US 3143247 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1964 H. c. BLAKE 3,143,247
ARTICLE RELEASING MEANS FOR INCLINED STORAGE SUPPORTS Filed Nov. 15, 1961 l i 1 -40 INVENTOR. L---- I Hownza c: JAR/r5 A TTOR/VA-YJ United States Patent 3,143,247 ARTICLE RELEASING MEANS FOR INCLINED STORAGE SUPPORTS Howard C. Blake, Oak Park, Mich, assignor to Admos, Inc., Warren, Mich, a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 15, 1961, Ser. No. 152,479 2 Claims. (Cl. 221-290) This invention relates to improvements in means used with an inclined suport on which articles are stored in a row for discharging one article from the support each time the device is actuated.
In connection with the storage of articles in rows on inclined supports such as chutes or rollerways, various devices have been employed at the discharge end of the support to control the discharge of the lowermost article therefrom; such a device being usually referred to as a release, and being ordinarily designed to discharge only one article at a time. All releases generally include an article blocking or gate member which in blocking position engages the leading face of the lowermost article, which is movable to a releasing position out of engagement therewith to permit the articles on the chute to move by gravity, and which is intended to return to blocking position in time to engage the leading face of the article immediately following.
In certain instances, this desired mode of operation has not been attained in actual practice. It has been found that with packages that are relatively heavy, or with packages that are relatively compressible in the direction of motion, or with packages made of a material which oflers relatively great resistance to sliding movement between adjacent packages, the release device will tend to malfunction and more than a single package will be discharged.
The device of the present invention provides a solution to this condition and insures successful operation of the release in its intended manner in the face of adverse factors such as those mentioned above or any combination of them. The invention provides, in combination with a primary inclined support on which a plurality of articles are stored in a row, and a release having a gate member which is selectively movable from a blocking position of engagement with the leading face of the lowermost article to a releasing position of disengagement therewith, a secondary article supporting means mounted on the discharge side of the release gate member to form an extension of the primary support, the secondary supporting means projecting above the extended plane of the primary support and defining an effective end thereof adjacent the discharge side of the gate member, said effective end forming a fulcrum, whereby a lowermost article, on moving from the primary support onto the secondary supporting means in response to movement of the gate member to a releasing position, travels on a plane of lesser incline than the plane of the support and racks about the fulcrum thereby positively breaking contact between the trailing face of the lowermost article and the leading face of an immediately following article to create a gap through which the gate member of the release device can be returned to blocking position for engagement with the immediately following article.
The secondary article supporting means may consist of a single roller mounted beyond the discharge end of the inclined support and on the discharge side of the release device, this roller having its axis extending transversely to the path of article movement but being positioned above the level of the plane of the inclined support as extended. Preferably, a deflector plate is located intermediate the secondary roller and the gate member,
Patented Aug. 4., 1964 this deflector plate extending from the plane of the primary support, as extended upwardly in a direction generally tangent to the upper edge of the roller element so as to guide the leading edge at the bottom of the lowermost article upwardly and over the roller element.
Other features and advantages will be brought out in connection with the representative embodiments of the invention disclosed in the accompanying drawings which consist of the following views:
FIGURES 1, 2 and 3, partly schematic side elevations each showing a progressive stage in the discharge movement of an article from the lower end of an inclined support equipped with one type of article releasing means of the present invention; and
FIGURE 4, a plan view of the structure of the secondary article supporting means.
Referring to FIGURES 1, 2 and 3, a plurality of packages A, B, C and D are shown stored on an inclined chute 1t equipped at the lower discharge end 12 thereof with a release device 14 forcontrolling movement of the packages from the lower discharge end 12 onto an adjacent belt conveyor 16 travelling at right angles to the chute 10. The release 14 shown is of the type disclosed in the co-pendin application, Serial No. 51,224 of James F. McClelland and William L. Brown, filed August 22, 1960, now Patent 3,088,569, issued May 7, 1963, and assigned to the assignee of the present application, and includes a blocking or gate member 18 which is movable to a releasing position as shown in FIGURE 1 and normally returned to a blocking position shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, the gate member and the actuating mechanism therefor being mounted in a frame 20.
The showing of this particular release construction is solely for purposes of illustration, for in the case of the present invention, it is only essential that the release include a gate member, means for moving this gate member to a releasing position, and means for normally returning the gate member to a blocking position.
Means provided by the invention for insuring correct operation of the release 14 and the discharge of a single article upon each actuation thereof, consists of a secondary article support in the form of the roller 38 carried by brackets 40 having portions 41 which are secured to a suitable support such as the frame 211' of the release 14. The brackets 41 are proportioned to position the secondary supporting roller 38 on the discharge side of the gate member 18 of the release at a distance from the chute end 12 less than the length of one of the packages A, and at an elevation which is above the extended plane of the primary supoprting chute 10 as indicated by the dash line 42 (FIGURE 1). A deflector plate 44 is carried by the brackets 41 and extends in the direction of article movement upwardly from a level below the extended plane 42 of the support along a line which is generally tangent to the upper edge of the roller 38. This deflector plate 44 is preferably made of thin sheet metal so as to be quite flexible, and, as shown in FIG. 4, may be sufliciently long to extend across the discharge ends of a number of chutes 10, 10a and 1% arranged in side-by-side relation. The deflector plate 44 is bent along a line 45, which will be referred to as the heel point, and when the brackets 40 and deflector plate 44 are installed, the heel point 45 is placed below the extended plane 42 of the chute so that the front edge 46 of a package will strike the deflector plate above the heel point.
When the release 14 is actuated to place its gate member 18 in a releasing position, all articles on the inclined chute 19 begin to move toward the discharge end therof. The leading edge 46 at the bottom of the lowermost article A passes over the release gate member, engages t2 the inclined deflector plate &4 and moves upwardly onto the secondary support provided by the roller element 33, as shown in FIGURE 1. This movement is aided by the flexibility of the deflector plate which acts to bounce the package up on to the roller 38. As a result, a gap 48 is positively created between the adjacent faces 49 and 56 of the lowermost package A and the immediately following package B, respectively. When the lowermost package A moves onto the supporting roller 38, frictional resistance will be decreased, and in spite of the lesser angle of incline, the gap 48 will, if anything, tend to increase.
Upon further movement of the lowermost package A. the center of gravity thereof (assumed to be located as indicated by the arrow 47) will pass beyond the fulcrum point defined by the roller 38 causing the package to rock to the position shown in FIG. 2 and permitting the gate member 18 to be returned to a blocking position in advance of the leading face 58 of the immediately following package B. The tilting action obtained from the passage of the package being discharged over the secondary supporting roller will, of course, provide greater insurance for the proper return of the release gate member 18 if the supporting roller 38 is located a distance from the gate member preferably less than onehalf the length of the package, assuming that the center of gravity of the package is approximately mid-way of its length. However, such a location is not critical because the gap 48 shown in FIGURE 1 will always be maintained in advance of the leading edge 59 of the immediately following package B as long as the supporting roller 38 is not located a distance greater than the length of the package from the end 12 of the chute 10.
FIGURE 3 shows positive engagement between the gate member 18 and immediately following package B while the package A has been discharged and is being picked up by the belt conveyor 16.
While a specific embodiment of my invention has been illustrated and described above in detail, it will be understood that numerous other adaptations and modifications may be resorted to without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.
1. An inclined chute on which a plurality of articles are stored in a row having means for releasing each successive lowermost article one at a time comprising the combination of a release device having a gate member adjacent the lower end of the chute selectively movable from a blocking position of engagement with the leading face of the lowermost article to a releasing position of disengagement therewith, and an article rocking device mounted on the discharge side of said release device, said article rocking device including a deflector plate, means mounting the deflector plate adjacent the discharge side a of said gate member in upwardly inclined relation to the extended plane of said chute, said deflector plate having a discharge end spaced from the lower end of the chute a distance less than the length of an article, a roller mounted at the discharge end of the deflector plate on an axis transverse to the chute with the surface of the roller forming a continuation of the upper surface of the deflector plate and also forming a fulcrum whereby a lowermost article, upon movement of the gate member to releasing position, moves from the chute onto the deflector plate and rocks upwardly and downwardly in passing over said fulcrum to permit the gate member to be returned to blocking position in time for engagement with the leading face of an immediately following article.
2. The combination set forth in claim 1 wherein the deflector plate is flexible relative to the chute.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 521,023 Gates June 5, 1894 1,076,593 Martin Oct. 31, 1913 1,583,093 Parker May 4, 1926 1,773,885 Staley Aug. 26, 1930 2,661,682 Saunders Dec. 8, 1953 2,926,815 Laughter Mar. 1, 1960 2,979,178 Hamre Apr. 11, 1961 OTHER REFERENCES A Filed Report on Rapistan Conveying Equipment, Field Report No. 47, Rapids-Standard Co., Inc., 1953 (pages 1, 2 and 3).