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Publication numberUS3248845 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 3, 1966
Filing dateMay 28, 1963
Priority dateMay 28, 1963
Publication numberUS 3248845 A, US 3248845A, US-A-3248845, US3248845 A, US3248845A
InventorsSchneider Paul J
Original AssigneeSchneider Paul J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Photosensitive bottle width selector
US 3248845 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1966 P. J. SCHNEIDER 3,248,845

PHOTOSENSITIVE BOTTLE WIDTH SELECTOR Filed May 28, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN VEN TOR.

BY 62w GA) United States Patent O 3 248,845 PHOTUSENSITIVE BbTILE VJIDTH SELECTGR Paul J. Schneider, 18 9th Ave., Haddon Heights, NJ. Filed May 28, 1963, Ser- No. 283,888

7 Claims. (Cl. 250223) height, have the same general outline, and differ only in width or diameter. The apparatus of the present invention is adapted, for example, to recognize and distinguish between the 10 oz. and 12-02. Pepsi-Cola bottles.

' The apparatus of the present invention makes use of light beams, light sensitive devices, optic elements and electronic circuits to generate an electrical control or recognition signal. The control signal developed may then be used to actuate a mechanical knock-out or removal mechanism, or to channel the bottles of different widths on to dilfe-rent conveyor belts. The present invention is concerned only with the means for developing the recognition or control signal. The invention is not concerned with the mechanical knock-out or other selection means actuated by the developed signal.

In a preferred form, the apparatus of the present invention employs three light beams, and three associated circuits, one controlled by each of the three light beams. It is possible, but less desirable, to use only two light beams, and two associated circuits, but, in such case, the separation or spacing betvveen bottles, as the bottles move along the conveyor to the light-beam recognition station, is required to be greater than the outside diameter of the largest diameter bottle. By using the third light beam and associated circuitry, the apparatus of the presentinvention, in its preferred form, allows the separation between bottles to be substantially less, it being only necessary that the separation between bottles be slightly Wider than one-half the width of the narrow neck of the bottles. This is an important advantage since it allows the rate, e.g., the number of bottles, for a given line speed, passing per minute through the recognition station, to be substantially increased. It will be understood, however, that in its broadest aspect, the invention does not require that the third beam be used.

The invention will be clearly understood from the following detailed description and from the drawing, in

' which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic plan view of the preferred form of apparatus according to the presenlt'invention, illustrating a large bottle at the recognition stations;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic elevational view along the line II-II of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic plan view of a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1, showing a small bottle at the recognition station;

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic plan view of a dual star wheel arrangement which may preferably be employed to obtain minimum separation between bottles at the recognition station; and

FIG. Sis a diagrammatic elevational view of the dual star wheel arrangement of FIG. 4. 4

Referring now to the drawings, light sources 11, 12 and 13 may be any suitable sources capable of projecting the beams of light 21, 22 and 23. The light beams may preferably be narrow beams, projected as though slits, and may be produced, for example, by a tungsten bulb, or by a carbon arc, or by 19.11 ionized type of light such as a fluorescent or mercury vapor light. The light sources may be energized either by A.C. or DC electrical power. The light beams 21, 22 and 23 are projected preferably along parallel paths, and, unless intercepted by a modifying surface, fall unmodified on the light-sensitive devices 31, 32 and 33. The devices 31, 32 and 33 may preferably be photo-transistors, but may also be photo-diodes or other photo-sensitive devices capable of producing elec trical output signals corresponding to the variations in light energy received. I

The electrical output signals of the photo-sensitive devices 31, 32 and 33 are applied, respectively,' to the amplifiers 41, 42 and 43, and the outputs of these amplifiers are applied to the Schmitt trigger circuits 51, 52 and So long as the light beams 21, 22 and 23 are falling in full unmodified form on the respective photo devices 31, 32 and 33, each of the Schmitt trigger circuits 51, 52 and 53 remains in a state or condition such that the signal level on its output lead 61, 62 or 63 is an inhibit level signal at the logic AND gate 70.

When any one of the light beams is intercepted and modified, as by the bottle 80 or 81, the electrical output of the photo transistor associated with that beam changes, causing the Schmitt trigger to change its state, and causing the output level on its output lead to change to the prime level at the AND gate 70.

It will be seen that an output signal is delivered on the output lead 75 of AND gate 70 only when all three Schmit trigger circuits 51, 52 and 53 are changed to that state which produces a prime level on each of the output leads 61, 62 and 63, and that this situation exists only when all three light beams 21, 22 and 23, are intercepted concurrently.

As seen in FIG. 2, the light source 12 is mounted above a the positions of the light sources 11 and 13, at such level that the beam 22 will be intercepted by the neck of the bottle or 81 rather than by the body of the bottle. Light beams 21 and 23, on the other hand, are positioned at a lower level such that the beams 21 and 23 will be intercepted by the body of the bottle.

The light sources 11 and 13 are so spaced laterally that their respective beams 21 and 23 will be concurrently intercepted by a large bottle 80 passing through the recognition station, as depicted in FIG. 1, but will not be concurrently intercepted by a small bottle 81, as is represented in FIG. 3.

In FIG. 3, the dot-and-das-h circles represent a small bottle 81 approaching the center-most position at the recognition station, the bottle moving in the direction of the arrow 82. The solid-line circles represent the same small bottle at the center of the station, and the dottedline circles represent the same bottle leaving the center of the station. It will be understood that the larger circles represent the main body of the bottle while the smaller circles represent the neck of the bottle. It will be seen that the diameter of the main body of the bottle 81 is too small to allow the bottle to intercept concurrently the light beams 21 and 23. Thus, as the bottle 81 passes through the recognition station, moving in the direction of the arrow 82, the main body of the bottle 81 first intercepts the beam 21' and then, after the bottle 81 has cleared beam 21, the bottle intercepts the beam 23.

If the recognition system included only the two light beams 21 and 23, the bottles would have to be sufiiciently widely spaced so that,'as they approached and passed' through the station. To avoid such erroneous signals, the spacing between bottles would have to be greater than the distance between the beams 21 and 23, and since these beams must be spaced farther apart than the diameter of the smaller of the two bottles 86 and 81, it will be seen that a spacing would have to be maintained between adjacent bottles greater than the diameter of the small bottle.

In accordance with the preferred form of my present invention, the apparatus is so designed that the separation distance between bottles need be only slightly greater than one-half the Width of the narrow neck of the bottle. This result is achieved by providing the third beam 22 positioned to be intercepted by the neck of the bottles, and by so designing the apparatus that all three of beams 21, 22 and 23 must be intercepted concurrently in order to develop a large-bottle recognition signal. Thus, in FIG. 3, as soon as the neck of the bottle 81 has passed beyond the neck beam 22, a following bottle may safely interrupt the first of the body beams 21 without producing an erroneous output signal on lead 7 5.

To summarize, consider first the large bottle 80 in FIG. 1. When bottle 80 passes through the recognition station, there is an instant at which all three of the beams 21, 22 and 23 are concurrently intercepted, and, as a result, the output of the three photo-transistors 31, 32 and 33 will change, causing all three of the Schmitt trigger circuits to change to a state in which prime level signals appear on their output leads 61, 62 and 63. The AND gate 70 will then be opened, and an output signal will appear on the lead '75, indicating that a large bottle has been recognized.

A small bottle, such as bottle 81 in FIG. 3, will be unable, as it passes through the recognition station, to intercept concurrently all three of the beams 21, 22 and 23, and thus no output signal will be developed on lead 75. The mechanical diverging or selecting apparatus will, therefore, not be actuated, and the small bottle will continue along the conveyor path intended for the small bottles.

As indicated above, it is necessary that a following bottle not intercept the first of the body beams 21 until after the neck of the preceding bottle has passed beyond the neck beam 22. In FIG. 4, there is diagrammatically shown a dual star-wheel arrangement for assuring that the bottles pass through the recognition station at a minimum spaced separation greater than one-half the width of the neck of the bottle. The optimum separation between bottles, allowing some tolerance, may preferably be of the order of the width of the neck of the small bottle.

In FIGS. 4 and 5, assume that the conveyor belt 25 is moving in the direction of the arrow 26, and that the bottles 27 are abutting one another as they approach the recognition station, as defined by the light beams 21, 22 and 23. Just before reaching the recognition station, the bottles encounter one of the projections 39 of the idler star wheel 35. Star wheel 35 is rotatably mounted on and keyed to the shaft 36 to which is fixed a sprocket 37. Sprocket 37, when it is turned, drives an endless chain 38, which in turn drives the sprocket 47 keyed on the shaft 46, to which is secured the second star wheel 45 having projections or prongs 49. The prongs 39, 49 of the star wheels 35, 45, are given that width which is desired as the spacing between the bottles as they pass through the recognition station. In the present illustration, these prongs are shown as having a width just slightly less than the diameter of the neck of the bottles.

The dual star-wheel arrangement shown in FIGS. 4 and assures that the bottles pass through the recognition station at the desired spaced separation. This spacing may also continue beyond the recognition station, to the left as viewed in the drawing, but the drawing assumes some obstruction beyond the recognition station which causes the bottles to be backed up in abutting relation. The function of the second star wheel 45 is to prevent such backing-up of bottles from affecting the bottle spacing in the recognition station.

The apparatus described is capable of distinguishing between bottles whose body diameters differ by as little as %s", with the bottles moving through the recognition station at a rate of the order of 600 bottles per minute. The larger-diameter bottle develops a control signal on lead 75. The smaller-diameter bottle develops no control signal. The control signal may be power amplified and used to actuate'a knock-out mechanism to force the larger-diameter bottle from a first conveyor to a second conveyor. For example, the amplified control signal may be used to set a control flip flop whose output is applied to a logic AND gate to which is also applied an output signal from a position sensor whose light beam is intercepted by the bottle at a point beyond the recognition station. The output of the AND gate is then used to actuate the knock-out or removal mechanism. As indicated previously, the particular mechanism for utilizing the recognition signal is not part of the present application.

While the preferred embodiment of this invention has been described in some detail, it will be obvious to one skilled in the art that various modifications may be made without departing from the invention as hereinafter claimed.

In the illustrated embodiment, for example, the light beams 21, 22 and 23 are shown as being horizontal and parallel to each other. While preferred, this is not essential. If desired, the light sources and the photo cells may be so positioned that the light beams are inclined slightly from the horizontal. Moreover, it would not be essential that each of the light beams he similarly inclined. For example, one of the beams could be inclined slightly downwardly from the light source while another of the beams could be inclined slightly upwardly. It is desirable, however, that the beams, if inclined, be maintained within vertical planes which are perpendicular and parallel to each other.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for recognizing and distinguishing be-. tween two types of bottles one of which has :a larger outside diameter than the other, said apparatus comprising: means for generating first and second generally horizontal light beams located in parallel vertical planes spaced laterally by a distance less than the outside diameter of the larger-diameter bottle but greater than the outside diameter of the smaller-diameter bottle; means for generating a third generally horizontal light beam located in a vertical plane parallel to and midway between the planes of said first and second beams, said third beam being located above said first and second beams, said first, second and third beams constituting a recognition station; conveyor means for transporting said bottles to be recognized one by one transversely through said recognition station so that said first and second beams are intercepted by the body portion of the bottle and the third beam is intercepted by the neck portion of the bottle; first, second and third photo-sensitive devices positioned to receive respectively said first, second and third light beams for generating electrical output signals in response to the light received; logic AND gate means; first, second and third electronic circuit means coupled respectively between the output of each of said first, second and third photo-sensitive devices and said AND gate means for applying prime-level signals to said gate means in response to the interception of the associated light beam for developing an output control signal from said AND gate means only when a largerdiameter bottle is at the recognition station.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 characterized in that each of said first, second and third electronic circuits includes a Schmitt trigger the state of which determines the level of the signal applied to the AND gate means.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 characterized by the provision of means for establishing the spacing between successive bottles as they are transported through said recognition station.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3 further characterized in that said means for establishing the spacing between successive bottles as they are transported through said recognition station includes a first star wheel so mounted adjacent said conveyor means at the entrance of said recognition station that when said star wheel is rotated its prongs move through a circular path which overlies said conveyor, whereby said prongs are adapted to be encountered and the star wheel turned by the bottles moving along on said conveyor; a second star wheel similarly mounted adjacent said conveyor on the exit side of said recognition station; and means mechanically coupling said first and second star wheels, whereby said second star wheel is driven by said first star wheel during rotation thereof, the prongs on said sta-r wheels determining the spacing between bottles as they pass through said recognition station.

5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 characterized in that each of the prongs of each of said first and second star wheels has a width greater than one-half the maximum diameter of the necks of the bottles to be recognized.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 characterized in that each of the prongs of each of said star wheels has a width approximately equal to the maximum diameter of the necks of the bottles to be recognized.

7. Apparatus for recognizing and distinguishing between two types of bottles one of which is of larger outside diameter than the other, said apparatus comprising: means for generating first and second generally horizontal light beams located in parallel vertical planes spaced laterally by a distance less than the outside diameter of the larger-diameter bottle but greater in the outside diameter of the smaller-diameter bottle, said first and second beams constituting a recognition station; conveyor means for transporting said bottles to be recognized one by one transversely through said recognition station so that said first and second beams are intercepted by the body portion of the bottle; first and second photo-sensitive devices positioned to receive respectively said first and second light beams for generating electrical output signals in response to the light received; logic AND gate means; first and second electronic circuit means coupled respectively between the output of each of said first and second photo-sensitive devices and said AND gate means for applying prime level signals to said gate means in response to the interception of the associated light beam for developing an output control signal from said AND gate means only when a larger-diameter bottle is at the recognition station; and means for establishing a spacing between successive bottles as they are transported through said recognition station, said spacing means including a first star wheel so mounted adjacent said conveyor means at the entrance to said recognition station that when said first star wheel is rotated its prongs move through a circular path which overlies said conveyor, whereby said prongs are adapted to be encountered and the star wheel turned by the bottles moving along said conveyor, a second star wheel similarly mounted adjacent said conveyor on the exit side of said recognition station, and means mechanically coupling said first and second star wheels, whereby said second star wheel is driven by said first star wheel during rotation thereof, the prongs on said star Wheels determining the spacing between bottles as they pass through said recognition station.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,606,657 8/ 1952 Berthelsen 209 2,982,862 5/1961 Smith 2091l1 X 3,061,732 10/1962 Milnes 250219 3,066,226 11/1962 Lindstrom 250222 RALPH G. NLLSON, Primary Examiner.

WALTER STOLWEIN, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2606657 *Feb 6, 1948Aug 12, 1952Pneumatic Scale CorpBottle testing and sorting apparatus
US2982862 *Dec 31, 1959May 2, 1961Aluminum Co Of AmericaBottle cap detector
US3061732 *Sep 18, 1958Oct 30, 1962United States Steel CorpDevice for measuring a linear dimension of moving articles
US3066226 *Aug 18, 1959Nov 27, 1962Jones & Laughlin Steel CorpMeasuring apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3581083 *Aug 11, 1969May 25, 1971Joy Ivan LWheel trip
US3761723 *Jun 28, 1971Sep 25, 1973Agfa Gevaert NvApparatus for measuring dimensional deviations
US3799677 *Sep 22, 1972Mar 26, 1974Establissement Public AnvarPhotometric head for measuring the diameters of hardness indentations
US4107539 *Mar 16, 1977Aug 15, 1978Jerry KirschLaser workpiece position and presence inspector and machine control governor
US4494656 *Apr 1, 1983Jan 22, 1985Powers Manufacturing, Inc.Down and stuck ware inspection method and apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification250/223.00B, 356/638, 209/525, 250/564
International ClassificationB07C5/04, B07C5/12
Cooperative ClassificationB07C5/126
European ClassificationB07C5/12A2