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Патент USA US3062415

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Nov. 6, 1962
H. P. LE BLANC. JR
3,062,405
APPARATUS FOR FACILITATING REMOVING
ARTICLES FROM A STORAGE BOX
Filed April 11, 1960
3 Sheets-Sheet 1
INVENTOR
HENRY P.
LEBLANQJR
ATTORNEYS
Nov. 6, 1962
H. P. LE B‘LANC. JR '
3,062,405
APPARATUS FOR FACILITATING REMOVING
ARTICLES FROM A STORAGE BOX
Filed April 11, 1960
3 Sheets—Sheet 2
GI
0
INVENTOR
HENRY P.
LEBLANC, JR.
BY 'gwzmadl
ATTORNEYS
Nov. 6, 1962
3,062,405
H. P. LE BLANC, JR
APPARATUS FOR FACILITATING REMOVING
ARTICLES FROM A STORAGE BOX
Filed April 11. 1960
j
3 Sheets-Sheet 5
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INVENTOR
HENRY P. LEBLANCYVJR.
Y
Y
BYwuqlgué?lww
ATTORNEYS
United States
atet ” ' are
1
3,062,405
Patented Nov. 6, 1982
2
3,062,405
the present invention showing the improved conveyor
rack in side elevation and installed within the box;
ARTICLES FRQM A STORAGE BOX
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of the box of the present
invention taken on the line 3—-3 of FIGURE 2 and a
APPARATUS FOR FACILITATING REMOVING
Henry P. Le Blane, Jr., 2111 Dauphine St., Apt. E,
New Orleans, La.
Filed Apr. 11, 1960, Ser. No. 21,286
3 Claims. (Cl. 221-77)
front elevation of the conveyor rack installed within the
box;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view,
partly in elevation, taken substantially on the line 4-4
The present invention relates to an improved device for
of FIGURE 2;
storing articles and is more particularly concerned to the 10
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view taken sub
provisions of means for bringing the stored articles to a
stantially on the line 5—5 of FIGURE 4;
position of access by an operator to facilitate removing
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged sectional view, partly in
the article or for placing the article in position for trans
elevation, and taken substantially on the line 6~—6 of
fer or a storage position.
FIGURE 3, portions of the ?gure being broken away for
The invention has particular utility in connection with 15 purposes of clarity.
Referring now to the drawings wherein like character
otherwise, a primary objects being provision of improved
or reference numerals represent like or similar parts,
storage boxes or cabinets which may be refrigerated or
means to move the articles to a position of easy access by
and in particular, to FIGURES 1 and 2, an apparatus
the operator or to di?erent locations Within the box.
embodying the principles of the present invention prefer
Ancillary to the preceding object, it is a further object 20 ably comprises a storage box or cabinet generally desig
of the present invention to provide a conveyor rack for
nated at 10 and comprising side walls 12, a front wall 14,
Supporting articles, the rack being adapted to be placed
into any box-like structure so that articles may be stored
and may be easily removed from the structure.
a rear wall 16 and top and bottom walls 18 and 20 re
spectively. The walls of the box 10 are suitably insulated
when the box is used as a refrigerator and any suitable
Still another object of the present invention is to pro 25 cooling means may be provided such as cooling coils
vide a conveyor structure for use with a storage box,
22 on the side walls 12, a compressor 24 and heat ex
the conveyor structure making loading and unloading of
changer 26 (all shown in phantom lines in FIGURE 1).
articles from the box a simple task.
Still another object of the present invention is to pro
While the heat exchanger 26 and compressor 24 have
been shown positioned in the bottom of box 10, it will
vide a conveyor structure for use ‘with a storage box or 30 be understood that such units can be located outside
the like, the conveyor structure being such that‘the opera- - of the box. Further, the box 10 has utility for storage
tion may have easy access to any item within the box
of non-refrigerated products, such as dry food products
by selectively operating the conveyor structure in such
or the like, and when used as such, the cooling means
is eliminated. The box 10 is disclosed as a refrigerator
and, more particularly, as a box for storage of bottled
and canned beverages as indicated at B, however, any
a manner as to bring the article to a point of access by
the shortest path possible.
A further object of the present invention is to provide
a refrigerated storage box wherein an even cooling and
an undisturbed distribution in circulation of air about
frozen product characteristics may be stored in the box as
will be evident later in the speci?cation.
Storage box 10 is provided in its top Wall 18 with an
the article stored therein is obtained and yet the articles
40 access door 28 suitably hinged at 30. The access door 28
may be easily positioned in and removed therefrom.
is preferably made of a transparent material such as glass
Ancillary to the preceding object, it is a further object
or a glass substitute so that the operator may observe
of the present inventionrto provide a refrigerator box
the contents of the box prior to making a selection of
wherein older and colder articles from the bottom of the
an article therefrom.
box or a position where they are not readily accessible
While the box 10 may be loaded through the access
may be repositioned so that fresh articles may be placed 45
door 28 by the grocery clerk, if the box is positioned
on the bottom of the box without removal of the older
in such a manner where it is desirable to load the same
articles.
from the rear, a second access door 32 which is hinged at
Still a further object of the present invention is to pro
34 may be provided in the rear wall 16. It will be un—
vide an improved type of storage box for packaged foods,
derstood that when such a construction is desired, such
frozen foods, beverages, groceries or the like, the articles
as in a self-service store, the grocery clerk may load
being so supported within the box that the operator may
the apparatus from the rear out of vision of the shopper.
selectively remove a desired article without ?rst removing
An article supporting conveyor rack generally desig
other articles in the box.
nated at 36 and best shown in FIGURES 2 and 3 is
Another important object of the present invention is
adapted to be installed in the cabinet or box 10 as a
to provide an improved type of storage box having means 55 permanent part of the same or if desired, the rack 36
therein for providing easy access of stored articles, the
may be installed into existing cabinets so as to convert
means being so arranged as to store a maximum number
of articles in a minimum space.
the same to use as a more efficient storage and self
servicing unit. Rack 36 includes a frame structure com
A still further object of the present invention is to pro 60 prising a pair of horizontally spaced vertical standards 38
vide an improved conveyor rack for supporting articles,
and 40 providing one side frame member and a second
the conveyor rack being adapted to be received in con—
pair of horizontally spaced vertical standards 42 provid
ventional storage boxes whereby the conventional boxes
ing an oppositely disposed side frame member. Only
one standard 42 is shown in FIGURE 3, it being under
may be converted into boxes having automatic access of
articles stored therein.
65 stood that the pair of standards 42 are substantially
7 These and other objects and advantages of the present
invention will appear more fully in the following speci?
cation, claims and drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a storage box of the
present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view of the box of
identical to the standards 38 and 40 are arranged as
a mirror image of the same. The front standards 38
and 42 are connected together at their bottom by a suit
able cross member 44.
Upper and lower horizontally
70 extending side elements 46 and 48 respectively connect
the front and rear vertical standards of each side frame
member together as shown in FIGURE 2. Upper and
3,062,405
3
4
and idler pulleys 62 and 78 respectively so that in effect,
lower rear cross members 58 and 52 respectively are
connected to and extend between the cross members 46
and 48 respectively and give the rack structure 36 added
it is a mirror image of the belt 80.
Each of the endless belts 80 and 82 are identical in
rigidity.
construction and are provided with a transverse cross sec
Referring now particularly to FIGURES 4 and 5 and
generally to FIGURES 2 and 3, it will be noted that each
of the vertical standards 38 and 40 comprising one side
frame member as well as the horizontally spaced vertical
standards 42 comprising the other side member are pro
tion which is double V-shaped so that it can cooperate
with the pulleys on either side depending on how it is
trained over the respective pulleys. Referring to FIGURE
2, it will be noted that the runs 86, when the conveyor
belt 80 is moving, will move both over the top and bottom
vided with vertically aligned and spaced stub shafts 54 10 of the pulleys 58 so that alternate runs are moving sub
stantially in an opposite direction. Further, it will be
extending inwardly thereof toward the opposite side frame
noted that the belt 80 is engaged on one side by the
The stub shafts 54- are provided with a head
pulleys 58 in one vertical row of pulleys whereas it is
56 which rotatably retains a V-pulley 58 thereon. As
engaged on the other side by the pulley 58 in the other
shown in FIGURE 2, a side frame member comprised of
the standards 38 and 48 is provided with two vertical rows 15 vertical row of pulleys. By providing a double V-shaped
construction to cooperate with the V-pulleys, it will now
of pulleys 58 with each pulley having a horizontal axis.
be apparent that both sides of the belt may be engaged
However, it will be noted that while the pulleys mounted
and thus provide a smooth drive for the conveyor rack.
on the standar 38 ave the same spacing between each
Each of the belts 80 and 82 are provided with a plu
other as the pulleys 58 mounted on the standard 48, the
pulleys mounted on the standard 48 are staggered ver 20 rality of holes 88 extending transversely of the same and
being longitudinally spaced along the same. There are
tically so that one pulley is provided on the standard 40
the same number of holes in the belt 80 as there are holes
vertically between each two pulleys 58 mounted on the
in the belt 82.
standard 38. The vertical side frame made up of the
A tray structure generally designated at 90 and made
spaced standards 42 which are diametrically opposed to
the standards 38 and 48 are provided with an identical 25 of wire or the like is provided with outwardly extending
stub shafts 92 and 94, there being an integral central por
arrangement of pulleys 58, the pulleys of the front stand
tion 95 between the stub shafts 92 and 94. A retaining
ard 42 being on common aligned axes with the pulleys on
rod 95a is carried along and above this central portion
standard 38 whereas the pulleys on the rear standard 42
for purposes of insuring the articles are not inadvertently
are on common aligned axes with the pulleys on rear
30 dropped from the tray. The stub shafts 92 and 94
standard 4-9.
member.
have common aligned axes and are adapted to be re
A \l-shaped drive pulley 62 (FIGURE 2) is mounted
on each horizontally extending cross member 46, the
ceived in the aligned holes 88 provided in belts 80 and 82
drive pulley 62 on one cross member 46 having a com
respectively, the trays 90 being adapted to hang by gravity
as shown in FIGURE 4.
mon axis with the drive pulley 62 mounted on the other
cross member 46.
In more detail, a drive shaft 63 ro
tatably mounted in a bearing 64 extends through member
46 as shown as in FIGURE 6 and is adapted to have the
pulley 62 keyed thereto in suitable manner. A motor 66
carried on a bracket 68 welded to the cross member 46 is
adapted to be coupled with the drive shaft 63 as indicated
at 70. There is one motor 66 for each of the drive shafts
63 and drive pulleys 62 as best shown in FIGURE 3. The
motor 66 may be any suitable electric motor which is re
versible so that the direction of rotation of the pulleys 62
can be changed. Motors 66 are synchronized in the usual
manner so that operation of a single control switch
means 74 mounted on the front of the cabinet will in
stantaneously start both motors in a desired direction and
drive both pulleys 62 at the same speed. If only one mo
tor 66 is used, a ?exible drive shaft may extend between ‘
the pulleys .62 so as to simultaneously drive the same.
As shown in FIGURE 2, a control box or switch means
'76 may be provided on the rear wall 16 so that a clerk
can have control of the apparatus when loading the same
through the access door 32 in the rear thereof. It will
be understood that the switch means 76 may be placed in
a parallel circuit with the switch means 74 so that either
switch unit can be .used to operate the apparatus.
An idler pulley 78 is mounted on each of the lower hori¢
zontal side frame elements 48 in vertical alignment with
the drive pulleys 62. The idler pulley 78 of one element
48 has a common aligned axis with idler pulley 78 of the
other element 48.
Endless belts 88 and 82 are trained over the pulleys 58
carried by each side frame member as shown in FIGURE
3. As shown in FIGURE 2, the endless belt 88 is trained
back and forth over the pulleys 58 carried on the vertical
standards 38 and 48 so that it provides a zigzag path with
By providing the body por
35 tion of the trays 90 of wire, there is little obstruction
to the article suspended therein such as the bottle B and
thus a more uniform cooling is provided.
Since the body portion of the trays 90 which are sus
pended between the two belts 80 and 82 hang by gravity
at all times during their movement by belts 80 and 82,
translational movement is obtained and, therefore, there
is no necessity to provide clamping means for holding
articles in the trays. In addition, the trays can support
articles of different sizes so long as the size of the article
is not great enough to interfere with a tray traveling in
an opposite direction on one of the runs 86 immediately
thereabove.
Referring now to FIGURES 2, 4 and 5, it will be noted
that an L-shaped plate member 100 extends beneath
each run 86 of the belts 80 and 82. The L-shaped plate
member 100 is welded at one end as shown at 102 (FIG
URE 5) to one of the vertical standards 38, 40 and
42 and extends in cantilever relationship thereto beneath
one of the runs 86 to a point adjacent one of the pulleys
S8 in the other vertical row of pulleys. The L-shaped
plate 160 provides a means to limit the sag of the belts
of a run 86 between cooperating pulleys 58 especially
when the trays 98 are carrying articles. This safety fea
ture prevents interference between oppositely moving trays
9.0 on adjacent runs .86 and insures smooth operation at
all times.
It will now be understood that the conveyor rack
36 including the endless belts 80, 82 and the trays 90
supported therebetween may be made as a unit in vary
ing sizes for existing cabinet structures.
By providing
controls for the reversible motors 66 on the outside of
the existing cabinet structure or locating the controls at
a suitable accessible place on the rack, the loading and un
a plurality of slightly converging runs 86 immediately 70 loading of the cabinet structure can be fully automatic.
Further, the conveyor rack 36 and its associated parts
above one another. The endless belt 88 is then trained
may be made as an integral part of a cabinet.
about the idler pulley 78 and the drive pulley 62 so as to
By utilizing the arrangement of the double V-belts 80
rcvide a vertical run 88. It will be understood that the
and 82 with the pulley arrangement of two vertical rows
belt 82 on the opposite side of the frame structure 36 is
identically trained about its pulleys 58 as well as its drive 75 of V-pulleys 58 so that the endless belts have a zigzag
3,062,406
6
.5
(b) having integral central portions depending be
path through at least a portion of their travel, the maxi
low said ‘belt runs to thereby remain in the same
mum amount of available space for merchandise within
the box 10 is utilized. Further, the provision of tray struc
tures made of wire and suspended in the manner hereto
position by gravity during movement through
said runs by virtue of the pivot connection with
said belts, and a retaining member extending
along and above each of said central portions;
fore described reduces freezing problems and operating
(5) and supporting plates carried by said side frames
costs when the conveyor rack 36 is used in the storage
box 10 which is a refrigerator. Cooling air can ?ow
immediately below said belt runs to support the
weight thereof, said side frames terminating short of
evenly in and about the trays and the articles supported
therein.
By having reversible motors 66, speed of access to any 10
the transverse extents of said depending trays to pro
vide movement of said trays therebetween.
2. Apparatus de?ned in claim 1 including means for re
of the trays is reduced as the tray can be made to travel
in a direction of shortest belt travel to the point of access.
frigerating said storage box.
3. Conveying apparatus comprising:
While the invention 'has been disclosed as utilizing two
reversible motors 66 operating in synchronism to move 15
the two conveyor belts 80 and 82, it would, of course, be
within the scope of the invention to utilize one reversible
motor to drive both drive pulleys 62 as heretofore de
-'(1) spaced apart side frames, each of said side frames
carrying pulleys aligned in opposed relationship to
one another;
(2) a double V-?exible endless belt trained about the
pulleys of each side frame in aligned relationship
scribed.
While the improved article storage conveyor rack and/
or storage box of the present invention has been described 20
with one another, whereby identical paths are traced
thereby, each of said belts having longitudinally
spaced, transversely extending passages therein along
in its preferred embodiment, it is now obvous that cer
tain changes, adjustments and modi?cations may be made
without departing from the principle and spirit of the
present invention. ‘For this reason, the terminology used 25
throughout the speci?cation is for the purpose of descrip
tion and not limitation, the scope of the invention being
de?ned in the claims.
the neutral axis of each belt;
(3) said pulleys having V-shaped peripheral recesses
I claim:
1. Conveying apparatus for a storage box having op 30
posed sidewalls and an access door at the top thereof com
prising:
(1) spaced side frames mounted in opposed relation
vertically staggered with respect to the pulleys in the
other row on the same side frame, and the pulleys on
the opposite side frame being positioned in sym
(3) [an endless double-V ?exible belt trained alternate
said opposed passages providing pivotal movement
of said article conveying means relative to said belts
ship adjacent said sidewalls;
(2) each of said side frames carrying two generally 35
vertical rows of pulleys, the pulleys in one row being
metrically opposed relationship therewith;
for receiving said belts, the radial extent of each of
said pulleys being of a length to terminate short of
said transverse passages along the neutral axis of said
belts whereby the passages are not blocked by said
pulleys as said belts traverse about said pulleys;
(4) article conveying means spaced between said belts
and including stub shafts operatively carried within
40
and having integral central portions depending below
said belt paths to thereby remain in the same posi
tion by gravity during movement through said paths
by virtue of the pivot connection with said belts, and
a retaining member extending along and above said
central portion to prevent articles carried thereby
from dropping;
-(5 ) and means for driving said pulleys in unison where
ly about the two rows of pulleys on each side frame
by said article conveying means are operative to trace
in aligned relationship to one another, in zig-zag
the path of said belts and are uninterrupted by said
fashion, de?ning a plurality of runs one above the
pulleys as the same moves thereabout.
other, each of said belts having longitudinally spaced
apart, transversely extending passages therein substan 45
tially along the neutral axis thereof, said pulleys hav
ing V-shaped peripheral recesses for receiving sai
belts, the radial extent of each of said pulleys being
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
567,683
2,189,740
sages along the neutral axis of said belts whereby
2,218,317
the passages are not blocked by said pulleys as said
2,264,332
2,296,740
belts traverse about said pulleys;
(4) article receiving trays carried by opposed passages
2,796,166
in said belts, said trays:
55 2,923,392
(a) having oppositely extending stub shafts re
2,950,605
of a length to terminate short of said transverse pas
ceived in said opposite passages providing pivot
able movement of said trays relative to said
belts, and
50
UNITED STATES PATENTS
Marvel ______________ __ Sept. 15, 1896
Mills ________________ ._ Feb. 6, 1940
Parker ______________ .._ Oct. 15, 1940
Peterson _____________ __ Dec. 2, 1941
Reiling ______________ __ Sept. 22, 1942
Rubli ________________ __ June 18, 1957
Gabrielsen ___________ __ Feb. 2, 1960
Hennion _____________ _._ Aug. 30, 1960
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