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Publication numberUS3377775 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 16, 1968
Filing dateOct 19, 1965
Priority dateOct 19, 1965
Publication numberUS 3377775 A, US 3377775A, US-A-3377775, US3377775 A, US3377775A
InventorsMattimoe George E, Stehn Everett L, Swan Donald G
Original AssigneeT R Mantes Company Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container filling and closing device
US 3377775 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 16, 1968 G; E. MATTIMOE ET AL 3,377,775

' CONTAINER FILLING AND CLOSING DEVICEv Filed Oct. 19, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 \uillli! is 35 q ga ge 34 5 49 .7 49 ma ifii wri gg E.L.ST H v 7 24 7 H BY 0.6.SWAN- I 7 22 7 WM 1 ATTORNEYS April 16, 1968 e. E. MATTIMOE ET AL 7 CONTAINER FILLING AND CLOSING DEVICE Filed on. 19. 19s:

4 SheetsSheet ti;

INVENTORE;

G. E.;MAT'|TIMOE E. L. STEHN BY 7 D- G. SWAN OMu/MMM ATTORNEYS April 16, 1968 G MATWOE ET AL 3,377,775

CONTAINER FILLING AND CLOSING DEVICE Filed Oct. 19, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 0 iii i- INVENTOR5 0.5. MATTIMOE E. 1,. STEHN BY 0. e. SWAN ATTORNEYS April 16,1968 G.E. MATTIMOE ET 3,377,775

CONTAINER FILLING AND CLOSING DEVICE Filed Oct. 19, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 4.

INVENTOR 0.5. MATTI'MOE 5.1.. STEHN By 0. G- SWAN ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,377,775 CONTAKNIER FlLlLlNG AND CLDSING DEVICE George E. Mattimoe, Bnrlingame, Everett L. Stehn, San Francisco, and Donald G. Swan, Pleasant Hill, Califi, assignors to T. lit. Mantes Company, Inc, San Francisco, Califi, a corporation of California Filed Oct. 19, 1965, Ser. No. 497,648 8 Qlairns. (Cl. 325-395) This invention relates to an improved container filling and closing device. More particularly it relates to a device for filling bags and other containers through a spout attached to the bag. The invention is especially applicable where the spout is of the type having an inher cylindrical tube that slides within a cylindrical bore and has a dispensing opening in its side wall, the tube being surmounted by a cap.

Recently milk and other liquids, whether foods or not, have been packaged for many uses in plastic bags rather than in bottles or cans, the bags often being supported by and transported in rigid corrugated board cartons. Such bags are disposable, are clean and sterile as made, and are easy to keep sterile.

Heretofore, these bags have been filled with liquid through an opening in a reclosable spout. A typical spout is made in two pieces of plastic, one stationary and heatsealed to the bag, the other slidable up and down within the stationary piece. When the slidable piece is pulled out, an opening is exposed through which both the filling and the dispensing have heretofore taken place.

While satisfactory for dispensing, the opening was disadvantageous for filling. The opening was in a cylindrical wall and had to be relatively small in order not to weaken the cylindrical tube excessively. Also, when the tube of the filling machine had to be inserted into this side opening, the liquid had to change its direction during filling; that is, it entered the opening in a path lying at a right angle to the path of descent into the bag. As a result, filling was relatively slow, and nothing could be done to speed it up so long as the filling took place through the dispensing opening.

The present invention solves this problem and enables a much faster filling rate by completely withdrawing the cap and its inner tube from the opening during filling and then recapping the bag. Thus, instead of pulling the tube up to expose the opening which is to be used in dispensing, the present invention pulls the tube completely out of the bag, and the bag is filled vertically without any change in direction, the liquid falling directly into the bag. Also, the present invention enables use of the full width of the stationary tube as the opening into which the liquid is poured.

In order to solve the problems and make the device practical, the invention also provides machinery for rapidly and economically filling large quantities of bags with liquid. In its operation, the cap is first pulled out of the bag, then the bag is brought up around a filler tube and the bag is filled with liquid; then the bag is tightly recapped. This sequence of operation requires accurate orientation and positive action in both pulling out and restoring the cap and in securing the bag to the filling tube. The filling is done without admitting air, because if air were admitted, a mass of bubbles and foam would be formed that would prevent complete filling of the bag.

The machine has to be cleaned frequently to prevent accumulation of casein (or other residue) or adulterating particles of bacteria, which tend to degenerate the product being filled; to solve this problem, the present invention provides a machine which can readily be taken completely apart so that all parts can be washed easily.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will ap- 3,377,775 Patented Apr. l6, 1968 ice pear from the following description of a preferred embodiment thereof.

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary view in side elevation of pertinent parts of a filling machine embodying the principles of the invention, the machine being shown in the position before and after filling, where the bag is in its capped position. The tops of both the filling valve and the pneumatic capping cylinder have been broken off to conserve space.

FIG. 2 is a view in end elevation looking from the right-hand side of FIG. 1 showing also the upper portion of the capped bag.

FIG. 3 is a view of the lower part of the machine, similar to FIG. 2 showing the cap just removed from the bag.

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing the machine in its bag-filling position.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view, with some parts broken in the middle and other parts broken away, of the pneumatic cylinder which operates the cap puller and recapper unit.

FIG. 6 is a View in horizontal cross section taken along the line 6- 6 in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a partially exploded view in end elevation of the lower portion of the cap-puller and recapper unit, partly broken away in order to conserve space.

FIG. 8 is a top plan View of the bottom bracket of 1 16.7.

FIG. 9 is a view in perspective of the lower portion of the cap-puller and recapper in the act of pulling a cap from a bag, other parts of the machine being cut away or omitted.

FIG. 10 is a view in side elevation, partly broken away and shown in section, of a modified form of unit, also embodying the principles of the invention and shown in the position corresponding to that of FIG. 1. The pneumatic cylinder is broken in the middle.

FIG. 11 is a view in end elevation, looking at FIG. 9 from the right with portions broken away and shown in section.

The invention is used as part of a filling apparatus. The filling is done through a filler tube lltl which is connected to the lower end of a filling-valve housing Til; the valve may be of the type shown in copending patent application Ser. No. 129,711, filed Aug. 7, 1961. Secured to the valve housing 11 is a block 12 which supports a cap pulling and recapping device 13. The block 12 is shaped to provide a slot 14 to receive the valve housing 111, and on top of the block 12 is mounted a pneumatic cylinder 15 having a piston 16 and air entry ports 17 and 13 at opposite ends. Secured to the piston 16, a piston rod 2t passes down through the block 12, and its lower end supports a cap pulling assembly 21.

As can be seen in FIGS. 2, 3 and 9, the bag 22 has heatsealed to it a stationary spout 23, which includes an upstanding cylindrical vertical tube 24 and two vertically spaced apart circular collars 25 and 26. A. spout closure tube 26 is mounted slidably inside the spout 23, having a dispensing opening 27, which heretofore was also used for the filling, and also having at its upper end a fiat cap 28 which may have a semi-circular rear portion 29 and a forward triangular portion St The vertex 31 of the triangular portion 3i may be used to guide the cap into the assembly 21.

The assembly 21 includes a generally cylindrical upper member 33 with a flattened lower portion 34. The upper member 33 is secured to the lower end of the piston rod 2%. A bracket or lower member 35 is secured to the flat lower surface 34 of the upper member 33 and is recessed to provide a surface 36 spaced below the surface 34 and is also slotted to provide an open slot 37 serving as entry means for the spout 33. As shown in FIG. 9, the assembly 21 is so shaped and located that the cap 28 fits between the surfaces 34 and 36; vertical movement of the rod 2! therefore positively pushes the cap 28, either up or down depending on the direction of the air admitted to the cylinder 15. Thus, when air is admitted to the lower port 13 of the cylinder 15, the piston 16 moves upwardly carrying the rod 20 with it, and if the assembly 21 is then grasping a cap 28, it pulls the cap 28 and tube 26 up out of the bag 22 by this vertical movement.

Once the cap 28 has been removed, the invention automaticaily inserts the opened spout 23 on the filler tube 19, this action being accomplished with the aid of a carriage 49. The carriage 41) comprises two side plates 41, 42 each having an upper horizontal slot 43 and a lower slot that has a vertical bottom portion 44 and an inclined higher portion 45. The two side members 41, 42 are joined together by a bottom member 45 which may have one straight edge 47 but on the entry side for the bag 22 is provided with an open half-round slot 48 between two converging walls 49. At the slot 43, the bottom member 46 is made just thinner than the distance between the bag collars 24 and 25 so that it tightly grasps the bag 22 and holds it by the collars 24, 25 during filling.

The block 12 may be provided with two pairs of stub shafts 50 on both sides, on each of which is a rotatable roller 51 with a flange 52, preferably made from nylon or other suitable plastic. The roller 51 extends through the slot 43 and rides on its upper and lower surfaces, being secured by a plastic or nylon washer 53 and bolt 54. Thus each slot 43 forms a track for two pairs of flanged rollers 51 to roll across. The upper slot 43 is provided with two depressions 55, one for each roller 51, located at the right-hand extremtiy of travel for each roller 51, as seen in FIG. 1, i.e., at the farthest movement of the carriage 40 to the left with respect to the block 12.

The cylindrical member 33 is also provided with a flanged roller 56 on each side, held in place by a bolt 57, for movement in the slots 44, 45. The lower slot 44 being vertical, piston rod 20 and assembly 21 first pull the tube 26 completely out of the bag 22 and lift it above the spout 23, the carriage 40 during this time not being shifted. Further movement upward of the piston rod 20 causes the rollers 56 to move in the diagonal slot 45, and when they do this, the upward pull causes the carriage 41 to move to the left in FIG. 1 until, when the rollers 56 reach the upper end of the slot 45, the carriage 40 has been moved completely to the left, as shown in FIG. 4. This moves the bag 22 a distance such that the length of the travel between the bottom and top of the slot 4 is the distance between the center of the cap pulling pison rod 20 and the filler tube It). In this position, with the bag spout 23 vertically beneath the filler tube 10, the depressions 55 enable the rod 20 to lift the entire carriage 40 and with it the bag 22 into the filling position thereby putting the spout up around the filler tube 10. Then filling takes place through the filler tube and the filler spout 23.

The return operation is much the same. When air is admitted to the top port 17 after the bag 22 has been filled, and this can be done either manually or by a suitable measuring apparatus, the pneumatic apparatus pushes the carriage 48 to the right, as the rod 21 moves down carrying the rollers 56 down the diagonal cam track 45. Then the rod pushes the rollers 56 vertically down the track 44 to place the tube 26 back in the spout 23 and re-close the cap 28. When this is finished, the operation is complete and an operator can change from one bag to another.

The modified form of the invention shown in FIGS. 10

and 11 is basically similar to the device of FIGS. 1 to a smooth upper slot 143 is combined with a two-piece block 112, 113 that replaces the block 12. The lower block element 113 is secured to the stub shafts 50 and rides on the rollers 51 as before, while the upper block element 112 is joined thereto by aligning pins 114 and recesses 115 and by an air spring comprising piston 116 secured to the lower block 113 and movable in a cylinder 117 in the upper block 112. The upper block 112 is also provided with a second pneumatic conduit 118 joining the cyl'nder 117 to an inlet 120.

The air pressure supplied to the inlet 120 is less than that applied to the cylinder 15. For example, air may be supplied at 40 p.s.i.g. to the inlet 129 and at 80 p.s.i.g. to the cylinder 15, which has fittings 18 and 121.

When air is supplied to the fitting 18 at 80 p.s.i.g. to raise the piston 16 from the position shown in FIGS. 10 and 11 to the upper (or dispensing) position, the block 113 is spaced from the block 112 due to the 40 p.s.i.g. pressure in the cylinder 117 holding the piston 116 down. As the piston 16 moves up, the rollers 56 follow up the lower vertical slot 44 and then up the diagonal slot 45, all the while the block 113 being held apart from the block 112. Then when the rollers 56 reach the upper end of the diagonal slot 45, the piston 16 still has not com pleted its stroke, and so it raises the carriage and block 113 up until the upper edge 122 of the block 113 engages the lower edge 123 of the block 112. The 80 p.s.i.g. pressure in the cylinder 15 simply overpowers the 40 p.s.i.g. pressure in the air spring. The result is to put the bag spout 23 on the filler spout 10 for the filling operation.

After the filling operation, the 80 p.s.i.g. pressure is reversed, being applied to the fitting 121 while the fitting 18 is bled. The piston 16 reverses, and as it moves down it first lowers the block 113 while the block 112 remains stationary. This lowers the carriage 140 until the piston 116 completes its stroke. Then the carriage 140 stops moving while the rollers 56 move down the slots 45 and 44 and result in the recapping of the bag 22.

To those skilled in the art to which this invention relates, many changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The disclosures and the description herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.

We claim:

1. A filler for use with plastic bags having a vertical cylindrical spout and a vertically withdrawable cap, including in combination a main frame,

a filler tube carried by said main frame and capable of entry into said spout when said cap is withdrawn, for supplying liquid to said bag,

a pneumatic unit carried by said main frame and having a cylinder, a piston, and a piston rod,

cap-engaging-and-holding means on said piston rod,

whereby when said piston rod moves in one direction it pulls said cap out of said bag and when it moves in the other direction it pushes said cap back into said bag,

carriage means movably supported on said frame and having bag supporting means and being movable be tween an uncapping and recapping position in line with said piston rod to a filling position in line with said filler tube, and

cam means operated by movement of said piston rod for moving said carriage means between its two said positions while said cap is out of said bag.

2. The filler of claim 1 wherein said main frame carries a plurality of rotatable rollers, said carriage means having horizontal slots in which said rollers slide and slots with vertical and inclined portions comprising part of said cam means, said cam means also including rollers on said cap-cngagingand-holding means.

3. The filler of claim 1 wherein said cap-engaging-andholding means includes spaced-apart upper and lower members, said lower member having a central slot for receiving said spout.

4. In a filler having a main frame and a filler tube carried thereby, for use with plastic bags having a generally cylindrical spout and a withdrawable cap, including in combination a power unit carried by said main frame and having a reciprocating rod,

cap-engaging-and-holding means on said rod, whereby when said rod moves in one direction it pulls said cap out of said bag and when it moves in the other direction it pushes said cap back into said bag,

carriage means movably supported on said frame and having bag supporting means and being movable between an uncapping and recapping position in line with said rod to a filling position in line with said filler tube, and

means operated by movement of said rod for moving said carriage means between its two said positions while said cap is out of said bag.

5. A filler having a main frame, and a filler tube carried by said main frame for use with plastic bags having a vertical cylindrical spout and a vertically withdrawable cap, said tube being capable of entry into said spout when said cap is withdrawn, for supplying liquid to said bag, said filler including in combination a pneumatic unit carried by said main frame and having a vertically extending cylinder, a piston, and a vertically extending piston rod,

cap engaging and holding means on the distal end of said piston rod, whereby when said piston rod moves upwardly it pulls said cap out of said bag and when it moves downwardly it pushes said cap back into said bag,

a carriage movably supported on said frame and having bag supporting means and being movable horizontally between an uncapping and recapping position in line with said piston rod to a position in line with said filler tube and movable vertically a short distance when in line with said filler tube, to a filling position, and

cam means operated by movement of said piston rod for moving said carriage between said uncapping and recapping position to said filling position while said cap is out of said bag.

6. A filler for use with plastic bags having a vertical cylindrical spout and a vertically reciprocable cap having a cylindrical neck movable up and down in said spout and a flat head with upper and lower surfaces, said neck being withdrawable from and replaceable in said spout,

said filler having a filler tube capable of entry into and snug contact with said spout when said cap is withdrawn, and means for supplying liquid to said filler tube for deposit in said bag, said filler including in combination therewith,

frame means in fixed stationary relation to said filler tube,

a pneumatic unit having a cylinder, 2. piston, and a piston rod, secured to said frame means,

a cap puller carried by said piston rod having a member for contact with the upper surface of said head, a member for contact with the lower surface of said head, and entry means at the side for said head, whereby when said cap puller moves vertically upward it pulls said neck out of said spout and when it moves vertically downward it recaps said bag,

carriage means movably mounted on said frame means having bag supporting means and movable between a capping position vertically centered with respect to said cap puller to a filling position vertically centered with respect to said filler tube, and

cam means operated by continual vertical movement of said cap puller after said cap puller has moved vertically up enough to pull said cap from said bag, for then moving said carriage from said capping position to said filling position and, after filling, for moving said carriage back again before said cap puller moves further vertically down to recap said bag.

7. A filler for use with plastic bags having a vertical cylindrical spout with a pair of vertically spaced apart collars and a vertically reciprocatable cap having a cylindrical neck movable in said spout and a fiat head, said neck being withdrawable from and replaceable in said spout, said filler having a filler tube capable of entry into and snug contact with said spout when said cap is withdrawn, and means for supplying liquid to said filler tube for deposit in said bag, said filler including in combination therewith frame means in fixed stationary relation to said filler tube, said frame means having two pairs of horizontal rotating flanged rollers,

a pneumatic unit having a vertical cylinder, secured to said frame means, a piston, and a vertical piston rod,

a cap puller carried by the distal end of said piston rod having an upper member adapted to overlie said head, a lower member adapted to underlie said head, and entry means for enabling said head to move in between said upper and lower members, said cap puller, when it moves vertically upward, pulling said cap out of said bag and when it moves vertically downward pushing said cap back into said bag,

a carriage having two side plates and a bottom plate with a bag supporting portion adapted to engage said spout between said two collars, said carriage movable between a capping position vertically centered with respect to said cap puller to a second position vertically centered with respect to said filler tube, said carriage having for that purpose a pair of horizontal slots, one in each side plate, with lower surfaces engaging said rollers of said frame means, each said lower surface having a depression enabling lifting of said carriage from said second position to a filling position Where said spout is inserted on said filler tube,

said side plates each having another slot with a vertical portion and an inclined cam portion, and

flanged rollers in said last-named slots rotatably carried by said cap puller for movement of said car riage by engagement with said cam portion.

8. A filler for use with plastic bags having a vertical cylindrical spout with a pair of vertically spaced apart collars and a vertically reciprocatable cap having a cylindrical neck movable in said spout and a flat head, said neck being withdrawable from and replaceable in said spout, said filler having a filler tube capable of entry into and snug contact with said spout when said cap is withdrawn, and means for supplying liquid to said filler tube for deposit in said bag, said filler including in combination therewith a first block in fixed stationary relation to said filler tube a second block below and aligned vertically with respect to said first block for relative movement between a lower position spaced below said first block and a second upper position against said first block said second block having two pairs of horizontal rotating flanged rollers, there being a pneumatic spring between said two blocks having means for supplying a constant air pressure thereto,

a pneumatic unit having a vertical cylinder secured to said first block, a piston, and a vertical piston rod, and having means for supplying air on both sides of said piston at different times at a pressure in excess of that supplied to said air spring,

a cap puller carried by the distal end of said piston rod having an upper member adapted to overlie said head, a lower member adapted to underlie said head,

and entry means for enabling said head to move in between said upper and lower members, said cap puller, when it moves vertically upward, pulling said cap out of said bag and when it moves vertically downward pushing said cap back into said bag,

carriage having two side plates and a bottom plate with a bag supporting portion adapted to engage said by said cap puller for movement of said carriage by engagement with said cam portion so that when said flanged rollers engage the upper end of said inclined cam portion, said pneumatic units piston overcomes said air spring and raises said second block and said carriage from said second position to a filling position where said spout is inserted on said filler tube.

spout between said two collars, said carriage movable between a capping position vertically centered References Cited with respect ti) saiid sag puller ttot a seedonglpostitilon 10 UNITED STATES PATENTS ver rca y cen'ere wn respec o sat her u c,

said carriage having for that purpose a pair of hori- 2995882 8/1961 Bamby X zontal slots, one in each side plate, providing track 3,242,951 3/1966 ct 53*109 X means engaging said rollers of said second block, 3,299,606 1/1967 Wake" 53-37 said air spring normally holding said blocks apart, said side plates each having another slot with a vertical portion and an inclined cam portion, and flanged rollers in said last-named slots rotatably carried 15 WILLIAM w. DYER, JR., Primary Examiner.

N. ABRAMS, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2995882 *Mar 24, 1960Aug 15, 1961Owens Illinois Glass CoContainer closing apparatus
US3242951 *Oct 30, 1963Mar 29, 1966Corrugated Container CompanyFiller head
US3299606 *May 21, 1964Jan 24, 1967Gen Films IncAutomatic filling machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4077182 *Nov 23, 1976Mar 7, 1978Aci Operations Pty, Ltd.Liquid fill apparatus
US4120134 *Jul 5, 1977Oct 17, 1978Scholle CorporationApparatus for and method of filling flexible containers
US4283901 *Dec 20, 1979Aug 18, 1981Liqui-Box CorporationContinuous rotary machine for uncapping, filling and recapping flexible bags having separable caps
US4363203 *Aug 19, 1980Dec 14, 1982Aci Operations Pty. Ltd.Liquid fill apparatus
US4446674 *Feb 2, 1981May 8, 1984Dai Nippon Insatsu Kabushiki KaishaContamination-free apparatus for filling spouted bags with a fluid
US4452030 *Jun 27, 1983Jun 5, 1984Dai Nippon Insatsu Kabushiki KaishaContamination-free method and apparatus for filling spouted bags with a fluid
US4522089 *Oct 28, 1983Jun 11, 1985Alvi Javid RTest tube cap remover
US4574559 *Jan 4, 1985Mar 11, 1986Rutter Christopher CFlexible bag automatic filling and capping apparatus
US5263521 *Mar 12, 1992Nov 23, 1993Sne La CalheneDevice for forming a vane joining two containers in a water proof manner and a design for attaching a container to such a device
US5819508 *Apr 4, 1996Oct 13, 1998Boehringer Mannheim GmbhDevice for removing or twisting off caps from vessels
US6256964 *Dec 2, 1997Jul 10, 2001Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance S.A.Method of handling, filling and sealing packaging containers
US20070029009 *Aug 8, 2005Feb 8, 2007Luis AlvesContainer filling device
EP0504054A1 *Mar 12, 1992Sep 16, 1992Sne La CalheneValve device for establishing a tight connection between two containers and container to be connected to such a device
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/284.7, 53/381.4, 53/133.1, 53/384.1, 53/109
International ClassificationB65B43/40
Cooperative ClassificationB65B43/40
European ClassificationB65B43/40