US 3782542 A
An apparatus is hereby provided which will automatically sense the defective oversized or chipped threads on the top of glass container or bottle and eject the so impaired bottle from a line of such container or bottles being conveyed to the apparatus by a belt conveyor and let the unimpaired bottles pass from the apparatus ready for immediate use, filling and the safe application of closure caps. The line conveyor runs along one side of the apparatus and locates the bottles into star-wheel openings of the apparatus and through the engagement of these bottles with the turret of the apparatus; the turret is dragged and turned by the continuation of movement of the bottles upon the belt until the next bottle has been gathered by a succeeding star opening in the star-wheel turrent. This next bottle picks up the drive from the conveyor to allow the preceding bottle to be initially centered by a similarly internally threaded two-part clamp device and the turning of the bottle therein by a side friction engaging wall to orientate bottle so that the lead edge of the bottle thread enters the jaws first. Fractures are broken away from a fractured bottle thread preparatory to the thread inspection cycle. After the neck of the bottle is clamped, it is taken to the next station to receive a lift inflatable plunger bulb that is turned and lowered into the bottle neck, the bulb inflated, the bottle neck internally gripped, the clamp opened, the bottle lifted from the conveyor by the bulb rotated for the inspection of the thread by opposing sensing fingers of a microswitch sensing device and biased by a spring to close upon one another. The bottle is lifted and at the same time turned by the device between its opposing sensing fingers by a reversible air motor that drives a worm gear in an internally-threaded depending sleeve, both with threads of the same pitch and size of the bottle threads being inspected. Operating with the sensing fingers are adjustable operating members aligned with microswitches that will be activated upon the thread being oversize or undersize or upon a sensing finger dropping into a notch or a nick to signal and set up the apparatus for the release and ejection of that bottle at a selected station. The unimpaired bottle will be continued to another station where it can be ejected by any suitable means. An adjustable electric timer controls the lowering and lifting of the bottle inflatable lifting bulb and the extent of travel of bottle threads within the sensing fingers and the ejecting of the impaired bottle from the apparatus.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 1 Jan. 1, 1974 Scribner AUTOMATIC BOTTLE THREAD INSPECTION APPARATUS Inventor: Harry E. Scribner, 9036 N. 75th St.,
Milwaukee, Wis. 53223 yrneaif Apr. 23, 1973  Appl. No; 353,709
 C1,. 209/74, 209/80, 73/105  Int. Cl. B07c 5/00  Field of Search 209/74, 75, 80, 82, 209/72; 73/104, 105; 33/199 B, 147 M [561 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,101,147 8/1963 Fryet a1. 73/104 X 3,395,573 8/1968 Baker et al. 73/104 2,606,657 8/1952 Berthelsen 209/75 3,110,400 11/1963 Early 209/75 X 11/1971 Sklar 209/80 Primary ExaminerM. Henson Wood, Jr.
1 Assistant ExaminerGene A. Church Attorney-Laforest S. Saulsbury et al.
 1 ABSTRACT 1 veyor and let the unimpaired bottles pass/from the apparatus ready for immediate use, filling and the safe application of closure caps. The line conveyor runs along one side of the apparatus and locates the bottles into star-wheel openings of the apparatus and through the engagement of these bottles with the turret of the apparatus, theturret is dragged and turned by the continuation of movement of the bottles upon the belt until the next bottle has been gathered by a succeeding star opening in the star-wheel turrent. This next bottle picks up the drive fromtheconveyor to allow the preceding bottle to be initially centered by a similarly internally threaded two-part clamp device and the turning of the bottle therein by a side friction engaging wall to orientate bottle so that the lead edge of l the bottle thread enters the jaws first. Fractures are broken away from afractured bottle thread preparatory to the thread inspection cyclehAfter the neck of i gers of a microswitch sensing device and biased by a spring to close upon one another. The bottle is lifted and at the same time turned by the device between its opposing sensing fingers by a reversible air motor that drives a worm gear in an internally-threaded depending sleeve, both with threads of the same pitch and size of the bottle threads being inspectedooperating with the sensing fingers are adjustable operating members aligned with microswitches that will be activated upon the thread being oversize or undersize or upon a sensing finger dropping into a notch or a nick to signal and set up the apparatus for the release and ejection of that bottle at a selected station. The unimpaired bottle will be continued to another station where, it can be ejected byany suitable means. An adjustable electric timer controls the lowering and lifting of the bottle inflatable lifting bulb and the extent of travel of bottle threads within the sensing fingers and the ejecting of the impaired bottle from the apparatus.
10 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTED LIAN 1 I974 sum a nr 5 NTEW H 1 3.782542 3 swarms I V x I N 28" .tle.
. AUTOMATIC BOTTLE THREAD INSPECTION n APPARATUS This invention relates to an automatic apparatus for inspecting threaded neck bottles for oversize and r chipped and/orl undersized threads preparatory to being filled with its contents and capped.
It is the principal object of this invention to provide a bottle threadinspection apparatus which can automatica lly in continuous operation, inspect the condition of the threads onthe neck of a glass bottle and automatically eject from the apparatus the oversize or chipped and/or undersized threaded bottle from a line of bottles fed to the apparatus by a conveyor.
It is another object of the invention to provide a bottle thread inspection apparatus which consists of a free wheeling star-wheel type turretthat is powered by the continuous conveyor upon the bottle entering the turret while on the conveyor and the dragging of the turret until the next bottle enters the turret to continue the rotation, thepreceding bottle then being lifted from the conveyor and inspected by thread sensing heads and tlethread inspection apparatus withmeans for bringing together separable internally-threaded clamp parts about the threaded neck of the bottle to orientate bottlethreads for inspection .so that the lead edgeof the bottle thread enters jaws first and at the same time cause the bottle to berotated intothe closed clamp parts to rid t hebottle threads of any chips or breaks in the threads preparatory to theinspection of the same by thesensing finger heads, the threads of the clamp parts conforming in pitch and size to threads of the bot- Itis a still further object of the invention to provide a bottle thread inspection apparatus with simple means for capturing the bottle by its neck from its clamped centered position upon the conveyor comprising a central lowering and lifting member with aninflatable air bulb which when lowered into the bottle ,neckand inflated to grasp thebottle and rotating at the same time with the clamp parts having been opened, lifting the bottle from the conveyor will be effected sothat bottle threads will be turned. up into and between the thread sensing heads for the inspection of these threads for size and chipped away portions of the threads, the lifting and lowering of the air bulb and bottle being effected by a reversible air motor with a won'n gearand depending sleeve both having threads corresponding in pitch and size to the threads of thebottle to givethe bottle threads their proper inspection. I
Itisstill a further object of the invention to provide in a bottle threadinspection apparatus an adjustable timer control circuit for controlling the time length of the inspection cycle and maintaining circuit in condition for the ejection of the bottle with the impaired thread as the bottle reaches ejection station.
Other objects of the invention are to provide a bottle. thread inspection apparatus, having the above objects in mind, which is of simple construction, has minimum number of parts, consumes little overall space, efficient and effective in use.
THE FIGURES For a better understandingof the invention, refer ence may be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, in
such bottle causes the apparatus tobe turned from station to station, with the laterally extending clamp on therotary apparatus having gripped: the neck of the bottle so that the bottle is dragged alongby the conveyor to turn the bottleinto its clamp, there being but two of the clamps shown, one open and the other closed; I
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken generally along line 22 of FIG. l and shown center starwheel rotary structure and looking in the direction of with the air motor bottle lifting device having its bottle rubber gripping bulb extended into the open threaded end of the bottle and the bulb having been inflated and bottle threads examined by the opposing sensing fingers, with;the bottle having been rotated by the air motor during bottle rotation thread .inspection thereof;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentaryverticalsectional view similar to FIG. 2 with the air motor bottle lifting device low eredinto the bottle while upon the delivery conveyor and prior to its bottle rubber gripping bulb being inflated andthe bottle lifted thereby to sense its threads for width and chipped away notches or gaps;
, FIG. 4 isa fragmentary transverse sectional view looking down upon line 4-4 of FIG. 2 and upon the lower air distributing tubesfor supplying airunder pressure to air-operated bottle neck clamping units and the bottle rubber inflatable bulb of the air motor bottle lifting device;
, FIG. 5 is a fragmentary front elevational-view of the threaded'neck of a bottleand ofthe threadinspection device removed from the apparatus and with its sensing fingers engaging the bottle neck threads; r
' FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the bottle thread inspection device of FIG. 5 without its engagement with the bottle neck;
FIG. 7 is atop plan view of the bottle neck thread inspection device with its opposing sensing fingers biasingly engaging with the bottle threads at the. side,
thereof and one of the microswitches being activated; FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the bottle thread inspection device, similar to FIG. 7 but with. one sensing finger enteringa chipped away gap so that both micro timer relay to the length of the threads, and the bottle ejection relay circuit and low voltage circuit containing a. three-wire arrangement bearing the thread sensing finger microswitches, relays for controlling the circuitry of the high voltage and a cam operated starting switch; I
FIG. is a line diagram of the three-wire low voltage arrangement bearing the cam operated and microswitches of the thread sensing devices for the eight stations of the apparatus.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now particularly to the FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown generally a bottle thread inspecting apparatus that is supported upon a stationary table base or platform 26, having a flat top surface over which the bottoms of bottles can slide as directed by the apparatus 25, and which is generally round in shape and along one side of which there extends a travelling bottle feeding conveyor 27 having a friction-surface in order to engage the bottom of bottles 28 to convey them from a collecting point from one side of the table 26 and that runs generally tangentially thereto to a free turning upstanding bottle receiving structure indicated generally at 31 mounted upon an upstanding pivot post 32 for free turning movement upon lower and upper ball bearing assemblies 33 and 34 carried upon the post 32 the lower bearing assembly 33 being held against downward displacement on a shoulder 38 on the vertically extending post 32 to rotatably support the bottle receiving turret structure thereon.
The post 32 is held rigidly in a bottom flanged vertical support bracket 39 made fixed to the stationary table or platform 26 by fastening bolts 41. The post 32 is firmly held against upward displacement from the bracket '39 by a set screw 42 engaging with a downwardly and outwardly inclined recess 43 in the lower end of the post 32 as best'seen in FIG. 2. The post 32 has a shoulder 44 that engages the upper end face of the bracket 39 and is sufficiently spaced from the lower end of the post 32 to not only hold the post 32 against downward displacement in the bracket 39 but to provide adequate length to accommodate the inclined recess 43 for the set screw 42 to lock it in place against upward displacement and rotation whereby to provide a good rigid support for the free-rotating bottle receiving turret structure 31.
The upper ball bearing assembly 34 is held against downward displacement in theupper end of a turret sleeve 45 by its internal shoulder 46 and against upward displacement from the upper end of the post 32 and locked in place in the turret sleeve by a nut 47 threaded to a threaded portion 48 of the post 32 extending above the ball-bearing assembly 34. The lower end of the turret sleeve 45 has an internal shoulder 50 which rests over lower bearing 33 to support the turret 31 thereupon.
The bottle receiving turret 31 has two vertically spaced star-wheel shaped plates 49 and 51 respectively having bottle-capturing slots 49 and 51 that receive the wide diameter portion of the bottle 28 as best illustrated in FIG. 2, so that the bottle when in the slots as it is dragged along by the conveyor 27, free wheels the turret 31 about the vertical support post 32. In the apparatus being shown, eight such openings 49 and 51' are provided in their respective plate and their circumferential spacings are such that with the constantly moving conveyor 27 continuous rotation of the turret 31 is effected through the engagement of moving bottles 28 with openings in the plates. The bottles 28 are lifted free of the conveyor at the testing station as will be apparent as the description follows and then deposited on the table base surface 26 to be slid thereover by the star'wheel plates. The bottom star wheel 49 is held vertically fixed to the sleeve by the connection of bolts 52 extending upwardly from under the plate 49 and into an annular retaining ring 53 that in turn is held in place on the outer periphery of the sleeve 45 by a set screw 54. The openings 49 and 51' of the star wheel plates 49 and 51 are sized to the large diameters of the bottles 28 and with the plates connected to the turret sleeve 45 in the removable manner just described with regards to this lower plate 49, the apparatus can thus be adapted to different diameter size bottles 28.
The raised star wheel 51 has its opening 51 receives the bottle 28 at a higher elevation and .the plate 51 is adjustably connected in order to adapt the turret to different size, shape and height of bottles 28 retaining ring 56 is vertically-adjustably retained upon the turret sleeve 45 at any desired elevation by a set screw 57. The star wheel plate 51 is fixed to the under side of the retaining ring 56 by fastening bolts 58.
Similarly, there is adjustably mounted upon the turret sleeve 45 spaced above the plate 51, an ordinary circular-shaped plate 59, without star wheel indentations, at a height in lateral alignment with an enlarged neck head 28' of the bottle 28 upwardly from which there extends a threaded upper end portion 28" whose threads have to be inspected for notches or gaps on the thread resulting from the thread being chipped away that would airtight sealing engagement of the bottle cap when applied to bottle to maintain the contents within the bottle free air and from contamination. As will become apparent the chipped threaded bottle or a bottle with oversize or undersize thread will be automatically ejected from the apparatus. The upper end face of the bottleneck enlargement 28 will provide a shoulder 28'a that may bear a gasket and against which the under-edge of the cap when tightened down upon the bottle neck shoulder 28'a will provide for an airtight sealing engagement therewith.
The circular plate 59 is adjustably supported upon the turret sleeve from an under retaining ring 61 to which the plate 59 is attached by downwardly extend ing fastening bolts 62, the retaining ring 61 being held in its vertically adjusted position upon the sleeve 45 by a set screw 63.
Mounted on the top face of plate 59 and extending radially outwardly from the turret sleeve 45 at each of the eight locations angularly thereabout spaced from one another, is an operated clamp tong assembly indicated generally at 64 comprising opposing split nut jaws 66 and 67, FIGS. 1 and 2, pivotably connected to one-another and to the outer periphery of the top surface of the plate 59 by a pivot post 68. The opposing faces of the jaws have threads corresponding in pitch and shape to the threads of the thread 28" of the bottle to be inspected.
When the jaws are closed upon one another and about threaded portion 28" of the bottle 28 they will fit flush thereover of the bottle thread portion 28". The respective jaws 66 and 67 respectively have inwardly extending crank arms 66a and 67a that are respectively connected by toggle links 71 and 72 and pivot pins 73 and 74 by the pi votpin 76 to a shackle or bifurcated head 77' of a piston 77 extending from a small size air SLThese air cylinders 78 receive airpressure from a manifold assembly 82 comprising parts to be later described and through a pipeline. indicated by dobdash line 83 in FIG. 2 which receives air at the appropriate time from a side opening 84 in the manifold assembly 82, there being eight such openings for the manifold 82 circumferentially spaced from one another therearound, one for each bottle clamping device 64 to move the piston 77ofthe cylinder 78 against the action of an internal return spring to act upon the clamp tong assembly 64 that would cause the internally threaded split nutlike clamp jaws66 and 67 to close about the a threaded neck extension 28" of the bottle 28.
face thereof and providing the drive for the bottle bulb plunger lifting assemblies 89 depending therefrom in axialalignment with the air motors 102 to be actuated by the same.
A vertically-extending air dis tributi r ig sleeve 103 extends upwardly through the bottom and upper manifold parts 93 and97 of the manifold assembly 82 to interconnect the same that has a central! bore 104 The pivot manifold assembly 82 to the one-way air cylinder 78 so that the clamp jaws 66 and 67 will be closed upon and grasp the threaded neck portion 28" as best shown at the next station of FIG. 1. The turret having beentaken by the bottle 28and conveyor 47 through approximat ley 45". As the bottle is being moved and the clamp jaws closed the bottle will have been rotated by rubbing engagement of the surface of the bottle with a curved side rail 87 and until the thread. of the bottle portion 28" matches with the internal nut-like thread recesses of the jaws 66 and 67 so that the thread of the bottle will have been properly orientated when reaching the nextstation 2" and this turning of the bottle threads 28" into the internal thread receiving recesses of the opposing jawswill rid the bottle threads of any fractures that may be in the bottle threads so that notches,
gaps or nicks made in the threads by clamping or previous usagewill be sensed by the sensing fingers of the bottle thread inspection device in amanner to be later described. a
This curved side rail 87 that effects the turning of the bottle removing any partial chips from the bottle threads 28" has a vertically-extended internal friction driving surface and can be fixed by any rigid outer extension or bracket 87 thereon as seen in FIG. 2 to the stationary table base 26.
Connected to the upper end of theturret sleeve45 in common with the manifold 82 is a top supporting plate 88 for supporting bottlebulb plunger lifting assemblies indicated generally at 89, that will be described later in detail and made secure to the turret structure 31 with assemblies 89 to rotate thereby by fastening screws 91 entering through flange 92 of a lower part 93 of the manifold assembly 82 that bears the port 84 already above-mentioned, and through post 32 that is anchored to the bottom platform 26 has at its upper end areduceddiameter extension 106 that is threaded into an increased diameter threaded bore portion of the bore 104sb that the upper g irnember 103 is screwed downwardly onto the upper end "of the i post 32 above the nut 47 upon an O-ring 107 lying against a shoulder on post 32, the bore 104 is sealed at its lower end against escape of air: under pressure. The central member 103 about which the lower. rri'anifold part 93 rotates has a lateral opening 108 leading from the bore 104 to distribute air in sequenceto a series of openings 84, each of line 83 leadingto a clamp device 64. Thus, the clamp devices 64 grasp the bottles in succession as the bottles 28 proceed allongthe conveyo r27 in snug close relationship to one-another and within the peripheral openings 49' and 51 of the star wheel plates 49 and 51.
Also extending laterally from the bore 104 at a location below the distributing opening 108, is a distributing opening 109 that in sequence will become aligned l with a series of portholes 111 extending laterally from the same elevation as the opening 109 in the central member 103. There will be eight of these openings 111 equally spaced from one another about the circumference of the bottom manifold part 93 and slightly angled respectively from'the respective openings 84 as indicated across the center line 2--2 of FIG. 1 through which the section of FIG. 2 has been taken. In proper timed relation, the airpressure from the bore 104 of the central member 82 will be dispensed by'its opening 109 through the lateral opening 1 11 and through a hose indicated by a dot-dash line 112 to a port opening 113 as seen in FIG. 2 of bottle thread inspection device 89. The central core member 103 has a reduced diameter upper portion 103" thatprovzides a shoulder 114 above which is fixed a thick-walled sleeve 116 s urrounding the reduced diameter portion 103' of the central member 103 and fixed against a set screw 1 17. The sleeve 116 is accordingly held stationary through its side thereof and the plate 101 is connected to thcupper end of the vertical spacing rods 1 18 in a similar manner by fastening screws 121. i
The thiclr sleeve 116 has two vertically extending side holes 122 and 123 with respective internally threaded entrances 124 and 126 with which-there is respectively connected respective pipelines 127 and 120,
shown in dot and dashlines in FIG. 2 and connectedto an air-distributing chamber 129 that receives compressed air under pressure from an air pressure generating source and a pipeline 131. The upper end of the bore 104 is threaded at 132 to which a pipeline is connected as indicated by a dot and dash line 133 that is also connected to the same air distributing chamber 129 to receive air therefrom.
Associated with the hole 122 is a laterally extending opening that will register with any one of a series of eight openings circumferentially spaced about the upper manifold part 97 as indicated at 135 to deliver air under pressure through a pipeline 136, shown as a dot-dash line, to the rotary air motor 102, which is a reversible motor and to one side thereof as at 137 to cause the rotation of the motor 102 to rotate in a direction to turn a threaded worm gear 138 having threads on the exterior thereof of the pitch and size of the threads 28" of a bottle 28 and working against threads 139 on the interior of a depending sleeve 141 that depends from the underface of the rotatingturret top plate 101. The worm gear 138 is threadedly connected upon a central threaded shaft 144 that extends upwardly onto shaft 142 of the rotary air motor 102upon which vanes not shown, are provided to effect the rotation of the shafts142 and 144 and of the worm gear 138. The forward rotation of the worm gear 138 will cause internally threaded sleeve portion 152 and central slide valve 152 to move downward. The worm gear 138 can be adjusted upon the threaded shaft 144 and is held in its adjusted position by upper and lower lock nuts 143 and 145. g I
To affect a reverse rotation of the worm gear 138, the rotary air motor 102 will be rotated in a reverse direction from the connection of an airline 146 indicated by a dot and dash line and connected to the air motor 102 at 147 and to any one of a series of outlet openings 149 in the upper manifold part 97 that will register with a lateral openinglSl in the thick sleeve 116 to receive air under pressure from the vertical opening 123 thereof supplied by the air from the upper air line 128 and air distributing chamber 129. There are eight such openings 149, one for each of the air motors 102, and each of these openings 149 pass airjas the turret is re tated and register with the lateral opening 151 in thick sleeve 116. Thisreversible air motor 102 is allowed to bleed from'one side or the'other depending upon the direction of rotation of its motor. As the rotation of the air motor 102 is turned by air from pipeline 146 the worm gear 138 will reverse and return slide valve 152 from its downwardly extended position into the position shown in FIG. 2 from the position shown in FIG.
The lower end of the threaded shaft 144 attached to the air motor shaft 142 below the worm gear 138 and internally threadedly sleeve portion 152' carries a depending central bottle thread inspection member or slide valve 152 having an enlarged diameter upper end into which the threaded gear 138 extends and rotates. Thus, the threaded shaft 144 attached to the threaded screw 142 and the air motor 102 makes it possible to adapt the inspection member to bottles of different height.
This central member 152 is carried for vertical adjustment in a guide sleeve or shell 154 carried on the outer periphery of the upper turret plate 88 and fixed against rotation thereon. The central member 152 accordingly is moved up and down by the reversible air motor device 102. The central inspection member or slide valve 152 in order to prevent leakage of air under pressure has upper and lower 0" rings 156 and 157 to prevent air leakage from the guide sleeve 154.
After the bottle 28 has been gripped by the jaws 66 and 67 at a station 1 in a circle, FIG. 1, and the bottle has been carried to the station 2 ma circle and turned all the while by rubbing against the side rail 87 to orientate the threads for inspection, the central member 152 is lowered by the air motor 102 to extend its deflated rubber bulb 158 into the threaded upper neck end of the bottle 28', to assume the position shown in FIG. 3, and since the bulb158 is deflated, it will move loosely down thereinto. As soon as the movement has been sufiicient a laterally extending opening 159 will become aligned with the air inlet port 113 of guide sleeve 54, FIG. 2, receiving air under pressure from pipeline 1 12 of manifold part 93, so as to instantly inflate the bulb 158 and grip the bottle by its neck 28'. This lateral opening in the central member 152 communicates with a central bore opening 161 that communicates with a threaded flange metal nipple 162 threaded into an enlarged lower end of the bore 161 and to which on the under face of its flange thereof, the
inflatable rubber bottle grip member of bulb 158 is adhered so that its opening is in communication with the nipple opening 162' to receive air therefrom and inflate the bulb 158 as shown in FIG. 2.
As soon as the central inspection member or slide valve 152 has moved sufficiently down into the bottle so that its lateral opening 159 registers with the opening 1 13in the guide sleeve 154 the rubber grip is immediately inflated and the reversible air motor 102 receives air through the airline 146 and by the reverse of rotation of the air motor 102 the threaded gear 138 will begin to reverse and move slide valve 152 upwardly to the position shown in FIG. 2 and lifting and taking with it the bottle 28 by its neck 28 from the conveyor 47 the until the inspecting cycle upon the threads 28" on the bottle have been completed by opposing finger assemblies 163 and 164 of a thread-inspecting device 166, for each of the eight assemblies of the apparatus and fixed to the underface of top plate 84 of turret 3l'by centering pins 167 and fastening bolts 168. These finger assemblies 163 and 164 will have run along the entire length of the thread 28" being tested on the top of the bottle. The bottle 28 has about one and one-half turns of thread, but some bottles may have more or less of such turns. Details of the finger assemblies and the thread device is shown in FIGS. 6, 7, and 8, and its operation will be later described. As shown in FIG. 2, the bottle 28 will have been lifted from its position on the conveyor 27 as shown in one set of dotted lines in FIG. 2 to its elevated position showing another set of dotted .lines in FIG. 2, and this thread inspecting of the bottle is being effected while the bottle is being taken by the turret of FIG. 1 to station number 3 in a circle of FIG. 1 and clear of the conveyor 27. As the bottle thread is being inspected and lifted and then lowered or dropped the bottle will have been taken from the conveyor and transferred to the base surface; Rotation of turret is thus continued while the inspecting of the threads is being carried out.
While as above explained rotation of bottle 28 is effected by frictional engagement of the side of the same with the curved friction guide member 87 in such a manner as to free the bottle thread of any chips and peoperly lock the threads 28" within the threads of the split nut'like clamping jaws 66 and 67 so that the threads of the bottle will have been aligned for engagement by the finger assemblies 163 and 164 of the inspecting device 166 and any pieces or chips will have been removed that may have been broken away or partially broken away from the external threads 28" on the bottle 28. Thus the jaws not only affect the carrying of the bottle from station one to station two with the aid of the conveyor 27 but also serves to clean the threads 28" on the bottle orientating them at this time preparatory to the bottle28 being lifted in the manner as above described with the rotation being continued by the air motor 102 acting upon the central member 152 with picked from the apparatus by a device to be described but with the bottles that passed inspection be carried to another station before being taken from the apparatus in a suitable manner. The bottle will have been released at the end of the lifting cycle of the bottle from the inflatable grip member 158 upon being deflated by a central bore 161 and its lateral opening 159 being elevated to an opening 165 in the guide sleeve member 154 elevated from the opening 113..This opening 165 has a check valve 165 therein to prevent too sudden dropping of the bottle from the rubber bulb 158.
. Generally, it should be remembered that the central slide valve member 152 moves down as it is rotated at the same pitchand size of the thread on the bottle to be inspected since the external thread upon the worm gear 138and the internal thread 139 internally in the slide valve sleeve portion 152' are identical. The rubber bulb assembly 158connected by its threaded stem 162 to body 152, enters the bottle top and the downward movement continues until the underface of the nipple metal flange 162 engages the threaded end of the bottle the bottle rests firm against the underface of the flanged nipple flange 162 threaded into the lower end of the central member slide valve 152 to provide at this point the hole 113 in the guide sleeve 154 matches with the hole 159 in the central member 152 to inflate the rubber bulb to provide a seal in the top of the bottle and a means for raising the bottle for the time while its cap receiving threads are being inspected bythe opposing1 inspection finger assemblies 163 and 164 of the thread inspection device 166.
During the ascent of the bottle 28 by the bottle lifting assembly 89, the threads 28". thereof rotate between the finger assemblies 163 and 164 of the thread inspection device 166 carried on the turret plate 188. The
openings 108 and 109 in the central core member 103 of the manifold assembly 82 can be elongated particularly so in the case of the clamp jaw assembly 64 air pressure will be maintained while the bottle is being moved from station one to the next up to the point of release of the jaws66 and 67. This may be true particularly of the openings 134 and 151 in the thick sleeve part 116 fixed to the central member 103 in order to provide adequate time for the lowering and raising of the central member or slide valve 152 to pick-up and release the bottle 28. A check valve 171 is preferably that would tend to freethe bottle. Thischeck valve 171 I is in the air line 112 adjacent to the opening 113 in the sleeve 154. The opening 113 is thus in effect closed once the air has been imparted into the rubber bulb 158 after having been lowered into the bottle, to prevent its deflation. Immediately the air comes on at 113 and the inflation of the grip 158 is effected and the bot tle is picked up and riased so that its threads 28" are brought into engagement with the fingers 163. and .164 of the thread inspecting device 166. The opening 108 is made sufficiently long to effectthe tight closing of the jaws 66 and 67 about the bottle neck 28' and will continue closed tokeep cylinder 78 which brings the jaws 66 and 67 about bottle 28, as the bottle is rotated by the wall 87 so that the internal threads 66'. and 67 respectively will have cleaned the threads 28" on the top of the bottle preparatory and orientated the threads prior to their inspection and ridded the same'of any chips of glass. The jaws 66 and 67 by the action of the spring in the cylinder 78 are quickly opened once the j rubber grip 158 hasentered the neck 28' of the bottle just after the inflation of the grip 158 takes place to take over the control of the bottle andjust prior to the lifting of the bottle by the rubber grip 158 to effect the inspection of the threads 28 on the bottle that should have been cleaned and orientated by the internally clamped jaws 66 and 67. The elongation of the opening tending through the airmotor plate 172and plate 101 and the sleeve flange 173 from which the internally 164 are respectively primarily'formed of right angleshaped pieces that are respectively pivotably connected by the upright portions to the front of a mounting block 177 by respective pivot screws 178 and 179 so that as viewed in FIGS. 5 and 8 their respective sensing heads 181 and 182 may be spread to accommodate the bottle thread 28" and to ride over the same tosense notches, chips or other irregularities. The respective sensing heads 181 and 182 respectively have central vertically extending small thin sensing ribs 181' and 182' that will enter a notch, nick or gap from which a chip of glass has been released from the bottle thread as indicated at 183 in FIGS. 7 and 9 perrnittingthe ribs 181' or 182' of the respective sensing heads 181 or 182 to enter thenotch so as to cause the sensing head 181 or 182 to be pivoted closer together under the action of a transversely extending compression spring 184 carried on a rod 186 that lies above the pivot pins 178 and 179 as seen in FIG. and extends between the upright portion of angle shaped finger portions.
The rod 186 that contains the compression spring 184 is threaded on opposite ends and they have adjustable securing nuts 187 and 188 on the opposite ends of the same to effect a proper adjustment of the fingers so that their forwardly extending opposing heads 181 and 182 may be adjusted to the proper distance for their respective ribs 182' and 181' to readily receive the outer edge of the bottle thread 28" as the bottle 28 is rotated inflated bulbs 158 and the rotating lifting assembly 89. The fingers 163 and 164 will overlie the top of the bottle and thebottle is rotatably lifted upwardly for the engagement of the threads on the opposite of narrow vertically extending thread engaging ribs 181' and 182 of the respective fingers 163 and 164 as the bottle is being brought upwardly by the rubber grip 158 and the central member 152 of the lifting assembly 89. The bottle and its threads are being rotated all of the time that hottle is being lifted and the threads on the bottle have the same pitch and sizes of the threads 139 on the interior of the slide valve sleeve portion 152' and on the exterior of the worm gear 138. In order to ease the engagement of the threads of the bottle with the sensing head, the thin and sharpened ribs 181' and 182 on the respective opposing sensing heads 181 and 182 are flared downwardly and outwardly, as can be best seen in FIG. 5. When the rotation of the bottle has been effected to permit the rib of one sensing head to enter a notch or breakaway 183, the compression spring 184 will bring the sensing heads 181, 182 close together as best seen in FIG. 8 causing contacts on the upright portions of finger assemblies to close and open microswitches and their circuits that will turn on a light indicator and cause an ejecting mechanism to come into play to eject a damaged imperfect bottle all in a manner which will be described more in detail in connection with the electric circuit diagrams of FIGS. 9 and 10. The pivot bolts 178 and 179 are respectively attached to the mounting block 177. Side plates 189 and 191 are respectively connected to the sides of the mounting block 177 by respective fastening bolts 192 and 193 and will prevent the sensing fingers 163 and 164 from moving out of proper alignment with switches 199 and 203.
The upstanding portion of the finger assembly 163 has a triangular-shaped plate 194 connected by fastening bolts 196 to the outer face of the upstanding portion of the finger 163. The upstanding portion of the finger 164 has a similar opposing triangular plate 197 connected to the inner face of the fingers 164 by fastening bolts 198. Carried on the inner face of the triangular plate 194 of the sensing finger 163 is a microswitch 199 made secure thereto by fastening bolts 201 and having a small switch plunger 199 adapted to be engaged by a headed adjustable screw 202 carried on outwardly bent portion 197 from the triangular plate 197 of the sensing arm 164. Fastened to the triangular plate 197 on the sensing finger 185 1 is another microswitch 203 that has an operating plunger 203' that will be engaged by a headed adjustable screw 204 carried by an inwardly bent portion 194' of the triangular plate 194 of the finger 163. The microswitch 203 is secured to the triangular plate 197 by fastening screws 206.
A pair of wires 207 extend from the microswitch 199 and a pair of wires 208 extend from the microswitch 203. When a notch 183 is discovered in any portion of the bottle thread 28" of the bottle28 the headed operating screws 202 and 204 will have activated as shown in FIG. 8 plungers of the microswitches 199 and 203 and the sensing arms 163 and 164 will have pivoted at their head engaging ends toward one another as permitted by the notch or gap 183 to such an extent that the microswitches 189 and 203 will have been activated. An electric circuit as to be described will give a signal such as a lamp, buzzer, and effect the actuation of an ejecting plunger in a manner to be described later. The respective sensor heads 181 and 182 are releasably retained on forwardly-extending horizontal portions of the respective sensing fingers 163 and 164 by respec tive tightening screws 209 and 211.
The microswitches are wired preferably with one switch normally closed and with the other switch normally open. As the fingers are moved apart upon receiving the threaded bottle the normally closed microswitch is opened when it contacts the thread and the normal open switch is closed when its finger head is moved apart to the full thread diameter.
When there is a chipped thread and one of the sensing heads 181 and 182 enters the notch 183 in the thread 28", the fingers move closer together to assume a position shown in FIG. 8 and the normally open switch 203 closes to provide a signal of a defective thread to initiate the electric circuit to effect a rejection of the defective bottle. This operation of the microswitches is made possible by the adjusting of the headed adjustable operating screws 202 and 204. The adjustment of the headed screws 202 and 204 for the respective microswitches 199 and 203 can be also adjusted to reject a bottle having an oversize thread.
A slip-ring 212 as best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 supported on support members 213 is supplied with low voltage current 214 extending upwardly through one of the slip rings support members 213. This slip-ring is of circular shape as best seen in FIG. 1 and comes into use during the inspection cycle in order that the microswitches 199 and 203 can be supplied with current during the inspecting and a bottle rejecting cycle. Traveling with the turret 31 are upwardly extending tubes 216 through which three power lines I, II, and III for connection with a distribution block (not shown) having wiring connections according to the wiring diagrams for connection with the respective microswitches relays and contacts. These wires at their lower ends are respectively connected with electric brushes 217, 218 and 219, that engage current supply slip-rings as indicated in FIG. 2 respectively at 217, 218, and 219'. Distribution is made to the eight different thread inspection devices 166.
Low voltage has been supplied as can be seen from FIG. 2 and the wiring diagrams of FIGS. 9 and 10 to the microswitches 199 and 203 upon the finger inspection device 166 from slip ring assembly 212.
Adjacent to each bottle-receiving slot 49' of the starwheel 49 there depends a switch 221, FIG. 2, that is operated by a cam 222 that is supported up from stationary platform 26 to depress its plunger 221' and close the switch 221 so that power is supplied from low voltage cables I, II, and III to condition the microswitches 109 and 203 on the finger inspecting device 166 for use at station 3". This switch 221 is a double pole switch having arms 221 cand 221b that can be seen in FIG. 10. Cam-operated switch 221 is located at each of the stations as shown in the diagram of FIG. 9, and to operate the arms 221a'and 22 lb of FIG. 10. The adjustment of the headed operating screws 202 and 203 to the micro switches is such thatif the thread 28" is oversized or undersized themicroswitch 199 is operated to give a signal. Then, when the bottle has been rotated to allow the finger point 181! or 182' to enter the notch 183 as seen in FIG. 8, the microswitch 203 is operated to also cause a signal. In both instances, a lamp 223 as shown in FIG. 9 anda relay 224 in parallel with the lamp 223 y are energized to effect at station 5 .a magnetic plunger spring return ejection device 225 pushing outwardly, the fracture of" an imperfectbottle 28 onto a carry-away conveyor 226 for removal of the bad bottles I from the inspection apparatus.
. thereafter it is spring returned to the dotted line position to divert the good bottles from the apparatus. A time delay is provided in the relay 224 to delay this I ejecting operation until the bottle reaches station 5.
As seen in FIG. 9, the main source of currentsupply can be 110 volts having wires 226' and 227' to supply currentto a primary winding 228 so as to induce low voltage into a low voltage winding 229 that supplies low voltage current to the three parallel line wires I, and III of the eight sensing head assemblies 166 of FIG. with butone individual circuit being shown in FIG. 9 foroperationof microswitches and relays for effecting the bottle thread inspection cycle. In each of the low voltage circuitsare two relays CR1 and CRZwhich condition the operation of the low voltage circuit. Both of: these relays CR1 and CR2 utilize contacts of the high voltage circuit as indicated bythe dot and dash lines in FIG. 9. The relay CR1 is connected tooperate adjustable contact 231 to control timer 223.'The relay CR2 has contacts 232 in the low voltage circuit with the microswitches 199 and 203. The line I, II, and III are respectively. connected with the slip-rings 217', 218', and 219' of FIGSL Z, 9 and 10 by respective brush contacts 217, 218 and219. u t
The high voltage circuit as seen in FIG. 9 has across the lines 226 and 227 an adjustable timer relay 233 which has contacts234 operating in the lamp and ejec: tion circuit 223 that is closed at the beginning of the cycle by the cam-operated switch221. The timer is adjustable to the length of the thread of the bottle and when the rotation of the bottle has been completed to 7 14], i 7 drive the apparatus, chips derided by mi clamp jaws66 and 67 having internal threads matching with the threads of the bottle, the bottle taken by the clamp jaws to an inspecting station wherein examination is made of y the size of the thread and forlany notches or nicks in the.thread,the bottle being lifted and turned for inspection by a central rotatableslide valve member having. V an inflatable rubber bulb which enters the bottle neck 1:: y
and grips the bottle to lift the same, the bottle is turned or rotated so that the sensing fingers of the sensing device traverse the entire thread of the bottle. Thereafter, the bottle is lowered onto the'base of the turret and if d the imperfections such as an oversized thread or notches or gaps in the thread have been discovered by the sensing device, the bottle is ejected from the turret onto a means for taking the bottle away. The. unrejected bottles will continue with the rotation of the turret and removed by a flip-flop guide fence mechanism. The bottle is rotated for the initialclamping oper'- ation to orientate itfor proper engagement with the sensing device and removal of broken pieces or chips.
by the engagement of the side of the bottle with a guide generally contoured to easily receive the bottle andto cause rotation of the bottleafter the clamp has been closed upon the double threads. Thus, any loose chips or weakness in the. threads will be predetermined before the bottle reaches the inspection station.
It should be apparent that since eight stations have been shown on the apparatus that any number of such stations may be provided upon the device toincrease thecapacity of the apparatus, y
It should also be apparent with large diameter apparatus, the ejected bottle could be dropped upon the shall be understood that such changes shall be within.
the spirit and scope of the present by the appended claims. l clairn:
invention, as defined 1. Anautomatic bottle thread inspection apparatus comprising base surface, a bottle receiving turret supported upon the base surface for rotation through a plurality of stations thereover, a bottlefldeliveryconveyor running beside the bottle receiving turretto transfer bottles thereto, a bottle liftingand rotating as 3 i sembly carried by the turret including means for grasping thebottle and lifting the same, means for rotating the grasping meansand the bottle while lifting the same, and sensing means for engaging the threads of imperfections of the thread and means responsive. to d the sensing means to eject the imperfectly threaded present all portions of the thread, to the sensing lingerheads, timer circuit can be opened and time allowed for the return of the sensingfingers through reversal of the air passing through the air motor Mm and ejection of this same conveyor driving throughthe bottle serves to the bottle while it is being lifted and rotated to sense bottle from the apparatus. 7 p p 2. An automatic bottle thread inspection apparatus as defined in claim 1 and means for-mounting the bot.-
tle-receiving turret upon the base surface for free rotation, said turret having star wheel'like openings for gathering the bottles from the conveyor, and the arrangement of the bottle conveyor with relation tofree rotation turret being such that the bottle upon the entering an opening of turret and being draggedby the conveyor causes the rotation of the turret throughthe engagement therewith of an by bottles themselves.
3. An automatic bottle thread inspecting apparatus as defined in claim 2 and said bottle liftingand rotating assembly further serving while inspecting the bottle threads to transfer the bottle from the conveyor to the base surface as the rotation of the turret continued by a succeeding bottle upon the conveyor engaging succeeding opening in the turret.
4. An automatic bottle thread inspecting apparatus as defined in claim land said turret having a laterally extending two part clamp adapted to grasp the neck of the bottle and center it into position on the conveyor preparatory to and for vertical alignment with the bott-le grasping means.
5. An automatic bottle thread inspecting apparatus as defined in claim 4 and the clamp parts having internal threads complementary in pitch and size to the threads of the bottle, and a stationary vertically extending friction driving surface extended over and above the conveyor engagable with the side of a bottle thereupon to rotate the bottle while on the conveyor as its thread engages with the internal clamping parts, whereby any ruptured thread will be ridded of chips by the clamp parts prior to the'sensing of the threads.
6. An automatic bottle thread inspection apparatus as defined in claim 1, said bottle grasping means including a central vertically adjustable valve-like member, a cooperating air receivable sleeve therefor and an inflatable rubberlike bulb grip member carried on the lower end of the central member and adapted to enter readily the bottle neck when deflated but will grip the bottle upon being inflated and means for automatically delivering air under pressure to the central and grip members to inflate the same and discharge of the air to release the bottle to the base surface.
7. An automatic bottle thread inspection apparatus as defined in claim 6 and said means for rotating the grasping means during lifting and lowering of the bottle grasping means including a reversible air motor carried upon the turret and having a depending drive shaft, a
worm drive gear fixed to the air motor shaft, an internally threaded sleeve depending from the turret in axial alignment with the air motor, the threads of the worm gearand the sleeve cooperating with one another and corresponding in pitch and size to pitch and size of bottle threads being inspected, and said central valve-like member with the inflatable bulb grip member being driven by the worm gear connected to said air motor drive shaft to be rotated, lowered and raised by the same into and from the bottle neck and the bottle thread upon the bottle being lifted and orientated with the sensing means to inspect the bottle thread.
8. An automatic bottle thread inspection apparatus as defined in claim 1 and said bottle thread sensing means including a mounting block carried upon the turret, opposing bottle thread sensing fingers respectively pivotally connected to the block, said fingers having bottle thread engaging heads, biasing means extending between the pivotally connected sensing fingers to normally urge the thread engaging heads toward one another and into slidable engagement with the rotating bottle threads to sense the overall thread size and any notches therein, microswitches respectively mounted on the respective pivotally connected fingers with respective operating plungers opposing one another, headed adjustable screws respectively carried upon the sensing fingers and respectively opposingly aligned with the oppositeoperating microswitch plungers to operate the microswitches in response to engagement of the respective sensing heads with good or impaired bottle thread under the action of biasing means.
9. An automatic bottle thread inspection apparatus as defined in claim 1 and said ejection means being of a guide plate of the flip-flop type and magneticallyoperated spring return plunger devices operable upon the bottle at a discharge station to guide the bottle and to eject the same from the turret in responsive to the actuation of the sensing means and time relays operable thereby; said flip-flop guide serving in its normal position to direct the unimpaired bottles from the apparatus turret.
10. An automatic bottle thread inspection apparatus comprising a base, star wheel-like bottle receiving turret with a series of star openings extending thereabout, upright post means upon the base means for connecting the star-wheel-like turret to the upright post for free wheel rotation thereabout, a bottle delivering conveyor disposed adjacent to said bottle receiving turret for delivering bottles to the turret star openings, a series of air-operated bottle neck engaging clamps extending respectively laterally over the respective turret star openings to center the bottles therewithin while traversing the conveyor, the turret being rotated through the bottle engaging the star wheel opening walls and the clamps while the bottle is being dragged by the conveyor, air-operated reversible motors on said turret overlying respectively said clamps, threaded worm gears and internally threaded sleeve carried on the turret and depending respectively from the respective air motors and connected thereto to be operated by the same, central air valve assemblies depending from the air motor worm gear to be lowered by the same, an air inflatable bulb grip members carried on the air valve assemblies and adapted to enter the bottles when centered by the clamps and upon being inflated to grip the bottle, said air motor when rotating the wonn gear in the internally threaded sleeve serving to lower and raise the central member and the bottle, sensing means for engaging the threads of the bottle while it is being lifted and rotated to sense imperfections of the thread, means responsive to the sensing means to eject the imperfectly threaded bottle, air pressure distributing means carried in part by the upright post means and including lower and upper manifold'parts on the turret-and series of air communicating tubes extending respectively to the air operated clamps, the central valve and sleeve assemblies to inflate the inflatable grip members thereof and the reversible air motors to operate same in sequence in accordance with the advance of the threaded bottle through the apparatus. 7
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