US3729085A - Casing machine - Google Patents

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US3729085A
US3729085A US3729085DA US3729085A US 3729085 A US3729085 A US 3729085A US 3729085D A US3729085D A US 3729085DA US 3729085 A US3729085 A US 3729085A
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tiering
containers
tier
fingers
shaft
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D Schlueter
M Noble
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FMC Corp
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FMC 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 OR PNEUMATIC TUBE CONVEYORS
    • B65G47/00Article or material-handling devices associated with conveyors; Methods employing such devices
    • B65G47/22Devices influencing the relative position or the attitude of articles during transit by conveyors
    • B65G47/24Devices influencing the relative position or the attitude of articles during transit by conveyors orientating the articles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B5/00Packaging individual articles in containers or receptacles, e.g. bags, sacks, boxes, cartons, cans, jars
    • B65B5/08Packaging groups of articles, the articles being individually gripped or guided for transfer to the containers or receptacles

Abstract

Upright containers are fed into the casing machine from a multiple lane supply line, assembled into one tier, and the tier is transferred and reoriented by tiering fingers which deposit the containers in a tiering chamber. The open end of an empty case is manually positioned adjacent the tiering chamber, and pusher feet insert the tier in the case. A feature of the casing machine is a rocking differential which smoothly accelerates and decelerates the tiering fingers to prevent damage to the containers. Other features include a timing pin and chain mechanism which can be manually adjusted to control the number of tiers loaded into a case, rapid change structure in the zone where the tiers are assembled so that the machine is readily adaptable to handle a range of container sizes, and a lowerator mechanism under positive mechanical control for gently lowering the loaded cases to a discharge position.

Description

Unite States atent [m 111 3,729,85
Schlueter et al. Apr. 24, 1973 CASING MACHINE [75] lnventorszDavid F. Schlueter, Hoop eston. Primary Emminr Edward A'Sroka Vermilion UL; Myron C. Noble Att0rneyFrancis W. Anderson St. Joseph, Ind.
I v [57] ABSTRACT [73] Assigneei FMC Corporation San Jose, Calif Upright containers are fed into the casing machine [22] Filed Oct 19 1970 from a multiple lane supply line, assembled into one tier, and the tier is transferred and reoriented by tier- [21] Appl. No.: 82,044 ing fingers which deposit the containers in a tiering I chamber. The open end of an empty case is manually Relaed Apphcanon Data positioned adjacent the tiering chamber, and pusher [62] Division of Ser. No. 757,876, Sept. 6, 1968, abanfeet insert the tier in the case. A feature of the casing doned. machine is a rocking differential which smoothly accelerates and decelerates the tiering fingers to prevent [52] US. Cl. ..l98/25, 198/33 AD damage to the containers. Other features include a [51] Int. Cl ..B65g 47/24 timing pin and chain mechanism which can be [58] Field of Search; ..l98/25,33 AD, 209, manually adjusted to control the number of tiers 198/211; 9 loaded into a case, rapid change structure in the zone where the tiers are assembled so that the machine is 1 References Cited readily adaptable to handle a range of container sizes, 1 and a lowerator mechanism under positive mechanical UNITED STATES PATENTS control for gently lowering the loaded cases to a 2 545 325 7 1953 discharge position. 1,461,222 7/1923 4 Claims, 33 Drawing Figures Patented April 24, 1973 15 Sheets-Sheet 2 N 0Q uww mmu 5N mm Pm INVENTQRS DAVID F SOHLUETER MYRON C. NOBLE M mi-Hi ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 15 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTORS DAVID E SCHLUETER MYRON G. NOBLE BY 1w. W
2 O mmkEIm 240 km: mmImDm m e. a Fa 2 0 mxOmkm mmImDm ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 3,729,085
15 Sheets-Sheet 5 94. INVENTORS 96 \Q2 DAVID F. SOHLUETER 98 mmou c. NOBLE BY Jw MW mew;
ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 15 Sheets-Sheet 6 INVENTORS DAVID F. SCHLUETER MYRON O. NOBLE ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 3,729,085
15 Sheets-Sheet 7 INVENTOR. DAVID F. SCHLUETER MYRON c. NOBLE' ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 3,729,0s5
l5-Sheets-Sheet 8 RPM DIFFERENTIAL loo OUTPUT GEAR |42 3 DIFFERENTIAL INPUT GEAR |4| so 'oNE REVOLUTION OF 20 INPUT GEAR |4| AND DIFFERENTIAL CAM-65 O I I i 0 9'o I 150 2"ro 3e'o SHIFTER SHIFTER STROKE RETURN START RETURN LOWER RETRACT CONTAINERS Q IN CASE PUSH E I [ii l 2 INVENTORS DAVID F. SOHLUETER MYRON G. NOBLE ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 3,729,085
15 Sheets-Sheet 1) INVENTORS DAVID F. SGML ER MYRON C. NOBL ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 15 Sheets-Sheet ll INVENTORS D D F. SOHLUETER M ON 6. NOBLE ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 15 Sheets-Sheet 12 PHOTOELECTRIC UNIT INVENTORS DAVID F. SGHLUETER MYRON c. NOBLE ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 15 Sheets-Sheet 15 1Q @LAQL Q INVENTORS DAVID F. SCHLUETER MYRON G NOBLE J Lu ATTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 15 Sheets-Sheet l4 INVENTORS DAVID F. SCHLUETER 3 MYRON C.NOBLE TTORNEYS Patented April 24, 1973 15 Sheets-Sheet 15 INVENTORS 1 DAVID E SGHLUUER mnou c. NOBLE ATTORNEYS CASING MACHINE This is a division of application Ser..No. 757,876 filed Sept. 6, 1968, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field ofthe Invention The present invention relates to container handling machines, and particularly to machines which insert a tier or tiers of containers into a case. More specifically, the invention concerns casing machines of the type including sets of aligned tiering fingers which lift multiple .row tiers of upright containers froma centrally apertured separator adjoining the'end of a container supply line, and which reorientandtransfer the tier of containers to a tiering chamberfrom which they are inserted endwise into a case.
2. Description of the Prior Art The present invention concerns a casing machine of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,650,009 to Kerr, and assigned to the assignee of the present invention.
.One disadvantage of the Kerr apparatus is that untainers are subjected to shock and/or denting because the tiering fingers are moving near maximum velocity at the time they engage the containers. Additional shock and jarring is experienced by the containers as they are transferred onto the floor of a tiering chamber because the tiering fingers which effect'the transfer, travel at a constant velocity. Also, containers whose height is approximately equal to or less than their diameter tend to become disoriented when entering the tiering chamber at a high velocity and the top rows of containers tend to tip forwardly.
Pusher feet in the patented structure transfer the tiers of containers into a case. The pusher feet trace a path similar to a parallelogram in a vertical plane, and the forward and rearward cycles are identical. The resulting motion is quite rapid, tending to upset tiers of short cans, and the case flaps are sometimes torn by the pusher feet due to their immediatelifting in the rearward stroke.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective of the casing machine of the present invention, with the inlet end of the machine at the right.
FIG. 2 is a perspective of the casing machine viewed from the side opposite to the side shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a perspective of the casing machine viewed from its inlet end.
.FIG. 4 is a perspective of the drive train of the casing machine.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary elevation of a shifter mechanism which controls the flow of containers into the casing machine and is viewed in a downstream direction.
FIG. 6 is a section taken on lines 6--6 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective of two divider units which cooperatively define a lane for a row of cans in the area indicated by the arrow 7 on FIG. 1.
FIG. 8 is an enlarged section taken along lines 8--8 on FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 is a perspective of a rocking differential indicated by the arrow 9 on FIG. 4.
FIG. 9A is a section, at reduced scale, taken through the center of the rocking differential shown in FIG. 9.
FIG. 10 is a diagram showing the input and output speeds of the rocking differential.
FIG. 10A is an elevation of a cam and follower arm, shown in the FIG. 4 drive train, for rocking the differential.
FIG. 11 is a perspective of pushers, and their mounting and actuating members, viewed from below, that push atier of containers into a case.
FIG. 11A is a fragmentary plan indicated by the arrow 11A on FIG. 11.
FIG. 12 is a trace of the motion of the pushers shown in FIG. 11.
FIGS. 13-16 are fragmentary elevations of a synchronization control shown in FIG. 2, and illustrate successive operational positions of the control elements.
FIGS. 17 and 17A are enlarged fragmentary plans of an inactive and an active timing pin, respectively, which are part of the synchronization control.
FIG. 18 is a perspective primarily illustrating a lowerator which supports an empty case in filling position, and lowers the filled case to a discharge position.
FIG. 18A is an elevation of a lowerator cam which actuates the lowerator shown in FIG. 18.
FIG. 18B is a fragmentary elevation of a trip lever mechanism partially shown in FIG. 18.
FIG. I9 is a schematic electrical control diagram.
FIGS. 20 and 20A are fragmentary, diagrammatic elevation and plan views, respectively, which illustrate the inlet end portion of the casing machine and an associated supply conveyor.
FIGS. 21 and 21A are diagrammatic elevation and plan views, respectively, illustrating a mechanism for sensing when each of a plurality of longitudinal rows of can in one assembled tier is complete.
FIGS. 22-26 are fragmentary diagrammatic elevations illustrating the operational sequence of assembling tiers of cans and loading the tiers in a case.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT General With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2126, upright containers, such as cans C, are supplied to the casing machine 20 by a multi-lane feed conveyor 22 which is driven from the casing machine. The cans are divided into multiple lanes on the conveyor by conventional means not shown and are separated by lane dividers 24 (FIG. 1). The cans pass through a transversely movable shifter 26 whose vertical partitions 27 are initially aligned with the lane dividers 24.
The cans advance into a separator 28 having vertical partitions 29 in alignment with the lane dividers 24. When all lanes in the separator 28 are completely filled to constitute one tier of a case, a can stop and sensing mechanism 30 in each lane is actuated to initiate a can transfer or tiering cycle.
Certain drive mechanism of the casing machine is now actuated, causing three sets of equally spaced tiering fingers 32 to rotate 120 degrees about a common support shaft. This moves shifter mechanism 26 laterally to temporarily interrupt the flow of incoming cans. The tier up upright cans are lifted from the separator 28 by one set of tiering fingers which reorients the tier 90 and deposits the tier on edge, with the cans in a lying down position, in a tiering chamber 34.
After the desired number of tiers of cans has been assembled in the tiering chamber 34, pusher feet 36 are actuated to move the tiers into a case A which has been manually positioned over a nozzle 38 and is supported by a lowerator 40. The filled case is then lowered to a discharge conveyor or the like by the lowerator.
After the removal of the filled case, placement of an empty case on the nozzle 38 swings the lowerator 40 to its raised position supporting the empty case.
Power Train With more specific reference to the casing machine 20, power is supplied from a motor M (FIGS. 3 and 4) through a speed reducer R to a power shaft 42. Shaft 42 rotates continuously and supplied power through a sprocket and chain drive 44 to the feed conveyor 22.
A tiering input shaft 46 and a pusher-lowerator shaft 48 are respectively driven by single revolution clutches 50 and 52. On their driving sides, the clutches have sprockets 54 and 56 (FIG. 4) which are connected by a chain 57 to a sprocket 58 mounted on the power shaft 42. Shafts 46 and 48 are driven only when their respective clutches 50 and 52 are engaged, but the sprockets 54 and 56 rotate continuously in the directions indicated by the arrows in FIG. 4.
When the single revolution tiering clutch 50 is engaged, the tiering input shaft 46 rotates in the same direction as the sprocket 54. The shaft 46 rotates a shifter cam 60 and a differential cam 61 that drives one side of a rocking differential 62. The differential 62 which operates the tiering fingers 32. The output of the differential 62 drives a sprocket 63 freely mounted on shaft 46. Sprocket 63, by means of a chain 67, drives a tiering sprocket 64 which is attached to one of two spaced spiders 65 that are mounted on a tiering shaft 66.
One set of tiering fingers 32 is mounted on each of three cross-shafts 63 which are carried by the spiders 65. A three to one speed reduction from the differential output sprocket 63 to the tiering sprocket 64 causes the tiering fingers 32 to be rotated 120 degrees for each complete revolution of the tiering input shaft 46.
Upon engagement of the clutch 52, (FIG. 4) a constant rotation is imparted to the pusher-lowerator shaft 48. The vertical motion of the pusher feet 36 is con trolled by a pusher lift cam which is mounted on the shaft 48 and actuates a pusher lift arm 72 by means ofa pivoted pusher lift lever 73 having a follower roller engaged with the cam. The horizontal motion of the pusher feet 36 is effected by a pusher stroke cam 74 which is mounted on the shaft 48 and actuates a pusher stroke follower arm 75.
As the result of mounting both the pusher lift and stroke cams on a common shaft 48, their resultant motions are coordinated with a lowerator cam 76 on the same shaft 48. The lowerator cam motion is transmitted to the lowerator 40 by a rod 77 (FIGS. 4 and 18A) which is actuated by a cam follower arm 79.
VARIABLE STROKE SHIFTER The variable stroke shifter 26 (FIGS. 1 and 5) functions as a blocking device to interrupt the flow of containers from the feed conveyor 22. For this purpose, a shifter bar 78 is displaced one-half ofa can diameter so that each of a plurality of the vertical partitions 27 is placed in blocking relation to an incoming row of cans between the lane dividers 24 of the feed conveyor 22.
The shifter bar 78 (FIGS. 5 and 7) carries a depend- I ing shifter bracket 88, and slides on a spacer plate 80. Each end of the spacer plate 80 is supported by and secured to a block 81, as shown in FIG. 5. Downwardly open recesses 83 in the spacer plate 80 locate and retain a plurality of support arms 82, one of which is provided for each of the separator plate partitions 29.
The shifter bracket 88 has side ribs 89 (FIG. 6) that slide in grooved guide bars 90. The guide bars 90 are mounted on a pair of transverse tie bars 84 that interconnect longitudinal side frame members 86. The shifter bracket 88 (FIG. 5) includes a depending arm 91 having a series of holes 92 which provide for adjustment of the amount of lateral shifter stroke for various diameter cans.
Thus, a follower roller 94 is mounted in a selected hole 92 corresponding to the desired shifter bar displacement, and so mounted, rides in a slot 96 in a shifter cam follower lever 98. The lever 98 is pivotally mounted to the frame of the machine at 99 and is oscillated between the phantom and full line positions shown by a cam follower 100 which is engaged withthe shifter cam 60.
Separator After passing between the partitions 27 through the shifter 26 (FIG. 1) the cans C enter the lanes defined by the partitions 29 (FIG. 7) of the separator 28. Opposite site sides of the cans are supported by ramps 101, adjacent pairs of which are spaced apart so that the tiering fingers 32 can pass upward between the ramps to lift the containers. The separator 28 includes multiple divider units 102. Each divider unit is provided with a pair of the ramps 101, one of the partitions 29, and is removably mounted on the tie bars 84 by means of a bolt 104 recessed in the support arm 82. The tie bars 84 cooperatively form a T-shaped slot 105, and a square nut 106 which fastens the bolt 104 is captured in the slot 105.
The divider units 102 are positioned to accept a particular diameter of can between adjacent partitions 29 by first removing the spacer plate 80, and then loosening the bolts 104 and sliding the support arms 82 along the tie bars 84. Thus, by substituting a different spacer plate 80, the interspacing of the partitions 29 can be changed to accept a different can size. If a different number of lanes are required, as well as different lane sizes, the divider units 102 are readily removed by sliding the loosened unit along the slot 105 to a cross-slot 108 (FIG. 7). The divider unit is then removed by sliding it forwardly out of the cross-slot. Other units can be added in the obvious, reverse procedure. This mechanism forms the subject matter of our aforesaid parent application.
Can Stop and Sensing Mechanism With continued reference to FIG. 7, one of the can stop and sensing mechanism 30 is mounted on each divider unit 102. Its purposes are to control the number of cans allowed to accumulate in each lane of the separator 28, to control the longitudinal position of the row of cans so that the cans do not partially extend into the shifter 26, and to actuate a control circuit when this lane and the other lanes are full of cans. This mechanism also forms the subject matter of our aforesaid parent application.
The can stop and sensing mechanism 30 for each lane is actuated by the leading can in the row of cans pressing against an upstanding stop finger 110 which is mounted for limited displacement in a downstream direction. When so displaced, the mechanism 30 actuates a flag 112 that interrupts a light beam LB projected across the casing machine. When all lanes of the separator 28 are completely filled and all of the flags 112 have been actuated to clear the light beam, a later described photoelectric control unit is energized to initiate a loading of the assembled containers into the tiering chamber 34 (FIG. 1).
Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, the can stop fingers 110 is rigidly mounted on a support block 116. The support block 116 is adjustable axially of a threaded rod 118 which is engaged with a threaded aperture in the block, and slides on a' guide rod 120. The ends of the threaded rod 118 are rotatably mounted in spaced carriage blocks 124 and 126, and the guide rod 120 is rigidly secured in the carriage blocksBy turning a nut 130 fixed on one end of the threaded rod 118, the support block 116 and the can stop finger 110 mounted thereon are moved along the guide rod 120 to longitudinally adjust the can stop finger 110 for the desired row-length of cans to be accumulated in the corresponding lane. It is believed apparent that because the partitions 29 of two adjacent divider units 102 form the lateral limits of one lane of cans, the outermost divider unit at the left side of the casing machine (viewed in a downstream direction) does not require a can stop finger 110 or a flag 112.
Each carriage block 124 and 126 depends from the support arm 82 in the manner shown for the carriage block 126 in FIG. 8. Thus, each carriage block is provided with a central upstanding tab portion 125 that extends upward into a downwardly open milled slot 127. The tab is provided with a diagonal slot 133 and is retained by a roller 134, mounted on a pin 135, which is disposed in the slot. With this construction, the assembly including the carriage blocks 124 and 126, can stop finger 110, and the support block 116 gravitate to the upstream position illustrated, but move downstream and diagonally upward when a lane of cans pushes against the can stop 110. These movements control the flag 112 to mask or unmask the light beam LB.
The flag 112 is pivoted to the support arm 82 by the pivot pin 135, and is pivoted to the carriage block 126 by a pivot stud 136. Accordingly, when the lane of cans pushes against the can stop finger 110, the pivot stud 136 is moved away from the pivot pin and the flag 112 swings about the pin 135 out of the light beam LB, as indicated by the arrow 1 12a.
The light beam LB originates from a photoelectric unit 137 (FIG. 3) which includes an integral lamp and receiving element and is mounted on one of the frame members 86. The projected light beam LB is received by a reflector 139 which returns the beam to the receiving element of the photoelectric unit 137. Since the light beam is interrupted by any one of the flags 112 in rest position, thus indicating that one or more lanes of cans is not yet complete, the photoelectric unit generates a control signal only when the separator 28 accumulates a complete tier of cans. The signal from the photoelectric unit 137 energizes an adjacent solenoid 140 which in turn causes clutch 50 (FIG. 4) to engage and initiate the tiering cycle.
Rocking Differential As previously indicated, and in accordance with the present invention, the set of tiering fingers underlying the cans in the separator are smoothly accelerated upward to pick up cans from the separator and are smoothly decelerated as the cans are deposited in the tiering chamber by the tiering fingers. In the illustrated embodiment of the invention this smooth acceleration and deceleration is performed by the rocking differential 62 (FIGS. 4, 9 and 9A).
The rocking differential 62 provides a variable speed drive connection from the tiering input shaft 46 to the tiering shaft 66, via rotation of a pair of bevel gears 14] and 142 which are meshed with a spider gear 144. When the solenoid 140 (FIG. 3) actuates the tiering clutch 50 (FIG. 4) to transfer one tier of cans from the separator 28 (FIG. 1) to the tiering chamber 34, the tiering shaft 66 is turned 120 by the rocking differential 62 and the drive train including sprockets 63 and 64, and the chain 67. During each tier transfer cycle, the spider gear 144 (FIG. 9) of the rocking differential is first translated about the axis of the shaft 46 in the direction of the arrow 144a to subtract motion from the drive chain 67 while the tiering fingers 36 lift the cans from the separator 28. While the lifting movement continues, the spider gear 144 is then moved bodily in the opposite direction, indicated by the arrow 144b, to add motion to the drive chain 67 and accelerate the tiering fingers. During the tiering cycle, the rate of motion of the spider gear in the direction of the arrow 14412 is reduced to decelerate the tiering fingers and then reversed to bring the fingers to a smooth stop.
Referring to FIGS. 9 and 9A, both the gear 141 at the input side of the differential and the differential cam 61 are keyed to the tiering input shaft 46. The gear 142 at the output side is pinned to the sprocket 63. The gear 142 and the sprocket 63 rotate together freely on the shaft 46, so that their motion can be modified by fore and aft motion of the spider gear 144.
The spider gear 144 rotates on a stub shaft 146 that projects from a spider gear hub 148, and the hub rotates freely on the shaft 46. Thus, oscillation of the spider gear hub 148 will add to and subtract from the drive motion transmitted from the shaft 46, by means of the gears 141, 144 and 142, in accordance with known principles ofdifferential gearing.
The oscillation of the spider gear hub 148 is provided by the differential cam 61 and associated linkage, as will now be described. The cam has a track 151 which is eccentric to the shaft 46. A cam follower 152 rides in the cam track and hence oscillates a cam follower lever 154 which is pivoted to the frame of the machine by a pivot shaft 156.
The lower end of the cam lever 154 is pivoted at 157 to one end of a cam link 158. The other end of the cam link is pivoted at 159 to a cam crank 160. The crank 160 depends from one end of a sleeve 162 that turns freely on the power shaft 42.
Depending from the other end of the sleeve 162 is a companion crank 163 which is pivoted at 164 to one end of a spider link 165. The other end of the spider link is pivoted at 166 to a spider crank 167 that depends from the spider gear hub 148.
Rotation of the tiering shaft 46 one revolution, by actuation of the tiering clutch 50 (FIG. 4) turns the differential cam 61 one revolution, the eccentric thus driving the cam lever 154 between its two limits of swinging movement. This movement of the cam lever oscillates the spider gear hub 148 and the spider gear 144 fore and aft via the cam link 158, cam crank 160, sleeve 162, companion crank 163, spider link 165 and spider crank 167.
The oscillation of the spider gear 144 is superimposed on the motion transmitted by the spider gear 144 to the chain 67 so that the tiering shaft 66 (FIG. 4) rotates with non-uniform motion to accelerate and decelerate the tiering fingers 32 in the manner previously described.
FIG. 10 is a diagram showing the speed change in revolutions per minute of the differential output gear 142, and hence the rotation of the shaft 66 which carries the tiering fingers 32, during one rotation of the differential input gear 141. FIG. 10A illustrates the relation of the differential cam 61 to the FIG. 10 diagram; the degree markings on the cam are the same degree markings of the base line of the FIG. 10 diagram. Reference should also be made to the later described FIG. 22 which illustrates the can transfer operation of the tiering fingers 32. The abscissa of FIG. 10 is marked in 90 increments for one complete revolution of the input gear 141 and the differential cam 61. The speed of the input gear 141 is seen to be 60 RPM from the scale along the left margin of the dia gram. Starting at the differential cam 61 rotates at 60 RPM upon energization of the tiering clutch 50 to drive the shaft 46. From the 0 reference point (FIG. A) the cam follower 152 moves toward the shaft 46,
whereby the spider gear hub 148 (FIG. 9) is driven rearward in the direction of the arrow 144a. This subtracts from the linear speed of the chain 67 which powers the tiering fingers so that the tiering fingers start slowly from their rest positions. It will be seen that the 090 quadrant of the cam track 151 will decelerate the movement of the differential hub 148 in the direction of the arrow 144a. Accordingly, the output gear 142 gradually accelerates from 0 to 90.
The lowest point of the cam track 151 is at 90 degrees, and the cam follower 152 is at its extreme of movement inwardly toward the shaft 46. Accordingly, at 90 degrees the spider hub 148 is briefly motionless and the differential 62 transmits the full 60 RPM rotation of the input shaft 46 to the output gear 142. Translated into movement of the tiering fingers 32 (FIG. 1), this means that the tiering fingers underlying the charge of cans in the separator 28 rapidly accelerate after contacting the cans at the beginning portion of the can transfer movement.
Between 90 and 180, the cam follower 152 moves outward from the shaft 46 and drives the spider hub 148 (FIG. 9) forward in the direction of the arrow 144b. This adds to the linear speed of the chain 67 which powers the tiering fingers. It will be noted that the 90l portion of the cam track 151 is symmetrical with the 090 portion. Consequently, the l 80 rotation of the output gear 142 smoothly acclerates the tiering fingers from 60 RPM to their maximum speed of RPM as the cam 61 rotates to its position. It should be noted that the hub 148 at this time has not attained its forward limit of movement in the direction of the arrow 14411.
From 180 to 270, the cam follower 152 continues to move outward, and the hub 148 forward, although at a reduced rate. Therefore, the speed of the output gear 142 is reduced from its maximum at 180 of cam rotation due to the reduced rate of forward rotation of spider hub 148. At 270 the cam follower 152 has reached its maximum outward excursion and the spider hub 148 is again stationary, as at 90, transmitting the 60 RPM input gear rotation to the output gear 142.
As the cam follower moves from 270 back to 0, the spider hub 148 is moved rearward in the direction of the arrow 144a and reduces the speed of the output gear 142 from 60 RPM to 0 RPM. The tiering fingers during this latter movement thus decelerate the can charge as it is deposited in the tiering chamber 34.
With regard to the magnitude and rate of translation of the hub 148 about the shaft 46, it is pointed out that in any differential it is inherent that the spider gear will translate at one half the rotational speed of one side gear when the other side gear is held. In the present case, it is to be noted that the cam follower lever 154 provides motion amplification such that the cam track 151 translates the spider gear hub 148 at half the velocity of the shaft 46 at 0 and at 180 in the cycle. Because the direction of movement of the hub is opposite at these points in the cycle, the output speed varies from 0 RPM to 120 RPM, or twice the input speed of the shaft 46, and is readily provided for by means of the motion amplifying linkage and cam arrangement shown.
The shifter 26 (FIGS. 1 and 4) and the rocking differential 62 are both driven from the shaft 46 in timed

Claims (4)

1. In a case loading apparatus including separator means for retaining one tier of containers for subsequent transfer into a case, and tiering fingers rotatable about a tiering shaft for transferring one tier per cycle, said cycle initiating with said tiering fingers at a tier pickup position adjacent said separator means and terminating at a tier discharge position in a tiering chamber where groups of tiers are assembled into a case load; the improvement comprising a constant speed power input shaft, a power transmission driven by said input shaft and having a cyclically variable output speed, and a power train interconnecting said transmission and said tiering shaft, said tiering shaft rotating at inconstant speed during one tiering cycle, between said tier pickup and said tier discharge positions, such that the tiering fingers accelerAte after picking up the tier of containers and decelerate before discharging the containers to minimize shock damage to the containers and the product therein.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said transmission comprises a differential including an input gear and an output gear on a common axis, a hub mounted for oscillatory translation about the axis of said gears, a spider gear carried by said hub in meshed relation with said input and output gears, and power means interconnecting said hub and said power input shaft for oscillating said hub, translation of the hub in one direction adding to the rotational speed of the output gear and translation in the other direction subtracting from said rotational speed so that the input speed for said power train varies and said tiering shaft accelerates and decelerates.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said hub angularly oscillates said spider gear at a varying rate in one tiering cycle such that subtractive rotation of said output gear progressively decreases from initiation of said tiering cycle to accelerate said output gear until it attains the speed of said input gear, said hub then reversing its direction of translation so that additive rotation of said output gear progressively increases until said output gear attains twice the speed of said input gear at midpoint of the tiering cycle, said translatory movements then repeating for the other half of the tiering cycle so that said output gear decelerates in approaching the termination of said tiering cycle.
4. Apparatus for loading cases, the containers of the type having a multi-lane feed conveyor with lane dividers that supply the containers in a predetermined number of lanes to a tier former, the tier former having separator partitions aligned with said lane dividers; a drive including a rotatable shaft for raising tiering fingers up between said separator partitions for lifting a tier of cans out of the separator; a shifter between said lane dividers and said separator partitions and having a plurality of shifter partitions of the same spacing as that of said separator partitions and said lane dividers; and means for laterally shifting said shifter back and forth over a predetermined stroke sufficient to cause said shifter partitions to block the further passage of containers from the supply lane dividers into the lanes between said separator partitions; the improvement wherein said tiering finger drive has means for initially slowly turning said shaft for gently raising the tiering fingers from a stationary position just below the bottoms of containers in said separator to a position against the containers for allowing time for said shifter to block the feed before the tiering fingers pick up the containers as well as for causing the tiering fingers to pick up the containers gently, said tiering finger drive comprising means for thereafter accelerating said shaft and hence the tiering fingers to complete the tier raising operation.
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Cited By (15)

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US3891098A (en) * 1973-10-05 1975-06-24 Andrew T Koch Apparatus for inverting containers
US4062441A (en) * 1975-11-21 1977-12-13 Holstein And Kappert Aktiengesellschaft Apparatus for conveying bottles
US4164997A (en) * 1977-02-02 1979-08-21 Owens-Illinois, Inc. Article transport device and method
US4356906A (en) * 1980-09-22 1982-11-02 Fallas David M Collating unit for bagged products and the like
US4583351A (en) * 1984-03-21 1986-04-22 Fallas David M Automatic case packing apparatus
US5326218A (en) * 1993-03-08 1994-07-05 Fallas David M Robotic arm for handling product
US20040245070A1 (en) * 2003-06-06 2004-12-09 Fallas David M. Conveyor chute
EP1612147A1 (en) * 2004-07-02 2006-01-04 MARCHESINI GROUP S.p.A. Apparatus for transferring products from a first conveying line to a second conveying line, in particular for feeding a boxing machine
US20070022715A1 (en) * 2005-07-29 2007-02-01 Infinity Machine & Engineering Corp. Modular packaging system
US20080317580A1 (en) * 2005-09-13 2008-12-25 Ulrich Wiedemann Beverage bottling plant with beverage bottle handling machines having beverage bottle transfer stations and a method of operation thereof
US20090166154A1 (en) * 2006-03-20 2009-07-02 Kpl Packaging S.P.A. Device for Forming a Continuous Flow of Oriented Products
US7644558B1 (en) 2006-10-26 2010-01-12 Fallas David M Robotic case packing system
US20120047851A1 (en) * 2010-08-26 2012-03-01 Germunson Gary G System and method for loading produce trays
CN102795469A (en) * 2012-08-31 2012-11-28 深圳烟草工业有限责任公司 Cigarette packet turning device
US8997438B1 (en) 2012-09-18 2015-04-07 David M. Fallas Case packing system having robotic pick and place mechanism and dual dump bins

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US1461222A (en) * 1920-07-09 1923-07-10 Hubert A Myers Company Machine for delivering cores to molds
US2626702A (en) * 1942-09-17 1953-01-27 Skoda Works Device for packing fibrous masses
US2645326A (en) * 1949-07-05 1953-07-14 Fmc Corp Supply control mechanism for container handling machines
US2650009A (en) * 1949-03-14 1953-08-25 Fmc Corp Apparatus for packing containers

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US1461222A (en) * 1920-07-09 1923-07-10 Hubert A Myers Company Machine for delivering cores to molds
US2626702A (en) * 1942-09-17 1953-01-27 Skoda Works Device for packing fibrous masses
US2650009A (en) * 1949-03-14 1953-08-25 Fmc Corp Apparatus for packing containers
US2645326A (en) * 1949-07-05 1953-07-14 Fmc Corp Supply control mechanism for container handling machines

Cited By (22)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3891098A (en) * 1973-10-05 1975-06-24 Andrew T Koch Apparatus for inverting containers
US4062441A (en) * 1975-11-21 1977-12-13 Holstein And Kappert Aktiengesellschaft Apparatus for conveying bottles
US4164997A (en) * 1977-02-02 1979-08-21 Owens-Illinois, Inc. Article transport device and method
US4356906A (en) * 1980-09-22 1982-11-02 Fallas David M Collating unit for bagged products and the like
US4583351A (en) * 1984-03-21 1986-04-22 Fallas David M Automatic case packing apparatus
US5326218A (en) * 1993-03-08 1994-07-05 Fallas David M Robotic arm for handling product
US20040245070A1 (en) * 2003-06-06 2004-12-09 Fallas David M. Conveyor chute
US6874615B2 (en) 2003-06-06 2005-04-05 David M Fallas Conveyor chute
EP1612147A1 (en) * 2004-07-02 2006-01-04 MARCHESINI GROUP S.p.A. Apparatus for transferring products from a first conveying line to a second conveying line, in particular for feeding a boxing machine
US20060000688A1 (en) * 2004-07-02 2006-01-05 Marchesini Group S.P.A. Apparatus for transferring products from a first conveying line to a second conveying line, in particular for feeding a boxing machine
US7191892B2 (en) 2004-07-02 2007-03-20 Marchesini Group S.P.A. Apparatus for transferring products from a first conveying line to a second conveying line, in particular for feeding a boxing machine
US20070022715A1 (en) * 2005-07-29 2007-02-01 Infinity Machine & Engineering Corp. Modular packaging system
US7506486B2 (en) * 2005-07-29 2009-03-24 Infinity Machine & Engineering Corp. Modular packaging system
US20080317580A1 (en) * 2005-09-13 2008-12-25 Ulrich Wiedemann Beverage bottling plant with beverage bottle handling machines having beverage bottle transfer stations and a method of operation thereof
US7886893B2 (en) * 2005-09-13 2011-02-15 Khs Maschinen- Und Anlagenbau Ag Beverage bottling plant with beverage bottle handling machines having beverage bottle transfer stations and a method of operation thereof
US20090166154A1 (en) * 2006-03-20 2009-07-02 Kpl Packaging S.P.A. Device for Forming a Continuous Flow of Oriented Products
US8151971B2 (en) * 2006-03-20 2012-04-10 Kpl Packaging S.P.A. Device for forming a continuous flow of oriented products
US7644558B1 (en) 2006-10-26 2010-01-12 Fallas David M Robotic case packing system
US20120047851A1 (en) * 2010-08-26 2012-03-01 Germunson Gary G System and method for loading produce trays
CN102795469A (en) * 2012-08-31 2012-11-28 深圳烟草工业有限责任公司 Cigarette packet turning device
CN102795469B (en) * 2012-08-31 2017-04-19 深圳烟草工业有限责任公司 cigarette packet turning device
US8997438B1 (en) 2012-09-18 2015-04-07 David M. Fallas Case packing system having robotic pick and place mechanism and dual dump bins

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