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Publication numberUS2976657 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 28, 1961
Filing dateOct 16, 1958
Priority dateOct 16, 1958
Publication numberUS 2976657 A, US 2976657A, US-A-2976657, US2976657 A, US2976657A
InventorsCloud Charles E
Original AssigneeWilliam S Cloud
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Packaging with variations of package length
US 2976657 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

PACKAGING WITH VARIATIONS 0F PACKAGE LENGTH Filed oct. 16, 1958 March 28, 1961 c. E. CLOUD 5 sheets-sheet 1 INVENTOR.

March 28, 1961 c. E. CLOUD 2,976,657

PACKAGING WITH VARIATIoNs oF PACKAGE LENGTH Filed oct. 16, 1958 5 sheets-sheet 2 March .28, 1961 c. E. CLOUD 2,976,657

.PACKAGING WITH VARIATIONS OF PACKAGE LENGTH Filed not. 16, 195s 5 sheets-sheet s March 28, 1961 c. E. CLOUD 2,976,657

PACKAGING WITH VARIATIONS OF PACKAGE LENGTHv Filed Oct. 16, 1958 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 March 28, 1961 C. E. CLOUD 2,976,657

PACKAGING WITH VARIATIONS OF PACKAGE LENGTH Filed Oct. 16, 1958 l 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 ffy-ff INVENTOR.

United States Patent PACKAGING WITH VARIATIONS F PACKAGE LENGTH Charles E. Cloud, Wilmette, Ill., assignor to William S. Cloud, Wlmette, lll.

Filed (let. 16, 1958, Ser. No. 767,615

19 Claims. (Cl. 531-75) yHigh production packaging by wrapping one article after another in a continuous length of wrapping material such as film has received a great deal of attention for a number of years. Very efficient machines have been developed for performing this packaging, but generally speaking each has been suitable for only one particular package size. Extensive changes were necessary to adapt each machine to the packaging of an article of a different size than that which it had previously been packaging. Loose wrappers are less attractive and are wasteful of material, even if the size variation could be satisfied by mere looseness. When a machine can be kept busy indefinitely packaging articles of one size, difiiculty of conversion is not a severe drawback. But there are innumerable situations in which a variety of packaging sizes is desired in one day, the quantity of each size being too small to justify extensive changes in a machine for adapting it to various sizes. As a result, suchsmaller quantities of varied sizes of packages have often been packaged more or less by hand.

According to the present invention, a machine which automatically adapts itself to different package lengths is provided. The film is continuously formed into a tube as the successive articles are fed to it so that the articles are spaced apart within the tube. As each article ap preaches the end-sealing position, -an end clamp awaits it and starts moving with it in a correct position for closing and clamping the tubular film closed between successive articles. Each end clamp heat seals the film so that two successive end clamps complete the formation of a package surrounding an article. Preferably each end-clamp assembly includes means for severing the sealed portion along the middle thereof so that when the packages are separated each has a suitable end seal.

Usually packages bear labels or printed matter thereon which should be registered or centered with respect to the packaged article. In that event, an electric eye may be used to detect a mark on each label portion of the film, and this may directly or indirectly control both the feed of an article and the initial movement of the end clamp. When a different length of article is to be wrapped, a film with different labelling thereon would be used, and changing the film would automatically change the time of initial movement on the waiting end clamp so as to accommodate the different length of article. The end clamps may be carried by a turret, in which case they should come to rest at a starting position, being released from the drums and being allowed to accumulate when more end clamps are provided than are constantly in use. For example, a stop bar, controlled by an electric eye or other coordinating device, can be provided with an arrangement for releasing the clamps from the movement of the turret when the clamps come into engagement with the stop bar. When it is the vproper time for a clamp to start moving, the stop bar will be automatically withdrawn, in response to the electric eye, and the end clamp will seize upon the turret to be rotated thereby.

ICC

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following descriptions of the drawings.

Designation of figures Figure l is a side view of apparatus embodying this invention in the form chosen for illustration.

Figure 2 is a view looking down on the apparatus of Fig. l.

Figure 3 is a vertical sectional view of the turret portion of the apparatus shown in Figs. 1 and 2.

Figure 4 is a more detailed view of one of the clamping assemblies used in the apparatus of Figs. 1 to 3.

Figure 5 is a fragmentary detailed view illustrating the operation of the seizing mechanism in Fig. 4.

Figure 6 is a vertical sectional view showing a clamping assembly in clamping position between two packages.

Figure 7 is a transverse sectional view showing mainly a face view of the clamping assembly shown in Fig. 6, but also showing its cooperation with other parts.

Figure 8 is a fragmentary view on a larger scale showing portions shown in Fig. 7, but with the shearing knife approximately in its outermost position.

Figure 9 is a vertical sectional view taken axially of the turret shown especially in Fig. 3.

Figures 10 and 11 are views showing details of the preferred form of a tube-forming unit used in Figs. 1 and 2.

Figure 12 is a detail View of guides used in Figs. 10 and 11.

General description Although the following disclosure offered for public dissemination is detailed to ensure adequacy and aid understanding, this is not intended to prejudice that purpose of a patent which is to cover each new inventive concept therein no matter how others may later disguise it by variations in form or additions or further improvements. The claims at the end hereof are intended as the chief aid toward this purpose, as it iis these that meet the requirement of pointing out the parts, improvements, or combinations in which the inventive concepts are found.

.As seen best in Fig. 1, the wrapping material or film 10 is drawn from a roll 11 around a pulley 12 through an electric eye unit 13 and over a table edge 14 from which it moves to the right in Fig. 1. Articles are fed by a belt conveyor 16 onto the film 10 as it moves along the top surface of table 17. However, the movement of the articles to be wrapped is checked by a magnetic stop gate 18 which is withdrawn at the proper times for letting the successive articles advance with the film 10. As

the film advances, a tube-forming unit 19 draws the side edges of the lm around the successive articles, presses the side edges together and seals them together to form a tube 20 with the articles to be wrapped longitudinally spaced therein.

The entubed articles now pass around theend-sealing and severing turret comprising an important part of this invention, and about to be generally described.

General description of turret As seen best in Fig. 3, the entubed articles advance along table 17 toward the turret adjacent the end thereof. At the same time, successive units here shown as clamping assemblies 21 are moving toward or held in a ready or rest position against a stop-bar 22 (near the 11 oclock position in Fig. 3). At the proper time, determined by electric eye assembly 13 of Fig. 1, stop-bar 22 is withdrawn, and the assembly 21 which was at the ready position begins to move around the turret in clockwise direction as seen in Fig. 3. This movement results from the fact that when stop-bar 22 is withdrawn, the assembly 21 seizes turret disk 23 iu a manner later to be described,

During the first part of its orbital movement, assembly 21 is in open position with its outer clamp arm 24 extending radially. This outer arm 24 is provided at its outer end with a cam roller 25 which rides between closing cams 26. These cams cause the outer arm 24 to swing nearly to the closed position. If the article is properly located so that the outer clamping arm 24 can come down between the articles, it will drop by gravity closer toward closed position and may even be pressed slightly by the lower end of hinged plate 27. It will be pressed firmly toward closed position by pressure cam 28, which eectuates heat sealing of the clamped portion of the package by virtue of the pressure it exerts together with heat which is supplied in a manner to be described.

Each outer clamp member 24 carries a severing blade 31 which is movable therein and normally lies out of contact with the package film or in only very light contact with it. Shortly before discharge of the packages, however, the assembly 21 passes a freely rotatable thrust drum 32 which presses the knife blade 31 inwardly and severs the tube along a rnid-line so that the tube remains heat sealed on both sides of the line of severance. The severed package in advance of the assembly 21 performing the severance continues to be gripped by the clamp of this assembly until its roller 25 is released at the end of pressure bar 28. The package 33 now drops to a conveyor 36 which, together with conveyor 37, delivers the package to a suitable point for boxing or other handling. The clamping assembly 21 continues its movement until it strikes either stop bar 22 or the preceding assembly 21 which is being held stopped by stop bar 22.

Turret construction The constantly driven portions of a turret include the turret disk 23 already mentioned, and as seen in Fig. 9 another turret disk 41 at the opposite side of the machine. These turret disks are rigidly secured together by spacing bars 42 so that they form a rigid turret or cage. They are rotatively carried by a shaft 44 which in turn is carried by the framework of the machine. The cage comprising turret disks 23 and 41 is constantly rotated by chain 46 (Fig. 7) engaging a sprocket 47 carried by disk 41. As seen in Fig. l, the chain 46 is in turn driven through a gear boX 48 by an electric motor 49.

As seen in Figs. 7 and 9, turret disk 23 is provided with a face ring 51 of insulating material which carries two conductive slip rings 52 engaged by brushes 53 carried by an arm 55 of insulating material on each end-clamp assembly 21. As seen best in Fig. 9, each of the slip rings 52 is connected to a cylindrical slip ring 54. The cylindrical slip rings 54 are carried by an insulative hub 56 and are engaged by brushes 57 leading to a suitable source of power for the heater resistance in clamping assemblies Turret disks 23 and 41 are provided with annular grooves 58 and 59 respectively, in which the clamping assemblies 21 ride as is described under the next heading.

End clamp assemblies As seen best in Fig. 7, each end-clamp assembly includes a main plate or cross beam 61 carried between end plates 62. The end plates 62 carry rollers 63, which may rotate freely on stub shafts 64. As seen best in Fig. 4, there are two such freely-rotating rollers 63 for riding in groove 59, but only one freely-rotating roller 63 on the opposite side for riding in groove 58. The fourth position is occupied by an element 65 which in Fig. 4 looks like a roller but which instead is a non-round member serving by a slight pivotal movement to act as a clutch to releasably seize turret drive disk 23.

In Fig. 5, groove 58 is represented by Ibroken lines. Clutch member 65 is flattened on opposite sides so that when in the full line position it will ride freely in groove 58. Referring again to Fig. 4, clutch 65 is fast on shaft 66 which in turn is fast on clutch lever 67, shaft 66 being free to pivot in end plate 62. A spring 68, Fig. 5, bears against the face plate 69 carried by clutch lever 67 to urge the clutch lever in a direction to cause the unround clutch 65 to bind on the sides of groove 58. Thus, when nothing intervenes, spring 68 causes clutch 65 to seize turret drive disks 23, thereby causing the end-clamp assembly 21 to rotate with the turret disks 23 and 41.

When in the course of the orbital movement of assembly 21, its face plate 69 strikes stop bar 22, as indicated in Fig. 3, l1 oclock position, the advancing movement of end plate 62 causes a relative pivoting of clutch lever 67 toward the full line position of Fig. 5, until the clutch 65 has been turned toward the free position to release itself in groove 58, whereupon this particular end-clamp asembly 21 comes to rest until the stop bar 22 is withdrawn.

If another end-clamp assembly 21 is driven against the stopped assembly 21, the only engagement will be between the forward, stopped assembly 21 and the face plate 69 of the succeeding assembly 21. The succeeding assembly 21 will advance then only far enough fr the motion to cause a relative pivoting of its crank arm 67 sufficient to release its clutch 65 from its gripping engagement in groove 5S, whereupon this succeeding assembly 21 will also come to rest. When the assembly 21 at rest against stop bar 22 is released by withdrawal of stop bar 22, its spring 68 will cause clutch 65 to seize drive disk 23 and move with it. As soon as it has moved far enough to let the same seizing action occur in the succeeding assembly 21, this assembly will also move forward until it, in turn comes against the now returned stop bar 22.

As seen best in Fig. 7, an inner jaw 71 is carried by plate 61, being rigidly secured thereto at all times. A moveable jaw 24 is hinged by pin 72 to the inner jaw 71, or to hinge bracket plates thereon. Roller 25 is carried at the opposite end of outer or pivoted jaw 24.

As best seen in Figs. 4 and 6, the knife blade 31 is moveably positioned in a slot in outer jaw 24, being limited in its movements by screws 73 which pass through slots 74 in the knife blade 31.

Knife blade 31 may be urged outwardly by springs but this has not been found necessary, the knife tting quite freely in its slot so that less pressure is required to move it out in its slot than is required to cut the iilm.

Inner jaw 71 is provided with a bore 76 into which may be inserted a heating unit 77 (Fig. 6) which is connected by two wires to brushes 53, these wires being omitted from most views for the sake of clarity. The wires are shown near the 6 oclock position in Fig. 3. The heater heats the lower clamp enough to cause heat sealing of the lrn lwhen clamped between the jaws. The heat sealing is made more certainly effective by providing the opposite faces of the jaws with crimping surfaces (inter-tting sawtoothed ridges), as seen best in Fig. 8.

Jaw cams As described under a previous heading, outer jaw 24 is moved toward the closed position by its cam follower roller 25 engaging cams 26. Cams 26 may be especially shaped bars of steel in spaced relationship to permit the passage of the roller 25 between them, both bars being carried by side plate 78 of the machine. One of the cams 26 (the one more clockwise in Fig. l) may be carried directly by the side plate and the other by a bracket 79 extending out from side plate 78 outside of the path of roller 25. The cam 26 which is carried by bracket 79 extends counterclockwise as `cam or guide plate 81 which, as seen best in Fig. 2, parallels side plate 75. The guide plate 81 holds the outer clamp jaws 24 in their fully opened position so that they can swing past the tube 20. The leading or counterclockwise end of guide plate 81 is flared or provided with a flared guide 82 to guide the rollers 25 behind this guide plate. Normally gravity will swing them to the position where they can enter the are 82, but their swinging to this full-open position may be insured by a guide bar 83, the counterclockwise end of which is near the viewers side of the machine in Fig. 3, but which is shaped to ensure movement of the outer jaw to the full open position, or near enough to enter flare 82 by the time roller 25 orbits far enough to reach flare S2.

Pressure cam 28 is shaped substantially as seen in Fig. 3 and lies parallel to the plane of the sheet. As seen best in Fig. 7, near the upper right hand corner thereof, it is positioned to press on rollers 25 when the outer jaw is in a closed position. The pressure with which the jaws are thus pressed to the closed position can be regulated by a screw 84 bearing on the pressure cam 28, the clockwise end of the pressure cam 28 being pivoted at 85 to the frame structure.

A cam 86, also carried by the frame structure, is provided for ensuring the initial opening movement of the outer clamp. Although gravity will normally cause the outer clamp to swing to the full open position, once freed, cam 86 will if necessary press it far enough for it to enter the cam 83.

Coordination The position at present preferred for the electric eye unit 13 is approximately as shown, although if certain practical considerations were ignored, the ideal position for it might be at a point where it would detect the passage of the portion of the tube about to be clamped at just the right time to release the clamp assembly which would clamp that portion of the tube. However, even at the position illustrated in Fig. 1, the electric eye unit 13 does operate to instantly withdraw stop bar 22 when the electric eye mark interrupts the beam of the electric eye. Thus, the electric eye mark on the film must be placed at such a relationship to each label printing on the film 10 that withdrawing the stop bar 22 at the instant this mark interrupts the beam of the electric eye 13 will cause the clamping assembly 21, stopped at the position of rest against the bar 22, to seize drive disk 23 at just the right distance so that it will move with the disk to the right position to clamp the tube 20 in a proper position between the two label portions thereof. Two different rolls of film printed with labels of different lengths may have the electric eye marks thereon differently positioned with respect to their labels.

If it should be desired to use standard printed film, not having the electric eye marks especially located for use on this machine, it would merely be necessary to mount the electric eye unit 13 for adjustment vertically (lengthwise of the lm passing through it). For that contingency, adjustability in the positioning of the electric eye unit may be desirable in all machines, even though it may not ordinarily be used. With the electric eye unit fixed in one position without change, it is possible to vary the length of packaging by substituting one roll of film with specially placed electric eye markings thereon for another such roll, and the timing of the clamping units 21, and hence their spacing, will automatically be varied to clamp the tubes 2t) at proper positions between the labelled portions of the packaging material.

Because the package length will be changed only When the packed articles are of varied lengths, stop gate 18 must operate with a variable frequency, always coordinated with the label portion of the film. The variation may be accomplished by adjustment either as to position or timing. It may be directly controlled by photoelectric eye 13 to withdraw the stop gate 18 whenever the beam is interrupted if the position of the stop gate 18 is adjustable lengthwise of the film. It has been preferred so far to maintain the magnetic gate 18 unadjustable in its longitudinal position and instead vary the timing of its operation. This is accomplished with the aid of a trigger lever 91, seen at the 12 oclock position in Fig. 3. This trigger projects through side plate 78 -to be actuated by the passing clamp assemblies 21.V The timing of the operation of magnetic stop gate 18 can be varied by adjustment of the trigger 91, which operates a switch to operate the solenoid of magnetic gate 18.

It may also be observed that the stop bar 22 is withdrawn by energization of a solenoid in response to interruption of the beam of electric eye unit 13, an intervening amplifier of course being provided.

Safety feature As seen in Fig. 3, a plate 27 is pivoted to the frame structure. If something should go wrong with the coordination, and an article should get in such a position that it lies within a clamp when a clamp is about to close, the article will block the closing of the clamp after it leaves the cam 26 and the roller 25 will swing the plate 27 in a clockwise direction. As seen in Fig. l, the plate 27 carries a switch-arm 93 which controls a switch 94.

vWhen the plate 27 is swung out as here indicated by a misplaced article, switch 94 stops the machine.

Tube forming unit Unless uniformity of width of package is acceptable, it is preferred that the tube forming unit 19 be one of the edge operating type. By this is meant that once the lm is fed through it it draws the edges together and seals them to one another and thus operates independently of the width of the web being used or the article being packaged. Thus in changing rolls of film to package articles of different lengths, no adjustments are required if the articles are also of different widths and the lms are therefore of different widths. The edges may be brought together in lapping arrangement, or in a plait arrangement. With the latter arrangement, the two inner faces of the lm are pressed together, and thus the two edges may initially be upstanding from the resulting tube.

There has been considerable diiculty in providing a thoroughly satisfactory edge-operating tube former so that adjustments for package width would not be necessary. Such a former, which has proved to be thoroughly satisfactory, has been provided by the form illustrated.

oted to adjustable blocks 115, and given just the right pressure by pressure plates 113 each applying pressure approximately at the axis of one roller. To obtain just the right action each pressure plate 113 is supported at its remote end and spring biased intermediately by an adjustable spring 114. Suitable guides 116 are provided into which the edges of the film are initially inserted by hand at iiared openings 121. Thereafter, as the film is drawn by clamp assemblies 21, the rollers 111 crowd the film against the lateral seats 122 of the snug tting film passages in guides 116. As they pass from the rollers 111, their inner faces are pressed near or against one another by fingers 117, and these edge portions are pressed together more rmly and heat sealed by a heat sealing unit 118. Heat sealing unit 118 desirably is formed by two clamps with cooperating sled-like runners, one of the clamps being hinged to the other along their upper sides. The hinged clamp is moved toward the other by gravity with an outstanding weight 119 providing just the right pressure for heat sealing purposes without excessive drag on the film. With some types of material, heat sealing the tube at this stage is unnecessary.

It will be understood that the drawing force for drawing the film through the tube forming unit 19, including the heat sealing unit 118, is provided by the clamping assemblies 21 which successively grip and pull the tube 1n the course of clamping the tubes for heat sealing the are therefore actuated by the longitudinal movement of,

7 the film to draw its edges laterally into guides 116 as far as they will go, namely, against seats or folds 122.

The assemblies 21 can each be readily `-rernoved for servicing by removing lan end plate 62 secured by bolts. This also permits adding an extra assembly 21 if exceptionally short packages should be desired.

Furth er modifications Although innumerable modifications of the invention can be made, brief mention of a few of them may be helpful.

Under some conditions, it may be desired to operate the machine Without stopping the end clamp assemblies 21. This can be done by spacing the assemblies uniformly and leaving each locked to the drive disk 23. If'uniform distribution of all of the lillustrated clamp assemblies 21 would provide -a spacing between clamps too small for the article to be packaged, one or more clamp assemblies may be removed by taking off one end plate 62 of each. The remaining assemblies would be redistributed to be evenly spaced. To move an assembly for spacing them evenly, it is merely necessary to squeeze its bar 69 toward its end plate 62. Of course, more ordinary clamps could be provided on a machine intended to be used solely in this manner. It would still be readaptable to diiferent sized packages more easily than past machines, but not as easily as the preferred form of this invention, nor for its innitesimal variations of size.

The principle of holding an assembly or unit at rest and releasing it in timed relation with the item on which it is to work may be applied to a wide variety of operations. For closing a tube to form packages, it has perhaps its greatest advantages, but it could be used in applying color or glue o-r in performing some other operation. In all such uses it would have the advantages of easy or even automatic spacing variations, with a universal accuracy as to spacing that can only be achieved when innitesimal variations are possible In some instances there could be fewer working units, or even only one. For example, with a quite long spacing a single clamping unit could be released or started from a rest position, perform its clamping, or clamping and cutting, or other operation and, while the tube or web was moved ahead by pull-out or feed rolls, complete its cycle to be waiting again at its rest position for the approach of the next area which it was to clamp.

For some operations the outer clamp members could be omitted and their functions, to the extent needed, performed by a belt.

Many variations of end sealing and severing may be provided, depending merely on designers choice or on package style desired or material used. For example, some types of lrn, while hot enough for sealing, have no tackiness and perhaps no strength. With such lms, the heat sealer is heated only briefly, and clamps at a cooler temperature (perhaps unheated) hold the material until the heat seal has cooled. While thus clamped, a single hot wire may sever two packages and simultaneously seal both of the severed ends. Also, unheated clamps can be used with a material sealable by pressure alone.

Under some conditions, severing may be along two slightly spaced lines to cut out a narrow strip between two packages. This has been done when a packaging client had a large supply of printed lm which, for the particular articles to be packaged, made neater packages when thus trimmed.

Severing the packages from one another might sometimes be undesirable, and in some instances be preferably performed in another location. In either event units to be used in place of units 21 could be made without `any severing means.

I claim:

l. Wrapping apparatus including means for continuously forming a tube 4of heat scalable wrapping material with Varticles to be wrapped distributed therein in longitudinally spaced relationship, and means for lheat sealing and Asevering the tube between articles including a turret adjacent the path of the tube and having a plurality of end-clamp assemblies vriably associated therewith; each assembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewithand means for clamping and heat sealing the tube Ias it moves with the turret; and said means for severing the tube severing it intermediate the heat sealed zone to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; stop means for releasing the seizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means for rendering said stop means ineffective in said function in coordination with the approach of a portion of the tube between successive articles being wrapped to cause said end-clamp assembly to seize upon the turret and move therewith in the proper position for clamping said portion.

2. Wrapping apparatus including means for continuously forming a tube of flexible wrapping material with articles to be wrapped distributed therein in longitudinally spaced relationship, and means yfor closing and severing the tube between articles including a rotary turret adjacent the path of the tube and having a plurality of endclamp Iassemblies variably associated therewith; each assembly including means for releasably engaging the turret to rotate therewith, and means for clamping and closing the tube as it moves with the turret, and said means for severing the tube severing it within the closure zone to leave a closed end on the package preceding the endclamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; means for disengaging the end-clamp assembly "rom the turret in a predetermined position of rest and temporarily retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means in coordination with the approach of a portion of the tube between successive articles being wrapped to cause said end-clamp assembly to again engage the turret and move therewith in proper position for repeating the sequence.

3. Wrapping apparatus including means for continuously forming a tube of flexible Wrapping material with articles to be wrapped distributed therein in longitudinally spaced relationship, and means for closing and severing the tube ,between articles including a rotary turret adjacent the path of the tube and having a plurality of endclamp assemblies variably associated therewith; each as scmbly including means for releasably engaging the turret to rotate therewith, and means for clamping and closing the tube as it moves with the turret, and said means for severing the tube severing it within the closure zone to leave a closed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; means for disengaging the end-clamp assembly from the turret in a predetermined position of rest and temporarily retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, a detector responsive to passage of predetermined tube portions correlated to the tube portions between successive articles being wrapped, and means responsive to the detector to cause said end-clamp assembly to again engage the turret and move therewith in proper position for repeating the sequence.

4. Wrapping apparatus including means for continuously forming a tube of wrapping material with articles to be wrapped distributed therein in longitudinally spaced relationship, and means for sealing and severing the tube between articles including ya turret adjacent the path of the tube and having a plurality of endeclamp assemblies variably associated therewith; each assembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewith, and means for clamping and sealing the tube as it moves with the turret; and said means for severing the tube severing it intermediate the sealed Zone to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; stop means for releasing the seizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, yand means for rendering said stop means ineffective in said function in coordination with the approach of a portion of the tube between successive articles being wrapped to cause said end-clamp assembly to seize upon the turret and move therewith in the proper position for clamping said portion; the means for clamping and sealing including a first clamp bar, and a second clamp bar hinged thereto and pivotable to a position in which it moves past the tube `as the assembly is moved by the turret to be in a position to close upon the side of the tube opposite that engaged by the irst clamp bar.

S. Wrapping apparatus including means for continuousH ly forming a tube of wrapping material with articles to be wrapped distributed therein in longitudinally spaced relationship, and means for sealing and severing the tube between articles including a turret adjacent the path of the tube and having a plurality of end-clamp assemblies variably associated therewith; each assembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewith, means for clamping and sealing the tube as it moves with the turret, and means for severing the tube intermediate the sealed zone to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; stop means for releasing the seizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means for rendering said stop means ineffective in said function in coordination with the approach of a portion of the tube between successive articles being wrapped to cause said end-clamp assembly to seize upon the turret and move therewith in the proper position for clamping said portion; the means for clamping and sealing including a rst clamp bar, and a second clamp bar hinged thereto and pivotable to a position in which it moves past the tube as the assembly is moved by the turret to be in a position to close upon the side of the tube opposite that engaged by the first clamp bar, and one of said clamp bars including a severing knife followed and preceded by clamping surfaces and movable therein with a severing thrust to sever the tube after the tube has been clamped by both surfaces.

6. Wrapping apparatus including means for continuously forming a tube of wrapping material with atricles to be Wrapped distributed therein in longitudinally spaced relationship, and means for sealing and severing the tube between articles including a turret adjacent the path of the tube and having a plurality of end-clamp assemblies variably associated therewith; each assembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewith, means for clamping and sealing the tube as it moves with the turret, and means for severing the tube intermediate the sealed zone to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; stop means for releasing the seizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means for rendering said stop means ineffective in said function in coordination with the approach of a portion of the tube between successive articles being wrapped to cause said end-clamp assembly to seize upon the turret and move therewith in a proper position for clamping said portion; the means for clamping and sealing including a first clamp bar, and a second clamp bar hinged thereto and pivotable to a position in which it moves past the tube as the assembly is moved by the turret to be in a position to close upon the side of the tube opposite that engaged by the first clamp bar, and one of said clamp bars including a severing knife followed and preceded by clamping surfaces and movable therein with a severing thrust to sever the tube .after the tube has been clamped` by both surfaces, and

actuating means arranged around the turret but not rotating therewith for controlling the pivotal movement of the second clamp bar and the severing thrust of the knife.

7. Wrapping apparatus including means for continuously forming a tube of wrapping material with articles to be wrapped distributed therein in longitudinally spaced relationship, and means for sealing and severing the tube between articles including a turret adjacent the path of the tube and having a plurality of end-clamp assemblies variably associated therewith; each assembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewith, and means for clamping and sealing the tube as it moves with the turret; and said means for severing the tube severing it intermediate the sealed zone to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; stop means for releasing the seizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means for rendering said stop means ineiective in said function in coordination with the approach of a portion of the tube between successive articles being Wrapped to cause said end-clamp asembly to seize upon the turret and move therewith in the proper position for clamping said portion; the means for clamping and sealing including a rst clamp bar, and a second clamp bar hinged thereto and pivotable to a position in which it moves past the tube as the assembly is moved by the turret to be in a position to close upon the side of the tube opposite that engaged by the iirst clamp bar and electric heating means associated with at least one of the clamp bars of each assembly; and said apparatus including a circuit for energizing the heating means including a ring and brush, one of which is carried by the turret and the other moves with the assembly.

8. Wrapping apparatus including means for continuously forming a tube of wrapping material with articles to be wrapped distributed therein in longitudinally spaced relationship, -and means for operating on the tube between articles including a drive means, a plurality of endoperating units adjacent to the path of the tube variably associated with the drive means; each unit including means for releasably seizing the drive means to move therewith, and means for performing at least part of the end forming operation on the tube at it moves with the unit, stop means for releasing the seizing means of an endoperating unit in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-operating unit in saidposition, and means for rendering said stop means ineffective in said function in coordination with the approach of a portion of the tube between successive articles being wrapped to cause said end-closing unit to seize upon the drive means and move therewith in the proper position for operating on said portion.

9. Wrapping apparatus including means for continuously forming a tube of wrapping material with articles to be wrapped distributed therein in longitudinally spaced relationship, and means for sealing and severing the tube between articles including a turret adjacent the path of the tube and having a plurality of end-clamp assemblies variably associated therewith, each assembly including means for locking the assembly to the turret at any angular position thereon to rotate therewith, the assemblies being free for relative movement angularly about the turret axis when the locking means is released, said assemblies including means for clamping and sealing the packaging material as it rotates with the turret; and said apparatus including means for severing the tube intermediate the sealed zone across the entire tube to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trialing the end-clamp assembly; said assemblies being readily removable from the turret.

10. Wrapping apparatus including a turret having a plurality of end-clamp assemblies variably associated 11 therewith; each assembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewith, and means for clamping and heat sealing a tube fed thereto with articles longitudinally spaced therein; and said apparatus including means for severing the tube intermediate the heat sealed zone across the entire tube to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; stop means for releasing the seizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means for rendering said stop means ineffective in said function in coordination -with the approach of a portion of the `tube between successive articles being wrapped to cause said end-clamp assembly to seize upon the turret and move therewith in the proper position for clamping said portion.

l1. Wrapping apparatus including a turret having a plurality of end-clamp assemblies variably associated therewith; each assembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewith, and means for clamping yand heat sealing a tube fed thereto with articles longitudinally spaced therein; and said apparatus including means for severing the tube intermediate the heat sealed zone `across the entire tube to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; stop means for releasing the seizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means for rendering said stop means ineifective in said function.

12. Wrapping apparatus including a turret having a. plurality of end-clamp assemblies variably associated therewith;'each assembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewith ,and means for clamping and heat sealing a tube fed thereto with articles longitudinally spaced therein; and said apparatus including means for severing the tube intermediate the heat sealed zone across the entire tube to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; stop means for releasing therseizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means for rendering said stop means ineifective in said function;

each assembly including a iirst clamp bar, and a second clamp `bar hinged thereto and pivotable to a position in which it moves past the tube as the assembly is moved by the turret to be in a position to close upon the side of the tube opposite that engaged by the iirst clamp bar.

13. Wrapping apparatus including a turret having a plurality of end-clamp assemblies variably associated therewith; each assembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewith, means for clamping and heat sealing a tube fed thereto with articles longitudinally spaced therein, and means for severing the tube intermediate the heat sealed zone across the entire tube to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; stop means for releasing the seizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means for rendering said stop means ineffective in said function; the means for clamping and sealing including a first clamp bar, and a second clamp bar hinged thereto and pivotable to a position in which it moves past the tube as the assembly is moved by the turret to be in a position Vto close upon the side of the tube opposite that engaged by the first clamp bar, and one of said clamp bars including a severing knife followed and preceded by clamping surfaces and moveable therein with a severing thrust to sever the tube after the tube has been clamped by both surfaces.

14. Wrapping apparatus including a turret having a plurality of end-clamp assemblies variably associated therewith; each asembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewith, Vmeans lfor clamping and heat sealing a tube fed thereto with articles longitudinally spaced therein, and means for severing the tube intermediate the heat sealed zone across the entire tube to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end clamp assembly; stop means for releasing the seizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means for rendering said stop means ineifective in said function; the means for clamping and sealing including a iirst clamp bar, and a second clamp bar hinged thereto and pivotable to a position in which it moves past the tube as the assembly is moved by the turret to be in a position to close upon the side of the tube opposite that engaged by the first clamp bar, and one of said clamp bars including a severing knife followed and preceded by clamping surfaces and moveable therein with a severing thrust to sever the tube after the tube has been clamped by Iboth surfaces, and said apparatus including actuating means arranged around the turret but not rotating therewith for controlling the pivotal movement of the second clamp bar and the severing thrust of the knife.

l5. Wrapping apparatus including a turret having a plurality of end-clamp assemblies variably associated therewith; each assembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewith, and means for clamping and heat sealing a tube fed thereto with articles longitudinally spaced therein, and said apparatus including means for severing the tube intermediate the heat sealed zone across the entire tube to leave a sealed end on the package preceding the end-clamp assembly and on the package trailing the end-clamp assembly; stop means for releasing the seizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means for rendering said stop means inelfective in said function; the means for clamping and sealing including a first clamp bar, and a second clamp bar hinged thereto and pivotable to a position in which it moves past the tube as the assembly is moved by the turret to be in a position to close upon the side of the tube opposite that engaged by the rst clamp bar and electric heating means associated with at least one of the clamp bars of each assembly; and said apparatus including a circuit for energizing the heating means including a ring and brush, one of which is carried by the turret and the other moves with the assembly.

16, Wrapping apparatus including a turret having a plurality of end-clamp assemblies variably associated therewith; each assembly including means for releasably seizing the turret to rotate therewith, means for clamping and heat sealing a tube fed thereto with articles longitudinally spaced therein; stop means for releasing the seizing means of an end-clamp assembly in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the end-clamp assembly in said position, and means for rendering said stop means ineffective in said function; the seizing means of each assembly including a spring-actuated gripper for gripping a moving drive portion of the turret and a forwardly exposed release unit for said gripper positioned to strike either said stop means or a portion of a preceding stopped assembly.

17. In a flexible automatic packaging machine, a support along which a web of packaging material is advanced and which has deposited on the web thereon in longitudinally spaced relationship a series of the commodity to be packaged, means on the support engaging the advancing web to wrap it into tubular formation about the spaced series of the commodity, said apparatus including means to form a longitudinal seam inthe tube thus formed, a turret rotatably mounted adjacent the forward end of the support, clamping mechanism arcuately -shiftable asso- 13 ciated with and relative to the periphery of said turret, said clamping mechanism having gripping and sealing jaws and a cutter whereby the tube is gripped, pulled to the rotating turret, and transversely sealed and severed between adjacent encased commodity series, and means for making the turret effective for causing the shifting and operating of said clamping mechanism at intervals equal to predetermined lengths of sections of the web material including an electric eye responsive to markings on the web material.

18. In a flexible automatic packaging machine, in combination, a support along which a web of heat scalable flexible wrapping material is continuously advanced for the deposit thereon in longitudinally spaced relationship of a succession of articles to be wrapped, means on the support engaging the advancing web to wrap it into tubular formation about the spaced articles thereon, a rotatable turret mounted adjacent a forward end portion of the support, shiftable means carried by and selectively engaging said turret for movement therewith for successively engaging the tube between the adjacent encased articles for pulling, clamping, sealing and severing the tube to provide individual packages, and peripherally shiftable relative to the turret to new zones of engagement therewith while not engaged to the tube, and means automatically coordinating said shiftable means with the package length to engage the tube between the articles.

19. Apparatus including means for continuously supplying a web of material, and means for operating on the web at longitudinally spaced positions thereon including a drive means moving continuously in a path passing around an axis, a plurality of operating units for operating on the web, adjacent to` the path of the web, variably associated with the drive means, each unit including means for releasably seizing a part of the drive means substantially displaced from the axis Ito move therewith through said path, and means for performing an operation on the web as it moves with the unit, stop means for releasing the seizing means of an operating unit in a predetermined position of rest and retaining the operating unit in said l References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,113,078 Campbell Apr. 5, 1938 2,269,532 Howard Jan. 13, 1942 2,636,731 Howard Apr. 28, 1953 2,657,510 Lewis e Nov. 3, 1953 2,815,620 Prodigo Dec. l0, 1957 2,837,883 Bracey June 10, 1958 2,871,639 Forgo Feb. 3, 1959

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Referenced by
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US3126682 *Apr 8, 1963Mar 31, 1964 Krance
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US3344581 *Apr 21, 1964Oct 3, 1967Kimberly Clark CoApparatus for the manufacture of cellulosic product
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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/75, 53/550
International ClassificationB65B59/02, B65B59/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B59/02
European ClassificationB65B59/02