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Publication numberUS3439473 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 22, 1969
Filing dateMay 9, 1966
Priority dateMay 20, 1965
Publication numberUS 3439473 A, US 3439473A, US-A-3439473, US3439473 A, US3439473A
InventorsFocke Heinz, Liedtke Kurt
Original AssigneeFocke Pfuhl Verpack Automat
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for wrapping rectangular packages
US 3439473 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 22, 1969 H FQCKE ET AL 3,439,473

APPARATUS FOR WRAPPING RECTANGULAR PACKAGES Sheet Filqma 9, 1966 INVENTORS Hem: Fo'cke 8 a3 3 an 42 Ku rt Liedtke W," @447 ATTORNEY H. FOCKE ET L Sheet L of 5 IN V'EN T0 RS Heinz Focke 8 K u rt Liedtke ATTORNEY April 22, 1969 APPARATUS FOR WRAPPING RECTANGULAR PACKAGES Filed Ma 's. 1 966 H. FOCKE ET AL April 22, 1969 APPARATUS FOR WRAPPING RECTANGULAR PACKAGES Sheet 7 Filed May 9, 1966 i an Fig-4 INVENTORS 'HBIIIZ Focke 8| Kurt Liedtke BY W4 ATTORNEY April 22, 1969 I F E ET'AL v 3,439,473

APPARATUS FOR WRAPPING RECTANGULAR PACKAGES Heinz Focke 8 Kurt Lied tke ATTDRNEY April 22, 1969 FQCKE ETAL 3,439,473

APPARATUS FOR WRAPPING RECTANGULAR PACKAGES FiledMayQ, 1966 Sheet .2 015 INVENTORS Heinz Fockca Kurt Licdtke rron/war United States Patent O 3,439,473 APPARATUS FOR WRAPPING RECTANGULAR PACKAGES Heinz Focke and Kurt Liedtke, Verden (Aller), Germany, assignors to Focke & Pfuhl, Verden (Aller), Germany Filed May 9, 1966, Ser. No. 548,485 Claims priority, application Germany, May 20, 1965,

46,103; Feb. 1, 1966, F 48,309

Int. Cl. B65b 11/32, 49/12 US. Cl. 53-234 25 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This disclosure relates to an apparatus for continuous and complete wrapping and sealing of film blanks around block-like articles, more particularly packages, such as cigarette packages, wherein the film blank is folded around the package during transport, forming a tube by folding over tubular flaps, and is finally sealed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Description of the prior art It is customary to wrap packages, more particularly cigarette packages, in prepared film blanks, as follows: the blank is first folded around the package to form a tube and the projecting tabs at the lateral surfaces of the package are then folded and heat sealedat that point. The enveloping of cigarette packages has hitherto usually been performed discontinuously, that is, the package is stopped at the individual folding stations to perform folding operations.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In summary, the apparatus of this invention is a device for forming a sealed film wrapping around blocklike articles. The device comprises means for folding a film blank around an article; means for partially heat sealing the superimposed flaps together; means for folding the lateral edges of the wrapping to form upper and lower superimposed flaps; and means for completely heat sealing the superimposed flaps to form a sealed wrapping. Each of these means transorts the articles received continuously, performing the particular folding and heat sealing functions without stopping the movement of the articles.

It is the object of this invention to provide an apparatus for continuously wrapping packages in film blanks, wherein the entire wrapping process and heat sealing of the film takes place continuously.

The apparatus according to this invention is characterized by at least one continuously-driven folding wheel with radially projecting receiving pockets, each for one package, disposed at equal angular intervals, by which the packages can be received consecutively and further transported with simultaneous folding of the upper tubular flap onto the package. The individual packages are, according to the invention, accepted and further transported by the receiving pocket of a folding wheel, and the upper tubular flap is simultaneously folded onto the ice package during introduction of the packages into the receiving pockets.

According to the invention the folding wheel is followed by a second folding wheel which is likewise provided with radially projecting receiving pockets to receive one package at a time from the receiving pocket f the first folding wheel, the receiving pockets of the second folding wheel being constructed with a fixed folding edge whereby the lower tubular flap can be folded onto the rear end face and onto the already folded upper tubular fiap during transfer of the package. The two folding wheels have opposite directions of rotation.

The folding stations are then followed additionally by two sealing stations wherein the packages, now finally folded and completely wrapped, are continuously sealed. According to one exemplary embodiment of the invention, this purpose is achieved by endless driven heating bands against which the packages come into contact by the finally folded tabs.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the folding wheels are followed by sealing wheels which are provided with sealing pockets disposed at the periphery, each to receive one package, the folded fiaps of the film blank being heat scalable during transport of the packages by the sealing wheels.

It is preferably provided that one of the two folding Wheels and one of the two sealing wheels are disposed above the other, respectively, in such a way that the packages travel a transport path embracing approximately a semicircular are on each folding wheel or sealing wheel. This arrangement is especially favorable because the feeding and removal of the packages can proceed in the same plane and in the same direction, the folding and sealing of the film blank being effected meanwhile on comparatively long and substantially circular arcuate paths.

Further aims and features of the invention are explained in further detail hereinbelow with reference to exemplary embodiments illustrated in the drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote same or equivalent parts throughout the figures thereof and wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows a schematic side elevation of an apparatus according to the invention with certain outer elements omitted to expose interior elements to view.

FIG. 2 shows a top view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 with the elements omitted therein being shown.

FIG. 3 shows a side elevation of the folding components of one embodiment of this invention with certain outer elements omitted to expose interior parts to view.

FIG. 4 shows a partial section of the first folding wheel taken on the line IVIV of FIGURE 3.

FIG. 5 shows a section of the second folding wheel taken on the line VV of FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 shows a schematic side elevation of another embodiment according to this invention with sealing wheels, partially sectioned; and with certain outer elements omitted to expose interior parts to view.

FIG. 7 shows a section of the sealing wheels according to this invention taken along the lines VIIVII of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8. shows a detail of the first sealing wheel in section.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The subject of the invention is a fully automatic, continuously operating apparatus for the progressive enveloping of packages 12, more particularly cigarette packages, in a film 14, or in a film blank 14a in each case. The apparatus embraces a plurality of stations through which the packages 12 travel continuously and wherein the film is folded consecutively about the package and finally sealed.

Referring to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, in the folding station A, the film blank 14a is first folded around the continuously moving package 12 in U-shaped conformation; then end flaps 17 of the blank 14a located in front and in the transport direction are folded onto the lateral surfaces of the package (see FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 on the left). Then the package 12 is fed to the second folding station E, wherein an upper tubular flap 18 of the film blank is folded onto the rear end face of the package. The associated lower tubular flap 26 is next folded onto the rear surface of the package and onto the upper tubular flap 18 in the third folding station C and is preliminarily sealed. The rear end flaps 44 and the lateral faces are also folded onto the lateral faces in the folding station C. The lateral flaps 14 (at the bottom) and 54 (at the top) which are then still unfolded are folded onto the lateral surfaces of the package in the fourth folding station D, which follows the folding station C. The packages, being finally wrapped to this extent, are then passed through two sealing stations E and F. In these stations the film is heat sealed or resealed, so that it can no longer become detached from the package.

In the first folding station A the individual packages are transported consecutively upon a first planar track 22. The latter is constructed centrally with a slot 2211 through which equally spaced entraining means 11 on an endless entraining chain each engage and grip a package 12 approximately centrally by its rear end face. The entraining means 11 feed the individual packages through the first folding station A and toward the second folding station B due to the continuous movement of the entraining chain 10 along the packaging path 22.

The film blank 14a, in which packages 12 are to be wrapped, is prepared and kept in readiness in a folding apparatus 13. In the folding apparatus 13 a film 14 is continuously drawn from a reel and fed through transport rollers 42 to the packaging path 22 in such a way that the film blanks 14a to be severed by rotary knives 43 are kept in readiness for each package in a plane transversely to the transport plane of the package 12 and are folded in U-shaped conformation around the package by the transport movement of the latter. The film 14 or the film blank 14a is guided and transported positively by a suction transport shaft 15. The packages 12 are moved transversely through the suction transport shaft 15 and, in so doing, each entrain a film blank 14a.

Immediately behind the suction transport shaft 15, stationary bar or cam folders 16 are disposed on both sides of the movement path of the packages 12 and, by virtue of the movement of the packages with the film blanks, fold the front end flaps 17 of the blank 14a over onto the lateral surfaces of the package 12 (FIG. 2).

In this stage of folding, the individual packages are fed continuously to the second folding station B. The latter is constructed in a special manner according to this invention. It comprises a first folding wheel 19 which is driven by means for continuous rotation. The folding wheel 19 is constructed in such a way that the individual packages are accepterd continuouslv by the folding wheel in order to perform the further folding without the passage velocity of the packages being changed. For this purpose. the folding wheel 19 is provided with a plurality of radially projecting first receiving pockets 21, which are intended each to receive a package 12, the pockets being spaced at equal angular intervals around the periphery thereof. It is essential in this respect that the peripheral velocity of the receiving pockets 21 coincides with the transport velocity of the entraining means 11 and hence of the packages 12. The latter can thus be accepted from the entraining means 11 by the receiving pockets 21 and furth r transported without interruption. The transport path of the individual packages which is provided by the first track means 22 adjoins the folding wheel 19 tangentially so that the receiving pockets 21 descend from behind and above onto the package during rotation of the folding wheel. The track means 22 is then arcuately curved over a region of approximately a circular quadrant. In this region the packaging path is also reduced in width, as shown in FIG. 2.

Referring to the more detailed illustration in FIG. 3, in order to transfer the packages 12 from the entraining means 11 to the first receiving pockets 21, the first entraining chain 10 is passed in a circular arcuate conformation for a short distance beneath the packaging path 22 in the region of the folding wheel 19 until the entraining chain 10 revolves downwardly about a return wheel 28 to a further return wheel 29. By this construction, special velocity conditions for the packages and for the receiving pockets 21 respectively are obtained as compared with the entraining means 11. Since the receiving pockets 21 revolve at the same circumferential velocity as the entraining means 11 in the region of the first track means, during transition of the packages 12 from the linear movement into the movement along a circular are by the receiving pockets 21, the velocity at the underside of the package, namely in the region of the tubular flap 26, becomes greater than at the upper side of the package 12 by the ratio of the radii R and R from the center of the folding wheel 19. The upper side of the package 12 has a velocity of the entraining means 11 in the region of the rectilinear movement, so the velocity of the package at the underside and in the intermediate region is greater than that of the entraining means 11. The entraining means 11 have a decelerated velocity corresponding to the radius R in the region of the circular arcu-ate conformation. By virtue of these kinematic relations, the package 12 is transferred correctly from the entraining means 11 to the receiving pockets 21 in accordance with this invention.

According to the invention, the shape of the receiving pockets 21 on the first disc wheels 19 is also essential. Each receiving pocket is equipped with a movable inward folding means 23 which is pivotally mounted lever rockable counter to the bias of a tension spring 75. At the end of the inward folder 23 there is located a folding plate 25 which, in the position of engagement of the inward folder (receiving pockets 21 located on the right-hand side of wheel 19) grips the rear end face of the package 12 and entrains the latter. The receiving pocket has a leading projection which cooperates with the inward folder to hold the package. When the package is accepted by the receiving pocket 21 from the entraining means 11, namely in the bottom position of the receiving pocket, the inward folder 23 is simultaneously rocked radially outwards and thereby folds the upper tubular flap 18 onto the rear end face of the package 12, simultaneously gripping and entraining the latter. A further folding of the film blank 14a is thereby performed.

The movement of the inward folder 23 is controlled by a stationary cam 24 upon the outer periphery of which is in operating engagement with the cam rollers 31 on each inward folder 25. The cam rollers are secured to the inward folder 23 in each case by a bolt 32. In the region confronting the first track 22 the periphery of the cam 24 has the greatest radial distance from the axis of the folding wheel 19, corresponding to the entraining and folding position of the inward folder 23, as FIG. 3 shows more particularly.

The construction of the first folding wheel 19 according to the invention is shown in FIG. 4. Two first disc wheels 19a and 19b mounted rotatably are provided at a mutual interval on a fixed axis 33 in order to form a first folding wheel 19. Between these discs the cam wheel 24 is mounted fixed. The two disc wheels 19a, 19b are held together by connecting bolts 30. The two disc wheels 19a, 1% are driven by a spur gear wheel 34 which is mounted on the axis 33 and is connected to one of the disc wheels-for example, to the disc wheel 19b.

After the upper tubular tab 18 has been folded over in the region of the folding wheel 19, the packages 12 are entrained upon the arcuately oriented portion of the first track means 22 and are fed to the next packaging station C which likewise comprises a second folding wheel 20. The second folding wheel 20 is constructed in similar manner to the first folding wheel 19, that is, with a plurality of receiving pockets 40 spaced at equal angles around the periphery thereof. The drive of the folding wheel 19 is continuous and is coordinated with the movement of the folding wheel 19 in such a way that the individual packages 12 can be accepted from the receiving pockets 21 of the folding wheel 19 by the receiving pockets 40 of the folding wheel 20. The acceptance proceeds in such a way that the lower and hitherto unfolded tubular flap 26 is simultaneously folded onto the rear end surface of the package and onto the folded tubular tab 18 during entry of the packages 12 into the pockets 40 of the folding wheel 20. The track means 22, which is arcuately shaped in this region, terminates or has an end terminus in the region of the smallest distance between the two folding wheels 19 and 20, i.e., in the region of transfer of the package from one folding wheelto the other. A second track means 38 having a circular arc shape coaxial to the folding wheel 20 has a beginning terminus in this zone. The mutually confronting ends of the packaging paths 22 and 38 have a mutual interval which ensures passage of packages. -In the region of transfer of the packages 12 from the first receiving pockets 211 of the folder 19 to the second receiving pockets 40 of the folding wheel 20, the packaging paths 22 and 38 have a width smaller than the distance between the disc Wheels 19a, 19b and of the disc wheels 20a, 20b constituting the folding wheel 20 (see FIG. 5). Consequently the two folding wheels are able to engage mutually by their receiving pockets 21 and 40 respectively, and at the same time overlap the packaging path 22 or 38 respectively in this region, in such a way that the packages are, according to the invention, accepted continuously and without change of velocity by the receiving pockets 40.

Referring to FIG. 3 and FIG. 5 the receiving pockets 40 of the folding wheel 20 are provided with heated sealing studs 41 which are disposed at a fixed folding edge 39 associated with the sealing pocket 40. When the package 12 is accepted by the receiving pocket 40, the lower tubular flap 26 is folded by the folding edge 39 onto the already folded upper tubular flap 18 and is presealed to the latter by the sealing studs 41, so that the film blank 14a which now surrounds the package in tugular conformation, is sufficiently secure.

Laterally overhanging parts of the film blank 14a now still remain to be folded. For this purpose, there is provided, inter alia, axially to the folding wheel 20, a lateral inward folder means 46 which rotates on the driving shaft 36 of the folding wheel 20, at a higher velocity than the folding wheel 20, and in the same direction of rotation. Folder head means 72 having external surfaces 48 of circular arcuate conformation are fitted at the radial ends of the lateral inward folder 46 comprising the fan wheels 46a, 46b. The folder heads 72 of the lateral inward folder 46 are moved past the lateral surfaces of the packages by the folding wheel 20 during the motion of the packages 12. This causes the rear end flaps 44 to be folded down on both sides of the packages in such a way that they rest upon the lateral surfaces of the package 12 (FIG. 5 at the top). Simultaneously, the lateral inward folder 46 folds the lower lateral flap 47 of the film blank 14:: downwards so that it assumes the position shown in FIG. 5 at the top. In this stage of folding of the film blank 14a, the packages are fed to the further and final folding station D. In order to fold the lower lateral flaps 47 downwards, the folder heads 72 of the lateral inward folders 46 are constructed with a special folding edge 72a located radially upward.

The construction of the second folding wheel 20 is 6 shown in FIG. 5. The two second disc wheels 20a, 20b are disposed at a mutual interval on the driving shafts 36 and together constitute the second folding Wheel 20. The folding edges 39 are formed at the radially external ends of the disc wheels and are equipped with the sealing studs 41. The latter are heated by conventional means in order to effect the preliminary sealing at two points of the film blank 14a after it has been folded together to form a tube. According to the invention, the preliminary sealing is particularly convenient in the case of plastic filmsfor example, polypropylene filmsince such plastic films retain their stress condition even under varying climatic conditions. It is therefore possible to fold a taut envelope with sharp folds and creases.

The two fan wheels 46a, 46b constituting the lateral inward folder 46 are mounted rotatably on the driving shaft 36. They may for example possess three arms extending at equal intervals of or possibly only two. The drive of the fan wheels 46a, 46b relatively to the disc wheels 20a, 20b is effected by way of a separate driving shaft 73 and a chain drive 74. The disc wheels 20a, 205 or the driving shaft 36, are driven by a chain wheel 35". The movement of the fan wheels 46a, 46b may also be reciprocating.

The packages guided by the receiving pockets 40 of the second folding wheel 20 in the region of the folding station C pass into a folding bar track portion 45 adjoining the packaging path 3 8 for final folding. Path 45 is limited by the plane continuing packaging path 38. An endless conveyor, comprising an entrain-ing chain 52 and second entraining means 53 fitted thereon and gripping from above through a slot into the path of movement of the packages, is provided in the region of the folding bar path 45 for further transport of the packages.

Laterally of the rectilinear folding bar path 45, pairs of folding bars 50, 51, 55, 56 are provided in each case. They are mutually coordinated in such a way that the first pair of folding bars 50, 51 folds the upper lateral flap 54, still overhanging, downwardly onto the lateral surface of the package. The lower lateral flap 47 at this time still occupies the position shown during entry of the package into the folding bar path 4 5i.e., at the bottom. The lateral flap 47 is held here by the folder head 72 of the lateral inward folder 46, which travels with it or travels past it as required.

The folder head means 72 are constructed with a circular arcuate external surface 48 at their radially outward end. Surface 48 fits exactly the lower concave boundary surface 49 of the first pair of folding bars 50, 51 so that the package is transferred to the folding bars 50, 51 with the lateral flap 47 folded over downwards and with folded in end flap 44.

After the upper lateral flap 54 has been folded by the folding bars 50*, 51, the package reaches the folding bars 55, 56. Here the lower lateral flap 47 is gradually folded out of the downwardly oriented position onto the upper lateral flap 54 with simultaneous further transport of the package. The film blank 14a has thus been totally folded about the package 12.

Finally, the packages 12, totally enveloped in a film blank 14a, are fed to a first heat sealing station E and to a second heat sealing station F. The first sealing station E comprises a sealing path 57 of the second track means upon which the individual packages 12 are transported by entraining elements '66. The entraining elements are attached to an endless entraining chain 67 running beneath the sealing path 57 and gripped through a longitudinal slot in the sealing path 57 so that the packages 12 are gripped centrally. Heating bands 58 are fitted on both sides of the sealing path 57 and contact the lateral surfaces of the packages, where they seal together the mutually superposed lateral flaps and end flaps. The heating bands 58, which travel over return rollers 59, have the same velocity as the packages 12. Stationary heating bars 60 are provided for heating bands 58 and are located immediately behind the side of the heating bands 58 which confronts the packages 12, so that the heat is transmitted from the heating bars 60 to the packages indirectly through the heating bands 58 but along a short path. Due to the arrangement of heating bands 58 in concomitant motion, the packages have their lateral surfaces contacting the heating bands sufficiently long for adequate heat sealing to be possible. The heating bands 58 also permit a certain elastic contact against the lateral surfaces of the packages.

One particular advantage of heating bands 58 driven in concomitant movement with the packages lies in the possibility of subjecting the same to continual cleaning by stationary scrapers 61, so that the setting of varnish or lacquer condensate is constantly prevented.

The second sealing station F having a second sealing path 63 of the third track means adjoins the sealing path 57 of the feeding station E at a right angle. It serves for final sealing of the presealed tubular flaps 18 and 26. For this purpose an endless driven heating band 69, which is passed over return rollers 70, is provided only on the side upon which the tubular flaps 18, 26 are located. This heating band 69 also cooperates with a stationary heating bar 71 in order to transmit the necessary heat to the mutually superposed tubular flaps. A fixed contact bar 76 for guiding the packages 12 is provided on the side opposite to the heating band 69. The transport of the packages in the region of the sealing station F is effected by third entraining elements 68 which, as in the case of the previous sealing station, are fitted to an endless entraining chain 67 running beneath the sealing path 63.

The packages 12 are transported from the first sealing station E to the second sealing station F by a conventional circular conveyor 62. The said circular conveyor is equipped with a plurality of angular entraining elements 64 each of which grip a package 12 and feed the same without rotation to the second sealing path 63. The packages are therefore transferred without rotation into the sealing path 63 oriented at a right angle to the sealing path 57.

After exit from the second sealing station F, the continuous envelopment of the package in a film blank 14a is complete. All the folding operations have been performed without stopping the package, while at the same time a high passage velocity is possible due to the construction of the individual folding stations according to the invention. The need for the previously used stack tower is obviated in the case of the apparatus according to the invention. The throwing or driving of the individual packages into the said stack tower is inconvenient. Instead of this, the finally enveloped packages travel into following formation units (not shown) for packaging.

In the alternative embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 6 to 8, the apparatus comprises first and second mutually superposed folding wheels 19 and 20 and first and second mutually superposed following sealing wheels 100 and 101. The folding wheels 19 and 20 are constructed in the same manner as in the case of the exemplary embodiment according to FIGS. 1 to 5.

In contrast to the previous embodiment, the folding station D is adjoined by the sealing wheels 100 and 101; in the sealing wheel 100 the lateral flaps 47 and 54 are first sealed on the lateral surfaces of the packages 12 and the tubular flaps 18 and 26 are then sealed on the rear end surface.

The first and second sealing wheels 100 and 101 are in principle of similar construction to the first and second folding wheels 19 and 20. They have sealing pockets 102 and 103 respectively located at the periphery, each to receive a package 12. The first sealing wheel 100 comprises two disc wheels 105 and 106 which form projecting lugs 107 at their ends leading the sealing pockets 102 at the front. The rear limitation of the sealing pockets 102 is defined by a spring-biased movable rear stop or wall 108 which is mounted to a pivotably mounted arm 109. The rockable arm 109 is in turn fitted with a cam roller 110 which rolls upon a stationary cam disc 111a which does not participate in the rotation. The cam disc 111 is constructed in such a way that the sealing pockets 102 are at first open during reception of a package 12, as illustrated in FIG. 1 at the top. Only when the package 12 is located in the sealing pocket 102 is the rear wall 108 moved into the closed position by rocking the lever 109. When the packages 12 are transferred to the second sealing ring 101, the rear wall 108 remains in the closed positign until the package 12 is entrained by the sealing wheel 1 1.

During entrainment of the packages 12 by the first sealing wheel 100, the packages 12 are guided along a semicircular packaging path or track 112. The packaging path 112 of the first sealing wheel is immediately adjoined by a second packaging path or track 113 of the sealing wheel 101, the mutually confronting ends of the packaging paths 112 and 113 having a radial offset in such a way that the packages 12 can be transferred without constraint. The end 113a of the track means 113 placed in the region of movement of the sealing pockets 102 of the sealing wheel 100 is made relatively narrow so that the lugs 107 formed by the disc wheels and 106 may travel past on both sides of the end 113a of the packaging path 113.

The second sealing wheel 101 likewise comprises two disc wheels 114, 115 which are mounted rotatably upon a shaft 116. These disc wheels 114, 115 again form lugs 117 for the purpose of front limitation of the sealing pockets 103. However, they are made sufficiently narrow for them to pass without constraint between the spaced lugs 107 of the disc wheels 105 and 106 of the sealing wheel 100. It is thus possible for the sealing pockets 102 of the sealing wheel 100 and the sealing pockets 103 of the sealing wheel 101 to engage without constraint in the region of transfer of the packages 12. The lower end 112a of the packaging path 112 which confronts the sealing wheel 101 is accordingly centrally slotted so that the lugs 117 in this case are again not obstructed by the rotation of the sealing wheel 101. By virtue of these structural features, the packages are guided positively without risk of displacement until the transfer is complete.

The lateral side tabs 47 and 54, which have been folded upon one another, are sealed on the sealing wheel 100. For this purpose welding jaws 120, 121 are provided mounted on two-armed pivotally mounted rockable levers 118 and 119 on both sides of packages 12 or on both sides of the sealing pockets 102. (See FIG. 7 and FIG. 8). The rockable levers 118 and 119' are mounted on the disc wheels 105, 106 so that the welding dies or jaws 120, and 121 rotate with the sealing wheel 100. The welding dies 120 and 121 are heated in suitable manner by means of electrical conductors 122 and 123, the electrical conductors being supplied with current by carbon brushes 125 through slip rings 124. A similar arrangement can be used to heat the heating studs 41 of the second folding wheel means.

The position of the welding jaws 120, 121 is controlled by means of a camway, and in the case of the exemplary embodiment illustrated by pot cams 126, 127. For this purpose the free arm 128 or 129 of the levers 118, 119 is provided with a cam roller 130 which rolls in each case against the associated pot cam 126, 127. The pot cam is constructed in such a way that after a package 12 has been accepted by a sealing pocket 102 the welding jaws 120, 121 rest laterally against the packages 12 or against the films and seal the latter. Before the package is transferred to the second sealing wheel 101, the welding jaws 120, 121 are lifted from the packages 12 (see FIG. 7, center).

A further special feature is present inasmuch as the pot cams 126, 127 are generally capable of axial sliding. As soon as the apparatus is stopped for any reason, the pot cams 126, 127 are moved towards cam followers 130 by a suitable driving meansfor example, by hydraulic rams-so that the welding jaws 120, 121 are immediately raised from the packages 12 (see FIG. 8). By this means damage to the film blanks 14a wrapped about the packages 12 is obviated.

In order to seal the tubular flaps 18 and 26 of the film blanks 140 which are placed to the tear in the transport direction, the sealing pockets 103 of the sealing wheel 101 are provided with rockable mounted heating jaws 131. The heating jaws 131 are mounted on rockable knee levers 132 to the free end of which a cam roller 133 is fitted. The latter in turn rolls upon a stationary cam wheel 134. The cam wheel 134 is constructed in such a way that after a package 12 has been accepted by one of the sealing pockets 103 the heating jaws 131 are rocked against the rear end surface and against the mutually superposed tubular tabs 18 and 26 of the film blank 14a. By this means the said tubular tabs are also sealed during further transport of the packages.

At the exit end of the packaging path 113, the fully and finally sealed packages 12 are fed to a further rectilinear track means 136. r

The figures of the several embodiments of the invention complement each other as to those parts which they have in common.

The invention is shown and described here in greater detail for purposes of disclosure in selected embodiments thereof. It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not limited thereto, but covers all changes, modifications and also combinations of the examples shown which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention is claimed.

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for continuously forming a complete film wrapping around blocklike articles and sealing the wrapping comprising a. first folding wheel means comprising first disc wheel means having first receiving pocket means spaced at equal angular intervals around the periphery thereof for receiving a partially wrapped article having an unfolded upper rear end flap of wrapping film extending therefrom, and movable folding means mounted on said first disc wheel means adjacent said first receiving pocket means for folding said flap around an edge of said article, wherein each folding means includes a folding plate, said folding means being mounted for movement of the folding plate from a first position radially inward of the rear end of the first receiving pocket to a second position against the rear end of an article supported therein whereby the upper rear end flap is folded against the rear end of the article, and wherein the movable folding means is pivotally mounted on the disc wheel means and has cam roller means mounted thereon, the folding means being biased to the first position by spring means connected thereto, said folding wheel means comprising a stationary cam means in operating engagement with the cam roller means, for moving the folding means from the first position to the second position.

2. An apparatus for continuously forming a complete film wrapping around blocklike articles and sealing the wrapping comprising a first folding wheel means comprising first disc wheel means having first receiving pocket means spaced at equal angular intervals around the periphery thereof for receiving a partially wrapped article having an unfolded upper rear end flap of wrapping film extending therefrom, and movable folding means mounted on said first disc wheel means adjacent said first receiving pocket means for folding said flap around an edge of said article, further comprising a first track means for feeding articles to the first folding wheel means and therearound including a rectilinear portion extending to adjacent the periphery of the first folding wheel means and a quarter circle shaped portion concentric with the first folding wheel means, whereby articles are maintained in the first receiving pocket means by the quarter circle shaped portion of the first track means; wherein first article entraining means extends from a first supporting endless chain drive adjacent the track means through a slot in the track means, the chain drive being parallel to at least a part of the rectilinear portion of the track means and curving in arcuate conformation with the initial part of the quarter circle shaped portion of the track means, and. drive means connected to said folding wheel means and said chain drive for synchronizing the movement of the entraining means and folding wheel means at the initial curve of the circular quadrant.

3. An apparatus for continuously forming a complete film wrapping around blocklike articles and sealing the wrapping comprising a first folding wheel means comprising first disc wheel means having first receiving pocket means spaced at equal angular intervals around the periphery thereof for receiving a partially wrapped article having an unfolded upper rear end flap of wrapping film extending therefrom, and movable folding means mounted on said first disc wheel means adjacent said first receiving pocket means for folding said flap around an edge of said article, and comprising a first track means for feeding articles to the first folding wheel means and therearound including a rectilinear portion extending to adjacent the periphery of the first folding wheel means and a quarter circle shaped portion concentric with the first folding wheel means, whereby articles are maintained in the first receiving pocket means by the quarter circle shaped portion of the first track means, and comprising a second folding wheel means including second disc wheel means having second receiving pocket means spaced at equal angular intervals around the periphery thereof for receiving partially wrapped articles from the first receiving pocket means, each of said second receiving pocket means having a fixed, rearward folding edge for folding the lower rear end flap against the rear of a partially wrapped article and superimposed on the upper rear end flap during receipt of the article, the second folding wheel means being axially parallel to the first folding wheel means and coplanar therewith, and having one area of the outer periphery spaced adjacent to the end terminus of the quarter circle shaped portion of the first track means at a distance permitting transfer of a partially wrapped article from the first to the second of the receiving pocket means.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 comprising a second track means spaced from the periphery of the second folding wheel means, for maintaining articles in the second receiving pocket means, and having an inverse quarter circle shaped portion extending from a beginning terminus in the region of said end terminus of the first track means around the periphery of the second folding wheel means and concentric therewith, the radial distance of the end terminus of the first track means from the beginning terminus of the second track means being suflicient to permit passage of partially wrapped articles from the first to the second track means.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein the first and second disc wheel means each comprise a pair of spaced apart, axially aligned discs, and the end terminus of the first track means passes between the discs of the second disc wheel means and is narrower than the distance therebetween, and the beginning terminus of the second track means passes between the discs of the first disc wheel means and is narrower than the distance therebetween.

6. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the rearward folding edges have heated stud means for heat sealing the superimposed flaps contacted thereby.

7. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the second disc wheel means is positioned between two rotary lateral inward folder means axially aligned therewith, drive means connected to said lateral inward folder means for rotating them in the rotational direction of the second disc wheel means and at a greater angular velocity with respect thereto, the outer periphery of the lateral inward folder means comprising folder head means for simultaneously folding the lateral rear end flaps over and the lower lateral flaps down when the lateral inward folder means overtakes a partially wrapped article in the second receiving pocket means.

8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the lateral inward folder means comprises three folding arms extending outward at equal angular intervals, the outer ends thereof having folder and head means.

9. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein the second track means comprises a rectilinear portion following the quarter circle shaped portion, and stationary upper and lower flap folding bar means on each side of the track means for folding over the upper and lower lateral flaps of partially wrapped articles passing therebetween.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the inner surfaces of the upper flap folding bar means have a concave shape, the second disc wheel means is positioned between two rotary lateral inward folder means axially aligned therewith, the outer periphery of the lateral inward folder means comprising folder head means for simultaneously folding the lateral rear end flaps of a paritally wrapped article over and the lateral bottom flaps down, and the outer surfaces of the folder head means has a circular shape conforming to said concave shape.

11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the upper flap folding bar means is followed immediately by the lower flap folding bar means, the internal surfaces thereof having an oblique upward gradient.

12. The apparatus of claim 9 comprising second article entraining means for transporting partially wrapped articles along the rectilinear portion of the second track means extending from a second supporting chain drive through a slot in the rectilinear portion of the second track means.

13. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the folding bar means are followed by endless driven heating band means positioned on each side of the rectilinear portion of the second track means for engaging the lateral surfaces of the wrapped articles and heat sealing the upper and lower flaps folded thereon, the second track means being followed by a third rectilinear track means at a right angle thereto, an endless driven heating band means positioned on one side of the third track means for engaging the rear of a wrapped article and heat sealing the superimposed flaps folded thereon.

14. The apparatus of claim 13 comprising third article entraining means for transporting wrapped articles along the third rectilinear track means extending from a third chain drive to above the supporting surface of the third track means.

15. The apparatus of claim 13 comprising a circular conveyor means spaced adjacent the end terminus of the second track means and the beginning terminus of the third track means, said circular conveyor means having angular entraining means for transporting the wrapped articles from the second track means to the third track means without rotating the articles.

16. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the endless driven heating band means contact and are heated by stationary heating bars remotely spaced from the second and third track means.

17. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the surfaces of the heating band means which contact the wrapped articles also contact scraper means for cleaning the heating band means. I

18. An apparatus for continuously forming a complete film wrapping around blocklike articles and sealing the wrapping comprising a first folding wheel means comprising first disc wheel means having first receiving pocket means spaced at equal angular intervals around the periphery thereof for receiving a partially wrapped article having an unfolded upper rear end flap of wrapping film extending therefrom and movable folding means mounted on said first disc wheel means adjacent said first receiving pocket means for folding said flap around an edge of said article, further comprising a second folding wheel means having second receiving pocket means spaced at equal angular intervals around the periphery thereof and being positioned for receipt of partially wrapped articles from the first receiving pocket means into the second receiving pocket means, each of the second receiving pockets having a fixed, rearward folding edge for folding an outward extending flap against the rear of a partially wrapped article, superimposed on the previously folded flap during receipt of the article, the second folding wheel means being axially parallel to the first folding wheel means and coplanar therewith, lateral flap folding means for folding the laterally extending flaps of partially wrapped articles against the lateral edges thereof positioned to receive the articles from the second receiving pocket means, sealing wheel means having sealing pocket means spaced at equal angular intervals around the periphery thereof and being positioned for receipt of wrapped articles from the lateral flap folding means.

19. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein the sealing wheel means comprises first and second coplanar sealing wheel means having parallel axes, the first sealing wheel means being positioned for receipt of wrapped articles from the lateral flap folding means, and having lateral flap heat sealing means on the sides of each sealing pocket means thereof, the second sealing wheel means being positioned for receipt of wrapped articles from the first sealing wheel means and having rear edge heat sealing means associated with each sealing pocket means thereof for heat sealing the superimposed rear edge flaps of a wrapped article.

20. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein the second folding Wheel means and the first sealing wheel means are superimposed with respect to the first folding wheel means and the second sealing wheel means, respectively, and the beginning terminus and end terminus of the lateral flap folding means are positioned above the axes of the second folding wheel means and the first sealing wheel means, respectively, whereby the articles are transported by each of the wheel means through an approximately semicircular path.

21. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein the lateral flap folding means comprises a rectilinear track means having stationary upper and lower flap folding bar means on each side of the track means for folding over the upper and lower lateral flaps of partially wrapped articles passing therethrough.

22. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein the lateral flap heat sealing means comprises movable lateral heat sealing means on each side of each sealing pocket associated therewith for laterally gripping an article therebetween and heat sealing the lateral flaps on the lateral edges during the transportation of the article.

23. The apparatus of claim 22 wherein each of the lateral heat sealing means is pivotally mounted on the side of the first heat sealing Wheel means and has heat sealing dies and has cam roller means in operating engagement with stationary pot cam means for moving the heat sealing die means into engagement with the lateral edges of an article during transport thereof for heat sealing the lateral flaps thereon.

24. The apparatus of claim 23 comprising means for sliding the pot cam means axially toward the cam rollers ip operating engagement therewith when rotation of the first heat sealing wheel means is stopped, whereby the heat sealing die means are moved from engagement with the lateral edges of an article.

25. The appartus of claim 19 wherein the rear edge heat sealing means each comprises knee lever means pivotally mounted on the peripheral edge of the second heat sealing wheel means and have a heat sealing die on one end and a cam roller means on the other end, stationary cam means in operative engagement with the cam roller means for moving the heat sealing die into contact with the rear end surface of a wrapped article in the seal- 13 14 ing pocket associated therewith during transportation of 2,822,652 2/1958 T aggart et a1. 53-225 the article for heat sealing the superimposed flaps on the 3,056,246 10/1962 Lyon et a1. 53-234 X rear of the article. FOREIGN PATENTS References Cited 1,027,586 4/1958 Germany. UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 1,964,411 6/1934 Beutel 53 234 THERON CONDON, Primary Examiner- 2,714,384 8/ 1955 SChubert 53234 X N. ABRAMS, Assistant Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4006577 *Jun 11, 1975Feb 8, 1977Package Machinery CompanyGum stick wrapping machine
US4085567 *Jun 24, 1976Apr 25, 1978Package Machinery CompanyHigh speed wrapping machine with rotary folder
US4559757 *Sep 7, 1983Dec 24, 1985Focke & Co.Cigarette packaging apparatus with tangential transfer
US5024043 *May 7, 1990Jun 18, 1991G.D. Societa Per AzioniMachine for wrapping substantially parallelepiped commodities
US5373681 *Dec 30, 1992Dec 20, 1994Tokyo Automatic Machinery Works, Ltd.Lug folding apparatus for a packaging device
US5996318 *Jan 9, 1998Dec 7, 1999G.D Societa ' Per AzioniPacket wrapping method and unit
US6023909 *Sep 3, 1998Feb 15, 2000G.D. Societa' Per AzioniPacking machine
EP0197368A2 *Mar 17, 1986Oct 15, 1986Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co.)Method and apparatus for packaging cigarettes in particular
EP0792803A1 *Feb 26, 1997Sep 3, 1997G.D Societa' Per AzioniMethod and machine for overwrapping products in sheets of thermoplastic material
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/234
International ClassificationB65B11/42, B65B11/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65B11/42
European ClassificationB65B11/42