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Publication numberUS3537899 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 3, 1970
Filing dateOct 20, 1967
Priority dateOct 20, 1967
Publication numberUS 3537899 A, US 3537899A, US-A-3537899, US3537899 A, US3537899A
InventorsYatuni Raymond A
Original AssigneePurex Corp Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cleaning six-pack carriers and soda cases
US 3537899 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

6 Sheets-Sheet 1 R. A. YATUNI CLEANING SIX-PACK CARRIERS AND SODA CASES f/v VEA/ro@ Reyno/vo H. Yfyrww Nov. 3, 1970 Filed oct. 2o, 1967 NOV. 3, 1970 R, A, YATUNl 3,537,899

CLEANING SIX-PACK CARRIERS AND SODA'CASES Filed Oct. 20, 1967 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Ain-41.46.?.


fvvE/vroe Rn YMOND. 1Q. Yara/w TTOQNEs/s.

Nov. 3, 1970 CLEANING Filed Oct. 20, 1967 R. A. YATUNI 3,537,899

SIX-PACK CARRIERS AND SODA CASES 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 Nov. 3,1970 R.A.YATUN1 3,537,899

CLEANING' SIXPACK CARRIERS AND SODA CASES Filed oct. 2o, 1967 e sheets-sheet 4 L lfl A J L l h ./vEA/oe. l 875 RnYMo/vo Q. Yara/w Nl l? l @www Nov. 3, 1970 R. A. YATUNI 3,537,899

CLEANING SIX-PACK CARRIERS AND SODA CASES Filed oct. 20, 1967 e sheets-sheet 5 :2o 09 Q no g5 I Q6 /00 Q7 84 INvE/v T02.

Rn YMo/vo H. )ira/w Nov. '3, 1970 R. A. YATUNl '3,537,899

CLEANING SIX-PACK CARRIERS AND SODA CASES Filed Oct. 20, 1967 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 .Z'NvE/v To@ RGV/HOND Q. lvTz/N/ www 0r ToeNEs/s.

Patented Nov. 3, 1970 U.S. Cl. 134-25 16 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE Washing of bottle carriers of the six-pack or eight-pack type and their cases, which are delivered empty to a Washing station where the present method and apparatus operates `generally to separate the carriers from the cases in advance of a tunnel-type washer, and to convey the carriers and cases in separate paths through the washer for cleansing and subsequent recombination. More particularly, the invention provides for initial separation and disposition of the containers and cases by so associating upstanding carrier handles with an upper conveyor that the carriers are suspended during initial separation of each case, and the latter is -separated by downward and preferably inverting movement onto a lower conveyor arrangement. The overall performance is characteristized by advancement of the carriers suspended from an upper conveyor in the washer, and simultaneous advancement of the separated cases on the lower conveyor within the washer, the progression being such that the washed output is in correspondence with the input and therefore reassemblage of the cleansed containers may occur as an essentially continuous operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Heretofore it has been common practice to dispense bottled goods such as carbonated soft drinks in so-called packs, which commonly have been made of paperboard or the like with upstanding looped handles and dimensioned or partitioned to contain usually six or eight bottles. The cases containing the carriers commonly have been rather shallow open top boxes constituting what is termed herein as multiple carrier cases. After single use, paper carriers have been discarded. As the cases become soiled they have been cleaned from time to time as by the use of suitable Washing equipment.

With the more recent advent of plastic pack carriers, cleansing problems arise because of the greater permanency or reuseability of plastic carriers and the necessity for cleaning them after their return with empty bottles. The invention presupposes the starting condition of open top cases individually containing plural bottle carriers but with the bottles removed. The invention provides Vfor separately washing the carriers and cases by maintaining conveyor means operable to advance the carriers and cases along separate paths through a Washer, and employing at the" feed end 0f the Washer, mechanism which upon receiving the carriers and trays, effects transference of the carriers to the washer conveyor means, while separating the cases from the carriers and delivering the cases to the conveyor sy-stem. A particular feature in relation to the case separation is inversion of the cases so that they go through the washer upside down and thus are assured of complete drainage of the Washing solution.

The Washer preferably is designed to contain upper and lower parallel conveyors, the former being so equipped as to grasp and retain the carrier handles during passage through the washer, the lower conveyor feed bcing so accosiated with the case inverting mechanism as to receive and then advance the inverted cases through the Washer to an outlet station at which the cleansed cases may be reinverted and assembled with the clean carriers.

The invention has certain more specific objectives among -Which is the provision of latch-type retainers associated with the upper conveyor and operable to receive and release the carrier handles. As illustrative, I may provide a succession of opposed latch elements mechanically spreadable to receive the carrier and thereafter spring urged to retain the handles until arrival at the washer outlet `where the latch elements are spreadable to release the carrier handles.

A further feature is the employment in advance of the washer of a case inverting mechanism designed to separate each case from its conveyor-suspended carriers by downward movement during the course of which the separated case is swung, while still being supported, to inverted position for reception by the lower washer conveyor.

Various additional features and objects of the invention as Well as the details of an illustrative embodiment will be more fully understood from the following detailed description of the accompanying drawings in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. l is a general and essentially diagrammatic view illustrative of the washer and associated conveyors;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged side elevation of the case lowering and inverting mechanism diagrammatically shown in advance of the washer in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, wherein the mechanism is operated to lower and invert the case onto a conveyor;

FIG. 4 is a left end elevation of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a section taken on line 5 5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the case lowering and inverting mechanism, and in correspondence with the parts positions in FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is a similar plan view in correspondence with FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary enlarged side elevation of the carrier conveyor at its feed end;

FIG 9 is a plan view of FIG 8;

FIG. 10 is a showing in perspective of one pair of I the carrier-retaining latch jaws;

FIG. 11 is a plan view showing one of the latches in closed condition; and

FIG. l2 is a cross section through one of the conveyor chains and showing the latch arrangement in elevation.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS For a general understanding of the invention, reference may rst be had to FIG. 1 in which is illustrated diagrammatically a tunnel-type washer 15 having a more or less elongated wall structure 16 open at its ends to accommodate the conveyors and through-movement of the objects being washed. The Washer is shown to contain an upper conveyor 17 and a lower conveyor arrangement 18, both conveyors being accessible at the inlet end of the tunnel for reception respectively of the carriers `and cases, as will later appear. |For present purposes it will suice to denote the carriers 19 and the case-20 as undergoing separation with resultant suspension of the carriers from the lower run of conveyor 17, and reception of the inverted cases 20 upon the lower extent 181 of the bottom conveyor inside the washer.

It is to be understood that the washer may contain any suitable means for subjecting the carriers and cases to washing and cleansing during the course of their travel through the washer. Merely as illustrative, the washer may contain a suitable arrangement of water or washing solution manifolds 21, 22 and 23 from which cleansing solution may be discharged against the carriers 19 and cases 20, in all or any combination of the directions indicated by the arrows which may be taken to indicate manifold sprays. The carriers 19 ordinarily being of bottom apertured configuration, can be washed by solution directed against the insides as 'well as outsides and in normal upright position with drainage assured. As to the cases 20 which may not be apertured for drainage, the maintenance of the cases in inverted condition will assure effective drainage of inside and outside surfaces.

Leaving the washer, the carriers 19 are taken as upon conveyor 25 for reassemblage with washed cases 20 which may be received upon a lower conveyor 26 after having been reinverted, mechanically or manually to receive the clean carriers 19. Replacement of the carriers within the washed cases may be accomplished in any suitable manner illustrative of which is by manual restoration of the carriers in the cases as they are discharged from the washer.

In reference to FIGS. 3 and 6 it will be observed that each case 20 contains two pairs of the empty bottle carriers 19 with the upstanding apertured or looped carrier handles 19a generally in alignment longitudinally and transversely of the case.

Being adapted for the reception of carriers 19 in their dual pair encased arrangement, the conveyor also has a dual characteristic in being formed of parallel endless chains 28 carried by idler sprockets 29 on shaft 30 at the feed end of the conveyor, and by sprockets 31 carried by shaft 32 at the opposite end of the conveyor, shaft 32 and the parallel chains being driven from motor 33 by way of chain 34.

Referring to FIGS. ll and l2, each chain 29 carries at uniformly spaced intervals a succession of latch devices 36 individually comprising a pair of angular latch arms 37 pivoted by pins 38 to swing apart and together for reception and release of the carrier handles 19a. As shown in FIG. 12 pins 38 are supported by angular side brackets 39 carried by the chain, the pins passing through openings 40, see FIG. 10, in the latch arms 37. Extending normal to the arms 37 and formed integrally therewith are the latch fingers 42 and 43, one of which is recessed at 44 to receive the carrier handle, the other nger being terminally turned at 45 to underlie and retain the handle within the opening 44 in the suspended condition of the carriers. Spreading apart of the latch fingers or jaws 42 and 43 is resisted by coil springs 46 terminally keyed to pins 38 with the oppositel ends of the springs bearing against lugs 49 of plate 50 which as shown in FIG. 12 is interposed between the springs and latch arms 37.

Throughout the conveyor horizontal runs the chain assemblies may be supported by spaced-parallel rails 51 and 52 the upper edges of which are engaged and traveled by the terminal extents of the latch arms. In reference to FIG. 9 it will be noted that upon leaving the supportin'g rails 51 and at the approach to sprockets 29, the latch Iarms 37 engage a pair of rollers 53 which cam the arms inwardly as they enter between parallel arcuate guides 54 between which the latch arms are held with their jaws spread, i.e. as at 55, during the travel of the jaws ot the bottom of the sprocket where jaws depend in alignment with slot or way 56 between guide plates 57. Thus as the carriers are advanced as from station A to station B in FIG. l, the handles 19a enter the guide way 56 and also the aligned space 58 between the latch fingers 42 and 43. Thus the terminals 44 and 45 of the latch fingers are positioned to come together within the carrier handle, all of which occurs upon passage of the latch arms 37 out of the ways 54, freeing the latch jaws for closure under the urging of springs 46. For release of the washed carriers onto conveyor 25, the arms 37 are caused to enter between stationary parallel deflectors 60, causing the latch jaws to be spread for a time interval sufficient to allow the carriers to drop onto the conveyor 25.

The case control mechanism comprises an upstanding frame structure generally indicated at 70 and shown to comprise side members 71 interconnected at their upper ends by cross member 72 which mounts by means of bracket 73 an open end guide channel 74 for reception and advancement of the case in the course of its separation from the carriers. Main drive shaft 75 journaled within and extending through the frame supported bearings 76 is drive from motor 77 through gear box 78 and sprockets 79 and 80 carrying chain 81. Shaft 75 terminally carries a pair of crank arms 82 pivotally connected at 83 with duplicate combinations of links 84 which in turn is pivoted at 85 to arm 86a of bell crank 86, the opposite arm 86h of which is connected to coil spring 87 terminally anchored at 88. Rotation of the shaft 75 thus operates through the links 84 to oscillate the bell crank 86 between its FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 positions.

Each bell crank 86 has at 90 a bifurcation which receives and pivotally mounts by pin 9"1 the inner end of an arm 92 which terminally carries suitable means such as a carrier frame structure generally indicated at 93, for engaging and retaining the case for its support and inversion. As illustrative, each of the frames 93 is shown to comprise a member 94 carried by the inner terminal of a shaft 95 journaled within bearing 96 carried by the arm 92, see FIGS. 6 and 7. Each shaft 95 also carries a sprocket 97 which when driven, rotates the frames to accomplish the case inversion. Each of the frames may include a bottom -fiange 98 to underlie and initially support the case, and also suitable means such as pads 99 which will frictionally hold the inverted case until it is released by separation of the frames.

Upon rotation of shaft 75 and resultant oscillation of the bell crank 86, arms 92 and the terminal frame assemblies 93 are swung generally vertically between the FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 positions, while simultaneously the frames 93 are rotated relative to the arms 92 to effect inversion of the case 20. Such frame rotation results from the effect of a pair of chains 100 respectively associated lwith the arms 92, each chain being terminally anchored at 101 to the crank 86 to thence extend above a stationary guide 102 carried by the frame supported arm 103, the chain passing about sprocket 97 and thence about idler sprocket 104 to terminal connection with an anchored coil spring 105. Thus without reference at this point to the throw out of arms 92, as they are swung down from the FIG. 2 position to that of FIG. 3, the resistive effects of the chains 100 in relation to the sprockets 97, produces rotation of the latter so that the case carrier frames 93 are rotated from the FIG. 2 starting position in which they support the case in normal upright attitude, and then are progressively rotated for deposition of the inverted case onto the underlying feed extent 182 of the conveyor system 18 previously mentioned in reference to FIG. 1.

Provision is made for laterally swinging the arms 92 and frames 93 apart for case release and resupport of a successive case, by the use of a pair of inside arms 108 of angular crank shape, each of which is pivoted at 109 to its arm 92 and brought to terminally bear at 110 against the arm, the inner end of each arm 108 carrying a roller 111 which engages the surface of a cam 112 carried by shaft 113 and sprocket driven from shaft 75 by chain 114, see FIG. 4. Observing FIG. 2 it will be noted that during the course of downward swinging of arms 92, rotation of the cam 112 against rollers 111 acts after a delay sufficient to assure substantial downward travel of the case, to progressively spread apart the holder frames 93 so that when rotated to the extent of case inversion, the holders 'will have spread sufiiciently to drop the case onto the conveyor. Reverse inward displacement of the arms occurs during continued cam rotation as the system restores to the FIG. 2 condition, where the frames 93 are receptive of the next case being advanced from the guide channel 74 for engaged retention of its carriers by the overlying conveyor as previously explained.

During lowering and inversion of the case as described, passage of a successive case out of the guide channel 74 is blocked by the terminals 115 of a pair of arms 116 pivoted at 117 and having integral cam arms 118 engageable against projections or lugs 119 on the crank arms 86, the cam shaped ends of the arms being engaged against projections 119 by coil springs 120. With the parts initially positioned as in FIG. 6 arms 116 are cammed outwardly to retract their terminals 115 from the path of the case within guide 74. During lowering of the case, projections 119 leave the cams 118 so as to permit springs 116 to throw the terminals 115 into blocking relation with the case advancing within the guide channel, which relation is maintained until the frames 93 restore to elevated case receiving position.

Starting and stopping of the motor 77 to effect in each of its intermittent operations 360 degree rotation of both shaft 75 and the cam 112, may be automatically etfected by a switch 122 (FIG. 6) in the motor circuit and having an on and oil control arm 123 actuated by engagement of the case 20 with lever 124. Thus upon advancement of the case to engagement with lever 24, switch 122 and the motor circuit close to start the motor operation throughout the stated 360 degree cycle at the termination of which de-energization of the motor may be accomplished by the use of a self-timing type switch 122.

I claim:

1. The method of washing open top cases and empty bottle carriers contained within the cases and presenting upstanding handles, that includes advancing the cases and contained carriers toward a washing zone, separating each case from its bottle carriers, and washing the cases and carriers with a washing solution spray while advancing them in separate paths through said Awashing zone.

2. The method of claim 1, in which the carriers are supported by their handles during separation from the cases and advancement through the washing zone.

3. The method of claim 1, including the step of inverting the cases following their separation from the carriers.

4. The method of claim 1, in which the cases are separated from the carriers by downward movement therefrom and the cases are advanced through the washing zone below the carriers.

5. The method of claim 4, in which the cases are inverted for interior drainage while passing through the Washing zone.

6. The method of claim 5, in which the washed cases are reinverted and Washed carriers are filled into them.

7. Apparatus for conveying and washing open top cases and empty bottle carriers initially contained within each case and presenting upstanding handles, comprising a tunnel-type washer, conveyor means for advancing the cases and carriers in separate paths through said washer, and mechanism operating to separate the cases from their carriers and to deliver the cases and carriers separately to said conveyor means.

8. Apparatus according to claim 7, in which said mechanism further includes means to elect engagement of the carrier handles with said conveyor means.

9. Apparatus according to claim 7, in which said mechanism includes means operating to invert the cases for passage through the washer.

10. Apparatus according to claim 7, in which said mechanism further includes means to effect suspension of the carriers from their handles by said conveyor means and to lower the cases from the carriers to effect their separation.

11. Apparatus according to claim 10, in which said mechanism further includes means to invert the cases for passage through the washer.

12. Apparatus according to claim 7, in which said conveyor means comprises upper and lower conveyors within the washer, the carriers being conveyed by the upper conveyor and the cases by the lower conveyor.

13. Apparatus according to claim 12, in which said mechanism includes means to effect engagement of the carrier handles with said upper conveyor so that the carriers are suspended therefrom, and means for lowering the cases and fo delivering the cases to said lower conveyor.

14. Apparatus according to claim 13, in which said lowering means further includes means to invert the cases before entry to the washer.

15. Apparatus according to claim 7, in which said conveyor means comprises an upper conveyor including endless parallel series of holding elements adapted to engage and releasably retain the handles of carriers in parallel series.

16. Apparatus according to claim 15, in which said holding element series includes parallel chains each carrying latch devices releasably engageable with the carrier handles.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Re 23,788 2/ 1954 Detjen 134-25 2,092,938 9/1937 Stebler 134-134 2,830,605 4/1958 Kleeman et al 134-133 JOSEPH SCOVRONEK, Primary Examiner D. G. MILLMAN, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2092938 *Jun 12, 1934Sep 14, 1937Fmc CorpApparatus for sterilizing and cleaning boxes and crates
US2830605 *Jul 19, 1955Apr 15, 1958Arthur WinninghamContainer-cleaning device
USRE23788 *Jul 31, 1951Feb 23, 1954 Method of washing aluminum
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6679276 *Oct 19, 2000Jan 20, 2004Fresh Express, Inc.Apparatus and methods for washing the cored areas of lettuce heads during harvest
EP0603975A1 *Dec 22, 1993Jun 29, 1994Harry Christiaan PiepersA method and a device for cleaning containers
U.S. Classification134/25.4, 134/134, 134/32, 134/127
International ClassificationB08B9/08
Cooperative ClassificationB08B9/0861
European ClassificationB08B9/08Y
Legal Events
Jun 5, 1986AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19860603
Jun 5, 1986AS01Change of name
Effective date: 19851211
Jun 5, 1986ASAssignment
Effective date: 19851211
Effective date: 19860603
May 6, 1986ASAssignment
Effective date: 19860418