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Publication numberUS3608701 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 28, 1971
Filing dateJun 3, 1969
Priority dateJun 3, 1969
Publication numberUS 3608701 A, US 3608701A, US-A-3608701, US3608701 A, US3608701A
InventorsJulian A Dieter
Original AssigneeJones & Co Inc R A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Product bucket for cartoning machine
US 3608701 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent lnventor Julian A. Dieter Cincinnati, Ohio Appl. No. 830,064 Filed June 3, 1969 Patented Sept. 28, 1971 Assignee R. A. Jones and Company, Inc.

Covington, Ky.

PRODUCT BUCKET FOR CARTONING MACHINE 10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl. 198/189,

198/154 Int. Cl. 865g 17/12 Field of Search 198/ 129,

T561 5 References Cite d UNlTED-STATES PATENTS 2,358,292 9/1944 Malhiot 198/189 X 3,429,239 2/1969 Murchison et a1 1981154 X Primary Examiner--Evon C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-Alfred N. Goodman Anomey-Wood, Herron & Evans ABSTRACT: A product bucket for an automatic cartoning machine having a channel-shaped element adapted to be carried by a first conveyor chain and an adjustable divider element mounted on said channel-shaped element and adapted to be carried by a second conveyor chain, the conveyor chains being adjustable with respect to each other to vary the position of the divider element with respect to the channel-shaped element.

PRODUCT BUCKET FOR CARTONING MACHINE This invention relates to a product bucket for an automatic cartoning machine, and more particularly the invention is directed to an adjustable product bucket which has the capacity for adjustment-without sacrifice to product security.

The cartoning machine to which the present invention is directed includes a transport conveyor carrying longitudinally adjustable forward and rearward transport lugs between which an erected carton is conveyed. A bucket conveyor runs alongside the transport conveyor and has a series of spaced buckets corresponding to the transport lugs. Products are disposed in the buckets, and pushers move the products horizontally from the buckets into the cartons as the cartons and product buckets move side by side.

Product buckets in the past have been adjustable so as to accommodate products of varying sizes. The bucket has been formed by a leading member carried by a first conveyor chain, the leading member being principally a vertical wall. The bucket further has included a trailing member attached to a second conveyor chain, the trailing member being L-shaped to present a bottom wall and a vertical wall. Relative adjustment of the conveyor chains causes a variation in the spacing of the leading and trailing members and hence variation in the longitudinal dimension of the bucket. It is, of course, desired that the bottom wall extend to the vertical wall of the leading element so that no gap will appear in the bottom wall which might obstruct the free movement of a product from the bucket to the carton. The integrity of the bottom wall should be maintained regardless of the spacing adjustment between the leading and trailing elements.

The need for the two elementsto pass about the sprockets of their respective chains, coupled with the need to vary the spacing of the elements, requires that the leading vertical wall and bottom wall have cooperating slots and fingers so that as the leading wall begins to descend around its sprocket, the bottom wall can move with respect to the vertical wall. These considerations adversely affect the desired product security, for any slots in either the bottom wall or vertical wall provide points of hang-up for the product as it is being pushed from the product bucket to the carton.

One approach to the solution of this problem has been disclosed in the copending application of Raymond L. Moehlman for "Three Piece Bucket for Cartoning Machine, Ser. No. 808,514 filed Mar. 19,1969. There the product bucket has been formed in part by forming the bottom wall of the product bucket as two elements independently supported on a conveyor chain, so as to minimize the effects of an extremely long bottom wall. While there are a number of advantages to be derived from that structure, it still admits of the possibility of a hang-up with a very thin product such as pouches of granulated materials and the like.

The objective of the present invention has been to provide a product bucket which is adjustable but whose relatively movable parts present a minimal number of gaps, slots, or the like, minimizing the possibility of a bang-up of the product on interrupted surfaces of the bucket. To this end, the invention provides a bucket which is preferably channel-shaped but need not necessarily be, as will appear below, having a divider element slidably mounted on the bottom wall of the channelshaped member, the divider element having'a long horizontal flange which lies flush with the bottom wall of thechannelshaped member. The channel-shaped member is carried by one or two conveyor chains. The divider element has a lug projecting through a longitudinal slot in the bottom wall of the channel-shaped member, the lug being captured by a separate chain which is adjustable with respect to the chains which carry the channel-shaped member. The lug includes a lost motion connection to its chain which permits the chain to ride around a sprocket, thereby moving relatively to the divider element so that the position of the divider element in the product bucket remains unchanged. The lost motion connection is such as to maintain the desired position of the divider element with respect to the channel member while permitting vertical moving of the chain with respect to the divider element.

Another objective of the invention has been to provide a channel-shaped product bucket having a longitudinally adjustable central divider adapted to vary the longitudinal dimension of the product-carrying space between the divider and a wall of the channel as well as creating two product-carrying spaces, one on each side of the divider.

The several features of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a product bucket formed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic side elevational view of a bucket conveyor employing the invention;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view showing the bucket conveyor passing around a sprocket; FIG. 4 is a crosssectional view taken along lines 44 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of a product bucket illustrating its attachment to the respective chains;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view showing an alternative lost motion connection to the chain carrying the divider element.

The product bucket of the invention is illustrated at 10 in FIG. 1 and includes a channel-shaped element 11 and a divider element 12. The channel-shaped element has a leading vertical wall 13 and a trailing vertical wall 14 interconnected by a bottom wall 15. The bottom wall 15 is shown as projectipg a substantial distance laterally of the vertical walls, this being an optional feature for elongated products.

The channel-shaped element is carried by two chains 16 and 17. The connection to each chain is made by an elongated lug 19 fixed to the bottom wall and having a pivotal connection to a pin 20 at the rear end of the lug and a slot 21 connection to a pin 22 projecting laterally from the chain at the forward end of the lug. The slot connection permits a limited foreshortening of the distance between the pins 20 and 22 without binding as the pin passes around its sprocket.

The bottom wall 15 of the channel element has an elongated slot 25 through which a lug 26 (FIG. 4) projects, the lug 26 being fixed to the divider element 12. The lug 26 has a vertical slot 27 through which a pin 28 projects, the pin 28 being carried by a central chain 29. The elongated slot 27 provides a lost motion connection between the adjustable element 12 and the chain 29 and permits a limited vertical movement of the pin 28 with respect to the lug 26 so as to enable the pin 20 carrying the channel-shaped member to move around a sprocket behind the pin 28' without causing a binding between the two elements.

The divider element has a long horizontal flange 30 with which a vertical wall 31 of the divider element is integrally formed. On one side of the vertical wall, the horizontal wall extends longitudinally approximately half the length of the channel-shaped element and has a transverse slot 32 in which a pusher element may ride to provide assurance that it does not ride over the top of the product. Normally, the product will be disposed in the space between the vertical wall 31 and the wall 14 of the channel-shaped element, that space being designated as 34. The space on the opposite side, designated as 35, accommodates the longitudinal adjustments of the divider element in most instances; however, as will appear and as is illustrated in FIG. 1, the space 35 can be used to receive products shown at 36 for introduction into a carton 37, in instances where two products or stacks of products are introduced into a single carton.

As best shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the lug 26 is connected to the horizontal flange 30 of the divider element as follows. The lug 26 has at its upper end a rectangular plate 40, the plate being spaced from the upper end by a short stub 41 which is welded to the horizontal flange 30. The stub 41 projects through the longitudinal slot 25 in the bottom wall of the channel-shaped element and stabilizes the divider element against rocking with respect to the channel-shaped element. A pair of spaced bars 42 is welded to the bottom wall 15 of the channel-shaped element 11 and lies on either side of the plate rotatable about the same axis 46, and identical sprockets 47 at the other end, all rotatable about the same axis 48. The chains carry a plurality of product buckets, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. In the illustration, the divider elements 12 are centrally located with respect to the walls 13 and 14 of the channel shaped element. However, by longitudinally adjusting the center chain 29, all of the divider elements will shift longitudinally with respect to the channel-shaped element, thereby varying the spacing to accommodate a different size of product.

In the operation of the invention, the cartoning machine is adjusted for the particular carton and product size. Among other adjustments, this entails the longitudinal shifting of chain 29 with respect to chains 16 and 17 so as to vary the longitudinal spacing of the divider element 12 within the channel member 11. As can be seen from FIG. 4, the variation permitted is that exemplified by the solid line and broken line positions of the divider 12. In the illustrated embodiment, the divider is located centrally of the channel member 11 and is adapted to receive two stacks of products such as thin pouches of granulated material. During the sequence of cartoning operations, a pusher, indicated at 50, has two elements 51 and 52 which ride in the respective spaces 34 and 35 to thrust the articles 36 from the bucket into the carton 37. It should be understood that the bucket is adapted to be used with a product occupying only the space 34 and cooperating with a single pusher element. Further in this regard, if there is no likelihood that the bucket is to be used with products in each chamber, then the wall 13 is not required.

As each bucket passes about a sprocket, the lug l9 fixed to the channel-shaped element will begin to move around the sprocket while the pin 28 of the divider element continues a linear movement. Thus, the bucket will tend to move in a curvilinear path, while tending to move away from the path of the pin 28. The lost motion connection between the pin 28 and the lug 26 on the divider element, however, will permit the divider element to stay with the channel-shaped element during the excursion around the sprocket. This true regardless of the longitudinal position of the divider element with respect to the channel-shaped element.

In the alternative embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7, all of the elements are as described above, except for the lost motion connection. In the embodiment of FIG. 7, the divider element has a depending lug 55 which is connected to the pin 28 by a link 56 pivotally connected at each end to the pin and lug respectively. In the normal horizontal position of the bucket and chain, the link 56 is disposed at an arcuate angle to the horizontal path, this angle permitting substantial arcuate movement of the link to accommodate a relative move between the chain and the lug 55 as the chain passes about a sprocket.

It can be observed from FIG. 1, for example, that substantial longitudinal variation in the space between the divider wall 31 and the wall 14 of the channel-shaped member is permitted without requiring any structural gaps in the wall 31, 14 and horizontal flange 30' which form the product-containing chamber. Even when two chambers or spaces 34 and 35 are used, the only structural gap appearing is the small portion of the slot 25 which is exposed when the divider is centered. Thus, the products are contained by surfaces which are substantially uninterrupted, particularly in the direction of the movement of the product as it is thrust from the bucket into the carton, thereby minimizing any possibility of a hang-up of the product as it is cartoned.

Iclaim:

1. In a cartoning machine having at least two parallel chains which are longitudinally adjustable with respect to each other, a bucket structure comprising:

a channel-shaped element having a bottom wall and vertical leading and trailing walls, said bottom wall having an elongated slot therein,

a lug depending from said bottom wall and fixed to one of said chains,

an adjustable vertical divider wall slidably mounted on said bottom wall, said divider wall having a horizontal flange overlying said slot to provide a closed product receiving bottom wall whereby interference by said slot with said product is avoided,

a second lug depending from said adjustable wall through said slot and connected to the other of said chains.

2. A bucket structure according to claim 1 in which said bottom wall has an elongated slot, said second lug projecting through said slot.

3. A bucket structure according to claim 1 further comprising a lost motion connection between said second lug and the other chain.

4. A bucket structure according to claim 3 in which said lost motion connection comprises a vertical slot in said second lug and a pin, carried by said other chain, and projecting into said slot.

5. In a cartoning machine having at least two parallel chairs which are longitudinally adjustable with respect to each other, a bucket structure comprising:

a channel-shaped element having a bottom wall and vertical leading and trailing walls,

a lug depending from said bottom wall and fixed to one of said chains,

a adjustable vertical divider wall slidably mounted on said bottom wall,

a second lug depending from said adjustable wall, and

a link pivoted at one end to said lug and pivoted at the other end to said chain to form a lost motion connection between said lug and said chain.

6. In a cartoning machine having at least two parallel chains which are longitudinally adjustable with respect to each other, a bucket structure comprising:

a fixed element having a bottom wall and at least one vertical wall, said bottom wall having an elongated slot therein,

a lug depending from said bottom wall and fixed to one of said chains,

an adjustable vertical wall mounted on a horizontal flange which is slidably mounted on said bottom wall, said horizontal flange overlying said slot and providing a closed bottom wall for said product whereby interference by said slot with said product is avoided,

and a second lug depending from said adjustable wall through said slot and lost motion means connecting said second lug to the other of said chains.

7. A bucket structure according to claim 6 further comprising lost motion means connecting one of said lugs to its respective chain.

8. A bucket structure according to claim 6 in which:

said bottom wall has an elongated slot through which said second lug projects,

said adjustable vertical wall having a horizontal flange at its base overlying said slot.

9. In a cartoning machine having at least two parallel chains which are longitudinally adjustable with respect to each other, a bucket structure comprising:

a fixed element having a bottom wall and at least one vertical wall,

a lug depending from said bottom wall and fixed to one of said chains,

an adjustable vertical wall slidably mounted on said bottom wall,

a second lug depending from said adjustable wall and connected to the other of said chains,

a pair of spaced longitudinal bars underlying said bottom wall, and

a longitudinally extending slot in said bottom wall,

an adjustable inverted T-shaped element overlying said slot and presenting a horizontal flange slidably mounted, said flange overlying said slot to present a closed productreceiving bottom wall whereby interference by said slot with the movement of said product is avoided, and

a lug passing through said slot and connecting said adjustable element to said central chain.

FORM FO-1050 (0-69) UNl'lEU STATES PATENT owm: CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. v 508 a 701 Dated September 28 1971 lnventoi-(s) Julian A. Dieter It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Col. 1, line 55, change "bang-up" to hang-up Col. 2, line 73, after channel-shaped element",

insert and is slidable with respect to the slot. The

plate 40 overlies a portion of the undersurface of the bottom wall of the channel-shaped element- Col. 3, line 44, after "This", insert is C01. 4, line 24, change "chairs" to chains Col. 4, line 30, before "adjustable", change "a" to Signed and sealed this hth day of April 1 972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissionerof Patents USCOMM-DC 60370 P69

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Referenced by
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US4958721 *Jun 24, 1988Sep 25, 1990The Upjohn CompanyInclined bucket elevator
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Classifications
U.S. Classification198/802, 198/714, 53/258, 53/251, 198/817
International ClassificationB65B59/00, B65G37/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65G37/00, B65G2812/016, B65B59/005
European ClassificationB65G37/00, B65B59/00C