US 3332209 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 25, 1967 D. s. KNUDSEN LID APPLICATOR 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 27, 1964 MYLVW Iran/news,
July 25, 1967 D. s. KNUDSEN LID AFPLI CATOR 3 Sheets-$heet 2 Filed Nov. 27, 1964 ron/v.96;
July 25, 1967 D. s. KNUDSEN LID APPLICATOR Filed No\ l.
5 Sheets-Sheet WM M m 5 J 4, m 4
United States Patent Ofiiice 3,332,209 Patented July 25, 1967 3,332,209 LID APPLICATOR David S. Knudsen, 3145 Hawthorne Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63104 Filed Nov. 27, 1964, Ser. No. 414,273 2 Claims. (Cl. 53313) The present invention relates to lid applicators and more particularly to an apparatus and technique for supplying lids separately from a stack and applying such lids over an end of containers.
In changing over from the conventional key-open containers for coffee cans, and the like, to no-key cans, a plastic cap or lid is supplied with each sealed container or can to function as a container closure once the sealed container has been opened. The current practice is to supply such no-key cans with a plastic lid snapped over the end of the container. After the sealed closure of the container is removed to use the container contents, the plastic lid is used over the open mouth of the container for reclosing such.
Supplying a lid affixed to the end of a sealed can or container is normally a time consuming hand operation requiring personnel to apply the lid to the can and others to inspect containers prior to packaging and shipping to make sure the lids are properly in place. In mechanizing the lid pplying process, it is necessary to have an interleaved stack of lids which may be removed from the stack one at a time and positioned over the mouth of the can. The difliculty in such a feed and application system is the possibility of positioning more than one lid to be fitted over a single container and then fully seating the lid over the mouth of the container prior to reaching the final packaging station. One reason for the difficulty is the design of the plastic lids. For example, it is necessary that the lids have .a stacking ring molded therein so that the containers may be readily stacked for display purposes in the retail store. These rings permit the stacked lids to stick to each other with the mouth of one lid seat over the stacking ring of another. Hence, such sticking makes it diflicult to separate and supply the lids one at a time.
" The present invention eliminates many of the difficulties in supplying lids one at a time to a lid applicator station and insures, that on leaving the lid applicator station, the lid is fully seated over one end of the container. Briefly, the invention contemplates a vibrator supply rack which has either a continuous or intermittent vibrator station that imparts separating feed motion to a series of lids. The system includes a reciprocating rod member with a hook element thereon arranged to move the lids one at a time into a discharge station. As a container such as coffee can moving on a onveyor belt reaches the discharge station, the lid engages the leading edge of the container lip (moth or bottom end) and is pulled by the container under a driven roller at the lid applicator station. The roller rolls the lid onto the container removing all air between the container and the lid in this application stage. A back-up roller engages the leading edge of the container lip and lid to prevent tipping and jamming of the container on the conveyor belt as the lid is being fully applied. Another optional roller station may be spaced down the conveyor line from the lid applicator station to insure that the lid positioned on each container is firmly seated and to seat any lids that are not properly applied. The containers with lids applicator apparatus for supplying a sealed container with a plastic lid fitted over the end thereof to be used for rescaling the contents whenever the container has been opened.
It is another object of the invention to provide a lid applicator mechanism which includes a vibrating lid supply rack and a reciprocating delivery member to supply single lids from the rack to a lid discharge station, a conveyor system to move containers past the discharge station and a lid applicator station, the lid applicator station having a driven roller to roll the lid onto one end of the container.
It is another object of the invention to provide a lid applicator mechanism which includes a delivery chute, a vibrator supply chute which may be continuously or intermittently vibrated to transfer stacked lids from the supply chute to the delivery chute, a reciprocating transfer member for supplying lids in the delivery chute to a discharge station, and a conveyor for transporting containers past the lid discharge station and to a lid applicator station, the lid applicator station including a roller member to roll lids onto the container.
It is another object of the invention to provide a lid applicator system including a lid supply system having a vibrator for feeding lids to a discharge member for the supply system one at a time, and includes a conveyor system for transporting containers past the lid discharge member where the containers unload the supply discharge member and move the lid and container under a roller which aflixes the lid to the container and further for carrying the container through a series of rollers which insure that the lid is fully seated over the mouth of the container.
It is further an object of the invention to provide a lid applicator mechanism which includes a feed system to position lids one at a time to a delivery point, said feed system having a supply rack which may be continuously or intermittently vibrated to aid separation of a series of stacked lids, a supply chute station for receiving lids one at a time, and includes a transfer member for moving lids from the supply chute to a delivery point responsive to the movement of a container along a conveyor belt and which includes a lid applicator station to roll a lid supplied to the container moving on the conveyor belt onto one end of the container.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the ensuing description taken in conjunction with the appended claims and drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of the lid applicator;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the lid applicator with the lid delivery chute removed;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the lid delivery chute and applicator mechanisms with the lid transfer hook in the raised position;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 with the lid transfer hook in the lowered position;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 with the lid transfer hook during the return stroke and a lid engaged by the container mouth edge being affixed to the container;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of the lid transfer hook;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a typical lid for appli cation to a container;
FIG. '8 is a front view of the lid delivery chute;
FIG. 9 is a rear view of the lid delivery chute; and
FIG. 10 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 1010 in FIG. 9.
Referring to the drawings and in particular FIGS. 1 and 2, the lid applicator has a support frame 1 which mounts a conveyor belt system having a drive roller 2 supported by a bearing block 3 and idler roller 5 mounted by hearing block 4, both bolted to frame 1. A continuous belt 6 is passed over drive roller 2 and idler roller 5. A tensioning roller 7 is mounted to frame 1 by adjustable brackets 7a which permit adjustment of the tensioning on belt 6. Belt 6 defines a flow path 8 for passing containers through the lid applicator. Driven roller 2 is connected by a chain 2a to a drive motor (not shown). A delivery conveyor designated generally as 9 supplies a series of containers 10 to receive lids onto the conveyor belt 6. Guide rails 11 are provided at each side of flow path 8 to center containers 10. Containers 10 after receiving lids are discharged from belt 6 onto discharge track 12 which leads to a storage and packaging area (not shown). Applicator hood 14, supported along the lower edge of its side walls from the frame 1, journals a power driven roller 13 above the flow path 8. Chain 15 is passed over a sprocket 16 affixed to driven roller 13 and to a drive motor (not shown). The roller 13 is mounted at such a height above the flow path 8 as to permit containers 1%) to pass thereunder while a lid is being seated thereon. Hood 14 has an idler roller 13a journaled therein which is smaller than power driven roller 13. The peripheral face of idler roller 13a is in the same plane as power driven roller 13. Mounted on top of hood 14 is a delivery chute 17 supported at a slight angle, of perhaps 15 degrees, by brackets 18 which are bolted to the top of hood 14. The delivery chute supports an air cylinder 19 which has a piston rod 19a that carries transfer hook 20.
Spaced from hood 14 and mounted to frame 1 .is a support housing 22 which mounts a series of idler rollers 13a along the side walls thereof. The peripheral face edge of rollers 23 are in the same plane as power driven roller 13 and idler roller 13a. Vibrator 23 is attached to the top of housing 22 by shock mountings 27 to prevent vibrations being transmitted through housing 22 to frame 1. A lid supply rack 24 is mounted by bracket 25 to vibrator plate 26 of vibrator 23. The lower end of the rack 24 is mounted to brackets 18 through resilient washers to avoid vibration being transmitted from rack 24 to chute 17 Mounted on one guide rail 11 is actuator switch 28 with lever arm 29 projecting into the flow path 8 of containers 10. Whenever a container 10 moving along the fiow path 8 engages arm 29 switch 28 which controls the operation of air cylinder 19 is activated. Each time actuator switch 28 is activated piston rod 19a of air cylinder 19 moves transfer hook 20 down the chute 17 moving a lid into position to engage one container 10, following the container that actuated switch 28. Vibrator switch 30 having operator arm 31 controls the operation of vibrator 23. Thus, whenever a can passes arm 31 vibrator 23 is activated to vibrate rack 24.
Referring now specifically to FIGS. 3, 4 and S, the process of lid transfer and application to a container may best be understood. In FIG. 3 a series of lids 33 are supported by rack 24. Chute 17 includes a hook 34 which holds a lid 33 to prevent more than one lid at a time being delivered to the discharge portion 35 contoured to suspend one lid 33 in flow path 8 for engagement by the lip of container 10. Chute 17 includes a face plate 36 that mounts stop guide 37 which causes book 20 mounted on slide block 21 of piston 19a of air cylinder 19 to pivot at right angles to chute 17 in the fully raised position. In this position hook 20 will engage the lip of a lid 33 such that whenever piston 19a descends hook 20 will pull lid 33 down to the delivery portion 35 (see FIG. 4), while the hook 34 engages the next lid 33 and prevents it from falling into the chute 17. After delivering a lid to the discharge portion 35, piston 21 returns hook 20 to the raised position. On the return stroke hook 20 is free to rotate clear of the next lid 33 retained by hook 34. Referring particularly to FIG. 5, a container 10 has engaged one lid 33 retained in discharge portion 35 and pulled the lid partly therefrom to a position under the power driven roller 13 which seats or rolls the lid on the container 10. After the container has passed approximately half Way under roller 13 the leading edge of container 10 and lid 33 move under roller 13a. Thus as power driven roller 13 continues to seat the lid 33 on container 10 idler rollers 13a prevent tipping of container 10 which could cause a jamming of the lid applicator apparatus.
FIG. 6 illustrates hook 20 attached to slide block 21 of piston rod 19a by a pivot pin 20a. Thus the hook 20 is free to rotate through a limited amount of arcuate movement, for example, approximately 50 degrees. In FIG. 7 a typical lid 33 is illustrated. The lid has a stacking ring 39 which facilitates stacking containers with lids on a store counter or the like. The rim of the lid has an internal ridge 40 which is designed to snap around the rim of container 10. Also ridge 40 prevents hook 20 from slipping ofif the rim of lid 33 during translation through the delivery chute 17.
Referring to FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 the detailed construction of chute 17 may be best seen. Chute 17 includes face plate 36 that has a pair of mounting blocks 36a which support air cylinder mounting base 41 attached thereto by cap screws 41a. Also, face plate 36 has a pair of spacer rods 42 secured along the inner side thereof. The face plate 36 has slot 43 with a pair of guide plates 44 attached along opposite sides of slot 43 by cap screws 45. Stop guide 37 is mounted to guides 44 over slot 43, and has a central slot 37a. Guide members 37 and 44 guide slide block 21 carried by piston rod 19a during translation of transfer hook 20 in chute 17. In the raised position hook 20 engages central slot 37a and is pivoted to a position at right angles to chute 17. Further, plate 36 has curved edges 48. Complementary side rails 49, attached to the rear of plate 36 mate the contour of curved edges 48. Side rails 49 mount a holder plate 50 which closes part of chute 17 at the rear. Curved edges 48 of plate 36, complementary side rails 49 and holder plate 50 define discharge portion 35 of chute 17. Holder plate 50 has a slight arcuate edge 51 which facilitates lids 33 being supplied from rack 24 into the chute 17. Lids 33 ride between spacer rods 42 and holder plate 50.
In summary, the operation of the lid applicator is initiated by activating the power drives to the main conveyor system drive roller 2 for transferring containers along flow path 8, and to the supply conveyor 9 for transporting containers 10 on to conveyor belt 6. The vibrator 23 is activated to discharge a lid into chute 17, and then actuator switch 28 is operated to activate air cylinder 19 and move one lid 33 into the discharge portion 35 of chute 17. As containers 10 move along flow path 8, each container will engage a lid 33 in the discharge portion of chute 17 and then while extracting such lid 33 from chute 17 will activate actuator switch 28 which operates air cylinder 19 causing piston rod 19a to move transfer hook 20 down chute 17 delivering another lid 33 to discharge portion 35. As container 10 with lid 33 extracted from chute 17 moves under power driven roller 13, lid 33 is rolled onto container 10. When approximately half of container 10 and said lid pass under roller 13, the leading edge of container 10 with lid 33 will engage roller 13a which prevents container 10 from tipping or obstructing other containers 10 following it. As container 10 passes under power driven roller 13, such container engages arm 31 of vibrator switch 30 activating vibrator 23 for a short period of time which is sufiicient to move another lid 33 into position entering chute 17 and being held by hook 34. On passing along flow path 8 under housing 22, a series of idler rollers 13a roll across the lids 33 affixed to containers 10 to insure that all lids 33 are fully aflixed over containers 10. On leaving flow path 8 and housing 22 containers 10 with lids 33 affixed thereon are moved onto discharge track 12 for packaging and shipping.
It will be appreciated that various modifications in construction of the lid applicator apparatus will be apparent to those skilled in the art and such variations and changes in the construction of the lid applicator are deemed within the scope and spirit of the invention which is limited only as necessitated by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a lid applicator mechanism comprising a container transport conveyor, a lid storage device for storing nested flexible plastic lids, means for delivering the lids one-by-one from the lid storage device into the path of the container on the container transport conveyor so that the engagement of the lid with the container will pull the lid from the lid delivery means, and roller applicator means for applying the lid to the container positioned downstream from the lid delivery means, the improvement which comprises a positive lid delivery mechanism including means for individually separating the lids and delivering the lids into a substantially vertical lid delivery chute, means for retaining the separated lid in the lid chute, reciprocal means for engaging the retained lid and moving the same downwardly towards the path of the container to be capped, and means at the bottom of the chute for retaining the cap until the can engages the lid and pulls it from the chute.
2. The structure of claim 1 wherein the reciprocal means includes a power cylinder having a reciprocating piston rod extending therefrom, a pivoted arm extending into the path of a vertically positioned lid so as to engage a rim thereof, means for limiting pivotal movement of the arm during engagement with the lid on the downward stroke of the piston rod, the arm being pivotally movable out of the lid path during upward movement of the piston rod, and cooking means for moving the rod into lid engaging position adjacent to the end of the upward stroke of the piston rod.
References Qited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,347,668 5/1944 Davies 533 13 X 2,361,365 10/1944 Bell 53-314 X 2,734,673 2/1956 Hazel et a1. 53-3 14 2,794,636 6/1957 Eddison et a1. 221-204 X 2,942,395 '6/1960 Thoren 53316 3,137,982 6/1964 Decker et a1 53316 GRANVILLE Y. CUSTER, JR., Primary Examiner.