US 3599780 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Thomas B. Sorbie Toledo, Ohio 7,136
Jan. 30, 1970 Aug. 17, 1971 Owens-Illinob, Inc.
 Inventor [21 Appl. No.  Filed  Patented  Assignee  CONTAINER-HANDLING APPARATUS 10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 198/209, 141/152  int. Cl 865g 29/00  FieldofSearch 141/152,
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,512,199 6/1950 Dawson, Jr. 141/152 X Primary Examiner-Even C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-H. 8. Lane AttorneysD. T. Innis and E. J. Holler ABSTRACT: Indexing mechanism for multiple-station. glassware inspection machines in which two or more pocketed star wheels are used. The mounting ofthe plural star wheels, which are selected as to size of pockets depending on the height and width of the ware being inspected, is simplified by the use of a universal hub to which the lower star wheel is fixed. Additional star wheels are mounted on the hub at adjustable heights by the use of split, clamping rings that are keyed to the hub to maintain vertical orientation of the pockets of all star wheels.
' CONTAINER-HANDLING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It has been the practice in the past when necessary to adapt a gauging and inspection machine to inspect tall ware such as olive jars or beverage bottles, to add additional star wheels to provide the necessary stability during indexing of the ware between inspection stations or positions. This addition was accomplished by using spacer rings or-posts which had to be selected from. a necessary inventory of a large number, and then assembled before being mounted on the drive shaft of the machine. Orientation of the plural star wheels had to be maintained during assembly and mounting, thus requiring substantial time and attention to detail resulting in-periods of downtimeT during changeover. Ifinitial selection were not properly made, thenthe, process had to berepeated withthe result that a substantial quantity of ware would have to be accumulated, usually by hand, and inspected later, thus disrupt ing the orderly flow of ware from the'forming machines to the warehouse. Due to the factthat glasswareof many differing sizes, both as to height and diameter, is produced and inspected, a substantial inventory of spacers or posts was necessaryfor'each machine.
' The present invention overcomes many of thedifficulties attendant to setting up the inspection machine for handling various-size ware by the use of a single hub and star wheel mounting arrangement in which fewer parts are needed and changeoversmay be-made in a relatively short time.
SUMMARY OF THE'INVENTION BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the star wheel mounting apparatus of the invention with the top star wheel brokenaway;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a vertical, partsectional, and part elevational view of the huband star wheel mounting of the invention;
' FIG.4 is a detailed side view,-on:an enlarged scale,- taken at line.:4.-4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken at line 5-5 of. FIG. 1; and
FIG. 6 is .a sideelevational view, similar to FIG. 2, illustrating the modification of the invention to adapt it to handle tall containers.
With particular reference to FIGS. 13, the following detailed description of the apparatus of theinvention is made.
' Indexing drive mechanism'(not shown) is connected to the central shaft 10, it being understood that the drive mechanism for the shaft 10 is essentially the sameas that disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,3l3,409 issued Apr. ll, I967.
Essentially. the drive consists-of an indexing type rotation of the shaft .10, The shaft 10, at its upper end, carries a mounting plate 11. The plate 11 is provided with 'four mounting holes through which threaded bolts 12 extend and engage with threaded bushing 13 carried by an inwardly extending, annular flange 14 of a generally cylindrical mounting hub 15.
The hub 15 has an outwardly extending flange 16 adjacent its lower end to which a lower, pocketed star wheel 17 is attached by means of threaded bolts 18. The star wheel 17 (as best shown in FIG. 2), when attached to the hub 15, lies in a horizontal plane, above a bottle-supporting conveyor 19 which is moving in the direction of the arrow shown thereon in FIG. I. Itcan readily be seen thatthe conveyor 19 moves the -As is the case in the bottle inspection apparatus, the bottles or containers are indexedby' movement of the star wheel in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed from above, in succession to the four positions at the left side ofFIG. 1, wherein the bottlesmay be inspected for various defects, similar to those being inspected in the above-referred-to U. S. Pat. No. 3,3l3,409. The bottles are'supported during the index movement from inspection station to inspection station by a table having an; upper surface essentially at thesame height as the height of the conveyor 19. Bottles are held within the pockets during the indexing movement by a sem'icircumferential guide rail 22.
As can best be seen when viewing FIG. 2, the lower star wheel 17 engages the bottles at a point below the center of mass of the bottle or container. Dependingupon the size of the containers being inspected, and in particular the height of the-containers, one or more additional star wheels are necessary to properly steady the bottles during their indexing movement from station to station and when being rotated 'in station -for inspection purposes. With this in mind, the hub 15 serves "the proper alignment and orientation of all additional star wheels which are to be mounted on'the hub. The additional star wheels are mounted to the hub 23 by means of asplit ring 24, having its split opening 25 located'diametrically opposite from a key 26 which is adapted to ride inthe keyway 23. The key 26, as specifically'shown in FIG. 5,-is mounted to the ring 24 by a vertical retaining pin 27.
Aswill readily be appreciated, the split 'ring' 24, prior to mounting, has an internal diameter slightly larger than the external diameter of the hub 15 so that the ring may be easily telescoped over the hub 15. Clamping of the ring 24 to the hub is accomplished by turninga tensioning screw 29. As clearly shown in FIG. 4, the tensioning screw 2'9'has a threaded end 30 which is threaded into one end of the ring 24 with its head '31 being seated against the vertical face 32 of a cutout portion 33 of the ring 24. Turning of the head 31 of the screw 29, moves the ends of the ring together to tend to close the split opening 25 and effectively, circumferentially clamp the ring 24 to the hub 15.
A screw 28, with its head extending outwardly into the path of the head 31 of the screw 29, provides an arrangement whereby the turning of the screw 29 to loosen the ring 24 on the hub 15, to make adjustments, will come into contact with the head of the screw 28 and provide a slight amount of opening force with respect to the ring 24 so that the'ring, if it is still relatively tight with respect to the hub 15, 'will slightly open up the opening 25 to permit easy moving of the ring 24 relative to the hub.
The ring-24 is provided with four precisely located threaded openings 34 within which bolts 35 are threaded with a second star wheel 36 clamped between the boltheadand the ring 24. It can readily be seen that upon loosening of the screw 29 and setscrew 28, the ring 24 may be raised or lowered relative to the hub to accommodate the apparatus to the handling of bottles of varying or differing heights. Furthermore, replacement of the star wheels may beeasily accomplished merely by removing the bolts 35 and 18 and substituting star wheels having pockets of different dimensions so as to accommodate ware of differing diameters.
As particularly illustrated in FIG. 6, a third starv wheel 37 may be mounted to the hub by means of a split ring 38 in a substantially identical manner as disclosed with respect to the mounting of star wheel 36. Thus it can readily be seen that an easy, economical and quick change arrangement is provided for adjusting the heights of the star wheels relative to each other so as to provide apparatus best able to handle ware through the inspection stations of the inspection machine. Furthermore, when it is necessary to adapt the inspection machine for the inspecting of ware of a totally different diameter, the present arrangement now permits easy removal and replacement of star wheels without the use of spacers as specifically shown in FIG. 2 of the above-referred-to U.S. Pat. No. 3,313,409.
By reason of the fact that the key 26 which is carried by the ring is positioned at the diametrically opposed, point of the ring 24 relative to the opening 25, clamping of the ring to the hub will in no way change the vertical orientation of the pockets of the added star wheels with respect to the lower star wheel which is fixed to the flange on the hub 15. The location of the mounting holes in all star wheels is the same so that when they are fixed to the rings 24 and 38 or to the flange 16, they are always in the same .relative orientation with respect to each other. No problem with respectto vertical alignment is encountered.
l. Indexing apparatus for moving glass containers in series through a plurality of inspection positions arranged in a semicircle, comprising a cylindrical hub positioned with its axis vertical, drive means connected to the interior of said hub for rotating said hub about its axis, an annular ledge extending outwardly from the lower edge of said hub, a first, pocketed star wheel mounted on said annular ledge in predetermined, circumferential orientation, split ring means telescopically received on said hub, means carried by said ring for circumferentially clamping said ring to said hub, alignment means inlerconnecting said ring and hub, a second pocketed star wheel, means mounting said second star wheel on said ring, the mounting of the star wheels to the hub being such that the pockets are maintained in precise. vertical alignment.
2. The apparatus of claim l, wherein said alignment means comprises a vertical keyway formed in the exterior of said hub and key means mounted on said ring means and engageable in said keyway on said hub.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, further including a third star wheel, second split ring means telescopically received on said hub and means mounting said third star wheel on said ring.
4.'The apparatus of claim 3, including alignment means interconnecting said second ring and said hub.
5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein said alignment means comprises a vertical keyway fon-ned in the exterior of said hub and key means mounted on said ring means and engageable in said keyway on said hub.
6. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein said key means is located diametrically opposite from the split in said ring.
7. Bottle engaging and indexing apparatus comprising, a vertical, cylindrical hub, means connected to said hub for rotating said hub about its vertical axis, an annular flange extending outwardly adjacent the lower end of said hub, a first horizontal star wheel mounted on said flange, a radially split, annular ring having an inside diameter greater than the outside diameter of said hub, adjustable means extending between the split ends of said ring for adjusting the gap in said ring, an inwardly extending key mounted on said ring diametrically opposite the gap therein, a vertical keyway formed in said hub within which said key is adapted to ride, a second horizontal star wheel, means mounting said star wheel on said ring, and setscrew means carried by said ring and engageable with said hub for retaining said ring at adjusted height prior to final circumferential engagement of said ring to said hub by operation of said adjustable means extending between the ends of said split ring.
8. The apparatus of claim 7, further including a third star whee], second split ring means telescopically received on said hub and means mounting said third star wheel on said ring.
9. The apparatus of claim 8, including alignment means intcrconnecting said second rin and said hub.
10. The apparatus of claim I, wherein said alignment means comprises a vertical keyway formed in the exterior of said hub and key means mounted on said ring means and cngageable in Said keyway on said hub.