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Publication numberUS3596752 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 3, 1971
Filing dateDec 18, 1968
Priority dateDec 18, 1968
Publication numberUS 3596752 A, US 3596752A, US-A-3596752, US3596752 A, US3596752A
InventorsGarvey Francis J
Original AssigneeGarvey Products Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular supporting structure for endless belt conveyors
US 3596752 A
Abstract  available in
Images(11)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor Franck .I. Garvey I Newfleld, NJ. Appl. No. 784,591 Filed Dec. 18, 1968 Patented Aug. 3, 1971 Assignee Garvey Products Corporation Ilammonton, NJ.

MODULAR SUPPORTING STRUCTURE FOR mnuass BELT CONVEYORS 6 Claims, 24 Drawing Figs.

us. Cl. 198/182,

in. CI 565; 15/60 Field of Search 198/204,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,801,906 4/1931 DHumy et al 198/204 1,817,373 8/1931 Hopkins 198/181 2,951,579 9/1960 Stauth et a1. 198/204 2,305,009 12/1942 Jarrett et al.... 198/204 3,292,772 12/1966 Rice 198/204 Primary Examiner- Evon C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-Douglas D. Watts Attorney-Albert H. Kirchner ABSTRACT: The modular supporting structure for an endless belt conveyor, or a system of such conveyors, comprises component units including tubular bed modules, adapters for interconnection of the modules to one another and to various related structures, and certain ancillary components, including drive and transfer apparatus.

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ATTORNEY MODULAR SUPPORTING STRUCTURE FOR ENDLESS BELT CONVEYORS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention pertains generally to conveyors and more particularly to endless belt conveyors having improved modular support units.

' In the prior art, endless belt conveyor systems have generally been custom designed for specific installations, and

this has been regarded as necessary because individual conveyor applications usually differ according to the layout of the particularly intended facility. Such custom design has precluded effective quantity fabrication of general utility systems, i.e., prefabrication of conveyors, thereby preventing realization of savings in cost and labor attendant with mass production techniques.

Custom designed conveyor installations are also relatively permanent in arrangement and set up. Changes in production techniques, routing or conversion of the system to new and different uses therefore entails expensive and time-consuming modifications to the apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention provides an endless belt conveyor system the components of which are suitable for quantity production by means of modular units which can be assembled in a variety of arrangements to meet the requirements of specific, particular conveyor installations.

The invention also provides a conveyor system which may be readily reorganized to meet changing use requirements by furnishing modular conveyor support structure in which the modular units are interchangeable with one another in a variety of relationships.

The invention also furnishes an endless belt conveyor of improved durability by providing replaceable andlor adjustable wear absorbing elements at locations on the belt supporting structure which are subject to excessive wear from frictional contact with the moving belt.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent to those skilled in the art by reference to the following detailed description of certain presently preferred embodiments when viewed in the light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a plan view of a conveyor system assembled from modular units in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a relatively enlarged perspective view of a disassembled modular unit in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the modular unit of FIG. 2 in an assembled condition, taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an exploded and relatively enlarged plan view of another modular unit of the conveyor system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an elevational view of the units of FIG. 4, taken along the line 5-5 thereof;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of one of the units of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional view of the unit of FIG. 6, taken along the line 7-7 thereof;

FIG. 8 is a further enlarged sectional view of the unit of FIG. 6, taken along the line 8-8 thereof;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view, partly broken away, of the connection between assembled components of the unit of FIG. 6;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged plan view, partly broken away, of other modular units of FIG. 1;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged sectional view of the units of FIG. 10, taken along the line 11-1 1 thereof;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged fragmentary detail view, partly in section, of the joint between components of the units of FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is an enlarged elevational view of a modular drive unit of the conveyor system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 14 is an enlarged sectional view of the unit of FIG. 13, taken along the line 14-14 thereof;

FIG. 15 is an enlarged elevational view of another modular unit suitable for use in the system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 16 is a plan view of the unit of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a sectional view of the unit of FIG. 16, taken along the line 17-17 thereof;

FIG. 18 is an enlarged plan view of a transfer arrangement suitable for use in the system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 19 is an enlarged sectional view of the units of FIG. 18, taken along the line 19-19 thereof;

FIG. 20 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 19, taken along the line 20-20 of FIG. 18;

FIG. 21 is an enlarged plan view, partly broken away, of another transfer unit suitable for use with the system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 22 is an elevational view of the unit of FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 is an enlarged view of the unit of FIG. 22, partly in section; and

FIG. 24 is a detailed sectional view taken through a representative modular unit.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, an assembled conveyor system is made up of standard straight modules 30a, 30b, and 30c, flush straight modules 32a and 32b, standard curved modules 34a, 34b, and 340, blush curved modules 36a and 36b, a standard drive module 38, and a flush drive module 40. Each standard curved module is provided with adapters 42a through 42d to provide interconnection to the next adjacent straight module. The resultant assembly carries endless conveyor belts 44a and 44b of any of the types well known in the art. Receiving or supply tables 45 which, in the illustrated embodiment, are shown positioned alongside the drive modules 38 and 40, can be located adjacent any of the straight modules. In the following description, the foregoing components, when generally referred to, will be identified by reference numeral without suffix and, when referred to as specific components of the system of FIG. 1, will be identified by numeral with an appropriate suffix letter. a

From the illustration in FIG. 1 it will be obvious that the straight modules 30 and 32 may be constructed in any length desired; however, from the standpoint of logistics and standardization, it is desirable to make these modules in graduated lengths. It will also be noted that the curved modules 34 and 36 can be furnished in various arc lengths, although for most purposes are lengths of 45 are preferred. As is seen in phantom in FIG. 1, the curved modules can then be used singly to provide 45 turns.

Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3, the standard straight module 30 comprises a bed indicated generally at 46, having a pair of vertical walls 48 and 50 and a top or upper surface 52 having a longitudinal recessed portion 54 formed therein, between flanking wear strips 53 surmounting the surface 52, as shown in FIG. 24, for a purpose hereinafter to be explained. The bed 46, although preferably formed by bending the sheet material, can also be formed by extrusion, buildup of plates, or by other suitable means. The walls 46 and 50 are provided with bearing-receiving openings 56 proximate each end thereof. Sets of fastener-receiving openings 58 are disposed around the bearing-receiving openings 56 for purposes to be explained hereinafter.

A straight module adapter, indicated generally at 60, comprises a U-shaped member formed with a cross section conforming to that of the bed 46 with upstanding sidewalls 62 and 64 and a bottom member 66. The sidewalls terminate in inwardly extending flanges 68 disposed to receive the recess portion 54 of the bed 46 therebetween. Two bearing-receiving openings 70 are formed in each of the sidewalls 62 and 64 and conform in size and disposition to the bearing-receiving openings 56 in the bed 46. Sets of fastener-receiving openings 72 are disposed around each of the bearing-receiving openings 70 in a manner identical to that of the fastener-receiving openings 58 in the bed 46. Support fastener-receiving openings 74 are fonned through the bottom member 66 of the adapter 60 for purposes that will appear hereinafter. The walls 62 and 64 and the bottom member 66 are so dimensioned and proportioned that the adapter 60 is telescopically received within the bed 46 to place the openings 56 and 70 in alignment with one another, as is shown in FIG. 3.

A support member, shown generally at 76, comprises an upper member 78 and a base member 80 having a transverse member 82 connected to the foot thereof. The base and transverse member 80 and 82 can be formed of standard channel stock, while the upper member 78 is formed of sheet or plate material with vertical sides 84 terminating at the upper end thereof with inwardly extending flanges 86 having fastenerreceiving openings 88 therein. A forward plate 90 interconnects the sides 84 and receives adjustment bolts 92 (FIG. 3) which extend through vertical slots 94 in the transverse face of the base member 80 to provide means to adjust the height of the support 76.

Also, as seen in FIG. 3, the transverse member 82 is provided with feet 96 threaded therein to provide means to adjust the level of the support 76.

The above-described components are assembled by inserting the adapter 60 into the end of the bed unit 46, aligning the bearing openings 56 and 70 and sets of fastener openings 58 and 72 and then inserting threaded fasteners 98 (FIG. 3) through the aligned fastener-receiving openings. The next succeeding unit (not shown) is then. similarly attached to the other end of the adapter 62. The support 76, properly positioned on a supporting surface by means of the height adjustment device provided by the bolts 92 and slots 94 and the leveling means provided by the feet 96, is then connected to the assembly by aligning the support fastener-receiving openings 74 in the adapter 62 and the fastener-receiving openings 8 in the support 76 and attaching threaded fasteners 100 therethrough.

In FIGS. 4 through 9 the standard curved modules 34 and the connecting means therefor are illustrated in detail. As best seen in FIG. 7, each of the modules has a pair of upstanding sidewalls 102 and 104 interconnected by an arcuate bottom plate 106 and spaced transverse plates 110. A pair of arcuate rail-supporting plates 112 are disposed on the plates 1 l and are adjustably connected thereto by means of capscrews 114 threaded into the plates 110, as best seen in FIG. 8. The supporting plates 112 have oversized bores 116 through which the capscrews 114, each provided with a ring washer 118 and a lock washer 119, are disposed. A pair of rails 120 and 122- best formed of a wear-resistant, low coefficient of friction material, such for example as nylon, polytetrafluoroethylene of the like, or even a suitable metal, such as steel, stainless steel or bronze, or a hardwood, are connected above the rail support plates 112 by means of recessed, threaded connectors 124 and annular spacers 126. The inturned upper flanges of the walls 102 and 104 are provided with cutouts 128 at points coincident with the capscrews 114 to furnish access to the screws for adjustment thereof with a screwdriver or other suitable tool. When the capscrews 114 are loosened, the rail supports and the rails 120 and 122 can be laterally adjusted to compensate for wear. Once readjusted, as shown in phantom in FIG. 8, the rails are again fixed by tightening the capscrews 114.

As seen in FIG. 7, the rails 120 and 122 are configured with inwardly and upwardly sloping inner faces to correspond to outwardly tapering members depending from the lower surface of the upper runs of the belt 44, thereby providing both guide and retainer means for the belt. An arcuate bar 128 is disposed in the lower portion of the module 34, mounted in spaced relation to the wall 102 by means of supports 130 connected to the wall. The bar 128 engages the innermost side of the depending member on the return run of the belt 44 thereby to maintain this run in spaced relationship to the wall 102 during travel therethrough.

The adapter 42 is formed with vertical sidewalls 130 and 132 and a top 134 having a belt-guiding recess 136 formed therein. The sidewall 132 of the adapter 42 has an extension 138 formed along one end thereof which has threaded bores 140 (FIG. 6) disposed therethrough for a purpose to be explained hereinafter.

As best seen in FIG. 4, the walls 102 and 104 of the module 34 have identical extensions 142 formed on opposite ends thereof. Threaded fastener-receiving bores 144 are formed in the extension 142. The end of the wall corresponding to the extended end of the wall 132 of the adapter 42 has fastener-receiving bores 146 formed therethrough, while the nonextended ends of the walls 102 and 104 of the curved module 34 are similarly provided with fastener-receiving bores 148.

As best seen in FIG. 9, with the adapter 42 and the module 34 properly aligned in end abutting relationship, the extensions 138 and 142 interlock and the bores 144. and 146 and and 148 are aligned so that threaded fasteners 150, inserted through the aligned bores, connect the components in a unit; see FIG. 5.

Turning now to FIGS. 10, 11 and 12, modules 34b, 36a, and 32a of FIG. 1 are shown (in mirror image) in enlarged detail with the belt 44a removed therefrom. As can best be seen in FIG. 11, the module 320 comprises a bed, indicated generally at 152, made up of an outer wall 158 terminating upwardly in an inwardly extending flange 156 and an inner wall 158 terminating in upper and lower flanges 160 and 162 which extend inwardly toward the center line of the bed. A trough 164 is attached to the lower surfaces of the flanges 156 and 160. The flange 156 is substantially wider than the flange 160 so that the resulting configuration presented is offset with respect to the center line of the belt 44a, the inner wall 158 being substantially flush with the inner edge of the belt so as to present the belt in directly adjacent relationship to the module 32b. This structure makes possible direct transfer between the modules and, in situations such as shown in FIG. 1, enables ready transfer to be made to other structures, such as the tables' 45.

The flush, curved module 36a is constructed in a manner similar to that described above for the curved module 34 with the exception that the outer wall 157 is flattened at 159 as indicated in FIG. 10 rather than being fully arcuate as in the standard curved module. One of the outer side capscrews 114, corresponding to that which would be disposed near the end of the standard curved module, is displaced toward a point intermediate the ends of the flush curved module 36a, as illustrated in FIG. 10.

Referring now to FIG. 12, the flat portion 159 of the module 36a is provided, on the exterior end thereof, with an extension 166 which projects into the end of the next adjacent module 32a and, in a manner identical to that described for the adapters 42 and standard curved modules 34, is connected thereto by means of a flush threaded fastener 168.

As may readily be seen by reference to FIG. 1, the flush straight modules 32 and the flush curved modules 36 provide support structure of reduced cross section for placement of the conveyor belt immediately adjacent to other ancillary structure as may be required. As can be seen by the relationship between modules 36a and 36b in FIG. 1, the flattened portion thereof can be at either end of the curve to provide feed into or feed out from adjacent flush straight modules 32 as may be required. Although not illustrated, it should also be evident that the standard straight modules 30, adapters 60 and adapters 42 can be furnished in a flush configuration as may be required.

Referring now to FIGS. 13 and 14, the standard drive module, indicated generally at 38, is shown mounted on a support 76 and connected to the standard straight module 30b by means of a connector 60. The drive module 38 comprises a bed 170 which is formed in the same general configuration as the bed 46 of the standard straight module 30 and may, in fact, comprise such a bed if so desired. The module 30 further comprises a floor 172 connected across the bottom of the bed 170 which supports a power unit comprising a motor and gear box indicated generally at 174. The motor is preferably an electric motor connected to a suitable source of power (not shown).

The gear box can serve both as a speed reducer and as a means of transmitting rotary motion of the motor shaft from the longitudinal axis to a transverse axis for drive of the components to be described hereinafter.

A drive sprocket 176 is mounted on the output of thepower unit 174 and is connected to a driven sprocket 178 by means of a drive chain 180. The sprockets and drive chain are enclosed within a guard housing 182. A standard adapter 60 is mounted in the discharge end of the bed 170 and a pair of bearings 184 are disposed in the openings 70 in the free end of the connector. A hollow shaft 186 is rotatably mounted in the bearings 184 and is connected to the sprocket 178 on a stub shaft'thereof extending transversely from within the hollow shaft 186. A sprocket 187 is fixed to the midportion of the shaft 186 to be driven thereby and to drive the belt 44 through interengagement with sprocket tooth-engaging recesses in the lower surface thereof.

As is best seen by reference to FIG. 1, the drive units 38-and 40 are preferably arranged at the discharge end of individual conveyor belts 44a and 44b. As also can be seen by reference to FIG. 1, the power unit may be provided in a flush configuration as at 40 by providing a bed 170 of reduced cross-sectional configuration similar to or comprising the above-described described flush section 32.

By proper choice of gear box and motor combinations, the conveyor can be provided with a fixed speed drive or-a variable speed drive as the use intended for the system may dictate.

In order to provide a ready means of transfer of articles from the conveyor system to other conveyor systems, adjacent tables or storage or transfer means, the discharge end of the conveyor system can be provided with a cantileveredextension, as is illustrated in FIGS. and 16. The extension comprises a terminal bed 188 suitably connected to the power unit 38 through an adapter 60 at the point of mounting of the drive shaft 186. As shown in schematic, an extension drive sprocket 190 is mounted on the shaft 186' and drives, through a sprocket chain 192, a driven sprocket 194 mounted on a shaft 196 which in turn is rotatably mounted in the free end of the terminalbed 188. The belt drive sprocket 187 is in this instance mounted on the shaft 196 to drive the conveyor belt from that point.

A readily replaceable clip 75, best made of stainless sheet steel, is mounted on the adapter 60 as can best be seen in FIG.

15 (see also FIG. 2). Such a clip is preferably spring-mounted by its end flanges on each of the adapters 60 and, as will be understood best by reference to FIG. 2, supports the return run of the belt 44 above the bottom 66 of the adapter, on the convex or arched top of the clip, so that wear on the adapter itself is precluded and wear of the belt is reduced. The wear that would normally be imposed on the connector 60 is absorbed by the clip which, when worn, can be readily removed and replaced.

FIGS. 18 through 20 illustrate an arrangement to provide transfer between conveyor belts in accordance with the invention. In these figures, a pair of standard straight modules d and 30 are arranged in laterally displaced end-adjacent relationship, as best seen in FIG. 18. Adapters 60d and 60e are mounted in the corresponding ends of the modules 30d and 30 e and are aligned so that their respective bearing-receiving openings 70 (FIG. 2) are coaxial with adjacent bearing-receiving openings 56 in the modules 304 and 30s. Bearings 184 are mounted in the bearing-receiving openings of the free ends of the adapters 60d and 60 and in the bearing-receiving openings of the module 30c. Hollow drive shafts 198 and 200 are rotatably mounted in the bearings 184 in the connector 60d and the module 30c respectively. A plug 202 (FIG. 19) interconnects the drive shafts 198 and 200 and, through a key 203 cooperating with slots in the plug and shafts, nonrotatably fixes the shafts to one another. An idler sprocket 204 is fixed to the shaft 198 to transmit drive from the belt 44d (FIG. 18) thereto. A power transfer sprocket 206 is mounted on the shaft 200 to provide drive transfer from that shaft.

A driven shaft 208 is rotatably mounted in the bearings 184 in the adapter 60: and has connected thereto, in alignment with the transfer sprocket 206 on the shaft 200, a driven sprocket 210 which is connected to sprocket 206 by a drive chain 212. A drive sprocket 214 for the conveyor belt 44a is fixed to the shaft 208 adjacent the sprocket 210 and serves to transmit drive from the above-described driving structure to the conveyor belt 44e, thereby providing transfer of power from the conveyor belt 44d. Transfer of articles from the belt 44d to the belt 44c is accomplished by means of guide rails 216, with interconnecting sections 216a, suitably mounted on adjustable rail supports 218 above the surface of the belts 44d and 44a, and a dead plate 219 is disposed between the modules 30d and 302 in the area of article transfer to provide a continuous horizontal flat surface between the belts 44d and 44a.

With reference now to FIGS. 21 through 23, a corner assembly for transferring articles from conveyor belts 44f and 44g, arranged at an angle with respect to one another, is illustrated. In this arrangement, the belts 44f and 44g are provided with independent drive means. A diagonal support brace 220 is mounted between a point proximate the end of module 30g and an adjacent side of the module 30f by means of brackets 222. The diagonal 220 comprises a pair of overlapping straps 224 and 226, the overlapping ends thereof having a power transmitting unit 228 mounted thereon. The unit 228 has a horizontal input shaft 230 and a vertical output shaft 232 extending therefrom, the output shaft 232 extending through aligned bores in the straps 224 and 226 to support a rotary table 234. The table 234 is disposed in such a manner that the upper surface thereof is horizontally coincident with the upper surface of the conveyor belts 44f and 44g. The table 234, as best seen in FIG. 21, is furthermore arranged in substantially tangent and adjacent relationship to the belts 44f and 44g. A bracket 236, mounted to the side of the module 30g, also supports the drive transfer unit 228 and, through a bore disposed therein, receives the input shaft 230 therethrough. I A drive transfer shaft 238 receives the input shaft 230 in a bore 240 in one end and is connected thereto by a drive pin 242. The drive transfer shaft is keyed to a hollow idler shaft 244 "mounted in bearings 184 in the module 30g. An idler sprocket 246, meshed with the sprocket-engaging recesses in the lower surface of the belt 44g, is fixed to the shaft 244 to provide drive therefor. Suitable arcuate guide rails (not shown) disposed above a path extending from the belt' 44f over the table 234 to the belt 44g, and wedge-shaped dead plates (not shown in FIG. 23, but see FIG. 21) in the areas between the adjacent portions of the belts 44f and 44g and the table 234 provide for transfer of articles between the belts in the usual manner.

Although 3as a 90 comer assembly, it should be obvious that, due to the pivotal connection afforded between the straps 224 and 226, the modules 303 and 30f may be arranged in other angular relationships to one another as required.

Throughout the foregoing specification the various modules have been described as each having a bed providing belt-supporting surfaces on opposite sides of its more or less centrally disposed recess or trough, with the under side of the conveyor belt making direct contact with these surfaces, and for clarity of illustration all the figures of the drawings, except FIG. 24, show this direct contact of belt and metal surface.

However, in the actual commercial embodiments that have been made and used with best results, it has been found desirable to cover the tops of all the modules, of whatever length, shape in plan, flush-sided shape or otherwise, with wear strips, like those-shown at 53 in FIG. 24, surmounting the metal surface areas on which the belt, specifically the outstanding side wings thereof, makes riding contact. Such strips are best made of material like that of the curved module guide rails 120, 122. They are readily applied, removed and replaced through the medium of the bolts shown in FIG. 24 whose heads are countersunk into short slots in the strips which provide for sidewise adjustment to make a reasonably snug fit with the depending teeth of the belt.

in the illustrated embodiment the strips 53 are made three thirty-seconds inch thick. Reference to FIG. 7, which is a section taken through a curved module 102, will indicate how strips of such thickness mounted on an adjoining adapter, straight module or the like connected to such curved module will bring the belt-supporting surface thereof up accurately to the level of the belt-supporting surface of the guide rails, so that the belt passes over all the interconnected units without any change in supporting surface plane.

it is to be understood that FIG. 24 supplements the showings in all the other figures and is in reality a representative cross-sectional view taken through the upper portion of any and all the belt-supporting components of the system.

It may be pointed out at this juncture that the power coupling and transmission feature of the invention, embodied in the hollow drive shafts such as 198 and 200 and the cooperating plug 202 of FIGS. 18 through 20, and in the drive transfer mechanism shown in FIG. 23, is considerably more versatile than may be suggested by the specific arrangements there illustrated. Thus, for example, drives can be plugged into either side of a module and can be used to connect one conveyor section to another to be driven by it or to drive it. The disposition of the bearing-receiving openings 56 and the fastener-receiving openings 58 is such that drive units can be bolted to any straight module, and of course to either side thereof. Thus it will be obvious that the multiplicity of relationships of modules and their appurtenances, which constitutes the principal objective of the invention, is attained by the collection of elements which are shown in a single relationship in exemplary FIG. 1 and the other figures of the drawings.

Accordingly, it is believed to be evident from the foregoing that, with the modular units and auxiliary assemblied provided by the invention, conveyor systems may be readily constructed, arranged and rearranged at will to meet most of the and other tumblers, vessels and the like, can-, bottleand jarfilling operations, packaging of various foods, beverages, tobacco products, and other articles and materials, to name but a few typical fields of utility for the invention.

What has been described hereinabove and illustrated in the accompanying drawings is intended to be exemplary only and is presented for the purpose of enabling those skilled in the art to understand and practice the invention. It should be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described and shown.

I claim:

1. A modular supporting structure for an endless belt conveyor comprising a plurality of modular supporting units each having an upper surface fonning a bed for confining and supporting an endless belt conveyor and having opposite downwardly extending sidewalls,

an endless conveyor belt having an operating run disposed in said bed and a return run beneath said bed,

bearing-receiving openings formed in said sidewalls adjacent each end thereof,

fastener-receiving openings formed in said sidewalls adjacent said bearing-receiving openings,

adapters each comprising an upright generally U-shaped member having side and bottom walls telescoped into adjacent ends of two of said modular units and having openings in its sidewalls corresponding to said openings in the modular units and aligned therewith,

fastening means standing through the registering fastenerreceiving openings of the modular units and the adapters,

supporting leg means mounting said adapters,

a removable and replaceable wear plate having an upwardly convex surface for supporting the return run of said conveyor belt, said plate having end flanges securing the plate to the bottom wall of at least some of said adapters,

drive and driven shafts journaled in certain of said bearingreceiving openings,

certain of said modular units being arcuate in plan and having inner and outer curved belt-confining surfaces,

rails disposed along said inner and outer curved belt-confining surfaces of the arcuate modular units,

and means for fixing in laterally adjusted position at least the rails disposed along the inner curvedsides of said arcuate modular units.

2. The structure claimed inclaim l in which the beds of certain of the modular supporting units have a central trough for confining.;the under portion of the conveyor belt and certain others ofsaid units have a similar trough offset from the longitudinal center of the unit so as to be closely adjacent one of the unit sidewalls, whereby the conveyor in said offset trough is capable of being closely juxtaposed to receiving and supply tables and the like and to cooperating conveyors.

3. The structure claimed in claim 1 in which said shaft means includes telescoping male and female portions keyed for nonrotative coupling of a pair of shafts mounted in the aligned bearing-receiving openings of a pair of units which are connected by said named fastening means.

4. A modular supporting structure for an endless belt conveyor comprising a plurality of modular supporting units each having an upper surface forming a bed for confining and supporting an endless belt conveyor and having opposite downwardly extending sidewalls,

bearing-receiving openings formed in said sidewalls adjacent each end thereof,

fastener-receiving openings formed in said sidewalls adjacent said bearing-receiving openings,

said units being disposed in end-to-end aligned relation,

a plurality of adapters each comprising an upright generally U-shaped member having side and bottom walls telescoped into adjacent ends of each pair of said aligned units,

each adapter having openings in its sidewalls corresponding to said openings in said pair of units and aligned therewith,

fastening means standing through the registering fastenerreceiving openings in said pair of units and the adjacent adapter,

power transmission shaft means journaled in at least some of the registering bearing-receiving openings in said pair of units and the adjacent adapter,

an endless conveyor belt having an operating run disposed in said bed and a return run beneath said bed,

and a removable and replaceable wear plate having an upwardly convex surface for supporting the return run of said belt,

said plate having end flanges securing the plate to the bot tom wall of at least some of said adapters.

5. A modular supporting structure for an endless belt conveyor comprising a relatively long modular supporting unit having an upper surface forming a bed for confining and supporting an endless belt conveyor and having opposite downwardly extending sidewalls,

aligned bearing-receiving openings formed in said two sidewalls adjacent each end of the unit,

fastener-receiving openings formed in said two sidewalls adjacent each bearing-receiving opening,

an adapter comprising a relatively short upright generally U-shaped member having side and bottom walls telescoped into an end of said unit,

said adapter having in each opposite end portion of its sidewalls a set of bearing-receiving and fastener-receiving openings, each set corresponding to the openings in one end of said unit,

one of said sets of the adapter being aligned with the corresponding openings in one end of the unit,

and fastener means standing through the aligned fastenerreceiving openings in said unit and adapter,

a half-length portion of the adapter thereby projecting from said end of the unit and exposing a set of said bearingreceiving openings and fastener-receiving openings beyond said end of the unit,

said projecting portion of the adapter receiving in telescoping relation a similar unit secured by fastener means in said aligned fastener-receiving openings of the two units or a conveyor belt transmission bearing and shaft in the exposed bearing-receiving openings of said projecting portion. 6. The structure claimed in claim including leg means hav- 5 ing a top surface bolted to the bottom wall of the adapter and supporting the structure.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,596,752 Dated ugust 3, 1971 l fl Francis J. Garvey It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 2, line 25, "blush" should read flush Column 3, line 33, "8" should read 88 Column 6, line 52, "3as" should read illustrated as Column 7, line 33,

"assemblied" should read assemblies Signed and sealed this 30th day of May 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR.

ROB'ERT GOTTSCHAL Attesting Officer Commissioner of atents ORM P0-1050 (10-69) uscoMM-oc wan-Poe US, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: Ill. (I -SlI-SSI

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Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US1817373 *Oct 19, 1928Aug 4, 1931Charles Hopkins EdmundConveyer
US2305009 *Nov 12, 1940Dec 15, 1942Jarrett Luther EMine conveyer
US2951579 *Mar 12, 1958Sep 6, 1960Mayrath CompanyConveyer trough joint
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Classifications
U.S. Classification198/831, 198/637, 198/841, 198/840, 198/860.3
International ClassificationB65G21/06, B65G21/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65G21/06
European ClassificationB65G21/06