US 3477200 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1969 R. I. WEINBERGER ET L 3,477,200
FLEXIBLE PACKAGING EQUIEMENT Hal IN VEN TORS ROYAL l. WEINBERGER y NICHOLAS LUSCH fi s/g AITPBNEY Nov. 11, 1969 WEWBERGER ETAL 3,477,200
FLEXIBLE PACKAGING EQUIPMENT 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 6-,. 1966 INVENTORS ROYAL I. WEINBERGER NICHOLAS LUSCH ATTORNEY 1969 R. WEINBERGER ET AL 3,477,200
FLEXIBLE PACKAGING EQUIPMENT Filed April 6 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTORS ROYAL I. WEINBERGER NICHOLAS LUSCH ATTORNEY NOV. 11, 1969 E B ETAL 3,477,200
FLEXIBLE PACKAGING EQUIPMENT 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed April 6, 1966 INVENTORS ROYAL LWEINBERGER BY NICHQLAS LUSCH ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,477,200 FLEXIBLE PACKAGING EQUIPMENT Royal I. Weinberger, New York, N.Y., and Nicholas Lusch, Somerville, N.J., assignors to Holland-Ramos Company, Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Apr. 6, 1966, Ser. No. 568,688 Int. Cl. B65b 3/02, 9/08, 63/04 US. Cl. 53-120 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE It has heretofore been known to provide a sealed packet containing a folded web of absorbent material saturated, for example, with hand cleaner or the like. However, considerable difficulty has been encountered in achieving an accurately folded towel. Further, the cost of manufacturing such packets has been relatively high due, in part, to the necessity for providing a relatively high ratio of encapsulating and encasing material to the quantity of towel disposed therein.
A clearly desirable end result, of course, lies in the provision of a packet wherein smaller amounts of encapsulating material are required to enclose equal or larger amounts of folded towel, as contrasted with articles of the type described which have heretofore been known.
Further economies are realized in the device by reason of the ability to use relatively less expensive webs of material, the use of such advantageous materials being made possible through a novel series of folding steps executed by the unique apparatus hereinafter set forth. Particularly, in known devices it was necessary to use relatively wide webs of material to achieve an absorbent packet filler of a desired, predetermined small size. By the novel apparatus hereof, an improved and more compact filler may be achieved with the use of less expensive, narrow webs of starting material.
Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide an improved apparatus for manufacturing packets containin g liquid-saturated absorbent material.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a novel method and apparatus for accomplishing the noted end.
Still a further object of the invention is the provision of improved folding and stufiing apparatus, facilitating manufacture of the noted article.
Still a further object of the invention is the provision of a novel method whereby steps necessary in the manufacture of similar articles heretofore known are eliminated.
Still a further object of the invention is the provision of apparatus of the type described wherein the operation thereof is largely automatic and a minimum of adjustments and down time are experienced.
A still further object of the invention is the provision of an improved packet of the type described which may incorporate an increased volume of absorbent material without significant increase in the size of the packet or, more accurately, wherein packet of the same size as heretofore known may incorporate an increased quantity of absorbent material.
To attain these objects and such further objects as may appear herein or be hereinafter pointed out, reference 3,477,200 Patented Nov. 11, 1969 is made to the accompanying drawings, forming a part hereof, in which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of an apparatus for manufacturing an article in accordance with the invention,
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 1,
FIG. 3 is a magnified section taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2,
FIG. 4 is a magnified section taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 3,
FIG. 5 is a magnified section taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 3,
FIG. 6 is a further magnified section taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a magnified vertical sectional view taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 2,
FIG. 8 is a magnified section taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 7,
FIG. 9 is a cut away view showing the interaction of the roller and cutter mechanism,
FIG. 10 is a perspective view, partly schematic, illustrating the first folding step,
FIG. 11 is a perspective view showing the second folding and stufiing step, with parts being eliminated from the illustration for purposes of clarity, and
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a packet in accordance with the invention, with parts of the outer shell being broken away to show details of construction.
In accordance with the invention, there is shown in FIG. 1 a packet forming apparatus 10 comprising, generally, an envelope forming apparatus 11, an envelope filling section 12 and a sealing feed section 13. Since the invention herein is directed primarily to the general combination and to the filling section 12, only sufiicient reference will be made to the sections 11 and 13 to permit an understanding of their operation.
As shown in FIG. 1, 15 represents a supply roll of heat sealable plastic material, preferably a plastic lined metallic foil or the like. In accordance with known practice, material from the roll is led through vertical guide members 17, forming the material 15 into a general trough-like conformation. The material from the roll 15 is advanced by a pair of opposed vertical drive rollers 19, the rollers 19 being mounted on shafts 21 having beveled gears 23 at their lower extremities, the beveled gears meshing with corresponding beveled gear 25 which is mounted on the intermittently driven shaft 39.
A drive shaft 27 is powerized by drive motor M, it being understood, in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention and to assure coordinated operation of all of the elements, that the shaft 27 provides the power take-off for a Geneva drive 37 operating shaft 39 which powers all of the driven apparatus.
The foil is intermittently advanced by the drive rollers 19 and when stopped, sequential, generally T-shaped heat seals are formed at regularly spaced positions along the length of the plastic coated .foil by the inwardly and outwardly reciprocating seal members 29. An electrically controlled clutch 30, FIG. 2, interposed between shaft .21 and rollers 19 permits the rollers 19 to remain stationary during seal formation. It will be understood that such heat seals form the sides and the bottom seal for the envelopes to be subsequently filled. A cut off mechanism 31 is disposed to sever the foil advanced by the rollers 19, the theretofore interconnected envelopes being separated at a point coincident with the medial vertical heat previously formed.
The cut off mechanism 31 is timed with repsect to conveyor mechanism 33 so that the individual packets are not separated from the bulk of the material until after the endmost packet has been gripped in one of the spring clamp members 35 carried at spaced points along the conveyor mechanism. The conveyor mechanism moves intermittently and is driven by the Geneva type drive 37. The Geneva drive shaft 39 provides the power take off for the apparatus in sections 11, 12 and 13.
A puffer 41 directs a downward jet of air against the envelopes carried in the spring clamps 35 of conveyor 33, the open mouthed envelopes passing to the towel filling and stuifer section, with which the present invention is primarily concerned.
The towel or other insert is formed from an extended web 43 drawn from a supply roll 45 carrying an extended length of the insert material. The web 43 passes through folding mechanism, shown particularly in FIGS. 3 to 8, the folding mechanism being referred to collectively as 47.
Th folding mechanism 47 functions to form in the web 43 a plurality of lengthwisely extended accordion folds. The web is pulled through the folding mechanism by a pair of intermittently acting drive rollers 49, 49, which apply transverse pressure to the folded web extending from the fold mechanism 47. The rollers 49 are intermittently driven from power take off 51, in the form of a rack 52, one end of which is pivotally fixed to a crank lever 50 mounted on the cutter drive shaft 53 (see FIG. 9). The toothed portion of the rack is meshed with gear 54 which actuates drive roller shaft 56 in one direction, a ratchet connection 58 interposed between the gear 54 and shaft 56 preventing reverse movement of the shaft 56 upon retractile movement of the rack (i.e., movement to the left as viewed in FIG. 9). The cutter drive shaft 53 is connected to the Geneva drive shaft 39 as by drive chain 55 extending between sprocket 57 of the shaft 53 and drive sprocket 59 made fast to shaft 39.
The web 43 (FIG. 3) is led from the supply roll 45 over the upper surface of a pair of laterally spaced-apart support rollers 61, 61. A bight or loop 63 of the web hangs beneath the space defined between the spacer rollers 61, a weighted dancer 65 hanging in the bight and providing the desired constant tension. The dancer 65 includes laterally projecting stub shaft portions 67, riding in laterally spaced slots 69 disposed in parallel guide plates 70 (only one being shown-see FIG. 3).
From the foregoing, it will be understood that the dancer is permitted a range of vertical movement within the confines of the slots 69, the weight of the dancer providing and being the determinant of the amount of tension in the web.
The web, after passing over the second spacer roller 61, is led over idler rollers 71, 71 and thence to a fan folder 73. As best shown in FIGS. 3 to 6, the fan folder comprises a pair of end plates 75, 77 spaced apart from each other, the plates having inwardly directed guide walls (see FIGS. 4 and The plate 77 includes a series of guide walls 79, terminating in proximate spaced relation with respect to the end wall 75. Similarly, plate 75 includes a laterally extending guide wall 81 which is disposed between guide walls 79, the wall 81 terminating in proximate spaced relation to the end wall '77.
As best shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the guide walls overlap each other so as to cause the web 43 to assume a series of folded conformations. The guide walls become progressively closer to each other at progressively downwardly related positions within the fold box 73 so that the angles defined between the leaves of the fold in the web become progressively more acute at lower positions in the fold box.
As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, a pair of spring members 83 are mounted to the end wall 75 in opposed relation to the edges of the guide walls 79 extending from end wall 77. The folded web passing between the springs 83 and the ends of walls 79 is thus subjected to a yieldable lateral pressure, which pressure functions to maintain the marginal edges of the web in the junction defined by the outermost guide walls '79 and the end plate 77. This spring arrangement has been extremely eifective in as- 4 suring that, notwithstanding some variations in the width of the web, the folds will still be formed at the desired positions in the web. Skewing of the web is thus eliminated.
The accordion folded web emerging from the fold box 73 passes through a twister spout 85, which functions slightly further to compress the folds and to orient the folded web fore and aft or parallel with the direction of movement of the envelopers E carried on the spring retainer clips 35.
Referring now to FIG. 7, the web emerging from the twister spout 85 is compressed and pulled between the drive rollers 49, the said rollers completing the fold and forming sharp creases of the theretofore slightly rounded fold edges.
The folded and creased web passes through guide chute 87, which chute terminates in a stop member 89. Increments or segments 91 of the theretofore continuous folded web are severed from the Web by the oscillating knife 93. The knife is supported in a holder 95, slidably mounted between horizontal guide portions 97, inward and outward movement being provided to the knife holder by the eccentric mechanism 99 (see FIG. 9) mounted on the cutter drive shaft 53. The severed segments 91 are supported within the guides 87, at which position the first lateral folding operation is effected.
The lateral folding operation is performed by a first horizontally movable folder blade 101 carried by the piston rod 103 of a linear acting pneumatic motor 105. The blade 101 performs the folding operation by sliding parallel to a bed plate 107, the lowermost ends of the guides 87 being spaced above the bed plate a predetermined distance, to provide clearance for the blade 101 and for a double thickness of the accordion folded web.
The actuation of the motor 105 is triggered by a switch actuator 104 (FIG. 7) positioned to be responsive to forward movement of the cutter holder although it will be obvious that other parts of the assembly may be used to initiate the first folding step.
The blade 101 includes, adjacent its tip, an off-set trip finger 109, which trip finger, at the completion of the folding stroke, engages the moving arm 111 of a limit switch member 113. Tripping of the limit switch operates to energize the pneumatic motor to the withdrawing movement of the piston rod 103 and blade 101, said switch also operating to energize a second linear acting pneumatic motor 115 which controls the second folding and stuffing operations of the once folded segment.
It will be understood that after the segment is once folded by blade 101, retraction of the said blade in the manner aforesaid results in leaving the laterally folded web in a position directly above the second folding and stufiing anvil 117 comprising, essentially, a transversely extending slot in the bed plate 107. The timing of the apparatus is such that when the first folding operation has been completed and the second folding and stuffing operation is to be effected, an envelope E has been advanced to, and is stationary at, a position directly beneath the anvil 117. Directly beneath the stuffing station there is provided a support rail 119 having a longitudinally extending slot 121 within which the lower edge of the envelopes ride.
The second pneumatic motor 115 includes a piston rod 123 carrying a folding and stuffer blade 125. It will be understood that as the piston 123 travels downwardly within the motor or cylinder 115, the lower edge of the blade 125 is engaged transversely and substantially medially of the once laterally folded web segment, and forces the latter downwardly through the open mouth of the envelope E disposed beneath the anvil 117.
At the conclusion of the downward stroke, a second limit switch 127, having a movable contact finger 129, is tripped by contact with the lower end 131 of the branch of the stuffer blade, the coaction of parts 129 and 131 being effective to withdraw the piston rod 123 so that the equipment is in position for the next folding and insertion cycle.
The provision of a recessed rail 119 for support of the lower ends of the envelopes E enables the stuffer blade 125 to effect a complete stroke and thereby fully seat the now twice folded web segment in the envelope. It will be observed that the transverse dimension of the slot of anvil 117 is sufficient to permit the passage therethrough of the blade 125 together with the thicknesses of the web.
It will be further understood that after the stutter blade 125 is withdrawn from the envelope, the conveyor 33 advances the stuffed packets to a fluid ejector station 133, where the desired liquid is deposited in the open packet. It will be observed that the double, transversely folded web segment is a factor in maintaining the mouth portion of the envelopes in spread open condition for receiving the fluid.
After filling, the envelopes are led to a top seal forming station 135, wherein the remaining open margin of the packet is heat sealed, fully and sealingly to enclose the fluid filled, absorbent web.
After the final sealing operation, the completed packets are removed from the conveyer by suction apparatus 137, which picks the envelopes from the conveyor 33 and deposits the same seriatirn on a belt conveyor 139, from whence the packets are led to a final packaging station.
From the foregoing it will be seen that there is provided an apparatus for automatically forming packages containing a fluid saturated, folded web. The method of folding, involving an initial accordion fold and a subsequent series of two or more transverse foldings, assures that the web will be folded so as to occupy a minimum of volume and thus require reduced amounts of surface enclosing material. The novel interaction between the first and second lateral fold forming blades, whereby the completion of the fold forming stroke by one blade triggers the operation of the other blade, assures that the mechanism will operate with a maximum of accuracy and prevents the necessity for providing unduly long dwell times.
As many changes could be made in the above construction, method and article, and many apparently widely different embodiments of this invention could be made without departing from the scope of the claims, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described our invention, what we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. In an automatic apparatus for forming a fluid-tight package containtng a folded pad of liquid-saturated absorbent material, an improved mechanism for forming from a web and stuffing into an open ended envelope, an absorbent applicator pad having plural longitudinal and transverse folds, comprising a web supply, accordion fold box means through which a web from said supply is progressively passed for forming plural longitudinal folds therein parallel to the direction of movement of said web through said box means, intermittently actuated drive roll means exerting transverse pressure against the accordioned web emerging from said fold box for simultaneously creasing and advancing said Web, cutter means for severing segments from said folded and creased web advanced by said drive roll means, timing means operatively associated with said drive roll means and said cutter means for actuating said cutter means after predetermined increments of said web have passed said roll means to form a segment of desired length, stop means for supporting said segment of web in predetermined position, a first fold anvil in predetermined central relation to a web segment supported in said stop means, first fold blade means cyclically shiftable through said anvil and normal to said web segments for forming a first lateral fold in said segments and for advancing said laterally folded web segments on said blade means to a second fold station, means upon completion of movement of said first fold means to retract said first blade, a second fold anvil at said second station, second blade means at said second station shiftable through said second fold anvil at right angles to the direction of movement of said first fold means for forming a second lateral fold in said segment parallel to said first fold and for shifting said segment bodily through said second anvil, means upon completion of movement of said second blade means to return said second blade means to its retracted position, and an intermittent feed means for advancing opened envelopes seriatim in filling position beneath said second anvil in timed relation to the operation of said second blade means to receive the segment shifted through said second anvil and means for sealing said envelope.
2. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said fold box includes first and second end walls, a plurality of spaced guide walls extending from each said end wall toward the other end Wall, the free edge portions of said guide walls being spaced from the opposed end wall, said guide walls extending from one end wall being disposed between and overlapping the guide walls of the other said end wall, and spring means on said first end wall extending toward and spaced from said free edges of guide walls extending from said second end wall for engaging and yieldably biasing portions of said web toward said second end wall.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,987,211 1/1935 Remington 53--21 2,961,678 11/1960 MacLellan et al 53--29 X 3,126,431 3/1964 Harder et a1 53-51 X 3,286,435 11/1966 Weinberger 5336 X 3,323,279 6/1967 Matsui 53-123 FOREIGN PATENTS 364,452 10/1962 Switzerland.
TRAVIS S. McGEHEE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.