US 3445986 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1969 J. GODET DEVICE FOR FILLING STORAGE CONTAINERS WITH CIGARS AND LIKE ROD-SHAPED OBJECTS Filed Feb. 1 1967 Sheet w i T w 6 mflaf J m e w 6 r .r V) v zk rfl w M Aw 4 z; m mG 1% r v.,. a c V .1 I a, a n n w F Z w m M M 5 I x v m 2 i lu B I" 1, o 0 M u H M N I 1 F m 7 I H k 3 I WW T i z I 7 a May 27, 1969 J. GODE DEVICE FOR FILLING STORAGE CONTAINERS WITH CIGARS AND LIKE ROD-SHAPED OBJECTS- Filed Feb. 10, 1967 Sheef. 2
I; L O O IHMCIYbI-I i 5m Gala 77 05 United States Patent O l U.S. Cl. 53-148 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A device for automatically filling compartments of containers with rod-shaped articles in orderly rows, for example cigars; a continuously moving conveyor with partitions for feeding the cigars into an intermediate container which has a base which can be opened and closed in cyclic sequence; a closing device on top of the intermediate container for cutting off the feeding into the container at the time when the base thereof is opened.
This application is a continuation-in-part of copending application Ser. No. 461,845, filed June 7, 1965, and now abandoned.
The present invention relates to a device for filling containers with rod-shaped products, especially cigars, wherein the container is provided with compartments in such a manner that the products which are conveyed thereto in orderly array remain in rows on completion of the filling operation. By virtue of the small cross-sectional area of said compartments, the products can ac cordingly be collected on a guide plate and progressively conveyed by this latter towards the bottom of the container.
This divisional supply can be carried into practice by means of various devices and arrangements. However, it has been found that the automatic filling operation was performed with greater accuracy and less resulting damage to the products when these latter were deposited on a guide plate in successive batches.
Since the general supply of formed products is carried out at constant speed, it has accordingly been found necessary to transform this supply into a cyclic batch distribution process. It would be a matter of no importance, of course, if the number of products distributed at each cycle proved to be less than the maximum permissible dose.
Moreover, it must be pointed out that the division of containers into compartments can be a cause of hindrance in the remaining operations to which the products are subjected. This has been taken into account in the device according to the invention, which is so designed as to retain the advantages which are conferred by the division of containers into compartments while at the same time giving rise to no subsequent difliculties of operation.
One of the objects of this invention is therefore to provide a device for the automatic filling of containers provided with partitions forming compartments which are swept vertically by a movable retaining plate, said containers being filled with rod-shaped products supplied by continuous-feed means, said device being characterized in that it comprises, between said continuous-feed means and the container to be filled, an intermediate container fitted with a movable base wherein the opening of said base is controlled cyclically in such a manner as to release 3,445,986 Patented May 27, 1969 its contents at predetermined time intervals and a closing-oif device so designed and operated as to cut ofl? the supply of products to said intermediate container for a predetermined fraction of said time interval which corresponds to the time required for the opening and closing action of the movable base.
The intermediate container will advantageously be formed of a feed-hopper having sloping walls so that the products slide into the container without falling freely therein. Said feed-hopper could simply be formed, for example, of two plane inclined flaps which are pivotally attached at the top portion thereof.
The closing-offdevice can consist of a sliding support driven in the closing-off direction by the continuous-feed means itself. Said sliding support can consist of two parallel rods spaced at a distance from each other which is smaller than the length of the products.
The invention also has for its object a storage container having a pierced base in order to permit the guide plate to pass therethrough, said container being made up, for example, of two parallel longitudinal flats with a detachable front panel on which are permanently fixed vertical partition walls forming the compartments of said container.
One example of embodiment of the device and container according to the invention has been shown in the accompanying drawings which are given solely by way of example and in which:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic sectional view of the complete device in which is shown in particular the continuous feed and cyclic distribution system;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a cross-section taken along the broken line III-III of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an overhead view of the container which is fitted with its front panel;
FIG. 5 is an overhead view of the container without its front panel.
An endless belt conveyor 1 fitted with cross-strips or any other conveying means is provided beneath a portion of its-bottom run with a support 3 which consists of two rods which are disposed in parallel relation in a same plane and which are of round section, for example. A guide shell 9 is mounted at the end of the conveyor 1. The plane of the support 3 is located between the conveyor 1 and the top edges of a feed-hopper 4. The length of the support 3 is at least .equal to the distance between the shell 9 and the rear edge of the feed-hopper 4 when considering the direction of motion indicated by the arrow 10.
On the axis 21 of one the pulleys 22 of the conveyor 1 is keyed a cam 23 having a cam follower 24 of which the axis is fixed to a lever 25 pivoting about one of its ends 26 and pivotally connected, by its other end 27, to sliding bar 28 guided in guide 29 and rigidly fixed to the rods 3 whereby driving said rods in a sliding motion when said lever 25 is pivoted about its axis 26.
The flaps 5 are mounted on axes 30, 31 rotatably connected to toothed segments 32 in gearing engagement. The rotation of axis 30 is controlled by a cylinder 33 fed in fluid under pressure 34 through a distributor 35.
Said distributor 35 is controlled by the switch 36 actuated by the cam 37 keyed on the axis 21 as cam 23.
The cams 23 and 37 are designed, according to the speed of the conveyor 1, so that the supporting bars 3 follow the conveyor 1 in its motion, over a range corresponding at a maximum to the length of the upper opening of feed-hopper 4, i.e., of the chord subtended by the angle a (as shown in FIG. 1), and so that said hopper 4 is emptied, by opening at its movable flaps 5, during the time when the upper opening of hopper 4 is at least partially closed by said supporting bars 3.
The compartments 6 of one row of successive containers move past in a cyclic manner beneath the feedhopper 4. A time-controlled photoelectric cell 7 is placed opposite the containers in the top portion of these latter and vertically below the line of intersection of the flaps 5.
A piston or plunger 11 comprising a head 8 can be inserted through the base of each compartment 6. To this end, the base is formed of two longitudinal flat bars 16 and 17 located at a distance from each other which is greater than the width of the head 8. The guides 20 on which the containers are intended to move are located at a distance from each other which is at least equal.
The downward movement of the plunger 11 is initiated by the sufficient occulation of the time-controlled photoelectric cell 7. The feed motion of the chain 15 which produces the motion of the containers over a distance corresponding to the distance between two partition walls 14 is initiated by an end-of-travel contact of the piston 11. When the container is in its new position, the piston 11 is moved by a suitable mechanism to its top position inside the following compartment.
The front panel 13 of the container is detachable and carries the partition walls 14. Consequently, when the front panel is removed on completion of a filling operation, the container can be employed directly in the remainder of the manufacturing cycle. The front panel is applied each time against the container to be filled.
The products 18 are conveyed transversely to their axes and at constant speed by the top run of the endless-belt conveyor 1. Said products can be deposited within i dividual compartments as formed by the cross-strips 2 or any other arrangement which is designed to space the products in a uniform manner. Theproducts can be deposited within collective compartments each having a length between cross-strips corresponding to the sum of diameters of N products 18. The products are held in position at the end of the top run of the conveyor 1 by means of a shell 9 and are transferred onto the support 3 which is disposed beneath the top run of the conveyor 1 at a distance which is slightly greater than the height of the accompanying cross-strips 2. The products thus continue to be conveyed in rotational and/or translational motion of the cross-strips 2 in the direction of the arrow 10.
At the end of the support 3, said products fall into the feed-hopper 4. However, the falling motion thereof is periodically stopped so as to permit the discharge of the previous contents of the feed-hopper. The stopping of the falling motion is achieved by partial closing oil? the feed-chute 4 by means of the support 3 which accompanies the motion of the conveyor 1 in the direction of the arrow for a period of time which is suflicient in particular to permit the opening of the flaps 5 of the feedhopper 4, the emptying of this latter and the closing of the flaps 5. During this motion, the support 3 is driven by lever 25, itself actuated by the cam follower 24 of cam 23.
The closure of the feed-hopper 4 by means of the support 3 can be either partial or total; the extent of closure is a function of the distance covered by the conveyor 1 during the time taken by the flaps 5 to open and close. The speed of the conveyor 1, the angle at of the feedhopper and the opening and closing time are so regulated that the first compartment which is closed off as the flaps 5 are opened by the support 3 is located vertically above the front edge of the feed-hopper 4 and that said compartment has traveled no further than the rear edge of the feed-hopper 4 when the flaps close.
Under these conditions, at the commencement of the following cycle, the support 3 is withdrawn in the direction opposite to the motion of the conveyor 1 under the action of the cam follower 24 which is positively driven by the cam 23 thus freeing the opening of the feedhopper, with the result that the products which had accumulated on the support 3 at the end of the previous cycle accordingly fall into the feed-hopper. As will be 4 readily apparent, the range of travel of the extremity of the support 3 is limited to the chord which is subtended by the angle a.
The products which are discharged from the feedhopper at each cycle are collected within the vertical compartments 6 of the containers which pass beneath the feed system. These compartments can be formed by partitions 14 which may be either stationarily fixed or removable. The removable partitioning can be carried into effect, for example, by means of a fixed assembly of partitions 14 on the detachable front panel 13 of the container. Said panel is designed to fit in the same manner as a cover over the chamfered edges of the three sides of the container.
In order to prevent the products from falling in such a manner as to incur damage, provision is made for a filling plate which is adapted to move vertically within the interior of each compartment. Said plate can be the head 8 of a piston 11.
In the form of embodiment referred to, that side of the container which forms the base in the filling position consists of two longitudinal fiat bars 16 and 17 which form between each other a clearance of sufficient width to permit the head 8 of the piston 11 to pass therethrough. The containers which are conveyed by an endless chain 15 provided with laterally arranged lugs 19, are adapted to slide on two angle-iron members 20, there being formed between said members a space which is sufficient to provide a passageway for the piston head 8.
When the piston 11 has freed a compartment as a result of its downward motion, a mechanical or electric drive system produces action through the chain 15 and causes the container to move forward by one step which corresponds to the distance between two successive partitions.
The movement of the piston, which may be carried out either progressively or in steps, is effected by means of a time-controlled photoelectric cell 7 which is designed to actuate known means and which is placed close to the top edge of the container in the center-line of the feed-hopper 4. The timing corresponds to the normal time taken by N products to pass in front of the photoelectric cell in free falling motion.
The upward motion of the piston inside the following compartment is carried out by compressed-air or like means in such a manner that the piston head 8 is located in the top position in order to receive the products which have been released by the fiaps 5 during the feed cycle following that of the end of filling of the previous compartment.
The opening of the flaps 5 is produced in a cyclic manner as a function of the number N of products of each cycle. The closing movement is carried out in a cyclic manner as soon as the emptying of the feed-hopper has been completed.
As will be readily understood, the invention is not limited to the constructional details which have been illustrated or described and which have been given solely by way of example. It accordingly follows from the foregoing that in particular, the drive to the closing-off unit 3 could be effected by means of a cam and lever system; that the continuous feed means could be a system of compartment-drums instead of being a conveyor of the traveling band type with cross-strips; that the intermediate container could comprise a base which is separate from the lateral walls.
What I claim is:
1. A device for the automatic filling of storage containers with rod-shaped products comprising a continuousfeed means for supplying said products, an intermediate container located between said continuous-feed means and said storage containers to be filled, said intermediate container having an upper closable opening and an openable bottom, a movable support mounted between said continuous-feed means and said intermediate container, means operated by said continuous-feed means for moving said support from a first position where it leaves open said closable opening, to a second position where it closes at least partially said open closable opening, said support means receiving and supporting a number of said products fed by said continuous-feed means when said support is moved from said first position to said second position, and said support releasing said number of said products into said intermediate container when moving back from said second position to said first position, means for opening said bottom of said intermediate container when said upper closable opening is at least partially closed by said movable support, whereby said products fill said storage containers.
2. A device as in claim 1 wherein said intermediate container comprises two plane inclined flaps pivotally mounted at the top portion thereof on a fixed support.
3. A device according to claim 1, and guides for slid- 6 ingly supporting said movable support for closing said upper closable opening.
4. A device according to claim 1 and comprising a movable retaining plate and said storage containers comprising partitions forming compartments vertically swept by said retaining plate.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,203,906 11/1916 Paridon 53-64 3,027,699 4/1962 Miller et a1 53-236 2,933,872 4/1960 Pollmann 53-246 XR TRAVIS S. MCGEHEE, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 53-163, 236
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Jean Godet It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
In the heading to the printed specification, line 11, "June 6, 1964" should read June 9, 1964 Signed and sealed this 21st day of April 1970a (SEAL) Attest:
WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.
Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.
Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer