US 3712449 A
Feeding apparatus for loading or ramming tubes or the like on a mandrel, said apparatus having a driven chain, belt or the like with at least one rotatable finger mounted thereon, a cam surface adapted to rotate the finger in one direction in order to position the finger to remove a tube from a carrier and place it over a mandrel, and resilient biasing means adapted to cause said finger to rotate in another direction in order to fall away from the tube after it has been placed upon the mandrel.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Unite States Patent Holovnia et al. 1 5] Jan. 23, 1973  FEEDING APPARATUS 2,714,441 8/1955 N011 ..19s 170 I 3,292,772 12/1966 Rice... .....l98/204  lnventos' Jseph vme 3,367,472 2/l968 R0551 ..l98/22 Rakauskas, both of Shrewsbury, Mass- Primary ExaminerRichard E. Aegerter 73 Assignee; Dennison M f tu i Company, Attorney-Sewall P. Bronstein, Joh'n Woodberry,
pramingham, Mass. Robert T. Gammons, Donald Brown, Robert L. Goldberg and Robert F. OConnell  Filed: April 21, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 135,844 1 ABSTRACT Feeding apparatus for loading or ramming tubes or the 52 US. Cl. ..l98/20R 198/170 like a mandrel Said apparatus having a drive"  Int Cl B65g 4'7/00 6 19/00 chain, belt or the like with at least one rotatable finger  Fig-Id fig 446 1 198/20 mounted thereon, a cam surface adapted to rotate the 6 2 22 finger in one direction in order to position the finger to remove a tube from a carrier and place it over a mandrel, and resilient biasing means adapted to cause  References Cited said finger to rotate in another direction in order to UNITED STATES PATENTS fall away from the tube after it has been placed upon the mandrel. 2,187,026 l/l940 Hamochek ..l98/l70 2,669,342 2/1954 Neal ..l98/l70 5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures FEEDING APPARATUS FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention is related to an apparatus or machine for loading a carrier with tubes or the like held by a conveyor at a very rapidv rate. The carrier is then BACKGROUND OFTl-IE INVENTION Heat transfer labeling systems have'come into wide use over the past few years. Essentially, such systems I include a conveyor for feeding means to be labeled, means for transferring the means to be labeled to a turret for positioning the said means to be labeled one at a time at a labeling station, a feed mechanism for transporting labels supported on a backing strip to the labeling station, and means for pressing the label against the means to be labeled to transfer a label thereto. Such systems are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,981,432, 3,036,624, 3,064,714, 3,208,897, 3,231,448, 3,313,667, and 3,261,734. Label bearing strips for the above system is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,862,832.
The systems mentioned above have also come into use for labeling vialsor tubes. To accomplish the above the turret comprises a carrier having a plurality of mandrels for receiving the vials or tubes. In the past the vials were gravity dropped onto the mandrels and in the case of the tubes, they were rolled down a chute and then forced on horizontal mandrels by a reciprocating air cylinder.
Both of the, above transfer schemes were slow and thus considerably reduced the number of items which could be labeled in a given time period. This greatly reduced the operating efficiency of the decorating system and made it'less advantageous than other labeling schemes.
Accordingly, it became apparent that a new transfer scheme was necessary in order to speed up the transfer of vials, tubes or the like onto a mandrel of a carrier or turret.
In this apparatus, higher speed is accomplished by the movement of a ramming device in a nonreciprocating and undirectional manner which is preferably synchronous with the positioning of the tube for forcing over the mandrel.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a new and improved ramming apparatus for forcing and feeding tubes or the like onto a mandrel positioned on a carrier or decora-.
tor at a rate much greater than that of the prior art. In this invention tubes are supported such that the ramming apparatus may initially engage the tube, then force the tube over the mandrel and then move away from the tube after the tube is securely placed over the mandrel. In the preferred construction of this invention, the rammer apparatus comprises two chains running in parallel on vertically mounted sprockets. Ramming fingers are mounted on pins between the BRIEF DESCRIFTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top view showing the general layout of the invention as part of a label applying system;
FIG. 2 is a partial sectional view taken along line. 2
2 of FIG. 1;'
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a view showing the position of one of the fingers after placing a tube onto a mandrel; and
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Reference should now be had to FIGS. 1-5 for a description of the invention. At 10 in the drawing there is shown one type of conveyor which is adapted to be used with the ramming apparatus of this invention. The conveyor comprises a plurality of substantially U shaped cradles 11 supported by a cable or belt or chain 13 driven by means (not shown) in a conventional manner. The cradles are constructed to carry tubes 12 or'the like in an upright position between cradle prongs 11a and .1 lb. The tubes are held upright by the friction fitof the tubes between the prongs with the open bottom of the tube extending downwardly and the position of the tube to be capped extending upwardly as shown in FIG. 4.
"At 20 in the drawing there is shown -a turret or carrier having a plurality of mandrels or rods 21 extending upwardly near the circumference thereof. The mandrels 21 are shaped to receive tubes 12 about them and accordingly their exact shape will vary with tube configuration. The mandrels of this invention are preferably provided with central tubing or passages (not shown) for the passage of air to remove the tubes 12 after a label has been applied thereto.
After labeling the tubes 12 are moved to and positioned below a chute 25 and a burst of air is applied through the mandrel to blast the tubes 12 into the chute in the direction shown by arrow 26.
To insert the tubes upon or over the mandrels 21, thereis provided the ramming apparatus 30 of this invention. The apparatus 30 comprises two parallel sprockets 31A and 318 which are mounted on a drive shaft 32 positioned in bearings 33 which in turn are supported by frame 34. The sprockets are adapted to rotate in unison and are driven through shaft 32 through a gear box 35 anchored to the frame '34 and By adjustment of the frame member 41 within a guide slot 41A by adjusting bolt 41B and then tightening bolt 41C, it is possible to properly chains 44A and'44B as required,
Positioned on pins 50.wh i ch. are supported between the two chains 44A and 44B. are aplurality of fingers tension the 51. The fingers are adapted to rotate or-pivot about the point of release by the ,camsurface34A move counter" clockwise when the tube is in its final place on the man-. drel, thus forcing the fingers inwardly.
The fingers 51 also include a pusher or ramming surface 51B which is' adapted to engage the top portion 12A of the tube to force it over the mandrel 21. It should be understood that the portion 51B can take many different shapes depending on the tube construction.-
In addition, the fingers l include cam follower portions or surfaces 51C for engaging a cam surface 34A which is positioned about the periphery of the frame 34 itself. The cam 34A is formed by shaping the frame 34 so that the finger will take an outward or extended position as shown at point 59 in the drawing.
The above mentioned extended position of the finger is accomplished by rotating the finger clockwise about pin 50. The cam 34 is also shaped at 34B so that it permits the fingers 51 to be rotated counter clockwise so that it may fall away or fall back from the tube 12 as shown in FIG. 4 after the tube is placed on the mandrel.
At 58 in FIG. 1 there is diagrammatically shown a mechanism for applying a label from a label strip as in the conventional heat transfer decorating schemes shown in the aforementioned patents. The label carrying strip is shown at 60 and is fed out by a plurality of rolls 61 over a label preheated 62 and thence to a heated platen 63 to the labeling station where a roller 64 presses the label against the tube'while the tube is positioned on the mandrel. Thereafter thestrip 60 passes over rolls 65 and is carried away. Depending upon the tube shape and the label size, the tube may be rotated by rotating the mandrel by means not shown but conventional in the art. Since the labeling step itself forms no part of this-invention, it is recommended that the aforementioned patents be referred to, for any further description. In addition, post flaming can be accomplished by a nozzle 67 adapted to expel hot air as conventional in the art. a g
In operation the cradles 11 are moved in a synchronized mannerwith the carrier 20 and mandrels 21 and then stopped in order to permit the finger 51 to force a tube over the mandrels. The fingers '51 are synchronized so that they-first extend outwardly and then come downwardlywhen positioning a tube over a mandrel. Continued downward movement of-thefinger forces the tube over the mandrel until the tube is placed overthe mandrel. At this point the finger. retracts as shown in FIG. 4. Thereafter the tubes are carried alongfor labeling, and ultimately expelled into the chute 25. I
The fingers 51 continue to move as described in a sequential manner as each tube'is positioned over each mandrel to effect tube transfer.
We claim: g v V v I 1. In alabelin'g system for applying labels to tubes or the like supported upon a mandrel, said system includ ing a carrier having at least one mandrel positioned thereon which is adapted to carry a tube from: a feeding station to a labeling station and a supplying mechanism for providing-a tube or the like in a supporting means intoa position where it may be fed onto saidrnandrel, the improvement comprising a ramming apparatus which includes a pivotal fin'gerwhich is rotatably positionable in one direction to engage the tube while in the supporting. means and force it over the mandrel and which is positionable to pivot in an opposite second direction after thetube is placed on the mandrel so as to withdraw from the tube, saidfinger being provided with a cam follower, a cam positioned to engage the cam follower of the finger; the cam ofa shape to first rotate the finger and rigidly hold it in place to cause the finger to engage a tube held in the supporting means and force the tube over the mandrel, said cam also shaped to permit the finger to rotate away from the tube after the tube is positioned on the mandrel, and drive means to which the finger is pivotally coupled for moving said finger with respect to said cam.
2. In a labeling system according to claim 1 in which said ramming apparatus comprises a plurality of driven chains adapted for simultaneous movement in the same direction, and pin means positioned between said chains on which said finger is pivotally mounted.
3. In a labeling system according to claim 2 in which resilient biasing means is provided for rotating said finger away from said tube.
4. In a labeling system according to claim 1 in which the finger is supported for rotation by a first pin mounted on said drive means, said finger having a slot, and a second pin also supported by said drive means and movable with said first pin, said second pin extending into said slot to limit the rotation of said finger.
5. In a labeling system for applying labels to tubes or the like supported upon a mandrel, said system including a carrier having at least one mandrel positioned thereon which is adapted to carry a tube from a feeding station to a labeling station and a supplyingmechanism for providing a tube or the like ina supporting means into a position where it may be fed onto said mandrel, the improvement comprising a ramming apparatus which includes a pivotal finger which is rotatably positionable in one direction to engage the tube while in the supporting means and force it over the mandrel and which is positionable to pivot in anopposite second direction after the tube is placed on the mandrel so'as to withdraw from the tube,
a plurality of driven chains adapted for simultaneous movement in the same, direction, pin means positioned between said chains on which said finger is pivotally mounted, cam means provided to engage the finger to cause it to be positionedto engage the tube, resilient biasing means'provided for rotating said'finger away from said tube,-a nd in which the finger is provided with a; guide slot through which a second pin coupled between the chains passes to guide the movement of the finger. I
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