US 3415171 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 10, .1968 R. w. WILSON ADJUSTABLE PACKAGE-FORMING MACHINE Filed May 10. 1967 INVENTOR. lQUJii-L'LL 14/. MASON BY W I TTORMEY United States Patent 3,415,171 ADJUSTABLE PACKAGE-FORMING MACHINE Russell W. Wilson, 760 Country Club Road,
York, Pa. 17403 Filed May 10, 1967, Ser. No. 637,392 8 Claims. (CI. 9382) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A tubular forming device to guide a continuous strip of sheet material delivered to the receiving end of said device and form it into bag-like packages, the forming device being split axially into two halves mounted for transverse movement relative to each other to vary the circumference of packages formed by said device, in combination with bridging guide means extending between the halves of said receiving end of said tubular device to provide a continuous guide surface over which said material moves onto said device regardless of spaced adjustment of said halve of said device.
Background 0] the invention Thi invention primarily comprises an improvement over applicants prior Patent No. 3,296,770, granted Jan. 10, 1967. In view of this, only a limited amount of the overall structure to which the present invention pertains has been illustrated in the sheet of drawing attached hereto. For details of such additional features of the overall structure, attention is directed to said prior patent.
The principal novelty of the invention covered by said prior patent comprises the formation of bak-like packages in a continuous manner from a roll of sheet-like material, such as cellophane or other preferably thermoplastic synthetic resin material or the like which usually is pre-printed in suitable manner. A strip of said material is delivered in continuous manner by means of guide rolls to the basic elements of the package-forming device which comprises a forming and filling tube to one end of which the sheet material is fed in such manner that the edges thereof overlap the longitudinal connection. The forming and filling tube is provided at said end with curved guide shoulder means which project laterally in opposite directions from the axis of said tube.
It is desirable in industries utilizing devces of this type, such as in the packaging of potato chips and a wide variety of varous forms of snacks and the like, to be able to vary the capacity of the bag-like packages readily, such as by varying the circumference of the packages formed by the device to which the present invention pertains, whereby the length of said packages may remain constant and thereby vary the capacity of the bags for purposes described more fully in said prior patent.
To permit the varying of the circumference of the baglike packages formed by such device to which the invention pertains, said tube and curved guide shoulder means attached thereto are split axially into tWo halves which respectively are mounted for relative lateral movement so as to vary the circumference of said packages. Means to effect such lateral variation in positions of the two halves comprise the essential subject matter of said prior patent.
In the structure covered by said prior patent, said tube and curved guide shoulder meet along a curved ridge and the two halves terminate adjacent the entrance end of said tube in slightly rounded apex portions which, it has been found in use, even though slightly rounded, tend to produce certain crease-like or crinkly lines in some of the types of material employed with said device for forming bag-like packages. These somewhat crinkled or crease- 3,415,171 Patented Dec. 10, 1968 like lines mar the appearance of the otherwise attractive packages normally formed by such device and in which food-stuffs and the like normally are packaged. Packages thus marred are not desirable in that they tend to raise questions in the minds of purchasers as to whether the contents .are freshly packaged.
Summary of the invention The principal object of the preent invention is to provide improved mechanism in association with the forming and filling tube and the guide shoulder means attached thereto which are separated axially into halves that are mounted for relative transverse movement, said improved mechanism primarily comprising bridging means extendable between said halves at the end of said tube into which the sheet-like material is introduced for formation into packages, whereby regardless of the width of the space between said halves of the tube and guide shoulder means, at least within reasonable limits, there will be a continuous, smoothly curved guide surface over which the sheet material is fed from a source extending laterally to the axis of said tube for formation of the sheet material into a tubular configuration incident to the overlapping edges of the sheet material being sealed and closed transversely at evenly spaced locations while the material is fed in successive measured quantities through said tube and into said packages as formed and sealed.
Another object of the invention is to provide such aforementioned bridging means in the form of a flexible, smooth surfaced cylindrical member which is rigidly connected to one half of said tube and guide shoulder and also is mounted for adjustable movement with respect to the other half of said tube and guide shoulder, appropriate support means for the movable portion of said guide member being provided with respect to said second half of said tube and guide shoulder in order that said bridging member will always be operatively positioned between said halves, especially when spaced apart in operative relationship with respect to each other.
A further object of the invention is to form said bridging member from flexible but relatively stiff, smooth wire, such as stainless steel wire, but without restriction thereto, said wire being shaped so as to be complementary to the curved, elongated crest defined by the meeting edges of said halves of said forming and filling tube with the portions of the curved guide shoulder means connected thereto, said bridging wire being rigidly afiixed to one of said halves and positioned for movement in coincidence with said elongated crest of said second half When it is desired to transversely adjust the two halves with repect to each other.
Still another object of the invention is to provide appropriate guide means for said movable portion of the bridging wire member with respect to said elongated crest of said second half of the tube and curved guide shoulder to insure accurate positioning of said bridging wire member relative to said elongated crest in all operative positions of adjustment between the two halves of said device.
Details of the foregoing objects and of the invention, as well as other objects thereof, are set forth in the following specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawing comprising a part thereof.
Description of the drawing FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, somewhat schematic side elevation of a device for forming and filling bag-like packages in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary transverse sectional view of the mechanism shown in FIG. 1 as seen on the line 2-2 of said figure.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, perspective front elevation of the forming and filling device shown in FIG. 1 but illustrated on a larger scale than said figure, and showing the two halves of said device in engagement with each other as when the device is forming the smallest possible circumference of bag-like packages capable of being formed by the device, said figure illustrating bridging means extending between the two halves of the device in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the two halves of the device adjusted into spaced relationship with each other and also illustrating the bridging member functioning as intended by the invention.
FIG. is a fragmentary, perspective view of the upper central portion of the device shown in FIG. 4 but in which the view has been rotated through a small angle about the axis of the tube of said device so as better to illustrate details of the supporting and guiding structure of the bridging means.
FIG. 6 is a further enlarged, fragmentary vertical elevation of the device shown in FIG. 5 as seen on the line 66 of said figure.
FIG. 7 is a further enlarged, perspective, fragmentary view of a detail of the device as seen on the line 7-7 of FIG. 5.
Description of the preferred embodiment Referring to FIG. 1, a continuous strip 10 of sheet material, such as cellophane, other preferably thermoplastic suitable synthetic resins, as well as other types of sheet material capable of being formed into tubular, baglike packages, is fed from an appropriate source such as a feed drum thereof, not shown. A complete illustration of the mechanism to which the present invention pertains is illustrated and described in detail in applicants prior Patent No. 3,296,770, to which attention is directed. The strip 10 preferably is pre-printed and decorated at appropriately spaced locations commensurate with the length of the bag-like packages to be formed from said strip of material. The length of the packages is determined by sealing and cutting mechanism also illustrated in said prior patent.
Incident to forming said bag-like packages, the strlp 10, which is of uniform width, is fed past a final guide roll 12 which is one of a series of the same, and is then directed somewhat laterally over the exterior surface 14 of guide shoulder means 16 respectively comprising two complementary halves 18 and 20. Said guide shoulder means preferably is formed from smooth sheet metal such as stainless steel. The lower edge of half 20, for example, is fixed to a guide rail 22, while the other half 18 is provided with a guide pin 24 movable in guide slot 26 in the opposite end of guide rail 22.
A substantially cylindrical forming and filling tube 28, also formed from suitable sheet metal such as stainless steel or the like, is provided with an entrance end 30 which is irregularly shaped to concide with adjacent surfaces on the halves 18 and of guide shoulder means 16 so as to form elongated, curved crests 32 and 34 defined by the leading edges of the connected members, the same being rigidly attached to each other by appropriate means such as suitable solder or the like.
The tube 28 is split axially along median line 36 to form two halves respectively connected to the halves 18 and 20 of the guide shoulder means 16. For convenience, said halves of said tubes are respectively designated by the numerals 38 and 40. The halves 38 and 40 of tube 28 preferably respectively extend at their lower ends to a pair of mounting plates 42 and 44 having complementary openings therein corresponding to the curvature of the halves of tube 28 and halves are afiixed thereto by any suitable means, not shown. Mounting plates 42 and 44 preferably are supported by a fixed frame member 45, by a suitable adjustable mechanism adequate to maintain desired relative positions of the plates 42 and 44 with respect to each other as well as the halves of the filling tube and guide shoulder respectively supported thereby.
For purposes of either disposing the halves 38 and 40 of tube 28 and the corresponding halves 18 and 20 of the guide shoulder means 16 in abutment with each other as shown in FIG. 3, or in spaced relationship to any reasonable extent such as shown in exemplary manner in FIG. 4, relatively simple actuating means are provided in the form of a rotatable screw 46 having an actuating knob 48 thereon. The screw 46 is provided with oppositely threaded portions adjacent each other and respectively engaging correspondingly threaded lug means, not shown in detail in the drawing, but fixed respectively to the mounting plates 42 and 44 for example, as shown and described in greater detail in said aforementioned patent. As shown in FIGS. 35, the uppermost ends 50 of the halves 38 and 40 of tube 28 preferably are somewhat rounded in order that when the sheet material 10 is drawn over the elongated curved crests 32 and 34 of the halves of said guiding and forming device, the material will not be torn or mutilated. However, in accordance with this structure which also is shown and described in said aforementioned patent, it has been found that when at least certain types of sheet material are used with said mechanism for purposes of forming bag-like packages, and said material is drawn over said rounded ends 50, there is a tendency to form somewhat crinkled and unsightly stripes or elongated marks 52 which are readily apparent in the side walls of the packages formed by the device. The principal purpose of the improvement comprising the present invention is to obviate the formation of such undesirable and unsightly stripes or elongated marks 52 and otherwise to insure improved performance of the device for forming a succession of bag-like packages thereon and incidentally filling the same in addition to scaling and severing successive packages from each other by mechanism and means illustrated and described in detail in said aforementioned patent.
To accomplish the elimination of the formation of such undesirable and unsightly stripes or elongated marks 52, the present invention comprises the provision of bridging guide means 54 which are longated and preferably cylindrical in cross-section, the preferred construction comprising a metallic wire of suitable gauge. The wire also should be relatively stiff but reasonably flexible. Wire formed from stainless steel is highly satisfactory but it is not intended that the invention shall be limited to the use of this specific type of wire.
By reference to FIG. 5 in particular, it will be seen that the bridging member 54 is somewhat C-shaped. Approximately one half 56 is fixed to the elongated curved crest 32 on the left-hand half 38 to tube 28 and left-hand half 20 of guide shoulder means 16. Such connection may be effected by any suitable means such as a preferably continuous line of solder 58, as illustrated in FIG. 5. Preferably, bridging means 54 directly surmounts the elongated curved crest 32, whereby as the sheet material is slidably moved over said crest and downwardly into the tube 28 comprising the halves 38 and 40 thereon, no marring of the surface or body of the sheet material takes place in any way.
From FIG. 5, it will be seen that the bridging means 54 has an intermediate actual bridging portion 60 which, in use of the device, bridges the upper end of any space 62 which is adjustably formed between the edges of the halves 38 and 40 of tube 28 which, when adjacent each other, define the median line 36. In particular, the bridging portion 60 prevents engagement of the sheet material with the rounded uppermost ends 50 of the tube halves 38 and 40, thereby obviating the difiiculty caused by said rounded ends, as illustrated in FIG. 2, when certain types of sheet material are used with said device in the absence of the bridging means 54.
In order that the halves 38 and 40 of the tube 28 and the corresponding halves of the guide shoulder means connected thereto, may be moved apart while permitting the bridging means 54 to function equally with respect to both of said halves of the forming and guide means of the invention, the other half 64 of bridging means 54 is adjacent the elongated curved crest 34 is mounted for guided movement with respect to crest 34. One suitable form of guide means which has been found satisfactory comprises a series of elongated slots 66 which are formed in half 18 of guide shoulder means 16 immediately adjacent the cunved crest 34 thereof as shown in FIGS. 5-7. Said slots are accurately parallel to said crest as well as said other half 64 of the bridging means 54.
Extending through the slots 66 are projecting members 68 which preferably comprise relatively short wire pieces, such as of the order of about one inch in length. The uppermost ends of the members 68 are welded or soldered as at 70 to the other half 64 of bridging means 54, as readily shown in FIGS. 5-7. Said upper end of each of the projecting guide members 68 also is provided with a bend 72 in order that said upper end may properly guide the other half 64 of bridging means 54 and support the same directly above the crest 34 during all positions of adjustments between half 64 of the bridging means and crest 34, as illustrated in exemplary manner in FIG. 6.
In actual practice, it has been found that if the space 62 is permitted to have a maximum width of about one since, that is suflicient to enable a desired amount of variation in the circumference of the bag-like packages to be formed by the device for any given width of sheet material 10. In this regard, as describd more fully in said prior patent, a limited number of forming and filling units or assemblies such as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 are provided for each packaging machine, each of the same being adapted to operate with a limited range of different widths of sheet material 10. Hence, the length of the slots 66 is selected to equal approximately the maximum width of the space 62 intended to be provided by any particular unit or assembly of the device.
The secure attachment of the half 56 of bridging means 54 to the crest 32 is adequate to insure operable supporting of the bridging portion 60 of bridging means 54 so that it extends in bridging manner across the upper end of the space 62 and always accurately and directly surmounts the curved crest 34 on the other half of the forming and filling unit due to the functioning of the projecting guide members 68 which are slidable within the slots 66. Further to insure the operative relationship of the other half 64 of bridging means 54 with respect to crest 34, the endmost projecting member 68, as viewed in the lower part of FIG. 5, after being extended through its slot 66, preferably is bent forwardly into substantial parallelism with the slot 66 in a manner which readily will prevent unintended removal of said endmost guide member 68 from its slot and correspondingly will maintain the remaining portion of said half of the bridging means 54 in operative. relationship with respect to crest 34. In addition, the movement of the members 68 within the slots 66 will serve, at least within reasonable limits, as effective movement limiting means between the two halves of the forming and filling device.
There also is illustrated in FIGS. 2-4 additional curved guide means 74 and 76 adjustably carried by the halves 38 and 40 on the exterior surfaces thereof for purposes of guiding the overlapping edges 78 and 80, see FIG. 2, of sheet material when the same has been formed into a tubular package configuration 82 as shown in FIG. 1. Further details of the functioning of these members is set forth in said aforementioned patent.
For the foregoing, it will be seen that the present invention provides a relatively simple bridging means by which the undesirable results of using the device covered by said aforementioned patent, at least when feeding cer tain types of sheet material therethrough, are obviated and very smooth and uninterrupted feeding of the sheet material through the improved arrangement of the present invention is enhanced, resulting in highly satisfactory operation of the mechanism.
While the invention has been described and illustrated in its several preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention is not to 'be limited to the precise details herein illustrated and described since the same may be carried out in other ways falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
1. A device for forming and filling bag-like packages from a continuous strip of sheet material fed from a supply thereof, said device comprising a substantially cylindrical collar comprising a package forming and filling tube having a receiving end, curved guide shoulder means extending laterally from opposite sides of said receiving end of said tube, means to feed said sheet material laterally to said receiving end of said tube for movement axially therethrough to form a tube-like package from said material, whereby said sheet material is drawn over the edge of said receiving end of said tube and down through the same while being filled and formed into packages, said tube and guide shoulder means being split axially into two complementary cooperating halves, and means interconnected to said halves and operable to move the same laterally toward and from each other to vary the circumference of packages formed by passing said sheet material through said tube, in combination with bridging guide means extending transversely between the receiving ends of said halves of said tube and guide shoulder means to provide a continuous guide surface upon and between said halves when spaced apart for said sheet material to pass over to enter said collar without formation of marring appearances in said sheet material when formed into a package.
2. The forming and filling device according to claim 1 in which said guide means are elongated and have a smooth exterior surface, said means being fixed to one of said halves of said tube and guide shoulder means and movable relative to said other half thereof.
3. The forming and filling device according to claim 2 further including positioning means on said other half engageable with said guide means and operable to maintain said movable portion of said guide means in operative registry with said other half of said tube and guide shoulder means.
4. The forming and filling means according to claim '1 in which said receiving end of said tube and guide shoulder meet in an elongated crest and said bridging guide means is an elongated cylindrical member coextensive with and fixed to said crest on one half of said tube and guide shoulder and movable longitudinally relative to the crest of said other half thereof.
5. The forming and filling means according to claim 4 in which said bridging guide means is formed of flexible wire.
6. The forming and filling means according to claim 4 in which said second half of said tube and shoulder means have a series of slots parallel to and adjacent said elongated crest thereon and said bridging guide means which engages the same having projections extending into and movable relative to said slots to maintain said bridging means in operative position relative to said crest on said second half of said tube and shoulder means.
7. The forming and filling means according to claim 6 in which said bridging guide means is formed from flexible wire and said projections also comprising wire pieces connected at one end to said bridging guide means and extending transversely thereto for projection into said slots.
8. The forming and filling means according to claim 7 in which one of said projections is bent at its terminal end after passing through one of said slots and thereby being operable to prevent separation of said bridging guide means from the portion of said crest relative to which it is operatively positioned, said one of said pro- 7 8 jections and the slot receiving the same also serving as 3,296,770 1/1967 Wilson 9382 XR stop means operable to limit the separative movement of 3,370,517 2/ 1968 Vichos 93-82 said halves of said tube and guide shoulder means.
BERNARD STICKNEY, Primary Examiner.
References Cited 5 U S C X R UNITED STATES PATENTS 53 182 3,122,072 2/1964 Monsees et al 93-82