Title:
Container conveyer and distributor
United States Patent 2085410


Abstract:
My invention is an improvement in distributing conveyers for containers, such as bottles, cans, or the like. It is particularly adapted to the art of conveying milk bottles, as from a washing machine to a plurality of receiving stations for further treatment. Specifically, in the application...



Inventors:
Bergmann, Christian N.
Application Number:
US7327536A
Publication Date:
06/29/1937
Filing Date:
04/08/1936
Assignee:
Charles, Clarke M.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
198/437
International Classes:
B67C7/00
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Description:

My invention is an improvement in distributing conveyers for containers, such as bottles, cans, or the like. It is particularly adapted to the art of conveying milk bottles, as from a washing machine to a plurality of receiving stations for further treatment.

Specifically, in the application of the Invention as illustrated and as hereinafter described, the invention involves the installation of a main conveyer or trackway and one or more divisional lateral trackways, and an automatically operating switching device at their junction for dividing or subdividing a main stream or series of bottles into plural streams.

1j The invention also involves as a co-operating element a transfer switch of selector type so constructed and adapted to operate in connection with a main and lateral trackway, for distributing bottles or units of varying sizes and capacities.

The object in view is to divide or subdivide the constant stream or train of bottles into regularly controlled fractional portions thereof, so that such reduced portions may be delivered to the several terminal receiving stations, as to filling machines.

While the invention as herein disclosed refers to the art or practice of washing and filling milk bottles, it will be understood that it may be utilized in connection with a main quantity of similar containers or other generally similar objects capable of being progressed, while standing upright, by a supporting conveyer, as a belt or chain, for distribution.

The principal active feature of the invention is a star shaped or toothed rotating switching device, pivotally mounted at the trackway junction, on the base of a switching platform.

The active switching element is adapted to be engaged between its radially disposed fingers or prongs, by one or more bottles of an oncoming conveyer-propelled series, and to divert the next bottle laterally. Also, the next oncoming bottle, acting on the, laterally diverted bottle, will 5 not only assist finger action in accomplishing such lateral diversion, but will itself be maintained in straight line movement. And furthermore, the action of the bottle in the rear of the laterally diverted bottle will cause it to exert for5O ward straight line movement against the immediately preceding bottle, maintaining not only its straight line travel, but also continued rotation of the switching device.

The invention also provides for further lateral thrusting of the diverted bottle, with ensuing rotating engagement by the next oncoming straight line bottle with the intervening thrusting finger, as controlled by the oncoming travelling series and its conveyer.

Referring to the drawings showing certain preferred constructions:Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic plan view illustrating the invention as utilized for alternating single bottle switching and straight travel movement; ig. 2 is a similar view as utilized for alternating single bottle switching and plural bottle straight travel movement, with subsequent alternating single distribution, both lateral and straight; Figs. 3 to 7 inclusive are plan views illustrating successively the progressive positions assumed by the bottles and the switching device as controlled by the oncoming column, in single bottle distribution; Figs. 8 to 11 inclusive are similar views illustrating the movements effected in alternating single bottle switching and plural bottle straight line movements, and the form of switching device therefor; Fig. 12 is an enlarged sectional elevation illustrating a series of bottles and the shifting device in elevation and the bridge and conveyer in section, on the line XII-XII of Fig. 7; Fig. 13 is a cross section on the line XIII-XII of ig. 12; Figs. 14 to 19 inclusive are plan views of various size and shape shifting devices; Fig. 20 is a plan view of the bridge and transfer switch mechanism; Fig. 21 is a cross section on the line XXI-XXI of Fig. 20; Fig. 22 is a perspective view of one of the lateral guides.

Figs. 1 and 2 illustrate two of several possible adaptations of the invention to the solution of the problem of distributing the normal output of a single washing machine to a plurality of subsequent stations and operations, as in filling the bottles. Ordinarily the capacity output of a single washing machine is greatly in excess of that of a single filling machine, hence it is desirable and necessary to apportion the supply or rate of feed of bottles to a plurality of filling machines proportionally.

In the layout of Fig. 1 the washing machine A With a capacity and output of say 240 per minute supplies its bottles to filling machine B having a large capacity of 120 per minute; to machine C having a reduced capacity of 60 per min- 55 ute; and to machine D having a similar reduced capacity of 60 per minute.

The washing machine A discharges its output in successive rows of say 12 bottles each onto r a conveyer trackway 5, bottoms down. The trackway is of conventional form, having a lower supporting and conveying belt or chain 6 of suitable construction, and flexible both vertically and laterally, as commonly practiced. The speed of the conveyer is adjusted to the discharge speed of the washing machine so that each row of bottles as discharged will be located just behind the preceding advancing row in transit. However it is desirable that the speed of the conveyer shall be sufficient to compensate for any gap spaces between the bottles and to maintain them in close pushing contact with each other until or as they arrive successively at the first switching station E, and also the second station F.

At such first station E it is desirable to divide the advancing column equally, transferring 50% to filling machine B and 50% along the main trackway 5. I therefore provide a lateral conveyer-provided trackway 7 leading from station E to the 120 p. m. filling machine B, along which trackway the alternating bottles of the main column are carried, the others proceeding straight along trackway 5.

The separation and alternating straight travel and lateral distribution to trackway 7 is effected by the bottle-actuated pivoted shifting device 8, the construction and successive operation of which is more fully illustrated in the enlarged views of Figs. 3 to 7 inclusive.

Bottles passing to the second switching station F are there equally subdivided in the same manner along lateral trackway 9 to filling machine C and along main trackway 5 to the final filling machine D. By such distribution each filling machine receives its appropriate fractional portion of the output of the washing machine A for any given operating period.

In the same general manner a similar washing machine AA distributes its output to filling machines BB, CC and DD from a main trackway 5a through lateral trackways 7a and 9a and the straight delivery portion of the main trackway, as in Fig. 2. In this case the capacity of each filling machine is the same, i. e. 80 p. m. totalling for the three that of the washing machine, 240 p. m. It is therefore desirable to extract from the main column at first station EE but onethird of the total or 80, and to forward along the main trackway 5a the remaining two-thirds or 160 p. m. for further separation at station FF.

The separation at station FF into equal halves is therefore the same as in Fig. 1, but at station EE I provide a switching device 8a adapted to thrust one bottle laterally for each two bottles propelled longitudinally of the track, in alternating directions for each quarter rotation of the switching device 8a. This feature of the invention having the alternating single lateral and double straight movement function is shown more fully in Figs. 8 to 11 inclusive, together with its progressive action upon and by the advancing column.

It will be understood that the several trackway sections 5, 7 and 9 and 5a, 7a and 9a, are conventional and of common well known construction.

The supporting conveyer belt or chain 6 is flexible both vertically and laterally, as stated, for easy travel over supporting and driving sprockets, pulleys or wheels, and for lateral movement around curves, as in Figs. 1 and 2.

The trackway is defined between a lower support as a channel 10 and guiding sides II, II, of suitable construction to maintain the bottles erect, with easy clearance in their passage.

At each station E and F and EE and FF I provide a comparatively thin flat supporting bridge 12 extending partly over the main and lateral conveyer, onto which and from which the bottles are successively delivered as the column advances. When thus placed on the bridge the successive bottles are temporarily separated from conveyer belt or chain action, but are slidably subject to the pushing action of the rear oncoming bottles.

At a point opposite the entering end of lateral conveyer 7, Fig. 1, I locate the switching device 8 for alternating single bottle control. It consists of the middle body or hub portion 13 rotatably mounted at 14 and having the surrounding series of equilaterally arranged projecting rounded end fingers 15 and the alternating concaved edges 16.

Depending on the capacity of the bottles being conveyed, whether quarts, pints or half pints, the curvature of concave faces 16 preferably closely approximates their main body form as to quarts and pints, the curvature for half pints being preferably somewhat freer, with ample clearance in each case. However, in each case each of the fingers 15 extends sufficiently from the properly located freely pivoting center 14 to be initially engaged in front of and by a bottle a to which forward travel movement is imparted.

Rotation of switching device 8 by bottle a will thus bring its next adjacent finger or prong 15 against the next adjacent bottle b for lateral movement thereof. The forwardly moved concave face 16 in such position, and in rotative movement indicated by arrow x, is in approximately embracing engagement with and by bottle a while it is being pushed by adjacent rear bottle b directly forwardly along the straight 43 trackway, as in Fig. 3, until thus shifted laterally.

Lateral trackway 7 is provided with an enlarged throat or clearance gap 17 communicating at its receiving side by suitable guiding means with the advancing column of bottles in the main trackway 5. Such clearance gap thus enlarges the opening of the lateral trackway at its receiving end and facilitates entrance of the laterally switched bottle b. In further progress of the column, bottle a is thus pushed forwardly to the position of Fig. 4 at which time bottle b has arrived at registering position with widened opening 17.

At the same time, having come into abutting contact with the rounded nose terminal of finger go 15, under rotation of preceding bottle a, bottle b is shifted laterally.

Thus bottle b in its lateral movement has a wiping action against front bottle a, tending to force and maintain it in a straight line movement (; along the main trackway 5, as indicated by the arrows, Fig. 4. The next rearwardly adjacent bottle a, pressing against partially shifted front bottle b, and the outward throat of rounded finger 15, causes bottle b to move further angularly under the active forces and in the direction indicated by the arrows.

At the same time, bottle b, as thus forced diagonally across the widened entrance opening 17 into lateral trackway 7, has also pressed its front bottle a further forwardly against finger 15 while still in front, rotating the device 8, thus bringing the next finger in position to be engaged by the next straight line bottle a. Bottle b having thus been advanced'towards registering position with lateral trackway 7, as in Figs. 5 and 6, the next oncoming bottle a, as pushed by the rear column, and being fended backwardly by the laterally diverted preceding bottle b. and also being in rotative engagement with finger 15, maintains its straight alinement, and follows along straight trackway 5.

It will thus be seen that each successive bottle upon arriving at station E engages the immediately preceding bottle, causing the rotatab'e switching device 8 to make a one-quarter revolution, with alternating disposition of the individual bottles straight ahead and laterally.

The switching device 8 throughout Figs. 3 to 7 inclusive, as to its four regularly spaced uniform fingers, is numbered progressively 1, 2, 3 and 4, illustrating the progress of each and its position through one cycle movement, or quarter revolution.

Fig. 7 illustrates the position assumed by the straight travelling bottles a and the laterally travelling bottles b as they progress after having been divided alternately as above described.

The supporting bridge 12 is utilized as a temporary arresting platform onto which the bottles are delivered by the conveyer belt and over the surface of which they are pushed by the oncoming column.

Its function is to temporarily support the botties with frictional retardation independent of conveyer action until distributed laterally and forwardly, by pushing action of the rear closely assembled column of bottles, when they then pass off of the bridge and are carried by the trackway 10 conveyer to a filling machine or a subsequent station.

In utilizing the form of shifter 8a of Figs. 8 to 11 inclusive, shown in detail in Fig. 15, the only difference in shape and function is in providing -15 sufficient space between the prongs or fingers 15 for reception of two bottles instead of one. Otherwise the action in discharging one bottle laterally while two are advanced in a straight line, is substantially the same as with alternating single .5 bottles.

Thus as bottle b is advanced by the rear column it pushes preceding bottles a, a, straight along against the concave face 16 of finger 15, rotating device 8a until the next adjacent finger engages *,. bottle b and thrusts it out of line, as in Fig. 9.

The reaction against the adjacent front bottle a, together with the guiding side bars or edges 11, ensures straight line movement of the pair of bottles a over the bridge and onto the conveyer beyond.

Bottles b as successively separated from the column pass to the lateral conveyer in the same manner as above described.

It will be noted that in both the single-single and single-double separators the spacing fingers extend from the main hub in such a manner as to exert a definite and positive lateral movement to each bottle b as they swing around. Also that o in each case the abutting end of the finger is rounded, providing a gradual wiping action instead of a hammer blow, and that the concave face immediately behind the finger terminal is deep and sufficient to ensure ample and certain rotating pressure by the bottle surface.

Such construction, together with the reactionary fending action on the second bottle a by laterally moving bottle b ensures straight line travel of both bottles a, a, and positive quarter rotation of the device 8 or 8a every time a bottle b is discharged laterally. The construction of both forms of device 8 and 8a, for quart size, is shown in Figs. 14 and 15.

Figs. 16 and 17 are on a relatively corresponding scale and illustrate the switching device as made for pint bottle distribution, single-single and single-double respectively. The construction is substantially the same as for quart size, except that the concave seating radii and length of the fingers is proportionately reduced. Figs. 18 and 19 in the same way show the shifter as made for half pint bottles for single and double capacity respectively. In such case, because of the still further reduction in bottle diameter, I find that in the case of single small bottle shifting I may use one additional finger and concavity, giving equally good results and compactness, as in Fig. 18. In the double space construction of Pig. 19 I adhere to the four finger form, like Figs. 17 and 15, merely reducing sizes to suit the reduced size bottles. Otherwise the construction and operation of the device for either size is substantially the same, as above described.

I show in Figs. 20, 21 and 22 illustrations of a bridge construction in which I have provided for use of each one of the several foregoing forms of shifters by substitution, as well as laterally directing adjustable guides providing for variation in the width of the conveyer switch trackway, to suit the various sizes of bottles being conveyed and distributed.

In such form of bridge it constitutes a substantial section of the main longitudinal trackway with a lateral shelf at one side having guides leading to the lateral trackway, and an opposite portion provided with socket bearings for the several switching devices. It is preferably in the form of a casting 12a suitably designed for incorporation in the complete conveyer system, as a fixture. The generally flat upper surface of the bridge is interrupted by a transverse depressed runway 18 in which is laid a channel section I a connecting with the stationary sections 10 of the main trackway, and forming a continuation thereof across the bridge. A guide I la on the bridge, opposite its lateral discharge outlet, forms a continuation of guide II at one side.

At each side of the channel 18 the inner edge portions of the bridge surface are longitudinally rebated as at 31 for reception of strips 32. These extend inwardly at each side of conveyer chain 6a with clearance, and are sufficiently close together to provide edge supports for all sizes of bottles, nn The strips 32 may also be removed if desired, leaving the rebates 31 adapted to receive a conveyer of the slat type, as in Figs. 12 and 13.

Channel section 10a is co-extensive with the span of the bridge and rests on adjusting screws an 19 extending up through the bottom of the runway.

By such or equivalent means the channel section may be adjusted vertically so that the chain ;, 6a may travel across the bridge with its upper edges just slightly below the flat-surface opposite edge portions 32 of the bridge. The conveyer chain 6a is composed of supporting links, suitably connected as by cross pins 21 with ample clearance for vertical and lateral movements, following common practice in this art.

Thus as the bottles-in-progress arrive by main conveyer trackway 5 at a switching station, as E, as carried by the chain, they will be successively delivered onto the stationary bridge just above and out of contact with the chain, as indicated in Fig. 21. As thus supported by their opposite bottom portions they successively arrive within range of the switching device 8 or 8a for distribution laterally and longitudinally, as above described.

The bridge member 12a is provided with a series of stud sockets 22, 23 and 24 for singlesingle switching devices, and 25, 26 and 21 for single-double switching devices, such as are shown in the general views and in Figs. 14 to 19 inclusive.

Each socket is adapted to receive a stud 28 having a bearing collar 29 and an upper journal extension 30 upon which is rotatably mounted the particular switching device 8 or 8a being used.

I thus provide for substitution of each of the particular switching devices as required. The several sockets are properly located to receive and allocate the particular switching device in its proper position with relation to the central line of main progress and the lateral trackway and the guides leading thereto.

At each side of the lateral outlet passageway leading to the lateral trackway 1 or 9, or 7a or 9a, I utilize correspondingly adjustable deflecting guides 33 and 34, one at each side.

These have inner curving or movement-defining faces 35 and 36 corresponding generally to the guiding faces indicated diagrammatically in the general plan views of Figs. 1 to 11 inclusive.

Each is provided with a pair of downwardly extending studs 37 insertable in correspondingly spaced apart sockets 22a, 23a and 24a through the flat face of the bridge.

Such adjustment provides for proper location of the guides with relation to the size bottle being handled. By such adjustment I am enabled to properly locate the guides, dependent on whether quart, pint or half pint bottles are being operated upon.

The construction and operation of my invention will be readily understood from the foregoing description. It accomplishes the function of positively and effectively distributing milk bottles regularly and at desirably reduced speeds to a plurality of operating stations, without manual attention, and by simple and efficient means. While the particular application herein disclosed relates to the disposition of bottles, it will be understood that it is applicable to any cylindrical articles or other shape containers capable of being moved on their bottoms by a travelling conveyer.

Thus the containers may be of 'other shape than truly cylindrical in cross section, as hexagonal, octagonal, oval, etc. sufficiently like a cylindrical form to co-operate with the engaging radial arms and their terminals.

Also that the invention may be variously changed or modified in detail construction to adapt it to particular conditions as to shape, size, speed, etc. or in other respects as by substitution of equivalents, but all such changes are contemplated as within the scope of the following claims.

What I claim is:1. In combination with a main longitudinal yo conveyer trackway having means for progressing a continuous series of upright cylindrical units, a laterally disposed conveyer trackway leading away therefrom having a receiving opening for reception of units therefrom, a freely rotatable transfer switching device positioned at the junction of said trackways opposite said receiving opening having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms and intervening concaved arm faces, each of said faces successively confronting approaching units and each of said arms successively extending rotatably across the longitudinal conveyer path for pocket engagement of its concaved face by an oncoming unit and for lateral thrusting by the terminal on an adjacent arm of the next following unit towards the receiving opening of the laterally disposed conveyer trackway.

2. In combination with a longitudinal conveyer trackway and a laterally disposed conveyer trackway communicating therewith, a freely rotatable switching device positioned at the junction of said trackways for alternating longitudinal and lateral disposition of trackwayconveyed cylindrical units, said device having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms and intervening concaved faces, and means providing a bridging support for trackway conveyed units independent of conveyer engagement located at said junction, and forming a pathway to the laterally disposed trackway. 3. In combination with a longitudinal conveyer trackway for conveying upright cylindrical units and a laterally disposed conveyer trackway having an enlarged receiving opening communicating with the longitudinal trackway, a freely rotatable transfer switching device positioned at the junction of said trackways opposite said receiving opening having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms and intervening concaved faces, said faces confronting approaching units and of sufficient pocketing extent between the arm terminals for embracing engagement of a unit, each of said arms extending rotatably across the longitudinal conveyer path for pocket engagement by an oncoming unit and for lateral thrusting towards the lateral conveyer trackway of a following unit by an adjacent arm.

4. In combination with a longitudinal conveyer trackway and a laterally disposed conveyer trackway having an enlarged receiving opening communicating with the longitudinal trackway for conveying upright cylindrical units, a freely rotatable transfer switching device positioned at the junction of said trackways opposite said receiving opening having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms and intervening concaved faces, said faces confronting approaching units and of sufficient pocketing extent between the arm terminals for embracing engagement of a plurality of units, each of said arms extending rotatably across the longitudinal conveyer path for pocket engagement by plural oncoming units and for lateral thrusting towards the lateral conveyer of a following unit by an adjacent arm.

5. In combination with a longitudinal conveyer trackway and a laterally disposed conveyer trackway for receiving a portion of longi- 70 tudinally conveyed articles, a transfer bridge connecting both trackways having guides forming an enlarged receiving opening communicating with the longitudinal trackway, a freely rotatable transfer switching device positioned at the junction of said trackways at one side of the longitudinal trackway and opposite said receiving opening having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms and intervening concaved faces, operable by movement of conveyed articles to direct certain ones thereof along the longitudinal trackway and to deflect others over the bridge onto the lateral trackway.

6. In combination with a longitudinal conveyer trackway and a laterally disposed conveyer trackway for receiving a portion of longitudinally conveyed articles, a transfer bridge connecting both trackways having guides forming an enlarged receiving opening communicating with the longitudinal trackway, a freely rotatable transfer switching device positioned at the junction of said trackways at one side of the longitudinal trackway and opposite said, receiving opening having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms traversable across the main trackway and provided with concaved faces between the arms, operable by movement of conveyed articles to direct certain ones thereof along the longitudinal trackway and to deflect others over the bridge onto the lateral trackway.

7. In combination with a longitudinal trackway having parallel guiding sides and a supporting conveyer between and below the same, and a laterally disposed similar conveyer trackway having an enlarged receiving opening communicating therewith for alternating longitudinal and lateral disposition of. trackway-conveyed cylindrical units, a freely rotatable switching device positioned at the junction of said trackways opposite said receiving opening having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms and intervening concaved faces, and a laterally disposed bridge member on a level with both conveyers for transferring deflected units from the longitudinal trackway to the lateral trackway following their removal from the longitudinal trackway by the switching device.

8. In combination with a longitudinal trackway having parallel guiding sides and a supporting conveyer between and below the same for conveying upright cylindrical units, and a laterally disposed similar conveyer trackway having an enlarged receiving opening communicating therewith, a freeely rotatable switching device positioned at the junction of said trackways opposite said receiving opening having a plurality of equally spaced uniform radiating arms traversable across the main trackway and provided with uniform concaved faces between the arms, and a supporting bridge therefor spanning the junction gap between the longitudinal and lateral trackways on the planes thereof.

9. In combination with a longitudinal conveyer trackway and a laterally disposed conveyer trackway communicating therewith, and a supporting bridge extending across the junction area of said trackways, a freely rotatable switching device positioned at the junction of said trackways opposite the lateral trackway entrance opening having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms traversable over the bridge and provided with concaved faces between the arms.

10. In combination with a longitudinal trackway having parallel guiding sides and a supporting conveyer between and below the same for conveying upright cylindrical units, and a laterally disposed similar conveyer trackway having an enlarged receiving opening communicating therewith, a supporting bridge extending across the junction area of said trackways above the conveyers thereof adapted to slidably receive articles delivered thereon by the longitudinal conveyer, and a freely rotatable switching device positioned at the junction of said trackways opposite said receiving opening having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms traversable over the bridge and provided with concaved faces between the arms for directing conveyed articles alternately towards the lateral conveyer and longitudinally beyond it. 11. In conveying and distributing means for transporting cylindrical bottles or the like while standing upright on their bases, the combination with a main longitudinal trackway provided with longitudinal guiding sides and a lower conveyer adapted to support a series of bottles thereon; of a laterally disposed similar trackway and conveyer communicating with the main trackway between its ends, a supporting bridge for the bottles covering the junction area of said trackways having a curving guide-defined enlarged opening communicating with the main trackway, and a rotatably mounted switching and distributing device located opposite said opening having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms traversable over the bridge and intervening concaved faces adapted to be rotatably engaged by an oncoming bottle against one of said arms and to project the next adjacent bottle laterally towards said opening by its next adjacent arm. 12. In conveying and distributing means for transporting cylindrical bottles or the like while standing upright on their bases, the combination with a main longitudinal trackway provided with longitudinal guiding sides and a lower conveyer adapted to support a series of bottles thereon; of a laterally disposed similar trackway and conveyer communicating with the main trackway between its ends, a supporting bridge for the bottles for covering the junction area of said trackways having a curving guide-defined enlarged opening communicating with the main trackway, and a rotatably mounted switching and distributing device located opposite said opening having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms traversable over the bridge and intervening concaved faces adapted to be rotatably engaged by the first one of a pair of oncoming bottles against one of said arms and to project the next adjacent bottle laterally towards said opening by its next adjacent arm.

13. In combination with a longitudinal conveyer trackway and a laterally disposed conveyer trackway for conveyance and distribution of cylindrical units, a flat faced bridge member interposed in the longitudinal trackway at its junction with the lateral trackway having a longitudinal conveyer channel, laterally directing guides providing a pathway to the lateral conveyer, a pivoting stud on the other side of the channel, and a freely rotatable switching device mounted on the stud having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms and intervening concaved faces.

14. In combination with a longitudinal conveyer trackway and a laterally disposed conveyer trackway for conveyance and distribution of cylindrical units, a flat faced bridge member interposed in the longitudinal trackway at- its junction with the lateraf trackway having a longitudinal conveyer channel, a vertically adjustable conveyer trackway section therein, laterally directing guides providing a pathway over the bridge to the lateral conveyer, a pivoting stud on the opposite side of the channel, and a 7, freely rotatable switching device mounted on the stud having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms and intervening concaved faces.

15. In combination with a longitudinal conveyer trackway and a laterally disposed conveyer trackway for conveyance and distribution of cylindrical units, a flat faced bridge member interposed in the longitudinal trackway at its junction with the lateral trackway having a longitudinal conveyer channel, a vertically adjustable conveyer trackway section therein, laterally directing guides providing a pathway over the bridge to the lateral conveyer, said guides being adjustable to varying positions, a plurality of variably located stud sockets on the opposite side of the channel, a pivoting stud Insertable in either socket and adapted to receive one of a series of freely rotatable switching devices each capable of being mounted on the stud when conformably located each having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms and intervening concaved faces for selective engagement with units of different sizes.

16. In combination with a main conveyer '5 trackway, a section thereof being adapted to direct conveyed articles laterally consisting of a base plate having at one side directing guides and at the other side a socket, a supporting stud mounted in the socket, and a transfer switching device for selecting and disposing the units of a longitudinally moving conveyer-actuated series of upright cylindrical articles for alternating longitudinal and lateral movement consisting of a freely rotatable member mounted on the stud having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms and intervening concaved faces.

17. In combination with a main conveyer trackway, a section thereof being adapted to direct conveyed articles laterally consisting of a base plate having at one side directing guides and at the other side a series of sockets variably located with relation to the trackway, a supporting stud removably mounted in one of said sockets and adapted to receive one of a series of transfer switching devices of varying sizes and proportions, each consisting of a freely rotatable member adapted to be mounted on the stud and having a plurality of equally spaced radiating arms and intervening concaved faces for selecting and disposing of various size units of a lon.gitudinally moving conveyer-actuated series of upright cylindrical articles for longitudinal and lateral movement thereof.

CHRISTIAN N. BERGMANN.