Apparatus for packaging elongated articles
US 3123959 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Mar 10, 1964 M. M. CARRIERE ETAL 3 5 APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING ELONGATED ARTICLES 9 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 10, 1961 March 10, 1964 M. M. CARRIERE ETAL APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING ELONGATED ARTICLES Filed July 10, 1961 9 Sheets-Sheet 2 March 10, 1964 M. M. CARRIERE ETAL 3,123,959
APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING ELONGATED ARTICLES Filed July 10, 1961 9 Sheets-Shget 3 FIG. 2
March 10, 1964 M. M. CARRIERE ETAL 3,123,959
APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING ELONGATED ARTICLES Filed July 10, 1961 9 Sheets-Sheet 4 March 10, 1964 M. M. CARRIERE ETAL 3,
APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING ELONGATED ARTICLES Filed July 10. 1961 9 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIGS March 10, 1964v M. M. CARRIERE ETAL 3,123,959
APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING ELONGATED ARTICLES Filed July 10, 1961 9 Sheets-Sheet e FIG. 4
March 10, 1964 M. M. CARRIERE ETAL 3,123,959
APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING ELONGATED ARTICLES Filed July 10. 1961 9 Sheets-Sheet 7 FIG. 5
March 10, 1964 M. M. CARRIERE ETAL 3,123,959
APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING ELONGATED ARTICLES Filed July 10. 1961 9 Sheets-Sheet 8 Ma h 1964 M. M. CARRIERE ETAL 3,123,959
APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING ELONGATED ARTICLES Filed July 10. 1961 9 Sheets-Sheet sa FIG. 10
United States-Patent O 3,123,959 APPARATUS FOR IAQKAGING ELGNGATEI) ARTICLE Maurice M. Carrier-e, Danhnry, Clifiord F. Casey, Stratiord, Albert W. G. Ervine, Bridgeport, James K. Hamil, Westport, Robert G. Schirnpi, Fair-field, Frank H. Smith, Trumbull, and John R. Turner, Strattord, Conn, assignors to Remington Arms Company, Inc, Bridge= port, (loan, a corporation of Delaware Filed .luly 1t 1961, Ser. No. 122,962 33 Claims. (Cl. 53-4143) This invention relates to the packaging of elongated longitudinally asymmetric articles, and will be described with particular reference to the arranging and packaging of firearms cartridges.
More specifically, the invention contemplates the arrangement of articles such as cartridges in what is commonly called a head and tail sequence, in which adjacent articles are longitudinally reversed with respect to each other, the wider or head portion of each article being transversely adjacent the narrowed or nose portion of each of two or more contiguous articles in axially parallel relationship to said first article.
A small arms cartridge comprises a cylindrical body or case having projecting from one end thereof an ogival or pointed bullet. The opposite end of the case is closed by a fiat head at right angles to the axis of the body. On certain cartridges, particularly those of rim fire type, the head is of greater diameter than the body, and the transversely extending rim of the head may contain the percussion sensitive priming mixture. Thus, the packaging of such cartridges in head and tail sequence is required not only for efiicient packaging but for safety from accidental primer ignition.
Cartridges of the rim fire type have been packaged in boxes of fifty side by side and in head and tail sequence, probably throughout the history of the art, but their assembly into head and tail sequence groups, and the insertion of such groups into packages has always been at least in put a manual operation. A single factory may produce up to four million cartridges per day, and many attempts have been made to fill the long felt need for an eficctive cartridge arranger and packager.
The present invention has overcome the shortcomings of the prior art, and provided an orienting, handling and packaging device which has proven itself in production use. Moreover, the machine is adapted, by the replacement of a few readily exchangeable parts, to the handling of articles of difierent lengths, such as short, long or shot cartridges.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary sectional front elevation, partly in section, showing the path of movement of cartridges thru the machine and the manner in which cartridges are firmly held in the conveyor buckets while in transit. Loading at the several stations is complete and the conveyor ready to advance each bucket to the next loading station.
'FIG. 1A is a continuation of FIG. 1, from the line lla--1a of FIG. 1 showing the path of movement of each set of cartridges accumulated in a conveyor bucket to a point opposite a tray in the tray drum.
FIG. 2 a fragmentary sectional plan view of substantially the portion of the machine shown in FIG. 1, the section being on line 2-2 of FIG. 1. The transfer plates and pusher pins are in advanced position.
FIG. 2A is a continuation of FIG. 2.
FIG. 3 is a sectional elevation substantially on line 3'--3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary transverse section substantially on line 4-4 of FIG. 2, showing the cartridge detents, transfer plates and pusher pins in normal position,
and the bucket cover lowered into cartridge holding position. Except for the position of the bucket bottom and the number of layers of cartridges thereon, a section thru any loading station would present the same appearance. FIG. 4 is a enlarged with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2, the parts being shown substantially actual size.
FIG. 5 is a detail transverse section, showing the first movement of cartridges from the entrance tubes. toward the conveyor buckets.
FIG. 6 is a section similar to FIG. 4 showing cartridges held directly above the conveyor buckets, the transfer mechanism being in the same position as in FIG. 2.
FIG. 7 is a similar section in which the transfer plates have been withdrawn, dropping a group of cartridges into each bucket while such cartridges are held against retrograde movement by the pusher pins.
FIG. 8 is a detached perspective of a transfer plate.
FIG. 9 is a detail section substantially on line 9-9 of FIG. 2, showing the combs, which together with the pusher pins, hold a row of cartridges in alignment directly above a conveyor bucket.
FIG. 10 is a small scale front elevation showing the receiving tube and orienting block assembly drawn aside for machine clearing and like purposes.
FIG. ll is a fragmentary sectional elevation substantially on line ill-11 of FIG. 1A showing details of the tray drum.
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary section view showing a portion of the plate positioning means in its retracted position.
The machine comprises a chain conveyor, identified generally by numeral lit, which is of precision construction and is intermittently driven through sprocket wheel 11. The chain carries a number of bucket assemblies, identified generally by numeral 12, and its indexing movement locates each of the buckets 12, in turn, opposite each of several loading stations, identified on FIG. 1, as stations I to 5 inclusive. A layer or row of cartridges is placed in each bucket at each loading station, the packet or set of cartridges being completed at station 5. Further indexing movement of the conveyor brings each completed packet in turn to an unloading station at which the complete packet is thrust sidewise out of the conveyor bucket through a transfer cell 13 (FIG. 2A), having slightly converging walls, into a package or tray T carried in a recess in an indexible drum 14 from which the loaded tray is discharged on to a conveyor chute 16 (FIG. 1A).
The machine may be conveniently used in conjunction with a bullet lubricating machine of the type shown in the patent to Collins et a1. 2,849,980, September 2, 1958, or a modification thereof. Such a machine comprises a conveyor, transporting cartridges in rows of fifty (more or less) in a head down position. Such rows of cartridges are successively presented to the open upper ends of cartridge receiving tubes 17 and 17A (-FIGS. 1 and 3) forming part of the present machine. It is a feature of the present machine that cartridges are arranged and thrust into the conveyor buckets from opposite sides thereof. The set of tubes 17A is offset transversely from the set of tubes 17, and this duplex arrangement continues as to all elements of the cartridge orienting and transferring mechanism to be described. Further, the lower or delivery ends of tubes 17A and parts associated therewith are offset longitudinally with respect to tubes 17, the axes of one set of tubes being substantially opposite the centers of the tubes of the second set, and the same ofiiset arrangement persists as to all elements of the cartridge orienting and transfer mechanism as will hereinafter more fully appear.
In the present embodiment of the invention, there are five tubes 17 and five tubes 17A associated with each bucket loading station, and the tubes are vertically offset,
as seen in FIG. 1, to enable the delivery of suitably spaced groups of cartridges at each loading station. The tubes of each set of five terminate in an orienting block 18 and 18A, which block is provided with channels, one for each tube, for guiding and laterally holding cartridges as they are rotated from vertical to horizontal position. The lower most cartridge in each tube rests in a head down position in a notch in a pusher pin 19 or 19A. The pusher pins of each group have a common mounting in bars 20 and 20A, respectively, said bars being reciprocated by suitable connections to cams on a cam shaft 21 in the base of the machine. It will be noted that the two sets of pusher pins are arranged on opposite sides of the conveyor buckets and are actuated in unison but in opposite directions; both sets approaching and receding from the conveyor buckets at the same time.
FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7 show the sequence of movements of the pusher pins. In FIG. 4 they are in normal posi tion, the head of the lowermost cartridge in the associated tube resting in the aforementioned notch near the front end of a pin. The first movement of the pusher pins is away from the conveyor bucket, the engagement of the cartridge head with the shoulder 191 of the pin serving to tip the cartridge bullet end forward, and further retraction of the pusher pins locating the cartridges in front of the pusher pins, as shown in FIG. 5. During this and subsequent movements of the pusher pins, the superimposed cartridges in the tubes are retained therein by detents 22, actuated by suitable cams and connections, in synchronism with the movements of the pusher pins and the transfer plates to be described.
Each detent pin is urged toward effective position by a spring 221, and all are retracted in unison, the individual pin of each set of being engaged by a cross member 222 moved by a lever 223, which lever is in turn engaged by a pin 224 projecting from a common operating bar 225 controlled by lever 226 actuated by a cam on cam shaft 21 (see FIG. 3).
As shown in FIG. 5, each cartridge in front of its pusher pin rests in a groove 231 or 231A in a transfer plate 23 or 23A. As shown in FIG. 8, each groove 231 extends completely across its transfer plate, a thickened outward portion of the transfer plate serving as a pusher pin guide. Intermediate and parallel to grooves 231 are grooves 232 which terminate in shoulders 233. As heretofore noted, the cartridge receiving channels or grooves 231A in transfer plates 23A are offset with respect to those in the similar plates 23, so that the movement of the pusher pins as described forms at each loading station sub groups of cartridges on opposite sides of the conveyor buckets, the groups being staggered with respect to each other and the bullets of each group pointing inward toward the conveyor buckets. The transfer plates and pusher pins are now advanced toward the conveyor buckets in synchronism but not in unison, the transfer plates coming into the juxtaposed positions (FIGS. 2 and 6) with their forward ends substantially over the longitudinal centers of the conveyor buckets, and the pusher pins advancing the cartridges of each sub group to and beyond the ends of the associated transfer plates, and into the grooves 232 of the opposite plate, so that the two sub groups are interengaged to form a single group or row, held upon the two opposed transfer plates in positions directly above the conveyor buckets, as shown in FIG. 6.
Associated with each set of pusher pins is a fixed comb 24, (FIG. 9) having downward projections or teeth 25 interspersed between the pusher pins 19 and 19A, and located substantially opposite the ends of the pusher pins, when in advanced position. The sub group of cartridges, which are moved by the set of pusher pins 19, come to rest with their bullet ends closely adjacent the teeth 25A of the comb associated with pusher pins 19A. Thus, in the FIG. 6 position, the cartridges are effectively confined. against longitudinal movement in either direction. The
transfer plates 23 and 23A are now withdrawn, While the pusher pins remain in an advanced position, dropping the formed row or group on to the floor of the conveyor bucket (to be described) at number 1 station, and at succeeding stations on to the row or rows of cartridges received in the buckets at preceding stations. It will be noted (FIG. 2) that each row is in head and tail sequence, and the arrangement at successive stations is such that the superposed rows are also in head and tail sequence. Thus, there is formed a set of cartridges in which the head of each cartridge is opposite the bullet of all adjacent cartridges. fter the transfer plates have been withdrawn to deposit the formed rows of cartridges in the buckets, the pusher pins are returned to their normal (FIG. 4) position.
Each conveyor bucket (FIG. 1a) 12 comprises a base 30, secured to a bracket 31, projecting laterally from the conveyor chain 10. Mounted on base 30 are rollers 32, adapted to be received in fixed guide rails 33 and 33A (FIG. 3) vertically locating the bucket bodies during the loading and unloading of the buckets. Secured to each base 30 are bucket ends 34, the upper margins of which are chamfered, as shown at 34', to facilitate the move ment into the buckets of the aforementioned rows of cartridges, as well as the movement into the buckets of the bucket covers to be described. Each bucket comprises a vertically movable floor 35, carried at the end of a post 36, having adjacent the opposite end a roller 37 which traverses a fixed cam track 38. Adjacent to the sides of the buckets on the upper or active reach of the conveyor chain are fixed rails 39 and 40 (FIGS. 3 and 4) between which the buckets pass as they are loaded. Opposite each loading station these rails are slightly notched to receive the transfer plates 23 and 23A. The arrangement of cam track 38 (FIG. 1) is such that at station 1 the upper face of bucket floor 35 is below the upper margins of guide rails 39 and it) by an amount slightly greater than the head diameter of the cartridges. As each bucket proceeds from station to station, the bucket floor is lowered by an amount substantially equal to the thickness of a row of cartridges. Thus, at each station, the row of cartridges dropped from their longitudinally confined position on the transfer plates fall a short distance within and between guide rails 39 and 4t), and the cartridges are again restrained against longitudinal movement, as they are during the transit of buckets from station to station.
Each bucket is provided with a cover 41 of such a length as to pass easily between the bucket end plates 34, while engaging the bodies of all the cartridges of the top row in the bucket. Laterally projecting flanges 42 adjacent to the tops of bucket covers 41 engage a channel in a bucket lifter bar 43 (FIGS. 3 and 4) which is raised and lowered in synchronism with the movement of the conveyor by connections and linkage identified generally by numeral 44.
The lifter bar 43 engages the covers of buckets at all loading stations, and terminates just beyond station 5. There may be one or more idle stations between station 5 and the unloading station, and as the buckets traverse this region the bucket covers may be raised to and held in a slightly elevated positoin. The means for doing this may comprise a fixed cam 431 (FIG. 1A) adapted to engage beneath the inclined end 421 of each bucket cover, and adapted to lift each bucket cover as shown. Thereafter the flanges 42 traverse a series of rollers 432 which hold each bucket cover up until the bucket has passed the unloading station.
Each bucket cover is supported from a post 45, secured to the bucket base 39, by means of a hinge pin 46, extending from a member 47, pivoted to the bucket cover at 48. One end of member 4-7 overlies a pin 49 urged upwardly by spring 50 housed in post 45. The movement of cover 41 into the bucket by spring 50 is limited by the engagement of the projecting end 471 of member 47 with the top of the opposite bucket end.
The timing of the movement of bucket covers 41 by lifter bar 43 (FIGS. 4 and 7) is such that the bucket covers are lowered to firmly engage cartridges in the buckets before the buckets are moved away from the loading stations, and remain in this position until the buckets come to rest at succeeding loading stations, at which time the covers are lifted to permit the insertion of additional layers or rows of cartridges, as heretofore described. Moreover, the timing of the movement of the transfer plates 23 and 23A is such that these plates are advanced over the end portions of cartridges (FIG. 5) in the buckets before the bucket covers are lifted. Thus, not only are cartridges in the buckets held against any displacement during movement of the buckets, they are likewise held by the transfer plates against adhering to and moving upward with the bucket covers. The machine as illustrated in the drawings is set up for handling of long or long rifle cartridges. The alterations necessary to adapt it to articles of a different length, such as short cartridges are as follows: The pusher pins 19 and 19A are replaced by appropriately longer pins; the bucket bottoms 3t and ends 34 are replaced by narrower ones; the spacing of rails 3? and ill from each other is decreased; the transfer cell 13 is replaced by a longer one; and the combs 24 are relocated. It will be apparent that this is a routing job of a tool setter. Each of the cam followers controlling the movement of pusher pins 19 and 19A and the transfer plates 23 and 23A is spring urged to contact its controlling cam, and the arrangement is such that both pusher pins and transfer plates are advanced toward cartridge delivering position as the cam followers ride down surfaces approaching the cam axes. Thus, any obstruction to or jamming of the movement of cartridges from tubes 17 and 17A into conveyor buckets 12 merely halts the movement of cartridges without damage or injury to cartridges or machine. Preferably, the assembly comprising the receiving tubes 17 and 17A, the orienting blocks 18 and 18A, and the cover lifter bar 43 is supported in a unitary frame identified generally by numeral 6i! (FIG. 3) slidably held on fixed arbors 61 and 62, and normally held in operative position by suitable means, such as screw 6? (FIG. 10) rotatably mounted on the machine frame and adapted to be received in threaded recess 64 in frame on. Displacement of said holding means enables the assembly to be moved along arbors 6162 to clear the loading stations, thus facilitating cleaning and freeing of obstructions. To enable such movement of the assembly away from operative position the train of operating devices for the cover lifter 43 comprises a cam actuated link 441 terminating in jaws 442-443 which normally embrace a roller 444 carried by a lever 445, which lever and associated parts 44 and bar 43 actuated thereby are mounted in the slidable frame 6i). Displacement of said frame disengages said roller from said jaws, and re-engagement is effected by the return of said frame to normal position.
The loaded buckets proceed in turn from station 5 to an unloading station at which each bucket comes to rest opposite the mouth of aforementioned transfer cell l3. At this point, rails 39 and at are cut away to enable the set of cartridges in a bucket to be thrust out of the bucket into and thru said transfer cell by their engagement with head 56 of plunger 51, actuated by a suitable cam and connections. Movement of the plunger head 59 carries the set or packet of cartridges through and between the converging walls of cell 13, delivering them into a tray T, carried in a recess 52, in tray drum 14. Said drum is supported on a horizontally disposed arbor 141, and is indexed in timed relation to the conveyor and other parts to carry the loaded tray from its cartridge receiving or tray filling (left FIG. 11) position to a tray exchange position at the top of the drum, at which position each loaded tray is removed from its drum recess onto a conveyor chute by the insertion into the said recess of an unloaded tray. Such trays are brought to the 5 machine by a conveyor belt 53 which delivers them to a. short roller conveyor 531 from which each tray in turn is thrust into a recess 52 by a finger 54 actuated in timed relation to the movement of the tray drum in a manner well known in the art.
The trays for both long and short cartridges are identical, a packet of long cartridges projecting above the tray sides, as seen in FIG. 2A. It is thus desirable to provide a measure of flexibility in the radial positioning of trays in the drum recesses 52. One means for doing this is as follows:
Each recess 52 contains a movable tray bottom engaging and supporting plate 65 (FIG. 11) secured to a radially disposed stem 66. The inner end of each stem 66 carries a roller 67. Cams 68 and 6h secured to drum housing 7i? are engaged by rollers 67 to bring plates 65 to their innermost positions at the tray exchange station (top of drum) and as they approach the tray filling station (left, horizontal, FIG. 11), at which point a roller 67 has cleared cam 69. Slidably mounted on a horizontally disposed arbor 71 supported in drum housing 7% is a plate positioning member 72, comprising a pad 73 (FIG. 12) adapted to engage the roller 67 which is at the-tray filling station. Member 72 further comprises a pad 74 which is engaged by a roller 75 carried on arm 76 of a lever which is oscillated by a box cam on the main cam shaft. A spring 77 connects the end of arm 76 to member 72. Thus, upon movement of arm 76 to the left from its FIG. ll position, the recess bottom assembly 65, 66, 67 at the tray filling station is spring urged to the left by the engagement of pad 73 with roller 67, and the tray in the recess is thrust forward until its rim T1 (FIG. 2A) engages the margin 131 of the cartridge packet exit end of transfer cell 13. The dimensions of said exit end are slightly less than the interior dimensions of tray T, thus rim T1 is completely covered by margins or shoulder 131 and jamming of cartridges against tray rim T1 is precluded. If the cartridges in transit are long (FIG. 2A) the thrust of plunger 51 carries the loaded tray and recess bottom assembly radially inward, stressing spring 77. Before plunger 51 is retracted and before the tray drum is indexed to move the loaded tray away from the tray filling station, lever 76 moves to the right (FIG. 11) and its roller 75 moves member 72 to the right, leaving the loaded tray and recess bottom assembly Where they were located by plunger 51.
If the cartridges being packaged are short, the only difference in the functioning of the device just described is that there is little if any movement of the loaded tray away from shoulder 131 by plunger 51. Upon leaving the tray filling station each cell bottom assembly (66, etc.) comes under the control of cam 63, and all trays, whether loaded with longs or shorts come to the same radial (vertical) position at the tray exchange station.
To preclude inter-locking or jamming of trays at the tray exchange station means are provided for moving the last delivered tray on tray chute 16 a short distance away from the tray drum. Means are also provided for positioning loaded trays in the tray drum to insure clearance from the incoming empty tray. Both means become efiective as each tray recess approaches the tray exchange station.
The means for pushing out of the way the last delivered tray on the chute 16 comprises a series of blade like cams fit (FIG. 2a) held in an arcuate slot in the face of tray drum M, from which loaded trays are delivered. One such cam is disposed between each tray receiving recess 52 and the adjacent recess, and each cam increases in depth toward the following recess, whereby as each recess approaches the tray exchange station the cam ahead of it engages the last delivered tray on chute 16 to displace i a short distance away from the drum.
The means for shifting the loaded tray in the drum comprises a cam 81 secured to the drum housing adjacent the tray exchange station. Cam 81 increases in w ti depth toward the tray exchange station and enters an arcuate slot in the face of the drum thru which empty trays are received, thus insuring clearance between the incoming empty tray and the loaded tray approaching the tray exchange station.
The construction which has been illustrated and described is merely a typical and representative embodiment of inventions which are susceptible to other embodiments, variations and structural changes.
1. Apparatus for the packaging of cartridges comprising a conveyor, buckets on said conveyor adapted to reccive and convey pre-formed groups of cartridges, a bucket loading station comprising a plurality of means for delivering cartridges to juxtaposed locations on opposite sides of said conveyor, means for forming and holding sub groups of cartridges in identical orientation and spaced relation to each other associated with each of said delivery means, and means for transferring said sub groups of cartridges toward and into inter-fitting relation to each other to form a single group within the confines of a conveyor bucket.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said transferring means comprises a transfer plate having therein a set of arcuate grooves affording an individual channel for each of the cartridges thereon.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2 in which said tran fer plate further comprises a second set of arcuate grooves affording partial support for the cartridges of the second sub group when the sub groups come into inter-fitting relation.
4. Apparatus according to claim 2 in which said transferring means further comprises a rectilinearly movable pin associated with each of said individual cartridge channels, and means for advancing and retracting said pins.
5. Apparatus according to claim 2 comprising means for retracting said transfer plates to clear said cartridges and said bucket while said pins remain in advanced position and prevent retrograde movement of said cartridges with said transfer plates, and for subsequently retracting said pins to clear said cartridges and said bucket.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5 comprising a fixed abutment in alignment with each of said pins, said abutment being so positioned as to prevent excess movement of cartridges in the direction of their movement by said pins.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6 in which said abutments are in substantial alignment with the cartridge engaging ends of said pins when in advanced position, whereby each cartridge is located endwise between a pin and an abutment while said transfer plates are withdrawn.
8. Apparatus according to claim 7 comprising a plurality of similar bucket loading stations disposed lengthwise of said conveyor, each station being arranged to superpose a group of cartridges upon the group placed in said conveyor bucket at the last preceding station in such orientation that superposed cartridges of the several groups are in head and tail sequence.
9. Apparatus according to claim 8 comprising a movable fioor for each of said conveyor buckets and means for lifting and holding said fioor in a position directly below and in juxtaposition to said transfer plates when in advanced positions, whereby upon retraction of said transfer plates the cartridges thereon are dropped onto said bucket floor while being held against retrograde movement by said pins.
10. Apparatus according to claim 9 comprising side rails adjacent and parallel to said conveyor, said rails forming lateral walls for said buckets and precluding endwise movement of cartridges therein.
11. Apparatus according to claim 10 comprising means enabling the downward displacement of the movable floor of each bucket as said bucket approaches each loading station, each such downward displacement being substantially equal to the maximum thickness of a row of cartridges.
12. Apparatus according to claim 11 in which said bucket floor displacement enabling means comprises a cam follower on each bucket floor and a stepped cam bar for engagement by said cam follower.
13. Apparatus according to claim 8 comprising a displaceable cover associated with each bucket, cover lowering means urging each bucket cover toward its bucket floor, and cover lifting means for moving said cover against the force of said urging means.
14. Apparatus according to claim 13 comprising means for actuating said cover lifting means in synchronism with the movement of said conveyor.
15. Apparatus according to claim 14 in which said bucket covers are spring urged toward said bucket floors.
16. Apparatus according to claim 13 in which said cover lifting means comprises a cover lifter bar, means for operatively engaging said cover lifter bar with the cover of the bucket at each loading station, and means for actuating said lifter bar in synchronism with the intermittent movement of said conveyor, the synchronization being such that the bar and the covers are lifted, held in elevated position, and lowered, all while the conveyor is stationary.
17. Apparatus for the packaging of cartridges in trays of given dimensions comprising means for forming of a packet of super-posed rows of cartridges, said packet forming means comprising an intermittently moving conveyor, a plurality of loading stations spaced lengthwise of said conveyor, a plurality of buckets on said conveyor spaced to conform to the spacing of said loading stations, means at each loading station for forming a row of cartridges and for transferring said row of cartridges to a bucket at said station, and means associated with each of said row forming means to position the row of cartridges vvhich was transferred to the associated bucket at a preceding station so that successive rows of cartridges are transferred to said buckets at sequential loading stations, and means for applying pressure to the top row of cartridges in each bucket throughout any movement of the conveyor.
18. Apparatus according to claim 17 further comprising means for holding all cartridges in said conveyor buckets against longitudinal displacement throughout all movement of said conveyor.
19. Apparatus for the packaging of cartridges in trays of given dimensions comprising means for forming of a packet of super-posed rows of cartridges, said packet forming means comprising an intermittently moving conveyor, a plurality of loading stations spaced lengthwise of said conveyor, a plurality of buckets on said conveyor spaced to conform to the spacing of said loading stations, means at each loading station for forming a row of cartridges and for transferring said row of cartridges to a bucket at said station, means for applying lateral pressure to the assembly of cartridges in each bucket throughout any movement of said conveyor, and means for holding all cartridges in said conveyor buckets against longitudinal displacement throughout all movement of said conveyor a packet ejecting station, a packet compacting cell at said ejection stations, means for ejecting a packet of cartridges from a conveyor bucket into and thr-u said compacting cell and into a package tray comprising an ejection plunger having a unitary head of such dimensions as to engage an end portion of every cartridge in said packet, said compacting cell having lateral walls which converge in the direction of movement of the cartridges there, thru to form an exit opening of dimensions not exceeding the interior dimensions of the package.
20. Apparatus according to claim 19 comprising means for holding a tray opposite the exit opening of said compacting cell, said ejection plunger being adapted to thrust the packet of cartridges out of said conveyor bucket, thnu said compacting cell and into said tray in one continuous movement.
21.Apparatus according to claim 20 in which said tray holding means comprises a drum havin a plurality of peripheral recesses each adapted to contain a tray, and means for indexing said drum in unison with the indexing of said conveyor.
22. Apparatus according to claim 21 comprising tray supplying means, means for inserting a'tray into a drum recess and concomitantly ejecting a loaded tray from such recess, there being on at least one face of said drum a cam adapted to displace trays in transit out of the path of movement of said drum.
23. Apparatus for packaging articles in trays comprising means for forming a packet of articles and presenting the packet at a tray filling station, an indexible drum having a tray receiving recess, means for inserting a tray in said recess at a tray exchange station, means for indexing said drum to locate said recess and the tray therein at said tray filling station, and yieldahle means for ad vancing the tray in said recess toward said packet of articles.
24. Apparatus according to claim 23 in which said yieldable means comprises a tray engaging floor assembly partly contained in said recess, a cam actuated member, and a yielding connection between said cam actuated member and said floor assembly.
25. Apparatus according to claim 24 comprising means for limiting the movement of said tray toward said cartridge packet.
26. Apparatus according to claim 25 comprising means for thrusting the cartridge packet into said tray while said tray is held against said movement limiting means by said yieldable means.
27. Apparatus according to claim 26 in which said yieldable means comprises a reciprocating member, a spring connection between said reciprocating member and said cam actuated member, and a pad on said reciprocating member engaging an element of said floor assembly.
28. Apparatus according to claim 27 comprising an element on said cam actuated member adapted to engage and retract said reciprocating member, whereby said spring is unstressed while said tray is at said tray filling station.
29. Apparatus according to claim 28 in which said 10 drum is further indexed to move a loaded tray from the tray filling station to the tray exchange station, said apparatus comprising means for retracting said floor assembly to a limiting position as said loaded tray approaches the tray exchange station.
30. Apparatus according to claim 29 further comprising a second floor assembly retracting means adapted to retract said floor assembly to a limiting position as said floor assembly approaches said tray filling station.
31. In a machine for the packaging of longitudinally asymmetric articles, the combination With a conveyor comprising a plurality of article receiving buckets and means for indexing said conveyor to position each of said buckets in turn at each or a plurality of loading stations, of a first means at each of said loading stations for transferring a first sub group of articles into said buckets from one side thereof and a second means at each of said loading stations for transferring a second sub group of articles into said buckets from the opposite side thereof, orienting means associated with said first and second means whereby the orientation of the articles of the second sub group are the reverse of the orientation of the articles of the first sub group.
32. Apparatus according to claim 31 comprising means associated with each of said loading stations for delivering articles to said article transferring means comprising a unitary frame mounting for all of said article delivering means, and elongated supports on which said frame is slida-bly mounted, whereby said article delivery means may be moved on its support to an idle position clear of and alfording access to said article transferring means.
33. Apparatus according to claim 32 in which said article delivering means comprises a plurality of article containing tubes, there being one tube associated with each article of each sub group, and means for retaining articles in said tubes, said retaining means being rendered effective when said article delivery means is moved to said idle position.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS