|Publication number||US3864896 A|
|Publication date||Feb 11, 1975|
|Filing date||Jun 29, 1973|
|Priority date||Jun 29, 1973|
|Also published as||CA1007837A, CA1007837A1|
|Publication number||US 3864896 A, US 3864896A, US-A-3864896, US3864896 A, US3864896A|
|Inventors||Bailey Jr David C|
|Original Assignee||Gillette Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (10), Referenced by (4), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 1 Feb. 11,1975
1 ASSEMBLY APPARATUS  Inventor: David C. Bailey, .lr., Amesbury,
 Assignee: The Gillette Company, Boston,
 Filed: June 29, 1973  Appl. No.: 374,942
53/258, 29/211 R, 29/211 C  Int. Cl B65b 5/08, B65b 35/40  Field of Search 53/159, 164, 166, 242,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,591,949 7/1926 Anderson 53/159 2,324,930 7/1943 .loa 53/164 2,955,393 10/1960 Muller et a1. 53/242 X 3,427,780 2/1969 Bock 53/386 X 3,513,623 5/1970 Pearson 53/159 X 3,562,775 5/1968 Mullins 53/243 X 3,608,269 9/1971 Gore 53/159 X 3,655,180 4/1972 Holler.... 53/159 X 3,724,185 4/1973 Berney 53/249 X 3,783,493 1/1974 Dawidowicz et al 29/21 1 R X Primary ExaminerTravis S. McGehee Assistant Examinerl-lorace M. Culver [5 7 ABSTRACT Apparatus for assembling and inserting a coordinated group of articles into corresponding compartments of a multi-compartment container includes an assembly mechanism which receives articles sequentially and assembles those articles in spaced, aligned relation in a group; transfer mechanism which transfers the group of spaced, aligned articles from the assembly mechanism to a loading station; and an insertion mechanism at the loading station for inserting the group of articles into compartments of a container.
18 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTEI] FEB] I I975 SHEET 5 [IF 7 PEG. 8
V HOE 240 "OF FIG. 7
PATENTEB FEB] I I975 SHEEI 70F 7 ASSEMBLY APPARATUS SUMMARY OF INVENTION engages a cooperating structure of a razor handle. A
multi-compartment containeris employed for storing a plurality of these blade units and permitting each such stored blade unit to be independently secured to the razor handle for use as required. These blade units must be handled with care throughout assembly and in sertion of the blade units into the compartments of the container to avoid damage to the delicate cutting edges of the blade elements.
It is an object of this invention to provide novel and improved apparatus for assembling and inserting articles into a multi-compartment container.
A more specific object of the invention is to provide apparatus for assembling a group of'razor blade units and inserting such units into corresponding compartments of a dispensing container.
In accordance with a feature of the invention there is provided apparatus'for inserting a plurality of articles in corresponding compartments of a multicompartment container comprising first input means for serially feeding articles, an assembly mechanism for receiving articles sequentially from the first input means and assembling the articles in spaced, aligned relation in a group, a loading station having a platform and an article insertion mechanism, transfer mechanism for transferring the group of spaced aligned articles from the assembly mechanism to the loading station, second input means for transferring a container to the loading station, and means for operating the insertion mechanism to insert the group of articles at the loading station into compartments of the container.
In a particular embodiment, the articles are razor blade units, each of which includes a body portion and a blade portion permanently secured to the body portion, and each container compartment includes a resilient latch structure. The second input means includes a first transfer device for transferring one container at a time from a stack, intermediate support mechanism for receiving a container from the first transfer device that includes a pair of pivotally mounted jaws and jaw control means, and a vacuum head operative to engage the base of a container for transferring a container from the jaws to the loading station and to hold the container in engagement with the loading station while a group of blade units are inserted into compartments of the container. The loading station includes two insertion mechanisms and the assembly mechanism is a reciprocable shuttle device arranged for movement in one direction for assembly of a group of blade units for transfer to one insertion mechanism and for movement in the opposite direction for assembly of another group of blade units for transfer to the other insertion mechanism. The apparatus also includes two container transfer channels which are operated alternately in coordination with the alternate operation of the corresponding insertion mechanisms. Each said insertion mecha- I nism includes a plurality of individual pivotally mounted insertion elements, each operative to cam a blade unit pasta container latch structure into frictionally secured relation in a container compartment. Removal mechanism 'responsive to and movable with the transfer mechanism transfers a loaded container from the loading platform. The control means includes coordinated drive mechanism for feeding blade units along said first input means and operating the assembly shuttle at a first rate, means for sequentially operating the transfer mechanism to transfer a group of blade units from the assembly shuttle to the loading station, then operating the second input means to transfer a container to the loading station and then operating the insertion elements. I
The invention provides efficient production apparatus for assembling and loading articles into containers. Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be seen as the following description of particular embodiments progresses, in conjunction with the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a blade unit article of the type to be secured in the container;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the configuration of a container of the type in which razor blade articles are to be secured;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the container taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention for automatically assembling a group of blade units and loading that assembled group into corresponding compartments of the container;
FIG. 5 is a side view of apparatus shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along the line 77 of FIG. 5;
FIGS. 8 and 9 are enlarged views showing steps in the insertion ofa blade unit into a container compartment;
FIGS. 10a through represent a timing diagram indicating a sequence of operation of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 4-7;
FIG. 11 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of apparatus for inserting blade units into compartments of a container; and
FIG. 12 is a sectional view showing additional details of the insertion mechanism employed in the embodiment shown in FIG. 11 for inserting blade units into container compartments.
DESCRIPTION OF PARTICULAR EMBODIMENTS A perspective view of a blade unit article 10 of the type that is processed with apparatus of the invention is shown in FIG. 1. That blade unit includes a body formed of a base member 12 and a cap member 14. Two blade elements l6, 18 with interposed spacer 20 secured between the base and the cap members. A guard surface 22 integral with the base 12 extends parallel to the exposed edges 24 of blade elements 16 and 18. Formed in the base 12 is coupling structure 26 that includes flanges 28 for attachment to cooperation with cooperating runner structure of a razor handle. At the rear of the base adjacent the coupling structure is an offset suface 30.
Blade units of this type are secured in containers 40 of the type shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Container 40 is of molded plastic and includes a member 42 that defines side walls 44, end walls 46, a central separator wall 48 that extends between end walls 46 parallel to side walls 44, and eight divider walls 50 that extend between side walls 44 parallel to end walls 46 so that structure defines ten compartments 52, each of which is adapted to receive a blade unit of the type as shown in FIG. 1. A base member 54, which in this embodiment is formed of a separate piece of the plastic material but may be integral with the member 42 forms a bottom wall for the compartments 52. Formed on the wall on the upper side of each compartment (as viewed in FIG. 2) is a latch structure 56 that projects inwardly from the vertical surface and includes an inclined camming surface 58, a vertical surface 60 and a horizontal latching surface 62. Surface 60 is disposed at about 0.05 inch from the plane of the supporting wall. The opposite surface 64 of the compartment 52 is planar, and at either end of the chamber is formed a support projection 66 for engaging the top end surface of cap 14 of the blade unit. Projecting outwardly from each side wall 44 are a series of guide recesses 70, the widths of which are about twice the width of walls 44 and 48. As indicated in the dashed view in FIG. 3, blade unit 10 inserted in a compartment in inverted position with the forward end surfaces of the cap 14 resting on the base 54, rear surfaces of the cap resting on support projections 66, offset surface 30 engaged by latch surface 62, and guard structure 22 in engagement with wall surface 64.
An exploded perspective view of apparatus for assembling and securing a group of blade units into container compartments is shown in FIG. 4. The apparatus includes a loading station 100 having a series of five transversely extending grooves or troughs 102 each of which has an inclined side wall 104 and an inclined bottom wall 106 disposed perpendicular to side wall 104. Formed in each trough is a series of four vertical passages 108, in each of which is disposed an insertion pin (FIGS. 8 and 9).
Blade units are fed along input guide 118 in end to end relation. Positioned between input guide 118 and the loading station 100 is an assembly mechanism 120 in the form of conveyor 122 composed of a series of flights 124, each of which include two T-shaped heads 126 onto each of which a blade unit is slid from the input guide 118 for attachment to the assembly mechanism 120. Cooperating with the assembly mechanism is a transfer head 130 that includes spaced transfer bars 132, 134, bar 132 being resilient mounted for movement toward bar 134.
In operation, assembly conveyor 122 is indexed at the same rate as blade units are fed along input guide unit 118 so that a series of up to five blade units 10 are secured to consecutive flights of the conveyor 122. The transfer head 130 is then indexed laterally to slide the group of blade units from the assembly conveyor 122 onto corresponding grooves 102 at the loading station 100. Further blade units continue to be loaded onto the assembly conveyor, and after a predetermined number of blade units 10 have been loaded (four in this embodiment), the transfer unit 130 is indexed a further distance so that transfer bar 132 pushes the first group of blade units onto the further section of the loading platform while transfer bar 134 is sliding the second group of blade units from the assembly conveyor I22 onto the near section of the loading platform 100 in alignment with the first group. After this transfer is completed the transfer head is raised and returned to its starting position for the next transfer cycle.
The containers 40 are held in stacked relation in guide structure 150, the bottom container being transferred in a slicing operation from support structure to an immediate support structure 154 which has two jaw structures 156 each of which has a support flange 158 as the base onto which the container transferred from stack 150 is loaded. The container is transferred by a slice or pusher bar 166 which is aligned with the lowermost box in the stack 150 and it reciprocates to transfer the container to the support jaws 156 and after its return allows the next container in the stack 150 to drop into the lowermost position. Cooperating with support jaws structure 154 is a transfer head 170 that is mounted for vertical reciprocation and includes a resilient lower surface 172 in which are disposed a plurality of ports that are connected to a vacuum line 174. After the box has been transferred onto flanges 158, vacuum head 170 has moved down from its initial position above the jaw flanges 158 to engage the base 54 of the container and vacuum is applied to secure the container to the transfer head 170. The jaws 156 are then opened by operation of linkage which forces the flanges 158 of the jaws 156 apart and allows the container to be carried by the transfer head down onto the loading station platform 100. In that position the container is located so that the blade units 10 in grooves 102 in the loading platform enter into corresponding compartments 52 in the container. While the container is held against the platform 100, the pins 110 are raised, camming the nine blade units into the corresponding compartments and forcing offset surfaces 30 past flanges 56 so that the blade units are secured in the compartments.
Gripperjaws are mounted for reciprocating motion with pusher 166. These jaws are positioned in alignment with the container 40 when it is supported on the loading platform 100 and are forced together in the operating sequence to grip a loaded container. After the container has been gripped, the pusher 166 and gripper jaws 180 retract and the load container 40 is removed from the loading platform 100 for transfer to a further processing station.
Further details of the apparatus may be seen with reference to FIGS. 5-7. The input channel 118 has a series of blade units disposed in it that are fed by a drive mechanism which includes a drive element 200 that is driven in reciprocating movement and advances a series of blade units 10 along the input channel 118 and feeds the blade units one at a time onto flights 124 of the conveyor 122. As indicated in FIG. 7, each conveyor flight element has a pair of coupling elements 126, each of which receives the flanges 28 of the blade unit for positively securing the blade unit to the assembly conveyor 122. The transfer head 130, and particularly bars 132 and 134, slide groups of blade units from those coupling elements onthe grooves 102 in the loading platform.
As may be best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, transfer bar 134 is fixed in position on the body 210 of the transfer head 130 while transfer bar 132 is movable relative to bar 134, being connected by a lost motion linkage to body 210. Transfer bar assembly 132 includes a projection 212 which receives spring 214. Lever 216 is pivot ably secured at 218 to body 210 and has elongated slit 220 in which pin 222 of transfer bar assem bly 132 is received. The end 224 of lever 216 remote from pivot 218 engages stop 226 to limit the forward motion of bar 132. As transfer head 130 continues to advance, bar 134 moves toward bar 132. This mechanism provides compensation for the difference in effective thickness of wall 48 and wall 44 and lips 70 of the container 40 so that the two groups of blade units are properly positioned by transfer head 130 on loading palt'form 100.
The transferhead 130 transfers a first group of five blade units from the assembly conveyor 120 to the loading station 100, sliding those blade units onto corresponding grooves 102, and then similarly transfers a second group of four blade units, the first group being advanced as the second group is transferred. The blade units remain in same angular position in which they were disposed on the input channel 118 and an assembly conveyor 122, that angle permitting maximum clearance in the positioning of the container 40 relative to the blade units on the loading station 100.
Further details of the loading station may be seen with reference to FIG. 7. Station includes platform plate 230 in which the grooves 102 are formed; support plate 232 and a guide plate 234 in which the actuating pins 110 pass. The pins connected to an actuator plate 236 for upward movement as a unit. The four corner pins (110 ABCD FIG. 6) are mounted in bushings 238 while four adjacent pins (110 EFGH FIG. 6) carry springs 240 which act to bias the pins and actuator plate 236 towards their lower position.
Further details of the intermediate support structure 154 may be seen with reference to FIGS. 5-7. Each arm 156 is supported on a pivot shaft 250 on projections 252 and includes an inwardly extending lever portion 254 having an engaged cam surface 256 at its inner end. Spring 258 biases the arms for rotation of support flanges inwardly against stop 260. Rotation of actuating arm 262 causes the two engaged levers 254 to rotate outwardly and release the container that is supported on flanges 158.
Transfer head 170 is mounted for vertical reciprocating movement between an upper position as shown in FIGS. 5 and 7 slightly spaced from the upper surface of a container 40 on support flanges 158 and a lower position where the container is held in contact with the loading platform 100. 1
The gripper jaws 180 are mounted for pivoting movement about axis 270 (FIG. 6) and include engaged gear portions 272. Actuator cylinder 274 is secured at one end to the support structure 276 and its piston rod 278 is pivotally attached to jaw 1808. Spring 280 biases the jaws 180 so that their clamp ends 282 are urged away from one another.
Further understanding of operation of the apparatus may be had with reference to the cam and timing diagram shown in FIG. 10. FIG. 10a indicates the motion of the input cam shaft which coordinates the feeding of blade units 10 from the input channel 118 onto the assembly conveyor 122; FIG. 10b indicates the motion of the transfer cam shaft which operates the transfer head 130; and FIG. 100 indicates the motion of the loading cam shaft which operates elements at the loading platform and controls transfer of containers 40 to and from platform 100.
With reference to FIG. 10a, line 300 indicates blade unit movement from the input channel 118 to assembly conveyor 122; line 302 indicates motion of the conveyor indexing cam; line 304 indicates motion of the shot pin cam in the indexing conveyor; line 306 indicates motion of the pusher cam that controls the lateral motion of pin 200, In FIG. 10b, line 310 indicates the motion of the cam that controls the horizontal motion of the transfer head and line 312 indicates the motion of the cam that controls the vertical motion ofthe transfer head 130. These cams are driven at one-half the rate of the cams of FIG. 10a. In FIG. 100, line 320 indicates the motion of the cam that reciprocates the pusher and gripper jaws 1 80; line 322 indicates the motion of the cam that controls motion of the vacuum head'l70; line 324 indicates motion of the cam that controls the jaw assembly 154; and line 326 indicates motion of the cam that raises insertion pins 110. The cams indicated in FIG. 10c are driven at a rate of one revolution for every five revolutions of the cams indicated in FIG. 10a.
With reference to FIG. 10a, those cams control the advance of a blade unit from the input channel 118 onto the assembly conveyor 122 and the indexing of that conveyor one step. Cams 302 and 304 operate in sequence to advance a blade unit 10 once each cam cycle. However, a defective blade unit 10 may be detected in the input channel 118 and discarded and under such circumstances no blade unit is fed onto the assembly conveyor 122. The discard mechanism on the input channel 118 is interlocked with a clutch that controls conveyor indexing cam 302 and upon identification of a defective blade unit, that clutch locks out the cam 302 for one cycle. Cam 306 moves pin 200 laterally in the input channel 118, advancing a blade unit 10 during portion 330, that is from 225 to 360 of shaft rotation. During this interval the drive mechanism for the assembly conveyor 122 is being reset by cam 302 (portion 332). At 0 the shot pin cam 304 starts to move (line 334) to release the ratchet drive of the assembly conveyor 122 and reaches a disengaged position at point 336. Conveyor cam 302 then indexes the conveyor forward as indicated by line 338. The shot pin is renegaged at point 340 and, if a defect signal has not been generated, the index cam 302 is reset as indicated by line 332.
Each time cam 302 is indexed through a full cycle, a count is recorded and on reaching a count of 5, a solenoid is energized and the shaft on which cams 310 and 312 are mounted starts to rotate at the 1 10 position of the cam shaft indicated in FIG. 10a. Cam 312 controls the vertical motion of transfer head 130 and lowers that head as indicated by line 350. After 20 rotation of the cam shaft the head is fully lowered and starts to move forward as indicated by line 352 of cam 310. At 120 rotation of the cam shaft the first group of five blade units have been slid from the assembly conveyor elements 126 onto the input side of the loading station 100. Should the system be loading a container 40 with only five blade units, a signal is generated as indicated by line 354 to actuate the loading cam shaft indicated in FIG. 106. In this particular embodiment, however, nine blade units are loaded into a container box and therefore at 120 a clutch is energized to stop the cam shaft until the input cam shaft (FIG. 10a) and particularly cam 302 has been indexed four more times, indicating assembly of a group of four more blade units on the assembly conveyor 122. In response to that count of four the clutch is de-energized to cause continued rotation of the transfer cam shaft (FIG. 10b) with the transfer head 130 being moved forward as indicated by line 356 to the 220 angular position (point 358). Cam 312 raises the transfer head (line 360) and when the head is raised (at 240 angular position), a signal indicated by line 362 energizes the loading cam shaft (FIG. 100). The transfer cam shaft continues to rotate and returns head 130 to its starting position as indicated by line 364 where it stops and awaits the assembly of the next group of five blade units. It will be noted that the indexing of the assembly conveyor 122 occurs prior to and separate from movement of the transfer head 130 so that the indexing conveyor 122 is stopped while the transfer head 130 is moving forward in each of its two steps. On return motion, the transfer head 130 is raised so clears the blade unit 10 on the assembly conveyor 122.
After the nine blade units are positioned on the loading platform 100, the loading cam shaft indicated in FIG. 10c starts to rotate. After 10 of shaft rotation pusher cam 320 starts to move forward as indicated by line 370 to slice the lowest container 40 from the stack held in guide structure 150 into the transfer jaw structure 154. At point 372 vacuum is applied to the transfer head 170 and that head is moved by cam 322 as indicated by line 374 a short distance into engagement with the base 54 of the container 40. Cam 324 is then operated as indicated by line 376 to open the jaw structure 154 and release the container so that it is held solely by the vacuum on the transfer head 170 and then the head is further lowered as indicated by line 378. Travel is complete at point 380 where the container is held on the platform 100 and vacuum is turned off. Cam 326 then operates to raise the pins 110 as indicated by line 382 to cam the nine blade units 10 into their respective chambers as indicated in FIGS. 8 and 9, the blade units being fully latched in the compartments point 384. The vacuum head 170 is raised as indicated by line 386, the pins are retracted as indicated by line 388, the gripper jaws 180 are closed as indicated by energization of cylinder 274 at point 390 and the loaded container 40 is moved from the loading station 100 by retraction of the pusher and jaws as indicated by line 392. While the box is being removed the transfer jaw structure 154 is reclosed during the interval indicated by line 394. At point 396 cylinder 274 operates to open the jaws 180 and release the loaded container on the discharge chute 290.
Thus, nine blade units 10 have been assembled into two groups, positioned on loading platform 100 and inserted into a container 40 in automatic sequence. It will be apparent that other forms of apparatus may be used in practicing the invention. The containers 40 may be variously fed to the loading platform 100 as for example from a reel. Another mechanism for assembling and inserting groups of blade units is shown in FIG. 11. In that embodiment a similar input channel 118 is employed; the assembly device 120' is a reciprocable shuttle 400; the loading platform 100 has two loading areas 402, 404 arranged end to end; and there are two sets of transfer mechanisms 130A and 1308, two container supply stacks 150A, 150B, two intermediate support mechanisms 154A, 1548, two pusher elements 166A,
166B, two transfer heads 170A, 1708 and two extractor elements 180A, 180B. These units operate alternately.
In operation of this mechanism for loading containers 40' each of which has a single row of six compartments 52, with a group of five blade units 10, shuttle 400 is indexed in one direction coordinated with the feed of blade units 10 from the input channel 118 in the same manner as conveyor 122 so that a group of five blade units are assembled on the shuttle 400. After the shuttle 400 is indexed to the next position in the same direction, the transfer mechanism 130A is operated to slide the group of five blade units from the shuttle 400 to I loading area 402, pins 410 engaging the individual blade units 10. At the same time a container 40, previously loaded at area 402, is pushed from that area by pins 412. The transfer mechanism A is then returned to its initial position in preparation for the transfer of another group of five blade units, and concurrently pusher 166A slides through stack A to transfer another container 40' to intermediate support mechanism 154A. After transfer head 130A has returned to its initial position, vacuum head A transfers the container from jaws 154A down into position over the blade units 10 on the loading station 402 and the blade units are inserted into the container compartments.
During this container-loading interval, the shuttle 400 is being indexed in the opposite direction and when five blade units are located on the shuttle opposite loading station 404, the transfer and container-loading sequence is repeated with elements 130B, 150B, 154B, 166B and 170B. Transfer of a loaded container from the loading station is accomplished by engagement of pins 412 with the container as the transfer unit 130 moves forward to transfer another set of blade units from the shuttle 400 to its loading station.
Further details of the loading mechanism used with platform 100 but which may be employed with either embodiment, are shown in FIG. 12. This loading mechanism includes two series of blade unit receiving elements 420 that are mounted for pivoting movement on loading platform 422, each series being connected together by link 424. Translation of the coupled operator arm 426 rotates the set of five elements 420 and acts to cam the five blade units 10 resting on elements 420 into the corresponding compartments 52 of the container 40. The two sets of elements 420A, 420B alternately receive groups of blade units from shuttle 400 and are alternately operated to insert those blade unit groups into container compartments.
While particular embodiments of the invention and modifications thereof have been shown and described, other modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art and therefore it is not intended that the invention be limited to the disclosed embodiments or to details thereof and departures may be made therefrom within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.
1. Apparatus for inserting a plurality of articles in corresponding compartments of a multi-compartment container, each said compartment having an open top and being separated from the adjacent compartment by a partition wall, comprising first input means for serially feeding articles,
an assembly mechanism for receiving articles sequentially from said first input means and assembling said articles in spaced, aligned relation in a group,
a loading station having a platform transfer mechanism for transferring said group of spaced, aligned articles from said assembly mechanism onto said platform,
second input means for transferring a container to said loading station, said second input means being operative to hold said container with the open top of each compartment in engagement with said platform so that the group of articles on said platform are partly inserted into corresponding compartments of said container,
an article insertion mechanism at said loading station, said insertion mechanism being operative to complete the insertion of said partly inserted articles into secured relation in their corresponding compartments,
and control means for operating said insertion mechanism to complete the insertion of said group of articles at said loading station into the compartments of said container while said second input means is holding a container in engagement with said platform.
2. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said platform includes a series of spaced, parallel channels, said control means further includes means for sequentially operating said transfer mechanism to transfer a group of articles from said assembly mechanism into individual ones of said channels, then operating said second input means to transfer a container to said loading station and position said container over said articles in said channels so that said articles are partially inserted into said compartments and then operating said insertion mechanism to fully insert said articles into said compartments.
3. The apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said second input means includes a first transfer device for transferring one container from a stack,
intermediate support mechanism for receiving a container from said first transfer mechanism,
and second transfer device for transferring a container from said intermediate support mechanism to said loading station.
4. The apparatus as claimed in claim 3 wherein said intermediate support mechanism includes a pair of pivotally mounted jaws and further including means for opening said jaws to release a container after said second transfer device is in engagement with the container.
5. The apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said channels are angled to support the grouped articles in an inclined position with respect to a container prior to partial entry thereinto.
6. The apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said transfer mechanism includes two transfer members spaced apart a distance sufficient to receive an article therebetween and each channel of said platform is of sufficient length to receive two articles from said assembly mechanism as successively fed by said transfer mechanism.
7. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein each said compartment includes a resilient latch structure and said insertion mechanism is operative to cam said articles past said latch structures into frictionally se- "cured relation in said compartments.
8. The apparatus as claimed in claim 6 wherein said loading station includes two insertion mechanisms and said assembly mechanism is a reciprocable shuttle device arranged for movement in one direction for assembly of a group of articles for transfer to one insertion mechanism and for movement in the opposite direction for assembly of another group of articles for transfer to the other insertion mechanism.
9. The apparatus as claimed in claim 8 wherein said control means operates said two insertion mechanisms alternately.
10. The apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein said second input means includes two container transfer channels and said control means further includes means for operating said container transfer channels alternately in coordination with the operation of the corresponding insertion mechanisms.
11; The apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said insertion mechanism includes a plurality of individual insertion elements, one associated with each said platform channel and said control means is arranged to operate said insertion elements concurrently for completing the insertion of a group of articles into container compartments.
12. The apparatus as claimed in claim 11 wherein said insertion elements are mounted for pivoting movement.
13. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said articles are razor blade units, each of which includes a body portion and a blade portion permanently secured to said body portion, each said compartment includes a resilient latch structure and said insertion mechanism is operative to cam a group of blade units past said latch structures into frictionally secured relation in said compartments.
14. The apparatus as claimed in claim 13 wherein said loading station includes two insertion mechanisms, said assembly mechanism is a reciprocable shuttle device arranged for movement in one direction for assembly of a group of blade units for transfer to one insertion mechanism and for movement in the opposite direction for assembly of another group of blade units for transfer to the other insertion mechanism, said second input means includes two container transfer channels, and said control means further includes means for operating said container transfer channels alternately in coordination with the alternate operation of the corresponding insertion mechanisms.
15. The apparatus as claimed in claim 14 wherein each said insertion mechanism includes a plurality of individual pivotally mounted insertion elements and said control means is arranged to operate said insertion elements of each insertion mechanism concurrently for inserting a group of articles into container compartments. 1
16. The apparatusas claimed in claim 15 and further including removal mechanism responsive to and movable with said transfer mechanism for transferring a loaded container from said loading platform.
17. Apparatus for inserting a plurality of razor blade units in corresponding compartments of a multicompartment container, each said razor blade unit including a body portion and a blade portion permanently secured to said body portion, and each said compartment including resilient latch structure comprising first input means for serially feeding razor blade units,
an assembly mechanism for receiving razor blade units sequentially from said first input means and assembling said razor blade units in spaced, aligned relation in a group,
a loading station having a platform and a razor blade unit insertion mechanism, said insertion mechanism including a plurality of individual insertion elements, each said insertion element being operative to cam a blade unit past said latch structure into frictionally secured relation in its corresponding compartment,
transfer mechanism for transferring said group of spaced, aligned razor blade units from said assembly mechanism to said loading station,
second input means for transferring a container to said loading station, said second input means including a first transfer device for transferring one container from a stack,
intermediate support mechanism for receiving a container from said first transfer device comprising a pair of pivotally mounted jaws and jaw control means,
and vacuum head operative to engage the base of acontainer for transferring a container from said jaws to said loading station and to hold said container in engagement with said loading station while the group of blade units are inserted into said container, control means for operating said insertion elements of said insertion mechanism concurrently to insert the group of razor blade units at said loading station into the compartments of said container, and
removal mechanism responsive to and movable with said transfer mechanism for transferring a loaded container from said loading platform.
18. The apparatus as claimed in claim 17 wherein said control means further includes coordinated drive mechanism for feeding blade units along said first input means and operating said assembly shuttle at a first rate, means for sequentially operating said transfer mechanism to transfer a group of blade units from said assembly shuttle to said loading station, then operating said second input means to transfer a container to said loading station and then operating said insertion elements.
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|U.S. Classification||53/531, 53/242, 29/809, 53/539, 53/258, 29/710|