US 2092763 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
P 4, 1937. v J. D. LE FRANK 2,092,763
PACKING MACHINE Filed Aug. 8, 19,35 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 arm-42 I I ATTORNE Patented Sept. 14, 1937 PACKING MACHINE John Daniel Le Frank; Maplewood, N. J., assignor to American Can Company, New York, N. Y., a corporation of New Jersey Application August 8, 1935, Serial No. 35,405
The present invention relates to a machine and method for packing severable solid or substantially solid products and has particular reference to such a machine for receiving prepared units of the product encased in a protective covering or container from which the unit is transferred and packed into a can or container and is simultaneously cut into a plurality of individual portions while it is being so packed.
An object of the invention is the provision of a machine for packing prepared units of solid or substantially solid products into cans wherein the units while being handled in the machine prior to packing are encased in individual temporary coverings to protect them against bruising, crushing or other damage, the unit during its handling being transferred from its covering and inserted into a permanent covering or container ready for .sealing.
Another object is the provision of such a machine wherein the product unit while being inserted into its can is simultaneously cut or sliced into a plurality of individual portions thereby performing two operations concurrently and sav- 2 ing time and floor space. v v
Still another object is the provision of a machine of the character described wherein the ultimate container for the product is utilized as the protective temporary covering, for it while. it is being handled in the machine, the product unit being removed from the container in order to inter pose a cutting element between the unit and the container, after which the unit is forced f through the cutting element and simultaneously reinserted into its original container ready for sealing. v
Still another object of the invention is the pro vision of such a machine which has compactly embodied in it a number of product handling devices, all working in synchronism, which heretofore required separate machines for performing the several operations.
Yet another object is the provision of a machine embodying the present invention which is especially adapted for the carrying out of a novel method of slicing or cutting pineapple cylinders lengthwise into segments or fingers rather than crosswise into ringlike slices and compactly depositing the assembled slices in the original shape of the pineapple cylinder into cylindrical cans, so that the cans are completely filled andso as to permit the ultimate consumer to remove the whole cut pineapple or individual segments of the same, as desired.
Numerous other objects and advantages of the 15 Fig. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of one of the cutter slides in the machine showing the slide inverted. I
A preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the drawings as a machine which is 20 especially adaptedfor the packing of pared pineapples into' cans.- The fruit is previously cored and pared or trimmed into a cylindrical unitA with its ends trimmed. off flat so that it readily fits into and substantially fills a cylindricahcan. Thesefruit cylinders or units are previously coveredor placed into open top cans'B to protect themagainst damage and it is in this temporarily assembled relation that the units and cans arereceived in the machine. 1 3
The cans =13 temporarily filled with units A preferably enter the machine in an upright posi- 1 tion on an endless belt ll (Figs. 1 and 2) which is continuously moved by any suitable means. a The machine end: of 'the belt operates over an-idler 35 pulley l2,'disposed in an opening l3 in a table [4, which forms a part of a main machine'frame l 5. The upper run of the belt is disposed in a. channel l6 cut in the top of the table so that the belt top is preferably flush with the table top. The pulley 4 is mounted on a short shaft [-1 carried in opposed bearings l8 which depend from the bottom of the table.
The cans are guided across the table l4 between spaced parallel guide rails 2|, 22 (Figs. land 2) 45 which are secured to the top of the table, and are carried into the path of travel of projecting fingers 23 (Figs. 2 and 3) of a star wheel 24, mounted on a vertical shaft 21, carried in a lower bearing 28 formed in the table 14 andan upper bearing 29 formed in a gear casing 3| (see also Fig. 1). A part of this casing forms a closing wall for a worm wheel housing 32, which is formed as an integral part of a bracket 33, carried on top of the table l4.
The star wheel shaft 21 (Figs. 1 and 3) extends up into the gear casing 3| and is continuously rotated by a bevel gear 38, which is keyed to the upper end of the shaft. This gear meshes with a bevel gear 31 which is also located in the gear casing and is keyed to a horizontal worm wheel shaft 38, journaled in a bearing 38, formed in the gear casing and a bearing 4! formed in the bracket 33. Intermediate the bearings 38, H the worm wheel shaft carries a worm wheel 42 which is driven by a worm 43.
The worm 43 is formed on a shaft 44 which is journaled at one end in a bushing 45 carried in a bore 48 formed in a wall of the housing 32. At its opposite end the shaft is journaled in a bear ing 41 formed in a wall of the housing 32. The shaft 44 extends through this latter bearing 41 and carries a drive pulley 48 which is continuously rotated by any suitable means such as a belt 48. This belt and pulley are preferably the main driving elements of the machine and through these elements and the gear train just described the star wheel 24 is continuously rotated.
Rotation of the star wheel 24 moves a finger 23 into engagement with a can B as it is brought into its path of travel, and sweeps the can sidewise oil. the belt and onto the table I4 and preferably through an arc approximating a quarter turn of the star wheel. The can isguided during this travel by a curved extension 5| (Fig. 2) of the uide rail 22.
While the can is thus moved through this are, it is inserted into a radial can receiving pocket 54 of a continuously rotating horizontally journaled carrier wheel or turret generally indicated by the character 55 (Figs. 1 and 3) There are a plurality of these pockets equally and radially spaced around the periphery of a rim 58 of the wheel. Each pocket is defined by a pair of parallel side walls 81 disposed transversely of the rim leaving the pocket open sidewise. The ends of the walls 51 adjacent the rim 58 are spaced away from the latter to provide recesses or clearance openings 58 forthe can flange. The walls 51 are supported by web sections 58 at right angles thereto, which are formed integrally with the outer part of the rim. These pocket walls are flared at'their inner and outer ends as at 8i to facilitate the ready insertion and removal of the can into and out of the pocket while the wheel is turning.
The rim 58 of the carrier wheel 55 is supported by a plurality of radial spokes or spider arms 83 (Figs. 1 and 3) which converge toward the center of the wheel and merge into a hub 84. The hub is rotatably mounted on a horizontal shaft 85, journaled at one end in a bearing 88, formed in the bracket 33, and at its opposite end in a bearing 81, formed in a similar bracket 88, carried on top of the table I4. i
The carrier wheel 55 is rotated by a spur gear II, which is carried on a reduced part'oi' the hub 84 adjacent the bearing 88, and which is bolted to a flange 12 formed on the hub. The gear meshes with a driving pinion I3 formed integrally with the bevel gear 31 mounted on the worm wheel shaft 38. Thus the carrier wheel is driven in time with the other moving parts of the machine.
Rotation of the carrier wheel 55 picks up a can from the control of the star wheel and moves it along a can track I5 (Figs. 1, 2 and 3) having'a can supporting bottom I8 and spaced parallel side walls 11, I8. The can track curves around the carrier wheel adjacent its periphery and holds the can in its pocket 54 with its flanged open top adjacent the wheel rim 58 while it is carried through one cycle or revolution of the wheel. This track is supported by an annular wall section 18 which is a lateral extension of the can guide wall I8 and merges into an inwardly turned flange 8I, bolted to a stationary drum cam 82 the further function of which will be explained hereinafter.
' The cam 82 isformed with a supporting web 83 which at its center merges into a hub 84 which surrounds the horizontal shaft 85. One end of the hub is formed with a flange 85 which is bolted to a similar flange 88 of the shaft bearing 81. Thus the cam is held stationary.
The rotation 01 the wheel in a counter clockwise direction as viewed from Fig. 1, carries the can upward along its guiding track and through a plurality of positions ranging from a vertical upright position adjacent the star wheel 24 to a vertical inverted position at a half revolution point of the turret. During this movement of the can a horizontal slide 8| (Figs. 1, 3 and 4) disposed in the wheel rim 58 adjacent the open end of the can, is shifted to bring an opening 82 formed in the slide, into register with the open can end.
There are a plurality of these slides 8i one for each can pocket 54. They are slidably mounted in slide grooves 83 transversely cut in the wheel rim 58. Shifting of the slide is effected by a cam roller 84 which operates in a cam groove formed in the peripheral wall of the stationary cam 82, which guides the roller as the wheel turns. The roller is mounted on a stud 88 which is secured in one end of the slide.
When the can is sufllciently inverted as it approaches the half revolution point of the wheel the fruit cylinder or unit A falls out of the can by gravity and through the slide opening 82 into a cylindrical auxiliary pocket I8.I' formed in the wheel arm 83. There is one of these pockets in each arm 83 and each pocket I8I houses a radially movable plunger I82 which supports the fallen fruit unit.
Each plunger I82 is formed on one end of a radially disposed stem I83 which is carried in a bearing I84 formed in the arm 83 adjacent the inner end of the pocket. At its inner end the plunger stem I83 is secured to an arm I85 which carries a stud I88 on which is mounted a cam roller I81. The roller operates in a cam groove I88 formed in a face of the web wall 83 of-the stationary cam 82. Thus as the carrier wheel rotates it causes the cam roller to follow its groove and hence to reciprocate the plunger I82 in the pocket It. When the inverted can is at the top of the wheel, as illustrated in Fig. 3, the plunger I 82 is in its innermost position so that the fruit unit resting thereon is fully within the auxiliary pocket I8I and clear oi. the slide 8|.
Continued counterclockwise movement of the wheel now carries the can down the other side of the can track and from a vertically inverted position through a plurality of inclined positions until it is again in its original upright position. During this second half revolution the cam groove 85 moves the slide 8| to the right, as viewed in Fig. 3, and brings a radial cutter III into position between the open-end of the can and the pocketed fruit cylinder.
The cutter III (Fig. 4) comprises a plurality of radial knife blades II2 which converge toward a central cylindrical core I I3 -to which the ends of the blades are permanently and suitably secured as in longitudinal slots 4. The outer ends of the blades are permanently secured in slots H5, formed in the inner side of a shouldered ring H6, which is tightly secured in a suitable bore Ii-l formed in the slide.
As soon as the cutter III is moved into position between the fruit unit and the can the cam roller I01 traversing its cam groove I08 causes the plunger I02 to move outwardly and to push the fruit unit through the cutter and back into its can. It is this action that cuts or divides the fruit unit into a plurality of longitudinal segmental divisions at the same time it is being replaced into its can.
The plunger I02 is provided with a plurality of clearance slots [2,! which align with the knife blades H2 and a central clearance bore I22 for the core H3 so that the fruit unit may be com"- pletely cut through and fully deposited into its can.
This fruit unit cutting and refilling operation is completed before the can reaches the bottom of the wheel in its fully upright position. At this stage in the travel of the can the can track curves to one side as shown in Fig. 2, and extends down adjacent the wheel, terminating at one end of a can discharge endless belt conveyor I25.
The can traversing this curved part of the track is moved sidewise out of its carrier wheel pocket 54 and slides by gravity down the track onto the belt. This belt carries the cans away to any suitable place of deposit between spaced guide rails I26 which are secured to the top of the table It. The machine end of the belt operates over an idler pulley I21 which is mounted on the shaft i1 adjacent the entrance belt pulley l2.
In the preferred form of machine just described, the can in which the fruit unit is packed is utilized as an initial or temporary protective covering or container for the unit while it is being handled in the machine.
It is thought that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description, and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction, and arrangement of the parts of the apparatus mentioned herein and in the steps and their order of accomplishment of the process described herein, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the apparatus and process hereinbefore described being merely a preferred embodiment thereof.
I claim: 1. A machine for packing a product into containers, comprising in combination,-a conveyor mechanism for moving in a predetermined path a unit of the product while encased within aprotective covering, said conveyor mechanism acting at a, point along said path to invert said covering to permit removal by gravity of' said unit therefrom for a subsequent treatment, and means carried by said conveyor mechanism for returning said unit into said covering after such treatment. 2. A machine for packing a product into containers, comprising in combination, a conveyor mechanism for feeding in a predetermined circular path a unit of the product while encased within a protective covering, said conveyor mechanism acting at a point along said circular path to invert said covering to permit removal by gravity of said unit therefrom for a subsequent treatment of said unit, and reciprocating means carried by said conveyor mechanism for reinserting said treated unit into said covering at a. point farther advanced along said circular path.
3. A machine for packing a product into containers, comprising in combination, a conveyor system for feeding a unit of the product encased in a-protective covering along a curved path, means included in said system for inverting said encased unit and causing it to be removed for a subsequent treatment from said protective covering at a point on said curved path, and means for reinserting said unit after such treatment into said covering at a farther point along said path.
4. A machine for packing a severable product into containers, comprising in combination, a conveyor for movinga container while holding a unit of the product, means associated with said conveyor for holding said unit temporarily spaced from said container while maintaining their axial alignment, and cooperating mechanism movable relative to said conveyor and container for severing said spaced unit into smaller portions without separating them from each other, and for reinserting'as an assembled unit said severed portions of the product into said container. I
5. A machine for packing a severable product into containers, comprising in combination, a conveyor mechanism for moving a unit of said product encased within a container, said mechanism including means for causing removal of said unit from said container, a cutter carried by said conveyor and movable relative thereto, said cutter being adapted to be moved into alignment with said removed. unit, and. means for moving said unit into engagement with said outter whereby the unit is severed into a plurality of smaller portions, said last mentioned means further acting to reinsert the severed unit into said container for sealing therein without disturbing the assembled relation of the cut portions of the unit.
6. A'machine for cutting a severable product and packing it into containers, in combination,
.a conveyor having a plurality ofcontainer holdunits into individual portions, and means for moving the product units into engagement with said cutter mechanisms and depositing said severed portions into saidcontainers.
7. A machine for cutting a severable product and packing it into containers, in combination, a turret conveyor having a series oi. container holding and a series of product holding pockets, means forfeeding containers filled with said product'into said container holding pockets, means for inverting said containers and causing said product to fall bygravity into said product holding pockets, means for cutting said product into a plurality of smaller portions without separating said portions, and means for pushing said assembled portions back into said containers.
8. A machine for packing a severable product into containers, comprising in combination, a conveyor system for moving a unit of the product encased in an open container, means for feeding said container, into which said unit is ultimately to be packed, into engagement with said conveyor, means permitting removal of said unit from its container while moving with said conveyor, a cuttermechanism associated with said conveyor and movable between said conveyed product unit and said container, and means for pushing said product unit through said cutter mechanism and into said container, whereby said unit is severed into smaller portions simultaneously with its reinsertion into said container.
9. A machine for cutting a severable product and packing it into containers, in combination, a turret conveyor having a series of container holding and a series of product holding pockets, means for feeding containers filled with product units into said container holding pockets, means for inverting said containers and causing said product to fall bygravity into said product holding pockets, a slide interposable between said pockets, a cutter carried in said slide and adapted to be moved into alignment with said pockets, and movable plungers in said product pockets for pushing said product units through said outter and into the containers, when the cutter is aligned between them, for cutting the product units into a plurality of smaller portions without separating them and for simultaneously inserting the assembled portions back into. said containers.
10. A machine for cutting a severable product and packing it into containers, in combination, a rotatable turret conveyor having a plurality oi container holding pockets and a plurality of product holding pockets, axially spaced apart, means for feeding containers illled with product units into said container holding pockets, means adjacent the periphery oi said turret conveyor for holding said containers in said container pockets, means for tilting said containers and causing said product units to fall by gravity into said product holding pockets, a slide movable in the space between said pockets, a spider shaped cutter carried in said slide and adapted to.be moved into alignment with said pockets, and a movable plunger in each of said product pockets and adapted to move past said cutter when the latter is aligned between said pockets for pushing said product units through said cutter and into the containers, thereby cutting the product units into a plurality 0! smaller portions without separating them and simultaneously inserting the