US 3451318 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 24, 1969 M. ARNAUDON ETAL 3,451,318
MACHINE FOR FORMING AND PRESENTING CARTONS FOR CONTINUOUS FEEDING TO A BOXING MACHINE Sheet 4 Filed Oct. 26, 1966 no A s armu ATT RNESS June 24, 1969 M. ARNAUDON ETAL 3,451,313
MACHINE FOR FORMING AND PRESENTING CARTONS FOR CONTINUOUS FEEDING To A BOXING MACHINE Fil d 0st. 26, 1966 Sheet 2 of 4 g avro-o 31A eavrou ATYO R EVS June 1969 M. ARNAUDON ETAL 3,451,313
MACHINE FOR FORMING AND PRESENTING CARTONS FOR CONTINUOUS FEEDING TO A BOXING MACHINE Filed Oct. 26, 1966 Sheet 3 of 4 Qan-oo KnA J artou ATTolwexg June 24, 1969 M. ARNAUDON ETAL 1 MACHINE FOR FORMING AND PRESENTING CARTONS FOR CONTINUOUS FEEDING TO A BOXING MACHINE Filed on. 26, 1966 Sheet 4 of 4 II I as, W l I i E 15- i (s) 1 r I NVENTORS beanow a). Eg
ATToRmzvs United States Patent Int. Cl. B31 b 5/26, 1/78 US. Cl. 93-53 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Method of forming a cardboard box from flat, folded blanks by first acting on the flaps forming the bottom and the closure lids and then opening the folded blank. A machine with a hopper for the folded blanks, and a conveyor for feeding the blanks through the machine, stationary inclined ramps for lifting one pair of the front flaps of the blanks away from the transfer plane of the machine, grippers for holding the other pair of the front flaps while a retractable power operated member is arranged to exert a force for opening the flat blank to a tubular shape.
This invention relates to a machine for continuously forming packing-boxes made of semi-rigid material and previously stored in a flat folded position, whereby each box is formed by said machine in a parallelepipedal shape and presented for filling in the most suitable position.
The packing-boxes referred-to are usually made up of four faces which are assembled in such a manner as to form a body of continuous tubular structure having a transverse cross-section in the shape of a parallelogram. said parallelogram is fairly freely articulated at each apex in order to permit either folding of the box in a relatively flat double thickness in a magazine, or opening of the box to a suitable extent so as to form a tube which affords the requisite volume The transverse cross-sectional configuration mentioned above may even be a rectangle if necessary.
Packing-boxes of the type under consideration usually have flaps which form extensions of the box faces and are hinged with said faces. These flaps are thus disposed along the terminal arrises of the end sections of this tubular structure and hinged along said arrises in the same manner as the faces are hinged with each other.
It is not essential to the operation of the machine according to the invention to ensure that all the faces of the box are provided with flaps. However, if two adjacent faces are provided with such flaps, one condition becomes essential for the operation of the machine by virtue of the fact that the machine is designed to handle boxes for re-use. This condition consists in the need to provide flaps of different sizes on the adjacent faces considered. This will be the case of a packing-box which has a rectangular transverse section with unequal sides. The same will apply in the case of a box having a transverse section with equal sides, the flaps being of unequal length. The same must again necessarily apply for the reasons which follow if the transverse section of the box does not have right angles. It is known that satisfactory rigidity of boxes of this type is obtained, if said boxes are intended to remain open at the top, by providing four flaps on the terminal bottom section and, if said boxes are intended to be closed, by providing a total of eight flaps, the total surface areas of two opposite flaps being sufficient to form the base of the box and, if necessary the box cover by pasting a covering strip.
Cartons of the type which are available in commerce and especially those employed for shipping full packages which do not have inherent hardness such as, for example, groups of cigarette packages, correspond in most instances to the above definitions. The term packing-box will therefore be replaced in the remainder of the description b the word carton, although it will be understood that the principle of the invention is not intended to be limited to machines which only make use of this type of packaging material In order to effect the opening then the forming of similar boxes or cartons, two mechanized techniques are at present in use. In the case of one technique, the opening is formed by inserting wedge-shaped members between the flaps, then by causing a lever to produce action inside the main walls of the carton which is thus erected and held open until the bottom has been closed, In the other technique, action is produced on the outside of the main walls by suction which is exerted prior to a movement of outward separation of lines of suction-cups which cause the carton to open. The first method mentioned above calls for a certain degree of stiffness of the flaps and a good shape of the free edges whilst the second method entails the need to ensure that the walls have an excellent state of surface. Such conditions are all incompatible with cartons which are intended for re-use.
In order to seal the bottom of the carton, it is known to apply an adhesive strip astride two flaps and to turn said strip back onto the walls which are independent of Said flaps. The systems which have already been utilized for this purpose make it necessary to cut the strip to a predetermined length as controlled by carton-positioning contacts during the sealing operation and are ill-suited to intermittent operation of a boxing machine, especially in the case of the use of a gumrned strip which is moistened as it is unrolled. Such systems also entail a. relatively complicated movement of multiple application members as well as strict guiding of the strip, thereby introducing a complication in both servicing and cleaning in the event of a fault condition arising during operation.
The machine according to the invention differs from comparable designs of the prior art in that the opening of cartons is initiated by mainly producing action on the flaps which have previously been oriented in a suitable manner, said flaps being powerfully clamped at suitable locations by means of suitable devices, the presentation of said flaps in front of said devices being effected in a reliable and original manner, in that the positional arrangement of the cover flaps for the purpose of filling is carried out even if said flaps lack rigidity, all of these features being such that the machine is perfectly suited to the utilization of cartons for reuse, and in that sealing of the base of the carton is governed only by devices which serve to indicate the presence of cartons and which are necessary for the operation of the machine, the simplicity of the application and guiding members both in their constructional design and in their movement, thereby ensuring reliable sealing and easy manual operation.
The present invention relates to a process and a machine for shaping cartons which are presented in the folded state, said machine being capable of continuously supplying a boxing machine to which the cartons must be presented in the open state, any flaps which are provided on said cartons being turned back, on the one hand, in order to for-m the base of the carton. and, on the other hand, in order to free the opening of the carton.
The process of the invention, for forming cartons which are presented in the folded state and comprise a tubular body and flaps, is characterized in that two op- Patented June 24, 1969 3 posite flaps of each opening face are brought away from the initial plane of transfer of the folded carton and at least one of said flaps is subjected to a force which has a tendency to withdraw said flap from the transfer plane in such a manner as to initiate the opening of said tubular body.
The carton may be held by means of those flaps on which said force is not exerted and in order to bring the flaps away from the initial transfer plane, the folded carton may be caused to move in such a manner that said flaps are lifted relatively to the initial transfer plane and a force is applied on the tubular body itself which brings back said body alone in said transfer plane.
The forming machine according to the invention and working according to the above process therefore comprises means whereby two opposite flaps of each opening face are brought away from the initial plane of transfer of the folded carton and means for subjecting at least one of said flags to a force which has a tendency to withdraw said flap from the transfer plane in such a manner as to initiate the opening of said tubular body. Provision may be made for means whereby the carton is held by those flaps against which said force is not applied.
One non-limitative example of construction is given in the following description in reference to the utilization of cartons having twelve faces, sides and flaps, therefore in a highly complex version thereof. It is apparent that the machine can be adapted to less than twelve faces without thereby departing from the scope of the invention. This example is illustrated by the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a diagram in isometric perspective showing a carton with twelve faces during execution of the forming operation;
FIG. 2 is a transverse sectional view of the same carton which, after complete flattening, has just been forced so as to present the flaps in the desired planes;
FIG. 3 is an el-evational view of the machine, looking on the side on which the base of the carton is reformed; the direction of forward motion of the cartons during formation is indicated by the arrow 1 and the profile which is shown will accordingly be referred-to as the right-hand profile of the machine;
FIG. 4 is a part-sectional view of the machine taken along the line IVIV of FIG. 3 at the level of the skid on which the cartons are conveyed as they pass out of the magazine;
FIG. 5 is an overhead view of the complete assembly for cutting and folding back at right angles the projecting portions of the adhesive strip;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the complete unit for moistening, application and cutting of the sealing strip, the cutting operation being carried out in the direction of the arrow 52;
FIG. 7 is a partial plan view in cross-section along the line VIIVII of FIG. 3 which shows more especially the position of different lower ramps relatively to a carton during transfer.
Both in the figures and in the following description, numbered references such as 11, whether they are shown or not, always correspond to elements which are symmetrical with elements designated by the reference it relatively to an axial plane of the machine or component.
There is shown in FIG. 1 a starting element of a packing carton 1 of the type having twelve faces on which an arrow 2 indicates the direction of presentation and forward motion. The surfaces 3 and 4 are thus the small rear and front sides in the direction of progression of the carton whilst the surfaces 5 and 6 are the large top and bottom sides on the machine proper; the reference numerals 7 and 8 designate the rear and front flaps which are hinged with the small sides 3 and 4 whilst the reference numerals 9 and 10 designate the top and bottom flaps which are hinged with the large 4 sides 5 and 6. The flaps 7, 8, 9 and 10 in this order form the end of the carton in the closed position whilst the flaps 7, 8, 9 and 10' similarly form the lid or carton cover.
During storage, the faces 3, 7 and 7, on the one hand, and the faces 4, 8 and 8, on the other hand, as well as the faces 5, 9 and 9' and 6, 10 and 10 are located substantially in the same planes, these planes being very close to each other and almost parallel. It is in accordance with this arrangement that the unprocessed cartons are stacked in the magazine 11 of the machine (as shown in FIG. 3). Said magazine may advantageously be merely a chimney or guide chute formed of angle-iron members and permitting of overhead loading and monitoring by means of a level detector such as an externally-located photoelectric cell unit as has been designated by the reference 12. The extracting and guiding system is constituted by an endless conveyor 13 carried by rolls 14, at least one of which is a driving roll which is provided with automatic braking means and which can be disengaged at will. Said conveyor will advantageously be constituted by two parallel chains which are located at distance from each other which is substantially smaller than the length of the horizontal arris 15 of the carton, said chains being interconnected by spacer members carrying stops or flights such as the flights 16, 17 and 18. Said flights project beyond the external planes defined by the chains to a height which is approximately equal the height of the carton when folded double. The relative positional arrangement of the flights is such that the distance between cartons on the conveyor 13 is greater than the half-perimeter of their cross-section.
At the time of start-up of the machine which will be assumed to be completely empty whilst the magazine 11 is fully charged, the flight 16 which is carried in the direction of the arrow f thrusts the rear arris 15 of the carton which is located at the bottom of the stack until they arrive exactly at 17. During the stage of development of the carton which will then begin, the side 6 will always remain in the same position. Stopping of the con veyor 13 by braking is advantageously initiated by the arrival of the flight 18 on the contact 19. Two oppositely-acting rolls 20 and 20' when can also rotate as long as the general electric circuit is switched on are adapted to cooperate with the cartons and accelerate the movement of these latter.
When the flight 16 (and the arris 15) are stopped at 17, the front end of the first carton which is extracted is already lifted from the transfer plane inasmuch as the flaps 8 and 8' are lifted on the stationary ramps 21 and 22 by sliding on the ramps 23 and 23' which are adapted to move at the requisite moment about a vertical axis.
Over the distance which is then covered by the carton, the ramps 21 and 23, on the one hand, and the ramps 22 and 23', on the other hand, are located in the line of extension of each other and these two groups are parallel at a distance which is slightly greater than the length of the arris 15. The flaps 10 and 10' rest on stationary elements 24-24 under the action of their own weight. Immediately after the axis of the rolls 20 (on the right hand side of FIG. 3), these elements have a V-shaped crosssection which contributes to the correct centering of the starting element; still further to the right, said stationary elements only retain the arm of the V which is represented by the shaded portion in FIG. 4, in such a manner as to free the jaws 28 which are intended to clamp the flaps 10 (or 10') of FIG. 2 in the portion corresponding to the shaded area. These elements or plates will serve as clamping counterparts for dogs 28 and 28' which are actuated by jacks 29 and 29, the function of which will be explained hereunder.
After the conveyor 13 has come to a standstill, the arrival of the flight 18 at the contact 19 has initiated the clockwise rotation (as shown in FIG. 3) of a moving system about a fixed point a, said moving system being actuated by the jacks 25 and 25. Said moving system carries pressure members 26 which are brought to bear on the face of the carton, thus bringing all the faces of the body of the carton in the transfer plane. The flaps 8 and '9, on the one hand, the flaps 8- and 9, on the other hand, are then lifted substantially to a vertical position as a result of reaction on the ramps 21-23 in the case of the right-hand side of the machine (corresponding to the bases of the cartons) and on the ramps 2223 in the case of the left-hand side of the machine. The carton is then presented as shown diagrammatically in FIG. 2. An end-of-travel signal then stops the move ment of rotation of the moving system. Said moving sy-s tern also carries two jaws 27 and 27' which have carried out a movement of rotation and a downward movement and are separated to a suflicient extent to permit the shaded portion of the flaps 9 and 9' to engage between said jaws, one of which is mounted on the piston of a jack and has a pointed shape. As and when the signal indicating the end of the downstroke is given, the jaws 27, 27' close and exert a high pressure at one point of the flaps 9 and 9' whilst the dogs 28 and 28 apply that portion of the flaps and 10' which corresponds to the shaded portion of FIG. 2 against the plates 24 and 24'. The jacks 29 and which actuate the dogs 28 and 28' also induce the downward rotation of movable ramps 23 and 23 which then withdraw beneath the transfer lane. p After a suitable time delay, the moving system moves upwards, all the jaws or pushers remain in the closed position while rotating in the anticlockwise direction. The body of the carton is then developed until it assumes its rectangular shape. In the last stage of this upward rotation, stationary ramps which are not shown in the drawings or levers which are actuated by the moving system close the small rear flaps 7 and 7'. The return of the complete assembly to its initial position initiates by means of a contact which energizes an electrovalve the displacement of the jacks 30 and 30 which actuate levers 31 and 31'. Said levers again close the small front flaps 8 and 8'.
Up to this point of the operation, the elements and their operation have been practically symmetrical on the carton base side and on the cover side. The flaps 7 and 8 will thus cooperate with the flaps 7 and 8 so as to maintain the developed carton until the base is sealed. Subsequently, the flaps 7' and 8 will be turned back against the exterior of the sides 3 and 4 after causing the carton to pivot through an angle of 90", whilst the direction of horizontal displacement of the carton still remains the same. In the case of the flaps last mentioned, the procedure still remains the same as that which was adopted for turning back the flaps 9' and 10' and the operation will accordingly be performed. From now onwards, the base and the cover will be dealt with separately.
The end of travel of the jacks 30 and 30" initiates their own return followed by the opening of the jaws 27 and 27, of the dogs 28 and 28 and the upward movement of the ramp 23 which will come back into alignment with the ramp 21. Only the ramp 23 will remain temporarily in the withdrawn position as will be explained further below, under the action of a delaying device. After a short time delay, the conveyor 13 moves forward again by one step. While the following flight 16 extracts a fresh folded carton from the magazine 11, the flight 16 brings the carton 1 which has just been erected in a translational movement which is accompanied by the top conveyor 32. During this translational movement and solely as a result of this latter, the flaps 10 and 9 are brought in the plane of the base, which is already occupied by the flaps 7 and 8, by the lower ramp 21 and the upper ramp 33. These two ramps come closer together towards the plane of the carton base, their arrangement being such that they terminate in horizontal straight lines parallel to the plane of FIG. 3 so as only to maintain the base in the assembled state. The ramps 22 and 34 terminate in a path which is similar but one each side of the carton body at a level relatively to the plane of the conveyors 13 and 32 which is located immediately below in the case of the ramp 22 and immediately above in the case of the ramp 34.
The flaps 9' and 10 will therefore be developed toward the exterior, applied and maintained against the outer faces of the sides 5 and 6.
As has been mentioned earlier, the ramp 23 reverts to its initial position with a slight delay with respect to the upward movement of the ramp 23 so as to permit the flap 10' to engage beneath the ramp 22.
In the final stage of the translational movement, an adhesive strip 35 such as a gummed strip which is moistened by a device 50 (FIG. 6) is delivered freely from a continuous bobbin (not shown), then applied by a stationary pressing member 51 such as a brush, for example, astride the flaps 9 and 10. As is shown in FIG. 6, the moistening device 50 is disposed in the vicinity of the applicator 51 in such a manner as to reduce the length of strip which has already been moistened and which is liable to dry during stoppage of the movement which may occur for any unspecified reason. When the conveyor 13 again comes to a standstill as commanded by the positioning of the second folded carton which is extracted from the magazine beneath the moving system, the flaps 9 and 10 take up the positions shown at 36 and 37.
When the end of travel of the jack has finally indicated completion of formation of the second carton, the conveyor 13 will again start up and cause carton No. 1 to pass over a rocker unit 38. As long as said carton is in contact with the flight 16, it takes part positively in the unwinding of the adhesive strip, thereby ensuring that said strip is applied in contact at equal speed with the second carton.
The rocker unit 38 which has a V-shape at a angle is capable of pivoting about a horizontal axis b under the action of a jack 40. In order that the movement of the conveyor 13 should be controlled by the contact 19, it is necessary to ensure that the large platform 39 of the rocker unit is indicated in the transfer plane and that another indicator shows whether said platform is unoccupied, which is the present case. Carton No. 1 can accordingly take up the position which is represented by the rectangles 41 and 42 whilst the second carton which is formed will be located at 36-37 (a third carton then arrives beneath the moving system). The adhesive strip 35 then passes horizontally and on edge from one carton to the other across the space 49, the width of which between the cartons being such as to provide a passageway for the cutting and right-angle folding unit 43 which is shown in FIG. 5.
Said unit 43 is essentially made up of a cutoff knife 44 which is rigidly fixed to the rod of a double-acting jack 45, the body of which is secured to the frame of the machine. The cutoff knife carries on each side a flange 47 (47') which is clamped between two rigid backing plates 46 and 46', said flanges being formed of a flexible material having a composition and profile such that the flange ends are very flexible Whilst the core or central portion thereof remains relatively rigid. The total length of both flanges 47 and 47 as indicated by the reference 48 is slightly greater than the space 49 which is left between the formed cartons.
During stoppage of the conveyor 13 which corresponds to the position 17 at which the rear arris of the third carton delivered from the magazine remains stationary, the jack 45 is actuated as a result of the correct positioning of the first two cartons formed as indicated by contacts or photoelectric detectors and accordingly thrusts the cutting unit in the direction of the arrow 52. The cutoff knife 44 cuts off the adhesive strip 35 at the center of the space 49 whilst the ends of the flexible flanges 47 and 47' apply the two free halves of the strip against the side-3 of carton No. 1, on the one hand, and against the side corresponding to 4 of the second carton. The backward return motion of the moving unit is initiated as it reaches the end of its forward travel by means of an endof-travel contact. When this return motion is completed, the development of the jack 40 is in turn permitted by means of the same expedient. The subsequent movement of rotation of the rocker unit 38 delivers the carton 1 either to direct utilization or to a connecting conveyor which is not shown in the drawings and which effects the folding of the flaps 7' and 8 against the exterior of the sides 3 and 6 by means of a translational movement and the action of ramps.
The return of the rocker unit 38 to its initial position permits the completion of a further cycle and the base of the second carton delivered will be perfectly sealed with a return extension of the adhesive strip on both small sides, thereby ensuring its strength. This machine is particularly suitable for the supply of an automatic boxing machine inasmuch as the packages, boxes or cartons thus H formed which are ready for filling are delivered only as required by the boxing machine, the only non-automatic operations being the filling of the magazine with starting elements and the replacement of bobbins or rolls of adhesive strip. Provision is made in any case for devices which indicate these two requirements and which can stop the machine in the event of interruption of the supply.
As hereinabove described, the machine in accordance with the invention is perfectly well suited for insertion in a continuous box-forming chain.
What We claim is:
1. A method of forming cartons fed in a flat folded state over a transfer plane, each of said cartons comprising a tubular body and couples of front flaps (8, 8'9, 9) and couples of rear flaps (7, 107', 10), said cartons being supplied continuously in an open state to a boxing machine, said flaps on said cartons being folded back to form the carton base and to free the opening of the carton, each of said cartons being conveyed in unitary sequence towards forming devices and directed through said carton forming machine until completion of the forming operation; said method comprising the steps of acting on one flap (8, 8) of both couples of adjacent front flaps (8, 8'- 9, 9') to pivot simultaneously both flaps (8, 8'9, 9) of said couples relatively to said transfer plane, and acting on the other flaps (9, 9) of said couples to withdraw said other flaps (9, 9') from said transfer plane and from the opposite flaps (10, 10') of the couples of adjacent rear flaps (7, 10-7, 10') in such manner as to initiate the opening of said tubular body.
2. A method according to claim 1 and holding said opposite flaps (10, 10') when acting on said other flaps (9, 9') to withdraw the latter from said transfer plane.
3. A method according to claim 1 and pushing said carton along said transfer plane, lifting said front flaps to pivot relatively to said plane and exerting a force on said tubular body itself to bring said body back alone in said transfer plane.
4. A machine for forming cartons fed in a flat folded state over a transfer plane, each of said cartons comprising a tubular body and couples of front fiaps (8, 8"- 9, 9') and couples of rear flaps (7, 107, 10'), said cartons being supplied continuously in an open state to a boxing machine, said flaps on each of said cartons being folded back to form the carton base and to free the opening of the carton; said carton forming machine comprising forming devices, means for conveying cartons in unitary sequence towards said forming devices and directing said cartons through said machine until completion of the forming operation, further comprising means acting on one flap (8, 8) of both couples of adjacent front flaps (8, 8'9, 9) for pivoting simultaneously both flap-s (8, 8' 9, 9') of said couples relatively to said transfer plane and. means acting on other flaps (9, 9') of said couples for withdrawing said other flaps (9, 9) from said transfer plane and from the opposite flaps (10, 10') of the couples of adjacent rear flaps (7, 107, 10').
5. A machine according to claim 4 further comprising means for holding said opposite flaps (10, 10') when acting on said other flaps (9, 9') for Withdrawing the latter from said transfer plane.
6. A machine according to claim 4, wherein said means acting to pivot said front flaps (8, 8 9, 9) relatively to said transfer plane comprise stationary inclined elements forming guide ramps (21, 23), means for pushing each of said cartons whereby said front flaps are lifted by said guide ramps and means for exerting a force on said tubular body itself, said force bringing back said body alone in said transfer plane.
7. A machine according to claim 6, wherein said means for exerting said force on said tubular body itself being retractable means (26) adapted for withdrawing at the instant when action is performed by said means for withdrawing said other flaps (9, 9) from said transfer plane.
8. A machine according to claim 4 wherein said means acting on said other flaps (9, 9') for Withdrawing said flaps from said transfer plane comprise gripping members (27, 27) for holding said flaps in position and members (28, 28) for drawing said opposite flaps (10, 10) of each of said cartons in a direction opposite and contrary to the action produced by said gripping members.
9. A machine according to claim 8, wherein said gripping members comprise a moving traction arm fitted with aws.
10. A machine according to claim 9, wherein said retractable means are mounted on said moving traction arm.
11. A machine according to claim 4, further comprising ramps for folding said flaps which are released by said jaws outwards against the corresponding faces of each of said cartons, and guides for maintaining said flaps in the folded-back position.
12. A machine according to claim 11, further comprising means for tilting each of said cartons through an angle of on a discharge conveyor having lugs located at a distance from each other, said distance being substantially equal to the length of each of said cartons, said discharge conveyor being adapted to move in synchronism with the carton feeding conveyor.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,161,113 12/1964 Walter et al 9353 BERNARD STICKNEY, Primary Examiner.