US 3004663 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 17, 1961 L. CREOGLIO 3,004,663
FRUIT AND POTATO SORTING MACHINE Filed March 9, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Leopoldo Creog/io 1 N VEN TOR.
- 9 22 BY M m WW 3M2 Oct. 17, 1961 CREOGLIO 3,004,663
FRUIT AND POTATO SORTING MACHINE Fi led March 9, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 VYYYV Y VYXXA Leopoldo Creog/io I N VE N TOR.
.6. BY Wm t WWW Ma 3,004 663 FRUIT AND POTATO SORTING MACHWE Leopoldo 'Creoglio, 1322 N. Citrus Ave, La Hahra, Calif.
Filed Mar. 9, 1960, Ser. No. 13,741
4 Claims. (Cl. 209-91) The present invention generally relates to a sorting machine and more particularly to such'a device that will sort potates, fruit and the like as to size.
In certain articles of produce such as potatoes, apples, peaches, pears, oranges and many other fruits and the like, it is the present-day practice to sort these articles as to size so that such articles may be packaged with the articles in each individual package having the same size. This enables the seller to obtain a premium price for the highest grade product and also enables the purchaser to obtain a uniform grade or size article. In accomplishing this sorting operation, variou machines have been provided which will automatically sort the articles as to size but these machines quite often cause damage to the articles being sorted since some of them work on a vibration principle for causing movement of the articles through the machine. This has resulted in the sorting operation being carried out by hand which is quite costly and time-consuming.
Therefore, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a sorting machine which will sort articles of a type such as potatoes, fruit and the like according to their size without any damage to such articles and without requiring any manual operation except possibly for supplying the-articles to the machine in some manner and also removing the filled containers from the various discharge points of the machine.
Another object of the machine is to provide a sorting device that will not damage the articles and will rapidly move the articles through the machine for sorting at a relatively high volume rate.
Another important feature of the present invention is to provide a sorting machine in which each sorting operation is accomplished by employing a slot-like opening of a predetermined size together with a roller with spirallike grooves therein disposed at the upper edge of the slot-like opening for urging the larger articles away from the slot-like opening thereby assuring access of small articles which will pass through the slot-like opening thereby assuring that the sorting operation is efiectively carried out.
Yet another important feature of the present invention is to provide a sorting machine which is simple in construction, easy to use, efficient in operation, safe in the handling of the articles and generally inexpensive to manufacture.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of the sorting machine of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the machine;
FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal, vertical sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 3-3 of FIGURE 2 illustrating the details of construction thereof;
FIGURE 4 is a transverse vertical sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 4--4 of FIGURE 2 illustrating further structural details of the invention and especially the construction of the spiral roller disposed at the upper edge of the sizing slot; and
FIGURE 5 is a transverse, sectional view taken sub- 3,%4,6fi3 Patented Oct. 17, 1961 stantially upon a plane passing along section line 5--5 of FIGURE 2 illustrating further structural details of the invention.
Referring now specifically to the drawings, the numeral 10 generally designates the sorting machine of the present invention which includes a frame generally designated by numeral 12. The frame includes depending corner supporting legs 14 which may conveniently be of outwardly facing channel-shaped members. The channel-shaped corner legs 14 are interconnected by vertical side wall members 16. Each side wall member 16 is provided with a longitudinally extending angle iron member 18 on the inner surface thereof that is spaced above the lower edge of the side walls 16 but nearer the bottom than the top. interconnecting the angle iron members 18 and supported on the horizontal flanges thereof is a bottom plate 29 which extends longitudinally throughout the length of the angle iron members. As illustrated in FIGURE 3, the angle iron members and the bottom member 2% do not extend for the full length of the side wall members 16.
Disposed outwardly of the ends of the bottom member 26 is a pair of end cylindrical drums or rollers 22 rotatably supported by shafts 24. Encircling the drums 22 is an endless flexible conveyor belt 26 which extends completely between the side wall members 16 and completely overlies the bottom member 20. The upper run of the belt 26 slides along the top surface of the bottom 20 and actually forms a bottom for the enclosure defined by that portion of the side wall members which extends above the bottom member 20.
At one end of the frame 12 which is the entrance end of the machine, there is provided an inclined chute or hopper 28 of wire mesh material having upstanding side walls 30 thereon for guiding the articles into the machine. An inclined guide member 32 is provided for gi61iding the article toward one side of the conveyor belt 2 For driving the conveyor belt 26, an electric drive motor 34 is provided and may conveniently be supported from the frame whom a base or the like. The electric motor 34 is provided with an output speed reducer 36 driving a V-belt pulley 38. The V-belt 40 encircles the pulley 38 and also encircles the pulley 42 mounted on the shaft 24 at the discharge end of the machine. Thus, the belt 26 is driven from the discharge end thereof in that the area between the side wall members 16 at the end of the machine remote from the inclined chute 28, which end is open for discharge of all articles or foreign material that may have passed through the sorting machine.
Extending between the side wall members 16 is a plurality of transverse members 44 which are in the form oftransverse boards extending perpendicularly upwardly from the surface of the belt 26 with the lower edge of the transverse members 44 being disposed closely adjacent thereto. The transverse members 44 are arranged in zig-zag relation as illustrated in FIGURE 2 and in acute angular relation to the longitudinal axis of the machine. Each transverse member is provided with a sizing discharge slot 46 along the lower edge thereof from the end of the transverse member 44 engaged with the side wall at a point nearest the chute 28 and the slot or opening 46 extends for a distance greater than onehalf of the length of the transverse member 44. The end of the slot 46 is defined by a dividing member 48 and on the other side of the divider 48 is an enlarged discharge opening 56 extending to the other side wall member 16 for passage of all articles not passed through the slot 46 of predetermined height.
Disposed behind or in trailing relation to each of the transverse members 44 is a partition member or deflector in the form of an upstanding board 52. The board 52 has one end thereof engaged with the trailing surface 'of the transverse member 44 at the inner end of the discharge opening or slot 46 and the deflector is arranged in inclined relation to the longitudinal axis of the machine for deflecting the articles passed through the slot 46 towards the side wall member 16 which forms one edge of the discharge slot 46. These articles are all of a size not exceeding a diameter that would pass through the slot 46. These articles are discharged through the discharge opening 54 formed in the side wall members 16 and are guided outwardly by channelshaped chutes 56 or the like which are provided with means 58 such as hooks or the like for attachment of a container such as a bag or the like so that the articles may be deposited directly into such a container.
All of the articles which were too large to pass through the initial discharge slot 46 will pass through the enlarged opening 50 at the end of the transverse member 44 remote from the chute 28 and will then, come into contact with the second transverse member due to the longitudinal movement of the upper run of the conveyor belt 26. The construction of the second and third transverse members is the same and as many sorting stages may be provided as desired depending upon the increments of size required. The last transverse member 44 is not provided with an opening 50 but discharges all of the remainder of the articles that Were too large to pass through the last transverse board or member and these articles are discharged through the discharge opening 60 in the side wall member. Thus, tour sizes of articles may be obtained by providing three transverse partitions or members 44 and three partition members 52 or deflectors.
In view of the structural qualities of the products being sorted, there normally might be a tendency for such articles to stick in the discharge slots 46, especially if the article would almost go through the discharge slot. In order to prevent this and also to urge the articles transversely of the longitudinally moving conveyor belt, there is provided a roller 62 in leading relation to each discharge slot 46. The roller extends through and is journalled in one side wall member and the other end is journalled in a bracket 64. The outer end of each roller is provided with a bevel gear 66 for engagement with a bevel gear 68 on the inner surface of a. V-belt pulley 82 receiving a V-belt 84 thereon. On
one side of the machine, there is only a single drive mechanism for the machine and the V-belt 84 is engaged directly with a pulley 86 on the shaft 24 which is disposed alongside of the V-belt 42. The other end of the shaft 24- is provided with a v-b'elt pulley 88 engaged with a V-belt 9ll which extends over a V-belt pulley 92 carried by an end of one of the rollers 62. The orientation of the V-belt drive is clearly illustrated in FIGURES 1 and'Z with it being necessary that the rollers turn in opposition to the direction of movement of the conveyor belt. This will assure that the fruit or articles will be urged away from the transverse member 44. Also, the rollers 62 each have spiral flutes or grooves 92 thereon which are somewhat in the nature of a twin-grooved drill except that the grooves are relatively shallow and rounded, with no sharp edges that would damage the fruit. V
In operation, the articles are placed in the machine by any suitable means and proceed down the chute 28 and are directed by the guide member 32 toward the side wall members 16 having the leading edge of the first transverse member 44 attached thereto. Any articles of a predetermined size or below a predetermined size will pass through the initial discharge, slot 46 while all of the other articles are engaged by the initial roller 62 and are urged laterally toward the discharge opening 50 in the transverse member 44. The remainder of the articles proceed longitudinally through the machine in a step-by-step manner as just described. The articles which pass through or underthe top edge of the slot 46 are engaged by the deflector plate or board 52 and are discharged through the discharge opening 54 in the side wall member 16 for discharge into a suitable package. Thus, the articles will be efiectively sorted and any foreign material will either drop through the screen mesh 28 on the chute or be discharged from the discharge end of the conveyor belt 26. The orientation of the transverse members is disposed at an angle of to the side member 16. That is, the included angle between the side members and the rear surfaces of the transverse members 44 is 85. This has been found to be optimum to prevent the articles being sorted to roll towards the discharge opening 50 at a too rapid rate. With the transverse members 44 at an 85 angle, the 5 incline towards the discharge end will assure that each of the articles being sorted has access'to the discharge'slot 46. This is also assured by the roller 62 which will keep the articles larger than the slot 46 away from the slot 46. Thus, the articles being sorted are moved slowly laterally to provide plenty of opportunity for the passage of such articles through the slots 46.
The spiral flutes or grooves 92 on the rollers 62 are shallow and rounded and they are spread out longitudinally along the length of the roller also for purposes of assuring slow movement of the articles transversely of the transverse member 44 to assure adequate access to the slots 46.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is astollows:
1. In a sorting machine for fruit, potatoes and the like, the combination of a horizontally elongated frame including a pair of transversely spaced side walls, an endless conveyor belt supported by said frame and having its upper run disposed between said side walls, means at one end of the frame for depositing on the upper run of the conveyor articles to be sorted according to size, a plurality of transverse partitions extending between said side walls above said conveyor belt and spaced longitudinally of the latter, said partitions being provided alternately adjacent oneof the side walls with open-bottomed slots of progressively increasing height in the direction of travel of the upper run of said belt and also being provided alternately adjacent the other side wall with open-bottomed clearance passages for articles passing from one partition to the next, said side walls being provided with discharge openings spaced rearwardly from the slots in the respective partitions, and deflector rails extending from the respective partitions to said discharge openings in the respective side walls obliquely behind the respective slots.
2. The device as defined in claim 1 together with spirally fluted rollers rotatably mounted on said partitions at the upper edges of said slots therein, and means for driving said rollers in a direction to propel articles too large to pass through the respective partition slots toward the respective partition passages.
3. The device as defined in claim 2 wherein said partitions and said rollers are dimensionally related so that the flutes of the rollers project below the upper edges of the slots in the respective partitions.
4. The device as defined in claim 1 wherein said means for depositing articles on said belt includes means for de- 5 fleeting the articles laterally toward the slot in the par- ,2 8 tition first adjacent to the depositing means. ,706,
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 21 977 266,448 Fahringer Oct, 24, 1882 575,454
6 Murray Ian. 17, 1893 Schofield Mar. 26, 1929 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Mar. 26, 1914 Great Britain Feb. 19, 1946