|Publication number||US3462823 A|
|Publication date||Aug 26, 1969|
|Filing date||Nov 8, 1967|
|Priority date||Nov 8, 1967|
|Publication number||US 3462823 A, US 3462823A, US-A-3462823, US3462823 A, US3462823A|
|Inventors||Heisler Raymond A|
|Original Assignee||Heisler Raymond A|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (18), Classifications (13)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1 R. A. HEISLER 3,452,323
.EARED CONTAINERS METERING FEED AND ACCUMULATING APPARATUS Filed Nov. 8, 1967 7 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Aug. 26, 19 69 J N VENTOR.
RA YMO/VD A. HE/SL ER GENZ' Aug. 26, 1969 R. A. HEISLER EARED CONTAINERS METERING FEED AND ACCUMULATING APPARATUS Filed Nov. 8, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 :zEzEi.
United States Patent US. Cl. 29208 11 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A metering feed and accumulating apparatus adapted to receive eared containers from a conveyor and to precisely space these containers as they are fed onto an orienting conveyor. The containers as they are carried forwardly on their bottoms are also rotated by means of a differential in speed of two conveying strands. The metering gate includes two spacially positioned proximity switches adapted to regulate the fiow of containers through the gate to provide a determined spacing. Subsequent to the gate an ear-engaging means is adapted to orient the container as it is advanced and in an oriented state the eared containers are fed past a third proximity switch positioned a determined distance from a bail-applying apparatus. This third proximity switch is spaced and is connected to actuating means of the bail-applying apparatus so that a determined quantity of eared containers are brought into contiguous relationship to each other and the apparatus before the bail-apparatus is actuated.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The field of art to which this invention pertains is in the general class of Wire Working and more particularly to the subclass of applying wire in which subclass is generally found the apparatus for forming and applying wire bails to eared containers. Another subclass also pertinent to this invention is the subclass of making bails under the general subclass of article making or forming.
Another field of the art to which this patent pertains is to the class of Conveyors, Power-Driven and to the subclass thereunder of article transfer, article controlled; and to circular articles, also arranging articles on conveyors by orienting articles and by spacing.
Description of the prior art In my US. Patent No. 3,241,578 issued on Mar. 22, 1966 there is shown apparatus for providing bails on eared containers, which apparatus includes means for orienting and stopping an eared container in a precise position during the forming and application of wire bail to an eared container.
In particular in this above-identified patent there is shown a sensing device which is disposed so as to engage an ear of an advancing container as this container is moved forwardly on a conveying means. In response to the activation of the sensing device the bail-forming and applying apparatus is activated so that as the container is brought in the way of said bail-forming and applying apparatus the ends of the bail are inserted into the ears of the container. In order to insure the proper orientation of the eared container in this apparatus there is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 of said patent a gate feeding mechanism adapted to receive and space eared containers upon a conveyor in a determined manner. These containers as they are discharged from this gate feeding mechanism are propelled forwardly upon a plurality of strands of a conveyor. One of these strands is traveling at a faster rate than the other strands so as to cause the container to ro- 3,462,823 Patented Aug. 26, 1969 tate as it is advanced forwardly. As the container is rotated, one of the ears of the container is brought in the way of an ear-engaging rail whereby the rotation of the container is stopped and the can is transported forwardly in a preselected oriented condition.
Bail-applying apparatus as shown and described receive and space eared containers upon the conveyor in such spaced array that oftentimes the clutch mechanism of the bail-applying apparatus may be activated for each or nearly each container as it is brought in the way of the apparatus. As for example, if the apparatus is adapted to bail sixty containers a minute and the feeding rate from the supply is ten to twenty containers per minute the clutch will be actuated substantially ten to twenty times per minute. Such clutch actuation reduces the life expectancy of the clutch and may require frequent shut-downs for the necessary repairs. Particularly in the case of apparatus providing bails to five-gallon eared containers the clutch mechanism necessary to operate this apparatus may couple a five horsepower motor to the apparatus and is a short-cycle load each time the apparatus is started and stopped. Where these starts are multi-times per minute the clutch must be overdesigned or has a short life.
When the containers are brought to the apparatus at a constant or fixed rate corresponding to the operating speed of the bail-applying apparatus it is possible and practical to operate the apparatus for continuous periods without stopping the bail-applying apparatus for the receipt of individual containers. It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a metering gate adapted to release eared containers with a predetermined spacing onto an orienting conveyor so that the ears of the container may be brought to a predetermined oriented position and, after the container has been oriented, to feed this container to the bail-applying apparatus Where the containers are accumulated until a determined number of containers is contiguously arrayed on the conveyor, after which the bail-applying apparatus is activated.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the detailed description of the drawings to be hereinafter more fully described there is shown a container metering gate adapted to space eared containers a determined distance apart as they are delivered to an orienting conveyor. After orientation there is provided a determined length of conveyor adapted to receive the oriented containers and accumulate a determined number of containers before the bail-applying apparatus is actuated. At the receiving end of this orienting conveyor system there is provided a metering gate which is adapted to receive an eared container and to pass this eared container by a first proximity switch placed at a determined distance from a container retaining and releasing mechanism. A short determined distance downstream from this first proximity switch there is disposed a second proximity switch which is programmed with the first proximity switch. These two switches operate in concert with the metering gate so that an established determined spacing is provided between containers so as to insure unimpeded orientation of a leading container and all subsequent containers as they are fed onto the conveyor.
The programmed or actuation cycle of the first of the two proximity switches is such that with the power on the metering gate is caused to be open as the first or leading container enters and passes through the gate' As the container passes by this first proximity switch, a valve or solenoid is actuated to close the gate. As this container continues downstream on the conveyor and by the second proximity switch, the valve or solenoid is reversed so that the gate is again opened, whereby a second container is permitted to pass through the gate. If the second container has already entered with the gate closed,
the second container is now released to pass by the first and second proximity switches.
At a later position downstream on the conveyor, a third proximity switch is disposed at a determined distance upstream from the bail-applying position in the bailapplying apparatus. This determined distance, as exemplified, is the distance of three containers in side-to-side engagement on the conveyor. The third proximity switch is so spaced and interconnetced with a time-delay relay so that a container traveling past this third proximity switch does not influence the metering gate and does not actuate the bail-applying apparatus until containers two and three to follow are in position. With the bailapplying apparatus stopped, the leading container is held in the apparatus and container two is on the conveyor and is in engagement with container one. When the third container arrives it remains in a stop position opposite the third proximity switch for a determined period of time, which is longer than a time delay programmer adapted to permit a container to pass without actuation of the proximity switch. Upon actuation of the proximity switch the bail-applying mechanism is started and continues to run without declutching as long as an adequate supply of containers is fed to the apparatus. The actuation of the apparatus is by means of an ear sensing switch on the cover stop arms of the bail-applying mechanism.
It is an object of this invention to provide a metering gate adapted for receiving and feeding eared containers in spaced array on and to an orienting conveyor, whereupon said spaced containers are rotated in a determined manner for the orientation by engagement of their ears by a stop rail and after their orientation a determined number of containers is accumulated before they are fed to and through a bail-applying apparatus.
It is a further object of this invention to provide means for receiving a supply of eared containers from a source and by means of a metering gate to feed these containers in a spaced array to an orienting conveyor, said metering gate actuated in response to a pair of spaced proximity switches downstream of the gate and, programmed so that a container must pass the second switch before the gate is opened for a succeeding container to feed to the conveyor; and after orientation the eared containers are accumulated so that at least a determined number of oriented containers are adapted for sequential feeding at a determined rate of speed to a bail-applying apparatus absent the declutching of the apparatus.
INTENT OF THE DISCLOSURE Although the following disclosure offered for public dissemination is detailed to insure adequacy and aid in the understanding of the invention, this is not intended to prejudice that purpose of a patent which is to cover each new inventive concept therein no matter how it may later be disguised by variations in form or additions of further improvements. The claims at the end hereof are intended as the chief aid toward this purpose, as it is these that meet the requirements of pointing out the parts, improvements, combinations or methods in which the inventive concepts are found.
There has been chosen a specific embodiment of the metering gate and orienting conveyor for eared containers as adapted for programmed use therewith and showing a preferred means for feeding an accumulation of eared containers to a bail-applying mechanism. This specific embodiment has been chosen for the purposes of illustration and description as shown in the accompanying drawings wherein:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 represents a fragmentary plan view of the conveyor of this invention and showing in particular the metering gate and the arrangement of the proximity switches programmed to actuate the gate in relation to the movement of an eared container to a bail-applying apparatus;
FIG. 2 represents in a slightly enlarged scale a fragmentary isometric view showing an eared container as it rests upon the conveyor and as engaged and retained by the metering gate of this invention;
FIG. 3 represents a schematic circuit diagram showing a preferred operational control of the metering gate of this invention;
FIG. 4 represents in a slightly enlarged view a container as it rests upon the conveyor and as the container is brought in the way of the cover stop arms of the bailapplying apparatus;
FIG. 5 represents in a greatly enlarged view a fragmentary sectional view of the switch or the signal actuating system operated in conjunction with the cover stop arms, and
FIG. 6 represents a partly fragmentary schematic circuit diagram showing the circuit as actuated by the sensing switches in the cover stop arms of the bail-applying apparatus.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings in which like numbers refer to like members throughout the several drawings and in particular to FIG. 1 wherein on a base 10 there are provided conveying chains 12 and 14 upon which an eared container 16 is adapted for transportation. At the right end of this figure there is seen a metering gate in which arms 18 and 20 may be pivotally swung toward and away from the chains 12 and 14. In this particular embodiment there is shown flexible strapping 22 carried on the inner portions of both arms 18 and 20. This flexible strapping is adapted to provide a conventional means for grasping the sides of a container without marking the exterior surface of the container, which may have been freshly lithographed. As seen particularly in FIG. 2, the arms 18 and 20 are disposed just abovethe conveyor chains 12 and 14 and engage and retain the container at or near its bottom so that in stopping the eared container the container may be retained upon the chains with a minimum of tendency for the container to tip.
The mechanism to move the arms 18 and 20 is diagrammatically shown in FIG. 3 wherein arm 18 is represented as being carried on a shaft 24. This shaft is rotatably carried in a bearing or bearings not shown and retained in the frame 10. In the preferred embodiment shown, the lower end of shaft 24 is fixedly connected to an arm 26. In like manner, arm 20 is carried by shaft 28, which is carried in a bearing or bearings not shown and retained in the frame 10. An arm 30 is fixedly attached to the lower end of shaft 28 and as the arm 30 is moved the shaft is rotated. A pivot pin 32 joins arms 26 and 30 with a tension spring 34 adapted to urge arms 26 and 30 to a gate closed position as shown in FIG. 3. A pusher 36 which may be carried by and actuated by a solenoid or a pneumatic cylinder 38 is exemplified as the gate actuator or motive power 38. As the pusher 36 is moved forwardly the arms 18 and 20 are caused to swing outwardly to release an eared container 16. As seen in both FIGS. 1 and 3, a first proximity switch 40 is mounted just to the left of the metering gate so that as container 16 passes by said first proximity switch 40, a first signal is sent by means of conductors 42 and 44 and sent from a program station 46 to the motor unit 38. Further to the left in FIG. 1 and downstream from the first proximity switch 40 is a second proximity switch 48 which is also connected, as shown in FIG. 3, to the switch programmer 46.
OPERATION OF THE METERING GATE The function of this gate is as follows: with the power off, the spring 34 urges pusher 36 backwardly or to the right (FIG. 3) so that the gate is closed and a container may enter the gate as shown in FIG. 1. The container is retained by the closed gate and may not proceed downstream on the conveyor chains 12 and 14 until released by the gate. When the power comes on, the gate is actuated by the moving of the pusher 36 forwardly, the gate arms 18 and 20 are swung outwardly and the container 16 passes therethrough. When the container passes proximity switch 40, the switch 46 is actuated to cause the motor means 38 to be cut off, whence the spring 34 moves the gate to the position seen in FIGS. 1 and 3. In this condition or position any container following the first container is engaged and detained by the metering gate. As the first container passes the second proximity switch 48, the switch or valve programmer 46 is again reversed, causing the motive power 38 to move the pusher 36 foiward to cause the gate to open. The opening of the gate releases the second container which thereupon follows the same procedure in that as it passes the proximity switch 40 causes the gate to close, and when it passes proximity switch 48 it causes the gate to open. As this process is repeated, each succeeding container is spaced apart a distance equal to the distance between the proximity switches 46 and 48. This distance is a determined distance ascertained as necessary to permit the container to make a maximum degree of rotation for orientation of the container by moving the ear to and against an earengaging rail 50 as shown in FIG. 1.
After the container 16 has passed the ear-engaging rail 50, it enters the bail-applying apparatus as indicated by a portion of the main plate 54 upon which is mounted cover stop arms 56 and 58, which stop arms are adapted to engage ears 52 and 60 of container 16a. When these ears engage the stop arms, the forward progress of the container, of course, is stopped until such time as the bail-applying apparatus inserts a bail into the cars 52 and 60. In order to prevent actuation of the apparatus upon the receipt of the first container 16a, a third proximity switch 62 operatively connected into the bail-applying actuation circuit is spaced a determined distance back from the ear-engaging main plate 54. This distance upstream from the apparatus is equal to a determined number of containers, which in this particular case, as illustrated, is three. The eared containers oriented in a predetermined position as they are propelled to a stop position are brought substantially contiguous to each other. The proximity switch 62 is interconnected with a timedelay relay so that as container 16a passes by at a normal rate of travel the proximity switch 62 is not actuated. So also does the second container 16b pass by switch 62 without actuation of the switch. When container 160 is stopped opposite switch 62, it remains there. The proximity switch 62 is connected into a time-delay relay and is positioned so that three containers must be in posltion before the bail-applying apparatus is actuated. After the container 16c has come in the way of the proximity switch 62 and is caused to remain there for determined short length of time, the time delay is expired, whence the bail-applying apparatus is started and runs without declutching as long as containers 16 are brought into the apparatus to actuate a signalling device mounted in the cover stop arms 56 and 58.
Referring next to FIG. 4, it is to be noted that the main frame 54 of the bail-applying apparatus of my aboveidentified patent is shown as looking upstream from the downstream side of the apparatus. Upon each of the cover stop arms 56 and 58 as carried by the main frame 54, there are mounted switch devices 70 and 72 which are connected by wires 74 and 76 to an operating circuit to be hereinafter described.
Referring next to FIG. 5, it is to be noted that ear 60 is positioned on the container so that as it moves forwardly the ear engages contacts 78 and 79' to actuate a switch mechanism 80. Switch mechanism 80 is a normally open switch which is adapted to be closed by the car 60 as it engages and moves the contacts 78 and 79 leftward. When the switch is closed, it closes one part of a bail-applying actuating circuit. The switch construction shown in FIG. 5 is only merely one exemplification CPI of a switch mechanism, as many types of switch arrangements may be used. This switch provides ear-engaging contacts 78 and 79 which are disposed to engage and receive the ear 60 as the container is moved forwardly. This switch is also adapted to stop the forward motion of the ear 60 as well as to close the contacts of the switch for actuation of the bail-applying apparatus.
Referring finally to FIG. 6, it is to be noted that this fragmentary portion of the schematic circuit of the bailapplying apparatus is shown only to provide the relation of switches 70 and 72 to the ircuit. As seen, the switches 70 and 72 are normally open and are fed from one leg 82 of a one hundred ten volt service. From closed switch 72, current is fed through conductor 84 to one side of a solenoid 85 adapted to actuate a dual switch having a pair of normally open contacts 86 and 87. In combination with solenoid 85 there is an indicator light 88 which is contemplated as being panel mounted so that the operator may ascertain that the circuit is working as the ear of the container is brought in the way of the switch 72 carried by the cover arm.
From closed switch 70 current is fed through line 90 to one side of a solenoid 92 also adapted to actuate a dual switch having a pair of normally open contacts 93 and 94. In combination with solenoid 92 there is provided another indicator light 96 which is preferably panel mounted so that the operator may ascertain that the circuit is working as the ear of the container engages and actuates switch 70.
This portion of the circuit and other apparatus may be included in a control box 98 indicated in phantom outline. It is only important that the switches 70 and 72 must both be closed before the circuit feeding current to bailapplying mechanism can be actuated and in addition the third proximity switch must be actuated to cause the bailapplying apparatus to be activated.
This circuit also includes a holding circuit which in effect holds the bail-applying clutch in engaged position irrespective of proximity switch 62 as long as eared containers are continued to be fed to and through the bailapplying apparatus and at the contemplated operating rate of the apparatus. As soon as the apparatus has applied bails to all those containers that have been oriented and presented to the apparatus and the bail-applying apparatus has declutched, the hold on the circuit ceases and the proximity switch 62 again becomes eifective so that an accumulation of oriented containers must be made before the apparatus is again activated for bail-application.
The proximity switch 62 is also preferably connected to a timer circuit which is adapted to shut down the bailapplying apparatus and to shut off the power to the metering gate to close the gate. This actuation of the shut-down is provided when a container remains adjacent the proximity switch for a determined long period of time, which long time may be the amount of time necessary to fill the conveyor with stalled eared containers extending substantially to the metering gate.
OPERATION OF THE METERING AND ACCUMULATING APPARATUS The eared container metering gate and accumulating feed of this invention above-described provides that, with the power 0 to the bail-applying apparatus, the metering gate is closed, with spring 34 moving the arms 18 and 20 to the closed position. With power on the gate is open for the passage of the leading eared container and the gate operates to meter containers as described above. The spaced eared containers, as fed by said metering gate, are rotated and advanced by chains 12 and 14 and one of the ears of the container 16 engages rail 50, whence the rotation ceases and the containers are advanced toward and to the bail-applying mechanism. When the ears of the leading container 16a are engaged by the cover stop arms 56 and 5'8, the container is stopped and the succeeding containers 16b and 16c are stopped as they come in engagement with the preceding container.
As each container passes the third proximity switch 62 it actuates the switch and a time delay which blocks the completing of a bail-applying operation until a determined short period of time elapses. Absent the presence of a preceding can the actuating container passes by the proximity switch before the time delay is completed. When the container 160 is blocked by the preceding container the proximity switch is actuated when the primary time delay is exhausted. A second time delay may be included, which time is computed on the probable minimum time to completely fill the conveyor from switch three to the metering gate. This second time delay preferably shuts off both the gate and bail-applying apparatus as well as causing an alarm signal to be actuated.
The metering gate and means for accumulation abovedescribed provide means for the bail-applying apparatus to receive eared containers in an oriented array and in groups having a determined minimum quantity. The modifications to the bail-applying apparatus as identified in my US. Patent 3,241,578 insures that the improved bailapplying apparatus will function more efficiently and with a reduced amount of wear.
Terms such as in, out, up, down, upstream, downstream, open, closed and the like are applied to the metering gate and eared container accumulating means as shown and described in conjunction with the drawings. These terms are used above merely for the purposes of description and do not necessarily apply to a particular position in which the apparatus may be constructed or used.
The conception of the metering gate and accumulating means above-described and their application is not limited to the embodiment above-described but departures therefrom may be made within the scope of the accompanying claims and protection is sought to the broadest extent the prior art allows.
What is claimed is:
1. A metering gate feed for eared containers and the like wherein said containers may be delivered from a source and in an irregularly spaced and oriented array, and from the gate the containers are fed to an orienting conveyor in response to the movement of the containers thereon, the gate providing a minimum determined spacing between succeeding containers as they are delivered to the orienting conveyor, the metering gate and feed including: (a) a support frame; (b) an infeeding conveyor means adapted to receive in a randomly spaced and oriented array a succession of eared containers and to transport these containers forwardly in a single file; (c) a metering gate adapted to receive the single filed eared containers and to regulate the discharge of these containers one-at-a-time, the gate including a pair of arms at least one of which is movable toward the other arm and into the path of the container so as to engage and stop the forward progress of the container, said arm movable from the path of the container to permit the container to be transported forwardly on the conveyor; (d) means to move at least one arm to the limits of movement defining the open and closed positions of the gate; (e) a first switch means disposed downstream of the gate arm, the switch actuated in response to the passing of a container thereby, the switch adapted to cause an actuation of the gate arm to a gate-closed position, and (f) a second switch means disposed a determined distance from the first switch and further downstream on the conveyor, the second switch in response to the passing of the container causing the arm to be moved to the gate-open position.
2. A metering gate feed as in claim 1 in which there are two gate arms, both arms movable and in substantially equal amounts, the arms adapted to engage the container near its bottom as the container is transported forwardly on its bottom.
3. A metering gate feed as in claim 1 in which the first and second switch means are proximity switches adapted to be actuated by metal containers as they are moved forwardly on the conveyor.
4. A metering gate feed as in claim 2 in which the orienting conveyor includes at least two strands of chain and the like, the strands adapted to engage the bottom of and support the container, one of the strands advancing at a more rapid rate than the other to cause the eared container to rotate as it is advanced.
5. A metering gate feed as in claim 2 in which the arms are provided with a flexible facing means so disposed and adapted as to engage the side of the container as it is brought in the way of the arms, the flexible facings adapted to engage the side of the container without damage to the exterior surface of the container which may be a label, lithographing and the like.
6. A metering gate feed as in claim 2 in which the container engaging arms of the gate are actuated by the motion of a pair of lower lever arms, these lever arms actuated by motor means including a pusher adapted to engage and move the lever arms to open the gate, and biasing means adapted to urge the lever arms to a gate-closed position.
7. A metering gate feed as in claim 6 in which the motor means is a pneumatic cylinder.
8. A metering gate feed as in claim 6 in which the motor means is a solenoid.
9. A metering gate feed as in claim 2 in which the orienting conveyor includes a container orienting means and a third switch means, said third switch disposed a determined distance upstream from a bail-applying apparatus and the like, the switch operatively connected to said apparatus to actuate the apparatus, the switch adapted to be activated by containers as they are moved on the conveyor, the third switch cooperatively connected to a time delay means adapted to nullify the actuation of the switch for the determined time period so a container passing the switch at the speed of the conveyor does not result in the actuation of the applying apparatus, and whereby a container that does not pass the switch within said time delay period causes the applying apparatus to be actuated.
10. A metering gate feed as in claim 9 in which the third switch is a proximity switch and the determined distance upstream from the apparatus is at least the distance of three containers in contiguous engagement with each other when in the stopped position.
11. A metering gate feed as in claim 9 in which the third switch is cooperatively connected to a second time delay means adapted to be actuated after a longer determined time period and in response to said actuation the gate mechanism is moved so as to close the gate to a further feeding of containers.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,162,294 12/1964 Diester 198-64 EDWARD A. SROKA, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 19833. 34
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|U.S. Classification||29/717, 198/460.1, 29/774, 198/394, 198/379, 198/463.4|
|International Classification||B65G47/28, B21F45/00, B65G47/29|
|Cooperative Classification||B65G47/29, B21F45/004|
|European Classification||B65G47/29, B21F45/00C|