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Патент USA US2108869

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Feb. 22,) 1938.
_ 2,108,869
Filed/Jan. 22, 1955
2 Sheéts-Shee?‘l
Ernest Rt Sandmeyer
j @444, AM
Patented eb. 22, 1938
FRUIT soa'rme m meme srs'rm
‘Ernest R. Sandmeyer, Yakima, Wash.
Application January 22, 1935, Serial No. 2,889
11 Claims.
My invention relates to a fruit sorting and
over, this operation is accomplished withoutany» of the mechanism of the system remaining idle,
packing system which may be used in sorting
and/or packing operations for fruit or vege
or but slightly loaded, as has been the practice
In various fruit conveying systems heretofore
proposed‘ for use in sorting and packing opera
(01. 209425)
Another object of my) invention is to provide 5
fruit sorting and packing mechanism which will .
_ tions a large amount of ?oor space was required,
occupy the minimum of ?oor space, but which
and these-systems were not readily adapted ‘to
pack‘fruit where some one class such- as of size
nevertheless may provide for sorting and Pack
orgrade predominated. In general, the convey
ing mechanism for sorting the fruit was quite
separate from and independentv of the packing
mechanism. Similarly the packing mechanism
for each grade was quite separate from the pack
16 ing mechanism for any other grade.
Thus if ‘in
a particular lot of fruit most of it could be
classed in grade A, the packing mechanism for
grades 13 and C, if the fruit was graded into
three ‘classes, would be almost idle, while the
20 packing mechanism for grade A ‘would be over
loaded. Similarly, ii! a particular lot of fruit ran
largely to grade C, the mechanism handling this
grade would be overloaded, while the grade A
and grade B mechanism would carry but very
ing as many grades 0! fruit as desired.
Fruit packers work at high speed, and their
actions become automatic. They are accus
tomed to grasp a fruit in the right hand, simul
taneously grasping a wrapper ‘in the left, and
bringing the two together above, the box in a
quick wrapping movement, the right hand' again 15
reaching for an apple as the left hand, hold
ing the fruit, places the latter in its position in the box, and again reaches for a new wrapper. ~
Any disturbance of this routine interrupts the
automatic actions, slows down and fatigues the
It is therefore another object of my
invention to provide a packing arrangement
whereby all the packers will work in positions
where the fruit is approaching them, and they
will never be required to' ‘grasp at fruit as it
25 little load. ‘ Fin'thermore, the old-style packing '
mechanism for each grade was designed’ to ac ‘ recedes fromv them, and whereby they will be
commodate a de?nite number of workmen, and ?enabled to work automaticaly, in the accus
tomed manner.v This object is obtained while
hence when the mechanism handling a particu
lar grade was overloaded, there was no room for
additional workmen to assist in packing this,
grade. ' Because of the ‘tendency of di?'erent
lots of fruit to vary in grade in the same season,
or for the proportions of di?erent grades to
vary from season-to season, such installations re
sulted in a substantial part of the entire packing
mechanism at any one time carrying but little
load, while other parts or the mechanism would
be operating at full capacity.
It is the principal object' of ' my invention,
therefore, to provide a sorting and packing sys
tem in which the mechanism handling the fruit
sorting and the ‘packing of the various grades
can be compensated to, handle varying loads ac
cording ‘to the particular crop or lot of fruit
- being‘ sorted and packed.
Another purpose of my system is to coordinate
the sorting and packing operations, so that if
using all available space adjacent to ‘the path
of travel of the fruit for packers’ stations.
vA further object is to improve the arrange
ment for sorting, making this operation more
convenient for the sorters, and insuring, where
desired, that all fruit- is de?nitely sorted and
Other objects of my invention, and more par
ticularly those inherent in the arrangement of
.my system illustrated, will be evident from the
following description and the accompanying
My invention comprises the system and mech
anism, and more particularly the correlation and
arrangement of the various parts, illustrated
~in the accompanying drawinga'described in the
speci?cation, 'and de?ned by the appended.
The drawings show an installation '0; my sys
a large part of a' certain fruit lot is culls, which
are not to, be packed, additional workmen can‘be
employed in sorting fruit with fewer engaged
tem' which will accomplish the desired results,
but the-particular mechanism illustrated is in
tended only as an example of one embodiment 50
in packing grades A and B, or it desired, more
workmen may be employed in packing one grade
of my invention.
than in packing another,‘ and the grade which
most workmen are packing may be any one of
55 the several grades, as conditions require, More
Figure 1 is a diagrammatic plan view, and Fig
ure 2 a diagrammatic side elevation of my inven
tion, showing the general arrangement of the
parts. but omitting mechanical details.
9,108,869 _
Figure 3 is a transverse sectional view taken The movement of the beltalso assists in carry
along line 3-3 of Figure _1,. showing some of the ' ing the fruit over onto the-oppositely moving. belt,
mechanical details.
' Figure 4 is a fragmentary plan view, vshowing
thus decreasing congestion.
The general. arrangement of my sorting and
packing system provides a number of in line com
This basic 3, and likewise the baiiie 4., may be
shifted bodily lengthwise of the belts i‘ and iii
to vary compensably the relative ‘sizes of the
compartments 8, A and B, that is, one compart
partments, one preferably being arranged- for
sorting and the rest for packing separately the
ment may be enlarged any desired amount by
~correspondingly decreasing the size of the ad-L.
certain mechanical details.
1o several classes such as sizes or grades of fruit.
Jacent compartment, without changing tlze num
In each of these compartments the fruit/isv cir
ber of the compartments. Baiiles 3 and 5 may
culated in a counterclockwise direction so that be ?xed in position since the size of the com
partments may be adjusted in any desired mannen
it will always advance toward the workmen ad
iacent to the compartments. The several com
by shifting only bailles 3 and 4. To decrease the
partments may be varied in size according ‘to size, of compartment A," for example, baille 4
the relative loads carried, as will be explained‘ may be moved bodily from the solid line position
to the dotted line position shown in Figure 1.
The circulating system consists of a' pair of ‘ The attitude or angular relation of the baiile to
fruit conveying belts i and I3, disposed'in side the belts need not and should not be altered by
29 by sidexrelation, preferably contiguously, that is, such bodily movement. To permit these parti 20
substantially meeting so that an apple cannot tioning bailles to be shifted they may be sup- '
drop therebetween, and running lengthwise ported at each end by sleeves 36 bearing'on' the‘
through all the fruit-circulating compartments, conveyor side ?anges and surrounding pins 31.
and each moving in a direction opposite to the
These pins may be received in any of a number
25 other, as shown by the arrowsin Figure 1. The‘ of holes ‘spaced along side ?anges, to maintain 25
,term “belt” is 'to be understood as ‘a'general
the end of the baille 3 in proper position. > Any
designation of any suitable fruit transfer‘mecha
suitable means to accomplish this adiustment
nism, such as rollers or chains, or even slightly
may be employed. _
inclined chutes, and I do ‘not intend its meaning
30 to be restricted only‘ to belts. The particular
type of transfer mechanism-employed will, ‘of
course, depend on the ‘requirements of the indi
' vidual installation. A plurality oi’ separatecom
partments is created by bailies 2, 3, I and 5' ex-‘
'35 tending transversely across the two fruit trans
fer belts. The several compartments formed by
these baiiies are designated 8, which may be the
sorting compartment, A, which may be the com
pa'rtment receiving grade A fruit, and B, which ‘
may be the compartment receiving grade B fruit.
Since the baille illustrated in Figure 3 is that
separating the sorting compartment and ‘the 30
grade A compartment, mechanism for shunting
' the fruit from the grade A delivery belt 8 into
compartment A- may be combined with the baiile 3. I
This mechanism-has been illustrated as being
supported from the backing piece 30 by means of 35
a strap iron bracket Ill. IIl'he belt 3 is kept from
sagging down onto the baille 3 by a roller 6i
supported on the baiile 3. ~
' _
This auxiliary shunting bai'iie extending across
the top of ‘the delivery belt 6 has a backing piece
62 which supports at its ends pulleys 33, one of
Compartments A and B are the packing compart
ments, and the number of these may, of course, which is driven from-the motor 34 by means 7
be increased to‘ allow any number of different of abelt 34 or other suitable drive; A shunting
.grades' to be packed separately, merely by in-g _ belt 65 is carried by the pulleys 33 and travels
in the direction indicated by the arrows'in Fig
45 creasing the number of transverse bailies.
Above the transfer belts, preferably arranged ure 1. Supported also from the backing piece 30
in superposed position, are fruit distributing belts - is a chute 66, down which fruit may slide from
3, ‘I and 3, delivering respectively grade‘ A fruit the belt 8 onto the belt I. This chute-66 may be
andgradeB fruit to their packing compartments,
and culls from the sortingcompartmena-or culls
removed so that upon removal of the pins 31 the
erroneously reaching the several packing co'm
partments, to the cull bin. The number of these
belts will, ‘of course, vary with the number of
packing compartments, varying with the number
of fruit grades packed separately. when, the .'
apples have been packed the boxes maybe‘ carried
away from thepacking stations by belts 9 dis
posed parallel to the main fruit transfer belts.
If it isnot desired to pack-the culls they may be
carried along by belt 3 to be deposited in a bin Q
ing baiile extending across the belt 3 may be re
- In Figure 3 is shown an elevational view of the ‘
partitioning'bafile 3, illustrating a working vform
of driving and supporting mechanism. The baf-'
fies may consist merely of inclined boards,‘ but
entire assembly including baiiie 3 ‘and the shunt
moved from its operative position or adjusted
lengthwise of the machine without having to re
move any of the delivery belts, or disturbing the
‘ - .
'A suitable drive for the shunting belts of the
end ba?les 2 and i may'betaken from driving a
mechanism for belts I and I0, respectively, if de
sired, instead of employing a separate motor for
each of such drives as illustrated in Figure- 3. A 60
system might be employed to ,drive all the belts
on the several bailles from a single power source,
if desired, but I consider it preferable to drive
the. beltson the intermediate 'baiile assemblies by
85 I prefer to ‘employ upright shunting'belts as 11- »_
independent motors._ In Figure 4 the ba?le belt 65
‘7°, the me of the backing board so extends a shunt-' >
supported from the backing piece 53.
lustrated. The bending baiiie 3' consists .of a. 35 issupported' on the pulley H, which in turn
backing board 33, at one end ofwhich is sup
is' driven by bevel gears 52. These bevel gears
ported an idler pulley 3|, while?at the other .are’ in turn driven by spur gears 53 driven
end is mounted a pulley 33 driven throughv gears from the pulley II which carries one end of and
33 by a motor 34. Around the pulleys‘and across drives the belt I-. .The pulley SI and its gear H are
Various mechanism within the skill of‘ the
ing belt 33 which movesin the direction of the .
- arrows shownin’ll‘lgui'e '1. The impact of ‘fruit mechanic may be devised for? supporting and driv
against the baille ‘is considerably ‘decreased’ by
this belt so that the fruit is not bruised.
ing the several fruit delivery and'fruit transfer - v
belts. As illustrative of such driving means, the 75
and the apple wrapped and deposited in the box,
is driven by‘the pulley II. The pulley 61 drives - and meanwhile the packer is visually selecting the
next apple to be packed.
‘ the belt 6, and the pulley 80 drives the belt hav
- belt I isdriven by the pulley , “,jwhile the belt III a
_ ing lower and'upper runs 1 and 8.
Tosupport -
the belts l and I0, intermediate rollers l3 and H
are shown in Figure 3. Any form of driving and
belt-supporting mechanism which is found to be
desirable may, however, be substituted for that
shown, without departing from ;the"spirit of my
For Purposes of illustration I have shown my.
system used in the ‘sorting and packing of apples,
though his equally ;well adapted for use in other
fruit industries, such'as in sorting and packing
15 pears, plums, peaches, oranges, and the like.
' Fruit is delivered in an ungraded condition down
‘a chute ‘ l5 onto one of the transfer beltsv l.
‘Carried along by this belt the fruit comes into
contact with the ,ba?le 3, and is shunted, aided
20 by means of the belt 35, onto thebelt l0 traveling
in the direction opposite to belt I. By this belt
the fruit is carried back towards the feed end of
the system, where‘ it encounters the bailie 2 and\is/
shunted back onto the belt I, thus completing a
25 circulating cycle in a counterclockwise direction.
_ The packer's cycle of operation thus approaches
a rhythm. Each action is deliberate, each move
ment being‘ exactly planned before it is initiated.
No lost motion is present and speed-is increased
while fatigue is materially lessened. ‘ Each move
ment is that most convenientfor the packer, the
right hand being» the one most natural with which 10'
- to grasp the fruit.
- 1
Furthermore it may be desirable ,to have select
ed packers for each compartment pack apples of
selected sizes. Thus one packer would choose
from his compartment apples of a particular size
only, while another packer would select from the
same compartment apples of another size. Since
the apples always approach toward the packer, he
has ample opportunity'to pick from the mass the '
apples of the particular size which he'is packing 20
before they get to him. With my system, there
fore, theafruit moves in a manner most convenient '
for selection and removal of the fruit from the
belt by the packer, while at the same time all the
space available adjacent to the'circulating path 25
of the fruit may accommodate packers. A maxi
' Graders G stand or sit at each‘ side of the pair
of belts I_ and I0 constituting a circulating unit; mum number ofvpackers thus pack with the-great
The fruit to be. sorted is thus circulated‘ in the est convenience and least effort from mechanism‘
manner stated through a closed path past the occupying a minimum amount of ?oor space.
30 graders.'and they may select from the passing ‘ Grade B fruit is carried by belt ‘I until it en-, 30'
fruit any which they choose. Grade A fruit, counters the ba?ie adjacent to compartment B,
selected vfromthe mass, is placed upon belt 6, where it is shunted by belt 15 into chute ‘l6, and grade B fruit is placed upon belt 1, while culls and, t deposited upon-belt l. The fruit then circulates
in the instant installation, fruit below the ?rst two in this compartment, encountering ba?ies 4 and
grades are placed on the belt 8 which discharges 5, in the same manner as fruit is circulated in
into the chute 8!, leading to the hopper C. If - compartment A, as described above. The pack
preferred, the ba?ie 2'mayv be removed, and all ers here also stand immediately alongside the
fruit not placed on the belts 5 and T, by the time circulating belts and pack fruit moving toward
it reaches the end of beltv in, maybe considered them. When the boxes are ?lled the packers
40 cull fruit, and may be ‘discharged o?' the end of ' place them 'on transfer ‘belts 9 where they are 40
belt Ill into. the cull bin C.‘
' carried‘ away from the packing stations.
The grade A fruit, carried by the belt 6, con‘
tacts the baffle adjacent to the grade A compart
If in the particular lot‘of fruit being packed
grade B vpredominates, ‘compartment LB, circulat
ment, A, where it is shunted by the belt 65 into the
belt, then, carries the fruit in the direction of
the arrow until it strikes the ba?ie'4, where it is -
ing this grade of fruit, may be enlarged. and ‘com
45 chute 66, to‘ be deposited upon the belt I.
~ shunted, with the assistance of the belt 45, onto
the oppositely moving belt l0. On-this belt the
partment A, circulating grade A fruit, will‘ be 45
diminished to the same extent. To accomplish
this the ba?ie 4; ‘upon which is carried the baffle
belt 15, shunting fruit from belt 1, may-be shifted
from the solid line position shown in Figure l
fruit travels back until it encounters the ba?le 3, to the dotted line position. ' Not only does this
.' where, with the help of the belt 35, it is carried’ manipulation increase the closed path about
' back onto the belt I. In this packing compart
which the grade 3 fruit circulates, but as shown
ment for grade A fruit it‘will be seen that the at the upper side of the ?gure, a packer’s station
apples circulate about an orbit in a counterclock
wise direction. Packers P stand at each station
immediately'adjacent to the circulating unit at
the unobstructed sides of the belts I and I0, and
select and remove apples from the belt as they ad
va'nce toward the workmen.
which previously was adjacent to compartment '
A will now be adjacent to compartment 3. This
packer will now pack grade :3 fruit instead of
grade A fruit.
The system may thus be adjusted so that‘ the , .
concentration of fruit carried by the belts i and
The circulation of the fruit in 'a direction ap- ' II) ‘at all points will be approximately the same.
preaching the packers, andin a path immediately
‘adjacent to the packers, greatly facilitates the
Since, however, in the hypothetical case sug
gested, more gradehB fruit than grade A fruit is
packing operation. Every apple advances within ‘ being delivered, the adjustment mentioned will
easy reach of the packer and he may spot in ad
allow more packers to pack this grade'without
vance the apple which he is next going to remove ‘increasing the congestion in the slightest. The 65
from the belt, He does not snatch at apples sud
packers'may, as a matter of ‘fact, remainin their
denly emerging from behind him and receding ' origin'al stations.'_ In this ‘ way, therefore, not
from him as he must do in some packing systems. only may compensation be made to increase the
Instead every action is deliberate and methodical. space allotted to a particular grade of fruit, when
As he is wrapping one apple the packer may pick that grade predominates, but at .the same time
~ out with his eye from the mass of apples moving more workmen are employed in packing this
toward him the next .to be removed from the belt. predominating grade, while automatically fewer -
This selected apple is picked up with the right
I hand, a wrapper is simultaneously picked up with
75 the left hand, the two hands are brought together
workmen are packing the grade or grades which do not predominate and which are circulating
through smaller orbits. At the same time, all
grades are taken care of, and it is not necessary
to eliminate packing of any grade because of in
ing anypart, and without any equipment or work;
crease in'the space allotted to some other grade.
If, on the other hand, a particular lot of ap
The belts i and ill have been illustrated'and' '
described as circulating the fruit ina counter
men remaining idie.-
clockwise direction for the greater convenience
of right-handed packers, the fruit in such case
ing compartment 8 which are placed upon the advanclng toward the packers.v If- for any rea-'
grade Aand grade B belts l and ‘I. Hence the ' son, such as~where left-handed packers pred'om—
5 ples runs heavily to culls, which are not packed,
there will be fewer apples selected from the sort-'
inate in a given organization, it should be desired, '
graders, if no compensation were provided, would
10 be working at full capacity, while all of the pack-,
the direction of travel of each of belts I and i0 10
'may be reversed and correspondingly, the angle
ers would be relatively idle. To‘ remedy this sit-,
uation, baiiies 8 and 4 would both be moved to the
_ ‘right, in Figures land 2 to decrease insize both
of the shunting baiiies may be changed; so that
the vfruit will all circulate in a clockwise ‘direction.
rather than in a counterclockwise direction as
packing compartments, while the sorting com
15 partment S wouldbe correspondingly enlarged.
The result of this maneuver would be that some
What I claim as'my invention is:
' f ' '
1. A fruit sorting and packing device, compris
of the packers previously packing grade 3 fruit
would nowbe packing grade A fruit at the right
ing, in combination, a table, two oppositely mov- .
hand end of the new compartment A, while the ‘ing belts, each of a width substantially half the
20 workmen previously packing grade A fruit at the ‘ width of said table, disposed on the table in edge 20
~left hand end of compartment A would'now be to-edge relationship, a plurality of partitions in
clined relatively to the belts, including two fixed
one at each end‘of the table, and intermediate
partitions de?ning‘a sorting compartment and a‘
opposite the enlarged sorting compartment.
They would therefore stop packing, and would as
sist the graders in culling out the apples below
plurality oi- packing compartments arranged in.
- I 26 grades Aand B and‘in sorting and placing upon.v
' line, each intermediate partition de?ning the ad
belts I and ‘I the grade A and grade B fruit, re
jacent ends of two adjoining compartments, an
The ultimate result in this situation would be individual distributing belt for conveying fruit
that the total number of packers were decreased, * from the sorting compartment'to each packing
the percentage of culls in a lot of fruit was small. .
compartment, extending parallelv to and above
the line of compartments, shunt means associ
ated with each distributing belt to transfer fruit
be increased, so that while ~the proportion of
and means for positioning said intermediate par
80 but the rate at which each workman packed
would remain approximately the, same as when
The number~of graders, on the other hand, would ' ‘ from‘
a5 apples being sorted to those being packed would
be considerably greater than would normally be
the case, the graders would not be overworked
because their'number would be increased. Even
in a situation of this kind it will be evident that
(v 40 the fruit would be about evenly distributed over
both belts I and it throughout their entire
It will be seen, therefore, that while my sort
ing and packing system occupies at all times a
45 constant floor space, it is nevertheless very ?e_x-_
- ible and maybe arranged to accommodate wide
ly varying lots‘ of fruit, whichever grade pre
the latter to its respeptive.
titions in various locations lengthwise of said first
two belts to vary compensably the relative sizes of
adjoining compartments, increasing the length of
oneand correspondingly decreasing the length of
the adjoining one, while preserving intact the
inmrlty of both compartments for the circula 40
tion of fruit therein.
{- -
2. The combination of claim 1, and means sup- I '
porting each of the shunt means, from a partition
to be shifted therewith as the partition is shifted,
to alter the size of the compartments.
3. A fruit sorting and packing device, compris
ing, in combination, a pair of fruit transfer belts ‘
The compensating mechanism, moreover; is ex’
disposed in‘contiguousrelation, each to convey
fruit ina direction‘ opposite to the other, sorting
lengthwise of the circulating unit vcomprising the
belts to de?ne s- sorting compartment in‘which
dominates, yet without eliminating any grade.
compartment baiile partitions-extending trans-v
50 tremely simple, any desired adjustment being so
. 'complished- m‘erelylby shifting bellies-l and l‘ versely entirely across 'both said fruit transfer
pair of belts l--~ and II. It is unnecessary, , of
course, to shift bellies i and I since these ‘merely
55' define the ends of the belts.
Furthermore, if desired. the fruit may be sort
ed prior to its being delivered to the DOW], and
ungraded fruit circulates, a plurality of distribut-‘
ing belts readily accessible to sorters adjacent to
said sorting compartment arranged in superposed 55
relation centrally of ssidpair of transfer belts, a
packing compartment bai?e partition extending it, I
the sorting compartment 8 may be transformed - transversely entirely across both said fruit trans
_ into a packing compartment so that three grades ‘
‘ 00 may be packed with the apparatus shown.
the sorting compartment is desirable in addition
to three packing compartments, additional super
posed ‘delivery belts may be provided cooperating
with additional shunting belies and partitions.
On the other hand, if only a ,single grade is to
be packed, the baiiie l mu be entirely removed,
fer beits to form. two packing compartments in
each of which'fruit of one grade circulates, and a
baile and chute device adjacent to each packing
compartment to shunt fruit from a- distributingv
belt into the packing compartment circulating
fruit of the corresponding grade.
4. A fruit conveyingtable comprising a pair of 05
oppositely moving .belts disposed in side by side
relation. two spaced bames ?xed in position andv Iv
or moved to the extreme right-hand end 'of the . operable to ‘shunt fruit from ,one belt to the other,
belts | and Ii,- e- viewed in Figure 1, adjacent to
Y the bailie I: The entire length of the transfer
a partition dispoud between said two bailies, ex
tending. across said Pair of belts, de?ning with
said fixed baiiies two‘ adjoining fruit circulating
- 7° belts will then form only two‘compartme‘nts, one
for sorting and one for packing, and the baiiie compartments, and
nstituting the adjacent
_ I may be shifted to make these of the desired rel . ends of'said adjoining
t circulating compart
ative sizes. The system‘ may thus'be adapted ments,v and means for fixing said partition in
various locations between said bellies,’ extending
' ss'idesired to any requirements without overload
across said pair of belts, to vary compensably the
sizes of the adjoining compartments, increasing
the size of one and correspondingly decreasing
the size of the other, while preserving intact the
integrity of both compartments for the circula
ments extending transversely of both belts, and
spaced along the length of the belts to de?ne the
ends of a plurality of packing compartments, and
in cooperation with the belts to e?ect circula
tion of fruit in each compartment in a ‘closed
path, and means supporting certain of said shunt
tion of fruit therein.
_5. A fruit conveying table‘comprising a pair of elements, between those located at the two ends
oppositely moving coextensive belts, disposed in of the belts, for shifting lengthwise of the belts,
- side by-side relation and extending lengthwise of thereby to include a greater number of packing
10 the table, a de?nite number of partitions in excess stations in any‘ one compartment and a lesser
of- two extending transversely across said belts,
including two partitions ?xed one at each end
of said pair of belts, and the remaining partitions
being disposed intermediately between said ?xed
number in an adjoining compartment. '
9. A fruit conveying table comprising a pair of
oppositely moving belts disposed in contiguous
edge to edge relation, two upright ?anges dis
partitions and de?ning a de?nite number of ad
posed one in contiguous relation to each of the 15
joining fruit circulating compartments, each in
termediate partition acting as the adjacent ends
of two adjoining compartments, whereby the
remote edges of said belts, two spaced shunting
members ?xed in position and operable to shunt
compartments in the aggregate occupy all the
20 space between said end partitions, means to de
liver fruit to‘ each of said fruit circulating com
partments, and means for positioning said inter
mediate partitions in various locations lengthwise
of said belts to vary compensably the relative sizes
25 of adjoining compartments, while maintaining
each of said de?nite number of compartments
intact, separate from the other compartments
and operable to circulate fruit therein.
fruit from‘ one belt to the other, a partition dis
posed between said shunting members and' ex
tending across said belts, to form with said 20
shunting members and ?anges two adjoining
fruit circulating compartments, and means sup
porting said partition vfrom said two ?anges for
disposition in various locations lengthwise of
said belts, to. vary compensably the lengths of. 25
said adjoining compartments, increasingv the size
‘of one and correspondingly decreasing the size
of the other, while preserving intact the integrity ' I
6. A fruit sorting and packing device, compris
oi both compartments for the circulation of fruit
ing a pair of oppositely moving belts disposed in '
10. A fruit conveying unit comprising a table,
elements dividing the length of the belts into two > an‘ upright ?ange extending along each edge oi’
.or more packing compartments and de?ning the said table, workmen's stations‘ along both sides
ends of such compartments, said shunt elements of said table immediately adjacent thereto, two
being disposed, with relation to the direction of oppositely moving belts, each of a width sub
side-by-side relation, a plurality of spaced shunt
movement of the belts, to ‘effect circulation oi’
stantially hall‘ the width 0! said table, disposed
fruit in each compartment in a closed path, and on said table in edge to edge relationship and be
tween said table ?anges, and a plurality of shunt
means supporting the intermediate shunt ele
ing members extending crosswise of said belts to
ments and guiding the latter for bodily move
‘shunt fruit. from one belt to the other and back
.40 ment longitudinally of the belts, to- vary com
pensably the relative lengths of the di?erent to the ?rst again, the directions .of movement of
packing compartments‘
said belts and the disposition of said members
beinglsuch as to effect circulation ofthevfruit
'7. A fruit sorting and packing device, com
prising a pair of. oppositely moving belts disposed .
in‘ side-by-side relation, a plurality of spaced Y
shunt elements dividing the length of the belts
into two or more packing compartments and de
?ning the ends of such compartments, said'shunt
elements being disposed, with relation to the
direction 01’ movement of ‘the belts, to effect cir
culation oi.’ fruit in each compartment in a closed
path, means supporting the intermediate shunt
elements and guiding the latter-for bodily move-,
.ment longitudinally of the belts, to vary com
55 pensably the relative lengths oi! the. different
packing compartments, and means-'to- deliver
in a counter-clockwise direction.
11. A fruit sorting and packing device 'com-,
prising a table having a plurality of worker’ssta
tions at each side thereof, means operable'to
advance the fruit upon said table in a closed
path past every station. at one side, thence across
to the opposite side and past every station at
that side, and then back to the point of com
mencement, one or more intercepting members
disposed transversely s: the path‘ of the fruit,
between its ends, to convert the single path of
circulation into a plurality of. closed paths, each
within a compartment ide?ned either by two ad
sorted fruit, one class into each such compart- ' joining intercepting‘members, or by an inter
ment, each of said means being operatively con-. cepting member and .hn adjoining end of'the
nected to one of the shunt elements to be shifted . original closed path, and means whereby each
6o therewith.
8. 'A iruit packing table comprising a pair of
oppositely moving belts disposed in side-by-side
relation, their outeredgesde?ning the edges of
the table, and being accessible to packers at a
.5 number of stations spaced from endto end and
at‘ each side thereof, a plurality of shunt ele
intercepting member T-‘may be shifted bodily,
lengthwise of the original path of the fruit, to
compensabiy vary the length of each of two ad-
Joining compartments, and to include a station, '
i'ormerly'at the end- of one compartment, ‘within
the adjoining compartment.
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