US 3844427 A
A palletized drum assembly in which drums are stacked in successive layers, each comprising plural drums, on a transportable pallet, with anti-roll spacers between the layers, and the stack is releasably secured to the pallet by strap passed about the former and fastened to the latter. The assembly is dismantled for individual filling of the drums when empty by transferring the stack to a pivoted receiver in the vertical condition, rotating the receiver to a stack-supporting intermediate angular position where the strap and pallet are removed, and then further rotating the receiver to substantially horizontal condition for removal of the spacers and drums and transport of the drums by conveyor means to the filling station.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Miles-Luscombe et a1.
[ 1 Oct. 29, 1974 HANDLING DRUMS  Inventors: William L. R. Miles-Luscombe,
Kingsley; Robert D. Jones, St. Helens; Brian F. Walker, Cheste, all
of England  Assignee: The Lubrizol Corporation,
Wickliffe, Ohio  Filed: Apr. 27, 1973  Appl. No.: 355,041
 Foreign Application Priority Data May 10, 1972 Great Britain 21919/72  US. Cl. 214/152, 206/446, 214/6 P, 2l4/l0.5  Int. Cl. B65g 57/24  Field of Search 214/6 P, 152, 10.5; l00/2, 100/7; 206/446  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,075,711 3/1937 Gilley 214/152 3,101,852 8/1963 Pearne 214/6 P X 3,220,583 11/1965 Robertson .r 214/152 3,283,893 11/1966 Durocher et al. 100/2 X 3,442,401 5/1969 Wolfe et al 2l4/6 P 3,7l8,223 2/1973 Meissner 214/152 Primary Examiner-Billy J. Wilhite Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Donnelly, Maky, Renner & Otto 5 7 ABSTRACT A palletized drum assembly in which drums are stacked in successive layers, each comprising plural drums, on a transportable pallet, with anti-roll spacers between the layers, and the stack is releasably secured to the pallet by strap passed about the former and fastened to the latter. The assembly is dismantled for individual filling of the drums when empty by transfer ring the stack to a pivoted receiver in the vertical condition, rotating the receiver to a stack-supporting intermediate angular position where the strap and pallet are removed, and then further rotating the receiver to substantially horizontal condition for removal of the spacers and drums and transport of the drums by conveyor means to the filling station.
3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 1 HANDLING DRUMS This invention relates to the handling of drums, particularly metal drums for containing chemical products.
It is common practice to supply chemical products such as lubricating oils in drums. Normally, the empty drums are supplied to the chemical manufacturer on a flat-topped road vehicle on which they are stacked in ordinary manner. Unloading is carried out by hand, the drums being individually dropped from the vehicle onto a foam rubber cushion and then restacked in some suitable location ready for use. Generally, a vehicle will carry about 200 drums and such unloading and restacking operation will take a team of three men around 35 minutes to complete.
This conventional procedure is unsatisfactory on at least two counts. Firstly, the labor involved in handling, moving and stacking the empty drums is considerable and inevitably increases the cost of the filled drums to the customer, and secondly repeated manhandling gives rise to a proportion of damaged and therefore unusable drums. Also, it is not easy to use warehouse space economically when drums are stacked in the conventional way. The manhandling of drums is inevitably associated with some personal danger, eg from drums accidentally falling from vehicles.
It is, therefore, one object of the invention to provide a drum assembly in which a plurality of drums are commonly mounted on a pallet and releasably secured thereto by retaining means. Preferably, the retaining means comprises one or more straps secured to each side of the pallet and passed over the drums.
Another object of the invention is to provide a method of dismantling such a palletized drum assembly comprising a plurality of drums disposed in layers on a pallet'and releasably secured thereto, which method comprises placing said assembly in a tipping apparatus and tipping it through a right-angle so that the layers of drums can be advanced side by side or one behind the other in a horizontal direction.
More particularly, the invention also provides a method of transferring empty drums to a drum-filling station which comprises the steps of forming a palletized drum assembly by stacking the empty drums on a pallet on their sides in layers, securing the drums to the pallet with retaining means, transferring the palletized drum assembly to a tipping apparatus, releasing said retaining means, operating the tipping means to transfer the empty drums from the pallet onto a horizontal conveyor, and moving the drums along the horizontal con veyor to the drum-filling station.
Usually the drums will be mounted on the pallet with their longitudinal axes parallel to the plane of the pallet. In an embodiment of the invention, the pallet is generally rectangular and five layers of four drums each are mounted one above the other on the pallet. Suitable spacers are preferably located between adjacent layers of drums to reduce any tendency of the drums to roll relative to each other. Two flexible straps, preferably of nylon webbing, pass over the assembly, each serving to retain ten drums on the pallet.
The pallet may be of any suitable form and will preferably include raised portions on the drum-supporting surface to prevent those drums in contact with the pa]- let from rolling out of position. Similar raised portions may be provided on the spacers between the drums.
Usually, the pallet will include slotsfor receiving the fork of a fork-lift truck, whereby the drum assembly can be readily lifted and stacked, with the material from which the pallet is made not critical. Suitable materials therefor include wood, plastics and metal.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds.
To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends the invention, then, comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description and the annexed drawing setting forth in detail a certain illustrative embodiment of the invention, this being indicative, however, of but one of the various ways in which the principle of the invention may be employed.
In said annexed drawing:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a pallet in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevation of the pallet shown in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 shows in simplified form an installation for offloading of the drum assemblies from a flat-topped vehicle.
Referring to the drawing now more in detail, there is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a wooden pallet 1 comprising a plurality of boards 2 secured together by means of battens 3 to provide a top drum-supporting surface 4. Boards 5 are secured to the opposite sides of the battens 3 to provide a base for the pallet. Secured to the drum-supporting surface 4 and extending along the length of the pallet are strips 6 which prevent the drums from folling out of position when mounted on the pallet. Slots 7 are provided at each of the long sides of the pallet to receive the fork of a fork-lift truck and similar slots are provided in each of the short sides.
Attachments 8 to which securing straps can be attached, are provided on each side of the pallet. In this embodiment these take the form of eye hooks 9 welded onto plates 10 which are bolted to the outer strips 6.
The drums 11 are stacked on pallets l with their longitudinal axes parallel to the strips 6, as shown in FIG. 3. Straps 12, preferably made of nylon webbing, pass over the stacked drums and are secured at each end to the attachments 8. In this embodiment, each pallet carries 20 drums arranged in five layers, each layer being composed of four drums. Between each layer of drums, yoked spacers 13 are provided to prevent the drums from rolling relative to each other. The lowermost drums are maintained in position on the pallet by means of the strips 6, while the straps 12 hold the whole assembly together as a unit.
Such drum assemblies can easily and quickly be unloaded from a vehicle 14 by means of a fork lift truck 15 and transferred thereby to a storage area 16.
When it is desired to fill the drums, the drum assemblies may be transferred in the same manner to a station 17 where the pallets l, straps 12 and spacers 13 are removed for re-use. Each drum assembly is first mounted on a turn-table l8 and rotated until a stack of 10 drums, held together by one of the straps 12, is positioned opposite a receiving member 21 of a tipping apparatus 22. The tipping apparatus includes a slide 19 which is movable along a slideway 25 by means of a hydraulic ram 24, with the member 21 pivotally mounted on the slide 19. A further hydraulic ram 23 is pivotally secured at one end to the ground and at the other end to the member 21. When a pallet is in position on the turntable 18, the rams 23 and 24 are operated until they are respectively fully extended and fully retracted so that the member 21 engages the stack of drums on the pallet. The strap 12 is then removed and the ram 23 slightly retracted, so as to cause the member 21 to pivot relative to the slide 19 and thereby to lift the stack of drums from the pallet. Both rams are then operated so that the slide 19 slides away from the turntable 18 until the member 21 is in the position generally shown in FIG. 3. Finally, the ram 23 is fully retracted until the member 21 lies generally horizontally and the drums can be separately placed on a horizontal conveyor after the spacers 13 have been removed.
Using drum assemblies according to the invention, a plurality of drums can thus be transferred from a vehicle to a storage area and from a storage area to a filling station with a minimum of labor and damage. Such simplified handling of the drums also enables the storage space to be used more efficiently.
We, therefore, particularly point out and distinctly claim as our invention:
1. The method of handling empty drums which comprises the steps of: forming an assembly of drums by stacking a plurality of the same on their sides on a pallet in superimposed layers each comprising plural drums, and releasably securing the thus stacked drums to the pallet; moving such palletized drum assembly to a dismantling station for filling of the drums; transferring the assembly to a vertical receiver for the stacked drums; pivoting the receiver to an intermediate angular position to support the stack after removal of the securing means and the pallet, and removing said means and pallet for reuse of the same; and further pivoting the receiver in the same position to a substantially horizontal position from which the drums can be removed from the receiver and placed on conveyor means and the like for transport to the filling station 2. The method set forth in claim 1, wherein the drum assembly is formed with two such stacks of the empty drums on a common pallet, with securing means for each, and the palletized assembly is rotated at the dismantling station respectively to bring the stacks into register with the receiver for successive transfer of the stacks thereto.
3. The method set forth in claim 1, wherein anti-roll spacers are inserted between the drum layers in forming the palletized drum assembly, and removed after the drum stack has been moved to the substantially horizontal position in the receiver.