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Publication numberUS2723069 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 8, 1955
Filing dateMar 24, 1953
Priority dateMar 24, 1953
Publication numberUS 2723069 A, US 2723069A, US-A-2723069, US2723069 A, US2723069A
InventorsErnest Daher, Shanhouse William M
Original AssigneeS & D Dev Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic filling device
US 2723069 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

NOV- 8, 1955 w, M. sHANHoUsE ETAL 2,723,069

AUTOMATIC FILLING DEVICE 3 Sheets-Sheet l H m/ ATTOR NEYS Nov. 8, 1955 w. M. sHANHoUsE ETAL 2,723,059

AUTOMATIC FILLING DEVICE Filed March 24, 1953 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Nov. 8, 1955 w. M. sHANHoUsE ETAL 2,723,069

AUTOMATIC FILLING DEVICE Filed March 24, 1955 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR Wll-LIAM M. SHANHOUSE ERNEST DAHER BY mlprm ATTO R N EYS llnited States Patent @hice 2,723,069 *Patented Nov. 8, 1955 AUTOMATIC FILLING DEVICE Application March 24,1953, Serial No. 344,426 17 claims. (ci. 226-99) This invention relates to a device for automatically filling containers, such as paperboard milk containers and the like.

' A primary object of the invention is the provision of an automatic filling device constructed and arranged in such a manner that empty containers may be intermittently conveyed to a filling station in alignment with a vertical supply conduit, the container at the filling station being elevated to a iilling'position in which the bottom of the container actuates a valve body of the supply conduit so that the container may be filled to a predetermined level without splashing7 or foaming, after which the filled container is lowered and conveyed away from the filling station simultaneously with the arrival of a fresh empty container thereat.

Another object of the invention is the provision of an automatic filling device of the character indicated wherein the successive operations of conveying, elevation, filling, lowering and conveying are accomplished in timed sequence and in a fully automatic manner, con-l tinuous operation of the device merely requiring unskilled labor for loading empty containers at one end and removing filled containers at the other end of the device.

, A further object of the invention is the provision of an automatic filling device of the character indicated which is particularly suitable for use with containers of the peaked-top closure type, having shiftable gripping or spreading elements which are operative during the elevation of the container to filling position to spread and open the peaked-top closure of the container thereby permitting entry of the supply conduit within the container.

An additional object of the invention is the provision of an automatic filling device ofthe character indicated which is constructed and arranged in such a manner that it may be readily adapted for filling containers of various shapes and sizes.

A further object of the invention is the provision of an automatic filling device of Vthe' character indicated arranged in such a manner as to prevent a flow of milk or other liquid from the supply conduit in the event that the elevating platform arrives in filling position'without carrying an empty container thereupon.

Another object of the invention is the provision of an automatic filling device of the character indicated which is designed in such a manner as to prevent tipping and spilling of the contents of a filled container after it has been conveyed beyond the filling station by automa'ti cally interrupting the movement of the conveyor in the event that the filled container at the last station of the device has not yet been removed from the table of the device.

The foregoing objects as well as additional objects and advantages of the invention willlbe readily apparent in the course of the` following detailed :description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein: Fig. 1 is a'. front plan view, partly insection, of an f 2 automatic filling device embodying the features of the invention the container illustrated being of the 'peakedtop closure variety;

Fig. 2 is an enlarged detail view of a preferred form of supply valve carried at the lower end of the supply conduit; v

Fig. 3 is a sectional view of the device taken on line 3-3 of Fig. 1, the lower frame portionv of the device bengbroken away;

Fig. 4 is a sectional view taken on line 4-4 of Fig. l and also illustrates a portion of the endless belt conveyor with the apertures or cut-outs therein for receiving and conveying containers along the table of the device;

Fig. 5 is a schematic view of an electrical control circuit for use in connection with the device, the conveyor actuating means and the platform reciprocating means being diagrammatically illustrated;

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of one type of container which may be fed to the device, the container having a peaked-top closure;

Fig.y 7 is a View similar to Fig. 6 but showing the top closure flaps in partly open position;

Fig. 8 is an enlarged detail View illustrating the initial stage in the operation of the gripping and spreading element to open the peaked-top closure tiaps of the container shown in Figs. 6 and 7 as the container is elevated to filling position;

Fig. 9 is a sectional View taken on line 9-9 of Fig. 8;

Fig. l0 is a View similar to Fig. 9 illustrating a successive stage in the operation of the gripping and spreading element;

Fig. 11 is a sectional view taken on line `1.1-11 of Fig. 10;

Fig. l2 is a sectional view illustrating a further stage in the opening of the peaked-top closure of the container; and l Fig. 13 is a fragmentary detail view of the upper end of one of the arms of the gripping and spreading element.

Referring first to Figs. 1 and 2, the frame F of the device comprises uprights 10 having at their lower end adjustable levelling tips 11 and supported by suitable longitudinal struts 12 and transverse struts 13 (see Fig. 1). Uprights 10 support a table 14 defining a longitudinally extending channel or well 15 along which containers C may be fed intermittently to the filling station of the device by means of a suitable conveyor system. In the preferred embodimentof'the invention the conveyor system conveniently takes the form of an endless belt 16 constructed of stainless steel or other suitable material supported between rollers 17 and arrangedrin such a manner that the upper course of the belt overlies well 15 while the lower course of the belt extends beneath table 14. Rollers 17 are carried on shafts 18 mounted on suitable framework comprising vertical hangers 19, longitudinal tubular supports 20 and transverse struts 21. in order to adjustably tension belt 16, one of the rollers l17 may have its respective shaft 18 journaled between a pair of adjustable telescopic extensions 22 of tubular supports 20, as illustrated on the left side in Fig. 1.

In order to slidably convey containers C toward the filling station along the bottom of well 15, conveyor belt i6 is provided throughout its length with a plurality of equally spaced apertures or cut-outs 23. The shape of cut-outs 23 will, of course, depend upon the shape of the containers being filled and in the embodiment illustrated said cutouts are preferably square to correspond to the square cross-section of container C. Moreover, the cutouts are arranged in such a manner and are sufi'iciently large to accommodate containers of conventionally graduated capacity, suchas 1 qt., 2 qt., etc., and to convey each of the containers Ato a position of predeterminedv alignment at the filling station, as willqbe more fully described hereinbelow. As best seen in Fig. 4, it will also be understood that square cut-outs 23 are arranged in diamond fashion so that the diagonals of said square cutouts substantially .coincide with the longitudinal midline of belt 16, with the vertex corners of adjoining cut-outs adjacent each other. Thus it will be readily seen that as the containers are -drawn in the direction of the arrow in Fig. 4, each container will be constantly retained in fixed alignment against the left-hand vcorner of a respective cut-out 23 ldespite the -fact that the container might be substantially smaller than the conveyor cut-out, as shown.

.Suitable means are provided for intermittently actuating conveyor belt 16 in order to feed containers along the well of .table 14 toward the filling station of the device. The conveyor actuating means may conveniently take the form of an air cylinder 24 having a reciprocable piston rod 25 formed at its outer end with a depending arm 26. A pusher element or claw 27 is pivotally secured to arm 26 andis provided with an anterior notched end 27a and a posterior notched end 2712 which alternately engage opposite corners of a respective cut-out 23 in the lower course of belt 16 during advancement .and retraction of piston rod 25. The anterior end of claw 27 is counter-weighted so that anterior notched end 27a will swing downwardly to engage the left-hand corner of cut-out 23 during the advancing stroke of piston rod 25 (see Fig. l) thereby advancing the belt 16 one step. Upon retraction of claw 27 the opposite end thereof is caused to move downwardly by means of a detiecting finger 28 attached to the air cylinder 24 so that the posterior notched end 27b of said clawv will engage the opposite or right-hand corner of cut-out 23 .in order to retract the conveyor belt 16 slightly. The purpose of slightly retracting the conveyor belt 16 is to insure clearance between the sides of the container C and the respective sides of a cut-out 23 at the ,filling station of the device as shown in Fig. l, so that the container may be readily raised to filling position by the elevator mechanism of the device, as will now be described.

As seen in Figs. l and 3 the table well `15 is apertured at 29 atithe filling station and provided with flanges 30 for supporting a platform 31 having spaced depending legs 32, preferably four in number. Platform 31 is provided with a central aperture 33 for a purpose to be fully described hereinbelow. Suitable elevator mechanism is provided for raising an empty container C, which has been conveyed to the filling station in rest position supported on platform 31, ,to filling position where the container is filled and then subsequently lowered back to rest position, as will be morev fully described. The elevator mechanism may conveniently take the form of an air cylinder 34 suitably supported on the framework of the device and having a reciprocable piston rod 3S which carries a faceplate or pusher plate 36. Pusher plate 36 is provided with four recesses or dimples 37 suitably spaced apart to correspond to the spacing of platform legs 32 in order to contact said legs and elevate platform 31 and container C during the advancing stroke of piston rod 35, as best seen in Fig. 3. For sanitary purposes air cylinder 34 is preferably provided with a protective jacket or shield 38 of stainless steel orl the like which is secured to pusher plate 36. In addition, shroud 38 serves for rotational piston alignment and may serve also as an actuating cam for certain of the switches included in the electrical circuit.

A vertical supply conduit 40 is mounted above table 14 and in alignment with the filling station of the device and platform 31. Supply conduit 40 is supported in a bracket 41 carried at the upper ends of inclined side bars 42 and rear bar 43 and communicates with a supply reservoir (not shown). Supply conduit 40 carries at its lower end a delivery valve 44 having an elevatable valve plug 45 engageable by the bottom of thev containerl C in;

its elevated position of Fig. 3 to cause a flow of liquid into the container by gravity feed.

As best seen in Fig. 2, valve 44 preferably comprises a valve body 46 defining an annular valve seat 47 cooperating with the valve plug 45 for normally closing off the flow of liquid in the position shown. Valve plug 45 is formed with an external projection 45a adapted to be engaged by the bottom Wall of the container C in its elevated position of Fig. 3 in order to raise said valve plug and permit a flow of liquid into the container. Valve plug 45 is further preferably provided in its upper portion with a plurality of fins or vanes 48 in order to promote uniform iiow of liquid. The described arrangement of the valve serves to assure filling of the container Without undesirable foaming, splashing, etc.

A fixed outer cylindrical hoo-d 50 surrounds supply conduit 40 and serves as a support for a dismountable inner cylindrical hood or shroud .51 having at its upper end a pair of short locating arms 52 and a relatively long locating arm 53 (see Fig. 4). Shroud 51 is elongated and preferably formed .at its lower end with a ared or conical mouth 51a. Outer hood 50 and inner shroud 51 are .formed at their respective lower ends with an upwardly turned lip 50a and Slb, respectively, for retaining and disposing condensed moisture and the like. Intermediate its ends at approximately the level of the bottom of outer hood 50, inner shroud 51 is provided with mounting legs 54 lancl 55 which serve to firmly secure said inner shroud in place as by means of clamping elements 54a and 55a carried by said outer hood. Clamping elements 54a and 55a are preferably of different size to prevent misalignmeut of inner shroud 51. The described arrangement permits the use of interchangeable inner shrouds of varying dimensions and shape corresponding to the capacity and shape of the containers being filled in a given case. Inner shroud 51 serves to support and guide the container C in proper alignment as the container is elevated from the filling station in the position of Fig. l to the position of Fig. 3.

Suitable. means are provided for Jfilling the container to a predetermined level and for then actuating the elevator mechanism of the device vin order to retract platform 31 and the filled container back to table 14. Such means preferably include a level-detecting contact finger or probe 60 adjustably mounted on an insulating block 61. Probe 60 is electrically connected to a control circuit which governs the conveyor belt and elevator mechanisms-of the device in a manner to be fully described hereinafter with reference to the electrical control circuit schematically illustrated in Fig. 5. As will be seen the control circuit is devised in such a manner that when probe 60 contacts the liquid in the container at a pre,- deterrnined level (see Fig. 3) the probe will be grounded, thereby de-energizing a solenoid which actuates an air valve associated with air cylinder 34 in such a manner as to retract piston rod 35 and lowering the platform 31 and the filled container carried thereupon. The moment the bottom of the container is carried out of contact with external projection 45a of valve plug 45, the valve plug drops against its valve seat 47 (see Fig. 2) and automatically interrupts the flow of liquid. The complete operation of the various solenoid controls and relay switches and the manner in which they govern the movcment of the conveyor belt and `elevator mechanisms of the device in predetermined timed sequence will be fully described below.

It will, of course, be understood that the device of the present invention may be employed for filling containers of varying sizes and shapes and lhaving a variety of top closure constructions. However, the device may be adapted for use with containers of the familiar peaked-top closure construction such as container C illustrated in the drawings and used frequently for milk and other beverages.

Referring: .more particularly to; Figs. 6 and `7, the

pair of diagonal score lines 6 6 converging in an apex 6 7 and a relatively short vertical score line 68 extending upwardly from apex.67. By reason of the described' arrangement of score lines the side walls 64 are adaptedy tofold inwardly between the side walls 63 to form the peaked-top closure construction shown in Fig. 6. Side walls 63 are formed with inner tuck liiap v63a and outer tuck flap 63b and firm closure of the containerqis obtained, 'after the container has been filled with milk or any other beverage, by a conventional metal clamp (not shown) which may be crimped over outer tuck ap 63b in the well-known manner. Containers of the type described are constructed of relatively heavy cardboard, paperboard or the like and are supplied with the top closure folded substantially in the position shown in Fig. 6 with inner tuck iiap 63a retained between the inwardly folded portions of side wall 64 and an adjacent side wall 63. In order to lill the container it is first necessary to open the top closure to permit insertion of a liquid supply conduit.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings, a gripping and spreading element is associated with inner shroud 51 which serves to open the peaked-top closure of container C as the container is raised to filling position. The construction and operation of the gripping and spreading element 70 will now be described with particular reference to Figs. 8 to 13 inclusive. Element 70 is arranged for free slidable movement within inner shroud 51 and includes a shaft or crossbar 71 having a pair of terminal enlargements such as the spheres 72 which are slidably and rotatably retained within a pair of opposed longitudinal channels 73 formed in the body of said inner shroud. A pair of spaced apart, inclined iingers 74 is rigidly fixed to crossbar 71 and a tripping arm 75 having a roller 76 at its free end is also secured rigidly to said crossbar. As seen in Figs. l and 11 the gripping and spreading element 70 is normally in rest position at the lower end of inner shroud 51 with roller 76 of tripping arm 75 resting against flared mouth 51a. At the upper end of each finger 74 a contact member or block 77 is mounted for limited pivotal movement as by means of a pin 78. Shaft or crossbar 71 is preferably, but not necessarily, semicircular in cross-section. Each block is provided with an arcuate abutment face 79 and a pin 80 (see Fig. 13) between which are engaged opposite ends of the inwardly collapsed side walls 64 of the top closure as the container is raised by the elevator mechanism of the device. Figs. 8 and 9 illustrate the initial stage in the elevation of the container and the opening of the peaked-top closure, wherein opposite ends of the peaked-top closure initially contact the arcuate abutment faces 79 of blocks 77.

The next stage is illustrated in Figs. l0 and v11 wherein,

the carton having been but slightly elevated above the level of Figs. 8 and 9,*the opposite ends of the peakedtop closure of the container are completely received between the arcuate abutment face 79 and the pin 80 of each block 77. It will be understood that as the carton is elevated from the level of Fig. 9 to the level of Fig. 10 blocks 77 will pivot slightly from their normal position in Fig. 9 to the position of Fig. 10. As the container continues to rise within inner shroud 51, the entire gripping assembly 7) is carried upwardly together with the container with the result that roller 76 of tripping arm 75 initially rides up the ared mouth 51a and then the inner wall of shroud 51, as shown in Fig. 12. Consequently the shaft or crossbar 71 is caused to rotate counter-clockwise as seen in Fig. l2 with simultaneous rotation of lingers 74 outwardly toward the wall of shroud 51. The outward pivoting movement of lingers 74 results in spreading and opening the peaked-top closure of the container so that the supply conduit 40 may then enter the container, as shown in Fig. 3. It will be noted that the operation of the gripping and spreading assembly 70 does not require any external actuating mans,the opening of the top closure being effected solely by the -upward movement of the container and the described arrangement of assembly 70 within shroud 51. It will be further noted with particular reference to Figs. 8 and 9 that as the container is elevated it will be supported on opposite sides between the wall of inner shroud 51 and the crossbar 71 of assembly 70. Consequently it ,will be apparent that the square cut-outs 23 of conveyor belt 16 are arranged as has been previously de'-v scribed so that each container will come to rest on platform 31 in a position of predetermined alignment with respect to supply conduit 40 and inner shroud 51, or more particularly with respect to the gripping assemblyl 70 of the latter.

The complete cycle of sequential operations will now be described with reference to Fig. 5 which illustrates schematically an electrical control circuit for the device. Fig. 5 also illustrates diagrammatically the conveyor actuating means and the platform elevating means which have been previously described. For the purpose of con- Veniently tracing out the circuits to the various solenoids and relay switches which control the movement of the conveyor actuating means and the platform elevating means in predetermined timed sequence, the positive lead is illustrated as being heavier and darker than the negative lead of the control circuit. Beginning at the stage in the operation of the device illustrated in Fig. 1, it will be understood that both the conveyor actuating means and the platform elevating means are retracted and that an empty container has just been conveyed to the filling station to rest position upon platform 31. Pusher claw 27 and pusher plate 36 have been retracted by air cylinders 24 and 34 respectively and platform 31 is in rest position supported by retaining flanges 30 of table well 15.

As pusher claw 27 arrives in its retracted position, a tripping arm suitably mounted on piston rod 25 closes switch A. Current now ows' through positive lead, through switch A, through switch B, through relay contact C1 energizing solenoid Dr and returns to negative terminal. Energization of solenoid D1 closes relay contact E.

Current now flows through positive lead, through relay E, through solenoid F and returns to negative terminal. Solenoid F controls the movement of an air valve 86 associated with air cylinder 34 so as to alternately supply compressed air at the top and bottom of the cylinder as illustrated in Fig. 5. Energization of solenoid F turns air valve 86 ninety degrees in a clockwise direction from the position shown thereby introducing compressed air at the bottom of air cylinder 34 to elevate platform 31 and the container C. As the container assumes its uppermost or filling position of Fig. 3, the bottom wall of the container contactsexternal projection 45a of valve plug 45 and opens the valve permitting a tiow of liquid into the container.

When the liquid flowing into the container reaches a predetermined level it contacts the probe 60. It will be understood that when the elevator mechanism raised platform 31 switch H closed and switch B opened, switch H being arranged for actuation by the bottom of cylinder shield 38 and switch B by a tripping arm 38a secured to said shield. Now, therefore, current flows through positive lead, through switch H, through solenoid I, through probe 60 (grounded by contact with liquid level) and back to negative terminal.

Energization of solenoid I closes switch K and current flow is now through positive lead, through switch K, through solenoid D2 and back to negative terminal. Energization of solenoid D2 opens relay contact E, thereby de-energizing solenoid F whereupon spring 87 retracts solenoid plunger 88 and restores air valve 86 to its normal position illustrated in Fig. 5, introducing compressedv ai'rat th top of air cylinder 34 and bleeding airrfromi'lthe bottom thereof. p Retractin Aof piston rod 3,5Jresultsin rvloweringt'lf platform 3 1 and; container. Delivery .valvei closesand shutsoff the new of liquid. .Upon retraction ofr piston rod 35, switch Il is again openedand switch l is .izlosed.v Opening o f switch H deenergizes, solenoidl J; .and opens switch K, thereby deeersizingfslenoid Dity i.. f l. Closing of switch B results in current owthrough posi-v tiveled, through lswitch A, A through V switch B, tnrough relayeontact ,C2( contact Ce having been previously closedby the energization o f solenoid L through the closingof-switeh H when platform 31 was raised), through solenoid M and back. to negative terminal. Solenoid- M centrolsgthe movementof an air valve 9-ilassoeiated with air cylinder 24 so as to alternately supply compressed airzat lthe forward `andrear ends of said cylinder. Energization of ysolenoid M turns air valve 9i) ninetydegrecs from thepositio'nshown in Fig. 5 thereby introducingcompressed airatthe rearof cylinder 24 to advance pusher claw 27- -`and to simultaneously advance the Acnveyor belt 1,6.A -The advancementof conveyorbelt 16 removesthe filled container and deposits a fresh empty container at Vtheiilling station of the device. As pusher claw 27ladvan:es switch A opens and as ,piston rod 2 5 reachestheend of its advancing stroke, tripping arm 85 closes switch-O. The closing of switch O energizes solenoid P and results in the opening of relay contact C2. and the closing of relay Contact C1, thereby de-energizing solenoidM., .Upon de-energigation of solenoid M, spring 91 retracts solenoidplunger 92 and restores air valve 90 toits pos-itionof Fig. 55 thereby introducing compressed airiatthe .front end .of air cylinder 2 4 end bleeding air from the rear end thereof. Pusher claw 27 and piston rod ,25 arefthus ret racted. Vto complete the cycle of operations of lthe lling device. .l

The control circuitis also devised in such amar-inet that'platform 31 and the elevator mechanism will immediately retract iftheplatform is inadvertently raised to filling position without van empty container on the platform.. Normally the upper limit of motion of platform 31-isfdeter-mined by contact of the bottom wallof a container against the bottom of delivery valve 44, as shownv in Fig. 3.v It will be remembered that platform 31.isnformedWithacentral aperture 33. lfno carton iscarried uponplatform 31, said platform 31 and the elevator mechanism is arranged to rise a slighndistance above itsnormal level by entry of the valve 44 within platform aperture 33, at which ,point switch 95 is adapted to be closed, as by thetupper end of protective shield 38 .of air cylinder 34. Ther closing of switch .-95 energizes solenoid D2, opening relay contact E and de-energizing solenoid F to immediately retract the elevator mechanism and platform 31. It is emphasized that switch 95 will not'- `closeat the end of the upward stroke. of theelevator stroke unless there is. no container on .platform 31.

Safety switch `9`6 vis provided to .prevent tipping and spilling ofthecontents of a filled carton at the last vstalil tion fonthe rightfhand side` of the Vdevice by preventing advancement of the ,conveyorac'tuating means unlessfthe carton hasbeen removed. Safety switch 96 is ofthe normally closed type but will be opened unless the. iilled containertin broken outline in Fig. 5) is removed Vfrom the last station on, the righthand side of the device. Y theconta-iner .is. notremoved, switch 96 .remains open n thereby preventing energization of solenoid M and preventing advancement of pusher hclaw Z7 and feeding of theconveyor,

. Fromthe foregoing it 'is apparentuthat thefpractice of y the present invention provides afllling device hav-ing a .great numberof distinct.. andl considerable advantages ovendevicesof.,conventional design and construction intendedfor `the samegeneralpurpose The filling device .efthepresentinvention.is characterized by. unusua1 ease 1:

and economy of fabrication since it comprises a minimum f components uiringpr'eeisin fabrical 1 'l u.

i tion; ease and simpl 1i y of design, vassembly,operation, adjustment, mintenee and repair; accessibility, of c0rn ponent'sfor cleaning, maintenance and repair; high de gree.v of saniiatin',.sfty fturesfor both operator and machine; adaptability for, necessary cleaning .by steam mrnersionfor the like; adaptability for uniform and fo""less .filling operations; limination of necessity for' externalreservoir t usdfin conventional pump feeding arrangemen sgg i ation of necessity Ifor premeasuring before filling 1: e ra t1on commenced; direct measurement. f.volume of llin the container without requiring consideration of factorss'lch .as time and/ or weight as aresult of lthe .cooperative interrelationship of themechanical components and ,the electrical system including the level-detectingprobe 0;. ac`curacyand uniformity of filling operation and ftheprovisionof pressure necessary fof a'uxiliarly operationsQsueh as spray vcleaning by steam, disinfectan'ts and the like. .It. is f urther noted that the elec'fricalsystemjs designe and arranged in such a man ner' 'that power failure will result in the immediate and automaticreturnpf p latform 3 1 to rest position, since thevde-energization of solenoid F accompanying vsuch p owerfailreallws springl to retract solenoid plunger 88, thereby restoring .air valve 86 to its normal lposition illustrated in Fig. introducingcom'pressed air at the top of 4air cylinder y34 and bleeding air from the bottom thereof. As has been previously described,4 retracf tionof pistnrodliSf'results in the lowering of piat'form 1. Anfautomatieffilling device for Vcontainers compris ig .'a vertical, supply condu`it having a delivery valve y,at 'the lower end thereo f^, said valve having a valve plug protruding externally thereof andadapted to permit aflow of `liquid uponbeingraised, 'a horizontal table having a depressed well portion a path of conveyance for container-s along; said table, intermittently operating conveyor meansfor feeding empty containersto afillingstation on saidftable well-inalignment with said supply cond uit, ,an eleyat able platform; disposed at, saidulling station, said conveyor means including an endless belt passing aboveand beneath `said tab le and overlying saidtable well, sai f l belt having apluralityof receiving apertures .permitting insertion of.eon`t`ainer's for slidable, movement along s aid `tablevi/ ell upon actuation o f said conveyor belt, reciprocable means disposed betweenithe underside of the ltable andthe endless belt and engaging a .portion of the bounding vwall ofeah aperture in successive Washio'n vto.intermitten'tly rnove tliebelt Aover 'the table andrecip- Yr'ocable elevator means for raising a -container retained onsid pla'tform-intollingposition wherein said, valve `is opened dy Contat of the bottomwall of said container against "said va1vep1ug. r2. An automatic llingdevi'ce'for containers comprising fa 'vertical Vsupplyconduithaving 'a delivery valve at the knit/ei' end thereof, "said, valve having a valve plug protrudingexteriially thereof- 'and adapted to `permit a A raising acontainer on v said platform into filling position .wherein said l,valve opened by contact of the bottom .wal-1 @fsa-id. containertiagainst saidvalve ,p lngf,and.e1ee trical control means including a level-detecting element armements and hun? 9 carried bythe supply conduit operative to cause lowering of said elevator means at a predetermined llinglevel within the container.

3. An automatic filling device for containers comprising a vertical supply conduit having a delivery valve at the lower end thereof, said valve having a valve plug protruding externally thereof and adapted to permit a flow of liquid upon being raised, a horizontal table having a depressed well portion defining a path of conveyance for containers along said table, intermittently operating conveyor means for feeding empty containers to a filling station on said table Well in alignment with said supply conduit, an elevatable platform disposed at said lling station, said conveyor means including an endless belt passing above and beneath said table and overlying said table well, said belt having a plurality of receiving apertures permittinginsertion of containers for slidable movement along said table well upon actuation of said conveyor belt, reciprocable elevator means for raising a container retained on said platform into filling position wherein said valve is opened by contact of the bottom wall of said container against said valve plug, and electrical control means including a level-detecting element operative to cause lowering of said elevator means at a predetermined filling level with the container.

4. An automatic filling device in accordancewith claim 1 further characterized in that said conveyor means and said elevator means each include a compressed air cylin-v der having a solenoid-actuated air valve arranged to alternately admit compressed air into opposite ends of said air cylinder for advancement and retraction of the-respective actuating means.

5. An automatic filling device in accordance with claim 3 further characterized in that said conveyor means and said elevator means each include a compressed air cylinder having a solenoid-actuated air valve arranged to alternately admit compressed air into opposite ends ofsaid air cylinder for advancement and retraction of the respective actuating means.

6. An automatic filling device for containers having a peaked-top closure, comprising a vertical supply conduit having a delivery valve at the lower end thereof, said valve lhaving a valve plug protruding externally thereof and adapted to permit a flow of liquid upon being raised, a horizontal table, intermittently operating conveyor means for feeding empty containers to a filling station on said table in alignment with said supply conduit, an elevatable platform disposed at said filling station, reciprocable elevator means for raising a container retained on said platform into filling position wherein said valve is opened by contact of the bottom wall of said container against said valve plug, a cylindrical shroud member surrounding said supply conduit and extending below the level of said delivery valve, and a gripping and spreading element slidably retained by said shroud member and operative to open the peaked-top closure of the container upon elevation of the container to filling position.

7. An automatic filling device for containers having a peaked-'top closure, comprising a vertical supply conduit having a delivery valve at the lower end thereof, said valve having a valve plug protruding externally thereof and adapted to permit a fiow of liquid upon being raised, a horizontal table having a depressed well portion defining a path of conveyance for containers along said table, intermittently operating conveyor means for feeding empty containers to a filling station on said table well in alignment with said supply conduit, an elevatable platform disposed at said filling station, said conveyor means including an endless belt passing above and beneath said table and overlying said table well, said belt having a plurality of receiving apertures permitting insertion of containers for slidable movement along said table well upon actuation of said conveyor belt, reciprocable elevator means for raising a container retained on said platform into filling position wherein said valve is opened by contact of the bottom wall 10 of said container against said valve plugfa cylindrical shroud rmember surrounding said supply conduit and extending belowthe level of said delivery valve, and a grip-1 ping and spreading element slidably retained by said shroud member and operative to open thepeaked-top closure of the container upon elevationof thecontainer to' means for feeding empty containers to a filling stationy on said table in alignment with said supply conduit, an elevatable platform disposed at said filling station, reciprocable elevator means for raisinga container on said` platform into filling position wherein said valve is opened by Contact of the bottom wall of said container against said valve plug, electrical control means including a leveldetecting element operative to cause lowering of'said elevator means at a predetermined filling level within the container, a' cylindrical shroud `member surrounding said supply conduit'and'extending below the level of said delivery valve, and a gripping and spreading element slidably retained by said shroud memberfand operative to open the peaked-top closure of the container upon elevation of the container to filling position.

9. An automatic filling device for containers having a peaked-top closure,comprising a vertical supply conduit having a delivery valve at the lower end thereof, said valve having a yvalve4 plug protruding externally thereof and vadapted to permit a ow of liquid upon being raised, a horizontal table having a depressed well portion defining a path of conveyance for containers along said table, intermittently operating conveyor means for feeding empty containersto a filling station on said table well in alignment with said supply conduit, an elevatable platform disposedat said filling station, said conveyor means including an endless belt passing above and beneath said table and overlying said tablewell, said belt having a plurality of receiving apertures permitting insertion of containers for slidable movement along said table well upon actuation of said conveyor belt, reciprocable elevator means for raising a container retained on said platform into filling position wherein said valve is opened by contact of the bottom wall of said container against said valve plug, electrical control means including a leveldetecting element operative to cause lowering of said elevator means at a predetermined filling level with the container, a cylindrical shroud member surrounding said supply conduit and extending below the level of said delivery valve, and a gripping and spreading element slidably retained by said shroud member and operative to open the peaked-top closure of the container upon elevation of the container to filling position.

10. An automatic filling device for containers in accordance with claim 6, wherein said shroud member is formed with an outwardly fiaring mouth portion and said gripping and spreading element comprises a crossbar, a pair of upwardly extending fingers fixed to said crossbar, "contact members mounted at the free ends of said fingers for limited pivotal movement and adapted to engage opposite ends of the peaked-top closure of the container as the container is elevated within said shroud, and a rearwardly extending tripping armfixed to said crossbar and having a roller at the free end thereof normally engaged against said mouth portion of said shroud member, said arm being operative upon elevation of the container to pivot said fingers and contact members about said crossbar and open the peaked-top closure of the container.

l1. An automatic filling device in accordance with claim 7, wherein said shroud member is formed with an outwardly flaring mouth portion and said gripping and spreading element comprises a crossbar, a pair of up- A1`1 fixed to said crossbar, contact ,free 'ends :of .said fingers -for wardly extendingv fingers members mounted 'at the` limited pivotal movement and ends of the peaked-top closure of the container as the container is elevated within said shroud, and a rearwardly extending tripping arm fixed to said crossbar and having a roller at the free end thereof normally engaged against said mouth portion of wsaid shroud member, said arm being operative upon elevation of the container topivot said tingers and contact members. about said crossbar and open the peaked-top closure ofthe container.

12. AnA automatic filling device in accordance with claim 8 wherein said shroud, member is formed with lan outwardly `flaring mouth portion and said gripping, and4 spreading element comprises a crossbar, a pair of upwardly extending fingers iixed to said crossbar, contact members mounted at `the, free ends of said ngers for limited pivotal movement` and adapted to engage opposite end's of the peaked-top closure of the container as the container is `elevated within said shroud, and a rearwardly extending tripping arm fixed to said crossbar and having a. roller at'the vfree end thereof normally engaged against said mouth portion of 'said shroud, member, said arm being operative upon elevation ofthe container to pivot said ingersand contact members about said crossbar and open the peaked-top closure of the container.

13. An automatic filling device in accordance with claim 9, wherein saidr shroud member is formed with an outwardly 'Haring mouth portion and said gripping and spreading element comprises a crossbar,` a pair of upwardly extending fingers xed to said erossbar, contact members mounted at the free ends of said fingers .for limited pivotal movement andv adapted to engage opposite ends of the peaked-top closure of the container as the container is elevated within said shroud, and a rearwardly extending tripping arm fixed to said crossbar and having a roller at the freeV end thereof normally engaged against said mouth portion of said shroud member, said arm being operative upon elevation of the container to pivot said iingers and contact members .about said crossbar and open` the peaked-top closure of the container.

14. An automatic filling device for containers comprising a vertical supply conduit having` a delivery valve at the lower end thereof, said valve having a valve plug protruding externally thereof and adapted to be unseated by the bottom wall of a container into whichl the lower end of the supply conduit is positioned, a horizontal adapted to engage opposite 12 table having a vdepressed well portion underlying the supply conduitand; defining a path of conveyancefor containers along the table, an endlessv belt having, an upper `reachy passing above the table and overlying said table Well portion, anda lower reach passing beneath the table, said belt Ahaving a plurality of spaced receiving apertures, permitting insertion of containers for slidable movement along said table well upon actuation of the conveyor belt, reciprocable means disposed between the underside of the table and the lower reach of the belt and engaging a portion of the bounding wall of each aperture in successive fashion to intermittently move the upper reach of the belt over the table well, said table having an elevatable section underlying the supply conduit and onto which the containers are successively moved by the endless belt and means vertically disposed below the lower reach of the belt for raising said elevatable. section of the table with a container thereon to lift the container up to a position receiving the lower end of the supplyconduit.

15. An automatic filling device as claimed in claim 14, wherein said elevatable section of the table has depending legs extending vertically between the reaches. of the belt and said means for raising said section includes an air cylinder having a reciprocable piston rod, a pusher plate carried by the` piston rod and having recesses seating the legs, said pusher plate passing upwardly through one of the apertures in the lower reach of the belt.

1,6. An automatic filling device as claimed in claim 14, wherein said apertures are square and are disposed in longitudinally spaced diamond fashion on the belt.

17. An automatic iilling device as claimed in claim 14, wherein said reciprocable means for moving the belt includes an air cylinder having a reciprocable piston rod having a pivoted pusher element formed at its ends with means engaging opposite end portions of the bounding wall of each aperture.

References Cited in the ile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 228,639 Hupfel Iune 8, 1880 878,241l Schneider Feb. 4, 1908 904,092 Schneider Nov. 17, 1908 1,284,310 Gilbert Nov. 12, 1918 2,142,257 Saeta Ian. 3, 1939. 2,633,282 Taminga et al Mar. 31, 1953

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2815948 *Apr 5, 1955Dec 10, 1957Budd CoArticle transfer or handler means, especially for feeding sheets
US2879812 *Jun 18, 1956Mar 31, 1959Johnson Walter TCan filler and conveyor
US2898954 *Feb 28, 1958Aug 11, 1959Freeman Jeff EAutomatic container filler
US2954203 *Jun 20, 1957Sep 27, 1960Clarence F CarterFilling machine
US3630242 *Mar 18, 1970Dec 28, 1971Corco IncApparatus for automatic filling of liquid containers having semirigid walls
US3674060 *Dec 14, 1970Jul 4, 1972Continental Can CoApparatus for filling and adjusting the contents level in flexible containers
US5758698 *Aug 1, 1996Jun 2, 1998Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance, S.A.Fill system including a valve assembly and corresponding structure for reducing the mixing of product and air during container filling
US5775387 *Sep 10, 1996Jul 7, 1998Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance, S. A.Container filling system having fill-pipe with an extended sealing member for reducing mixing of product and air during container filling
US5819823 *Aug 28, 1996Oct 13, 1998Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance, S.A.Umbrella valve assembly having drip-prevention structure disposed about product fill pipe
DE1102035B *Oct 12, 1957Mar 9, 1961Jagenberg Werke AgVorrichtung zum Abfuellen von Fluessigkeiten in Behaelter
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/114, 141/198, 141/156, 141/172, 141/183, 141/356
International ClassificationB65B43/42, B65B43/58
Cooperative ClassificationB65B43/58
European ClassificationB65B43/58