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Publication numberUS3273304 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1966
Filing dateApr 17, 1963
Priority dateApr 17, 1963
Publication numberUS 3273304 A, US 3273304A, US-A-3273304, US3273304 A, US3273304A
InventorsMarindin Frederick R, Pane Joseph F, Winter Iv Alpheus
Original AssigneeWindor Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Casing machine
US 3273304 A
Abstract  available in
Images(11)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

p 1966 A. WINTER |v., ETAL 3,273,304

' CASING mcnnm Filed April 17, 1963 11 Sheets-Sheet 1 OPEN JAWS RETUR N CASE RELEASE RAISE HEAD LOWER HEAD INVENTORS. ALPHEUS WINTER JI JOSE P: F PANE (FQE W NDIN ATTOEY Sept. 20, 1966- A. WINTER |v., ETAL CASING MACHINE ll Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed April 17, 1963 wow wow

N an M R H OE TT NmA E 0 V F.K T NS w T lw A m Sept. 20, 1966 A. WINTER lV., ETAL CASING MACHINE l1 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed April 17, 1963 INVENTORS.

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CASING MACHINE Filed April 17, 1963 11 Sheets-Sheet 5 ,lss

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INVENTORS.

ALPHEUS WINTER II JOSEPH F. PAN

ERICK Se t. 20, 1966 A. WINTER |v., ETAL 3,273,304

CASING MACHINE Filed April 17, 1963 ll Sheets-Sheet 6 NTDRS WIN F. PANE CK R.

M RIND ATT NEY P 1966 A. WINTER |v., ETAL 3,273,304

CASING MACHINE ll Sheets-Sheet 7 Filed April 17, 1963 FIG.9

INVENTORS. ALPHEUS WINTER III JOSEPH F. PANE FREDERICK R. MARINDIN ATTORNEY.

p 20, 1966 A. WINTER |v., ETAL 3,273,304

CASING MACHINE Filed April 17, 1963 11 Sheets-Sheet 8 24 V r V\ 246 FIG.I0

I l I 225 224 226 223 222 INVENTORS. 238 ALPHEUS WINTER 3 JOSEPH FR emci'n i m A mom FIG. l2

p 0, 1966 A. WINTER |v.. ETAL 3,273,304

CASING MACHINE 11 Sheets-Sheet 9 Filed April 17, 1965 E QE N R I Y m M M mm R E M o VW F S w HR PE 0% Am Se t. 20, 1966 A. WINTER |v.. ETAL ,3

CASING MACHINE Filed April 17, 1963 11 Sheets-Sheet 1O MANUAL I5 25 IT KEY:

-- h'ruume- "80R KNPT F G 0 ALPHEJQJVVEVIFIJTOERE'E mamaa NH JOSEPH F. PANE FR ICK R. MARINDIN MANIFOLD SUPPLY \NDEXlNG..bO-B3... GFEEN AT E Se t. 20, 1966 A. WINTER |v.. ETAL 3,273,304

CASING MACHINE Filed April 17, 1963 ll sheets sheet 11 ZIN LCCC (CC CCCC CCC Zll cum

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%CK R. MIA NDIN AT TO E United States Patent 3,273,304 CASING MACHINE Alpheus Winter IV, Fairfield, Joseph F. Pane, Danbury,

and Frederick R. Marindin, Woodbury, Conn., as-

signors to Windor, Incorporated, Danbury, Conn., a

corporation of Connecticut Filed Apr. 17, 1963, Ser. No. 273,595 31 Claims. (Cl. 53-61) The present invention relates to apparatus for marshalling and depositing into a case containers such as paper carton for milk or the like. Such apparatus receives containers, usually in a single line, from a continuously moving conveyor and assembles them on a platform in groups of rows for deposit in a case. The present invention is concerned with apparatus for depositing one or more layers of containers in a case and having the capacity to vary the number of containers in each layer by preset control.

Cases are dmigned to hold quart cartons, for example, the conventional pealotopped quart milk carton; such cases are slightly taller than the quart carton. The cross sectional area of pint and half pint cartons is about the same as quart cartons; however, a pint carton is considerably more than half the height of a quart carton because of the peak tops. By the same token, a half pint carton is more than one-third the height of a quart carton. Thus, the conventional quart case is not tall enough to contain below its upper edge two layers of ertically aligned pint cartons or three layers of vertically aligned half pints.

Considerable economies may be achieved if the standardized case for quart cartons may be utilized for larger or smaller sized cartons as well as the quarts, and it is particularly desirable to provide one machine which will automatically case multi-sized cartons in cases as is done by utilization of the present invention.

It has been discovered that efficient usage of cases for multi-sized cartons may be made by filling the bottom of the case with a layer of cartons and then depositing on top thereof a layer having the same number of rows of cartons, or one or more less rows of cartons. In this way, the cartons in the top layer may tip over in a manner such that their tops lie below the upper edge of the case. Cases thus filled may be stacked without crushing protruding cartons. For example, half pint cartons may be loaded in quart cases with the first two layers filling the bottom case area and with the top layer having one or more less rows to provide for the same tipping action and the same result.

It is desirable that such casing apparatus in one embodiment be sufiiciently versatile to handle quarts, pints or half pint cartons without elaborate changes in the mechanism.

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a carton casing machine which can be readily adapted to load more than one size of carton into a case of common size.

Another object of the invention is to provide casing apparatus of the above character which has a simplified control subassembly for controlling the number of rows of cartons in each layer deposited in the case A further object of the invention is to provide a casing apparatus of the above character capable of automatically loading cartons into a case at a high rate of speed, and in which a reciprocable pusher continuously functions while a marshalled tier is being transferred to a case.

A further object of the invention is to provide a casing apparatus of the above character which is simple and inexpensive to manufacture andoperate.

In one aspect of the invention, a continuously operating, endless belt conveyor may feed a single line of cartons into a casing machine to a point where they are transferred to a stationary support where the forward carton operates a valve, at which time a predetermined number of cartons (in the present instance, four) are arranged in front of a reciprocable pusher that is activated upon the operation of the aforementioned valve. This causes the pusher to move the four cartons simultaneously onto a carrier while at the same time preventing further feeding of the cartons from the Single line onto the support. The pusher has two forward limits of motion, the first being capable of moving the four cartons only over the trailing end of the carrier, and the latter being capable of moving a marshalled group of four cartons twice as far over the carrier. Accordingly, by selectively using the short and long strokes of the pusher, different numbers of rows of cartons can be fed onto the carrier.

In another aspect of the invention, the carrier may be constructed to cooperate with a slotted stationary table that supports the cartons, and the carrier may be capable of being raised to lift the cartons off the slotted table and to transport them forwardly to a location beneath a vertically movable gripping head. This construction makes it possible to continuously supply the cartons to the slotted stationary table while the carrier is trans ferring a tier of cartons to the gripping head. Thus, the pusher can be continuously operated without interruption, thereby greatly increasing the speed with which cartons can be cased.

In still another aspect of the invention, an indexible ratchet mechanism may be provided that. is responsive to carrier transport movement and which controls the pusher stroke to vary the number of rows of cartons that are transported during selective movements of the carrier to the gripping head.

In still another aspect of the invention, the gripping head may be any one of several forms, depending upon the type of carton being handled. Thus, certain types of cartons include an upper end that is of a triangular roof-like construction having a flange extending above the ridge thereof, while others include a flat horizontal top surface having recessed pockets at each end thereof. The gripping head for the former may comprise a plurality of pivotally mounted fingers adapted to cooperate with corresponding fixed fingers to grip the ridge flange of the cartons securely therebetwecn. Alternatively, the gripping head may comprise a plurality of spacing elements that act to slightly separate the cartons, and a plurality of pivotally mounted arcuate finger members may be provided which are adapted to be operated in a manner to pass into the recessed pockets beneath the horizontal fiat tops of the other form of carton. Although only two types of gripping heads are here mentioned, it is to be understood that other types may be required for cartons of other designs than those mentioned.

In still another aspect of the invention, the gripping head may be attached to a vertically reciprocable structure adapted to move the head to different elevations beneath the transport carrier after the clamping means has been released and the carrier returned to its initial position. The different limiting elevational positions of the head make it possible to load cartons of different heights into a case.

In a still further aspect of the invention, the frame of the casing mechanism may support an endless chain conveyor beneath the marshalling and carrier mechanism for conveying empty cases into position beneath the gripping head. Furthermore, means may be provided for ensuring the proper positioning of the case prior to the descent of the head with the cartons attached thereto.

In still another aspect of the invention, a pneumatic circuit may be provided for causing the various components of the casing machine to function in a predetermined sequential fashion.

The above, other objects and novel features of the improved casing machine will become apparent from the following specification and accompanying drawings which are merely exemplary.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a casing machine to which the principles of the invention have been applied;

FIG. 2 is a plan view taken substantially along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2A is a sectional view taken substantially along line 2A2A of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 is an elevational sectional view taken substantially along line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective exploded view of certain parts of the apparatus forming the transportation carrier;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of certain of the control equipment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a modified detail of an element shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of the mechanism for accurately locating a case beneath the head mechanism;

FIG. 8 is a view of part of the structure of FIG. 7 in a different position from that shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is an elevational view of an alternative form of gripping head;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 1010 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 1111 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 1212 of FIG. 9;, I

FIGS. 13 to 16, inclusive, are views of the manner in which the gripping head of FIG. 9 is used; and

FIGS. 17 and 18 are schematic views of the pneumatic circuitry for the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 to 6.

Referring to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, the principles of the invention are shown as applied to a casing machine comprising a frame 100 composed of a top, intermediate and lower platform 101, .102 and 103, respectively. The intermediate platform structure 102 may have fixed to it, or associated with it, a conveyor 104 adapted to feed a single line of cartons 105 to a horizontal stationary support 106 in front of a pusher 107.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 2A, the conveyor 104 may comprise an endless belt 108 that may extend transversely through the casing machine beneath the support 106 for conveying the cartons 105 to the support 106. The belt 108 may be disposed between side guide rails 109 and 110. Parallel, horizontally disposed rolls 111 may be mounted on rail 109 at progressively increasing elevations from a point away from the support 106 and beneath said belt 108, to a point above the belt 108 adjacent the support 106. Vertically disposed, parallel rolls 112 may be arranged along the rail 110, and a horizontal transition roll 113 may be located at the elevation of the highest roll 111 and arranged diagonally across the belt 108'.

The construction and arrangement of the parts are such that as each carton 105 moves up toward the support 106, one of the bottom edges of the carton that is parallel to the direction of belt travel overlies the rolls 111, which latter lift this edge of the carton upwardly so that the leading corner of the carton adjacent this edge rides up over the portion of the transition roll 113 farthest from the support 106. The vertical rolls 112 support the carton 105 in this tilted condition. Continued movement of the carton toward the support 106 causes a smooth transi tional movement of the carton 105 from the belt 108 to rolls 114 forming the support 106.

A pusher member 1 may form a wall along which the single line of cartons 105 moves as the cartons are received on support 106. The length of the pusher 115 may be such as to accommodate a predetermined number of cartons which, in the embodiment disclosed, is four. The pusher may include a right angular rearwardly extending arm means 116 integral therewith, and it may support vertical rolls 117 thereon for a purpose to be described later.

Pusher 115 may be connected to a piston rod 118 that extends into a cylinder .119, which cylinder may selectively be supplied with, and exhausted of, pressure fluid such as air to effect its reciprocation and that of pusher 115. Pusher 115 may also include a cam rod 120 that is shown as lying parallel with cylinder 119', and it may support two spaced cams 121 and 122.

As the cartons 105 pass onto support 106 along the forward face of pusher 115, the forward one contacts a plate 123 that is mounted on a pivot pin 124. This contact of plate 123 occurs when a predetermined number of cartons 105 (four in the present embodiment) are arranged in front of pusher 115, and the length of pusher 115 is such that the roller surface of arm 116 is spaced slightly to the left of the fourth carton 105 (FIG. 2).

Pivoting of plate 123 actuates a valve 125 which exhausts the rod end of cylinder 119 and supplies pressure fluid to the blind end thereof, causing pusher 115 to move the four cartons from support 106' onto the rearmost portion of another stationary support that includes spaced parallel supporting elements 126. During this forward pusher movement, arm 116 prevents the forward movement of the single line of cartons 105 onto the support 106.

When it is desired to arrange four rows of four cartons 105 each on the supporting elements 126, the apparatus is set such that cam 121 actuates a valve 127. This exhausts the blind end of cylinder 119 and supplies pressure fluid to the rod end thereof, thus returning pusher 115 to the position shown in FIG. 2 to receive another row of four cartons 105. This action is repeated until the initial row of four cartons 105 contacts a finger 128 having an arm 129 mounted on a pivot pin 130 and which arm 129 includes an element 131 that actuates a valve 132 to initiate the transportation of the marshalled cartons 105 to a location for deposit in a case, all in a manner to be described hereinafter.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 4, a transport carrier 133 may comprise a series of parallel fingers 134 joined by a forward portion 135 and side elements 136, 137, forming an open rear-ended, slotted platform which receives the supporting elements 126 within the slots thereof. The carrier 133 is adapted to be raised slightly above elements 126 to lift the assembled cartons 105 from said elements, to move forward a predetermined distance, then to be lowered to a position such that its top surface is slightly below the top surface of elements 126, and then to be moved rearwardly to the position shown in FIG. 2. Additionally, in order to retain the cartons 105 in proper arrangement during this forward motion, means for clamping the assembled cartons 105 is required to be mounted on, and movable with, carrier 133. This construction of the support with spaced elements 126 and the carrier with fingers 134 that interfit with elements 126 makes it possible to continuously load the elements 126 while the carrier 133 is transporting a tier of cartons 105 to the gripping head. Thus, the pusher 105 continuously functions and thereby greatly increases the speed of easing the cartons 105.

In order to accomplish these results, the carrier 133 (FIG. 4) may include a transverse plate 138 and transversely aligned ears 139 and 140. Brackets 141, 142 may be rigidly mounted on ears 139 and 140. These brackets may support cylinders 143 and 144, each containing reciprocable pistons therein having a piston rod that extends through its corresponding bracket and which is attached to a corresponding clamping plate 145, 146. The ears 139, may also support vertically disposed cylinders 147, 148 having reciprocable pistons therein, the piston rods 149 and 150 of which extend through ears 139, 140 and are rigidly anchored in a traveling plate member 151. The construction and arrangement of the parts are such that upon the admission of pressure fluid simultaneously to the blind ends of cylinders 147, 148, the carrier 133 rises slightly above the elevation of the elements 126, lifting the marshalled cartons 105 therefrom.

The plate member 151 (FIG. 4) may include a transversely disposed, elongated portion 152 that supports aligned blocks 153 and 154 at each end thereof. These blocks may be bored with aligned holes to slidingly receive a cylindrical guide rod 155 that is fixed to the frame of the machine. The opposite end of the plate 151 may support a slide bearing 156 which slides along the top edge of a guide bar 157 forming part of the intermediate platform structure 102.

The block 154 may rigidly support one end of a piston rod 158 that extends into a cylinder 159 which is also fixed to the machine frame, Admission of pressure fluid to the ends of cylinder 159 while exhausting the other end will cause plate 151 and carrier 133 to reciprocate from the position shown in FIG. 2 to and from a position above a case (FIG. 3).

From the foregoing it is evident that when a predetermined marshalled group of cartons 105 is assembled on the elements 126, the admission of pressure fluid simultaneously to the blind end of cylinders 143, 144 causes the clamping plates to move toward each other, clamping the assembled cartons. Also, the subsequent simultaneous admission of pressure fluid to the blind end of cylinders 147, 148 causes the carrier 133 to rise, lifting the clamped cartons 105 off the elements 126. Furthermore, the subsequent admission of pressure fluid to the blind end of cylinder 159 causes plate 151 and carrier 133 to move from the position shown in FIG. 2 toa position above a case (FIG. 3). The manner of achieving the above and other sequences of operations will be explained later in conjunction with the schematic diagram of the pneumatic system shown in FIGS. 17 and 18.

The cartons 105 are adapted to be loaded into a case capable of accommodating quart cartons 105. Referring to FIGS. 1, 7 and 8, and particularly to FIG. 1, the lower platform 103 may support spaced parallel members 160 and 161, between the opposite ends of which may extend shafts 162 and 163 that fixedly support sprockets 164 adjacent members 160, 161. Endless chains 165, 166 may surround said sprockets, forming an endless chain conveyor for transporting cases 167 to a predetermined location for receiving the cartons 105. Shaft 162 may also fixedly support a drive sprocket 168 in mesh with a chain 169 that is driven by a power source (not shown).

Referring to FIG. 7, the member 161 may support a cylinder 170, the piston rod 171 of which may be connected to a shoe 172 having guiding means 173, 174 that pass through guide holes within member 161. A stop latch mechanism 175 may be mounted on the member 160 for stopping the forward movement of a case 167. It may comprise a lever 176 mounted on a pivot pin 177 and including a portion 178 that may be moved into and out of the path of travel of the cases 167.

Another arm 179 of lever 176 may be pivotally connected to the end of a cylinder 180 having a reciprocable piston therein, the piston rod 181 of which is pivotally connected to a bracket 182 that is fixed to member 160 and which bracket also supports pivot pin 177. Pressure fluid normally is supplied to the blind end of cylinder 180, causing it to move to its extended position thereby positioning portion 178 of lever 176 in the path of travel of cases 167. A bell crank lever 183 may be pivotally mounted on lever 176 and it may include an arm 184 that normally lies in the path of travel of cases 167 but slightly spaced angularly from portion 178 when a case 167 is not in contact with it, as shown by the dotted line position. Bell crank 183 also includes an arm 185 that cooperates with a valve 186. When a case 167 moves forwardly into contact with arm 184, it forces it against portion 178, thereby positively locating the forward position of case 167. The movement of arm 184 from its dotted to its solid line position operates valve 186, thereby admitting pressure fluid to the blind end of cylinder 170, causing shoe 172 to force case 167 into contact with member 160, thereby positively locating case 167 transversely of conveyor chains 165, 166.

In order to deposit the cartons which have been transported forwardly by the action of carrier 133, as previously described, a vertically reciprocable gripping head supporting mechanism 187 is provided on the top platform 101. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, the mechanism 187 comprises a standard 188 including a reinforcing rib 189. The standard 188 is mounted on the platform 101 between spaced angle members 190, 191. Rod's 192, 193 fixed to members 190, 191 support bearing blocks 194, 195.

The upper end of standard 188 fixedly supports a rod 196 extending in each direction therfrom and parallel with rods 192, 193. Rod 196 may support bearing blocks 197, 198 that have vertically extending holes therethrough that are aligned, respectively, with corresponding holes in blocks 194, 195. Cylindrical rods 199, 200 may extend through the aligned holes in blocks 197, 194 and blocks 198, .195, respectively. The lower ends of rods 199, 200 may pass through the platform 101 and have fixed to their bottom ends a plate 201 by nuts 202. A gripping head 203 (FIG. 3) may be attached to the plate 201 by bolts 204, 205 that extend through plate 201 and have spacers 206 thereon, there being, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, three spacers above plate 201 and one beneath said plate. Nuts 207 may be secured to the top of bolts 204, 205 to hold them in place. The lower ends of bolts 204, 205 are screw threaded into the body 208 of gripping head 203. From the foregoing it is evident that head 203 may be connected to plate 201 at different elevations depending upon the arrangement of the spacers 206.

When the cartons 105 include a triangular cross section, roof-like construction having a ridge flange 209, the gripping head may take the form shown at 203 in FIG. 3. In this embodiment, the body 208 may include fixed gripping fingers 210 depending therefrom and which are adapted to cooperate with fingers 211. The fingers 211 are attached to rods 212 that are arranged in parallel spaced relation extending through body 208 of head 203. Four finger assemblies are shown in FIG. 3, and in aligned relation behind each may be one or more others on each of the rods 212.

Rods 212 may include levers 213 fixed thereto and arranged in parallel relation to each other. The ends of levers 213 opposite those connected to rods 212 are pivoted to a bar 214 arranged in parallel relation to body 208 and plate 201. A lever 215 may have one of its ends connected to bar 214 and its other end connected to a piston rod 216 extending into a cylinder 217 and having a piston adapted to be reciprocated therein when pressure fluid is supplied to one end and the opposite end is exhausted. From the foregoing it is evident that admission of fluid pressure to the blind end of cylinder 217, exhausting the rod end, will cause bar 214 to move leftwardly (FIG. 3), effecting the movement of fingers 211 into gripping engagement with fixed fingers 210. Accordingly, when a marshalled group of cartons 105 having ridges 209 thereon are in position beneath head 203, lowering of head 203 in its condition as shown in FIG. 3, in a manner to be described later, will cause the ridges 209 to pass relatively upwardly between the open fingers 210, 211; and, upon activating cylinder 217 properly, the fingers 210, 211 will close on and clamp the ridges 209 of cartons 105.

When cartons 105 are provided with a flat top surface having recessed pockets in opposite sides thereof, a grip ping head 218 (FIG. 9) of different construction from that of head 203 is required. Referring to FIGS. 9 to 12, and particularly to FIG. 9, the alternate head 218 may comprise a plate 219' that may be attached to the bolts 204, 205 in the same way that body 268 is attached thereto, i.e., spacers 206 may be employed to vary its elevation. Depending, parallel brackets 220, 221 may the fixed to the underside of plate 219. Referring to FIGS. 10 to 12, four parallel spaced shafts 222, 223, 224 and 225 may be mounted in brackets 221 221. Referring to FIG. 10, the shafts 223 and 224 may have fixed to them links 226, 227. The links 226, 227 are connected to other links 228, 229 which latter are also connected to a cross head 230 fixed to the end of a piston rod 231. The piston rod 231 extends into a cylinder 232 mounted vertically on plate 219. The construction is such that in the solid line position of links 226 to 229, the piston in cylinder 232 is at its lower position, and when said piston is forced upwardly by pressure fluid, links 226 to 229 move from their solid line position to their dotted line position, thus angularly turning shafts 223, 224 clockwise and counterclockwise, respectively.

Referring to FIG. 11, shafts 222 and 225 have links 233 and 234 fixed thereto. A link 235 connects link 227 on shaft 224 and link 233; while a link 236 connects link 226' on shaft 223 and link 234. Accordingly, clockwise movement of shaft 223 imparts the same motion to shaft 225; and counterclockwise motion of shaft 224 imparts the same motion to shaft 222. Referring to FIG. 12, a link 237 is fixed to shaft 222 and it includes an arcutely extending finger 238 that normally lies between shaft-s 222, 223 in its solid line position when the piston within cylinder 232 is in its lower position. An identical link 239 having an arcuate finger 240 is fixed to shaft 224.

A link 241 having a finger 242 identical with link 237 is fixed to shaft 225 but in a reverse position relative to link 239 and closely adjacent thereto. Another link 243 having a finger 244 identical with link 237 is fixed to shaft 223, in reverse position relative to link 237 and closely adjacent thereto.

From the foregoing it is evident that as the piston in cylinder 232 moves upwardly, fingers 238, 240, 242 and 244 assume their dotted line position. There may be a plurality of pairs of links 237, 243 and 241, 239 spaced along shafts 222, 223 and 224, 225.

Referring again to FIG. 9, stationary fingers 245, 246 may be fixed to plate 219 between the pairs of arcuate fingers 242, 240, as well as between corresponding pairs of arcuate fingers 238, 244. These fingers 245, 246 are arranged to pass between adjacent cartons 105 to slightly separate them so that the arcuate fingers 238, 240, 242 and 244 can pass into the aligned, recessed pockets in each side of the top of the cartons having a flat top construction.

In order to move the gripping head means 203, 219-246 downwardly into gripping position with cartons 185 and thence downwardly to lower said cartons into a case 167, two cylinders 247 and 248 are provided (FIG. 1). The cylinder 247 is fixed to the standard 188 and includes a reciprocable piston therein, the piston rod 249 of which extends upwardly between the rods 199 and 200. The cylinder 248 is mounted on a plate 250 fixed to the upper ends of rods 199, 200. It includes a reciprocable piston therein, the piston rod 251 thereof being connected to piston rod 249 by an adjustable turnbuckle 252.

The cylinder 248 and its piston are designed for limited travel to placethe gripping heads in position to become attached to the top of cartons 105, whereas the stroke of the piston within cylinder 247 lowers the cartons into the case 167. Since the heights of quart, pint and halfpint cartons differ, the adjustable turnbuckle 252 and the arrangement of spacers 206 (FIG. 3) provide means for adjusting the lower elevation to which the gripping heads will move when cylinder 248 is in its lowermost position. That is, with the piston in cylinder 247 at its uppermost position and the piston within cylinder 248 in its lowermost position, admission of pressure fluid at the rod end of cylinder 248 will cause it to move downwardly and with it, plate 250 and rods 199, 208.

When the gripping head means has attached itself to the tops of cartons 105, the carrier 133 is lowered and returned to its initial position, after which pressure fluid introduced to the rod end of cylinder 247 will effect the downward movement of the gripping head means to lower the cartons 185 into case 167, all as will be more fully described hereinafter in connection with FIGS. 17 and 18.

The height of pint cartons is more than half that of quart cartons, and the height of half-pint cartons is more than one-third the height of quart containers. The standard size case 167 accommodates quart cartons such that their tops are slightly below the top edge of case 167, thus permitting stacking of the cases 167 during shipping. In order to use the same case for pints and half-pints, and still fill the case to capacity, provision is made to lower a full tier of pint cartons into the case 167 and then to lower a tier less one or more rows of cartons on top of those previously lowered. Means is provided for ensuring the tipping over of the upper cartons to the position shown in FIG. 3 so that their tops are below the top edge of case 167. When it is desired to load half-pint cartons, two full tiers of cartons are lowered, after which a tier less one or more rows is lowered for the same reason.

In order to accomplish the above result relative to pints, a sequence of operations that alternately loads a full tier and one tier less one or more rows onto the carrier 133 is required. For half-pint cartons, successively two full tiers followed by one tier less one or more rows are required to be loaded onto carrier 133.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 5, guide bar 157 has a plate 253 fixed to it on which a valve 254 (3S3, FIG. 17) is mounted having an actuating stern 255 adapted to cooperate with a surface 256 of a bifurcated lever 257 through an adjustable nut 258. The lever 257 is mounted on a pivot pin 259 on plate 253 and supports a roller 260 at its lower end. Another lever 261 is mounted on a pivot pin 262. A ratchet 263 is mounted for rotation on pin 262 and it includes pins 264 adjacent alternate ratchet teeth 265 thereof. In the condition shown in FIG. 9, one of the pins 264 is in engagement with roller 260 forcing lever 257 in a counterclockwise direction and valve stem 255 inwardly to open valve 254.

A pawl 266 mounted on lever 261 is urged into engagement with the teeth 265 by a spring 267; and another pawl 268 pivotally mounted on plate 253 is urged into engagement with teeth 265 by a spring 269 to prevent counterclockwise motion of ratchet 263. The slide bearing 156 fixed to plate member 151 (FIG. 4) may support a roller 270 that cooperates with lever 261, and in the retracted position of carrier 133, the lever 261 is held in its solid line position. However, upon each forward motion of carrier 133, lever 261 moves to its dotand-dash line position by the action of a spring 271, causing ratchet 263 to be indexed to a position where no pin 264 cooperates with roller 261i, and valve stem 255 moves leftwardly by pressure fluid in valve 254, thereby effecting the closing of valve 254.

As will appear more fully later, relative to FIGS. 17 and 18, the valve 254 is in series with a valve 272 (FIG. 2; 233, FIG. 17) that is operated by a finger 273 that is rearward of finger 128 a predetermined distance and as shown in FIG. 2, by the width of a carton 105. Accordingly, when valve 254 is closed, finger 273 is ineffective but when valve 254 is opened by the action of a pin 264 on ratchet 263, and a row of cartons 105 actuates finger 273, the pusher moves twice as far as it normally moves (actuating valve 122 by dog 122, see FIG. 2), so that one row less than a full tier is moved forwardly to cause its leading row to actuate finger 128, thus rendering cylinder 159 (FIG. 4) active. This effects transportation of the tier (less one row) of cartons 105 forwardly beneath the gripping head means. By locating finger 273 at different places along elements 126, transportation of a tier less more than one row of cartons 105 can be efliected.

Referring to FIG. 6, a ratchet wheel 274 having a pin 275 adjacent every third tooth 276 is shown. When ratchet 274 is substituted for ratchet 263, every third forward movement of carrier 133 will contain a tier less one or more rows of cartons 105, and it is used in casing half-pint cartons.

From the foregoing it becomes apparent that the vertical movement of the gripping head means must be varied depending upon whether quarts, pints or half-pint cartons 105 are to be cased. Referring again to FIG. 1, adjustable valves 277, 278, 279 and 280 may be provided along standard 188; and adjustable valve tripping elements 281 and 282 may be connected to rods 199 and 200 to actuate said valves during the downward movement of the gripping head means.

Code Schematic Symbol Basic Description t a l I b A 3 I 1 Spool Type Air Supply Valve. \l

' I Al Double Acting L :l Air Cylinder. I

A2 Air Flow Control 1 2 Valve.

A3 1 Normally Closed Button Valve.

Spool Type Pilot A3 1 Valve (Mechanical or Manual g Operated).

A4 l 2 Shuttle Valve.

Quick Exhaust A5 l 2 Valve.

A6 1 -i E i 2 Manual Toggle Switch.

Nora-Refer to the preceding list for Schematic Symbols described below.

Description of operating characteristics CODE A Air signal in line 1 will shift spool in valve A to the left and allow air supply from manifold tank to pass through valve to line 2 in solid line.

Air in line 4 is vented through exhaust port shown by dotted line to arrow. (Exhaust lines are not shown in schematics.)

Air signal in line 3 will shift spool in valve A to the right and allow air supply from manifold tank to pass through valve to line 4 in dotted line.

The spool cannot be shifted by line 1 if there is an active air signal in line 3. Neither can line 3 shift the spool if line 1 has an active air signal.

The air signals in lines 1 and 3 are connected to the right and left end caps, respectively.

The V symbol in the bottom of the valve refers to the supply line from the manifold tank to the center port in the valve. The two ports straddling the center port are the exhaust ports. The other ports are outlets for the air supply.

If valve symbol shows a large end cap labeled DPD, it represents a differential valve. The air signal to the DPD cap will shift the valve spool even though the opposite end cap has an active air signal. The only requirement is an air pressure at the DPD cap equal to the air pressure at the standard end cap.

DPD caps are also used to allow a quicker or more reliable spool shift when the timing is critical.

When the V symbol is missing from the middle of the valve, and a numbered line is shown, it means that the air supply to the valve is coming from some other supply valve through the numbered line.

CODE A1 Air supply to line 1 will retract the piston rod. Air in the blind end of the cylinder will exhaust out of line 2.

Air supply to line 2 will extend the piston rod. Air in the rod end of the cylinder will exhaust out of line 1.

CODE A2 Air supply in line 1 has free flow through flow control valve A2 to line 2.

Air supply in line 2 has controlled flow to line 1.

Closed end of V inside valve designates controlled direction.

Adjusting screw in valve body allows variable control in timing or volume of air to be delivered.

When flow control valve is in signal line, it is used as a timing device.

When flow control valve is in supply line to cylinder, it is used as a speed control. It may be installed to control air supply to cylinder or to exhaust air from cylinder.

CODE A3 Line 1 to button valve A3 is the air supply. When button is depressed, valve is opened and air supply passes into line 2.

When button is released, line 2 exhausts thnough valve body.

The above description only applies to normally closed three-way button valves.

CODE A3 Pilot valve A3 Works basically the same as A type valves.

When air signal in line 1 has shifted spool to the right, air supply passes through valve to line 2.

When manual or mechanical operation pushes valve stem to the left into valve, air supply passes through valve to line 3.

1 1 CODE A4 Air supply may enter shuttle valve A4 from either line 1 or line 2. Air supply from line 1 or line 2 1s supplied to line 3.

If valve is shuttled in one direction and air supply remains in this line, valve cannot be shifted by new air supply to opposite side.

CODE A5 Air supply in line 1 passes through quick exhaust A5 to line 2 without restriction.

When air supply is shut off to line 1, exhaust air in this line is released by dumping air to atmosphere instead of requiring it to pass through air lines back to supply valve exhaust ports.

CODE A6 Air supply in line 1 passes through toggle switch A6 to line 2 when it has been manually opened.

Conversely, manually closing toggle switch stops air supply in line 1 at switch inlet and allows line 2 to exhaust through toggle switch.

In the following text, the numerals in parentheses refer to the corresponding elements in FIGS. 1 to 16.

When the apparatus is initially assembled and the first cycle is started, certain of the valves are moved to positions manually to start the first cycle. This can be accomplished by disengaging the line leading to these valves and manually operating its spool.

Referring to FIGS. 17 and 18, as the single line of cartons 105 moves in front of pusher 115, the leading carton actuates plate 123, thereby forcing the valve stem of valve 163 (125) inwardly. Supply pressure fluid flows from valve K through line 23, valve 2G4, line 16, valve 1G3 (125), line 1 to the end of valve G, causing pressure fluid to flow from valve G through line 2 to the blind end of cylinder G1 (119), causing pusher 115 to move the row of cartons 105 before it onto the rear end of elements 126 (FIG. 2) when valve 2G3 (127) is actuated. Actuation of valve 263 (127) causes pressure fluid from line 2 leading from valve G, just ahead of cylinder G1, to flow through valve 18, line 3 through 254 to line 4, thence through valve 2G3 (127 to line 5, through valve 183 (132), line 6, through valve 3G4 to line 7, thence through valve 164 to line 8 leading to the upper end of valve G, causing pressure fluid to flow through line 9 to the rod end of cylinder G1 (119), returning pusher 115 to receive another row of cartons 105.

Assuming that the valve 383 (254) is closed (there being no ratchet on shaft 262, FIG. 5), then the above cycle continues until the leading row of cartons 105 actuates valve 183 (132), whereupon, with valve 2G3 (127) activated by virtue of the pusher 115 being forward, pressure fluid flows from line 4 to line 5 as previously described, thence through valve 183 (132) to line 10, through valve 184 to line 11, thence to the bottom of valve K, causing pressure fluid to flow from supply through valve K to line 12, to cylinders K1 (143, 144), forcing clamping plates 145, 146 into engagement with the cartons 105 on carrier 133, which latter is slightly raised above elements 126.

When the pusher 115 has been retracted after the loading of fingers 126, an interlock becomes effective which prevents pusher 115 from moving forward even though the leading carton 105 operates valve 1G3 (125). This interlock comprises eliminating the pressure fluid supply in line 16. Since valve P is in position to supply pressure fluid through line 25, no pressure fluid flows through line 15; and since valve K is in position to supply pressure fluid through line '12, none can pass through line 23. Accordingly, there is no supply :in line 1 6.

Each time carrier 133 returns to its rearmost position it operates valve 1:1 3, supplying pressure fluid to line 26 leading to the top of valve F, thereby causing supply pressure fluid to flow through line 27 to cylinders F1 (147, 148), raising carrier 133 and thereby lifting off of elements 126 any cartons that may be located thereon. However, carrier *1-33 rises only about of an inch above elements 126, so that other rows of cartons can still be moved onto carrier 133 after it is in its raised position should the first row not have reached the finger of valve 183. With the roller 281 in contact with valve 1P3, clamping pressure fluid in line 12 passes through valve 1P3 to line #14, thence to the bottom of valve P, causing supply pressure fluid to flow through line 15 to the blind end of cylinder -P1 (159), moving carrier 133 forwardly. The pressure fluid in line .15 also resupplies valve 2G4 and hence line '16 leading to 'valve 1G3 so that elements '126 can be reloaded with cartons 105, which can continuously proceed as carrier 133 moves toward the gripping head, thereby maintaining continuous operation of pusher 107.

When carrier 133 completes its full (forward stroke, valve W3 is actuated, causing supply pressure fluid to pass through it to line 17. This resets valves 183 (132) and 283 (272). -It also shifts valve 2D, supplies valve 2K and shifts valve EW4, so that pressure fluid flows through the valve EW4 to line 18. Pressure fluid in line 18 acts on the bottom of valve W and also supplies pressure fluid to valve E3 (277). Consequently, supply pressure fluid from valve DX passes through line 46 to valve W, thence to line '19 leading to the rod end of cylinder W1 (248), moving plate 250 and rods 199, 200' downwardly, thus lowering the gripping head 2% into position to grip the tops of the cartons 105. When head 203 is at the proper elevation, valve E3 (277) is actuated by roller 281. Supply fluid passes from valve W3 through line 17, thence through valve EW4 to line 18, thence through valve 153 (277) to line 20, thence to the bottom of valve E, causing supply pressure fluid to flow through valve E to line 21, thence to the blind end of cylinder E1 (217) effecting the closing of the fingers 211 on [fingers 210 to grip the cartons 105. The pressure fluid in line 21 also supplies valve 4D3 in the lowering assembly, shifts valve 2K and closes valve 3D. Shifting valve 2K causes pressure fluid in line '17 (W3 is actuated by carrier 1133 being in its forward position) to pass through 'valve 2K and to shift valve K. Flow control valve K2 delays shift-ing of valve K to ensure complete closing of fingers 210, 211 on the cartons 105.

Shifting of valve K causes supply pressure fluid to flow through line 23 to the rod ends of cylinders K1 (143, 144) thereby releasing cartons 105 which are now attached to gripping head 203. Line 23 also shifts valve 2G4 so that pressure fluid from line 2-3'flows through line 16 to valve 1G3 (125) so as to reactivate pusher 115. Line 23 also closes valve 2G and shifts valve P so that supply pressure fluid flows through line 24 to the rod end of cylinders F1 (147, 148), causing carrier 133 to be lowered out of contact with cartons 105. Pressure fluid in line 24 also shifts valve P,- causing supply pressure fluid to flow through line 25 to the rod end of cylinder P 1 (159), thereby returning carrier 133 to its resting position below elements 126 (FIG. 2).

When cylinder P1 (159) has completed the return of the carrier 133, valves 1P3 and 1D3 are operated by adjust-ing screws attached to the carrier platform. Operation of valve 1P3 causes supply pressure fluid to flow through it to line 26 which shifts valve F so that supply pressure fluid flows through line 27 to the blind end of cylinders F1 (143, 144), thereby raising carrier i133 above elements 126. This raising of carrier 133, as previously explained, is only about of an inch above elements 126, thereby lifting any accumulation of cartons 105 off elements 126 and still permitting reception of any remaining rows of cartons even after carrier 133 has been raised.

The return of carrier 133 operates valve 1D3, and with a case 167 on chain conveyor 165, 166 causing operation of valve 1C3, pressure fluid flows from supply through valve 1C3 to line 28, thence to cylinder 2C1 (170), clamping case 167 in proper transverse position on the conveyor chains. Pressure fluid in line 28 also passes valve 1D3, since it was opened by the return of the carrier 133, and flows to valve 2D through line 29 and also to supply the manual push button to lower the gripping head. Since valve 2D is shifted, it passes pressure fluid from line 29 to line 30, shifting valve 2D4 to pass the pressure fluid to line 31. This shifts valve D, cutting off pressure fluid to line 42 which is holding the piston in cylinder D1 (247), and with it gripping head 203, in raised position.

Supply pressure fluid passes through valve D to line 32, shifting valve DX, and also supplies valves 2T and ST which are not involved when quart cartons 105 are being handled since they deal with multiple tiering of fractional quart sized cartons.

Supply pressure fluid passes through valve DX to line 33 leading to the rod end of cylinder D1 (247), causing head 203 with the quart cartons 105 attached to it to descend. Pressure fluid in line 33 also closes valve 2D. The lowering of head 203 continues until roller 282 on rod 200 contacts valve 1T3 which is preset to be opened when the cartons 105 reach the bottom of case 167. Supply pressure fluid flows through valve 1T3 to line 34, actuating valve 1TB to pass supply pressure fluid to line 35, shifting valve DE4 to pass pressure fluid to line 36, shifting valves TE4 and ID4. The former passes pressure fluid to line 37, through valve E4 to line 38, which actuates valves E and W. Supply pressure fluid passes through valve E to line 39, thence to the rod end of cylinder E1 (217), opening fingers 210, 211 of gripping head 203 to thereby release cartons 105 in case 167. Pressure fluid in line 39 also shifts valve 3D and closes valve 2K, as well as supplies pressure fluid to toggle switch 1 for the quart carton operation.

As previously noted, pressure fluid in line 36 shifts valve 1D4 to pass said fluid to line 40 which shifts valve 3D4 to pass the pressure fluid to line 41, thence to shift valve D to pass supply pressure fluid to line 42 through regulator D2, thence to the blind end of cylinder D1 (247). The regulator D2 is set to reduce line pressure to the blind end of cylinder 247 so that with the pressure fluid still active on the rod end of cylinder D1, the head 203 does not rise.

Line 42 also supplies valve 3D. With valve 3D shifted by line 39, pressure fluid flows through valve 3D to line 43, supplying valve CD, through which it flows to line 44, shifting valve 1DX4 so that line 45 is supplied with pressure fluid. Line 45 shifts valve DX, causing pressure fluid in line 33 to be shut off. With pressure fluid now only in the blind end of cylinder D1 (247), head 203 moves upwardly. Pressure fluid passes through valve DX to line 46, thence through valve W to line 47 leading to cylinder W1 (248), causing it to rise to its starting position.

With the return of the head 203 to its starting position, valve TE3 is operated by roller 282. Supply pressure fluid passes through valve TE3 to line 48 which resets valves 1TE and CD.

In the casing of quart cartons 105, toggle switch 1 is turned on and toggle switches 2, 3, 4 and 5 are turned off. As the cylinder D1 returns head 203, roller 282 actuates valve PT3 which passes pressure fluid from line 70 to line 7l1, shifting valve 2T4, passing the fluid to line 58. The pressure fluid in line 70 has been supplied from valve PQ4 from toggle switch 1. Pressure fluid in line 58 shifts valve STE to pass supply pressure fluid to line 59, thereby shifting valve CD so that pressure fluid in line 43 passes through valve CD to line 60. Pressure fluid in line 60 shifts valve C4 to supply fluid to line 61 which shifts valve C, causing supply pressure fluid to enter line 62 leading to the rod end of cylinder 1C1 (100), thereby effecting the release of case 167 for its movement away from the loading position.

The above description covers the casing of quart cartons and does not involve the use of the indexing mechanism shown in FIG. 5. However, when pint cartons 105 are to be cased with odd row tiering, this indexing mechanism is employed, and the pint ratchet 263 must be mounted on shaft 26-2 in order alternately to lower a complete tier of cartons in the bottom of the case and a top tier having one or more less rows of cartons 105. Toggle switches 2 and 3 must be on, while toggle switches -1, 4 and 5 must be off; and the head 20 3 is adjusted through spacers 206 to accommodate pint cartons 105.

The marshalling of the first or bottom tier of pint cartons 105 follows the same sequence as that of the quart cartons, the valve 254 (FIG. 5) being closed since a ratchet tooth 265 without a pin 264 is in line with it. The closed condition of valve 254 (383) renders sensing valve 283 ineffective so that a complete set of rows of cartons is assembled on carrier 133. However, when the carrier i133 moves toward gripping head 203, indexarm 261 is released by roll 270, permitting spring 271 to index ratchet 263 to its next succeeding position where a pin 264 cooperates with roller 260 and effects the opening of valve 254 (353, FIG. 17). Supply pressure fluid flows through valve 3S3 (254) to line 80, thence to valve 283 (272), but since its finger is not actuated by a row of cartons, nothing occurs.

With carrier 133 in its retracted position with the bottom tier attached to head 203 ready to be lowered, valve ID: is opened, causing pressure fluid to flow through line 29 to valve 2D, thence through line 30 to valve 2D4, thence through line 31 to valve D. Accordingly, pressure fluid is admitted .to line 32 leading to valve 3T. Since toggle switch 5 is off, lines 52, 53 and 54 are Without fluid. Therefore, fluid from line 32 does not pass valve 3T and valve PT3 is without fluid. A branch from line 32, however, acts on valve DX, causing pressure fluid to flow through line 33 to the rod end of cylinder D1, causing head 203 to lower until 282 actuates 1T3.

Operation of valve 1T3 supplies fluid through valve 1T3, line 34 to valve 1TE. Accordingly, supply pressure fluid passes valve 1TB to line 35, thence to toggle valve 3, valve 3T4, line 54 to valve 3T. This permits pressure fl'uid to flow from line 32 through valve 3T to line 55, thence to toggle valve 2, valve PQ4 to line 70 to valve PT3.

Also, operation of valve 1T3 supplies fluid to 1TB so that supply pressure fluid flows through line 35 to valve DB4, thence through line 36 to valve TE4, line 37 to valve E4 to line 38, acting on valves E and W. Operation of valve E opens the grippers of head 203, releasing the pint cartons 105. Pressure fluid in. line '36 also goes to valve 1D4, thence to line 40, valve 3D4, line 41 to valve D, thereby cutting oflf line 32 and placing pressure fluid on both sides of D1. Cutting off fluid in line 32 cuts fluid off of PT3. Pressure fluid in line 41 puts pressure fluid in line 42 which has a branch leading to valve 3D. Accordingly, pressure fluid passes valve 3D to line 43 leading to valve CD, thence through line 44 to valve 1DX4 and through it to line 45 leading to valve DX, thereby cutting off pressure fluid in line 33 and permitting head 203 to rise. As head 203 rises, valve PT3 is dead and hence case 167 remains in position beneath head 203.

The pusher 1'15 continues to load the pint cartons onto the carrier 133 until the forward row actuates the valve 253 (272). Since index mechanism of FIG. 5 has openedvalve 383 (254), and line 3 to valve 2S4 is dead because valve 18 was closed by line 81 in loading the bottom tier, the pressure fluid for actuating the pusher, during this loading, comes from valve 353 254). Consequently, when the first row of cartons actuates valve 283 (272), the pressure fluid in line 81 (which is present by virtue of the last carrier movement releasing arm 2611) is cut off so that valve 263 (127) is dead and pusher moves it full stroke until valve 363 (122) is operated, 153 being ineffective now since there is no pressure fluid in line 4 to valve 263 (127).

Since valve 1P3 is actuated by return position of carrier .133, supply pressure fluid supplies valve 3G3 (122') through line 26. Accordingly, when it is operated, pressure fluid from line 26 passes valve 3G3 (122'), flowing into line 82, through valve 25 to line 83, shifting valve 184, admitting pressure fluid to line 11, thereby effecting the clamping of the tier less one or more rows of cartons 105.

As previously explained, when the tier of cartons 105 has been clamped, the carrier 133 moves forward toward head 203, closing valve W3 supplying pressure fluid to line 17, valve EW4, line 18 to W, dropping head 203 through W1. Pressure fluid in line 18 supplies valve E3. As head 203 drops, valve E3 is operated, supplying pressure fluid to line 20, valve E, thereby permitting supply pressure fluid to flow through line 21, closing the gripper of head 203. The carrier 133 is then retracted as previously explained. Pressure fluid from line 17 also passes to valve 2D, line 30, valve 2D4, line 31, valve D, line 32 to valve DX, supplying pressure fluid to the rod end of D1, lowering head 203.

Since line 32 has pressure fluid, it passes valve 3T to line 55, toggle 2, valve PQ4, line 70 to valve PT3. When 282, as head 203 lowers, hits valve PT3 (second downstroke for pint cartons 105), pressure fluid from PT3 goes through line 71, valve 2T4, line 58, valve 3TB, line 50, valve 1D4, line 40, valve 3B4, line 41, regulator D2 to valve D. This puts pressure fluid in both ends of D1, the regulator D2 providing a lower pressure in the blind end, thus stopping downward movement of head 203 but not raising it.

Pressure fluid from line 59 also goes to valve CD, passing fluid from 43 to line 60, valve C4, line 61, valve C. Operation of valve C puts pressure fluid in line 62 to release case 167. A branch from line 62 shifts valve 3DX4 to pass fluid to line 63, whereupon valve 2DX is shifted. Supply pressure fluid passes valve ZDX into line 64, shifting valve 2DX4 so that fluid is admitted to line 65, shifting valve 1DX4 through flow control valve 2DX2. Pressure fluid flows through 1DX4 to line 45, thence to valve DX, exhausting the rod end of cylinder D1 (247), permitting head 203 to rise. The valve 2DX2, however, is set to delay this action until case 167 is released, and since head 203 has released the cartons 105, but is still in interfering position with their tops, the tipping of the top tier (less one or more rows) is effected, so that the carton tops lie beneath the top edge of case 167 as the case 157 moves away from its position beneath head 203.

When it is desired to case half-pint cartons 105, the toggle switches 4 and 5 are on, while toggle switches 1, 2 and 3 are off. Also, the half-pint ratchet 274 (FIG. is substituted for ratchet 263. This will cause two tiers to be lowered successively into a case 167, and a tier (less one or more rows) will be lowered on top of the two tiers in a manner similar to the lowering of the top tier of pint cartons.

The sequence of operations is substantially the same as previously described except that during the first downstroke of head 203, valve 1T3 is the only one supplied with pressure fluid, and during the first up-stroke, only valve TE3 has pressure fluid. During the second down-stroke, although 1T3 has pressure fluid, 2T3 also has pressure fluid and when it is actuated by 282, the head 203 stops its downward movement and subsequently rises. During this second upward stroke from valve 2T 35, valve PT3 and 3T3 are dead. During the third down-stroke, valve 3T3 is supplied with pressure fluid which opens the grippers of head 203, but only after the release of case 167. As explained before, this third stroke of head 203 handles a tier less one or more rows of cartons 105.

Although the various features of the improved casing mechanism have been shown and described in detail to fully disclose several embodiments of the invention, it will be evident that changes may be made in such details, and

certain features may be used without others without departing from the principles of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In apparatus for casing cartons and fractional sizes thereof within a case comprising in combination, a frame; vertically reciprocable gripping head means mounted on said frame; means on said frame for marshalling a tier of a predetermined number of rows of cartons, as well as subsequently marshalling a tier having a lesser number of rows of said cartons than said predetermined number; means responsive to said marshalling for transporting said tiers to a point in said frame beneath said gripping head means; means responsive to a tier reaching said point beneath said gripping head means for causing said gripping head means to become attached to said cartons and for subsequently lowering said cartons into a case; and means responsive to the operation of said transporting means for rendering effective said marshalling means selectively to marshal a tier of said predetermined number of rows of cartons or a tier having a lesser number of rows of cartons than said predetermined number.

2. In apparatus for casing cartons and fractional sizes thereof within a case comprising in combination, a frame; vertically reciprocable gripping head means mounted on said frame; fluid-operated means on said frame for marshalling a tier of a predetermined number of rows of cartons, as well as subsequently marshalling a tier having a lesser number of rows of cartons than said predetermined number; fluid-operated means responsive to said marshalling for transporting said tiers to a point in said frame beneath said gripping head means; fluid-operated means responsive to a tier reaching said point beneath said gripping head means for causing said gripping head means to become attached to said cartons and for subsequently lowering said cartons into a case; and means responsive to the operation of said transporting means for rendering effective said marshalling means selectively to marshal a tier of said predetermined number of rows of cartons or a tier having a lesser number of rows of cartons than said predetermined number.

3. In apparatus for casing cartons and fractional sizes thereof within a case comprising in combination, a frame; a conveyor mounted in cooperating position relative to said frame for feeding a row of cartons onto a platform on said frame; a pusher mounted on said frame and before which said row of cartons passes; a horizontally reciprocable carrier mounted in position on said frame for receiving cartons pushed by said pusher; vertically reciprocable gripping head means mounted on said frame; means rendered effective by the leading carton of said row for causing said pusher to move through a distance to push a row including a predetermined number of said cartons a predetermined distance transversely of said row and onto the trailing edge of said carrier; means responsive to the leading row of said predetermined number of cartons reaching the leading end of said carrier for causing said carrier to transport the cartons thereon to a point beneath said gripping head means; means responsive to said carrier reaching said last mentioned point for causing said gripping head means to become attached to said cartons and subsequently to lower said cartons into a case mounted on said frame; means responsive to said leading row of predetermined number of cartons reaching a point behind said leading end of said carrier for causing said pusher to continue moving an additional distance; and means responsive to the movement of said carrier selectively to render effective said last mentioned means.

4. In apparatus for easing cartons and fractional sizes thereof within a case comprising in combination, a frame; a conveyor mounted in cooperating position relative to said frame for feeding a row of cartons onto a platform on said frame; a fluid-operated pusher mounted on said frame and before which said row of cartons passes; a

17 fluid-operated horizontally reciprocable carrier mounted in position on said frame for receiving cartons pushed .by said pusher; fluid-operated vertically reciprocable grippin-g head means mounted on said frame; fluid-operated means rendered effective by the leading carton of said row for causing said pusher to move through a distance to push a row including a predetermined number of said cartons a predetermined distance transversely of said row and onto the trailing edge of said carrier; fluid-operated means responsive to the leading row of said predetermined number of cartons reaching the leading end of said carrier for causing said carrier to transport the cartons thereon to a point beneath said gripping head means; fluid-operated means responsive to said carrier reaching said last mentioned point for causing said gripping head means to become attached to said cartons and subsequently to lower said cartons into a case mounted on said frame; fluid-operated means responsive to said leading row of a predetermined number of cartons reaching a point behind said leading end of said carrier for causing said pusher to continue moving an additional distance; and means responsive to the movement: of said carrier selectively to render effective said last mentioned means.

5. In apparatus for casing carton and fractional sizes thereof within a case comprising in combination, a frame; vertically reciprocable gripping head means mounted on said frame; means on said frame for marshalling a tier of a predetermined number of rows of cartons, as well as subsequently marshalling a tier having a lesser number of rows of said cartons than said predetermined number; means responsive to said marshalling for transporting said tiers to a point in said frame beneath said gripping head means; means responsive to a tier reaching said point beneath said gripping head means for causing said gripping head means to become attached to said cartons and for subequently lowering said cartons into a case; and means indexed by the operation of said transporting means for causing said marshalling means selectively to marshal a tier of said predetermined number of rows of cartons or a tier having a lesser number of rows of cartons than said predetermined number.

6. In apparatus for casing cartons and fractional sizes thereof within a case comprising in combination, a frame; vertically reciprocable gripping head means mounted on said frame; fluid-operated means on said frame for marshalling a tier of a predetermined number of rows of cartons, as well as subsequently marshalling a tier having a lesser number of rows of cartons than said predetermined number; fluid-operated means responsive to said marshalling for transporting said tiers to a point in said frame beneath said gripping head means; fiuidoperated means responsive to a :tier reaching said point beneath said gripping head means for causing said gripping head means to become attached to said cartons and for subsequently lowering said cartons into a case; and means indexed by the operation of said transporting means for causing said marshalling means selectively to marshal a tier of said predetermined number of rows of cartons or a tier having a lesser number of rows of cartons than said predetermined number.

7. In apparatus for casing cartons and fractional sizes thereof within a case comprising in combination, a frame; a conveyor mounted in cooperating position relative to said frame for feeding a row of cartons onto a platform on said frame; a pusher mounted on said frame and before which said row of cartons passes; a horizontally reciprocable carrier mounted in position on said frame for receiving cartons pushed by said pusher; vertically reciprocable gripping head means mounted on said frame; means rendered effective by the leading carton of said row for causing said pusher to move through a distance to push a row including a predetermined number of said cartons a predetermined distance transversely of said row and onto the trailing edge of said carrier; means responsive to the leading row of said predetermined num ber of cartons reaching the leading end of said carrier for causing said carrier to transport the cartons thereon to a point beneath said gripping head means; means responsive to said carrier reaching said last mentioned point for causing said gripping head means to become attached to said cartons and subsequently to lower said cartons into a case mounted on said frame; means responsive to said leading row of predetermined number of cartons reaching a point behind said leading end of said carrier for causing said pusher to continue moving an additional distance; and means indexed by the operation of said carrier for causing said last mentioned means selectively to become effective.

8. In apparatus for casing cartons and fractional sizes thereof within a case comprising in combination, a frame; a conveyor mounted in cooperating position relative to said frame for feeding a row of cartons onto a platform on said frame; a fluid-operated pusher mounted on said frame and before which said row of cartons passes; a fluidoperated horizontally reciprocable carrier mounted in position on said frame for receiving cartons pushed by said pusher; fluid-operated vertically reciprocable gripping head means mounted on said frame; fluid-operated means rendered effective by the leading carton of said row for causing said pusher to move through a distance to push a row including a predetermined number of said cartons a predetermined distance transversely of said row and onto the trailing edge of said carrier; fluid-operated means responsive to the leading row of said predetermined number of cartons reaching the leading end of said carrier for causing said carrier to transport the cartons thereon to a point beneath said gripping head means; fluid-operated means responsive to said carrier reaching said last-mentioned point for causing said gripping head means to become attached to said cartons and subsequently to lower said cartons into a case mounted on said frame; fluid-operated means responsive to said leading row of a predetermined number of cartons reaching a point behind said leading end of said carrier for causing said pusher to continue moving an additional distance; and means indexed by the operation of said carrier for causing said last mentioned means selectively to become effective.

9. In apparatus for casing cartons and fractional sizes thereof within a case comprising in combination, a frame; vertically reciprocable gripping head means mounted on said frame; means on said frame for marshalling a tier of a predetermined number of rows of cartons, as well as subsequently marshalling 2. tier having a lesser number of rows of said cartons than said predetermined number; a conveyor on said frame beneath said marshalling means and adapted to convey cases to a point beneath said gripping head means; means responsive to said marshalling for transporting said tiers to a point in said frame beneath said gripping head means; means responsive to a tier reaching said point beneath said gripping head means for causing said gripping head means to become attached to said cartons and for subsequently lowering said cartons into a case; means responsive to a case being accurately located beneath said gripping head means for rendering effective said gripping head means; and means responsive to the operation of said transporting means for rendering effective said marshalling means selectively to marshal a tier of said predetermined number of rows of cartons or a tier having a lesser number of rows of cartons than said predetermined number.

10. In apparatus for easing cartons and fractional sizes thereof within a case comprising in combination, a frame; vertically reciprocable gripping head means mounted on said frame; fluid-operated means on said frame for marshalling a tier of a predetermined number of rows of cartons, as Well as subsequently marshalling a tier having a lesser number of rows of said cartons than said predetermined number; a conveyor on said frame beneath

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3377774 *Jul 19, 1965Apr 16, 1968John Nigrelli Johns IncCase loader for multiple articles
US3410047 *Jun 10, 1966Nov 12, 1968Cedar Sales IncCase filling machine
US3421283 *Apr 6, 1966Jan 14, 1969Corrugated Container CoMachine for inserting packages into handling cases
US3425186 *Aug 23, 1966Feb 4, 1969Warren Du BroffApparatus for introducing containers into cases
US3481105 *Feb 13, 1967Dec 2, 1969Warren Du Broff For Lathrop PaApparatus for handling cartons of different sizes
US3590551 *Mar 27, 1969Jul 6, 1971Sunkist Growers IncAutomatic apparatus for packing articles in boxes
US3593488 *Aug 2, 1968Jul 20, 1971Heinz Co H JContainer-loading apparatus
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US4301641 *Sep 2, 1980Nov 24, 1981Caterpillar Tractor Co.Article transfer apparatus
US5697202 *Feb 18, 1997Dec 16, 1997Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance S.A.Method for carton packaging
US6164045 *May 17, 1999Dec 26, 2000Focke & Co. (Gmbh & Co.)Device for packaging groups of (Individual) packages
US20120047851 *Aug 26, 2010Mar 1, 2012Germunson Gary GSystem and method for loading produce trays
EP1676780A1 *Nov 23, 2005Jul 5, 2006Khs AgMethod of packing and unpacking containers and apparatus for carrying out the method
WO1982000814A1 *Oct 6, 1980Mar 18, 1982Caterpillar Tractor CoArticle transfer apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/496, 53/244, 294/87.1, 53/538
International ClassificationB65B35/36, B65B35/30, B65B5/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65B35/36, B65B5/065
European ClassificationB65B35/36, B65B5/06E