|Publication number||US3390617 A|
|Publication date||Jul 2, 1968|
|Filing date||Jan 14, 1966|
|Priority date||Feb 28, 1962|
|Publication number||US 3390617 A, US 3390617A, US-A-3390617, US3390617 A, US3390617A|
|Inventors||Cloud Charles E, Husak Lawrence M, Krohn Lloyd N|
|Original Assignee||Cloud Machine Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (20), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
July 2, 1968 c. E. CLOUD T AL 3,390,617
PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS Original Filed Feb. 28, 1962 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 FILL MIG 20 oswc:
mm W 4 CHARLES ft fi' LAWRENCE M. HUsAK 3 F44 BY I LLOYD N. KROHN H Mm z ATTY'S.
July 2, 1968 c. EI CLOUD ET AL PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS Original Filed Feb. 28, 1962 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 TIMED HOT WIRE CUTTING AND HEAT SEAL/N6 MEANS 67A TIOAMR Y SEAL 1N6 ANY/L I TIME'D CLAMP I tom'noz. M'ANS rmeo cLAMP MOVING MEANS INVENTORS CHARLES E. GLOUD LAWRENCE N. HUSAK a LLOYD N. KROHN BY M, &
July 2, 1968 c. E. CLOUD ET AL PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Original Filed Feb. 28, 1962 TUBE FORMER S m .1 OK 0 U A & W MOS A LU W n 5 EMK s mu 5 Ann RV- 7 CW 0 i I T LL u a N M I a V M v 8 Lu July 2,. 1968 c. E. CLOUD ETAL PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS "7 Sheets-Sheet 4 Original Filed Feb. 28, 1962 $VTRMITTENT INVENTOm CHARLES. E. CLOUD, LAWRENCE M HUSAK a LLOYD N. KROHN 2% gm" &
C. E. CLOUD ET AL PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS July 2, 1968 '7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Original Filed Feb. 28, 1962 July 2, 1968 c. E. CLOUD ET AL 3,399,617
PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS Original Filed Feb. 28, 1962 '7 Sheets-Sheet 6 INVENTORS CHARLES E, CLOUD,
LAWENCE M. HUSAKB LLOYD N. KROHN July 2, 1968 c, CLOUD ET AL 3,390,617
PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS Original Filed Feb. 28, 1962 7 Sheets-Sheet 7 IN EN CHARLES ([8 0 LAWRENCE M. HusAKh LLOYD N. KROHN United States Patent 3,390,617 PACKAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS Charles E. Cloud and Lawrence M. Husak, Wilmette, and Lloyd N. Krohn, Chicago, Ill., assignors to Cloud Machine Corporation, Skokie, L, a corporation of Delaware Original application Feb. 28, 1962, Ser. No. 176,215, now Patent No. 3,269,087, dated Aug. 30, 1966. Di ided and this application Jan. 14, 1966, Ser. No. 521,488
6 Claims. (Cl. 93-$) This application is a division of the present inventors co-pending application, Ser. No. 176,215 filed Feb. 28, 1962, now US. Patent No. 3,269,087, issued Aug. 30, 1966.
The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for use in obtaining longitudinal indexing or registration in feeding a web, as in the packaging of product, wherein a continuous tube is formed of packaging material with the tube subsequently being divided into individual packages.
In the usual instance, appearance and cost are the most significant factors in the packaging of product. Oftentimes differences in cost of only very small fractions of a cent will determine whether the producer will use one type of packaging apparatus and process or another. Where the number of units of product to be packaged are myriad such differences in cost of packaging can be a significant factor in the overall company profit. This factor may be the difference between whether a profit or loss results if the retail price of the item is relatively low.
Appearance, i.e. sales appeal, of the package always is significant. However, it is an extremely important consideration if the product is one which is purchased in a self-service store. It is well recognized that many of the sales under such conditions are impulse sales. Even if the purchaser is looking for a particular type of product his selection of a specific brand of product may be more or less on an impulse type basis, that is, influenced by appearance of the product as it is viewed on display in comparison with the products of competitors. Even in the non-self-service stores a customer is attracted to a particular product because of its appearance in the display case, etc.
The principal object of the invention is to provide a packaging method and apparatus for producing low cost, attractive packages on a continuous basis. Our invention is ideally suited for use in automatic packaging, with the elimination of any hand operations. A neat, attractive package can be produced. The use of our process does not result in protruding fiaps at the two sides of the package, which are sometimes thought to impair the appearance of the package. At the same time, fiat end closures are obtained which can be useful in providing a hanging tab to facilitate the display of the product on racks.
Our invention is ideally suited to be used in the packaging of all types of product, including single units such as candy bars, particulate material such as unpopped popcorn, and liquids such as liquid flavorings for beverages.
Another feature of our invention is its adaptability to the varied requirements of different producers of product. In some instances, the complete manufacture of a package from a film of packaging material may take place in the producers plant. In other instances, the producer will purchase a tube of packaging material which will be formed into individual packages in his plant. As a further alternative, the producer may purchase rolls of tubing preformed into individual compartments which are merely filled, closed, and divided into packages by the producer. Another example of the variations that can be achieved would be that the producer can pack and ship a plurality of individual packages, or the packages may 3,399,617 Patented July 2, 1968 be afiixed together in a continuous line or roll. If desired, in the latter instance, transverse perforations may be provided to facilitate dividing the line or roll into individual units.
Our invention is adapted for use with practically any one of the numerous varieties of flexible packaging-material, although it was devised primarily for the heat-sealable plastics, as for example polyvinyl chloride or rubber hydrochloride. Thus, the user of our method is not limited to the use of materials which for the users purposes might not be the most suitable. The material that he uses may be selected for reasons other than the dictates of the packaging process to be followed.
Further objects and advantages of our invention will be apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic elevational view of an embodiment of our invention;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of a portion of the preformed tube utilized in the apparatus of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged plan view of the tube separator used in the embodiment of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged elevational section of the embodiment of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a partial section as viewed along line 5-5 of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a diagrammatic elevational view of an alternative of a portion of the apparatus of FIGURE 1' FIGURE 7 is an enlarged view of a portion .of the apparatus of FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 8 is a side view of the backing plate used in the embodiment of FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 9 is an elevational view of a further modification of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 10 is a diagrammatic elevational view of an embodiment of our invention for forming a tube of preformed compartments to be used in packaging;
FIGURE 11 is a diagrammatical elevational view of another alternative for FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 12 is a diagrammatic elevational view of an alternative apparatus for forming a tube of preformed compartments;
FIGURE 13 is a section taken at line 13'13 of FIG- URE 12;
FIGURE 14 is a section taken at line 1414 of FIG- URE 13;
FIGURE 15 is a perspective view of a portion of the preformed tube produced on the apparatus of FIGURE '12;
FIGURE 16 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a machine for producing packages of ice cream bars utilizing a tube of preformed compartments;
FIGURES 17 is a rear elevational view of the embodiment of FIGURE 16; and
FIGURES 18 is a side elevational view of the embodiment of FIGURE 16 with portions broken away.
Intent clause Although the following disclosure offered for public dissemination is detailed to ensure adequacy and aid understanding, this not intended to prejudice that purpose of a patent which is to cover each new inventive concept the-rein no matter how others may later disguise it by variations in forms or additionsor further improvements. The claims at the end hereof are intended as the chief aid toward this purpose, as it is these that rneet the requirements of pointing out the parts, improvements, or combinations in which the inventive concepts are found.
General description In our invention a tube of packaging material is formed. Normally this will be done from a length of flat stock,
although the tube could be formed by an extrusion process from the raw plastic. Machines are available for forming the tube from a length of plastic sheet.
After the tube has been formed, a series of cuts are made in one side of the tube to provide openings for the subsequent insertion of product. These cuts are made at regular intervals throughout the length of the tube. Before, after, or simultaneously with, the making of the cuts, a transverse seal is made between each pair of adjacent cuts. The orientation of the seals, with respect to the length of the tube, is such that each seal is immediately adjacent a respective one of the cuts (of each pair) and spaced from the other of the cuts. Thus, between said other out and the transverse sea-l there is a compartment to receive the product to be packaged and to define a package thereabout.-
Either simultaneously with or subsequent to the making of the transverse seal to define a compartment, the product is inserted into the compartment. Thereafter, a second seal is made between the product and the cut opening through which the product was inserted into the compartment. Depending upon the desires of the producer, the goods now may be shipped as a length of a number of individual units of product, each within a separate compartment, or the compartments may be severed from one another to define individual packages of product.
We have discovered that important advantages are achieved by the initial formation of a continuous tube and thereafter cutting the tube at spaced intervals to provide the openings for the insertion of product. Among the advantages are: conventional tube making equipment may be employed; tubes without side flaps may be produced; and the-re is little problem in maintaining the orientation of the openings along one side of the tube.
Economies are achieved in our invention in that after the tube is formed it may be moved, continuously or intermittently, along a predetermined path. The various operations of cutting, sealing, filling, etc., can be performed at various stations along the path by automatic machinery. Hand labor may be wholly or partially eliminated, depending upon the preferences of the producer, with the usual savings attendant thereto. Numerous adaptations and variations of our invention, as well as additional features thereof, will be appreciated by those skilled in the art from the following description of a few of the specific packaging operations and equipment for carrying them out.
FIGURES '1-5 illustrate an embodiment utilizing a tube 19 of flexible packaging material. As seen in 'FIGURE 2, the tube has folds or gussets on two opposite sides. However, in this and in other embodiments discussed herein, the tube may or may not have the side gussets. Machines for making such tube, with or without :gussets, are known in the art and will not be described in detail herein. FIG- URE 1 illustrates a preformed tube wound into a roll 20. However, the tube could be taken directly from the forming machine if desired.
The preformed tube is moved along a predetermined path between a pair of rolls 21, over a support plate 22, about a roller 23 and between a pair of sealing heads 24. Means not shown, but which could be of a type illustrated elsewhere herein, are used to intermittently move the tube along said path in direction indicated by arrow 25.
A mounting member 27 is recoprocated towards and away from support plate 22. Mounting member 27 has depending legs 28 which straddle tube 19 as best seen in FIGURE 5. Extending between legs -28 is a cutting wire 29 which is heated by passing an electrical current through it.
Immediately below wire 29, a separator or backing plate 31 is received within tube 19. Plate 31 is made of a nonconductive material that will not be deleteriously affected by the heat of wire 29. Atteached to the rearward end (with respect to direction of movement 25) of plate 31 are spaced lugs 32. A pair of rollers '33 are journaled in lugs 32. Rollers 33 are spaced apart a distance greater than the spacing between rolls 21 as best seen in FIG- URE 4.
Thus, as tube 19 is moved in the direction indicated by arrow 25, the tube will move about rollers 33. To the extent that the tube tends to draw the rollers 33 and plate 31 in the direction indicaed by arrow this is prevented by the limited spacing beween rolls 21. Backing plate 31 will remain substantially in the position illustrated in FIGURE 4 despite the movement of the tube 19.
Also depending from mounting member 27 are a second pair of legs 35. A heated sealing bar 36 extends between legs 35. The spacing between cutter 29 and sea-ling bar 36 is such that, when it is related to each increment of movement of tube 19, sealing bar 36 will afiix the side walls of tube 19 together at a point immediately adjacent the cut 37. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGURE 1, the area in which the tube is sealed is immediately adjacent the last cut 37 and on the side of that cut closest to the portion of the tube in which the next cut will be made by cutter 29. Referring to FIGURE 2, sealing bar 36 makes a seal across tube 19 as illustrated at 38.
As tube 19 passes about roller 23, the unsealed portion of the tube immediately adjacent cut 37, tends to open outwardly to the position illustrated in FIGURE 2. To facilitate and ensure the opening of each compartment in the tube, a blast of air is directed through nozzle 40 into the mouth of the compartment. Upon each compartment being opened the tube is brought to rest at one of the dwell periods between the intermittent movements of the tube. A measured amount of the product to be packaged is allowed to descend by gravity from filling device 41 into the open mouth of the compartment.
Thereafter tube 19 indexes downwardly. At a subsequent dwell station the open mouth of the compartment comes between the pair of sealing heads 24 which are reciprocated horizontally by an apparatus not shown. One or both of sealing heads 24 are heated. When they are brought together, and heat and pressure is applied to the portion of the tube lying immediately below cut 37 of the filled compartment, the mouth of the compartment is sealed together to form a tight package. As hereinafter described, the tube subsequently may be cut to form individual packages if desired.
Referring to FIGURES 6-8 the tube is drawn off roll 20 and about a roller 45. Tube 19 moves downwardly between a pair of rolls 46 as best illustrated in FIGURES 7 and 8. There is a support within the tube. The support includes a roller 47 which is larger than the spacing between rolls 46. Roller 47 is journaled on an axle 48 of nonconducting material. A pair of spring wire arms 49 are secured to axle 48. A nonconductive backing plate 50 is secured between arms 49'.
Opposite the position assumed by backing plate 50 is a hot wire cutter 52 mounted on arms 53. Means 54 reciprocates arms 53 toward and away from tube 19 in timed relationship to the intermittent movement of the tube, as hereinafter described. As hot wire 52 moves into the tube it cuts one wall of the tube as illustrated at 37.
Below the cutter is a movable sealing head 56 which is heated by a heater 57. A fixed backing plate 58 is employed to obtain the pressure desirable for a good seal. Sealing head 56 is moved by the timed means 54 toward and away from tube 19.
A pair of clamps 60 are moved toward and away from each other to engage and disengage tube 19 by a timed clamp control means 61. When clamps 60 are pressed against opposite sides of tube 19 to engage the tube, a timed clamp moving means 62 moves the time clamp control means 61 and the two clamps 60 downwardly. This indexes tube 19 downwardly by one step. Thereafter, clamps 60 are moved apart by the timed clamp control means 61 and the timed clamp moving means 62 moves the clamps upwardly during the dwell period. While clamps 60 are moving upwardly, cutter 52 and sealing head 56 move to the left in FIGURE 6 to perform the operations of cutting and presealing the tube at spaced points to define a series of compartments. Following this preforming, the tube could be rerolled into a roll to be transported elsewhere for opening and filling in accordance with one of the procedures described elsewhere herein. As an alternative, at another station in its downwardly moving path tube 19 could be opened at each of the unsealed areas adjacent one of the cuts 37 for filling and subsequent sealing of the mouth of the compartment.
FIGURE 9 illustrates an alternative embodiment in which the tube has had one side wall cut at 37 as elsewhere described herein. However, no seals as yet have been made in tube 19 in FIGURE 9. Tube 19 is moved downwardly along a predetermined path by apparatus not shown. This movement is intermittent. At a given dwell station, a vacuum cup 65 moves against the side of the tube immediately below one of cuts 37. A fixed backing plate 66 is provided at the opposite side so that vacuum cup '65 may be pressed firmly into contact with the side of the tube. Vacuum is applied to cup 65 and the cup thereafter moved outwardly to open the mouth of a compartment. At the same station a .heated sealing head 67 is moved into contact with one side of the tube and presses it against a backing plate 68. Sealing head 67 holds the :bottom of the open compartment pinched together so that product now may be inserted into the compartment that was opened by vacuum cup 65. At the same time sealing head 67 forms a seal across the bottom of this compartment.
In addition to forming a seal across the bottom of the compartment that is being filled, sealing head 67 also forms a seal across the top of the next lower compartment (the :one that had been filled previous to the last indexing). A punch 69 is reciprocably mounted within sea-ling head -67 and extends across the width of tube 19. Punch 69 is receivable in a slot 70 in backing plate 68. As punch 69 is moved into slot 70 it separates the lowermost filled compartment from tube 19. At the .same time, it removes the out line 37 so as to provide extremely neat appearing ends for each package.
When punch '69 and sealing head 67 are withdrawn (to the left in FIGURE 9), the lowermost compartment is released and can be moved away by a suitable conveyor (not shown). Vacuum then is released from cup 65 and tube 19 is indexed downwardly one step. Subsequently, the top of the next compartment is similarly opened by vacuum cup 65. Sealing head 67 seals ofi the top of the previously filled compartment and the bottom of the compartment which is by now being filled. Punch 69 severs r the two.
FIGURE 11 illustrates an embodiment in which tube 19 is first moved upwardly for the cutting of one side thereof and then downwardly for filling and sealing. Means, not shown, are provided for intermittently moving the tube along the path in the direction indicated by arrow 73. The tube first moves upwardly between a pair of rollers 74 which are spaced a short distance apart. Above rollers 74 a weighted backing member 75 is received within tube 19. The thickness of backing member 75 is greater than the distance between rollers 74. When tube 19 is at rest, backing member 75 will fall down against the top of rollers 74 (separated only by the film of the tube). As tube 19 is indexed in the direction indicated by arrow 73, the tube will slide about backing member 75, and to a limited extent will act to lift the backing member 75 away from rollers 74. However as soon as the tube stops moving, the weight of backing member 75 will cause it to again descend against rollers 74.
During the dwell period, arms 76 are moved to the right to bring a hot-Wire cutter 77 against the side of the tube to make cuts 37 therein.
From the cutting station the tube moves about rolls 79.
moved forwardly against the cut side of the tube and pressure is applied against backing members 66. The top of the compartment to be filled is opened by applying vacuum to vacuum cup 65 and moving the cup to the right. A pair of heated sealing heads 80 are moved together to form a seal across the top of the compartment previously filled and the bottom of the opened compartment which is now ready to be filled. The product then is inserted in the opened, unfilled compartment.
During the same dwell period, a pair of arms 81 carrying a cutter 82 are moved to the left in FIGURE 11 to separate the two filled compartments. Cutter 82 comprises a hot wire which burns through the sealed area between the lowermost filled compartment and the compartment immediately above it. As the two are separated the lowermost compartment can be moved away for packing and shipment. After cutter 82 moves back to the right out of the path of the next compartment, sealing heads 80 are separated and the vacuum released from vacuum cups 65. Tube 19 then is indexed in the direction indicated by arrow 73.
Referring to FIGURE 10 a tube former 85 converts film from a roll 86 of flat stock into a tube 19. Tube 19 passes over a backing plate 87 and is rolled into a roll 88. Tube 19 moves continuously. Above backing plate 87 are a pair of continuously rotating rollers 90 and 91. Projecting from one side of roller 91 is a heated sealing bar 92, which, at spaced intervals, seals the two sides of tube 19 together (as at seal line 38 of FIGURE 2), Projecting from one side of roller 90 is a cutter blade 93 which extends longitudinally of the roller 90. Cutter blade 93 shears one side of tube 19 to make a cut corresponding to cut 37 of FIGURE 2. We have discovered that by a shearing action of this kind we can cut one side of the tube without cutting the opposite side of the tube as well.
The speed of rotation of rollers 90 and 91 is correlated to the speed of travel of tube 19 across backing plate 87 so that the cuts 37 made by blade 93 will be immediately adjacent the seals 38 made by sealing head 92. As a roll 88 is completed it is moved elsewhere for unrolling, opening, filling and final sealing. The manner in which these steps are performed will be apparent from the description elsewhere herein.
Referring to FIGURES 12-14, a tube 19 is formed from a roll 86 of uat stock by a tube former 85. Tube 19 is drawn from tube former 85 by a pair of continuously rotating rolls 95. Since the subsequent operations involve an intermittent movement of tube 19, the tube is permitted to form a loop 96 between rollers and an idler roll 97. From idler roll 97, tube 19 moves across a backing plate 98 and is pinched between a pair of rolls 99 and 100. Roll 99 is connected by a chain 101 to an intermittent drive means 102. Intermittent drive means 102 periodically indexes tube 19 in the direction indicated by arrow 103 a predetermined amount. To obtain accurate indexing, roll 99 could be formed with a groove and a land as hereinafter described with respect to roll 122 of FIGURES 16-18. After passing between rolls 99 and 100, tube 19 again is allowed to form a loop 104 and thereafter is wound into a roll 105.
As tube 19 is dwelling on backing plate 98, a heated sealing head 108 moves down to press the tube between it and the backing plate to form a seal 38 across the tube. At the same time, a cutter generally 109 moves down to blank out a center opening 110 in both sides of the tube, as well as to sever one side of the tube (and the gussets, if any) between center opening 110 and the edges of that side. The cuts at opposite sides of opening 110 are illustrated in FIGURE 15 at 111. The position of sealing head 108 and cutter 109 are such that with each indexing movement of tube 19 across backing plate 98, the seal 38 and the cuts will be immediately adjacent to each other.
As best seen in FIGURES 13 and 14, cutter 109 has a blanking punch 113 centered therein. Punch 113 reciprocates into an opening 114 in backing plate 98. It is punch 113 that produce openings 110 through the tube. Extending to each side of punch 113 is a blade 115 having a sharpened cutter edge 116. The extent of movement of cutting edge 116 is accurately controlled so that it will sever only one side of tube 19 (and the gussets, if any), but not the opposite side wall of the tube. The punch 113, however, passes completzly through the tube.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that cuter blades 115 need not be a part of punch 113. For example, openings could be punched at one station and the side of the tube severed at another station to produce cut 111. The forming of cuts 111 at another station could be carried out by apparatus similar to blades 115 or, for example, by a hot wire cutter with a backing plate as in FIGURE 4.
The apparatus of FIGURES 16l8 was devised to package ice cream bars or the like, using a tube of the type just discussed and iliustrated in FIGURES 15 and 16. The tube is fed into the machine between a pair of feed rolls 121 and 122. Roll 122 is mounted on a shaft 123, suitably journaled in frame 120. Also affixed to shaft 123 are a pair of gears 124 and 125.
Longitudinally across one side of roll 122 is a groove 127. Groove 127 is interrupted midway between the ends of roll 122 to define a curvilinear land 128 which has the same cylindrical periphery as that of roll 122. Tube 19 is positioned so that land 128 will enter openings 110 as the opening enters the pinch line between rolls 121 and 122. As groove 127 becomes centered along the pinch line between the two rolls, land 128 serves to index or correlate the longitudinal position of tube 19 with the machine. Any minor misalignments will be corrected by tube 19 slipping until land 128 is properly centered in opening 110 in the tube. This particular construction has been discovered to be much more desirable than would be an indexing dog or protrusion which projected above the surface of roll 122. The latter type of indexing member will often tear the tube when a misalignment occurs. Such tearing is avoided by the depression and land structure just described.
Roll 121 is journaled 0n the shaft 129 (FIG. 18). Projecting from each end of shaft 129 are a pair of stub shafts 130. Stub shafts 130 are suitably journaled in frame 120. As best seen in FIGURE 18 stub shafts 130 are eccentric with respect to shaft 129. A handle 131 is secured to one of stub shafts 130. By rotating handle 131 and the stub shafts, roll 121 is moved away or toward roll 122. Roll 121 has a gear 132 which engages gear 124 when roll 121 is in operative position.
Gear 125 meshes with an idler gear 134, journaled on a stub shaft 135 secured to frame 120. A gear 136 also is secured to gear 134 to rotate therewith. Gear 136 meshes with a gear 137 secured to shaft 138. Shaft 138 is journaled in frame 120. The driven wheel 139 of a Geneva Drive generally 140 likewise is attached to shaft 138.
The driving Wheel 142 of the Geneva Drive is attached to a sprocket 143, and the two are attached to a shaft 144 journaled in frame 120. Geneva Drive 140 includes a driving pin 145 on driving wheel 142 which enters slots 146 of driven wheel 139 to periodically index shaft 138. A partially cylindrical centering member 147 is affixed to driving wheel 142 concentric with shaft 144 and rotates within cutouts 148 of driven wheel 139 during the dwell periods between each indexing stop to maintain the desired position of shaft 138 during those dwell periods.
A chain 150 engages both sprocket 143 and a sprocket 151 on the output shaft 152 of a gear reduction drive 153. Reduction drive 153 is powered by an electric motor 154.
A series of cams 156-160 are secured to shaft 144. A cam follower 161 rides on cam 158 and controls the actuation of a vacuum valve 162. One side of the input of valve 162 is connected by a pipe 163 to a suitable source of vacuum (not shown). The other input pipe 164 is open to atmosphere. A hose 165 on the other side of valve 162 is connected either to the vacuum or to atmosphere, depending upon the position of cam follower 161. As will hereinafter be described, the vacuum is used to open each compartment for filling.
A pair of cam followers 167 ride on cams 157 and 159. Followers 167 are mounted on one arm of L-shaped members 168, each of which are attached to a shaft 169 suitably journaled in frame 120. The other ends of L-shaped members 168 are bifurcated and fit about a connecting pin 170 secured between push rods 171. Push rods 171 are journaled in frame 120 for horizontal linear movement. A vacuum head 172 is secured to the outstanding ends of rods 171 and supports a vacuum cup 173 which communicates with the interior of the vacuum head. The vacuum hose 165 from valve 162 also communicates with the interior of head 172 and thus with vacuum cup 173.
Pivotally secured to members 168 are abutments 175. Rods 176 are secured at one end to frame 120 and slide through openings in abutments 175 adjacent the other end thereof. A compression spring 177 encircles rod 176 between abutment 175 and the point of attachment of the rod to frame 120. As viewed in FIGURE 18, spring 177 urges members 168 clockwise so that cam followers 167 remain in contact with the surfaces of cams 157 and 159.
Cams 156 and 160 operate a pair of cam followers 179 mounted on one arm of members 180. Members 180 are secured to a shaft 181 suitably journaled in frame 120. A second arm of each member 180 has a gear segment 182 which engages a gear segment 183 on a corresponding member 184. Members 184 are mounted on a shaft 185 journaled in frame 120. The two depending arms of members 180 and 184 are connected by a spring 186. Springs 186 urge members 180 in a clockwise direction so that cam follower 179 remains in contact with its respective cam. At the same time springs 186 urge members 184 in a counterclockwise direction. Gear segments 182 and 183 cause members 180 and 184 to rotate concurrently in opposite direct-ions.
A cold sealing head 189 and a hot sealing head 190 are both mounted on a pair of rods 191. Rods 191 are journaled in cold sealing head 189 and are atfixed to hot sealing head 190 by set screws 192. The outward extent of movement of cold sealing head 189 on rods 191 is limited by C washers 193 received in grooves adjacent the ends of rods 191.
A cutter head 195 also is journaled on rods 191. Springs 196, about rods 191, urge cutter head 195 away from sealing head 190 (to the right as illustrated in FIG. 18). C washers 197 in grooves adjacent the ends of rods 190 limit the extent to which cutter head 195 can move away from sealing head 190.
The upper arm of member 180 is journaled on a pin 198 secured to cutter head 195. Similarly, the upper arm of member 184 is journaled on pins 199 secured to sealing head 189. A cutter blade 201 is secured to cutter head 195 and passes through a slot 202 in sealing head 190. A cutter blade 203 is secured to scaling head 189 and is received in a slot 204 therein. The adjacent ends of cutter blades 201 and 203 are beveled in the same general direction. Cutter blade 201 is positioned immediately above cutter blade 203. The end of slot 204 adjacent sealing head 190 is enlarged to receive cutter blade 201.
The cutting edge of blade 201 has a notch in the center thereof. The notch is approximately the size of stick 205 of ice cream 206. Thus, as the blades are moved together as hereinafter described, blade 201 will move about the stick 205 of the ice cream bar and enter enlarged slot 204 to severe the previously filled compartment by a scissor action in conjunction with blade 203. An electric heater 208 is mounted in sealing head 190 so as to heat the sealing head to a temperature proper for the sealing of the flexible material from which tube 19 is formed.
After one compartment of tube 19 has been filled and the next compartment is to be moved into position for filling, vacuum head 172 is positioned outwardly approximately in the position illustrated in FIG. 16 and sealing heads 18 9 and 190 are separated approximately as illustrated therein. Valve 162 applies atmospheric pressure to vacuum cup 173 (or a pressure in excess of atmospheric if desired) to release the vacuum cup from the filled compartment. At this time, Geneva Drive 140 rotates rollers 121 and 122 one revolution so as to advance tube 19 one compartment to the left, as viewed in FIG. 16. As previously described herein, roller 122 accurately indexes the extent of movement of tube 19 so as to properly position the next compartment for filling.
Vacuum head 172 is moved to bring vacuum cup 173 in contact with the outer face of the compartment to be filled. A vacuum is applied to the vacuum cup and the vacuum head is then returned to the position illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17. This opens the compartment for filling. Automatic means operating in timed relationship, and represented in FIG. 18 by tongs 209, lowers an ice cream bar 206 into the open mouth of the compartment. Tongs 209 then release stick 205 and then moves to pick up another ice cream bar.
Cams 156 and 160 rotate members 180 counterclockwise. This movement produces a corresponding clockwise rotation of members 184. Cutter head 195 and sealing head 190 move to the left while sealing head 189 moves to the right. Spring 196 is sufficiently strong to maintain the illustrated position of cutter head 195 with respect to sealing head 190 until the two sealing heads 189 and 190 come into contact with the opposite faces of tube 19 intermediate the compartment just being filled and the adjacent compartment that was previously filled. Thereafter, cutter head 195 compresses spring 196 to push blade 201 through the material of the tube with blade 201 entering the slot 204 immediately above cutter blade 203. Thus, the compartment previously filled is severed from the continuous tube.
At the same time, the two sealing heads 189 and 190 press the opposite sides of the tube together about stick 205. Sealing head 190 supplies sufficient heat to secure these two sides to each other. This heat, plus the pressure previously described, securely seals the open mouth of the filled compartment. Thereafter, sealing heads 189 and 190 are moved apart. The filled and sealed compartment, which has just been severed from the tube, falls by gravity onto a suitable conveyor (not shown) to be taken away. In the manner already described, vacuum cup 173 is released and Geneva Drive 140 indexes tube 19 downwardly for the filling of the next compartment.
While the tube forming apparatus of FIGURES 12-14 and the filling and closing apparatus of FIGURES l618 are separately illustrated and described, both could be used together in a single machine. The same is true for other specific embodiments illustrated in different figures of the drawings.
1. In an apparatus for use in packaging product using an elongated tube of packaging material having a line of openings extending through two opposite sides at spaced intervals therealong, and having slits in one of said sides extending transversely of the tube at opposite sides of each opening, the improvement comprising: a frame; means on said frame to move the tube in a given direction along a predetermined path; said means including a pair of driving rollers engaging opposite sides of the tube, one of said rollers having a circumference approximately equal to the distance between the center of adjacent openings, said one roller having a longitudinal slot along one side thereof and a land bridging said slot in alignment with the line of openings and having a perpihery approximately corresponding to that of the one roller, whereby when the tube is inserted with an opening over the land and the rollers rotated the land will index the tube, and means connected to the one roller to rotate the same; and means along said path to sequentially separate said one side of the tube, in one longitudinal direction from each slit, from the opposite side of the tube to enable product to be inserted through the opening into the cut.
2. In an apparatus for use in packaging product using an elongated tube of packaging material having a line of openings therethrough at spaced intervals therealong, the improvement comprising: a pair of driving rollers for moving the tube in a given direction, said rollers engaging opposte sides of the tube, one of said rollers having a circumference approximately equal to the distance between the center of adjacent openings, said one roller having a longitudinal slot along one side thereof and a land bridging said slot in alignment with the line of openings, whereby when the tube is inserted with an opening over the land and the rollers rotated the land will index the tube; and means connected to the one roller to rotate the same.
3. Apparatus for feeding and longitudinally indexing a web provided with uniformly spaced gaps therein along a longitudinal line, a portion of the web laterally adjacent the web gaps being continuous, a pair of driving rollers for moving the web in its longitudinal direction, said rollers engaging opposite sides of the web, one of said rollers having a circumference correlated to the distance between the centers of successive openings, the said one roller having its circumferential surface continuous throughout the circumference at an axial position on the roller corresponding to the said longitudinal line of the web, whereby that portion will advance the web until a web gap comes between said pair of driving rollers at which time said portion will cease to advance the web; and a second portion of said roller laterally displaced from the first to be in alignment with said continuous portion of the Web, having an interrupted circumferential surface whereby if the web is approximately indexed in correlation to said interruption of the surface of said second portion of the roller, the web will momentarily come to rest when the web gap comes between the rollers, and will then be restarted with an exactly indexed correlationship between the leading edge of the interrupted surface of the roller and the web gap.
4. Apparatus for feeding and longitudinally indexing a web provided with uniformly spaced gaps therein along a longitudinal line, a portion of the web laterally adja cent the web gaps being continuous, a pair of driving rollers for moving the web in its longitudinal direction, said rollers engaging opposite sides of the web, one of said rollers having a circumference correlated to the distance between the centers of successive web openings, said roller having a first surface portion at its circumference at the portion of the axial length of the roller in alignment with said web gaps, and having a second surface portion at another axial position on the roller, in alignment with the continuous portion of the web, said second surface portion being at the circumference of the roller but being interrupted in a circumferential position corresponding to a portion of the first named roller surface portion whereby, while said interrupted portion of the second surface portion is adjacent the Web, said first named roller surface portion first will advance the web but will then cease advancing the web when the web gap comes between said rollers, and whereby the leading edge of said second portion of the web will then restart the web with exact indexing between the said leading edge and said web gap.
5. An apparatus for use in packaging product in a tube of packaging material, said apparatus including: a device for moving said tube along a given path in a given direction; cutting means at one side of said path to cut a plurality of openings in the adjacent side of the tube at spaced positions therealong; and sealing means positioned at the one side of the path to attach the walls of the tube together along a transverse line spaced from each opening in a predetermined direction along the tube and preceding the next succeeding position in said predetermined direction to define a plurality of compartments in the tube with an opening in each; wherein the cutting means cuts a hole through said adjacent side and the side of the tube opposite thereto, and cuts slits in the adjacent side extending in opposite directions from the hole and transversely to the tube, and wherein said device includes a pair of driving rollers engaging opposite sides of the tube, one of said rollers having a circumference approximately equal to the distance between the centers of adjacent openings, said one roller having a longitudinal slot along one side thereof and a land bridging said slot in alignment with the line of openings and having a periphery 10 prising providing a hole throughthe Web and feeding it by bite-forming roller means engaging it, as the hole approaches the bite, solely in longitudinal alignment with the hole whereby the Web Will stop in an indexed position when the bite is spanned by the hole, and thereafter starting indexed movement of the web by correlated engagement of a starting element with another portion of the Web.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,275,064 3/1'942 Moore 2266 2,612,738 10/1952 Salfisberg 5329 3,253,544 5/1966 Von Hofe 83278 XR BERNARD STICKNEY, Primary Examiner.
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|U.S. Classification||493/194, 493/227, 53/570, 53/562, 83/278, 226/6|
|International Classification||B65B9/13, B65B9/10|