|Publication number||US3457843 A|
|Publication date||Jul 29, 1969|
|Filing date||Jan 8, 1968|
|Priority date||Jan 8, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3457843 A, US 3457843A, US-A-3457843, US3457843 A, US3457843A|
|Inventors||Richard Raymond Bower|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (8), Classifications (4), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
July 29, 1969 R. R. BOWER 3,457,343
Box EREC'I'ING APPARATUS Filed Jan. 8, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet i w 24 mva z ok 5 EMA 460x50 5f ATTOKMEA/ July 29, 1969 R. R. owen BOX ERECTING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 8, 1968 Era 4 .HZ'G- 5 V Rm 6 w M N0 6 E5 M WM w M W United States Patent Ofiice 3,457,843 BOX ERECTING APPARATUS Richard Raymond Bower, Northridge, Califi, assignor to International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Jan. 8, 1968, Ser. No. 696,308 Int. Cl. B31b 1/78 US. Cl. 93-53 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus for automatically sequentially selecting and erecting boxes from a stack thereof which are folded flat on a pair of diagonal corners. Reciprocating pusher means engages one of said folded diagonal corners of the bottom box in the stack, sliding this box off from under the stack onto an erection platform and forcing the other said folded corner against an abutment surface extending upwardly normally from the platform so as to unfold and erect the box against said abutment surface and platform. Spring biased gripping fingers in the platform engage said pushed corner to latch the box in its erected position.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Cardboard boxes or cartons are normally provided by the box manufacturers in a folded and stacked condition, with the boxes folded over on diagonal corners, and with the side and end flaps extending outwardly at the ends of the folded boxes. In automated assembly and packaging systems it is desirable to include automatic apparatus for sequentially separating such folded boxes from a stack thereof and erecting the boxes and holding them in such erected positions for receiving assembled articles therein.
The use of such automatic box erecting apparatus, as compared with manual opening of the boxes, is particularly important where assembly and packaging is being carried out on a rapidly operating assembly conveyor system, where the boxes must be quickly erected and positively located in accurately timed relationship to movements of the conveyor units upon which the packaging is to occur.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is accordingly a primary object of the present in vention to provide apparatus for automatically removing a folded box from a stack of such boxes and both opening or erecting the box and locating the box so that the box is adapted to receive one or more assembled articles therein.
Another object of the invention is to provide apparatus for erecting, in sequence, a plurality of stacked boxes that are folded fiat on diagonal corners, wherein reciprocating pusher means periodically removes a folded box from the stack, locates the box on an erection platform and erects the box by pushing against one of the folded corners of the box, while the opposite folded corner is engaged against an abutment surface extending upwardly from the platform.
Another object of the invention is to provide box erecting apparatus of the character described wherein each of the erected boxes is latched in its erected position by spring biased gripping fingers which engage the corner of the box which was pushed by the pusher means to cause erection of the box.
A further object of the invention is to provide box opening or erecting apparatus of the character described wherein means for erecting the boxes and securing the boxes in their erected positions are periodically driven so as to periodically erect a sequence of the boxes, whereby 3,457,843 Patented July 29, 1969 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a vertical section, partly in elevation, illustrating the box erecting apparatus of the present invention in connection with an assembly conveyor system, the section being longitudinal relative to the principal movements involved in the box erection, and being transverse relative to the principal movements of the assembly conveyor system.
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary horizontal section, partly in elevation, taken on the line 22 in FIGURE 1.
FIGURES 3, 4, 5 and 6 are enlarged, fragmentary vertical sections taken on the same section line as FIGURE 1, illustrating four successive stages in the movement and erection of a box in accordance with the present inven tion.
FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of a box which has been erected by the apparatus of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION A typical cardboard box or carton 10 that is to be opened or erected by the apparatus of the present invention is illustrated in its erected position in FIGURE 7, and includes a top wall 12 having a series of openings 14 therein to receive assembled objects, a bottom wall 15 parallel to the top wall 12, and parallel side walls 16 which, in the erected position of the box, are at right angles to the top and bottom walls. The box 10 is adapted to be closed at its-opposite ends by a pair of side flaps 18 extending from the ends of each of the sides 16, and an end flap or tongue 20 extending from each end of the top Wall 12.
Boxes of this type are provided by the box manufacturers in stacks of the boxes which are folded over on diagonal corners so as to be flat, with the top wall 12 and one of the side walls 16 forming an upper layer, and the bottom wall 15 and the other side wall 16 forming a lower layer. This flattened condition of the boxes is illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 4, and is clarified by the partially erected parallelogram cross section thereof illustrated in FIGURE 5.
The apparatus of the present invention includes a magazine generally designated 22 adapted to receive therein a stack of these flattened boxes or cartons 10. The magazine 22 includes a horizontal table 24 upon which the stack of boxes 10 rests, and a bin 26 extending vertically upwardly from the table 24 arranged to hold the boxes 10 in their vertically stacked relationship. The bin 26 is in the form of a vertically oriented slideway for the stacked, flat boxes, including parallel sides 28, rear flnages 30 extending inwardly from the rear edges of the sides 28, and forward wall 32 the lower edge of which is spaced above the table 24 adjacent the sides thereof a distance slightly greater than the thickness of one of the flattened boxes 10 so as to define a horizontal feed slot 34 through which the lowermost box 10 of the stack of boxes is adapted to be fed by pusher means described hereinafter. A weight 35 or other suitable biasing means is disposed immediately above the stack of boxes 10 to shift the remaining boxes downwardly each time the bottombox is thus fed out of the bin through the slot 34.
The pusher means includes a pair of elongated, spaced, parallel slide members 36 slidably mounted for simultaneous reciprocating movement in a pair of spaced, parallel slots 38 in the table 24. The slide members 36 are driven by means of a rack 40 attached to both slide memhers, and a gear sector 42 operatively engaged with the rack 40 and reciprocally driven from a main power unit which also provides the motive power for the synchronized movement of the other movable parts to be described hereinafter.
Each of the slide members 36 is provided with an elongated, upwardly facing recess within which a longitudinally arranged pusher finger 44 is pivotally mounted on a rearwardly disposed pivot pin 46. Each pusher finger 44 has its forward end portion biased upwardly by means of a coil spring 48 seated in a recess in the respective slide member 36 underneath the forward portion of the finger, so that a forwardly facing shoulder 50 on each finger normally projects upwardly from the upper surface of the table 24 a distance about the same as the thickness of one of the folded boxes 10. With this construction, each time the pair of slide members 36 moves forwardly in the table 24, or to the right in FIGURES 1 through 6, the exposed finger shoudlers 50 will engage the rearward folded diagonal corner of the lowermost box in the magazine so as to push the lowermost box out from under the stack through feed slot 34 and thence to the right along the table top and off of the forward end 54 of the table top onto the conveyor system. A leaf spring 52 is attached to the forward wall 32 of the magazine bin and extends forwardly and downwardly to a free, straight guide edge immediately above the table top adjacent the forward edge 54 of the table, so that as each of the fiat boxes 10 is thus pushed off of the forward end 54 of the table, the leaf spring 52 biases the fiat box down fiat against the table and onto the conveyor.
A pair of stationary cam members 56 are disposed on opposite sides of the table 24 between the magazine bin 26 and forward edge 54 of the table. These cam members 56 engage the end flaps or tongues of the box as the box is pushed along the forward portion of the table so as to bend the end flaps downwardly and thereby apply an initial crease to the end flaps.
The conveyor is generally designated 58, and includes a plurality of longitudinally spaced carriages 68 which ride along on and are accurately positioned relative to the table 24 by track means 62, the carriages being drivingly connected to a drive chain 64 which is intermittently driven, preferably from the same power source as the one which reciprocally drives the gear sector 42. The track means 62 and drive chain 64 are arranged so that movement of the carriages 60 is normal to the direction of movement of the slide members in the table, and the drive chain 64 is stopped when a carriage 60 comes into registry with the forward end 54 of the table as best shown in FIGURE 2. Accurate indexing of the carriage 60 relative to the table may be accomplished by provision of a notched indexing member 66 on the carriage which is engaged by an indexing rod 68 having a beveled forward end, as best shown in FIGURE 1, when the carriage 60 is halted adjacent the forward end of the table. Movement of the indexing rod 68 into engagement with the notched indexing member 66 On the carriage may be accomplished by cam means driven by the same power source as drives the gear sector 42 and the drive chain 64.
The carriage 60 has an upwardly facing horizontal support surface 70 thereon which is coplanar with the upper surface of table 24 so that a flat, folded box 10 will slide onto this support surface 70 when it is pushed off of the top of table 24. An abutment flange 72 projects upwardly from the support surface 70 of the carriage adjacent the side of the carriage remote from table 24, and has a vertical abutment surface 74 which faces rearwardly or toward the table 24.
Pivotally mounted in a pair of parallel slots 76 is a pair of retainer fingers or latches 78 which have free ends adjacent the forward edge 54 of the table, and are pivoted on pivot pins 80 adjacent the side of carriage 60 that is remote from the table. The retainer fingers 78 are biased upwardly by means of springs 82 in respective recesses in the carriage under the respective retainer fingers 78, and in the uppermost positions of retainer fingers 78 as illustrated in FIGURES 1, 3 and 6, forwardly facing retainer shoulders 84 on the fingers 78 are exposed above the plane of table 54 and horizontal support surface 70. The fingers 78 have ramp surfaces 85 which slope downwardly and rearwardly from the retainer shoulders 84 to the rearward or free ends of the fingers, so that as a flattened box 10 is pushed under the leaf spring 52 and onto the carriage support surface 70 it will meet such ramp surfaces 85 on the fingers and will thereby be allowed to smoothly slide into position on the carriage.
A pair of slots 86 extend across the carriage 60, being recessed downwardly in the carriage from the support surface 70. These slots 86 are arranged for accurate alignment with the respective table slots 38 when the carriage 60 is properly indexed relative to the table. The forward stroke of movement of slide members 36 carries the forward ends of the slide members 36 into the carriage slots 86. The forward ends of slide members 36 are tapered as shown in FIGURE 2 so that the slide members 36 will readily fit into the carriage slots 86, and by this means any slight misalignment of the carriage member will be corrected when the slide members 36 enter into the carriage slots 86 beyond the tapered front tips of the slide members 36.
Seating means, generally designated 88, includes a seating rod 90 which is reciprocally moved on a vertical axis so as to move downwardly when a box is partially erected, as in FIGURE 5, through the center opening 14 in the top wall of the box and push downwardly against the bottom wall 15 of the box so as to assist in the final erection and seating of the box on the carriage 60. The seating rod 90 is mounled in a head portion 92 of the seating means which generally overlies the center of the carriage 60 when the carriage is in its indexed position, and this head portion 92 is mounted on support structure 94 including a generally vertically arranged cam follower shaft 96 which is vertically reciprocated by means of a cam 98 that is driven by the same power source as the reciprocating gear sector 42 and drive chain 64. The cam 98 is synchronized'relative to the movements of gear sector 42 and drive chain 64 so that the seating rod 90 will remain spaced above the carriage generally as illustrated in FIGURE 1 while a folded box is pushed out of the magazine and onto the carriage, and the rod 90 will then be moved downwardly as the box becomes partially erected as shown in FIGURE 5 so as to engage against the bottom wall 15 of the box as in FIGURE 6, and then the rod 98 will be moved upwardly so as to completely clear the erected box, as shown in FIGURE 1, before further movement of the drive chain 64 is initiated to move the carriage 60 and erected box away from the table 24 to be replaced by a succeeding carriage 60.
The cam follower shaft 96 is provided at its lower end with a roller 99 which rides on the cam 98, the cam follower roller '99 being biased against the cam 98 by a suitable biasing spring 100.
The seating rod 90 is slidably mounted in the head portion 92 of the seating means 88, and is downwardly biased by a suitable compression spring 102. This provides a lost motion type of mounting of the seating rod 90 which permits the rod 90 to engage against the bottom 15 of the box with a biasing force determined by the strength of spring 102 for a predetermined interval of time suitable to allow full erection and seating of the box from the position of FIGURE 5 to the position of FIGURE 6.
A generally fiat, horizontally oriented holding finger 104 is positioned and movable in a horizontal plane spaced upwardly from the horizontal support surface 70 of carriage 60 a distance corresponding substantially to the height of the erected box. This holding finger 104 is normally in a forward position as illustrated in FIGURES 1, 3 and 4, wherein its rearward edge is spaced forwardly from the abutment surface 74 of the upstanding flange 72 on the carriage. However, as the box is shifted from a partially erected position such as that shown in FIGURE 5 to a fully erected position as shown in FIGURE 6, this holding finger 104 shifts rearwardly so that its rearward edge 105 projects rearwardly past the vertical plane of the abutment surface 74, whereby the rearward edge of the holding finger 104 overlaps and engages the top wall 12 of the box adjacent the forward folded corner of the box which has been straightened out during erection of the box. The combination of this holding finger 104 and the seating rod 90 assures that the erected box will be securely latched in place on the carriage. The holding finger 104 is shifted forwardly out of engagement with the box prior to movement of the carriage away from the table with the erected box in place on the carriage. The holding finger 104 is preferably moved by cam means, such as means driven by the cam 98, which is driven from the same power source as the gear sector 42, chain 64 and cam 98, for synchronized movement with the other movable parts of the apparatus.
Although most phases of the operation of the box-erecting apparatus have already been described in connection with the detailed description of the structure, a brief overall description of the operation of the apparatus will now be given.
A stack of the flat, folded box blanks is inserted into the magazine bin 26 and the weight 35 is placed on top of this stack to bias the boxes downwardly in the bin. When power is supplied to the apparatus, the gear sector 42 moves the slide members 36 from their rearwardmost positions as shown in FIGURE 1 forwardly so that the shoulders 50 on pusher fingers 44 pick up the lowermost box blank and slide it forwardly or to the right in FIG- URES 1 and 2, sliding the fiat box out of the magazine bin through feed slot 34 and over the forward portion of table 24. Before the fiat box 10 starts to leave the forward edge 54 of the table the carriage 60 will be moved by the drive chain 64 into indexed alignment with the table 24. At this time the seating rod 90 is spaced upwardly out of the way of the carriage, and also the holding finger 104 is out of the way forward or to the right of the vertical abutment surface 74 on the carriage.
The slide members 36 continue their forward movement so that the pusher fingers 44 push the flat box 10 off of the table 24 and onto the carriage 60 as successively illustrated in FIGURES 3 and 4. As a major portion of the box leaves the table 24 and overlies the carriage support surface 70, the leaf spring 52 tends to hold down the rearward corner of the box, and the retainer fingers 78 on the carriage tend to push the forward part of the box upwardly so that the forward corner of the box will engage the abutment surface 74 at a line spaced somewhat above the horizontal support surface 70. The box will ride up on the ramp surfaces 85 of the fingers 78 between the position of FIGURE 3 and the position of FIGURE 4. As the pusher fingers 44 thus push the box onto the carriage, the forward end portions of the slide members 36 will move forward into engagement in the carriage slots 86.
The pusher fingers 44 continue to push against the rearward folded corner of the box from the position of FIG- URE 4 until the forward folded corner of the box engages the vertical abutment surface 74, at which point continued forward pushing of the fingers 44 buckles the flattened box open to a parallelogram shape, and further forward'movement of the pusher fingers 44 opens this parallelogram out generally as shown in FIGURE 5, at which time the bottom wall of the box tips the retainer fingers 78 downwardly to allow the bottom wall 15 of the box to slide thereover along the horizontal support surface 70 of the carriage.
During the opening of the parallelogram as illustrated in FIGURE 5, the seating rod is moved downwardly through the central opening 14 in the top wall of the box so as to engage against the bottom wall of the box and push the bottom wall fiat against the support surface 70. At the same time, the holding finger 104 shifts rearwardly so as to overlap the forward upper corner of the box and assist in holding the box downward in the final phase of erection. This final phase occurs when the forwardly facing shoulders 50 on the pusher fingers 44 move forward to a position substantailly registering with the forwardly facing shoulders 84 on the retainer fingers 78, at which time the retainer fingers 78 are popped upwardly by their respective springs 82 into latching engagement with the rearward, lower corner of the box which has been pushed forwardly by the pusher fingers 44.
After erection of the box has thus been completed, the seating rod 90 is removed upwardly out of engagement in the box, the holding finger 104 is shifted forwardly out of engagement with the upper, forward corner of the box, and the slide members 36 are shifted rearwardly so as to disengage from the carriage slots 86 and move back toward their initial, rearwardmost positions as illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2. The erected box 10 remains securely held in its erected position on the carriage 60 by the retainer or latching fingers 78, with the forward side wall 16 held flush against the vertical abutment surface 74 and the bottom wall 15 seated flush against the horizontal support surface 70. The carriage 60 is now free to be moved away from the table 24 by movement of the drive chain 64, with the erected box securely held in position on the carriage 60 for receiving assembled articles therein. A succeeding carriage will then move into position in front of the table 24, and the procedure will be repeated to erect the next box in the stack on this succeeding carriage.
It will be apparent that the apparatus of the present invention provides rapid erecting and accurate positioning of boxes in a manner particularly suitable for highspeed assembly and packaging.
While the instant invention has been shown and described herein in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is therefore not to be limited to the details disclosed herein, but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for successively erecting a plurality of boxes that are folded fiat on a pair of diagonal corners, which comprises a magazine for holding said folded boxes in stacked relationship, an abutment surface spaced from said magazine, and pusher means engageable against one of said diagonal corners of a box in said magazine to remove such box from the magazine and push the other said diagonal corner thereof against said abutment surface so as to erect said box against said abutment surface, said pusher means being reciprocally movable between retracted and extended positions, said pusher means being disposed rearwardly of said stacked boxes in its said retracted position and as it moves from its said retracted position to its said extended position removing a box from the magazine and pushing it into erected condition against said autment surface, said pusher means being located proximate its said extended position upon completion of erection of the box, and means adjacent said abutment surface releasably holding the erected box in its erected condition against said abutment surface upon retraction of said pusher means from its said extended position.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said platform includes a stationary section associated with said magazine and a movable section upon which said abutment surface and said holding means are mounted and upon which the erected box is held by said holding means,
said movable platform section forming a part of a conveyor intermittently movably generally normal to the direction of reciprocating movement of said pusher means, the intermittent movement of said conveyor being synchronized with the reciprocal movement of said pusher means.
3. Apparatus for succsisvely erecting a plurality of boxes that are folded fiat on a pair of diagonal corners, which comprises a magazine for holding said folded boxes in stacked relationship, an abutment surface spaced from said magazine, pusher means engageable against one of said diagonal corners of a box in said magazine to remove such box from the magazine and push the other said diagonal corner thereof against said abutment surface so as to erect said box against said abutment surface, said pusher means being reciprocally movable between retracted and extended positions, said pusher means being disposed rearwardly of said stacked boxes in its said retracted position and as it moves from its said retracted poition to its said extended position removing a box from the magazine and pushing it into erected condition against said abutment surface, said pusher means being located proximate its said extended position upon completion of erection of the box, platform means having a generally horizontal, planar upper working surface, said abutment surface extending generally vertically upwardly from said working surface, said magazine being disposed generally above said working surface in spaced relation to said abutment surface and being arranged to hold said folded boxes in a generally vertical stack with the bottom box against said working surface, said magazine and working surface defining generally horizontal slot means, said pusher means being slidable along said working surface and having forwardly facing shoulder means thereon engageable with said bottom box to slide the latter out from under said stack, through said slot and against said abutment surface.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said platform means has longitudinally arranged groove means therein communicating with said working surface, and said pusher means includes slide means reciprocally slidably movable in said groove means and carrying pivoted finger means thereon, said finger means having said shoulder means formed forwardly thereon and being tiltable about a rearward, generally horizontal pivot axis between a raised position wherein said shoulder means is exposed above said working surface to engage and push a folded box and a lowered position substantially completely recessed in said groove means below said working surface to allow retraction of said pusher means under said stack of folded boxes, and means biasing said finger means toward its said raised position.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, which includes seating means overlying said working surface adjacent said abutment surface, said seating means being generally vertically downwardly movable toward said working surface into engagement against said box during the erection thereof so as to seat one wall of the erected box against said working surface adjacent said abutment surface, the erected configuration of the box being defined at least in part by the seating of said one wall of the box against said working surface and engagement of an adjacent wall of the box against said abutment surface, said seating means being upwardly movable out of engagement with said box after the completion of said seating of the box.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 5, wherein said seating means is reciprocally driven by cam means synchronized with said reciprocally movable pusher means.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 5, which includes latch means adjacent said abutment surface releasably holding the erected box in its said erected and seated position after said.seating means has become disengaged from said box.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 7, wherein said platform includes a stationary section over which said magazine is positioned and a movable section upon which said abutment surface and said latch means are mounted and upon which the erected box is held by said latch means, said movable platform section forming a part of a conveyor intermittently movable generally normal to the direction of reciprocating movement of said pusher means, the intermittent movement of said conveyor being synchronized with the reciprocal movement of said pusher means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,429,536 10/1947 Von Sydow 9353 2,464,407 3/1949 Leykoff 9353 3,138,076 6/1964 Lobdell 9353 FOREIGN PATENTS 562,701 11/ 1932 Germany.
BERNARD STICKNEY, Primary Examiner
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|US5104369 *||Jul 3, 1990||Apr 14, 1992||The Mead Corporation||Method for erecting sleeve type carton|
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|Cooperative Classification||B31B2201/282, B31B2203/003|
|Apr 22, 1985||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ITT CORPORATION
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004389/0606
Effective date: 19831122