US 3537579 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent lnven'tor Wayne A. Roberson New Orleans, Louisiana Appl. No. 767,786 Filed Oct. 15,1968 Patented Nov. 3, 1970 Assignee Owens-Illinois, Inc.
a corporation of Ohio Field of Search 209/73, 74, 80, 82, 88, 90; 198/3 1(A3), 37
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 8/l95 7 Engleson.... ..19s/31(A3 ux 3,241,666 3/1966 Preu ABSTRACT: The gauging of the side wall dimensions of a bottle or article in which the articles are moved in succession on a conveyor through an accurately positioned gate. The gate consists of a pair of opposed, substantially planar surfaces spaced from each other such that an oversized container or article will be stopped in the gate. Electronic means is provided for sensing the stopping of a container within the gate and, in proper sequence, will open one gauging member forming a portion of the gate so as to permit the blocked bottle or article to pass beyond the gate. Subsequent articles are stopped in their movement until the moveable portion of the gate is closed again and the oversized container or bottle is automatically rejected from the conveyor.
Patented Nov. 3, 1970 3,537,579
sheet 1 015 IN VENTOR.
Pwrokm Patented Nov. 3, 1970 Sheet ofS FIG. 2-
Patented Nov. 3, 1970' Sheet INVENTOR. BY I /m e i. 1660mm Q. i W
Patented Nov. 3; 1970 3,537,579
CONTAINER GAUGING AND SORTING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the gauging of bottles to determine those which are oversized and to segregate or reject those which are too large. It is important, particularly in the ham dling of glass containers such as flasks, that the flasks not exceed a selected dimension. In the filling lines of a bottlers plant it is important that all of the containers which are passing through the line be of a specific maximum dimension; otherwise, the filling line may be interrupted by a bottle jamming the handling equipment. When jamming occurs, the line must be shut down, resulting in loss of time and in some cases loss of product through the inability of the high speed filling line to distinguish between a situation in which the flow of containers to the filling equipment is interrupted by an improper bottle or interruption due to some other reason. Also, automatic capping equipment which is utilized in the bottlers plant in conjunction with the filling operation of containers, is a relatively high speed operation and is provided with automatic controls. Here again, with the interruption of the flow of filled containers due perhaps to a hang-up in the filling equipment, the capping operation may continue to feed caps for a period of time until an operator or safety equipment comes into play. This may then result in the discarding of a relatively large number of unusable caps. While many factors may be involved in the improper operation of a filling line, one factor may be that the container is not of a proper configuration.
This invention is directed to a gauging system in which those containers which are over-max" are segregated from a line of bottles so that only those bottles or flasks which are of an acceptable size will pass inspection.
So-cal led bulged and sunken side detectors have been available. An example of such a device is described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,343,673. In this patent and in many of those similar patented devices, a number of moving or movable feeler elements are necessary to the operation of the devices and frequently failure in the proper operation of the device may be directly attributed to the complexity and number of these moving elements.
In the present invention the number of moving elements is held to a minimum and the gauging elements themselves take the form of relatively rugged block or plate members, thus resulting in an apparatus which is relatively trouble-free and easy to maintain.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Apparatus for gauging the body portion of glass containers which are moved in succession along a horizontal conveyor with a pair of gauging plates or blocks mounted at opposed sides of the conveyor such that a bottle, having an external dimension which is greater than a predetermined amount, will be stopped by the plates or blocks. Means is provided for sensing the stoppage of movement of the containers, with the sensing means opening one of the plates so as to permit the bottle to go along the conveyor and at the same time stopping the flow of succeeding bottles until the plate has been returned to its opposed position relative to the fixed block. The oversized container is then segregated or rejected.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the gauging apparatus of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a schematic plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a schematic plan view, similar to FIG. 2, illustrating the line of containers in ajammed position;
FIG. 4 is a schematic plan view, similar to FIGS. 2 and 3, illustrating the release of the blocked container by opening of the movable gauging block; and
FIG. 5 is a circuit diagram of the electrical components and controls of the invention.
With specific reference to FIG. 1, the apparatus of the invention takes the form of a horizontal, belt-type, conveyor l0 moving from right to the left, as viewed in FIG. I. A succes sion of containers C positioned upright on the conveyor are moved between side rails 11 and 12 which accurately position the containers in line on the conveyor. Positioned on one side of the conveyor is a flat plate or gauging block 13. The plate 13, actually in the form of a T, is mounted to a fixed, vertical plate 14 by a pair of bolts 15 which extend through horizontally elongated slots 16 formed in the plate 13. The slots 16 permit horizontal adjustment of the plate 13; however, once the gauge is set up, the plate 13 will be, for all practical purposes,-fixed in relation to the conveyor.
In facing relationship to the plate 13 is a second plate 17, with the plate 17 being mounted so as to pivot about a pin 18. The pin 18 extends through and is fixed relative to a substantially horizontal table 19. The table 19 is clamped or otherwise fixed to the side of the conveyor and has its upper surface at approximately the upper level of the conveyor. The pivotal movement of the plate 17 is provided by a generally horizontal crank member 20 fixed to the plate. The plate and, in effect, crank 20 are positioned, in relation to the axis of the pin 18, such that the plate may pivot in a counterclockwise direction from the position shown in FIG. 1. The crank 20 has a portion 21 which extends beyond the opposite side of the pivot pin 18 from that portion of the crank member which supports the plate 17. The extending portion 21 loosely retains one end of a lever 22. The opposite end of the lever 22 is upwardly bent and extends through an opening formed in a stop bar 23. The stop bar 23 takes the form of a generally horizontal lever which is pivotally supported intermediate its length on a pin 24, with the pin 24 being vertically supported by the table 19. The end of the bar 23 which is connected to the lever 22, is provided with a rounded, inwardly extending surface 25. This surface 25 is adapted to engage the containers C so as to block or stop the movement of the containers along the conveyor at such time as the plate 17 is shifted or moved to widen the space between the plates 13 and 17 or, in effect, open the gate.
The crank member 20 carries a slotted linkage member 26 which extends outwardly from the plate 17. The slotted portion of the linkage member 26 carries a pin 27, the lower end of which serves as a cam follower. The cam follower portion of the pin 27 is in engagement with a generally frustoconically shaped actuating cam 28. The cam 28 in turn is connected to an operating shaft 29 of a spring-biased fluid motor 30. The motor 30 is of the type in which a spring normally biases the piston of the fluid motor so as to retract the piston and hold it in the rearward or right hand end portion of the motor as viewed in FIG. 1. A pipe 31 connected to the rearward end of the motor 30 is normally connected, through a valve generally designated 32, to a source of fluid under pressure (not shown) connected to an inlet pipe 33.
In the position shown in FIG. 1, fluid under pressure is applied to the motor 30 so as to maintain the actuating cam 28 in the position shown with the spring return in motor 30 being compressed. With the valve 32 having its body 34 in the position shown in FIG. 1, fluid under pressure entering the pipe connection 33 will be maintained on the motor 30. When, in the sequence of events, a container is stopped by the gauging blocks 13 and 17, the valve body 34 will be shifted to the left by a solenoid actuator 35 connected thereto through a shaft 36. Shifting of the valve body 34 will disconnect fluid under pressure to the motor 30 and feed fluid pressure to an accumulator cylinder 37. The motor 30 will have its rod 29 retracted by the return spring causing the gauging block 17 to pivot about the pin 18. The pipe 31 will be connected through the valve body 34 to a pipe 38 which is connected to one end of a reject motor 39.
The motor 39 is of the type which has a single, movable piston, fluid actuated in one direction and spring actuated in the return direction. The pressure fluid which may be forced from the motor 30, however, will not be sufficient in volume or pressure to actuate the motor 39. Also, it should be pointed out that the motor 39 has a bleed orifice connected to its move its piston rod 40 and pusher member 41, occurs when the solenoid 35 is deenergized so as to permit a spring 42 to return the valve body 3d to the position shown inFlG. l, at
which time fluid pressure within the accumulator cylinder 37 is connected through the pipe 38 to the motor 39 and actuates the motor 39 so as to move the pusher member 41 outwardly to knock the container, which has now arrived in front of the pusher member, off of the conveyor.
As previously explained, the motor 39 is provided with a bleed hole 43 in the side thereof which permits the pressure fluid, fed thereto, to bleed off and the pusher member 41 and rod 40 will move back or retract under the force of the spring (not shown) contained therein. in effect, the motor 39 is actuated upon the surge of pressure from the accumulator cylinder 37. However, the surge of fluid under pressure will bleed out through the hole 43 and the spring force acting against the fluid pressure will dominate after a predetermined interval and cause the retraction of the piston and pusher member 41 connected thereto.
The crank member 20, as shown in FIG. 1, carries a switch actuating arm 44 which is operative to open a normally closed microswitch 45 when the plate 17 is pivoted to its fullest extent. The solenoid 35, which initiates the opening of the plate 17 by movement of the valve 32, is controlled by a pair of microswitches 46 and 47.
As can readily be seen in FIGS. 1-4, the microswitch 47 has its actuating arm 48 overlying the path of movement of the containers, as they approach the gauging area, at a height such that the arm 48 engages the neck of each container. The microswitch 46 has its actuating arm positioned so that it overlies the path of movement of the containers and has its arm 49 actuated by the body of the containers as they move along the conveyor in advance of the gauging position. The microswitches 46 and 7 function to provide a system of signalling when the flow of containers along the conveyor is interrupted due to one of the containers being too large to pass between the plates 13 and 17. I
With particular reference to FIG. 5, the electrical circuit will be described in detail and the functional sequence expluincd with reference to the schematic plan views of FIGS. 2-
As the bottles move along the conveyor, they first reach the upper and lower timing microswitches 46 and 47. Microswitch 47 opens and closes on and between the necks of the bottles while the microswitch 46 closes by contact with the body of the moving bottles. Power is fed to the circuit from a suitable source of alternating current fed through leads and 51.
As can be seen when viewing FIG. 5, lead 51 is connected through a fuse 52 to a start switch 53 (closed when the gage is in operation) and through the normally closed microswitch 35, is connected by a lead 54 to the microswitch 46. As the bottles contact arm 49 they will close the microswitch 46 which, in effect, turns the power on to the microswitch 47. The microswitch 46 remains closed as long as there is a constant flow of bottles, while the microswitch 47 opens and closes between the necks.
Microswitch 47, when its arm is in engagement with a neck, is in the position shown in FIG. 5. This switches the power to a first time-delay relay 55 and when it is not engaging a neck, switches the power to a second time-delay relay 56. The timedelay relay 55 has a preset delay period which is longer than the normal time that the switch arm 48 will be in contact with the neck of a container that is moving normally. The relay 56 has a preset delay period which is longer than the time the arm 48 of switch 47 is out of contact with the necks of moving containers.
As long as the bottles are moving along the conveyor, the time-delay relays 55 and 56 will not energize their output coils to shift the switches 57 and 58 from the position shown in FIG. 5. This condition is schematically shown in FIG. 2 where the containers are moving at spaced intervals along the conveyor through the gate. formed between upstanding plates or blades 13 and 17. in the event an over-max or out-of-shape container enters the gauging mechanism of the invention, it will be trapped between the two opposed plates 13 and 37'. With a bottle trapped between the plates, as shown in PEG. 3, the
"microswitches 46 and 47 will sense that there is no movement of bottles on the conveyor and both will be switched from the position shown in FIG. 5. With both switches sensing no movement of bottles, the time-delay relays 55 or as will "time out" and operate one or both of the switches 57 and 58. With either or both switches 57 and 58 shifted from the positions shown in FIG. 5, power will be fed to a relay 59 that has a pair ofgauged contacts 60 and 61. Both contacts 6t and 61 will be closed with the upper contact 65) completing a circuit through the closed contact as of a third time-delay relay 63 to effectively hold the relay 59 on. The lower contact 6! of relay completes a circuit to feed power to the solenoid 35 which controls the air valve 32, and to the third timedelay relay 63.
With the energization of the solenoid 35, the air valve 3 2 will be shifted to turn off the air or fluid to the motor This results in the movable plate 17 being pivoted to open the and release the trapped bottle, as shown in FIG. 4.
As previously explained, when the plate 17 is pivoted, the stop bar 23 is moved into engagem nt with the bottle that is immediately behind the released, d fective bottle. (See FIG. 4). Swinging of the plate 17 through the pivoting of the lever 20, to its fullest extent causes the arm 44 to engage and open the microswitch 45. Opening of the switch 45 will break the circuit and cut off power to the switches 46 and 47 and thus reset relays 55 and 56. Relay 59, however, is held on by the time-delay relay 63, which has a preset period equal to the time necessary for the released bottle to arrive at the position opposite the pusher member 31 and then switches to open the contact 62 and resetting by deenergizing the relay 5%. Power is then disconnected from the solenoid 3S and relay 63, resulting in the movable plate 17 swinging back into opposed, parallel relationship to the plate 13 and at the same time connecting the air stored in accumulator chamber 37 to the reject motor 39, where the bottle is pushed from the conveyor and the pusher retracts as the air bleeds from the motor 39.
With the plate 17 back in its original position, as shown in FIG. 1, the stop bar 23 will be retracted and the flow of bottles will begin completing the gauging cycle until another bottle is trapped.
Various modifications may be resorted to within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. Apparatus for gauging the body portion of glass containers comprising a horizontal conveyor for moving bottles along a predetermined path in series, a first gauging blade mounted at one side of said conveyor with its gauging surface at right angles to the conveyor surface and substantially parallel to the direction of movement of the containers on the conveyor, a second blade mounted in opposed parallel relation ship to said first blade and spaced therefrom a distance equal to the maximum width of acceptable containers, means responsive to stoppage of movement of containers on said conveyor for moving one of said blades in opening relationship with respect to the other blade and means, at one side of said conveyor, at a pointbcyond said blades for ejecting containers from said conveyor that are stopped by said blades.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, further including means responsive to opening movement of said one blade for blocking the movement of successive containers through the gap between the blades while the blades are open.
3. The apparatus of claim I, wherein said means responsive to stoppage of movement of containers comprises, switch means actuated by the presence of containers on said conveyor in advance of said blades, time-delay relay means connected to said switch means operable upon interruption of movement of said containers, and motor means connected to said one of said blades and operable in response to said timedelay relay means for moving said one blade into open position.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein said motor means comprises a fluid motor, a source of fluid under pressure connected to said motor, valve means interposed said source and motor, and means connected to said valve means for operating said valve in response to operation of said time-delay relay means.