US 3199694 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
g- 1965 K. A. GARNEY ETAL 3,199,694
MACHINE FOR FILLING CQLLAPSIBLE TUBES 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 21, 1963 INVENTORS Karl A.Gc| rney Georg Lindberg BY WM fM- M ATTORNEY$ 10, 1955 K. A. GARNEY ETAL 3,199,694
MACHINE FOR FILLING GOLLAPSIBLE TUBES Filed Jan. 21, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS Karl A. Gurney Georg Lindberg ATTORNEYS United States Patent MACHINE FOR FILLING COLLAP1BLE TUBES Karl A. Garney, Stuvsta, and Georg Lindherg, Vallingby, Sweden, assignors to Arenco Aktieholag, Vailinghy, Sweden Filed Jan. 21, 1963, Ser. No. 252,860 Ciaims priority, application Sweden, July 9, 1962, 7 ,665/ 62 Claims. (Cl. 214-407) The invention relates to a machine for filling collapsible tubes, with means for directly conveying empty tubes to tube containers arranged in the machine from cartons divided into rows of cells open at the top and connected with each other each of which contains an empty tube, the cartons being fed upside down in steps towards and over at least one edge or opening running transversally to the direction of transport on a surface by means of a conveyor on a carton supporting surface, from which edge or opening the tubes in a row of cells extending transversally to the feeding direction of the cartons, fall down into underlying tube holders.
The main object of the invention is to effect such advancement of each carton that the rows of cells, irrespective of the size of the carton and the tubes, are carefully positioned above the tube holders which are to receive the tubes.
According to the invention this is effected by the said edge being formed on a tube supporting surface co-operating with the carton supporting surface, on which tube supporting surface the tubes in a row of cells are conveyed by means of the conveyor, by a photo-electric sensing device being arranged to sense the position of a row of cells which are advanced and to stop the conveyor and therewith the row of cells when the row of cells is on the tube supporting surface with the tubes above the respective tube holders, and by an electro-magnetically controlled mechanism being arranged to receive a signal from the photo-electric sensing device when the row of cells is in the said position with the tubes above the tube holders and, on receiving this signal, to efiect movement of the tube supporting surface so that tubes advanced on the tube supporting surface are able to fall down into the tube holders from the said edge or opening.
The invention is described through an example embodiment in connection with the enclosed drawings of which FIG. 1 shows the parts of a machine for filling collapsible tubes which are necessary for illustrating the invention, and FIG. 2 shows a section along the line II--Ii in FIG. 1.
The machine shown is provided with a conveyor belt with rollers 1, 2 and an endless belt 3 running over these rollers. The belt 3 in the example embodiment forms both a carton supporting surface and feeding means for cartons 4 which are advanced in the direction indicated by an arrow in FIG. 2. The upper part of the belt, which carries the cartons, is supported by a plate 5 which is secured in the frame of the machine in a suitable manner. Parallel to the conveyor are guide rails 7, 8 for guiding the cartons 4. These guide rails 7, 8 extend beyond the conveyer roller 1 on the left in FIG. 2 and any a plate 9 on their lower edges, to which plate the cartons are conveyed from the conveyer belt 3 and removed from the machine. The rails 7, 8 are secured in the frame 6 of the machine by means of brackets 10, 11 respectively. As
is shown, the cartons 4 are divided into rows of cells by walls 12 and these rows of cells in their turn are divided into cells by walls 13 (FIG. 1). In the example embodiment shown, a narrow auxiliary supporting surface 15 is arranged in front of the conveyer roller 1, consisting of a bar parallel to the roller 1 on which all the tubes in a row of cells (row 14 in FIG. 2) slide out from the conveyer belt 3 during the advancement of the carton 4. From this auxiliary supporting surface 15 the tubes in row 14 slide down onto a tube supporting surface during the continued feeding of the cartons and occupy therewith the same position as the tubes 17. This supporting surface is formed on a bar 16 which extends directly across tube holders 18 each of the open upper ends of which lie directly in front of a corresponding cell in the row. The bar 16 is supported at its ends by arms 19, 20. Each arm 19, 20 is provided with two horizontal slots 21, 22. Rollers 23, 24 slide in the slots, each rollers being secured by means of an axle-pin 25 in the frame. By means of this arrangement the bar 16 can be moved backwards and forwards by a suitable mechanism which is shown here to consist of a pneumatic member 26 with a piston 23 mounted in a cylinder 27, which piston is secured at one end to the arm 19 by means of a bracket 29. Air pipes 30, 31 are connected to valves 59, which are controlled in a suitable manner for moving the arms 19 at the intended moment so that stationary tubes from the edge 32 on the supporting surface of the bar 16 can fall down into the tube holders 18 and occupy the position indicated by the tube 33. Herewith the lower ends of the tubes rest against a plate 34 which is mounted in a manner corresponding to the bar 16 and can be pulled to the right in FIG. 2 by means of a pneumatic member 35, the tubes 33 falling down into the main tube holder 36 of the machine which conveys the tubes to different filling stations, etc.
As is evident from FIG. 1, the distance between the tube holders 36 is greater than the distance between the cells in the carton, which necessitates the use of auxiliary tube holders 18. These auxiliary tubes holders 18 are arranged on an adjustable holder in the form of a scissors 37 which is manouevred by means of a fork 38 which in its turn is actuated by a piston 39. After the auxiliary tube holders 18 have received tubes 33 by the bar 16 being moved to the left in FIG. 2, the piston 39 moves the fork 38 to the left in FIG. 1 sufficiently far for there to be an auxiliary tube holder above every one of the tube holders 36, after which the plate 34 is moved to the right so that the tubes fall down into the tube holders 36. For a closer description of a machine of this kind, conveying tubes from auxiliary tube holders 18 via a plate 34 to the main tube holders 36, reference is made to U.S. Patent Specification 3,028,028.
For a complete understanding of the invention, however, it is only necessary to deal here with the transfer of tubes from the carton to the tube holders 18. It will also be evident that the invention can be applied to machines where the distance between the main tube holders is the same as the distance between the tubes in the cells and where thus there is no need to arrange any special auxiliary tube holders 1S and the plate 34.
In the example embodiment the front conveyor roller 1 is driven by a continuously working motor 40 over a gear 41 which is securely attached in the frame of the machine. The axle 42 extending from the gear 41 is ansaese connected to a friction disc 45 in an electro-magnetically guided clutch 44. This continuously rotating clutch disc 43 can, by means of an electro-magnet not shown, be moved to engage with a disc 45 which is securely united with the roller 1. In the engagement position, the conveyor belt 3 moves the carton 4 to the left in FIG. 2. The electro-magnet, not shown, of the clutch 4- is controlled via leads 51 from the electrical equipment 46, indicated in outline, which obtains signals from a photo cell 47 via leads 48 and from contacts 49 (FIG. 2) via leads 56. The photo cell 47 is attached by means of a bracket 52 to the rail 3 and cooperates with a light source 53 which is secured by a bracket 54 to the bar 7. The light source 53 sends out a beam of light 55 towards the photo cell 47. This beam of light lies parallel to the front edge of the carton 4, ie also parallel to a line which is at a tangent to the most forward points of tubes which have fallen down onto the surface 1%, and is thus broken by a row of tubes on the surface 16 when the tubes are advanced sufiiciently far.
The part of the machine which includes the invention works in the following manner.
So that the motor 4% is able to drive the roller 1, the electro-magnetic clutch 44 must obain current via the leads 51. This current is conducted from the equipment 46 when the bar 16 is in the tube receiving position, which is indicated when the diagrammatically illustrated contacts 4?, of which the one on the left in FIG. 2 is united with the arm 19 and the one on the right is securely attached in the frame 6, are sealed. When this condition is fulfilled, the carton 4 is advanced to the left in FIG. 2 by the belt 3 and the tubes on the bar 15 are advanced so that they fall down onto the now empty supporting surface 16 somewhat to the right of the tubes 17. The tubes are then fed further along the supporting surface 16 and reach the position occupied by the tubes 17, in which position the beam of light 55 from the light source 53 is broken by the vertical edge 56 situated farthest to the left of the tubes. When the beam of light 55 is broken, the photo cell 47 sends a signal to the equipment 46 which therewith breaks the current to the electromagnetic clutch so that the conveyer stops with the tubes on the surface 16 in the position shown directly over the tube holders 18 which during a previous work phase have been drawn back to the position shown in FIG. 1. The signal from the photo cell 47 to the equipment 46 also actuates, through leads 57, valves 59 schematically shown which convey compressed air to the pipe 31 through which the piston 28 moves the arms 19 and 20 to the left in PEG. 2 so that the surface 16 is moved to the left and the tubes from the edge 32 are able to fall down into the tube holders 18, after which the piston 39 is moved to the left in FIG. 1 and the tube holders 18 positioned over the tube holders 36 as described in the said U.S. patent specification 3,028,028 in which there is also a description of remaining work phases, of no interest here. I
The return movement of the surface 16 to the position shown in FIG. 2 can take place at any time after the tubes have been delivered to the tube holders 18, compressed air conveyed to the pipe 30 and the supply of compressed air to the pipe 31 being broken.
In the embodiment shown the conveyer, and'therefore the carton, are stopped by sensing an edge formed by the tubes in a row, but it is obvious that the feeling can take place in a different way. Thus, for example, the centre of each row of cells can be marked on one of the outer faces of the carton by means of a spot or suchlike, as indicated by the rectangle 53 in the front row of cells in FIG. 2, a beam of light being directed on the side of the carton and reflected towards a photo cell in a known manner. When, during the advancement of the carton, the spot or dash reaches the impact point of the beam of light, the intensity of the light reflected towards the photo cell is altered and the intended signal obtained.
In this case the surface 16 can of course be elevated towards the conveyer plane so that the tubes slide directly from the belt 3 to the surface 16, whereby the auxiliary surface 15, whose sole function is to facilitate transference from the belt 3 "to the surface 16 in the example embodiment shown, can be dispensed with. It is also obvious that the different members can be manoeuvered by, for example, cam discs instead of the pneumatic means such as for instance are shown in the said US. patent specification. The motor shown and the clutch can, of course, be replaced by other suitable driving means which can be controlled by a photo-electric arrangement, such as for example a motor operating step bystep.
It should also be noted that the tubes 17 can, from the beginning, have filling ends inserted into them, by which is intended not only the bottom end of the tube but also the cap end when the tubes are filled through the neck, turned from the bottom of the carton. Herewith a tube turning mechanism must be arranged which turns the tubes into the correct position for filling after they have left the carton.
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for feeding collapsible tubes from cartons divided into upwardly open cells which are arranged in rows and columns and which each contain an empty collapsible tube, to a plurality of equally spaced underlying tube holders, comprising in combination a carton supporting surface for a filled carton with the openings of the cells directed towards said carton supporting surface, said carton supporting surface having an opening therein to uncover said cell openings when aligned therewith, means for driving said cartons along said carton supporting surface towards and past said opening to uncover said cell openings when aligned therewith, a movable tube supporting means having a surface positioned below said opening of said carton supporting surface and above said tube holders so as to allow the tubes of a row to slide downwardly through said surface opening onto the surface of the movable tube supporting means so that part of the length of the respective tubes in the row is visible, a photo-electric sensing device arranged to sense the position of the row of tubes on the surface of said movable tube supporting means which tubes are being advanced and to generate an output signal when said row of tubes is in a predetermined position above said tube holders, an electrically controlled stop mechanism for said driving means connected to said photoelectric sensing device and responsive to 'said output signal to disable said driving means and to stop the carton when said row of tubes is in said predetermined position, and an electrically controlled actuating mechanism for said tube supporting means which is connected to said photo-electric sensing device and responsive to said output signal to move said tube supporting means from below said surface opening and to uncover the underlying tube holders, so that the tubes on the surface of said tube supporting means can fall into said tube holders.
2. Apparatusfor feeding collapsible tubes as claimed in claim 1, wherein said carton supporting surface comprises the upper run of an endless, substantially horizontal, conveyor along which each carton is fed in a substantially horizontal plane.
3. Apparatus for feeding collapsible tubes as claimed in claim 2, wherein an auxiliary supporting surface is connected with said conveyor, said auxiliary supporting surface being located in a plane between the planes of said carton supporting surface and said tube supporting surface, so that the tubes in a row of cells fall on said auxiliary supporting surface before they are moved further to said tube supporting surface during the movement of the carton.
4. Apparatus for feeding collapsible tubes as claimed in claim 1, wherein said photo-electric sensing device is 5 5 arranged to feel the forward edge of a row of tubes which References Cited by the Examiner are advanced on said tube supporting surface and to emit UNITED STATES PATENTS said output signal when said forward edge is in a position 257L576 19/51 Hopkins et aL intended for transference to underlying tube holders. 3,023,023 4 /62 Nilsson 214 307 5. Apparatus for feeding collapsible tubes as claimed 5 3 954 35 11 2 Council 2 13 in claim 1 wherein said photoelectric sensing device is arranged to feel marks made on the carton, each of which GERALD FORLENZA, P r 1mm) Examine"- correspond to a row of cells. HUGO O. SCHULZ, Examiner.