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Publication numberUS2925926 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 23, 1960
Filing dateApr 17, 1956
Priority dateApr 21, 1955
Publication numberUS 2925926 A, US 2925926A, US-A-2925926, US2925926 A, US2925926A
InventorsMorton David Charles, Packman Percival James
Original AssigneeBaker Perkins Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for supporting and guiding substantially flat articles
US 2925926 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 23, 1960 P. J. PACKMAN ETAL APPARATUS FOR SUPPORTING AND GUIDING SUBSTANTIALLY FLAT ARTICLES Filed April 17, 1956 s Sheets-Sheet 1 Feb. 23, 1960 P. J. PACKMAN ETAL APPARATUS FOR SUPPORTING AND GUIDING SUBSTANTIALLY FLAT ARTICLES Filed April 17, 1956 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 emaun Same; cmKmcm 5 0 Charles Marhm 5 mmwzsww Feb. 23, 1960 Filed April 17, 1956 FIGS . J. PACKMAN ETAL APPARATUS FOR SUPPORTING AND GUIDING SUBSTANTIALLY FLAT ARTICLES Peru vol J 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Feb. 23, 1960 P. J. PACKMAN ET AL 2,925,926

APPARATUS FOR SUPPORTING AND DING SUBSTANTIALLY FLAT ARTIC Filed. April 17, 1956 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 7 \nuewkvrs;

ymulssmm w 1960 P. J. PACKMAN ETAL 2,925,925

APPARATUS FOR SUPPORTING AND GUIDING SUBSTANTIALLY FLAT ARTICLES Filed April 17, 1956 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 United States PatentO APPARATUS FOR SUPPORTING AND GUIDING SUBSTANTIALLY. FLAT ARTICLES Percival James Pa'ckmanand David Charles Morton, Twyford, England, assignors, by mesne assignments, to Baker Perkins Limited, Westwood Works, England, a British company Application April 17, 1956, Serial No. 578,834

Claims priority, application Great Britain April 21, 1955 8 Claims. (Cl. 214-7) articles which comprises the steps of causing the articles to, change their disposition from a plurality of substantially parallel rows on a moving surface to a lesser num-.

ber of rows, or a single row, in which the articles of the first mentioned rows are'arranged in a plurality of layers,

In the said specification there is described with reference to Figures 21 to 24 an apparatus for producing such a layered row of articles, the layered row consistingof a number of stacks of superposed articles.

The primary object of the present invention is to pro-- vide apparatus for handling a layered row of flat articles of the. kind last mentioned above, although of course theapparatus is equally suitable for handling a singlelayer row of articles.

According to the invention apparatus for handling flat articles comprises a conveyor, to which are pivoted a number of cradles, the conveyor extending between a loading zone, at which the articles may be loaded into some at least of the cradles, so that they lie flatv on the cradles, singly or in stacks, to a delivery station at which the articles are delivered on edge from the cradles on to a stationary supporting means to form a procession thereon, each cradle being tilted during its passage from the loading zone to the delivery station.

When combined with the apparatus described in'the above mentioned specification the present invention provides apparatus which is capable of causing a large number of flat articles to change their disposition from av plurality of substantially parallel rows on a moving surface into one or more rows of articles in which the articles are arranged on edge in close side by side relationship.

A further object of the present invention is to provide means for supporting and guiding the procession of articles formed at said delivery station.

' One form of apparatus in accordance with the invention, which is intended particularly for handling circular biscuits, will now be described with reference to the-accompanying drawings, in which Figure 1 is a diagrammatic side view of the apparatus,

Figure is a diagrammatic view, on an enlarged scale,

of the delivery station of Figure 4, but with the cradles shown in a slightly different position and with only one article resting on they supporting means at the delivery ati0n,.-

"ice

Figure 6 is a detailed sectional view, on an enlarged scale,.on the line VI-VI of Figure 2,

Figure 7 is a plan, on an enlarged scale, of the loading zone of Figure 1 and one form of apparatus for loading. biscuits on to the cradles,

'Figure 8 is a plan of the delivery station of the apparatus this figure being on a smaller scale than Figure 5,

Figure 9 is a side view corresponding to Figure 8,,

Figure 10 is a side. view of a part of the biscuit supv porting and guiding means of the apparatus,

Figure 11 is a section, on an enlarged scale, on the line XI-XI ofFigure 9, and,

Figures 12 to 14 are, respectively, a side View, an end view and a plan of one of the cradles of the apparatus.

Referring to the drawings, and in particular to Figures 1 to 5, the apparatus illustrated comprises an endless chain conveyor 1 upon which a number of L-shaped cradles 2 are pivotally mounted at regularly spaced intervals. The conveyor, 1 and the means for connecting the cradles 2 to the chain conveyor are shown diagrammatically in Figures 1 to 5 and only a part of the con- 'veyor is shown in these figures. Each cradle 2 is provided with a follower 3 which engages a stationary cam path 4 (see Figures 2 to 5). The followers 3 and the connection of each follower to its associated cradle 2 are showndiagrammatically in Figures 2 to 5. The chain conveyor 1 passes over sprocket wheels 5, 6, the former being an idler sprocket and the. latter a driving sprocket which revolves in the direction of the arrow E (Figure 4) to move the conveyor in the direction of the arrows F (Figure 1). One or more further idler sprockets (not shown); are provided to guide the conveyor from its lower flight to its upper flight.

Referringnow to Figure 6, the chain conveyor 1 com prises a normal roller chain running between substantiallyvertical stationary guide plates 7. The plates 7 are, held in spaced relationship by distance pieces8 and are spaced from. a frame member 9 of the apparatus by distance pieces 10. At regularly spaced intervals along the chain, pairs of right-angled brackets 11 are secured there-' to, and on each pair. of brackets 11 a bearing support 12 is mounted. Two lugs 13 on the support 12 provide bearings inwhich the spindle 14 of a cradle 2 is rotatably mounted withthe spindle axis arranged at right angles to the direction of advance of the chain. Two collars 15 rotatably mounted on the spindle 14 are received in slots 1 16 in the plates 7 to support theweight of the cradle.-

These slots 16 are so shaped that the conveyor 1 is concam follower 3,, in the formof a roller, is rotatably mounted on this arm. The cam follower 3 enters the.

stationary cam path 4, which is in the form of a slot provided in a stationary plate 18 (see also Figure 5). Each cradle 2 comprises a pair of L-shaped arms rigidly secured in spaced relationship to the spindle 14. Each L-shaped arm consists of. limbs 19 and 20 arranged substantially at right angles to one another (see Figures 12 to 14).

When the conveyor 1 moves in the direction of the arrows F it moves the cradles 2 in succession through a loading zone, which extends for any desired length along the upper flight of the conveyor and terminates at the line B (Figure 1), and leads them to a delivery station.

21. Along the loading zone the cam path 4 is so shaped that the cradles 2 are moved along by the conveyor 1 with their limbs 20' substantially vertical and their limbs 19 directed 'rearwardly with respect to the limbs 20 (as shown in Figure 2) zone and' also shows" one" form of apparatus for loading 1 is again shown diagramamtically and the cam path has been omitted. The apparatus for loading the biscuits on to the cradles 2 is substantially the same as the apparatus illustrated in Figure 2.1 of specification No. 524,370 and comprises a fiat band conveyor 23, deflector plates 24 and escapement mechanisms 25. The driving mechanism for the escapement mechanisms 25 and the conveyor 23 has been omitted from Figure 7, for the sake of simplicity, but is arranged in substantially the same way as shown and described in specification No. 524,370. The upper flight of the chain conveyor 1 is downwardly inclined with respect to the conveyor 23 in the direction of advance of the two conveyors. The conveyor 23 has been shown in Figure 2 for the purpose of illustrating this relative inclination of the two conveyors.

At the loading zone the biscuits 22 pass off the edge of the conveyor 23 and are received directly on the limbs 19 of the cradles 2 (see Figures 6 and 7). As the cradles leave the loading zone at the line B (Figures 1 and 7), the majority of them will have received a plurality of biscuits 22 which are arranged in somewhat irregular stacks on the cradle limbs 19 as shown in Figures 1 and 2. If, however, there are gaps in the rows of biscuits on the conveyor 23, it is possible that some of the forwardly a small amount and areled down a more steeply inclined path by the conveyor 1, as shown in Figures 1 and 3. This has the effect of causing the hiscuits to slide forwardly on the limbs 19 until they bear against the cradle limbs 20. The faces 28 of these limbs 20 are inclined to one another (see Figure '14) so that as the biscuits move up to the limbs 20 they locate themselves in the shallow V formed by the two limbs. The downwardly inclined portion of the path ofthe conveyor 1 between the lines B and C of Figure 1', therefore, has the purpose of forming the irregular stacks ofbiscuits 22 into neat stacks which cannot roll off the cradles by virtue of their location in the limbs 20.

After they have passed along this downwardly inclined portion of their path the cradles 2 are led by the conveyor 1 along an upwardly inclined path towards the delivery station 21 (see Figures 1, 4, 5, 8 and 9). Along this upwardly inclined portion of the path the cam path 4 is so shaped that each cradle 2 tilts forwardly to bring the cradle limbs 20 parallel with the direction of advance of the cradles as they reach the delivery station. As a result the biscuits 22 stand on edge on the cradle limbs 20 as they move up to the delivery station.

- At the delivery station 21 there is a supporting means in the form of a narrow platform. 29. This platform is so' positioned that each cradle 2 passes up toit with one cradle limb 20 on each side of the platform (see Figures and 8) and with the end 30 of the platform slightly below the lower edges of the biscuits 22 resting on-the limbs The upper surface 31 of the end of,plat-, form 29 is upwardly inclined relative to the limbs 20, in the position the latter adopt as they move along the sides of the platform, with the result that when a cradle arrives at the delivery station the end-30 of the platform first passes under the biscuits resting on the limbsv 20 and then lifts the biscuits off the latter. As the cradle continues to move forwards the limbs 19'push the biscuits along the upper surface 31 of theplatform. The

upper surface of the platform is provided with. a. step 32 and thechain conveyor 1 .fldapted to movefthe a any appreciable extent.

cradles 2 forwards along the platform 29 until the forward faces of the limbs 19 reach the step 32. Having reached this point, and pushed the biscuits 22 over the step, the cradles 2 then move downwardly from the platform 29. The cam path 4 is so shaped at the delivery station that the cradles tilt rearwardly a small amount as they descend from the platform after delivering their biscuits over the step 32. This slight rearward tilting of the cradles prevents the upper ends of the limbs 19 from damaging the biscuits which have just been delivered on to the platform.

Arranged above, and lying parallel with, the platform 29 are two rectangular brushes 33, as shown in Figures 9 5, 8 and 9. The bristles of these brushes are substantially horizontal and they project inwardly, and slightly in the forward direction, as best seen in Figure 8. The distance between the tips of the bristles of the two brushes is slightly less than the diameter of the biscuits being handled so that as a biscuit is moved by a cradle over step 32 of the platform 29 it is held at its sides by the bristles (see Figure 5). The brush bristles flex forwardly a small amount as the biscuit moves along the platform and do not impede the advance of the biscuit to The forwardly inclined bristles, however, resist any tendency for the biscuit to fall rearwardly and in this respect the brushes act like a ratchet mechanism. The position of the brushes can, of course, be adjusted to accommodate biscuits of different diameters.

As each cradle in turn arrives at the platform 29 the biscuits carried thereby are pushed by the cradle along the upper surface 31 of the platform up to the rearmost biscuit resting on the platform. Continued movement of the cradle causes the biscuits on the platform to be moved forwardly between the brushes 33 by a distance equal to the thickness of the biscuits carried by the cradle. As a result a procession 34 of biscuits standing on edge is formed .at the delivery station (see Figures 1 and 4), which procession gradually increases in length as the cradles 2 deposit their biscuits at the delivery station. As the length of the procession increases an appreciable back pressure is exerted on the cradles as they move along the platform 29'. As soon as a cradle commences to move downwardly, however, the inclined bristles of the brushes 33 prevent this back pressure from forcing the rearmost biscuit of the procession against the limbs 19 of the descending cradle. The procession can, therefore, have a very considerable length without any damage being caused to the biscuits fed to the rear end of the procession at the delivery station. The fact that successive cradles may carry different numbers of biscuits as they approach the delivery station does not, of course, affect the formation of the procession 34 on the platform '29.

In the above described apparatus the biscuits 22 are loaded directly on to the cradle limbs 19 at the loading zone. As an alternative to this the biscuits may be loaded on to a platform or belt positioned between the limbs of the cradles at the loading zone. In this case the cradles are arranged to rise relative to said platform or belt at the loading zone so that the stacks of biscuits formed on the platform or belt are picked up on the substantially horizontal limbs of the cradles as these limbs rise above the platform or belt. An arrangement of this kind is illustrated in Figure 21 of specification No. 524,370.

The above described handling apparatus is particularly suitable for handling biscuits since the biscuits are not subjected to any violent movements. The apparatus also has the advantages that it is continuous in action, that variations in throughput of biscuits does not affect the operating efficiency of the apparatus, that the biscuits are completely exposed throughout the entire handling 7 operation, and that the same apparatus can handle widely e o e co i uou m on'qf the apparat and any broken biscuits or biscuits which become misplaced (such as the biscuit 22a in Figure 4),can drop between the cradles of the apparatus.

If it is desired to transport the procession 34 to some location remote from the platform 29, conventional handling apparatus may be employed, for example a C011? veyor or a stationary continuous supporting surface along which the biscuits are pushed by the cradles arriving at the delivery station. Conveyors or stationary continuous supporting surfaces, however, have the disadvantages that it is diflicult to maintain the biscuits in line with one another without causing an excessive amount of friction between the biscuits and the handling apparatus, and that any broken biscuits or fragments of biscuits are retained on the conveyor or supporting surface together with sound biscuits.

Figures 8 to 11 illustrate one embodiment of a simple and robust apparatus for supporting and guiding the procession 34 of biscuits to a place remote from the platform 29 which does not have the disadvantages mentioned above. This supporting and guiding apparatus comprises four longitudinally extending guide members 35, 36 arranged in spaced parallel relationship, with one pair of guide members 35 lying in one plane and the other pair of guide members 36 lying in another plane parallel to, and spaced from, the first plane. Each guide member consists of a rod of circular cross-section made from a suitable synthetic resin or synthetic resin bonded material, or from chromium plated steel. The two guide members 35 lying in the uppermost plane are spaced apart a distance slightly greater than the diameter of the biscuits being handled and serve to locate the biscuits in the transverse direction. The two guide members 36 lying in the lowermost plane are spaced apart a distance somewhat less than the diameter of the bis-. cuits and support the weight of the biscuits. The ends of the guide members 36 are splayed outwardly at the delivery station 21 and the biscuits are pushed on to these guide members from the platform 29.

The guide members 35, 36 are held in the above described relationship by spacing members which consist of substantially U-shaped plates 37 (see Figure 11). The-inwardly directed edge 38 of each plate 37 is provided with four recesses 39 to receive the guide members 35, 36 with the axes of the latter arranged perpendicular to the plate. A clamping screw 40 may be associated with each recess 39 so that each guide member may be clamped firmly to the plate 37. To prevent the biscuits from fouling the spacing members as they pass along the guide members 35, 36, a portion of the surface of each guide member projects inwardly from the edge 38 of the plates 37 as shown in Figure 11. Some of the spacing members are provided with holes 41 for the reception of bolts or other fixing means adapted to secure the spacing members to a suitable support (not shown).

By suitably shaping the guide members 35, 36 a guiding and supporting apparatus of the kind illustrated in Figures 8 to 11 can be made to provide a three dimensional path of-practically any desired shape along which the biscuits are pushed by the cradle limbs 19 as they arrive at the delivery station. Of course, the path gradients should not be too steep and changes in direction of the path should occur gradually. Where the path turns sideways the guide members may be adjusted to give a slight camber at each turn.

If desired the guide members 35, 36, or portions of each guide member lying adjacent to one another, may be made in a flexible form for the purpose of swivelling or directing the flow of biscuits to dilferent destinations. Such flexible guide members may be made from closecoil square-section spring material, synthetic resin or flexible synthetic resin-bonded material. These flexible guide members would be secured to spacing members,

bers would enable the apparatus to be use-d as a switching device for directing the flow of biscuits to alternative locations.

The guide members 35, 36 can, of course, be employed with spacing members of'different sizes, or the spacing members may be constructed so that it is possible to adjust the distance between the guide members. For example, each guide member may be secured to a separate supporting plate mounted on a suitable support member. These supporting plates may consist of simple slotted plates clamped to said support member so that by varying the positions of the supporting plates the spacing apart of the guide members can be adjusted to suit the size and shape of the biscuits being handled. In these ways it is possible to adapt the supporting and guiding apparatus to handle a range of biscuits of different sizes and shapes.

To prevent falling of the biscuits forwardly or rearwardly with respect to their direction of advance, by pivoting of the biscuits about their points of contact with the guide members 36, the above described apparatus may be provided at intervals with restraining members adapted to engage each biscuit as it passes the restraining member, at one or more points around the peripheral edge of the biscuit.

For example, a circular brush having a central hub 42 (Figure 10) and bristles 4-3 extending radially from the hub may be mounted above the biscuits with the brush lying in a substantially vertical plane passing through the axis of advance of the biscuits along the guide members 35, 36. Thebrush is mounted for rotation, with a certain degree of frictional resistance, on a substantially horizontal axis 44 so that the tips of the bristles bear lightly on the uppermost point of each biscuit as it passes under the brush. A circular brush of this kind is particularly suitable for preventing the biscuits from falling forwardly as they travel along a downwardly inclined portion of the, guide members 35, 36. To enable the brush to handle biscuits of difierent sizes it is mounted on a stirrup 45 which is pivotally mounted on a suitable support, for example one of the plates 37. A spring 46 holds the stirrup 45 against an adjustable stop 47. By altering the position of the stop 47 along a slot 48 in a frame member 49- the height of the brush above the guide members 35 can be adjusted as desired.

Along upwardly inclined portions of the guide members 35, 36, brushes similar to the brushes 33 may be employed to prevent the biscuits falling rearwardly.

Although the restraining members described above comprise brush bristles, it is possible to employ other forms of restraining members. For example, the restraining members may comprise light leaf springs or flexible fingers bearing against the edges of the biscuits.

At the discharge end of the supporting and guiding apparatus described above the upper guide members 35 may terminate before the lower guide members 36 as shown in Figure 10. The ends of the guide members 36 are held in a small boss 50 secured to a suitable support. Figure 10. shows the procession 34 being discharged on to a conveyor 51 moving in the direction of the arrow H.

Although We prefer to employ four guide members arranged as dsceribed above, three guide members, or even two guide members may be employed. When three guide members are employed they are arranged to lie at the corners of an isosceles triangle.

The above described supporting and guiding apparatus has the advantages that it is inexpensive; that it is easy to assemble; that the, guide members can be shaped to.

7, follow any desired path; that frictional resistance to the motion of the biscuits is reduced to aminimum; that any broken biscuits can fall away from the apparatus by dropping between the guide members, that the biscuits are kept in substantial alignment with one another as they travel through the apparatus; and that the biscuits are under observation at all times.

Although the apparatus described above with reference to the drawings is particularly intended for handling circular biscuits it will be appreciated that it will also handle non-circular biscuits and flat articles in general of circular or non-circular shape.

We claim:

1. In a stacking arrangement for flat articles,-in combination, a conveyor, a loading station adjacent to the path of the conveyor, a delivery station adjacent to the path of the conveyor and spaced from the loading station in the direction of advance of the conveyor, a plurality of substantially horizontal pivots mounted at spaced intervals on the conveyor, said pivots being disposed substantially at right angles to the direction of advance of the conveyor, a cradle comprising two limbs arranged in the configuration of an L mounted on each of said pivots, the pivoting axis of each cradle being substantially at right angles to the plane of the L, means constraining the conveyor to move said pivots along a substantially horizontal path past said loading station and subsequently along a downwardly inclined path past said delivery station, a stationary cam path disposed adjacent to said conveyor, a cam follower on each of said cradles engaging said cam path, said cam path comprising a first portion lying substantially parallel to the path of said pivots at the loading station and being disposed so that each cradle passes said loading station with one limb extending substantially vertically and the other limb projecting rearwardly from the lower end of the vertically extending limb, said cam path comprising a second portion between the loading station and the delivery station which is inclined to the path of said pivots such that each cradle in its passage from the loading station to the delivery station is caused to tilt forwardly about its pivoting axis into a position in which the originally vertically extending limb of the cradle projects forwardly with a slight upward inclination to the horizontal, said cam path comprising a third portion adjacent to said delivery station which is inclined relative to the path of said pivots such that each cradle remains substantially in said forwardly tilted position as it moves along said downwardly inclined path at the delivery station, means at the loading station for loading at least one article fiat on to the rearwardly projecting limb of at least some of the cradles as they pass the loading station, and stationary supporting means at the article delivery station arranged to receive the flat articles arranged on edge from the cradles, whereby a procession of articles stacked on edge is formed on said supporting means which is advanced automatically along the supporting means by the delivery of articles to the rear end of the procession from the cradles.

2. A stacking arrangement as defined in claim 1, in which said cam path comprises a fourth portion adjacent to the delivery station which is adapted to tilt each cradle rearwardly a small amount after the cradle has delivered 4. In a stacking arrangement for flat articles, in combination, a conveyor, a loading station adjacent to the 8 path of the conveyor, a delivery station adjacent to the path of the conveyor and spaced from the loading station in the direction of advance of the conveyor, a plurality of substantially horizontal pivots mounted at spaced intervals on the conveyor, said pivots being disposed substantially at right angles to the direction of advance of the conveyor, a cradle comprising two limbs arranged 1n the configuration of an L mounted on each of said pivots, the pivoting axis of each cradle being adjacent to the junction point of said limbs and substantially at right angles to the plane of the L, means constraining the conveyor to move said pivots along a substantially horizontal path past said loading station and subsequently along a downwardly inclined path past said delivery station, a stationary cam path disposed adjacent to said conveyor, a cam follower on each of said cradles engaging said cam path, said-cam path comprising a first portion lying substantially parallel to the path of said pivots at the loading station and being disposed so that each cradle passes said loading station with one limb arranged substantially vertical and projecting upwardly from the junction point of the two limbs and the other limb projecting rearwardly from the lower end of the vertically disposed limb, said cam path comprising a second portion between the loading station and the de livery station which is inclined to the path of said pivots such that each cradle in its passage from the loading station to the delivery station is caused to tilt forwardly about its pivoting axis into a position in which the originally vertically disposed limb of the cradle projects forwardly with a slight upward inclination to the horizontal, said cam path comprising a third portion adjacent to said delivery station which is inclined relative to the path of said pivots such that each cradle remains substantially in said forwardly tilted position as it moves along said downwardly inclined path at the delivery station, means at the loading station for loading at least one article flat on to the horizontally disposed limb of at least some of the cradles as they pass the loading station, and a stationary supporting means at the article delivery station arranged to receive the fiat articles arranged on edge from the cradles, whereby a procession of articles stacked on edge is formed on said supporting means which is advanced automatically along the supporting means by the delivery of articles to the rear end of the procession from the cradles.

5. In a stacking arrangement for flat articles, in com bination, a conveyor, a loading station adjacent to the path of the conveyor, a delivery station adjacent to the path of the conveyor and spaced from the loading station in the direction of advance of the conveyor, a plurality of substantially horizontal pivots mounted at spaced intervals on the conveyor, said pivots being disposed substantially at right angles to the direction of advance of the conveyor, a cradle comprising two limbs arranged in the configuration of an L mounted on each of said pivots, the pivoting axis of each cradle being adjacent to the junction point of said limbs and substantially at right angles to the plane of the L, means constraining the conveyor to move said pivots along a path inclined slightly to the horizontal past said loading station and subsequently along a downwardly inclined path past said delivery station, a stationary cam path disposed adjacent to said conveyor, a cam follower on each of said cradles engaging said cam path, said cam path comprising a first portion lying substantially parallel to the path of said pivots at the loading station and being disposed so that each cradle passes said loading station with one limb projecting upwardly from the junction point of the two limbs and slightly forwardly with respect to vertical and the other limb projecting rearwardly from the lower end of the upwardly projecting limb, said cam path comprising a second portion between the loading station and the delivery station which is inclined to the path of said pivots such that each cradle in its passage from the loading station to the delivery station is caused to t1lt forwardly about its pivoting axis into a position in which the originally upwardly projecting limb of the cradle projects forwardly with a slight upward inclinatlonto the horizontal, said cam path comprising a third portion adjacent to said delivery station which is inclmed relative to the path of said pivots such that each cradle remains substantially in said forwardly tilted position as it moves along said downwardly inclined path at the delivery station, means at the loading station for loading at least one article flat on to the rearwardly pro ecting limb of at least some of the cradles as they pass the loading station, and a stationary supporting means at the article delivery station arranged to receive the flat articles arranged on edge from the cradles, whereby a procession of articles stacked on edge is formed on said supporting means which is advanced automatically along the supporting means by the delivery of articles to the rear end of the procession from the cradles.

6. In a stacking arrangement for flat articles, in comblnation, a conveyor, a loading station adjacent to the path of the conveyor, a delivery station adjacent to the path of the conveyor and spaced from the loading statron in the direction of advance of the conveyor, a plurality of substantially horizontal pivots mounted at spaced intervals on the conveyor, said pivots being disposed substantially at right angles to the direction of advance of the conveyor, a cradle comprising two limbs arranged in the configuration of an L mounted on each of said pivots, the pivoting axis of each cradle being substantially at right angles to the plane of the L, means constraining the conveyor to move said pivots along a substantially horizontal path past said loading station, along an upwardly inclined path as they approach the delivery station and along a downwardly inclined path past said delivery station, a stationary cam path disposed adjacent to said conveyor, a cam follower on each of said cradles engaging said cam path, said cam path comprising a first portion lying substantially parallel to the path of said pivots at the loading station and being disposed so that each cradle passes said loading station with one limb arranged substantially vertical and the other limb projecting rearwardly from the lower end of the vertically disposed limb, said cam path comprising a second portion between the loading station and the delivery station which is inclined to the path of said pivots such that each cradle in its passage from the loading station to the delivery station is caused to tilt forwardly about its pivoting axis into a position in which the originally vertically disposed limb of the cradle projects forwardly with a slight upward inclination to the horizontal, said cam path comprising a third portion adjacent to said delivery station which is inclined relative to the path of said pivots such that each cradle remains substantially in said forwardly tilted position as it moves along said downwardly inclined path at the delivery station, means at the loading station for loading at least one article flat on the horizontally disposed limb of at least some of the cradles as they pass the loading station, and a stationary supporting means at the article delivery station arranged to receive the flat articles arranged on edge from the cradles, whereby a procession of articles stacked on edge is formed on said supporting means which is advanced automatically along the supporting means by the delivery of articles to the rear end of the procession from the cradles.

7. In a stacking arrangement for flat articles, in combination, a conveyor, a loading station adjacent to the path of the conveyor, a delivery station adjacent to the path of the conveyor, and spaced from the loading station in the direction of advance of the conveyor, a plurality of substantially horizontal pivots mounted at spaced intervals on the conveyor, said pivots being disposed substantially at right angles to the direction of advance of the conveyor, a cradle comprising two L-shaped members arranged side by side in substantially parallel spaced relationship mounted on each of said pivots, the pivoting axis of each cradle being substantially at right angles to the plane of the L-shaped members, means constraining the conveyor to move said pivots along a substantially horizontal path past said loading station and subsequently along a downwardly inclined path past said delivery station, a stationary cam path disposed adjacent to said conveyor, a cam follower on each of said cradles engaging said cam path, said cam path comprising a first portion lying substantially parallel to the path of said pivots at the loading station and being disposed so that each cradle passes said loading station and being disposed so that each cradle passes said loading station with one limb of each of the L-shaped members arranged substantially vertical and the other limbs projecting rearwardly from the lower end of the vertically disposed limb-s, said cam path comprising a second portion between the loading station and the delivery station which is inclined to the path of said pivots such that each cradle in its passage from the loading station to the delivery station is caused to tilt forwardly about its pivoting axis into a position in which the originally vertically disposed limbs of the cradle project forwardly with a slight upward inclination to the horizontal, said cam path comprising a third portion adjacent to said delivery station which is inclined relative to the path of said pivots such that each cradle remains substantially in said forwardly tilted position as it moves along said downwardly inclined path at the delivery station, means at the loading station for loading at least one article flat on to the horizontally disposed limbs of at least some of the cradles as they pass the loading station, and a narrow elongated substantially horizontal stationary platform at the delivery station past which the cradles travel in their passage along said downwardly inclined path with one L-shaped member on each side of the platform so that the platform receives the flat articles arranged on edge from the cradles, whereby a procession of articles stacked on edge is formed on said platform which is advanced automatically along the platform by the delivery of articles to the rear end of the procession from the cradles.

8. A stacking arrangement as defined in claim 7, in which said loading station comprises a further conveyor forming an upper main conveyor surface for conveying thereon a plurality of rows of articles to be stacked which rows extend in the direction in which they are being conveyed, said further conveyor being arranged alongside of said first mentioned conveyor with the rearwardly projecting limbs of the cradles mounted on the first mentioned conveyor lying below the level of said upper main conveyor surface, and deflector means arranged above said upper main conveyor surface for deflecting rows of articles conveyed thereon onto .the rearwardly projecting limbs of said cradles.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,506,843 Komarnisky Sept. 2, 1924 2,603,341 Knee July 15, 1952 FOREIGN PATENTS 951,996 France Apr. 25, 1949

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3219204 *Apr 27, 1962Nov 23, 1965Fmc CorpApparatus for handling articles
US3743118 *Jul 29, 1971Jul 3, 1973Sig Schweiz IndustriegesStacking device for regularly shaped, flat articles, for examples biscuits or cookies
US3934706 *Jun 24, 1974Jan 27, 1976Joseph TiceArticle combining live wall guide rail
US4269555 *Sep 24, 1979May 26, 1981Burr Oak Tool & Gauge CompanyDevice for discharging stacked fins from a transporter
US4709800 *Apr 28, 1986Dec 1, 1987Owens-Illinois Glass Container Inc.Bottle conveyor with brush spacer
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Classifications
U.S. Classification414/790.4, 198/377.1, 414/791, 198/534, 198/836.1, 414/798.2
International ClassificationA21C15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA21C15/00
European ClassificationA21C15/00