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Publication numberUS2580833 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 1, 1952
Filing dateJul 29, 1949
Priority dateJul 29, 1949
Publication numberUS 2580833 A, US 2580833A, US-A-2580833, US2580833 A, US2580833A
InventorsGardner James M, Piper Frank R
Original AssigneeWest Point Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Packaging machine
US 2580833 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

14 Sheeis-Sheet 1 Filed July 29, 1949 mm mm arwenfo'ra FRANK R. PIPER? J'A MES M. GARDNER ATTORNEYS Jan. 1, 1952 F. R. PIPER ET AL 2,580,833

PACKAGING MACHINE Filed July 29, 1949 14 Sheets-Sheet 2 gvwmou FRANK R, PIPERW JAMES M. GARDNER M w/MW ATTO R N EY5 1952 F. R. PIPER ET AL 2,580,833


PACKAGING MACHINE l4 Sheets-Sheet 5 j M w FRANK R. PIPER v JAMES M GARDNER Jan. 1, 1952 Filed July 29. 1949 ATTOR NEYJ Jan. 1, 1952 F. R. PIPER ETAL PACKAGING MACHINE 14 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed July 29, 1949 FRANK R. PIPER '6 JAMES M. GARDNER ATTORNEYS Jan. 1, 1952 Filed July 29, 1949 F. R. PIPER ETAL PACKAGING MACHINE wpm ymw I 14 Sheets-Sheet 7 gwuwvtow FRANK *RZRIPER *4 JAMES M. GARDNER ATTORNEYS J 1952 F. R. PIPER ETAL 2,580,833

PACKAGING MACHINE Filed. July 29, 1949 l4 Sheets-Sheet 8 1 v I42 R5 140 I43 {f ATTOR N 5Y5 Jain. 1, 1952 Filed July 29, 1949 F. R. PIPER EIAL 2,580,833


PACKAGING MACHINE Filed July 29, 1949 l4 Sheets-Sheet 10 77 u In! awe/who're FRANK R. PIPER *9 JAMES M.GARDNER 2% ZMAQwM/WMW ATTORNEYS Jan. 1, 1952 F. R. PIPER ETAL PACKAGING MACHINE 14 Sheets-Sheet 11 Filed July 29, 1949 III II.

FRANK R PIPER JAMES M. GARDNER F. R. PIPER ETAL PACKAGINGMACHINE Jgn. 1, 1952 14 Sheets-Sheet 12 Filed July 29, 1949 E 00 a w4 m on. /oq

Hm w Mu l awe/Mow ATTORN EYE FRANK R. PIPER JAMES M.GARDNER Jan. I, 1952 F. R. PIPER ETAL PACKAGING MACHINE 14 Sheets-Sheet 13 Filed July 29, 1949 mm Q ATTORNEYS 14 Sheets-Sheet 14 F. R. PIPER ET AL PACKAGING MACHINE Jan; 1, 1952 Filed July 29, 1949 awe/whom FRANK R PIPER fiy I JAMES M.GARDNER ATTO'RNEY5 mm Vm V. 8

Patented Jan. 1, 1 952 PACKAGING MACHINE Frank R. Piper and James M. Gardner, Fairfax, Ala., assignors to West Point Manufacturing Company, West Point, Ga., a corporation of Georgia Application July 29, 1949, Serial No. 107,566

(oi. 226l8) 28 Claims. 1 This invention relates to packaging machines, particularly to machines adapted for the packaging of voluminous, compressible articles.

Many types of articles, such as towels, other textile products, foam rubber, fiber pads and the like, possess little weight or inherent rigidity, yet are of such disproportionate bulk as to make handling and wrapping or packaging thereof both difiicult and expensive. Not only has the provision of packages of sufficient strength and rigidity to protect such articles been an item of considerable expense, but the bulk of the packaged articles has involved the wasteful utilization of space in shipping and storage. a

It is an object of the present invention to provide a machine adapted to compress articles of the type referred to, and to insert the articles so reduced in volume into bags or packages of comparatively small size, whereby the rigidity of the packages is considerably increased by the resilience of the contained articles, and savings in container cost, handling cost and shipping and storage space are effected.

Itis a further object of this invention to provide a machine adapted to automatically and efiiciently compress and insert voluminous articles into paper bags of relatively small size, whereby such articles are packaged in an inexpensive and entirely satisfactory manner.

A further object is to provide a machine adapted to compress and package voluminous articles, wherein articles of widely varying sizes and shape may be handled and inserted into bags or packages of correspondingly varyin shape and size.

Still another object is to provide a machine adapted to automatically package a succession of voluminous articles, in which successive operations of the machine are automatically coordinated and controlled to assure continuity of operation, and preclude malfunctioning.

Other objects will be in part obvious, and in part pointed out hereinafter.

The invention and the novel features thereof .may best be made clear from the followin de- 2 Figure 5 is an elevational view of the side opposite to that shown in Figure 4, showing the discharge ram drive cylinder and associated mechamsm;

Figure 6 is a sectional elevation taken along the line 6-6 of Figure 4, showing details of the infeed conveyor, and the conveyor and discharge ram drive cylinders;

Figure 7 is a, sectional elevation taken on the line of Figure 5, showing details of the discharge ram cam carrier;

Figure 8 is a plan section showing the transverse adjustment mechanism of the machine, taken along the line 8-8 of Figure 2;

Figure 9 is a plan view of the machine press plate, taken on the line 99 of Figure 2;

Figure 10 is a sectional elevationof the ram section, taken on the line I 0l0 of Figure 1, and showing details of the transfer ram;

7 Figure 11 is a sectional elevation taken on the line H-ll of Figure 2, showing details of the pressing ram and associated structure;

Figure 11a is an elevational view ShOWing details of the pressing ram control switches, taken on the line i |a-I Ia of Figure 11;

Figure 12 is a vertical section taken on the line I2l2 of Figure 5, showing further details of the discharge ram cam carrier;

Figure 13 is an isometric view of the discharge ram cam carrier;

Figure 14 is a sectional elevation taken on the line l-I4 of Figure 11, showing details of the vertical adjustment mechanism;

Figure 15 is a sectional elevation taken on the line l5-l5 of Figure 10, showing details of the conveyor drive;

Figure 16 is a sectional elevation taken along the line l6|6 of Figure 15;

Figure 1'7 is an enlarged section taken on the line l'l-l'l of Figure 15;

Figure 18 is a plan section through the bagging throat of the machine, taken on the line l8-I8 of Figure 2;

Figure 19 is a sectional elevation through the bagging throat, taken on the line l9|9 of Figure 2;

Figure 20 is a section taken on the line 20-20 of Figure 19;

Figure 21 is a sectional elevation through the pressing ram, taken on the line 2l2l of Figure 8;

Figure 22 is a view showing the manner of detachably securing the unloading ram, taken on the line 2222 of Figure 9;

Figure 23 is a diagrammatic sketch showing the pneumatic drive system of the machine;

'marks 39.

Figure 24 is a circuit diagram of the electrical control system of the machine;

Figures to 27 are sectional views through the pressing ram and bagging throat of the machine, progressively showing successive steps of compressing a towel stack and inserting the stack into a bag, and

Figure 23 is a section through a compressed and bagged towel package.

Referring to the drawings, particularly Figures 1 and 1a, the exemplam embodiment of our invention comprises a frame 23, suitably supported as by standards 2|. An extension of the frame supports an infeed conveyor section, comprising an endless conveyor belt 22 suitably tensioned between a drive roll 23 and the end roll 24, and supported intermediate said rolls by a plurality of spaced idlers 25. The vertically disposed side plate 26 adjoins one edge of the upper level of the belt from the outer end thereof to the point of its entrance into the ram section. A deflector .plate 2'! is positioned immediately above the belt where it enters the ram section, in opposed relationship to the side plate 26.

The conveyor belt 22 is intermittently advanced in step-by-step fashion by the piston rod RI of pneumatic cylinder Cl. As best shown in Figure 10, the rod R! is formed at its outer end into rack 28, which is enclosed and guided by channel 29 and engaged by the gear 30, freely rotatably mounted on the shaft 32 extending from conveyor drive roll 23. As shown in Figures 15, 16 and 17, a pin 33 extends outwardly from the side of gear and supports pawl 34, constantly urged by spring 35 into engagement with the ratchet wheel 36, suitably fixed to shaft 32 alongside gear 30. Reciprocation of rack 28 by the pneumatic cylinder CI, it will be understood, effects intermittent rotation of drive roll 23 and consequent step-by-step advancement of the conveyor belt. On the outward stroke of the rack, gear 30 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction as shown in Figure 16, whereupon pawl 34 clicks over ratchet wheel 36 without displacing it. On the inward stroke of the rack, gear 30 is rotated in the clockwise direction as shown, whereupon the pawl 34 engages ratchet wheel 36 and effects corresponding rotation of the ratchet wheel and the drive roll 23. The conveyor belt extends from its outer loading end into the ram section of the machine, and near the drive roll 23 at the end of its travel passes under the stop plate 31, best shown in Figure 8.

In operation, articles to be packaged are placed on the conveyor belt near its outer end, this constituting the loading station of the machine. For purposes of illustration, a series of towel stacks 38 are shown in Figures la and 4, each stack comprising a plurality of turkish towels secured together by tying. The stacks 38 may be placed manually, positioned against side plate 25 and suitably spaced in accordance with registry Obviously, the stacks may be loaded and positioned automatically, by suitable conveyor or equivalent mechanism, if desired. From the loading station, the towel stacks are intermittently advanced by the conveyor belt into the ram section of the machine, and conveyed eventually into contact with the stop plate 3?.

As previously set forth, the conveyor belt' is actuated by pneumatic cylinder CI. The functioning of the machine comprises five main operations, effected conveniently, in the exemplary embodiment, by five pneumatic cylinders, schematically shown in Figure 23. From their final position on the conveyor belt, abutting stop plate 31, articles being packaged are displaced laterally by the transversely disposed transfer cylinder C2, from the belt to a position below the vertical press cylinder C3. At this point the articles are compressed by cylinder C3 to the desired thickness. The vertical throat cylinder C4 is mounted adjacent press cylinder C3, and functions to alternately collapse the bagging throat of the machine and open the throat for the passage of articles therethrough. The longitudinally disposed discharge cylinder C5 is aligned with cylinders C3 and C4, and is operative to discharge compressed articles from below press cylinder C3 outwardly through the bagging throat.

Each of the pneumatic cylinders is actuated in identical manner by a conventional 4-way valve V of corresponding number, which in turn is actuated by a solenoid operated pilot valve P of common design, whereby the reciprocation of the cylinder piston rods R is electrically controlled. Compressed air may be furnished to all five cylinders from a common reservoir 40, through valve 42 and suitable piping to the individual pilot valves and 4-way valves, and from the 4- way valves to the cylinders, as shown. Similarly, the exhaust from all the cylinders may be conductedto a common exhaust manifold 43, suitably located for discharge of the exhaust air.

The solenoid operated pilot valve PI is partially controlled by a pair of limit switches LI and L2, mounted on the machine frame adjacent the path of rod RI, as best shown in Figure 10, and positioned and disposed for actuation by the cam 44 fixed to the rod. The switch L2 is so positioned as to be actuated at one end of the stroke of rod RI, and the switch Ll is operative when actuated to stop and reverse the movement of cylinder Cl, so that in the absence of other control the cylinder will effect reciprocation of the cam between the two switches. This reciprocation of rod RI causes intermittent advance of the conveyor belt, in the manner previously described, which continues until an article thereon reaches stop plate 31.

Mounted in stop plate 3'! and projecting slightly therefrom is the bell housing 45 (see Figure 9), in actuating relationship with limit switch Ll4. The bell housing 45 is positioned over the conveyor belt so as to be engaged and displaced by articles conveyed thereby, and switch Ll4 is operative when actuated to prevent further operation of the conveyor for the remainder of a machine cycle. The defiector plate 21 functions to direct articles not properly positioned on the belt in adjacency to side plate 26, into contact with bell housing 45.

Each article, as successively moved into contact with stop plate 31, is next displaced laterally into the pressing section of the machine by the transfer ram indicated generally as 46, including as its operative member the ram plate 41, and driven by the transversely disposed transfer cylinder C2. As best seen in Figure 10, the transfer ram 46 is rigidly supported below ram carriage 48 by the members 49 extending downwardly therefrom. Ram carriage 48 comprises the rollers 50, by means of which it reciprocates on the lower flanges of beams 52, secured to the machine frame. The carriage '48 is retained and steadied during its reciprocation by the racks 53 adjoining beams 52, which racks are engaged by gear wheels 54 mounted on shafts 55, suitably fixed to the underside of the carriage. An arm 56 extends upwardly and outwardly from the ram carriage, and at its outer end is engaged to the piston rod R2, whereby the transfer ram and ram carriage are operated by cylinder C2. Suitable bumpers 51 (see Figure 8) may be provided to limit the travel of the ram carriage. As previously indicated, successive articles ar suitably spaced on the conveyor belt, so that they engage stop plate 31 and the associated bell housing one at a time. The transfer ram 46 correspondingly functions to laterally displace the articles singly. It is obviously possible, should two successive articles be insufficiently spaced, for a second article as well as the one abutting the stop plate to be engaged by the transfer, ram. Since the second article so engaged would be likely to foul the machine, means to preclude this eventuality are provided, comprising a photo-electric cell unit 58 and a light source 59, on opposite 'sides of the conveyor belt adjacent its point of entry into the ram section, as shown in Figure 9. These elements are arranged to project a beam of light from source 59 to cell 58 immediately above the belt, which beam is interrupted by the passage of each successive stack 38 therethrough. The photo-electric cell unit 58 incorporates a switch Ll5 (not shown), controlled thereby and operative to prevent functioning of the transfer ram when the beam is interrupted. In this manner, improper article spacing, likely to result in malfunctioning, effects a stoppage of the machine until the condition is corrected.

The stroke of transfer ram 46 may be adjusted to displace the ram from the solid line position shown in Figure 9 to that shown in dotted lines, thereby displacing a towel stack from the dotted line position A onto the press plate Gil to dotted line position B, in adjacency to side plate $2 of the press section. The stroke of the transfer ram is controlled and limited by the limit switches L3, L4 and L5 (Figure 8), aligned beneath the path of the arm 56 and adapted to be actuated by the cam 63 dependent therefrom, as shown in Figure 10. The switch L3 is mounted on the machine frame, and so positioned as to be actuated at one end of the stroke of the carriage 48, while the switches L4 and L5 are mounted on the transverse adjustment mechanism presently to be described. The switch L5 is operative when actuated to stop and reverse the cylinderCZ driving the ram carriage.

In position B, the towel stack is positioned immediately below the pressing ram 64, operable by the vertical press cylinder C3 and piston rod R3 extending downwardly therefrom, to the lower end of which the pressing ram is secured. As shown in Figures 8 and 21, the pressing ram is dished, and backed by the central backing plate 65, from which lugs 66 extend upwardly. The lugs 66 are provided with slots 61, which engage and retain the ends of the pin 68 which extends through and projects from the lower end of rod R3.

Two L-shaped guide members 59 extend upwardly from the pressing ram, and are stabilized by the cross plates IE! extending transversely between them (Figures 8 and 11). One leg of each of the guide members 69 is slidably retained between opposed pairs of guide angles l2, rigidly mounted on the machine frame. Also mounted on the machine frame adjacent the guide angles are the guide rollers l3, positioned and adapted to bear on the longer legs of the guide members 69. The guide members and cross plates, it will be understood, constitute a carriage by which the pressing ram is guided and supported during its reciprocation.

The stroke of press cylinder C3, the pressing ram and the pressing ram guide carriage is effective to actuate the switches L6 and L7, mounted on the vertical adjustment structure presently to be described. The switches L6 and LT, best shown in Figures 8, 11 and 11a, are positioned and disposed for actuation, respectively, by the adjustable switch stops M and 15, mounted on one of the guide members 69. The stop 15 is positioned so as to actuate switch L1 at the upper end of the pressing ram stroke, and the stop 74 so as to actuate the swtich L6 at the lower end of the pressing ram stroke.

The pressing ram 64 functions, upon the positioning of a towel stack therebeneath by the transfer ram and withdrawal of the transfer ram, to descend from the solid line position shown in Figure 11 into contact with the stack and to the dotted line position shown, whereby the stack is compressed between the pressing ram and the press plate 60 to a pre-determined fraction of its normal height, or thickness.

Adjoining press plate 69 is the throat section it, constituting the bagging and outfeed portion of the machine. The throat section comprises four L-shaped throat members ll, together generally defining a rectangle, each of the throat members at its outer end being formed into an inwardly sloping bag guiding portion 18. The lower left throat member 17' (as viewed in Figure 2) is fixed to the frame of the machine, with its upper horizontal surface substantially flush with that of press plate 6i} and its inner vertical surface substantailly flush with that of side plate 52. The horizontal portion of throat member 11' is bifurcate, and telescopically encloses the horizontal portion of the opposed lower throat member ll, as best seen in Figures 19 and 20. I'he upper throat members 11' and Ti are similarly telescopically joined, and comprise respectively the collars 59 and 19"", by means of which and the bars passing therethrough, the upper throat members are supported.

The upper throat members 11 and 11" are adapted to be reciprocated in unison relative to the lower throat members 11' and "H", this motion being effected by the vertically disposed throat cylinder C4. The cylinder C4 is supported by the beam 82, welded or otherwise suitably affixed to the frame, and piston rod R4 extending upwardly therefrom engages the cross piece 83 of a reciprocating throat carriage, including a pair of inner guide members 8:. and a pair of outer guard members 85. The inner guide members 84 of the carriage are slidably retained within guide housings 86 extending from the machine frame, and constitute for a portion of their length racks 8i. Bearings 88, mounted on the underside of beam 82, support shaft 89, upon which are mounted the gear wheels so, maintained in meshing engagement with racks 81, the gear wheels in conjunction with housings B6 steadily maintaining and guiding the throat carriage during its vertical reciprocation. The guide members 84 near their lower ends support crossarms 522, between which the bars 80 are carried, whereby bars 8%} and the upper throat members 11" and 1 '1"" carried thereby are reoiprocated with the throat carriage, under the impetus of throat cylinder 04. The cross piece 83 carries a stop ill, by means of which and the adjustable stop l5! supported thereabove the upward stroke of the throat carriage is limited. Cross piece 83 also engage and actuate the limit switch L8 supported thereabove at the end of the upward stroke of the carriage.

Horizontally mounted alongside the infeed conveyor, in alignment with pressing ram 6-; and throat section 16, is the discharge cylinder C5, from which extends piston rod R5, carrying at its outer end the discharge ram 9t. As best seen in Figure 5, the rod R5 extends also from the other end of cylinder 05, and carries at the other end the cam carriage 95. The cam carriage comprises a box-like structure 96 affixed to the rod R5 (Figures 12 and 13), having opposed, downwardly curved arms 9] extending therefrom, each of which carries a cam 98. The box structure 96 is retained and guided within the opposed U beams 99, supported by the machine frame. One of the cams 98 is adapted to alternately actuate the switches L9, L40 and Li 1 (Figures 1a and 5), by which the reciprocation of the discharge ram is coordinated and controlled. The other cam 98 is adapted to actuate a mechanical counter Hi (Figure 7), suitably positioned on the frame at one end of the cam carrier stroke, in a readily accessible location. The switch L9 is so disposed on the machine frame as to be engaged and actuated by the cam carriage, when the rod R and the associated discharge ram are at one end of their stroke, corresponding to fully retracted position of the ram. Switches LIB and LH are similarly disposed on the machine frame for successive actuation by the cam carrier in the course of the discharge stroke, the switch LH being operative to stop and reverse the movement of the piston rod R5.

The coordinated action of the pressing ram 64, throat 16 and discharge ram 84, which represents an outstanding feature of our machine, is sequentially illustrated in Figures 25 to 28. When a towel stack 38 has been positioned under the pressing ram 64 by the transfer ram, the elements are positioned as shown in solid lines in Figure 25. The pressing ram is in its up position, the throat is collapsed, with the upper and lower throat members in immediate adjacency, and the discharge ram is in the retracted position shown. With the throat so collapsed, a bag I02 or other receptacle of suitable size may be readily placed over the throat, the emplacement of the bag thereover being facilitated by the rounded guiding portion 18. The bags may be positioned manually by anoperator at the outfeed station, who may also receive and close the filled bags.

Upon the withdrawal of transfer ram 46 from under the pressing ram, the pressing ram is actuated by press cylinder C3 and displaced downwardly into compressing contact with the stack 38, as indicated by the arrow, and at the end of its stroke compresses the towel stack to a predetermined height or thickness, as illustrated in Figure 26. Substantially simultaneously, the throat cylinder 04 displaces the associated throat carriage upwardly, thereby raising the upper throat members 17" and 11" to the position shown, whereby the throat is opened to an inner height corresponding to the compressed height of the towel stack. The opening of the throat, it will be understood, extends the bag [02 to its normal or full open size.

When the pressing ram and throat have reached their final position, the discharge ram 94 is actuated by discharge cylinder C5 into en gagement with the end of the towel stack, to the intermediate position shown in Figure 26, and then proceeds in its stroke under the discharge ram and into the throat, to a final position such as that illustrated in Figure 27. The discharge ram displaces the towel stack from under the pressing ram into and through the throat, the leading end of the towel stack eventually contacting the bottom of the bag Hi2. Thereafter, as the stroke proceeds, the discharge ram displaces the compressed towel stack and the enclosing bag off the throat as a unit, to a final position which may be that illustrated in Figure 27. As so illustrated, the filled package is only slightly retained on the machine throat, and may be grasped on its outer end and pulled from the throat by the outfeed station operator. The open end of the filled bag may then be folded and closed, and secured by gluing or by a tape H33, in the manner of the final package shown in Figure 28. The end of the discharge ram stroke may be adjusted by employing discharge rams of different length, or by varying the position of switch Li I. If so desired, the stroke of the discharge ram may be adjusted to end beyond the throat, so as to completely remove the towel packages therefrom, and suitable conveyor mechanism may be arranged under the outer end thereof to receive the packages and convey them to a closing station. On the other hand, especially in the case of relatively long articles, the discharge ram may effect adequate displacement of the articles for removal from the throat without itself entering the throat section.

When the discharge ram arrives at its final position, the discharge ram and pressing ram are retracted to the positions shown in Figure 25, whereupon the throat is collapsed by cylinder C4, in readiness for the emplacement of another bag thereover, the previously filled package having meanwhile been removed. The five operations effected by the five pneumatic cylinders described above constitute a complete cycle of operation upon an individual towel stack.

As previously indicated, our machine is readily adjustable to handle and package articles of widely varying width and height. To accommodate articles of varying width, it is obviously necessary to alter the width of the throat, as well as to vary accordingly the approach of transfer ram 46 to side plate 62 at the end of its stroke. This is accomplished, in the exemplary embodiment shown, by means of the hand wheel Hi4, engaged to the shaft I65 in driving relationship and positioned conveniently adjacent the main control station of the machine (see Figure 2). A portion of shaft I is screw threaded, and engages the internally threaded pointer mem ber I06, disposed and maintained in association with the fixed scale I01, by means of which the state of adjustment of the machine for article width may be readily and accurately ascertained.

Shaft I05 at its inner end mounts the sprocket I08, engaged by chain ice in driving relationship to the sprocket I E0 of shaft H2, as shown in Figure 2. Shaft H2 also mounts the sprocket H3, engaged by chain H4 in driving relationship to the sprocket H5 of shaft H5. The central portions of shafts H2 and H6 are screw threaded, and engage thereby the guide channel 1 I! extending between them. Plates H8 extend outwardly from the guide channel, and support thereabout the U-shaped housing member H9. Each of the right hand throat members 11 and TI" comprises an offset lip I20 (see Figures 2 and 9), which 9 extends over an edge of housing member II 9, whereby the right hand throat members are laterally engaged to the housing member. Rotation of shaft I by the hand wheel I64, it will be understood, effects simultaneous rotation of shafts H2 and I I6, and consequent lateral displacement of guide channel I I! and the structure associated therewith. This lateral displacement effects also corresponding displacement of the right hand throat members, whereby the effective Width of the threat is altered. Each of the right hand throat members, as previously stated, is telescopically engaged to the corresponding left hand member, whereby the width of the throat is readily varied.

In the normal opening and closing action of the throat, the upper throat members 11" and TI" are vertically reciprocable. It will be readily apparent that the throat member 11 is free to reciprocate vertically relative to the vertically stationary housing member II9, the

lip I20 constituting only a slidable engagement therewith. To obviate binding of the reciprocating lip on the housing member, the bar 89 carrying the throat member collar 19" carries also the collar I22, from which extends roller I23, contained within and guided by the guide channel II1.

Also mounted on shaft H6 is the sprocket I24, by means of which the rotation of shaft H6 is transmitted to the shafts I25 and I26 in any appropriate manner, as by the chains I21 and I28 (see Figure On the opposite side of the machine (see Figure 3) shaft I25 mounts the sprocket I29, whereby through chain I30 and sprocket I32 the rotary motion of shaft I25 is transmitted to the shaft I 33, positioned transversely immediately below the piston rod R5. As seen in Figure 3, the shafts I25 and I33 are screw threaded for a portion of their length, whereby the internally threaded lugs I34 extending from angle member I35 are engaged. In this manner, rotation of the hand wheel I94 effects also simultaneous rotation of the shafts I26 and I33, whereby the angle member I35 is correspondingly laterally displaced.

Angle member I35 is fixedly secured to an end of the transverse slide member I36, which extends from the angle member to housing member I I9 and is similarly fixed thereto (see Figure 8). From the transverse slide member I35 a switch carrier I31 extends laterally, the switch carrier member being formed at its outer end into a slide portion I38, which passes through and is guided and supported by the frame member I39. The switch carrier mounts the previously mentioned switches L4 and L5, which control and limit, as previously set forth in connection with the description of cam 63, the operative stroke of the transfer ram. Housing member H9 and angle member I35, then, are joined by the transverse slide member I36, and with switch carrier I3'I constitute a transverse adjustment carriage effective not only to adjust the width of the throat, but also, by simultaneously displacing switches L4 and L5, to correspondingly adjust the final approach position of the transfer ram relative to side plates 62, so that the towel stacks are positioned by the ram in proper alignment with the machine throat, at any adjusted position thereof.

The angle member I35 also mounts the limit switch LI2, positioned and disposed for contact with and actuation by the discharge ram 94. The switch LIZ, of course, moves with the trans-.-

verse adjustment carriage, and, as best shown in Figures 3 and 9, its outstanding arm is adapted to engage the discharge ram in its retracted position, upon the-approach of the switch relative thereto. The switch LIZ is operative, when actuated, to prevent operation of the machine, the purpose of this precautionary feature being to preclude operation when the machine throat is adjusted to a width too small to permit passage of the discharge ram therethrough.

The discharge ram, as best shown in Figures 9 and 22, is readily detachable from the rod R5. Rod R5 extends through the rear wall of the ram, and is provided near its outer end with an annular groove I40. The discharge ram comprises pivot pin I42, upon which the locking arm M3 is pivotally mounted. Arm I43 is provided with a notch I44, adapted to engage the rod groove I49, and may be locked in engaging position therewith by pin i45, aligned for insertion into the locking hole I46 of the arm when the arm is in down and locking position; As will be apparent, a plurality of discharge rams of varying dimensions may be employed with the machine, and changed as required in conformity with the cross-sectional shape of the packages being produced. The frontal area of the discharge ram employed is desirably substantially identical with, or slightly smaller than, the cross-sectional shape of the throat opening. When necessary, a discharge ram may be removed from rod R5 by unlocking and lifting arm I43, and then sliding'the ram oil the end of the rod, and another ram may be substituted in reverse manner.

To vary the final compressed height of the articles being packaged, the approach of the pressing ram 64 to press plate 60 at the end of its stroke is controllably adjustable, whereby the articles may be reduced to any desired thickness within the range of the machine. The vertical stroke of the throat cylinder-C4 is simultaneously adjusted, to effect an internal opening of the throat section 16 of corresponding height. The vertical adjustment mechanism is powered in the exemplary embodiment shown by means of a reversible gear motor I41, suitably mounted below or on the machine frame. Operation of motor M1 is controlled by the button switches BI and B2, conveniently located adjacent hand wheel I04 at the main control station of the machine, as shown in Figure 2. The motor I4! is adapted to drive the vertical shaft I 48 by means of belt I49, and the vertical shaft I5!) is correspondingly driven in unison through chain I52 and suitable sprockets on the shafts engaged thereby (Figure 11). The shafts I48 and I59 are suitably mounted in the channel members I53 extending from the machine frame. Adjacent their upper ends, the shaftsI48 and I56 arescrew threaded, whereby they engage the internally threaded lugs I54 extending from the vertical adjustment carriage indicated generally as I55. shown in Figure 14.

The vertical adjustment carriage I55 includes channel members I56, from which the lugs I54 extend, the channel members I55 being disposed in opposed relationship to the similar members I53. The carriage is stabilized by the upper cross piece I51, and supports the upper beam I58 and lower beam I59, bolted or otherwise suitably secured to members I56. Beams I58 and I59 support the press cylinder C3, affixed thereto as by welding. Rod R3 extends downwardly from cyl- The relationship of these parts is clearly 11 inder' C3, and supports at its lower end thepressing ram 64. As previously described, with the pressing ram is associated the pressing ram guide carriage, by which the ram is guided and supported during its reciprocation.

Extending downwardly from upper beam I58 adjacent the end thereof is the adjustable switch stop I60, and extending upwardly from lower beam I59 in vertical alignment therewith is the similar adjustable switch stop I62. The switch stops I60 and I62 are adapted to actuate alternately the limit switches LI6 and LI! mounted therebetween, on the fixed frame of the machine. The function of these switches is to limit the movement of the vertical adjustment carriage I55. By operation of motor I41 in one direction under the influence of switch BI, the vertical adjustment carriage is elevated by the rotation of shafts I48 and I50 until the stop I62 actuates switch LIS, whereupon the power circuit to the motor is interrupted. Conversely, when the motor is rotated in the opposite direction by means of switch B2, the vertical adjustment carriage descends until stop I50 actuates the switch LI'I, interrupting the power circuit and thereby limiting the travel of the carriage downwardly.

The vertical adjustment carriage, it will be understood, simultaneously displaces press cylinder C3, pressing ram 64 and the associated pressing ram guide carriage, relative to press plate 60, which is fixed to the frame of the machine. To accommodate the displacement of the press cylinder, it is obviously desirable that the air lines leading thereto comprise flexible hose portions. The stroke of the press cylinder being constant in length, vertical displacement of the cylinder varies the final approach position of the pressing ram relative to the press plate at the lower end of the pressing ram stroke. As previously indicated, the vertical adjustment carriage I55 carries also the switches L6 and L1, mounted for actuation by the stops I4 and 15 extending from the pressing ram guide carriage. Since the vertical adjustment carriage carries with it both the switches L6 and L1 and the pressing ram guide carriage, the relationship between the switches and the stops I4 and I5 is not altered by movement of the carriage.

To suitably coordinate the opening of the throat section 16 with the final approach position of pressing ram 64 relative to the press plate 60, the upper beam I58 of the vertical adjustment carriage extends to a position immediately above the throat carriage, and carries near the outer end thereof the adjustable stop I6I, positioned to engage stop 8I mounted on cross piece 83 of the reciprocating throat carriage, and thereby limit the upward stroke of the throat carriage. The extension of upper beam I58 carries also limit switch L0, aligned for actuation at the end of the throat carriage stroke by the stop 93, also mounted on throat carriage cross piece 83. The stop IGI being mounted on the vertical adjustment carriage, it will be readily understood that the full open position of the throat is at all times adjusted to conform to the final approach position of the pressing ram relative to the press plate.

As a precautionary feature corresponding to the switch LIZ carried by the transverse adjustment carriage, the vertical adjustment carriage may comprise means adapted to preclude operation of the machine when the vertical adjustment is too low to permit safe passage of the discharge ram under the pressing am an through the throat. As shown in Figures 3 and 11, this feature may be in the form of a guide tube I63 depending from the outer end of lower beam I59, and a limit switch LI 3 mounted on the lower beam immediately above the upper end of the tube. An actuating rod I64 extends through the guide tube, depending from the collar I65 fastened to its upper end and resting on the upper edge of the guide tube. The lower end of rod I64 projects slightly beyond the lower end of the tube and is provided with a tip or roller I66. The guide tube being positioned directly above an edge of the discharge ram, in retracted position, it will be readily understood that lowering of the vertical adjustment carriage will bring the roller I 66 into contact with discharge ram 94, and cause displacement of the rod I64 upwardly through the guide tube into actuating contact with switch LI3. Obviously, the length of rod I64 is so adjusted as to effect opening of switch LI3 when the vertical adjustment carriage is lowered to a point unsafe for the discharge ram in place on the machine. As previously stated, the discharge ram is detachably secured to rod R5, and may be replaced when necessary by similar rams of differing dimensions.

Since the position of the vertical adjustment carriage is accurately reflected by the full open position of the throat carriage, a convenient indication of the vertical adjustment carriage position may be provided by a pointer I6! mounted on guard member of the throat carriage, in indicating relationship with a scale I68 projectingfrom the machine frame. The vertical adjustment scale and pointer are shown in Figures 2 and 10.

By the mechanisms described above the machine may be readily adjusted to handle articles of Varying width by means of the hand wheel I04, may be adjusted to produce articles of varying height by means of button switches BI and B2, and may be altered to handle articles of varying length, if desired, by changing discharge rams 94 or by displacing limit switch LI I. A plurality of signal lights I69 may be provided at the main control station, and through individual circuits controlled by corresponding switches I10 provided at the loading station at the outer end of the infeed conveyor (see Figure 4). By means of the signal lights, the loading operator may indicate to the operator at the main control station the end of a run, and, if desired, the required adjustment for the next run. The signal lights may obviously be employed for other purposes, if desired, such as to indicate a change in color of, articles being packaged, whereby this information, may be conveyed to the operator at the outfeed throat station.

The electrical control system of the machine is designed to properly coordinate the various operations of the machine and maintain continuous operation, and includes numerous safety features adapted to preclude malfunctioning. The system, shown in Figure 24, will now be described in detail.

The control system is powered conveniently by a source of v. alternating current, supplied through a main switch SI, located desirably at the main control station of the machine. From the source, power is conducted to the coils of eight electromagnetic switches E, which, in conjunction with the limit switches L, previously mentioned, control the operation of the five pneumatic cylinders by means of the solenoid operated pilot valves associated therewith. The

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2862289 *Nov 18, 1954Dec 2, 1958United States Gypsum CoBundle clipping machine
US2979873 *Mar 11, 1959Apr 18, 1961Fmc CorpMachine for inserting articles into cartons
US3017730 *Apr 11, 1960Jan 23, 1962Diamond National CorpCarton compressing and packaging machine
US3040654 *Nov 3, 1959Jun 26, 1962Opie JohnMachines for compressing meat
US3872644 *Aug 2, 1974Mar 25, 1975Grace W R & CoApparatus for packaging random-sized articles
US4062169 *Mar 7, 1977Dec 13, 1977Brdr. Schur International A.S.Packaging machines
US7891156 *Mar 24, 2009Feb 22, 2011Rethceif Enterprises, LlcPackaging apparatus and method of packaging
US20100242410 *Mar 24, 2009Sep 30, 2010Rethceif Enterprises, LlcPackaging apparatus and method of packaging
DE2165981A1 *Oct 30, 1971Sep 7, 1972 Title not available
U.S. Classification53/52, 53/261, 141/249, 53/529
International ClassificationB65B63/00, B65B63/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65B63/02
European ClassificationB65B63/02