Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3245436 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 12, 1966
Filing dateNov 13, 1963
Priority dateNov 13, 1963
Publication numberUS 3245436 A, US 3245436A, US-A-3245436, US3245436 A, US3245436A
InventorsBurgert Jr Henry
Original AssigneeAluminum Co Of America
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gripper stirrup for a can filling machine
US 3245436 A
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 12, 1966 H. BURGERT, JR 3,245,436

GRIPPER STIRRUP FOR A CAN FILLING MACHINE I Filed Nov. 13, 1963 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 TYPE. 2-

Ill

[/VVENTOR #60 Pg fiuryeri hwmli 656mg,

ATTORNEY April 1966 H. BURGERT, JR 3,245,436

GRIPPER STIRRUP FOR A CAN FILLING MACHINE Filed NOV. 13, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 A TTORNE Y April 12, 1966 H. BURGERT, JR

GRIPPER STIRRUP FOR A CAN FILLING MACHINE 3 Sheets-Sheet Z5 Filed Nov. 15, 1963 H m M v 0 N GW W United States Patent 3,245,436 GRIPPER STIRRUP FOR A CAN FILLING MACHINE Henry Burgert, Jr., Cleveland, Ohio, assignor to Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Nov. 13, 1963, Ser. No. 323,439 4 Claims. (Cl. bib-165) This invention relates to a filling machine of the type adapted for filling flat top cans with carbonated beverages such as beer and, more particularly, to the can lifting stirrups or platforms of the filler by which the cans are handled to and from the filling heads thereof.

In canning beer, for example, it is highly desirable to employ either the customary steel cans of conventional construction or seamless aluminum cans produced by impact-extrusion with an integral bottom and side wall and hence having no bottom seam head or chime as do the steel cans. With the steel cans, the lower bead, interengaged with a shouldered back-stop on the can lifting stirrups of the filler, is used to pull the cans from the filling heads following the filling the operation in the event of sticking of the cans in theheads. However, this expedient is not feasible with the seamless aluminum cans since they have no lower head or chime.

The present invention, therefore, aims to provide a can filling machine with can lifting stirrups which will adapt the machine to accept for filling with equal facility the customary steel cans and seamless aluminum cans and which will be effective to withdraw the cans from the filler heads when the stirrups are lowered to their can discharge level.

Another object is to provide a can filling machine with stirrups which will easily receive and effectively grip seamless aluminum cans without crushing or denting the fragile side wall thereof, which will hold them accurately centered'with respect to the filling heads or spouts and which will assure withdrawal of the cans from the filler heads despite the tendency of the cans to adhere to the sealing rings thereof.

A further object is to provide a can gripping stirrup for a can filling machine, including a gripping member so shaped as to provide an increased frictional grip on a seamless aluminum can in response to relative vertical movement between the can and the stirrup when the stirrup starts down subsequent to the can filling operation, whereby to assure that the can will move down with the stirrup.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from a consideration of the following specification and accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIG..1 is a plan view of a rotary can filling machine with the superstructure of the rotary table and most of the circular series of the can lifting platforms or stirrups omitted;

FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-section, on an enlarged scale, taken on the line II-II of FIG. 1, showing a can positioned on a stirrup as delivered thereto by the infeed star wheel;

FIG. 3 is a substantially full scale top plan view of a single stirrup provided with the can gripping elements of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the stirrup of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view thereof;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional detail view, taken on the line VL-VI of FIG. 3, showing on an enlarged scale one of the can gn'pping rollers and its mounting on the stirrup;

3,245,436 Patented Apr. 12, 1966 FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the detail shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view similar to FIG. 3, but showing the stirrup provided with a modified form of can gripping elements;

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of the stirrup shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional detail view on an enlarged scale taken on line X-X of FIG. 8, showing the, can gripping element in its free state;

FIG. 11 is a detail view similar to FIG. 10, but showingi the gripping element engaged with the can side wall, an

FIG. 12 is a detail view on an enlarged scale taken on line XII-XII of FIG. 8.

Referring to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a rotary filler of the counter-pressure type commonly used in the brewing industry for filling open top cans. The filler includes a circular table 10 which is rotatably mounted on a vertical column (not shown) and a closed tank or bowl 11 which is supported above the table and rotates therewith. The table is provided around its rim with the usual circular series of closely spaced vertical lifting cylinder 12. The bowl 11 is provided with a like circular series of filler heads or spouts 14 depending from the bottom thereof, each head being coaxial with a lifting cylinder therebelow. These filling heads may be of the.

general type disclosed in George L. N. Meyer Patent No. 3,067,785, issued December 11, 1962, for Can Filling Head.

Each cylinder 12 has a piston (not shown) and a square piston rod 15, on the upper end of which a canreceiving pad or stirrup 16 is secured, there being minimal clearance between the stirrups.

Empty cans enter the filler on a conveyor 17 and are spaced by screw 18 to enter the pockets of intake star wheel 19 which moves them along a guide plate 20 and onto successive stirrups 16. Each stirrup has a roller 21 s which is cooperable with a cam 22 so that the stirrup will be in its lower can intake and dischargelevel, as shown in FIG. 2, to receive the can from the infeed star wheel at the level of fixed table 23, the cans being removed from the stirrups at this level by the guide plate 20 and a discharge star wheel 24.

After leaving the intake star, air pressure in the lifting cylinder upwardly actuates the piston and its rod to elevate the stirrup and thus raise the empty can thereon into sealing engagement with sealing ring 25 of the filling head 14. The valves of the filling head will then be operated and the can filled with beverage from bowl 11 in a manner well known in the art.

With filling complete, the stirrup is moved by coaction of its roller 21 with cam 22 down to its lower level so as to release the can from the filling head. However, the can tends to stick to the sealing ring 25 and thus hang up in the head 14 when it should move down with the stirrup. It is at this point in the operation of the filler that the present invention functions in connection with seamless aluminum cans to effect can withdrawal from the filling heads and thus prevent mechanical jamming and malfunction of the filler.

A stirrup embodying one form of the invention is shown in FIGS. 3 through 7. Upstanding from the top of the stirrup around its periphery is a rigid U-shaped collar 26 which opens or faces outwardly with respect to the rotary path of the stirrup and forms a semi-circular pocket to receive a can from the intake star wheel 19. The circular inner wall 27 of the collar is concentric to the vertical axis of the stirrup and is undercut totprovide a bottomv 'are being run through the filler. A wear plate usually provided on the top of the stirrup is shown at 29.

The collar is provided with diametrical recesses or window openings through its ends. A small roller 31 of soft rubber, such as urethane at about 40 durometer hardness, is rotatably retained in each window by a vertical pin 32. The roller is necessarily of small diameter so as to remain within the clearance line between stirrups. The vertical pin 32 is supported at both ends so as to be firmly held against bending or tilting out of vertical position despite its slimness. The lower end of the pin fits in a bore in the top of the stirrup and it has screw threaded engagement at its upper end with the top portion of the collar (best seen in FIG. 6) to retain it assembled to the stirrup and permit worn or damaged rollers to be readily replaced. It will also be seen that the roller is held by its bottom engagement with the lower window wall in elevated position with respect to the top plane of wear plate 29 and that the roller is of inverted conical form at its lower end. This provides head or chime clearance when cans with a bottom chime are being run through the filler.

The rollers 31 are spaced apart to have interference fit with the side wall of a can so as to cause slight roller compression by the can entered in the pocket of collar 26 whereby the rollers frictionally engage and exert a slight radial pressure against the can adjacent to the lower end thereof, but insufiicient to permanently dent the fragile can side wall. In the vertical direction, however, sufiicient friction force is developed in this manner to keep the seamless aluminum can C in place, or held down to the stirrup, during the down stroke of the stirrup to pull the can down from the filler head. The rollers, therefore, constitute lightly loaded friction grippers relying on friction to hold the can, rather than high pressure grippers 'as heretofore used for rigid bottles.

When the can C is pushed into the collar pocket of the stirrup by the intake star wheel, the rollers 31 preferably engage the can slightly forwardly of the can diameter, with the back side of the can in engagement with the mid-point X of the collar. Thereby, the rollers exert a slight component of force on the can which tends to retain the can against accidental lateral displacement out of the collar pocket of the stirrup. As received and frictionally held on the stirrup, the can is substantially centered under the filling head 14.

The use of frictional can grippers of the above-described roller type is preferred, since they normally will rotate on the pins 32 by the in and out movement of the cans and thus distribute wear around the roller peripheries. However, fixed grippers may be used, as shown in FIGS. 8, 9 and 10. Here, the stirrup has a rigid U-shaped collar 33 fastened by screws 34 to the top of the stirrup to form a can-receiving pocket. Its circular inner wall 35 is undercut to provide a bottom chime-receiving recess or groove 36 therein. Wall 35 also is vertically recessed at its diametrically opposite ends and midway therebetween. These inwardly facing recesses 37 are joined by an inwardly open dovetail groove 38 in wall 35 located above the chime groove 36. Suitably, as by casting, soft rubher, such as urethane at about 3540 durometer hardness, is provided in the recesses 37 and their joining groove, whereby the collar is provided with the three inwardly facing grippers 40. The grippers are recessed in continuation of groove 36 in the collar and are formed with a plurality of vertically spaced, flexible ribs or fingers 41 across their circular inner face. The two opposed grippers are spaced apart to have interference fit at their inner faces with a can side wall. As best seen in FIG. 10, the fingers only extend part way through the thickness of the grippers, and have a flat bottom and increase in vertical thickness from the free inner tip to the outer base thereof. Due to the flexibility and shape of the fingers 41, they provide an increased frictional grip on a seamless aluminum can during the down stroke of the stirrup.

As such a can moves onto the stirrup, the fingers 41 of the diametrically opposed grippers 46) are slightly compressed and bent or deflected downwardly by the can, as illustrated in FIG. 11. These grippers frictionally hold the can in the stirrup pocket in contact with the back gripper in a position substantially centered under the filling head. The back gripper serves to provide additional friction force on the can, its fingers 41 being compressed by the centered can. When can filling is completed and the stirrup starts down, if the can sticks to the sealing ring 25, the resultant relative movement between the grippers and the can will cause the fingers 41 to pivot about their base and push into the side wall of the can. The result is a tighter frictional grip on the can sufficient to force the can to withdraw from the filler head.

if desired, the roller form of gripping members shown in F165. 3 and 6 may be formed with flexible rib or finger formations around the periphery thereof to provide a self-tightening friction grip on the chimeless-bottom can. It will also be apparent that minor variation from the forms of the invention herein disclosed may be made without departing from the invention as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a rotary counter-pressure can filling machine having a vertically reciprocable can lifting stirrup cooperable with a can filling head, said stirrup adapted for handling seamless aluminum cans into and out of sealing engagement with said filling head and comprising,

(a) a rigid U-shaped collar upstanding from the top of the stirrup about the periphery thereof and forming a semi-circular can-receiving pocket thereon, centered below said filling head,

(b) said collar having diametrical inwardly facing recesses at its ends,

(c) a pair of soft rubber grippers of between about 35 to 40 durometer hardness individually secured in said recesses,

(d) said grippers being spaced apart to have interference fit at their inner faces with a can entered in said pocket so as to be slightly compressed by the can and frictionally engage the same,

(e) the compressed grippers developing sufiicient friction force on said can in the vertical direction to withdraw the can from said filling head when said stirrup is moved downwardly from said head.

2. In a rotary counter-pressure can filling machine having a vertically reciprocable can lifting stirrup cooperable with a can filling head, said stirrup adapted for handling seamless aluminum cans into and out of sealing engagement with said filling head and comprising,

(a) a rigid U-shaped collar upstanding from the top of the stirrup about the periphery thereof and forming a semi-circular can-receiving pocket thereon, centenered below said filling head,

(b) said collar having diametrical inwardly facing recesses at its ends,

(c) a pair of soft rubber grippers of between about 35 to 40 durometer hardness individually secured in said recesses,

(d) each said gripper having a plurality of vertically spaced flexible fingers extending across its inner canengaging face,

(e) each finger having a fiat bottom and a vertical thickness which increases from its free inner tip to the outer base thereof,

(f) said grippers being spaced apart to have interference fit at the tips of said fingers with the side wall of a can entered in said pocket whereby said fingers are slightly compressed and downwardly deflected by said can and frictionally engage the same,

(g) said gripper fingers operable to pivot about their base and increase their frictional grip on said can responsively to relative vertical movement between said stirrup and said can when said stirrup is moved downwardly from said filling head, whereby said can is forced to withdraw from said head.

3. The stirrup structure as defined in claim 2 wherein said collar and said grippers have a bead recess extending throughout the annular extent thereof adjacent to the can supporting top of said stirrup and adapted to receive the lower bead of a steel can, whereby the filling machine is adapted to accept for filling fiat top cans with and without a bottom chime Wih equal facility.

4. In a rotary counter-pressure can filling machine having a vertically reciprocable can lifting stirrup cooperable with a can filling head, said stirrup adapted for handling seamless aluminum cans into and out of sealing engagement with said filling head and comprising,

(a) a rigid U-shaped collar upstanding from the top of the stirrup about the periphery thereof and forming a semi-circular can-receiving pocket thereon, centered below said filling head,

(b) said collar having diametrical window openings through its ends and a bead-receiving recess extending throughout the annular extent thereof adjacent the tops of said stirrup,

(c) a soft rubber roller of between about 3540 durometer hardness rotatably mounted in each of said windows on a vertical pin supportingly engaged at both ends against tilting out of vertical position,

(d) said rollers spaced apart to have interference fit with a seamless can be entered in said pocket and be slightly radially compressed by the can and frictionally engage the same, whereby they develop sufiicient friction force on said can in the vertical direction to withdraw the can from said filling head when said stirrup is moved down from said head,

(e) said rollers engaging said can forwardly of the diameter of the can and thereby retaining the can in said pocket substantially centered under said filling head as initially received on said stirrup, and

(f) said rollers being supported above the top cansupporting plane of said stirrup and being shaped at their lower ends to provide bead clearance, so that cans with a bottom seam bead may be run through the filling machine without roller damage.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,650,012 8/1953 Kummer et a1. 141-172 X 3,172,434 3/1965 Bou-cher 141172 X 3,179,237 4/1965 Ninneman 53367 25 LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2650012 *Oct 21, 1947Aug 25, 1953Cherry Burrell CorpReceptacle filler and capper having receptacle carrier and capper indexing means
US3172434 *Aug 8, 1961Mar 9, 1965Boucher Richard CApparatus for filling containers
US3179237 *Nov 29, 1962Apr 20, 1965Owens Illinois Glass CoApparatus for closing plastic bottles
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4798234 *Nov 27, 1987Jan 17, 1989Adolph Coors CompanyFor minimizing damaged cans during filling
US5469899 *Jan 31, 1994Nov 28, 1995Servi-Tech Inc.Stabilization of cans with a smaller footprint on a can elevating platform of automatic beverage filling machinery
US7127870 *May 30, 2003Oct 31, 2006Servi-Teck, IncReplacement lock lever for an automatic beverage filling machine
US7938152Jul 18, 2007May 10, 2011Bevcorp, LlcBeverage filling machine lock lever and methods for use
US7967038Mar 28, 2007Jun 28, 2011Bevcorp LlcBeverage filling machine lock lever and methods for use
US8336363 *Jun 13, 2007Dec 25, 2012Frattini S.P.A. Costruzioni MeccanicheGripping and handling device for metal containers
US20100126245 *Jun 13, 2007May 27, 2010Frattini S.P.A. Costruzioni MeccanicheGripping and handling device for metal containers
WO1995020539A1 *Nov 14, 1994Aug 3, 1995Servi Tech IncStabilization of cans with smaller footprints
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/165, 53/367, 141/172, 141/269
International ClassificationB65B43/42, B65B43/50
Cooperative ClassificationB65B43/50
European ClassificationB65B43/50