US 3093236 A
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June 11, 1963 J. J. MOLAUGHLIN DEFLECTOR MEcHANIsM 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 21, 1959 I I l l I I I I I I I I June 11, 1963 J. J. MGLAUGHLIN DEFLEcToR MEcHANIsM Filed Dec. 21, 1959 TORNEYS United tates Patent fifice i 31193236 Patented June 11, 1963 The present invention relates to defiector mechanism which is particularly useful in connection with conveyors.
A purpose of the invention is to operate a deffector mechanism which can more reliably divert an object from one conveyor path 'to another and is less likely to w'rongly defiect an object not requiring deflection notwithstanding that objects may be traveling in close sequence on the conveyor.
A further purpose is to increase the speed at which a defiector can become effective on a conveyor and also deorease fthe speed with which a defiector can be withdrawn from a conveyor.
quence, some of the articles being closely spaced, and in such cases it is very difficult to apply a defiector to the conveyor to divert one 'object into an alternate conveyor path without the danger of either striking and improperly defiecting another object or striking and damaging another object.
The present invention provides a defiector lwhich is much less likely to improperly -divert objects, a'nd is much less likely also to improperly strike or damage articles.
The defiector of the present invention is able to advance to deflecting position in much |less time than the defiectors of the prior art, and is able to withdraw more quickly, and also to withdraw the 'defiector halves at different times.
' Thus there is much more positive assurance that desi'red 'objects 'will be deflected and undesired objects will A fu'rther purpose is to permit withdrawal of portions of a `defiector at 'different times, suitably allowing a portion of the defiector which is first encountered by an object on the conveyor to be 'first with'drawn so that it will be less likely to strike a following or preceding object.
A fu-rther purpose is to extend a defiector diagonally across a conveyor from opposite sides, and to advance and withdraw the defiector partially from one side and partially from the other side.
A further purpose is to advance and withdraw a defiector in response to the presence of a-n object on'the conveyor desirably assisted by a selector control which will predetermine whether or not the defiector will operate.
A funther purpose is to rnount defiector bodies on sliding guides, to position pulleys on Vertical axes on forward and rearward ends of the defiector bodies, and to drive belts extending around the pulleys in the same direction on a cooperating pair of defiector bodies, the belts traveling in the direction of defiection during advance and retraction of the defiector Operations.
Fur'ther purposes appear in thespecification and in the claims.
I'n the drawings -I have ch'osen to illnstrate one only of the numerous embodiments in which the invention may appear, selecting the forms shown from the standpoints of convenience in illustration, satisfactory operation, and clear demonstration of the principles involved.
FIGURE 1 is an electrical and fluid diagram useful in explaining the operation of the defiector system.
FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic top plan view of a defiector installation according to the invention applied to a conveyor.
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation of one of the defiector halves according to the invention from the position of the line 3-3 in FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary section on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 3.
FIGURE 5 is a diagrammatic top plan view of a swinging form of defiector according to the invention.
FIGURE 6 is an elevat'ion of the orank mechanism for operating the conveyor halves of FIGURE 5.
Describing in illustration and not in limitation and refcrzring to the drawings:
In the prior art, it is common to convey distributed objects of the character of packages, boxes, cartons, and other containers and the like by means of conveyors, such as generally horizontal belt and =1ive roller conveyors, from which alternate distribution paths are provided.
In conveyors of this Character it is quite possible that articles may travel in close sequence or in a regular senot be deflected and also less likelihood of damaging fragile wrappings and cartons which may be traveling on the conveyor.
The invention is applicable without special control and under individual manual operation, but in the preferred embodiment the defiector mechanism of the invention 'operates in response to the presence of an object, and also suitably in response to selection of a particular object among a sequence of objects travelling on a conveyor.
Considering first 'the mechanism of the conveyor and defiector I illustrate a suitable conveyor 20 best seen in -FIGURE 2 which has a main gone-rally horizontal conveyor path 21 traveling in the direction ofthe arrow 22, and provided with an auxiliary or diverging path 23 suitably positioned slightly below the conveyor 21 and traveling in the 'direction of the arrow 24.
A defiector 25 according to the invention is positioned diagonal-ly on the side of the line of prolongatio-n of the diverting path 23 which is remote from the approach of the articles, so that the defiect'ing component will carry lthe articles on to the auxiliary conveyor 23. The defiector'25'consists of two defiector halves 26 and 27, which are disposed in line with one another, such line extending diagonally across the main conveyor path. The defiector halves have retracted positions in which they are. at the si'de of but not above the conveyor 21 and they have advanced position shown by the dot and dash lines in FIG- URE 2 in which 'they eXtend across and substantially meet suitably near the middle of the main conveyor 21, forming a sufficiently complete obstruction across the main conveyor path to divert all articles t-raveling on the conveyor.
As best seen in FIGURES 3 and 4 each of the con- Vveyor halves i's mounted on stationary Vertical supports 28 which position sliding guides 30, which guides support and control the sliding motion of support rods 31 of the defiector frame 32.
The defiector frame at lone end carries a yoke 33 which mounts 'bearings 34 in which is journalled a suitable vertical shaft 35 on which a 'belt pulley 36 is keyed. At the 'opposite end of the defiector frame a yoke 37 mounts bearings '38 in which is journalled a suitable Vertical shaft v40 on which a belt pulley 41 is keyed. A belt 42 is threaded around the pulleys and surrounds the outside of the defiector frame extending substantially the height of the frame and 'sufiiciently close to the top of the conveyor 21 in extended position so that no article can 'pass along the conveyor without encountering the deflector belt. v i Shaft 40 =at^its upper end carries pulleys 43 which are "driven by a motor '44 mounted by a bracket 45 at the The defiector halves are moved between their retracted and advanced positions by a suitably air-actuated doubleacting cylinder 50 'mounted at one end 51 from the support 28 and having a piston and rod combination 52 which connects at the other end with the yoke 37. Air, under pressure, selectively delivered to the appropriate end of the double acting cylinder 50 will move the piston and rod assernbly 52 which, acting through yoke 37, will project or retract the defiector frame along a path defined by guides 30 mounted on supports 28.
Positioned suitably ahead of the defiector is a photoelectric illumination device 53 which provides a series of illumination paths |which transmit beams of light at a series of suitable elevations across the conveyor 21 to photo-cells '54 which are desirably connected electrically in series and which are energized from a suitable postive source of electric current at 55 through relay electromagnet 56 to ground.
Relay 56 has a normally open contact 56', which is energized in case any one of the photo-cells 54 becomes deenergized due to interruption of the light beam by an article travelling on the conveyor. The normally open contact 56' of the relay is connected electrically in series across to ground from a power source through t'he electromagnet of relay 57, lsaid relay controlling norrnally open contacts 57'. Normally open contacts \57' close every time an article is encountered on the conveyor and transmit an electrical pulse through electromagnet 58 of memory or counter unit 60 of any well-known type suitably conected from a source of current to ground through contacts 57'. At a time determined by the memory or counter unit 60, normally open contacts 61 are closed establishing that it is desired to divert a particular article by the diverter. Contacts 61 are in series from a source of current applied at l62 through solenoid 63 of solenoid valve 64 and through contacts 56' to ground. When solenoid valve 64 opens it admits hydraulic fluid, suitably air, under pressure through pipe 65 to the end of the air cylinder 50' of defiector half 26 so as to advance the defiector' half across the conveyor. As defiector half 26 advances, defiector abutment 66 on the defiector half encounters normally open micro-switch 67 which is connectcd through a suitable source of electric current and through solenoid 68 of solenoid valve 70, which opens to introduce hydraulic fluid, suitably air, through pipe 71 to air cylinder `50 of defiector 'half 27 and thus move defiector 27 forward.
At the same time that the defiector halves are moving forward and while they are forward the belts of the operative side of the deflectors are both moving in the same direction to carry the article on the conveyor 21 laterally, so that very soon after defiector half 26 has moved across its half of the conveyor, it will have diverted the article until it is chiefly or entirely engaging defiector half 27. At this stage therefore defiector half 26 can to advantage retract so that it will not actually be in position across the conveyor to divert a succeding article.
To accomplish this, rnicro-switch 72 is provided on defiector half 27 so that it will normally open when the trailing edge of the 'article passes the photo cell, and after contact with the package terminates will close and energize solenoid 73 connected through a source of electric current and Operating solenoid valve mechansm 74 which disconnects the air pressure from the forward-Operating end of the cylinder '50 and connects air pressure to the retracting end of the cylinder so as to retract diverter 27 and preferably at the same speed at which the belt is travelling longitudinally and the package is moving diagonally.
While the form of FIGURES 1 to 4 is preferred in which the conveyor halves project out in prolongation of their length to the position which they are to achieve on the conveyor, it Will be evident that in some cases it will be preferable to use a swinging mechansm as shown in FIGURES and 6. In this form the conveyor half 26' 4 swings across the conveyor in a direction opposed to the motion of the conveyor 21 in order to achieve its operating position, while the conveyor half 27' swings across the conveyor in a direction with the conveyor motion in order to achieve its Operating position.
Both conveyor halves are mounted on pivot shafts 75, and the shafts swing back and forth under the action of cranks 76 and connecting rods 77 of any suitable Well known Character.
When the defiector halves have performed their function, they retract to the solid line position shown in FIG- URE 5. ,rr
In view of my invention and disclosure variations and modifications to meet individual whim or particular need will doubtless become evident to others skilled in the art, to obtain all or part of the benefits of my invention without copying the structure shown, and I therefore, claim all such insofar as they fall within the reasonable spirit and scope of my claims.
Having thus described my invention what I claim as new and desire to secure 'by Letters Patent is:
1. In a defiector adapted for use with a conveyor, a first set of guides mounted on one side of the conveyor, a second set of guides mounted on the opposite side of the conveyor, the two sets of guides being in line and disposed diagonally of the conveyor, a defiector 'body mounted on each of the sets of guides having a retracted position outside the limits of the conveyor and an extended position above the conveyor, pulleys at opposite ends of the defiector bodies on Vertical axes, belts around the pulleys, means for driving both belts with the stretch of belt on the -side of the defiectors toward an object approachng 'on the conveyor travelling in the same direction, and means for advancing and retracing the defiectors.
2. In a defiector adapted for use with a conveyor, a pair of defiector halves each of which is pivoted on a generally Vertical axis on an opposite side of the conveyor, each of the defiector halves having a retracted position at the side of a conveyor and a forward position at which it extends diagonally across the conveyor in prolongation of the other defiector half, and means for swnging the defiector halves between their two limiting positions.
3. A defiector of claim 2, in combination with pulleys at opposite ends of the defiector halves on Vertical axes, belts extending around the pulleys and means for driving the belts.
4. In a defiector mechansm for use with a conveyor, a pair of defiector halves on opposite sides of the conveyor, directed diagonally across the conveyor in prolongaton of one another, each of the defiector halves having a forward position in which it extends partially across the conveyor and a retracted position which is clear -of the conveyor, means for retracting the defiector halves, said means beginning movement of the half which is more forwardly located on the conveyor prior to the defiector half which is more rearwardly located on the conveyor, the two defiector halves in their extended positions cooperating to obstruct the path across the conveyor and in their retracted positions cooperating to remain clear of the conveyor, and means for moving the defiector halves between their retracted positions and their extended positions.
5. In a defiector adapted for use with a conveyor, a first set of guides mounted on one side of the conveyor, a second set of guides mounted on the opposite side of the conveyor, the two sets of guides being in line and disposed diagonally of the conveyor, a defiector ``body mounted on each of the sets of guides having a retracted position 'outside the lirnits of the conveyor and an extended position above the conveyor, pulleys at opposite ends of the defiector bodies on Vertical axes, belts around the pulleys, means for driving 'both belts with the stretch of belt on the side of the deflectors toward .an object approaching on the conveyor travelling in the same direction, and means for advancng the deflectors and for retracting the deflectors in which the defiector which is first engaged by the -work on the conveyor is moved initially prior to the defiector which i's later engaged by the work on the conveyor.
6. In a -deflector adapted for use with a conveyor, a first set of guides mounted on one side of the conveyor, a second set of guides mounted on the opposite side of the conveyor, the two -sets of guides being in line and disposed diagonally of the conveyor, a defiector body 'mounted on each of the sets of guides having a retracted position outside the limits of the conveyor and 'an extended position above the conveyor, pulleys at opposite ends of the defiector bodies on Vertical axes, belts around the pnlleys, lmeans for driving both belts with the stretch of 'belt on the side 'of the deflectors toward an object approaching on the conveyor travelling in the same direction, and means for advancng the deflectors and for re- -tr-acting the deflectors which is responsive to the travel of work on the conveyor.
7. In a defiector adapted for use -w-ith 'a conveyor, a first 'set of guides mounted on one side of the conveyor, a second set of guides mounted on the opposite side of the conveyor, the two sets 'of guides being in line and disposed diagonally of the conveyor, a deflector body mounted on each of the sets of guides having a retracted position outside the limits of the conveyor and an extended position above the conveyor, pulleys at opposite ends of the defiector bodies on Vertical axes, belts 'around the pulleys, means for ydriving both belts with the 'stretch of belt on the side of the defiectors toward an object approaching on the conveyor traveling in the same direction, means yfor retracting the deflectors, and means for advancng the deflectors responsive to the presence of selected articles on the conveyor.
8. In a deflector mechanism for use with a conveyor, a pair of deflector halves on opposite sides of the conveyor and directed diagonally across the conveyor in prolongation of one another, each of the deflector halves having a forward position in which it extends partially across the conveyor and a retracted position in which it is clear of the conveyor, the two deflector halves in their extended positions co'operating to obstruct a path across the conveyor and in their retracted positions cooperating to extend clear of the conveyor, and means for moving the defiector halves between their retracted and extended positions.
9. In a defiector mechanisrn 'for use with a conveyor, a pair of defiector halves on opposite sides of the conveyor, belt means mounted to travel longitudinally 'at one side of each deflector half, means for Operating the belt means 'on bot-h 'deflector halves in the 'same direction in prol-ongation of one another, each of the deflector halves having a forward position in which it extends partially ,across the conveyor and a retracted position in which it is clear of the conveyor, the two deflector halves in their extended position cooperating to obstruct a path across the conveyor and in their retracted positions cooperate to extend clear of the conveyor, and means for moving the defiector halves between their retracted and lextended position-s.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PAT ENTS y`1,992,686 Anderson Feb. 26, 1935 2,641,355 Hudson June 9, 1953 2,649,187 Eggleston Aug. 1f8, 1953 2,809,741 Keilig Oct. 15, 1957