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Publication numberUS3449888 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 17, 1969
Filing dateSep 15, 1965
Priority dateSep 15, 1965
Publication numberUS 3449888 A, US 3449888A, US-A-3449888, US3449888 A, US3449888A
InventorsAlfred P Gausman
Original AssigneeHayssen Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Packaging machine
US 3449888 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 17, 1969 A. P. GAUSMAN PACKAGING MACHINE INVENTOR ALFRED P. GAUSMAN Sheet FIG] Filed Sept. 15, 1965 AT TO RN EYS June 17, 1969 p, GAUSMAN 3,449,888

PACKAGING MACHINE Filed Sept. 15. 1965 Sheet 2 of 5 INVENTOR ALFRED P. GAUSMAN ATTO R N EYS June 17, 1969 A. P. GAUSMAN 3,449,888

PACKAGING MACHINE Filed Sept. 15. 1965 Sheet 3 of 5 INVENTOR ALFRED P. GAUSMAN ATTORNEYS June 17, 1969 A. P. GAUSMAN 3,449,888

PACKAGING MACHINE Filed Sept. 15, 1965 Sheet 4 of 5 s50 l B4 150 138 112 1 I36 f 136 i j,

1 O 0 INVENTOR FIG? ALFRED P. GAUSMAN BY w fi AT TO RN EYS June 17, 1969 A. P. GAUSMAN 3,449,888

PACKAGING MACHINE Filed Sept. 15. 1965 Sheet 5 of 5 INVENTO R ALFRED P. GAUSMAN ATTORNEYS United States Patent US. Cl. 53182 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An automatic gravity feed packaging machine has a vertically reciprocably operable carriage mounting a sealing, pull-down and cut-off mechanism and is driven through a counterbalancing eccentric driving means having a stroke-adjusting connection with a yoke at the lower end of the carriage.

The present invention relates to automatic packaging. Specifically it relates to an improved vertical or gravityfed automatic packaging machine of the Zwoyer type.

The general principles of the Zwoyer automatic packaging machine are described in expired U.S. Patent No. 1,986,422 which issued to Walter R. Zwoyer on Jan. 1, 1935. The early automatic packaging machines of this type employed continuous cellophane sheets to form the packages. The cellophane was fed from a roll to forming bars which formed it into a tubular shape about a hollow cylinder. The now tubular-shaped sheets were sealed along their longitudinal seams about the cylinder by a heated pressure wheel to form a continuous cellophane tube. These tubes were then sealed transversely or horizontally by a pair of heated dies which clamped about the cellophane tube below the end of the hollow cylinder. A measured quantity of the product to be packaged was discharged through the hollow cylinder into the cellophane tube to rest against the newly formed horizontal seam. The die mechanism, while clamped against the tube advanced downward a predetermined distance carrying the tube and the product with it. The dies were then released and raised to their original position and again used to form a horizontal seam or seal, thereby enclosing the discharged measure of the product in the tube between horizontal seams. Another measured quantity of the product could then be discharged through the hollow cylinder into the tube and the process repeated. The result of this process was a string of sealed packages not unlike the familiar string of hot dogs or sausage links. The process was completed by a knife mechanism located below the lowest position of the transverse sealing dies. This mechanism cut the tube or string of packaged products along the middle of the horizontal seals thereby forming individual packages.

While the basic Zwoyer process and machine remain in common use, they have from time to time been improved and adapted to suit modern products and packaging materials. Cellophane has been largely replaced by polyethylene as the package material, the longitudinal tube-sealing Wheel by a pulsating vertical longitudinal bar and an automatic labeling mechanism has been incorporated into the machine as shown in US. Patent No. 3,000,155 which issued on Sept. 19, 1961 to the present inventor. The heat sealing mechanism has been improved and the separate knife element has been eliminated by incorporating automatic cutting into the transverse Seal dies as shown by US. Patent No. 3,050,916 which issued on Aug. 28, 1962 to August R. Zellouer and the present inventor. The present invention constitutes a still further advance in this type of packaging machine.

With the increased tempo of modern production, it has become necessary to increase the speed of packaging to match that of production'Machines must run faster and break down less. Moreover, the press of competition and the high cost of capital make it mandatory that ma chines such as automatic packaging machines be economically constructed with a minimum of parts, a maximum service life, and a minimum of required service and maintenance during that service life. When attempting to increase the speed of conventional Zwoyer-type packaging machines, serious problems were encountered. The horsepower requirements of the operating motor greatly increase with the increased speed. Wear on the machine parts increases, the plastic packaging material tends to tear, break, deform and/or jam under the increased speed conditions. With conventional machines, vibration and incidence of part fracture increase, thereby materially limiting the service life of the machine. Excessive vibration also prevents installation of these machines near sensitive production or testing equipment and detracts from the desirability of working conditions near the machines. Furthermore, these problems are multiplied several fold in a Zwoyer packaging machine incorporating more than one thermoplastic packaging tube and product feeding cylinder. Yet, for reasons of economy such a multi-tube construction is virtually required to package the output of modern production plants. It is, therefore, a specific object of the present invention to achieve an automatic packaging machine of the Zwoyer type having a plurality of product feeding tubes which is capable of high speed operation with low vibration and long service life and is of a simplified and economical construction.

It is the general object of the invention, however, to provide a new and improved vertical-fed packaging machine.

It is a further object of the invention to provide such a packaging machine in which vibration is reduced.

It is a specific object of the invention to provide a vertical-fed packaging machine of the Zwoyer type which is capable of high Speed operation with reduced tearing, breaking, deforming and/or jamming of the packaging material.

It is a further specific object of the invention to provide a Zwoyer-type vertical-fed packaging machine which overcomes one or more of the above-mentioned indesiderata.

It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved Zwoyer type vertical-fed packaging machine which admits of easy and simplified adjustment in the size of the package.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide a new and improved Zwoyer-type vertical-fed packaging machine that is of simplified and economical construction.

The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The organization and manner of operation of the invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in the several figures of which like reference numerals identify like elements, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a vertical-fed automatic packaging machine constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention with moved positions of parts in dashed outline;

FIG. 2 is a schematic side View of the roller arrangement for feeding a thermoplastic sheet or other packaging material sheet to the tube-forming and product-discharg- 3 ing cylinder and package sealing and cutting mechanism of the packaging machine with parts removed for clarity and shown partly in section;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view, partly in section, of the roller arrangement and associated parts as seen from line *IIIIII of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary enlarged detailed front elevational view of the packaging tube forming mechanism of the packaging machine of FIG. '1 with parts drawn to a different scale for purposes of illustration;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view, partly in section, of the longit'udinal seal forming mechanism and associated parts of the machine as seen from line VV of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view, partly in section of the transverse seal forming dies and cutting device and associated parts of the packaging machine with parts broken away and some interior parts shown by dashed lines;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view, partly in section with parts broken away to show interior parts and some interior parts shown by dashed lines of the transverse sealing dies and cutting device and associated parts depicted in FIG. =6 as seen from line VII-VII in FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged detailed front elevational view with parts broken away of a portion of the machine shown in FIG. 1 with parts in moved position and with still further moved position shown in dashed outline; and

FIG. 9 is a top plan view, partly in section, of the portion of the packaging machine shown in FIG. 8 as seen from line IX-IX in FIG. 8 with some interior parts shown by dashed lines.

On the drawings:

Referring to FIGURE 1 of the drawings, there is depicted an automatic packaging machine incorporating the present invention and generally indicated by the numeral 10. The packaging machine 10 includes a framework having a relatively thick metal base plate 12 over which is mounted a metal table 14 supported by a number of upstanding legs 16. The table 14 is spaced apart from and over the base plate 12 in a plane approximately parallel to the base plate 12. Aflixed to the upper surface of the table 14 are two generally vertical spaced frame members or standards 18. At the top of the standards 18, and affixed between them, is a hopper platform 20 which also lies in a plane parallel to that of the base plate 12 and the table 14. Affixed to the upper surface of the platform 20, above the packaging machine framework formed by the base plate 12, the table 14, legs 16, standards 18 and platform 20, is a hopper 22 of which only the bottom portion is shown. The hopper 22, which is supported upon the platform 20 by a plurality of brace members 24, may include product measuring and discharging mechanisms similar to that shown in the above-mentioned Zwoyer patent. At the bottom of the hopper 22 and two spaced hollow funnel-like conical sectional hopper feed-outs 26. The depending feed-outs 26 are afiixed along their lower circular ends of two further depending hollow forming cylinders 28 which pass through the platform 20 and extend downward between the standards 18 towards the table 14. The cylinders 28 lie about two parallel spaced vertical axes and extend therealong approximately onehalf of the distance from the platform 20 to the table 14.

Affixed to the underside of the platform 20 by means of conventional brackets 30 is a horizontal packaging material feeder roller 32 which forms part of a unique highspeed packaging sheet feed which will be described in connection with FIGS. 2 and 3.

Also affixed to the underside of the platform 20 are two pairs of depending support bars 34. Each bar pair 34 is adjacent to, spaced from, and flanking on opposite sides, the cylinders 28. The support bars 34 support a pair of folding arms 36 in juxtaposition to and curved about cylinders 28. The folding arms 36 are each positioned 4 about the cylinders 28 at a point along their axes slightly below the elevation of the flexible packaging material feeding roller 32 which lies behind and parallel to the plane defined by the cylinders 28. Below the folding arms 36 is suspended a hinged frame 38 for supporting a pair of longitudinal sealers 40 along and adjacent to the pair of forming cylinders 28. The longitudinal sealers 40 and the frame 38 are hinged in a conventional manner to a vertical hinge pin 47 aflixed to one standard 18. The frame 38 is hinged for motion in a horizontal direction to and away from the cylinders 28 through a plurality of vertical planes. The movement of the frame 38 and consequently the sealers 40, is determined by a mechanism 42, which will be explained in connection with FIG. 5. Only the end view of the frame folding arm 42a of the mechanism 42 is depicted in FIG. 1.

Also positioned between the standards 18 are two movable vertical shafts 44 which are spaced apart from each other in a plane approximately the same as that defined by the forming cylinders 28. The shafts 44 each flank, on opposite outer sides, the pair of forming cylinders 28. The movable shafts 44 are each positioned in a bearing sleeve member 46 aflixed to respective ones of the standards 18 at approximately the elevation of the frame 38. The shafts 44 pass through and extend beneath the table 14 through a pair of shaft bearings 48 and openings 50 in the table 14. The shaft bearings 48 with the bearing members 46 rigidly determine the vertical axis along which each of the movable shafts 44 may travel.

Rigidly atfixed to and supported between the shafts 44, above the table 14 and below the forming cylinder 28, is a vertical sealing die and cutting device or mechanism generally indicated as 52. The mechanism 52 attains a result similar to the mechanism described in the abovementioned U.S. Patent No. 3,050,916, but differing structure of the mechanism 52-will be described in detail in connection with FIGS. 6 and 7.

In accordance with the invention, also rigidly affixed to and spanning the shafts 44 between the table 14 and the I base plate 12, is a horizontal cross member or yoke 54 which, with the shaft 44 and the mechanism 52, constitutes a movable carriage generally indicated at 55. The yoke 54 has a horizontal elongated slot 56 so that it can serve as a follower with an eccentric in the form of a rotating cylinder or cam roller 58 is engaged. The cam roller 58 is carried by a rotatable drive wheel 60 along one radius thereof. The wheel 60 and yoke 54 form, with associated mechanism described in greater detail in connection with FIGS. 8 and 9, the prime moving mechanism of the machine 10.

Also affixed to the yoke 54 is an aligning member 62 having a vertical shaft bearing through which passes a vertical aligning shaft 63 which is rigidly affixed to the upper surface of the base plate 12 and to the lower surface of the table 14 and reaches t'herebetween.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, there is depicted, in accordance with the invention, a packaging sheet material feed mechanism 66 for the automatic packaging machine 10. This mechanism 66 is of special utility when employed in conjunction with a polyester film-type packaging material. The feed mechanism 66 includes a packaging material roll-bearing axle 68 for supporting two rolls 70, 70' of continuous flexible packaging material.

The rolls 70, 70 are coaxial with the axle 68 and occupy different but adjacent segments of the axle 68. A sheet 72, 72' is fed from each of the rolls 70, 70' around a single horizontal axis roller 74 from which it travels at a predetermined upward angle to an overhead driven roller 76. Facing and in frictional contact with the plastic sheet 72, 72, adjacent and along the roller 76 is a parallel smoothing or helper roller 78. The helper roller 78 serves to insure proper drive friction between the driven roller 76 and the sheets 72, 72', and prevents overflow or runover of the sheets 72, 72 beyond the rollers 76 and 78 when the driven roller 76 is stopped or slowed. After leaving the driven roller 76, the sheets 72 and 72' pass over a first turning roller 78 and descend in a vertical plane to a sensin roller 82. The sheets 72 and 72 pass under the sensing roller 82 and rise thereafter in a vertical plane to pass over a second turning roller 84. The sheets 72, 72' thus form a U-shaped sling between the turning rollers 78 and 84 for carrying the sensing roller 82. The sensing roller 82 is mounted for motion in a vertical direction in a U-shaped support 86. Positioned adjacent to one end of the sensing roller 82 is a vertical motion sensing device 88 comprising a horizontal movable trigger 88' and an electrical switch 88 operatively connected to the trigger arm 88'. The switch 88" operates to complete the electrical circuit to an electric drive motor 90 which drives the roller 76.

After passing over the second turning roller 84, the sheets 72, 72 move horizontally to pass under a positioning roller 90 and afterwards rise generally vertically to a third turning roller 92 and proceed in a generally horizontal direction to a pair of feeding rollers 32. From the rollers 32, the sheets 72, 72 proceed to arms 36 about the forming cylinder 28, about which the sheets are shaped by the folding arms 36 into a cylindrical or tubular shape. The now tubular shaped sheets 72, 72' are sealed by the sealing mechanism 40 along the longitudinal seam to form packaging tubes 98, 98'. Thereunder the tubes 98, 98 are transversely sealed and cut by the mechanism 52 in a horizontal direction at the transverse seal. Prior to cutting, the tubes 98, 98 are filled by the product 94 to be packaged which is discharged from the hopper 22 through the hopper feedout 26 into the cylinders 28 from which it passes into the plastic tubes 98, 98.

In FIG. 4 are shown the folding arms 36, rollers 32 and packaging material sheets 72, 72'. Each of the sheets 72, 72 passes from the roller 32 in a sheet or plane configuration and pass into a funnel or trough-like configuration between the rollers 32 and the arms 36 and form below the arms 36 a tubular configuration about the cylinder 28. The side edges 72a, 72b and 72a and 72b of each sheet 72, 72, which are parallel before and at the roller 32, converge between the roller 32, and the arms 36 are overlapped along the cylinders 28 to cleave together and form a seam 96, 96 of the packaging tubes 98, 98'.

In FIG. is depicted the hinged sealer supporting frame 38 having two spaced longitudinal seam sealers 40 juxtaposed to the longitudinal seams 96, 96' of the packaging tubes 98, 98' surrounding the forming cylinders 28, 28'. The sealers 40, 40 are provided with electrical connections 99 for developing a pair of heated vertical surfaces 41, 41 which, when brought into compressive contact with the seams 96, 96, form therealong a longitudinal seal. The frame 38 is hinged to the standard 18 by a vertical hinge pin 42 for movement away from and toward the cylinders 28, 28'. The frame moving mechanism 42 is attached to the unhinged swinging vertical end of the longitudinal sealer frame 38 by means of a pin 43. The moving lever 42 is constructed from an adjustable sleeve bolt 42b joining together two similar arms 42c, 420. The arm 420 is afiixed in a pivotal manner to an L- shaped moving member 42L which is pivotally atfixed for rotation of the junction of the L members to the standard 18 or another suitably affixed portion of the framework. The longer member of the L-shaped member 42L is attached to, in a pivotal manner, an air-operated cylinder 42k.

Referring now to FIG. 6, there is depicted the transverse or vertical sealing die and cutting mechanism generally indicated at 52. This mechanism includes a frame 110 comprising four side walls enclosing an opened top and bottom rectangular area. The frame includes two oppositely disposed vertical end walls 112 generally in the shape of a blunt-pointed diamond. The walls 112 and the frame 110 are rigidly afiixed to the shafts 44 and move with them relative to the remainder of the machine 10. Completing the frame is a second pair of oppositely disposed vertical side walls or panels 114 rigidly affixed to and bridging between the end walls 112. Within the rectangular frame and pivotally affixed to each of the end walls 112 is a pair of levers 116, 118 mounted at a point away from their longitudinal ends for radial motion in a vertical plane parallel to the end walls 112. Only one pair of pivoted levers will be described, it being understood that the other pair is identical but disposed on the opposite wall. The levers 116, 118 each have a short arm segment 116a, 118a, and a long arm segment 116b, 1181) lying along the same axis but extending from the pivotal mountings 116p, 118p in opposite directions to, respectively, the closer and further ends of the lever arms 116, 118. Pivotally attached to the remote end portions of the shorter arm segments 116a, 118a are respective ends of a pair of activating arms or toggle links 120, 122 which are pivoted at their other ends about a common pivot 124 or a vertically reciprocable actuating or push rod 126. The arms 120, 122 and levers 116, 118 lie in ap proximately the same vertical plane. The push rod 126 is supported for movement relative to the frame 110 in bearing sleeves 128 and 130. These sleeves define the axis of the push rod 126 vertically in juxtaposition to the vertical center line of the end wall 112. The push rod 126 is controlled by an air piston 132 mounted on a horizontal seating 133 at the upper edge of the wall 112. The pivoted lever arms 116, 118 and arms 120, 122 define a W-shaped mechanism withthe central peak or point of the W at the pivot 124. Activation of the air piston 132 moves the rod 126 and therefore the point of pivot 124 which in turn moves the activating arms 120, 122 and pivots levers 116, 118. This has the effect of moving the radial position of the longer lever arm segments 116b, 1181). Pivotally aflixed to these longer arm segments 116b, 1181) of the lever arms 116, 118 are the die and cutting housings 134, 136. These housings 134, 136 are maintained in horizontal orientation by a simple guidin horizontal bar 138 and horizontal bearing sleeve 140, 140 apparatus. The die housings 134, 136 each have a projected shield 142, 144 positioned above them. The die housings 134, 136 each have heated, pressure contact dies or sealers 146 which are brought into contact with the packaging tubes 98 to form the transverse package seal. Approximately midway vertically in the sealing surface of each of the dies 146 there is provided a horizontal slot 148, which lies in the same plane for both of the sealing die housings 134, 136, and in which is movable a knife member 150 mounted for horizontal motion under the control of air valves 152. The knife 150 is mounted to move horizontally out from the slot 148 of the die housing 134 into the slot 148 of the die housing 136 in response to activation of the air piston 152 when the die housings 134, 136 are in sealing contact. As may best be seen in the view of FIG. 7, this knife portion extends for nearly the entire horizontal direction of the dies. The mechanism 52 is provided with two pairs of dies and die housings 134, 136 mounted horizontally adjacent and affixed to one another within the frame 110 with common covers or shields 142, 144 each covering two adjacent housings. Although a double unit construction has been described and is'preferred for ease of manufacture, and for maintaining standardization and interchangeability of parts with single forming cylinder packaging machines, it will be appreciated that a single unit construction for the adjacent dies and a single knife unit may be employed.

The double unit construction is also preferred to facilitate the individual aligning of the packaging tubes 98, 98' when the packaging sheets 72, 72 with printing on them are used. In this case the sheets 72, 72 are reprinted with a design or label which should extend or be situated in a particular relationship on the finished packages 97. The sheets of material are kept in register with the packages by means of a sensing device such as a photocell 101 (FIG. 2) positioned adjacent each of the sheets 72, 72' in the feeding mechanism 66 between roller 90 and roller 92 7 to sense the printing or an indicia spaced on the sheets 72, 72'. In response to the sensing of the indicia by photocell 101 adjacent to a particular one of the sheets 72, 72, the corresponding die 146 of that sheet is retracted a short distance approximately of an inch in one embodiment by means of a solenoid situated and operatively connected for that end in mechanism 52 to release the package 97 and to stop the downward movement of the tubes 98 or 98'. When the packaging sheets 72 or 72' are in correct register the die 146 will release the package at nearly the bottom-most point of travel for the mechanism 52 which mechanism will continue downward to complete the cycle of its motion. The use of two dies 146 with two tubes allows for independent control of the register of the sheets 72 or 72 for the respective packaging tubes 98, 98'. When no printing is used on sheets 72, 72' or when the printing is of such a nature as to make register unnecessary, the

- photo-electric cell 101 and the die moving mechanism may be disengaged and the packaging machine operated as hereinafter described.

In FIGS. 8 and 9 there is depicted the packaging machine prime moving mechanism for moving the shafts 44 vertically through the sleeves 48 and the openings 50 in the table 14. The shafts 44 and the mechanism 52 afiixed thereto, are moved vertically by the action of the cam roller 58 in the slot 56 of the yoke member 54. The cam roller 58 is mounted on and driven in an are by the wheel 60 which is keyed at its center to be driven by an axle 160, as may be seen in FIG. 9. The axle 160 is the output taken from a transmision or speed reducer 162. The speed reducer 162 is, in turn, driven by a pulley 164 and pulley belt 166 system which is preferably operated from an electric motor (not shown) of a suitable rating. The radial distance from the axle 160 of the driving cylinder 58 and therefore the extremes of vertical travel of the yoke 54 and the sealing mechanism 52 are variable. The radial distance may be varied by turning the head of an adjusting bolt 167 which moves a cam roller trolley 168 in a radial track 170 of the wheel 60. The wheel 60 is provided with a heavy lead counterbalance 172 with a center of mass positioned along the diameter of the cam roller 58 but on the opposite side of the axle 160. The weight 172 serves to counteract the moment about theaxle 160 placed upon the cam roller 58 by the yoke 54. This counter-balance 172 has the effect of reducing vibrations caused by the necessary rapid reversals of acceleration of the moving shaft members 44 and die mechanism 52. This wheel structure further has the effect of reducing the peak power load upon the prime mover as it tends to absorb energy during the down stroke of the yoke 54 and to impart energy thereto during the upstroke. As will be observed in FIG. 8, the head of the adjusting bolt 167 is so located that it is accessible through an opening 173 in the counterweight 172 when the carriage is raised and the opening is free below the yoke 54.

OPERATION The above-described automatic packaging machine 10 functions, in overall operation, to produce from the packaging material rolls 70, 70 on the axle 68 and from the product 94 contained in the hopper 22, a containous succession of pre-sized, sealed packages 97 containing preselected amounts of the product 94. The finished packages 97 are normally conveyed away from the table 14, to which they would otherwise fall, by an inclined slide or a continuous belt apparatus (not shown).

In accomplishing the forming of the packages, the leadoff sheets 72, 72' from the rolls 70, 70" are threaded through a unique feed mechanism 66 (FIGS. 2, 3). Each sheet 72, 72 is fed from the mechanism 66 to a pair of folding arms 36 wrapped about the forming cylinder 28. After passing the arms 36, each of the packaging material sheets 72, 72' is in the form of a tube 98, 98' about the cylinder 28 with a vertical longitudinal seam 96. 96'

8 This seal is sealed by a longitudinal sealer 40 to produce a tube 98 which extends below the bottom end of the cylinder 28. This tube is transversely sealed and cut at spaced intervals by the mechanism 52, while the product 94 is discharged into the tube 98 from the cylinder 28.

The packaging operation is carried on in a continuous cycle having two phases: a downstroke phase in which the tubes 98, 98 are drawn down with the carriage 55, and an upstroke phase in which the tubes 98, 98' remain essentially stationary. At the start of the upstroke phase of the packaging cycle, a pair of packages formed from the tubes 98, 98 have been completed and released from the machine 10. At this point in the cycle, the rotating wheel 60 is in an orientation with the cam roller 58 in its lowest position directly below the axle and just above the base plate 12. Similarly at this point in the cycle, the yoke 54, shafts 44 and mechanism 52, constituting the carriage 55, are at their lowest positions. The sealing die and cutting mechanism 52 is in its open position with the housing 134 and housing 136 separated as in FIGS. 6 and 7. The tubes 98, 98 extend from the forming cyclinders 28 to approximately the lowest point of travel for the mechanism 52 :at which point they are transversely sealed.

The carriage moving mechanism (-FIGS. 8, 9) is driven from the pulley 164 through the speed reducer 162 and axle 160 which rotates the wheel 60 at substantially constant speed aided by the stored potential energy and momentum of the counterbalance 172. At the start of the upstroke phase of the packaging cycle, the cam roller 58 bears against the upper surafce of the slot 56 of the yoke 54 and raises the carriage 55.

At the quarter revolutions point, the carriage 55 has risen to its midpoint above its lowest level by the distance from the axle of the wheel 60 to the cam roller 58 (*FIG. 1, solid lines). The die mechanism 52 and the carriage 55 continue to rise about the depending tubes 98, 98' until the cam roller 58 reaches its highest position (-FIG. 8, dashed lines). The cycle then enters its second phase with the drive wheel 60 and its cam roller 58 moving the carriage downward as the wheel continues to rotate.

The use of the novel packaging machine drive comprising the wheel 60, the adjustable cam roller 58 and the slotted yoke 54 has several advantages, which are especially useful in the high speed packaging machine 10. The easy adjustability of the length of travel of the carriage 55 by adjusting the bolt 167, which changes the radial distance of the cam roller 58, allows for easy change in the length and size of the individual packages 97. .The drive provides for a minimum of vertical movement of the die housings of the mechanism 52 during the engagement and the disengagement of the dies to the tubes 98, 98'. This decreases the possibility of tearing the packaging material during this operation. Furthermore, the yoke-rotating wheel combination provides a continuous and gradual increase and decrease of the velocity of the tubes 98, 98 during the downstroke phase of the packaging cycle, while the employment of the counterbalance 172 decreases vibration and tends to maintain the wheel 60 rotating at a constant speed.

The air pistons 132 of the mechanism 52 (FIG. 6) are activated at the start of the downstroke phase to depress the push rod 126, move the arms 122, 126 against the levers 116, 118 and to thereby bring the die housings 134 and 144 together upon the tubes 98. With the sealing elements or sealers 146 clamped transversely against the sealing the tube 98, the mechanism 52 and the carriage 55 travel downwards. The dies 146 remain clamped upon the tubes 98, 98 during this downward movement, and draw the tubes 98, 98' with them. This advances the sheets 72, 72' from the roller 32 across the folding arms 36. Upon reaching the bottom position, the air pistons 132 are reversed and the mechanism 52 returned to its open position. The carriage has then returned to its starting position completing the packaging cycle which may be repeated.

Sometime during the descent of the carriage 55, preferably just before the separation of the housings 134, 136, the air pistons 152 of the mechanism 52 are energized to drive the knife members 150 horizontally from the housings 134 into the slots 148 of the housings 136, cutting the tubes 98, 98' horizontally. Also during the downstroke phase of the cycle, a predetermined quantity of the product 94 is discharged into each tube 98, 98 from its associated cyclinder 28. For some products, the clamping action of the housings 134, 136 will be sufficient to drive the product away from the area of contact and allow adequate transverse seal to be formed. For these products, a continuous feeding hopper arrangement is adequate. Normally, however, a preselected weight or volume discharge device must be employed.

The vertical or longitudinal sealers 40, 40' are brought into contact with the seams of the tubes 98, 98' by activating the air piston 42k during the first or carriage 55 upstroke phase of the cycle. The air piston 42k rotates the shaped member 42L to pivot the (frame 38 via the arms 42a, 42b, 420. The piston 42k is operated to seal the seams 96, 96' by pressing the heated sunfaces 41, 41 of the sealers 40, 40 against the seams 96, 96', and the cylinders 28. During this first part of the packaging cycle, the tubes 98, 98' are stationary and the longitudinal seal may be accomplished by the vertically stationary sealers 40, 40' without harm to the tubes 98, 98'.

As the tubes 98, 98 are drawn down by the carriage 55 in the second part of the packaging cycle, the sheets 72, 72' are drawn over the rollers of the feed mechanism 66 (FIGS. 2, 3). The immediate effect of this is to raise the movable or floating roll 82, triggering the switch 88 and activating the motor 90. The motor 90 drives a predetermined length of the sheets 72, 72' toward the forming cylinders 28, causing the roller 82 to lower, open circuiting the switch 88. In this manner, the feed system 66 automatically provides for tension and flow of sheets 72, 72'. During the actual operation of the high speed machine 10, the drive roller 76 may be in continu ous motion as the mechanism 66 will tend to average the start and stop movement of the tubes 98, 98'.

In summary, the machine passes through two phases in every production cycle. During the first phase, the carriage 55 rides up astride the tubes 98, 98' and the sealers 40, 40 are moved against and seal the seams 96, 96'. During the second phase mechanism 52 of the carriage 55 clamps against, seals, cuts and moves the tube 98 downward with the carriage 55. This advances sheets 72, 72 over the folding arms 36 to form an additional length of the tubes 98, 98. In response to the movement of the sheets 72, 72, the packaging material feed mechanism 66 feeds an additional length of packaging material sheets 72, 72' to the tube forming cylinders 28.

The easy and rapid passage of the machine through the phases of cycle and into successive cycles is materially aided by the described novel packaging machine driving arrangement and packaging material feed mechanism which allows for easy adjustment of the package size, reduces vibration, and reduces deforming or tearing of the packaging material.

It is now apparent that a new and improved verticalfed packaging machine has been provided. The machine is capable of high speed operation with low vibration and long relatively service-free life. The described machine of the Zwoyer type is further capable of operation with reduced instances of tearing, breaking, and deforming of the packaging material even under relatively high speed conditions.

Although modifications might be suggested by those skilled in the art, it will be understood that I wish to embody within the scope of the claims herein all such modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of my contribution to the art.

I claim as my invention:

1. In a vertical feed automatic packaging machine of the type in which individual packages are formed and sealed:

a vertically reciprocably mounted generally quadrangular carriage having a spaced pair of vertical carriage members with a transverse combination sealing, pulling and cut-01f mechanism on and between an upper portion thereof and a slotted yoke on and between a lower portion thereof;

means for guiding said carriage members for vertical reciprocations;

drive mechanism comprising a member mounted to rotate about a fixed horizontal axis and a driving eccentric operationally coupling it to said yoke for thereby driving said yoke and thus the entire carriage reciprocably in response to rotation of said member;

and a counterbalancing Weight on said member eccentrically located on the opposite side of said axis from said driving eccentric.

2. A machine as defined in claim 1 including means carried by said member between said driving eccentric and said weight for adjusting the radial distance of said eccentric from said axis.

3. A machine as defined in claim 2 in which said adjusting means comprise a bolt operatively connected to said eccentric, said weight having an opening therein and said bolt having a head accessible in said opening.

'4. A machine as defined in claim 1 including stabilizing means and means slidably connecting said yoke to said stabilizing means.

5. A machine as defined in claim 4 in which said stabilizing means comprise a vertical rod, and said means connecting the yoke to the stabilizing means comprise a bearing slidably engaging said rod.

6. In a vertical-feed automatic packaging machine of the type in which individual packages are formed and sealed:

a vertical frame;

means on the upper portion of the frame supporting at least one depending, forming and filling tube;

means for supplying sheet-form packaging material about said tube;

means carried by the frame and cooperative with the tube for sealing the packaging material thereabout into tubular form;

a vertically reciprocable carriage including spaced apart vertical guide rods and comprising a combination sealing, pull-down and cut-0E head mechanism carried fixedly by said rods operatively below said tube;

guide bearings on said frame vertically reciprocably guiding said rods;

a transverse yoke carried by the lower end portions of said rods and means operatively connected to said yoke for driving the yoke and thereby said carriage in vertical reciprocal cycles in which said mechanism is operative to engage said tubular material by successive vertical package increments, seal the tubular material transversely thereacross, pull the tubular material downwardly along and below said tube past said sealing means, and cut off the successive sealed package increments therefrom;

said mechanism comprising a frame having means securing it fixedly to and between said carriage rods with an opening defined by the mechanism frame for descent therethrough 0f the tubular material from said tube;

respective opposed combination clamping, sealing and cut off die assemblies including houings and generally vertically extending supporting levers pivotally connected at their upper ends to said housings land intermediately pivotally attached to said mechanism frame at opposite sides of a vertical path for said tubular material through such frame;

means maintaining the housings in horizontal orienta- References Cited tion comprising a horizontal bar and bearing means therefore on the housings; UNITED STATES PATENTS and means for rocking said levers to move said hous- 2 475 950 7 1949 Eaton 5 X ing along said bar into clamping, sealing and cut off 5 2 826 021 3/1958 vandwber0 et a1 53 18OX relation to the tubular material and comprising a toggle linkage operatively connected to said levers 3358419 12/1967 Blork et 53 180 and means mounted on said mechanism frame opera- TRAVIS S MCGEHEE Primary Examinertively driving said toggle links to operate said levers.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No 3,449 ,888 June 17, 196

Alfred P. Gausman 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, lines 3 to S, "assignor to Hayssen Manufacturing Company, Sheboygan, Wis. a corporation of Wisconsin" should read assignor, by mesne assignments, to Hayssen Manufacturing Company, Sheboygan, Wis., a corporation of Delaware Column 3, line 55, "and" should read are Column 4, line 44, after "with" insert whic Column 11, after line 9, insert the following claim:

7. In a vertical-feed automatic packaging machine of the type in which individual packages are formed and sealed:

a vertical frame;

means on the upper portion of the frame supporting at least one depending, forming and filling tube;

means for supplying sheet-form packaging material about said tube;

means carried by the frame and cooperative with the tube for sealing the packaging material thereabout into tubular form;

a vertically reciprocal carriage;

means for guiding the carriage to move adjacently below said tube;

means for driving said carriage reciprocably;

means on the upper portion of said carriage below the lower end of said tube and comprising mechanism for engaging the tubular material by package increments lengths below said end of said tube and transversely sealing the tubular material, drawing it downwardly and cutting off the sealed tubular lengths as packages;

said mechanism comprising a generally horizontal frame mounted fixedly on the upper portion of said carriage and defining an opening for descent therethrough of the tubular material from said tube;

respective opposed combination clamping, sealing and cut off die assemblies including housings and generally vertically extending supporting levers pivotally connected at their upper ends to said housings and intermediately pivotally attached to said mechanism frame at opposite sides of a vertical path for said tubular material through such frame;

means maintaining the housings in horizontal orientation comprising a horizontal bar and bearing means therefore on the housings;

and means for rocking said levers to move said housings rectilinearly' along" said bar into' and out of clamping, sealingand cut off relation to the tubular material and comprising a toggle linkage operatively connected to said levers and means mounted on said mechanism frame operatively driving said toggle links to operate said levers.

Column 12, after line 6, insert the following references:

51,029 11/1865 Ellinwood 74-49 3,008, 278 11/1961 McCalley 53-182 3,061 ,989 11/1962 Newell et a1 53-182 3,221 ,474 12/1965 Hoffmann et al. 53-182 In the heading to the printed specification, line 8, "6 Claims" should read 7 Claims Signed and sealed this 11th day of August 1970.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR. Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4288965 *Aug 27, 1979Sep 15, 1981Hayssen Manufacturing CompanyForm-fill-seal packaging method and apparatus
US4384438 *Jul 7, 1980May 24, 1983Tetra Pak International AbArrangement on packing machines
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US4501109 *May 3, 1982Feb 26, 1985Rexham CorporationPackaging machine with improved web feeding system
US4580392 *Apr 5, 1983Apr 8, 1986Tetra Pak International AbMethod and an apparatus for the processing of a material web
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US5782733 *Mar 20, 1997Jul 21, 1998Innoflex IncorporatedMethod for making reclosable bags
US5813281 *Nov 30, 1995Sep 29, 1998Shikoku Kakoki Co., Ltd.Device for reducing torque variations for use in drive apparatus
US5823933 *Mar 20, 1997Oct 20, 1998Innoflex IncorporatedZippered film and bag
US5829884 *Jun 19, 1997Nov 3, 1998Innoflex IncorporatedForm fill and seal package with one-way vent
US5865015 *Nov 7, 1997Feb 2, 1999Shikoku Kakoki Co., Ltd.Cutting device in filling and packaging apparatus
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US6177172Dec 7, 1999Jan 23, 2001Innoflex IncorporatedZippered film and bag
US6779921Dec 26, 2000Aug 24, 2004Innoflex IncorporatedZippered film and bag
US8186134 *Oct 23, 2009May 29, 2012Alkar-Rapidpak-Mp Equipment, Inc.Packaging machines and methods
US20100287888 *Oct 23, 2009Nov 18, 2010Alkar-Rapidpak, Inc.Packaging Machines and Methods
CN1104361C *Jul 31, 1997Apr 2, 2003四国化工机株式会社Cutting apparatus for filling package machine
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EP0845417A1 *Nov 12, 1997Jun 3, 1998Shikoku Kakooki Co., Ltd.Cutting device in a form-fill-seal machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/552
International ClassificationB65B9/12
Cooperative ClassificationB29C66/8242, B29C66/8221, B65B9/12, B29C66/843
European ClassificationB29C66/8221, B29C66/843, B65B9/12