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Publication numberUS3635325 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 18, 1972
Filing dateNov 24, 1969
Priority dateNov 24, 1969
Publication numberUS 3635325 A, US 3635325A, US-A-3635325, US3635325 A, US3635325A
InventorsSterling Walter S
Original AssigneePneumatic Scale Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Closure-handling apparatus
US 3635325 A
Abstract
The closure-handling apparatus is arranged to effect orientation of relatively large tapered closures heavier at the smaller closed end by providing moving pockets shaped to conform to the shape of the closures and into which a majority of the closures fall by gravity to assume an oriented position, provision being made for manipulating incorrectly positioned closures carried by the moving pockets into an oriented position in the pockets.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Sterling [451 Jan. 18,1972

[54] CLOSURE-HANDLING APPARATUS [72] Inventor: Walter S. Sterling, Quincy, Mass.

[73] Assignee: Pneumatic Scale Corporation, Quincy,

Mass.

[22] Filed: Nov. 24, 1969 [21] Appl. No.: 879,334

[52] US. Cl ..l98/33 [51] Int. Cl ..B65g 47/24 [58] Field of Search 198/33 AA;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,0l2,65l 12/1961 Hawkes ..l98/33AA Tricinci 198/33 AA Ricard ..22l/l73 Primary Examiner-Edward A. Sroka Attorney-Robert R. Churchill [57] ABSTRACT The closure-handling apparatus is arranged to effect orientation of relatively large tapered closures heavier at the smaller closed end by providing moving pockets shaped to conform to the shape of the closures and into which a majority of the closures fall by gravity to assume an oriented position, provision being made for manipulating incorrectly positioned closures carried by the moving pockets into an oriented position in the pockets.

in Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTED JAN 1 8 I972 SHEE! 1 0F 6 nvvs/vron Wa/fer S. S/er/I'ng BY (in (bod! ATTORNEY Pmmamm emz 31635325 SHEET 2 BF 6 INVENTOR' Wa/fer 5. Sfer/ing By fa -MQZ'M M ATTORNEY Q PATENTED JAN] 81972 manure Wq/fer S. S/erl/ng M1 6% QM INVENTOR ATTORNEY PATEN IEB JAN 1 8 m2 aim-s or 6 A ll ATTORNEY CLOSURE-HANDLING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1 Field of the Invention.

The present invention relates to closuie-handling and orienting apparatus adapted to receive a supply of randomly arranged closures and to orient the same prior to depositing theoriented closures into a delivery chute from which the closures arewithdrawn for application to containers.

2. Description of the Prior Art Prior closure handling apparatus of the same general type is exemplified in US. Pat. No 2,715,978 issued toWalter 8. Sterling and assigned to the present assignee. Such'priorapparatus takes the form of an inclined rotary disk onto which randomly or haphazardly arranged closures are .deposited from a bulk supply thereof. In operation, the closures carried up the rotary inclined disk areguided to be received between the beveled edge of a relatively small disk rotated in a'substantially horizontal plane and a cooperating rail. Those closures which assume an oriented position between the bevelededge of the disk and therail are enabled to maintain a position of equilibrium between the rail and the disk and are deposited into a chute for delivery to a closure applyingmachine. Those closures which assume a position other than an oriented position between the disk and the rail are overbalanced to fall onto the lower end of the inclined rotary disk to be again carried up and guided between the horizontal disk and the rail.

In such prior apparatus, the closures are arranged to be oriented in a natural or inherent position of equilibrium which may vary with different sizes and shapes of closures, and which may also vary in their distribution of weight, that is, one end may be heavier than the other, for example. In practice, the disk and rail device of the prior art effects removal from a group of randomly arranged closures only those closures which inherently assume an oriented position, those closures assuming a position other than a desired position of orientation being rejected to be returned to the lower end of the the inclined disk where they join with and are jostled by other closures to change their positions and to be again carried up the incline untilthey assume a desired position of orientation. In operation, it has been found that a great majority of thezclosures tend to assume a natural and substantially uniform position of rest or equilibrium in the desired position of orientation so that the efficiency of the apparatus is surprisingly high.

However, relatively large closures of different'shapes .and

weights cannot be conveniently handleon the prior disk and rail type of apparatus in its present form.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present inventioncontemplates container handlingrapparatusparticularly adapted for handling and orientingrelatively large tapered closures which are heavier attheir narrower closed ends that at their open ends and whichcannot'be efficiently handled in the disk and rail typeof orienting or sorting mechanism because of their larger size and because they do not assume an at-rest position suited to handling" in this manner. In practice, the majority of therelatively large tapered closures whichthe prescntapparatus is adapted to handled tend to assume an at-rest position lying on their sides so that they tend to roll on the inclined rotary disk. In accordance with the present invention, the apparatus provides a series ofspaced, radially arranged pocketsadjacent the marginal edge or periphery of the inclined rotary disk into which the closures will roll and be carried upwardly with the disk. In operation, when the taperedclosure in the path of a pocket at the lower end of the inclined disk'rests withits smaller. and heavier closed end facing facing outwardly it-will be properly seated in the pocket in an oriented position to be guided into a chute at the upper end of the disk. Those closures which rest in a position other than an orientedziposition and whichare picked up by'a pocket are arrangedto be changed in position 'to assume an oriented position in the pocket during the movement of the closure on the inclined disk.

Accordingly, the present invention has for an object to provide novel and improved closure handling apparatus particularly adapted for handling relatively large tapered closures hereinafter appear, the invention consists in the closure-handling apparatus ashereinafter described and particularly defined in the claims at the end of this specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings illustrating the preferred embodiment of the invention:

FIG. I is a plan view of closure handling'apparatus embodying the present invention;

FIG..2 is a cross-sectional view taken on'the line-2 of Fig.

FIG. 3 is a plan view detail of the pockets showing the first manipulating bar;

FIG. 4 is a detail view in side elevation'of a manipulating bar as seen from the line 4-4 of Fig. 3; Y I

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional detail view taken on the line 55 of FIG. 3 showing a closure in an oriented position in its pocket;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but showing a closure standing upright in the pocket with the closed end down;

FIG.7 is a cross-sectional view taken 'on the line 77 of Fig. 1 showing one of the manipulating bars arranged to separate nested closures in a pocket;

FIG; 8 is a detail view in side elevation as seen from the line 8-8 of FIG. 1 showing a bar for dislodging a reversely positioned jammed closure and an air jet for removing the same from its pocket;

FIG. -9-is a cross-sectional view of the condition shown in FIG. 8 with the section taken on the line 9-'9 of FIG. ,1;

FIG. 10-is a side elevation partly in cross section as seen from the line 10-40 ofFIG. 1;

FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of the chute showing a closure in its pocket at the entrance to the chute;

FIG. 12 is a similar view taken on the line l2l2 of FIG. 1 showing the closure removed from its pocket and engaged with the upper surface of the carrier:

FIG. 13 is a view similar to FIG. 12 but showing the closure lifted off the carrier and onto the bottom plate of the chute; and

FIG. -I4 is a side elevation of the chute partly in cross section, as seen from the line 14-14 of FIG. 1, showing a portion of a manifold having a plurality of spaced air jets disposed beneath the chute.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, the closure handling machine therein shown comprises, in general, a hopper 10 in which a bulk supply of closures may be stored, and a rotary carrier indicated generally at 12 arrangedv at an inclined plane and which is adapted to carry upwardly closures 14 deposited by the hopper at the lower end of the carrier. Those closure assuming a desired position or orientation in their pockets are deposited into the open end of a chute l6 disposed at the upper end of the carrier. As herein shown, the rotary carrier 12 is provided with a plurality of closely spaced and radially arranged pockets 18 adjacent the marginal edge thereof, each pocket being shaped to receive and retain a closure and to carry the closure upwardly as described.

The particular closurel4 which the present apparatus is adapted to handle comprises a relatively large tapered closure open'at its largerend and closed at its narrower end, the

closed end being heavier than the open end. The closed end is also rounded so as to render it difficult to stand upright, particularly on an inclined plane. In practice, each pocket 18 is shaped in cross section to conform substantially to the shape of a closure disposed on its side and with its narrower and heavier end directed radially outwardly and downwardly, the open end facing inwardly and upwardly as illustrated in FIG. 3.

The rotary carrier 12 includes an annular member 20 in which the pockets 18 are fonned and which is secured to a flange 22 keyed to a sleeve 24 rotatably mounted in a bearing 26 formed in a supporting disk 28. The disk 28 is attached to a bracket 30, the latter being secured to the upper end of a shaft 32 which in turn may be adjustably supported in a clamp 34 fonned in a supporting column 36. The sleeve 24 is formed integrally with a worm wheel 38 arranged to mesh with a worm wheel gear40 fast on a shaft 42 joumaled in a gear box 44 secured to the underside of the supporting disk 28. The shaft 42 is connected by a belt and pulley drive 46 to a variable speed motor unit 48 adjustably secured to a depending portion 50 of the bracket 30. The gear box 44 is provided with a hub 52 arranged to support a central stationary shaft 54 extending upwardly through the sleeve 24.

As shown in FIG. 2, the upper end of the stationary shaft 54 is arranged to support a bracket 56 forming part of the conventional sorting or orienting unit. In the present apparatus, the sorting unit is removed and a cover member 58 is fitted over the stationary bracket 56 as shown. An annular cover plate 60, also secured to the stationary unit, is provided, the outside diameter of which extends into closely spaced relation with the inside diameter of the annular member 20 of the carrier. The supporting disk 28 is provided with an upstanding retaining band 68 surrounding and extending above the upper surface of the carrier 12 for confining the closures on the carrrer.

The illustrated supply hopper is supported adjacent the lower end of the carrier 12 and is provided with an opening through which the closures may flow by gravity onto the carrier. Any type of hopper containing a bulk supply of randomly arranged closures may be employed including those wherein provision is made for controlling the release of closures onto the carrier such as is illustrated and described in the US. Pat. to Walter S. Sterling, Nos. 3,079,042; 3,164,291 and 3,164,292.

In operation, the majority of the herein described closures l4 deposited on the lower end of the inclined carrier 12 lie or fall on their side and as the continuously moving carrier 12 carries the closures along therewith the closures tend to roll or gravitate into the radially arranged pockets 18. The preferred position of orientation comprises the position shown in FIG. 5 wherein the narrower and heavier end of the closure 14 seats itself against the angular end wall 70 of the pocket and the side of the closure rests against the upwardly sloped bottom wall 72 thereof with the wider or open end of the closure facing toward the center of the disk. Since the closure is tapered with the closed end smaller in diameter than the open end, the pocket 18 is likewise tapered to conform to that portion of the oriented closure received in the pocket. Thus, if the closure is improperly carried by the pocket, it will extend above the height of an oriented closure. For example, if the closure is carried in a radial position but with the closed end facing the center of the disk, the wider diameter of the closure rests on the narrower portion of the pocket to elevate the closure above the level assumed by an oriented closure. Likewise, if a closure is standing on end in the pocket, it also will extend upwardly far above a point assumed by an oriented closure.

In accordance with a feature of the present invention, when a closure falls into a pocket 18 in a position other than the desired position of orientation, as shown in FIG. 5, provision is made for turning or otherwise manipulating such closure to cause it to assume an oriented position or to reject the closure. In the illustrated embodiment of the invention a plurality of stationary and angularly extended manipulating bars are provided for engaging those closures improperly positioned in the pockets as herein shown, the manipulating bars extend from and are attached to the retaining band 68 and include bars 80, 82, 84, 86 and 88. In practice, a closure which is properly seated in an oriented position in its pocket will not be engaged by any of the manipulating bars since the highest portion thereof will be below the lower edge of such bars as illustrated in FIG. 5. A closure which stands upright in its pocket, as illustrated in FIG. 6, extends above the lower edge of the first bar 80. Thus, in operation, a closure in such upright position with its closed and heavier end down will be engaged by the bar and caused to lie down on its side with the open end facing toward the center of the disk or carrier 12, the closure thus assuming an oriented position. In some instances the closure may require a second turning operation to cause it to assume an oriented position which may be accomplished by the second bar 82. Also a closure may be carried past the bar 80 and then roll into a pocket to be turned into and oriented position by one or more of the succeeding bars. The bar 80 is made of considerable height to prevent a closure carried one on top of the other from rolling over and entering behind the bar. A closure standing upright in the pocket with its open and wider end facing down may also be oriented by engagement with one or more bars during the advance of the closures on the carrier, or if such closure fails to be oriented it will be rejected to roll back and join the group at the lower end of the carrier to be recirculated. In other words, it is possible that any of the closures carried by the pockets in other than an oriented position may be changed in position by engagement with one or more of the manipulating bars until the closure assumes a position with its heavier end directed downwardly and outwardly whereupon it will slide into a seated position in the pocket. It will be understood that those closures failing to be oriented will be returned to the group at the lower end of the inclined carrier to be again carried upwardly and deposited into a pocket as described.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, the third bar 84 is designed to urge outwardly a closure which may be nested within an oriented closure. The fourth bar 86 is designed for the same purpose, that is, to effect complete separation of the nested closure from the oriented closure in the event that the same was not completely separated by the bar 84.

Another position which a closure may assume in the pocket includes a backwards position, that is, a radial position with the wider end facing outwardly. Ordinarily, a closure in such position may be manipulated by the bars to orient or reject the same. However, it sometimes happens that a flexible closure may be jammed into the narrow end of the pocket. Provision is made for dislodging and rejecting such closure when this occurs, and as herein shown, the fifth bar 88 comprises a deflector positioned to engage and force a closure out of itsjammed position in the pocket. Immediately thereafter a continuously operated air jet 74 directs a stream of air into the open end of the closure to blow it out of its pocket. It will be understood that the stream of air from The jet 74 is directed above a point which would affect a properly positioned or oriented closure.

These closures which are rejected at the upper half of the carrier 12 are retained by radially arranged flights 90 carried adjacent the inner marginal edge of the annular member 20 of the carrier and which release the closures by gravity as they rotate toward the lower half of the carrier. Such control of the release of the rejected closures serves to distribute the rejects into an area preceding the flow from the feed hopper so as to afford smooth operation.

The on'ented closures which arrive at the upper end on the inclined carrier are transferred from their pockets 18 into the mouth or open end 92 of the chute 16. Immediately prior to entering the chute, a second air jet 76 is arranged to blow into the open ends of successive oriented closures to assure that they are fully seated in their pockets. This is necessary to position the open end of a closure so that it will not become obstructed by the inner rail 94 of the chute as the closure is advanced into the chute. As herein illustrated, the chute is supported on a plate l04'attached to the underlying frame members 28, 30, the plate forming the bottom wall of the chute. The opposing rail 96 is curved at the entrance to the chute to conform to the curvature of the carrier, and immediately departs from such curvature to follow a substantially straight path 102 directed angularly across a portion of the face of the carrier. During the transition from a curved to a straight path the rail 96 in immediately departs engagement with the closed end of the closure will have a camming effect to urge the closure radially inwardly and upwardly out of the pocket onto the upper surface of the carrier. A third air jet 78 is disposed to assist advance of the closure along the chute at a point where the closure leaves its pocket and is required to ride up a small rise from the upper level of the carrier to the upper level of the bottom wall 98 of the chute. A top rail 108 is also provided to prevent upward displacement of the closures, 'a' portion of the top rail being mounted to rock into and out of operative position as shown in FIG. 12. The chute is shaped, at an intermediate portion 100 thereof, to effect turning of the closures through 90 so as to present the closures in an upright position. After the turning operation, the chute is shaped to follow a circular path concentric with the carrier, as indicated at 106, 106, which terminates at a point substantially in line with the center line of the carrier, where it is curved through 90 to follow a radial direction to a point of withdrawal not shown. In practice, air jets may be used in any portion of the chute where necessary to facilitate passage of closures therethrough. As illustrated in FIG. 14, a manifold 232 connected to a source of compressed air extends along the underside of the chute and is provided with a plurality of spaced air jets 23 directed to advance the closures through the chute.

From the above description it will be seen that the present apparatus is adapted to handle relatively large, slightly tapered closures heavier at their closed and narrower ends in a manner such as to accept the closures in a desired position of orientation or to manipulate the closures into an oriented position. In operation, a majority of the randomly arranged closures deposited into the apparatus will be caused 'to assume an oriented position and will be deposited into the mouth of the supply chute. The present apparatus is adapted to handle closures measuring about 2%inches high and about 2%inches in diameter at the open end. In practice, it was found that about 80 percent of the closures delivered to the machine were presented in or manipulated into an oriented position, those closures rejected being returned to the group to be again carried upwardly on the carrier and engaged by a pocket.

As above described, the present apparatuscomprises an adaptation of and improvement on the closure-handling apparatus illustrated and described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,715,978. In practice, the present apparatus may also be used for the smaller size conventional closures by replacing the carrier 12 with a conventional carrier and by adding the orienting or sorting unit to the bracket 56 so that the same machine may be adapted for both types of closures by interchangeably replacing the parts required for each type of closure.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is;

l. Closure-handling apparatus adapted to handle slightly tapered closures open at their larger ends and wherein the closed end is heavier than the open end comprising, in combination, a rotary carrier mounted to rotate in an inclined plane, means for depositing randomly arranged closures into the lower end of said carrier, said carrier having radially arranged pockets directed angularly downwardly and outwardly with respect to the face of the carrier, said pockets shaped to receive the closures with the smaller and heavier end bearing against the outer end of the pocket, a chute having an entrance opening at the upper end of said carrier adapted to receive the oriented closures, those closures carried by a pocket and assuming a position other than an oriented position having portions thereof extending above a position assumed by an oriented closure, and means extended into the path of the unoriented closures arranged to engage and turn the latter to a position such that the heavier end will fall by gravity against the outer end of the angularly arranged pockets in an oriented position.

2. Closure-handling apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein the engaging means comprises at least one stationary bar extended into the path of a closure carried by a pocket in other than an oriented position.

3. Closure-handling apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the engaging means includes a plurality of stationary bars extended angularly in the path of a closure carried by a pocket in other than an oriented position, and wherein at least one of said bars is adapted to engage and remove a closure nested in an oriented closure.

4. Closure-handling apparatus adapted to handle slightly tapered closures open at their larger ends, and wherein the closed end is heavier that the open end, comprising, in combination, a rotary carrier mounted to rotate in an inclined plane, means for depositing randomly arranged closures to the lower end of said carrier, said carrier having radially arranged pockets formed therein shaped to receive said closures, a chute having an entrance opening at the upper end of said carrier adapted to receive those closures assuming a desired position of orientation in said pockets, means for manipulating those closures received in the pockets in other than a desired position of orientation to cause them to assume an oriented position, said manipulating means comprising a plurality of stationary bars extended angularly in the path of a closure carried by a pocket in other than an oriented position, said bars causing each closure to change its position 'in its pocket, and means for urging the oriented closures radially inwardly and upwardly out of their pockets while guided in said chute.

5 Closure-handling apparatus comprising, in combination, a rotary carrier mounted to rotate in an inclined plane, means for delivering closures to the lower end of said carrier, said carrier having pockets formed therein to receive said closures, a chute having an entrance opening at the upper end of said carrier adapted to receive those closures assuming a desired position of orientation in said pockets, and means for manipulating those closures received in the pockets in other than a desired position of orientation to cause them to assume an oriented position, and a deflector for dislodging a closure jammed in a pocket.

6. Closure-handling apparatus comprising, in combination, a rotary carrier mounted to rotate in an inclined plane, means for delivering closures to the lower end of said carrier, said carrier having pockets formed therein to receive said closures, a chute having an entrance opening at the upper end of said carrier adapted to receive those closures assuming a desired position of orientation in said pockets, and means for manipulating those closures received in the pockets in other than a desired position of orientation to cause them to assume an oriented position, a deflector for dislodging a closure jammed in a pocket, and an air jet directed radially inwardly for removing such closure from the pocket.

7. Closure-handling apparatus comprising, in combination, a rotary carrier mounted to rotate in arr-inclined plane, means for delivering closures to the lower end of said carrier, said carrier having pockets formed therein to receive said closures, a chute having an entrance opening at the upper end of said carrier adapted to receive those closures assuming a desired position of orientation in said pockets, and means for manipulating those closures received in the pockets in other than a desired position or orientation to cause them to assume an oriented position, and an air jet directing a stream of air radially outwardly to assure that an oriented closure is fully seated in its pocket prior to entering said chute 8. Closure-handling apparatus comprising, in combination, a rotary carrier mounted to rotate in an inclined plane, means for delivering closures to the lower end of said carrier, said carrier having pockets formed therein to receive said closures, a chute having an entrance opening at the upper end of said carrier adapted to receive those closures assuming a desired position of orientation in said pockets, and means for manipulating those closures received in the pockets in other than a guided up onto said bottom plate, and an air jet directing a stream of air into said chute to facilitate passage of the closures through the chute.

10. Closure-handling apparatus as defined in claim 9 wherein a portion of said chute is shaped to turn the closure to prevent the same in an upright position in said chute.

t l t I I

Patent Citations
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US3206063 *Sep 10, 1962Sep 14, 1965Westinghouse Electric CorpArticle orienting and feeding apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3831734 *Mar 26, 1973Aug 27, 1974Hoppman CorpCentrifugal method of sorting particulate articles
US4312438 *Mar 4, 1980Jan 26, 1982Vatsvog Marlo KBullet alignment apparatus
US4379504 *Dec 15, 1980Apr 12, 1983Carle & Montanari S.P.A.Article feeding device
US4653627 *Aug 26, 1985Mar 31, 1987Can And Bottle Systems, Inc.Reverse vending machine
US4821920 *Aug 28, 1987Apr 18, 1989Hoppmann CorporationMethod and apparatus for loading articles onto feeder by elevating ramp segments
US4828100 *Mar 5, 1986May 9, 1989Hoppmann CorporationRotating ring orienting feeder
US4848559 *Jul 14, 1988Jul 18, 1989Hoppmann CorporationMethod or apparatus for elevating articles in a feeder
US4895243 *May 26, 1988Jan 23, 1990Graham S NealStarwheel cap selecting apparatus
US4995503 *Nov 1, 1989Feb 26, 1991Graham S NealStarwheel cap selecting apparatus
US5343997 *Nov 6, 1992Sep 6, 1994Henning MaerkedahlMethod and device for successively feeding of components to a mounting apparatus
US5927467 *May 5, 1997Jul 27, 1999Azionaria Costruzioni Macchine Automatiche A.C.M.A. S.P.A.Product aligner device, in particular for items fed to a manufacturing machine
US6186308Apr 21, 1999Feb 13, 2001Can & Bottle Systems, Inc.Reverse vending machine
US6547055Feb 12, 2001Apr 15, 2003Can & Bottle Systems, Inc.Reverse vending machine
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US8661959Nov 23, 2011Mar 4, 2014Richard KoskelaBullet-orienting system
US20130152771 *Apr 27, 2012Jun 20, 2013Victor Javier Coma AsensioBullet-projectile and case feeding device
EP0806382A1 *Apr 24, 1997Nov 12, 1997AZIONARIA COSTRUZIONI MACCHINE AUTOMATICHE-A.C.M.A.-S.p.A.A product aligner device, in particular for items fed to a manufacturing machine
EP2098295A1 *Feb 27, 2009Sep 9, 2009Tsubakimoto Chain Co.Cap for microtube for pharmaceutical development
WO2012152968A1 *Apr 27, 2012Nov 15, 2012Coma Asensio Victor JavierDevice for supplying projectile points and cartridge cases
Classifications
U.S. Classification198/397.5, 198/398, 198/380
International ClassificationB65G47/14, B67B3/00, B67B3/064
Cooperative ClassificationB65G47/1428, B67B3/0645
European ClassificationB65G47/14B2D, B67B3/064B