US 3483666 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 16, 1969 o. B. HARMES ET AL FILLING DEVICE 3 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Jan. 5, 1967 53 5 M ,4 NW a WN mm W w B W r T M 9% W ATTORNEY Dec. 16, 1969 3 HARMES ETAL 3,483,566
3 SheetsSheet 2 Filed Jan. 5, 1967 III? INVENTORS' OREN BUR TON HARMES KARL W/LFRED MOSELEY A TTO/P/VEV Dec. 15, 1969 O HARMES ETAL FILLING DEVICE 3 Sheets-Sheet Filed Jan. 5, 1967 IN VENTORS ORE N BURTON HARMES KARL W/LFRED MOSELE V TTORNEV United States Patent 3,483,666 FILLING DEVICE Uren Burton Hal-mes, Algona, Iowa, and Karl Wilfred Moseley, Zion, 111., assignors, by mesne assignments, to
Olinkraft, Inc., West Monroe, La, a corporation of Delaware Filed Jan. 3, 1967, Ser. No. 606,765 Int. Cl. B67c 7/00; B67b ]/04; B651) 3/32 US. Cl. 53-59 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The instant disclosure teaches a volumetric filling and capping machine comprising: A container for receiving measured loads; a dispenser for discharging measured loads into the container; filer means operably connected to the dispenser; and a capping assembly adjacent the filler means, said capping assembly having means for removing the container into and out of engagement with the filler means.
The present invention relates to an improved filling device. More specifically, the present invention relates to an improved device for rapidly filling plastic bags with a predetermined amount of liquid.
Recently, the dairy industry has begun to distribute milk indisposable plastic bags, each bag being supported and contained in a corrugated fibreboard container or an outer housing of flexible material, see US. Patent No. 3,206,105, for example. This presents numerous advantages, for example, there is no problem of returns and sterilization of glass or metal containers and no problem of having to use glass or metal containers and take special care of them. The disposable bag, which is characteristicaily of a fairly light weight polyethylene, is sterilized at the time of manufacture and is delivered in the sterile condition. The disposable bags are easily stored before use, fully collapsed and fiat, and are still flat when delivered to the filling machine.
However, there have been numerous difiiculties as sociated with filling these bags. The disposable bags are provided with a spout-like portion that projects out from one of the sidewalls of the bag. Heretofore, in order to obtain suitable production in filling the bag and comleting assembly of the final product, either two or more operators were required or one operator was required to divide his attention between several functions, making the overall operation of the machine quite slow and uneconomical.
Furthermore, previous methods were characterized by the use of weighing devices in order to accurately determine the net contents of the bag. The difiiculties with these devices are the relatively slow and inaccurate operations and the relatively large amount of manual labor required.
Accordingly, it is a principal object of the present invention to provide an improved filling device.
It is an additional object of the present invention to provide an improved device as aforesaid capable of rapidly filling plastic bags with a predetermined amount of liquid while requiring a relatively small amount of manual labor.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device as aforesaid which is readily susceptible to large scale commercial operations without the necessity of a plurality of manual operations.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will appear hereinafter from an examination of the succeeding specification when read in conjunction with the appended drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of the dispensing container of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a partial top view, partly in section, f the dispensing container of the present invention;
FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view, partly schematic, showing the filling and capping assembly of the present invention;
FIGURE 4 is a top view, partly schematic, of the filling and capping assembly, with portions cut away; and
FIGURES 58 are partly schematic side elevational views of the filling and capping assembly in various stages of operation.
Referring to the drawings, FIGURES 1 and 2 show a liquid dispensing container or dispenser of generally cylindrical shape. It should be understood that while milk is the preferred liquid being dispensed, any fiowable liquid is contemplated. For reasons which will become apparent hereinafter, container 10 should be formed of a non-magnetic material. Furthermore, the container 10, as well as all components of the filling device of the present invention, should be made from a sanitary, easily cleanable material which can be easily disassembled, sterilized and reassembled in the sterile condition, such as stainless steel.
Thus, container 10 has a central body portion 11 and removable end portions 12 and 13. End portion 12 has flange 1 4 circumscribing the innermost portion thereof mating with a corresponding flange on body portion 11. A suitable gasket 16, such as plastic or a suitable rubber compound, is provided between flanges 14 and 15 to assure that there will be no leakage. Adjustable clamp 17 is provided to tightly mate flanges 14 and 15 by means of screw 18 and wing nut 19. Similarly, end portion 13 has flange 20 cooperating with flange 21 on body portion 11 to form a leakage tight assembly with gasket 22. Clamp 23 completes the assembly. Thus, the end portions 12 and 13 may be readily removed from body portion 11 for cleaning or repairs.
Internally of central body portion 11 is piston assembly 24 slidably afiixed within body portion 11. Piston assembly 24 has two piston faces 25 and 26, each substantially interfitting the periphery of body portion 11 so as to form two liquid tight chambers 27 and 28, with gaskets 29 and 30 preventing leakage from one chamber to another. Piston assembly 24 is made of non-magnetic material, preferably plastic, except for a ferrous or carbon steel sensing ring 31 which is fixedly carried internally of piston assembly 24.
Control box 46 is firmly afiixed beneath dispensing container 10. The control box 48 may be carried on top of dispensing container 10, or at any point on the circumference of body portion 11. Control box contains proximity switches 41 and 42 slidably attached to bar 43. Bar 43 is attached to control box 40 by nuts 44 and 45. Proximity switch 41 can be moved along bar 43 by means of nuts 46 and 47, which also serve to firmly afiix proximity switch 41 in the desired location. Similarly, proximity switch 42 is adjusted by nuts 48 and 49. Proximity switches 41 and 42 are served by electrical conduits 50 and 51 which run to a main control box, not shown.
The proximity switches 41 and 42 operate in conjunction with piston assembly 24 in the following manner. When piston assembly 24 is moving towards end portion 12, piston face 25 is forcing liquid out of chamber 27 and chamber 28 is being filled. The pressure of the liquid entering chamber 28 forces the piston assembly 24 towards end portion 12. When piston assembly 24 has traveled far enough to position the sensing ring 31 into the magnetic field of the proximity switch 41, the proximity switch 41 energizes a main switch to cause piston assembly 24 to move in the opposite direction and the process is repeated emptying chamber 28. As can be seen in FIG- URE 1, when proximity switches 41 and 42 are moved along bar 43, this changes the amount of liquid delivered on each stroke of piston assembly 24.
Each chamber 27 and 28 has common inlet-outlet pipe and 61, aifixed to end portions 12 and 13, respectively, although separate inlet and outlet pipes may of course be provided. Pipe 60 is a T having manifold 62, outlet arm 63 and inlet arm 64. Similarly, pipe 61 is a T having manifold 65, outlet arm 66 and inlet arm 67. Inlet arms 64 and 67 are connected by sleeve 68 and fed by common delivery pipe 69. Movable valve member 70 is carried within sleeve 68 and acts to close inlet arm 67 when inlet arm 64 is open, and vise versa. Thus, when piston face 26 is forcing liquid out of chamber 28 via manifold and outlet arm 66, valve is in the position shown in FIGURE 2 permitting delivery into chamber 27 and preventing delivery of milk into chamber 28. When sensing ring 31 moves into the magnetic field of proximity switch 42, this energizes a main switch which moves valve 70 into the position shown in the dotted lines, reversing the liquid flow.
FIGURE 3 shows the relationship between liquid dispensing container 10 and the filling and capping assembly 81. It should be understood that in actuality there are two such filling and capping assemblies 81, with one being on each side of dispensing container 10. For simplicity, however, only one has been shown. Filling and capping assembly 81 is designed to automatically deliver liquid to a container for receiving measured loads, such as disposable plastic bag 82 having a body portion 83, a nozzle portion 84 integral therewith and valve portion 85 removably seated on said nozzle portion. As seen more clearly in FIGURES 58, valve portion 85 has an annular flange 86 on one end thereof and nozzle portion 84 has three annular flanges 87, 88 and 89 defining two recessed neck portions, one between flange 87 and 88 and one between flange 88 and 89 for placement of the bag in a refrigerator fixture and also for receiving the capper arm. Flange 89 is also used to secure the nozzle portion 84 to bag 82, such as by heat sealing or the like. Flange 87 is primarily for strengthening nozzle 84. Valve portion 85 also has a second annular flange 90 opposite said flange 86 which firmly seats internally of said nozzle 84.
The filling and capping assembly 81 automatically uncaps disposable bag 82 by separating valve portion 85 from nozzle portion 84, fills disposable bag 82 and caps the bag by positively positioning flange 90 of valve portion 85 inside nozzle portion 84. All these operations are performed automatically and in rapid sequence.
Disposable bag 82 is seated on the filling and capping assembly 81 in the following manner. Flange 86 of valve portion 85 is inserted in groove 91 of capper plate 92. This automatically positions fork like prongs 93 and 94 of movable capper arm 95 in the recess between flanges 88 and 89, with flange 88 above and flange 89 below capper arm 95, as clearly shown in FIGURES 58. Thus, when capper arm 95 moves downwardly, valve portion 85 is separated from nozzle portion 84 and when capper arm 95 moves upwardly, valve portion 85 is seated in nozzle portion 84 in the manner previously described.
Capper plate 92 is fixedly maintained in the position shown by means of support rods 96 and 97 attached to table 98 by means of nuts 99 and 100.
Capper arm 95 is firmly connected to movable actuator rod 101 via screw 182 Actuator rod 101 has an upper portion 103 and lower portion 104. The actuator rod 101 is moved by piston 105 which in turn is actuated by vertical air cylinder 106 afiixed to capper plate 92 by nut 107. Upper stop nut 108 afiixed to actuator rod 101 limits the upward movement of capper arm 95 and lower stop nut 109 and bushing 110 limit the downward movement of actuator rod 101, thus limiting the downward movement of capper arm 95 affixed thereto. Capper arm 95 in its upward most position is shown schematically in FIG- URE 5 and in its downward most position is shown schematically in FIGURE 6.
In operation, the operator inserts disposable bag 82 onto capper plate 92 and capper arm 95 as described and presses starter button 111 connected to vertical air cylinder 106 by clamp 112 and screw 113. Starter button 111 actuates vertical air cylinder 106 which causes downward movement of actuator rod 101.
It is to be understood that the present specification has reference to the drawings which are partly schematic in nature. Therefore, various conventional items are not shown and should be understood, such as wiring, electrical circuits, central control box, etc.
Lower portion 104 of actuator rod 101 carries movable switch cam plate having cam lobes 121 and 122. The downward movement of actuator rod 101 causes switch cam lobe 121 to contact impulse switch 123. Impulse switch 123 actuates horizontal air cylinder 124 which in turn causes a rotary movement of actuator rod 101, via horizontal piston 125 and horizontal actuator rod 126. Plate 127 carries stop screw 128 to limit movement of horizontal actuator rod 126. Plate 127 is in turn affixed to table 98. Drive pin 129 is rigidly aflixed to horizontal actuator rod 126. Lower actuator arm 130 pivots around drive pin 129 and is aflixed to lower portion 104 of actuator rod 101. Thus, horizontal actuator rod 126 transmits a rotary motion to lower actuator arm 130 via movement of drive pin 129 which in turn causes a rotary movement of actuator rod 101 and a lateral movement by capper arm 95.
Impulse switch 123 is contained in housing 131 affixed to table 98 via bolts 132 and 133.
Rotary movement of actuator rod 101 causes lateral movement of capper arm 95 and switch cam plate 120 afiixed thereto. The lateral movement of capper arm 95 positions the capper arm 95 and disposable bag 82 beneath filler nozzle or neck as shown schematically in FIG- URE 7. The lateral movement of switch cam plate 120 causes lobe 121 to move out of contact with impulse switch 123 and lobe 122 to move into contact with impulse switch 123. When lobe 122 contacts switch 123, this actuates vertical air cylinder 106 to raise actuator rod 101 and thus bring disposable bag nozzle 84 into contact with filler neck 140 and seat filler neck 140 within bag nozzle 84, with annular flange 141 on the bottom of filler neck 140 assuring a tight fit. This is shown in FIG- URE 8.
When the actuator rod 101 reaches its uppermost portion and filler neck 140 is seated within bag nozzle 84, cam lobe 121 contacts safety switch 142. Safety switch 142 is shown schematically in FIGURE 4 and is above impulse switch 123. The safety switch 142 which actuates filler valve 143 causes the filler valve to open via filler valve control box 144.
When the filler valve opens, the operations described hereinabove occur, piston face 25 moves toward the open filler valve discharging liquid out chamber 27 via manifold 62, outlet 63, and filler neck 140 into disposable bag 82 while chamber 28 is being filled.
When piston 24 has traveled far enough to position the sensing ring into the magnetic field of the proximity switch 41, the proper amount of liquid has been discharged into disposable bag 82. The proximity switch 41 actuates filler valve control box 144 to close filler valve 143 and also actuates vertical air cylinder 106 to lower actuator rod 101 in the manner described hereinabove. The operations described hereinabove then function in reverse, with the disposable bag nozzle 84 being seated on the bag valve 85.
In the meantime, while disposable bag 82 is being filled, the operator has placed another disposable bag in position on the filling and capping assembly 81 adjacent end portion 13. When disposable bag nozzle 84 is finally filled and seated on bag valve 85 adjacent end portion 12, the operator presses starter button 111 adjacent end portion 13. This repeats the operation on the other side and also actuates kick-ofi cylinder 145 which actuates kick-off arm 146 to remove disposable bag 82, along with bag nozzle 84 and bag valve 85 firmly afiixed thereto. This is shown schematically in FIGURE 4. Kick-off cylinder 145 is bolted to capper plate 92 via nut 147 and capper plate extension 148.
It will be noted that the foregoing readily achieves the objects of the present invention and attains an easy, rapid and automated filling and capping mechanism. The disadvantages noted heretofore are readily overcome and surprising speed, accuracy and simplicity are readily achieved.
This invention may be embodied in other forms or carried out in other ways without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment is therefore to be considered as in all respects illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims, and all changes which come Within the meaning and range of equivalency are intended to be embraced therein. For example, one may utilize a single filling and capping assembly 31 rather than two such assemblies, and so forth.
What is claimed is:
1. A volumetric filling and capping machine for filling and capping plastic, bag-type containers, which containers comprise a body portion, a nozzle portion integral with said body portion and a valve portion removably seated on said nozzle portion which machine comprises:
(A) a dispenser for discharging measured loads into a plastic, bag-type container, having (1) inlet means for receiving a load,
( 2) outlet means for discharging a load,
(3) piston means internally thereof for discharging measured loads through said outlet means, and
(4) at least tWo proximity switches for controlling the movement of said piston means, and hence, the volume of the load discharged through said outlet means;
(B) filler means operably connected to said outlet means having (1) a neck connected to said outlet means for receiving the nozzle portion of a plastic, bag-type container, (2) a filler valve operably connected to said neck, said filler valve in the open position permitting the discharging of said measured load and in the closed position preventing the discharge of said measured load, and
(3) means for opening and closing said filler valve;
(C) a capping assembly adjacent said filler means hav- (1) means for receiving the valve portion of a plastic, bag-type container,
(2) means for receiving and moving the nozzle portion of a plastic, bag-type container which means comprise (a) an arm for firmly holding said nozzle portion, and
(b) actuating means operably connected to said arm for automatically moving said arm and said nozzle portion into and out of engagement with said neck and into and out of engagement with the valve portion of said plastic, bag-type container.
2. The machine of claim 1 wherein at least one of said proximity switches is adjustably mounted to said dispenser such that the volume of said measured load can be varied by adjusting the position of said proximity switch.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,505,800 5/1950 Smith 141-248 2,536,299 1/1951 Martin 141-248 2,593,889 4/1952 Kahl 222-25O 2,620,960 12/1952 Harrington 73-239 X 2,963,834 12/1960 Stanley 5337 3,106,230 10/1963 Laun 5337 X 3,299,606 1/1967 Weikert 53-37 3,308,599 3/1967 Perlowski 5337 X 3,370,759 2/1968 Johansson 222249 3,391,518 7/1968 Gettig 5337 X 3,405,500 10/1968 Rupert 5337 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,051,710 12/1966 Great Britain.
WAYNE A. MORSE, 1R., Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.