|Publication number||US3189159 A|
|Publication date||Jun 15, 1965|
|Filing date||Nov 6, 1962|
|Priority date||Nov 6, 1962|
|Publication number||US 3189159 A, US 3189159A, US-A-3189159, US3189159 A, US3189159A|
|Inventors||Shields Paul E|
|Original Assignee||Cherry Burrell Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (4), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
P. E. SHIELDS CASE INVERTER June 15, 1965 Filed' Nov. 6, 1962 5 sheets-Sheer. 2
PAUL 5 .SH/H os INVENToR.
ArroRA/EY P. E. SHIELDS CASE INVERTER June 15, 1965 Filed Nov. 6, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 \Nm WN INVENTOR.
PAUL E SH/Ews TTORNEY United States Patent O aisaisa CASE INVERTER Paul E. Shields, Cedar Rapids, lowa, assignor to Cherryhurrell Corporation, Cedar Rapids, lowa, a eorporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 6, 1962, Ser. No. 235,'767 8 Clairns. (Cl. 198-33) This invention relates to means for inverting containers and more particularly relates to a means for continuously inverting either closed or empty open-top cases without interrupting their travel along a continuously operating conveyor.
ln the fields of materials and package handling, the trend is to utilize continuously operating automated systems to process the product, package it, and then handle it after packaging. This is becoming true, for example, in the dairy and beverage industries where it is not uncommon for a liquid product to bev continuously processed and bottled and the bottles placed into cases with a minimum of manual Operations. Also,,the cases containing empty bottles returned to the processing plant must be cleaned before reuse and it is desirable that this also be done with a minimum of manual handling. However, during handling of the empty cases, prior to reuse, it sometimes becomes necessary to turn each case on its side or completely upside down. For example, cases used to handle glass bottles in dairies and beverage plants, should be inverted in order to empty and foreign matter, and most of the present-day equipment for Washing cases do so with the case in an inverted position. Therefore, after Washing, the cases must be reinverted before they can be filled with another group of bottles. This is often done mannally, but there are means known in the prior art for turning cases 90 or 180, and generally, the prior art means are satisfactory from a functional standpoint. However, all are relatively expensive and Complex and some reduce the case handling capacity of the entire system.
lt is, therefore, an object of my invention to provide an improved simple means of inverting cases and other containers,
lt is another object of my invention to provide means for turning cases that will not delay or interfere with the continuous advance'of the cases on the conveyor. Thus, my novel case inverter can operate at a relatively high capacity.
lt is a further object of my invention to provide case inverting means that can be easily installed in existing case conveyor lines.
It is a still further object of my invention to provide an improved case-invelter that is simple in design, inexpensive and requires almost no maintenance since the invcrter itself has no moving parts.
These and other objects of my invention will be readily apparent from a consideration of the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FlG. 1 is a perspective view of my novel case inverter;
FlG. 2 is a plan view of the case inverter;
FlG. 3 is a side elevational view; and
FIGS. 4-9 are sectional views taken on the lines 4 4 through 9-9, respectively, of FIG. 2 and showing a case at the various stages of being turned in my novel inverter.
My novel inverter is designed to handle either closed or empty open-top, rectangular-shaped cases and containers of any type-wire, wooden, cardboard, etc. The inverter arrangement shown in the drawings is specifically adapter to handle rectangular-shaped cases of the type having an open top, the cases thus being slightly heavier at the bottom. lowever, it will be obvious that by slight modification of the basic principles of my invention, that cases having closed tops, and thns' equal weight distribution, can also be easily handled by my inverter. The illustrated embodirnent speciiically is adapted to handle cases used for carrying glass bottles, such as milk bottles. Such cases are open at the top and usually are of the wire type, but may also be made of wood or a combination of wood and wire.
The case inverter is used in connection with conveyors that have separate sections, such as belts or chains, continuously moving along7 parallel lines with an open space between them. Referring to the drawings, there is shown a conveyor of the drag-chain type which consists of a right chain lil and a left chain 12 that are pulled along in channels 14 and i, respectively, that guide the chains along parallel lines. Conveyors of this type generally consist of an endless series of links and, therefore, must be provided with return channel 18. The chains lil and 12 are driven at the same speed by a common drive unit (not shown) that is usually a part of the over-all con- Veyor system. The guide channels M- and 16 are supported in the inverter by suitable cross members 25) that are connected to side bars 22 to form the supporting framework. The intermediate cross members Zil have gussets Zil interposed between them and the guide channels M- andV 16. The return guide channels 18 are aflixed to arms 24 depending from the side bars 22..
The cases enter the inverter apside down with the open end of the case riding on the conveyor chains lil and 12. Of course, the inverter, with only very slight modification, could be made to receive the cases in an upright position and discharge them in an inverted position with their open ends down. However, the more usual situation that occurs is that the cases are received upsiae down from a case washer and must be reinverted As the case travels through the inverter, it is guided laterally by a left hand guide rail 26 and a right hand guide rail 28. These guide rails are both preferably forrned from round -bars to the configuration shown in the drawings and described hereinafter. As a case enters theV inverter, it engages a diverter bar 36 that extends inwardly from the right hand guide rail 28 across the top of the right chain I). As the case is carried forward by chains lt) and 12, the diverter bar 38 forces the case gradually to the left until it is forced off the right chain 16, as shown in FIG. 4. When this happens the right-edge of the case will drop between the twoV chtins lt) and 12, causing the case to tip. To limit the amount the case will drop and to guide the case and force it to tip further, there is connected at the end of the diverter bar 3'9 a` tilting plate 32 (FG. 5) which engages the right-bottom edge of the case. At the same time, the left side of the case eng-ages a curved rail 34 that extends from a position on the left side of the conveyor near the bottom of side rail 25 across the path of the chain 12. At this point the case has been tipped to the position shown in FlG. 5 and is being carried forward by the right chain w only. The rail 34 assists in turning the case and also forces it back toward the right. As it does, a slide plate 313, that is in the space between the two chains 10 and fil, is engaged by the case. The slide plate 36 is contoured so that as the case is tipped to a position on its side, the plate 36 will raise the case slightly above the level of the chains lt) and 12. The case now is in the position shown in FIG. 6, having been rotated and it is being carried forward only by the right chain id.
As it continues its travel, the case enters a second station and engages a second diverter bar 38, similar to the first diverter bar Sil, that also extends across the right chain lb. Because the case is resting on its side and, therefore, is slightly unstable, I have found it desirable to curve the right hand guide rail 28 inwardly, as shown at 46, along a line that substantially coincides with the second diverter bar 38. The diverter bar 38 and curved portion 49 of the guide rail 28 force the case off the right chain 16 toward the left as shown in FIG. 7. The right edge of the case will again drop between the two chains and 12 and engage a second slide plate 42 somewhat similar to slide plate 36.
Note that at this second station there is no tilting plate similar to plate 32, but that the slide plate 42 is positioned near the end of the second diverter bar 38. Note also that there is no additional guide rail similar to curved rail 34. This is because the bottom of the open-end case is heavier than the top and when the case is resting on its side, gravity will help tip the case to an upright position.
The case, as shown in FIG. 8, is now tipped with its edge engaging the sec-ond slide plate 42, and the case is being advanced by the right chain 10 only. The second slide plate 42 will raise the case until it is resting on its top. Note that the left guide rail throughout the distance along side of the second diverter bar 38 and slide plate 42 is dropped to a lower position. This is so that the case as it turns cannot become caught beneath the guide rail 26. Near the end of the slide plate 42, both the right guide rail 28 and the left guide rail 26 are tilted inwardly in order to position the now invcrted case on both the chains 10 and 12 (FIG. 9).
Note that the inversion of the case is a continuous Operation, the case being moved forward by action of one or both of the conveyor chains 10 and 12. The inverter is so designed that a case traveling through will be engaging at all times at least one of the chains 10 or 12. Therefore, operation of the inverter is not dependent upon line pressure created by a series of accumulated cases. A single case will travel through the inverter equally as Well as the first case in a series of cases.
t My novel inverter will handle the cases at a rate dictated by the speed of the conveyor chains 10' and 12. Thus, there is no problem of coordination of the inverter speed with other machines in the plant since the inverter will handle the cases continuously at the speed of the conveying system. Obviously, slight modifications can be made, for example, in the specific angles of the diverter bars and contours of the slide platcs to handle all types of cases Whether open-top or closed or made of wood, metal, wire or cardboard. The principles of my invention thus have broad application to handle a wide variety of cases. It is, therefore, my intention that any modifications or revisions, obvious to those skilled in the art, be included within the scope of my invention which is to be determined by the following clams.
1'. In combination with a conveyor having laterally spaced-apart sections continuously moving along parallel lines to carry containers normally engaging both of said moving sections, an inverter comprising a first diverter to force a container laterally so that it engages only one of said conveyor sections and one edge of said container drops between said sections causing the container to tilt, limiting means to limit the amount said container can drop between the sections and to gradually lift the dropped edge of said container back to the level of the moving conveyor sections, and a second diverter to move the tilted container back laterally so that it engages both moving sections of said conveyor, said second diverter cooperating with said limting means to continue tilting said container until it has been rotated 90 from its original position with a side engaging both moving sections of the conveyor.
2. In combination with a conveyor having laterally spaced-apart sections continuously moving along parallel lines to carry containers normally engaging both of said moving sections, an inverter comprising a first diverter bar extending across the path of one of said moving sections to force a container olf said section so that one edge of said container drops between said sections thereby causing the container to tilt, a plate member extending between said conveyor sections beyond said first diverter bar at a level somewhat below said sections to limit the amount said container can drop, the level of said plate gradually rising to a point slightly above the level of said conveyor sections, and a second diverter on the side of said conveyor opposite said first diverter bar to force the tilted container back laterally until it engages both moving sections of the conveyor, said second diverter cooperating with said plate member to continue tilting said container until it has been rotated from its original position.
3. In combination with a conveyor having laterally spaced-apart sections continuously moving along parallel lines to carry inverted open-top cases normally engaging both of said moving sections, .a case reinverter comprising a first diverter to force a case laterally so that it engages only one of said conveyor sections and one edge of said case drops between said sections causing the case to tilt, first limiting means to limit the .amount said case can drop between the sections and to gradually lift the dro-pped edge of said case back to the level of the moving conveyor sections, a second diverter to move the tilted case laterally back so that it engages both moving sections of said conveyor, said second diverter cooperating with said limiting means to continue tilting said case until it has been rotated 90 from its original position with a side engaging both moving sections of .the conveyor, a third diverter to force the case laterally so that it engages only one of said conveyor sections and one edge of said case drops between said sections causing the case again to tilt, second limiting means to limit the amount said case can drop between `the sections and to gr-adually lift the dropped edge of said case back to the level of the moving conyeyor sections, the case continuing to tilt by force of gravity until it has rotated from its original position to an upright position, and means to center the case so that i-t engages both conveyor sections.
4. In combination with a conveyor having laterally spaced-apart sections continuously moving along parallel lines to car-ry inverted open-top cases normally engaging iboth of said moving sections, a case reinverter comprising a first diverter bar extending across the path of one of said moving sections to force a case off said section so .that one edge of said case drops between said sections thereby causing the case to tilt, a first plate member located downwardly from said first diverter bar and extending between said conveyor sections at a level somewhat below said sections ,to limit the amount said case can drop, the level of said first plate gradually rising to a point slightly .above the level of said conveyor sections, a second diverter adjacent said first plate member on the side of said conveyor opposite said first diverter bar to force the tilted case laterally until it engages both moving sections of the conveyor, said second diverter cooperating with said first plate member to continue tlting said case until it has been rotated 90 from its original position, a third diverter bar located downwardly from second diverter and on the same side of the conveyor as the first diverter bar `and extending across the path of one of said moving sections `to force the case off said section so that one edge again drops between said sections thereby causing the case to .tilt, and a second plate member located downwardly from said third diverter bar and extending between said conveyor sections at a level somewhat below said sections to limit the amount said case can drop, the level of said second plate .gradually rising to a point slightly above the level of said conveyor sections, the case con- Itinuing to tilt by force of gravity until it has rotated 180 from its original position to an upright position.
5. In the inverter of clairn 4, guide rails outside of and extending generally parallel to said moving conveyor sec- .tions at a level .above said sections and below the minimum height of the cases, a portion of the guide rail adj-acent to said third diverter bar extending inwardly above and along .the same .path as said third d-iventer bar.
6. The inverter -of clairn 5 in which the portions of the .guide rails adjacent to and downwardiy from said second plate member extend inWard-ly to center the case on both rnoving conveyor sections.
7. A method of inverting oontainers .traveling on a confveyor having liatera-ily spaced-apart sections moving con- Itinuously along paral'le-l lines, .said method co-mprisin'g the steps of: forcing the container ofi? one of the moving sections so that one edge of the container drops between the -moving sections and the container .thereby tilts; raising the dropped edge of the .conta-iner while urging the container Eto continue .to tilt until it has been rotated 90 and is travelng with va .side engaiging both conveyor sections; foroing References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,119,596 6/-38 MfitteF-t.
SAMUEL F. coLEMAN, Primary Examinr.
EDWARD A. SROKA, Examner.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2119596 *||Jun 23, 1936||Jun 7, 1938||Fmc Corp||Box dumping machine|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3729108 *||Dec 2, 1970||Apr 24, 1973||Burton John Machine Corp||Case dumper|
|US3967716 *||Dec 9, 1974||Jul 6, 1976||Smith John S||Apparatus for loading cartons|
|US4411350 *||Sep 4, 1981||Oct 25, 1983||Frank Wolfram||Reversing conveyer track|
|US4944647 *||Apr 29, 1988||Jul 31, 1990||Alpha Therapeutic Corporation||Bottle cutting and emptying machine|
|U.S. Classification||198/402, 414/418, 198/410, 193/44, 198/416|
|International Classification||B65G47/248, B65G47/24|