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Publication numberUS3300063 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 24, 1967
Filing dateJan 25, 1965
Priority dateJan 25, 1965
Publication numberUS 3300063 A, US 3300063A, US-A-3300063, US3300063 A, US3300063A
InventorsEberman Augustus H, Jensen Hans A
Original AssigneeMayer & Co Inc O
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum gripping apparatus
US 3300063 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 24, 1967 A. JENSEN ETAL 3,300,063

VACUUM GRIPPING APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Jan. 25, 1965 S N QN @NJW @N .,mdl w w m|h Q@ www ww NQ www www nl V. 0| wil f, o :im E QQ 4/QN x2 wh ./MWYE: l Q mh m@ www QQ www@ INVENTORS HANS AUENSEN AUGUSTUS EBERMAN Jan. 24, 1967 H. A. JENSEN ETAL 3,300,063

VACUUM GRIPPING APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 25, 1965 Jan. 24, 1967 H. A. JENSEN ETAL 3,300,063

VACUUM GRIPPING APPARATUS Filed Jan. 25, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 JaIL 24, 1967 H. A. JENSEN ETAL 3,300,063

VACUUM GRIPPING APPARATUS Filed Jan. 25, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOQS HANS A. JENSEN AUGUSTUS H. ESERMAN im BY /AMwm/mo9w0 tig/S.

Jan. 24, 1967 H. A. JENSEN ETAL 3,300,063

VACUUM GRIPPING APPARATUS HANS A. JENSEN AUGUSTUS H. EBEQMAN BY /Lmkwm/fmwawv dtt's.

United States Patent O 3,300,063 VACUUM GRIIPING APPARATUS Hans A. Jensen and Augustus H. Eberman, Madison, Wis., assignors to Oscar Mayer & Co., Inc., Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois l Filed Jan. 25, 1965, Ser. No. 427,875 15 Claims. (Cl. 214-1) This invention relates to material handling equipment, and more particularly to a new and improved vacuum gripping apparatus for handling material.

A primary object of the invention is the provision of a new and improved vacuum gripping apparatus having unique actuating means for establishing and releasing a vacuum in one or more vacuum ypads associated with the apparatus.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved vacuum gripping apparatus which includes a slide valve and an actua-tor therefor, which actuator is adapted, upon physical contact with a surface to be gripped followed by contact of an associated vacuum pad with the surface, to establish a vacuum in the associated vacuum pad, and which actuator is adapted to be disengaged from the slide valve prior to release of the vacuum in the pad.

A further object of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved vacuum gripping apparatus including a slide valve and an vactuator therefor, which actuator is adapted to be released from the slide valve thereby to permit the latter to operate independently of the actuator during release of the vacuum in an associated Vacuum pad.

Still another object of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved vacuum gripping apparatus including a carriage and a head mounted for movement to and away from the carraige, which head includes one or more vacuum pads and a slide valve engaged with an associated actuator by releasable means, which releasable means is operated upon relative movement fbetween the head and the carriage for disengaging the actuator from the slide valve.

Even another object of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved vacuum gripping apparatus including a carriage and a head mounted for movement to and away from the carriage, wherein the head slidably supports a slide valve for establishing and releasing a vacuum in an associated vacuum pad, which slide valve is controlled -by an actuator and by relative movement between the head and the carriage.

Yet another object of the present invention is :the provision of a new and improved vacuum gripping apparatus including a vacuum head having unique means for adjustably supporting one or more vacuum gripping pads therefrom.

These and other objects of the present invention will become more apparent from the following specification disclosing a preferred embodiment of the invention which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the vacuum gripping apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevation of one of the vacuum gripping assemblies of FIG. 1, with certain parts being broken away and shown in section for purposes of better illustration of the invention;

FIGS. 2a and 2b are fragmentary views, partially in section and partially in elevation, showing two different positions of the slide valve in the vacuum head;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged vertical section showing one of the vacuum gripping assemblies of FIG. 1 and fragmentarily illustrating the supporting means therefor;

3 3 00; 3` Patented Jan. 24, 1967 FIG. 4 is a to-p plan view of the supporting mechanism of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. l;

FIG. 5 is a front elevation of the supporting mechanism of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1; l

FIG. 6 is a section taken along line 6 -6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged section taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged section taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 9 is an enlarged section taken along line 9-'9 of FIG. 2.

Referring now to the drawings and in particular to FIG. 1, the apparatus of this invention will be seen to include supporting means mounting a plurality of vacuum gripping assemblies 10 for :movement in an endless path. The particular embodiment of the invention shown for purposes of illustration has been designed for picking up and conveying wiener packages formed by the continuous package forming machine covered in Sloan et al. Patent 3,129,545, assigned to the assignee of this invention. It will be understood that the apparatus of this invention is not to be limited for use with the Sloan et al. continuous package forming machine, as the apparatus of this invention can, within the scope of the appended claims, be adapted for other uses and adapted for picking up and conveying other objects or articles.

In FIG. 1, the Sloan et al. bottom die plates, which are arranged for `being conveyed in an endless path, are designated by the numeral 12. As described in the aforementioned patent, each of the bottom die plates includes a pair of die cavities in which the wiener packages 14 are formed and conveyed to the downstream end of the continuous package forming machine. The embodiment of the apparatus of this invention shown for purposes of illustration is adapted for lifting wiener packages 14 out of the die cavities and for conveying the packages to a station Where the packages are released for cartoning, for example.

Referring now particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3 which primarily show one of the vacuum gripping assemblies, each assembly will lbe seen to include a carriage 16 and a head 18, which head supports a plurality of vacuum gripping pads 20. Carriage 16 primarily consists of a onepiece casting including an integral, upper pair of lug portions 21 and 22, Lug 21 includes a vertical bore 23 receiving a fastener 24 which rotatably supports a roller 25. Fastener 24 is threadingly engaged in the bore of a collar 27, which collar includes a central bore receiving the upper end of a pin 28 forming a part of a drive chain 29. The other lug 22 receives a fastener 30 (FIG. 2) rotatably supporting another roller 31 in alignment with roller 25. The supporting means for roller 31 are not described in detail as they are similar to the supporting means for roller 25 with the exception that the supporting means for roller 31 does not also form a connection With the drive chain.

The carriage 16 also includes a pair of integral, lower lugs 33 and 34. Lug 33 includes a vertical bore 35 (FIG. 3) receiving a fastener 36 which rotatably supports a roller 37. Fastener 36 is threadingly engaged in the central bore of a collar 39, which collar includes a reduced-in-diameter central bore receiving the lower end of pin 28 associated with the drive chain 29. Collar 39 forms a supporting hub for a anged wheel 40. It will be understood that wheel 40 is rotatably supported from lug 33 of the carriage; a spacer 42 maintains the wheel in spaced relation from the upper surface of lug 33.

Lug 34 rotatably supports another flanged wheel 43 (FIG. 2) by means of a headed fastener 44. Fastener 44 also rotatably supports a roller 45 identical with roller 37 The supporting means for Wheel 43 and roller 45 will not be described in detail as it is much the same as the supporting means for Wheel 40 and roller 37 with the exception that the supporting means for wheel 43 and roller 45 does not also form a connection with the drive chain. It will be understood that wheel 43 and roller 45 are identical with wheel 40 and roller 37 respectively and are rotatably mounted in horizontal alignment with the latter.

The upper rollers 25 and 31 of each carriage are received in an endless guide track 46 (FIG. 3) of race track form as indicated by the shape of the supporting framework illustrated in FIG. 4. The lower rollers 37 and 45 of each carriage are received in an endless guide track 48 having the same shape as guide track 46 and being in confronting relation with the latter. Guide tracks 46 and 48 are formed and supported from suitable supporting structure for mounting the carriages 16 for movement in an endless horizontal path.

The anged wheels 40 and 43 of each carriage receive the peripheral portions of guide wheels 50 and 51 (FIG. rotatably supported on respective shafts 52 and 53 at opposite ends of the supporting framework for the carriages. Flanged 'wheels 40 and 43 of each carriage receive linear guide tracks 54 and 55 during movement of the carriages between wheels 50 and 51. Guide track 54 on the front of the apparatus is illustrated in FIG. 5; guide track 55 (FIG. 6) is identical. Shafts 52 and 53 also support toothed wheels 56 and 57 in parallel spaced relation above respective wheels 50 and 51. The teeth of wheels 56 and 57 engages the links of the drive chain 29. Shaft 53 is driven by suitable means (notshown) for advancing the carriages 16 in timed relation with the lower die plates of the continuous package forming mav chine with which the apparatus of this invention may be used.

Carriage 16 includes a pair of parallel, vertical bores supporting a pair of rods 59 and 60 for vertical reciprocal movement. Carriage 16 includes suitable bearing assemblies for supporting rods 59 and 60; one such bearing assembly, which is typical of the other bearing assemblies is illustrated in FIG. 3 and identied by numeral 61. The upper ends of rods 59 and 60 are suitably secured to a. cross-block 63. Block 63 supports a cam roller 64 by suitable fastening means (not shown).

'Ihe lower ends of rods 59 and 60 are defined by reduced-in-diameter por-tions received in vertical bores in a block 66 forming part of head 18. The reduced-indiarneter portion 60a of rod 60 is illustrated in FIG. 3; this reduced-in-diameter portion has a threaded end extending into an opening 67 formed in block 66. A nut 68 threadingly engages rod portion 60a for securing the lower end of rod 60 to block 66. (The lower end of rod 59 is attached tov block 66 in the same manner as the lower end of rod 60.)

As best noted in FIGS. 8 and 9, block 66 includes a recess'70 in the front face thereof in which a'plate 71 issuitably secured. Plate 71 includes a threaded bore 72 (FIG. 9) threadingly receiving one leg of an elbow fitting 73. Plate 71 also includes Ia cavity 74 which opens or communicates with the interior of elbow 73. Since head 18 is symmetrical 'with respect to a vertical transverse plane passing through the head at the longitudinal midpoint thereof, which plane is represented by the line x-x of FIG. 9, only one half of ,the head, i.e. the right half thereof as viewed in FIGS. 2, 8 and 9, will be described in detail.

Referring now to FIG. 9, plate 71 will be seen to include a horizontal passageway 75 communicating at one end thereof with cavity 74 and communicating at its other end with a rectangular in cross section, vertical bore 76 formed by a groove in plate 71 and a face of recess 70. Bore 76 slidably supports a slide valve 78 for vertical reciprocal movement. The stroke of movement of slide lvalve 78 in head 18 is governed by engagement of a pin 79 with opposite ends of a recess 80 formed in the surface of the slide valve. Pin 79 is retained within a bore 81 formed in block 66, which bore communicates with an enlarged bore portion 81a in which a coil spring 82 is received. Spring 82 is held in the bore by a threaded plug 83 and maintains pin 79 in recess 80 of the slide valve.

As noted in FIGS. 2 and 8, plate 71 has a right angle passageway 85 opening at one end thereof into bore 76. Slide valve 78 includes an axially extending recess 86 which terminates short of opposite ends of the slide valve. When the slide valve is in the position illustrated in FIG. 2, which may be termed its normal position, recess 86 communicates with passageway 85 and t-he lower end of the recess opens to atmosphere at the undersurface of plate 7.1. When slide valve 78 and head v18 are in the positional relationship illustrated in FIG. 2a, recess 86 communicates only with passageways 75 .and 85. The means for establ-ishing these two positional relationships between the head and the slide valve will be explained hereinbelow.

Passageway 8S in plate 71 communicates with a passageway 88 in block 66. Passageway 88 communicates at a right angle with a blind passageway 89 closed at the outer end thereof by a suitable iiller or plug 90. Passageway 89 communicates with a pair of bores 91 and 92 which open at the rear face of block 66.

As seen in the drawings, the embodiment of the apparatus shown for purposes of illustration includes four vacuum gripping pads supported from head 1-8. As all of the pads are identical and are mounted to the head 18 in the same manner, only one head, viz. head 20, and the supporting means therefor will be described in detail.

Looking now to FIGS. 3 and 8, the adjusting member 97 includes an integral cylindrical portion 98, which portion has an enlarged fluted end rotatably received in bore 92 of vblock 66. The lluted end portion 98 includes a plurality of axially extending, open ended flutes or recesses 99. Adjusting member 97 also includes an integnal cylindrical portion 100, which portion has its central axis .in offset parallel relation with the central axis of cylindrical portion 98. Adjusting member 97 -is further dened by an enlarged cylindrical portion 101 concentric with cylindrical portion 100. Or in other words, cylindrical portions and 101 are eccentric with respect to cylindrical portion 98.

A plate 103 includes a ycylindrical bore 104 in which cylindrical portion 100 of adju-sting member 97 is received. Plate 103 includes -a pair of annular grooves receiving a pair of O-rings y106 andI 107 for forming a seal with the rear face of block l66 and the annular face on adjusting member 97 defined by the juncture of cylindrical portions 100 and 101 thereof. It should be apparent that bore 104 in plate 103 in cooperation with adjusting member 97 and lthe rear face of block 66 defines a closed space 108 encircling or surrounding cylindrical portion 98 of the adjusting member. Plate 103 also includes -a passageway 110 opening at one end thereof into the space 108 and opening at the other vend thereof into a through bore 111 which extends in parallel rellation with bore 104.

A; tubular member 112 (FIG. 3) has a coaxial, reduced-in-diameter end portion 112a received within bore 111 of plate 103. Tubular member 112 is secured in bore 111 by a pair yof collars 113 and 114 and by a suitable fastener 115. Tightening of fastener 11-5 draws the annular shoulder of the tubular member Iformed at the juncture of portion 112a thereof against collar 113 and in turn draws the collars tightly against opposite faces of the plate 103. Collars 113 and 114 are preferably provided with annular grooves receiving a pair of respective O-rings 1-17 and 118 thereby to form a seal between tubulare portion 112a and bore 111 in plate 10-3.

Tubular portion 112a includes a transverse bore 120 which registers with passageway 110 in plate 103. Tubul-ar member 112 also includes a central axial bore 121 opening at one end thereof into bore 120 and opening at the other end thereof at the end of the tubular member remote from portion 112a thereof. The tubular member is `further defined by a plurality of transverse through bores 122 which intersect bore 121.

Vacuum pad 20, preferably formed of la resilient material such as silicone rubber, has a blind bore 124 which receives a portion o'f tubular member 112. Pad 20 further includes a plurality of bores 125, equal in number and in registry with bores 122 of tubular member 112. Bores 125 in pad 20 communicate with reduced-in-diameter ports 126 which open into a cavity 127 in the gripping face of pad 20. Pad 20 shown for purposes of illustration is adapted lfor forming ya seal with the curved surfaces of the packa-ge 14.

Cylindrical lpor-tion 98 of adjusting member 97 has an internally -threaded blind bore 129 threadingly receiving the threaded end of a lfastener 130, which `fastener is received in bore 94 o-f block 66. It will be apparent that fastener 130 4secures both adjusting member 97 and plate 3 to the head 18.

The adjusting member received in bore 91 of block 66 is identified as 13-1 and the plate associ-ated therewith is designated 132-. These two members are identical with respective members 97 Iand 103 already described herein. Adjusting member 131 is secured to the head by a fastener 133 which is receivedV in bores 93 land' 95 (FIG. 8). It shou'ld be app-arent that upon loosening of fasteners 130 .and 133, the adjusting members associated therewith may be rotated for adjusting or shifting plates 103 and 13-2 thereby to adjust or position the vacuum pads mounted therefrom. Of course, when fasteners 130 and 133 are loosened, the vacuum Igripping pads may also be adjusted by being swung about axes defined Iby rfasteners 130 and 133.

As noted in FIG. 3, elbow 73 threadingly engages `a vfitting 135 on one end of a vacuum hose 136. Hose 136 is clamped to cross-block -63 iby means of a clamp 137. The vacuum hose 136 associated with each vacuum gripping `assembly 10 extends to a rotatable vacuum manifold (not shown), supported on the upper end of a shaft 138 (FIG. 5). The vacuum manifold is of course connected with a suitable source of vacuum for constantly communicating all of the vacuum `gripping assemblies with the vacuum source during their endless path of movement. Shaft 138 is suitably journaled on the supporting framework of the vacuum `gripping apparatus, and this shaft has a wheel 139 secured thereto. A belt 140 drives wheel 139, which belt is driven lfrom the upper end of shaft 53. An idler wheel 141 (FIG. 4) maintains belt 140 in tight relation on shaft 53 and wheel 139. It will be apparent that when the vacuum gripping assemblies are driven in their endless path, shaft 138 will :be rotated for rotating the vacuum manifold connected with the vacuum hoses 136 extending to the various vacuum gripping assemblies.

The supporting framewo-rk of the vacuum gripping apparatus includes suitable plates defining a front cam track generally designated 143 and a rear cam track generally designated 144 (FIG. 6). As seen in FIG. 5, the front cam track 143 includes sections A, B, C and D. As the vacuum gripping assemblies move from right to left in FIG. 5, cam track section A may be termed a descending section, section B an ascending section, section C an intermediate section, and section D as a final ascending section. Carn track 144 on the tback of the 'supporting framework is rectilinear land uniformly descends from left to right as viewed in FIG. 5. Cam tracks 143 and 144 receive cam rollers 64 of the vacuum `gripping assemblies. During movement of each Vacuum gripping assembly 10 between adjacent ends of cam tracks 143 and 144, roll-er 64 thereof lrides. on semi-circular cam tracks 146 and 147 connecting the ends of the linear cam tracks.

It should be apparent that cross-block -63 and head 18 of each vacuum gripping assembly are connected together .as a unit by means of rods 59 and 60, and that the cross- -block and head are mounted for vertical reciprocal movement relative to the associated carriage 16 by means of the sliding engagement of rods 59 and 60 with the former. The vertical reciprocal movement of head 18 and crossblock `63 relative to carriage 16 is brought about by the action of cam roller 64 ridin-g in or on the various cam tracks.

Now referring back to FIGS. 2 and 3, the upper end of slide valve 78 is .bifutrcated for swingably mounting an arm 150- on a pin 151. Slide valve 78 also includes lan axially extending bore 152 opening at one of its ends at the Ilower end of the slide valve and opening at i-ts other end into the Ibifurcated portion of the slide valve. An actuator stem 154 is slidably received in bore '152 of the slide valve, which stem has an upper end 154@ bent at -a right angle for engaging an upper surface 78a of the slide valve thereby to limit the extent of downward movement of the actua-tor stem relative to the slide valve. End 154e of the actuator stem engages an larcuate surface 150a Iof Aarm 150 in a manner such that the actuator stem and slide valve are engaged thereby to permit the former to operate the latter as will be explained hereinbelow. The lower end of stem 154` is threadingly engaged with a button 155, which button is arranged to come into physical contact with the upper surface of -a package 14 to be gripped.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be observed that the carraige 16 supports a fastener 156 the head of which is in vertical alignment with slide valve 78. Carriage 16 supports a corresponding fastener v157 which is vertically aligned with the other slide valve of head 18.

The operation of the vacuum `.gripping apparatus of this invention is as follows:

As explained above, the vacuum gripping -assemblies 10 move in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 4, in timed relation with movement of the lower die plates 12 of the above referred to Sloan et al. continuous package forming machine. Starting a cycle of operation with one of the vacuum gripping assemblies 10 approaching descending section A of cam track 143, as the cam roller 64 thereof rolls along cam track section A, head 18 is lowered. As cam roller 64 descends in moving along cam track section A, actuator buttons 155 come into contact with the upper surfaces of respective packages 14 to be gripped by the four vacuum gripping pads 2t). The operation of vacuum gripping apparatus of this invention will be explained by referring only to the portion of head 18 already described above in detail, as the construction and operation of the other slide valve and the two vacuum pads associated therewith are the same as the construction and operation of the above described slide valve and associated vacuum gripping pads. It

will be apparent that each assembly of the apparatus shown for purposes of illustration is adapted for simultaneously lifting and conveying two packages 14.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 2a, with button 155 in contact with the upper surface of a package 14, as cam roller 64 continues down cam track section A, stem 154 prevents further downward movement of the slide valve by reason of the engagement between stern end 154a and arm 150. As noted in FIGS. 2 and 2a, actuator end 154a contacts arm surface 150a at a point substantially in vertical alignment with pin 151; this engagement does not tend to rock or pivot arm 150. Therefore, during continued lowering of head 18 as roller 64 travels to the end of cam track section A, the head moves relative to slide valve 78 and actuator 154 since the latter rests on the surface of package 14. When the roller 64 reaches the lower end of cam track section A, head 18 is positioned relative to the slide valve 78 as ,illustrated in FIG. 2a. In this position, recess 86 in the slide valve is no longer open to atmosphere but communicates only with passageways 75 and 85 for opening both pads 20 (associated with the slide valve) to the source -of vacuum. At this time pads 20 are brought into sealing contact with the lupper surface of the package 14 for vacuum gripping of the same. The iiow to the source .of vacuum is as follows: ports 126, bores 125, 122, 121, A120, passageway 110, space 108, flutes 99, passageways 89, 88, 85, recess 86, passageway 75, cavity 74, elbow 73 and hose 136 to the vacuum source.

As the vacuum gripping assembly continues its movement, cam roller 64 enters ascending cam track section B for lifting head 18 thereby to lift the packages from the cavities in the lower die plate of the continuous package forming machine. As roller 64 reaches the upper end of cam track section B, head 18 is raised relative to the carriage to a position wherein the upper end of arm 150 on the slide valve is engaged by the head of fastener 156 supported from the carriage. As roller 64 completes its upward travel in cam track section B, the upward movement of head 18 (and slide valve 78 moving therewith) relative to the carriage causes arm 150 to be rocked (in -a counterclockwise direction as viewed in (FIGS. 2a and 2b) thereby to slide arm surface 15051/l over the upper end 154a of the actuator stem for disengaging the actuator s'tern'from the slide valve. In other words, after arm 150 is rocked in the manner described, the slide valve is free to'move independently of actuator stem 154 and vice versa.

The packages are held gripped topads 20 as each vacuum gripping assembly` passes along cam track section C. As cam roller 64 enters camtrack section D, head 18 is moved upwardly a further distance relative to the carriage. During this final upward movement of the head, the slide valve is prevented from partaking of this further upward movement by :reason of the engagement of the head of fastener 156 with arm 150 and/or the upper end of the slide valve. In other words, during this final upward movement of the head as roller 64 ascends cam track section D, the head moves upward relative to slide valve 78. When roller 64 reaches the upper end of section D, the slide valve 78 is positioned relative to the head as indicated in FIG. 2b. In this position, 4recess 86 in the slide valve no longer connects with passageway 75 and therefore the source of vacuum is closed off from the vacuum pads. Also, when the slide valve is in the position illustrated in FIG. 2b, the lower end of recess 86 is open to atmosphere and in communication with passageway 85 thereby to vent the associated pads for releasing the package. Passageway 85 is in communication with the vacuum pads as explained above.

It wil-l be noted that as the head 18 is moved upwardly relative to the slide valve for closing off pads 20 from the source of vacuum and for venting the pads to atmosphere, actuator stem 154 also moves upwardly relative to the slide valve since the arm 150 has been rocked free of the upper end of the actuator stern. As seen in FIG. 2b, arm 150` is shaped to permit actuator end 154e to move up under the upper portion or section of the arm. In other words, the actuator stem is at this time permitted to move independently of the slide valve and therefore does no in any way actmechanically to force the package away from the pads; the packages are released solely by the action of the pads being vented and closed off from the source of vacuum.

After the package is released, the actuator is free to fall through the slide valve until the upper end 15411 thereof is again positioned against arcuate surface 150:1 of arm 150. Gravity causesarm 150 to rotate in a clockwise direction so that arcuate surface 150:1 thereof is positioned over end 154a of the actuator stem after the latter has completed its downward movement in the slide valve.

After each vacuum gripping assembly proceeds around semi-circular cam track 146, cam roller 64 thereof enters descending cam track 144 for lowering head 18 relative to carriage 16. As each vacuum gripping assembly reaches semi-circular cam track 147, the arrangement of the various parts are as illustrated in FIG. 2, and each vacuum gripping assembly 10 is therefore ready for gripping another pair of packages in the lower die plates of the continuous package forming machine.

It should be apparent that the vacuum gripping apparatus of this invention provides unique valve means for establishing and releasing the vacuum in the vacuum gripping pads. Further it will be apparent that the apparatus of this invention` includes unique means for adjusting and positioning the pads to accommodate the shape of a particular object to be gripped.

While th-e invention has been shown in but one form, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that it is not to be so limited, but on the contrary it is susceptible of Various changes and modifications without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A vacuum gripping apparatus comprising in combination, a carriage and lan associated head mounted for movement to and away from the carriage, a vacuum gripping pad mounted on said head, which paid is adapted and Iarranged to communicate with a source of vacuum, a slide valve movable in said head and adapted in a first positional relationship therewith for closing communication between said pad `and the vacuum source land adapted in a second positional relationship with the head to establish communication between said pad and the vacuum source, an actuator engaged with said slide valve and arranged for physical contact with la surface to be gripped thereby to establish said second relationship of the slide valve with the head upon contact of the actuator with .a surface to `be gripped followed by contact of the pad with the surface, 'and means operable upon relative movement between'said carriage and said head to disengage said actuator from 'said slide valve thereby to establish said first relationship of the slide valve with the head.

2. A vacuum gripping apparatus comprising in combination, a carriage and an associated head mounted for movement to and away from the carriage along a generally rectilinear path, la vacuum gripping pad mounted on said head, which pad is adapted and arranged to communicate with a source of vacuum, a slide valve mounted in said head for sliding movement relative thereto in either direction along a path parallel with the first mentioned path and 'adapted in a first positional relationship with the head for closing communication between said pad 'and the vacuum source and for establishing an atmosphere vent to the pad, said slide valve being adapted in a second positional relationship with the head to close l the vent to atmosphere and to establish communication between the pad and the source of vacuum, an actuator engaged with said slide valve and arranged upon physical contact with a surface to be gripped followed by contact of said pad with the surface to establish said second relationship of the slide valve with the head, and means operable upon movement of said head toward said carriage to disengage said `actuator from said slide valve thereby to return the same to its first relationship with the head, which means includes a member on the carriage arranged to establish said first relationship of the slide valve with the head-upon further movement of the head toward the carriage.

3. The apparatus according Ito claim 2 wherein said actuator includes a stem slidably associated with said slide valve, and wherein said means includes an arm pivotally mounted on the slide valve and releasably engageable with said stem,

4. The apparatus according to claim 2 further defined by, means for supporting the carriage for movement in an endless path, a cam follower associated with said head, and cam track means for controlling movement of the head relative to the carriage.

5. A vacuum gripping apparatus comprising, a head and a vacuum gripping pad supported therefrom,which pad is arranged and adapted to communicate with a source of vacuum, said head movably supporting a slide valve adapted in a first positional relationship wit-h the head for closing communication Ibetween said pad and the source of vacuum and for establishing an atmosphere vent to the pad, which slide valve is adapted in a second positional relationship with the head to establish communication between said pad and the source of vacuum and to close the vent to atmosphere, an actuator engaged with said slide valve and adapted upon physical Contact with a surface to be gripped followed by contact of the pad with the surface to establish said second relationship of the slide valve with the head thereby to grip the surface, and means to disengage said actuator from said slide valve to establish said rst relationship independently of the actuator thereby to release the surface.

6. A vacuum gripping apparatus comprising, a head and -a Vacuum gripping pad supported therefrom, which pad is arranged and adapted to communicate with a source of vacuum, said head slidably supporting a slide valve therein and being movable relative to the slide valve between a normal position and another position, said head being adapted in its normal position to close communication between said pad and the vacuum sou-rce and to establish an :atmosphere vent to the pad, and said head being adapted in its other position to communicate said pad with the source of vacuum and to close the vent to atmosphere, an actuator engaged with said slide valve and adapted upon `physical contact with a surface to be gripped followed by contact of the pad with the surface to cause movement of the head to its other position relative to the slide valve, and means to disengage said actuator from said slide valve and to move the head to its normal position relative to the slide valve.

7. The apparatus according to claim 6 wherein said actuator includes a stem slidable in the slide valve and wherein said means includes a member supported on the slide valve for movement relative to the latter for disengaging the stem.

8. A vacuum gripping apparatus comprising in combination, a carriage, a head .associated with the carriage for movement to and away from the latter :along a generally rectilinear path, which head includes a passageway adapted for communication with a source of vacuum, a vacuum gripping pad mounted from said head, a slide valve mounted in said head for reciprocal movement relative thereto along a path parallel with said rectilinear path, said slide valve being adapted in a first positional relationship with the head to close communication between said pad and said passageway and to establish an atmosphere vent to the pad, and said slide valve being adapted in a second positional relationship with the head to establish communication between said pad and said passageway and to close the vent to atmosphere, an actuator engaged with said slide valve by releasable means and adapted upon physical contact with la surface to be gripped followed by contact of said pad with the surface to establish said second relationship of the slide valve with the head, fixed means on said carriage arranged to engage said releasable means upon initial movement of said head toward said carriage for disengaging said actuator from said slide valve thereby to permit independent movement between the former and the latter, said fixed means also being arranged to prevent movement of the slide valve upon continued movement of the head and the iactuator toward the carriage thereby to establish said first relationship of the slide valve with the head.

9. The apparatus according to claim S further defined by, said actuator including a stem slidably mounted in an axial bore in said slide valve, said releasable means including a member pivoted to the slide valve and adapted t be rocked upon engagement with said fixed means for disengaging said stern.

10. The .apparatus according to claim 8 further defined by, means for supporting the carriage fo-r movement in an 10 endless path, a cam follower associated with said head, and cam track means for controlling movement of the head relative to the carriage.

11. A vacuum gripping apparatus comprising in combination, a carriage, a head associated with the carriage for movement to and away from the latter along a generally rectilinear path, which head includes a through bore extending parallel with said path, and which head includes first and second passageways opening into said bore in spaced relation axially of the latter, said first passageway being adapted for communication with a source of vacuum, a Vacuum gripping pad mounted from saidl head and being in communication with said second passageway, an elongated slide valve slidably mounted in said bore and including an axially extending recess terminating short of opposite ends of the slide valve, said slide valve normally being positioned in said head with said recess communicating with said second passageway and with atmosphere, said head being slidable relative to said slide valve to a position wherein said recess communicates only with said first and second passageways, an actuator engaged with said slide valve by releasable means and adapted upon physical contact with a surface to be gripped followed by contact of said pad with said surface to establish said last mentioned position of the head relative to the slide valve, fixed means on said carriage arranged to engage said releasable means upon movement of the head toward said carriage for disengaging said actuator from said slide valve thereby to permit independent movement between the former and the latter, said fixed means also arranged to prevent movement of the slide valve upon continued movement of the head and the actuator toward the carriage thereby to establish the normal position of the slide valve in the head.

12. The apparatus according to claim 11 further defined by, said slide valve including an axially extending through bore, said actuator including a stem slidable in the bore in the slide valve, said releasable means including an arm pivoted to the slide valve and adapted to be rocked upon engagement with said fixed means for disengaging said actuator.

13. The apparatus according to claim 11 further defined by, means for supporting the carriage for movement in an endless path, a cam follower associated with said head, and cam track means for controlling movement of the head relative to the carriage.

14. A vacuum gripping apparatus comprising, a head having a passageway adapted for communication with a source of vacuum, which passageway opens at one face of the head, a first member rotatably mounted on said head adjacent said one face thereof, which first member includes a cylindrical surface having its central axis in parallel offset relation with the axis of rotation of the first member, a vacuum gripping pad including a second member having a bore with said cylindrical surface rotatably received therein thereby to bring about shifting of the pad upon rotation of said first member relative thereto, said first member including a cavity in registration with said passageway, and said second member including a passageway opening into said pad and opening into the cavity in said first member.

15. A vacuum gripping apparatus comprising, a head having a passageway adapted for communication with a source of vacuum, which passageway communicates with a bore in said head opening at one face thereof, a rst member having a first cylindrical portion rotatably mounted in said bore and thereby defining the axis of rotation of the first member, said first member having a second cylindrical portion adjacent said first portion and spaced from said face, which second cylindrical portion has its central axis in parallel offset relation with the central axis of said first cylindrical portion, a vacuum gripping pad including a second member having a bore with said second portion rotatably received therein and References Cited by the Examiner cooperating with said head and said rst member for UNTED STATES PATENTS dening a closed space extending aroundvsaid rst portion, said second member including a passageway opening l into said pad and opening into said space, whereby said 5 pad may be adjusted relative to said head by swinging said second member about said rst member and by ro- SAMUEL F' COLEMAN Pnmary Exammer' tating the latter relative to the former. RICHARD E. AEGERTER? Examiner.

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US7838026Oct 28, 2003Nov 23, 2010Mcneil-Ppc, Inc.Burst-release polymer composition and dosage forms comprising the same
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Classifications
U.S. Classification198/802, 198/803.5
International ClassificationB65B35/30, B65G47/91, B65B35/38
Cooperative ClassificationB65G47/91, B65B35/38
European ClassificationB65G47/91, B65B35/38