Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3491516 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 27, 1970
Filing dateOct 25, 1967
Priority dateOct 25, 1967
Publication numberUS 3491516 A, US 3491516A, US-A-3491516, US3491516 A, US3491516A
InventorsAlfred L Bergeron
Original AssigneePneumatic Scale Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Closure applying apparatus
US 3491516 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1970 'A. BERGERON 3,491,516

CLOSURE APPLYING APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed Feb. 5, ,1965

INVENTOR. A/fred L. Barge/0n BY I view A Troaw ay mmmmmmu HI n Illlllllllllllllllllfl llIl- II III Jan. 27, 1970 A. 1.. BERGERON 3,491,516

CLOSURE APPLYING APPARATUS Original Filed Feb. 5, 1965 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Alfred L. Bergeron 6 Sheets-Shea:- 5

Original Filed Feb. 5, 1965 INVENTOR. Alf/e0 L. Barge/0n BY Came -R ATTORNEY Jan. 27, 1970 A. L. BERGERON CLOSURE APPLYING APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 Original Filed Feb. 5, 1965 L INVENTOR.

A/f/ec/L. Bergeron Mandi :4

ATTORNEY Jan. 27, 1970 A. L. BERGERO'N CLOSURE APPLYING APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Original Filed Feb. 5, 1965 INVENTOR Alfred L. Barge/0n ATTORNEY Y Jam. 27, 1970 Original Filed Feb. 5,- 1965 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 03.? SPIN ROTATING VALVE CLOSES o A? F CHUCK "'xsPmoLE sro s ROTATlNG VALVE CLOSES A\R OFF; CAP GPIP RELEASED E? 5; a3; 2 4REcEN y R CAP VALVE OPENS, 1 AH? 0N, SP\NI7LEP- STARTS ROTATING 0C VALVE OPENS J AIR 0N, enwpmc CAP F RONTOF MCH.

340 30s SPINDLE ROTATING 36o OAIRON SP 2'9 i 1F \ND Lgl NOT DRWEN l/QAIR o I P ro GRIP r ARON GR g gue CAP L CAP NOT 8B$ZING GRIPPED/ lggu EAsE i I I I I I E no 96 R2sZ-1-15-+-3o-H+ 7 v V 4 3 b 4 FRONT OF MCH.

INVENTOR. Alfred L. Barge/0n BY 1 4214mm ATTORNEY U.S. Cl. 53--317 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus including rotary closure applying units wherein provision is made for adjusting the torque exerted by the gripping elements of all of the units equally and simultaneously whereby to obtain uniform tightness of the closures on their respective containers.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation of US. Ser. No. 430,- 583, filed Feb. 5, 1965, now abandoned.

This invention relates to closure applying apparatus.

The invention has for an object to provide novel and improved closure applying apparatus embodying an improved closure applying unit characterized by novel structure wherein wear of the closure gripping and applying element is reduced to a minimum.

The invention has for another object to provide novel and improved closure applying apparatus of the character specified wherein novel provision is made for controlling the rotation of the closure applying units in a manner such as to reduce to a minimum wear of the closure gripping and applying element.

A further object of the invention is to provide novel and improved closure applying apparatus of I the character specified having a plurality of closure applying units wherein novel provision is made for adjusting the torque exerted by the gripping elements of all of the units equally and simultaneously whereby to obtain uniform tightness of the closures on their respective containers.

} United States Patent A still further object of the invention is to provide novel and improved closure applying apparatus of the character specified having novel provision for mounting the gripping element for movement out of axial alignment with the axis of rotation of the driving element to compensate for slight misalignment of a container with a closure carried by the gripping element.

With these general objects in View and such others as may hereinafter appear, the invention consists in the closure applying apparatus and in the various structures, arrangements and combinations of parts as hereinafter described and particularly defined in the claims at the end of this specification.

In the drawings illustrating the preferred embodiment of the invention:

FIG. 1 is a vertical cross sectional view of closure applying apparatus embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1, partly in cross section;

FIG. 3 is a detail view in side elevation of a portion of the mechanism shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the upper portion of one of the closure applying units shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the lower portion of a closure applying unit;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 66 of FIG. 5;

3,491,516 Patented Jan. 27, 1970 FIG. 7 is a view in cross section taken on the line 7--7 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a detail view in side elevation of a control valve;

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic view of the compressed ai lines to be referred to; and

FIGS. 10 and 11 are diagrammatic views in plane and side elevation of cam charts to be referred to.

In general, the present invention contemplates novel closure applying apparatus having a plurality of closure applying heads or units provided with chucks or gripping elements adapted to grip and apply screw closures to successive containers, such as bottles, in a gentle and positive manner. The present closure applying mechanism is herein illustrated as embodied in an automatic closure applying machine of the type illustrated and described in the United States patents to Arthur C. Everett, No. 2,082,048 and No. 2,705,101. The latter patent defines the closure gripping element as an annular collar of resilient compressible material, such as rubber or the like, mounted for rotation with the rotary applying head or unit and arranged to fit about the closure, pressure being applied to the upper face of the compressible collar to cause the inside diameter of the collar to contract and grip the closure. The rotary applying units of such prior machines were provided with an adjustable spring pressed friction clutch arranged to slip when the closure applied to the container was fully seated thereon with the required torque.

One of the disadvantages of such prior closure gripping and applying units was that the applying unit including the gripping element or chuck was continuously rotated during pickup and gripping of a closure, and during application and release of the closure. This continuous rotation of the applying unit caused excessive wear of the gripping element, such as the rubberlike compressible-gripping element, particularly during release of the closure after it had been fully seated on its container.

Another disadvantage of such prior continuously rotated closure gripping and applying units was that the friction clutch of each of the various units had to be individually adjusted in an attempt to provide a substantially equal torque force on each closure whereby to obtain substantially uniform tightness of the closures on their respective containers.

In accordance with the present invention, provision is made for controlling the rotation of the gripping and applying element of each closure applying unit in a manner such that rotation of the gripping element on its own axis is not started until after a closure is picked up and gripped by the closure applying unit, and in a maner such that the rotation of the gripping element is discontinued after the closure is applied and fully seated. In other words, a closure is picked up and gripped by the gripping element of the applying unit before rotation of the gripping element on its own axis is started, and rotation of the gripping element is stopped before releasing the closure. As aresult, rotation frictional engagement of the rotary gripping element with the closure is reduced to a minimum during pickup of the closure and during release of the closure.

Provision is also made in accordance with the present invention for varying the torque applied tothe closure in the application thereof to the container to provide a predetermined tightness of the closure on its container in a novel and simple manner. The present torque varying means is arranged to be controlled so as to effect simultaneous adjustment of all the applying units and to provide equal pressures in each unit, such control enabling adjustment of the torque during the continuous operation of the apparatus.

Novel provision is also made for mounting the chuck or gripping element in the applying unit in a manner such as to allow movement of the gripping element out of axial alignment with the axis of rotation of the applying unit to compensate for siight misalignment of a container with a closure carried by the gripping element.

Referring now to the drawings, the invention is herein illustrated as embodied in a machine for applying screw closures to containers, such as bottles, only a sufiicient portion of the machine being herein shown so as to enable the invention to be understood. The construction and mode of operation of the machine, except as hereinafter pointed out, may comprise that disclosed in the Everett patents above referred to, and to which reference may be made. It is believed sufiicient to state that in the operation of such closure applying machines the containers are conveyed into closure applying position in vertical alignment with their respective closure applying units, and during their movement in a circular path, provision is made for automatically withdrawing closures from a supply thereof and transferring the same into a position to be picked up and gripped by successive closure applying units. Provision is also made for moving the applying units vertically to pick up the closures and to then present the closures into engagement with their respective containers and to effect application of the screw closures to the containers during rotation of the applying units.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, a plurality of closure applying units indicated generally at are mounted to revolve about a central stationary supporting shaft 12. Each closure applying unit includes a drive housing indicated generally at 14 secured by bolts 15 to the flanged lower end 16 of an elongated spindle 18 which is mounted for rotation with and reciprocation in a rotary casing 20. The lower portion of the spindle 18 is supported for rotation and reciprocation in a bushing 24 carried by a flange bearing 26 secured to an annular supporting ring 28. The supporting ring 28 is secured by bolts 30 to a flanged member 32 keyed to an elongated sleeve 34 supported in a bearing 36, the sleeve being rotated about the stationary central shaft 12 through any usual or preferred driving means, such as that shown in the Everett Patent No. 2,082,048. It will thus be seen that the spindles 18 and their attached closure applying units 10 revolve with the supporting ring 28 about the axis of the stationary central shaft 12.

The rotary casing has a square opening to receive a square portion 38 of the spindle for vertical reciprocation therein. The casing 20 is mounted for rotation in ball bearings 40, 42 supported in upper and lower supporting ring members 44, 46 respectively. Each casing is provided with a pinion 48 in mesh with a ring gear 50 connected to the central shaft 12. Thus, the spindles 18 and their drive housings 14 of the closure applying units are rotated on their own axes during their movement in a circular path.

In operation, the containers to be provided with closures are conveyed into alignment with their respective closure applying units, and provision is made for lowering and raising the spindles to present the applying units into and out of closure applying engagement with their respective containers. As herein shown, see FIGS. 2 and 3, a cam roll 52 cooperating with a stationary cam 54 is carried by an arm 56 keyed to one end of a rocker stud 58 extended through a vertical post 60 which is square in cross section as shown. A second arm 62 parallel to the arm 56 and keyed to the other end of the rocker stud 58 to move therewith is connected to the upper end of a link 64. The lower end of the link 64 is provided with a clamping hub 63 which clamped to a pin 65 extended into a pivot opening in one side of a collar 66 encircling the spindle 18 between shouldered portions 68, 70 thereof. The link 64 is provided with a U-shaped horizontally extended portion 72 extending from the clamping hub 63 to a second clamping hub 73 disposed opposite the first hub and which is clamped to a similar pivot pin 65 extended into t e other s de of the collar. T us, i p ration, each applying unit 10 is reciprocated vertically and also rotated on its own axis during its movement in a circular path.

It will be observed that each closure applying unit 10 has a post 60 associated therewith secured at its lower end in the rotary supporting ring 28 and connected at its upper end to the upper ring member 44 in which the upper end of the casing is mounted. The lower ring member 46, in which the lower end of the casing is mounted, is also supported from the posts 60 by angle members 74 attached to an intermediate portion of each post. Thus, the upper and lower supporting ring members 44, 46, together with the posts 60, rotate with the driven supporting ring 28. The stationary cam 54 is attached to a fiangernember 76 keyed to the stationary shaft 12. Above each casing 20 is a cap member 77 attached to the upper ring member 44 and through which the upper end of the spindle freely extends. The upper end of the spindle 18 is provided with a rotary air joint indicated generally at 79. A clamping collar 81 attached to the lower end of the air joint 79 is provided with an opening in an extended portion thereof arranged to slidingly receive a vertical rod 83 secured to the cap member 77 to prevent rotation of the outer casing of the air joint as will be hereinafter described.

Referring now to FIG. 5, each chuck or closure gripping unit, indicated generally at 78, includes a resilient ring 80 snugly fitted into the lower open end of a hollow casin 82 and confined therein by a cup-shaped holder 84 threadedly engaged with the lower end of the casing as shown. The holder 84 is provided with a central opening for admitting a closure, and the inside diameter of the resilient ring 80 'When in its uncompressed condition is such as to admit the outside diameter of the closure as shown in FIG. 5. The upper end of the casing 82 is provided with a reduced diameter threaded portion 86 which is threadedly engaged with the lower end of an arbor 88, an O-ring seal 89 being provided at the joint. The arbor 88 is extended within and operativeiy connected to rotate with and move vertically in the drive housing 14. A compression disk 90 having an annular depending projection 92 is disposed in the cap member 82 and is arranged to be urged downwardly into engagement With the upper surface of the resilient ring 80 through pneumatic means, to be hereinafter described, in communication with a chamber 87 defined by the inner walls of the casing 82 and the upper surfaces of the disk 90 'whereby to cause the resilient ring to be compressed into gripping engagement with the closure as illustrated in FIG. 5. The arbor 88 is provided with a conical surface 96 adjacent its lower end arranged to fit into a correspondingly shaped seat formed in a retaining member 98 attached to the lower end of the housing 14 as shown.

In accordance with the present invention, the arbor 88 is connected to the drive housing 14 by a pneumatically operated friction clutch indicated generally at 100 and which may be controlled in a manner such as to effect rotation of the arbor and its closure gripping unit 78 after a closure has been picked up by the chuck and during application of the closure, and in a manner such as to efiect release of the clutch to disconnect the arbor and its closure gripping unit to discontinue rotation with the drive housing 14 after the closure has been applied. The arbor 88 is also mounted in a manner such as to permit yielding of the gripping unit 78 and its arbor upwardly in the housing when the closure is engaged with its container as effected by the downward movement of the spindle to apply the closure to the container and also to permit downward movement of the gripping unit 78 with the closure as it is threaded onto the container. Novel provision is also made for mounting the arbor in a manner such as to permit rocking movement of the same out of axial alignment with the vertical axis of the housing to compensate for any slight misalignment of the closure with the container.

As further illustrated in FIG. 5, the arbor 88 is provided with a square portion 102 which is fitted into a square opening in a flanged body member 104 forming a part of the friction clutch 100. The body member 104 has mounted thereon a plurality of friction disks including a plurality of driven disks 106 rotatable with the body 104 and a plurality of driving disks 108 rotatable with a hollow drive casing 114, the driven and driving disks being alternately arranged as shown. The driven disks 106 are provided with inwardly extended projections fitted into vertical grooves 107 formed in the periphery of the body member 104. The driving disks 108 are free of the body member 104 and are provided with peripheral projections 110 which extend into slots 112 formed in the lower end of the hollow drive casing 114. The upper end of the casing 114 forms part of a ball and socket joint 116 which includes a ball 117 confined within the socket formed in a cylindrical block 118 to which the lower flanged end 16 of the spindle 18 is secured. Driving connections are provided between the ball and socket which include a disk 120 having inwardly directed projections 122 which cooperate with vertical grooves 124 formed in the sides of the ball 117. A retaining member 126 which engages the lower end of the ball 117 is connected to the block 118 by bolts 128 which also extend through the disk 120, as shown, to hold the parts in assembled relation.

A cylindrical portion 130 of the arbor 88 is slidingly received in a bushing 132 provided in a flanged sleeve 134 fitted into an intermediate portion of the casing 114, and a reduced diameter upper portion 136 of the arbor is fitted into an opening provided in the lower end of the ball 117. A compressing ring 138 having a lower portion fitted within the hollow drive casing 114 is arranged to bear against the upper face of the friction disk assembly 100. A reduced diameter upper portion 140 of the ring is fitted about a depending portion 142 of the sleeve 134. A collar 144 is fixed within the casing 114 and embraces the upper portion 140 of the compressing ring 138. The space defined by the upper end of the piston ring and the inner wall of the hollow casing 114 provides an air chamber 146 to which compressed air is piped to compress the disks 106 and 108 into frictional engagement to eifect rotation of the arbor and its attached closure gripping unit 78 with the drive housing 14 upon gripping and during application of the closure. The lower face of the friction disk assembly 100 is supported by a collar 148 fitted within the lower end of the hollow casing 114 and held 'in place by a snap ring 150. The friction disk assembly 100 is retained in assembled relation on the body member 104 by a disk washer 151 having projections cooperating with the grooves 107 and by a spring steel split retaining ring 153 of the type which may be expanded to slide over the lower end of the body and then permitted to contract to fit into a circular groove formed in the body member as shown. The entire housing is enclosed within an outer cylindrical shield 152 attached to the block 118 by outwardly spring pressed studs 154 carried by the block which extend into openings in the shield and which may be pressed inwardly for easy removal of the shield.

From the description thus far it will be seen that the closure applying units are mounted to revolve about the stationary central shaft 12 in alignment with their respective containers during which time the units 10 are raised and lowered to pick up a closure and to present the closure into operative relation to the container. The applying units are also arranged to be rotated on their own axes to effect application of the closure to its container. It will also be seen that each closure gripping unit 78 and its arbor 88 is normally disposed in its lowered position by gravity to present its conical surface 96 in engagement with its retaining member 98 and is mounted to yield upwardly relative to the housing when the latter is lowered to present the closure into engagement with its container and that the arbor 88 is also connected to rotate with the housing through the friction clutch which is arranged to be released to discontinue rotation of the unit 78 after the closure is applied. It will be further observed that the gripping unit 78 and its arbor is capable of rocking movement out of alignment with the axis of rotation of the spindle 18 by virtue of the ball and socket joint drive connection 116 to compensate for any slight misalignment of the elements.

As herein illustrated, separate air circuits are provided through the spindle 18 and through the housing elements 14 for communication with the chamber 87 above the chuck compressing ring 80 and for communication with the chamber 146 above the friction clutch compressing ring 138 respectively. The rotary air joint 79 mounted at the upper end of each spindle 18 includes an outer casing member 156 and a cap member 157 secured to the casing by bolts 159. The outer casing 156 is held from rotation on its own axis by the vertical rod 83 extending from the cap member 77 into an opening in a clamp collar 81 as described. The cap member 157 is provided with two opposed air inlets, one inlet 158 communicating with a central bore 160' in the cap member 157, and the other inlet 162 communicating with a passageway 164 offset from the central bore. The air circuit to the chamber 87 above the chuck compressing ring 80 will first be described and, as shown in FIG. 4, the central bore 160 is provided with a carbon seal ring or sleeve 166 having its upper end extended part way into the bore 160. The sleeve 166 is urged downwardly by a coil spring 168 to present the lower end of the sleeve into sealing engagement with the upper end of a rotary member 170 secured to and forming an extension of the spindle 18. The sleeve 166 is provided with an O-ring seal 172 between a shoulder formed on the sleeve and a cooperating shoulder of the bore as shown. The sleeve is held from rotation by a pin 174 carried by the cap member and engaged in a slot formed in a flanged portion 176 of the sleeve. The rotary member 170 has a reduced diameter lower end 178 fitted into a bored opening in the upper end of the spindle 18 and is secured thereto by a set screw 180. An O-ring seal 182 is provided between a shouldered portion of the rotary member 170 and a cooperating shoulder formed in the bored opening of the spindle as shown. A pair of spaced ball bearings 184, 186 are provided in the relatively stationary outer casing 156 to permit rotation of the member 170 therein. An annular spacer 188 is provided between the cap member 157 and the upper ball bearing, the lower ball bearing being retained within an inwardly extended lip 190 of the outer casing 156. A central opening 192 in the rotary member 170 is in communication with the inside diameter of the sleeve 166 and with the bore 160. The lower end of the rotary member 170 is threaded to receive a pipe 194 which extends through an enlarged central opening 196 bored through the full length of the spindle.

As illustrated in FIG. 5, the lower end of the pipe 194 is fitted into a bored opening 198 formed in a hollow adapter 200 fixed in the upper end of the cylindrical block 118. The lower portion of the adapter is barrel shaped and fits into a bore in the ball connection 116 to permit rocking movement of the ball relative to the adapter. The lower end of the pipe 194 is grooved and provided with an O-ring seal 195. The barrel shaped portion of the adapter 200 is also grooved and provided with an O-ring seal 197. The arbor 8-8 has a central opening 202 extended therethrough and the upper end 136 of the arbor which extends into and is movable axially in the opening in the lower end of the ball 117 communicates with an enlarged opening in the hollow adapter as shown. An O-ring seal 199 provided in a counterbored portion of the ball 117 surrounds the upper end 136 of the arbor. The central opening 202 in the arbor leads to a chamber 204 defined by a conical bore in the lower end of the arbor and the upper end of the portion 86 of the hollow casing 82 which is threadedly engaged with the arbor. The portion 86 of the casing is provided with a passageway 206 in communication with the chamber 204 and which leads to the chamber 87 defined by the hollow portion of the casing 82 and the upper portion of the compressing disk 90. Thus, in operation, when compressed air is passed through the inlet 158 by means of an air circuit including a cam operated valve to be described, the air will pass through the rotary air joint, spindle and arbor into the chamber 87 to force the disk 90 down into compressing engagement with the resilient ring 88 to effect gripping of a closure presented within the ring.

As also shown in FIG. 5, the compressing disk 90 is provided with a hub 208 which is slidingly mounted on a shoulder stud 210 secured in a central opening in the upper portion of the casing 82. A11 O-ring seal 212 is provided in a grooved portion of the stud, and the head portion 214 is secured to the stud by a screw 215. The head 214 serves as a stop to present successive closures at a predetermined height in the chuck. An air vent opening 216 extends through the center of the stud to a grooved portion 218 in the upper portion thereof which communicates with lateral openings in the groove and with an opening 228 in the casing 82 to the atmosphere. This expedient affords venting of the area below the disk 90 when a closure is inserted into the chuck. The compressing disk 90 is also provided with a stud 222 extended through the disk and into an opening in the underside of the casing 82 to provide a drive connection between the casing and the disk while permitting vertical movement of the disk relative to the casing.

Referring again to FIG. 4, the air circuit to the friction clutch compression chamber 146 includes the inlet 162 and passageway 164 which leads to an annular passageway 224 defined by the exterior surfaces of the seal ring 166 and the interior surfaces of a second carbon seal ring or sleeve 226 which is fitted into a larger diameter bored portion in the underside of the cap member 157. The lower end of the sleeve 226 bears against a flange portion 228 of the rotary member 170* and is resiliently urged downwardly by a wave spring 230 interposed between the upper edge of the sleeve and a shoulder portion formed on the cap member. The sleeve 226 is provided with an O-ring seal 232 and is also provided with a slotted flange 234 arranged to reecive a pin 236 secured in the cap member to prevent rotation of the sleeve.

The annular passageway 224 communicates with the upper end of an elongated passageway 238 which extends through the rotary member 170. The lower end of the passageway 238 is in communication with an annular passageway 240 formed between the outer surfaces of the air pipe 194- and the walls of the elongated opening 196 formed in the spindle 18. As shown in FIG. 5, the lower end of the annular passageway 240 is provided with a conical bore 242 which is in communication with a passageway 244 formed in the cylindrical block 118-. An O-ring seal 245 is provided between the lower end of the spindle 18 and the cylindrical block 118 as shown. The passageway 244 extends downwardly and then at right angles into communication with a vertical passageway 246 which is provided at its lower end with a pipe nipple 248 connected by a flexible tube 250 to a pipe nipple 252 in the drive casing 114 which is in communication with the compression chamber 146. In operation, when compressed air is passed through the inlet 162 by means of an air circuit having a second cam operated valve to be described, air is permitted to pass through the associated passageways to urge the compressing ring 138 down into engagement with the friction disk assembly 100 to effect rotation of the arbor 88 and its attached closure gripping and applying unit 78.

As shown in FIG. 1, the air circuits for supplying and controlling he compres ed air to the Closure gripping units 78 and to the friction clutch units include a pair of cam operated valves 254 and 256, respectively, carried by and rotatable with a revolving turret 258. A pair of valves are provided for each closure applying unit 10, and as herein shown, the outlets of the inner valves 254 are connected by flexible tubes 260 to the inlet-s 158 of their respective rotary air joints 79 for controlling the air supply to the central passageway 160 and associated passageways leading to the closure gripping unit air chamber 87. The outlets of the outer valves 256 are connected by flexible tubes 262 to the inlets 162 of their respective rotary air joints for controlling the air supply to the passage way 164 and associated passageways leading to the friction clutch air chamber 146 The turret 258 is mounted to rotate about the stationary central shaft 12 and is secured to and rotatable with the upper supporting ring 44 so that in operation the turret and the valves carried thereby are rotated with the closure applying units 10.

The inlets to the inner valves 254 are connected by flexible tubes 264 to nipples 266 which extend into openings 268 in the hub of the turret. The inner ends of the openings 268 are in communication with a ring 270 having opposed grooves providing annular passageways connected by openings in the ring. The ring 270 is disposed between the turret and a bushing 272 which is mounted on and keyed to the stationary central shaft 12. The ring 270 is interposed between upper and lower annular sealing elements 274 and 276. The inner annular passageway in the ring is in communication with an opening 278 formed in the stationary bushing 272, O-ring seals are pro vided in the bushing above and below the opening 278. The opening 278 is aligned with a radial opening 280 in the stationary shaft 12 which is in communication with an elongated vertical opening 282 extending to the upper end of the shaft. The upper end of the opening 282 com municates with a radial opening formed in a grooved portion 284 of the shaft which provides an annular passageway in communication with an opening 286 formed in an air joint 288 stationarily supported on the upper end of the shaft. The air joint is connected by a pipe 290 through which air is supplied from a regulated source of compressed air.

As shown in detail in FIG. 8, each valve 254 is normally closed and is provided with a spring pressed stem 296 arranged to be depressed to open the valve. Each valve is further provided with a stem depressing arm 298 fixed to a pin 300 journaled in spaced arms 302 attached to the valve body. A second arm 304 fast on the pin 300 is rovided with a cam roll 306 for cooperation with a stationary cam 308 supported in a flanged hub 310 mounted on the stationary shaft 12. The hub 310 and also the air joint 288 are further supported by a circular bracket 312 attached to the frame of the machine. In operation, the stationary cam 308 effects opening of successive valves 254 at a predetermined time in the continuous rotary movement of the closure applying units 10 to effect gripping of a closure to be applied to a container and to thereafter permit closing of the valve to release the applied closure.

The inlets to the outer valves 256 are connected by flexible tubes 314 to nipples 316 which extend through openings 317 in the hub of the turret. The inner ends of the openings 317 are in communication with a similar ring 318 having inner and outer grooves providing annularpassageways connected by openings in the ring as shown. The ring 318 is disposed below the ring 270 and is also provided with upper and lower sealing elements, a retain ing and supporting ring 324 being provided below the lower sealing element as shown. The inner annular passageway in the ring 318 is in communication with an opening 326 formed in the bushing 272. The opening 326 is aligned with a radial opening 328 in the shaft 12 which is in communication with the lower end of an elongated vertical passageway 330 extending to the top of the shaft. O-ring seals are also provided in the bushing above and below the radial opening 328. The upper end of the passageway 330 is connected by a nipple 332 and pipe elbow 334 to a supply pipe 336 leading to a regulated source of compressed air.

Each outer valve 256 is also normally closed and is provided with a spring pressed stem arranged to be de pressed to open the valve in a manner similar to the valve 254. Each valve 256 is also provided with a stem depressing arm arranged to be rocked by a second arm having a cam roll 338 for cooperation with a stationary cam 340 also supported by the flanged hub 310. In operation the stationary cam 340 effects opening of successive valves 256 at a predetermined time each cycle during the continuous rotation of the closure applying units to effect driving engagement of the friction clutch unit 100 to rotate the applying unit and to thereafter permit closing of the valve and disengagement of the friction clutch to discontinue rotation of the applying unit.

The valves 254, 256 may comprise commercially available valves having conventional means for venting the air circuits to the chambers 87 and 146, respectively, when the valves are closed. As shown in FIG. 1, each pair of valves are arranged in tandem and are supported on top of the turret 258. The valves are vented through a common outlet, as indicated at 261, and the bottom wall of the turret is provided with an opening 263 leading to the atmosphere.

In operation, the closure applying units 10 are continuously moved in a circular path, and successive containers transferred into the machine are aligned with their respective applying units. As illustrated on the cam charts in FIGS. 10 and 11 diagrammatically showing the timing of the cams, when a container transferred into the machine arrives at a point indicated at A, the applying unit 10 is in an elevated position, and the closure gripping unit 78 has been provided with a closure for application to its container. Also, at this time the friction clutch 100 is engaged, and the gripping unit 78 is being rotated with the drive housing 14 of the applying unit. During the continued movement of the applying unit in a circular path, cam 54 effects lowering of the unit to present the closure into engagement with its container to effect application of the closure, and when the container arrives at a point indicated at B, sufficient time has elapsed so that the closure is fully seated, and the friction clutch 100 has started to slip. At this point the stationary cam 340 permits closing of its valve 256 to discontinue the air pressure to the friction clutch chamber 146 whereupon rotation of the closure gripping unit 78 with the drive housing 14 is discontinued. Immediately thereafter, the stationary cam 308 permits closing of its valve 254 to discontinue air pressure to the closure gripping air chamber 87 whereupon the closure is released, and subsequently the cam 54 effects elevation of the closure applying unit, and the closed container is discharged from the machine. The applying unit continues to rise, and when it arrives in a position indicated at C, the unit is lowered to receive a closure transferred thereto from a supply whereupon the valve 254 is opened to effect gripping of the closure. Immediately thereafter, the valve 256 is opened to engage the friction clutch and start rotation of th gripping unit with its drive housing in readiness for applying the closure to a succeeding aligned container transferred into the machine.

From the description thus far it will be seen that the closure receiving and gripping unit 78 is not rotated until it has picked up and gripped a closure and that rotation of the closure gripping and-applying unit 78 is discontinued after the closure is applied and prior to release of the closure by the gripping unit. As a result, excessive wear of the resilient gripping element 80 is avoided because no frictional rotary movement occurs during pickup and gripping of the closure nor during release of the closure.

In accordance with another feature of the present invention, it will be apparent that the air pressure to each friction clutch 100 is supplied from the same regulated source of compressed air, and as a result successive closures are tightened onto their containers with a uniform torque. Furthermore, by merely adjusting the air pressure from the source, a greater or lesser torque force may be produced on all of the clutch units simultaneously whereby to provide a desired degree of uniform tightness of the closure before the clutch starts to slip. Likewise, the air pressure to the closure gripping elements which is supplied by an independently regulated source of compressed air is arranged so that the gripping pressure on successive closures is also uniform and may also be varied by adjustment of the air pressure.

In practice, the air pressure to the closure gripping elements is in the order of about pounds per square inch while the air pressure to the friction clutch units is substantially less, being in the order of 10 to 20 pounds per square inch so as to assure slipping of the clutch rather than the gripping element when a predetermined torque is reached.

As diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 9, the supply line 290 is connected by a pipe T 341 to a supply pipe 342 leading to an air compressor not shown. The supply line 290 is provided with an adjustable air pressure regulator 344 and, in operation, adjustment of the regulator 344 will vary the pressure to all of the gripping elements simultaneously and uniformly. Similarly, the supply line 336 also connected to the pipe T 341 is provided with an adjustable regulator 350 whereby adjustment of the regulator will vary the pressure to all of the friction clutch units simultaneously and uniformly. It will be apparent that these adjustments may be made either when the machine is idle or during the continuous operation of the machine.

From the above description it will be seen that the present closure gripping and applying units overcome the disadvantages inherent in the prior continuously rotated units. As above stated, the spring pressed friction clutch of the prior units had to be individually adjusted in an attempt to provide a substantially equal torque force on successive closures and, furthermore, wear of the friction disks would vary the torque requiring readjustment of spring pressure against the disks. The present pneumatically operated friction clutch assures equal torque force in each applying unit which may be readily adjusted by changing the air pressure. In practice, the torque force applied to successive containers may thus be maintained substantially uniform within extremely close limits. Consequently, the closures are applied to successive containers with uniform tightness. The pneumatically operated control above described contemplates normally closed valves 254, 256 arranged to be opened by their respective cams. However, in practice, it will be apparent that such valves may comprise normally open valves arranged to be closed by their respective cams during the operation of the apparatus.

Another disadvantage inherent in the prior closure gripping and applying units which is overcome by the present structure relates to the provision for allowing angular movement of the closure gripping and applying unit out of alignment with the axis of rotation of its driving spin dle to compensate for slight misalignment of a container with a closure carried by the unit. In the Everett Patent No. 2,705,101 the provision for allowing such angular movement comprises a resilient mounting subject to deflection under extreme torque. The structure herein disclosed, comprising the ball and socket drive connection, affords positive rotation of the applying units under varying torque conditions.

While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been herein illustrated and described, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied in other forms within the scope of the following claims.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is:

1. Closune applying apparatus comprising, in combination, a rotary housing connected to rotate with a drive spindle, a closure gripping and applying unit including a gripping element mounted on an arbor carried by said housing, a normallydisengaged friction clutch connecting the ar bor to the housing; and means for controlling .the friction clutch to effect engagement thereof'and rotation of the gripping and applying unit after a closure has been gripped, and to effect disengagement of the clutch to discontinue rotation of the applying unit prior to release of the applied closure, said housing having a ball and socket drive connection between the housing and the spindle whereby to allow angular rocking of the housing and said closure gripping and applying unit out of alignment with the axis of rotation of said spindle to compensate for slight misalignment er a container with a closure carried by said gripping and applying unit. i

2. Closure applying 'apparatus as defined in claim 1, in-

cluding a plurality of rotary housings each connected to rotate with a drive spindle, a closure gripping and applying'unit including a gripping element mounted on an arbor carried by each of said housings, anda plurality of normally disengaged friction clutches for connecting the arbors to their associated housings, and wherein each of the friction clutches is adapted to exert a uniform torque and is arranged to slip when the torque applied by the gripping elements to the closures exceeds a predetermined value, and whereirfmeans interconnects the closure applying units and the friction clutch control means is operative for varying the torque of all of the closure applying units sirr'iultaneou'sly. 7 3. Closure applying apparatus for applying closures to containers comprising in combination, a rotary housing connected to rotate with a drive spindle, an arbor provided with a chuck and operatively connected to said housing to rotate therewith, the connection between the housing and the spindle including a ball and socket drive connection whereby to allow angular rocking of the housing and said arbor out of alignment with the axis of rotation of the spindle to compensate for slight misalignment of acontainer with a closure carried by said chuck.

4; Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein the arbor is mounted for vertical movement with relation to the housing.

5. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein each friction clutch comprises an assembly of friction disks, alternate disksconnecte'd to the housing and the arbor respectively, said disks being normally in their l6ose and non-driving condition, and operating means including means for compressing the disks into driving engagement. a '2 6. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein the compressing means is pneumatically operated and includes a compressing disk engageable with the upper surface of said friction disk assembly and defining with said housing an air chamber above the disk, and wherein the means which interconnects the closure applying units includes a compressed 'air circuit communicating with said chamber for admitting air thereto to urge the disks into driving engagement.

7. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim' 6 wherein the air circuit includes, as a part of the control means, a normally closed valve connected to a supply of compressed air, and means for'opening said valve to operate said friction clutches.

8-. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein the means for varying said torque comprises an adjustable pressure regulator in said air circuit.

9. Apparatus as defined in claim 8 wherein the regulated air pressure to each chamber providesa uniform torque to effect uniform tightening of successive closures to successive containers, said air pressure regulator arranged to be adjusted during continuous operation of the apparatus, 7

10. Closure applying apparatus comprising, in combination, a plurality pf driveehousings continuously rotated on their own axes, each housing having a, closure gripping and applying unit including a chuck, means for operating. successive chucks to pick up and grip closures for application to successive containers and for releasing an applied closure, a friction clutch connecting each chuck to its housing, and control means for operating each friction clutch to effect rotation of the chuck with its housing after a closure is gripped and to discontinue rotation of the chuck with its housing prior to release of the applied closure, each of said friction clutches adapted to exert a uniform torque and arrangedto slip when the torque applied to the closure; exceeds a predetermined value, and means interconnecting the closure applying units and the friction clutch control means operative for varying the torque *of all of the closure applying units simultaneously, said torque varying means being operative when the machine is idle and also during the operation of the machine. 11. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim lfl wherein each friction clutch is pneumatically operated,

and wherein the control means includes compressed air means interconnecting each friction clutch.

12. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 10 wherein the closure gripping units;are also pneumatically operated, and wherein the control means includes separate compressed air means interconnecting each closure gripping unit, and means for adjusting the air pressure to each gripping unit to vary the gripping force of all of the closure gripping units simultaneously and uniformly.

13. Closure applying' apparatus comprising, in combination, a plurality of rotatable closure gripping and applying units, means for operating successive units to pick up and grip closures for application to successive con= tainers and for releasing an applied closure, and pneumatically operated control means for effecting the gripping operation, said control means comprising a corripressed air circuit interconnecting each closure gripping unit, and means in said circuit for adjusting the air pressure to each gripping unit to vary the gripping force ,of all of the closure gripping units simultaneously and uniformly. References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS, 1,614,042 1/1927 Pennock 53* 306 2,655,302 10/1953 HOhl 53-3=36 X 2,705,101 3/1955 Everett 53-317 2,876,606 3.71959 Bjering 53 -317 2,884,751 5/1959 Bjering 53 317 3,100,366 8/1963 Gordon 53- 317 3,240,307 3/1966 BOtllC 192 -s5 3,134,211 5/1964 ,Roberts'; 53 331.5 3,303,633 2/1967 Wilhere 53 306 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,125,836 3/1962 Germany.

WAYNE A; MORSE, JR., Primary Examiner U.S. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1614042 *Jan 13, 1920Jan 11, 1927Standard Automatic Machine ComContainer-capping machine
US2655302 *Dec 19, 1949Oct 13, 1953Owens Illinois Glass CoMachine for applying screw caps to containers
US2705101 *Mar 8, 1952Mar 29, 1955Pneumatic Scale CorpClosure-applying apparatus
US2876606 *Aug 19, 1957Mar 10, 1959Owens Illinois Glass CoContainer closing apparatus
US2884751 *Sep 6, 1956May 5, 1959Owens Illinois Glass CoContainer closing apparatus
US3100366 *Jun 16, 1961Aug 13, 1963American Can CoScrew cap assembling head
US3134211 *Dec 12, 1961May 26, 1964Anchor Hocking Glass CorpTorque control means for sealing machines
US3240307 *Oct 3, 1963Mar 15, 1966Hasenclever Ag Fa MaschfMultiple disc clutch with indicating means
US3303633 *Dec 8, 1964Feb 14, 1967Horix Mfg CompanyContainer capping apparatus
DE1125836B *Oct 16, 1958Mar 15, 1962Lodge & Shipley CoHubgreifer fuer eine Maschine zum UEbertragen von Gegenstaenden, z.B. von Flaschen in einer Flaschenentlademaschine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3662519 *Sep 2, 1970May 16, 1972Gillette CoApparatus for mounting caps
US3757487 *Dec 30, 1971Sep 11, 1973American Bottlers EquipThread forming capping head
US3771284 *Sep 20, 1971Nov 13, 1973Federal Mfg CoCapping apparatus
US3818677 *Aug 14, 1972Jun 25, 1974Metal Closures LtdClosure sealing machines
US3955341 *Oct 14, 1975May 11, 1976Horix Manufacturing CompanyApparatus for screwing caps on containers
US3964240 *Jan 13, 1975Jun 22, 1976Societe Anonyme Machines Automatiques CillottaBottle closing apparatus
US4222215 *Mar 23, 1979Sep 16, 1980Kewpie Kabushiki KaishaScrew-capping device
US4246738 *Jun 18, 1979Jan 27, 1981Shibuya Kogyo Company, Ltd.Air chuck for capping or uncapping machine
US4535583 *Sep 29, 1983Aug 20, 1985Shibuya Kogyo Co., Ltd.Rotary type capping apparatus
US4558554 *Oct 26, 1983Dec 17, 1985Metal Closures LimitedApplication heads for applying closures to containers
US4608805 *Oct 29, 1985Sep 2, 1986Aluminum Company Of AmericaScrewcapping machine
US4614077 *Apr 17, 1985Sep 30, 1986K.T. Mfg. Co., Ltd.Automatic tightening method and apparatus
US4616466 *Nov 8, 1984Oct 14, 1986Shibuya Kogyo Co., Ltd.Capping apparatus
US4633646 *Oct 29, 1985Jan 6, 1987Aluminum Company Of AmericaCapping head
US4674263 *Oct 29, 1985Jun 23, 1987Aluminum Company Of AmericaFinger assembly for a screwcapping head
US4696144 *Oct 29, 1986Sep 29, 1987New England Machinery, Inc.Container capper and torque tester
US4745729 *Oct 9, 1987May 24, 1988Robert Bosch GmbhScrew head on container-closing machine
US5027932 *Mar 6, 1990Jul 2, 1991Etablissements A. BertaudTightening device having adjustable clamping torque
US5148652 *Feb 14, 1991Sep 22, 1992Herzog Kenneth JHand capper
US5163266 *Jul 22, 1991Nov 17, 1992Herzog Kenneth JAir clutch capper spindle
US5313765 *Nov 4, 1991May 24, 1994Anderson-Martin Machine CompanyCapping machine head with magnetic clutch
US5437139 *Sep 21, 1993Aug 1, 1995Anderson-Martin Machine Co.Capping machine head with cap aligning chuck
US5459975 *Dec 7, 1993Oct 24, 1995Vibrac CorporationCompressible ring chuck
US5473855 *Aug 9, 1994Dec 12, 1995Hidding; Walter E.System for installing closures on containers
US5884450 *Dec 22, 1997Mar 23, 1999Ronchi Mario S.R.L.Device for rapidly mounting/releasing units for fitting caps or lids to containers, in particular for mandrels of automatic machines
US7347032 *Mar 15, 2004Mar 25, 2008Arol SpaCapping head for the application in vacuum conditions of caps on bottles or containers in general, a capping machine comprising said head, and a method for the application of caps that can be applied by means of said machine
DE2900713A1 *Jan 10, 1979Jul 17, 1980Rationator Maschinenbau GmbhZangenkopf an einer verschlussmaschine fuer schraubverschluesse, insbesondere fuer spruehventile mit einem oberen feststehenden teil und einem darunter angeordneten drehbaren verschluss
EP0201405A1 *Apr 24, 1986Nov 12, 1986S.E.R.A.C. GroupScrewing device with tightening-torque control
EP0387153A1 *Mar 8, 1990Sep 12, 1990Etablissements A. BertaudScrewing device with adjustable torque
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/317, 53/331.5, 493/107, 53/334
International ClassificationB67B3/20
Cooperative ClassificationB67B3/2033, B67B3/2073
European ClassificationB67B3/20L, B67B3/20F6