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Publication numberUS3282025 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 1, 1966
Filing dateApr 26, 1963
Priority dateApr 26, 1963
Publication numberUS 3282025 A, US 3282025A, US-A-3282025, US3282025 A, US3282025A
InventorsAmberg Stephen W, Thomas Doherty
Original AssigneeLily Tulin Cup Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
High speed capping machine
US 3282025 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 1, 1966 s. W. AMBERG ETAL. 3,282,025

HIGH SPEED CAPPING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet l Filed April 26, 1963 NQ fl 15W 1 in 1 f. NQ ,PQ

E@ INVENTORS. rfpHg/v MAQ/45526. BY FIOM/15 Dome/2 rn MTW/V516.

Nov. 1, 1966 s. W, AMBER@ ETAL 3,282,925

HIGH SPEED CAPPING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 26, 1963 .STEPHEN W M55/2G.

Nov. l, 1966 s. w. AMBERG ETAL 3,282,025

HIGH SPEED CAPPING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed April 2e, 196:5

INVENTORS. .STEPHEN l/V. #M55/Q G. BY nio/WAS DoHE/aTK :i: EEHEI lllllllll nl-ElnulB-"Viillllllllll-l n Si. Mw@

Nov. l, 1966 s, W. AMBER@ r-:TAL 3,282,025

HIGH SPEED CAPPING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed April 26, 1963 INVENTORS,

51'EPHEA/ VKMBEEG. BY 7Z/oM/qs DoHE/E TK Nov. 1, 1966 s. w. AMBERG ETAL 3,282,025

HIGH SPEED CAPPING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed April 26, 1963 INVENTORS. STEPHEN W/./Y/E/EG THOMAS Dams-,Q 71V.

Whg/@hm United States Patent O 3,282,025 HGH SPEED CAPPING MACHINE Stephen W. Amberg, St. James, and Thomas Doherty,

Stony Brook, N.Y., assignors to Lily-Tulio Cum Corporation, New York, N.Y.. a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 26, 1963, Ser. No. 275,987 40 Claims. (Cl. 531-304) This invention relates to packaging techniques, and more particularly to a machine for capping a receptacle -or the like in which the item being packaged has been deposited. Although it may have other uses, the invention was made in connection with the packaging of comestible items, such as cottage cheese, ice cream, etc., and therefore will be described in connection with such use.

It is a usual practice to `package `family size or smaller portions of such comestible-s in usually cylindrical or frustro-conical shaped receptacles of either wax-coated stiff paper or plastic material which are capped to form enclosed containers for the goods. The cap or lid is of similar material, and for effecting a tight closure where foodstus are concerned, the lid is more often of the type having a downwardly turned rim which will surround a beaded rim at the mouth of the receptacle. After the lid has been positioned on the receptacle, an annular locking lip which projects beyond the downwardly turned portion of the lid is usually secured to the beaded rim of the receptacle in a manner to produce an airtight seal. The downwardly t-urned portion of the lid is necessary for sanitary reasons.

However, the problem to which the present invention is directed is that of initially placing the lids on the filled receptacles. Modern production line packaging systems require that the capping operation be per-formed at high speed so as to keep pace the rapid rate at which the more advanced filling machines are now capable of filling the receptacles.

Perhaps the best types of currently available capping machines employ a vertically reciprocal capping head which in a sudden downward movement punches the lid into position on the receptacle. However, the lid must be properly prepositioned on the receptacle before the capping head can do its job effectively, and it is incumbent to provide additional, coordinately operable machinery for this purpose. Difficulty arises when a lid is not adequately prepositioned when the capping head strikes its blow for, not only will the lid not be finally positioned as intended, but unbalanced forces are developed which tend to either tip over the receptacle or cause crushing and therefore destruction of the rims of the receptacle and lid and loss of the contained comestibles.

In addition, there is diiculty in properly positioning the lreceptacle at the capping station in these types of machines, especially where high speeds are involved. Even in turret type machines having multiple capping heads, which revolve about a common vertical axis in time with the rate of flow of the receptacles from the lling machine, centrifugal forces increase with machine speed, and therefore the problem of feeding the filled receptacles into the capping machine, and of aligning and retaining their appointed positions at the capping stations of the machine, becomes increasingly diliicult of eifectiyesolution.

Apart from the aforementioned difliculties attendant their arrangement and manner of operation, reciprocating head type capping machines are relatively complex and therefore costly both to manufacture and maintain. The reciprocating parts are subject to wear, require fairly frequent replacement or reconditioning as well as lubrica tion and Vother servicing. The separately operating multiple heads are usually independently adjusted, and the time required for. machine set up is considerable.

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Accordingly, it is intended by the present invention to provide a capping machine which incorporates constructional features and an arrangement lrendering it capable of extremely high speeds of operation. The machine to be described can quite easily cap receptacles at rates upward of two hundred per minute, and appears capable of normal operating speeds higher than three hundred per minute.

Moreover, the arrangement is intended to assure proper placement of the lids on the receptacles as well as proper handling of the receptacles themselves during their course `of travel through the machine. The enhanced coordinated relationship between the lid supply and capping operation incorporates features providing interruption of the lid dispensing operation commensurate with any interruption as occurs' in feeding receptacles into the machine.

Because of its relatively uncomplicated construction and arrangement, and also by reason of the smooth flowing nature of its operation, the machine provided by the present invention is economical as regards both manufacture and maintenance.

It is'easily adjusted to accommodate receptacles-of different size, the adjustment being made to all of its capping discs or head-s simultaneously, and therefore machine set up time is reduced to a minimum.

It is, of course, also intended that effective capping of each receptacle may be depended upon.

Briefly describing the invention in its preferred embodiment, the high speed capping machine has a main frame which supports a horizontally disposed apron-type conveyor which firmly supports and transports a continuous flow of receptacles through the capping station. The filled but uncapped receptacles are fed on to this receptacle transport conveyor by a belt type feeder conveyor which is in tandem alignment with, and at the same elevation as the receptacle transport conveyor at the infeed end of the latter. Paralleling one side of this conveyor arrangement at the level of the receptacles is a receptacle infeed spiral which spans across the discharge end of the feeder conveyor and the infeed end of the receptacle transport conveyor. The infeed spiral adjusts the spacing between the receptacles as they llow on to the transport conveyor w-here they are each received at its lunderside and accurately positioned and supported Ifor the capping operation by a lgenerally rectangular shaped vand projecting receptacle support carried by the receptacle transport conveyor. The high speed receptacle transport conveyor carries the receptacles through the capping station where the caps or lids are applied and thence to discharge, in capped condition, at its other or discharge end.

In its preferred embodiment, the capping machine is intended to handle and cap receptacles of a conventional type having a recessed bottom, as will later be more fully understood. Each of the projecting, generally rectangular shaped `receptacle supports carried by the receptacle transport conveyor has length shorter than the diameter of the recessed underside of the receptacle, and each has chamfered corner portions at its forward or leading edge. Each receptacle is fed on to the receptacle transport conveyor so that its recessed bottom is received by one of the receptacle supports. The leading edge of the receptacle support effectively serves as a flight of the lconveyor which engages the forward side of the recessed bottom of the receptacle to move the receptacle through the capping station, and it will be noted that the charnfered leading edges of the receptacle support assure greater accuracy of initial positioning, and more effective retention of the position of the receptacle as it passes through the machine. To assure the referred to engagement between the receptacle supports and the receptacles l.which they receive, parallel friction bars are disposed at opposi-te sides of the receptacle transport conveyor at 1ts infeed end in manner such that the bars exert slight frictional drag on each receptacle as it is deposited by the infeed spiral on to the receptacle transport conveyor. The frictional drag is overcome by the positive movement and urging of the receptacle support against the interior, forward side of the recessed base of the receptacle, whereupon the receptacle is moved out from between the friction bars in a very accurately predetermined position in which it is conveyed towards the capping station.

The capping station is located adjacent the discharge end of the receptacle transport conveyor, and the lids are applied at the same rate as that of the continuous flow of receptacles therethrough. The capper comprises a combined capping head and lid transport conveyor mounted above and in aligned parallel relationship with respect to the receptacle transport conveyor, the spacing distance above the latter being nominally lthe height of the receptacle being capped. In the preferred embodiment, the lid transport conveyor is of a roller chain type, the capping heads, which are disc-like plates, being attached at spaced intervals along the roller chain of the conveyor. The spacing between each of the capping heads is the same as that of the receptacle supports carried by the 4receptacle transport conveyor, and the linear speeds of the lid transport and receptacle transport conveyors are identical. Moreover, the respective capping heads and receptacle supports are in substantially vertical alignment during their movement so that they effectively sandwich the receptacle therebetween while the lid is being applied thereto. It will be noted tha-t the receptacle support firmly supports the bottom of the receptacle such that, in lthe event any internal pressure or other destructive force is developed during the capping operation (as by entrapped air o-r the like), the receptacle support prevents rupture of the bottom seal, or other damage from such developed force as would affect the structural integrity of the capped receptacle.

The relative vertically aligned positioning, one to the other during their travel, of the capping heads and receptacle support plates is maintained and rendered adjustable by a main drive mechanism which is common to both the receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors and which incorporates a uniform tension pulley system. The pulley system includes a pair of idler pulleys mounted on the respective of a pair of pivot arms, each of which is pivotable about one of its ends, and the axis of pivotal movement of the arms being common and offset from the axis of rotation of the receptacle transport drive shaft. The drive shaft of the lid transport conveyor is driven by a chain which threads around the idler pulleys and a sprocket attached to the drive shaft of the receptacle transport conveyor. The idler pulleys are at opposite sides of the receptacle transport drive shaft, and it will be seen that a pivoting of the pulley arms either downwardly or upwardly will induce either a lead or a lag in the juxtapositioning between the capping heads carried by the lid transport conveyor and the receptacle supports carried by the receptacle transport conveyor, even though the conveyors, and hence the capping heads and receptacle supports are travelling at the same linear speed.

A lid dispenser is mounted on the upperside of the lid transport conveyor, and dispenses lids on to each of the capping heads, which are then in inverted position, as they pass thereunder. Whether or not a lid is dispensed is determined by a solenoid switch control which is activated in response to a receptacle sensing linger located at the linfeed end of the receptacle transport conveyor. By reason of the location of the dispenser with respect Y to the receptacle sensing finger, and because of the shorter length of the combined capping head and lid transport conveyor relative to the receptacle transport conveyor (the for-mer being about half the length of the latter in the overall), the absence of a receptacle within the line of flow of receptacles at the infeed end of the receptacle transport conveyor will cause a corresponding interruption in the sequence of lid dispensing actuations of the dispenser solenoid switch control as the capping head which would otherwise place a lid on the receptacle passes under the lid dispenser. As a result, no lid is dispensed on to the capping head and, consequently, no lid will fall on to the receptacle transport conveyor within the space which the absent receptacle would otherwise occupy thereon. Thus, one possible cause of receptacle jam up is eliminated.

The combined capping head and lid transportconveyor both carries the separate lids to the moving receptacles, and applies the lids to the individual receptacles without either interruption or diminishment of the speed of movement of the latter. As contemplated by the preferred embodiment of the capping machine, each lid is of a hollowed type as is provided by-its gene-rally depressed topl area, the depressed area being surrounded by a first upwardly turned, then downwardly turned rim. The annular spacing between the downwardly turned rim and the annular shoulder which is presented by the depressed top area, at the underside of the lid, is intended to fit snugly over the conventional peripheral bead at the top of a receptacle. Thus, in capping a receptacle, thc capping machine must be capable of accurately positioning this underside rim spacing of the lid over the top bead of the receptacle, and of inducing rm engagement between the two.

Such requisite accurate relative positioning and proper engagement between lid and receptacle is achieved in the4 present invention by the finely adjustable synchronization of the relative positions of the capping heads and receptacle supports of the machine, as aforesaid, and also by the manner in which the lid transport conveyor appliesv the lids to their respective receptacles.

Regarding the latter, each disc-like capping head includes a projecting central area portion which substantially conforms with the referred to depressed top area of a lid, so that the lid in its inverted position willrest on and be carried `by the capping head with` little clearance for lateral movement with respect to the latter. The pnojecting central Iarea portion is tapered, 'or raked inwardly from its lid facing surface and about its peripheral side 'edge which is provided by the projecting height thereof. The rake angle is at least equal to an angle of incidence with which the lid will be placed into contact with the receptacle, and it will be later more fully understood that the rake tangle provides clearance for the upwardly turned portion of the lid rim when the capping head and lid move arcuat'ely with respect to each other as the lid is applied to a receptacle, and as the capping head moves out of the depressed top yarea of the lid after receptacle capping has been effected.

The lid transport conveyor carries its attached capping heads, each with a lid resting thereon as has been described, from their inverted positions at the upper side of the conveyor into capping engagement with the moxing receptacles lat the underside of the conveyor. The capping heads move downwardly Iaround the roller chain sprocket at the linfeed end of the capping station, during which time the lids are retained on the capping heads by a pair of rarouately shaped guides in propenly spaced relation with respect to the conveyor sprocket, and thence into initial lid engagement relation with respect to the moving receptacles. The lids :are inverted to their rightside-up position during the movement. In its initial engag'ement with a receptacle, the forward end of each moving lid rst contacts the forward end of a moving receptacle at Ian angle o-f incidence of about eight degrecs, this angle being such as will cause the lid to effectively expel excess air from the receptacle, y'ct not permit the lid to dip into lche comestible contents of the receptacle. It will be noted that the capping action on any given receptacle is relatively slow as compared to the rate of receptacle feed through the machine. rPhat is, each lid is eased on to a receptacle over a period of time within which two or three additional receptacles enter the capping station, and it is seen that by adjustment of the referred to angle o-f incidence and-o-f the length of the capping station, overall machine speed may b'e greatly increased Without significantly affecting the relatively slow, careful and accurate manner with which the lids sare applied to the receptacles.

The angle of incidence with which a lid is initially applied to a receptacle is determined and imparted at the underside of the lid transport conveyor by a pair of iiXed camming 'elements which the capping heads stuaddle, land by which the capping heads are guided in their movement along the underside length of the conveyor. Together with the proper spacing between the capping heads at the underside of the lid transport conveyor and the top surface of the receptacle transport conveyor, the rim support offered by these camming elements against upward movement of the capping heads, and the rm support provided for the receptacles by the aprontype receptacle transport conveyor, provides assured seating of the lids lon the receptacles so that the latter are properly capped by the time they have passed the midway point during their travel through the capping station.

The midway point is that location at which, by reason of the aforementioned xed camming elements, each capping helad reaches its nearest proximity to the receptacle transport conveyor. Beyond this location, each capping head is lifted off its associated lid which has now been firmly placed on `a receptacle. The capping head is cammed -off its associate-d iid at the same angle with which it caused linitial engagement between the lid and a receptacle, as aforesaid. A fixed pair of stripping bars, at either side of the lid transport conveyor at its underside, strips from any capping head any capped receptacle which may spuriously adhere thereto.

'Ilhese Iand other objects, features, and Iadvantages of the invention will b'ecorne more fully app-arent from the following detailed description of the invention, when taken with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of a machine in accordance with the invention, certain of its portions being shown broken away;

FIGURE 2 is a somewhat enlarged and fragmentary end elevation of th'e machine as seen from lines 2 2 of FIGURE 1, certain partially concealed elements being omitted for clarity;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary top plan view, to the scale of FIGURE 2, showing only the infeed end of the machine;

FIGURE 4 is a simil-arly enlarged sectional end e-levation ofthe machine, the section being taken ias shown by iin'es 4 4 of FIGURE 3 and certain partially concealed elements being omitted for clarity;

FIGURE 5 is a still further enlarged :and fragmentary sectional side elevation showing details of the lid dispensing mechanism of the machine, the `section being taken as shown by lines 5 5 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary plan view of a portion of the machine as viewed from lines 6 5 of FIGURE l, the View being t-o the scale of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 7 is a perspective showing from the underside of a receptacle and its lid as may be capped thereon by the machine;

FIGURE 8 is a perspective showing, from above, of a receptacle support element of the machine;

FIGURE 9 is a perspective showing, from below, of a capping head element of the machine; and

FIGURE 10` lis a sectional side elevation of only the capping station of the rnachine to illustrate its .operation, certain elements being omitted for clarity and the View being taken in the manner of FIGURE 5 but being to a scaile intermediate those of FIGURES 2 and 5.

The overall arrangement of a high speed capping machine in accordance with the invention is best understood rfrorn FIGURES l-4. The capping machine, generally indicated by reference numeral 10, has a main frame 11 on which vall of the machine components are mounted so as to provide a unitized or integrated construction, a feeder conveyor 12, 'an infeed spiral 13, a receptacle than-sport conveyor 14, a. combined capping head and lid transport conveyor 15 (which, for brevity, will be referred to herein as the lid transport conveyor 15) having an associated lid dispenser 16, and a main drive scription, FIGURE l sh-ows the back or drive side of the machine, and it will be understood that the operator will normally .approach the machine fnom its opposite side which may be referred to as the operator's side.

Referring rst to the construction of the support framing for the apparatus, the main frarne 11 is mounted on casters 18 for mobility convenience, the casters being attached in a usual manner to a rigid base 19 of the main frame. In addition, four conventional leveling jacks 20 are mounted on plates 21 which are attached to and project `outwardly from the base 19, the jacks being for use 4in lifting the machine off of its casters so as to provide a firm and level support for the machine when in operation. The lmain frame 11 is formed by a pair of oppositely disposed side plates 22 and 23 which project upwardly from its base 19, to which they are attached by brackets 24. The side plates 22 and 23 are rigidly supported in spaced -apart -relation by four transversely disposed tie bars 25a-d inclusive, and a transversely disposed tie plate 26. The arrangement and disposition of tie bars 25 is such as to permit their utilization as a means of attachment land support for the transport conveyor framing 27, and the pair of lid transport conveyor height adjusting rails 28 by which the latter is mounted, as well as to provide clearance for the main drive assembly 17.

The receptacle transport conveyor framing 27 is formed by a pair of vertically disposed and parallel extending receptacle transport conveyor side plates 29 which are respectively attached, as by bolts 29a, to the opposite sides fof the centrally located and horizontally disposed transport conveyor base plate 30 which, in turn, is supported at its respective ends by attachment to the tie bars 25a Iand 25d. The attachment to tie bar 25a is effected through the pair of tie bar spacers 25e and bolts 25j, as more clearly seen in FIGURE 2.` At this, or the discharge end 15b of the receptacle transport conveyor 14, the vertical side plates 29 are supported in their spaced relation by a spacing bar 31, which is secured by bolts 31a, and by a tranversely disposed and vertical-ly arranged tie plate (not shown) which is adjacent the lid transport conveyor height adjusting rails 28. At the infeed end 14a of the conveyor, a tie plate 32 is similarly disposed for the same purpose.

The receptacle transport conveyor 14 is of the apron type, formed by an endless series of hingedly connected metal plates 33 mounted around a conveyor sprocket 34 at the head or discharge end 14b of the conveyor and a sprocket 35 at the infeed end 14a thereof. The sprocket 34 is attached -tio a drive shaft 36 which is mounted between a bearing 37, attached to the conveyor side plate 29 at the operators side of the conveyor, and a bearing 38, att-ached lto the interior side of the main frame side plate 22, as seen in FIGURE 2. A suitable bearing 40, for passage therethrough of drive shaft 36, is attached to the other conveyor side plate 29. The sprocket 35 .at the infeed end 14a is attached to a shaft 41 which is mounted betweeny suitable bearings 41a (FIGURES 3 and 4) carried by a usual type of belt slack take-up arrangement which also serves as the feeder conveyor drive mount, generally indicated .by numeral 39. The

endless series of metal plates 33 are--supported at the side edges thereof along their upperside length of travel by a pair of longitudinally extending conveyor top blocks 42 and associated top side guides 42a which are attached t-o the respective conveyor side plates 29. As indicated in FIGURE 2, each of the top blocks 42 has an attached nylon wear strip 43 to increase the service life of the top blocks and of the metal plates lof the conveyor. Along the underside length of their travel, the conveyor metal pla-tes 33 are supported at the side edges thereof by a similarly attached and extending pair of conveyor return supports 44 and associated return support side guides 44a. The metal plates 33 of the conveyor carry the spaced apart receptacle supports 46, as will later be more fully described. A description of the drive connections for driving the sprocket 34 will be deferred herein until after the mounting and arrangement of the lid transport and feeder conveyors have been described.

As previously'mentioned, the lid transport conveyor 15 is mounted and supported by the pair of height adjusting rails 28 at either side thereof, and it will be understood from the drawings that the lid transport conveyor is aligned `both vertically and longitudinally with respect to the receptacle transport conveyor 14. Moreover, the lid transport conveyor 15 is located adjacent the discharge end 14b, and has length about half that of the receptacle transport conveyor 14. The spacing between the two conveyors is nominally the height of the receptacles 45 which are to be capped by the lids 45a, and the spacing provides what is termed herein as the capping station of the machine 10.

At their upper ends, the height adjusting rails 28 are attached, as by bolts 47, to the respective of the pair of longitudinally extending lid transport conveyor side plates 48, and are buttressed apart by a lid transpo-rt conveyor cross plate 49 which extends between the sides of the conveyor and is attached to each rail 28 by two of the bolts 47, as indicated in FIGURE 1. Also extending between the side plates 48, to complete the `basic structure, are the lid transport conveyor base plate 50` and the lid transport conveyor cross bars 51.

At their respective, extreme lower ends, the height adjusting rails 28 are guided in their vertical movement by the transversely extending main frame tie bars 25b and 25e (FIGURE l), yand are further guided in maintaining their spaced apart relation yby a plate 52 (FIGURE 2) which is attached to, and extends across the tie bars 25b, 25C. In addition, at approximately their mid-length locations, the height adjusting rails 28 are further guided by respective pairs of vertical guide plates 53, -54 (FIG- URE l) which are attached to the exterior surfaces of the receptacle transport conveyor vertical side plates 29. Note that, in this region, the spacing bar 31 braces the side plates 29 of the receptacle transport conveyor, and that each of the height adjusting rails 28 is slotted, as at 55, to provide clearance for the lbolts 31a which attach the spacing bar 31.

Adjustment up or down of the height adjusting rails 28, and therefore of the lid transport conveyor 15, is accomplished by rotating the 'height adjustment shaft 56 by means of the hand wheel 5.7 (FIGURE 2). The shaft 56 is mounted by a collar bearing 58 attached to an adjustment shaft mounting bracket 59 which, in turn, is attached to the plate 52. The shaft 56 carries one of the gears 59 of a helical gear arrangement, the other gear 60 of which is attached to a vertically disposed rotatable shaft 61 (FIGURE 2). The rotatable shaft 61 is located centrally of the spacing between the rails 28, and extends between the transport conveyor base plate 30 at its upper end and the plate 52 between the height adjusting rails at its lower end. The shaft 61 is rotatable on rbearings 62 and 63, the bearing 62 being 'attached to the transport conveyor base plate 30, and the bearing 63 being attached to the plate 52. Shaft 61 .is threaded along its length, as indicated by reference numeral 64,

and passes through a threaded aperture 65 in an adjusting screw plate 66, the latter being vattached to, and extending between the rails 28. As the shaft 56 is rotated by use of the handwheel 57, the gear 59 which is attached thereto causes rotation of the gear 60 so as to cause the vertical shaft 61 to rot-ate. Rotation of the shaft 61 causes the threaded adjusting screw plate 66 to move up or down, following the urging of the rotating threads 64 of shaft 61, thus causing vertical movement of the lid transport conveyor 15 responsive to the movement of its height adjusting rails 28 which are attached to the screw plate 66.

Further describing the lid transport conveyor 15, it is 'of a roller chain type and carries the series of capping heads 67 which are attached at spaced intervals therealong. The roller chain 68 (FIGURE 2) passes around the chain sprockets 69 and 70` which are mounted on shafts 71 and 72, respectively, the shaft 71 being mounted between the pair of bearings 73, 74 attached to the respective conveyor side plates 48, and the. shaft 72 being mounted between a pair of bearings 75 of a usual type of belt slack take-up arrangement, as is generally indicated by reference numeral 76. The shaft 71 of the sprocket 69 at the discharge end 15b of the conveyor is chain driven off the drive shaft 36 of the receptacle transport conveyor 14 as will be later described.

In their travel across the top of the lid transport conveyor 15, the capping heads 67 are supported at their opposite sides by a pair of top angle bars 77 (FIGURE 2) on which the capping heads slide. At the underside of the conveyor, the capping heads 67 are guided by similar sliding engagement with a pair of cam bars 78 (FIG- URE 1) which are attached along, and depend from the' underside of the conveyor base plate 50. The cam bars 7S are made of nylon material f-or long wear, and function in the capping operation in a manner as will be later described. At its infeed end 15a, the lid transport conveyor has a pair of lid guides 79 (FIGURE l) which are attached thereto in spaced relation between the conveyor side plates 48, and a pair of receptacle strippers 80 (FIGURES 2 and 10) which are similarly Iattached and located adjacent the discharge end 15b lof the conveyor, each of these elements being for a purpose as will also be later described. In addition, the lid dispenser 16 is mounted atop the conveyor at its discharge end 15b by a pair of dispenser mount brackets 81 which are attached to the respective conveyor side plates 48.

The feeder conveyor 12 and infeed spiral 13 are best understood by a comparison of FIGURES l, 3 and 4. The feeder conveyor 12 is of a belt type, its belt 82 extending around its head end or drive pulley 83 and a take-up pulley 84, and its supporting frame being provided by feeder conveyor side plates 85 having suitable spacmg bars (not shown) therebetween. The feeder conveyor drive mount 39 is formed by a bearing plate 86 which is supported by a pair of spacer plates 87 in ,laterally spaced relation (see FIGURE 4) with respect to one of the pair of receptacle transport conveyor takeup plates 88 at either side of the side plates 85, these plates 88 being mounted for longitudinally slidable movement, in slots 89 (FIGURE l), on the receptacle transport conveyor frame 27. Thus, it is seen that, since the receptacle transport conveyor sprocket shaft 41 and bearings 41a are mounted on the drive mount 39 by attachment of the bearings 41a to the bearing plate 86 and one of the take-up plates 88, takeup of belt slack in the receptacle transport conveyor 14 is effected by longitudinal slidable movement of the feeder conveyor drive mount 39, and that the feeder conveyor 12 will move correspondingly during the take-up adjustment. Belt slack take-up on the feeder conveyor 12 is effected by longitudinal movement of the take-up bracket 90 to which lthe bearings 91a of the take-up pulley shaft 91 are mounted at the infeed end 12e` of the feeder conveyor (see FIGURE l). The bearings 92a which mount the 9 shaft 92 of the feeder conveyor drive pulley 83 are respectively mounted on the bearing plate 86 and one of the take-up plates 88, as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4.

To insure smoothness of transfer of the receptacles 45 between the feeder and receptacle transport conveyors, a transfer plate 93 (FIGURE 3) is disposed between the discharge end 12b of the feeder conveyor and the infeed end 14a of the receptacle transport conveyor. The .transfer plate 93 is notched, as at 93a for clearance of the,

receptacle supports 46 therethrough, and appropriately to support the bottoms of the receptacles 45y at either side of the notch 93a, as indicated in the drawings.

The feeder conveyor drive pulley S3 -is driven by a roller chain 94 extending ybetween a sprocket 95 attached to the receptacle transport conveyor pulley shaft 41, and a sprocket 96, attached to the feeder conveyor drive pulley shaft 92. A .suitable chain slack take-up idler sprocket 97 is included in the arrangement. Thus, the driving of receptacle transport conveyor 14 also drives the feeder conveyor 12 in tied-in relation.

The drive chain 94 also threads around and drives -a .sprocket 98 which is mounted on the bearing plate 86 and attached to `a shaft of the angle gearing arrangement 99, whose housing is also attached to bearing plate 86, to drive the longitudinally disposed infeed spiral 13, as Iindicated in the drawings. The infeed spiral 13 is of a conventional screw type as formed, for example, by a coil or thread portion 101 which is attached to a shaft 102 by spokes 103. The threads 101 have varying pitch along the length of the spiral, the pitch being smaller at the infeed end 13u thereof so as to accept the receptacles 45 regardless of the manner in which they are disposed along the feeder conveyor 12, and being wider at the discharge end 12b thereof, such as to cause separation of the receptacles one from the other by a distance equal to that between each of the receptacle supports 46 of the receptacle transport conveyor. F-urther, .the `arrangement of the threads 101 with relation to the receptacle transport conveyor 14 is such as to time the discharge of a receptacle 45 from the spiral 13 with the emergence from the underside of the receptacle transport conveyor of one of the receptacle supports 46.

Referring now to the chain drive arrangement for driving the receptacle transport conveyor 14 and, hence, the lid transport conveyor 15, feeder conveyor 12 and infeed spiral 13 which are connected thereto as aforesaid, it should first be understood that the lid transport and. receptacle transport conveyors are intended to have the same linear speed and that, even though travelling at the same linear speed, the capping-heads 67 and receptacle supports 46 must be juxtapositioned in longitudinal direction, one with respect to the other, so as to assure the .proper vertical alignment relationship between the two. Depending on factors such as the top opening diameter, degree of sidewall taper, diameter `of the hollow bottom, etc. of the receptacles being capped, this proper vertical alignment relationship Will vary in terms of the longitudinally measured distance between the leading edge of any capping head 67 yand its cooperatively associated receptacle support 46. Thus, it is intended to provide a drive arrangement which will incorporate means means for adjusting, in longitudinal direction, the relative locations of the capping heads 67 and receptacle supports 46 with respect to each other.

Referring to FIGURES l and 2, the main drive assembly 17 comprises an electric drive motor 105 a-nd a combinedA variable speed drive mechanism 106, the latter for adjusting overall machine speed responsive to turning of the speed adjustment handwheel 107 (FIGURE 2). The electri-c motor 105 draws its power through the electrical outlet 108 (FIGURE l). The `gear head 106a of the variable speed drive mechanism 106 has a sprocket 109, -mounted on its output drive shaft 110, for driving the main drive chai-n 111 which is of either a roller or silent chain type. A belt slack take-up idler sprocket 112 10 is included in the arrangement. The drive chain 111 drives a sprocket 113 which is keyed to the shaft 36 of the receptacle transport conveyor drive sprocket 34 so as to directly drive the latter.

A secondary drive chain 114, for driving the drive shaft 71 of the lid transport conveyor 15, is driven by a second sprocket 115 on the receptacle transport conveyor drive shaft 36, the chain 114 driving the shaft 71 through a sprocket 116 attached to the latter. The sprocket ratios are such that the lid transport conveyor is driven at the same linear belt speed as that of the receptacle transport conveyor. As has been previously described., the feeder conveyor 12 and infeed spiral 13 are driven by take-off from the tail end or take-up sprocket 35 of the receptacle transport conveyor. The sprocket ratios .are suc-h that the feeder conveyor 12 travels with the same Or slightly higher linear belt -speed as that of the receptacle transport conveyor 14.

However, for making the .aforementioned adjustment, in longitudinal direction, of the relative locations of the capping heads 67 and receptacle supports 46, the drive arrangement includes a so-called constant tension pulley system, generally indicated4 by reference numeral 117, for Vassuring that constant belt tension is maintained on secondary drive chain 114 upon adjustment of the referred to relative locations between the capping heads and receptacle supports, which adjustment is made by operation of the constant tension pulley system 117 and its `associated mechanisms, as will presently be described.

It should first be observed, however, that the drive arrangement provides a means of adjustment for the locations, in longitudinal direction, of the capping heads 67 with respect to those of the receptacle supports 46 which are employed as the reference. The adjustment is achieved by providing means to rotate the lid transport conveyor sprocket 69 to a different arcuate positioning with respect to that of the receptacle transport conveyor sprocket 34 and, for this purpose, two idler sprockets 118 and 119 are employed. In the preferred embodiment as `seen in FIGURE l, the secondary drive chain 114 is threaded over the secondary sprocket 116, thence under idler sprocket 118, thence over secondary sprocket 115, and thence under the idler sprocket 119. The idler sprocket 118 is mounted for freely rotatable movement midway along the length of a drive equalizer arm 120 which is freely pivotable at one of its ends about a shaft 121 which is attached to the receptacle transport conveyor side plate 29 at the back or drive side of the machine 10. The other idler sprocket 119 is mounted for freely rotatable movement at one end of a drive take-up arm 122, the other end of which is freely pivotable about the shaft 121. The distance of idler sprocket 118 away from the axis of shaft 121 is somewhat less than that of the idler sprocket 119. Moreover, the sprocket 119 is actually mounted on a belt slack take-up slide (not shown) of the arm 122 Ifor .conventional purposes.

In the preferred arrangement, a common shaft 121 is employed, the same being located below, and offset in longitudinal direction with respect to the axis of rotation of the secondary sprocket 115. It becomes apparent that, considering the sprocket 115 as being fixed, if the arms 120 and 122 .are pivoted upwardly or downwardly, as viewed in FIGURE l, the chain 114 will partially rotate the lid transport conveyor sprocket 116 in one direction or the other so that the arcuate position of any point along the periphery of sprocket 116 will be changed with respect to the arcuate position tof any reference point on sprocket 115. Such repositioning of sprocket 116 with respect to sprocket 115 causes the same repositioning of the lid transport conveyor drive sprocket 69 and, hence, a repositioning of the capping heads 67 with respect to the receptacle supports 46.

It should be noted that adjustment of the relative positions of the capping heads and receptacle supports may be made while the machine 10 is either running or stopped, and. that the adjustment may become necessary when height adjustment is made to the lid transport conveyor to accommodate larger or smaller height receptacles 45 therebelow, or when the shape of the receptacles is varied, as aforesaid.- Accordingly, the adjustment is made independently of the means whereby a height adjustment may be made to the lid transport conveyor 15, as previously described.

Pivoting of the arms 120 and 122, .and thus adjustment of the relative positions of the capping heads and receptacle supports, is effected by the pulley system 117 and `associated linkages as will now be described. The rope 123 of the pulley system 117 is strung from a fixed end 12311 thereof (.as is effected by attachment to the tie bar 25a) over a movable pulley 124 which is rotatable on the shaft of idler sprocket 119, thence under a fixed pulley 125 which is rotatably attached t-o the receptacle transport conveyor side plate 29, and thence over a second fixed pulley 126 which is rotatably attached to one of the vertical guides 53 for the height adjusting rail 28, the other end 123b of the rope 123 being attached, via spring 127, to a pinion gear 128 which is rotatably attached to the height adjusting rail 28. Diametrically opposite the location of attachment of rope end 123b to the pinion gear 128, the pinion gear 128 carries one end of a link 129 in pivotable attachment. The other end of the link 129 is lpivotally attached to the otherwise free end of the drive equalizer arm 120 so that rotation of the pinion `gear 128 in either direction causes a pivoting of the arm 120 about shaft 121 as an axis. The 4angular position of link 129 will change slightly responsive to the rotation of pinion gear 128. Such rotation of pinion gear 128 is elected by ro-tation of its companion worm gear 130. The worm gear 130 is keyed to .an adjustment shaft 131 which is seated `at its lower end in a bearing of the bracket 13-2 `attached to the height adjusting rail 28. For convenience of operation, the hand knob 133, which is attached at the other other end of the adjustment shaft 131, is located above the lid transport conveyor 15, as shown in FIGURE l. The adjustment shaft 131 is suitably journaled, as at journal locations 134, for support along its length.

Thus, by twisting the hand knob 133, adjustment will be made yto the positioning of the capping-heads 67 with respect to the receptacle supports 46. The rotation of the adjustment shaft 131 and worm gear in clockwise direction, for example, rotates the pinion gear 128 in clockwise direction so as to effect a pulling downward of `the link 129. By its attachment thereto, the downward movement of link 129 causes the drive equalizer arm 12) to pivot in counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG- URE l, thereby moving its attached idler sprocket 118 in downwa-rd direction. The clockwise movement of pinion gear 128 also lifts the attached end 123b vof the pulley rope 123, thereby tending to relieve the tension in the rope. However, the rope 123 is .taut-ly mounted, under tension of the spring 127, and the relative lengths of the rope 123 and secondary drive chain 114 is such that this tendency to relieve tension in rope 123 is compensated for by an upward pulling, through chain 114, on the other idler sprocket 119, its take-up arm 122 pivoting in counterclockwise direction in response to such upward pulling. Thus, at its uppermost portion, where it engages sprocket 116 of 4the lid transport conveyor, the secondary drive chain 114 is pulled to the left (as viewed in FIG- URE l) so as to cause counterclockwise movement of sprocket 116 while the location of engagement of chain 114 with sprocket 115 remains relatively stationary. The counterclockwise relative movement of sprocket 116 causes the locations of capping heads 67 to advance, at the underside of the lid transport conveyor 15, relative to t-he locations of the receptacle supports 46 along the recep-tacle transport conveyor 14.

In the same manner, twisting of hand knob 133 in the opposite direction causes a lifting of idler sprocket 118 and a lowering of idler sprocket 119, with resulting clockwise movement of sprocket 116 and a shifting towards the infeed direction of capping heads 67 in their alignment relation with respect to receptacle supports/t6.

Further, i-t is seen that when an adjustment is made to the height of the lid transport conveyor 15 above the receptacle transport conveyor 14 (such being made by rotation of the hand wheel 57 'and the resulting eleva-tion of height adjusting rails 28, as previously described), both of the idler sprockets 118 and 119 will be raised or lowered, their respective mounting arms 120 and 122 pivoting in opposite directions, by reason of 4the effective shortening or lengthening of the secondary drive chain 114 due to the change in the vertical distance between the shafts 71` and 36 on which the sprockets 116 and 115 are respectively mounted. The adjustment shaft 131, worm 130 and pinion gear 128, all of which are attached to one of the height adjusting rails 28, will move upwardly or downwardly depending upon the direction of the height adjustment. lBut the pulley arrangement is such that the tension in the pulley rope 123 remains relatively constant, thus permitting greater or less upward or downward movement of idler sprocket 119 so as to compensate for any tendency in the chain 114 to increase or slacken its tension. Thus, the tension in chain 114 remains relatively constant over a wide range of height adjustments to the lid transport conveyor 15. Of course, compensating adjustment in the relative alignment positions of capping heads 67 with respect to receptacle supports 46 may become necessary, as aforesaid.

It is also apparent that the pulley system 117 will maintain constant tension in the secondary drive chain 114 during operation of the machine 10.

Referring now to the lid dispenser 16, its construction and arrangement is perhaps best shown by FIGURES l, 2, 5 and 6. As previously mentioned, the lid dispenser 16, as a unit, is mounted on a pair of dispenser mount brackets 81 which a-re respectively attached to the lid transport conveyor side plates 48, vas by bolts 135 (FIGURE l).

As indicated in the drawings, the top edges 81a of the brackets are angulated downwardly, in the direction of discharge end 15b of the conveyor 15, to assist in providing the fan-like disposition of the lids 45a at the time of their release in manner as will `later be described.

The lid dispenser 16 rests on the Itop edges 81a, straddling the parallel mount brackets 81, the unit being adapted to contain and dispense lids of a. given size. T-he lid dispenser 16 is formed by a base plate 136 having 4a central aperture 136:1, through which the lids 45a will pass, and by the stack rods 137 which are attached to the base plate 136 in upwardly projecting fashion as shown.

Throughout their height, the stack rods 137 are formed in a conventional fashion having curved portions 137a at their lower ends to prompt a fanning apart of the stacked lids at the side of the stack, hereinafter to be referred to as the forward side, which faces the infeed end 15a of the lid transport conveyor 15. In the arrangement, the angular disposition of the base plate 136 assists in this action, as aforesaid.

Referring particularly to FIGURE 5, the lid dispenser 16 further includes a lid sweeper 139, attached at the forward side of base pla-te 136 as shown, which has a forwardly facing bent portion 13941 at its lower end, the latter serving to sweep each lid 45a on to one of the capping -heads 67 as it passes thereunder. In addition, the lid `dispenser unit has a pivotably mounted gate, herein referred to as a lid lifter 140, whose forwardly facing edge is arcuately shaped as shown in FIGURE 6. The lid lifter 140 is attached, as by welding, to the pivotable shaft 141 which is mounted between collar bearings 142 of the oppositely disposed depending portions 13617 of the base plate 136. As clearly shown in FIGURE 5, the location of attachment is within the length of the lid lifter 140, towards its rearward end 14Go, and it will be understood that by contact of the lid lifter rearward end 140:1 with the lifter stop 143, pivotal movement of the lid lifter forward end 140b in downward direction is limited. The extent of downward pivotal movement may be adjusted, since the lifter stop 143 is in the form of a threaded screw and locking nut as shown, `these being mounted on the lifter stop bracket 144 which is attached, as by bolts 145, to the dispenser base plate 136. The upwardly projecting sides 149e, at opposite sides of the lid litter, serve as late-ral guides for the lids 45a as they are released on to the capping heads 67.-

A lifter fork 146 is rigidly but adjustably attached, as by bolt 147, -to the pivotable shaft 141 towards one end thereof, as will be understood from a comparison of FIG- URES 2 and 5. The bolt 147 acts in conjunction with a slit 148 of the lifter fork 146 to tighten the latter on -the shaft 141. At the lower end of the lifter fo-rk 146, there is an open ended slot 149 which engages the bent end 150@ ofa horizontally disposed slidable link 150 when the lid dispenser is mounted on the dispenser mount brackets 81 of the conveyor 15.

The base plate 136 of the lid dispenser 16 is held in its mounted position on mount brackets -81 by a pair of mount bracket swing bolts 151 which are at the respective sides thereof, and it becomes apparent that the entire lid dispenser 16 is removable by loosening each of the wing nuts 152 and swinging the swing bolts 151 out of the respective base plate notches 153 (FIGURE 6) which they engage, and thereupon lifting the lid dispenser off the mount brackets 81. The lifter fork slot 149 easily passes out of its engagement with the slidable link 50.4

The dispenser 16 is changed when lids of a different size are to be used in the capping operation.

During operation, the lid lifter 140 is pivoted downwardly into its dispensing position as shown in FIGURE 5, and in such a position it permits the lowermost lid 45a to be inclined downwardly at its forward end to an elevation which is below that of any capping head 67 which moves thereunder. The result is that each of the rapidly moving capping heads 67 engage and strip successive lids from the bottom of the stack in the manner indicated in FIGURE 5, the bent portion 139a of the lid sweeper 139 assuring that the lids are properly seated on the capping heads as the stripping action occurs, and the tapered periphery of each of the capping heads 67 assuring proper pick-up of each lid. The nested lids drop downward by gravity as the lowermost lids are successfully stripped from the stack, and this action is assisted by the curvature of the stack rods 137 and the angular disposition of the base plate 136.

As previously mentioned, the lid dispenser arrangement includes means whereby lid dispensing will not occur in the event of interruption of the flow of receptacles 45 on the receptacle transport conveyor 14. The mechanism and arrangement for accomplishing this is such that, even -considering the Very high speed lid dispensing action, the absence of yonly one receptacle in the line of flow thereof will cause momentary and proper interruption of the lid dispensing action so that only that lid 45a as would otherwise be dispensed on to a capping head 67 for placement on the receptacle will not be dispensed from the lid dispenser 16.

Commensurate interruption of lid dispensing action upon interruption in the flow of receptacles is accomplished by the action of a solenoid :actuated switch 154 (FIGURES 5 :and 6) which is attached to one of the side plates 48 of the lid transport conveyor 15. Its actuation is responsive lto the normally outward biased position of a spring loaded, pivotally mounted receptaclesensing tinger 155 located in the path of the receptacles at the infeed end 14a of the receptacle transport conveyor 14, as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4. 'Actuation of solenoid switch 154, through an electrical contact (not shown) within the sensing finger mounting, causes upward pivotal movement of the lid lifter 140 to its lid hold-back position, as illustrated by dotted lines in FIGURE 5. In this, its closed position, the lid lifter lifts the stack of lids 45a so that the lowermost lid will not be engaged by a capping head 67 and, thus, not dispensed. That is, while the sensing finger 155 is being depressed by the presence of a receptacle 45 on the receptacle transport conveyor, the solenoid remains inactive, but when the sensing finger 155 is permitted by the absence of a receptacle to swing outwardly responsive to its spring bias, the solenoid is actuated to cause pivoting of the lid lifter to its lid hold-back position. In this connection, it should be noted that the length of the sensing iinger 155 is long enough so that it is contacted and kept depressed by the next successive, oncoming receptacle just prior to when the preceding receptacle will have moved out of engagement therewith. In this manner, the solenoid switch 154 is maintained inactive during a normal, uninterrupted flow of receptacles 45 along the receptacle transport conveyor 14, and will be actuated only in the event of interruption in the receptacle flow.

Referring to FIGURE 5, it will be seen that actuation of the solenoid switch 154 pulls the slidable link 150 in direction towards the infeed end 15a of the lid transport conveyor 15 and, by reason of the engagement of its bent portion a within the slot 149, this movement of the link 150 causes arcuate movement of the lifter fork 146 which, in turn, causes pivotal movement of the shaft 141 and its attached lid lifter 140, the latter moving to its lid holdback position. The slidable link 150 slides in a bracket 156 attached to the appropriate dispenser mount bracket 81. Flexible connection of link 150` to solenoid switch 154 is through a connection pin 157.

From FIGURE 1, it will be understood that the number of receptacle supports 46 and, hence, the number of receptacles 45 as are deposited on the receptacle transport conveyor 14 from the sensing finger 155 to the location where capping takes place is equal to the number of capping heads 67 and, hence, the number of lids 45a as extend from under the dispenser 16, and along the top and around the infeed end 15a of the lid transport con veyor 15, to the location where capping takes place. It becomes apparent that, in the absense of a receptacle 45 on any one of the receptacle supports 46, no lid is dispensed on to that capping head 67 which Will come into alignment with the empty receptacle support.

Before proceeding with a summary description of the loperation of the capping machine 10, reference should be made to the respective conligurations of each receptacle support 46 and of each capping head 67, as illustrated in FIGURES 8 and 9. These elements are particularly :adapted to engage the respective elements of the type of receptacle and lid, as illustrated in FIG- URE 7, which 4the preferred embodiment of the machine 10` is intended to service.

Referring to FIGURE 7, the receptacle 45 has usual tapered or frusto'conica-l shape and is made of either wax-coated paper or polystyrene or other plastic. It has a conventional beaded rim 45b and a recessed bottom 45e as illustrated. The lid 45a is of the plug type, its recessed top presenting a downwardly projecting bottom 45d which its snugly into the open top end of the receptacle 45. The lid further has a downwardly projecting peripheral flange 45e which, :as will more fully appear from the cross-sectional view of the lid shown in FIGURE 5, does not project downwardly to the extent as does the bottom 45d of the lid. The lid is made of impacted polystyrene, but may 'be made of other-plastics or of stiff paper, etc.

Referring t-o FIGURE 8, and also to FIGURE 10 for example, each receptacle support 46 is of steel or the like and has generally rectangular shape, both its length and width being less than the diameter of the receptacle recessed bottom 45e (FIGURE 7), and its height being substantially the same as that of the receptacle recessed bottom 45C. Its forward edge 46a is straight, and has chamfered corner portions 46b. However, both the forward edge 46a and the chamfered corner portions 46b are tapered inwardly, in downward direction, substantially in accordance with the taper presented by the peripheral interior surface of the receptacle recessed ybottom 45C.

Referring briey to FIGURES l and 3, it will be underst-ood that the chamfered corner portions 46b of the receptacle supports 46 promote centering, and accurate engagement of any receptacle 45 by the receptacle support, the narrower width and shorter length of the latter permitting the receptacle 45 to automatically adjust its seating position against the forward end of the receptacle support as it becomes engaged thereby at :the infeed end 14a of the receptacle transport conveyor. To assist proper seating of any receptacle 45 firmly against the forward end 46b, 46c of the receptacle support, a pair of parallel friction bars 158 (FIGURES 3 and 4) are mounted as shown at either side of the path of travel of receptacles 45, their spacing being such as to frictionally promote a slight drag on the receptacles 45 as they pass through the infeed spiral 13 and are received at their undersides by the receptacle supports 46 of the lid transport conveyor 14. Accurate positioning of each receptacle as it moves toward the capping station is thus assured.

Referring to FIGURE 9, and to either of FIGURES -or 10, it is seen that each capping head 67, of steel or the like, is disc-shaped. Its projecting lid receiving portion 67a has a tapered peripheral edge as shown, the taper being about eight degrees from the vertical, to eliminate interference `and to more accurately engage and disengage the recessed tops of the lids 45a. The height of the lid receiving portion 67a is substantially equal to the depth of recess at the top of each lid, and its widest diameter is substantially equal to that at the interior of the top recess of the lid. Thus, when re ceived and carried by the capping heads 67, the lids 45a are engaged with a minimum of lateral play being permitted. The pressure plate portion 67b of each capping head 67 is cutaway to provide a straight portion 67e` lalong each of its opposite side edges, as more clearly seen in FIGURE 6, these for the purpose of providing clearance for the respective of the pair of receptacle ystrippers 80 under the discharge end 15b of the lid transport conveyor 15. The receptacle strippers 80 may thereby contact, and disengage from any capping head 67, any capped receptacle which spuriously adheres to, or hangs up on the capping head when the latter is intended to be lifted therefrom after capping is completed. Further to assist this release action by relief of vacuum forces as might otherwise cause adhesion of `the capping head 67 to any lid 45a, each capping head 67 has a recessed underside 67d of its lid receiving portion 67a, and a central aperture 67e therethrough, as seen in FIGURE 9.

. Of course, each of the receptacle supports 46 and capping heads 67 has a pair of screw holes 46c and 67f, respectively, for attachment to their respective conveyors.

The operation of the high speed capping machine is probably apparent from the foregoing but, in summary, it is as follows:

After being filled with comestibles or the like, the uncapped receptacles -45 are introduced to the capping machine via the feeder conveyor 12, the receptacles then being ganged, or at random spacing on the feeder conveyor which feeds them into the rotating infeed spiral 13. The infeed spiral causes proper spacing between the receptacles as it feeds them in single file on to the receptacle transport conveyor 14. There, the receptacles are each received at its recessed bottom by one of the receptacle supports 46 of the lid transport conveyor, the friction bars 158 assuring firm placement of the receptacle against the leading or forward end of the receptacle support. As it is transferred on to the receptacle transport conveyor 14, the receptacle 45 either depresses, or maintains in depressed position, the receptacle sensing finger 155. As aforesaid, the depressing of sensing finger 155 causes the lid lifter 140 to be in its lid .dispensing position as shown by full lines in FIGURE 5.

The combined capping head and lid transport conveyor 15 is moving in unison with the receptacle transport conveyor 14, the position of its capping heads 67 having been properly aligned relative to that of the corresponding receptacle supports 46 by advancing or retarding fthe position of the capping heads by adjustment of pinion gear 128 of the uniform tension pulley system 117 through hand knob 133. Capping pressure is determined by the height of the lid transport conveyor 15 above receptacle transport conveyor 14, and adjustment thereof is made by rotating the handwheel 57. Overall machine speed is controlled by adjustment to the variable speed drive mechanism 106 through the handwheel 107.

The capping action is perhaps best understood by reference to FIGURE l0. The lids 45a are in upside down position, and in stacked condition within the lid dispenser 16. The recessed top of each lid presents at its forward end -a downwardly projecting shoulder in a position to be engaged lby the forward end of one of the capping heads 67. Thus, each capping -head 67 strips a lid from the dispenser as it passes thereunder, unless the receptacle sensing finger 155 (FIGURE 3) is not in its depressed position as aforesaid, in which event no lid will be dispensed by reason of the lid lifter 140 Ibeing in its lid hold-back position. The lids 45a are transported by the capping heads 67 in upside down position along the top of the lid -transport conveyor and thence are inverted to right-side-up position as they pass around sprocket 70 at the infeed end 15a of the conveyor, the lids being retained on the capping heads by the pair of lid guides 79 adjacent the sprocket 70.

As each lid 45a emerges from between lid guides 79 and sprocket 70 at the underside of the conveyor 15, it is given a definite degree of downward incline or pitch (at its forward end) by the cam bars 78 which, at this time, guide the upper, flat surfaces of the capping head pressure plate portions 67b by engagement. therewith. This definite degree of downward pitch by which the forward ends of lids 45a come into contact with the forward ends of the tops -of the receptacles 45 is such as to assure both proper positioning of the downwardly turned lid ange 45e over the bead 45b of each receptacle, and adequate expulsion of air from within the receptacle as the lid is fully positioned thereon. The air, which loccupies the space above the contained comestibles, is expelled to the rear of the receptacle as the lid is cammed thereon by the action of cam bars 78. It has been found that a satisfactory degree of such downward pitch, or incline is eight degrees, more or less.

Each cam bar 78 has a short horizontal length portion 78a central-ly of its overall length between its inclined end portions 7811V and 78C, the degree of incline and length of each of the latter being the same. Full capping pressure is applied as the capping heads travel the length of the horizontal length portion 7 8a, and it is there that each lid 45a is pressed firmly on to its associated receptacle.

By their engagement with the inclined length portion 78e` at t-he discharge end 15b of the conveyor, the capping heads 67 are cammed upwardly, and out of engagement with the lids 45a, now on receptacles 45, with which they were associated. As previously mentioned, the presence of receptacle strippers assure that such separation takes place. The now capped receptacles are carried out of the capping station and off of the machine at the discharge end 14b of t-he receptacle transport conveyor 14, where they are received on an accumulation table or conveyor or t-he like (not Shown) for further processing if necessary.

Thus has been described a high speed capping machine which achieves all of the objects of the invention.

What is claimed'is:

1. Apparatus for capping a lid on to.a receptacle comprising a receptacle transport conveyor of the continuous type and including means for determining the position thereon Q f a receptacle to be carried thereby, a lid transassaoas port conveyor of the continuous type and including means for determining the position thereon of a lid to be car- -ried thereby, said receptacle ytransport and lid transport conveyors being arranged in parallel 'spaced apart relation with respect to each other, and means for driving said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors at the same linear speed and in the same direction within the zone defined by said spacing between the conveyors, said respective positioning means o-f the conveyors being substantially in alignment with each other for receiving said receptacle therebetween when said respective positioning means are within the Zone defined by said spa-cing between the conveyors.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said receptacle transport conveyor is of the metal apron type, and said means thereof for determining the position thereon of a receptacle to be carried thereby comprises projecting means on the conveyor.

3. Apparatus according to claim l wherein said positioning means of the receptacle transport conveyor comprises a receptacle support plate attached to said conveyor, said receptacle support plate having height which is substantially equal to the height of a recessed bottom portion of said receptacle and, further, having length and width which is substantially less than those dimensions o-f said recessed bottom portion of the receptacle, said receptacle support plate hav-ing a forward end, with reference to its direction of movement with said conveyor, which is adapted to engage the surface of said recessed bottom portion of the receptacle substantially adjacent its forward end.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3 wherein said receptacle support plate further includes chamfered corner portions at its said forward end for engaging a circular shaped recessed bottoni portion of the said receptacle.

5. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein -said positioning means of the lid transport conveyor comprises a capping head plate attached to said conveyor, said plate including a lid receiving portion having height which is substantially equal to the height of a recessed top portion of said lid and lateral dimensions substantially equal to those of said recessed top portion of the lid, said plate further having a peripherally projecting pressure plate portion for applying capping pressure to the periphery of said lid.

6. Apparatus a-ccording to claim l which further comprises means for adjusting the distance of said spaced apart relation between said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors. v

7. A receptacle capping machine comprising a receptacle transport conveyor of the continuous type and including a plurality of spaced apart means therealong for determining respective positions thereon of a plurality of receptacles to be carried thereby, a lid transport conveyor of the continuous type and including a plurality of spaced apart means therealo-ng for determining respective positions thereon of a pluralityvof lids to be carried thereby, said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors being arranged in paralle-l spaced apart relation with respect to each other, means for driving said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors at the same linear speed and in the same direction within the Zone defined by said spacing between the conveyors, said respect-ive positioning means of the conveyors being substantially in alignment w-ith each other for receiving the respective of said receptacles therebetween when said respective positioning means are within the zone defined by said spacing between the conveyors, and a lid dispenser mounted adjacent said lid transport conveyor and being ada ted to contain said plurality of lids and to sequentially dispense the same into respective engagement with said plurality of spaced apart positioning means of the lid transport conveyor. v

d. A receptacle capping machine according to claim 7 wherein said lid dispenser is mounted substantially above said lid transport conveyor adjacent one end thereof, and said plurality of spaced apart positioning means of the lid transport conveyor comprises a plurality of capping head plates attached to said conveyor, each said capping head plate being adapted to engage a shoulder portion of each said lid, whereby as each of said capping head plates moves around said one end of the lid transport conveyor it engages said shoulder portion of a lid and strips the lid out of said lid dispenser.

9. A receptacle capping machine according to claim 8 wherein said l-id dispenser includes a gate for supporting said lids within the dispenser, and lmeans for positioning said gate in a lid dispensing position thereof wherein, when each said lid is about to be dispensed, it is angulated downwardly at its forward end, with respect to the direction of movement of said lid transport conveyor thereunder.

iii. A receptacle capping machine comprising a receptacle transport .conveyor of the continuous type and including a plurality of spaced apart means therealong for determining respective positions thereon of a plurality of receptacles to be carried thereby, a lid transport conveyor of .the continuous type and includ-ing a plurality of spaced apart means ltherealong for determining respective posi? tions .thereon of a piuraiity of lids to be carried thereby, said receptacle transport and lid transp-ort conveyors being arranged in parallel spaced apart relation with respect to each other, means for ldriving said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors at the same linear speed and in :the same direction wit-hin the zione defined by said spacing between the conveyors, said respective positioning .means of the conveyors being substantially in alignment with each other for receiving the respective of said receptacles therebetween when said respective positioning means are within the zone defined by said spacing between the conveyors, a lid dispenser mounted adjacent said lid tran-sport conveyor and being adapted to contain said plunality of lids and to sequentially dispense the same into respective engagement with said plurality of spaced apart positioning means of the lid transp-ort conveyor, said lid ,dispenser including control means for controlling the dispensing of each. of said plurality of lids, receptacle sensing means of said receptacle transport conveyor for sensing the presence thereon of each of said plurality of receptacles, and lmeans between said receptacle sensing means and said lid dispenser control means for actuating the latter responsive to actuation of the former.

1l. A receptacle capping machine according to claim i@ wherein said receptacle transport conveyor has length greater than that of said lid transport conveyor, and said lid tnansport conveyor has an ineed en-d which is longitudinally spaced from the location of sai-d receptacle sensing means along the Ilength of said receptacle transport conveyor whereby the number of said plurality of spaced apart positioning means of lthe lid transport conveyor which is disposed between said lid dispenser control means and a location within said spacing between said receptacle `transport and iid transport conveyors is equal to the nurnber of said plurality of spaced .apart positioning means of the receptacle transport conveyor which is disposed between said location of the receptacle sensing means and said location within said spacing.

i2.. A receptacle capping machine according to claim li wherein said receptacle transp-ort conveyor has an infeed end and a discharge end, said receptacle sensing means being located adjacent said infeed end of the receptacle transport conveyor, and said iid transport conveyor has a disch-arge end adjacent said dis-charge end of the receptacle transport conveyor.

i3. A receptacle capping machine according to claim l@ wherein said receptacle sensing means comprises a finger element normally biased int-o the path of said plurality of receptacles, and said lid dispenser control means i9 comprises gate means movable between a lid hold-back position thereof wherein it lifts and holds said plurality of lids within the dispenser and a lid dispensing position thereof wherein it releases said lids for deposit on said lid transport conveyor, and said means between said receptacle sensing means and said lid dispenser contr-ol means comprises a solenoid switch connected to said gate means for moving the same from one of its said positions to the other.

14. Apparatus for capping a lid on to a receptacle, said apparatus comprising a receptacle transport conveyor of the continuous type and including fiight means for determining the position on said receptacle transport conveyor of a receptacle to be carried thereby, a lid transport conveyor of the continuous type and including means for determining the position thereon of a lid to be carried thereby, said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors being arranged in parallel spaced apart relation with respect to each other, means for driving said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors at the salme linear speed and in the same direction within the zone defined by said spacing between the conveyors, said lig-ht means of the receptacle transport conveyor and said positioning means of the `lid transport conveyor being substantially in alignment with each other for receiving said receptacle therebetween when said respective positioning means are within the zone defined by said spacing, and infeed conveyor means for depositing said receptacle on said receptacle transport conveyor whereby said flight means of the latter engages said receptacle.

15. Apparatus according to claim 14 wherein said infeed conveyor means comprises a rotatable infeed spiral having a spiral portion adapted to receive and convey said receptacle on to said receptacle transport conveyor at one end of the latter, said spiral portion being oriented to move said receptacle on to said receptacle transport conveyor only when said flight means of the latter is in position to engage said receptacle.

16. Apparatus according to claim 15 wherein said infeed conveyor means further comprises a pair of substantially parallel friction bars, each of said bars being disposed on opposite sides of said receptacle transport conveyor for respectively and simultaneously engaging the opposite sides of said .receptacle .to induce a drag on the movement of said receptacle when deposited on said receptacle tran-sport conveyor by said infeed spira-l, whereby said ight means of the receptacle transport conveyor will firmly engage said receptab-le.

, 17. Apparatus according to claim 15 wherein said infeed conveyor means further includes a receptacle feeder conveyor of a continuous type disposed in tandem alignment with said receptacle transport conveyor at said one end of the latter, and drive means for said feeder conveyor adapted .to drive the same at a linear speed which is at least equal to that of said receptacle transport conveyor, said `infeed spiral extending between said` feeder conveyor .and said receptacle transport conveyor whereby said infeed spiral engages said receptacle while the latter is on said feeder conveyor.

18. Apparatus for capping a lid on to a receptacle comprising a receptacle transport conveyor of the continuous type and including means for determining the position thereon of a receptacle to be carried thereby, a lid transport conveyor yof the continuous type and including means for determining the position thereon of a lid to be carried thereby, said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors being arranged in parallel spaced apart relation with respect to each other, and means for driving said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors at the same linear speed yand in the same direction within the zone defined by said spacing between the conveyors, said respective positioning means of the conveyors being substantially in alignment with each other for receiving said receptacle therebetween when said respective positioning means are within the zone delined by said spacing between the conveyors, and means at the underside of said lid transport conveyor for maintaining a downward pitch of its said lid positioning means as the lid positioning means moves into said spacing between the conveyors, whereby initial capping engagement between said lid and said receptacle is made at the forward end of each, with respect to the direction of their movement within said spacing between the conveyors.

19. Apparatus according 'to claim 1S wherein said means at the underside of said lid transport conveyor is adapted to provide a pitch angle of initial engagement between said lid and said receptacle of substantially eight degrees.

20. Apparatus according to claim 18 wherein said lid transport conveyor comprises a continuous chain, and said lid positioning means of the lid transport ccnveyor comprises `a capping head plate attached to said chain, and said means at the underside of said lid transport conveyor comprises a pair of parallel cam bars for respectively supporting the opposite sides of said capping head plate.

21. Apparatus according to claim 18 wherein said means at the underside of said lid transport conveyor comprises cam bar means attached to the conveyor in supporting relation with respect to said lid positioning means thereof, said cam bar means having a downwardly pitched portion for determining said initial capping engagement between said lid and said receptacle and further having a straight length portion in tandem with said downwardly pitched portion, said straight length portion being disposed to provide capping pressure normal to said lid when said lid and said receptacle are moved into adjacency therewith. l l

22. Apparatus according -to claim 21 wherein said cam bar means further has an upwardly pitched portion in tandem with its said straight length portion at that end of the latter which is opposite said downwardly pitched portion.

23. Apparatus according to claim 22 wherein said downwardly pitched portion and said upwardly pitched portion of the cam bar means are inclined at respectively equal angles with respect to said straight length portion.

24. A receptacle capping machine comprising a receptacle transport conveyor of the continuous type and including a plurality of equally spaced apart receptacle supports therealong for determining respective positions thereon of a plurality of receptacles to be carried thereby, a lid transport conveyor of the continuous type and including a plurality of equally spaced apart capping heads therealong for determining respective positions thereon of a plurality of lids to be carried thereby, said equal spacing between said receptacle supports and said equal spacing between said capping heads being equal to each other, said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors being arranged in parallel spaced apart relation with respect to each other to thereby provide a capping station of said machine therebetween, means for driving said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors at that same linear speed and in the same direction within the zone of said capping station, respective of said receptacle supportsbeing substantially in alignment with respective of said capping heads for receiving the respective of said receptacles therebetween when said respective receptacle supports and capping heads are within said capping station, and means at the underside of said lid transport conveyor for maintaining a downward pitch of each of its said capping heads as the capping heads move into said capping station, whereby initial capping engagement between a lid carried by one of said capping heads and a receptacle carried by that receptacle support which is associated with the capping head is made at the forward end of each with respect to the direction of their movement within said cappingstation, the length of said capping station being equal to at least twice the 2l distance of said equal spacing between said capping heads of the lid transport conveyor.

25. A receptacle capping machine according to claim 2d wherein said length of the capping station is substantially equal to three times said distance of equal spacing between said capping heads.

26. Apparatus for capping a lid on to a receptacle comprising a `receptacle transport conveyor including means for determining the position thereon of a receptacle to be carried thereby, a lid transport conveyor of the continuous type and including an attached capping head plate for determining the position on said lid transport conveyor of a lid to be carried thereby, said receptacle transport and lid transport lconveyors beind disposed horizontally and arranged in parallel spaced apart relation with respect to each other, means for driving said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors at the same linear speed and in the same direction within the zone deiined by said spacing between the conveyors, said positioning means of the receptacle transport conveyor and said capping head plate of the lid transport conveyor being substantially in alignment with each other for receiving said receptacle therebetween when said positioning Imeans and capping head pla-te are within the zone defined by said spacing between the conveyors, and a lid dispenser mounted substantially above said lid transport conveyor adjacent one endthereof, said capping head plate having a forwardly facing'end surface, with respect to its direction of movement, for en- .gaging a forwardly facing shoulder portion of said lid,

said capping head plate end surface being raked inwardly of the plate at an angle with respect to a normal projection of the conveyor, and said lid transport conveyor including cam bar means at its underside, said cam bar means having a portion disposed at an angle to the horizontal, which is substantially equal to said rake angle of the capping head plate, for maintaining a downward pitch of said capping head plate as the latter moves into said spacing between the conveyors whereby initial capping engagement between said lid and said receptacle is made at the forward end of each, with respect to the direction of their movements within said spacing between the conveyors, and said lid dispenser including means adapted to hold said lid in a position whereby as said capping head plate moves around said one end of the lid transport conveyor its said forwardly facing end surface engages said shoulder portion of the lid and strips the lid out of said lid dispenser, said lid dispenser being disposed with respect to said lid transport convey-or whereby the relative angle .at which said capping head plate initially engages said lid is also substantially equal to said angle of rake of said forwardly facing end surface of the capping head.

27. Apparatus according to claim 2e wherein said cam bar means further has a second portion which is disposed at an angle lto the horizontal for inducing an upward pitch of said capping head plate to move the latter out of engagment with a rearwardly facing shoulder portion of said lid, and said capping head plate further has a rearwardly facing end surface, with respect to its direction of movement, said rearwardly facing end surface of the capping head plate being raked inwardly of the plate at an angle with respect to a normal projection of the conveyor, the said angle of disposition of said second portion of the cam bar means being substantially equal to said rake angle of said rearwardly facing end surface of the capping head plate.

28. Apparatus according to claim 27 wherein said rake angle of said rearwardly facing end surface of the capping head plate is equal to said rake angle -of said forwardly facing end surface thereof.

29. Apparatus for capping a lid on to a receptacle comprising a receptacle transport conveyor including means for determining the position thereon of a receptacle to be carried thereby, a lid transport conveyor of the continuous type including an attached capping head disc for determining the position on said lid transport conveyor of a lid to be carried thereby, said capping head disc including a peripherally projecting pressure plate portion for applying capping pressure to the periphery of said lid, said pressure plate portion being cut away to provide respective and longitudinally extending straight portions at each of its opposite sides, said receptacle and lid transport conveyors being disposed horizontally and arranged in parallel spaced apart relation with respect to each other, meansfor driving said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors at the same linear speed and in the same direction within the zone defined by said spacing between the conveyors, said positioning means of the receptacle transport conveyor and said capping head disc of the lid transport conveyor being substantially in alignment with each other for receiv ing said receptacle therebetween when said positioning means and capping head disc are within the zone defined by said spacing between the conveyors, said lid transport conveyor including a conveyor track portion at its underside including an upwardly pitched portion thereof, and a pair of longitudinally extending stripper bars adjacent said upwardly pitched portion and, respectively, -on opposite sides of said lid transport conveyor, said stripper bars being arranged such that said straight portions of said capping head disc pass closely adjacent the respective of said stripper bars during the course of movement of said capping head, whereby said stripper bars disengage `a capped receptacle from said capping head disc.

30. Apparatus for capping a lid on to a receptacle comprising a receptacle transport conveyor of the continuous type and including means for determining the position thereon of a receptacle to be carried thereby, a lid transport conveyor of the continuous type and including means for determining the position'thereon of a lid to be carried thereby, said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors being arranged in parallel spaced apart relation with respect to each other, means for driving said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors at the same linear speed and in the same direction within the zone defined by said spacing between the conveyors, and means for adjusting, in the direction of their travel, the alignment of said respective positioning means with respect to each other.

31. Apparatus according to claim 30 wherein said means for driving said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors comprises drive shaft pulley means of eac-h of said convey-ors and belt means engaging both of said conveyor drive shaft pulley means whereby the driving of one drives the other, and wherein said means for adjusting the alignment of said respective positioning means comprises arcuate positioning means for arcuately displacing the location, along the periphery of said one drive shaft pulley means, of driving engagement with said belt means with respect to a reference location, along the periphery of the other of said drive shaft pulley means, of driving engagement with said belt means.

32. Apparatus according to claim 31 wherein said arcuate displacement means comprises idler pulley means disposed at a distance from said one drive shaft pulley means and engaging said belt means at a location along its length extending from one side of said drive shaft pulley means, and means for adjusting said distance between said idler pulley means and said one drive shaft pulley means.

33. Apparatus according to claim 32 wherein said arcuate positioning means further comprises a second idler pulley means disposed at a distance from said one drive shaft pulley means and engaging said belt means at a location along its length extending from the opposite side :of said drive shaft pulley means, and compensating means for adjusting said distance between said second idler pulley means and said drive shaft pulley means to compensate, in respect of said length of the belt means extending from said opposite side of the drive shaft pulley means, for said adjusting of said distance between the first said idler pulley means and said drive shaft pulley means.

34. Apparatus according to claim 33 wherein said compensating means comprises a pulley system including rope means having a fixed end and a movable end, said rope means engaging said second idler pulley means.

35. Apparatus according to claim 33 wherein said -belt means is threaded over said one of the drive shaft pulley means, thence under the first said idler pulley means, thence over the second of said drive shaft pulley means, and thence under said second idler pulley means.

36. Apparatus for capping -a lid on to a receptacle comprising a receptacle transport conveyor of the continuous type and including means for determining the position thereon of a yreceptacle to be carried thereby, a `lid transport conveyor of tihe continuous type and including means for determining the position thereon of a lid to be :carried thereby, said receptacle and 1li-d transport conveyors being arranged in parallel spaced apart relation with respect to each other, means for adjusting said spacing between the conveyors, drive means common to both said receptacle transport and lid transport conveyors, said drive means being adapted for driving said receptacle transport land lid transport conveyors at the same linear speed and in the same direction within the zone -dened by said spacing between the conveyors,

sard drive means comprising drive shaft pulley means of each of said conveyors and belt means engaging both of said conveyor drive shaft pulley means whereby the driving of one drives the other, and means for adjusting, in the direction of their travel, the alignment of said respective positioning means with respect to each other.

37. Apparatus according to claim 36 wherein said means for adjusting the -alignment of said respective positioning means includes a constant tension pulley system of said -drive means for maintaining substantially constant the belt ltension of said belt means during adjustment of said means for adjusting said spacing between the conveyors.

38. Apparatus according =to claim 36 wherein said means for adjusting said spacing between the conveyors comprises rail mea-ns lattached to one of said conveyors, said `rail means being movably connected to the other of said conveyors, and means for displacing the position of said rail means with .respect to said other conveyor, and wherein said means for adjusting the alignment of said respective positioning means comprises a first arm mounted at one of its ends for pivotal movement on said other of the conveyors, a rst idler pulley means mounted on said first arm, means mounted on said rail means and connected to said first arm for pivoting the latter, a second arm mounted at one of its ends for pivotal movement on said other of the conveyors, a second idler pulley means mounted on said second arm, said belt means engaging both said idler pulley means, and constant tension means engaging said second arm for maintaining, via said second idler pulley means, substantially constant the belt tension of said vbelt means during adjustment of said means lfor adjusting said spacing between the conveyors `and said means for adjusting the alignment of said respective positioning means.

39. Apparatus yaccording to claim 38 wherein said means mounted on said rail means and connected to said first arm comprises rotatable means mounted on said rail means, and a link pivotally connected at one of its ends to said -rotatable means at a radial location thereon and pivotally connected at its opposite end to said second arm, said means for adjusting the alignment of said respective positioning means further comprising means for rotating said rotatable means, land wherein said constant tension means comprises Irope means engaging said second arm, said rope means having a fixed end and a movable end,

said movable end of the rope means being attached to said lrotatable means at another radial location thereon which is on that side of the axis of rotation of said rotatable means which `is opposite the first said radial location thereon.

40. In apparatus which includes two conveyors each of the continuous type and arranged in parallel spaced apart relation with respect to each other an'd each having a drive pulley, the improvement comprising drive belt means engaging both of said conveyor drive pulleys whereby the driving of one of the drive pulleys drives the other at the same linear speed and in the same direction Within the zone Vdefined by said spacing between the conveyors, and means yfor vladjusting7 the alignment, in the direction of its travel, of a selected location along the travelling length of one of said conveyors with respect to a selected reference location along the travelling length of the other of said conveyors while substantially maintaining said :linear speed relationship between said conveyors, said alignment adjustment means Vcomprising a first arm mounted at one of its ends for pivotal movement on said other of the conveyors, ya first idler pulley means mounted on said first arm, adjustable means mounted on said other of the conveyors `and connected to said first arm for pivoting the latter, a second arm mounted at one of its ends -for pivotal movement on said other of the conveyors, a second idler pulley means mounted on said second arm, said belt means being threaded over said drive pulley of said one of the conveyors, thence under said rst idler .pullley means, thence over said drive pulley of said other of the conveyors, land thence under said second idler pulley means, and constant tension means comprising rope means having a fixed end land a movable end, said rope means slidably engaging said second arm and said movable end of the rope means being connected to said 'adjustable means for movement therewith, whereby said rope means promotes pivotal movement of said second arm commensurate with the extent of pivotal movement of said first arm to maintain substantially constant .the belt tension during adjustment of said adjust-able means.

No references cited.

GRANVILLE Y. CUSTER, JR., Primary Examiner.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/304, 53/299, 53/367, 53/67, 53/282
International ClassificationB65B7/28
Cooperative ClassificationB65B7/2807
European ClassificationB65B7/28B