in a counterclockwise. direction about their pivots 140 by tension springs 164 which are hooked at oneend to studs in levers 138 and at the other end to studs threaded into the outer ends of horizontal bars 188 attached' to the outer faces of side members 124.
In Figure 8 there. is shown the, gate assembly which normally allows no more than a single slat, to be moved endwise at onetime. This. gate assembly includes a body lumb r 1 0,61 uter or left-hand. end of which is pivot.-
member 196 enclosing a compression spring 198 which urges body member 190 in a clockwise direction about its pivot 192. .The clockwise movement of thebodymemher 190 under the influence of the spring 198 is limited by means of a bolt 19 9 adjustably threaded through the body member 190 and bearing against the upper face of the bearing block 130. The inner or right-hand end of the body member 190 is slottedt to receive an irregularly shaped head 200 which is pivotally mounted on a pin 202 extending through body member 190.
The head 200 is urged in. a counterclockwise direction about'it s pivot 202 by a tension spring 204 hooked thereto and to a headed stud threaded into .the upper surface of body member 190, the resulting movement of the head 200 being limited by aset screw 205 adjustably threaded through the head 200 and bearing against a bevelled surface at the inner end of the slot in the'body member 190. The set screw 205 and the bolt 199 are adjusted so that the extreme lower portion of head 200 engages the end of the next-to-bottom slat in the hopper H while clearing the end of the bottom slat and ,allowing it to be moved endwise out of the hopper. i
Since the slats in the hopper are supported. only at their ends, there issome tendency toward sagging of the botltom slats in the stack. This tendency is aggravated where the slats are long or are formed of very thin stock, where the stock is heavy from excessive moisture or where the hopper is overloaded. Excessive sagging not only increases the friction encountered in feeding the slats from the hopper, but it may evenresult in buckling of. the bottom slats. In order to limit the degree of sagging of theslats, ah intermediate supporting arm 206 (Figure l) "is secured to the inner face of the cross brace 10 and extends obliquely downward toa point beneath one of the long edges of the bottom slat in the hopper H at the longitudinal center of the slat.
The tendency to sagging or buckling and the friction are further controlled by limiting the weight imposed on the bottom slats in the hopper'by the slats above it in the stack. This is accomplished by a wedge member 208 (Figure 2) which is secured to the inner face of one of the: angle members 12 a short distance above the lower end of the hopper. As shown in Figure 2, this wedge member 208 projects into the hopper a distance sufiicient to prevent the adjacent ends of the slats from passing beyond the wedge until their opposite ends have moved to within a distance from the bottom of the hopper equal to the thickness of some 25 011 30 slats. Thus, the wedge supports one end of all but the bottom 25 or 30slats in the hopper and limits the weight imposed on the bottom slat to that of only 25 or 30 slats.
The slat feeding mechanism operates as follows: The elements of the mechanism when at rest occupy the position in which they are shown in Figure 2, with the bottom slat in the hopper H displaced endwise toward the left-hand side of said figure. The mechanism remains in this position until a box-part pushing element bearing a trip lug actuates an electric switch (not shown) engaging clutch 67 and causing shaft 68, right angle drive unit 66 and shaft 74 to be driven by the continuously running motor 64, thereby rotating cam clamp member 60 and cam 78 in a counterclockwise direction as indicated by arrow B in Figure 2. The rotation of cam clamp member 60 causes its hub 62 to move the eccentrically attached rod 50 upwardly, rocking crank arm 56, rock shaft 34 and links 26 in a counterclockwise di- This moves the rectangular frame 30 further inward, causing the hook 42 of feed member 38 to continue the leftward movement of the bottom slat to a point at which its ends are in alignment above the guide rails E which are mounted adjacent the outer edges of the conveyer bands C, and which also serve to p guide the cleats F (Figures 3 and 4).
Simultaneously. with this movement of feed member 38, cam 78 rotates lever 168 in a clockwise direction, thereby pulling rod 172 toward the right, imparting a counterclockwise movement to lever 174 and pulling rod 132 outwardly. This withdraws the support member 134 from beneath the stack, but the support member continues to support the bottom. slat, which has been displaced endwise relative to the stack.
The timed relationship of the movement of support member 134 and feed member 38 is such that when the bottom. slat has completed its endwise movement, as illustrated in Figure 3, feed member 38 is caused by further rotation of clamp member 60 to reverse its direction of movement and return to its initial position as illustrated in Figure 2. During this return movement of feed hook 38, support member 134 continues its withdrawing movement from beneath the end of the now stationary bottom slat until the ends of support member 134 and feed hook 38 are simultaneously withdrawn from their respective ends of the bottom slat, thus allowing it to drop between the box-part pushing elements D .of conveyer bands C and be conveyed by them to the fabricating position.
As will be seen in Figures 2 and 3, the right-hand end of thestack of slats in the hopper H rests upon fixed support members 22, while the left-hand end of the stack is alternately supported by the reciprocating support member 134 and articulated support fingers 144 in a manner to be described. As may be seen by comparing these figures, as rod 132 moves outwardly, the rollers 136 thereon engaging the irregular cam surfaces of levers 138 and rotate these levers in a clockwise direction, causing the stack support members 142 to be rotated in a counterclockwise direction about their pivots at the lower ends of the links 146, while the links themselves are simultaneously rotating in a counterclockwise direction.
the stiffness of the spring 154. Thus, as the levers 138 continue'their clockwise rotation, the support fingers 144 slide inwardly along the upper face of the bottom slat, with the links146 rotating in a counterclockwise direction. The upper face of the bottom slat thus serves to guide the knife-edged fingers 144 accurately between the bottom slat and the next slat above, as shown in Figure 3. Continued rotation of levers 138 forces the support fingers 144 beneath the end of the next-to-bottom slat a distance sufiicient to support the adjacent end of the stack of slats when the support member 134 is withdrawn, as shown in Figure 4, to allow the bottom slat to drop from the hopper. As support member 134 returns to its initial position beneath the end of the stack, the support fingers 144 are again removed to permit the bottom slat to be pushed endwise, thus completing a slat dispensing cycle.
For the manufacture of conventional types of crate blanks having closely spaced slats, the control circuit for the clutch 67 is preferably such that the clutch will remain engaged and the feeding apparatus will continue to feed slats throughout the length of the crate blank, until another trip lug on the box-part pushing elements actuates an electric switch to disengage the clutch. For the manufacture of special types of crates having widely spaced slats, the clutch 67 is preferably adjusted so that it automatically disengages after each revolution.
From the foregoing description, it will be appreciated that the present invention provides a practical slat dispensing apparatus which accomplishes the aforementioned objectives. However, it should be emphasized that the particular embodiment of the invention disclosed herein is intended as merely illustrative rather than as restrictive of the invention.
1. Slat feeding apparatus comprising a hopper for supporting a generally vertical stack of slats, a slat support mounted, beneath one end of the bottom slat in said hopper for supportng one end of said stack, a movable slat feeding member mounted adjacent said end of said bottom slat for movement to engage said end and push saidbottom slat endwise and cause said end toclear said slat support, a first movable support member mounted beneath the other end of said bottom slat in position for normally supporting the other end of said stack but being movable into a position clear of said other end of said bottom slat, a second movable support member mounted adjacent said other endoi said stack for downward and inward movement, yieldable means efiectively connected to said second movable support member to cause it to favor downward rather than inward movement whereby said second movable support member, when a downward and inward force is imposed upon it, will move first downwardly against the exposed upper face of said bottom slat and then will slide inwardly along said upper face between said bottom slat and the next slat above into pos tion to support said otherend of said stack, and means for'driving said movable members in timed relation first to cause said slat feeding member to push said bottom slat endwise, and then' to cause said second movable support member to move into stack-supporting position and said first movable support member to move clear of said bottom slat and free it to drop out of said hopper.
2. Slat feeding apparatus comprising a hopper for supporting a generally vertical stack of slats, a fixed slat support member mounted beneath one end of the bottom slat in said hopper for supporting one end of said stack, a movable slat feeding member mounted adjacent said end of said bottom slat for horizontal reciprocating movement to engage said end and push said bottom slat off of said fixed slat support member, a movable support member mounted beneath the center portion of the other end of said bottom slat in position for normally supporting the other end of said stack but being movable into a position clear of said other end of said bottom slat, a pair" of movable support fingers mounted adjacent said other end of said stack at opposite sides of said movable support member for movement, spring means effectively connected to said support fingers to cause them .to favor downward rather than inward movement whereby said support fingers, when a downward and inward force is imposed upon them, will move first downwardly against the exposed upper face of said bottom slat bowing said bottom slat downwardly at each side of said movable 8 support member to open up crevices between said bottom slat and ,thenext slat above and said, fingers will then slide inwardly along said upper face of said bottom slat and enter said crevices to support said other end of said stack,[and means for driving said movable members in timed relation first to cause said slat feeding member to push said bottom slat endwise off of said fixed slat support member and then to cause said movable support fingers to move into stack-supporting position and said movable support member to'move clear of said'bottom slat and freeit to drop out of sa d hopper. V
3. Slat feeding apparatus comprising a hopper for supporting a generally vertical stack of slats, a slat support mounted beneath one end of the bottom slat in said hopper for supporting one end of said stack, a movable slat feeding member mounted adjacent said end of said bottom slat for movement to engage said end and push said bottom slat endwise and cause said end to clear said slat support, a first movable support member mounted beneath the other end of said bottom slat in position for normally supporting the other end of said stack but being movable intoa position clear of said other end of said bottom slat, a second movable support member tapered to a relatively thin inner edge and supported adjacent said other end of said stack for downward and inward arcuate movement at one end of a link the other end of which is mounted both for pivotal and for vertical movement, yieldable means urging said other end ofsaid link downwardly, whereby said inner edge ofsaid second movable support member moves downwardly and inwardly until it engages the exposed upper face. of said bottom slat, whereupon it rides inwardly along said upper face and enters between said bottom slat and the next slat above into position to support said other end of said stack, and means for driving said movable members in timed relation first to cause said slat-feeding member to push said bottom slatendwise and then to cause said second movavle support member to move into stacksupporting position and said first movable support mem-' ber to move clear of said bottom slat and freeit to drop out of said hopper.
References Cited in the fileof this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,975,039 Goodriehet a1. Sept. 25,1934 2,255,538 Cameron Sept.9, 1941 2,589,600 Burkholder Mar. 18, 1952 2,603,253 vLeash July 15, 1953 2,662,648 Van Schie Dec. 15, 1953 2,703,664 Rabkin et a1. Mar. 8, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS 864,353 Germany Jan. 26,1953