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Publication numberUS3217463 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 16, 1965
Filing dateDec 22, 1961
Priority dateDec 22, 1961
Publication numberUS 3217463 A, US 3217463A, US-A-3217463, US3217463 A, US3217463A
InventorsGeorge R Hair, Charles W Redden, Charles G Stanuard
Original AssigneeFed Paper Board Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Packaging machine for sealed end cartons
US 3217463 A
Images(5)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1965 c. G. STANNARD ETAL 3,217,463

PACKAGING MACHINE FOR SEALED END CARTONS Filed Dec. 22, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS CHARLES G. STANNARD G EORGE R. HAIR CHARLES W. REDDEN ATTORN Y3 Nov. 16, 1965 c. G. STANNARD ETAL 3,217,463

PACKAGING MACHINE FOR SEALED END CARTONS Filed Dec. 22, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 I l INVENTORS CHARLES G.$TANNARD GEORGE R.HAIR

CHARLES W. REDDEN BY Z L i ATTO NEYS Nov. 16, 1965 c. G. STANNARD ETAL 3,

PACKAGING MACHINE FOR SEALED END CARTONS Filed Dec. 22. 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTORS CHARLES G. STANNARD GEORGE R. HAIR CHARLES W. REDDEN ATTORNEYS Nov. 16, 1965 c. s. STANNARD ETAL 3,

PACKAGING MACHINE FOR SEALED END CARTQNS Filed Dec. 22, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 ATTORNEYS Nov. 16, 1965 c. G. STANNARD ETAL 3,217,463

PACKAGING MACHINE FOR SEALED END CARTONS Filed Dec. 22, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS CHARLES G. STANNARD GEORGE R. HAIR CHARLES W. REDDEN M M W 7- m qfims United States Patent C) 3,217,463 PACKAGENG MACHINE FOR SEALED END CARTONS Charles G. Stannard, Ramsey, George R. Hair, filifton,

and Charles W. Redden, River Vale, N..l., assignors to Federal Paper Board Company, Inc, Bogota, N..l., a

corporation of New York Filed Dec. 22, 1961, Ser. No. 161,588 8 Claims. (Cl. 53-186) This invention relates to the packaging of sealed end cartons made of paper board which has been coated on both sides with wax, such as parafiin wax. Cartons or boxes of this type are used in packaging food products such, for example as bacon, TV dinners, and frozen fish and other frozen food products.

The carton is set up from a fiat folded blank of such paper board and having top and bottom walls and side walls which are connected to the top and bottom walls by score lines. One of the side walls of the blank in cludes an overlapped joint connecting the ends of the sheet from which the blank is made. To form the ends of the carton the top and bottom walls of the blank have flap extensions at each end. These flaps are of equal width and correspond to the thickness of the carbon after it is set up. Also, the side walls have foldable flaps at each end. In closing the carton these side wall flaps are first folded inwardly at right angles and thereafter the bottom and top wall flaps are folded one over the other and secured by suitable adhesive.

The packaging, that is to say, the setting up of the carton blank, the filling with the desired food product, and the closing of the ends of the carton, presents no particular problem when the paper board of which the carton is made is not coated with wax, but when so coated considerable difficulty has been experienced in both setting up the blank and in sealing the folded side wall flaps one to the other at the ends of the carton. The ditliculty in setting up is caused by the stiffness which the wax produces at the score lines connecting the side walls with the top and bottom walls. The difficulty in sealing with adhesive stems from the fact that the wax prevents the adhesive from entering the fibers of the paper board.

In accordance with the present invention an apparatus has been devised wherein the carton blanks in flat folded condition are supported in a suitable supply rack and removed one at a time by mechanism including a group of vacuum cups, and placed successively in horizontal position on a second group of vacuum cups which may be supported by a horizontally shiftable table. As each blank arrives at the table the vacuum is also applied to the cups which are supported thereby so that the top and bottom side walls of the carton blank are both engaged by suction cups. With the suction applied to all cups the table is shifted horizontally in a direction at right angles to the score lines a distance which is approximately twice the height of the carton, or in other words, ap proximately twice the width of the carton side walls.

At the same instant the suction cups which engage the top wall are momentarily raised somewhat so that the shifting of the table causes the bottom wall of the carton to be shifted with respect to the top wall, swinging the opposite narrow side walls from one substantially flat position to the reverse position in which these walls are also substantially flat. This bends and limbers all of the score lines involved and lessens their tendency to return the carton to its original flat position upon release by the suction cups.

Release of the vacuum and removal of the upper suction cups now occurs and the carton blank springs to a partially open condition. At this point a double endless conveyor having suitable pusher fingers or flights begins to move the carton forward, and, leaving the horizontally shiftable table the carton is moved sidewise toward a filling table and as the carton moves with one end sliding along the inner edge of this table the food product is inserted. As the carton approaches this filling table its forward side is engaged by a downwardly extending finger which is one of a series of fingers on a carton posture control endless chain mounted midway between the two conveyor chains and which extends only throughout the width of the filling table.

The posture control chain is timed to move or advance at the same speed as the conveyor chains, but the arrangement is such that a distance is maintained between the conveyor pusher fingers at the rear of the carton and the control chain finger which engages the front that produces a slight squeeze of the carton. Thus, during its movement past the filling table each carton is postured with its top and bottom walls in straight parallel relationship, or slightly bowed outwardly, with respect to one another. This facilitates the insertion of the food product into the carton.

The conveyor chains carry the successive cartons forward from the shiftable table and suitable folding devices accomplish certain folding operations as the cartons advance. It will be understood, for example, that the top and bottom flaps are suitably manipulated or positioned with respect to the filling table, to enable the contents to be received within the carton; also that the small tab extensions from the sides of the carton at each end are folded, and the bottom wall flaps turned to vertical position leaving the top wall flaps extending still in the plane of the top wall.

While the top flaps at each end of the carton are thus extended they are carried over adhesive-applying rollers which apply a narrow strip of adhesive on the underside of each of these flaps along and adjacent their outer edges. As the conveyor chains carry the cartons still farther forward the top flaps are folded to closed position in contact with the upwardly folded bottom flaps, suitable guides being provided to maintain the flaps in contact with one another. The carton proceeds through a dielectric heating unit. When the carton is within this heating unit a brass electrode strip which is insulated from the frame of the apparatus becomes the guide, one at each end of the carton, that is, on each side of the machine.

At right angles to this vertical electrode strip and in close engagement with the bottom surface of the carton there is a second brass electrode strip which is of opposite polarity. As the carton is moved forward with each end engaged by a pair of such electrode plates at right angles to one another, the strip of adhesive as well 'as the paper board constituting the folded end flaps and the layers of wax, are all subjected to a varying electric field between the two pairs of electrode plates, these plates being connected to a high frequency electric generator which produces a suitably high frequency and voltage.

After this heat treatment for a short time period (usually less than one second) while the carton is being carried through the dielectric heating unit the carton passes into a compression section comprising a series of pressure rollers adjusted to maintain an appropriate pressure against the opposite ends of the carton for a suitable length of time, after which the carton is discharged from the machine.

The internal heating of the several materials results in the breakdown of the layers of wax so that the adhesive becomes effective directly between the fibers of the two paper flaps. Employing electrodes arranged at right angles to one another as described, and limiting the width of the adhesive strip, placing it as close as possible to the apex of the right angle formed by the two electrodes, has been found to bring about an extremely effective sealing of the ends of the carton and to require a remarkably low electric power consumption.

The invention will be better understood by considering the following description of an example of the improved apparatus as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

In these drawings:

FIG. 1 is a view in elevation of the front end portion of the machine;

FIGS. 11:, lb, and 1c are diagrammatic views to illustrate the manner in which a blank is set up from fiat folded condition to squared-up position;

FIG. 1d is a fragmentary view in elevation showing the squeezing of a carton to give it the desired filling posture;

FIG. 2 is a horizontal section on line 22 of FIG. 1 (with the carrier for the folded blanks removed) and including the front portion of a carton posture control chain and a filling table;

FIG. 3 is a view in elevation of the section of the machine adjoining that of FIGS. 1 and 2 showing the posture control chain which is located opposite the filling table;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary plan View as is indicated by the arrows 4-4 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a plan view drawn to a smaller scale than FIG. 2 showing the parts of the machine beyond and to the left of FIG. 3 and extending almost to the discharge end of the apparatus;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged detailed section taken on line 66 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a section taken on line 77 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional elevation looking in the direction of the arrows 88 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8a is an enlarged view of the cam shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 9 is a section taken on the plane indicated by line 9-9 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 10 is a plan view showing a flat folded carton blank of the type used in this machine.

The particular machine which is to be described by way of example is some feet in length by about 3 /2 feet in width and operates on sealed end cartons whose dimensions are approximately 7%" in width by 9" in length and 1" thick. It will be understood, however, that the machine can be built to operate on cartons which are both considerably smaller and considerably larger, and, in fact, the machine is constructed to have its various parts adjustable so as to accommodate a range of sizes of cartons both smaller and larger than the one mentioned.

FIGS. 2, 3 and 5 when placed end to end illustrate the greater part of the apparatus. FIGS. 2 and 3 overlap somewhat, and there is an omission of perhaps a foot between FIGS. 3 and 5. The frame of the machine comprises two horizontal channel members 11 and 12 at the front and rear respectively, and which extend from end to end of the machine. These channel members are interconnected by a number of cross rods and bars. The frame is supported by a number of upright channel members 15' appropriately spaced throughout the length of the apparatus.

A pair of double conveyor chains 16 extend from end to end of the apparatus and are carried on sprockets I7 at the front end of the machine and 18 at the rear or discharge end which is at the left in FIG. 5. The sprockets 17 are fixed to a cross shaft 13 and sprockets 18 to a similar cross shaft 14 near the discharge end.

The cartons are carried on the chains as the chains move from the vicinity of the front end, which is at the right in FIGS. 1 and 2, to the discharge end, and in order to maintain horizontal alignment the chains move over stationary supports not shown in the drawings.

To move the cartons forward chains 16 are provided with pusher fingers or flights 19 arranged in pairs in alignment with one another crosswise of the machine and suitably spaced throughout the length of the endless conveyor chains.

The entire machine is driven by an electric motor (not shown) which is mounted approximately beneath shaft 14 and chain connected therewith (also not shown). Shaft 13 at the front end of the machine rotates in journals which are supported by the channel side frame members 11 and 12. On the front side of the machine which is the side where frame channel 11 is located, shaft 13 carries a sprocket 20, which is shown in FIG. 1, but hidden by the flange of the channel member in FIG. 2. A chain 21 passing over this sprocket turns a second sprocket 22 on a cam shaft 23 that extends crosswise of the machine.

The carton blanks to be operated upon by the machine are carried in flat folded condition in a supply stack 24 which is supported in a rack 25 at the extreme front end of the machine (FIG. 1). One of these carton blanks is shown at 26 in FIG. 10 and has top and bottom panels 27 and 28, side panels 29 and 30, and flap and tab extensions of these panels at both ends which are to form the ends of the carton. The flaps remain in the planes of their respective panels until folded by the machine.

Top panel 27 is connected with side panels 29 and 30 by means of score lines 31 and 32, and bottom panel 28 is connected to the side panels 29 and 30 by score lines 33 and 34.

The extensions at the ends of the carton comprise flaps 35 and 35a projecting from the top panel 27, and 36 and 37 projecting from bottom panel 28. In forming this blank which consists of a flattened rectangular tube when viewed from either end, the opposite ends of the sheet of paper board from which the blank is made are joined together by adhesive forming an overlapped joint 38 which lies in or forms parts of the side wall 30.

In order to transfer the folded blanks successively from the bottom of the stack 24, a carrier 39 is provided. (FIG. 1.) Carrier 39 comprises two blocks 40, one of which is shown, mounted in adjusted spaced relation on a sleeve member 41 which is carried on a bodily movable cross shaft 42. The spaced blocks each support a small bar or rod 43. These two rods 43 carry fittings 44 for vacuum cups 45. Two cups 45 are mounted on each rod 43 so that there are four vacuum cups in all in generally rectangular arrangement.

The spacing of these cups may be changed to accommodate cartons of different sizes by shifting the supports 44 on rods 43 and also by shifting blocks 40 on sleeve 41. An elongated rigid rod 46 is fixed at its lower end to sleeve 41 for the purpose of controlling the angular position of carrier 39 on cross shaft 42, and of the plane of the four vacuum cups 45. Thus, by changing the angular position of rod 46, the plane of the vacuum cups may be controlled.

In order to move carrier 39 from the horizontal position shown in FIG. 1 to the upper position to remove a carton blank from stack 24 cross shaft 42 is mounted at the ends of a pair of oscillating arms 47 (FIG. 2). Shaft 42 is fixed to these arms and the arms are secured at their opposite ends to a rock shaft 48 which is mounted at its opposite ends for oscillating movement in bearings carried by the side frames 11 and 12.

The oscillation of shaft 48 is produced by means of a slotted cam 49 (FIGS. 8 and 8a) which is fixed to the far end of shaft 23 (FIG. 2). A cam follower roller 50 is mounted on a lever 51 which is pivoted at 52 on the inside of frame member 12. Roller 50 projects from the side of lever 51 and is received within the track 53 of sloted cam 49.

Directly beneath shaft 48 there is mounted a parallel shaft 54 and projecting downwardly from this shaft there is an arm 55 which is joined to the lower end of lever 51 by a connecting rod 56. Hence as shaft 23 and cam 49 rotate the arm 55 and shaft 54 are caused to oscillate. The extent of their oscillating movement is multiplied so as to give the necessary angular travel to arms 47, by means of a large sprocket 57 on shaft 54 and a smaller sprocket 58 on shaft 48, these sprockets being interconnected by an endless chain 59.

In order to control the change of angular position of carrier 39 and of the plane of the vacuum cups 45 during the swinging of arms 47, the control rod 46 for carrier 39 is arranged to slide through an aperture in a block 60 (FIG. 1). This block is positioned at the center of a rod 61 which is pivoted for oscillating movement at its ends in a pair of bracket members 62, one of which is mounted on each of the side arms 11 and 12.

As a result of this construction, as the arms 47 are swung upwardly from the horizontal position of FIG. 1, the rod 46 slides in its aperture in block 60 thus turning or changing the angular position of carrier 39 and vacuum cups 45. Cross shaft 42 passes beneath the block 60 and from that point onward the rod 46 slides in the opposite direction in block 60, and the construction is so arranged that when the arms 47 reach the dotted position of FIG. 1 the vacuum cups 45 will be in contact with the surface of the foremost carton blank in stack 24.

It will be understood that the vacuum cups are connected to a suitable source of vacuum (not shown). This connection is through conventional tubing, sections of which are indicated at 63 in FIG. 1, and through a control valve 64 to the vacuum source. Valve 64 is actuated by a cam on the front end of cam shaft 23. The timing of this valve is such that as the vacuum cups 45 contact the foremost blank the vacuum is applied, and it is maintained while arms 47 swing the carrier 39 back to the horizontal position of FIG. 1 and for some time thereafter as will presently appear.

The path of movement of carrier 39 during this operation is indicated diagrammatically in FIG. la which shows that the lower side of the carton blank 26 (FIGS. 1 and is deposited at the front (towards the left) when the carrier returns to horizontal position. In this position carton blank 26 rests upon 4 vacuum cups 66 which are mounted on a table 67 (FIG. 2) which is disposed between the two conveyor chains 16 and which is shiftable horizontally lengthwise of the chains.

These vacuum cups engage the bottom panel 28 of the carton blank, while vacuum cups 45 are already in engagement with the top panel 27. At the time the vacuum cups 66 are engaged by the blank, vacuum is applied to these cups through suitable tubing connections including tube 68 and a second valve 69. This valve is controlled by a second cam 70, on cam shaft 23.

The horizontally shiftable frame or table 67 is supported for sliding movement lengthwise of the conveyor chains on two parallel rods 71 (FIG. 9) (and also shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2). These rods are mounted on the frame of the machine by means of a cross member 72. At each end of the frame or table 67 there are bearing blocks 73 which are apertured to slidably engage the rods 71. The table is moved forward, that is to the left, in FIG. 9 by means of a cam 74 also mounted on cam shaft 23 at the center thereof. The cam engages a follower roller 75 that is carried on a bracket which projects downwardly below table 67. A tension spring '76 moves the table towards the right after roller 75 has been released by cam 74.

The mechanism for limbering the score lines 31, 32, 33, and 34 of the carton comprises shiftable table 67 and its associated parts, and carrier 39 and its associated parts, including a small projection 77 on the inner wall of track 53 of cam 49. As the carrier 39 brings blank 26 into engagement with the vacuum cups 66 on table 67, and with the vacuum applied to all of these cups and all of cups 45 also, table 67 is moved forward by the engagement of the forward end of cam 74 with roller 75.

The timing of these occurrences and also of the arrival of projection 77 of cam 49 in contact with roller 50 of lever 51 is such that simultaneously with the shifting movement of the table towards the left in FIGS. 1, 2 and 9, projection 77 causes carrier 39 to be raised slightly 6 (FIG. lb) by arms 47 and the described mechanism which interconnects them with cam 49. The bottom panel 28 of the carton blank is shifted with respect to the top panel 27 so that vacuum cups 66 are moved to the left of vacuum cups 45 whereas previous to this movement they were at the right (FIG. 1a).

This causes the formation of the carton into a parallelogram and at the extreme movement of table 67 and vacuum cups 66 to the left the two panels 28 and 27 are brought into contact with one another with the direction of the parallelogram formation reversed (FIG. 10). That is to say the score line 34 which in FIG. 1a is at the right or rear side of score line 32 is now shifted to the left of this score line. Similarly, with the score lines 34 and 31. Hence all of the four score lines have been limbered removing some of their stiffness and resiliency.

At the time the table 67 has been returned to its original position through its release by cam 74 and the action of spring 76, the vacuum on all vacuum cups is released simultaneously by valves 64 and 69. The carton blank then springs by the remaining resiliency of the fold lines 3ll34 to an open or semi-erected position approximated at 26a in FIG. 9.

As shown in FIG. 8a, projection 77 which brings about the instantaneous lifting of frame 39 and the top vacuum cups at the same time that table 67 is shifted forward, consists of a formation on a block 53a. This block is mounted in a recess in the face of cam 49 in a manner so as to be radially adjustable by means of clamping screws 53b which are passed through elongated slots in the block and are engaged in threaded apertures in cam 49. The purpose of making the projection 77 adjustable is to accommodate cartons of different thicknesses.

The outer wall of cam track 53 is made yieldable and resilient opposite the projection 77 in order to allow the passage of follower roller 50. To accomplish this, block 77a is mounted to be radially slidable in a suitable recess in the face of cam 49 and urged inwardly by a series of compression springs 77b. The block is held in slidable position in the recess by means of a bar 770.

The position of the partially erected blank is indicated by numeral 26a in FIG. 9 and in plan view in FIG. 2. As shown in FIG. 2 a pair of pusher fingers 19 on chains 16 are rounding the sprocket 17 and are about to engage and push the carton forward.

The cartons move continuously and successively off of table 67 supported and carried forward by chains 16 past the filling table 78 (FIGS. 2 and 3) and towards the dielectric heating unit, indicated generally by numeral 79 (FIG. 5 and thence to the discharge end of the apparatus.

Opposite filling table 78 is an endless posture control chain 86 (FIG. 3). This chain is mounted on an elongated triangular-shaped carriage indicated generally by numeral 81 and comprising the two guard plates 82 and 83, closely fitting the sides of chain 80, and a pair of bars 84 extending lengthwise of the bottom edges of the two guard plates on opposite sides thereof, only one of these bars being visible.

This carriage is supported on two transverse rigid rods 35 and 86. Rod 85 is carried at its ends by parts 87 (FIG. 2) which project upwardly from two parallel bars 88 and 89 which extend lengthwise of the machine and serve to support various parts to be described which control the opposite ends of the carton as it progresses through the apparatus. Rod 86 shown in FIG. 3 at the front end of carriage 81 is similarly supported.

Posture control chain 80 is driven by a sprocket 90 (FIG. 4) fixed to a short shaft 91 which is carried in bearings supported by the guard plates 82 and 83. This shaft is operatively connected to a second short shaft 92 which rotates in a bearing carried by a bracket housing 93 which is bolted as indicated at 94 to the side frame 11 of the apparatus. The carriage 81 for the posture control chain is adjustable in position within certain limits both longitudinally and laterally of the apparatus in order to accommodate boxes or cartons of different sizes.

Accordingly, shaft 91 is connected to shaft 92 by means of an intermediate shaft and two universal joints 96. Shaft 92 is driven from shaft 23 by means of a series of chains and sprockets illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. This chain of connections includes a long sprocket chain 97, two short vertical chains 93 and 99, and a pair of intermeshing spur gears 100 which are included in order to impart the correction direction of travel of the lower reach of posture control chain 80.

Posture control chain 80 carries a series of equally spaced restraining fingers 101 which are each mounted on a bracket 102, pivoted at 103 to a special link of chain 80. Brackets 102 each carry a laterally projecting pin 104 which engages a slot 105 provided in bars 84. By this arrangement each of the pusher fingers 101 is held in vertical position as it travels along the lower reach of posture control chain 80.

The speed of chain 00 is the same as the speed of the conveyor chain 16, and the carriage 81 is adjusted lengthwise so that as each finger 101 commences to travel along the lower reach of chain 00, it will be spaced from the oncoming pair of pusher fingers on chain 16 by a distance which is just slightly less than the width dimension of the carton so as to cause the upper side 27 of the carton to arch or bow upward slightly as shown in FIG. 3.

Hence as the carton passes along the edge of filling table 78 it will have a body posture which facilitates the insertion of the product from the filling table into the carton. The distance between pusher fingers 19 and their corresponding restraining fingers 101 may be so adjusted as to merely maintain the opposite sides 27 and 28 of the carton parallel and prevent the upper side 27 from drooping.

It is important to cause the upper sides 27 of the cartons to bow in the upward direction and not downwardly. This is accomplished by the mechanism shown in FIG. 1d. This figure shows a fragment at the right hand or entrance end of posture control chain 80 and the forward ends of control bars 84. The sprocket 80a rotates on a shaft 80b which is supported by carriage 81. After each finger 101 carried on its bracket 102 passes around the sprocket 80a and before the pin 104 on the bracket enters the slot 105 between bars 34, the finger hangs by gravity in an angular position such as shown in FIG. 1d. The entrance of pin 104 into slot 105 causes the bracket to swing in a counterclockwise direction and turn its finger 101 to vertical position.

The lengthwise adjustment of carriage 81 is such that as the finger reaches the position shown in FIG. 10! and just before pin 104 enters slot 105 the finger engages the forward upper corner of the carton at position 26b, the rear side of which is engaged by the pusher fingers 19 of chains 16. Hence, as the pin 104 enters slot 105 and swings finger 101 to vertical position the pressure of the finger against the upper corner of the carton ensures that the top wall 27 of the carton will be bowed upwardly as shown by the dotted lines, rather than downwardly.

This swinging motion of finger 101 also completes the squaring up of the carton and, as mentioned previously, the distance between finger 101 and fingers 19 is slightly less than the width dimension of the carton so that the carton is held with its top side bowed upwardly as it is carried forward over the filling table 78 under the influence of the posture control chain 30. Three positions of each carton on the table are indicated at 26c, 26d and 26s.

Just before the successive cartons move into position opposite the filling table 78, that is to say, as the cartons move from position 26b of FIG. 9 to position 26c of FIG. 3, the top flaps 35 and 35a at the front and rear ends of the carton pass over lifting or cam surfaces 106 (FIG. 1) which are disposed in stationary position at the front and rear sides of the machine respectively (FIG. 2). These surfaces are mounted in fixed adjustable position and serve to raise flaps 35 and 35a so as to at least keep them in the plane of the top panel 27 of the carton, or

give them a slight upward tilt. These flaps are maintained in this position by the upper edges of front and rear side guide members 107 and 107a, front guide 107 being shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. These guide members extend to the dielectric heating position 79 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5.

Previous to the lifting of the upper flaps 35 and 35a as just described, the corresponding lower flaps 36 and 37 were bent downwardly by means of guide members 108 and 109 (FIG. 2) which have twisted surfaces at their forward ends. Members 108 and 109 deliver the flaps to the lower surfaces respectively of the forward side guide member 107 and of an extension 78a on the filling plate 78. Thus as the cartons pass opposite the end of the filling table the lower flaps are held beneath the plate so that they cannot interfere with the insertion of the food product from the filling table.

As shown in FIG. 10, the carton 26 has tabs 32a and 32b and 33a and 33b projecting from the respective front and rear ends of the side panels 32 and 33. It is necessary to fold these tabs inwardly. On the front side of the carton the forward tab 32a is folded by engaging the front end of side guide 107 as the carton moves forward. Tab 33a is folded inwardly by means of a swinging L- shaped finger 110 (shown only in FIG. 2) which is pivotally mounted at 111 on the frame of the machine. This finger is operated to swing to the dotted position and fold in tab 33a in timed relation to the movement of the carton by chain 16. The tabs 32b and 33b at the rear of the carton are folded inwardly by the pressure of the arti cles or products as they are inserted from the filling table.

The filling of the carton may be done by hand from a supply of the products accumulated on filling table 73, or the cartons may be filled by means of appropriate inserting mechanism 7812 which is operated in timed relation with chains 16 to insert a predetermined quantity of the product in the carton while it is moving along the inner edge of the filling table.

As the cartons travel successively beyond, that is, to the left of the posture control mechanism 81 of FIG. 3, they are guided at their front and rear ends by the side guides 107 and 107a, and are held fiat upon carrying chains 16 by two parallel guide bars 112 beneath which the cartons slide freely. Beyond the posture control mechanism the cartons pass through positions 261, 26g, 26h and 26 Between positions 262 and 26 the lower end fiaps 36 and 37 on the front and rear ends of the carton are folded upwardly to vertical position, the position of flap 36 being shown in FIG. 6.

Such folding operations are accomplished by stationary folders 113 (FIG. 5), the forward ends of these folders not being shown. Folders 113 are twisted or warped surfaces of conventional form and function and serve to fold the flaps 36 and 37 upwardly as the carton is carried past the folders. The positions of flaps 36 and 37 after folding are shown in dotted lines in FIG. 5 at position 26f of the carton and it will be seen that these fiaps have been folded against the inwardly turned or folded end tabs 32a and 33a and 32b and 33b respectively.

This leaves the upper end flaps 35 and 35a extended in horizontal position. In this position they pass over adhesive-applying rollers or wheels 114. These rollers rotate continually, dipping into adhesive in conventional receptacles therebeneath and driven by belts 115. A pair of small rollers 116 operate on the upper surfaces of flaps 35 and 35a to press them into contact with the respective adhesive rollers 114. Rollers 114 are narrow in width and apply a strip of adhesive A3" in width or less close to the edges of these two flaps. In FIG. 6 one of these strips of adhesive is indicated at 117 after the outer top end flaps 35 and 35a have been folded downwardly to vertical position in contact with the previously up-folded bottom flaps 36 and 37.

This down-folding of the top flaps 35 and 35a takes place while the carton is passing from position 26 to position 2611. At position 26g this folding is taking place. The folding is done by flap folders 118 at each side of the machine which are similar to the folders 113 previously referred to. Flap folders 118 are inserted in interruptions in the side guide rails 107 and 107a inasmuch as previous to the carton position 26g these rails have held top flaps 35 and 35a in outwardly extended horizontal position.

As the carton passes from position 26;; and approaches position 26h the side guides 107 and 107a maintain all flaps in folded position substantially as shown in FIG. 6. Side guides 107 and 107a, however, terminate at the entrance to the dielectric heating unit 79 and the ends of the carton pass between two vertical electrodes 119 and 120. These are strips of brass extending throughout the dielectric heating unit, electrode 119 being shown in cross section in FIG. 6 and both in end view in FIG. 7. They have integral flat horizontal flanges 121 at the top to facilitate electrical connections to be described.

Electrode strips 119 and 120 are supported on insulators 122 of porcelain or other suitable material. There are two insulators for each electrode shown in FIG. and each pair of insulators is mounted upon a supporting bar-like frame 123 which is adjustably carried on a pair of stationary cross rods 124 which extend between the side frames 11 and 12 of the machine. The arrangement is such that supports 123 on each side of the machine can be adjusted in position lengthwise of bars 124 so as to accommodate cartons of different lengths. Guide bars 107 and 107a are also mounted to be adjustable for the same purpose, but such mounting is not illustrated.

It will be understood that the inner surfaces of the vertical electrode strips 119 and 120 maintain a suitable closing pressure between the opposite ends of the carton.

Cooperating with each of the vertical electrodes 119 and 120 are electrodes of opposite instantaneous polarity. These are shown at 125 and 126 (FIG. 7) and they are arranged at right angles to the vertical electrodes 119 and 120 and in close proximity thereto. In fact the horizontal electrodes 125 and 126 are also L-shaped in end view and are supported by their vertical portions on the same adjustable bar supports 123 as the vertical electrodes. They are, however, grounded to the frame of the machine.

A high frequency electrical generator is indicated at 127 in FIG. 5. This operates at a suitable voltage and produces a frequency that is compatible with the electrode arrangement, that is to say, with the arrangement of the two pairs of electrodes at right angles to each other. Generator 127 receives electrical energy from conductors 128 and delivers it to the high frequency heating unit through conductors 129 and 130, the latter being grounded to the machine frame as shown.

The connections between conductor 129 and the two vertical electrodes 119 and 120 are arranged to accommodate the adjustment of the electrodes for cartons of different lengths. To this end, conductor 129 is connected to a cross conductor 131 which is supported by a rigid bridge member 132. This bridge member extends between the side frame members 11 and 12 and its horizontal portion is channel shaped in cross section with the open side of the channel facing downward so that conductors 131 are supported within the flanges of the channel and thus protected.

Supported near each side of the machine on bridge member 132 there are rigid conducting bars 133 and 134 the arrangement being such that these bars are supported on insulating blocks mounted within the channel of bars 132. The connections between bar 133 and vertical electrode 119 comprise two thin strips of flexible brass or bronze 135 which are riveted to the horizontal portion 121 of the electrode near its opposite ends and which are also riveted to the bar 133 near its opposite ends. The end portions of the opposite electrode 120 are connected in a similar manner to the ends of bar 134 by flexible brass strips 136.

As the cartons pass successively through the dielectric heating unit 79, the opposite ends of the carton sliding along between the vertical electrodes 119 and 120, and the marginal side portions of the bottom of the carton at each end also being either in contact with or very close to the horizontal electrodes 125 and 126, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, a high frequency electric field is produced between the electrodes 119 and 125 on the front of the carton, and electrodes and 126 at the rear end. This produces substantially instantaneous heating of the strip of adhesive 117 which is disposed along the lower edge of the outer flap, and it also warms the outer and inner end flaps and the layers of wax on both of these flaps. Thus, referring to FIG. 6 which is a magnified view in cross section at the front end of the carton Within the heating unit, the strip of adhesive is indicated by numeral 117, and the inner and outer layers of wax on the end flap 35 are indicated by numerals 137 and 138. Similarly, the layers of wax on the inner flap 36 are indicated at 139 and 140. The heating action results in melting the wax, particularly in the inner layers 138 and 139, so that the adhesive can penetrate the fibers of the material of flaps 35 and 36 and becomes effective.

The application of the dielectric heating is required only from a fraction of a second to a few seconds, and the heating takes places as each carton passes along between the electrodes 119 and 120, so that by the time the carton reaches the position 26 or even before, the adhesive has effectively penetrated the flaps. At position 26 the carton is enclosed between rows of rollers 142 which maintain a suitable sealing pressure against the opposite ends of the carton until the adhesive has commenced to set whereupon the carton is discharged from the machine.

We claim:

1. In a machine for packaging rectangular cartons having four side walls connected by score lines, a horizontally shiftable support carrying a plurality of upwardly directed vacuum cups, a movable frame carrying a plurality of vacuum cups, means for moving the frame to place the vacuum cups in engagement with the top wall of a flat folded carton blank on the support, means for shifting the support and frame horizontally relatively to one another at right angles to the carton score lines and means for simultaneously and momentarily separating the frame and support, thereby swinging the bottom and top walls of the blank relatively to each other to limber the score lines.

2. In a machine for packaging rectangular cartons having four side walls connected by score lines, a supply rack for the carton blanks in flat folded condition, a horizontally shiftable support carrying a plurality of upwardly directed vacuum cups, means for transferring the blanks one at a time from the supply to the support, a movable frame carrying a plurality of vacuum cups, means for moving the frame to place the vacuum cups in engagement with the top wall of the carton blank on the support, means for shifting the support and frame horizontally relatively to one another at right angles to the carton score lines and means for simultaneously and momentarily moving the frame and support away from and then towards each other, thereby swinging the bottom and top walls of the blank relatively to each other to limber the score lines.

3. In a machine for packaging rectangular cartons having four side walls connected by score lines, a supply rack for the carton blanks in flat folded condition, a horizontally shiftable support carrying a plurality of upwardly directed vacuum cups, means for transferring the blanks one at a time from the supply to the support, a movable frame carrying a plurality of vacuum cups, means for moving the frame to place the vacuum cups in engagement with the top wall of the blank on the support, means for shifting the support in a direction at right angles to the carton score lines and means for simultaneously raising and immediately lowering the frame of vacuum cups, thereby swinging the bottom and top walls of the blank relatively to each other tolimber the score lines.

4. In a machine for packaging rectangular cartons having four side walls connected by score lines, a supply rack for the carton blanks in flat folded condition, a support movable only in a single plane and carrying a plurality of upwardly directed vacuum cups, a movable frame carrying a plurality of vacuum cups, means for moving the frame for transferring the blanks one at a time from the supply to the support and with the vacuum cups in engagement with the top wall of the blank on the support, means for shifting the support in a direction at right angles to the carton score lines and means for causing the frame of vacuum cups to recede from and re-approach the plane of movement of the support during the shifting movement of said support, thereby swinging the bottom and top walls of the blank relatively to each other to limber the score lines.

5. In a machine for packaging rectangular cartons having four side Walls connected by score lines, a carton squaring=up area, a carton filling area, and an endless flight conveyor for carrying successive cartons throughout each of these areas, mechanism in the squaring-up ai 'ea for partially squaring up successive carton blanks, a carton posture endless flight chain operating in the filling area, the spacing of the flights of the posture chain being the same as the flight spacing of the conveyor, means for driving the conveyor and the posture chain at the same speed with their respective flights operating in timed relation and engaging respectively the rear and front sides of successive cartons to completely square up the carton, and means for adjusting the posture chain lengthwise of the conveyor to cause the distance between the correspondingflights of the conveyor and posture chain to be slightly less than the width dimension of the carton so as to apply a squeezing pressure to the carton which holds the top and bottom walls spread apart to receive the articles at the filling area.

6. A machine for packaging rectangular cartons as set forth in claim wherein an adjustable support is mounted above the conveyor, which carries the posture chain with the lower reach thereof parallel to the conveyor, the flights of the posture chain engaging the cartons as they travel the lower reach of the chain.

7. In a machine for packaging rectangular cartons having four side walls connected by score lines, a carton squaring-up area, a carton filling area, and an endless flight conveyor for carrying successive cartons throughout these successive areas, mechanism in the squaring-up area for partially squaring up successive carton blanks and leaving the upper front score line of the blank extending forwardly of the lower front score line, a carton posture endless flight chain trained around sprockets at each end thereof, the flights of the lower reach of such chain contacting the cartons in the filling area, the spacing of the flights of the posture chain being the same as the flight spacing of the conveyor, means for driving the conveyor and the posture chain at the same speed with their respective flights operating in timed relation for engaging respectively the rear and front sides of successive cartons, the distance between the corresponding flights of the conveyor and posture chains being slightly less than the width dimension of the carton so as to apply a squeezing pressure to the sides of the carton to hold the top and bottom walls spread apart to receive the articles at the lling area, and each of the flights of the posture chain including a finger pivoted on the chain and assuming an inclined position with its lower end forward of its upper end as the flight turns the first sprocket and approaches a carton, such finger coming into contact with the front score line of the carton in such inclined position, and means for turning the finger to vertical position as the squeezing of the carton takes place, thereby to cause the top wall of the carton to arch upwardly.

8. In a machine for packaging rectangular cartons having four side walls connected by score lines, a supply rack for the carton blanks in flat folded condition, a horizontally shiftable support carrying a plurality of upwardly directed vacuum cups, a movable frame carrying a plurality of vacuum cups, means for moving the frame for transferring the blanks one at a time from the supply to the support and with the vacuum cups in engagement with the top wall of the blank on the support, means for shifting the support in a direction at right angles to the carton score lines, means for simultaneously raising and immediately lowering the frame of vacuum cups, thereby swinging the bottom and top walls of the blank relatively to each other to lirnber the score lines, means for releasing the vacuum on the vacuum cups leaving the carton in partially squared-up condition, a carton filling area, an endless flight conveyor for carrying successively partially squared-up cartons from the shiftable support to and through the carton filling area, and an endless chain arranged above said conveyor at the carton filling area, the flights of said chain having a somewhat smaller spacing than the flights of the conveyor and, while travelling the lower reach of the chain, engaging the forward ends of the cartons and thereby cooperating with the flights of the conveyor to hold the carton in arched condition to facilitate insertion of the product.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,661,848 3/1928 Plass 53-376 X 1,893,169 1/1933 Hartmann 53-183 2,277,783 3/1942 Scharf 53-183 2,289,820 7/1942 Ardell 53-186 X 2,612,823 10/1952 Wolfer 53-186 X 2,737,001 3/1956 Bucha 53-386 X 2,863,371 12/1958 Tonna 93-53 2,887,022 5/1959 Lubersky et al 93-53 2,906,075 9/1959 Vogel 53-186 2,957,289 10/1960 Monroe et al. 53-186 2,982,068 5/1961 Pape et al 53-186 3,006,802 10/1961 Pfeifer 156-380 3,016,668 1/1962 Sell 53-186 3,019,152 1/1962 Jones 156-380 3,042,101 7/ 1962 Spunt 156-380 3,060,654 10/1962 Lubersky et al 53-186 FRANK E. BAILEY, Primary Examiner.

HAROLD ANSHER, TRAVIS S. MCGEHEE,

Examiners,

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3273471 *Jan 21, 1964Sep 20, 1966Owens Illinois Glass CoApparatus for setting up folded cartons
US3293998 *Oct 21, 1963Dec 27, 1966Superior Packaging Equipment CContainer opening device and method of opening a knock-down container
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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/564, 156/380.6, 493/313, 53/376.7
International ClassificationB31B5/80
Cooperative ClassificationB31B2203/003, B31B1/06, B31B2201/027, B31B2201/287, B31B1/80
European ClassificationB31B1/80, B31B1/06