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Publication numberUS3293998 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 27, 1966
Filing dateOct 21, 1963
Priority dateOct 21, 1963
Publication numberUS 3293998 A, US 3293998A, US-A-3293998, US3293998 A, US3293998A
InventorsArthur D Farnow
Original AssigneeSuperior Packaging Equipment C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container opening device and method of opening a knock-down container
US 3293998 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

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United States Patent C 3,293,998 CNTAINER OPENING DEVICE AND METHOD F OPENHNG A KNOCK-DOWN CONTAINER Arthur l). Farnow, Verona, NJ., assigner to Superior Packaging Equipment Corp., Carlstadt, NJ. Filed Oct. 21, 1963, Ser. No. 317,707 20 Claims. (Cl. 9.3-53) This invention relates in general to devices for opening containers for filling purposes and in particular to a new and useful device for opening a folded container by en gaging the container on the top and bottom flaps and opening it and folding it backwardly to break the score line so that the container will remain in an upright position for packing purposes, and to a method of opening such containers.

Prior to the present invention, machines of many kinds have been provided for opening containers which are manufactured and shipped in a knocked-down or flattened condition. A general disadvantage with machines known heretofore is that they are not completely reliable in operation and in many instances, the mechanism provided for opening the containers and then holding the containers in an open position become disassociated with the various panel portions thereof or the container is contacted or fed in a manner to cause jamming of the operating parts, destruction of the container, or both.

The present invention provides means for opening a container of a type which includes a bottom and a top panel, a rst side panel connected between one side of said top and bottom panels, and a second side panel connected to one of the top or bottom panels and connected to the opposite top or bottom panel by means of a connecting flap. With the containers of this nature it is usual to have a flap which interconnects a side panel with a top or bottom panel arranged in a position to overlie one of the top or bottom panels. A score line is formed between the panel and its associated side panel and an additional score line is formed between the opposite side panel and its connected top wall. These score lines are such as to predispose the container to lie in a flattened position with the bottom panel and the side panel lowermost and with the top panel and the opposite side panel overlying the side and bottom panels. Machines provided for opening containers of this nature include, for example, elements which are provided for dellection of the side panels in order to move the top panel away from the bottom panel, but such machines require, in addition, means to hold the container at each side after being opened in order to prevent it from collapsing. Some attempts have been made to employ mechanisms to move the top panel and the two side panels in a manner to cause breaking of the score lines, in which case the container must be completely opened and then moved beyond an open position to a location at which the score lines between the side and bottom panels are broken by dellecting the side panels beyond an open position. In such an operation, the fibers of the score lines are actually severed and there will no longer be a strong tendency to urge the container to a flattened, non-erected position. A disadvantage in the operation of machines of this character is that the mechanism employed for opening the container does not function in a positive manner to hold the top and panels in their correctly oriented position while the breaking of the score lines was being effected.

In accordance with the method of the present invention, means are provided to positively engage the top and bottom panels on the exterior thereof, which means permits the lateral displacement of the bottom panel in respect to the top panel as well as their vertical displacement relative to each other for permitting a bending outwardly of the side panels, rst to an erected position, and then Mice therebeyond in order to break the score lines interconnecting the various panels. The method advantageously includes pressing the container after it is bent backwardly beyond an open position in order to press the side flaps in an oppositely extending condition from the original manufactured condition so that there would be less tendency for these scores to urge the container into a ilat condition.

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided means for engaging the flattened container from a stack of such containers and thereafter moving the flattened container along a defined feed path. A feature of the apparatus is that positively timed pusher elements are arranged to move behind each container as it is pulled away from the stack and to advance it in the new feed path in a precise manner. A movable suction element is then arranged to engage the bottom llap of the container and to advance the container positively through this new feed path. While the container is being positively fed in this manner, the opposite or top flap is engaged by an element such as a suction gripper which is mounted for slight swaying and lifting movement and is counterbalanced so that such movement can be effected easily during the positive feeding of the container by this bottom suction gripper. The mechanism is such that as the bottom panel is advanced, the top panel is retarded and raised to cause opening out of the interconnected side panels, first to an erected position and then the bending back thereof beyond the fully erected position as the bottom suction gripper advances further. After the container is bent back beyond an upright position by the top suction gripper, the lower suction gripper advances the container under a pressing roller which presses the container into a flattened position with the side panels laying in an opposite position from the manner in which they normally lie after manufacture and with the score lines thereof fully broken. With the score lines thus broken, the container is moved away from the pressing roller and advanced by pusher elements to the station for stuffing the container with the material to be packaged therein while it remains in a fully opened condition.

A feature of the invention is the provision of novel means for engaging the container from the exterior of its bottom panel by a suction gripper device which comprises an elongated slide over which is directed a slide member having a suction gripper. Vacuum is applied to a tube which is rotatably mounted within the slide member and which includes a plurality of openings deilned therein which communicate one after another with openings defined along the length of the slide member.

The slide which is moved over the slide member has a slot at its bottom which communicates with two of the openings on the slide and the slide is timed to move s0 that the slot is aligned with an opening on the slide member as well as a corresponding opening in the tube when it is desired to apply vacuum to the suction gripper carried by the slide for the purposes of holding the bottom panel of the container. In this manner it is possible to apply vacuum to a movable slide member and to also insure that the vacuum will not leak away from the interconnecting parts as the device is being operated. The vacuum which is directed to the interior tube which is rotated within the slide member will only be communicated within the slide when the slide is oriented over an opening in the slide member and an aligned opening of the rotating tube. At all other times the interior tube will always be sealed.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide means for opening knock-down containers for stuiling purposes.

A further object of the invention is to provide a method of opening knock-down containers comprising feeding the container through a prescribed feed path by gripping its bottom panel, gripping the top panel as it is being fed, and holding the top panel while the bottom panel is fed forwardly to permit the sides to move outwardly first to an erected position and then to a position beyond erection for the breaking of the score lines of the associated side fiaps, releasing the top panel and pressing the container with the side flaps folded backwardly, and releasing the container to permit the side walls to open outwardly to an erected position.

A further object of the invention is to provide a device which includes an upper suction gripper mounted for slight pivotal and vertical movement, a lower suction gripper mounted for substantially horizontal movement and arranged to engage the lowermost flap of a container and to move the container along a horizontal feed path, the upper suction gripper being effective to contact the top flap of the container to retard the movement of the top fiap and permit outward and upward movement thereof as the bottom fiap is advanced by the lower suction gripper for the purpose of opening the container to an erected position.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved suction device for engaging containers for moving them through a dened path which includes a slide member having a plurality of openings defined at spaced locations along the length thereof communicating with the exterior through a central bore, a tube rotatable in said central bore adapted to be connected to a source of vacuum and having a plurality of openings defined along the length thereof, means to rotate said tube for aligning the opening of said tube with the opening of said slide member, and a slide movable over said slide member having a suction member and a bore defined therein communicating said suction member with the lower surface of said slide, said slides lower surface having a slot defined therein which is of a size and location to be moved to overlie at least one opening of said slide member at a time, which opening will provide a vacuum connection to said suction member when said tube opening is in alignment therewith.

A further object of the invention is to provide a device for opening containers which are made or shipped in a flattened or knocked-down condition which is simple in design, rugged in construction and economical to manufacture.

The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and specific objects attained by its use, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated and described preferred embodiments of the invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1a is a somewhat schematic, partial elevational and partial sectional view of a machine constructed in accordance with the invention indicating the manner in which the container is removed from a stack and advanced along a feed line;

FIG. 1b is a view similar to FIG. la indicating the container top panel being engaged by an upper suction gripper member as a lower suction gripper member advances the container through the feed path;

FIG. 1c is a view similar to FIG. 1b indicating the release of the container by the upper suction gripper member after the container has been folded upwardly to an erected position and then beyond an erected position in an opposite direction;

FIG. 1d is a view similar to FIG. 1c of a further portion of the machine indicating the pressing of the container after the container has been folded to a reversed position with the score lines broken;

FIG. 1e is a view similar to FIG. 1d indicating the CJI forward feeding of the container after it has left the pressing roll;

FIG. 1f indicates the feeding of a container at the stuffing station;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial elevational and partial sectional view of the machine indicating the upper and lower suction gripper members;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary partial sectional and partial elevational view of the lower suction gripper mechanism;

FIG. 4 is a section taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a section taken on the line 5 5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a section taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a section taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a somewhat schematic sectional view with the parts indicated displaced in order to show communication of the suction gripper member with the suction supply line through the slide member;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional and elevational view of the suction tube;

FIG. 10 is a schematic indication of the sprocket and chain drive for the machine;

FIGS. 11a to 11d inclusive are schematic side elevational views indicating the stages of erection of the container by the upper and lower suction gripper members;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary side elevational view of another embodiment of the invention indicating a pivotally mounted suction gripper member for engaging the bottom exterior panel of the container; and

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary top plan view of the device indicated in FIG. 12; and

FIG. 14 is a sectional view of another embodiment of manifold.

Referring to the drawings in particular, the invention embodied therein comprises a device for feeding containers from a stack 10 of containers along a feed path from which a container 12 is folded from a fiattened or knocked-down condition through an upright position and then to reversed folded condition for the purpose of presenting the container at a filling or stuffing station in an upright or fully opened position (FIG. la).

As indicated particularly in FIGS. 1a and 2, a motor (not shown) is connected to drive a main drive shaft 14 which carries a driving sprocket 16 which is connected by a chain 18 to rotate a shaft 20. A suction crank member generally designated 22 is pivotally mounted at 24 on a frame 26 and is connected through one arm 22a to a connecting link member 28 which is also pivotally connected at its opposite end to a crank-disc 30 which is carried by the shaft 20. An opposite arm 22b of the suction crank member carries a suction gripper member 26 which may be adjustably positioned along the length thereof and which communicates through the interior of the arm 22b to a source of suction (not shown). Rotation of the crank 30 with the shaft 20 causes the downward displacement of the arm 22b after the suction cup member 36 engages the lowermost container in the stack 10 and delivers the container 12 onto supports 38 for horizontal feeding therealong.

As indicated particularly in FIG. 10, the shaft 20 carries a sprocket 40 for continuously moving a pusherv chain 42 which is trained to run around a sprocket 44, an end sprocket 46 (FIG. 1f), and a reversing sprocket 48 (FIG. 1f). The pusher ohain 42 carries a Iplurality of pusher finger members generally designated 50 at fixed spaced intervals which are pivotally mounted on the chain at pivot locations 52. Two sets of such chains with associated pushers are normally provided in order to evenly push the container from each side thereof, but only one has been indicated for clarity of illustration purposes.

As best indicated in FIG. 2, the pushers 50 yhave a camming surface 52a which rides on a cam member 54 which extends horizontally along a prescribed portion of the length of the machine. The cam 54 is such that the pusher face 52b is inclined forwardly behind eachI container 12 to advance it along a horizontal feed path without permitting it to be displaced backwardly out of alignment.

Each container 12 is then advanced into association with a depressing cam S6 having an inclined surface 56a which directs the forward edge of the container 12 downwardly and prevents its premature opening and presses it downwardly on suction gripper 80 to be described hereinafter.

By referring to FIG. 10, it can be seen that a sprocket 64 may be angularly adjusted on the shaft 14 and fixed in position for the purposes of varying the timing of a chain 62 which is moved thereby. Chain 62 effects rotation of a sprocket 66 which is carried on a cam shaft 68. Shaft 68 carries a sprocket 70 to effect rotation of a chain 72 of a lower suction gripper mechanism generally designated A. Shaft 68 also carries a cam 74 for operating an lupper suction gripper mechanism general-ly designated B and a cam 73 for operating a suction timer 75 which is connected at one line 77 to a source of suction (not shown) and by another line 79 to the upper suction mechanism A.

In accordance with the invention, a plurality of slide members or slide blocks generally designated 76 is pivotally connected to the chain 72 at spaced locations along the length thereof, which chain has a horizontal reach which moves along the top of a slide member or suction manifold generally designated 78.

The slide 7 6 is connected to suction through the manifold 78 in a manner to be described more fully hereinafter to cause suction to act on a suction cup 80 which moves below the container 12 in time to contact the forward end of a bottom panel 12b thereof (see FIGS. 11a to 11d) adjacent its forward edge in order to grip the container and to advance it along a horizontal path. As indicated particularly in FIG. 1b, suction becomes effective at the suction cup 80 when the slide 76 is moved to the position in alignment with the vertical line 82. At this location the pusher 50 falls backwardly since the cam 54 terminates at suchlocation. The container 12 is thus positively advanced from the location 82 forwardly by the suction gripper 80 of the sliding block 76 and is moved horizontally, as indicated in FIG. lb.

As indicated particularly in FIG. 2, the upper suction gripper mechanism B includes parallel link arm members 84 and 86 which are pivotally connected at one end to a mounting block 88 upon which is pivoted a cylinder 90 of a suction gripper generally designated 92. The suction gripper 92 includes a plunger 94 which carries at its outer end a suction cu-p 96 which is reciprocated within the cylinder in accordance with the application of a vacuum through a conduit 98. The mounting block S8, together with the suction gripper 92, is carried on the ends of the arms 84 and 86 and is of a weight to exactly counterbalance a counterbalancing Weight 100 which is carried on the outside end of the arm 84.

The suction gripper 92 is brought into association with the container 12 by the operation of the cam 74 which pivots a link arm 102 which is mounted on a pivot pin 194 carried on a frame 106. The opposite end of the link arm 102 is pivotally connected to a connecting rod 108 which, in turn, is pivotally connected to the outer end of the parallel arm $6. When a high spot on the cam 74 is reached, as indicated in FIG. 2, the parallelogram linkage is shifted to move the suction gripper 82 downwardly. The cylinder 90 is pivotally mounted on a pivot pin 110 on the frame 88 and is urged by means of a spring 112 into an oblique position, as indicated in FIG. lb. Vacuum is applied to the conduit 98 to cause extension of the `plunger 94 and the engagement of a suction cup member 96 with top wall 121 of the container 12. The vacuum is timed to cause extension of the plunger 94 to effect engagement of the top wall 12! along the trailing edge thereof as the bottom wall 12b is being advanced by t-he suction cup B of the block 76 (see FIG. 1lb). As soon as the suction cup 96 engages the container 12, the plunger is moved upwardly to move the container side walls 121 and 12a outwardly along with the top wall 12t. The suction is cut off and the container released only after the container is opened to a position at which the sides are beyond a fu-lly opened position.

The roller follower 102:1 simultaneously rides off the high point of the cam 74, placing the gripper mechanism B in balance once again and the further advancing movement of the block 76 causes the rotation of the cylinder with its plunger 94 and the lifting thereof together with the parallelogram arms 84 and 86, as side walls 121 and 12r are pivoted outwardly from the bottom 12b and the top 12r is moved away from the bottom 12b. Each of the suction cups 80 and 96 continues to hold the container 12 and the motion of the block 76 in the direction of the arrow 114 causes the container to become fully erected, as indicated in FIG. llc. Block 76 continues to move to the left, as indicated in FIG. 11d, until the sides 12l and 12r bend beyond the perpendicular in a reverse folded direction to cause breaking of the fibers f at the fold lines between the sides in the associated top and bottom panels (see FIG. 1c).

As indicated in FIG. ld, the block 76 continues to I move forward with the box 12 which is now reversely formed with the side flaps 12! and 12r inclined backwardly slightly in respect to the direction of feed. The container 12 is then directed beneath a pressing roller 116 which is mounted on a bracket 118 for adjustable positioning in respect to the feed path. The container 12 is then flattened in a reverse folded condition and is advanced further by the block 76 to permit the walls 121 and 12r to spring upright. Since the fibers in the score lines have been broken, the box will normally stand upright without requiring any additional support.

As indicated in FIG. le, the container 12 is advanced further by the suction cup 8f) of the block 76 until a pusher 50 is moved upwardly by a cam 120 behind the trailing edge 12r to move the container 12 to a stuffing station which is indicated in FIG. lf. At the stutiing station the container 12 may be easily filled, manually or by mechanism for filling the container with material (not shown), and thereafter it is advanced into association with mechanism for sealing the end flaps thereof (not shown).

As indicated in FIGS. 12 and 13, in some instances it is desirable to hold the conveyor at its bottom wall 12b by means of an additional central suction gripper mechanism generally designated 122. This suction gripper mechanism may advantageously comprise a cylinder 124 which is mounted on the end of an arm 126 which may oscillate freely on a shaft 128. A spring 130 is provided to bias the arm 126 to the left or starting position, as indicated in FIG. l2. The vacuum is applied through the arm 126 to cause a plunger 132 to move outwardly and cause a suction cup 134 at the end thereof to engage a container 136 and hold it downwardly on a feed slide member 138. Block members 140 and 142 which are moved by chains to which they are attached carry suction grippers 144 and 146 which engage each side of a container 12', with the suction cup 134 engaging centrally, for example. The block members 140 and 142 cause advancing of the containers 12 and the central suction cup 134 effects the holding down of the center portion of the container on guide rails 148 as the container is being advanced by the suction cups 144 and 146. The arm 126 which carries the cylinder 124 is then pivoted forwardly to the dotted line position, as indicated in FIG. l2, at which point suction is removed and the plunger 132 is moved backwardly into the cylinder 124 and the arm 126 is returned to its starting position.

A feature of the invention is the method of applying vacuum to the slide or block 76 to enable it to engage 7. the container 12 as it is moved through the feed path indicator. The details of construction of this member are indicated particularly in FIGS. 3 to 9, inclusive. The manifold 78 is provided with a hollow bore for carrying a rotatable vacuum tube or distributor member 150 therein. Manifold 7S is provided with a plurality of openings 152 which extend from the bore accommodating the tube 150 outwardly to a side surface, as indicated in FIG. 4. The openings 152 are spaced at a uniform distance along the length of the manifold 78.

As indicated particularly in FIGS. 1a and 3, shaft 58 carries a small sprocket 156 which drives a sprocket 158 by means of a chain 160. Sprocket 158 is on a shaft 162 which carries a gear 164 which meshes with a gear 166 which is carried on the end of the tube 150 (see FIG. 9). Thus, the tube 150 is continuously rotated and the tube contains a plurality of openings 168 which permit communication between the interior and the tube and the openings 152 when they are aligned. Vacuum is supplied to the tube 150 through a connection 170, and this vacuum is communicated to a suction cup 80 through the passages 152 and a passage 170 in the slide 76 when the openings 168 are aligned with the openings 152. In a preferred arrangement, the block 76 is provided with a longitudinally elongated slot 172 (FIG. 8) which is long enough to become aligned with two of the openings 152 to insure that the block 76 is provided with vacuum for engagement of the suction cup 80 with the container 12 once the suction cup moves beyond the position 82 until it reaches a position 174, as indicated in FIG. la. A feature of the construction is that the power required for producing the vacuum is never wasted and vacuum is never bled to the atmosphere, since the only time the openings 152 are exposed is when the slot 172 overlies one or more of the openings 152. It is with this arrangement that it is possible to provide a moving block 76 which is continuously connected for applying vacuum to a holding container when the container is to be moved through a feed path, and with means provided for timing the vacuum for interruption of the suction when the container is to be released.

Thus, the invention provides a device for positively moving the container and for holding both the top and bottom while the container is being opened and simultaneously advanced through a feed path. The invention provides an improved method for opening containers which comprises opening a container beyond the upright position and reverse-folding the same to break the fold line fibers, thereafter permitting the container to spring to an upright position. This improved method assures that the container will remain open once it has been so folded, and it makes the filling of the container a simple matter. A further feature is that the container may be fed by the pushers 150 after the suction blocks 76 are disassociated therefrom, and no other centering or aligning means need be provided. The container will remain in upright position with the trailing edge 121F oriented along the front face of the pushers 50.

It should be appreciated that the broadest aspect of the invention comprises a novel means for gripping opposite sides of a container and forcibly opening the same preferably as it is moved along a feed path. In this connection it should be appreciated that once a container is opened it will no longer have a strong tendency to return to a completely fiattened condition. For the broad purposes of the invention, the machine can operate to merely open the container by forcibly engaging opposite sides to permit outward movement of the side flaps thereof. Once this is done, the container will be predisposed in an opened condition and have little or no tendency to assume a fiattened condition again. It has been found, however, that further advantages are obtained by reverse folding the container to completely break the score lines and to press the container in the reverse condition. After this reverse folding and pressing is done, the container will handle better and will remain squared while it is being stuffed and while the fiaps are folded and glued.

In FIG. 14, another embodiment of suction manifold generally designated 200 is indicated, which has a top surface 202 over which a slide similar to the slide 76 is adapted to be moved. The manifold 200 includes a plurality of openings 204 arranged at spaced intervals along the length thereof as in the other embodiment. Suction is applied to an interior bore through a conduit 206. In this embodiment the means for distributing or communicating the suction from the conduit 206 to the openings 204 comprises a rotatable rod member 208 having a groove 210 cut into the periphery thereof. The groove 210 is always in communication with an annular suction chamber 212 which is fed through the conduit 206, and when a portion of the groove 210 is aligned with one of the openings 204, suction is communicated to the exterior of the manifold 200. The grooves 210 may be of any desired configuration, and of any desired number for achieving the timing of the communication of the vacuum through the exterior openings 204 as the block is moved over the manifold 200. The rod 208 is rotated, as in the previous embodiment, by means of a gear 214 affixed thereto, which is rotated by a gear 216.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been shown and described in detail to illustrate the application of the inventive principles, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied otherwise without departing from such principles.

What is claimed is:

1. A method of opening a knockdown container made of a single blank with a bottom wall, a top wall, and first and second side Walls, said side walls connected between said top and bottom Walls at respective opposite sides thereof, said walls being separated by score lines formed in a manner to urge said first side wall and said bottom wall to lie in substantially a common plane, with a top wall overlaying the first side wall and a portion of the bottom wall, and with said second wall extending in substantially the same direction as said first side wall and overlaying said bottom wall, comprising the steps of gripping and holding the bottom wall and advancing it along a feed path at a constant velocity, gripping and holding the top wall in a manner to permit the bottom wall to feed faster than the top wall and to urge said first and second side walls with said top Wall to move outwardly from said bottom wall first to a fully erected position with said side walls extending substantially perpendicularly outwardly from said bottom wall, and then to a reverse position with said side walls pressed fiat in the plane of said bottom wall in an oriented position opposite from the initial position, thereafter pressing the container in the reversed position, and removing the pressing means and permitting the box to spring open outwardly to an open position.

2. A device for opening knockdown containers formed by walls separated by score lines formed in a manner to orient the walls with a side wall extending outwardly in a common plane from said bottom wall and with the top and opposite side walls overlaying the first side wall and bottom wall, comprising first means movable along a substantially straight line and at constant velocity for engaging one of said top and bottom walls and moving it in substantially a single plane, second means effective to engage the other of said top and bottom walls and to hold it against feeding in the single plane but permitting outward movement of the associated wall in respect to the opposite wall and the folding outwardly of said side walls first to a position extending substantially perpendicular in respect to said top and bottom wall and then to a position extending in a reverse direction from their original knockdown condition to break the fibers on the score lines and negate the tendency of the container walls to orient in a flattened position, said second means being releasable from said container after it is folded in a reverse folded condition to permit the container walls to spring outwardly to a fully opened condition.

3. A device according to claim 2, wherein said first means for contacting said container and feeding it along a substantially single plane includes a suction gripper adapted to contact a wall of said container, a slide carrying said suction gripper, means for applying negative gripping pressure through said slide to said suction gripper, and means for moving said slide.

4. A device according to claim 2, wherein said second means for contacting said container includes a suction gripper member for engaging said container, means mounting said suction gripper member for up and down and swinging -movement over the plane of movement of said first means, and means for actuating said suction gripper to engage a container.

5. A device for opening knock-down containers having a bottom wall, a top wall, and first and second side walls connected between said bottom and top walls at respective opposite sides thereof, said walls being oriented substantially fiat by score lines defined therebetween with said first and second side walls extending in a common direction, comprising means defining a feed path for containers, a suction manifold member adjacent said means defining a feed path, a slide member movable along said manifold adjacent said means defining a feed path and having a suction gripper for contacting the bottom wall of a container and advancing it along said means defining a feed path, means for applying suction to said manifold, said manifold and said slide member being constructed to communicate vacuum to said suction gripper as said slide member is moved, and suction means for engaging and holding the top wall of said container to retard its movement in respect to its bottom wall and to permit the top and side walls to move outwardly first to a fully opened position and then beyond the fully opened position backwardly to a reversed folded fiat position with the side walls extending substantially opposite to their originally oriented position and to thereafter release said container.

6. A device for opening knock-down containers having a bottom wall, a top wall, and first and second side walls connected between said bottom and top walls at respective opposite sides thereof, said walls being oriented substantially fiat by score lines defined therebetween with said first and second side walls extending in a common direction, comprising means defining a feed path for containers, a suction manifold member adjacent said means defining a feed path, a slide member movable along said manifold adjacent said means defining a feed path and having a suction gripper for contacting the bottom wall of a container and advancing it along said means defining a feed path, means for applying suction to said manifold, said manifold including a longitudinally extending bore, a hollow suction tube rotatable in said bore, means for applying suction to the interior of said hollow tube, said manifold having a plurality `of openings defined along the length thereof extending from the exterior inwardly to said bore, the tube having openings said tube being rotatable to align one of a plurality of openings therein with the openings of said manifold, said slide having a slot defined in a surface yoverlaying said manifold, said slide and said suction gripper having a passage defined therethrough terminating in said slot, said slot adapted to overlie at least one of the openings of said manifold as said slide is moved over said manifold, means to rotate said suction tube and to move said slide to communicate suction to said suction gripper through the opening in said tube and said manifold and the passageway defined in said slide and suction gripper as said slide is moved parallel to the means defining said feed path, and suction means for engaging and holding the top wall of said container to retard its movement in respect to the bottom wall and to permit the top and side walls to move 10 outwardly first to a fully opened position and then t0 permit them to move backwardly inwardly to a reversed folded fiat position with the side Walls extending substantially oppositely to their originally 4oriented position and to thereafter release said container.

7. A device for opening knock-down containers having a bottom wall, a top wall, and first and second side walls connected between said bottom and top walls at respective opposite sides thereof, said walls being oriented substantially flat by score lines defined therebetween with said first and second side walls extending in a common direction, comprising means defining a feed path for containers, a suction manifold member adjacent said means defining a feed path, a slide member movable along said manifold adjacent said means defining a feed path and having a suction gripper for contacting the bottom wall of a container and advancing it along said means defining a feed path, means for applying suction to said manifold, said manifold and said slide member being constructed to communicate vacuum to said suction gripper `only as said slide member is moved, and suction means for engaging and holding the top wall of said container including a plunger having a suction gripper at one end movable to engage the top wall of said container to retard its movement in respect to its bottom wall and to permit the top and side walls to move outwardly first to a fully opened position and then beyond the fully opened position backwardly to a reversed folded dat position with the side walls extending substantially opposite to their originally oriented position and to thereafter release said container.

8. A device for opening knock-down containers having a bottom wall, a top wall, and first and second side walls connected between said bottom and top walls at respective opposite sides thereof, said walls being oriented substantially fiat by score lines defined therebetween with said first and second side walls extending in a common direction, comprising means defining a feed path for containers, a suction manifold member adjacent said means defining a feed path, a slide member movable along said manifold adjacent said means defining a feed path and having a suction gripper for contacting the bott-om wall of a container and advancing it along said means defining a feed path, means for applying suction to said manifold, said manifold and said slide member being constructed to communicate vacuum to said suction gripper as said slide member is moved, and suction means for engaging and holding the top wall of said container to retard its movement in respect to its bottom wall and to permit the top and side walls to move outwardly first to a fully opened position and then beyond the fully opened position backwardly to a reversed folded fiat position with the side walls extending substantially opposite to their originally oriented position and to thereafter release said container, said suction means including a cylinder, a plunger reciprocable in said cylinder member and having a suction element at its end for engaging the top wall yof said container, means for supplying suction to said cylinder member and said suction element, and means supporting said cylinder for vertical and swinging movement above said means defining said feed path.

9. A device for opening knock-down containers having a bottom wall, a top wall, and first and second side walls connected between said bottom and top walls at respective opposite sides thereof, said walls being -oriented substantially fiat by score lines defined therebetween with said first and second side walls extending in a common direction, comprising stack means for supporting a stack of containers comprising means defining a feed path for containers adjacent said stack means, a swinging arm member movable through a path to engage the end container in said stack means and move it out of said stack means and onto said means defining a feed path, a suction manifold member adjacent said means defining a l 1 feed path, a slide member movable along said manifold adjacent said means defining a feed path and having a suction gripper for contacting the bottom wall of a container and advancing it along said means defining a feed path, means for applying suction to said manifold, said manifold and said slide member being constructed to communicate vacuum to said suction gripper as said slide member is moved, suction means movable for engaging and holding the top wall of said container to retard its movement in respect to its bottom wall and to permit the top and side walls to move outwardly first to a fully opened position and then beyond the fully opened position backwardly to a reversed folded fiat position with the side walls extending substantially opposite to their originally oriented position and thereafter release said container, and means for moving said swinging arm member, said slide member and said suction means in timed relationship.

10. A device for opening knock-down containers which have a bottom wall, a top wall, and first and second side walls connected between said bottom and top walls at respective opposite sides thereof, said walls being oriented substantially fiat by score lines defined therebetween with said first and second side walls extending in a common direction, comprising means defining a feed path for containers, means for holding a supply of said containers adjacent said feed path, a pivotal arm having suction means thereon engageable with an end one of said containers for removing it from a stack and depositing it on said feed path, pusher means movable behind each container as it is deposited on said feed path for advancing it forward, means for timing said pusher means and said pivotal arm to feed each container in succession from the stack along said feed path, first means movable along a substantially straight line and at constant velocity for engaging one of said top and bottom walls and moving it in substantially a single plane, second means effective to engage the other of said top and bottom walls and to hold it against feeding in the single plane but permitting outward movement of the associated wall in respect to the opposite wall and the folding outwardly of said side walls first to a position extending substantially perpendicular in respect to said top and bottom wall and then to a position extending in a reverse direction from their original knock-down condition to break the fibers on the score lines and negate the tendency of the container walls to orient in a flattened position, said second means being releasable from said container after it is folded in a reverse folded condition to permit the container walls to spring outwardly to a fully opened condition.

11. A device according to claim 10, wherein said first means includes a slide member with a suction gripper thereon and including means disposed along said feed path for depressing the forward end of said container before it is contacted by said suction gripper.

12. A device according to claim 10, including a pressing roller disposed along said feed path at a location to press the container after it has been reversely folded.

13. A device according to claim 11, including a chain connected to said slide member for moving said slide member over said manifold, a second chain connected to said pushers for advancing said pushers, and chain drive means for timing the movement of said pushers and said slide member.

14. A device according to claim 11, including cam means disposed adjacent said means defining a feed path arranged to contact said pusher members to project them above said means defining a feed path for feeding the container to said slide member and for permitting them to fall backwardly below said means defining a feed path when said containers are being fed by said slide member.

15. A device according to claim 14, wherein said cam means directs said pusher finger upwardly above said means defining a feed path for feeding the container after it has been released by said slide member.

16. A vacuum operated article advancing device comprising an elognated manifold having a central bore extending along the length thereof with a plurality of openings defined along the length of said manifold communicating the central bore with the exterior thereof, a slide member movable along said manifold, said slide member having a suction element with an interior passage extending from said suction element through said slide member terminating in a slot which is of a size to overlie at least one of the openings of said manifold as said slide member is moved over said manifold, a suction tube rotatable in the bore of said manifold, said suction tube having a plurality of openings therein arranged to align with the corresponding openings of said manifold when said tube is rotated to a predetermined position, and means to move said slide over said manifold and to rotate said tube to afford communication from the interior of said tube through the openings of said manifold and the passages of said slide member to said suction member as said slide is moved along said manifold.

17. A device according to claim 16, including a conveyor chain, said slide being connected to said conveyor chain for movement therewith, and drive means connected to said conveyor chain and to said suction tube for rotating said suction tube upon movement of said chain.

18. A device according to claim 17, including an annular passage defined in said manifold around said suction tube, said suction tube having an opening in communication with said annular passage, and means for applying suction to said annular passage for communicating suction to the interior of said suction tube.

19. A device for opening knock-down containers having a bottom wall, a top wall, and first and second side walls connected between said bottom and top walls at respective opposite sides thereof, said walls being oriented substantially flat by score lines defined therebetween with said first and second side walls extending in a common direction, comprising means defining a feed path for containers, a suction manifold member adjacent said means defining a feed path, said suction manifold being elongated in the direction of the feed path, a slide member movable along said manifold adjacent said means defining a fecd path and having a suction gripper for contacting the bottom wall of a container and advancing it along said means defining a feed path, means for applying suction to said manifold, said manifold and said slide member having passages for communicating suction to said suction gripper as said slide member is moved, said manifold means shutting off suction from the exterior of said manifold except at the location of said slide, and suction means for engaging and holding the top wall of said container to retard its movement in respect to its bottom wall and to permit the top and side walls to move outwardly first to a fully opened position and then beyond the fully opened position backwardly to a reversed folded fiat position with the side walls extending substantially opposite to their originally oriented position and to thereafter release said container, a pivotal arm mounted adjacent said slide member, a suction cylinder carried by said arm, a plunger slidable in said cylinder and extending upwardly for movement through the means defining said feed path, means biasing'said arm in a direction opposite to the direction of feed of the container, and means for applying suction to said cylinder for causing engagement of said suction member with the container, said arm being pivotal to permit movement of said suction member with said container as it is advanced by said slide member, said suction member being effective to hold the container downwardly on said feed path.

20. A device for opening a knocked-down container formed by walls separated by score lines with the score lilt'Sd in the Walls formed in a manner such that the walls 13 are oriented with a first side wall extending outwardly in a common plane from a bottom wall and with a top wall and an opposite second side wall overlying the rst side wall and said bottom wall, comprising rst means for engaging one of said top and bottom walls and moving the engaged Wall in substantially a single plane, second mea-ns effective to engage the other of said top and bottom walls and to hold it against feeding in the single plane but permitting outward movement of the associated wall in respect to the engaged wall being moved in a single plane and permitting the folding outwardly of said side walls at least to a position extending substantially perpendicularly to the engaged Wall, means for moving said rst engaging means at constant velocity and for moving said rst and second engaging means in timed relationship, means for causing engagement of Said rst means with the container, and means for causing engagement of said second means with the container and for releasing the container after it is folded outwardly, said second means being releasable from said container.

References Cited bythe Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,612,823 10/1952 Woelfer 93-53 2,699,712 1/1955 Meyer-Jagenberg et al. 93-53 3,104,598 9/1963 Davies 93-53 3,107,588 10/1963 Lobdell et al 93-53 3,217,463 11/1965 Stannard et al. 93-53 X BERNARD STllCKNEY, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3424069 *May 4, 1967Jan 28, 1969Fibreboard CorpApparatus and method for forming cycindrical containers
US3564980 *Nov 21, 1968Feb 23, 1971John Donald WintersContainer set-up apparatus
US4531931 *Feb 4, 1983Jul 30, 1985Robert Bosch GmbhApparatus for opening up folded boxes
US5033975 *Aug 23, 1989Jul 23, 1991Ab Tetra PakMethod of and a device for raising flattened parallelepipedic blanks
US5120295 *Oct 22, 1990Jun 9, 1992Tetra Pak Holdings SaApparatus for erecting tubular carton blanks
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US5298008 *Feb 3, 1993Mar 29, 1994Dennis DeckerCase opening apparatus
US5653671 *Dec 30, 1994Aug 5, 1997Riverwood International CorporationCarton feeder assembly
US5782734 *Jun 7, 1996Jul 21, 1998Riverwood International CorporationCarton feed opening wheel assembly
US6240707 *Sep 8, 1999Jun 5, 2001Riverwood International CorporationCarton opening apparatus
DE4035350A1 *Nov 7, 1990May 8, 1991Cestind Centro Studi IndAssembly line for making packets - consists of belt conveyor with suction holes, vacuum duct, toothed rollers and troughs
DE4414018A1 *Apr 22, 1994Nov 10, 1994Iwk Verpackungstechnik GmbhMethod and apparatus for erecting a folding box
DE10300486A1 *Jan 8, 2003Jul 22, 2004Focke Gmbh & Co. KgMethod for making folded cardboard boxes involves moving carton and alignment members during alignment continuously along flat rectilinear carton path through conveyors
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Classifications
U.S. Classification493/310, 493/316, 271/194, 414/737, 414/738, 493/319
International ClassificationB31B5/80, B65B43/30
Cooperative ClassificationB31B1/80, B31B2203/003, B31B2201/027, B31B1/06, B31B2201/287, B65B43/305
European ClassificationB31B1/80, B31B1/06, B65B43/30C