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Патент USA US3042192

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July 3, 1962
J. P. WHELAN
3,042,182
CONTAINER HANDLING DEVICE
Filed April 8, 1960
3 Sheets-Sheet 1
JNVENTOR.
James P Whe/an
BY
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July 3, 1962
3,042,182
J. P. WHELAN
coNTArNER HANDLING DEVICE
Filed April 8, 1960
3 Sheets-Sheet 2
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JNVENTOR.
James F? Whe/0n
July 3, 1962
J. P. WHELAN
CONTAINER HANDLING DEVICE
3,042,182
United States Patent @dice
3,Ü4Z,l82
Patented .July 3, 1962
1
2
3,042,182
.lames P. Whelan, Quincy, Mass., assignor to Pneumatic
singly and in succession through the smaller end of the
path. The lower belt 16 is continuously driven in a direc
tion to carry the bottles downwardly. The upper belt 14
CONTAINER HANDLING DEVICE
and the side belts 18, >20 are driven in a direction oppo~
site to the lower belt, that is in an upward direction.
Scale Corporation, Limited, Quincy, Mass., a corpora'
tion of Massachusetts
The relatively lightweight plastic bottles 24 handled by
Filed Apr. 8, 196i), Ser. No. 21,017
9 Claims. (Cl. 198-33)
the illustrated device are elongated and are generally rec
tangular or oval in cross section. The space between the
upper and lower belts 14, 16 at the smaller end of the
This invention relates to a container handling device.
The invention has for an object to provide a novel and
tapering path 22 is such as to provide clearance for the
improved container handling device adapted to withdraw
thickness or smaller cross sectional dimension of the bot
randomly arranged containers from a bulk supply thereof
and to deliver the containers in a longitudinally aligned
position into a chute in a rapid and efficient manner for
tlc, and the space between the side belts 1S, 2G at the
smaller end of the tapering path is such as to provide
clearance for the width or larger cross sectional dimension
delivery to subsequent container handling apparatus.
of the bottle.
With this general object in view and such others as may
hereinafter appear, the invention consists in the container
The bottles 24 are delivered to the upper end of the ta
pering path from a bulk supply thereof contained in a
handling device hereinafter described and particularly de
hopper 26, and in operation the bottles passing through
iined in the claims at the end of this specification.
the tapering path are caused to assume a longitudinal po
In the drawings illustrating the preferred embodiment 20 sition therein by engagement with the upper belt 14 and
of the invention:
FIG. l is a side elevation of a container handling device
embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view thereof; and
FIG. 3 is a plan view partly in cross section as seen
from the line 3--~3 of FIG. 1.
In general the present invention contemplates a novel
container handling >device particularly adapted for han
dling relativelyV lightweight containers, such as plastic
bottles. The illustrated container handling device com
prises in general an angularly arranged or inclined unit
having a series of opposed belts providing an enclosed
the side belts 18, 20 to permit them to pass singly through
the smaller end of the tapering path. The bottles thus
aligned longitudinally end to end are deposited in a chute
28 «for delivery to subsequent container handling appa
ratus. The bottles may be withdrawn from the supply
hopper 26 by gravity, and any suitable provision, not
shown, may be made for controlling the gravity feed of
the bottles.
As herein illustrated, the lower belt 16 is arranged to
30 run over end pulleys 40, 42 mounted on shafts 44, 46,
tapering path into which randomly arranged bottles de
livered from a bulk supply may fall by gravity. The
bottles are received at the upper or wider end of the ta
pering path and pass downwardly toward the lower or
narrower end of the tapering path, the narrower end
being of a size such as to permit escape of the bottles
endwise or in a longitudinal direction only. In the illus
trated embodiment of the invention the lowermost belt
of the `device is arranged to be driven in the direction of
respectively. The pulley 40 comprises the drive pulley
and is fast on the shaft 44 which is journaled in bearing
brackets 48 attached to a base member 50. The pulley 42
comprises the idler pulley and is mounted to rotate on
the shaft 46 which is provided with reduced diameter and
threaded ends extended through slots 52 formed in side
frame brackets 54 attached to and extended at right angles
from the base member 50. The shaft may be adjusted in
the slots 52 to maintain the lower belt taut and is secured
in its adjusted position by nuts 55.
travel of the bottles, and the remaining belts forming
The upper belt 14 is arranged to run over an idler
pulley 56 mounted to rotate on a shaft S8 similarly se
the tapering path are arranged to be driven in a direction
opposed to the direction of travel of the bottles.
In operation the bottles withdrawn at random from the f
cured and longitudinally adjustable in slots 59 formed in
the lower ends of side rails 6d, and over a drive pulley
62 )fast on a shaft `64 which extends through openings
bulk supply are carried downwardly by gravity and by
in and is mounted to rotate in the upper ends of the side
frame brackets 54 and the side rails 60. As herein
shown, the lower ends of the side rails 60 are provided
engagement with the lowermost belt, and any bottles which
assume a position other than a longitudinally aligned po
sition in the tapering path are engaged by the belts travel
ing in the opposite direction to cause the bottles to as- ^
sume a longitudinally aligned position in which position
they are permitted to escape through the narrow end of
with slots 61`which tit over and are supported on a hori
zontal rod 67 carried between socket members 63 sup
ported on the upper ends of vertical rods 68 secured to
and mounted «for axial adjustment in the base member
the tapering path to be deposited end to end longitudinally
50. As herein shown, the lower ends of the vertical
into a delivery chute.
rods 68 are threaded and engaged with threaded `open
The bottles thus deposited in the delivery chute are ar
ings in the base plate 50. The upper ends of the rods
ranged with either the open end or closed end of the bottle
68 may be mounted for rotation in the socket members
in a leading direction and may be delivered to subsequent
63. The Alower ends of the rods may also be provided
container handling mechanism adapted to orient and
with handles 65 to facilitate vertical adjustment of the
stand successive bottles upright for delivery to a bottle
rods and a lock nut 69 is provided to secure the rods in
cleaning or iilling machine.
60 their adjusted position. The upper ends of the rods
Referring now to the drawings, in general 10 repre
may be provided with peripheral grooves: into which pins
sents the present container handling device suitably sup
carried by the socket members extend, as indicated in
ported by brackets 12 attached to an extension 11 form
FIG. 1, to retain the parts in assembled relation. The
ing a part of a supporting frame to dispose the device in
upper ends of the side rails 6l) are supported ‘on the
an inclined position, herein shown as at about forty-tive
drive pulley shaft >64, and collars 66 are provided to re
degrees from the vertical. The device includes opposed
tain the parts in assembled relation as shown. The up
upper and lower belts 14, 16, respectively, and a plural~
per belt 14 also passes over an idler pulley 70‘ mounted
ity of opposed side belts indicated generally at 18, 20.
to rotate on a shaft 72 secured to and adjustably mount
The belts are arranged to form a tapering path indicated
ed in slots 74 ‘formed in the underside of the side rails
generally at 22 which is of a size at the upper or larger 70 60, nuts 75 being provided to secure the shaft in its ad
end to accept bottles in any position delivered thereto,
justed position. The upper and lower belts 14, 16 are
and of a size at its lower end to permit the bottles to pass
relatively wide, and as shown in FIG. lJ the upper belt
3,042,182
3
4
14 is inclined upwardly relative to the lower belt 16
to vary the spacing between the belts at the receiving
pair of belts 101 which run over a multiple groove .up
per end pulley 107 mounted for rotation on an upright
stud 109 and a lower end pulley 113 mounted for ro
end, while adjustment of the rods 68 varies the spacing
tation on an upright stud 115.
to »form the tapering path, the pulley 70 ibeing adjustable
Intermediate «belt 103
between- the belts at the -delivery end of the tapering
path. The upper and lower belts 14, 16 are arranged to
extends from the pulley 107 to a pulley 119 carried by
an arm 122a similarly mounted for pivotal and longi
be driven through connections from a motor 76 mount
tudinal adjustment in the supporting member 98. Up
ed on a bracket ’78 attached to a frame member 80. The
motor is connected to the input shaft 82 of a speed re
per belt 105 extends from the pulley 107 to a pulley
127 which is similarly supported in an arm 128a also
ducing unit 84. The lower end of the output shaft 86 10 mounted for pivotal and longitudinal adjustment in the
member 98.
of the unit 84 is provided with a pulley 88 which is con
The direction of ro
The side belts in the groups 18, 20 are also arranged
to be driven from the output shaft 86 of the speed re
tation ot the shaft 44 is counterclockwise, as viewed in
ducing unit 84, and as herein shown, the upper end of
nected by a crossed belt 90 to a pulley ‘92 -fast on the
lower belt drive pulley shaft 44.
FIG. l, so that the upper run of the lower belt 16 travels 15 the output shaft 86 is provided with a sprocket 130
connected by a chain 132 to a sprocket 134‘tformed in
downwardly. The shaft 44 is connected by a chain and
tegrally with the multiple »groove pulley 107 to drive
sprocket drive 94 to the upper belt drive pulley 64 which
the pulley in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in
is also rotated in a counterclockwise direction so that
FIG. 2. Thus, the inner runs of all of the belts in
the lower run of the upper belt 14 travels upwardly. As
herein shown, the upper run of the lower belt 16 is 20 the group 18 travel in an upward direction. The group
of side belts ‘20 is driven from the group 18 by a chain
supported by a back-ing plate 96 mounted on an upper
and sprocket drive which includes a sprocket 136 formed
supporting member 98 carried on -the upper ends of
integrally with the lower side belt pulley 113; a chain
studs 99 secured to the base plate S0.
138 connecting the sprocket 136 to an idler sprocket
The side belts 18, 20 comprise opposed groups 0f belts
defining the sides of the tapering path. Each group 25 140 rotatably mounted on a stud 142 supported in an
extension 144 »from the base member 50; and a sprocket
comprises a plurality of relatively narrow, closely spaced
Vabelts arranged in spaced tiers becoming progressively
less in height as they approach the lower end of the de
vice to correspond substantially to the tapering path
146 formed integrally with the lower side belt pulley
11‘2 and which is engaged by the outer face or the chain
138 to eiîect rotation of the pulley 112 in a clockwise
Thus, as 30 direction so that the inner runs of all of the belts in
the group 20 travel in an upward direction.
shown in FIG. l, the group of side belts 20 comprises a
From the description thus far it will be seen that the
pair of lower-belts 100 forming the lower tier, and which
formed between the upper and -lower belts.
extend the -full length of the tapered path; an interme
top and bottom belts `14, 16 and the side belts 18, 20
diate tier belt 102 which extends from the upper end to
from an inclined path tapering downwardly on four sides
and that the lower belt 16 travels downwardly in the
a point substantially medially of the tapered path; and
an upper tier belt 104 which extends from the upper
end to a point adjacent the upper end of the tapered
path.
direction of advance of the bottles through ‘the inclined
path while the top belt 14 and the side belts 18, Z0' are
caused to travel upwardly.
Each belt 100, 10'2, 104 of the group of side belts
20 runs over a multiple grooved end pulley 106 mount 40
ed rfor rotation on an upper upright stud 108 »extending
from the base member 50. As herein shown, the stud
108 is mounted for adjustment longitudinally of the de
In operation when a group
0f bottles withdrawn by gravity from the supply hopper
is deposited into the upper end of the tapering path
they will be carried down by gravity and by the lower
belt and will be engaged by the top and side belts 14, 18,
20 traveling in a direction opposite to the advance of
vice in an elongated slot 110 vformed in the base mem
the bottles to cause them to lie ñat on the lower belt and
ber 50 for tightening the belts, the stud being secured
in its adjusted position by a nut 109a. The two lower
belts 100 extend from the pulley 106 to a pulley 112
to assume a longitudinal position in the path to permit
escape of successive longitudinally arranged bottles singly
through the lower end of the path, those bottles not
mounted for rotation on a lower upright stud 114 se
properly positioned being urged upwardly in the path by
the oppositely traveling belts until they lie flat on the lower
mounted for adjustment transversely of the device in an 50 belt and assume a longitudinal position thereon. Thus, a
bottle which assumes a transverse or diagonal position
elongated slot 116 formed in the base member ‘S0 and
on the lower belt will be engaged by one of the side belts
is secured in its adjusted position by a nut 117. Thus,
18 or 20 as it travels through the tapering path to turn
the pulley 112 may be adjusted laterally relative to its
the bottle in a longitudinal direction, the side belts tend
opposing pulley to vary the spacing between the belts at
the smaller end ofthe tapering path.
55 ing to maintain :the bottle in its longitudinal position to
permit it to pass through the lower` end of the path to
The intermediate tier belt 102 extends from the pulley
be delivered into the chute 28. A bottle which may be
106 to a pulley 118 mounted for rotation on a stud 120
perpendicular to the inclined lower belt will either fall
carried by an arm 122 mounted for pivotal adjustment
forwardly or be tipped rearwardly by the upper belt to
on a bolt 124 carried by the supporting member 98.
As herein shown, the 'bolt 124 extends through a longi 60 cause it to lie tiat on the lower belt. Also, any bottles
which may lie on top of a bottle resting on the lower
tudinally extended slot 1'25 in the arm 122, and the bolt
cured to the base member 50.
The lower stud 114 is
124 may be tightened to secure the arm 122 in its lon
belt will be urged upwardly to assume a position on the
gitudinally adjusted position. A lug 121 extending up
wardly from the supporting member 98 is provided with
lower belt.
The illustrated bottles being greater in width than thick
a threaded opening «for receiving an adjusting screw 123 65 ness will normally assume a flat position on the lower
engagea-‘ble with the arm 122 ‘for pivotally adjusting the
belt, that is, with the major axis or width of the bottles in
arm in its belt tightening position. The upper tier belt
a plane parallel to the lower belt, or will be caused to
104 extends from the pulley 106 to a pulley 1‘26 simi
assume such position as they are tossed and tumbled in
larly supported in an arm 128 mounted vfor pivotal and
an upward direction in the group. Thus, any bottles which
longitudinal adjustment as above described. Pivotal ad 70 may assume an edgewise position in the group will be
justment of the pulleys 118, 1‘26 laterally relative to
urged upwardly until they assume a flat position on the
their opposing pulleys serves to vary the spacing between
lower belt and will then be aligned longitudinally in the
belts at their respective positions in the tapered path.
tapering path by engagement with one or the other of
The opposed .group of side belts 18 are similarly ar
the side belts to permit passage of the bottles through
ranged in tiers and, as herein shown, includel a lower 75 the lower end of the tapering path.
3,042,182
While the illustrated and preferred embodiment of the
3. A container handling device for aligning elongated
invention contemplates that the container handling device
containers longitudinally comprising a plurality of con
tinuously moving belts supported in an inclined position
and delining an elongated path tapering on four sides and
be supported in an inclined position it will be apparent
that similar results may be obtained with a device sup
ported in a substantially horizontal position or in a sub
stantially vertical position. In any event, the containers
or other elongated articles deposited into the upper or
wider end of the tapering path fall by gravity onto the
lowermost belt and are aligned longitudinally during their
advance to permit passage through the smaller end of
the tapering path, other randomly arranged containers
being urged upwardly to clear the path for a properly
aligned container and to cause such upwardly urged con
tainers to assume a position on the lowermost belt by
gravity.
As thus described, it will be seen that the present con
tainer handling device is adapted to withdraw containers
from a bulk supply thereof and to deliver the same in a
CII
through which the containers are caused to pass from the
larger to the smaller end thereof, the smaller end of said
path being of a size such as to permit endwise passage
therethrough of an elongated container arranged longi
tudinally of the path, the lowermost of said continuously
moving belts traveling downwardly in the direction of ad
vance of the containers, the remaining continuously mov
ing belts traveling upwardly, those containers assuming a
position on the lowermost belt being engaged by said up
Wardly moving belts to cause them to assume a longi
tudinally aligned position to permit advance thereof
through the smaller end of the path, and those containers
otherwise positioned being urged upwardly to clear the
path for an aligned container and to cause such upwardly
longitudinally aligned end-to-end position into a chute
urged containers to assume a position on said lowermost
for delivery to subsequent container handling apparatus. 20 belt.
While the particular containers being handled in the pres
4. A container handling device as delined in claim 3
ent device have been delined as comprising relatively light
wherein the belts deñning said tapering path include an
weight plastic `bottles of rectangular or oval cross section
upper belt opposed to said lowermost belt, and opposed
it will `be understood that the present device may be used
with advantage for longitudinally aligning elongated bot
tles of other cross sectional shapes, such as square or
cylindrical shapes, `by adjustment of the belts to provide
a tapering path of a size to accommodate the cross sec
side belts.
5. A container handling device as deñned in claim 4
wherein provision is made for adjustably mounting the
belts to vary the tapering path therebetween.
6. A container handling device as delined in claim 4
tional dimensions of the bottles being handled. It will
also be apparent that containers of other materials, such
as glass or metal, may be handled by the present device.
It will also be understood that the present device may be
wherein the side belts comprise a plurality of relatively
narrow spaced belts arranged in longitudinally spaced
tiers, the lower tier extending the full length of the elon
used with advantage for longitudinally aligning elongated
in length whereby to conform substantially to the space
articles other than containers and of various cross sec
tional dimensions.
While the preferred embodiment of the invention has
been herein illustrated and described, it will be under
stood that the invention may be embodied in other forms
within the scope of the following claims.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is:
l. A device for aligning elongated articles longitudinally
comprising a plurality of continuously Imoving belts de
tining a four-sided elongated tapering path through which
the articles are caused to advance from the larger end
to the smaller end thereof, the smaller end of said’path
eing of a size such as to permit endwise passage of an
elongated article arranged longitudinally of the path, one
of said continuously moving belts traveling in the direc
tion of advance of the articles through the path, the re
maining continuously moving belts traveling in an op
posite direction, said oppositely moving belts operating to
engage and move randomly arranged articles to cause
them to assume a longitudinally aligned position on said
one continuously moving element to permit advance of
successive, longitudinally aligned articles endwise through
said smaller end of the path.
2. A device for aligning elongated articles longitudinally
comprising a plurality of continuously moving endless
belts supported in an inclined position and defining an
gated path and the upper tiers progressively decreasing
between said upper and lower belts.
7. A container handling device as delined in claim 4
which includes driving means common to all of said
belts.
8. In a container handling device for aligning elongated
containers longitudinally, in combination, a supply hop
per containing a bulk supply of randomly arranged con
tainers and from which containers are withdrawn by
gravity, a plurality of continuously moving belts sup
ported in an inclined position and defining a four-sided
elongated tapering path through which the containers are
caused to pass from the larger to the smaller end thereof,
the smaller end of said path providing an opening of a
size such as to permit endwise passage therethrough of
an elongated container arranged longitudinally of the
path, the lowermost of said continuously moving belts
traveling downwardly in the direction of advance of the
containers, the remaining belts traveling upwardly, those
containers assuming a position on the lowermost belt
being engaged by said upwardly moving belts to cause
them to assume a longitudinally aligned position to per
mit advance thereof through said opening, and those con
tainers other than the ones resting on said lowermost belt
being urged upwardly by the remaining belts to clear the
path for an aligned container, such other containers being
elongated four-sided tapering path through which the 60 urged upwardly until they assume a position on said
lowermost belt to be aligned and discharged through said
articles are caused to advance from the larger end to the
smaller end thereof, the smaller end of said path being
of a size such as to permit endwise passage of an elon
opening, and a guide chute arranged to receive the longi
tudinally aligned containers discharged through said open
ing to provide a supply thereof.
9. In a device for aligning elongated articles longi
tudinally, in combination, a supply hopper containing a
traveling in the direction of advance of the articles through
bulk supply of randomly arranged articles and from
the path, the remaining continuously moving `belts travel
which the articles are withdrawn by gravity, a plurality
ing in the opposite direction, said oppositely moving belts
of continuously moving belts delining a four-sided elon
operating to engage and move randomly arranged articles
to cause them to assume a longitudinally aligned position 70 gated tapering path through which the articles are caused
on said lowermost continuously moving belt and to per
to advance from the larger end to the smaller end there
mit advance of successive longitudinally aligned position
of, the smaller end of said path providing an opening of
on said lowermost continuously 'moving belt and to per
a size such as to permit endwise passage of an elongated
mit advance of successive longitudinally aligned articles
article arranged longitudinally of the path, one of said
endwise through said smaller end of the path.
continuously moving belts traveling in the direction of
gated article arranged longitudinally of the path, the
lowermost of said continuously moving inclined belts
aoaalaz
advance of the articles through the path, the remaining
continuously moving belts traveling in an opposite direc
tion, said Oppositely moving belts operating to engage
and move randomly arranged articles to cause them to
assume a longitudinally aligned position on said one con
tinuously moving belt to permit advance of such articles
endWise through said opening, and a guide chute arranged
to receive the longitudinally aligned articles discharged
through said opening to provide a supply thereof.
References Cited in the ñle of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
1,582,820
1,828,232
2,560,995
Hungerford __________ __ Apr. 27, 1926
905,376
603,290
France _______________ __ Dec. 3, 1945
Germany __ __________ __ Sept. 26, 1934
Rowe _______________ __ Oct. 20, 1931
Stiles ________________ __ July 17, 19511
FQREIGN _PATENTS
„wml. w
:UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION
Patent No. 3,042,182
July 3, 1962
>James P. Whelan
.
It is hereby certified that error a
ent requiring correction and that the sa ppears in the above numbered pat
id Letters Patent should read as
corrected below.
Column 4, line 34, for "from" read -- form --; column 5,
lines 72 to 74, strike out "position on said.1owermost
continuously moving belt and
to permit advance of successive>
longitudinally aligned".
Signed and sealed this l9th day of March 1963.
‘(SEAL)
Attest:
»EsToN G. JOHNSON
‘
`
DAVID L- LADD
Commissioner of Patents
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