US 3820302 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[111 3,820,302 June 28, 1974 United States Patent [191 Doran et al.
[ CARTON CASING APPARATUS Primary ExaminerRobert L. Spruill Attorney, Agent, or FirmSmythe & Moore  ABSTRACT A conveyor conveys a row of pairs of cartons to a cas-  Assignee: Windor, Incorporated, Danbury,
ing apparatus which marshals the cartons into a tier for positioning into a case. A pivoting mechanism pivots the first pair of cartons at right angles to the conveyor onto a horizontal carrier and a pusher pushes subsequent pairs of cartons transversely from the row onto the conveyor. The pivoting mechanism resiliently retains a pair of cartons during the pivoting operation. The tier of cartons is positioned below a gripping head having clamps actuated simultaneously to grip the cartons upon downward movement of the gripping head. The gripping head has one pair of clamps at right angles to the remaining clamps and a linkage is provided to actuate all of the clamps simultaneously.
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15 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures 3,30l,376 1/1967 Winter et al. 198/31 AB 3,367,518 2/l968 53/159 CARTON CASING APPARATUS The present invention relates to an apparatus for casing pairs of cartons, more particularly, to a mechanism for pivoting predetermined pairs of cartons and to a gripping head for clamping the cartons for movement into a case.
A wide variety of products including dairy products and juices are packed in containers, such as paper cartons, which are then assembled into a case for shipment. The individual containers or cartons are of various capacities. In the sale of milk, it has been found desirable to package milk in half-gallon cartons but to sell them in some instances by the gallon by assembling two half-gallon cartons together in a twin pack. A plurality of these cartons are then positioned in a tier or layer and deposited into a case. In general practice it has been found expedient to package eight twin-packed half-gallon cartons of milk into a case normally holding nine single cartons. The eight cartons are arranged in pairs with three pairs facing in one direction and the other pair adjacent the three pairs but at right angles thereto.
The apparatus for easing the cartons generally comprises a conveyor along which the cartons are conveyed in a row. A suitable mechanism is then provided for assembling the cartons into a suitable pattern for deposition into a case. In casing cartons in the eight-carton pattern as described above, a pivoting mechanism is provided to pivot the first pair of cartons at right angles onto a carrier and the next succeeding six cartons are pushed in pairs transversely from the conveyor onto the carrier adjacent the pivoted pair of cartons.
It has been found that when assembling the cartons in the eight-carton pattern with the pairs of cartons not being attached, the second carton in the turning or pivoting mechanism tended to walk out" of the turner because of the centrifugal force exerted during the turning operation. When pairs of cartons are attached by a handle, the weight of the first carton in the turning mechanism tended to pull the second carton into position but not always.
When the eight cartons have been assembled in a pattern wherein one pair is at right angles to the remaining three pairs of cartons, this tier of cartons is then moved a point beneath a griping head mechanism which grips all of the cartons and deposits them in a case positioned therebelow. The gripping mechanism essentially comprises a plurality of clamps disposed to conform to the pattern of pairs of cartons. It is essential that all of these clamps be actuated simultaneously but that the mechanism for carrying out this operation be as simple and reliable as possible. Difficulties have previously been encountered in providing a suitable arrangement of clamps for securely gripping the cartons to deposit them in a casing.
One of the objects of the present invention is to provide an improved apparatus for easing cartons in a pattern of pairs.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a gripping-head assembly having a simple but effective arrangement for actuating a plurality of clamps disposed on the gripping head in an arrangement to correspond to the pattern of the pairs of cartons.
In one aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for easing pairs of cartons within a case may comprise a frame having a loading table therein. A container is mounted on the frame for feeding continuously a single row of cartons onto the loading table. A pusher is mounted on the frame before which the row of cartons passes and pushes pairs of cartons onto a horizontally reciprocal carrier mounted on the frame. Means are provided adjacent the conveyor for pivoting certain predetermined pairs of cartons onto the horizontal carrier at a right angle to the direction of the conveyor. A retaining means can be provided for preventing the pivoted cartons from walking out" of the pivoting mechanism because of centrifugal force. Actuating means cause the pusher to push succeeding pairs of cartons transversely of the row predetermined distances onto the conveyor so as to form a tier or pattern of pairs of cartons comprising one pivoted pair and three pushed pairs of cartons. The tier of assembled pairs of cartons is then moved to a point beneath a vertically reciprocable gripping head mounted on the frame which has a plurality of clamps thereon to grip the pairs of cartons and deposit them in a case therebelow.
Other objects, advantages, and features of the present invention will become apparent from the accompanying description and drawings, which are merely exemplary.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the casing apparatus according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a pair of cartons clamped together by a twin-pack handle;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the pivoting mechanism at the end of the conveyor for pivoting a pair of cartons at right angles to the conveyor;
FIG. 4 is view similar to that of FIG. 3 but showing the pivoting mechanism in its pivoted position;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to that of FIG. 4 but showing a plurality of pairs of cartons pushed from the conveyor to form a tier of cartons with the pivoted pair of cartons;
FIG. 6 is an overall perspective view of the horizontal platform and carrier which moves a tier of cartons beneatha gripping head assembly;
FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the pivoting mechanism of FIGS. 3 to 5 but in a larger scale to show details of the mechanism;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 6 showing the pusher tabs in the operatable position;
FIG. 9 is a view of the right-hand portion of FIG. 8 and showing the pusher tabs in retracted position;
FIG. 10 is a partial elevational view of the gripping means for the pivoted pair of cartons taken in the direction 10-10 of FIG. 14;
FIG. 11 is an end elevational view taken in the direction of the line 11-11 of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a sectional view taken along the line 12-12 of FIG. 10;
FIG. 13 is a front elevational view of the gripper-head assembly; and v FIG. 14 is a side elevational view of the gripper head as shown in FIG. 13.
Proceeding next to the drawings wherein like reference symbols indicate the same parts throughout the various views, a specific embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail.
The casing machine is an improvement over the easing machine disclosed in U. S. Pat. No. 3,273,304, issued Sept. 20, 1966, and embodies most of the structural features of this machine. It is therefore considered not necessary to describe each component of the present machine in detail since these components are'adequately described in the aforementioned patent.
As may be seen in FIG. 1, the casing apparatus of the present invention is indicated generally at and comprises a frame 11 having a loading table which may be seen in FIG. 6, which may comprise a portion of the continuous straight-line conveyor 13 upon which pairs of cartons, such as that shown at 14 in FIG. 2, are conveyed. The pair of cartons 14 comprise half-gallon containers of milk which are attached together by a twinpack handle 15. The function of the present machine is not limited to attached pairs of cartons but can also be used for casing pairs of cartons wherein the individual containers are separate from each other. The casings usually can hold nine such cartons or uneven numbers.
A pusher 16 actuated by a hydraulic cylinder 17 is positioned adjacent the conveyor 13 so that the row of cartons conveyed therealong passes in front of the pusher.
A pivoting mechanism 18 is positioned adjacent the conveyor 13 and has a pair of spaced resilient arms 19 disposed over the conveyor so as to receive a pair of containers conveyed therealong. The arms 19 are mounted on a bracket 20 which is pivotally supported on a shaft 21 and is attached to a gear 22 which meshes with a sector gear 23 pivoted at 24. The sector gear 23 is mounted on a bracket 25 which has a downwardly depending lug 26 received in slot 27 in block 28 attached on the end of rod 29 extending from hydraulic cylinder 30. The block 28 moves between guide rails 31 so that actuation of the hydraulic cylinder pivots the sector gear 23 which in turn pivots gear 22 and pivots the arms 19 to the position as shown in FIG. 4. The hydraulic cylinder 30 is actuated in sequence so as to pivot every fourth pair of cartons ninety degrees into the position as shown in FIG. 4. By pivoting every fourth pair of cartons, a tier of pairs of cartons will be formed, such as shown in FIG. 5, having an even number of cartons.
As a pair of cartons is pivoted, the centrifugal force thereon may be sufficient to cause the pair to walk out or move away from the pivot which is undesirable. In order to prevent such movement, a retaining guide 75 (FIGS. 4, 5), which can be a spring steel strip,-is pi'voted at 76 so that the retaining guide can be swung to the position seen in FIG. 4 and can keep the cartons A in the proper position. After this is completed, fluidoperated motor 77 is actuated so as to move the retaining guide out of the way of the next pairs of cartons B, C and D, as seen in FIG. 5.
The pivoted pair of cartons A is pivoted onto a platform of horizontally spaced bars 32, the platform comprising a series of stationary bars 33 intermeshed with a series of four reciprocable bars 35. The stationary bars 33 are interconnected by a horizontal member 33A supported by the frame 11. The reciprocable bars 35, which define a comb and which function to push the tier of cartons from the stationary bars 33, are interconnected by horizontal bar assemblies 36 and 36A which are constrained in their reciprocable travel by guide rails 37A.
At the entrance of the platform 32, vertical tabs 38 (FIGS. 6 and 8) are connected to a crossmember 39 of the horizontal bar assembly 36, the ends of which are attached to hydraulic cylinders 41A for sequential movement of the tabs 38. At the opposite end of the platform is a stop 47 connected to the horizontal bar assembly 36A. The stop 47 is at a slight angle from the vertical and coincides with four depending members 47A, which in conjunction with the stop 47 also. act as a guide in conjunction with the guide plates 41 in the downward travel of the containers to the conveyor 70.
The tabs 38 are in a down position while the containers are being transferred from the conveyor 13 onto the horizontal platform, and in their progressive travel along the length of the platform, they finally abut against the stop 47.
At the instant of forward movement of the comb assembly 35, the tabs 38 are raised to an upward position and abutting the tiered cartons, transferring the cartons to a point beneath a gripping-head assembly.
The reciprocable movement of the comb assembly is effected by means of a fluid pressure actuating cylinder 17A.
There may also be opposed hand adjustable guide plates 37 mounted on frame 11 guiding the tiers of cartons to a position under the gripper-head assembly indicated generally at 40.
The gripper-head assembly 40 is mounted for vertical links 46 to a horizontal link 48 which in turn is connected to a link 49 interconnected by link 50 to a horizontal bar 51 attached to the end of rod 52 from the actuating cylinder 43.
In a similar manner, the rods 44b, d, and f are connected by links 53 to a horizontal link 54 whose end is connected to a link 55 connected by an intermediate link 56 to the other end of the horizontal link 51.
Upon actuation of the cylinder 43 (FIG. 1 piston 52 (FIGS. 13, 14) will move outwardly and move rod 51 downwardly (FIG. 13). As a result of the linkage connection, horizontal rod 48 will move to the left as indicated by the arrow 57 to pivot its respective clamps in a counterclockwise direction and the horizontal link 54 will move to the right as indicated by the arrow58 to move its respective clamps in the clockwise direction so that the respective pairs of clamps will engage the top of the pairs of cartons.
In order to clamp the pivoted pair of cartons A, there is provided at the rear of the gripping head a horizontal fixed bar 60 which is at right angles to rods 44. An additional rod 61 is pivotally mounted in the frame and has a clamp 62 extending therefrom which is engageable with the fixed bar 60. An actuating rod 63 extends from rod 44d as may be seen in FIGS. 11 and 12 and is received in a slot 64 in a bracket 65 mounted on one end of therod 44d. Thus, pivoting movement of the rod 44d will cause the bracket 65 to pivot in a clockwise direction and will move the rod 63 downwardly to bring the clamp 62 in clamping engagement against the stationary bar 60. It is therefore apparent that all of the clamps will be actuated simultaneously.
At the same time that the clamps are actuated, the gripping head is moved downwardly to deposit the tier of cartons in a case indicated at 70 in FIG. 6.
During the casing operation, the resilient arms 19 of the pivoting mechanism 18 securely retain the containers even if the containers are not clipped together. The pivoted containers are then deposited in position A as may be seen in FIG. 5. Subsequent pairs of containers B, C and D are then pushed into position by the pusher 16. This tier of containers is then moved beneath the gripper head 40 which then moves downwardly, clamps the containers, and deposits them in a case therebelow.
It will be understood that various details of constructionnd arrangement of parts may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention except as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
I. In an apparatus for casing pairs of cartons within a case, the combination of a frame having a loading table thereon, a conveyor mounted on said frame for feeding a row of cartons in a predetermined direction onto said loading table, means for forming a tier of a predetermined number of pairs of cartons including a pusher mounted on said frame and before which said row of cartons passes, a horizontally reciprocable carrier mounted on said frame in position to receive pairs of cartons pushed by said pusher, means for actuating said pusher to push a pair of cartons transversely of said row a predetermined distance onto said carrier, vertically reciprocable gripping-head means mounted on said frame, and means actuating said carrier for moving a tier of a predetermined number of pairs of cartons to a point beneath said gripping-head means wherein the improvement comprises means associated with said tier forming means for pivoting a pair of cartons onto said carrier to a position at right angles to the direction of said conveyor.
2. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said pivoting means comprises means for resiliently retaining said pair of cartons.
3. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein there is a retaining guide for inhibiting radially outward movement of a pair of cartons during pivoting thereof.
4. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 3 wherein there is an actuating means for said retaining guide to move the retaining guide to an ineffective position after a pair of cartons has been pivoted.
5. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 1 and compris- 6 ing means for sequencing the pivoting of said pivoting means to pivot spaced predetermined pairs of cartons from said row, the pairs of cartons between said pivoted pairs being pushed by said pusher onto said carrier.
6. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 5 and comprising a fluid pressure cylinder for pivoting said pivoting means.
7. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said resilient retaining means comprises a pair of spaced resilient arms between which the pair of cartons is retained during pivoting.
8. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said gripping-head means comprises a plurality of clamps corresponding to the plurality of pairs of pushed cartons and said pair of pivoted cartons.
9. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 8 wherein the clamps for said pivoted pair of cartons are at right angles to said other clamps.
10. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 9 and comprising means on said gripping-head means for actuating all of said clamps simultaneously.
11. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 10 and comprising an actuating cylinder on said gripping-head means, linkage connected to said actuating cylinder to close the clamps for the pushed cartons upon actuation of the cylinder, and means interconnecting said pushed carton clamps and said pivoted carton clamps.
12. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 9 and comprising a plurality of pairs of pivotable parallel rods, on said gripping-head means, the clamps for the pushed cartons being attached to said rods, and linkage means for pivoting each rod of a pair in opposite direction to close and open the clamps.
13. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 12 and further comprising a fixed bar on said gripping-head means at right angles to said parallel rods, an additional rod parallel to said fixed bar and having a clamp thereon engageable with said bar in the clamping position to clamp said pair of pivoted cartons.
14. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 13 and comprising linkage means between one of said pairs of parallel rods and said additional rod to actuate said additional rod simultaneously with said parallel rods whereby all of said clamps operate together.
15. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 1 and further comprising means supporting said case beneath said gripping-head means to receive a tier of said cartons. l l