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Publication numberUS3596779 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 3, 1971
Filing dateApr 14, 1969
Priority dateApr 14, 1969
Publication numberUS 3596779 A, US 3596779A, US-A-3596779, US3596779 A, US3596779A
InventorsWilliam B Osteen
Original AssigneeDavis Machine Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bag collating and stacking apparatus
US 3596779 A
Abstract  available in
Images(9)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor William B. Osteen FOREIGN PATENTS Calida Ark 1,005,370 9/1965 Great Britain 214/6 K [2|] AppLNo. 815,737 1 [22] Filed AP 14, 1969 Primary ExaminerGerald M. Forlenza [45] Patent Au 3, 1971 Assistant Examiner-Robert J. Spar [73] Assign out Mchim corponfion Anorney- Dunlap, Laney, l-lessin and Dougherty Camden, Ark. 1

ABSTRACT: Apparatus for collating and stacking bags in vertically superimposed hands, the apparatus including a con- [54] AG COLLATING AND STACKING APPARATUS veyor for receiving aligned bags from a bag forming machine 38 Claims, 16 Drawing Figs. and moving them in consecutive sequence away from the forming machine. A pair of spiral augers cooperate with the [52] U.$. CI. 2l4/6.5, conveyor to periodical, remove a preselected number (hand) 214,6 S5 of aligned bags therefrom and convey these bags into a turnta- [Sl It. Cl. B658 5 /30 ble assembly The turntable assembly periodically mms to [50] Field of Search 2l4/6.2, 6 mate positions to face the bottoms of the bags first in one 6 6 6 l SS; direction, and then in an alternate direction. A mechanism I v 93/93'3 then forces the bags from the turntable assembly onto a tilting box assembly. This assembly tilts through an angle to move the [s6] 7 References Cited bags from a vertical status to a horizontal status. Pushing UNITED STATES PATENTS mechanism then pushes the bags from the tilting box assembly 2. .33 19 rk r 2l4/6 KX into a rotating unit assembly which, upon actuation, delivers 3.l07.793 10/1963 Frank 2 the bags to a transfer unit which conveys each successive hand 3,] l5,090 l2/l963 Elander 2l4/6.5X of bags into a bag lifter assembly. The bag lifter assembly 3,l24,059 3/1964 Labombarde 93/933 UX periodically lifts a stack of vertically superimposed hands of 3,23l,l00 ll i966 Faeber 214/6 K bags upwardly to permit a new hand to be delivered beneath 63. 9 gn lli 2 /6(-2) the stack by the transfer unit, and then the lifter assembly 3,404,609 10/1968 Hartbauer et al 2l4/6.5 X lowers the lifted stack onto the new hand. Finally, after the 3,422,968 l/l969 Martin 214/6 K stack of bags within the bag lifter assembly has come to con- 3. 5 .275 6/1969 Carlen,Jr. 2l4/6-5 tain a desired number of hands, a banding press loader as- 3,466.839 9/1969 Temple 214/6 (.2)X sembly is automatically actuated to load the stack of bags 3,500,980 3/1970 Calistrat 214/6 (.2) X from the lifter assembly into a banding press.

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SHEET 8 UP 9 INVENTOR. WILL/AM 5, 0571 5 A from/4 x5 BAG COLLATING AND STACKING'APIARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention 1 This invention relates to apparatus for collating and stacking paper bags, and more specifically, the invention relates to an apparatus for grouping paper bags in hands containing a predetermined number of bags, and then stacking these hands in a stack containing a predetermined number of hands, with the bags in each hand facing in an opposite direction from the bags in adjacent hands within the stack.

2. Brief Description of the Prior Art A number of machines have been developed for collating, stacking and baling predetermined quantities of large paper bags of the type used in grocery stores for purposes of shipment and storage. Frequently, the apparatus will include a machine which is positioned adjacent a bag-forming machine to receive from the bag-forming machine, bags which are produced therefrom and for sorting and grouping these bags into a plurality of groups, each of which contain a predetermined number of bags. These groups, called hands, arethen stacked on top of each other and are moved into a bag press which is integrally connected and-operated with the grouping or collating apparatus. In the bag press, the stack of bags is compressed and is then packaged by wrapping a sheet of paper around the compressed bags and securing the wrapper in this position. Apparatus of the type described is, for example, made by the Potdevin Company of Teterborough, N..I., and is in commercial use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION The present invention is an apparatus or system for automatically receiving bags from a bag-forming machine and collating or grouping these bags into hands which contain a preselected number of bags. The hands are then oriented in a particular relative position with respect to each other and moved in consecutive sequence into a stacking device where the bags are stacked by adding each successive hand to the bottom side of the stack in a unique manner. The particular mode of collating and stacking the bags permits additional hands to be inserted in the stack, if this should be desired, or, alternately, permits a hand containing defective bags to be removed from the stack without the necessity of ultimately producing a short bale by such procedure. The collating and stacking apparatus can be operated entirely separately from a bag press, and can bequickly and easily secured to a bag forming machine to automatically receive the bags therefrom without slowing down or interrupting the operation of the bag forming machine.

Broadly described, the apparatus of the present invention comprises conveyor means for receiving bags from a bagforming machine and moving them in consecutive sequence to a point where they are picked up by a pair of cooperating spiral augers. The spiral augers cooperate with the conveyor means to periodically pick off or remove from the conveyor means a preselected number of aligned bags so as to form a hand of bags containing this number of individual bags. The thus removed hand of bags is then conveyed by the spiral augers into a turntable assembly. The turntable assembly is periodically actuated by appropriate synchronizing mechanism driving it in synchronism with the conveyor means and the spiral auger so that the hands of bags placed therein are, in alternating sequence, turned first to a position in which a the bottoms of the bags face in one direction, and then, as a succeeding hand is placed in the turntable assembly, to a position in which the bottoms of the bags in this hand face in the opposite direction to the direction toward which the bottoms of the bags in the preceding hand were faced by the turntable. Upon each movement of the turntable to the two alternate positions described, a mechanism the n forces the bags from the turntable assembly onto a tilting box assembly. The bags, which are in a flattened, vertically extending status as they move onto the tilting box assembly, are then tilted-by this assembly through an angle so as to move them from this vertical status to .a horizontal status. Pushing mechanism then pushes each successive hand of bags from the tilting box assembly into a rotating unit assembly which, upon timedactuation in synchronism with other assemblies of the apparatus, delivers the bags to a transfer unit which then conveys each successive hand of bags into a bag lifter assembly. The bag lifter assembly periodically lifts a stack of vertically superimposed hands of bags upwardly to permit a new hand to be delivered beneath the stack by the transfer unit. Then the lifter assembly lowers the lifted stack onto the new hand. Finally, after the stack of bags within the bag lifter assembly has come to contain a desired number of hands, a banding press loader assembly is automatically actuated to load the stack of bags from the lifter assembly into a banding press. Y

' The various assemblies which have been described in the preceding paragraph are operated in the described sequence,

and such operation is brought about, by synchronizing mechanism which includes a common mechanical drive system and appropriate camming, switching and pneumatic cylinder actuation elements.

From the foregoing description of the invention, it will have become apparent that it is an important object of the present invention to provide an improved bag-collating and -stacking apparatus.

Another object of the invention is to provide a bag stacking and collating apparatus which can be set to automatically collate a number of bags into hands each containing a preselected number of bags, and then place a preselected number of these hands in a stack.

A further object of the invention is to provide a bag-handling machine for receiving preformed bags from a bag-forming machine and automatically preparing these for baling under compression.

Another object of the invention is to provide a bag-collating and -stacking machine which can be altered in its function during its operation to change the number of hands to bags placed in a bale preparatory to compression and wrapping.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a bag-collating and -stacking machine which is mechanically strong, is reliable in operation, and is characterized in having a long and trouble free operating life.

Additional objects and advantages will become apparent as the following detailed description of the invention is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS spiral auger assembly forming a portion of the present inventron.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 3 and illustrating the turntable assembly forming a part of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of the turntable assembly.

FIG. 8 is a front elevation view of a tilting box assembly forming a portion of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 10 is a plan view of the chain drive portion of the transfer unit assembly forming a portion of the invention.

FIG. 11 is a plan view of the transfer hook portion of the transfer unit assembly forming a portion of the invention.

FIG. I2 is a side elevation view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a sectional .view taken on line 13-13 of FIG. 1. FIG. 14 is a plan view with parts broken away illustrating the press transfer assembly forming a part of the invention.

FIG. is a sectional view taken along line 15-15 of FIG. 1. FIG. 16 is a circuit diagram illustrating electrical circuitry utilized in the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION In referring to the drawings and the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, major machines, assemblies or subassemblies have been designated by reference numerals associated with lead lines having arrowheads. Individual elements are indicated by reference numerals which carry plain lead lines not having arrowheads.

The bag collating and stacking apparatus of the present invention is designated generally by reference numeral 10 and is shown in a normal mode of use in which it is located adjacent a bag-forming machine designated generally by reference numeral 12. The bag-forming machine 12 may be many different types of bag-forming machines currently in use for making large, self-opening grocery bags, but the one illustrated merely for purposes of description in the present application is a machine of the type shown in US. Pat. No. 3,180,237 assigned to the assignee of the present application. Extending from the bag-forming machine 12 is a drive shaft 14 which is driven in synchronism with the bag-forming machine and furnishes the primary power source for the moving mechanical elements of the bag-collating and -stacking apparatus 10 of the present invention. The various functional assemblies of the bag collating and -stacking apparatus'lO of the present invention may be preliminarily identified to advantage in order to aid in the subsequent, more detailed description of the invention. These assemblies are generally mounted on a machine framework 15 and include a conveyor means 16 for receiving bags formed by the bag-forming machine 12, and a spiral auger assembly 18 which periodically removes hands of bags containing a preselected number of bags from the conveyor means 16 and transfers them to a turntable assembly 20. The turntable assembly 20 transfers the hands of bags to a tilting box assembly 22. From the tilting box assembly 22, the bags move into a rotating unit assembly 24. The hands of bags are then transferred in successive order from the rotating unit assembly 24 to a bag lifter assembly 26 by a transfer unit assembly 28. Finally, the bag lifter assembly 26 stacks the hands of bags on a support plate from which the bags may be moved into a banding press (not forming a portion of the present invention) by a banding press loader assembly 30.

Referring now in greater detail to the drawings, the bag-collating and -stacking apparatus 10 of the present invention includes, as has been indicated, a conveyor means 16 which functions to pick up formed bags as they are discharged from the bag-forming machine 12 and transfer or move these to a remote location where they are then picked up in preselected numbers or groups by the spiral auger assembly 18. The conveyor means 16 utilized in the invention comprises a shaft 32 which has formed around the outer periphery thereof a helical thread or fin 34 which has succeeding convolutions longitudinally spaced or separated from each other by a distance approximately equal to the thickness of a folded bag which has been formed on the bag-forming machine 12. The pitch of the fins 34 is such that as a bag is fed from the bag-forming machine 12 downwardly with the bottom of the bag at the lowermost side thereof, the bag comes to rest between a pair of adjacent convolutions of the fin 34 on the conveyor means 16, and is then effectively moved by a screw action away from the bag-forming machine I2 and toward the spiral auger assembly 18. A

It should be pointed out that the speed of rotation of the shaft 32 which carries the helical fin 34 is correlated to the output speed of the bag-forming machine 12 so that a newly formed bag is discharged from the bag-forming machine onto the conveyor means 16 as each new space of reception between adjacent convolutions of the helical fin 34 appears below the discharge location of the bags from the bag-forming machine. Thus, each successive bag as formed enters each successive adjacent slot between adjacent convolutions of the fin 34. For the purpose of holding the bags in alignment with each other and centered on top of the conveyor means 16, a

horizontally extending run 36a of a belt 36 is vertically posi tioned above the conveyor means 16 by a.distance approximately equivalent to the height of a bag. The belt 36 is supported on a plurality of idler rollers 38.

Lateral support for the bags is provided bya vibrator as-' sembly 40 which is positioned on the side of the conveyormeans 16 towards which the shaft 32 is rotated so that the bags cannot be carried sideways off of the rotating fin 34. The

vibrator assembly 40 includes a vibrator bar 41 connected by suitable vertical rods 42 to a crossmember 43. The cross- 1 member 43 is connected to a shaft 45 by rods 47, and the shaft 45 is secured to a cam arm 49 which has a cam roller 51 at the upper end thereof. The cam roller 51 rollingly engages a cam sleeve 53 mounted eccentrically on the drive shaft 14 so that periodically the vibrator bar 41 is rocked inwardly towards the bags, and a periodic tapping motion is imparted to the vibrator bar to tap the bags on their side edges, and keep them in alignment with each other as they move along the conveyor means For the purpose of driving the shaft 32 of the conveyor means 16 in rotation about its longitudinal axis, a timing belt 46 is passed over a timing belt pulley 48 carried on the drive shaft 14, and over a timing beltpulley 50 keyed to one end of an input shaft extending into a gearbox 52 supported on the framework 15 beneath the conveyor means 16. An output shaft 54 from the gearbox 52 carries a timing belt pulley 55 which drives a timing belt 56. The timing belt 56 is extended around a timing belt pulley 57 keyed to a small coaxial extension 58 of the shaft 32. The gearing in the gearbox 52 provides for the desired synchronization of the speed of rotation of the shaft 32 with respect to the speed at which bags are formed on the bag-forming machine 12. It will be noted in referring to FIG. 4 that at the downstream end of the conveyor means 16, the helical fin 34 undergoes a substantial increase in its pitch so that greater spacing is caused to occur between adjacent bags carried on the conveyor means. The purpose of this isto permit the conveyor means 16 to cooperate with the spiral auger assembly 18.

As will be seen in referring to FIG. 3, the spiral auger assembly 18 includes a pair of large, oppositely disposed spiral auger subassemblies 60 which each include a helically turned blade 62 which terminates at its forward or upstream end in a point 63. Each helically turned blade 62 is sufficiently thin at its forward and central portions that the point 63 thereof can shaft 66 extends through a gearbox 68 which contains a worm gear 70 keyed to the hollow shaft. The worm gear 70 meshes with a worm 72 carried on a shaft 74 which projects into, and

is joumaled in, the gearbox 68. At its outer end, the shift 74 carries a sprocket 76 which engages a chain 78. The chain 78 passes over a second sprocket 80 keyed to the outer end of a cross-shaft 82 which extends through the gearbox 52 from one side of the machine to the other. Within the gearbox 52, the cross-shaft 82 is drivingly engaged by gearing which permits it to be driven from the drive shaft 14 by means of the belt 46. The gearing and sprockets utilized in driving the spiral auger subassemblies 60 in rotation about the axes of the shifts 66 is such that the spiral augers are driven at a preselected speed ratio with respect to the speed of rotation of the shaft 32 forming a portion of the conveyor means 16. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the conveyor means 16 is driven at a rate of rotation which is 25 times the rate of rotation of the spiral auger subassemblies 60 for a purpose which will hereinafter be described.

It will be noted in referred to FIGS. 1, 3 and 5 that at the downstream end of each blade 62, the blade is terminated in a substantially vertical plane (that is, the pitch is removed therefrom) and the blade is thickened so as to provide a substantially vertically extending, relatively thick heel plate portion 83 of the blade. It will also be noted in referring to FIG. 5 that the hollow shaft 66 upon which each spiral auger blade 62 is mounted concentrically surrounds an air cylinder 84 which projects to a location near the downstream end of the drum 64, and which contains a piston secured to one end of a piston rod 86 which carries at its other end a pusher plate 88. The pusher plate 88 can be projected from the drum 64 when the air cylinder 84 is actuated to accomplish a bag moving function hereinafter described in greater detail.

Immediately downstream from the spiral auger assembly 18 is the turntable assembly which is illustrated in greater detail in FIGS. 6 and 7. The turntable assembly 20 includes a vertically extending front support plate 94 and vertically extending rear support plate 96 disposed upstream, and horizontally spaced from, the front support plate. The support plates 94 and 96 each have a large circular opening 98 formed registration. A pair of suitable horizontally extending connecting girts 100 space the front and rear support plates from each other.

Mounted between the front and rear support plates 94 and 96 is a turntable 102 of circular configuration. The turntable 102 is supported between the front and rear support plates 94 and 96 by a plurality of bearings 104 which are mounted on spacer sleeves 106 extending between the support plates. The central portion of the turntable 102 is cut away so that an opening 107 is formed therethrough resembling in configuration a pair of crossed rectangles of substantially equal size, with each of the rectangles having pairs of opposed protuberant cutaways or reliefs 107a extending outwardly therefrom. The reliefs 107a are in a position such that each relief is aligned with one of the pusher plates 88 of the spiral auger assembly 18 for purposes hereinafter described. Extending transversely across the upper portion of the front plate 94 to at least partially close the circular opening 98 therethrough, and to obstruct or close a portion of the opening 107 through the turntable 102 is a bag stop plate 112. i

For the purpose of rotating the turntable 102 upon the bearings 104 and between the front and rear support plates 94 and 96, respectively, a Geneva drive assembly, designated generally by reference numeral 114, is connected to the turntable 102 by means of an output shaft 115 secured to a crank am 116 which is connected through a bracket 118 to a pushrod 120. The pushrod 120 has its end opposite the end connected to the bracket 118 secured to a bracket 122 which is pivotally secured by a suitable pin to the turntable 102. The power input to the Geneva drive assembly 1 14 is delivered via a sprocket 124 keyed to an input shaft 126 which enters the opposite side of the Geneva drive housing 128 from that side from which the output shaft 115 projects. The sprocket 124 is driven in rotation by a chain 132 which drivingly engages a sprocket 134 carried on the output shaft 54 extending from the gearbox 52 (see FIGS. 2 and 4). The Geneva drive assembly 114 is constructed so that during each actuation of the Geneva wheel contained therein by the input shaft 126 to move this wheel through a 90 increment of rotation, the output gearing connected to the Geneva wheel drives the output shaft 130 through 180 and the turntable, through the interconnecting linkage, is rotated through an angle of 90.

A subassembly which forms a part of the turntable assembly 20 is the bag flap subassembly designated generally by reference numeral 136. The bag flap subassembly 136 includes a mounting pedestal 138 which is secured to the upper side of a bag support plate 140 and which has pivotally con- .-therein with these openings in the plates being in horizontal nected thereto, a vertically extending air cylinder 142. The vertically extending air cylinder 142 encloses a piston which is connected to a piston rod 144 secured at its outer end to a bracket 146. The piston rod 144 actuates a bag flap plate 148 through an intervening crank arm 150 and shaft 151 supported by suitable brackets 152 which are cantilevered from the exposed side of the bag stop plate 112. It may be seen that the bag flap plate 148 extends opposite a major portion of the opening 107 through the turntable 102, and is secured at its upper edge to the shaft 151 which is joumaled in the brackets 152 and secured to the crank arm 150.

The tilting box assembly 22 is best illustrated in detail in FIGS. 4 and 8. As here shown, the tilting box assembly 22 is positioned adjacent the bag support plate 140 and receives bags moving downstream from the turntable assembly 20 as hereinafter described. The tilting box assembly 22 includes a tilting table subassembly, designated generally by reference numeral 160, which comprises a large plate 162 having a circular opening 163 formed in the center thereof, and which is secured to a pair of L-shaped, horizontally spaced brackets 164. The L-shaped brackets 164 carry an outwardly projecting hook or toe 166 at the .ends of the aligned legs 164a thereof which are not secured to the plate 162. Extending between these legs 164a is an air cylinder mounting bracket 170 which is used for mounting an air cylinder 172 between the legs 164a of the L-shaped brackets 164. The air cylinder 172 contains a piston secured to one end of a piston rod 173 which has its other end connected to a pusher plate 174 which is illustrated in FIG. 4 in its retracted position.

Extending between the legs 164b of the L-shaped brackets 164 which are secured to the plate 162 and positioned to extend across the circular opening 163 in this plate is an air cylinder-mounting bracket 176. The air cylinder-mounting bracket 176 supports an air cylinder 178 which contains a piston secured to one end of the piston rod 179 which carries a pusher plate 180 at its opposite end. The pusher plate 180 is of circular configuration and is of slightly lesser diameter than the diameter of the circular opening 163 in the plate 162. A switch 182 is mounted on the plate 162 adjacent the pusher plate 180 so that extension of piston rod 179 and this plate opens the switch, and full retraction of the plate into the opening 163 trips the switch. I

For the purpose of tilting the tilting box assembly 22 through a 90 angle to achieve a function hereinafter described, an air cylinder 184 is provided and has its base secured to the framework through a suitable bracket 186. The air cylinder 184 contains a piston which is connected to one end of a piston rod 188 which is secured at its other end to a lever arm 190. The lever arm 190 is keyed to a shaft 192 at its end opposite that end which is connected to the piston rod 188 so that as the piston rod is extended and retracted, the lever arm causes the shaft to rotate about its longitudinal axis. The shaft 192 can be joumaled to the framework of the machine in any suitable manner, and has keyed to a central portion thereof for rotation therewith, spaced hubs 194 which are carried by the L-shaped brackets 164 at the intersection of the legs 164a and l64b. It will thus be apparent that as the air cylinder 184 is actuated so as to extend or retract the piston rod 188, the L-shaped brackets 164 will pivot with the shaft 192, and the effect obtained will be a tilting of the tilting box assembly 22 through an angle of 90 at preselected times during the operation of the apparatus as hereinafter described. Secured to the main framework of the machine, and projecting upwardly on opposite sides of the tilting box assembly 22, are a pair of parallel guide plates 198 (see FIGS. 1, 2 and 3).

Immediately downstream from the tilting box assembly 22 and disposed between the guide plates 198 is the rotating unit assembly 24. This assembly is illustrated in detail in FIGS. 4 and 9. It includes a transversely extending, longitudinal shaft 200 which is joumaled in the framework of the apparatus, and which projects from one side of the framework into a Geneva drive subassembly designated generally'by reference numeral 202 and mounted on suitable supporting brackets 204. Keyed are cut in each of the sideplates 208 with the four slots being disposed at 90 from each other around each sideplate.

Secured across the longest side of each pair of aligned rectangular slots 210 in the two sideplates is an l-I-shaped bag support plate 212. There is further provided adjacent the bottom edge of each of the slots 210 an angle plate 214. It will be I noted in referring to FIGS. 4 and 9 that, in the illustrated position of the indexing wheel subassembly 206, the sideplates 208 are positioned so that one pair of their aligned rectangular slots 210 faces toward the turntable assembly 22, and has the longest edge of each of the slots (which carries the bag support plate 212) positioned in alignment with the bag support plate 140 hereinbefore described. As will be subsequently described, each incremental fractional rotation of the index wheel subassembly 206 with the shaft 200 rotates this subassembly through-an angle of 90 to that at the end of each incremental fractional rotation. a new pair of aligned rectangular slots 210 in the two sideplates 208 is brought into the forwardly facing position described so that the index wheel subassembly 206 is ready to receive a hand of bags from the tilting box assembly 22.

Rotation of the index wheel subassembly 206 is effected by the Geneva drive subassembly 202. The Geneva drive subassembly 202 is driven by a chain 218 whichis passed overthe sprocket 220 connected to aninput shaft 222 of the Geneva drive subassembly. At its opposite end, the chain 218 is passed over a drive sprocket 224 which is carried by a shaft mounted in the framework of the machine in a-manner hereinafter described. The operation of the Geneva drive subassembly I 202 is such that each actuation of the Geneva wheel contained therein will rotate this wheel through 90' and the wheel in turn will drive the output shaft 200 through a corresponding amount. It will be noted that the shaft 200 extends through the Geneva drive housing and carries a plurality of cams 225a, 225b, and 2250' which function to periodically activate a plu- 'rality of switches located in' a switch box 227 adjacent the cams in a manner hereinafter described.

. -Secured.to the' framework on opposite sides'of the index wheel subassembly 206 are a pair of upwardly extending brackets 226. Secured between the upper ends of the brackets 226 and above the index wheel subassembly 206 is a shaft 228. A pair of downwardly extending, horizontally spaced guide rods 230 are secured at their upper ends to the shaft 228 at horizontally spaced intervals therealong by means of set collars 232.The guide rods 230 are to some extent resilient, and their angular relationship with respect to the vertical can be adjusted by adjustment of set screws in the set collars 232. It will be noted that in the illustrated position of the guide rods 230, they extend downwardly in a plane which is spaced horizontally downstream from the shaft 200 to which the index wheel subassembly 206 is keyedsThe function of the guide rods 230 will be hereinafter explained.

. The transfer unit assembly 28 is located immediately downstream in the bag-collating and -stacking apparatus from the rotating unit assembly 24. The details of construction of downstream in the bag-collating and -stacking apparatus 10, and is passed around a sprocket 246 which is keyed to a central portion of the shaft 248 hereinbefore described. The shaft 248 extends transversely across the machine and is journaled in the framework thereof and, as has previously been described, carries a Geneva drive sprocket 224 on one end thereof (see FIG. 3). V

' The shaft 248 also has keyed thereto at a position intermediate its ends, a gear 250 which rotates with the shaft and drivingly engages a gear 262 which is rotatably mounted on a stub shaft 254 secured to, and projecting laterally from a por tion 256 of the frame (see FIG. 10). Drivingly secured to the gear 252 for concurrent rotation about the stub shaft 254 is a chain sprocket 260 illustrated in FIG. 4. The chain sprocket 260 engages a chain 262 which passes over a sprocket 264 corresponding in size to the sprocket 260 and rotatably mounted on a stub shaft 266 which is secured to the the transfer unit assembly 28 are best illustrated in FIGS. 4,

frame portion 256'hereinbefore described.

In referring to FIGS. 4 and 10, and to the foregoing description, it will be perceived that the drive is transferred from the gearbox 52 via the chain and sprocket connections and the speed reducer 238 ultimately to the shaft 248. The shaft 248 is utilized for driving the Geneva drive subassembly 202 hereinbefore described, for driving the sprockets 260 and 264 and for driving certain other portions of the apparatus hereinafter described. The sprockets 260 and 264 are thus driven in synchronism with the conveyor means 16, the spiral auger assembly 18, the first mentioned Geneva drive assembly 114 and the rotating unit assembly 24 by this mechanical interconnection.

In referring to FIGS. 4 and 11', it will be noted that a connecting rod 270 has one of its ends pivotally connected to the chain 262 and extends-upwardly from the chain. The upper end of the connecting rod 270 is journaled ona shaft 272 which has its opposite ends secured in carrier plates 274 and 276. Horizontally spaced along the carrier plates 274 and 276 in a downstream direction from the shaft 272, a second shaft 278 extends parallel to the shaft 272 and has its opposite ends secured in the end portions of the carrier plates 274 and 276. At about'the central portion of the length of each of the carri er plates 274 and 276, each carrier plate has secured thereto a bracket 280 which projects outwardly therefrom and supports a ball bushing 282. Each ball bushing 282 concentrically surrounds, and is slidable on, an elongated slide shaft 284, which slide shafts extend parallel to the carrier plates 274 and 276 and to each other. At the upstream ends of each of the carrier plates 274 and 276, a second bracket 286 is secured to each of the carrier plates and projects outwardly. therefrom. The brackets 286 each carry a ball bushing 290 which surrounds and slidingly engages one of the elongated slide shafts 284. The slide shafts 284 are rigidly supported in suitable brackets 292 which are mounted on the framework 15 of the bag collating and stacking apparatus. It will be perceived from the foregoing description that the carrier plates 274 and 276, the shafts 272 and 278 which extend therebetween, the brackets 280 and 286, and the ball bushings 282 and 290 carried by these brackets, collectively form a reciprocating carriage which can undergo reciprocating movement on the two parallel, horizontally spaced slide shafts 284..

Mounted inwardly on the shaft 272 from the position at which the connecting rod 270 is journaled thereon is a first trailing transfer hook 296, the configuration of which is best illustrated in FIG. 13. In referring to FIG. 13, it will be noted that the transfer hook 296 has one of its ends journaled around the shaft 272 by means of a suitable bushing 298, and that its other end is free and carries an upwardly projecting toe 2960. The transfer hook 296 also has secured to the side thereof adjacent the connecting rod 270, a cam roll bearing 300 which rollingly engages the flat upper surface of this connecting rod. Near the opposite end of the shaft 272 from that upon which the connecting rod 270 and the transfer hook 296 are journaled is pivotally mounted a second trailing transfer hook 302. The second transfer hook 302 is parallel, and is shaped similarly, to the transfer hook 296, thus having a toe 302a. The transfer hook 302, like the transfer hook 296, is journaled on the shaft 272 by means of a suitable bearing 304. Opposite the ends of the trailing transfer hooks 296 and 302 at which the toes 296a and 302a are located, each of these transfer hooks carries a downwardly projecting lug 296k and 302b, respectively. A crossbar spacer 306 extends between, and is secured to, the lower ends of the downwardly projecting lugs 296b and 302b.

A first leading transfer hook 308 is journaled on the shaft 278 adjacent the forward end of the carrier plate 274 and is of a configuration which is substantially identical to the configuration of the trailing transfer hooks 296 and 302. A second leading transfer hook 310 is journaled on the shaft 278 at its opposite end just inside the carrier plate 276. The downwardly depending lugs 308b and 310k of the leading transfer hooks 308 and 310 are interconnected by a crossbar spacer 312. Extending between the crossbar spacers 306 and 312 is a connecting rod 314 which is journaled at its opposite ends around each of these spacer bars.

The bag lifter assembly 26 is positioned downstream from the transfer unit assembly 28 for receiving hands of bags from the transfer unit assembly in a manner and for a purpose hereinafter described. The details of construction of the bag lifter assembly 26 are best illustrated in FIGS. 1, 4, 13 and 15. In referring to FIGS. 1 and 13, it will be noted that a pair of stub shafts 316 are extended inwardly from opposite sides of the framework 15 and are journaled in the framework for rotation about horizontal axes. The stub shafts 316 each have keyed to their inner ends, a circular crank disc 318 which extends in a substantially vertical plane. Each of the crank discs 318 carries a cam roller bearing 320 adjacent the outer periphery thereof so that the cam roller bearing 320 on each of the crank discs 318 moves through a circle during the rotation of the respective crank disc with its stub shaft 316.

A vertically reciprocating bag lifter carriage subassembly designated generally by reference numeral 322 is positioned between the opposed sidewalls of the frame 15 and between the crank discs 318. The bag lifter carriage subassembly 322 includes a pair of horizontally spaced, horizontally extending, parallel slide carrier plates 324 which extend parallel to the sidewalls of the frame 15, and have secured to their sides adjacent the respective crank discs 318, an oval cam member 326 which defines an elongated, horizontally extending slot 328. The slot 328 is dimensioned to receive the cam roller bearing 320 on the adjacent crank disc 318 so that the respective cam roller bearing may roll along the slot in the cam. member 326. it will thus be perceived that as the stub shafts 316 are rotated about their axes, the crank discs 318 are also rotated so that the cam roller bearings 320 move incircular paths, and the cam members 326, in following the cam roller bearings, move upwardly and downwardly in a reciprocating motion which is transmitted to the entire bag lifter carriage subassembly 322.

The bag lifter carriage subassembly 322 further includes a transverse girt 329 which is secured between the iower edges of the plates 324, and which supports a pair of vertically extending lifter arms 330. The vertically extending .lifter arms 330 are secured to the transverse girt 329 by a pair of adjusting brackets 322 which can be adjusted in their points of securement to the gin to permit the horizontal spacing between the lifter arms 330 to be adjusted for reasons hereinafter described. Secured to an upper portion of each vertically extending lifter arm 330 at a lever below that at which a horizontally extending bag-supporting plate 334 is located is a bracket 336 which has hingedly secured thereto for pivotation about a horizontal axis, a bag lifter flap 338. Each of the bag lifter flaps 338 is spring biased to an upwardly and outwardly extending position at which it extends at an angle of about 45 with respect to the vertical. Each of the bag lifting flaps 338 can be pivoted downwardly to a horizontal position, however, at which position it strikes a positive stop which limits further downward movement.

Secured to the upper side of the transverse girt 329 is a baseplate 340 which is adjustably secured to the transverse girt 329 so that it may be moved in a direction which is normal to the longitudinal axis of the gin. The baseplate 340 has secured to the outer edges thereof a pair of vertically extending lifter arms 342. The lifter arms 342 have a hinge plate 344 secured therebetween at their upper end portions and the hinge plate 344 supports a hinge element which carries a bag lifting flap 346 movable within the limits hereinbefore described as characteristic of the bag lifting flaps 338.

Secured to the forward or upstream portion of each of the slide carrier plates 324 is a vertically extending lifter arm 350. The lifter arms 350 are horizontally spaced from each other, and carry at locations adjacent their upper ends, a pair of hinge structures which include bag lifter flaps 352 having the movement characteristics hereinbefore described in referring to the bag lifter flaps 338 and 346.

In referring to FlG. 13, it will be noted that the bag lifter flaps 352, 338 and 346 are positioned around the edges of, and project into, a generally rectangular space. This rectangu lar space is of an area which corresponds to the area of a flattened bag. Thus, when the hands of bags are pushed downstream on the bag support plate 334 by the transfer unit assembly 28, they ultimately come to rest on the bag support plate 334 with their edges positioned over the bag lifter flaps 338, 346 and 352. At this time, the bag lifter carriage subassembly 322 commences to move vertically upwardly as a result of the rotational movement of the crank discs 318 carried on the stub shafts 316. The bag lifter carriage subassembly 322 further includes four bearing blocks 360 secured at the opposed corners of the slide carrier plates 324. Each bearing block 360 slidably surrounds a vertically extending shaft 364, which has its upper end secured to the underside of the bag support plate 334 and its lower end secured in the framework 15. i

For the purpose of driving the stub shaft 316 at one side of the framework 15 in rotation, a chain sprocket 366 is keyed to this stub shaft, and a chain 368 extends from this sprocket to a sprocket 370 carried on the outer end of the shaft 248 hereinbefore described. At the other end of the shaft 248, a sprocket 372 is keyed to this shaft adjacent the sprocket 224 from which the Geneva drive subassembly 202 is driven, and a chain 374 extends from this sprocket to a sprocket 376 rotatably journaled on a stub shaft 378 secured on the op posite side of the frame 15 from the side on which the sprocket 366 is located. The sprocket 376 is keyed to a gear 380 which is also rotatably journaled on the stub shaft 378, and which drivingly engages a gear 381 keyed to the stub shift 316. It will be perceived that since the drivefor both the sprockets 376 and 366 has a common origination in the rotation of the shaft 248, with proper ratios used in the severa sprockets and in the gearing 380 and 382, the crank discs 318 located just inside the opposite sides of the framework 15 can be caused to rotate in rotational synchronism, yet in opposite directions, so that any canting or skewing of the bag lifter carriage subassembly 322 during its vertical reciprocating movement is avoided, and binding upon the vertically extending shafts 364 by the bearing blocks 360 is avoided.

It will also be noted that the gear 381 carries an outwardly projecting protuberance 382 mounted near its outer periphery, and that the protuberance 382 can strike and close the actuator arm of a microswitch 383 once during each revolution of gear 381. The microswitch 383 is mounted on the framework 15 adjacent the gear 381.

Positioned just upstream from the bag lifter assembly 28 is a hand guiding subassembly 384. This subassembly 384 includes a pair of overhead skids 386 under which the hands of bags are moved by the transfer hooks 296, 302, 308 and 310 as they pass on an elongated bag support plate 387 toward the bag lifter assembly 28. The overhead skids 386 carry a switch-supporting bracket 388 upon which a microswitch 390 is mounted. An elongated switch finger 392 is pivotally mounted on the switch bracket 388 and projects downwardly into the path of the hands of bags passing under the overhead skids 386. Each time a hand of bags strikes the finger 392, the microswitch 390 is closed to transmit a signal to an electric counter 394 mounted in an accessible location on the framework 15.

ln FIGS. 14 and 15 are illustrated details of construction of the banding press loader assembly 30 which is utilized to.

horizontally displace the stack of superimposed hands of bags which is formed by the bag lifter assembly 26. As here shown, and as will appear in FIGS. 1 and 4, the press loader assembly 30 includes four brackets 410, 412, 414 and 416 which are mounted in two pairs disposed on opposite sides of the framework 15 and project vertically therefrom. It will be noted in referring to FIGS. 1, 3 and 4 that the vertically extending brackets 410, 412, 414 and 416 define the corners of a rectangle and are located in horizontally spaced relation around the outside of the bag lifter assembly 26. Extending between the brackets 410 and 412 are a pair of vertically spaced, horizontally extending slide rods 418 and 420. In like manner, a pair of vertically spaced, horizontally extending slide rods 422 and 424 extend between, and have their ends secured to, the vertically extending brackets 414 and 416 on the opposite side of the framework 15 from the brackets 410 and 412.

Positioned between the vertically extending brackets 410,

412, 414 and 416 is the horizontally extending bag-supporting plate 334 which has been hereinbefore described. The bagsupporting plate 334 is supported on the upper edges of opposed side portions of the framework 15. A transversely extending shaft 432 has its opposite ends journaled in the framework 15 and has keyed thereto adjacent the opposed side portions of the framework 15 a pair of gears 434. Supported on the bag support plate 334 and spaced inwardly from the gears 434 are a pair of cam plates 436 which are adjustably secured to the bag support plate 434 for adjustment toward or away from each other (see F [0. 18).

Secured to the brackets 412 and 416 on opposite sides of the framework 15 are a pair of air cylinders 438 and 440 (see FIGS. 3 and 14). The air cylinders 438 and 440 each have piston rods 442 projecting therefrom and extending. through suitable apertures in the brackets 412 and 416. Each of the piston rods 442 is secured at its outer end to a vertically extending bracket 444 which carries a pair of vertically spaced bushings 446. The bushings 446 of one bracket 444 slidingly surround the slide rods 418 and 420 on one side of the machine, and the bushings 446 of the other bracket 444 surround the slide rods 424 and 426 on the opposite side of the machine. The brackets 444 are thus journaled on the slide rods 318, 320, 324 and 326 for sliding reciprocating movement therealong.

The upper end portions of the vertically extending brackets 444 are secured to the outer edges of a vertically extending pusher plate 448 which extends transversely across the machine at the leading or upstream edge of the bag support plate 334. Mounted on the side of the pusher plate 448 which faces the air cylinders 438 and 440 is an air cylinder mounting bracket 452 which is secured to, and supports, a vertically extending air cylinder 454. The vertically extending air cylinder 454 has a piston rod 456 extending downwardly therefrom and secured at its lower end to a slide plate 458. The slide plate 458 is slidably mounted in a pair of elongated slide guides 460 which are disposed on opposite sides of a slide receiving slot 462 formed in the pusher plate 448.

Secured to the inside of each of the vertically extending brackets 444 are a pair of horizontally projecting racks 464 which extend parallel to each other and to the slide rods 418- 424. The racks 464 are supported in suitable rack guide elements 466 which are secured to the opposite sides of the framework 15. The position of the racks 464 is such that, as they are reciprocated along their longitudinal axes, the teeth of the racks engage the teeth of the gears 434 which are keyed to the shaft 432. intermediate their length, the racks 464 are supported on the bag support plate 334.

Mounted on the back or downstream side of the pusher plate 448 at horizontally spaced positions are two vertically aligned pairs of bearing blocks 468. Each vertically aligned pair of bearing blocks 468 journals a pivot pin 470 which is secured at its opposite ends to elongated bag guide arms 472. The bag guide arms 472 on each pivot pin 470 are free to pivot on the pivot pin about a vertical axis coincident with the longitudinal axis of the pivot pin. Each of the two lower bag guide arms 472 carries a roller bracket 472 which carries a roller 476. The roller 476 mounted in this way at the outer end of each of the lower bag guide arms 472 bears against the inwardly facing surface of the adjacent cam plate 436. This surface has the configuration best illustrated in FIG. 14.

It will be perceived that as the pusher plate 448 is reciprocated across the bag support 334 by the air cylinders 438 and 440, the bag guide arms 472 will, under the resilient bias of suitable springs associated with these arms and their respective pivot pins 470, swing outwardly at their outer ends as the rollers 476 follow the cam surfaces of the cam plates 436. ln other words, the bag guide arms 472 will undergo a divergent motion at their outer ends during the pushing motion of the pusher plate 448 as hereinafter described.

Connected between the inner sides of the upper and lower bag guide arms 472 in each vertically aligned pair of these guide arms is a bag guide plate 478. Each of the bag guide plates 478 has an inwardly angled bag retaining flange 480 which projects normal to the edge of the respective bag guide plate which is nearest the outer end of the bag guide arms to which the guide plate is secured. There are also provided additional vertically extending bag guide plates 482 which are horizontally spaced from each other, and which are secured between the inner surfaces of the vertically aligned pairs of bearing blocks 468 which support each of the pivot pins 470. It will be noted that the bag guide plate 482 extended between each vertically aligned pair of bearing blocks 468 is in coplanar alignment with the corresponding bag guide plate 478 secured between the vertically aligned bar guide arms 472 which are mounted on the respective pivot pin 470 at the time when these bag guide arms are in the positions illustrated in FIG. 14.

Mounted on the bag-supporting plate 334 at a position immediately below the bag guide plate 482 secured to one pair of the vertically aligned bag guide arms 472 is an air cylinder bracket 484 which supports an air cylinder 486. The air cylinder bracket 484 is also apertured to accommodate a pair of slide rods 488 which extend through the air cylinder bracket 484 and are secured to one side of a guide plate base 490. The guide plate base 490 has secured to the opposite side thereof from that secured to the slide rods 48, a vertically extending guide plate 492. The vertically extending guide plate 492, under actuation by the air cylinder 486 functions to periodically tap the sides of the vertically stacked hands of bags to maintain the vertical alignment of the stack.

There is further provided for use in association with the press loader assembly 30, a guide flap subassembly designated generally by reference numeral 494. The guide flap subassembly includes a pair of horizontally spaced bearing boxes 498 adapted for mounting on opposite sides of a banding press, or other machine into which it may be desired to discharge the stack of bags which has been built up within the press loader assembly of the bag-collating and -stacking apparatus of the invention. Journaled in bearing boxes 498 are the ends of an elongated, transversely extending, horizontal shaft 500 which, it will be noticed in referring to FIG. 15, extends transversely across the upper, downstream portion of the press loader assembly 30. Keyed to the central portion of the shaft 500 are a pair of brackets 502 which are secured to a guide plate 504.

For the purpose of rotating the shaft 500 about its horizontal axis so as to swing the guide plate 504 through an are about this axis for a purpose hereinafter described, an air cylinder 506 is mounted by means of a suitable bracket 508 on the press or other. structure which supports the bearing boxes 498.

The air cylinder 506 extends upwardly and contains a piston secured to one end of a piston rod 510 which is pivotally connected at its other end to a lever arm 512. The lever arm is in turn secured to the horizontal shaft 500 so that, as the piston rod 510 is extended, the shaft will be rotated about its longitudinal axis to bring the guide plate 504 to a horizontally extending position above the stack of bags within the press loader assembly 30.

FIG. 16 is a wiring circuit diagram illustrating the electrical circuitry used in the operation of the counter 394 and the several switches and solenoid valves used in the bag-collating and -staclting apparatus. As will be subsequently explained, valves 516, 518 and 520 are mechanically actuated valves which are contained in the valve housing 227 and which are actuated by the cam wheels 225a, 225b, and 225c and are therefore not illustrated in the circuit diagram.

The switch 182 is actuated by pusher plate 180 to close a solenoid valve 522 as hereinbefore described. The switch 390 is a normally open switch which is closed each time a hand of bags is pushed into the bag lifter assembly 26. Each closure of the switch 390 sends an electrical signal to the counter 394, which may suitably be a Veeder-Root Digi Flex predetermining counter upon which a predetermined hand count may be set to govern the number of hands of bags to be placed in each stack. When a predetermined number of signals is transmitted to the counter 394 by the switch 390, the counter generates an output signal which operates relay R-l to make a circuit through normally closed switch 530. The switch 530 acts as an interlock to hold the relay in until this switch is opened. When the relay R-l is thus energizeda circuit is made to a solenoid valve 532 to operate this valve'to permit air to extend the piston rod 456 of the air cylinder 454. This lowers the slide plate 458.

Lowering of the slide plate 458 closes the switches 461 and 463. Switch 461 is in series with the switch 383 which is periodically closed by contact of the protuberance 382 therewith (once during each revolution of the gear 381). Closure of switch 383 while switch 461 is closed (while the slide plate,458 is down) energizes relay R-2. Switch 463 then acts as an interlock to hold this relay in even after switch 383 opens following its momentary closure. The circuit is made through relay R-2 to the solenoid valve 536 which causes air to be introduced to air cylinders 438 and 440 to extend the piston rods 442 which project therefrom.

Normally closed switch 530 is momentarily opened at the end of the extension stroke of the air cylinders 438 and 440 to release relay R-l. This breaks the circuit to valve 532, causing this valve to shift and thereby effecting the retraction of the piston rod 456 into the air cylinder 454. This movement lifts the slide plate 458 which opens the switches 461 and 463. This releases relay R-2, interrupting the circuit to valve 536 and causing the piston rods 422 of air cylinders 438 and 440 to be retracted.

OPERATION Largepaper bags are formed on the bag-forming machine 12 and are discharged therefrom in a direction which is substantially tangential with respect to the large drum forming a portion of the bag-forming machine, and appearing at the right-hand edge of FIG. 4. The bags leaving the bag-forming machine 12 come to rest upon the conveyor means 16 of the bag-collating and -stacking apparatus with the creased bottom edges of the flattened bags disposed between adjacent convolutions of the helical fin 34. As the conveyor means 16 the invention. The bags are retained on the upper side of the helical fin 34 by means of the vibrator assembly 40 as the vibrator bar 41 periodically taps the side edges of the bags to keep them from being frictionally moved toward that side of the machine as a result of the screw action of the conveyor means 16. The top edges of the bags are maintained in alignment during their movement by the horizontally extending run 36a ofthe belt 36. g

When the bags move downstreamon the conveyor means 16 to the end thereof at which the convolutions of the helical fin 34 become widely spaced, the horizontally spaced, helically turned blades 62 of the two spiral auger subassemblies 60 segregate a predetermined number of bags, and move thm off of the conveyor means 16 and onto the support table 65. This is accomplished by the relatively thin points 63 of'the helically turned blades 62 passing simultaneously between the widely spaced convolutions of the helical fin 34 and thus between adjacent bags carried by the helical fin at this point.

As has been pointed out, the speeds of rotation of the spiral auger subassemblies 60 are controlled so that the blades 62 will rotate relatively slowly in comparison to the rate of rotation of the helical fin 34 carried on the shaft 32 of the conveyor means ,16. Thus, for example, in a typical embodiment of the invention, the drive connections between the drive shaft 14 and the shaft 32 of the conveyor means 16, on the one hand, and the drive connections between the drive shaft 14 and the hollow shafts 66 of the auger subassemblies 60, on the other hand, are such that the helically turned blades 62 of the auger subassemblies will make only one revolution for each 25 revolutions of the shaft 32 and the helical fin 34 carried thereon in the conveyor means 16. Therefore, 25 bags will have passed beyond the end of the conveyor means 16 and onto the support table 65 each time that the thin points 63 of the helically turned blades 62 pass between the widely spaced convolutions of the helical tin 34. In this manner, the auger subassemblies 60 function to periodically separate or isolate one hand of bags (containing 25 bags) from the following or succeeding bags moving on the conveyor means 16.

After being picked off or removed from the conveyor means 16 by the spiral auger assembly 18, the hands of bags containing the preselected number of bags arranged with their bottom edges, side edges and top edges aligned, are moved into the turntable assembly 20. Movement of each hand of aligned bags into the turntable assembly 20 is accomplished by the screwing action of the helically turned blades 62. When the hand of bags is moved to the rear of these blades, the bags are forced by the heel plate portions 83 of the blades 62 into the rectangular shaped, vertically extending portion of the cross shaped opening 107 in the rotating turntable 102 mounted between the front and rear support plates, 94 and 96, respectively. The bags are, of course, at this time, positioned with their folded bottom edges downwardly and their tops far; upwardly. The opening 107 in the turntable 102 is dimensioned in correspondence to the size of the bags to be received therein so that a hand of aligned bags will fit fairly snugly in the vertically extending, rectangularly shaped portion of the opening 107 without excessive clearance. Stated differently, the opening 107 has been previously described as resembling in configuration a pair of crossed rectangles of substantially equal size. Moreover, it may now be noted conveniently that these crossed rectangles, in the operative positions of the turntable 102, extend horizontally and vertically, respectively. Thus, as the hand of bags initially enters the opening 107 in the turntable 102, the hand always enters the rectangular portion of the opening 107 which extends vertically with the 0pposite ends of the horizontally extending rectangular portion left open. The hands of bags are prevented from passing through the opening 107 in the turntable 102 by the bag sto plate 112 which is secured across the front support plate 94, and by the pusher plate which is extended at this time in a manner hereinafter described.

The turntable 102 remains in the described position in .which the vertically aligned bags pass into the vertically exwith the Geneva drive assembly 114. The actuation of the Geneva drive assembly 114 is synchronized with the rotational speeds of the conveyor means 16 and the spiral auger assembly 18 by the chain drive which connects the output shaft 2 54 with the drive sprocket 124 of the Geneva drive assembly.

It is through this drive that the periodic actuations of the turntable 102 by the Geneva drive assembly 114 are caused to 1 occur in synchronism with the removal of the predetermined number of bags from the conveyor means 16 by the spiral auger assembly 60, and with the movement of the bags by the latter, assembly into the turntable assembly 20.

When the predetermined number of bags to constitute a hand has been positioned within the vertically extending rectangular portion of the cross-shaped opening 107 in the turntable 102, the Geneva drive assembly 114 is actuated so that the output shaft 115 therefrom is rotated through an angle of 180. Through the intervening linkage of the crank arm 116, bracket 118, pushrod 120 and bracket 122, the turntable 102 is caused to rotate through an angle of 90. This will be in a counterclockwise direction as the turntable 102 is viewed in FIG. 6. The rotation of. the turntable 102 reorients the cross-shaped opening 107 so that the rectangular portion of this opening which carries the hand of bags is moved from a vertically extending position to a horizontally extending position and the bottom edges of the bags extend toward the right as they would appear in FIG. 6. Simultaneously, that portion of the cross-shaped opening 107 which had previously been in the form of a horizontally extending rectangle is moved into a vertically extending position preparatory to receiving the next hand of bags to be formed by the spiral auger assembly 60.

During the time that the foregoing movements of the described machinery are occurring, driving power is being delivered from the output shaft 54 through the chain 234 and the speed reducer 238 to the chain 244. The chain 244 drives the shaft 248 which extends across the apparatus and carries at one of its ends, the sprocket 249. This sprocket in turn drives the input shaft 203 to the Geneva drive subassembly 202 which has keyed thereto the cam plates 225a, 225b, and 2250. As the cam plate 225a is rotated with the shaft 203, it will actuate valve 516 to permit air to be transmitted to the air cylinders 84 forming a portion of each of the spiral auger subassemblies 60. This occurs at a point in time which is immediately after the turntable 102 has been turned through an angle of 90 to orient the hand of bags-in a horizontally extending position. Upon the delivery of air to the air cylinders 84 by the throwing of the valve 516, the piston rods 86 associated with the air cylinders 84 are extended so that the pusher plates 88 carried at the outer end of these rods are extended from their respective drums 64 and pass through the reliefs 107a in the turntable 102. The pusher plates 88 are dimensioned so that a portion of each one of these extends into the main portion of the opening 107 in which the hand of bags is located. The pusher plates 88 will therefore effectively force the hand of bags out of the horizontally extending rectangular portion of the slot 107. The hand of bags is thus pushed out of the turntable 102 and through the front support plate 94.

Prior to the time that the ejection of the hand of bags from the turntable 102 by means of the pusher plates 88 commences, the pusher plate 180 forming a portion of the tilting box assembly 22 is extended from its position illustrated in FIG. 4 of the drawings to a position in juxtaposition to the hand of bags in the turntable assembly. The pusher plate 180 thus provides lateral support for the hand of bags at this time. As the pusher plates 88 are extended to force the bags out of the turntable 102, the pusher plate 180 is retracted by the withdrawal of the piston rod 179 into the air cylinder 178. This is accomplishedby the throwing of a valve 518 in the air system by contact with the cam plate 225b carried on the shaft 203. Stated differently, valves 516 and 518 in the air system are concurrently thrown to effect the extension of the piston rods 86 which carry the pusher plates 88 and the simultaneous retraction of the piston rod 179 which carries the pusher plate 180.

It will be perceived that the simultaneous actions of pusher plates 88 and 180 result in the hand of bags being moved out of the turntable assembly 20 onto the bag support plate at a location immediately above the legs 164k of the L-shaped brackets 164 forming a portion of the tilting table subassembly 160. In this position of the tilting table subassembly 160, of course, the legs 164a are extending vertically as depicted in FIG. 4. It should be further pointed out that in this status of the apparatus, the piston rod 144 is extended from the air cylinder 142 so that the bag flap plate 148 is in its elevated, substantially horizontally extending position in which it extends toward the turntable assembly 20.

When the pusher plate 180 is fully retracted to a position within the circular opening 163 in the plate 162, it strikes the microswitch 182 which throws a solenoid valve 522 in the air system. The actuation of the valve 522 introduces air to the air cylinders 184 and 142 in a manner such that the piston rod 188 is retracted into the cylinder 184 and the piston rod 144 is retracted into the cylinder 142. These concurrent actions result in the tilting table subassembly being pivoted about the shaft 192, and the bag flap plate 148 being pivoted downwardly about the shaft 151.

As the tilting table subassembly 160 is pivoted (in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 4), the plate 162 and pusher plate are brought to a horizontally extending position in alignment with the longest edges of an aligned pair of the rectangular slots 210 formed in the parallel sideplates 208 of the index wheel subassembly 206. At the same time that the tilting table subassembly 160 is undergoing this tilting movement through an angle of about 90, the bag flap plate 178 sweeps downwardly, and in a downstream direction, to move the side edges of the bags (which have now been laid on their sides by reason of the 90 rotation of the turntable assembly 20 hereinbefore described) downwardly, and to cause the hand to lie flat upon the plate 162 and pusher plate 180.

With the hand of bags lying flat on the pusher plate 180 and the plate 162 with which it is in coplanar alignment, the bags may be pushed from these plates into the aligned pair of rectangular slots 210 in the parallel sideplates 208 of the index wheel subassembly 206 by extension of the piston rod 173 from the air cylinder 172. The extension of the piston rod 173 is effected by cam wheel 225c contacting and throwing, a switch 524 in the air system which permits air to be delivered to the cylinder 172. As the piston rod 173 is extended, the pusher plate 174 sweeps across the horizontally aligned, horizontally extending pusher plates 180 and plate 162 to move the bags off of these plates into the rectangular slots 210 carried in the parallel sideplates 208 of the index wheel subassembly 206. When the bags are in the rectangular slots 210, they are supported on the H-shaped bag support plate 212 which is secured to the longest sides of the slots 210 and extends between the side plates 208. Support for the bags is also afforded by the angle plate 214 extending along the bottom edges of the rectangular slots 210.

After the cam wheel 2254 is rotated through a particular increment of rotation, the valve 516 is released so that air may be exhausted from the air cylinders 84 of the spiral auger subassemblies 60, and the pusher plates 88 may thus be retracted. Also, when the cam wheel 225b rotates through a predetermined increment of rotation, the valve 518 is opened, thus causing the piston rod 179 to be extended from the air cylinder 178 so that the pusher plate 180 moves outwardly from the plate 162. With this movement of the pusher plate 180, the microswitch 182 is released to reverse the valve 522 and introduce air to the air cylinder 184 in a manner to extend the piston rod 188. This will cause the tilting table subassembly 160 to tilt back to the receiving position shown in FIG.

nection between the turntable 102 and the Geneva drive as-- sembly 114 is such that alternate incremental rotations through 90 of the turntable occur in opposite directions. Thus,-after one hand of bags has entered one vertically extending portion of the opening 107 in the turntable, and has then been rotated from an upstanding to a lying-on-its-side position with the bottom edges extending in one direction (toward one side of the machine), this hand of bags will be ejected into the tilting box assembly 22 in this orientation, and another hand will commence moving into the new vertically extending portion of the opening 107. When this second hand is in position in this portion of the opening 107, the turntable 102 is then turned through 90 in the opposite direction from that in which it was initially turned. This results in the next hand of bags being laid sideways in the opposite direction from the first hand of bags, that is, with the bottom edges of the bags facing toward the opposite side of the machine from the side toward which the bottom edges of the bags in the first hand faced.

ln properly timed sequence with the movements of the tilting box assembly 22, the index wheel subassembly 206 of the rotating unit assembly 24 undergoes a 90 increment of rotation. This 90 rotational movement of the index wheel subassembly 206 is caused to occur by the Geneva drive subassembly 202. Thus, as the input shaft 203 of the Geneva drive subassembly 202 is driven in rotation by the chain 218 passed around the sprocket 220 keyed thereto, the output shaft 200 from the Geneva drive subassembly 202 upon which the index wheel subassembly 206 is mounted is caused by the Geneva works within the Geneva drive subassembly to periodically undergo the 90 increment of rotation. The driving connections between the shaft 248 and the other moving parts of the apparatus assure that the indexing of the index wheel subassembly 206 through 90 will occur at the propertime; that is, after a hand of bags has been delivered to an aligned pair of the rectangular slots from the tilting box assembly 22, and the tilting table subassembly 160 has been rotated back to its hand-receiving position illustrated in FIG. 4. It will be seen in and 302 occurs, of course, at a time when the index wheel subassembly 206 is not undergoing rotation, but during one of its periods of arrest. This timing is effected by the positive interconnection of the drive portion of the transfer unit assembly 28 with the drive shaft 14 from which the other moving componentsof the apparatus are driven. Thus,- the transfer hooks 296 and 302 are driven in an oscillating movement by means of the connecting rod 270 and the connecting rod 314 through which both of the hooks are effectively connected to the drive chain 262. The drive chain 262 is passed over the sprockets 260 and 264, and the sprocket 260 rotates with the stub shaft 254 which is in turn driven in rotation by the gear 252 which is keyed thereto and meshes with the gear 250. The gear 250 is keyed to the shaft 248 which carries the sprocket 246 driven by the chain 244 as hereinbefore described.

During the operation of the transfer unit assembly 28, the

' connecting rod 270 remains at approximately the same angureferring to FIG. 4 that each time the index wheel subassembly 1 206 is rotated through 90, followed by tilting of the tilting tablesubassembly 160 through 90 from the position shown in F IG. 4, a new aligned pair of the rectangular slots 210 is ready to receive a hand of bags, and the rectangular slots which were previously aligned with the tilting table subassembly 160 has been moved 90 in a counterclockwise direction (as the tilting table subassembly 160 is viewed in FIG. 4). After two incremental rotations of 90 following the reception of a hand of bags in one pair of the slots 210, this hand of bags is brought to a horizontally extending, relatively lower position in which the hand is positioned over the transfer unit assembly 28 upon the bag-supporting plate 387. During the time that the index wheel subassembly 206 is undergoing rotation, the bags are retained in their respective rectangular slots 210 and against the H-shaped bag support plate 212 by the horizontally spaced guide rods 230 which bear against the hand of bags and force them back against the bag support plates as the index wheel subassembly moves.

With the bags having been moved to a position in which they rest flatly upon the bag support plate 387 and are still within one of the aligned pairs of slots 210 of the index wheel subassembly 206, each hand of bags is engaged by the trailing transfer hooks 296 and 302 of the transfer unit assembly. The upwardly projecting toes 296a and 302a of the transfer hooks 296 and 302, respectively, are swung upwardly behind, or upstream from, each hand of bags located in the lowermost pair of slots 210 of the index wheel subassembly 206, and are then moved horizontally toward the mouth of these slots to carry the hand of bags out of the rectangular slots while it is supported on the supporting plate 387. The ejection of the hand of bags from the slots 210 by the trailing transfer hooks 296 lar position as that shown in FIG. 4 until the location at which the chain 262 passes around the sprocket 260 is reached. At this location, the connecting rod 270 will undergo a change in its angulation by having its end connected to the chain 262 dip downwardly sharply. The transfer hook 296 will then also pivot so that its upwardly projecting toe 296a falls downwardly as a result of the cam roll bearing 300 carried by this transfer hook following the upper surface of the connecting rod 270. As the transfer hook 296 pivots to move the projecting toe 296a downwardly, the downwardly projecting lug 296b pivots in a direction to move the connecting rod 314 toward the bag lifter assembly 26. This motion of the connecting rod 314, which is connected through the crossbar spacer 306 to the downwardly projecting lugs 3,021) and 3l0b of the transfer hooks 302 and 310, causes the pivotation of the latter transfer hooks so as to retract the upwardly projecting toes 302a and 310a downwardly below the horizontal level of the bag support plate 387. With the upwardly projecting toes 296a through 310a of the transfer hooks 296 through 310, respectively, retracted below the bag-supporting plate 387, all the transfer hooks remain in substantially the same lowered position while the point of connection of the connecting rod 270 to the chain 262 traverses the lower run of the chain as it passes from the sprocket 260 to the sprocket 264. Thus, during this interval, the upwardly projecting toes 296a through 310a of the transfer hooks 296 through 310 are retracted, and the transfer hooks are reciproeated in an upstream direction. The transfer hooks 296, 302, 308 and 310 finally return to a position such that the upwardly projecting toes 296a and 302a of the trailing transfer hooks 296 and 302 are raised upwardly to stand behind the hand of bags contained within one of the aligned pairs of slots 210 in the index wheel subassembly 206 preparatory to moving the hand downstream toward the bag lifter assembly 26.

It should be pointed out that after the hand of bags has been moved out of one of the aligned pairs of slots 210 in the index wheel subassembly 206, the second increment of downstream movement of this hand of bags toward the bag lifter assembly 26 is effected by the set of leading transfer hooks 308 and 310. Thus, as both sets of transfer hooks (leading and trailing) are lifted to an operative position in which their upwardly projecting toes extend above the level of the bag support plate 387, the trailing transfer hooks 296 and 302 function to engage the trailing hand of bags located in the slots 210, while the leading transfer hooks 308 and 310 function to engage the leading hand of bags which has previously been moved out of the slots 210 by the trailing transfer hooks 296 and 302.

The hands of bags are passed in consecutive sequence by the transfer unit assembly 28 into the bag lifter assembly 26. As the hands of bags are moved by the transfer hooks 296, 302, 308 and 310 toward the bag lifter assembly 26, the hands pass under the overhead skids 386 which function to keep the bags in vertically superimposed alignment, and also to slightly compress the bags to remove excessive air therefrom. As each hand of bags moves under the overhead skids 386 and into the bag lifter assembly 26, the switch 390 is closed as the bags strike the elongated switch finger 392. In this manner, an electrical signal is transmitted to the counter 394 to register the number of hands of bags passing into the bag lifter assembly. in moving into the bag lifter assembly 26, the hands of bags move from the bag supporting plate 387 onto the bag-supporting plate 334. it should be pointed out that at the time the hands of bags move onto the bag-supporting plate 334, slide plate 458, which is slidably mounted on the pusher plate 448 and actuated by the air cylinder 454, is elevated by the cylinder so that the hands of bags are free to pass under the slide plate and into the bag lifter assembly 26.

With the bags at rest on the bag-supporting plate 334, they are then subjected to the periodic lifting action of the bag lifter assembly 26. It will be noted in referring to FIG. 13 that the bag-supporting plate 334 is cut away at certain locations around its edges to permit the lifter arms 342, 330 and 350 to be extended vertically through the slots in the bag-supporting plate, and also that the slots are sufficiently large to allow the bag lifter flaps 338, 346, and 352 to pass through the slots in the supporting plate. The edges of the lowennost bag in the hand of bags resting upon the supporting plate 334, however, extend over the edges of slots so that contact will occur between the lowermost bag in the hand resting on the supporting plate and the several bag lifter flaps 338, 346 and 352 as the bag lifter carriage subassembly 322 moves upward.

The stub shafts 316 which carry the circular crank discs 318 are driven in rotation in synchronism with the other moving elements of the bag'collating and -stacking apparatus so that after each hand of bags has been moved onto the bag-supporting plate 334, and before another hand has moved into the bag lifter assembly 26, the cam roller bearings 320 carried by the circular crank discs 318 have moved to a relatively high position with respect to the aligned axes of the stub shafts 316, thus causing the bag lifter carriage subassembly 322 to be reciprocated upwardly by engagement of these cam roller bearings with the oval cam members 326 carried on the slide carrier plates 324. As the bag lifter carriage subassembly 322 is moved upwardly, its four bearing blocks 360 slide on the vertically extending shafts 364.

As the several vertically extending lifter arms 330, 342 and 350 move upwardly through the slots in the bag-supporting plate 334, the bag lifter flaps 338, 346 and 352 which are carried thereby are also moved upwardly. As the lifting flaps 338, 346 and 352 engage the lower side of the hand of bags resting on the bag-supporting plate 334, the lifting flaps are forced downwardly against the spring bias previously described until they reach the horizontal status in which positive stops prevent further downward movement of these flaps. In this position, the flaps then lift the hand of bags upwardly from the bag-supporting plate 334, and the hand of bags continues to move upwardly with the bag lifter carriage subassembly 322 during the remaining portion of its upward travel. This movement of the hand of bags upwardly clears the bag-supporting plate 334 so that another hand of bags can be moved onto this plate by the transfer unit assembly 28.

After a new hand of bags has been positioned on the bagsupporting plate 334, the continuing rotational movement of the circular crank discs 318 (in synchronism with the linear transfer speed of the transfer unit assembly 28) causes the bag lifter carriage subassembly 322 to commence its downward movement. As the several bag lifter flaps 338, 346 and 352 are moved downwardly with the bag lifter carriage subassembly of which they form a part, they come in contact with the upper side of the new hand of bags which is now resting upon the bag-supporting plate 334. This contact biases the bag lifting flaps 338, 346 and 352 upwardly so that they can pass by the hand of bags resting on the bag supporting plate. Continued downward movement of the vertically extending lifter arms 330, 342 and 350 carries the lifting flaps 338, 346 and 352 past the lowennost hand of bags to the original position in which the lifting flaps are located below this hand of bags. The lifting cycle is then ready for repetition.

It will be noted that the one or more hands of bags which have been initially moved upwardly by the vertically reciprocating bag-lifting carriage subassembly 322 have been, at this stage of the cycle, lowered until they rest upon the bottom hand of bags which has been most recently moved onto, and is supported at this time by, the bag-supporting plate 334. Thus, it is to be noted that the bag lifter assembly 26 included in the apparatus of the invention functions by adding each successive hand of bags which is transferred into the assembly by the transfer unit assembly 28 to the lower side of the stack of hands of bags, rather than adding the incoming hands to the upper side of the stack of hands of bags.

As has beenpreviously pointed out, as each hand of bags passes under the overhead skids 386, the microswitch 390 is tripped to send a signal to the electrical counter 394 so that a count is subtracted from that which has been set on the counter. During this time, the vertically extending air cylinder 454 is in a status in which its piston rod 456 is retracted so that the slide plate 458 is raised to permit the passage of hands of bags into the bag lifter assembly 26. This status of the air cylinder 454 and its piston rod 456 continues until the counter 394 has counted out due to a predetermined number of hands of bags having been moved into the bag lifter assembly 26, and stacked in a vertically superimposed position by the alternating lifting and lowering actions hereinbefore described. When the counter 394 has registered the predetermined number of hands of bags which it is desired to stack in vertical superimposition, the counter transmits a signal functioning to energize the relay R-1 and thereby making a circuit through the relay and the switch 530 which is a holding or interlock switch, mounted on the vertically extending bracket 414. With the relay R-l energized, an electrical signal is passed to the solenoid valve 532 located in the air line to the air cylinder 454 so that the piston rod 456 is extended, thus moving the slide plate 458 downwardly until the lower edge of the slide plate is adjacent the upper surface of the bag-supporting plate 334. Described in another way, the slide plate 458 is, at this time, lowered to a position where it can contact the side edges of the bags in the lowermost hand of bags in the stack within the bag lifter assembly 26, which lowermost hand rests upon the bagsupporting plate 334. The band press loader assembly 30 is now positioned to move the stack of superimposed hands of bags out of the bag-collating and -stacking apparatus 10 into a bag press which may be suitably located immediately adjacent the bag press loader assembly.

As has previously been mentioned in referring to the circuit diagram illustrated in FIG. 16, lowering of the slide plate 458 closes the switches 461 and 463. The switch 461 is in series with the switch 383 which is a normally open switch that is periodically closed by contact therewith of the protuberance 382 carried on the gear 381. The protuberance 382 is disposed in relation to the cam roller bearing 320 carried on the adjacent circular crank disc 318 so that the protuberance will strike and close the switch 383 at a time when the bag lifter carriage subassembly 322 is being driven downwardly below the bag supporting plate 334 in the lower portion of its travel. 7

With the closure of the switch 383 while the switch 461 is closed by extension of the slide plate 458, relay R-2 is ener' gized. The relay 11-2 is then held in by a circuit which is at this time made through the switch 463 which has been closed by the downward movement of the slide plate 458 as hereinbefore described. The described energization of relay R-2 makes a circuit to the solenoid valve 536. As valve 536 is operated, air cylinders 438 and 440 are actuated so that the piston rods 442 are extended therefrom.

As the piston rods 442 are extended from their respected air cylinders 438 and 440, the vertically extending brackets 444 to which the outer ends of the rods are secured are driven in a sliding movement along the slide rods 418, 420, 422 and 424. Since the vertically extending brackets 444 are secured to the pusher plate 448, their movement along the slide rods 418- 422 produces a concurrent translational movement of the

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Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification414/788.3, 414/788, 414/790.3, 414/791.3, 414/901, 414/905, 414/795.2
International ClassificationB65H29/40, B65H29/00, B65H29/42, B65H33/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65H2404/653, B65H29/42, Y10S414/118, Y10S414/115, B65H29/40, B65H33/00, B65H29/001
European ClassificationB65H33/00, B65H29/40, B65H29/42, B65H29/00B