US 2740244 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 3, 1956 A. BELL] BAG SEALING MACHINE M 1 RI Q mfi m \h M m 9 V r a \\\I. h m J 0 Filed NOV. 18, 1950 April 3, 1956 A. BELL] BAG SEALING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 18, 1950 INVEN 727R 4050;? 5:1.
ATTORNEY April 3, 1956 Filed NOV. 18, 1950 A. BELLI BAG SEALING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 April 3, 1956 A. BELLI BAG SEALING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Nov. 18, 1950 9 M 7 9/ Z 5 r E R 0 N 5 0 a o M W W M 0 1M, 4 6 4 4. a m M H K ..n w v 4, 2 9 O 0 6 2 1 M w v I I m w 2 mm 7 a w w ...Ll.5li v M g 4 nnhuunulhhhnnnhl J /7 2 Z/ i J 2 4 7 i @Tw w 0W 1 April 3, 1956 A. BELLI BAG SEALING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Nov. 18, 1950 /lVl/E/VTOR A0601! aau ATTORNEY United States Patent BAG SEALING MACHINE.
August Belli', San Francisco, Calif.
Application November 18, 1950,. Serial No. 196,415
Claims. (Cl. 53-137) This invention relates to a bag sealing or closure machine and this application is. a continuation inpart of my copending application, Serial, No. 682,010, filed July 8, 1946, entitled Bag Sealing Machine. (now abandoned).
In bag sealing machines, it is desirable that the machine automatically perform as many as possible. of the various operations involved in folding, sealing, etc., and that. the machine be capable of operation at a high speed. Time and speed of output are important considerations in. order to keep the unit cost of handling at a. minimum. It is also important that the machine. operatev dependably at high speeds. Other desiderata include means for automatically folding the open end. of the. bag whichv ofiers little likelihood of jamming at high speeds. It is also of great importance that the various operations be. carried out in precisely timed relationship.
It is an object of the present invention. to provide an improved bag sealing-machine.
It is a further object of the invention to provide. a bag sealing machine for sealing cellophane, Pliofilm and, other bags packed with spinach and other fresh. produce, for example, said machine being operable to receive the filled open bags, to transport them rapidly along aconveyor. line, to fold the open end of. each bag, and to close the folded end of each bag, as by means of staples. or by means of heat, or by any other suitable means.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide. a bag closing machine of the type wherein a continuous. strip of label material is supplied to a conveyor line. for folding over the folded top of bags, said label feeding means being operable positively and synchronously with other parts of the machine. i
A further object is to provide a machine which will automatically convey filled, open bags along a conveyor line, fold each bag, supply a continuous strip of label material, fold the label strip over each bag, staple or otherwise secure the folded'label to the end of the bag, and sever an individual label for each. bag.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide means for severing individual labels from a continuous strip of the same after application of each label to a folded bag, said severing means being operable to sever each individual label with precision and in accurately timed relation to operation of other parts of the machine.
These and other objects of the invention will be apparent from the ensuing description and the appended claims.
One form which the invention may assume is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings in which:
Figure 1 is a front. elevation. of the machine of the present invention.
Figure 2 is a diagrammatic, perspective view of the machine of Figure 1 as seen from the rear thereof and with certain parts removed for purposes of clarification and simplification. I
Figure 3 is a top plan view of the machine;
Figure 4 is a diagrammatic, perspective view showing the label feed rollers, the stapler and the. label punch.
Figure 5 is a top plan view of the main label. feed mechanism.
Figure 6 is a side elevational view of the. main label feed mechanism shown in Figure 5.
Figure 7 is a top plan view of the adjustment. means for the label punch.
Figure 8 is a side elevational view of the same, as seen from one side of Figure 7.
Figure 9 is a section taken along the line IX-IX of Figure 8.
Figure 10 is an end elevation, of the adjustment mechanism for the label feed rollers of Figure 4.
Figure 11 is a side. elevation of the same.
Figure 12 is a perspective view of one of the main label feed rollers.
Figure 13 is a fragmentary perspective view of a continuous label strip employed by the machine of the present invention to seal and label the bags.
Figure 14 is a perspective view of a typical bag filled with fresh produce, said bag being folded, sealed and labelled.
Figures 15, 16 and 17 are sections taken along the lines XVXV, XVIXVI, and XVIIXVII, respectively, of Figure 3, showing how the folding member operates to fold the bags and the label strip.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to Figure l, the machine is generally designated as 10 and it comprises a frame 11 including upright posts 12, a top deck 13 and a bottom deck 13a. The bottom deck 13a supports the driving means and certain of the; timingelements of the machine. Bags are. loaded manually or by means of any suitable mechanical loading means at the right hand end v of the machine, at the station in.- dicated as A. They are. then conveyed and treated in the manner which will be described hereinafter, by means of a bag conveying, folding and sealing mechanism which is generally designated as 15. Folded labels and staples are. employed as the sealing or closing means, thestaples being applied by means of a stapler 16. and the individual labels being severed from a continuous label strip by means of a label punch 17. The filled, labeled, folded and sealed bags, shown at the left hand end of the. machine and designated as 18, are delivered into a continuous exit conveyor 19 to be dumped into a hopper indicated as 20 or other suitable receptacle.
Referring now to Figure 3, the stapler 16, which may be of standard construction and requires no detailed description herein, is mounted to swing from the operative position shown in solid lines to the inoperative position shown in broken lines. To maintain controlled movement, a slot 25 is formed in a frame plate 26 and slots 27 are formed in the base of the stapler. Screws 28 serve to clamp the stapler in selected position. By this means the stapler can be swung from the operative posi tion to the position shown in broken lines for greater ease of inspection and repair.
Referring now to Figure. 2, the stapler 16 is driven by a motor 29 which is suitably mounted on the frame of the machine. The motor 29 has a shaft 30 operatively connected to a gear reduction unit 31 which is connected through a magnetic clutch 32 to a drive shaft 33 which drives the stapler.
A main drive motor 34 is provided which drives all of the other elements of the machine except the. stapler. The main drive motor 34' has a shaft 34a which is connected to a gear reduction unit 35 which in turn drives a counter shaft 36 having a pulley 37 fixed thereto. A V -belt 38 is led over the pulley 37 and also over a pulley 39 fixed'to a continuously rotating, main drive shaft 45. A cam 46 is'fixed to the drive shaft 45 and has a lobe 47 which contacts a button 48 of a switch 49 once during each revolution of the shaft 45. The switch 49 is connected to the magnetic clutch 32 through a lead 50. Each time the lobe 47 contacts the switch button 48, the magnetic clutch 32 is energized, thereby establishing a driving connection between the stapler drive motor 29 and the stapler 16. It will, therefore, be apparent that the stapler is operated intermittently, i. e., once during each revolution of the shaft 45.
Referring now to Figures 2 and 4, the machine comprises a main conveyor assembly 51, comprising a pair spaced, parallel sprockets 52 mounted on a shaft 53 at the feed end of the machine and a pair of spaced, parallel sprockets 54 mounted on a shaft 55 at the discharge end of the machine. Chains 56 are led over the sprockets 52 and 54 to drive them in unison. Upright brackets or spacers 57 are spaced at equal intervals along the length of the chains 56 to provide pockets 58 for receiving the bags which are to be folded, sealed and labeled. The spacing of the brackets 57 is equal to the width of the filled bags. Each bracket 57 is fixed to an angle bracket 59 which is fixed to the chains 56, and each bracket 57 is also provided with a bottom pad 60 to provide a base for supporting the bags. The inner and upper corner of each bracket 57 is bifurcated to provide oppositely and laterally projecting ears 61 which have a purpose to be described hereinafter.
The conveyor 51 is driven by the main drive motor 34 and is given a step-by-step movement by means which will now be described.
Referring again to Figure 2, a crank disc is fixed to one end of the drive shaft 45 and it is formed with a diametral slot 71 to receive a shoe 72. The shoe 72 is slidable in the slot 71 and is fixed in an adjusted posi tion by any suitable means (not shown). The shoe 72 is pivotally connected at 73 to one end of a rod 74, the other end of which is pivotally connected at 75 to a lever 76. The lever 76 is rotatably mounted on a shaft 77, and a dog 78 engageable with the teeth of a ratchet gear 79, is fixed to the lever 76.
The shaft 77 is thus caused to rotate step-by-step in the direction of the arrow. To the opposite end of the shaft 77 is fixed a sprocket 80, and a chain 81 is led over the sprocket and also over a sprocket 82 which is fixed to the outer or front end of the shaft 55.
It will be apparent that by this means a step-by-step movement is imparted to the conveyor 51 and that the length of each step is controlled by the adjustment of the shoe 72.
The exit conveyor 19 is also driven by the shaft 55. As shown in Figure 1, the conveyor 19 is supported by brackets 83 fixed to the frame 11 and comprises a pair of spaced pulleys 84 at its inner end which are mounted on a shaft 85, spaced parallel plates 86 fixed to the brackets 83 and spaced parallel pulleys 87 rotatably mounted at the outer ends of the plates 86. A conveyor belt 88 is provided which is led over the pulleys 84 and 87. Uniformly spaced cleats 89 are fixed to the conveyor belt to receive folded, sealed and labeled bags 18. The shaft is driven in timed relation to the main conveyor assembly 51, by means of a sprocket fixed to the shaft 55 and a chain 96 led over the sprocket 95 and over a sprocket 97 which is fixed to the shaft 85.
Referring now more particularly to Figure 3, a roll 98 of label material 99, which is in the form of a continuous strip, is rotatably mounted on a spindle 100 which is mounted on a frame plate 101. As shown in Figure 13, the label strip 99 consists of individual labels 102. The strip is perforated at 103 at each junction be tween successive labels to facilitate separation of individual labels from the strip. The strip is notched at 104 in registry with each perforated line and on each side of the strip, and each label is punched on each side to form holes 105 located midway between the notches 104.
The label strip 99 is led between guide rollers rotatably mounted on a bracket 111 which is mounted on the frame plate 101. Thence the label strip is led between a pair of main feed rollers 112 which are rotatably mounted on a bracket 113 fixed to the frame of the machine. The rollers 112 are identical with one another, one of them being shown in detail in Figure 12. As there shown, each roller 112 has a knurled cylindrical surface 114 and is formed at each end with aligned notches 115 and, diametrically opposite these notches, with teeth 116. The teeth of one roller are intended to mesh with the notches of the other roller, and as the rollers 112 are rotated in the manner described hereinafter, the teeth 116 successively pass through the notches 104 and holes 105 in the label strip 99, thereby feeding the label strip positively and in timed relation to the other parts of the machine.
Referring again to Figure 2, the rollers 112 are driven positively and in timed relation to other parts ofthe machine, by means which will now be described. A sprocket 117 is fixed to the inner or rearward end of the shaft 53 which carries the conveyor sprockets 52. A chain 118 is led over the sprocket 117 and over a sprockct 119 which is fixed to one end of a shaft 120. A bevel gear 121 is fixed to the opposite end of the shaft and meshes with a bevel pinion 122 which is fixed to the lower end of a vertical shaft 123 to which one of the rollers 112 (hereinafter referred to as the driving roller) is fixed. It will, therefore, be apparent that the main label feed rollers 112 are driven intermittently, positively and in timed relation to the other elements of the machine.
Referring now to Figures 5 and 6, the other or driven roller 112 is mounted on a shaft 124 which in turn is mounted on an L-shaped pivot bracket 125. The bracket 125 is pivotally mounted at on the bracket 113 and thus is free to swing on the pin 130 except for the restraining influence of an expansion spring 131. The spring 131 is mounted on a screw 132 and is compressed between a nut 132a on the screw and a boss 133 which is tapped to receive the screw, the inner end of which is fixed to the pivot bracket 125. By adjusting the nut 132a, the compression of the spring 131, hence also the pressure of the driven roller 112 against the driving roller, can be adjusted. A stop pin 134 is also provided, and a cam release lever 135 for quick release of the roller pressure in the event of emergency, or to allow threading of the label strip. The cam lever 135 is pivotally mounted at 136 on the boss 133 and it is formed with a nose 137 which is engageable, when swung to the left as viewed in Figure 6, with a roller 138 which is mounted on the pivot bracket 125. Also, a member 139 is provided to act as a guide for threading the label strip 99 and as a guard to prevent an operator inadvertently slipping his fingers between the feed rollers.
As stated hereinabove, bags 18 filled with spinach or other fresh produce are loaded at the loading station A at the right hand end of the machine as viewed in Figure 1. These bags may be made of any suitable material, for example, paper, cellophane, Pliofilm and the like. When loaded at A, the bags are open and each bag will fit fairly snugly between a pair of spacers 57. A guard plate is provided for safety of the operator and is tapered at its right hand end, as viewed in Figure l, at 146 to allow'access to the conveyor 51. Referring more particularly to Figure 3, it will be apparent that the spacers 57 must diverge "as they pass over the sprockets 52. Therefore, the operator can easily insert a bag between each pair of spacersas it rounds the curve of the sprockets. As each pair of spacers reaches the upper level, they will approach each other and will firmly grip the sides of the bag and hold it firmly in position. As illustrated, each bag is inserted in a horizontal position with its open end directed inwardly. The cars 61' will press inwardly A folding member 147 is provided which extends along the rear edge of the conveyor 51.. As shown in Figures 15, 16 and 17 which are transverse sections taken along the lines XVXV, XVI- -X\/l and XVIIXVII, respectively, of Figure 3, the folding member is a generally U-shaped trough which is relatively wide at its feed end and becomes progressively narrower toward its opposite end. It will, therefore, be apparent that as the bags 18 are transported from right to left as viewed in Figure 3, and as the label strip 99 is fed in the same direction, the open end of each bag will be folded and thelabel strip 99 will be folded over the folded end of the bag so that, when the bag and label strip reach the stapler, the upper end of the bag has the appearance shown in Figure 14.
Referring now to Figures 3 and 4, a pair of feed rollers 155a and another similar pair of feed rollers 155b are provided on opposite sides of the stapler 16. Each of these rollers has a knurled cylindrical surface 156 and they are rotated positively and step-by step in timed relationship to other parts of the machine by means which will now be described.
Referring again to Figure 2, the bottom roller 155a is driven by a sprocket 155a fixed to the shaft 53 and chain 157 which is led over the sprocket 155a and also over a sprocket 158 fixed to a shaft 159 to which the bottom roller 155a is also fixed. A gear 160 fixed to the shaft 159 and a gear 161 of the same pitch diameter fixed to a shaft 162 serve to drive the upper roller 155a oppositely and at the same speed as the lower roller. The forward set of rollers 155b is driven by similar means including a sprocket 163 fixed to the shaft 55, a chain 164, and a sprocket 165 fixed to a shaft 166 to which the lower roller 155b is fixed. Gears 167 and 168 and a shaft 169 provide an opposite and equal drive for the upper roller 155b.
It will therefore be apparent that the bags 18 and the folded label strip 99 will be. fed to the stapler 16 positively,
step-by-step and in synchonism with other parts of the 7 machine.
Adjustment means for .the roller 155a and 155b are provided and are illustrated in Figures. and 11 which will now be described. It will be understood that this adjustment means is duplicated for the two sets of rollers, so that only one of them need be described.
Referring now to Figures 10 and 11, the lower roller 155a is rotatably mounted in a fixed block 175 and the upper roller 155a is r'otatablymounted in an L-shaped pivot bracket 176 which is pivotally mounted at 177 on the block 175, so that it is free to swing from left to right. The bracket 176 and upper roller 155a are yieldably urged in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in Figure 10, to cause the upper roller to bear against the lower roller, by means of an expansion spring 178 which is mounted on a screw 179. The spring 178 is com pressed between the bracket 176 and anut 180 which is threaded onto the screw 179. Itwill be apparent that, by adjustment of the nut 180, the compression on the spring 178, hence the pressure of upper roller 155a against the lower roller 155a, can be adjusted. Also,
a cam release lever 181 is provided which is pivotally' the label strip through the folding member 147. Also,
stop means for the lever 181 is provided in the form of a pin 185 projecting from the block 175 and a lug 1 86 projecting from the lower end of the lever 181.
The label punch or separator 17 is shown, in detail in Figures 7, 8 and 9 and the driving means therefor is shown in Figure 2.
Referring now to Figures 7, 8 and 9, the punch 17 comprises a blade or punch proper having a blunt lower edge 191. The blade 190 is pivotally mounted on a rod 192 which is carried by the frame of the machine. A pair of L-shaped hold down members 193 are also provided which are arranged in parallelism on opposite sides of blade 190, these members being also mounted on the rod 192. As will be seen from Figure 9, the foot 194 of each hold down member 193 has a pad 195 fixed to its. under-surface for contacting the folded label strip as it passes underneath the blade 190. A bracket 196 is provided which is formed with an inner central hole 197 and two outer holes 198. The inner hole 197 slidably receives the blade 190 and the outer holes 198 slidably receive the hold down members 193. The hold down members are wieldably urged downwardly by means of expansion springs 199, each of which is compressed between a washer 200 and the bracket 196. The blade 190 is yieldably urged in an upward direction by means of an expansion spring 2115, which is compressed between the bracket 196 and a nut 206. Nuts 207 are threaded to the upper ends of the hold down members 193 and serve as adjustment means for the hold down members. The nut 206 performs a similar function with regard to the blade 190.
It will be seen that the blade 190 is mounted with its blunt lower edge 191 slightly above the lower surface of the pads 195. The degree of retraction of the blade 190 can be adjusted by means of the nuts 206 and 207. It will be apparent that, as the punch 17 descends, the pads 195 will first contact the label strip 99, this being timed to occur during a pause or dwell in the movement of the. conveyor 51. Continued downward pressure of the punch 17 will compress the springs 199 until the blunt lower edge of the knife 190 reaches the label strip 99 and severs the same along one of the perforated lines 103.
The punch 17 is driven by means which will now be described with reference to Figure 2. A sprocket 208 is fixed to the main drive shaft 45 and a chain 209 is led over the sprocket 268 and also over as procket 211; which is fixed to a shaft 211 carried by the frame of the machine. The shaft 211 also carries a cam 212 having a lobe 213 engageable with a lever 214. The lever 214 is fulcrumed at 215 in brackets 216 fixed to the frame of the machine, and it is urged in an upward direction by means of a tension spring 217 which is fixed at its upper end to a pin 218 fixed to the frame of the machine and at its lower end to a pin 219 which is fixed to, the free end of the'lever 214. The outer end of the lever 214 is pivotally connectedat 220 to the lower end of a rod 221, the upper end of which is pivotally connected at 222 (see also Figure 9) to the knife 190.
It will be apparent that, during operation of the machine, the cam 212 will be rotating continuously and that during each revolution thereof, the lobe 213 will contact'the lever'214 and will causethe punch 17 to descend and sever an individual label from the strip 99.
In operation, the machine functions as follows:
Bags 18 are provided and are loaded at the right hand end of the machine as viewed in Figure 1, at the station A, in the manner described hereinabove. If desired, the operator may manually fold the upper open end of the bag upon itself, although this is not necessary. The stapler drive motor 29 and the main drive motor 34 are, of course, started. The main drive motor will, through the medium of the various timing elements and transmission means described hereinabove, periodically establish a driving connection between the stapler motor 29 and the stapler 16, thus operating the latter intermittently. The main drive motor will also operate the main conveyor 51 and the exit conveyor 19 step-by-step, and
these operations are carried out in synchronism with one another. Assuming, for example, a spacing of five inches between the center of one compartment or pocket 60 and the next pocket 60, the main conveyor 51 will move half this distance, or 2 /2 inches, at each step. Referring to Figure 4, this means that each bag 13, after it has been folded and the label strip 99 has been folded over its end, will move to a first position with reference to the stapler 16 and will halt momentarily. During this brief dwell, the stapler will operate to apply the first staple to label. The staple, of course, will pass through the label and the folded end of the bag. The next step of 2%. inches will bring the other end of the label into registry with the stapler, a brief dwell will occur, and the second staple will be applied.
While the first staple is being applied, the preceding bag, which will have been stapled, will have reached a point to register its leading perforated line N93 with the blade 190 of punch 17. During the corresponding dwell, the blade will descend and will shear or sever the label strip at the perforated line 103. This will detach an individual label attached to the bag ahead, which will then be free to move forwardly onto the exit conveyor 19.
The machine thus described and illustrated is intended to staple the folded ends of the bags and their folded labels. It will be apparent, however, that the machine is equally adapted to scaling the bags and for application of the labels by other means. For example, the rollers 155a and 155b may be heated electrically by means well known in the art, to seal the bags thermally, as in the case of Pliofilm bags. (Pliofilm is the trademark of The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Akron, Ohio, for a rubber derivative having heat sealing properties.) Alternatively, reciprocating, heated shoes may be employed as the heating medium, such means being well known in the art and requiring no further description herein.
It will also be apparent that the stapler may be replaced by an applicator which glues the labels to the bags, such applicator being well known in the art and requiring no detailed description herein.
, Among the many advantages of this machine may be mentioned the following:
All or nearly all of the elements are positively driven and in absolutely timed relation to other elements, thus minimizing to a very great extent slippage and other factors likely to cause the various parts of the machine to become out of synchronism with one another. The punched and notched character of the label strip 99 contributes to this result in that it cooperates with the label feed rollers 11?. to establish a positive and unfailing forward feed of the label strip. The graduated shaped folding member 1.47 constitutes a simplified and dependable means for folding both the bag and the label strip, and it presents little likelihood of jamming and other difiiculties.
The ears 61 on the conveyor spacers 57 are advantageous because they firmly grip the upper end of the bag, hold it in a position convenient for folding and prevent spillage of the contents of the bag. The provision of separate, pivotally mounted L-shaped bag-holding members in the form of the spacers 57 and bottom pads 60, is advantageous because they spread apart at the loading station A to facilitate loading. then come together to firmly grip the bag, then spread apart again to release the bag at the discharge end of the machine. The feed rollers 155a contribute to the positive drive of the label strip and the bags, and they serve to hold each bag and the folded label strip stationary and in precise registry with the stapler during the stapling operation.
The punch 17 is positively operated in precisely timed relation to other elements of the machine. The hold down members 193 and the delayed action of the knife 190 co-operate to hold the bags and label stripabsolutely stationary during the label severing operation.
Further important advantages and niceties are provided by the various adjustment means, such as shown in Figures 5, 6, 10 and 11. Having regard to Figures 5 and 6, which illustrate the adjustment means for the main label feed rollers 112, this feature permits the machine to be easily and rapidly adjusted for labels of different thickness. It also permits precision in tensioning of the label strip, which is important in achieving efficient operation. Similar remarks are applicable to the adjustment means for the feed rollers a and 15512. Also, the quick release features illustrated in the drawings and described hereinabove are advantageous both in the case of an emergency where quick'release of tension on the label strip is important, and in threading the label strip through the machine.
The mounting of the stapler 16 as illustrated in Figure 3 and as described hereinabove, is advantageous; it provides a convenient means for swinging the stapler from operative position to non-operative position, where it is easily inspected, repaired, reloaded, etc.
It will thus be apparent that a machine has been provided which accomplishes continuous and very rapid folding, labeling, stapling and sealing of bags of produce and the like. It provides advantages of speed and dependability of operation, positive feed, synchronization and nicety of adjustment.
1. A machine of the character described, comprising an endless conveyor means for receiving bags of produce or the like of random shape in precise spaced relation, means for driving the conveyor in uniform, step-by-step movements, a continuous label and sealing strip composed of unsevered label segments, means on said strip for maintaining its movement and that of the conveyor in positive and step-by-step synchronism, a closure station along said conveyor means, continuous folding means for single folding of the open end of each bag as it progresses towards the closure station, folding means for folding said label strip and delivering a precise label segment over the folded end of each bag at the closure station, means at said closure station for joining said label seg ment and folded bag end together, and severing means for severing said label strip to provide an individual label segment for each bag.
2. A machine of the character described, comprising endless conveyor means for receiving bags of produce or the like of random shape and continuously conveying them in uniform step-by-step movements, a closure station along the conveying means, a continuous label strip composed of partially perforated label segments, means on said label strip for maintaining the continuous feeding of said label strip positively and step-by-step in synchronism with said conveyor, folding means for continuously and simultaneously folding each bag opening with a single fold as it progresses towards the closure station and for folding said label strip over and under the folded end of each bag, closure means at said closure station along said conveyor, a pair of hold-down rollers on each side of said closure means, means for operating said hold-down rollers positively and step-by-step in synchronism with said conveyor to hold each folded bag end and the folded label segment of said strip stationary during the closing operations and to feed them forwardly and positively during movements of the conveyor, and severing means for severing each label segment from said strip to provide an individual label for each folded bag end.
3. A machine of the character described comprising endless conveyor means for receiving bags of produce or the like of random shape and continuously conveying them in uniform step-by-step movements, a closure station along the conveying means, a continuous label strip composed of partially perforated label segments, means on said label strip for maintaining the continuous positive step-by-step synchronized movement of said conveyor and said strip, folding means for continuously and simultaneously folding each bag opening with a single fold as it progresses toward the closure station and for folding said label strip over and under the folded end of each bag, a stapler at said closure station along said conveyor, means for operating the stapler to staple each folded bag end and the folded label segment of said strip during dwells of the conveyor at said station, a pair of hold-down rollers on each side of said stapler, means for operating said hold-down rollers positively and step-bystep to hold each folded bag end and the folded label segment of said strip stationary during the stapling operation and to feed them successively forward during movements of the conveyor, and severing means for severing each label segment from said strip to provide an individual label for each folded bag end.
4. A machine of the character described, comprising an endless conveyor means for receiving bags of produce or the like of substantially uniform size but random shape in precise spaced relation, each bag having an open end, means for driving the conveyor in uniform, step-by-step movements, a continuous label and closing strip comprising connected label segments each having spaced marginal notches and perforations, said notches defining the division points between each complete label, feed means cooperating with said perforations for moving said strip in synchronism with said conveyor, said open ends of said bags being conveyed in a path adjacent said label strip, a closure station along said conveyor means, continuous folding means for simultaneously single folding the open end of each bag as it progresses towards the closure station and folding said label strip over and under said folded bag end, delivering a bag with a precise label segment folded over and under the folded end thereof to the closure means, closure means at a closure station along said conveyor for securing the complete label segment and the folded bag end together, and severing means for severing said label segment from said strip precisely at the notched division point to provide a single, complete and individual label for each closed bag.
5. A machine of the character described, comprising a conveyor for continuously receiving open bags of produce or the like of substantially uniform size but of random shape and conveying them in precise spaced relation, a continuous strip of label and closing segments each having perforations therethrough, label feed means cooperating with said label perforations for feeding said continuous strip of label and closing segments simultaneously with said bags, said bags being placed on said conveyor for travel with the open ends adjacent the continuous label strip, continuous folding means for the simultaneous progressive single folding of the open end of each bag with a label segment folded over and under the folded bag end and delivering the single fold label strip in closed position over the folded ends of the bags, said folding means comprising a trough which receives the label closing strip adjacent the open end of the said bags and progressively diminishes in width to gradually fold the open bag ends with a label segment over and under the folded bag ends to deliver closed bags with a folded label closure for each, a stapler for stapling the folded label strip to the bags in closed position, and synchronous means for severing the single stapled label segment on each bag, from the strip.
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