Apparatus for mechanically handling bags and similar packages
US 3126105 A
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March 1964 R. P. L. MARGUET APPARATUS F OR MECHANICALLY HANDLING BAGS AND SIMILAR PACKAG Filed Jan. 9, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fly.
I I I I March 1964 R. P. L. MARGUET APPARATUS FOR MECHANICALLY HANDLING BAGS AND SIMILAR PACKAGES 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 9, 1961 March 24, 1964 R. P. L. MARGUET 3,126,105
APPARATUS FOR MECHANICALLY HANDLING BAGS AND SIMILAR PACKAGES Filed Jan. 9, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Fig.3
M h 1964 R. P. L. MARGUET APPARATUS FOR MECHANICALLY HANDLING BAGS AND SIMILAR PACKAGES 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Jan. 9, 1961 7 UULLLMULUUUUI 4] 42 United States Patent 3,126,105 APPARATUS FOR MECHANICALLY HANDLING BAGS AND SIMILAR PACKAGES Ren Paul L'ouis Marguet, Versailles, France, assignor to Ciments Lafarge, Paris, France, a corporation of France Filed Jan. 9, 1961, Ser. No. 81,575 Claims priority, application France Jan. 11, 1960 4 Claims. (Cl. 214-6) The present invention relates to apparatus for mechanically handling bags or similar packages and bundles.
The handling, stacking or positioning of filled bags on a quay, industrial platform or a railway-car or motor truck platform usually require the manual intervention of one or more stevedores.
The object of the invention is to provide apparatus for considerably reducing the labour involved and completely eliminating the use of stevedores.
One aspect of the invention, therefore, lies in apparatus comprising a general frame, which may be movable or stationary, a number of platforms bodily displaceable with respect to the frame, a retractable loading track disposed vertically above the general area of displacement of the platforms; means for synchronizing the displacements of the platforms and the retraction of the track with any appropriate time displacement therebetween; deflector members connected with a gantry for displacing part of the platforms with respect to the remaining platforms at the end of the downward stroke of said deflector members; means carried by the platforms for controlling said deflector members; and means for vertically displacing the gantry with respect to the frame.
The loading track comprises parallel rails slightly inclined to the horizontal plane, and having axles pivoted thereon about one of their ends, which axles are somewhat shorter in length than one half the gauge of the track, so as to clear the space between the rails as the axles are brought to their vertical position.
The loading track is formed by a series of half-rollers freely rotatable about axles disposed in pairs in alignment with each other so that two half-rollers are capable of forming a roller having a width equal to that of a bag, and which axles are supported on two longitudinal shafts which can rock in a frame overlying the loading or storage area and forming part of the said assembly of sliding, so that by rocking said axles downwards the halfrollers are lowered and allow the bags, delivered to the ramp by gravity exclusively, to drop down at the desired location.
The horizontal platforms comprise rollers mounted for free rotation in a frame adapted for displacement in ways connected with the gantry by the action of at least one pressure-actuator, the operation of which is initiated by the engagement of the platforms with the loading plane. Vertical guides serve to maintain the packages, bags or other objects on the platforms.
A deflector member consisting of a pivoted and automatically retractable arm carrying vertical rollers, directs a predetermined number of bags or packages towards each loading track.
The means for raising and lowering the tracks may comprise an endless chain meshing on one hand with a gear carried by the lower slideways or by the gantry, and on the other hand with a gear mounted in free-wheel relation on the common rocking shaft of the heads of the guide or loading track axles.
The lifting and lowering means may alternatively comprise supporting systems using multiple parallel linkages actuated by pressure actuators.
The control of the rocking movements of the track axles are so timed that, after the track has been loaded function of which will be described in detail later.
3,126,105 Patented Mar. 24, 1964 the axles first retract, the bags traverse the track to be laid down on the corresponding platforms, the axles are raised by spring or other means to the horizontal plane, and finally the endless chain is displaced by the gear of the shaft of the axle heads, by a distance approximately corresponding to the thickness of the packages.
The supply of bags to the apparatus may be provided through any conventional means and advantageously includes an inclined chute, which may or may not be positioned at a fixed station, for the delivery of the packages by causing them to slide down to the loading or guiding track.
In the accompanying drawings, one form of embodiment of the handling and loading apparatus of the invention is illustrated.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view in vertical section of apparatus used for the loading of a platform truck;
FIG. 2 shows in perspective view such apparatus mounted on a moving gantry;
FIG. 3 shows in front elevation a modified apparatus;
FIG. 4 illustrates the modified apparatus in plan;
FIG. 5 shows the said apparatus in side view.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the apparatus of the invention comprises a gantry 1 displaceable on rails 1 through e.g. electrical drive means, of any conventional type, not illustrated. Secured to the gantry 1 is a metallic framework 2 which supports a guide track 3 formed by two parallel rails 4 somewhat inclined to the horizontal plane. The rails 4 carry axles 5 somewhat shorter in length than one half the spacing of the rails 4 which support for free rotation thereabout cylindrical tubes 6. The length of the track 3 is equal to or slightly greater than the combined lengths of a predetermined number (three as shown) of the packages such as paper bags for cement, A1, A2, A3, to be loaded. The spacing between the rails 4 is somewhat greater than the length of e.g. one bag.
All the ends 5 of the axles 5 which are adjacent to the rails 4 are secured on a shaft 7 which can perform a rotation of and bring the axles 5 to vertical position so as to clear the space between the rails 4. For that purpose, a gear 8 is geared to shaft 7. The gear, through any conventional means such as pedal bars or the like, is rotated a quarter of a revolution when the three bags A1, A2, A3 have assumed their positions on the track 4. The gear 8 drives an endless chain 9 the On having completed its quarter revolution the gear is uncoupled from shaft 7 and comes to a stop; springs restore the axles 5 to the horizontal position. The uncoupling action may be provided by a free-wheel pawl for example.
The framework 2 carries three vertical posts 10 along each of which elevators each comprising a horizontal platform 11 and a vertical panel 12 can be simultaneously displaced up and down. Each platform 11 is formed by two side slideways 13 between which is mounted for movement with respect to the panel 12 a frame 14 the inner surface of which, providing the supporting surface proper, carries rollers 15 which are freely rotatable between the frame sides normal to the panels 12. Disposed on the slideways 13 on the other side from panel 12 is a ram actuator 16 the piston rod of which is coupled to that side of the frame which is parallel to the rollers 15. The posts 10 support at their lower ends sprocket gears 17 having the chain 9 trained thereover. The chain 9 is provided with a horizontal driver foot 18 which engages under the frame 14. In such conditions, when the gear 8 rotates to bring the rotatable shafts 56 to their vertical position, the bags Al, A2, A3 dropon to the corresponding platforms 11 (or upon any bags previously stacked on said platforms) and are properly aligned above one another by the action of the panels 12. The chain 9 therefore advances downwards, driving the platforms downwards by a distance corresponding to the rotation of the gear 8. The platforms when stationary receive a new complement of bags.
Mounted under one of the platforms 11 is a contact 18 serving to arrest the downward movement of the platforms immediately adjacent to the loading plane 19. The contact switch 18 controls the operation of the actuator 16 which causes the frames 14 to slide along the ways 13 towards the other side of panels 12, i.e., to the right in FIG. 1. The bags stacked on the rollers 15 are held by the panels 12 from moving with the frames 14, and, as the frames move to the right out from under the bags, the bags drop a very small vertical distance to the loading surface. A switch 20 mounted on the ram 16 is connected to motor 21 for causing displacement of the gantry 1. As the frames 14 engage the switch 20, the motor 21 is started and causes the gantry 1 to recede as far as required to allow another stack of bags to be deposited on the loading plane 19. In addition, the ram 16 is moved to reposition the frames 14 to their operating positions in front of the panels 12. At that time, the gear 17 is driven in rotation manually or automatically through a switch (not shown) for the repositioning of the frames 14 to raise the platforms to their uppermost position.
As shown in the drawing, the supply of bags to the track 4 is effected through a conveyer 22 on which is placed a direction-altering chute 23 inclined towards and leading to the track 4. The chute may or may not be connected to the gantry, and may be retractable or fixed.
It is immediately seen that the apparatus of the invention makes it possible to load directly upon a vehicle of any character, or upon handling platforms, any fragile packages which were heretofore liable to damage by repeated manual handling. It is also clear that said apparatus will afford substantial savings in labour in addition to preventing loss of material. Finally it facilitates regular delivery since it makes it possible to store the products in packaged condition.
It is apparent that the apparatus described above can be subjected to many modifications in detail. FIGS. 3 to illustrate, by way of example only, one modification in said apparatus.
The modified apparatus comprises a collector conveyor belt 24 carried by a table 25 mounted on a plurality of parallel pivoted linkage systems 26 the expansion and contraction of which are mechanically produced by any appropriate system so that the table 25 may be lifted or lowered respectively, the lifting being effected stepwise to successive levels spaced from one another by increments equal to the height of one bag.
The base ends of the pivoted linkage systems 26 are connected to a quay or area 27 corresponding in elevation to the height of the platform 28 of a truck, in the illustrated example; this is not essential, since in other instances the bags might be lowered down from the same level as said base ends.
Secured on the area 27 parallel to the band 24 is a rail 29 positioned in the same vertical plane as a girder 30 along which a truck 32 carrying a column 33 is displaceable by the action of a motor 31.
Slidable along the column 33 by the action of a vertical ram actuator 34 is a frame 35 carrying the stowing or loading assembly constructed as follows:
The assembly includes, first, a deflector member in the form of an arcuate arm 36 pivoted at 37 to the frame 35 and adapted to be brought above the conveyer belt 24 or retracted clear of its path of travel by the action of a horizontal actuator ram 38. The arcuate arm 36 carries rollers 39 serving to arrest the bags as they move past and direct them towards an inclined chute 40 disposed normally to the belt 24.
The chute is similarly comprised of rollers freely rotatable about their axes and the initial ones of which are sulficiently Wide to facilitate the correct deflection of the bags and their proper progress by gravity towards the loading ramp which is positioned beyond the chute.
The loading ramp comprises rollers 41 smaller in width than one half the length of the normal rollers of the chute 40 which corresponds substantially to the width of a bag. These half-rollers 41 are carried by small shafts positioned in alignment two by two and mounted on longitudinal shafts 42 journalled in bearings 43.
The half-rollers 41 can thus be placed, in each pair, in alignment with each other and thereby form the equivalent of a complete roller when the longitudinal shafts 42 are in a suitable angular position. However said shafts can be controlled by an automatic drive means which rocks them so that the half rollers 41 can be moved from their horizontal to their vertical position, thereby allowing the bags that were delivered thereto to drop off.
The loading ramp formed by the half-rollers 41 is mounted on the frame 35 so as to present a slight slope sufiicient to allow the bags to slide down it along its whole length. The apparatus operates as follows:
It is assumed in this description that it is desired to dispose the bags in stacked rows upon the platform 28 of a truck the width of which is such as to enable three bags to be positioned end to end lengthwise.
The bags delivered by the collector conveyor belt 24 are deflected as they move past the deflector 36 and directed towards the chute 40 and ramp 41.
The first bag to be deflected proceeds on its course by gravity to the end of the ramp 41 where it stops on contacting a fixed stop 44.
The next bag follows the same path and stops against the rear of the first.
Finally the third bag terminates its travel as it strikes the second bag ahead of it.
The bags are thus blocked normally to the longitudinal axis of the truck a few decimeters above the top of the platform.
The delivery of the last bag, acting through means of any conventional type, causes the rocking of the shafts 42 and of both sets of half-rollers 41, which are retracted and thus allow the bags to drop down on to the loading plane.
The return of the half-rollers 41 to their initial position commands the displacement of the truck 32 by an amount equal to the width of one bag, while three more bags are presented to the ramp.
This cycle of operations is repeated throughout the length of the loading plane, i.e. the platform 28 of the motor truck in the selected example.
At each end of said platform, the stowing or loading assembly is raised by means of the ram 34 by an amount equivalent to the depth of one bag to permit laying down a further layer.
The rolling support therefore performs a reciprocating movement over the whole length of the loading plane.
The collector conveyor belt 24 is vertically movable and accompanies the loading assembly at its different levels.
The stacking system as just described makes it possible to handle stocks on quays and railroad platforms, plant platforms and motor-trucks of the tip-platform and retractable side-board types.
The system as a whole, moreover, is applicable for loading of ship holds or other recessed capacities provided the apparatus components are mounted in cantilever relationship from the gantry.
The apparatus may be embodied as a self-propelled vehicle which would then perform the function of the 'railway track for the gantry provided in the embodiment described. The delivery to the guiding track may be effected through any appropriate means, such as skips, toboggans, or the like.
What I claim is:
1. Apparatus for stacking bundles on a receiving plane, comprising conveying means for conveying bundles and disposed adjacent to a stacking station that is disposed above and is substantially unsupported by a receiving plane, a loading ramp leading to the stacking station, deflector means for deflecting bundles onto the loading ramp from the conveying means, means for discharging bundles from the stacking station onto the receiving plane, and horizontally displaceable support means supporting the stacking station and the loading ramp and the deflector means for movement adjacent to the conveyor means, thereby varying the locations of the stacks of bundles formed on the receiving plane.
2. In combination with apparatus as recited in claim 1, vertically displaceable support means supporting the conveying means and the stacking station and the loading ramp and the deflector means, thereby permitting a variation in the height of the stacking station above the receiving plane.
3. Apparatus as recited in claim 1, wherein the stacking station and the means for discharging bundles from the stacking station onto the receiving plane comprise first means for receiving bundles from the loading ramp, platform means disposed at a receiving position below the first means and above the receiving plane for receiving bundles from the first means, means for moving the platform means downwardly from the receiving position to a discharging position above the receiving plane upon receiving bundles from the first means, means for discharging bundles from the platform means in its discharging position onto the receiving plane, and means for moving the platform means upwardly to the receiving position after discharging bundles upon the receiving plane.
4. Apparatus for stacking bundles on a receiving plane, comprising conveying means for conveying bundles to a stacking station disposed above the receiving plane, including a loading ramp leading to the stacking station and deflector means for deflecting bundles onto the loading ramp from the conveying means, the deflector means comprising an arcuate arm movable across the conveying means from a first position in which the bundles are deflected onto the loading ramp to a second position in which the bundles are not deflected onto the ramp, means for discharging bundles from the stacking station onto the receiving plane, vertically displaceable support means supporting the conveying means and the stacking station, thereby permitting a variation in the height of the stacking station above the receiving plane, and horizontally displaceable support means for supporting the stacking station, thereby varying the locations of the stacks of bundles formed on the receiving plane.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,528,227 Spooner Mar. 3, 1925 2,549,370 Ernst Apr. 17, 1951 2,702,624 Rhodes Feb. 22, 1955 2,901,128 Barski Aug. 25, 1959 2,977,002 Asp Mar. 28, 1961 2,984,365 Nordquist May 16, 1961
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