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Publication numberUS3031822 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 1, 1962
Filing dateFeb 21, 1961
Priority dateFeb 21, 1961
Publication numberUS 3031822 A, US 3031822A, US-A-3031822, US3031822 A, US3031822A
InventorsGeorge H Dimond
Original AssigneeCons Packaging Machinery Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Chuck for capping machines
US 3031822 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 1, 1962 G. H. DIMOND 3,031,822

CHUCK FOR CAPPING MACHINES Filed Feb. 2l, 1961 I 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INV ENTOR George 'l". Dimona( ATTORNEY May l, 1962 G. H. DlMoND 3,031,822

CHUCK FOR CAPPING MACHINES Filed Feb. 2l, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 37 5, :1 39 INVENTOR 40 7 730 Geoflgiejf z'monc( MKM VATTORNEY May 1, 1962 G. H. DlMoND 3,031,822

CHUCK FOR CAPPING MACHINES Filed Feb. 2l, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR @6021961 Dr'wvonq/ BY m ATTORNEY May l,

Filed Feb. 2l, 1961 85. :f 77:7/` 779i go 777 7 5 775 73 .l In

G. H. DIMOND CHUCK FOR CAPPING MACHINES 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR ATTORNEY May 1 1962 G. H. DxMoND 3,031,822

CHUCK FOR CAPPING MACHINES Filed Feb, 2l, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 5.

INVENTOR George jf. @iT/md ATTORNEY @Elite 193,822 fatenteci May l, 1352 NX., a corporation of New York Filed Feb. 2l, 196i, Ser. No. 96,710 17 Claims. (Cl. S3--37} This invention relates to closure-applying apparatus and more particularly to such apparatus which is adapted to place screw-type closure elements on successive containers presented therebeneath.

Closure-applying apparatus of the type to which the present invention is directed, while of general application, is particularly suited for use with a capping machine having a rotating turret to which the bottles, cans or other containers to be closed are sequentially advanced. The apparatus customarily is supported adjacent the periphery of the turret and is reciprocally movable with respect thereto by suitable means, such as a cylindrical cam, for example, mounted on the machine. The machine also includes means for rotating the closure-applying apparatus about its axis, so that, as a screw-type container cap or other closure element gripped by the apparatus engages a container presented therebeneath, it Vis screwed in piace. For a more detailed discussion of representative capping machines useful in connection with the invention, reference may be had, for example, to Patent 2,076,631, issued April i3, 1937, to H. E. Gantzer.

Heretofore, closure-applying apparatus previously employed for this purpose have exhibited several disadvantages. For example, it frequently is desirable to apply each closure element to the corresponding container with a predetermined degree of tightness, and many such previous apparatus have proved deficient in this respect. Additionally, difculties heretofore were encountered in insuring proper alignment between successive containers and their closure elements during the element applying operation. Furthermore, in apparatus of the type heretofore employed, the gripping and release of the closure elements at the appropriate points in the operation cycle often was not effected with a satisfactory degree of accuracy and reliability.

One general object of this invention, therefore, is to provide a new and improved closure-applying apparatus which is particularly adaptable for placing a screw-type closure element on a container presented therebeneath.

More specically, it is an object of this invention to provide such apparatus which is adapted to apply the closure element to the container with a predetermined degree of tightness.

Another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus of the character indicated which insures proper alignment between the closure element and its corresponding container as the element is applied thereto.

A further object of this invention is to provide a closure-applying apparatus of the foregoing type in which the closure element is positively gripped and atiirmatively released at particular points in the operation cycle.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a closure-applying apparatus utilizing comparatively simple mechanical elements, which apparatus is economical to manufacture and thoroughly reliable in operation.

In one illustrative embodiment of this invention, there is provided an apparatus for applying a screw-type closure element to a container which includes a rotary, vertically reciprocable hollow spindle which is disposed above the container in substantial alignment therewith. An elongated sleeve is carried within the spindle and is provided at its lower end with jaw means for receiving the closure element. Surrounding the sleeve is an elongated coil spring which is aiiixed at one end to the sleeve and at the other end to a coupling `assembly secured to ythe spindle.` This assembly serves to holdthe spindle and sleeve together but permits relative movement therebetween. The coil spring is arranged to control the operation of the jaw means as well as to perform various other functions in the operation cycle in a manner such that, as the rotating spindle reciprocates, the jaw means y'firmly grasps the closure element, applies it to the `container and thereafter releases the element.

In accordance with one feature of the invention, the coil spring is pretorsioned and permits relative rotary movement between the jaw means and the spindle upon the application of the closure element to the' container with a predetermined degree of tightness. During this relative rotary movement, the spring operates the jaw means to release the closure clement and thereby cornplete the closure-applying operation. In addition, in certain particularly advantageous ernhodiments,'the torsion in the spring is adjustable in a rapid and straightforward manner to vary the tightness between successive closure elements and their containers.

in accordance with another feature of the invention, in certain embodiments,`the configuration and arrangement of the coupling assembly is such that the sleeve and jaw means, while being movable as a unit both laterally as well as axially with respect to the spindle, tend to seek the axial center thereof. As a result, the closure element and container are accurately aligned during the element-applying operation. f

In accordance with'a further feature of the invention, in certain goodembodiments'the jaw means airmatively releases those closure elements which are properly applied to the corresponding Vcontainers 'but continues tograsp closure elements not screwed down onto their containers.

These latter elements aredischarged from`the 'jawmeans at a later point in theoperation cycle. The present invention as well as further objects and features thereof will be understood more clearly 'and fully from the following description of a preferred em'- bodiment thereof, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which: FIGURE `1 is an elevational view of an apparatus for applying closure elements to containers in' accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention,"to'gether `with cooperating components of a representative capping machine useful therewith; FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional View of the apparatus; FIGURE 3 is a vertical'sectio'nal View similar to vFIG- URE 2 but `showing certain parts in'dierent relative positions; FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary view, partially in section and partially in elevatiomof a portionof ,the apparatus in the position shown in FIGURE 3; i FIGURE 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 5-5 in FIGURE 3; i

FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken along the line 6 -6 in FIGURE 3; A

FIGURE 7 is a view, partially in section and partially in elevation, generally similar to FIGURE 3 but with certain parts shown in still other relative positions;

FIGURE 8l is a sectional view taken along .the line s-s in FIGURE 7; i

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary view similar to FIGURE 4 but showing a portion ofthe apparatus in its FIGURE 7 position;` FIGURE l0 is a view in general similar to FIGURE 7 but showing certain parts'of theV apparatus in still vfurther relative positions; FIGURE ll is a fragmentary view similar to FIGURES 3 4 and 9 but showing a portion of the apparatus in its FIGURE 110 position;

FIGURE 12 is a sectional view taken in general along the line 12-12 in FIGURE 10, with certain parts omitted for purposes of clarity;

FIGURE 13 is a sectional view taken along the line 13-13 in FIGURE l0, with certain parts omitted for purposes of clarity;

FIGURE 14 is a sectional view also taken along the line 13-13 in FIGURE 10, with certain-parts omitted and other shown in different relative positions;

FIGURE l is a View in general similar to FIGURE l() but with certain parts shown in still other relative positions and also showing a representative closure element as it is discarded from the apparatus in cases in which there is no corresponding container therefor; and

FIGURE 16 is an elevational View of a portion of the apparatus.

Referring initially to FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawings, there is shown a closure-applying apparatus comprising a capping chuck 20 which is supported at the lower end of a vertically disposed hollow spindle 21 by means of a coupling mechanism 22. The spindle 2 is reciprocably movable along its axis in suitable bearings, such as the hearing 23, carried by a pair of spindle plates 24, only one of which is visible in the drawings. As will be understood, these spindle plates form a part of the turret of a capping machine (not shown herein but illustrated, for example, in the aforementioned Gantzer Patent 2,076,631) and constantly rotate therewith. The reciprocable motion of the spindle 2l is controlled by a cylindrical lower cam 26 which is concentric with the machine turret and is operatively engaged by a roller follower 28 mounted on the spindle. If desired, an upper, holding cam 27 may be spaced above a portion of the lower cam 26 and spring-biased downwardly into engagement with the follower 28. The cam 26 is suitably prevented from rotational movement, so that .the `follower 28 and attached spindle 21 move upwardly and downwardly along the spindle axis as the spindle plates rotate. In addition, the spindle is constantly rotated about its axis as it moves around the turret by a stationary spur gear 29 mounted thereon and a meshing spur gear 30 axed to the spindle above the follower 28.

The capping chuck 29 includes an elongated sleeve 35 which extends upwardly into the spindle 21. The sleeve 35 is maintained in substantially coaxial relationship with the spindle 21 by the coupling mechanism 22 'but is movable both axially and laterally with respect thereto, for

purposes that will become more fully apparent hereafter. u

The lower portion of the sleeve protrudes beneath the spindle `and is ared at its lower end to formt a horizontal annular disc 36. As best shown in FIGURES 1 and 6, three chuck jaws 37, 38 and 39 surround the disc 35 and extend downwardly therefrom in position to receive a container cap 40 or other closure element located therebeneath. Each of these jaws is provided with an arcuate groove 42 (FIGURE 3) adjacent its upper portion which accommodates the peripheral edge of the disc 36 and permits pivotal movement of the jaw between a closed position (the position shown in FIGURES 3 and 6) and an open position (the position shown in FIGURES 1,l 2, 10, and 16). In the jaw-closed position of FIGURES 3 and 6, the lower portion of each jaw is in grasping engagement with the cap 40,l while upon movement of the jaws to their open position they pivot outwardly about the'edge of disc 36 to release the cap. Particularly in cases in which the caps are fabricated from a plastic or other relatively fragile material, each of the jaws 37, 38 and 39 advantageously includes an arcuate, cap-engaging portion 44 adjacent its lower end which is made of a relatively resilient material such as rubber. In addition, each jaw is provided with an integrally formed projection 45 thereon which extends in an inward direction and, lin the jaw-closed position, rests on the-top of the cap 40. To prevent the jaws from rotating relative to the disc 36 abouts its axis, each jaw includes a pin 46 extending inwardly into a mating recess in the disc periphery. Axially positioned within the lower portion of the sleeve 35 is a stripper rod 5i) having an enlarged, beveled foot 51 at its lower end which is disposed beneath the annular sleeve Vdisc 36. The diameter of the foot 51 is slightly greater than that of the space between the jaw projections 45 when the jaws 37, 38 and 39 are in their closed position, so that, upon downward movement of the foot relative to the jaws, the beveled portion of the foot engages these projections and urges the jaws outwardly toward their open position. The stripper rod 50 is supported by a transverse pin 52 adjacent the upper end thereof which extends outwardly on either side of the rod through two oppositely disposed apertures 54 and 55 in the sleeve 35. These apertures are axially elongated to permit vertical, reciprocable movement of the rod and its attached foot 51 with respect to the sleeve 35. The ends of the pin 52 extend through the apertures 54 and 55 and, in the position shown in FIGURE 2, rest on the upper surface of a bell-shaped member 57. he member 57 surrounds the jaws 37, 38 and 39 and is prevented from rotational movement with respect thereto by a stud 58 (FIGURE 6). The bell-shaped member includes an axial aperture 59 through which the sleeve 35 slidably extends. The inside diameter of member 57 is such that, in its lowermost position relative to the jaws 37, 38 and 359 (the position shown in FIGURE 3), an internal, forty-tive degree chamfer 62 on member 57 engages a corresponding external chamfer 63 on the lower portion of each of these jaws to hold them closed.

Extending upwardly from the bell-shaped member 57 is an integrally formed hub 65. This hub is disposed around the axial aperture 59 but is of a slightly greater inside diameter to provide clearance for the stripper rod pin 52. As best shown in FIGURES 4, 5 and 8, portions of the hub 65 are cut away on opposite sides to form a first pair of stepped ledges 66 and 67 and a second pair of stepped ledges 66a and 67a. ,The ledges 66 and 66a extend horizontally adjacent the lower portion of the hub 65, while the ledges 67 and 67a similarly extend in a horizontal plane and are spaced above and immediately adjacent their corresponding ledges 66 and 56a. ln the position shown in FIGURE 4, a lug 78 rests on the ledge 67, while a lug 7tlfz rests on the ledge 67a. These lugs extend outwardly on opposite sides of a sleeve 7l. and are integrally formed therewith. The sleeve 7l is slidably and rotatably disposed around the chuck sleeve 35 adjacent the pin 52 for the stripper rod 5@ and includes a pair of oppositely disposed saddle notchesv '72 and 73 in its lower surface which accommodate this pin.

Surrounding the sleeve 7l and extending upwardly therefrom around the chuck sleeve 3S is a coupling member 75. The member 75 is substantially in the form of a hollow cylinder but, as best shown in FIGURE 16, is provided with a series of radial, outwardly projecting bayonet lugs 77 which are equally spaced immediately above the lower periphery thereof. Each of these lugs includes an under surface 78 extending upwardly from member '75 at an angle with respect to the horizontal. An adjustable set screw 76 serves to maintain the coupling member in fixed relationship with the sleeve 71.

One end of an elongated coil spring St) is mounted in a mating slot in the coupling member 75 immediately above the bayonet lugs 77. This spring is disposed around member 75 and the chuck sleeve 35 and is similarly secured at its opposite, upper end to a cap member 8l xedly secured to the upper end of the sleeve 35. The spring 88 is precompressed to urge the chuck sleeve, the jaws 37, 38 and 39 and the bell-shaped member 57 upwardly relative to the coupling member 75 and the sleeve-71 and is'also pretorsioned in a direction to urge the chuck sleeve, jaws and bell-shaped member in a clockwise directiomas yviewed in FIGURE 5 (therdirection of rotation of the spindle 21) relative to the coupling member and the sleeve 71. These relative motions normally are prevented by the engagement between the lugs 7d and 70a and one or the other pair of corresponding ledges 66 and 65a or 67 and 67a. ln addition, with the jaws 37, 3d and 39 open and the lugs 70 and a on the upperA ledges 67 and 67a., the compression in the spring Si) biases the jaws upwardly relative to the bell-shaped mernber 57 to urge the jaws toward their closed position, for purposes that will become more fully apparent hereafter. As indicated heretofore, the coupling mechanism 22 serves to interconnect the spindle 21 with the capping chuck 2i). The mechanism 22 includes a hub d5 which is internally threaded to accommodate external threads S6 on the lowermost portion of the spindle and thereby,l

maintain the hub and spindle in iixed relationship with each other. Disposed around the hub 85 and extending downwardly therefrom is a coupling coliar im which is provided with an annular groove 91 in the upper portion of the inner cylindrical surface thereof. A spiit retaining ring 92 is positioned in the groove di and is spring biased outwardly for retention in the groove. The ring 92 rests on the upper surrace of the hub 8S.

An arcuate groove g3 (FIGURE l2) is cut into the outer cylindrical surface of the hub S5. This groove extends around the hub periphery for approximately one hundred and forty-tive degrees and accommodates a coil spring 29. One end of the spring 99 butts against one end or" the groove, while the other spring end is in contact with a pin iil) which extends into the groove 98 from the coupling collar 90, With this arrangement, the spring 9S? tends to move the pin 19d and the collar 9@ in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FGURE l2, relative to the hub 85. This relative movement is limited by a stud 132 which extends outwardly from the hub 85 and includes a head portion 163 disposed in a horizontally elongated slot 104 in the collar 90.

The inner cylindrical surface of the collar 90 is provided with an annular groove 110 (FIGURE l0) which is substantially wider than the ring groove 91 and is spaced therebeneath. A iioating ring 111 is loosely positioned in the groove il@ and has an outside diameter which is less than the diameter of groove lit) to permit the ring to move laterally with respect to the collar 9i) and the hub S5. The ring 111 is prevented from rotating relative to the hub S5 by pins4 1M which are iixedly secured to the hub and extend downwardly therefrom into mating notches M3 (FIGURES 13 and 14) in the upper surface of the ring.

The lower portion of the coupling collar 9i) includes a series of inwardly extending bayonet lugs H5 which are spaced apart around the periphery thereof to define keyways 1i6 therebetween. rl`he upper surface 13S of each of the lugs H5 extends downwardly from the collar 9d at an angle with respect to the horizontal. The lugs 115 correspond with the bayonet lugs 77 on the coupling member 75, and in the operative position of the apparatus (the position shown in FlGURE 13, for example), the lower surfaces 78 of the lugs 77 are oriented above the upper surfaces `118 of the lugs `115 to prevent the chuck assembly Z5 from dropping from beneath the coupling mechanism 22. In this position, the lugs 77 are prevented from rotating Vrelative to the lugs 115 by a pair of oppositely disposed lugs 12% and 1'21 which extend between adjacent lugs 77. The lugs 120 and R21 are lixedly secured to the inner cylindrical surface of the floating ring 111 and are angularly spaced ninety degrees from the oppositely disposed pins 112. With this arrangement, the chuck is movable in an axial direction with respect to the spindle 21 between a lowermost relative position with the lugs 77 resting on the lugs '1i-5 and an upper relative position with the lugs 77 in engagement with the lower surface of the hub 85. The chuck 2Gy also is movable laterally with respect to the spindle 21 as a result of vthe floating ring 111.

During the capping operation, the spindle 2l. is constantly rotated by the spur gears 29 and 3d about its axis, to similarly rotate the coupling mechanism 22 and the capping chuck 2d. As a result of the angularly extending surraces 7S and 11:8 on the bayonet lugs 77 and i', respectively, the rotating chuck 29 tends to seek the axis of the spindle 21 and is thus normally maintained in vertical alignment therewith. At the start of the operation cycle, the apparatus is in the position shown in FGURES 1 and 2, with the lugs 77' resting on the lugs tit?. in this position, the pin 52 for the stripper rod 5@ rests on the upper surface of the bell-shaped member 57, Vand the lugs 7i) and 'ia (FIGURES 4 and 5) on the sleeve 71 rest on the upper ledges 67 and 67a of the hub 65. in addition, the foot 51 at the lower end of the stripper rod is positioned between the chuck jaws 37, 38 and 39 to hold these jaws in their open position against the compression in the coil spring Si).

As indicated heretofore, the rotating spindle 21, the coupling mechanism 22 and the chuck 2d also verticaily reciprocate as a result of the action of the cam 26 (FlG- URE l) and the follower 28. The spindle, coupling mechanism and chuck move relative to an axially stationary rod which extends upwardly from within the chuck sleeve 35 and is atiixed at its upper end to a turret top plate 126, as by a nut 127. As the chuck 2) moves downwardly to its FlGURE 2 position, the foot 51 at the lower end of the stripper rod 59 engages the upper surface of the container cap 4G therebeneath, thus arresting further downward movement of the stripper rod. The remaining parts of the chuck continue their downward movement for a short distance, and the inwardly extending projections i5 on thechuck jaws 37, 38 and 39 move beneath the foot 5i. The compression in the coil spring d@ thereupon urges the sleeve 35 and the attached jaws in an upward direction relative to the coupling member 75, the sleeve 7i, the lugs 70 and 70a and the bell-shaped member 57, and the internal charnfer 62 on the member 57 engages the external charnfers d3 on the jaws 37, 38 and 39 and, by asort of collet action, urges these jaws to their closed (FEGURE 3) position to firmly grasp the cap si? therebetween.

After the Vcontainer cap ,40 is picked up by the chuck jaws 37, 3S and 39, the apparatus moves downwardly toward a container 13@ positioned therebeneath, and the cap 40 engages the threaded upper end thereof. The spindle 21 and the attached coupling mechanism 22 continue to move downwardly a short distance, with the result that the bayonet lugs 11SV of mechanism 22 become spaced beneath the bayonet lugs 77. At this time in the operation cycle, the various parts of the apparatus are in the positions shown in FIGURES 3-6. The container 139 is suitably prevented from rotary movement (by means not shown but illustrated, for example, in the aforementioned Gantzer Patent 2,076,631), while as indicated heretofore, the spindle 21 is constantly rotated about its axis to similarly rotate the coupling mechanism 22, the member 75, the coil spring 80, the sleeve 35, the attached jaws 37, 38 and 39 and the cap d!) gripped thereby. These components rotate in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FiGURES 5 and 6, to screw the cap onto the container. The bell-shaped member 57 likewise rotates in this direction, and the torsion in the coil spring 30 urges the hub 65 of member 57 clockwise relative to the lugs 70 and 70a on the sleeve 71 to maintain these lugs on their corresponding upper ledges 67 and 67a.

As the container cap di) is tightened onto the container 134), the resistance to rotation of the chuck jaws 37, 3S and 39 increases. During the initial portion of the cap-applying operation, this resistance is overcome by the torsion in the spring ,80, and the jaws continue to rotate to screw the cap in place. At the time the cap 40 is applied to the container with a predetermined degree of tightness, depending upon the amount of torsion in the spring Si?, the rotational movement of the cap 4i), the jaws 37, 3S and 39, the sleeve 35 and the bell-shaped memberr57 is arrested. The spindle 2i, the coupling mechanism 22, the member 75, the sleeve 7i and the lugs iti and 7de thereon, however, continue to rotate in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 5, against the torsion in the spring Si?, and these lugs move off their corresponding ledges 67 and 67a and rotate to positions above the ledges 66 and 65a to thereby permit relative vertical movement between the lugs, the sleeve 71 and the coupling member '75 on the one hand and the ledges and the bell-shaped member 57 on the other. The axial expansive bias of the coil spring thereupon urges the sleeve '71 and the member 75 downwardly toward the positions shown in FIGURES 7 and 9 until the bayonet lugs 77 on member '75 engage the bayonet lugs IIS on the collar 90. Substantially simultaneously with the termination of this downward movement, the lower surface of the sleeve 71 contacts the stripper rod pin 52 to hold the foot 51 in approximately the same position as that shown in FIGURE 3. At this time in the operation cycle, the lugs 70 and 79a are oriented at a level intermediate their corresponding ledges 66 and 66a and 57 and 67a, as best shown in FIGURE 9. Immediately thereafter, the continuing expansion of the spring t? urges the sleeve 35, the disc 36, the chuck jaws 37, 3@ and 39 and the bell-shaped member 57 upwardly until the lugs 7i) and 7tia engage the ledges 66 and da. As the jaws move upwardly past the now axially stationary foot 5l, the jaw projections 45 bear against the foot to rapidly move the jaws outwardly to their open position and thereby release the cap itl on the container 139. As the jaws open, the chamfers 63 thereon in engagement with the chamfer 62 on the bell-shaped member 57 urge the bell-shaped member in an upward direction relative to the stripper rod Sti by a reversal of the coilet action referred to heretofore. This inverse collet action continues until the upward motion of the ledges 66 and 66a is arrested by the lugs 'iti and 76a, at which time the chamfer 62 is oriented above the chamfers 63 and the jaws are in their fully-open (FIGURE l0) position and have released the applied cap. The release of the cap takes place independently of the cam 26, which dwells at this point to permit the cap to be released at the desired time solely under the control of the coil spring Si).

Thereafter, the stationary cam 26 (FIGURE l) and the follower 23 on the spindle 2i move this spindle, the coupling mechanism Z2 and the capping chuck 26 in an upward direction away from the capped container 3t. During vthis upward movement, the stripper rod Si) engages the axially stationary rod 125 to prevent further upward movement of rod Sil and the attached `foot Si. Immediately thereafter, the upward motion of the bellshaped member 57 'and the ledges on the hub 65 .is arrested by the stripper rod pin 52, which at this time engages the upper surface of the bell-shaped member, and the member 57 prevents further upward movement of the jaws 37, 38 and 39 and the sleeve 35. The spindle 2l, the coupling mechanism 22, the member 75, the sleeve 71 and the lugs '70 and 70a thereon, however, continue to move upwardly a short distance against the axial expansive bias in the coil spring 80 until the lugs 7d and '70a are carried to the level of the upper ledges 67 and 67a. T he torsion in the spring Sti then rotates the sleeve 3S, the disc 36, the jaws 317, 38 and 39, the bell-shaped member 57 and the hub 65 in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 8, relative to the sleeve 7l to position the ledges 67 and `67u under the corresponding lugs 70 and 70a and thus condition the chuck 2% for the receipt of a succeeding container cap and the application thereof to a corresponding container. The relative positions of the various components of the conditioned chuck are best shown in FIGURE l5.

The arrangement is such that each time the stripper foot 51 engagesa container cap upon downward movement of the chuck 20, the jaws 37, 38 and 39 automatioally close under the control of the coil spring S0 to firmly grip the cap. The thus gripped cap is then moved into position `to be applied to a corresponding container. Should a particular container be properly located beneath the cap, the chuck `2;@ screws the cap in place with a predetermined degree of tightness, and the jaws 37, 38 and '39 automatically move to their open position by reason of the coil spring S0 to release the thus applied cap.

In cases in which no container is located beneath the chuck 2t? as it descends, the jaws 3-7, 33 and 39 remain closed and continue t-o grip the cap until such time las the chuck approaches its uppermost (FIGURE l5) position. At this time, the upwardly moving stripper rod 50 is engaged by the axially stationary rod `to prevent further upward movement of the foot 51. The jaws 37, 38 and 39 continue to carry the cap upwardly, and the foot 51 engages the jaw projections 45' to urge the jaws to their open position, lthereby releasing the cap. Should the cap remain between the jaws, the foot 51 contacts the upper cap surface to atiirmatively eject the cap from the chuck.

The extent to which the coil spring 30 is pretorsioned, and hence the degree of tightness with which the container caps are applied to the corresponding containers, is readily adjustable in a rapid and straightforward manner. To accomplish this adjustment, the various component parts of |the apparatus are moved to the relative positions shown in FIGURE l0, and a suitable tool, such as an Allen wrench 35, Afor example, shown schematically in FiiGURE l() by dotted lines, is inserted .through one of a plurality of radially extending openings 136 in the coupling collar 9d to loosen the set screw 76 and thereby permit relative rotational movement between 4the sleeve 71 and the coupling member 75. Upon loosening this set screw, it i's desir-able to grasp the bell-shaped member `57 and the collar 90 to prevent the spring Sti from running down. In cases in which the caps are to be applied relatively loosely to 'their containers, -the bellshaped member 57 is rotated relative to the collar 90 in the direction indicated by vthe Low arrow head 140 (FIGURE l) to similarly rotate `the stepped ledges on the hub 65, the lugs '7d and 70a, the sleeve 71, the chuck sieeve 35 andthe upper end of the spring 80 and thereby reduce the spring torsion. The set screw 76 is then tightened to hold the sleeve 7l in its new position. Should it be desired to increase the torsion in the spring Sti `and thereby increase the degree of tightness between the caps and their containers, the bell-shaped member 57 is rotated relative to the collar 96 in the direction of the high arrow head E41, and the screw 76 is thereafter tightened to maintain this increased torsion in the spring.

As the rotating chuck 20 applies a particular cap to its container, the thus adjusted spring Si) opposes the resistance to rotation of the cap to a greater or lesser eX- tent, as the case may be, and the lugs 70 and 70a move oit their upper ledges 67 and 67a to open the jaws 37, 38 and 39 at a correspondingly later or earlier point in the operation cycle to release the cap when it is screwed onto the container with the selected degree of tightness. With this arrangement, the apparatus is adjustable to permit a wide variation in the tightness with which successive caps are applied to their containers.

As indicated heretofore, the coupling mechanism 22 permits vertical movement of the chuck 20 with respect to the spindle 21 and also enables lateral movement of the chuck relative [to the spindle by reason of the oating ring 111. This arrangement is particularly advantageous in situations in which the containers being capped vary slightly in size or in their orientation relative to the spindle. Thus, for example, should a particular container be somewhat greater in height than the containers i3@ shown inthe drawings, the downward motion of the chuck ZG is arrested as the cap gripped by the chuck assises jaws strikes this container, while the spindle 2l and the attached coupling mechanism 22 continue to move downwardly until they reach their lowermost, cap-applying position. In cases in which a container is slightly out of line with the descending spindle, the chuck moves in a lateral direction as the gripped cap strikes the container to properly align the cap therewith. The elongated rod 125 is sufficiently limber to `accomnfiodate this lateral chuck movement.

To remove the capping chunk Zd from its spindle 2l, such as for maintenance purposes, to substitute a chuck of dill'erent dimensions to accommodate ditlerent size caps, etc., the coupling collar 96' is manually rotated in a clockwise direction relative to the spindle 2l and the hub '855 from the position shown in FIGURE 13 (the Lock position) to that shown in FGURE lli (the Drop position). This rotational movement is opposed by the coil spring $9 (FlGURE l2). The bayonet lugs 1lb' move with the collar 9d, while the bayonet lugs 77 on the coupling member 75 remain stationary as a result of the lugs l2@ and ll on the tloating ring lll. The rotation of the collar is arrested by the elongated collar slot lldl and the stud lllZ in the hub S5, at which time the bayonet lugs 77 are in vertical alignment with the keyways 116 between the lugs M5. The collar 90 is manually maintained in its Drop position, and the complete chuck assembly 'Ztl (FIGURE 16) is removed from the coupling mechanism 22 and the spindle 2l. An alternate chuck is then substituted for the chuck 2li and is secured in place by rotating the coupling collar 9d in a counterclockwise direction relative to the spindle until the collar reaches its Lock position and is again arrested by the collar slot ldd and the stud lZ.

The terms and expressions which have been employed are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions, of excluding any equivalents of the features shown and described, or portions thereof, it being recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of the invention claimed.

What is claimed is:

l. in an apparatus for applying a closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, means including an elongated member carried by said spindle and rotatably movable with respect thereto, jaw means mounted adjacent the lower end of said elongated member for receiving said closure element, a coil spring disposed around said elongated member and having one end secured thereto and the other end prevented from rotary movement with respect to said spindle, means for moving said spindle in a downward direction to position the closure element received by said jaw means in engagement with the container therebeneath, means for rotating said spindle, to rotate said spring, said elongated member and said jaw means and thereby apply said closure element to said container, said spindle rotating relative to said elongated member and said jaw means against the torsion in said spring upon the application ot said closure element to said container with a predetermined degree of tightness, and means responsive to said rotational, relative move- -ment `for releasing said closure element Ifrom said jaw means.

2. ln an apparatus for applying a closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, means including an elongated sleeve carried by said spindle and rotatably movable with respect thereto, jaw means mounted adjacent the lower end of said sleeve for receiving said closure element, a pretorsioned coil spring disposed around said sleeve and having one end secured thereto and the other end in substantially Xed relationship with said spindle,

lll

means for vertically reciprocating said spindle, movement of said spindle in a downward direction positioning the closure element received by said jaw means in engagement with the container therebeneath, means for rotating said spindle, to rotate said spring, said sleeve and said jaw means and thereby apply said closure element to said container, said spindle rotating relative to said sleeve and said jaw means against the torsion in said spring upon the application of said closure element to said container with a predetermined degree of tightness, and means controlled by said spring and responsive to said rotational, relative movement for releasing said closure element from said jaw means.

3. In an apparatus for applying a closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, means including an elongated member carried by said spindle and rotatably movable with respect thereto, jaw means mounted adjacent the lower end of said elongated member for receiving said closure element, said jaw means being movable between an open and a closed position, a coil spring disposed around said elongated member and having one end secured thereto and the other end prevented from rotary movement with respect to said spindle, operating means controlled by said spring for moving said jaw means between said positions, means for lowering said spindle to position said jaw means in juxtaposition with said closure element, said operating means thereupon moving said jaw means from said open position to said closed position to firmly grasp said closure element, and to thereafter position the gripped closure element in engagement with the container therebeneath, and means for rotating said spindle, to rotate said spring, said elongated member and said jaw means and thereby apply said gripped closure element to said container, said spin'- dle rotating relative to said elongated member and said jaw means against Vthe torsion in said sprin upon the application of said closure element to said container with a predetermined degree of tightness, said operating means being responsive to said rotational, relative movement for moving said jaw means to said open position, to release said closure element.

4. ln an apparatus for applying a closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, means including an elongated member carried by said spindle and rotatably movable with respect thereto, jaw means mounted adjacent the lower end of said elongated member for receiving said closure element, said jaw means being movable between an open and a closed position, a compressed and pretorsioned coil spring disposed around said elongated member and having one end secured thereto and the other end prevented from rotary movement with respect to said spindle, operating means controlled by the compression in said spring for moving said jaw means between said open position and said closed position, means for vertically reciprocating said spindle, movement of said spindle in a downward direction positioning said jaw means in juxtaposition with said closure element, said operating means thereupon moving said jaw means from said open position toward said closed position to firmly grip said closure element, continued downward movement of said spindle positioning the closure element gripped by said jaw means in engagement with the container therebeneath, and moms for rotating said spindle, to rotate said spring, said elongated member and said jaw means and thereby apply the gripped closure element to said container, said spindle rotating relative to said elongated member and said jaw means against the torsion in said spring upon the application of said closure element to said container with a predetermined degree of tightness, said operating means being responsive to said rotational, relative movement'for l l moving said jaw means to said open position, to release said closure element.

5. In an apparatus of the character set forth in claim 4, .in combination, means for varying the initial angular position of said elongated member with respect to said spindle, to thereby adjust the torsion in said spring and hence the degree of tightness with which said closure element is applied to said container.

6. In an apparatus for applying a closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, means including an elongated sleeve carried by said spindle and reciprocably movable with respect thereto, jaw means mounted adjacent .the lower end of said sleeve for receiving said closure element, said jaw means being movable between an open and a closed position, a compressed coil spring disposed around said sleeve and having one end secured thereto and the'other end prevented from rotary movement with respect to said spindle, the compression in said spring urging said sleeve and the jaw means mounted thereon in an axial direction relative to said spindle to move said jaw means toward said closed position and firmly grip the closure element received thereby, means for moving said spindle in a downward direction to position the closure element gripped by said jaw means in engagement with the container therebeneath, means for rotating said spindle, to rotate said spring, said sleeve and said jaw means and thereby apply the gripped closure element to said container, and means controlled by said spring and responsive to the application of said closure element to said container with a predetermined degree of tightness for moving said jaw means to said open position, to release said closure element.

7. ln an apparatus for applying a closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, means including an elongated sleeve carried by said spindle and reciprocably movable with respect thereto, jaw means mounted adjacent the lower end of said sleeve for receiving said closure element, said jaw means being movable between an open and a closed position, a compressed coil spring disposed around said sleeve and having one end secured thereto and the other end in substantially xed relationship .with said spindle, operating means including a bell-shaped member surrounding said jaw means for moving the same between said positionsy means for moving said spindle in a downward direction -to position said jaw means in juxtaposition with said closure element, the compression in said spring thereupon urging said sleeve and said jaw means in an upward direction relative to said spindle and said bell-shaped member to move said jaw means toward said closed position and firmly grip said closure element, and to thereafter position the gripped closure element in engagement with the container therebeneath, and means for rotating said spindle, to rotate said spring, said sleeve and said jaw means and thereby apply said gripped closure element to said container, said operating means being responsive to the application of said closure element to said container with a predetermined degree of tightness for moving said jaw means to `said open position, to release said closure element.

8. In an apparatus for applying a closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable hollow spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, an elongated sleeve reciprocably carried within said spindle and protruding therebeneath, jaw means supported at the lower end of said sleeve and movable between an open and a closed position for receiving and releasing said closure element, a bell-shaped member disposed around said jaw means including an opening through which said sleeve extends, coupling means secured to said spindle for maintaining said spindle and said sleeve in substantially co'- axial relationship with each other, a compressed coil spring disposed around said sleeve and athxed at one end thereto and at the other end to said coupling means, the compression in said spring urging said sleeve and the jaw eans carried thereby in an upward direction relative to said coupling means and said bell-shaped member to bias said jaw means toward said closed position, operating means for moving said jaw means to said open position .gainst the compression in said spring, means for vertically reciprocating said spindle, movement of said spindle in a downward direction positioning said jaw means in juxtaposition with said closure element, the compresson in said spring thereupon urging said sleeve and said jaw means upwardly relative to said spindle and said bellshaped member to move said jaw means to said closed position and thereby firmly grip said closure element, continued downward movement of said spindle positioning said gripped closure element in engagement with said container, and means for rotating said spindle, to similarly rotate said coupling means, said spring, said sleeve and said jaw means and thereby apply said closure element to said container, said operating means being effective upon the application of said closure element to said container with a predetermined degree or tightness for moving said jaw means to said open position to thereby release said closure element.

9. ln an apparatus for applying a closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable hollow spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, an elongated sleeve reciprocably carried within said spindle and protruding therebeneath, an axially movable member disposed within said sleeve in vertically reciprocable relationship therewith, jaw means supported at the lower end oi said sleeve and movable between an open and a closed position for receiving and releasing said closure element, said jaw means when in said open position being in engagement with said axially movable member and when in said closed position being oriented therebeneath, a bellshaped member disposed around said jaw means includan opening through which said sleeve extends, coupling means secured to said spindle for maintaining said spindle and said sleeve in substantially coaxial relationship with each other, a compressed coil spring surrounding said sleeve and nfilxed at one end to the upper portion thereof and at the other end to said coupling means, the compression in said spring urging said sleeve and the jaw means carried therebf, in an upward direction relative to coupling means and said bell-shaped member to bias said jaw means toward said closed position, means for positioning said axially movable member in engagement with said jaw means, to thereby move the same to said open position against the compression in said spring, means for vertically reciprocating said spindle, movement of said spindle in a downward direction carrying said axially movable member into engagement with said closure element, said jaw means thereafter moving beneath said axially movable member to said closed position to thereby rmly grip said closure element, continued downward movement of said spindle positioning said gripped closure element in engagement with said container, and means for constantly rotating said spindle, to similarly rotate said coupling means, said spring, said sleeve and said jaw means and thereby apply said closure element to said container, the compression in said spring urging said sleeve and said jaw means upwardly relative to said axially movable member in response to the application of said closure element to said container with a predetermined degree of tightness, to move said jaw means to said open position and thereby release said closure element.

l0. In an apparatus for applying .a screw-type closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, ver- Vmeans 'for vertically tically reciprocable hollow spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, an elongated sleeve reciprocably carried within said spindle and protruding therebeneath, said sleeve including a vertically elongated aperture adjacent the lower portion thereof, an element engaging member disposed within said sleeve in vertically reciprocable relationship therewith and having a lateral extension thereon extending through said aperture, jaw means supported at the lower end of said sleeve and movable between an open and a closed position for receiving and re easing said closure element, said jaw means when in said open position being in engagement with said element engaging member and when in said closed position being oriented therebeneath, a bell-shaped member disposed around said jaw means including an opening through which said sleeve extends, coupling means secured to said spindle for maintaining said spindle and said sleeve in substantially coaxial relationship with each other, a compressed coil spring disposed around said sleeve and aixed at one end to the upper portion thereof and at the other end to Said coupling means, the compression in said spring urging said sleeve and the jaw means carried thereby in an upward direction relative to said coupling means and said bell-shaped member to normally maintain said jaw means in said closed position, an elongated, axially stationary rod disposed within said sleeve above said element-engaging member, means for vertically reciprocating said spindle, movement of said spindle in an upward direction carrying said element engaging member into engagement with said elongated rod, continued upward movement of said spindle carrying said jaw means into engagement with said element engaging member to move said jaw means to said open position against the compression in said spring, movement of said spindle in a downward direction carrying said element engaging member into engagement with said closure element, said jaw means therealter moving beneath said engaging member to said closed position to thereby rmly grip said closure element, continued downward movement of said spindle positioning said gripped closure element in engagement with said container, and means for constantly rotating said spindle, to similarly rotate said coupling means, said spring, said sleeve and said jaw means and thereby screw said closure element onto said container, the compression in said spring urging said sleeve and said jaw means upwardly relative to said element engaging member in response to the application of said closure element to said container with a predetermined degree of tightness, to' move said jaw means to said open position and thereby release said closure element.

ll. ln an apparatus for applying a closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable hollow spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, an elongated sleeve rotatably carried within said spindle and protruding therebeneath, jaw means supported at the lower end of said sleeve and movable between an open and a closed position for receiving and releasing 'said closure element, a bell-shaped member disposed around said jaw means including an opstanding hub having an opening through which said sleeve extends, a portion of said hub being cut away to denne a pair or" ledges thereon, coupling means secured to said spindle for maintaining said spindle and said sleeve in substantially coaxial relationship with each other, said coupling means being provided with an outwardly extending projection in engagement with one of said ledges, a pretorsioned coil spring disposed around said sleeve and affixed at one end thereto and at the other end to said coupling means, the torsion in said spring `tending to rotate said sleeve, said jaw means and said be1lshaped member relative to said coupling means in a direction to maintain said projection on said one ledge,

reciprocating Vsaid spindle, movement of said spindle in a downward direction carrying t said jaw means into engagement with said closure element, means for thereafter moving said jaw means from said open position to said closed position to rmly grip said closure element, continued downward movement of said spindle positioning said gripped closure element in engagement with said container, means for constantly rotating said spindle, to similarly rotate said coupling means, said spring, said sleeve and said jaw means and thereby apply said closure element onto said container, said spindle and said coupling means rotating relative to said sleeve and said jaw means against the torsion in said spring upon the application of said closure element to said container with a predetermined degree of tightness, to move said projection off said one ledge and onto the other ledge, and means responsive to the movement of said projection onto said other ledge for moving said jaw means to said open position, to thereby release said closure element.

l2. ln an apparatus `for applying a screw-type closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable hollow spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, an elongated sleeve reciprocably and rotatably carried within said spindle and protruding there'beneath, an element engaging member disposed within said sleeve in vertically reciprocabie relationship therewith, jaw means supported at the lower' end of said sleeve and movable between an open and a closed position for receiving and releasing said closure element, said jaw means when in said open position 'being in engagement with said element engaging member and when in said closed position being oriented therebeneath, a bellshaped member disposed around said jaw means including an upstanding hub having an opening through which said sleeve extends, a portion of said hub being cut away to define a pair of ledges thereon, means for preventing relative rotary movement between said bell-shaped member and said jaw means, coupling means secured to said spindle for maintaining said spindle and said sleeve in substantially `coaxial relationship with each other, said coupling means eing provided with an outwardly extending projection in engagement with one of said ledges,` a compressed and pretorsicned coil spring disposed around said sleeve and aiiixed at one end to the upper portion thereof and at the other end to said coupling means, the compression in said spring urging said sleeve and the jaw means carried ldiereby in an upward direction relative to said coupling means and said bell-shaped member to bias said jaw means toward said closed position, said element engaging member normally being positioned in engagement with said jaw means to hold the same in saidropen position, the torsion in said spring tending to rotate said sleeve, said jaw means and said bell-shaped member relative to said coupling means in a direction to maintain said projection on said one ledge, means for vertically reciprocating said spindle, movement of said spindle in a downward direction carrying said element engaging member into engagement with said closure element, said jaw means thereupon moving beneath said engaging member to said closed position to iirmly grip said closure element, continued downward movement of said spindle positioning said gripped closure element in engagement with said container, and means for constantly rotating said spindle, to similarly rotate said coupling means, said spring, said sleeve and said jaw means and thereby screw said closure element onto said container, said spindle and said coupling means rotating relative to said sleeve and said iaw means against the torsion in said spring upon the application of said closure `element to said container with a predetermined degree of tightness, to move said projection oil said one ledge and onto the other ledge, the compression in said spring urging said sleeve and said 'jaw means upwardly relative to said element engaging member as said projection move-s oil` said one ledge, to move said jaw means to said open position and thereby release said closure element.

13. An apparatus of the character set forth in claim l2, in which said outwardly extending projection is rotatably movable with respect to said spindle, relative rotary movement of said projection similarly rotating said bell-shaped member, said jaw means and said sleeve to vary the torsion in said spring and hence the degree of tightness with which said closure element is screwed onto said container.

14. An apparatus of the character set forth in claim l2, in which said coupling means includes means for maintaining said sleeve in detachable relationship with said spindle.

l5. ln an apparatus for applying a screw-type closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable hollow spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, an elongated sleeve reciprocably and rotatably carried within said spindle and protruding therebeneath, an element engaging member disposed within said sleeve in vertically reciprocable relationship therewith, jaw means supported at the lower end of said sleeve and movable between an open and a closed position for receiving and releasing said closure element, said jaw means when in said open position being in engagement with said element engaging member and when in said closed position being oriented therebeneath, a bell-shaped member disposed around said jaw means including an opstanding hub having an opening through which said sleeve extends, a portion of said hub being cut away to define a pair of stepped ledges thereon, coupling means secured to said spindle for maintaining said spindle and said sleeve in substantially coaxial relationship with each other, said coupling means being provided with an outwardly eX- tending projection in engagement with one of said ledges, a compressed and pretorsioned coil spring disposed around said sleeve and alixed at one end to the upper portion thereof and at the other end to said coupling means, the compression in said spring urging said sleeve and the jaw means carried thereby in an upward direction relative to said `coupling means and said bell-shaped member to Ibias said jaw means toward said closed position, said element engaging member normally being positioned in engagement with said jaw means to hold the same in said open position, the torsion in said spring tending to rotate said sleeve, said jaw means and said bell-shaped member relative to said coupling means in a direction to maintain said projection on said one ledge, an elongated, axially stationary rod disposed within said sleeve above said element-engageable member, means for vertically reciprocating said spindle, movement of said spindle in an upward direction carrying said element engaging member into engagement with said elongated rod, movement of said spindle in a downward direction carrying said element engaging member into engagement with said closure element, said jaw means thereafter moving beneath said engaging member to said closed position to thereby firmly grip said closure element, continued downward movement of said spindle positioning said gripped closure element in engagement with said container, and means for constantly rotating said spindle, to similarly rotate said coupling means, said spring, said sleeve and said jam means and thereby screw said closure element onto said container, said spindle and said coupling means rotating relative to said sleeve and said jaw means against the torsion in said spring upon the application of said closure element to said container with a predetermined degree of tightness, to move said projection off said one ledge and onto the other ledge, the compression in said spring urging said sleeve and said jaw means upwardly relative to said element engaging member as said prOjSC- tion moves off said one ledge, to move said jaw means to said open position and thereby release said closure element.

16. An apparatus of the character set forth in claim l5, in which said bell-shaped member maintains said jaw means in its said closed position to continue to grip a closure element improperly applied to a container upon the upward movement of said spindle, said jaw means moving to said open position to release the improperly applied closure element as the upward movement of said element engaging member is arrested by said elongated rod.

17. In an apparatus for applying a screw-type closure element to a container, the combination of a rotary, vertically reciprocable hollow spindle disposed above said container in substantial vertical alignment therewith, an elongated sleeve reciprocably and rotatably carried within said spindle and protruding therebeneath, said sleeve including a vertically elongated aperture adjacent the lower portion thereof, an element engaging member disposed within said sleeve in vertically reciprocable relationship therewith and having a lateral extension thereon extending through said aperture, jaw means supported at the lower end of said sleeve and movable between an open and a closed position for receiving and releasing said closure element, said jaw means when in said open position being in engagement with said element engaging member and when in said closed position being oriented tberebeneath, a bell-shaped member disposed around said jaw means including an. upstanding hub having an opening through which said sleeve extends, a portion of said hub being cut away to define a pair of stepped ledges thereon, means for preventing relative rotary movement between said bell-shaped member and said jaw means, coupling means secured to said spindle for maintaining said spindle and said sleeve in substantially coaxial relationship with each other but for permitting relative axial and lateral movement therebetween, said coupling means being provided with an outwardly extending projection in engagement with the lower of said ledges, a compressed and pretorsioned coil spring disposed around said sleeve and airixed at one end to the upper portion thereof and at the other end to said coupling means, the compression in said spring urging said sleeve and the jaw means carried thereby in an upward direction relative to said coupling means and said bell-shaped member to normally maintain said jaw means in said closed position, the torsion in said spring tending to rotate said sleeve, said jaw means and said belshaped member relative to said coupling means in a direction to urge said projection toward the upper of said ledges, an elongated, axially stationary rod disposed within said sleeve above said element-engageable member, means vfor vertically reciprocating said spindle, movement of said spindle and said coupling means in an upward direction carrying said element engaging member into engagement with said elongated rod to arrest further upward movement of said engaging member, continued upward movement of said spindle carrying said jaw means into engagement with said element engaging member, to move said jaw means to said open position against the compression in said spring, and carrying said bell-shaped member into engagement with the lateral eX- tension on said element engaging member to arrest further upward movement of said bell-shaped member and said sleeve, so that, as said spindle and attached coupling means continue their upward movement, the projection on said coupling means is urged onto said upper ledge by the torsion in said spring, movement of said spindle in a downward direction carrying said element engaging member into engagement with said closure element, said jaw means thereafter moving beneath said engaging member to said closed position to thereby firmly grip said closure element, continued downward movement of said spindle positioning said gripped closure element in engagement with said container, and means for constantly rotating said spindle, to similarly rotate said coupling means, said spring, said sleeve and said jaw means and thereby screw said closure 3,031,822 17 13 element onto said container, said spindle and said coupling sleeve and said jaw means upwardly relative to said elemeans rotaiing relative to said sleeve and said jaw means ment engaging member aS Said PTOECOH moves Off Said against the torsion in said spring upon the application of upper ledge, to Position Said PrOieCiOr; 011 Said lpyvr said closure element to said container with a predeterledge and t0 move ad jaw means t0 Sald Open POSIUOU, mined degree of tightness, to move said projection oi said 5 thereby releasmg sald Closure element' upper ledge, the compression in said spring urging said No references cited.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/317, 53/331.5
International ClassificationB67B3/20
Cooperative ClassificationB67B2201/10, B67B3/2073
European ClassificationB67B3/20L