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Publication numberUS3123104 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 3, 1964
Filing dateDec 9, 1959
Publication numberUS 3123104 A, US 3123104A, US-A-3123104, US3123104 A, US3123104A
InventorsLawreace G. Weston
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for charging liquid
US 3123104 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 3, 1964 L., G. wEsToN E'rAL 3,123,104 APPARATUS FOR CHARGING LIQUIDFILLED CONTAINERS WITH GAS UNDER PRESSURE 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 9, 19-59 March 3, 1964 G. WESTON ETAL APPARATUS FOR CHARGING LIQUID-FILLED CONTAINERS WITH GAS UNDER PRESSURE '7 vSheets-Sheet 2 Filed Deo. 9, 1959 fag/OFT o Mu C30/- March 3, 1964 L Q WESTQN ETAL 3,123,104

APPARATUS FOR CHARGING LIQUID-FILLED CONTAINERS WITH GAS UNDER PRESSURE Filed Dec. 9, 1959 7 Sheets-Sheetl 3 I l l l l l ff.

. I DO N (n. ??zz/e/T'cfs wer-CCS (VJ/SAQ 36,6 er??? Menge gag-of? Mace/i Mal'h 3, 1964 vL. G. wEsToN ETAL 3,123,104

APPARATUS FOR CHARGING LIQUID-FILLED CONTAINERS WITH GAS UNDER PRESSURE Filed Dec. 9, 1959 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 March 3, 1964 L. G. WESTON ETAL 3,123,104

APPARATUS FOR CHARGING LIQUID-FILLED CONTAINERS WITH GAS UNDER PRESSURE Filed Dec. 9. 1959 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Izekr'cys March 3, 1964 1 G. wEsToN ETAL 3,123,104

APPARATUS F' OR CHARGING LIQUID-FILLED CONTAINERS WITH GAS UNDER PRESSURE Filed Dec. 9, 1959 7 Sheets-Sheet 6 March 3, 1964 l.. G. WESTON ETAL APPARATUS FOR CHARGING LIQUID-FILLED CONTAINERS WITH GAS UNDER PRESSURE 7 Sheets-Sheet '7 Filed Dec. 9, 1959 I @facer/SFCC@ @was r-e United States Patent O 3,123,3l4 APPARATUS FOR CHARGNG LlQUI-FMED CONTAlNERS WITH GAS UNDER PRESSURE Lawrence G, Weston, Western Springs, Robert F. E Jense,

Galdawn, and Ralph L. Mirc-ci, Elmhurst, Bl., asslgnors to John R. Nalbach Engineering Co., Chicago, lll., a

corporation of illinois i rues nea. 9, 1959, ser. No. assess l Claims. (Cl. lill-64) This invention relates to an apparatus for charging liquid-filled containers with gas under pressure, and more particularly, to improvements in an apparatus of the type for agitating the liquid contents of a plurality of contmners simultaneously with the introduction into each container of a gas under pressure to veffect an efcient solution of the gas in the liquid.

A multitude of different kinds of liquid products, such as soap solutions, paints, insecticides, toothpaste, cream, etc. are presently being marketed in sealed, self-dispensing containers. A gas, such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, etc. under a particular pressure is used as the liquid propellant. In order to effect an eicient solution of the gas in the liquid it is important that the liquid product be agifated as the gas is being mixed therewith. The apparatuses utilized to mass produce self-propelled liquid products generally include continuously operating delivery and discharge conveyors for delivering liquid-filled, unprocessed containers to the machine and for transporting processed containers `from the machine; transferring mechanism for moving a plurality of containers from the delivery container to a vertically reciprocal bed member and for moving the processed containers from the bed member to the discharge conveyor; a retractable barrier or container guide strip normally positioned between the edge portions of the delivery conveyor and bed member; a gas injection assembly to releasably maintain containers in place on the bed member during the gas injection and adapted to reciprocate simultaneously with the bed member; and means for effecting the various operations sequentially, continuously and automatically. Heretofcre certain structural components of the apparatus such as the means for transferring the containers to and from the bed member required the use of pneumatic piston and cylinder assemblies to actuate them. Obviously, in an installation it was necessary to have a source of air yunder pressure available to utilize the apparatus. The source or air under pressure generally took the form of an air compressor which had to be maintained and serviced, and which added to the initial cost of the installation as well as the cost of maintaining and operating the apparatus considerably. lt is therefore one of the primary objectives of the present invention to provide an apparatus of the type described which does not utilize compressed air as an actuating medium and piston. Thus, air actuated piston and cylinder yassemblies are not required to effect the various operational phases thereof and, consequently, the apparatus may be readily utilized in any facility where electric power only is available.

A further object is the provision of `an apparatus of the type referred to above wherein the container transferring mechanism, the barrier strip, and the gas injection assembly are actuated to certain operative positions in a controlled manner by yieldable forces such as the force exerted by a compression spring so that if jamming of the containers should inadvertently occur the apparatus will less likely be damaged.

A further object is the novel arrangement of the transfer mechanism with respect to the container-supporting bed assembly and gas injection `assembly whereby reciprocation of the container-supporting bed and gas injection assemblies will not disturb or adversely. effect the operain FIGURE l.

3,lZ3,lM Patented Mar. 3, 1964 tion of the transferring means since the forces for reciprocating the container-supporting bed and gas injection assemblies are not transmitted to the transferring means.

A stillV further object is the provision of a unique interlock between' the container transferring mechanism and the retractable barrier strip whereby proper alignment of the containers is assured before the containers are transferred from the delivery conveyor to the container-supporting bed assembly.

Still another object is the provision of novel means for rigidly securing the apparatus to the supporting oor and leveling the same with respect thereto wherein substantially all of the stresses and strains applied to the supporting framework when fastening the apparatus to the oor and developed within the apparatus during the operation thereof are transmitted directly tothe supporting floor through four supporting standards or legs to thus minimize the damaging effect of the stresses and strains imposed on the framework of the apparatus during reciprocation of the container-supporting bed assembly and gas injection assembly and when fastening the apparatus to the floor during installation thereof.

The invention also contemplates the provision of many safety features to prevent damage to the apparatus and the containers being processed in the event that certain malfunctions occur. v

The foregoing ,and other important objects and desirable features inherent in and encompassed by the invention together with many of the purposes and uses thereof will :become readily apparent from a reading of the ensuing description in conjunction with the annexed drawings, .in which,

FIGURE 1 is generally a perspective View showing an apparatus for charging liquid-filled containers with gas under pressure embodying the invention;

FGURE 2 is a vertical sectional View taken substantially along line 2-2 of AFIGURE l showing the various relative positions of the parts during the gas injectionagitation phase ,ofthe operational cycle;

FIGURE 3 isV a horizontal sectional view taken substantially along line 3 3 of FIGURE 2, certain parts being broken away to better illustrate the invention;

FIGURE .4 is a vertical sectional View taken substantially along line 4 4 of FIGURE -2 illustrating a portion of the container-supporting bed assembly reciprocating means;

FIGURE 5 is a detailed View, partially in section of the lvertical standards of the apparatus supporting framewor';

FIGURE 6 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 with the exception that certain parts are shown in greater detail and the pusher arm of the container transferring mechanism and the movable barrier or guide strip are shown in the positions occupied thereby upon completion of the transfer of the containers from the delivery conveyor to the container-supporting bed assembly:

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged detailed View of the novel connection between the shuttle bar and the pusher arm of the container transferring mechanism;

FIGURE 8 is Van exploded perspective View of certain of the components of the apparatus; Y

FIGURE9 is a View similar to FIGURE 2 with the exception that the parts illustrated are shown in the various relative positions assumed thereby during the container transferring phase of the operational cycle; Vand FIGURE 10 is an enlarged detailed side elevational view of the barrier or container guide strip supporting structure.

Referring to the drawings in detail, wherein like reference characters represent like elements throughout the various views, the apparatus 10 is shown in its entirety The apparatus supporting framework,

designated generally by numeral 11 includes a pair of vertically extending, front corner standards or legs 12 and a pair of spaced vertically extending rear corner standards 13 which are rigidly interconnected by a generally rectangular frarne 14 adjacent their upper ends and by similar horizontally disposed frame 15 intermediate their ends. The front, rear and side sections of the frames 14 and 15 are made of L-shaped angle iron stock or the like and the standards 12 and 13 are generally tabular in crosssection, as illustrated in FIGURE 5. The skeleton framework 11 supports all of the container processing mechanisms to be described hereinafter including the delivery and discharge conveyors 16 and 17, respectively. Supported on the inwardly turned flanges of the uppermost rectangular frame 14 is a rectangular base plate 1S which is suitably fastened thereto by means of a plurality of bolts 19, some of which are shown in FIGURE 3. AS best shown in FIGURES 1 and 5, each standard 12 and 13 includes an elongated tubular section 2i) having an elongated nut 21 welded to the lower end thereof. The shank 22 of a bolt 23 is adapted to be threaded in each elongated nut 21. It will be appreciated that the effective length of each standard 12 and 13 can be adjusted merely by rotating the bolts 23 with respect to the nuts 21 in order to level the base plate 1S. Extending coaxially through each standard 12 and 13 is a tie down rod 24. The lower end of each tie down rod 24 is threaded into an internally threaded member 25, such as an Ackerman- Johnson fitting, rigidly imbedded in the floor or supporting structure 26. Each tie down rod 24 extends through an elongated bore formed through a respective bolt 23 and through a respective opening 27 formed through the base plate 18. The openings 27 are disposed substantially at the corners of the base plate 18 and each opening 27 is in vertical alignment with a respective leg 12, 13. An acorn nut 28. is threaded on the end portion of each tie down rod 24 projecting above the base plate 18. From the foregoing it will be appreciated that to install the apparatus 10 it is merely necessary to rst level the base plate 1S by adjusting the effective length of the legs 12, 13. Thereafter, the tie rods 24 are threaded into the Ackerman-Johnson fitting and the acorn nuts 28 and the rods 24 placed under sufficient tension to force the enlarged heads 29 of the bolts 23 firmly into abutting engagement with the oor 26. Thus, the four corners of the frames 14 and 15 which are inherently the strongest portions of the supporting framework 11 are rigidly secured directly to the door 26 through the intermediary of the standards 12 and 13 and all the forces exerted by the tie down rods 24 on the base plate 18 are also transmitted to the door 26 through the tubular sections 20 and the bolts 23 and not tlzuough the frames 14 and 15 with the result that a more rigid and sturdy supporting frame 11 is obtained which is less apt to distort and possibly break in use. Thus the entire apparatus may be rigidly fastened to the supporting floor 26 Without fear of distorting the supporting framework 11.

The container delivery conveyor 16 for delivering unprocessed containers to a station on the base plate 18 where they can be transferred to the container-supporting bed assembly is of conventional construction and consequently the details thereof are not shown nor will they be described with particularity. It is to be understood, however that the delivery conveyor is of the endless plate-type and is adapted to have a run thereof travel and be guided horizontally over the top of, base plate 18. A horizontally extending vertically spaced cylindrical abutment member 30 is secured to the base plate 18 adjacent one end thereof and is adapted to be vertically spaced above and extend horizontally across the container delivery conveyor rim 16 disposed above the base plate 18, as shown in FIGURE 2. The purpose of the abutment member 30 Will be pointed out hereinafter. The discharge conveyor 17 is constructed in substantially the same manner as the delivery conveyor 16 and the horizontal run thereof which traverses the top of the base plate is parallel to and rearwardly or transversely spaced from the horizontal run of the delivery conveyor 16 disposed on top of the base plate 18.

An elongated container-supporting bed or shaker bar 31 is adapted to reciprocate vertically through an opening 32 formed in the base plate 18 between the horizontal runs of the conveyors 16 and 17 disposed on top of the base plate 1S. The container-supporting bed 31 is capable of moving vertically relatively to the base plate 18 from a position, shown in FIGURE 2, wherein the top surface of the container-supportnig bed 31 lies in substantially the same horizontal plane containing the top surfaces of the runs of the conveyors 16, 17 traveling over the top of the base plate 18 to a position wherein the container-supporting bed top surface is vertically spaced above the level of the top surfaces of the delivery and dischargel conveyor runs. The shaker bar 31 is supported for vertical reciprocatory movement by two pairs of longitudinally spaced L-shaped arms 33. One leg 34 of each arm is disposed beneath the base plate 18 and the free end thereof is rigidly secured to the undersideof thev shaker bar 31. The other legs 35 of each pair of arms 33 extend generally vertically through a respective opening formed in the base plate 18 near the rearwardmost edge thereof. A pair of bearing support brackets 36 are suitably secured to the underside of the base plate 18 by cap screws or the like and each bearing support bracket 36 carries a pivot shaft 37 for rockably supporting a respective pair of arms 33.

Vertical reciprocatory movement is imparted to the shaker bar 31 by means of a connecting rod 38. The upper end of the connecting rod 38, as illustrated in FIG- URE 2, is pivotally connected to a bifurcated bracket 39 rigidly connected to the underside of the shaker bar 31 by any suitable means. The bifurcations of the bracket 39 carry a pivot pin 40 which is operatively connected to an anti-friction bearing unit, designated generally by numeral 41 mounted in an opening formed through the` upper end portion of the connecting rod 38. The opposite end of the connecting rod 38 also carries an antifriction bearing unit 42 which has its inner race encircling and xed to an enlarged cylindrical shaft section 43, nonrotatably connected to a longitudinally extending shaft 44. The rotational axis of the shaft 44 is offset fromrthe longitudinal axis of the enlarged cylindrical shaft section 43. Consequently, when the shaft 44 is rotated the shaker bar 31 reciprocates vertically. The shaft 44 is journaled in a pair of pedestal bearing members 45 supported by a pair of transversely extending, horizontal cross members 46 secured to the lower rectangular frame' 15. The shaft 44 is provided with a pair of yweights 47 to counterbalance the forces to which lthe shaft 44 is subjected when the shaker bar 31 is being reciprocated. As shown in FIGURE 4, the shaft also carries a radially extending pin 48 which is longitudinally'spaced betweengone ofthe bearing members 45 and the counter weight 47 adjacent thereto. The purpose of the bin 48 will be pointed out hereinafter. A pulley sheave 49 iS keyed to one end of shaft 44 and the sheave 49 is rotated by means of an electric motor 50, shown by phantom lines in FIGURE 2, which is supported by any suitable means on the lower rectangular frame 15. The motor shaft carries a pulley sheave 51 and the sheaves 51 and 4% are drivingly connected by means of an endless belt 52. Energization of the motor is controlled byV a normally opened micro-switch 53 which is of conventional design and, per se, forms no part of the present invention. The switch 53 includes a plunger typeswitch actuator 54 which is reciprocal between a retracted position, as shown in FIGURE 2, corresponding to the closed condition of the switch and an extended position, illustrated in FIGURE 9, wherein the switch contacts are open and electrical current to the motor 50 is interrupted. The unique means for controlling the op-l eration of the switch 53 will be pointed out hereinafter. It is to be understood that the switch 53 includes biasing means, not shown, for yieldably urging the switch actuator S4 to its extended position and the switch 53 to its open condition.

The mechanism for transferring the containers from the uppermost run of the delivery conveyor 16 to the shaker bar or' container-supporting bed 3l includes a plate-like pusher bar 55. Inasrnuch as the apparatus lll illustrated is capable of processing twelve containers simultaneously one longitudinal edge of the pusher bar 55 is formed with twelve arcuately shaped and longitudinally spaced recesses 56. The curved surface delining each recess 56 is movable to engage a peripheral portion of the cylindrical body of one container S7 in a manner that will be pointed out hereinafter. It will also be noted that a small crescent-shaped permanent magnet SS is fastened to the uppermost surface of the pusher bar 5S at the bottom of each arcuate recess 56. The purpose of the magnet 58 will be pointed out hereinafter. The pusher bar 5S is bolted to one side of a longitudinally extending support member 59 by means of a plurality of bolts et? extending through slots formed through the pusher bar 55 and threaded into threaded recesses formed in the support member 59. Screwed into threaded recesses provided in the normally forwardly facing surface of the pusher bar support member 59, are threaded end portions of a pair of longitudinally spaced rod-like struts 6l. Each strut 6l is adapted to extend through a bore formed through an enlarged cylindrical end portion o2 of a pusher arm d3. Suitable means, such as a set screw or the like (not shown), are provided fcr iixedly securing the struts 6l to the pusher arms The ends of the pusher arms 63 opposite the enlarged cylindrical ends 62 thereof are non-rotatably connected to a horizontal, longitudinally extending rock shaft 64. The rock shaft 64 is rotatably supported by means of a pair of longitudinally spaced pedestal bearings o5 which are connected to the lower rectangular supporting frame l5 by means which includes transversely extending cross members 67. As best shown in FGURE 6, one end of a relatively short arm 68 is clamped to the rock shaft 64 substantially midway between the pedestal bearings 65 so as to be non-rotatably connected to the shaft 64. Thus, the pusher bar 55 is swingable about the longitudinal axis of the shaft 6d between a retracted position, illustrated in FIGUREl 2, wherein the longitudinal edge thereof having the arcuate recess S formed therein is horizontally spaced forwardly of the forwardrnost edge of the run of the conveyor 16 traversing the base plate l and any containers supported by the convey run and a container-engaging, extended position shown in FIGURE 6, wherein the pusher bar d'5 lies substantially in a horizontal plane vertically paced and parallel to the plane containing the upper run f the conveyor 16 and oyerlies a section of upper run of he convey i6 and bottoms of the recesses 56 lie substantially in a vertical plane containing the forwardmost edge of the container-supporting bed 3l when the top surface of the bed is level with the top surfaces of the runs of the conveyors f6, 17. Welded or otherwise rigidly secured to the front rail of the upper rectangular frame ld are a pair of longitudinally spaced, inclined abutment tabs 69. Each abutment tab 69 lies in substantially the same vertical transverse plane as a respective arm e3 and is adapted to be engaged by a semispherical head 7d formed on one end of an adjusting element 7l to limit angular movement of the arms 63 in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 2. Each adjusting element 7l is provided with screw threads engageable with the threads formed in a recess extending through a respective arm 63. The end of each adjusting element 7l opposite the semi-spherical head 7@ has a hexagonal nut fixed thereto to facilitate turning of the element 7l with respect to the arm 63 associated therewith. From the foregoing it will be appreciated that retracted position of the pusher bar 55 may be readily and accurately established. A lock nut 72 is provided on each adjusting element 7l to maintain the adjustment.

As shown somewhat diagrammatically in phantom lines in FGURE 3, :a reversible electric motor and speed reducer designated generally by numeral 73 are mounted on the lower rectangular frame 15.V The speed reducer is of any conventional type and the speed of the output shaft 34 thereof may be varied infinitely. The output shaft 74 has a sprocket wheel 75 keyed thereto which lies substantially in a vertical transversely extending plane containing a sprocket wheel 76 keyed to one end of a horizontal, longitudinally extending cam shaft 77. An endless chain 78 is trained over the sprocket wheels '75 and 76 to drivingly interconnect the speed reducer output shaft '74 and the cam shaft 77. The cam shaft 77 is rotatably journaled in the depending bearing support bracket 36 disposed on the right hand side, as viewed in FIGURE 3. A plate-like cam 79 is releasably secured to the shaft 77 opposite the sprocket wheel 76. Cams having configurations other than that shown in the drawings may be quickly and easily secured to the cam shaft 77 `and substituted for the cam 79 shown. The cam yfollower Sil is in the form of a roller which is disposed between and carried by the ends of a pair of parallel links 8l. The opposite end of each link 8l is disposed on a respective opposite side of one end of an arm 82 and is pivotally connected to the arm 82 by means of a pivot pin 33'. The arm 32 in turn is rigidly secured to. a torqueV tube d3 which extends through the arm 32, as shown in FIGURE 3. As best shown in FIGURE 8, a bearing block S4, secured to the underside of the base plate l, carries a pin 8S which extends freely through an opening 86 of one end of a link 87. A portion of the link S7 intermediate its ends is pivotaHy connected to the links 3l by means of a pin 8S which also connects one end of the links till together as well as serves as a bearing support for the cam follower Si?. The lower end of the depending link 87 is adapted to be disposed between the bifurcations 89 of a bifurcated block 90. A pivot pin 91, extending through the bifurcation 8@ and the lower end o fthe depending bracket 37, is used pivotally interconnect the depending link 87 and the block 99.

The block Sill is rigidly secured to one end of a transversely extendinU reciprocal shuttle bar 92 which is vertically spaced above the shafts 44 and 64. The end portion of the shuttle bar 92 opposite the block 9@ is provided with an elongated slot 93 and is adapted to be interposed between the bifurcations 94 formed on the radially outermost end of the arm l63. The bifurcations 94 of the arm o5 carry a cylindrical pin 95 which extends through the slot 93. As best shown in FIGURE 8, a block 96 is slidably mounted on the shuttle bar 92. within the slot 93. A generally vertically extending pin 97 carried by the shuttle bar 92 extends through an elongated slot lill formed in the block 96 to limit the relative sliding movement permitted between the block 96 and the shuttle bar 92. The forwardly facing end of the block 96 is provided with a semi-cylindrical pin-engaging seat 9 and the opposite end thereof is provided with a cylindrical recess for receiving one end of a helically-wound compression spring 99. The opposite end of the spring 99 reacts against a semi-spherical abutment 19t) which, in turn, bears against the portion of the shuttle bar 92 defining one end of the slot 93. It will be noted that the opposite end of the slot 93- is defined by a semi-cylindrcial surface. From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that the block 9 6 is yieldably urged forwardly with the pin 97 disposed at one end of the elongated slot lill. The semi-cylindrical seat 98 of the block 95 is adapted to engage the pin as the shuttle bar 92 moves forwardly to effect rocking of the arms 63 in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 6. Conversely, as the shuttle bar 92 moves rearwardly from the position shown in FIGURE 2 to the position shown in FIGURE 6 the semi-cylindrical end delining the forwardmost end of the slot 93 engages the pin 9S to rock the arms 63 and move the pusher bar 55 to its container-engaging, extended position. By yieldably mounting the pin-engaging seat 98 in the aforesaid manner, the possibility of the pin 95 being subjected to an abnormally high shock force the instant the pin 95 is engaged by the seat 98 as the shuttle bar 92 moves forwardly is eliminated. In effect, the block 96, spring 99 and abutment 1th? serve as cushion means. However, the same parts also function as a means for yieidably maintaining the pusher bar 5S in its fully retracted position regardless of the vibrations unintentionally transmitted to the-arms 63 during operation of the apparatus 1t) inasmuch as the spring 99 is slightly compressed when the semi-spherical heads 7i?` of the adjusting elements 71 are engaging the inclined abutments 69 and the shuttle bar 92 is in its forwardmost position, as shown in FIGURE 2.

As clearly shown in FIGURE 8, the shuttle bar 92 also rigidly carries a block 1112 which lies in the vertical plane containing the pin 48 carried by the shaft 44. The block 1112 is vertically spaced above the shaft 44 a distance less than the radial length of the pin 43 and consequently when the pin 48 is extending substantially vertically upwardly, the radially outermost end thereof is in the path of and is capable of being struck by an inclined cam surface 1113 formed on the block 102 as the reciprocal shuttle bar moves rearwardly or to the left, as viewed in FIGURE 2, under the influence of the force exerted by a helically wound tension spring 194. The force applied to the pin 4S by being struck by the cam surface 1133 effects rocking movement of the shaft 44 in a counterclockwise direction. The manner in which the biasing action of the tension spring 164 is utilized to move the shuttle bar 92 rearwardly or to the left, as viewed in FIGURE 2, will be pointed out hereinafter. As pointed out hereinbefore, the top surface of the container supporting bed 31 is positionable to lie flush with the level of the top surfaces of the upper runs of the conveyors 16 and 17 whereby containers 57 may be slid transversely from the conveyor 16 to the bed 31 and from the bed 31 to the conveyor 17 When the bed 31 is in this position the connecting rod 38 is at the lower end of its stroke, as shown in FIGURES 2 and 4, and the pin 48 is extending vertically downwardly and, obviously, out of the path of movement of the cam surface 103 as the shuttle bar 93 moves rearwardly. However, in the event the bed 31 is vertically spaced above the conveyors 16, 17 as the shuttle bar 92 moves rearwardly, the pin 48 will be in in a position to be engaged by the cam surface 103, and consequently, the shaft 44 will be rocked as the shuttle bar 92 moves rearwardly causing the connecting rod 38 to move to the lower end of its stroke and the top surface of the shaker bar 31 to be iiush with the top surfaces of the runs of conveyor 16, 17. `It is to be understood that the magnitude of rotative force applied to the shaft 44 when the pin 4S is engaged by the cam surface 1113 is just suliicient to rotate the shaft 44 in a counterclockwise direction the angular increment necessary to move the connecting rod 3S to the lower end of its stroke which corresponds to the position of the container-supporting bed or shaker bar 31 when level or iiush with the top surfaces of the conveyor runs 16, 17. The significance of the provision of positive means for assuring the shaker bar 31 to be on the same level with the conveyor runs at the start of forward movement of the shuttle bar 92 will be apparent hereinafter.

As best shown in FIGURE 3, one end of the helically wound tension spring 164 is pivotally connected to a pin 1115 carried by a pair of longitudinally spaced, radial arms 165 welded to the mid portion of the torque tube S3. The opposite end of the spring 164 is connected to the web portion 1% of a vertically extending channel shaped member 197 which is rigidly secured to the rearwardmost longitudinally extending rails of the rectangular frames 14 and 1S. Projecting from and rigidly secured to each end of the torque tube 33 is a shaft extension 168 which is adapted to extend through and be rotatably supported by the legs 34 of a respective pair of L-shaped arms 33. From the foregoing it will be appreciated that the torque tube S3 is supported by the arms 33 and thus is capable of swinging with the arms 33 about the pivotal axis of the arms 33, which pivotal axis corresponds to the longitudinal axes of the pins 37, as well as rotating about its own longitudinal axis with respect to the arms 33. Furthermore, because the farms 186 extend generally downwardly the spring 104 tends to rotate the torque tube 83 in a clockwise direction, as Viewed in FIGURE 2. It will also be appreciated that the cam follower Si) is resiliently urged into engagement with the profile of the cam 79 by the biasing action of the spring 164 acting through the arm 82 and links 81. Thus, as the cam 79 rotates the cam follower d is displaced or moved in a controlled manner with reference to the rotational axis of the cam 79. The precise manner in which rotation of the cam 79 in a single direction and the manner in which the magnitude and direction of the resultant displacement of the cam follower Si? effected by such cam rotation during operation of the apparatus control rotation of the torque tube S3 in both directions will be pointed out hereinafter in greater detail. However, it is to be noted that the torque tube 83 is rocked in one direction by the positive force imparted or transmitted thereto through the cam follower St), links 81 and arm 82 against the spring force exerted by the spring 11M and is moved in the opposite direction by the positive biasing force of the spring 194 acting thereon through the intermediary of the pin 195 and the arms 196. Hence, from the foregoing it will be appreciated that rotation of the torque tube 83 in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 2, by the biasing action of the spring 104, will cause the shuttle bar 92 to move rearwardly and, consequently, move the pusher bar 55 to its extended position by swinging of the pusher arms 63. Conversely, when the torque tube 83 is rocked in the opposite direction, the shuttle bar 92 moves forwardly to move the pusher bar 55 to its retracted position.

The gas injection assembly includes an elongated sealed manifold 109 having a plurality of twelve longitudinally spaced injection nozzle assemblies 111B secured to the underside thereof. The manifold 199 is adapted to be supplied with the gas to be injected into the containers 57 under pressure by means not shown. The gas injection assemblies 11G, per se, do not form part of the invention and thus will not be described in detail. However it is to be understood that each injection nozzle assembly 110 includes an annular rubber sealing member 111 and check valve means, not shown, which is normally in its closed position when the rubber sealing member 111 is not in contact with the closure Cap 112 of a container 57. However, it is to be understood that when each annular sealing member 111 is sufficiently pressed into sealing engagement with a closure cap 112, as shown in FIGURE 6 the valve means associated therewith is moved to its open position to allow the pressurized gas from the manifold 109 to open the valve device of the closure cap 112 and toV flow into the container 57. The rubber member 111 forms a gas-tight seal between the injection nozzle 116 and the closure cap 112 as the container 57 is being charged with gas.

As shown in FIGURE l, a pair of longitudinally spaced mounting pads 113 are rigidly secured to the uppermost surface of the manifold 1119. Each pad 113 carries a vertically extending threaded rod 114 which is adapted to loosely extend vertically through an open end slot 115 of a block-like shim 116 :and an enlarged head 117 of a manifold support arm 113. The internally threaded hub of a clamping member 119 is adapted to threadingly en-V gage the portion of each rod 114 extending above the top surface of the enlarged head 117 of each manifold support arm 118. From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that in order to adapt the apparatus 10 so that it may accommodate containers having heights other than that shown in the drawings it is merely necessary to turn the clamping members 119 which are provided with outwardly extending hand grip portions in the proper direction suiciently to permit the shims 115 to be removed and replacedV by shims having different vertical dimensions or by eliminating theshims entirely to obtain a correct vertical space between the nozzles 1111 and the shaker bar 31 when the manifold 19 is in its lowered position and in vertical alignment with the shaker bar 31, as shown in EIGURE 2 corresponding to the vertical height of the particular container 57. Thereafter, it is merely necessary to turn the clamping members 119 in the proper direction to cause the manifold 109 to be iinnly clamped to the heads 117 of the supporting arms 118. It will thus be apparent that containers 57 of various heights may be accommodated by the apparatus without the necessity of dismantling the gas injection manifold109 from the supporting arms 118. Furthermore, if necessary the entire manifold 109 may be quickly and easily mounted on or dismounted from the supporting arms 11S.

The rearwardmost end of each manifold supporting arm is disposed between the upper end of the legs 35 of a respective pair of L-shaped arms 33. A pivot pin 119 is used to pivotally connect each manifold supporting arm 11S to a pair of L-shaped arms 33. Each manifold supporting arm 11S is provided, intermediate the ends thereof, with an integrally formed bifurcated bracket 120. The bifurcations of each bracket 120 carry a pivot pin 121. Each pin 121 freely extends through an opening formed in the upper end of a respective manifold clamping link 122 which'is disposed between the bifurcations of the bracket 12?. The lower end portion or the end portion of eachl link 122 opposite the end thereof connected to a bracket 12) is substantially C-shaped, as best shown in FIGURE 8, and the lowermost end thereof is sandwiched between and pivotally connected to a pair of arms 123 by means of a pivot pin 124. Each pair of arms is disposed between the legs 34 of a respective pair of L-shaped arms 33 and is rigidly connected to a respective shaft extension 198. From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that rotation of the torque tube S3 in a clockwise direction by the biasing action of the-spring 164, as viewed in FIGURE 2, will cause the links 122 to move vertically upwardly to the position shown in FGURE 9 and effect pivoting of the manifold support arms 11S about the pivot pins 119 to move the manifold119 vertically away from theshaker bai` 31 to its raised position. Conversely when the torque tube S3 is rotated in the opposite direction the manifold 169 is moved to its lowered position and the gas injection nozzles 11i) are brought into abutting engagement with the containers 57 disposed on the shaker bar 31. It will be noted that because of the C-shaped lower end portions of the links 122 the longitudinal axes of the pivot pins 121, 124 and torque tube 83 lie in substantially a common vertical plane when the manifold 169 is in its lowered position and thus the containers S7 are firmly clamped between the manifold 169 and the container-supporting bed 31.

Secured to the base plate 18 adjacent the forwardmost edge of the conveyor run 16 traversing the base plate 1S is a longitudinally extending fixed guide strip 125 which is vertically spaced above the conveyor run 16 and is adapted to maintain the containers 57 in alignment as they are being delivered by die delivery conveyor 16 to the base piate 1S. In a similar fashion a iixed guide strip 126 is provided along the rearwardmost edge of the upper horizontal run of the discharge conveyor 17 traversing the base plate 13 for maintaining the processed containers 57 in alignment as they are leaving the apparatus 1G. A retractible container guide or barrier strip 127 is also provided for guiding the containers 57 as they are transported by the conveyor 16 and Yto insure proper alignment of the containers 57 of a group of twelve containers prior to the transfer of 1G' the entire group of containers to the container-supported bed 31 by the pusher bar 5S which is adapted to project above the general plane of the upper run of the delivery conveyor 16 between the conveyor 16 and the shaker bar 31, as illustrated in FGURE 2. The barrier strip 127 is movable between a raised position, as shown in FIGURE 2, wherein a portion thereof extends above the level of the delivery conveyor run 16 and a lowered position, as illustrated in FIGURE 6, wherein the entire barrier strip 127 is below the upper surface of the conveyor run 16. The structure for moving the barrier strip 127 between its raised, container-guiding and aligning position and its lowered, retracted position includes a pair of longitudinally spaced substantially Z-shaped arms 128, shown in detail in FIGURE l0. The free end on one leg 129 of each arm 12d is provided with outwardly turned mounting tabs 13% which are suitably fastened to the barrier strip 127 adjacent the lowermost edge thereof. Each arm 128 is supported for a rocking movement on a pin 131 carried by a bracket 132 which is rigidly secured to the top surface of the base plate 1S. The leg 133 of each Z-shaped arm 12S disposed above the top surface of the base plate 13 is provided with a groove in the top surface thereof. The bottom of each groove is deiined by a flat surface 134 which slopes upwardly and rearwardly from the free terminal end of the leg 133. As best shown in FIGURE 10, a strip of resilient material 13S', such as sponge rubber or the like, is disposed on each surface 134. A shoe 136 is also disposed within each groove and has one end thereof pivotally connected to the leg 133 by means of a pin 137. The shoe 13e also carries a pin 133 which is spaced from the pin 137 and is adapted to extend through enlarged aligned apertures 129 formed through the portions of the legs 133 deiining the sides of the groove adiacent the end of the leg opposite the end pivotally connected to the pin 137. The sponge rubber pad 135 interposed between the inclined surface 134 and the lowermost surface of the shoe 136 associated therewith tends to yieldably urge the shoe 136 about the pivot pin 137 in a counter-clockwise direction and the pins 13S in engagement with the tops of the apertures, as viewed in FGURES 6 and 1G. When the pins 15S are at the top of their associated apertures 139 a portion of the top surface 1d@ of each shoe 136 lies in a plane which is spaced vertically above and substantially parallel to the plane containing the top surface of the leg 133 associated therewith and is the normal position of the shoes 136. However, when suiiicient force is exerted on the top surface 1-19 of each shoe 139 the shoe is capable of pivoting about its pivotal connection with the leg 133 a limited amount by compressing the sponge rubber pad 135 associated therewith. Fastened to the pusher bar mounting member 59 adjacent each rod 61 is a bracket 141 the lower end of which carries a roller 142 which is adapted to engage the uppermost surface 14.-@ of a respective shoe 136 as the arms 63 are moved from the position shown in FIGURE 2 to the position shown in FIGURE 6. From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that position of the barrier strip 127 is dependent upon the position of the arms 63. As shown in FIGURE 2, when the arms 63 are in their fully retracted positions with semispherical heads of the adjusting elements 71 engaging the abutments 69, the rollers 142 are engaging the top surfaces 111i) of the shoes 136 at points horizontally spaced on the opposite side of the pivotal axes of the Z-shaped arms 128 from the barrier strip 127 adjacent the forwardmost ends of the shoes to maintain the barrier strip in its elevated position. As the arms d3 are swung in a counterclockwise direction and the rollers 142 roll on the surfaces 1449 and horizontally approach the pivotal axes of the arms 123, the barrier strip 127 is` maintained in its elevated position until the rollers 142 engage inclined end surface portions of the top surfaces 149. As the rollers 142 travel over the inclined end surface portions and ultimately move out of engagement therewith as the arms 53 are moved toward their positions corresponding to the extended position of the pusher bar 55, the Z-shaped arms 128 are permitted to swing in a counter-clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 2, to lower the barrier strip 127 to its lowered position, as shown in FIGURE 6. When the arms 63 are swung from the position shown in FIGURE 6 to the position shown in FIGURE 2, the operational sequence noted above is reversed. The rollers 142 rst engage the inclined end surface portions of the shoe surface 149 causing the arms 12S to pivot in a clockwise direction. The barrier strip 127 is in its fully raised position and is maintained in that position when the rollers 142 are engaging the top surface 140 of the shoes 136 adjacent the forwardmost ends of the shoes and have left the inclined end surface portions 14S. If for any reason, the barrier strip 127 is blocked and incapable of being elevated as the arms 63 are swung to their retracted position, the shoes 139 pivot with respect to the arms 123 against the biasing effect of the pads 135 to accomrnodate movement of the rollers 142 to their forwardmost positions without damaging or distorting any of the parts of the container transferring mechanism of the barrier strip supporting structure. It will be noted that rubber pads 149 carried by the legs 129 are adapted to engage the underside of the base plate 18 when the barrier strip 127 is in its fully raised position to prevent a metal-to-metal contact of the legs 129 with the base plate 18.

The profile or peripheral edge of the control cam 79 which is engageable by the cam follower 80 is generally divided into four surface sectors 143, 144, 145 and 146. The surface sector 143 extends angularly substantially 150 between the radially extending broken lines 1a and 1b of FIGURE 2 and is substantially semi-cylindrical in form. The surface sector 143 is radially spaced from the rotational axis of the control cam 79 a distance greater than the radial spacing of the other surface sectors 144, 145 and 146 and, consequently, when the cam follower Sti is in engagement with the surface sector 143, the links 81 and the shuttle bar 92 are in their forwardmost positions, as illustrated in FIGURE 2. Thus, the pusher bar 55 is in its fully retracted position and the barrier strip 127 is elevated. When the shuttle bar 92 is in this position, a depending plate-like portion 151 integrally formed with the block 9i? secured to the rearwardmost end of the shuttle bar 92 is in engagement with a roller 152 carried by the outer end of the switch actuator 54 and the actuator is moved to its retracted position against the biasing action of the switch spring corresponding to the closed condition of the switch 53. Thus, electric current is supplied to the motor 50 causing the container-supporting bed 31, arms 35, 11S and the gas injection manifold 1&9 to be alternately swung rapidly back and forth about the longitudinal axes of the pins 37. Inasmuch as the links 81 are in their forwardmost position the torque tube S3 is in its extreme counter-clockwise position, as viewed in FIGURE 2, the manifold 11@ is in its lowered, container engaging position and any containers 57 on the bed 31 are rrnly held thereon and are charged with gas under pressure. It will be noted that the pivotal axis of arms 33 is coincident with the longitudinal axis of pin pivotally connecting the link S7 and one link 81 and is tangent to the surface sector 143. Consequently, the link 87 and the shuttle bar 92 which is pivotally connected thereto, remain substantially stationary and the container transferring mechanism is not disturbed when the shaker bed 31 is reciprocated vertically. During the agitation and gas injecting phase of the cycle of operation which occurs when the cam follower Sti is in engagement with the surface sector 134, unprocessed containers 57 are delivered to the base plate 18 by the conveyor 16 which 12 operates continuously whenever the apparatus is in use. The leading container 57 travels longitudinally over the base plate 18 until it engages the abutment 30 where its motion is arrested. Thereafter, the succeeding eleven containers 57 are brought into contiguous relation relative to one another and the run of the conveyor V16 slides beneath the twelve containers which have all become stationary and in position to be transferred simultaneously as a group to the container-supporting bed 31.

The agitation and gas injecting phase continues until the cam follower engages the point on the cam profile where the radial line 1b intersects the cam profile. It is to be understood that the cam 79 is being rotated in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 2, at a constant, predetermined speed when the apparatus 10 is in operation. It is also to be understood that the cam 79 completes one revolution for each cycle of operation of the apparatus 10. The surface sector 146,

the position illustrated in FIGURE 2. Hence, when,V the cam follower 80 rst crosses the line 1b, the switchV plunger 54 is allowed to move to its extended position causing the switch contacts to separate and deenergization of the motor 50. As the cam follower 80 moves over the surface sector 146 from the line 1b to the line 1c, the shaft 44, connecting rod 38, containersupporting bed 31, injection manifold assembly and the other parts reciprocated during the agitation and gas injection phase of the operation cycle are allowed to come to rest.

The next surface sector encountered by the cam follower 80 extends angularly approximately 150 between the radial lines'1c and 1d and has a shape which is substantially semi-cylindrical and like the surface sector 146 but is spaced radially inwardly from the surface sector 146. At the instant the cam follower 80 crosses the line 1c and moves radially inwardly to the surface sector 145 under the biasing action of the spring 104, the link 87 pivots clockwise as viewed in FEGURE 2 to the position shown in FIGURE 9. Inasmuch as the juncture between the surface sectors 145 and 146 lies substantially on the radially extending line 1c, the above mentioned pivotal movement of the link 87 occurs rapidly. The torque tube S3 is rocked about its longitudinal axis in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 2 by the action of the spring 164 to the position shown in FIGURE 9. As the torque tube 83 is being rocked to the position shown in FIG- URE 9, the links 122 are raised to effect pivoting of the manifold supporting arms 118 about the pivot pins 119' and cause elevation of the manifold 109 away from the container-supporting bed 31 and out of operative engagement with the containers 57 on the bed 31. Simultaneously, the shuttle bar 92 is moved to its rearwardmost position, illustrated in FIGURE 9, and as it moves rearwardly the inclined cam surface 193 on the block 1112 carried by the shuttle bar 92 will engage the end of the pin 48 to rock the shaft 44 if the shaker bed 31 did not come to rest with the top surface thereof on the same level as the top surfaces of the runs of the conveyors 16, 17 after the motor 50 was deenergized. As the shuttle bar 92 is moved rearwardly by the tension spring 104, the seat 98. on the block 96 is moved out of engagement with the pin 9S and the pin 95 slides relatively to the shuttle bar 92 in the slot 93 until the semi-cylindrical seat defining the forwardmost end of the slot 93 engages the pin 95. When this occurs, the shaft 64 is rocked causing the pusher bar 55 to move from its retracted position to its extended position. The barrier strip 127 is permitted to drop below the level of the run of the conveyor 16 as the pusher bar 55 is moving rearwardly in the manner pointed out hereinbefore. As the pusher bar 55 is moving rearwardly but before the barrier strip 127 is lowered, the cylindrical portion of one of the twelve unprocessed containers 57 is delivered to the baseL plate 13 during the previous agitation and gas injection phase is engaged by a respective recess surface 56. The magnets 58 releasably maintain the containers 57 in iirm abutting engagement with the rearwardmost edge of the pusher bar 55 and are thus in correct alignment for transfer to the shaker bed 31. As the pusher bar 55 continues to move rearwardly, the barrier strip 127 is permitted to drop to its lowered position and the twelve containers 57 engaged by the pusher bar 55 are moved in unison transversely rearwardly from the run of conveyor 1,6 to the containersupporting bed 31. As the unprocessed containers 57 are transferred to the bed 31, the twelve processed containers 57 on the bed 31 are engaged by the unprocessed containers 57 and moved rearwardly to the upper run of conveyor 17 upon which they are transported away from the base plate 18.

The last phase of the complete operational cycle occurs as the cam follower 8l) traverses the peripheral edge portion 144 of the cam 79 between the radial lines 1d and in. The surface sector 144 is substantially iiat with the end thereof intersecting the radial line 1d merging into the surface sector 143 and the opposite end intersecting the radial line 1d spaced radially inwardly of the surface sector 43. As the cam follower Si) leaves the surface sector 145 and enters the surface sector 144, the links S1 and the shuttle bar 92 are moved forwardly against the biasing action of the spring 104. The manifold 1%9 commences to move toward the containers 57 on the bed 3l and the Semi-cylindrical seat defining the end of the shuttle bar slot 93 moves out of engagement with the pin $5. The radially outward movement of the cam follower Si) is comparatively gradual as it moves from the radial line 1d toward the line 1a because of the fact that circumferential length of the surface sector 144 is considerably greater than the difference in the radial spacing of the ends of the surface sector 144. As a result, the manifold 109 is slowly brought into operative engagement with the containers 57 on the bed 31 and a force multiplication is obtained to firmly clamp the containers 57 on the bed 3i. As the cam follower Si) approaches the radial line la, the semi-cylindrical seat 93 of the resiliently mounted block 162 engages the pin 95 to rock the arms 63 causing the pusher bar 55 to be moved to its fully retracted position and the rollers 142, in turn, engage the shoes E36 to move the barrier strip 127 to its fully elevated position. The depending plate-like portion 151 of the shuttle bar carrier block 9l also engages the roller 152 of the switch actuator plunger 54 to close the switch contacts and energize the motor 50.

it is to be understood, that means are provided for varying the output speed of the speed reducer 73 and thus the speed of the cam shaft '77 to vary the time required for each cycle of operation. Furthermore, the direction of rotation of the cam shaft 77 may be reversed by reversing the direction of rotation of the speed reducer output shaft 74 in case a jam occurs as the manifold lil is coming down on top of the containers 57 to prevent damage to the containers 57 and/or the apparatus 19. Af er the manifold 169 has been raised sufficiently, the motor 73 is stopped and the jam is cleared. Thereafter, the motor direction control is reset to cause the cam shaft 77 to rotate in its normal direction and the motor 73 is energized.

From the foregoing, it will be appreciated the agitation time is dependent upon the speed of rotation of the cam shaft 77 and the length of the surface sector 143. However, if the speed of the cam shaft 77 is varied to change the agitation time, the transfer time, of necessity, is also changed and such change inthe transfer time could result in the apparatus 10 operating inefciently. The resulting transfer time could be too long and time consuming or too short to permit transfer mechanism to function properly. Thus, cams other than the cam 79 illustrated having surface sectors 134 of ydifferent lengths but having the same length as the surface sector may be substituted for the cam 79 to vary the agitation time without varying the transfer time.

In order to enclose the various components of the apparatus 10 disposed below the base plate 18, a sheet metal cover 153 is suitably fastened to the frame 14 and 15 and is adapted to cover the front and part of each side of the apparatus 1li, as shown in FIGURE l.

` The embodiment of the invention chosen for the purposes of illustration and description herein is that preferred for achieving the objects of the invention and developing the utility thereof in the most desirable manner, due regard being had to eaisting factors of economy, simplicity of design and construction, production methods, and the improvements sought to be effected. It will be appreciated, therefore, that the particular structural and functional aspects emphasized herein are not intended to exclude, but rather to suggest such other adaptations and modifications of the invention as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. An apparatus for agitating the liquid contents of a plurality of containers simultaneously with the injection thereinto of a gas under pressure, comprising, a gas injection assembly including an elongated manifold; means for supporting said manifold for swinging movement between a lowered position wherein a plurality of containers are operatively engaged and a raised position wherein the plurality of containers are not operatively engaged including a supporting arm having said manifold secured to one end thereof and its opposite end pivotally supported; and means for swinging said manifold between its raised and lowered positions including a control shaft supported for rocking movement about its own longitudinal axis, connecting means operatively interconnecting said supporting arm and control shaft whereby rocking of said control shaft in one direction effects pivoting of said support arm to move said manifold to its raised position and in the opposite direction effects pivoting of said support arm to move said manifold to its lowered position, biasing means operatively connected to said control shaft for applying a force thereto tending to rotate said control shaft in said one direction, and camming means limiting rotation of said control shaft in said one direction including a cam and follower means operatively connected to said control shaft, said cam and follower means being biased into engagement with each other by said biasing means, said cam having a profile for displacing said follower means against the biasing action of said biasing means and being operable through said follower means upon rotation thereof to rotate said control shaft in said opposite direction against the biasing action of said biasing means a distance correlated with the contour of such cam profile.

2. An apparatus substantially as set forth in claim 1, wherein said connecting means operatively interconnecting said supporting arm and control shaft includes a radially extending arm fixed to said control shaft, and link means having one end pivotally connected to said radially extending arm and its opposite end pivotally connected to said supporting arm intermediate the ends thereof, the pivotal connections of said link means with radially extending arm and said supporting arm and the longitudinal axis of said control shaft lying substantially in a common plane with the pivotal connections being on diametrically opposite sides of said control shaft when said manifold is in its lowered position.

3. An apparatus for agitating the liquid contents of a plurality of containers simultaneously with the injection thereinto of a gas under pressure, comprising, a container-supporting bed adapted to support a plurality of containers; a gas injection assembly including an elongated manifold; means for supporting said manifold for swinging movement between a lowered position wherein said manifold operatively engages the tops of said containers and a raised position wherein said manifold is moved out of operative engagement with said containers including a supporting arm having said manifold secured to one end thereof and its opposite end pivotally supported; and means for swinging said manifold between its raised and lowered positions including a control shaft supported for rocking movement about its own longitudinal axis, a radially extending arm fixed to said control shaft, link means having one end pivotally connected to said radially extending arm and its opposite end pivotally connected to said supporting arm intermediate the ends thereof, the pivotal connections of said link means with said radially extending arm and said supporting arm and the longitudinal axis of said control shaft lying substantially in a common plane with the pivotal connections being on diametrically opposite sides of said control shaft when said manifold is in its lowered position, biasing means operatively connected to said control shaft for applying a force thereto tending to rotate said control shaft in one direction to effect swinging of said manifold to its raised position, and camming means limiting rotation of said control shaft in said one direction including a cam and follower means operatively connected to said control shaft, said cam having a profile for displacing said follower means against the biasing action of said biasing means and being operable through said follower means upon rotation thereof to rotate said control shaft in a direction opposite to said one direction against the biasing action of said biasing means a distance correlated with the contour of such cam profile.

4. An apparatus substantially as set forth in claim 3, further including a continuously operating electric motor means for rotating said cam in one direction at a predetermined speed of rotation.

5. An apparatus for agitating the liquid contents of a plurality of containers simultaneously with the injection thereinto of a gas under pressure, comprising, a horizontally disposed base plate; a plate type conveyor for delivering containers to the base plate; a container-supporting bed along one side of said conveyor; an elongated pusher bar; means for supporting said pusher bar for swinging movement between an extended position wherein said pusher bar overlies said conveyor and a retracted position wherein said pusher bar is horizontally spaced from said conveyor and disposed on the side of the conveyor opposite the container-supporting bed including a supporting arm having said pusher bar operatively connected to one end thereof and its opposite end pivotally supported; and means for swinging said pusher bar between its extended and retracted positions including a control shaft supported for rocking movement about its own longitudinal axis, means operatively interconnecting said control shaft vand said supporting arm whereby rocking of said control shaft in one direction effects pivoting of said support arm to move said pusher bar to its extended position and in the opposite direction eects pivoting of said support arm to move said pusher bar to its retracted position, biasing means operatively connected to said control shaft for .applying a force thereto tending to rotate said control shaft in said one direction, and camming means limiting rotation of said control shaft in said one direction including a single cam and follower means operatively connected to said control shaft, said cam and follower means being biased into engagement with each other by said biasing means, said cam having a profile for displacing said follower means against the biasing action of said biasing means and being operable through said follower means upon rotation thereof to rotate said control shaft ill ,a direction opposite to said one direction against the biasing action of said biasing means a distance correlated with the contour of such cam profile.

6. An apparatus for agitating the liquid contents of a plurality of containers simultaneously with the injection thereinto of a gas under pressure, comprising, a horizontally disposed base plate; a plate type conveyor for delivering containers to the base plate; a container supporting bed along one side of the conveyor; an elongated pusher bar; means for supporting said pusher bar for swinging movement between an extended position wherein said pusher bar overlies said conveyor and a retracted position wherein said pusher bar is horizontally spaced from said conveyor and disposed on the side of the conveyor opposite the container-supporting bed including a supporting arm having said pusher bar operatively connected to one end thereof and its opposite end pivotally supported; a gas injection assembly including an elongated manifold; means for supporting said manifold for swinging movement between a lowered position wherein said manifold is substantially in vertical alignment with said container-supporting bed and a raised position wherein said manifold is moved out of vertical alignment with said container-supporting bed including a supporting arm having said manifold secured to one end thereof and its opposite end pivotally supported; a single control shaft supported for rocking movement about its own longitudinal axis; biasing means operatively connected to said control shaft for applying a force thereto tending to rotate said control shaft in one direction; camming means limiting rotation of said control shaft in said one direction including a cam and follower means operatively connected to said control shaft, said cam and followerV means being biased into engagement with each other by said biasing means, said cam having a profile for displacing said follower means against the biasing action of said biasing means and being operable through said follower means upon rotation thereof to rotate said control shaft in a direction opposite to said one direction against the biasing action of said biasing means a distance correlated with the contour of such cam profile; connecting means operatively interconnecting said manifold supporting arm and control shaft whereby rocking of said control shaft in said one direction effects pivoting of said supporting arm to move said manifold to its raised position and in said opposite direction effects pivoting of said supporting arm against the biasing action of said biasing means to move said manifold to its lowered position; and connecting means operatively interconnecting said pusher bar supporting arm and said control shaft whereby rocking of said control shaft in said one direction effects pivoting of said supporting arm to move said pusher bar to its extended position and in said opposite direction effects pivoting of ysaid pusher bar supporting arm against the biasing action of said biasing means to move said pusher bar to its retracted position.

7. An apparatus substantially as set forth in claim 6, further including an elongated barrier strip; means for supporting said istrip for swinging movement between an elevated position wherein the strip is interposed between said conveyor and container-supporting bed and extends vertically above the level of the top surface of said conveyor and a lowered position wherein the strip is below the level of the top surface of said conveyor including a substantially Z-shaped arm having the strip secured to one end thereof and a mid-portion pivotally connected to said base plate, the end portion of said arm opposite the end secured to said strip being provided with a shoe disposed above the level of said base plate, the Weight of said strip being sufficiently greater than said shoe to cause said arm to pivot to a position corresponding to the lowered position of said strip; and means movable in unison with said pusher bar supporting arm for engaging said shoe to rock said Z-shaped arm to effect movement of said strip to its elevated position as said pusher bar is moved toward its retracted position, said means being movable out of engagement with said shoe as said pusher bar is moved toward its extended position by the biasing action of said biasing means to permit said strip to move to its lowered position.

S. An apparatus for agitating the liquid contents of a plurality of containers simultaneously with the injection thereinto of a gas under pressure, comprising, a pair of horizontally spaced L-shaped arms mounted for pivotal movement about a generally horizontal axis; a container-supporting bed rigidly secured to the free end of each of the normally horizontally extending legs of said arms; a gas injection manifold; means for supporting said manifold for swinging movement between a lowered position wherein said manifold is vertical spaced above and in vertical alignment with said container-supporting bed and a raised position wherein said manifold is moved out of vertical alignment with said container-supporting bed including a pair of supporting arms each having one end secured to said manifold and its opposite end pivotally connected to the free end of the vertically extending leg of a respective L-shaped arm; means for swinging said manifold between its raised and lowered positions including a control shaft rotatably supported by said horizontally extending arms of said L-shaped arms, said control shaft being pivotal in unison with said L-shaped arms, connecting means operatively interconnecting said manifold supporting arm and control shaft whereby rocking of said control shaft in one direction eects pivoting of said manifold support ann to move said manifold to its raised position and in the opposite direction effects pivoting of said support arm to move said manifold to its lowered position including a pair of radially extending arms fixed to said control shaft and a pair of link means each having one end pivotally connected to a respective radially extending arm and its opposite end pivotally connected to a respective manifold supporting arm intermediate the ends thereof, the pivotal connections of said l-ink means with said radially extending arms and said supporting arms and the longitudinal axis of said control shaft lying substantially in a common plane with the pivotal connections of said link means with said radially extending arms being on a diametrically opposite side of said control shaft from the pivotal connections of said link means with said supporting arms when said manifold is in its lowered position, biasing means operatively connected to said control shaft for applying a force thereto tending to rotate said control shaft in said one direction, and camming means limiting rotation of said control shaft in said one direction including a single cam and follower means operatively connected to said control shaft, said cam and follower means being biased into engagement with each other by said biasing means, Said cam having a profile for displacing said follower means and being operable through said follower means upon rotation thereof to rotate said control shaft in said opposite direction against the biasing action of said biasing means a distance correlated with the contour of such cam profile; a rotatably supported shaker shaft having an eccentric section secured thereto; a connecting rod ha"- ing the lower end thereof journaled on said eccentric section and the upper end pivotally connected to said container-supporting bed; an electric motor drivingly connected to said shaker shaft; switch means including a switch actuator plunger for controlling energization of said motor, said plunger being biased to its switch open position; and means operatively connected to said follower means and movable into engagement with said switch actuator plunger to move said switch actuator plunger to its switch closed position upon displacement of said follower means by said cam to rotate said control shaft in said opposite direction against the biasing action of said biasing means.

9. An apparatus substantially as set forth in claim 8, further including a continuously operating electric motor i8 drivingly connected to said cam for rotating said cam in one direction at a predetermined speed.

10. An apparatus as set forth in claim 8 including a horizontally disposed base plate; a plate-type conveyor for delivering containers to the base plate; an elongated pusher bar; means for supporting said pusher bar for swinging movement between an extended position wherein said pusher bar overlies said conveyor and a retracted position wherein said pusher bar is horizontally spaced from said conveyor and disposed on the side of the conveyor opposite the container-supporting bed including a supporting arm having said pusher bar operatively connected to one end thereof and its opposite end pivotally supported; and connecting means including said follower means operatively interconnecting said pusher bar supporting arm and said control shaft whereby rocking of said control shaft in said one direction effects pivoting of said supporting arm to move said pusher bar to its extended position and in said opposite direction against the biasing action of said biasing means effects pivoting of said supporting arm to move said pusher bar to its retracted position.

ll. An apparatus substantially as set forth in claim l0, further including an elongated barrier strip; means for supporting said strip for swinging movement between an elevated position wherein the strip is interposed between said conveyor and container-supporting bed and extends vertically above the level of the top surface of said conveyor and a lowered position wherein the strip is below the level of the top surface of said conveyor including a substantially Z-shaped arm having the strip secured to one end thereof and a mid-portion pivotally connected to said base plate, the end portion of said arm opposite the end secured to said strip being provided with a shoe disposed above the level of said base plate, the weight of said strip being sufficiently greater than said shoe to cause said arm to pivot to a position corresponding to the lowered position of said strip; and means movable in unison with said pusher bar supporting arm for engaging said shoe to rock said Z-shaped arm to eect movement of said strip to its elevated position as said pusher bar is moved toward its retracted position, said means being movable out of engagement with said shoe as said pusher bar is moved toward its extended position by the biasing action of said biasing means to permit said strip to move to its lowered position. i

12. An apparatus substantially as set forth in claim ll, further including a continuously operating electric motor drivingly connected to said cam for rotating said cam in one direction at a predetermined speed.

13. An apparatus as set forth in claim l2, wherein said connecting means operatively interconnecting said pusher bar supporting arm and control shaft includes a generally horizontally extending, elongated shuttle bar having one end operatively connected to said follower means and tis opposite end operatively connected to said pusher bar being vertically spaced above and extending perpendicular to the rotational axis of said shaker shaft, said shuttle bar being movable along its longitudinal axis in one direction upon rocking of said control shaft in said one direction to effect pivoting of said pusher bar support arm to move said pusher bar to its extended position and movable in an opposite direction upon rocking said control shaft in said opposite direction to effect pivoting of said pusher bar support arm to move said pusher bar to its retracted position; and a radially extending pin xed to said shaker shaft, the free end portion of said pin being adjacent to said shuttle bar when said container-supporting bed is in its raised position; a block having a cam surface thereon carried by said shuttle bar, said cam surface being adapted to engage said pin and apply a rotative force to said shaker shaft upon movement of said shuttle bar along its longitudinal axis in said one direction under the influence of the biasing action of said biasing means of said shuttle bar when said container-supporting bed is in its raised position to rock said shaker shaft to a position corresponding to the lowered position of said container-supporting bed.

14. An apparatus for agitating the liquid contents of a plurality of containers simultaneously with the injection thereinto of a gas under pressure, comprising, a horizontally disposed base plate; a plate type conveyor for delivering containers to the base plate; a containersupporting bed along one side of the conveyor; and elongated pusher bar; means for supporting said pusher bar for swinging movement between an extended position wherein said pusher bar overlies said conveyor and a retracted position wherein said pusher bar is horizontally spaced from said conveyor and disposed on the side of said conveyor and disposed on the side of said conveyor opposite the container-supporting bed including a supportling arm having one end operatively connected to said pusher bar and its opposite end pivotally supported; a control shaft supported for rocking movement about its own longitudinal axis; biasing means operatively connected to said control shaft for applying a force thereto tending to rotate said control shaft in one direction; camming means limiting rotation of said control shaft in said one direction including a cam and follower means operatively connected to said control shaft, said cam and follower means being biased into engagement with each other by said biasing means, said cam having a profile for displacing said follower means upon rotation thereof to rotate said control shaft in a direction opposite to said one direction against the biasing action of said biasing means a distance correlated with the contour of such cam prole; connecting means operatively interconnecting said pusher bar supporting arm and control shaft including said follower means, said connecting means further including a generally horizontally extending, elongated reciprocal shuttle bar having one end operatively connected to said follower means and its opposite end operatively connected to said pusher bar supporting arm, said shuttle bar being movable along its longitudinal axis in one direction upon rocking of said control shaft in said one direction to effect pivoting of said pusher bar support arm to rnove said pusher bar to its extended position and movable in an opposite direction upon rocking of said control shaft in said opposite direction to effect pivoting of said pusher bar support arm to move said pusher bar to its retracted position; a rotatably supported shaker shaft having an eccentric section thereon, said shaker shaft being vertically spaced below said shuttle bar; a

connecting rod having its upper end pivotally connected to said container-supporting bed and its lower end journaled on said eccentric section whereby rotation of said shaft eects reciprocation of said bed between a lowered position wherein the top surface thereof is flush with the top surface of said conveyor and a raised position wherein the top surface of said bed is vertically spaced above said conveyor; an electric motor drivingly connected to said shaker shaft; switch means for controlling energization of said motor including a switch actuator plunger biased to a position corresponding to the opened condition of the switch means; plate-like means carried by one end of said shuttle bar movable into engagement with said switch actuator plunger to move said switch actuator plunger to its switch closed position upon movement of said shuttle f bar along its longitudinal axis in said opposite direction; a radially extending pin fixed to said shaker shaft, the free end portion of said pin being adjacent to said shuttle bar when said container-supporting bed is in its raised position; a block having a cam surface thereon carried by said shuttle bar, said cam surface being adapted to engage said pin and apply a rotative force to said shaker shaft upon movement of said shuttle bar along its longitudinal axis in said one direction under the inuence of the biasing action of said biasing means when said container-supporting bed is in its raised position to rock said shaker shaft to a position corresponding to the lowered position of said container-supporting bed.

15. An apparatus substantially as set forth in claim 14 further including a continuously operating electric motor drivingly connected to said cam for rotating said cam in one direction at a preselected, constant speed.

References Cited in the tile of this patent Suellentrop Nov. 23, 1954

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3259152 *Jan 31, 1963Jul 5, 1966Auto Prod IncApparatus for filling and shaking a can
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Classifications
U.S. Classification141/64, 141/72, 141/237
International ClassificationB65B31/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B31/003
European ClassificationB65B31/00A