US 2356472 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug? 1944- c. w. ROTHAUG 2,356,472
CONTAINER SEALING MACHINE Filed Feb. 4, 1941 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 y xmmllmnm mmmllllm: g
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Patented Aug. 22, 194-4 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CONTAINER SEALING MACHINE Clarence Wells Rothaug, Bufialo, N. Y. Application February 4, 1941, Serial No. 377,343
Claims. (Cl. 226-56) This invention relates to machines for sealing flexible containers, such as bags or envelopes, containing loose finely divided or granular materal, such for example as ground coffee, sugar, and other materials.
In connection with the sale of certain types of foods, such for example as coffee, there has developed a demand for small packages or bags. For example, inthe restaurant trade where coffee making devices of a certain size are used, there is a demand for bags of such size that one bagful of ground coffee is just suflicient for the capacity I of the device. In packaging cofiee in small containers it is also desirable to avoid the use of liquid adhesives which might at times be supplied in excess quantities to the sealing mechanism so that some of the adhesive might contaminate the material which is being packaged, and thus spoil some or all of the material. In the case of some materials, the moisture in adhesive of this type also has a detrimental effect upon the material.
One of the objects of this invention is to provide a machine which is capable of operating quickly and effectively on bags or containers of this type which have applied thereto a film of asubstance which becomes softened and acts as an adhesive upon the application of heat.
A further object of this invention is to provide a machine of'this kind by means of which the contents of the bags are pressed or packed into the desired shape to facilitate further packing of the bags in cartons or larger containers. It is also an object of this invention to provide a bag sealing machine of this kind in which the contents of the bag may be pressed into a shape that will facilitate the feeding of the upper portions of the bags to the sealing device. A further object is to provide a machine of this type which can be readily adjusted to operate on containers of different shapes and sizes. A further object is to provide means for adjusting this pressure of the rolls against the bag.
Further objects will appear from the following description and claims. I
In the accompanying drawings:
Fig. 1 is a top plan view of a container sealing machine embodying this invention.
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary central sectional elevation thereof, on line 2-2, Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a sectional plan view thereof, on line 3-3, Fig. 2.
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary plan view thereof, on an enlarged scale, on line 44, Fig. 2.
Figs. 5 and 6 are transverse sectional elevations thereof, on lines 5-5 and 6-6 respectively of Fig. 1.
Fig. 7 is a face view of the upper end of a bag which may be used in connection withmy improved machine, a portion of the bag being torn and folded back to indicate the adhesive thereon.
Fig. 8 is a similar view of another type of bag which may be used in connection with my machine. I
Fig. 9 is a fragmentary transverse sectional elevation, on line 99, Fig. 1, of a part of the folding mechanism of my machine.
Fig. 10 is a fragmentary horizontal section, on a greatly enlarged scale, on line |0l0, Fig. 6.
Fig. 11 is a perspective View of a portion of a bag or container of the type shown in Fig. 7, after it has passed through the machine.
Figs. 12 and 13 are edge viewsof a bag respectively before and after it has passed through the folding device.
Fig. 14 is an edge view of the upper portion of the bag of the type shown in Fig. 8, after it has been folded.
Fig. 15 is a fragmentary transverse sectional elevation on line Iii-l5, Fig. 2.
While my improvement is designed particularly for use on relatively small bags or containers, it is not desired to limit this invention to use on such bags, since it is obvious that the invention herein described may be applied to machines for sealing larger containers. Furthermore, the machine illustrated in the accompanying drawings constitutes one embodiment of this invention, and it is not intended to limit the invention to the particular construction illustrated.
The machine illustrated in the drawings in.- cludes a table or base l5 which may be supported on legs (not shown). The table or base has a substantially fiat horizontal surface along which the bags or containers may slide, the longitudinal edges of the particular table shown being reinforced by angle bars M. The bags are fed to the machine at one end of the table l5 and are ad- 'vanced by the mechanism toward the other end thereof. X represents the bags which are placed into the machine at the receiving end thereof between a pair of upright bag supports l6 which preferably converge to facilitate the correct positioning of the bags at the receiving end of the mechanism, the bags being positioned between the supports l6 after they have been filled with the correct quantity of contents. While nmchines embodying my invention may be employed in connection with bags of any suitable or desired construction, I have shown by way of example.
bags having two sides with their lower ends secured together somewhat in the same manner as an envelope and their upper ends left open for filling. The bag as shown in Fig. 7 has a band or zone of dry adhesive material Y applied to both sides of the bag on the inner surfaces thereof, the adhesive being of the type which is softened by heat so that these two zones may be secured together when heated. In the other form of bag shown in Fig. 8, a wider band or zone of adhesive Z is applied to the inner surface of one side only of the bag, including the upwardly extending flap.
My machine is provided above the table or base IS with a pair of belts I8 arranged on edge so that the flat faces of the belts extend in a generally upright direction. These belts pass over pulleys l9 and 20 which are arranged at the receiving end of the machine and other pulleys 2| and 22 at the discharge end of. the machine. The belts have two runs arranged adjacent to each other and spaced so as to receive the bags X between them and convey them from thereceiving end of the machine toward the discharge end thereof. The supporting walls l6 extend into close proximity to the pulleys l9 and 20. The pulleys over which these belts pass may be driven in any suitable or desired manner so that the inner runs of the belts engaging the bags move in a direction from the receiving end of the machine toward the discharge end thereof.
As will be readily seen in Fig. 2, the height of the belts is materially less than that of the bags so that the upper ends of the bags extend considerably above the upper edges of the belts.
In connection with the packaging of certain materials, such for example as coffee, it is desirable to compress or compact the material in the bags or containers and also to bring together the upper portions of the bags above the material contained therein. This serves to reduce the size of the bags by reducing the air space therein, so that a number of these bags can be packed in a small package or carton. When the bags contain coffee, the reduction of the amount of air in the bags is also desirable since air, after a period of time, has a detrimental effect on coffee. I have found that the best results can be obtained by acting on the contents of the bags in such a manner that the contents are initially pressed toward the bottoms of the bags, thus giving the bags the tapering shape shown in Fig. 12. If desired. the sides of the bags may later be pressed into parallel relation to each other as shown in Fig. 13. In order to accomplish this result, I provide a pair of guides 24 and 25 which engage the belts at the inner runs thereof on the faces opposite to those which are engaged by the bags. These belt guides converge from the receiving to the discharge ends thereof and are also inclined from the vertical in such a manner that the upper edges thereof are nearer to each other than the lower edges, as clearly shown in Figs. 4 and 5. The inner faces of the guides may also be shaped or curved at their front edges, as shown at 26, for permitting easy entrance of the belts and packages between the guides.
The belt guides may be mounted on the base or table l5 of the machine in any suitable or desired manner. For example, in order to obtain the desired inclination of these guides from the vertical, the lower edges of the belt guides 24 and 25 are slightly beveled, so that when they rest upon the flat surface of the table or base I5 they will assume their correct inclined positions.
The belt guides may be held with their lower faces in contact with the table in any suitable manner, for example, by means of screw-threaded studs 21 secured in the belt guides and extending through transverse slots 28 in the table or base l5, thumb nuts or the like 29 being arranged below the base in threaded engagement with the studs 21. Preferably, at least two slots 28 are provided for each belt guide, and by means of these slots, it is also possible to adjust the belt guides toward and from each other to cooperate with bags of different sizes or with bags containing different quantities of material, and to compress the material in the bag to the desired dimensions. By means of these inclined belt guides, the material in the bags is pressed toward the bottoms thereof so that the entire mass of material in each bag is compacted. The belt guides also serve the further purpose of causing the belts to positively grip the sides of the bags so that they are moved lengthwise of the table or base i5 while the lower edges of the bags slide on the stationary surface of the table,
and these belt guides also serve to bring the upper portions of the bags closely together, which facilitates the entry of the bags into the sealing device, as will be explained later.
In order to make the sealing of the upper ends of the bags more positive and to supplement the action of the belt guides 24 and 25 in expelling air from the bags, means may be provided which act on the upper portions of the sides of the bags for bringing them together as they are moved along by the belts I8. For this purpose, I provide a pair of stationary deflecting plates 3! and 32 above the belts, Figs. 1, 2 and 5, which have outwardly flaring or curved ends 33 at the bag receiving ends thereof. These deflecting plates converge toward each other toward the discharge end of the machine and bring the upper ends of the sides of the bags closely together for cooperation with the sealing device.
In connection with some types of bags, it is desirable to fold the upper portions of the bags downwardly before sealing, and if this folding of the bags is desired, a folding mechanism may conveniently be provided in connection with the converging bag top deflecting plates 3| and 32. The folding device may be of any suitable or desired form, that shown including a stationary plate or bag top turningmember 34 of usual construction, with which the upper portion of thev bag engages during its movement, and which is shaped to turn over the upper portion of the bag as ,it'is moved along the folding device by the belts. In the construction shown, this tuming member 34 is attached to the plate 3|, and is shaped to turn the upper portion of the bag over the upper edge of the other plate 32. The turning member 34 may be removably mounted on the plate 3! in any suitable or desired manner, for example, by means of threaded studs or bolts 35 secured on the plate 3|, and thumb nuts .36. Any other means may be employed for turning over the tops of the bags, and if desired, the turning member 34 may be entirely omitted in cases where it is not necessary to turn over the tops of the bags, by removing this member from the plate 3|.
In order to enable the machine to work on bags of different sizes or heights, the deflecting plates 3| and 32 and the folding mechanism are preferably adjustable to different elevations relatively to the base or table 15. In the construction shown for this purpose, the plates 3| and 32 of the folding mechanism are supported above the belts l8 by means of suitable brackets or curved rods 3! suitably connected to outwardly extending reinforcing flanges 38 on the lower edges of the plates 3| and 32, and these curved rods or brackets have their lower portions threaded for a considerable distance and extend through holes in the angle bars 14 of the base or table l5. Suitable nuts 39 arranged on the threaded ends of these rods or brackets above and below the table or base, as indicated in broken lines in Fig. 2, may be adjusted to var the height of the deflecting plates and folding member.
. a type commonly used in household heating ap- The sealing of the bags is effected by means of a pair of heated rolls arranged in close proximity to the discharge ends of the belt guides 24 and 25 and of the folding device, if'one is used. These heated rolls may be of any suitable or desired construction, those shown including a pair of metal cylinders or shells 42 preferably having their outer surfaces fluted or provided with ribs which form a corrugated surface on the portions of the bag which pass between the heating rolls. These ribbed surfaces on the heating rolls serve to positively feed the bag tops lengthwise 'of the machine and also to ensure a contact between the surfaces of the bag which are to be secured together as shown in Fig. 10, but if desired, surfaces of smooth or other form may be provided on the rolls. The fact that the upper portions of the sides of the bags are brought together by the upwardly converging belt guides 24 and 25, or by the deflecting plates 3| and 32, assists in properly guiding the bag tops to the heating rolls.
The shell 42 of each heating roll may be suitably secured to a base or bushing 43 mounted on an upright shaft 44. The shafts of the two rolls may be driven in any suitable manner so that the peripheral speed of the shells 42 is sub- A stantially the same as that of the belts l8.
Any suitable means may be provided for heating the shells 42 of the heating rolls, and in the construction illustrated, I have prov ded electrical heatin elements, each of which includes a suitable heat resistant insulating body portion 46 about which an electrical resistance wire 41 is wound. Each heating element is provided at its upper end with the usual terminals for the resistance wire, including a threaded metal shell of usual form by means of which the heating element'may be screwed into a lamp socket 49 suitably secured on a cross bar 50. Conductors 5| from any suitable source of electric current connect with the sockets 49 to supply current to the heating elements.
The cross bar 50 may be supported above the heating rolls by means of upright posts 53, the lower ends of which are secured to the table or base 15. In order to accommodate the heat ng rolls for cooperation with bags of different heights, the heating rolls are adjustable vertically, as will be hereinafter described, and the stationary heating elements, which are supported independently of the rolls by means of the cross bar 50. are also adjustable in any suitable manner, for example, by providing screw threads at either or both ends of the upright posts 53. In the construction shown, the upper ends of the posts are screw-threaded for a considerable distance and the cross bar 50 may be secu ed t these threaded portions at the desired height above the table [5 by means of a pair of nuts 54 and 55.
From the foregoing description, it will be noted pliances. If desired, the upper ends of the heating rolls may be closed by means of suitable lids or tops 51 which may rest upon the upper edges of the shells 42 of the heating rolls, and which have central openings through which the heating elements may extend into the rolls.
As the bags pass between the heating rolls, the upper ends thereof are sealed due to the softening of the adhesive by heat from the rolls. Fig. 11 shows the upper portion of a bag of the type illustrated in Fig. '7, after it has been sealed by passage between the heating rolls. The foldedover end of the bag is not secured to the adjacent side of the bag and may extend out from the same as shown in Figs. 11 and 13. The bag shown in Fig. '7 may also be sealed without folding over the upper portion thereof. If a bag, such as shown in Fig. 8 is employed, the heated. rolls will seal the folded-over edge of the bag against the side upon which it is folded, as shown in Fig. 14.
After the bags have passed the heat ng rolls, they are conducted away from the rolls by the belts l8, and since these parts of the belts are not acted upon by the inclined belt guides 24 and 25, these portions of the belts gradually assume vertical and parallel positions and as the bag passes between the pulleys 2| and 22, the shape of the bag is changed from that shown in Fig. 12, in which the bag has its greatest thickness near the bottom thereof, to that shown in Fig. 13, in which the lower portions of the bag are substantially parallel to each other. The bag is discharged by the belts l8 between a pa r of upright walls or bag supports 60, from where it is removed from the machine. The fact that the portions of the belts for a short time after passing below the heating rolls still are in inclined or upwardly converging positions is helpful in tending to hold the upper portions of the bags together, so that there is no tendency to break the seal while the adhesive is setting or hardening. By the time the bags pass between the pulleys 2! and 22 where the shape of the contents of the bags is changed, the adhesive has become sufficiently set so that no damage to the seal can result due to the action of the pulleys 2| and 22 on the bags.
I have, found that in order to make a seal by means of the heated rolls, it is desirable not only to have the rolls heated to the proper temperature, but also to have them exert the required amount of pressure against the portion of the bag which is to be sealed. I have, consequently, provided means for mounting the heating rolls so that they may exert the desired amount of pressure against the portion of the container contacting with the rolls, and also so that the positions of the rolls relative to each other ma ing supporting bars 'or membersSI and 98 which may be supported from the table I15 in any suitable manner. For example, in the construction illustrated. these two bars. which are of angle shaped cross section, are held in place relatively to each other by means of screw threaded rods 99, the upper ends of which are secured b nuts to the angle bars I4 arranged along the side edges of the table I5. The supporting members 9'! and 98 are provided with apertures in their horizontal flanges through which the threaded rods 99 pass and on which they are secured by other nuts as clearly shown in Fig. 15.
Each of the shafts or stems 44 of the heating rolls is journalled in two bearings which may, for example. be in the form of pillow blocks I and IOI. The pillow blocks I00 which form the upper bearings for the two shafts 44 are secured to the upper angle bar or support 91 and the lower bearings or pillow blocks IUI are secured to the lower supporting member 98. These bearings may be adjustably secured on the angle bars or bearing supporting members 9! and 98 in any suitable manner, for example, by means of bolts I02 which extend through suitable holes in the bearings or pillow blocks and through horizontally extending slots I03 formed in the supporting members 9! and 98. Consequently the bearings I00 and IM for the, shafts 44 may be adjusted horizontally toward and from each other relatively to the supporting members 91 and 98, and when these bearings are positioned as desired, they may be secured in such positions by tightening the bolt I02. If the two heating rolls are to be yieldingly pressed toward each other, this can, for example, be done by securing the upper bearings or pillow blocks I00 to the upper supporting member or angle bar 9! and then applying a force to thelower hearings or pillow blocks in a direction to move them away from each other. This may, for example, be done by means of screw clamps or any other means that are readily available, and the bolts I02 for thelower pillow blocks may then be tightened. The shafts 44 are, of course, resilient so that they may yield when the rolls 42 are forced apart by the entry of the upper part of the package between them.
In order to adjust the rolls 42 vertically, the shafts 44 may be provided with collars or sleeves I arranged above the lower bearings or pillow blocks IOI, and preferably these sleeves or 001- lars are removably secured to the shafts, for exampleby means of set screws as indicated in Fig. so that the shafts may be adjusted vertically relatively to their bearings. Similar sleeves or collars I06 may be provided just below the upper bearings or pillow blocks I00 to prevent movement of the shafts. Any other means for mounting the shafts of the heating rolls on themachine may be employed, if desired.
Any suitable drive mechanism may be employed for imparting motion to the movable parts of the machine, and in the construction illustrated by way of example in Figs. Z'and 3, I provide a drive shaft 63 which may be directly connected with an electric motor, and which has a worm 64 thereon meshing with a worm gear 65 mounted on an upright shaft 68. This worm gear may be located below the portion of the machine shown in Fig. 2 and the shaft 65 extends upwardly into proximity with the lower face of the table or base I5. The upper portion of the shaft may be provided with a bevel gear 68 meshing with another bevel gear 69 mounted bags.
on a horizontal shaft I0. The shaft III has a sprocket wheel thereon which cooperates with a sprocket chain I2. This chain cooperates with another sprocket wheel I3 secured on a countershaft I4. The countershaft I4 is connected by pulleys and belts with a pair of upright shafts TI and I8 on which the pulleys I9 and 20 cooperating with the belts I8 are mounted, the shafts TI and I8 extending through suitable apertures in the table or base I5. By means of other pulleys and belts, the countershaft I4 is connected to upright shafts 80 and 8| on which the other pulleys 2| and 22 of the belts I8 are mounted. The shafts for the pulleys may be suitably supported by and journallcd on brackets or other supports secured underneath the table or base I5. Any other means for driving the belts I8 may be provided.
The heating rolls 42 may also be driven in any suitable manner, for example, by means of a pair of belts cooperating with pulleys secured to the shafts 80 and 8| and other pulleys 86 secured on the upright shafts 44 of the heating rolls.
The machine described is of simple and efficient construction and operation, and is capable of operating upon bags or containers of many different sizes and shapes. The machine may also be operated at relatively high speed and correspondingly high capacity. This can to a large extent be controlled by varying the temperature of the heating elements in the heating rolls and the pressure of. the rolls against the The variation in temperature may be effected in any suitable or desired manner, for example. by means of a rhcostat indicated diagrammatically in. Fig. 2, by means of which the current supplied to the heating elements may be varied to vary the temperature thereof. It the machine is operated at a relatively high speed, the heating rolls 42 may be heated to a higher temperature, whereas if the machine is operated at a slower speed, a lower temperature must be employed to avoid scorching the bags.
The machine has the further advantage that it can not contaminate or alter the contents of the bags, since the adhesive employed cannot mix with the contents and contains no moisture which might have an effect on the contents.
I claim as my invention:
1. In a machine for operating on bags containing loose material, the combination of a support, a pair of belts arranged with their faces upright and above said support and running in spaced relation to each other in the same direction and between which spaced belts said bags are firmly gripped and advanced over said support in upright positions, guide members engaging the belts at the faces thereof opposite to those engaging said bags, said guide members converging in the direction of movement of the belts and bags and also having their upper por tions in closer proximity to each other than their lower portions for pressing the contents of the bags gripped therebctween downwardly toward the bottoms of the bags.
2, In a machine for operating on bags containing loose materiaL'the combination of a support, a pair of bolts arranged with their faces upright, above said support and having stretches running in spaced relation to each other in the same direction, and between which spaced belts said bags are gripped and advanced over said support inupright positions, guide members engaging the belts at. the faces thereof opposite to those engaging said said guide members converging in the direction of movement of the bags and also having their upper portions in closer proximity to each other than their lower portions for pressing the contents of the bags downwardly toward the bottoms of the bags, and pulleys at the discharge end of said machine and over which said belts pass and which have their axes of rotation located at a different angle from the angle of said guide members for further changing the shape ofthe bag and its contents, and means arranged above said belts and guide members for folding the tops of said bags.
3. In a machine for operating on bags containing loose material, the combination of a support, a pair of belts arranged with their faces upright, above said support and having stretches running in spaced relation to each other in the same direction, and between which spaced belts said bags are gripped and advanced over said support in upright positions, guide members engaging the belts at the faces thereof opposite to those engaging said bags, said guide members converging in the direction of movement of the bags and also having their upper portions in closer proximity to each other than their lower portions for pressing the contents of the bags downwardly toward the bottoms of the bags, means arranged above said belts and guide members for folding the tops of said bags to close the same, and pulleys 'at the discharge ends of the machine and over which said belts pass, said pulleys being arranged with their axes substantially parallel to each other, whereby the bags after passing between said guide members are subjected to pressure by said pulleys which places the sides of the bags into substantially parallel relation to each other.
4. In a machine for sealing bags containing loose material and having a sealing materialrendered effective by heat on at least one of the faces of the tops of the bags that are brought together in closing the bags, the combination of a support, a pair of belts arranged with their faces upright, above said support and having stretches running in spaced relation to each other in the same direction, and between which arranged above said belts in the path of travel of the tops of said bags and having opposed heating members between which the tops of said bags' pass under pressure and while upright to seal said tops, and means at the discharge ends of said guide members and subsequent to said sealing device for compressing the contents of the bags to position the sides of the bags into substantially parallel relation to each other.
5. In a machine for sealing bags containing loose finely divided material and having a sealing material rendered effective by heat on at least one of the faces of the tops of the bags that are brought together in closing the bags, the combination of a support, a pair of belts arranged with their faces upright, above said r support and having stretches running in spaced relation to each other in the same direction, and
, between which spaced belts the bags are gripped bags to arrange the lower portions of the sidesand advanced over said support in upright positions, a sealing device arranged above and intermediate ofthe ends of the belts and including a pair of rolls with upright axes of rotation for receiving between them, heating and pressing together the upstanding tops of the sides of the bags, to seal the bags, guide members engaging the belts at the faces thereof opposite to those which engage the bags, said guide members converging upwardly so as to press the contents of the bags downwardly and to cause the sides of the bags to converge upwardly while acted on by said sealing device and while passing from said sealing device, and means at the discharge ends of said belts for pressing the sides of the in substantially parallel relation to each other.
i CLARENCE WELLS RO'I'HAUG. i