US 3168121 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 2, 1965 M. BARTHELEMY 3,168,121
APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING DOSES OF PULVERULENT MATERIAL Filed Jan. 22, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Inventor may Bari B I y Lewd w At o y Feb. 2, 1965 M. BARTHELEMY 3,
APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING DOSES OF PULVEIRULENT MATERIAL Filed Jan. 22, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 A fig \I Inventor Max Ban he. la m y Feb. 2, 1965 M. BARTHELEMY 3,
APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING DOSES 0F PULVERULENT MATERIAL Filed Jan. 22, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 I nvenlor I By M "W Attorneys Feb. 2, 1965 M. BARTHELEMY APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING DOSES OF PULVERULENT MATERIAL Filed Jan. 22, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 F0 h/ER S UPPLY M MJ MOTOR POWER sumy Max BdHAe/emy A Home y United States Patent 3,168,121 APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING DOSES 0F PULVERULENT MATERIAL Max Barthelemy, Deuil, France, assignor to Senate Parisienne dExpansion Chimique S.P.E.C.I.A., Paris, France, a French body corporate Filed Jan. 22, 1962, Ser. No. 167,742 Claims priority, application France Jan. 25, 1961 9 Claims. (Cl. 141-141) This invention is concerned with apparatus for dispensing doses of pulverulent material.
The expression pulverulent material is intended to include not only powder, but any product or mixture of fine grain size, even if it is of poor flowing properties or tends to stick or coagulate. Granules capable of flowing easily can of course also be treated by the apparatus of this invention.
It is already known to construct dosing and filling machines for pulverulent materials, those most frequently used nowadays being screw-type filling machines. The advantages and disadvantages of such machines are well known, the disadvantages comprising particularly wear and irregularities caused by the non-continuous method of operation and the clogging of material on the screw, the compacting of the powder and the small latitude allowed in varying the doses.
In another type of known machine, the product to be dosed is introduced into a groove which is gapped over a predetermined length for the purpose of determining the size of the dose. These machines are dependent on the compacting of the powder, and also they use complicated movements which makes them difiicult to operate.
Furthermore, all these machines use non-continuous movements, and therefore can only achieve relatively low working speeds.
It is an object of this invention to provide improved apparatus.
According to this invention, there is provided apparatus for dispensing doses of a pulverulent material, such apparatus comprising a body having therein a dosing compartment, the bottom of which is formed by a piston, means for filling such compartment with said material to a predetermined level with the piston in a lower position, means for thereafter moving the piston to an upper position to discharge the material from the compartment and means for moving the discharged material into an appropriate receptacle.
This invention also includes various subcombinations used in the apparatus according to this invention.
In order that this invention may more readily be understood, reference will now be made by Way of example to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of apparatus according to this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a part-sectional part-elevational view of the apparatus of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a vertical sectional view of part of a modification of the apparatus of FIGURES 1 and 2;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of the magazine of the machine of FIGURES l and 2 and illustrating a level sensing feeler blade;
FIGURE 5 is a vertical sectional view through a motor operated dispenser fitted in the neck of a container for supplying material from the container to the magazine of the apparatus of FIGURES 1 and 2; and
FIGURE 6 is a similar view of a second form of motor operated dispenser.
Referring to FIGURE 1, the apparatus there illustrated comprises a horizontal plate or disc 1 adapted to be continuously rotated about a vertical shaft 2 arranged axially of the disc. The disc 1 is provided with a plurality of cylindrical compartments 3 arranged in a circular row coaxially of the disc, each of the compartments 3 having a vertical axis. On the upper surface of the disc 1 there rest two concentric fixed rings 4 and 5 defining an annular magazine containing the material 6 which is to be dosed, this magazine being located eccentrically relatively to the disc in such a manner that the path of movement of each compartment as the disc rotates has a part of its length directly below the magazine and part of its length outside the bounds of the magazine.
Receptacles 7 to receive the material dosed are fed from externally of the disc by hand or by any appropriate mechanical device along a path of travel represented diagrammatically by the arrow 8 (FIGURE 1). These receptacles come into a position underneath the disc below chutes or funnels 9 in the disc, there being one chute or funnel 9 associated with each compartment and located at a position in the disc radially outwardly from such compartment. The receptacles 7 accompany the disc during the greater part of its rotational movement, and are then removed along a path of travel represented diagrammatically by the arrow 10 (FIGURE 1).
Each of the compartments 3 is closed at the bottom by a piston 11, the lowest level of which in the compartment determines the space to be filled and thus the dose and the raising of which displaces the material in the compartment onto the upper surface of the disc.
The pistons 11 slide freely in a guide system 13 fast with the plate or disc 1 and rest at their lower ends on a cam 14 which is adjustable by any appropriate means such as the gearing represented diagrammatically at 15.
U-shaped scrapers 16, one at the position of each of the compartments, are arranged closely over the upper surface of the plate or disc 1 so as to be slidable radially on the disc. These scrapers 16 effect the conveyance of the dosed material from the position of the compartment 3 to the funnel 9. They are urged against the surface of the disc 1 by leaf springs 17 fixed to a stirrup 18 guided by two rods 19 and are urged by springs 24) against the external ring 5 of the eccentric magazine.
The apparatus described operates in the following manner: As the disc is continuously rotated in the direction of the arrow 12 (FIGURE 1), a compartment 3 which is in the position indicated in the drawings as 3-1 has its piston substantially flush with the upper surface of the plate and in any case not projecting beyond it, and moves into the position indicated as 3-2 in which the entire cross-section of the compartment is below the region of the magazine. The piston associated with such compartment then commences to descend and by the time the compartment has reached the position indicated as position 33 the piston has reached its lowermost position. Material in the magazine enters into the compartment as the piston is descending. During further rotation of the disc when the compartment moves from the position indicated as 33 to the position indicated as 3-4, the piston re-ascends to a predetermined position in the compartment, this position determining the quantity of material in the compartment, i.e. the quantity to be dosed. Variation of the dosed quantity can be achieved by adjusting the cam controlling movement of the piston so that the position to which the piston re-ascends is adjusted. As the compartment moves from the position indicated as 3-4 to the position indicated as 35, when the compartment is completely outside the bounds of the magazine, the piston remains in said predetermined position in the compartment.
During this outward movement of the compartment relative to the magazine, the ring 5 forming the outer wall of the powder magazine levels the material in the 3 compartment flush with the disc 1 so that when the compartment moves outside the magazine the compartment carries only the quantity of material contained entirely within its bounds.
As the compartment moves from the position indicated as 3-5 to the position indicated as 36, the piston reascends under the action of the cam 14, without passing beyond the level of the upper surface of the disc 1, thereby discharging from the compartment the quantity of material to be transferred into the receptacle (in principle all of the powder contained in the compartment). The piston remains in this position as the compartment moves to the position 3-1 when the cycle is repeated.
The material discharged from the compartment is retained by the scraper 16 associated with the compartment. Since the scrapers rotate with the plate but are urged against the eccentric ring 5 of the magazine, they are given a relative radial movement across the upper side of the plate so that the powder which has been discharged by the movement of the piston in the compartment is moved along the surface of the disc 1 by the scraper as the compartment moves from position 3-6 through position 3-1 to position 3-2 at which time the material comrnences to fall into the funnel associated with the particular compartment, i.e, at the position of the funnel indicated as 9-1. The discharge of the material into the funnel continues as the disc rotates, this discharge being terminated in the position of the funnel indicated as 9-2. The contents of the funnel are emptied into the receptacle therebelow, aided if necessary by a rotary agitator not shown in the drawings. The emptying of the funnel must be concluded by the time this reaches the position 9-3 before the removal of the-receptacle.
The various subcombinations or constituent parts of the described apparatus may have the following advan-.
made of any appropriately selected'material according to the material to be dosed, the connection between sheath and plate being effected by any appropriate means, preferably in such a manner that the said sheaths can easily be removed.
What has been described as a funnel under which the receptacle to be filled is located may be replaced by any desired device adapted to discharge the material, provided that its form and portion can be adapted to that of the corresponding scraper.
The scrapers are of a shape and size adapted to the dimensions of the compartment, the emptying position for the material and the quantity of the material. Their dirnensions will be such that they contain the maximum quantity which may be measured by the compartments in the apparatus.
The scrapers may be driven by any means independent of or fast with the disc, ensuring their relative radial movement with respect to the disc, the form of drive described hereinabove being given merely by way of example. V
The annular magazine may be formed by two rings mounted with a sliding fit on the disc. They are advantageously urged against the disc by spring means.
The annular eccentric fixed magazine has considerable advantages and it may be used for any apparatus in which zine from a reserve of the material, e.g. by actuating a a vibrating duct.
it can have its external edge ground on to the disc and bevelled so that accurate levelling of the material in the compartment is obtained.
The apparatus described makes it possible, as compared with existing apparatus, to achieve much higher filling rates with perfect regularity, whilst particularly reducing wear, owing to the use of continuous movements.
The pistons may be constructed in any appropriate fashion, more particularly their upper surface will be advantageously plane. These pistons do not have to withstand anything more than very small forces and theymay therefore be very light in weight, which simplifies their construction and reduces the driving force necessary for the operation of the apparatus.
The portion of each piston which-contacts the material may be formed by a cap of a material suitable for the particular material being dosed.
A suction line constituted by the radial ducts 22 and the duct 23 formed axially of the apparatus (FIGURE 2) may be provided if necessary in order to remove any material which may fall from the compartment towards the piston rod.
The piston rods may be so constructed as to control various safety systems, more particularly in order to prevent emptying of a container if there is no receptacle in place to receive the materialin such container.
FIGURE 3 shows one possible'form of means for preventing emptying of a container under the circumstances.
As shown, the piston 11 slides in a sleeve 27. These two parts are easily detachable in order to permit interchanging them in accordance with the dose of powder to be dispensed. The piston 11 is fixed by a nut 28 to the upper portion of a slide 29 extended at its lower portion in the form of a rod Stlfixed to the sleeve 31 on which bears a wheel 32 rolling on the cam 14.
A spring 33 holds-the wheel 32 against the cam 14. A further spring 34 holds the rod 30 applied against the slide 29. If'the slide 29 is prevented from ascending, the spring 34 is compressed.
This is the case when a finger 35 is pushed towards the right as shown in FIGURE 3'and engaged in a groove 36 of the slide 29. A support 37 for a receptacle is pushed upwardly by a spring '38 hearing on a rod 39 which is fixed to a sleeve 40 applied against a cam 24 by a spring 41. The support 37 "has therein a groove 42 of such a height that if 'there is no receptacle on the support, the groove ascends higher than the finger 35, forcing the latter towards the right and into engagement with the groove 36 of the slide 29, preventing the latter from ascending and therefore preventing the material from being discharged from the compartment.
If a receptacle is in position, the finger 35 is situated opposite the groove 42 and the slope of the groove 36 urges it towards the left, and discharge from the compartment can then be effected.
Furthermore, the arrangement of the magazine permits the installation of vertical-axis agitators'therein and any device for guaranteeing a constant density and level for the powder situated therein, more particularly bythe use of a level sensing feeler controlling the supply of the maga- Owing to'thesedevices which separately or in combination constitute part of the invention, the compartments are filled uniformly in a particularly reliable fashion.
FIGURE 4 illustrates a particularly convenient feeler arrangement. As shown, such arrangement comprises a light blade 45 resting onthe upper surface of the material and carried by a lever 46 fixed on a pin 47 pivotable in a casing 48 within whichthe pin 47 carries an insulated elastic strip 49 which comes into contact with a fixed strip 50, these strips being connected to current input terminals 51; The'strip-type contact may, if required, be replaced by any other device, such as a mercury switch. These terminals are so connected as to bring into action or interrupt the operation of the means for supplying the material to the magazine.
FIGURES 5 and 6 show two examples of dispensers for supplying material to the magazine. It is known that materials with which apparatus according to this invention is used are often supplied in cans or containers of various forms. Instead of emptying these containers into a feed hopper for supplying the magazine, it may be advantageous, particularly in the case of sterile products, to use the container directly, without having to transfer the material to another container. One of the dispensers described with reference to FIGURES 5 and 6 may then be fixed in place of the stopper of the container and will be positioned so as to supply the magazine directly from the container which is simply supported in an inverted position.
FIGURE 5 shows a dispenser for a powder which does not flow easily or tends to coagulate. This dispenser is shown fixed on the container containing the material, in place of the stopper of the container. The dispenser comprises an agitator shaft 55 driven directly at a slow speed by an electric motor 56. This shaft is provided with rods 57 intended to break up the product and to make it flow over a slope 58 leading to an outlet from the dispenser. The motor 56 is, as shown, controlled by the contact of the feeler blade above described by connection of the terminals 51 in the motor power supply.
FIGURE 6 shows a similar dispenser, but this time for a powder having good flowing properties. The dispenser is in the form of a rotary distributor 60 comprising cornpartments 61 which are filled in one position in which they pass into the container and are emptied into an outlet from the dispenser in another position. This distributor is driven by an electric motor 62 at a slow speed and is controlled in a similar manner to motor 56 of FIGURE 5 by the contact of the feeler blade above described.
These dispensers are advantageous, particularly when dealing with powders having an antibiotic base.
The cam for controlling the movement of the pistons can be regulated in position in order to vary the doses. This regulation may advantageously be carried out even during operation by a single control of a conventional type. This arrangement makes it possible to vary the possible doses with one and the same apparatus to a much greater extent than with the other known types of pulverulent material handling machines.
By way of example, a closing and filling apparatus as described and provided with a disc 500 mm. in diameter carrying 18 dosing compartments, can easily reach a filling rate of 240 doses per minute. Its compartments designed for a maximum quantity of 5 g. of material (apparent density of material 0.5) make it possible to dispense, at the rate previously indicated, doses varying from 0.050 g. to 5 g. with an accuracy better than 2%.
The appropriate dimensioning of the apparatus in accordance with the desired quantities and the rates to be obtained will easily be determined by persons skilled in the art working on the basic information supplied herein.
1. Apparatus for dispensing doses of a pulverulent material, such apparatus comprising a disc having a horizontal upper surface and also having therein a plurality of dosing compartments opening at the said upper surface, means for rotating the said disc about a vertical axis, the compartments being arranged in a circular row about said axis, a plurality of pistons, one arranged slidably in each of the said compartments, means for moving each piston between upper and lower positions in the associated compartment, the piston in its upper position not projecting above the said upper surface of the disc, two concentric rings mounted fixedly closely above the upper surface of the disc eccentrically of said disc axis and defining between them an annular open bottomed magazine for the pulverulent material, the position of said rings being such that, as the said disc rotates, each compartment moves along a circular path which for part of its length extends directly below the said magazine and for the remainder of its length extends outside the said magazine, and means for moving the said pistons coordinated with the rotary movement of the disc so that, for each compartment, the piston therein moves to its lower position when the compartment is directly below the said magazine, whereby material in the magazine enters the compartment above said piston, and moves to its upper position when the compartment is outside of said magazine, whereby to discharge material in the compartment onto the upper surface of the disc.
2. The apparatus specified in claim 1, and comprising a plurality of discharge stations, one arranged radially outwardly of the disc from each of said compartments, a plurality of scrapers movable radially of the disc and mounted one adjacent to each compartment and means co-ordinating movement of the scrapers with the rotation of the disc, whereby each scraper moves, after material from its associated compartment has been discharged onto the upper surface of the disc, to sweep such material to the discharge station associated with such compartment.
3. The apparatus specified in claim 2, in which each of the said scrapers comprises a U-shaped element mount ed for rotation with the disc, but radially slidably thereon, and spring urged against one of said concentric rings, whereby the said one ring acts as a cam to move the scraper radially of the disc at the appropriate time.
4. The apparatus specified in claim 1, in which the said means for moving the pistons comprises a ring cam against which lower ends of the pistons bear.
5. The apparatus specified in claim 1 and comprising a plurality of discharge stations, one arranged radially outwardly of the disc from each of said compartments, means for moving to the appropriate discharge station material discharged from a compartment onto the upper surface of the disc, a plurality of receptacle supports, one arranged at each of said discharge stations, and means for preventing movement of a piston when no receptacle is located on the receptacle support arranged at the discharge station associated with that compartment in which such piston is arranged.
6. The apparatus specified in claim 1 and including a reserve of material and level sensing means arranged to control feed of material from said reserve into said magazine.
7. The apparatus specified in claim 6, in which said level sensing means comprises a feeler blade arranged over the said magazine for vertical movement, a first electrical contact carried by the feeler blade, a second and fixed electrical contact mounted adjacent the said first contact at a position to be engaged by the latter when the feeler blade is at a predetermined level in the magazine at which it is desired that material should be maintained, electrically operated feed means for supplying material to the magazine and a circuit connecting said electrically operated feed means with said contacts whereby engagement of the contacts causes operation of said feed means.
8. The apparatus specified in claim 1, and comprising a container of material above said magazine having a downwardly directed outlet, a body mounted in said outlet, such body having a discharge aperture therein communicating with the interior of the container, an electric motor mounted on said body, a shaft rotatable by said electric motor extending within said container, arms carried transversely of said shaft, a power supply connected to said electric motor and level responsive switch means in circuit with said power supply and motor operable to cause actuation of said motor when the level of material in the magazine falls below a predetermined value.
9. The apparatus specified in claim 1, and comprising a container of material above said magazine having a downwardly directed outlet, a body mounted in said outlet, such body having a discharge aperture therein, an
References Cited in the file of this patent the partonly of said distributor extending over said aper- 0' 2 31 767 ture.
UNITED STATES PATENTS Cluxton Feb. 26, 1861 Addis Jan. 20, 1914 Genat Dec. 15, 1925 Casey May 30, :1933 Hall Apr. 4, 1950 Nordquist Aug. 14, 1951 Banks Mar. 17, 1953