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Publication numberUS3334666 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 8, 1967
Filing dateMar 9, 1965
Priority dateMar 9, 1965
Publication numberUS 3334666 A, US 3334666A, US-A-3334666, US3334666 A, US3334666A
InventorsVogt Clarence W
Original AssigneeVogt Clarence W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Filling apparatus
US 3334666 A
Images(4)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 8, 1967 c. wv VOGT FILLING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 9, 1965 mfii R T. mm w W v m n W A C. W. VOGT FILLING APPARATUS Aug. 8, 'i 967 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 9, 1965 INVENTOR CLARENCE WVOGT A'ITORNEYZE Aug. 8, 1967 c. w. VOGT 3,334,666

FILLING APPARATUS Filed March 9, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 H r R I P @L C I 25 W1 INV NTOR CLARENCE W. VOG

ATTORNEYS 8, 1967 c. W. VOGT 3,334,666

FILLING APPARATUS Filed March 9, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 @230 &

(I/(Ill! a INVENTOR CLARENCE W. VOGT Wiiwm 2 j- ATTORNEYS United States. Patent This invention relates in general to new and useful improvements in filling apparatus, and more particularly to a filling apparatus which is particularly adapted for filling containers with a finely divided material which may be broadly considered as a flowable solid, using differential gaseous pressure to efiect the flow of material.

Thi invention in particular relates to a novel multivane valve which is readily adaptable to numerous types of filling operations.

Inthe past there have been developed suitable valves for filling relatively small containers with flowable solids utilizing differential gaseous pressures. However, all of the valves in the past have been restricted as to the rate of flow therethrough, and because of their design and the requirement to quickly remove the gases from the product placed within a container, such valves have been primarily restricted to the filling of small containers or a large number of valves are required to fill large containers. It is, therefore, a primary object of this invention to provide a novel valve particularly adapted for use as a component of an apparatus for filling containers with flowable solids utilizing gaseous pressure differential, the construction of the valve being such that it is not reasonably limited as to size.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel valve which is particularly adapted for use in a filling operation with respect to a flowable solid, the valve being of a construction which includes means for dispensing a second material which is to be automatically mixed with the first material which is being packaged.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a novel multi-vane valve which utilizes a central vane member and a surrounding generally cylindrical resiliently deformable member having means associated therewith for expanding and contracting the same, and the cylindrical member in its expanded condition being engageable with the multi-vane member to effect the sealing of a flow passage.

Another object of this invention is to provide a suitable valve which may be utilized for mixing a liquid or a quasi-liquid with a powdery material simultaneous with the filling of a container, the valve being so constructed whereby it directs the flow of the powdery material over the liquid or quasi-liquid so that the liquid or quasi-liquid is encapsulated within the flowable solid.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel valve construction which is capable of simultaneously effecting the filling of a container with a flowable solid and mixing with the flowable solid a liquid or quasiliquid product, the valve including a multi-vane member particularly adapted for the dispensing of the liquid or quasi-liquid and a surrounding valve member which is engageable with the multi-vane member to close off a flow passage, the multi-vane member and the valve member being so associated whereby flow of the flowable solid through the valve in a manner to encapsulate the liquid or quasi-liquid dispensed from the multi-vane member is assured.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel valve of the type set forth above wherein the valve member is engageable with the multi-vane member in the "ice Yet another object of this invention is to provide a novel valve of the type set forth above wherein the multivane member is provided with an internal valve construction which is operated in sequence with the expansion and contraction of the valve member so as to control the distributing of the liquid or quasi-liquid material independently of the engagement of the valve member with the multi vane member.

A further object of this invention is to provide a novel valve for use as part of an apparatus for filling relatively large containers with a flowable solid utilizing differential gaseous pressure and wherein the flowable solid is carried by flowing gas through the valve, the valve including a multi-vane member and a surrounding valve member which is engageable with the multi-vane member for effecting the closing of a flow passage through the valve, and the multi-Vane member having depending therefrom a probe which is projectable into the container being filled so as to effect the removal of the trapped gases from the flowable solid placed within the container.

With the above and other objects in view that will hereinafter appear, the nature of the invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description, the appended claims and the several views illustrated in the accompanying drawings:

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary elevational view of one station of a turret type filler formed in accordance with this invention, portions of the filler unit at the one station being broken away and shown in section, and other portions thereof being schematically shown.

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken along the line 22 of FIGURE 1 and shows the specific details of the valve assembly of the filler unit.

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIGURE 1 and shows the details of a measuring cup for initially receiving a product dispensed by the filling unit.

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 2 and shows more specifically the details of the valve assembly.

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken through the valve assembly in FIG- URE 4 along the line 5-5 and shows additional features of the valve assembly.

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view gf one vane of a multi-vane member of the valve assemly.

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged fragmentary transverse vertical sectional View taken along the line 77 of FIG- URE 6 and shows the specific cross section of the vane of FIGURE 6.

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken through the valve assembly of a slightly modified form of filler unit.

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken along the line 99 of FIGURE 8 and shows the specific details of the modified valve structure.

FIGURE 10 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIGURE 4 taken through still another form of valve assembly and shows the specific details thereof.

FIGURE 11 is an enlarged fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken along the line 11-11 of FIGURE 10 and shows the internal construction of the multi-vane member of the valve assembly of FIGURE 10.

FIGURE 12 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 1212 of FIGURE 11 and shows more specifically the details of the multi-vane member.

FIGURE 13 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 1313 of FIGURE 12 3 and shows the specific valve construction formed internally of the multi-vane member.

FIGURE 14 is a sectional view similar to FIGURE 13 and shows the valve assembly in its open position.

FIGURE 15 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken along the line 15-15 of FIGURE 12 and shows the internal construction of the multi-vane member at the center thereof.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, it will be seen that there is illustrated in FIGURE 1 a filler apparatus which is generally referred to by the numeral 20 and which is formed in accordance with this invention. The filler apparatus 20 is of the turret type and only one station of the turret is specifically illustrated here. The filler apparatus 20 includes a hopper 21 which is mounted for rotation about a suitable central axis. The hopper 21 may be filled in any desired manner and it is preferred that the filling of the hopper 21 be continuous and automatic. The hopper 21 has a plurality of discharge chutes 22 depending therefrom and extending generally outwardly from the axis of the turret. Each discharge chute 22 leads to a separate filler 23, there being a plurality of fillers 23 with the fillers preferably being evenly spaced about the axis of the turret. Each filler 23 is supported by a suitable housing 24 which is mounted for rotation in unison with the hopper 21. The housing 24 has suitably secured to the underside thereof a magazine for each filler 23, each magazine being generally referred to 'by the numeral 25.

Each magazine 25 includes a suitable housing 26 which has positioned in the interior thereof in spaced concentric relation a liner 27 which is formed of a suitable filter material which will permit the passage of gases while excluding the passage of finely divided solids. The flow of finely divided solids through the lower end of the magazine 25 is controlled by means of a valve assembly which is generally referred to by the numeral 28 and which will be described in more detail hereinafter.

It is to be understood that the discharge chute 22 and the housing 24 are so configurated whereby finely divided solids will flow by gravity down through the discharge chute 22 and into the magazine 25. In order to assure the proper movement of the solids into the magazine 25, the discharge chute 22 has a lower offset portion 29 in which there is rotatably journaled a tubular shaft 30 which has supported therefrom adjacent its lower end a suitable type of agitator 31. The shaft 30 is illustrated as terminating adjacent the top of the magazine 25. However, if it is so desired, it may project further down into the magazine 25 and that portion of the shaft 30 within the magazine may also be provided with suitable agitators. The shaft 30 extends out through a top wall of the extension 29 through a sealed fitting 32. The shaft 30 is suitably rotated by means of a sprocket 33 which is driven in any desired manner At this time it is pointed out that the filter 23 effects the flow of finely divided solids therethrough by differential gaseous pressures which may be produced by a vacuum below the valve assembly 28, a pressure within the magazine 25 or a combination of the two. When the filling operation is by means of pressure within the magazine 25, either with or without the aid of a vacuum below theva'lve assembly 28, it is necessary that a suitable seal be provided intermediate the magazine 25 and the hopper 21. To this end, the hopper 21 is illustrated as being provided with a valve member 34 which may be fixed and be provided with suitable openings whereby during a filling operation, the upper end of the discharge chute 22 is closed, but during other portions of the rotation of the, filler apparatus 20, the discharge chute 22 is opened to the interior of the hopper 21 for receiving material therefrom.

The filler 23 is illustrated as being of the type which provides for the filling of a measuring cup and the transfer of the material from the measuring cup to an ultimate container. The measuring cup is generally referred to by the numeral 35, and all of the measuring cups are supported by a turret support plate 36 which rotates in unison with the hopper 21 and the housing 24. As is best shown in FIGURE 3, the measuring cup 35 includes a split housing 37 with the housing halves being separated by resilient vertical strips 38 disposed in diametrically opposed relation. The vertical strips 38 have connected thereto in sealed relation adjacent edges of porous liner halves 40 which are suitably supported by the housing 37 in spaced relation thereto for movement therewith. A suitable space 41 exists between the housing 37 and the liner halves 40.

It is to be noted that the upper end of the measuring cup 35 is sealed relative to the valve assembly 28 by means of a sealing ring 42. A second sealing ring43 is disposed at the lower end of the measuring cup 35. The measuring cup 35 is normally closed by apair of cooperating bottom plates 44 which are suitably carried by linkage 46 which is operated by a pair of double acting fluid motors 47.

The measuring cup 35 is normally disposed in an expanded position, as is shown in FIGURE 3. However, the left-hand half of the housing 37 is fixed and the right-hand half thereof is movable and has in engagement therewith a plunger 48 of a fluid motor 49. When the fluid motor49 is actuated, the plunger 48 moves to the left in FIGURE 3 so as to reduce the volume of the measuring cup 35 momentarily. This results in the compaction of the material disposed therein so that when the plunger 48 is retracted, as the measuring cup 35 expands, the material placed within the measuring cup 35 is free to dr-op'downwardly therethrough. In this manner, when the bottom plates 44 are released, the material placed within the measuring cup 35 will drop out through the lower end thereof into an ultimate container 50 which is carried by a suitable support 51. The support 51 is one of a plurality of supports disposed in alignment with the fillers 23 and carried by a turret plate 52 which rotates with the remainder of the turret. The manner inwhich empty containers 50 are placed on the supports 51 and the filled containers are removed therefrom is not part of this invention, and the necessary transfer of containers may be accomplished in any desired manner.

It is to be noted that the measuring cup 35 has a fluid line 53 in communication with the space 41 between the housing 37 and the liner halves 40. The fluid line 53 is coupled to a flow control valve 54 which has at least two lines 55 and 56 connected thereto. One of the lines may be connected to a vacuum source, and the other of the lines may be connected either to a source of gases under pressure or to the atmosphere.

Reference is now made to FIGURES 4 and 5 in particular wherein the general details of the valve assembly 28 are illustrated. The valve assembly 28 includes a suitable housing 60 which is of a split construction and includes an upper housing member 61 and a lower housing member 62, the two housing members being suitably secured together in sealed relation. The upper housing member 61 is suitably connected to the magazine 25 and the lower housing member 62 is suitably connected to the measuring cup 35. The housing 60 has a central flow passage 63 therethrough which is in alignment with the magazine 25 and the measuring cup 35. The flow passage 63 has positioned therein a multi-vane member, which is generally referred to by the numeral 64. The multi-vane member 64 is carried by a tube 65 which extends down through the magazine 25 and passes up into the tubular shaft 30. The preferred configuration of the multi-vane member 64 is a cruciform one, as is shown in FIGURE 5, although the multi-vane member 64 may be formed with any desired number of vanes 66.

The multi-vane member 64 has a resilient valve member 69 cooperating therewith for the purpose of controlling the flow of material through the flow passage 63. The

resilient valve member 69 is preferably formed of rubber or rubber-like products and is provided at its upper end with a mounting flange 67 and at its lower end with a mounting flange 68. The flanges 67 and 68 are suitably clamped to the housing .60 in sealed relation. The valve member 69 decreases in thickness from its ends towards the center to facilitate the stretching thereof.

The multi-vane member 64 has formed in each vane 66 thereof a pair'of flow passages 70 which extend into the interior of the pipe or tubular member 65, as is clearly shown in FIGURES 4 and 5. Referring now to FIGURES 6 and 7, it will be seen that there is clamped to the underside of each of the vanes 66 a plate 71, the plates 71 being held in place by means of screws 72. The plates 71 close the lower ends of the flow passages 70. The undersurface of each of the vanes 66 is provided with transverse passages 73 which are disposed in communication with the flow passages 70. The transverse passages 73 are spaced along the edges of the vanes 70 and decrease in height towards the edges of the vanes 66, as is clearly shown in FIGURE 7. The plates 71 close the lower sides of the passages 73 and thus the machining of the passages 73 in the vanes 66 is facilitated. It is pointed out at this time that it is preferred that the height of the outlet end of each of the passages 73 is minute and may be on the order of 0.004 inch or less. Thus, it will be seen that any liquid or quasi-liquid passing out through the passages 73 will be discharged to form a relatively thin ribbon which is readily broken up or atomized.

The liquid or quasi-liquid is supplied to the passages 70 through the tubular member 65. In turn, the liquid or quasi-liquid is delivered to the tubular member 65 through a pipe 74 which passes down through the shaft 30 and which has coupled thereto a supply pipe 75. The supply pipe 75 is connected to a pulsating type pump 76 which, in turn, is connected to a reservoir 77 by means of a pipe 78.

The valve member 69 is principally positioned by means of a plurality of arms 80. Each arm 80 is mounted within the housing 60 for radial movement only by means of an outer guide portion 81 which is suitably positioned within a guideway 82 formed in the lower housing member 62.

The arms 80 are moved in unison by means of a cam ring 83 which is rotatably positioned in a recess 84 formed in the underside of the upper housing member 61. The cam ring 83 is provided with a cam slot 85 for each of the arms 80 and each arm 80 is provided with a cam follower 86 positioned within its associated cam slot 85 whereby rotation of the cam ring 83 will result in the radial movement of the arms 80.

In order to effect the rotation of the cam ring 83, the housing 60 has rotatably journalled therein a shaft 87. The shaft 87 has a crank arm 88 mounted on the upper portion thereof and the crank arm '88 carries a cam follower 90 which is positioned within a radial cam slot 91 in the cam ring 83. The shaft 87 has secured to the lower end thereof a lever 92 to which there is connected a link 93 by means of a pivot pin 94. A second link 95 is pivotally connected to a projection 96 on the frame 60 by means of a pivot pin 97. A bifurcated fitting 98 is pivotally connected to both of the links 93 and 95 by means of a pivot pin 99. A suitable actuating arm 100 is connected to the bifurcated fitting 98 for effecting the swinging of the links 93 and 95. It is to be noted that when the valve assembly 28 is in its fully closed position, the links 93 and 95 are disposed in slightly overcenter positions so as to lock the arms 80 in their radially inwardly directed positions.

At this time it is pointed out that it is desired that the interior of the housing 60 be sealed. Accordingly, the outer portions of the housing members 61 and 62 are sealed by means of a sealing ring 101. A further sealing ring 102 is carried by the housing member 62 and seals the shaft 87.

' Each of the arms has an enlarged inner end portion 103 which is of a strip construction and includes a detachable part 104 secured to the remainder of the arm 80 by means of a suitable fastener 105. The detachable part 104 is utilized for the purpose of clamping a projecting ear 106 of the valve member 69 to each arm 80.

Although the valve member 69 is principally moved between open and closed positions thereof mechanically by means of the arms 80, it is pointed out that the movement of the valve member 69 to a closed position and the retention thereof in such a closed position may be aided by means of air under pressure within the housing 60. In a like manner, the retention of the valve member 69 in a fully retracted position may be aided by means of a vacuum within the housing 60. To this end, the housing 60 is provided with a recess 105 surrounding the flow passage 63. As is clearly shown in FIGURE 2, the housing 60 has a fluid passage 106' therethrough opening into the recess 105'. The housing 60 has connected thereto a fluid line 107 which is in communication with the fluid passage 106'. The flow of gases through the line 107 is controlled by means of a valve 108 into which two lines 109 and 110 are connected. One of the lines 109, 110 is connected to a source of vacuum, and the other of the lines is connected to a source of pressurized gas, preferably air.

It is pointed out that when the valve member 69 is retained in a fully opened position by means of a vacuum within the recess 103, there is a tendency for the valve member 69 to be drawn outwardly into the recess. The outward movement of the valve member 69 is restricted by means of a screen 111 which separates the recess 105 from the flow passage 63. The screen 111 has suitable openings 112 through which the arms 80 pass.

Referring now to FIGURE 7 in particular, it will be seen that adjacent portions of the vane 66 and the plate 71 are recessed to define seats 113 which extend entirely around the vanes 66. It is also to be noted that the passages 73 open into the seats 113. It is further pointed out that the seats 113 are aligned with the longitudinal center of the valve member 69. Thus, when the valve member 69 is expanded inwardly, it contacts the vanes 66 at the seats 113. Furthermore, by rounding the inner ends of the arms 80, as is shown in FIGURE 4, sealing engagement between the valve member 69 and the seats 113 is assured. Thus, the valve member 69 will accomplish the dual function of closing the flow passage 63 and sealing the passages 73.

Referring once again to FIGURE 1 in particular, it will be seen that the housing 26 of the magazine 25 is so constructed whereby a pipe 114 may be connected thereto. The pipe 114 is, in turn, connected to a valve 115 which has pipes 116 and 117 connected thereto. The pipe 116, for example, may be connected to a source of pressurized gas while the pipe 117 may be connected so as to vent to the atmosphere or to a partial vacuum.

Operation The operation of the filler assembly 20 is intended to be automatic with there being ultimately placed into a container 50 a mixture of a finely divided solid and a liquid or quasi-liquid material. Assuming the turret of the filler assembly 20 to be in a position wherein the magazine 25 is sufi'iciently filled and the upper end thereof is suitably sealed, and the bottom of the measuring cup 35 is closed, the valve assembly 28 is actuated so as to move the valve member 29 away from the multi-vane member 64. When this happens, due to the influence of differential gaseous pressure, there is a rapid flow of the material from within the magazine 25 through the valve assembly 28 into the measuring cup 35. When the valve member 69 is moved to an open position, the pulsing device 76 is actuated so as to pump a predetermined amount of liquid or quasi-liquid material down through 7 the tubular member 65 into the vanes 66 of the multi-vane member 64. The liquid or quasi-liquid material is then extruded out through the passages 73. As the material is extruded out through the passages 73, it is immediately struck by the discharging powdery material passing over the vanes 66 and coated thereby. As a result, all 'of the liquid or quasi-liquid material dispensed through the multi-vane member 64 is encapsulated with the powdery solid material. The filling of the measuring cup 35 is very 7 rapid with the pumping of the liquid or quasi-liquid material being timed in accordance with the flow of the finely divided solid through the flow passage 63. Inasmuch as the air entrained with the powdery material is removed from within the measuring cup 35, such as being drawn through the fluid line 53, it will be seen that the mixture placed within the measuring cup 35 will be of a uniform consistency. Since the measuring cup 35 is of a fixed volume, it will thus be apparent that a predetermined weight of the mixture will be placed within the measuring cup 35.

After the measuring cup 35 has been filled, the housing halves of the measuring cup are moved together so as to slightly compact the material. When the housing halves are again moved apart, the bottom panels 44 are moved to their open positions so that the slug of material within the measuring cup 35 will drop free through the open bottom end thereof. The mixture will then drop into the container 50 which will then be closed in any conventional manner.

Referring now to FIGURES 8 and 9 in particular, it will be seen that there is illustrated a slightly modified form of valve assembly which is generally referred to by the numeral 120. The valve assembly 120 corresponds generally to the valve assembly 28 and may be utilized as part of the filler 23 in lieu of the valve assembly 28. However, the valve assembly 120 differs from the valve assembly 28 in that the valve assembly 120 is not adapted to dispense a liquid or semi-liquid. As a result, the valve assembly 120 has a multi-vane member 121 which is different from the multi-vane member 64. The multi-vane member 121 is supported by the equivalent of the tubular member 65. However, the tubular member 65 is connected to a vacuum source as opposed to being connected to a source of liquid or semi-liquid which is pumped under pressure.

The valve assembly 120 is particularly adapted for directly filling large containers. While the valve assembly 120 may be utilized in filling a large measuring cup, normally, the valve assembly 120 and the remainder of the filler of which it is a part will be utilized for the purpose of filling a large container, the container being referred to by the numeral 122.

Referring now to FIGURE 9 in particular, it will be seen that the multi-vane member 121 is preferably of a cruciform outline although it may be of other configurations. The multi-vane member 121 includes a plurality of radiating vanes 124 which has secured to the underside thereof a depending probe 125. The probe 125 is of the same general outline at the upper end thereof as the multivane member 121 and tapers downwardly to a substantially pointed lower end which is not shown. The probe 125 is of a hollow construction and is formed of a suitable porous material which will freely pass gases but will exclude the passage of finely divided powdery material.

It is to be noted that the underside of the vanes 124 have grooves therein defining fluid passages 126. The fluid passages 126 open into the tubular member 65 so that a vacuum may be drawn in the interior of the probe 125.

It will be readily apparent that when the filler 23 is equipped with the valve assembly 120, either a measuring cup or the container 122 associated with the valve assembly 120 has the probe- 125 extending down thereinto a considerable distance. Since a vacuum is being drawn in the interior of the container by the probe 125, it will be seen that the problems of removing entrained gases from the material being placed into the measuring cup or container is greatly reduced. Thus, a very large container may be filled at one time. It is pointed out here that the valve member 69 will co-act with the multi-vane member 121 to form a seal therewith in the closed position of the valve member 69. However, the valve member 69 in no way controls the vacuum within the probe 125, this being separately controllable by a valve (not shown) operated in timed sequence to the operation of the filler 23.

Referring now to FIGURES 10 through 15 in particular, it will be seen that there is illustrated still another form of valve assembly, which is generally referred to by the numeral 130. The valve assembly is very similar to the valve assembly 28 and differs therefrom only in the construction of a multi-vane member thereof, which multi-vane member is generally referred to by the numeral 131 and replaces the multi-vane member 64.

The illustrated multi-vane member 131 is of a cruciform outline and is formed of a plurality of radiating vanes 132. However, the number of vanes may be varied from four if it is so desired.

Referring now to FIGURE 12 in particular, it will be seen that the vanes 132 are integrally connected to a tubular hub 133 which, in turn, is suspended from a tubular member 134 which corresponds to the tubular member 65.

A pressurized fluid pipe 135 extends down through the tubular member 134 in spaced concentric relation thereto. The pipe 135 has a generally conical member 136 secured to the lower end thereof. The conical member 136 is spaced from the hub 133 to define a space 137 through which fluid or quasi-fluids passing down through the tubular member 134 may pass into the individual vanes 132. Each of the vanes 132 has a pair of parallel fluid passages 138 disposed in communication with the space 137, the position of the passages 138 being shown in FIGURE 13 and the connection thereof to the space 137 being shown in FIGURE 12.

Each vane 132 has formed along each side thereof a plurality of relatively narrow passages 140 which are connected at their upper ends to a respective one of the passages 138. Each passage 140 decreases in height downwardly and terminates at its lower end in a generally horizontal passage 141 formed by cutting grooves in the undersides of the vanes 132. The depths of the passages 141 at the outer ends thereof are very slight, being on the order of 0.004 inch or less. It will be understood that this dimension will vary both with the type of material being dispensed and the relative proportion of the material to be finely divided solid material which is being dispensed through the valve 130.

The multi-vane member 131 also includes a bottom plate assembly 142 which includes a plurality of plate portions 143 radiating from a central depending hub 144. The bottom plate assembly 142 is of the same general outline as the remainder of the multi-vane assembly 131 and the plate portions 143 underlie the vanes 142. Each plate portion 143 is secured to its respective vane 132 by means of a plurality of recessed head fasteners 145. Furthermore, a centrally located bolt 146 extends up through the hub portion 144. The bolt 146 is provided in the terminal end thereof with an axial passage 147 that opens into the end of a bore 148 into which the bolt 146 is threadedly engaged. A bore 149 is formed in the conical member 136 between the pipe 135 and the internally threaded bore 148. In this manner a fluid within the pipe 138 is in communication with fluid within the bore 147.

Each plate portion 143 has a pair of semi-circular grooves 150 formed therein. Each semi-circular groove 150 has a similar generally semi-circular groove 151 formed in a vane 132 in cooperation therewith. It is to be noted that the semi-circular grooves 151 intersect the passages 140. A tubular valve member 152 is seated in each pair of cooperating grooves 150, 151 for the purpose of controlling the flow of liquids and semi-liquids through the passages 140. It is to be noted that each valve memher 152 has a portion thereof cut away immediately adjacent the passages 140 so as to normally not restrict the flow of liquids and semi-liquids through the passages 140.

Referring now to FIGURE 11 in particular, it will be seen that each of the tubular valve members 152 is one leg of a generally L-shaped valve member 153. Thus, two valve members 152 are connected together by a corner portion 154 to define an L-shaped valve member 153. It is to be noted that each valve member 153 has a single bore 155 extending therethrough. Each corner member 154 has a radially extending bore 156 which opens into the bore or passage 155.

Referring once again to FIGURE 12 in particular, it will be seen that the bolt 146 has an annular groove 157 in the exterior surface thereof. A plurality of radiating bores 158 extend through the bolt 146 between the bore 147 and the groove 157. It is also to be noted that the corner portions 154 of the valve members 153 have grooves 159 therein opposing the grooves 157 so as to define generally an annular fluid passage 160. The grooves 159 are aligned with the bores 156. In this manner fluid is supplied to the passages 155 from the pipe 135.

Referring first to FIGURE 14, it will be seen that in the normal positions of the valve members 152, the passages 140 are opened and free to have a fluid or semifluid pump therethrough. On the other hand, when fluid is admitted under pressure into the passages 155, the valve members 152 become distorted and expand outwardly into the passages 140 to close the same. Thus, the valve members 152 control the flow of liquid and quasiliquids out through the passages 142.

At this time, it is pointed out that the opposite surfaces of the vanes 132 have seats 162 formed therein. The seats 162 correspond to the seats 113 but are formed solely in the vanes 132. When the valve member 69 is in its expanded position, it is firmly pressed into the seats 162 by the arms 80. Thus, an effective sealing of the flow passage 63 through the valve assembly 130 will occur.

It is also to be noted that the plate portions 143 of the plate assembly 142 extend outwardly beyond the side edges of the vanes 132 so as to define the ledges 164 over which the liquid or quasi-liquid being dispensed must pass. As the liquid or quasi-liquid flows over the ledges 164, inasmuch as the ledges are in the path of the finely divided solid material passing through the valve assembly 130, the liquid or quasi-liquid will be picked up by the powdery material and encapsulated therein or mixed therewith.

Operation It is to be understood that a filler 23 having the valve assembly 130 incorporated therein will function quite similarly to the above set forth description of the filler 23 incorporating the valve assembly 28. However, the valve member 69 does not function as a valve against the outflow of liquid or quasi-liquid being dispensed through the multi-vane member.

The control means for shifting the operator rod 100 to effect the opening of the valve 69 also functions to open a valve 165 incorporated in a high-pressure fluid line 166 which is connected to the pipe 135. Thus, when the valve member 69 moves to an open position, the valve members 152 return to their open positions of FIG- URE 14. At the same time, a pulsating pump 167, which is connected to the tubular member 134 by means of a fluid line 168 and to a fluid reservoir 170 by means of a fluid line 171 is actuated to pump a liquid or quasiliquid into the multi-vane member or assembly 131. Thus, it will be seen that simultaneous with the flow of a finely divided powdery material around the multi-vane member 131 there will be an outward spraying or extrusion of a liquid or quasi-liquid material. As the powdery material passes around the multi-vane member 131, it will encapsulate the liquid or quasi-liquid dispensed from the multi-vane member 131. It is to be understood that the operation of the pump 167 will be timed with the flow of the powdery material so that there will be a proportional distribution of the liquid or quasi-liquid in accordance with the flow of powdery material. It is also to be understood that the pump 167 is of the controlled volume dispensing type.

Throughout reference has been made to the mixing of liquids and quasi-liquids with finely divided powdery material. It is pointed out here that the term liquid and quasi-liquids is intended to cover those relatively solid materials which, when placed under pressure, flow as liquids. for example, shortenings which have a lard like consistency in their normal state, but which when placed under pressure will freely flow. A typical use of the invention is the formation of mixes for baking purposes, such as cake mixes, etc. The necessary dry ingredients of a cake mix may be previously assembled and delivered to the hopper 21. In a like manner, the shortening may be placed in the reservoirs 77 and 170. When the shortening is pumped, it will extrude from the respective multivane member in the form of very thin strips. As the strips of shortening are struck by the downwardly flowing particles of the dry products of cake mix, they will break off minute particles of the shortening and completely encapsulate the same due to the adherence of the dry particles with the shortening.

Numerous tests have been conducted with respect to mixtures of flours and shortening, and it has been found that despite the fact that the shortening is encapsulated with the fine solid particles, there has been no undesirable balling up or increase in over-all size of the composite particles. It has been found, however, that the size of the composite particle will vary with the shape and depth of the discharge openings for the liquid or quasi-liquid materials in the several multi-vane members. It is stated here that tests have been made with discharge orifices having depths of as small as 0.002 inch and the same have proved to be satisfactory. Also, while it has been proved highly desirable to extrude the shortening in the form of narrow strips, it has been found that it is possible to extrude the shortening in the form of finely atomized liquid or mist from the individual vanes.

Utilizing a dry mixture for cakes which will in its entirety pass a #40 screen, and with shortening being dispensed at a pressure of 300 p.s.i. in the form of thin ribbons, the following typical result has been obtained:

Retained on: Grams #10 screen 7.0 #20 screen 4.5 #40 screen 4.2 screen 19.5

Passing through #80 screen 43.3

When the pressure of the shortening was raised to 350 p.s.i., the following typical results were obtained:

It will thus be apparent that when the pressure of the shortening is increased, there is a reduction in the number of composite particles which will not pass the #10 screen. However, even those particles which will not pass the #10 screen in each of the typical examples are not objectionably large and when cakes have been baked utilizing the mixtures so formed, it has been found that the cakes have the desired quality. 7

It will be seen that another advantage is obtained utilizing the multi-vane member in conjunction with the valve member other than the advantages of dispensing materials or drawing gases from within a container. Inasmuch as the arms 80 are moved radially by rotating the cam ring 83, it will be seen that by controlling the amount the cam ring is rotated, the amount of space between the valve member 69 and the vanes of the multi-vane members may be varied so as to control the rate of flow of powdery material through the valve assembly during a filling operation. This control permits a large capacity valve to be utilized in filling relatively small containers. Thus, a single valve assembly will have a Wide range of use.

Although only several preferred embodiments of the invention have been specifically illustrated and described herein, it is to be understood that minor variations may be made in the filler apparatus within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A valve assembly particularly adapted for use in an apparatus for filling containers with a finely divided solid material utilizing differential gaseous pressure flow, said valve assembly comprising a housing, a generally tubular resilient valve member carried by said housing, a multivane member fixedly mounted within said valve member, and operator means carried by said housing for selectively inwardly expanding and retracting said valve' member into and out of sealing engagement with said multi-vane member, said operator means including arms contoured for meshing engagement with said multi-vane member for tightly clamping said valve member thereagainst.

2. A valve assembly particularly adapted for use in an apparatus for filling containers with a finely divided solid material utilizing diiferential gaseous pressure flow, said valve assembly comprising a housing, a generally tubular resilient valve member carried by said housing, a multivane member fixedly mounted within said valve member, and operator means carried by said housing for selectively inwardly expanding and retracting said valve member into and out of sealing engagement with said multivane member, said multi-vane member including a plurality of radiating vanes having outer ends and with adjacent sides disposed in angular relation, and said valve member being in constant contact with said vane ends to provide a plurality of flow passages each defined by a pair of adjacent vane sides and a segment of said valve member, and said operator means including arms contoured for meshing relationship with said multi-vane member between adjacent sides thereof to tightly clamp said valve member against said multi-vane member.

3. A valve assembly particularly adapted for use in an apparatus for filling containers with a finely divided solid material utilizing diiferential gaseous pressure flow, said valve assembly comprising a housing, a generally tubular resilient valve member carried by said housing, a multivane member fixedly mounted within said valve member, and operator means carried by said housing for selectively inwardly expanding and retracting said valve member into and out of sealing engagement with said multivane member, said valve member being sealed at opposite ends thereof to said housing, and said operator means including arms contoured for meshing relationship with said multi-vane member for tightly clamping said valve member thereagainst, and means for selectively applying gaseous pressure and vacuum within said housing around said valve member to additionally change the shape of said valve member.

4. A valve assembly particularly adapted for use in an apparatus for'filling containers with a finely divided solid material utilizing differential gaseous pressure flow, said valve assembly comprising a housing, a generally tubular resilient valve member carried by said housing, a multivane member fixedly mounted within said valve member, and operator means carried by said housing for selectively inwardly expanding and retracting said valve member into and out of sealing engagement with said multie vane member, said multi-vane member being of a hollow construction and having outlets in the vanes thereof and a central inlet, and said multi-vane member is supported by a tubular member in communication with said inlet.

5. A valve assembly particularly adapted for usein an apparatus for filling containers with a finely divided solid material utilizing differential gaseous pressure flow, said valve assembly comprising a housing, a generally tubular resilient valve member carried by said housing, a multivane member fixedly mounted within said valve member, and operator means carried by said housing for selectively inwardly expanding and retracting said valve member into and out of sealing engagement with said multivane member, wherein said multi-vane member having a hollow probe and a porous material depending therefrom for facilitating the removal of gases entrapped in material being placed within a container, and a tubular member connected at one end to said multi-vane member in communication with said probe to efiect gaseous flow through said probe.

6. A valve assembly particularly adapted for use in an apparatus for filling containers with a finely divided solid material utilizing differential gaseous pressure flow, said valve assembly comprising a housing, a generally tubular resilient valve member carried by said housing, a multivane member fixedly mounted within said valve member, and operator means carried by said housing for selectively inwardly expanding and retnacting said valve member into and out of sealing engagement with said multi-vane member, wherein said multi-vane member also being in the form of a dispensing head, and said multi-vane member is supported by a supply pipe.

7. The valve assembly of claim 6 together with means for supplying a fiowable material to said mu'lti-vane member in timed relation to the movement of said valve member.

8. A valve assembly particularly adapted for use in an apparatus for filling containers with a finely divided solid material utilizing differential gaseous pressure flow, said valve assembly comprising a housing, a generally tubular resilient valve member carried by said housing, a multivane member fixedly mounted within said valve member, and operator means carried by said housing for selectively inwardly expanding and retracting said valve member into and out of sealing engagement with said multi-vane member, said multi-vane member being formed of a plurality of radiating vanes having adjacent sides disposed in angular relation, said vanes having flow passages therein and discharge ports in said sides in communication with said ports, and a tubular support for said multi-vane member connected thereto in communication with said flow passages.

9. The valve assembly of claim 8 wherein said tubular support is connected to a supply system including a pulse type pump operated in unison with the movement of saidvalve member towards an open position.

10. The valve assembly of claim 8 wherein said multie vane member has a seat extending along said ports, and said valve member is seatable on said seat to simultaneously close both said valve and said ports.

11. The valve assembly of claim 8 wherein said multivane member has internal valve means for closing said ports.

. 12. The valve assembly of claim 8 wherein said multivane member has internal valve means for closing said ports, said internal valve means being in the form of expandable tubular members, and an'external source of fluid under pressure selectively placed in communication with said tubular members.

13. A filler for filling containers with a finely divided material under the influence of dilferential gaseous pressure, said filler comprising a magazine having an outlet, and a valve assembly for controlling the discharge of material through said outlet, said valve assembly including a housing secured to said magazine at said outlet, a generally tubular resilient valvemember carried by said housing, a multi-vane member fixedly mounted Within said valve member, a support for said multi-vane member extending through said magazine, and operator means carried by said housing for selectively inwardly expanding and retracting said valve member into and out of sealing engagement with said multi-vane member, said multi-vane member supporting a depending probe of a hollow construction and formed of a porous material, and said support being in the form of a vacuum line.

14. A combined mixer and filler for filling containers with a finely divided solid material under the influence of diflerential gaseous pressure and mixing with the flowing solid material a readily fiowable non-powdery material, said combined mixer and filter comprising a magazine for the finely divided solid material, said magazine having a lower outlet, a valve assembly for controlling the flow of finely divided material through said outlet, said valve assembly comprising a housing secured to said magazine at saidoutlet, a generally tubular resilient valve member carried by said housing, a multi-vane member fixedly mounted within said valve member, and operator means carried by said housing for selectively inwardly expanding and retracting said valve member into and out of sealing engagement with said multi-vane member, said multi-vane member having discharge ports, and meansfor forcing non-powdery material through said ports in timed relation to the movement of said valve member to an open position.

15. The combined mixer and filler of claim 14 wherein said multi-vane member has a valve seal extending across said ports with said ports being closed by said valve member when the same is seated on said valve seat.

16. The combined mixer and filler of claim 14 wherein said multi-vane member has internal valve means for closing said ports, and external means for positioning said internal valve means in accordance with the position of said valve member.

17. A method of dispensing a mixture of powdery material and non-powdery material comprising the steps of flowing the powdery material through a valve utilizing dillerential gaseous pressure flow, and delivering nonpowdery material into the flowing powdery material through the valve.

18. A method of dispensing a mixture of powdery material and a readily extrudable material comprising the steps of flowing the powdery material through a valve utilizing differential gaseous pressure flow, and utilizing a portion of the valve to extrude the extrudable material into the path of the flowing powdery material with the powdery material coating the extrudable material.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein said extrudable material is extruded in film-like form and minute particles thereof are broken away by the powdery material simultaneous with the coating thereof.

20. The method of claim 18 wherein said extrudable material is extruded in the form of a mist which mixes with the powdery material.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,203,662 8/1965 Lau 251-5 LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.

H. S. BELL, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3203662 *Jul 16, 1963Aug 31, 1965Black Products CoSleeve valve
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3908867 *Jun 3, 1974Sep 30, 1975Raitt Edward DApparatus for flavoring soft ice cream being dispensed from a machine
US5519980 *Feb 22, 1994May 28, 1996Ing. Erich Pfeiffer Gmbh & Co KgFilling device for filling into magazine chambers
US5598876 *Mar 27, 1995Feb 4, 1997Azionaria Costruzioni Macchine Automatiche A.C.M.A. S.P.A.Powdered material dispensing unit
US6182421Nov 10, 1997Feb 6, 2001John T. SullivanMethod of manufacturing an article
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/5, 251/61, 141/59, 141/298, 141/9, 141/105, 141/107, 222/1, 137/625.4
International ClassificationB65B39/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B39/001
European ClassificationB65B39/00A