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Publication numberUS3182691 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 11, 1965
Filing dateOct 12, 1961
Priority dateOct 12, 1961
Publication numberUS 3182691 A, US 3182691A, US-A-3182691, US3182691 A, US3182691A
InventorsTrusselle William H, Vergobbi Robert W
Original AssigneePneumatic Scale Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container filling method and machine
US 3182691 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1965 R. w. VERGOBBI ETAL 3,182,691

CONTAINER FILLING METHOD AND MACHINE 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 12. 1961 W, .Mn m mo mom w jflm Mwwzm ZJM $4. EMM? May 11, 1965 R. w. VERGOBBI ETAL 3,182,591

CONTAINER FILLING METHOD AND MACHINE Filed Oct. 12. 1961 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN V EN TORS. 06614 BY lfax 7068/ M// 1/n Passe/ K 414 {021.14 GM 14 TIDE YE Y May 11, 1965 R. w. VERGOBBI ETAL 3,182,691

CONTAINER FILLING METHOD MACHINE Filed Oct. 12. 1961 7 Sheets-$heet 3 I76 @ZQMeAeM May 11, 1965 R. w. VERGOBBI ETAL CONTAINER FILLING METHOD AND MACHINE Filed Oct. 12. 1961 7 Sheets-Sheqt 4 IN V EN TORS.

May 11, 1965 R. w. VERGOBBI ETAL 3,132,691

CONTAINER FILLING METHOD AND MACHINE I Filed Oct. 12. 1 961 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 IN VEN TORS,

May 11, 1965 R. w. VERGOBBI ETAL CONTAINER FILLING METHOD AND MACHINE Sheets-Sheet 7 Filed Oct. 12. 1961 mm 0mm WW with .1 {f E n- W M Y m; w M M72 mV e fl Z w v.// 2% Y B United States Patent 3,1825% QONTAWER FILLING METHQD AND MACHiNE Robert W. Vergohhi, Quincy, Max Knohel, Boston, and Wiiliarn 1-1. 'Irusseiie, Braintree, Mass, assignors to Pneumatic Scale Corporation, Limited, Quincy, Mass, a corporation of Massachusetts Filed Get. 12, 1961, Ser. No. 14%623; '29 Claims. (Cl. 141-5) This invention relates to a container filling machine.

The invention has for an object to provide a novel and improved container filling machine of the gravity or pressure feed type wherein the mouth of the container is open to the atmosphere during the filling operation and which is characterized by novel and eificient structure enabling rapid and accurate filling performance.

The invention has for a further object to provide a novel and improved container filling machine of the character specified having novel filling mechanism and novel control means associated therewith responsive to the liquid when it reaches a predetermined filling level for discontinuing the flow of liquid into the container whereby to provide accurate and uniform filling heights in successive containers.

With these general objects in view and such others as may hereinafter appear, the invention consists in the container filling machine and in the various structures, arrangements and combinations of parts hereinafter described and particularly defined in the claims at the end of this specification.

In the drawings illustrating the preferred embodiment of the invention:

FIG. 1 is a vertical cross section of a container filling machine embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a detail view in front elevation showing two 1 filling head units in different positions of operation, some of the parts being shown in cross section.

FIG. 3 is a side elevation of a filling head unit, some of the parts being shown in cross section;

FIG. 4 is a cross section detail view of a filling head shown in its open or filling position;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 showing the filling head in its closed position;

FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic view of pneumatic control means to be referred to;

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional detail view taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the filling machine shown in FIG. 1.

In general the present invention contemplates a novel and improved liquid filling machine of the gravity or pressure feed type wherein the filling nozzleis introduced into the open mouth of the container without sealing engagement therewith. The present filling machine includes a filling head unit having a liquid control valve and novel control means responsive to the height of the liquid when it reaches a predetermined level in the container for closing the valve to discontinue the flow of liquid into the container in a manner such as to accurately control the filling level in successive containers.

In accordance with the present invention the control means includes provision for introducing air at a relatively low pressure, in the order of two inches of water pressure for example, into the container during the filling operation, such air being permitted to escape to the atmosphere through the mouth of the container, and when the filling level of the liquid being introduced into the container reaches a height such as to block the outlet of the low pressure air line a back pressure is created therein which is arranged to actuate pneumatically operated control means to close the liquid dispensing valve and discontinue the flow of liquid into the container.

Patented May 11 1965 ice The present control device wherein low pressure air is introduced into the open mouth of the container during the filling operation to provide a back pressure when the outlet of the air line is closed by the liquid reaching a predetermined filling level provides a positive and rapidly operating sensing device whereby accurate filling levels may be maintained in successive containers. The present filling machine may be used with advantage for filling any type of container, such as glass or metal containers, and is of particular advantage for filling plastic or other relatively non-rigid containers where a seal against the mouth of a container is difiicult to effect or where the pressure required to make such a seal, as in vacuum filling, would be prohibitive because the relatively non-rigid container would collapse or distort in a manner such as to break the seal or result in non-uniform filling heights. Also, in vacuum filling the filling height is determined relative to the top or mouth of the bottle so that if some containers in the same lot vary in height the quantity or volume of liquid delivered to the container will vary. The present gravity or pressure feed type of filler is arranged to determine the filling height relative to the bottom of the container so as to obtain substantially uniform volumes of liquid in successive containers regardless of variations in the height thereof.

Another advantage in the use of the present liquid filling machine is that the flow of liquid is cut off when the liquid reaches a predetermined level so that there is no overflow or surplus liquid to be returned to the supply. This feature is of particular advantage with certain products which may deteriorate in quality when subjected to recirculation so that they cannot be returned to the supply without reprocessing.

Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, in general the present invention is illustrated as embodied in a rotary bottle filling machine of the type illustrated and described in the United States patent to A. C. Everett, No. 2,136,421, issued November 15, 1938, wherein a plurality of elevating platforms 12 are mounted to move in a circular path and to which successive bottles 14 to be filled are transferred by a transfer spider 13 from an intake conveyor 15. During continuous rotation in a circular path the platforms 12 are arranged to be elevated to present the bottles in operative relation to their respective filling heads indicated generally at 16, the filling nozzles 18 thereof extending into the mouths of the bottles as shown. Upon completion of the filling operation the elevating platforms 12 are again lowered to a transfer level, and the filled bottles are transferred by a discharge spider 19 onto a discharge conveyor 21 to be delivered from the machine.

As further illustrated in FIG. 1, each elevating platform 12 is secured to a head bracket 20 having a depending skirt portion and is mounted on the upper end of a vertical rod 22, square in cross section for a portion of its length, and slidably received in a bearing member 24 secured in the upper end of a tubular member 26 over which the skirt portion is slidably mounted. The tubular member 26 is supported intermediate its ends in a rotatable conically shaped supporting member 28 as shown. The lower end of the rod 22 is cylindrical in cross section and is provided with a slide bearing 33 having a lateral extension operating in a slot in the tubular member 26 and which carries a cam roll 32 arranged to cooperate with the upper edge of a stationary cam 34 supported from the base 38 of the machine. The rotatable supporting member 28 is provided at its lower end with a large diameter ring gear 40 in mesh with a drive pinion 42 mounted on the output shaft of a speed reducer forming a part of the motor drive indicated generally in dotted lines at 44. The upper end of the cone is provided with an opening in which a ro- .FIG. 4.

tatable sleeve :6 is slidably received, the lower end of the sleeve being supported for rotation .and for vertical slid-ing movement in a stationary sleeve bracket 48. The sleeve bracket 48 is secured to the upper end of a ring bracket 64- supported from the base 33. The ring bracket 64 is provided with rollers 65 for cooperation with an annular bearing element 66 carried by the rotatable supporting member 23 for supporting the weight thereof during rotation. The central sleeve 46 is secured at its upper end to a rotary supporting disk t), and the latter is supported for rotation with the supporting member 28 by vertically extended tie rod units 63. The tie rod units as may 'beadjusted vertically through mechanism including chain and sprocket connections 69, bevel gears '70 and hand wheel 72 so as to enable adjustment of the height of the supporting disk 58) relative to the elevating platforms 12 for different heights of bottles. It will be observed that the central sleeve 46 carried by the supporting disk 50 may slide in the stationary bearing member 48 and through the central opening in the rotatable member 23 during such adjustment.

The filling head units 16 are carried by and rotatable with the rotary supporting disk 5%), and each filling head unit has associated therewith a. pneumatic control unit indicated generally at 52 supported above its filling head. Each control unit 52 is enclosed in a housing 54, and the housings are supported upon an annular plate 56 carried by vertical tie rods 53 extended from the rotary supporting disk 59 as shown. Each control unit 52 ineludes a pneumatically operated cylinder 60 having a piston 62 arranged to-cooperate with its filling head uni-t 16 to control the flow of liquid into the bottle.

The filling head units 16 are arranged in circumferentially spaced relation and in vertical alignment with their respective elevating platforms 12 and the bottles 14 carried thereby and, as shown in detail in FIGS. 4 and 5,-each filling head-unit 16 comprises a hollow cylindrical nozzle block 80 providing a chamber 82 having an inlet 84. A nipple 86 connects the chamber inlet with a liquid supply conduit 88 having an O-ring seal connection 39, and each hollow nozzle block 86 is supported by an individual bracket 9b which is secured to the rotary supporting disk 59. The lower end'of the nozzle-block 80 is provided witha hollow nozzle carrying portion 92 threadedly secured thereto and sealed by an O-ring 94, the hollow portion as providing a chamber 96 in communication with the chamber 82. The lower end'of the portion 92 is tapered downwardly, as shown, and the nozzle 18, which may be elongated and tubular, is fitted into a bore in the lower end of the portion 92. The upper end of the nozzle block 30 is provided with an adapter 98 threadedly secured thereto and sealed by an O-ring 100. The adapter 98 forms a bearing for the stem 1&2 of a vertically movable liquid control valve 104. The valve 1% comprises an enlarged diameter portion 166 of the stem and is provided with an O-ring 108 engaged in a peripheral groove formed in the enlarged portion. The valve 164 is freely movable in the chamber 96 and is shown in its open position in In operation, when the valve is moved upwardly the enlarged diameter portion 1% and the O-ring enter into sealing engagement with the walls of the chamber 82 to cut off the flow of liquid into the nozzle as shown in FIG. 5. The enlarged diameter portion 106 is also provided with a shoulder 110 which engages with a lower surface of the nozzle block 8% when the valve is closed to limit the upward movement of the same. A relatively heavy coil pring 112 interposed between the upper surface of the nozzle block and a collar 114 carried by the upper portion of the stem 1&2 is arranged to urge the valve 164 upwardly into its closed position. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the collar 114 is retained on the stem 162 by a snap ring 116.

The lower end of the valve 1% is tapered downwardly and is provided with a relatively small diameter tubular 4.- extension or air nozzle 118 carried by an adapter 12% threadedly secured and sealed to the lower end of the valve 1%. The upper end of the air nozzle 118 communicates with a central passageway 122 formed in the valve stem 102, and the upper end of the passageway 122 is connected through a side wall opening to a flexible low pressure air line 24 by a nipple 126 as shown. The other end of the low pressure air line 124 is connected to a pipe T 125, see FIG. 3, having communi cation with the pneumatic control unit 52, the T 125 being also connected by a low pressure air supply pipe 27 as shown. The lower end of the air nozzle 118 is open to the atmosphere providing an outlet 129. As illustrated, the small diameter air nozzle 118 extends into the liquid nozzle 18 providing an annular space therebetween and has secured to its lower end an upstanding tubular portion 128 closed at its lower end except for the outlet 129 and which comprises a liquid nozzle valve of a diameter such as to be telescopically fitted into the lower end of the liquid nozzle 18. The tubular portion 128 is provided with a plurality ofliquid escape openings 130 in the wall thereof. In operation when the control valve 104 is moved downwardlyto its open position, as shown in FIG. 4, the tubular portion 128 is telescopically extended from the lower end of the nozzle 18 to expose the openings and permit the liquid to flow into the container. Conversely, when the valve 104 is moved upwardly to its closed position, as shown in FIG. 5, the tubular portion 123 will be drawn upwardly within the nozzle 18 to close the liquid escape openings 13% and thus terminate the flow into the container. It will be observed that there-is no communication in the filling head between the liquid nozzle 18 and the outlet 129 of the low pressure air nozzle 118. In operation any liquid remaining in the filling head and nozzle 13 between the valve 1% and the valve 128 is suspended therein until the next filling cycle. It will also be observed that the action of the valve 104 in cutting off the flow of liquid is such as to create a suction in the nozzle 18 when the O-ring sealing member 1428 is drawn upwardly into engagement with the walls of the chamber 32 to assist in retaining the liquid in the nozzle in suspension.

The liquid supply conduit 88, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 8, is radially extended from a central liquid distributing manifold 132 from which similar conduits 88 extend to each filling head unit. The liquid distributing manifold 132 is mounted on and rotatable with the rotary supporting disk 50 on which the fiilling head units 16 are mounted. A central depending pipe 134 connected to and in communication with the liquid manifold chamber is telescopically and rotatably received in a central stationary upstanding pipe 136, the upper end of the pipe 136 being provided with a suitable packing bearing 138 in sealing engagement with the outer surface of the depending pipe 134- to permit vertical adjustment of the supporting disk 50. The lower end of the central stationary pipe 13a is connected to the upper end of a hollow adapter 140 secured in the base member 38 adjacent the lower end of the machine. The adapter 140 extends through the base member, and a supply pipe 144 connected to a side opening of the adapter extends horizontally and then upwardly to a supply tank 14 6 supported in a raised position by a bracket 142 attached to a post 147. The post 14 7 is supported by a bracket 14% attached to the base 38 of the machine. In operation the liquid may flow from the tank by gravity to the distritbuting manifold and to the various filling heads or the supply tank may be pressurized, if desired, to effect a faster delivery of the liquid to the filling heads and into the bottles.

In operation a continuous line of containers, such as bottles 14, on the intake conveyer 15 are transferred onto successive elevating platforms 12 by the transfer spider 13. During the continuous movement of the platform in a rotary path it is elevated to present the bottle into operative filling position with its nozle 18 extended into the which may be clamped to the nozzle block dyby clamp brackets 81 which are adjustably secured to the bracket 90 by bolts 91 as shown. As'the bottle moves upwardly the rods 158 slide, upwardly in their bearings, and when the platforms are subsequently lowered the nozzle guide and its slide rods moves downwardlyby gravity. The upper ends of the rods are provided'jwith collars 162 which engage the upper surfaces of their bearing members 161) to limit the downward movement thereof. Provision is made for preventing operation of the pneumatic control unit 52 in the event that no bottle is present 'on the'platform 12 when itis elevated so as to prevent opening of the liquid control valve 104 at such time. For this purpose the pneumatic control unit is provided with a high pressure air circuit having an air escape orifice 164 formed in a block 166 mounted in theannular plate 56. In operation, when thebottle is elevated to engage the tion relative to the filling nozzle 18, provision is made nozzle guide and to be moved into operative filling posifor closing the air escape orifice to'render'operative the normally inoperative pneumatic control unit 52.

' As herein shown, one of the slide rods 158 carries at its upper end an upwardly spring pressed pin 162 which extends beyond the upper end of its rod and is provided at its tip with a resilientjsealing member 17111 1 The sealing member 170 is arranged to cooperate with the air escape orifice 164 when the bottle is elevated into'filling positionto cut off the escape of air therefrom so as to render thelcontrol unit operative. However, when no bottle is present the nozzle guide will not be elevated, and the orifice 164 will remain open to prevent initiation of a filling cycle. In operation when the orifice 164 is sealed the control unit 52 is arranged to permit high prescure air to fiow to the cylinder 60 to vforce its piston 62 outwardly into engagement with the upper end of the valve stern .102 to open the control valve 104 and initiate the filling operation.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 6, in general the pneumatically operated control unit 52 includes a trip valve 172 arranged tobe momentarily actuated to operate the control ,means when a bottle is in position to be filled; a shuttle type valve 174 arranged to be shifted upon operation of thetrip valve 172 to'permit the flow of high pressure air to cylinder 60' to effect opening of the liquid control valve 194 and initiation of the filling operation; a high pressure air line indicated generally at 176 connected to the shuttle valve 1'74; and a diaphragm valve 1'7 8 arranged to be actuated by the back pressure in the low pressure air line 124 when the liquid in the bottle reaches a height such as to block the outlet 129 of the low pressure air line whereby to effect shifting of the shuttle valve 174 to discontinue the flow of liquid into the bottle.

The shuttle valve 174, as illustrated in cross'section in FIG. 6, may comprise a commercially available four-way valve, used in the present air circuit as a three-way valve with one outlet port plugged, as indicated at 180. A .slide valve 182 having a recessed passageway therein and a the stem 192 is spring pressed upwardly'to press the the port 188 leading to the plugged outlet 180 is opento' at all times through a clearance opening about the stem slide valve 182 into airtight contact withthe upper surface of the pressure chamber 184.;

As seen in FIG. 7, air at high pressure, in the order of,

40 to 50-p'.s.i., is admitted to the pressure chamber 184 from the high pressure air line 176 through an inlet 1% and passageway 20%. As shown in FIG. 3, theinlet is connected by the air line 176 to an adapter 204 comprising a three-way manifold having a threaded extension passing through a wall 205 of the housing 54 and secured, thereto by a nut 206. In the illustrated embodiment of the invention each adapter 204 is in communication with a curved pipe 2%, as shown in FIG. 8, supplyingair to adjacent control units, and the curved pipe 268 is connected by radially extending pipes 212 to a central high pressure air distributing manifold 214 supported above the liquid manifold as shown in FiGS. 1 and 8. A central upstanding flanged pipe 216 in communication with the air distributing manifold 214 is connected by a fitting 218 permitting rotation of the pipe 216 withits manifold, and

a stationarysupply pipe 2-20 extended laterally from the fitting 218 may be connected to a regulated source of high presseure' air. As indicated in FIG. 8, the pipe 220 may be secured to the support 147 to prcventrotation thereof, the 'connection to the support being adapted to 2 disk 50 is adjusted.

permit vertical movement of the pipe when'the supporting Returning now to FIG. 6, when the slide valve 182 is moved to the right is uncovers port 1% to the pressure chamber 184, the port lfih being connected by a pas-' sageway'224 to an L fitting 226 and flexible pipe 228 leading t-othe upper end of the cylinder 60. Thus, in

this position the high pressure air in the chamber 184 passes through port 190 to operate the cylinder and open the liquid control valve 194. At this time .the plugged port 186 is connected through port 188 and the slide valve 182 with port 186 which leads to an exhaust opening 230 as shown in FIG. 7. The piston 6201? the cylinder 66 is spring pressed upwardly so that when the slide valve 182 is moved to the left, as shown, to connect ports 190, 186 the air in the cylinder 60 may escape through the port 190 to the exhaust'open'ing so that the piston 62 may bespring returned. Simultaneously therewith, the coil spring 112 associated with the valve stem 162 effects closing of the liquid control valve 104 to discontinue the filling operation. fromthe pressure in the chamber 184 at this time, and

the pressure in the chamber184 but does not perform any function.

The cylinder chamber 196 in which the piston 194 is moved is open to the high pressure air in chamber 184 192 and through a central opening 232 in the piston providing an equal pressure at both ends of the piston. In order to shiftthe piston in the chamber the pressure on one or the other side thereof is arranged to be reduced, as by bleeding air from the side toward which the piston is to be moved. f The ends of the chamber 196 are connected in the circuit in a manner such as to permit bleeding of air from the right hand side of the chamber to initiate the filling operation and to permit bleeding of air from the left hand side of the chamber to discontinue the filling operation. As herein shown, the right-hand side of the chamber 196 is provided with a nipple 234 which is connected by a curved pipe 236 to a normally closed bleed valve 238 supported in the upper leg of a U-shaped bracket 241 secured to the Wall 205 of the housing 54.

of the chamber. 196 bya circuit including a pipe 248 The port 1% is cut ofi '5. leading from the adapter 264 to the trip valve 172. The trip valve 172 is supported in the wall 249 of the housing 54 and is provided with an operating arm which carries a roller 256 arranged to be engaged by a relatively stationary cam piece 252 during rotation of the filling head and control unit through a circular path. The air is normally blocked at the valve 172 until the valve is momentarily tripped by the cam piece 252 at which time the air is permitted to pass through pipe 253 to the block 166 provided with the air escape orifice 164. When the orifice is closed by the sealing member 176 upon elevation of a bottle into sealing position, as described, the air may pass from the block 166 through pipe 254 to a fitting 256 also supported in the wall 249 of the housing and then through a pipe 256 to the lower end of the cylinder 246. Thus, in operation, when a bottle is in filling position so as to effect closing of the orifice 164, momentary opening of the trip valve 172 wiil permit a surge of air topass to the cylinder 246 to effect bleeding of air from the right hand side of chamber 196, thus efiecting movement of the piston 124 and slide valve 182 to the right to open the port 190 to the high pressure air whereby to efiect opening of the liquid control ,valve 164 to initiate the filling operation as described. However, if no bottle is present on the platform 12 the orifice 164 will remain open so that when the valve 172 is tripped no air will pass to the cylinder 246, and the slide valve 182 will not be shifted.

As illustrated in detail in FIG. 6, the passageway 264D defining the orifice 164 terminates in a slightly reduced diameter portion 262, and a relatively small diameter tube 264 extended into the reduced diameter portion 262 and terminating short of the end of the orifice forms the passageway for the air under pressure leading to the pipe 254 and the lower end of the cylinder 246 when the orifice'is sealed. In operation, when the orifice is open, air at high pressure passing around the end of the small tube 264 provides an aspirator effect to draw air out of the small tube and the connecting pipes to the lower ,end of the cylinder 246. This expedient prevents any pressure buildup in the block 166 such as might inadvertently cause operation of the. bleed valve 238 and thus assures that the bleed valve 238 will not be operated unless the orifice is sealed. When the orifice is sealed the air under pressure will pass upwardly'through the small tube 264 and the connecting pipes to the cylinder 246 to effect bleeding of the right hand side of the chamber 1196 and shifting of the slide valve 182 to initiate the filling operation. as described.

In the illustrated embodiment of. the invention the relatively stationary cam piece 252 for momentarily opening the trip valve 172 to supply a surge of air to the block 166 is preferably mounted to move radially into and out of the path of the roller 256 in timed relation to the passage of successive control units 52 during their movement in a circular path. Thus, in the event the machine comes to rest in a position such as to present the roller 250 in engagement with the cam piece to start a filling operation, the cam piece would be retracted to permit operation of the control unit 52 when a predetermined filling level is reached to discontinue the filling operation. It will be understood that bleeding of air from both sides of the chamber 196 at once would have no effect in moving the piston 194. Thus, the provision of the retractable cam piece 252 serves to prevent simultaneous bleeding of air from both sides of the chamber. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 8, the cam piece 252 is carried by the armature 266 of a solenoid 268 supported in an angle bracket 276 adjustably secured to a bracket 272; The bracket 272 is supported at the upper end of a post 274- which is supported at its lower end in a bracket 276 attached to the machine frame. In operation the solenoid 268 may be energized periodically by a cam operated switch, not shown, to extend the cam piece 252 into the path of the roller 256 in timed relation to the rotation of the control units 52.

From the description thus far, it will be seen that during the continuous rotation of the filling head units and their control units in a circular path, the valves 172 are successively tripped to initiate the filling operations as described. It will also be seen that during the filling operation air'at low pressure, in the order of two inches of water pressure, is continuously being discharged through the outlet 129 of the low pressure air nozzle 113 into the bottle and through the open mouth of the bottle around the filling nozzle 18 to the atmosphere. It will be understood that the air displaced by the liquid entering the bottle will also pass through the open mouth of the bottle. When the liquid in the bottle reaches the end of the air nozzle 113 to block the escape of air therefrom, as shown in FIG. 4, provision is made for automatically bleeding the air'from the left hand side of the chamber 196 to close off the port 190 from the high pressure air in chamber 184 and to connect the port 196 with the exhaust with the exhaust port 186 to effect evacuation of the cylinder 69 and spring return of the piston 62. As a result the liquid control valve 104 is permitted to be spring returned to its closed position to discontinue the filling-operation. As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 6, the left hand bleed valve 280 is supported in the lower leg of a U-shaped bracket 282 and is connected to the left hand end of the chamber 196 by a pipe 284 and nipple 286. The U-shaped bracket 282 is at'tached'to the wall 249 of the housing 54, and the upper leg thereof supports an air cylinder 288 having a piston 2% for cooperation with the stem 292 to the bleed valve 286. The piston 29% is spring urged upwardly in a retracted position and is .arranged to be extended to effect opening of the bleed valve 280 by a momentary surge of high pressure air to the upper end of the cylinder 288 from a pipe 294. The other end of the pipe, 224 is connected to an aspirator uni-t, indicated generally at 296, which is provided with an outlet 297 open to the atmosphere. The aspirat-or unit 296 is arranged to cooperate with a flexible diaphragm 298 forming a part of the diaphragm valve unit 178.

The flexible diaphragm 298 is supported between an outer plate 300 and an inner plate 302 attached to the housing wall 265 and having a portion extended through an opening in the wall. The inner plate 302 is provided with air escape opening-s 363. The aspirator unit 296 includes an elongated hollow stem 304 extended into a nipple 306 threadedly engaged with and adjustably supported in a hub portion of the inner plate 302. The nipple may be locked in its adjusted position by a lock nut 368. The hollow stem 304 is reduced in diameter within the nipple 306 providing an annular space therebetween to which high pressure air is supplied by a pipe 309 connected to the three-way manifold 264. The outlet end of the nipple 306 is reduced in diameter and is provided with an inner tubular sleeve 310 defining the outlet 237. The sleeve 310 extends a short distance beyond the end of the nipple 306 for cooperation with the flexible diaphragm 298 as shown. The inner end of the hollow stem 364 is further provided with a small diameter central tube 312 extending part way into the outlet sleeve In operation the flexible diaphragm 2% is normally spaced from the outlet 297 so that the high pressure air may escape through the annular space, around the end of the tube 312, and through the outlet 297. The air passing through the outlet 297 may escape through the openings 363 in the inner plate 362 to the atmosphere. The passage of air around the central tube 312'to the atmosphere has an aspirator eiTect to draw air out of the tube and the connecting pipes to the upper end of the cylinder 288 and produces a vacuum or reduced pressure in the connecting pipes. Thus, any pressure build-up in the *aspirator unit 296, such as might cause inadvertent operation of the bleed valve 280, is prevented so as to assure that the bleed valve will not be operated until the outlet 297 iscloscd by movement of tliediaphragm 29S. When 7 the outlet 237 is sealed by the diaphragm the air under a pressure will pass into the central tube 312 and to the cylinder 288 to effect opening of the bleed valve 280 and movement of the slide valve 182 to the left to discontinue .the flow of liquid into the bottle as described.

In'practice all of the control units are preset so as to provide a uniform gap between the outlet 297 and the diaphragm 298 for uniform operation. It will be evident that the flexible diaphragm 293 will be moved to the left to close the outlet 297 by'a build-up of low pressure air behind the diaphragm when the low pressure outlet 129 is blocked by the liquid upon reaching the end of the low pressure nozzle 118. It will be observed that the rear face of the diaphragm 298 is provided with a metal disk 299 having a plurality of raised portions which bear against the inner face ofthe outer plate Stldfor the purpose of providing clearance to freely admit air to the chamber, at the rear of the diaphragm. I I

The low pressure air line 124 connected to the pipe T 125 is carried by the outer plate 300' of the diaphragm unit 178 and is in communication with the rear face of the diaphragm 298 as shownin FIG. 6. Thelow pressure airsupply pipe 127 also connected to the pipe T 125 is radially extendedand connected to a central low pressure air manifold 3'18 disposed intermediate the high pressure air manifold 214 and the liquiddistributin-g manifold 132 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 8. Similar radially extending pipes 127 are extended from the low air pressure manifold 6 18 toadjacent controlunits 52. Low pressure air, in

; the order of two inches of water pressure, is supplied to the manifold 3 18 by a pipe 320 extended from the outlet I J provided with an aspirator structure indicated generally at 33 3; and which includes a relatively small central tube '334 supported in a sleeve portion:335 at the upper end of the T and through which the low pressure air must pass into the air line 124. The central tube 334 passes the amount deposited during the relatively short time control valve 1124 is closed the nozzle valve 123 carried by theair nozzle 118; and which is provided with the liquid escape openings 139, is simultaneously closed: by retraction of the nozzle valve into the liquid nozzle 18 to discontinue the flow of liquidout of the nozzle 18; hits retracted position, the end of the air nozzle 118 is substantially flush with the end of the liquid nozzle 18 which is disposed a substantial distance above the filling level of the liquid in the bottle as shown in FIG. 5. It will also be understood that the low pressure air is continuously being blown out of theoutlet129 so that any liquid-which may have collected on the end of the air nozzle in its extended position is blown out to clear the nozzle. Also, since the air nozzle is retracted to a position above the filling level of the liquid, the continuously escaping air will not effect any disturbance of the liquid in the filled bottle.

It will be understood that the elevating platforms 12 have a fixed stroke so that'preliminary adjustment of the extent of the filling nozzles 18 into the mouths of the bottles in their elevated positions to set thefilling height is effected by vertical adjustment of the rotary supporting disk 50 which carries the filling units. opening and closing of the liquid control valves 164 of successive filling heads may be achieved by adjustment of the stroke of the spring pressed piston 62 operating in the alignment of adjacent filling heads during assembly to provide uniform opening and closing operation of successive filling heads, or to change the stroke of the piston 62 to compensate for any variation in filling height between adjacentheads.

In operation, after the bottle'has been filled and the liquid control valve-104 has been automatically closed in response to the height of the liquid in the bottle, the elevator platform 12 is lowered away from the filling nozzle. In the event of a failure of a bottle to receive sufiibeyond the center line of the Tand terminates within the upper end of a sleeve portion 336 at the lower end of .the T. This structure provides an aspirator'elfectso that no pressure build-up behind the diaphragm will be effected 7 until the outlet 129 of the air nozzle 118 is blocked by the liquid as described. It will be understood that when the liquid level in the bottle reaches the outlet 129 the back pressure-in the low pressure airline effects substantially immediate and relativelyrapid operationof the control means to effect closing of the liquid supply valve 104 and the associated liquid nozzle valve 128. However, during the relatively short time between closing of the outlet 129* and response of the control unit 52 to effect closing of the valve 164 liquid is still being discharged into the bottle. Since the spacing of the. aspirator outlet 297 from the diaphragm 298 of each control unit is adjusted to provide uniformresponse of successive control units it was found, in practice, that theamount of liquid discharged into the bottle during the time elapsed between closing of the outlet 129 andresponse of the control unit is remarkably consistent 'in volume.- Asa result, the actual filling height of the liquid in the bottle may be accurately predetermined by including such amount in the total volume desired so that the total volume will comprise the amount of liquid decient liquid-to reach the low pressure air outlet 12% during its continuous movement in a circular path or in the event of failure of the low pressure air supply so that there will be no" pressure build-up to effect automatic closing ofthe liquid control valve 104, provision is made for assuring operation of the control means to effect closing of the'valve 104 at a point in the cycle of movement of the, bottle Where it would normally be closed so as to prevent spilling of the liquid from the filling head. For this purpose the pipe 284 leading from the left hand bleed valve 280 to the left hand end of therchamber 196 of the shuttle valve 174 is provided with a safety trip valve 338. The valve 338 is mounted in the Wall 249 of the control housing and is provided with an operating arm carrying a roller 340 which is arranged to be engaged by a stationary cam piece 342. The valve 338 is normally closed, and

no further function is performed by opening the safety valve 338. However, in the event that the liquid control valve 104 has not been closed at this time, opening of the safety valve will effect positive operation of the shuttle valve to effect such closing. As illustrated in FIG. 1,

' the stationary cam piece 342 is mounted at one end of a Uniformity. of 1 is secured in a bracket 35d attached to the base 38 of the machine. a

From the above description it will be seen that the present filling machine provides a novel filling head unit including novel pneumatic control means associated therewith and which is responsive to the height of the liquid when it reaches a predetermined filling level to discontinue the filling operation. It will also be observed that the present invention is characterized by the continuous discharge of air at a predetermined low pressure into the bottle through an outlet arranged to be blocked by the liquid when it reaches a predetermined filling height to provide a positive back pressure for actuating the control means in a rapid, positive and efficient manner whereby to obtain uniform filling heights in successive bottles.

The invention has been illustrated herein as embodied in a continuously rotating multiple head automatic filling machine. However, it will be apparent that the present filling head unit and pneumatic control means may be used with advantage in a single head filler or in a multiple head straight line machine which may be of the automatic semiautomatic type.

While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been herein illustrated and described, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied in other forms within the scope of the following claims.

'air conducting means, and control means responsive to said sensing means for operating said valve to discontinue the flow of liquid into the container, said air conducting means comprising a tube extending below said .nozzle outlet during the filling operation and movable simultaneously with theoperation of said valve to present the end of the tube above said liquid level.

2. In a container filling machine, in combination, a filling head having a liquid supply inlet and a nozzle outlet extended into the open mouth of a container to be filled, a liquid control valve in said filling head, air

conducting means terminating in an outlet at a predetermined level within the container, said air conducting means being arranged to discharge air continuously at a relatively low pressure into the container, said outlet being blocked by the liquid when it reaches said predetermined level to create a back pressure in the air conducting means, and control means responsive to said back pressure for operating said valve to discontinue the fiowof liquid into the container, said air conducting means comprising a tube extending a substantial distance below said nozzle outlet during the filling operation and movable with said valve to present the end of the tube to a position substantially flush with said nozzle outlet and above the liquid level when the liquid reaches said predetermined level.

3. The combination as defined in claim 2 wherein the 'air discharged into the container together with the air displaced by the liquid during the filling operation may escape through the open mouth of the bottle.

4. The combination as defined in claim 2 wherein the control means is pneumatically operated, and which includes a diaphragm valve associated with said air conducting means and operated by said back pressure for actuating said pneumatically operated control means to efiect closing of the liquid control valve and lifting of said air tube when said predetermined level is reached.

5. In a container filling machine, in combination, a filling head having a liquid supply inlet and an outlet nozzle extended into the open mouth of a container to be filled, a liquid control valve in said filling head, air

- conducting means comprising a tube terminating in an outlet at a predetermined level within the container and extending a substantial distance below the end of said outlet nozzle during the filling operation, said air conducting means being arranged to discharge air continuously at a relatively low pressure into the container, said low pressure outlet being blocked by the liquid when it reaches said predetermined level to create a back pressure in the air conducting means, and pneumatically operated control means responsive to said back pressure for operating said valve to discontinue the flow of liquid into the container, said air tube being movable to a position to present the air outlet at a position above the liquid level and substantially flush with the end of said outlet nozzle when said predetermined liquid level is reached, said pneumatically operated control means including a high pressure air circuit having an outlet through which air may escape to'the atmosphere during the filling operation, and a diaphragm valve associated with said 'low pressure air conducting means, and arranged to be operated by said back pressure to close said high pressure outlet whereby to render the control means operative to efiect closing of the valve when the liquid reaches said predetermined level.

6. The combination as defined in claim 5 wherein said high pressure outlet is provided with an aspirator to prevent a build-up of pressure in the circuit until the diaphragm is operated to close said outlet.

7. The combination as defined in claim 5' wherein the low pressure air conducting means is provided with an aspirator adjacent said diaphragm valve whereby to prevent a build-up of pressure in said air conducting means until said low pressure outlet is blocked by the liquid.

8. The combination as defined in claim 5 wherein the liquid control valve is vertically movable in the filling head and is spring pressed into its closed position, and wherein the pneumatically operated control means includes an air cylinder in said circuit having a piston arranged to depress said liquid control valve to open the same.

9. The combination as defined in claimS wherein the liquid control valve is vertically movable in the filling head and is spring pressed into its closed position, and wherein the pneumatically operated control means includes an air cylinder in said circuit having a piston arranged to depress said liquid control valve to open the same, said air circuit also including a trip valve arranged to be momentarily opened to actuate the control means to initiate the filling operation.

10. The combination as defined in claim 9 wherein the trip valve is actuated by a solenoid operated member movable periodically into and out of tripping relation to said valve to effect momentary actuation there of for initiating the filling operation, said solenoid operated member being immediately retracted to permit operation of the air circuit to discontinue the filling operation where said predetermined filling level is reached.

. 11. The combination as defined in claim 9v wherein the air circuit includes a shuttle valve associated with said air cylinder and arranged to be shifted in one direction when the trip valve is momentarily actuated to permit air to flow to said cylinder to initiate the filling operation, said shuttle valve being arranged to be shifted in -the opposite direction when the high pressure outlet is vent a build-up'of pressure in theair circuit when no container is present.

14. A container filling machine as defined in claim 11 which operates in cycles, and wherein a safety trip ,valve is provided in said air circuit arranged to effect shifting of said shuttle valve to discontinue the filling operation at a predetermined time in the machine cycle in the event that the liquid fails to reach a level in the container such as to block saidlow pressure outlet to elfect said shifting prior to such predetermined time.

15. The combination-asdefined in claim 11 wherein the shuttle, valve is provided with a-piston movable in a cylinder chamberhaving equal pressure onboth sides thereof, means actuated by operation of said trip valve for bleeding air from one side of said chamber to etfect movement of the shuttle valve in one direction to initiate the filling'operation, and similar means actuated by closing of said high pressure air outlet by said diaphragm valve for bleedingair fromjthe other side of the chamber to effect movement 'ofithe shuttle valve in the opposite direction to discontinue the filling operation. g

.16. In a container filling machine, in combination, a filling head having a liquid supply inlet and an outlet nozzle extended into the open mouth of the container to be filled, a vertically movable liquidycontrol valve mounted in said filling head, air conducting means including an air nozzle carried by and movable with said liquid con'trolvalve and extended through the center of saidiliquid nozzle, said air nozzle terminating in an outlet disposedbeyond theend of the liquid nozzle and at'a predetermined level within the containerwhenithe valve is open, said air conducting means being'arranged to discharge. air continuously at a relatively lowapressure into'the container, said outlet being blocked by the liquid when it reaches said predetermined level to create a back pressure in said air conducting means, and control means responsive to said back pressure for simultaneously moving said liquid control valve and said air nozzle upwardly to close the valve and discontinue'the' flow of liquid into the container.

, .17. The combination as defined in claim '16 wherein the vertically movable liquidcontrol valve is provided with astem portion and said airconducting means includes a passageway through said's tem portion in communication with said central airnozzle.

18.'Thecombination as defined in claim 16 wherein the outlet end of the central verticallymovable air nozzle 7 is provided with: an upstanding tubular portion surrounding the same and telescopically movable in the end of the liquid nozzle, said tubular. portion defining an I annular space in communicatiorrwith the liquid and having a plurality ofliquid escape openings through which the liquid flows from the nozzle into the container when .the valve is open, said openings being closed by the nozzle walls when the tubular portion is moved upwardly into said liquid nozzle. v I

19. The combination as defined in claim 18 wherein the liquid escaping from the nozzle after blocking of said low pressure air outlet. and before closing of the liquid control valve is substantially constant in volume for successive filling operations to provide uniform filling l4 is provided with a resilient ring cooperating with the walls of said chamber and arranged to create a suction in theliquid nozzle'when the valve is moved upwardly into itsclosed position to hold in suspension the liquid remaining in the nozzle when the filling operation is completed.

Y 23. The combination as defined in claim 18 wherein provision is made for elevating the container into and out of filling position with relation to the filling nozzle.

" 24. The combination in a liquid filling machine having a filling head provided with a nozzle extended into the container, and a liquid control valve carried by the filling head, the improvement comprising air conducting means having an outlet disposed at a predetermined level in the container for directing said under pressure into the container, and control means forclosing said valve to discontinue the filling operation responsive to the back pressure created in said air, conducting means when the liquid reaches said predetermined level to block the escape of air from the outlet and for simultaneously elevatin'g said air conducting means above said level to prevent foaming of the liquid in the filled container.

25/111 a container filling machine, in combination, a filling head having a liquid supply inlet and an outlet nozzle extended into the open mouth of the container to befilled, a vertically movable liquid control valve mounted in said filling head, air conducting means including for operating saidvalve to discontinuethe flow of liquid,

into the container, said pneumatically operated control means including a high pressure air circuit having an outlet through which air may escape to the atmosphere during the filling operation, and a diaphragm valve as sociated, with said air conducting means and arranged to be operated by said back pressure to close said high pressure outlet-whereby to actuate said control means to permit upward movement of said liquid control valve and said air noz'zle'to close the valve, and to remove the 7 air nozzle from the liquid to prevent foaming of the same in the filled container. 7

26. In a rotary filling machine, in combination, a plurality of filling heads movable in a circular path, a plurality of container elevating members movable in alignment with the filling heads and arranged to elevate successive containers into operative filling relation to the filling heads, each filling head having a liquid. supply inlet and an outlet nozzle, a liquid control valve in said filling head, air conducting means extending through the nozzle and terminating in an outlet at a predetermined level within the container, said air conducting means being arranged to discharge air at a relatively low pressure into the container, said outlet being blocked by the liquid when it reaches said predetermined level to create a back pressure in the air conducting means, and pneumatically op eratedfcontrol means responsive to said back pressure foroperating said valve to discontinue the fiow of liquid into the container, said air conducting means comprising -atube extending a substantial distance below the end of said outlet nozzle during the filling operation and movthe outlet end substantially flush with the end of the filling nozzle when the valve is closed.

22. The combination as defined in claim =18 wherein V the filling head is provided witha chamber and the valve able with said valve to present the end of the air tube to a position substantially flush with the end of said outlet nozzle when the liquid reaches said predetermined air circuit having a trip valve carried by each filling head, and means movable into and out of tripping relation cooperating with the trip valve to effect initiation of the filling operation, said movable means being immediately retracted to permit subsequent operation of the air circuit to discontinue the filling operation when said predetermined filling level is reached in the event that the machine comes to rest With a filling head in operative relation to said movable tripping means;

28. The combination as defined in claim 27 wherein the 10 tive filling relation.

29. The method of controlling a liquid filling operation which includes the steps of opening a valve to permit the flow of liquid into a container, directing air under ,a relatively low pressure into the container through an outlet disposed at a predetermined filling level, blocking the escape of air through the outlet by the liquid when it reaches said predetermined level to create a back pressure for closing said valve to discontinue the filling operation, and elevating said air outlet above said predetermined level simultaneously with the closing of the valve to prevent tubulence of the liquid in the filled container.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 552,240 12/95 Dyer 141-298 1,700,494 1/29 Harrington 141137 X 2,028,092 1/ 36 Kantor 14130v3 X 2,126,847 8/38 Weiss 14141 2,126,848 8/38 Weiss 141-4 1 2,402,036 6/46 Giger 141225 2,745,585 5/56 Lindars 14 140 2,915,078 12/59 Oehs -2 137-85 3,021,865 I 2/62 Beckett 137-82 FOREIGN PATENTS 515,003 7/55 Canada.

LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.

,UNITED sTATEsi PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,182,691 May 11, 1965 Robert W. Ver gobbi et a1. It is hereby certified that error a ppears in the above numbered patent reqiiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.

Column 8, line 21, strike out "with the exhaust"; column 14, line 15, for "said" read air column 16, line 5, for "tubulence" read turbulence Signed and sealed this 16th day of November 1965.

(SEAL) Attest:

ERNEST W. SWIDER EDWARD J. BRENNER Allesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3527267 *Oct 17, 1967Sep 8, 1970Colgate Palmolive CoAutomatic container filling apparatus
US3595280 *Aug 1, 1969Jul 27, 1971Chisholm Ryder Co IncAutomatic filling valve
US4279279 *Oct 5, 1979Jul 21, 1981Allied Chemical CorporationFilling machine and method for low particulate chemicals
US6079460 *Jun 16, 1998Jun 27, 2000Mbf S.P.A.Rotary filling machine for filling containers with liquids
US6192947Jan 24, 2000Feb 27, 2001Mbf S.P.A.Rotary filling machine with injection of inert gas for filling containers with liquids
US8714209 *Apr 8, 2011May 6, 2014Khs GmbhFilling element and filling machine for filling bottles or similar containers
US9139410Apr 29, 2009Sep 22, 2015Khs GmbhProcessing machine for bottles or similar containers
US9428373 *Apr 6, 2011Aug 30, 2016Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Food & Packaging Machine Co., Ltd.Rotary-type filling machine and method for calculating filling quantity for rotary-type filling machine
US20110072761 *Apr 29, 2009Mar 31, 2011Khs GmbhProcessing machine for bottles or similar containers
US20130074984 *Apr 8, 2011Mar 28, 2013Manfred HärtelFilling element and filling machine for filling bottles or similar containers
US20130306190 *Apr 6, 2011Nov 21, 2013Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Food & Packaging Machine Co., Ltd.Rotary-type filling machine and method for calculating filling quantity for rotary-type filling machine
EP0027178A1 *Sep 9, 1980Apr 22, 1981Allied CorporationFilling machine and method for automatically filling bottles with high purity liquid
WO2009138167A1 *Apr 29, 2009Nov 19, 2009Khs AgProcessing machine for bottles or similar containers
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/5, 141/150, 141/41, 141/57, 141/302
International ClassificationB67C3/24, B67C3/02, B67C3/26, B67C3/06
Cooperative ClassificationB67C2003/2668, B67C3/06, B67C3/246, B67C3/26
European ClassificationB67C3/06, B67C3/26, B67C3/24E