US 3221474 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 7, 1965 W. HOFFMANN ETAL 3,221,474
AUTOMATIC PACKAGING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 23. 1961 LKT E ms INVENTORS WOLFGANG HOFFMANN JOHN FOLOWS ATTORNEY Dec. 7, 1965 w. HOFFMANN ETAL 3,221,474
AUTOMATIC PACKAGING MACHINE Filed Oct. 25, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS WOLFGANG HOFFMANN JOHN FOLLOWS ICHARD TAY 0R ATTORNEY Dec. 7, 1965 w. HOFFMANN ETAL 3,221,474
AUTOMATIC PACKAGING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Oct. 23, 1961 INVENTORS 73 3 5% 6NMWU WQ 1 7//O//2/HL T a 5 5 vi 3 5 0 w z v LIN I V T 1|||HHU m N W 5. WW I 0 J ,M. 0 f L. 2 Am I o SUM A? W 3 2 W wnw m lv I II WOLFGANG HOFFMANN JOHN FOLLOWS RICHARD TAYLOR ATTORNEY 7 Dec. 7, 1965 w. HOFFMANN ETAL 3,221,474
AUTOMATIC PACKAGING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 23, 1961 United States Patent M 3,221,474 AUTOMATIC PACKAGING MACHINE Wolfgang Hoirmnnn, LAhord a Ploutfe, Quebec, John Follows, Dorval, Quebec, and Richard Taylor, Baie DUrfe, Quebec, Canada, assignors, by mesne assignments, to Canadian International Paper (Iornpany, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Fiied Get. 23, I961, Ser. No. 146,696 Claims priority, application Great Britain, June 13, 196i, 21,281/61 22 Claims. (Cl. 53-182) This invention relates to an automatic packaging machine and to a method of packaging.
More specifically, the present invention has particular application to packaging of potato chips, and so for convenience will be described in this connection with the understanding that this does not limit its wider application to other commodities of a type for which fin type pillow bags are generally employed.
Up to now, the principal method of semi-automatically packaging commodities has been to pre-form the bag on a bag'making machine and then to transport the bag to an ultimate filling machine Where it is filled. Another method has been to form, fill and seal the bag in a continuous operation.
The first method permits the use of a full gusseted bag and eliminates grading, besides allowing paper foil laminates of an economical nature to be used. However, the higher cost of pre-made bags and labour, where bags are hand-fed, along with the higher labour cost, where gusseted bags have to be fed into a top-sealing machine, is a great disadvantage.
The second method embodies the principle of continuously forming a bag from a roll of heat-scalable material around a forming tube, while introducing the commodities through the same tube. The advantages of this system provide lower costs of packaging material and labour. This disadvantages are that a paper 'foil laminant of an economical nature cannot be handled on this type of equipment, nor is it feasible to incorporate a full gusset fold into the formed bag. Furthermore, in order to operate at an economical speed, it is necessary either to grade the contents as to size, or to use a settling device injurious to the product, or both.
Despite its disadvantages, this second method, being fully automatic, has been subject to many improvements, and the industry seems to have concentrated on trying to improve this method rather than trying to automate the first method.
The applicants have now developed a bag-forming and filling apparatus which comprises the combination of bagforming and feeding means with subsequent bag-filling means linked therewith, and means for controlling the bag-forming means and means for controlling the filling means. In accordance with the invention, the respective controlling means are coordinated so that bags are formed and fed in response to demand, or, looked at in another way, bags are filled automatically as supplied. More specifically, the bag-forming and feeding means in clude mechanism for intermittently advancing a web of heat-scalable bagforming material, forming it into a tube, and heat-sealing the end of the tube to form a fintype pillow bag. Cooperating with the heat sealing means is cutting means for serving a previously formed part of the tube and freeing it as a bag. The bag filling and topsealing means includes means for gripping the bottom of each bag successively as formed and advancing it when freed by the forming means through filling, vibrating and top-sealing stations or zones respectively as subsequent bags are formed, freed and advanced to and through previous stations or zones. By synchronized control of 3,221,474 Patented Dec. 7, 1965 the bag-forming and feeding means, the forming and feeding cycle is kept in step with the filling cycle so that open bags are presented to the filling mechanism as required.
The present invention eliminates the disadvantages of previous methods, and incorporates advantages of both systems mentioned. It permits the automatic sequential formation of the bag, filling and sealing it automatically in synchronized sequential operations, thus eliminating labour and duplication of effort.
The applicants have provided a preferred apparatus in which there are novel combinations and sub-combinations of features. Among these are the following.
The feeding mechanism includes a slack take-up unit, and means for drawing web material into the take-up unit. The reversing mechanism comprises a series of guide rollers which serve to reverse the direction and invert the web material.
The forming mechanism comprises means for forming the web into a cylindrical tube, and means for sealing together the lateral edges of the web, guiding means in advance of the forming unit, means for forming a gusset in the tube, and advancing means for pulling the web from the slack take-up unit through the reversing mechanism and through the forming mechanism. At the same time, the advancing mechanism pushes the: cylindrical tube forward through the sealing and cutting mechanism to engagement with a gripping mechanism rotatably mounted on the indexing mechanism.
The advancing means comprises in combination a pair of vertically oppose-d gripping fingers operating Within the forming unit to grip the underside of the cylindrical tube in conjunction with a pair of external fingers, which pull the bag forward.
The indexing mechanism also includes a bag filling device, a settling device, a top-sealing device, mean-s for releasing the bag from the gripping mechanism, and means for removing the bag from the table.
A control system ensures cooperation of the various features, combinations and sub-combinations.
Having thus generally described the nature of the invention, particular reference will be made to the accompanying drawings wherein there is shown by way of illustration a preferred apparatus according to the invention, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of an automatic bagmaking machine in accordance with the invention.
FIGURE 2 is a bag made in the machine before it is filled and top-sealed.
FIGURE 3 is a cross-section along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged cross-section through the bag along the line 4-4 of FIGURE 2, showing how the bagforming material is bottom sealed.
FIGURE 5 shows a bag filled and top sealed.
FIGURE 6 is a cross-section along the line 6-6 of FIGURE 5.
FIGURE 7 is a side elevation partly in section of the machine, showing how the bag-forming material is fed.
FIGURE 8 is a cross-section along the line 88 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 9 is a front-end elevation of the machine showing the material roll holder, and slack take-up arrangements.
FIGURE 10 is a perspective view showing the forming collar and advancing mechanism.
FIGURE 11 is a longitudinal vertical cross-section along the line 1111 of FIGURE 10.
FIGURE 12 is a vertical cross-section along the line 1212 of FIGURE 11, showing the initial fold of the laminated sheet.
FIGURE 13 is a transverse cross-section along the line 13-13 of FIGURE 11.
FIGURE 14 is a cross-section along the line 14-14 of FIGURE 11.
FIGURE 15 is a greatly enlarged cross-section showing the sealing foot acting on the manufacturing joint along the side of the bag.
FIGURE 16 is a transverse vertical cross-section partly in elevation along the line 16-16 of FIGURE 1, showing particularly the operation of the advancing mechanism.
FIGURE 17 is a vertical transverse cross-section along the line 17-17 of FIGURE 1, showing the operation of the gusseting bars, as the sleeve is advanced.
FIGURE 18 is a vertical cross-section along the line 1818 of FIGURE 1, showing the parts that cut and seal the bottom of the bag.
FIGURE 19 is a vertical cross-section along the line 19-19 of FIGURE 18.
FIGURE 20 is a fragmentary top plan view of one of the grippers as it receives a bag.
FIGURE 21 is a cross-section along the line 21-21 of FIGURE 7 showing in more detail the slack take-up mechanism.
FIGURE 22 is a diagrammatic view of the electrical and pneumatic circuit of the actual machine.
Detailed description The apparatus is mounted on a frame A. It is made up of a feeding arrangement, indicated generally by B a reversing unit C which changes the direction of a web W coming from the feeding unit B, and also inverts the web. Following the unit C, is a forming unit D which forms the web into a tube and advances the tube intermittently, seals its longitudinal edges and formsgussets. Subsequent to the unit D is a cutting and bottom sealing unit E. The unit E is followed by an indexing unit F, which receives the bag in a bottom-sealed, top-open position from the cutting and sealing unit E, and includes means for opening and placing the bag in a vertical position beneath a bag filling apparatus, the feeder tube of which is shown at G. The unit F also includes means (not shown in detail) for settling the commodity in the bag, sealing the tops of the bags once filled, and removing them from the indexing unit.
Reference will now be made for convenience to the units mentioned.
Feeding unit B The feeding unit includes a roller 21 which is journalled on a pair of brackets 23 extending outward from panels 25 which form an extension on each side of the frame A. A core 27 is mounted on the roller 21 to receive a web W of bag forming material, in the preferred case, a laminate of aluminum foil and sulphite paper. The top of the panels 25 journal a drive shaft 28 having a drive roller 29 mounted on it. The shaft 28 has one end extending beyond the outside of the frame 25, over the frame A. A bracket 34 mounted on the frame A positions the extending portion of the shaft 28 on the frame A. A bevel gear 30 is mounted on the end of shaft 28 to engage a bevel gear 38 connected to a rod which in turn is connected to a speed reducer 42, driven by an electric motor 44 mounted on a supported extension 46 of the frame A. The operation of the unit B will be described later.
Cooperating with the drive roller 29 is a press roller 31 journalled on a pair of arms 33, each pivoted to one of the panels 25, as at 35. A spring 37 urges the arm 33 in a downward direction so that the roller 31 is pressed against the roller 29 to engage the web therebetween.
A vertical guide member 41 is mounted on each panel 25 and provided with a slot 43. A slack take-up or dancer roller 39 extends between the respective panels 25 and has its ends slidable in the respective slots 43. The web passes from the drive roller 29 down under the slack take-up or dancer roller 39, and upwards to a guide roller 45 mounted on the frame A above the roller 31.
The feeding unit B is provided with a friction strap or brake 22 mounted on a supporting cross bar 30. The cross bar 30 is mounted between the panels 25, as shown at 26 in FIGURE 7. The friction strap 22 is tensioned by a weight 24, extending below the roller 27.
Reversing unit C The frame A has an extension 51 extending to the left and which is supported at its outer end on a pedestal 53. Near the end of the frame 51 are mounted on each side of it, brackets 55 and 57, carrying guide rollers 59 and 61, respectively. The web W is received by the undersurface of the roller 59 and passes about it, and then down under the roller 61 on its way to the forming unit D. In this way the direction of the web is reversed and at the same time is inverted, for reasons to be described.
Forming unit D The forming unit D includes an elongated cylindrical forming tube indicated generally by 70. This tube is provided with a mandrel portion 65 having an initial neck 67 of reduced diameter held in a column 69 supported by a bracket 71 connected to a cross member 74', which in turn is connected at one end to the super-structure 74, and to the frame A at the other end.
The other end of tube 70 is provided with a tapering portion 73 terminating in a discharge mouth 75. The tapering portion 73 is provided with two pairs of diametrically opposed slots, 77 and 79.
Surrounding parts of the mandrel 65, is a forming collar 81, whose inner surface is spaced from the surface of the mandrel 65. The collar 81 is provided with an edge-gathering slot 83 extending inward from its receiving end. The slot 83 has a tapered entrance 85, leading to an elongated channel 86, terminating in an enlarged terminal portion 87. On one side of the slot 83, the upper surface of the collar 81 is sloped to form a reversing lip 89. The collar 81 is supported by a bracket 91, attached to the super-structure 74 of the frame A. Bridging the terminal portion 87 of the slot 83 is a flexible pressure finger 84 adapted to depress the edges of the Web, as they enter the slot, and are folded.
To the left of the forming unit D (referring to FIG- URES 7 and 8) are a pair of spaced apart spreading and forming plates 93, held in the path of the web by straps 97 extending outwardly from a bracket 95, connected to the frame A. The plates 93 are each positioned at an angle to the direction of the web so as to engage its edges and prevent them from curling inwards upon entering the forming tube and collar, and to give them a curvature to start the formation of the tube.
T ube advancing mechanism Reciprocating within the tapered portion 73 of the forming tube D, is a web-engaging head 101 mounted on a piston rod 102 sliding in a sleeve 103 held within the initial end of the mandrel portion 65 by a sleeve 105. The rod 102 is connected to an arm 106, which in turn, is connected to a piston 107 operating in a pneumatic cylinder 109. Similarly connected to the piston rod 107, is an arm 111 adjacent arm 106, which when it contacts a pair of limit switches 113 and 113a, determines the stroke of the rods 102 and 107a, and also operates a piston 127 in cylinder 129.
The Webengaging head 101 is provided with a pair of outwardly-extending fiingers 115 and 115a which protrude through the upper and lower vertical slots 77. Cooperating with the fingers 115 and 115a, are fingers 117 and 119 respectively, one above and one below. The fingers 117 and 119 are adjustably mounted, by rods 121 and 121a, in collars 123 and 123a respectively, on arms 125 and 125a. Arm 125 is flexibly mounted on a piston rod 127a, while arm 125a is rigidly mounted on the other end of the cylin der 129. The arms 125 and 125a are slidably journalled on stationary rods 131 and 131a, which in turn, are mounted on brackets 134 and 134a (as shown in FIG- URE 7) secured to the super-structure 74. A cross-arm 133 is slidably mounted on the upper and lower ends of rods 131 and 131a respectively, and is pvotally secured to the arms 125 and 125a, as at 135 and 135a. The cross arms 133 is rigidly connected to the end of the piston rod 107a of the piston 107 by a bolt 136. Thus, when the arm 111 contacts the limit switches 113 and 113a, the rods 102 and 107a move together, and the arms 125 and 125a close and open with the respective ends of the stroke.
In the horizontal slots 79 on each side of the tapered portion 73 in the position shown in FIGURE 10, are elongated gusset-forming fingers 114 held on arms 143 supported by legs 145 mounted on extension 171 of the frame A. The fingers 114 project beyond the mouth 75 of the tapered tube 73 and between spaced apart resilient spreader plates 151. An adjustable support 153 extends vertically across the mouth 75 to support the walls of the tube 73. The form-retaining plates 151 are secured to the end of the tube 73 by welding.
Pivotally mounted as at 159, to the super-structure 74, is a supporting arm 161 which extends transversely across the tube D. The forward end of this arm carries a sealing head 163. The rear end of the arm 161 is so arranged in conjunction with a control valve 165, so that when the arm is in a non-horizontal position, the pneumatic system is closed, completely stopping operation of the machine. But, when the arm is brought down to a substantially horizontal position, the pneumatic system is restored, permitting operation of the machine. The sealing head 163 is normally in contact with the web passing over the forming part of the tube 65 at the position indicated by dotted lines 1630, and is sufiiciently weighted to maintain a continuous sealing contact with the unfolded edges making up the manufacturing joint of the preformed tube.
Scaling and cutting unit E The sealing and cutting unit E comprises a framework of guide rods 173 mounted on a base plate 172. The base plate 172, in turn, is mounted on an extension plate 171, of the frame A. A cross-head 174 is mounted on the top of guide members 173.
Slideably mounted on the lower portion of the guide rods 173 is a lower jaw, comprising, two vertically spaced apart portions 177 and 179. The upper portion 177 of the lower jaw is separated from the lower portion 179 of the lower jaw by means of damping spring 185 on rods 183. The rods 183 are fixed to the lower portion 179, and slide through the upper portion 177.
The upper portion 177 of the lower jaw comprises a pair of gripping feet 217 and 219, mounted therein, which in turn, have friction plates 217a and 219a mounted thereon. The feet 217 and 219 are spaced apart in the direction of movement of the web, with a centrally located transverse slot 214 extending therebetween.
The power portion 179 of the lower jaw is provided with a cutting knife 131 mounted therein, which protrudes above the surface of the upper portion 177 of the lower jaw, through the slot 214, when compressed against the upper portion 177.
A piston rod 189, operating in a cylinder 191 mounted on the extension plate 171 of the frame A, as at 222, is anchored to the lower portion 179 of the lower jaw. The piston rod 189 extends through the supporting plates 171 and 172 from the cylinder 191 thereby effecting movement of the lower jaw.
An upper jaw 187, slideably mounted on the upper portion of the guide rods 173 is transversely divided in the direction of the web movement into a heating foot 213 and gripping foot 215, having a friction plate 215a. The upper jaw 187 is slotted in the direction of the Web movement, as at 214a, between the heating and gripping feet 213 and 215, to coincide with the slot 214 of the lower jaw thereby permitting entry of the cutting blade 131 therethrough.
The top portion of the upper jaw 187, is mounted on a supporting member 216, which in turn, is anchored to a rod 193. The rod 193 has a T shaped head with transverse portions 195, and operates in a cylindrical guide 211, provided with a vertical slot 209. These transverse portions 195 extend laterally through the slot 209. The cylindrical guide member 211 forms the the middle portion of the cross-head 174. An arm 194, pivotally connected as at 198 to the cross-head 174, has one end provided with Y shaped leaders 197 and 197a, and each ,leader in turn is pivotally connected as at 188 to one of the laterally projecting transverse portions 195. A roller 199 is mounted on the other end of the arm 197 and is engaged by a foot 201 mounted on a piston rod 203 operating in a cylinder 205. The cylinder 205 is mounted on the super structure 74 by a bracket 207..
A tensioning spring 202, having one end connected to the arm 194 as at 204, and the other end mounted on a pin 206 inserted in the lower portion 179 of the lower jaw, keeps the roller 199 of the arm 194 in continuous contact with the foot 201.
Indexing unit F The indexing unit F immediately follows the sealing and cutting unit E, and comprises a rotating table P with a plurality of grippers F mounted thereon. Table F rotates about a stationary central supporting member 311 mounted on a base 351 connected to the extension plate 171 of the frame A. The central member 311 also serves as a mounting for a stationary bag-opening apparatus comprising suction heads 353 and 355 (as shown in FIG- URE 1), connected by arm 354 journalled on a member 311. An intermittently operating sealing device comprising a sealing unit 357 and a pressing foot 359 connected to an arm 358 is mounted on the member 311. A further piston rod 331 operating in a stationary cylinder 305 is connected by arm 310 to the member 311, and serves to open the grippers F to be described. A cam mechanism 371, mounted on an arm 373, which in turn is, journalled on the central member 311, serves as means to release the filled and sealed bags from the grippers F A corrugated plate 375 is rigidly journalled to the central member 311, and serves as a settling device to settle the commodity in the bag before the bag is top sealed.
Each gripper F comprises a pair of spaced apart gripping plates 323 and 324 having a tapering entrance formed by lips 323a and 324a respectively. Plate 323 is laterally secured on one side near its posterior end to a gear 302, and to a shaft 318 having the gear 302 mounted on one end thereof. Similarly, plate 324 is mounted on and secured to a shaft 316 and gear 304, mounted on one end of the shaft. The gear 304 is vertically positioned below the gear 302 to engage it. A tensioning spring 306 extends between the two gripping plates 323 and 324 to urge them together. The gear 304, mounted on the shaft 316 is secured to one end 303a of an arm 303. The arm 303 has a roller 337 pivotally mounted on the other end thereof.
A U-shaped bracket 315 having legs 315a and 31515 journals the shafts 316 and 318. The bracket 315 in turn is mounted on a plate 313, hingedly connected as at 312, to a stationary supporting member 314 secured to the rotating indexing table F by screws 314a.
Extending downwardly from the plate 313 below the hinge connection 312 is a rod 317, having a roller 319 mounted at one end thereof, and riding between two parallel fixed rails 321 and 321a forming a guiding track 320 surrounding the indexing table F as best shown in FIGURE 1. The track 320 guides the gripping members F from a horizontal to a vertical position, by guiding the lower end of the rod 317, and causing it to lie flat on the supporting member 314. A pair of guide plates 343 and 345, serve to guide the plates 323 and 324 of the gripper F are also served to guide the plates 323 and 324 from a horizontal to a vertical position.
The cylinder 305 having the piston rod 331 is mounted on a stationary supporting arm 311), which in turn, is mounted on the centrally-located indexing support 311, as previously described. A plate 335 is mounted on one end of the piston rod 331, and contacts the arm 393 at the roller 337 causing the gear 304 to rotate, thereby opening the gripping plates.
A pair of converting guide plates 221, mounted on a support 253 connected to the extension plate 171 of the frame A, guide the tube into the grippers F The support 253, is positioned on the side opposite to the direction of rotation of the table F so as to permit release of the bag from the guide plates.
Operation In operation in general, a roll of web material VJ is drawn from the supply mechanism B, reversed by the mechanism C, and pulled through the forming mechanism D. The intermittent feed is supplied by the advancing mechanism, as will be described in detail, and web forming material is supplied in response to the de mand of the feeding mechanism B. The tube formed with the mechanism D is then passed over the sealing and cutting unit E, which simultaneously severs a bag to the right of it, and seals the end of the tube to the left of it. The end of the previously formed tube, prior to the severing of the bag, is brought under the control of the indexing mechanism F which grips the end of the tube, and when the bag forming portion is severed, takes this portion and positions it for feeding.
The operation of each of these mechanisms involved and of the control which synchronizes the operation of these mechanisms, will be described as follows. First of all, the mechanisms in terms of their action on the web will be described in detail, followed by the detailed description of the pneumatic and electrical systems.
In operation, a roll of web material W is positioned on the spindle 27, and is sufficiently braked by the action of the friction strap 22 with the weight 24 suspended from the cross beam 30 mounted between the panels 24 and 25. A preferred web is a laminate of sulphite paper and metal foil, for example, aluminum foil of normal thickness for making bags for potato chips.
The web material is intermittently drawn from the supply on the spindle 27 under the dancer roller 39, by the rotation of drive roller 29. The electric motor 44, connected to a reducer unit 42 having a bevel gear 38 mounted on the shaft thereof, engages the bevel gear 31) mounted on the shaft 28, which journals the roller 29, thereby by rotating the roller 29. The electric motor 44, in turn, is activated by the closing of a micro-switch 501, operating in response to the intermittent drawing of the web from the dancer roller 39. The closing and opening of this switch 501 will later be described.
The web W is drawn intermittently from the dancer roller 39, through the reversing and forming mechanisms by the reciprocating action of fingers 117 and 119, coordinating with the fingers 115 and 115a, operating in the mandrel 73 through the slots 77. The fingers 115, 115a, 117 and 119, preferably have friction plates mounted on the surface thereof. In terms of the forming mechanism, an amount of web W is pulled from the dancer roller 39, on each forward stroke sufiicient to make a single bag. The web, after being fed between the drive roller 29 and press roller 31, and under the dancer roller 31, passes over the guide roller 45, then on to the reversing rollers 55 and 61, which reverse the direction of the web W. This reversal mechanism permits the accommodation of the whole apparatus in a considerably less space than otherwise would be necessary.
From the roller 61, the web proceeds into the forming unit 81, first contacting the spreading plates 93, which control the inward movement of the margins of the web.
Then the web is pulled between the collar 81 and into the initial mandrel portion 65 of the forming tube D, being thus joined into a tubular form.
The web is drawn between the collar 81 of the cylinder 65 in such a way that the free edges W and W are disposed substantially as shown at FIGURE 12. As the web advances in the slot 83, the edges are pushed together, with the help of a pressure finger 84, and are compacted substantially to the position shown in FIGURE 13. After passing under the finger 84, the edges are substantially as shown in FIGURE 14, and are then pressed together and sealed by the sealing foot 163, as shown in FIGURE 15.
As previously described, this tube is intermittently pulled forward from collar 65 over the end portion 73 of the mandrel 70 by the fingers 117 and 119 cooperating with fingers and 115a. These fingers 115 and 117, 115a and 119, connected on the same piston rod 107a, provide pulling from the left hand side to the right hand side a predetermined distance. A pair of limit switches 113 and 113a, determine the length of the forward and reverse strokes of the rod 107a, by the action of arm 111 mounted on piston 107 contacting the switches. Similarly, these switches operate the cylinder 129 effecting the opening and closing of the fingers 117 and 119 with the forward and reverse strokes of the piston 107. This will be described in conjunction with the electrical and pneumatic circuits. Thus, when the piston 107 is at the left hand side, the fingers 115 and 117, 115a and 119 grip the web material and advance the web. The forward stroke and the piston 107 moves the fingers forward to a length determined by the arm 111 contacting the limit switch 113a. The fingers 117 and 119 are then released, and the reverse stroke moves the fingers to the left hand side again.
As the arm 111 contacts the limit switch 113a, at the end of its forward stroke, it contacts an adjacent limit switch 113b, operating the sealing and cutting unit E, and the indexing table, in conjunction with the advancing mechanism.
As the tube is advanced, its edges are tucked into the slot 79 by the gusset forming fingers 114, which progressively form a gusset in each side of the tube as it is pulled forward.
The forward stroke of the piston 107 moves a cylindrical web from the tube 73 over the form retaining plates 151, through the open cutting and sealing unit E, and into a gripper F The gusset portion of the cylindrical tube is held in position by an extension of the gusset fingers 114 which project between the plates 151, shown at FIG- URE 10.
At this point, the sealing and cutting jaws 177, 179 and 187 are closed by the simultaneous action of the pistons 189 and 203 operating in conjunction with the limit switch 113b. The bag is firmly held between the jaws 177 and 187, while a transverse seal is effected by the sealing head 213. The cutting blade 181 mounted in the lower portion 179 of the lower jaw projects through the slot 214a of the lower portion 177 of the lower jaw, and through the coinciding slot 214 of the upper jaw 187, thereby cutting the tube in advance of the seal. This in effect will separate a previously sealed bag from the continuous tube, which has been inserted within the plate 323 and 324 of the gripping mechanism. The bag, as it is pushed forward or into the open gripping plates 323 and 324, is guided by the converging plates 221, to the filling mechanism.
The filling mechanism is made up of a filling tube G connected to suitable material metering and feeding apparatus, followed by contents-settling means, top-sealing means, and ejecting means. Since the filling mechanism per se is conventional it has not been shown in detail.
In accordance with the invention a number of bags are retained in the indexing mechanism at the same time. Each bag advances intermittently from a gripping station, and is then passed through an inversion zone in which it is inverted from horizontal to vertical position. In the event that the bag-forming mechanism is operating in a vertical plane, the inversion would, of course, not be necessary. The bag is thus in a position for filling and is passed to a top opening station, a filling zone, then through a settling zone and to a top-sealing station. The rotatable member F moves intermittently, pausing as each bag is formed and supplied by the forming mechanism to the gripping station. Previous bags already under the control of the member F are advanced through the subsequent stations and zones. In other words, as shown in FIGURE 1, a first bag finds itself at the gripping station, a second bag in the inversion zone, a third bag at the bag opening station, fourth and fifth bags in the feeding zone, a sixth bag in the settling zone, a seventh bag at the top-sealing station, and eighth and ninth bags in the releasing or ejection Zone.
The grippers F mounted on the rotatable member F; of the indexing table are led by guide rods 321 and 321a which raise the bag into a vertical position from a hori zontal position. A pair of guide members 343 and 345, serve to guide the fiat bag into position for top opening. The top of the bag is then opened by suction heads 353 and 355 to permit filling.
The bag is then rotated to a feeder tube, as shown at G, filled, and passed over a settling device (not shown) mounted on the indexing table. The bag is then rotated to a top-sealing unit comprising heads 357 and 359, sealed, and then rotated to a cam mechanism 371, which releases the gripping plates 323 and 324, permitting the bag to be removed from the indexing table by a pick-up mechanism 361 (not shown in detail).
Control system The operation of the mechanisms described above is controlled by a control system now to be described. With particular reference to FIGURE 22, the electrical and pneumatic circuits are controlled by a master switch S.
The feeding unit B operates through an electric motor 44, having suitable connections to an external power source and which rotates the guide roller 29 mounted on the guide shaft 28. This motor is controlled by a microswitch 501, actuated when the web of package forming material, passing under dancer roller 39, is intermittently pulled through the forming mechanism, thereby causing the dancer roller, when it raises to a predetermined level to close the micro-switch 501. When enough material has been drawn into the slack take-up arrangement, the dancer roller is released from the upward pull of the web and descends by gravity, opening the switch 501 again.
The intermittent advancing of the web material is accomplished by the piston 107, operating in cylinder 109, which is timed to operate in conjunction with the release mechanism for fingers 117 and 119 (comprising piston 127 operating in cylinder 129), of the advancing mechanism. The stroke of the piston 107 is determined by the arm 111 contacting the single pole limit switches 113 at the initial end of the stroke, and 113a at the terminal end. The limit switches 113 and 113a have suitable connections to a power source and and operate solenoids 503 and 505 of electromagnetic valves 504 and 506 operating the cylinders 109 and 129 respectively, which in turn operate the advancing stroke and the gripping fingers. The limit switch 113a, permanently closed, is connected to the solenoid 516 of the relay 513, which when energized will close switch 517 to establish the circuit before limit switch 113a is opened.
The sealing and cutting unit E, indexing table F, and the gripper opening mechanism, the bag opening suction heads 353 and 355, and the bag release mechanism, all similarly mounted on the indexing table F, operate intermittently and simultaneously in response to the double-pole limit switch 113b, having suitable connections to an external power source and and operate in con- 10 junction with arm 111 contacting the switch 11317 at the terminal end of the stroke.
Solenoids 507 and 509, connected to the limit switch 113b, operate electro-magnetic valves 508 and 510, which in turn, operate the pistons 203 and 189 of the upper and lower jaws respectively. Similarly connected to the limit switch 11311, is a step-down transformer 518 effecting movement of the ratchet mechanism (not shown) for rotation of the indexing table F The solenoid 511, also connected to the limit switch 113b, operates the electro-magnetic valve 512, which in turn, operates the piston 331, within the cylinder 305. This piston provides movement of the arm 303 effecting opening of the gripping plates 323 and 324. A further solenoid 514, similarly connected to the limit switch 113b, operates the electro-magnetic valve 515 of a vacuum line which provides opening and closing for the suction heads 353 and 355.
The sealing head 163 includes a resistor 163a connected in series with a thermostatic control 163b, which in turn, is connected to an external power source and The head 163 normally bearing on the joint of the tube (as at 1630 of FIGURE 10), is removable manually from the operating position. As previously mentioned, once the sealing head 163 is raised above a substantially horizontal position, the control valve 165 closes the pneumatic circuit, discontinuing operation of the machine.
The sealing head 213, having resistor 213a, connected in series with a thermostatic control 213b, mounted on the upper jaw 187 of the sealing and cutting unit E is similarly connected to an external power source and Also, the sealing head 357 is connected to a resistor 357a, which in turn, is connected in series with a thermostatic control 357b, operating the sealing head on the indexing table. The sealing head 357 has similar connections to an external power source and The air line supplying the pneumatic cylinder is provided with an air trap T, and a lubricating valve L. Each individual air line leading to the respective cylinder is further provided with an air regulator R.
The form of bag illustrated in FIGURE 5 is a fin-type pillow bag with a full gusset and in which the back seam is in the middle of the back panel. However, the invention also lends itself to placing the seam at the side of the bag, specifically in the gusset, or in the case of a nongusseted bag the seam on one edge of the bag. The purpose of this alternate structure is to enable full panel printing on the front and back of the bag. This is done by rotating the seam and moving the sealing head around the forming tube by The invention has been illustrated in the preferred form of apparatus in which the bag-forming mechanism is operating in a horizontal plane. The resulting bag is gripped by the indexing mechanism and is moved by this mechanism to a vertical position for filling. If desired, the bag forming mechanism can operate in a vertical plane so that the bag would be received by the indexing mechanism in vertical position to start with. In this event, it would not be necessary to invert the bag for filling. The actual mechanism including suction members 353 and 355, the filling mechanism G for filling the bags and the mechanism for settling the material in the filled bags is not shown since these are standard features per se, whose relationship to the indexing table will be well understood by one skilled in the art.
In accordance with the invention, the control mechanism of the filling and forming mechanism are coupled, so that the forming cycle is synchronized with the filling cycle and bags are supplied for filling as required. The operation of the apparatus has been shown as started by the closing of the master switch 5, and as continuing to operate in making bags and moving them through the filling cycle until the master switch S is opened. Alternatively, the bag feeding and forming mechanism limit switch 113 or 113a can be coupled to a metering mechanism for measuring out the amount of contents fed to each bag at the filling zone. Thus, in accordance with the invention, bags are formed automatically and subse quent to their formation are filled all in a mechanical operation. This avoids the disadvantages of previous methods where fin-type pillow bags are made on one machine and are transported to a separate machine for filling.
While the bags may be formed from various materials, a most suitable material is 0.00035 thick aluminum foil adhesive, wax, or polyethylenemounted on 22 to 30 pound sulphite paper, with heat sealing coatings applied where necessary.
1. A package forming mechanism, comprising, websupplying means for intermittently supplying a web of flexible sheet material; means for intermittently and indeterminately feeding said material as a web into and through means for forming the web into a continuous cylindrically tube-shaped roll; means for sealing the free longitudinal edges of the roll thus formed to form a continuous sealed tube; means for transversely sealing said tube at spaced-apart intervals to partition the inside of the tube into bag-lengths; means for severing said baglengths of material from said tube in advance of each transverse seal to form individual bags which are bottomsealed and open topped said means for intermittently advancing said material including reciprocating gripping means for engaging the tube at a point removed from its free end at the initial end of a predetermined stroke and to retain engagement with the tube throughout the stroke and to release it at the end of the stroke thereby to advance a predetermined length of tube material corresponding to the desired bag length, transport means for receiving and engaging the sealed bottom of each of said bags as they are severed from said tube for transporting and supporting each of said bags in a sequence and in a position for subsequent filling and top-sealing; and means for actuating said web feeding means, said bottom sealing means, said severing means and said transport means in intermittent timed related sequence whereby said mechanism sequentially forms said web into said cylindricallyshaped roll, seals the roll longitudinally to form a continuous sealed tube, transversely seals the tube to form separate bag-sections, transversely severs the said bagsections from said tube to release individual open-topped bags and individually transport said bags to a position for said filling and top-sealing operations.
2. A package forming mechanism, comprising in combination and in sequence, web-supplying means for intermittently supplying a web of flexible sheet material, means for forming the web into a tube, means in advance in the feeding direction of the tube forming means for indeterminately intermittent advancing of the tube so formed and at the same time for drawing the web into and through said forming means, including a cylinder having a pair of diametrically opposed axially extending slots, internal engaging means within the cylinder operable through said slots for engaging the inside of said tube, and external mean acting in conjunction with said internal engaging means for pinning the outside of the tube against said internal means at the initial end of a stroke, and for releasing the tube at the terminal end of a stroke, and means for reciprocating said external and internal engaging means through a positive and return stroke, means removed from the terminal end of the cylinder for sealing the end of the tube and for severing the tube in advance of the sealed end, transport means for receiving and engaging the sealed bottom of each of said bags as they are severed from said tube for transporting and supporting each of said bags in sequence and in a position for subsequent filling and top-sealing and means for initiating the action of the advancing means in timed relationship to the sealing, severing means, and web-feeding means and transport means whereby said mechanism sequentially forms said web into said cylindrically-shaped roll, seals the roll longitudinally to form a continuous sealed tube, transversely seals the tube to form separate bag-sections, transversely severs the said bagsections from said tube to release individual open-topped bags and individually transport said bags to a position for said filling and top-sealing operations.
3. A package forming mechanism, as defined in claim 2, in which there is provided gripping means for engaging the free end of the tube as it is advanced by the advancing mechanism to the terminal end of said stroke, and means operating with said gripping means in timed relationship whereby the separated portion of the tube is removed as a further portion is pushed forward by said advancing means into access of said gripping means.
4. A package forming mechanism, as defined in claim 2, in which the advancing means includes a piston operating in a cylinder, said piston having fingers projecting from said slots, clamping feet adapted to cooperate with said fingers by moving into engagement with the fingers at the initial end of the stroke, moving with the fingers during the stroke and releasing the fingers at the end of the stroke, and means for bringing said clamping feet into engagement with the fingers in timed relationship to the advancing movement of the advancing means.
5. A package forming mechanism, as defined in claim 4, in which the clamping feet are each mounted on an arm pivotally mounted and slidable longitudinally on a rod mounted parallel to said cylinder, one of said arms being rigidly mounted on the end of a piston and the other arm being pivotally connected to a piston rod operable in said cylinder, a cross arm connected to said feet carrying arms, a piston connected to said cross arm and operable in a cylinder in conjunction with said first piston, means controlling the operation of said last mentioned piston for causing reciprocating motion in a stroke from an initial position to a terminal position and back again, said first mentioned piston being adapted to cause engagement of the feet and the fingers at the initial position and to retain engagement during said stroke and to cause disengagement of the feet and the fingers at the terminal position.
6. A package forming apparatus, as defined in claim 2, wherein said means for intermittently supplying a web of flexible sheet material comprises a supply from which said web may be drawn, means in advance of said supply means adapted to engage the web and draw it from said supply means, guide means in advance thereof adapted to guide the Web from said device, and intermediate the web-engaging means and the guide means, slack-take-up means adapted to intervene and take-up excess Web material as it passes between said guide means and said webengaging means and to retain said web under substantially even tension at all times, and actuating means operating in conjunction with said slack-take-up means for actuating said web-engaging means to draw an amount of web material from said supply means.
7. A package forming mechanism, as defined in claim 2, wherein said means for forming a web into a tube comprises an elongated cylinder having a mandrel portion and a feeding portion of reduced diameter connected to the mandrel portion, a bracket connecting said mandrel portion to a frame, said feeding portion having diametrically opposed slots including feeding members operating in said slots and in contact with the cylinder, means for causing said members to engage the tube on the cylinder at an initial station to move it through a feeding stroke, and to disengage it at a terminal station, said last-mentioned means including a piston operable in a cylinder mounted on the frame, means in advance of said feeding portion for maintaining a form of said tube, said members being mounted on said piston, said cylinder being supported by said bracket and said fingers.
8. A package forming mechanism as defined in claim 7, wherein said feeding tube is provided with a further pair of diametrically opposed slots, said slots having a pair of gusset forming fingers mounted therein to progressively form a gusset as the tube is advanced.
9. A package forming mechanism, as defined in claim 7, in which the said members for engaging said tube includes a cross-head engaging the inside of said tube carrying said fingers, said piston mounting the cross-head extending through said cylinder into a piston, and means for connecting the piston on said frame, the cylinder being suspended only by said bracket and said cross-head and otherwise being free of said frame, and means cooperating with the mandrel to form the web into a tube thereabout.
10. A package forming and filling mechanism, as defined in claim 7, wherein said means for maintaining the form of the tube comprises a pair of spaced apart plates adjacent to the mouth of said cylinder, and about which the tube is adapted to be pulled by said advancing mechanism, said spaced apart plates being provided with gusset forming fingers extending from within the slots in said cylinder to a position between said plates.
11. A package forming and filling mechanism, as defined in claim 2, wherein there is included an indexing mechanism said transport means rotatable about said indexing mechanism, said indexing mechanism including a plurality of gripping mechanisms mounted on an endless belt, means for intermittently rotating said belt responsive to the forward feed of bags, said belt rotating from a bag gripping to a bag release position wherein each of said gripping mechanisms are successively brought one at a time, into bag opening, bag filling and bag sealing position, and means for operating each of said gripping mechanisms in timed related sequence in response to said means for intermittently advancing the tube.
12. A package forming mechanism as defined in claim 11, in which said gripping mechanism includes a housing, a pair of spaced apart shafts journaled in said housing, a gear mounted on and secured to each shaft at one end thereof, each gear meshing with the other gear, a pair of gripping plates connected to each gear, said gear causing rotatable movement of said gripping plates, means normally urging the plates together, an arm connected to one of said gears whereby the gripping plate may be rotated between jaw closed and jaw open position, actuating means for acting on said arm to cause said gear to rotate to a jaw open position, means for operating said actuating means intermittently in response to the forward movement of the bags, means for rotating said gripping mechanisms from a bag gripping to a bag release position.
13. A package forming mechanism, as defined in claim 12, wherein said means for acting on said arm comprises a cylinder and a piston, said piston having mounted on one end thereof a plate adapted to engage said arm, said piston being actuated in response to the forward movement of said tube.
14. A package forming mechanism, as defined in claim 2, wherein said transport means includes a frame, a pair of spaced apart parallel shafts mounted on said frame, a jaw member rigidly mounted on each shaft, meshing gears rigidly mounted on the respective shafts and each being rigidly connected onto the jaw members, whereby rotation of the gears opens and closes the jaw members, means normally urging the jaw members to a closed position, and leverage means for rotating one of said gears to move the jaw members between jaw open and jaw closed position.
15. An apparatus for forming bags from a web of flexible sheet package-forming material, comprising in combination and in sequence, means for intermittently drawing web material from a supply of said material to a slack take-up arrangement, advancing means for indeterminate and intermittent pulling of said web from said slack take-up arrangement through a tube forming and sealing mechanism wherein said web is formed into a cylindrical tube having its lateral edges sealed, said advancing means adapted to advance said tube through a bag bottom-sealing and top-cutting mechanism into engagement with a transport mechanism mounted on an endless belt, said transport mechanism. presenting said bag to a bag-opening mechanism, a bag-filling mechanism, a bag top-sealing apparatus, means for releasing said bag from said transport means, said means for intermittently advancing said material including reciprocating gripping means for engaging the tube at a point removed from its free end at the initial end of a predetermined stroke and to retain engagement with the tube throughout the stroke and to release it at the end of the stroke thereby to advance a predetermined length of tube material corresponding to the desired bag length.
16. An apparatus for forming bags from a Web of flexible sheet package-forming material, as defined in claim 15, wherein said advancing means comprise a rod operating in said forming mechanism, said forming mechanism having a pair of diametrically opposed axially extending slots, tube engaging means within said forming mechanism and connected to said rod operable through said slots for engaging the inside of said tube, and external means acting in conjunction with said internal e11- gaging means for pinning the outside of the tube against said internal means at the initial end of a stroke, and releasing the outside of the tube at the terminal end of the advancing stroke, and means for reciprocating said external and internal engaging means through a positive and return stroke.
17. An apparatus for forming bags from a web of package-forming material, as defined in claim 15, wherein said advancing means includes means for engaging the tube at a point removed from its free end in advance of the forming means in the feeding direction of the Web, said advancing means adapted to engage the tube at the initial end of a stroke and to release it from engagement with the tube at the end of the stroke thereby to push forward a bag forming free end portion of the tube of a desired bag length, and separating means operating in timed relationship with said advancing means, whereby said apparatus sequentially forms said Web into said tube, seals the lateral free edges to form a continuous sealed tube, transversely seals the tube to form separate bag-sections, transversely cuts said bag-sections from the tube to release open-topped bags and individually transports the bags to a position for filling, tube-sealing and bag-releasing operations.
18. An apparatus for forming bags, as defined in claim 15, wherein said advancing means includes a piston operable in a cylinder, said piston having fingers projecting from said slots, clamping feet adapted to cooperate with said fingers by moving into engagement with the fingers during the initial end of the stroke and releasing the fingers at the end of the stroke whereby said clamping feet bring forward a predetermined length of tube material corresponding to the desired bag length, and means for bringing said clamping means into engagement with the fingers in timed relationship to the advancing movement of the advancing means.
19. An apparatus for forming bags, as defined in claim 16, wherein said forming mechanism is provided with a further pair of diametrically opposed slots, said slots having gusset forming fingers mounted therein, adapted to progressively form a pair of gussets in said tube as it is advanced.
2d. A bag forming and filling apparatus, comprising in combination and in sequence, means for intermittently supplying a Web of flexible sheet heat-scalable stock, means for intermittent indeterminate advancing the web to and through means for forming the leading portion of it into a cylindrical tube, means for sealing: the free lateral edges together to form a continuous sealed tube, means for transversely bottom sealing said tube and means for cutting the tube adjacent to the transverse seal whereby one bag is severed, from the tube while the end of the tube is sealed to form the bottom of a subsequent bag, means in advance of said cutting and sealing means for filling the bags including a plurality of bag transporting and engaging devices adapted to grip the bottom of each bag as it is severed from the tube, means for advancing the last-mentioned devices to a filling zone, a vibrating zone and a bag-top sealing zone respectively, each transporting device adapted to transport each bag individually to each of said stations in succession, bag filling means at said filling station for filling a bag as a subsequent bag is being transported, means at the vibrating station for vibrating the transported bag as subsequent bags are being filled and transported, and means at the sealing station for top sealing the bag as subsequent bags are being vibrated, filled and gripped, said top sealing mechanism being adapted to form a top seal thereby to complete a filled bag, and releasing means for disengaging said bag from said transport means and releasing the bag.
21. A bag forming and filling apparatus, comprising in combination and in sequence, bag forming and feeding means for intermittently advancing a web of flexible sheet heat sealable bag forming material'and forming it into a tube means for transversely sealing the tube and for severing a bag therefrom to free it from the tube said means for intermittently advancing said material including reciprocating gripping means for engaging the tube at a point removed from its free end at the initial point of a predetermined stroke and to retain engagement with the tube throughout the stroke and to release it at the end of the stroke thereby to advance a predetermined length of tube material corresponding to the desired bag length, bag filling and top sealing means for receiving bags from said bag-forming means comprising means for transporting and engaging the sealed bottom end of each bag as it is formed and transporting it when freed as a bag through filling, vibrating and top sealing zones respectively as subsequent bags are formed, freed and advanced through previous stations, and means responsive to said filling means controlling said bag forming means whereby the bags are intermittently formed and fed to the filling means in response to demand for bags.
22. A bag forming and filling apparatus, comprising in combination and in sequence, bag forming and feeding means for intermittently advancing a web of flexible sheet heat sealable bag forming material and forming it into a tube, means for transversely heat sealing the tube to form a bag section, means for severing the bag section to free it from the tube, bag filling and top sealing means for filling for sealing said bags and transport means for receiving and engaging the sealed bottom of each of said bags as they are severed from said severing means, said transport means comprising means for gripping the sealed bottom end of each bag as formed and transporting it when freed as a bag from said severing means through filling, vibrating and bag-top sealing zones respectively as subsequent bags are formed, freed and advanced through previous stations, and means for sequentially controlling the bag filling means and the bag forming means whereby bags are intermittently and indeterminately formed and subsequently filled one after the other, said feeding means for intermittently advancing said web including reciproeating gripping means for engaging the tube at a point removed from its free end at the initial end of a predetermined stroke and to retain engagement with the tube throughout the stroke and to release it at the end of the stroke thereby to advance a predetermined length of tube material corresponding to the desired bag length.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,825,058 9/1931 Goldstein et a1 53-183 2,292,295 8/1942 Royal 5328 2,521,007 9/1950 Heinmets 9382 2,643,496 6/1953 Cloud 53--l83 2,872,762 2/1959 Dreeben 5328 2,945,337 7/1960 Waite 53389 2,973,698 3/1961 Orlando 9382 3,000,157 9/1961 Ollier et al. 53184 FRANK E. BAILEY, Primary Examiner.
ROBERT A. LEIGHEY, Examiner.