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Publication numberUS3327878 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 27, 1967
Filing dateSep 23, 1965
Priority dateSep 23, 1965
Publication numberUS 3327878 A, US 3327878A, US-A-3327878, US3327878 A, US3327878A
InventorsTaylor Lorin E
Original AssigneeTaylor Lorin E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Case cleaning machine
US 3327878 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 27, 1967 L. E. TAYLOR CASE CLEANING MACHINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 25, 1965 LOP/N E. TAYLOR INVENTOIP WM June 27, 1967 I... E. TAYLOR CASE CLEANING MACHINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 2:

Filed Sept. 23, 1965 LORI/V E. TAYLOR IN VE N TOP A TTO/PNE'V Filed Sept. '25,

4 Sheets-Sheet I. ORIN E. T4 VI. 09

INVENTOR A TTORNEV June 1967 L. E. TAYLOR CASE CLEANING MACHINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Sept. 25, 1965v LOP/N E. TAYLOR INVENTOP ATTORNEY 3,327,878 CASE CLEANING MACHINE Lorin E. Taylor, Fresno, Calif. (2027 Kilakila Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96817) Filed Sept. 23, 1965, Ser. No. 439,673 Claims. (Cl. 214308) This invention relates to a case cleaning machine and is particularly concerned with a device for inverting individual cases or the like to effect gravitational discharge of foreign matter contained therein and for sequentially uprighting each case.

In the production and packaging of beverages, such as soft or carbonated drinks, it is a contemporary practice to employ glass bottles as containers for these beverages. The filled bottles are usually stored in rigid cases, conventional-ly constructed from Wood.

Following consumption of the contents by purchasers of the filled bottles, the empty bottles are usually stored upright in the cases for subsequent return to the bottling plant. The case normally holds twenty-four of such bottles, and may be held in groups of six by paperboard cartons, commonly termed six-packs. In view of the upright position of the bottles and the open condition of the cases, it has been a common practice of many members of society to use the cases as refuse containers. Accordingly, foreign objects such as used bottle caps, candy bar and gum wrappers, and discarded cigarettes are frequently found in bottle cases.

In modern bottling plants, it is an established practice in handling the cases to provide a power, or gravity, conveyor to transport the cases in single file along a path of travel which includes separate stations for successively removing the bottles from each case, washing the bottles, filling the cleaned bottles, and subsequently returning them to the same or another case. To comply with sanitation requirements, as well as satisfying more fastidious consumers, it is highly desirable to clean the cases prior to returning the filled bottles thereto. This cleaning operation may easily be performed manually by merely inverting the empty case, as well as physically shaking the case to augment the gravitational cleaning. However, the intermittent operation of a bottling line, the tedious nature of the task, and the uneconomic aspects make such a manual cleaning operation impractical and undesirable.

Heretofore certain types of mechanical devices have been employed to invert such cases to clean them of accumulated foreign objects. Difficulties encountered with the use of such prior devices include the requirement of synchronization of speed of advancement by the conveyor and the speed of operation of the cleaning device. Frequently the device requires an excessive quantity of floor space in the bottling plant. Certain of these previous cleaning apparatus necessitated an installation crosswise to the path of travel, or normal to the longitudinal axis of the conveyor. Consequently such an arrangement decreased the efiiciency of floor area utilization.

To satisfy the operational criteria of modern bottling plants, a case cleaning device must be adaptable for use with existing conveyor equipment, compatible with automated bottling lines, capable of efficient utilization of floor area, and dependable in operation.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a case cleaning machine which is readily adaptable for use with contemporary conveying apparatus.

Another object is to provide a case cleaning machine which is well suited for unattended operation and adapted for use in automated bottling plants.

Another object is to provide a cleaning machine for cases of various sizes and one which is adaptable for use with cases holding paperboard cartons.

nited States Patent G Another object is to provide a case cleaning machine which combines gravitational cleaning and a controlled mechanical shock to remove foreign objects from each case.

A further object is to provide an automatically operated case cleaning machine which includes a device for inverting each case, a rotary member for returning the case to an upright position, an ejector mechanism, and control and signal circuitry to insure proper sequential operation, but only during times when cases are ready for admission to the machine.

These, together with other objects, will become more fully apparent upon reference to the following description and accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a case cleaning machine embodying the principles of the present invention and shown in conjunction with case conveyors respectively fragmentarily illustrated at opposite ends of the machine.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view in transverse, vertical section of the machine of FIG. 1, taken on line 22 thereof, and showing in dash lines a typical case used in the softdrink industry to hold therein a normal quantity of 24 bottles in an upright position.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the typical case of FIG. 2 and shown with pasteboard cartons to maintain the 24 bottles in discrete groups of 6 each.

FIG. 4 is a view in longitudinal vertical section of the case cleaning machine of FIG. 1, taken on line 4-4 thereof, with the case of FIG. 3 shown in dash lines being raised into a position for gravitational movement to an inverted position shown in phantom lines.

FIG. 5 is a view in side elevation of the machine of the machine of FIG. 1 but from a direction opposite to that of FIG. 4 as indicated by the line 5-5, and showing a full-depth case in dash lines in an inverted position.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view in longitudinal vertical section of the machine taken on line 66 of FIG. 1, but with the machine advanced to a cycle position to invert the case for gravitational cleaning.

FIG. 7 is similar to FIG. 6, but taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 1 and showing the case cleaning machine advanced to another cycle position preparatory to ejecting the case in an upright position following cleaning for return to the conveyor.

Referring in greater particularity to FIG. 1, the case cleaning machine of the present invention provides a frame 10, including a plurality of ground engaging support members, not separately described. The frame is fabricated at minimum longitudinal dimensions to permit more efiicient utilization of available floor area in a bottling plant. Accordingly, the frame provides an admission station indicated at 11 on one end and a discharge station 12 at the opposite end.

An admission conveyor, fragmentarily illustrated at 13, and a similar discharge conveyor, shown fragmentarily at 14, define a path of travel for conventional bottling cases, such as the case illustrated at 15 in FIGS. 2 and 3. Since floor area is normally at a premium, the path of travel for cases 15 through the case cleaning machine should be as short as possible, while permitting complete performance of the desired cleaning function. Frequently, the cleaning function is further complicated by the presence of a plurality of pasteboard cartons, such as the six-pack cartons shown at 16 in FIG. 3, each being designed to hold a group of six bottles (not shown).

As can be seen more clearly in FIG. 1, a pair of opposed guide rails 20 are mounted on the frame 10 in spaced relation to constrain the cases 15 to the path of travel through the cleaning machine and generally aligned with the path of travel defined by conveyors 13 and 14. The

rails are transversely spaced at a distance to accommodate the width of the cases, and each rail is inclined outwardly from the path of travel at the admission station to facilitate entry of individual cases between the rails. A substantially flat planar apron 21 affords a surface of support for cases entering between the guide rails 20. A pair of transversely spaced conveyor belts 22 are each trained about respective idler pulley 23, as illustrated in FIG. 4. The conveyor belts are each provided with a frictional surface so as to advance cases received at the admission station in a direction from right to left, as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 4. Two drive pulleys 24- each respectively power one of the conveyor belts 22 and are driven by a power transfer chain 25 from a motor 26 through suitable power and speed reduction transmission not shown searately, but of conventional design. Other forms of power transmission means will readily occur to those skilled in the art. The motor 26 is energized through an electrical circuit (not shown), and circuit control apparatus is included to insure operation of the motor only at times when a case is present at the admission station 11 and resting upon apron 21. This circuit control includes a sensor device 27 extending upwardly from the frame and overlying a portion of the apron 21. The sensor 27 is formed and mounted in such a manner as to be deflected downwardly and to the left as viewed in FIG. 4. When so deflected by entry of a case at the admission station 11, a normally open control switch 28, of the micro-switch type, is moved to a closed position to complete the power supply circuit (not shown) to the motor 26. Accordingly, operation of the motor 26 and the conveyor belts 22 is dependent upon the presence of a case 15 in the admission station 11 by appropriate deflection of the sensor 27. A pair of transversely spaced flipper arms 34] are individually non-rotatably secured to an elongated rock-shaft 31 supported for rotation in the frame It) by suitable bearings (not shown). The shaft 31 provides an axis of oscillation for the arms which is transversely related to the path of travel defined by the guide rails 20.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, each flipper arm 30 is provided with a lifting pad 32 pivotally mounted for movement about an axis parallel to the path of travel. In the embodiment illustrated, as can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 4, oscillatory motion is imparted to each flipper arm by a respective bellcrank arm 33 driven through a connecting rod 34 by a pitman arm 35. Each pitman arm is non-rotably secured to a shaft 36 which is operatively connected in driven relationship to the motor 26 through power transmission chain 25, and associated power transmitting components. Accordingly, upon closing of the switch 28, power is supplied to the motor 26 causing rotation of shaft 36 and consequent oscillation of the flipper arms 30 through the linkage formed by bellcrank arms 33, connecting rods 34-, and pitman arms 35. The effective length of the connecting rods 24 is selected to provide the desired arc of travel of the flipper arms 30 during their oscillatory motion. Adjustment nuts are provided to vary the effective length of the connecting rods 34. A somewhat simplified form of power transmission linkage is illustrated without showing any counterweight devices, which normally would be included in such drive linkage for balancing purposes.

A cylindrical turret 40 is mounted for rotation about an axis transversely related to the path of travel by a support shaft 41 rotatably carried in suitable hearings in frame 10. A pair of axially spaced circular end plates 42, 43 serve as end walls of the turret and provide a pair of diametrically opposed case support stations 44, 45. Each station is circumferentially defined by a pair of heel lugs 46 individually secured to a respective end plate and a similar pair of stop plates 47 spaced forwardly of the heel lugs in relation to the direction of rotation, which is counterclockwise as viewed in FIG. 4. Each of the stop plates 47 provides a case engaging face 48 inclined relative to the case to limit the inward movement thereof. Stated differently, the engaging face 48 of each stop plate is tangentially related to a circle of a radius somewhat smaller than the circular end plates 42, 43, and determines the magnitude of radial inward movement by the case and the portion thereof to extend outwardly from the peripheral limits of the turret.

A plurality of support springs 50 are extended between pairs of opposed side rails 51 and serve to support the pasteboard six-pack cartons in a position radially inwardly from each respective case support station. Each opposed side rail of one pair is pivotally connected to a corresponding rail in the other pair by extension and retraction links 52 through suitable pivotal connections 53. As can be seen in FIG. 4, a parallelogram linkage is formed by the rails 51 and links 52, which permits an ease of adjustment to accommodate cartons of various heights. Each of the links 52 is pivotally connected intermediate its ends to a .respective one of the end plates 42, 43 of the turret 40 by a bolt 54 and frictionally held in a selected position of adjustment by a wing nut 55.

Two diametrically opposed stop bars 60, 61 are axially extended between the end plates 42, 43 of the turret 40. The stop bars provide turret arresting and holding means spaced 180 degrees from each other, which conforms to the spacing of the opposed case supporting stations 44, 45, An arrestor pin 62 is pivotally mounted in the frame 10 and provided with an integral operator arm 63 which is gravitationally biased toward an arresting position, as shown in FIG. 4. An operator cam 64, in the form of an eccentric pin radially extended from the drive-shaft 36, is adapted to engage the operator arm 63 during counterclockwise rotation of theshaft. Accordingly, the arrestor pin 62 is moved to a released position upon appropriate rotation of the shaft 36 and consequent engagement of the operator arm 63 by cam 64.

An ejector unit generally indicated at is carried by the frame 10 as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 4, 6, and 7. The ejector unit includes a yoke 71 partially encompassing the turret 40 and mounted for oscillatory motion about the axis provided by shaft 41. Each end of the yoke carries individual counterweights 72 which are disposed so as to engage respective resilient stops 73 mounted in the frame 10 to limit downward motion of the counterweights and the corresponding upward movement of the bight of yoke 71. The bight carries a pair of axially spaced rollers 74 adapted to engage the projecting portion of a case 15 upon counterclockwise rotation of the turret 40, as viewed in FIGS. 4, 6, and 7. A lug 75 is radially extended from the mounting portion of the yoke 70 and pivotally carries a fluid energy absorber in the form of a pneumatic snubbing cylinder 76, which is pivotally connected at its opposite end to the frame 10.

A sensing switch 77 is mounted on the frame 10 and positioned so that it is held in a normally open position by engagement of the yoke 71. Suitable control circuitry connects the sensing switch 77 to a time-delay relay 78 in control relationship through a power circuit to a suitable alarm signal 79, which may be in the form of an audible alarm or flashing light, as the operational environment may require. Upon movement of the yoke 71 away from the sensing switch 77, the time relay 78 is energized. Upon a predetermined period of elapsed time, the relay completes the circuit to the signal 79 to indicate that a normal cycle time for operation of the ejector unit 70 has elapsed without the yoke 71 having returned to its normal position of readiness, as shown in FIG. 4.

The frame 10 also includes an inclined ejector runway provided with a plurality of transversely extended cylindrical rollers 86. This permits discharge of each individual case gravitationally from the turret 40 and subsequent ejection to the left as viewed in FIGS. 4, 6 and 7 by appropriate operation of the ejector unit 70.

A modified form of the turret 40 is shown in FIG. 5, wherein the carton support linkage formed by the side rails 51 and links 52 is adjusted radially inwardly to a retracted position. In such a position, a full-depth case 90 can be accommodated by the turret 40. The radial dimension of the turret 40 is selected so that the case extends a predetermined distance beyond the periphery of the turret side walls 42, 43. Accordingly, the case cleaning machine of the present invention can be adjusted to accommodate cases of various depths, as well as cases containing pasteboard cartons employed as contemporary six-pack cartons.

As can be seen in FIG. 5, the drive shaft 36 is connected in driven relationship to the turret through a drive transfer chain 91 trained about a drive sprocket 92 secured to shaft 36 and about a turret sprocket 93 connected in driving relationship to the turret 40 by a torque limiting clutch, the details of which are not shown. Such a clutch is also referred to as a slip clutch, which prevents the transfer of power above a maximum torque value. When the applied torque exceeds such a value, the driven portion of the clutch permits relative movement or slips so as to limit the torque value of the applied power. Such a condition is necessary upon engagement of one of the stop bars 60, 61 by the arrestor pin 62. This temporarily precludes further rotation of the turret 40, although operation of the motor 26 and associated power transfer mechanism is continued. Such an arrangement also insures positive synchronization of the flipper arms 30 and the turret 40, so that the turret is in a circumferential position presenting one of the case receiving stations to a case being inverted by the flipper arms.

Operation The operation of the described embodiment of the subject invention is believed to be readily apparent and is briefly summarized at this point. For the purposes of the present description, it will be assumed that the conveyor 1-3 is operating in such a manner so thatits upwardly presented surface of support is driven from a direction from right to left as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 4, and the corresponding upwardly presented surface of support of the conveyor 14 is moving in the same direction. The case cleaning machine of the present invention is first installed in a position intermediate the conveyors 13 and 14. Accordingly, the case cleaning machine bridges the interval between the conveyors and completes a substantially rectilinear path of travel for the cases 15 during movement in the bottling plant.

Upon entry of a case at the admission station 11, the sensor device 27 is depressed, which consequently moves control switch 28 to a closed position. In such a position, the power circuit is completed to the drive motor 26 which eflects rotation of the shaft 36 through power transfer chain 25. Since the drive pulleys 24 are operatively connectedto the shaft 36, powered circuitous movement of the conveyor belts 22 is effected to carry the case from the admission station toward the turret 40. During such movement, the flipper arms 30 are being moved toward a retracted position which is shown in FIG. 7. Prior to reaching such a retracted position, the synchronized movement of the conveyor belts 22 and the flipper arms 30 is such so as to permit the case to advance to the left as viewed in FIGS. 1, 4, 6, and 7, until it reaches a position engaging the shaft 31 prior to the flipper arms completing their movement to the retracted position of FIG. 7. Consequently, the pivotally mounted lift pads 32 engage the side walls of each case 15 to effect a centering of the case relative to the longitudinal center line of the frame 10. Upon further downward movement to a fully retracted position, the lift pads 32 are gravitationally biased to an extended lifting position in which they are capable of supporting a case 15.

Continued operation of the motor 26 causes continued rotation of the shaft 36 and bellcranks 33 in a counterclockwise direction to effect raising of the flipper arms 30 to a position such as that shown in FIG. 1. In the event that an additional case has net entered admission station 11, the biased sensor 27 returns to the extended position shown in FIG. 4 and permits the normally open control switch 28 to interrupt the power circuit to the motor 26. Consequenty, further rotation of the sshaft 36 is prevented, and the machine remains in a static condition until the entry of a subsequent case into the admission station 11. This control arrangement economizes power requirements and eliminates unnecessary wear of the machine components.

Assuming that an uninterrupted flow of cases is being supplied by the conveyor 13, continuous operation of the motor 26 will result. Under such operational circumstances, the shaft 36 will continue to be rotated in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIGS. 4, 6, and 7. Consequently, the flipper arms 30 are advanced from the initial lifting position shown in FIG. 4 to a fully raised position shown in FIG. 6. In the latter position, case 15 is gravitationally discharged from flipper arms 30 and deposited in one of the case receiving stations 44, 45 afforded by the turret 40.

As can be seen in FIG. 6, one end of the case is supported 'by the axially spaced heel lugs 46 and the forward stop plates 47. As a result of a gravitational depositing of the case in the turret, the mechanical agitation of the case facilitates removal of any debris previous ly deposited in the case. If desired, air jets may augment the gravitational cleaning and the mild mechanical agitation provided by the present invention. In actual practice, inverting each case and the limited shock imparted to the case by reason of its being gravitationally deposited in one of the receiving stations has been sufiicient to remove debris normally found in commercial bottle cases.

- A container 94 is provided for temporary gathering of such debris collected during cleaning of cases by the present invetntion.

It should be noted that during the final movement of inverting each case by the flipper arms, the cam 64 raises the biasing operator arm 63 to a withdrawn position permitting movement of either of the stop bars 60, 61 past the arrestor pin 62. Consequently, rotation of the turret 40 is then permitted so that the case then resting in the upwardly presented one of the receiving station 44, 45 is moved in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIGS. 6 and 7, toward a position degrees from that of its original deposition in the turret. During the movement from the first position, as deposited by the flipper arms and shown in FIG. 6, toward a position 180 degrees therefrom, the radially projecting position of the case engages the rollers '74 carried by the yoke 71 of the restraining and ejector unit 70. Further rotation of the turrent 40 causes counterclockwise movement of the yoke 71 as it is urged in such a direction under the influence of the projecting portion of the case 15. During this movement, the snu'bbing cylinder 76 is extended, as shown in FIG. 7, while the counterweights 72 are raised to the maximum vertical position, wherein each possesses an energy potential by reason of such a raised position. Concurrently, continued operation of the motor 26 has moved the cam 64 to a releasing position, shown in FIG. 7, so that biased operator arm 63 effects a positioning of arrester pin 62 in the circumferential path of one of stop bars 60, 61.

Upon engagement of the arrester pin by one of the stop bars, the turrent 40 is temporarily halted. However, due to the kinetic energy of the counterweights 72, they are urged to continue in their counterclockwise rotation, until the biasing force of gravity utilizes such kinetic energy. Consequently, this slight counterclockwise movement of the counterweights causes the case engaging rollers 74 to move away from the case a slight distance so that the case is no longer urged into frictional engagement with the mounting plates of heel lugs 46. Accordingly, the cases are gravitationally deposited upon the inclined ejector runway 85.

As soon as the kinetic energy of the counterweights is expended, tthe biasing force of gravity acting upon the 4' counterweights tends to move them in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 7.

This return movement of the counterweights causes the case engaging rollers 74 of ejector 70 to eject the case upwardly and outwardly from the runway 85 onto the upwardly presented surface of support of conveyor 14. During such return movement, the snubbing cylinder 76 permits absorption of the kinetic energy of the returning counterweights by the throttled escape of air through adjusting screw 80. Accordingly, the counterweights return to their normally retracted position in engagement with the resilient stops 73.

Since the turret is temporarily prevented from moving by reason of the arrestor pin 62 being engaged by one of the stop bars 60, 61, the torque limiting clutch incorporated in the turret sprocket 93 permits continued oscillation of the flipper arms. Just as the arms reach the position shown in FIG. 6, wherein a case is being gravitationally deposited in one of the case receiving stations 44, 45, the cam 64 raises operator arm 63 and moves pin 62 from a position blocking movement of the turret 40. This synchronization is selected so that a case is ejected prior to a subsequent case being inverted for cleaning purposes. This prevents debris from falling from a case being cleaned to a case in the lower station prior to being ejected.

As previously described above, the sensing switch 77, time-delay relay 78, and signal 79 provide for an alarm system in the event that any jamming occurs at the discharge station 12 by reason of a twisted pasteboard carton or any other obstruction of the ejector runway 85. In such event, the time-delay relay 78 senses an abnormally extended lapse of time and energizes the signal 79. Alternately, the signal may also interrupt the power circuit to the motor 26. Accordingly, the present invention provides a case cleaning machine which effectively cleans debris from contemporary bottling cases by inverting the cases and subjecting them to a mild mechanical shock. The machine receives cases in a normally upright position and provides a substantially rectilinear path of travel for the cases by reason of the combination of the oscillating flipper arms and the intermittently rotating turret 40. The synchronization of the flipper arms and the turret is assured by the arrangement of the cam 64 in connection with the torque limiting drive through sprocket 93. Continuous and/or intermittent operation of the machine is provided by the sensor 27 and affords maximum efliciency and unattended operation. Accordingly, the present invention provides effective and economical cleaning of bottle cases, while permitting efficient utilization of avail-able floor space and accommodation to existing conveyor equipment.

Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. A case cleaning machine comprising a frame having a case admission station provided at one end thereof; case inverting and supporting means mounted on the frame adjacent to said admission station and adapted for movement between a case receiving position and a case inverting position; rotary supporting means mounted in the frame and adapted to receive a case in an inverted position from said case inverting means; case restraining and ejector means carried by the frame and adapted to cooperate with said rotary means to hold the case in a position supported by said rotary means; and control means synchronized with said case inverting means to release said restraining and ejector means from a position of cooperation with said rotary means after the case has been carried through a predetermined arc of a circumferential path of travel and thereby moved from said inverted position as received to an upright position immediately prior to release, so that the case is released from said rotary means and ejected in an upright position.

2. A case cleaning machine comprising a frame providing a case admission station at one end thereof; oase inverting and supporting means mounted on the frame and adapted to receive a case at said admission station and to move said case to an inverted position; rotary case supporting means mounted in the frame and adapted to receive a case in an inverted position from said case inverting means; power means connected in driving relation to said case inverting means and said rotary means including torque limiting power transmission means; case restraining and ejector mean-s carried by the frame and adapted to cooperate with said rotary means to hold the case in a position supported by said rotary means; and control means synchronized with said case inverting means to release said restraining and ejector means from a position of cooperation with said rotary means after the case has been carried through a predetermined arc of a circumferential path of travel and thereby moved from said inverted position as received to an upright position immediately prior to release, so that the case is released from said rotary means and ejected in an upright position.

3. A case cleaning machine comprising a frame adapted for positioning between longitudinally spaced conveyors and defining a path of travel therebetween, the frame having a case admission station at one end thereof and a discharge station at the opposite end; oscillatory case in verting and supporting means carried by the frame adjacent to the admission station to receive individual cases in an upright position and move each case to an inverted position; rotary case inverting and supporting means mounted in the frame and having a first station position wherein said means is adapted to receive a case in an inverted position from the oscillatory inverting means thereby imparting to the case a controlled mechanical shock and to carry said case through a predetermined arc of circumferential travel to a second station position to return the case to its original upright position; and means carried by the frame to restrain the case on said rotary means throughout said are of travel.

4. A case cleaning machine comprising a frame adapted for positioning between longitudinally spaced conveyors and defining a path of travel therebetween, the frame having a case admission station at one end thereof and a discharge station at the opposite end; guide means carried by the frame adjacent to the admission station and adapted to constrain cases to said path of travel during movement along a portion thereof; oscillatory case inverting and supporting means carried by the frame adjacent to the admission station to receive individual cases in an upright position and move each case to an inverted position; rotary case inverting means mounted in the frame and having a first station position wherein said means is adapted to receive a case in an inverted position from the oscillatory inverting means thereby imparting to the case a controlled mechanical shock and to carry said case through a predetermined arc of circumferential travel to a second station position to return the case to its original upright position; and means carried by the frame to restrain the case on said rotary means throughout said are of travel.

5. A case cleaning machine comprising an elongated frame adapted for disposition between aligned, spaced conveyors and defining a path of travel therebetween, the frame having an admission station at one end thereof and a discharge station at the opposite end; power means mounted in the frame and including power transmission means having an oscillatory drive linkage; a pair of transversely spaced flipper arms pivotally mounted in the frame on opposite Sides of said path of travel for oscillatory movement in respective planes and being connected in driven relation to said oscillatory linkage; a pair of biased lifting pads each being secured to a respective distal end of said arms and adapted to receive therebetween individual cases in an upright position and to move each case to an inverted position upon oscillation of the flipper arms throughout the arc of travel; rotary case inverting means mounted in the frame and having a first station position wherein said means is adapted to receive a case in an inverted position from the oscillatory inverting means and to carry said case through a predetermined arc of circumferential travel to a second station position to return the case to its original upright position; and means carried by the frame to restrain the case on said rotary means throughout said are of travel.

6. The case cleaning machine of claim 5, wherein said power transmission means includes synchronization means to move said rotary case inverting means to a predetermined circumferential position prior to inverting of a case by said flipper arms.

7. The case cleaning machine of claim 6, wherein said synchronizing means includes a power transfer drive between said oscillatory drive linkage and said rotary case inverting means and providing a torque limiting clutch in said power transfer drive, and wherein cam operated arrestor means are mounted in the frame to temporarily halt said rotary means while permitting continued oscillation of the flipper arms, so that synchronized movement of said rotary means occurs prior to inverting of a case by the flipper arms.

8. A case cleaning machine comprising a frame adapted for positioning between longitudinally spaced conveyors and defining a path of travel therebetween, the frame having an admission station at one end thereof and a discharge station at the opposite end; oscillatory case inverting means carried by the frame adjacent to the admission Station to receive individual cases in an upright position and move each case to an inverted position; rotary case inverting means mounted in the frame and having a first station position wherein said means is adapted to receive a case; an inverted position from the oscillatory inverting means and to carry said case through a predetermined arc of circumferential travel to a second station position to return the case to its original upright position; a U-shaped yoke pivotally mounted in the frame, coaxially related to said rotary inverting means and partially encompassing said means; a pair of counterweights individually carried at respective ends of said yoke; case engaging means mounted on the bight of said yoke and adapted to be contacted by a casein said rotary'invert-ing means during movement through said predetermined arc of travel so as to move the counterweights from a static biased position to a raised position; and arrestor means for intermittent halting of said rotary means to effect a release of an individual case by said engaging means and subsequent ejectment thereof upon return of the counterweights from a raised position to said static biased position.

9. The case cleaning machine of claim 8, wherein sensing means is mounted on the frame to detect movement of the yoke from said static biased position, and wherein a time-delay relay and an alarm signal, including control circuitry, are connected in controlled relation to said sensing switch to detect a lapse of time greater than a predetermined period for return of said yoke to said static biased position during an operating cycle thereof.

10. A case cleaning machine comprising an elongated frame affording a path of travel for cases therethrough and providing an admission station at one end thereof and a discharge station at the opposite end; a pair of flipper arms individually pivotally mounted at one end thereof in the frame in transversely opposed relation to said path of travel, each arm having a biased lifting pad pivotally mounted at the distal end thereof for movement between an extended receiving and lifting position and a retracted case centering position; a source of power; power transmission means carried in the frame interconnecting said source and said flipper arms, including an oscillatory drive linkage to effect oscillation of the arms in respective planes of movement between case receiving and case inverting positions; a turret mounted in the frame for rotation about an axis substantially normal to said path of travel and providing a plurality of circumferentially spaced case receiving stations; transfer drive means connecting said flipper arm drive linkage to said turret to effect rotation thereof, including torque limiting means permitting intermittent halting of the turret and continuous oscillation of the flipper arms; a U-shaped restraining and ejector yoke mounted for pivotal movement coaxially related to said turret between a biased static position and a position of potential energy upon engagement and movement thereof by a case in one of the turret stations; stop means carried by the turret and disposed in a circumferential path during turret rotation; arrestor means mounted in the frame for movement between a position blocking said circumferential path and a position withdrawn therefrom; and synchronizing means operatively connected with said power transmission means to effect timed positioning of said arrestor means in said circumferential path in relation to oscillation of the flipper arms and consequent intermittent halting of the turret coordinated with predetermined positions of oscillation of the arms.

11. The case cleaning machine of claim 10, wherein said stop means comprises a plurality of circumferentially spaced stop members and said arrestor means comprises a biased pin pivotally mounted in the frame and having an operator arm connected thereto for movement of the pin between a position blocking the circumferential path of said stop members and a position withdrawn therefrom, and wherein said synchronization means includes a cam driven by said power transmission means and mounted in the frame for timed intermittent effective contact with said operator arm to move the same to said blocking position.

12. The case cleaning machine of claim 10, wherein case sensing means is mounted in the frame adjacent said admission station and arranged in control relation to said source of power to energize the same only upon the presence of a case at the admission station.

13. The case cleaning machine of claim 10, wherein a sensing member is mounted on the frame for contact by said ejector yoke when in said static position; a relay of a predetermined time-delay type is connected to said sensing member in controlled relation; and an alarm is connected to the relay through a source of energy so that the alarm is energized upon movement of the yoke from said static position and remaining from said position for a time period greater than said predetermined time-delay,

14. The case cleaning machine of claim 10, wherein case sensing means is mounted in the frame adjacent said admission station and connected in control relation to said source of power to energize the same only upon the presence of a case at the admission station; a sensing switch member is mounted on the frame for contact by said ejector yoke when in said static position; a relay of a predetermined time-delay type is connected to said sensing member in controlled relation; and an alarm device is connected to the relay through a source of energy so that the alarm is energized upon movement of the yoke from said static position and remaining from said position for a time period greater than said predetermined time-delay.

15. The case cleaning machine of claim 10, wherein energy absorbing snubher means is pivotally connected between said ejector yoke .and the frame to absorb at least a portion of the kinetic energy of the yoke during return movement of the same from said position of potential energy to said biased static position.

16. The case cleaning machine of claim 15, wherein resilient stop members are mounted on the frame to limit movement of said ejector yoke from said position of potential energy to said biased static position and to determine said static position.

17. The case cleaning machine. of claim 16, wherein a sensing member is mounted on the frame for contact by said ejector yoke when in said static position; a relay of a predetermined time-delay type is connected to said sensing member in controlled relation; and an alarm is connected to the relay through a source of energy so that the alarm is energized upon movement of the yoke from said static position and remaining from said position for a time period greater than said predetermined time-delay.

18. The case cleaning machine of claim 16, wherein case sensing means is mounted in the frame adjacent said admission station and connected in control relation to said source of power to energize the same only upon the presence of a case at the admission station; a sensing switch member is mounted on the frame for contact by said ejector yoke when in said static position; a relay of a predetermined time-delay type is connected to said sensing memher in controlled relation; and an alarm device is connected to the relay through a source of energy so that the alarm is energized upon movement of the yoke from said static position and remaining from said position for a time period greater than said predetermined time-delay.

19. A case cleaning machine comprising an elongated frame affording a path of travel for cases therethrough and providing an admission station at one end thereof and discharge station at the opposite end; a pair of flipper arms individually pivotally mounted at one end thereof in the frame in transversely opposed relation to said path of travel, each arm having a biased lifting pad pivotally mounted at the distal end thereof for movement between an extended case receiving and lifting position and retracted case centering position; a source of motive power mounted on the frame; power transmission means carried in the frame interconnecting said source and said flipper arms, including an oscillatory drive linkage to effect oscillation of the arms in respective planes of movement between case receiving and case inverting positions; a turret mounted in the frame for rotation about an axis substan tially normal to said path of travel and providing a plurality of circumferentially spaced case receiving stations; transfer drive means connecting said flipper arm drive linkage to said turret to effect rotation thereof; a torque limiting clutch mounted in said transfer drive means to permit intermittent halting of the turret and continuous oscillation of the flipper arms through said oscillatory drive linkage; a U-shaped restraining and ejector yoke mounted for pivotal movement coaxially related to said turret between a biased static position and a position of potential energy upon engagement and movement thereof by a case in one of the turret stations during rotation of the turret; a plurality of stop bars circumferentially spaced on the turret at intervals corresponding to the spacing of said case receiving turret stations and disposed in a common circumferential path during turret rotation; a biased arrestor pin pivotally mounted in the frame and having an operator arm connected thereto for movement of the pin "between a position blocking the circumferential path of one of said stop bars and a position withdrawn therefrom; a cam member mounted in the frame and connected in driven relation to said power transmission means for timed intermittent effective contact with said operator arm to move the same to said blocking position; sensing means mounted in the frame adjacent said admission station and arranged in control relation to said source of motive power to energize the same only upon the presence of a case at the admission; a sensing switch member mounted in the frame for contact by said ejector yoke when in said static position; a relay of a predetermined time-delay type connected to said sensing switch member in controlled relation; and an alarm connected to the relay through a source of energy so that the alarm is energized upon movement of the yoke from said static position and remaining from said position for a time period greater than said predetermined time-delay.

2d. The case cleaning machine of claim 19, wherein said restraining and ejector yoke carries a case engaging roller on the bight portion of the yoke for contact by a case in one of the case receiving turret stations; and wherein an ejector runway is carried 'by the frame at said discharge station so that the roller moves a case out of the frame on said runway during return movement of the yoke from said position of potential energy to said biased static position.

References Cited HUGO O. SCHULZ, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2715973 *Mar 10, 1951Aug 23, 1955Thomas Watts RichardDepanning machines
GB825522A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4353675 *Dec 14, 1978Oct 12, 1982Risener George WCase and carton handling device
DE3436865A1 *Oct 8, 1984Jun 12, 1986Ulrich KlotzkiDevice for cleaning bottle crates or the like
Classifications
U.S. Classification414/415, 414/419
International ClassificationB08B9/08
Cooperative ClassificationB08B9/0861
European ClassificationB08B9/08Y