US3212773A - Article feed apparatus - Google Patents

Article feed apparatus Download PDF

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US3212773A
US3212773A US266396A US26639663A US3212773A US 3212773 A US3212773 A US 3212773A US 266396 A US266396 A US 266396A US 26639663 A US26639663 A US 26639663A US 3212773 A US3212773 A US 3212773A
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Prior art keywords
articles
rollers
chamber
crank
springs
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US266396A
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Gilbert J Lamoureux
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AT&T Corp
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Western Electric Co Inc
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H1/00Supports or magazines for piles from which articles are to be separated
    • B65H1/04Supports or magazines for piles from which articles are to be separated adapted to support articles substantially horizontally, e.g. for separation from top of pile
    • B65H1/06Supports or magazines for piles from which articles are to be separated adapted to support articles substantially horizontally, e.g. for separation from top of pile for separation from bottom of pile

Description

Oct. 19, 1965 Filed Maroh 19, 1963 G. J. LAMOUREUX EEEEEEEEEEE AP AAAAA US 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 |NVENTOE Oct. 19, 1965 G. J. LAMOUREUX 3,212,773
ARTICLE FEED APPARATUS Filed March 19, 1963 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Oct. 19, 1965 (5. J. LAMOUREUX 3,212,773
ARTICLE FEED APPARATUS Filed March 19, 1963 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG. 5
United States Patent C 3,212,773 ARTICLE FEED APPARATUS Gilbert J. Lamoureux, Oak Park, 111., assigner t Western Electrc Company, Incorporated, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Mar. 19, 1963, Ser. No. 266,396 6 Claims. (Cl. 27162) The present apparatus relates generally to article-fed apparatus, and more particularly to apparatus for urging et succession of articles resiliently against a feed mechanism at a closed end of a chamber. The general objects of the invention are to provide new and improved apparatus o-f such character.
A great variety of feed devices exist in the prior art; typical examples of which include conventional rollerfeed devices, and article-release mechanisms for vending machines. Such devices generally includes a rotatable mechanism of sorts which engages the article and thereby urges the same in an appropriate direction when rotated by suitable drive mechanism.
Of the above devices, few, if any, include drive mechnisms -other than the ordinary immediate-energy-conversion-type devices; that is, ordinary devices which receive energy from an extrinsic source and efiect an immediate conversion thereof into a form instantaneously expended to drive the rotatable mechanism in feeding an article. No known prier art feed device utilizes resilient energy-storing mechanism as the sole drive for the rotatable mechanism in feeding articles.
Numerous advantages are gained by utilizing such resilient drive mechanism. For example, resilient mechanism has the inherent capability of storing energy for -subsequent release at any desired rate and over a prolonged span of time. In addition, and as a result of its ability to store energy, the time at which energy is supplied to the resilient drive mechanism need bear no relation to the time such energy is expended to do work as continuous force may be exerted thereby under static as well as dynamic conditions. In the case of the above prior art mechanisms, however, extrinsic energy must be supplied coextensively with the duration of the feed operation. Perhaps the greatest advantage, however, is derived from the ultimate simplicity of the resilient drive mechanism.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide new and improved mechanism for driving an article-feed device, which drive mechanism has the inherent capability of storing nergy for subsequent release in driving such device at any desired rate and over a prolonged span of time. It is another object of the invention to provide new and improved mechanism for driving an article-feed device wherein the drive mechanism has the inherent capability of storing energy and further may be extrinsically restored to a predetermined level at selected intervals of time.
An additional object of the invention is to provide new and improved resilient mechanism for driving an articlefeed device. Still another object of the invention is to provide new and improved article-feed apparatus wherein a simple spring is utilized to drive rotatable mechanism in feeding an article therethrough.
A further object of the invention is to provide new and improved article-feed apparatus wherein a pair of rotatable members engage opposite sides of a plurality 'of successive articles simultaneously so as to exert a driving force thereon. A still further object of the invention is to provide new and improved article-feed apparatus wherein a resilient drive mechanism is provided for each of a pair of rotatable members and wherein the drive mechanisms may be alternately imparted With en- 3,212,773 Patented Oct. 19, 1965 ergy so that at least one rotatable member is always positively driven and so that an article or articles may be continuously fed thereby.
The particular problem stimulating the invention centere'd around' a shuttle-type feed mechanism utilized for ejecting fiat, flexible articles through a slot at the bottom of a magazine. Warpage, common -to the particular article involved, frequently resulted in jamming of the shuttle-type ejectionmechanism. Weights and pneumatic cylinder arrangements for forcing articles downward in the magazine against the base were unavailing as a solution to this problem because the force required was so g'reat that only a weight or cylinder of impractical size w0ld sufliCe. Further, a pneumatic cylinder or elevated weight of such magnitude inherently constitutes a safet hazrd. An electcal motor could not be used in 'this capacity except in conjunction With a slip clutch since slow, intermittent movement of the articles is desired.
AcCordingly, additional objects of the invention are to provide new and improved apparatus for continuously urgirig flexible parts against an ejection mechanism at the closed end of a chamber, such that the articles are constrained to lie fiat against the closed end to avoid jamming the ejection mechanism. It is a further object of the invention to provide in such urging apparatus a pair of rotatable members for engaging opposite sides of the articles near the bottom of the magazine so that the force of a spring driving the rotatable members is sufiicient t0 flatten the articles against the bottom of the chamber, and so that additional articles may be continuously supplied to the chamber from the top thereof. A still further bjectof the invention is to provide in such urging apparatus a pair of rollers for engaging opposite sides of a plurality of successive articles simultaneously, and a spring for driving each of the rollers, the springs being alternately imparted With energy such that the articles are continuously urged downward in the chamber by at least one roller.
Apparatus accomplishing these and other objects in accordance with the invention, includes resilient energystoring means arranged to drive a pair of generally cylindrical, rotatable members disposed for engagement With opposite sides of articles received therebetween so as to draw the articles therethrough and feed them therebeyond. Energy is stored in the resilient drive means intermittently such that a substantially continuous driving force may be exerted on the rotatable means by the drive means.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, apparatus is provided for urging articles toward one end of a chamber. Such apparatus includes a pair of rollers mounted in the chamber for engagement with opposite sides of a plurality of successive articles, and a spring associated with each relier for urging rotation thereof in such a direction as to urge the articles toward one end of the chamber. Cocking means are provided for intermittently and alternately imparting a predetermined level of energy to each spring at selected intervals such that at least one of the rollers is always positively driven.
Other objects, advantages and aspects of the invention Will appear from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof when taken in conjunction With the appended drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodi ment utilized in conjunction With a shuttle-type, magazine-feed device;
FIG. 2 is a fragmerxtary elevational view of the remote side of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the apparatus taken generally along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the apparatus takengenerally along the line 4-4 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an elevational view of the near side of the apparatus of FIG. 1, depicting a preferred resilient drive mechanism in its stable state and showing the relative positions of a cocking mechanism and a crank mechanism for such stable state; and
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 but depicting the relative positions of the crank mechanism and cocking mechanism when the resilient drive mechanism is in a fully restored state.
The present invention encompasses many embodiments, all of which cannot, for reasons of practicality, be disclosed herein; but the preferred embodiment described in detail hereinbelow is belicved exemplary of the funda mental concepts common to all such embodiments. Basically, that fundamental concept involves the provision of a resilient energy-storing mechanism fordriving rotatable mechanism to feed or urge articles engaged thereby in a particular direction. The resilient drive mechanism is advantageous because of its inherent capability of storing energy for subsequent release at any desired rate and over a prolonged span of time.
In accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 1, the stored energy of such resilient drive mechanism is utilized to urge a plurality of flexible articles 10-10, which are subject to warpage, downward in a magazine 11 to flatten them against a base plate 12. of the articles is likely to cause jamming of a shuttle-type feed mechanism (not shown) disposed at the bottom of the magazine 11 for ejecting the articles one at a time laterally of the magazine through a slot 13.
Without this corrective measure the warpage To efiect the feed operation a pair of rollers 14-14 are mounted in the magazine 11 in engagement with opposite sides 16-16 of the articles 10-10. The rollers are preferably fabricated with a soft, resilient surface, such as soft rubber or plastic, for frictionally engaging a plurality of successive articles simultaneously. Each of the rollers 14-14 is rotated in such a direction, indicated respectively for each by an arrow X, that they urge the articles engaged thereby, and all of the articles below, firmly toward the base 12. As a result, the articles above the rollers 14-14 may 'exhibit the above-mentioned characteristic warpage, illustrated in FIG. 3, whereas the articles in engagement with the rollers and the articles therebelow are constrained to lie uniformly fiat against each other and against the base 12, thereby to facilitate ejection of the lowermost article through the slot 13.
Turning now to the preferred resilient drive mechanism, depicted in FIGS. 3, 5, and 6, the driving force for the rollers 14-14 is supplied by a pair of compression springs 1717 received in bores 18-18 in a fixed support block 19. Each spring 17 is seated at its upper end against an end cap 21, threadedly secured in the bore 18, and at its lower end against a plunger 22 slidably received in a bore 23 through the bottom of the support block 19. Energy is stored in the springs 1717 when the plungers 22-22 are displaced upwardly to compress the springs, which stored energy is released to do work through expansion of the springs urging the plungers 22-22 downward again.
The energy stored in the springs 17-17 is received from a pivoting lever 24, pinned at one end 26 to the base 12 and driven by a reciprocating link 27. Pivotal movement of the lever 24 causes a roller 28, mounted at the free end thereof, t0 engage successively the lowermost legs 29-29 of opposed U-shaped collars 31-31 individually mounted on separate shafts 32-32. As the lever 24 pivots through the arc indicated in FIG. 5 it cams the collars upward successively in a direction indicated by the arrows Y in FIG. 6 such that the uppermost legs 33-33 of the collars displace the plungers 22-22 against the springs 17-17. Thus, rotation of the collars 31-31 in the Y direction compresses the springs 17-17, resulting in storage of the energy in the springs.
In order to prevent rotation et the rollers 14-14 in the Y direction, opposite to the article-feeding or X direction, the rollers 14-14 are fixed for rotation with the shafts 32-32, and a single direction clutch 36 is provided at the remote end 37 of each shaft 32 (shown in FIGS. 2 and 4) which permits rotation of that shaft in its respective X direction only. A second single direction clutch 38 is provided on each shaft 32 which couples the associated collar 31 to that shaft 32 when the collar rotates in the X direction, but which permits rotation of the collar relative to the shaft 32 in the Y direction.
Thus, when the lever 24 is pivoted to cock the springs 17-17 to a compressed state, only the collars 31-31 rotate in the Y direction, the shafts 32-32 and rollers 14-14 being precluded from rotation in that direction by the clutches 36-36. When the lever 24 recedes the springs 17-1'I urge the plungers 22-22 downward and exert a torque on the collars 31-31 in the X direction, which torque is transmitted to the shafts 32-32 and rollers 14-14 by the clutches 38-38. Further, since the lever 24 causes compression et the springs 17-17 successively, at least one of the springs is driving its associated roller 14 at all times and the articles 10-10 are thereby continuously urged downward in the magazine 11.
It should be noted that the particular design of the collar 31 utilized in this embodiment gives rise to several advantages. First, the length and the eccentricity of the upper arms 33-33 give the springs 17-17 a substantial mechanical advantage (leverage) for driving the rollers. Further, the upper arms 33-33 are designed With a predetermined eccentricity and length such that the opposing ends 39-39 thereof abut When aligned. In this manner, a positive stop is provided to preclude rotation et the collars 31-31 in their respective X directions beyond this point and to establish, thereby, a minimum energy level or maximum expanded length of the springs 17-17. In addition, the eccentricity and length of the lower legs 29-29 are such that the lower legs do not abut when aligned; thus, rotation et the collars 31-31 in the Y direction is thereby permitted.
0peraton Recapitulating the operation of the preferred embodiment, pivotal movement of the lever 24 about the pin 26 causes successive rotation of each of the collars 31-31 in the Y direction to compress successively the springs 17-17 through their respective plungers 22-22. The shafts 3232 and the rollers 14-14, however, are precluded from rotating in that direction by the clutches 37-37, hence the collars 31-31 rotate in the Y directions relative to the shafts 3232 as'is permitted by the clutches 38-38.
Between each cocking movement of the lever 24, the compressed springs 17-17 bear against the collars 31-31 and urge them to rotate in their respective X directions. The collars thus apply torque in the X directions to the shafts 32-32 and the rollers 14-14, through the clutches 38-38. As a result, expansion of the springs 1717 drives the rollers 14-14 to urge the articles engaged thereby and the articles therebelow firmly against the base 12 so as to eliminate any warpage in the articles.
Since the rollers 14-14 are at all times precluded frbm rotatlng in the Y direction, the articles engaged thereby and the articles therebelow are constantly urged downward, even when the springs 1717 are being recompressed by pivotal movement of the lever 24. Tlius, despite intermittent interruption of the positive drive on the rollers in the X direction, to cock the springs 17-17, the articles continue to be urged downward because the rollers hold the articles in their previously attained compressed state.
However, as a further measure to insure continuons urging of the articles downward in the magazine, the springs 17-17 are cocked alternately so that at least one roller is at all times positively driven. Thus, after recompression of one of the springs 1717, the associated roller is immediately positively driven to compress the articles against the base again independent of the recompression of the other spring 17. Further, the springs 1717 are preferably recompressed With sufiicient frequency that they exert a substantially constant force in driving the rollers 1414.
While one specific embodiment is described in detail hereinabove, various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention and it is intended that all such modifications be interpreted as part of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An article-dispensing apparatus comprising:
means defining a chamber for holding flexible articles in stacked relationship, the chamber being substantially closed at one end and being provided With an opening at said closed end;
means arranged adjacent said opening at the closed end of said chamber for successively ejecting articles therefrom;
a pair of generally cylindrical members mounted in the chamber for engagement With opposite sides of the articles therewithin and for rotation about their axes in such a direction as to urge the articles against the closed end of the chamber;
means for precluding rotation of said rotatable members in a direction opposite to said one direction;
crank means associated With each of said rotatable members and rotatable relative thereto in a direction opposite to said one direction; means for precluding rotation of said crank means relative to said rotatable members in said one direction;
resilient energy-storing means arranged for driving said crank means and the associated rotatable members respectively in said one direction; and
cocking means for intermittently rotating each crank means in its respective opposite direction to impart energy to said resilient drive means such that a substantially continuons driving force may be exerted on said rotatable members by said drive means in said one direction.
2. The apparatus as recited in claim 1, wherein;
the resilient drive means comprises a pair of springs,
one associated with each of said rotatable members; and
the cocking means intermittently and successively imparts energy to each of said springs such that at least one of the rotatable members is positively driven at all times to urge the articles continuosly against the closed end of the chamber.
3. The apparatus as recited in claim 1, wherein:
the rotatable members comprise a pair of rollers, each being engageable with the sides of a plurality of successive articles simultaneously; and
the resilient means comprises a pair of compression springs, each of which is fixed at one end and respectively engaged at the other end With an associated one of the crank means such that intermittent rotatien of the crank means by the cocking means in said opposite direction compresses said spring against the fixed end thereof.
4. The apparatus as recited in claim 1, wherein:
the rotatable members comprise a pair of rollers, each being engageable with the sides of a plurality of successive articles simultaneously;
the resilient means comprises a pair of compression springs, each of which is fixed at one end and respectively engaged at the other end with the associated one of the crank means such that intermittent rotation et the crank means by cocking means in said opposite direction compresses said spring against the fixed end thereof; and
the cocking means comprises a pivotal camming member which engages each of the crank means intermittently and successively to impart rotation thereof respectively in said opposite direction thereby to compress the associated spring, such that at least one of said rollers is positively driven at all times t0 urge the articles continuously against the closed end of the chamber.
5. In an apparatus for feeding articles,
a pair of spaced rollers mounted for rotation in predetermined opposite directions to advance an article therebetween,
a first pair of one-way clutches connected to said rollers for precluding rotations of said rollers in directions opposite to said predetermined directions,
a second pair of one-way clutches connected to said rollers for imparting rotation to said rollers in said predetermined directions,
a pair of actuator members respectively connected to said second pair of one-way clutches,
a pair of springs respectively engaging and urging said actuator members t0 rotate said one-way clutches to rotate said rollers in said predetermined directions, and
means for alternately pivoting said actuator members against said springs to store energy therein and then releasing said actuator members to impart the stored spring energy to said second one-way clutches to rotate said rollers.
6. In an apparatus for feeding articles,
a pair of spaced rollers mounted for rotation in predetermined opposite directions for advancing an article positioned therebetween,
a pair of one-way clutches connected to the ends of said rollers for imparting rotation to said rollers in said predetermined opposite directions,
pair of clutch actuator levers connected to said clutches and projecting toward each other so that the ends thereof abut each other to limit pivotab1e movement past a center lime running between the axes of said clutches,
a pair of springbiased plunger means engaging said actuator levers for urging said actuator members into said end abutting position, and means for alternately pivoting said actuator levers against said springbiased plunger means and releasing said actuator levers to reapply the stored energy of said springbiased plunger means to rotate said actuator levers and said clutches to alternately rotate said rollers in said predetermined opposite directions.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,253,183 8/41 Le Count 74-84 X 3,066,60 12/62 Couty 100176 3,078,732 2/63 SChact 74-142 X ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.
SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Examiner.

Claims (1)

1. AN ARTICLE-DISPENSING APPARATUS COMPRISING: MEANS DEFINING A CHAMBER FOR HOLDING FLEXIBLE ARTICLES IN STACKED RELATIONSHIP, THE CHAMBER BEING SUBSTANTIALLY CLOSED AT ONE END AND BEING PROVIDED WITH AN OPENING AT SAID CLOSED END; MEANS ARRANGED ADJACENT SAID OPENING AT THE CLOSED END OF SAID CHAMBER FOR SUCCESSIVELY EJECTING ARTICLES THEREFROM: A PAIR OF GENERALLY CYLINDRICAL MEMBERS MOUNTED IN THE CHAMBER FOR ENGAGEMENT WITH OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE ARTICLES THEREWITHIN AND FOR ROTATION ABOUT THEIR AXES IN SUCH A DIRECTION AS TO URGE THE ARTICLES AGAINST THE CLOSED END OF THE CHAMBER; MEANS FOR PRECLUDING ROTATION OF SAID ROTATABLE MEMBERS IN A DIRECTION OPPOSITE TO SAID ONE DIRECTION; CRANK MEANS ASSOCIATED WITH EACH OF SAID ROTATABLE MEMBERS AND ROTATABLE RELATIVE THERETO IN A DIRECTION OPPOSITE TO SAID ONE DIRECTION; MEANS FOR PRECLUDING ROTATION OF SAID CRANK MEANS RELATIVE TO SAID ROTATABLE MEMBERS IN SAID ONE DIRECTION; RESILIENT ENERGY-STORING MEANS ARRANGED FOR DRIVING SAID CRANK MEANS AND THE ASSOCIATED ROTATABLE MEMBERS RESPECTIVELY IN SAID ONE DIRECTION; AND COCKING MEANS FOR INTERMITTENTLY ROTATING EACH CRANK MEANS IN ITS RESPECTIVE OPPOSITE DIRECTION TO IMPART ENERGY TO SAID RESILIENT DRIVE MEANS SUCH THAT A SUBSTANTIALLY CONTINUOUS DRIVING FORCE MAY BE EXERTED ON SAID ROTATABLE MEMBERS BY SAID DRIVE MEANS IN SAID ONE DIRECTION.
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Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2253183A (en) * 1940-09-05 1941-08-19 Gen Electric Spring drive mechanism
US3066600A (en) * 1962-12-04 Iwrite
US3078732A (en) * 1959-12-30 1963-02-26 Ibm Incremental drive mechanism

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3066600A (en) * 1962-12-04 Iwrite
US2253183A (en) * 1940-09-05 1941-08-19 Gen Electric Spring drive mechanism
US3078732A (en) * 1959-12-30 1963-02-26 Ibm Incremental drive mechanism

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