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Publication numberUS3334725 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 8, 1967
Filing dateMay 10, 1966
Priority dateMay 10, 1966
Publication numberUS 3334725 A, US 3334725A, US-A-3334725, US3334725 A, US3334725A
InventorsDennehy Charles J, Russell Wardlaw
Original AssigneeCookson Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Retractable wall apparatus and drive mechanism therefor
US 3334725 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 8,

R. WARDLAW ETAL RETRACTABLE WALL APPARATUS AND DRIVE MECHANISM THEREFOR Filed May 10, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG .1

ATTORNEYS Aug. 8, 1967 R. WARDLAW ETAL 3,334,725

RETRACTABLE WALL APPARATUS AND DRIVE MECHANISM THEREFOR Filed May 10, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet,

I a an I 2 50 JJ 65 E I aw \Km 1 l 4 70 i v /ls rh :1 L i 56 I4; IVE! 20 as I g 76 INVENTORS 7 F FIG 6 RUSSELL WARDLAW 72, v BY CHARLES J. DENNEHY ar- 5 M f ATTORNEYS Aug. 8, 1967 R. WARDLAW ETAL 3,334,725

RETRACTABLE WALL APPARATUS AND DRIVE MECHANISM THEREFOR Filed May 10, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTORS RUSSELL WARDLAW BY CHARLES J. DENNEHY ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,334,725 RETRACTABLE WALL APPARATUS AND DRIVE MECHANISM THEREFQR Russell Wardlaw, San Rafael, and Charles J. Dennehy,

San Francisco, Calif., assignors to The Cookson Company, San Francisco, Calif., a corporation of California Filed May 10, 1966, Ser. No. 548,926 9 Claims. (Cl. 198-89) This invention relates generally to retractable wall apparatus and to drive mechanisms therefor, and more particularly to such an apparatus which serves as a movable or collapsable side guard for a conveyor.

Heretofore, such conveyors have been provided with movable side guards which have been moved as the point of feeding the conveyor was changed. Such side guards have not been satisfactory over long runs of conveyor because the mass of the side guards made their movement diflicult and slow. There is, therefore, a need for a new and improved retractable wall apparatus and driving mechanism therefor which can be used conveniently in conjunction with a conveyor system.

In general, it is an object of the present invention to provide a retractable wall apparatus and drive mechanism therefor which overcomes the above named disadvantages.

Another object of the invention is to provide a wall apparatus of the above character which is powered so that it closely and rapidly follows the change in position required when the point of feeding the conveyor system is shifted.

Another object of the invention is to provide a wall apparatus and drive mechanism therefor of the above character which forms a continuous guard on both sides of the conveyor system from the point of feeding the conveyor and which is variable in position according to the point of feeding the conveyor.

Another object of the invention is to provide a wall apparatus of the above character which is simple and low cost in construction and which is able to withstand rapid and repeated accelerations.

Additional objects and features of the invention will appear from the following description in which the preferred embodiment has been set forth in detail in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

Referring to the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of a conveyor system including a retractable wall apparatus and drive mechanism therefor, incorporating the present invention.

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the system shown in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectioned view taken along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged detail view of the connection between the wall apparatus and the collector trolley of the conveyor system.

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged top plan view of the drive mechanism taken along the lines 5-5 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional View taken along the lines 66 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged detail view, partially in crosssection, of the partition drive assembly shown in FIG- URE 6.

FIGURE 8 is a detail view of the connection between the tensioning cable and collector trolley shown in FIGURE 1.

In general, the invention consists of a conveyor system in which articles are fed to a conveyor belt at a plurality of points therealong, as by a plurality of spaced conveyors. Spaced retractable wall means is disposed along each side of the conveyor belt for movement therealong. Each wall means is connected with suitable means for forming a continuous loop and both loops being driven till means.

Referring particularly to the drawings, there is shown a main conveyor 10 extending in a generally horizontal direction and which includes a belt 11 which passes about rollers 12 rotatably mounted in a conveyor framework 14. A collector trolley 16 overlies the main conveyor 10 and is adapted to travel longitudinally thereof. The trolley 16 has four wheels 18 which travel on rails 20 mounted on the framework 14 on opposite sides of the main conveyor belt 10. At spaced locations along the length of the main conveyor belt 10 and above the plane of the main conveyor belt are located a plurality of feeder conveyors 22 including conveyor belts 24 which pass about rollers 26 rotatably carried in the frameworks 28. Each conveyor 22 is independently driven by suitable drive means (not shown).

The collector trolley 16 is provided with a belt 30 supported on rollers 31 rotatably mounted on the trolley. Belt 30 is adapted to move through a right angle to thereby change the direction of flow of packages from that of one of feeder conveyors 22 to conveyor 10. Thus, belt 30 overlies conveyor belt 10 at one edge 32 and extends through a right angle to the next exit end of one of feeder conveyors 24 at its other edge 34.

Along each side of belt 30 there are provided vertically extending curved walls 36 and 38 which are closely spaced to the belt 30 to prevent articles from falling olf the trolley, except by moving toward edge 32. An electric motor 40 is mounted on the collector trolley 16 and is connected through a suitable sprocket chain drive assembly 41 to wheels 18 of the trolley for moving the trolley back and forth upon rails 20.

Spaced parallel retractable walls or partitions 42 and 43 are mounted in opposite sides of the main conveyor belt 10 to extend longitudinally thereof. One end of the outer end of walls 42 and 43 are connected to sidewalls 36 and 38 of the trolley by bracket means, comprising right angle brackets 44, 45 connected by suitable fasteners 46. The walls 42 and 43 are mounted for sliding motion on guide shoes 47 which travel in guide tracks 48 mounted on the frame work 14. Each of the walls or partitions 42, 43 comprises a plurality of vertical members 49 formed and interconnected as shown in FIGURE 4, or they may may be formed as described in US. Patent No. 2,934,139.

The other end of the wall or partition 42, 43 terminates in a coil box 50 located beyond the last of the feeder conveyors 22. Since each of the walls or partitions 42, 43 and coil boxes 50 together with the associated structure are similar, except as to handedness, the following description will only cover one wall and associated apparatus, the other wall being understood to be the mirror image of that described.

As shown particularly in FIGURES 1, 2, and 6, the coil box 50 is a substantially rectangular box having top plate 52, sidewalls 54 and bottom plate 56. A third plate 58 is mounted by suitable framework (not detailed) in spaced relation below the bottom plate 56. A vertical opening 59 is formed in the sidewall of the box adjacent the track 20 for permitting the retractable wall 42 to pass into the box.

As it enters coil box 50, wall 42 travels over an idler barrel 62 mounted for rotation between top and bottom plates 52, 56. A coil barrel 64 is rotatably mounted within the coil box on a shaft 65 rotatably mounted in bearings 66 and 68. Wall 42 is secured to barrel 64 and is adapted to be wrapped around the same, its lower extremities being supported by a flat circular disk 70 afiixed to the bottom of the barrel 64. The shaft 65 upon which the barrel is mounted extends through the bearing 68 and bottom plate 56 and carries therebelow a gear 71 keyed and pinned thereto. A shaft 72 is rotatably mounted in bearings 74 secured to the bottom plate 56 and the third plate 58 and carries a speed changing gear 76 and a sprocket 78, each keyed and pinned to shaft 72.

Another shaft 80 is rotatably mounted in bearings 82 carried by the bottom plate 56 and third plate 58 and has a conical scroll or spool 84 keyed and pinned thereto at its top and centered thereon by a bushing 86 at its bottom. A sprocket 88 is keyed and pinned to shaft 80. A chain 90 is trained about the sprocket 78 and 88 and a tensioning sprocket 92 to rotatably connect the shaft 80 with shaft 72. Thus, rotation of shaft 65 causes rotation of the scroll 84 in the same sense of rotation and vice versa.

The scroll 84 is shaped in the form of a truncated cone having a helico-conical groove 102 extending from the bottom to the top and facing outwardly thereabout for receiving a tensioning cable 103. The cable 103 is afiixed to the bottom or large end of the scroll 84 and is entrained in groove 102. 7

Cable 103 is reeved over pulleys 104 and has its other end 105 secured to adjustable tensioning means 106 (FIGURES 1, 8) carried by trolley 16. Tensioning means 106 include eye bolt 107 about which the cable is secured by a conventional cable clamp 110. The threaded end of the eye bolt passes through a bracket 112 secured to trolley 16 and is held in tension by a compression spring 114 abutting a bracket 112 at one end and a washer 116 at the other end, washer 116 being held on the bolt by a nut 118. Thus, tension force is transmitted from the outer end of the partition 42 through bracket 49 to trolley 16, from the trolley to bracket 112 and tensioning means 106 through cable 103 to the scroll 84, gearing and barrel 64 to thereby form a continuous loop in tension. Thus, wall 42 is maintained under constant, fixed tension.

Operation and use of the side coiling partition may now be briefly described as follows: Let it be assumed that walls 42 and trolley 16 are at rest, the cables 103 and walls 42 being placed under the desired amount of tension by the tensioning means 106. Actuation of the trolley motor 40 in one sense causes the trolley 16 to pull the walls 42 away from the coil boxes 50. This motion is transmitted by the partitions 42 to the coiled portion and in turn through the gear means to the scroll 84 to cause the scroll 84 to pull in cables. Since the winding of the scroll 84 is from the large diameter end to the small diameter end, it is obvious that less and less cable per revolution is pulled in as the partitions 42 are pulled out; and, this corresponds to the fact that less and less partition per revolution is rolled off of the coiled portion of the partition as thediameter of the coiled por-, tion of the partitions decreases. Actuation of the motor 40 in the opposite sense causes the trolley 16 to pull on the upperrun of cable 103 and to cause the cable to be pulled off scroll 84. In turn, the scroll 84 rotates and operates the gear means and coil barrel to take up wall 42. As the walls are coiled up, the diameter of the coiled portion of the wall increases so that more and more cable per revolution is let out to maintain constant tension. Since the cable is let out from lower, larger diameter portions of the scroll, a larger amount per revolution is let out to thereby automatically compensate for the larger amount of walls 42 being coiled up per revolution.

With the construction of the present invention, the tension can be maintained at a fixed value despite the changing diameter of the coiling partition. This is possible because of the continuously changing diameter of the groove 102 formed in the scroll 84 which permits paying out of cable at a rate proportional to the rate of take up of partition. The scroll is dimensioned so that the groove has a diameter equal to l/ N of the maximum- .minimum diameters of the coiled partition of the barrel at its top and bottom, respectively, N being the gear ratio between the barrel and the scroll. Since the circumference of the circle is linearly related to the diameter, it is easily seen that the change in diameter of the scroll is a linear property so that the groove on the scroll generally lies on the surface of a right circular cone. Preferably, the gear ratio is arranged so that the scroll rotates faster than the barrel whereby the scroll can be made considerably smaller and yet not be any less effective.

The tension set up is maintained by the present construction under all conditions, i.e., regardless of the direction of motion of the trolley since all of the connections are designed and constructed for completely reversible operation.

It is apparent from the foregoing that we have provided a partition or wall apparatus and drive means therefor which has particular advantages over prior structures. The construction of this invention utilizes a drive mechanism in the form of a trolley or other means for pulling at the outer end of the walls. During coiling and uncoilng, the walls are maintained under constant tension by the action of the scroll and cable despite the changing diameter of the coiled portion of the partition and in either direction of motion of the walls. Although a trolley and motor have been shown as the driving mechanism for the walls, it is apparent that the walls and cable could be pulled by hand or other means.

We claim:

1. In a retractable wall apparatus, a conveyor extending in a generally horizontal direction and adapted to have articles supplied thereto at a plurality of points spaced along the conveyor, retractable wall means disposed along each side of the conveyor to form a side guard for the conveyor, said retractable wall means having inner and outer ends, means mounting the retractable wall means to permit movement thereof and to permit the conveyor to be loaded with articles at various positions, a trolley secured to the outer ends of said retractable wall means and adapted for travel longitudinally of the conveyor, cable-like means having one end secured at the trolley and means forming a connection between the other end of the cable-like means to the inner ends of the wall means to thereby form a continuous loop, and means driving said retractable wall means from a single power source provided on the tractor so that said retractable wall means .is selectively driven positively in either direction along said conveyor.

2. Apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said means forming a connection between the cable-like means and the inner ends of the wall includes a barrel, means securing the inner end of the retractable wall means to the 7 barrel, a cable receiving scroll, means rotatably mounting the cable receiving scroll, means forming an operative connection between the barrel and said scroll, said scroll being formed to compensate for changes in diameter of the retractable wall means as it is coiled onto and uncoiled from the barrel.

3. In retractable wall apparatus, a framework having an opening therein, a barrel rotatably mounted in said framework, flexible wall means having one end secured to said barrel and adapted to be coiled thereon through the opening in the framework, a cable receiving scroll rotatably mounted on said framework, means forming an operative connection between said barrel and said scroll whereby as said scroll is rotated said barrel is rotated, means including flexible cable-like means connected between said scroll and the free end of said Wall means, said cable-like means being adapted to be coiled on said scroll and said scroll being formed in the shape of a truncated cone and having a helico-conical outwardly facing groove therein for receiving said cable-like means, and means for driving said wall means from a single power source for coiling said wall means on and uncoiling said wall means from said barrel as said scroll is rotated, the eifective diameter of the groove in the scroll automatically changing to compensate for the changing diameter of the coiled portion of the wall means.

4. Apparatus as in claim 3 wherein said scroll has a maximum diameter l/N times the maximum diameter of the wall means on the barrel, and a minimum diameter l/N times the minimum diameter of the barrel where l/N represents the ratio of rotation between the scroll and the barrel as established by the means forming an operative connection.

5. Apparatus as in claim 3 wherein the connecting mean also includes a trolley, track means on which said trolley travels, means connecting the outer end of said wall means to said trolley, and means connecting said cable-like means to said trolley, and wherein said means for driving said wall means is mounted on said trolley to move said trolley and the wall means and cable-like means secured thereto.

6. Apparatus as in claim 3 wherein said means forming an operative connection includes a shaft extending axially of said barrel, and gearing means connecting said scroll to said shaft.

7. Apparatus as in claim '3 in which the gearing connecting said scroll to said barrel has a gear ratio such that said scroll rotates faster than said barrel.

8. In a retractable wall apparatus, a conveyor extending in a generally horizontal direction and adapted to have articles supplied thereto at a plurality of points spaced along one side of the conveyor, wall means disposed along each side of the conveyor to form side guards for the conveyor, at least one of said wall means being retractable and having inner and outer ends, a framework having an opening therein, a 'barrel rotatably mounted in said framework, the outer end of said wall means being secured to said barrel and adapted to be coiled thereon through the opening in the framework, a cable receiving scroll rot-atably mounted in said framework, means forming an operative connection between said barrel and said scroll whereby as said scroll is rotated said barrel is rotated, cable-like means forming a flexible connection under tension between the scroll and the outer end of said wall means, said cable-like means being coiled on said scroll such that as the retractable wall is coiled onto or uncoiled from the banrel and the diameter of the coiled portion of the wall changes, the changing diameter is automatically compensated for by a changing of position of the cable-like means on said scroll to thereby maintain the tension in said cable means at a substantially constant level, and means connected to the outer end of the retractable wall means for driving the same back and forth.

9. In retractable wall apparatus, an elongate moving conveyor extending in a generally horizontal direction, a plurality of stations positioned at spaced locations alongside said conveyor of selectively delivering articles to the conveyor at any one of said locations, retractable wall means disposed along each side of the conveyor to form a side guard for preventing articles delivered to the conveyor from falling ofi of the same, said retractable Wall means having inner and outer ends, the outer ends being displaced away from the inner ends in the direction of motion of said conveyor, said wall means including means forming a connection between the inner and outer ends thereof so that said wall means with the means forming the connection make up a continuous loop, means mounting said retractable wall means for movement alongside the conveyor so that the inner ends are posi-, tionable at a preselected station, and means for driving said wall means from a single power source so that the retractable wall means is driven positively in either direc tion back and forth in the mounting means between a position of rest at any given station to a position of rest at another station, the inner ends of said wall means being constructed so that the moving conveyor can receive articles from the station at which the inner ends of said wall means is positioned.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,425,556 8/1922 Johnson 19879 FOREIGN PATENTS 707,896 4/1954 Great Britain.

EVON C. BLUNK, Primary Examiner. RICHARD E. AEGERTER, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1425556 *May 5, 1921Aug 15, 1922Standard Conveyor CoController for intersecting conveyers
GB707896A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3402804 *Jan 23, 1967Sep 24, 1968Star Kist FoodsCan loader
US3434584 *Apr 26, 1967Mar 25, 1969Fmc CorpExtendible conveyor
US3467238 *Aug 1, 1967Sep 16, 1969Portec IncTransfer terminal for conveyor belt
US4889223 *Feb 12, 1988Dec 26, 1989Ab Tetra PakDistribution-transferring device for articles to be conveyed incorporated in a conveyer
US5550745 *Jun 30, 1994Aug 27, 1996Accu-Sort Systems, Inc.Moveable label printer-applicator/conveyor loader assembly
US5940305 *Jun 7, 1996Aug 17, 1999Accu-Sort Systems, Inc.Moveable label printer-applicator/conveyor loader assembly
US8365902Aug 22, 2008Feb 5, 2013Laitram, L.L.C.Belt conveyors with retractable wall segments
US20100219048 *Aug 22, 2008Sep 2, 2010Laitram, L.L.C.Belt conveyors with retractable wall segments
CN101821178BAug 22, 2008Jan 23, 2013莱特拉姆有限责任公司Belt conveyors with retractable wall segments
WO2009026533A1 *Aug 22, 2008Feb 26, 2009Laitram, L.L.C.Belt conveyors with retractable wall segments
Classifications
U.S. Classification198/364, 198/836.1
International ClassificationB65G21/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65G21/00
European ClassificationB65G21/00