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Publication numberUS3501890 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 24, 1970
Filing dateNov 7, 1966
Priority dateNov 7, 1966
Publication numberUS 3501890 A, US 3501890A, US-A-3501890, US3501890 A, US3501890A
InventorsHunt Johnnie B
Original AssigneeHunt Co J B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for packaging compressible material
US 3501890 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 24, 197() J. B. HUNT 3,501,890

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING coMPREssIBI-.E MATERIAL Filed Nov. 7, 1966 /M will...

United States Patent O 3,501,890 METHUD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING `CMPlRESSIBLE MATERIAL Johnnie B. Hunt, Stuttgart, Ark., assignor to J. B. Hunt Company, Stuttgart, Ark., a corporation of Arkansas Filed Nov. 7, 1966, Ser. No. 592,403 Int. Cl. B65b 1/24, 39/00, 63/02 U.S. Cl. 53-124 8 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE This invention generally relates to an apparatus and a method by which compressible material may be packaged. Specifically, the invention consists of apparatus and a method in which material, such as rice hulls, can be compressed and while under compression may be received within a packing container or receptacle. This apparatus performs all these functions automatically with a minimum of human manipulation being involved therewith.

There has been a major problem in the industry of packing compressed material into receiving receptacles, having a thing compositeside construction such as paper bags, because during the packing operation the tendency of the material to expand rips open the receiving receptacle in which it is placed. This shortcoming with previous apparatus and methods created a large waste of material or a need for very heavy and expensive containers. To overcome this shortcoming the subject invention presents a solution for this particular problem and effectively presents an apparatus and a method by which compressed materials may be packaged into a thin side construction receiving receptacle without the danger of ripping the receptacle.

The invention is particularly concerned with the packaging of materials which are solids but nevertheless, due to the material exhibiting considerable void space and due to the inherent resiliency of the material, it may be greatly compressed but it tends to return to its expanded or uncompressed state with considerable force. The material, as the term is used herein, refers to a material which can be compressed from its normal state, but due to its characteristics has a tendency to expand after it has been compressed.

This description will proceed with rice hulls as an example of a material which may be highly compressed and packaged in paper bags While so compressed. However, no limitation to rice hull handling is necessary or intended.

Previous apparatus used a filling chute at the end of which the paper bag was loosely placed and the compressed fibrous material Was ram forced thereinto. A paper receiving receptacle at this instance had a tendency to rip upon the expansion of the compressed fibrous material. This particular shortcoming in the previous apparatus has been effectively overcome by the subject invention by placing the receiving paper receptacle with its closed bottom end in an adjacent relationship with the end of the filling chute thereby allowing the paper bag to embrace or encircle the filling chute. The paper receptacle is supported by a platform which is hydraulically lifted and controlled and which is further responsive to the weight of the filled paper receptacle. The hydraulic supice port means can be of any well known construction. After the paper receptacle has been filled the platform recedes to a lower position and a conveyor means transports the filled container to a sealing station and other further processlng.

The primary object of the invention then is to overcome the previous ripping effect which were encountered in the packaging of compressed material into a receiving receptacle, having thin composite construction.

Another object of the invention is to provide an automatic method of filling these receiving receptacles with compressed material Without any manipulation by a human operator.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a method whose efficacy overcomes the problems previously 'encountered when paper receiving receptacles were being filled.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will lbecome apparent during the course of the following description.

The accompanying drawing forms part of this application and refers to a particular contemplated embodiment which is used to carry out the invention. The `figure displaying the apparatus is a cutaway view of a Vertical side of the subject apparatus.

Referring specifically to the drawing accompanying the application, the invention is now described with its composite elements and functional operation. Generally, the apparatus consists of a loading chamber or a surge hopper 10 which holds the loose fibrous material .12. The loading chamber 10 having a flare out bottom 14, is located perpendicularly above a horizontally disposed ramming chamber 16. This ramming chamber 16 has a rectangular shape and its dimensions can be of any convenient size. Within the ramming chamber is placed a horizontal packing ram 18 which is hydraulically actuated when it receives a proper command signal 19 from a control box 20, as is explained hereinafter. A horizontally disposed sealing slide 13 controls the amount of material which is deposited within the horizontally disposed ramming chamber 16. The sealing slide .13 is controlled by a small hydraulic ram 15, but a suitably disposed cam shaft arrangement would sufiiee to control its operative movement. This sealing slide 13 also is a composite part of the ramming chamber 16, since it forms the upper section of the chamber 16. At the end of this horizontally disposed rammng chamber 16 is a vertically disposed filling chamber 22 which is so located at the terminal end of the ramming chamber 16 so as to receive the horizontally and vertically compressed charge or core of rice hulls, as specifically shown by numerals 24, 26, and 28. The vertically disposed filling chamber 22 is located at a right angle relationship with and immediately below the horizontal ramming chamber 16. End wall 30 is common to both the horizontal ramming chamber 16 and the vertical filling chamber 22. At the termnal end section 32 of the horizontal ramming chamber 16 is located a vertical packing ram 34 which is also pneumatically operated upon the reception of a command signal from control box 20, as explained hereinafter. The vertical packing ram 34 has a rectangular cross-sectional packing face 38 which is of smaller dimensions than the rectangular cross-sectional packing face 40 of the horizontal packing ram 18. At the terminal open end 42 of the vertically disposed filling chamber 22 is located a paper receptacle 44 which receives the compressed lrice hull core.

The bottom closed end 46 of this receiving paper receptacle 44 is placed in close adjacent contacting relationship to the vertical filling chamber 22 so that the bottom closed end 46 of the paper receptacle 44 operably contacts the open terminal end 42 of the vertical filling charnber 22. The paper receptacle 44 is supported by a platform 48 which is pneumatically operated by a hydraulic mechanism S and 52. The platform 48 presses the bottom closed end 46 of the paper receptacle 44 firmly against the open terminal end 42 of the vertical filling chamber 22. The support platform means 48 is pneumatically controlled and it is appropriately raised and made operative at the time when the paper receptacle 44 is to receive the compressed rice hull charge or core 28. The hydraulically controlled support platform 48 is responsive to the weight of the core 28 within the paper receptacle 44, that is, it supports the empty paper receptacle 44 firmly against the terminal open end 42 of the vertical filling chamber 22, but when the paper receptacle 44 receives the compressed charge of rice hulls it is forced downwardly so that the free terminal open end 54 of the paper receptacle 44 is free from the sides of the vertical filling chamber 22.

This downward movement of the filled paper receptacle is characterized by the dashed line configuration, specifically emphasized by arrow 56, which represents the direction of the moving support platform 48, after the paper receptacle 44 has received its fill of compressed rice hull charges such as shown by 28. When the support platform 48 has reached its final position noted in the drawing by dashed line configuration at 58, the filled paper receptacle 44 is moved on to a conveyor belt 60, by suitable mechanical apparatus (not shown). The conveyor belt 60 transports the previosuly filled but open paper receptacles v62, 64 and 66 to the final packaging apparatus (not shown) which seals the upper open end of the paper receptacles 62, 64 and 66 having the compressed rice hull charges 68, 70 and 72 therein for final operative distribution. The receiving paper receptacle 44 can be place at the terminal end of the vertical filling chamber 22 by any suitable mechanical apparatus (not shown) which assures that the bottom closed end 46 of the receiving paper receptacle 44 fits tightly but slidably over the composite sides of the vertical filling chamber 22, so that the receiving paper receptacle 44 can receive the bottom charge 28 therein, as another charge of rice hulls is being compressed vertically in section 32 of horizontal chamber 16.

It has been found that the previous mechanical apparatuses which were used to package compressed fibrous material into a paper receptacle such as 44 caused the receiving paper receptacle 44 to split open when the compressed material was received therein. The particular improvement which is defined by the subject invention is that the paper receptacle 44 is tightly but slidably fitted over the lower section 41 of the vertical filling chamber 22 having its terminal closed end 46 on an operative receiving relationship with the open terminal end 42 of the vertical filling chamber 22. This particular operative relationship allows for the bottom material charge 28, located at the open terminal end 42 to be forced into the receiving paper receptacle 44 as the other compressed charge is being formed thereabove in section 32 of horizontal chamber 16. As this uppermost charge is being formed, it forces the bottom charge 28 downward towards the bottom closed end 46 of the receiving paper receptacle 44 thereby forcing the paper receptacle 44 to receive the bottom charge 28 in such a manner that when the charge 28 is received by the paper receptacle 44 the composite sides of this paper receptacle 44 withstand expansion pressure of the compressed fibrous material charge 28. It is believed that this phenomenon is premised on the fact that as the compressed charge 28 moves into the receiving paper receptacle 44 the composite sides thereof present a continuity of the vertical filling chamber 22 thereby mitigating for the over-expansion of the compressed material charge 28. This over-expansion caused the receiving paper receptacles to split open as it was receiving the compressed charge of material.

The method of operating the apparatus is now described and is essentially as follows. A predetermined amount or charge of rice hulls or other fibrous compressible material is placed within section 31 of the horizontally disposed ramming chamber 16, this predetermined amount is calculated by the timing of the sealing slide ram 13. The amount of the charge of material 12 deposited within the ramming chamber 16 is predetermined so that when it has been horizontally and vertically compressed the compressed charge fills the paper material receptacle 44. The material charge 12 is deposited into the ramming chamber 16 through the horizontally disposed sealing slide 13. This sealing slide 13 is actuated by a hydraulically operated ram 15 which is smaller in dimension and in ramming power than the other rams 18 and34 which are used to compress the charge of fibrous material. The predetermined amount of rice hulls 12 is allowed to fall into section 31 of horizontal ramming chamber 16 by the opening of the sealing slide 13. When the predetermined amount of rice hulls has been placed into section 31 of the ramming chamber 16, the sealing slide 13 and the horizontal power ram 18 are simultaneously energized, however, the smaller sealing slide 13 has a higher velocity than the horizontal packing ram 18, thereby sealing the ramming chamber 16 for the power compression packing operation. The horizontal packing ram 18 is operated under high pressure so that it can horizontally compress the rice hulls with its power stroke within ramming chamber 16. When the horizontal packing ram 18 reaches the end of its stroke as shown by the dashed line configuration 74, a response element such as an interlock mechanism (not shown) is energized and a signal 76 is transmitted to a control box, which in turn transmits a control signal 36 to begin the operation of the vertically disposed packing ram 34. The horizontal packing ram, however, does not return to its initial starting position, it remains in the position as shown by the dashed line configuration 74. The front face 78 of the horizontal ram 74 effectively defines a vertical wall of section 32 of chamber 16 for the vertical ramming by the vertically disposed ram 34.

The material has now been horizontally compressed by the horizontal packing ram 18 and it is found within the chamber section 32 of the ramming chamber 16. The bottom of this chamber section 32 is further defined by upper surface 80 of the previously compressed charge 24, which has remained within the vertical filling chamber 22. There are shown three compressed charges 24, 26 and 28 of rice hulls within the vertical filling chamber 22. These compressed charges 24, 26 and 28 present a bottom support for the vertical compression of the charge now under compression through the vertical ram 34. The first of these charges 28 is forced out of the terminal open end 42 of the vertical lling chamber 22 by the vertical ramming stroke of the vertical packing ram 34.

While the vertical packing ram 34 is compressing the charge of rice hulls found in the ramming chamber section 32, the lead charge 28 is forced to become enclosed by the paper receptacle 44 which is telescoped about the terminal open end 42 of the vertical filling chute 22. By this process the charge 28 of compressed rice hulls within the vertical filling chamber 22 is forced into the receiving paper receptacle 44. The weight of the charge 28 forces the support platform 48 to recede downwardly and at its final position as shown by numeral 58 the open free end 54 of the paper receptacle 44 is no longer encumbered by the vertical filling chamber 22 and the paper receptacle can be moved by suitable means (not shown) to the conveyor belt 60 in the direction shown by arrow 82.

The vertical filling chamber 22 is defined by a rectangular cross-section. The sides thereof are tapered or flared outwardly so that the cross-section of the terminal open end 42 is larger than the upper rectangular cross-section.

This outward taper is required to ease the exit of the emerging charge 28 from the vertical filling chamber 22. For best results is has been found that for rice hulls the terminal open end 42 of the vertical filling chamber 22 should have cross-sectional dimensions of l2" X 15" with a 1A; inch taper every 60 inches of the length of the vertical filling chamber 22.

When the vertical power ram 34 has completed its downward stroke the charge Within section 32 of ramming chamber 16 is now a compressed charge similar to the previously compressed charges 24, 26 and 28 in the vertical filling chamber 1f6. The last compressed charge has, however, displaced the top charge 24, so that charge 24 is now in the position of charge 26 and charge 26 is in the last position within the vertical filling chamber 22, and charge 28 has been packaged into the paper receptacle 44. The vertical ram 34 is now ready to be returned to its steady state position. At the end of its power stroke the vertical ram 34 activates a control element 84 which transmits a signal 86 to the control box 20 which generates a signal to the return controls of the vertical power ram 34 and the horizontal power ram 18 so that they are returned simultaneously to their respective steady state positions.

The electrical control system for the operation is shown in box form as numeral 20. No specific electrical elements are shown since any type of control mechanism which can operate the hydraulic rams `18 and 34 and generate control signals therefor can 'be used. The steady state position obtained upon the return stroke is conveniently obtained by a return mechanism which is not shown since they are well known in the art. The hydraulic power rams 18 and 34 can be constructed with rearward protectors connected to their front plates so that when the power thrust of the rams 18 and 34 is beting placed upon the charge last formed any loose material remaining in the ramming chamber 16 will not tend to accumulate behind the ram face plate. The rearward protectors do not in any way effect the efficient operation of the apparatus. They merely maintain the ramming elements in a clean condition while they are operating.

The particular material used in the operative description of this apparatus, that is rice hulls which are compressible, should not be taken as limitative but merely as exemplary. The particular dimensions noted herein should also be taken as exemplary of the apparatus. It is readily ascertainable that a person of ordinary skill in the art would note that cylindrical or other configurations of the ramming and filling chambers 16 and 22 could be constructed without departing from the essence of this invention. Furthemore, the particular vertical and horizontal configuration of the apparatus could be changed without departing from the essence of the invention.

Thet invention has been described in detail in connection with one particular embodiment thereof. It will 'be understood that other embodiments which include other configurations in the construction and arrangement of the various parts of the apparatus may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention or exceeding scope as set forth in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for filling a receptacle with compressible and expandable material, comprising:

a supply means for bulk materials having compressible and expandable properties,

a first chamber means for receiving said material from said supply means,

a first ram means for imparting horizontal compressing pressure upon said material within said first chamber,

a second chamber means for containing compressed material therein, and having an exit through which said material may be moved,

a second rarn means for imparting vertical compressing pressure upon said material Within said chamber after said horizontal pressure has been imparted thereto, and for moving said compressed material through said exit,

a material receptacle means for receiving said compressed material, having an open end and a closed end,

said material receptacle means being telescoped about said second chamber means so that said closed end is initially in an adjacent relationship with said exit of said second chamber means, whereby said receptacle means receives said compressed material as the latter moves through the exit,

said second chamber about which said material receptacle means is located is tapered outwardly, so that said compressed material can be laterally expanded before being received by said receptacle,

said second ram means forcing said com-pressed material Within said second chamber and also moving previously compressed masses of material through said second chamber exit into said receiving receptacle telescoped about said second chamber,

and elevator support means for said receptacle adapted to raise said receptacle to telescope about said second chamber means and is forced downwardly by the movement of the receptacle as it is filled.

2. An apparatus for filling a receptacle as in claim 1 wherein said first chamber means is horizontally disposed and said second chamber means is vertically disposed in relation to said first chamber means allowing said second chamber to receive said compressed material therein after it has been horizontally compressed.

3. An apparatus for filling a receptacle as in claim 1 wherein said first ram means forms one vertical wall of said second chamber after it has imparted horizontal pressure to said material and transferred the compressed material to said second chamber so that said second ram means can impart vertical pressure upon said material.

V4. An apparatus for filling a receptacle as in claim 1 wherein said material receptacle means comprises a paper bag and said compressible and expandable material is rice hulls.

5. Apparatus for filling a receptacle with compressible and expansible bulk material comprising: an elongated ramming chamber; means to supply bulk material to said ramming chamber; a first ram movable longitudinally within said ramming chamber for compressing bulk material into one end of said ramming chamber in the form of a compressed mass of the material; an elongated filling chamber disposed at a right angle to said ramming chamber and having one end in communication with said ramming chamber at said one end of the latter, the opposite end of said filling chamber being open and defining a discharge end; a second ram associated with said one end of said ramming chamber and movable longitudinally of said filling chamber and across said one end of said ramming chamber for forcing the compressed mass of material out of said ramming chamber and into said filling chamber, said filling chamber being tapered outwardly along its length toward its discharge end and being of sufiicient length to retain a compressed mass so that a compressed mass of material is delivered from said discharge end of said filling chamber as each new cornpressed mass is transferred to said filling chamber by said second ram; a receptacle support disposed axially of said discharge end of said filling chamber for supporting a receptacle having an open end in telescoping relationship about the external periphery of said filling chamber; and fluid-operated means yieldable to the force of the compressed mass being forced out of said discharge end against said receptacle support for moving the latter away from said discharge end whereby the receptacle' receives the compressed mass issuing from said discharge end.

6. Apparatus as in claim 5 wherein said ramming chamber is disposed horizontally, wherein said lling chamber is disposed vertically, wherein said second ram is disposed to move each compressed mass of material in a downward direction, and wherein said duid-operated means includes a fluid-operated ram.

7. Appaartus as in claim 5 including endless conveyor means for removing the receptacle from said support after a compressed mass of material has been placed within the receptacle.

8. Apparatus as in claim 5 wherein said filling chamber is of sufficient length to retain three compressed masses of material.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 9,956 12/1881 Dederick 53-24 3,451,185 6/1969 Tezuka 53--22 6/1969 Tezuka 53--124 10/ 1936 Trevellyan 53-24 1/1882 Dederick 100-41 5/1905 Webb 100-42 X 5/1933 Corlette 161-43 3/1950 Hall. 9/1958 Broyle. 11/1960 Wollett 53-24 4/ 1963 Staff.

12/1966 Seltzer 10U-4l FOREIGN PATENTS 3/1956 Canada.

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

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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/529, 100/41, 100/188.00R, 100/229.00A, 100/42, 100/48, 100/43
International ClassificationB65B1/24, B65B1/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B1/24
European ClassificationB65B1/24