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Publication numberUS2367684 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 23, 1945
Filing dateAug 7, 1941
Priority dateAug 7, 1941
Publication numberUS 2367684 A, US 2367684A, US-A-2367684, US2367684 A, US2367684A
InventorsMalhiot Clarence J
Original AssigneeRedington Co F B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Packaging machine and method of packaging
US 2367684 A
Images(6)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan 23 11945. c, J. MALHIOT PACKAGING MACHINE AND METHOD OF PACKAGING Filed Aug. 7, 1941 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENT OR.

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PACKAGING MACHINE AND METHOD OF PACKAGING Filed Aug. 7, 1941 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 736 INVENTOR.

H u/ 1 m2 Car e/Zoe (1mm Z @2 M/QZKM Jam. 23, 11945, c. J. MALHIOT PACKAGING MACHINE AND METHOD OF PACKI XGING Filed Aug. 7, 1941 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 Patented Jan. 23, 1945 PACKAGING MACHINE AND METHOD OF PACKAGING Clarence J. Malhiot, Oak Park, Ill., assignor to F. B. Redington Co., Chicago, 11]., a corporation of Illinois Application August 7, 1941, Serial No. 405,816 27 Claims. (Cl. 93.6)

This invention relats'to packaging machines and methods of packaging, and to detector means and methods, particularly adapted for use with packaging apparatus, for detecting an improper filling of a package and for resultingly controlling the packaging operation.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved packaging apparatus and methods, and to provide improved detecting means and methods operable during a. packaging operation, for detecting an improper filling of a package and for controlling the resultant packaging operations.

More particularly it is an object of the invention to provide detector mechanisms and methods, and packaging means controlled thereby, which are reliable and rapid in operation, which are operable upon frangible articles, and which are operable on the articles during their continuous and high speed movement through the machine.

A further object of the invention is to provide detector means and methods of the type stated, which individually sense both the presence or absence and also the condition of each article to be packaged, and which operate in a manner so as to positively insure that only properly filled packages will be transmitted through and delivered normally from the machine.

A still further object of the invention is to pro vide detector means and methods, and packaging devices controlled thereby, which, while readily distinguishing between properly and improperly filled packages, do not impair the package container, but leave the same in ready condition to be corrected or repacked, as for example by hand.

Various other objects, advantages and features of the invention will be apparent from the following specification when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred embodiment is set forth for illustrative purposes.

In the drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout:

Fig. 1 is a general assembly view, in front elevation, of a packaging machine constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention and adapted to carry out the methods thereof;

Fig. 2 is an end view of the machine of Fig. 1, looking from the right, and more particularly illustrating the mechanisms at the package filling and detector stations;

Fig. 3 is a partial horizontal section through the machine, on the line 3-3 of Fig. 1, and showing the parts at the filling and detector stations;

Fig. 4 is a sectional view through the mechanism of Fig. 3 on the line 4-4 thereof;

'the numerals Fig. 5 is an exploded view of illustrated in perspective;

Figs. 6 and 7 are sectional detail views of the filling and detector mechanisms, respectively, and taken on the lines 6-6 and 'l1 of Fig. 4;

Fig. 8 is a sectional view of the detector mechanism on the line 88 of Fig. '7;

Fig. 9 is a view similar to Fig. 8 but showing the detector operating upon an improperly filled package;

Figs. 10 and 11 are detail perspective views of parts of the detector mechanism;

Figs. 12 to 21 are detail illustrative views, indicating successive steps in the operation of the machine and taken successively on the lines l2-l2 to 2l-2l of Fig. 1, each view being taken looking in a clockwise direction;

Figs. 12a to 21; are detail perspective views of the package end in its condition as illustrated, respectively, in Figs. 12 to 21;

Fig. 22 is a detail view of the machine at the package discharging station; and

Figs. 23 and 24 are illustrative perspective views showing, respectively, a properly filled and an improperly filled package or carton as discharged from the machine.

In the drawings the invention has been illustrated as embodied in a machine for packaging cigarettes or the like, as the invention in certain of its aspects is particularly adapted to packaging machines of such character. It is to be understood, however, that other aspects of the invention are adapted for general use, including packaging machines for packaging other types of articles. The machine shown is in many of its aspects similar to that illustrated in the patent of Michael J. Milmoe, No. 1,486,598, dated March 11, 1924, to which reference may be made for a more detailed showing of certain of the mechamsms.

Referring more particularly to the drawings, and first to Fig. 1 thereof, it will be seen that the machine comprises in general a main carrier or conveyor l0 adapted to convey the packages or cartons from a supply magazine ll, past the filling and detector stations generally indicated by I2 and I3, and along the packaging or carton folding and tucking mechanisms arranged peripherally of the wheel, for final ejection at the delivery station of the machine, generally indicated by the numeral Hi. The wheel I0 is adapted to be driven continuously and at a constant speed of travel during operation of the machine, by means of a central driving shaft l5 to which it is secured by a key IS, in a manner the parts of Fig. 4,

best shown in Figs. 1 and 3. The shaft is driven in a clockwise direction as seen in Fig. 1.

The conveyor wheel comprises a series of circumferentially arranged pockets 20 into which the cartons are deposited from the carton supply magazine II, the pockets being separated by a series of transverse projections 21, Figs. 1 and 2, the forward ends of which are raised to provide extending abutment surfaces as indicated at 22. The cartons, indicated by the numeral 25, are supported in superposed relation within the magazine H by a pair of fingers 26 arranged on opposite sides of the bottom of the magazine and adapted to support the ends of the lowermost carton in the stack. As the wheel in is rotated, the abutment surfaces 22 of the projections 2| successively engage the body of the lowermost carton, between the support fingers 25, causing the cartons which come from the magazine in fiat condition to be successively deposited within the wheel pockets 20. The manner of operation of mechanism of this character is set forth in detailin the aforesaid Milmoe Patent No. 1,486,598.

Continued motion of the conveyor wheel causes the cartons to be engaged against the ends 21 of a pair of guide members 28 and 29, Figs. 1 and 2, extending peripherally of the wheel l and adapted to continuously engage the outer surfacesof the cartons and hold them within the pockets of the conveyor wheel until the cartons reach the discharge station H. To this end it will be noted that the guide members extend in parallel relationship continuously along the periphery of the wheel substantially from the supply magazine II to the discharge station. They are supported upon the frame or main housing 30 of the machine by means of bolts or the like such as indicated at 3|. The forward ends of the guide members are provided with engagement projections 32, Fig. 1, adapted to abut the leading edge of the carton, squaring the same, and feeding it properly within the conveyor wheel pocket.

Referring, for example, to Fig. 12a, it will be seen that the cartons 25, in the particular illustrated embodiment, when in open or squared position, comprise a rectangular body 35 having an end closure comprising a pair of side flaps 36 and 31, and a cover flap or tab 39. The carton is symmetrical, and is provided with similar closure members at both ends, see Fig. 12. The carton body is further provided at each end with a slit 39 adapted to receive the end of the cover flap. The end closure is closed by first folding the side flaps into closed position, as shown for example in Fig. 16a, and thereafter folding and tucking the cover flap into position and into the slit 39, as shown for example in Fig. 19a. As the cartons are initially squared and arranged within the pockets of the conveyor wheel, the side flaps and the cover flaps extend outwardly from the carton body, as shown in Fig. 12a.

As the movement of the conveyor wheel in progresses, bringing the carton to the position indicated by the section line l2-l2 in Fig. 1, and illustrated in Figs. 12 and 12a of the drawings, a pair of folding cams l0 and 4|, Figs. 1 and 2, mounted on the guides 28 and 29 by bolts or the like 42 and 43 and arranged on either side of the conveyor wheel, engage the cover flaps at either end of the carton for the purpose of reversely folding them from the position illustrated in Figs. 12 and 121'- to that shown in Figs. 13 and 13a. The forward ends of the folding cams are bent outwardly as indicated at 44, and these end extensions are further provided with cam surfaces 45, the atangement being such that as the cartons are moved by the conveyor, the cover flaps are caused to engage these cam surfaces, being reversely folded, outwardly from the periphery of the conveyor wheel, to the Figs. 13 and 13a position. During this folding operation the side flaps 3B and 31 are not engaged and accordingly remain in their original position.

In the interest of uniformity, and for purposes of comparison of Figs. 12 to 21 inclusive, the guides 28 and 29 are in each instance illustrated below the carton. It is to be understood-however, that the actual disposition of the guides with respect to the carton, in so far as vertical position is concerned, constantly changes along the periphery of the conveyor wheel.

As the cartons reach the Fig. 13 position, they have arrived at the filling or loading station where the articles to be packaged are inserted into the cartons. In the particular illustrated embodiment these articles are cigarettes. The loading or carton-filling mechanism is illustrated in Figs. 1 to 6 inclusive. Specifically, there is provided a vertically extending hopper, generally indicated by the numeral 50, Figs. 1 and 2, within which the cigarettes 5| are carried in superposed relation. A latch device comprising an arm 52 having at its lower end a laterally extending finger 53, is provided for controlling the movement of the cigarettes from the lower end of the hopper. To this end the arm 52 is pinned to a shaft 54 journaled in the frame of the machine and provided with driving mechanism operable ,to oscillate the shaft in timed relation with the movement of the conveyor wheel and other parts of the loading mechanism later to be described. As the shaft 54 is oscillated, the finger 53 is periodically removed from and returned to supporting position with respect to the stack of cigarettes in the hopper, and upon each oscillation a predetermined number of the cigarettes, two in the particular disclosed embodiment, are permitted to -drop into the loading mechanism.

Referring specifically to Figs. 3, 4 and 5, the loading mechanism comprises a main support arm 55 having a hub portion 55 loosel journaled on a sleeve 51 fixed to the frame of the machine and within which the conveyor wheel drive Shaft I5 is rotatably mounted. The support arm is mounted between the frame of the machine and the conveyor wheel 10, as best shown in Fig. 3. The support arm is provided at its outer end with a vertical plate 58, a horizontal ledge 59, and a second vertical plate Ell, Fig. 4, secured to the ledge 59 by screws or the like. The plates 5| and 50, and the ledge 59, form a pocket or trough structure into which the cigarettes are dropped from the hopper 59 upon withdrawal of the finger 53. During operation of the machine the support 55 is oscillated between predetermined upper and lower limits by means later to be described. When the support is in its uppermost position, as shown in Fig. 1, the ledge 59 is so disposed with respect to the bottom of the hopper 50, that two cigarettes will drop onto the ledge upon operation of the finger 53. The finger 53 is then returned to supporting position and the support 55 is lowered, or moved clockwise as seen in Fig. 1, at the speed of movement of the conveyor wheel Ill; and during the time that the support 55 is moving at the rate of travel of the conveyor wheel, the cigarettes are ejected from the ledge 59 longitudinally into the carton carried by the conveyor wheel. The support arm 55 is thereupon returned to its origiaseaeas nal upper position and the operation repeated, the support arm thus oscillating between predetev mined upper and lower limits, and moving downwardly at the speed of the conveyor wheel, as stated.

To effect the oscillation of the support, the support is provided with an extension 53, Figs. 1 and 4, secured in position by means of bolts 66. This extension at its outer end is operatively associated with a vertically reciprocable rod 65 secured at its upper end to the extension and at its lower end to an operating lever 66, Fig. 2. The lever 68 is pivoted to the frame of the machine, as indicated at B1, and is provided with a roller 68 engageable Within a suitably shaped cam track formed in the rear face of a cam disc I mounted upon the driving shaft II. This latter shaft is provided with a worm gear 12 having engagement with and driving a gear 13 on shaft I; the arrangement being such that shaft II with its cam and th shaft I5 are constantly driven during operation of the machine, and the shaping of the cam track being such as to impart the desired predetermined operation to the rod 85 and the connected loading support member 55. It will be noted, that the rod 85 is not rigidly connected to the members 63 and 66, but is associated therewith in a manner so as to permit of the rocking movements of the parts. More particularly, the rod is loosely fitted within neck-shaped openings in the ends of members I53 and 66, and compression springs I4 and I5 bearing, respectively. against the extension '83 and the lever 68, and against collars I6 and 11 secured to rod 65, hold the parts in position. These springs are normally unyielding, but may yield in the event of jamming of the parts.

The means for ejecting the cigarettes from the ledge 59 longitudinally into the cartons comprises a guide 80, Fig. 5, formed as a part of the end of the support member 55, a slide block 8i longitudinally slidable within the guide, and a loadin member 82 secured to the slide block. A plate 83 is adapted to be bolted to the front face of the guide 80, and together with the guide forms a longitudinal sliding track for the slide block 8|. The loading member 82, which may be bolted to the slide block, extends rearwardly through a. slot 84 formed in the guide, the end 85 of the loading member being positioned so as to'abut the ends of the cigarettes and force them longitudinally from the ledge 58 into the carton.

To control the movements of the slide block 8 I, the latter is provided with an opening 81 adapted to rotatably receive a laterally projecting pin 88, Fig. 2, formed as a part of a block 89 threadedly secured to an operating rod 90. This operating rod receives its motion from a lever 3| pivotally secured to the frame of the machine as indicated at 92 and adapted to be operated by a link 93 connected to one end of a lever 84 mounted on the same pivot axis 61 which carries the lever 66. The other end of lever 9| carries a roller 85 engageable within a cam track formed on a disc (not shown) similar to the cam disc I0 and mounted on the same driving shaft II but within the main housing 30. The cam track receiving the roller 85 is suitably shaped so as to impart the proper timed movements to the slide block 8| and the loading member 82 by means of the linkage described. A compression spring 96 forms a part of the operating connection 'between the lever 9| and the rod 90, and may yield in the event of jamming of the parts. The manner of operation of the loading member 82 to move the cigarettes from the ledge 58 into the open end of the carton is specifically illustrated in Fig. 6. As previously stated, this loading or filling of the cartons takes place while the support 55 and conveyor wheel I0 are moving as a. unit. The loading operation takes place as the member 82 moves to the left as seen in Fig. 6, and as the loading member is retracted to the right the support 55 may be restored upwardly to its initial position.

Means is provided for detecting the condition of the filled carton immediately after-the loading operation, the detector mechanism operating upon the carton at a station indicated by the section line I4-l4 in Fig. 1, to which the carton moves immediately as it leaves the loading station. The detecting mechanism, like the filling or loading mechanism, operates upon the carton and the material therein during the continuous movement of the conveyor wheel I0, and to this end the sensing elements of the detector mechanism are carried by the support arm 55, so that such elements move with the conveyor and at the speed thereof during the sensing operation.

The support arm 55 is provided at its outer end with a depending projection I00, Fig. 5, forming the support for the sensing elements of the detector mechanism. This projection has a yoke member I0l secured thereto, by means of screws or the like, Fig. 4, the member being of general U-shape as best shown in Fig. 3, whereby to extend around the periphery of the conveyor wheel and associated parts. The unsupported end I02 of the yoke member carries, by means of screws or the like, a fitting I03 of the same general shape as the projection l00, the arrangement being such that the yoke member, togethenwith the extension I00 and the fitting I03, provide housings on either side of the conveyor and in line with the conveyor pocket, in which the detector sensing elements are longitudinally slidable.

The manner in which the sensing elements are slidably mounted within the housing structures, and the construction of the elements, are best illustrated in Figs. '7 to 11 inclusive. It is to be understood that sets of sensing elements are provided operable upon both ends of the package, the constructions being essentially similar so that a detailed description of one set will suffice for both. In Figs. 7 to 11 inclusive the sensing elements for the inner end of the package, the upper end a seen in Fi 3, are illustrated in detail.

As shown, a slide block I05 is longitudinally reciprocable within the housing structure formed by the projection I00 and the yoke member IN, and this slide block is provided with a pair of longitudinal bores within which the sensing elements I 08 and I0! are slidably mounted. Each sensing element is provided on its end, as best shown in Fig. 10, with a first or sensing projection I08 adapted to engage and sense the end of the cigarette, and a second or operating projection I09 adapted to engage the cover flap 38 of the carton. Compression springs as indicated at 0 and I II, Fig. '7, normally urge the sensing elements toward the carton end, the movement of the elements being limited by pin and washer as semblies on the end of the sensing elements as indicated at Hz and 3. Means is provided, about to be described, for shifting the slide block I 05, and the corresponding slide block for the other end of the carton, longitudinally within their slide housings toward and away from the carton ends, and it will be seen that as the slide blocks are shifted toward the carton ends the sensing elements are brought individually into engagement with the ends of the cigarettes. If the cigarettes are properly in position within the carton, and are properly filled with tobacco III, the sensing elements will be blocked upon enga ement with the cigarettes, as shown in Fig. 8, the cover flaps ll and Ila thereby remaining in the perpendicular position at which they are being held at the time by the folding cams II and M. As the sensing elements are blocked by engagement with the ends of the cigarettes, the compression springs such as indicated at III and III yield as shown in Figs. 7 and 8, whereby the sensing elements are stopped during the continued movement of the slide blocks, such as I, toward the carton ends. On the other hand, if no cigarette is in position, or if the cigarette is inadequately filled with tobacco or otherwise of improper condition such as of insui'flcient length or the like, the sensing elements continue in their movement toward the'carton ends with the slide blocks. causing the cover flaps 38 and 28a to be further reversely folded or bent to the position shown in Fig. 9, and for a purpose later to be described. It will be noted that there are sensing elements for each end of each cigarette, so that if any part of the contents within the carton is absent or in improper condition, this fact will be detected by an additional cover flap increment of movement.

To enable the slidable movements of the detector mechanism slide blocks, the blocks are provided with operating projections Ill and Ill, Figs. 8, 9, 11 and 3, which projections are engaged by bifurcated end portions of a pair of bell-crank levers Ill and I 2!, Fig. 3. These bellcrank levers are pivoted on a frame bracket I2I as indicated at I22 and I23 and are interconnected for simultaneous operation, the interconnecting means comprising a rotatably mounted block member I24 secured to the lever I2l and engageable within the bifurcated end portion I25 of the lever H9. Lever II! is also provided with a rearwardly extending arm I25 the end of which is adapted to be secured to an operating rod I21, Figs. 3 and 2. This operating rod is connected at its other end to an arm I28 forming a part of a bell-crank lever, which has a roller I29 engaging a cam track I231: formed on the front surface of the cam disc ll hereinbefore described. As the cam lever is operated rod l2l will be reciprocated in timed relation to the movements of the other parts of the machine, whereby to cause the simultaneous pivotal movement of the bellcrank levers II! and I20, and the resulting slidable shifting of the slide blocks of the detector mechanism. To permit of the slidable movements of the blocks, it will be noted that the operating projections Ill and II! extend outwardly through slots Ill and III in the associated housing structures. It will further be noted that the connection between the rod I21 and the lever operating arm I26 is of the safety type including a compression spring I32. Also, the connections at the opposite ends of the rod are such as to permit of the pivotal movements of the parts in a manner similar to that heretofore described in reference to operating rod $5.

The sensing elements are brought into operative engagement with the ends of the cigarettes during the downward movement of the support arm 55, at which time the sensing elements are being shifted at the speed of the conveyor wheel III and as a unit therewith. The detector slide blocks are then reversely shifted to withdraw the sensing elements from the carton ends, and the support 55 restored upwardly to normal position. During the downward shifting of the support 55, the loading mechanism operates upon a carton at the loading station, whereas the detector elements operate on the carton at the detector station. immediately in advance of the carton being loaded. To accommodate the bodily shifting of the detector slide blocks with the support 55, it will be noted that the slide block projections Ill and III are vertically shiftable within the bifurcated ends of the bell-crank levers H9 and I20.

The purpose of the detector mechanism, and the functions effected thereby in the subsequent operation of the machine, will be best understood by reference to Figs. 14 to 21 inclusive, and related figures of the drawings. As previously stated, if properly proportioned and filled cigarettes are properly positioned within the cartons at the detector station, no additional bending movement is imparted to the cover flaps 38 and 28a. Fig. 8, but if improper conditions exist an additional increment of movement is imparted to the cover flaps as shown in Fig. 9. Referring to Figs. 1, 14 and 140, it will be seen that at the detector station the cartons come into operative engagement with the forward ends of a pair of folding cams I3! and I36 provided on either side of the conveyor wheel, these cams being mounted, respectively, upon the guides 28 and 29 by bolts or the like I31 and I38, as best shown in Fig. 2. The forward ends of the cams are so disposed that the cartons are moved into operative engagement therewith, as the conveyor wheel moves after the sensing elements of the detector have been engaged with the cigarettes and while being held in engagement therewith, as for example during the downward movement of the support 55. If the package is properly filled, it will accordingly be seen that the cover flaps 38 and 38a will move to a position outside of the cams I35 and I36, as shown in full lines at Fig. 14, but if the package is an improper one, the flaps will be held in their further folded position by the sensing elements at the time the folding cams I35 and I36 are engaged, so that the flaps will be caught inside of the ends of these folding cams, as shown in dotted lines in Fig. 14; and during the subsequent movements of the carton through the machine, the cover flaps will be folded in one manner or another depending upon how they lie with respect to these folding cams. Referring to Fig. 15, the position of the parts is illustrated at the station I5-I5, Fig. 1, immediately as the cartons leave the detector station. The folding earns 40 and II terminate shortly beyond the station I5-I5, the trailing end of the cam 40 being indicated by the numeral I40 in Fig. 1.

Means is provided for folding the carton side flaps into closed position, to the position illustrated in Fig. 16a, such means comprising a. pair of stationary cams III and I42, Figs. 1, 16 and 16a, and a pair of rockable or moving folding members, provided for each end of the carton, and one of which is indicated by the numeral I43 in Fig. 1. The arrangement is such that as the cartons are brought into operative juxtaposition to the forward ends of the cams HI and N2, the folding member I" and the corresponding folding member at the opposite end of the carton rotate counterclockwise as seen in Fig. 1 at a speed faster than the movement of the carton, whereby the movable folding members engage the trailing side flaps 31 and 31a and fold them into closed position. Substantially simultaneously the folding cams MI and I42 engage the leading side flaps 36 and 36a, folding them into closed position, and thereafter engaging and retaining the flaps 31 and 31a closed. It is to be understood that the folding members such as I43 have an oscillating motion, counterclockwise into engagement with the flaps, and thereafter clockwise to be withdrawn. The cams I4I and I42 are supported from the guides 28 and 29 by suitable brackets I45 and I46, Figs. 1, 2 and 16, which extend beyond the range of the carton parts so as not to interfere with the movement thereof.

The cams MI and I42 also cooperate with the cam I35 and I36 to effect the folding of the cover flaps 38 and 380. More particularly, referring to Figs. 16 and 1'7, it will be seen that the two sets of cams are so shaped that their cooperative surfaces grip and fold the cover flaps as the cartons are moved by the conveyor wheel. However, such folding occurs only as to properly filled packages, the cover flaps of improperly filled package being retained inside the guides I35 and I36, as shown in the dotted lines.

As the cartons reach the station I8-I8 of Fig.

1 two pairs of additional stationary folding cams I50. II and I52, I53 have become operative,to engage in the folding operations. The cams I52 and I53. the extreme forward ends of which are shown in Fig. 17. first become operative to retain the cover flaps of improperly filled cartons in position. and thereafter cooperate with cams I50 and I5I to fold the cover flaps of properly filled cartons, as shown in Fig. 19. The cams I50 and I5I first cooperate with the cams I35, I36 and the cams I4I, I42, Fig. 18, and thereafter with cams I52 and I53, Fig. 19, to effect the final folding operations on the properly filled carton cover flaps.

As the cartons reach the station 2020 of Fig. l, a pair of rollers I60 and I6I, Fig. 20, become operative to engage and depress the ends of the cover flaps and the carton bodies, opening slits 39 and 39a, and simultaneously a second pair of rollers I62 and I63 become operative to tuck the flaps into the slits. Also, as shown in Fig. 20, at this time a still further pair of stationary cams I65 and I66 become operative to grip the cover flaps of improperly filled cartons whereby to retain such carton fiaps in a position illustrated by the dotted lines.

At the station indicated by the section line 2I-2I of Fig. l, and as shown in Fig, 21, the final tucking operations are effected. More particularly, the cover flaps of properly filled cartons are engaged by final tucking rollers I68 and I69, and tucked into finally seated position, whereas the cover flaps of improperly filled cartons are forced by the cams I65 and I66 into the slots I and HI in the guide members 28 and 29.

As the cartons reach the elector station I4, a pair of ejector members, one of which is indicated at I in Figs. 1 and 22, operate to move the cartons onto a receiving table I16 in alined relation. It will be seen that cartons which have been properly filled reach the receiving table in completely and properly folded position, as shown in Fig. 23 of the drawings, whereas improperly filled cartons will be deposited upon the receiving table in the position illustrated in Fig. 24. The cover flaps of such latter cartons are retained within the grooves I10 and HI of the guides 28 and 29 as the cartons reach the delivery station, and these cover flaps will remain reversely bent and be caught between adjacent cartons upon the receiving table. In Fig. 22 a properly filled and folded carton is indicated at 25a, whereas an improperly filled carton is shown at 25b, and it will be seen that the latter is readilydistinguishable upon the receiving table so that it may be readily removed and properly packed by hand.

The operation of the mechanism has been fully hereinbefore set forth, but may be briefly summarized as follows. The cartons 25, arranged in flat and superposed relation in a supply magazine II, ar removed from the lower end thereof by the projections 2I of the rotatable conveyor wheel I 0, and deposited within the conveyor wheel pockets 20. As the cartons engage the projections 32 of the guides 28 and 29, they are squared within the pockets, and thereafter the folding cams 40 and 4I reversely bend the carton cover flaps to the position of Fig. 13. At the loading station, indicated by the line I3--I3 in Fig. 1, the oscillating support arm 55 and loading mechanism carried thereby operates to insert cigarettes from the cigarette supply hopper 50 into the carton. The loading member 82 operates while the support arm 55 is moving with the conveyor wheel to push the cigarettes from the receiving ledge 59 of the support arm, onto which they are deposited from the hopper 50, longitudinally into the carton. At the next station, the detector station, indicated by the line I4I4 of Fig. 1, detector mechanism comprising the plurality of spring-pressed sensing elements, such as the elements I06 and I01, engage the ends of each of the cigarettes, determining the presence or absence of cigarettes within the carton, and also the condition of each cigarette article. These sensing elements are also carried by the support arm 55 and are movable with the conveyor during the sensing operation. If cigarettes are properly within the carton, the cover flaps remain in the position as illustrated in Fig. 8. If the carton is improperly packed, the cover fiaps are further reversely bent as shown in Fig. 9, and depending upon this operation of the detector mechanism, the subsequent carton packaging or folding mechanism operates in one manner or another upon the carton flaps. If the carton is properly filled, the cover flaps thereof are first folded by folding cams I35 and I36 in cooperation with the folding cams III and I 42, as

indicated in solid lines in Figs. 15, 16 and 1'1, and

corresponding Figs. 15a, 16a and 17a; and the carton side flaps are folded into closed position by the folding cams HI and I42, and by the movable folding members one of which is shown at I43. Further movement of the carton then causes the folding cams I52 and I 53 and the folding cams I50 and I 5| to operate upon the cover flaps as indicated in Figs. 18 and 19, and the rollers I60, I6I, I62, I63 and I68 and I69 to operate as indicated in Figs. 20 and 21 to complete the cover fiap folding operation. But on the other hand, if the carton has been improperly filled, the cover flaps are retained by the several sets of folding cams in the positions indicated in dotted lines in Figs. 15 to 20 inclusive, the flaps finally being tucked into slots within the guides 28 and 29, as indicated in Fig. 21. As the cartons are deposited upon the receiving table I16 at the discharge station I 4, properly filled cartons will accordingly be in the condition shown in Fig. 23, or as indicated at 25a of Fig. 22, whereas improperly filled oartons will be readily distinguishable therefrom, in the condition shown in Fig. 24 or at 25b in Fig, 22,.

It will be seen that in accordance with the invention, the detector mechanism operates to condition the carton cover flaps so that during subsequent packaging operations, different modes of treatment, and specifically different fiap folding and tucking operations, are imparted to properly filled cartons on the one hand and improperly filled cartons on the other. The detector mechanism is of such a character that'it does not injure frangible articles, such as cigarettes in the specific embodiment set forth, and the sensing of the cartons takes place during the continuous movement of the conveyor wheel. Rapid operation is enabled without impairing reliability in the detecting operation. A detector is provided for each article within the carton or package, and for each article end as well, so that the detector will sense either the absence of an article or any improper condition thereof. The detector operates after the loading operation has been completed and thus senses the condition of the package as it will be finally. delivered from the machine. After the operation of the detector mechanism and during the subsequent packaging operations, while different modes of treatment are accorded properly and improperly filled cartons, no cartons are spoiled or in any way damaged, the improperly filled cartons being deposited upon the receiving table in a manner rendering their detection immediately apparent so that they may be removed and further processed or filled by hand.

It is obvious that various changes may be made in the specific embodiment of the invention set forth for purposes of illustration without departing from the spirit thereof. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited to the specific apparatus and method steps set forth, but only as indicated in the following claims.

The invention is hereby claimed as follows:

1. A packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of containers with articles therein along a predetermined path, packaging mechanism operable up n properly filled containers, packaging mechanism operable upon improp erly filled containers, detector mechanism for detecting the condition of the articles with respect to the containers whereby to determine the loaded condition of the containers, and means controlled by the detector mechanism for controlling the cooperative relation between the containers and both said packaging mechanisms whereby the the packaging mechanism for improperly filled containers operates upon containers which are improperly filled and the packaging mechanism for properly filled containers operates upon containers which are properly filled.

2. A packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of containers along a predetermined path, means operable at a loading station for inserting articles into the containers, means operable at a subsequent detecting station for detecting the condition of the articles within the containers whereby to determine the loaded condition of the containers, packaging mechanism operable upon properly filled containers, packaging mechanism operable upon improperly filled containers, and means controlled by the detector mechanism for controlling the cooperative relationship between the containers and both said packaging mechanismswhereby to control the manner of operation of said packaging mechanisms upon the containers.

3. A packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of containers along a predetermined path, means operable at a loading station for inserting articles into the containers, means operable at a subsequent detecting station for detecting the condition of the articles within the containers whereby to determine the loaded condition of the containers, said detecting means being operable upon the articles while the containers are being moved by the conveying means, packaging mechanism operable upon properly filled containers, packaging mechanism operable upon improperly filled containers, and means controlled by the detector mechanism for controlling the cooperative relationship between the containers and both said packaging mechanisms whereby to control the manner of operation of said packaging mechanisms upon the containers.

4. The method of packaging which comprises moving a series of containers with articles'therein along a predetermined path, detecting the condition of the articles with respect to the containers whereby to determine the loaded condition of the containers, and thereafter packaging properly filled containers by folding fiaps thereof in one manner and improperly filled containers by folding flaps thereof in another manner in accordance with the detected loaded condition.

5. The method of packaging which comprises conveying a series of containers along a predetermined path, loading the containers by inserting articles therein, detecting the condition of the articles within the containers and while the containers are in motion along said predetermined path, and thereafter packaging properly filled containers by folding flaps thereof in one manner and improperly filled containers by folding fiaps thereof in another manner in accordance with the determination of the detecting operation.-

6. A packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of containers each with a plurality of articles therein along a predetermined path, packaging mechanism operable upon properly filled containers, packaging mechanism operable upon improperly filled containers, detector mechanism including sensing elements individually operable upon each of the articles within the containers, and means controlled by the operation of the sensing elements for controlling the cooperative relationship between the containers and both of said packaging mechanisms.

7. A packaging machine as defined in claim 6 wherein the sensing elements of the detector mechanism are operable upon the articles while the articles are in the containers and while they are being moved by the conveying means.

8. The method of packaging cigarettes which comprises conveying a series of fiap type containers with cigarettes therein along a predetermined path, detecting the presence or absence of the cigarettes within the containers, detecting the packing density of the tobacco within the cigarettes which are present, and thereafter folding the flaps of the containers in one manner or in another manner in accordance with the findings of said detecting operations.

9. The method of packaging defined in claim 8 wherein the detecting operations are performed while the articles are in motion along said predetermined path.

10. A packaging machine for cartons and the like comprising means for conveying a series of cartons with articles therein along a predetermined path, packaging mechanism for folding flap portions of properly filled cartons, packaging mechanism for folding fiap portions of improperly filled cartons, detector mechanism for detecting the condition of the articles with respect to the cartons whereby to determin the loaded condition of the cartons, and means controlled by the detector mechanism for controlling the cooperative relationship between the containers and both of said packaging mechanisms.

11. A packaging machine for cartons and the like comprising means for conveying a series of cartons along a predetermined path, means operable at a loading station for inserting articles within the cartons, means operable at a detector station for detecting the condition of the articles within the cartons, carton flap folding mechanism for properly filled cartons, carton flap folding mechanism for improperly filled cartons, and means controlled by the detector mechanism for controlling the cooperative relationship between the cartons and both of said flap folding mechanisms, said flap folding mechanisms comprising a series of stationary cams arranged along the path of travel of the conveying means.

12. A packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of containers along a predetermined path. means operable at a loading station for inserting a plurality .of articles into each of said containers. means operable at a subsequent detecting station for detecting the condition of the articles with respect to the containers whereby to determine the loaded condition of the containers. said detector mechanism'including sensing elements individually operable upon each article within the containers while the containers are in motion on said conveyor, and means for imparting an increment of motion to the sensing elements during the sensing operation along the path of movement of and substantially at the speed of travel of the conveyor.

13. A packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of containers with articles therein along a predetermined path, and detector mechanism for detecting the condition of the articles with respect to the containers whereby to determine the loaded condition or the containers, said detector mechanism including. a sensing element operable upon the articles within the containers while the articles are being moved by the conveying means, and means for imparting an increment of motion to the sensing element during the sensing operation along the path of movement of and substantially at the speed of travel of the conveyor.

14. A packaging machine comprising rotary means for conveying a series of containers along a predetermined path, loading mechanism disposed at a loading station for inserting articles into the containers, detector mechanism at a subsequent detecting station for detecting the condition of the articles within the containers, and means for moving the loading mechanism and the detector mechanism at the speed and along the path of travel of the conveying means during the loading and detecting operations.

15. A packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of containers along a predetermined path, means operable at a loading station for inserting articles into said containers, and detector mechanism operable at a subsequent detector station for detecting the condition of the articles within the containers, said detector mechanism including a plurality of substantially identical sensing elements engageable with opposite ends of each of the articles within the containers.

16. A cigarette packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of cartons along a predetermined path, means operable. at a loading station for inserting cigarettes within said cartons, and detector mechanism operable at a subsequent detector station for detecting the condition of the cigarettes within the cartons, said detector mechanism including a plurality of sensing elements engageable with opposite ends of the cigarettes within the cartons, and carton flap engaging portions on said sensing elements whereby the carton flaps are moved by the sensing elements to a position determined by the position of the cigarettes. a

17. A packaging machine comprising a rotary conveyor wheel for conveying a series of containers along a predetermined path, means operable at a loading station for inserting articles into the containers, detector mechanism operable at a subsequent detecting station for detecting the condition of the articles'within the containers. support structure for the detector mechanism mounted upon the axis of rotation of the rotary conveyor, and means for oscillating said support in at least one direction at substantially the speed of the conveyor.

18. A packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of containers with articles therein along a predetermined path, and detector mechanism for detecting the condition of the articles with respect to the containers whereby to determine the loaded condition of the containers, said detector mechanism comprising a sensing element having integral article engaging and container engaging portions, and means for urging said element portions into simultaneous engagement with the container and article.

19. A'packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of containers each with a plurality of articles therein along a predetermined path, detector mechanism for detecting the condition of the articles within the containers, said detector mechanism comprising a plurality of spring-urged sensing elements, each including integral article engaging and container engaging portions, and means for simultaneously moving said sensing elements into article and container engaging positions.

20. A packaging machine comprising a rotary conveyor adapted to convey a series of containers along a predetermined rotary path, loading mechanism arranged at a loading station for inserting articles into.the containers, detector mechanism located at a subsequent detector station for detecting the condition of the articles within the containers, 9. support for the detector mechanism concentrically mounted with the axis of the rotary conveyor, means for oscillating said support and for moving said support in one direction at substantially the speed of travel of the conveyor, means for operating the detector mechanism while said support and conveyor are moving substantially as a unit, and packaging mechanism for operating on the containers atv a subsequent packaging station, the manner of cooperation between the containers and said packaging mechanism being controlled by the detector mechanism whereby properly filled containers are packaged in one manner and improperly filled containers are packaged in another manner.

21. A packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series 01' containers with articles therein along a predetermined path, and detector mechanism for detecting the condition of the articles with respect to the containers whereby to determine the loaded condition of the containers, said detector mechanism comprising a pair of sensing elements, means for resiliently urging the sensing elements into simultaneous engagement with opposite ends of an article within a container, packaging mechanism operable upon the containers for effecting the packaging thereof, and means controlled by said sensing elements for controlling the cooperative relation between the containers and said packaging mechanism whereby to control the manner in which the packaging mechanism eil'ects the packaging of the containers.

22. A packaging machine as defined in claim 1 wherein said detector mechanism comprises a pair of oppositely disposed detector members engageable with relatively oppositely disposed surfaces of the articles.

23. The method of packaging which comprises moving a series of containers with articles therein along a predetermined path, detecting the condition of the articles with respect to the containers whereby to determine the loaded condition of the containers, and thereafter packaging properly filled containers by folding flaps thereof in one direction and improperly filled containers by folding flaps thereof in another direction in accordance with the detected loaded condition.

24. A packaging machine as defined in claim 10 wherein the packaging mechanism for folding flap portions of properly filled cartons comprises means for folding the flap portions into superposed relationship to form a carton closure, and wherein the packaging mechanism for folding flap portions of improperly filled cartons comprises means for reversely folding at least one carton flap portion to open position.

25. A packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of containers with articles therein along a predetermined path, and detector mechanism for detecting the condition of the articles with respect to the containers whereby to determine the loaded condition of the containers, said detector mechanism including a pair of relatively oppositely disposed sensing elements operable upon relatively oppositely disposed surfaces of the articles within the containers while the articles are being moved by the conveying means, and means for imparting an increment of motion to the sensing elements during the sensing operation along the path of movement of and substantially at the speed of travel of the conveyor.

26. A cigarette packaging machine comprising means for conveying a series of containers along a predetermined path, means operable at a loading station for inserting cigarettes into said containers, detector mechanism operable at a subsequent detector station for detecting the condition of the cigarettes within the containers, said detector mechanism comprising a plurality of substantially identical sensing elements engageable with opposite ends of each of a plurality of cigarettes within each of the containers, means for simultaneously projecting the sensing elements into engagement with the cigarettes, and container folding mechanism controlled by said sensing elements to control the manner of packaging of the containers.

27. A cigarette packaging machine as defined in claim 26 wherein spring means is provided for projecting the sensing elements into engagement with the cigarettes.

CLARENCE J. MALHIOT.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2634565 *Jan 12, 1949Apr 14, 1953Emhart Mfg CoCarton closing and printing device for cartoning machines
US2715807 *Dec 23, 1949Aug 23, 1955Nat Tea Packing Company IncAutomatic inspection means control for infusion package manufacture
US2834164 *Aug 28, 1952May 13, 1958Nat Tea Packing Co IncManufacture of filled packages with string-handles in predetermined counted output groups
US4916883 *Mar 21, 1988Apr 17, 1990Focke & Co. (Gmbh & Co.)Process and apparatus for the testing of packs
US6470653 *Sep 25, 2000Oct 29, 2002General Mills, Inc.Apparatus for externally mounting a premium package to a cereal box
EP0282728A2 *Feb 10, 1988Sep 21, 1988Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co.)Method and device for checking packages
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/491, 33/522, 53/523, 53/377.5, 53/75, 53/284.5
International ClassificationB65B19/32, B65B19/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B19/32
European ClassificationB65B19/32