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Publication numberUS3684077 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 15, 1972
Filing dateMay 11, 1970
Priority dateMay 11, 1970
Also published asCA934780A1
Publication numberUS 3684077 A, US 3684077A, US-A-3684077, US3684077 A, US3684077A
InventorsMacintyre Archibald A
Original AssigneeMacintyre Archibald A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Structure for and method of sorting and orienting
US 3684077 A
Abstract
A mechanical sorting and orienting structure and method are disclosed. The structure includes a rotatably mounted bowl having a ledge around the top thereof, means for feeding parts to be sorted and/or oriented onto the ledge of the bowl as it is rotated, structure for causing parts to be sorted having one characteristic or those having an undesired orientation to fall from the ledge into the bowl and for feeding parts having another characteristic and/or correctly oriented parts from the ledge away from the bowl, means for returning parts from within the bowl back to the means for feeding the parts onto the ledge of the bowl again and drive means for the bowl and the feeding and returning means. The method includes the feeding of the parts onto the ledge of the rotating bowl, moving parts having one characteristic into the bowl and subsequently back to the feeding means and onto the ledge of the bowl again and feeding the parts on the ledge having another characteristic from the ledge of the bowl away from the bowl.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Maclntyre [54] STRUCTURE FOR AND METHOD OF SORTING AND ORIENTING 72 Inventor: Archibald A. Maclntyre, 18221 Laurel, Livonia, Mich. 48152 [22] Filed: May 11, 1970 [21] Appl. N0.: 36,304

[52] US. Cl ..l98/33 AA [51] Int. Cl ..B65g 47/24 [58] Field of Search ..198/33 AA, 30; 221/157, 159-160 [56] References Cited- UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,853,176 9/1958 Kay ..221/l57 X 2,964,182 12/1960 Spurlin ..198/33 AA 3,300,022 1/1967 Sterling ..198/33 AA Primary Examiner-Edward A. Sroka Attorney-Whittemore, Hulbert & Belknap 3,684,077 1 Aug. 15, 1972 ABSTRACT method are disclosed. The structure includes a rotatably mounted bowl having a ledge around the top thereof, means for feeding parts to be sorted and/or oriented onto the ledge of the bowl as it is rotated, structure for causing parts to be sorted having one characteristic or those having an undesired orientation to fall from the ledge into the bowl and for feeding parts having another characteristic and/or correctly oriented parts from the ledge away from the bowl, means for returning parts from within the bowl back to the means for feeding the parts onto the ledge of the bowl again and drive means for the bowl and the feeding and returning means. The method includes the feeding of the parts onto the ledge of the rotating bowl, moving parts having one characteristic into the bowl and subsequently back to the feeding means and onto the ledge of the bowl again and feeding the parts on the ledge having another characteristic from the ledge of the bowl away from the bowl.

8 Claim, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEUAUGIS m2 3.684.077

sum 1 BF 2 INVENTOR RCHIBALD A. Mac INTYRE ATTORNEYS PATENTEDAuc 15 m2 3. 684' 7 sum 2 ur 2 INVENTOR ARCHIBAL D A. MAG INTY'RE ATTORNEYS FOR AND METHOD OF SORTING AND ORIENTING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates to sorting and orienting structures and methods and refers more specifically to a mechanical structure for feeding parts therefrom having a predetermined desired orientation and for recycling parts in the sorting and orienting structure until they have the desired orientation. A plurality of different parts may be sorted and/or oriented with the mechanical sorting and orienting structure of the invention in accordance with the method of the invention on substitution of specific sorting and orienting attachments on the sorting and orienting structure of the invention.

2. Description of the Prior Art 7 In the past, sorting and orienting structures have often taken the form of vibratory feeders. Such feeders have the disadvantage of being objectionably noisy. In addition, the feeders have particular sensitivity to structure on which they are mounted, require a plurality of parts to be fed together and are incapable of functioning with parts having a coating of oil or the like thereon. Further, vibrating sorting and orienting structures are generally relatively complicated and expenswe.

Wherein mechanical sorting and orienting structures have been known in the past, they have similarly been relatively complicated and expensive. Alternatively, the mechanical sorting and orienting structures of the past have not been sufficiently versatile for general purpose use. That is to say, prior mechanical sorting and orienting structures have generally been designed for sorting or orienting a single particular part so that use thereof with a plurality of different parts by means of simple attachments has been difficult or impossible.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a mechanical sorting and orienting structure including a bowl having a ledge at the top thereof, means for feeding parts to be sorted and/or oriented onto the ledge of the rotating bowl, means for moving parts having an undesired characteristic from the ledge into the bowl and for feeding parts having a desired characteristic on the ledge away from the bowl, and means for returning parts moved into the bowl to the feeding means in continuous operation. The sorting and/or orienting is accomplished by attached structure which can be changed so that different parts may be sorted and/or oriented with a single sorting and orienting structure having different sorting and orienting attachment means operably associated therewith.

The sorting and/or orienting method of the invention includes the steps of continuously feeding parts onto the ledge of the bowl during rotation thereof, causing parts having an undesired characteristic on the ledge of the bowl to drop into the bowl, feeding parts having a desired characteristic on the ledge away from the bowl and returning parts from the bowl to be fed to the ledge of the bowl again.

STRUCTURE BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS,

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of sorting and orienting structure constructed in accordance with the invention for effecting the method of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a broken away section view of the sorting and orienting structure illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top view of the sorting and orienting structure illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a broken partial section view of the sorting and orienting structure of FIG. 1 taken in the direction of arrows 44 in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a part of the orienting attachment of the sorting and orienting structure illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another part of the orienting attachment of the sorting and orienting structure of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The sorting and orienting structure 10 as shown in FIG. 1 includes a rotatable bowl 12 having a ledge 14 at the top thereof, feeding means 16 for continuously feeding parts 18 onto the ledge 14, sorting and orienting means 20 for moving parts 18 having an undesired orientation into the bowl l2 and for feeding parts 18 having a desired orientation away from the bowl l2, and return means 22 for returning parts dropped into the bowl 12 back to the feeding means 16. Drive means 24 are provided to drive each of the bowl, feeding means and return means simultaneously.

More specifically, the bowl 12 as shown best in FIG.

2 is cylindrical and has an open top on which the ledge bowl 112. As will be seen subsequently, parts dropped into the bowl 12 from the ledge 14 will eventually pass into one of the openings 32 and out of the bowl. The bowl is freely rotatable on the shaft 28 in the bearing 30.

The feeding means 16 comprises a bulk storage hopper 34 for receiving parts 18 to be oriented and an elevator 36, one end of which extends into the hopper 34 and the other end of which terminates adjacent the ledge 14. The elevator 36 includes the sides 38 and the endless belt 40 having the cross members 42 thereon for moving parts 18 in the areas defined between the sides 38 and the cross members 42 vertically on driving of the endless belt 40.

As shown best in FIG. 3, at the upper end of the elevator 36 a gravity feed chute M is provided for receiving the parts 18 from the elevator 36. The chute 44 of the feeding means 16 has the opening 46 therein through which the parts 18 pass by gravity onto the radially inner portion 48 of the ledge 14 on the bowl 12.

The sorting and orienting means 20 illustrated in FIGS. I-6 includes the two generally annular members 50 and 52 positioned relative to the ledge 14 which is slightly tilted toward its outer periphery, as shown best in FIG. 4. The annular members 50 and 52 divide the inclined ledge 14into the radially inner portion 48 and the radially outer portion 54. The members 50 and 52 are supported from a stationary plate 56 by means of the posts 58 which may be threaded into the stationary plate 56 or otherwise secured thereto and the brackets 60 extending from the post 58 and connected to the members 50 and 52.

The sorting and orienting means 20 further includes a camming attachment 62 which is shaped as shown best in FIG. 6 and which is positioned in vertical spaced relation with respect to the radially inner portion 48 of the ledge 14 and extends over the ledge 14, as shown best in FIG. 3. The camming attachment 62 is rigidly secured to the member 50 of the sorting and orienting means 20.

The sorting and orienting means 20 still further includes the camming portion 64 of the member 50 extending over the portion 48 of the ledge 14 immediately adjacent the upper surface thereof. A scalloped attachment 66 is positioned adjacent the camming portion 64 of the member 50. The scalloped attachment 66 is supported by posts 70 which are suspended from brackets 68 connected to member 50. Guide members 72 and 74 are provided at the entrance to the scalloped attachment 66 and at the exit therefrom respectively so that parts 18 positioned on the portion 48 of ledge 14 of the bowl 12 will be cammed over the scalloped attachment 66 by the portion 64 of member 50 on rotation of the bowl 12 as will be seen subsequently.

The portion 76 of member 50 receives the parts 18 which pass the scalloped attachment 66 of the sorting and orienting means 20 to cam them radially outwardly onto the portion 54 of the ledge 14 so that they are passed out of the chute 78 for guiding properly oriented parts 18 away from the bowl 12 on rotation of the bowl l2.

The returning means of the sorting and orienting structure includes the stationary plate 56 having the opening 80 in one portion thereof for receiving parts 18 from the bowl 12 through the openings 32 in the bowl 12 and the endless conveyor 82 having one end positioned under the opening 80 in the stationary plate 56 and the other end positioned over the bulk storage hopper 34. The stationary plate 56 is also provided with the opening 84 therethrough through which the bowl 12 is driven by the drive means 24.

The drive means 24 includes the drive motor 86 and the first rotatable shaft 88 connected to the motor 86 for rotation on energizing the motor 86 by means of the sprockets 90 and 92 and the chain 94. The elevator 36 is connected to the shaft 88 for rotation therewith by means of the sprockets 96 and 98 and the endless chain 100, while the endless conveyor 82 is connected to the shaft 88 for rotation therewith by means of the gears 102 and 104, the sprockets 106 and 108 and the endless chain 110. Shaft 88 is secured for rotation in the bearings 112 and 114, while the sprocket 106 and gear 104 are secured for rotation in the bearing 116.

Drive means 24 further includes the second drive shaft 118 secured in the bearings 120 and 122 for rotation therein and driven by the endless chain 124 through the sprockets 126 and 128 connected to the shafts 88 and 118 respectively. A drive wheel 130 is secured to the shaft 118 for rotation therewith and includes a rubber-like outer periphery 132 engaged with the bottom of the bowl 12 through the opening 84 in the stationary plate 56 to drive the bowl 112 on rotation thereof. The friction drive of wheel 138 provides a slip clutch action with regard to drive of bowl 12 should the rotation of the bowl 12 be obstructed for any reason.

The sorting and orienting structure 10 is mounted on a base 134 and the drive structure 24 is enclosed with the sheet metal housing 136 which may include the bulk storage hopper 34, as shown. Access to the drive means 24 is by way of the hinged door 138 in the housing 136.

In overall operation, parts 18 to be oriented which are small cups and which it is desired to feed from the chute 78 with the open part up are placed in the bulk storage hopper 34. The drive motor 86 is started so that the bowl 12 is rotated by wheel 130 at the same time the elevator 42 is driven through sprocket 98 and the conveyor 82 is driven through the sprocket 108. The parts 18 are deposited on the portion 48 of the rotating ledge 14 of the bowl 12 with any orientation. That is, they may be in the desired orientation, upside down, or on their side.

As the bowl 12 rotates clockwise, the parts 18 which are positioned on their side on the ledge 14 are cammed into the bowl 12 by the attachment 62 which is stationary relative to the rotating bowl 12. The remaining parts 18 are rotated past the cam portion 64 of member 50 and are cammed onto the scalloped attachment 66. On the scalloped attachment 66 the parts 18 which are upside down are caused to fall into the bowl 12. The remaining properly oriented parts are cammed outwardly onto the portion 54 of the rotating bowl ledge by the portion 76 of member 50 which is also held in a stationary position over the ledge 14. The properly oriented parts are then passed down the chute ,78 as the bowl l2 continues to rotate.

During the rotation of the bowl 12, the parts which are cammed into or fall into the bowl proceed radially outwardly of the bowl 12 due to centrifugal force and/or an inclination of the bottom of the bowl 12, if this is considered necessary, so that the parts 18 in the bowl l2 eventually fall into one of the openings 32 in the bottom of the bowl 12. As the bowl 12 rotates, the openings 32 align themselves with the opening in the stationary plate 56 and the parts 18 are passed from the bowl 12 onto the return conveyor 82 by which they are returned to the bulk storage hopper 34 and may again pass up the elevator 36 to be ultimately fed out the chute 78 when they are deposited on the ledge 14 with the proper orientation.

While one embodiment of the present invention has been considered in detail, it will be understood that other embodiments and modifications thereof are contemplated by the inventor. Thus, the drive structure may be other than the electric motor, chain and sprocket drive structure show, and in particular the frictionally engaged drive wheel may be replaced by other drive means such as a positive drive structure and a slip clutch. Also the speed of drive of any of the bowl 12, elevator 36 and conveyor 82 may of course be varied with different sprocket ratios. Obviously a plurality of different sorting and/or orienting means 20 may be provided in conjunction with the ledge 14 to sort or orient parts fed to the ledge 14 so that parts having desired characteristics are fed away from the bowl l2 and parts having undesired characteristics are dropped into the bowl 12 for recycling in the sorting and orienting structure 10. It is the intention to include all embodiments and modifications of the invention as are defined by the appended claims within the scope of the invention.

What I claim as my invention is:

l. Sorting and orienting structure comprising a rotatably mounted bowl having a ledge at the top thereof, feeding means operably associated with the bowl for depositing parts on the ledge, structure for moving parts having one characteristic from the ledge into the bowl and for feeding parts having another characteristic from the ledge and away from the bowl, means for returning parts from the bowl back to the feeding means and means for driving the bowl, feeding means and returning means. I

2. Structure as set forth in claim 1 wherein the feeding means comprises a bulk storage hopper, a gravity chute positioned over the ledge on the bowl, and an elevator extending from adjacent the bottom of the bulk storage hopper within the bulk storage hopper to the gravity chute.

3. Structure as set forth in claim 2 wherein the bowl includes radially outwardly positioned openings in the bottom thereof and the returning means includes a stationary plate positioned beneath the bowl having an opening therethrough sequentially alignable with the openings in the bowl on rotation of the bowl and an endless conveyor extending beneath the opening in the stationary plate at one end and over the bulk storage hopper at the other end.

4. Structure as set forth in claim 3 wherein the drive means comprises a drive motor, a first rotatable shaft, means connected between the first shaft and the driver motor for rotating the first shaft on energizing the drive motor, means connected between the first shaft and elevator for driving the elevator on rotation of the first shaft, means connected between the first shaft and conveyor for driving the conveyor on rotation of the first shaft, a second rotatable shaft, a wheel having a rubberlike periphery rigidly secured to the second shaft for rotation therewith which wheel is in engagement with the bottom of the bowl for driving the bowl on rotation of the second shaft, and means connected between the first and second shafts for rotating the second shaft on rotation of the first shaft.

5. Structure as set forth in claim 1 wherein the means for moving the parts positioned on the ledge includes a plurality of separate stations including means for receiving the parts on the ledge in any orientation for moving parts off the ledge into the bowl which are positioned on the ledge on the sides of the parts for moving parts off the ledge into the bowl which are positioned on the ledge upside down and for feeding parts having a desired orientation away from the bowl.

6. Structure as set forth in claim 5 wherein the means for moving-the parts off the ledge into the bowl which are positioned on the ledge on the sides of the parts comprises a stationary cam attachment positioned above the ledge and in vertically spaced relation thereto to allow parts positioned on their top or bottom to pass beneath the cam attachment and operable to en a e arts sitioned theirsitl s nthe led e.

8. triictur as set fort in claim w herein the means for moving the parts off the ledge into the bowl which are positioned on the ledge upside down includes a scalloped ledge attachment.

8. Sorting and orienting structure comprising a rotatably mounted bowl having a ledge at the top I

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2853176 *Feb 10, 1955Sep 23, 1958Lamb Co F JosOrienter
US2964182 *Jan 15, 1954Dec 13, 1960Syntron CoBowl feeder cutouts
US3300022 *Jan 7, 1965Jan 24, 1967Pneumatic Scale CorpClosure handling apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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
US4832175 *Apr 2, 1987May 23, 1989Macintyre Archie ASorting and orienting structure and method
US4848559 *Jul 14, 1988Jul 18, 1989Hoppmann CorporationMethod or apparatus for elevating articles in a feeder
US5954184 *Sep 12, 1997Sep 21, 1999Hoppmann CorporationApparatus and method for feeding, presenting and/or orienting parts
EP0283527A1 *Mar 20, 1987Sep 28, 1988Hoppmann CorporationRotating ring orienting feeder
WO1989002865A1 *Aug 19, 1988Apr 6, 1989Arkivator AbA device for elevating a number of parts from a storage of parts
Classifications
U.S. Classification198/392, 198/397.5
International ClassificationB65G47/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65G47/1471
European ClassificationB65G47/14B4F