US 3018597 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 30, 1962 HQHL 3,018,597
CONTAINER CLOSING APPARATUS Filed Aug. 14, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR r/aHNHGHL LLM4M ATTORN Jan. 30, 1962 HQHL 3,018,597
CONTAINER CLOSING. APPARATUS Filed Aug. 14, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 f r 47 INVENTOR i 1 I Z/OHNHUHZ 4 5 46 46 BY H 48 4-M/ZLATTORNE Jan. 30, 1962 J. HOHL CONTAINER CLOSING APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Aug. 14, 1958 INVENTOR UOHN H0192 BY W ATTORNE nited States The present invention relates to improvements in container closing apparatus and particularly is concerned with the provision of novel and efficient means for threading screw-type closure caps upon bottles and jars and regulably controlling the application torque to the end that relatively uniform tightness of the closure caps on the containers may be obtained.
In the hermetic sealing of bottles and jars with screwthreaded closure caps, it is important that they be tight enough to insure satisfactory sealing, but not so tight as to make removal exceedingly difficult. My invention aims to attain the above indicated desirable results.
An important object of my invention is the provision of a series of pairs of closure cap applying rolls which successively engage closure caps as they travel along a preselected path f'rom a filler to a packing or casing station and thereby effect initial and final application of the caps.
Another object of my invention is the provision of a pair of primary spinning rolls which initially thread closure caps upon containers and additional spinning rolls for tightening the closure caps, if necessary, each such additional or tightening roll receiving its power through a friction-disk slip-clutch, the driving effectiveness of Which can be regulably controlled to thereby predetermine the application torque of the tightening rolls and incidentally very materially reduce wear of the spinning rolls.
It is also an object of my invention to provide means for regulably controlling the lateral pressure of tightening rolls upon the closure cap skirt and so adjusting it in relation to the setting of the friction-disk slip-clutch that if a given cap reaching the tightening rolls is already sufficiently tight on the jar the lateral pressure will so firmly press the spinning rolls against the cap skirt as to overcome the driving effectiveness of the slip-clutch and thereby hold the rolls against rotation either with or relative to the cap and thereby prevent scuffing or marring of the lacquer coating on the cap as well as minimize wear of the spinning rolls periphery.
Other objects will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a container closing apparatus incorporating my invention, parts being broken away to reveal the spinning rolls.
FIG. 2 is a schematic plan view of the spinning rolls and driving means therefor.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 33 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail sectional view showing the friction-disk slip-clutch for one of the tightening rolls.
FIG. 5 is a schematic side elevational veiw showing successive positions of the jars and closure caps as they travel together through the closing apparatus.
FIG. 6 is an end view in elevation of the leveler shown in FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary top plan view of the leveler bars and adjacent ends of the fixed guide rails which extend from the cap chute to the leveler.
In the illustrated embodiment of my invention, it is shown in conjunction with a horizontal continuously moving conveyor 15 and a pair of side jar gripping belts 15 which transport filled jars 16 or the like receptacles in succession past closure cap pick-up, primary cap afiixing atent and cap tightening stations or zones and hold such jars against rotation. These filled jars 16 move from left to right in the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 and in conventional fashion remove closure caps 17 from the discharge end of an inclined cap chute 18. These closure caps immediately become partially telescoped over the threaded neck portion of the receptacles, being supported, however, out of actual contact with the top sealing surface, or rim, of the jar neck, by a pair of fixed guide rails 19, one of which is shown in FIG. 5, the pair being indicated in top plan in FIG. 7. As the jars advance, the partially telescoped closure caps 17 travel therewith and slide along the supporting guide rails 19. At the exit end of these guide rails, the closure caps 17 move onto short horizontal laterally spaced supporting bars 20 of a leveler 21 which forms the subject matter claimed in a copending application, Serial Number 758,232, filed September 2, 1958, titled Container Closing Apparatus, in which I appear as a joint applicant with George L. Webster.
This leveler includes the above mentioned supporting bars 26) and a top plate 22 spaced thereabove, these elements being rigidly interconnected and movable vertically as a unit. The top plate 22 has a cam-like surface 23 at the inlet end designed to contact incoming closure caps, the latter lifting the leveler sutficiently to bring the supporting bars 20 into horizontal alignment with the adja cent ends of the guide rails 19. Thus, the closure caps can move freely onto the supporting bars. The leveler is mounted for vertical sliding movement in a holder 24. A coil spring 25 counterbalances the weight of the leveler in such fashion that the supporting bars 20 normally are in a horizontal plane only a small fraction of an inch below that of the fixed guide rails 19. Upward movement of the leveler under influence of the entering closure caps is restricted by an adjustable cushion stop 26 (FIG. 6) in the form of a spring-pressed plunger. Such upward movement of the leveler also compresses a second plunger spring element 27. As a closure cap moves into contact with the primary spinning rolls, the weight of the leveler, together with the pressure of the spring element 27, quickly lowers the leveler and effects interengagement of the threads of the closure cap and jar. Rotation of the spinning rolls 28 quickly threads the cap onto the jar. The extent to which the closure cap is initially threaded onto the jar by these primary rolls 28 varies according to the thread relationship between the cap and jar at the moment the leveler and spinning rolls assume It, for example,
complete control of the closure cap. the threads are precisely matched at the time the cap makes contact with the jar so that they interengage immediately upon initial rotation of the cap, the latter may be rather tightly threaded in place. If, however, these threads are not so matched andthe cap must be rotated some appreciable distance before proper thread contact is obtained, the cap will not be sufficiently tight when it moves beyond the influence of the primary spinning rolls 28. In such instances, additional tightening will be necessary, but in varying degrees as directly and solely determined by the effectiveness of the primary rolls in initially afiixing the closure caps. Because of the fact that successive capped jars reaching the tightening rolls 29 may, and in all probability will, require difl'ferent degrees of additional tightening, and in some instances none at all, these tightening rolls, as will be explained in detail hereinafter, incorporate means whereby they can tighten the closure caps only to a predetermined degree under any normal conditions. Thus, if any given closure cap is already tight enough when it reaches the tightening rolls 29, the latter will merely firmly grip the cap but neither rotate it, nor slide over the cap skirt in a fashion to cause scuffiug or marring of the lacquer coating.
The primary spinning rolls 28, or which there are two,
as shown in FIG. 2, are similarly mounted. A vertical shaft 30 in the frame F, or casting, supports the roll at its lower end and at its upper end carries a pulley 31 or sheave over which a driving belt 32 is trained, the latter being driven by a motor M operating through a gear box 33 and pulley 34 to transmit power to the belt 32. The specific mounting for these spinning rolls is disclosed and claimed in a copending application, Serial Number 735,532, filed May 15, 1958, titled Container Closing Apparatus, now U.S. Patent No. 2,942,394, in which I appear as a joint applicant with Olav Bjering.
The tightening rolls 29, of which there may be two sets, or pairs (FIGS. 1, 2 and 3) are positioned just beyond the primary spinning rolls 28. As is shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, these tightening rolls rotate in a horizontal plane slight- 1y below that of the primary rolls, such being advantageous, if not essential, in that the closure caps, as they leave the primary rolls, will have moved to a lower level than when they entered the leveler 21. Thus, these tightening rolls are positioned to most effectively grip the closure cap attaching skirt.
Each of the tightening rolls 29 is attached to the lower end of a vertical shaft 35 which is mounted in the aforementioned frame F, or casting, preferably, though not necessarily, in the same fashion as the primary rolls 28. This shaft extends upwardly through a sleeve 36 (FIG. 3) and is supported near its upper end by a pivoted arm 37 which is carried by said frame F. A pulley 38 at the upper end of the shaft 35 is driven by the aforementioned belt 32. Idler pulleys 39 (FIGS. 1 and 2) keep the belt under proper tension.
Because it is most important that the tightening rolls rotate the closure caps only when the latter in fact require some degree of additional tightening and it is also advantageous to insure against any relative rubbing contact between these rolls and the cap skirt to thereby avoid scuffing the caps and reduce wear of the periphery of these rolls, a friction-disk slip-clutch C has been incorporated in each spinning roll unit 29 as will now be explained. A driving disk 40 (FIG. 4) is welded or otherwise secured to the lower end of the shaft 35 and spaced just above this disk is a spring-pressed flanged collar 41 which is keyed to said shaft for rotation with the latter and capable of axial movement thereon. Between the disk 40 and a radial flange 42 on the collar 41, is a driven Oilite friction ring 43 which is of somewhat larger diameter than the disk and flange. Screws 44 secure the marginal portion of this ring 43 to a clamping disk 45, between which and a lower clamping disk 46, a rubber collar 47 is securely held. This rubber collar is a flat ring-like element, generally rectangular in cross-section. The clamping disks include axially spaced-apart radial flanges 45 and 46 which actually engage and grip a portion of the rubber collar, leaving a substantial part extending radially outward beyond said flanges and presenting a peripheral surface for gripping contact with the closure cap skirts. A lock screw 48 separably connects the clamping disks 45 and 46.
Effectiveness of the slip-clutch in positively driving the spinning roll is determined by the tightness with which the friction ring 43 is gripped between the disk 40 at the bottom end of the shaft 35 and the spring-pressed collar 41. To this end the tension of the coil spring 41 (FIGS. 3 and 4) and its axial downward pressure upon the flanged collar 41 is regularly controlled by a split-adjusting nut 49 which is threaded upon the shaft 45 and lockable in place by a bolt or screw 50. The coil spring 41 encircles an annular flange 51 which projects downwardly from the adjusting nut 49. Axial adjustment of the nut 49 on the shaft 35 correspondingly changes the gripping effectiveness of the disk 40 and spring collar 41 upon the friction ring 43 to the end that the tightening spinning rolls 29 will apply only a predetermined regulable torque to the closure caps. Slippage between the disk 40 and the friction ring will then occur. Also,
4 because of the coil springs 36 (FIGS. 1 and 3) which urge the pivoted sleeve carrying arms 37 downwardly about their pivots and the possibility of adjusting the spring tension by rotation of the rods 36*, the cap-gripping pressure of the rolls can be regulated in relation to the effectiveness of the friction-clutch to thereby insure against any slippage between the rolls and cap skirt. Therefore, scufling or marring of the closure cap coating is avoided, as explained heretofore.
In operation, filled jars 16 or the like receptacles, enter the machine at the left-hand end of FIG. 1, being supported upright upon the conveyor 15 and held against rotation by the side gripping belts 15 As each jar moves past the cap chute, it picks off of the lower end of the latter a closure cap 17 which rides along the guide rails 19, and is slidingly supported thereby in partially telescoped relationship to the jar neck. It preferably does not actually contact the upper or rim end of the jar but because of the slight degree of projection of the jar neck into the closure cap, the latter advances with the jar to the leveler 21. Here the side supporting bars 20 of the leveler take over the closure cap supporting function of the fixed guide rails 19 as a result of the leveler being elevated by the cap as it engages and moves along the cam surface 23 at the entrance to said leveler. Almost immediately the cap skirt is engaged by the primary spinning rolls 28. The cap at this point has become disengaged from the fixed guide rails 19 whereupon the leveler lowers slightly under the influence of spring pressure and gravity. The tendency of the spinning rolls 28 to quickly release the closure caps 17 also contributes to rapid downward movement of the closure cap and leveler. Immediately the threads of the cap and jar interengage and with continued rotation of the cap it is threaded onto the jar and at this point the cap will have lowered sufliciently that it is entirely out of contact with the spinning rolls 28. Such closed jar with the closure cap skirt at a lower position than when it entered the leveler 21 and the zone of influence of the primary spinning rolls 28, advance to the tightening rolls 29. These rolls, as stated heretofore, are lower than the primary rolls 28 so that they can most effectively grip the cap skirt over the widest possible area. If the cap is sufficiently tight, the rolls 29 merely grip the skirt portion and are held substantially stationary while the shaft 35 and disk 40 rotate freely. However, in the event the cap is not quite tight enough, the spinning rolls 29 impart further rotation thereto until the clutch C slips. Owing to the high speed of travel of the jars through this machine, a second pair of tightening rolls (as shown) may be needed to complete the closure applying operation. Here again slippage of the driving clutch ends the closure cap rotation and the capped jars move on to a packing station (not shown).
Modifications may be resorted to within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. In a container closing apparatus for affixing screwthreaded skirted closure-caps to jars having threaded necks comprising, means for conveying filled upright jars along a horizontal path, means for placing closure caps in partially telescoped relationship over the necks of successive jars as they move past a closure cap receiving station, a pair of continuously rotating primary spinning rolls adjacent the cap receiving station between which the closure caps pass with advancing movement of the jars, said rolls spaced apart transversely of said path such distance that they firmly grip the skirt portions of the closure caps and at least partially thread the caps onto the jars, a pair of tightening rolls positioned beyond the primary rolls, and said tightening rolls being engageable with diametrically opposed portions of a cap skirt; the improvement which comprises a friction-disk slip-clutch for driving each tightening roll, each such roll and its clutch including coaxial clamping disks forming a holder for a resilient collarlike tightening roll, a roll driving disk coaxial with one of the clamping disks, a driven frictional ring coaxial with the driving disk, said driven ring contacting one face of the driving disk and secured to said one of the clamping disks, axially adjustable yielding means for regulably controlling the degree of frictional engagement between the driving disk and driven ring, and a generally vertical driven shaft connected to and rising ooaxially from said driving disk.
2. Apparatus as defined in 'claim 1, the axially adjustable yielding means being a flanged collar coaxial with and keyed for axial movement upon the shaft with the flange in contact with the driven ring, a spring tension adjusting nut threaded upon the shaft in spaced relation to said collar and a coil spring encircling the shaft between the fianged collar and adjusting nut for applying yielding pressure to the collar.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 856,961 Jacobson June 11, 1907 2,097,022 Donahue Oct. 26, 1937 2,445,590 Stephenson July 20, 1948 2,732,991 DeBastos et a1. Jan. 31, 1956 2,855,736 Harmon et a1 Oct. 14, 1958 2,889,674 Hamilton et a1 June 9, 1959