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Publication numberUS3270483 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 6, 1966
Filing dateSep 20, 1963
Priority dateSep 20, 1963
Publication numberUS 3270483 A, US 3270483A, US-A-3270483, US3270483 A, US3270483A
InventorsSmoyer Loyd L, Vail Jr Jack D
Original AssigneeRichardson Merrell Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for assembling syringes
US 3270483 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ASSEMBLING SYRINGES Filed Sept. 20, 1963 Sept. 6, 1966 L. L. SMOYER ETAL 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG.

INVENTORS zara 4. .srrarse JACK p. WAN/e.

P 1966 1.. SMOYER ETAL 3,270,483

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ASSEMBLING SYRINGES Filed Sept. 20, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ['76. 3 FIG. 4

INVENTORS y/aw United States Patent 3,270,483 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ASSEMBLING SYRINGES Loyd L. Smoyer and Jack D. Vail, Jr., Overland Park,

Kans., assignors to Richardson-Meme]! Inc., New York,

N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 20, 1963, Ser. No. 310,361 4 Claims. (Cl. 53-43) This invention relates to a method of inserting the plunger into the barrel of plastic syringes and to apparatus for performing the method.

It is common practice, particularly in the veterinary field, to provide disposable syringes containing a measured amount of a medicament which can be dispensed from the syringe after which the syringe is discarded. These one-use syringes are usually made of an inexpensive plastic material such as polyethylene, nylon, or cellulose acetate butyrate, which can be injection molded to within close dimensional tolerances. Since they are thrown away after one use, the cost of the syringe and filling it are extremely important considerations.

One commercial method of filling these syringes is to insert the barrel of the syringe with the tip pointing downward in holders which are mounted on a tablewhich can be rotated. The syringe barrels may be inserted in the holders either automatically or by hand. The table is advanced to a filling station and a liquid medicament is introduced into the barrel of the syringe in predetermined amounts. When the syringe has been filled to the desired extent, the table is advanced again and the plunger element of the syringe is inserted at another station.

The plunger element of the syringe must fit tightly in the barrel of the syringe, like a piston in a cylinder of a gas engine, and be liquid-tight so that the liquid medicament will not bypass the piston section of the plunger when pressure is applied to force the medicament from the syringe. Normally when the piston is inserted in the barrel of the syringe, pressure is developed because of compression of the air in the barrel between the top of the medicament and the piston and the plunger cannot be inserted down close to the liquid level. Although the air will leak past the piston in time with continued pressure, the modern plastic syringes are highly efiicient and the air does not leak past the piston portion of the plunger very fast. Accordingly, the syringes cannot be assembled rapidly unless some means of venting the air is provided.

One prior art means of venting air is to drill a small hole in the barrel of the syringe at a point above the liquid level of the medicament which allows air to escape. This is undesirable, however, as it provides an added step in the manufacture of the syringe and quite often, the medicament leaks out through the hole. Other means of venting air from syringes have been used but, generally speaking, they are not considered satisfactory.

The present invention is concerned with an eifective method of rapidly venting air from the barrel of the syringe while the plunger is being inserted. It does not require that holes be drilled in the syringe and the air venting operation can take place as fast as the machine can fill the syringes with medicament. The apparatus is simple and inexpensive and easily adjustable to syringes of various sizes. In order that the nature of the invention may be readily understood, reference is made to the drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a rotating table having a plurality of syringe holders positioned on its outer periphery. A part of the table is broken away as being unnecessary to illustrate the invention.

FIGURE 2 is an elevational view of the essential working parts of an apparatus suitable for practicing the invention.

3,270,483- Patented Sept. 6, 1966 FIGURE 3 is an elevational view, partially in cross section, showing the apparatus in one of its working positions.

FIGURE 4 is also an elevational view, partly in cross section, taken along a vertical plane at right angles to the view in FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 5 is a partial plan view partly in cross section taken along the line 55 of FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 6 is the same view as shown in FIGURE 5 with the air venting apparatus in a different working position.

Referring again to FIGURE 2, it will be seen that the apparatus of the present invention includes a table 1 which is rotatable on its axis by any convenient means (not shown). The table is provided with a number of spaced pockets adapted to receive holders 2 for syringes. The rotatable table may be of any suitable diameter and may carry as many holders as are desired. The rotatable table and the insertable holders are conventional with automatic tube filling equip-ment and are not a part of the present invention. A cross section of the holders is shown to better advantage in FIGURES 3 and 4.

A syringe barrel 3, shown to best advantage in FIG- URES 3 and 4, is inserted into the holders as shown. The syringe is held at proper height by a ledge 4 which may also hold shims (not shown) to adjust the height of the syringe barrel as desired. The tip of the syringe is sealed by a cap 5 when the filling operation takes place.

As stated above, a liquid medicament 6 is filled into the barrel of the syringe by hand or with automatic equipment to a predetermined height 7, FIGURE 4. This is usually done while at a station some distance around the periphery of the table from the air venting tation where the apparatus of the present invention is located. As the partially filled syringe is being advanced by stages around the table, the plunger 8 is inserted into the barrel of the syringe as far as it can be forced by hand. Invariably, however, there is a space 9 filled with air between the upper level 7 of the medicament and the lower face of the piston 10. This is the .air space that must be vented.

To vent the air space in accordance with the present invention, the syringe with the partially inserted plunger is advanced to a station over which the apparatus of the present invention operates as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2. The air venting apparatus comprises an element 11 with an adjustable head 12 which can be forced against the barrel of the syringe at a point just above the top of the holder 2 as shown in FIGURE 3. The movement of the compressing element 12 is brought about by means of air operating a piston in cylinder 13. Air flowing through line 16 forces the piston with its connecting rod 11 toward the syringe. Air entering through line 17 allows the piston within the cylinder 13 to withdraw the compressing element from the barrel of the syringe at the end of the cycle. Air operating the piston in the cylinder 13 may be of about 10 to 40 pounds per square inch pressure. A backing-up element 14 with adjusting screw 15 is provided so that when force is applied against the barrel of the syringe by the plunger, it is not tipped in the holder. The backing-up element also makes it possible to apply the correct amount of force necessary to deform the barrel.

The action of the compressing elements is more clearly shown in FIGURE 5. In this view the barrel of the syringe has been compressed slightly, about of an inch in the case of a 4 inch syringe, and is forced out of round into an oval shape. Air escapes through the space 19 that is created. The syringe being made of a plastic material is easily deformed in the manner described and When the pressure is relieved, as shown in FIGURE 6,

the deformed parts of the syringe spring back to normal shape.

The plunger of the syringe is seated in proper position by means of a vertically-acting piston within cylinder 22, as shown in FIGURE 2. This piston is also operated by means of air which flows through lines 23 and 24. Air entering through line 23 causes the piston to move downward and the connecting rod 21, which has an adjusting screw 28 is forced against the top of the syringe plunger and pushes itinto the barrel of the syringe to a predetermined position. As will be noted, air enters cylinder 13 through line 16 simultaneously with air entering cylinder 22 through line- 23, both feeding from line 25. Also, as will be seen from FIGURE 2, air entering through line 17 will force the barrel squeezing means away from the syringe and air entering cylinder 22 through line 24 will raise the plunger seating means. The assembled unit may then be moved from the air venting station.

Cylinders 13 and 22 may be mounted on adjustable brackets 29and- 30, respectively, to enable additional adjustments so that the mechanism can handle syringes of many d-iiferent sizes.

Air is supplied to lines 25 and 27 through a solenoid air valve 18 which is controlled with microswitches. One microswitch 31 is placed'so that when the syringe holder" arrives at the air venting station, the rotation of the table will stop and air will be introduced into line 25 from valve 18. This causes the connecting rod 21' to move downwardly and connecting rod 11 to move toward'the barrel of the syringe so that the syringe is compressed slightly and theplunger is pushed down simultaneously. When the plunger has been pushed downwardly to the desired position, microswitch 32 is activated which in turn operates valve-18 and causes air to flow through line 27 which raises the connecting rod 21 and withdraws the compressing element from contaot'with the barrel of the syringe. The table is then rotated, the completed syringe is withdrawn, and another partially assembled syringe is moved into the air relieving station.

As will be seen from the foregoing description, the syringe assembling device of the present invention is relatively simple in construction and operation. The equipment used for filling syringes is standard and can be obtained from several sources. The units are constructed to operate so that the table i turned from station to'station, stopping for a few seconds at each station for an operation such as filling. The present invention can be added to these commercially available units without any reconstruction of the tube filling equipment, or modifying the manner in which it operates.

What is claimed is:

1. A method of inserting plungers into syringes having a round resilient barrel and being partially filled with a liquid which comprises squeezing the barrel of'the syringe at a point above the level of said liquid whereby the shape. of the barrel is deformed from its round to an oblong shape while simultaneously inserting the plunger into the barrel of said syringe, the air in the barrel of said syringe being allowed to escape through the passage created by said deformation of shape.

2. A method of inserting a plunger into the round barrel of a syringe made [of resilient plastic material which is partly filled with a liquid which comprises pushing against one side of the syringe barrel at a position a short distance above the level of'the liquid in the barrel while supporting the opposite side to'thereby change the crosssectional shape of the barrel from round to oblong thus providing an escape passage for air within the barrel of the syringe over the liquid therein and simultaneously inserting the plunger in the barrel of said syringe by pressing downward on the plunger.

3. Apparatus for inserting plungers into resilient syringes which comprises a holder in which the lower part of the syringe barrel is inserted, means for bringing pressure against the outer surface of the barrel of the syringe in said holder at a point above the level of a liquid in said syringe said pressure being applied at right angles to the vertical axis of the barrel of the syringe, means to support the opposite side of the syringe at a point opposite the side of the syringe at which pressure is applied while said pressure is being applied thereby making it possible to change the cross-sectional shape of the barrel at the point. where the pressure is being applied from round to oblong thus providing a passageway for the escape of air within the barrelof said syringe above the level'of the liquid therein while pressure is being exerted on the syringe and the plunger is being inserted, and means to push a plunger for said syringe into the barrel past the point at which pressure is being applied.

4. Apparatus for seating plungers in resilient syringes which comprises a holder adapted to hold a syringe barrel in upright position with a substantial part of the upper section of the syringe barrel unobstructed, means for bringing pressure against the outer barrel of the syringe in said holder at .a position above the level of a liquid in the syringe, means opposite said pressure applying means adapted for holding the syringe and resisting pressure thereon while pressure is being applied, means for pressing down on a partially inserted plunger in said syringe operable simultaneously with the pressure applying means, means tostop the downward motion of said plunger seating member at a predetermined point, and means to simultaneously withdraw the pressure applying member and plunger-seating member.

References Cited bythe Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,738,118 3/1956 Hall- 533l9 X 2,903,832 9/1959 Graff et ah 53-320 3,060,652 10/1962 Eckman 5322 3,073,319 1/1963 Sperber 29-453 X CHARLIE T. MOON, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2738118 *Nov 2, 1954Mar 13, 1956Merck & Co IncStopper-inserting process and apparatus
US2903832 *Aug 27, 1956Sep 15, 1959Armstrong Cork CoClosure affixing device
US3060652 *Apr 16, 1959Oct 30, 1962American Can CoProcess for sealing containers
US3073319 *May 9, 1960Jan 15, 1963Herbert SperberNail polish applicator
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3470671 *Feb 20, 1968Oct 7, 1969American Home ProdProcess and apparatus for the breech-filling and stoppering of cartridge syringe units
US3662517 *Apr 8, 1970May 16, 1972Sherwood Medical Ind IncSyringe filling apparatus
US3737973 *Oct 20, 1970Jun 12, 1973Becton Dickinson CoMethod and device for assembling a stopper to a syringe barrel
US4050150 *Oct 6, 1976Sep 27, 1977Soji IshikawaMedical needle holder assembly and method of and apparatus for manufacturing medical needle holding assembly
US4355495 *Jan 16, 1980Oct 26, 1982Norden Packaging Machinery AktiebolagMethod and apparatus for handling packaging containers
US4378625 *Jun 19, 1981Apr 5, 1983Freezesleeves Of America, Inc.Method of manufacturing improved refrigeratable beverage container holder
US5083416 *Jul 13, 1990Jan 28, 1992CebalMethod and apparatus for introducing a sliding lid or seal into a tubular cylindrical body
US5207983 *Jan 29, 1992May 4, 1993Sterling Winthrop Inc.Method of terminal steam sterilization
US5256154 *Jan 31, 1992Oct 26, 1993Sterling Winthrop, Inc.Pre-filled plastic syringes and containers and method of terminal sterilization thereof
U.S. Classification53/486, 53/489, 29/777, 53/320, 29/525, 29/434
International ClassificationA61M5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61M5/00
European ClassificationA61M5/00