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Publication numberUS3626818 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 14, 1971
Filing dateJan 8, 1970
Priority dateJan 8, 1969
Publication numberUS 3626818 A, US 3626818A, US-A-3626818, US3626818 A, US3626818A
InventorsGeorge Anson
Original AssigneeAndax Pty Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Partition assembling machine
US 3626818 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States, Patent [72] Inventor George Anson [50] Field of Search 93/37; Elwood, Australia 221/268; 2l4/8.5 D [21] AppLNo. 1,528 22] Filed Jan.8, 1970 References Cited [45] Patented Dec. 14,1971 UNITED STATESPATENTS 1 Assign Proprimly L'mmd 2,767,625 10/1956 Schroeder .93/37 North cllywnivkwrhwlsmlifl 2,754,731 7/1956 Shields 93/37 1 Priomy {c 5 3,152,701 10/1964 Welland 214/7 tr 3 :3 Primary Examiner- Bernard Stickney Attorney-Woodhams, Blanchard & Flynn 54 PARTITION ASSEMBLING MACHINE v l 1 ABSTRACT: A machine for assembling intersecting panels 9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.

1 movement of the cross panels to engage them with the longitu- [52] U.S.Cl 93/3711, dinal panels being effected by means of rotating toners or 214/85 D1 221/268 other continuously moving surfaces. [5]] lnt.Cl B31b 1/00 l 29 7 3, O O l Z4 34 ,10 22m 0 g O O /6\ I2 1r 1 '1 z l I] l I 9 If H u 9 51 1/52 25' a o Patented Dec. 14, 1971 3,@2%,8

2 Sheets-Sheet 1 x 1 1 1 r 1 NW1 Ag/w ATTORNE 5 Patented Dec. 14, 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet B INVENTOR 64%! f 4/1 30 yaw ATTORNEYS PARTITION ASSEMBLING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a machine for assembling intersecting panel structures, such as are used for example to form subdividing partitions for boxes, in which longitudinal panels are moved past an assembly station and cross panels are engaged upon the longitudinal panels as they pass the station.

2. Prior Art Usually. machines of the above kind comprise a conveyor which moves the longitudinal panels in upright position under the assembly station and the cross panels are engaged upon the longitudinal panels by a downward movement, the engagement being facilitated by suitably slotting the panels.

Hitherto, the movement of the cross panels to engage the longitudinal panels has been effected by a vertically reciprocable crossmember. While this arrangement is generally satisfactory, and pennits reasonable assembly speeds when panels of small height are to be assembled, it may not permit adequate assembly speeds for partitions of greater height. This arises because the stroke of the crossmember must necessarily always at least equal the height of the cross panels utilized if proper engagement of the longitudinal panels is to be obtained. It will be readily appreciated that there are considerable difficulties in designing a drive mechanism which is capable of imparting the necessary high velocity to the crossmember which is required to achieve a reasonable reciprocation rate when the stroke of the crossmember is made sufiicient to accommodate panels of some height.

3. Object of the Invention It is an object of this invention, therefore to provide a partition assembly machine which is more readily adaptable to assembling partitions of a variety of heights while still achieving acceptable assembling rates.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the invention the movement of the cross panels to engage the longitudinal panels is imparted by engagement of the panels by one or more continuously moving endless surfaces. Preferably, there are two continuously moving surfaces one acting upon each of the faces of the panels. Preferably too, each continuously moving surface is constituted by the peripheral surface of a roller.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a partly diagrammatic cross section of the apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross section corresponding to FIG. I but illustrating the apparatus in operation;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross section on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a partition partially disassembled which may be formed by the apparatus of FIGS. 1 to 4.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The partition shown in FIG. 5 comprises three upright parallel longitudinal rectangular panels 2 and three upright rectangular parallel cross panels 3 which intersect the longitudinal panels. Each cross panel 3 has three slots 4 extending from a side edge, and each longitudinal panel 2 has three similar slots 6. The partition is assembled by engaging the panels within slots 4 and 6 so that the panels define a plurality of pockets 5. The panels may be formed of any suitable material such as cardboard.

Referring now to FIGS. I to 4, the machine 7 includes an endless conveyor 8 supported by a bed 25 and rollers 9. The conveyor is driven by any suitable means so that the top run moves from right to left on the drawing. The conveyor is provided with a series of crosswise extending stops 11. Pairs of parallel guide rails 12 extend lengthwise of the conveyor above the upper run thereof. It will be appreciated that as many pairs of guide rails 12 will be provided as there are longitudinal panels, and the spacing between pairs is adjusted in conformity with the desired spacing of the longitudinal panels. The spacing between the rails 12 comprising any pair is sufficient to permit insertion of longitudinal panels to permit the longitudinal panels then to rest upon conveyor 8 and be carried forward thereby, between pairs of stops 1 1. Each rail 12 is provided at one end with an upstanding, generally triangular, extension 13 which ensures that longitudinal panels 2 moving between pairs of rails 12 are held upright as they pass the extensions.

One extension 13 of each pair is provided with a leaf spring 14 which is resiliently biased towards a projection 15 on the adjacent extension 13 and the gap between each projection 15 and its associated spring 14 is arranged to be less than the width of a panel 2. Thus, each spring I4exerts a frictional resistance to the passage of panels through the pairs of extensions 13 with which it is associated. This frictional resistance is such that each panel 2 as it passes through the extension is pushed back to engage the following stop 11.

The extensions 13 which carry springs 14 each have mounted thereon a switch 10 which is arranged to be actuated by the adjacent spring 14 when a panel passes the spring. The switches 10 are normally open, but close when actuated. The purpose of these switches is described in detail hereinafter.

The assembling station, generally indicated at 16, includes a pair of rollers 17 which are arranged to be driven by a suitable drive means (not shown) in the direction indicated by arrows 20. The rollers extend substantially across the width of the conveyor 8 and are spaced above the conveyor a sufiicient distance to permit panels 2 to pass thereunder with a small clearance.

Cross panels 3 are arranged in a stack 18 upon an overdriven conveyor 19 which frictionally urges the lower edges of the panels 3 towards an upstanding guide plate 28. The uppermost part of the stack is also urged towards plate 24 by weight 21 acting upon a bracket 22 via cable 23. A crossmember 24 is attached to the plunger 26 of a double-acting pneumatic cylinder 27. The crossmember moves in a pair of vertically extending guide rails (not shown). Crossmember 24 reciprocates vertically to move cross panels 3 from stack 18 vertically, one at a time, into the nip of rollers 17.

Because of the high speeds of operation obtainable by the present apparatus, it has been found that, despite the relatively high forces provided by weight 21 and conveyor 19, the cross partitions may not move sufi'rciently rapidly into position against plate 28. To overcome this difficulty plate 28 is provided with a number of openings 29 which communicate with an outlet 30. By applying a reduced air pressure at outlet 30, the panels of stack 18 are rapidly moved in sequence into position against plate 28 during operation of the apparatus.

In order that the cross panels may be engaged with the longitudinal panels at the desired positions a timing mechanism may be employed to control the operation of pneumatic cylinder 27. The timing mechanism includes a series of microswitches 32 arranged along a part of the length of conveyor 8 and arranged to be actuated by stops II. The switches are spaced-apart distances corresponding to the desired spacing of the cross panels 3 along the longitudinal panels 2.

The switches are arranged to directly operate relay valves controlling pneumatic cylinder 27, that is to admit high-pressure gas into the upper port 31 when a switch 32 is actuated while simultaneously opening lower port 33 to atmosphere, and to subsequently admit high-pressure gas to lower opening 31 while opening upper outlet to atmosphere. Thus plunger 26 and crossmembcr 24 are moved downwardly upon actuation of a switch 32 and subsequently moved upwardly automatically.

The previously mentioned switches 10 on rails 12 are connected into the electric circuit controlling operation of crossmember 24 so that actuation of crossmember 24 is precluded unless longitudinal panels are moving between the pairs of guide rails 12.

A timing mechanism (not shown) is employed to permit variation of the time between admission of gas to the upper and lower ports respectively. In this way it is possibleto arrange that gas is admitted at the lower port before the full downstroke of plunger 26 is complete and to thus prevent contact of the plunger with the interior wall of the cylinder thus avoiding unnecessary wear of the cylinder. Contact of the plunger 26 with the upper interior wall of cylinder 27 is prevented by a resilient ring 34 which is engaged by the upper surface of crossmember 24 upon the upstroke thereof.

It will be appreciated that because of inertia in the relay valves, and crosspiece 24, a small interval will elapse between closing of a microswitch 32 and the movement of a panel 3 into engagement with a longitudinal panel, and the interval will correspond, at different speeds of movement of conveyor 8, to different lengths along a panel 2 at which panels 3 are engaged. It is thus desirable that the switches 32 be bodily movable in the direction of the upper run of conveyor 8, while still preserving a set spacing between its switches, in order that allowance may be made for the variations in the speed of movement of conveyor 8. This is accomplished by mounting switches 32 upon a small subframe 36 extending in the direction of conveyor 8 and locatable over a suitable range of positions to permit the necessary variation.

Subframe 36 is slidably mounted between a pair of supports 37 secured to bed 25. The microswitches 32 are slidably movable along the length of subframe 36 and are lockable in position thereon by screws 38. An integral arm 40 extends from subframe 36 at one end thereof and this arm has an aperture at its free end (not shown). A threaded rod 39 extends through the aperture in arm 40 and is secured to bed 25 at its end by brackets 41. A pair of knurled nuts 43 are engaged upon rod 39 one to each side thereof. Subframe 36 is positionable longitudinally of bed 25 by loosening one of nuts 83 and screwing the other so as to bear against arm 40 and move it in the required direction.

The operation of the apparatus will now be described. In this case three longitudinal panels 2 are to be engaged with three cross panels 3 to fonn the partition shown in FIG. 5. The panels 2 are inserted one between each pair of rails 12 and upon conveyor 8 and between a pair of stops 11, whereby they are carried towards assembly station 16. As the panels 2 pass between extensions 13 they are held in an upright position and pushed against the following stop 11 by springs 14. Simultaneously switches are closed permitting actuation of crossmember 24. At a predetermined distance of the panels 2 from rollers 17 (set by adjustment of subframe 36) the pneumatic cylinder is actuated by closing the right-hand microswitch 32 and crossmember 24 moves vertically downwards, whereupon the end cross partition, of stack 18, adjacent plate 28, is forced downwardly to enter rollers 17 as shown in FIG. 2. The cross partition is then driven downwardly by rollers 17 to engage the longitudinal panels 3 so that the slots 4 and 6 of the panels are interconnected.

As soon as the crossmember 24 has returned to its upper position, a following cross panel 3 is brought against plate 28 by suction through holes 29, and by action of conveyor 19 and weight 21. As the second and third microswitches 32 are actuated two further cross partitions are engaged upon the longitudinal partitions in the same manner as the first.

The completed partition thus emerges from the left-hand side of the apparatus. It should be noted that if the operator neglects to place the required number of longitudinal panels between the rails, actuation of crossmember 241 will be precluded since the switches 10 will not be actuated. Thus consequent wastage of panels is avoided. Partitions composed of any desired number of longitudinal and cross panels can be assembled by suitable modification of the apparatus.

Because the crossmember 24 has only to move a sufficient distance to insert a cross panel 3 between the nip of rollers 17, and this distance may be constant regardless of the height of the partition to be assembled, the pneumatic cylinder 27 need only be of short stroke and very rapid operation can therefore be achieved. There is no difficulty in rotating rollers 27 sufficiently rapidly to ensure proper engagement of panels of some height. Further, the momentum imparted by the rollers 17 to the cross panels is such that it is possible in some cases to dispense with preformed slots on either the cross or longitudinal panels, particularly if cardboard panels are employed. Relatively neat slots are, in this case, torn in the panels as they are forced together.

It will be appreciated that modifications may be made to the above-described apparatus. Particularly, devices other than the rollers 17 may be utilized to provide the necessary continuously moving surface or surfaces. For example, a pair of endless belts may be used for this purpose. The belts may be arranged so that each runs about a pair of end rollers, the end rollers of each pair being arranged so that each belt has a generally downwardly moving run, these runs facing each other. Thus when panels are placed between the belts they are engaged on opposite sides by these downwardly moving belt runs and driven downwards.

The facing runs of the belt may be arranged so that the gap between them is of greater width at the uppermost part or, by placing an intermediate roller between each pair of end rollers the gap may be made to have a central portion of reduced width.

It will also be understood that, although it is preferred that there be a pair of continuously moving surfaces, this is not es sential, and in some cases one surface may be dispersed with or replaced by a fixed surface. Thus, one of the rollers 17 could for example, be omitted or replaced with guide members in the form of a vertical plate.

These and many other modifications may be made to the above-described apparatus within the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

I. An apparatus for assemblies intersecting panel structures, comprising an assembly station and means for sequentially moving longitudinal panels past said assembly station, said assembly station including drive means for moving cross panels into engagement with a longitudinal panel as it passes the as sembly station, said drive means including at least one drive member having a drive surface continuously movable on an endless path and disposed for driving engagement with a side surface of one of said cross panels for positively driving said cross panel into engagement with said longitudinal panel.

2. An apparatus according to claim I, wherein said drive means includes a pair of opposed drive surfaces continuously movable on an endless path and disposed for driving engagement with the opposed side surfaces of one of said cross panels for positively driving said cross panel into engagement with said longitudinal panel.

3. An apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said drive means includes a pair of rotatable drive rollers having said continuously movable drive surfaces formed on the external periphery thereof, said pair of drive rollers extending transversely of the direction of movement of said longitudinal panels.

43. An apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said drive rollers are substantially parallel and spaced a small distance apart to define a small nip therebetween through which said cross panel is drivably moved, said rollers being rotatably driven in opposite rotational directions for causing one of said cross panels to be linearly moved into engagement with said longitudinal panel.

5. An apparatus according to claim 4, wherein said drive means further includes feed means for alternately and sequentially feeding cross panels into the space between said rotating drive rollers, said feed means being spaced on the opposite side of said drive rollers from the path of movement of said longitudinal panels, and said feed means including a reciprocal drive member and means for reciprocating said drive member in a plane which passes through the nip of said drive rollers.

6 An apparatus according to claim 5, wherein said assex iibly station further includes means for sequentially advancing cross panels toward a position whereby the frontrnost cross panel is engaged by said reciprocal member, said means for sequentially advancing cross panels including an apertured plate positioned adjacent and substantially parallel to the plane of movement of said reciprocal member, and means for creating a reduced air pressure in the region adjacent the side of said apertured plate opposite the reciprocal member for assisting in causing the frontmost cross panel to be moved into engagement with said apertured plate, whereby said frontmost panel is thus positioned for engagement by said reciprocal member.

7. An apparatus according to claim 6 wherein said means for sequentially advancing cross panels toward said apertured plate comprises a supply conveyor adaptedto provide a lower support for said stack of cross panels, means for driving said supply conveyor in a direction to urge the lower portion of said stack toward said apertured plate, and weight means for urging the uppermost portion of said stack toward said apertured plate.

8. An apparatus according to claim 5, wherein said reciprocal member has a maximum reciprocal stroke which is substantially less than the height of the cross panels.

9. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said means for sequentially moving longitudinal panels comprises a conveyor arranged below said assembly station, and said assembly station causing said cross panels to be moved in a direction substantially perpendicular to the direction of movement of said conveyor.

* t i I i

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2754731 *Aug 24, 1950Jul 17, 1956S & S Corrugated Paper MachPartition assembly machine
US2767625 *Aug 6, 1951Oct 23, 1956Standard Brands IncApparatus for universal assembling of partition strips
US3152701 *Jan 3, 1961Oct 13, 1964Telefunken AgTransport arrangement
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3712183 *Jun 17, 1971Jan 23, 1973Owens Illinois IncNotch sensing control system for a partition assembly machine
US3777630 *Dec 9, 1971Dec 11, 1973Roda Sa FlliPanel inserting apparatus for beehive partition assembly
US3799043 *Aug 23, 1971Mar 26, 1974Syst Eng CoMachine for and method of automatically making partition assemblies from precut partition strips
US3818812 *Mar 23, 1972Jun 25, 1974Owens Illinois IncTwo-cell-type carton fillers
US4019427 *Dec 1, 1975Apr 26, 1977Continental Can Company, Inc.Partition assembler
US4184621 *Mar 24, 1978Jan 22, 1980Epes Archie CBuilding press
US4235159 *Oct 23, 1978Nov 25, 1980Wayne Automation CorporationMachine for manufacture of high strength shipping cartons
US5460477 *Aug 10, 1994Oct 24, 1995Pirelli Trasmissioni Industriali S.P.A.Process and apparatus for handling driving belts in an automated manner
US7226271May 24, 2004Jun 5, 2007Honda Motor Co., Ltd.Apparatus and method for feeding plates
US7624557 *May 2, 2006Dec 1, 2009Box Partition Technologies, Inc.Assembling machine with continuous periodic assembly motion
US7874056Sep 2, 2008Jan 25, 2011Box Partition Technologies, Inc.Method of controlling delivery of components to an assembler
Classifications
U.S. Classification493/391, 221/268, 414/798.9
International ClassificationB31B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationB31D5/0013, B31B2217/105, B31B11/00
European ClassificationB31D5/00A2, B31B11/00