Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3163969 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 5, 1965
Filing dateOct 11, 1962
Priority dateOct 11, 1962
Publication numberUS 3163969 A, US 3163969A, US-A-3163969, US3163969 A, US3163969A
InventorsIrwin Jere F, Paxton Allen D, Paxton Floyd G
Original AssigneeKwik Lok
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for applying bag closures
US 3163969 A
Abstract  available in
Images(9)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 5, 1965 J. F. IRWIN ETAL 3,163,969

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING BAG CLOSURES Filed Oct. 11, 1962 9 Sheets-Sheet 1 n. k l

pix-

$.40 D Q TON y a INVENTO S METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING BAG CLOSURES Jan. 5, 1965 J. F. IRWIN ETAL 9 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 11

15' few/N INVENTORS QM Dmvo \N 8N kw KN w w A m QN k .i. N m mm N v A... L

Qmm

J. F. IRWIN ETAL 3,163,969

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING BAG CLOSURES 9 Sheets-Sheet 3 Jan. 5, 1965 Filed Oct. 11. 1962 MN Y 12% E z w m -1 2 m N am 7 2 a m 1 m 5 .Q A F r 7 MU a 1 m a J A g m i. w I 5 a Z W will!!! Jan. 5, 1965 Filed Oct. l1

J. F. IRWIN ETAL 3,163,969

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING BAG CLOSURES 9 Sheets-Sheet 4 Jan. 5, 1965 J. F. lRWlN ETAL 3,163,969

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING BAG CLOSURES METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING BAG CLOSURES Jan. 5, 1965 J. F. IRWIN ETAL 9 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Oct. 11.

7 IWENTORS 47' rot/wry N W a.

1965 J. F. IRWIN ETAL 3,163,969

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING BAG CLOSURES Filed Oct. 11 1962 9 Sheets-Sheet 7 2% a 5; M x 45.9

377 ;J63T-; I 358 .3.15"; C 395 21.1 i; S i If fyfi.

Harp 02194)?- A INVEN ORS Jan. 5, 1965 J. F. IRWIN ETAL 3,163,969

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING BAG CLOSURES Filed Oct. 11. 1962 9 Sheets-Sheet a 02 72W IzT v ENTORS Jan. 5, 1965 F. IRWIN ETAL 3,163,969

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING BAG CLOSURES Filed Oct. 11 1962 9 Sheets-Sheet 9 l g 2 9 $.12: {It l .i ZIZ4 j .4 1;

15-5 k/asgfw/N [IE/V a HXTZQ i619. Row 6. Pam/v & INVENTORS United States Patent 3,163,969 METHOD AND APPARATUS FQR AEPLYING BAG CLQSURES Jere F. Irwin, Allen D. Paxton, and Floyd G. Paxton,

Yakima, Wash, assignors to Kwik Lok Corporation,

Yakima, Wash, a corporation of Washington Fiied on. 11, 1962, Ser. No. 232,920 16 Claims. (Cl. 53-14) This invention relates to the art of closing plastic bags and particularly to etfecting such closure by a machine operation. It is an important object of the present invention to provide a method of and apparatus for automatically closing plastic bags by the application thereto of a particular type of closure united in strip form.

Another object of the present invention is to provide such a method and apparatus which will continuously move a stream of plastic-bagged articles along a given path with the necks of said bags still open and disposed in a given direction laterally from said path and apply said closures to said bag necks while said articles are so moving.

A further object of said invention is to co-ordinately feed said closure strip and said stream of bagged articles along paths which intersect at right angles to each other, apply the endmost closure in said strip to one of said bag necks at the point where said paths intersect, and then separate said closure from said strip.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide such a method and apparatus wherein the unoccupied neck portion of each bag is fanned out in a flat plane containing said point of intersection of said paths and then stretched along a leading edge of said neck and fedin said plane through said point of intersection to deliver said neck as a stretched web of double thick plastic sheet material between the jaws and into the mouth of said foremost closure.

A still further object of the invention is to provide such a method and apparatus wherein the closure strip is subjected to a printing operation as it is fed towards said point of intersection of said paths, for the application of a price mark or the like on each closure.

The manner of accomplishing the foregoing objects as well as further objects and advantages will be made manifest in the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic plan view, to a scale of approximately one-half full size, of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the invention, this view illustrating in full lines the continuous movement of two plasticbagged loaves of bread along a straight path through said apparatus for the application of individual closures respectively to said bags, and illustrates the elements of said apparatus at the point in the operation thereof on one of said bags where the printing mechanism of the apparatus is impressing a mark such as a price mark on one of the closures in the closure strip being fed into said apparatus.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the apparatus of the invention taken on the line 22 of FIG. 1 with a portion of the apparatus broken away to show the structure of the mount for the printing mechanism and with the two plastic-bagged loaves of bread shown only by broken lines outlining their positions in the apparatus.

FIG. 3 is an end elevational view of the apparatus of the invention taken on the line 33 of FIG. 2 and illustrating in full lines the process of applying the endmost closure of said closure strip to a plastic-bagged loaf of bread with the bag neck fanned out and stretched along the leading edge thereof and fed between the jaws of said closure and into the mouth thereof.

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view of the apparatus of the invention taken on the line 44 of FIG. 3 and illustrates the single revolution clutch driven mechanism of the apparatus and the means for triggering the same.

FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view of the apparatus of the invention taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 3 and illustrates the cam shaft and the two cams employed in said apparatus for the actuation respectively of the printing mechanism and the closure strip feed mechanism of the apparatus.

FIG. 6 is a full scale plan view of the printing mecha nism of the invention in neutral or retracted position.

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 illustrating the printing mechanism in an active or advanced position while printing a mark on one of the closures in said closure strip.

FIG. 8 is a full scale fragmentary elevational view of the closure strip feed mechanism of the apparatus of the invention with the parts thereof shown at the same point in a bag closing cycle as that illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7.

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 and shows the closure strip feed mechanism at a slightly advanced point in said cycle at which the endmost closure is separated from the balance of the strip following the application of said closure to a plastic bag.

FIG. 10 is a horizontal sectional view taken on the line 10-10 of FIG. 8 and illustrating the manner in which the various elements of the closure strip feed mechanism are assembled together.

FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken on the line 11-11 of FIG. 8 and illustrates the manner in which the cam actuated detent of the closure strip feed mechanism restrains that portion of the closure strip above the endmost closure while the latter is separated from the strip.

FIG. 12 is a view similar to FIG. 9 and illustrates the retraction of the pick carriage of the closure strip feed mechanism to its upwardmost position where it is ready to start feeding said strip downwardly a distance equal to the length of a single closure. Thus the lower end of the pick is shown here as above the upper end of the new endm'ost closure in the strip, and the spring strip detent mechanism is shown as applied to a beveled upper corner edge of the new lowermost closure in the strip so as to prevent upward movement of the strip which might otherwise be caused by friction between the strip and the pick as the latter is withdrawn upwardly with the carriage to the position in which it is shown in this view. This view also shows the cam actuated detent of the closure strip feed mechanism withdrawn from its retarding position beneath the strip so as to facilitate the downward feeding of the closure strip when the pick carriage returns downwardly in the completion of the current operational cycle of the machine.

FIG. 13 is a view similar to FIG. 12 and illustrates the pick carriage during its downward movement in which it is feeding the closure strip downwardly towards the position in which the new endmost closure thereof will be located in the same position as the endmost closure of the strip illustrated in FIG. 8. This view shows the spring actuated detent of the strip feed mechanism forced outwardly by engagement of the downward moving strip so as to ride along the outer edge of the strip during the downward feeding of the latter. This view also shows the cam actuated strip detent being released and thus allowed to swing back downwardly into one of the side edge notches of the closure strip so as to resist further downward movement of the strip during the separation of the new endmost closure from the strip during the next following bag closing operation.

FIG. 14 is an elevational view of the spring platen Patented Jan. 5, 1965 p 3 mount and closure strip guide of the printing mechanism of the invention and is taken on the line 1414 of FIG. 6. This view illustrates the closure strip positioned as at the beginning of an operational cycle and shows, in full lines, price marks which have been applied during prior operatiorial cycles to two of the closures of the strip and, in broken lines, the position where a similar price mark will be applied by the printing mechanism to a closure centered over the platen during the initial portion of the next succeeding operational cycle.

FIG. l is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken on theline' 15l5 of FIG. 14 and shows the manner in which a leaf spring in the spring platen yieldably supports said particular closure on which the printing mecha nism will imprint a mark during the initial portion of the next operational cycle.

FIG. 16 is a horizontal diagrammatic sectional view taken on the line 16 16 of FIG. 4 and illustrates the gathering of the bag neck in the mouth of a closure at thehalf-way point in the gathering action.

FIG. 17 is a vertical sectional view, of diminished scale, takenon the linen-17 of FIG. 1 and illustrating the manner in which oppositely rotating tangent brushes draw out the open neck of a plastic bag into a horizontal plane so as to properly prepare this for presentation to the bag closing apparatus.

.FIG. 18 is a view taken in the direction of the arrow 18in FIG. 8 and shows the closure strip feed mechanism with parts thereof broken away to illustrate the functioning of the spring closure strip detent of said mechanism.

FIG. 19 is an enlarged fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken on the line 1919 of FIG. 4 and illustrates the two pairs of oppositely rotating rubber-tired rollers by which the fanned open neck of a plastic bag is introduced between the jaws and into the mouth of the lowermost closure on said closure strip and also shows the fixed guides for guiding the front and rear vertical edges of said closure during said operation.

Referring specifically to the drawings, a preferred embodiment 25 of the apparatus of the invention is there illustrated, this including a conveyor 26, a plastic bag neck spreader 27 and an automatic closure applying machine 28.

The conveyor 26 has a conventional horizontal frame 29 including a pair of channel side beams 30 only one of which is shown in the drawings. The conveyor also includes a pair of endless chains 31 mounted on said frame and motor driven to propel an endless series of pushers 32 along the upper surfaces of side channels 36. The pushers 32 are provided to push plastic bags 33 in which various products are packaged along the conveyor 26 to' facilitate the application of a bag closure to each of said bags. Inasmuch as the invention was initially used 111112116 commercial packaging of loaves of bread, two plastic bags 33 containing rectangular 2-lb. loaves of bread are shown in the drawing as being propelled by pushers 32 of the conveyor 26. The bags 33 employed for packaging bread are selected so as to fairly snugly receive the loaf of bread but vprovide a substantial neck portion 34 on the bag and thebags are all placed on the conveyor 26 so that these neck portions extend transversely in a common direction from the conveyor. The pushers 32 extend directly across the conveyor at right angles to the direction of travel of the latter and the bags 33 naturally conform to the alignment of these pushers so the lengthwise axis A of each bag is disposed at right angles to the direction of travel of the bags on the conveyor.

The bag neck spreader 27 includes a housing 35 in brush 43 is mounted within the housing 35 so as to extend upwardly a slight distance through the hole 42. This brush is fixed on the shaft 44 of an electric motor 45 which is supported on said housing. An upward extension 46 of the housing 35 extends forwardly to overlie the hole 42 and brush 43 mounted therein. The housing extension 46 has a downwardly facing opening 4'7 which is vertically aligned with the hole 42 in platform 41 and a cylindrical brush 48 is mounted in the extension 46 so as to lie within the opening 27 in tangent relation with the cylindrical brush 43. The brush 48 is carried on shaft of an electric motor 50 which is mounted on. the housing extension 46.

As clearly shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the rotational axes of the brushes 43 and 48 are parallel and lie in a vertical plane which converges towards the conveyor 26 in the direction in which this travels. The reason for this will be made clear in describing the operation of the invention.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 to 5 inclusive, which show plan and full vertical sectional views of the automatic closure applying machine 23 of the invention, said machine is seen to include a sheet metal housing 55 which is mounted on the right-hand conveyor channel 3%; shown in these views. The housing 55 includes an outside wall 56 and end walls 57 and 58 formed integrally therewith by arcuate 90 bends 59. The space within these walls is covered by a deck plate 6% shaped to conform thereto and welded to the upper edges of said walls. The inner and lower ends of the housing 55 are open but the deck plate 60 has turned down along its inner edge long and short lugs 61 and 62 to which is removably secured a bag guide plate 63. A drive wheel and clutch trigger accommodating recess 64 is formed inwardly from the inner edge of the deck plate 61 between the lugs 61 and 62, the purpose of this being made clear hereinafter.

Welded in the corners between deck plate 6d and end walls 57 and 58 are triangular lugs 65 while square lugs are welded to inner faces of lower edge portions of said end Walls, all four of these lugs lying in the same vertical plane normal to the surfaces on which they are fixed and a housing partition plate 71 is bolted at its four corners to said lugs.

integrally united with deck plate 6% and communieating with the space below said deck through a hole 72 formed in the latter is a tower 73 (FIG. 5) having the shape of an inverted L. This tower is in the nature of a shell formed by end walls 74 and 75 an outside wall 76 and an inside wall 77. Owing to the inverted L shape of the end walls 74 and 75, the lower portion of tower 73 extends only half way from the outside edge of deck plate 60 towards the inside edge of the latter, thus leaving free a substantial space 78 lying just above the inner half of the deck plate 6% in which the function of applying closures to the necks of plastic bags may be carried on. The inside tower wall 77 is bent inwardly to form a bottom wall 79 which unites with lower edges of the inner, upper portions of the tower end walls 74- and 75. The upper end of tower 7 3 is open and this is covered by a cover plate 8i? having a rocker arm accommodation slot 81 and lugs 82 which are engaged by screws 83 to hold said cover plate in place.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 the closure applying machine 28 is supported on the conveyor channel Bil by a bracket 86 secured to said channel in vertical position and having cars 87 at its upper and lower ends, said ears providing pivots for vertically aligned pins 88 formed on a block 89 which rests against and is secured to housing end wall 57 by screws d0. By this means of mounting the machine 28 on the conveyor 26, said machine may be adjusted about the axis of the pins 88 to vary the angular relationship between said machine and the conveyor. This adjustment is facilitated by the provision of a bracket 91 which is bolted or otherwise secured to the conveyor channel 30 just within housing end wall 58, this bracket having ears 92 at its upper and lower ends which pivotally receive axially aligned pins 93 provided at the upper and lower ends of a hexagonal block 94. Secured as by welding to this block are a pair of lugs 95 between end portions of which a short arm 100 is pivotally mounted. Screwed into a tapped hole provided in the end of arm 100 is a screw 101 which extends through a washer 102 and horizontal slot 103 formed in housing end wall 58 so that by positioning screw 101 in various portions of said slot and tightening said screw, the machine 28 may be fixed in any desired adjusted angular relation with the conveyor 26 within the particular range of variation for which the machine is designed.

Mounted in outside wall 56 and housing partition plate 71 are aligned ball bearings 104 and 185 in which a shaft 106 journals, and aligned ball bearings 107 and 108 in which a shaft 109 journals. Where shaft 106 extends outof a high grade synthetic rubber of medium degree of hardness such as found in O-rings.

As may be seen from FIGS. 2 and 4, the upper edge of the bag guide plate 63 slopes downwardly in opposite directions from the peak of said edge located adjacent the inner wheel 116, said peak being a slight distance below horizontal plane P.

Fixed on shaft 106 between partition plate 71 and wheel hub 115 is a drive sprocket 118 which is connected byan endless chain 119 with sprocket teeth provided on a single revolution clutch 120 which is mounted on shaft 109 in radial alignment with drive sprocket 118. The clutch 120 is of conventional design and includes an actuating dog 121 which is normally spring pressed into position to engage said clutch but which extends from the periphery of the clutch while the latter is rotating so that when it engages a hook 122 on a clutch control arm 123 the clutch rotates just enough to cause the dog 121 to swing relative to the clutch so as to disengage the latter and then the clutch stops rotating. The arm 123 is pivotally mounted on a stud 124 and has its rotation on said stud limited by two other studs 125 and 130, all three of said studs being mounted on the housing partition plate 71. It is to be noted that arm 123 has a safety shoulder 131 which will intercept the clutch actuating dog 121 and open clutch 120 when the latter has turned slightly over half a revolution in case the arm 123 has not at that time been returned to the broken line position shown for this in FIG. 4. The purpose of providing the safety shoulder 131 will be made clear in explaining the operation of the machine.

Pivotally mounted on a stud 132 mounted on partition plate 71 is a bag responsive clutch trigger 133. Pivotally connected at its opposite ends to clutch control arm 123 and clutch trigger 133 is a link 134, this connection causing movement of clutch trigger 133 between the two extreme positions for this shown by full and broken lines in FIG. 4 to result in clutch control arm 123 moving correspondingly between its extreme positions shown by full and broken lines in this View. In its broken line position, clutch trigger 133 rests against a shoulder 135 provided on deck plate 60 by recess 64, and in its full line position this trigger engages a shoulder 136 also provided by said recess. Clutch trigger 133 is constantly under bias from a coil spring 137 which normally holds said clutch trigger in its broken line position shown in FIG. 4.

Mounted on outside wall 56 in co-axial relation with 6 shaft 109 is the shoe 138 of a conventional cO'nstant-friction brake 139 which is mounted on the adjacent end of shaft 109 and constantly retards rotation of this shaft so that whenever clutch is disengaged, rotation of shaft 109 stops practically instantly. Shaft 109 also has fixed thereon a closure strip feed actuating cam and a printing mechanism actuating cam 146. Secured at their opposite ends to outside wall 56 and partition plate 71 are a spring tie rod 147 and a roller arm fulcrum shaft 148. Two arms 149 and 150 are rockably mounted on shaft 148 these arms having cam follower rollers 151 and 152 respectively which rest upon and follow the upwardly exposed surfaces of cams 145 and 146. Hooked at their upper ends on the extremities of arms 149 and 150 and at their lower ends on spring tie rod 147 are coil springs 153 which constantly hold the cam follower rollers 151 and 152 in engagement respectively with cams 145 and 146.

Mounted concentrically in suitable holes provided in tower end walls 74 and 75 are aligned ball bearings 154 and 155 (FIG. 5) in which is journalled a shaft 156 this shaft extending outwardly beyond beaning 155 and having mounted thereon a strip feed arm 157. Fixed on shaft 156 just inside bearing 155 is a strip feed arm 158. Connected at its opposite ends to roller arm 149 and to strip feed arm 158 by self-aligning bearings 159 and 160 is a connecting rod 161. Freely rotatable on shaft 156 is a rocker 162 having an upwardly extending arm 163 and a laterally extending arm 164. Pivotally connected by self-aligning bearings 165 and 166 at its opposite ends to arms 164 and 150 is a connecting rod 167.

Secured by screws 168 to the inner surface of tower end wall 75 flush with its inside vertical edge is an angle iron 169. Secured by screws 170 to angle iron 169 so as to lieflat against said angle iron and inner edges of tower walls 75 and 79, and so as to abut against an inner edge portion of tower wall 74, is pick bearing plate 175. The edge portion of this plate which abuts against wall 74 is secured thereto by screws 176.

Mounted tin parallel bores formed in the upper edge of plate is a pair of cylindrical posts 177. Vertically slidable on said posts is a printer base block 178 which is adjustably fixed to one of said posts by a set screw 179. Extending laterally from one end of block 178 is an apertured lug 180.

Secured to block 178 by screws 181 is a printer base plate 182 which has the shape of an inverted U. This plate thus has parallel side portions 183 and 184 which are connected at their upper ends by a cross portion 185 so as to form a free space between these portions which opens downwardly from said plate. To secure plate 182 to block 178, the screws 181 pass through suitable holes provided in right and left side portions 183 and 184 of said plate. At the same time these screws extend through suitable holes provided in right and left strip side edge guide plates 191 and 192 and right and left strip edge cover guide plates 193 and 194 so that these guide plates are secured in place respectively on the right and left-hand sides of the free space 190 so as to form a vertical guideway 195 for a closure strip S which embodies the bag closures which are employed by the machine 28 in closing plastic bags.

The strip side edge guide plates 191 and 192 extend upwardly above the upper ends of the strip edge cover guide plates 193 and 194. A horizontal cover bar 197 overlies upper end portions of guide plates 191 and 192 and a pair of screws 198 extends freely through holes provided in opposite ends of said cover bar, in plates 191 and 192, and in printer base plate 182, and screwinto tapped holes provided in a horizontal clamp bar 198. When the screws 196 are tightened, they clamp the bar 198 against an upper end portion 199 of a leaf spring 200 which has a double bend therein so as to position the major portion of said spring in free space 190 in yielding supporting relation with the rear vertical face of closure strip 8 when the latter is fed downwardly through strip guideway 195.

Mounted on the pick bearing plate 175 just below the printer base block 178 is a closure stnip feed mechanism 2&5 (FIGS. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 17). The function of this mechanism is to receive a closure strip S extending downwardly through guideway US, to position the lower endmost closure in the strip so as to facilitate the application of this closure to a bag, to separate this closure from the strip after said closure has been so applied, and then to feed said strip downwardly the length of a single closure to place the next closure in the strip in the position just vacated. by the aforesaid endmost closure.

The mechanism 265 includes right and left pick gibs zildand 297 which are secured by screws 2% and 209 in vertical parallel relation to the pick bearing plate 175. Vertically slidable between the plate 175 and the converging bevelled edges of gibs 206 and 207 is a pick carriage 210, opposite side edges of which are bevelled to match said gibs. The exposed face of carriage 216 is recessed near its lower end to inlay the upper end portion of a leaf spring closure pick 211 flush with said face, said pick being secured to said carriage by a screw 212. The lower extremity of pick 211 is slightly angled outwardly from the balance of the pick for a reason which will be made clear hereinafter.

There are three screws 269 which secure the left pick gib 207 to the pick bearing plate 175 and these screws also extend through and secure to said plate in the order named, a left strip guide cover 213, a left strip guide 214,, and a left stnip guide base 215. As may be seen in FIG. 10, the three elements just named cooperate to form a vertical groove 229 for guiding the left edge of a closure strip S being fed by mechanism 2&5.

Secure to pick carriage 210 by screws 221, 222, and 223 is a right strip guide cover 224, a right strip guide 225, and a right stnip guide base 226, the last three mentioned elements being disposed respectively opposite their left-hand counterparts in mechanism 2% to form a guide groove 227 which cooperates with guide groove 220 to confine opposite side edges of the closure strip S being fed by said mechanism. it is to be noted in FIG. that when strip S is thus guided by said grooves, the angled lower end of leaf spring pick 211 is yieldably held against the adjacent back face of the strip 5.

It also may be seen in FIG. 10 that screw 222 extends through and binds against elements 224, 225 and 226, in securing the latter to pick carriage 219, a roller mounting sleeve 228, a washer 229 and a spherical sleeve 239 of a self-aligning bearing 235. The roller mounting sleeve 228 rotatably mounts a roller 235 on the pick carriage 210. The self-aligning bearing 235 is provided on the lower end of a short connecting link 237 the upper end of which is connected by a self-aligning bearing 238 to the strip feed arm 157.

The left strip guide cover 213, the left strip guide 214 and the left strip guide base 215' have aligned holes uniting in a hole 239 (FIG. 8) while these same elements have slots which unite in a slot 24% also shown in this view. Both the hole 239 and the slot 241') intersect the left guide groove 224) (FIG. 10). Mounted on the left strip guide cover 213 by being tightly set against this by the head of the middle one of the three screws 2&9

is a loop formed on the upper end of a wire spring detent i 241 which extends downwardly from said screw to the hole 239 where a closure strip engaging finger 242 is bent inwardly from the'lower end of said detent so as to extend into said hole.

The lower of screws 208 (FIG. 10), employed for securing the right pick gib 266 to pick bearing plate 175, is somewhat longer than the upper of these two screws and extends through and grips against right pick gib 2%, a lock washer 243, a washer 244, a bearing sleeve 245, and a pillow block 2%. Confined between the Washer 244 and pillow block 259 and rotatable on the bearing did sleeve 245 in radial alignment with the roller 236 is a cam actuated detent rocker 251. This rocker includes an arm 252 which terminates directly over slot 240 and has a cam actuated detent 253 bent from its extremity so as to extend into said slot. The rocker 251 also has an :arm 254 which extends upwardly so as to normally overlie the vertical path through which the roller 236 travels when the pick carriage 21b reciprocate-s in the performance of its strip feeding function. The rocker 251 is constantly biased by a coil spring 255 swinging the rocker to position the cam actuat d detent 253 in the lower end of slot 24% where said detent extends into guide groove 220. When the pick carriage 21% travels upwardly so as to cause roller 236 to engage the arm 254 of rocker 251 as shown in FIG. 12, this swings the cam actuated detent 2S3 upwardly in the slot 249 so that it is shifted out of the guide groove 22d.

Secured by screws 2% to the inside face of end wall 58 of housing 55, so as to extend between and be equidistant from the drive wheels E16, is a fixed bottom guide '257 for the front side edge of the lowermost closure on the closure strip S. This guide has an outline as shown in FIG. 4 and extends upwardly at its inner end to present symmetrically diverging guide surfaces 253 (FIG 19) to the closure strip, which surfaces terminate in a vertical slot 259 in said guide into which the left edge of the closure strip may travel so as to be held in position by the guide 257 during the application of the lowermost closure of the strip to a bag.

A guide 260 is also provided for the righthand edge of the lowermost closure in strip S, this guide comprising a narrow flat bar which is secured by bolts 265 to t1 e bottom face of tower Wall 79 and is bent downwardly and then horizontally to terminate in a horizontal tip 2&6 having a vertical guide notch 267 which is in vertical alignment with the right guide groove 227 of the strip feed mechanism 2'05. Thus the right-hand edge of the lowermost closure on the strip S is aligned with and fits within notch 267 when this closure is positioned for application to a plastic bag as shown in FIG. 8.

Supported on pick bearing plate by a pair of screws 268 is the mounting block 269 of an adjustable driven wheel chassis 279.

This chassis includes a spacer block 271 on opposite sides of which are secured plates 272 the upper ends of which overlap and are pivotally mounted on mounting block 269. Screwed into a tapped hole provided horizontally in block 271 is an adjustment screw 273 the head of which bears against the lower corner of pick bearing plate 175. Another horizontal hole on about the same level is provided in block 2'71 for mounting thereon a knobbed handle 275 for manipulating the chassis.

Pivotally mounted on the lower end of spacer block 271 is a pair of wheel mounting arms 28%, the outer ends of which are united by a cross bar 2-81 having an inward extension 282 which is connected by a contractile spring 283 to a lug 284 provided on the mounting block 269. Roratably mounted on ball bearings 2-85 fixed to inner faces of forward extensions of the arms 28% is a pair of rubber-tired driven wheels 2&5 which are positioned in the same vertical planes respectively as the drive wheels 116 and pressed downwardly by spring 283 into tangent rolling relation therewith.

As may be observed in FlG. 2, the lower edges of driven wheel mounting arms 28% are disposed close above the horizontal plane of tangency P and are gradually curved to act as a gentle guide from above for a plastic bag neck being fed along said plane. Another guide disposed above said plane and bridging the space between the bag neck spreader and the arms 2% is a cylindrical guide bar 287 which is disposed horizontally and is mounted on brush housing 4-6. This bar tends to confine a bag neck flattened by brushes 43 and 48 from being deflected upwardly as by a draft in which the machine 28 may be working.

Rotation of the adjustment screw 273 shifts the points of tangency between the driven wheels 286 and the drive Wheels 116 horizontally so as to change the relationship between these points and the closure strip S the position of which in the machine is fixed by the various guides therefor above described. The adjustability thus provided is to obtain the best operating condition for each of the ditferent types of plastic bags with which the machine 28 is used, as well as for each of the various kinds of closures which the machine is adapted to apply.

It is also to be noted that the driven wheels 286 are yieldably held in their operative positions, in which they are shown in FIG. 2, by the spring 283. This spring operates only a short distance from dead center over the axis of pivotal connection between the upper ends of plates 272 and the mounting block 269. Whenever it is necessary to clear the space in the machine around the lower end of the closure strip feed mechanism, the operator merely lifts on the handle 275 to swing the entire chassis 270 out from beneath the pick bearing plate 175 so as to expose to view the parts normally hidden between the driven wheels 286.

Secured to tower end wall 74 by screws 288 is a printer pivot bearing block 289. This block has a bore 290 in which ball bearings 295 are mounted. Rotatably mounted in these bearings is a printer pivot shaft 296. Fixed on this shaft is a printer frame 297 including upper and lower frame plates 298, these plates being shaped as clearly shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 and being spaced apart as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5. Mounted in suitable aligned apertures provided in plates 298 is a self-aligning bearing 299 which is connected by a link 300 with a self-aligning bearing 301 mounted on the end of arm 163.

Plates 298 also have aligned apertures for receiving a shaft 382, and a printer 303 is mounted on said shaft between said plates, this printer having a pair of arms 304 the ends of which are pivotally connected to an eye 305 provided on a rod 319. This rod extends through an expansive coil spring 311 and through the aperture in lug 180 and has screwed onto the threaded end thereof lock nuts 312 which confines spring 311 under a slight degree of compression. The printer 303 isof the ordinary adjustable variety having rubber bands selectively presenting rubber type faces 313 for performing the printing of a price mark or the like on the individual closures in closure strip S. Formed in the upper plate 298 concentrically relative to the shaft 302 is an arcuate slot 314 through which a pin 315 extends upwardly from the printer 303. An upper portion of this pin is pivotally connected to an eye 316 formed on a threaded rod 317 which rod has a stop nut 318 screwed thereon and extends through a head 319 formed in a cylindrical tube 320, the opposite end of which is pivotally mounted on the upper end of the printer pivot shaft 296. Coiled about the rod 317 within the tube 320 and compressed between a pin 325, mounted in the end of said rod, and said head 319 is a spring 326.

At their opposite extremities from the shaft 296, the printer frame plates 298 have open ended slots 327, on opposite sides of which said plates are provided with pins 328. An ink roller 329 having trunnions 330 is pivotally mounted in the slots 327 and yieldably secured in place by springs 331 which are coiled about said trunnions and bear at their opposite ends against pins 328. The springs 331 thus yieldably hold the ink roller 329 in its inwardmost position in which the trunnions 330 engage inner ends of slots 327.

The ink roller 329 is thus mounted at such a distance from the printer 303 that the type faces 313 just come into tangent inking relation with said roller when the printer is swung as shown in FIG. 6 with said type faces aligned with said roller.

Secured fiat against the tower end wall 75 by screws 340 is a strip reel mounting post 341. This post extends a substantial distance above the upper end of tower 73 and has a horizontal bolt 342 at its upper extremity on which is pivotally mounted the hub 343 of a closure strip 10 reel 344. The reel includes two parallel spaced cdri= centric discs 345 and 346 which are mounted on the hub 343 and confine therebetween a closely Wound coil 347 of closure strip S.

The reel 344 may be of very simple construction and serve as the shipping container for the coil 347. When this policy is followed, each time a coil 347 is used up in the operation of the machine 28, the empty reel is removed and replaced by a loaded reel. On the other hand the reel 344 may be made a permanent fixture on the machine 28 with the front disc 346 readily removable after a coil 347 of strip has been used up, so as to permit a new coil to be placed in the reel and the disc 346 replaced in order for the machine 28 to resume operation.

Brief reference will now be made to the character of closurestrip S so as to make clear how it cooperates with the machine 28 to facilitate the application of individual closures to individual flexible plastic bags.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 8, 9, and 10 which include full scale representations of the closure strip S.

Strip S is made of a relatively stiff but springy sheet plastic material about .032 inch thick and of an inch wide and certain portions of this strip are removed by a die-stamping process to divide this strip into a multiple of interconnected individual closures C. The closures are thus disposed consecutively in the strip, juxtaposed side edges of such contiguous closures being disposed at right angles to the length of said strip, such edges being formed by narrow slots 355 and V-notches 356 and 357 which leave narrow webs 358 partibly uniting adjacent side edges of consecutive closures C.

The individual closures C are formed in the strip S so as to be disposed with their longitudinal axes lying transversly of the strip so that end edges 359 and 360 of each individual closure are formed by side edges of the strip S. The die-forming of end edge 360 produces a V-notch 361 symmetrically in said edge which terminates inwardly in a narrow opening 362 and which connects inwardly with a heart-shaped mouth 363 the function of which is to confine the flexible neck of a plastic bag when the closure C is applied to the latter.

The webs 358 are only about .03 inch in width and while the plastic material of which the closure strip S is made is suificientlytough so that these webs hold the individual closures C united in strip form through all normal bending of the webs in the coiling of the strip for storage and the uncoiling thereof to feed the strip into the machine 28, an endmost closure C may be pulled from the strip by gripping the second closure of the strip in one hand and pulling on the endmost closure with the other.

It will be noted that the notches 361 are somewhat deeper than the notches 356 and the notches 357 are somewhat deeper than the notches 361. In each closure C therefore it is to be seen that the slots 355, the notches 357, the notch 361, the heart-shaped mouth 363, and the narrow opening 362 provide a pair of hook-like jaws on opposite sides of the narrow opening 362. The V-notch 361 forms guide edges on said jaws which diverge from each other at an angle of about and are effective in guiding the flexible neck of a plastic bag into the narrow opening 362 of the closure.

A significant thing about the closure strip S and the forming therein of individual closures C so that the latter lie crosswise in the strip is that this permits the feeding of the strip lengthwise to a station for applying the endmost closure to a bag while feeding the bags to said station in a direction disposed at right angles to the direction in which the strip S is fed.

This is the manner in which the bags and the strip S are fed in the machine 28 to the point where the closures C comprising said strip are individually applied to the bags.

Operation Before starting the apparatus 25, the reel 344 is sup plied with a coil 347 of closure strip and the free end of the latter is fed downwardly from the periphery of the coil as shown in FIG. 3 through the guideway 195 provided by the parts associated with the printer base plate 182 and then downwardly through the closure strip feed mechanism 2&5 as shown in FIGS. 8 and 10 in which left and right side edges of the strip S are guided respectively by guide grooves 220 and 227. This feeding by hand of the strip S is completed when the endmost (or lowermost) closure C of the strip is in the position in which this is shown in FIG. 8.

The next step is to energize the electric motor (not shown) which drives the conveyor 26, the electric brush driving motors 45 and t) and the geared motor 110 which drives the machine 28. These motors run constantly while the apparatus 25 is in use. The motors 45 and S!) are of the same type except one is reversely wound with respect to the other so that the shaft thereof rotates in the opposite direction from the shaft of the other. These motors are assembled together as shown in the drawings so that the cylindrical brushes 43 and 48 are rotated in tangent relation with their points of tangency travelling away from the conveyor 26.

The only thing required now to cause the apparatus 25 to apply closures C automatically to plastic bags such as the plastic bags 33 is to properly place these bags on the conveyor 26 as shown in FIG. 1. That is: each bag should be laid on the conveyor in front of one of the pushers 32, with the neck portion 34 of the bag turned towards and overlying the horizontal platform 41 which is disposed lengthwise along the right-hand edge of the con veyor. FIG. 1 clearly illustrates what happens to the neck portion of each such bag as the conveyor 26 brings this into contact with the two rotating cylindrical brushes 43 and 48. The effect of this is to draw the upper and lower filaments of the bag neck portion 34 out together away from the conveyor 26 so that these lie flat against the horizontal wall 41.

When the progress of the conveyor carries the neck of this bag out of contact with said brushes, there is no impediment to the flattened bag neck 34 continuing in a fiattened condition as it slides over the horizontal wall 41 onto the deck plate 60 of the housing 55 of the machine 28. The bag neck 34 thus comes in contact with and rides up onto the drive wheels 116 until the leading edge of this flattened neck is gripped between said drive wheels and the driven wheels 286 which are spring pressed downwardly thereagainst and in tangent relation therewith.

The horizontal plane P in which the leading edge of the flattened bag neck lies when it is first gripped by the two pairs of drive and driven wheels as above described, bisects the narrow opening 362 of the lowermost closure C and the V-notch 361 thereof and the heart-shaped mouth 363 thereof and the points of tangency between said two pairs of wheels which lie in said plane are predetermined by adjustment of the screw 273 thereof so that these points are preferably on a line T in horizontal plane P which passes through the narrow opening 362 or through the heart-shaped mouth 363 of the lowermost closure C. This results in the leading edge of the fiattened bag neck 34 being delivered through the narrow opening 362 of said endmost closure and into the month 363 thereof without any deflection of the jaws of the closure from the vertical plane inwhic-h said closure is held by the guides which embrace both its right and left vertical edges.

The drive wheels 116 are rotated at such a speed by the motor 116 that the peripheral velocity of said wheels is approximately twice the rate of travel of the conveyor 25. This has the effect of completing the feeding of a transverse section of the bag neck 34 into the month 363 of the endmost closure C while the bag 33 having that neck has travelled with the conveyor 26 only about onehalf its breadth past the center of said closure. The clo- 12 sure is thus centered relative to the loaf confined in the bag as the application of the closure is completed.

When this point has arrived in the travel of this bag on the conveyor 26, it is therefore necessary to immediately separate the lowermost closure C from the balance of the strip S so that this closure may be carried away by the bag to which it is applied. It will now be pointed out how this is accomplished.

The initial speedup in travel of the bag neck 34 when the leading edge of this comes between the two pairs of wheels aforesaid, forces the inner end portion of the bag neck against the clutch trigger 133 so as to swing this from its broken line position shown in FIG. 4 to its full line position shown therein thereby shifting the clutch control arm 234 from its broken line position shown in this view to its full line position shown therein thereby removing the hook 122 from in front of the clutch dog 121 and causing the clutch to be engaged. This inltiates a single revolution of shaft 109. This has no effect for a while on the strip feed mechanism 205 because, during about the first half of the cycle, cam roller 15} rests on a segment of earn which is formed concentric with shaft 10?. At the start of the cycle. however, cam 146 is turned with its shortest radius upward and with the arm 15%} swung downwardly into its lowermost position.

It is now desired to note that the operational views (FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) show the parts of the machine as they are disposed at the point where shaft 109 has just turned 90 in the performance of said cycle. Thus, We see in FIG. 5 that the highest point on cam 146 is directly under roller 152, and this has caused the printer frame 297 to be swung from its extreme retracted position shown in FIG. 6 to its oppositely extended printing position shown in PEG. 7 in which the type faces 3 thereof are pressed against one of the closures C in the strip S which is located in the same level with said type faces.

This closure is distinguished in FIG. 14 by a price mark being outlined thereon in broken lines, indicating that this is the closure which the printer is shown as printing a price mark on in FIG. 7. The closures located below this closure in strip S have price marks shown therein in full lines for these marks were printed during preceding cycles of operation. By using quick drying ink, the mark dries by the time the closure printed on is applied to a bag.

As the shaft 169 continues to rotate following the point shown in the drawings, the cam 146 turns to bring its highest point out from under roller 152 causing the printer frame 297 to be retracted to the position in which this is shown in FIG. 6 and in which it will be noticed that the type faces 313 have rolled a little bit through their direct coincidence with the ink roller 329. The significance of this is that whenever a closure applying operation is initiated and the printer frame 297 is swung from retracted to printing position, the first thing that happens is the application of the type faces 313 to the ink roller 329 to give a fresh application of ink to the type faces. Inasmuch as it is necessary to use quick drying ink in the machine 28, this feature of the printing mechanism is of importance. Quick drying ink Once applied to type faces will dry in a few seconds and will thus not transfer to the closure against which the type faces are pressed if the inking .of the type faces has not immediately preceded the printing.

When the shaft 109 has finished the first half of its single revolution and the type faces are completely removed from contact with the closure on which a price mark has just been printed, a closure separator lobe 370 on cam 145 comes under the roller 151 and swings the arm 14% upwardly thereby forcing the pick carriage 219 downwardly from the position in which this is shown in FIG. 8 to the position in which it is shown in FIG. 9. When this movement start the lower end of the leaf greases spring pick 211 rested in the narrow slot 355 disposed between the endmost closure C which has just been applied to a bag neck 34 and the closure immediately thereabove. The pick, of course, moves downward with the pick carriage and the angling of the lower end of the pick causes this to forcibly engage the upperedge of the endmost closure C while downward movement of the next closure in the strip is prevented by the interposition of cam actuated detent 2S3 beneath a shoulder formed on said next closure by a V-notch 357 of said strip. The result of the downward pressure of the pick against the endmost closure is thus to breach the narrow webs 3S3 connecting it to the next closure thereabove thereby freeing the endmost closure from the strip and permitting it to be whisked away with the bag 33 to which it has just been applied.

As the lobe 370 of cam 145 passes out from under roller 151 there is a sharp decrease in the radius of this cam presented to said roller which allows the spring 153 attached to arm 149 to pull this downwardly which functions through the connecting rod 161 and arms -8 and 157 and link 237 to rapidly shift the pick carriage 21G upwardly to the place where this is shown in FIG. 12. Here it is to be noted that, in its upward movement, the roller 236 engages the upper arm 254 of rocker 251 so as to swing the cam actuated detent 253 out from the guide groove 220 of the closure strip feed mechanism 205 so as not to impede the downward feeding of the strip S which follows during the last 90 of rotation of cam shaft 199. This downward feeding movement of the pick carriage 210 is illustrated in FIG. 13 just before this has been completed. The pick carriage completes its downward movement in the position in which this is shown in FIG. 8.

A complete cycle of operation of the apparatus 25 of the invention has now been described. The operation of the machine being automatic it will continue to apply closures C to plastic bags 33 as long as it is supplied with closures and bags.

The mounting of brushes 43 and 48 so their axes lie in a vertical plane converging with conveyor 26 is for the purpose of preventing these brushes having a retarding action on the feeding forwardly of the bag necks 34 passing between said brushes. The inclination of these brushes is such that the brushes not only draw each bag neck 34- out flat in a horizontal plane, but they cause this neck to progress in the same direction the conveyor travels and at approximately the same rate.

The reason for providing safety shoulder 131 on clutch arm 123 is to automatically halt the rotation of shaft 109 if all of a bag neck 34 has not been gathered into the mouth of the endmost closure C (during any operational cycle) during the first half of this cycle. Normally the application of the closure to the bag neck is completed within this period and when this fails to happen, it generally indicates an improper feeding of the bag neck 34 between the wheels 116 and 286 which either results in an unsatisfactory application of the closure or in a jamming of the space between said wheels. In either case, it is desirable to attract the attention of the operator to the machine 28 and halt the rotation of shaft 169 until the chassis 270 may be displaced by lifing on handle 275, and the bag involved in the malfunction removed from machine 28.

In the normal operation of the machine 28 the gathered neck 34 is displaced from in front of the trigger 133 by the separation of the endmost closure C from the strip S well before the dog 121 arrives opposite the safety shoulder 131. When this occurs the spring 137 snaps trigger 133 back to its broken line position which shifts shoulder 131 out of the way of dog 121 and permits the operational cycle to be completed.

While only a single embodiment of the apparatus of the invention has here been described, it is to be understood that various changes and modifications might be 14 made in this without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.

We claim:

1. In an apparatus for receiving sheet plastic bag closures united end-to-end in the form of a strip, each closure having in one edge thereof a narrow opening connecting inwardly with a bag-neck-confining mouth, said openings being in a side edge of said strip, and applying said closures to unfilled neck portions of partially filled flexible plastic bags to close the latter, the combination of: a conveyor for continuously moving said bags along a given path with said bags disposed at right angles to the direction of movement and with said necks disposed in a given direction from said bags; a platform alongside said conveyor in said direction therefrom in position to support said bag necks in a flat plane; means for spreading out such bag necks in a direction away from said bags as the latter travel along said conveyor so that each such neck will lie on said platform as a flat double thickness of the material of said bag; means for receivingsaid-closure strip and feeding the same in a direction approximately normal to the direction of travel of said conveyor to position the endmost closure of said strip in a plane parallel with said direction of said conveyor movement but at right angles to the plane of said platform with the mouth opening of said endmost closure facing and approximately in the path of the leading edge of said flattened bag neck; two pairs of spaced, parallel narrow wheels one of said pairs being tangent to the other pair substantially in said plane of said advancing flattened bag neck the wheels of each such pair being spaced apart on opposite sides of the plane of said strip; means to rotate one of said pairs of wheels so as to frictionally rotate the other such pair at a peripheral speed which is approximately twice the speed of travel of said conveyor; means for guiding said flattened bag neck between said two pairs of tangent wheels so that the leading edge of said bag neck is caught therebetween at two spaced positions, pinched, and progressively pulled forwardly through the side edge opening of the endmost closure on said strip and into the bagneck-confining mouth of said closure so that when said bag has travelled half way past said closure an entire transverse section of said bag neck has thus been fed into the mouth of said closure; and means responsive to the operation thus performed on said bag neck by said two pairs of tangent wheels to separate the endmost closure from said strip just as the application of said endmost closure to said bag neck is completed; and means operative following the separation of said endmost closure from said strip, for feeding said strip to advance the next adjacent closure thereof to the position vacated by the endmost closure aforesaid.

2. A combination as recited in claim 1 wherein said pairs of tangent wheels rotate constantly and said means for separating the endmost closure from the closure strip and said means for subsequently feeding the strip to reposition the next endmost closure for the next bag closing cycle are actuated intermittently; a single revolution clutch for actuating said closure separating means and said strip feeding means; and a trip, responsive to engagement by a bag neck when the latter is received and pulled forwardly between said pairs of wheels for engaging said clutch.

v 3. A combination as recited in claim 2 which includes a mechanism for printing a price mark or the like on each of the closures in said strip when that closure is in a particular position in the apparatus; and means driven by said single revolution clutch for actuating said mechanism to print one of said marks on one of said closures during each cycle of operation of said clutch.

4. A combination as recited in claim 1 including a housing, said tangent wheel means, closure separating means, strip feed means and means for actuating the aforesaid means being mounted within and on said housing; means for pivotally mounting said housing on a vertical axis on said conveyor; and means for adjusting the angular relation of said housing to said conveyor about said axis, to determine the angularity of the radial planes, in which said pairs of wheels rotate, relative to the direction in which said conveyor travels, said radial wheel planes normally converging forwardly slightly towards said direction.

5. In an apparatus for receiving sheet plastic bag closures united end-to-end in the form of a strip, each closure having in one edge thereof a narrow opening connecting inwardly with a bag-neck-confining month, said openings being in a side edge of said strip, and applying said closures to neck portions of partially filled flexible plastic bags to close the latter, the combination of: means for receiving said closure strip with the endmost closure of the strip located with the edge opening thereof aligned with a given plane and facing in a given direction; means for feeding the neck of said bag towards said edge opening with said neck flattened and lying in said plane, to progressively deliver an entire transverse section of said bag neck through said edge opening of said endmost closure and into the bag-neck-confining mouth of the latter; and means operable upon the conclusion of said closure applying operation for separating said endmost closure from said strip to permit said closure to leave the apparatus with the bag to which it has been applied, and for advancing the balance of said strip to place the next endmost closure in the position vacated by the first mentioned endmost closure.

6. A combination as recited in claim 5 wherein notches are provided along a side edge of said strip forming a stop shoulder on each closure, engagement with which prevents movement of that closure in the direction in which said strip is fed, as aforesaid, said separating means including a by the first endmost closure.

7. A combination as recited in claim 5 wherein a printing mechanism is provided; and cyclic actuating means responsive to the feeding of a bag neck into said apparatus for actuating said printing mechanism to print a price mark or the like upon a closure in saidstrip spaced a given substantial distance from said endmost closure, said cyclic means then actuating the aforesaid means for separating said endmost closure from said closure strip and then advancing the balance of the closure strip to place the next endmost closure in the position vacated by the first endmost closure.

8. A method of closing the neck portion of a partially filled flexible plastic bag, said method including the steps of conveying the bag with a continuous movement along a given path with said bag disposed at right angles to the direction of said movement and with said bag neck disposed in a given direction from said bag, flattening said bag neck in a plane which is parallel with the direction of said movement, pinching the leading edge of said flattened bag neck at two fixed spaced positions in said plane as soon as said leading edge arrives opposite said positions by virtue of its movement with said bag along said path, pulling in said direction a short distance the portions of said bag neck thus pinched and then releasing the same, repeating said pinching and pulling action on portions of said bag neck disposed progressively further from said leading edge portions until a section of said flattened bag neck extending from the leading edge to the trailing edge thereof has been thus pinched, pulled a short distance in said direction and released, increment by increment, presenting a closure having an open mouth with a narrow entrance opening lying in said plane between said positions and facing the advancing bag neck whereby said increments of the bag neck are delivered through said opening and into said closure mouth and the entire section aforesaid of said bag neck is bunched within said mouth thus effectively applying said closure to said bag, said increments of said flattened bag neck being pulled in said direction at approximately twice the speed of travel of said bag along its path whereby the application of said closure to said bag neck will be completed when said bag has travelled only approximately half Way past said closure, and releasing said closure, allowing it to remain assembled with said bag and travel therewith along said path.

9. In an apparatus for applying bag closures to plastic bags wherein each closure comprises a tag formed of relatively stiff sheet material having a narrow opening in one edge thereof which connects inwardly with a larger bag neck confining mouth, the combination of: two pairs of closely spaced, parallel, narrow wheels, the wheels of each pair being respectively tangent to the wheels of the other pair in a given plane of tangency; means for rotating said pairs of wheels whereby tangent portions of said wheels travel in a given direction in said plane of tangency; means for positioning and temporarily supporting a closure parallel with and between said pairs of wheels with said edge opening of said closure aligned with said plane and facing oppositely to the aforesaid direction of movement of tangent portions of said wheels, whereby the flattened neck of a partly filled plastic bag spread out in said plane and fed between said wheels is progressively pinched, at points where said bag neck lies between said wheels, and pulled forwardly on opposite sides of said closures, until an entire transverse section of said flattened bag neck is progressively pulled through said edge opening of said closure and into the bag neck confining mouth thereof, said closure positioning means functioning automatically upon the completion of the application of a closure to a bag, to release said clos re to permit it to accompany said bag when the latter is removed from said apparatus, and to position and temporarily support another closure in said apparatus as described for the first such closure thereby preparing said apparatus for applying said second closure to a second plastic bag, said bag closures being united edge to edge in the form of a strip, and each closure positioned in said apparatus for the application of said closure to a bag neck comprising the endmost closure in the strip, and being partially supported in such position by its connection with said strip; and means for separating said endmost closure from said strip in order to release said closure to permit it to leave the apparatus with the bag to which it has been applied.

10. A combination as recited in claim 9 wherein adiacent closures in said strip are integrally united by a pair of narrow webs spaced by a transverse slot, said endmost closure separating means including means for forcing the endmost closure away from the closure adjacent thereto thereby rupturing the webs connecting said closures.

11. In a machine for applying closures to plastic bags, the combination of: a pair of drive wheels of like diameter; means disposed below a given approximately horizontal plane for co-axially mounting said wheels with the latter tangent upwardly with said plane, and continuously rotating said wheels with the tangent points in the P p eries thereof travelling in a given direction in said plane; a pair of driven wheels; means disposed above said plane for rotatively supporting said driven wheels with the latter extending downwardly from said means into tangential relation respectively with said drive wheels, there being a horizontal space adjacent said plane which will freely accommodate horizontal movement of a horizontally flattened bag neck through said space in said direction with said bag neck being pinched between said two pairs of wheels at their points of tangency and fed in said direction by the rotation of said wheels; means for positioning,

in the space between said pairs of wheels and extending through said plane, a bag closure having means for confining the neck of said bag, whereby a transverse section of said bag neck is progressively delivered into confined relation with said closure and thus said closure applied to said bag; and means automatically freeing said bag closure after its thus being applied to said bag, to allow the same to pass out of said machine with said bag, said bag closures being united end-to-end in the form of a strip, each closure having in one edge thereof a narrow opening connecting inwardly with a bag-neck-confining mouth, said openings being in a side edge of said strip, and wherein said closure positioning means includes guide means for guiding said strip downwardly vertically into the space between said pairs of wheels; means for feeding said strip downwardly through said guide means to position the endmost closure on said strip with its edge opening aligned with said plane and facing in the opposite direction from the direction of travel of said bag neck between said wheels whereby the feeding of a bag neck into said machine will cause said Wheels to deliver a transverse section of same through said edge opening of said endmost closure into the bag-neck-confining mouth thereof and thus apply said closure to said bag, said means for automatically freeing said bag closure after its application to said bag, including stop means for temporarily preventing downward movement of the closure next above said endmost closure, and means for forcing said endmost closure downwardly to rupture the connection between the same and the closure immediately thereabove.

12. An apparatus for applying bag closures to the necks of plastic bags, said apparatus comprising: a pair of tangential bag neck feed wheels for receiving the flattened neck of a plastic bag and rapidly feeding it in the plane of said tangency; means providing a flat sheet closure having a bag neck confining aperture connected by a narrow opening with one edge of said closure, with said opening lying in said plane and facing said bag neck, and with said closure disposed close to said wheels and close to the line of tangency between said wheels, whereby said bag neck will be delivered through said opening and be bunched within said aperture; cyclic means for actuating the aforesaid closure providing means to cause the latter to release said closure from its position aforesaid and to deliver a second closure into said position after it has been vacated by said first closure; and trigger means responsive to the feeding of a bag neck between said wheels to initiate a single cycle of operation of said cyclic means, whereby the first mentioned closure is released immediately follow- 18 ing the delivery of said bag neck into the aforesaid aperture of said first closure, and the second closure is then delivered into the position vacated by said first closure, in readiness to he applied to the next bag neck fed between said wheels.

13. An apparatus as recited in claim 12, wherein said closure providing means is adapted to receive a series of closures integrally united consecutively in a multi-closure strip, whereby the first aforesaid closure is the endmost closure of said strip, and wherein said closure providing means also embraces a device actuated by said cyclic means for separating said endmost closure from said strip, in order to release said closure when a bag neck has been fed into the latter, and to then advance said strip to where the next endmost closure therein will appear in said position.

14. An apparatus as recited in claim 13 wherein the endmost closure of said strip is at least partially held, by its connection with said strip, in its bag neck receiving position aforesaid, and wherein the severance of said endmost closure from said strip releases said closure from said machine whereby it passes out of said machine with the bag to which it has been applied.

15. An apparatus as recited in claim 13, wherein the edges of the closures having said openings comprise a side edge of said strip, and said closure providing means receives and feeds said strip, to place the endmost closure in said position, along a path which is normal to said tangent plane, whereby said endinost closure, when separated from said strip, may leave said apparatus in the same direction in which said bag neck is fed by said wheels.

16. An apparatus as recited in claim 13, wherein a printing device is embraced therein and is actuated by said cyclic means during each cycle of operation of the latter to print a mark, such as a price indicating mark, or the like, upon a closure in said strip which is relatively remote from said endmost closure, whereby said mark will have a substantial period to dry on the closure receiving the same before said closure becomes the endmost closure and is applied to a bag.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,971,311 2/61 Messmer 53-373 3,099,116 7/63 Platt et a1 53-198 X FRANK E. BAILEY, Primary Examiner.

TRAVIS S. MCGEHEE, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2971311 *Apr 4, 1960Feb 14, 1961Amsco Packaging Machinery IncApparatus for treatment of bag mouths and the like
US3099116 *Feb 27, 1961Jul 30, 1963Jr Leland H PlattBag closing apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3370396 *Apr 20, 1965Feb 27, 1968Kwik LokBag closing machine
US3748825 *Apr 22, 1971Jul 31, 1973Dove Inc J BFilm straightener apparatus for wrapping articles in stretchable film
US3983681 *Jul 1, 1974Oct 5, 1976John Phillip BrittApparatus for applying bag closures
US4069646 *Apr 30, 1976Jan 24, 1978Machinefabriek Grisnich B.V.Device for guiding seams of bags
US4398379 *Mar 11, 1981Aug 16, 1983Burford Charles ETab attachment device
US4563856 *Aug 23, 1983Jan 14, 1986Clements Industries, Inc.Bag closing apparatus using closure tags
US4648531 *Mar 5, 1985Mar 10, 1987Ben Clements & Sons, Inc.Dispenser for bag closures
US4723390 *Aug 11, 1986Feb 9, 1988Duke Horace WTensioning apparatus and methods for plastic packaging
US4984416 *Jan 18, 1989Jan 15, 1991Duke Horace WApparatus and methods for removing folds in the confronting material at the open edges of flexible packaging material prior to sealing
US4999969 *Jan 18, 1990Mar 19, 1991Kwik Lok CorporationBag closing apparatus
US5040355 *Mar 30, 1990Aug 20, 1991Barilla G.E.R. F. LliMethod and a labelling machine for attaching wrapper labels to the neck portion of bag-type packages and the like
US5092104 *Jun 12, 1991Mar 3, 1992Zelenka Stanley RUniversal bag spreader apparatus
US5269120 *Sep 17, 1990Dec 14, 1993Kwik Lok CorporationSystem for marking and installing closures
US6050053 *Jan 20, 1998Apr 18, 2000Schmidt; Norman GClutch control for a clutch-actuated bag closing head
US6115993 *Oct 9, 1998Sep 12, 2000Bedford Industries, Inc.Tag presenter
US7036605Apr 17, 2003May 2, 2006Makita CorporationPower tools
US7331155 *Mar 3, 2005Feb 19, 2008Poly-Clip System Gmbh & Co. KgClip feed arrangement
US7596928Nov 1, 2005Oct 6, 2009Irwin Jere FApparatus for severing and loading bag fasteners
US7896098Jan 17, 2006Mar 1, 2011Makita CorporationPower tools
US8210275Jan 21, 2011Jul 3, 2012Makita CorporationPower tools
US8261513Oct 1, 2009Sep 11, 2012Irwin Jere FApparatus and method for severing and loading bag fasteners
US8474227Apr 28, 2004Jul 2, 2013Jere F. IrwinBag accumulating device, bag neck gathering machine, and method
US20040216431 *Apr 29, 2004Nov 4, 2004Curles Curtis ThomasBale bagging apparatus
US20050241275 *Apr 28, 2004Nov 3, 2005Irwin Jere FBag accumulating device, bag neck gathering machine, and method
EP0018204A1 *Apr 17, 1980Oct 29, 1980Canadian Bakers Equipment LimitedMachine for automatically applying bag closures
EP0018205A1 *Apr 17, 1980Oct 29, 1980Canadian Bakers Equipment LimitedApparatus for applying bag closures
WO1982003056A1 *Mar 9, 1982Sep 16, 1982Corp PinnaTabattachment device
WO2006050437A2Nov 2, 2005May 11, 2006Jere F IrwinApparatus and method for severing and loading bag fasteners
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/417, 53/138.3, 53/481
International ClassificationB65B51/04, B65B51/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B51/043
European ClassificationB65B51/04B