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Publication numberUS3165871 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 19, 1965
Filing dateJan 12, 1961
Priority dateJan 12, 1961
Publication numberUS 3165871 A, US 3165871A, US-A-3165871, US3165871 A, US3165871A
InventorsRoth William F, Suyder Nevin E
Original AssigneeChisholm Ryder Company Of Penn
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Carton packing machine
US 3165871 A
Abstract  available in
Images(8)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 19, 1965 w. F. ROTH ETAL 3,165,871

CARTON PACKING MACHINE Filed Jan. 12, 1961 a Sheets-Sheet 2 F/G. Z

INVENTOR W/LL/AM F. Ear Q 1 /l// //v A. J/v x052 s BY ATTORNEY Jan. 19, 1965 w. F. ROTH ETAL 7 3,155,871

CARTON PACKING MACHINE Filed Jan. 12. 1961 8 Sheets-Sheet s I f} INVENTOR ATTORNEY Jan. 19, 1965 w. F. ROTH ETAL CARTON PACKING MACHINE 8 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Jan. 12, 1961 wmw wo w km Nk N QWN m \mM w? wmw un R Wm W m EM W m NQW H 3 sum MM Z CARTON PACKING MACHINE Filed Jan. 12, 1961 8 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR W/AL/flM ft EQTH v /l/E1///'v 5 JNYDEE ATTORNEY Jan. 19, 1965 Filed Jan. 12, 1961 W. F. ROTH ETAL CARTON PACKING MACHINE 8 Sheets-Sheet 6 INVENTOR Jan. 19, 1965 w. F. ROTH ETAL CARTON PACKING MACHINE 8 Sheets-Sheet 7 Filed flan. 12, 1961 INVENTOR W/LL/AM F. 507w NEW/v f. j/vrpzz ATTORNEY Jan. 19, 1965 w. F. ROTH ETAL 3,

CARTON PACKING MACHINE Filed Jan. 12, 1961 8 Sheets-Sheet 8 INVENTOR W/LL/AM E E07 /\/fl///v f J/v/ E ATTORNEY United States Patent Oflice Patented Jan. 19, 1965 3,165,871 CAR'EGN PACKENG MAQHZWE Wiliiam F. Roth and Nevin E. Snyder, Hanover, Pa,

assignors to Chisholm-Ryder Company of Pennsylvania, Hanover, Pa, a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Jan. 12, 1961, Ser. No. 82,322 16 Qlairns. (Cl. 53-247) This invention pertains to a carton packing machine and, more particularly, to a carton packing machine arranged to load a group of containers, while positioned vertically, into an open end of a carton as distinguished from the top of a carton. It has been found that by filling cartons made from chipboard, corrugated pasteboard, or the like, from an end as distinguished from the top, a saving of as much as 15% of the board from which the carton is made can be effected. Due'to the requirement to load such cartons from the end however,

it is preferable that the containers, be they cans, bottles, or other types of containers, are handled while standing vertically upon suitable conveyors or other supporting surfaces incident to being assembled into groups of desired size and then loading a predetermined size group or charge of the containers into the open end of a carton, preferably so as to fill the carton by a single charge of containers.

Although the filling of containers through an open end thereof is relatively new, a number of carton packing machines to achieve this objective have been developed heretofore. However, these have been quite complex and bulky in nature, the power consumption has been very substantial, and the floor area occupied by the same is appreciable on both sides of the machines particularly, whereby the machines can not be utilized close to a wall, for example, extending closely along one side of the machine. Additionally, such machines as have been developed heretofore have not readily been adaptable to adjustability to handle containers of a substantial range of sizes or to accommodate cartons of a relatively substantial range of shapes and sizes.

It is the principal object of the present invention to provide a case loading or packing machine which is relatively straight and narrow, even at the delivery end of the machine, so that the same consumes a minimum width as well as minimum overall length of space in a plant where the same is utilized, whereby the machine may be mounted relativelyclosely to a wall adjacent the nondelivery side of the machine particularly, and further, the machine is readily and quickly adaptable either to delivering from one side or the other of the machine, or delivering alternatively in sequence from opposite sides, as desired. Under the latter circumstances, an increase in filling production rate of as much as 40% is possible, as distinguished from discharging containers into cases from only one side of the machine exclusively.

Another object of the invention is to produce a carton loading machine having very substantial adjustability to render the same capable of handling, for example, containers such as tin cans from the small frozen fruit juice size up to gallon size cans of paint and the like, the utilization of appropriate sizes or" cartons also being possible with minimum requirements of adjustability in various areas and sections of the machine.

A still further object of the machine is to provide relatively simple operating mechanism, much of which performs plural functions such as actuating more than one of the units and devices comprising the entire machine. Ancillary to this object, the operating mechanism primarily is mechanical, as distinguished from utilizing electrical clutches and other forms of complex electrical equipment, notwithstanding the fact that a limited numher of electric solenoids are employed in the preferred embodiment of the machine. Further, in regard to this same objective, a single electric motor of less than one horsepower is all that is required to operate the entire machine as distinguished from requirements of up to three horsepower and several motors which are required in certain existing machines presently available.

Still another object of the invention is to provide sup porting means for cartons which, sequentially, are movable during the operation of the machine between an elevated loading position and a lowered discharging position, the supporting mechanism in its'preferred embodiment being extensible automatically in regular operation, whereby the removing equipment such as a takeaway conveyor or gravity roller type of conveyor need not be adjusted in heighth for accommodating packs of difierent lengths handled by the carton packing machine embodying the present invention. In addition, the extensibility of the carton supporting mechanism permits the lower end of the same to be disposed between spaced rollers of a gravity-type, roller conveyor, for example, whereby the lower end of a carton, when being delivered to said conveyor, may be placed quite gently upon the roller conveyor without interference between the conveyor and supporting means for the carton which has just ially to adapt the mechanism to operating while handling containers of a variety of sizes but only a single size at any one time. Such stop mechanism is associated with a stationary or so-called dead feed plate which is positioned so as to be traversed by containers just prior to the delivery end of the machine being reached by the containers, whereby a single charge of containers of a desired number which have reached the end of their travel in feeding direction and are ready to be discharged from the machine, may be moved transversely by appropriate pusher mechanism which moves said charge of containers laterally to one side of the machine and into the open end of a carton held in readiness by supporting mechanism comprising part of the present invention.

Still another object of the invention associated with the stop mechanism for the oncoming containers comprises the provision of retractable guide means comprising parallel bars which are evenly spaced apart transversely and are parallel to the direction of movement of the containers in feeding direction while moving to the discharge station of the machine, said guide bars being retractable preferably downwardly to permit free movement of the discharge pusher mechanism when moving the charge of containers of predetermined size laterally into the open end of a carton supported adjacent said discharge station. Such guide bars however, when functioning in a guiding capacity, maintain the containers in abutting engagement with each other and in straight rows closely adjacent each other, the retractable guide bars also preferably being in longitudinal alignment with stationary row-forming division plates which are laterally adjustable and between which the containers move while progressing to the retractable guide bars.

Still another important objective of the invention is to provide at the discharge station a pusher member which is movable transversely to the direction of the initial movement of the containers through the carton packing machine, said pusher member actuating means including a movement multiplying feature which operates to increase the transverse movement of the pusher member substantially beyond the actual movement of the driving member of the actuating means, whereby a minimum width at the delivery end of the machine is possible, even under circumstances where the machine is delivering sequentially from opposite sides thereof so as to increase the casing production plate of the machine.

One other object of the invention is to provide a series of switches which primarily control solenoids that actuate retractable latches and the like, whereby mechanical power means then automatically perform their various related and sequential operations of the various units and components of the machine, said switches being connected by an electrical circuit in which the switches principally are arranged in series, whereby the closing of all of the switches in said series is necessary before the discharging means of the machine can function, thereby insuring safety of operation and, more particularly, insuring a full charge of containers when pushed into the open end of a supported carton.

Ancillary to the relatively simple operating mechanism, a further object of the invention is to provide novel reset mechanism for the various elements, units, and sub-units of the entire machine, following the completion of each discharge operation of the machine incident to loading a carton.

Details of the foregoing objects and of the invention, as well as other objects thereof, are set forth in the following specification and illustrated in the drawings comprising a part thereof.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view, partially foreshortened near one end, showing details of a carton packing machine embodying the principles of the present invention and arranged to discharge containers from one side only of the machine. In this view, only a fragmentary portion of the receiving conveyor for loaded cartons is illustrated and, in

full lines, the mechanism for lowering a loaded carton onto the conveyor is shown in lowered position, while in broken lines, the mechanism and an exemplary carton supported thereby is shown in elevated position.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the machine shown in FIG. 1, several intermediate portions of the machine being broken away to foreshorten the view as in regard to FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary vertical end view of the carton packing machine as seen from the discharge end thereof, a portion of the lower supporting mechanism of the machine being broken away.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of a portion of the carton discharging mechanism and control means therefor, as seen on the line 44 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged vertical elevation of the discharge mechanism of the machine as seen on the line 55 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary vertical side elevation of the delivery end of the machine as seen from the opposite side from that shown in FIG. 2 and illustrating on a larger scale than in FIG. 2 certain details of the various units of the machine adjacent the discharge end thereof, the feeding end of the machine in this view not being shown.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary vertical elevation showing details of the container spacing and guide means as seen on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6 but on a slightly larger scale than employed in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary vertical elevation of the actuating and control mechanism for the carton supporting and lowering means of the machine, as viewed principally on the line 8-8 of FIG. 1 and on a substantially larger scale than employed in FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary view, principally taken on the line 99 of FIG. 5, and showing the control and latching mechanism for the actuating crank which effects movement of the discharge mechanism of the machine.

FIGS. 10 and 11 respectively are fragmentary front and side elevations of the carton supporting and lowering 1- mechanism of the machine, these views, in full line, showing the retracted position of the supporting means, while in broken lines, the extended position of the supporting means is illustrated.

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary and exemplary end view of the machine as seen substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 6 but showing the machine arranged for delivering sequentially from opposite sides thereof, at the left-hand side, showing the carton supporting and lowering means in its lowered position with a filled carton thereon illustrated in broken lines, while at the right-hand side of the machine, the supporting mechanism is elevated and shows, in full lines, a carton supported in loading position and into which a charge has just been moved.

Referring to the various figures in sequence, a description of the details, units and sub-units, and various sections of the entire machine will now be set forth under appropriate headings to facilitate the ready understanding of such details and operation thereof.

Feed and storage section The left-hand end of the machine as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2 will be considered the feed and storage section 10 of the machine. Containers, such as exemplary filled cans 12, are fed or delivered by appropriate means to the left-hand end of feed section 10, by conveyor or otherwise, not illustrated. It is to be understood that the machine is intended to accommodate a wide range of types and kinds of containers, including cans, bottles, boxes, packages, or any other kind of the type which will stand in a given position upon a supporting surface for movement therealong. Section 1!) comprises a frame 14 supported by suitable legs 16 and laterally adjustable side plates 18 which depend from horizontal supporting bars 20 which are fixed by vertical extensions relative to the frame 14. The plates is have suitable apertured cars 22 through which the bars 20 extend and any appropriate locking means such as set screws may be employed to maintain the plates 20 in adjusted position.

Extending between the opposite sides of frame 14 and disposed substantially within a horizontal plane and parallel with each other are a plurality of closely arranged supporting rolls 24 which rotate about suitable rods extending between the side plates of frame 14 and bearings offering a minimum of friction are positioned adjacent opposite ends of the rolls 24. These rolls are referred to as live rolls in that they are driven unidirectionally by suitable means such as a flexible belt 26, the upper course of which directly engages the undersurface of each of the rolls 24, said upper course of said belt preferably being urged into positive and frictional engagement with the lower surfaces of said rolls by any appropriate conventional means.

The belt 26 is endless and extends about suitable supporting rollers 28 as well as a' driving roller 30 and a suitable tensioning roller 32? The driving roller 30 is actuated by a drive shaft 3a which is mounted beneath the frame of the machine in suitable bearings, said shaft being driven by the single electric motor 36 of the machine which employs appropriate reduction gearing to drive flexible belt or sprocket chain 38 which drivingly engages the outermost end of shaft 34 as clearly shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. As a result of the driving of belt 26 in the direction of the arrow shown at the left-hand end of FIG. 2, it will be seen that the upper surfaces of the rollers will move in a direction to convey containers, resting vertically upon the upper surfaces thereof, inwardly from the feed end of the machine in the direction of the arrow shown upon plate 13 in FIG. 2.

Arranging and positioning section The arranging and positioning section of the machine is generally designated by the numeral 40. The need of this section is evident from a view of the left-hand end of FIG. 1 wherein it will be seen that as the containers 12 are disposed vertically upon the rollers 24, they are in irregular arrangement in plan view, helter-skelter, and it is desired that incident to feeding the same into the open end of a carton, they be positioned in orderly arrangement relative to each other, preferably in short parallel rows. Accordingly, from the feed and storage section 18 of the machine, the containers 24 are engaged at opposite sides of the overall path of movement thereof by a pair of substantially parallel, vertical, jostling plates 42, one end of each of which is supported by a pair of laterally projecting arms 44 which are slotted to permit lateral adjusting of the arms relative to the pivot bolts 46, such adjustment of the pivots enabling the jostling plates 42 to be spaced apart substantially the same distance as the side plates 13 of the feed section 10.

The opposite ends of the plates 42 have slotted actuating arms 48 extending therefrom, the slots of said arms receiving vertical driving shafts 50 which are actuated by crank arms 52 extending from oscillating shafts 54 which each have a driving crank arm 56 on the lower ends thereof, the ends thereof being interconnected by crosslinks 58. The latter is driven by another suitable crank arm 68, at a right angle to the adjacent crank arm 56, the outer end of arm 60 being pivotally connected to a driving link62 shown in FIG. 2 which, in turn, is driven at its other end by a crank 64 operated by one of a pair of bevel gears 66, the other of which is connected to drive shaft 34 clearly shown in FIG. 2.

As the containers 12 are moved forwardly so as to be engaged by the constantly oscillating jostling plates 42 which operate in parallelism to each other, the containers are jostled into longitudinal alignment with each other so as to be progressively disposed in straight lines between a plurality of division plates 68 which are supported by suitable apertured cars 22 which extend along appropriately positioned supporting bars 20 rigidly supported relative to frame 14. It will be understood that there are furnished with the machine an adequate number of division plates 68 as to be mounted equal distances from and parallel to each other so as to provide a plurality of parallel, closely adjacent paths only slightly wider than the diameters of the containers 12 which are to pass therebetween. It is relatively easy to disconnect the supporting bars 28 from their stationary support so as to add or remove the division plates 68 relative to the bars 28. When the proper number of division plates is mounted upon the bars, they are adjusted suitably in spaced relationship to each other and maintained therein by appropriate means such as set screws in the apertured cars 22, the outermost plates comprising the sides of this section of the machine.

The so-called live roller section of the conveyor and supporting means which extends along frame 14 continues uninterruptedly through the feed and storage section It and the arranging and positioning section 40, such roller section ending at horizontal stationary plate means 78. However, the division plates as are sufficiently long at the right-hand ends thereof as viewed in FIGS; 1 and 2 so as to be disposed above the stationary plate means 70. Accordingly, the straight row arrangement of containers 12 continues longitudinally along the plate means 70 by reason of the division plates 68. Particularly from FIG. 1, it will be seen that the stationary plate means 78 comprise a plurality of spaced, similar and fiat plates 72 which are supported by transversely extending means such as angle irons 74, shown in FIG. 6. Accordingly, the containers which are fed positively by live or revolving rolls 24 push the containers slidably along the flat plates 72 when the same are reached during the movement of the containers along their straight'parallel paths.

Can stop mechanism and discharge area The present invention contemplates the removal of relatively short parallel rows of containers, comprising a charge of predetermined size, from the delivery portion c of the machine into an open end of a carton by pushing the same in a direction transverse to the pathsof movement along which the containers have been'traveling to the discharge station. In order that such transverse movementmight take place, it is necessary momentarily to stop the forward movementof the containers along said parallel paths whilea charge of desired size of said containers is moved transversely into said carton. To effect such stopping of the forward movement of the containers, the present invention provides abar '76, the opposite ends of which extend through elongated slots 78 formed in opposite sides of the frame 14. 1

Details of the can stop mechanism are best shown in FIG. 6. Projecting from collars adjustably spaced along the bar or shaft 76 are a plurality of hook-like stops which, with reference to FIG. 1, are arranged to project upwardly through the spaces between the flat plates 72, whereby the stops 8%, preferably, under no circumstances will be disposed directly between the rims of the two adjacent containers in any row thereof. Rather the stops 80 will be disposed at an offset position from the line of centers of the containers and thereby not interfere with the abutting engagement of adjacent containers in any one row thereof.

As best can be appreciated from FIG. 1, when the containers. 12 reach the exit end of the stationary plate means 70, it is preferred that the leading containers in each row be disposed, transversely, substantially in an even row preferably adjacent the exit edge of the plate means 70. Thus, when a charge of containers of a predetermined number have been moved beyond the stationary plate means 70 and are ready to be discharged transversely from the machine, there will be no interference whatever between the containers being discharged and those which are momentarily held stationarily upon the plate means 70. To permit this stopping of the leading containers in each row thereof adjacent the exit ends of plate means 70, it obviously will be necessary to adjust the shaft 76 within its supporting slots 78 with respect to the diameters of the containers being handled at any particular time by the machine. Accordingly, any suitable bearings, for example, may be mounted adjustably Within the slots 78 so as to support the shaft 76 for oscillatory move ment of the stops 80 between the retracted position thereof shown in FIG; 6. and the exemplary elevated positions thereof shown in FIG. 2.

Extending forwardly of the stationary plate means 70 relative to the direction of movement of the containers 12 along the machine is the discharge section 82. To support the containers 12 in this section, a plurality of antifriction rolls 84 are provided, these being best shown in FIGS. 1 and 6. These rolls rotate upon suitable bearings about shafts supported'at their opposite ends between frame plates 86, whereby the rolls 84 extend in the direction parallel to the paths of movement of the containers along the feed section 10 and arranging section 40 of the machine, whereby movement of the containers transversely to their previous direction of feed may take place easily and with a minimum of power requirement.

To insure that the containers 12 will move along continuing parallel paths from the arranging section 40 when they reach the discharge section 82, a plurality of parallel, evenly spaced guide bars 88 are supported by a pair of transverse members 98 spaced apart along the upper members 92 of a rectangular elevating frame 94 comprising a lower member 96 which is intermediate the ends of the frame 94 when considered in a direction parallel to the members 90.

Carried by the lower surface of the lower member 96 is a pair of cams 98 by which the frame 94 is raised and lowered correspondingly to move the guide bars 88 between the elevated position thereof shown in FIG. 7 and the retracted position thereof which is below .the elevated position a distance substantially equal to the height of the cams 98. In such lowered position, the upper edges of the guide bars 88 are below the upper surfaces of the supporting rolls 84. Accordingly, when the guide bars 88 thus are retracted, they offer no obstruction to movement of the assembled charge of regularly arranged shortrows of containers 12 into a carton by moving such charge over the anti-friction rolls 84 in a direction transverse to the longitudinal axisof the machine, by means to be described hereinafter.

In order that the guide bars 88 may be adjustably positioned to provide adequate spaces therebetween to accommodate containers of a different diameter from that for which the machine may have been set for prior operations, any suitable type of adjustable supporting means for the bars 88 may be employed which is capable of adaptation to all anticipated sizes of containers to be packaged. One exemplary type is illustrated in FIG. 7 wherein it will be seen that the support members 90 are provided with a plurality of closely and evenly spaced slots 100 as shown in FIG. 7, and axially aligned holes are formed along the members 90 so as to intersect the slots 100 and permit the accommodation of an elongated locking pin 102, the lower portions of the guide bars 88 being provided with holes suitably aligned to receive the pins 102 and thereby removably secure the guide bars 88 .in-adjusted position relative to the elevating frame 94.-

As best considered relative to FIG. 6, in which the guide bars 88 are elevated to guide the forwardmost portions of the rows of containers into the discharge section 82, when discharge is to take place, the elevating frame 94 is lowered to retract the guide bars 88 and this is accomplished by moving actuating bar 104 toward the left as viewed in FIG. 6. The means for operating the actuating bar 104 are described hereinafter. Carried by said bar, are a pair of actuating rollers 106 which engage the earns 98 when the bar 104 is in the position shown in FIG. 6. correspondingly, when the bar 184 is in the same position, a bell crank 108, which is pivot ally supported upon a shaft 110 connected to the frame 14, has one end bifurcated to receive an actuating pin 112 carried by bar 104. The opposite end of bell crank 108 is connected pivotally to an adjustable link 114 which extends between the bell crank and a crank lever 116 fixed to shaft'76 for purposes of actuating the container stops 80 about the axis of said shaft.

The arrangement of the bar 104, its rollers 106, and actuating pin 112 relative respectively to the cams 98 and bell crank 108 is such that when the bar 104 is in the position shown in 106, the guide bars 88 are elevated but the container stops 80 are retracted. It will also be seen from FIG. 6 that if the bar 104 is moved to the left as viewed in said figure, a limited distance, the rollers 106 will be removed from beneath the earns 98, thereby permitting the frame 94 and guide bars 88 to lower so as not to interfere with the movement of containers along the supporting rolls 84, and, simultaneously the bell crank 108 will be moved so as to project the stops 30 into operating position in which they will intersect the movement of the rows of containers moving between the division plates 68. Accordingly, when the guide bars 88 are elevated, the stops 80 will be retracted and vice-versa.

Carton supporting mechanism 'Details of the carton supporting mechanism 118 and the actuating and control mechanism therefor are best shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 8, l and 11. Connected to the frame 14 are a pair of spaced brackets 120 which support therebetween an oscillatable shaft 122. Intermediately of the ends of shaft 122 and fixedly connected at one end thereto, is one member 124 of a pair of longitudinally slidably related members, the other of which is identified as 126, this one being L-shaped in side elevation as best shown in FIG. 3.

In the lowered position of the carton supporting mechanism 118, as shown in FIG. 3, the angular extension or foot 128 of the member 126 is lowermost. In the full line position in FIG. 3, and particularly with reference to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the member 126 has spaced parallel sides, each of which respectively support a foot 128 and said feet 128 are capable of being extended to the dotted line positions and thereby disposed within the spaces between adjacent rollers 130 of a suitable carton removing means such as a gravity conveyor 132. Suitable movement controlling and cushioning means such as spring 134 extend between the members 124 and 126 to control the guided longitudinal movement between said members and particularly to permit cushioned positioning of a filled carton upon the rollers of the removing means 132.

The carton supporting mechanism and control means therefor also include carton locating means 136 which are best shown in FIG. 3. This means comprises a pair of suitable laterally projecting plates which are so shaped as to be readily disposable within the open end of a carton which is to be filled with containers and the end flaps of which are projecting forwardly from said ends. The 10- eating means 136 have outer extremities which are arranged to be closely received adjacent the inner surfaces of the sides, and top and bottom walls of a carton, whereas there also are provided angular portions 138 which will insure the carnming of the flaps to flared, open positions when the open end of a carton is disposed upon the means 136. The cartons are placed upon the means 136 by an operator and are pushed thereonto until the operating member of a switch 140, which shall be designated as the carton switch, is engaged by the leading end of the carton and closed thereby.

Referring now to FIG. 8, it will be seen that one of the brackets 120 supports a solenoid 142, the operation of which is controlled by the switch 140. It will be understood that the carton packing machine is provided with a suitable electric circuit connectable to a source of current for purposes of operating not only the solenoid 142 but also the electric motor 36 and other solenoids which will be described hereinafter. Such circuit however is simple in nature and is controlled by a main switch 143 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. However, further specific illustration of the circuit is not deemed to be necessary. When the solenoid 142 is energized, it will pivotally move lever 144 so that the latch 14-6 thereon will be lowered and disengage the adjacent end of arcuate lug 148 of circular plate 150 which is angularly adjustably connected to a similar circular plate fixed to shaft 122.

Also fixed to shaft 122 at the outer end thereof is a segmental sprocket 152. Around the periphery of the same, a sprocket chain 154 is draped, the lower end of which is connected to a weight156 fixed to the upper end of a shaft 153 which extends into dash pot160, the latter being adjustable so as to control the speed of lowering of the carton supporting members 124, 126 between the lowered, discharge position thereof shown in FIG. 3 and, correspondingly, the diagrammatic vertical position in FIG. 8, to the extended, horizontal supporting position shown in phantom in FIG. 8, this latter position being 90, clockwise, above the position shown in FIG. 3. Upon the carton supporting members 124, 126 reaching the horizontal supporting position, the arcuate lug 148 will be moved to the dotted line position thereof shown in FIG. 8, whereupon the latch 146 will be in a position to drop in behind the trailing end of lug 148 as a result of solenoid 142 being de-energized by means now to be described.

When the carton supporting members 124, 126 reach the horizontal supporting position as a result of movement by the weight 156, an actuating lug 162, shown in FIG. 2, engages the operating member of switch 164, which will be designated as the arm switch, the same being a two-pole, double-throw switch which is connected in the circuit that controls solenoid 142 and, when switch 164 is so engaged by lug 162, the solenoid 142 is deenergized, thereby permitting the latch 146 to drop in behind the trailing end of arcuate lug 148 so as to securely latch the supporting members 124, 126 in extended, horizontal position to hold a carton horizontally with the open end thereof in registry with the carton locating means 136 and in which position the carton is ready to receive the containers to be delivered thereto from the discharge section 82.

To insure that there will be a full complement of containers 12 within the charge in the discharge section 82 when a carton is supported horizontally by the carton supporting mechanism 118, a plurality of additional switches 166, which will be referred to as the container switches, are adjustably supported by a'transverse bar 168, the opposite ends of which are afiixed to slidably adjustable horizontal legs 170 which respectively engage opposite sides of the housing 172 that encloses the container discharge actuating mechanism, to be described hereinafter. The legs 170 are secured in any desired adjusted position by suitable bolts 174, such as shown in FIG. 2. Adjustability of the supporting bar 168 is necessary in order to adapt the switches 166 to function properly in accordance with a specific width of carton and, correspondingly, of a specific width of charge of containers 12 comprising a specific number of rows thereof.

It will be seen from FIG. 1 particularly that there is an individual container switch 166 for each longitudinal row of containers 12, whereby the leading contmner in each row will engage the actuating member of the switch 166 for each row and close the same. All of the switches 166 are connected in series, whereby if a single switch is not closed as a result of the leading container in any particular row not being in satisfactory position and thereby designating that a complete complement of cans in each row exists, the circuit will remain open. Further, the switches 166 are connected in series with the carton switch 140 and arm switch 164, the circuit of said series also including a solenoid 176 shown in FIG. 6 which institutes operation of the container discharge mechanism which, principally, is contained within housing 172. The operation of said mechanism now will be described.

Container discharge mechanism Container discharge mechanism 178 principally comprises mechanism for actuating and also controlling the actuation of pusher plate 180 which is vertical and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the machine. Initially, the pusher plate 130 is positioned substantially in longitudinal alignment with the outermost division plate 68 at the side of the machine remote from the side which the carton to be loaded is positioned. The plate 180 is fixed to anarm 182 which extends outwardly from a supporting and guide block 184 mounted for slidable movement between a pair of fixed ways 186. The opposite ends of these ways are fixed respectively to the end walls of housing 172. Fixed to the guide block 184 adjacent the inner surface thereof is a rack 188 comprising part of a motion-multiplying means, details of which are described hereinafter.

From FIG. 6 particularly, it will be seen that the ways 186, which are exemplary, preferably are square in crosssection but are so positioned as to have angular edges of said members in opposition to each other, whereby the guide block 184, which is of substantial length, is grooved V in its upper and lower surfaces so as to be complementary to the opposed edges of the ways 186 and thereby insure accurate positioning of the pusher plate 180 during its movement to and fro in the discharge section 32 for purposes of pushing a charge of containers along the antifriction rolls 84 which support said charge of containers in said discharge section.

A second pair of ways 190 are connected respectively at the opposite ends thereof to the end walls of housing 172, similarly to the ways 186. The ways 190 are vertically above each other and are spaced apart a substantially greater distance than the Ways 186. Positioned at one side of the ways 190, as viewed in FIG. 6, is a movable vertical frame 192 which has reversely bent ends 194 at the upper and lower ends extending around the ways 190 for purposes of supporting pairs of parallel guide rollers 1% respectively adjacent the upper and lower portions of the frame so that one pair respectively engages each of the upper and lower ways 190 to insure transverse movement of the movable frame 192 while the longitudinal axis thereof is substantially vertical at all times. a

Intermediately of the upper and lower ends of movable frame 192, on the inner surface thereof, is a substantially U-shaped bracket 198 having vertically aligned bearings in the opposite ends thereof for purposes of rotatably supporting a shaft'2ti0. Fixed to the shaft between said bearings is a spur gear 202 which meshes with rack 133. Another spur gear 204 of larger diameter than gear 202, and correspondingly having a substantially greater number of teeth than gear'202 is fixed to the lower end of shaft 200. Larger gear 204 meshes with a stationary horizontal rack 206 which extends between and is fixed at its ends respectively to the opposite end walls of housing 172, similarly to the manner in which the ways 190 and 186 are afiixed thereto.

Extending vertically within the surface of the movable frame 192 opposite the bracket 198 is a groove 20$ defined by a pair of parallel ribs 210. Referring particularly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 6, it will be seen that there is mounted adjacent the electric motor 36, a gear reduction unit 202, the same being driven by motor 36 through the means of an exemplary belt 214. The gear reduction unit has a continuously driven shaft 216 which is connected by belt or sprocket chain 38 to the drive shaft 34. The opposite end of shaft 216 is splined, whereby it slidably as well as rotatably supports a first toothed clutch member 218, the same normally being held in inoperative or retracted position by a yoke 220 which is pivotally supported at its upper end by bracket 222.

Also freely journaled for rotation upon the inner end of horizontal shaft 216 is a driving crank arm 224 to which a second toothed clutch member 226 is fixed, as best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6', this being complementary to clutch member 218-. Mounted on the outer end of crank arm 224 is an antifriction roller 228 which is eceived within groove 20% of movable frame 192 and it will be seen that, upon therotation of crank arm 224, the roller 228 on the outer end thereof will move Within the vertical groove 208 of movable frame 192, thereby causing the frame 192 to move first to the left, as viewed in FIG. 5,

and then again to the right as a full revolution of the crank arm 224 takes place.

The mechanism and operation thereof by which the first and second clutch member 218 and 226 are engaged to effect rotation of crank arm 224 will be described in the following portion of the specification, but a description of the motion-multiplying means will first be set forth. It will be seen that during the rotation of crank arm 224 and initial movement of frame 192 to the left, as viewed in FIG. 5, the largest spur gear 204 will engage the stationary rack 206 and cause rotation of the smaller spur gear 202 in the same rotary direction as gear 204. Engagement of smaller spur gear 202 with rack 18%; on the guide block 184 which supports the pusher plate will cause relative movement, toward the left, of the guide block 184 and pusher plate 180, relative to frame 192 which, in the meantime, is moving toward the left also.

Since shaft 216 willrotate the arm 2-24 at a constant rotary speed, the transverse speed of frame 192 toward the left will increase as the end of the crank arm 224 approaches the vertical, or lower, position, for example. The slowest speed of the frame 192 will take place when the crank is starting from or approaching its horizontal position illustrated in FIG. 5, for example. Hence, not only is motion-multiplying means aiforded by the present construction, but an acceleration of speed, likewise, takes 1 1 place, and the acceleration is immediately followed by deceleration to zero speed as the crank arm 224 approaches its left-hand horizontal position, as viewed from FIG. 5. By this time, the pusher plate 180 will have reached its farthest position toward the left, for purposes of charging the assembled containers in the discharge section 82 into the carton 230 which, meanwhile, has been maintained in horizontal position by the carton-supporting mechanism '118 and, particularly, members 124, 126 thereof.

Upon the completion of the pushing of a charge of containers into the carton by the pusher plate 180, a companion pusher plate 232, which is similar to but spaced from pusher plate 180 and which, likewise, is supported by arm 182, as best shown in FIG. 1, supports switch actuating member 234. At such completion of the discharg- 'ing movement of pusher plate 180, the actuating member 234 will be positioned to engage another control switch 236, which is connected in the circuit of solenoid 142, best shown in FIG. 8.

Under the circumstances just described, the latch 146 still engages the trailing end of arcuate lug 148, so as to hold the carton-supporting mechanism in horizontal or uppermost position. Upon the switch 236 being closed, however, solenoid 142 again is energized and releases the latch 146 from engagement with the trailing end of lug 148, as shown in the dotted line position in FIG. 8, whereby the action of gravity upon the supporting mechanism 118 causes the carton-supporting means to be pivoted about the shaft 122 to the lower or vertical position of the supporting means, which lowering movement is somewhat gradual, due to the action of the weight 156 and the dashpot 160.

In its lowermost position, such as shown in exemplary manner in FIG. 3, in phantom, the weight of the carton 230 is such as to extend the slidable member 126 to its extended, phantom position shown in FIG. 3, whereby the 'feet128 are projected between the rollers 130 of the exemplary gravity conveyor 132.

During the lowering operation of the carton 230, as described above, the continuous rotation of the crank arm 224 through the upper path of its movement will have caused the return movement of the movable frame 192 from the left-hand side of themachine, as viewed in FIG. 5, toward its initial position shown in full line in said figure. Accordingly, retreating movement of the plate 232 and switch-actuating member 234, likewise, will have taken place, thereby opening switch 236 and, accordingly, de-energizing solenoid 142. Hence, upon the full movement of the carton-supporting mechanism 118 to its lowermost or vertical position, the latch 145' will drop in behind the adjacent end of arcuate lug 148 and latch the supporting mechanism 118 in its discharging or starting position.

Clutch operation Engaging and separative movement of the first clutch member 218 relative to the second clutch member 226 occurs incidentally to the energizing of solenoid 176, as seen in FIG. 6. When said solenoid is energized, it elevates link 238 connected thereto and from which a stop pin 240 projects laterally so as to engage the left-hand end of actuating bar 104, as viewed in FIG. 6. Upon removal of the stop pin 240 from engagement with the left-hand end of bar 104, tension spring 242, which is fixed stationarily at its left-hand end relative to frame 14 of the machine, and at its right-hand end is connected to a pin 244 projecting from actuating bar 104, causes the bar 104 to shift to the left instantaneously, and movement in said direction is arrested by a suitable cushion block shown in FIG. 6.

Such movement of actuating bar 104 toward the left, as described above, in addition to efiecting lowering of the elevating frame 94 and guide bars 88, as well as elevation of the container-stop 80, also causes lug 248 to engage the lower end of bellcrank 250 to move it to the left, relative to FIG. 6, and thereby pull down plunger 252, which is connected at its upper end to vertically slidable head or block 254.

Horizontally slidable within suitable ways inblock 254, but incapable of moving vertically relatively thereto, is a plate 256 from which a pair of spaced vertical pins 258 project. The pins 258 are of appreciable length and receive therebetween a horizontal yoke bar 260 carried by yoke 220, which is best illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 9. It will be understood that the lower end of the yoke 220 has spaced arms, fragmentary portions of which are shown in sectional plan view in FIG. 9 in the several operative positions thereof.

During such lowering movement of the vertically slidable block 254, which moves within a stationary frame member 262 connected to part of frame 14, there never is disengagement between the pins 258 and the yoke bar 260. Further, depending from the hub portion of crank arm 224 is a lateral projection 264. The projection 264 is of such length that it normally extends downwardly below the upper surface of plate 256, and a pair of vertically extending latches 266 carried by vertically movable block 254 respectively are disposed adjacent opposite sides of the lower end of projection 264 to hold the crank arm 224 normally against rotation.

When the bellcrank 250 is actuated by bar 104 as to pull down plunger 252 and thereby lower the block 254, the latches 266, likewise, will be retracted and such lowering movement of block 254 will also carry the plate 256 downward to a level below the extremity of projection 264 on the hub of the crank arm 224, whereby the yoke bar 260 then can engage the innermost vertical pin 258, due to the constant force applied against the yoke 22%) by spring plunger 268, shown in FIG. 6. As a result of such movement of the yoke, the movable clutch member 218 is brought into engagement with the clutch member 226 on the crank arm 224 and commences rotation of the same in the direction of the arrow shown in FIG. 5, thus instituting horizontal movement of frame 192 which carries the pusher plate toward the positioned carton in accelerated manner, whereby considerably greater movement of plate 180 than frame 192 takes place, thus economizing on width in the machine.

It will be noted from FIG. 9 that the inner face of horizontally slidable plate 256 has a sloping cam surface 270, and said inner end will be disposed at the projected, dotted line position thereof shown in the upper portion of FIG. 9 during the time the crank arm 224 is making substantially its complete excursion of 360 under circumstances where the machine is delivering containers only from one side into the open end of a carton, as is illustrated, particularly, in FIGS. 1 through 3 and 5. At the time the crank arm 224 is approaching the completion of its excursion of 360, the projection 264 will engage the cam surface 270 of plate 256 in its extended, dotted line position shown in FIG. 9, whereupon continued movement of the projection 264 will cammingly move the plate 256 to its full line or retracted position, as shown in FIG. 9, and in which position it corresponds to that illustrated in FIG. 6. Such retracting movement of plate 256 carries the inner pin into engagement with yoke bar 260 and thereby moves the yoke against the action of spring plunger 268 so as to disengage the clutch member 218 from clutch member 226 on the crank arm.

When the carton-supporting mechanism 18 is moved to its lower position, the switch 164 will be disengaged by the actuating lug 162, as best shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, whereupon the circuit to solenoid 176 of FIG. 6 will be interrupted and said solenoid will be de-energized. However, the left-hand end of actuating bar 104 will still be against the cushion block 246 and stop pin 240 will rest upon the upper surface of bar 104. Retracting of bar 104 from its extended position against cushion block 246 to its full line position shown in FIG. 6 is accomplished in the following manner.

wit

i3 Resetting of actuating mechanism 1 Referring especially to FIG. 5, it will be seen that th lower end of movable frame 192 has fixed thereto a block 270. Said block has a pair of projections 272 and 274 depending therefrom and, as will be seen from FIG. 6, said projections are offset slightly from each other in a direction longitudinally of the machine. By referring to FIG. 5, it will be seen further that the lower portion of housing 172 has a bottom plate 276 which supports a pair of blocks 278 and 286 which are adjustably fixed relative to plate 276. Extending between the blocks 278 and 280, and slidable relative thereto, is a bar 282 and from the lower surface thereof an actuating roller 284 depends for rotation about a vertical axis.

Connected to the upper surface of actuating bar 104, intermediately of the ends thereof, is a double surfaced cam 286. In the position shown in FIG. 6, the cam 286 is retracted. However, when the bar 104 is extended to the left, so as to engage cushion block 246, the cam 286 will be positioned in the lower dotted line position thereof shown in FIG. 4.

Connected to the upper surface of reciprocable bar 282 shown in FIG. 5 is a pair of elongated bars or lugs 288 and 290. These are offset transversely relative to each other, whereby the lug 288 is longitudinally aligned with the projection 274 on block270, while the lug 290 is longitudinally in alignment with the projection 272 on 7 block 27 i). Said projections and lugs function as follows.

In FIG. 5, it will be seen that part of block 270 is broken away to expose a vertically movable member 292 which normally is spring biased downwardly by means, not shown, and is guided by a pin 294. Rotatably supported by the member 292 is a roller 296 which longitudinally is alignable with cam surfaces 298 and 306 respectively formed on the upper surfaces of blocks 278 and 280. During the traversing excursions of movable frame 292 with which the block 270 moves, as said frame and block move to the left, as viewed in FIG. 5, the lug 272 on block 270 will be aligned with a slot in the upper surface of block 278 so that it can travel therethrough.

After the frame 192 has only partially moved to the left sufiiciently to clear the cam 300, the roller 296 will ride down the cam surface 3% and thereby permit the lowering of member 292 sufficiently that, when the frame 192 has moved to the left the required distance, member 292 will engage the right-hand end of lug 288, as viewed in FIG. 5, and will move the lug, together with bar 282 and roller 284, toward the left until the roller 296 engages the cam 298 and thereby elevates the member 292 from engagement with the lug 288. Meanwhile, spring 293 will be compressed between end plate 300 of housing 172, and a shoulder provided at the junction of rectangular bar 252 and cylindrical extension 302, said shoulder being shown in dotted lines in FIG. 5.

When the member 292 disengages lug 288, the compress d spring 298 will shoot the bar 282 and roller 284 toward the right, as viewed in FIG. 5, but nothing will happen because the block 273 primarily is for use when the machine is arranged to deliver sequentially from the right side, as viewed in FIG. 5, as well as from the left side in FIG. 5 and for which the machine presently is adapted. Accordingly, the movements described above, relative to block 278, are idle motions but are useful for understanding the double acting'function of the machine hereinafter described relative to FIG. 12.

With respect to the single side delivery arrangement which is illustrated in FIG. 5, assume further, in regard to the description above concerning the movement of movable frame 192, that the frame now has been moved to its fullest extent toward the left, as viewed in FIG. 5, to discharge containers into a carton, and is now returning to its starting position shown in full lines in said figure. As the frame 192 and block 270 approach the stationary block 280, the projected member 292 will engage the forward end of lug 296 and cause the same to move to the 14 right, thereby carrying with it bar 282 and roller 284. Such movement of said bar and roller continue sufiiciently that, by referring to FIG. 4 particularly, it will be seen that the roller 284 engages one side of the double surfaced cam 286 and causes a movement of the same from the dotted line to the full line position thereof shown in :tension and charges the same for the next succeeding operation of the bar 104 to the left. Further, the righthand movement of bar 104, as seen from FIG. 6, will move the bellcrank 250 counterclockwise and thereby permit spring 304 beneath block 254 to raise said block, such raising occurring just before the crank arm 254 reaches its final position, and even though just prior to it reaching its final position the plate 256 and cam surface 270 thereon are disposed in the innermost position shown in dotted lines in FIG. 9, the final movement of crank arm 224 to its rest position causes a camming of the plate 256 and, correspondingly, the pins 258 thereon to the projected position shown in full lines in FIG. 9, which corresponds to the position also shown in FIG. 6. This movement disengages the clutch member 218 from clutch member 226, as described hereinabove. The final position of crank arm 224 also is determined by engagement of the projection 264-tl1ereon with the left-hand latch 266, as viewed in FIG. 5. I

Incident to the final positioning of crank arm 224, the latches 266 which are spring-pressed vertically by springs 306 and which are best shown in FIG. 9 and also in FIGS. 5 and 6 on smaller scales, function thusly. Immediately prior to the projection 26 of the crank arm 224 engaging the cam surface 276 of plate 256, said projection will cammingly engage the upper surface of the right-hand latch 266, as viewed in FIG. 5, depressing the same against the action of spring 396 and, immediately thereafter, the

projection 264 will engage the cam" surface 270 of plate 256 so as to cam the same outwardly to it's de-clutching 270 thereon toward the right, as viewed in FIG. 5, ulti-' mately causes engagement of roller 296 with cam surface 396 in block 28%), so as to disengage the vertically movable member 292 from the lug 29% and thereby release the bar 282 and roller 284 thereon for return movement to the left, by the action of compressed spring 368 which surrounds cylindrical extension 310 projecting to the right from the shouldered right-hand end of bar 282, the righthand movement of bar 282 and roller 284, nevertheless, will be adequate to effect a resetting of actuating bar 164, due to the engagement of roller 284 with one face of the double faced cam 286 connected to bar 104. V

For purposes of insuring proper positioning of the bar 282 and roller 284, relative'to the housing 172 after the lug 295) has been disengaged from member 292, the left-hand end of lug 296, while being moved by compressed spring 368, will engage projection 272 on block 276, which now is stationarily positioned at the end of its right-hand movement to its rest position, as viewed in FIG. 5 to prevent appreciable over-travel.

Incident to the actuating bar 104 being restored to its right-hand position, as viewed in FIG. 6, the rollers 166 thereon will engage cams 98 and elevate the rectangular elevating frame 94- which carries the cog bars 88 into projected position so as to again constitute guide means for oncoming rows of containers temporarily being held motionless by the stops 86 which were projected when the bar 163 was in its left-hand position. However, upon restoring the bar 104 to its right-hand position, as shown in FIG. 6, the stops 39 are retracted, whereupon the containers which have temporarily been held motionless upon the conveying rolls 24, now are moved forward until the forward portions of said rows are disposed within the discharge section 82 and the leading container in each row contacts its container switch 166, so as to close the same. Hence, following the positioning of another carton by the operator against the locating means 134 and the closing of carton switch 140, the carton-supporting mechanism 118 is actuated by the weight 155 to elevate the same and thereby close arm switch 164m complete the circuit to the solenoid 176 and thereby initiate the movement of the pusher plate 186 through another cycle of the type described hereinabove, followed subsequently by a resetting of the mechanism, further in accord with the description set forth hereinabove.

Sequential alternate side discharge As has been stated in the foregoing, the machine also readily can be adapted to discharge alternatively from one side and then the other,- in sequence, thereby increasing the production rate of the machine by as much as 40% for a given period of time. Under such circumstances, it wiil be understood that two operators will be required to operate the machine, respectively from the opposite sides thereof, for purposes of initially placing the cartons 230, with the open ends thereof in registry with the carton-locating means 136 respectively positioned at opposite sides of the machine, as shown in FIG. 12.

When the machine is adapted for the loading of cartons from both sides thereof, it will be understood that cartonremoving means 132 and 132 respectively will be disposed adjacent opposite sides of the machine. Essentially, FIG. 12 corresponds to FIG. 3, except that the electric motor and gear-reduction mechanism has been removed, for purposes of clarity. In addition to the showing in FIG. 3, however, FIG. 12 also illustrates carton-supporting mechanism 118' which is identical to the carton-supporting mechanism 118 at the left-hand side, the operation of which is fully described, relative to the structure illustrated in the preceding figures and, particularly, FIG. 3. Accordingly, rather than repeat the description of the operation of the mechanism 118 relative to the'additional' carton-supporting mechanism 118', attention is directed to the hereinabove set forth description of mechanism 113.

The principal difference between the operation of the double side discharge type of machine shown in FIG. 12 over the single side discharge type illustrated in FIG. 3, for example, in addition to having a duplicate cartonsupporting mechanism 118 on the opposite side from that with which mechanism 118 is associated, is in regard to the operation of the driving crank arm 224. Part of the operation of the crank arm, when adapted to discharge from both sides of the machine, has been described above, particularly in regard to the block 278, lug 288 and cam 298. To render these items effective in regard to the operation of the discharge mechanism, relative to the right-hand carton-supporting mechanism 118', however, it is necessary to add two additional elements to the actuating means for the movable frame 192. One of these is a second roller 312, shown in FIG. 12, and correcharge is eifected sequentially from opposite sides of the machine, the crank arm 224 is sequentially rotated only 180 to eflFect a movement of the pusher plate 180, for example, toward the supporting mechanism 118, or to effect a movement of the pusher plate 232 from a position adjacent'supporting mechanism 118 to a position adjacent supporting mechanism 118'. Under such circumstances, the arrangement shown in FIG. 12 illustrates the position occupied by the driving crank arm 224 at the completion of its movement to efiect discharge of a charge of containers into the container 239 supported by supporting mechanism 118. There will, of course, be an additional control switch similar to switch 236 adjacent the opposite side of the machine and engageable by a switch-actuating member corresponding to member 234 on companion pusher plate 232, but carried by pusher plate in such a position as not to engage switch 236 when the pusher platel fl is moving toward the supporting mechanism 118.

When such additional control switch is closed, the supporting mechanism 118' moves from the raised, horizontal position to the lowered, vertical position. Meanwhile, the operator serving the supporting mechanism 118 pushes an empty carton upon the locating means 36 and starts the sequence of operation by which the supporting member 118 is elevated to horizontal position, and the clutch for driving crank arm 224' is engaged to permit the crank arm to rotate 180 from the position shown in FIG. 12 to a diametrically opposite position, at

which time the second lateral projection 314 on the hub of crank arm 224 is engaged by the stop mechanism carried by frame member 262, thereby arresting the movement of crank arm 224 at the end of the discharge stroke of frame 192 and pusher plate 180 toward supporting mechanism 118.

Incident to the movement of the frame 192 and pusher plate 180 to the left, as viewed in FIG. 12, to charge the carton then held horizontally by supporting mechanism 118, the additional roller 312 on bar 282 will have been moved by themember 292within block 270, on the lower part of frame 192, so as to engage the adjacent cam face of double surfaced cam 286 and thereby move the actuating bar 104 toward the right so as to assume the full line position shown in FIG. 6 and thus restore the entire machine to a condition to receive a new charge of containers. within the discharge section 82.

From the foregoing, it thus will be seen that the machine is adapted readily not only to load cartons respectively from either side thereof, but also to sequentially load cartons alternativelyfrom one side and then the other, thus increasing the loading capacity of the machine by as much as 40% over the rate at which cartons can be loaded when discharging containers from one side only from the machine. It will be understood, of course, that when sequential loading occurs alternatively from opposite sides, an additional carton-supporting mechanism will be required, together with an additional carton-removing means, such as supporting mechanism 118 and removing means 132'. The addition of roller 312 to the bar 282 and lateral projection 314 to the hub of the driving crank arm 224, however, are all the additions needed to the discharge mechanism over that which is required to load cases from one side only of the machine.

While the invention has been described and illustrated in its several preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the precise details herein illustrated and described since the same may be carried out in other ways falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.

We claim:

1. A carton packing machine comprising in combination, container conveyor means operable to move containers along a predetermined elongated substantially horizontal path from a loading zone to a discharge station comprising horizontal supporting means at the delivery end of said conveyor means, opposite sides of said discharge station being open for free passage of an assembly of containers of selected size transversely to said path thereof; carton supporting means adjacent 1? at least one of said sides of said discharge station to receive a charge of containers therefrom; pusher means movable across said discharge station between said opposite sides thereof and transversely to said path for said containers; and actuating means for said pusher means mounted longitudinally beyond the end of said discharge station opposite said delivery end of said conveyor means to render the opposite sides of said discharge station free of obstruction to the passage of containers,

said actuating means including power means, guide means supporting said pusher means reciprocally across said discharge station, drive means for said pusher means, clutch means operable to connect said power means and drive means when discharge of a charge of cans is to be made into a carton, and clutch actuating means controlled by the supporting of an empty carton upon said carton supporting means in position to receive a charge of containers from said discharge station.

2. The carton packing machine of claim 1 in which said drive means includes crank means and motion-multiplying means operable upon said pusher to effect greater transverse travel thereof across said transfer station than the travel of said crank in a corresponding transverse direction to minimize the width of said drive means upon said machine.

3. A carton packing machine comprising a frame having a container supporting and feed section extending from one end toward a discharge station having container supporting means adjacent the other end thereof, elongated parallel guide bars extending along said section and operable to guide containers fed thereto'in vertical position into parallel straight rows for movement along closely adjacent parallel paths at said discharge station, frame means mounted below said discharge station for limited vertical movement and supporting said guide bars for corresponding vertical movement between positions wherein the upper edges of said base are above said supporting means and inoperative positions at least flush with said supporting means, ejecting mechanism supported adjacent said discharge station and movable transversely to said paths of said containers to push a charge of containers of predetermined number from said discharge station into a carton, and means operable to move said frame and guide bars thereon from the elevated position to inoperative positions to permit ready discharge movement of a charge of containers from said discharge station by said ejecting mechanism during the discharge movement thereof, said bars being adjustable on said frame means in a direction transverse to the length of said bars, thereby to adjust the width of the guide channels formed thereby to accommodate containers of any desired diameter.

4. A carton packing machine comprising a container supporting and feed section having container supporting surfaces extending from one end toward a discharge station adjacent the other end thereof, elongated parallel guide means extending along said section and discharge station portion thereof and operable to guide containers fed thereto in vertical position into parallel straight rows for movement along closely adjacent parallel paths at said discharge mechanism, ejecting mechanism operably supported adjacent said discharge station and movable transversely to said paths of said containers to push a charge of containers of predetermined number from said discharge station into a carton, actuating means operable to move said guide means from a piston above to a position below the supporting surface of said discharge station portion of said path of movement of said ejecting mechanism prior to the discharge movement of said ejecting mechanism, stop means movable into and out of the paths of movement of said containers and positioned to engage containers when projected into said paths thereof prior to the same reaching said discharge station, means adjustably supporting said stop means longitudinally of said path of movement of said containers to adapt the same for engagement with cans of different diameters, additional actuating means operable to project said stop means substantially vertically from a retracted depressed position into said path prior to operation-of said ejecting mechanism, thereby to prevent feeding movement of containers to said discharge station while a charge thereof is being ejected therefrom, and means movable to operate said plurality of actuating means commonly to operate said guide means and stop means in reverse vertical directions substantially simultaneously.

5. The carton packing machine set forth in claim 4 further characterized by said common operating means comprising an elongated member supported for movement longitudinally beneath said supporting nd feed section, and said machine additionally including means interengageable with said guide means and stop means and operable by said elongated member to convert the horizontal movement of said member to vertical movement of said guide and stop means.

6. A carton packing machine comprising a frame having a supporting and feed section operable to move containers along a path extending longitudinally from a feed end to a discharge station for transfer of a charge of a predetermined number of containers therefrom into a carton, in combination with pusher means comprising frame means mounted opposite said discharge station-from said supporting and feed section and having a vertical groove and movable alongstraight and substantially horizontal guide means 'to provide substantially straight horizontal movement of said pusher means adjacent said discharge station and extending in a directiontr'ansverse to the path of movement of containers along said supporting and feed section, a pusher member movably supported by said frame means for relative movement parallel to said guide means, actuating means for said frame mountedsubstantially in axial alignment with said path and comprising a rotatable crank arm the outer end of which moves within said vertical groove of said frame means, and motion multiplying means engageable with said pusher member and operable to move the same a greater distance transversely in container discharging direction than said frame means, thereby affording maximum movement of said pusher member for minimum movement of said frame means and thereby minimizing the width of said machine at said discharge station.

7. The carton packing machine set forth in claim 6 further characterized by said crank arms being rotatable about an axis parallel to the path of movement of said containers, power means operable to rotate said crank arm at a substantially constant speed, and clutch means operable to connect and disconnect said power means directly to said crank arm, said crank arm being horizontally at the commencement of an operating stroke, whereby the movement of said frame and pusher member initially is accelerated and the final movement declerated in container discharging direction.

8. A carton packing machine comprising a frame having a container supporting. and feed section operable to move vertically arranged containers longitudinally therealong from a feed end toward a discharge station for transfer of a predetermined number of containers therefrom into a carton having an open wall adjacent one side of said discharge station; in combination withpusher means comprising a frame, parallel guideways mounted stationarily relative to said discharge station and sup porting said frame for guided movement adjacent said discharge station transversely to the direction of movement of containers aiong said supporting and feed section, additional guideways parallel to said first-mentioned guideways and slidably supporting a head, a pusher member carried by and extending from said head transversely to said guideways across said discharge station and positioned to engage a charge of a predetermined number of con-tamers and move the same from one side of said machine into a carton, means to actuate said frame along the guideways therefor; and motion multiplying means comprising a rack parallel to said guideways and stationary relative to said machine, another rack parallel thereto and fixed to said head for movement therewith, and gears fixed to a rotatable shaft carried by said frame and respectively engageable with said racks to move said head and pusher member relative to said frame and in the same direction, whereby the .pusher member moves a greater distance transversely than said frame, thus minimizing the width of said machine at said discharge station.

9. A carton packing machine comprising a frame having a supporting and feed section operable to move containers longitudinally therealong from a feed end toward a discharge station for transfer of a predetermined number of containers sequentially from opposite sides of said machine into cartons positioned adjacent opposite sides of said discharge station, pusher means movable sequentially in opposite directions atsaid discharge station transversely to the direction of movement of containers along said supporting and feed section to discharge a predetermined number of containers sequentially from opposite sides of .said discharge station into the open faces of cartons positioned to receive the same, drive means operable to move said pusher means sequentially as aforesaid, power means, a clutch between said power means and drive means, control means for said clutch operable by placement of a carton in position selectively adjacent one side or the other of said discharge station to activate said clutch and thereby connect said power means and drive means to cause discharging movement of said pusher means in one direction to effect discharge of a charge of containers in said carton, and means operable to restore said clutch and drive means to starting position at the completion of a discharging movement of said pusher means in each direction.

10. The carton packing machine set forth in claim 9 further characterized by said control means comprising a member movable in one direction when a carton is placed in receiving position adjacent either side of said discharge station to effect activation of said clutch to drive said pusher means through a discharge movement in one transverse direction, said control member being moved in the opposite direction to disengage said clutch at the completion of such movement of said pusher means in each transverse direction at the discharge station.

11. The carton packing machine set forth in claim 10 further including spring means connected to said control member and operable to move the same in one direction, and cam means connected to said control member and engageable by part of said pusher means near the end of a feeding stroke to move said control member in the opposite direction for the purpose aforesaid.

12. The carton packing machine set forth in claim 11 further characterized by said pusher means comprising a frame reciprocally mounted for movement in opposite feeding directions and said drive means comprising a crank arm rotatable about an axis parallel to the path of movement of containers along said feed section, one-half a revolution being sufiicient to move said frame a full excursion in one discharging direction relative to said discharge station.

13. The carton packing machine set forth in claim 12 further including actuating means carried by said reciprocal frame and movable therewith, cam engaging means mounted for movement parallel to said frame and engage'able by said actuating means on said frame during a portion of each transverse excursion of said reciprocal frame to move it from a starting position into engagement with said cam and thereby move it and the control member upon which it is mounted in said opposite direction, and means operable relative to said cam engaging means to restore it to its starting position at the completion of such movement of said cam and control member.

14. A carton packing machine comprising container feeding means to receive and move containers to a discharge station, and ejecting means operable to discharge a predetermined number of containers comprising a charge from said feeding means into a carton, in combination with carton supporting means positioned adja cent said discharge station and movable between an elevated loading position and a lowered unloading position, said supporting means when in the loading position being arranged to hold a carton with an open wall thereof positioned to receive said predetermined number of containers as a charge, and means operable when said carton has received said containers to effect lowering movement of said supporting means and carton to said unloading position for removal of said carton from said supporting means to take-away means, said supporting means including longitudinally extendable means automatically operable to adapt the same to lowering cartons in a substantially vertical direction onto a range of heights of take-away means without appreciable shock.

15. The carton packing machine set forth in claim 14 further characterized by said carton supporting means being pivotally connected at one end to said machine adjacent said discharge station and movable between a substantially horizontal position to support a carton while being charged with containers and a lowered unloading position, and including holding means on the lower end of said positioning means when in said lowered position which is engageable with the lower end of a carton to prevent downward movement thereof relative to said supporting means, said holding means automatically being positionable at the level of take-away means to receive a carton from said lowered supporting means, and said carton supporting means also including cushioning means operable to permit limited automatic extensible movement of said holding means relative to said pivotal connection.

16. The carton packing machine set forth in claim 15 further characterized by the holding means and portion of the supporting means to which it is connected being longitudinally movable relative to the pivoted portion of said supporting means, thereby to permit the lower end.

of said supporting means and holding means thereon to move downwardly various distances sufficiently to reach a take-away means to discharge a carton thereonto.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/247, 53/497, 53/201, 53/543
International ClassificationB65B5/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65B5/06
European ClassificationB65B5/06