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Publication numberUS3662874 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 16, 1972
Filing dateOct 12, 1970
Priority dateOct 12, 1970
Also published asCA943984A1, DE2151439A1, DE2151439C2
Publication numberUS 3662874 A, US 3662874A, US-A-3662874, US3662874 A, US3662874A
InventorsMuller Donald C
Original AssigneeButz Engineering Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Parcel sorting conveyor system
US 3662874 A
Abstract
An endless parcel sorting conveyor system embodying a plurality of contiguous parcel receiving receptacles movable through a predetermined orbit. Deflecting means associated with each of said parcel receiving receptacles including track elements. Said deflecting means is activatable upon command to tilt said receptacles from a normal parcel receiving position to the right or left of the line of travel in said orbit discharging by gravity parcels thereon at predetermined positions. The parcel sorting conveyor system also includes reset deflector means selectively positioned therealong adapted to return said parcel receiving receptacles to said normal parcel receiving position.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [15] 3,662,874 1 May 16, 1972 Muller [54] PARCEL SORTING CONVEYOR SYSTEM [72] Inventor: Donald C. Muller, Whittier, Calif. [73] Assignee: Butz Engineering Corporation, Azusa,

Calif.

[22] Filed: Oct. 12,1970 [21 Appl. No: 79,928

[52] U.S.Cl ..198/l55,l98/38 [51] Int.Cl ..B65gl7/18 [58] FieldoiSearch ..l98/38,l55;214/llR,llAST [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,231,066 1/1966 Harrison ..198/l55 3,167,192 l/l965 Harrison ..198/l55X Primary Examiner-Edward A. Sroka Attorney-Huebner & Worrel [5 7] ABSTRACT An endless parcel sorting conveyor system embodying a plurality of contiguous parcel receiving receptacles movable through a predetermined orbit. Deflecting means associated with each of said parcel receiving receptacles including track elements. Said deflecting means is activatable upon command to tilt said receptacles from a normal parcel receiving position to the right or left of the line of travel in said orbit discharging by gravity parcels thereon at predetermined positions. The parcel sorting conveyor system also includes reset deflector means selectively positioned therealong adapted to return said parcel receiving receptacles to said normal parcel receiving position.

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HHU "HM (WU GU 1 PARCEL SORT'ING CONVEYOR SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Heretofore in conveyor and sorting systems, certain mechanical features, by way of physical deflecting barriers have been utilized in the path of travel of the conveyor to discharge parcels or items traveling along the conveyor system. Also, other systems require the use of human labor to physically remove parcels at designated areas which is cumbersome and expensive.

Also, when using barriers to deflect even if mechanically activatable it requires relatively short conveyor systems where the barriers are clearly visable to an operator, or if longer conveyors are utilized, additional personnel are required in the area of the barrier to assure proper actuation as to timing and placement.

Some of the prior art has utilized a belt type of conveyor which can increase the problem of appropriate discharge at the place desired of the parcels spaced therealong because of bunching and lack of pre-sorting into designated groups.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the object of this invention to provide a plurality of contiguous receptacles wherein parcels may be pre-sorted and placed thereon and selectively discharged by gravity normal to the line of travel of the parcel sorting conveyor system. This invention is particularly helpful in the sorting of mail, parcels and other items where a relatively large and continuous volume is encountered.

With this invention it is only necessary that there be a console at one end of the conveyor system whereby a person may,

by any appropriate control means, activate deflector means embodied in this invention whereby the individual receptacles may be tilted to the right or left of the line of travel and gravity will cause parcels thereon to exit from the conveyor to a subconveyor, platform or other further sorting device.

Each of the contiguous parcel receiving receptacle means of this invention is separate and tiltable to the right or left of the line of travel or remain horizontal upon command. The conveyor system would generally be referred to as an endless conveyor means which carries parcels in the receptacles along the top of the conveyor to a desired location where the receptacles are tilted and emptied then reset to a parcel receiving position and pass around the ends of the conveyor means below the top receptacles and then back around the other end ready for loading and discharge in the upper or top position.

These and other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top elevational, environmental view of several parcel sorting conveyor systems embodying the features of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1 illustrating the head end of a parcel sorting conveyor means;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional, partially in phantom view taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

F IG. 4 is a cross sectional view, partially in phantom, taken on line 44 ofFIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of a part of the rail guide assembly of the deflector means and reset deflector means taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 4 illustrating one of the contiguous receptacles and its associated receptacle carriage unit;

FIG. 7 is an exploded top elevational view partly in section, taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6 illustrating additional details of a receptacle carriage unit;

FIG. 8 is a view of the receptacle and receptacle carriage unit, partially in phantom, together with a portion of the guide track assembly deflector means and reset deflector means taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 illustrating deflector means which may be employed to cause tilting of the receptacle in a left direction to the line of travel;

FIG. 10 is a slightly enlarged detailed view of a stabilizing guide roller of the receptacle carriage unit taken on line 10- 10 of FIG. 6;

FIGS. 11 through 19 illustrate various combinations of the guide track assembly, deflector means and reset deflector means which are utilized to cause tilting and righting of the receptacles;

FIG. 20 is a detailed side elevational view of a left deflector means interposed in the guide track assembly;

FIG. 21 is a sectional view taken on line 21-21 of FIG. 20;

FIG. 21a is a sectional view taken on line 21a-21a of FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 is a side elevational view of a left reset deflector means;

FIG. 23 is a view similar to FIG. 22 but partially in section showing the left reset deflector means in a different position;

FIG. 24 is a top elevational view of the left reset deflector means taken on line 24-24 of FIG. 22;

FIG. 25 is a vertical sectional view taken on line 25-25 of FIG. 22;

FIG. 26 is en enlarged detailed sectional view taken on line 26-26 of FIG. 25;

FIG. 27 is a side elevational view of a right deflector means interposed in the guide track assembly;

FIG. 28 is a detailed sectional view taken on line 28-28 of FIG. 27;

FIG. 28a is a sectional view taken on line 28a-28a of FIG. 27;

FIG. 29 is a side elevational view of a right reset deflector means;

FIG. 30 is a view similar to FIG. 29 but partially in section, illustrating the right reset deflector means in a different position;

FIG. 31 is a top elevational view of the right reset deflector means taken on line 31-31 of FIG. 29;

FIG. 32 is a vertical sectional view of a portion of the right reset deflector means taken on line 32-32 of FIG. 29;

FIG. 33 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 33-33 of FIG. 32;

FIG. 34 is a side elevational view taken on line 34-34 of FIG. 1, illustrating the tail end of the parcel sorting conveyor means opposite the head end illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 35 is a view taken on line 35-35 of FIG. 34 illustrating a plurality of contiguous receptacles;

FIG. 36 is an elevational view, partly in section, showing the drive mechanism of the conveyor means taken along line 36- 36 of FIG. 34; and

FIG. 37 is a sectional view taken along lines 37-37 of FIG. 34 illustrating further details of the conveyor means drive mechanism.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 is an environmental view of several parcel sorting conveyor means or systems generally designated 50. As can be seen there are three such parcel sorting conveyor systems 50 which are independent and for purposes of illustration, parallel one with the other. The particular system 50 is adaptable for use in Post Offices and in factories or businesses wherein it is desired to convey parcels, packages, parts, etc., along a conveyor system in relatively large volume and to sort them by depositing or deflecting the parcels, packages, parts, etc., from the conveyor system 50 during transit.

The parcel sorting conveyor system 50 move in the direction of the arrow, that is, from left to right, when viewing FIG. 1. In the preferred embodiment a loading platform generally designated 52 is built around the head end generally designated 54 of the parcel sorting conveyor system 50. Packages or parcels are preferably pre-sorted, loaded on the parcel sorting conveyor means 50 from the loading platform

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3167192 *Jan 10, 1961Jan 26, 1965Prospect Mfg Co IncAutomatic sortation system
US3231066 *May 6, 1964Jan 25, 1966Prospect Mfg Co IncTilting conveyor apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3881609 *May 28, 1974May 6, 1975Bainbridge CecilTiltable tray sorting system with adjustable drive means
US4004681 *Apr 5, 1976Jan 25, 1977American Chain & Cable Company, Inc.Tilting tray sorting system
US4793462 *May 11, 1987Dec 27, 1988Mcfall Robert MMaterial loading apparatus
US4846335 *Oct 13, 1987Jul 11, 1989Dominion Chain Inc.Use in transporting cargo
US4989719 *May 8, 1989Feb 5, 1991Sitma S.P.A.Composite conveyor apparatus equipped with laterally tiltable plate elements
US5101982 *Dec 21, 1987Apr 7, 1992Decco Roda S.P.A.Conveying and off-loading apparatus for machines for the automatic selection of agricultural products such as fruit
US5280838 *Jul 27, 1992Jan 25, 1994Philippe BlancApparatus for conveying and sorting produce
US5335767 *Oct 29, 1992Aug 9, 1994Muller Martini Versand Systeme AgArrangement for the sorting of piece goods
US5353912 *Jan 28, 1993Oct 11, 1994Grapha-Holding AgArrangement for the sorting of piece goods
US5653324 *Jun 7, 1995Aug 5, 1997Tesco Engineering, Inc.Article handling apparatus
US5664660 *Aug 3, 1994Sep 9, 1997Kosan Crisplant A/SSorter conveyor
US5775475 *Mar 25, 1996Jul 7, 1998Xeda InternationalDevice for transporting products, such as fruit and vegetables in a station for sorting them
US6082827 *Oct 18, 1999Jul 4, 2000Mcfall; Robert M.Multidirectional dumping apparatus for a conveying system
US6193074Nov 4, 1998Feb 27, 2001Mannesmann AgConveyor for the sorting of mixed cargo
US6231293Dec 9, 1997May 15, 2001Mannesmann AktiengesellschaftTipping device for emptying containers for piece goods
US6246023Feb 22, 1999Jun 12, 2001Siemens Electrocom, L.P.Segmented tilt tray sorter
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US6502687 *Dec 8, 1998Jan 7, 2003Mannesman AgSeparating conveyor for the transfer of unit loads
US6527035May 30, 2001Mar 4, 2003Overhead Door CorporationGuide track assemblies and mounting brackets for upward acting doors
US6554047 *Jul 6, 2000Apr 29, 2003Overhead Door CorporationGuide track assemblies and mounting brackets for upward acting doors
US6745814Nov 4, 2002Jun 8, 2004Overhead Door CorporationGuide track assemblies and mounting brackets for upward acting doors
US8113334Apr 28, 2005Feb 14, 2012Span Tech LlcMatrix sorter system
US8381897 *May 13, 2009Feb 26, 2013Beumer Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co.Sorting system having a vertical sorter
US20110127140 *May 13, 2009Jun 2, 2011Hermann BrunsenSorting system having a vertical sorter
DE3050102C2 *Nov 17, 1980Feb 23, 1989Daverio AgVerteilf¦rderer f}r St}ckgut
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EP2500299A1 *Mar 16, 2011Sep 19, 2012ELSAG DATAMAT S.p.A.Tilting-tray sorting machine
WO1981001999A1 *Nov 17, 1980Jul 23, 1981Schaffner W BollierDevice for handling parcels
WO1999044926A1 *Mar 1, 1999Sep 10, 1999Mantissa CorpCascade free tilting mechanism
WO2000032502A1Dec 1, 1999Jun 8, 2000Henrik AndersenA conveyor/sorter system, a loading conveyor and a control system for such conveyors
WO2000048739A1Feb 22, 2000Aug 24, 2000Siemens Electrocom LpSegmented conveyor sorter
Classifications
U.S. Classification198/370.4, 198/802
International ClassificationB65G47/74, B65G47/96
Cooperative ClassificationB65G47/962
European ClassificationB65G47/96A