US 3253694 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
5 Sheets-Sheet l A. W. KINNEY APPARATUS FOR COLLATING TAPERED ARTICLES May 3l, 1966 Filed July 7, 1964 V, E R.N V, M MM wm m um M NM m, w NM ma@ K QQ N w M Il.. o A/H.. M1 u f: Mw. l --/mm. w MJ m Q0, n NQ Nw w NQ wi @aww MQ ,A un. y NM w|% s UHU MNNM. s s a QM. ma v n Nw s I,... SQ Q Werd Iliff .21.7 WU C M1 Qhwmw. OQ%\N\.%\ QN. 0 A M nu WN. .mi @s 1:.. QN. NMJ o\%\ O%\DN@ WW, rdv n Q m., S NM m m May 31, 1966 A. w. KINNEY 3,253,694
APPARATUS FOR COLLATNG TAPE-RED ARTICLES Filed July v, 1964 5 sheets-sheet 2 BYMQML May 31, 1966 A. w. KINNEY 3,253,694
APPARATUS FOR COLLATING TAPERED ARTICLES Filed July 7, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 BY www May 31, 1966 A. w. KxNNEY APPARATUS FOR COLLATING TAPERED ARTICLES 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 7, 1964 mk N som Q som 1M NN s w N WKN Mmm: Q mw IMT@ m NNN N ao NN a Q som NN z Q 5 l \Q) @C N so l. w @mw@ 9 som WM A Z O.n m
BY ma@ ATTANEV May 31, 1966 A. w. KiNNEY 3,253,694
APPARATUS FOR COLLATING TAPERED ARTICLES Filed July '7, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 United States Patent O 3,253,694 APPARATUS FDR COLLATING TAPERED ARTICLES Alfred William Kinney, Washington, NJ., assigner to American Can Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey Filed July 7, 1964, Ser. No. 380,881 11 Claims. (Cl. 198-33) This invention relates to a method and apparatus for collating tapered articles and more particularly it relates to a method and apparatus for alternately inverting aligned frusto-conical cups to permit such cups to be cased or packaged with a minimum of wasted space.
While the present invention finds utility in connection with a variety of tapered articles, it is particularly adaptable for use with conventional frusto-conical paper or plastic cups such as soft drink cups, ice cream cups, coffee cups, and other similar types of cups utilized in dispensing and vending comestibles. Customarily, such cups are -provided with an open larger end and a bottom closure at the smaller end although for purposes of the present invention, the opposite construction may also be employed wherein it is the smaller end that is open.
When such cups are filled with a product that is not to be instantly used, a closure or cover is applied over the open end of the filled cup, and thereafter, the filled and covered cup is packed by being placed within a case or carton.
It is naturally desirable to have the casing or cartonizing operation take place automatically and it is also desirable to have the cups packed during such an operation in as compact and closely confined an arrangement as possible. This not only saves space by providing the optimum amount of cups in each package, but also assures that no shifting or tipping of the cups can occur during shipment and hence that the cups will not be damaged by roughly contacting one another. In order to provide such a compact packing of the cups, it is necessary to invert every other cup in a line, since such cups are formed with a frusto-conical configuration. Thus, if one cup has a large upper end and a small lower end, an inverted cup of this configuration will have a small upper end and a larger lower end and the two cups will thus intimately mate with one another in compact contacting juxtaposition.
If such frusto-conical cups were presented in a single row, a suitable form of inverting apparatus could be used to invert alternate cups within that row. However, in the final carton or Case utilized to pack such cups, it is customary to pack more than one row of cups and it is therefore necessary to assure that each row of cups tits compactly and contiguously with the next adjacent row of cups. The apparatus which properly arranges such cups so they can be cartonized with compact alternately inverted cups extending both lengthwise and crosswise within the carton, is known as a collator. It is necessary for such a collator to divide a single incoming line of capped cups into as many rows as the carton is wide, and then to alternately invert the cups within each row.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method for performing the above-described collating.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a method and apparatus for atuomatically dividing a line of tapered articles into a plurality of rows of such articles and for automatically inverting every other article within each row.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved article-inverting mechanism.
Another object of the present invention is to provide 4a high-speed, efficient, automatic and inexpensive collator for arranging tapered cups for compact packing thereof.
2 Numerous other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent as it is better understood from the following description, which, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, discloses a preferred embodil ment thereof.
The foregoing objects are attained by providing a collating apparatus and method wherein an incoming line of capped cups passes an article-Switching means which .divides the line into two rows and allows the cups to proceed in spaced relation in each row, with the cups in one row being opposite the spaces in the other row. As each cup enters its row, it passes and actuates a switch means which controls a cup-inverting mechanism located further along the row. The cup-inverting mechanism has a yoke which is adapted to receive and invert a cup and this yoke is supported on a member which can be raised or lowered to :move the yoke into the path of an infeeding cup or to raise it above the height of the cup.
When an infeeding cup actuates the switch means, the support member lowers into the path of the cups. The cup, which is being moved upon a conveyor belt, enters into the yoke on the lowered support member. At this point, a second cup actuates the switch means, thus causing the yoke to rotate or turn over and thereby invert the cup retained therein. After this yoke rotation is completed, the support member raises and the yoke rotates back to its initial position, the second cup passes beneath them and hence is not inverted. When the third cup strikes the switch means, the support member again lowers to receive and invert this cup, just as it did the rst one.
At the end of the collator, the inverted cups in a row accumulate, with the cup orientation in one row being opposite to that in the adjacent row. At preselected intervals, a pusher member operates to move both accumulated rows laterally and into -a carton wherein they are tightly and compactly packaged. l
Referring to the drawings;
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of a collating apparatus in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the apparatus of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational view showing the details of the cup-inverting mechanism;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 4 4 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional View taken substantially along line 5-S of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of the electrical switch means shown in FIGURE l;
FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken vsubstantially along line 7-'7 of FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 8 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line Sf-S of FIGURE 1;
FIGURES 9-11 are fragmentary top plan views showing a sequential feeding of cups past the cup-inverting mechanism;
FIGURE 12 is a schematic circuit diagram utilized in the apparatus of the present invention; and
FIGURE 13 is a schematic perspective view of the cupinverting mechanism in its various positions.
As a preferred and exemplary form of the present invention, FIGURES 1 and 2 illustrate a collating apparatus generally designated 20 having a base 22 which supports a continuously movable conveyor belt 24 which projects beyond the ends of the base and is adapted to receive and transport capped and filled frusto-eonical cups 26 or other similar tapered articles. A first pair of spaced guide rails 28 extends from one end of the upper surface of the base 22 to substantially the center thereof and a second pair of spaced guide rails 30 commences a short distance away from the central end of the rst guide rail pair and terminates adjacent the other end of the base 22. The rails 28 and 30 are supported in spaced relation above the upper surface of the base 22 by means of brackets32 which are screwed into the base 22.
At the inlet end of the guide rails 28, the rails are constricted, as shown at 34, to assure that the incoming cups 26 will be in a single line. This is shown in greater detail in FIGURE 8. As the constriction 34 gradually widens into the spaced rails 28, a bracket 36 is disposed in overlying relationship to the rail's 28 `and another similar bracket 38 is provided overlying the rails 30. A divider member 40` depends from the center of each of these brackets and thus extends longitudinally of the base 22between the spacedl rails 28 and 30. An article-switching means generally designated 42 depends from the center of the bracket 36 and is pivotable in response to movement of the cups 26 to divide the single line of cups arriving from the constriction 34 into two separate rows of cups, each of which extends between a guide rail and the divider member 40.
The cups 26 flow from the incoming line into the divided rows in a seriatim manner, which is to say that the switching means 42 rst admits a cup to one row while blocking out a cup from entering the other row, and then admits a cup to the other row while blocking out a cup at the one row. A switch means generally designated 44 extends into each row and as a cup 26 enters the row, it actuates the switch means 44 which in turn controls the operation of an article-inverting mechaof the mechanism 46. A support member generally nism generally designated 46 located near the center of the lapparatus between the rails 28 and'30. The article-inverting mechanism 46 includes a yoke 48 having ared ends 50, with the yoke being both rotatable and elevatable. When the yoke is lowered and its open end faces the infeeding cups 26 in a row, a cup 26 will be moved by the -conveyor belt 24 into the yoke. The
' divider member 40 is recessed at 52 to accommodate the flared ends S0 on one end of the yoke and to thus assure that each cupwill feed directly into the yoke.
When a cup is retained within the yoke 48 and the mechanism 46 is suitably actuated by the switch means 44, the yoke rotates to invert the retained cup and to place it upside-down on the conveyor belt 24 between the divider member 40 and a guide rail 30. Then the yoke 48 raises so that the next infeeding cup passes beneath it and is not inverted. The yoke then rotates back to present its open end toward the infeeding cups 'and is lowered to receive and invert the next succeeding cup in the manner previously described. It can thus be seen that every other cup in a row is inverted by the mechanism 46. The staggered feeding of the cups 26 into alternate rows assures that as a cup in one row is inverted, the next succeeding cup in the other row remains upright.
The result of the above-described operation is that the cups in each row are oriented opposite to those in the next adjacent row. An abutment member 54 is disposed across the conveyor 24 where it extends beyond the base 22, and as the oriented cups 26 contact this abutment member, they are prevented from further travel. When a suicient number of cups accumulates adjacent the member 54, a pusher 56 moves transversely across the conveyor 24- and pushes the cups into an awaiting case or carton 58. As can be seen from AFIGURE l, the cups 26 in the carton 58 are housed compactly and vcontiguously to one another.
Referring now to FIGURES 3 and 4, the cup-inverting mechanism 46 is shown in greater detail. lTo mount this mechanism, a pair of elongated upstanding bosses 60 project from the upper surface of the base 22 and within each of these bosses 60, an elongated post 62 is mounted at its lower end. A collar 64 surrounds each post 62 near its upper end and the space between each collar 64 and the upper end of a boss 60 defines designated 65 and including a plate 66 with enlarged apertured end portions 68 is disposed upon the posts 62, with the apertures in the end portions 68 being sized to receive and accommodate the posts 62. Centrally, the plate 66 has an enlarged depending hub portion 70 having an internal bore .which threadablyreceives a piston rod 72 which depends from the hub and through an enlarged threaded aperture 74 into the interior of the base 22. A piston 76 is suitably aflixed to the lower end of the rod 72 and an elongated cylinder 78, designed to accommodate the piston 76, surrounds the piston and rod and is aixed to the base 22 by having its upper end threaded at 80 and engaged in the threaded aperture 74. Conduits 82 and 84 connect respectively to the upper and lower ends of the cylinder 80 to supply fluid to act upon the piston 76 and move the support member 65 between its raised position where the, upper edges of the end portions 68 contact the collars 64 and its lowered position where the lower edges of the end portions 68 contact the bosses 60. l
A second and narrower rod 84 also depends from the support member 65 and extends through an apertured guide collar 86 into the interior of the base 22. A foot or pad 88 is mounted on the lower end of the rod 84. Within the interior of the base 22, a small wall 90 depends from the upper surface and a switch 92 is aixed to this Wall and disposed within the path of the pad 88. A bracket 94 is attached to the wall 90 and at its lower end, a switch 96 is provided in spaced alignment beneath the switch 92. When the support member 65 is in its lower position, the pad 88 contacts and closesthe switch 96 and when the support member 65 is in its raised position, the pad 88 contacts and closes the switch 92.
As can be seen from FIGURE 4, the support member 65 is also provided with a transversely extending central hub portion 98 which projects from the member toward the cup conveyor 24. A shaft 100 is rotatably mounted within the hub portion 98 and is provided with a reduced diameter portion 102 extending beyond the end of the' hub toward the conveyor 24. A retaining nut or bearing 104 is affixed to the portion 102 immediately contiguous to the end of the hub portion 98. The end of the shaft portion 102 fits within an laperture in a projection 106 integral with the yoke 48. A pin or dowel 108 passes through the projection 106 and shaft portion 102 to thus affix the yoke 48 to the support member 65 and to retain it in spaced relation above the conveyor 24.
As the shaft 100 extends out the opposite end of the hub portion 98, or .away from the cup conveyor 24, it is provided with a first stepped or reduced portion 110 and a second smaller reduced portion 112. A pinion ge-ar 114 isA suitably attached to the portion 112, as by a keyway, for concurrent rotation' therewith. A retaining nut or bearing 116 is suitably secured to the portion 112, as by a dowel or pin 118, and this nut serves to maintain the pinion 114 in its proper position and prevents it 4from any sliding motion along the portion 110. Thus, when the pinion 114 is suitably driven, it causes the shaft 100 and its reduced portions 102, 110 and 112 to rotate and hence to revolve or turn over the yoke 48 and invert a cup 26 retained therein.
In order to drive the pinion 114, a rack 120 is provided with a series of teeth 122 along its lower surface to mate with the -teeth on the pinion 114. The rack 120 is slidably mounted on a pair of spaced guide rods 124 which extend between .flanges 126 at opposite ends of the support member y65. A collar or sleeve 128 is attached to each rod at each end contiguous to the anges 126 and the rack is slidable along the rods 124 until one of its ends contacts a sleeve 128. An integral boss 130 projects from one side of the rack 120 and is provided with an internal aperture to receive a piston rod 132 which is retained in the aperture by means of a pin or dowel 134 which extends through the boss and the rod. At the opposite end of the rod 132, a suitable piston 134 is provided and is slidable within an associated cylinder 135 which is affixed to one of the flanges 126. Conduits 136 and 137 are connected to opposite ends of the cylinder 135 to introduce fluid thereinto and thus move the piston 134. Movement of the piston 134 is transmitted to the rack 120 via the piston rod 132, and, as the rack moves responsively to movement of the piston, the yoke 48 is revolved or turned over to thus invert a retained cup 26.
A stub pin or cam projection 138 extends radially from the retaining member 116 and, as the rack 120 slides linearly along the guide rods 124, this projection rotates along with the `shaft portion 112. Once during every rotation, this cam projection 138 comes into contact with the upper end of a push rod 140 which extends through an apertured guide sleeve 142 and into the interior of the base 22 to -actuate a switch 144 mounted therein. The push rod is provided with an inner collar 146 normally in engagement with the inner end of the sleeve 142 and an outer collar 148 normally biased away from the outer end of the sleeve 142 by a compression spring `150. When the projection 138 strikes the push rod 140, it over cornes the bias of the spring 150 and depresses the rod, thus closing the switch 144 which is aligned beneath its lower end.
FIGURE 5 is a detailed view illustrating the manner of mounting the article-switching means 42. The switching means includes a generally wedge-shaped element 152 having its narrower end 154 disposed toward the infeeding cups 26 and its wider end bifurcated or formed with a pair of projecting arms 156. The element 152 is pivotally mounted by means of a bolt S which depends from the bracket 36 and extends through the medial portion of the element. Adjacent the wider end of the element, a pin 166 depends from the bracket 36 and extends between the arms 156 to limit pivotal motion of the element. When the element is fully pivoted in one direction, one arrn 156 is in contact with the pin 160, as shown in FIGURE l, and a cup 26 is free to pass out of its incoming line and into a row. As the cup enters the row, it contacts the arm 156 spaced away from the pin and thereby pivots the element 152 until that cup-contacted arm pivots into engagement with the pin 166. At that point, the element 152 will have pivoted from the position shown in FIGURE l to that shown in FIGURES 9 through 11 and the next succeeding cup will enter the opposite row.
The cup-actuating switch means 44 is shown in detail in FIGURES 6 and 7 Vand can be of any suitable variety, such as an electrical, pneumatic or hydraulic operational type. For ease of illustration, the electrical variety of switch means is shown, and this variety includes an arm 162 extending from a cap 164 and into the path of each inteeding cup 26 in a row. In its normal position, the arm 162 abuts against a stop pin 166. The cap 164 is journaled over the upper end of an apertured boss 168 which is provided on the upper surface of the base 22 and a stem 170 depends from the cap and through the boss. A collar 172 is mounted on the lower end of the stem 170 within the interior of the base 22 and a portion of the periphery of this collar is enlarged to form a raised cam surface 174. The collar is also provided with a depending pin 176 which mounts one end of a tension spring 178. The opposite end of the spring 178 is suitably attached to the base 22 and the spring functions to normally bias the arm 162 into engagement with the stop pin 166. An electrical switch 18) is juxtaposed to the collar 172 and an arm 182 is pivotally mounted adjacent the switch and provided on its end with a cam roller 184 which contacts the periphery of the collar 172. Normally, the switch 189 is closed and the switch arm 162 is biased 4against the stop pin 166, but when a cup 26 contacts the arm 162 and pivots it, the cam surface 174 on the collar 172 contacts the roller 184 and pivots the arrn 182, thus opening the switch 186` As soon as the cup 26 proceeds beyond the arm 162, the spring 178 biases the arm back against the pin 166 and the switch 180 closes again.
The alternative operation of the collator 20 becomes apparent by referring to FIGURES 9 through 1l wherein the two rows on the conveyor 24 are identified as Row 1 and Row 2. Incoming cups 26 are alternately directed by the article-switching means 42 so that one cup feeds into Row 1 and the next cup feeds into Row 2, and so on. As each cup enters a row, it actuates the switch means 44 adjacent that row. For ease of identification, the cups in FIGURES 9-11 have been identified as A through F, and these six cups will be properly oriented by the collator so they can compactly fit within a carton 58, as shown in FIGURE 1. In FIGURE 9, the yoke 48 in Row 1 is in a down or lower position, is facing toward the infeeding cup, and hasreceived the cup A. The yoke 48 in Row 2 is in an up or elevated position and is facing away from the infeeding cups. A cup C is just entering Row 1 and therefore is actuating the switch means 44.- In Row 2, a cup B is located substantially medially between cups A and C.
In FIGURE l0, the conveyor 24 has advanced each of the cups a little further along in the rows, and it will be seen that the yoke 48 in Row 1 has turned over to invert the cup A. The yoke 48 in Row 2 has also turned over to face the infeeding cups, but it still remains raised or elevated above the level of these cups. Therefore, cup B can pass beneath the yoke and will not be inverted. Another cup D has entered Row 2 and actuated the switch means 44.
In FIGURE 11, the conveyor 24 has advanced the cups still further and it can be seen that the cup B has passed by and beneath the yoke 48 without being inverted. The elevational positions of the yokes have been reversed with the yoke 48 in Row l being raised and the yoke 48 in FIGURE 2 being lowered. Since the yoke in Row 1 is raised, the cup C can pass beneath it and is therefore not inverted. Since the yoke in Row 2 is lowered, the cup D will be retained therein and inverted. When the six cups A through F have finished passing the inverting mechanisrn, Row 1 will have the end cups A and E inverted and the center cup C upright. Row 2 will have the end cups B and F upright and the center cup D inverted. These cups are thus oriented or arranged to nest compactly and intimately in a carton.
In order to fully understand the exact and sequential operation of the present apparatus, reference is made to FIGURES l2 and 13 wherein the apparatus is schematically disclosed. The schematic diagram of FIGURE 12 consists of two identical circuits, one being used for the cup-inverting mechanism 46 for each row, and the operation will be described in connection with the left side of the circuit. Assume that an operational cycle commences with the support member 65 raised and the yoke 48 facing toward the infeeding cups, as shown in FIGURE 13 (a). When an infeeding cup 26 enters the row, it trips the switch arm and momentarily opens the switch 180. The switch is connected by a lead 186 to a conventional four-way air-operated valve 188 which is connected to a suitable source of pneumatic fluid 190. The air from the source 190 feeds into the top of the valve 188 through a conduit 191 and causes the plungertherein to lower, thus directing the air through the conduit 80 and into the cylinder 78. The piston in the cylinder 78 moves downward, thus lowering the support member 65 to the position shown in FIGURE 13(11). The cup, which ltripped the switch 180, feeds into the yoke 48 on the lowered support member and is retained therein.
Lowering the support member also causes the appended foot or pad 88 to move out of contact with the switch 92 and into contact with the switch 96, thereby closing the former and opening the latter. The switch 96 is connected by one lead 192 to the valve 188 and by a second lead 194 to a second four-way air-operated valve 196, similar to the valve 188. At this point, a second cup 26 enters the row and actuates the switch 180. Since the switch 96 is open, it prevents the plunger in the valve 188 from raising again. However, the valve 196 is also connected to the air source 190 by a conduit 198, and thus opening of the switch 96 acts through the lead 194 and causes the plunger in the valve 196 to moveto the left thereby opening the conduit 137 and permitting air from the conduit 198 to pass through the valve and conduit 137 and into the cylinder 135. Air entering this cylinder acts upon the piston therein to move it and the interconnected rack 120 to the Ileft. This linear movement of the rack 120 rotates the pinion 114 and hence causes the yoke 48 to revolve or turn over, thereby inverting the cup retained therein, as shown in FIGURE 13( c).
Movement of the rack 120 also causes rotation of the cam projection 138 which brings it into engagement with the switch 144 to open it. The switch 144 is connected by a lead 200 to the valve 188 `and it causes the plunger within that valve to raise, thus allowing air from the line 191 to ow through, the valve and the conduit 82 and into the lower end of the cylinder 78. The piston in the cylinder moves upward, thus raising the support -member 65 to the position shown in FIGURE 13(d) whereat the second cup can pass beneath the yoke and not be inverted.-
As the support member 65 raises, its appended foot 88 also raises, thus moving out of contact with the switch 96 and into contact with the switch 92 to close the former and open the latter. The switch 92 is connected by a lead '202 to the valve 196'and, when opened, it causes the plunger in the valve to move to the right, thus permitting air from the line 198 to llow through the valve and the conduit 136 and into the left side of the cylinder 135. This air acts upon the piston and the interconnected rack 120 to move them toward the right, thus rotating the pinion 114 and causing the yoke 48 to revolve or turn over to face back toward the infeeding cups, as shown in FIGURE 13(e). Movement of the rack also causes the cam projection 138 to move out of contact with the switch 144, thus allowing it to close. At this point the cycle is completed and all elements are returned to their original positions of FIGURE 13 (a). During the cycle,
one cup was inverted and one cup was allowed to pass through upright.
' Again, it should be appreciated and remembered that for purposes of the present invention, the various switches can be of any suitable design and construction and can be operated by means of mechanical, electrical, pneumatic or hydraulic power or any combination of one or more of such forms of power.
It is thought that the invention and many of its attendant features will be understood from the foregoing description, and it will be apparent that .various changes may be made in the form, construction, and arrangement of parts and that changes may b e made in the steps of the method described and in their order of accomplishment without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the
' form hereinbefore described being merely a preferred embodiment thereof.
1. Apparatus for collating tapered articles comprising:
conveying means for feedingtapered articles into said apparatus;
means for forming said infeeding articles into at least one single row having said articles spaced from one another by a nite distance;
an `article-inverting mechanism for inverting alternate articles in said row;
said article-inverting mechanism including a yoke member adapted t-o receive and retain an article and a support member mounting said yoke member;
means for selectively moving said support member between a lower position whereat said yoke member is disposed in the path of the articles in said row 8 and an upper position whereat said yoke member is disposed above the path of the articles in said row; and
means for turning said yoke member to invert an article retained therein;
said support member moving means being operable in timed relation with said articles to raise said yoke member above the path of alternate articles and thereby prevent them from being inverted.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said conveying means includes a conveyor belt on which said articles are supported and moved.
3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said mean for vforming said infeeding articles into a single row includes a pivotally mounted article-switching means which is actuated lby said articles to alternately feed said articles into two juxtaposed parallel rows.
4. Apparatus as deiined in claim 1 wherein said support memberis slidably mounted on at least one upstanding post.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 4 wherein said means for selectively moving said support member includes a cylinder and piston means with said piston being coupled to said support member for -simultaneous responsive movement of said support member.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said means for turning said yoke member includes a pinion coupled to said yoke member and a reciprocable rack in engagement with said pinion for rotation thereof.
a 7. Apparatus as defined in claim 6 wherein said rack 1s coupled to a cylinder and piston means .which is operable to reciprocate said rack. t
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 but further characterized by a switch means interposed in the path of said articles and actuatable thereby to control the selective operation of said support member moving means.
9. Apparatus as dened in claim 8 but further characa generally U-shaped yoke member juxtaposed to said support member and adapted to be interposed in the path of said linearly-feeding cups to receive and retain 'one of said cups;
said yoke member being lrotatably coupled to said support member by a shaft means;
'said shaft means having a pinion mounted on one end thereof;
a rack member engaging said pinion;
a first cylinder and piston means having said piston coupled to said rack member whereby, when said piston is actuated and moved, said rack member will move responsively and hence will rotate said pinion to turn said yoke member and invert any cup retained therein; and
a second cylinder and piston means having said piston coupled to said support member whereby, when said piston is actuated and moved, said support member will move responsively and will slide along said posts to either lower said yoke member into the path of said cups or raise said yoke member above the path of said cups.
11. Apparatus for collating frusto-conical articles to permit said articles to be compactly cased, said apparatus comprising:
a conveyor belt for supporting and moving said articles;
an article -switching -means disposed substantially medially of said conveyor belt and operable to divide said articles into two parallel linear rows, each having said articles therein spaced apart by a finite distance;
a switch means extending at least partially into each of said rows and actuatable by engagement with said articles;
an article-inverting mechanism associated with each of said rows to invert alternate articles therein;
said article-inverting mechanism including an opstanding post means and a support member slidable thereon;
said articleinverting mechanism also including a yoke member shaped to receive and retain ,an article therein;
-said yoke member being rotatably mounted upon said support member by a shaft extending between said yoke and support member;
said shaft having a pinion mounted at one end thereof;
a reciprocable rack member mounted in engagement with said pinion;
a rst cylinder and piston ymeans operable responsively to said electrical switching means;
said first piston means being coupled to said support member to slide said support member along said post means in response to movement of said first piston means;
spaced switches juxtaposed to said support member to `be alternately actuated when said support member is raised and lowered;
a second cylinder and piston means operable responsively to said spaced switches;
said second piston means being coupled to said rack member to reciprocate said rack member in response to movement of said second piston means;
said first cylinder and piston means thus being operable to alternately raise and lower said support member along said post Imeans and hence to alternately dispose said yoke member within the pathvof said articles in a row to receive and invert one of said articles and to disposed said yoke member above the path of said articles in a row to permit one of said articles to pass therebeneath without being inverted;
said second cylinder and piston means thus being operable to turn said yoke member over and hence to invert an article retained therein.
References Cited bythe Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1952 Hartmann l98-3l.3 12/1957 Oakes l98-33.4