US 3292765 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 20, 1966 M. w. LOVELESS 3,292,765
DES GRAMBLER Filed Jan. 14, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I32 I36 I38 Fig.2
84 MARION w LOVE LESS tic MW ATTORNEYS Dec. 20, 1966 M. w. LOVELESS DES CRAMBLER 2 SheetsSheet 2 Filed Jan. 14, 1965 INVENTOR. MARION W LOVELESS ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,292,765 DESCRAMBLER Marion W. Loveless, 419 S. Allegheny, Tulsa, Okla. 74112 Filed Jan. 14, 1965, Ser. No. 425,408 3 Claims. (Cl. 198-30) This invention relates to a device useful in the packaging and canning industries. More particularly, the invention relates to a device which separates a random assortment of containers into a precise, orderly, single file arrangement. Still more particularly, this invention relates to a device useful in the canning industry for sorting a randomly arranged charge of cans, receipts from a canning retort, into a single file order for easy handling in the next operation.
In the preparation of canned foods, the food is commonly cooked in the can after the can has been sealed. This is done in large pressurized cooking retorts. A great many of the filled and sealed cans are randomly placed within a large retort. The retort is closed and sealed and the food is cooked by means of high temperature steam. After the cooking operation, the cans must be labeled and packaged. An eflicient means of gathering the cans for this labeling and packaging step is necessary.
The primary purpose of this invention is to provide a device which will accept a random assortment of cans from a cooking retort and arrange these cans in an upright position in single file order so that the subsequent labeling and packaging steps may be carried out etficiently with a considerable saving of time and labor.
Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the descrambler of this invention.
FIGURE 2 is a top elevational view of the device.
FIGURE 3 is a top plan of the driving mechanisms.
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of the variable sheave mechanism.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, the descr-ambler, generally indicated by the numeral 10, includes a body frame 12 to which the various components are attached. At what might be called the front end of the descrambler, a series of narrow conveyor belts 20 are placed. At the rear end of the descrambler, the turntable 16 is positioned. The narrow conveyor belts 20, four in number, are made of conventional belting material, for example canvas or neoprene, and are continuous belts extending around the large sheaves 26 and the small flat belt sheaves 32. Thus, for each conveyor belt 20, there is a separate small sheave 32 and a separate large sheave 26. The small sheaves 32 do not operate independently but are all mounted securely on the small flat belt sheave shaft 34. The sheave shafts 34 are resting in the bearings or journal boxes 36 which are mounted on the frame 12. In a similar manner, the large sheaves 26 do not operate independently but are all secured on the large sheave shaft 28, the ends of which shaft rests in the bearings or journal boxes 30. Also arranged in this part of the machine is a series of V-belts 38. The V-belts 38 are positioned alternately with the conveyor belts 20 and are parallel with the conveyor belts 20. In respect to the upper surface of the conveyor belts 20, the upper surface of V- belts 38 is slightly higher than that of the conveyor belts 20. The V-belts 38 are positioned around the V-belt drive sheaves 42 and the V-belt idler sheaves 50. The V-belt drive sheaves 42 are all secured to the drive shaft "ice 34 so that the belts all operate together. The V-belt idler sheaves 50 are all freely mounted on the large sheave shaft 28. Positioned just beyond the sheave 26 and occupying a position somewhat lower than the belts 20 and the belts 38 is the wide belt 54. This is one broad continuous belt extending the width of the machine. The Wide belt is positioned around a drive roller 62 and a tension roller 64, both extending substantially the width of the machine. A drive shaft 58 extends through the drive roller 62 and at each end rests in a hearing or journal box 60. Likewise a tension roller shaft 66 extends through roller 64 and at each end rests in a bearing or journal box 68. A small stationary shelf portion 116 occupies the space between the wide belt 54 and the turntable 16. The turntable 16 is mounted on the turntable shaft 74 and this shaft in turn rests within a journal box 78.
FIGURES 4 and 5 show the means of driving the various belts and the turntable. The drive motor 110 is connected to the main drive shaft 108 on which are mounted two driving units, a chain sprocket 27 and a spring loaded sheave 106. The main drive chain 72 passes around the sprocket 27 on the shaft 108 and around the similar sprocket 27 on the large sheave shaft 28 in order that the power from the motor is transferred to this shaft and also to the other belt unit. Three similar sprockets 27 are located on the shaft 28. These may be identical or may be of different sizes in order to vary the speed of the individual belts. Another chain, the V-belt drive chain, passes around a second one of the sprockets 27 on the shaft 28 and also around the two chain adjusting sprockets 46 which hold the chain 48 tensionably against the lower portion ofthe V-belt drive sprocket 40. By contacting the sprocket 40 in this manner, the chain 48 causes the sprocket 40 to turn in the direction opposite the rotation of the shaft 28 and sheave 26. Thus, the V-belts 38 travel in a direction opposite to that of the narrow conveyor belts 20. Also, the wide belt drive chain passes around the third sprocket 27 on the shaft 28 and around the drive sprocket 56 positioned on the wide belt drive shaft 58. Through this arrangement the wide belt is driven in the same direction as the conveyor belts 20.
A V-shaped drive belt .104 passes around the spring loaded sheave 106 and around the variable sheave 88 to transmit power from the drive motor to the sheave 88 which is positioned on the variable sheave drive shaft 84. The ends of the drive shaft 84 rest in two similar hearing or journal boxes 86 secured to the fnarne 12. The spring loaded sheave 106 and the variable sheave '88 are designed to be cooperatively adjustable. The spring loaded sheave .106 contains :an ti-ntegral inner spring which acts to hold the two halves of the sheave together. The manually adjustable sheave 88 turns on a set of inner bearings 92 which are secured on shaft 84. On the other side of the variable sheave is 'an integral set of outer bearings 94 which include the outer bearing shaft 95. The shaft 95 is independent of the shaft 84. The end face of the shaft 95 is in frictional contact with the end face of the adjustment bearing 96. The shaft 95 is held in a non-rotational position by the pin 97, one end of which passes loosely through a transverse opening in 3 bearing 96 and the drive belt 104. The tension of the drive belt 104 against the sheave 88 tends to force the two circular units apart thus causing a reduced effective radius of the sheave 88. The action of the belt 104 in forcing the sheave units apart is opposed by the adjustment bearing 96 which limits the distance to which these two units may be separated. Thus, the adjustment bearing 96 operates to adjust the effective radius of the sheave 88. At the same time, the spring loaded sheave 106 is responsive to the adjustment of the sheave 88. As the two units composing the sheave 88 are brought closer together, to give an effectively larger radius to the sheave 88, the tension on the drive belt 104 is increased and this increased tension causes the two units making up the spring loaded sheave 106 to be iforced somewhat apart thus giving a sheave of smaller effective radius. This built-in reaction of the two sheaves permits a continuously variable choice of gear ratios over a wide range. On the same drive shaft 84 on which the sheave 88 is located is a similar vertical sheave '82. This vertical sheave '82 transmits all the power received by the variable sheave 88 to the turntable drive sheave 76 by means of the turntable drive belt 80 which passes around the vertical sheave 82 and the horizontal turntable drive sheave 76. The turntable sheave 76 is positioned on the turntable shaft 74 and imparts the rotating movement to the turntable.
As the first step in the operation of this invention, a large number of cans are placed randomly on the conveyor belts 20. These cans are preferably delivered to the conveyor belts by the operation of a separate conveyor belt system used to transfer the sealed containers from a nearby canning retort to the descrambler of this invention. The cans are generally in jumbled arrangement on the conveyor belt, that is, they may be several units deep and facing in all directions. The cans are kept from falling 013? the conveyor belts by the confining position of the sides v18. The conveyor belts 20 are all moving toward the turntable 16, while the V belts 38 are all moving in an opposite direct-ion away from the turntable. The movement of the conveyor belt 20 brings the pile of containers toward the turnta-tble and after moving a short distance along the conveyor belts the cans come int-o contact with the transverse spring 22 which is adjusted to permit the cans to pass under only one layer deep while lying on their sides. The transverse spring 22 is held in position by means of the two spring brackets 24 attached to either side of the frame 12. The movement of the V-belts in 'a direction opposite to that of the conveyor belts forces the cans to move along the conveyor belt 20 lengthwise so that all of the cans are oriented in the same direction, that is, they are all on their sides in a corresponding longitudinal position. The cans travel through the tunnels .118 which are positioned above the conveyor belts 20 where the belts pass over the large sheaves 26. The tunnels keep the cans in their same respective positions as they drop onto the wide belt 54 in an upright position. To maintain the cans in this upright position and to steady them after this rather abrupt fall, a series of adjustable covers 122 .are placed over the wide belt adjacent the lower extremity of the tunnels 118. These adjustable covers are given some degree of. resiliency by being attached to the cover spring 124 by means of the spring clamps 126. The adjustable covers 122 are attached rotatably to the end bracket 128 by means of the cover hooks 130. The height of the adjustable covers .122 and end bracket 128 is determined by the positioning of the front adjusting shafts 140 at both ends of the springs 124 and by the positioning of the rear adjusting sha'fts .134 at both ends of the end bracket 128. Each of the adjusting shafts 140 rests in a tront support bracket 138 and is held in an adjustable position by a thumb screw 136. Likewise each of the rear adjusting shafts 134 operate adjustably within a rear support bracket 132 and is held in an adjustable position by a similar thumb screw. AS
the containers travel along the wide belt they are guided initially by a series of vertical divider rails positioned beneath the adjustable covers .122. From the wide belt 54 the containers travel over the stationary shelf 116 which is positioned horizontally between the wide belt and the circular turntable 16. The containers leave the wide belt, travel over the shelf .11-6 and move onto the rotating turntable 16. Since the shelf 116 is stationary, periodically a container might be stalled thereon. If this occurs, the stalled container is almost immediately pushed onto the rotating turntable by a following container. The container generally becomes positioned along the edge of the turntable 16 and travels around the turn table adjacent the guard rail 112 to an opening between the extremity of the guard rail 112 and the deflecting tall 114. Generally the containers move off the turntable 16 belting system controlling the rotation of the turntable is adjustable in order to adjust the turntable rotation to the speed of the conveyor system.
Since many difierent embodiments of this invention may be made without departing \from the spirit and scope thereof, it is to be understood that specific embodiments described in detail herein is not to be taken in a limiting sense since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.
1. A :can descrambler comprising, in combination a first system of movable belts upon which sealed cans are deposited, said system having a first set. of movable belts consisting of a series of continuous paralleled flat belts which travel during the upper period of their cycle in a substantially horizontal plane in the same direction, and in which each of said belts encircles a vertically positioned sheave tangentially adjacent one end of the horizontally moving portion of said belts,
a second set of movable belts consisting of a series of paralleled continuous V-belts narrower than said first set of flat belts, moving during the upper period of their cycle in a substantially horizontal plane and in a direction opposite said fiat belts, said Vabelts being slightly higher than said flat belts, said first and second set of belts cooperating to separate and arrange cans deposited thereon in corresponding longitudinal position,
a plurality of tunnel members each of which is positiona'ble above one of said first set of belts andconcentrically adjacent to the vertically positioned sheave which said belt encircles, which tunnel members maintain said cans in their respective longitudinal positions as said cans are moved over said sheaves,
and la'second movable belt system adjacent the lower portion of said vertical sheaves wherein said second system defines a substantially horizontal upper belt surface lower than said first belt system and in which said upper belt surface of said second system moves in a direction parallel to said first set of belts and wherein said cans are received and transported thereon in an upright position by cooperation of said first system of belts with said vertically positioned sheaves and said tunnels. 2. A can descrambler as described in claim 1 which includes a plurality of adjustable covers positioned above said second belts system, each of said covers being posi- 5 6 tioned adjacent to and spaced from the lower extremity References Cited by the Examiner of said tunnel mern'bers, wherein said covers maintain UNITED STATES PATENTS the cans in 'an upright posmon as the cans are transported by said second belt system. 117541047 4/ 1930 Reave? 19830 X 3. A can descrambler as described in claim 1 which 5 2,642,173 6/1953 i et includes a turntable in front of and adjacent the second 2,764,274 9/1956 Gnsw'old at belt system, and wherein said turntable receives the cans from said second belt system and conveys said cans in MARVIN CHAMPION Prlma'w Exammer' spaced single-file order to an adjacent device. EVON C. BLUNK, R. J. HICKEY, Assistant Examiners.