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Package arranging equipment

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US3247981A
US3247981A US22282762A US3247981A US 3247981 A US3247981 A US 3247981A US 22282762 A US22282762 A US 22282762A US 3247981 A US3247981 A US 3247981A
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Prior art keywords
bundle
table
conveyor
bundles
figure
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Helge C Johnson
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Certain Teed Products Corp
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Certain Teed Products Corp
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65GTRANSPORT OR STORAGE DEVICES, e.g. CONVEYORS FOR LOADING OR TIPPING; SHOP CONVEYOR SYSTEMS; PNEUMATIC TUBE CONVEYORS
    • B65G57/00Stacking of articles
    • B65G57/02Stacking of articles by adding to the top of the stack
    • B65G57/16Stacking of articles of particular shape
    • B65G57/20Stacking of articles of particular shape three-dimensional, e.g. cubiform, cylindrical
    • B65G57/22Stacking of articles of particular shape three-dimensional, e.g. cubiform, cylindrical in layers each of predetermined arrangement
    • B65G57/24Stacking of articles of particular shape three-dimensional, e.g. cubiform, cylindrical in layers each of predetermined arrangement the layers being transferred as a whole, e.g. on pallets
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65GTRANSPORT OR STORAGE DEVICES, e.g. CONVEYORS FOR LOADING OR TIPPING; SHOP CONVEYOR SYSTEMS; PNEUMATIC TUBE CONVEYORS
    • B65G57/00Stacking of articles
    • B65G57/02Stacking of articles by adding to the top of the stack
    • B65G57/03Stacking of articles by adding to the top of the stack from above
    • B65G57/06Gates for releasing articles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65GTRANSPORT OR STORAGE DEVICES, e.g. CONVEYORS FOR LOADING OR TIPPING; SHOP CONVEYOR SYSTEMS; PNEUMATIC TUBE CONVEYORS
    • B65G57/00Stacking of articles
    • B65G57/02Stacking of articles by adding to the top of the stack
    • B65G57/16Stacking of articles of particular shape
    • B65G57/20Stacking of articles of particular shape three-dimensional, e.g. cubiform, cylindrical
    • B65G57/22Stacking of articles of particular shape three-dimensional, e.g. cubiform, cylindrical in layers each of predetermined arrangement
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10STECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10S414/00Material or article handling
    • Y10S414/10Associated with forming or dispersing groups of intersupporting articles, e.g. stacking patterns
    • Y10S414/116Associated with forming or dispersing groups of intersupporting articles, e.g. stacking patterns including control for pattern of group

Description

April 26, 1966 H. c. JOHNSON 3,247,981 5 PACKAGE ARRANGING EQUIPMENT Filed Sept. 11, 1962 e Sheets-Sheet 1 m3 1. J8 96 J6 INVENTOR wkw % April 26, 1966 H. c. JOHNSON 3,247,931 PACKAGE ARRANGING EQUIPMENT Filed Sept. 11, 1962 s Sheets-Sheet 2 C. n j Mw W ATTORN EYS A ril 26, 1966 H. c. JOHNSON PACKAGE ARRANGING EQUIPMENT 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Sept, 11, 1962 INVENTOR ATTORN EYS April 26, 1966 H. c. JOHNSON PACKAGE ARRANGING EQUIPMENT 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Sept. 11, 1962 Baa fig 16,

INVENTQR BY C. Wmmm fm a lzvs April 26, 1966 H. c. JOHNSON 3,

PACKAGE ARRANGING EQUIPMENT Filed Sept. 11, 1962 1 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 INVENTOR United States Patent 3,247 ,9 PACKAGE ARRANGING EQUIPMENT Helge C. .lohuson, West Chester, Pa., assignor to Certain This invention relates to equipment for arranging packages into convenient groups for purposes of storage and handling. It is especially related to apparatus for forming layers and stacks of layers of generally rectangu lar packages of the same dimensions. The preferred embodiment discussed herein has proved to be especially useful in performing these operations on wrapped bundles or packages of roofing shingles, and although the discussion herein will be directed to a machine especially tailored for this purpose, it should be understood that the invention is useful in handling a great variety of other types of bundles and packages.

The terms bundle and package are used herein to represent typical examples of the varied items which may usefully be handled by the apparatus of this invention, and the use of these terms is not intended to connote a limitation of the utility to items which are, strictly speaking, bundles or packages. On the contrary, the invention as a whole, and many aspects thereof, such as, for example, the features related to the bundle turning equipment, are useful with many different types of items.

It is common in modern warehousing and shipping practice to arrange a number of individual packages in stacks which are often located on pallets. The pallets in turn may easily be shifted from place to place in the course of warehousing and shipping by means of fork lift trucks. Experience has shown that in order to form stable stacks on pallets which will survive handling by means of fork lift trucks or other warehouse equipment, it is necessary to take some care in arranging the individual packages and layers of packages forming the stacks. Certain ways of arranging the packages or bundles in the stack have been devised to impart stability thereto. However, these patterns of arrangement are relatively complex and heretofore it has been necessary to employ much hand labor and close supervision in the operation of forming warehouse stacks.

Among the important objects of this invention is the provision of equipment which mechanizes the operation of forming layers of packages in particular arrangements and the operation of assembling said layers into a stable stack, either on a pallet or elsewhere. A great saving of labor and expense is thus effected.

Another object of this invention is the provision of package handling and arranging equipment which is capable of forming a layer having a plurality of packages or bundles therein, in which layer one of the packages may have its longitudinal axis oriented substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axes of other packages in the layer.

It is an object of this invention to provide equipment for handling and arranging bundles which is capable of turning a bundle approximately 90 as it moves through the equipment.

A further object of this invention is the provision of bundle handling equipment adapted to receive bundles presented to it from various directions, with various initial orientations of the bundles with respect to the equipment.

Still another object of the invention is the provision of stack forming equipment for forming stacks of packages of improved stability and compactness.

Yet another object of this invention is the provision of mechanized bundle arranging and stacking equipment otherwise.

ice

having an automatic control system which programs the operation of the equipment.

The above objects and purposes together with others may be more fully understood by consideration of the detailed description which follows together with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a portion of a preferred embodiment of .the invention,

FIGURE 2 is an elevational view looking toward the left in FIGURE 1,

FIGURE 3 is an elevational view looking in the direction of the arrows 3-3 on FIGURE 1,

FIGURE 4 is a plan view showing a modification of a portion of the equipment shown in FIGURE 1 to provide for acceptance of bundles by the equipment from another direction.

FIGURE 5 is a section view on line 55 of FIG- URE 4,

FIGURE 6 is a more or less diagrammatic side elevational view of a portion of the equipment of the preferred embodiment showing the apparatus which places individual layers of bundles in the stacking position,

FIGURE 7 is a view similar to FIGURE 6 showing the same equipment at another stage in its cycle of operation,

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary plan view of FIGURE 7,

FIGURE 9 is an enlarged cross section of bundle turning equipment taken on the line 9-9 of FIGURE 1,

FIGURES 10, 11, 12 and 13 are isometric views of stacks, some of which are positioned on pallets, showing various arrangements of packages or bundles forming the stacks,

FIGURES 14 through 19 are diagrammatic plan views of a portion of the equipment showing sequentially certain stages in the operation of forming and arranging bundles into patterned layers,

FIGURES 20 through 22 are simplified control diagrams illustrating a control system for the apparatus shown in the other figures,

FIGURE 23 is an enlarged cross sectional elevation, partly broken away, taken on the line 23--23 of FIG- URE 1, and

FIGURE 24 is an enlarged fragmentary cross sectional elevation taken on the line 24-24 of FIGURE 1.

General description Before giving detailed consideration to the various features of the equipment, the general arrangement and mode of operation will be outlined here.

From FIGURE 1 it can be seen that according to the invention there is provided a feed table 30 which is adapted to receive bundles placed on it either by hand or In this embodiment, the rectangular bundles come onto the feed table 30 with their long sides generally perpendicular to the direction of travel of the conveyor (indicated generally at 31) of the feed table. The orientation of the bundle is illustrated in FIGURE 14 where a bundle B-1 is shown on the feed table.

The feed table conveyor 31 passes the bundle onto the transfer table 32 which has on it a belt conveyor 33 which continues the movement of the bundle .from the bottom toward the top of FIGURE 1. Mounted above the transfer table 32 is a bundle deflector indicated generally at 34, which in a manner to be described hereinbel-ow turns certain of the bundles moving across the transfer table so that their long sides or longitudinal axes are generally parallel to the direction in which the conveyor 33 is moving the bundle.

At the end of the transfer table there is an accumulation table designated generally as 35. This table has two sections, the first section being marked generally as 36 and the second section 37. The first section 36 is positioned with respect to the transfer table 32 so that it receives bundles pushed onto it by the belt conveyor 33. A bundle blocking wall 38 at the back side of this section prevents further movement of bundles in a direction toward the top of FIGURE 1. The first section is provided with an intermittently movable clearing conveyor 39 which, as is shown on FIGURE 1, is constructed to move bundles positioned thereon to the left in that figure. That is to say, this clearing means moves bundles onto the second section 37 of the accumulating table 35.

The second section of the accumulating table is also provided with a conveyor 40 which urges bundles on it toward the left in FIGURE 1. At the left hand end of this section is a displaceable gate 41, which, as will be explained in detail later, at certain times is positioned to block further movement of bundles on the second section in a direction -to the left, and at other times is moved out of the path of such bundles so the conveyor 40 may move them to the left and off of the accumulating table. Positioned to the left of the accumulating table is a transfer conveyor 42 which appears partially in FIGURE 1 and partially in FIGURE 6, to which attention is now directed. The transfer conveyor 42 receives completed layers of bundles arranged in a specific pattern from the left hand end of the accumulating table 35. The layer is transported to the left in FIGURE 6 by the conveyor 42 and deposited on the shuttle cart designated generally at 43 when said cart is at the right-hand-most end of its reciprocating path of travel on the rails 44. (In FIG- URE 7 the cart 43 is almost at its right hand limiting position.) The layer of bundles, having been placed on the shuttle cart 43, in the manner just described, the cart is moved to the left as shown in FIGURE 6. At the same time, the cart conveyor 45 moves the layer across the top of the cart and onto the depositing ramp 46 of the cart. The layer slides to the left off of the ramp 46, onto a pallet 47 positioned at the stacking station designated generally at 48. As the layer slides off the ramp 46 the shuttle cart is moved to the right in FIGURE 6, thus withdrawing the ramp portion of the cart from under the layer. In FIGURE 6 one bundle B-Z of a layer has been deposited on the pallet, and the three remaining bundles designated collectively as B-3 are in the process of being so deposited. FIGURE 7 shows the layer consisting of the bundles B-2 and B-3 in position on the pallet 47.

FIGURE 7 illustrates the final step in the positioning of a layer at the stacking station. After the shuttle cart 43 has been moved to its right hand limiting position, as

shown by the dotted lines 49, it is moved once again tothe left for a short distance to the position shown in full lines in FIGURE 7. In this movement the roller 50 at the end of the ramp 46 hits the layer on the pallet to jog it and thus restore the compact condition of the layer which may have been disturbed somewhat in the operation of depositing the layer on the pallet.

An understanding of the handling of a given bundle as it passes through a portion of the equipment may be gained by considering FIGURE 14. As mentioned before, the dotted line bundle indicated at B-l shows the position assumed by a bundle on the feed table 30. The bundle deflector 34 is shown engaging a dotted line bundle indicated at B-4, to turn it as it is carried by the conveyor of the transfer table 32. A bundle which has been completely so turned is indicated by the dotted line bundle B-S. This bundle is then passed onto the first section 36 of the accumulating table 35 where it is shown in full lines and marked B-6. The conveyor 39 is shown in FIGURE 14 moving the bundle B-6 to the left toward the second section of the accumulating table.

The various patterns of bundles which form different layers of a given stack may be seen in FIGURES 15 through 19. four bundles arranged with their longitudinal axes parallel to each other. On the other hand, the layer L-2 of In FIGURE 15 the layer L-1 consists of FIGURE 17 is made up of four bundles, three of which have their longitudinal axes parallel with each other, but the fourth of which is placed across the end of the layer with its longitudinal axis at right angle to those of the other three. Layer L-2 is also shown in FIGURE 18. FIGURE 19 shows a layer L-3 which is similar in arrangement to the layer L-2, except that the fourth bundle is placed at right angle at the other end of the three parallel bundles.

With the above general description in hand, attention may now be turned to specific features and details of various portions of the equipment.

Feed mechanism One embodiment of the feed mechanism is shown in FIGURE 1 while an alternate arrangement is shown in FIGURE 4. The same reference characters will be used for both embodiments for parts which are essentially the same. Turning first to the embodiment of FIGURE 1, it will be recalled that the feed table 30 of this embodiment is designed to accept bundles presented to it with their long sides at right angle to the direction of travel of the conveyor 31. Such bundles may either be placed on the feed table by hand or by other conveyor mechanism. The conveyor 31 is of the chain type and is desirably equipped with four chains indicated at 60. Each chain is provided with adriven sprocket wheel 61 mounted on the shaft 62 at the back end of the table. The shaft in turn is mounted on the frame 63 of the table. chains are also each provided with an idling sprocket wheel 64 which wheels are mounted on the shaft 65 attached to the frame 63 at the front of the table. The conveyor is powered by the motor M-2, and in normal operation moves continuously.

The control equipment will be discussed in full detail later herein, but it can be pointed out here that switches LS-l and LS-2 form part of that equipment and are positioned as shown on the feed table 30 in a manner so that the switch operators of these switches yieldingly protrude into the path of travel of a bundle on the feed table.

In the embodiment of FIGURE 4 a number of the parts of the feed table are essentially the same as the parts discussed with reference to FIGURE 1. Again the feed table is designated generally as 30. It is provided with a frame 63, a feed table conveyor 31 having four chains 60 mounted on sprocket wheel 61 and 64 carried respectively by the shafts 62 and 65. The conveyor is driven by the motor M-2. In this embodiment there are also provided the control switches LS-l and LS-2.

An additional piece of equipment found in this embodiment is an angle feed conveyor designated generally as 66. This conveyor is designed to carry bundles having their longitudinal axis parallel to the direction of movement of the conveyor and deposit them on the feed table 30 so that their long sides are perpendicular to the direction of movement of the conveyor 31 on the feed table. Thus equipment is provided so that bundles may enter the apparatus-oriented at to the orientation of bundles entering the apparatus shown in FIGURE 1. The angle feed conveyor may conveniently be of the belttype with gilt; 67 supported by rollers 68 and driven by the motor Since the conveyor 31 is normally in continuous operation, bundles delivered directly to the moving chains of that conveyor by the angle feed conveyor 66 would be undesirably twisted out of their desired orientation. lVIeans are provided according to the invention for receivmg a bundle from the angle feed conveyor 66, holding it above the conveyor 31, and then lowering it uniformly onto said conveyor. This means is the lift roll system designated generally at 69. This system consists of a frame 70 appearing most clearly in FIGURE 5, which 1s mounted generally below the top run of the conveyor chains 60. The frame is so mounted on the pivoting sup- The port arms 71 which in turn are mounted on the shaft 72 forming a part of the frame 63. As can be seen in FIG- URE 4, the pivot support 71 supports the frame from the front side of the feed table 30. The frame 70 is supported from the other side by the piston and cylinder system '73. The piston rod of this system is pivotally attached to the frame 70 while the cylinder is pivotally attached to the frame 63. The cylinder 73 is desirably pneumatically operated, and when it is operated to force the piston rod out of the cylinder, the frame 70 is moved upwardly with respect to the conveyor chains m. On the other hand, when the piston rod is moved by air pressure in a direction into the cylinder 73, frame 70 is lowered to a position substantially below the top run of the chains 60. A control valve V-4 having solenoids S1 and 8-2 may be seen mounted on the cylinder 73.

At the top of the-frame 70 are mounted a series of rollers 75 which, taken together, define a surface upon which bundles may be supported. When the frame is raised and lowered in the manner just described, this bundle supporting surface is raised above and lowered below the level of the upper runs of the chains 60. This appears most clearly in FIGURE 5.

The embodiment of FIGURE 4 is provided with a bundle blocking wall 76 positioned across the feed table from the angle feed conveyor 66. The blocking wall 76 prevents bundles coming onto the feed table, and more particularly onto the rollers 75, from moving so far across the table that they fall off. A portion of the blocking wall 76 is constructed to be movable under the impact of a bundle moving to the right in FIGURE 4 on the rollers 75. Behind this movable portion is a control switch LS4 which is mounted so that it is operated by a movement of the wall 76. In addition to the switches LS-]. and LS-Z, this embodiment has a switch LS-S which is located so that its operator is yieldingly positioned in the path of movement of bundles on the conveyor 31. The function of these switches is discussed more fully hereinbelow, but it may be pointed out here that LS-4 and LS5 control the operation of the lift roll system 69.

Transfer table and bundle deflector mechanism This apparatus is shown in plan view in FIGURE 1 and in elevation in FIGURE 2. Reference is also made to FIGURES 9 and 23 which are enlargements of the bundle deflector.

The transfer table 32 is equipped with a belt conveyor 33 having supporting rollers 80. This conveyor is powered by the motor M-3. In the preferred construction, the belt of the conveyor extends substantially across the width of the table.

The bundle deflector 34 is mounted above the transfer table as appears most clearly in FIGURE 23. It may conveniently be mounted on upright angles 81 and 82 on either side of the table. A cross bar 83 extends between these two uprights. Mounted on the cross bar is a slotted rail 84 in which runs a shoe or runner 85. A horizontal cylinder 86 is mounted on the cross bar 83 near the left hand side thereof as seen in FIGURE 23. The piston rod of said cylinder is attached to the runner 85 so that movement of the piston within the cylinder under the influence of compressed air will cause movement of the runner 85 back and forth on the rail 84.

A support bracket 87 is mounted on the runner 85 and is cantilevered outwardly therefrom. The deflector arm 88 is slidably mounted through a hole in the support bracket $7. At the lower end of the deflector arm 88 is a deflector roller 89. Preferably this roller has a height greater than the thickness of the bundles being handled. Farther outboard on the bracket 87 there is mounted a vertical air cylinder 90 having a piston rod 91 positioned therein. The piston rod 91 is connected by means of the bar E2 to the deflector arm 88. Thus movement of the piston within the cylinder 90 under the influence of compressed air will result in vertical reciprocating motion of the deflector arm. The cylinder 90 is provided with a control valve V1 and the horizontal cylinder 86 is provided with a control valve V-Z. Each of these valves is solenoid operated.

As can be seen in FIGURES 1 and 23, the bundle deflector is positioned above the transfer table and toward the left hand side thereof. It will be remembered that the rectangular bundle comes onto the transfer table with its long side perpendicular to the direction of movement caused by the conveyor 33. In the operation of forming bundle layers from individual bundles, certain of the bundles which pass across the transfer table on the conveyor must be turned so that the long side of the bundle is parallel to the direction of movement. The bundle deflector accomplishes this in the following manner. The deflector is initially positioned above the table with the runner at the left hand limiting position of its travel as seen in FIGURES 1 and 23. When a bundle which is to be turned comes onto the transfer table, the vertical air cylinder 90 is actuated to lower the deflector arm and its roller 89 toward the surface of the conveyor and into an obstructing position in the path of the bundle moving along the conveyor. The lowered position of the roller is shown at 89a in FIGURE 23. It is preferred that the roller be brought quite close to the surface of the belt 33 to prevent pinching and tearing of soft bundles. The left hand side of the bundle is carried into contact with the roller 8E by the conveyor. As the conveyor continues to urge the bundle forwardiy, the obstructed bundle begins to turn, with the right hand side moving ahead since it is not restrained by the deflector. The left hand side of the bundle on the other hand can not move past the deflector and hence the bundle as a whole rotates about the deflector. The dotted line bundle indicated as B4 in FIGURE 14 is shown in the process of being turned in the manner just described.

In order to insure that the bundle being turned is rotated a full 90, the control system actuates the horizontal cylinder 86 when the bundle is partially turned. The runner is pushed by the piston rod to the right in FIGURES l and 23 so the deflector roller 89 is moved to the position 93 shown in dotted lines in these figures. In this movement, the deflector roller 89 pushes against the left hand portion of the long side of the partially rotated bundle and thus completes the turning motion of the bundle. The bundle now occupies the position indicated by the dotted line bundle B-S on FIGURE 14. Upon completion of a bundle turning operation, the deflector arm 83 is raised by the cylinder and the deflector apparatus is moved once again to the left hand limiting position of FIGURES l and 23 by the cylinder 86. In this way the equipment is returned to the starting position for another bundle turning operation. If two consecutive bundles moving across the table are to be turned, the control equipment may be arranged to move the deflector to the left without raising it, after the first bundle has been turned.

The bundle which has been turned is carried off the transfer table by the conveyor and is placed on the first section of the accumulating table.

The optimum obstructing position of the deflector will vary depending on the size and shape of the bundle being handled. The deflector should be placed in the path of the bundle moving across the table somewhat to one side of the center line of the bundle. This general position is variously referred to herein as near one side of the conveyor or near one end of the bundle. By these expressions it is meant that the initial obstructing position of the deflector should be between the end of the bundle, and the center of the bundle. An obstructing position right at the center of the bundle is in general not preferred since an uncertainty is thus created as to the direction in which the bundle will rotate about the deflector.

v the preferred embodiment has two sections.

In the operation of assembling a layer of bundles having a specific pattern often it is not necessary to turn all of the bundles in the manner just described. When there is no necessity to turn a particular bundle, the control system causes the deflector to remain in its raised position as the bundle moves across the transfer table. Such a bundle will therefore be placed on the first section of the accumulating table with its orientation unchanged. Thus it can be seen that bundles can be given one of two orientations, as the pattern requires, in their movement to the first section of the accumulating table 35.

Accumulating table As was mentioned before, the accumulating table in This table appears in plan view in FIGURE 1 and in elevation in FIGURE 3. The first section of the accumulating table is positioned just behind the transfer table 32 so that bundles coming off the transfer table move onto this section. The surface of the first section is provided by a series of rollers 94 arranged generally perpendicular to the direction of movement of the transfer table conveyor 33. Bundles coming onto this section of the table move across the rollers until they are stopped by the bundle blocking wall 38 at the back edge of the first section.

The first section is provided with clearing conveyor means 39 which consists of a series of parallel conveyor chains 96 arranged to move, in their upper run, to the left in FIGURE 1. As can be seen most clearly in FIG- URES 2 and 3, each chain is provided with a pair of pushing lugs 97 which are mounted on the chains 180 apart. FIGURES 2 and 3 also show that these lugs, whenthey are on the upper run of the chains project above the surface defined by the rollers 94 and are thus in a position to push on bundles sitting on the rollers. The clearing conveyor chains are driven by the motor M-1 which is controlled for intermittent operation. A control switch LS-3 is mounted on the under side of the first section,

and its operating arm is yieldingly inserted into the path of the lugs on one of the chains when said lugs are moving along the lower run of that chain.

The function of the clearing conveyor may be understood by a consideration of FIGURES 14 and 16. In the operation of assembling a group of bundles into a predetermined pattern, portions of layers are accumulated on the first section of the accumulating table. cases the portion of the layer which is accumulated may consist of only one bundle, as shown in FIGURE 14. In other cases the portion of the layer which is accumulated may consist of several bundles, as shown in FIGURE 16. When the appropriate number'of bundles for the particular pattern of the layer being formedhave accumulated on the first section, the control system act-uates motor M-1 to move that portion of a layer to the left in FIGURES 1, 14 and 16 onto the second section of the accumulating table. In FIGURE 14 a portion consisting of one bundle is shown being moved to the left.

The second section of the accumulating table is positioned beside the first section and generally perpendicular to the transfer table as shown in FIGURE 1. This section is provided with a belt type conveyor 40 preferably having three belts supported by rollers 101. This con veyor is powered by the motor M-4 and in normal operation moves continuously in a direction to move bundles on it to the left in FIGURE 1. I At the left hand end of the second section is the gate 41 which serves as a bundle blocking means. As can be seen in FIGURES 3 and 24, the gate is positioned to block and restrain bundles urged against it by the conveyor 40. The blocking surface 102 of the gate 41 protrudes upwardly above the surface of the table in the spaces between and outboard of the conveyor belts 100 (see FIGURE 1). FIGURE 24 shows that the gate is pivotally mounted on the frame of the table at 103, and is held in its upright or bundle blocking position by In some means of the pivotally mounted pneumatic cylinder 104 and its associated piston rod. Solenoid operated valve V-3 controls the movement of the gate 41 into and out of its bundle blocking position.

Complete layers of bundles arranged in selected patterns are accumulated on the second section of the accumulating table. The gate 41 remains in its blocking position until sufficient portions of bundles consisting either of single bundles or groups of bundles have been accumulated against it to form a complete layer ready for placement on a stack. For example, in FIGURE 14 a portion of a layer consisting of three bundles is shown accumulated on the second section, and the final portion of this layer is shown being pushed toward the second section by the clearing means on the first section. When this final portion has been accumulated with the first portion to form acomplete layer, the gate is lowered and the completed layer is passed onto the conveyor 42 for transfer to the stack. FIGURE 15 shows this layer designated L-1 on conveyor 42. As another example, FIGURE 16 shows a portion of a layer consisting of one bundle accumulated on the second section against the gate. The remaining portion of the layer consisting of three bundles is being moved by the clearing conveyor of the first section toward the second section. When this layer has completely accumulated and is assembled on the second section the gate again lowers and the layer is passed onto conveyor 42 where it appears as L-Z in FIGURE 17.

' Stacking mechanism This portion of the apparatus appears most clearly in FIGURES 6, 7 and 8.

Apparatus of this general character is shown in my copending application Serial No. 82,893, filed January 16, 1961, issued April 4, 1965, as Patent No. 3,176,858 and assigned to the same assignee, and certain features of the equipment therein illustrated may be utilized to advantage in the improved stacking mechanism described hereinbelow. This improved stacking mechanism is claimed in my copending divisional application, Serial No. 453,584, filed May 6, 1965, and assigned to the same assignee as this application.

The stack is formed and assembled at the stacking station designated generally at 48. The stacking station is provided with a bundle blocking wall 115. In most instances a pallet 47 will be positioned on the stacking station. However, under certain circumstances it may be desirable to form the stack directly on the surface of the station. As can be seen in FIGURES 6 and 8, this surface is established by the series of rollers 110. Between the second section of the accumulating table 35 and the stacking station 48 are positioned the transfer conveyor 42 and the shuttle cart 43.

Transfer conveyor 42 is desirably equipped with a belt 105 which is substantially the full width of the conveyor. The belt is supported by rollers 106 and driven by motor M-S. These details appear most clearly in FIGURE 3.

The shuttle cart is mounted on a base 111. As shown in my copending application referred to above, this base may desirably be equipped with elevating mechanism to raise the shuttle cart and the left hand end of the conveyor 42 upwardly to provide for deposition of successive layers on the stack. Alternately, rollers 110 of the stacking station may be mounted on elevating mechanism so that the surface of the stacking station may be lowered as successive layers are placed on the stack. In either event, suitable control equipment can be provided for directing the raising of the shuttle cart or the lowering of the floor of the stacking station. The shuttle cart 43 is mounted for reciprocating motion on the fixed rails 44 and the moving rails 112. The cart is provided with a belt type conveyor 45 supported by rollers 113 and powered by motor M-7. Under normal operating conditions this conveyor is continuously operating. At the left hand side of the cart is a depositing ramp 46 having a surface of rollers 114. Two

. control switches'are provided for directing the operation of the shuttle cart. One of these LS6 is located on the cart proper with its operator yieldingly protruding into the path of a layer moving across the cart.- LS-7, the other control switch, is mounted on the end of conveyor 42 with its operator yieldingly protruding into the path of reciprocation of the cart (see FIGURE 7). The cart is reciprocated by a compressed air cylinder and piston mounted on the base 111, but which are not shown. The solenoid operated valve V- controls the operation of this power means.

In a typical stacking operation in which a layer is deposited at the stacking station on a pallet, the shuttle cart 43 is initially positioned at its right hand limiting position. The conveyor 42 passes a layer onto the shuttle cart and the cart conveyor 45 begins to move the layer to the left in FIGURE 6. As it does s-o, the cart is reciprocated to the left and the layer slides down the ramp at onto the pallet. At the same time the cart is reciprocated to the right withdrawing the ramp from under the layer. The cart after moving once again to the right hand limiting position is accelerated a short distance to the left as shown in FIGURE 7 to jog the layer on the pallet by hitting it with the end of the ramp 46. This step is desirably performed because the bundles forming the layer on the pallet often become slightly disarranged in the course of being deposited thereon.

Control mechanism In FIGURE there is shown a simplified diagram of the control mechanism for the portion of the apparatus shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 3. Much of the equipment shown in this figure has been identified in the earlier discussion. Motor M2 is the conveyor drive motor for the feed table 30, motor M-3 is the conveyor drive motor for the transfer table 32, motor M-4 is the conveyor drive motor for the second section 37 of the accumulating table, and motor M5 is the drive motor for the transfer conveyor 42. As can be seen from FIGURE 20 all four of these motor-s are wired for continuous operation under normal conditions. These motors are started and stopped by the main switch MS on line L-l.

Valve V-1 is the solenoid operated valve on the vertical air cylinder 90 of the bundle deflector mechanism 34. Timer TM-ll is a timing device arranged in the circuit to begin a timing operation when valve V-1 is operated. Contact TMC1 is a contact which is arranged to close when the timer TM-l has measured a specified interval. Motor M-l is the drive motor for the clearing conveyor means 39 of the first section 36 of the accumulating table. Valve V3 is the solenoid operated valve controlling operation of the air cylinder 104 which raises and lowers the gate 41.

The components V1, V-2, M1 and V3 are each operated intermittently during the assembly of bundles into completed layers. Their operation is controlled and programmed by means of the stepping switch 116 which is labeled on FIGURE 20. The stepping switch is a known type and need not be discussed in full detail here. For apparatus designed to assembly a stack of 48 bundles, for example a stack such as that shown in FIGURE 11, a stepping switch having 49 positions is used. Switches LS]. and LS2 and PB-1 cause under various conditions the movement of the switch from one step to another. Switch PB-ll is a manually operable homing switch which, when operated, resets the stepping switch at the zero position. Switch LS-2, which may be seen in FIGURE 1, is a counting switch which advances the stepping switch one step each time a bundle passing across the feed table operates LS2. LS-1 is an automatic homing or reset switch. From FIGURE 1 it can be seen that this switch is positioned to be operated by each bundle moving across the feed table. However, when the stepping switch is wired to program the operation of the equipment for assembling of a 48 bundle stack, the switch LS1 is wired into the stepping switch so that only the 49th bundle of a series which operates LSl causes the stepping switch to be horned or reset to zero. The same 49th bundle, when it operates counting switch 154., as it passes farther along the feed table, causes that switch to step the stepping switch to position number 1. Thus it can be seen that the 49th bundle in a series becomes the first bundle of a new series.

Each position of the stepping switch is wired to establish a circuit including some or all of the elements V-l, TM1, V2, M1 and V3. For any given position the elements included in the circuit are those which must operate to handle the bundle which cause the stepping switch to move to that position and to handle the portions of layers and completed layers which may be on the accumulating table 35 when the particular bundle is moving through the equipment.

For example, if the bundle which has tripped LS2 is a bundle which must be turned by the deflector mechanism 34, the stepping switch supplies a voltage to the solenoid of V-l. This operates valve V-l to lower the bundle deflector arm and roller into an obstructing position in the path of the bundle near one end thereof. The same voltage star-ts the operation of timer TM- l. When the timer times out after an interval which may be established by simple experiments with the particular size bundles being handled, it closes contact TM- C-l so that avoltage is supplied to the solenoid of valve V-2 on the horizontal cylinder 86 of the deflector mechanism. This cylinder operates to move the bundle deflector arm and roller to the right in FIGURE'l to complete the turning operation of the bundle. Movement of the stepping switch to its next position removes the voltage from V- I and V-2, th-us returning the deflector to its starting position.

If the operation requiresmovement of a portion of a layer consisting of one or more bundles from the first section of the accumulating table to the second section, the circuit established by the stepping switch position places a voltage across the clearing means motor M-ll. In this way the chain conveyor comprising the clearing means operates to push the portion of a layer onto the second section. On the other hand, if for the particular operation it is not desired to clear the first section but instead to allow another bundle to accumulate on it to enlarge the portion of a layer on the first section, the circuit established by the stepping switch position does not include motor M1. Motor M-l is stopped by operation of switch LS-3, which also controls operation of gate 41 as explained below. Switch LS3 stops the clearing conveyor in a position such that one set of clearing lugs has just completed pushing a portion onto the second section, and the other set is ready to begin pushing the next layer portion when it is accumulated. The stopped position of the clearing conveyor just described is shown in FIGURE 3.

The gate 41, it will be remembered, is lowered when a complete layer has been accumulated on the second section of the accumulating table. If according to the program of operation this condition will exist when a particular bundle is being handled, the circuit established by the stepping switch places a voltage across the solenoid of valve V-3. However, it should be noted that control switch LS-3 is also in the circuit and that the solenoid will not operate so long as this switch is open. As was mentioned above, this switch is operated by the pushing lugs 97 on the clearing conveyor of the first section. As can be seen in FIGURES 2 and 3, a lug on the lower run of a chain operates LS-3. Since the other lug on that chain is away from the lug operating the switch, it is on the upper run near the end thereof, and will have just completed pushing a portion of a layer onto the second section. Since under the case being considered, this portion of a layer completes the layer being accumulated on the second section, the operation of switch LS3 allows the voltage to be placed across the solenoid of valve V-3 and the gate is lowered. In this manner the conveyor on the second section moves the completed layer onto the transfer conveyor 42. Gate 41 is raised by an auxiliary timer (not shown) which is started when the gate is lowered, and which removes the voltage from the solenoid of V-3 when it times out.

If it is not required during the handling of 'a given bundle to lower gate 41, because a complete layer is not accumulated on the second section, the circuits established by the stepping switch position does not include the solenoid of valve V3.

FIGURE 21 shows circuitry for additional control equipment which is included when the modification of FIGURE 4 is employed. The air valve V-4 is operated in one direction by solenoid S1 and in the other by solenoid S2. Switch LS-4 is operated when a bundle arrives on the lift roll system 69, and. places a voltage across solenoid S1 which operates valve V4 to lower the lift roll system and thus lower the bundle onto the chain conveyor. Switch LS'5 is operated by this bundle moving along the conveyor 31, and it energizes solenoid S2 which actuates valve V4 'to again raise the lift roll system 69 to a position to receive the next bundle coming onto it from the angle conveyor 66. Motor M-6 of the angle conveyor is wired for continuous operation under normal conditions as shown on FIGURE 21.

FIGURE 22 shows control equipment for the shuttle cart of the stacking mechanism. Motor M-7 which operates the belt conveyor on the shuttle cart is wired for continuous operation under normal conditions. Control switch LS-6 is mounted on the shuttle cart as shown in FIGURE 6 in a position to be operated by a layer on the conveyor of the cart. It will be remembered that the shuttle cart is at this right hand limiting position when it receives a layer from the transfer conveyor 42. Operation of LS-6 starts timer TM-2, and contact TM-C2 closes when timer TM-2 begins to operate. Closure of contact TMC2 energizes the solenoid of valve V- which causes the compressed air cylinder and piston and its piston rod to move the shuttle cart to the left toward the stacking station. When timer TM-2 times out, contact TM-C-2 is opened, and the solenoid of valve V-S is deenergized. This causes the cylinder and its piston to move the shuttle cart back to the right, and as has been explained before, the layer on the shuttle cart is-deposited on the stacking station in this movement.

When the shuttle cart arrives at its right hand limiting position, impulse switch LS-7 is closed. Timer contact TM-C-4 is in its normally closed position and therefore operation of switch LS-7 starts timer "PM-3. When TM- 3 starts, it closes contact TM-C-3a which energizes the solenoid of V-5 once again to move the cart to the left. At the same time, timer TM-S closes contact TM-C-Sb to initiate operation of timer TM-4. When timer TM4 starts, it opens contact TM-C-4. Timer TM-4 has a time setting which is at least as great as the time required for the shuttle cart to return from its jogging stroke to its right hand limiting position. Timer TM3 times out and opens contact TM-C-3a and TMC3b. Opening of the former contact deenergizes the solenoid V-5 and the shuttle cart moves to the right after completion of its jogging stroke which is shown in FIGURE 7. The cart will operate LS-7 as it did before but timer TM-3 is not reset by this operation because timer TM-4 is holding contact TMC4 open. Timer TM4 then times out and contact TMC4 is closed once again. In this way the cart and the control equipment have been returned to their starting positions and the apparatus is ready to receive another layer from conveyor 42.

Persons skilled in the art may easily determine the optimum timer, settings for timers for TM1, TM-2, TM-3, and TM-4 by simple experiments with the particular bundles which are being handled.

Programmed operation In this section attention will be concentrated on FIG- URES 10 through 13 and FIGURES 14 through 19. Some of the wide variety of stacks which may be formed and assembled by the equipment of this invention are shown in FIGURES 10 through 13. FIGURE 10 shows a form of stack positioned on a pallet which has been found to be satisfactorily stable during handling. The pallet is indicated at and the forks 121 of a lift truck are shown positioned to lift the pallet. This type of pallet is provided with slots near the top so that the forks 121 of the lift truck may be inserted into them underneath the stack. In this way, a lift truck may pick up and handle either the pallet with the stack thereon or the stack alone without the pallet. The lift truck forks 121 in FIGURE 11 are shown inserted into the slots of the pallet 120' of that figure. This type of pallet is sometimes referred to as a take it or leave it pallet for reasons which are apparent. The stack of FIGURE 10 is especially arranged for use with this kind of pallet. It should be noted that the bottom layer 122 consists of four bundles arranged side by side with their longitudinal axes running across the pallet. This provides a stable bottom surface to the stack when the lift forks lift the stack away from pallet. The succeeding layers of the stack are made up of four bundles, three of which are positioned side by side with their long axes running lengthwise of the pallet, and the fourth of which is positioned perpendicular to the other three bundles. The top layer 123 has its perpendicular bundle at the front side of the stack and the next to top layer 124 has its perpendicular bundle positioned at the back of the stack. From FIGURE 10 it can be seen that layers like 123 and 124 alternate throughout the stack except from the bottom layer which has a different arrangement for reasons discussed above. The system of stack construction shown in FIGURE 10 forms an extraordinarily stable stack because of the interlocking arrangement of bundles.

FIGURE 11 shows a stack quite similar to that of FIGURE 10 in which the bulk of the layers are of the type having three parallel bundles and one perpendicular bundle. However, the two bottom layers are made up of four bundles each arranged in side by side relation with their long sides running across the pallet. With very heavy stacks, it is of advantage to use this arrangement with two or more supporting layers at the bottom of the stack to increase the strength of the stack when it is lifted from the pallet by the forks of the truck.

FIGURES l2 and 13 show stacks constructed for use without a pallet. In these figures once again the forks of the lift truck are designated 121. In FIGURE 12, straps 125 are provided, which straps pass under the bottom layer of the stack and form at their outer ends surfaces for the forks 121 to bear against as they lift the stack. The bottom layer 126 of this stack is two bundle-s arranged side by side with their long sides running the length of the stack. The second layer 127 consists of three bundles arranged side by side with their long sides running across the stack, and the succeeding layers, as shown in FIGURE 12, are made up of three bundles positioned side by side, and running alternately across or lengthwise of the stack. FIGURE 13 shows a stack quite similar to FIGURE 12 with the following changes. The straps 125 are eliminated and the bottom layer of bundles 126 is glued to the next succeeding layer In addition, the second layer from the bottom 128 is oriented in the same way as the next-to-bottom layer 127, in order to provide additional strength to the stack when it is lifted by the lift truck.

For purposes of illustration, a description will be given of the over-all program for constructing a stack like that shown in FIGURE 10. It should be understood that other programs can readily be devised for constructing stacks like those shown in FIGURES 11 through 13 and for other stacks which have not been illustrated. Attention is here directed to FIGURES 14 through 19, which show diagrammatically a portion of the equipment of the invention. In FIGURE 14,-three of the bundles forming the bottom layer of the stack are shown accumulated on the second section of the accumulating table where they are restrained by the gate 41. The progress of the fourth bundle forming this layer is shown in several dotted line and full line figures. The bundle designated B-1 is shown moving across the feed table. Since this bundle must be turned 90 so it can assume a position in the layer, the deflector mechanism 34 comes into operation as the bundle moves across the transfer table. The dotted outline designated B-4 shows the bundle in the process of being turned and the dotted outline designated B-5 shows the bundle after it has been completely turned. The bundle passes onto the first section of the accumulating table where it is now designated B-6. The clearing conveyor 39 is operated to push this bundle over onto the second section, thus completing the bottom layer. At this point the gate 41 is lowered and the completed layer is passed onto the transfer conveyor 42 where it is shown in FIGURE 15, and designated there L1. This layer is then moved to the stacking station where it is placed on the pallet. Thus it can be seen that the stepping switch discussed earlier must establish a circuit in which the deflector mechanism is operated, the clearing conveyor is operated, and the gate 41 is operated during handling of this bundle.

FIGURES 15 and 16 show the operations involved in forming the next layer of the stack. In this figure, the first bundle is shown in dotted outline at B- moving across the feed table. In position B-11 it is being turned and in B-12 is shown as completely turned. At position B-13 this bundle is shown accumulated on the first section, and functionally may be regarded as a portion of a layer. The portion B-13 is moved to the second section where it is designated 13-14 and is accumulated at the gate 41. Turning now to'FIGURE 16, it should be noted that the next three bundles of the layer do not have to be turned. Thus the bundle B-Ztl is shown on the feed table and at position B-21 it moves with unaltered orientation across the transfer table. Each of the three bundles passes in this manner across the transfer table and is accumulated on the first section to form the portion designated P-l on that table. The clearing means conveyor is operated when all three bundles of this portion are on the first section, and the portion is pushed onto the second section to form a complete layer. Gate 41 is then lowered and this layer is passed onto the conveyor 42 where it is designated L2 in FIGURE 17.

FIGURES 17 and 18 illustrate the steps of forming the third layer to the stack of FIGURE 10. In the construction of this stack the first three bundles need not be turned as they pass across the transfer table. Thus 13-25 designates such a bundle on the feed table, B-26 designates its position as it moves without being-turned across the transfer table, and P2 shows three such bundles accumulated on the first section to form a portion which is then moved by the clearing conveyor onto the second section. FIGURE 18 shows portion P-2 positioned against the gate 41 on the second section. The final portion of this layer consists of the fourth bundle which must be turned 90 for positioning in the layer. Thus this bundle is shown at B-30 on the feed table, at B-31 on the transfer table where it is being turned, and at B-32 on the transfer table after completion of the turning operation. It is next shown at B-3'3 on the first section where the clearing conveyor is pushing it onto the second section to complete the layer. This layer is then transferred to conveyor 42 where it is designated L3 in FIGURE 19.

FIGURE 19 shows the first step in the formation of the fourth layer. The first bundle of this layer must be turned to form the first portion thereof. Therefore, it

is shown at B35 on the feed table, at B-36 on the transfer table during the turning operation, at B-37 in its complete-1y turned position, and at B-38 where it is accumulated on the first section.

Additional layers are formed in the manner just outlined to complete the stack.

From the above description it can be seen that by appropriate arrangement of the circuits established at each position of the stepping switch, a great variety of layer patterns may be formed and a variety of stacks having adjacent layers of different patterns may be formed, It can also be seen that the circuit established by the stepping switch position for some bundles provides for operation of the bundle deflector, the clearing conveyor and the gate, while the the circuit established for other bundles in a sequence may provide for operation only of the clearing conveyor and the gate. The circuit for still other bundles may provide only for operation of the clearing conveyor, and for some bundles none of the three elements mentioned are operated.

The equipment described herein thus provides for completely automatic construction of warehouse stacks in an efiicient and reliable manner.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for arranging a series of substantially rectangular bundles into a grouping wherein said bundles lie in a predetermined pattern comprising a transfer table having conveyor means associated therewith for moving a bundle across said transfer table, a bundle deflector positioned adjacent said transfer table having an element arranged for two motions, the first of said motions being a movement into the path of a bundle moving across said transfer table at a point in the path near one end of said bundle, and the second of said motions being a movement transverse said table, said bundle deflector'further having power means for effecting said two motions, and control means for initiating the second of said motions after initiation of the first of said motions, and an accumulation table adjacent said transfer table for receiving bundles therefrom, said accumulation table have conveyor means associated therewith and bundle blocking means for restraining movement of bundles on said table.

2. Apparatus for arranging a series of substantially rectangular bundles into a grouping wherein said bundles lie in a predetermined pattern comprising a transfer table having a conveyor thereon for moving a bundle across said transfer table, a bundle deflector mounted above and near one side of said transfer table, said deflector having a movable arm thereon, power means for said bundle'deflector arranged to move said arm first, downwardly to a position near the surface of said belt conveyor and second, toward the side of said transfer table opposite the side near which said bundle deflector is mounted, control means for programming the operation of said power means, and an accumulation table adjacent said transfer table for receiving bundles therefrom, said accumulation table having conveyor means associated therewith and bundle blocking means for restraining movement of bundles on said table.

3. Apparatus for arranging a series of substantially rectangular bundles into a grouping wherein said bundles lie in a predetermined pattern comprising a transfer table having conveyor means associated therewith for moving a bundle across said transfer table, a bundle deflector positioned adjacent said transfer table having an element arranged for two motions, the first of said motions being a movement into the path of a bundle moving across said transfer table near one end of said bundle, and the second of said motions being a movement transverse said table, said bundle deflector further having power means for effecting said two motions, and control means for initiating the second of said motions after initiation of the first of said motions, an accumulation table having two sections, the first of said sections being placed adjacent said transfer table for receiving bundles therefrom, said first section having bundle blocking means along an-edge thereof positioned to restrain movement of bundles coming from said transfer table, said first section further having intermittently movable clearing conveyor means arranged to engage and move bundles on said first section in a direction transverse to said transfer table, said second section being placed adjacent said first section and at substantially right angle to said transfer table, said second section having bundle blocking means adjacent an edge thereof positioned to restrain movement of bundles com ing from said first section, said blocking means being mounted for intermittent movement to anon-blocking position, and said second section further having conveyor means arranged to move bundles thereon toward said blocking means.

4. In bundle handling apparatus of the type having a conveyor for moving bundles, bundle turning means associated with said conveyor comprising a bundle orienting element mounted for a first bodily downward and upward motion into and out of the path of movement of bundles established by said conveyor, and for a second bodily motion at an angle to said path, and power means for moving said element in both of said motions sequentially.

5. In bundle handling apparatus of the type having a conveyor for moving bundles, bundle turning means associated with said conveyor comprising a first support mounted above said conveyor and extending transversely thereof, a second support mounted on said first support for horizontal reciprocating mot-ion thereon between a position near one side of said conveyor and a position near the center thereof, first power means interconnected between said first and said second supports for reciprocating the second support, a deflector arm mounted for up and down movement on said second support, the lower end of which arm extends toward said conveyor, second power means interconnected between said arm and said second support for reciprocating the arm vertically between a down position in which the lower end of the arm is near said conveyor and an upper position in which the lower end of the arm is raised a spaced distance above the conveyor.

6. Apparatus according to claim and further comprising a vertically oriented roller mounted for rotation on the lower end of said deflector arm, said roller having a height greater than that of the bundle being handled.

7. In bundle handling apparatus of the type having a conveyor for moving bundles, bundle turning means associated with said conveyor comprising a movable bundle deflecting element mounted for bodily downward and upward motion into and out of the path of a bundle moving on said conveyor, near one side of the conveyor, and for a second bodily motion across said conveyor, toward the other side thereof, and power means interconnected with said deflecting element for moving it in said motions sequentially.

8. Apparatus for arranging a series of substantially rectangular bundles into a grouping wherein said bundles lie in a predetermined pattern comprising a transfer table having conveyor means associated therewith for moving a bundle across said transfer t ble, bundle turning e s 16 associated with said conveyor comprising a bundle orienting element mounted for bodily downward and upward motion into and out of the path of movement of bundles established by said conveyor, and for a second bodily motion at an angle to said path, and power means for moving said element in said motions, and an accumulation table adjacent said transfer table for receiving bundles therefrom, said accumulation table having conveyor means associated therewith and bundle blocking means for restraining movement of bundles on said table.

9. Apparatus for arranging a series of substantially rectangular bundles into a grouping wherein said bundles lie in a predetermined pattern comprising a transfer table having conveyor means associated therewith for moving a bundle across said transfer table, the table being adapted to receive bundles presented thereto with their long sides substantially perpendicular .to the direction in which said conveyor means move them, bundle turning mechanism associated with said transfer table having an element mounted for bodily downward and upward motion into and out of the path of the advancing long side of a bundle near an end thereof as the bundle moves across said table, to apply, in conjunction with said conveyor means, a turning moment to said bundle, said bundle tuming mechanism further having guide means for said element including a guide structure extending generally across said transfer table at an angle to the direction of movement of said conveyor means, said element of the bundle turning mechanism being bodily movable on said guide structure transversely of the transfer table, and power means interconnected with said element for moving it along said guide means whereby .to complete the turning of the bundle while it is engaged therewith, and an accumulation table positioned to receive bundles from said transfer table, said accumulation table having two stations whereon bundles are accumulated, and clearing means intermittently operable to move bundles from the first of said stations to the second as required to permit bundles to arrive on said first section of the accumulation table with the orientation desired.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,913,533 6/1933 Brunner 198-20 2,156,248 4/ 1939 Wegner 198-20 2,667,959 2/ 1954 Rogers 198-33 2,703,182 3/1955 Broberg 2'14-6 X 2,761,542 9/1956 Pagdin 198-33 2,878,947 3/ 1959 Thrasher 214-6 2,946,465 7/ 1960 Raynor 214-6 2,963,143 12/1960 IField 198-332 2,980,265 4/ 1961 Johnson. 2,997,187 ,8/1961 Burt 214-6 3,054,516 9/1962 Joa 214-6 FOREIGN PATENTS 844,798 8/1960 Great Britain.

GERALD M. FOR LENZA, Primary Examiner.

MORRIS TEMIN, Examiner.

Claims (1)

1. APPARATUS FOR ARRANGING A SERIES OF SUBSTANTIALLY RECTANGULAR BUNDLES INTO A GROUPING WHEREIN SAID BUNDLES LIE IN A PREDETERMINED PATTERN COMPRISING A TRANSFER TABLE HAVING CONVEYOR MEANS ASSOCIATED THEREWITH FOR MOVING BUNDLE ACROSS SAID TRANSFER TABLE, A BUNDLE DEFLECTOR POSITIONED ADJACENT SAID TRANSFER TABLE HAVING AN ELEMENT ARRANGED FOR TWO MOTIONS, THE FIRST OF SAID MOTIONS BEING A MOVEMENT INTO THE PATH OF A BUNDLE MOVING ACROSS SAID TRANSFER TABLE AT A POINT IN THE PATH NEAR ONE END OF SAID BUNDLE, AND THE SECOND OF SAID MOTIONS BEING A MOVEMENT TRANSVERSE SAID TABLE, SAID BUNDLE DEFLECTOR FURTHER HAVING POWER MEANS FOR EFFECTING SAID TWO MOTIONS, AND CONTROL
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US2980265A (en) * 1957-06-19 1961-04-18 Structural Clay Products Res F Transfer crane
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US2963143A (en) * 1958-03-07 1960-12-06 Fmc Corp Apparatus for handling articles
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US3294257A (en) * 1963-12-02 1966-12-27 Columbia Machine Package-handling apparatus
US3332531A (en) * 1965-03-15 1967-07-25 Donald C Chaney Package conveyor
US3395673A (en) * 1965-05-27 1968-08-06 Packaging Corp America Coating apparatus including worktransfer means having direction changer
US3420385A (en) * 1965-09-20 1969-01-07 Fmc Corp Article handling apparatus
US3732991A (en) * 1968-11-14 1973-05-15 Litton Industries Inc Stacking machine
US3521736A (en) * 1968-11-14 1970-07-28 George E Von Gal Jr Stacking machine
US3567047A (en) * 1969-01-22 1971-03-02 Simpson Timber Co Stacking apparatus for wood veneer and other sheet material
US3601240A (en) * 1969-02-03 1971-08-24 Antonio Dominici Device for aligning and disposing according to their longer dimension articles incoming in an unordered row
US3648857A (en) * 1969-05-09 1972-03-14 Gustav G Magnusson Machine for loading objects in groups onto pallets or the like
US3700127A (en) * 1970-11-16 1972-10-24 Moorman Mfg Co Method for assembling layers of packages on a pallet
US3883013A (en) * 1972-04-19 1975-05-13 Mitsubishi Heavy Ind Ltd Apparatus of applying skids of grating structure and removing the same
US4039072A (en) * 1974-08-21 1977-08-02 C. Keller & Co. Apparatus and method for conveying molded briquettes from a press to bed plates via an inclined conveyance track
US4067456A (en) * 1975-12-05 1978-01-10 Columbia Machine, Inc. Apparatus for arranging and stacking nonrigid articles
FR2338878A2 (en) * 1976-01-20 1977-08-19 Monte Vite Sack loader for vehicle platform - with sack dropped on travelling carriage for lateral positioning and raised upright by swinging arm
US4076114A (en) * 1976-04-19 1978-02-28 Rengo Co., Ltd. Board grouping apparatus
US4148391A (en) * 1977-10-17 1979-04-10 Stobb, Inc. Accumulator and conveyor for a row of items
US4255074A (en) * 1978-07-25 1981-03-10 Meccanotecnica S.P.A. Palletizing machine
US4336874A (en) * 1979-09-22 1982-06-29 C. Keller Gmbh & Co., Kg, Maschinenfabrik Setting machine for spacing formed articles
US4401204A (en) * 1981-01-22 1983-08-30 Ppg Industries, Inc. Assembly system for loading glass sheets of different size on a conveyor
US4498831A (en) * 1983-04-27 1985-02-12 Besser Industries, Inc. Article stacking apparatus
DE3447775A1 (en) * 1983-12-30 1985-09-19 Orfer Oy Automatic stacking device for bags or the like
US4860879A (en) * 1986-09-03 1989-08-29 Maschinenfabrik Mueller-Weingarten Ag Plate bar loading system including an automatic packet or plate bar stack alignment station
US5145049A (en) * 1990-10-12 1992-09-08 Mcclurkin Jack Pattern forming conveyor
US5139388A (en) * 1991-01-28 1992-08-18 Merrill David Martin Load former--palletizer
USRE35066E (en) * 1991-01-28 1995-10-17 Martin Family Trust Load former-palletizer
US6253904B1 (en) * 1998-06-12 2001-07-03 Cml Handling Technology S.P.A. Methods and apparatus for the automatic loading of multiple items on the same unit of a cross-belt sorting machine
US6390766B1 (en) 1999-11-30 2002-05-21 Owens Corning Fiberglas Technology, Inc. Shingle bundle palletizer with improved metering conveyor, pattern conveyor and shuttle conveyor
US20070237622A1 (en) * 2006-04-07 2007-10-11 Reichel & Drews, Inc. Palletizing apparatus
US7621108B1 (en) 2008-07-18 2009-11-24 The Procter & Gamble Company Assembling a packaged bundle using an adjustable multi-shelved product transporter

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