US 3566574 A
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March 2, 1971 M. SALWASSER CASE PACKING METHOD AND APPARATUS Filed March 5, 1969 INVENTOR.
MELV/A/ 5/11 WASSEK? United States Patent 3,566,574 CASE PACKING METHOD AND APPARATUS Melvin Salwasser, P.O. Box 548, Reedley, Calif. 93654 Filed Mar. 3, 1969, Ser. No. 803,727 Int. Cl. B65b 35/40, 35/56 US. CI. 53-26 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus and method for arranging a case load of packages and other articles and for inserting such load into a case. The invention is particularly applicable to the filling of a top loading case wherein the articles are vertically disposed when being transported to the casing operation and wherein the case is loaded when the same is disposed with its top directed horizontally outwardly. The invention provides for the swinging of the entire load through 90 degrees in order to accommodate it to the most effective type of top loading apparatus.
This invention relates to the filling of cases and more particularly to the filling of a paperboard case or the like with a plurality of articles arranged in perpendicularly intersecting rows. More particularly the invention is directed to the type of method and apparatus for filling cases disclosed in US. Pat. No. 2,941,339.
In the filling of paperboard cases with articles, regardless of the shape of the latter, the most acceptable method at present is to employ a case having an open top and orienting the case with its top directed horizontally and inserting the entire contents of the case at one time. This method is preferable to loading methods requiring the articles to be filled vertically into a case having its open top directed upwardly. One of the problems in the loading operation is to arrange and orient the articles quickly and with a minimum of apparatus from the position which such articles take as they are moved by the conveyor to the loading station to a position in which they may be inserted, in one operation, into the open end of the case.
Heretofore the method pursued in arranging the articles for loading into the case have required successively olfsetting rows of articles to provide a complete load before arranging the load for the caseloading step. An example of this general type of operation is shown in the above cited patent and also in US. Pat. No. 2,649,231. The present invention is an improvement over the prior art in that the successive article offsetting steps are obviated and it is possible to arrange an entire load of articles from the article receiving belt and, handling the entire load as a unit, move it to the case filling station.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification and from the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a semi-schematic isometric of the case filling operation and the article arranging the equipment as sociated therewith.
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of a portion of the load swinging apparatus.
In detail the particular case load used as an example in the present disclosure consists of 12 articles indicated at 1 which are arranged in three rows of four each. The articles 1 are generally rectangular and are vertically elongated; however, it will be apparent that any other type of articles including cylindrical packages may be handled and packed by the present invention. Also it will be apparent that the packages when vertically disposed in the manner they are received in the case need not necessarily have their longest dimension vertical.
Patented Mar. 2, 1971 The articles 1 may be conveyed to the casing station on a conventional flat belt 2 on which the articles 1 are vertically disposed in their normal disposition. Fixed vertically extending guides 3 are provided for dividing the articles into a plurality of rows. In this case four guides 3 are shown defining three rows and, as noted above, the case load in the sample shown comprises three rows of articles with four articles in each row.
From the belt 2 the articles are automatically pushed onto horizontally extending support 4 to which are fixedly secured four upwardly extending guides 5 which, in effect, are continuations of the guides 3. The friction of the support 4 which is in elfect a dead plate requires that the articles on the support 4 be pushed by the successive articles on conveyor 2.
When all three rows on support 4 are completed and have four articles in each one the leading articles 1 engage a fixed plate 8 which is provided with a plurality of openings 9. Secured to plate 8 with their switch arms extending through openings 9 are three micro-switches 10 which are actuated as the rows are completed. By placing the switches 10 in a fluid pressure circuit including a solenoid actuated valve and cylinder 11 the latter is automatically actuated when the support 4 is filled with a case load.
As best seen in FIG. 2 the support 4 is provided with an extension 12 pivotally secured at a point horizontally oifset from the support 4 on a pivot 13. Pivotally secured at its upper end to extension 12 is an elongated link 14 which in turn is pivotally connected at its lower end to an arm 15 mounted on a shaft 16 rotatably supported in bearing 17. Also secured to shaft 16 is a second arm 20 which is pivotally connected at its outer end to a piston rod 21 of fluid cylinder 11. Upon completion of the circuit which includes the micro-switches 10 the cylinder 11 is activated to swing the support 4 through an angle of degrees to the dotted position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. As seen in FIG. 2 a stationary p ate 24 may be provided to prevent movement of the articles 1 out of the compartments defined by guides 5.
Since the articles on conveyor 2 are being urged toward support 4 at all times the latter includes a downwardly extending vertical plate 18 fixedly secured to support 4 and adapted to hold back the articles on conveyor 2 while the support 4 goes through the 90 degree swing described above.
Supported on the plate 24 is a micro-switch 25 which may be employed to complete a fluid pressure circuit including a cylinder 26 for driving a ram structure 27 in the direction indicated so as to push the three rows of articles along the spaces defined by four vertically spaced horizontally extending guides 29 to a position at which a second ram structure 30 inserts the load into a case 31. The details of the case filling apparatus are not shown and no claim is made to the same except in combination with the present invention. As said case filling apparatus may be similar to that shown in US. Pat. No. 2,941,339.
As is well known in the art the above described steps may be preformed in sequence by programming them within a fluid pressure circuit which provides means for i returning the support 4 to its original position after the complete cycle of ram 27 has been carried out.
It will be seenifthat the above described method and apparatus lends itself to the arranging of articles into a case load in a speedy and efficient manner with a minimum of apparatus. The steps heretofore required of offsetting successive rows of articles to form a case load are obviated and the entire case load may be established in one step.
1. In the method of filling a case with a load of articles arranged in a plurality of parallel rows the steps of:
moving similarly oriented articles along a plurality of parallel paths of travel to a first station to provide a load consisting of a predetermined number of articles in intersecting rows,
swinging said load as a unit through ninety degrees in a plane at right angles to said paths to a second station with said articles similarly oriented and at right angles to their previous position, and
thereafter inserting said load into a case.
2. In the method of filling a top loading case with a load of vertically disposed articles arranged in a plurality of parallel rows the steps of:
moving vertically disposed articles along a plurality of parallel paths of travel to a first station to provide a load consisting of a predetermined number of articles in intersecting rows,
swinging said load as a unit through ninety degrees in a plane at right angles to said paths to a second station with said articles horizontally disposed,
moving said load from said second station to a third station with said articles horizontally disposed, disposing a case with its top opening horizontally at said third station, and
inserting said load into said case horizontally.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein said load is translated horizontally to said third station.
4. Apparatus for filling a top loading case with a load of vertically disposed articles arranged in a plurality of parallel rows comprising:
a first station,
means for conveying vertically disposed articles along a plurality of parallel paths of travel to provide a load at said first station consisting of a predetermined number of articles in intersecting rows, means for swinging said load as a unit through ninety degrees in a plane at right angles to said paths to a second station with said articles horizontally disposed,
means for moving said load as a unit from said second station to a loading station, and
means for inserting said load horizontally into a case through the top of the latter.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said means for swinging said load includes a horizontally disposed support and a plurality of elongated guides defining a plurality of rows therebetween.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5 wherein some of said guides support the weight of said articles during swinging movement of the same.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,839,925 l/1932 McKaig 53l64 3,040,491 6/1962 Viitanen 5326 FOREIGN PATENTS 636,078 3/ 1962 Italy.
THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner R. L. SPRUILL, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 53-459