US 3803967 A
In electronic inspection of codes on printed cartons to avoid stoppage of machine line because of a rejected carton, a cutting device is provided for severing an end panel of the rejected carton, the mutilated, rejected carton continuing without interruption in the inspection line until at the end thereof, due to its appearance, the carton is discarded.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
limited States Paten Leavens, Jr.
1451 Apr. 16, 1974 APPARATUS FOR SEVERING PANELS FROM REJECTED CARTONS William B. Leavens, Jr., Llewellyn Park,'West Orange, NJ. 07052 Filed: Oct. 25, 1972 Appl. No.: 300,682
U.S. Cl 83/371, 83/431, 93/36 R, 53/181 lint. Cl B26d 5/38 Field of Search 83/371, 431; 93/36 R, 34, 93/36 A; 53/181, 220, 53
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1973 Lutz 83/371 x 5/1889 Crowe 7/1962 83/431 X Sherman 83/371 X Primary ExaminerDona1d R. Schran Attorney, Agent, or FirmLeo C. Krazinski [5 7] ABSTRACT In electronic inspection of codes on printed cartons to avoid stoppage of machine line because of a rejected carton, a cutting device is provided for severing an end panel of the rejected carton, the mutilated, rejected carton continuing without interruption in the inspection line until at the end thereof, due to its appearance, the carton is discarded.
5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures APPARATUS FOR SEVERING PANELS FROM REJECTED CARTONS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to electronic inspection of line codes on printed material, particularly cartons for pharmaceuticals.
2. Description of the Prior Art The inspection of code lineson cartons as they are passing through a cartoning machine has been practiced for a number of years. U.S. Pat. No. 3,035,380
shows coding methods that can be used. Generally the machine linewas stopped and the rejected carton removed or mutilated by the machine operator for subsequent removal. There are two objections to this method of operation. First the machine was stopped which not only slowed production but introduced other difficulties on integrated packaging lines. Second, there was the possibility of operator confusion or negligence whereby the rejected carton w as overlooked, packaged and shipped.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to overcome the foregoing objections in a relatively simple manner by cutting off part of an end panel of the rejected carton, so that it cannot be closed, thereby permitting the uncut portion to act as a flag for subsequent removal of the carton when it can be done without stopping the packaging line. 7
Other and further objects will be obvious upon an understanding of the illustrative embodiment about to be described, or will be indicated in the appended claims and various advantages not referred to herein will occur to one skilled in the art upon employment of the invention in practice.
Cartons advancing in a typical cartoning machine are squared and rather loosely held by lugs on chains advancing at the relatively slow speed of 50 to 100 feet per minute. If pressure is exerted on a projecting tuck or panel the carton will collapse and jam. To sever a projecting tuck or panel it has been found that knives or shear cutters usually exert intolerable cutting pressures. A high speed circular saw will cut the paperboard without causing a damaging drag.
Cartoning machines are subject to varying speeds and stoppages, so that timed devices that are dependent on a constant speed, should not be used. In reading the code bars a photoelectric scanner such as shown in my pending application, Ser. No. 380,918 solves the timing problem on code reading by delaying code verification until the tuck or panel being scanned has passed the scanner focal point. If the code is not verified, a relay is actuated momentarily to actuate a second relay that controls the cutter and holds as long as is necessary to complete the cut. Photoelectric or electeo-mechanical means may be used to keep the holding relay engaged not only for varying speeds but for the varying widths of panels on cartons which the machine may be set to accommodate.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A preferred embodiment of the invention has been chosen for purposes of illustration and description and is shown in the accompanying drawings, forming a part of the specification, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side perspective view showing a typical arrangement on a horizontal cartoner in which the code line scanner is reading lines on one tuck of a carton while a cutoff saw is severing an end panel on another carton.
FIG. 2 is a side perspective view showing a design for a saw table that backs up the carton panel while it is being cut. I
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view showing the relationship of the saw, s'aw table and holding microswitch when an accepted carton passes.
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 3 showing the changed relationship with a rejected carton.
FIG. 5 is a top plan view showing an assembly of the cutoff unit. 3
FIG. 6 is an electrical schematic view of the relay circuitry with a plugged-in cutoff device using a microswitch for holding the cutting engaged until the cut is completed.
FIG. 7 is a schematic view of a substitute plug and cord which may be used to stop the cartoner by interrupting the stop circuit.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, cartons l, with side flaps folded, are held erected and squared by chain lugs 2 and 3 traveling between guide rails R. The cartons are being advanced in a cartoning machine. Top and bottom panels and tucks 4 are extended. For illustration purposes code lines or bars 5 on cartons A (shown here as 3 lines are considered proper but cartons B and C are mixed with an undercount of only two lines 6 on carton B and an overcount of four lines 7 on carton C. While the code lines on carton B are being scanned at a focal point 8 on a scanner 9, saw 10 is just completing a cut on the bottom panel 4 of rejected carton C, which panel has been raised by a slotted saw table 11 so that it is in contact with the teeth on saw 110. i
To avoid confusion, not shown in FIG. I, is a microswitch arm 12 (FIG. 3) which rides on the outer portion 4" of the raised bottom panel holding the microswitch closed until the cut is completed as the panel moves on.
A preferred shape of the saw table lll is shown in FIG. 2, where the leading edge 13 is angled to guide the carton panel 4 as it is advanced in the machine. The trailing edge 14 is similarly angled to perform a like function if the machine is manually moved backwards. This issometimes necessary in clearing jams. An arm 15 supports the inner portion 4a of the bottom panel while it is being cut, which portion 4a remains attached after the cut is completed. Arm 16 is short to permit the severed portion 4" to fall away when the cut is completed. Arm 17 is attached to a solenoid 18 (FIG. 5) that is energized when a rejected carton is signalled by the code inspector. The saw table 11 is normally clear of the panel 4, as shown in FIG. 3, so that an accepted carton passes freely between it and the saw 10. The saw table 11 is placed so that when a rejected carton is triggered, the table will be in a position to raise the leading edge of panel 4 so that itmay move into the saw 10 and be severed, as shown in FIG. 4. The saw table length is governed by two conditions. First, it must lift the panel relay is energized and when the panel is about inch from the saw. The second condition is that the table length must not be so long as to catch the following carton before the cut has been completed on the first carton and the saw table has had an opportunity to drop back to its de-energized, out of the line of travel, position. The distance between cartons is generally such that the inch lead avoids this interference. With very high speed or compact machines it may be necessary to use the continuous saw with a shorter saw table or evena solenoid operated air blast to blow the panel into the saw. Such conditions have not been encountered as yet in reduction to practice.
It will be observed in FIG. 1, that, while the panel on box C is being cut, the code lines on box B are being read. The code inspector sends a momentary electric signal from relay 19 (FIG. 6) that closes relay 20 to start the saw 10 and move the saw table 1 1. To hold this relay 20 engaged for the duration of the cut a mechanical or electronic switch must be used. A microswitch 21 is ideally suited to this task and it is located as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The spring loaded arm 12 of the microswitch 21 normally rides clear of the panel 4 and is on a line with the bottom of the saw, as shown in FIG. 3. When the saw table raises to push the carton panel into the cutting line of the saw, to start the panel cutting action, it also pushes the outer portion 4" of the panel 4 against the microswitch arm, 12 thereby closing the switch 21 (FIG. 6). This holds relay 20 operated, so that the cutting action continues for a predetermined interval after relay 19 has reopened, that is, until portion 4" is severed and forced away by the spring action of the microswitch arm 12. The combination of the short arm 16 with the spring loaded microswitch arm 12 assures positive clearing of the severed piece 4". This is very important on vertical cartoners where the severed piece might otherwise hang up on the saw and hold the microswitch 21 engaged. After the microswitch 21 opens to release the relay 20, the saw table 11 returns clear of the line of travel on accepted cartons and the saw 10 comes to rest.
FIG. shows an assembly of the cutting device in which saw is driven by a rotary hand grinder 22, which is clamped to a support S. Also attached to the support S by a bracket B is the solenoid 18, to the armature 18a of which is pivotally fastened the arm 17 of saw table 11. The arm 17 is pivotally carried also by the bracket B. Microswitch 21 is shown mounted on the bracket B with microswitch arm 12 thereon. A lamp 23 (FIG. 6) indicates when the code inspector (not shown) is ON and switched in the operating mode.
to the microswitch In FIG. 6 there are shown the two relays l9 and 20 that are adapted to be mounted on the code inspector chassis (not shown) and a ten pin amphenol socket (not shown) in which the cutting unit is connected. Relay 19, whose winding 24 is normally energized and whose armature 25 engages front contact 26, momentarily de-energizes if a code reading on a carton is rejected. During this de-energization of relay l9, relay winding 27 of relay 20 is energized in a circuit that can be traced from 20V D.C. via leads 28, 29, back contact 30 and armature 25 of relay 19, leads 31 and 32, resistance 33, lead 34 and thence through winding 27 of relay 20 to ground. Armature 35 of relay 20 then engages front contact 36 to close an obvious I10 volt A.C. circuit for energizing saw table solenoid 18 and hand grinder saw motor 22. During movement of the saw table 11 the carton panel 4 is raised and in such movement the microswitch arm 12 is operated to close microswitch 21 which provides an obvious holding circuit for relay 20 following re-energization of relay 19. After saw 10 has severed panel portion 4" from carton 4, as hereinbefore described, the microswitch arm 12 returns to its normal position, the microwitch 21 retracts, and relay 20 releases to deenergize the solenoid 18 and saw motor 22. Meanwhile, the code inspector is scanning the next carton during severance of the panel from the rejected carton.
In FIG. 7 is shown a plug 37 that may be substituted for plug 38 to replace the cutting device and substitute a control on the stop circuit of the cartoner. This would provide a less desirable emergency protection that could be used to avoid an expensive shutdown of the packaging line while repairs on adjustments are made on the cutting device.
Inspection on one end of the carton and cutting the other end have been described. It is evident that both inspecting and cutting can be done on the same tuck and panel. Shown is use on a horizontal cartoner. The system has also been used on a vertical cartoner which machine is frequently used on cartons which are hand filled after erection.
From the foregoing description it will be seen that the present invention provides an improved apparatus for severing panels from rejected cartons without interruption or stoppage of the machine line.
As various changes may be made in the form, construction, and arrangement of the parts herein, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and without sacrificing any of its advantages, it is to be understood that all matters are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in any limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. A cartoning machine equipped with a code inspector for inspecting coded cartons comprising, in combination, a continuously moving line carrying coded cartons for verification of proper codes on said cartons, electronic means responsive upon detection of an improperly coded carton, cutting means responsive to said electronic means for severing a portion from said improperly coded carton to mutilate the carton, after which said mutilated carton is carried along said line without interruption thereto, and means for rendering ineffective said cutting means, said electronic means including a relay momentarily responsive to an impulse from said code inspector, a second relay responsive to said first relay, and a motor and solenoid responsive to said second relay, said cutting means including a saw and a table, said table being movable by said solenoid in abutting engagement against said rejected carton.
2. A cartoning machine in accordance with claim 1, wherein said cutting means further includes a switch closed by said table movement against said rejected carton, whereby said second relay is held in operative condition, while said first relay is returned to its normal condition, to assure complete severance of a portion from said rejected carton.
3. A cartoning machine in accordance with claim 2, wherein said saw is a circular saw.
4. A cartoning machine in accordance with claim 3, wherein said switch includes a spring biased arm urged by said table movement to close said switch, and to open said switch when the cut is completed, after which the table returns to its normal position free of said arm.
5. A cartoning machine in accordance with claim 3, wherein said second relay is released upon opening of said switch and, in turn, said solenoid and said saw motor are deenergized.