US 3279354 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
c. G. DxcKENs ETAL 3,279,354 STRAP FEEDING APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet l Oct. 18, 1966 Filed March 17, 1965 Oct. 18, 1966 Y C, G, DlCKENs ETAL 3,279,354
STRAP FEEDING APPARATUS Filed March 17, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 oct. 18, 1966 c, G` DICKENS ETAL 3,279,354
STRAP FEEDING APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed March 17, 1965 United States Patent 3,279,354 STRAP FEEDING APPARATUS Charles Garth Dickens, Saratoga, and William G. van Polanen Petel, Cupertino, Calif., asslgnors to FMC Corporation, Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of Dela- Ware Filed Mar. 17, 196s, ser. No. 440,538 2 Claims. (Cl. 10o- 26) The present invention relates to apparatus for facilitating the strapping of relatively large packages or groups of packages and more particularly to apparatus for guidmg a flexible strap about at least three sides of a large load so as to position the strap for easy manual securement. The invention is useful with any kind of strapping material which has sufllcient stiffness to permit the free end to be moved forward by pushing, as by means of feed rollers, on a remote portion -of the strap.
To facilitate the movement of large loads by fork lift trucks, it is common practice to provide a load supporting pallet and to strap the load to the pallet so that the pallet and the load travel together whereby a fork lift truck may conveniently be used at various times during shipment and warehousing. Some pallets have a single face or floor supported on short legs or longitudinal runners and it is a relatively simple matter to guide the strap about the load and beneath the lloor of the pallet. However, another common form of pallet, the so-called double faced, consists of two floors spaced apart by short posts or runners and with this type it is desirable for the straps to extend through the pallet between the two faces so as not to obstruct the free entry `of the tines of the lift truck. Guiding the strap through a double faced pallet complicates the strapping operation and it is toward an improved apparatus for strapping loads to both single and double faced pallets that the present invention is directed, such apparatus also being useful for strapping loads which are not mounted on pallets.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved apparatus for guiding a flexible strap about at least three sides of a large load and through a double faced pallet in those cases where the load is resting on such a pallet.
Further and more specific objects of the invention as well as the means for attaining the same will become apparent as the description of a preferred embodiment thereof proceeds.
Referring now to the drawings:
` FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the over-all apparatus;
FIG. 2 is an end elevational View of a lance mechanism forming a part of the apparatus;
FIG. 3 is a section taken along the line III-III rof FIG. l;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged side elevational view of the lance mechanism;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line V-V of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a plan view partially in .section of the lance mechanism and parts immediately associated therewith; and
FIG. 7 is a partial side elevational view `showing the lance extended through a pallet.
The apparatus comprises a framework including a lower horizontal portion 10, a vertical standard 11 and an upper horizontal portion indicated generally at 12 extending cantilever from the upper end of standard 11. Strap guiding chutes indicated generally in FIG. 1 at 13, 14 and 15 are carried respectively by the lower portion 10, the standard 11 and the upper portion 12 of the framework, guiding chutes 13 and 14 being interconnected by a curved strap guide 16 and chutes 14 and 15 by a curved strap guide 17. Framework elements 10, 11 and 12 and the guide chutes carried thereby are similarly constructed and will now be described with reference to FIG. 3.
Element 12 comprises a channel lmember 18 which is reinforced by an angle member 20 welded internally thereof to provide a rigid structure. The guide chute 15 is mounted on the inside of one of the flanges of the channel member and comprises a longitudinally extending angle iron 22 secured directly to the flange of the channel member. A channel member 24 has a flange resting within a groove 28 provided in a member 30 secured to the end of one leg `of angle iron 22 and a flange 32 underlying and spaced from a flange 34 of angle iron 22. Channel member 24 is yieldingly held in position by a spring 36 which bears at one end against the outside of said channel member and at the other end against a washer 38 held on a bolt or screw 40 by a pin 42. Bolt 40 has a head at one end engaging the downturned flange of channel member 18 and extends loosely through an enlarged opening in channel member 24. In use, the strap indicated at 44, is yguided between flanges 32 and 34 and when tension is applied, as will be explained, a flat face of the strap exerts a force against flange 32 which causes channel member 24 to pivot or swing within the groove 28 against the action of spring 36, whereby flange 32 releases the strap and permits it to be pulled free of the guide chute. Along the length of the framework 12 there are a number of springs 36 and associated parts. The channel member 24 and angle iron 22 may extend the full length of the framework portion 12 or a number of longitudinally aligned segments may be provided.
Referring -to FIG. l and bearing in mind that the guide chutes 14 and 13 are similar to guide chute 12 and that all three chutes are interconnected by curved guides, it will be appreciated that when the strap is shoved end wise through the guide chutes from the upper left hand corner of the framework it will emerge from the lower left hand corner of the framework. The emerging end of the strap is indicated at 44 and preferably `it is directed upwardly by providing a curved guide 46 at the discharge end of lower vguide chute 13.
For moving the strap through the guide chutes the following mechanism is provided. Rotatably mounted on a bracket 46 secured to upper portion 12 of the framework and extending cantilever just above the entrance to chute 15 is a roller 48. Fixed for rotation with roller 43 is a drive pulley 50 which is connected by a belt 52 to a pulley 54 secured to the drive shaft of a suitable continuously driven motor 56 whereby roller 48 is continuously driven in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1. Pivotally mounted at 58 on bracket 46 is a lever 62 having at one end a lateral extension 64 adapted to engage the underside of framework 12 to limit the counterclockwise movement of said lever and having at the opposite end thereof an operating handle 66. A roller 68 is mounted for free rotation on lever 62 in a position -where it will engage roller 43 when said lever `is rocked clockwise to the position shown in the drawing. Normally lever 62 rests with the extension 64 bearing against the framework. The strap 44 is directed from a suitable source of supply such as a roll, not shown, and passed about guide rollers 70 and 72 so that the end of the strap hangs down in the vicinity of lever 62. When it is desired to strap a pack` age such as indicated at 74, the operator inserts the end of the strap between rollers 48 and 68 and swings lever 62 clockwise so as to drivingly pinch the strap between the two rollers. The ends of the strap guiding members 32 and 34 are flared apart as indicated at 32' and 34 so that as the strap is shoved forward by roller 48 it will readily enter into the strap guiding chute. The operator maintains the pressure of roller 68 against the strap until the end 44 thereof emerges from the left hand end of the lower chute, at which time lever 62 is released so that no more strap is fed. A portion of the strap in the vicinity of roller 48 is then pulled downward along the exposed side of the package and the end 44 drawn upward along an upwardly curved guide 46 so that the strap may be secured about the package in any conventional way. As tension is applied to the strap the guide chutes open as aforesaid so as to release the strap and permit it to move into contact with the package. If desired, the strap driving roller 48 and associated parts may be mounted on or adjacent the left hand end of lower horizontal portion of the framework whereby the strap is directed in the direction opposite to that shown in the drawing. For certain installations this arrangement willbe preferred.
Package 74 is shown resting on a double faced pallet 76 and the pallet is resting on rollers of a roller conveyor 78 whereby the package may conveniently be moved into strapping position. The lower portion 10 of the framework extends between rollers of the conveyor and beneath the load supporting surface thereof. In practice, with the apparatus as thus far described, either a single faced pallet or no pallet at all would be used inasmuch as, as previously mentioned, when using double faced pallets it is desirable for the strap to pass through the pallet rather than beneath it. However, the present apparatus is intended for use in strapping all kinds of loads and the means whereby it may be employed in connection with loads resting on double faced pallets will now be explained.
At a point near the bottom of the vertical standard 11 of the framework and horizontally aligned with the double faced pallet, said standar-d is provided with a swingably mounted section indicated generally at 80, see FIGS. l, 4, 6 and 7. Said swingable section comprises an angle 'iron 82 normally aligned with a portion of the large channel member forming the main structural body of standard 11, such large channel being identical with the channel member 18 previously referred to. Carried by angle iron 82 is a segment 14 of the vertically extending strap guide chute 14, said segment of course being longitudinally aligned with and normally forming part of chute 14. Hinge elements 84 and 86 are secured to angle iron 82 and are carried by a hinge pin 88 which is rotatably mounted in hinge elements 90 and 92 secured to the large channel member of standard 11 near the top and bottom of the swingable section. Springs 94 and 96 Surrounding pin 88 and connected to the adjacent hinge elements serve to resiliently hold swingable section 80 in the full line position shown in the drawings, a suitable stop, not shown, being provided to prevent overswinging.
Either secured to the main framework or merely mounted adjacent thereto is a lance mechanism generally indicated at 100. The lance mechanism comprises a stationary base 102 upstanding from which is a structure 104 on which is mounted for free rotation a plurality of double-flanged wheels 106, 108, 110 and 112. The lance comprises an elongated rigid structure in the form of a closed channel 114 having a rectangular cross Section as best shown in FIG. 5. Channel 114 is mounted between the flanged wheels for -horizontal reciprocation and is longitudinally aligned with the swingable section 80 of standard 11. Secured to one side of channel 114 is a longitudinally extending member 116 which carries a strap guide chute similar to the above described chute 15. The guide chute carried by the lance is best shown in FIG. 5 and comprises an angle member 118 Secured to the inner face of an upstanding flange of member 116. Secured to angle member 118 and extending longitudinally therealong is a member 120 in which is provided a groove 122. A channel member 12 4 has one flange 126 resting within groove 122 and another flange 128 overlying and spaced from a flange 130 of the angle member 118. Channel member 124 is resiliently held in the position shown in the drawing by a spring 132 which bears at one end against the side of the channel member and at the other end against a washer 134 held on a bolt 136 by a nut 138. Bolt 136 is held by the upstanding flange of member 116 and the bolt and surrounding spring extend through an opening in the side of channel 114, an aligned opening in the other side of the channel providing access to nut 138. Along the length of the lance several springs 132 and associated parts are provided. When the lance is in use, the Strap is guided between flanges 128 and 130 but tension applied to the strap will move the flat side of the strap against flange 128 and cause channel memer 124 to pivot within groove 122 ywhereby flange 128 moves away from the strap and permits the strap to escape from the guide chute. The guide chute does not extend the full length of channel 114 but an upwardly directed curved guide member 140 is secured to the rear of member 116 and this curved 4guide leads the strap into the rear end of the chute. At its forward end the chute discharges the strap against an upwardly directed guide 142.
The lance and the guide carried thereby is normally located in a retracted position as shown in FIGS. 1, 4 and 6 but is extendable or projectable from this position to a position extending between the faces of a double faced pallet as indicated in FIG. 7, when said pallet and its load are in proper strapping position. For accomplishing the movement of the lance the following mechanism is provided. A reversible motor 144 mounted on base 102 is connected through a speed reduction drive 146 to a smooth-faced capstan or drum 148. A cable 150 is wrapped about the capstan and has one end anchored by a bolt 152 to the forward end of the lance and the other end anchored to a hook 154 at the rear end of the lance. The front end of the lance is tapered at 156 and when motor 144 is started in the direction to cause cable 150 to pull the lance forward, the tapered end butts against one side of the swingably mounted segment and pushes it aside so that the lance and the guides carried thereby may enter through standard 11. When the lance and its guides have moved forward a Short distance the swingl able segment 80 has been moved to the dotted line position shown in FIG. l and when the lance is fully extended through the pallet the curved guide is aligned with the lower end of guide chute 14 as shown in FIG. 7. This fully extended position is defined by the abutment of adjustable stops 156 and 158 (see FIG. 4) against a fixed plate 160 carried by the structure 104, stops 156 and 158 being provided on a member 162 secured to the rear of lance 114. If the operator does not immediately stop mo tor 144 when the lance reaches the fully extended position the capstan 148 merely slips within that portion of cable passing thereabout and no harm results. The fully retracted position of the lance is defined by abutment of member 162 against stop member 164 and 166 provided on a member 168 upstanding from base 102.
In using the lance-for strapping loads to double faced pallets, the pallet and its load is first moved along roller conveyor 78 to a position within the framework comprised of members 10, 11 and 12. The lance is then extended through the pallet as aforesaid. Should the forward end of the lance meet with a broken floor board of the pallet or other obstruction, capstan 148 will slip within the looped cable 150 and the lance will stop so that the operator may reposition the pallet or replace the same and no damage will result to the lance mechanism. When the lance is fully extended, the operator introduces the strap into the open end of guide chute 15 as previously explained and when the end of the strap reaches the open swingable section 80 at the now open bottom of guide 14 it is intercepted by the curved guide 140 carried by the lance and directed through the guide chute of the lance. With the lance fully extended, guide 142 thereof is outside the confines of the pallet so that the forward end of the strap as it reaches guide 142 is convenient to the operator and he may proceed to tension and secure the strap about the load. The lance is of course retracted after it has served its purpose and before the strapped load is moved. If the strap driving mechanism is located near the lower framework 10, then the strap may be introduced into the outer end of the strap guide chute of the lance and pushed counterclockwise through the Various guide chutes.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is:
1. Strap feeding apparatus comprising Support means for supporting a double faced pallet and its load in strapping position, upper and lower strap guide chutes, said lower chute extending beneath the pallet supporting surface of said support means, a vertically extending strap guiding chute comprising a xed segment and a relatively movable segment, curved strap guides interconnecting said vertically extending guide chute with said upper and lower guide chutes, a framework carrying said vertically extending strap guide chute, said framework having a movable section carrying the relatively movable segment of said vertically extending guide chute, means mounting said movable section for swinging movement about a vertical axis, said movable section being located in align- -ment with a pallet resting on said support means, a lance comprising an elongated strap guide support having a substantially rectangular cross section, flanged wheels engaging the upper and lower edges of said strap guide support and mounting said support for horizontal reciprocation, said lance further comprising a horizontally extending strap guide chute secured to one side edge of said strap guide carried by said strap guide support and extending outwardly out of vertical alignment with said anged wheels, a curved strap guide carried by said strap guide support adjacent to and aligned with one end of said last mentioned strap guide chute, said lance being horizontally aligned with the movable section of said framework, drive means for moving said lance from a retracted position to a position extending through a pallet resting on said support means, said lance engaging and swinging open the movably mounted section of said framework during movement to said last mentioned position, and said last mentioned curved strap guide being aligned with the vertically extending strap guide chute when said lance is in said last mentioned position.
2. The strap feeding apparatus set forth in claim 1 wherein said drive means comprises a cable fixed to the ends of said lance and having an intermediate portion wrapped about a smooth-surface capstan, and means for rotating said capstan in opposite directions.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 150,818 5/1874 Brown 100-25 X 2,215,121 9/1940 Harvey et al 10U-26 X 2,629,316 2/ 1953 Tillinghast 100-8 2,632,381 v3/1953 Buckland.
2,780,986 2/ 1957 Ritenour 100-25 2,831,422 4/ 1958 Black et al. 100-25 3,052,178 9/1962 Hall 100-25 3,150,585 9/ 1964 Sterner 100-25 3,182,586 5/1965 Armington et al. 100-25 X 3,213,781 10/ 1965 Collins et al 100-26 IRVING BUNEVICH, Primary Examiner.
BILLY I. WILHITE, Examiner.