US 3288088 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 29, 1966 LEEDY 3,288,088
PACKAG ING NETHOD Filed Dec. 1965 18 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR.
Nov. 29, 1966 E. H. LEEDY 3,288,088
PACKAGING METHOD Filed Dec. e1, 1963 18 Sheets-Sheet 2 E. H. LEEDY Nov. 29, 1966 PACKAGING METHOD l8 Sheets$he Filed Dec. 9, 1965 Nov. 29, 1966 E. H. LEEDY PACKAGING METHOD l8 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Dec.
Nov. 29, 1966 E. H. LEEDY 3,288,088
PACKAGING METHOD Filed Dec. 9, 1963 18 Sheets-Sheet 5 6 V Z I 42 INVENTOR Nov. 29, 1966 8 E. H. LEEDY 3,288,088
PACKAGING METHOD Filed Dec. 9, 1965 18 Sheets-Sheet 6 WMMM/ Nov. 29, 1966 LEEDY 3,288,088
PACKAGING METHOD 18 Sheets-Sheet 8 Nov. 29, 1966 E. H. LEEDY PACKAGING METHOD Filed Dec. 9, 1963 Nov. 29, 1966 E. H. LEEDY PACKAGING METHOD l8 Sheets-Sheet 9 Filed Dec. 9, 1965 J H W i a n J Nov. 29, 1966 E. H. LEEDY PACKAGING METHOD is Sheets-Sheet 10 Filed Dec. 1963 I NVENTOR. W
Nov. 29, 1966 E. H. LEEDY PACKAGING METHOD l8 Sheets-Sheet 11 Filed Dec. 9, 1963 IN VENTOR Nov. 29, 1966 E. H. LEEDY 3,233,083
PACKAGING METHOD Filed Dec. 9, 1963 18 Sheets-Sheet l2 Il 0 7/////////1 a l SI P Nov. 29, 1966 Filed Dec. 9, 1963 E. H. LEEDY 3,288,088
PACKAGING METHOD l8 Sheets-Sheet 15 Nov. 29, 1966 L D 3,288,088
PACKAGING METHOD Filed Dec. 9. 1963 I 18 Sheets-Sheet 16 PERCENT OF ROTATION CIRCUIT CLOSED [:1 CIRCUIT OPEN 5 XZVjV/ENTOR.
Nov. 29, 1966 LEEDY 3,288,088
PACKAGING METHOD Filed Dec. 9, 1963 18 Sheets-Sheet 17 INVENTOR.
I I l I l I I I I I I l I I l l l l l I I I I IIL I I I I I I l I l I l I I I I IIF llll ll Nov. 29, 1966 LEEDY 3,288,088
AAAAAAAAAAAAA OD United States Patent 3,288,088 PACKAGING METHOD Edwin H. Leedy, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignor, by mesne assignments, to Lockwood Manufacturing Company, a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 9, 1963, Ser. No. 328,967 8 Claims. (Cl. 107-54) This invention relates to a method for packaging bakery goods. More particularly, the method of this invention is primarily concerned with the problem of automatically removing a multiplicity of baked rolls and cakes from the pan in which they are baked and placing them in the container in which they are distributed and sold to the ultimate consumer. It is within the scope of this invention to automatically depan and package numerous types of baked rolls and cakes, including but not limited to:
a. Brown-n-Serve rolls: Yeast dough rolls which are fully developed and baked but withdrawn from baking temperature before caramelization of the crust occurs. In this state they are essentially colorless with the intention that baking to create the typical brown color of finished baked products shall be completed by the ultimate consumer.
b. Finished Baked Rolls: Yeast dough rolls completely developed and baked to a caramelized crust condition to make them acceptable for consumption as is.
c. Finished Baked Sweet Rolls: Yeast or chemically leavened dough products of the nature of corn muffins, fruit mufi'ins, Danish pastries, nut rolls, etc., fully baked for consumption as is.
d. Finished Baked Cakes: Chemically leavened sweet dough-products of the nature of cup cakes, Mary Ann shells, tortes, etc., fully baked for consumption as is.
Of the four above classifications of rolls pertinent to this invention, the Brown-n-Serve classification is the most difiicult type to handle automatically and its typical packaging container the most difficult to insert the prodnot into. Therefore, the description of this invention is primarily concerned with its capability in the automatic depanning and packaging of Brown-n-Serve rolls but it should be understood that this is not to the exclusion of its capability with the less difiicult types of rolls.
One of the diificulties in automating the packaging of the brown and serve rolls is that these rolls do not have a fully developed and caramelized crust and are marketed in as soft condition as possible. In fact, these packaged rolls have a consistency more analogous to that of raw dough than that of most finished baked products. Therefore conventional mechanized bakery handling devices and processes have been impractical for this use. As a consequence, manual handling has heretofore been the only practical technique for removing the soft rolls from the pans and inserting them into the package in spite of severe shortcomings in the maintenance of proper sanitation standards and final package appearance.
Another problem involved in the packaging of the soft brown and serve rolls which at least partially accounted for the necessity for manual packaging is the requirement that they be compactly placed in the package so that no movement occurs between the individual rolls. Because of their spongy character, this meant that the last roll in a flat package, or the twelfth roll put into a package of a dozen, was required to be substantially compressed simultaneously with insertion into the package. If compressed when fitted into the package, the rolls are precluded against movement within the finished package.
3,288,088 Patented Nov. 29, 1966 Raising still another obstacle to the automatic handling of these partially baked rolls is the uneven contour of their top surface, the only exposed surface when the rolls are located in the baking pans. Brown and serve rolls are generally formed in either a cloverleaf or three section pattern, a two section pattern, or a multiple vertically stacked section roll. All of these sectioned rolls present uneven and varying contour top surfaces which further complicates the problem of their being handled automatically.
It has been an objective of this invention to overcome these problems in packaging brown and serve rolls, and to provide a machine and process operable to automatically handle and package these soft dough products. Specifically, the apparatus and method of this invention are operable to automatically remove the baked brown and serve rolls from the baking pans in which they are baked and insert them into the containers or packages in which they are sold to the ultimate consumer.
Still another objective of this invention. has been to provide a technique for handling soft, partially baked, dough products. To this end, I have discovered that a suction cup having a dough engaging rim section less resistant to deformation than the soft dough may be used for this purpose. When brought into contact with the top sect-ion of an irregularly contoured top surface of such a roll, as for example a cloverleaf roll, the supple rim section will partially accept the irregular contour and when air is drawn through the cup, the rim section will further flex to form a seal with the top of the roll without distorting the roll shape or contour.
When the rolls are transported by a vacuum actuated suction cup mechanism, air is withdrawn from the partially baked rolls. This is particularly advantageous for packaging brown and serve rolls since the partially collapsed rolls are easily inserted into the package. Thereafter, upon the release of the vacuum, the rolls expand within the container and are thus precluded from relative movement within the package. If the walls of the container or package are susceptible to inward collapse, as are many flimsy containers, box spreaders may be mounted on the machine to fully open the top of the container so that the rolls may be placed therein. Thereafter the spreaders release the sides of the carton for in ward collapse against the sides of the rolls thus preventing relative movement between them in the finished package.
A brief description of the machine of this invention will facilitate an understanding of these and other objectives of the invention. Very briefly, the machine includes a pair of laterally spaced endless conveyors mounted upon a portable frame. These conveyors run in parallel such that one conveyor carries the baking pans and rolls to the loading station while the other conveyor carries preassembled cartons or containers to the loading zone or station. The purpose underlying this conveyor arrangement is twofold. First, to effectively isolate the inevitable soil or spore on the pan side of the machine from the container side and thus avoid soilingor contaminating of the containers with spore. Secondly,.the.lateral conveyor arrangement permits the machine to be constructed in a right or left hand arrangement i.e., with the. pan conveyor located on either the right or left hand side of the carton conveyor, so as to accommodate specific bakery production layouts.
A movable abutment engages the pans and holds a loaded pan at the unpacking station until a transport mechanism having a plurality of suction cups depending therefrom engages the tops of the rolls and moves them upwardly out of the pan. The conveyor then indexes another baking pan into the unloading zone. The transport mechanism after having moved the rolls upwardly out of the pan then moves laterally on a pair of overhead ways to a packing zone where it moves the rolls downwardly into the preassembled container. With the rolls located in the container, the vacuum to the suction cups is released and the rolls remain in the box as the suction cup carrying head moves upwardly and back to a position over the baking pan line. As the head moves upwardly, the carton carrying conveyor transports the loaded carton, which is now full of rolls, further along the conveyor and moves an empty carton into the loading zone. An interlock system is provided such that in the event that a pan of rolls is not located in the unloading zone, the transport head will remain stationary over the unloading zone until such time as a pan moves into position to be unloaded. Similarly, if a carton is not located at the loading station the transport mechanism will remain in its upper position until such time as a carton is moved into the filling or loading zone. The head will then move downwardly and deposit the rolls in the container. Thus the machine is operable to carry on this unloading of pans and loading of containers so long as pans move into the unloading zone and containers move into the loading zone. In practice the machine is generally set to run at a rate of 30 cycles a minute although it is equally adapted for operation at a much faster rate.
Another aspect of this invention is that the entire packaging machine is mounted upon rollers and is portable. To anchor it in position at its position in a production line for use with rolls when the bakery is manufacturing this product, air actuated cylinders are located at two diagonally opposite ends of the machine. When the air supply to the machine is plugged into the common bakery air supply line, these cylinders are actuated so as to frictionally engage the bakery floor and anchor the machine in its position in the bakery line to receive the baked goods without any intermediate handling. Thus the machine may be used, for example, on a two day production run and thereafter moved out of the way until the next time rolls are produced in the bakery.
Another important aspect of this invention is that it eliminates collation of the rolls between the oven and the container in which they are packed for shipment. The rolls are baked in novel baking pans on the same centers or in the same physical orientation in which they are to be packed and are transported between the pans and the container in this relationship. Not only does this simplify handling of the rolls but it also appreciably increases the speed at which the rolls may be packed.
One advantage inherent in the use of this packaging machine is the sanitation which results from its use. A more sanitary packaged product, of course, means a longer shelf life for the product. Shelf life is a function of the spore count of the packaged product. Heretofore, with manual packaging of the product, spore were transported from the baking pans to the hands of the packagers onto the rolls prior to insertion into the package. With this invention, the baking pans are never contacted by the transport medium so that spore are not picked up from the baking pans and placed on the rolls by the transport medium. Thus a longer shelf life of the finished product is achieved.
These and other objects and advantages of this invention will be more readily apparent from a description of the drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the machine of this invention,
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the pan unloading and carton loading zone of the machine with the transport head in the raised position preparatory to pick-up of the rolls from the pan,
FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 with the transport head having moved downwardly to the roll engaging position preparatory to removing the rolls from the pan,
FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 with the transport head located over the carton preparatory to downward movement of the head to place the rolls in the carton,
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged perspective view of the carton loading zone and transport head just prior to insertion of the rolls into the preassembled carton,
FIGURE 6 is a side elevational view of the lower. portion of one side of the machine,
FIGURE 6A is a side elevational view of the upper. portion of one side of the machine,
FIGURE 7 is a front elevational view of the machine of this invention,
FIGURE 8 is a rear elevational view of the machine.
of this invention,
FIGURE 9 is a top plan view of the machine of this i FIGURE 14 is a view similar to FIGURE 13 but show- 1 ing the valve spool in a second position,
FIGURE 15 is a cross sectional view taken along line 1515 of FIGURE 14,
FIGURE 16 is a cross sectional view of a suction cup taken along line 1616 of FIGURE 12,
FIGURE 17 is an elevational view of the vacuum adjusting mechanism,
FIGURE 18 is a cross sectional view taken along line 1818 of FIGURE 17,
FIGURE 19 is a cross sectional view taken along line 1919 of FIGURE 17,
FIGURE 20 is a cross sectional view taken along line 2020 of FIGURE 6,
FIGURE 21 is a cross sectional view taken along line 21--21 of FIGURE 20,
FIGURE 22 is a cross sectional view of the box spreader mechanism taken along line 2222 of FIG- URE 9,
FIGURE 23 is a View similar .to FIGURE 22 but with the box spreader mechanism engaged with a box or carton,
FIGURE 24 is a cross sectional view taken along line 24-24 of FIGURE 23,
FIGURE 25 is a cross sectional view taken along line 25-25 of FIGURE 23,
FIGURE 26 is a cross sectional view taken along line 26-26 of FIGURE 23,
FIGURE 27 is a cross sectional view taken along line 2727 of FIGURE 26,
FIGURE 28 is a cross sectional view of the pan stop mechanism taken along line 28-28 of FIGURE 7,
FIGURE 29 is a view similar to a portion of FIGURE 28, but showing the position of the pan detecting switch when engaged with a pan,
FIGURE .30 is a top plan view of the pan stop mechanism taken along line 30--30 of FIGURE 28,
FIGURE 31 is a diagrammatic illustration of the electrical circuit of the machine of this invention,
FIGURE 32 is a circuit timing chart of cam controlled switches of the electrical circuit,
FIGURE 33 is a diagrammatic illustration of the pneumatic system of the machine of this invention,
FIGURE 34 is a perspective View of one cup of the baking pan used in the machine of this invention,
ing pan used in the machine of this invention,