US 3752067 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Gill ARTICLE CONTROLLED ROTARY MARKING APPARATUS  inventor: Bernard Gill, Des Plaines, ll].
 Assignee: Kiwi Coders Corp., Chicago, 111.
 Filed: May 10, 1971  Appl. No.: 141,600
 US. Cl 101/37, l0l/D1G. 3, 101/235,
 Int. Cl B4" 17/26  Field of Search l0l/D1G. 3, 35-37, 101/233-235; 118/1, 8, 9
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,819,671 1/1958 Porter, Jr. et al l01/DlG. 3
3,092,019 6/1943 Van Buskirk l0l/DlG. 3
3,035,515 5/1962 McKay 101/37 2,740,351 4/1956 Anderson l01/D1G. 3
2,641,998 6/1953 Donald l0l/D1G. 3
3,589,280 6/1971 Wilde 101/35 3,603,249 9/1970 Mumma et a1. 101/35 2,405,879 8/1946 Fredricksen 10l/D1G. 3
1,596,416 8/1926 Erickson 101/37 1,929,703 10/1933 McDonough lOl/DIG. 3
Primary Examiner-Robert E. Pulfrey Assistant Examiner-Clifford D. Crowder AttorneySilverman & Cass ABSTRACT Article marking apparatus associated with a moving conveyor on which the articles are positioned and travel spaced apart to a marking station for the impression of printed indicia thereupon. The apparatus comprises a self contained, motor driven unit arranged on a platform which is mounted for selective raising and lowering to suit the height of the articles. As the article moves along the conveyor, it engages a spring biased swinging arm closing a switch whereupon the motor is energized. The motor is coupled to drive a shaft which carries a timer wheel and is coupled, via a bevel gear arrangement, to drive a marking device. The timer wheel has rollers which engage and disengage a switch arm as the timer wheel rotates. Initial rotation of the timer wheel causes the switch arm to drop one of the rollers and close a circuit to the motor whereby the motor continues to drive the marking device notwithstanding the disengagement of the article from the swinging arm opening the first switch. After a halfrevolution, the other roller of the timer wheel engages the switch arm to lift same, opening the associated switch and stopping the motor. In the elapsed time, the marking device is in position to receive the article and the article has arrived at the marking station to receive the impression therefrom.
14 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PAIENIE Am; 1 4 ma sun-21 1 or 3 INVENTOR BERNARD GILL 6244/ ATTORNEYS PMENIED AUG 1 4 sum-2 N3 FIG.2
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FIELD OF THE INVENTION proved means for coordinating the operation of the marking device thereof with the position of the article along the conveyor reach.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The code dating of articles generally involves the conveyance thereof on a moving conveyor in a spaced relationship and the presentment of the articles successively to a marking station whereat an impression is applied to the articles, as by a marking device for applying an inked impression. It is necessary that the articles properly be positioned both with respect to attitude and spacing in synchronism with the operation of the marking device so that the application of the impression occurs repeatedly at the same and at the preferred location on the successively presented articles. It is desirable that the marking devices operation be coordinated with the movement of the articles so as to assure that not only will the marking device be in position to apply the impression upon the articles when the same arrives at the marking station, but also, that the device, particularly in the case of inked impression, will be freshly inked so that the applied impression is clear and sharp.
It is important that the code dating apparatus be sufficiently versatile so as to be easily incorporated in a users pre-existing packaging system. Further, it is desirable to provide apparatus which can be utilized, without major mechanical adjustments, for varying height and size articles. System simplicity for ease of service and maintenance is also a desirable attribute of any code dating apparatus.
Accordingly, it is the primary object of this invention to provide an article marking apparatus possessing the above enumerated advantages.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention provides a code dating apparatus suitable for association with a pre-existing conveyor system for applying impressions to articles as they travel spaced apart along the conveyor to a marking station where a marking device applies an impression thereto. Means are provided for coordinating the operation of the marking device to the position of the article along the conveyor, said means comprising a first sensing means operable to energize drive means for said marking device when an article is disposed at the sensing means, and, timer means for continuing energization of said drive means after the article has passed the sensing means and the latter returns to its normal condition,
said timer means including means for de-energizing BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the marking apparatus according to the invention shown without an associated conveyor system;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the marking apparatus according to the invention and shown with an associated conveyor arrangement, portions of the apparatus being removed to illustrate interior detail;
FIG. 3 is an end view of the apparatus as illustrated in FIG. 2 with portions removed to show interior detail;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the marking apparatus shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic view of the coordinating system as utilized in the apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 4 inclusive.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings, wherein like reference numbers are utilized to identify the same parts in the several views, a marking apparatus embodying the present invention is designated generally by reference character 10 in the various FIGS. In FIG. 1, the marking apparatus 10 is illustrated as incorporated in a free standing machine 12 adapted for incorporation into a packaging system (not shown) for the forming, filling and code dating of milk cartons.
The machine 12 includes a table 14 for supporting the marking apparatus I0 and an associated conveyor mechanism 16(FIGS. 2-5), first guide means 18 for permitting raising and lowering of the marking apparatus 10 for use with different height cartons, second guide means 20 for maintaining the proper attitude of the cartons 22 as they travel along the conveyor mechanism 16 past a marking station 24 where an inked impression is applied to each said carton 22.
The table 14 has a pair of side panels 26 bridged by a horizontally arranged top 28. A pair of substantially rectangular mounting members 30 are secured to the opposite interior surfaces of the side panels 26 and aligned one with the other. Each member 30 supports, fixedly secured thereto, a pair of spaced vertically arranged bar members 32 and 34 which extend vertically through suitable passageways 36 formed in the table top 28 and reinforced by plate 38 secured to said table top. The bars 32 and 34 extend vertically a substantial distance above the level of the table top 28 and are braced at their upper ends by brace plate 40 to which each is secured by nut pairs 42 and 44.
Intermediate each rod pair 32, 34, there is arranged an elongate helically threaded member which will hereinafter be referred to as worm 46. Worm 46 is arranged parallel to the rods 32 and 34, with the identical arrangement found at the opposite side of the table 14. The worm 46 is joumalled for rotation about the axis of journal assembly 48 at its upper end and at the lower end, by journal assembly 50; journal assembly 48 being fixedly secured to brace plate 40 while journal assembly 50 is secured to the plate 38. The worm 46 has an extension 52 which extends through a suitable passage 54 formed in the table top 28 and mounts a sprocket wheel 56. The sprocket wheels 56 are coupled by means of chain 58 so that rotation of one of the worms 46 drives the other.
The upper end 60 of one of worms 46 carries a wheel 62 fixedly secured thereon. Wheel 62 carries a handle 64 to enable manual rotation thereof.
A support body 66 of substantially rectangular configuration is provided with spaced passageways 68 each having annular top and bottom shielding flanges 70 and 72 and is arranged slidable along the bars 32 and 34 of each pair. A threaded bore 74 is provided in the body 66 intermediate the passageways 68, the longitudinal axes of passageways 68 and bore 74 being parallel and in the same vertical plane. The bore 74 is engaged by the worm 46. Rotation of the worm 46 in one direction will raise and in the opposite direction, will lower the body 66. The bodies 66 of each opposite pair of bars 32, 34 are aligned and will move simultaneously in the same direction.
The marking apparatus is mounted to platform means 76 horizontally disposed above the level of the table top 28 and parallel thereto. The platform means 76 is formed of a pair of plate members 78 and 80 arranged juxtaposed and spaced apart by spacers 82 and secured by means of bolt 84 and nut pairs 86 and 88. Angle braces 90 are secured between said plates 78 and 80 with one leg 92 thereof disposed slightly outward of the edges of plates 78 and 80 and normal thereto to constitute side portions of said platform means. The angle braces 90 are shorter in length than the side dimension of the plate pairs, 78 and 80. Each leg 92 carries a pair of passageways (not shown) to accommodate bolts 94, by which the support bodies 66 are secured fixedly to the legs 92 and fastened by means of nuts 96. In this manner, the platform means 76 is mounted to the first guide means 18 so that the platform means may be raised and lowered as desired by rotation of the wheel 62.
Mounted on the platform means 76 is drive means 98 in the form of an AC electric motor 100 having a shaft 102 to which is secured sheave 104 coupled by belt 106 to pulley wheel 108. Pulley wheel 108 isfixedly secured to drive shaft 110 which is journalled for rotation in bearing block assemblies 112 and 114, same being secured to theupper plate 78 of platform means 76 adjacent opposite aligned side edges thereof.
Timer wheel 116 is mounted securely to drive shaft 1 10 so as to rotate therewith and is located between the pulley wheel 106 and bearing block 112. Timer wheel 1 16 carries cam means in the form of a pair of diametrically opposed rollers 118 and 120 arranged so that the circumference of each is flush with the outer circumferential edge of wheel 116, for a purpose to be described.
A bevel gear 122 is fixed to the drive shaft 110 between the timer wheel 116 and the bearing block 112 and rotates with said drive shaft 110.
Right angle member 124'is secured to the plate member 78 by suitable nut and bolt assemblies 126 and a housing 128 is mounted to the vertical leg 124' of said member 124. The housing 128 contains a microswitch 130 which includes a switch arm 132 carrying roller 134 arranged in the path of movement of said rollers 118 and 120 carried by the timer wheel 116. The switch arm 132 is pivotable about point 133 between a condition in which the switch 130 is normally closed to a condition in which the switch 130 is open, the latter condition occurring when the roller 134 intercepts one of the rollers 118 and 120 and is carried thereon, as shown in FIG. 1. Rotation of the timer wheel 116 forces the one of rollers 118 and 120 past roller 134 causing the switch arm 132 to move in the direction of arrow 136 (FIG. 5) placing the microswitch in closed condition.
At the marking station represented generally by reference character 24, ink code dating device 140 (FIG. 2) is mounted on shaft 138 below platform means 76 for rotation through bearing 142 secured to the lower plate 80 of said platform means 76 (FIG. 3). The upper end of shaft 138 is fixed to bevel gear 144 arranged to mesh with bevel gear 122 to drive the ink-coding device 140. An inking wheel train 146 is arranged to apply ink from a supply, not shown, to the imprinting portion 148 of device 140 as the latter is rotated about the axis of shaft 138. Portion 148 is positioned to be engaged by applicator 150 of the inking wheel train 146. The device 140 has a rectangular configuration with the ends thereof containing portions 148. Each portion 148 has ink applied thereto as the device is rotated and just prior to its being placed in intercepting condition relative to the moving cartons 22. A back-up wheel 152 is mounted upon a shaft 154 depending below the plate 80 of the platform means 76, the axes of the device 140 and the wheel 152 being aligned and the outer circumference of the wheel 152 being only slightly spaced from the path of rotation traversed by portion 148 as the device 140 is rotated. The shaft 154 is fixedly secured to the platform means 76 and the wheel 152 carries bearing means 156 to permit free rotation of the wheel 152. The spacing between the wheel 152 and the path of rotation traversed by the portion 148 is selected to approximate the thickness of the tab 158 of the carton 22. a
As an important part of the coordinating means which include the timer wheel 116, its rollers 118, 120 and the switch 130, carton sensing means 160 are arranged on table 14 adjacent the entry end of the apparatus 10.
Carton sensing means 160 comprise a swingably mounted spring biased arm 162 operating a microswitch 164 mounted to bracket 166 which, in turn, is secured to the upstanding guide support 168. Support 168 is mounted to the table top 28 adjacent the entry end 170 of the conveyor means 16. Arm 162 is arranged to intercept the cartons 22 as they travel on the conveyor means 16.
The second guide means 20 for maintaining the attitude of the cartons 22 as they travel spaced along the conveyor means 16 comprise additional support members 168' arranged to have adjustable clamp members 170 secured thereon, said clamp members 170 including means for supporting horizontally arranged T-rods 172 which carry a cross member 1741 each having an arcuate, lengthwise groove 176 formed therein to carry horizontally disposed elongate rods 178 and 180 arranged spaced apart and parallel one to the other and in a common horizontal plane. The rods 178 and 180 are each bent as shown at 182 so that they diverge at the carton entry end of machine 12. The distance by which the rods 178 and 180 are spaced from the table top 28 is governed by the height of the articles, here cartons 22, so that the said cartons 22 travel with their sides in sliding contact with the facing surfaces of said rods 178 and 180 as said cartons travel along the conveyor reach 184 of conveyor means 16.
circuit. Switch 164, normally open, is closed when lever 162 is engaged by the leading edge of carton 22 and pivoted at 194 against its spring bias. This energizes motor 100 which, by way of sheave 104 driving belt 106 and pulley 108, causes both the wheel 152 and the bevel gear 122 to rotate. Rotation of wheel 152 releases the switch arm 132 from its normal condition resting on roller 118 as shown in FIG. 1 and the switch arm 132 drops to close the switch 130.
When the trailing edge of carton 22 has passed the intercepted lever 162 and the latter returns to its normal intercepting condition, the switch 164 opens the first electric cirucit. The motor 100 thus would be deenergized except that the second electric circuit is still closed due to the closed condition of switch 130. When the wheel 152 has traveled one half revolution, roller 134 again intercepts the other of the rollers 118 and 120 carried by the timer wheel 116 and switch 130 opens, de-energizing and stopping the motor 100.
Between the time when the carton 22 first engages lever 162 and the time the motor 100 is de-energized, the code dater portions 148 have been placed in a condition to receive the tab 158 of carton 22 for applying the desired impression thereon. During this time also, the carton 22 has moved to the marking station 24 and is ready to be received between the backup roller 152 and the portion 148 of printing device 140.
The conveyor mechanism 16 as shown in FIGS. 2-4 includes a pair of endless sprocket chains 200 each mounted on a pair of sprocket wheels 202. Sprocket wheels 202 are mounted on shaft means (not shown) which are secured to a pair of side plates 204. Side plates 204 are spaced apart vertically on the table top 28. Journal means (not shown) are secured to the side plates 204 and the shaft means are journalled therein. Suitable drive means (not shown) are provided for the conveyor mechanism. The conveyor mechanism 16 is a self-contained unit and is not part of the invention herein. The self contained unit as illustrated or the conveyor system of the packaging system may be utilized as desired.
The motor 100 is mounted (see FIGS. 2 and 4) on adjustable motor mount 210 which in turn is arranged across a pair of right angle members 212 and 214 by means of rod members 216. The mount 210 comprises a plate 218 having a pair of depending flanges 220 and 222 carrying passageways 224 for accommodating the respective rod members 216 and an intermediate passageway 226 to accommodate the threaded rod 228. The rod 228 is received in bearing means 230 which is secured to flange 214. The handle is journalled for rotation in bearing means 230. Manipulation of the handle end 232 will cause the mount to move increasing or decreasing the distance between sheave 106 and pulley 108, consequently eitherloosening or tightening the belt 106.
Suitable means (not shown) are provided for fine adjusting the printer device 140 and the back up wheel 152. Suitable releasable clamping means (not shown), are provided for adjusting the alignment of the inking wheels of train 146.
sion of indicia thereupon; said apparatus comprising, a marking device, electric drive means for operating said marking device, to place same in article marking condition in intercepting relation with said articles, first and second electric circuits each capable of energizing said drive means, normally open article sensing means responsive to the passage of an article initially to render said first circuit in condition for energizing said drive means and timer means driven by said drive means to render said second circuit in condition for energizing said drive means simultaneously with initial energization of said drive means, said second circuit operable to energize said drive means for a period of time after the first circuit is rendered non-operative whereby said marking device is in condition to receive said sensed article for impression of indicia thereon when the sensed article arrives at the marking station.
2. The article marking apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said timer means comprise a timer wheel rotatably driven by said drive means, a pair of rollers mounted on said timer wheel and rotatable therewith, said switch means including a switch arm in intercepting relation with said rollers for engagement and disengagement thereby as the timer wheel rotates, initial ro tation of the timer wheel causing the switch arm to disengage one of said rollers energizing said second circuit, the other roller subsequently engaging said switch arm on further rotation of the timer wheel to deenergize said second circuit.
3. The article marking apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said timer means comprise a timer member driven by said drive means on energization thereof, switch means arranged in said second electric circuit, spaced means carried by said timer member and arranged for disposition in periodic intercepting relation with said switch means to open and to close said second electric circuit, said spaced means operable on said second electric circuit upon initial energization of said drive means by said sensing means whereby to maintain energization of said drive means notwithstanding subsequent deenergization of said drive means on rendering of said first circuit non-operative, said spaced means further operable on said second electric circuit to deenergize said drive means.
4. The article marking apparatus as claimed in claim 3 in which said timer member is a timer wheel rotatably coupled to said drive means and said spaced means comprises cam members carried by said timer wheel, said switch means includes a switch arm mounted in intercepting relation to said cam members, said switch arm capable of being moved by said cam members to operate said switch means sequentially.
5. Article marking apparatus associated with moving conveyor means on which articles to be marked are positioned and travel along a path spaced apart to a marking station for impression of indiciathereupon; said apparatus comprising, a marking device, electric drive means for operating the marking device, a first and second electric circuits for energizing the drive means, normally open article sensing means responsive to the passage of an article to close said first circuit and timer What it is desired to be secured by Letters Patent of means driven by said electric drive means closing said second circuit and holding said second circuit closed for a period of time after the first circuit is opened whereby said marking device is placed in condition to receive said sensed article for impression of indicia thereon when the sensed article arrives at the marking station, said timer means comprise a timer wheel carrying cam means thereon and switch means operable by said cam means first to close said second electric circuit and then to open said second electric circuit on elapse of said period of time and said cam means comprise a pair of diametrically opposed members mounted on said timer wheel adjacent the periphery thereof, said timer wheel arranged for rotation by said drive means, one of said members engaged with said switch means in open condition of said second electric circuit, rotation of said timer wheel disengaging said one member from said switch means to close said second electric circuit and said other member engagable with said switch means to open said second electric circuit at each half-revolution of said timer wheel.
6. The apparatus as claimed in claim in which said lever means comprises a spring biased arm swingably mounted across the path of travel of said articles whereby to be intercepted and engaged by each article successively.
7. The apparatus as claimed in claim 5 in which there is a horizontally disposed platform above the path of travel of said articles; said drive means, timer means and marking device all being mounted upon said platform; vertically disposed raising and lowering means arranged on opposite sides of said platform and means fixedly coupling said platform thereto, said platform being selectively raised and lowered relative to the moving conveyor.
8. In a marking apparatus associated with a moving conveyor reach and arranged for applying impressions to articles positioned and traveling spaced apart on the conveyor reach to a marking station for impression of indicia thereupon and including a marking device disposed at the marking station, drive means operatively coupled to said marking device for placing same in impression rendering condition, and means for sensing the passage of articles along the conveyor reach; the improvement comprising, means for coordinating the operation of said marking device to the position of the article along the conveyor reach and said coordinating means comprising: said article sensing means arranged adjacent the path of the articles along the conveyor reach and operable on the drive means only when an article is disposed at the sensing means and returnable to normal condition upon passage of the article therepast and timer means operatively coupled to said drive means for continuing operation of said drive means subsequent to return of said sensing means to normal condition, said timer means comprising a wheel coupled to said drive means for rotation thereby, normally open switch means including a switch arm controllably coupled to said drive means and cam means carried by said wheel and arranged for intercepting said switch arm on rotation of said wheel through an arc of predetermined length, said cam means comprising at least a pair of cam surfaces mounted to said wheel and rotatable therewith, said switch arm being located in the path of said cam surfaces, one of said cam surfaces arranged to engage said switch arm to maintain the normally open condition, said drive means operable to disengage said one cam surface from said switch arm to close said switch means until engagement of said switch arm by the other of said cam surfaces whereby at the time the sensed article reaches the marking station, the marking device has been placed in condition for applying the desired impression thereto.
9. The apparatus as claimed in claim 8 in which said sensing means includes lever means arranged normally in intercepting condition relative to articles traveling on the conveyor reach, second switch means, normally open, responsive to said lever means and coupled to said drive means, said second switch means being operable during engagement of said lever means with an article to operate said drive means.
10. The apparatus as claimed in claim 8 in which said cam surfaces comprise the circumferential surfaces of rollers mounted to the wheel at diametrically opposed locations and being rotatable with said wheel.
11. The apparatus as claimed in claim 8 in which said engagement occurs every half-revolution of the wheel.
12. The apparatus as claimed in claim 8, and platform means for mounting said marking device, drive means and timer means, and means for selectively raising and lowering said platform means to place the apparatus in operating relation to said conveyor reach for operation upon articles of varying height.
13. Article marking apparatus for association with moving conveyor means for applying impressions to articles as they travel spaced apart along the conveyor to a marking station, said apparatus comprising platform means arranged for supporting said apparatus operatively associated with said conveyor means, electrically operated drive means arranged on said platform means, article sensing means, including lever means, arranged along said path of travel of said articles and operable to energize said drive means when an article is disposed at said sensing means, a marking device drivably coupled to said drive means at a marking station arranged downstream of said sensing means for applying impressions to said articles, and timer wheel means operable by said drive means continuing energization of said drive means subsequent to the passage of the article past the sensing means and return of the sensing means to its normal condition, first and second switch means for energizing and deenergizing said drive means, said first switch means operable by said sensing means, means carried by said timer wheel operable on said second switch means at a selected time interval on rotation of said timer wheel through a given are for deenergizing said drive means whereby the marking device is in condition for applying the desired impression to the sensed article when the same has reached the marking device.
14. The apparatus as claimed in claim 13 wherein said means carried by said timer wheel comprise at least a pair of cam members secured to said timer wheel at spaced locations along the wheel and in intercepting relation with said second switch means.