Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3568393 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 9, 1971
Filing dateFeb 24, 1969
Priority dateFeb 24, 1969
Publication numberUS 3568393 A, US 3568393A, US-A-3568393, US3568393 A, US3568393A
InventorsKing John W, Sweeney John D
Original AssigneeNat Can Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Can packaging method and apparatus
US 3568393 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

J. w. KING ETAL CAN PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS March 9, 1971 5 Sheets-Sheet '5 Filed Feb. 24, 1969 qa llilll 1li March 9, 1971 J, W. KlNG ET AL y 3,568,393

CAN PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheer:l L

Filed Feb. 24, 1969 March 9, 1971 J, w, K|NG ETAL 3,568,393

CAN PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS Filed Feb. 24, 1969 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 United States Patent O 3,568,393 CAN PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS John W. King and John D. Sweeney, Green Bay, Wis., assignors to National Can Coi-poration, Chicago, Ill. Filed Feb. 24, 1969, Ser. No. 801,525 Int. Cl. B65b 13/04, 35/50; B65d 63/16 U.S. Cl. 53-3 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus and a process for insuring that the openended cans that are loaded onto a pallet in layers within a palletizer maintain their proper position thereon as the loaded pallet is moved to a strapping station where the cans are moved securely affixed in place.

To insure that the cans will not move out of alignment during movement of the loaded pallet between the palletizer and the final strapping station, the stacks of cans are strapped to the pallet within the palletizer. Before the pallet is loaded in the palletizer, a strap is directed under the pallet into a clamping apparatus which w1ll hold the strap in position relative to the pallet as the pallet is being loaded with layers of cans. After the strap is so positioned, the strap feeder or chute used to dlrect the strap under the pallet into a holding mechanism 1s withdrawn to permit the loaded pallet to be retracted and accept additional layers of cans, during which time, strap is payed out from a supply source. The strap is then disposed completely around the loaded pallet, after which it is tensioned and secured in position.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Empty, open-top cans currently are palletized in palletizers of the type shown in U.S. Pat. 3,166,203, which is assigned to the assignee of the present invention. In such palletizers, the cans are placed in layers on a pallet and then the loaded pallet is moved along a strapping station, where the cans are secured in place on the pallet. Heretofore, no means have been provided for retaining the cans in position While the cans are moved from the palletizer to the strapping station. Such an arrangement is subject to the deficiency that during the transport of the loaded pallet from the palletizer to the strapping station, the cans loaded on the pallet may become jarred and moved out of the alignment in which they were placed during the palletizing operation. It can be readily appreciated that when dealing with empty cans, the possibility exists that if an outside vertical row of cans ends up substantially out of line, an erratic column could be formed which would tend to buckle during the subsequent strapping operation. If this were to take place, or if individual cans at preipheral locations of the above described pallet load become mispositioned so as to project substantially outward from their position of their column, the straps disposed around the loaded pallet when tensioned would tend to bend the lips of the cans subjected to the buckling force and prevent accurate capping of the cans after they are lled.

It is not uncommon in installations where cans are palletized to provide an operator located adjacent the palletizer to visually observe the stacks of cans and by means of a stick or some other guide member act to move the cans back into position before they are strapped to prevent bending of the can lips. It is obvious that such a situation is time-consuming, costly, subject to the human equation and, within the framework of the time normally allowed, it is possible that if the cans are out of line to any extent, the whole operation may have to be shut down, or temporarily stopped until the stacks of cans can be reoriented.

3,568,393 Patented Mar. 9, 1971 SUMMARY oF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a process which includes apparatus located Within the palletizer to pre-strap the cans to the pallet, which eliminates or substantially minimizes the possibility of the cans on the pallet becoming unaligned during the movement of the loaded pallet on the conveyor from the palletizer to the strapping station. The loaded pallet is normally moved on a conveyor a relatively short distance and thus a single strap could effectively prevent jarring of the cans relative to the pallet. It is not intended that the strapping done within the palletizer be sufi'icient to retain the cans in place when subjected to substantial forces which occur during transport. This is accomplished within the palletizer by directing a strap chute containing a strap through the pallet to where the strap is moved into a clamp located on the far side of the pallet. When the strap is so located, the strap chute is withdrawn and the loaded pallet is permitted to take on the requisite layers of cans. The strap held in clamping position continues to pay out as the pallet is lowered, which results in strap being disposed about the bottom of the two vertical sides of the loaded pallet during the can stacking operation. When the stacking is completed, an operator located on a platform adjacent the top of the loaded pallet places a wooden top frame over the top layer of cans. The operator then l) pulls the strap out of the clamp and directs it over the top of the wooden frame, (2) grips the strap located on the other vertical side of the pallet and overlaps the strap, (3) moves a strapping tool into position to (4) tension the strap, and (5) seal the overlapped portions together. When this is completed, the strap is then severed from the strap loaded pallet and the strapped pallet is moved on the conveyor into an adjacently located strapping machine where additional straps are disposed about the loaded pallet to more securely maintain the cans in position on the pallet.

This method of operation permits one man to handle the various jobs at the palletizer at a rapid rate with a high degree of efficiency.

Other features and adavntages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and claims, and are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, which show structure embodying features of the present invention, and the principles thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan View illustrating the overall system including a can receiving area, palletizer incorporating a preliminary strapping means, and a final strapping area;

FIG. 2 is a schematic view illustrating a pallet in position to receive a first layer of cans with the under-pallet strap chute shown in the retracted position;

FIG. 3 is a schematic view similar to FIG. 2, but with the strap chute shown extended under the pallet to locate the end of a strap in a strap clamp;

FIG. 4 is a schematic view similar to FIG. 3, but with a layer of cans and separator disposed on top of the pallet and the strap chute returned to the position shown in FIG. 2, but with the strap retained in position under the pallet;

FIG. 5 is a schematic view similar to FIG. 4 showing the pallet completely loaded, but prior to the strap ends being overlapped and sealed to retain the cans in place;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, but showing the strap being secured in position about the loaded pallet;

FIG. 7 is a plan view showing the mechanism for reciprocating the strap chute with the strap chute shown retracted after having located the strap in the strap clamp;

FIG. 8 is a front View of the mechanism for operating the strap chute, taken in a direction looking forward from the can feeder;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation of the reciprocating mechanism shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a partial view Showing the strap chute in the extended position to dispose the strap in the strap clamp;

FIG. 1l is a side elevation of the mechanism shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a view taken along line 12-12 of FIG. 1l; and

FIG. 13 is a view taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 1l.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT While the invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings, and as will herein be described in detail, a preferred embodiment of the invention and modifications thereof, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplication of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiment illustrated. The scope of the invention will beipointed out in the appended claims.

Referring now to the drawings, the general arrangement and sequence of operation is best illustrated in FIG. 1.

The apparatus includes a can receiving area A, a palletizer B, wherein preliminary strapping of the loaded pallet is performed, and a strapping station C where final strapping takes place. The actual sequence of operation beginning with the loading of a pallet with cans and the strapping of the cans to the pallet while in the palletizer is shown schematically in FIGS. 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The invention will be described with respect to these gures and where appropriate to the other figures in the drawings when specific details are required.

4Referring rst to FIG. 1, there is shown a plate 10 on which a layer of cans is disposed from a can loading station (not shown). It is to be noted before proceeding with the remainder of the description that can loaders and palletizers of the type which could be used in conjunction with the present invention are shown in assignees patent to Jeremiah 3,166,203. The details of the can loading apparatus, palletizer and iinal strapping equipment are not part of the present invention and references to these portions of the machine are principally to orient the reader so that he may have a better understanding of the present invention.

Referring again to the drawings, and particularly FIG. 2, the plate 10 on which a layer of cans 12 is located is shown in position on a conveyor 18. This can layer 12 will be moved onto a pallet of conventional structure located on the palletizer B after a strap has been disposed through the pallet and clamped in position, as shown in FIG. 3. The palletizer is surrounded on three sides by walls 31a, b, and c, which serve as a guide for the cans on the pallet as the pallet vertically retracts into the palletizer as it receives succeeding layers of cans. The layer of cans 12 on plate 10 is located Within a guide 13 which when operated by a piston 14 through the action of a piston rod I16 connected to the guide 13 moves the layer of cans off of the conveyor 18 onto the pallet 20.

Prior to the disposal of the first layer of cans 12 onto the pallet 20, a strap 30 is directed under the platform portion of the pallet 20. This step is necessary in order to properly position the strap, so that a single operator can eiciently strap the loaded pallet While it is in the palletizer.

As will be apparent, the strap must be disposed beneath the pallet while the pallet is in the raised position shown in FIG. 3. It is in this position that this can be conveniently done, since as successive layers of cans are placed on the pallet, the pallet is drawn into the palletizer into the position shown in FIG. 6. Thus, when the pallet 4 located on support 24 is retracted by the action of the piston 26, the final position of the pallet will be such as to prevent the operator from placing a strap through the bottom of the pallet to a position where it can be gripped and disposed about the loaded pallet to be secured in lace.

p The strap 30 received from a strap source (not shown) is directed through a strap conduit 32 and into strap feeder tube 34 where the end of the strap 30 is moved by a downwardly positioned guide 36 underneath a roller 38, which is pivoted about an eccentrically located pin 40 (see FIG. 1l). Thus, the strap is permitted to move forwardly beneath the roller 38, but cannot be retracted due to the eccentric mounting of the roller 38. A suicient length of strap is directed through the strap feeder tube 34, so that when the strap feeder tube is moved underneath the pallet, the free end of strap will be directed into the strap gripper 42.

Once in the strap gripper 42, the strap 30 moves underneath a strap hold-back roller 44, which is pivotally mounted about an eccentrically disposed pin 46, which prevents the strap from moving out of the strap gripper when the strap feeder tube is withdrawn. The strap 30 is guided into position beneath the roller 44 by guide 48 (FIG. 11), which is located inside the mouth opening 60 of the strap gripper 42. As will be discussed later during the method of operation, the strap is removed from the strap gripper through a side opening 52 in the strap gripper housing.

When the strap feeder tube is Withdrawn, an eccentrically disposed pin 54 secured to the roller 38 contacts a cam 56 which moves the roller 38 about its pivot 40 out of position to permit the strap to move more freely through the strap chute during the palletizing operation, and also permits the strap to be withdrawn into the strap tube after the pre-strapping operation has been completed and the unused strap has been severed from the loaded pallet.

The mechanism for reciprocating the strap chute or feeder tube 34 can best be seen by referring to FIGS. 7, 8, and 9. The strap chute is supported by a frame 58 and extends through pairs of guide rollers 60 and 62 which guide the strap chute during its reciprocating motion. The actual movement of the strap chute is accomplished through the action of a chain 64 Which is secured to the side of the strap chute. The chain 64 is driven by a sprocket wheel 66 mounted on a shaft 68. The shaft 68 is supported by a bearing support 70, and is in turn rotated by a pair of bevel gears 72, 74. Bevel gear 74 is located on a suitably journaled shaft 76 which is rotated through the action of a handle 78. As best seen in FIG. 9, angular movement of the handle 78 'which is journaled at 79 acts to move a link 80 which rotates bell crank 82 in a clockwise direction (see FIG. 9) to rotate shaft 76 and thus move the strap chute to the left through the bottom of the pallet, as shown in FIG. 9. The handle 78 moves from the position shown in FIG. 2 to that shown in FIG. 3 when the strap chute is moved underneath the pallet platform. After the strap is clamped in the gripper 42, the handle 78 is moved clockwise to the position shown in FIG. 4 to withdraw the strap chute leaving the strap 30 secured in place in the gripper 42. During its return movement, thestrap chute is stopped by a bumper stop 84.

Subsequent layers of cans are then placed on the pallet, which layers are spaced by separators 22 until the requisite number of layers have been placed thereon. It will be seen by referring to FIG. 5 that as the palletizer is lowered the strap is maintained in the gripper 42, but is payed out through the strap conduit 32 and strap guide 34 to drape about the two vertical sides and the bottom of the platform of the pallet. After the last layer of cans is placed on the pallet, a wooden top `frame I is placed thereover. When this has been completed, the operator located on platform 88 moves the strapping tool 28, which is resiliently mounted to tool support 86 by means of a spring 9'2, into position over the top of the loaded pallet. The strap end is moved out of the gripper 42 and the strap is withdrawn from the strap chute 34 and placed into overlapping relationship in the strapping tool 48. The strapping tool is then operated to tension the strap and a seal is applied to retain the strap in position. The strap is then severed, leaving a strapped loaded pallet. The pallet is then moved onto conveyor 94 and to the strapping station C, where three straps 98, 100, and 102 are disposed and sealed about the package. This final strapping operation is necessary to insure that the cans will remain in place when the pallet is moved great distances and subjected to relatively heavy shock loads. It is, of course, understood that three straps are merely exemplary, since any number can be used.

METHOD OF OPERATION A pallet 20 is initially placed on pallet support 24, which is secured to piston rod 26 located Iwithin palletizer B. With the pallet 20 in its uppermost position, strap 30 is directed underneath the pallet platform by strap feeder tube 34, which receives strap from a supply source through a strap conduit 3-2. This is accomplished by the counterclockwise movement of the handle 78 through the action of rod 80, bell crank '82, shaft 76, bevel gears 74, 72, shaft 68, sprocket wheel 66, and chain `64, which moves the strap feeder tube from the position shown in FIG. 2 to that shown in FIG. 3. When this occurs, the strap in the strap feeder tube 34 is directed underneath the roller 44 into clamping engagement in strap gripper 42. The handle 78 is then moved clockwise to the position shown in FIG. 4 to withdraw the strap chute 34 from underneath the pallet 20, leaving the strap 30y secured in gripper 42.

After this is completed, the rst layer of cans 12 is located on the pallet 20 by the action of piston 1-4 and piston rod 60 (see FIG. 4). A separator 22 is then placed on top of the rst layer of cans. The piston 26 is then retracted a predetermined amount (substantially a can height) by mechanism which is not important to an understanding of the present-invention. The particular arrangement that has been illustrated is but a schematic representation of one that can be used. -If information is desired about a mechanism of the type that is generally employed, reference is made to Jeremiah Pat. 3,166,203. The pallet is then loaded with a second and succeeding layers of cans and separators until the pallet is fully loaded, which is the position shown in FIG. 5. It is to be noted that as this takes place, the strap end is maintained in gripper 42, While the strap is pulled through strap conduit 32 and strap feeder tube 34 by the downward movement of piston 26 to where the strap isloaded about both vertical sides of the loaded pallet and underneath the pallet platform.

When the pallet has been fully loaded, the operator withdraws the strap out of the opening 52 in the strap gripper `42 and pulls the strap extending out of the strap feeder tube into the overlapping position shown in FIG. 6. The strapping tool 28 is then placed in position to receive overlapping strap portions, after which the tool is operated to tension the strap about the package and seal the strap in place. The strap is then severed and pulled back through the strap feeder tube, which is permitted by the fact that the roller 38 is maintained in an open position by the cam S6. The loaded pallet can then be Withdrawn from the palletizer and moved to the strapping station C, where a plurality of additional straps are secured about the loaded pallet.

It can be appreciated that the invention is not limited to the patricular embodiment illustrated and that other similar or equivalent mechanisms can be employed. It is, of course, intended to cover by the appended claims all such embodiments as fall within the true spirit and scope thereof.

What We claim is:

1. The method of strapping articles to a pallet within a palletizer comprising the steps of placing a pallet having a platform in a palletizer, feeding strap into a strap chute, moving the strap and strap chute below the pallet platform, clamping the strap in position to retain it below said pallet platform, withdrawing the strap chute from beneath the pallet platform, loading a layer of articles on the pallet platform, retracting the pallet to receive succeeding layers until the desired number of article layers are located thereon while paying out the strap to further extend it about opposed sides of the loaded pallet, removing the strap from its clamped position and overlapping it with the strap located on the opposite side of the loaded pallet, tensioning the strap about the loaded pallet, and securing the overlapped strap portions together to retain the articles in position.

2. The method as recited in claim 1 including the steps of providing intermediate layers of material between the adjacent layers of articles and a cover layer over the top layer of articles.

3. The method of providing a strapped can loaded pallet within a palletizer, comprising the steps of placing a pallet having a platform in the palletizer, feeding a layer of cans onto a collecting station, feeding strap into holding position in a strap chute, directing the strap ch'ute beneath the pallet platform to clamp the strap into position under the pallet platform, withdrawing the strap chute from beneath the pallet platform, moving a layer of cans from the collecting station onto the pallet platform, vertically retracting the pallet within the palletizer to receive succeeding layers of cans while paying out the strap to extend it about opposed sides of the loaded pallet and underneath the platform thereof, placing succeeding layers of cans on the pallet in the desired sequence until the pallet is loaded to the desired extent, removing the strap from its clamped position and overlapping it with the strap located on the opposite side of the loaded pallet, tensioning the strap about the loaded pallet, and securing the strap in position to retain the cans in position on the pallet.

4. The method of obtaining a strapped can loaded pallet, comprising the steps of providing a layer of cans to a rst station adjacent a palletizer, placing a pallet having a platform on a support within the palletizer, feeding strap into holding position in a strap chute, moving the strap chute beneath the platform and clamping the strap to retain it in position under the platform, withdrawing the strap chute from beneath the platform, moving a layer of cans from the rst station onto the platform, retracting the pallet to receive succeeding layers of cans While paying out the strap to extend it about opposed sides of the pallet and underneath the bottom thereof, placing succeeding layers of cans on the pallet in the desired sequence, removing the strap from its clamped position and overlapping it with the strap located on the opposite side of the loaded pallet, tensioning the strap about the loaded pallet, securing the overlapping strap portions together to retain the cans in position on the pallet, removing the strap loaded pallet from the palletizer and moving it to a strapping station, and disposing additional straps about opposed sides of the loaded pallet displaced at a angle from said rst mentioned opposed sides and securing same thereabout to more securely retain the cans in position on the pallet.

5. Apparatus for strappingk cans to a pallet having a platform located in a palletizer comprising means disposed adjacent one side of a palletizer adapted to receive strap, clamping means disposed on the opposite side of said palletizer, means for reciprocating said strap receiving means below said pallet platform to position the strap in said clamping means and to retract said strap receiving means out from below said platform, means for loading said pallet, means for retracting said pallet within said palletizer to receive succeeding layers of articles wherein strap is retained in said clamping means and disposed about the loaded pallet below said platform and adjacent opposed sides thereof, and means for tensioning and securing the strap about said loaded pallet to retain the articles in position thereon.

6. Apparatus as set forth in claim 5, wherein the means adapted to receive strap includes a strap chute in which strap is gripped and the clamping means disposed on the opposite side of said palletizer includes an eccentrically mounted roller for retaining the strap therein when directed therein by said strap chute.

7. Apparatus as set forth in claim 6 in which lthe means for reciprocating the receiving means includes a chain secured to said strap chute and a drive assembly including a sprocket wheel positioned to engage said chain.

8. Apparatus as set forth in claim 7, wherein the drive assembly for reciprocating said strap means includes a rotatably mounted handle which is connected to said drive means and when operated through a predetermined arcu- 8 ate movement acts to move the strap chute back and forth beneath the pallet.

References; Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 2,765,599 10/1956 Johnson 2146X 2,894,363 7/1959 Voogd 53-228 3,253,379 5/1966 Foradora 53--198X 3,263,599 8/1966 Dickens 1oo-2 10 FOREIGN PATENTS 34673 2/ 1935 Netherlands.

TRAVIS S. MCGEHEE, Primary Examiner 15 N. ABRAMS, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3710532 *Aug 2, 1971Jan 16, 1973Lockley Mfg Co IncApparatus and method for stacking articles
US4607476 *Jul 12, 1985Aug 26, 1986Fulton Jr Cyrus BMethod and apparatus for stretch wrapping unstable loads
US4744465 *Apr 28, 1986May 17, 1988Ball CorporationMulti-unit package having reduced taste/flavor imparting materials
US5450708 *Sep 20, 1993Sep 19, 1995Riverwood International CorporationFlexible packaging of stacked articles
US6152681 *May 2, 1997Nov 28, 2000Arrowhead Systems, LlcContainer sweep for a palletizer and method
US6775956 *Sep 8, 2000Aug 17, 2004Liam J. LaceyWrapping method and apparatus
US7634894 *Oct 24, 2006Dec 22, 2009Dyco, Inc.System and method for palletizing articles
US20080095601 *Oct 24, 2006Apr 24, 2008Dyco Inc.System and method for palletizing articles
US20100100227 *Nov 9, 2009Apr 22, 2010Dyco, Inc.System and method for palletizing articles
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/399, 414/789.5, 53/445, 24/170, 100/17, 53/447, 53/540, 53/590, 414/791.6, 24/24
International ClassificationB65B27/04, B65B27/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B27/04
European ClassificationB65B27/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 16, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: AMERICAN NATIONAL CAN CORPORATION, A CORP OF DE.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:AMERICAN CAN PACKAGING INC., A CORP. OF DE.;TRAFALGAR INDUSTRIES INC., (INTO);NATIONAL CAN CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004813/0201
Effective date: 19870430