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Publication numberUS3397509 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 20, 1968
Filing dateApr 25, 1966
Priority dateApr 25, 1966
Publication numberUS 3397509 A, US 3397509A, US-A-3397509, US3397509 A, US3397509A
InventorsUllman John E
Original AssigneeHuntingdon Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Packaging apparatus
US 3397509 A
Abstract  available in
Images(9)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 20, 1963 J. E. ULLMAN 3,397,509

PACKAGING APPARATUS Filed April 25, 1966 9 Sheets-Sheet l lA/VE/VTDF.

JOHN E. ULLMAN ATTORNEY Aug. 20, 1968 J. E. ULLMAN PACKAGING APPARATUS Filed April 25, 1966 9 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.

JOHN E. ULLMAN MiMy ATTORNEX 0, 1968 J. E. ULLMAN 3,397,509

PACKAGING APPARATUS Filed April 25, 1966 9 Sheets-Sheet 3 AIR F- INVENTOR.

y JOHN E. ULLMAN J. E. ULLMAN Aug. 20, 1968 PACKAG ING APPARATUS 9 Sheets-$heet 4 Filed April 25, 1966 JNVENTOR. JOHN E. ULLMAN A TTORNEY.

Aug. 20, 1968 J. E. ULLMAN PACKAGING APPARATUS 9 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed April 25, 1966 l/V VENTOR.

JOHN E. ULLMAN MMv M? ATTORNEY g 20, 1968 J. E. ULLMAN 3,397,509

PACKAGING APPARATUS Filed April 25, 1966 9 Sheets-Sheet 6 332 336 354 I64 3I2 g SEEK J l t 344 M/VENTOR.

JOHN E. ULLMAN ATTOR/VE).

Aug. 20, 1968 J. E. ULLMAN PACKAGING APPARATUS Filed April 25, 1966 9 Sheets-Sheet 8 //v VE/VTOR.

JOHN E. ULLMAN ATTORNEX United States Patent 3,397,509 PACKAGING APPARATUS John E. Ullrnan, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., assignor to Huntingdon Industries Incorporated, Bethayres, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Apr. 25, 1966, Ser. No. 544,738 16 Claims. (Cl. 53285) This invention relates to packaging, and more particularly concerns a case, and apparatus for forming, filling, and sealing the case.

Cases or cartons made of corrugated paperboard or the like are widely used in the packaging of cans or similar articles. For example, 24 cans of soup or beer are quite commonly packaged in a corrugated paperboard case and shipped therein to supermarkets or other distributors.

Such cases usually fall into two types: (1) top-closing cases, and (2) end-closing cases. The top-closing cases include two side panels connected together by two end panels, with top and bottom flaps extending from the side and end panels. The top flaps are folded over and fastened together by an adhesive to form the top of the case, and the bottom flaps are folded over and fastened together to form the bottom.

An end-closing case differs from a top-closing case in that it has end flaps instead of top and bottom flaps. Accordingly, an end-closing case comprises a top panel and a bottom panel connected toegther by a pair of side panels, with end flaps extending from the top, bottom, and side panels. The end flaps at the front end of the case are folded over and fastened together by adhesive to form the front end of the case, and the rear end flaps are folded over and fastened together to form the rear end.

Since many cases today are long and flat, the end flaps of an end-closing case are smaller than the top and bottom flaps of a top-closing case of the same size. Accordingly, the blank of an end-closing case is smaller and uses less paperboard, up to about percent less, than the blank of a top-closing case of the same case size.

Therefore, many packers would prefer to use the endclosing case instead of the top-closing case because of the saving in paperboard. However, the end-closing case is difiicult to load. conventionally, an end-closing case is supplied by the manufacturer in the form of a flattened tube, with a small flap called a manufacturers flap extending from the top panel and connected to a side panel by gummed tape, staples or an adhesive. To fill the case with the cans, the panels are pulled away from each other to open the tube so that the side panels form right angles with the top and bottom panels, and the cans are pushed through one end of the case tube. Then the case is sealed by folding over the end flaps and fastening them together with adhesive.

But shoving a load of cans into one end of such a tube is very difficult, especially if a snug fit is desired. And packers prefer a tight, snugly-fitting case because the cans are less likely to be damaged in handling and shipping.

Packers also prefer a case which can be top-loaded, i.e., a case which may be loaded by passing the cans into the case through its top, because many loading machines are adapted for this type of loading. Top-loading is easier than end-loading.

Another reason which prevents many packers from adopting end-closing cases, even though such are less costly than the top-closing type, is that they have bought, and have present in their plants, conventional horizontal compression units for sealing the cases, and such compression units are not usually adaptable for sealing end flaps of end-closing cases. Horizontal compression units are provided with top and bottom conveyor belts which pass around horizontal rollers. The upper rollers are spring-backed and exert a downward pressure on the top belt. Accordingly, pressure is exerted against the top and bottom flaps of filled top-closing cases passing between the belts, and this pressure holds the flaps in position and thereby assists in setting the glue or other adhesive which fastens the flaps together.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to overcome the problems of the prior art.

It is another object to provide a transfer unit which feeds an end-closing case into a horizontal compression unit in such a manner that the case may be sealed therein.

It is another object to provide a modified end-closing case which may be sealed in a horizontal compression unit.

It is another object to provide a case former which partly forms a case and adapts it for top-loading.

Other objects and advantages of this invention, including its simplicity and economy, as well as the ease with which it may be adapted to existing equipment, will further become apaprent hereinafter and in the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view in top perspective of a flat, five-panel ease blank;

FIG. 2 is a view in perspective of the case blank with its bottom formed into set-up condition and filled with cans;

FIG. 3 is a view in perspective which shows the case as it appears when entering a transfer unit with the top panels folded over and the top end flaps extending substantially horizontally from the case;

FIG. 4 shows the case after the front top flaps have been turned down by the bottom portion of a pusher element of the transfer unit and shows the front top flaps in contact with a preceding case;

FIG. 5 shows the case at a laterstage in operation of the transfer unit with the front flaps abutting the preceding case, and with the rear end top flaps having been turned down and being pushed forwardly by the pusher element;

FIG. 6 is a view in side elevation of a transfer unit constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 7 is a view in elevation of the transfer unit looking from the right of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a partial view in side elevation of another embodiment of the transfer unit;

FIG. 9 is a view in side elevation of another embodiment of case blank;

FIG. 10 is a view in perspective of the case blank of FIG. 9 with its bottom in set-up condition, and filled with cans;

FIG. 11 is a view in perspective of the case of FIG. 10 as it appears when entering a transfer unit, with the top panel folded over the manufacturers flap, and with the top end flaps extending substantially horizontally from the case;

FIG. 12 shows the case after the top front flap has been turned down by the bottom portion of a pusher element of the transfer unit and shows the front top flap in contact with a preceding case;

FIG. 13 shows the case of FIG. 10 at a later stage in operation of the transfer unit with the front flap abutting the preceding case, and with the rear end flap having been turned down and being pushed forwardly by the pusher element;

FIG. 14 is a view in side elevation, partly schematic, showing the overall packaging apparatus including bottom former, loader or packer, gluer and top folder, transfer unit or end sealer, and horizontal compression unit;

FIG. 15 is a view in top plan of a fiat five-panel carton blank positioned in the bottom former before the downward stroke of the forming mandrel;

FIG. 16 is a view in section taken as indicated by the lines and arrows 16- 16 which appear in FIG.

FIG. 17 is a view in top plan of the five-panel carton after the downward stroke of the forming mandrel and shows the carton with its bottom formed into set-up condition;

FIG. 18 is a view in section taken as indicated by the lines and arrows 1818 which appear in FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is a view in section taken as indicated by the lines and arrows 1919 which appear in FIG. 18; and

FIG. 20 is a diagrammatic view of the electrical circuit of the invention.

Although specific terms are used in the following description for clarity, these terms are intended to refer only to the structure shown in the drawings and are not intended to define or limit the scope of the invention.

Turning now to the specific embodiments of the invention selected for illustration in the drawings, there is shown in FIGS. 1-5, a five-panel case blank 12 which comprises a first top panel 14, a first side panel 16 connected to top panel 14 along a transverse crease line 18, a bottom panel 20 connected to first side panel 16 along a transverse crease line 22, a second side panel 24 connected to bottom panel 20 along a transverse crease line 26, a second top panel 28 connected to second side panel 24 along a transverse crease line 30, and a top sealing manufacturers flap 32 extending from first top panel 14 and adapted to be overlapped by second top panel 28 so that the top panels 14 and 28 may be connected together by a layer of adhesive 34 between panel 28 and flap 32.

A front end top flap 36 is connected to first top panel 14 by a longitudinal crease line 38, and a rear end top flap 40 is connected to the rear of first top panel 14 by a longitudinal crease line 42. Similarly, second top panel 28 is provided with a front end top flap 44 connected to it by a longitudinal crease line 46, and a rear end top flap 48 connected to it by a longitudinal crease line 50.

As is shown in FIG. 2, stripes 52 of adhesive have been applied to the inner surfaces of flanges 36, 40, 44, and 48, and these flaps are adapted to be fastened to the outer surfaces of end flaps 54 which extend from side panels 16 and 24. A similar adhesive layer fastens end flaps 56, which extend from bottom panel 20, to end flaps 54. End flaps 54 and 56 are connected to their associated panels by longitudinal crease lines.

When the case blank 12 is erected, filled, closed, and sealed, the panels and flaps are in folded position along the crease lines and form a six-sided case with an adhesive layer 34 connecting top-sealing manufacturers flap 32 to top panel 28, an adhesive layer connecting the front end flaps together to form the front end of the case, and an adhesive layer connecting the rear end flaps together to form the rear end.

Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 6-7 of the drawings, there is shown a transfer unit 58 that is constructed in accordance with the invention and is adapted to close a filled case. In general, the transfer unit comprises means for turning down the front end top flaps 36 and 44, means for moving flaps 36 and 44 against a preceding case to hold the flaps in compression to aid in setting the adhesive thereon, means for turning down the rear end top flaps 40 and 48, and means for moving a succeeding case against the rear flaps 40 and 48 to hold them in compression to aid in setting the adhesive. The transfer unit also includes means for pressing the top sealing flap 32 against the lapped top panel 28 to aid in setting the adhesive layer 34 therebetween.

The cases are delivered to transfer unit 58 from a case gluer with top panels 14 and 28 folded over and with topsealing flap 32 lapping top panel 28, and with top flaps 36, 44, 40 and 48 extending outwardly from the case in substantially horizontal fashion. The cases are delivered to a receiving channel 60 formed by a bottom conveyor belt 62, a to guide rail 64, and a pair of side guide rails 66. Side guide rails 66 serve to guide the cases and keep them in line, and top guide rail 64 presses downwardly on the top panels to keep them closed until the case enters the compression belt section.

Conveyor belt 62 is driven by -a motor 68 and gear box 70 and moves the cases forwardly so that end flaps 36 and 44 contact curved bottom portion 72 of a pusher member 74 and are turned down thereby. Belt 62 has a smooth surface and keeps moving when a case is stopped by a preceding case, because of its slipping engagement with the case.

Pusher member 74 hangs downwardly from a pivot pin 76 mounted in a bracket 78 which is reciprocable on a pair of rods 80.

As conveyor belt 62 continues to push a case forwardly, the front end of the case actuates a limit switch 82, such as a microswitch, that is adjustably mounted on a base 73 supported on a side guide rail 66. Switch 82 moves bracket 78 and pusher member 74 rearwardly by actuating a piston 85 in air cylinder 84. The piston is connected to both ends of bracket 78 by a cable 86 so that it is adapted to move bracket 78 both forwardly and rearwardly.

When pusher member 74 reaches the rear end of the case, it drops downwardly by gravity about its pivot pin 76, and pusher plates 88, which are at the front of pusher member 74, turn down rear end flaps 40 and 48 during the course of this downward movement. Adjustable stop blocks 89 are mounted on rods 80 to prevent bracket 78 and pusher plates 88 from traveling too far rearwardly. If pushers 88 overtravel, i.e., go past the end of the trailing flaps, the pushers could push forwardly against the end of the flap, instead of bending it down, and crush the flap. Accordingly, pusher plates 88 contact rear flaps 40 and 48, bend them to the fully closed vertical position, and push the case in the forward direction. The case is pushed against the rear end of a preceding case which folds front flaps 36 and 44 to the fully closed position and holds them in compression against side flaps 54.

The case is received by a horizontal compression unit 90 which includes top and bottom conveyor belts 92 and 94. The top belt 92 is trained around spring-loaded rollers 96 which exert a downward pressure on the belt that, in turn, exerts pressure on the top panels 14 and 28 and top sealing flap 32 to assist in setting the adhesive layer 34.

Sealing pressure is exerted against the front flaps 36 and 44 by the preceding case, and against rear flaps 40 and 48 by the following case.

In order to keep sealing pressure on the end flaps, the conveyor belts of the compression unit 90 are not freewheeling. Instead, belts 92 and 94 are driven by a motor provided with a brake. Conveyor belts 92 and 94 are driven at a slower speed than conveyor belt 62 in transfer unit 58 to insure that the end flaps of the cases are held in compression.

The elements of the transfer unit are supported in a frame 98 and are adjustable as to position in order to accommodate cases of various sizes. The conveyor belts of compression unit 90 are similarly adjustable.

Referring now to FIG. 8, there is shown an alternative embodiment of the transfer unit wherein pusher member 74 is driven by a reversible air motor 100 instead of by the air cylinder 84. Air motor 100 drives a sprocket 102 and a chain 104 which passes around an idler sprocket 106. Chain 104 is connected to bracket 78 and is adapted to move the bracket back and forth in response to the movement of air motor 100.

In operation, a filled case is delivered from a case gluer to transfer unit 58 with its bottom end flaps 56 adhesively fastened to its side end flaps 54, and with its top panels 14 and 28 folded over so that top sealing flap 32 is in contact with adhesive layer 34. The top end flaps 36, 44, 40 and 48 extend outwardly from the case and have stripes 52 of freshly applied adhesive on their inner surfaces. The channel 60 of transfer unit 58 receives the case, and

conveyor belt 62 moves it forwardly while guide rail 64 holds the top panels 14 and 28 in closed position ready for insertion into the compression belts. As belt 62 continues to move the case forwardly, front flaps 36 and 44 contact curved bottom portion 72 of pusher member 74 and this contact turns down the flaps 36 and 44 to the extent shown in FIG. 4. The forward movement of the case moves the front flaps 36 and 44 into contact with a preceding case so that the flaps are prevented from resuming their horizontal position. As the case moves forward, it actuates switch 82 which moves bracket 78 and pusher member 74 rearwardly, with pusher member 74 remaining in contact with the forward top flaps until they make contact with the previous case, and pusher member is pivoted upwardly and moves rearwardly over the moving case.

When pusher member 74 reaches the rear end of the case, it drops downwardly by gravity about its pivot pin 76, and air cylinder 74 is reversed to move the piston and bracket 78 and pusher member 74 forwardly.

Pusher plates 88 press the rear flaps 4 and 48 against the case and push the case forwardly into contact with the preceding case in compression unit 90. Accordingly, at the end of the forward stroke of pusher member 74, the front flaps 36 and 44 are held in compression by a preceding case in compression unit 90, the top panels 14 and 28 and the sealing flap 32 are held in compression by top belt 92, and the rear flaps 40 and 48 are held in compression by pusher plates 88.

Because of the sealing action of pusher plates 88 against the rear flaps 40 and 48, those flaps remain in place when pusher plates 88 are withdrawn ot act upon a succeeding case which has been delivered to transfer unit 58.

By the time the cases complete the course of travel through the compression unit 90, they are thoroughly sealed.

Referring now to FIGS. 9-l3, there is shown another embodiment of a case blank 110, a four-panel case with a manufacturers flap extending from the top of a side panel. Blank 110 comprises a top panel 112, a first side panel 114- connected to top panel 112 along a transverse crease line 116, a bottom panel 118 connected to first side panel 114 along a transverse crease line 120, a second side panel 122 connected to bottom panel 118 along transverse crease line 124, and a top-sealing manufacturers flap 126 connected to second side panel 122 along a transverse crease line 128. Flap 126 is adapted to be overlapped by top panel 112 in order to connect panel 122 to panel 112.

A front end top flap 132 is connected to top panel 112 by a longitudinal crease line 134, and a rear end top flap '136 is connected to the rear of top panel 112 by a longitudinal crease line 138.

As is shown in FIG. 10, stripes 140 of adhesive have been applied to the inner surfaces of flaps 132 and 136 in a case gluer, and these flaps are adapted to be fastened to the outer surfaces of end flaps 142 which extend from the side panels 114 and 122. Similar adhesive stripes already fasten end flaps 144, which extend from bottom panel 118, to end flaps 142. End flaps 142 and 144 are connected to the panels by longitudinal crease lines 134 and 138.

The operation of the transfer unit in closing and sealing a case made from case blank 110 is similar to the operation previously described with reference to a case made from case blank 12. A filled case is delivered from a case gluer to the transfer unit 58 with its bottom end flaps 144 adhesively fastened to side end flaps 142, and with top panel 112 and top-sealing manufacturers flap 126 folded over so that the sealing flap 126 is overlapped by top panel 112 and has an adhesive layer therebetween. The top flaps 132 and 136 extend outwardly from the case and have stripes 140 of adhesive applied to their inner surfaces. The channel 60 of transfer unit 58 receives the case, and conveyor belt 62 moves it forwardly while rails 66 guide it and top rail 64 presses on the top panels to keep them closed until the case enters the compression belt section. As belt 62 continues to move the case forwardly, front flap 132 contacts curved bottom portion 72 of pusher member 74 and is turned downwardly. The continued forward movement of the case moves the front end flap 132 into contact with a preceding case which folds flap 132 into completely closed position and prevents it from resuming its horizontal position. Forward movement of the case causes it to actuate switch 82 to move the piston in air cylinder 84 and thus move bracket 78 and pusher member 74 rearwardly, and upwardly with the pusher member riding on the top panel 112.

When pusher member 74 reaches the rear end of the case, it drops downwardly by gravity about its pivot pin 76, and air cylinder 84 is reversed to move the piston and bracket 78 and pusher member 74 in the forward direction.

During this forward motion, pusher plates 88 press the rear flap 136 against the case and push the case forwardly into contact with the preceding case in compression unit 99. Accordingly, at the end of the forward stroke of pusher member 74, the front flap 132 is vertically positioned and is being compressed by the preceding case in compression unit 90, the top panel 112 and the manufacturers flap 126 are held in compression by top belt 92, and the rear flap 136 is held in compression by pusher plates 88. During its course of travel through compression unit 90, rear flap 136 is held in compression by a succeeding case which is pushed into compression unit 98 by pusher plates 88.

There are many advantages to the transfer unit of the present invention. It enables a packer to use an end-closing case which is usually less expensive than a top-closing case because it requires less paperboard. It also permits a packer to load his cases from the top, which is an easier method of loading. Moreover, it permits the packer to use equipment which he already has in his plant, such as packing machines, case gluers, and horizontal compression units. Some minor modifications may have to be made to the existing equipment to allow their utilization.

Referring now to FIG. 14, there is shown the overall packaging apparatus for forming, filling, and sealing a top-closing case having top, bottom, and side panels and top, bottom, and side end flaps. The apparatus comprises a bottom former 146 that forms the bottom and side panels and flaps into setup condition with the bottom flaps adhesively connected to the side flaps, a packer or loader 148 which is adapted to fill the cases with material, such as cans, through the top of the case. Loader 148 is of conventional construction.

After the case has been filled with cans or other material, it is passed to a gluer and top folder 156 which applies an adhesive to the top flaps and to a top panel if the case includes a manufacturers flap which is to be adhesively connected to the top panel. Gluer 150 also folds over the top panel or panels to the position shown in FIGS. 3 and 11.

From the gluer 150, the case is delivered to transfer unit 58 which closes the end flaps and presents the case to the compression unit 90. The unit presses down against the top overlapping flaps of the case, for example, glued area 34 of flap 28 is pressed down against manufacturers flap 32 to form a seal, and moves the case at a rate of speed which is slower than belt 62, whereby the succeeding cases, as moved by belt 62 and pusher 74, push against the preceding cases so that the top end flaps are held in compression against the side end flaps by the pressure from the preceding and following cases.

Bottom former 146 is constructed in accordance with the case former disclosed in my US. Patent No. 3,196,- 761 which issued on July 27, 1965, and includes 'a loading station 154 with stacker bars 156 and ripple plates 158 which hold a stack of flat end-closing case blanks. Bottom former 146 :also includes a glue station 160 which applies glue to the bottom flaps of the case blank, and a forming station 162 which forms the bottom of the case into set-up condition with the side panels perpendicular to the bottom panel and the bottom flaps adhesively connected to the side flaps.

Gluer 150 includes means for moving the filled case through the gluer and applying an adhesive to the inside surfaces of the top flaps and panel where desired, and means for folding over the top panel or panels into set-up position. Gluer 150 is of conventional design.

Referring now to FIGS. l19, forming station 162 of bottom former 146 is shown in more detail. A vertically reciprocable mandrel 164 is connected to a crosshead 166. Also connected to crosshead 166 is a vertically reciprocable cam body 168 which is attached thereto (FIG. 18) by a bracket 170.

Cam-guide rollers 172 mounted on plate 174 serve to guide the vertical movement of cam body 168.

A cam track 176 is formed in cam-body face 178 and the cam track 176 includes a bend 180. A cam roller or follower 182 rides in track 176 and is mounted on a lever 184 attached to one end of a shaft 186. A cross shaft 1218 is connected to shaft 186 by mitre gears 190. Levers 192 are mounted at each end of cross shaft 188 and are connected to push rods 194. The other ends of push rods 194 are connected to levers 196 of turner rods 198.

Mounted on rods 198 are side flap turners 200. Pivotally mounted on side flap turners 200 are side pan n1 turners 202 which include a return spring 204.

Also mounted on turner rods 198 are levers 206 which are connected to levers 208 by push rods 210. Levers 208 are mounted on turner rods 212 which rotate simultaneously with turner rods 198 but in the opposite direction of rotation.

Mounted on turner rods 212 are side flap turners 214, and pivotally mounted on side flap turners 214 are side panel turners 216 which are provided with a return spring 218.

In operation of forming station 162 shown in FIGS. -19, crosshead 166 moves downwardly to move mandrel 164 and cam body 168 in the downward direction. When cam follower 182 moves through bend 180, lever 184 rotates shaft 186. This motion is transmitted by mitre gear 190 to cross shaft 188 and rotates its levers 192. Push rods 194 rotate levers 196 and cause rotation of turner rods 198 to actuate side flap turners 200 and side panel turners 202 to turn the side panels and flaps into set-up position, i.e., from the position of FIG. 15 to the position of FIG. 17.

Further, the motion of turner rods 198 is transmitted to turn rods 212 through levers 206, push rods 210, and levers 208. Accordingly, side flap turners 214 and side panel turners 216 are actuated to turn the other side panel and flaps into set-up position.

As the mandrel 164 continues downward travel, mandrel arms 220 (FIG. 18) rotate side panel turners 202 and 216 against their springs to move side panel turners 202 and 216 out of the path of travel of the top panels of the case. Arms 220 extend downwardly slightly from mandrel 164 and bend the top panels past the horizontal so that the edges are lower than the top of the side panel. Accordingly, those edges are not contacted by a succeeding case as they pass through a cage beneath mandrel 164.

Bottom flap rollers 222 roll the bottom flaps of the case into set-up position in contact with the side flaps.

On the upward stroke of mandrel 164, cam follower or roller 182 again passes through cam bend 180 in cam track 176 and causes rotation of the shaft 186 and 188 to rotate levers 196 and to rotate turner rods 198 and 212 to their original positions through the action of push rods 194 and 210. This returns side flap turners 200, 214

:and side panel turners 202, 216 to their original positions as shown in FIG. 15, for example.

For illustrative purposes, a five-panel case blank 312 is shown in FIGS. 15 and 17. Case blank 312 comprises a first top panel 314, a first side panel 316 connected to top panel 314 along a transverse crease line 318, a bottom panel 320 connected to first side panel 316 along a transverse crease line 322, a second side panel 324 connected to bottom panel 320 along a transverse crease line 326, a second top panel 328 connected to second side panel along a transverse crease line 330; and a top sealing manufacturers flap 332 extending from first top panel 314 and adapted to be overlapped by second top panel 328 so that the top panels 314 and 328 may be connected together by a layer of adhesive between panel 328 and end flap 332.

A front end top flap 336 is connected to first top panel 314 by a longitudinal crease line 338, and a rear end top flap 340 is connected to the rear of first top panel 314 by a longitudinal crease line 342. Similarly, a second top panel 3281's provided with a front end top flap 344 connected to it by a longitudinal crease line 346, and a rear end top flap 348 connected to it by a longitudinal crease line 350.

Side end flaps 354 are connected to side panels 316 and 324 by longitudinal crease lines, and bottom end flaps 356 are connected to bottom panel 320 by longitudinal crease lines. Stripes 358 of adhesive have been freshly applied to the inner surface of bottom flaps 356.

In operation, case blank 312 is delivered to the forming station in the position shown in FIG. 15 and FIG. 16. Mandrel 164 descends and turner rods 198 and 212 are rotated from the position of FIG. 15 to the position of FIG. 17. Side flap turners 200 and 214 fold side flaps 354 into position perpendicular to side panels 316 and 324.

Side panel turners 202 fold side panel 316, and side panel turners 216 fold side panel 324 into position perpendicular to bottom panel 320.

Mandrel arms 220 fold top panels 314 and 328 outwardly into the position shown in FIG. 17, and then arms 220 turn side panel turners 202 and 216 out of the way to permit downward passage of top panels 314 and 328.

Also in the downward stroke of mandrel 164, bottom rollers 222 fold bottom flaps 356 into position against side flaps 354 and press those flaps together so that the stripes 358 of adhesive make good contact between them. The bottom-formed case blank 312 is caught and held by ratchet-like pawls at the end of the downward stroke of the mandrel. Then the mandrel moves upwardly to its original position and side panel turners 202 and 216 are returned to their original position by return springs 204 and 218.

Turner rods 198 and 212 are returned to their original position in response to the upward movement of cam body 178.

Referring more particularly to FIGS. 6 and 20, the operation of the transfer unit and its electrical circuit is as follows. In machine ready condition, limit switch 82 is closed to contact 362 to energize the coil of control relay 364 and close its contacts 366. Since pusher 74 is in its down position, limit switch 368 is closed to contact 370, and limit switch 372 is closed to contact 374 to keep forward solenoid valve 376 energized through closed contacts 378 of control relay 380. Contacts 382 of relay 364 are open to keep compression belt motor switch 384 de-energized and belts 92 and 94 stopped.

An incoming case actuates case detector switch 82 and closes it to contact 386 and opens it to contact 362. Contacts 388 of relay 364, which had been previously closed, conducts power to energize rearward solenoid valve 390 and relay 380. Pusher 74 moves rearward.

When pusher 74 reaches its up position, relay 364 drops out, but not before switch 368 closes to contact 392 to maintain rearward solenoid valve 390 energized, even though contacts 388 open to isolate switch 82.

When pusher 74 reaches the rear flaps of the case and start to drop, switch 368 opens to contact 392 to de-energize rearward solenoid valve 390 and relay 380.

Accordingly, pusher 74 stops and drops to the full down position, and closes switch 372 to energize forward solenoid valve 376 through contacts 378. Contact 382 of relay 364, which are closed, conduct power to energize time delay relay 394. Pusher 74 pushes the case firmly against a preceding case and stalls against it for a predetermined time interval, and then on delay contact 396 of relay 394 closes to energize compression belt motor starter 384 to move the belts 92 and 94 forwardly for the length of a case. Belts 92 and 94 move the case at a slower speed than pusher 74 would move if it were not impeded by the slower moving case, but since pusher 74 is operated by air, the stalling of pusher 74 does not damage its operating mechanism. This stalling insures that pressure is being exerted on the ends of the case by pusher 75.

In other words, the speed of pusher 74 is greater than the speed of the compression belts 92, 94, but pusher 74 slows to compression belt speed.

When the case moves into compression unit 90, switch 82 no longer contacts it and returns to its original position closed to contact 362 to energize relay 364 and open contacts 382 to stop the motor driving the compression belts. In practice, this drive is equipped with a brake of sufficient capability to prevent the belts 92, 94 from drifting the case away from hte extreme forward position of pusher 74. Relay 364 is also energized through switch 368 and contacts 366, since pusher 74 is in its down position. The circuit has now returned to the machine ready condition with switch 372 and contacts 37 8 closed to energize forward solenoid valve 376 to maintain air pressure on pusher 74 to exert pressure on the rear flaps of the case to seal them. Succeeding cases repeat the cycle.

Jam safety switch 398 is closed in normal operation and time delay relay 400 is energized by each case as it passes. If a case does not leave switch 398 before contact 402 of relay 400 opens, this indicates that a jam has occurred and gluer motor starter 404 is de-energized to stop the gluer.

Also included in the circuit are: start switch 406, stop switch 408, transfer motor switch 410 and it contacts 411, overload switches 412, selector switch 414, jog switch 416, and the gluer starter controls 418, including gluer start switch 420, gluer stop switch 422, transfer motor auxiliary switch contacts 424 of transfer motor switch 410 that insure that the transfer unit is operating before the gluer will run, and glue start switch contacts 426.

The case former of this invention is adapted to form a five-panel case having two top panels with a manufacturers fiap connecting the two top panels, a five-panel case having two top panels connected together by tape, and a four-panel case with a single top panel connected to a side panel by a manufacturers flap extending from the top of the side panel.

It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a presently preferred embodiment. Various changes may be made in the shape, size and arrangement of parts. For example, equivalent elements may be substituted for those illustrated and described herein, parts may be reversed, and certain features of the invention may be utilized independently of the use of other features, all without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as defined in the subjoined claims.

NVhat is claimed is:

1. A machine for closing a filled case having a front end top flap and a rear end top flap extending outwardly from the case, said flaps having adhesive thereon, comprising means for turning down the front end top flap,

means for turning down the rear end top flap of the case, and pusher means for moving the case into a compression unit and flattening said front flap against a preceding case to hold said front flap in compression to aid in setting the adhesive thereon.

2. The machine of claim 1, wherein said pusher means includes means for stallingly pushing the case against a preceding case in the compression unit to hold the end flaps in compression.

3. The machine of claim 1, including an electric circuit having detector switch means which senses the presence of a case and actuates the pusher means to move it rearwardly.

4. The machine of claim 1, including an electric circuit having switch means which sense when the pusher means is behind the case and actuates the pusher means to move it forwardly to move the case into stalling contact with a preceding case in the compression unit.

5. The machine of claim 4, including time delay means which actuates the compression unit to move the case forwardly with the pusher means holding it in stalling contact with the preceding case, the speed of compression unit movement being less than the normal unimpeded speed of the pusher means.

6. The machine of claim 1, including an electric circuit having jam safety switch means for sensing when a jam of cases has occurred in the machining and shutting down operation.

7. The machine according to claim 1, wherein the case has two top panels, and .a top sealing flap extends from one top panel in overlapping relationship with the other top panel, and means are provided for compressing the top sealing flap against the lapped top panel to aid in setting an adhesive therebetween.

8. A machine for closing a filled case having a front end top flap and a rear end top flap extending outwardly from the case, comprising a pusher member which hangs downwardly from a pivot, said pusher member having a curved bottom portion which is adapted to contact and turn down said front flap as the case is being moved forwardly, means for moving the pusher member rearwardly, so that it drops downwardly about its pivot when it moves past the rear end of the case to turn down the rear end top flap, and means for moving te pusher member forwardly against the rear end of the case to push the case forwardly.

9. The case closing machine of claim 8 including a case receiving channel formed by a bottom conveyor belt and a top guide 'rail and a pair of side guide rails, said conveyor belt being adapted to move a case forwardly so that the front end top flap contacts the curved bottom portion of the pusher member and is turned down thereby.

10. The case closing machine of claim 8, wherein the means for moving the pusher member rearwa'rdly and forwardly comprises an air-operated piston.

11. The case closing machine of claim 8, wherein the means for moving the pusher member rearwardly and forwardly comprises an air motor.

12. The case closing machine of claim 8, wherein the pusher member includes a pusher plate which contacts and turns down the rear and end top flap and is adapted to be pushed against the rear end of the case to move the case forwardly.

13. The case closing machine of claim 8, including a horizontal compression unit positioned forwardly of said pusher member.

14. The case closing machine of claim 13, wherein the horizontal compression unit includes a bottom conveyor belt, a top conveyor belt, and means exerting downward pressure on the top conveyor belt.

15. The case closing machine of claim 14, wherein a feed conveyor belt is positioned beneath the pusher member and is adapted to support the cases delivered to the pusher member, means is provided for driving the feed conveyor belt, and means is provided for driving the compression unit conveyor belt at a slower speed than the 1 1 feed conveyor belt, whereby pressure between the abutting ends of the cases in the compression unit keeps the end top flaps in place and assists the setting of an adhesive on said flaps.

16. The case closing machine of claim 8, wherein the pusher member is adapted to turn down the front and rear end top flaps of a case having a pair of top panels with a sealing flap extending from one top panel in lapping relationship with the other, and the pusher member pushes the case into a horizontal compression unit which includes: top and bottom conveyor belts, means exerting downward pressure on the top conveyor belt to exert pressure on the top panel sealing flap to assist in setting an adhesive thereon, and means for exerting pressure between the abutting ends of the cases to keep the top end flaps in place and assist in sealing an adhesive thereon.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,224,716 12/1940 Anderson 53--376 2,912,906 11/1959 Bowman 53-387 X 3,332,212 7/1967 Talbot 53,376

TRAVIS S. MCGEHEE, Primary Examiner.

E. F. DESMOND, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2224716 *Nov 15, 1938Dec 10, 1940Pneumatic Scale CorpCarton sealing machine
US2912906 *Sep 9, 1955Nov 17, 1959Cincinnati Milling Machine CoMachine tool transmission
US3332212 *Jan 22, 1965Jul 25, 1967Peters Mach CoCarton folding and closing machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4915030 *Aug 27, 1987Apr 10, 1990Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaApparatus for conveying articles
US4958716 *Oct 2, 1987Sep 25, 1990Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaApparatus for conveying articles
US7216468 *Oct 29, 2004May 15, 2007Goodman James AFlaps closer apparatus
US7571587 *May 14, 2007Aug 11, 2009Prototype Equipment CorporationFlaps closer apparatus
US8499530 *Apr 1, 2010Aug 6, 2013Illinois Tool WorksBox closing apparatus
US20100251670 *Apr 1, 2010Oct 7, 2010Fisher Joseph MBox Closing Apparatus
WO2013171680A1 *May 15, 2013Nov 21, 2013Nuova Sima S.P.A.A device for stabilising a mutual gluing of flaps of one or more cardboard blanks applied to a tile or a stack of tiles
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/285, 53/378.3, 53/377.2
International ClassificationB65B5/00, B65B5/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65B5/024
European ClassificationB65B5/02C