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Publication numberUS2662633 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date15 Dec 1953
Filing date9 Apr 1952
Priority date9 Apr 1952
Publication numberUS 2662633 A, US 2662633A, US-A-2662633, US2662633 A, US2662633A
InventorsKingsley David G
Original AssigneeStapling Machines Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for orienting mitered cleats
US 2662633 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec, 15, 1953 D. G. KlNGsLr-:Y

APPARATUS FOR .ORIENTING MIIERED CLEATS Filed April 9, 1952 o O o D o o D Q O avlld BY Sw m Q Dec. 15, 1953 Filed April 9, 1952 D. G. KINGSLEY APPARATUS FOR ORIENTING MITERED CLEATS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented ec. 15, 1953 UNITED STATES ATENT OFFICE APPARATUS FOR ORIENTING MITERED CLEATS Application April 9, 1952, Serial No. 281,362

(Cl. Hi8-33) 13 Claims. l

This invention relates to apparatus for uniformly orienting mitered-end cleats and feeding them to the conveyor bands of a box-part-making machine.

Wirebound box and crate blanks are usually formed by cleats and side material or slats stapled together to forni a plurality, usually four, box sections or sides which are secured together by binding Wires stapled to the box sections. The cleats are often provided with ncitered ends so that when the box blanlr is folded around to set up the box, the abutting ends of the cleats at each corner of the bon will rit snugly together to lend strength and rigidity to the box. Wirebound boxes of this general type are disclosed in U. S, Patent No. 1,933,030, issued October 3l, 1933.

In wirebound box-part-rnaking machines, properly assembled cleats and side material or slats are conveyed past a transverse row of stap-ling units where staples are driven astride binding wires and into the side material and cleats to form the wrebound box or crate blanks. The cleats and slats are conveyed through the machine by means of two or more conveyor bands on which are secured spacer blocks having projecting push-elements which engagethe slats and the cleats and convey them in properly assembled relationship. ln the copending application Serial No. apparatus for automatically feeding cleats to the conveyor bands of a box-part-niaking machine is disclosed. This apparatus includes a hopper in which a generally vertical stackv of cleats is held in position above each of the conveyor bands, with the bottom cleat or the stack in the path ci the cleat-pushing elements on the spacer blocks so that the elements will engage and the cleats individually and successively from the bottom of the stack. rlhis apparatus enables a considerable saving of time effort on the part of the personnel employed in placing the box materials on the conveyor bands of the machine. However, the apparatus disclosed necessitates prearrangement ci the cleats to there uniform orientation.

The present intention. llas for its objectives sion ci li tical, reliable and economical apparatus fo.. uniformly crient-ing initereeend cleats so they may ce fed automatically to the conveyor be of a box-part-making machine, thereby ina possible a substantial saving in the time personnel who tend m' C* anc eiiort required of the the machine, and enabling substantial savings in the cost of producing box parts or box blanks.

The apparatus of the invention includes a cleat hopp-er in which the cleats are stacked generally parallel to each other but without regard to orientation. A pickup conveyor is movable across the bottom of the hopper to remove cleats from the hopper and convey them single le along a path generally lateral to the cleats. The cleats are carried against the periphery of a pair of rotatable spacing wheels having peripherally spaced elements for engaging the cleats and removing them individually and at timed intervals from the pickup conveyor. This results in spacing the cleats apart so that there is sufficient room to permit axial rotation of the cleats to achieve uniform orientation.

The spacing wheels deliver the cleats to a pair of cleat orienting belts which are spaced apart a distance approximately equal to the length or" the cleats and are arranged to convey the cleats along a path generally perpendicular to the long axes of the cleats by engagement of the orient-- ing belts with the ends of the cleats. The orienting belts are inclined so as to present to the end of the cleats surfaces inclined upwardly and outwardly so that the cleats in a short-side-up position ride on the orienting belts at a higher level than the cleats in a short-side-down position.

A pair of cleat turning members or pawls are mounted above the cleat orienting belts in position to engage and impede forward movement of the upper portions or the cleats riding on the orienting belts in a short-side-up position, but not to engage the cleats riding in a short-sidedown position. These cleat turning members, acting in conjunction with irictional engagement of the lower corners of the cleats with the moving orienting belts, create a couple which rotates the cleats and causes them to fall to a short-sidedovvn position. A pair of leaf springs is mounted adjacent the cleat turning members in position to engage and bear downwardly upon the trailing portion of the upwardly racing short side oi each of the cleats in a short-side-up position on the orienting belts, to enhance this rotative couple.

In order to place all of the cleats in the desired orientation prior to feeding them into the hoppers above the conveyor bands of the box-partnialsing machine, all oi the cleats are given an additional 90 rotation. This is accomplished on a stacking lconveyor which is positioned to receive the cleats at the output end of the .orienting belts. Cleat turning members and leaf springs, similar to those previously described, are po 'tioned above the stacking conveyor for engag? -g all of the cleats thereon androtating them through an angle of 99.

The rate at which the cleat orienting apparatus tends to supply cleats into each of the hoppers above the conveyor bands exceeds the rate at which the cleats are removed from the hoppers bv the conveyor bands. Accordingly, after a brief period of operation, a solid line oi cleats will accumulate on the stacking conveyor, with the stacking conveyor continuing to run and sliding frictionally under the cleats. In order to disene'age the drive to the pickup conveyor, spacing wheels cleat orienting belts when a solid line of cleats of predetermined extent has accumulated on the stacking conveyor, a pair of photoelectric cells are positioned at spaced points along the path of the cleats on the stacking conveyor and a pair of light sources are arranged in line with the photoelectric cells n the opposite side of the cleat path. These photoelectric cells are connected to an electrically controlled clutch and brake in the drive to the pickup conveyor, spacing wheels and cleat orienting belts in such manner that when the beams of light to both of the photoelectric cells have been intercepted by cleats on the stacking conveyor, the clutch is disengaged and the brake is applied to stop the drive to these units until suicient cleats have been removed to expose both light sources.

ln the drawings, in which an illustrative embodiment of the invention is shown:

Figure 1 is a somewhat diagrammatic side elevational view of a dispensingr apparatus embodying features of the invention, the apparatus being shown partly in section;

Figure 2 is a somewhat diagrammatic top plan view of the machine;

Figure 3 is a fragmentary vertical section, at enlarged scale, taken generally along the line 3 3 of Figure 1;

Figures Il, 5 and 6 are diagrammatic views of one of the cleat-turning assemblies of the apparatus showing, in successive steps, the turning of a cleat by said assembly; and,

Figure '7 is a schematic diagram of the electrical circuit which controls the drive of the apparatus.

In Figures l and 2, the cleat orienting and feeding apparatus is shown positioned alongside one of the conveyor bands I (at the extreme right in those iigures) near the input end of the box-part-making machine. The various component mechanisms of the apparatus are supported on a framework which includes a plurality of upright members i2. with appropriate longitudinal and transverse bracing members, mounting brackets and bearings for the various components oi the apparatus.

rlhe apparatus includes a large hopper M, shown at the extreme left in Figure 1, which is adapted to receive a plurality of cleats i3 arranged generally parallel to each other but without regard to orientation. The hopper It is open at its lower end and a pair of pickup conveyor belts i5 are arranged to extend across the bottom of the hopper along a line generally perpendicular to the long axes of the cleats in the hopper. The pickup conveyor belts IS are trained upon idler pulleys i3 and drive pulleys IS, the latter being driven from a motor 28, suitably supported near the door beneath the center of the apparatus.

The drive from the motor 23 to the pulleys Ii is through a pulley 2! (Figure 1) on the motor shaft, a V-belt 22, and a pulley 23 (Figure 2) xeol near one end of a sleeve 2t rotatably supported on a fixed shaft 25 Which is supported at either end by brackets 3l on a cross-beam 3?. of the frame oi the apparatus. One plate of a solenoid-controlled clutch ZB is fixed on the other end of the sleeve 2t, and the other plate o the clutch 25 is fixed at one end of a second sleeve 28 also rotatably mounted on the ixcd shaft 25. A sprocket 29 on the sleeve 23 has trained about it a chain Sii which is also trained about a sprocket 32 secured on the same sha-it on which the pulleys iii are fixed. Arranged to act upon the opposite end of the sleeve 23 is a solenoidcontrolled brake 2l, which is operable, in combination with the clutch 2G, to control the drive train just referred to, as will be more particularly described hereinafter.

r,The pickup conveyor belts it are thus driven across the bottom of the hopper ifi in the direction indicated by the arrow A in Figure 1, and tend to move the cleats out oi the hopper in that direction. The lower end Ida of the wall of the hopper Ul toward which the pickup conveyor belts it tend to move the cleats out oi the hopper is spaced above the pickup conveyor belts i6 by a distance slightly exceeding the thickness oi the cleats so as to permit the cleats to move from the hopper only single nie on the conveyor belts it.

A pair of spacing wheels 3S are positioned across the output or right-hand end oi the pickup conveyor belts i5, as viewed in Figures l and 2, so that the belts i3 carry the cleats laterally against the periphery or" the spacing wheels 35. rEhe spacing wheels 35 are secured to a rotatable shaft B which is driven in the direction indicated by the arrow B in Figure 1, by means oi a sprocket which is coupled through a chain 62 to a sprocket lil (Figure 2) xed on the driven shaft 36% previously referred to.

Around the periphery of each of the spacing wheels 35 are provided. a plurality of equally spaced, radially projecting cleat-engaging elements Eta adapted to engage the cleats on the pickup conveyor belts it and lift them from the belts and over the tops of the spacing wheels The drive ratio of the pickup conveyor belts it and spacing Wheels 36 is such that the pickup conveyor belts i@ will furnish cleats to the spacing wheels 36 at a rate faster than the rate at which the spacing wheels remove cleats from pickup conveyor belts. This causes cleats to ccumulate on the pickup conveyor belts IE, as shown in Figures l and :2. Since 'there is only frictional engagement between the pickup conveyor belts iii and the cleats thereon, as cleats ccurnulate in a solid line on the pickup conveyor belts, the belts lwill simply slide frictionaily under the bottom surfaces of the cleats. The cleats will be moved :forward intermittently, being stationary except when the cleat engaging elements @63a on the spacing wheels t6 remove a cleat from the output end of the pickup conveyor belts IE, at which time the line of cleats on the pickup conveyor belt will move forward a distance equal to the thickness of one cleat to fill the space vacated by the cleat removed and place the next cleat in position to be picked up by the next succeeding pair of elements @ila on the spacing wheels 3E.

A pair of inclined slide rails |36 are mounted at the output or right-hand end of the spacing wheels 36, as viewed in Figures l and 2, to receive the Vcleats from the spacing wheels 36. The left-hand ends of the slide rails 4B are ele.- vated above their right-hand ends and are positioned so as to intersect the peripheral line of the spacing wheels at a point just to the right of the tops of the spacing wheels, so that as the cleats pass over the tops of the spacing wheels fit they are picked up by the slide rails l5 and slide down them onto a pair of orienting belts 48.

The function of the foregoing mechanism is thus to supply cleats to the cleat orienting belts til at spaced intervals. This prevents the accumulation of a solid line of cleats on the cleat orienting belts and allows room for rotating the cleats to achieve uniform orientation.

The orienting belts 43 are spaced apart a dis. tance approximately equal to the length of the cleats and are adapted to convey the cleats along a path generally perpendicular to the long axes of the cleats by frictional engagement `with the ends of the cleats. The orienting belts are trained upon idler pulleys t, which are mounted on short, rotatable shafts 52, and about vdrive pulleys 54, which are secured'to short, rotatable drive shafts 5b (see also Figure 3). The axes of the shafts 52 and 5b are at 45 angles with respect to the horizontal (as best shown in Figure 3) so that the pulleys 5@ and 54 and orienting belts 43 are inclined to present to the ends of the cleats surfaces inclined upwardly and outwardly; thus, the cleats which fall on the belts in a short-sideup position (as shown in broken lines in Figure 3) ride at a higher level than the cleats which fall onto the belts in a short-side-down position (as shown in full lines). Because of the shape oi the ends of the cleats, and of the inclination of the orienting belts 48, the cleats fall to either one or the other of these two positions.

The drive shafts for the cleat orienting belts it are rotatably supported in bearings 5'. (Figure 3) mounted on brackets El! secured to upper ends of two of the upright members l2. The shafts 55 are driven through bevel gears 59 and (it, the latter being secured at opposite ends of a short, horizontal drive shaft iii. rotatably supported in bearings @d on a base ii secured on a cross-brace lil' of the frame of the apparatus. The drive shaft 52 has keyed thereon a spur gear @c which meshes with a spur gear 'Hi (Figure 2) on a shaft 12 which extends transversely of the apparatus and is rotatably supported at its opposite ends in bearings 'Ni (Figure 2) The latter shaft 'i2 has keyed thereon a sprocket 76 about which is trained a chain "i3 which is also trained about a sprocket ils on the driven shaft 33 previously referred to. It is thus apparent that the cleat orienting belts, as well as the spacing wheels @t and pickup conveyor belts I6 are driven by the motor 2@ through the solenoidactuated clutch 26 (Figure 2) A pair of cleat turning members or pawls 82 are rotatably mounted above the cleat orienting belts it on a shaft 84 which extends transversely of the apparatus and is supported at its opposite ends on upstanding brackets 86.

rihe rotatably mounted pawls 82 are normally urged by their own weight in a clockwise direction about the shaft 84, as viewed in Figures a, 5 and 6. This movement is limited by means of stop fingers 8S which extend beneath the pawls i2 and are adjustably secured on transverse shaft by means of collars 9!! (Figure 2).. rlhe co1- lars Sii and stop fingers 88 are so positioned that the stop iingers cause the cleat turning members or pawls 82 to .assume a normal position wherein their lower -ends 82a are at such level as to engage the upper portions of the cleats riding on the orienting belts 84 in Va short-side-upposition, but not the cleats in a short-side-down positiOn.

In Figure 4, a cleat i3, in a short-side-up position, is shown as it iirst engages vone of the pawls 82. The forward movement of the upper portion of the cleat is impeded by the pawl 32, while the lower portion of the cleat tends to move in the direction of the arrow C, due to frictional engagement between the lower corners of the cleat and the moving beltsffit. This creates a rotative couple which tends to .turn the cleat about its long axis in a oountercloclzwise direction, as indicated by the arrow i). This rotative couple is enhanced by means of leaf springs 5:! which are nxed at one end to the transverse shaft 8d alongn side the pawls 82 and have their opposite ends 92d positioned to engage and press downwardly upon the after portion of the upper surface of the cleats in a short-side-up position, when those cleats reach the point of engagement with pawls 82. This rotative couple causes the cleats to turn in a counterclockwise direction, as shown in Figures 5 and 6.

The rotatable mounting of the pawis t?. permits the pawls to move upward yieldingly, as shown in `Figures 5 and 6, to permit the cleats to pass between the pawls 32 and the orienting belts d8, while the cleats are rotating.

As will be understood from an examination of Figure 6, the action of the pawls 82 is only such as to rotate the cleats through an angle of approximately or slightly more; however, the cleats will ride only in either a short-side-up or a short-side-down position and since the cleats halfway between these two positions are urged i Y gravity toward a -short-side-down position and since the pawls have initiated rotation of the cleats to a short-sidepown position and continue to engage the cleats to prevent a reversal of this rotation, all of the cleats fall to a short-sidedown position.

The eifect of the orienting elements just described is thus to position all of the cleats with their short sides down. This is the orientation in which it is desired to feed the cleats into the hopper Sii (at the extreme right in Figure l), in which they are held in position above the conveyor bands It of the box-parteinalring machine for successive removal by the cleat-pushing elements Qta projecting from spacer blocks 9:3 clamped on the conveyor bands i5. However, it is expedient to feed the cleats into the hopper 9a through a guide channel Se in which the cleats are rotated through a 90 angle in a clockwise direction, as viewed in Figure l. in order to oiset this rotation, means is provided to rotate the cleats through a 90 angle in the opposite direction before feeding them into the guide channel S8, as will new be described.

Adjacent the output end of the orienting belts i8 are a pair of stacking conveyor belts it@ which are arranged to receive cleats from the orienting belts 45 and to convey the cleats along a path generally lateral to the cleats by fric-tional engagement of the belts with the bottoni surfaces of the cleats. The transfer of cleats from the orienting belts iii to the stacking conveyor is accomplished without rotation of the cleats from their short-side-down position. The stacf'ng conveyor belts I til are spaced apart a distan e less than the length of the short sides of the cleats and all of the cleats are thus supported at the same level on the steel-:ing conveyor belts. The stacking conveyor belts are trained about drive pulleys to2 and large idler pulleys i. The drive pulleys EQ2 are driven directly from the motor 2e through a sprocket its on the sleeve 22 (Figure 2), a chain ISS and a sprocket Idil on the same shaft i ill on which the pulleys i are lined. The stacking conveyor elts are thus driven in the direction oi the arrow E (Figure l). At each end of the cleats on the stacking conveyor belts EGG a guide rail i i3 is provided to keep the cleats in proper alignment on the belts Positioned above the stac ing conveyor belts it@ are a pair ci cleat turning members or pawls l2 which rotatably mounted on a transverse shaft lili supported on upstanding brackets H5. Associated with each oi the cleat turning pawls H2 a stop it and a leaf springr |22, which similar in construction and arrangen ment to the correspon= ng elements associate-2. with pawls 82 previously described. The operation of the pawls, stop members and springs is similar to that f described, except that the lower ends vls i E are positioned to engage and imp movement of the upper portions oi each oi e cleats on the stacking conveyor belts so that each cleat will be subjected to a rotative couple which will turn the cleat through an angle of S in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in Figure l. as may be seen in the right-hand of 2, all of the cleats at the output end of the sta ing conveyor belts ille are oriented with their short sides forward, so that the 90 clockwise rotation imparted to the cleats in the gui e channel ES will again pla-cc the cleats in a short-sirledown position as they enter the hopper The speed of the stacking conveyor belts les, and or the other conveyingmechanisms, is such that cleats will be supplied into the hopper 95| at a rate in excess or" the rate at which they are removed from the hopper by the cleat pushing elements Sta on the conveyor bands |il. This causes cleats to accumulate in the hopper 9?; and on the stacking conveyor belts |20, with the stacking conveyor belts sliding frictionally under the cleats, and maintaining the cleats in a closely abutting column. Means is provided to shut oilc n c un. S

the supply of cleats to the stacking conveyor belts when this continuous line of cleats reaches a predetermined length.

To this end, a pair of suitable light sources 22 and |23, i'or example, electric lamps with condensii are positioned at spaced points beneath the :l of the cleats on the stacking conveyor belts mit and arranged to direct beams of light upwardly through the cleat path to a pair of photoelectric cells 921i and which are mounted above on overhead frames i255.

photoelectric cells |26 and |25 are electrically connected to control the clutch 2t and brake 2l so that when the beams of light to both of the photoelectric cells are intercepted by cleats on the stacking conveyor belts |03, which l.sans that there is a solid line of cleats on the stacking conveyor belts extending to the point where the beam of light from the lett-hand light source 22 (as viewed in Figures l and 2) intersects the path of the cleats, the clutch 2S is disengaged and the brake 2l is applied to stop the pickup conveyor belts l, the spacing wheels 36 and the orienting belts fit1, and thereby stop the supply of cleats to the stacking conveyor :belts lil. Since the stacking conveyor belts llil are connected directly to the motor 20 and are not aected by the disengagement of the clutch 26, the stacking conveyor belts |00 will continue to convey cleats into the hopper 84 for removal by the cleat pushing elements 96a on the conveyor :bands |0. However, no more cleats will be supplied to the stacking conveyor belts |00 until the solid line of cleats thereon has moved forward to such extent that the beams of light to both of the photoelectric cells |25 and |25 are uncovered.

The lamps |22 and |23 and photoelectric cells |24 and |25 are so positioned that the beams of light are directed through the path of the cleats at an oblique angle relative to the sides of the cleats, so that when two abutting cleats intercept one of the beams of light, no appreciable amount of light reaches the `photoclectric cell. The width of each of the beams of light is greater than the effective width of a single cleat, as viewed from the oblique angle at which the beams of light intersect the cleat path, so that neither of the beams of light can be entirely extinguished by one cleat alone. Thus, a solid line of cleats, and, in practical effect, nothing less, will actuate the control circuit to shut oii the supply of cleats.

Figure 'l schematically illustrates the electrical interconnection between the photoelectric cells 124 and |25 and the clutch 26 and brake 21. As may be seen in that figure, the photoelectric cells 24 and |25 are respectively connected in series with the windings |28a and |30@ of a pair of control relays |28 and |30 across the lines |32 and |34, which areconnected to the opposite terminals of the source of electrical power. The contacts |28?) of the relay |28 are normally closed and are connected by means of conductors |35 and |33 between one of the power lines |32 and one side of the winding |42a of a triple-pole power relay |42. The opposite terminal of the winding |4261. is connected through the normally closed contacts |39 of the other control relay |36 and the conductor |40 to the other power line |34. The normally open contacts |421) of the power relay |42 are connected in series with the solenoid 21a which controls the brake 21, across the power lines |32 and |34, while the normally closed contacts |220 are connected in series with the solenoid 26a which controls the clutch 2li, across thexpower lines |32 and |34. The normally open contacts |42d of power relay |/l2 are connected in parallel with the contacts |2b of con trol relay |28 to serve as holding contacts for the power relay |28, as will subsequently be described.

The functioning of this circuit is as follows: When the operation of the apparatus is first commenced, there are of course no cleats on the stacking conveyor belts |02, so that light from the lamps |22 and |23 reaches both oi the photoelectric cells |2 and |25, respectively. Thus, both of the photoelectric cells |26 and |25 are electrically conductive, so that current flows from the power lines |32 and |34 through the photoelectric cells |24 and |25 and through the windings |28a and |3Ga of the control relays |28 and |32, to maintain both control relays energized and keep their normally closed contacts |28b and |305 open.

As operation of the apparatus continues, due to the fact that the apparatus tends to supply cleats into the hopper SHS at a rate faster than the rate at which they are removed from the hopper, cleats will accumulate on the stacking conveyor belts until the beam of light to the righthand photoelectric cell ld is intercepted. This will render the photoelectric cell 25 nonconductive and ole-energize the relay i3d, allowing its normally closed contacts iadb to close and connecting one side of the winding i520. or the control relay i @-2 to the power line i3d. This will not affect the operation of the apparatus until the continuous line or cleats on the stacking conveyor belts Edil becomes of such extent that the beam of light to the left-hand photoelectric cell ili is also intercepted. When this happens, the photoelectric cell |24 will become nonconductive and control relay lili will be die-energized, allowing its contacts ldt to close and connect the opposite terminal of the winding lilac of control relay MQ to the other power line |32, rhis will energize the control relay 1li, opening its nor- :nelly closed contacts IiEc to de-energize clutch solenoid 2te: and disengage the clutch 2S. The energization ci power relay |42 will also close its normally open contacts High, energizing brake solenoid 2id and applying the brake 27 to stop the movement of the pickup conveyor belts Iii, spacing wheels te and orienting belts d5. It will also close the holding contacts |fl2d of the power relay |42. i

The supply oi cleats to the stacking conveyor belts lilo will thus be cut ofi. The stacking conveyor belts, however, being driven directly from the motor 2t, as previously described, will continue to run and to supply the accumulated cleats into the hopper all. As the cleats are removed from the bottom oi the hopper by the cleat pushing elements elio, the accumulated cleats will be moved forwardly to uncover the beam of light to the left-hand photoelectric cell |265. This will render the photoelectric cell 2t conductive and again energize the control relay and open its contacts lflilb. However, since the holding contacts lll2d of the power relay |fi2, which are now closed by the energization of power relay M2, are connected in parallel with the contacts |2819 of control relay lit, the re-energization of relay E3 alone will not affect the operation of the apparatus. When the stack of cleats on the stacking conveyor belts itil has diminished suiciently to uncover the beam of light to the right-hand photoelectric cell the photoelectric cell |25 will be made conductive and the control relay it@ will be ire-energized to open its contactsl i'ib and disconnect the other end of the winding M25@ o1" the power relay |62 from the power line i3d. This will de-energize the power relay, opening its contacts M227 to de-energize brake solenoid Ela and release the brake 21, and closing its contacts M20 to energize clutch solenoid Zta and engage the clutch 26 to resume the drive of the pickup conveyor belts it, spacing wheels 36 and orienting belts de. This cycle or" intermittent operation will be repeated so as to keep cleats supplied to the hopper 94, without accumulating an excessive number of cleats on the stacking conveyor belts mtl.

While apparatus has been shown lfor feeding cleats to only one of the conveyor bands of the box-part-making machine, it will be appreciated that the feed of cleats to the other conveyor band may be accomplished similarly, either by duplicate orienting apparatus, or by dividing the supply of oriented cleats equally between the two conveyor bands. Where cleats of two different lengths are to be fed to the conveyor bands oi the machine, as where boxes with oblong ends are being made, the two lengths oi cleats may be oriented separately and fed into separate hoppers above each ci the conveyor bands or intermixed alternately and fed into special hoppers designed for the feeding of two lengths of cleats.

It will therefore be appreciated that the present invention provides practical means for uniformly orienting mitered cleats preparatory for feeding them to the conveyor bands of a boX-part-making machine. Thus it may be seen that the aforementioned as well as other desirable objects have been achieved. However', it should be emphasized that the particular embodiments of the apparatus shown and described herein are intended as merely illustrative and not as restrictive of the invention claim:

1. Apparatus for uniformly orienting miteredcleats preparatory to feeding said cleats to a boX-part-making machine, said apparatus comprising cleat orienting elements spaced apart a distance approximately equal to the length oi said cleats and having surfaces adapted to engage the opposite ends of said cleats for supporting said cleats, said surfaces being so shaped that the cleats in a short-side-up position on said cleat orienting elements are supported at a diii'erent level than the cleats in a short-side-down position, a cleat turning member positioned adjacent said cleat orienting elements at such level as to engage and impede relative movement oi the cleats in one of said positions on said orienting elements but not the cleats in the other of said positions, and means to cause relative movement between said cleat orienting elements and said cleat turning member to cause engagement between said cleat turning member and the cleats in said one position to create a couple which 10- tates said cleats and causes them to fall to said other position.

2. Apparatus for uniformly orienting miteredend cleats preparatory to feeding said cleats to a boX-part-making machine, said apparatus comprising a pair of movable orienting belts spaced apart a distance approximately equal to the length of said cleats for receiving said cleats aligned generally parallel to each other but of different orientation and conveying said cleats along a path generally at right angles to the long axes of said cleats by engagement of said orienting belts with the ends of said cleats, said orienting belts being inclined so as to present to the ends of said cleats surfaces extending upwardly and outwardly so that the cleats in a short-side-up position ride on said orienting belts at a higher level than the cleats in a short-sidedown position, and a cleat-turning member positioned above the path of said cleats at such level as to engage and impede forward movement of the upper portions of the cleats riding on said orienting belts in a short-side-up position but not the cleats riding in a short-side-down position, to create, with the moving belts, a couple which turns the former said cleats generally about said axes and causes them to fall to a shortside-down position.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said cleat turning member is mounted for upward yielding movement to permit a cleat to pass under said cleat turning member while said cleat is rotating from a short-side-up to a short-sidedown position.

Li. Apparatus for uniformly orienting initeredend cleats preparatory to feeding said cleats to a box-part-making machine, said apparatus comprising a pair of movable orienting belts spaced apart a distance approximately equal to the length of said cleats for receiving said cleats aligned generally parallel to each other but of different orientation and conveying said cleats along a path generally at right angles to the long axes of said cleats by engagement of said orienting belts with the ends of said cleats, said orienting belts being inclined so as to present to the ends of said cleats surfaces extending upwardly and outward-ly so that the cleats in a short-side-up position ride on said orienting belts at a higher level than the cleats in a short-sidedown position, a cleat turning assembly positioned above and adjacent to the path of said cleats, said cleat turning assembly including a pawl arranged to engage the upper portion of the leading face of each of the cleats riding on said orienting belts in a short-side-up position, but not the cleats riding a short-side-down position, and to impede forward movement of said upper portion, and resilient means arranged to bear against the trailing portion of the upwardly facing short side of each of said cleats and to impose a downward force on said trailing portion, whereby to create, with the friction between the lower corners of said cleats and the moving orienting belts, a couple which rotates said cleats and causes them to fall to a short-side-down position, said pawl being mounted for upward yielding movement to permit a cleat to pass under said pawl while said cleat is rotating from a short-side-up to a short-side-down position.

5. Apparatus for uniformly orienting miteredend cleats preparatory to feeding said cleats to a box-part-making machine, said apparatus comprising a hopper for holding a supply of cleats aligned generally parallel to each other but of different orientation, a movable conveyor arranged below said hopper to receive said cleats from said hopper and convey them single file to a pickup position, a rotatable spacing wheel having peripherally spaced elements for engaging said cleats at said pickup position and removing said cleats at intervals from said conveyor, a pair of movable orienting belts spaced apart a distance equal to the length of said cleats for receiving said cleats from said spacing wheel and conveying said cleats along a path generally at right angles to the long axes of said cleats, said orienting belts being inclined so as to present to the ends of said cleats surfaces extending upwardly and outwardly so that the cleats in a short-side-up position ride on said orient- -ing belts at a higher level than the cleats in a short-side-down position, means to drive said orienting belts at a linear speed sufficient to maintain a spacing between adjacent cleats on said belts, and a cleat-turning member positioned above the path of said cleats at such level as to engage and impede forward movement of the upper portions of the cleats riding on said orienting belts in a short-side-up position but not the cleats riding in a short-side-down position, to create, with the moving belts, a couple which turns the former said cleats generally about said axes and causes them to fall to a short-sidedown position.

6. Apparatus for uniformly orienting miteredend cleats preparatory to feeding said cleats to a box-part-making machine, said apparatus comprising a hopper for holding a supply of cleats aligned generally parallel to each other but of different orientation, a movable conveyor extending across the bottom of said hopper and said hopper being arranged so that the cleats therein rest upon said conveyor with the long axes of said cleats approximately at right angles to the direction of movement of said conveyor. and the lower end of the wall of said hopper on the side toward which said conveyor moves said cleats being spaced above said conveyor by a distance slightly greater than the thickness of one of said cleats so as to permit said cleats to move out of said hopper only single le on said conveyor, a rotatable spacing wheel extending transversely of said conveyor so that said conveyor carries said cleats laterally against the periphery of said spacing wheel, said spacing wheel having peripherially spaced elements for engaging said cleats and lifting them at intervals from said conveyor, a pair of movable orienting belts spaced apart a distance equal to the length of said cleats for receiving said cleats from said spacing wheel and oonveying said cleats along a path generally at right angles to the long axes of said cleats, said orienting belts being inclined so as to present to the ends of said cleats surfaces extending upwardly and outwardly so that the cleats in a short-side-up position ride on said orienting belts at a higher level than the cleats in a shortside-down position, and a cleat-turning member positioned above the path of said cleats at such level as to engage and impede forward movement of the upper portions of the cleats riding on said orienting belts in a short-side-up position but not the cleats riding in a short-side-down position, to create, with the moving belts, a couple which turns the former said cleats generally about said axes and causes them to fall to a short-side-down position.

'7. Apparatus for uniformly orienting miteredend cleats and feeding them short-side-down to a conveyor band of a box-part-making machine, said apparatus comprising a pair of movable orienting belts spaced apart a distance approximately equal to the length of said cleats for receiving said cleats aligned generally parallel to each other but of different orientation and conveying said cleats along a path generally at right angles to the long axes of said cleats, said orienting belts being inclined so as to present to the ends of said cleats surfaces extending upwardly and outwardly so that the cleats in a short-side-up position ride on said orienting belts at a higher level than the cleats in a shortside-down position, a cleat-turning member positioned above the path of said cleats at such level as to engage and impede forward movement of the upper portions of the cleats riding on said orienting belts in a short-sde-up position but not the cleats riding in a short-side-down position, to create, With the moving belts, a couple which turns the former said cleats generally about said axes and causes them to fall to a short-side-down position, a movable cleat conveyor belt adapted to receive said cleats from said orienting belts and support all of said cleats at approximately the same level and convey them single file along a path generally lateral to said cleats, a cleat turning member positioned above said cleat conveyor belt to engage and impede forward movement of the upper portion of each of said cleats and create, with the moving cleat f conveyor belt, a couple which rotates each of said cleats axially through a angle in one direction, a hopper arranged above the conveyor of said box-part-making machine for holding a vertical stack of cleats in position for successive removal from said hopper by said conveyor band, and a guide channel arranged to conduct cleats 13 from said cleat conveyor belt to said hopper, said guide channel being shaped to turn said cleats axially through an angle of 90 in the opposite direction so that said cleats enter said hopper short-side-down.

8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein each of said cleat 'turning elements is mounted for upward yielding movement to permit a cleat to pass thereunder while said cleat is rotating.

9. Apparatus for uniformly orienting miteredend cleats and feeding them to a conveyor band of a box-part-making machine, said apparatus comprising a pair of movable orienting belts spaced apart a distance approximately equal to the length of said cleats for receiving said cleats aligned generally parallel to each other but of different orientation and conveying said cleats along a path generally at right angles to the long axes of said cleats by engagement of said orienting belts with the ends oi said cleats, said orienting belts being inclined so as to present to the ends of said cleats surfaces extending upwardly and outwardly so that the cleats in a short-sideup position ride on said orienting belts at a higher level than the cleats in a short-side-down position, a cleat-turning member positioned above the path of said cleats at such level as to engage and impede forward movement of the upper portions of the cleats riding on said orienting belts in a short-side-up position but not the cleats riding in a short-side-down position, to create, with the moving belts, a couple which turns the former said cleats generally about said axes and causes them to fall to a short-sidedown position, a conveyor adapted to receive said cleats from said orienting belts and to convey the same in single file along a path generally lateral to said cleats, a hopper arranged above the conveyor band of said box-part-making machine to receive said cleats from said cleat conveyor and hold them in position for successive removal from said hopper by said conveyor band, driving means for normally driving said orienting belts at a speed suiiicient to supply cleats to said hopper at a rate slightly in excess of the rate at which they are removed from said hopper by said conveyor band, to cause a line of cleats to accumulate in said hopper and on said cleat conveyor, control means operable to disconnect said drive means from said orienting belts, said ,d

control means being responsive to the accumulation on said cleat conveyor of a substantially solid line of cleats of predetermined extent.

l0. Apparatus for uniformly orienting miteredend cleats and feeding them to a conveyor band of a box-part-making machine, said apparatus comprising a pair of movable orienting belts spaced apart a distance approximately equal to the length of said cleats for receiving said cleats aligned generally parallel to each other but of different orientation and conveying said cleats along a path generally at right angles to the long axes of said cleats by engagement of said orienting belts with the ends of said cleats, said orienting belts being inclined so as to present to the ends of said cleats surfaces extending upwardly and outwardly so that the cleats in a short-sideup position ride on said orienting belts at a higher level than the cleats in a short-side-down position, a cleat-turning member positioned above the path of said cleats at such level as to engage and impede forward movement of the upper portions of the cleats riding on said orienting belts in a short-side-up position but not the cleats riding in a short-side-down position, to create,

'ifi

with the moving belts, a couple which turns the former said cleats generally about said axes ant causes them to fall to a short-side-down position, a cleat conveyor adapted to receive said cleats from said orienting belts and to convey the same in single iile along a path generally lateral to said cleats, a hopper arranged above the conveyor band of said boX-part-making machine to receive said cleats from said cleat conveyor and hold them in position for successive removal from said hopper by said conveyor band, driving means for normally driving said orienting belts at a speed sufficient to supply cleats to said hopper at a rate slightly in excess of the rate at which they are removed from said hopper by said conveyor band, to cause a line of cleats to accumulate in said hopper and on said cleat conveyor. electrically actuated control means operable to disconnect said drive means from said orienting belts, said control means including at least two light transmitting means arranged at spaced positions on one side of the path of the cleats on said cleat conveyor, and arranged to direct beams of light through said path at spaced points, and photo-electric means mounted on the other side of said path in position to receive the beams of light from said light sources except when said beams of light are intercepted by cleats on said cleat conveyor, said photoelectric means being so connected to said control means that said photo-electric means actuates said control means to disconnect said drive means from said orienting -belts only when the light beams from each of said light transmitting means to said photoelectric means are intercepted.

ll. Apparatus as claimed in claim 10 wherein said light transmitting means are oriented to direct said beams of light across the path of the cleats at an oblique angle to the sides of said cleats.

12. Apparatus as claimed in claim l0 wherein said photo-electric means are sensitive to said beams of light through an area of greater lateral extent than the eiective width of said cleats as viewed from the angle at which said beams of light cross the path of the cleats, so that said photo-electric means are effective to actuate said control means to disconnect said drive means from said movable belt means only if at least two adjacent cleats intercept each of said beams of light.

13. Apparatus for uniformly orienting miteredend cleats and feeding them to a conveyor band of a boX-part-making machine, said apparatus comprising a hopper for holding a supply of cleats aligned generally parallel tc each other but of different orientation, a movable conveyor arranged below said hopper to receive said cleats from said hopper and convey them single file to a pickup position, a rotatable wheel having peripherally spaced elements for engaging said cleats at said pickup position and removing said cleats at intervals from said conveyor, a pair of movable orienting belts spaced apart a distance equal to the length of said cleats for receiving said cleats from said spacing wheel and conveying said cleats along a path generally at right angles to the long axes of said cleats, said orienting belts being inclined so as to present to the ends of said cleats surfaces extending upwardly and outwardly so that the cleats in a short-sideup position ride on said orienting belts at a higher level than the cleats in a short-side-down position, a cleat-turning member positiontd above the path of said cleats at such level as to engage and impede forward movement of the upper portions of the cleats riding on said orienting belts in a short-side-up `oosition but not the cleats riding in a short-side-down position, to create, with the moving belts, a couple which turns the former said cleats generally about said axes and causes them to fall to a short-side-dovvn position, a c0nveyor adapted to receive said cleats from said orienting belts and to convey the same in single file along a path generally lateral to said cleats, a hopper arranged above the conveyor band of said boX-part-making machine to receive said cleats from said cleat conveyor and hold them in position for successive removal from said hopper by said conveyor band, driving means normally connected to drive the rst said conveyor, said spacing wheel, said orienting belts and said cleat conveyor, and control means operable to disconnect said drive means from said spacing wheel and said orienting belts but to leave said drive means connected to said cleat conveyor, said control means being responsive to the accumulation on said cleat conveyor of a substantially Solid line of cleats of predetermined extent.

DAVID G. KINGSLEY.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 918,708 Smith Apr. 20, 1909 2,158,069 Grover May 16, 1939 2,180,601 Mitchell Nov. 21, 1939 2,209,340 Landry July 30, 1940

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US5009306 *19 Jun 198923 Apr 1991Simplimatic Engineering CompanyPrinted circuit board conveyor and method
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Classifications
U.S. Classification198/389, 198/444, 198/399, 198/817
International ClassificationB27M3/34, B27M3/36
Cooperative ClassificationB27M3/36
European ClassificationB27M3/36