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Publication numberUS2949714 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 23, 1960
Filing dateDec 3, 1958
Priority dateDec 3, 1958
Publication numberUS 2949714 A, US 2949714A, US-A-2949714, US2949714 A, US2949714A
InventorsDavis Robert F
Original AssigneeWise Potato Chip Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lost container switch mechanism for automatic packaging equipment
US 2949714 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1960 R. F. DAVIS 2,949,714


LOST CONTAINER SWITCH MECHANISM FOR AUTOMATIC PACKAGING EQUIPMENT Filed Dec. 3, 1958 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Iii SPOU T INDEX/N6 C/RCU/ T INVENTOR Robert E Dal/i6 07%;; Wwmsmw ATTORNEY? LOST CONTAINER SWITCH MECHANISM FOR AUTOMATIC PACKAGING EQUIPMENT Robert F. Davis, Berwick, Pa., assignor to Wise Potato Chip Company, Berwick, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Dec. 3, 1958, Ser. No. 777,951 '4 Claims. (Cl. 53-63) This invention relates to an improved means for ap- PllCEltiOl'l to an automatic packaging mechanism which permits continuous and uninterrupted operation of such equipment even though during the various phases thereof a container or receptacle has not been correctly positioned for filling upon the injection spout or filling mechanism of the particular machine under consideration. More particularly, the instant invention is directed to a switching means and circuit therefor that enables proper functioning of an entire assembly line where the absence of a container, generally located upon the filling means, is at once automatically signalled to a relay system, this relay system then automatically causing cessation of such functions of the assembly line as the initial conveying of the goods to be packaged, the weighing and/or selection of the amount to be packaged, the sealing of the filled package, the transmission or conveying of the sealed completed packages to a further point for manual handling, and other functions which are inherent in the operation of this relatively complicated equipment.

Prior to a more definite description of the invention, the same is oriented in its particular field by reference to the general nature of automatic packaging equipment to which it is applicable. In the particular instance or embodiment of the invention which is disclosed herein, the mechanism thereof is depicted as being applied to a packaging assembly line for the packaging of potato chips wherein this food article is weighed, charged to a container, the container is removed from the filling mechanism, the container is then appropriately sealed and discharged from the sealing means, and finally, such filled package is placed upon a belt or suitable conveyor to a handling point for bulk loading purposes.

in the mechanism herein described as being applicable for use in connection with the lost container switch of this invention, such food product is initially charged by means of a vibrator or inclined gravity conveyor to a weighing unit and the latter, through automatic and known mechanism, functions to charge a given receptacle placed in position for filling with a predetermined weight of the food product. The several food containers, here paper or cellophane receptacles, are automatically positioned upon a rotating turret which is provided with a series of cups, each of the cups being rotated and indexed to proper position under an appropriate filling spout leading from the Weighing unit. As each container is filled it continues its travel about the several stations of the turret, here eight in number, until it reaches a bag release point. Here the bag is automatically sealed by the application of heat by means of a known turret sealer mechanism. The bag is then again released to suitable conveying equipment, being now a complete package ready for delivery to the ultimate consumer.

Although the invention herein set forth is applicable to all kinds of automatic filling and packaging mechanisms, it is here described, as stated above, with respect to this particular type of food article and with respect to mechanism which is commercially available today. Thus, the invention is suitable for use with respect to bottle capping ice machines, to machines which automatically fill tin containers with various types of food products, or to machines which automatically box products for shipment, among other types of mechanisms of a similar nature.

it is accordingly the primary object of this invention to provide a lost container switch and circuit control means therefor which insures that in the operation of the type of automatic machinery just described, failure of the mechanism, for one reason or another, to place a container in position for filling will instantly be relayed by an appropriate feeler circuit to the other related elements of the combination so that the other functions ordinarily accomplished by such mechanism such as filling, weighing, conveying, etc., will be immediately interrupted and stopped. in other words, transmission of such signal and control of the other related machinery is such that the filling mechanism will not be actuated to either fill the weigher or to pour the measured contents out of the weigher in that instance where no receptacle has been properly positioned for receiving the product to be charged.

Another objective of the invention is to provide a device of the described nature which, as stated above, is applicable to and may be incorporated in the circuit controls of almost any type of related apparauts, i.e., mechanisms which are not particularly confined to the filling and packaging of dry food products in a paper container, but also those other related mechanisms, automatic in nature, which involve bottle capping procedures, paper carton packaging, or alternatively, the packaging of liquid products in metallic containers.

A further objective of the invention is the provision of a feeling circuit and appropriate relay mechanism and controls therefor wherein, during those periods in the cycle of rotation of the indexing spout turret where a bag is not properly placed thereon, the indexing operation of this rotating turret, by an appropriate relay circuit, is accelerated to hasten the placing of a spout under the weigher which does have a receptacle thereon. Such circuit permits such acceleration for the stated purpose, provides for resumption of the automatic operation of the turret after this interval of acceleration, and provides also for the coordinated resumption of activity of the other elements of the assembly such as the vibrating conveyors, the weigher, the bag applicator, and the bag sealer unit.

Another objective of the invention is the provision of a circuit control mechanism for machines of the described type which, in preventing such automatic operation from continuing through a cycle where the product is discharged vvithout being packaged, the resultant inconvenience and wastage is eliminated since it is then not necessary to catch and reprocess the material, for the lost container switch prevents discharge, as stated, unless a container has suitably been placed upon the appropriate cup or spout to receive the same.

As an additional objective of the invention, the same is presented as a means for reducing the time required to process the product, i.e., the time required to measure and dump the product where, in the usual instance, no container is present. In other words, by installation of the instant unit, all charges of the product which have been measured by the automatic filling machine must necessarily enter a container which is always ever present in proper position; otherwise the filling unit does not function.

An additional and important advantage of the invention is that products which, without its use, are otherwise damaged through excessive handling and exposure, are afforded greater protection since they will not be discharged in the absence of a suitable container in position for loading; hand in hand with this function is the addi'-" tional advantage also that inadvertent discharge of material through operation of the normal type of machinery cannot occur. Hence, with provision of this type of lost container switch, the extra expense involved in catching and reprocessing material from unwanted discharges can be obviated.

Other advantages and functions of the invention should be understood from the more particular description which follows, made with reference to various figures of a preferred embodiment of the invention, and wherein:

Figure 1 is a plan view of the layout of the type of machinery to which the invention is applied, somewhat diagrammatic in nature, but illustrating the relative location and circuit energizing functions of the lost container switch and related relay elements.

Figure 2 is an end elevation view of the assembly as shown in Figure l likewise indicating the general nature or combination of known elements of automatic devices of the type to which this invention is applicable.

Figure 3 is an enlarged plan view of the contacting element of the lost container switch of this invention, indicating the same to be in contact with a given filling spout and hence in position to actuate those circuits necessary to achieve the functions outlined in the foregoing;

Figure 4 is an enlarged elevation view of the contact or feeler element in position for contact with a given filling spout, demonstrating also the general nature of the bag gripper mechanism which, and in normal operation where a bag is present, functions to maintain the bag in position for filling purposes;

Figure 5 is a side elevation view showing the invention as it is positioned in the preceding Figure 4;

Figure 6 represents a circuit diagram indicating the manner in whichthe contact element of the invention con tacts a given spout when no bag is in position upon the spout and thereby actuatcs a series of relays to automatically cause the main circuits to the other mechanisms of the combination to cease functioning, or to accelerate their assigned functions, in a manner to be described; and

Figure 7 is a diagram indicating the manner in which the contact time of the contact ring must overlap the time of the bag applicator switch mechanism to achieve the objectives of the invention stated in the foregoing.

Referring to these several views illustrative of the application of this invention to one type of automatic mechanism in the art here under consideration, it is seen that the invention is applied to an automatic packaging assembly consisting of three basic units: firstly, the automatic weigher designated at A; secondly, the bag applicator generally indicated at B, and thirdly, the turret sealer shown generally at C. Each of these performs functions which their name indicates. The weighing unit, receiving the completed product automatically discharged from a vibrating trough conveyor system, automatically weighs a given amount, the same amount being sufficient to fill a container of certain size limitations, and then discharges that amount into a bag which has automatically been positioned at the receiving point. The bag applicator, having a turret which rotates a series of filling spouts, automatically positions, during the cycle of operation of same, a bag or container on a spout just preceding its admission to the area where it is to be filled by the weigher device; and finally, the turret sealer, positioned adjacent to the point where the filled bags are ready for discharge is adapted to automtically seal the opening of these' containers by the application of heat and pressure. In this instance such method is utilized simply because the bags are made of a material such as cellophane or like wrapping material which can be sealed thermally under known conditions of pressure.

In the following explanation, little detail is given to the specific characteristics of each of these recited and mechancially fundamental units or to the precise manner by which each performs its particular function. This is because these are standard units commercially well known in this country, and readily installed by those skilled in 4 the art in a given factory for the purposes which have been but generally outlined above.

At any rate, and in some particular to orient the instant invention, it will be seen by reference to Figure 1 that a series of vibrator or gravity conveyors 5, 6 and 7 feed the prepared product, here potato chips, into an appropriate opening 10 of the weigher unit A, the latter being provided with a suitable manual pushbutton station 12 as well as a control box 13; containing rather complicated, yet known electrical equipment for operation of the assembly, the same being mounted upon a suitable base 14.

The weigher is fitted with a down spout 15 located as shown in Figure 2 for the obvious purpose of discharging a predetermined quantity of product, as determined by the weigher unit, to a container which is positioned as shown in this figure and which is positioned upon one of the several spouts 2d. The latter are eight in number and symmetrically arranged upon a turntable 23 which when the machine is in operation, continually is rotated, or more properly stated, indexed so as to successively position each cup 2% underneath the downspout 15 for filling purposes. In Figure 1 the several cups 20 are identified with respect to certain progressive positions beginning from P to P these designations being useful in understanding the description of operation of the mechanism which follows hereinafter.

As generally referred to above, it will be understood that as the turret 23 rotates in the direction indicated or as viewed in this figure in a counterclockwise direction, each of the filled bags will intermittently progress from a given point as for example point P to point P there being eight positions or spouts on the turret in this version of the invention. Rotation of the spout indexing turret is in a counter-clockwise direction as indicated by the arrow in Figure 1. At point P the bag applicator positions a bag upon the spout there located. At point P and assuming the bag is correctly in place, the feeler circuit is not energized for the bag insulates the grounded metal spout from the contact ring of the feeler circuit and accordingly normal operation continues. Accordingly, the spout then progresses to point P where potato chips flow from the conveyor chutes and are vibrated into the weigher. As soon as the proper weight has accumulated the product is then automatically discharged into the bag. The spout at P then intermittently progresses through the remainder of its cycle to point P7 where the turrent sealer automatically prepares the top of the bag for sealing, heat seals the bag and deposits the packaged product upon the conveyor unit 27 which transmits the packages to a rotating turntable 30. The turntable constantly revolves at a slow rate of speed in order to deliver the filled bags to an operator who packs them in a carton. In the normal operation just described, the bag applicator indexes much faster than the weigher cycles and an empty bag will always be waiting for the charge. The vibrators are adjusted to give a continuous, even flowv The bag applicator normally employs a vacuum head to pick up a single bag from a bag magazine and strip it in position on the bag applicator spout. Should a bag not be properly placed on the spout, which heretofore frequently happened for several reasons, the charge would fall into a container placed beneath the weigher discharge chute for that purpose.

Reference is now made to the more particular aspect of this invention involving default of the bag applicator or other abnormal occurrence which results in the nonpositioning of a bag upon a given spout in position P Here the feeler circuit, energized by contact of the feeder of the ring contacting means with the 'bare spout at position P automatically performs those functions outlined in the foregoing. Figures 3, 4 and 5 disclose in more detail the particular type of contacting mechanism for use with the feeler circuit which is here preferred, the circuit including a series of relays which automatically actuate and tie-actuate certain of the four main control circuits to achieve the functions briefly related in the foregoing.

In Figure 5, particularly, the relationship of spout, bag and ring contact is clearly shown. Here the bag 35 is depicted as being superimposed over the end of one of the pouring spouts 20, the latter being shaped as indicated and with one side out at an angle for obvious purposes. Once placed upon the spout by the bag applicator, this taking place at position P the spout is then ultimately rotated to position P and it is shown in this position in Figure 5. If the bag is in its proper position, no contact is made between the contact ring and the spout at this time, the bag providing insulation preventing this. The bag is maintained in an open position by a bag expander 37 which automatically functions to exert pressure against one side Wall of the bag. This bag expander is pivoted upon an arm 40 and the latter rotated by a bracket 42 through suitable automatic mechanism which forms no part of this invention. Obviously, ro tation outwardly expands the bag to an open position.

It is to be understood that each of the spouts or cups 20 are similarly provided with this expander mechanism. Also, each is provided with a bag gripper, or apparatus to keep the bag in the desired position, as shown in Figure 5. The bag gripper mechanism referred to is of a known type and only a few of the component parts thereof are herein described. At any rate, the gripper itself is represented by the numeral 45, and comprises a pad of suitable material which is pressed against the exterior of the bag forcing it against the side wall of the spout. This gripper pad 45 is mounted in a suitable frame 46 and the latter permitted to pivot upon the rotating shaft 50. A control rod 60 is adapted to reciprocate in such fashion as to cause this pivoting action. The pivoted portions of the arrangement are constantly forced into the position shown by a bag gripper tension spring 52 which is suitably secured to the framework 55 of the spout structure. The entire assembly is mounted to the said structure by means of a yoke or framework 64. It will thus be seen that by a generally known automatic control mechanism the gripper 45 is caused to engage the bag immediately upon its being positioned by the bag applicator, this gripper mechanism maintaining the bag in that secure position until after the turret sealer has performed its function which occurs in position P7; at this time the bag has been sealed and the gripper then is automatically released by rotation of the pivot 50 in a clockwise direction (viewing Figure 5).

With respect to this same figure, the relative location of the cup contacting member is also illustrated. Here a bracket 70 is affixed to the casing of the automatic weigher mechanism in any suitable fashion as by bolt 72. At its opposite end this same bracket is secured by a similar bolt arrangement 74- to a stanchion 75 that extends vertically from an appropriate location on the casing of the bag applicator. The element 70 is disposed horizontally with the contact ring 80 extending therefrom laterally to be in a position to make contact with the lower portion of one of the cups 20. This ring element, in the preferred embodiment of this invention, is made of an electrical conducting material such as Phosphor bronze and also is of a dimension approximating /2 inch in width by .010 inch in thickness. It is thus seen that the ring is very light and flexible and so positioned to contact the spout as indicated to make the necessary connection between the grounded cup and the several relay circuits to be referred to when no bag is on the spout in position P This contact ring, by means of a suitable threaded element 81, is secured to a support 82 made of some insulating material such as fiber or Bakelite. The upper edge of the support 82 is curved and a guard or shield 88 (see Figure 4) is positioned, as there shown, through the use of suitable bolts 89. The ring element 80 is thus mounted in an insulated fashion and interconnected with the circuits, to be described, through line 85, the latter being aflixed to the ring by means of the same bolt 81. This entire ring support is in turn supported upon the bracket 70 by a usual bolt interconnection 86.

From the foregoing description it will appear that if for some reason the bag applicator has failed to properly place a container upon a given cup or spout, or if the bag gripper 45 fails to function properly so that a bag once placed is permitted to drop, the contact ring 80, upon progression of the bare spout from position P to position P will contact the said ring as indicated in Figure 5 to complete the required circuit. On the other hand, if a bag is in position as indicated in dotted line of Figure 5, then the bag itself insulates the metal spout from the contact ring and the controlling circuits fail to operate.

Such controlling circuits which signal the fact that one or more spouts have failed to properly receive a container are diagrammed in Figure 6. Each of the spouts 20 is of course grounded, diagrammatically indicated by line 100. The line leading from the contact ring is interconnected with the output side of a suitable volt, 60 cycle transformer, the latter having an induced output of 6 volts. The latter voltage is suitable for use in controlling the circuits herein referred to. It is sufficient for operation of the several relays and the lower voltage is of course completely safe to operating personnel. One side of the transformer leads through line 101 to a relay R the latter opening and closing a single throw switch S for operation of the spout indexing circuit.

From relay R line 102 leads to a second relay RL, line 102 also being grounded as indicated through line 106. From relay RL a line 108 interconnects by means of line 105 with the referred to first circuit 101, line 195 continuing to a third relay RLR, the latter relay being directly connected to the other side of the output of the transformer through line 110.

It is seen that the main circuits for operating the mechanism may be divided into four aspects, at least for the purposes of this invention. Thus, there is a spout indexing circuit or an electrical control for assuring intermittent or periodic movements of each of the spouts or turrets in a counter-clockwise direction from position P through a complete rotation. There is also an electrical control means for the weigher trip circuit, the operation of which is interrupted during the time that a spout underneath the weigher does not have upon it the usual container. In addition, it is necessary that the vibrator conveyor circuit (adapted to control the feed of the bulk product to the weigher be de-energized temporarily during that same period of time when a given spout has not been properly fitted with a container. Obviously if the weigher continues to operate during this period of time, it will continue to dump the product at periodic intervals Without any receptacle (i.e. the bag in proper position on the spout) to receive the same. Similarly, if the vibrator conveyors continue to operate during this same interval of time, the weigher will become overloaded with the product to be packaged, also resulting in an improper operation. Finally, there is the main transformer circuit energizing the several relays.

It is therefore necessary to properly actuate and deactuate these circuits in a definite, timed relationship so that an empty spout will, in a sense, be bypassed, yet the over-all operation will continue on without spillage of the product and resultant waste.

It is to this end that each of these circuits are interconnected in the weigher herein described with the several relays just referred to. For example, the spout indexing circuit is controlled by a switch S interposed in lines and 121, the switch S being responsive to impulses from the solenoid of R Similarly, lines 122 and 124 lead to the weigher trip circuit and control the actuation or de-actuation of same through a switch S which,

'7 as a practical matter, forms an integral part of the relay RL. Thirdly, the vibrator circuit is controlled by means of lines 126 and 128 and switch 8;, through the combination effect of the relays RL and RLR.

As a further description of these relays, it is to be noted that the relay R is of a conventional type forcing closure of switch S upon flow of current to the solenoid. The relay RL is a latching relay, i.e., upon current flow the switch is closed in the manner indicated and will stay closed until reset in its former position. The relay RLR is a relay to accomplish this very function: resetting of relay RL and it is here designated as RLR, thereby signify relay latching reset. In practical application of these relays to the problem at hand, it should further be noted that RL and RLR are interrelated in the sense that there is a mechanical linkage (indicated by the dotted line between S and S between them. In other words, actuation of RL opens S to open the circuit 122-124 and the same will stay in this latched position until reset (and closed) by relay RLR.

The relay RLR, in the circuit of lines 105 and 110, is further independently and mechanically controlled by a switch 8., which is operated by a cam element 135. The referred to cam is one which responds to the movement of the spout turntable or turret. Hence, assuming RL to have opened the circuits to the weigher mechanism and vibrator mechanism, such circuits will remain open until the cam 135, through continued operation of the spout indexing circuit, has reached a position to close the switch S At that time the relay RLR will be actuated to reset the relay RL and simultaneously with this action, to close switches S and S thereby reactuating both the weigher trip circuit and the vibrator circuit.

By the foregoing, provision has been made for interruption of certain of the cycles of the operation of this rather complicated mechanism during that period of time when one or more of the spouts or cups have failed to receive a container through faulty operation of the bag applicator or other irregular operation of the mechanism.

In the operation of the invention there are several functions of the packaging mechanism herein described necessary to achieve the desired results. In the first place and as already stated above, a signal must be given at position P that the bag applicator has failed to properly position a receptacle upon that spout. Also, it is necessary that the signal emanating from contact of the contact ring with the spout energizes certain relays which deactuate the weigher and vibrator mechanisms in order that neither overfilling of the weigher nor spillage occur. And again, there must be proper control of the turret mechanism carrying the spouts between positions P and P4.

The apparatus described herein accomplishes all three of these necessary and desirable functions.

Thus assuming the spout in position P not to have properly received its paper receptacle, the contact ring 80 makes contact with the metal spout completing a circuit, on one side to ground, and on the other side to the six volt output circuit of the transformer. Since the spout indexing circuit continually operates it would continue to index the spout turret properly on the basis of the desired operation, i.e., that every spout receives its respective receptacle. However, the time of contact between ring and spout in such an instance is but momentary and insufiicient for the desired purposes. Furthermore, it is desired to so actuate the proper mechanism in the spout indexing circuit that a spout without a bag at position P does not have to wait at that position until the weigher dumps and measures out the next charge of product. Having these factors in mind, it is thus necessary to interrupt the main circuit which actuates the ordinary indexing procedure in order to maintain this circuit energized so that the spout at P will not wait for charging at P but will promptly be indexed from position P to P When it reaches the latter position, the next preceding spout, assuming it to have properly been bagged, will be underneath the weigher discharge chute, the feeler circuits cease to function and normal operation is resumed.

, In further elaboration of the foregoing, it is to be understood that the standard, well-known spout'indexing operation, not forming a part of this invention, includes the proper circuits to constantly rotate the turret at given intervals in order that the bags may be positioned on the spout successively and then filled. The instant invention has nothing to do with this ordinary, spout indexing operation, for which a separate circuit is provided to continually provide for rotation and indexing of the turret. What the instant invention does accomplish, however, is the provision of an additional circuit herein referred to as the spout indexing circuit and consisting of lines 120 and 121, which accomplishes this function: when a bag is not properly placed upon the spout, it is desired to interfere with the normal spout indexing in such fashion that the turret does not go through its ordinary cycle of waiting for bag filling, but immediately indexes to propel the empty spout past the filling station. Accordingly, should a container be absent the sensing device immediately functions to operate the lost container switch of this invention; the result is to immediately activate the circuit interrupting the normal indexing circuit to cause the turret to immediately turn to the next stop, while at the same time opening the weigher trip and vibrator circuits. The spout which has not been provided with a container, rather than waiting for normal rotation of the turret through the normal indexing systern, immediately proceeds from position P to P the interrupted circuit indicated by lines 120 and 121 have been closed. Upon reaching point P the normal and standard indexing circuit immediately then resumes operation, promptly shifts the empty spout to P and continues the normal, ordinary and known indexing procedure until another container misses a spout in which event this same series of steps takes place.

Accordingly, the relay R energized through line 101 from the transformer and 102 to ground closes the switch S upon contact of the contact ring, thus closing the circuit for acceleration of the spout indexing mechanism, or cutting into the main and independent spout circuit to actuate it sooner than normal.

At the same time, and also due to the contact made between the contact ring 80 and an uncovered spout 20, the appropriate circuits to RL (lines 108 and 102) are also closed.

The eifect of actuation of relay RL is to open the circuits to both the weigher and vibrator mechanisms, thereby stopping them temporarily from further operation. This is done through the mechanical linkage between S and 8;, as indicated in Figure 6.

Since the relays RL and RLR are mechanically interrelated, the relay RLR accomplishes reset of relay RL when circuit 105110 is closed.

The relay RLR, however, does not immediately reset RL for it must await that period of time for the spout or cup which receives no bag to reach the position P At this time the cam 135, shown in Figure 2 as mechanically interconnected with the indexing turret, turns sufficiently to close the switch S in line 105 leading to RLR. When this occurs, the reset of RLR automatically resets relay RL and closes the switches S and S thereby resuming the operation of the weigher and vibrator mechanisms. Inasmuch as ring 80 is now no longer in contact with an uncovered spout, the circuit which originally energized the relay R has been opened, and the normal indexing operation is resumed.

As further explanatory of the operations discussed above, it should also be understood that the bag applicator control system, as commercially made and operated, is timed to apply a bag at position P in timed sequence with the indexingof each spout to that position. bag applicator performs this operation with relative speed, yet the actual time of contact of the contact ring 80 with a given spout 20 is not sufiicient to hold open the vibrator and weigher trip circuits for that period of time it takes for a spout with a receptacle thereon to beposi-- tioned to receive the product. Accordingly, there must.

be another time lag where the circuit controlled by relay R and relay RL will remain under the control of these relays for a period of time longer than the actual contact time of the ring 80.

It is to be understood that the relay R which is in no way related to relays RL or RLR, is energized only so long as the contact ring 80 is touching the spout 20. However, this is sufliciently long enough to immediately initiate the spout indexing circuit which then carries the bag applicator through to the completion of its cycle. However, the vibrator circuit normally runs continuously and the weigher trip circuit is activated as soon as the scale is loaded with the proper weight of potato chips; therefore it becomes necessary to open those circuits and hold them open until a spout with a receptacle is in position to receive the product. Since the contact ring 80 makes contact with the spout 20 for only a portion of the bag applicator cycle, it becomes necessary to employ a device which extends this circuit information throughout the entire cycle. This is the purpose of the latching relay RL.

This problem is graphically illustrated in Figure 7 where it is seen that the contact time of the contact ring must overlap the time of the bag applicator switch so that the relay RL will not be re-set until a bag insulates the contact ring from the spout. Hence, the necessity of providing the latching relay RL, which stays latched until the contact ring does become insulated. This in effect erases the solid contact ring pulse and only the bag applicator switch pulse (dotted line indication) remains, the latter activating the relay RLR, thus re-setting the relay RL. Once there is malfunctioning by failure to properly place a bag the switch is corrected by the foregoing circuits and normal operation resumes when each bag is properly placed, all spouts then indexing regularly.

It should be further understood that in the operation of this invention it will make little difference if more than one faulty operation of the bag applicator occurs during a given cycle or complete revolution of the spout indexing turret. For example, should two successive spouts be missed by the bag applicator so they are not properly bagged, then the feeder circuit continues to operate in the same manner as just described merely continuing the described procedure over a greater period of time until a spout reaches the ring 80 which is insulated therefrom by a properly positioned bag. As another possible faulty operation, there may be two spouts receiving no bag which are separated by one or more spouts which have been properly bagged. In this eventuality the feeler circuits will be energized by the first uncovered spout to be encountered and the same operation takes place followed by normal indexing when the next covered bag appears at position P n approach of the other uncovered spout which has not properly received a bag, the cycle is again repeated until indexing of the turret brings to position P: a spout that has properly received its paper receptacle. Accordingly, the entire system is, practically speaking, foolproof and fully automatic, thus achieving the objectives outlined in the beginning of this specification.

With reference to the description found in the foregoing, it is to be understood that the specific aspects of the certain circuits herein described (as the spout indexing circuit, the weigher trip circuit and the vibrator circuit) are well known and of a conventional type and therefore form no part of this invention. The invention therefore lies in the peculiar combination of relays and The the controlling 6 volt feeler circuit for such relays which in turn actuates and/or de-actuates the several main circuits just referred to. Because these main circuits are not only well known but can be so formulated by anyone skilled in the art to perform their designated functions, the same have not been described in detail herein. Similarly, as stated above, the main mechanical elements which form the various functions of items A, B and C, as described above, are also well known and in commercial use today. Hence, the description of such members of the mechanical combination has been brief and not detailed since here again the invention does not relate to them but primarily is directed to the means found in the ring contact member and in the various relays and circuits interconnecting same for over-all control of the primary electrical circuits.

Only one embodiment of this invention has been described in the foregoing, it being obvious that other variations and alternates may be employed to accomplish the purposes hereof. In any event,'it is to be understood that the invention is to be limited only by the scope of the following claims:

I claim:

1. An automatic packaging mechanism comprising: a weigher provided with a product discharge spout, a turret indexer provided with an indexing circuit means and having a series of spouts thereon, a package sealer, and a container applicator to place a container on each of said spouts, said indexer having means for normal periodic rotation thereof to position said spouts successively before said container applicator, said weigher and said package sealer, an interrupter circuit to interrupt said means for normal periodic rotation and to continue movement of said indexer past said discharge spout without filling operation time lag and to stop operation of said weigher when said applicator does not properly function, a contact element positioned to sequentially contact said spouts during operation of said turret indexer, a feeler circuit energized by contact of said contact element with a spout having no container thereon, said feeler circuit thereby being energized, a relay in said feeler circuit to actuate said interrupter circuit for indexing movement of said indexing turret without awaiting the normal filling operation, and relay means in said feeler circuit to stop operation of said weigher and preset said first relay.

2. In an automatic packaging system of the type employing an indexing turret having a receptacle receiving means thereon and adapted to sequentially position a receptacle before an automatic receptacle filling means, the combination comprising means to normally and automatically sequentially position said indexing turret, a contact ring feeler circuit energized by contact of said contact ring with said receiving means, a circuit to interrupt said normal means for indexing movement of said turret, a circuit for said filling means, a relay in said feeler circuit to energize said interrupting circuit for indexing movement of said indexing turret without awaiting the normal filling operation, a latching relay in said feeler circuit to break said filling means circuit and a reset relay to reset said latching relay, said reset relay being in circuit with said latching relay and having energizing means adapted to be energized by mechanical movement of said indexing turret, whereby upon actuation of said feeler circuit said turret is indexed past said filling means without a filling operation time lag, and said filling means circuit is deenergized.

3. In an automatic packaging system of the type employing an indexing turret having a receptacle filling means in association therewith, said turret being provided with a series of spouts and adapted to rotate to sequentially position one of said spouts before said receptacle filling means, a control circuit comprising a contact ring, a feeler circuit energized by contact of said contact ring with one of said spouts, a normal circuit for sequential indexing of said turret, an interrupter circuit for said normal circuit, a circuit for said filling means, a relay in said feeler .circuit to energize said interrupter circuit, a latching relay in said feeler circuit to break said filling means circuit and a reset relay to reset said latching relay, said reset relay being in circuit with said latching relay and having energizing means adapted to be energized by mechanical movement of said indexing turret, whereby upon actuation of said feeler circuit said interrupter circuit is actuated, said turret is indexed past said filling. means without waiting and said filling means circuit is deenergized.

4. In an automatic packaging assembly of the type including a weigher having a feed-in means and an indexing turret provided with a plurality of spouts, the combination comprising: a bag applicator to place bags upon said spouts, a bag' turret sealer to seal bags placed upon said spouts, a normal means to index said turret, a control means to indicate default of said applicator, said control means being adapted to interrupt said normal means to index said turret past said feed-in means without 12 waiting when said bag applicator malfunctions, a spout contacting member, a feeler circuit adapted to be closed by the contact between a spout lacking a bag and said member, said feeler circuit having a spout indexing circuit relay to actuate said control means, a latching relay and a reset relay in connection therewith, said reset relay having a cam control energizing means responsive to movement of said indexing turret, whereby, upon actuation of said control means by said spout contact, said normal means is interrupted, said latching relay is energized to index said indexing turret past said feed-in means, said cam control operating said latching relay in response to the indexing turret after indexing past said feed-in means to reset said reset relay.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Sawyor et al. Dec. 21, 1954 Kindseth et al. July 3, 1956

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Referenced by
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US3024816 *May 25, 1959Mar 13, 1962Arenco AbControl device for a packing machine associated with one or more weighing machines for automatic weighing of predetermined batches of material
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U.S. Classification53/502, 141/141, 53/506, 141/157, 53/570
International ClassificationB65B57/06, B65B57/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65B57/06
European ClassificationB65B57/06