US 3412652 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
D. MCINTYRE Nov. 26, 1968 MACHINE FOR ERECTING CASES AND POSITIONING THEM FOR LOADING 6 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Feb. 13, 1967 I'l Il l L J D. MCINTYRE Nov. 26, 1968 MACHINE FOP` ERECTING CASES AND POSITIONING THEM FOR LOADING 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 13, 1967 D. MCINTYRE Nov. 26, 1968 MACHINE FOR ERECTING CASES AND POSITIONING THEM FOR LOADING 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Feb. l5, 1967 D, MCINTYRE Nov. 26, 1968 MACHINE FOR ERECTING CASES AND POSITIONING THEM FOR LOADING Filed Feb. 13, 1967 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 D. MCINTYRE 3,412,652
MACHINE FOR ERECTING CASES AND POSITIONING THEM FOR LOADING Nov. 26, 1968 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 13, 1967 D. MCINTYRE Nov. 26, 1968 Filed Feb. 15, 1967 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 TDP-l j a? v SOLE f F. f r@ .0, W f 0 0 E @www Q @Z253 l W m m@ mm@ f w u A A m G G. F. F. w w w w W,
IL il 3,412,652 MACHINE FR ERECTING CASES AND POSITIONING THEM FCR LOADENG Daniel McIntyre, Portland, Conn., assigner to Emhart Corporation, Bloomfield, Conn., a corporation ot Delaware Filed Feb. 13, 1967, Ser. No. 615,778 18 Claims. (Cl. 9.3-53) ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A machine having a magazine for storing cases in a flat folded condition, and having reciprocable means for drawing the lowermost case downwardly from said magazine and erecting the case on a platform. A carriage has 4means for closing two of the rear end flaps of the erected case and transferring the case from the platform to a packing funnel where the remaining rear end flaps are closed and the case is loaded. As the carriage leaves the platform with an erected case, a second case is drawn downwardly, and erected, so that two cases are handled simultaneously in the machine. The lpacker ha-s a conventional drop-off arm which is operated in timed relation with the machine so that each packed case is automatically lowered onto a take-away conveyor before the next case is transferred to the funnel.
Summary of invention This invention relates to a machine for erecting or opening cases and positioning the opened cases seriatim on the funnel portion of a conventional packer, and deals more particularly with la machine capable of transferring an erected case to the funnel while the next succeeding case is being erected.
A general object of the present invention is to provide a machine having case erecting and transferring means which are operable in timed relationship with the plunger or pusher mechanism of a case packer and wherein the packer has means for automatically lowering a packed case onto a take-away conveyor.
The drawings show a preferred embodiment of the invention and such embodiment will be described, but it will be understood that various changes may be made from the construction disclosed, and that the drawings and description are not to be construed as defining or limiting the scope of the invention, the claims forming a part of this specification being relied upon for that purpose.
Brief description of drawings FIG. l is an end view of a machine for packing cases con-structed in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the machine shown in FIG. 1 with portions of a case packer including the funnel and drop-off mechanism for lowering the packed case onto a take-away conveyor.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged plan view of the machine showing a portion of the take-away conveyor.
FIG. 4 is a plan View of a portion of the machine shown in FIG. 3 but drawn to a larger scale.
FIG. 5 is a side view of that portion of the machine shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the line '6 6 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is an elevational schematic view showing an initially collapsed case being erected, and having two of its end flaps closed.
FIG. 8 is a plan view, in schematic form, showing )an erected case, the mechanism for folding two of its end flaps, and the plunger for loading a charge of articles BAZSZ Patented Nov. 26, 1968 Derailed description Turning now to the drawings in greater detail, FIG. 1 shows, in elevation, one end of a machine for erecting or opening fiat cardboard shipping cases and for positioning each open case on the packing funnel of a conventional case packing machine. The machine comprises a fixed frame having four legs 10, 10 each of which carries an adjustable foot 12 and is `connected at its lupper end to a generally horizontally extending table portion 14. Four post members 16, 16 are attached to the side edges of the table 14- and extend upwardly to support the case magazine indicated generally at 18. A fixed rectangular frame 20 is supported by the upper ends of each of the post members 16, 16 and a pair of plates 22, 22 are secured to lthe frame 20 by angle brackets as shown. A plurality of elongated slots 24, 24 are defined in these pla-tes 22, 22 to adjustably receive screws 26, 26 which extend inwardly through the plates 22, 22 for releasably clamping magazine corner posts 28, 28 in any "desired position for accommodating shipping cases C, C of various sizes. The -shipping cases C, C are flat and are stacked -between the corner posts 28, 28 with a predetermined number at the bottom of the stack being horizontally disposed as shown while the remainder of said cases are inclined slightly so `as to be fed downwardly to a horizontal position as the lowermost case is drawn from the magazine and erected by mechanism to be described.
As is well known in the art, the lowermost case can be releasably retained in the magazine by suitably preadjusted rollers (not shown) Iarranged around the magazine so that the lowermost case can be snapped past said rollers by vacuum cups to be described. Preferably, the magazine includes suitable means for assuring that no more than a predetermined number of cases rest against the rollers. As shown, said means comprises an adjustably mounted pneumatic cylinder 30 having a hook element 32 on its piston and which is thereby adapted to reciprocate into and out of the magazine between the position shown in full lines and the position shown in broken lines. This is done in timed operation with other components of the machine to feed one case at a time downwardly through the magazine so that only a predetermined number of cases rests against the aforementioned rollers. A plate 31 is provided opposite the hook portion 32 to cant the cases C, C in the magazine.
In accordance with the present invention, reciprocable means is mounted in the fixed frame of the machine for drawing the lowermost case in the magazine downwardly onto a stationary platform 36, which platform is fixed to the table 14 by angle brackets 38, 38 as best shown in FIG, 2. The said reciprocable means comprises a fluid motor 40 having a cylinder which is vertically disposed and attached to the fixed frame of the machine by a bracket 42. The bracket 42 is connected at its upper end to the table 14 and carries forwardly extending lugs 44, 44 which are fixedly attached to the upper and lower ends of the fluid motor cylinder. The fluid motor 40 includes a piston with a rod 46 extending upwardly throughl the cylinder and connected to a horizontal plate 48 upon which are mounted four vacuum cup assemblies S0, 50. Two guide rods 52, 52 are connected at their upper ends to the plate 48 and at their lower ends to a second plate 54. A block 56 (FIG. 1) is secured to the bracket 42 and defines guide openings for slidably receiving the guide rods 52, 52. A limit switch ZLS (FIG, 2) is provided with an actuating arm which is moved in response to initial 3 upward movement of the plate 48, and is returned to the position shown when the plate 48 and its associated vacuum cups 50, 50 are returned. The vacuum cups S0, 50 and their associated plate 48 move through an opening 37 (FIG. 3) in the stationary platform 36, These cups 50, 50 serve to engage the lowermost case in the magazine and to draw it downwardly as shown in FIG. 7.
A camming surface is provided below the case magazine 18 for causing the downwardly moving case to be erected, or opened as shown in FIG. 7. With reference more particularly to FIG. 1, said camming surface 60 comprises an arcuate side wall which is adjustably supported on screw means 62 and 64 extending respectively from a post 16 and from a frame plate 20. An opposite side wall 66 is vertical and is provided to guide the opposite side of the case during downward movement.
As the erected case C reaches the position shown in FIGS. l and 2, it engages a limit switch 4LS to initiate operation of suitable means for closing at least one pair of end flaps at the rear end of the erected case. The said last-mentioned means also serves to clamp the erected case C in position on the platform 36 and it is a feature of the present invention that said means also moves forwardly from the position shown in order to transfer the erected case to the funnel 70 of a conventional packer.
A split carriage assembly is movably mounted in the fixed frame of the machine and carries said case clamping means for transferring the erected case between the platform 36 and the funnel as shown in FIG, 8. Referring more particularly to FIG. 1, two pairs of horizontally extending guide rods 72 and 74 are secured to the machine frame with one pair 72, 72 being arranged vertically one above the other and the second or right-hand pair 74, 74 being horizontally disposed. These pairs of guide rods 72 and 74 are secured to the opstanding posts 16, 16 and extend forwardly from the rearmost posts as shown in FIG. 2 past the forward post 16 and to within a relatively short distance of the funnel 70. The split carriage assembly comprises distinct carriage portions arranged on each side of the path of movement of the erected case and each carriage portion has suitable rollers 100, 100 for engaging or riding upon the guide rods 72 and 74.
The carriage is constructed so that the right-hand portion thereof as viewed in FIG. 1 can be adjusted toward and away from the left-hand portion for accommodating cases of various widths. It is an important feature of the present invention that the distinct carriage portions permit vertical movement of the vacuum cups 50, 50 prior to return movement of the carriage assembly and during forward movement thereof as long as the erected case has passed the forward pair of vacuum cups S0, 50. Horizontal forward and rearward movement of the carriage assembly is achieved by reciprocatory movement of a generally vertically disposed air cylinder 76 which is pivotally connected at its upper end to the fixed frame of the machine by a pivot pin 78. The pin 78 is carried by an arm 80 connected in turn to an upstanding post 82, which post is in turn fixedly secured to the table 14. The downwardly extending actuating rod 84 of the air cylinder 76 is connected to a crank arm 86, which is pivotally mounted on a rock shaft 88. The rock shaft 88 extends transversely across the machine and is journalled at each end in the machine frame. A pair of levers 90, 90 are secured at their lower ends to the rock ,shaft 88 and each lever carries a link 92 at its upper end which is connected to one of the split carriage portions mentioned above. Various limit switches lLS, SLS and 7LS to be discussed in greater detail hereinbelow, are associated with rocking movement of the shaft 88 to detect various positions of the carriage assembly.
The leftand right-hand carriage portions have rollers 100, which roll on fixed guide rods 72 and 74 and permit the carriage to move between the platform position shown in FIG. 3 and a position adjacent to the funnel 70 of the case packer. The left-hand carriage portion 102, shown at the bottom of FIG. 3 rides along the vertically spaced rails 72, 72 and thus occupies only a limited horizontal space in the machine. A bottom or lower Wall 104, shown to best advantage in FIG. l, extends inwardly under the platform 36. The right-hand carriage portion, indicated generally at 106, rides on the horizontally spaced guide rails 74, 74 and has a variable horizontal extent so that its bottom or lower wall 108, can be moved relative to the platform 36. This wall 108 is carried by a depending angle bracket 110 and can be moved horizontally by movement of the slotted plate 112. Inner rollers are carried by the bracket 110 and ride on the inner guide rail 74. The inner guide rail 74 is adjustably mounted on an upstanding post 114 which can also be moved toward and away from the fixed platform 36 so as to always match the position of the inner set of rollers 100, 100 carried by the angle bracket 110.
The left-hand carriage portion 102 also includes a generally vertically extending side wall 116 which is tangentially arranged below the arcuate camming surface 60 when the carriage assembly is located at the platform. The right-hand carriage portion 106 also includes a generally vertically extending side wall 118 which is located in opposed relation to the wall 116, and generally y'below the lixed guide wall 66 mentioned above. Thus the erected case C' is held upright by the walls 116 and 118 even when it is transferred off the platform 36 and away from the lower edges of the surfaces 60 and 66. The means for moving the erected case C olf the platform 36 comprises a pair of liuid motors or air cylinders 126, 126 each of which is pivotally carried in one of the respective carriage portions and each of which operates a flap closing arm 122 as well as a case clamping member 138 which will now be described in detail. The opposite rear end aps on either side of the erected case C are shown in FIG. 3 at 120, 120 in a nearly closed position with the flap closing arms 122, 122 rotated behind the erected case and the clamping members 138, 138 against the sides of the erected case C. As so positioned forward movement of the carriage assembly must cause forward movement of the case in the direction of the arrow 124.
Referring now to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 one uid motor associated with one of the carriage portions, together with its associated flap closing and case clamping member is shown in relation to a rear end flap 120. The flap closing arm 122 is shown in solid lines in its inactive position with its active position depicted in broken lines. The fluid motor 126 comprises an air cylinder 126 pivotally connected at one end to its associated carriage portion by a pin or bolt 128 and having an actuating rod 130 extending outwardly through its opposite end for moving a crank arm 132 from the position shown in solid lines to that shown in broken lines in response to air under pressure from a solenoid valve (not shown). The crank arm 132 is pivotally carried on a rock shaft 134, which rock shaft carries a square block 136 to which the ap closing arm 122 is attached. As so arranged, reciprocable movement of the actuating rod causes arcuate movement of the arm 122 in a horizontal plane between the inactive position and the active position wherein the end ap 120 is closed to the position shown in FIG. 3. Since the abovedescribed closing movement of the rear end flap 120 can only be accomplished if the erected case C' is restrained against forward movement with respect to the platform 36, means is provided for operating a clamping member, or shoe 138, at the same time that the Hap closing arm 122 is moved.
The clamping member 138 is moved from its inactive position to its active position shown in broken lines in FIG. 6 by a spring 140 acting between the clamping member 138 and a member 150 fixed in the carriage. The clamping member 138 is held in its inactive position by a stop screw 142 which is carried by a short arm 144 arranged on the block 136 for movement with the flap closing arm 122. As will be seen from FIG. 6, arcuate movement of the flap closing arm 122 in the direction of the arrow 146 will cause clamping movement of the shoe 138 from the solid line position to the broken line position. A second stop screw 148 is provided as shown to permit preadjusting the active position of the shoe 138 to avoid crushing of the erected case C.
The member 150 which carries the adjustment screw 148 is fixed in the carriage assembly by suitable means shown to best advantage in FIG. 5. A second rock shaft 152 pivotally carries the clamping member 138, with the spring 140 provided intermediate the member 138 and the fixed member 150 so as to urge the clamping member 138 into engagement with a case C (not shown).
Once the end flap closing arms 122, 122, and the case clamping members 138, 138, have engaged an erected case C' at the platform station, the above-described carriage assembly moves forwardly `carrying the erected case off the platform 36 toward the funnel 70. It is noted that both the top and bottom rear end flaps of the case C are in their opened position during such forward movement. Suitable means is provided at the packer station for closing the top and bottom rear end aps and 4for guiding the front portion of the case onto the funnel 70.
Considering first the means for guiding the case onto the funnel, and for supporting the case during return movement of the carriage assembly, FIG. 2 shows said means as comprising a pair of fixed guide rails 160, 160 supported in the fixed frame of the machine to engage the upper Iforward corners of the forwardly moving case as it is being transferred toward the funnel by the carriage assembly. Each guide rail 160 is adjustably positioned vertically by means of screws 162 and 164, and is adjustably positioned horizontally to accommodate cases of Ivarious heights and widths. A pivoted arm 166 has its lower end arranged adjacent the funnel 70 for deflecting the top forward end flap 168 of the case as the case engages the funnel 70. Similar arms may be provided for deflecting the forward side yflaps of the case but are omitted in this view for clarity. The funnel itself may include suitable flap deecting side portions for guiding the case thereon. Finally, the funnel 70 includes an inclined lower guide surface 170 for dellecting the lo-wer forward ap of the case as the latter reaches the position shown in FIG. 2.
Considering next the means for closing the top and bottom rear end flaps, 177 and 17S respectively, an air cylinder 180 is mounted in the machine frame as shown in FIG. 2, and has an actuating rod which carries a flap tucking plate 18.1 for guiding the case as it moves between the rails 160, 160 and for closing the flap 177 as the case reaches the funnel. The bottom rear end flap 178 is closed, at least partially by the drop-off arm 174 to be described.
Turning now to a lmore detailed description of the packer, it is noted that this apparatus may be substantially conventional in design and therefore is indicated somewhat schematically in FIG. 2 as comprising the above-described funnel 70 which is fixed in relation to the case opening machine described hereinabove, a pusher, or plunger 172, which is adapted to move into and out of the funnel 70 so as to pack groups, or charges of articles, A, A, in the case, and a drop-off arm 174 which is movable between the solid line position wherein it supports a case on the funnel and the broken line position wherein the packed case is lowered onto a take-away conveyor 176. A typical case packer with which a machine of the present invention might be adapted for use is disclosed in Patent No. 2,985,321, issued to Amenta, May 23, 1961.
As shown schematically in FIG. 8, the case packer includes suitable means for grouping charges of articles A, A to be packed in the case presented at the funnel, and the plunger 172 serves to move the charge of articles into the awaiting case, whereupon the plunger 172 is retracted and the drop-olf arm 174 swung downwardly to the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 2 to deposit the packed case on the continuously moving take-away conveyor 176. A limit switch SLS is associated with the dropoff arm and closes when the arm is in the up position. Another limit switch 9LS is associated with the plunger 172 and closes when the plunger is extended to indicate that a charge of articles has been positioned in the awaiting packing case.
The drop-off arm 174 comprises a hook shaped arm which closes, at least partially, the bottom rear end ap 178 of the case positioned at the funnel 70 as it moves upwardly. The hooked end portion 182 of the drop-off arm 174 holds the top rear end flaps in a substantially closed position after said top rear end flap has been closed by the air cylinder 180` which operates after the case has been positioned at the funnel and before the drop-off arm 174 is raised. Finally, and still with reference to the end portion 182 of the drop-olf arm 174, it is noted that an off set portion thereof serves to hold the bottom flap 178 open slightly so that an air space, or opening, is provided at the rear end of the case. In the process of packing tightly packed groups of articles, the air in the case being packed can be exhausted through this air space.
Turning now to a more detailed description of the operation of the case erector and positioner, and referring more particularly to FIG. 9, the various solenoids for operation of valves associated with each of the air cylinders mentioned hereinabove is there shown, together with a schematic representation of the control circuitry for operation of said solenoids. The above-described air cylinders are air operated and controlled by solenoid valves which are designed to return the various components of the machine to their initial or rest positions when these solenoid valves are not energized, as by opening the switch 184.
More particularly, solenoid A in FIG. 9 operates a valve which controls the air cylinder 4t) for raising the vacuum cups 5d, 58. Solenoid B operates a valve located between the vacuum pump 51 and the vacuum cups 50i, 50. Solenoid C operates a valve associated with the air cylinders 126, 126 provided on the left and right-hand portions of the carriage assembly. Solenoid D operates a valve associated with the air cylinder 76 for moving the carriage assembly. Solenoid E operates a valve associated with the air cylinder 181) for closing, or tucking, the top rear end ap 177 of the case. Solenoids F1 and F2 control a double acting air cylinder associated with the plunger 172, .while solenoids G1 and G2 control a similar air cylinder associated -with the drop-olf arm 174.
An on-off switch 184 energizes a control transformer 186 and the motor 190 which drives the vacuum pump 51. Since the machine is cyclically operated automatically by the limit switch ILS associated with the rock shaft 88, a push button cycle start switch 192 is provided to initiate operation of the machine and is required to be momentarily held in the closed position because limit switch 1LS is always opened whenever the machine is shut down. The limit switch 1LS closes momentarily during normal operation of the machine as the erected case clears the vacuum cups 50, 50'. At any other position of the carriage assembly, including the rest position shown in FIG. 2, limit switch 1LS is open.
Closing the cycle start switch 192 energizes control relay ICR closing its contacts 193 and energizing solenoid A during at least the first cycle of operation of the machine. Once started, limit switch 1LS cyclically energizes solenoid A at approximately the time when the erected case C' leaves the stationary platform 36. Control relay 2CR is energized whenever solenoid A is energized so that limit switch 3LS controls solenoid A once solenoid A has been energized by momentary closing of limit switch 1LS. Limit switch 3LS is normally closed as shown and will be opened after a built-in mechanical time delay once the vacuum cups, 50, 50 have reached their upper limit of travel. This mechanical time delay assures that a maximum vacuum is developed in the vacuum cups 50, 50 prior to the downward return movement thereof associated with withdrawing the lowermost case from the magazine.
Limit switch 2LS is also normally closed, but is held open when the vacuum cups are in the position shown in FIG. 2 so that time delay relay TDRl is energized as soon as the vacuum cups 50, `50 are moved upwardly. Time delay relay TDRl has normally opened contacts 194 associated therewith which will be closed as soon as this relay TDRI is energized. The contacts 194 will remain closed for a predetermined delay even after time delay relay TDRI is de-energized to assure that solenoid B remains energized during operation of the rear end liap closing cylinders 126, 126 to be described.
Limit switch 4LS is associated with the platform 36 to detect an erected case C thereon. When 4LS closes solenoid C is energized and the rear end tiap closing cylinders 126, 126 are actuated. Normally open switch 7LS is held closed, as indicated, whenever the carriage assembly is located at the platform station. Control relay 3CR is energized whenever solenoid C is energized so that limit switch SLS, and more particularly the normally closed contacts thereof indicated at 196, assure that the iiap closing arms 122, 122 and the clamping members 138, 13S grip the erected case C during forward movement toward the funnel 70.
Limit switch SLS closes when the carriage assembly has reached the funnel position, and at this time its normally closed contacts 196 Will open de-energizing solenoid C and retracting the air cylinders 126, 126 causing the ap closing arms 122, 122 and the clamping members 138, 138 to return to their inactive positions.
Forward movement of the carriage assembly is controlled by the normally closed contacts of time delay relay TDR1 indicated generally at 198 in FIG. 9. When the built-in time delay upon tie-energizing of relay TDR1 has expired, its normal opened contacts 194 will shut ott the vacuum to the cups 50, 50 and at the same time its normally closed contacts 198 will return to the closed position energizing solenoid D and actuating the carriage transfer cylinder 76. A control relay 4CR is energized whenever solenoid D is energized so that normally closed contacts 200 of control relay SCR control return movement of the carriage assembly. Control relay SCR is in turn controlled by the normal opened contacts 202 of control relay 7CR, which relay is in turn controlled by a limit switch SLS associated with the drop-ott arm 174. To summarize, whenever the drop-off arm 174 is in the raised position limit switch 8LS closes energizing control relay 7CR so that its contacts 202 close, and relay SCR is energized to open its normal closed contacts 200 cie-energizing solenoid D and returning the carriage to its initial position.
As the carriage assembly reaches the funnel position with a packing case, limit switch SLS is closed and normally opened contacts 204 close energizing solenoid E to allow air under pressure to extend the air cylinder 180 associated with moving the top rear flap closing arm 181 into its active position. A control relay 6CR is energized whenever solenoid E is energized and contacts 206 of relay 6CR will be closed energizing solenoid G1 to raise the drop-oit arm to the position shown. The top rear ap closing arm 181 operates slightly -faster than the drop-off arm so that the top rear flap is closed by the arm 181 and held closed by the drop-orf arm 174. As mentioned hereinabove, the drop-off arm, and more particularly the hookshaped end portion indicated generally at 182, serves to at least partially close the bottom rear ap and to hold the top rear end flap in substantially the position shown in FIG. 2 after the air cylinder 180 has retracted.
As the drop-off arm reaches its raised position shown, limit switch SLS closes energizing relay 7CR causing normally opened contacts 210 of relay 7CR to close and the plunger 172 to extend as a result of energizing solenoid F1. Suitable charge forming circuitry, indicated generally at 212, is provided for assuring that a charge of articles to be packed is properly disposed ahead of the plunger 172 prior to extending the plunger in this manner.
As the plunger reaches its limit of extended travel, limit switch 9LS closes energizing solenoid G2 to lower the drop-olf arm, and energizing solenoid F2 to retract the plunger. Solenoids G1 and G2 as well as solenoids F1 and F2 are so connected electrically that when either F2 or G2 is energized, F1 and G respectively are cle-energized.
It is a feature of the machine described herein that the hap closing arms 122, 122 are returned to their inactive positions prior to raising of the drop-off arm 174, and just after cylinder has closed the top rear end flap 177. Although the circuit diagram would indicate that all of the above operations are performed simultaneously when limit switch SLS is actuated, the exhaust air for each of the air cylinders associated with these operations is metered so that each is accomplished in the order mentioned above.
As the drop-olf arm leaves its raised position, limit switch SLS reopens, de-energizing relay 7CR, opening the normally opened contacts 202, and `rie-energizing relay SCR. The normally closed contacts 200 of relay lSCR will reclose but contacts 213 of relay 4CR will have reopened precluding the carriage from moving forward once again until normally closed contacts 193 of time delay relay TDRl reclose at the proper instant in the machine cycle.
It will thus be seen that once the drop-ott arm has been raised to its up position, and limit switch SLS closed, the carriage will be moved rearwardly to its platform position, opening contacts 204 of limit switch SLS so as to deenergize solenoid E and retract cylinder 180. Once the carriage has returned to the platform position, the normal open contacts of switch 7LS will be closed, re-energizing solenoid C to close the rear end flaps and clamp the next succeeding case for another sequence of operations of the machine.
In order to prevent interference with cases on the takeaway conveyor 176, a limit switch LS is provided downstream of the case packer, and has normal open contacts 214 which close when cases are not being conveyed therepast as indicated in FIG. 3. It this situation persists for some predetermined time, a time delay relay TDR2 causes the carriage transfer cylinder to stop as a result of timer contacts 216. It, on the other hand, 6LS remains open, its normal closed contacts 218 maintain the system. in normal operation, or return it to normal operation following a momentary interruption due to opening of timer contacts 216.
1. A machine for erecting cases and positioning them on the funnel of a case packer comprising a magazine for a stack of at cases, vertically reciprocable means below said magazine for engaging the lowermost case in said magazine and drawing it downwardly, a cam for erecting said case as it is drawn downwardly, a stationary platform for receiving the erected case, a carriage assembly movably mounted in the machine, a drive for reciprocating said carriage assembly :between said platform and said funnel, and means carried by said carriage assembly lfor engaging the erected case to close at least one pair of its rear end aps and to move it off said platform as said carriage assembly moves forwardly toward said funnel.l
2. A machine for handling cases is set forth in claim 1 wherein said means for engaging said erected case comprises a pair of case clamping shoes movably mounted on said carriage assembly on opposite sides of said erected case for movement toward one another to clamp said case therebetween, a pair of flap closing arms movably mounted in said carriage assembly adjacent said clamping shoes respectively for movement in a horizontal plane to close the vertically disposed end flaps at the rear of said erected case, and means for simultaneously moving said clamping shoes and said flap closing arms from their inactive positions into engagement with said erected case prior to movement of said carriage olf said platform.
3. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 2 wherein said means for moving said shoes and said flap closing arms into engagement with said case also returns said shoes and arms to their inactive positions after said carriage reaches said funnel.
4. A machine `for handling cases as set forth in claim 3 wherein said means 4for moving said shoes and said flap closing arms comprises upright rock shafts pivotally supporting each of said shoes and arms, means for rotating each arm through substantially 90 degrees on its associated rock shaft, biasing means for urging each shoe into engagement with said case, and stop means carried by each of said arm associated rock shafts for holding said shoes in their inactive positions whenever said arms are in their inactive positions.
5. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 1 wherein said carriage assembly comprises carriage portions movable in unison at each side of said vertically reciprocable means so that a flattened case can be erected as long as the previously erected case has cleared said vertically reciprocable means.
6. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 5 wherein each of said carriage portions includes a lower generally horizontal wall which projects laterally inwardly below the marginal side edge 0f said stationary platform for receiving the erected case as it is moved off said platform.
7. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 6 wherein one of said carriage portions is adjustably mounted for limited lateral movement toward and away from the other carriage portion to accommodate erected cases of various widths.
8. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 7 and further characterized by fixed guide rails for engaging the upper forward corners of the case being transferred toward said funnel lby said carriage portions.
9. A machine for handling cases as set 'forth in claim 7 and further characterized by means for closing the top rear end flap of said case after said case has been positioned on said funnel by said carriage assembly, said case packer including `a hook-shaped drop-off arm which serves to at least partially close the bottom rear end flap while retaining the case on said funnel and to lower the packed case onto a take-away conveyor.
10. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 2 and `further characterized by control means `for operating said means for simultaneously moving said clamping shoes and said flap closing arms on said carriage assembly only when an erected case is positioned on said platform and when said carriage has returned to said plat-form position.
11. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 10 wherein said control means maintains said clamping shoes and llap closing arms in engagement with said case until said top rear end ap has been closed, said case packer including a hok-shaped drop-off which serves to hold all of said rear end flaps in substantially closed positions while retaining the case on said funnel,
12. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 10 wherein said control means further includes means for timing the upward movement of said reciprocable means for drawing a case from said magazine with respect to forward movement of said carriage assembly so that a second case can be erected while the rst case is being packed and the carriage assembly is returning to said platform.
13. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 11 wherein said control means further includes means for timing said case packer with said carriage and said drop-off arm so that a charge of articles is pushed into the case at said `funnel only after all of said rear end flaps are substantially closed as aforesaid.
14. A machine `for handling cases as set forth in claim 5 wherein said vertically reciprocable means includes a plurality of vacuum cups which move upwardly through an opening in said stationary platform, and wherein said machine is 'further characterized by control means for timing said upward movement `with respect to forward movement of said carriage portions so that a second case can be erected while the first case is `being packed.
15. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 14 wherein said means for engaging the erected case to close its rear end flaps and move said case off said platform comprises a pair of case clamping shoes each of which is pivotally mounted on one of said carriage p0rtions for movement toward a case on said platform, and a pair of flap closing arms each of which is pivotally mounted on one of said carriage portions to close an associated vertically disposed rear end flap of said case, and said control means also serving to move said clamping shoes and flap closing arms into engagement with an erected case prior to forward movement of said carriage portions.
16. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 15 wherein said control means maintains said clamping shoes and flap closing arms in engagement with said case until said carriage portions have moved said case onto said case packer funnel.
17. A machine for handling cases as set forth in claim 16 and Ifurther characterized by means for closing the top rear end ap of said case, said control means serving to operate said top ap closing means only after said carriage portions have moved said case onto said case packer funnel.
18. A machine yfor handling cases as set forth in claim 17 wherein said case packer includes a hook-shaped drop-off arm which serves to at least partially close the bottom rear end ap and to retain said case on said funnel, said control means being operable to raise said dropoff arm only after a case has been positioned on said funnel and to lower the packed case onto a take-away conveyor or the like.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS BERNARD STICKNEY, Primary Examiner.