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Publication numberUS3017025 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 16, 1962
Filing dateApr 26, 1960
Priority dateApr 26, 1960
Publication numberUS 3017025 A, US 3017025A, US-A-3017025, US3017025 A, US3017025A
InventorsWilliam F Stephen
Original AssigneeWestern Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for distributing an article to one of several receiving locations
US 3017025 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

x t 0 MW 7 1 Qw U .m 3 e m 0 s 5 L C I m A N A G N I w B m T Jan. 16, 1962 w. F. STEPHEN APPARATUS FOR DIS om: OF SEVERAL RECEIVING LOCATIONS Flled Aprll 26, 1960 INVENTOR. W. F. STEPHEN 5 BY (f z.

ATTORNEY 3/ rf /a2 Jan. 16,

W. APPARATUS FOR D ONE OF SEVER Filed April 26, 1960 F. STEPHEN 3,017,025 ISTRIBUTING AN ARTICLE TO AL RECEIVING LOCATIONS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.

: W F STEPHEN fgftmk ATTORNEY Jan. 16, 1962 w F STEPHEN 3,017,025

APPARATUS FOR IDISITRIBUTING AN ARTICLE TO ONE OF SEVERAL RECEIVING LOCATIONS Filed April 26. 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 I NVENT0R. W F STEPHEN A 7' TORNEV Jan. 16, 1962 w. F. STEPHEN 3,017,025 APPARATUS FOR DISTRIBUTING AN ARTICLE TO ONE OF SEVERAL RECEIVING LOCATIONS Filed April 26, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 FIG. 6

INVENTOR W. F. STEPHEN ATTORNEY Jan. 16, 1962 w. F. STEPHEN 3,017,025

APPARATUS FOR DISTRIBUTING AN ARTICLE TO ONE OF SEVERAL RECEIVING LOCATIONS Filed April 26. 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. W F STEPHEN ATTORNEY BfilZfiZS Patented Jan. 16, 1962 ice APIPARATUS FQER DlSTRlBUTlNG AN ARTKCLE T @NE 0F SEVERAL RECEIVING LGCATIONS William F. Stephen, Eirnwood Patric, 11L, assignor to Western Electric Company, incorporated, New York,

N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Apr. 25, 1960, Ser. No. 24,767 (Ilairns. (Cl. 269-81) The present invention relates generally to apparatus for distributing an article to one of several receiving locations, and more particularly to apparatus for distributing a series of articles into a group of receptacles in accordance with the value of a measured physical characteristic of the articles.

In various manufacturing processes, it is often desired to distribute an article (particularly a series of advancing articles) to one of several receiving locations such as receptacles, work stations, or conveyors.

Accordingly, a general object of the present invention is to provide new and improved apparatus for distributing an article to one of several receiving locations.

A related object of the invention is to provide new and improved apparatus for distributing each article in a series of advancing articles to a selected one of a group of receiving locations such as receptacles, work stations, or conveyors.

In the manufacture or processing of various types of articles, it is desirable to measure or test a series of the articles for some physical characteristic (such as weight, size, color, electrical resistance, etc.), and then to sort out or distribute the articles into a group of receptacles or receivers in accordance with the value of the measured physical characteristic.

Accordingly, a more specific object of the invention is to provide new and improved apparatus for distributing a series of articles into a group of receptacles in accordance with the value of a measured physical characteristic of the articles.

In the manufacture of deposited carbon resistors in the telephone industry, small cylindrical resistors are provided having, for example, a length of inch and a diameter of /8 inch. These resistors are relatively fragile and are formed with a ceramic core, a thin layer of carbon applied to the core by the decomposition of hydrocarbon gases, and a conducting layer of silver paint at the ends thereof. In the manufacture of such resistors, the resistance value of the individual resistors in any one batch will vary somewhat from one resistor to the next, substantially all of the resistors being usable for one purpose or another. However, it is desirable to test the resistors to determine the resistance of each, and then to sort the resistors into a number of groups having predetermined maximum and minimum values of resistance.

A specific object of the invention is to provide new and improved apparatus for sorting a batch of deposited carbon resistors into a number of groups of resistors having predetermined maximum and minimum values of resistance.

Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus for sorting such resistors into groups and then distributing the groups into appropriate receptacles automatically and at a high rate of speed consistent with the fragility of the resistors; for example, at a rate of 175 resistors per minute or higher.

With the foregoing and other objects in view, an apparatus for distributing an advancing article to one of several receiving locations, in accordance with certain aspects of the invention, may include a plurality of selector units each having a bore for passing the article from one unit to the next and an auxiliary passageway for pass ing the article to an associated one of the receiving locations. In addition, means are provided for moving each selector unit between a first position where the bore thereof aligns with the advancing article to pass the article therethrough to the next unit and a second position where the auxiliary passageway thereof aligns with the advancing article to pass the article to the associated receiving location.

Preferably, the articles form a series and are distributed into a group of receptacles in accordance with the value of a measured physical characteristic thereof. In this instance, the articles are advanced one at a time into the row of selector units and, prior to each advancing operation, that one of the selector units is operated which distributes the next successive article to the receptacle corresponding to the value of the measured physical characteristic of the article. It is also preferred to provide a battle between each selector unit and the upper end of each receptacle, the bafiles being designed to slow down the articles and absorb the initial impacts of the articles with the baffles.

According to a first specific embodiment of apparatus according to the invention, the selector units are composed of spaced stationary guide blocks and pivotable selector blocks mounted above the guide blocks and normally resting thereon. The normally aligned bores are formed in the selector blocks, and each selector block may be pivoted away from the associated guide block to an operated position where a curved passageway for passing the articles to the receiving locations is defined between the selector block and the guide block, the spaces between two guide blocks constituting a continuation of the pas sageway.

According to a second specific embodiment of apparatus according to the invention, the selector units comprise unitary selector blocks having both straight bores for passing the articles through the row of selector blocks and curved passageways formed entirely therewithin. Each curved passageway is provided with an entrance portion which becomes aligned with the bores of the remaining selector blocks each time a particular selector block is moved to the operated position.

Other objects, advantages and aspects of the invention will appear from the following detailed description of specific examples and embodiments thereof, when taken in conjunction with the appended drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view, with portions broken away, of a complete apparatus for handling deposited carbon resistors, which includes a distributing mechanism according to a first specific embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view of a transfer wheel taken generally along the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged front view, with portions broken away, of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1, illustrating particularly the distributing mechanism;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical section through the distributing mechanism, taken generally along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged plan view, with portions broken away, of a portion of the distributing mechanism shown in FIG. 3, taken generally along the line 55 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary vertical section taken generally along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary front view with portions broken away which corresponds generally to FIG. 3, but which illustrates a distributing mechanism in accordance with a second specific embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary vertical section taken generally along the line 88 of FIG. 7; and

FIG. 9 is an enlarged detail perspective view of a selector block in accordance with the second embodiment of the invention.

Referring now in detail to the drawings and in particular to PEG. 1, a complete apparatus for handling deposited carbon resistors is illustrated, including a distributing mechanism in accordance with a first specific embodiment of the invention that is designated generally by the numeral 10. The distributing mechanism 10 is designed for distributing or diverting a series of deposited carbon resistors of the type described hereinbefore into selected ones of a group of receptacles or trays. Six trays are shown and are designated by the numerals 11 through 16.

Each individual resistor in the series is to be tested to determine the resistance thereof, as by or 1% steps, and is then to be distributed into an appropriate one of the trays 11 through 16 in accordance with the value of the resistance. For example, with a batch of resistors expected to have a mean value of about 112 ohms, using 5% steps, the tray 11 is designed to receive all resistors having resistance values between 100 and 105 ohms; the tray 12, between 105 and 110.25 ohms; the tray 13, between 110.25 and 115.76 ohms; the tray 14, between 115.76 and 121.55 ohms; the tray 15, between 121.55 and 127.63 ohms; and the last tray 16, those resistors having resistance values either below 100 ohms or above 127.63 ohms. In practice, the number of the trays may be varied in accordance with the number of classifications into which it is desired to sort the resistors, and the maximum/minimum range of resistances for each tray may be set at any desired limits. Some times it is convenient to first sort the resistors into broad resistance groups (as 5% steps) and then re-sort each broad group in a second pass through the apparatus into narrow groups (as 1% steps).

Overall arrangement 0] the resistor-handling apparatus The complete apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1 includes a Syntron vibratory feed unit, designated generally by the numeral 17, having a bowl 18 into which the resistors are placed in random fashion. The Syntron unit 17 orients the resistors and advances them in a continuous train along an upwardly spiralling track formed around the bowl 18 and through an outlet tube 19 to a sizing gage designated generally by the numeral 21. The gage 21 is provided with a gap 22 through which broken or undersize resistors pass out of the system.

From the sizing gage 21, the resistors are advanced through a delivery tube 23 by a Venturi feed unit, designated generally by the numeral 24, to a rotary indexing transfer wheel designated generally by the numeral 26. A photocell unit, designated generally by the numeral 27, is provided along the delivery tube 23 for detecting occasions when the delivery tube is not filled with resistors between the transfer wheel 26 and the photocell unit 27. When resistors are absent in the delivery tube 23 opposite the photocell unit 27, that unit precludes further rotation of the transfer wheel 26 until such time as sufficient additional resistors have been supplied by the Syntron unit 17 and the Venturi feed unit 24 to refill the delivery tube 23 up to the photocell unit 27. Additional information with respect to the construction and operation of the resistor-feeding elements 17 through 27 may be obtained from applicants related co-pending application, Serial No. 10,215, filed February 23, 1960, now US. Patent 2,993,737, issued July 25, 1961.

The transfer wheel 26 is intermittently rotated by an indexing motor 28 and is of a type having a plurality of resistor-receiving seats or bores 29-29 (FIG. 2) provided at equally spaced intervals near the outer periphery thereof. Preferably, the wheel 26 is of a suitable nonconductive plastic material such as Lucite. Each time the wheel 26 is indexed, an empty one of the seats 29-29 is moved into an uppermost or loading position X in alignment with the delivery tube 23, at which time a resistor 30 is forced by the Venturi feed unit 24 into such uppermost seat 29. The wheel 26 is positioned between 4 a pair of backing plates 31 and 32 so that the resistors are retained within the seats 29-29 as the wheel 26 is rotated intermittently in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 2, to carry the resistors 30-30 in the seats 29-29 to a lowermost or unloading position Y.

As the wheel is indexed between the positions X and Y, an electrical testing and controlling mechanism designated generally by the numeral 33 operates to determine the resistance value (by which is meant the maximum/ minimum limits) of each resistor in the series and to operate the distributing mechanism 10 so as to distribute each resistor in the series into that one of the trays 11 through 15 which corresponds with the measured value of the resistance. The testing and controlling mechanism 33 is described in detail in a related copending application of Raymond W. Brown, Serial No. 24,832, filed April 26, 1960, and assigned to the assignee of the present application.

As the transfer wheel 26 carries each resistor 30 in the series to the lowermost position Y (also illustrated in FIG. 3), each resistor 30 is ejected from the associated seat 29 and is advanced into the distributing mechanism 10 by a propelling mechanism designated generally by the numeral 34. The propelling mechanism 34 includes a jet of compressed air 36 (FIG. 3) that ejects the resistor 30-30 from the seats 29-29 and urges them into an entrance end 37 of a second Venturi feed unit designated generally by the numeral 38. The Venturi feed unit 38 is also constructed in accordance with the principles of applicants above-mentioned application, and is effective to propel the resistors, one at a time as supplied by the transfer wheel 26, from right to left as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 3 into the distributing mechanism 10.

In practice, the Venturi unit 38, the electrical testing and controlling mechanism 33, the indexing motor 28, and the distributing mechanism 10 are arranged to handle the resistors 30-30 at a rate of about per minute. Even faster rates, up to at least about 300 articles per minute, could readily be achieved except that the relatively fragile nature of deposited carbon resistors limits the rate of operation in accordance with the speed at which the resistors may safely be propelled through the distributing mechanism 10.

First specific embodiment The distributing mechanism 10 according to the first specific embodiment of the invention is best illustrated in FIGS. 3 through 6, and includes a plurality of pivotable selector blocks designated generally by the numerals 41-41. The blocks 41-41 are mounted in a horizontal row, as viewed in FIG. 3, and each block 41 is provided with a straight circular bore 42 of sufiicient size to pass the resistors 30-30 therethrough. The blocks 41-41 are normally positioned so that all of the bores 42-42 are in direct horizontal alignment along the line of advancement of the resistors 30-30, so that the resistors 30-30 may be propelled by the second Venturi feed unit 3 8 through the aligned bores 42-42 of all selector blocks 41-41 that are in the normal position at any time.

A mechanism is provided, designated generally by the numeral 43, for pivoting each of the selector blocks 41-41 from the normal position (illustrated in FIG. 3 with respect to the first, second, fourth and fifth blocks) to an operated position (illustrated with respect to the third block) where the bore 42 is misaligned with respect to those of the selector blocks 41-41 remaining in the normal position.

As best illustrated in FIG. 3, a plurality of spaced, stationary guide blocks 44-44 are provided, one of which is below each of-the selector blocks 41-41. The guide blocks 44-44 are formed with parallelly curved sides 46 and 47 so that a plurality ofdownwardly curved auxiliary passageways 48-48 are defined between adjacent pairs of the spaced guide blocks 44-44. The passageways 48-48 are sufficiently large to pass the resistors 30-30 therethrough, and the trays 11 through 16 are positioned one below each of the passageways 48-48 so as to receive the resistors 30-30 therefrom.

Each of the selector blocks 41-41 is formed with a curved under surface 49 that is spaced from and is generally parallel to a curved upper surface 51 of the associated guide block 44 when each selector block 41 has been moved to the operated position. The space between the curved surfaces 49 and 51 constitutes a continuation of an entrance portion for an associated one of the passageways 48-48. In the normal position, each selector block 41 rests on and is stopped by an associated one of the guide blocks 44-44 so as to close 011 the passageways 48-48.

With this arrangement, each resistor 30 in the series passes through the straight bores 42-42 of all selector blocks 41-41 that are in the normal position until it approaches a selector block 41 that has been pivoted to the operated position, after which the resistor passes downward along the curve passageway 48 associated with the operated selector block 41 to the associated one of the receptacles 11 through 15. If none of the selector blocks 41-41 has been pivoted (indicating that the re sistance Value is either above or below the outermost limits associated with the trays 11 through 15), then the resistor 30 proceeds down an end passageway 52 to the last receptacle 16.

A baffle designated generally by the numeral 53 is preferably provided between the bottom of each of the passageways 48-48 and the upper end of the associated one of the trays 11 through 16. One of the baffles 53-53 is shown in cross section in FIG. 4, and consists of a block 54 of a relatively soft material, such as wood, having a tortuous channel 56 leading downward to the associated tray 15 and designed to slow down the resistor 30. An insert 57 of resilient material, such as Teflon, is provided directly below the passageway 48 so as to absorb the initial impact of the falling resistor 30 with the bafiie 53. The trays 11 through 16 are made of a suitable relatively soft material, such as Lucite, which will tend not to damage the falling resistors 30-30.

Each of the pivoting mechanisms 43-43 is mounted within a housing 58 of a main supporting table 59 for the distributing mechanism and includes a shaft 61, best illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. The shaft 61 is rotatably mounted in a pair of spaced bushings 62-62, which are fixed in the housing 58, and is threaded at its right end (FIG. 4) into a tapped sleeve 63 that is formed integrally with the selector block 41 and projects therefrom. An armature plate 64 of a coil 66 is provided for each selector block 41, each plate 64 having a pair of tabs 67-67 that are secured to the associated shaft 61 so as to rotate the shaft 61 and thus pivot the associated selector block 41 in response to movement of the armature plate 64.

Each armature plate 64 is normally urged to an upper position spaced from the associated coil 66 by a tension spring 68 having one end connected to the plate 64 and the other end connected to a fixed pin 69. Each spring 68 exerts a biasing force tending to pivot the associated plate 64, shaft 61 and selector block 41, as a unit, in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIGS. 3 and 6 to the normal position where the selector block 41 rests on and is stopped by the associated guide block 44.

Prior to the propulsion of each resistor 30 into the distributing mechanism 10 (in those cases where it is desired to distribute the next resistor 30 into one of the first five trays 11 through a selected one of the five coils 66-66 is energized (as governed by the electrical testing and controlling mechanism 33) so as to quickly clamp the associated armature plate 64 to the upper surface of the coil 66, thus pivoting the associated selector block 41 to the operated position. After each resistor 30 in the series has passed to the selected one of the receptacles 11 through 15 (as governed by a timer forming a portion of the electrical testing and controlling mechanism 33), the operated coil 66 is de-energized whereafter the spring 68 functions to quickly return the operated selector block 41 to the normal position in preparation for the next distributing operation.

Second specific embodiment A distributing mechanism in accordance with a second specific embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 and is designated generally by the numeral 70. The distributing mechanism 70 is preferably utilized in combination with the auxiliary mechanisms previously described, such as an intermittently rotating transfer wheel 26, a Venturi feed unit 38, and bathe members 53-53 leading to a plurality of receptacles 11 through 16 (not shown in FIGS. 7 through. 9 but identical to those shown in FIGS. 1 and 4).

The distributing mechanism 70 includes a plurality of selector blocks designated generally by the numerals 71-71, one of which is shown in detail in FIG. 9, mounted in a horizontal row one above each bafiie 53. Each of the selector blocks 71-71 is formed with a straight circular bore 72 therethrough of sufficient size to pass the resistors 30-30. The selector blocks 71-71 are normally positioned so that all of the straight bores 72-72 are in alignment to pass the resistors 30-30 through the row of selector blocks 71-71.

Each selector block 71 is further provided with an auxiliary passageway '73 therethrough having an entrance portion 74 along one side thereof (that side which faces the advancing resistors 30-30) close to the straight bore 72. Each pasasgeway 73 curves downward through the associated block 71 so as to terminate at the bottom of the block 71 at a point substantially in alignment with the associated receptacle; that is, in the specific embodirnent illustrated, in vertical alignment with the resilient insert 57 of the associated bafile 53. In order to facilitate manufacture of the blocks 71-71, the passageway 73 may be cut in an outer surface of a main portion of the block 71, with a thin cover plate 75 being secured to the main portion to enclose the passageway 73.

A mechanism is provided, designated generally by the numeral 76, for moving each selector block 71 from the normal position (designated 71-A in FIG. 8) to an operated position (designated 71B) where the entrance portion 74 of the curved passageway 73 thereof aligns with the straight bores 72-72 of the selector blocks 71-71 remaining in the normal position. With this arrangement, each resistor 30 in the series passes through the straight bores 72-72 of all selector blocks 71-71 that are in the normal position 71-A until it approaches a selector block 71 that has been moved to the operated position 71-B, after which the resistor 30 passes downward along the curved passageway 73 of the operated selector block 71 to the associated bafile 53 and receptacle.

The block-moving mechanism 76 includes a plurality of generally conventional fluid cylinders 77-77, each having a piston rod 78 that may be moved to either of two positions depending on the state of energization of an associated solenoid'operated valve (not shown). A clevis 79 is secured to the free end of each piston rod 78 and is connected by means of a pin 81 to a tab 82 formed at the upper end of an associated one of the blocks 71-71. All of the selector blocks 71-71 are mounted for free pivoting movement near the lower left-hand corners thereof, as viewed in FIG. 8, on an elongated pivot pin 83. The pivot pin 83 is secured between a pair of fixed supports 84-84 (one of which is shown in FIG. 7) on the tab-1e 59. Thus, when one of the piston rods 78-78 is moved, an associated one of the selector blocks 71-71 will be pivoted accordingly about the pin 83.

Each piston rod 78 is normally retracted within the cylinder 77 so that the associated block 71 is pivoted to the normal position 71-A, which is inclined in a clockwise direction :from the vertical as viewed in FIG. 8. In

order to insure precise alignment of the bores 72-72 in the normal position, the blocks 7l71 are positively stopped in the normal position by a bevelled surface 86 of an elongated stopping block 87 that is mounted on the table 59. Each time one of the resistors 30--30 is to be propelled into the distributing mechanism 74 a preselected one of the cylinders 7777 is actuated to advance the piston rod 78, thus pivoting the associated selector block 71 to the operated position 71B, which is substantially upright as illustrated in FIG. 8.

'Each selector block 71 is positively stopped in the operated position by an associated one of a plurality of adjustable stopping pins 888 8 (FIG. 8) that are mounted in an elongated block 89 on the table 59. The position of each stopping pin 88 is regulated by turning an adiusting screw $1 so as to enable the associated pin 88 to stop the associated block 71 at that point where the entrance aperture 74 of the passageway '73 aligns precisely with the bores 72-72 of those blocks 71-71 that remain in the normal position it-A. In order to facilitate entry of the resistors and obviate the effect of slight misalignments, the entrance portion 74 of each block 71 may be flared or. made oversize.

While various specific examples and embodiments of the invention have been described in detail hereinabove, it will be obvious that various modifications may be made from the specific details described without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

The phrase selector unit is intended to be generic to both the unitary selector blocks 7171 of the second specific embodiment and the co-operating combination of pivoted selector blocks 41-41 and spaced guide blocks 4444 of the first specific embodiment.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for distributing a series of articles into particular ones of a group of receptacles, which comprises a plurality of selector units mounted in a horizontal row one above each receptacle, each selector unit having a straight horizontal bore of sufficient size to pass the articles therethrough, said selector units being normally positioned so that all of the straight bores are in alignment to pass the articles through the row of selector units; means for moving at least a portion of each selector unit to an operated position where the straight bore thereof is misaligned with respect to the straight bores of the selector units remaining in the normal position, said selector units being further provided with a plurality of curved passageways, each curving downward so as to terminate at a point in alignment with an associated one of the receptacles and each having an entrance portion which becomes aligned with the straight bores of the selector units remaining in the normal position each. time an associated selector unit is moved to the operated position; means for propelling the articles one at a time into the row of selector units along the line of the straight bores in the normal position, whereby each article in the series passes through the straight bores of all selector units that are in the normal position until it approaches a selector unit that has been moved to the operated position, after which the article passes downward to the associated receptacle through the curved passageway associated with the operated selector unit; and a bafile provided between the bottom of each selector unit and the upper end of each receptacle, each baffle having a tortuous channel designed to slow down the articles and a resilient insert designed to absorb the initial impact of the article with said baffle.

2. Apparatus for distributing a series of articles into particular ones of a group of receptacles, which comprises a plurality of spaced stationary guide blocks mounted in a horizontal row above the receptacles, each guide block having parallelly curved sides and a curved upper surface constituting a continuation of one of the curved sides, said curved surfaces defining a downwardly curved passageway between each adjacent pair of guide blocks in the row capable of passing the articles therethrough, the receptacles being mounted one below each passageway so as to receive the articles therefrom; a plurality of pivotable selector blocks mounted in a horizontal row one above each guide block, each selector block having a straight bore formed horizontally therethrough of sufficient size to pass the articles and having a curved under surface; means for biasing each selector block to a normal position where it rests on and is stopped by a portion of the upper surface of the associated guide block, in which position all of the straight bores are in alignment to pass the articles through the row of selector blocks; means for propelling the articles into the row of selector blocks along the line of the straight bores in the normal position, said selector blocks being pivoted at the end thereof remote from the propelling means for movement in a vertical plane; and means actuated prior to the advancement of each article in the series for pivoting one of said selector blocks against the action of said biasing means to an operated position where the curved under surface of the selected block is spaced from the curved upper surface of the associated guide block, the various blocks and pivoting means being so constructed and arranged that in the operated position the curved under surface of each selector block becomes aligned with the advancing articles and co-operates with the curved upper surface of the associated guide block to define a continuation of and entrance portion for an associated one of the passageways; whereby each article in the series passes through the straight bores of all selector blocks that are in the normal position until it approaches a selector block that has been pivoted to the operated position, after which the article passes downward along the curved passageway associated with that selector block to the associated receptacle.

3. The apparatus as recited in claim 2, wherein the pivoting means for each selector block comprises a rotatable shaft secured to the selector block so as topivot that block on rotation of said shaft, an armature plate secured to said shaft for rotating the same upon movement of said armature plate, and a coil for attracting said armature plate thereto when energized to quickly pivot the selector block to the operated position.

4. The apparatus as recited in claim 2, wherein a baflie is provided between the bottom of each guide block and the upper end of each receptacle, each baffle having a tortuous channel designed to slow down the articles and a resilient insert designed to absorb the initial impact of the article with said baffle.

5. Apparatus for distributing a series of articles into particular ones of a group of receptacles, which comprises a plurality of selector blocks mounted in a horizontal row one above each receptacle, each selector block having a straight bore formed horizontally therethrough of sufficient size to pass the articles, said selector blocks being normally positioned so that all of the straight bores are in alignment to pass the articles through the row of selector blocks, each selector block being further provided with an auxiliary passageway therethrough having an entrance portion along one side of the selector block close to the straight bore and curving downward so as to terminate at the bottom of the block at a point substantially in alignment with an associated receptacle; means for moving each selector block to an operated position Where the entrance portion of the curved passageway thereof aligns with the straight bores of the selector blocks remaining in the normal position; means for propelling the articles into the row of selector blocks along the line of the straight bores in the normal position, whereby each article in the series passes through the straight bores of all selector blocks that are in the normal position until it approaches a selector block that has been moved to the operated position, after which the article passes downward to the associated receptacle through the 10 curved passageway of the operated selector block; and a References Cited in the file of this patent baflle provided between the bottom of each selector block and the upper end of each receptacle, each bafile UNITED STATES PATENTS having a tortuous channel designed to slow down the 9 ,41 Earl Nov. 17, 1908 articles and a resilient insert designed to absorb the ini- 5 ,468,843 Sustem May 3, 1949 ial impact of the article with said bafile. 2,7 1,329 Schwartz May 7, 1957

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3148775 *Aug 30, 1962Sep 15, 1964Western Electric CoApparatus for feeding parts
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US3868148 *Apr 23, 1973Feb 25, 1975Tangen DrivesTrunnion bearing feeder
US4239435 *May 16, 1979Dec 16, 1980White Machine Company, Inc.Apparatus and method for assemblying randomly arranged articles
US4694964 *Oct 8, 1986Sep 22, 1987Ekkehard UeberreiterDevice for conveying components particularly integrated chips, from an input magazine to an output magazine
US4724965 *Oct 15, 1986Feb 16, 1988Willberg Hans HeinrichDevice for conveying components, particularly integrated chips, from an input magazine to an output magazine
US5141094 *Jan 22, 1991Aug 25, 1992White Conveyors, Inc.Apparatus for unloading articles
US5193686 *Jan 22, 1991Mar 16, 1993White Conveyors, Inc.Apparatus for loading articles
US5351803 *Apr 15, 1993Oct 4, 1994White Conveyors, Inc.Apparatus and method for retrieving articles
US5657851 *Jul 19, 1995Aug 19, 1997White Conveyors, Inc.Powered storage rail for transporting articles
US5660261 *Jul 19, 1995Aug 26, 1997White Conveyors, Inc.Single latch loader and method for loading
US5687850 *Jul 19, 1995Nov 18, 1997White Conveyors, Inc.Conveyor system with a computer controlled first sort conveyor
US5925562 *Jun 7, 1995Jul 20, 1999IroriRemotely programmable matrices with memories
US5961923 *Sep 30, 1996Oct 5, 1999IroriThe matrix materials are those that are used in as supports in solid phase chemical and biochemical syntheses, immunoassays and hybridization reactions.
US6017496 *Sep 6, 1996Jan 25, 2000IroriMatrices with memories and uses thereof
US6025129 *Dec 5, 1995Feb 15, 2000IroriRemotely programmable matrices with memories and uses thereof
US6100026 *Jun 10, 1996Aug 8, 2000IroriMatrices with memories and uses thereof
US6284459Sep 5, 1996Sep 4, 2001Discovery Partners InternationalSolid support matrices with memories and combinatorial libraries therefrom
US6329139Aug 11, 1997Dec 11, 2001Discovery Partners InternationalAutomated sorting system for matrices with memory
WO1998015825A2 *Oct 7, 1997Apr 16, 1998IroriMatrices with memories in automated drug discovery and units therefor
Classifications
U.S. Classification209/574, 209/925, 209/933, 209/906, 209/941
International ClassificationB07C5/36, B07C5/344
Cooperative ClassificationY10S209/933, Y10S209/941, B07C5/36, Y10S209/906, B07C5/344, Y10S209/925
European ClassificationB07C5/344, B07C5/36