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Publication numberUS3097459 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 16, 1963
Filing dateFeb 1, 1960
Publication numberUS 3097459 A, US 3097459A, US-A-3097459, US3097459 A, US3097459A
InventorsC. W. Rausch
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
rausch
US 3097459 A
Abstract  available in
Images(13)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 16, 1963 c. w. RAUSCH 3,097,459

BAG FILLING MACHINE Filed Feb. 1, 1960 13 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR CLARENCE W. RAUSCH ATTORNEYS July 16, 1963 Filed Feb. 1. 1960 13 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR CLARENCE W. RAUSCH BY WWW ATTORNEYS July 16, 1963 c. w. RAUSCH BAG FILLING MACHINE Filed Feb. 1, 1960 .m LW

CLARENCE W. RAUSCH Q Q Q Q Q mm NQ ATTORNEYS July 16, 1963 Filed Feb. 1. 1960 c. w. RAUSCH 3,097,459

INVENTOR CLARENCE. W. RAUSCH BY My ATTORNEYS BAG FILLING MACHINE Filed Feb. 1. 1960 13 Sheets-Sheet 5 l 52% #010911 5w m /9 w w m 5 INVENTOR CLARENCE W. RAUSCH July 16, 1963 c. w. RAUSCH 3,097,459

BAG FILLING MACHINE Filed Feb. 1, 1960 13 Sheets-Sheet 7 POWER SUPPL Y HOV.

INVENTOR CLARENCE W. RAUSCH ATTORNEY5 July 16, 1963 c. w. RAUSCH 3,097,459

BAG FILLING MACHINE Filed Feb. 1, 1960 13 Sheets-Sheet 8 INVENTOR CLARENCE W. RAUSGH ATTORNEYJ July 16, 1963 c. w. RAUSCH 3,097,459

BAG FILLING MACHINE Filed Feb. 1. 1960 13 Sheets-Sheet 9 RY INVENTOR CLARENCE w. RAUSCH BY wv j ATTORNEYJ July 16, 1963 c. w. RAUSCH 3,09

BAG FILLING MACHINE Filed Feb. 1. 1960 13 Sheets-Sheet l0 Ill/A INVENTOR CLARENCE W. RAUSCH I? .52 M%WW ATTORNEY5 July 16, 1963 c. w. RAUSCH 3,

BAG FILLING MACHINE Filed Feb. 1, 1960 13 Sheets-Sheet 11 DEGREES F DRUM ROTATION o m :0 a0 7080 /00//0 20? [300 3/0320-130540360560 BAG HOMER :14 Mam/15cm 50M 4m 84 AT A p/span/s/zvc; m l 6146 mm wow 15 sj/l FF- INVENTOR I: 5 CLARENCE W. RAUSCH BY MW W ATTORNEYS July 16, 1963 c. w. RAUSCH BAG FILLING MACHINE 13 Sheets-Sheet 12 Filed Feb. 1, 1960 w mnlhm &

INVENTOR CLARENCE W. RAUSCH sy /imfyfiww ATTORNEYS July 16, 1963 c. w. RAUSCH 3,097,459

BAG FILLING MACHINE Filed Feb. 1. 1960 15 Sheets-Sheet l3 m 5/; M m m M M W M 0/1 INVENTOR CLARENCE W. RAUSCH ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,097,459 BAG FILLING MACHINE Clarence W. Rausch, Marysville, Ohio, assignor to The 0. M. Scott & Sons Company, Marysville, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Feb. 1, 1960, Ser. No. 5,918 28 Claims. (Cl. 53-59) This invention relates to a machine for filling bags with material and is particularly related to a semi-automatic volumetric type bag filling machine for use with granulated materials.

Packaging machines of the class to which this invention applies generally require that an operator place the bags, which are received in a folded, fiat condition, in position adjacent some type of filling device. The filling device will measure specific quantities of the material and introduce them through the filling nozzle into the bag. There are machines of this type on the market, one example of which may be seen in the Hohl et al. Patent No. 2,290,103.

In the previously available bag filling machines, much of the Work necessary in presenting the bags to the machine, holding them, filling them and removing them was accomplished by manual operation or, alternatively, if any automatic operation was involved, it was accomplished through utilization of very complex operational components. The bag filling operation which led to development of this invention was packaging of new type chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides in which the chemical carrier consists of extremely light particles of inert matter. The new materials, being much lighter than old materials, tended to float in the air displaced from the bags upon filling, creating a settling problem and also a greater amount of dust than the older and more heavy chemical carriers. This dust problem, together with the manual handling and filling of the bags in prior art machines, required that the machine operators Wear masks and special, tight fitting clothing, which were uncomfortable, hot and to a large extent unsatisfactory to operator health. With todays methods of automatic production of the materials to be packaged, the slow manual operations in bag filling operations, attended by the dangers involved in working with dust producing materials, resulted in bottlenecks and high costs which cannot be tolerated in a competitive market.

In devising a satisfactory and acceptable automated bag filling machine, several important factors must be taken into consideration. It is desirable to have, in effect, an automatic assembly line operation whereby a bag can be placed in a machine over a filler nozzle, the bag then being automatically conditioned to receive the material with which it is to be filled. It should be automatically filled with the material and must accept the complete volumetric loading intended to be placed within the bag, and material entrained by the air displaced from inside the bag upon the introduction of the material must be reclaimed in some manner. Ilf the material being packaged contains any quantity of dust, and this is particularly important where the material involves chemical components, there must be some way of preventing escape of any dust which is occasioned during the filling operation. In this automatic assembly line type of operation in which the bag being filled is carried past successive station points in a conveyor type system, there should be a safety provision whereby the filling operation cannot occur if a bag carrier has no bag placed upon it at the initiation of the assembly line function. There are other factors to be considered, one of which is the assurance that the contents within the bag are sufliciently settled below the upper opening of the bag to permit unimpeded closure of the bag upon removal from the machine.

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Accordingly, with the above aspects in mind, a primary object of this invention resides in providing a novel semiautomatic bag filling machine.

A further object resides in the provision of an automatic bag filling machine including provision for holding bags to be filled under filler nozzles and having a complete air-tight hood attachment above the filler hoppers to prevent escape of dust, and enabling the material to settle in the bag. A further object of this invention in conjunction with the preceding object resides in providing a novel auxiliary eccentric bag shaker for completion of settling of light density material into the bag.

A still further object resides in the provision of an automated bag filling machine consisting of a rotatable drum-shaped series of hoppers rotated below a material dispensing device, with a bag filling nozzle under each hopper equipped to grip and hold a bag in open condition below the associated hopper as the drum rotates, a dispensing device positioned above the drum so all hoppers pass below the dispensing device outlet in their rotational path, and automatic control means activated by placing a bag on a nozzle for conditioning the bag to receive material, filling the bag with material and releasing the bag from the filler nozzle. In conjunction with this object, a still further object resides in providing a coordinated auxiliary conveyor system and sewing machine station to receive and close the bag after it is released from the nozzle,

Still another object of this invention resides in the provision of automatic safety features in a bag filling machine whereby if a filler station rotates beyond the start position without having a bag attached, there will be no subsequent filling operation for that station.

A still further object resides in providing a novel means for holding an open bag on the lower end of a filler neck including means for automatically releasing the holding action. In conjunction with this object, it is a further object to utilize an automatically controlled blast of air to condition the bag for filling by flexing it to an open position.

Still another object of this invention resides in the provision of a dual alternately operable volumetric measuring mechanism disposed with a common outlet successively cooperating with each of a plurality of annularly arranged hoppers passing below the outlet of the dual measuring mechanism during machine operation. In conjunction with this object, it is a still further object to provide an automatic control providing conjoint operation of the dual measuring mechanism in a manner whereby one of the measuring mechanisms will be filling from a storage bin while the other measuring mechanism is dumping a desired quantity of material into a bag filling hopper.

A still further object of this invention resides in the provision of a novel, cyclically reversing, rotary volumetric measuring mechanism having an adjustable measuring chamber, and automatic filling and dumping control mechanisms.

A further object resides in the provision in a bag filling machine of an annular series of hoppers secured on wheel like framework :for rotation about a vertical axis and devices on each hopper to carry a bag to be filled under the associated hopper in communication with the hopper during rotation of the hoppers.

A still further object resides in the provision of a novel bag filling nozzle with an expansiible bag holding resilient boot. In conjunction with this object a further object resides in the provision of a pressurized air source and semi-automatic controls for introducing and maintaining pressurized air into the boot and after a desired time lapse to release the pressurized air from the boot.

Still another object resides in the provision in combags for an operation to close their open ends.

Further novel features and other objects of this invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, discussion and the appended claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings showing a preferred structure and embodiment in which:

FIGURE 1 is a partially broken-away front elevation view of a rotary drum type bag filling machine in accord with the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a side perspective view of the machine in FIGURE 1 illustrating a bag vibrator and the conveyor belt to a sewing machine station;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged perspective view illustrating details of some of the control components under the rotary drum;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged perspective view illustrating details of the automatic bag release control;

7 FIGURE 5 is a schematic representation of one of the bag holding systems, the multiple arrangement of which can be seen in FIGURE 6;

FIGURE 5a is a detail sectional view of the quick relief valve used in each bag holding system;

FIGURE 6 is a schematic plan view of the bag holder system for the plural stations in the rotary drum assembly;

FIGURE 7 is a wiring diagram for the electrical controls for the plural bag holder units shown in FIGURE 6;

FIGURE 8 is a partially sectioned detail view illustrating a commutator arrangement located on the upper end of the drum shaft to provide pneumatic and electrical connections to the rotary drum assembly;

FIGURE 9 is a partially sectioned side view of one of the bag holder-s showing details of the inflatable bag holding boot and its clamping assembly;

1 FIGURE 10 is a schematic, partially broken-away side view of one hopper segment of the rotary drum assembly showing the two air lines leading to each of the bag filling stations;

' FIGURE 11 is a schematic representation of one bag filler station and its air blast bag opening system, the multiple arrangement of the six air blast system being shown in FIGURE 12;

FIGURE 12 is a schematic plan view of the plural air blast bag opening systems for the six stations in the rotary drum assembly;

FIGURE 13 is an electrical circuit diagram for the controls of the air blast system for all bag stations shown in FIGURE 12; 7

FIGURE 14 is a plan view of the hopper drum seen from just below the dust collecting hood;

FIGURE 15 is a section view taken on line 15-15 of FIGURE 14 to illustrate internal bracing in the hopper drum;

FIGURE 16 is a partially sectioned, enlarged front 'elevation of the volumetric feed section, one of the cover plates on the gravity feed split inlet being omitted to show the fiow sensing vane for the inlet flow indicator;

FIGURE 17 is a perspective rear view of the volumetric feed mechanism showing the adjustment sleeves and their support bearings;

FIGURE 18 is a pre-assembly perspective view of the volumetric dispenser dual chamber, cylinders and volume adjustment sleeves;

FIGURE 19 is a longitudinal section through one of the dual volumetric feed cylinders;

FIGURE 20 is a section taken on line 2020 of FIGURE 19 showing the inlet and dispensing portion of the feed cylinders;

FIGURE 21 is a section taken on line 21-21 of .FIGURE -19 showing the adjustment piston portion of the feed cylinders;

FIGURE 22 is a schematic view illustrating one of the 4 volumetric cylinders dumping its load while the second cylinder is being filled from the storage bin chute;

FIGURE 23 is a view similar to FIGURE 22, but shows the two cylinders rotated in reverse of the positions shown in FIGURE 22;

FIGURE 24 is a circuit diagram showing automatic controls for the volumetric feeder;

FIGURE 25 is a partially broken-away side elevation of the bag vibrator;

FIGURE 26 is a rear elevation view of the bag vibrator shown in FIGURE 25; and FIGURE 27 is a timing chart to illustrate the relationship between machine operations during a cycle of drum rotation.

The present invention contemplates a unitary bag filling machine of rather compact construction operating on an assembly line basis and being essentially foolproof in operation. The machine is not fully automatic inasmuch as manual operation is required in the initial presentation of bags to the machine. In other words, on the machine as disclosed, an operator will place bags, preferably made of multi-ply paper, on the machine by fitting the open end of the bag over an expansible filler nozzle as the nozzle is moved past a first station during a cycle of operation. The operator manually trips a control which causes a part of the nozzle to expand and hold the upper end of the bag. The holding power of the nozzle assembly depends on air pressure utilized and in essence is limited only by the strength of the bag used. Subsequent to the first manual operation, machine operation, in filling, settling and placing the bag on a table or a conveyor for removal to a sewing machine operation station, is completely automatic.

A succession of bag filling nozzles are annularly arranged in vertical disposition on the underside of a rotating annular drum, segments of the annular drum being formed in hopper shape above each filling nozzle assembly. As the drum rotates, if a bag is positioned and held on a nozzle, the bag will trip a control which enables actuation of subsequent operations for that filler nozzle. The rotating hoppers pass in sequence under a volumetric dispensing mechanism, various limit control switches actuate an air blast mechanism to open the bag, and then cause the dispensing mechanism to discharge a specific volumetric amount of material into the hopper above the filler neck. The time lapse during a cycle of drum rotation, i.e., as the bag passes around the machine (approximately 330), creates a time delay enabling particles of material, entrained by the air displaced from the bag by the material flowing into the bag, to settle back into the hopper and down through the filler nozzle neck back into the bag. The bag is then dragged over a vibrating mechanism which causes the material to settle completely into the bag away from its top end. As the drum continues its rotation, a control member automatically de-actuates the bag gripping portion of the filler nozzle neck, releasing the bag and permitting it to rest on a platform or a conveyor belt from whence it is carried to a station where a sewing machine operator closes and places the upper end of the bag into a sewing machine which is used to add a tape strip and sew the bag end closed.

The top of the annular arrangement of hoppers is covered by a unitary sealed hood arrangement leading to an exhaust duct system which creates a low vacuum, drawing displaced air from the bag being filled through the exhaust duct system. Air entrained dust from the material with which the bag is being filled (which is too light to settle back into the hopper) will pass through the exhaust duct system from whence it can be reclaimed if desired.

Referring now to the drawings, FIGURES l and 2 will provide an essentially complete showing of an over-all machine construction embodying the principles of the present invention. The exemplary semi-automatic machine 50, as illustrated, is an upright mechanism having a drum shaped bag carrying and filling assembly 56 rotatable on a vertical axis and mounted on a base platform 52.

Machine 50 consists essentially of four major components, the first being a lower support structure 54 which is secured to the base platform 52 and encloses the power mechanism for rotating the second major component, the combined hopper nozzle drum 56 which is coaxially rotatably mounted, in a manner to be later described, immediately above the lower support structure 54. A series of support rollers 58 secured to the underside of the hopper nozzle drum 56 engage and roll in a circular path on the upper surface of a circular plate 60 which constitutes the top wall of lower support structure 54. Rollers 58 will support the entire weight of the rotatable hopper nozzle drum 56. Non-rotatably disposed above the hopper nozzle drum 56 is a third major component, an annular dust collecting hood assembly 6 2 which has a series of frustu-m shaped dust collecting hoods 64 leading into a horizontal U-shaped common dust collecting conduit 66 which in turn connects to an exhaust duct 68. The S-shaped duct 70, seen in FIGURE 1, is an auxiliary suction duct disposed with an intake above the sewing machine station.

The fourth major component of machine 50 is the volumetric measuring and dispensing mechanism 72 which is rigidly secured above the hood assembly 62 between the extended legs of the U-shaped manifold conduit 66. The discharge passage 74 of the volumetric dispenser 72 connects to an opening in the top Wall of the hood assembly 62 directly above the rotating path of the annular group of hoppers contained in the hopper nozzle drum 56. This measuring and dispensing mechanism 72 is a self contained sub-assembly having dual dispensing cylinders, a power operator, power operator controls, divided inlet duct and a material inlet flow responsive device, all of which will be hereinafter described in further detail.

The lower support assembly 54 consists of a series of vertical beams 80 (FIGURE 1) secured as by welding or by bolts to a bottom base plate 82 which in turn is rigidly secured to the solid base 52 (e.g., a concrete foundation). Cross beams 84 are secured to the upper ends of vertical beams 80* providing a planar structure to which the circular top plate 60 is secured. Diagonal cross braces 86 extend from vertical legs 80 to provide intermediate support for the circular plate 60.

Centrally located on the base plate 82 is a shaft end socket 88 containing a shaft end thrust bearing. A drum drive shaft '92 has its lower end disposed within the socket 88 against the thrust bearing and projects vertically up through the circular top plate 60. Where shaft 92 passes through the circular plate 60, it is rotatably journaled in a roller bearing assembly 94 which is secured to the circular top plate.

Rotational power is imparted to the drum drive shaft 92 through an electric motor 98, an exemplary rating being /1 HR, 1750 rpm. The output of motor 98 drives a gear reduction unit 100 through a variable speed pulley drive 101. The output shaft 102 of the gear reduction unit 100 has secured on the end thereof a small sprocket wheel 104 and is disposed with its axis vertical and parallel to the axis of shaft 92. A large sprocket wheel 106 non-rotatably secured to shaft 92 is arranged coplanar with the small sprocket 104 and a drive chain 108 interconnects the two sprockets to complete the drive path from motor 98 to the drum drive shaft 92.

Drum shaft rotation is desirably somewhere between one (1) and five (5) rpm. depending upon the size of bag being filled and is adjusted to a desired value by the variable speed pulley drive 101. A sheet metal plate 110 (FIGURE 2) wrapped around the lower support assembly 54 forms a finished covering.

The hopper-nozzle drum 56 is rotatably mounted coaxially and above the lower support structure 54, using the upper plate 60 of the support structure as a circular weight supporting track. The drum assembly 56 includes an annular arrangement of six hoppers and is conveniently fabricated from two cylindrical metal sleeves 114 and 116 concentrically arranged to provide an annular arrangement of segmented chambers. The annular space between these two sleeves is divided into six equi-angular arcuate chambers, each chamber constituting a space for a bag filling hopper 120 formed by two cross plates 122 and 124, shown in FIGURE 14 and in dotted lines in FIGURE 1, which are secured as by welding to both the outer sleeve 114 and the inner sleeve 116. Plates 122 and 124 rigidly maintain the two sleeves in their spaced concentric arrangement. Steel bands 126 and 128 around the peripheral edges of the outer sleeve 114 provide added strength, and further additional strength is provided by exterior metal strips 130 extending vertically at the division lines between the hopper sectors. Annular bands 126 and 128 and vertical strips 130 are secured by welding to the exterior of the outer sleeve 114.

Turning to FIGURES 14 and 15, a drum hub fitting 13 6 is located within the inner drum sleeve 1 16 and provides a connection to the drive shaft 92. Hub fitting 136 is formed in a spool arrangement having two annular radial flange parts 138 and 140 and an intermediate sleeve 141. A plurality of radially projected angle beams 142 are secured by bolts to the upper flange 138 and extend radially outward in a spoke-like arrangement into engagement with the inner drum sleeve M6 and are secured thereto by welding to vertical angle beams 144 welded to the inner sleeve 116.

Viewing FIGURES 4 and 15, it will be seen that a lower wheel-like structure arrangement with drum 56 provides a rigid support assembly and consists of a plurality of radially projected and upwardly inclined angle beams 152 and vertical support gussets 154 secured together by bolts or by welding as desired. Each beam 152 and attached gusset is secured between lower hub flange 140 and the lower part of a corresponding one of the vertical angle beams 144. Rigidly secured to the lower edge of each gusset 154 is a pair of short horizontal angle beams 156, to which is secured the base of the caster support rollers 58. There are six of these rollers 58 equi-angularly disposed under the drum assembly 56 and, as has been described, the complete weight of drum assembly 56 is transmitted through these rollers 58 to the top plate 60 of the support structure 54.

The inner hub connection 136 is non-rotatably secured to the drive shaft 92 by splined keyways and keys 162. Thus, drive powered rotation of shaft 92 by motor 98 will rotate the hopper and nozzle drum assembly 56 on the upper plate 60 of the support structure 54. As before noted, the speed reduction between motor 98 and drive shaft 92 provides a rotational speed of the drum assembly, as desired, at a rate of from 1 to 5 rotations per minute.

Taming b ack to FIGURES 1 and 2, a bag filler nozzle unit 17 0 is located at the lower end of each of the hoppers 120. Each nozzle unit (see FIGURE 9 for details) consists of a sleeve 1.72, the lower portion of which is cylindrical and the upper end of which is formed in a transition '174 which abuts against and is rigidly secured by welding to the bottom opening of an associated hopper 120 (see FIGURE 10). The lower cylindrical end of each nozzle sleeve 172 is provided with a bag holding device 176 which is a unitary assembly consisting of a cylindrical sleeve-like collar 178 slipped over the lower end of sleeve 172 and fastened thereto by a screw 179.

Collar 178 has an integral intermediate external radial rim 181), the periphery 182 of which is formed with a concave cross section. Collar 178 carries an expansible boot 183 formed from a piece of inch gum rubber tulbing 184, 9 inches long and 12 inches in a flat condition. These dimensions are actual dimensions utilized in one specific embodiment wherein the sleeve 178 has an outer dimension of 7% inches. It is to be understood that these dimensions will vary depending upon the size and style of the bag being filled. One end of the gum rubber tubing '184 is slipped over the lower portion 186 of collar 178 and is secured thereon by a spring steel clamp 188. The tubing 184 is then turned back upon itself and its other end placed over the concave periphery 182 ct rim 180 and secured thereon by a second spring steel clamp 190.

At the left hand side of FIGURE 8 will be seen a passageway 192 formed axially through the rim portion 180 of collar 178. This passageway 192 provides for introduction and exhaust of pressurizing air to the interior of boo-t 183 and to this end a nipple 194 can be threaded into the uppermost exterior end of the passageway 192 and a suitable pressurizing conduit secured to the nipple, as will hereinafter be described. It is suflicient at this point to say that the conduit and nipple 194 are utilized to introduce and to maintain air under pressure into the boot 183 which will expand within the open end of a bag 200 as seen in FIGURE 10, creating a holding force against the inner periphery of the bag opening and maintaining the bag on the nozzle unit 170. Each of the nozzle units 170 has an identical holding boot 183 with an individually controlled boot pressurizing conduit, as will be later described.

The hood assembly 62 which is non-rotatably disposed immediately above the rotating hopper nozzle drum assembly 56 will probably be best understood by reference to FIGURES 1, 2, 15 and 16. This assembly consists of a circular ring plate 202. Six similarly shaped rectangular openings are provided through plate 202 into which is fitted the lower peripheral edge of one of the convergent hoods '64. These hoods 64 are secured as by flanges and bolts or by welding to the annular plate 202. The inner and outer peripheral edges of plate 202 are provided with depending annular flanges 206 and 208 which fit respectively over the upper outer peripheral edge of the outer drum sleeve 114 and the inner upper peripheral edge of the inner drum sleeve 116. Rubber seal rings 210 and 212 are fastened to the inner sides of the depending flanges206 and 208 and engage the peripheries of inner and outer drum sleeves 114 and 116 to provide an eflective low pressure commute-ted seal between the stationary hood assembly 62 and the upper opening of the annular arrangement of hoppers 120 within the rotating hopper-nozzle drum assembly 56.

Returning now to FIGURE 1, it will be seen that the small upper end 220 of each individual convergent hood 64 contains an annular vertical outlet duct 222, the end of which is formed with an annular connection flange 224 by which the cylindrical duct 222 is securely hastened to a corresponding flange 226 on the lower end of an inlet duct 228 which depends from the U-shaped exhaust manifold 66. Note that the open portion of the U-shaped manifold 66 fits around the volumetric measuring and dispensing mechanism 72. The U-shaped exhaust manifold 66 supports the annular hood assembly 62 and in turn is supported by an arrangement of support beams 232 and 234 (FIGURE 2) which depend from an overhead support (not shown).

A lateral platform consisting of welded angle beams 236, 237, and 238 (FIGURE 2) extends across the support beams 232 and provides structure to carry the measuring and dispensing mechanism 72, seen in FIGURE 1. At this point, it will be suflicient to note that the measuring and dispensing mechanism 72 consists of a dispensing cylinder carrier 240 which contains two dispensing cylinders 242 and 244. These two dispensing cylinders 242 and 244 are disposed beneath a split inlet manifold 246, the upper end of which is adapted to be connected to the lower end of a storage bin (not shown). The aforementioned discharge passage 74 from the measuring and dis- .pensing mechanism 72 has its upper end rigidly secured to the lower portion of dispensing chamber 240. The lower end of discharge passage 74 (see FIGURE 16) carries a flange 239 which is secured by screws to the annular hood plate 202 around an opening 241.

Whenever a predetermined quantity of material is dispensed from one of the two cylinders 242 and 244 into the discharge passage 74, the material will fall through the hood opening 241 into whichever individual hopper is at that time passing below the discharge passage 74, the material passing through the then adjacent hopper 120 and through its nozzle unit into the open bag which is securely held on the associated nozzle boot 183. Note: in FIGURE 1 the start position of a nozzle is indicated by nozzle X which is located to the lefit hand side of the sewing machine dust exhaust duct 70. The final position, where the nozzle holder releases a bag, is indicated by nozzle Y which is located to the right hand side of the sewing machine exhaust duct 70. These start and stop positions are for a machine installed for clockwise rotation. It is to be understood that this machine can also be constructed for counterclockwise rotation if an installation so requires.

The volumetric measuring and dispensing mechanism 72, as has been previously noted, is a self-contained subassernbly including an inlet for receiving material from a storage bin and an outlet for dispensing measured quantities by volume of that material sequentially into hoppers 126 and the rotating drum asembly 56. Control tie-in between the volumetric measuring and dispensing mechanism and the rotating drum assembly is occasioned by means of electrical circuitry with switch controls which will be later described in detail. FIGURE 1 shows the dispensing mechanism 72 mounted above and on one side of the complete machine 50. Details of this dispensing mechanism 72 will be described with reference to FIG- URES l6'20, schematic illustrations of the dispensing operation are shown in FIGURES 22 and 23, the control circuitry shown in FIGURE 24 and a timing chart of the operations shown in FIGURE 27.

The dispensing mechanism 72 has the two aforenoted dispensing cylinders 242 and 244 contained in carrier framework 24d. FIGURE '18 illustrates the essential components of mechanism 72 during an intermediate stage of assembly. Carrier 240 is constructed with 'front plate 254 and two side plates 252 and 254. Disposed in side by side parallel arrangement between the .two side plates 252 and 254 are two tubes 256 and 258 constructed of heavy steel plate. As an example of construction, the front and side plates are made of A to /2 inch thick steel plate.

The ends of both tubes 256 and 258 which are disposed adjacent the front plate 250 can be closed by an end plate which is bolted to front plate 250 or, as shown in FIG- URE 19, the end of tubes 256 and 258 can. abut the front plate 250 and be welded thereto. Auxiliary bracing rings 260 and 262 are welded to the circumference of the two tubes at an intermediate point and at the other end of the two tubes. The corresponding ring braces 260 and 26b of the two tubes abut each other and also abut the two side plates 252 and 254 and, similarly, circular brace plates 262 and 262 abut each other and the two side plates 252 and 254. To provide a rigid assembly the plates 260' and 260 and 262 and 262' can be welded to each other and to the two side plates 252 and 254. The carrier assembly thus fabricated will result in an extremely rigid unitary member with two parallel tubes 256 and 258 :open at one end.

Extending along the top edge of each of side plates 252 and 254 and welded thereto are strips of angle iron 264. Extending from front wall 254} to the rear brace rings 262 and 262 are four angle strips 266, 267 and 267.

The lower edge of the depending flange of each angle strip 266 and 267 abuts and is welded to the outer surface of its associated tube, e.g., 2'56, and the upper flanges of these strips 266, 267, 266 and 267' lie in a common horizontal plane.

Adjacent the forward portion of the two tubes and between the pairs of angle strips 266, 267 and 266 and 267' the upper part of both tubes 256 and 258 are provided with openings 270 and 272 which can be designated as stationary filling ports. Immediately below the filling ports 270 and 272 are two further openings 274 and 276 constituting the stationary discharge ports.

Fitting into each of the stationary tubes 256 and 258 is an associated dispensing cylinder 242 and 244. In FIGURE 18 one cylinder 242 is shown disassembled from within its tube 256 while the other cylinder 244 is disposed half way into position in its corresponding tube 258. The exterior diameter of the dispensing cylinders 242 and 244 is such as to provide a close but rotatable fit within the associated stationary tubes 256 and 258. One end of the cylinders 242 and 244 is closed by an integnal end plate 278. Secured in a hole coaxial of each end plate 278 is a heavy collar 280 and disposed through the collar 280 and projecting from both the closed and the open end of each of tubes 242 and 244 are respective shafts 282 and 284. The collars 280 are Welded to end plates 278 and the shafts 282 are welded to the collars 280.

Each cylinder 242 and 244 has a pair of filling and dumping openings 286 and 288 formed in the cylindrical wall in such a position that when the cylinders are in position within the stationary tubes 256 and 258 they can be disposed coextensive with the stationary filling ports 270 and 272 or coextensive with the stationary discharge ports 274 and 276 depending upon the rotated position of the cylinder 242 within its associated tube 256. FIG- URE 19 illustrates the coextensive relationship between cylinder ports 286 and 288 and the stationary discharge ports 274 and 276. If cylinder 242 were to be rotated 180 from the position shown in FIGURES l9 and 20, the ports 286 and 288 would be on the top side of the cylinder immediately in line with the filling ports 270 and 272. It will thus be seen that when either one of the cylinders 242 and 244 is in a rotated position so the ports in the cylindrical wall are adjacent the stationary filling ports 270 and 272, material can flow through the filling ports 270 and 272 into the rotatable cylinder. When the cylinder is then rotated 180, the material within the cylinder can flow out through ports 286 and 288 and through the stationary discharge ports 274 and 276.

By varying the size of the chamber interior of the rotatable cylinders 242 and 244, the quantity of material capable of being received by the cylinder can be adjusted and to this end a volume adjustment piston 290 is provided for each of the dispensing cylinders 242 and 244. Piston 290 consists of a cylinder which has one end wall 292 provided with a coaxial aperture 294 to slidably fit over the cylinder shaft 282. Integral with piston 290 and welded to the interior of end wall 292 coaxial with the end wall aperture 294 is a piston sleeve 296 which freely slidably fits over shaft 282. The volume which can be received by the cylinder 242 may thus be decreased by moving piston 290 toward the end wall 278 and may be increased by withdrawing the piston away from the end wall 278.

The front end of the two cylinder shafts 282 and 284 extend through apertures 298 and 300 in the front dispensing carrier plate 250, projecting in front of the plate 250 a sufficient distance to enable drive gear and sprocket components to be non-rotatably secured to each shaft whereby, as will be described, the rotatable cylinders 242 and 244 may be simultaneously rotated backward and forward through an arc of 180. The two dispensing cylinders [are alternately arranged, i.e., one is receiving from its associated stationary tube filling ports 10 while the other is discharging through the associated stationary tube discharge ports.

The rear end of the two stationary tubes 256 and 258 is closed by a rear plate 302 which includes apertures 303 permitting projecting of the piston sleeve 296 and associated enclosed shaft 282. Shown in FIGURES l7 and 19, an angle beam 304 is secured horizontally as by welding to the rear surface of rear plate 302 below the Iapertures in the plate. The angle beam 304 provides support for pillow block bearings 306 and 308 which rotatably receive the respective piston sleeves 296, the sleeves in turn providing the coaxial support for contained shafts 282 and 284. There are several ways in which the adjusted position of piston 290 within the associated dispensing cylinder can be axially maintained, e.g., set screws in the piston sleeve 296 can be provided at various axial locations to clamp against the interior shaft 282 or, as disclosed in FIGURE 19, the axial position of piston 2% can be maintained by collars 310 and. 312 disposed adjacent either side of pillow block 306 and 308 and nonrotatably secured to the piston sleeve 296 by set screws. The forward ends of shafts 282 and 284 are supported in pillow blocks 3 14 and 31-6 (FIGURE 16) which are mounted on an angle beam 318 disposed horizontally against the front plate 250 and welded thereto.

The piping 320, seen in FIGURE 18, constitutes provision for injecting lubricant between the rotatable cylinders 242 and 244 and the stationary tubing 256 and 258. A cover plate 324 covers the open assembly shown in FIGURE 18 and is provided with openings directly above the stationary filler openings 270 and 272 and 270" and 272'. C-over plate 324 can be secured to the various angle beams 264, 266 and 267 by suitable screws and lubricant injection fittings (not shown) carried by the top plate 324 can be connected by suitable conduits to the tubing members 320 to provide lubrication access from the exterior of the carrier 240.

The split duct 246 (seen in FIGURE 1) has two dis charge passages, one of which is disposed above the stationary filler openings 270 and 272 and the other of which in disposed above the corresponding stationary filling openings .270 and 272'. Flanges 326 around the bottom openings of the split duct 246 rest on the dispensing carrier cover plate 324 and the split duct 246 is secured to the carrier by suitable screws. As has been previously described, the upper end of the split duct 246 is secured to a suitable conduit leading from a material storage bin and so long as the storage bin has material therein that material will be gravity fed into the split duct 246 and thence through the lower passages to the stationary tube filler openings 270, 272, 270' and 272'.

If the rotatable cylinder 242 and 244 "within the associated tubes is disposed in a position shown in FIGURE 19, passage through the filler openings 270 and 272 will be blocked by the solid cylindrical wall of cylinder 242 or 24 4. However, if the cylinder is rotated 1180 it will be clearly seen that material passing through the split duct 246 will completely fill the chamber between piston end wall 292 and the dispensing cylinder end Wall 278. Then as the cylinder is rotated in a reverse direction the filler ports will again be closed and the volumetric quantity of material within the cylinder can find an egress through the cylinder openings 2.86 and 28S and the discharge openings 1274 and 276 of the stationary cyHnd-er. The :aforedescribed hopper shaped discharge passage 74 is suitably welded under the carrier 240 to receive material which is dumped through the stationary cylinder dischange ports 274 and 27 6 regardless of which of the cylinders 242 and 244 is being discharged.

To provide conjoint and simultaneous rotation of the two cylinders 242 and 244, similar sized toothed sprocket wheels 330 and 332 are secured to the forward ends of respective shafts .282 and 284 in front of plate 250 and an endless chain 334, preferably of the roller link type, passes around the two sprocket wheels. Intermediate the ter being utilized in the disclosed embodiment.

11 two shafts 282 and 284 is located an idler sprocket 336 which is mounted for vertical adjustment in a strip of channel beam 338 which is secured to the front plate 250 (FIGURE 18) by welding. Idler sprocket 336 is used to place proper tension on the drive chain 334.

As shown in FIGURE =16, the motive power for rotating the two dispensing cylinders 242 and 2 44 back and forth through a 180 arc of travel is provided by a fluid motor 342 which is the reciprocating piston type. The cylinder of motor 342 is secured to the dispensing carrier front plate 250 by bolts and nuts 344 and is so positioned that its piston rod 346 will reciprocate horizontally parallel to and in front of plate 250. The free end of piston rod 346 is provided with a yoke fitting 348 which connects by means of a cross pin 350 to a gear rack 352. Cross pin 350 extends up through the fork fitting 348 and carries a limit switch operating roller 354 on its upper end.

The front and back side faces of gear rack 352 include grooves 356 which enable gear rack 352 to be reciprocally guided in a T-shaped track 358 out in the underside of a rack guide block 360. Shown in FIGURES 16 and 19', the rack guide block 360 is machined from solid bar stock and is rigidly secured to the front face of plate 250 by means of nuts and bolts 362. Alternatively, the guide block 360 could be fabricated of several parts.

Upon reciprocation of the motor piston rod 346, rack v352 will be reciprocated horizontally within its guide track 358. The teeth of rack 352 mesh with a gear wheel 36 4 non-rotatably secured on the end of dispensing cylinder shaft 284 in front of its associated sprocket wheel 332. When the rack 352 moves from right to left both cylinders 242 and 244 will be rotated in a counterclockwise direction and conversely when the rack 352 is drawn back from left to right, both cylinders 242 and 244 will be rotated in the clockwise direction. This reciprocation of the piston and its rod 346 is sufficient to provide at least a 180 rotation of both dispensing cylinders. Through controls to be described, the limit positions of the stroke of motor 342 are controlled to provide the 180 desired rotation of the dispensing cylinders.

Schematic FIGURE 22 illustrates the split duct 246 filled with material [from a storage bin. In this View dispensing cylinder 242 is in a position to be filled through the filler openings of stationary tube 256 while dispensing cylinder 244 is positioned 180 opposite to that of cylinder 242 and material is dumped through its ports into the hopper shaped pass-age 74 from whence the material passes .on down through the hood 62 into a hopper 1 20 and thence into a bag 200 which is held on the nozzle of hopper 120. FIGURE 23 illustrates the volumetric dispensing mechanism'after a successive hopper 120' with another bag 200 comes to a position below the dispensing mechanism hopper shaped passage 74 which actuates the motor 342 to reciprocate the rack 352, rotating both dispensing cylinders 2 42 and 244 to their opposite 180 positions where it will be see-n that dispensing cylinder 244 now is in position to be filled through the split duct 246 while dispensing cylinder 242 is dumping its material into the hopper 74 'and thence into bag 200'.

Fluid motor 342 can be pneumatic or hydraulic, the lat- Motor 342 is double acting and its hydraulic operating system is mounted on the carrier assembly immediately behind the motor 342 and front plate 250. Any suitable hydraulic operating circuit for a double acting hydraulic motor will be acceptable, a relatively simple type of circuit being illustrated in the FIGURE 24 schematic diagram, in which cord with standard hydraulic system practice. Control valve 380 is preferably one which is spring loaded or biased in some manner to a neutral position, in which position the control passages 382 and 384- to opposite ends of the hydraulic motor 342 will be blocked to hydraulical- -ly lock the position of the piston within the cylinder of motor 342. In this position fluid under pressure from pump 37 2, which is in continuous operation whenever the machine is being operated, will pass through the control valve 380 and into return line 386 back to the reservoir 374. The two control positions of control valve 380 will be determined by operation of one or the other of two solenoids S1 and S2 which are in the electrical control circuit to be described hereinafter.

Controls As the bag holding and filling drum 56 is rotated by motor 98, there is a definite sequence of events which is initiated by an operator placing a bag on one of the nozzles 170 at nozzle position X indicated in FIGURE 1. The sequence of events is illustrated in the timing chart of FIGURE 27. When a bag is placed on the nozzle, the operator trips a switch mechanism associated with that nozzle causing inflation of the nozzle boot to hold the bag on the nozzle. As the drum continues rotation the bag engages what is termed a bag detection switch. This bag detection switch controls the circuit which energizes the dumping circuit shown in FIGURE 24 and which will be fully described. A further 5 rotation of the drum will then activate a control, individual to that nozzle which is holding the bag that tripped the bag detector switch, to impart an air blast down through the nozzle into the bag which flexes the bag into a substantially open condition, which can be designated as a conditioning of the bag for reception of material. A further 10 drum rotation brings a trip mechanism, associated with the specific nozzle, into engagement with a dispensing mechanism dump switch which activates the dispensing mechanism control circuit shown in FIGURE 24 causing reciprocation of the motor 342 and rotating the two dispensing cylinders 242 and 244 180 which dumps the material from one of the cylinders through the associated hopper passage 74 and into the hopper through its nozzle and into the bag 200.

It will be realized from the timing chart on FIGURE 27 that dispensing occurs within approximately 20 of drum rotation. The drum has six hoppers arranged around its 360 periphery and therefore the hopper which is being used to fill the bag will remain under the discharge passage 74 for approximately 40 after dumping has been accomplished. This additional time lag permits any of the light density material which becomes entrained in the air passing upwardly out of the bag to fall back onto the sides of the hopper shaped passage 74 back into the hopper 120. Once the material is in hopper 120, of course, it travels with the drum as it continues to settle back into the bag. There is an additional time lapse as the drum continues rotation during which the material in the bag is gradually settling further into the bag. Near the end of the 360 rotation of the drum, the bag is dragged over a vibrator which, as will be later described, provides a rapid jogging of the bag to completely settle the material below the top open end of the bag before the bag is released by antomatic release of the air in the boot of the nozzle.

The air in the boot on nozzle 170 is automatically released when that nozzle reaches the position Y shown in FIGURE 2. Note: in this position the bag is directly over the end of a conveyor belt 390 so the bag drops onto the belt leaning against the deflector shield 392, and the bag is carried to the sewing machine operator 394. The deflector shield 392 is curved over at its upper end to form a hood 396 which connects to the exhaust duct 70 and accordingly any dust which floats from the top of bag .200 when it is released from its nozzle 170 will pass up through the hood 396 and into the exhaust system 70. The operator 394 can grab the upper end of the bag, close it in a flat disposition and insert it into the inlet chute of 13 a commercially available bag end seaming sewing machine 398 from whence the conveyor belt 390 will carry the completely closed bag to a storage warehouse or other type of further processing facility.

Inasmuch as the semi-automatic and automatic operations reiterated above require a source of air and electric power in communication with the rotating drum assembly 56, a commutator adaptor (FIGURE 8) is fixed in the top end of the drum shaft 92. The commutator can consist of a short hollow sleeve 400 secured to the upper end of shaft 92 and locked therein by a set screw. The upper end of sleeve 400 can be rotatably coupled to a stationary conduit 402, which leads from a source of pressurized air at 80 p.s.i., through a rotatable seal coupling 404 of any suitable type. A supply conduit 406 leads from the interior of sleeve 400 down beside the drum hub sleeve 141, as shown in FIGURE 6, providing a source of air under 80 p.s.i. pressure. Sleeve 488 also carries a dielectric sleeve 488 to which are non-rotatably attached two electric commutator slip rings 418 and 412 which rotate with the drum assembly. The two leads of an electric power cable 414 are connected to respective ones of slip rings 410 and 412 by brushes 416 and a two line cable 414 connected to rings 410 and 412 passes down into the interior of the drum assembly 56. Current from a 110 volt source is supplied through brushes 416, the slip rings 410 and 412, to cable 414 and thence to appropirate component circuitry.

In describing the semi-automatic initial step, in other words, the placing of a bag on the boot 183 of a nozzle 170 and causing inflation of the boot 183 to firmly grip the upper end of a bag, reference will be made to FIG- URES 4, 5, '6 and 7. With particular reference to FIG- URE 6, the 80 p.s.i. air pressure conduit 406 in the center of the drum assembly 56 is tapped by a conduit 420 leading to a pressure regulator valve 422 which reduces the high pressure air supply to a low pressure, an exemplary value being 8 p.s.i., leading into an air reservoir tank 424 secured by suitable brackets to the interior structure of drum assembly 56. Six lines tap off of the air tank 424, one line leading to each of the bag holding nozzle assemblies and, inasmuch as the components and controls of each of these lines is identical, only one will be described in detail with reference to FIGURE wherein the tapoif line is indicated as 426.

A suitable pressure indicating line 428 leads from the pressure regulator valve 422 to an exterior dial type air tank pressure indicator 438 located on the exterior cylindrical surface of drum assembly 56.

Conduit 426 leads from air tank 424 through suitable controls and is connected to the aforenoted nipple fitting 194 passing through the nozzle assembly collar 178 to the interior of boot 183. The first control component in conduit 426 is a two-way solenoid operated control valve 432 spring loaded to a position which blocks flow of air from tank 424 through conduit 426, at the same time, providing communication from its downstream side to atmosphere through exhaust duct 434. When the solenoid of valve 432 is energized, a through passage from the air tank 424 through conduit 426, valve 432, reducer 436 and valves 440 and 442 will be provided to the interior of boot 183 and, at the same time, exhaust outlet 434 will be blocked. In the conduit 426, between the control valve 432 and the boot 183, is an air regulator 436 set to regulate the pressure supply into the boot 183 at a desired pressure somewhere between 2 and 8 p.s.i. Normally this pressure is set at approximately 3 p.s.i. and is visually indicated by the individual bag pressure indicator 438, one of which is provided for each of the nozzle positions, as can be seen in FIGURE 1. Also included in the conduit 426 are a quick relief valve 440 and a safety relief valve 442, providing desired safety factors for each boot air supply assembly. When solenoid valve 432 is de-energized the air is exhausted and pressure decreases on the inlet side of quick relief valve 448 (see FIGURE 5a). In this situation the diaphragm 443 of valve 440 is spring biased to the position shown in FIGURE 5a and pressure from the nozzle boot 183 is quickly relieved through the quick relief conduit 445. When there is pressure on the inlet side of quick relief valve 448 the diaphragm 443 shifts to the left (FIGURE 5a), closes the exhaust 445 and provides passage from the inlet side to the bag holding boot 183. It is to be understood that all of the air pressure values recited herein are exemplary and that they may be varied somewhat to suit operational requirements.

The aforenoted electric conduit 414 provides power for the actuating control circuits including solenoids for all of the individual solenoid actuated valves 432 and to this end the electric source conduit 414 connects into a ring shaped conduit 446 which passes each of the nozzle assembly stations. Conduit 446 is suitably secured to the internal structure of the rotating drum assembly 56. Adjacent each nozzle assembly station there is located a switch box 448 (FIGURE 4) and an electrical conduit 450 is connected between the switch box 448 and the solenoid portion of the solenoid actuated valve 432. A short connecting conduit 452 provides sealed communication between the electrical ring conduit 446 and the individual conduit 450. Conduit 450 includes two electrical lines tapped into the two volt power supply lines within the ring conduit 446.

A single-pole, single-throw, two-position switch located within the switch box 448 controls the power circuit to the solenoid of solenoid actuated valve 432 and this switch will remain in whichever position it is placed in. Each switch box 448 includes an on button 454 and an oil button 456 and is secured immediately adjacent the associated nozzle assembly being secured by a bracket 458 to the drum assembly 56. =Pivotally secured to the underside of each switch box 448 is a lever type operator 460 which carries a hand bumper 462 on its free end. When an operator places a bag on the boot 183, he then merely lifts his hand, hits the bumper 462 which raises lever 460 against the on button 454, closing switch 448 which actuates and maintains the solenoid operated valve in an operated condition, permitting air supply reduced to approximately 3 p.s.i. from tank 424 to pass through conduit 426 and into the boot 183, causing the boot to expand and securely grip the inner periphery of the open end of a bag 200. As desired, switch 448 will remain closed until deliberately opened and thus air pressure within the boot 183 will be maintained as the drum assembly '56 rotates the particular nozzle assembly 170 from station X to station Y.

To release the bag 200 from boot 183, the off button of switch 448 mus-t be operated to open the switch contacts, break the circuit and de-energize the solenoid which controls valve 432, thus permitting the air Within the boot 183 to exhaust through conduit 434. To enable this release of boot pressure automatically, a cam operator 464 is provided at each of the nozzle stations. Operator 464 has a tubular sleeve 466 extending radially from a position interior of the inner drum sleeve 116 to a position adjacent the switch off button 456, and rigidly secured to drum assembly 56 by a bracket 468. Journaled within the sleeve 466 is a cam operating shaft 470, the exterior end of which has non-rotatably secured thereon a cam member 472 disposed immediately above the switch off button 456 and having a shape whereby a slight pivotal rota-tion of shaft 470 will cause the cam member 472 to engage the oil button 456 and open the contacts of switch 448.

Pivotal movement of cam operating shaft 470 is occasioned by a lever member 474, adjustahly ecured on the inner end of shaft 470 and depending in a gravity maintained downward position. As the drum rotates the nozzle station into position Y, the lower end of cam operating lever 474 engages a roller 476 which is carried by bracket 478 secured to the side wall of the drum support 54 (see FIGURE 4). Since each of the nozzle assemblies includes one of these switch de-actuating assemblies 464,

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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/503, 141/314, 366/108, 53/506, 141/93, 53/570
International ClassificationB65B43/42, B65B43/60
Cooperative ClassificationB65B43/60
European ClassificationB65B43/60