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Publication numberUS3589501 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 29, 1971
Filing dateApr 16, 1969
Priority dateApr 16, 1969
Publication numberUS 3589501 A, US 3589501A, US-A-3589501, US3589501 A, US3589501A
InventorsHarrison John
Original AssigneeSpra Con Co The
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Article carrying and discharge mechanisms
US 3589501 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 6/1968 Harrison..,...... 198/155 [72] Inventor JohnHarrison Lincolnwood,lll. 8/1969 Harrison....,......... 816,493

Primary Examiner-Harvey C. Hornsby Assistant Examiner- Douglas D. Watts [21] App]. No.

91 67 99 Ill 6'9 112 m u A e 0 e m d em 8 FD; 25 24 [.l.

Attorney-McDougall, Hersh, Scott and Ladd [73] Assignee The Spra-Con Company Chicago. Ill.

[54] ARTICLE CARRYING AND DISCHARGE ABSTRACT: An article delivery system comprising pivotally MECHANISMS mounted trays or other article carrying means movable along a conveyor path and including a coding mechanism for selec- 22 Claims, 14 Drawing Figs.

tively pivoting the article carrying means to achieve article 98/155 discharge. The article carrying means are supported on a ...B65g 15/00, 865g 17/00, B65g 19/00 [50} FieldofSearch...........................

downwardly extending actuating member which is connected to a transversely movable element. Movable track sections are 38 located at intervals along the conveyor path and the transverkeferencesciled sely movable element engages the movable track sections UNITED STATES PATENTS l/l966 Harrison et when discharge is to take place. The transverse movement is translated into pivoting movement of the article carrying means.

PATENTEU JUH29 I971 SHEET 1 BF 6 ll h N L MENU! PATENTEU JUN29 I971 SHEET [1F 6 PATENTEU JUN29 197i SHEET 6 [1F 6 ARTICLE CARRYING AND DISCHARGE MECHANISMS This invention relates to conveyor constructionsof the type including a plurality of article carrying means adapted to pivot in their course of movement along a conveyor path for discharging articles. j

Article conveyors are advantageously employed for a variety of purposes. One specific application for such conveyors comprises a sortationsystem wherein articles having Pat. No. 3,231,066 provides an illustration of the type of conveyor system which can be employed. In this prior construction, the trays are supported for tilting movement to either side of the conveyor. The tilting'operation is provided by cam means which can be selectively operated so that only designated trays will tilt at aparticular station.

Constructions of this type are subject to a great deal of mechanical stress. Specifically, the camming action which characterizes these constructionsnecessarily involves an impact between stationary members located along the conveyor length and moving members associated with the'trays. When the impact occurs, particularly in high-speed operations, high stress can result leading to mechanical failure.

Problems of' the type described are also discussed in"l-Iarrison application Ser. No. 638,876, filed May 16,1967, now patent No. 3,462,298. This application provides a system for overcoming these-problems'by pretilting trays prior to arrival at a discharge location. The pretilting can occur gradually so that impact issubstantially reduced. Articles on the tilted trays are held in place by means of end gates, and discharge is accomplished by unlocking the end gates at an appropriate time. Impact then occurs between the end gate locking mechanism and the unlocking means interposed in the path of the locking mechanism; however,the tray structure is generally free of direct and damaging impact forces.

Theinstant invention has for its general object the provision of 'an article delivery and discharge system which provides still further improvements from the standpoint of'reliability of operation. I

It is a more specific object of this invention ,to provide a system of the type described which includes highly reliable operating mechanisms whereby article discharge can be achieved in a highly efficient manner.

It is a still further object of this invention to providea system of the type described which comprises a vary compact assembly so that maximum article distribution can be achieved in a minimum amount of space.

.It is a further object of this invention to provide a system of the type described which is characterized by operating devices of a highly versatile nature so that conveyor paths of different configurations can be selected, depending upon the nature of the facilities available.

These and other objects of this invention will appear hereinafter and for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, specific embodiments of the invention are shown in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a vertical, sectional view of a conveyor construction illustrating a tray design characterized by the features of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a horizontal, sectional view taken about the line 2-2 of FIG. 1; j FIG. 3 is a vertical, sectional view taken about the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a verticaL-sectional view taken about the lined-4 of FIG. 3; l

' FIG.5 is a plan view illustrating the track construction including the means for achieving discharge;

FIG. 6 isa plan view of the construction shown in FIG. 5 in the discharge position; I

FIG. 7 is anenlarged detail view illustrating the movable discharge track section; g

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary view illustrating the movable track section and associatedoperatingelements;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view illustrating a movable track employed for discharge purposes;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary, sectional view taken about the line 10-10 of FIG. 5 and illustrating an alternative form of movable track; I

FIG. 11 is a side view taken about the line ll-llof FIG. 10; FIG. 12 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational view taken about the line 12-12 of FIG. 5; 7

FIG. 13 is an exploded perspective view illustrating operating components associated with the movable track section; and,

' FIG. 14 is a schematic illustration of a conveyor system which can be adapted for use with the constructions of this invention.

The system of this invention generally comprises an article carrying means located on a conveyor for movement past at least one article loading station and past a plurality of article discharge stations. In accordance with conventional practice, the invention is most efficiently used in conjunction with a system having coding and memory devices so that a person placing an articleon a conveyor can at the same time assign a code to the article, for example, by pushing buttons on a panel. Depending on the code assigned, the memory system will automatically operate discharge initiating means, for example, a'solenoid, whenthe article carrying means supporting the article reaches the discharge location.

In accordance with this invention; the .trays or other article carrying means are pivotally mounted so that they can be tilted'for discharge purposes. The invention will be described relative to tilting immediately opposite a discharge location;

however, it will be understood that the design of the means for tilting the article carrying means could be incorporated in a system of the type disclosed in Ser. No. 638,876 where an end gate is employed. 7

.The article carrying means of the invention specifically include a downwardly extending actuating member which is pivotally connected at an intermediate point and which is tied to a transversely movable element. This transversely movable element is adapted to follow a track comprised of stationary and movable sections. When the movable sections are actuated to achieve tilting action, the resulting movement of the transversely movable element is translated into pivotal movement of the article carrying means. It has been found that the transverse movement can be carried out in a smooth fashion substantially free of significant impact forces. The tilting of a tray or other means is then accomplished without applying .damaging forces to any of the associated components.

FIG. 14 illustrates in dotted lines a conveyor path 10 having an article loading station 12 adjacent thereto. In accordance with conventional practice, an individual shown at 14 operates a keyboard 16 to assign a code to each article at the loading station. Thearticles are transferred manually or automatically to article carrying means when the code is assigned.

A plurality of discharge stations 18 are located around the conveyor path. As illustrated, the discharge locations may be located in opposed relationship on both sides of the conveyor or in alternating relationship on both sides of the conveyor. In some instances, the stations may be situated on only one side whereby the trays or other article carrying means will only tilt in one direction.

FIGS. 1 through 4 illustrate a supporting frame 20 carrying opposed tracks 22, these tracks defining the conveyor path. Trucks 24 having wheels 26 are mounted for movement over the tracks. Each of the trucks includes downwardly extending posts 28 supporting rollers 30 which ride between additional track forming members 32. A downwardly extending continuation 34, associated with one of the posts 38 on each truck, provides a means for connecting each truck to a drive chain 36.

Each truck carries an opposed pair of guide plates 38. Braces 40 extend upwardly from the guide plates for connection with the legs 42 of the U-shaped bar 44. Additional angularly extending braces 46 also extend between the rectangular frame of the truck and the legs 42.

Opposed openings are formed at the top of the legs 42 for pivotally supporting the shaft 48. An arm 50 is tied at the center of the shaft, and this arm extends upwardly for connection with the tray support 52. The tray support includes legs 54 which are tied to the shaft 48. The tray 56 will pivot about the axis defined by the shaft 48 in response to swinging movement ofthe arm 50.

The lower end of the arm 50 carries a pin 58 which supports rollers 60. A pair of bifurcated members are formed by the pieces 62 which are welded to the top surface of horizontally extending plate 64. The side edges 66 of the plate are received in grooves 68 defined by the opposed inner faces of the guide plates 38. This arrangement permits sliding movement of the plate 64 relative to the guide plates 38. In the course of this movement, the arm 50 will swing to impart pivotal movement to the tray 56. The bifurcated arrangement confining the end of the arm 50 permits this movement as best illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4.

Extending downwardly from the plate 64 are a pair of rollers 70. These rollers engage stationary track sections 72 in the course of movement of a truck between discharge stations.

FIGS. through 7 and through 13 illustrate mechanisms utilized at a discharge location. The mechanisms include movable track sections 74 pivotally connected to the stationary track sections 72 at 76. The movable track sections each include an outer wall 78 providing an extension of the upstanding wall of the track 72. In addition, the movable track sections provide collapsible inner walls 80. If a tray is to pass by the discharge location shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 without discharging an article, then the rollers 70 will simply move from engagement with the track 72 into engagement with the wall 78 of the track 74 and then into engagement with the next stationary track section 72.

As best shown in FIGS. 8 and 12, a spring 82 is connected to a pin 84 extending downwardly from the movable track 74. This spring normally urges the track into the pivoted or switched position shown in FIG. 8. A lock for the track section 74 is illustrated in FIG. 9. This lock consists of a plate 86 defining a shoulder 88 for engagement with a second pin 90 extending downwardly from the track section 74. The shoulder normally extends upwardly through an opening 92 defined by a support plate 94. The plate is pivotally connected at 96 to a block 98 attached to the underside of the support plate, and a spring 100 normally forces the plate 86 into the solid line position shown in FIG. 9.

A solenoid 102 includes a core 104 which is connected at 106 to the plate 86. When the solenoid is pulled in, the plate 86 pivots to the dotted line position shown in opposition to the spring 100 thereby releasing the pin 90 and allowing the spring 82 to switch the movable track 74. A stop lug 108 is positioned on the top surface of the plate 94 to limit the movement of the track section 74 whereby the track section will be accurately aligned.

An additional track section 110 is provided as a continuation of the track section 74. This additional track section is employed to provide additional pivoting movement of the arti cle carrying trays. Thus, a roller 70 will impart a certain amount of transverse movement to the plate 64 for achieving tilting of a tray in the course of movement of the roller along the track section 74. Additional tilting movement will be pro vided as the roller moves onto the track section 110; however. at this time, the track section 74 can be restored into alignment with the stationary track 72. This provides for improved operating capability since the speed of the conveyor is not limited by the necessity for achieving complete tray tilting and for moving the tray tilting element back to its starting position before the next tray arrives. An additional advantage is provided since the track section 74 may impart gradual tilting movement to reduce stress on the conveyor components, and this gradual tilting can then be continued by the track section after the section 74 has been restored. Accordingly, gradual tilting does not place a limitation on the conveyor speed.

The restoring of the sections 74 is accomplished through engagement of a roller 70 with the extension 112 formed at the end of the lever 114. This extension is received in an elongated opening 116 defined by the wall 118 of the track section 110 and an opposed shorter opening 120 defined by the wall 122 of this track section. When a roller 70 enters the track section 110, the lever 114 is pivoted out of blocking position. This action moves the pin 124 carried by the arm 126 of the lever into engagement with the arm 127 ofa second lever 128.

The arm 127 includes a right angle extension 130, and a recess 132 is defined at the juncture of the extension and the arm. A pin 134 extending downwardly from the bottom of the movable track section 74 is received in this recess when the movable track section is switched to the discharge position. A spring 136 is connected to the pin 138 carried by the arm 127 so that this arm is normally urged into engagement with the pin thereby locking the track section 74 in the switched position.

When the pin 124 on the arm 126 engages the arm 127, the latter arm is unlocked relative to the track section 74. The track section is restored due to the engagement of roller 140 with the track wall 142. The roller 140 is carried on the arm 144 which is mounted for pivotal movement about its end 146. A pin 148 extending downwardly from the arm 150 of lever 128 is received in the openings 152 defined by the arm 144 whereby this arm will pivot into engagement with the track section 74 when the lever 128 is pivoted.

When the track section 74 has been restored into alignment with the track 72, the pin 134 is maintained in abutment with the outer edge 154 of the extension 130 on the lever 128. When the roller 70 has passed by the extension 112, this extension will move back into blocking position due to the action of spring 156 which extends between the pin 124 and the stationary pin 158 which serves to hold the ends of both springs 136 and 156.

Where movable track sections 74 are located in opposed relationship on both sides of the conveyor construction, the interior walls of these track sections are formed in the manner shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. In this arrangement, each interior wall 160 is formed integrally with arms 162 which are pivotally connected at 164. The under sides of the arms are engaged by posts 166 which extend upwardly from a frame plate 168.

When the movable track sections are in alignment with the stationary track sections 72, then the interior walls 160 are in the collapsible position shown in FIG. 10. Accordingly, the exterior walls 170 will be in alignment with the upstanding wall of stationary track 72. When one of the adjustable tracks is switched under the influence of a spring 82, then the interior wall 160 of that track section will be cammed upwardly by the associated posts 166 to the dotted line position shown in FIG. 10. The opposite interior wall 160 remains in the collapsed position so that the roller 70 on that side will clear this wall to permit the switching movement. When a wall 160 has been moved upwardly for switching purposes, then this wall will serve as the guiding surface for the roller 70 during tilting of a tray.

The arrangement shown in FIG. 9 is utilized where switching occurs on only one side of the conveyor at any given location. With this arrangement, both walls of the movable track section 74 are permanently attached. This arrangement may be used where the conveyor is designed to discharge from one side only or where discharge locations are located on both sides but are in different positions along the length of the conveyor. FIG. l4illustrates these three possible arrangements.

The lever 128 is provided with an outwardly extending bear ing strip 174 which lies in the path of a roller 70 when the associated movable track section has been switched to the discharge position. This arrangement serves as a safety feature in the event that for some reason the movable track section is notrestored to the aligned position after it has operated to tilt a tray. Referring to FIG. 6, it will be noted that the leading pair tion.

' I This possibility is eliminated since the upper roller 7 0 of this trailing pair will engage the bearing strip 174 and pivot the lever 128 thereby releasing the pin 134 which is held in the recess 132. Continued movement ofthe lower roller 70 into the movable track section 74 will then force this track section into the aligned position where it will be held by the locking plate 86.

The additional track section 110 may also be extended to the length shown to provide for adequate tray tilting. Since.

this will place the track section in the path of the upper roller 70 which has been moved to a discharge position at a preceding station, the track section 110 is pivotally connected at 176. A suitable spring is provided to normally hold the track section in the position illustrated, however, engagement by the roller 70 will force the track section inwardly in opposition to the spring until the roller has moved past the discharge station.

1 Various means may be employed for initiating tray discharge through operation of solenoids 102, which are located at the various discharge positions 18 around the conveyor. Other means, including manual operation could be employed for achieving the discharge action by operating the locking plate' 86; however, the use of a pushbutton console for coding articles placed on'the conveyor is definitely preferred. The code applied to an article at the end of loading can then be used to operate the solenoids, and control systems such as described in Speaker Pat. No. 3,034,665 could be utilized for this purpose. As'explained in this patent, coding devices can be incorporated in this [system 'which are capable of synchronization withthe. tray movement whereby an electrical signal will be generated when a tray reaches a location corresponding to a particular code. This signal can'then be utilized for energizing the particular solenoid 102-.

As indicated, the article conveying construction of this invention provides distinct advantages apart from the mechanism employed for achieving tilting at the particular discharge locations-Accordingly, the article carrying arrangements shown in FIGS. 1 through 4 could be employed in con,- junction with other systems, for example, a system as described in the aforementioned Harrison application Serial No. 638,876. In this case, an end gate would be associated with each article carrying means and pretilting would be provided. The selective opening of end gates at discharge locations can then be accomplished by a coding system in the manner described.

Irrespective of the mannerin which tilting is accomplished, the article carrying means may be restored to a horizontal position by the use of auxiliary tracks such as shown. at 180 in FIG. 14. This track may simply comprise an inwardly directed surface for engaging'rollers 70 which have been moved to outer discharge positions whereby these rollers will be forced back to a centrallylocated position with the associated article carrying means being restored to the horizontal.

The construction of this invention is readily convertible to a Ferris wheel type conveyor system instead of the carousal type illustrated. Although trays are shown as the article carrying means, other conveyor surfaces are clearly suitable, for examplc a conveyor bed composed of slats with portions being tiltable relative to each other.

The design illustrated is quite compact and, therefore, requires a minimum amount of space and material for installation. All parts can be of welded construction, and the virtual elimination of castings provides a significant improvement in safety as well as cost. The system can be operated at very high speed because of the virtual elimination of high impact stresses. A minimum amount of energyis required for achieving tripping since the electrical signal need only operate the locking plate 86. In this connection, the trays are locked when in the horizontal position all along the conveyor path, including the discharge stations, to prevent accidental tipping.

It will be understood that various changes and modifications may be'made in the above-described system which provide the characteristics of this invention without departing from the spirit thereof particularly as defined in the following claims.

That which is claimed is:

1. In an article delivery system wherein article carrying means are located on a conveyor for movement past at least one article loading station, and past a plurality of article discharge stations, and including discharge initiating means located at said discharge stations adapted to be selectively operated for effecting removal of articles from said article carrying means, the improvement in means for supporting said article carrying means comprising a pivotally mounted support connected to the article carrying means, an actuating means connected to said support for imparting pivotal movement thereto, a transversely movable element connected to said actuating means, movement of said element operating said actuating means to effect said pivotal movement, and a track extending parallel with the conveyor path and normally engaging said element to restrain the element against transverse movement, said track including stationary sections and movable sections located intermediate the stationary sections, means adapted to switch'said movable sections in response to operation of said discharge initiating means, means connected to said transversely movable element for engagement with said track means whereby switching of a movable section operates to effect transverse movement of said element and whereby the connection between said element, and said actuating means operates to effect pivotal movement of said article carrying means.

2. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein said article carrying means comprise individual tray constructions, a plurality of interconnected trucks for pivotally mounting each of the tray constructions, and a separate track for supporting said trucks. I

3. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein said actuating means comprises a leg extending downwardly from each of said article carrying means, the pivotal support for said article carrying means being located at an intermediate point on said legs, and wherein said transversely movable element is located at the lower end of each leg.

4. A system in accordance with claim 3 wherein said transversely movable element comprises a horizontally disposed plate, and guide means defining a separate track for controlling the transverse movementof said plate.

A system in accordance with claim 4 including rollers extending downwardly from said plate for engaging said track, said rollers following said movable sections of the track to effect transverse movement of a plate when said movable sections have been switched to the discharge position.

6. A system in accordance with claim 4 including a bifurcated member extending upwardly from said plate, a guide member carried by said leg and received in said bifurcated member, said guide member reciprocating relative to said bifurcated member during transverse movement of said plate.

7. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein said movable track sections are pivotally mounted, spring means normally urging said movable sections to the discharge position,

and locking means operable by said discharge initiating means to release said movable sections for switching movement of the movable sections to the discharge position.

8. A system in accordance with claim 7 including additional track sections located to provide continuations of said mova ble sections when the movable sections are switched to the discharge position, said additional sections serving to complete the discharge movement of said article carrying means, and means operating independently of the completion of discharge for restoring said movable sections into alignment with said stationary track sections.

9. A system in accordance with claim 8 wherein said restoring means are operated through engagement with said transversely movable member upon entry of said member into an additional section.

10. A system in accordance with claim 8 including means for locking said movable track sections in the discharge position after they have been switched to the discharge position, said restoring means including a lever adapted to unlock said movable sections, and including drive means for forcing said movable sections back into alignment with the stationary track sections.

11. A system in accordance with claim I wherein said movable track sections are located on only one side of the conveyor at any particular discharge location, and wherein said movable track sections comprise channel-shaped members for confining the downwardly extending members carried by said transversely movable elements.

12. A system in accordance with claim 11 wherein said movable track sections are positioned at alternating locations on opposite sides of the conveyor.

13. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein said movable sections are positioned on both sides of the conveyor in opposed relationship, said movable track sections comprising channel-shaped members for confining downwardly extending members carried by said transversely movable element, and wherein an interior wall of each channel-shaped member is collapsible to permit movement of one downwardly extending member out of one movable track section when the other downwardly extending member is confined by the opposed movable track section.

14. A system in accordance with claim 13 wherein said interior walls are normally in a collapsed state, and wherein switching movement of a movable section results in the upward movement of the associated interior wall to bring the wall into a confining position,

15. A system in accordance with claim 1 including means associated with said transversely movable element adapted to operatively engage movable track sections along the path of the conveyor when said element is in the discharge position and when the movable track section has switched to the discharge position, the engaging action of said element operating to restore the movable track section into alignment with a stationary track section.

16. A system in accordance with claim 15 including lever means connected to said track sections for imparting restoring movement thereto, said transversely movable element engaging said lever means for achieving said restoring movement.

17. In an article delivery system wherein article carrying means are located on a conveyor for movement past at least one article loading station and past a plurality of article discharge stations, the improvement in means for supporting said article carrying means comprising a pivotally mounted support connected to the article carrying means, an actuating means connected to and extending downwardly from said support for imparting pivotal movement thereto, a transversely movable, horizontally disposed plate connected to said actuating means, transverse movement of said plate operating said actuating means to effect said pivotal movement, and a track extending parallel with the conveyor path and normally engaging said plate to restrain the plate against transverse movement, said track including at least one movable section adapted to switch relative to a stationary track section, said transversely movable plate following said movable track sec tion to effect transverse movement for imparting discharge movement to said article carrying means.

18. In an article delivery system wherein article carrying means are located on a conveyor for movement past at least one article loading station, and past a plurality of article discharge stations, and including discharge initiating means located at said discharge stations adapted to be selectively operated for effecting removal of articles from said article carrying means, the improvement in means for supporting said article carrying means comprising a pivotally mounted support connected to the article carrying means, an actuating means connected to said support for imparting pivotal movement thereto, said actuating means comprising a leg extending downwardly from each of said article carrying means, the pivot axis for said article carrying means being located at an intermediate point on each of said legs, a transversely movable element connected at the lower end of each leg, said transversely movable element comprising a horizontally disposed plate, and guide means defining a separate track for controlling the transverse movement of said plate, movement of said plate operating said actuating means to effect said pivotal movement, and a track extending parallel with the conveyor path and normally engaging said plate to restrain the plate against transverse movement, said track including stationary sections and movable sections located intermediate the stationary sections, and means adapted to switch said movable sections in response to operation of said discharge initiating means to effect transverse movement of said plate and pivotal movement of said article carrying means.

19. In an article delivery system wherein article carrying means are located on a conveyor for movement past at least one article loading station, and past a plurality of article discharge stations, and including discharge initiating means located at said discharge stations adapted to be selectively operated for effecting removal of articles from said article carrying means, the improvement in means for supporting said article carrying means comprising a pivotally mounted support connected to the article carrying means, an actuating means connected to said support for imparting pivotal movement thereto, a transversely movable element connected to said actuating means, movement of said element operating said actuating means to effect said pivotal movement, and a track extending parallel with the conveyor path and normally engaging said element to restrain the element against transverse movement, said track including stationary sections and movable sections located intermediate the stationary sections, and means adapted to switch said movable sections in response to operation of said discharge initiating means to effect transverse movement of said element and pivotal movement of said article carrying means, said movable track sections being pivotally mounted, and including spring means normally urging said movable sections to the discharge position, and locking means operable by said discharge initiating means to release said movable sections for switching movement of the movable sections to the discharge position.

20. In an article delivery system wherein article carrying means are located on a conveyor for movement past at least one article loading station, and past a plurality of article discharge stations, and including discharge initiating means located at said discharge stations adapted to be selectively operated for effecting removal of articles from said article carrying means, the improvement in means for supporting said article carrying means comprising a pivotally mounted support connected to the article carrying means, an actuating means connected to said support for imparting pivotal movement thereto, a transversely movable element connected to said actuating means, movement of said element operating said actuating means to effect said pivotal movement, and a track extending parallel with the conveyor path and normally engaging said element to restrain the element against transverse movement, said track including stationary sections and movable sections located intermediate the stationary sections and adapted to switch in response to operation of said discharge initiating means to effect transverse movement of said element and pivotal movement of said article carrying means, said movable sections being positioned on both sides of the conveyor in opposed relationship, said movable track sections comprising channel-shaped members for confining downwardly extending members carried by said transversely movable element, and wherein an interior wall of each channel-shaped member is collapsible to permit movement of one downwardly extending member out of one movable track section when the other downwardly extending member is confined by the opposed movable track section.

21. In an article delivery system wherein article carrying means are located on a conveyor for movement past at least one article loading station, and past a plurality of article discharge stations, and including discharge initiating means located at said discharge stations adapted to be selectively operated for effecting removal of articles from said article carrying means, the improvement in means for supporting said article carrying means comprising a pivotally mounted support connected to the article carrying means, an actuating means connected to saidsupport for imparting pivotal movement thereto, a transversely movable element connected to said actuating means, movement of said element operating said actuating means to effect said pivotal movement, and a track extending parallel with the conveyor path and normally engaging said element to restrain the element against transverse movement, said track including stationary sections and movable sections located intermediate the stationary sections and adapted to switch in response to operation of said discharge initiating means to effect transverse movement of said element and pivotal movement of said article carrying means, and means associated with said transversely movable element adapted to operatively engage movable track sections along the path of the conveyor when said element is in the discharge position and when the movable track section has switched to the discharge position, the engaging action of said element operating to restore the movable track section into alignment with a stationary track section.

22. In an article delivery system wherein article carrying means are located on a conveyor for movement past at least one article loading station and past a plurality of article discharge stations, the improvement in means for supporting said article carrying means comprising a pivotally mounted support connected to the article carrying means, an actuating means connected to and extending downwardly from said support for imparting pivotal movement to said support, transversely movable means, means confining said transversely movable means to movement in a horizontal plane in a direction substantially perpendicular to the direction of movement of said article carrying means, means connecting said transversely movable means to said actuating means whereby transverse movement of said transversely movable means is translated into pivotal movement of said support, means extending parallel with the direction of movement of said article carrying means and normally engaging said transversely movable means to restrain the transversely movable means against transverse movement, and means positioned at each of said discharge stations for engaging said transversely movable means and for thereby diverting said transversely movable means for transverse movement perpendicular to the direction of movement of said article carrying means, the diverting of said transversely movable means thereby imparting discharge movement to said article carrying means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3974909 *Aug 22, 1975Aug 17, 1976American Chain & Cable Company, Inc.Tilting tray sorting conveyor
US4004681 *Apr 5, 1976Jan 25, 1977American Chain & Cable Company, Inc.Tilting tray sorting system
US4378062 *Oct 30, 1978Mar 29, 1983Acco Industries Inc.Tilting carrier system
US4793462 *May 11, 1987Dec 27, 1988Mcfall Robert MMaterial loading apparatus
US5101982 *Dec 21, 1987Apr 7, 1992Decco Roda S.P.A.Conveying and off-loading apparatus for machines for the automatic selection of agricultural products such as fruit
US6082827 *Oct 18, 1999Jul 4, 2000Mcfall; Robert M.Multidirectional dumping apparatus for a conveying system
US6193074Nov 4, 1998Feb 27, 2001Mannesmann AgConveyor for the sorting of mixed cargo
US6231293Dec 9, 1997May 15, 2001Mannesmann AktiengesellschaftTipping device for emptying containers for piece goods
US6824965 *Aug 1, 2001Nov 30, 2004Agfa-GevaertBleach bath
EP0341789A2 *May 5, 1989Nov 15, 1989SITMA S.p.A.Composite conveyor apparatus equipped with laterally tiltable plate elements
EP0341789A3 *May 5, 1989Feb 28, 1990Sitma-Societa Italiana Macchine Automatiche S.P.A.Composite conveyor apparatus equipped with laterally tiltable plate elements
EP0664262A1 *Jan 25, 1995Jul 26, 1995Bernhard Beumer Maschinenfabrik KGTiltable conveyor part for an article conveyor (sorter)
EP0718221A1 *Oct 31, 1995Jun 26, 1996MANNESMANN AktiengesellschaftSorting-conveyor with a rocking tray
Classifications
U.S. Classification198/370.4
International ClassificationB65G47/74, B65G47/96
Cooperative ClassificationB65G47/962
European ClassificationB65G47/96A