US 3693396 A
An apparatus including a pair of side-by-side elongated members generally V-shaped in cross-section and slightly relatively inclined whereby one pair of base ends of the elongated members are closely nested and the other free ends of the members are only slightly nested relative to each other. The free end of the outer V-shaped member is beveled and sharpened for piercing the bottom of an inverted open top container immediately inwardly of one peripheral portion of the bottom wall and continued downward movement of the elongated members after piercing the bottom wall results in the side wall portions of the corresponding peripheral portion of the container being crimped or corrugated with upstanding corrugations whose ends adjacent the bottom of the inverted container are more sharply crimped or corrugated, the corrugated portions of the container being wedged between the confronting surfaces of the V-shaped elongated members.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
tates Bertelson et a1.
APPARATUS FOR CREASING AND TAPERING USED METAL CONTAINERS Inventors: Richard E. Bertelson, 137 Washington St., Marblehead, Mass. 01945; Robert W. Mezitt, Frankland St., Hopkinton, Mass. 01748 Filed: April 14, 1971' Appl. No.: 133,903
US. Cl. ..72/325, 72/464, 113/120 M,
Int. Cl. ..B21d 28/32 Field of Search.. ..72/324, 325, 464; 29/1635 R; 113/1 16 Z, 120 E, 120 G, 120 M, 120 W References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1912 Stanger ..72/325 10/1952 Shands ..72/325 2/1971 l-lougen ..72/325 Primary Examiner-Lowell A. Larson Attorney-Clarence A. OBrien and Harvey B. Jacobson [ 5 7 ABSTRACT An apparatus including a pair of side-by-side elongated members generally V-shaped in cross-section and slightly relatively inclined whereby one pair of base ends of the elongated members are closely nested and the other free ends of the members are only slightly nested relative to each other. The free end of the outer V-shaped member is beveled and sharpened for piercing the bottom of an inverted open top container immediately inwardly of one peripheral portion of the bottom wall and continued downward movement of the elongated members after piercing the bottom wall results in the side wall portions of the corresponding peripheral portion of the container being crimped or corrugated with upstanding corrugations whose ends adjacent the bottom of the inverted container are more sharply crimped or corrugated, the corrugated portions of the container being wedged between the confronting surfaces of the V-shaped elongated members.
11 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures v R e/I Mezirr INVENTORS PATENTEB I972 3.693.396
sum 2 or 3 Fig.4 Fig. 5
Richard E. Berra/son WWW PATENTED SEPZB I972 3.693.396
sum: or 3 Fig.7
Robert M. Mel/ff 1x I "ENTORS I BY'ZMM Ric/lard [.Berle/san WW 5M I APPARATUS FOR CREASING AND TAPERING USED METAL CONTAINERS This invention relates to an apparatus for converting sheet metal containers provided with parallel sides into tapered containers with pierced bottom walls suitable for use in nursery growing operations as well as for different purposes.
Efficient nursery operations require the use of low cost rigid containers with adequate water drainage in which to grow plants or in which to hold shrubs and small trees between the time they are dug from the open field until the time of sale. Such containers are typically used for a few weeks to possibly as long as two years. Common practice is to recycle the discarded cans from food packing plants, this recycling operation comprising an inexpensive and ecologically efficient source.
In recycling discarded cans from food packing plants which include parallel sides, several disadvantages are encountered. The cans will not stack in nestedrelation and therefore are wasteful of warehouse space when accumulated prior to use. In addition, these cans or containers must have drainage holes formed in the lower ends thereof. Further, straight or parallel sided cans or containers will not release a root-bound plant therein at the time of sale and the can must be slit down at least one side to free the roots (this operation consuming time and precluding reuse of the can and presents a danger of cuts to anyone handling them).
While containers of various sizes produced solely for the purpose of nursery use and thus including adequate drainage holes and tapering sides enabling themto be readily stacked in nested relation are commercially available, these containers or cans are marketed at a cost up to ten times as great as the cost of the aforementioned discharged cans from food packing plants. Thus, the use of containers designed specifically for nursery use is very unattractive from a cost standpoint.
It is accordingly the main object of this invention to provide an apparatus capable of being either hand operated (for use on a small scale) or machine operated to transform discharded containers from food packing plants into tapered containers whichmay be readily stacked in nested relation and include adequate drainage openings in the lower ends thereof.
Another object of this invention, in accordance with the immediately preceding object, is to provide an apparatus constructed in a manner whereby a one step operation may be utilized not only to transform a straight sided container into a tapered container but to also form adequate drainage holes in the bottom walls of the containers being recycled.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus in accordance with the preceding objects which may be readily used by unskilled labor in transdetails of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a simplified power driven assemblage constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2is a front elevational view of the assemblage illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the assemblage illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view illustrating the manner in which the tandom and slightly relatively angulated V-shaped members act upon a discarded inverted food container in order to form drainage openings in the bottom wall thereof and tapered corregations in the side walls thereof;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 5--5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 6-6 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of an upright container that has been recycled for nursery use by the apparatus of the instant invention;
FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of the recycled container;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary enlarged perspective view of the vertically reciprocal bottom wall piercing and side wall creasing head of the apparatus of the instant invention; and
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary perspective view of a modified form of the invention operable to simultaneously crease and taper all four sides of a rectangular container.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, the numeral 10 generally designates the apparatus of the instant invention which includes a base plate 12 from whose upper surface a lower skeleton tower 14 is supported. The tower includes a front frame referred to in general by the reference numeral 16 consisting of a pair of vertical opposite side frame members 18 and 20 suitably anchored to the base portion or plate 12 at the lower ends and interconnected at their upper ends by means of an upper transverse member 22. The members l8 and 20 are also interconnected at their upper ends by means of a pair of upwardly convergent extensions l8 and 20' of the members 18 and 20. The upper ends of the extensions 18' and 20 are secured together and support a bifurcated mount 24 therefrom.
The tower 14 further includes a pair of rear inclined braces 26 and 28 secured at their lower ends to the rear of the base portion or base plate 12 and at their upper ends to the upper ends of the extensions 18' and 20'.
The upper end of the cylinder portion 30 of a fluid motor referred to in general by the reference numeral 32 includes an apertured mounting ear 34 secured between the furcations of the bifurcated mount 24 by means of a fastener 36. The fluid motor 32 includes a piston rod 38 which is extendable and retractable relative to the lower end of the cylinder portion 30 and the lower end 'of the piston rod 38 has an angle iron cross head 40 supported therefrom. The lower end portion of the cylinder portion 30 is secured to the transverse member 22 by means of a mounting bracket 42 through which the lower end portion of the cylinder portion 30 is secured and an electric motor 44 is supported from the base plate 12 by fasteners 46 and is drivingly connected to' the input shaft 48 of a fluid pump 50 by means of an endless flexible belt 52 trained about a pulley 54 carried by the output shaft 56 of the motor 44 and a pulley 58 mounted on the input shaft 48 of the fluid pump 50.
Outlet and return lines 60 and 62 extend from the pump 50 to a control valve 66 mounted upon the vertical member 20 and a pair of hydraulic lines 68 and 70 extend from the control valve 66 to the upper and lower fluid inlets 72 and 74 of the cylinder portion 30.
The cross head 40 is guided against angular displacement about the longitudinal axis of the piston rod 38 by its opposite ends slidingly engaging the vertical members l8 and 20 and the central portion of the cross head 40 includes a pair of spaced side-by-side depending container piercing and creasing thrust assemblies 76 and 78. The thrust assemblies are identical and each includes an elongated stabber 80 and an elongated creaser 82.
From FIGS. 4-6 and 9 of the drawings, it may be seen that the stabbers 80 and creasers 82 are V-shaped in cross-section and that the upper ends of each creaser 82 is closely nested within the upper end of the corresponding stabber 80. However, each pair of elongated members comprising a stabber 80 and a creaser 82 are slightly downwardly divergent and it may be seen that all but the extreme lowermost ends of each pair of elongated membersare at least slightly nested relative to each other. Further, it may also be noted from FIGS. and 6 of the drawings, that the angle formed by the cross-sectional shape of each creaser 32 is smaller than the angle formed by the corresponding stabber 80.
The lower end of each stabber 80 is beveled and sharpened as at 84 and the lower ends of each creaser 82 is flared and curved outwardly as at 86 away from the corresponding stabber 80 which is aligned parallel to the axis of the hydraulic cylinder.
The base plate 12 is provided with a pair of opposite side front to rear extending positioning bars 88 and 90 and a third horizontal transverse positioning bar 92 is secured and extends between the rear ends of the positioning bars 88 and 90 to define a forwardly opening recess in which an inverted container such as the container 94 may be placed preparatory to being transformed into a container suitable for nursery use. The container 94, before recycling, has an open top and an imperforate bottom wall. Further, the container 94 has four substantially equal dimensioned vertical sides disposed at 90 degrees relative to adjacent sides and which project up from corresponding sides of the bottom wall of the container.
As hereinbefore mentioned, the container 94 is inverted and positioned between the bars 88, 90 and 92. Then, the fluid motor or cylinder 32 is actuated by operation of the control valve 66 whereupon the piston rod 38 is extended downward relative to the cylinder portion 30 and the rear edge portion of the upper end of the inverted can or container 94 is engaged by the thrust assemblies 76 and 78 with the rear wall of the inverted container 94 being received between the extreme lower ends of the stabbers and creasers 82. The creasers 82 pass downwardly along the outer surface of the rear wall of the container 94 and the stabbers 80 have their beveled points thrust downward through the bottom wall 96 of the container 94. Thus, the bottom wall 96 is pierced at two points spaced along the rear wall of the inverted container 94 and two vertically extending areas of the rear wall of the container 94 are wedged between the progressively more closely nested upper end portions of the stabbers 80 and creasers 82 as the thrust assemblies 76 and 78 continue downward to the limit positions thereof illustrated in FIG. 4 of the drawings. At this point, the rear wall of the container 94 has been creased or corrugated along two vertically extending zones thereof with the creases or corregations being taperedand increasing in depth toward the lower or bottom wall 96 of the container 94. Of course, after the thrust assemblies 76 and 78 have been thrust downward by the fluid motor 32 to the lower most position thereof illustrated in FIG. 4 of the drawings, the control valve 66 may be actuated to effect retraction of the piston rod 38 whereupon the thrust assemblies 76 and 78 will be retracted upwardly. Thereafter, the container or can 94 may be rotated degrees so that the thrust assemblies 76 and 78 may again be lowered to pierce the adjacent side of the bottom wall 96 and to crease the adjacent side of the container 94. This operation is of course repeated four times until all four sides of the container 94 have been creased or corregated and all four marginal edge portions of the bottom wall 96 have been pierced.
The angle formed by the creasers 82 is smaller than the angle formed by the stabbers 80 in order to increase the creasing action, to form a draft angle to prevent binding with the can metal, and to allow quick release of the stabbers and creasers from the container 94 when the cross-head 40 and thrust assemblies 76 and 78 are raised after each operation of the machine.
It will of course be understood that the cross-head 40 and its attendant thrust assemblies 76 and 78 could be supported from one end of an elongated shank with the other end of the shank provided with a suitable handle whereby the bottom piercing and side creasing operations carried out upon the container 94 may be done by hand. In addition, the area in which the inverted container 94 is placed for bottom piercing and side creasing operations may have four towers such as the tower l4 spaced 90 degrees apart thereabout with each tower being provided with its own fluid motor 32, cross-head 40 and thrust assemblies 76 and 78. Of course, in such an installation, the control valve 60 would be operative to simultaneously actuate all four fluid motors and the complete task of piercing the four marginal edge portions of the bottom wall 96 of the container 94 and creasing or corrugating the four side walls of the container 94 could be carried out in a single operation.
With attention now invited more specifically to FIGS. 7 and 8 of the drawings, it may be seen that the container 94, after having the corrugations 100 formed therein, is tapered in configuration thus enabling a plurality of the containers 94 to be disposed in closely nested stacked relation for compact storage and shipment. Also, from FIG. 8 of the drawings, it may be seen that each marginal portionof a bottom wall 96 of the container 94 has two openings 98 cut therein by the stabbers 80. An additional benefit of forming the openings or apertures 98 by the utilization of a thrusttype stabbing implement, the material of the bottom wall 96 is depressed while the piercing operation is taking place and accordingly, inasmuch as the creasing or corrugating operation takes place simultaneously with the piercing of the bottom wall 86 to form the openings or apertures 98, the reduction in the transverse dimensions of the lower end of the completed recycled container 94 results in the bottom wall of the container 94 being raised so as to upwardly convex. This raising of the bottom wall 96 provides a false bottom effect to facilitate drainage of moisture from the openings 98.
Although the container illustrated and described herein is provided with four substantially equal dimensioned vertical sides disposed at 90 degrees relative to adjacent sides and which project upwardly from corresponding side marginal portions of the bottom wall of the container, containers of other shapes may also be creased for use as plant containers. The four sides of rectangular containers, the three sides of triangular containers and the circumferential walls of cylindrical containers may also be creased by utilizing the basic structure of the instant invention. Of course, if a single hand actuated tool is used, the creases in the associated container may be formed wherever desired about the upstanding peripheral walls of the container whether the container be square, rectangular, triangular or cylindrical in cross-sectional shape. Also, the apparatus for forming tapering creases in the side walls of containers may be constructed in accordance with any shape container that is to be creased. The apparatus may include a single fluid motor actuated tool or a single mechanically actuated tool.
With attention now invited more specifically to FIG. of the drawings, there may be'seen a multi-sided cross-head generally referred to by the reference numeral 40 and supported from the lower end of the piston rod 38. The cross-head 40' includes four sides 41 disposed at right angles relative to each other and in a horizontal plane. Each of the sides 41 includes a pair of thrust assemblies 76 and 78. By utilizing the crosshead 40 and slightly modifying the base plate 12 so as to enable the container 94 to be centered beneath the fluid motor or cylinder 32, all four sides of the container 94 may be creased or corrugated at the same time upon a single actuation of the fluid motor 32. Of course, each of the sides 41 may include more than two thrust assemblies 76 and 78, if desired, and the multisided cross-head 40' may also be constructed of circular, rectangular and triangular shape, if desired, according to the shape of the container to be creased.
If other than a hand tool is utilized, the stabber or stabbers of the apparatus are always supported so as to substantially parallel the direction of movement of the tool head with the corresponding creaser or creasers 82 inclined slightly relative to the stabbers 80 and the path of movement of the associated tool head.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. An apparatus for forming downwardly tapering creases in the side walls of straight sided or open top containers so as to taper the lower ends of the containers for compact stacking and nested relation and in a manner upwardly displacing the central areas of the bottom wall of the container and forming drain openings in and spaced about the periphery of the bottom walls, said apparatus comprising an elongated container bottom piercing and side wall creasing tool, said tool including a pair of side-by-side elongated members of generally V-shaped cross-section, said members being supported at one pair of corresponding base ends thereof in closely nested relation with one of said members closely embraced within the corresponding end of the other of said members and said members at least slightly divergent toward the other free ends thereof, the free end of said one member being beveled away from the other member and toward the base end thereof so as to define a sharpened tip on the free end of said member.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein the free end of said other member is flared into a generally flat terminal end tongue portion curved toward its free end away from said one member.
3. The combination of claim 1 including a tool head, a plurality of said tools being supported at their base end portions from said head with said tools disposed in generally parallel side-by-side relation.
4. The combination of claim 1 including a work support surface adapted to have the open end of one of said containers abutted thereagainst, a stationary support structure disposed outwardly of said surface in the direction in which said surface faces, a tool carrier being supported from said support structure for movement toward and away from said surface, said tool being supported from the tool carrier for movement therewith and with the free ends of said members facing toward said surface.
5. The combination of claim 4 including means operatively connected between said tool carrier and said stationary support structure for shifting said tool carrier toward and away from said work support surface.
6. The combination of claim 5 including at least one additional tool similar to the first mentioned tool supported from said tool carrier in laterally spaced parallel relation to the first mentioned tool and with the V- shaped members of said tool opening in the same direction.
7. The combination of claim 6 wherein the included angles formed by said one member are greater than the exterior angles formed by said other members.
8. The combination of claim 7 wherein the free ends of said other members are flared into generally flat terminal end tongue portions curved toward their free ends away from the corresponding one members.
9. The combination of claim 1 wherein the included angle formed by said one member is greater than the outside angle formed by said other member.
10. The combination of claim 1 including a tool head, a plurality of said tools being supported at their base end portions from said head with said tools about the periphery of an area of predetermined shape corresponding to the cross-sectional shape of a container whose peripheral sides are to be creased and thus longitudinally tapered by said apparatus.
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