Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3289867 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 6, 1966
Filing dateJul 8, 1965
Priority dateJul 8, 1965
Publication numberUS 3289867 A, US 3289867A, US-A-3289867, US3289867 A, US3289867A
InventorsBurke Kenneth O
Original AssigneeOwens Illinois Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Case unloader
US 3289867 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

K. O. BURKE CASE UNLOADER Dec. 6, 1966 f 1 ml-v m W .w m IIYLI, w m w. mn.u ,0, 3. M l@ M 4. m W w m NiMh/M W@ TU .0. SUS. .0.

Filed July 8, 1965 Dec. 6, 1966 K. o. BURKE 3,289,867

CASE UNLOADER Filed July 8, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Om N \&\1 N

Dec. 6, 1966 K. o. BURKE 3,289,867

CASE UNLOADER Filed July 8, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. ,Kf//fff/ aa/5 BY a 4 Mu K. O. BURKE CASE UNLOADER Dec. 6, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 8, 1965 INVENTOR.

Kw1/f7# a ae/ BY j. H dw wf rmgAJ-f K. o. BURKE CASE UNLODER Dec. 6, 1966 5 sheets-swf@JL 5 Filed July 8 1965 m wm x W0. wf )m 4 r f Y M W f\ s mm1 No wn:

3,289,867 CASE UNLADER Kenneth 0. Burke, San Leandro, Calif., assigner to @Wens-lilinois lne., a corporation of Ohio Filed .idly 8, 1965, Ser. No. 470,529 7 Claims. (Cl. 21d-309) My invention relates to case unloaders and has for an important object the provision of novel mechanical means for removing bottles from cell-type or other cases, without interrupting the normal advancing travel of the cases along a conveyor and depositing the uncased bottles upright upon a conveyor which may transport the bottles to any preselected point, for washing, lling, etc.

A further important object of my invention is the provision of novel mechanism facilitating rapid easy adjustment of the uncaser, as may be required from time to time, because of differences in the diameter and/ or height of the bottles being handled. lt should `be readily recognized that job change time is a most important factor and in the absence of some simple reliable means for adjusting an uncaser to accommodate bottles of various height and/or diameter, it would be imperative to provide one or more standby machines, each designed to handle a specic size of bottle. That, of course, would be a most uneconomical practice. My invention, however, completely avoids the need for any such standby machines and permits ready adjustment of the machine, as required, in a matter of minutes, and, if need be, without shutting7 down the operation.

f tes Patent O It is also an object of my invention to provide a plurality of pairs of cooperating, endless, bottle neck gripping belts which grasp between them the necks of advancing bottles, while still cased, such belts being inclined in the direction of their length and functioning to elevate bottles from advancing cases, there being novel effective means for quickly adjusting the belts as variations in the bottle dimensions may dictate.

A still further object of my invention is the provision of novel means for adjusting the spacing between adjacent pairs of bottle grasping belts or bands, as may be required, by either or both the spacing apart of the longitudinal rows of bottles in the cases, or, perhaps, variations in the height of the bottles.

Finally, it is an important object of my invention to provide simple, effective means for insuring complete separation of the bottles from the cases and placement of the bottles upright in parallel longitudinal rows upon a continuously moving horizontal conveyor, while depositing the empty cases upon an inclined conveyor for delivery to a preselected station.

Other objects will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

Ln the accompanying drawings for-ming a part of my application:

FIG. l is a Side elevational View of a bottle case unloader embodying my invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view thereof;

FIG. 3 is a sectional elevational View taken substantially along the plane of line 3 3 of FG, l;

FIG. 4 is a sectional elevational view taken substantially along the plane of line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4-A is a plan view showing particularly the flared ends of one of the bottle grasping belt guides; and

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational view, partly in section, taken substantially along the plane of line 5 5 of FIG. 3.

In the illustrated embodiment of my case unloader, it is positioned between and in part above the discharge end of a horizontal roller-type conveyor 1li, having an inclined empty case chute section 11, or extension, and a 3,289,867 Patented Dec. 6, 1966 ice horizontal endless belt conveyor 12 whose receiving end may well be directly above a portion of the inclined chute section 11. As shown, the belt conveyor 12 is at a somewhat higher elevation than the roller-type conveyor 1t), for reasons which will be evident. Cases 13 of upright bottles 14, positioned in conventional cells created by dividers 15 or partitions, are advanced in succession along the roller-type conveyor 10 until they reach the uncaser 16. Here the bottles are, or may be, shifted laterally, if necessary, to pre-position them for entry into the uncaser proper. Thereupon, with continued advance of a case 13, the longitudinal rows of bottles 1d are lifted out of their .case cells successively and advance along an inclined path while other means positively strips the cases from the bottles so that these cases fall Iby gravity onto the previously mentioned chute section 11. These bottles 14- then are deposited upright upon the belt conveyor 12. Because of job changes, from time to time, necessitated for the reasons explained above, lmy uncaser 16 incorporates simple means for changing both the elevation of the uncaser and the lateral spacing apart of the bottle lifting means, all without interrupting operation of the machine, if that is important, or desirable, but in any event, in a matter of a few minutes time. Thus the down time of the uncaser for the purposes of adjustment is held to an absolute minimum.

The uncaser 1d is mounted upon an inclined supporting fra-me 17, comprising upright corner posts 18 and longitudinal connector rails 19. Well above t-hese rails 19 are the major uncaser elements, such being mounted upon a vertically adjustable inclined carrier frame 20, which comprises (FlGS. 1 and 2) a pair of parallel spaced apart side bars 21, interconnected at intervals by transverse bars 22, or angle irons, certain of which perfonm other functions, as will be evident presently. Vertical adjustment of this frame is Obtained by means of racks 23, one at each corner of the frame 2i?, these racks meshing with pinions 24. These pinions are arranged in pairs at each end of the frame 2t?, there lbeing a transverse horizontal shaft 25 carrying each such pair of pinions. At one side of the frame 2h each horizontal shaft 25 is extended a short distance and carries a worm gear 26 meshing with and drivable by a worm (not shown), the latter mounted upon the ends of a longitudinal shaft 27 eX- tending alongside the frame 2t) and journaled in bearings 28. Rotation of this shaft 27 to raise or lower the frame through the rack and pinion devices, is obtained by means of a -hand crank 29 and sprockets 3@ over which a powertransmitting chain 31 is trained, one of the sprockets 3l! being mounted upon the shaft 27. Thus, with rotation of the crank 29, the entire uncaser frame and elements carried thereby and to be described presently, may be raised or lowered, with ease, to accommodate bottles of different height.

Preparatory to actual physical engagement with the uncasing elements, it is imperative that the bottles 14 be positioned accurately, if they are not already so arranged, for entry between endless, flexible, neck-grasping belts or bands, as will be apparent presently. For this purpose (FIGS. l and 2) a transverse series of parallel spaced apart horizontal deector guide lingers 32 extend lengthwise over the roller conveyor 10 at the entrance to the uncaser. Each of these fingers (FIGS. 1 and 2) is mounted for independent transverse adjustment by reason of its being suspended from a pair of horizontal, spaced-apart parallel cross-lbars 33. To this end, each iinger or guide 32 may well be suspended from the crossbars 33 by a screw 34 extending downwardly between the Ibars 33 throug-h a washer 35 and collar 36, with its lower end screw-threaded into the corresponding guide finger 32. Thus the guide fingers 32 may quite easily be adjusted, so that if necessary, the longitudinal rows of bottles, while still in their cases, and moving to the uncaser, will be shifted laterally slightly, to insure entry of their necks into the spaces between the pairs of bottle grasping and elevating belts or bands 37, these being the devices which remove the Ibottles from the cases and transfer them to upright positions upon the belt conveyor 12.

The uncaser itself comprises the transverse series of spaced apart pairs of endless flexible belts 37, or bands, 'with each pair of belts being trained over a pair of pulleys 38 at the entrance or righthand end of the uncaser (FIG. 2) and .a pair of pulleys 39 at the discharge end. Each pair of pulleys 38 at the entrance end is mounted on a short stub shaft 40, these pulleys being spaced apart on the shaft by collars 41. At the opposite or discharge end, the pulleys 39 also are arranged in pairs on a common transverse horizontal shaft 42, one end of which supports a driven sprocket 43, or pulley. Power is transmitted to this sprocket 43 from a motor M through a speed reduction gear unit 44 anda pulley 45, there being a belt 46, or chain, trained over the sprocket 43, or pulley and the pulley 45. Thus, the several bottle grasping belts 37 are driven.

In order to bring each pair of belts 37 or bands into firm holding engagement with diametrically opposed sides of the bottle necks, their lower working reaches are confined in inverted generally U-shaped or channel guides 47, extending lengthwise of the uncaser and having bottom lianges 48 to slidingly support the belts 37. These guides 47 have their inlet and discharge ends flared (FIG. 4A) to facilitate grasping and release of the bottles, as is obvious.

Independent adjustment of each of the pairs of pulleys 38 at the entrance end of the uncaser, to align a pair of belts 37 with the center of a row of incoming bottles 14, is obtained by mechanism substantially as will now be described. Four longitudinal, inclined belt guide supporting arms 49, or bars, are connected at intervals by screws 50 and spacer pads 51, to the upper side of the channel guides 47 for the belts 37. These arms 49 at the end nearest the belt conveyor 12 (FIG. 2) are pivoted to vertical pins 2 carried by one of the cross-bars 22. This pivot point is iixed so that uncased bottles 14 will be placed upright in longitudinal rows spaced apart transversely of the belt conveyor, irrespective of the bottle diameter. The other end of each arm 49, however, is connected to one of .the collars 41 or spacers between a pair of the pulleys 38 or sheaves. Each such pair of pulleys 38 is independently shiftable laterally or axially, so as to be properly positioned to permit ready entry of the bottle necks between the pairs of grasping belts 37. The precise positioning of the pairs of pulleys is determined by the setting of the guide fingers 32 just above the cases 13 and they are shiftable in pairs.

To this end the two outermost pendent fingers 53 (FIGS. 3 and 4) have collars 54 screw-threaded upon a horizontal transverse adjusting rod 55, which is journaled in bearings 56 on the frame 21. The lower end of these lingers carry a pair of pins 57 which straddle the outermost arms 49. By rotating the hand crank 58 on one end of the rod 55, the pendent fingers 53 and therefore the corresponding arms 49, may be shifted horizontally as desired and thereby determine the precise position of the inlet end of the bottle grasping belts. The center pair of arms are similarly, but separately or independently adjustable and to this end a second threaded adjusting rod 59 (FIG. 2) is mounted in bearings 60. Pendent lingers 61 having collars 62 threaded on the rod 59 are provided with pins 63 straddling the arms 49. Thus, with rotation of the second adjusting screw rod 59, the innermost pair of arms and supported belt guides 47, can be adjusted as desired. A hand-crank 64 is operable to rotate the rod 59. It will be observed that the four 4 arms 49 or bars extend through suitable guides 65 beneath one of the cross-bars 22.

To insure complete separation, or stripping, of the cases 13 from the bottles above the inclined chute section, a pair of horizontal stripper rods 66 (FIGS. l, 3, and 4) suspended from vertically adjustable arms 67 carried by the uncaser frame, extend longitudinally of the uncaser at an elevation to overlie the cases and to extend between rows of bottles 14 being removed from the cases. Thus, as the cases advance and the bottles are elevated, the stripper rods, as is evident, prevent the cases from rising with the bottles being elevated. Consequently, the cases fall onto the inclined chute section 11.

Operation of the uncaser and the importance of and procedure involved in adjusting the positions of the bottle grasping belts are believed to be abundantly clear and fully explained in the above descriptive matter.

Modications may be resorted to within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In a case unloader for removing upright bottles arranged in parallel rows in a case with neck portions protruding above the case, the combination of a horizontal conveyor for bringing bottle containing cases to the unloader, an inclined chute extension of said conveyor beneath the unloader, a horizontal conveyor beyond the unloader upon which the latter places uncased bottles upright in longitudinal rows, driven endless pairs of bottle neck grasping belts having working reaches moving along inclined paths to elevate bottles from the case, striping means for positively separating the case from the bottles being elevated and causing the case to be deposited by gravity upon said inclined chute extension, an elongated inclined armvsupporting each pair of said belts, each arm pivoted near its upper end for lateral movement about such pivot relative to the conveyor, and means at the lower end of the arms for supporting and moving them on their pivots thereby to vary the lateral spaced relationship of their lower ends.

2. In an unloader as defined in claim 1, the endless belts being arranged as a plurality of pairs of cooperating belts lying in a common inclined plane.

3. In an unloader for removing upright bottles arranged in parallel rows in a case with neck portions protruding above the case, bottle elevating means comprising an elongated inclined frame, a plurality of side by side pairs of endless flexible neck grasping belts extending lengthwise of the frame in a common inclined plane, each pair of belts having lower working reaches for bottle neck engagement, an elongated inverted channellike guide housingthe working reaches of a pair of the belts, a supporting arm for each guide extending lengthwise of and secured to the latter, means pivoting an end ot each arm to the upper end of the frame for movement laterally of said frame, a plurality of upper pairs of pulleys on a horizontal axis near the pivots and over each pair of which pulleys two of the bottle grasping belts are trained, a plurality of lower pairs of pulleys on a common horizontal axis at the lower end of the frame 'and over which said belts are trained, means for moving the arms' on their pivots and thereby adjusting the relative positions of the lower pairs of pulleys across the frame to align pairs of the grasping belts with rows of bottles in the cases, and means for positively driving the upper pairs of pulleys.

4. In an unloader as defined in claim 3, there being stripping means for holding the cases against elevation with the bottles being unloaded.

5. In an unloader as defined in claim 3, the means for moving the arms comprising a pendent finger engaging each arm near the lower pulleys and manually operable means for shifting the lingers in a direction generally across the frame.

6. In an unloader as defined in claim 3, the means for moving the arms comprising a pendent finger engaging each arm near the lower pulleys, a threaded adjusting rod extending transversely of the frame above said ngers, collars threaded on the rod and connected to the pendent ngers, and means for rotating the rod.

7. In an unloader as defined in `claim 3, the means for moving the arms comprising a pendent nger engaging each arm, there being one pair of such fingers spaced longitudinally of the frame from another like pair of fingers, a horizontal transverse threaded adjusting rod for each pair of ngers, collars threaded on the rods and connected to the fingers, and means for rotating the rods.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Copping 214-309 Davis 214-309 Thurman 214-309 X Craig 198-34 X HUGO O. SCHULZ, Primary Examiner,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2696927 *Mar 29, 1949Dec 14, 1954Atkron IncBottle crate unloading machine
US2758731 *Nov 15, 1952Aug 14, 1956Allan C DavisCase unloader
US2783869 *Oct 28, 1954Mar 5, 1957Thurman Amos LConveyor for bottle case unloader
US2951574 *Apr 29, 1959Sep 6, 1960Machinery Service CompanyPath adjusting means for conveyors
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3570693 *Apr 18, 1969Mar 16, 1971Industrial Automation CorpCase unloading machine
US3732969 *Dec 14, 1970May 15, 1973Formost Packaging Machines IncArticle group-segregating mechanism
US4077826 *Jun 23, 1975Mar 7, 1978Gerber Products CompanyApparatus for handling glass jars
US4142643 *Aug 8, 1977Mar 6, 1979Hamrick Manufacturing & Service, Inc.Bottle case unloader
US4147265 *Feb 21, 1978Apr 3, 1979A-T-O, Inc.Adjustable apparatus for case loading and unloading
US4173508 *Jan 30, 1978Nov 6, 1979Gerber Products CompanyApparatus for handling glass jars
US4709802 *Jan 25, 1984Dec 1, 1987I&H Conveying & Machine CompanyMass product handling ring system
US4802571 *Apr 25, 1986Feb 7, 1989Seitz Enzinger Noll Maschinenbau AktiengesellschaftApparatus for conveying suspended bottles
US4880104 *Oct 5, 1987Nov 14, 1989Kraft, Inc.Lane adjusting apparatus for bottle guides
US4986056 *Mar 1, 1990Jan 22, 1991Kraft, Inc.Lane adjusting apparatus for bottle guides
US5553698 *Dec 28, 1994Sep 10, 1996J And J Container Handling SystemsConveyor belt apparatus for bottles
US5853080 *Sep 9, 1996Dec 29, 1998J&J Container Handling Systems, Inc.Conveyor belt apparatus for bottles
US6209707 *May 25, 1999Apr 3, 2001Ronchipack S.R.L.Apparatus for adjusting the relative position of side-walls for guiding containers in machines for forming arrays of said containers
US6279729Oct 15, 1999Aug 28, 2001Goldco Industries, Inc.Article conveyance having mechanical drive
US6382399Aug 13, 2001May 7, 2002Goldco Industries, Inc.Article conveyance having mechanical drive
US6488193Feb 18, 1998Dec 3, 2002The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.Guide conveyor having a laterally adjustable deflector roller at the end
US8205740 *Dec 6, 2007Jun 26, 2012Krones AgPneumatic conveyor for containers
US20080149465 *Dec 6, 2007Jun 26, 2008Krones AgPneumatic conveyor for containers
USRE32337 *May 3, 1985Jan 27, 1987Yamakyu Automatics Co., Ltd.System for conveying conical articles
DE3002099A1 *Jan 22, 1980Aug 20, 1981Bindler Maschf Gebr Gmbh Co KgVorrichtung zum veraendern des abstandes von in einer reihe angeordneten artikeln, insbesondere von einzulegenden oder zu verpackenden suesswarenartikeln
DE3515353A1 *Apr 27, 1985Oct 30, 1986Seitz Enzinger Noll MaschVorrichtung zum foerdern von flaschen in haengender lage
DE4416671A1 *May 11, 1994Dec 7, 1995Steinle KarinUnpacking system for empty plastic bottles in transport cases
WO2010089150A1 *Feb 9, 2010Aug 12, 2010SSI Schäfer PEEM GmbHUnloading station for automatically separating a bundle from loading equipment
U.S. Classification414/416.6, 198/458
International ClassificationB65B21/00, B65B21/12
Cooperative ClassificationB65B21/12
European ClassificationB65B21/12