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Publication numberUS3057515 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 9, 1962
Filing dateMay 17, 1961
Priority dateMay 17, 1961
Publication numberUS 3057515 A, US 3057515A, US-A-3057515, US3057515 A, US3057515A
InventorsLoeser Donald B
Original AssigneePaper Machinery Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cup feeder
US 3057515 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

D. B. LOESER Oct. 9, 1962 CUP FEEDER s Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 17, 1961 INVENTOR 901%440 5 406.551?

D. B. LOESER Oct. 9, 1962 CUP FEEDER 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 17, 1961 m,mhmm

Oct. 9, 1962 D. B. LOESER 3,057,515

CUP FEEDER Filed May 1'7, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. Dan/n40 5. 405552 United States Patent 3,057,515 CUP FEEDER Donald B. Loeser, Thiensville, Wis, assignor to Paper Machinery Corporation, Milwaukee, Wis, a corporation of Wisconsin Filed May 17, 1961, Ser- No. 110,812 14 Claims. (#01. 221-421) This invention relates to devices for feeding containers, such as cups for example, one at a time. Such devices are often used in conjunction with beverage dispensing machines, and it is necessary to positively eject one cup at a time without a miss. More Specifically, the feeding device provided by the present invention is used to feed containers having a rim or other projection which extends around the periphery of the cup, and this device is of the escapement action type.

It has heretofore been proposed to use escapement actions in cup feeding devices of this general character, but for one reason or another, these prior art devices have not proved to be entirely satisfactory. The spacing between the cups may vary depending on the size and taper of the cup, and the tightness of the nesting of the cups is also variable. These spacing and packing tigntness variations often cause malfunction or non-function of prior art devices, which results in the dispensing of two or more cups at one time, no cup bein dispensed at all, or uneven ejection of a cup and consequent tipping thereof.

Accordingly, the present invention provides an improved container dispensing device which positively and evenly holds, releases, and ejects each container in a stack of containers. 7

A more specific aspect'of the invention is to provide a container or cup feeding device of the above type which utilizes an improved escapement mechanism. This mechanism includes a pair of feeding heads located on diametrically opposite sides of a stack of cups to be dispensed. Each head is comprised of a pair of cup retainers which are operated by a toggle lever through lost motion connections in such a manner that one retainer positively holds the cup which is about to be dispensed until the other retainer is fully in position to hold the succeeding cup. It is only at that time that the one retainer begins to withdraw to permit dispensing of the cup. Thereafter, the first retainer again moves fully into the cup retaining position before the succeeding cup is fed thereto by withdrawal of the second retainer. In other words, there is a period of dwell when both retainers are in cup holding position so that one retainer is completely in the holding position before the other retainer begins to withdraw.

Another more specific object of the present invention is to provide a cup feeding device of the above type in which each head has a dispensing arm which travels a predetermined distance to insure positive and even dispensing of each cup. The structure and mounting of these positive ejection arms are such that regardless of the cup spacing or tightness of nesting, the cup to be discharged is positively and evenly pushed out of the device. When these arms are being moved to the starting position of their ejecting stroke, they ride harmlessly over the cup to be ejected without damage to the rim thereof. Once they have reached their starting position, they are resiliently biased between the cups and behind the rim of the cup to be dispensed, thereby placing the arms in condition for positive ejection.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will appear hereinafter as this disclosure progresses, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a cup feeder mechanism embodying the present invention;

ice

FIGURE 2 is an elevational view of the mechanism shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary elevational view of a portion of the mechanism shown in FIGURE 1 and taken generally along line 33 therein, but on an enlarged scale, and with parts shown as being broken away or in section for clarity;

FIGURE 4 is a view similar to a portion of the FIG- URE 3 illustration, but showing the position of both of the cup retainers when in the retaining position;

FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIGURE 4 but showing the retainers in still another position, namely, when the lower retainer has been retracted and prior to descent of the ejector arm;

FIGURE 6 is a plan view, partially in section, of the device as shown in FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 7 is an elevational view taken along line 77 in FIGURE 3; 7

FIGURE 8 is an elevational view, in section, taken along line 83 in FIGURE 6;

FIGURE 9 is an exploded, perspective view of certain parts of one of the feeder mechanisms;

FIGURE 10 is a perspective view of one of the slides for a retainer; and

FIGURE 11 shows a cup having two rims being fed from the inverted position.

Head Acruating Means Referring in greater detail to the drawings, the complete cup feeding mechanism comprises a pair of identical feeding heads 11 and 12 which are disposed on diametrically opposite sides of a stack of cups 13 which are to be dispensed downwardly one at a time.

As shown in FIGURES l and 2, these heads 11 and 12 are operated simultaneously and in unison through their swivel links 14, 15, respectively, carried at the outer ends of arms 16 and 17. These arms are in turn fixed to the rockshaft 18 which is oscillated through its arm 19 and its cam follower 20 riding in the cam track 21 of the reversible cam plate 22. The plate 22 is fixed to its shaft 23 which is suitably journalled in brackets 24 and driven in any suitable manner. Shaft 18 is journalled in brackets 25; all of the brackets are fixed to a mounting plate 26 that may form a part of the machine (not shown) which with the feeder is used.

Stacking Tube respectively, on an upper ring 31 and the plate 26, by

means of cap bolts 32 and 33. Tightening of these bolts fixes the vertical rods in their adjusted position so that the rim of the cups slide downwardly along the inside of therods and are guided thereby. Thus the rods are adjustable in a radial direction to vary the effective internal diameter of the tube defined by the rods.

I Adjusiability for Cap Diameter The heads 11 and 127are also adjustable in a direction toward or away from one another so as to accommodate various diameters of stacks of cups. This adjustment is made by the cap bolts 35 by means of which the heads are secured to the mounting plate 26. Bolts 35 extend through slots 36 in the plate which permit the heads to he slid relative to one another and then locked in precise position relative to the cup stack by simply tightening bolts 35.

The adjustment of the heads is permitted relative to their actuating arms 16 and 17 because of the ball and socket joint 37 which can slide on the short shaft 38 between the ends of the pairs of arms 16 and 17.

In the above manner, the mechanism can readily accommodate a considerable range of different diameter stacks of cups. Furthermore, the mechanism can be accurately adjusted relative to any one size of cups for smooth and proper operation therewith, as will appear.

Heads The heads 11 and 12 are identical in construction which results in complete interchangeability, reduction in the total number of parts necessary, and manufacturing costs. As shown in FIGURE 1, the heads are aligned at an angle, relative to their operating shaft 18, which position is necessary because of the identical nature of the heads and to permit equal vertical drive from a common shaft. Only one head will be described in detail because of the similarity of the heads.

The general operation of the mechanism thus far described is that the shaft 18 is oscillated to provide simultaneous and vertical movement of push rods 40 of the heads, which rods are pivotally connected to the lower ends of swivel links 14 and 15.

Each head comprises a pair of complementary guide members or housing portions 41 and 42 which are secured together by cap bolts 43 to provide a housing H that defines a vertical passageway 44 in which the rod 40 is guidingly reciprocable. As previously indicated, it is this housing H that is secured by bolts 35 to the mounting plate.

The housing portion 41 also defines a pair of transverse guideways 45 and 46 in which reciprocate the slides 47 and 48, respectively. These slides are identical and include a stop slot 49 on one side and a larger retracting slot 50 in the opposite side. A cap screw 51 (FIGS. 6, 7, and 8) extends through the housing and into slot 49 to limit the travel of the slide. A spring 52 (FIGS. 3 and 6) is located in the bore 53 of the slide and also acts against a housing plate 54 to thereby drive the slide into the cup retaining position, as will appear.

A toggle lever 55, in the form of a triangular plate, is slidably or rockably mounted in a vertically disposed recess 56 in the housing portion 41. Slide retracting pins 57 and 58 are fixed to the forward side of this lever and extend into their slots 50 of the slides 47 and 48. It will be noted that the diameter of these pins is less than the height of slots 50 so as to accommodate the arcuate movement of the pins relative to their slides, as the lever is rocked, by means now to be described. When the lever is in the center position (FIG. 4) the pins are located in the vertical center of their slots.

As clearly shown in FIGURE 9, the rear end of the toggle lever 55 has an aperture 60 which receives a pin 61 carried on one end of the cross arm 62. Arm 62 is secured intermediate its length by screw 63 to the lower end of the push rod 40. This cross rod is also located in recess 56 for vertical reciprocation therein and abuts against the toggle lever.

The front end of cross arm 62 has a dispenser arm 64 swingable thereon by screw 65. As clearly shown at the right side of FIGURE 3, this dispenser arm 64 is of bellcrank shape and a light spring 66 yieldingly urges the narrow front edge 67 of the arm outwardly to the cup engaging position. The outer limit of the swinging arm is determined by the stop portion 68 of the arm 62.

An adjustable stop 69 (FIG. 3) is secured to the housing and is adapted to be contacted by the dispenser arm when the latter reaches the lower limit of its travel. This stop 69 causes the edge 67 to be positively withdrawn from the cup for complete clearance therefrom at the end of the dispensing stroke. This stop is not necessary when feeding cups as shown in FIGURE 3, but is desirable, however, as shown in FIGURE 11, when feeding cups that are stacked upside down, and particularly those cups which have a second rim R2 for receiving a cup lid. In the latter case, the stop 69 insures complete clearance between the arm edge 67 and this additional rim, and the cup thereby falls at the end of the discharge stroke without the second rim R2 contacting the edge 67.

Cup engaging members 70 and 71 are adjustably secured to the front end of slides 47 and 48, respectively, by screws 72 which are threaded into the slides. Thus, the slides 47 and 48 together with their members 70 and 71 comprise a pair of cup retainers. The members 70 and 71 have horizontally extending flanges 74 that terminate in an arcuate edge. These flanges are adapted to be successively reciprocated into contact with the rims of the cups.

The vertical spacing between the retainer members 70 and 71 is adjusted by loosening screws 72, sliding the retainers the desired distance apart and then tightening the screws. More specifically, the vertical flanges of the members 70 and 71 have vertical slots which complement and receive the ridge 76 (FIG. 10) along the front end of their slides for being guided thereby and thereby the members cannot wobble or cock and their parallelism and proper relationship to the cup rim is assured.

The vertical adjustment of the retainer members is important in readily accommodating different spacing between the cups and insuring that the upper retainer member enters as nearly midway between the rims as possible, particularly when the cups are closely spaced. The cup must be held positively but not too tightly, and without precise positioning of the retainer members relative to the cup rims, malfunction of the feeder would otherwise be prevalent.

Operation As the actuating rod 40 is reciprocated, the rear end of the toggle lever 55 moves in a straight line, in a vertical direction. The front end of the toggle lever, however, is rocked back and forth causing retracting pins 57 and 58 to alternately reciprocae past one another in a generally horizontal direction, but with slight arcuate movement. As previously mentioned, it is because of this slight arcuate movement that the pins must be of smaller diameter than their slots 50.

The retainers are driven by their springs 52 to the forward, cup-retaining position (to the right as viewed in FIGS. 4, 5, and 6), during which time the retracting pin of the retainer which is being driven acts as a retarder or controls the rate of forward movement of its retainer.

The starting position is shown in FIGURE 3 wherein the stop pin 51 of the lower retainer is limiting further rightward movement thereof and retracting pin 58 is at the right end of its slot. Assume that push rod 40 now commences its upward travel during the first part of which the upper retainer is permitted to be moved to the right under influence of its spring. In other words, when a retainer is moving to the forward or cup-retaining position, its retracting pin is acting to retard it in this forward movement. The forward limit of the retainer is determined by the stop pin 51 in slot 49 which, as shown in FIGURE 5, has stopped forward movement of the retainer. At the time the retainer is stopped, however, the rear end of the toggle lever has not yet moved to its fully up position. In continuing to move to this fully up position (as shown in FIG. 5), the pin 57 moves in lost-motion fashion to the right end of the slot 50 of slide 47. Additionally, as the rear end of the toggle lever thus moves upwardly through this last portion of its upward travel the lower pin 58 retracts the lower retainer 48 to the left.

A period of non-movement of both retainers occurs, however, when the retainers are in their outermost position as shown in FIGURE 4. That is to say, a period of dwell occurs when one retainer reaches its forward limit and before theother retainer begins to withdraw, as will appear later.

Thus, as the push rod 40 moved from the lower position shown in FIGURE 3 to the upper position shown in FIGURE 5, the upper retainer moved from a fully retracted position to a fully forward position, reaching that fully forward position when the rod had moved only half way up, as shown in FIGURE 4. At the same time, the lower retainer moved from a fully forward to a fully retracted position. During this upward movement of the rod, the dispenser arm 64 was dragged harmlessly over the rim of cup C1 to a cocked position above this cup as shown in FIGURE 5, from which it will descend to positively eject the cup C1 if the latter does not fall by itself by gravity.

This upward movement of the rod has caused the lowermost cup C1 to be freed by withdrawal of the lower retainers and has caused the upper retainers to then support the remainder of the stack.

To complete the cycle, the rod then moves downwardly from the FIGURE 5 position to return to the FIGURE 3 starting position. In moving downwardly, the edge 67 of the dispenser arm clears or passes by the lower retainers before the latter move forwardly to conflict therewith. This downward movement of the rod causes the outwardly biased dispenser arm to bear downwardly on the cup rim and forcibly, evenly, and positively eject the cup if the cup has not already fallen freely by gravity after previous withdrawal of the lower retainers. This downward movement of the rod also moves pin 58 to the right, thereby permitting the spring loaded slide 48 to move to the cup retaining position for receiving the next cup C2 when the stack is released by withdrawal of the upper retainers under the influence of their retracting pins 57.

Re'sum The escapement action of the toggle actuated retainers is such that a period of dwell occurs when one retainer reaches its limit of forward travel and before the other retainer begins to withdraw. This insures positive gripping of the remainder of the stack before the lowermost cup is released and also insures positive gripping of the entire stack when it is dropped to the reloading position on the lower retainers.

This period of dwell or non-movement of either the upper or lower retainers at their cup-retaining position has proven to be very effective and reliable in positive and accurate cup dispensing.

Various modes of carrying out the invention are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the invention.

I claim:

1. Cup feeding mechanism comprising, a pair of feeding heads adapted to be located on diametrically opposite sides of a stack of cups, each head including, a pair of vertically spaced apart cup retainers slidably mounted for movement between cup-retaining and cup-releasing positions, means for resiliently biasing said retainers to ward the cup-retaining position, a lever having a lost motion connection with each retainer, and means for reciprocating a portion of said lever in a straight line whereby said lost motion connections cause said retainers to alternately slide into and out of cup-retaining position and dwell briefly when both are in said cup-retaining position.

2. Cup feeding mechanism of the type having a pair of feeding heads located on opposite sides of a stack of cups, each head including, a pair of vertically spaced apart cup retainers slidably mounted for movement between cup-retaining and cup-releasing positions, means for biasing said retainers toward the cup-retaining position, a lever having a lost motion connection with each retainer, actuating means for reciprocating a portion of said lever in a straight line whereby said lost motion connections cause said retainers to alternately slide into and out of cup-retaining position and dwell briefly when both are in said cup-retaining position, and an ejector arm carried by said actuating means for positively ejecting a cup being dispensed.

3. A feeding device for nested cups of the type having a radially extending rim, said device comprising, a pair of feeding heads adapted to be located on diametricaily opposite sides of said cups, each head including, a pair of vertically spaced apart cup retainers slidably mounted for movement between cup-retaining and cupreleasing positions, resilient means for biasing said retainers toward the cup-retaining position, a lever having a lost motion connection with each retainer, and actuating means mounted in said head and connected with said lever for shifting the latter to cause said lost motion connections to alternately slide said retainers into and out of cup-retaining position and dwell briefly when both are in said cup-retaining position.

4. A device as defined in claim 3 including drive means connected with said actuating means for simultaneously reciprocating both of said "actuating means along said stack.

5. A device as defined in claim 4 including a dispensing arm carried on said actuating means for contacting the next cup to be ejected and positively dispensing said cup when said actuating means is reciprocated in one direction.

6. A cup feeding head including, a pair of vertically spaced apart cup retainers slidably mounted for movement between cup-retaining and cup-releasing positions, means for resiliently biasing said retainers toward the cup retaining position, a lever having a lost motion connection with each retainer, and means for reciprocating a portion of said lever in a straight line whereby said lost motion connections cause said retainers to alternately slide into and out of cup-retaining position and dwell briefly when both are in said cup-retaining position.

7. A feeding head for cups having a radial rim, said head comprising, a pair of spaced apart cup retainers slidably mounted for movement between cup-retaining and cup-releasing positions, means for resiliently biasing said retainers toward the cup retaining position, a lever having a lost motion connection with each retainer, and actuating means mounted in said head and connected with said lever for shifting thereof, whereby said lost motion connections cause said retainers to alternately slide into and out of cup-retaining position and dwell briefly when both are in said cup-retaining position.

8. A cup feeding head including, a pair of vertically spaced apart cup retainers slid-ably mounted for movement between cup-retaining and cup releasing positions, means for resiliently biasing said retainers toward the cup retaining position, a toggle lever having at one end a pin and slot lost motion connection with each retainer, and actuating means pivotally connected to the other end of said lever for shifting thereof, whereby said lost motion connections cause said retainers to alternately and reciprocatingly slide into and out of cup-retaining position and dwell briefly when both are in said cup-retaining position.

9. A cup feeding head including, a pair of vertically spaced apart cup retainers slidably mounted for movement between cup-retaining and cup-releasing positions, means for resiliently biasing said retainers toward the cupretaining position, each retainer comprising a slide having a slot therein and an adjustable cup engaging member secured at one end thereof, a lever having a pair of pins, one slidable in each slot of said slide and forming a lost motion connection therewith, and means for reciprocating a portion of said lever whereby said lost motion connections cause said retainers to alternately slide into and out of cup-retaining position and dwell briefly when both are in said cup-retaining position.

10. A head for feeding nested cups one at a time and comprising, a housing, a pair of cup retainers reciprocat ingly mounted in said housing for movement into and out of cup-engaging position, means for biasing said retainers toward the cup-engaging position, an actuating member reciprocatingly mounted in said housing, a toggle lever shiftably mounted in said housing and connected With said member for being shifted thereby, and a lost motion connection between each of said retainers and the lever so that shifting of said lever causes said retainers to alternately move into cup-engaging position and simultaneously dwell briefly together in said position.

11. A head for feeding nested cups downwardly one at a time and comprising, a housing, a pair of cup retainers recipro-catingly mounted in a generally horizontal direction in said housing for movement into and out of cupengaging position, means for biasing said retainers toward the cup-engaging position, an actuating member reciprocatingly mounted in a generally vertical direction in said housing, a toggle lever shiftably mounted in said housing and pivotally connected at one end with said member for being shifted thereby, and a pin and slot lost motion connection between each of said retainers and the other end of said lever so that shifting of said lever causes said retainers to alternately move into cup-engaging position and simultaneously dwell briefly together in said position. 12. A feeding device for nested cups of the type having a radially extending rim, said device comprising, a pair of feeding heads adapted to be located on diametrically opposite sides of said cups, each head including, a housing, a pair of vertically spaced apart cup retainers slidably mounted in said housing for movement between cupretaining and cup-releasing positions, means for biasing said retainers toward the cup-retaining position, an actuating member reciprocatingly mounted in said housing, a toggle lever shiftably mounted in said housing and connected with said member for being shifted thereby, and a lost motion connection between each of said retainers and the lever so that shifting of said lever causes said retainers to alternately move into cup-engaging position and simultaneously dwell briefly together in said position.

13. A device as defined in claim 12 including drive means connected with said members for simultaneously reciprocating both of said members along said stack in the same direction.

14. A device as defined in claim 13 including a dispensing arm carried by said members for contacting the next cup to be ejected and positively dispensing said cup when said members are reciprocated in One direction.

No references cited.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3165233 *Sep 25, 1963Jan 12, 1965Maryland Cup CorpContainer feeding machine
US3255856 *Nov 13, 1963Jun 14, 1966United Shoe Machinery CorpSide seam soldering machines
US3403816 *Feb 2, 1966Oct 1, 1968Fmc CorpContainer-handling apparatus
US3426941 *Jun 14, 1966Feb 11, 1969Hoe & Co RAdjustable vertical feeder means for stacked articles
US3937361 *Jul 17, 1974Feb 10, 1976Shelley Manufacturing CompanyAdjustable self-leveling plate dispenser
US4441618 *Oct 13, 1981Apr 10, 1984Consumers Glass Company LimitedContainer chute for fast reception of nested containers
US5205390 *Sep 19, 1989Apr 27, 1993Kabushiki Kaisha Komatsu SeisakushoStock separating apparatus
US6117391 *Jun 18, 1998Sep 12, 2000Bayer CorporationIncludes nestable cup for holding sample mixtures, cup dispenser mechanism for holding and dispensing supply of cups into included sample shuttle for transporting them, and incubator for controlling temperature of cup and contents
US6881380 *Jul 26, 2000Apr 19, 2005Bayer CorporationCup handling subsystem for an automated clinical chemistry analyzer system
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/221, 221/243, 221/242, 221/298, 221/241
International ClassificationG07F13/10
Cooperative ClassificationG07F13/10
European ClassificationG07F13/10