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Publication numberUS2611524 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 23, 1952
Filing dateNov 25, 1947
Priority dateNov 25, 1947
Publication numberUS 2611524 A, US 2611524A, US-A-2611524, US2611524 A, US2611524A
InventorsTaylor Harry E
Original AssigneeBaltimore Biolog Lab
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for filling ampoules
US 2611524 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

v-vSl- 23,1952- H. E. TAYLOR 2,611,524

APPARATUS FOR FILLING AMPouLEs Filed Nov. 25, 1947' s sheets-sheet 1 Sept. 23, 1952 H. E. TAYLOR 2,611,524

APPARATUS Fog FILLING AMPouLEs Filed Nov. 25, 1947 -5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Sept, 23, 1952 H. E. TAYLoR APPARATUS FOR FILLING AMPoULEs 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed NOV'. 25, 194'? t. Y23, 1952 H. E. TAYLOR APPARATUS FOR FILLING AMPOULES Sep Filed Nov. 25, 1947 SPt 23, 1952 H. E. TAYLOR 2,611,524

APPARATUS FOR FILLING AMPOULES Filed Nov. 25, 1947 5 sheets-sheet 5 atented Sept. 23,

. UNITED STATES PATENT A(1l-5F17:ICE

Harry E. Taylor, Baltimora-Md., assigner 'toBalv timore Biological Laboratory, Baltimore, Md., a corporation of Maryland Appieation November 25, 1947,--s'eriaini realist (ci. 22e- 96) 2 Claims A1 v f 1 l 4 y lThis invention relates" tothe automatic nliing SLI-'ld Sealing of ampolllslarld the-1k,-`ahd lnlpal` tic'lar it eoncerns aniinpr'ved apparatusor accomplishing these operations'.

The inventionrelatesN more particularly to'. apparatus in which empty 'sterile ampoules by meansiofa turn-table or turretlare delivered suo@l cessivelyf by the' intermittent automatic `rotation ofith'e turret, to lling and sealing stations,. and

tola discharge station from which they areal` tornaticaily` dispatched from the'v apparatus'.

a Afnumber ofi attempts". havebeenmade to pro-f1 (ai Apparatus' free "non complicated riteeiia-` nisms and adapted for ease` of assembly and disasseriibly'to.v facilitate cleaningl and steri- 'li'zingofthfe parts.`

ping of ampoules.

sealed.

(ci {l/leans.l for recovery oiffluld ejected the ffllling nozzle -whenno ampoule isin positionv atthefi'lling stationt These and other objects will beapprntfm thefdisclosure. I V

YThe-invention is illustrated byv theaccornpany; ing drawings in which: l A

V`- Fi'g.-1 isf-a' plan view ofthe machine;j 'f Figi 2''isa@slde-elevation-'of the maehine',2 in partcutaway: to: show :elements of: the driving -V air-j' rangement: Y

Fig. 3: an elevation por" themacmne-ori: the' side mounting the liquidpumpin'g and-measuring device. Y A Y .c

Fig. flfi'sV a-vertlcal sectlonthrough the `yalviri'g as seinbly of-fthe liquid pumping 'and vmeasuringl Avoidance'of- Yshatteriritforusii'na:` and` chip- Improvedmeans i'or 'positive prevention of the wettingl oiA the necl s of thefampoules and vsubsequent charringewhen the ampoules are Fig.: 6 .'.is a' horizontal section taken on: tlielirie 6*-6 of.Figz-5,of parts comprising the'gllir'i'ghead assemblyf,.

Fig. 'iis-a- `vertical station Vandthegutei' 1-'iler Figi: 6,s'howingil parts comprising-"the llingilliead assemblyin the fup position, I

v IigpY isv a; vertiealssecti'on asimilar to- Fig-."'7` showing .the flllinghead assembly inthe down or" fillingy positonfan'd- Fig. 9 is an enlarged vertlcallsectl'on' throughan` 'ampoule centering blockshowlng" themea's foi-housing the tip. of a delivery needle. Y

y'Referringv to' the drawings; l-v indicates'acl'rou lai'V turret which is supportedAI by adrotateswitzi a, vertical turret shaftv 2 Ajouri'ialled in' a bearing' cionA the base 2o. The turret is. provided along? its edge withfazplurality of` `evenly spacedrvs'eini# ciro'ular retainers or ser-rations 3 whichfareffeut into its periphery. The serrations aredesigned td-engage and move` ampoule'sfd placed 'within' them and maintained inz position byfari" annular guitiewayy 5 ciroumferent'allyspaced from the" periphery of the turret' adfmouxited orrfay sta`` tionary table or platform.

, Ordinarily the vsize of the serations and: their spaced relation to 'ithe'guidewayy will- 'carefor variations 'in` dimensions oi?- ampoules"'of-'ailglvn A described below.;` Rotation of the turreteausesthe ampoulesrtovdescribe anfannular` path defined size. That is-"to -say.,pr'oper" retention ofam poules willl be' had scrlong as` ampoule" siz is within'v a rangeyin which (al the'tY of tlieamf poules is `suiilciently"snug to ac'o'mplish propercenterin'g at-eachfstation.fand (b) there isnof binding to hinder Verticaliplayor?rotationor an*` appropriately sized turretf and/ or ,i gudeway.l The platform l`6 serves as' a `support i for fame" poules; the bases oflwhich'slidefalongthe sur-ii" facie of A the platformf'as the f turret' rotates from'-v thefactionof anintermittent drive 'arrangement by the peripheryof' the turretand the amiular guide 5;

According to the v@mitodimen't of the invention Y shown .in-the drawings, Yrotation-oiLv the turret will 1 arrangement,:such for-instance as that disclosed` in U. sHPatent Nazaaiooto Barret` The-amfpoules are then, by the automatic intermittent-v rotation ofj the table I"successively-conveyed-to, lu (see.arrowslilies. land/2l anllingf-statlonrto;

four sealing stations at 9, and to a discharge station l0, the discharge being accomplished merely by camming action of a discharge sweep il. The sweep is mounted on a receiving table i2 and extends along the platform 6 over to the discharge station I0. Any suitable type of hopper, chute, or packaging arrangement (not shown) may be mounted'on the receiving table to collect or carry away the sealed ampoules.

The arrangement of the apparatus assures that ampoules arriving at the feeding, lling, and sealing stations are properly centered for the particular processes to be performed upon them during a dwell period in the operation of the turret.

Power for the operation of the turret and all other moving parts of the apparatus of the invention is supplied by a single variable speed motor I3 of any suitabletype which is mounted on the base 2b. I prefer to use an electric motor which is geared at I4 to a drive shafti. It is preferable that the motor be of the easily variable constant speed type since variations in viscositygjand surface tension of the liquids to be handled require accurate control of lling speeds in order to prevent foaming or development of pressure, etc. In addition, it is necessary to operate at constant speeds in order to obtain proper sealing.

The turret shaft is actuated by suitable means as shown in Figs. 1 and 2. Rollers i6 secured around the periphery of anapron i1 mounted on the turret shaft are engaged by camming grooves I8 of a cam I9 mounted on the drive shaft l5. and continuous rotation of the drive .shaft results inintermittent rotation of the turret.

Automatic cut-off 'and throw-out is provided by means of a safety spring 20 whenever the turret becomes locked against rotation. In such event, driving dog 2l keeps turning with the drive shaft I while at the same time compressing the `safety spring until face22 ofthe cam engages a. micro switch (not. shown) interrupting current now tov the motor and at the same time disengaging the driving dog 2l.

; An important feature of the invention is the design and mode vof operation of the parts coni-V prising the filling head; Prior workers in the art.-

have adequately discussed the necessity for maintaining a ldry delivery needle to avoid wetting of the ampoule necks and subsequent charringv by the heat of the sealing iiames.

i The lling head assembly (see especially Figs. 3. '7A :and 8) is supported by an arm 23 rigidly extending 'from a vertically .reciprocating rod 24 mounted in a guide 25 on the platform and extending down thrcughan opening 26 in the platform. The assembly'comprises 'a hollow de` 'To accomplish objective (a), the centering l' block 30 is formed and arranged as follows: The vertical axial opening 29, continuous through the centering block is of Varying diameter. As seen in Fig. 9, anextreme upperpo-rtion 32 vis of a diameter merely lsufiicient to provide for axialV reciprocation of `the needle while yet'being snug tering block is prevented from tilting. Adjacent and below the upper portion 32 is an intermediate portion 33 of larger diameter. The function of the portion 33 is to house the tip or delivery end of the needle while the device is in its up or normally resting position, and the opening is sufciently enlarged to prevent any liquid adhering to the needle from contacting the side walls of the opening. A lower conical portion 34 o-f the opening is shaped to contact and center the ampoule necks prior to the ampoule entry stroke of the needle. By this arrangement, the centering block 30 is supported so that the tip or opening 35 of the delivery needle is maintained out of contact with surfaces of the centering block at all times. That is, in its normal resting position and also when the needle moves downward the point of the needle is never in position to wet the centering block. By this means, subsequent wetting of the upper portions of the needle and of either thev ampoule,

interior or exterior surfaces of the necks is prevented. v

Mounted on the platform adjacent the lling head assembly is a vertically adjustabie stop 36 which determines the maximum descent of the centering block on the downward movement of the lling head. Directly below the point of the needle an opening 31 is disposed in the platform. This opening, inY conjunction with spillway trough or conduit 38 positioned beneath it, functions to collect any discharge made by the needle when no ampouleis in position to receive the discharge. i

In operation, the entire iilling head reciprocates vertically according to the piston-like V:riotion of the rod 24. The'assembly isalways at its up or lifted position while the turret is in motion; and lowers to automatically center and ll any ampoule in position at the filling station when the turret comes to rest. Upon completion of the filling operation, camming action (to be described below) influences the filling head (by means of the piston rod .24) to return to the' up position prior to resumption of rotation by the turret. Y 5

As the assembly` comes down, the rlgidlysupported carrier and the centering, block move withit. The centering block contacts the tip of the neck of the ampoule Ywhich it centers by the conformity of the surface ofthe recess 34 in the block.l The block remains supported by the tip of the ampoule Vas the device continues its down- Ward'movement, passing the nlling needlefwell into the neck of the'ampoule. The lowerinost point of descent of the assembly is determined 'by cam 3S andwheir that ,point is' reached.'

actuation of automatic pipetting machine 40 takes place to deliver the desired amount of liquid through the needle into the ampoule. The

assembly then returns to its up posititn'i,A centering block being picked up by thecarrier 3l on its upward journey. v

Another feature of the-invention is the means 'for prevention of wetting of the centering block u vward motion when the.blocirhas` reacheda point,rk enough to prevent lateral play. Thus thev cenbelow that at which it 'would have contacted an s: ampoulehaditheampoulebeen inposition. .'.Thua

the block is h'eldabove'the'leveloiejection` by the needle and will notfbe wet by the fluid, and;con sequently the exterior'snrfacesofthe necks of successive ampoules will be maintained dry.

`addition to the height. adjustment provided for the stop 36,-the vertical positionxofthe'arm 23-on the rod 24 may bev changed by meansof set'screw 42.-

It isY to be noted that the upward stroke ofthe piston rod is promoted by lever arm 43 actuated bythe cam 39A mountedon .the drive: shaft I5, while the downwardstroke resultsdmerely. from tree lfall-of the piston rodtiand-fillinghead when action ofk the. cam i-on the arm- 43. causesy low-A ering of the. arm. That is tofsay,f.the downward motion is merely the sliding of the assemblyfrom itsown weight when its supportlthe. lever arm 43) Vis lowered. This iactisof utmost. importance to 'thesaccomplishment of y objective (b) (mentioned above), e. g., the abilityof. thedevice to minimize crushing 1 and shattering of ampoules which invariably occur when there is mechanically propelled relative motion between ampoules and lling devices.

Further, it is an essential of the invention that no force other than that of gravity acts upon the centering block in' its downward motion. Thus, breakage and chipping offampoules isfurther reduced. y v

Fluid isi. delivered .to-the. fillingneedle by the conduit 28I.from.the automaticf-pipetting device capable of delivering precise amounts in quantitles according Vto. thev predetermined setting of an adjustable eccentric shank'44which causes actuationoflp'ump45. 4.This automatic pipetting machine is substantially as described in U. S. Patent No. 2,148,899 to Carski and Brewer but modified insofar as valve pin 46 (see Fig. 4) of output valve 41 is provided with a groove 48 by means of which sufficient suction is established in delivery conduit 28 prior to closure of the output valve to insure that any drop hanging at the end of the delivery nozzle (subsequent to the completion of -uid ejection into an ampoule) will be drawn up into the nozzle. The valve pin 46 is the equivalent of the guide piece designated as 5i in the Carski and Brewer patent.

With reference to Figs. 1 4, the operation of the automatic pipetting assembly may be briefly described as follows:

The assembly being mounted on a support 49, a handle 50 secured to pump plunger 5| has position on eccentric shank 44 which rotates with cam shell 52 mounted on the drive shaft l5. Rotation of the drive shaft thus aetuates reciprocation of the plunger 5l in cylinder 53, which sways with a valve block 54 on its supporting pin shaft 55. As the plunger moves downwardly, it sucks in fluid from a primary container (not shown) through conduit 56 and through intake valve 51 and incidentally forces output valve pin 46 into its seat 58.

The liquid ows into and fills the cylinder 53 with the desired amount determined by the setting of adjustable shank 44 on the cam shell 52. On the return stroke, the plunger forces the liquid through the output valve 41 and incidentally closes the intake valve 51. Upon completion of the outlet stroke, the intake stroke is of course again'begun, opening the intake valve and closing the outlet valve. However, as the sealing closure of the outlet valve is in progress, the groove 48 in the valve pin 46 allows passage oi' fluid from the conduit 28 back into the valve block 54 asa 6 result of. suctiongoccurring. from'. the. commence-r4 ment J of :the intakei stroke. "AS1-.a1 result ioftthe; fluid return'from the: conduit;rany'rdrophanging at the endof thedelivery nozzleisdrawnback up into the nozzle, thus .avoiding wetting of?.v parts ofthe: Afllling head assembly. and promoting; accuracy. of delivery bythe pipetting machine.

rTheeccentric shank 44 maybe associated. with thecam shell` 52 in conformitywith the arrange-l ment disclosed in the above mentioned Carski and Brewer patent, or by any suitable method. InA theaccompanying drawingsthe shank 44 is shown as. rigidly securedvv in' offset position to .a

Ispecic function, and the yflarne jet fromcach burner of a pair is focused to fall on theyneck of the ampoule at the same levelas the flame of the opposite burner.

The sealing unit is of course positioned inthe path of the .ampoules leaving the filling station, and the entire unit is vertically.'adjustable:by means of. a screw-threaded device 52 to care for various sized ampoules. 1

` The arrangement ofthe burners for the sealingV operation is -of importance. Each of. the'burners.-

. 631comprlsing fthe pair nearestthe lling head assembly form the '.iir'st sealing station. The flames from these burners are adjustedv to' heat the container neck only sufciently to expand and expell the air or gases which are present. This is to prevent bulging of the glass at the ampoule tip when the seal is subsequently completed. Further, when the ampoule is later cooled, the result of the work done at the rst station will be the formation of a partial vacuum and a vacuum seal.

At the second station, comprising the pair of burners 64, the burners are adjusted at an angle which will direct the flames upward to prevent overheating of the contents of the glass con.- tainers. The flames heat the glass tip of the ampoule neck intensely so as to melt the glass and thus cause it to drop below the point of the flame. The flames from the third pair of burners 65 are directed upon only the tip of the melted portion in order to complete the sealing of the neck and seal any unclosed ampoules. The pair of burners 66 located farthest from the filling station, is provided to retard rapid cooling and thus anneal the heated glass.

It will be noted that the position of the burners is important, since the angle of the flames emitted by each burner is critical to the proper performance of the particular function of that burner.

During the preheating, sealing, and annealing it is necessary to rotate the ampoules because of the great variations in the alignment of ampoule tips to the ampoule bodies. When the ampoules are rotated, all desired portions of the tip are brought into contact with the sealing names and a seal of even and regular shape is l produced.

Rotation of the ampoules is provided by continuously rotating discs or turn-tables 51, one

of which is set. into the platforms at each seal-` ing station, The discs 61. are mounted on shafts 68 driven by suitable gearing from the shaft l5..

Thetop surface of the rotating discs should be of cork or similar composition which will provide sufficient friction against the. ampoule base to cause the ampoule to rotate, and it is Vobvious that proper operation of the equlpmentdictates that the surface of the cork be ush with th surrounding surface of Vthe platform. .Y f Itis obvious from the disclosure that the apparatus of the invention .is comparatively simple, practical, and extremely useful. In providing for the automatic filling and sealing of ampoules, the invention exhibits functional improvements over theV prior methods and apparatus in that it provides (a) means for reducing'to a minimum the troublesome and dangerous crushing, shattering, and chipping of ampoules, (b) means for positive prevention ofwe'tting the parts of the iilling assembly and subsequently the ampoule necks, (c) means for producing a superior seal, and (d) means for'recovery of liquid'lost when an am` lling assembly with measured amounts Yof uid comprising a cam shell mounted on said drive shaftnmeans for varying the camming effect of said camshell, a plunger pump actuated by said cam shell, a fluid conducting valve block associated with said pump, a iiuid inlet mounted in 8V said. block, a fluid intake'ivalve `actuatedby said pump 'and mounted in: said;- inlet, z a uid outlet conduit mounted in said block,.a conduit-connecting said fluid :outletwith said ampoule lling assembly, a fluid output valve actuated by said pump and mounted in said outlet, a .valvepin associated with said output valve, and a groove disposed in said valve pin adapted to permit the flow of fluid from said conduit to said compart.

REFERENCES orrED The following references are of record in theA le of this patent:

i UNITED STATES PATENTSn Number Name Date" 578,944 Platz et al. Mar. 16, ,1897

1,621,479 Shields Mar. 15,' 1927 2,368,738 Bergman Feb. 6, 1945 2,372,999 'Y Kantor Apr. 3, 1945V 2,379,343

Cozzoli June 26, 1945

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US578944 *Apr 24, 1895Mar 16, 1897 platz
US1621470 *Oct 14, 1921Mar 15, 1927 Bottling machine
US1918118 *Jan 10, 1930Jul 11, 1933Luigi MarzocchiAutomatic machine for filling and sealing ampules, phials, and the like vessels
US2150760 *Jan 28, 1938Mar 14, 1939Frank CozzoliAmpoule filler
US2368738 *Dec 10, 1943Feb 6, 1945Charles M ClarkeAutomatic start and stop mechanism
US2372899 *Jul 12, 1941Apr 3, 1945Liquid Carbonic CorpBottle filler and siruper
US2379343 *Jun 10, 1942Jun 26, 1945Cozzoli Frank JTube sealing machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3135303 *May 18, 1961Jun 2, 1964American Can CoCan treating machine
US4352444 *Jan 16, 1980Oct 5, 1982Norden Packaging Machinery AktiebolagControllable volume dosing device
US7036658Nov 13, 2003May 2, 2006Hartness International, Inc.Gripper conveyor with clear conveying path and related conveyor link
US7055676Nov 13, 2003Jun 6, 2006Hartness International, Inc.Conveyor with movable gripper and related conveyor link
US7055677Mar 30, 2004Jun 6, 2006Hartness International, Inc.Conveyor with movable grippers, and related conveyor link
US7114535Aug 28, 2003Oct 3, 2006Hartness International, Inc.Circular motion filling machine and method
US7185753Sep 28, 2004Mar 6, 2007Hartness International, Inc.Shuttle conveyor
US7207434Sep 23, 2004Apr 24, 2007Hartness International, Inc.Conveyor with center-actuatable gripper, and related conveyor link
US7216758May 17, 2004May 15, 2007Hartness International, Inc.Conveyor with opposed spring-loaded grippers, and related conveyor link
US7261199Nov 3, 2004Aug 28, 2007Hartness International, Inc.Neck gripping conveyor and link, and related rotary filler and system
US7264113May 18, 2005Sep 4, 2007Hartness International, Inc.Pivotable conveyor and link
US7278531Jun 29, 2004Oct 9, 2007Hartness International, Inc.Flexible conveyor and connection elements
US7299832Jun 29, 2004Nov 27, 2007Hartness International, Inc.Rotary filling machine and related components, and related method
US7331156Jun 29, 2004Feb 19, 2008Hartness International, Inc.System for securely conveying articles and related components
US20050045244 *Aug 28, 2003Mar 3, 2005Hartness Thomas P.Circular motion filling machine and method
US20050269188 *May 18, 2005Dec 8, 2005Hartness International, Inc.Pivotable conveyor and link
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/116, 141/183, 222/309, 65/280, 141/371
International ClassificationB65B3/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B3/003
European ClassificationB65B3/00B