US 3914921 A
A casing apparatus marshalls a number of cartons into a tier for positioning into a case and includes a loading table onto which a row of cartons are fed and a horizontal carrier adjacent the table. A pusher is actuated to push cartons from the loading table transversely of the row onto a horizontal carrier with the cartons being pushed against a retaining bar which assists in maintaining the cartons in their upright position. When a predetermined number of cartons has been pushed onto the horizontal carrier to form a tier, the retaining bar is pivoted upwardly to release the tier of cartons which may then be moved into a case.
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Doran et a1.
14 1 Oct. 28, 1975 HIGH SPEED CARTON CASING APPARATUS Inventors: Robert J. Doran, Danbury; Robert W. Grall, Bethlehem; Joseph F. Pane, Danbury, all of Conn.
Assignee: Windor, Incorporated, Danbury,
Filed: Apr. 10, 1974 Appl. No.: 459,606
US. Cl. 53/159; 53/247; 198/24; 198/31 AB Int. Cl. B65B 5/08; B65B 35/40 Field of Search 53/61, 62, 164, 165, 166, 53/247, 159; 198/24, 31 AB References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,884,114 4/1959 Oberwelland 198/24 9/1966 Winter et a1 .11: 53/61 3,363,394 l/l968 Rainbow 53/61 3,435,584 4/1969 3,525,097 8/1970 Maulini 53/164 X 3,708,947 l/l973 Green et a1, 53/159 Primary Examiner-Robert L. Spruill Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Smythe & Moore [5 7] ABSTRACT A casing apparatus marshalls a number of cartons into a tier for positioning into a case and includes a loading table onto which a row of cartons are fed and a horizontal carrier adjacent the table. A pusher is actuated to push cartons from the loading table transversely of the row onto a horizontal carrier with the cartons being pushed against a retaining bar which assists in maintaining the cartons in their upright position. When a predetermined number of cartons has been pushed onto the horizontal carrier to form a tier, the retaining bar is pivoted upwardly to release the tier of cartons which may then be moved into a case.
4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures Sheet 1 of 3 US. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 US. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 2 of 3 3,914,921
U.S. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 3 of3 3,914,921
HIGH SPEED CARTON CASING APPARATUS The present invention relates to an apparatus for casing cartons, and more particularly, to an apparatus for pushing the cartons to form a tier and to a retaining apparatus for supporting the pushed cartons in an upright position.
A wide variety of products, including dairy products and juices, are packed in containers, such as cartons, which are then moved into a case for shipment. A plurality of these cartons is usually assembled into a tier or layer and then deposited into a case which accommodates this predetermined number of cartons. Generally, each tier or layer may comprise several rows of cartons with each row comprising several cartons. The number of cartons in a tier and the precise arrangement of the cartons within the tier depends largely upon the capacities of the individual cartons and the size of the case in which they are to be shipped.
The apparatus for casing the Cartons generally comprises a conveyor along which the cartons are conveyed in a row. A suitable mechanism is then provided for assembling the cartons into a suitable pattern for deposition into a case. Generally, this assembling apparatus comprises a pusher which pushes several cartons transversely from the row of cartons being fed onto a horizontal carrier. After several such pluralities of cartons are pushed onto the carrier, the assembled cartons, which now define a tier, are placed into a case by a suitable gripping mechanism.
It has been found that when the cartons are pushed from the conveyed row onto the horizontal carrier, especially when the pushing is fast, difficulties are encountered in maintaining the cartons in their upright positions. This is especially true when cartons such as half-gallon containers of milk are pushed, since the horizontal pushing movement of the cartons from the row may cause the cartons to fall down. When a carton falls down, it will present a loading problem. Various measures have previously been proposed to maintain the cartons in their upright positions after they have been pushed onto the horizontal carrier. However, such solutions have generally not been satisfactory since they are either too complicated in structure or too unreliable in operation.
One of the objects of the present invention is to provide an improved apparatus for casing cartons.
Another of the objects of the invention is to provide a casing machine wherein the speed of casing can be increased without overturning the cartons being cased.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a casing apparatus having an improved mechanism for pushing and retaining cartons in a layer or tier which is to be positioned in a case.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a mechanism for retaining pushed cartons in their upright position, the mechanism being simple in structure and reliable in operation.
Another object of the present invention is to provide such a retaining mechanism which can be readily retracted from its retaining position when an assembled tier of cartons is to be moved into a case.
In one aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for casing cartons within a case may comprise a loading table onto which a row of containers are fed. A horizontal carrier is disposed adjacent the loading table and a pusher is actuated to push a plurality of cartons from the loading table transversely of said row onto the horizontal carrier. Means are positioned opposite said pusher against which the cartons are pushed to retain the cartons in their upright positions on the horizontal carrier. The retaining means moves horizontally to accommodate additional cartons pushed onto the carrier to define a layer, and the retaining means are then pivoted out of the retaining position when a tier has been completed.
Other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent from the accompanying description and drawings, which are merely exemplary.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is an overall perspective view of that portion of the casing apparatus of the present invention which includes the horizontal carrier, pusher and retaining members;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the pusher and retaining bar showing the retaining bar in its original position;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to that of FIG. 2, but shows the retaining bar in position after a number of cartons have been marshalled into a tier by the pusher;
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view similar to that of FIG. 3 but in greater detail and showing the manner in which the retaining bar is retracted upwardly;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the lines 55 of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view in enlarged scale showing the disengagement of the ratchet and pawl mechanism illustrated in FIG. 4.
Proceeding next to the drawings wherein like reference symbols indicate the same parts throughout the various views, a specific embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail.
The casing machine is an improvement over the casing machine disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,273,304 issued Sept. 20, 1966, and embodies most of the structural features of this machine. It is therefore not necessary to describe each component of the present machine in detail since these components are adequately described in the above-mentioned patent.
As may be seen in FIG. 1, the casing apparatus of the present invention is indicated generally at 10 and comprises a frame 11 having a loading table 12 which may comprise a portion of a continuous straight line conveyor 13 upon which a row of cartons 14 are conveyed or fed to the caser. In the present embodiment of the invention, cartons 14 comprise half-gallon containers for milk, juice or the like. The function of the present apparatus is not limited to any particular number or size of containers and can be utilized where the cartons are attached in pairs or the individual containers are separate from each other.
Pusher 15 which is actuated by a fluid-operated motor 16 is positioned adjacent the loading table 12 so that the row of cartons conveyed onto the table passes in front of the pusher.
A predetermined number of cartons 14 are pushed from the loading table 12 by pusher 15 onto a horizontally reciprocable carrier 20 which comprises a plurality of spaced bars 21 upon which a tier of cartons is to be supported. The cartons so pushed onto the carrier will form one row of the tier or layer of cartons which ,will eventually be marshalled on the carrier 20.
Intermeshing with the horizontal bars 21 are four vertical bars 22 which form a comb and which function to push the assembled tier of cartons from the carrier 20. The vertical bars 22 are interconnected by a horizontal bar 23, the ends of which are attached to hydraulic motor 24 (FIGS. 1,2) positioned on both sides of the carrier and which move the comb vertically. The comb 22 is in the down position while the cartons are being transferred from the loading table to horizontal carrier 20. The forward horizontal movement of the comb 22 and the horizontal carrier 20 transfers the tier of cartons to a point beneath a gripping head assembly indicated generally at 25 in FIG. 2.
The carrier may also comprise opposed plates 26 and 27 which may be actuated by fluid-operated motors and mounted on frame 28. The tier of cartons is moved against a backup plate 29 which positions the cartons for the gripper head assembly. The clamping plates 26 and 27 and backup plate 29 are positioned as shown in FIG. 1 for depositing a tier of cartons into a case indicated generally at 30.
Coacting with pusher 15 is a retainer mechanism indicated generally at 31 which comprises a substantially horizontal bar or arm 32 (FIG. 1) which is positioned parallel to loading table 12 and parallel to the movement of the row of cartons 14 on conveyor 13.
The bar 32 is mounted on the end of a pair of brackets 33 and 34 which are in turn mounted on a plate 35 provided with a plurality of rollers or wheels 36 which slide in horizontally mounted tracks 37 and 38 supported by brackets 39 from frame 11.
The inner ends of the arms 33 and 34 are provided with downwardly extending arms 40 which are pivotally mounted at 41 on the frame plate 35.
A fluid motor means 42 is fixedly attached by a bracket 43 to the mounting plate 35 and has a piston rod 44 fixedly attached at 45.
Also mounted on the inner ends of the arms 33 and 34 are pawls 46 which are engageable with a ratchet 47 fixed on the casing apparatus as indicated at 48. The outer ends of the arms 40 are each pivotally connected at 49 to a piston rod 50 of hydraulic motor 51 whose other end is pivotally mounted at 52 on plate 35.
The pawl 46 and ratchet 47 arrangement will prevent the retaining bar 32 from being moved to the left (FIGS. 2, 3 and 4) by air tending to expand in cylinder 42 upon completion of a movement of cartons to the right. Such reverse movement would tend to push the cartons in the wrong direction and possibly turning them over.
During the casing operation, a row of cartons 14 is fed by conveyor 13 onto the loading table 12 in front of the pusher 15, and several cartons are pushed from the loading table onto horizontal carrier 13 to form a row A of a tier or layer of cartons. The cartons of row A are pushed up against the horizontal bar 32 of the retaining mechanism. As the next row of cartons B is pushed from the loading table onto the carrier 20, the horizontal bar 32 of the retaining mechanism will be pushed to the right, as viewed in the drawing.
When a predetermined number of rows C have been pushed onto the horizontal carrier to form a pattern of cartons, fluid-operated motor 51 is actuated to pivot the bracket arms 33 in a counterclockwise direction around pivot 41 to raise horizontal arm 32 to 32A, as seen in FIG. 4. In this position, the horizontal bar is retracted upwardly above the cartons l4 and permits .the cartons to be pushed below this bar to clear the retaining mechanism.
In this released or disengaged position of retaining bar 32, pawl 46 isdisengaged from the ratchet 47, and the fluid-operated motor 42 is actuated to return the retaining mechanism to its original position as shown in FIG. 2.
The layer or tier of cartons is moved by the horizontal carrier 20 to a position below the gripping mechanism 25 which grips all of the cartons and deposits the cartons in a case 30 positioned therebelow, as can be seen in FIG. 1.
It is apparent that with this construction the cartons which are pushed from the loading table onto the horizontal carrier are moved up against the horizontal retaining bar 32 so as to be maintained in their upright position even when pushed rapidly. The cartons are retained in these positions even after additional rows of cartons are pushed onto the carrier to form a layer of cartons. The retaining bar is then readily disengaged from the cartons to permit the cartons to pass underneath the bar, and the retaining bar is returned to its original position against which the first row of a succeeding tier of cartons is positioned.
It will be understood that various details of construction and arrangement of parts may be changed without departing from the spirit of the invention except as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In an apparatus for casing cartons within a case including a loading table onto which a row of cartons are fed, a reciprocable horizontal carrier adjacent thereto for receiving rows of cartons from said loading table, a pusher adjacent said loading table and means for reciprocating said pusher to push a plurality of cartons in a row from said loading table transversely of said row and onto said horizontal carrier, means adjacent said carrier for placing cartons into a case and means supporting said case to be filled, the improvement comprising retaining means on the opposite side of the row of cartons being pushed onto said carrier, said retaining means having means connected thereto to oppose the force exerted by said pusher against said cartons as the cartons are pushed so as to retain said cartons in their upright position on the horizontal carrier, and means for disengaging said retaining means from said cartons by moving said retaining means upwardly and away from said cartons when a predetermined number of cartons have been pushed upon said horizontal carrier, so that said carrier can then move the marshalled cartons to a further position preparatory to casing.
2. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said disengaging means comprises means for pivoting said retaining means upwardly about a horizontal axis.
3. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said retaining means comprises a horizontal arm substantially parallel to said row of cartons, bracket means supporting said horizontal arm and mounted for horizontal movement transversely of said row, and means operatively connected to said bracket means for pivoting said bracket means and said arm upwardly to disengage said cartons.
4. In an apparatus as claimed in claim 3 and comprising stationary ratchet means, pawl means on said bracket means for engaging with said ratched means to position said retaining means during its horizontal movement with cartons pushed thereagainst, the pivoting of said bracket means also disengaging said pawl and ratchet means to permit said horizontal arm to return to its original position adjacent loading table.
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