US 2797634 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 2, 1957 D. E. RUECKERT 2,797,634
PACKAGING Filed April 19, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. Dean 35. Rueckerf ATTORNEY PACKAGING Dean E. Rueckert, Mokena, Ill., assignor to Swift 8; Company, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Illinois Application April 19, 1955, Serial No. 502,438
8 Claims. (Cl. 100-13) The present invention relates to a new container for objects, particularly meat products, and to a method and apparatus for the production of that container.
For many years in the meat industry it has been the practice to put carcasses and portions of carcasses in a fitted container prior to transportation from the packing plant. This container was formed by enclosing the meat in a wrapper of paper, plastic, or other suitable wrapping material, and then sliding over the wrapped meat a stockinet bag. This woven bag is intended to cling closely to the cut of meat and to hold the wrapping material in place and to protect it from injury during handling and transportation.
Since the stockinet bag must press closely about the wrapping material and hold it firmly against the meat, it is necessary that the bags be specially shaped for each of the various common portions of carcasses. This means that various shapes of bags must be stocked. For example, for a side, a hindquarter, a forequarter, a round, etc. In addition, with respect to each of these shapes of bags, various sizes must be maintained to accommodate the various sizes of the cuts. It will be readily apparent that since these bags vary in cost from about 4 to 12 cents apiece there will be a substantial investment in supplies to keep on hand quantities of the various sizes of bags that are regularly used.
Since it is not practical to reuse the bags, the cost of the bags employed over a period of time will also be a substantial factor of cost. While it might seem that the cost of this bag is relatively small, yet, when it is compared with the margin of profit that the meat packer makes, it is significant with respect to the amount of income that the packer receives from the cut of meat, and when the unit cost is multiplied by the large quantity that are employed over a years operations, the amount of money involved is very substantial.
A further item of cost involved in the use of these stockinet bags is the labor involved in putting the bags on the cuts of meat. Since the bags are intended to fit tightly about the wrapping material and to hold it against the meat, the bags must be stretched in order to slide them into place. In the usual instance it is a two-man operation to put these bags on the cuts.
The present invention is directed to a container for these cuts that is much less expensive than that involved in the present practices and to a method and apparatus for forming and applying this container. The container is formed in situ, thus avoiding the necessity for carrying extensive stocks of various sizes of stockinet bags. A further advantage of the present invention is that the container may be formed by only one man with substantially the same rapidity previously involved when two men were placing stockinet bags over wrapping material.
An additional advantage is that the cost of the finished container will be only a fraction of the cost of using a stockinet bag over a sheet of wrapping material.
Another advantage of the present invention is that the trademarks or other indicia that are often employed hired States Patent 2,797,634 Patented July 2, 1957 on the wrapping material are readily apparent when the container is complete. When a stockinet bag was used, this bag substantially obscured any trademarks, etc., that were used on the wrapping material.
A further advantage of the invention is that the machine employed is of such a nature that it can be readily portable. It is adapted for use in placing the container on cuts of meat hanging from hooks on a rail, such as is the general practice in meat packing plants. The machine may be used to package cuts on one rail and when these are finished can be moved over to take care of the cuts hanging from some other rail.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a side elevation of an embodiment of the invention;
Figure 2 is a partial section taken at line 22 of Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a plan view of the embodiment;
Figure 4 is a partial section of the spinner and supporting ring therefor;
Figure 5 is an enlarged partial section of the cord holding ring;
Figure 6 is a diagrammatic illustration of the power means;
Figure 7 is an enlarged transverse section of the cord holder and tension adjustment;
Figure 8 is a diagrammatic illustration of the manner in which the machine is employed to enclose a forequarter; and
Figure 9 is a diagrammatic illustration of the manner in which the machine is employed to wrap a hindquarter.
In the present invention the container is formed by first enclosing the cut of meat or other object in a sheet of wrapping material. A length of elastic cord is then wound about the wrapping material in a criss-cross pattern. Preferably the ends of the cord are tied, but one of the features of the elastic cord put on in the criss-cross pattern is that a break in the cord will not result in unraveling of the whole cord. The ends will be held in place by overlapping turns of the cord. Such elastic cord or elastic string is commercially available and is usually formed of a rubber base having a cotton cover thereon. It is available in many gauges from a thread to a heavy string and I have found that for preparing containers for cuts of meat an elastic string having about the gauge of grocers string is eminently suitable.
I prefer to wrap at least two portions of the string about the cut simultaneously, with the two being wound in opposite directions. By doing this there is a better overlapping of the various turns to hold the cord in place should a break occur. In drawing the cord about the wrapping material, sufiicient tension is used to hold the wrapping material firmly against the cut of meat.
Referring to Figures l-3, the machine includes a frame generally 10 comprising a base 11 and an upright post 12. A guide 13 slides on post 12 and has a yoke 14 attached thereto. The yoke supports a spinning head generally 15. Arm member 16 of yoke 14 is pivotally connected to guide 13. In some embodiments where a universal movement of the spinning head is not necessary this may be a fixed connection rather than a pivoted connection.
A counterweightlT is attached to an eyebolt 18 on yoke 14 by a rope 19. The rope passes over a pair of pulleys 20 rotatably mounted on a bracket 21 at the top of post 12. counterweight 17 is held vertically by a guide 23 fixed to post 12 by brackets 24.
Spinning head 15, which is best seen in Figures 1, 3 and 4, includes a pair of cord holders generally 25 and 26 and a cord holder mounting means generally 27 in'the form of a ring. The cord holder mounting means is formed of three separate bands 28, 29 and 30 fastened together by vertical members 31, 32 and 33. A plurality of bolts 34 form spindles for grooved rollers 35 secured to bands 28, 29 and 30. As is'best seen in Figure 4, the rollers 35 form a raceway for holders 25 and 26.
Cord holders 25 and 26 include flying rings 36 and 37 each carrying a spindle 38 and 39, respectively, for bolts of cord 40 and cord payofi heads 41 and 42, respectively. The structure of the payoff heads is shown in Figure 7. It will be seen that head 41 includes a channel 44 secured to flying ring 36 within which is a pressure plate 47 attached to the end of thumb screw 48. Thumb screw 48 is threaded through a boss 49 in channel 44. An abutment 51 at the rear end of pressure plate 47 having a slot 54 across the lower edge thereof in Figure 7 holds that end of the plate away from cord 50 which passes through slot 54 so that as the pressure plate 47 is moved toward flying ring 36 by the rotation of thumb screw 48 it will be the other end of the pressure plate that contacts the cord 50. The structure of payoff head 42 corresponds to that of head 41 except that it is positioned in the reverse direction since the two cord holders 25 and 26 rotate in opposite directions. The direction of rotation of cord holder 25 is illustrated by arrow 52, while the direction of rotation of cord holder 26 is illustrated by arrow 53.
The power means for the machine includes a motor 55 attached to vertical member 33 with the shaft 56 of the motor carrying two pulleys 57 and 58. A belt 59 passes around pulley 57 and the outer surface of flying ring 36. A pair of guides 60 secured to the outer surface of flying ring 36 (Figure form guides for the belt 59. As will be seen in Figure 6, belt 59 has a half twist in the belt so as to give the proper direction of rotation to head 25.
A belt 61 passes about pulley 58 and the outer surface of flying ring 37. Againreferring to Figure 6, belt 61 does not have the half twist wherefore the direction of rotation of head 26 will be the reverse of that of head 25. Prefereably the motor 55 is operated by a foot-actuated speed control 63.
Figures 8 and 9 illustrate the manner of use of the machine in enclosing cuts of meat. The sides of a carcass 65 are hung from an overhead rail not shown by means of a hook 66. Since the forequarter and hindquarter are to be packaged separately the carcass is split across the middle as seen in Figure 8, with a small portion of bone and tissue remaining unsevered so that the forequarter remains supported. The machine is placed with the axis of the spinning head centered below the path of the hooks on the rail and initially the head is lowered to the bottom limit of its travel as shown at 15a. The operator encloses the forequarter of the cut 65 in a sheet of wrapping material and with one hand holds the wrapping material about the cut. With the other hand the operator raises the head so that it is about the lower end of the cut. Previously the operator will have knotted the two ends of the cord 50 together as shown at 67.
The operator then actuates the speed control 63 with his foot to start the two flying rings 36 and 37 rotating in opposite directions which draws the cord 56 about the wrapping material. The speed control 63 can be adjusted by the operator as he goes along to control the speed of application of the cord. The exact position of the application of the cord will depend somewhat on the cut, but for example in Figure 8 the spinning head 15 is held horizontal and gradually raised as the cord is applied so as to position the cord about the cut in a diagonal fashion.
After the spinning head reaches the upper position shown at 15b, it is no longer necessary for the operator to hold the wrapping material in place. The spinning head 15 can then be lowered, continuing to wrap cord about the wrapping material over the cut. Where there are odd shaped protuberances, such as for example the stump of the leg on the forequarter as illustrated in Figure 8, the spinning head 15 may be tilted as shown at to draw the wrapping material tightly around all portions by wrapping cord around those portions. After the object has been thoroughly wrapped, the cord may be severed and tied to hold it in place. While tying is preferable, the cord will stay in place without tying because of the overlap form of wrapping that is achieved by spinning head 15. The head 15 is then again lowered to position 15a and the cut of meat in the tightly formed container can be moved along the rail away from the machine and a new cut of meat moved into place over the machine.
Figure 9 illustrates the wrapping of the hindquarter of the carcass 65. This cut is so shaped that the spinning head 15 need merely be moved from the position of 15d to 15@ at which latter position the wrapping is commenced as previously described with respect to Figure 8, the upper limit of the wrapping being achieved when the head is at position 15 The head is then lowered to position 15e with the cord being severed and tied. After moving the head back to position 15d the cut may be moved away from the machine and the machine is cleared for use in preparing the container for another cut.
The foregoing description of a specific embodiment is for the purpose of compliance with 35 U. S. C. 112, and I do not desire to be limited to the exact details shown and described, for obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art.
1. A machine for use in wrapping an irregularly shaped object with cord, said machine including an object holding member, and a wrapping member, said wrapping member comprising a frame, cord spinning means on said frame, power means operatively connected to said spinning means to rotate said springing means about said object supported by said holding member, said power means being constructed and arranged to rotate said spinning means simultaneously in two different directions about said object, at least one of said members being movable with respect to the other of the members whereby the cord may be wound about various portions of said object.
2. A machine for use in wrapping an irregularly shaped object with cord, said machine including an object holding member, and a.wrapping member, said wrapping member comprising a frame, a pair of cord holders, cord holder mounting means attached to said frame and positioning said holders for movement along curvilinear paths about said object, power means operatively connected to said mounting means to rotate said holders about said object, said means being constructed and arranged to rotate said holders in opposite directions, at least one of said members being movable with respect to the other of the members whereby the cord may be wound about various portions of said object.
3. A machine for use in wrapping a suspended, irregularly shaped object with cord, said machine comprising a frame, cord spinning means on said frame, power means operatively conected to said spinning means to rotate said spinning means about said object supported by said holding member, said power means being constructed and arranged to rotate said spinning means simultaneously in two different directions about said object, said frame including means to move said spinning means with respect to said suspended object.
4. A machine for use in wrapping a suspended, irregularly shaped object with cord, said machine comprising a frame, a pair of cord holders, cord holder mounting means attached to said frame and positioning said holders for movement along curvilinear paths about said object, power means operatively connected to said mounting means to rotate said holders about said object, said means being constructed and arranged to rotate said holders in opposite directions, said cord holder mounting means being movable with respect to said object in a direction angularly disposed with respect to said curvilinear paths.
5. A machine for use in wrapping an irregularly shaped object with cord, said machine including a frame, a ring, mounting means attaching said ring to said frame, said ring having a pair of races thereon, cord holders mounted in said races, power means connected to said holders to rotate said holders in opposite directions of rotation, said mounting means being movable with respect to said object.
6. A machine for use in wrapping a suspended, irregularly shaped object with cord, said machine including a frame, a ring, mounting means attaching said ring to said frame in a generally horizontal position, said ring having a pair of races thereon, cord holders mounted in said races, power means connected to said holders to rotate said holders in opposite directions of rotation, said mounting means being movable vertically with respect to said object.
7. A machine for use in wrapping an irregularly shaped object with cord, said machine including a frame, a yoke attached to said frame for a generally vertical movement with respect thereto, a ring pivotally attached to said yoke, said ring having a pair of races thereon, cord holders mounted in said races, power means connected to said holders to rotate said holders in opposite directions of rotation.
8. A machine for use in wrapping a suspended, irregularly shaped object with cord, said machine including a frame, a ring, mounting means attaching said ring to said frame in a generally horizontal position, said ring having a pair of races thereon, cord holders mounted in said races, said cord holders including means to control the tension applied to the cord as it is payed out, and power means connected to said holders to rotate said holders in opposite directions of rotation, said mounting means being movable vertically with respect to said object, said mounting means including a counterbalance to float the ring.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 585,242 Swenson June 29, 1897 1,145,268 Rossy July 6, 1915 1,183,235 Rehfuss May 16, 1916 1,478,560 Evans Dec. 25, 1923 2,469,544 Bunn May 10, 1949