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Publication numberUS3006119 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 31, 1961
Filing dateJan 13, 1960
Priority dateJan 13, 1960
Publication numberUS 3006119 A, US 3006119A, US-A-3006119, US3006119 A, US3006119A
InventorsFingerhut Arthur L
Original AssigneeGen Foods Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wrapping machine
US 3006119 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 31, 1961 A. FINGERHUT 3,006,119

WRAPPING MACHINE Filed. Jan. 13, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR Arlhur L. Fingerhui ATTORNEY Oct. 31, 1961 A. FINGERHUT WRAPPING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 13, 1960 INVENTOR Arthur L. Fin

gerhut ATTORNEY Filed Jan. 15. 1960 Get 31, 1961 A. L. FINGERHUT 3 00 119 WRAPPING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG. 4

O r N FIG. 3

"P -Aw INVENTOR Arthur L. Fingerhur ATTORNEY Oct. 31, 1961 A. L. FINGERHUT WRAPPING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 .Filed Jan. 15, 1960 INVENTOR Arthur L. Fingerhur BY MQ%% ATTORNEY Oct. 31, 1961 A. L. FINGERHUT 3,006,119

WRAPPING MACHINE Filed Jan. 13, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 I1\ flgT L o o o F I" Q E INVENTOR 1.1 Arthur L. Fingerhuf United States Patent 3,006,119 WRAPPING MACHINE Arthur L. Fingerhut, Westchester County, N.Y., as-

signor to General Foods Corporation, White Plains, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Jan. 13, 1960, Ser. No. 2,177 7 Claims. (Cl. 53-24) This invention relates to a novel wrapping machine. More specifically, it relates to a machine for wrapping a bundle under compression; and to a technique for wrapping a bundle under compression.

As is well known to those skilled-in-the-art, various materials are marketed in packages which are commonly assembled into larger units to facilitate shipping and handling. Although bundling may be effected by placing the smaller packages within larger cardboard boxes, this is less than fully satisfactoryparticularly, for example, when it is desired to price-mark the packages. Commonly price marking of the smaller packages within the larger containers has been effected by opening the top of the containers, but this destroys the integrity of the assembly and as the open package is passed along from one point to another, there is a high probability that the smaller packages may fall out of the container.

It is an object of this invention to provide a machine for assembling a compressed bundle containing a larger number of small packages. Another object of this invention is to provide a bundle which may be readily opened and handled while retaining its integrity and rigidity. Another object is to provide a technique for accomplishing the foregoing objects. Other objects will be apparent to those skilled-in-the-art on inspection of the following description.

In accordance with certain of its aspects, the apparatus of this invention, which is adapted to form a wrapped bundle from an array of packages, may comprise means for maintaining the array compressed along its width and along its length, means for placing a precut section of wrapping material on the upper surface of said array, means for wrapping said material over the sides of said array, nipping means for maintaining said array compressed along its width as said wrapping material is wrapped over the sides of the array to form a partially wrapped array from which bottom portions of said wrapping material descend, means for maintaining said partially wrapped array in compression across its width, end supporting means for maintaining said array in wrapping position and for maintaining said compression across said length, bottom tucking means for tucking one of said bottom portions of said wrapping material against the bottom portion of said array, a second bottom tucking means for tucking the other of said bottom portions of said wrapping material against the bottom portion of said array thereby permitting said bottom portions of wrapping material to become joined, means for folding one end side portion of the Wrapping material against said array and for simultaneously providing a pressure on said array sufiicient to maintain compression on said array along its length, means for folding the remaining end side against said array, means for folding the bottom end against said array, means for maintaining said array in compression along its length as said bottom end is folded thereagainst, and means for folding said top end piece against said bottom end piece thereby sealing said array to form an assembled bundle.

According to certain of its more specific aspects, the machine of this invention may include a preferably horizontally positioned feed conveyor including a moving belt which bears a plurality of spaced pusher bars on the upper supporting surface thereof whereby an array of closely positioned packages may be moved along from the inlet end toward the outlet end of the conveyor.

"ice

Preferably the conveyor bars are spaced on the moving surface of the belt at a distance greater than the width of the array which is to be made up into a bundle. Each side of the feed conveyor is bounded by a stationary side wall; and the front and rear side walls are spaced apart, at the inlet end, a distance which may be greater than the length of the array; this distance decreases as the discharge end of the belt is approached. Because of the tapered or converging relationship between the front and rear side walls, the packages in the array moving along the conveyor may be compressed together to give a strain which may be, for example 0.004 inch per inch and which may be sufficient to permit the packages in each row of the finally assembled bundle to press against each other with a frictional force between the packages sufficient to prevent slippage between the packages.

That portion of the conveyor adjacent to the outlet end thereof may preferably bear on each side thereof an outlet side pusher including a y-ieldable band moving on a spaced pair of rollers each of which has its axis of ro tation in the same vertical plane. The front outlet side pusher on the front portion of the conveyor is preferably aligned with the stationary front side wall of the conveyor; and the rear outlet side pusher on the rear portion of the conveyor is preferably aligned with the stationary rear side wall of the conveyor. As the front and rear outlet side pushers move, they carry the array of packages from the conveyor toward the wrapping station. Simultaneously they maintain the compression on the bundle resulting from the front and rear side walls of the conveyor.

The wrapping station includes an elevator having a horizontal receiving platform, which in receiving position, is in the same horizontal plane as is the conveying surface of the feed conveyor whereby the array of packages may be placed thereon. The elevator bears upstanding front and rear side walls adapted to contain the compressed array of packages. The elevator may be mounted on a means for elevation, typically an upstanding shaft, whereby the elevator may be raised or lowered.

The wrapping station may also include a far guide plate which is positioned at the end of the elevator furthest removed from the conveyor and which extends downwardly to a point at which it may arrest the forward motion of the array as it is admitted to the elevator whereby the array is arrested in desired position on the elevator. The far guide plate extends generally vertically upwardly. The wrapping station also includes a near guide plate, the lower end of which is spaced from the receiving platform of the elevator by a greater distance than the height of the array whereby the array may pass thereunder as it enters the wrapping station. The near guide plate extends generally vertically upwardly. Both the far guide plate and the near guide plate are inclined toward each other so that as the elevator rises upwardly with the array of packages, the array is compressed by the stationary guide plates in a direction corresponding to the width of the array, this being perpendicular to the direction of compression heretofore effected by the converging side walls of the feed conveyor and maintained by the front and rear side walls of the elvator. Compression may be suflicient to give a strain of 0.012 inch per inch. The upper ends of the converging guide plates may be in a common horizontal plane.

The wrapping machine also bears a source of wrapping material, commonly heavy kraft paper; and preferably this may be in the form of a roll mounted on an axis parallel to the direction of the conveyor feed to the wrapping station. The wrapper may be drawn therefrom and be passed to the wrapping station in direction perpendicular to the direction of the conveyor feed to the wrapping station. The machine may also bear appropriate scoring devices to provide fold lines along the direction of motion of the wrapping material, along which the material may be folded as the bundle is formed by wrapping the array. The machine may also preferably bear means for aflixing at least one tear strip to the lower face of the wrapping material, and also preferably applying means for applying adhesive to preferably the under side of one edge of the advancing sheet of Wrapping material.

The machine may also bear support means for guiding the wrapping material into desired position in the wrapping station, the positioned material lying in a horizontal plane immediately above the upper extremities of the inwardly inclined, upwardly extending guide plates; and also cutting means whereby the so-positioned sheet may be cut to desired length. The array and the wrapping material are positioned so that as the former is raised by the elevator, it carries the latter with it and the wrapping material is partially wrapped around the array.

Positioned above and spaced from the plane of the Wrapping material feed may be a bundle-receiving bucket adapted to receive the upwardly moved array of packages and the now folded sheet of wrapping material. The bucket may include, in the preferred embodiment, a pair of semi-buckets which when assembled together include a horizontal interrupted bucket bottom and at each edge thereof a depending vertical straight bucket side. Preferably the semi-buckets are mounted on a horizontally moving conveyor belt whereby the cooperating semibuckets forming a bucket may be moved in a bundle discharge direction. As the array of packages is moved into the bucket by the upwardly rising elevator, the bundle passes through the plane of wrapping material and carries the latter along into the bucket as the material is folded along two of its preformed fold lines.

Immediately above the rear or far guide plate and between that and the bucket is a preferably stationary rear nipper plate positioned in a horizontal plane, preferably having its forward-most point in the same vertical plane as the inner surface of the rear semi-bucket when the latter is in position, and having a rounded lower edge. Immediately above said rear nipper plate is a horizontally reciprocable rear lower tucker plate which may be adapted to move forwardly across the width of the array of packages.

Immediately above the forward or near guide plate is a preferably reciprocable front nipper plate, preferably having its rearwardmost point (i.e. its point of furthest extension into the wrapping station) in the same vertical plane as the inner surface of the front semibucket when the latter is in position, and having a rounded lower edge. Immediately above said front nipper plate is a horizontally reciprocable front lower tucking plate which may be adapted to move rearwardly for a distance of about one-half the width of the array of packages. In the preferred embodiment, the front tucking plate and the front nipper plate will be joined together and will move together. It will be apparent, however, that each tucker plate and nipper plate combination (i.e. either the front or the rear or both) may be mounted so that the nipper plate is joined to the tucker plate or so that the two are separated with the nipper plate stationary. When the two sides are different, the combined moving nipper and tucker may be on either side of the wrapping station, but it is preferred that it be on the bundle discharge side of the station.

The machine also bears a pair of end holding clamps adapted to support the bundle in the bucket as the wrapping operation progresses, and to create a sufficient force on the ends of the bundle to maintain thereon a pressure at least equal to the pressure exerted by the walls of the elevator. Preferably each of these clamps has a sufficiently large surface area to contact the ends of all the packages in each end of the bundle. Preferably the configuration of that portion of the clamps touching the bundle is such that a portion of each face of the packages which are contacted by the clamp, remains untouched by the clamp. Each clamp may be mounted on a shaft and piston assembly whereby the clamps may be moved in a front-to-rear direction to bear against the bundle or to release the bundle.

Mounted in the plane of each end of the bundle as it sits in the bucket is a side end folding yoke adapted to reciprocate along a horizontal line in the said plane.

The face of the yoke adapted to press against the bundle is formed to touch the bundle above and below the clamp whereby the yoke may close one side of the end of the bundle and then serve to support the bundle when and as the clamp is removed.

The machine may include a bundle discharge conveyor in the plane of the bottom of the bundle as the latter is maintained in the bucket. Each side of the inlet end of the discharge conveyor bears a stationary endside folder preferably including a flat plate positioned in substantially the same vertical plane as the end of the bundle, and preferably having a tapered portion at the inlet end. The height of the end-side folder plates may be preferably less than the height of the bundle.

Mounted on each side of the discharge conveyor at a point horizontally spaced from the stationary end side folders may be a bank of four squeeze rolls whereby the folds generated by the yoke and by the stationary end-side folder may be flattened. Apparatus for completion of the assembly may include on each side of the conveyor a bottom end-folding mechanism generally in the plane of an end of the bundle including a first bottom folding plate defined by a forward edge, an upper edge, a bottom edge, and a trailing edge which is generally at an oblique angle to said bottom edge; and a second bottom folding plate defined by a trailing edge, a top edge, a bottom edge, and a forward folding edge generally at an acute angle to said second bottom edge and preferably parallel to the trailing edge to said first bottom folding pate.

Mounted on each side of the conveyor at a point horizontally spaced from the bottom folder may be a gluer to apply adhesive to the under side of the horizontally positioned upper flap. Folding means for completing the sealing includes a first top folding plate defined by a forward edge, an upper edge, a bottom edge, and a trailing edge which is generally at an acute angle to said bottom edge; and a second top folding plate defined by a trailing edge, an upper edge, a bottom edge, and a forward folding edge generally at an obtuse angle to said second bottom edge and preferably parallel to the trailing edge of said first top folding plate. The machine may also include a heater to dry the glue in each end of the assembled bundle.

In operation of the apparatus of this invention according to certain of its aspects, an array of packages to be wrapped as a bundle may be positioned at one end of the feed conveyor and carried therealong by one of the moving pusher bars. As the array moves along, it is compressed by the converging front and rear side walls of the conveyor so that the packages in each row of the bundle press against each other with a force sufiicient to create a frictional force between the packages so that there is no slippage. The so-compressed bundle is then moved by the moving bands on each side of the bundle onto an elevator where upstanding front and rear walls maintain the compression obtained in the conveying.

The bundle or array, now in compression across its length, is elevated, by upward movement of the elevator as it is compressed across its width by converging rear and forward guide plates. At the upper extremity of the guide plates, the compressed array contacts a piece of Wrapping material which has been previously cut to size, scored to all provide fold lines, provided with at least one tear strip, and glued along one lower edge. The upwardly moving bundle carries the wrapping material along therewith through nipper plates which tightly fold the wrapping material about the upper edges of the bundle while maintaining compression on the bundle, this being possible because inter alia the lower edge of the nipper plate is less than one package height above the upper edge of the guide late.

P The bundle and partially wrapped wrapping material are raised by the elevator into the bucket. The end holding clamps close in on the bundle to maintain thereon the same amount of force and resulting compression obtained by the front and rear walls of the elevator. The elevator may then be lowered, leaving the bundle supported by the clamps. The rear tucker plate may then move horizontally inwardly to tuck the depending rear portion of the wrapper material against the bottom of the bundle. While the rear tucker plate is so extended, each side end folding yoke may advance to close the rear side ends and to assume a position on each end of the bundle where it bears against each end package with the same force as does the clamp. The clamp may then be removed and the yoke and bundle, the latter with the bucket, move in the discharge direction. As this occurs, the front tucker plate moves forwardly and seals the front lower portion of the wrapping material against the front lower portion, thereby forming a sleeve of wrapping material within which the bundle is enclosed.

As the advancing bundle encounters the stationary endside folder, the advancing front end-side is folded against the bundle. As the bundle advances away from the yoke, the compression across the length of the bundle is maintained by the end-side folders; the compression across the width of the bundle is maintained by the bucket and/or the wrapping material; and, as the bucket is now removed, by the sleeve of wrapping material.

Completion of the end folding operation may be effected by passing the bundle through: an end bottom folding step whereby each end bottom flap is folded against the bundle; an adhesive applying operation whereby the underside of the end top flap is glued; and an end top folding step whereby each end top is folded against the bundle. -Details of the apparatus and of the process of this invention may be observed by inspection of the drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of an embodiment of this invention;

- FIGURE 2 is an elevation with parts in section of the embodiment of FIGURE 1 and also shows one step in practice of the invention;

FIGURE 3 is an elevation with parts in section of the technique of this invention showing the apparatus at a time subsequent to the showing in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is similar to FIGURE 3 and shows the apparatus at a time subsequent to the showing in FIGURE FIGURE 5 is similar to FIGURE 4 and shows the apparatus at a time subsequent to the showing in FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is similar to FIGURE 5 and shows the apparatus at a time subsequent to the showing in FIGURE 5; and

FIGURE 7 schematically shows steps subsequent to those of FIGURE 6.

As shown in the drawings, the machine includes an array 10 of packages in the form of a bundle to be wrapped. This array is mounted on conveyor 11 on which it is moved along by pusher bar 12 between converging side walls 13 and 14. At the end of the conveyor may be positioned outlet side pushers 15 and 16 mounted on rotating rollers which assist in moving the bundle 11 onto the elevator 17 where it is maintained in compression between front side Wall 18 and rear side wall 19. The array is positioned on elevator 17 by far guide plate 20.

The elevator 17 may be raised with bundle 10 thereon and as this-occurs the bundle 10 may be compressed between far guide plate 20 and near guide plate 21. As the bundle 10 is raised (q.'v. elevated position in FIGURE 2), it encounters wrapping material generally designated 22 which is supported on supporting means 23. Wrapping material 22 will preferably have been pre-scored along lines 50, 51, 52, and 53, and will preferably be provided with at least one tear strip 54. As the elevator 17 rises to the point shown in FIGURE 3, the bundle 10 and the wrapping material 22 encounter front nipper plate 25 and rear nipper plate 24. These retain the wrapping material 22 and firmly wrap it around bundle 10 while holding the tension created by members 20 and 21. Wrapping material 22 is folded along fold lines 51 and 52 so that tear strip 54 is centrally positioned on the bundle 10.

The bundle 10 is moved upwardly into bucket 26 mounted on conveyors 27 (FIGURE 4). End holding clamps 29 and 30 may be moved into position against bundle 10 and then elevator 17 may be moved downwardly. Rear lower tucking plate 28 may move horizontally to fold the rear portion of the bottom panel of the wrapping material along fold line '50 against the bundle 10 (FIGURE 5). Side end folding yoke 3-1 (and a corresponding yoke on the other end of the machine, not shown) may then move to fold down the rear side-end and to traverse the end of the bundle 10 (FIGURE 6). Clamps 29 and 30 may be withdrawn. Simultaneously bucket 26 and conveyor 27 will begin moving toward the bundle discharge conveyor 32'; and front nipper and tucking plate 25 will be moved by cam mechanism 3-3 to fold the bottom along fold line 53 and to close and seal the bottom of the bundle as the latter moves toward conveyor 32.

As the bundle 10 moves, the unfolded side-end encounters stationary front end-side folder 34. The bundle then moves along conveyor 32 through (FIGURE 7) squeeze rolls 35 which compress the folds heretofore made, through lower end folding plates 36 and 37, through gluer 38, through upper end folding plates 39 and 40, and then through heater 41.

It will be apparent to those skilled-in-the-art that this invention has been described with reference to a specific embodiment thereto, but that various modifications may be made thereto, which will be within the scope of this invention. This application is a continuation-in-part of the application entitled Package by the same inventor, filed on or about January 7, 1960.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for wrapping a plurality of compressible packages positioned in an array which comprises a vertically movable elevator in a wrapping station adapted to receive said array; means for elevating said array; means for placing a precut section of wrapping material on the upper surface of said array as the latter rests on said elevator; bucket means positioned above said array; nipping means spaced below the depending edges of said bucket means; means for compressing the ends of said array; means for elevating said array into said bucket; means for side-compressing the array during said elevation, said wrapping material being simultaneously folded about the upper face and the sides of said array as the latter is elevated, said nipping means firmly maintaining said wrapping material in said position during said elevation into said bucket thereby forming depending rear and front portions of wrapping material; means for horizontally moving the depending rear portion of said wrapping material into position against the lower portion of said array; means for moving said depending forward portion rearwardly and generally h0rizontally into place against the heretofore folded rear portion of said wrapping whereby the forward and the rear portions of the wrapping are juxtaposed and sealed together thereby forming a sleeve around said compressed array; yoke means in the plane of each end of said array adapted to reciprocate across each end face of the bundle and to thereby fold the rear flaps of the end side portions against said compressed array, said yoke being completely outside of the means for compressing the ends of said bundle; means for removing said end compressing means while said yokes are in position whereby said yokes maintain said pressure; means for horizontally moving said partially sealed bundle in a direction away from said yoke; end folding means for folding the unfolded end side portions as said array is moved; means for folding the lower end portions upwardly against said array; means for removing said yoke; means for maintaining said array under end compression after said yoke is removed; and means for folding said upper end portion down over said end and sealing the same thereby providing a sealed bundle under compression.

2. Apparatus for wrapping a plurality of compressible packages positioned in a compressed array which comprises means for placing a precut section of wrapping material on the upper surface of said compressed array; bucket means positioned above said array; nipping means spaced below the depending edges of said bucket means; means for elevating said array into said bucket; means for side compressing said array during said elevation between the said nipping means, said Wrapping material being simultaneously folded about the upper face and the sides of said array as the latter is elevated, said nipping means firmly maintaining said wrapping material in said position during said elevation into said bucket thereby forming depending rear and front portions of wrapping material; means for horizontally moving the depending rear portion of said wrapping material into position against the lower portion of said array; means for moving said depending forward portion rearwardly and generally horizontally into place against the heretofore folded rear portion of said wrapping whereby the forward and the rear portions of the wrapping are juxtaposed and sealed together thereby forming a sleeve around said compressed array; yoke means in the plane of each end of said array adapted to reciprocate across each end face of the bundle and to thereby fold the rear flaps of the end side portions against said compressed array, said yoke being completely outside of the means for compressing the ends of said bundle; means for removing said end compressing means while said yokes are in position whereby said yokes maintain said pressure; means for horizontally moving said partially sealed bundle in a direction away from said yoke; end folding means for folding the unfolded end side portions as said array is moved; means for folding the lower end portions upwardly against said array; means for removing said yoke; means for maintaining said array under end compression after said yoke is removed; and means for folding said upper end portion down over said end thereby providing a sealed bundle under compression.

3. Apparatus for wrapping a plurality of compressible packages positioned in an end-compressed array which comprises a vertically movable elevator in a wrapping station adapted to receive said array; a rear guide plate adjacent to the rear portion of said elevator when the latter is in receiving position, whereby said array may be positioned on said elevator and the packages therein aligned, said rear guide plate being obliquely positioned with respect to said elevator and forming an acute angle therewith; a forward guide plate at the inlet side of said wrapping station having an opening at the lower portion thereof whereby the array may be passed therethrough, the upper portion thereof being at an acute angle to said elevator; means for placing a precut section of wrapping material on the upper surface of said array as the latter rests on said elevator; bucket means positioned above said array; nipping means spaced below the depending edges of said bucket means; means for compressing the ends of said array; means for elevating said array into said bucket, the array being side-compressed during said elevation between the said rear guide plate and the forward guide plate, said wrapping material being simultaneously folded about the upper face and the sides of said array as the latter is elevated, said nipping means firmly maintaining said wrapping material in said position during said elevation into said bucket thereby forming depending rear and front portions of wrapping material; means for horizontally moving the depending rear portion of said wrapping material into position against the lower portion of said array; means for moving said depending forward portion rearwardly and generally horizontally into place against the heretofore folded rear portion of said wrapping whereby the forward and the rear portions of the wrapping are juxtaposed and sealed together thereby forming a sleeve around said compressed array; yoke means in the plane of each end of said array adapted to reciprocate across each end face of the bundle and to thereby fold the rear flaps of the end side portions against said compressed array, said yoke being completely outside of the means for compressing said bundle; means for removing said end compressing means while said yokes are in position whereby said yokes maintain said pressure; means for horizontally moving said partially sealed bundle in a direction away from said yoke; end folding means for folding the unfolded end side portions as said array is moved; means for folding the lower end portions upwardly against said array; means for removing said yoke; means for maintaining said array under end compression after said yoke is removed; and means for folding said upper end portion down over said end thereby providing a sealed bundle under compression.

4. Apparatus for wrapping a plurality of compressible packages positioned in an array which comprises a supporting conveyor on which the array is conveyed to a wrapping station; means on said conveyor for moving a plurality of spaced arrays from an inlet assembly point to said wrapping station; inwardly converging walls on such conveyor adapted to compress said array as said array moves toward said station; a vertically movable elevator in said wrapping station at the outlet end of said conveyor adapted to receive said array from said conveyor; a rear guide plate adjacent to the rear portion of said elevator when the latter is in receiving position, whereby said array may be positioned on said elevator and the packages therein aligned, said rear guide plate being obliquely positioned with respect to said elevator and forming an acute angle therewith; a forward guide plate at the inlet side of said wrapping station having an opening at the lower portion thereof whereby the array may be passed therethrough, the upper portion thereof being at an acute angle to said elevator; means for placing a precut section of wrapping material on the upper surface of said array as the latter rests on said elevator; bucket means positioned above said array; nipping means spaced below the depending edges of sa d bucket means; means for compressing the ends of said array; means for elevating said array into said bucket, the array being side-compressed during said elevat on between the said rear guide plate and the forward guide plate, said wrapping material being simultaneously folded about the upper face and the sides of said array as the latter is elevated, said nipping means firmly mainta1n ing said wrapping material in said position during said folding and into said bucket thereby forming depending rear and front portions of wrapping material; means for horizontally moving the depending rear portion of said Wrapping material into position against the lower portion of said array; means for moving said depending forward portion rearwardly and generally horizonatlly into place against the heretofore folded rear portion of said wrapping whereby the forward and the rear portions of the wrapping are juxtaposed and sealed together thereby forming a sleeve around said compressed array; yoke means in the plane of each end of said array adapted to reciprocate across each end face thereof and to thereby fold the rear flaps of the end side portions against said compressed array, said yoke being completely outside of the means for compressing said bundle; means for removing said end compressing means while said yokes are in position whereby said yokes maintain said pressure; means for horizontally moving said partially sealed bundle in a direction away from said yoke; end folding means for folding the unfolded end side portions as said array is moved; means for folding the lower end portions upwardly against said array; means for removing said yoke; means for maintaining said array under end compression after said yoke is removed; and means for folding said upper end portion down over said end thereby providing a sealed bundle under compres- S1011.

5. Apparatus for wrapping a plurality of compressible packages positioned in an array which comprises a supporting conveyor on which the array is conveyed to a wrapping station; means on said conveyor for moving a purality of spaced arrays from an inlet assembly point to said wrapping station; inwardly converging walls on such conveyor adapted to compress said array as said array moves toward said station; a vertically movable elevator in said wrapping station at the outlet end of said conveyor adapted to receive said array from said conveyor; a rear guide plate adjacent to the rear portion of said elevator when the latter is in receiving position, whereby said array may be positioned on said elevator and the packages therein aligned, said rear guide plate being obliquely positioned with respect to said elevator and forming an acute angle therewith; a forward guide plate at the inlet side of wrapping station having an opening at the lower portion thereof whereby the array may be passed therethrough, the upper portion thereof being at an acute angle to said elevator; means for placing a precut section of wrapping material on the upper surface of said array as the latter rests on said elevator; bucket means positioned above said array; nipping means spaced below the depending edges of said bucket means; means for compressing the end of said array; means for elevating said bundle into said bucket, the array being side-compressed during said elevation between the said rear guide plate and the forward guide plate, said wrapping material being simultaneously folded about the upper face and the sides of said array as the latter is elevated, said nipping means firmly maintaining said wrapping material in said position during said folding and elevation into said bucket thereby forming depending rear and front portions of wrapping material; means for horizontally moving the depending rear portion of said wrapping material into position against the lower portion of said array; means for applying a sealant to the lower surface of the edge of the forward portion of said wrapping; means for moving said depending sealed edge of said forward portion rearwardly and generally horizontally into place against the hertofore folded rear portion of said wrapping whereby the forward and the rear portions of the wrapping are juxtaposed and sealed together thereby forming a sleeve around said compressed array; yoke means in the plane of each end of said array adapted to reciprocate across each end face thereof and to thereby fold the rear flaps of the end side portions against said compressed array, said yoke being completely outside of the means for compressing said bundle; means for removing said end compressing means while said yokes are in position whereby said yokes maintain said pressure; means for horizontally moving said partially sealed bundle in a direction away from said yoke; end folding means for folding the unfolded end side portions as said array is moved; means for folding the lower end portions upwardly against said array; means for removing said yoke; means for maintaining said array under end compression after said yoke is removed; means for applying sealant to the underside of the upper end portion of said Wrapping; and means for folding said upper portion down over said lower portion of said end thereby providing a sealed bundle under compression.

6. An apparatus adapted to form a wrapped bundle from a compressed array of packages which comprises means for maintaining the array compressed along its width and along its length; means for placing a precut section of wrapping material on the upper surface of said array; means for wrapping said material over the sides of said array; nipping means for maintaining said array compressed along its width as said wrapping material is wrapped over the sides of the array to form a partially wrapped array from which bottom portions of said wrapping material depend; means for maintaining said partially wrapped array in compression across its width; end supporting means for maintaining said array in wrapping position and for maintaining said compression across said length; bottom tucking means for tucking one of said bottom portions of said wrapping material against the bottom portion of said array; second bottom tucking means for tucking the other of said bottom portions of said wrapping material against the bottom portion of said array thereby permitting said bottom portions of wrapping material to become joined; means for folding one end side portion of the wrapping material against said array and for simultaneously providing a pressure on said array sufiicient to maintain compression on said array along its length; means for folding the remaining end side against said array; means for folding the bottom end against said array; means for maintaining said array in compression along its length as said bottom end is folded thereagainst; and means for folding said top end piece against said bottom end piece thereby sealing said array to form an assembled bundle.

7. The method of forming a wrapped bundle from a plurality of packages arranged in an array which comprises compressing said array across its width and its length; folding a precut section of wrapping material around a face and two sides of said array as the latter is maintained under compression across its width; tucking front and rear portions of said wrapping material against the bottom face of said package whereby said portions of wrapping material may be secured together; folding one end side of said wrapping material against said array; moving said array to a top and bottom folding station; maintaining said compression against the length of said array as the latter is moved; folding the front end side portion of said wrapping material against said array as the latter is moved; releasing said compression across said width whereby said Wrapping material assumes said compression; and folding and sealing the end bottom and end top portions of said wrapping material across said array thereby forming an assembled bundle wherein said packages are under compression suflicient to create friction therebetween whereby said packages will not slide against each other.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,589,229 Roberts June 15, 1926 2,130,680 Ferenci 2 Sept. 20, 1938 2,146,997 Smith et al. Feb. 14, 1939 2,609,646 Total Sept. 9, 1952 2,680,336 Prince June 8, 1954 2,699,022 Wollett Jan. 11, 1955 2,930,173 Labine Mar. 29, 1960

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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/438, 53/230, 53/529, 53/443, 53/462
International ClassificationB65B11/06, B65B11/22
Cooperative ClassificationB65B11/22
European ClassificationB65B11/22