US 2608335 A
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Aug. 26, 1952 H. A. ROHDIN APPARATUS FOR VACUUM FILLING CONTAINERS 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 4, 1948 Jill!! i ea" HowafJAIRoildilt,
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APPARATUS FOR VACUUM FILLING CONTAINERS Filed March 4, 1948 7 Sheets-Sheet 7 o 6 o I0 704 96 K L u o O I 98 L ---"I T' [inward A.Ro]1c1l3n,
Patented Aug. 26, 1952 2,608,335 ICE APPARATUS FOR VACUUM FILLING CONTAINERS Howard A. Rohdin, Glen Ridge, N. J.
Application March 4, 1948, Serial No. 12,957
22 Claims. 1
It is an object of this invention to provide a vacuum filling head capable of delivering substantially identical quantities of material to consecutive containers regardless of variations in the internal volume in such containers.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a vacuum filling head as aforesaid capable of delivering relatively small exact quantities of material into the bottom of relatively large containers.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a vacuum filling head as aforesaid capable of adjustment to vary the quantity of material delivered.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a vacuum filling head as aforesaid which will operate n porous containers without the necessity of applying vacuum to the exterior of such containers. 7
It is a further object of this invention to provide an automatic vacuum filling machine which will fill, accurately and swiftl the largest containers.
It is a. further object of this invention to provide a machine which will deposite small, accurate, compact charges of powder onto a web.
The above and other objects will be made clear from the following detailed description taken in connection with the annexed drawings in which:
Fig. 1 is a view partly in cross-section of one form of the improved filling head;
Fig. 2 is a view similar to Fig. 1 illustrating a filling head adjustable for various quantities of material; i
Fig. 3 is another form of filling head designed to assure complete filling of a container, the cross-section of which does not conform to the cross-section of the spout;
Fig. 4 illustrates the engagement of the improved filling head with the bottom of an expanded gusseted bag;
Fig. 5 is a section on the line 5-5 of Fig. 4;
Fig. 6 is a plan view of a special form of base member to be used on porous paper bags;
Fig. 7 is a section on the line 'l'! of Fig. 6;
Fig. 8 is a section on the line 8-8 of Fig. 6;
Fig. 9 is a view similar to Fig. 8 showing a bag and filling spout engaged with the base member;
Fig. 10 is an elevation view, partly in section showing a special form of this invention for filling large receptacles;
Fig. 11 is a diagram of the hydraulic circuits for operating the machine illustrated in Fig. 10;-
Fig. 12 is a diagram of the electrical circuits for actuating the hydraulic circuits shown in Fig. 10; and
Fig. 13 shows a special application of this invention to a container forming machine.
Patents 2,170,469 and 2,360,198 both to Clarence F. Carter illustrate the general types of vacuum filling machines to which the present invention is adapted and reliance is had on the disclosure of these patents for all auxiliary mechanism.
There are many pulverulent materials which can be packaged satisfactorily only by resort to vacuum filling. The basic vacuum filling process, however, as used on pulverulent material has been subject to certain rather severe limitations. In the first place, it is very difficult to pre-determine the quantity of material and in most cases the filling process is terminated by the container becoming full. This means that the actual quantity delivered is dependent on the absolute internal volume of the container and this is subject to considerable variation between containersv In the second place, unless the container is inherently rigid and impervious, it has been necessary to create a vacuum not only inside the container but outside the container in order to avoid distortion of the container walls. This is cumbersome at best and in the case of cartons, the flaps of which must be disposed of to clear the mouth, the problem of sealing and evacuating the exterior of the package is very troublesome. A third defect in the prior art has been the inability to dispose an accurately measured and located quantity of material in a container, the ultimate volume of which is considerably greater than the charge of the material. This problem occurs typically in the formulation of bronze or aluminum paints when it is desired to place a relatively small charge of bronze or aluminum powder in the bottom of a can which thereafter is to be filled with a liquid vehicle.
The present invention meets all phases of the problems above discussed as illustrated and described in detail hereinaiten The invention is susceptible of many physical embodiments. Nevertheless, and regardless of the physical embodiments, the inventive concept retains its identity Referring now to Fig. 1, there is shown a vacuum filling head In having screened vacuum openings l2 and a depending skirt l4 below the level of the vacuum openings. The skirt I4 has, around its lower periphery, a gasket l6 formed of rubber or similar material. A container I8 is placed on an elevator platform 20 which raises the container l8 so that its mouth 22 is penetrated by the head Hi. The gasket l6 of the skirt [4 is pressed against the bottom 24 of the container l8 and makes a vacuum tight seal. The vacuum head is then placed in operation and a charge of material is delivered through a duct 26 to the space bounded by the skirt [4. This form of the device is particularly useful where a relatively small charge of powdered material is to be delivered tothe bottom of a relatively large can or jar.
Fig. 2 illustrates a head 3|] similar to the head l0 shown in Fig. 1. This head has a skirt 32 which is threaded to the head 30 at 34. A lock ring 36 is also threaded to the head 3!]. The skirt 32 has, at its lower extremity, a gasket 38 of rubber or similar material. This head operates in precisely the manner of th head Iii of Fig. 1 but due to the threaded engagement between the skirt 32 and the-head to, it is capable tomatic machine which is particularly adapted to the filling of very large containers where, with conventional equipment, it would be most difficult to assure that the entire mass is packed with uniform density and without empty space at the bottom of the container.
The apparatus comprises the usual hopper I00 connected with a vacuum filling head I02 having the usual screened openings I04. The head I02, however, is elongated as at I06 to provide a cylindrical portion having a length greater than the depth of the container to be filled. The central channel of the head has at its lower end the usual perforated plate I08.
A sleeve IIO surrounds the elongated portion of the head. Piston rings II2 set into the head I02 form a tight seal between the sleeve and the head. At its upper end the sleeve IIO has a laterally projecting flange to which are connected the pistons IIB of a plurality of hydraulic cylinders II8. These cylinders are equally spaced around the flange H4 and are supported on the main frame of the machine (not illustrated). At any convenient point on the flange H4 is mounted a rod I20 having a length equal to the height of the sleeve IIO. A T-slot or other suitable means extends the length of the rod I20 to provide a means for securing, wherever desired, a series of cams I22. These cams are beveled on their lower sides, flat on top and square on their upper sides. Their purpose will appear herebelow.
The lower edge of the sleeve H0 projects slightly below the end of the head I02 and terminates in the usual rubber gasket I24.
Directly below the sleeve H0, at the floor line I26 and spaced from the extermity of the sleeve by slightly more than the height of the container to be filled is a platform I28 supported by a piston I30 in a cylinder I32. The cylinder has a base I34 which rests on a foundation I36.
Disregarding, for the moment, all control features, the basic operation of the parts just described is as follows:
A barrel or drum is placed on the platform I28 which is raised toward the sleeve III! by oil entering the cylinder I32 through a duct I38 and acting upon the piston I30. The sleeve H0 enters the mouth of the container until the gasket I24 firmly engages the container bottom. The rise in pressure incident to engagement of the container and the sleeve automatically shuts off the supply of oil to the cylinder I32.
This same pressure rise simultaneously starts the vacuum process in the head I02 and also causes oil under pressure to be supplied to the upper sides of pistons IIB through ducts I40. This feeds the sleeve downwardly along the head I02 and carries the container, the platform I28 and the piston I30 with it. This is permitted by the fact that while the supply of oil to duct I38 is cut 011?, there is a relief valve in the line which permits oil to leave the cylinder I32 under a predetermined pressure.
The effect of the foregoing is to make a piston of the head I02 and a cylinder of the sleeve I I0 with the bottom of the container acting as the head of the cylinder. The advance of sleeve IIO therefore itself creates a vacuum and draws material through the plate I08. The vacuum system works throughout the descent of the sleeve but is elfective chiefly to remove air which enters the sleeve with the pulverulent material.
The cams I22 function as follows:
The descent of the sleeve I I0 is quite rapid, and
it is desirable to have the sleeve pause one or more times during its descent to give the vacuum system a chance to catch up on air removal. This is done by the cams operating a control switch which interrupts the supply of oil to the ducts I40. Flow is restablished by means which will be described later.
When the platform reaches the end of its stroke, there is an immediate rise in pressure in the ducts I40 and this is used to open these ducts to drainage and to supply oil to ducts I42 of the cylinders I I8. This oil acts on the undersides of the pistons I I6 and the result is to lift the sleeve I I0. Since the same pressure rise which reverses the pistons IIB shuts off the vacuum system of the head I02 with the system open to the atmosphere, the filled material remains in the container.
The operation and control of the above described actions will be understood from Figs 11 and 12. A pump I50 drawgoilfrom a reservoir I52 and delivers it, through a relief valve I54 to branching lines PI and P2. The line PI feeds the duct I38 through a balanced one-way valve VI which is opened by a solenoid SI. The valve VI may be closed by a pilot piston supplied by a line A which also contains a pressure switch PSI.
The cycle is started by momentarily closing the starting stitch SWI which energizes the solenoid SI and opens thevalve VI whichsupplies oil to the duct I38 and startsto raise the:platform I28.
When the container on the platform I28 engages the sleeve I I 0, there is a sharp rise in pressure in the line A which acts on the pilot side of the valve VI and closes the valve which will remain closed until solenoid SI is again energized. This pressure rise alsocloses the pressure switch PSI (see Fig. 12) and this energizes solenoids S2 and S 4.
The line P2 from the pump I 50 goes to a spring centered, closed center, solenoid operated four way valve V2. The solenoids controlling this valve are designated S2 and S3. When solenoid S2 is energized, and so long as it remains energized the valve V2 connects the line P2 to the ducts I40 of cylinders II8 through a line P3 containin a pressure switch PS2. In short, while the switch S2 is energized, oil is delivered to the ducts I40 and the sleeve H0 is forced downwardly against the resistance of a relief valve C running from the line PI to the reservoir I52 as shown in Fig. 11. since the relief valve C will open only under a predetermined pressure, the descent of the sleeve H0 is resisted at all points and times by a pressure sufficient to maintain a vacuum tight seal between the gasket I24 on the sleeve I I0 and the bottom of the container on the platform I28.
It is to be noted that when the pressure switch PSI is closed to energize the solenoids S2 and S4, these two solenoids are locked into energized condition by a relay RI as shown in Fig. 12.
As the rod I20 descends with the flange II4 of the sleeve H0, the first of the cams- I22 closes a two-pole switch SW2 (see Fig. 11). As set, movement of the switch SW2 breaks the circuit of solenoid S2 and simultaneously closes a circuit through a time delay relay TDR. It will be remembered that the top surface of the cam I22 is fiat, hence its opening of the circuit of solenoid S2 persists. While the solenoid S2 is deenergized, the valve V2, being spring centered and closed center, returns to neutral and downward movement of the sleeve IIO ceases. The circuit of solenoid S4, however, remains closed 7. by the relay Rll, without regard to thevagaries of pressure inthe hydraulicline A ofl' ig. 11. As a result'thevacuum system of the head I82 con tinues to: operate.
After a predetermined interval the time delay relay'TDR, having been energized as aforesaid by the cam I22, closes a set of contacts x--y (Fig.
12) which again complete the circuit of solenoid S2 to energize the same. This moves the sleeve HE} downwardly again, with the flat surface of the cam I22 holding: the relay TDR energized and the contacts ."cy closed until the follower of" SW2 rides off the fiat surface of the cam I22 to close the circuit of the switch SW2 and simul taneously to open the circuit of the time delay relay TDR. The sleeve Ill], accordingly, continues to move downwardly until another cam I22 is encountered by the follower of the switch SW2. Obviously thenumber and spacing of the cams I22 is purely empirical, and adjustment of the relay TDR maybe set to accommodate as few or as many cycles of the vacuum apparatus of the head I02 as may be desired.
Regardless of the number of cams I22, the sleeve I I ultimately must force the platform I28 to, the. limit of downwardmovement. When this limit is reached there occurs a sharp rise in the pressure inlinePB feeding the ducts I49 of the cylinders. II8. This pressure rise closes a pre sure switch PS2. in the line P3 (Fig. 11) and the closure of this switch PS2 energizes av relay R2 (Fig. 12) which breaks the circuit of the solenoid S 3. and: also the circuit of its locking relay RI. Breaking of the latter circuit also deenergizes the solenoid S2 Breakin the circuit 'of the solenoid, S2 permits the valve V2 to return to spring centered position and cuts the supply of pressure to the line P3 and the ducts its of the cylinders H8, and, therefore, halts the downward movement of the sleeve Ill). At the same time,v closure, of the pressure switch PS2 energizes a, solenoid S3 which shifts the Valve V2 from center'or neutral position to connect the line P2 to the line P4 and thus to supply oil to the opposite sides or: the pistons Ilfi through ducts I42. This, of course, raises the sleeve I IE3. It will be noted that closing of the pressure switch PS2 also energizes a solenoid S5 and a a relay R3. The latter merely locks the circuits of solenoids S3 and S5 in closed condition regardless of subsequent opening of the switch PS2.
The effect of solenoid S3 has already been described. The solenoid S5 opens a by-pass valve BPI (Fig. 11) which assures that there can be no residual pressure in the system of cylinder leases the valve V2 which, being spring centered,
at once assumes its neutral position closing the oil line P2. The relay RA also breaks the circuit of the solenoid S5 which reconditions the system of the cylinder I32 for the beginning of another cycle when SWI is again pressed.
All valves of the type of V2 drain to some extent and this drainage increases with use and age. Accordingly, high pressure cannot be maintained more than a very short time in either of 8 lines P3 or P4 when the valve V2 is centered. This is why relay R3 is used to lock closed the circuit initially established by switch PS2, and it is equally the reason for omitting such a locking feature in the circuit of switch PS3.
In Patent 2,170,469 to Carter there is provided a single predetermined cycle of operation of the vacuum head in which each side of the head receives first Vacuum, then air at atmospheric pressure, then vacuum and finally air at atmospheric pressure. In the operation of the parts just described, more than a single cycle obviously is needed. The precise number of cycles, however, is largel immaterial and the only real essential is that the head be disconnected from the source of vacuum and open to atmospheric pressure when the sleeve I-Ill rises. Accordingly the present invention contemplates having the cam shaft of the valve system disclosed in the patent driven by a constantly running motor through the interposition of a clutch of the one revolution type with its interrupter lug under the control of the solenoid Si. That is, when the solenoid St is energized, the interrupter lug is withdrawn from the path of the clutch lug and the motor then drives the camshaft. When the solenoid is deenergized the clutch is disengaged and the cam shaft stops. This makes it possible, through entirely conventional means, to assure that the cam shaft will stop with the source of vacuum shut off and with the atmospheric pressure connection open to the head I02.
When the spout or sleeve conforms closely to the mouth of an impervious container and its inserted volume approximates the internal volume of the container, rapid insertion of the spout will displace air at a high rate. In such case it may be well to provide flutes on the outside of the spout to form channels assuring egress of air as the spout is inserted.
In Fig. 13 is shown an adaptation of the head illustrated in Fig. 1 to a machine of the general type illustrated in my co-pending application Ser;
No. 7%,193, filed April 8, 1947. Here a web 99 of packaging material is drawn from a roll 92 onto a belt 94 where it advances beneath a spout 96 of the type shown in Fig. 1. The belt and'the web advance intermittently. As the belt and Web pause, an elevator 98 below the belt 94 raises the belt and web and presses the web firmly against the gasketed rim of the spout, while a cam shaft, not shown, actuates the vacuum system. The result is to deliver an accurate charge of material upon the web 95]. When the material is of the sort which compresses or compacts, the charge is in the form of a firm disc.
The vacuum is released as the elevator drops andthe belt and web resume their advance. A second Web I99 is drawn from a supply roll I02 and is superimposed on the web 90 and the charges of material deposited by the head or spout 9%. The superimposed webs then pass beyond the belt 9 through a pair of heat sealing rolls Hi4 and then to cutting rolls Iilfi which sever individual packages from the web, each package containing a single charge of material. The compactness with which the spout delivers a charge is highly advantageous in a machine of this class, since it prevents the charge of material from getting into the area of the intended heat seal.
While certain specific embodiments of this invention have been herein disclosed, it is not w intended to limit the invention to the precise details here shown but only as set forth in the subjoined claims which are to be broadly construed.
1. In a machine of the class described, an elongated spout having a length greater than the depth of the container to be filled, means at one end of said spout for evacuating said spout, means for delivering pulverulent material to said end of said spout in response to such evacuation and means for forming a vacuum tight seal between the other end of said spout and the interior of the bottom of a container.
2. A machine according to claim 1 in which the internal volume of the spout is equal to the volume of material intended to be placed in said container.
3. A machine according to claim 2 having means for adjusting the internal volume of said spout.
4. In a machine of the class described; an
the spout gasket is contoured to conform to the container bottom.
16. In a machine of the class described, an elongated spout adapted to enter a container, means at one end of said spout for evacuating said spout, means for delivering pulverulent material to said end of said spout in response to "said evacuation; a chamber receiving the oppomeans at said end for supplying pulverulent maelongated spout having a length greater than the depth of the container to be filled and having at one end a connection for evacuating the spout and a supply duct for delivering pulverulent material in to the spout responsive to evacuation thereof; said spout having at its opposite end a flexible, airtight gasket around its periphery; and means for pressing said gasket into sealing contact with the bottom of a container into which said spout enters.
5. A machine according to claim 4 in which the internal volume of said spout is equal to the volume of material intended to be placed in said container.
6. A machine according to claim 5 having means for adjusting the internal volume of said spout.
7. A machine according to claim 4 in which the spout gasket is contoured to conform to the container bottom.
8.- A machine according to claim 5 in which the spout gasket is contoured to conform to the container bottom. i
9. A machine according to claim 6 in which the spout gasket is contoured to conform to the container bottom.
10. In a machine of the class described, an elongated spout having a length greater than the depth of the container to be filled and having at one end a connection for evacuating the spout and a supply duct for delivering pulverulent material into the spout responsive to evacuation thereof; said spout having at its opposite end a flexible, airtight gasket around its periphery; a container support located below the gasketed end of the spout; and means to cause the spout and support to approach each other to press the spout gasket into sealing contact with the bottom of a container on said support.
11. A machine according to claim 10 in which the container contacting surface of the support is contoured to conform to the contours of the container bottom.
12. A machine according to claim 11 in which the container supporting surface is formed of resilient material.
13. A machine according to claim 10 in which the spout gasket is contoured to conform to the container bottom.
14. A machine according to claim 11 in which the spout gasket is contoured to conform to the container bottom.
15. A machine according to claim 12 in which terial to said spout in response to said evacuation, and means for pressing a web of packaging material into sealed engagement with the gasketed end of said spout.
18. A vacuum filling machine comprising: a cylindrical head having a duct, extending throughout its length, to supply pulverulent material, and having screened vacuum openings at its lower end adjacent the mouth of said duct; a sleeve surrounding said head and slidable thereon, said sleeve having its free end surrounded by a resilient gasket; a container supporting platform below said sleeve and aligned therewith; means for bringing said platform with a container thereon, and said sleeve toward each other to press the gasketed end of the sleeve against the bottom of the container on the platform; means operable thereafter to move the sleeve, the container and the platform along said head and away from the mouth of said duct; means for maintaining pressure between said sleeve and the container bottom during the joint movement of said sleeve and platform, and means for thereafterwithdrawing said sleeve from said container bottom.
19. A machine according to claim 18 including means whereby the operation of the means for moving jointly the sleev and platform along the head is initiated by the attainment of a predetermined pressure between the sleeve and the container bottom.
20. A machine according to claim 18 including means for interrupting the movement of the sleeve and platform along the head a predetermined number of times and for predetermined periods.
21. A machine according to claim 18 in which the means for bringing the sleeve and platform together and the means for moving the sleeve and platform along the head are both hydraulically operated.
22. A machine according to claim 19 in which the means for bringing the sleeve and platform together and the means for moving the sleeve and platform along the head are both hydraulically operated.
HOWARD A. ROHDIN.
REFERENCES CITED UNITED STATES PATENTS Name Date Cundall Sept. 27, 1932 Number