US 2933866 A
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April 26, 1960 A. E. CRANSTON, JR 2,933,866
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING CYLINDRICAL, ARTICLES FiledlAug. 27. 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fla. 2
f April 26, 1960 E. CRANSTON, JR 2,933,366
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING CYLINDRICALARTICLES Filed Aug. 2'7, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN V EN TOR.
A/bem E Cr'cmsfon, Jr.
aim/MW A.E. CRANSTONHJYR 2,933,855 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING CYLINDRICAL ARTICLES Fil ed Aug. 27. 1957 April 26, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 mm. NM
INVENTOR. A/bem E. C -ansfon, Jr.
Mad/WM April 26, 1960 E. c s o J 2,933,866
\ METHOD AND APPARATUS I 'OR PACKAGING CYLINDRICAL ARTICLES 9i -&
[x 3 cs I N 1 2 W m INVENTDR.
Alba/"f E. Cr'ansfon JI V I @Z M METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING CYLINDRICAL ARTICLES Albert E. Cranston, in, Oak Grove, Oreg, I Application August 27, '1957, Serial No. 680,533
'10 clai s. (ct-seas he. p s n invention el es o' a meth and psratus, for packaging cylindrical articles and tofthe result-v ing packaged product. 7 i
The present methodand apparatus are-particularlyfladvantageous for the packaging of cylindrical articles, and specific application thereof is in connection with the packaging of a fuel product in the form of short artificial logs made from compressed sawdust having a natural or added binder. Such logs. have the general physical character-, istics of wood and are most conveniently handled and merchandised in flat package units containing three logs. It is to be understood, however, that the method and apparatus are not to be limited to the packaging of this product alone as such are useful in the packagin of other cylindrical articles which are capable of being tightly bound together in a cornmon plane in a friction-held, nonslipping relations p, as will be more fully understood hereinafter.
A principal object of the present invention is'to provide an improved fiat package unit of cylindrical articles and an improved method and apparatus for producing said package unit,
' Another obiect is to provide an improved method; of applying a binding to a plurality of cylindrical articles and, more specifically, to bind a plurality of cylindrical articles in parallel relation in a common plane wherein friction between adjacent articles holds said articles securely and rigidly in such relation. ,7
The package unit of the invention is formed from a plurality of the cylindrical articles bound together in a common plane by an endless band'or hoop and held in said common plane by a frictional grip between adjoining articles and between the outside articles and the binding member. In the method of forming the package de-. scribed the cylindrical articles are-placed in pyramidal relation and then moved into the pro-formed band. Then the articles are pressed into a common plane, the band having a predeterminedlength dimension such that it will be tightly tensioned around the articles when the articles are disposed in said common plane. Eriotitm between the adjacent articles and between the outside articles and the band maintains the articles in a common plane toiorm a flat package.- 1
The apparatus for carrying out the method-described has conveying means for moving the articles from a load ing station to'a packaging station and means at the packaging stationfor receiving an endless band transversely aired States Patent sufficient length oi band. The present packageunit cannot bebound tightly enough by conventional machines after removal from the joining mechanism. The present method, byv using pre-formed" hoops, permits the final, tension to be. adjusted as desired and obviates thensuah problem ot uniting thebandends under tension. The invention will he better understood and additional objects. and advantages will become apparent, from the.
following description taken in connection withthe at}: companying drawings'which illustratea preferredform oh the invention. Itis'fto be understood, howeyer, that the. invention may take. other forms, and that all such modificationsand variations within the scope of the appended cla m c ll ccur to e s ns. k l e ulthe' tincluded in the invention,
In the drawings a Figure 1 is a side elevational view of a packagedprod-s act of thepresent invention; i i
' Figure 2is anend view of said product;
Figure 3 is an elevational view of a hoop or bandfor binding the articles together; I
Figure 4 is a plan view of a machine for carrying out, the method;
Eigure S is a cross sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of Figure 4 and showing in addition a pyramid oi articles to bebanded;
Figure 6 is a cross sectional view taken on the line. 6-6 of Figure 4 showing the pyramid of articles dis; posed in the packaging station of the machine;
Figure 7 is a view similar to Figure 6 but am desartia r e r toward o mo plane P iaman Figure 8 is a sectional viewon the line 8.- -8 of Fig: ure 4. I
Reiferring now to the drawings, Figures 1 and 2 illustrate the package unit of the present invention. This package is designated generally by the numeral 10 and comprises a plurality of cylindrical articles 11 bound to: gether in axially parallel side-by-side relation in a com-' mon plane by an encompassing endless band or hoop 1 2.
7 As was described hereinb ef ore, the article to be packaged, is. a compressed sawdust fuel product, although the. package could as well be formed with other cylindrical,
or approximately cylindrical articles, as will be readily understood as the dsecription proceeds.
Ihe head r h 2 e n n i e fide o e h r is shown in Figure 3 and is formed from a material having the requisite strength such as wire, fiat metal band, certain types of twine or tough paper, plastic or other flexible but preferably stiff material. The band may asof the conveying means. Means are also provided at be taken 19 y i n e P ovide by e. Package or by a surne various widths but the inside circumferential length thereof; is of a predetermined dimension in relation to the numher and diameter of the articles being packaged whereby when the articles are disposed in a common plane the. band will be tightly tensioned around the articles.
Wit; the type of article described, i.e., an article having a rough surface, the tight banding thereof in a common plane will cause the articles to remain such common plane position due :to the frictional grip which exists between adjacent articles and'between the outer articles and the hand. More specifically, in a package of the type illustrated, comprising three articles, a tight band 12 will cause the center article to have a frictional gearlike grip on the other two articles whereby the center article is clamped tightly in place; Therefore, if. the center cylinder will not slide out of place, in order for it to move, the end cylinders would have to rotate in opposite directionsand such rotation does not occur in normal handl ng by reas n 9f th fr ti nal p q t head: a
Patented Apr. 26, 1960 showing the i the package thus formed, a plurality of individual articles are thereby held in compact and rigid relation for easy handling and convenient piling and storing.
The method and apparatus for forming the package will now be described. A preferred form of apparatus for carrying out the method is illstrated in Figures 4-8 and comprises a pair of longitudinally aligned belt conveyors and 16 which operate on suitable rollers 17 to carry the articles to be packaged from a loading station 18 to a packaging station 19 and thence to an unloading station 20. The conveyor 15 leads into the packaging station and the conveyor 16 leads out of said station, and the adjacent ends of these two conveyors are spaced apart slightly by end rollers 17a to form a transverse gap or break 21 for receiving the bands or hoops 12 one at a time. Conveyor belt 15 is equipped with cleats or lugs 14to impart positive feed movement.
Disposed along the sides of the conveyor 15 throughout a portion of the length thereof are stationary guide plates 22 carried on arms 23 suitably secured rigidly to the machine frame structure. The trailing ends of the guide plates 22 terminate short of the gap 21 a distance slightly in excess of half the length of articles 11. Disposed between the plates 22 and the gap in continuation of the plates 22 are resilent guide plates 25 connected to rods 27. Rods 27 are slidable in bearings 28 and are urged toward each other by springs 29 which are compressed between the outer bearings 28 and suitable abutments 26, such as washers, secured on rods 27. In the rest position of the plates 25, shown in Figure 4, the plates 25 have the same lateral spacing as stationary plates 22.
The leading ends of guide plates 25 are rounded at 25a to permit the articles to slide freely therebetween without impediment by the vertical edges. The transverse spacing between the plates 22 and 25 depends upon the diameter of the articles being packaged as this spacing must be slightly greater than the combined width of two of the articles so that three articles in pyramidal relation can slide freely therebetween on the conveyor 15, as shown in Figure 5.
Disposed centrally over the gap 21 is a presser head or bar 32 carried on a vertical piston rod 33, and mounted centrally below the gap 21 is a transverse presser bar 34 mounted on a vertical piston rod 35. Each bar 32 and 34 has vertical movement by the action of fluid pressure cylinders, not shown. Also disposed over the gap 21 is a pair of band-holding heads 38 mounted on inclined piston rods 39, as best shown in Figure 6. The rods 39, similar to the rods 33 and 35, are movable toward and away from the conveyor and also project from fluid pressure cylinders, not shown. Each bar and head 32, 34 and 38 is equipped with a band-holding groove 40.
In carrying out the method, using three articles to a package, a group of three articles is loaded in pyramidal relation on the conveyor 15 between guide plates 22 at against the action of springs 29 as the articles are pressed into a common plane position as shown in Figure 1. The upper bar 32 and lower bar 34 then retract to their Figure 6 positions and the conveyors 15 and 16 move the package through the machine to the unloading station 20.
When the articles assume the approximate positions shown in Figure 7, all slack has been removed from the band 12 and further downward movement of the center article operates to tension the band. A single band of adequate strength is suflicient to hold a group of three cylindrical articles rigidly in a stable flat package.
Having now described my invention and in what manner the same may be used, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
1. A method of packaging three cylindrical articles utilizing an endless circular band capable of banding said articles transversely in tight abutting relation when said articles are disposed in parallel side-by-side relation the loading station 18 as shown in Figure 5 while the conveyor, is stationary. The upper presser bar 32, as well as the lower bar 34, are at this time in a retracted position away from the conveyor and heads 38 are projected, as shown in Figure 6. A circular band or hoop 12 is then deformed into a rounded triangular shape and inserted in grooves 40 which support and hold it in vertical position in the gap 21.
Then the conveyor belts 15 and 16 are started to move the pyramid group of articles 11 lengthwise into the band 12. The belts are stopped when the articles reach banding position and heads 33 are retracted to their Figure 7 position. In banding position the articles 11 have cleared stationary side plates 22 and are confined by resilient side plates 25.
Then the presser bar 32 moves downwardly and the bar 34 moves upwardly to the supporting belt level. The downward movement of bar 32 spreads the outer cylinders apart and moves the center cylinder therebetween, as shown in Figure 7, the plates 25 spreading transversely in a common plane, comprising the steps of pyramiding said articles in parallel relation, shaping said band into a triangular configuration, moving said articles lengthwise partially, through said band, and then forcing said articles into a common plane to tighten said band transversely therearound.
2. The method of packaging cylindrical articles in a transverse endless band comprising assembling said articles in a compact pyramidal group, moving said group lengthwise into saidband subject, to sufiicient yieldable lateral restraint to hold the group in assembled relation, and then applying pressure at right angles to the direction of said lateral restraint and parallel with the plane of the band sufiicient to flatten the group into a common plane and tension said band.
3. Apparatus for packaging cylindrical articles comprising a pair of spaced conveyors defining a gap therebetween over which conveyed articles are moved, an upwardly movable presser bar in said gap, resilient side plates adjacent opposite sides of said gap, movable hoop deforming members on opposite sides of said gap above said conveyors, hoop engaging and supporting means on said presser bar and said members, and a downwardly movable presser plate above said presser bar.
4. Apparatus for packaging cylindrical articles comprising a pair of longitudinally spaced conveyors definmg a gap therebetween over which conveyed articles are moved, a lower transverse presser bar movable upwardly in said gap, an upper transverse presser bar movable downwardly above said lower bar, means for supporting a hoop in a transverse vertical plane in said gap, and resilent side plates adjacent opposite sides of said conveyors.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 3 in which said hoop supporting means comprises grooves in said presser bars.
6. The method of packaging a small number of cylindrical articles in excess of two comprising assembling said articles in parallel side-by-side relation with at least one of the articles offset from the plane of two other articles, supporting an endless band in open position to receive the articles, moving the articles lengthwise relative to the band so that the articles project through the band, and then forcing all of said articles into a common plane to tighten the band transversely therearound,'said band having a predetermined circumference to bind said articles snugly in a common plane whereby said band will receive said articles freely when one of the articles is offset from the common plane.
7. The method of packaging three cylindrical articles comprising assembling said articles in parallel side-byside relation in a pyramid, supporting an endless band in open position to receive the articles, moving the articles lengthwise relative to the band so that the articles project through the band, and then forcing the three articles into a common plane to tighten the band transversely therearound, said band having a predetermined circumference to bind said articles in a common plane whereby the band will receive said articles freely in said pyramid assemblage.
8. The method of packaging a small number of cylindrical articles in excess of two comprising assembling said articles in parallel side-by-side relation with at least one of the articles offset from the plane of two adjacent articles, supporting an endless band in open position to receive the articles, moving the articles lengthwise relative to the band so that the articles project through the band, and then forcing said one article between said adjacent articles and into said plane thereof to tighten the band transversely around all the articles, said band having a predetermined circumference to bind said articles snugly in a common plane whereby said band will receive said articles freely when one of the articles is offset from the common plane.
9. Apparatus for packaging a group of cylindrical articles in an endless band comprising means for supporting a group of said articles in parallel side-by-side relation with at least one of the articles offset from the plane of two other articles, means for imposing yieldable lateral restraint on said group to prevent lateral spreading of the group, means for supporting an endless band in open position to receive said group, means for moving the articles lengthwise relative to said band supporting means to project the articles through a band on said band supporting means, and means for forcing the offset article into said plane between said two other articles causing said two other articles to spread apart laterally against said lateral restraining means and tension said band around the group.
10. Apparatus for packaging a group of cylindrical articles in a hoop comprising a support for the articles, resilient side plates adjacent said support, retractable hoop supporting members adjacent an end of said support, means for moving said articles over said end of said support and lengthwise relative to said hoop supporting members, and a presser bar movable perpendicularly toward said support.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 20 2,707,553 Yount May 3, 1955 2,778,491 Taylor Ian. 22, 1957 2,781,621 Wilson Feb. 19, 1957 2,796,709 Bolding June 25, 1957 2,801,507 Claus Aug. 6, 1957