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Publication numberUS3683730 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 15, 1972
Filing dateMar 9, 1970
Priority dateMar 9, 1970
Publication numberUS 3683730 A, US 3683730A, US-A-3683730, US3683730 A, US3683730A
InventorsDriessen Gerald J
Original AssigneeSchreiber Cheese Co L D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stacking mechanism
US 3683730 A
Abstract
A method and apparatus for receiving a plurality of interconnected articles moving along a path in end-to-end relationship in a single row, severing the articles from the row and stacking the articles into a plurality of stacks. The apparatus or stacking mechanism includes a drum rotating about a fixed axis spaced from and parallel to the path with a plurality of article supports at circumferentially spaced locations on the peripheral surface of the drum.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Driessen [15] 3,683,730 Aug. 15, 1972 STACKING MECHANISM [72] Inventor: Gerald J. Driessen, Green Bay, Wis. [73] Assignee: L. D. Schreiber Cheese Co., Inc. [22] Filed: March 9, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 17,363

[52] US. Cl. ..83/27, 83/107, 83/ 152, 271/64, 271/74 [51] Int. Cl. ..B26d 7/06, B65h 29/32 [58] Field of Search ..271/64, 74, 80; 83/27, 107, 83/ 152 [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,831,245 11/1931 Hitchcock ..271/64 3,127,168 3/1964 Kramer ..271/29 3,476,241 11/1969 Ungerer ..271/64 X 3,263,993 8/ 1966 Hedborg ..271/64 Primary Examiner-Joseph Wegbreit Attorney-Dressler, Goldsmith, Clement & Gordon 57 ABSTRACT A method and apparatus for receiving a plurality of interconnected articles moving along a path in end-toend relationship in a single row, severing the articles from the row and stacking the articles into a plurality of stacks. The apparatus or stacking mechanism includes a drum rotating about a fixed axis spaced from and parallel to the path with a plurality of article supports at circumferentially spaced locations on the peripheral surface of the drum.

A first group of the article supports are fixed to the drum, a second group of the article supports are adapted to be moved to one side of the drum and a third group of the article supports are adapted to be moved to the opposite side of the drum. The transfer mechanism further includes first and second cams and biasing means which cooperate with the respective second and third groups of article supports to move the respective article supports from the central portion of the drum to the respective sides of the drum and return the articles to the central portion of the drum during each revolution of movement of the drum.

The respective articles are attached to each of the article supports by producing a vacuum within a chamber in each of the article supports as the article support is located adjacent the article in the single row. The vacuum is maintained in the chamber during a portion of the cycle of revolution of the drum and the articles are subsequently deposited in a plurality of stacks by releasing the vacuum in the chamber and applying a positive pressure to the chamber.

35 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTED 3 683 730 saw u or 4 STACKING MECHANISM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to the field of stacking articles and more particularly to a method and apparatus for receiving articles from a single row and depositing the articles in a plurality of transversely spaced stacks.

The field of automated processing and handling of articles during the production and packaging thereof has become increasingly more complex. For example, in the packaging of food products, such as meats and cheeses, it has become customary to package the food products in a continuous operation in which the articles or food products emerge from the packaging station in interconnected end-to-end relationship.

For example, one process of packaging individually wrapped slices of cheese is accomplished by forming a tube of wrapping material around the cheese slices as they are moved in a row along a given path. The tube is subsequently sealed between the individual spaced slices of cheese and then severed at the seal to form individual packages. Such a process is disclosed in copending application Ser. No. 615,121, filed Feb. 10, 1967, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,542,576 by Robert G. Bush and Gilbert I-I. Hannon and assigned to the assignee of this application.

These packages are flat, generally planar, pliable and readily stackable. While the individually wrapped articles are readily capable of being formed into individual stacks for subsequent packaging, difficulties have been encountered in producing a plurality of stacks of such articles and positioning the stacks so that they can subsequently be packaged as a single unit. This problem is complicated by the fact that in a high speed operation where the products are packaged in a single row, it is difficult to segregate the articles into a stack of a predetermined number for subsequent packaging of the stack as a unit, as has been found to be desirable in the packaging of certain cheese products and meat products.

BRIEF SUIVIMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention contemplates a method and apparatus for receiving articles moving along a single path in end-to-end relation and stacking the articles into a plurality of transversely spaced stacks for subsequent attachment of an outer cover to the plurality of stacks.

The method of the present invention contemplates receiving a plurality of articles at one location onto a transfer device, moving the articles from the first station to a subsequent stacking station and transversely moving some of the articles transversely of the path between the two stations.

The apparatus for accomplishing the above is in the form of a rotating drum having a plurality of receiving means on the peripheral surface thereof. An article support is received in each of the means and a first group of the article supports are fixed to the drum at peripherally spaced locations. A second group of article supports are adapted to be moved transversely of the path of movement of the articles. The movable article supports are divided into two groups respectively movable to opposite sides of the drum as the drum is rotated about its own axis.

The articles are attached to each of the article supports by applying a vacuum to the articles at a first station and relieving the vacuum and applying a positive pressure to the articles at a second station. Thus, the transfer mechanism is capable of producing three separate stacks of articles from a single continuous row of articles.

A plurality of articles are preferably deposited in each stack by adjacent article supports, so as to gain time and accommodate a high speed packaging system.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of the transfer apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical elevational view taken generally along line 2-2 of FIG. 1, with certain parts removed for clarity of illustration and other parts shown in sectron;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken generally along line 3--3 of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 4 and 5 are plan views of a fixed valve member, and a rotatable valve plate, respectively;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of one of the article supports; and

FIG. 7 is an end view of the article support shown in FIG. 6, as viewed along lines 7-7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail one specific embodiment, with the understanding that the present invention is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiment illustrated.

FIG. 1 of the drawings discloses a transfer mechanism 10 for receiving successive articles 12 fed in end-to-end relation along a single row 16 and depositing the articles in a plurality of stacks 14 (FIG. 2) at a stacking station 19. Independent transfer conveyors, one for each stack, may be provided at station 19 for moving the stacks 14 to a further packaging station. In the illustrated embodiment, the articles 12 are disposed in end-toend relation in a single row 16 and are attached to the transfer mechanism 10 at a receiving station generally designated by the reference numeral l8.

The end-to-end articles 12 are interconnected as they are fed to the transfer device I0 along a path and successive articles are severed from the interconnected row at the receiving station 18. The means for severing the articles includes a cutting mechanism 20 fixed to the peripheral surface of a shaft 22, which is driven by a motor (not shown) and chain 24. The cutting mechanism 20 cooperates with the peripheral surface of the transfer device 10, to be described hereinafter, to sever each article from the row as each article passes between the shaft 22 and the transfer device 10. Each severed article is received between the peripheral surface of the transfer device and an endless belt 28. The endless belt 28 is guided for movement adjacent the peripheral surface of the transfer device by a pair of spaced idler rolls 30 and is driven through a further shaft 32, which in turn is driven by the shaft 22 through a. belt 34. The belt 34 is trained over an idler pulley 36 to maintain an appropriate tension on the belt. Belt 28 serves as a back up means to insure that the severed slices will be retained on the article pickup drum, as will hereinafter appear.

According to the present invention, the transfer device or apparatus includes a transfer or support mechanism 40 (FIG. 2) having means for attaching successive articles to the transfer mechanism at the first station or location 18 and releasing the articles at a second station or location 19 to produce the plurality of stacks 14. The transfer mechanism 40 is in the form of a generally cylindrical drum 42 fixed for rotation with a shaft 44 that is supported by spaced bearings 46 on spaced support members 48. The peripheral surface of the drum 42 has a plurality of receiving means in the form of guide means or guideways 50, each receiving an article support 52. The guideways are defined by rectangular axially extending recesses formed at peripherally spaced locations on the drum surface. The recesses have side walls which are spaced a distance greater than the transverse dimension of the article supports 52. One side wall, 50a, of each recess has an undercut portion for receiving a portion of the article support while the opposite portion of the guideway is defined by a bracket 51 having a free leg overlapping a portion of the article support 52, as will be described later.

A first group of article supports 520 are received in the guideways 50 and are fixedly secured therein along a plane which is perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the drum, and the fixed article supports 52a are disposed in the path of movement of the articles 12 along the single row 16. The remainder of the article supports are guided for movement transversely of the path 16. The guided article supports are further subdivided into two groups 52b and 520, which are respectively to be disposed in laterally offset positions on opposite sides of the path of movement of the articles 12 along the single row 16 at the stacking station 19, and are moved from the laterally offset position into alignment with the fixed article supports 52a at the receiving station 18. For this purpose, the drum 42 has a plurality of spring support brackets 54 (FIG. 2) secured to opposite sides thereof by screws 56 to define spring support surfaces spaced from the sides of the drum. The spring support surfaces 54 each have a plurality of pins 58 extending towards the drum which respectively receive biasing means or springs 60. The opposite free end of each of the biasing means 60 is received in a bore 62 defined in each of the guided article supports.

The opposite end of each of the guided article supports has a roller 64 supported for rotation in a bracket 66 secured to the opposite end of the movable article supports. The rollers 64 which are attached to the guided article supports 52b cooperate with a camrning surface 68 defined on a camrning means or member 70 which is secured to one of the fixed members 48. The rollers 64 cooperating with the article supports 52c are disposed on the opposite side of the drum 42 and cooperate with a second camrning surface 72 defined on a camrning member or means 74, which is again secured to the opposite support member 48.

The camrning surface 68 has a gradually inclined first portion 68a (FIG. 2) which moves the article supports 520 from a normally biased outermost position laterally offset to one side of the drum 42 to a position in alignment with the fixed article supports 52a on the drum. The camrning surface 68 has a generally flat second portion 68b which maintains the respective article supports 52b in the plane defined by the fixed article supports 52a during an article pick up portion of each cycle of revolution of the drum. The camrning surface 68 further has a steeply inclined third portion 680 which allows the springs or biasing means 60 to move the article supports from the aligned position to the laterally offset article release positions as the respective article supports are moved from the receiving station to the stacking station.

Likewise, the camrning surface 72 has the three portions 72a, 72b and 720 for moving the remainder of the guided article supports 52c to positions of alignment with the fixed article supports and a laterally offset position on the opposite side of the fixed article supports. Thus, it will be seen that the biasing means or springs 60 and the carnming means and 74 cooperate to move the selected article supports transversely of the path of movement of the support mechanism or drum 42 as the article supports are moved between the receiving and the stacking station.

In the specific embodiment illustrated, the groups of article supports are arranged in pairs with a first adjacent pair of article supports 52a fixed to the drum, a second adjacent pair of article supports 52b moved laterally to one side of the fixed article supports and a third adjacent pair of article supports 52c movedto the opposite side of the fixed article supports when they are moved to the stacking station.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, each of the article supports 52 includes means for attaching successive articles to the article support at the first or receiving station 18 and releasing the articles at the second or stacking station 19. Article support 52b is illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 and will be referred to in the description of each of the article supports. It will be understood that the movable article supports 520 are identical in construction and fixed article supports 52a will be substantially identical in construction with the exception that portions thereof will be removed.

The article support 52b disclosed in FIGS. 6 and 7 includes a member having an axially extending chamber 82 defined therein. The chamber 82 communicates through radial openings 84 with a substantially planar peripheral surface or article attaching surface 86 defined on one side of the member 80. The chamber 82 is in the form of a bore extending from one end of the member 80 and closed at said end by the support member 66 for the roller 64. The chamber 82 also communicates through an opening 88 with a surface 87 on the opposite side of member 80 from surface 86. Surface 87 is parallel with surface 86 and defines the internal surface of the member 80, when it is in the assembled position on the drum. The article support 52b further includes a guide extension 89 having the spring receiving bore 62 therein. The guide extension 89 of the article supports 52b and 520 are respectively received in the guideway defined by the undercut 50a and the bracket 51.

The articles are attached to the article support surface 86 by applying a vacuum to the chamber 82 and are released from the surface 86 by applying a positive pressure or a pressured fluid to the chamber 82. For this purpose, the article transfer device includes valve means 92 (FIG. 3) consisting of a fixed element 94 and an element 96 rotating with the drum 42. The fixed element of the valve means 92 is illustrated in FIG. 4 and includes an arcuate slot 98 communicating with a perpendicularly disposed opening 100 which receives a conduit 102 (FIG. 1) having means connected thereto (not shown) for producing a negative pressure. A second conduit 104, cooperating with a pressured fluid source (not shown), is received in an opening 106 extending through the fixed element 94.

The rotatable element 96 (FIG. 5) of the valve means 92 has a first group of through openings 110 at circumferentially spaced locations and a second group of openings 111 each having a first axial portion 112 and a second radially extending portion 114. Openings 110 and portions 112 are positioned on a common diameter. Each of the openings 110 is connected with one of the article support chambers 82 in the article supports 52a and 52c through flexible conduit means 116 while the portions 114 of openings 111 are connected to the chambers 82 in the article supports 52b through flexible conduit means 117, for a purpose which will be presently described.

The rotatable element or plate 96 has a generally planar surface 120 in contacting engagement with a surface 122 defined on an antifriction plate 123 connected to the fixed valve element through screws 125. The plate 123 has an opening 106a aligned with the opening 106 in valve element 94. In this manner, the slot 98 defines a vacuum chamber in the fixed valve element or plate 94 while the openings 106 and 106a, extending through plates 94 and 123, define a chamber having a pressured fluid therein.

The engaging surfaces 122 and 123 are maintained in fluid sealing engagement with each other by springs 131 each having one end in engagement with the support 48 and an opposite end telescoped over a pin 133 threaded into an opening 135 in the fixed plate 94 which is supported for minimum axial movement on the shaft 44. Each pin receives a nut 136 engaging the opposite end of the associated spring to accommodate adjustment of the spring force on the plate.

The fixed plate 94 is held in a circumferentially oriented position on the shaft by an adjustable tumbuckle 137 (FIG. 1) having one end secured to a fixed support and the opposite end connected to the plate 94. The adjustable turnbuckle 137 can thus be used to accurately locate the vacuum and pressure chambers in a position to attach the articles at the receiving station 18 and release the articles at the stacking station 19.

In order to attach the respective articles to the respective surfaces 86 of each of the article supports, the vacuum chamber, defined by slot 98, is connected to the chamber 82 in each article support as the article support approaches the receiving station 18. This negative pressure is applied to each chamber 86 by the rotation of element 96 relative to element 94 to align openings 110 and 111 associated with the respective article support chambers 82 as the article support approaches the receiving station 18. The length of the arcuate slot 98 will maintain the vacuum in the article support chamber 82 while the article support is being moved from the receiving station to the stacking station to maintain the article on the surface 86.

As the article support approaches the stacking station, the opening, such as opening 110, moves out of alignment with the vacuum chamber 98 and is aligned with a bridging area 107 so as to release the vacuum on the article. The opening is aligned with the openings 106 and 106a having a source of pressured fluid connected thereto by conduit 104 to produce a positive ejection force to the article which moves the article relative to support surface to break the article holding vacuum. Thus, the valve means 92 and the conduits cooperate with each other and are constructed and arranged in a manner that a negative pressure is produced in each of the chambers during a portion of a cycle of revolution of the drum which acts as the means for placing the articles on the article supports while the articles are released by removing the vacuum. Positive pressure is then supplied to the chambers 82 to insure that the articles are released at the stacking station.

Stated another way, the fixed element 94 has means for supplying a pressured fluid at one location and for applying a vacuum at a second location with the rotatable element cooperating with the fixed element to connect the vacuum to each of the article support chambers 82 as the article support chamber approaches the receiving station and maintain this vacuum in the chamber while the article is being transferred from the receiving station towards the stacking station. As the subject article support approaches the stacking station, the vacuum or negative pressure is disconnected from the chamber 82 and a positive pressure or pressured fluid is supplied to the chamber 82 by having the conduit means 116 in communication with the opening 106 and, thus, the pressured fluid source 104.

The transfer mechanism further incorporates means for moving or rotating the support mechanism or drum 42 along the path defined by the interconnected single row of articles 12. This moving or driving means is preferably synchronized with the movement of the articles and the severing or cutting mechanism 20. For this purpose, the drum 42 has a gear 140 (FIG. 1) defined on the peripheral surface thereof which is in mesh with a gear 142 on the shaft 22 so that the movement of the transfer mechanism or drum is synchronized with the cutting mechanism 20. This will insure that each of the articles 12 is appropriately aligned with an article support when the article is attached to the surface 86.

The method of the present invention will now be described in conjunction with the operation of the transfer apparatus 10. The plurality of articles 12, disposed in end-to-end connected relationship are fed to the transfer device along a path tangentially of the peripheral surface of the transfer device and the successive articles are severed from the remainder of the interconnected row substantially at the point of tangentiality of the path to the transfer device. As the articles are severed, each article is received between the continuously moving conveyor 28 and the source of vacuum is connected to the chamber 82 of the associated article support 52 which is then in alignment with the surface of the conveyor 28. The vacuum is maintained on the articles as the articles are moved I from the receiving station to the stacking station. During such movement, the first group of movable article supports 52b are moved to one side of the path by the cooperating carnming surface 68 and the springs associated with the respective article supports 52b. Likewise, the remainder of the movable article supports 52c are moved to the opposite side of the path of the single row of articles. As each article support approaches the stacking station 19, the source of vacuum to the chamber 82 is discontinued and a positive pressure is applied to the article by pressurizing the chamber 82 from the source of pressured fluid received in conduit 104. The source of pressured fluid will be connected to each of the chambers 82 as the respective article supports 52 are located directly above the stacking station 19 so that a plurality of stacks are produced from the single row of articles 12.

The arrangement of the valve elements and the openings insures that each article is ejected at the same transverse position so that the plurality of closely positioned stacks are located in a common plane which is parallel to the axis of rotation of the drum 42. The stacks may be received onto a conveyor 150 which is intermittently operated to move the group of stacks to a subsequent wrapping station.

While the illustrative embodiment of the present invention discloses four article supports fixed to the peripheral surface of the drum, four article supports movable to one side of the drum, and four article supports movable to the opposite side of the drum, it is to be understood that this arrangement is merely illustrative of one embodiment of the present invention and any predetermined number of article supports may be incorporated into each group. By way of example, if it is desired to produce two separate transversely spaced stacks from a single row, one half of the article supports would be fixed and the remaining half of the article supports would be movable from a plane defined by the fixed half to a plane laterally offset from the fixed plane.

What is claimed is:

l. A method of stacking articles received from a single row into a plurality of side by side stacks of plural articles which comprises the steps of moving said articles in a single row along a predetermined path; attaching successive articles to a transfer device; moving said device and articles to a stacking station while said articles remain attached to said transfer device; shifting selected articles laterally of said path while the selected articles are moved to the stacking station and while the unshifted articles continue to move along said path; and releasing each article when it is located at the stacking station to form side by side stacks each containing plural articles.

2. A method as defined in claim 1, in which said articles are disposed in end-to-end relation in said single row with adjacent ends of successive articles being interconnected, including the further improvement of severing each article from the interconnected row as it is being attached to said transfer device.

3. A method as defined in claim 1, including the further step of moving said side by said stacks of plural articles to a wrapping station.

4. A method of stacking articles received from a single row into a plurality of stacks which comprises the steps of moving said articles in a single row along a predetermined path; attaching successive articles to a transfer device; moving said device and articles to a stacking station; shifting a first group of selected articles laterally to one side of said path while the first group is moved to the stacking station; shifting a second group of said selected articles to the other side of said path while the second group is moved to the stacking station; retaining a third group of articles in said path to produce at least three stacks of articles at said stacking station; and releasing each article when it is located at the stacking station.

5. A method of stacking articles received from a single row into a plurality of stacks which comprises the steps of moving said articles in a single row along a predetermined path; attaching successive articles to a transfer device by applying a vacuum thereto; moving said device and articles to a stacking station; shifting selected articles laterally of said path while the selected articles are moved to the stacking station; and releasing each article when it is located at the stacking station by removing said vacuum and by supplying pressurized fluid to the articles to insure that the articles are released at the stacking station.

6. A method of stacking articles received from a single row into a plurality of stacks which comprises the steps of moving said articles in a single row along a predetermined path; attaching successive articles to a transfer device by applying a vacuum thereto at one location spaced from a stacking station; moving said device and articles to the stacking station by rotating said device about a fixed axis spaced from and parallel to the predetermined path; shifting selected articles laterally of said path while the selected articles are moved to the stacking station; and releasing each article when it is located at the stacking station by removing said vacuum.

7. A method of stacking articles in a plurality of stacks which comprises the steps of rotating a transfer device about a fixed axis; feeding a plurality of articles in end-to-end relation along a single row in a path tangentially of the peripheral surface of said transfer device; attaching successive articles to the transfer device adjacent the point of tangentiality of said path to said transfer device; shifting selected ones of said articles parallel to said axis after attachment to said device; and subsequently releasing said articles at a location to produce a plurality of stacks of said articles.

8. A method of stacking articles as defined in claim 7, in which a first predetermined number of said articles are shifted a given distance to one side of said path, a second predetermined number of said articles are shifted a given distance, to the other side of said path and a third predetermined number of articles are maintained in said path to produce three stacks of articles along a common plane parallel to said axis.

9. A method as defined in claim 7, including the further step of arranging a plurality of article supports at circumferentially spaced locations on the peripheral surface of said transfer device to receive said articles; fixing selected ones of said article supports to said peripheral surface of said transfer device in alignment with said path; and guiding the remainder of said article supports for movement parallel to said axis.

10. A method as defined in claim 7, in which the articles are attached by applying a suction to said articles adjacent said point of tangentiality; and are released by releasing said suction on said articles as they approach said location.

ill. A method as defined in claim 10, including the further step of applying a positive force to said articles at said location.

H. A method of arranging articles in a plurality of side by side stacks of plural articles which comprises the steps of placing successive articles received from a single row on cimcumjacently spaced different portions of a transfer device at a first station; rotating said transfer device about a fixed axis to move said articles to a second station; shifting a selected group of said articles in a direction parallel to said axis during rotation of said transfer device, while the unshifted articles remain in said row; and depositing said articles at said second station in a manner to produce a plurality of side by side stacks each containing plural articles.

13. A method as defined in claim 12, wherein said articles are arranged in end-to-end relation in said single row and adjacent ends of successive articles are interconnected, including the further improvement of severing successive articles from the remaining articles as they are placed on said transfer device.

M. A method of arranging articles in a plurality of stacks which comprises the steps of placing successive articles received from a single row on different portions of a transfer device at a first station by applying a vacuum to said articles; moving said transfer device and articles to a second station; and depositing said articles at said second station in a manner to produce a plurality of stacks of said articles from said single row.

15. A method as defined in claim 14, wherein said articles are deposited in said plurality of stacks by releasing said vacuum and applying a positive pressure at said second station.

16. A method of arranging articles in a plurality of stacks which comprises the steps of placing successive articles received from a single row on different portions of a transfer device at a first station by applying a vacuum to said articles; moving said transfer device and articles to a second station by rotating said transfer device about a fixed axis; and depositing said articles at said second station in a manner to produce a plurality of stacks of said articles from said single row by releasing said vacuum and applying a positive pressure.

17 A transfer device adapted to receive a plurality of articles from a single row and arrange the articles in a plurality of stacks comprising a support mechanism; a plurality of article supports on said support mechanism; means for placing articles on each of said supports at a first location; means for moving said support mechanism along a path to move said article supports from said first location to a second location; means for shifting selected ones of said article supports on said support mechanism while the article supports are moved between said locations; and means for releasing articles from said article supports at said second location whereby to form a plurality of stacks of articles at said second location.

18. A transfer device as defined in claim 17, in which said means for placing articles includes means defining a chamber in each of said article supports, said chamber having communication with a peripheral surface of said article support and means for applying a vacuum to said chamber at said first location.

19. A transfer device as defined in claim 18, in which said means for releasing articles includes means for removing said vacuum at said second location, and means for applying a positive pressure at said second location to insure that said articles are released at said second location.

20. A transfer device as defined in claim 17, in which said support mechanism includes a drum rotated about a fixed axis, said drum having guide means for each of said selected ones of said article supports for guiding the articles supports; and in which said means for shifting cooperates with each of said selected ones of said articles in said guide means.

21. A transfer device as defined in claim 20, in which a first group of said selected ones of said article supports are adapted to be moved to one side of said drum and a second group of said selected ones of said article supports are adapted to be moved to the opposite side of said drum and in which the remainder of said article supports are fixed to said drum at circumferentially spaced locations in a plane perpendicular to said axis, the further improvement of said means for shifting comprising first and second cam means disposed on opposite sides of said plane for respectively moving said first group of article supports to a first plane on one side of said plane and said second group of article supports to a second plane on the opposite side of said plane.

22. A transfer device as defined in claim 17, in which said support mechanism includes guide means for each of said selected ones of said article supports transversely of the path of movement of said support mechanism; and said means for shifting includes at least one cam means adjacent said support mechanism and cooperating with said selected ones of said article supports to move said guided article supports transversely of said path of movement of said support mechanism between said locations.

23. A transfer device as defined in claim 20, in which eachof said article supports has a chamber therein communicating with a peripheral surface thereof including the further improvement of valve means in cluding a fixed element and rotatable element carried by said drum; means supplying a negative pressure and a positive pressure at spaced points on said fixed element; conduit means connecting each of said chambers to said rotatable element; and cooperating means on said elements for supplying said negative pressure to each of said chambers during a portion of a cycle of rotation of said drum to act as said means for placing articles on said article supports and releasing said articles, and supplying said positive pressure to said chambers at said second location to insure that said articles are released from said article supports.

24. A transfer device as defined in claim 17, in which said support mechanism includes guide means for each of said selected ones of said article supports; and said means for shifting includes mechanism cooperating with said guided article supports for moving a first group of said guided article supports a given distance to one side of said path and a second group of said article supports a given distance to the opposite side of said path while the article supports are moved between said locations.

25. A transfer device as defined in claim 17, in which the remainder of said article supports are secured to said support mechanism along a plane parallel to said path and saidsupport mechanism includes guide means for each of said selected ones of said article supports; the further improvement of said means for shifting includes biasing means normally maintaining said selected ones of said article supports in a first position laterally offset from said plane and cam means cooperating with said selected ones of said article supports to move the article supports to a second position in said plane when said supports are adjacent said first location.

26. Apparatus for receiving articles from a single row and depositing said articles in a plurality of stacks comprising a transfer mechanism; means for moving said transfer mechanism along a path; means for supplying articles in a single row to said path; means for attaching successive articles to said moving transfer mechanism at a first station and releasing said articles at a second station; and means for shifting selected articles transversely of said path between said first and second stations whereby to form a plurality of stacks of articles from said single row of articles.

27. Apparatus as defined in claim 26, in which said means for attaching and releasing articles includes a plurality of members supported in spaced relation on said transfer mechanism, each of said members having a chamber and a surface with communication means between said chamber and said surface; and means for (l) applying a negative pressure to said chambers at said first station and (2) relieving said negative pressure and applying a positive pressure to said chambers at said second station.

28. Apparatus as defined in claim 27, in which said last means comprises a valve having a fixed element and a movable element carried by said transfer mechanism; means supplying a negative and a positive pressure at spaced locations to said fixed element; said elements cooperating to selectively connect each of said chambers to said negative and positive pressure.

29. Apparatus as defined in claim 26, in which said transfer mechanism comprises a drum rotatable about a fixed axis and means defining a plurality of guideways at circumferentially spaced locations on said drum; said means for attaching and releasing said articles includes a plurality of article supports received in said guideways; and said means for shifting selected articles includes biasing means normally maintaining selected ones of said article supports transversely spaced from said path, and cam means cooperating with said selected ones of said article supports for moving the article supports in said guideways into alignment with said path as the article supports approach said first station.

30. Apparatus as defined in claim 29, in which a first group of article supports are biased to one side of said means defining a chamber in eac h of said article supports, said chamber commumcatmg with a peripheral surface of said article support; valve means having a fixed element and an element rotatable with said drum;

means supplying a pressured fluid at one location on said fixed element and applying a vacuum at a second location on said fixed element; conduit means connecting each of said chambers to said rotatable element at spaced points; said elements cooperating to (1) connect said vacuum to each chamber as said chamber approaches said first station and (2) connect said pressured fluid to each chamber as it reaches said second station.

32. Apparatus as defined in claim 26, in which said articles are interconnected in end-to-end relation in said single row, including the further improvement of means for severing each article from said row at said first station.

33. A transfer device for a plurality of articles comprising a drum, means for rotating said drum; means for supplying articles in a single row along a path to said drum; means on said drum for receiving successive articles from said single row at one location and depositing said articles at a second location; and means for shifting selected articles transversely of said path as they are moved between said locations whereby said single row of articles is formed into a plurality of stacks at said second location.

34. A transfer device as defined in claim 33, in which said means for receiving and depositing said articles includes a plurality of article supports with a first group of said supports fixed to said drum along said path and guide means on said drum for the remainder of article supports; and in which said means for shifting includes first and second cam means on opposite sides of said drum, said cam means cooperating with said guided article supports (1) to shift one group of said guided article supports to one side of said path and another group of said guided article supports to the opposite side of said path to said second location and (2) to locate all of said guide article supports in said path at said first location.

35. At transfer device as defined in claim 34, in

I which said groups of article supports respectively include adjacent pairs of said article supports at circumferentially spaced locations on said drum.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Inv n fls) GERALD J. DRIESSEN 4 It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 1, line 26,- "No. 3, 5A2,576" should read No. 3,5LL2,57O-

Column 3,- line 4]., insert e.dapted before "to be". I

Column 10, line 44, after "and" add a Column i2, line 52, "kt" should be A Signed and sealed this 50th day of January 1973..

(SEAL) Attestt EDWARD M.PLETCHER,JR. 7 ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents F OHM P0405 0 (0-69) uscomwuc warre q

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3822008 *Feb 1, 1973Jul 2, 1974Jones & Co Inc R ATransfer apparatus for packaging machine
US3903768 *Jul 11, 1973Sep 9, 1975Owens Illinois IncMachine for producing a plastic-covered glass container
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Classifications
U.S. Classification83/27, 83/107, 83/152, 271/299, 271/195
International ClassificationB65B35/50
Cooperative ClassificationB65B35/50
European ClassificationB65B35/50
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 25, 1983AS01Change of name
Owner name: L.D. SCHREIBER CHEESE CO., INC.
Effective date: 19830719
Owner name: SCHREIBER FOODS, INC.
Effective date: 19830719
Jul 25, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: SCHREIBER FOODS, INC.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:L.D. SCHREIBER CHEESE CO., INC.;REEL/FRAME:004157/0131
Effective date: 19830719