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Publication numberUS3199551 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 10, 1965
Filing dateMar 22, 1963
Priority dateMar 22, 1963
Publication numberUS 3199551 A, US 3199551A, US-A-3199551, US3199551 A, US3199551A
InventorsBoynton Ira D, Carlisle Jr Sanford K, Fulton Bertram A, Hall Archie C
Original AssigneeDiamond Crystal Salt Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for filling packages
US 3199551 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 10, 1965 A. c. HALL ETAL 3,199,551

APPARATUS FOR FILLING PACKAGES Filed March 22, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet l iil I IHIIIIIIIIHIIIIIIHIHIIIHIHIIJHI IIIHHI III llllllllll[lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll awn/2% Aug. 10, 1965 A. c. HALL ETAL APPARATUS FOR FILLING PACKAGES 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 22, 1965 1965 A. c. HALL ETAL 3,199,551

APPARATUS FOR FILLING- PACKAGES Filed March 22, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Archie S.

United States Patent 3,199,551 APPARATUS FUR FILLING PACKAGES Hall, Everett, Sanford K. Carlisle, Jr., Andever, Ira l3. Boynton, Lexington, and Bertram A. Fulton, Lynnfield, Mass, assignors, by direct and mesne assignments, to Diamond Crystal Salt Company, St. Clair, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Filed Mar. 22, 1963, Ser. No. 267,160 9 Claims. (Cl. 14183) The present invention broadly relates to apparatus for making packages and more particularly, to an improved ller mechanism for filling each of a plurality of small, dispensing packages or containers with a pre-selected quantity of a pulverulent, fluent material. More specifically, the present invention is directed to an automatically controlled filler apparatusfor feeding a variety of finely particulated materials in the form of a continuous curtain into the upper end portion of a ribbon of rapidly moving fiuted containers, achieving thereby .a controlled filling of the containers to a preselected height or a predetermined volume.

The present invention is particularly applicable to packaging apparatus of the general type disclosed in the Uni-ted States Patent No. 2,826,020, granted March 11, 1958, wherein two Webs of a film like material such as paper, for example, are united, forming a plurality of corrugations which are subsequently filled and sealed and thereafter slit into individual shaker dispenser type packets. A continuing problem in machines of .this general type has been encountered in the filling operation of the individual flutes of the ribbon as it is rapidly advanced beneath the filler mechanism. Variations in the particle size, packing tendency, and tendency of the particulated material to agglomerate has heretofore caused difiiculty in controlling the quantity of material which is filled in each of the individual flutes of the fluted ribbon moving relative to the filling mechanism. This problem has been aggravated by an increased rate of travel of the fluted ribbon, causing erratic non-uniform filling of the flutes thereof, resulting in either an overfilling or under-filling of the packages and lack of uniformity of fill in each of the four flutes that comprise the packet or unit. An over-filling of such packages not only interferes in the subsequent sealing of the packages after the filling operation but also constitutes a substantial waste of the pulverant material which in the case of certain high cost spices and the like constitutes a significant cost factor. On the other hand, an underfil-ling of the flutes of the packages is objectionable in not providing a sufficient quantity of the material for an individual serving and moreover results in the rejection of such packages resulting further scrappage "and waste. The lack of uniformity in the amount of material in the plurality of flutes comprising each packet is also objectionable from an appearance standpoint as well as in interfering in the dispensing characteristics thereof.

It is accordingly a principal object of the present invention to provide an improved filling apparatus which provides a controlled continuous curtain of pulverulent material which overcomes the disadvantages of filling apparatuses of similar type heretofore known. 7

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved filling apparatus which can be readily regulated to vary the quantity of pulverant material delivered consistent with the nature of the pulverant material and the size, shape, and filling characteristics of the packages to be filled.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved filling apparatus, the rate of feed of which can be automatically and selectively controlled to provide a controlled filling of a rapidly moving fluted ribbon within relatively narrow tolerances, achieving thereby uni- 3,199,551 Patented Aug. 1%, 1955 ice formity in the individual packages and the individual compartments thereof and substantially eliminating any waste of relatively high cost condiments, spices, and the like.

The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the present invention are accomplished by providing a filler mechanism including a trough or hopper provided with a substantially cylindrical shaft rotatably mounted and eX- tending longitudinally along the base thereof and which shaft is formed with a plurality of indentations or depressions therealong in which the pulverant material to be fed into the rapidly moving ribbon therebelow is transferred in a preselected metered amount from the interior of the hopper and discharged in the form of a uniform, substantially solid planar curtain of material which is directed into the openings of the fluted ribbon. The rate of feed of the pulverant material is readily controlled by varying the speed of rotation of the cylindrical shaft providing thereby a controlled filling of the packages within a preselected range. It is further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that suitable sensing means can be provided for sensing the depth of fill of the packages as they pass from the filler mechanism and which sensing means is operatively connected to control means for varying the speed of rotation of the cylindrical shaft effecting thereby controlled variations in the rate of feed so as to control the depth and/or volume of fill of the individual compartments of the packages within a preselected range.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon a reading of the specifications taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan View of an exemplary packaging machine to which the present invention is applicable;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevation view of the machine shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is anenlarged fragmentary side elevation View of a typical fluted ribbon or strip which is produced in accordance with the machine shown in FIGURES 1 and 2;

FIGURE 4 is a plan view of the fluted ribbon shown in FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of a typical individual packet containing the pulverant material sealed therein;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary front elevation view of the feed mechanism employed in the machine shown in FIGURES 1 and 2;

FIGURE 7 is a horizontal sectional View of the hopper and feed shaft of the feed mechanism shown in FIGURE 6 and taken along with the line 7-'7 thereof;

FIGURE 8 is a vertical transverse sectional view of the hopper and feed shaft arrangement shown in FIGURE 6 and taken along the line 88 thereof;

FIGURE 9 is a transverse sectional view of an alternate satisfactory arrangement from that shown in F1"- URE 8;

FIGURE 10 is a fragmentary perspective view of an alternate satisfactory feed shaft from that shown in FIG- URES 7-9; and

FIGURE 11 is a diagrammatic view of a typical wiring circuit for providing automatic control of the feeding mechanism in accordance with a suitable sensing apparatus.

Referring now in detail to the drawings and as may be best seen in FIGURES 1 and 2, an exemplary machine to which the present invention is applicable comprises a pair of cooperating rolls 20, 22 Which are mounted for rotation about horizontal axes and which are provided with a series of circumferentially spaced longitudinally extending conjugate projections 24 and recesses 26 which are substantially semi-circular in cross section. The projections 24 and recesses 26 are arranged in a series usually ranging from about 2 up to about 6 and are separated by spaces greater than those between the projections of each series forming planar web sections at which the continuous ribbon is severed, forming a plurality of individual packages. A continuous strip 32 is supplied from a roll of feed mate- .rial 23 rotatably supported on a mounting 3t) and extends therefrom over a guide roll 34 and is guidably positioned in a guide shoe 36 which in the exemplary embodiment shown is positioned in axial alignment with the bite portion of the cooperating rolls 2t), 22. The strip 32 is fed continuously between the cooperating rolls 20, 22 and is formed into a corrugated material having a cross sectional configuration corresponding to the projections 24 and recesses 26 on the peripheral surfaces of the cooperating rolls.

A second continuous strip 3% extends from a feed roll 40 rotatably mounted on a support 42 and passes around a guide roller 44 and is positioned around the periphery of a roll 46 disposed in rolling contact with the cooperating roll 22 as shown in FIGURE 2. The second continuous strip 38 is disposed in overlying contact with the corrugated strip 32 at the bite portion of the cooperating roll 22 and the roll 46 and the strips are tenaciously united to each other such as by means of a suitable adhesive or, in accordance with the preferred practice of the present invention, by heat sealing the two strips together. For this purpose the mating surfaces of the continuous strips 32, 38 can be provided with a thin coating of a suitable thermoplastic resin material such as polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, for example which on coming in contact with heated rolls 22 and 46 effects a softening thereof providing mutual adherence between the strips and which on subsequent cooling form a tenacious bond. The rolls 22 and 46 may also be provided with crimping flanges along one of the mating sides thereof or alternatively a pair of crimping rolls 47 are provided for compressing and forming a sealed edge 48 along one edge of a composite fluted ribbon 52 as best seen in FIGURE 3.

The composite fluted ribbon 52 having a configuration as shown in FIGURE 3 is stripped from the periphery of the cooperating roll 22 and passes over a guide roll 50 and is twisted toward a vertical position with the sealing edge 48 oriented downwardly. The fluted ribbon 52 as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 comprises a substantially flat planar rear web comprising the strip 38 and a corrugated web comprised of a series of flutes or cells 54 separated by elongated planar web sections 56 which is comprised of the strip 32 and which strips 32, 38 are tenaciously united to each other along their points of juncture. The lower portion of the flutes 54 are sealed by the sealing edge 48 and the upper end portions of the flutes 54 are positioned to receive the material or commodity contained in a filler mechanism generally indicated at 58 in FIG- URES 1 and 2.

The fiuted ribbon 52 is advanced in a substantially upright position beneath the filler mechanism 58 from which the pulverant material is discharged filling each of the flutes or cells 54 to a pre-selected level. The filled fluted ribbon 52 thereafter passes between a pair of sealing rolls 60 which is operative to compress and adhesively or heat .sealingly bond the upper edge of the fluted ribbon along a flat websections 56 thereof. A resultant severed individual package is shown in FIGURE 5 comprising a series of flutes 54 in which a pulverant commodity is her- -metically sealed. The flutes 54 may be provided with a series of transverse slits or perforations indicated at 72 to facilitate subsequent rupture of the package for shaking or dispensing the contents therefrom during use.

It will be apparent from the mode of operation as hereinabove set forth, that the rapid speed of movement of the continuous fluted ribbon 52 beneath the filler mechanism 58 necessitates careful control to assure the filling of each of the flutes or cells 54 thereof with a prescribed quantity of the pulverant material. The improved filler mechanism for achieving a uniform controlled filling of each of the individual flutes will now be described with particular reference to FIGURES 6-8. As is best seen in FIGURE 6, the filler mechanism is mounted within a suitable housing indicated generally at 74 which is formed at its lower end with an angularly inclined base 75 in which the pulverant commodity to be filled in the fluted ribbon is stored and is transferred to a filler hopper indicated at 76 by a bucket conveyor 78. The bucket conveyor 78 as shown comprises a pair of rolls 80 which are mounted for rotation about horizontal axes and around which a continuous belt 82 is drivingly trained on the periphery of which a plurality of longitudinally spaced buckets 84 are mounted. In accordance with this arrangement the pulverant material which is stored in the base of the housing 74 and any pulverant material which spills over the fluted ribbon 52 and is collected in the base of the housing is continuously transferred to the filler hopper 76 thereby insuring a continuous supply of material.

The continuous fluted ribbon 52 passes beneath the filler hopper 76 and is supported in an appropriate upright and longitudinally aligned position relative to the base thereof by means of an inlet guide shoe 36 and outlet guide shoe 88 as best seen in FIGURE 6. Between the inlet guide shoe 86 and outlet guide shoe 88 the continuous fluted ribbon 52 is supported along the lower edge thereof by means of a plurality of longitudinally spaced collars 90 which are fixed to and project outwardly from a support plate 92 as may be best seen in FIGURE 8. The support plate 92 is adjustably positioned beneath the lower edge portion of the filler hopper 76 by means of rearwardly extending brackets 94 provided with slots 96 for adjustably securing the support plate to the frame of the machine, such as by means of socket head screw 98. The support p ate 92 is slightly angularly inclined relative to the vertical and the continuous fluted ribbon 52 is disposed with the flat planar web thereof disposed in flat sliding contact with the forward face of the support plate. The upper edge portion of the face of the support plate 92 is provided with a longitudinally extending shield 100 which is of a thickness substantially greater than the thickness of the planar web of the continuous fluted ribbon so as to prevent the granular material discharged from the filler hopper from entering and becoming lodged between the face surface of the support plate 92 and the rear surface of the planar web disposed in sliding bearing contact thereagainst.

The continuous fluted ribbon 52 is maintained in sliding relationship against the face of the support plate 92 by means of a longitudinally extending guide bracket 102 which is securely mounted to the lower edged portion of the support plate and is formed with a pair of longitudinally extending rods 104 adapted to be disposed in sliding bearing contact with the crests of the flutes 54 of the fluted ribbon 52.

In the embodiment as shown in FIGURES 6-8 the filler hopper '76 is formed with a pair of inwardly converging walls Itlfi along the lower edges of which a pair of angle iron reinforcing stringers 108, are rigidly secured. -A longitudinally extending feed roll or shaft 112 is rotatably journaled in bearings 114 mounted in the end walls of the filler hopper '76 and is disposed in longitudinal alignment and closing relationship in an elongated outlet or opening 116 formed in the base of the filler hopper. The feed shaft 112 as shown in FIG- URES 7 and 8 is formed with a plurality of longitudinally extending depressions 118 which are preferably of a smooth arcuate configuration such as for example, a

semi-circular configuration and which are adapted to be filled with the particulated material in the hopper effecting a metered transfer thereof in response to rotation of the feed shaft out through the opening 116. The combination of the close arcuate spacing of the depressions 113 and the rapid rotation of the shaft effects a discharge of the material in the form of a substantially continuous curtain indicated at 1211 in FIGURE 8 which is directed against and impinges on the shield 10% from which the material enters the upper open end portions of the flutes 54 of the fluted ribbon 52.

The sealing of the feed shaft 112 within the base of the filler hopper is achieved by an arcuate shoe 122 as shown in FIGURE 8 which is disposed in close clearance spaced relationship around the upper peripheral portion of the feed shaft 112. The arcuate shoe 122 is adjustably mounted by means of screws 124 to the downwardly extending leg of the angle iron stringer 116.

The length of the arcuate shoe 122 is controlled so that the upper edge portion thereof extends at least to a point corresponding to the upper center of the shaft so as to avoid any sifting of the pulverant material within the hopper through the clearance space between the periphery of the feed shaft and the arcuate shoe during periods of non-use of the apparatus. By this arrangement, the inherent angle of repose of the pulverant material prevents its upward bow between the feed shaft and inner surface if the arcuate shoe. The lower edge portion of the arcuate shoe extends to a point relative to the periphery of feed shaft so as to guide the trajectory of the continuous curtain of material 121) to impinge along the shield 1% above the open ends of the flutes 54.

The lower edge of the feed shaft 112 is sealed within the base of the filler hopper 76 by means of a horizontally extending flange 126 formed with an arcuately bent end portion indicated at 127 adapted to be disposed in sliding sealing relationship against the lower portion of the shaft to prevent any sifting of material from the hop er outwardly through the opening 116 in the base of the filler hopper. The upward inclination of the end portion 127 in combination with the natural angle of repose of the pulverant material prevents upward flow of the material between the feed shaft and flange 126. In accordance with the arrangement as hereinabove described, it will be apparent that the density and quantity of pulverant material discharged from the filler hopper in the form of the continuous curtain of material 12v) can be accurately controlled in accordance with the speed of rotation of the feed shaft 112. Selective controlled rotation of the feed shaft is achieved by suitable driving means drivingly coupled to the projecting end portion of the feed shaft as shown in FIG- UIIES 6 and 7 such as by means of a variable speed motor 128 which is drivingly coupled to a speed reducer 130 which in turn is provided with a sprocket 132 on the output shaft thereof. A driven sprocket 134 is aflixed to the projecting end of the feed shaft 112 and is drivingly connected to the driving sprocket 132 by means of a chain 136 trained therearound. Alternative satisfactory variable speed drive means can also be satisfactorily employed in lieu of the variable speed motor 128 such as for example, a variable speed reducer (not shown) which is drivingly coupled between the feed shaft and a constant speed motor for providing selective variation in the speed of rotation of the speed shaft.

It has been found that certain pulverant materials particularly spices such as pepper containing natural oils therein have a tendency to bridge within the filler hopper .and to adhere to the surfaces of the depressions 118 of pulverant material in a flutfy free flowing state and to avoid any bridging tendency of the material. Rotation of the agitator can be accomplished by drivingly connecting the output shaft thereof to the feed shaft such as by a belt or chain 137 trained around a pair of pulleys or sprockets 139 which can be selectively coupled to the agitator shaft by means of a clutch 141 as best seen in FIGURE 6.

In addition a suitable transducer such as an air vibrator is secured to the projecting end of the feed shaft 112 as best seen in FIGURE 7 effecting vibration thereof and dislodging therefrom any pulverant material which has a tendency to adhere to the surfaces of the depressions 118. In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGURE 7 the vibrator 140 is provided with a suitable swivel fitting 142 which is connected to a conduit 144 for supplying a source of pressurized fluid thereto and enabling relative rotation of the vibrator and the supply conduit. Alternate satisfactory vibratory means can be employed to effect vibration of the feed shaft at a frequency sufficient to effect dislodgment of any particles having a tendency to adhere to the depressions therealong. During the filling of pulverant material such as salt and sugar which do not have a bridging or adhering tendency the paddle type agitator 13S and the vibrator 140 can be deenergized if desired.

An alternate satisfactory embodiment of the means for rotatably sealing the feed shaft in the base of the filler hopper is illustrated in FIGURE 9 wherein similar parts are designed by the same numeral previously employed with a prime affixed thereto. As shown in FIGURE 9 a filler hopper 76 formed with inwardly converging walls 106' is reinforced along the lower edge thereof by means of a pair of angle iron stringers 198, 119'. A feed shaft 112 is rotatably mounted in an opening 116 in the base of the filler hopper. A longitudinally extending resilient seal 146 of a material such as rubber for example is adjustably mounted on the stringer 1% and is disposed with the lower edge thereof in bearing sealing contact against the periphery of the feed shaft 112'. The seal 146 is of a thickness sufficient to overlie the lands between the adjacent depressions 118 in the periphery of the feed shaft to avoid any sifting of the pulverant material in the feed hopper therebetween. A similar seal 148 is adjustably affixed to the stringer 11% and is disposed in sliding bearing contact against the periphery of the feed shaft which effects a .doctoring of the material on the periphery of the feed shaft and a wiping of the material from the lands between adjacent depressions. An arcuate shoe 122 is disposed adjacent to the seal 143 serving to support the lower edge thereof and further providing guidance of the trajectory of pulverant material directed toward the shield 10!) of the support plate 92' as fragmentarily shown in FIGURE 9. The feed shaft 112' is adapted to be driven at variable speeds in a manner as hereinbefore described in connection with the embodiment shown in FIGURES 6-8.

An alternative satisfactory embodiment of a feed shaft 112 is fragmentarily shown in FIGURE 10. As shown in FIGURE 10, the peripheral surface of the feed shaft 112 is provided with a plurality of indentations 149 which are disposed in a substantially uniform pattern along the entire length of the feed shaft. Each of the v.de ressions 149 are of a snbstantiall smooth concave configuration and are adapted to become filled with the pulverant commodity during rotation of the feed shaft within the hopper. The material within the depressions is discharged therefrom as the depressions become exposed along the opening in the base of the filler hopper. The

use of a suitable embossed pattern on the periphery of the feed shaft such as the depressions 149 can be satisfactorily employed in lieu of the longitudinal depressions 118, 113' as shown and previously described in connection with FIGURES 7-9. It is also contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the longitudinally extending depressions 118, 113' can be formed in a helical pattern extending around the periphery of the feed shaft. In either case, the depressions in the periphery of the feed shaft are located substantially uniformly therearound and therealong so that the pulverant material is discharged in the form of a continuous planar curtain of substantially constant intensity along its entire length.

It will be apparent from the foregoing that the volume of material delivered from the filler hopper is established by the speed of rotation of the feed shaft in further consideration of such variables as the diameter of the feed shaft, the cross sectional area of each of the depressions 118, 118, or 149 therealong, as well as the length of the feed shaft. By forming the seals in close sealing relationship against the periphery of the feed shaft, only a negligible quantity of pulverant material is carried on the periphery of the feed shaft outwardly of the surface of the lands therearound. Accordingly the volume of material discharged from the filling hopper corresponds substantially to the volume carried in each of the depressions and the peripheral speed of the feed shaft. In a typical commercial embodiment it has been found that by forming a feed shaft having a diameter of about one inch provided with about semi-circular grooves extending therealong of a diameter of about /s inch and which shaft extends for a length of about 18 inches and rotates at a speed of about to rpm. has provided a substantially uniform curtain of finely particulated material sufficient to fill a continuously moving fluted ribbon of the type shown in FIGURE 3 traveling at a speed ranging from about 90 to about 110 feet per minute.

The degree of fill of the fluted ribbon can be manually adjusted or controlled by employing an illuminator box 150 as shown in FIGURE 6 employing a series of lamps 152 therein which are adapted to illuminate the continuous fluted ribbon 52 enabling visual inspection of the level of material in the flutes thereof. The particular color of illumination can be selected to provide the best visual observation of the depth of the material within the flutes. An index or reference line indicated at 153 is preferably provided to establish the desired height of fill of the flutes. By this arrangement an operator can manually adjust a suitable variable rheostat 154 for varying the speed of rotation of the variable speed motor 128 to control the speed of rotation of the feed shaft and thereby provide the requisite filling rate to achieve the desired depth of fill.

The use of an illuminator box 150 is restricted to continuous fluted ribbons which are either transparent or translucent to enable visual examination of the depth of fill thereof.

It is also contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the level of fill of the flutes can be automatically controlled in accordance with the system diagrammatically shown in FIGURE. 11. As shown in FIGURE 11 the variable speed motor 128 is electrically supplied from an alternating current source 154 which first passes through a full wave rectifier bridge indicated at 156 and through a variable resistor indicated at 158 which provides for control of the speed of rotation of the motor 128. The motor 128 as previously described is coupled to a speed reducer 130 which in turn is drivingly coupled to the feed shaft 112. As the continuous fluted ribbon 52 passes from beneath the filler hopper 76 it passes between an emitter 169 such as a beta ray emitter, for example, which is effective to penetrate through the material of which the fluted ribbon is comprised. The rays which are transmitted through the ribbon are received in a sensor or receiver 162 of the type well known in the art disposed on the opposite side of the fluted ribbon. The intensity of the beam received by the receiver 162 is correlated to the degree of fill of the flutes of the continuous fluted ribbon. The signal received by the receiver 162 is in turn transmitted to an amplifier analyzer 164 of the type well known in the art which in turn is electrically connected to a control servo mechanism such as a stepping motor or selsyn system indicated at 166 which is operable to adjust the variable resistor 153 to correct the speed of rotation of the motor 128 to either increase or decrease the speed of rotation of the feed shaft consistent with an overfllling or underfilling condition providing thereby the requisite corrective action.

While it will be apparent that the preferred embodiments of the invention disclosed are well calculated to fulfill the objects above stated, it will be appreciated that the invention is susceptible to modification, variation and change without departing from the proper scope or fair meaning of the subjoined claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A packaging apparatus including a frame, guide means on said frame for movably and guidably supporting a continuous fluted ribbon defining a plurality of containers moving rapidly therealong, a filler mechanism on said frame for dispensing a controlled volume of a finely particulated solid material into the containers, said filler mechanism including a hopper formed with an elongated aperture in the base thereof disposed in overlying alignment with the direction of travel of the containers being filled, an elongated shaft rotatably mounted in said hopper and disposed in closing relationship in said aperture, said shaft formed with a plurality of depressions extending substantially uniformly along the peripheral surface thereof, drive means for rotating said shaft in said aperture and for discharging the material carried in said depressions from the interior of said hopper in the form of a substantially uniform planar curtain into the containers moving therebelow, a receptacle disposed below the containers for receiving the particulated solid material which is not intercepted by the containers, and conveyor means for returning the material from said receptacle to said hopper.

2. A packaging apparatus including a frame, guide means on said frame for movably and guidably supporting a continuous fluted ribbon defining a plurality of containers moving rapidly therealong, a filler mechanism on said frame for dispensing a controlled volume of a finely particulated solid material into the containers, said filler mechanism including a hopper formed with an elongated aperture in the base thereof disposed in overlying alignment with the direction of travel of the containers being filled, an elongated shaft rotatably mounted in said hopper and disposed in closing relationship in said aperture, said shaft formed with a plurality of depressions extending substantially uniformly along the peripheral surface thereof, variable drive means for rotating said shaft in said aperture and for discharging the material carried in said depressions from the interior of said hopper in the form of a substantially uniform planar curtain into the containers moving therebelow, means for controlling the speed of rotation of said shaft for controlling the discharge volume of said material, a receptacle disposed below the containers for receiving the particulated solid material which is not intercepted by the containers, and conveyor means for returning the material from said receptacle to said hopper.

3. Apackaging apparatus including a frame, guide means on said frame for movably and guidably supporting a continuous fluted ribbon defining a plurality of containers moving rapidly therealong, a filler mechanism on said frame fordispensing a controlled volume of a finely particulated solid material into the containers, said filler mechanism including a hopper formed with an elongated aperture in the base thereof disposed in overlying alignment with the direction of travel of the containers. being filled, an elongated shaft rotatably mounted in said hopper and disposed in closing relationship in said aperture, said shaft formed with a plurality of depressions extending substantially uniformly along the peripheral surface thereof, drive means for rotating said shaft in said aperture and for discharging the material carried in said depressions from the interior of said hopper in the form of a substantially uniform planar curtain into the containers moving therebelow, agitator means in said hopper for agitating the material therein, maintaining it in a substantially free-flowing state, a receptacle disposed below the containers for receiving the particulated solid material which is not intercepted by the containers, and conveyor means for returning the material from said receptacle to said hopper.

4. A packaging apparatus including a frame, guide means on said frame for movably and guidably supporting a continuous fluted ribbon defining a plurality of containers moving rapidly therealong, a filler mechanism on said frame for dispensing a controlled volume of a finely particulated solid material into the containers, said filler mechanism including a hopper formed with an elongated aperture in the base thereof disposed in overlying alignment with the direction of travel of the containers being filled, an elongated shaft rotatably mounted in said hopper and disposed in closing relationship in said aperture, said shaft formed with a plurality of depressions extending substantially uniformly along the peripheral surface thereof, drive means for rotating said shaft'in said aperture and for discharging the material carried in said depressions from the interior of said hopper in the form of a substantially uniform planar curtain into the containers moving therebelow, vibratory means operatively connected to said shaft for vibrating said shaft to facilitate dislodgment of the material in said de ressions and discharge thereof through said aperture, a-receptacle dis posed below the containers for receiving the particulated solid material which is not intercepted by the containers, and conveyor means for returning the material from said receptacle to said hopper.

5. A packaging apparatus including a frame, guide means on said frame for movably and guidably supporting a continuous fiuted ibbon defining a plurality of containers moving rapidly therealong, a filler mechanism on said frame for dispensing a controlled volume of a finely particulated solid material into the containers, said filler mechanism including a hopper formed with an elongated aperture in the base thereof disposed in overlying alignment with the direction of travel of the containers being filled, an elongated shaft rotatably mounted in said hopper and disposed in closing relationship in said aperture, said shaft formed with a plurality of depressions extending substantially uniformly along the peripheral surface thereof, drive means for rotating said shaft in said aperture and for discharging the material carried in said dcpressions from the interior of said hop, er in the form of a substantially uniform planar curtain into the containers moving therebelow, deflector means mounted adjacent to said aperture and said shaft for guiding the direction of said uniform planar curtain of material toward the containers, a receptacle disposed below the containers for receiving the particulated solid material which is not intercepted by the containers, and conveyor means for returning the material from said receptacle to said hopper.

6. A packaging apparatus including a frame, guide means on said frame for movably and guidably supporting a continuous fluted ribbon defining a plurality of containers moving rapidly therealong, a filler mechanism on said frame for dispensing a controlled volume of a finely particulated solid material into the containers, said filler mechanism including a hopper formed with an elongated aperture in the base thereof disposed in overlying alignment with the direction of travel of the containers being filled, an elongated shaft rotatably mounted in said hopper and disposed in closing relationship in said aperture, said shaft formed with a plurality of depressions extending substantially uniformly along the peripheral surface thereof, variable drive means for rotating said shaft in said aperture and for discharging the material carried in said depessions from the interior of said hopper in the form of a substantially uniform planar curtain into the containers moving therebelow, agitator means for agitating the material in said hopper, maintaining it in a free-flowing state, guide means disposed along said aperture and said shaft for directionally guiding the direction of discharge of said uniform planar curtain of material,

vibratory means for vibrating said shaft to facilitate dislodgment of the material in said depressions thereof and discharge through said aperture, means for controlling the speed of rotationof said shaft for controlling the discharge volume of said material, a receptacle disposed below the containers for receiving the particulated solid material which is not intercepted by the containers, and conveyor means for returning the material from said receptacle to said hopper.

7. A packaging apparatus including a frame, guide means on said frame for movably and guidably supporting a continuous fluted ribbon defining a plurality of containers moving rapidly therealong, a filler mechanism on said frame for dispending a controlled volume of a finely particulated solid material into the containers, said filler mechanism including a hopper formed with an elongated aperture in the base thereof disposed in overlying alignment with the direction of travel of the containers being filled, an elongated shaft rotatably mounted in said hopper and disposed in closing relationship in said aperture,

said shaft formed with a plurality of depressions extending substantially uniformly along the peripheral surface thereof, an elongated arcuate shield mounted on one wall of said hopper defining one edge of said aperture and encircling a portion of the periphery of said shaft, an arcuate upwardly directed lip on the opposite wall of said hopper defining the opposite edge of said aperture and disposed in bearing contact against the periphery of said shaft, variable speed drive means for rotating said shaft in a direction outwardly along said arcuate shield for discharging the material carried in said depressions in the form of a substantially uniform planar curtain, means for controlling the speed of rotation of said shaft for coutrolling the discharge volume of said material, a receptacle disposed below the containers for receiving the particulated solid material which is not intercepted by the containers, and conveyor means for returning the material from said receptacle to said hopper.

8. A packaging apparatus including a frame, guide means on said frame for movably and guidably supporting a continuous fluted ribbon defining a plurality of containers moving rapidly therealong, a filler mechanism on said frame for dispensing a controlled volume of a finely particulated solid material into the containers, said filler mechanism including a hopper formed with an elongated aperture in the base thereof disposed in overlying alignment with the direction of travel of the containers being filled, an elongated shaft rotatably mounted in said hopper and disposed in closing relationship in said aperture, said shaft formed with a plurality V of depressions extending substantially uniformly along the peripheral surface thereof, resilient seal means extending along each edge of said aperture and disposed in sliding sealing relationship against the periphery of said shaft, an arcuate shield mounted on one wall of said hopper adjacent to the edge of said aperture from which the material is discharged for guiding the direction of discharge of material therefrom, variable speed drive means for rotating said shaft and for discharging the material carried in said depressions from the interior of said hopper in the form of a substantially uniform planar curtain, means for controlling the speed of rotation of said shaft for controlling the volume of discharge of said material, a receptacle disposed below the containers for receiving the particulated solid material which is not intercepted by the containers, and conveyor means for returning the material from said receptacle to said hopper.

9. A packaging apparatus including a frame, guide means on said frame for movably and guidably supporting a continuous fluted ribbon defining a plurality of com tainers moving rapidly therealong, a filler mechanism on 1 1 said frame for dispensing a controlled volume of a finely particulated solid material into the containers, said filler mechanism including a hopper formed with an elongated aperture in the base thereof disposed in overlying alignment with the direction of travel of the containers being filled, an elongated shaft rotatably mounted in said hopper and disposed in closing relationship in said aperture, said shaft formed with a plurality of depressions extending substantially uniformly along the peripheral surface thereof, variable drive means for rotating said shaft in said aperture and for discharging the material carried in said depressions from the interior of said hopper in the form of a substantially uniform planar curtain into the containers moving therebelovv, sensing means for sensing the level of the particulated material in the containers, means operable in response to said sensing means for controlling the speed of rotation of said variable drive means to control the volume of material discharged from said hopper and the level of fill of the containers within controlled limits, :1 receptacle'dispo'sed below the containers for receiving the particulated solid material Which is not intercepted by the containers, and conveyor means for returning the material from said receptacle to said hopper.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 189,583 4/77 Stackpole 222312 X 1,090,120 3/14 Scott 222312 X 2,046,603 7/ 36 Baumgardner 222-3 12 X 2,552,093 5/51 Gollbach et a1 222-312 2,696,330 12/54 Fahrni 2224l0 X 2,826,020 3/58 Hoag 5329 X FOREIGN PATENTS 191,338 8/57 Austria.

LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3344576 *Jun 26, 1963Oct 3, 1967Cloud Machine CorpMethod and apparatus for packaging
US3516889 *Oct 20, 1965Jun 23, 1970Diamond Crystal Salt CoApparatus for making fluted packages
US3946929 *May 1, 1974Mar 30, 1976Massimo ArmettiContainer making machine
US3978637 *Oct 24, 1975Sep 7, 1976Diamond Crystal Salt CompanyMethod and apparatus for making packet assemblies
US4004397 *Oct 24, 1975Jan 25, 1977Diamond Crystal Salt CompanyApparatus and process for making disposable packet assemblies
US4182222 *Feb 16, 1978Jan 8, 1980Stahl Robert LCoupon confining bag method
US4907394 *May 27, 1988Mar 13, 1990Unionpack Industrielle Lohnverpackuns-Gmbh & Co.Method for producing a foil-container, apparatus for the implementation of the said method, and a foil-container produced according to the said method
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Classifications
U.S. Classification141/83, 222/109, 141/153, 222/368, 141/131, 53/553, 222/196, 53/562, 222/410
International ClassificationB65B9/04, B65B9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B9/042
European ClassificationB65B9/04B