|Publication number||US3782517 A|
|Publication date||Jan 1, 1974|
|Filing date||Oct 12, 1971|
|Priority date||Oct 12, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3782517 A, US 3782517A, US-A-3782517, US3782517 A, US3782517A|
|Original Assignee||Newcomb S|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (9), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [1 1 Newcomb 1 Jan. 1,1974
[ BOTTLE ORIENTING DEVICE  Filed: Oct. 12, 1971  Appl. No.: 188,369
Primary Examiner-Evon C. Blunk V Assistant Examiner-W. Scott Carson Att0meyRudolph J. Jurick 5 7 ABSTRACT A bottle orienting device in which axially-spaced bottles of random orientation are propelled against a resilient surface such as, for example, the bristles of a brush mounted in a delivery chute. The recoil of the bottles from the brush depends upon their initial ori entation. 1f the mouth or open end of a bottle is foremost it recoils less sharply from the recoil point than if the closed bottom is foremost. The dwell of the mouth end of the bottle at the recoil point permits gravity, or other forces, to act upon the bottle so that it rotates in one direction and moves along the delivery chute in the bottom-first position. If the closed end of the bottle is foremost the bottle rebounds from the recoil point causing the mouth end to encounter an impedance, whereby gravity rotates the bottle in the other direction so that it also moves along the delivery chute in the bottom-first position.
.3 Cl im. nre nFisetfLm PATENTEDMN 3,182.51?
SIDNEY M. IVEWCOMB INVENTOR.
BOTTLE ORIENTING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various machines are available for unscrambling empty bottles to position them in the upright position prior to their transport to a filling machine. Such machines, however, are of complex and costly construction and operate at relatively low output speeds. Furthermore, the prior machines are not satisfactory for operation with relatively light bottles and particularly with plastic bottles having reduced-diameter, screwtype mouths. Heretofore, machines designed for operation with such bottles suffered from the shortcomings of low output speeds and/or an unacceptably high percentage of error. Consequently, it is common practice in industry to use hand labor to place the bottles in upright position on a moving conveyor feeding the filling machine.
A bottle orienting device constructed and arranged in accordance with this invention is of simple, inexpensive construction, and is particularly adapted for opera tion with plastic bottles at a significantly higher speed, coupled with a minimum error, than has heretofore been attainable.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A supply duct communicates with a delivery chute having a tapered discharge end. Bottles of random orientation are fed into the supply duct and are propelled through the duct in spaced, axial alignment. A resilient member is mounted in the delivery chute and spaced from the discharge end of the supply duct by a distance exceeding the length of the particular bottles. The delivery chute also carries an impedance means spaced from the resilient member and positioned somewhat downstream thereof. As the bottles are discharged from the supply duct they strike the resilient member and rebound therefore. When the mouth end of a bottle is foremost much of the impact energy is absorbed by the resilient member and the resulting dwell of the bottle permits gravity, or other force, to rotate the bottle so that it proceeds along the discharge chute in the closed end, or bottomfirst position. When the bottom end of a bottle is foremost, the bottle rebounds further from the resilient member so that the impedance means obstructs movement of the mouth-end of the bottle along the delivery chute. This permits gravity, or other force, to rotate the bottle in a reverse direction so that it also proceeds along the chute in the bottom-first position. The thus oriented bottles can be directed onto a conveyor in upright positions for transport to a bottlefilling machine.
An object of this invention is the provision of an improved bottle orienting device having a high operating speed and a minimum bottle-orienting error.
An object of this invention is the provision of a bottle-orienting device wherein the bottle-orienting means includes a resilient surface against which the bottles are propelled, and a delivery chute along which the bottles are caused to travel after rebounding from the resilient member.
An object of this invention is the provision of a bottle-orienting arrangement comprising a supply duct arranged to receive the bottles, means propelling the bottles out of the duct and against a resilient surface mounted in an inclined delivery chute, means for rotating the bottles in one or the other direction after they rebound from the resilient member, and means for discharging the bottles from the chute in the bottom-down positions.
The above-stated and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description when taken with the accompanying drawings. It will be understood, however. that the drawings are for purposes of illustration and are not to be construed as defining the scope or limits of the invention, reference being had for the latter purpose to the claims appended hereto.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings wherein like reference characters denote like parts in the several views:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view showing a bottle-orienting device made in accordance with one embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a corresponding front elevational view and showing the movement of a bottle along the delivery chute when such bottle is discharged from the supply duct with the open end foremost, this view also including a diagrammatic representation of a conveyor receiving bottles discharged from the chute;
FIG. 3 is a similar view and showing the movement of a bottle along the delivery chute when such bottle is discharged from the supply duct with its closed or bottom end foremost;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, front elevational view showing another embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS While the invention will be described specifically with reference to bottles having reduced-diameter screw-type mouths, it is here pointed out that the same principle can be applied to cups, jars and other openmouth containers made of glass, paper, plastic or metal.
Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a supply duct 10 provided with an opening for receiving bottles 11 and 12. These bottles are fed into the duct one at a time, in spaced sequence, from a common bottle supply by conventional means. Although the bottles are spaced apart laterally they are of random orientation, that is, the open mouth end or the closed bottom end of a particular bottle may be foremost when the bottle is lodged in the duct 10. In either case, the bottles are propelled through the duct by means of gravity, air pressure, vacuum, etc., so that they are discharged from the duct at a predetermined velocity. In the illustrated arrangement, the duct is inclined at a suitable angle so that a desired exit velocity of the bottles is achieved by the force of gravity. However, the duct may be disposed in a horizontal position and the bottles propelled therethrough by air under pressure applied through the tube 20.
The supply duct 10 has an open end communicating with an inclined delivery chute ll3 preferably having converging side walls terminating in a discharge end 14. The side walls of the chute include parallel wall portions 15 and 16. Secured to the side wall 15 is a brush 17 having its bristles presented to the open end of the supply duct 10. Secured to the opposed side wall 16 is an impedance member, specifically a block 18. Desirably, but not essentially, the lower portion of the chute has a V-shaped bottom sloping upwardly from the center line 19, thereby to promote the proper orienting of the bottles as they move downwardly along the chute to the discharge end thereof.
Reference now is made to the front elevational view of FIG. 2 showing the particular bottle 11 initially oriented so that it will be discharged from the delivery chute in the top-first position. Such bottle strikes the bristles of the brush 17 with its open mouth end, the position of the bottle at this point being identified by the numeral 11. The bristles absorb much of the impact energy, some of the bristles passing into the bottle mouth and others engaging the outer surface thereof. The net result is a momentary clamping action which causes the bottle to dwell for a short period of time against the brush. This time is sufficient to permit the force of gravity to act upon the closed end of the bottle, whereby the bottle has imparted thereto a clockwise rotation to the position illustrated by the uppermost dotted lines. This rotation continues as the mouth of the bottle becomes disengaged from the bristles, whereby the bottom of the bottle now is foremost with respect to the discharge end of the delivery chute 13. As the bottle becomes disengaged from the brush it may oscillate somewhat with respect to the center line of the discharge chute but such oscillations disappear as the bottle approaches the discharge end of the chute. By making the lower portion of the chute bottom of V- shape the oscillations of the bottle are reduced to a minimum. It is here pointed out that the brush bristles prevent the bottle from rebounding so that the bottom end of the bottle clears the block 18 during the described bottle rotation. The bottle now proceeds along the delivery chute in the bottomfirst position and is deposited onto the conveyor 21.
Reference now is made to FIG. 3 showing the particular bottle 12 initially oriented so that it will be discharged from the delivery duct 10 in the bottom-first position. In this case, the closed bottom strikes the brush bristles, the position of the bottle at this point being identified by the numeral 12'. The bottle rebounds sharply from the bristles to a position indicated by the uppermost dotted lines. Specifically, the bottle rebounds to a position wherein the block 18 obstructs a downward movement of the open end of the bottle along the delivery chute. The force of gravity now imparts a counter-clockwise rotation to the bottle whereby the bottle now proceeds along the chute in the bottom-first position for deposit onto the conveyor.
The rate at which randomly oriented bottles are fed into the supply duct is such that the spacing between the bottles discharged therefrom is sufficient to permit unimpeded recoil of each bottle from the brush bristles. Generally, the spacing of the bottles need not exceed the length of the particular bottles and in the described gravity operated arrangement only a fraction of a second is required to rotate the bottles in one or the other direction, thereby resulting in the discharge of bottles from the chute at a rate exceeding 250 per minute.
A modification of the invention is shown in FIG. 4 wherein a second brush 22 is used in place of the impe dance block 18 of FIGS. 1-3, the brush 22 being positioned downstream of the brush 17. The bottle 12', discharged bottom-first from the supply duct 10, rebounds from the brush l7 and its open end engages the bristles of the brush 22. The bottle dwells at the bristles for a short time period whereby the force of gravity imparts a counterclockwise thereto and the bottle proceeds along the delivery chute in the bottom-first position.
Although a gravity-operated bottle orienting arrange ment has been shown and described, it will be apparent that other forces may be utilized to propell the bottles. For example, the bottles may be propelled through the supply duct by fluid pressure or vacuum. The delivery chute may be a closed, tubular member having one end open to constitute the discharge end. Air under pressure then may be applied to the opposite end of the tubular member for the purpose of imparting to the bottles the described rotation and movement along the chute. In such air-operated arrangements the supply duct and/or delivery tube may be horizontal or vertical and, also, the output speed of the device may be increased considerably.
Also, the delivery chute 13 may be vibrated, as by an electro-mechanical vibrator 24 shown in FIG. 1, thereby to reduce the sliding friction of the bottles as they move along the chute. This results in a rapid orientation of the bottles along the chute axis, thereby reducing the required length of the chute.
Having now described the invention what I desire to protect by Letters Patent is set forth in the following claims:
1. Bottle orienting apparatus for use with bottles having an open end, said apparatus comprising,
a. a supply duct for receiving randomly oriented bottles in spaced sequence,
b. a delivery chute having a discharge end,
c. means propelling bottles from the supply duct in axial alignment into the delivery chute,
d. a resilient member comprising flexible bristles within said delivery chute, the bristles being positioned for engagement by the ends of the bottles propelled into the chute,
e. an impedance member comprising flexible bristles within the delivery chute and positioned to be engaged only by bottles which recoil from the said resilient member in the open-end-foremost positions, and
f. means imparting movement to the bottles along the delivery chute and out of the said discharge end.
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|U.S. Classification||193/47, 221/172|