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Publication numberUS2632553 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 24, 1953
Filing dateJan 12, 1949
Priority dateJan 12, 1949
Publication numberUS 2632553 A, US 2632553A, US-A-2632553, US2632553 A, US2632553A
InventorsStirn Frank E, Taylor Arthur S
Original AssigneeAmerican Cyanamid Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container feeding machine
US 2632553 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

F. E. sTlRN ET AL CONTAINER FEEDING MACHINE March Z4, `1953 7 Stiens-sheet 1 Filed Jan.' 12, 1949 ATTORNEY F. E. STIRN` ETAL' CONTAINER FEED'ING vMACHINE! March 24, 1953 1 Filed Jan. 12, `1949 '7 Sheets-Sheet 2r INVENTGR s' ,w24/wf i r//P/V,

ATTORNEY March 24, 1953 F. E'. sTlRN ETAL.

` CONTAINER FEEDING MACHINE Filed Jan. 12, 1949' 7 Sheets-Sheet 3 ATTORNEY March 24,1953 F. E. sTlRN ETAL 2,632,553

CONTAINER FEEDING MACHINE Filed Jan. 12, 1949 '7 sheets-sheet 4 Marchzl, 1953 F. E. s'rlRN ETAL CONTAINER FEEDING MACHINE 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Jan. l2, 1949 ATTORN EY March 24, `1953 F. E. sTlRN ErAL CONTAINER FEEDING MACHINE 7 sheets-sheet e Filed Jan. 12, 1949 R/l M w M s. WW m i 4 Y: ,Bv

MalCh 24, 1953 F. EQsTlRN Erm.

' CONTAINER FEEDING MACHINE '7 sheets-sheet 7 Filed Jan. 12, 1949 .WN ONN 00N Om- Patented Mar. 24,l 1953 CONTAINER FEEDING MACHINE Frank E. Stirn, Evans Park, Pearl River, and Arthur S. Taylor, Spring Valley, N. Y., assignors to American Cyanamid Company, New York, N. Y., a corporation of Maine Application January 12, 1949, Serial No. 70,574

2 Claims.

The present invention relates to a machine for filling powdered material into containers, and more particularly to a device whereby the containers, which may be such as bottles or vials, are fed and loaded uniformly under the fillinghead-mechanism in such a method as t insure their being positioned accurately, consistently,

and rapidly.

The feed mechanism serves the dual purposes of feeding the bottles under the filling position and locking each bottle or vial in the filling position,`at the time of filling, so that during the lling operation, it is firmly and rigidly positioned so asv to prevent spilling or Wasting the filled material, or inconsistent quantities of fill.

The device of this invention may be used in conjunction with the machine described in the application of Frank E. Stirn and Arthur S. Taylor entitled Method and Apparatus for Measuring and Filling Powders Volumetrically, Serial No. 765,680, filed August 2, 1947, now Patent No. 2,540,059, dated January 30, 1951.

In the past, considerable difculty has been found in operating various container feeding `mechanisms to prevent the containers from becoming jammed, breaking, piling up, or not being present at a particular location when and where desired. In prior art machines, a star wheel mechanism has been used, in which the bottles were f ed into a star wheel and the star Wheel positioned the bottles in position. Such a type of mechanism is largely restricted to a single size bottle and a different Wheel is needed each time the bottle size is changed, and furthermore, it is difficult, if not impossible, to attain the fiexibility with this type of mechanism which is desired in filling containers, particularly in the pharmaceutical field, where the vials or bottles or other containers may vary over a wide range of size, shape, form, and description, and may consist of materials such as glass, plastic, metal, or other materials of construction.

The machine of this invention comprises a belt on which the containers travel, and a system of guide rods or fingers which cut into the line of travelling containers on the belt in such a fashion as to hold them in the positions desired, when desired, and as desired, and which fingers and which belt and additional guide rails for which containers, are all individually adjustable so that the same mechanism, within a few minutes, may be adjusted to handle a large range of size of containers. This feature of adjustability is highly desirable in packaging of materials which may be packaged in comparatively small runs on a commercial scale.

Many prior art machines had the entire machine built for a single size, and to change the size of the container Would entail a complete reconstruction of the machine, to such an extent that it would be practically as easy to scrap it and start over completely, as to attempt to change the size. In contrast tc this, as an object of the particular machine and method herein described, is a system of feeding whereby within a rather large size range, the mechanism may be adjusted within but a short time, and when so adjusted will handle each different size of container as effectively and consistently as had been previously possible with the more complex machines designed for single size.

As an additional object of the invention, there is a system of guide rods which will cut into a moving line of bottles in such a fashion as to hold the bottles and prevent their feeding too rapidly under the filling position and at the same time will position and hold the individual bottles in the filling position, so that they are firmly and uniformly held and vibration or other fortuitous4 circumstances will not knock over a bottle or otherwise disturb it while it is in the filling position.

By the use of the particular series of cams and finger mechanisms with the adjustability herein shown, and by the use of the timing mechanism and cycles herein shown, it is possible to insure that the bottles will be held, and positioned. There is additionally a safety feature, whereby if a bottle is knocked over or jammed or if the bottle supply line is exhausted, the machine will be caused to stop and remain in a rest position until such time as the operator has a chance to rectify such difficulties.

The present machine may be used with filling mechanisms of the type disclosed in our abovereferred-to application; or it may be used in conjunction with other filling machines or filling mechanisms; within the skills of the arts. For purposes of description in this application, the filling mechanism will be referred to as such and is shown in the drawings more particularly as a type of powder filling mechanism such as shown in the above mentioned Patent No. 2,540,059; using a vacuum mechanism to compact a, powder into a measuring charge chamber in such a fashion that the individual charges are accurately and uniformly and consistently discharged at a filling position in accordance with a Predetermined time cycle.

It is not necessary that this particular type of filling mechanism be used, as any type of filling mechanism, in which a charge, either liquid or solid, is delivered in timed relationship at a fixed point, may be adapted to the filling position and used to fill containers on the instant machine. It is to be understood that the machine may be built on such scale as to handle any desired size of containers. It is shown as largely adapted to the smaller type of containers, such as is used in the medical trades, or condiments or other small vials, bottles, cans or containers for the consumer trade.

Numerous other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent as it is better understood from the description of the specific embodiments set forth in the following description and accompanying drawings. Many obvious mechanical equivalents and uses will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading this description. Referring to the drawings:

Figure 1 shows a plan View of big bottles under a filling head, the lling mechanism being partially broken away.

Figure 2 shows'a front elevation of the big bottles under the filling head.

Figure 3 shows a section View on line 3-3 of Figure 2 showing the feeding of big bottles along the belt, the position of the filling head being shown for comparative purposes.

Figure 4 is a similar view showing the feeding of small vials in which the guide rails and the belt itself are raised so as to position the small vials close to the filling head.

Figure 5 is a similar View shown along section 5-5 of Figure 2 in which more details of the mechanism itself are shown and in which two sets of guide rails are used to position a large bottle at the top and at the bottom.

Figure 6 is an enlarged view of the front of the finger mechanism, showing the individual rods and the adjustable clips for holding them in position.

Figure '7 is Ia top View showing the lingers twisted so as to position small vials in position.

Figure 8 is an exploded pictorial view of the linger mechanism, showing the details of its construction.

Figure 9 is an operating view showing a particular phase of the operation as the bottles are fed under the filling head; this view corresponds to the position of the lingers and bottles on the belt along the line 9-9 of Figure 13.

Figure 10 is a similar View at a slightly later phase of operations taken along line |0| 0 of Figure 13.

Figure 11 is a still later phase of operation ytaken along line I I-l I of Figure 13.

Figure 12 is a still later phase of operation L Figure 13 is a timing chart showing the relative positions of the various moving parts of the mechanism in relation to a particular time cycle.

As shown in Figure 1, the top of the filling table 2| has in place therein a belt 22 which turns on a feed belt drive pulley 23 and a feed belt pulley 24. This belt rotates along the top of the table and has any slack therein taken up by the feed belt idler pulley 26 and the feed belt take-up pulley 25. This system of belts and pulleys permits the belt to be kept taut at all times. The feed belt is placed on the top of a feed belt support ramp 21, which is shown in Figures 2, 3, 4, and 5. The belt rests upon and slides upon the upper surface of this feed belt support ramp, whereby its position may be adjusted vertically by moving the position of the support ramp, which is controlled by the ramp screws 28. These ramp screws are fitted into brackets on the top of the table, whereby their height may be accurately controlled for adjusting the position of the ramp itself. On each side of the belt, and above the level of the belt, are guide rails as shown, 29. In the modilication as shown in Figures 3 and 4, but one guide rail is used. Two guide rails may be used as shown in Figure 5, particularly for tall bottles. The guide rails 29 hold in position the particular containers, which may be used as shown in Figure 3, at 30 (a large bottle) and in Figure 4, at 3| (a small plastic Vial). The guide rails '29, in turn, are supported by guide rail support collars 32, which slide upon a guide rail support 35, and are held in position thereon by retaining screw 33. Around the collar, at its lower extremity, is retaining ring 34, which holds the collar and the guide rail in juxtaposition, firmly yet iiexibly, whereby adjustment is permitted. There is a slot in the guide rail 29 in which the collar 32 is located, which permits longitudinal adjustment and some exibility of the guide rail. The guide rail support 35 is a hollow tube, in which the support screw 36 is held, which support screw has at its lower end a head and at its upper end a support nut 31, shown as a wing nut, whereby by screwing down the support nut, the guide rail support may be clamped against the top of the table, thereby iirmly positioning the support, and, in turn, the guide rail 29. A small set screw 38 acts as a screwretaining screw, so that if the nut is removed, the screw will not drop through the slot in the top of the table. There are short slots in the top of the table, as shown at 39, which act as support screw slots, whereby lateral adjustment of the guide rails 29 is permitted, towards and away from the location of the bottles. By this particular arrangement of support rails and guide rails, it is possible to feed containers, which range from small to large in diameter and from high to low, underneath a filling mechanism so that the mouth is positioned centrally and at the proper height at all times. On the surface of the table near the ends of the belt are support guides 40, which serve to assist in causing the bottles or other containers to enter and leave the belt properly and without jamming. In operation, the bottles are fed along and in the direction of the moving belt, which moves from left to right, as shown in the front View of the machine as herein described. The belt moves at a greater rate than the bottles are desired to move underneath the filling head and they are restrained in their motion and held in a filling position by the operation of certain rods or fingers.

.As the bottles move along the belt, they rst contact the iirst positioning rod or finger 4|. This finger has the dual purpose of using its upper face to hold back the oncoming stream of containers so that they do not interfere with the filling operation, and at the same time, its lower face serves to position and clamp a container in the filling position. Below the rod 4| is a rod 42, the second positioning rod, which serves to stop a container in the iilling position and to hold it in the filling position until its release is desired. As shown in Figure 7, a third rod 43 operates as a safety rod or control rod, the purpose of which, Ias herein later described, is to stop the machine if the bottles jam or if the machine fills al1 of the bottles which have been supplied to it at a particular time. As shown in Figure 7, this operating rod 43 may swing around and into the chain of bottles, one bottle above the filling position. This is to allow sucient time for the mechanism to come to a stop before a discharge is made into a filling position not occupied by a bottle. However, if it be desired to use a faster braking mechanism, so `that the machine stops more quickly, this rod may be changed and used to check upon the bottle in the filling position itself. These three rods are held in position by clamps, the first rod clamp 44, the second rod clamp 45, and the safety rod clamp 46, each of which clamps upon its respectiveA rod by means of a clamp screw 41. This clamp screw permits the operatingrods to be positioned longitudinally along their axis in any position which may be desired. Normally the rods are extended further with smaller containers than with large. The exact rod position for operation may be determined as herein later described.

vEach of the respective rod clamps is supported by a clamp support column 48, 49, and respectively. As shown, these operating columns have `slots along the back end, so that they may be more readily positioned by a column set screw 5I. Each ofthe columns is held in a suitable opening in an operating bar 52. This set screw permits the adjustment of the height and of the angular position of the operating rods. Different size containers require different angular locations as well as elevations of the operating rods. The operating bars are supported in an oper-ating bar carrier block 4`55, in which there are slots for each of the operating bars. At the back end of each of the operating bars is a cam roller 56, 51, and 58 respectively which in turn bear lagainst operating cams. A single operating cam 59 is shown for purposes of clarity. There is a separate cam for each finger. The required contours of the operating cam may be clearly determined from an inspection of Figure 13. The operating bars are held back against the cam by return springs as shown at 60, which are fastened to a return spring support screw 6I and a return spring operating screw as shown at 62, a set of screws and a spring being used for each of the operating bars.

To prevent small objects and dirt from falling through the operating slots in which the clamp support columns are placed, there is around each a cover plate 63, 64, and 65, respectively, which is held in position by a cover plate retaining screw 66, which is adjusted so as to give slight clearance above the table top to prevent the falling of any objectV into the operating mechanism. On the safety'rodoperating bar 54, there is placed a safety bracket 61, in the end of which is a safety adjusting screw 68, which is placed opposite a'microswitch 69. In operation, the microswitch is connected into the operating motor circuit so that if'the' vsafety switch is engaged by the safety adjusting screw, the entire mechanism is stopped. The functioning of this device will be herein later described. Inconnectionwith the feed mechanism, herein described, there is diagrammatically shown a specific form of bottle filling machine, such as more fully described in Patent No. 2,540,- 059, above referred to.

In timed relationship with the bottle retaining mechanism herein described, is a bottle filling mechanism which comprises the filling head 10, the hopper 1I, and a series of charge chambers 12 within the filling head 10, which, as they rotate above the filling position, are caused to discharge their respective contents into theindividual containers, by means of a gas pressure operating through a gas passage, and which is caused `to operate in timed relationship, either by a jet of gas being caused to pass through this charge chamber at the desired time of the cycle, or by a cam plate being caused to oscillate, so that the pressure is brought through the discharge portion in juxtaposition to the charge chamber in the particular timed relationship desired for filling, as shown in Figure 13. The details of this mechanism are not part of the present invention and accordingly, for purposes of brevity, are not more fully described, as their complete description may be found elsewhere.

Operation. of the filling machine Figure 13 shows diagrammatically the timing of the filling machine, which, for the purposes of this iigure, is shown as operating every second and one-half, so as to hold and fill forty (40) containers per minute. At the top of Figure 13 is shown in degrees the position of the operating cams from the point at which the filling head turret stops through 360 of the operating cam shaft. For purposes of description, there is shown Figure 9, taken along line 9-9 of Figure 13, showing the bottles in the position at the instant when the injection pressure is applied so as to cause the filling of the individual container, It will be noted that as shown in Figure 13, the

filling head turret is still, the ejection pressure jet comes on, and the valve disk is in forward position, so as to align with the discharge port openings. The rst rod is in, holding back the string of oncoming bottles and retaining in position the bottle in the filling position. The second rod is in, serving to retain the filling bottle and position it. The safety switch arm is in just about the test position and is returning to its out, or rest, position preparatory to the new cycle. From the period of to 220, this safety switch arm comes out to its rest position. The bottle is held in position, and the operating rods I and 2 remain in their respective positions for an adequate time to complete the fill before the bottle starts moving.

At this point, 220, the second rod is pulled from the in to the out position, permitting the bottle to start travelling from its rest position to the right of the drawings, for the next step in processing.

The second rod retracts so as to clear the moving line of bottles and permit the filled bottles lto proceed. The exact speed of retraction of this rod is not of importance but it is shown as occurring over a period of approximately 50.

During this portion of the cycle, the ejection pressure is turned off, the filling head begins to move to bring into position a newly lled charge chamber for the next cycle, and the valve disk reciprocates back to its original position. This portion of the cycle is shown in Figure 10. Figure 10 taken along the line Ill-I0 of Figure 13 at approximately an angular position of 285 on the operating cam shaft, shows thelled bottle about half way out from the filling position, the second rod being held out to permit the bottle to clear; and the safety switch rod in the out position. At an angular position of approximately 340 the first rod starts to move out, thereby releasing the feed line of bottles, thereby permitting them to travel with the belt towards the filling position. At the same time, the second rod now having cleared the filled bottle, starts to return to its inward position Where it will engage the next bottle as it in turn comes into place in the ll position.

Figure 11 shows the position of the rods at approximately 45, with the rst rod having been completely retracted, the second rod having been permitted to slide all the way in and the approaching bottle passing by the rst rod and approaching the second.

Figure 12 shows a slightly later time in the cycle in which the approaching bottle is nearly into position against the second rod, the rst rod has started its inward motion at such a rate that it will cut into the approaching line of bottles so as to hold back the approaching line of bottles and so that it will contact the upper side of the bottle in filling position serving to both position the bottle in filling position and to hold back the approaching line of bottles from the feed side. At this position the safety rod 43 is moving into test position. In test position this safety rod contacts the bottle adjacent to the first rod and is held back by this bottle. If there is no bottle in this position, the safety rod is permitted to go forward so that the safety adjusting screw 68 contacts the microswitch 69 thereby stopping the mechanism.

Figures 4 and '7 show the set up for a smaller size container, in this instance a small plastic vial such as is used for certain types of penicillin inhalers. In this case the guide rails 29 are raised and moved inward so as to position them against approximately the center of the vial, and the feed belt support ramp 21 is raised and with it the feed belt 22, so that the mouth of the vial is in filling position close to the mouth of the charge chamber 'l2 when in discharge position.

As shown in Figure 7, the first and second rods are moved further inward so that they Will position themselves in the inner position farther into the line of bottles and they are raised so that they are in proper position against suitable portions of the vials. They are additionally turned inward so that the space between their operating tips again corresponds to the diminished size of the vial. The safety arm is twisted around so that it contacts the bottle adjacent the lling position as before, but which vial is now considerably closer to the filling position because of its smaller size.

As will be seen, because the first and second rods and safety rod are universally mounted, i. e. they may be adjusted vertically, adjusted angularly about a Vertical axis and may be moved into or away from the line of bottles and may be rotated about their own axes if necessary to change the effective width of the tip. This particular filling mechanism is therefore to a far greater extent than any previously known, adaptable to the requirements of the filling of varied and changing types of containers.

The first and second rods and safety rod may be positioned above or below the guide rails and the width and the angles of the tips may be changed as well as the degree to which they protrude into the line of bottles so as to permit a great degree of flexibility.

As an additional and inherent advantage of the particular construction herein shown is the fact that each of the rods is urged inwardly by a spring and is positively retracted whereby the fingers of the operator will not be mashed nor will the containers be crushed if through inadvertence the containers are disturbed as they are being filled. Furthermore the spring action permits the operating rods to position the containers accurately and yet allows for slight variations in container size as will be found in the normal run of commercially purchased containers.

Having thus described and set forth certain important features thereof as our invention, we claim:

1. In a feed and positioning mechanism for a filling machine, the combination of a flexible travelling belt, an adjustably positionable support therefor, at least a pair of multi-direction positionable lateral guide rails above and in cooperatively spaced relationship to said belt, adapted to guide containers on the belt, two guide rods with universally adjustable tips, means to move said tips into position above said belt to space, control and hold containers placed upon the belt, a universally adjustable safety rod, means to periodically urge the safety rod towards a container position, and means to stop the machine if no container be present, all of said rods being resiliently urged into contact with the containers.

2. In a feed and positioning mechanism for a filling machine, the combination of a flexible travelling belt, an adjustably positioned support therefor, adjustably positioned lateral guide rails, a lst positioning rod, a second positioning rod, and a safety rod, means for adjusting each of said three rods vertically, along its axis, and in the direction of the travel of the belt, each of said rods being resiliently urged into position by means not sufficiently strong to break a misplaced container, whereby containers may be fed through a filling position on said conveyor belt, the entire mechanism being readily convertible for a multiplicity of sizes of containers.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,772,540 Fowler Aug. 12, 1930 1,852,924 Fowler Apr. 5, 1932 1,872,686 Cundall Aug. 23, 1932 1,916,255 Cabot July 4, 1933 2,015,187 Mayer Sept. 24, 1935 2,103,302 Strout Decl 28, 1937 2,286,523 Whitehead June 16, 1942 2,341,705 Fedorchak et al Feb. 15, 1944 2,371,650 Resina Mar. 20, 1945 2,405,232 Nordquist Aug. 6, 1946 2,491,826 Meyers Dec. 20, 1949

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2822912 *Sep 17, 1953Feb 11, 1958Barry Wehmiller Mach CoContainer feeding mechanism for labeling machines
US2850142 *Apr 5, 1954Sep 2, 1958Redington Co F BArticle transporting and conveying mechanism
US2941126 *Feb 25, 1954Jun 14, 1960Western Electric CoVariable time interval system
US3129544 *Jun 28, 1960Apr 21, 1964Delta Engineering CorpApparatus for conveying and filling containers
US3917053 *Sep 7, 1973Nov 4, 1975Mitsubishi Heavy Ind LtdInterlocking device for article transporter having pusher fingers
US4502215 *Dec 20, 1982Mar 5, 1985At&T Technologies, Inc.Feeding articles to successive stations for treatment
US4709800 *Apr 28, 1986Dec 1, 1987Owens-Illinois Glass Container Inc.Bottle conveyor with brush spacer
US6024204 *Nov 14, 1997Feb 15, 2000Bayer CorporationConveyor system for clinical test apparatus
US6202829 *May 22, 2000Mar 20, 2001Bayer CorporationConveyor system for clinical test apparatus
US6450322Aug 11, 2000Sep 17, 2002Smc Corporation Of AmericaEscapement device
DE1174686B *Jul 25, 1959Jul 23, 1964Strunck & Co Maschf HVorrichtung zum Etikettieren von Behaeltern
WO2002014191A1 *Aug 10, 2001Feb 21, 2002Smc Corporation Of AmericaEscapement device
U.S. Classification198/633, 198/459.7, 156/DIG.250
International ClassificationB65B43/42, B65C9/00, B65B43/54, B65C9/02, B65B59/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65C9/02, B65B59/005, B65B43/54
European ClassificationB65C9/02, B65B43/54, B65B59/00C