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Beverage tray packing system

Image Number 16 for United States Patent #4748791.

A system for packing containers, such as beverage containers, into corresponding transport trays is comprised of a first conveyor track on which the containers are transported and a second conveyor track on which the trays are transported. A portion of the second conveyor track is inclined with respect to the first conveyor track so that the first and the second tracks converge at a predetermined location. A plurality of relatively flat, elongated support members are mounted at the downstream end of the first track adjacent to the predetermined location for journally supporting a discrete group of containers while the containers are being packed into the corresponding tray. The support members are reciprocally movable between a first position at which the support members are fully extended for introducing the containers into the tray and a second position at which the support members are fully retracted for allowing the trailing edge of the corresponding tray to clear the support members as the tray is moved along the inclined portion of the second track after all of the containers of the corresponding group have been packed into the tray. Each group of containers is packed into the corresponding tray into succession from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the tray while the tray is being moved upwardly along the inclined portion of the second track.

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