US 3426812 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1969 E. BRINKLEY ETAL CONTAINER FILLING MACHINE Sheet Filed Aug. 11, 1966 d 2 7 7 HJL. 5
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E. BRINKLEY ETAL 2 3,426,812
CONTAINER FILLING MACHINE I Filed Aug. 11, 1966 Sheet 2 of5 INVENTORS E 42/"! Ban/day, Jo/zzz 5? Doyle,
Feh 1. 1969 a. BRINKLEY ETAL 3,426,812
CONTAINER FILLING MACHINE Filed Aug. 11, 1966 W [Rae/792%- EarZBrdn/dgg John]? Dy United States Patent 3,426,812 CONTAINER FILLING MACHINE Earl Brinkley and John R. Doyle, Davenport, Iowa, as-
signors to The Kartridg Pak Co., Davenport, Iowa, a corporation of Iowa Filed Aug. 11, 1966, Ser. No. 571,913 US. Cl. 141-140 14 Claims Int. Cl. B65b 57/02; G01f 11/16; B65d 3/26 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A rotary multi-station container filling machine characterized by a plurality of open topped measuring cups mounted for reciprocation in apertures in the bottom of a circular bowl which is filled with a liquid product to a predetermined level, the cups being reciprocated by engagement with containers which are to be filled, between a cup filling position, where the open top of a cup is below the level of the liquid in the bowl, and a discharge position, where the top of the cup is above the liquid level, and each cup having a bottom forming dispensing nozzle with a discharge valve operated to empty the filled cup into a container which is in engagement with the bottom of the cup, which dispensing nozzle is telescoped within the cup so as to be adjustable axially, and each cup having an additional nozzle fixed on its bottom end which is normally closed and which is opened upon engagement with the open top of a container positioned beneath the cup.
This invention relates to machines for filling containers with liquid materials and is more particularly concerned with improvements in an automatic filling machine for sequentially filling containers with a measured volume of liquid as the containers successively pass through the machine.
Machines which operate automatically upon delivery of a succession of containers thereto to deliver a premeasured volume of liquid into each successive container as the containers move in a circular path beneath a plurality of peripherally spaced measuring heads have been developed which have been employed successfully in container filling operations. One such machine is disclosed in the co-pending application of Earl Brinkley and E Gordon Young, Ser. No. 344,011, filed Feb. 11, 1964, now Patent No. 3,316,945, dated May 2, 1967, which is a rotary multi-station type machine chracterized by a plurality of measuring cups which are mounted for vertical reciprocation in apertures in the bottom of a circular bowl or tank, the tank being filled with a liquid to a predetermined level and the cups being open at the top and being reciprocated, by engagement with the containers, between a cup filling position where the open top is below the level of the liquid in the bowl and a discharge position where the top of the cup is above the liquid level in the bowl, and each cup having a discharge valve in the bottom thereof which is operated to drain the contents of the cup into the mouth of a container which is in engagement with the bottom of the cup. In the use of this machine removable product displacement inserts have been provided for the cups in order to change the volume of liquid which the cups will hold and adapt the machine for filling containers of different size or for varying the amount of liquid discharged into the containers. This arrangement and other product displacement arrangements which have been suggested have not been entirely satisfactory because of the disadvantages inherent in providing the large number of displacement elements required or the diificulty in accurately adjusting the displacement elements. Accordingly, it is a general object of the invention to provide in 3,426,812 Patented F eb. 11, 1969 ice a machine of this type an improved means for readily changing the volume of liquid which the measuring cups will hold and to otherwise improve the operation and usefulness of the machine.
A more specific object of the invention is to provide in a multi-station rotary-type filling machine for dispensing liquid into a series of successive containers wherein the containers are moved into position beneath a plurality of measuring cups which are mounted in a rotating supply tank in which the liquid is maintained at a constant predetermined level and the cups are reciprocated between an immersed position below the level of the liquid in the tank and a container filling position where the open top of the cup is above the level of the liquid in the tank an improved cup arrangement wherein each cup has a valve which is opened, so as to discharge the contents of the cup through a bottom nozzle into a container and the volume of the cup is adjustable without the use of removable inserts or similar displacement elements.
It is another object of the invention to provide an automatic liquid filling apparatus comprising a rotatably mounted, upwardly opening, cylindrical tank having vertically disposed spaced walls extending about the periphcry with the inner wall being of lesser height than the outer wall so that a supply of liquid may be maintained at a constant level in the tank with excess liquid spilling over the inner wall into a collecting receptacle, the tank having a plurality of measuring cups mounted in spaced apertures in the bottom wall thereof which are each vertically reciprocable between a cup filling position where the top of the cup is below the level of the liquid in the tank and a container filling position where the cup is elevated to bring the top above the level of the liquid in the tank by engaging the open top of a container to .be filled with the lower end of the cup and raising the container to a predetermined position, each cup having a bottom forming dispensing nozzle with a cam operated ball valve and the nozzle being adjustable axially of the cup so as to vary the depth of the cups and thereby the amount of liquid the cup will hold.
It is a further object of the invention to provide in an automatic liquid dispensing apparatus for filling containers with a measured quantity of the liquid having an upwardly opening cylindrical tank with means for maintaining therein a supply of liquid at a constant predetermined level, and a plurality of cylindrical measuring cups mounted in spaced apertures in the bottom wall of the tank which are each reciprocable between a position where the top of the cup is below the level of the liquid in the tank and a position where the cup is elevated to bring the top above the level of the liquid in the tank, an improved cup arrangement wherein a bottom forming dispensing nozzle is telescoped within each cup so as to be adjustable axially of the cup with a valve incorporated in the nozzle which is operative to discharge the liquid through the bottom of the cup into a container positioned beneath the cup and an additional nozzle fixed on the bottom end of the cup and having a valve which is normally closed and which is Open upon engagement with the open top of a container positioned beneath the cup.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from a consideration of the machine which is shown by way of illustration in the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of the filling machine which incorporates the principles of the invention, with portions of the machine being broken away;
FIGURE 2 is a partial vertical section taken on the line 22 of FIGURE 1, a larger scale;
FIGURE 3 is a partial vertical section taken on the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1, to a still larger scale;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary side elevational view taken on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a cross section taken on the line 55 of FIGURE 3, to a larger scale;
FIGURE 6 is a vertical section taken on the line 66 of FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 is a bottom view taken on the line 77 of FIGURE 3, to a larger scale;
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary vertical section taken on line 88 of FIGURE 7;
FIGURE 9 is an elevation showing a tool adapted to be used in adjusting the position of the nozzle assembly in the cup, with portions broken away;
FIGURE 10 is a view taken on the line 10-10 of FIG- URE 9, to an enlarged scale; and
FIGURE 11 is a partial vertical section taken on the line 11-11 of FIGURE 10.
Referring to the drawings, there is illustrated a liquid dispensing machine which has been found especially useful in connection with the filling of liquid products into aerosol-type containers. The use of the machine is, however, not limited to the filling of any particular type of container or to the dispensing of any particular liquid material.
The machine comprises a hollow base assembly 10 (FIGURES 1 and 2) of generally cylindrical shape having a vertically disposed central hub 11 on which there is rotatably mounted, by means of vertically spaced bearings 12 and 12, a ring-like platform support 13. The platform support 13 has an upwardly facing, horizontally disposed annular surface 14 on which a plurality of circumferentially spaced container receiving platform support members 15 are mounted. The platform support ring 13 also carries a bowl-like liquid supply tank or reservoir 16 and associated measuring and dispensing cup assemblies 17 disposed above the platform support members 15. The platform support ring 13 is provided with a ring gear 18 which is driven by a pinion 19 on the top end of a vertical drive shaft 20. The drive shaft 20 is mounted in the bearing formation 21 in the base assembly 10 and at its lower end has a shear pin connection 22 with a motor 23 mounted on a bracket 24 within the base 10. This provides a direct drive for rotating the turret-like support member 13.
The base assembly 10 supports at one side of the machine an infeed and outfeed conveyor assembly 25 (FIGURE 1) for delivering the empty containers C to the platform support members 15 at the entry side of the supporting turret 13 and for removing them at the discharge side of the turrent after they traverse the circular path of the turret and receive a charge of liquid, The conveyor assembly 25 comprises an endless belt or chain and plate type conveyor having an upper run 26 on which the containers C are delivered to a star wheel 27 which carries the containers C from the conveyor run 26 across a horizontally disposed supporting plate 28 to the platform supports 15. The star wheel 27 is supported on the upper end of a vertical shaft 29. A helical container spacing screw assembly 30 extends along the side of the conveyor run 26 for spacing the containers for delivery to the pockets of the star wheel 27. The conveyor run 26 extends generally tangential to the path of the turret 13 and the filled containers are delivered from the turret back to the same conveyor by a star wheel 31 which is like the star wheel 27 and is mounted on a vertically disposed shaft 32 on the opposite side of a horizontally disposed edge or side guide member 34. The guide member 34 provides two semi-circular surfaces 35 and 36 which form the outer periphery of the path for the containers as they move around the star wheels 27 and 31. The guide member 34 has an adjustable inner section 37 which is pivotally mounted at 38 and which is adjustable by means of a rotating cam 39 for accommodating containers of different diameters so as to insure that they are properly positioned on the platform members 15 when delivered thereto by the star wheel 27. The star wheel shafts 29 and 32 are supported in vertically disposed bearing formations 40 and 41 on a side extension of the base assembly 10 and these shafts carry at their lower ends sprockets 42 and 43 which are connected by a chain 44 with a sprocket 45 on the main drive shaft 20. The chain 44 also drives the sprocket 46 on a vertically disposed stub shaft 47 and a tightener sprocket 48, The shaft 47 has a sprocket 49 which is connected by a chain 50 with a sprocket 51 on the lower end of a vertically disposed drive shaft 52. A right angle connector at the upper end of the shaft 52 provides a driving connection with the container spacing screw 30.
The platform members or assemblies 15 each comprise a horizontally disposed container supporting plate 54 having a depending stem 55 which is slidably mounted in one of a plurality of vertically disposed bearing forming bores 56 spaced about the outer margin of the turret member 13. The stems 55 each carry a cam follower roller 57 on the lower end thereof which cam follower 57 is adapted to ride on the track formed by a top edge of a cylindrical platform cam 58. The cam 58 is mounted in fixed position on the edge of the top face 59 of the base assembly 10. A guide rod 60 depends from an inner end of each of the plates 54 and is received in sliding relation in a vertically disposed guide forming bore 61 in the turret member 13.
The bowl or tank forming assembly 16 has a circular aperture 64 in the center and an outer liquid receiving annular trough 65 extending about the peripheral margin which opens upwardly. The bowl assembly 16 is connected to the turret forming support member 13 by a series of depending pins 66 which are received in sliding relation in hollow vertical posts 67, the latter projecting upwardly of the surface 14 of the turret member 13. The bowl or tank assembly 16 has an outer wall 68 which rises a predetermined distance above the top edge 70 of an inner wall 71. An inwardly extending, downwardly inclined rim section 72 extends from the inner wall edge 70 to the center opening 64 so that when liquid in the trough 65 rises above the edge70 of the inner wall 71 will spill over the edge 70 and down the inclined rim surface 72 for discharge through the opening 64 into the top of a funnel-like collecting member 73 which is supported on the top edge of a vertically disposed tubular post 74. The post 74 extends upwardly from the base 13 with its upper end received in the hub 11 and with its lower end closed by a plate 75 having secured on its inner face an upstanding nut-like member 76 in which a supporting rod 77 is threadedly received. The rod 77 is adapted to be rotated to raise and lower the post 74 so as to adjust the upper edge of the funnel member 73 relative to the lower edge of the flange 72 of the bowl assembly 16. The support rod 77 is supported at its lower end in a bearing box 78 and has a gear connection with a linkage 79 extending to the wall of the base assembly 10 and receiving a handle 80 for manually rotating the same so as to turn the support rod 77 and raise and lower the post 74. The funnel member 73 has a discharge opening 81 at the bottom end thereof to which a discharge hose 82 is connected for draining off the liquid which spills over into the funnel member 73 and returning it to the liquid supply. A top cover member 83 is provided for the assembly 16 which has a depending hub-like sleeve forming section 84 at the center for mounting the same on the upper post forming portion 85 of a supporting bracket 86. The bracket 86 has a plurality of outwardly and downwardly inclined legs 87 with the lower ends thereof seated on a shelf forming flange 88 defining a cylindrical section 89 at the lower center of the funnel member 73. The cover member 83 has a series of removable sections 90 providing ready access to the inside of the bowl assembly 16. The post forming portion 85 of the bracket 86 is hollow and accommodates a conduit 91 5 through which fluid is delivered to the trough 65 in the bowl assembly 16.
The bowl assembly 16 is provided around its periphery with a series of measuring cup and valve assemblies 17, each of which comprises a cylindrical section forming a cup member 92 having an open upper end and a ring-like clamp member 93 at the lower end. The ring member 93 constitutes a part of a cap assembly 95 which is provided with a pair of oppositely disposed, radially extending protuberances 96 each having a vertical bore 97 for receiving a guide forming pin 98. The guide pins 98 depend from the bottom wall 100 of the bowl assembly 16. The cup 92 is mounted for vertical movement within a sleeve 101 which is fixed in an aperture 102 in the bottom wall 100. A bellows forming member 103 has its lower edge clamped in the aperture 102 by the sleeve 101. The upper edge of the bellows 103 is secured about the top margin of the cup 92. The bellows member 103 may be formed of any suitable material which is resistant to the liquids with which the apparatus is employed and which is adapted to form an impervious, expansible shield between the top edge of the cup 92 and the bottom wall of the trough so that the cup 92 may be raised and lowered without liquid escaping through the aperture 102. The ring member 93 telescopes over the lower end of the cup 92 and clamps in place on the cup bottom a cap forming nozzle assembly 104 with an O-ring seal 104'. The assembly 104 includes a disc-like plate member 105 with the uppermost surface tapered downwardly and inwardly toward the vertical axis of the cup 92 and terminating at a discharge opening 106 which is normally closed by a ball valve 107. The ball valve 107 is mounted on the top side of a cross bar or rod 108 which extends in bridging relation above a center opening 109 of the same size as opening 106 and provided in a bottom ball carriage forming member 110 which is in the form of a circular plate or disc-shaped to fit against the bottom face of the plate member 105 and suspended below the same by connecting compression springs 111 spaced about the periphery thereof. The ball valve 107 is normally held by the springs 111 in position to close the opening 106 and cut off any discharge of fluid through the same. It is moved to open position when a container is raised so that the rim of the top opening engages the bottom face of the bottom plate member 110 and lifts the same together with the valve ball 107 permitting passage of fluid through the aligned openings 106 and 109.
A main nozzle and valve assembly 115 is mounted in axially adjustable, telescoped relation in the cylindrical cup member 92 and normally determines, by its axial position, the volume of liquid received in the cup for discharge into a container positioned beneath the cup. The nozzle assembly 115 comprises slidably connected top and bottom members 116 and 117. The top member 116 which is generally cylindrical has a maximum diameter at the top face which is somewhat less than the inside diameter of the cylindrical cup 92. A peripheral flange 118 adjacent the top face has a depending peripheral wall 120 which tapers toward the vertical axis of the member. The flange 118 provides an inwardly extending, downwardly facing shoulder 121 which terminates at the upper edge of a downwardly extending cylindrical surface 122, the lower end portion 123 of which is offset inwardly. The top member 116 has an axial bore 124, the walls of which extend downwardly of the top face to an inwardly tapered funnel-shaped portion 125 which merges into a double wing key hole slot 126, the latter forming a bottom opening. The bottom member 117 has a cylindrical body with an interior wall portion 127 which is slidable telescoped over the exterior side wall 122 of the top member 116 and which has an inwardly offset lower portion 128 telescoping with exterior wall portion 123. A seal forming assembly 129 is trapped between the walls 127 and 123. The member 117 has a bottom wall 130 with a center bore forming a discharge aperture 131. The bore 131 is aligned with the center portion of the key hole opening 126 when the members are assembled. The member 117 has an outwardly extending top peripheral flange 133 with circumferentially spaced apertures 134 which receive in sliding relation hanger bolts 135, depending from the bottom face of the peripheral flange 1-18 on the upper assembly member 116, the threaded upper ends of the bolts 135 being received in threaded, vertically extending bores provided in the flange 118. Compression springs 136 are provided on the hanger bolts 135 which normally urge the bottom member 117 upwardly toward the top member 116. The bottom member 117 supports at the outermost edge of the flange 133, in a peripheral recess 137, a seal forming circular band member 138 which has the general form of a truncated cone with a wall section which is wedge shaped so that the internal and external surfaces taper from the lowermost end of smallest diameter upwardly and outwardly to the uppermost end of largest diameter. The sealing band 137 which is of Teflon or other rubber-like material having similar stretch characteristics is of a size and is arranged so that the relatively thin sectioned upper margin engages the upper margin of the upwardly tapered outer wall 120 of the member 11 6 and is urged by the normal upward pressure of the springs 136 into wedged sealing relation between the top peripheral edge of the member 116 and the inside wall surface of the cup 92, thereby anchoring the assembly in position within the cup 92. The normal maximum diameter of the sealing ring 137 is less than the internal diameter of the cup 92 and the ring will contract to its normal diameter when the axial pressure exerted by the springs 136 is relieved, as hereinafter described, so that the assembly 115 may be adjusted to the desired axial position in the cup 92. The discharge opening 131 in the bottom member 117 is made the proper size for cooperation with a ball valve 140 which is mounted on the bottom end of a vertically disposed rod 141, the uppermost edge of the opening 131 serving as a valve seat for the ball 140. The rod 141 extends upwardly through an aperture 142 provided in the top wall member 83 with its threaded upper end extending through a threaded vertical bore 143 in a block 144 on which a cam follower roller 145 is mounted. The block 144 is provided with a vertical bore 146 for receiving a vertically disposed guide rod 147 which extends upwardly of the top surface of the cover member 83 and which carries a compression spring 148 for limiting the upward movement of the block 144. The cam follower roller 145 is adapted to ride on the track forming top edge 150 of a cylindrical plate cam 151 which is mounted on the upper end of the bracket 86. When the cam roller 145 is engaged with the cam track 150 the ball valve member 140 is raised so as to open the discharge passageway 131 at the bottom of the nozzle assembly 115. When the cup assembly is not raised by upward movement of a container positioned beneath the cup assembly the cam roller 145 passes beneath the cam plate 151 and there is no valve operation so that the contents of the cup is not discharged. The valve rod 141 is provided with a sleeve member 152 which encompasses an upper portion of the rod 141 and has a threaded connection with the same so that rotation of the sleeve 152 moves the same axially on the rod 141 or raises and lowers the same thereon. The sleeve 152 functions as an additional fine adjustment for varying the volume of liquid which is received in the cup 92 when it is lowered to bring the upper edge below the level of the liquid in the trough 65.
The cam track forming plate member 151 at the top of the machine extends circumferentially of the turret from a point just beyond the entry point of the containers from the star wheel 27 to a point short of where the containers are removed by the star wheel 31. The track forming upper edge 150 of the cam plate 151 is at a level sufiicient' to raise the valve ball 140 for opening the valve after the valve assembly 115 has been elevated by upward movement of the platform member 15 and engagement of the mouth of the container C with the cap assembly 95 so as to empty the contents of the cup 92 into the container C while all the elements are in the raised position.
In using the apparatus, liquid is supplied to the trough 65 through the conduit 91 so as to fill it level with the upper edge 70 of the inner wall 71 and to maintain it in filled condition with the excess spilling over the edge 70 and into the drainage cup or funnel 73 from which it is returned to the supply line. The containers C are delivered successively to the platform members 15 by operation of the star wheel 27 and each container is positioned under a measuring cup assembly 17, the latter being aligned vertically above the platform members 15. As the turret member 13 advances, the successive platform members 15 are raised by engagement of the cam rollers 57 with the platform cam 58. Raising the platform member 15 moves the container C upwardly to engage the open mouth thereof beneath the bottom end member 93 of the cup assembly 17. The cup assembly 17 is normally held with the top edge of the cup 92 below the level of the liquid in the trough 65 so that the cup 92 is normally filled with liquid. As the platform members 15 are raised and the containers C are elevated so as to elevate the cup assembly 17, the top edge of the cup 92 moves to a position above the level of the liquid in the trough 65 which results in a metered amount of the liquid being trapped in the cup 92. As the turret 13 rotates the cam follower roller 145 engages on the top surface 150 cam ring or plate 151 and the valve ball 140 is lifted to allow the liquid in the cup to discharge into the container C beneath the same. As the container C is moved around the turret and approaches the star wheel 31 for discharge from the platform member 15 the cam follower 145 moves off of the end of the cam track 150 and drops the valve ball 140 to close the passageway 131. The platform member 15 is then lowered by the configuration of the cam ring 58 so as to permit the cup assembly 17 to drop to its lowermost position where the top edge of the cup 92 is below the level of the liquid in the trough 65 and the cup 92 is refilled for the next dispensing operation. The platform member 15 has sufficient movement relative to the bottom end of the cup assembly 17 to release the container C for removal from the turret by the star wheel 31 when the platform member 15 is lowered to its bottom position.
Adjustment of the axial position of the nozzle assembly 115 in the cup 92 to vary the amount of liquid dispensed by the cup is accomplished by forcing the two nozzle members 116 and 117 apart in an axial direction so as to permit the sealing band or ring 138 to contract and free the assembly 115 for movement. This may be done with the use of the tool 160 which is shown in FIGURES 8 and 9. The tool 160 comprises an elongate tube forming a cylindrical housing member 161, having a bottom end portion 162 of reduced cross section, within which there is slidably mounted a pressure applying inner rod 163 having a pivotal connection at 164 with a handle member 165 at the top end of the tool. The handle member 165 has the end thereof pivoted at 166 to upstanding ears 167 on the end of a co-operating handle member 168 fixed on the top end of the housing member 161. At the bottom end the housing member 161 has a plug forming member 170 secured thereon with an axial bore, the top portion 171 of which has a cross sectional diameter slightly greater than the corresponding dimension of the inner pressure applying rod 163 so as to form a guide for the bottom end of the latter and with a lower portion 172 of larger cross sectional diameter in which a tip forming member 173, which is secured on the bottom end of rod 163, is slidably received. The plug member 170 has integral, oppositely disposed ears 174 which project radially and engage beneath the bottom face of the top member 116 of the nozzle assembly 115 when the bottom end of the tool 160 is inserted or lowered into the nozzle member 116 so that the ears 174 pass through the key hole slot 126 and then rotated about the vertical axis. The tip forming member 173 has a downwardly extending, cylindrical button formation 175 of somewhat less cross-sectional diameter than the diameter of the opening 131 in the bottom member 117 of the nozzle assembly which terminates at a downwardly facing shoulder 176 which is adapted to bear against the bottom wall and force the two nozzle members 116 and 117 apart when the handle members 165 and 168 are gripped so as to apply axial pressure to the rod 163. In using the tool the valve rod 141 and associated parts are removed from the aperture 142 in the tank cover or top wall 83 and the smaller end of the tool 160 is lowered into the cup 92 and the nozzle assembly 115 until the end 175 of the tip 173 is seated on the opening 131. The tool is rotated about its axis to bring the ears 174 between the bottom wall portions of the two members 116 and 117 after which the handle members and 168 are squeezed to apply axial pressure to the rod 163 which forces the members 116 and 117 apart against the action of springs 136 and allows the wedging band or sealing ring 138 to contract, freeing the assembly 115 for axial movement and enabling the position thereof to be changed relative to the top edge of the cup 92. A calibrated scale 177 is provided on the tool housing 161 to indicate the volume of liquid measured by the cup at different positions of the nozzle assembly 115. The tool elements are, of course, made the proper size to pass through the aperature 142 which acts as a guide for holding the tool in proper position for engagement with the nozzle members. The sealing ring 138 expands as soon as the handle members 165 and 168 are released and the nozzle assembly 115 is again in fixed position in the cup 92.
While particular materials and specific details of construction are referred to in describing the illustrated form of the apparatus, it will be understood that other materials and different structural details may be employed within the spirit of the invention.
1. A machine for filling containers with a measured quantity of a liquid material, which machine comprises a horizontally disposed liquid supply bowl mounted for rotation about a vertical axis, said supply bowl having an upwardly opening, annular trough for receiving a quantity of the liquid, and means for supplying liquid to the trough so as to fill the trough and maintain the level of the liquid at a predetermined height, a plurality of measuring and dispensing cup assemblies mounted in peripherally spaced relation in the trough, each of said assemblies comprising a vertically disposed cylindrical cup having an open top and a nozzle assembly positioned for adjustment axially in the cup, which nozzle assembly has an axial passageway in the bottom with a discharge valve for opening and closing said passageway, said cup being mounted for vertical movement in a vertically extending bore in the bottom of the annular trough between a lowered position where the top of the cup is below the level of the liquid and a raised position where the top of the cup is above the level of the liquid so as to trap in the cup a measured quantity of the liquid when the cup is moved from lowered to raised position, means for delivering successive open top containers to be filled to supports beneath the cup assemblies, means for thereafter raising the container supports to bring the tops of the containers into engagement with the bottom ends of the cup assemblies and to raise the cups so as to bring the open tops thereof above the level of the liquid in the trough, and means for Operating the discharge valves in the cups while the cups are in raised position to discharge the contents thereof into the containers.
2. A machine for filling successive containers with a measured quantity of a liquid, said machine comprising a horizontally disposed liquid supply receptacle having an upwardly opening annular trough for receiving the liquid, and means for supplying liquid to the trough so.
as to maintain the liquid at a predetermined level therein, a plurality of measuring and dispensing cup assemblies mounted in peripherally spaced relation in the trough, each of said cup assemblies comprising a vertically disposed cylindrical cup member having a vertically extending interior wall, an open top and a restricted passageway in the bottom with a valve which is operable upon engagement of an open topped container with the bottom of the cup assembly for opening and closing said passageway, said cup member having a vertically adjustable nozzle assembly therein with a discharge valve, said cup member being mounted for vertical movement in a vertical bore in the bottom of the annular trough between a lowered position where the top of the cup is immersed in the liquid and a raised position where the top of the cup is above the level of the liquid so as to fill the cup with a measured quantity of the liquid when the cup is moved from the lowered to the raised position, means for delivering successive open topped containers to be filled beneath the cup assemblies, means for thereafter raising successive containers to engage the tops thereof with the bottom ends of the cup assemblies so as to raise the same and bring the open tops thereof above the level of the liquid in the supply receptacle, and means for operating the discharge valves in the nozzle assemblies in the cup members while they are in raised position so as to discharge the contents of the cups into the containers.
3. A machine as recited in claim 2, and said vertically adjustable nozzle assembly comprising a ring member with a peripheral wall adapted to be positioned in oppositely disposed relation to said interior wall of said cup member, a second ring member connected therewith and an expandable sealing band of flexible material disposed about the peripheral wall of said first mentioned ring member which is jammed between said peripheral wall and the interior Wall of the cup member so as to anchor the nozzle assembly in fixed position by movement of said ring members toward each other.
4. A machine as recited in claim 3, and said ring members being spring urged toward each other so as to force said sealing band into wedging engagement between the oppositely disposed walls of said first ring member and the cup member.
5. A machine as recited in claim 4, and said ring members having wall forming portions which are in spaced planes extending transversely of the axis of the cup member so as to receive therebetween a tool adapted to force the members away from each other and thereby release the nozzle assembly for adjustment of its position in said cup member.
6. A machine as recited in claim 3, and said sealing band having a Wedge shaped cross section.
7. A machine as recited in claim 3, and said first mentioned ring member having a peripheral wall which is inclined toward the axis of the cap member.
8. A machine as recited in claim 2, and said nozzle assembly comprising co-operating ring members each having an exterior peripheral flange connected by a tubular section to a bottom forming transverse wall member, a tubular sealing band of flexible expandable material carried on the flange of one of said ring members, said ring members being disposed in partially telescoping relation in said cup member with the sealing band engaging between the peripheral edge of the flange on the other ring member and the interior wall of the cup member so as to expand and form a seal therebetween when the ring members are moved in a direction toward each other.
9. A machine as recited in claim 8, and spring members urging said ring members toward each other to normally hold said nozzle assembly in a fixed position in said cup member.
10. A machine as recited in claim 2, and the valve in said restricted passageway in the bottom of said cup member being in the form of a ball adapted to be seated in closing relation in the inner end of said passageway and a carrier for said ball which is reciprocably mounted and spring urged downwardly so as to normally seat said ball in closing relation in the end of said passageway.
11. A machine as recited in claim 2, and the valve for opening and closing said restricted passageway comprising a valve ball adapted to seat on the inner end of said passageway and a ball carrier mounted for vertical reciprocation below the bottom end of said cup member so as to be engaged and raised to unseat said valve ball when a container is raised into engagement with the bottom of said cup member.
12. A machine as recited in claim 11, and said ball carrier being connected to the bottom end of the cup member by compression springs.
13. A machine as recited in claim 2, and said nozzle assembly comprising two ring members having telescoping tube sections with transverse bottom forming walls which are spaced apart and which have aligned apertures for discharging liquid therethrough, the aperture in the uppermost bottom wall having a key hole form so as to permit the end of a tool to be inserted therein and rotated to a position between said bottom walls for prying the ring members apart.
14. A container filling machine which comprises a liquid supply bowl having an annular trough and means for maintaining a supply of liquid therein at a predetermined level, said bowl having a plurality of openings in the bottom of the trough and a plurality of measuring and dispensing cup assemblies reciprocably mounted in said openings, each of said cup assemblies comprising a cylindrical measuring cup having an open top which is movable between a lowered position below the level of the liquid and a raised positon above the level of the liquid and a capped bottom end with the bottom end protruding through the bottom of the bowl, a flexible seal between the top of the cup and the opening in the bottom of the trough for preventing the passage of liquid therethrough, means forming an axial discharge passageway in the cap on the bottom of the cup which terminates at a ball valve seat, a valve ball mounted on a carriage member which is supported for vertical movement at the bottom of the cup, a valve assembly adjustably mounted in each said cup which forms an adjustable bottom therefor so as to vary the volume of liquid which the cup will accommodate above said valve assembly, container supporting platforms aligned below each of the valve assemblies and means for raising and lowering the platforms so as to engage the open tops of containers thereon with the bottom ends of said cup assemblies thereby to raise said cup assemblies, means for delivering containers to be filled to the platforms and for taking the filled containers away, and means associated with the adjustable valve assemblies in the cups for opening the same when the cup assemblies are raised so as to discharge the liquid trapped in the cups.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,534,997 12/1950 Smith 141276 X 2,904,221 9/1959 Carter 141-147 X 3,316,945 5/1967 Brinkley et al. 141--140 FOREIGN PATENTS 664,967 4/1929 France.
SAMUEL ROTHBERG, Primary Examiner.
EDWARD J. EARLS, Assistant Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.