US 2309621 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 2, 1943. M ALLATT PACKAGING APPARATUS AND METHOD Filed July 2. 1938 8 Sheets-Sheet l NN sm. mk, Sms@ an n EHIHHHHHHHHIIHIIHIIIIHHII VANWQQ@ BY mm#` ATTORNEY Feb. 2?,.1943- M; A LLATT 2,309,621
PACKAGING APPARATUS AN-D'` METHOD Filed July 2, 1958 8 SheetS-Sheevt 2 ATTORNEY PACKAGING APPARATUS AND METHOD Filed JuLy 2, 1958 8 sneets-sh`eet s F5 @Q l INVENTOR u MEW/N fumr BY A ATTORNEY Feb. 2, 1943.
M. ALLATT 2,309,621
PACKAGING APPARATUS AND METHOD 8 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 2, 1938 INVENTOR Miel/nv m m T7 BY e ATTORNEY Feb. 2, 1943. M. )ALLATT u 2,309,521
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'O INVENTOR /wew/y ,4u-A77 @$1 BY ATTORNEY Feb. 2, 194.5. M, ALLA-rr PACKAGING APPARATUS AND METHOD Filed July 2. 1938 8 Sheets-Sheet 6 INVENTOR '/WEPl//N @15477 ATTORNEY 8 sheets-sheet 7 xNvr-:NTOR /WEeI//N AMAT?" Bar-Mb ATTORNEY M ALLATT PACKAGING APPARATUS AND METHOD Flled July 2, 1958 Feb. 2,1943.
Feb. 2, 1943. M. ALLATT PACKGING APPARATUS AND METHOD P'ild July 2, 195e 8 Sheets-Sheet 8 Patented Feb. 2, 1943 asoaczi PACKAGING arral'tafos AND METHOD Mmm Anm, Plainfield. N. :..assignor to Mime Patent Holding Co., Inc., a corporation of New York Application July 2, 1938. Serial No. 217,210
This invention relates to an improved packaging method and a wrapping apparatus thereof. l
The embodiment of the invention herein described and shown is directed to the packaging of small fiat-shaped articles in sealed wrappers, such as individually wrapped tea-balls or the like.
Among the objects of the invention is to generally improve packaging methods and apparatus of the character described including wrapping machines, which shall comprise few and simple parts assembled to operate continuously for packaging fiat-shaped articles like tea-balls, in quantity production, which shall be capable of operating either as independent units, or in conneet-ion with automatic article manufacturing apparatus, such as tea-ball making machines as attachments for receiving and individually wrapping in continuous operation the complete outputs of such tea-ball making machines, which shall be reliable in performance of its operation yet requiring a minimum of attention in supervision and labor, which shall be relatively inexpensive to manufacture, and which method and apparatus shall be economical and eflicient to a high degree in use.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and in part hereinafter pointed out. The invention accordingly consists of features of construction and method, combinations of elements, arrangements of parts and steps in the process of manufacture which will be exemplified in the construction and method hereinafter described and of which the scope of the application will be indicated in the following claims.
In the accompanying drawings in which is shown various possible illustrative embodiments of this invention,
Fig. 1 is a front elevational view of the machine constructed to embody the invention for packaging tea-balls individually in wrappers of paper, Cellophane" or the like sheet material;
Fig. 2 is a rear elevational view of the machine shown in Fig. l;
Fig. 3 is a detailed plan view corresponding to a secton as seen from lines 3--3 of the machine shown in Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is an end elevational view corresponding to a section as seen from lines 4-4 in Fig. 2;
F'g. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken on lines 5--5 in Fig. 3;
Figs. 6 and- 'l are cross-sectio'al views taken on lines 6 6 and 'l-l respecti.e'ly, 'n Fig. 5;
Fig. 8 is a det' ""'i 'trom-sectional view corresponding to a section as seen from lines 8 8 in Fig. 3;
Fig. 8a`is a fragmentary detailed view of the bag transfer showing the members in position for sealing the package after receiving the same from the position shown in Fig. 8
Fig. 9 is a fragmentary detailed view of the feed conveyor and the transfer mechanism, the latter being shown-in position to receive the tea bag wrapper during the portion of the wrapping operation prior to that shown in Fig. 8;
Figs. 10, 11 and 12 are cross-sectional views taken on lines Iii-l0, II-il and i2-I2 respectively, in Fig. 9;
Fig. 13 is a fragmentary view of the feed conveyor and the transfer mechanism similar to Fig. 9 showing the transfer mechanism receded after receiving a wrapper;
Fig. 14 is a cross-sectional view taken on lines Il-Il in Fig. 13;
Fig. 15 is a fragmentary plan view of the feed conveyor showing the gate serving as a barrier to the advancing passage of a tea-ball during the period of wrapping and sealing operations of a prior tea-ball;
Fig. 16 is a fragmentary view showing tea-ball aligning means for causing a wiping movement in the folding operation of the wrapper;
Fig. 16a is a detail section of the tea-ball aligning means.
Figs. 17 and 18 are front and side elevational views, respectively, showing the package of an individually wrapped tea-ball produced by the improved machine; and
Patent No. 2,068,724 to WiChlilSki and Pizzolanetta granted January 26, 1937, and my copending patent application Ser. No. 37,257,
' filed August'l 21, 1935, so that the manufacture of finished tea-balls and individual wrapping thereof may be carried out in a continuous operation to provide sanitary packages.
.Referring now to the,..flrawinfrs, in Fig. 17 a package 30 manufactured in accordance with the embodiments of the invention herein described, is shown, said package 30 comprising of a seam sewn tea-ball 3| sealed in a wrapper 32. The wrapper may be made of any suitable sheet material preferably of paper, as for example, that commercially known as diaphane" paper. or of Cellophane, said sheet material preferably having the property of being capable of forming a tight joint when the superimposed edge portions of the wrapper 32 are pressed together while heated without the use of adhesives to form the wrapper sealed joint 3|a as clearly shown in Figs. 17, 18 and 19. Said seam joint 3|a may be corrugated as at 3|b to serve as a border trimming band extending around the wrapper as seen from Figs. 17 and 19.
The complete apparatus which is designated generally at 40 is assembled on a bed frame or base 4| which supports the various moving parts on suitable upright members 42. These upright members form a rigid frame structure with the base 4| and support a horizontally extending belt conveyor C at a desirable height or level above the base 4|. Said conveyor C may correspond to and serve as the discharge conveyor of an automatically operated tea-ball machine such as shown in the drawings and described in the aforesaid patent, or in that of my said copending patent application, said patent and application each including means for discharging the finished tea-balls on a horizontally extending discharge conveyor. Such discharge means to the conveyors of tea-balls in tea bag making machines being broadly old and well known in the art, such means are not shown or further described herein. It is to be understood, however, that where it is found desirable, the conveyor C of the apparatus 40 may be installed to serve as a discharge conveyor or equivalent thereof of a tea-bali making machine and the apparatus 40 would then be used as an attachment whereby complete tea-balls would be automatically delivered to the apparatus 40 by means of the conveyor C and then automatically fed for individual wrapping by said apparatus 40 in the manner hereinafter described in one complete continuous operation. The apparatus 40 may also be used as an independent unit by placing the completely finished tea-balls or other flat articles on the conveyor C manually or by any suitable mechanical feeding means in the well understood manner. The conveyor C thus receives the successive tea-balls 3| in spaced relation either from a tea-ball machine (not shown) or the finished tea-balls are placed on the belt of the conveyor C in spaced relation by hand or otherwise.
The conveyor C may include an outer end pulley 43 at an extended or receiving end thereof, an inner end pulley 44 at the delivery end, and a suitable leather or fabric belt 45 interconnecting said pulleys. See Figs. 1, 5 and 10. Said belt 45 may have imprinted along the entire length sequence in the discharge of the tea-balls on the belt 45, and where any displacement or derangement from the correct discharge takes place to readily observe and facilitate rectifying the same.
Said belt 45 moves in the direction of the arrow as shown in Fig. 3 and conveys the tea bags 3| towards a wrapper supply and folding mechanism W as shown in Figs. 1, 3 and 15. 'I'he belt 45 as here shown is driven through the outer end pulley 43 which has a sprocket 43a mounted to turn therewith. Said sprocket 43a is driven through a chain 43h and a drive sprocket 43o mounted on a cross power drive shaft 10a located below the conveyor C, the cross power drive shaft 10a being connected with a power shaft through a set of bevelled gears 10b as shown in Figs. 1 and 3. The inner end pulley 44 is also driven from the cross power drive shaft 10a by means of a sprocket 44a mounted to turn with the pulley 44 which is driven through a chain 44h and drive sprocket 44c. said drive sprocket being mounted to turn with the cross power drive shaft 10a as shown in Figs, 2 and 3. The desirability of driving. the conveyor C from both ends resides in the fact that it is found that all slippage of the belt 45 or possibly buckling due to jamming is thus eliminated and the markings 45a on the belt will thereby remain in a proper registered arrangement with respect to a wrapper supply and folding mechanism W to which the tea-balls 3| are fed by said conveyor C.
The supply of wrappers may be made from a stack of pre-cut blank sheets in the well understood manner, but as here shown, said supply consists of a continuous strip or web 32a forming a roll 32d which is carried on a reel 5|. The latter is rotatably mounted on a stub shaft 52 which is supported on a rigid arm 53 extending up from the frame structure of the apparatus 40 as shown in Figs. l, 2, 4 and 8. The leading end of the strip 32a from the roll 32h passes between a front feed roller 54 and rear feed roller 55, the front roller 54 being driven from the rear roller 55 through a pair of intermeshed gears 56. As seen from Figs. 2 and 14, said rear roller 55 is journaled in an overhanging bearing 55a and is driven through a sprocket 55h, a suitable chain 55e and a drive sprocket 55d mounted to turn with a cross power drive shaft 10c extending in spaced parallel relation to cross power drive shaft 10a, and like the latter connects with the power shaft 10 through a set of bevelled gears 10d, as shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The front roller 54 is mounted for rotating on a suitable suspended bearing 54a as shown in Fig. 5. The rear roller 55 may be rubber covered and said rollers 54 and 55 may be retained for resiliently clamping the strip 32a therebetween by a suitable tension spring 51, the suspended bearing 54a being suitably pivoted at 54h to permit clamping action by said spring 51.
As seen from Fig. 2, the chain 55o connecting with the cross power drive shaft 10c provides an -intermittent rotation of the rear roller 55 through a chain slack take-up 55e. The latter comprises a slideway over which the chain rides, said slideway being carried by an arm or a lever 55j' pivoted at 55g. Said arm 55j is resiliently held by a tension spring 55h so that the slideway is forced by constant pressure to take up any slack in the chain 55e. Bearing against the side of the chain 55o between an idler pulley 559 (Fig. 3) and the' sprocket 55h is a roller 55k which is`mounted for rotation on the upwardly extending end of a rocker lever 55m. said lever being 'plvoted'at 551i. The rocker lever 55m .bas a lower horizontally exasoaeai tending end 55p which engages through a suitable linkage 55q with one side of a double cam 80, the latter being mounted to rotate with the drive shaft 10 as shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The chain drive including the chain 55o for the rear roller 55 is so constructed that the take-up above described and the pressure roller 55k co-act when the cam 80 is effective to release or increase the pressure of the roller 55k and thereby loosen or tighten the chain 55c which in turn gives an intermittent rotary movement to the roller 55. The feed of the web 32a by means of the roller 55 is thus also made intermittent in proper timed relation with the operating and Wrapping operations hereinafter described. driven from the same power shaft 1|l. The other side of said cam B0 connects with a shearing or severing means 59 through a suitable linkage 59a so that said cam 80 thus is made to control in proper timed relation both the feeding and cutting of the web 32a. See Figs. 2, 3 and 14.
Referring now to Figs. 5 and -14, the leading end 32a of the strip after being fed downward between the rollers 54 and 55 extends past a member 58 which guides the same between a fixed blade 59h and a movable blade 59e of the shearing or severing means 59. Said strip 32a before being severed is permitted to pass downward beyond the shearing means 59 a distance sufficient in length to make a wrapper 32 through a bowed or arcuate passage 60 along the exterior side of the convex surface of a gate or barrier 6| and an upwardly extending curved fixed guide member 62 mounted above the level of a horizontally extending passage 63 in the path of the movement of the tea-balls 3| at the level of the conveyor belt 45. A downward extending guide 64 above the gate 6| and below the shearing means 59 co-acts with the upper end of member 62 to assure guiding the strip 32a between them before and after being severed to enter and retain its bowed shape within the passage 60. To further guide the end of the strip 32a after intersecting the passage 63 and below the level of the conveyor C, a. filler block 65 may be provided which co-acts with a curved guide member 66 for holding the strip 32a in its bowed condition within the passage 60 as is clearly shown in Figs. 5 and 10, said block 65 levels the path adjacent the inner conveyor pulley 44 along which the tea-balls 3| move in the passage 60 beyond the conveyor C.
The curved guide member 66 may be removablv supported by being mounted in the upper end 66a of a vertically extending lever bar 66h which has its other end 66e pivoted on the base frame 4|, a spring 66d being provided to resiliently press the bar 66h with the member 66 in the direction away from the passage 60 as shown in Fig. 5. The inward movement of the guide member 66 is controlled through a loose linkage 66)' by a cam 66e mounted on the power drive shaft. This inward movement is effective at the time when the wrapper 32h is being folded above the tea-ball 3 At other times the spring 66d retains said member 66 to keep the passage 60 open as much as possible.
Before the tea-balls 3| on the conveyor C pass through the gate 6|, each is acted upon by a presser plate 61 which serves as a sizing gauge to make certain that the tea-ball. before it is presented to the wrapping operation, does not exceed a thickness to permit a free passage of the teaball3| through the gate 6| when open. In Fig. 10 is shown the position of the plate 61 in effective lowered position with the gate 6| raised,
the tea-ball 3| having just passed beyond the gate 6| and conveyor C. In Fig. 5 the gate 6| is shown in effective position when lowered to bar the passage of tea-balls and the plate 61 raised, a tea-ball 3| being shown in position on the conveyor C just before the plate 61 is lowered into effective gauging position. The gate 6I and presser plate 61 are carried by vertically extending slide rods 6|a and 61a, respectively, which are supported by reciprocating movement by a support bracket 68. Movement is given said rods 6|a and 61a through suitable levers and linkage 6|b and 61b, respectively, which are operated by a double cam 69 mounted to turn with the power shaft 10. The linkage 6|b co-acts with one side of the cam 69 and linkage 61h with the other side as shown in Fig. 2.
For moving the tea balls 3| along the conveyor belt 45 with respect to a wrapper 32h after the latter has been severed from the strip 32a, a positive pusher means in the form of separable reciprocatable arms 1| is provided. Said arms ll are each carried by a double linkage 10g which extends between the belt 45 of the conveyor C. Each of said arms 1| has inwardly extended cooperating fingers 1|a which move with the arms 1|. When the arms 1| are in spread position they are located rearward with respect to the wrapper supply and foldingmechanism W as shown in Fig. 15. the fingers 1|a then being separated to permit the free passage of the teaballs 3| on the conveyor belt 45. Said pusher means move in the direction of travel of the tea balls, and are in effective position for advancing the tea-ball 3| along the passage 63 and pass the gate 6| after it is raised for delivery onto a transfer table T, the wrapper 32h then being folded around the tea-ball 3| during the forward progressive movement of the arms 1| with the fingers 1|a. as seen from Figs. 3, l0, i3 and 14. Through the linkage 10g the separating and bringing together of the pusher arms 1| with the fingers 10h is controlled by crank arm and rod connections 101 which co-operate with one side of a double cam 93 mounted on the power shaft 10 as shown in Fig. 2. The other side of said cam 93 co-acts through suitable linkage 1| 1 and reoiprocates the pusher arms 1| and fingers 1|a. Thus the tea-balls 3| as they each successively pass through the wrapper supply and foldnrir mechanism W has a wrapper 32h cut from the leading end of the strip 32a by the shearing means 59 which is folded about the teaballs 3| as it moves onto the transfer table T as is sh^wn in Fig. 10.
Referring now to Figs. 8. 8a, 9 and 10 the table T is seen to be orovided with two sets of U-shaped jews 12 and 13 which operate on spaced pivots "2a. to open and close above and below a recess 14 in the leading end of the transfer table T. 'The pair of .laws 12 are located to extend along the inner side of the pair of Jaws 13 and are adapted to move independent of the latter. Each tea-ball 3| as it moves past the gate 6| has thewrapper 32h folded around it as it enters the recess 14 of the transfer table while both sets of jews 12 and 13 are in open position as shown in Fig. l0. Said jaws 12 and 13 are thereafter closed when the tea-ball 3| with the folded wrapper B2b is in fully inserted position in said recess 14 and the rim portion thereof is completely clamped from one end of the fold 32c of the wrapper 32h to the rther by said jaws so as to temporarily seal the tea-ball 3| within said wrapper. The movement of the inner set of jaws 12 alone is 'against suitable resilient means such as iiat springs 15.
For actuating th emovement of the sets i laws 12 and 13, a prying wedge lever 13b plvoted at 13e is provided. Said lever when moved from a horizontal position shown in Fig. 8 to the tilted position shown in Fig. 10 acts to pry the sets of jaws 12 and 13 open. 'I'his tilting operation of lever 13b may be produced through a flexible transmission cable 8| having a screw adjustable terminal 8|a which depresses the end of the lever 13b. For positively clamping and retaining the jaws 13 alone a similar flexible transmission cable 82 is provided with a screw adinstable terminal 82a as shown in Figs. 8 and 8a. The other ends of the cables 8| and 82 opposite terminals 3|a and 82a, respectively, connect with cam levers 8|b and 82h, respectively, which in turn are actuated by cams 83 and 83a `mounted on drive shaft 10. See Figs. 2 and 4.
'I'he transfer table T is mounted for turning movement in a horizontal plane on a vertical bearing 16 from the position shown in Figs. 1 and 8 to the position shown in Fig. 3 and has a portion 11 which carries the jaws 12 and 13 for subsequent sliding movement from the position shown in Fig. 3 to that shown in Fig. 8a. This sliding movement is produced through a suitable bell crank 84 and a linkage 84a including a universa] joint 84h which allows for the swinging movement of the transfer table T, and is controlled by a double cam 85 mounted on the power shaft 10, said cam 85 also actuating the turning movement of the table T through a linkage 16a as shown in Figs. 2 and 8. Since the top of the transfer table T both rotates and slides as above described, the flexible transmission cables 8| and 82 for actuating the jaws 12 and 13 are preferably provided instead of more complicated linkages. Thus. besides being turned, the end of the transfer table T with a tea" bag wrapped and telnporarily sealed is advanced into a seam Joint sealer S Where the package border 3|a with the corrugations 3|b is applied and the joint heat sealed.
The transfer table T after it has been turned and entered into the seam joint sealer S, moves from thel position shown in Fig. 8 to that shown in Fig. 8a. The sealer then clamps the border portion 3|a of the package 30 beyond the outer jaws 13 and heat seals and corrugates the same. As shown in Figs. 9 and 12, the seam joint sealer S has a lower die 18 which may be cushion mounted on a rubber base with a felt top where the wrapper material requires such construction, 'otherwise said lower die 18 may be made of a suitable metal to correspond in form with the upper die 19. Heat may be supplied by any suitable means such as an electric heater 19a of any well understood construction carried by the upper die 19 and energized from a suitable electric power source (not shown). The upper die 19 is of metal and has the corrugations formed thereon corresponding to those which are applied on the package border 3|a shown in Figs. 17 and i9. The dies 18 and 19 are mounted for movement to and from each other on spaced guide rods 90. The actuating movements of said dies are controlled through a toggle linkage 9| which is operatively connected with cam 83 mounted to turn with the power shaft 10 as shown in Figs. 2 and 8.
The lower die 18 has the cross-piece portion 18a mounted for sliding movement with respect to the other portions of die 18. The cross-piece asoaes l 18a is retained in effective assembled position by suitable means such as compression springs 1811. The sliding movement oi' said die piece 18a is provided for the purpose of freeing the path of the package after sealing or separation of they dies 18 and 18. A cam lever 18e is provided for sliding said die portion 18a. against the action of spring 18h. Said lever 18c is interconnected with a linkage 96 which in turn is actuated by a double cam 83.
After the sealing operation is completed the sets of jaws 12 and 13 are actuated to open for releasing the sealed package 30 and the transfer table T is returned to its former position aligning with the conveyor C ready to receive the next tea-ball 3| for packaging. The dies 18 and 18 are in the meantime separated with the die portion 18 to permit a pusher plate 85 terminating a crank arm 96 pivoted at 38a to move the finished sealed package 30 from a horizontal position between said dies through a curved chute 91 to a vertical position. in a horizontally extending discharge slideway 98, as shown in Figs. 8 and 8a. This slideway may be made of a width slightly less than the width of the package 30 so that each finished package is retained in vertical position by friction along the sides oi' the slideway 98 and the successive packages 30 move along the discharge slideway 98 in an upstanding position ready to be removed manually by the operator for counting and placing in containers for shipment. See Fig. 8.
From the above description and the drawings the operation of theapparatus 40 and the packaging method embodying the invention, will be apparent. Tea-bal1s 3| or other like flat-shaped articles are deposited by a tea-ball making machine, manually or otherwise, on the outer end portion of the conveyor C (Fig. l) adjacent the pulley 43, each tea-ball 3| being placed in the blank marked spaces 45a of the belt 45, the gathered end of the tea-ball 3| aligning with the tapered marks 45e (Figs. 3 and 15). Since the belt I5 moves continuously. the tea-balls 3| are fed to be successively positioned to lie at a spaced distance,apart thereon. The belt 45 as it advances carries the spaced tea-balls 3| and when the leading one reaches the gate 8| it will be stopped if the same is in the lower or effective position shown in Fig. 15. Before the gate 6| is raised to permit the tea-ball 3| to advance through passage 63 (Fig. 6) the presser plate 61 is caused to descend from the elevated position shown in Fig. 5 to its lowered position shown in Fig. l0. This ilattens or tamps down the teaball 3| should it exceed a thickness that would impede its free passage under'the gate 6| when raised (Fig. l0). This gauged thickness of the tea-ball corresponds with the height of the recess 14 of the top of the' transfer table T.
As the gate 6| is about to be raised, the arms 1| with the finger 1|a are brought from their ineffective position shown in Fig. l5 to the posltionshown in Fig. 3, and after the gate 6| has fully opened. said arms 1| and fingers 1|a close around the rear tapered end and sides of the tea bag 3| and advance the latter through the gate 6| against a cut bowed wrapper 32a in passage -60 and into the recess 14 of the transfer table T causing said wrapper 32h to fold around the tea-ball, the position of said arms and fingers being shown in Figs. 13 and 14.
In the embodiment of the invention here shown, the dimensions of the wrapper 3Z-is made practically of minimum size so that the least amount of wrapper material is used and the package made as small as possible.l To successfully accomplish the wrapping operation using such limited quantity of material, the teaball 3| must be carefully centralized or more accurately aligned with respect to the wrapper than would otherwise be necessary before the folding thereof around the tea-ball to completely insure perfect sealing. This end is accomplished by providing a portion of each of the arms 1| carrying the fingers 1|a as a movable section 1lb resiliently retained on suitable means such as spaced slide pins 1|c and 1 d having compression springs 1|e and 1|f. (Figs. 1, 13, 15 and 16.) The front pair of spring pressed pins 1|c are adapted to coact with spaced/actuators 1|g so that the movable arm sections 1lb are forced in closer relation away from other portions of the arms 1| (Figs. 13 and 14) when said arms 1| are at the beginning of their receding position after being fully advanced for moving the tea-ball 30 and the wrapper 32a into the recess 14 (Figs. 9 and 10). The actuators 1|g are made so as to be ineffective during the advance movement of the arms 1| permitting the leading spring pressed pins 1|c to ride past said actuators, the latter being pivotally mounted against the action of a tension spring 1|h for that purpose. In the return movement, however, the actuators 1|g engage the pins 1|c and depress them for moving the sections 1| b closer together against the action of springs 1|e and 1|f. It should be noted that the length of the arms 1| is such that they extend into the fold 32c of the wrapper 32h and assure that the outer edges of the fold are properly shaped to make the fold of uniform section throughout so that when the arms 1| are withdrawn and the jaws 12 and 13 of the transfer table closed, the clamping action takes place without any distortion of the wrapper material adjacent the free edges. The action of resilient arm section 1lb as above described is to give the wrapper 32h at both ends of the fold 32C a short wiping or stroking action to eliminate all possibility of improper forming of the wrapper fold Just before the'advancing of the tea-ball 3| through the gate 6|, the leading portion of the wrapper material 32a cut from the rod 32d is caused to pass along the passage 60 by the intermittent rotation of the rollers 54 and 55, said wrapper portion 32a being fed down to the passage 60 in suilicient amount to form one wrapper. As has been explained above the passage B preferably is made bow shaped and as the tea bag 3| is advancing to the gate 6| in the manner described above, the severing means 59 are caused to cut the web 32a and as the tea bag 3| reaches the bowed section of the cut Wrapper, said wrapper is folded around the tea bag 3| centralized by the arm 1| with the movable section 1lb and the wrapped tea bags then being inserted into the recess 14 of the top of the transfer table T taking the position shown in Figs. and 14. When said insertion of the tea bag 3| and folded wrapper 32a has been completed the jaws 12 and 13 are caused to close on the wrapper portion extending around the tea-ball 3| inwardly from the edge thereof, said jaws temporarily clamping said wrapper portions for completely enclosing the tea-ball 3| in the wrapper 3217. Meanwhile the arms 1| have been retracted to a position shown in Fig. and the next teaball 3| on the conveyor C is being advanced towards the gate 6| which has closed after the 1|, the presser plate 61 to its ineifective raised retraction of the arms also being brought back position shown in Fig. 5. The transfer table T next is rotated so as toturn the gathered end of the tea-ball 3| with the wrapper toward the heat sealer S, as shown inFig. 3. The top of the transfer table T is then caused to slide into the heat sealer S so that the free edges of the wrapper beyond the jaws 13 extend between the dies 18 and 19. The latter next are brought together and the heat sealing of the joint extending around the package 30 from one end of the fold 32e to the other takes place. 'Ihe jaws 12 and 13 are next released and simultaneously the transfer table T is retracted away from the sealer S and is turned back to its original pOsition in alignment with the passage 63 ready to receive the next tea-ball 3| to be wrapped.
The dies 13 and 19 which retain the sealed package are then caused to be separated and the die portion 18a slidingly moved out of the path of package to the chute 91. Simultaneously with said movement the pusher plate descends swinging the completed sealed package 30 from the horizontal position shown in Fig. 8a to a. vertical stack position in slideway 98 in abutment with the preceding completed package as shown in Fig. 8, the completed packages having passed through the curved chute 91. From this stack position, the packages 30 are readily counted and removed for shipment, the discharge slideway being made of slightly less width than the package 30 so that said packages will always remain in a vertical position.
In the practical operation of apparatus 40, it is found convenient to have a portion of the wrapping operation continue to function while other portions are stopped. There is for such purpose provided, as shown in Figs. 2 and 4, a suitable disconnecting means including hand lever |00 which through suitable linkage |0| extending in the path of movement 'of a spring pressed pawl |02 of a drive clutch |03 may be set to engage or disengage the pawl |02 for causing all the cams and cross shaft 10c on the drive shaft 10 shown in Fig. 2 to the right of the clutch |03 to be disconnected from the power drive through the portions of the drive shaft 10 to the left of the clutch 03, that is, the portion at the universal coupling 10f and bevel gears 10b which drives the cross shaft 10a. The power source which may be by motor (not shown) connecting with the shaft 10 to the left of the coupling 10e (Fig. 2) or by being connected to operate in timed relation with the discharge means of a tea-ball making machine, will continue to operate the conveyor C while the remainder of apparatus 40 will be controlled through the clutch 03. The latter will be set, as shown in whole lines Fig. 4, when the apparatus 40 is in full operation but when it is necessary to advance the conveyor C because of failure to have a complete consecutive layout of tea-ball 3| on conveyor C then the clutch hand lever |00 is moved to the position shown in dotted lines in Fig. 4 which disengages the spring pressed pawl |02 to make the other portion of apparatus 40 inoperative until the conveyor C has been fully loaded ready for continuous operation. Then, by swinging the lever |00 back to full line position as described above and shown in the drawings all the operations of apparatus 40 are carried through automatically from the time the tea bags 3| are deposited on the conveyor C until they are completely packaged and delivered in a stack in discharge slideway 98, the timing being predetermined by cam and other mechanisms described. For compactness said cams may be incorporated in apparatus l by mounting on the shaft 10 as shown in Fig. 2 and-some of the linkage connected therewith may have common pivoting shafts and N5 which are supported on the frame base 4| which extend below said cams and shaft as shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3.
It is to be understood that the apparatus I0 and the method embodying the invention may be adapted to package more than one tea-ball in a single wrapper and that said method and apparatus may handle with equal facility tea-balls of various shapes, such as square, round or as shown.
It will thus be seen that there is provided an apparatus and method in which the several oblects oi' this invention are achieved and which are well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.
As various possible embodiments might be made of the above invention, and as various changes might be made in the embodiment above set forth, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention, I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent? 1. The method of packaging a flat-shaped article consisting in feeding articles and a strip from which Wrappers are cut in predetermined paths of movement, cutting and bowing a wrapper in a mid-portion thereof after advancing the wrapper into the path of movement of the article, conforming said article to a predetermined size, advancing the sized article into the bowed portion of the wrapper and sufficiently beyond while folding the wrapper around the bottom, front and rear iiat sides of the article, clamping the wrapper to completely enclose the article therein inwardly of the free edge portion of said wrapper, and heat sealing the said free portion of the wrapper.
2. The method of packaging fiat-shaped articl'es consisting in feeding the articles in spaced relation and a strip from which wrappers are successively cut in predetermined paths of movement, cutting a wrapper after advancing the strip into the path of movement of each article, conforming said article to a predetermined size, centralizing each sized article with respect to a wrapper and folding the wrapper thereabout, temporarily clamping the wrapper portions inwardly of free edge thereof to enclose the article, and heat sealing the unclamped free edge por tions of the wrapper.
3. In a method of sanitary packaging teaballs, the steps of centralizing successive teaballs each with respect to a wrapper, compressing the tea-balls greater than a predetermined thickness to form a uniform size, and folding a wrapper about the centralized and sized tea-ball while in the compressed state.
4. A package apparatus of the character described comprising means for conveying articles to be wrapped, means for feeding wrappers in the path of movement of the article, means for conforming the article to a predetermined size, means for folding a wrapper about each sized article, means for clamping the folded wrapper to enclose the sized article therein, and means to heat seal free edge portions of the wrapper while said clamping means are eiiective.
5. The apparatus defined in claim 4 in which scid folding means include a pusher for advancing successive articles beyond the conveying means and onto the clamping means.
6. The apparatus defined in claim 4 which includes a gauging means for compressing each article greater than a predetermined thickness prior to folding the wrapper about the article.
7. In a packaging apparatus of the character described, a transfer table top, means for mounting said table top for rotary and sliding movement between an article supply means and a discharge means for the apparatus, means on said table top to receive said article with a wrapper folded thereabout, and means co-operating with said receiving means to clamp said folded wrapper around the article to enclose same, said clamping means temporarily retaining the article within the wrapper and extending inwardly from the free edges of the wrapper.
8. The packaging apparatus defined in claim 7 in which means are provided positioned to receive the article clampingly retained in the wrapper from said first mentioned receiving means for heat sealing the edge portions of the wrapper.
9. In a packaging apparatus of the character described, a transfer table top, means for mounting said tabletop for rotary and sliding movement between an article supply means and a discharge means for the apparatus, means on said table top to receive said article with a wrapper folded thereabout, means co-operating with said receiving means to clamp said folded wrapper around the article to enclose same including a double set of jaws, and means for concomitantly opening said jaws and for independently closing same.
10. The method of sanitary packaging teaballs of the character described consisting in conforming each tea-ball to a predetermined size, applying a wrapper about each' sized teaball by first bowing the wrapper and then advancing the sized tea-'ball into the bowed portion while folding the wrapper to enclose the sized article, clamping the free edge portions of the wrapper at a distance inwardly'of the free edges thereof and adjacent the perimeter of said teaball to completely seal the sized tea-ball therein, and heat sealing the unclamped free edge portions of the wrapper while said clamping operation is effective.
11. The method of sanitary packaging teaballs of the character described consisting in conforming a tea-ball to a predetermined size, centralizing the tea-ball with respect to a wrapper, retaining the size of the tea-ball and folding the wrapper thereabout, temporarily clamping the wrapper portions adjacent the tea-ball inwardly from the free edge of the wrapper to completely enclose the tea-ball in the wrapper, and heat sealing the unclamped free edge of the wrapper.
12. A packaging apparatus of the character described comprising a conveyer for advanced performed articles to be wrapped, a wrapper supply source, means for feeding wrappers from said source into the path of movement of said articles on said conveyer, means for co-operating with said conveyer, and wrapper feeding means for folding the wrapper about of said articles, a
mechanism including a gate and a coaotlng pusher means for advancing the articles one at a time beyond the delivery end of the conveyer, and means located adjacent the gate to size the articles prior to the folding of the wrappers thereabout by said wrapper folding means.
13. The method of sanitary packaging teaballs of the character described consisting in centralizing the tea-ball with respect to a wrapper and folding the wrapper thereabout, stroking the wrapper ends during said folding operations.
temporarily clamping the wrapper portions adjacent the tea-ball inwardly from the free edge of the wrapper to completely enclose the tea-ball in the wrapper, and heat sealing the unclamped free edge of the wrapper.