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Publication numberUS3124231 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 10, 1964
Filing dateFeb 23, 1962
Publication numberUS 3124231 A, US 3124231A, US-A-3124231, US3124231 A, US3124231A
InventorsInveniror: George "E. Otrtr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Transfer mechanism
US 3124231 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 10, 1964 e. E. OTT, JR

TRANSFER MECHANISM 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 25, 1962 Tm, q e T.T n c w aw K U n 2% mmfls G .H H

March 10, 1964 G. E. OTT, JR 3,124,231

TRANSFER MECHANISM Filed Feb. 23, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3,124,231 TRANSFER MECHANEM George E. (lit, In, Eastlake, Ohio, assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Feb. 23, 1962, Ser. No. 175,188 3 Claims. ((31. 198-20) This invention relates to article transfer mechanisms, and more particularly to mechanism for transferring articles vertically upward. The mechanism is particularly useful for transferring fragile articles such as glass elec tric lamp bulbs or finished lamps.

It is an object of the invention to provide a mechanism which will continuously accept articles introduced thereto at random thereby avoiding the need for escapement mechanism for feeding articles individually thereto. Further objects include the provision of mechanism which is compact, relatively inexpensive, less complicated than prior art devices and less subject to wear.

In accordance with one feature of the invention, in a transfer mechanism comprising a pair of endless belts having outer surfaces provided with resilient gripping protuberances and arranged to provide coextensive vertical run or elevator portions wherein the outer belt surfaces are in spaced and opposed relationship for resiliently gripping an article therebetween, and wherein the articles are fed along a horizontal path toward the lower end of the elevator portion, there is provided a pair of rotatable transfer discs at opposite edges of one of the said elevator belts and straddling the space between said elevator belts for carrying the articles from the horizontal path into the vertical path of the elevator belts. The transfer is made effective and positive, and without breakage or frictional contact of the glass bulbs with any abrasive surface, by providing the opposed faces of the transfer discs with resilient protuberances between which the bulb is held firmly but gently.

Further features and advantages of the invention will appear from the following detailed description thereof and from the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a transfer mechanism comprising the invention;

FIG. 2 is an end view of the FIG. 1 device taken from a vertical section through the horizontal input and output conveyors along the line 22 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal section through the vertical elevator portion along the line 33 in FIG. 2 and looking downward;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the transfer discs and the lower end portion of one of the associated elevator belts;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a transfer disc having a gripping surface of modified form; and

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary schematic elevation of a modified arrangement of the upper output end of the elevator belts.

In the device shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, electric lamps comprising conventional pear-shaped glass bulbs 1 and screw thread metal bases 2 are carried along a horizontal conveyor comprising, in this case, a pair of spaced, endless belts 33, with the lamps suspended base down between the upper run of said belts. The lamps 1 are carried by the conveyor belts 33 into the space between a pair of rotatable transfer discs 4-4 (FIGS. 1 and 2) having their inner, opposed faces provided with a multiplicity of flexible resilient protuberances, in this case parallel ribs or cleats 5 of rubber which grip the bulb 1 at its maximum diameter. The discs 4-4 carry the bulbs around and up into the lower end of an elevator formed by the spaced, opposed vertical run portions of a pair of belts 66 which are also provided on their outer faces with flexible resilient protuberances 7. In this case, the

said protuberances 7 are constituted of transverse ribs or cleats of flexible material such as rubber, the tips of which, in the said vertical run or elevator portions, are spaced apart a distance slightly less (about /8 inch for example) than the maximum diameter of the glass bulb 1. In the said vertical run or elevator portion of the belts, they are maintained in rigid spaced relationship by back-up plates 88.

The lamps 1 are transferred from the upper end of the vertical run or elevator portion of the belts 6--6 onto a horizontal output conveyor, here illustrated as comprising a fiat endless conveyor belt 9. One mode of effecting that transfer is to employ a second pair of transfer discs 1illtl, like discs 4-4, and arranged to grip a bulb 1 at the upper end of the elevator belts 6-6 and carry it over and onto the conveyor belt 9.

Referring more specifically to the particular arrangement shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 by way of example, the elevator belts 6 run around respective pairs of upper and lower pulleys 11-12 and l314 which are mounted on respective shafts 15-16-47 and 18 which are journaled in pairs of bearing blocks l2l-21 and 22 mounted on the flanges of pairs of upright channel-shaped standards 24 and 25 constituting part of the framework of the device. The back-up plates 8, which support the belts 6 in the vertical runs, which may have a length of a few feet or several stories of a building, are supported from respective pairs of columns 24 and 25.

The lower transfer discs 44 are attached to the shaft 16 of pulley 12 at opposite edges of the associated elevator belt 6 so that their peripheries straddle the space between the vertical run portions of the pair of belts 6-6. Similarly, the upper discs 1illtl are aifixed to the shaft 15 of pulley 11.

The belts 3 of the lower input conveyorrun around pairs of pulleys 26 and 27 which are afiixed, respectively,

,to a shaft 28 supported in bearings on a pair of upright standards 29, and to a shaft 30 supported from the pair of standards 25.

The belt 9 of the upper output conveyor runs around pulleys 31 and 32 which are affixed to shafts 33 and 34 supported on bearings mounted on a pair of horizontal girders 35. The lamp bulbs 1 are confined on the belt '9 between the divergent trough members as mounted on the girders 35. In the structure illustrated herein the lamps are carried by the upper discs it against an inclined plate member 37 (FIG. 1) down which they slide between guide plates 38 onto the belt 9.

The elevator belts 6, and upper and lower conveyors 9 and 3, are actuated in any suitable manner, either at the same lineal speeds, or at progressively greater speeds with the belts 6 traveling faster than belts 3, and belt 9 faster than belts 6. As here illustrated, a drive chain 39 (FIG. 1) driven from a motor and gear reducer assembly (not shown), drives a sprocket 49 on the shaft 16 to rotate pulley 12 and transfer discs 4 counterclockwise in FIG. 1. The pulley 12 drives its associated belt 6 which drives the upper pulley 11 and discs ill. The upper conveyor belt 9 is driven by a chain 41 wrapped around sprockets on the shafts 15 and 34 of the pulleys l1 and 32. The upper pulley 13 is driven clockwise in FIG. 1 from pulley 11 by the bevel gears 42 and 43 on respective shafts 15 and 17 of said pulleys ill and 13, which bevel gears mesh with respective bevel gears 44 and 45 which are mounted on the ends of a shaft 46 journalled in a bearing 47 mounted on a cross member portion 48 of the framework. The upper pulley 13 drives its associated elevator belt 6 which drives the lower pulley 14. The lower conveyor belts 3 are driven by a chain 49 which is wrapped around sprockets on the respective shafts 18 and 30 of pulleys 14 and 27.

Although the lower pulleys l2 and 14 for respective belts 66 (FIG. 1) may be at the same elevation, in the illustrated form the pulley 14 is at a somewhat lower elevation. In order to prevent any tendency of the lamp 1 to become canted while being carried upward by the transfer discs 44, with the consequent possibility of the base end 2 being caught between the periphery of one of the discs 4 and the surface of the right hand belt 6 (FIG. 1), there is provided a pair of generally V-shaped guides or retaining shields i supported by columns 25 adjacent the peripheries of each of the discs 4. To the same end, a second pair of shields 51 may be provided adjacent the upper discs -10.

It will be evident that the twin belt conveyor 3 may be replaced by a flat belt conveyor like the upper conveyor arrangement 936 with the lamps lying thereon horizontally, base end 2 trailing. It will also be evident that the parallel rib or cleat arrangement shown at 5 on discs 4 and at 7 on the belts 6 may be modified to provide any of a number of forms of flexible protuberances such as the diamond-shaped pattern of ribs shown at 52 on the disc 4a in FIG. 5. In that case, the individual ribs of the diamond-shaped pattern are preferably slittecl transversely for increased flexibility.

FIG. 6 shows a modification of the upper end of the elevator wherein the belt 6a associated with the upper transfer discs 10a is run over a pulley 53 to provide an inclined portion 54 of the belt 6a which carries the lamp 1 onto the upper horizontal conveyor belt 9a. The said belt 6a runs around another idler pulley 55. The construction may otherwise be the same as shown in FIGS. 1-4.

It will be noted that the input conveyor 3 is arranged to carry the lamps 1 along a path which lies in a vertical plane VV (FIG. 2) including the vertical run portions of both the elevator belts 6'6 and which leads the lamps to a point adjacent the lower end of the vertical run portion of one of said belts 6, where the lamps are picked up by the transfer discs 4-4 and carried upwardly into the space between the belts 66. In addition to effectively performing the operation of carrying the lamps from the horizontal conveyor 3 into the vertical elevator belts 66, this arrangement makes it possible to devise a compact grouping of a plurality of conveying mechanisms, such as shown in FIG. 1, in side-by-side relationship when it is desired to convey lamps in a plurality of individual rows.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

l. A transfer mechanism comprising a pair of first and second endless elevator belts having generally coextensive vertical run portions in spaced and opposed relationship and running around respective pairs of upper and lower pulleys, the lower pulley for said second belt being at a lower elevation than the lower pulley for said first belt so that the vertical portion of the second belt extends below that of the first belt, the outer surfaces of said belts having thereon a plurality of closely spaced resilient protuberances for resiliently gripping an article between the opposed vertical run portions thereof, a generally horizontal input conveyor means arranged to carry articles along a path which lies in a vertical plane including the vertical run portions of both said elevator belts and which leads the articles to a point adjacent the lower end of the vertical run portion of the first said elevator belt, a pair of fixedly spaced apart transfer discs mounted on the same horizontal axis as the lower pulley for said first elevator belt for rotation adjacent opposite edges of said first elevator belt and said input conveyor and straddling the space between the elevator belts at the lower end of the coextensive part of their vertical run portions, said transfer discs having their opposed inner faces provided with a plurality of closely spaced resilient protuberances and arranged to resiliently grip therebetween an article advanced thereto by said input conveyor and carry the article against the surface of said second elevator belt and up into the space between the vertical run portions of said elevator belts, and means to move said elevator belts and input conveyor and to rotate said transfer discs in directions to effect movement of articles along said input conveyor to said transfer discs and thence into the lower end of the vertical run portions of said elevator belts and thence upwardly along said vertical run portions of the elevator belts.

2. A transfer mechanism as set forth in claim 1 wherein said transfer discs are mounted on and rotatable with a shaft which also carries the lower pulley associated with said one elevator belt.

3. A transfer mechanism as set forth in claim 2 including a second pair of transfer discs like the first-mentioned pair and mounted on and rotatable with a shaft which also carries one of the said upper pulleys to thereby straddle the upper end of the vertical run portion of said elevator belts and remove articles therefrom.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

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US3402813 *Oct 12, 1966Sep 24, 1968Gen ElectricLamp bulb conveyor mechanism
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U.S. Classification198/604, 198/611, 198/624, 198/817, 198/607
International ClassificationH01J9/46
Cooperative ClassificationH01J2893/0096, H01J9/46
European ClassificationH01J9/46