US 3279149 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 18, 1966 L. LATlNl ETAL AUTOMATIC ARTICLE PROCESSING MECHANISM Y FOR TIMED CONTINUOUS OPERATION Original Filedv June 7, 1961 FIG] 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS LEO LATIN! EDMOND LATIN] JOHN E. LATNI ATTORNEY Oct. 18, 1966 LATINl ETAL AUTOMATIC ARTICLE PROCESSING MECHANISM I FOR TIMED CONTINUOUS OPERATION Original Filed June '7, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 m w w M w M 1 6 3 8 4 mm 9 3 MM 2 %5 m W W 2 9 w) m H A O 1 2| 4 4 w a /m Y 3 \N a M 5\ 3 l FIG.5
ELM F164 INVENTORS LEO LATI NI EDMOND LATIN] BY JOHN E. LAINI ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,279,149 AUTOMATIC ARTICLE PROCESSING MECHA- FOR TIMED CONTINUOUS OPERA- Leo Latini, Edmond Latini, and John E. Latini, Chicago, Ill., assignors to Chocolate Spraying Co., Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Original application June 7, 1961, Ser. No. 115,424, now Patent No. 3,131,522, dated May 5, 1964. Divided and this application Apr. 8, 1963, Ser. No. 271,258 5 Claims. (Cl. 53-370) This invention relates to twisting mechanisms and more particularly continuously operating twisters for any suitable operation in continuity and time relation with devices being processed along a predetermined path, although it and certain features thereof may be employed with equal advantage for other purposes and in different relationships to automatically impart a twisting function to devices or materials applied to devices without interrupting the continuity of operations.
It contemplates more especially the provision of novel and improved mechanical movements for accomplishing a twisting operation while articles are being continuously processed or treated without interrupting the continuity of operations which entails time and wear as well as more labor, thereby contributing to the end result without any appreciable increase in the cost of manufacture. This application is a division of our application Serial Number 115,424 filed June 7, 1961 and entitled Automatic Wrapping Machines F-or Preformed Uniform Articles which eventuated into Letters Patent No. 3,131,522 dated May 5, 1964.
Twisters have heretofore been proposed, but these opcrate intermittently and prove unsuitable in machine processing of articles in a continuity of operations wherein intermittent or interrupted motion is advantageous. These twisters or other motions which accomplish their function while the devices or materials applied thereto are momentarily at rest, involve substantial time loss, labor expense, and unusual wear on the mechanical parts. Thus, the cost of production and maintenance expense is too high for modern use and application. With the teachings of the present invention, these disadvantages are completely overcome and improved production, minimum processing and maintenance expense results, and many usually semi-automatic steps such as twisting is accomplished without any time lag or interruption in the sequence of timed operations and movements which also create undesirable wear and malfunctioning over an extended period of time.
One object of the present invention is to provide an improved mechanical movement for mechanical processing so that articles can be tied, wrapped or treated in a continuity of motion and without interruption.
Another object is to provide mechanical elements which simultaneously rotate and move along a rectilinear path to accomplish uninterrupted treatment or processing of articles along a predetermined path in a continuity of timed operation therewith.
Still another object is to provide a plurality of similar elements for simultaneous rotation and rectilinear movement during which time the components thereof are in different phases of relative grasping action.
A further object is to provide mechanical claw elements which simultaneously rotate and move rectilinearly while to treat articles or materials applied thereto in a continuity of timed operation therewith along a predetermined path.
A still further object is to provide a plurality of spaced claw members for timed rotation and rectilinear motion in synchronized relation with the relative positioning of the claw members in relation to their grasping and releasing functions.
Still a further object is to provide an improved compound mechanical movement of instrumentalities having a variable jaw action, rotary movement and rectilinear traverse while being actuated from a common source of power operation.
Other objects and advantages will appear from the following description of an illustrated embodiment of the present invention.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary plan view of one station of a processing machine embodying twisters or other mechanical elements having improved mechanical movement.
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary sectional view in elevation taken substantially along line II-II of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view in elevation of one part of the twister mechanism taken substantially along line lIIIII of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 4 is a plan sectional view of the twister mechanism taken substantially along line IV][V of FIG- URE 3.
FIGURE 5 is a rear sectional view in elevation of the twister mechanism taken substantially along line V-V of FIGURE 4.
The structure selected for illustration is not intended to serve as a limitation upon the scope or teachings of the present invention, but is merely illustrative of one embodiment thereof in connection with a wrapping machine for preformed candies and the like; however, :such may be adapted to any machine for tieing, twisting or manipulating any part thereof or the material such as a wrapper applied thereto in a sequence of mechanical operations. There may -be considerable variations and adaptations of all or part of the teachings thereof depending upon the dicates of commercial practice. The present invention comprises the mechanical movement of twisters for wrappers as applied to preformed candies and mechanized in a manner more specifically illustrated and described in our copending application identified supra merely as one environment wherein the teachings thereof are applicable.
Describing the environmental structure broadly, there is provided a table frame having a multiple of processingstations which include an endless horizontally disposed conveyor chain 11 provided with a series of uniformly spaced grippers 12 that carry the preformed candies with a substantially U-shaped and incompletely enveloping wrapper along a predetermined path of travel in a continuous movement for eventual discharge upon the chute which is inclined downwardly for gravity discharge of the completely wrapped candy unit. The completion of the wrapping operation, however, is effected by twisters operating in timed relation with the conveyor 11 and grip pers 12 to grasp the open projecting ends of confronting wrapper flaps presented by the grippers 12 before effecting the release thereof. The grippers 12 carry the par tially wrapped candies, in this instance, between two spaced twister mechanisms confined in housing 14-15 (FIGURE 1) positioned on both sides of the hori' zontal stretch of the conveyor 11 which support the uniformly spaced grippers 12 that feed the articles along a predetermined straight path with open end wrappers projecting from both sides of the grippers 12 to present these open wrapper ends to the twister mechanisms 14-15 to be presently described.
As shown, the twister housings 14-15 confront each other in spaced relation on both side stretches of the conveyor 11 with their depending grippers 12 supporting the partially wrapped candies so that their open wrapper ends are in the path of the twisters as will appear more fully hereinafter. Each of the twister housings 1415 have,
in this instance, five twister shafts 16 horizontally journalled therein (FIGURE 2) with two pairs in superposed relation and one at the end for linear travel so that two twister shafts 16 in each of the confronting housings 14- 15, are moving along the horizontal stretch of the conveyor 11 in synchronized timed relation therewith to con front and move in unison with the grippers 12 thereon. The number of twister shafts 16 and the timing thereof with the grippers 12 may vary depending upon the speed of the conveyor 11 and the time involved in effecting the twisting operation so that this may vary with each particular type of article being automatically wrapped or otherwise treated or processed.
Each twister shaft 16 is provided with spaced pairs of split idler sleeves 17-18 and 19-20 defining annular 21-22 which ride along spaced elliptical plates 23 defining the path of travel for the twister shafts 16 which are moved therealong by interconnecting sprocket chains 24-25 which connect with guide plates 26-27 having pointed ears 28- 29 for receiving pivotal anchoring pins for establishing connection with the sprocket chains 24-25. As shown, the guide plates 26-27 are somewhat larger than the idler sleeves 17-18 and 19-20 to ride over the sides of the elliptical plates 23 serving as a support for the twister shafts 16 which are maintained in their proper spaced relation by the sprocket chains 24-25 and displaced rectilinearly therewith. To this end, a driver shaft 30 is journalled in each of the housings 14-15 for rotation in axially aligned sleeve bearings 31-32 supported in housing bosses 33-34 for rotation by a sprocket 35 fixed to the shaft 30 externally of the housings 14-15. Any suitable sprocket chain is in meshing engagement with the sprocket 35 for driving engagement with a power shaft on the table frame in accordance with standard practice.
The driver shaft 30 has a Geneva-type sprocket 36 press-fitted thereon between the bearings 33 and 37 (FIG- URE 3) to engage the sprocket chains 24-25 and the sleeves 17-18 on the twister shafts 16 to propel the latter in spaced relation around the elliptical path defined by the plates 23. To this end, an idler sprocket 38 is journalled in the other end of the supporting plates 23 to better define the path of travel of the twister shafts 16 and for smoother traverse thereof around the guide plates 23 that also serve as supports for the upper stretch of the twister shaft traverse in timed confronting alignment with the grippers 12 on the conveyor 11 described supra. As shown, the twister shafts 16 have pinions 39 fixed thereto for rotation therewith at their extremities to mesh with vertically spaced and horizontally extending racks 40-41 so that the twister shafts 16 will rotate as they traverse the linear horizontal stretches of the guide plates 23 to impart the desired twist to the articles or material applied thereto such as the open ends of the wrappers projecting from both sides of the articles held in the grippers 12. This compound movement of linear and rotary travel is elfected through the main driver shaft 30 through its sprocket 35 fixed thereto outside of the housings 14-15, and'driven by a chain extending to the main drive in a manner well known in mechanical design arts.
Open tubular shafts 42 (FIGURE 3) extend outwardly toward each other in each of the housings 14-15 to receive externally projecting rods 43 that have oppositely disposed racks in the form of annular grooves 44 provided on the externally projecting end of the rods 43 to mesh with gear sectors 45-46 formed on the enlarged circular bosses 47-48 of confronting jaws 49-50 which, in this instance have complemental gripper teeth 51-52 to effectively grasp wrapper ends and impart a rotary twist thereto as the twisters 16-51-52 move along a rectilinear path in timed confronting relation with the article and wrapper grippers 12. The aligned confronting twisters 16-51-52 in each of the housings 14-15 operate simultaneously and perform every detailed movement in exact timed relation with respect to jaw opening, jaw closing, rotation about their own drive shafts 16, and in their traverse along a rectilinear path defined by the guide plates 23 and the chains 24-25. It should be noted that while the pinions 39 of each twister pair of jaws 49-50, are in meshing engagement with the racks -41, the rectilinear displacement thereof is in exact unison with the grippers 12 which, in this instance, carry the partially wrapped articles between the twisters 16-49-50 in alignment therewith to effect the grasp and twisting of the open wrapper ends to effect the closing thereof simultaneously and while in rectilinear displacement.
The opening and closing of the twister jaws 49-50 for clutching the wrapper ends, is accomplished by the timed longitudinal displacement of the rods 43 which are springimpelled to normally retract inwardly through the urge of the spring 53 in enveloping relation therewith. A threadedly adjustable rod extension 54 renders the spring tension variable so that the rod projecting end extremity 55 will always be in the path of fixed earns 56 and 57 mounted against the interior of the back wall 58 of the twister housings 14-15. The relative positions of the jaws 49-51 and -52 is determined by the position of the jaw rods 43 which, in turn, is a factor of whether or not the rod extremities are free of or ride in contact with the fixed camming surfaces 56-57. As shown, the jaw arms 49- 50 are pivoted to and between spaced furcations 58 of a bracket 59 press-fitted or otherwise attached to the forward end of the tubular shaft 42. The twister shafts 16 are maintained for rotation about a fixed axis by means of guide wheels 60 journalled on studs 61 anchored to the outermost shaft sleeve 62 that extends in confronting relation to grooves 63 provided in the housing walls for registry with the guide wheels 60. This precludes the sleeves 62 from being displaced longitudinally with the axial jaw manipulating rods 43 when contact is established by their external extremities 55 with the fixed cams 56-57.
Thus the rotation, rectilinear movement, the opening and closing of the jaws 49-51 and 50-52 is accomplished in timed approach of the partially wrapped articles held by the grippers 12 that travel therewith owing to the corresponding timed rectilinear displacement of the conveyor 11, the twisters 16-49-50, and the simultaneous opening and closing of the jaws 49-50 to first grasp, then twist, then release the wrappers at the time the grippers 12 release the articles for deposit in an inclined chute 13 disposed therebeneath for the gravity discharge into boxes for packaging. This is accomplished without interrupting the movement of the conveyor 11, the grippers 12, the articles carried by the grippers 12 for sequential treatment and processing in stages while the twisters move in timed relation along parallel rectilinear paths to grasp and twist opposed open wrapper ends and thereafter release same in time for the grippers 12 to drop the finished articles into the chute 13 therebeneath in a continuity of operations.
Different types and forms of articles with varied treatment thereof requiring twisting action, varying in nature and kind, can be processed automatically and in a continuity of operations without interruption nor intermittent action so that maximum uniformity and quantity is accomplished against the hitherto comparatively slow and intermittent operation of mechanisms that suffer appreciable wear under such circumstances and produce far less quantities at substantially increased expense in labor and machine time. These teachings can be applied to the twist wrapping of stick impaled preformed candies such as lollipops or suckers as well as hard candies and even ornamental devices utilizing artistic wrappers and covers. With some modification, the teachings can be applied to other uses and article treatments depending upon the dictates of commercial practice.
While we have illustrated and described several preferred embodiments of our invention, it must be understood that our invention is capable of considerable variation and modification without departing from the spirit of the invention, and therefore we do not wish to be limited to the precise details of construction set forth, but desire to avail ourselves of such variations and modifications as come Within the scope of the appended claims.
1. A twister mechanism for completing the wrapping of uniform partially wrapped articles comprising a plurality of rotary shafts, article engaging members pivotally mounted relative to each other in operative association with each of said shafts to cause their approach and separation relative to each other, gear segments in meshing engagement comprising means for effecting the relative movement of said article engaging means to grasp the ends of the wrappers to impart a twist thereto relative to the articles while simultaneously moving in a rectilinear path therewith, means for rotating and linearly displacing said article engaging members in a rectilinear path in synchronized relation with and during the displacement of preformed uniform articles therewith along said rectilinear path, said engaging members being in uniform spaced relation to each other, and means comprising interconnected chain links to control the operation of said means for effecting the relative movement, rotary movement and linear movement of said article engaging means in a continuity of operations Without interruption to said wrapper end twisting means and their rectilinear movement during which linear movement the article engaging members and the partially wrapped articles are mechanically confronted and spaced for linear displacement in synchronized relation with the processing of the preformed substantially uniform articles.
2. A mechanical movement comprising material clutching members, means for rotating said clutching members, said clutching members being interconnected in predetermined spaced relation by means of linked chain members to define an endless conveyor, means for displacing said clutching members along predetermined linear confronting paths, means in said path for operating said opening and closing means and said rotating means independently of each other and for selected intervals, said clutching members including pivotal mounts, gear segments on said clutching member pivotal mounts, control means in meshing engagement with said gear segments to open and close said clutching members, and a power drive for said linearly displacing means, whereby said clutching members may be synchronized to operate in a continuous path of movement along with said article conveying and handling means to accomplish special functions therewith such as wrapper end twisting during their displacement along linear confronting paths with said] clutching members.
3. A mechanical movement defined in claim 2 wherein the power drive includes a gear in meshing engagement with said chain linked endless conveyor.
4. A mechanical movement defined in claim 2 wherein said clutching members are disposed in pairs at spaced uniform intervals by means of said linked chain endless conveyor on both sides of article supporting means to twist simultaneously Wrapper ends of said articles.
5. A mechanical movement defined in claim 4 wherein stationary cam means are provided in both rectilinear paths of travel for said article supporting means and said clutching means to synchronize the opening and closing thereof to accomplish the continuous twisting of the Wrap pers and the feeding and discharge of the unwrapped and Wrapped articles in a continuity of operations without any interruption.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,001,351 9/1961 Brook et al 53-370 3,131,522 5/1964 Latini et al 53-370 X FRANK E. BAILEY, Primary Examiner.
P. H. POHL, Assistant Examiner.