US 2907357 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
OCt 5, 1959 E. R. sANDHAGE ETAL 2,907,357
POWDER FILLING MACHINE FOR BOTTLES Filed April 12, 195e 4 sheets-sheet 1 M 3 Q 3 7 .n 1 f M $0 E an 008 N u 7. MNR R \l M JQ EME m 4 o Y W M T vl A 2 Hw 5 3 l ...w 7 3 l|.h,H W6 5I' 3 5M n #Y zw E 2/ y 5 e L 5 l. 4
OC- 6, 1959 E.'R. sANDHAGE ETAL 2,907,357
POWDER FILLING MACHINE EOR BOTTLES Filed April 12, 1956 4 sheets-sheet 2 1N VEN TORS, ELLS WOR TH R SANDHAGE BYGEORGE SPENCER B0 T7;
A T TOR/VEX Oct. 6, 1959 Filed April 12, 1956 E. R. SANDHAGE vE1' AL POWDER FILLING MACHINE FOR BOTTLES 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 I N VEN TORS.
ELLSWORTH l?. SANDHAGE, EYGEOIVG:E SPENCER BOT,
ATTOR/VEX Oct. 6, 1959 E. R. sANDHAGE ETAL 2,907,357
POWDER FILLING MACHINE FOR BOTTLES 4 Filed April 12, 1956 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 IN VEN TORS.
BSEORGE SPENCER BUTT,
Y M M we@ ATTORNEY ELLSWURTH R. SAND/MGE,
POWDER FILLING MACHINE FOR BOTTLES Ellsworth R. Sandhage, Pearl River, N.Y., and George Spencer Bott, Westwood, NJ., assignors to American Cyanamid Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Maine Application April 12, 1956, Serial No. 577,678
2 Claims. (Cl. 141-59) This invention relates to a machine and method for filling comparatively large pre-measured quantities of powder through a funnel into a small-mouthed, rigid container such as a bottle.
For many purposes it is necessary to sub-divide powder, and to package measured charges of powder into containers. In commercial packaging operations it is necessary to give a full weight to avoid laws on underfilled containers, and to meet standards of quality. At least the labelled quantity of materials must be present in the containers. If more than the labelled quantity of material is filled, then the manufactu-rer or filler is in effect giving away the excess. Under all conditions this is expensive. In the pharmaceutical field, where therapeutic agents are being filled, it is not only expensive but dangerous to overfill because the physician in using a particular drug desires that the exact quantity which he has selected be administered; Under such conditions either too much or too little is unsatisfactory, and may be dangerous to a patient.
In the past it has frequently been customary to use the bottles themselves as a measuring trap, and to draw the powder into the bottle by means of a vacuum until 2,907,357 Patented Oct. 6, 19.59
j ice By this new device the necessity for using a plurality of powder charges to fill a single vial or bottle is minlmized or eliminated, and the filling operation is expedited.
Whereas the bottles may be fed to the filling machine by automatic means, many of which are well-known commercially, the device will be described in connection with a hand-feeding operation. Similarly, whereas any desired size of funnel may be used, a funnel with a top diameter of about 2 inches and a bottom diameter of slightly less than 3/s of an inch may be used in connection with a charge chamber which may have a diameter of 11/2 inches and an effective length of at least 2V: inches. Obviously, these limits are in no way critical but are illustrative of the type of results which may be ob` tained by this invention.
In the accompanying drawings:
Figure l is a sectionalview of the bottle supportand transfer funnel system;
Figure 2 is a view of the transfer system in connec tion with the powder measuring roll;
Figure 3 shows a valve plate and a valve chest for the transfer funnel system; 1
Figure 4 is a sectional view along line 4-4 of Fig ure 3;
Figure 5 is an enlarged view of a powder as it feeds y through transfer funnel;
the bottle was filled. Variations in bottle size, or filling conditions, thus cause changes in the quantity of powder being filled, and additionally bottle sizes must be changed for different dosage quantities. Further difficulties are introduced should it be desired to fill two or more different powders into the same container.
Due to variations in powder density it is generally not too satisfactory to use the bottlevitself as a measure.
One improvement in powder dispensing machines is described in a patent to F. E. Stirn et al., 2,540,059, January 30, 1951, Method of and Apparatus for Measuring and Filling Powders Volumetrically. In that patent is described a method whereby powder is uniformly cornp-acted by a vacuum into a measuring chamber having a foraminous area in a powdered measuring roll, and the uniformly compacted powder charge is then ejected by gaseous pressure from the measuring chamber into containers. As long as the powder charges are small this method is extremely satisfactory. However, when larger quantities of powder are to be filled into bottles, particularly bottles having a comparatively small neck, the length of the measuring chamber for a given charge of powder becomes unmanageably long, if the powder column is to pass through the neck of the bottle. In filling large charges of powder into small-necked bottles, a limit is reached beyond which it is not practical to operate the Stirn machine.
It is now been found that by transferring the measused powder charges to individual transfer funnels, and from the individual transfer funnels into the individual bottles, it is convenient to use any size measuring chamber which may be desired, and by choosing an appropriate size of funnel, the contents of the measuring chamber may be discharged into the funnel, and drawn through the -funnel into a bottle having a small neck.
Figure 6 is an exploded view of the control systems for actuating the powder at the correct time; and
Figure 7 is a view of the powder measuring roll and the measuring chambers.
The entire device is mounted on a pedestal plate 11, which pedestal is conveniently mounted on a screw jack or a hydraulic jack so that the height of the powder filling machine may be adjusted to fit into a filling line. On the pedestal plate is mounted a threaded support sleeve 12, which is generally circular in nature and hollow. The hollow portion thereof will be later described. Around the exterior of the threaded support sleeve isa height adjusting sleeve 13. The vertical position of this height adjusting sleeve controls the height of the bottom of the bottles so that the machine can be conveniently adjusted for various sizes of bottles. Supported on the height adjusting sleeve is a bottle support cam plate 14. The bottle support cam plate is mounted on the threaded support sleeve so that it may slide up and down thereon, and has a sliding key 1S, which fits into -a groove 16 in the threaded support sleeve and is thus prevented from rotating. Near the external periphery of the bottle support cam plate is the cam 17, which as is more clearly shown in Figure 2, is arranged to raise the bottles during the filling operation and release them during the feeding and removing step.
' The bottle support cam plate in turn has resting thereon a bottle support plate bearing 1S, which in turn has resting thereon the bottle support plate 19. The bottle support plate is driven by a drive fork 20.
` The bottle support plate may be adjusted vertically by turning the height adjusting sleeve. Near the periphery of the bottle support plate are a plurality of bottle supports 21. The bottle support 21 slides up and down in the bottle support plate. A support return spring 22 is compressed between the bottle support plate and the spring collar 23, which pulls the bottle support downward. Interiorly of the bottle support is a support spring 24. Bearing against the bottom of the spring is the cam follower block 25. In the cam follower block 25 are cam follower balls 26 around which the cam follower block fits and is peened so that the balls are held in position. In the side, near the top of the cam follower block is a positioning slot 27, in which fits a positioning ball 28. The ball is placed thro-ugh a hole 29 in the bottle support, so that the cam follower can slide up against and compress the support spring 24 but cannot extend downwardly beyond its normal position. The cam follower balls ride on the cam and when the bottle support is at the posItion where the bottle is to be lifted, the cam raises the cam follower balls, and the cam follower block,vwhich in turn ralses the bottle support 21. When the top 'bf the bottle is pressed against the funnel gasket 42,'.the support spring 24 is compressed so that the bottle is retained under the spring loading of the support spring 24, which allows for variations in the commercial sizes obtained of bottles. A u
On the bottle support cam plate is a hold down shoulder 30 under which the hold down rolls 3l rotate. The hold down rolls are in turn held by the hold down bracket 32. Three such hold down rolls and brackets prevent the tension of the cam follower balls from the support springs lifting the entire bottle support plate. i l l Additionally, attached to the bottle support plate are the positioning brackets 33, which are angle-shaped, positioned above each bottle support to act as a guide in placing the bottles in filling position. l
Centrally of the threaded support sleeve 12 is the funnel plate drive shaft 34. The funnel plate drive shaft ispositioned by a lower bearing 35 and an upper bearing 36 in the threaded support sleeve 12. The Afunnel plate drive shaft 4is driven by a drive sprocket 37'. Y Y i i vMounted on the -upper end of the funnel plate drive shaft is the funnel plate 38. Attached to the lunderside of the funnel plate is the funnel plate drive fork 39. This funnel plate drive fork engages with'theidrive fork 20 and thereby causes the bottle YsupportY plate 19 to rotate. These drive forks interdigitate in such fashion that there is no angular relativeV motion between the funnel plate 38 and the bottle support plate 19, but the bottle support plate may be raised and lowered with respect to the funnel plate 38. Y
`Spaced around the periphery of the funnel plate and directly above each bottle support 21 is a funnel 40. The interior portion of the funnel may be completely conical or partly cylindrical and conical and conveniently has a slight taper. It is chrome-plated so that powder slides smoothly down the funnel. Stretched across the top of the funnel are a series of slug breaking wires 41 to break up any powder slugs which might Aotherwise jam the funnel. At the bottom of the funnel is the funnel gasket 42 of resilient material, such as rubber, against which the neck of the bottle is pressed during the filling operation. Y
The interior opening of the funnel entends downwardly through this gasket so that it communicates with the interior of the bottle. Around the filling throat 43 formed by the bottom of the funnel is a gas oritice 44. The gas orifice may be concentric with the filling throat, or extend only partway around. The gas orice also is in communication with the interior of the bottles to be filled. The gas orifice is connected by a gas duct 45 to the gas tube 46 which connects to a valve plate 47. The valve plate is positioned firmly against the funnel plate 38 and rotates therewith. Above the valve plate is a Valve chest 48. As more clearly shown in Figure 3, a pressure connection 74 and a vacuum line 52 lead to the valve chest and prevent it from rotating. The vacuum chest 49 is arranged so that the vacuum connects through the gas tube, gas duct, and gas orirce to the interior of Athe bottle, when a bottle is under the lling position and for approximately the next 90 degrees. Later in the rotation a pressure chest 75 reaches each valve port 76 so arranged` as to give a single blast of air pressure to blow back any powder which may have been drawn into the valve po-rt, the gas tube, or the gas orilice. A single blast of air pressure cleans the tubes out each time and insures that any powder charge, which might otherwise tend to clog them, is blown back into thte bottle with the powder charge to which it belongs.
AAs shown in Figures 2 and 7 a powder rneasuringroll 50 is positioned above the ytunnels and rotates in timed relationship therewith so that a powder measuring chamber 51 passes above and in filling relationship with each funnel. The measuring chambers and powder measuring rolls may be as described in the Stirn Patent 2,540,059. The powder measuring roll may be either arranged for intermittent operation in which the powder measuring roll stops during each powder discharge cycle, or more conveniently may be arranged for continuous rotation so that the powder is discharged into its respective funnel as the powder measuring ro-ll and the funnel plate rotate, with a measuring chambercooperating with each funnel'.y The duct and timing relationships are shown in Figure 6. A vacuum line S2 from a vacuum source, which op erates through a dust collector 53, is continuously connected to the measuring roll vacuum chest 77 and the vacuum chest 49. This continuously'draws powder into the measuring chambers and continuously applies a vacuum to bottles as they pass under the tunnels t0 draw powder through the tunnels into the bottles. The powder measuring roll is mounted on a measuring roll shaft 54 driven by a motor 55, which may be a suitably geared electric motor operated through the on-ol switch 56; The measuring roll shaft has thereon'a' measuring roll shaft sprocket 57 which through'a drive chain SS' drives the drive sprocket 37. ThisV drive chain insures the coordinate angular relationship of the powder measuring roll and the funnel plate drive shaft with its associated mech; anism. Also mounted Von thev measuring roll shaft sprocket is a powder discharge'camSQ which operates a micro-switch 60, which in turn is connected through la bottle detector switch 61'to a powder discharge solenoid value 62. The powder discharge solenoid 'valve`62 is connected to the vacuum line by a vacuum connection '63 andto an air pressure line 64, which operates through a pressure regulating valve 65.v A pressure gauge"66"rnay be connected in this line.
In operation as a bottle 78 passes with its associated funnel under the measuring chamber the micro-switch 60 is actuated, and if the bottle is in position, which in turn actuates the bottle detector switch 61, the solenoid valve 62 causes a blast of air pressure to tiow through the discharge line 67 to the measuring chamber in the powder measuring roll thus blowing the powder outof the measuring chamber into the funnel.
Conversely, it no bottle is present the bottle detector switch 61 prevents the discharge of powder vat this point. A slight vacuum is normally maintained on the discharge une 67.
Similarly, air from the air pressure line 64 passes through a pressure reguiating valve 68, the pressure passing, which may be shown on a pressure'g'auge 69, to a blow back solenoid 76. The blow back solenoid l76 is operated by a blow back carn 71, which operates a blow back micro-switch 72, which is connected with a second bottle detector switch 73, so that any powder which is accumulated in thegas orifice, the gas chest, or thegas tube is blown back by a blast of air through the pressure connection 74 to the valve, if a bottle is in position."
ln operation the bottles 78 are placed by hand on the bottle supports 21, and as each bottle in turn rotateswith its associated funnel the cam 17 acting through'thfe cam follower block system raises the bottles soV that it is pressed tightly against the bottom of the funnel. As the bottle passes beneath the measuring roll, the switch 61 detects the presence of a bottle. The cam 59 indicates the correct time and a blast of air from the discharge `line 67 causes the contents of the powder measuring chamber to be ejected down into the funnel. If the powder 79 tends to cohete the slug breaking wires 41 cause the charge t0 break up into fragments and fall down through thelfunnel. v"Jacuum is constantly applied throughthe gas orifice 44 which draws the powder down lthroughnthey lilling throat into the bottle. Normally, the transfer of thefpowderl into the funnel, and from the funnel intoA thebottle occurs during only a small l'fraction of the rotation of thefuniiel and bottle, After all of the powder is transferred into the bottle, the pressure chest 75 comes into contact with the appropriate port 76 in the valve plate and blows back any powder which may have accumulated in the line. The bottle Continues to rotate until the bottle support is lowered at which point it may be removed by hand.
Many modifications of the machine can obviously be made, such as automatic feeding, or the use of other types of switches, drive gears, or cam and valve systems. One such modification for sticking powder is to use stationary slug breaking wires, above the funnel, as shown in Figure 7, whereby the motion of the powder measuring roll tends to cause the powder slug to break as it is drawn past the slug breaking wires. The powder measuring roll may rotate in the same direction as the funnels, and fill over a long segment of travel, or may rotate in the opposite direction which requires greater precision in timing, but which causes better fragmentation of the powder slug. Such modifications are within the scope of the appendant claims.
Having thus described our invention, we claim:
1. A machine for filling bottles with powder comprising: a horizontal-axis cylindrical powder measuring roll having therein a plurality of measuring chambers having at least a portion of their surface of foraminous material, vacuum means to uniformly draw powder into said meassuring chambers, means to uniform strike off the powder filled chambers, thus forming uniform powder charges,V
gas pressure means to eject said powder charges from said measuring chambers at a predetermined location, a horizontal funnel plate, means for rotating said funnel plate about a vertical axis in timed cooperative relationship with the powder measuring roll, a plurality of funnels having a vertical axis and diverging upwardly, one such funnel being positioned to receive each ejected powder charge from said measuring chambers, a bottle support plate, a plurality of bottle supports, one such bottle support being positioned under each of said funnels, means to position bottles on said bottle supports, means to rotate the bottle support plate about a vertical axis colinear with the funnel plate axis, a stationary vertically positionable cam concentric with the axis of rotation of the bottle support plate and funnel plate, separate spring loaded cam follower means operatively attached to each of said bottle supports to yieldingly raise the bottle supports so as to lift bottles into air tight relationship with the lower face of said funnel, a filling throat at the small end of each funnel feeding into bottles, a separate gas orifice in the lower face of each funnel communicating with the interior of the bottles in filling position, a vacuum source, a gas pressure source, and manifold passages and valve means to connect the vacuum source and the gas pressure source separately and serially through the gas orifices with the interior of bottles, whereby powder discharged into the funnels is drawn into bottles, and any powder drawn into the gas orifices and mani fold passages is blown back into the bottles.
2. A machine for filling bottles with powder comprising: a powder measuring roll having measuring chambers therein, means to fill said chambers with powder, means to uniformly strike off the filled chambers, thus forming uniform powder charges, means to eject the thus formed powder charges from saidmeasuring chambers, a plurality of upwardly divergent funnels, slug breaking wires across said funnels, which break up powder slugs dropped in said funnels, means to move said funnels in timed relationship under said measuring chambers, to receive the ejected powder charges, bottle supports, means to position bottles on said bottle supports, means to lift bottles on the bottle supports into air tight relationship with the lower face of said funnels, means to adjust the height of said bottle supports and said bottle support lifting means with respect to said tunnels to provide for variations in bottle size,V a gas orifice in the lower face of each funnel communicating with the interior of the thuspositioned bottles, a vacuum source, a gas pressure source, and manifold passages and valve vmeans to connect the vacuum source and the gas pressure source separately and serially through the gas orifices with the interior of the bottles, whereby powder discharged into the funnels is drawn into the bottles, and any powder drawn into the gas orifices and' manifold passages is blown back into the bottles.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Haygrath Mar. 13, 1956