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Process and apparatus for combining sheet-like articles and jointly transporting them further

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Erwin Müller

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A process and apparatus for conveying flexible sheet-like articles

26, wherein the articles are fed to a first curved section

14 by means of a delivery conveyor

10 which includes spaced apart transporting clamps

22 for retaining the articles in a hanging position. Arranged in a radially inward direction at the curved section

14, is a gripper wheel

36 with circumferentially distributed grippers

40 and respective supporting elements

52. The gripper wheel

36 is driven at the same angular velocity as the transporting clamps

22 in the curved section

14. However, a single gripper

40 is assigned in each case to two transporting clamps

22. The lower free edges

32 of the two articles

26 to be joined are guided by a supporting element

52 into a gripper

40, and as soon as this has taken place, the relevant gripper

40 is closed, and the relevant transporting clamps

22 then release the articles

26. The associated supporting element

52 is then drawn back inward in the radial direction.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be explained in more detail with reference to several embodiments illustrated in the drawings, in which, purely schematically:

FIG. 1 shows a view of a conveyor by means of which the articles arriving are transported to a gripper wheel, by means of which in each case two of the articles are combined and transferred to a removal conveyor;

FIG. 2 shows an axial section of part of the gripper wheel from FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows, in the same illustration as in FIG. 1, the conveyor by means of which the articles arriving are transported and also a gripper conveyor by means of which in each case two of the articles are combined and conveyed away;

FIG. 4 shows, in the same illustration as in FIG. 2, part of the gripper conveyor and of a deflecting wheel with the supporting elements for the articles;

FIG. 5 shows, in the same illustration as in FIGS. 1 and 3, part of the apparatus shown there, in the case of which the supporting elements are aligned with the transporting clamp which retains the respectively leading article of the two articles which are to be combined;

FIG. 6 shows, in the same illustration as in FIG. 5, part of the apparatus according to FIGS. 1 and 3, in the case of which the supporting elements are aligned with the transporting clamp which retains the respectively trailing article of the two articles which are to be combined;

FIG. 7 shows, in the same illustration as in FIGS. 1 and 3, a further embodiment of the apparatus according to the invention, in the case of which the conveyor by means of which the articles arriving are transported also serves for transporting away the combined articles; and

FIG. 8 shows, in the same illustration as in FIGS. 2 and 4, part of the wheel-like gripper conveyor according to FIG.

7.

Claims

1. A process for combining at least two flexible sheet-like articles during transportation so as to permit them to be jointly transported, comprising the steps of

2. The process as claimed in claim 1, wherein the articles are conveyed to the curve in a hanging position and are gripped by respective grippers which are moved around an axis at generally the same angular velocity as the transporting clamps, with the respectively leading article of the at least two articles which are to be gripped by a gripper being supported on the front side, as seen in the conveying direction, at or adjacent the second radially inner edge.

3. The process as claimed in claim 2, wherein for being transported away, the in each case at least two articles retained by a gripper are received directly by a transporting clamp of the delivery conveyor or a transporting gripper of a removal conveyor.

4. The process as claimed in claim 3 wherein in each case the at least two articles which are received by a transporting clamp of the delivery conveyor or a transporting gripper of a removal conveyor are engaged at the first edges of the articles.

5. The process as claimed in claim 1 wherein the conveying path is initially substantially horizontal and the curve of the conveying path extends downwardly and defines a central generally horizontal axis, and wherein the first edges of the articles which are engaged by the transporting clamps are at the radially outer side of the articles as they move through the curve.

6. The process as claimed in claim 5 wherein the grippers are mounted on a wheel or an endless conveyor so as to move about an arcuate path which is inside the curve of the conveying path and is centered about the central axis.

7. The process as claimed in claim 6 wherein the transporting clamps on the delivery conveyor move through the curve at the same angular velocity and direction as the angular velocity and direction of the grippers moving along the arcuate path.

8. An apparatus for sequentially combining at least two flexible, sheet-like articles while being transported, and for jointly transporting them further, comprising

9. The apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein, at least in the region of the curve, each gripper is assigned a supporting element by means of which the respectively leading article of the at least two articles which are to be gripped by the gripper is supported on a front side as seen in the conveying direction, at or adjacent the second edge.

10. The apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein at least one section of the curve and the circulatory path run at least substantially concentrically about a horizontal axis, and wherein the transporting clamps and the grippers are driven at substantially the same angular velocity in this one section, and wherein the transporting clamps, upon reaching the curve, are directed downward in order to transport the articles in a hanging position.

11. The apparatus as claimed in claim 10, wherein arranged beneath the gripper wheel or conveyor is a removal conveyor, by means of which, for being transported away, the in each case at least two articles retained by a gripper are received directly by means of an upwardly directed transporting gripper.

12. The apparatus as claimed in claim 10, wherein the grippers are arranged on an endless conveyor which is driven in circulation and is guided around the horizontal axis.

13. The apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the endless conveyor is guided around a deflecting wheel which is coaxially disposed with respect to said horizontal axis.

14. The apparatus as claimed in claim 13 wherein the deflecting wheel mounts a plurality of supporting elements which are circumferentially spaced so as to cooperate with respective ones of grippers on the endless conveyor, and whereby the leading article of the associated at least two articles which are to be gripped by each gripper is supported on its front side as seen in the conveying direction at or adjacent the second edge by the associated supporting element.

15. The apparatus as claimed in claim 10 wherein a section of the conveying path which is downstream of the curve runs beneath the circulatory path of the grippers, so that the transporting clamps are directed upward when they run through said section

50 that selected ones of the transporting clamps receive the at least two articles retained by each gripper at the first edges thereof.