US 3470675 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 7, 1969 Filed March 15, 1967 W. B. CRANE, JR
PACKAGING MACHINE 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 Inuen 10/" [William fiCr-anad'rs By his Azzfor'ne y Oct. 7, 1969 w. a. CRANE, JR
PACKAGING MACHINE 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 15, 1967 Oct. 7, 1969 w. a. CRANE. JR
PACKAGING MACHINE 6 Sheets-She et 5 Filed March 15, 1967 Oct. 7, 1969 w. B. CRANE, JR 5 PACKAGING MACHINE Filed March 15, 1967 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 Oct. 7, 1969 w. a. CRANE. JR 3,470,675
PACKAGING MACHINE Filed March 15, 1967 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Ot. 7, 1969 w. B. CRAN-E, JR
PACKAGING MACHINE 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed March 15, 1967 2st rpm 950i guiwv 20; x5 uzEa United States Patent Ofi ice US. Cl. 53-167 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A packaging machine for inserting articles in loops of film on display cards. The loops are blown open about a form and the articles are fed from a magazine along one face of the card into the loops.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a machine for packaging articles in open-ended loops of shrinkable film which extend through openings in display cards and partially encircle and hold the article against a display card. US. Patent 3,286,835 granted Nov. 22, 1966 in the name of the present inventor discloses such a display package in which the film is looped at the front face of the card and is secured to the back face at opposite sides of the opening. The patent also schematically describes a method and an apparatus for inserting articles to be packaged in the above type of display cards. The apparatus of the present invention, however, provides substantial improvements over that disclosed schematically in the patent. My co-pending application Ser. Nov 623,279 filed Mar. 15, 1967 discloses a machine for forming the film loops in such a display card. The cards may be fed directly into the machine of the present invention or may be stored for subsequent use. In any event, it has been found that the film loops frequently are folded together or stuck to the card so that it is difficult to open the loops for insertion of an article so that automatic loading would then be impossible. Thus, the invention provides for forceably opening and shaping the loop. With opening of the loop thus ensured it is possible to provide for automatic card feeding as well as article loading into the loop.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a general object of the invention to provide an improved apparatus for efficiently handling a series of display cards having film loops and for inserting articles in the loops which are blown open around a form so that the loops are suitably shaped before insertion of the article. According to one feature of the invention, blanks are fed along a track to an article loading station where a blast of air is directed through the opening in the display card and into the loop. A pivotal member, forming part of the track, is provided to direct the leading edge of the card against a stop so that the film loop is accurately located with respect to the air blast as well as to the article loading mechanism.
According to a further feature, a second station is provided along the track for separating the card blanks after the article has been inserted in the loop. At this station a feeler mechanism senses the leading edge of. the card and causes actuation of a second pivotal member also forming a portion of the track to direct the card against another stop for location at the second station so that heated dies are positioned between adjacent cards to sever the film connecting the cards.
The invention together with novel details of construction and combinations of parts will now be described with 3,470,675 Patented. Oct. 7, 1969 particular reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of one end of a machine embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view, partly broken away, of a magazine for holding articles to be packaged;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the other end of the machine shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a section on line IV IV of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a section on line V-V of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a section on line VI-VI of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a section in enlarged scale on line VII-VII of FIG. 3;
FIG. 8 is a section on line VIII-VIII of FIG. 1;
FIGS. 9, 1O, 11 and 12 are perspective views illustrating the various steps performed in packaging an article on the machine; and
FIG. 13 is a diagrammatic view in perspective showing the progressive formation of completed packages.
US. Patent No. 3,286,835 discloses a new package which is extremely simple and which lends itself to modern high speed automated packaging procedures. As disclosed in said patent and in FIGS. 9-12 herein, the package is provided with an article embracing loop 2 of heat shrinkable film which extends through an opening 4 in a display card 6. The film is in web form and is secured to the back face of the card at opposite sides of the opening. As disclosed in said application, a plurality of cards may be connected together both by the web of film and by lands 7 to form units each having a number of connected cards. It should be apparent that the machine is adapted also to process display cards individually rather than in units of connected cards and may insert a wide variety of articles in film loops of suitable size and shape as disclosed in said patent.
As seen in FIG. 9 the film loop is open at opposite ends and is of a size sufiicieint to accommodate endwise insertion of an article 8 as seen in FIGS. 10 and 11. After insertion of the article, the loop is shrunk to embrace the article tightly and hold it against the front face of the display card as seen in FIG. 12. The article 8 shown has a cylindrical shape such as a lipstick container, but it should be apparent that articles of many different configurations may be packaged on cards of any appropriate size. The film used may be any one of a wide variety of shrinkable films which are in a tensilized condition so that upon exposure to heat or other activating medium the film will shrink back to its initial or relaxed condition.
FIGS. 1 and 4 show respectively a plan view and a side elevation of one half of the machine, while FIGS. 3 and 6 taken together show the other half of the machine. Although as previously discussed, the machine may be adapted to package articles in individual display cards, the following description will be directed toward packaging a plurality of articles in a plurality of film loops at one time. As seen in FIG. 13, a series of cards 6 are connected together both by the web of film and by lands 7 at opposite ends of the cards to form units 12. Each unit is guided into the machine by members 14 and 15 and along a pair of tracks 16 as best seen in FIGS. 4 and 5. The tracks are formed by a pair of bars 18 which are mounted for adjustment widthwise of the machine on rods 19 fixed in side frames 20. The bars are provided with caps 21 which act to maintain the card units on the bars and in edgewise alignment. The cards are fed along the tracks by feed rolls 24 engaging the underside of the cards, there being provided rolls 25 arranged to press the cards against the rolls. The feed rolls are fixed on shafts 26 provided at one end with sprockets 27 which are connected by a chain 28 to a motor not shown. Obviously other means for feeding the cards could be used without departing from the scope of the invention.
The card units are fed along the tracks and initially located at an article loading station 30. For locating each unit for insertion of articles 8 in loops 2 there is provided a pivotal member 32 having a groove 33 (FIG. 4) which forms a portion of the track 16. Adjacent to the member 32 is a stop member 34 having a groove 35 forming a continuation of the track and also having a stop surface 36. Member 32 is pivoted at 38, and a spring 39 acts to maintain the member in the raised condition as seen in FIG. 4. In this manner the leading edge of the card unit fed along the track is directed by the member 32 against the stop surface 36 to locate the unit properly at the loading station.
The film loops 2 of the card unit are generally in a. folded and limp condition or may be lightly adhered to the card when introduced to the machine as seen in FIG. 13. To enable insertion of the articles 8 the loops must be opened and somewhat shaped to the article to be inserted. To this end, the loading station is provided with an opening 44 of a chamber 46 as best seen in FIGS. 1 and 4. The opening 44 underlies the openings 4 of the card unit when the leading edge of the unit is located against the stop 34. The chamber 46 is connected by a duct 47 to a blower 48. When the machine is operating, the blower causes a blast of air to flow from the opening 44 and through the openings 4 in the card unit. This causes the loops to be blown open in a distended condition as seen in FIG. 9. To insure opening of the loop as Well as to partially shape the loop to correspond generally to the article to be inserted, forms 50 having pointed ends are projected into the loops as seen in FIG. so that the air flows about the form, thus shaping the loop. The forms are secured to a bracket 52 connected to one end of a piston rod 53 extending from a double acting cylinder 54 mounted on the side frame 20. Introduction of air under pressure through a pipe 56 while exhausting a pipe 57 by actuation of a valve 58 causes forms 50 to be moved to the left into the film loops as seen in FIG. 8.
The loading station 30 is provided with a plurality of tubes 60 which terminate in alignment with the opened loops 2 for conducting articles into the loops. The other ends of the tubes are mounted in a plate 61, and at the left side of the plate as seen in FIG. 8 the upper half of the tubes are cut away forming trays 62 for receiving articles to be fed to the tubes. Also fixed to the plates 61 is a chute 63 adapted to guide a magazine 64 for downward movement past the ends of the trays 62. The magazine is provided with pockets 66 (see also FIG. 2) which receive one end of the articles 8, with the other ends of the articles projecting from the magazine so as to be deposited in the trays as best seen in FIG. 8. The pockets 66 are each provided with apertures 67 into pockets 66 which, during downward movement of the magazine, become aligned with openings 68 in the chute 63. For moving a series of articles from the magazine along trays 62 and through tubes 60 there is provided a plate 70 having a plurality of rods 71 movable through the aligned openings 67 and 67. Plate 70 is fixed on a pair of rods 72 which are guided for sliding movement in a pair of cars 74 on the chute 63. Plate 70 is further provided with a handle 75 by which the rods may be moved manually by an operator to feed a plurality of articles 8 into tubes 60-. It should be understood, however, that movement of the plate 70 and rods 71 may be accomplished mechanically or by suitable air motors in generally the same manner as movement of the forms 50. Repeated movement of handle 75 causes a plurality of articles to be fed end to end through tubes 60 as seen in FIG. 8. During such repeated cycles a succession of articles 8 are deposited in trays '62 by downward movement of the magazine 64. Movement of rods 71 pushes the articles from the magazine and along trays 62 and into the tubes. At this time the spindles 71 in holes 67 of the magazine prevent downward movement of the magazine. Upon retraction of rods 71 the magazine is released for downward movement and another set of articles is deposited in the trays with the articles then preventing further downward movement of the magazine. When the tubes 60 are filled with articles 8 as seen in FIG. 8 another movement of rods 71 causes articles 8 to be inserted in the film loops 2. As the articles are inserted in the tubes the forms 50 are withdrawn by introduction of pressurized air through pipe 57 leading into the cylinder 54.
After insertion of the articles in the loops, a valve actuated either automatically or by an operator introduces pressurized air to the end of a cylinder 81 causing the end of a piston rod 82 to pivot member 32 by means of an upstanding arm 83. This causes the groove 33 in member 32 to align the leading edge of the card unit with groove 35 in the stop 34 thereby permitting continued movement of the card unit by feed rolls 24. The card unit 12 loaded with articles 8 is fed along the tracks until its leading edge engages a feeler 86 (FIGS. 6 and 7) at a film cutting station 88. Movement of feeler 86 actuates a pilot valve 89 which introduces pressurized air to one end of a cylinder 94. This causes the end of a piston rod 96 to be moved to the right as seen in FIG. 7 thereby permitting a member 98 to pivot upwardly by a spring 99. Member 98 is provided with a groove 100 which forms a part of the card track 16, and which when in the position seen in FIG. 7, guides the leading edge of the card unit against a stop 102. In the position located by stop 102 the film web between individual cards 6 of the unit 12 is positioned over lands 104 (FIG. 6) of a heated member 106. Aligned with the lands 104 there are provided a plurality of fingers 108 extending downwardly from a bar 110. The bar is carried on the lower end of a piston rod 111 extending from a cylinder 112 carried on a bridge member 113 extending between side frames 20. At the same time that air is introduced to cylinder 94, pressurized air is also introduced to the upper end of cylinder 112. This causes the bar to be moved downwardly so that fingers 108 press the film on the underside of cards 6 against the heated lands 104. Member 106 is heated sufiiciently to cause the film connecting the cards to be melted, thus separating the cards so that the only connection remaining is formed by the lands 7 (FIG. 13). The piston rod 111 extends through the upper end of cylinder 112 and carries a valve 116. The valve is provided with an actuator 117 which engages a stop screw 118 at the end of the downward movement of piston rod 111, causing actuation of valve 116 and reversal of the air connections to cylinders 94 and 112 to raise the fingers 108 and return member 98 to its initial position. Groove 100 of member 98 then aligns the leading edge of card unit 12 with a groove 122 in the stop 102 to permit continued movement of the card unit along the track by the feed rolls 24.
The card unit is thereafter fed along the track past a unit 124 which directs heated air or other shrinking medium downwardly to shrink the film loops to grip the articles 8 tightly against the display cards 6. Unit 124, not shown in detail, may be of any suitable type of device commonly available for shrinking tensilized film by the application of heated air. After the film loops are shrunk,
continued movement of the unit 12 feeds the cards through knife rolls 126 which act to remove the opposite ends of the cards having lands 7 so that the display cards are separated into individual packages as best seen in FIG. 13.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. In a machine for packaging an article by insertion in a loop of film extending through an opening in a display card, the combination of means for feeding an article into said loop, means adjacent the feeding means for directing a flow of air, and means for locating the card at the feeding means with the card opening registered with the directing means whereby air flows through the card opening to expand the loop while an article is fed into the loop.
2. A machine according to claim 1 and provided with a form having a cross section generally similar to that of said article, and means for inserting the form in the loop before the article is fed for causing the air to flow around the form so the loop assumes the general crosssectional shape of the article.
3. A machine according to claim 1 in which the means for directing the pressurized air includes an opening which is covered by a card located for having an article fed into the loop and a blower device connected to the opening whereby a blast of pressurized air is directed through the card opening into the film loop.
4. A machine according to claim 1 in which the means for locating the card includes a track along which the card is fed, a stop, and a guide block forming a part of said track and pivotable to direct the leading edge of the card against the stop for locating the card for insertion of the article into the film loop.
5. A machine according to claim 4 in which the guide block is normally in position to direct the card against the stop, and means are provided for pivoting the block to guide the card along the track after the article is fed into the loop. t
6. A machine according to claim 5 in which the pivot ing means includes a fluid motor.
7. A machine according to claim 1 in which the article feeding means includes a tray adapted to receive an article and having a conductor for guiding an article from the tray to the film loop of a located card, a magazine movable past the tray and having pockets for holding a plurality of said articles with part of each article protruding from the magazine and receivable in the tray preventing movement of the magazine, each pocket having an aperture at the closed end, and a spindle movable through an aperture for feeding an article from a pocket into the conductor for insertion into a film loop, the spindle thereupon preventing movement of the magazine, the spindle also being retractable from the aperture to release the magazine for movement to deposit a succeed ing article in the tray.
8. In a machine for securing a plurality of articles to display cards having loops of a strip of film extending through openings in a plurality of cards connected by the film strip to form units, the combination of:
(a) a first station having means to feed a plurality of articles into the loops of each unit located at the first station,
(b) a second station having means for severing the film between each card of a unit located at the second station,
(0) a track extending past said station,
(d) means for feeding successive card units along the track to said stations,
(e) a stop at each station for locating individual units at each station,
(f) a guide block associated with each stop and forming a portion of said track, said block being pivotable between a position in which the leading end of each unit is directed from the track against the stop and a position in which the unit is guided past the stop along the track, and
(g) control means for causing the blocks to be pivoted to stop each unit at the first station for feeding articles in the film loops and thereafter at the second station for severing the film connecting the cards.
9. A machine according to claim 8 adapted to operate on cards which are also connected at opposite ends by lands and including knife rolls through which the card units are fed to cut the ends of the card for separation into individual packages.
10. A machine according to claim 8 adapted to operate on cards having loops of heat shrinkable film and having a heating unit for shrinking the film loops against the articles.
11. A machine according to claim 8 in which the control means includes mechanism for pivoting the guide block at the first station to return the leading edge of the card unit to the track for feeding to the second unit after the articles are inserted in the film loops.
12. A machine according to claim 8 in which the control means includes a device for sensing the leading edge of an advancing card unit and a fluid motor controlled by the device for pivoting one of the: guide blocks to direct the unit against an associated stop.
13. A machine according to claim 8 in which the first station includes a chamber through which is directed a blast of air under pressure, said chamber having an opening which is covered by a card unit positioned at said first station whereby air under pressure is forced through the openings in said cards for expanding said loops.
14. A machine according to claim 8 in which the second station includes heated lands adapted to melt the film connecting the cards of a unit positioned at the second station and a member for pressing the cards and film against the heated lands for severing the film connecting the cards.
15. In a machine for packaging articles in heat shrinkable loops of film extending through openings in a series of display cards which are connected by lands at opposite ends of the cards to form units, the combination of:
(a) means for feeding the card units along a track,
(b) means for inserting articles into the loops of said units,
(c) means for stopping each unit fed along said track in a located position while articles are inserted in the loops, said stopping means acting to release the cards for continued feeding after the articles are inserted,
(d) means for heating said film loops during the continued feeding for shrinking the loops against the articles, and
(e) means for removing the opposite ends of the cards having the lands to separate said series into individual packages after the loops have been shrunk.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,074,212 1/1963 Castner 53-196 X 3,330,093 7/1967 Schorer 53-189 3,286,835 11/1966 Crane 53-184 X THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner NEIL ABRAMS, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.