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Publication numberUS3726387 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 10, 1973
Filing dateNov 29, 1971
Priority dateJun 17, 1970
Publication numberUS 3726387 A, US 3726387A, US-A-3726387, US3726387 A, US3726387A
InventorsKrooss R
Original AssigneeKrooss R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Continuously moving apparatus for uniformly orienting bottles
US 3726387 A
Abstract
Bottles are delivered between a pair of conveyor belts spaced apart to grip and convey them. The bottles are guided along a longitudinal path parallel to the direction of belt travel to fixture means including a transversely extending pin which enters the neck of neck-leading bottles to rotate them to base-leading conditions and which engages the bases of base-leading bottles to rotate them to extend across the belts with their necks laterally beyond the position of rotated neck-leading bottles. An abutment across the belts from the pin is positioned to clear the bases of formerly neck-leading bottles but to engage the necks of formerly base-leading bottles, as rotated to extend across the belts, and rotate such bottles to base-leading conditions. A downstream shoulder adjacent the pin prevents excessive entry of the pin into the neck of a neck-leading bottle, and an upstream abutment engages the outer portion of the base of a base-leading bottle to initiate rotation thereof into contact with the head of the pin. The bottles may then be aligned and turned to neck-upward conditions.
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United States Patent 2 191 Krooss CONTINUOUSLY MOVING APPARATUS FOR UNIFORMLY ORIENTING BOTTLES Robert J. Krooss, 74 Ball Road, Mountain Lakes, NJ. 07046 [22] Filed: Nov. 29, 1971 [21] App]. No.: 202,882

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 47,513, June 17,

1970, Pat. No. 3,624,773.

[76] Inventor:

UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,962,844 12/1960 Orlando ..l98/33 Primary Examiner--Edward A. Sroka Att0mey-Dean S. Edmonds et al.

[451 Apr. 10, 1973 [57] ABSTRACT Bottles are delivered between a pair of conveyor belts spaced apart to grip and convey them. The bottles are guided along a longitudinal path parallel to the direction of belt travel to fixture means including a transversely extending pin which enters the neck of neck-leading bottles to rotate them to base-leading conditions and which engages the bases of base-leading bottles to rotate them to extend across the belts with their necks laterally beyond the position of rotated neck-leading bottles. An abutment across the belts from the pin is positioned to clear the bases of formerly neck-leading bottles but to engage the necks of formerly base-leading bottles, as rotated to extend across the belts, and rotate such bottles to base-leading conditions. A downstream shoulder adjacent the pin prevents excessive entry of the pin into the neck of a neck-leading bottle, and an upstream abutment engages the outer portion of the base of a base-leading bottle to initiate rotation thereof into contact with the head of the pin. The bottles may then be aligned and turned to neck-upward conditions.

6 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR] 01973 sum 1 [1F 2 INVENTOR Robert J. Krooss ATTORNEY S PATENTEUAPR 1 01913 2. 726.387

SHEEI 2 OF 2 INVENTOR Robert J.Krooss BY F! 7min. v

ATTORNEYS CONTINUOUSLY MOVING APPARATUS FOR UNIFORMLY ORIENTING BOTTLES RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 47,513 filed June 17, 1970, now Pat. No. 3,624,773 by Robert J. Krooss for Continuously Moving Apparatus for Uprighting Bottles.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In application Ser. No. 47,513, supra, apparatus is described for receiving bottles and the like, particularly plastic bottles, in a hopper with random orientation and delivering them in a neck-up condition to an output conveyor. As there described, a pair of conveyor belts are spaced apart to grip and convey bottles delivered therebetween, and conveyor means is provided for delivering bottles between the belts with their longitudinal axes extending generally in the direction of travel of the belts but with the necks thereof indiscriminately leading or trailing. Guides and fixtures are positioned between the belts downstream of the region of delivery of the bottles, for orienting the bottles while gripped by the belts so that the necks of the bottles extend in'the same general direction relative to the belts Several specific embodiments are described for performing the BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention employs a pair of a conveyor belts spaced apart to grip and convey bottles and the like delivered therebetween, and means are provided for delivering bottles between the belts. Guide means are provided for guiding the bottles along a longitudinal path substantially parallel to the direction of belt travel with the bottles longitudinally oriented but with the necks thereof indiscriminately leading or trailing. Fixture means are positioned in the path of bottles traveling along said longitudinal path for rotating the bottles while gripped between the belts.

The fixture means includes a pin extending laterally of the belts for engaging and entering the necks of neck-leading bottles so that such bottles are rotated through an angle greater than 90 to base-leading conditions as they pass by the fixture means, and for engaging the bases of base-leading bottles so that such bottles are rotated to extend across the belts with the necks thereof laterally beyond the lateral position of rotated neck-leading bottles. Abutment means is spaced transversely across the belts from the pin in position to clear the bases of formerly neck-leading bottles as rotated by the pin, but to engage the necks of formerly base-leading bottles as rotated to extend across the belts and rotate such bottles to base-leading conditions as they pass thereby. Guide means are provided for guiding bottles passing by the fixture means and abutment means to approximately the same lateral level of the belts.

The fixture means advantageously includes a downstream shoulder member adjacent the pin for limiting the entry of the pin into the neck of a neckleading bottle, and an abutment spaced upstream of the pin for engaging the outer portion of the base of a baseleading bottle and initiate rotation thereof into contact with the head of the pin.

In the apparatus specifically described hereinafter, the conveyor belts move horizontally in side-by-side vertical planes, and erecting means is provided to receive bottles passing by the orienting fixtures and abutments, at which time they are all in a base-leading condition, and erect them neck-upwards.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is atop view of the conveyor belts with fixtures and bottles located therebetween;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the apparatus of FIG. I with one conveyor belt removed to show the orienting arrangement and the operation with neck-leading bottles;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing the operation with base-leading bottles;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the fixture means with a neck-leading bottle in contact with the pin thereof;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the fixture means of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a cross-section taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 4;

FIGS. 7-9 illustrate the operation of the fixture means on a neck-leading bottle; and

FIGS. 10-12 illustrate the operation of the fixture means and abutment means on a base-leading bottle.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIFIC EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. l and 2, a pair of conveyor belts 10, 10 are spaced apart in parallel face-to-face relationship, and are here shown as moving to the left in respective vertical planes. The spacing is selected to grip and convey bottles delivered therebetween. The belts travel on respective rollers 11, 11' at one end, and a similar pair of rollers (not shown) at the other end. Driving means are provided for driving the belts at a suitable speed, and may be similar to that shown in application Ser. No. 47,513, supra.

Bottles l2, 113 are delivered between the conveyor belt by downwardly traveling flight bars 14 driven by any suitable mechanism. The necks of the bottles may be indiscriminately toward the left or right, and both conditions are here shown. The flight bars 14 may be supported and driven in a manner similar to that described in the aforesaid application Ser. No. 47,513 and may be arranged to pick up bottles from a hopper and deliver them between the conveyor belts as shown. The tops of belts 10, 10' in the region of flight bars 14 may be inclined slightly outwards in a V-shape, as described in the aforesaid application, so that the bottles travel somewhat downwards before being gripped between the belts and withdrawn from the flight bars.

In this embodiment it is preferred that only one bottle be located between a pair of flight bars 14, so that the vertical flight bar conveyor of the aforesaid application may be arranged to pick up only one bottle at a time, or all but one bottle between a given pair of flight bars may be forced off of the mechanism there described. In this manner the bottles are withdrawn by conveyor belts 10, with longitudinal spacing therebetween so that a succeeding bottle will not interfere with the orienting of a preceding bottle. Other types of mechanisms may be employed to deliver the bottles generally longitudinally of the direction of belt travel, but with the necks thereof indiscriminately leading or trailing.

Referring to FIG. 2, a pair of fixed guides and 16 are supported by suitable support members 17. As shown, the guides converge toward each other so that bottles are brought to and guided along a longitudinal path substantially parallel to the direction of belt travel regardless of their exact vertical position when they are initially gripped by the belts. Thus a bottle withdrawn from the position shown at 12 travels up ramp guide 16 as shown at 12a until it reaches position-12b, whereupon it travels along a straight section 15' of guide 15 with one side of the bottle in contact with the guide or closely adjacent thereto.

An orienting fixture generally designated 18 is positioned in the path of the bottles traveling along straight section 15', and an enlarged view thereof is shown in FIGS. 4-6. As there shown, the fixture includes a pin 19 which extends laterally of the belts 10, 10' in position to engage and enter the neck of a neck-leading bottle 12c. A shallow abutment 21 is located upstream of pin 19 in position to engage the base of a base-leading bottle, as will be described later. A shoulder member 22 is positioned adjacent pin 19 on the downstream side thereof for limiting the entry of the pin into the neck of a neck-leading bottle, so that the bottle will not snag or jam on the pin and be prevented from further rotation. The fixture means may be assembled as a unit and attached to guide 15 in region 15', as shown, Or, if desired, the parts may be made separate and affixed in place in desired manner.

As shown, abutment 21 and shoulder member 22 are wider than pin 19 so as to provide a strong unit which can readily be replaced to accommodate different bottle sizes and shapes. However, in some instances either or both can be made narrower if desired, so long as they perform the desired functions.

Referring to FIGS. 7-9, the bottle 12c traveling along guide section 15 in neck-leading condition, has its neck 23 intercepted by pin 19. Since the bottle is gripped between the conveyor belts, when the upper portion of neck 23 is engaged by pin 19, a turning force is exerted on the bottle and it begins to rotate as shown' in FIG. 8, and pivots around the head of the pin. The bottle continues to rotate about the pin, as shown in FIG. 9, shoulder 22 limiting entry of the pin into the neck of the bottle, and as rotation continues the neck slips off pin 19 and the bottle travels thereafter in a base-leading condition as illustrated at 12d in FIG. 2.

Returning to FIG. 2, the downstream portion 15" of guide 15 slopes downward toward a horizontal guide 24, and the bottles are forced downward to a desired transverse position or lateral level of the belts, as shown at 12c. Thereafter the bases of the bottles engage a ramp 25 and are erected to a neck-upwards condition as shown at 12f, and are drawn out from between the conveyor belts 10, 10' by belts 26 and 27 and then engage the rising belt 28 as described in the aforesaid application Ser. No. 47,513.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the orienting of a base-leading bottle 13 is shown. Converging guides 15 and 16 bring the bottles to a predetermined position lateral of belts l0, l0, regardless of their lateral position when initially gripped by the belts and withdrawn from the flight bars 14. Successive positions 13a and 13b illustrate one path of movement. As the bottle travels along the straight portion 15' of the upper guide to position 13c, the base thereof engages the orienting fixture 18.

As illustrated in FIGS. 10-12, the upper edge of the base of bottle 13c first encounters abutment 21 and, being gripped between the belts, rotation of the bottle begins as indicated in FIG. 10. When the base contacts the head of pin 19, rotation continues as indicated in FIG. 11, and finally the bottle passes by the pin as indicated in FIG. 12. Since in this case the head of pin 19 contacts the base of the bottle, rather than entering the neck thereof, the bottle is forced laterally of the belts 10, 10' a greater distance than in the case of neck-leading bottles. Compare FIG. 12 with FIG. 9, and similarly FIG. 2 with FIG. 3.

Abutment 31 is located transversely across the belts 10, 10' in position to be engaged by the neck of a bottle in position 13c, so that continued movement of the bottle as gripped between the belts causes it to be rotated to a base-leading condition as shown at 13d in FIG. 3. However, the bases of formerly neck-leading bottles clear abutment 31, as shown in FIG 2, since they are not forced across the belts as far as formerly base-leading bottles.

As shown, abutment 31 is slightly downstream of pin 19 so that the bottle clears pin 19 before the neck is engaged. This is considered desirable to avoid possible jamming, but the position may be altered to suit the size and shape of bottles being handled. It could of course be farther downstream since the bottles will remain in substantially the same orientation until they encounter other fixtures and guides.

Returning to FIG. 3, after passing abutment 31 the bottle travels along with the belts and is guided by the downwardly sloping portion 15 of the upper guide to position l3e, which is the same as position He in FIG. 2. Thereafter the bottle is erected neck upwards as described before.

The size and configuration of the components of fixture 18 may be selected in accordance with the size and shape of bottles to be handled, and different fixtures may be employed for different kinds of bottles. In some cases it may be possible to eliminate the downstream shoulder 22, as for example with bottles having large diameter necks when there is no danger of locking on the pin 19, and in some cases it may be unnecessary to employ the upstream abutment 21 to initiate turning of base-leading bottles. However, the fixture as shown has been found to be very reliable in practice.

It will be understood that the successive positions of the bottles shown in the figures are illustrative only, and that deviations therefrom may be encountered in practice depending on the size and shape of the bottles facilitates eventual erecting of the bottles neck-upward. However spaced belts traveling in horizontal planes or at an angle to the vertical are possible. Also, with the belts traveling in vertical planes, the guides,

fixtures and abutments could be inverted from top to' bottom, with suitable modifications at the outlet to permit proper erection neck-upward if required.

Provision for adjustment of the belt spacing, and changing of fixtures, et'c., to accommodate different types of bottles may be made as described in the aforesaid application Ser. No. 47,513.

I claim: p

1. Apparatus for handling bottles and the like having a neck extending from a shoulder thereof, said apparatus comprising a. a pair of conveyor belts spaced apart in face-toface relationship to grip and delivered therebetween,

b. means for delivering bottles between said belts,

c. means for guiding said bottles along a longitudinal path substantially parallel to the direction of belt travel with the bottles longitudinally oriented but with the necks thereof indiscriminately leading or trailing,

d. fixturemeans positioned in the path of bottles convey bottles v traveling along said longitudinal path for rotating the bottles while gripped between said belts,

e. said fixture means including a pin extending laterally of the belts for engaging and entering the necks of neck-leading bottles so that such bottles are rotated through an angle greater than 90 to base-leading conditions and for engaging the bases of base-leading bottles so that such bottles are rotated to extend across the belts with the necks thereof laterally beyond the lateral position of rotated neck-leading bottles,

f. and abutment means spaced transversely across said belts from said pin in position to clear the bases of formerly neck-leading bottles as rotated by said pin but to engage the necks of formerly base-leading bottles as rotated to extend across the belts and rotate such bottles to base-leading conditions as they pass thereby.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 including guide means positioned between said conveyor belts downstream of said fixture means and abutment means for guiding bottles passing thereby in base-leading conditions to substantially the same lateral level of said belts.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said fixture means includes a shoulder member adjacent said pin on the downstream side thereof for limiting entry of the pin into the neck of a neck-leading bottle to a nonlocking position.

4. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said fixture means includes an abutment spaced upstream of said pin for engaging the outer portion of the base of a base-leading bottle and initiate rotation thereof into the pin for enga ing the outerportion of the base of a base-leading 0 1e and initiate rotation thereof into contact with the head of said pin.

6. Apparatus for handling bottles and the like having a neck extending from a shoulder thereof, said apparatus comprising a. a pair of conveyor belts moving generally horizontally in side-by-side generally vertical planes and spaced apart to grip and convey bottles delivered therebetween,

. means for delivering bottles between said belts in generally longitudinal orientation in the direction of belt travel but with the necks thereof indiscriminately leading or trailing,

c. guide means for guiding said bottles along a l0ngitudinal path substantially parallel to the direction of belt travel,

. fixture means position in the path of bottles traveling along said longitudinal path for rotating the bottles while gripped between said belts,

e. said fixture means including a pin extending laterally of the belts for engaging and entering the necks of neck-leading bottles so that such bottles are rotated through an angle greater than to base-leading conditions and for engaging the bases of base-leading bottles so that such bottles are rotated to extend across the belts with the necks thereof laterally beyond the lateral position of rotated neck-leading bottles,

f. abutment means spaced transversely across said belts from said pin in position to clear the bases of formerly neck-leading bottles as rotated by said pin but to engage the necks of formerly base-leading bottles as rotated to extend across the belts and rotate such bottles to base-leading conditions as they pass thereby, 4

. said fixture means including a shoulder member adjacent said pin on the downstream side thereof for limiting entry of the pin into the neck of a neck-leading bottle to a non-locking position, and an abutment spaced upstream of the pin for engaging the outer portion of the base of a base-leading bottle and initiate rotation thereof into contact with the head of the pin,

h. gulde means positioned between said conveYor belts downstream of said fixture means and abutment means for guiding bottles passing thereby in base-leading conditions to substantially the same lateral level of said belts,

i. and erecting means for receiving bottles from the last-mentioned guide means and erecting them neck upward.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2962844 *Oct 14, 1955Dec 6, 1960Orlando MatthewMachine for making dry cells
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4208761 *Jan 24, 1978Jun 24, 1980New England Machinery, Inc.Bottle conveying and cleaning apparatus
US4271954 *Apr 3, 1979Jun 9, 1981New England Machinery, Inc.Bottle orienting apparatus
US4308943 *Apr 14, 1980Jan 5, 1982Anchor Hocking CorporationLiquor flask orienter
US4463846 *Apr 23, 1979Aug 7, 1984New England Machinery, Inc.Bottle orienting apparatus
US4790423 *Nov 17, 1986Dec 13, 1988Pace Packaging CorporationBottle stand up apparatus
US5472747 *Nov 23, 1993Dec 5, 1995Poo; Ramon E.Method and apparatus for treating a polyolefin surface to obtain an active surface which is receptive to inks and adhesives
US6000524 *Sep 22, 1997Dec 14, 1999The Pillsbury CompanyApparatus for orienting randomly organized articles
US7819234 *Nov 6, 2008Oct 26, 2010Herzog Kenneth JBottle orienting device
DE202006015118U1 *Oct 2, 2006Feb 21, 2008Ass Elektronik GmbhVorrichtung zum Ausrichten einseitig geöffneter Behältnisse, insbesondere Reagenzgläser
Classifications
U.S. Classification198/400, 198/636, 198/416
International ClassificationB65G15/10, B65G15/14, B65G47/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65G2201/02, B65G15/14, B65G47/1471, B65G2201/0244
European ClassificationB65G15/14, B65G47/14B4F