Patent Number: 6,253,904

Title: Methods and apparatus for the automatic loading of multiple items on the same unit of a cross-belt sorting machine

Abstract: A loading station for the automatic loading of multiple items on the same unit of a sorting machine. The loading station includes several feeding belts capable of receiving and transferring the items to a loading belt capable of receiving such items and feeding them to the sorting machine. The feeding belts include at least one belt mounted on a support capable of rotating 180.degree. about a vertical axis to reverse the order of items being conveyed on the belt. A transfer conveyor transfers the items to the loading belt. The transfer conveyor includes a frame carrying a drivable belt. The frame is extensible and retractable relative to an upstream feeding conveyor. Items are deposited onto the drivable belt as the belt is non-driven and the frame is being extended. Then, the frame is retracted while driving the belt forwardly at the same speed that the frame is retracted. The items thus have no net speed and eventually fall onto the loading belt while the latter is stationary, whereby the orientation of the items on the drivable belt is maintained on the loading belt.

Inventors: Soldavini; Attilio (Ferno-VA, IT)

Assignee: CML Handling Technology S.p.A.

International Classification: B65G 47/24 (20060101); B65G 47/244 (20060101); B65G 47/80 (20060101); B65G 047/26 (); B65G 047/31 ()

Expiration Date: 07/03/2018