US 2930476 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
w. c. ANDREWS 2,930,476
PACKAGING MACHINE March 29, 1960 6 Sheets-Sheet; 1
Filed April 50, 1956 A TTO/PNEVS March 1960 w. c. ANDREWS 2,930,476
PACKAGING MACHINE Filed April 30, 1956 6 SheetsSheet 2 I N V EN TOR. M44 7-52 6. Alwpau:
m M Mm/ A TTORNEVS March 29, 1960 w. c. ANDREWS PACKAGING MACHINE 1 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed April 30, 1956 5 w. me n TW E NC m w M A L A M. Y B usnani March 29, 1960 w. c. ANDREWS PACKAGING MACHINE Filed April 30, 1956 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR. Mu r50 6, Alva/z: a
A T TORNEVS March 29, 1960 w. c. ANDREWS 2,930,476
PACKAGING MACHINE Filed April so, 1956 v e Sheets-Sheet 5 A 7" TORNEVS March 29, 1960 w. c. ANDREWS PACKAGING MACHINE 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed April 50, 1956 INVENTOR. Maze 6. Awaesws A TTORNEVS PACKAGING MACHINE Walter C. Andrews, Los Altos, Calif, assignor of onehalf to Alan C. Forth, Los Altos, Calif.
Application April 30, 1956, Serial No. 581,755
11 Claims. (Cl. 198-35) This invention relates to packaging machines, and particularly to a method of and machine for packaging packets of products of a variety of selected kinds in various predetermined numbers.
Products of various kinds, as, for example, seeds, are initially packed in envelopes or similar packets containing measured amounts of different kinds of products, each packet being appropriately marked to identify its contents. In filling orders for such products, the distributor must select the proper number of each kind of product required to fill each order and package them together for delivery to the customer. Since the variety of products, and the number of each kind called for, varies with each order, the required number of each kind must be selected and segregated in a group to be packaged with other groups to fill each order. When performed manually, as in ordinary practice, the proper selection of the various kinds and numbers of packets is slow and laborious; and accuracy is dependent upon the care and attention of individuals, whose carelessness or inattention sometimes results in material loss and annoyance.
It is among the objects of the present invention to provide a machine by which packets of a variety of kinds may be selected and segregated automatically in groups containing predetermined numbers of the selected products.
Another object is to provide a machine for selecting and delivering predetermined numbers of selected products wherein the kinds and numbers of packets selected are controlled through the medium of a punched card.
Another object is to provide a packet packaging machine operating to simultaneously select various numbers of various products, and to stack them in segregated groups delivered in order to a packaging receiver.
A further object is to provide a machine of the character described having means for maintaining the supplies of different products in proper dispensing position, regardless of the number of each kind removed from the supply; and which will permit the supply of each kind to be replenished as required, without interrupting the normal operation of the machine.
A still further object is to provide a mechanism by which selected packets may be bodily transferred in stacked relation to a packaging receiver, without disturbing the orderly arrangement of the packets in groups, and without intermingling the packets of different groups.
It is also among the objects of this invention to produce a machine for packaging packets which may be operated with speed and accuracy, and which will perform its functions economically with a minimum of attention.
These and other objects, some of which will be hereinafter more fully explained, are accomplished by means of the invention herein described, an illustrative embodiment of which is shown in the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification. While only a single embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, the invention is not limited to that embodiment, as it may be otherwise embodied within the scope of the appended claims.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a fragmental plan view of a machine embodying the invention;
Fig. 2 is a fragmental vertical transverse sectional view, the plane of the section being indicated by the line 2-2 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a fragmental vertical longitudinal sectional view, the plane of the section being indicated by the line 33 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is an illustrative wiring diagram for the electrical control for parts of the transfer mechanism;
Fig. 5 is a fragmental sectional detail, the plane of the section being indicatedby the line 5-5 of Fig. 3;
Fig. 6 is a fragmental sectional detail similar to Fig. 2 and showing the relationship of parts during a different portion of the operating cycle;
Fig. 7 is a fragmental sectional view taken upon the line 7-7 of Fig. 6;
Figs. 8 and 9 are fragmental sectional views similar to Fig. 3 showing some of the parts in positions occupied during different portions of the operating cycle;
Fig. 10 is a fragmental transverse sectional view taken upon the line 1010 of Fig. 3;
Fig. 11 is a fragmental side elevational view of an optional form of delivery mechanism;
Fig. 12 is a fragmental sectional detail taken upon the line 12-12 of Fig. 11;
Fig. 13 is a perspective view of a cam for the mechanism shown in Figs. 11 and 12;
Fig. 14 is a view of the face of an illustrative control card; and
Fig. 15 is a diagrammatic view of the selector circuit as controlled by a punched control card.
In terms of broad inclusion, the packaging machine of the present invention comprises mechanism controlled through the medium of a punched card for selectively moving predetermined numbers of packets of selected kinds from a plurality of separate supply receptacles, positioned side by side along a common delivery mechanism. The packets are removed from selected supply receptacles singly by suction arms alined with the receptacles and actuated simultaneously to initiate the transfer of the packets from the supplies to the delivery mechanism, the-selected suction arms being oscillated through various predetermined numbers of delivery strokes. The arms are actuated through desired cycles of operation in response to the energizing of electrical circuits controlled by a card punched to cause each selected arm to be actuated a selected number of times in conformity with the positions of the punched holes in the card. The selected packets are stacked in separate groups which, when the selection operation has been completed, are moved bodily to a packaging receiver into which the groups are transferred successively and in order without disturbing their stacked relation. The invention contemplates the provision of means for automatically advancing the supplies into the range of the suction arms; and for maintaining the selected packets in segregated groups and orderly arrangement in a receiver from which the packets, collected through the cycle for which a control card is punched, may be packaged together for shipment.
In terms of greater detail, the machine of the present invention comprises a frame designated in general by the numeral 21 forming a rigid support for the operating parts of the mechanism. Upon the upper part of the frame are mounted a plurality of receptacles 22, each capable of holding a substantial supply of packets 23 containing variouskinds of products. The packets may be of any desired character suitable for containing avan-iety of products, as, for example, paper envelopes such "as commonly used in packeting'various kinds of seeds. For simplicity, only three receptacles are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, but the number may be increased'to accommodate as many different kinds of products as the business of any particular distributor may require. Preferably the receptacles 22 are constructed as trays, open at one end, and arranged to be removably supported upon suitable cross bars 24. The several trays are mounted side by side in alinement between end frame sections 25 forming a superstructure along one side of the frame 21. p
The trays 22 are supported in upwardly inclined position with their open or delivery ends at the upper edge of the row of trays. The angle at which the trays are inclined is sufiicient to cause the packets to be held by gravity in substantially perpendicular relation to the sides and bottoms of the trays.
Asuction arm 26 is mounted for oscillating movement in line with each supply receptacle or tray 22. The arms are pivotally supported by trunnions 27 seated in bearing blocks 28 mounted upon brackets 29, which in turn are supported by frame members 30 extending between the end frame sections 25. Each suction arm 26 is connected to a manifold 31 by a flexible conduit 32. The manifold 31 is connected to a source of vacuum, not shown, in any suitable manner. Each arm 26 is provided with a pick-up head 33 upon its lower end, said head being shaped to extend into the open end of the adjacent tray 22, and to seat against the uppermost packet 23 therein, as indicated in broken lines in Fig. 2 of the drawings, when moved to the end of its forward or pick-up stroke.
The suction arms 26 are normally held in an inactive position by springs 34. The normal position of the arms is defined by a stop, Which, as illustrated, may be the rearward frame member 30, against which the arms are urged by the springs. Each arm 26 is arranged to be independently moved from the normal inactive position,
shown in full lines in Fig. 2, to the pick-up position, shown in broken lines, by a latch 35 pivoted upon an actuating arm 36.
The actuating arms 36 are keyed or otherwise secured to a shaft 37, journalled upon the end frame sections 25. The shaft 37 is oscillated by a rocker arm 38 slotted to engage a roller 39 mounted upon a crank arm 40. A motor 41 or other suitable prime mover is coupled to a drive shaft 42 upon which the crank arm is secured. Rotation of the shaft 42 causes the rocker arm 38' to oscillate between the positions indicated in full and broken lines in Fig. 2, thereby rocking the shaft 37 and oscillating all of the actuating arms 36 simultaneously between the positions indicated in full and broken lines in Fig. 2.
The latch 35 carried by each actuating arm 36 is normally urged to the inactive position shown in Fig. 2 by a latch spring 43. In its inactive position, the latch is held against an adjustable stop 44, with a latch finger 45 carried thereby clearing a detent 46 upon the adjacent suction arm 26 as the actuating arm is oscillated relative thereto. An electromagnet 47 mounted upon the actuating arm is arranged to move the latch to an activated position in which the latch finger 45 engages the detent 46 and moves the adjacent suction arm to its pick-up position, as indicated in broken lines in Fig. 2. 'The latch 35 is held in its activated position, and the suction arm 26 is oscillated with the actuating arm 36, through one or a desired plurality of pick-up strokes, so long as the electromagnet 47 remains energized.
As soon as the electromagnet 47 is de-energi zed, the spring 43 urges the latch to its inactive position. However, the stop 44 is so adjusted that, because of the eccentric relation of the pivots about which the actuating arm and its suction arm oscillate, the latch finger will be held in engagement with the detent until the suction arm approaches the end of its return stroke. As the latch finger '45 disengages the detent 46, the suction arm is-moved to its inactive position by its spring 34, where it remains untilthe-electromagnet 47 is again energized.
As each suction arm is moved to its pick-up position, the head 33 enters the open end of the adjacent tray 22 and engages the outermost packet 23. As the head approaches the packet, a valve 48 is unseated to open a port 49 opening from the manifold 31 into the flexible hose connection 32. The valve may be a ball normally urged to seat upon the port 49 by a spring 50. The valve is unseated by a wire or cord 51 normally slack enough to permit the valve ball to seat upon the port,where it is held by vacuum. As the suction arm advances upon a pick-up stroke, the cord 51 is drawn taut, and the valve ball is unseated to connect the arm to the source of vacuum. When the head 33 reaches the forward end of its stroke, the outermost packet is picked up and held by suction as the arm moves along its return stroke. On the return stroke, the cord 51 is slackened enough to permit the ball to be reseated upon the port 49 by the combined action of the spring 50 and the action of vacuum within the manifold.
Since the range within which a head 33 may pick up packets from its supply tray is limited, it is necessary to advance the supply periodically to maintain a packet within pick-up range at all times. For this purpose,I provide a conveyor 52 automatically actuated in response to the withdrawal of packets from the delivery end of each tray to advance the remaining supply of packets. Preferably the conveyor 52. comprises an endless coil spring operating over pulleys 53 mounted at opposite ends of the tray support. The upper reach of the conveyor. extends through a slot 54 extending longitudinally of the bottom of the tray 22 sufliciently to engage the lower edges of the packets contained therein, as best shown in Fig. 7. The conveyor 52 is mounted under sufficient tension to separate the turns of the spring sufficiently to admit the packet edges and insure a positive engagement therewith.
Each conveyor 52 is actuated by a pawl 55 mounted adjacent the delivery end of the conveyor, as best shown in Figs. 2 and 6 of the drawings. As illustrated, the 'pawls 55 are pivoted upon the ends of rocker arms 56 secured upon a rocker shaft 57 with which the several arms are oscillated simultaneously by a link 58 connecting one of the rocker arms to a motor driven crank 59. The pawls 55 are movable between the inactive position shown in Fig. '2 and the active position shown in Fig. 6, each pawl being normally urged to its inactive position by a spring 60. An electromagnet 61 is mounted upon each rocker arm 56 for moving its pawl to active position when the magnet is energized. Electric current for energizing the magnet is supplied from a source, not shown; and is controlled by. a switch 62. A control arm 63 is normally urged to circuit-closing position by a light sprin action. The arm 63 for each switch is positioned near the deliveryend ofthe adjacentconveyor, and is arranged ,to be displacedby the weight of packets within the range of the adjacent pick-up head to break the circuit to the magnet. As packets are removed from a tray to a point wherethose nearest'the delivery end no longer hold the arm 63 in its circuit-breaking position, the magnet is energized to move the pawl to its active position shown in Fig. 6. In this position, an actuating finger 64 upon the end of the pawl engages the slightly separated-turns ofthe coil spring conveyor 52. While in this position, the oscillation of the rocker arm 56 moves the pawl up and down between the extreme positions indicated in full and in broken lines in Fig. 6, thereby advancing the conveyor until the packets thereon again force the arm 63 to its circuit-breaking position.
I As each suction arm 26 with its head 33 is moved to pick up a packet from an adjacent tray, the packet is carried away from the tray and delivered into a chute 66. To insure/release of the packet into the chute, its dependingedge is moved against. a stop 67' which displaces the packetfrom the head33 at about the time the valve 48 closes the port connecting the arm to the vacuum manifold, thereby allowing the packet to drop freely.
The chutes 66 are turned in spiral form through an angle of about 90 to deliver the packets to conveying means positioned thereunder for delivering the packets to a packaging receiver. As illustrated, the delivery conveying means comprises a pair of spaced slide bars 67 positioned to receive and support packets delivered thereonto from the chutes. The bars 67 are stationary, and extend the full length of the machine to receive packets from all of the chutes 66.
An endless conveyor 68 is mounted over the slide bars 67, in alinement therewith, and comprises a pair of spaced chains operating over' sprockets 69 upon upper and lower sprocket shafts 69' journalled upon suitable portions of the machine frame. Bafiles 70, which may be bars or vanes, are secured to the conveyor chains at intervals corresponding to the spacing of the chutes 66. The baflles extend downwardly from the lower reach of the conveyor between the slide bars, preferably at an angle, as indicated in Fig. 3 of the drawings. Normally the baffles are positioned to provide a stop by which packets delivered down the chutes are stacked in orderly manner upon the bars 67 immediately in front of the baffles. The conveyor remains stationary as the suction arms are actuated to deliver predetermined numbers of packets from selected trays. After the selection is completed, the conveyor is actuated to advance the bafiles 70 and push the groups of packets deposited on the bars 67 to a delivery station.
At a point below and slightly in advance of the delivery end of the conveyor chains, the slide bars 67 are bent downwardly, as at 71, to points immediately over a conveyor 72 forming part of a packaging receiver. As the groups of packets are advanced by the bafiles 70, they may be allowed to slide from their horizontal position to an angular position from which they are pressed into vertical position by a plunger 73, as indicated in Figs. 8 and 9 of the drawings. Alternatively, the groups may be engaged by arms 74 carried by a rotor '75. The arms are actuated to engage and move the groups of packets bodily from theirhorizontally stacked positions on the bars 67 to vertically disposed positons upon the receiver conveyor 72, as indicated in Fig. 11.
The conveyor 72 may be an endless chain operating over sprockets 76 below and between spaced guide walls 77. A backing block 78 is mounted between the guide Walls in releasable engagement with the conveyor chain 72 to provide a movable stop against which the packets may be pressed by the plunger 73. As a group of packets is deposited at the receiving end of the conveyor, the plunger 73 is advanced to press the group into upright position, and to displace the backing block 78 sufiiciently to admit the group between the guide walls, as illustrated in Fig. 9 of the drawings. The conveyor, with its backing block 78, may be moved by the pressure of the plunger 73 alone to accommodate successive groups of packets, or it may be driven by a suitable motor operated in timed relation to the delivery of the packets thereto by any suitable timing mechanism, not illustrated, connected in conventional manner. a
The plunger 73 is operated hydraulically by fluid pressure directed alternately into opposite ends of a hydraulic cylinder 79, for directing pressure against opposite sides of a piston 80 mounted within the cylinder upon a stem 81 extending axially therethrough. The flow of fluid to and from the cylinder is controlled by a valve 82 operable to reverse the flow of fluid at the end of each stroke. The valve 82 is controlled electrically by a pair of solenoids 83 connected to a common core 84, which in turn is linked to the valve by an arm 85. The solenoids are alternately energized by electrical energy from a source 86; and are controlled by switches 87 and 87 closed by an actuator 88 secured to the rearwardly extending end of the stem 81. As the plunger reaches the end of its stroke in either direction, the actuator 88 trips the corresponding switch 87 or 87' to reverse the flow of electricity to the solenoids 83. The valve 82 reverses the flow of hydraulic pressure, which is supplied in conventional manner through supply and return connections 89 and 90 from a suitable source, not shown.
To prevent the outermost packets from tipping back 10 of the drawings. The arms 91a are carriedby arma-.
tures 91b which are spring urged to their retaining 1308i,-
tions and moved to their releasing positions by the sole noids 910. The supply of energy to each of the solenoids 91c is controlled coincidentally with the supply of energy,
to the valve actuating solenoids 83, as indicated in the wiring diagram, Fig. 4 of the drawings.
The rotor 75 and arms 74 may be provided, optionally, for engaging and moving the stacks of packets from the delivery slide bars 67 to the receiving conveyor 72 in installations where such positive action is desirable. For that purpose, the rotor 75 is mounted upon a shaft 92 substantially parallel to and in the same vertical plane with the shafts 69 upon which the sprockets 69 are mounted at the delivery end of the conveyor 68. The arms 74 are secured to shafts 93, which are journalled in bearing brackets 94. The arms 74 are arranged in pairs at intervals of about 90 around the shaft 92, at opposite sides of the bars 67 and chains 68 of the delivery conveying means. The arms 74 are urged inwardly toward the center line of the delivery conveying means by springs 95. Pads '96 of sponge rubber or similar material are mounted upon the innersides of T-shaped ends formed upon the arms 74.
The arms 74 are arranged to be oscillated against the pressure of the springs 95 by cam plates 97 having annular cam ribs 98 engaged by rollers 99 mounted upon the arms 74. The cam ribs 98 spread the arms 74 of each pair apart against the pressure of the springs 95, during about 270 of each revolution of the arms about the rotor shaft 92. The rotor 75 is driven by a chain 101, or equivalent driving means, in time with the movement of the conveyor chains 68 of the delivery conveying means. The movement of the arms 74 is so timed that a pair of the arms is moved to meet each successive stack of packets advanced along the slide bars 67. As the arms approach their upwardly extending vertical position, low areas 102 of the cam ribs 98 permit the arms to be pressed inwardly from the spread position shown in full lines in Fig. 12 of the drawings to the pack-engaging position shown in broken lines in that figure.
The chain 101 operates over'a sprocket 103 on the shaft 92 for the rotor 75, and over a sprocket 104 upon,
one of the delivery conveyor sprocket shafts 69'. As, each stack of packets is advanced to the delivery-end of the slide bars 67, a pair of the arms 74 moves inwardly to press the pads 96 against the ends of the stack, as indicated in broken lines in Fig. 12. Then, as the rotor 75 turns, the arms carry the stack bodily from the position shown in full lines in Fig. 11, to a position such as indicated in broken lines, in line with the plunger 73, which then operates to press the packets into vertical position and advance them along the receiving means, as above explained; As the stack reaches the receiving conveyor 72, the cam ribs 98 cause the arms 74 to spread and re lease the group of packets in time with the movement of the plunger. By moving the stack bodily from the delivery conveyor bars 67 to the packaging or receiving conveyor 72, the packets comprising each stack may be transferred from their horizontal position upon the delivery conveyor bars 67 to vertical position upon the receiving conveyor chain 72 without disturbing their order card shows only three rows of digits 108, corresponding tothe three supply receptacles and selector mechanisms of the machine illustrated, the number of rows of digits conforming to the number of supply receptacles. for simplicity, only six digits are included in each row, but the number may be increased to the maximum number of packets which it is desired to deliver inthe course of a complete packaging cycle of the machine. The rows correspond to the kinds of packets to be selected, and the individual digits in each row indicate the number of'pa'ckets of each kind to be selected during each cycle. The holes 107 are punched to correspond tothe kinds of packets and the number of each kind which it is desired to include in a package. 'The illustrative card is punched to select six packets of the kind corresponding to the first row of digits; and four and two packets, respectively, for the kinds'corresponding to the second and third rows of digits.
The punched holes 107 permit the closing of an electric circuit from a source 109 through contacts llll to relays 111 arranged in banks corresponding to the digits of each row 108, as indicated diagrammatically in Fig. 15. Each relay 111 or" each bank energizes a sequence timer 112 to close a circuit to the latch actuating electromagnet 47 of the associated suction arm 26 and its actuating arm 36 throughthe selected number of pick-up operations. Thus, as illustrated, the hole punched at the sixth digit of the first row 108 of the card 106 will cause the timer to activate the latch mechanism of the first suction arm through six pick-up strokes, while the suction arms corresponding to the second and third rows will be operated through four and two strokes, respectively. If desired, the card may be arranged to set up a predetermined number in a counting type relay. The relay, when energized, causes the selecting arm associated therewith to operate through its cycle. As each packet is delivered, it may trip a sensitive switch, which, in turn, sets a unit count into the counting relay. The selecting arm continues to operate until the predetermined number of units has been set into the counting relay, at which time its operation will be discontinued, as above explained. In this arrangement, the operation will continue until the desired number of packets has been selected, even though the selector arm should 'fail to pick up a packet during one or more of its cycles. That is, a unit count will be delivered to the counting relay only if a packet is delivered which will trip the sensitive switch. If the selector arm fails to pick up a packet during a cycle, no unit count will be delivered to the counting relay, and the selector arm will continue to cycle until the proper number of packets has been picked up to actuate the switch and counting relay the desired predetermined number of times.
In operation, the supply receptacles 'or trays 22 are tilled with packets of various kinds, as, for example, packets of diiierent kinds of seeds. As orders for various numbers of diiierent kinds of seeds are received, cards are punched to correspond to. the number of each kind required to fill the various orders. The card for each order is placed in its circuit controlling position, and a general control switch is closed to start the machine in operation. hole 1%? of the card cause the corresponding suction armsto pick up'and drop the predetermined number of each selected kind of packet'onto the slide bars 67 of the delivery conveyor mechanism. The selected suction Also,
The circuits closed through each punched arms operate simultaneously, each through its predetermined numberof pick-up strokes, to transfer the desired number of packets from the supply receptacles to the delivery conveyor. The packets of each kind stack up in groups retained upon the slide bars 67 until the selection and transfer operation is completed.
After the selector operation has been completed, the operation of the delivery conveyor 68 is initiated to ad- Vance the stacked groups of packets along the slide bars. The operation of the conveyor 68 is controlled electrically by a circuit of conventional character closed by a relay actuated switch responsive to the operation of the timing mechanism, as, for example, a switch 113 operating in the selector control circuit. The switch 113 whichmay be ganged to the general control switch so as to close therewith is arranged to automatically break the circuit through the timers 112, andto close a circuit (not shown) through the conveyor actuating circuit when the last packet for which the card has been punched is delivered to the conveyor 68. The switch 113 is held closed by and while the timing mechanism is energizing the electromagnet 47, and when the timing mechanism deenergizes the electromagnet 47, it also deenergizes relay 113 to close the above referred to conveyor actuating' circuit. The baflles 70 then move the stacks of packets successively to the delivery end of the slide bars 67, without disturbing their orderly arrangement.
Where the character and number of the packets in each stack permits, they may be allowed to slide freely down the bent ends 71 of the slide bars. At that instant the plunger 7-3 is advanced, from its retracted position shown in Fig. 8 to its advanced position shown in Fig. 9, to press the stack in place in the receiving receptacle; and to advance the accumulated groups enough to accommodate the stack. The retaining fingers 91 are immediately advanced to retain the packets in upright position, and the plunger is retracted to admit the next group of packets, as hereinab'ove explained.
Where the packets are too bulky to remain stacked as they slide down the bent ends 71 of the slide bars, they may be gripped between the arms 74 of a transfer rotor '75, as above explained. In that'case the groups are carried bodily into substantially upright position in the adjacent end of the receiving receptacle, where they are engaged and advanced by the plunger in the manner above explained. In either case, the plunger is actuated in time with the conveyor 68 to press each successive group of packets against the backing block 78 and make room for the next group; and the fingers 91 are retracted and advanced to admit successive groups and retain them in vertical position until the next group arrives. The operation of the conveyor is halted by operation of a cut-out relay 114 engaged by a trip blade 115 carried by the conveyor 63 to mark the end of each complete cycle of the conveyor 68, and the start of the next cycle.
The selected packets transferred onto the conveyor 72 may he delivered to suitable packaging mechanism, not shown; or they may be manually removed and wrapped as a unit for shipment to the purchaser. Meanwhile the card 106 is removed; and another card, punched in accordance with the next order to be filled, is placed in the machine, for repeating the operation. The supply of packets in each supply receptacle is automatically advanced to maintain a packet in pick-up position at all times, as above explained, the supply for each receptacle being replenished periodically by refilling the trays or introducing different trays, as required.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
'1. A packet packaging machine comprising a plurality of receptacles for separately containing supplies of different kinds of packeted products, a delivery conveyor, a suction arm mounted for oscillating movement in line with each receptacle and arranged to engage and remove pac i lng y from the adjacent end of the receptacle by suction applied through the arm, means for actuating selected arms through predetermined numbers of oscillations for displacing packets from the receptacles for delivery to the conveyor in segregated groups, means for stacking the groups together in segregated group arrangement, the said suction arm actuating means comprising a continuously oscillating actuating arm, a latch for releasably connecting the suction arm to the actuating arm for movement therewith, said latch being normally held in disengaging position, electrical means for moving the latch to actuating position, and means for selectively energizing the electrical means to actuate selected suction arms through predetermined numbers of packet delivery strokes.
2. A packet packaging machine as defined by claim 1 wherein the selection and operation of the suction arms to deliver packets is electrically controlled through the medium of a punched card.
3. A packet packaging machine comprising a plurality of receptacles for separately containing supplies of different kinds of packeted products, a delivery conveyor, a suction arm mounted for oscillating movement in line with each receptacle and arranged to engage and remove packets singly from the adjacent end of the receptacle by suction applied through the arm, means for actuating selected arms through predetermined numbers of oscillations for displacing packets from the receptacles for delivery to the conveyor in segregated groups, means for stacking the groups together in segregated group arrangement, each said suction arm being provided with a flexible tube connecting the arm to a source of vacuum through a vacuum port, a valve normally closing the vacuum port, and means responsive to oscillating movement of the suction arm for unseating the valve as the arm approaches packet engaging position and for reseating the valve as the arm returns to its delivery position.
4. A packet packaging machine comprising a pluralityof receptacles for separately containing supplies of different kinds of packeted products. a delivery conveyor, a suction arm mounted for oscillating movement in line with each receptacle and arranged to engage and remove packets singly from the adjacent end of the receptacle by suction applied through the arm, means for actuating selected arms through predetermined numbers of oscillations for displacing packets from the receptacles for delivery to the conveyor in segregated groups, means for stacking the groups together in segregated group arrangement, said receptacles having longitudinally slotted bottoms, endless feed conveyors each having an upper reach engaging the lower edges of the packets through the slot of the adjacent receptacle, oscillating pawls normally held out of driving engagement with the adjacent feed conveyors, and electrically controlled means responsive to the positioning of packets adjacent the delivery ends of the receptacles for moving the pawls into driving engagement with the conveyors for periodically advancing the supply of packets along the receptacles to automatically compensate for the delivery of packets therefrom.
5. A packet packaging machine as defined by claim 4 wherein each conveyor comprises an endless coil spring extending over pulleys adjacent the ends of the com panion receptacle, the spring being subjected to sufiicient tension to separate the turns and permit engagement of the lower edges of the packets between adjacent turns of the spring for advancing the packets toward the delivery end of the receptacle and for receiving the pawl to impart movement to the spring and packets.
6. A packet packaging machine comprising a plural ity of receptacles for separately containing supplies of different kinds of packeted products, a delivery conveyor, means for selectively transferring packets from the receptacles to the conveyor in segregated groups each containing a variable predetermined number of the selected packets, means for periodically actuating the conveyor to advance the segregated groups in succession to a receiver, transfer means for feeding the groups to the receiver without disturbing the relation of the packets within each group, said receiver comprising a trough having a displaceable abutment against which the packets may be held in upright position, means for directing the groups from the delivery conveyor into the receiver successively without disturbing the orderly arrangement thereof, and a plunger operable in timed relation to the movement of the groups into the receiver for advancing the packets along the trough.
7. A packet packaging machine comprising a plurality of receptacles for separately containing supplies of ditferent kinds of packeted products, a delivery conveyor, means for selectively transferring packets from the receptacles to the conveyor in segregated groups each containing a predetermined number of the selected packets, means for periodically actuating the conveyor, a receiver positioned to receive the packets from the conveyor, transfer means for moving the groups of packets successively from flatwise stacked position upon the conveyor to vertically disposed positions within the receiver, and means for advancing the groups along the receiver.
8. A packet packaging machine as defined by claim 7 wherein the means for advancing the groups along the receiver comprises a plunger actuated in timed relation to the advance of successive groups of packets to the receiver, said plunger being arranged to urge the packets to approximately perpendicular position within the receiver and to adavnce the groups along the receiver.
9. A packet packaging machine as defined by claim 8 provided with detents reciprocable in timed relation to the operation of the plunger and arranged to extend into the receiver from opposite sides thereof to support the packets therein in upright position while the plunger is withdrawn to admit a succeeding group.
10. A packet packaging machine as defined by claim 7 wherein the transfer means comprises a rotor actuated in timed relation to the conveyor and provided with arms movable to engage the groups of packets while stacked flatwise upon the conveyor by inward lateral movement into contact with the end edges of the packets as they approach the delivery end of the conveyor, said arms being movable to transfer the groups bodily along an arcuate path into edgewise supported position within the receiver.
11. In a packet packaging machine of the character described, a packet selecting mechanism comprising a plurality of suction arms mounted for oscillating movement in line with corresponding supply receptacles containing packets of different kinds of products, a like number of actuating arms mounted for oscillating movement upon an axis spaced from the axis of movement of the suction arms, a rotatable crank, a crank arm connecting the crank and the actuating arms for translating rotation of the crank to oscillating movement of the actuating arms, a detent upon each suction arm, a latch mounted upon each actuating arm and arranged to engage and disengage the detent of the corresponding suction arm, and means electrically controlled through the medium of a punched card for selectively actuating the suction arms through predetermined numbers of delivery strokes for each cycle of operation.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS