US 3740919 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Heisler APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR ORIENTING AND CASE PACKING BAILED CONTAINERS  Inventor: Raymond A. Heisler, 657 Dakota Tr., Franklin Lakes, NJ. 07417  Filed: Dec. 6, 1971  Appl. No.: 204,892
[ June 26, 1973 Primary Examiner-Robert L. Spruill Attorney-Ralph R. Roberts [5 7] ABSTRACT An apparatus and method is disclosed for receiving bailed containers in a single file array from a delivery conveyor and to orient said containers so that they are delivered by gravity in two groups of twos into an automatically erected carton. After filling the carton with four containers is advanced to a closing, sealing and delivering mechanism. In this automatic mechanism the cartons for the case packing operation are placed in a delivery station from which they are advanced to an erecting station which is automatically actuated in response to the gravitational delivery of bailed containers to and through the orienting apparatus. Alternate embodiments for elevating the glued and sealed cartons are shown from which the cartons may be delivered to a conveyor or pallet. The containers as they are arranged in the carton may have their bails facing into the corners of the carton or facing toward the center of the carton.
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RA YMO/VD A. HE/sL ER '6 GE/VI APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR ORIENTING AND CASE PACKING BAILED CONTAINERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention With reference to the classification of art as established in the United States Patent Office the field of art to which this invention pertains is found in the general class of Package Making and more particularly in the subclass of automatic or trigger control and more particularly in the further subclass of group feed triggered by completion of group. Another pertinent subclass in this general classis group forming of contents unit and subsequent or further packaging and more particularly to the subclass of layers, stacks or columns. Another subclass of interest in this general class is depositing articles and arranging materialin preformed receptacles and more particularly to the further subclass of simultaneous deposit of plural articles."
2. Description of the Prior Art In the prior art, apparatus is known wherein eared containers with attached bails are oriented and fed into erected cartons which are then sealed. The mechanism for orienting and feeding these containers is usually complex, expensive and often is capable of an operating speed which is less than that now achieved in filling lines having automatic bail-applying mechanism. An example of said bail-applying mechanism is found in my U.S. Pat. No. 3,241,578 which issued Mar. 22, 1966. This bail-applying mechanism is used on hundreds of production lines such as paint filling lines many of which, if not all, are presently operating at speeds of 75 or more containers per minute. It is desirable and necessary that case packing apparatus used with these filling lines have sustained operating capacities as great as, and preferably in excess of, those operating speeds.
Several recent U.S. Patents pertaining to apparatus for article positioning and case loading have been issued. Among these patents are U.S. Pat. No. 3,209,512 to Ferguson, Jr., etal which issued on Oct. 5, 1965; U.S. Pat. No. 3,284,985 to Roth which issued on Nov. 15, 1966 and also U.S. Pat. No. 3,462,912 to Anderson which issued on Aug. 26, 1969. In these and other known systems it is the intent to receive bailed cared containers and to orient these containers so that with their bails laid against the side of the containers these containers, as a grouping, may be fed into an open erected carton and with the containers in a determined oriented condition the carton is closed and sealed. Insofar as is known by the applicant the apparatus aboveidentified and shown in these patents as well as others which have been used in industry have not provided the reliability and speed necessary for present paint filling lines.
In the present invention and as reduced to practice, the rate for the orienting and placing the bailed containers in an erected carton is at least ten percent greater than the 75 containers per minute now found on some of the faster paint filling lines. The present invention receives bailed containers on a conveyor leading from the bail-applying mechanism and immediately thereafter feeds these containers by gravity into an orienting mechanism where they are oriented in a determined manner and arranged in groups of twos. As oriented pairs, these containers are then fed by gravity into the open side of an erected carton whose bottom panel is disposed at an angle or slope. After the carton has been filled with four containers the carton is advanced to a closing, sealing and delivering mechanism. The rate of operation of the mechanism of the present invention is established by the receipt of the containers from the bail-applying mechanism or other feeder lines. The bailed containers, as oriented, may be arranged in the carton with their bails facing into the four corners of the carton or if desired the bails may be facing toward the center of the carton.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention may be summarized at least in part with reference to its objects.
It is an object of this invention to provide, and it does provide, an orienting apparatus adapted to receive bailed eared containers aligned in a determined array and to feed these containers in a single file to an apparatus wherein the containers are oriented in a desired array and arranged into columns of twos and as oriented pairs are discharged into an open side of an erected carton. After the carton has been filled with four oriented containers it is transferred to closing, gluing and discharging operations.
It is a further object of this invention to provide, and it does provide, orienting apparatus adapted to receive bailed ea'red containers delivered in single file array and to reorient the containers so that they are delivered two at a time as oriented pairs to and into an erected carton after which the flaps of the carton are closed and glued as and after which the carton is advanced for delivery to a conveyor or pallet. The carton erecting equipment includes a flat carton receiving station whereat a supply of cartons is stored in a substantially vertical condition and from which they are fed to a carton chute in which a supply of cartons is supported in a more or less horizontal condition. From the bottom of the chute the cartons are engaged by suction cups carried on an arm which is cycled so as to withdraw a carton from the chute and erect this same carton while delivering to a carton conveyor apparatus.
The orienting and case packing apparatus and method provided by this invention includes a receiving conveyor adapted to feed bailed containers one at a time to an orienting station where the containers are advanced by means of a gravity conveyor. Each container as it enters the orienting station engages a drive pin which moves the apparatus during which a pressure disc is caused to be moved downwardly to engage the top of the bailed container. The orienting apparatus then moves the engaged pressure disc apparatus forwardly to the extent that the container is rotated as it is displaced sidewards and forwardly to a determined orientated position. The orienting mechanism then stops until a succeeding container enters and engages another drive pin which releases the orienting apparatus to cause an orienting actuation during which the pressure disc engages and moves a second container sidewards and forwardly while this pressure disc rotates this engaged container a determined amount to bring this second container to the desired oriented condition. When this second container has been brought to substantially the same forward alignment as the first container the two containers are released from the orienting station to roll forwardly on a gravity conveyor into an erected carton.
The third and fourth containers are fed sequentially into the same orienting station whereat they are oriented separately and consecutively until they are brought to a more or less side-by-side arrangement similar to that accorded the first pair. As with the first two containers the third and fourth containers are oriented to a determined degree of rotation and when the fourth container has reached its displaced oriented condition it and the third container are released to be fed by gravity into the erected carton. This action initiates a signal means for automatically causing the filled carton to be advanced and closed while a just-erected carton is moved into place for filling with the next four containers. Sealing and delivering of the filled cartons to a pal-v let or conveyor are shown in the apparatus to be more fully described.
In addition to the above summary of the following disclosure is detailed to insure adequacy and aid in understanding of the invention. This disclosure, however, is not intended to prejudice that purpose of a patent which is to cover each new inventive concept therein no matter how it may later be disguised by variations in form or additions of further improvement. For this reason there has been chosen a specific embodiment of the orienting apparatus for rotating and positioning the containers and case packing the bailed eared containers as adopted for use with container bailing or container conveying mechanism and showing a preferred means for orienting and grouping the containers into groups of two and then in a group of four placing them in a carton. This specific embodiment and an alternate embodiment of an elevating mechanism have been chosen for the purposes of illustration and description as shown in the accompanying drawings wherein:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 represents a perspective view of the case packer of this invention and showing in particular an arrangement for feeding bailed containers to an orienting mechanism and delivering these containers to an erected carton and for gluing and closing the carton and then delivering this sealed carton to a conveyor, a pallet or other receiving means;
FIG. 2 represents, in an enlarged scale, a side view, partly in section, a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1 and showing in particular the preferred apparatus for storing and feeding the cartons from a receiving station to an erecting station for delivery to an advancing conveyor and loading station;
FIG. 3 represents a fragmentary sectional side view of the carton erecting and delivery mechanism of FIG. 2 and showingin particular a lower carton in the initial stage of being grasped by a plurality of suction cups each carried by a delivery arm;
FIG. 4 represents a sectional side view of the apparatus of FIG. 3 after the suction cups have engaged the carton and with the arms beginning to move the carton downwardly a small distance;
FIG. 5 represents a sectional side view of the same apparatus as in FIGS. 3 and 4 but with the delivery arms now moved downwardly to a point of operation where the carton is about three-quarters erected;
FIG. 6 represents a sectional side view of the apparatus of FIG. 5 but with the transfer arms now moved so as to bring the carton into a fully erected condition;
FIG. 7 represents a somewhat diagrammatic plan view showing a portion of the carton erecting and transferring apparatus providing for closing the end flaps of the cartonas it is brought into and through the opening and loading station and then toward the closing station;
FIG. 8 represents a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 8-8 of FIG. 7 and showing in particular the apparatus for retaining the flaps of the carton in a closed position;
FIG. 9 represents a fragmentary plan view showing in an enlarged scale and detail the apparatus for tucking in a flap of the carton and with the apparatus in an initial stage for closing or folding said flap;
FIG. 10 represents a fragmentary view of the apparatus of FIG. 9 with the carton now advanced so as to utilize a closing action for the trailing flap of the carton;
FIG. 11 represents a partly diagrammatic sectional side view of the orienting station and showing the bailed containers as they are fed into said orienting station for delivery into an open carton;
FIG. 12 represents a plan view in an enlarged scale, partly diagrammatic, showing in particular the mechanism for orienting the containers with the bails disposed toward the comers of the carton;
FIG. 13 represents a plan view like the view of FIG. 12 but showing the containers with the bails disposed toward the center of the carton;
FIG. 14 represents a plan view, partly diagrammatic, of the orienting apparatus and showing in particular the drive mechanism for moving the orienting arms, the view being taken on the line 14-14 of FIG. 15 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 15 represents a side view, partly in section, of the apparatus of FIG. 14 and showing the mechanism for sequentially orienting the bailed containers, the view taken on the line 15-15 of FIG. 14 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 16A represents a plan view, somewhat diagrammatic, of the rotative action imparted to container one for its orientation;
FIG. 16B represents a plan view, somewhat diagrammatic, of the rotative action imparted to container two for its orientation;
FIG. 16C represents a plan view, somewhat diagrammatic, of the rotative action imparted to container three for its orientation;
FIG. 16D represents a plan view, somewhat diagrammatic, of the rotative action imparted to container four for its orientation;
FIG. 17A represents a diagrammatic plan view of the orienting conveyor with containers one and two ready for release into the carton;
FIG. 178 represents the'plan view of FIG. 17A but with the now released containers one and two moving into the carton;
FIG. 17C represents the plan view of FIG. 17A with containers one and two now fully into the carton and containers three and four retained for release;
FIG. 17D represents the plan view of FIG. 17A but with the now released containers three and four moving into the carton;
FIG. 17E represents the plan view of FIG. 17A but with the containers one, two, three and four now fully in the carton;
FIG. 18 represents a fragmentary plan view of the carton station wherein the end flaps are retained in a semi-open condition;
FIG. 19 represents an end view taken on the line l9-19 of FIG. 18 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 20 represents a fragmentary plan view of a carton as it passes the glue applicator;
FIG. 21 represents an end view taken on the line 21--21 of FIG. 20 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 22 represents an end view showing the apparatus for gluing and elevating a series of filled cartons and showing in particular a means for closing the outer flaps of the carton and for the delivery of this and subsequent cartons to and from the elevator to a pallet or conveyor;
FIG. 23 represents an end view showing an alternate apparatus also adapted for gluing and elevating a series of filled cartons and from a short accumulating elevating section the filled and sealed cartons are delivered to a conveyor or pallet;
FIG. 24 represents a somewhat diagrammatic end view of the apparatus of FIG. 23;
FIG. 25 represents an end view of yet another alternate apparatus for gluing and elevating cartons in a manner similar to that of FIG. 22 and showing in particular an alternate method of pressing the flaps after the cartons have been glued and for retaining the cartons in an upwardly advancing station as they are moved to a discharge condition;
FIG. 26 represents a fragmentary face or front view showing in enlarged detail a hook means for engaging pins on a roller chain and for retaining the elevator at selected positions;
FIG. 27A represents the upper half of a schematic diagram of the operating circuit of the preferred apparatus, and
FIG. 278 represents the lower half of the schematic diagram for use with FIG. 27A.
In the following description and in the claims various details will be identified by specific names for convenience; these names, however, are intended to be generic in their application. Corresponding reference characters refer to like members throughout the several figures of the drawings.
The drawings accompanying, and forming part of, this specification disclose certain details of construction for the purpose of explanation of the broader aspects of the invention, but it should be understood that structural details may be modified in various respects without departure from the concept and principles of the invention and that the invention may be incorporated in other structural forms than shown.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in particular to FIG. 1 wherein an automatic case packer is shown in which from and on a receiving conveyor 30 a succession of bailed containers 3] is carried. Each container ha a pivotally attached wire bail 32 and is fed in a single-file array to an orienting mechanism generally indicated as 33. This orienting mechanism is more fully described in relation to FIGS. 14 and wherein means is provided for rotating four bailed containers into four separate orientating conditions. In this orienting apparatus, the containers are caused to be brought into groups of two, and aligned in pairs are fed into an erected carton lying at an angle. The carton is disposed with a pair of side flaps of the carton open so that the containers, with the bails in a determined array, may be fed to and slid into this open side of the carton. A carton storage and feeding apparatus is generally indicated as 34 and is adapted to receive cartons in a flat folded condition and in a substantially vertical condition. In this attitude advancing means moves these cartons to a delivery chute where these cartons are here grasped one at a time by means of a plurality of vacuum cups each carried at the end of a delivery arm. The grasped carton is brought into a carton-erecting mechanism generally indicated as 35. This erecting station will be hereinafter more fully described in conjunction with specific details and specific arrangements as shown in other more detailed figures.
After four bailed containers have been oriented and delivered to and into the open side of the angularly disposed carton, the carton is advanced to a flap-closing station whereat a hot-melt glue as delivered from a glue application mechanism 36 is applied as by spraying onto the flaps of the carton, after which the flaps are closed and the sealed cartons are lifted by elevating mechanism generally indicated as 38 for delivery to and onto a delivery conveyor or onto a pallet for stacking (not shown). The means of accumulating the sealed cartons is merely a matter of selection to accommodate the apparatus at the customers plant. As seen in this FIG. 1 and in more detail in other views, the elevating mechanism for the carton includes a hydraulic cylinder acting in combination with pivoted stops carried in a frame. An alternate retaining and pressing mechanism employing a roller chain apparatus is shown in other views whereby the cartons are lifted in a cycling motion actuated also by a cylinder mechanism which operates in a timed relationship to the other operations performed by this automatic case packer.
CARTON-FEEDING AND DELIVERY MECHANISM OF FIG. 2
Referring next to FIG. 2, there is shown a side view, partly in section, of the carton-feeding and delivery mechanism 34. As depicted, a chute 40, carried on a framework 42, is adapted to receive a group of flat folded cartons 44 which are delivered and stored in the chute in a substantially vertical manner. This chute 40 is open at the top and back (left end) so that, as the cartons are used, other cartons are supplied to the delivery system by an attendant without the necessity of shutting down the operation of the case packer to replenish the carton supply. The cartons 44, as they are deposited in the chute, rest upon a toothed belt 46 which has its left end carried by an idler pulley 48 mounted on and carried by a shaft 49 supported by and rotatably retained by a pair of pillow block bearings 50 mounted on a pair of the upright members of the framework 42.
To the right of idler pulley 48 is a smaller pulley 52 mounted on shaft 53. This shaft is supported and rotatably retained by bearings not shown. The toothed belt 46 on its upper extent or reach extends from pulley 48 to pulley 52 in a substantially horizontal manner. After passing over pulley 52, the belt 46 is directed downwardly at an approximately 60 to angle. In this downward travel this extent of belt is supportedby and slides on a slide plate 54. This slide plate is secured to and is retained in a determined condition by a bolster or header member 56 which is attached to and is carried by a front frame member 57. The belt in its downward-supported travel continues to a drive pulley 58 which is carried by drive shaft 59 rotatably retained in bearings not shown. These bearings are secured to and carried by frame 57.
The toothed belt 46 is directed around drive pulley 58 to a tightening pulley 62 rotatably carried on a shaft 63 secured to a pivot arm 64 whose pivoted end is mounted and retained on a pivot pin 65 carried by bolster 56. From pulley 62 the belt 46 extends to pulley 48 and travels in the direction as indicated by the arrows. The drive or advancement of the belt 46 is intermittent and is accomplished and regulated by means of a drive system which includes a lobe provided on a cam member 66 which is secured to and rotated with shaft 59. As shaft 59 is rotated clockwise as indicated by the arrow, the lobe 66 is brought in way of and engages a roller 68 so as to lift arm 64 around pivot pin 65. With lobe 66 in engagement with roller 68 and the arm 64 in lifted condition the roller 62 is moved upwardly to tighten belt 46 and cause it to be advanced with the clockwise rotation of pulley 58.
Adjustably carried on the opposite side of the slide plate 54 and defining an angled carton-retaining means is a pair of guide rails 72. These rails are carried on threaded studs 73 extending through a header member 74 attached to and supported by frame 57. On the forward or downward end of each of the rails 72 is provided an inturning lip or stop 76 which engages and supports the stack of cartons and particularly the lowermost carton 44. Extending inwardly a short distance from each side of the chute 40 is an ear or tab 78 disposed to engage this lowermost carton at its outer edge to prevent sagging or unwanted dropping of the carton 44. In an alignment with the downwardly sloped extent of belt 46, there is provided a pair of stops 80 which engages the lower edge and face of the carton to prevent its dropping or accidental displacement from the chute until the carton is removed by means of vacuum cups 82 carried on arms 84.
As reduced to practice, there are four vacuum cups 82, each attached to an arm 84. Each arm is a bent tube carried in a bracket 85 secured to shaft 59 and moved therewith. A flexible tube or conductor 86 is attached to each arm 84 at the bracket 85 and at the other end each tube is connected to a header member 88 which is connected by a line or pipe 89 to a cylinder 90. A gauge 91 is flow-connected to this line to indicate the amount of vacuum developed by the movement of the piston in cylinder 90 as this piston is moved by another connected power cylinder used to actuate the apparatus for erecting and transporting a carton. A stop 92 is disposed to engage a carton and to limit and retain the upper edge of this carton as it is being erected. A guide finger 94 engages and retains the erected carton during the erection and retaining sequence.
CARTON-ERECTING APPARATUS OFv FIGS. 3
THRU 6 Referring next to the carton-erecting mechanism of FIGS. 3 through 6, it is to be noted that in FIG. 3 the attached vacuum cup 82 and arm 84 are in cartonengaging position. Shaft 59 as carried by front frame 57 has been rotated counterclockwise by a flexible belt 100 fixedly attached by means of a screw 101 to a driven pulley 102 which is fixedly attached to shaft 59. The other end of the belt 100 is secured by means of a cap screw 103 to a drive pulley 104 carried on a drive or power shaft 106 also rotatably supported by front 8 frame 57. Shaft 106 is rotated both clockwise and counterclockwise by means of a pinion 108 driven by a rack 109 carried by a reciprocated frame 110 which is moved by a power piston portion 111 of cylinder 90.
It is to be noted that belt 100, as shown, is crossed but not twisted as it is secured to both pulleys 102 and 104. A determined amount of slack or play is provided in the mounting and securing of this belt to the pulleys. This slack permits and provides a determined degree of lost motion in the relative rotation of shaft 106 as it is moved in response to the rotation of shaft 59.
As seen in FIG. 3, the piston portion 1 l 1 has reached the forward end of its stroke imparting a clockwise rotation to the pinion 108 as driven by rack 109 in its rightward travel. The tensioned side of belt 100 has pulled driven pulley 102 counterclockwise and the arm 84 has been swung by shaft 59 until the suction cup 82 has been brought into a pressed engagement with the under surface of the lowermost of the cartons 44. With the cup 82 now in engagement with the face of the carton, the power piston portion 111 is caused to move leftwardly, as well as the connected frame 110. As to be more fully described in conjunction with the operational sequence depicted in the circuit diagram, the piston in cylinder 90 is also moved leftwardly by the power piston portion 111, causing a vacuum to be applied in the arms 84 and at the cups 82. The pinion 108 is now rotated counterclockwise and when the slack in belt 100 has been taken up the pulley 102 is rotated clockwise.
Referring next to FIG. 4, it is to be noted that the vacuum cups 82 have, by vacuum, attached themselves to the lower panel of the carton 44 and as the arm 84 is begun to be swung clockwise around shaft 89 the carton is pulled from stop 76 while the tabs 78 retain the opposite sides of the midportion of the lowest carton in the chute. Stop and belt 46 insure that the lower edge of this lowest carton is restrained against sliding until the carton is substantially opened.
Referring next to FIG. 5, it is to be noted that carton 44 has been completely pulled from the chute by the continued downward swing of arm 84 as it is moved in a clockwise direction. The carton 44, still held by the vacuum cups 82, has now been pulled so that its lower right face is brought into engagement with a guide 112 which prevents the carton from dropping further. A support bar 113 carries the guide 112 which has its front end contoured to also provide a guide and retaining means for an erected carton as it is advanced to the loading station.
Referring next to FIG. 6, it is to be noted that the apparatus of FIG. 5 has now moved so that the arms 84 are at their maximum limit of downward swing. The carton 44 which is still retained by vacuum cups 82 on the ends of arms 84 has been moved until the carton is against stop 92 and under spring-loaded guide finger 94. This stop causes the carton to be squared as it is drawn against the stop as seen in FIG. 6 and the finger 94 presses the erected carton against frame 110.
The clockwise travel of arm 84 as provided by the rotation of shaft 59 through the movement of rack 109 is stopped when the carton 44 is fully erected as in FIG. 6. The vacuum supplied to the vacuum cups 82 by cylinder is allowed to drop to a point where it is substantially ineffective. This dropping or reducing of the vacuum occurs in the present embodiment through a combined action. A line-bleeding valve to be later-