US 2869301 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
H. E. STOVER MACHINE FOR HERMETICALLY SEALING GLASS CONTAINERS Filed Dec. 9. 1953 8 Sheets-Sheet 1 QEEEE 7 mmvrm flurry EJ/aver BY 'H.E.STOVER Jan. 20, 1959 MACHINE FOR HERMETICALLY SEALING GLASS CONTAINERS 8 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 9. 1953 x ..l. w$
H. E. STOVER Jan. 20, 1959 I MACHINE FOR HERMETICALLY SEALING GLASS CONTAINERS 8 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Dec. 9. 1953 INVENTOR. flurry L? J I01 flTTORNEY QTTORNEY 8 Sheets-Sheet 4 W II w? 54 H. E. STOVER Jan. 20, 1959 MACHINE FOR HERMETICALLY SEALING GLASS CONTAINERS Filed Dec. 9. 1953 INVENTOR Harry A? Jinn r \III I III. illllllllllll Jan. 20, 1.959
H. E. STOVER 2,869,301
I MACHINE FOR HERMEZTICALLY SEALING GLASS CONTAINERS Filed Dec. 9. 1953 8 Sheets-Sheet 5 l NVENTOR. fiarrq [I Jim/er BY 8Sheets-Sheet 6 H TORIVEY Jan. "20, '1959 H. E. STOVER I MACHINE FOR HERMETICALLY SEALING GLASS CONTAINERS Filed Dec. 9. 1953 7Z W M I 'Jan. 20, 1959' H. E. STOVER MACHINE FOR HERMETICALLY SEALING GLASS CONTAINERS 8 Sheets-Sheet 8 Filed Dec. 9. 1953 INVENTOR ATTORNEY -MACHINE F OR HERMETKCALLY SEALING GLASS CONTAINERS .Harry E. Stover, Lancaster, Ohio, assignor to Anchor "Hocking-Glass CorporatiomLancaster, Ohio, a corporation of Delaware Application December 9, 1953, Serial No. 397,223 17Claims'. c1. 53-110 This invention relates to the sealing art and more specifically concerns a method and apparatus for applying and sealing closures to containers. In one aspect it pede the sealing process but may resultin an imperfect seal or in breaking the coating on the inside of the cap, thereby exposing the metal to corrosive effects of the material .within'the container. Accordingly, one object of the invention is to provide an improved method and apparatus for applying closure caps to containers that will not only prevent tipping of the container and damaging the cap but willenable capping of containers of a Wide variety of sizes and shapes by a single machine.
Another'object of the'invention resides in a new; and improved construction and arrangement of theclosure securing means to effect more positive and dependable sealing action andminimize the danger of damage to the cap before it is firmly set on the container.
Still another object of the invention resides in a simplified and relatively inexpensive method and apparatus for vacuum sealing of each container under co-ntrolled conditions whereby the magnitude of the vacuum can be accurately determined. This is attained through the direction of steam into the container at the point at which the cap is applied so that condensation o-f'the steam after sealing is effected will produce a substantial vacuum. In addition, improvedmeans are included forthe admission of controlled quantities of air to the container so that the amount of .steam and consequently the deg'ree of vacuum can be adjusted as desired. This is'important in connection with the packaging of different foods since some shouldbe subjected to a high vacuum while with othersQ-such asjellies and jams, it is desirable to package them under a lower vacuum. w
A further object of the invention is animpro ved method and arrangementof elements for displacing air from within each container and preventing its readmission un-- til after the seal is effected. As pointed out above, a
vacuum is attained by'supplying steam to the unfilled portion or headspace of the container which will condense quickly to formjdrops of .water upon contact with the colder package and product. Through displacement of the air from the open container prior to admission of steam and causing the jar or container to remain enveloped in steam at the time of and immediately after the sealing process, accurately controlled vacuums can be produced.
I Another object is an improved method and means for dispensing and diffusing the steam in and about the open containers in the form of a quiet cloud with a minimum of steam currents and agitation and to provide herein will occur to one skilled'in the art uponemploycleaned at periodic intervals.
means for this purpose which is not easily clogged by food products and which may be quickly and easily Another object of the invention is a new and improved hood for sealingmachines for applying closures to containers.
Other and further objectsof the invention will be obvious upon an understanding of the illustrative embodiment aboutto b e described, or will be indicated in the appended claims, and various advantages not referred to meat of the invention in practice.
A preferred embodiment of the invention has been chosen for purposes of illustration and description and is shown in the accompanying drawings, forming a part of the specification, wherein: i i
Fig. 1 is a'perspective view of one embodiment of the invention;
Fig. 2 is a cross sectional view of Fig. 1 taken along the line 2-2 thereof;
Fig. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 33 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a cross sectional view of Fig. 2 taken along the line 4-4 thereof; v
Fig. 5 is a cross sectional view of Fig. 4 taken along the line 55 thereof;
Fig. 6 is a cross sectional .view of Fig. 3 taken along the line 66 thereof;
Fig. 7 is an enlarged cross sectional View of the steam supplying and diifusing means of'Fig. 4;
Fig. 8 is a cross sectional view of Fig. 7 taken along the line 88 thereof;
; a base part 10, a movable belt or conveyor 11 for carrying containers to be sealed throughthe several "sealing steps,'an'd a superstructure 12 which carries certain of the apparatus for feeding and applying the closures or caps tothe containers. Among the elements: forming part of the superstructure are the hopper l3 and'chute M'for feeding closures, a sealing head 15having a belt 15', co-ntainer guiding and holding belts 16 and 17, supporting, adjusting, and driving appe tratus 18 forwthe belts l6 and 17, steam dispensing and supplying means; 19 and the closure applying and preliminary sealing apparatus generally denoted at 20. r
In operation, the jars or containers to be sealed are fed through the machine by conveyor 11 in'the direction of, the arrow 21. They arelheld; in place on the belt by guide rails 22 and engaged by the horizontal jar aligning moment the jar picks up a closure and before the closure is seated on the jar, steam is supplied into the headspace'of the container so that the air andlow temperature steam is'displaced. It is during this displacement and immediately thereafter that the closure is firmly seated and driving apparatus for the conveyor belt 11 as wellas means for raising and lowering the superstructure 12. This is accomplished by a plurality of vertically disposed rods or shafts 23 which carry the superstructure 12 on their upper ends and extend downwardly into the base where they are engaged by suitable raising and lowering means.
Guide belts The guide belts 16 and 17 together with the adjusting,
supporting and driving mechanism generally denoted by the numeral 18 in Fig. l are shown in detail in Figs. 2,
, 3, and 6. The preferred embodiment of these belts is in the form of link chains with each chain having upper and lower sets of links 25 and 26 respectively coupled by transverse pins 27 and intervening spacers 35. These chains are supported in a horizontal position by sprocket wheels having two spaced sets of teeth for engaging the two sets of links with the chain for belt 17 being supported by front and rear sprockets 28 and 29 respectively and the chain comprising part of belt 16 being supported by sprockets 30 and 31. Each of the belts is provided with a plurality of container engaging shoes 32 carried between alternate links of the upper and lower chain parts 25 and 26. These shoes are secured to the links by ears 34 formed integrally with the links and having their outer ends'bent to lie in a vertical plane. The shoes proper are formed of resilient pads 36 of rubber or the like cemented, bolted, or otherwise secured to the cars 34 and may extend slightly beyond the ends of the pins 27- and are tapered to provide a narrowed container engaging part 36'. The length of the respective pads is such that they will be spaced slightly one from the other when in line so that each container as it passes between the belts will be firmly gripped by one or two of the shoes 32 and will not tend to slip forwardly or backwardly. I
The supporting and driving means 18 for the side belt sprockets 28, 29 and 30, 31 are carried by a pair of horizontal rods 37 and 38 secured to and extending outwardly from the frame 39 of the superstructure 12 and actually comprise two interconnected assemblies 40 and 41 as shown in Fig. 6. These belt supporting and driving structures are provided with pairs of collar 42 and 42 which slidably engage the rods 37 and 38 and have set screws 37 and 38' to lock them in position after being properly adjusted. Since the drives 40 and 41 are substantially identical only the drive 41 will be described and corresponding parts of the drive 40 will be denoted by similar primed numbers. I
The drive assembly 41 includes two integrally formed housing parts 43 and 44 with the housing 43 carrying one collar 42 and the housing part 44 another collar 42'. The upper end of housing 43 is enlarged to accommodate abevel gear 45 rotatably mounted in one side wall thereof. This gear is keyed to and slidably engages the horizontal drive shaft 46 driven in turn by the coupling 47. The shaft 46 also extends through the housing part 43 of the drive 40 and slidably engages the bevelgear 45" to drive the belt 17 in a similar manner- With this arrangement the drives 40 and 41 are movable relative one to the other for adjustment of the spacing between the belts 16' and 17 and are always in engagement with the shaft to effect the transmission of power. In the base of the top section of housing 43 is a second bevel .gear 48 meshing with the gear 45 and carrying a shaft 49 jour- 4 naled at 50 in the housing 43. Thus rotation of the horizontal shaft 46 is transmitted to the vertical shaft 49.
The shaft 49 includes at least one fixed key or rib 51 extending from the outer surface thereof and in alignment with the axis of the shaft. This key 51 meshes with a corresponding keyway in the surrounding tubular shaft 52, which in turn extends downwardly through the hearing 53. The bottom end of the tubular shaft 52 is narrowed as shown at 54 and is further narrowed at 55 to engage the sprocket 31. The narrowed section 54 is journaled in a corresponding opening 56 of the horizontal bracket 57 disposed between the axes of the sprockets 30 and 31 Since the sprocket 31 is fixedly attached and keyed to the lower end of shaft 52 it functions to retain the bracket 57 about the narrowed section 54 of the shaft 53. With the structure thus far described, rotation is transmitted to sprocket 31 through the telescoped shafts 49 and 52 so that the sprocket 31 and horizontal bracket 57 can be moved vertically relative to housing 43.
In order to adjust the vertical position of the sprocket 31 and hold the horizontal bracket member 57 in proper alignment a vertical shaft 58 is slidably retained within housing part 44 and aligned therein by bearings 59 and 60. One side of the shaft is machined to form a rack gear 61 which is arranged to cooperate with the pinion 62 carried on shaft 63 and journaled in the housing part 33. The shaft 63 has a longitudinal key 65 which slidably engages a corresponding keyway in the gear or pinion 62 so that rotation of the shaft will function to rotate the pinion while the two are slidable one relative to the other. The outer end of the shaft 63 is provided with squared portion 64 (Fig. 6) to facilitate engagement of a Wrench to eflfect rotation of the shaft 63.
The lower end of the vertical shaft 58 engages and is fixed in the opening 66 of the bracket 57 so that the latter will at all times remain horizontal or parallel to the main conveyor 11 on the base or bed 10 of apparatus. This structure therefore provides for vertical positioning of the bracket 57 and sprocket 31 by rotation of the shaft 63. Since the shaft 63 engages a pinion in the drive assembly 40 corresponding to pinion 62 in the drive assembly 41, it is apparent that operation of shaft 63 will simultaneously raise and lower both of the belts 16 and 17.
Before considering the structure for supporting the idler sprockets 28 and 30, it may be pointed out that horizontal adjustment of the drive assemblies 40 and 41 is accomplished by a transverse shaft 67 (Fig. 6) which has threaded sections 69 and for engagement with collars 68 and 68 of the assemblies 41 and 40 respectively. The sections 69 and 70 are threaded in reverse directions so that rotation of the shaft in one direction will move the assemblies 40 and 41 apart while reverse rotation will bring them together. In order to effect proper alignment of the belts 16 and 17 on either side of the'conveyor 11, the inner end of the adjusting rod 67 is rotatably fixed to the bracket 71 which in turn is fixed to the superstructure frame part 39. The outer end 67 of rod 67 is provided with a squared section corresponding to the end 64 of rod 65. When the heads or assemblies 40 and 41 are properly set for a particular container, they are locked against horizontal displacement by the set screws 37', and 38' (Fig. 3) and against vertical motion by a set screw 72 in the side of housing part 44 (Fig. l) which bears against the shaft 58. The upper end of the housings 44 are closed by caps 73 to prevent the admission of dust and dirt into the operating parts of the spring which the-idlenspmcket 30 isrotatably secured by. a pin 76. Theplate 74" together with a-fguide plate 77 -are secured to the bracket member57 by screws 78 or by other suitablemeans. The idler support 76 is retained 'between 'the flanges 75 by a bolt ,80 extending downwardly through an elongated slot 79 vinthe support 76 "andthreadably engaging theplate 74. The support is *urged outwardly of bracket 57 by-the compression spring 01 retained by cooperating recesses inthe members 57 and 76. The bottom guide plate 77 has its outer edge 77' 'in alignment withthe edge of sprockets 30 and '31 while its inner edge 77"istapered inwardly'toward the center of-the conveyor. -Slnce thebelts follow the contour'of-these'plates, engagement-and disengagement of the containers bythe belts 16 and 17 will be gradual ratherthan'abrupt-asillustrated inFig. 5 and the mastimum gripping pressure-willbe effected when the container is at the pointof engaging a closure.
With the guide belts as abovedescribed, a wide variety of containers can be handled merely by adjusting the vertical and horizontal positioning thereof. Moreover positive gripping action is attained which will'carry the containers through the critical stages of the sealing-process and -function-to preventtipping of' the containers which may result in an imperfect seal or'damage to the closure of such a nature that it'will corrode.
' Closure appl'yingmechanism This portion of--thepreferred embodiment of the inventionis illustrated in Figs. 1, 4, ll, 12, and 13 of the drawings. 1 As previously mentioned; the closure caps are deposited ina suitable hopper 13 which is secured to and ;-supported by the superstmcture 12. The caps are then -fed-individually tothe chute 14 and slide downwardly point of engagement'with the containers. This structhus may be any suitable cap feeding means, for example,
-the:cap feeding meansof United States Patents Nos. 2,618,425 and 2,529,199 and a detailed discussion is deemed unnecessary. if desired, the caps may be fed to the chute by hand. The closure caps are preferably of the hermetically sealing type, for example," the cap and glass finish shown in the Harry E.; Stover et al.
patent application Serial No. 217,492, filedMarch 26,
1 9:' l,,now Patent No. 2,670,868.
a Each cap upon reaching the lower end of the chute, as shown for instance in Fig. ll, is engaged by suitable .stops orpins 33 in the lower (211013 1 of the chute 14 and is restrained from riding over the stops byaspring pressed roller 87 mounted in slots 83. A pair of springs 88' urge the roller toward the bottoms of the slots. A cap 85 is shown in Fig: ll about to be engaged by a container it will be observed that the leading edge of-the capis slightly. below the leading edge of the container so that forward motion of the container under the action of the conveyor 11 andsupported against tipping by the guide pivoted to abracket 91 extending from the stationary frame part 92 bridging the chute 14. The lower arms 93 and 9d -of-the-fork extend downwardly and outwardly from a, central pivot bolt 95 to form an inverted V while the upper ends of the'arms are in the shape of a U with a compression spring 96 supported between the ends thereof. With this arrangement as the lower ends of the fork are spread apart, the upper ends tend to compress in order to limit the inward closing of the fork members @3 and 94 about the pivot bolt 95, a pair of stops 9? provided for cooperation with the upper ends ofthe fork parts and M to-lirnit the action of the m", are
Beyondthe fork is a second sealing roller '98 r0t-at members 101 and 102 forming part of yoke 103; The side members 101 and 102 are joined by cross members 104 and-105 whiletheir upper ends are brought together and joined to a central collar 106. The yoke members 101 and 102. are pivoted-for movement in a vertical plane by trunnions 107 andllds extendingoutwardly from the bracket member92. Clockwise motion of yoke 103 as viewed in Fig. 13 is limited by a screw 109 threadably engaging the yoke arm 101 and bearing against the upper side of the bracket member 84. Counter clockwise motion is iiinited by the action of a cornpression' spring 11%"; between the collar 106 and a stop 111.
Considering now the operation of the fork 90 and roller 98, as indicated above each container 86 after engaging a. cap or closure 85 carries it from its position in the chute 14- beneath the roller 87. Prior-to leaving roller'87 the cap is engaged by the fork 90which spreads to follow the edges of the cap and simultaneously tends to pull the eap backwardly so that the front end thereof is in engagement with the leading edge of the container. This pressure on the cap is effected by the spring 96 which functions toexert a vector force downwardly on the edges of the cap and during substantially the entire travel thereof beneath the" fork. As the container proceeds beneath the fork 96 it engages the pressure roller 98'which acts under the pressure of spring 110 to firmly apply the cap to the container.
During the time of' engagement of the cap by roller 98, the fork 90 is also in engagement with the cap and thereby prevents tilting of the cap asthe container and cap pass under the roller 98.
' In this way the closureis firmly'and securely seated on the container in an effort to provide a hermetic seal under theinfiuence of the vacuum formed within by condenstation of the steam.
' When the foregoingsealing operation is concluded the capped containers are carried beneath the sealing head 15 as shown in Fig. 1. This sealing headfunctions to apply the final sealing pressure to the containers andito assure a hermetic seal. A preferred embodiment of this sealing head is shown and described in United States Patent No. 2,618,426. A further description herein is not they cannot be tipped by the action of fork 96' or pressure rollers 87 and 98. Moreover, should the containers be slightly offset froin-the'centef ofthe conveyor 11, the
fork-90 by-rea'son of the independent-movementelements 93and 94 thereof will exert substantially-uniform pressure on each side'of the cap 85.
'- Steam dispensingand supplying means means is generally denoted in Fig. 1 by the numeral 19 and the major portionthereof lies rearwardly of the pointof closure and container engagement although part thereof extends forwardly" beneath the sealing head of the dispersing apparatus 19 bythe hose 113 and conduct 114. As will be pointed ounthe steam is further 15. :Steam issupplied to the housing 112 formingpart heated in-the housing 112 and isthen'distributed to '-'preheat the-head space in-each ofthe containers 86m be sealed, tofill the headspace just prior to application of the closure cap-85, and to envelop at leastpartfof the containers after application of the closure so that if leakage occurs *during the preliminary sealing steps,
'5; and 7 to 11 andireference will nowbe made toithose --figures. pendingside members 115 and116 which form a longi- -tudinalconcavity-lengthwise of :the conveyor ll for The"housing-112 has two downwardly ldeenveloping the upper part of the containers 86 as they of the housing 112 and to the closure chute 14 which insures among other things proper alignment of the elements and effects proper direction of the steam supply to the containers as will be described.
The left hand end of the steam housing 112 as viewed in Fig. 4 has an upwardly extending section 112 to Y which the inlet steam conduct 114 is attached. This portion of housing 112 also includes a transverse chamber 118 (Fig. 9) communicating with the inlet 114 which distributes the steam to four downwardly extending passages 119 which, in turn, communicate with a pair of longitudinally disposed chambers 120. The chamber 118 is sealed by a plug 121 (Fig. 9). The longitudinal chambers 120 merge into a common chamber 122 as may be observed in Figs. 2 and 7 of the drawings. Within each chamber 120 is a pair of cylindrical electric heating elements 123v extending substantially the entire length thereof and supported therein by members 123' threaded in the housing 112. A thermostat 124 extends through the housing part dividing the chambers 120 and extends slightly beyond the ends of the elements 123. The heating elements superheat the steam in the several chambers while the thermostat 124 automatically controls the temperature of the steam as desired.
It has been found desirable to envelop the heads of the containers 86 to be sealed with a cloud of steam prior to sealing. In order to dispense the steam uniformly and at the same time avoid undue clogging of the orifices through which the steam emerges to fill the longitudinal concavity, a readily removable perforated sheet is employed. This sheet or plate is denoted by the numeral 125 (Figs. 9 and and extends throughout the entire length of the housing 112 and terminates just short of the closure engaging station. It is spaced from the housing to form a shallow chamber 126 and is secured in position by means of plates 127 and 128 fastened to the side members 115 and 116 of the housing 112; the plate has outwardly extending flange parts 129 and 130 clamped between the plates 127 and 128 and the members 115 and 116. Steam is admitted to the chamber 126 between the perforated plate 125 and the housing 112 by means of a series of ducts 131 communicating with tubular passages or manifolds 132 on each side of the concavity. The steam enters the manifold 132 by passages 133 extending from the chamber 122 and intersecting the manifolds as viewed in Fig. 10 of thedrawings. With this arrangement the steam delivered to the concavity is hottest near the forward end so that the jars or containers entering beneath the housing 112 become gradually heated by an enveloping cloud of .steam. The perforated steam dispersing plate 125 which is preferably of stainless steel or the like is effective not only in providing a uniform cloud of steam but also resists the cloggingeffects of food that may be spattered on it prior to the application of the closure and thus constitutes an important feature in avoiding frequent interruption of the sealing process for the purpose of cleaning and the like. Moreover by reason of the improved supporting means for the plate'it can be quickly and easily replaced when necessary with minimum interruption of the sealing process.
Forward of the chamber 122 within the housing 112 charges a controlled mixture of air and steam through the passages or injecting orifices 136 and into the recess 137, the latter being adjacent the underside of the leading closure in the chute 14. In addition to the nozzle 136, steam is discharged directly from the chamber 122 and into the recess 137 by means of passages 136' on each side of the aspirator 135. Steam continues to be supplied during the entire closure-applying operation so as to completely fill the head space of the container with superheated steam and displace substantially all of the air therein. Dy adjustment of the aspirator relative to the nozzle 134, the amount of air drawn in by the steam can be adjusted to secure a wide range of mixtures and in this way control the vacuum ultimately secured in the sealed containers. This is important since many foods such as jellies and jams are preferably sealed with low negative pressures while the highest possible negative pressures are useful for vegetables, meats, and the like. In this way a wide range of pressures can be easily attained and by calibrating the aspirator, it can be more easily set to provide any desired vacuum. Where a very high vacuum is desired, the air supply is cut off entirely.
During the sealing procedure, the seal may not be complete before the steam starts to cool, in which case the container will of course draw in air. To avoid this undesirable condition, the housing part 112 also includes a pair of forwardly extending arms 138 and 139 disposed on either side of the conveyor 11. These arms each include a passage 140 and a plurality of exit orifices 141 directed inwardly to envelop the containers in steam until they actually engage the sealing head 15. Steam is delivered to the passages 140 (Figs. 7 and 8) by a pair of diagonally disposed passages 142 opening at one end in chamber 122 and at the other end in passages 140.
With the new and improved steam chamber and distributor, the head of each container is uniformly heated by a cloud of steam with the temperature gradually increasing until the actual closure applying and sealing step. Thereafter, the containers continue to be enveloped by steam until the seal is effected. The entire structure for the attainment of these ends is simple, relatively inexpensive and easily maintained. Moreover it is carried by the superstructure 12 so that raising and lowering thereof to accommodate different size jars automatically raises and lowers the steam chamber and distributor accordingly.
Hood and steam exhaust means Another aspect of the invention resides in means for minimizing the escape of steam from the machine and the resulting discomfort to the operator and undesirable condensation on walls and ceilings. This is attained through the use of a hood 144 shown in Fig. 1 in its open position. The hood is hinged at 145 to the upper edge of the frame part 89 of the superstructure 12 and covers the scaling head 15, steam distributor and injector 19, side belts 16 and 17 and their associated drives. It is readily lifted about its hinge 145 for adjustment or repair. The hopper 14 is offset sufficiently to permit opening and closing of the hood.
In addition to the hood, an exhaust fan 146 having a suction inlet 147 and air outlet 148 may be carried by the superstructure 12. This fan is preferably coupled with an exhaust conduct and functions to withdraw steam and air from within the confines of the hood 144.
This invention as described above not only enables the rapid sealing of containers but also provides a dependable machine that will insure positive application of the closure and prevents tipping or displacing of the containers which often results in damage to the closure and an ineffective seal. Moreover, the degree of vacuum in each container can be quickly and easily regulated.
As various changes may be made inthe form, con- 9 's'ti'uction and arrangement or the paiftsherein-withoutdear-ting 4 from 'the" spirit "and scope" of 'the invention and without sacrificing anyo'f its advantages, it -is to be understood that all matter herein is tribe-interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. In a sealing machine the combination of a conveyor -for moving containers tobe sealed through the machine,means for supporting a closure in inclined position to be-engaged a t its -lower edge 'by the rim of a trifling-container for esist/s ar the closure from the support, apai-r of members 'prv'otau connected at one fp ointl andfextending outwardly from the pivot substantially in the form of an inverted V for engaging the sides of the closur e a nd for applyingiit to a moving container,
a first resilient means urgingsaid pair of members toward each other whrle-by the closure is forced backwardly against the container rim and is centered laterally thereon, and a second resilient means urging said pair of members downwardly to this the closure down against the conother top.
2. A sealing machine according to claim 1 in which a resiliently mounted roller is mounted to engage the closure .as it emerges from between said pivoted members to force the closure down on the rim of the container.
3. A machine according to claim 1 in which means is provided for directing steam between the cap and container at the time of application to fill the head space with steam,
4. A sealing machine according to claim 1 in which a steam and air directing nozzle is positioned in advance of said pair of members to fill the container head space with predetermined proportions of steam and air before the application of the closure.
5. In a sealing machine the combination of a conveyor for moving containers to be sealed through the machine, means for supporting a closure in inclined position to be engaged at its lower edge by the rim of a container for removal from the support, a pair of members pivotally connected at one point and extending outwardly from the pivot substantially in the form of an inverted V for engaging the sides of the closure for applying it to the moving container, and resiliently mounted rollers engaging the closure in front and back of said pivoted members as the closure passes between said pivoted members to force the closure down on a container.
6. A claim according to claim 5 in which the roller engaging the portion of the closure after its passage between said pivoted members applies a much greater pressure thereto than either the pivoted members or the other roller.
7. A claim according to claim 5 in which .means is provided for directing vapor between the closure and the container as it is being applied to the container.
8. In a sealing machine the combination of a conveyor for moving containers to be scaled through the machine, means for applying closures to the containers moving on the conveyor, and a pair of sprocket driven means for holding each container as the closures are applied comprising a splined vertical shaft carrying one of said sprockets at the lower end thereof and having a drive at its upper end thereof, a second splined vertical shaft carrying the other sprocket on its lower end and means for raising and lowering the lower ends of said splined shafts and the sprockets thereon without changing the position of the upper ends of said shafts.
9. A claim according to claim 8 in which a pair of horizontal members support said vertical shaft and related parts.
10. A claim according to claim 8 in which means is provided for positioning said vertical shafts toward and away from each other.
11. In a sealing machine the combination of a conveyor for moving containers to be sealed through the machine; a canopy extending longitudinally over the conveyor hav- 1 ,1 G ing a longitudinal concavity covered=-with a *sieve-like member to direct'a cloud of'st'eam aboutthe upper'ends of the containers; an applicator for applying caps to the moving containers including a support-for retaining a closure in inclined position-so that thelower edge thereof will be" engaged by the'rimof a 'r'n'o'ving container, an "eiipa'ndabl e'fork adapted to wipe the closure onto the rim of the container anda pressure member for'forcing the 'closure down'onthe container; auxiliary steam-supplying n1'e'ans' fors'upplying steam at the upper end of the container at the time the closure is-applied to it; and con- "tainer stabilizing meansfor holding the container upright during the cap applying operation including'side' belts, "means'for positioning said side belts toward andaway from each 'other' to accommodate different diameters .of containers and means for raising and lowering'said side belts to accommodate different heightsof-containers.
12. A sealing machine comprising a movable conveyor for carrying successive containers to be sealed; means along said conveyor for preheating the upper portionof eachcontainer, means for applying closures to successive containers after they are preheated, a two-fluid nozzle adapted for connection to a source of steam and a source of gas for directing a controlled quantity of a steam gas mixture into the headspace of each container as theclosure is applied, and means for sealing the closures on said containers.
13. A sealing machine according to claim 12 including: a steam distribution means for enveloping the containers being sealed in a cloud of steam to prevent undesired in-- take of air within the container until the seal is efiected.
14. In a sealing machine the combination of means for aligning and seating a closure on each container after engagement of a container and its closure comprising a pair of independently pivoted arms extending at an angle one relative to the other and into the path of said containers, resilient means for moving said arms inwardly one toward the other to a predetermined closure engaging position, said arms frictionally engaging said closure to seat it snugly against the leading edge of the container as the latter moves relative to said arms, and roller means for engaging and pressing said closure onto said container, said roller being positioned forwardly of said arms and. adapted to engage the closure during at least a part of the period of engagement by said arms.
15. In a sealing machine the combination of a pair of elongated members each pivoted for rotation about a. point between the ends thereof, resilient means coupled with the portions of said members on one side of the: pivots to urge the portions of said members on the other side of the pivots one toward the other, said last said portions frictionally engaging a closure on a container and exerting a pressure thereon as the container is moved therebetween to snugly hold said closure in engagement with the leading edge of said container and roller means following said elongated members to press the closure onto said container as the closure is held in position by said members.
16. In a sealingv machine the combination of a conveyor for moving containers to be sealed through the machine, an elongated steam housing above said conveyor having a downward facing channel therein generally parallel to said conveyor, means at the exit end of said steam housing to apply closures to containers being moved through said machine on said conveyor, a steam distributing channel in said steam housing running lengthwise thereof and communicating with said channel at spaced intervals, 3. sieve-like member positioned in said steam housing channel and spaced therefrom whereby steam passing from said steam distributing channel is uniformly dispersed along said steam housing channel by said sieve-like member in the path of containers on said conveyor, a nozzle directed toward the container head spaces at the exit end of said steam housing in advance of said closure applying means and communicating with said steam distributing channel whereby steam is directed into the head 1 1 space of containers on said conveyor, and said nozzle having a mixer thereon adapted to mix a gas with the steam from said steam supply. channel.
17. In a sealing machine the combination of a conveyor for moving containers to be sealed through the machine, an elongated steam housing above said conveyor having a downwardly facing channel therein generally parallel to said conveyor, means at the exit end of said steam housing to apply closures to containers being moved through said machine on said conveyor, a steam distributing channel in said steam housing running lengthwise thereof and communicating with said channel at spaced intervals, a sieve-like member positioned in said steam housing channel and spaced therefrom whereby steam passing from said steam distributing channel is uniformly dispersed along said steam housing channel by said sieve-like mem her in the path of containers on said conveyor, a nozzle directed toward the container head spaces at the exit end of said steam housing in advance of said closure applying means and communicating with said steam distribut 12 ing channel whereby steam is directed into the headspace of containers on said conveyor, and said nozzle having an aspirator thereon adapted to mix air with the steam from said steam supply channel. 1 4
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,907,900 Tevander May 9, 1933 1,920,539 White Aug. 1, 1933 2,107,237 Davies Feb. 1, 1938 2,184,490 Enkur et a1 Dec. 26, 1939 2,311,707 Stewart Feb. 23, 1943 2,330,726 McKinnis Sept. 28, 1943 2,352,761 Bell July 4, 1944 2,357,826 Hohl Sept. 12, 1944 2,408,447 Rau Oct. 1, 1946 2,522,437 Enkur Sept. 12, 1950 2,574,771 Zimmermann et a1 Nov. 13, 1951 2,630,958 Hohl Mar. 10, 1953 2,669,377 Van Poolen et a1 Feb. 16, 1954