US 3501895 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 24, 1970 R. 1.. GEYER 3,
CONTAINER LIDDING MACHINE Filed March 14, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 ROBERT L. GEYER lIVVE/WDR ,4 TTORNEVS March 24,1970 R, L. GEYER 3,501,895
CONTAINER LIDDING MACHINE 1: 4 a HM ROBERT L. GEYEP INVENM XML ,M
A TTORNEKS March 24, 1970 R. GEYER 3,501,895
CONTAINER LIDDING MACHINE Filed March 14, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 ROBERT L. 6575!? INVE/WDI? Mu )M .4 TTORNEYS March 24, 1970 R. L. GEYER CONTAINER LIDDING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 4.
| l I ll\ Filed ROBERT L. GED/ER March 24, 1970 R. L. GEYER 3,501,395
CONTAINER LIDDINQ MACHINE Filed March 14, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 ROBERT L. G'EYE'R INVENTOI? A 77'ORNEKS United States Patent US. Cl. 53287 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Container lidding machine for applying to and sealing lids on containers in a substantially continuous manner adapted to receive filled and open containers, position closing lids as blanks, in flattened condition, over open tops of the containers, to apply glue to the container sides, and subsequently to fold the lids in such manner as to form side folded flaps thereof and contact the flaps with their associated containers, and thereafter to hold the lids in position on the containers under compression until the glue hardens, by slidably inserting the containers in superimposing sequence into a vertical tunnel, the walls of the tunnel being adapted to permit slight inward and outward movement under adjustable compression, and upward passage therethrough of the superimposed containers after lids have been placed thereover and glue applied thereto, with the lids having portions engaged with the interior surfaces of the tunnel to insure maintaining the lids in place until the glue has set, so that upon discharge of the containers from the tunnel the lids are caused to be properly secured to the containers.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention broadly is applicable to the closing or lidding of open containers adapted for containment therein of produce or articles of any desired nature. In many industries, and especially in the food industry, there is a need for an automatically operable machine wherein a container lid can be placed over an open top of a container, and secured to the container with the lid being tightly engaged therewith and dependably secured thereto.
The present invention is especially applicable to the closing of carton-like containers containing therein freshly cleaned and eviscerated poultry, along with a subliming refrigerating medium, wherein it is desirable to close the carton in a substantially airtight manner while at the same time permitting a slight bleeding to atmosphere of pressurized gas resulting from a sublimation of the refrigerating material.
The containers to be lidded by the machine of the present invention is particularly adapted for and constitutes a substantially imperforate, moisture proof packaging and shipping container for poultry and the like, and incorporates means for creating and establishing a circulation therein of vaporized carbon dioxide generated by the sublimation of a solid carbon dioxide refrigerant material placed therein. A thus established differential in pressures within and without the container is utilized to permit a slow gradual egress of gaseous carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, to thereby minimize or prevent ingress of atmospheric air, which tends to contaminate, deteriorate, discolor, or otherwise render poultry or the like packaged in the container unsaleable, or otherwise undesirable to the purchasing public.
A container and process for packaging of articles, such as cleaned and eviscerated poultry, is disclosed in detail in my copending patent application, Ser. No. 595,531, filed Nov. 18, 1966, entitled Container and Process for Packaging Poultry.
SUMMARY In the mass butchering, picking, cleaning, eviscerating and marketing of fresh poultry, the prepared poultry is placed in a cardboard carton having an open top, downwardly over which a closure lid is adapted to be positioned and secured. It is of the utmost importance that the lid be tightly engaged with the box and dependably secured thereto. The machine of the present invention serves this purpose by applying glue to container sides, and thereafter folding the flaps of the closure lid into juxtaposed position against the sides of the containers, and then holding the folded flaps under compression in engagement with the container sides until the glue hardens, to provide a finalized sealed container.
In accomplishing purposes of the present invention a conveyor equipped with a container motivating appara' tus delivers filled containers successively to a predeter' mined glue applying station, Where the containers are each in turn disposed on a table mounted on a recipro cable pneumatic ram. Glue nozzles there are so disposed and operated as to apply glue in a predetermined pattern along upper edge portion of each side of the container. Four vertically disposed walls are provided and rectangularly arranged directly above this station to define a tunnel into which the filled containers slidably are fitted. Selective ones of the walls are mounted for slight inward and outward movement, and resiliently are urged inwardly by compression springs. Suitable means, being either automatically or manually operable, are provided for sliding closure lids in a flattened blank condition over the open upper end of each of the containers as it is seated on the table. The lids marginally overlap the respective containers to provide lid side flaps therefor engageable with the glue applied to the container upon downward depression thereof. The vertically disposed walls defining the tunnel have lower edges which are downwardly and outwardly flared or extended. When a lid is in proper juxtaposition to a container to which it is to be secured, the ram is extended upwardly to force the container and its associated lid upwardly into the tunnel to be tightly compressed between the tunnel walls. Upon initiation of such movement, the lower edges of the walls, which extend angularly outwardly, initiate a downward folding of the marginal edges of the lid over its respective container. The container subsequently is moved upwardly into the interior of the tunnel which, due to the constricting action of the walls, maintains the marginal edges of the lid in close contact with the sides of the container. A spring biased stop additionally is provided to prevent undesired downward movement of the lidded container under the influence of gravitational forces.
The extended ram is then retracted, with the container and its lid being maintained under frictional compression established between the walls in the tunnel and supported against lowering vertical movement therein. The ram having been retracted, is prepared to repeat its cycle of operation with a succeeding container and lid. Successive containers and lids are thereby loaded into the tunnel in vertically stacked compressive relation. The tunnel can be designed to have any desired vertical length to achieve a desired duration of compression thus to insure proper completion of the gluing action.
When the uppermost container in the tunnel reaches the upper open end thereof, it is ejected upwardly from the tunnel by the upward thrust of the next succeeding, vertically lower disposed container, which in turn is thrust upwardly by an insertion of a new container and its lid into the tunnel by the ram mechanism. The top or uppermost container, following ejection from the tunnel, is deposited by a pusher into a take-01f conveyor by which the container is transported to a suitable storage or transport mechanism.
Accordingly, it is an object of the instant invention to provide an improved machine for lidding and sealing filled containers of the type which receive a disassociated lid to be secured thereto.
It is another object to provide a new and novel machine for applying and sealing a closure lid to an open top container, utilizing side pressure meansiincluding spring pressed walls which initially serve to fold container lid closure flaps downwardly, and thereafter fold them into sealing engagement with the sides of the container and maintain them in sealing relationship until glue disposed therebetween has had time to set and harden.
Another object of the invention is to provide a machine for substantially automatically advancing filled open top containers onto vertical moving means, placing a closure lid in flattened condition over the top of the container, thereafter moving the container and lid upwardly into a four sided enclosing tunnel, which serves initially to fold downwardly marginal edges of the flattened lid against the exterior sides of the container to which glue has been applied and then move the so-lidded container upwardly through a confining tunnel with superimposed ones of the cartons maintaining a compressive force upon succeeding ones, and the spring pressed or biased walls of the tunnel holding an inward pressure, the result being a proper sealing of the lid on container. Another object is to provide a container lidding and sealing machine for sequentially receiving filled open top containers, applying glue to the container walls in a predetermined pattern, delivering a prescored lid to the container, folding the lid flaps into sealing engagement with the container walls and retaining the folded fiaps in engagement with the container until the glue sets, and then discharging the filled, lidded and sealed container therefrom.
Further advantages and objects of the present invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description of an embodiment thereof, when taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view depicting certain operating components of the machine, and their association with one another;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view, partly in section, taken at right angles to the line of introduction of the containers to be lidded;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view generally taken on line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view generally taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view generally taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view generally taken on line 66 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 7 is an exploded unassembled perspective view of a container and a lid adapted to be placed thereon, and capable of being lidded and sealed by use of the present apparatus.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, in FIG. 7 there is shown a type of container adapted for lidding and sealing with the apparatus of the present invention. The container is an open top container, generally designated 10, which consists of a lateral bottom wall 12, and vertically arranged side walls 14 and end walls 16. The end walls 16 include overlying end flap portion 18 secured to the end walls 16, by any convenient means. The container also includes an open upper top 20 which is adapted for closure after produce, poultry or the like is placed therein. A lid generally designated 22, FIG. 7, is introduced in a flattened condition, into the present machine for achieving a subsequent closure and sealing of the container. The lid has a central portion 24, of a size commensurate with the open top a 20 of the container 10, and side flaps 26, extending from the central portion 24. Score lines 28 are formed between the central portion 24 and each of the side flaps 26 to facilitate a downward bending of the side flaps into the desired downward sealing engagement and arrangement with the vertical walls of the container.
Glue preferably is applied to the side walls 14 in a single strip, as shown at 30, by appropriate means to be hereinafter described and preferably is in a continuous line therealong. Discontinuous glue strips 32 are applied on the overlying end portions 18 of end walls 16 by a skip gluing process since the overlying end portions are raised with respect to the central or main portion of the end walls 16. These glue strips 30 and 32 are adapted for sealing engagement with the under surfaces of the side flaps 26 when the flaps have been bent or folded into downward engagement with the vertical walls of the container.
The general over-all construction of the present machine will be understood from an examination of FIG. 1 of the drawings. A table 34, adapted to support and elevate filled containers 10, is supported between container guide rails 35, by means including a piston 36 operatively connected to the table adapted to be vertically displaced or extended by a hydraulic cylinder or ram mechanism 38. The ram 38 appropriately'is supported on a suitable base 40 of any desired configuration or construction. The upper surface of table 34 is fiat and is adapted is adapted for engaging and pushing a container 10 from the conveyor onto the table 34. This operation can be either automatically or manually controlled, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art.
A vertically disposed lid closure and lid sealing tunnel 54 is mounted above the table 34 in vertical alignment therewith. The tunnel 54 is vertically spaced from the table 34 to provide a slight clearance, indicated at 56, between the tunnel and the top of the container 10 seated on the table. This spacing is to permit a lid aligning introduction of a prescored lid 22 between the top of the container 10 and the lower end of the tunnel 54. A lid feeder, generally designated 58, is operatively associated with the table. The feeder can be automatically or manually controlled and operated, as is found desirable. As shown in the drawings, the feeder 58 includes mated sets of upper rollers 60 mounted on shaft 62, and lower rollers 64 mounted on shaft 66. Preferably these rollers are continuously driven and when a container is arranged in place on the table 34 an operator causes a lid to be inserted between the sets of rollers so that it is impelled into a proper position over the container. A back stop 68 is aligned with the bite of the rollers 60, 64 and serves to engage and properly position the impelled lid 22 in a pair of parallel side guides 70. The guides 70 are provided between the container 10 and the tunnel 54 and operatively serve to support the lid 22 delivered thereto by the feeder 58 as the lid is engaged by the back stop 68.
The side guides 70 thus constitute a support mechanism for a lid being inserted into the machine for placement and securement on the container. The side guides 70 also are provided with flared entrance portions, shown at 72, which assist in guiding the lids into proper position over a container 10 to which it is to be afiixed.
With the lid 22 supported between the guides 70 and an open container 10 having been received and being supported by the table 34, the ram 38 is actuated for forcing the container through the lid 22 for causing the flaps 26 to engage the tunnel structure and be folded downwardly as the container is advanced into the tunnel for thus initiating a subsequent container-sealing passage therethrough.
After a container has been lidded, and the lid sealed during passage through the tunnel 70, a laterally reciprocating ejector mechanism, generally designated 74, FIG. 1, is utilized in order to move the container 10 onto a take-off conveyor 76. The conveyor 76 is of any con vient design and is employed to transfer the filled and lidded containers away from the tunnel 54 to a desired station and/or position for further disposition.
The ejector 74 consists generally of a reciprocating horizontally disposed and hydraulically operated ram 78 operatively associated with a hydraulic cylinder 80. The ejector 74 is operated as to engage and eject a lidded container 10. If desired, the ejector may be manually or electrically controlled sequentially and in a timed sequence with the operation of the machine, however, a limit switch 81 mounted on the machine and extended into the vertical path of the containers has been found to be a practical means for sensing the presence of a container in a position to be ejected. As illustrated, FIGS. 1 and 2, the ram 78 operatively is connected by a link 82 and a plate 84 to spaced arms 86, or the like at the rearward end of which there is secured a vertically disposed ejector plate 88 adapted to be laterally displaced to engage a face of a lidded container, as the container operatively is associated therewith.
The plate 88 thus is caused to reciprocate and to eject and deliver the sealed containers 10 to the take-ofl? conveyor 76.
The tunnel 54 is provided with vertical walls, each including an outwardly flared and downwardly directed surface 89 so arranged as to receive and impose a lateral compressive force upon the side flaps of the lids for the containers to insure a setting or proper gluing thereof. to this end the tunnel 54 includes four side walls 90, 92, 94 and 96 relatively positioned to establish a selected cross sectional configuration, depending upon the specific shape and size of the container to be lidded. Two of the sides, designated at 90 and 92 are fixedly mounted, whereas sides 94 and 96 are resiliently mounted for displacement with respect to each other as well as the sides 90 and 92 by brackets 98 having associated therewith openings 99, bolts 100 and helical compression springs 101, FIG. 1.
The bolts 100 are slidably extended through openings 99 formed in the brackets 98 and are fixed at the extended ends thereof to the adjacent surfaces of the adjacent sides, with the compression springs 101 being concentrically disposed about the bolts and seated between the brackets and the bolt heads, so that the associated side, to which each of the brackets is fixed, is caused to be biased inwardly by the springs 101 acting between the bolt head of the associated bolt and the bracket 98. As a practical matter, the openings 99, FIG. 1, are enlarged sufiiciently for accommodating the desired displacement of the adjacent side to which the bolt is secured.
The mechanisms for applying glue to the sides of the container 10 are broadly shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, and includes traveling heads 102 which are arranged on all four sides of the container. The glue heads 102 are of a convenient construction adapted for translational movement and to spray a hot melt glue or the one translational direction for achieving ejection of a lidded and sealed container 10, from the machine, as will be apparent from a study of FIG. 1 of the drawings. Each of the arms 104, 108 are provided in proximity to their lower ends with slots 110, within which are operatively associated grooved spools 112 or the like containing peripheral grooves for establishing and maintaining rolling engagement therein. Each of the spools 112 is operatively connected with a glue head 102 disposed in a driving relationship therewith. The purpose of the slots, in combination with the spools, is necessitated by the fixed pivot points of the arms 104 and 108 and the fact that while the arms move angularly relative to the adjacent container 10, the glue heads are adapted to move rectilinearly.
On those sides of the containers 10 wherein the end walls 16 are provided with the overlying end flap portions 18, and in order to insure the discontinuity of application of the glue strips 32, there are provided intermediately operating glue switches 114. Each switch 114 includes an actuating button 116 adapted for coacting with suitably mounted glue switch plates 118. The glue switch plates are spaced toward opposite ends of the side plates 92 and 94 forming a portion of the tunnel 54. The switches 114 are operatively mounted on the arms 108 employing any convenient means and are associated with but positioned above the glue heads 102. Hence, the switches 114 move transversely along the surface or side of the container together with the associated glue head. When the buttons 116 contact the glue switch plates 118 they are so actuated, by depression thereof, as to activate the glue heads and thereby apply glue only to that portion of the container as might be desired for coaction with a lid, due to the specific configuration and construction of the sides of the container.
A frame 120 is supported in any desired manner and includes structural angle irons 122 or the like fixed at the corners, for rigidity and strength. Fixed sides and 92 of the tunnel 54 are ecured in position by means including a plurality of transverse plates 124, welded or otherwise secured to tthe angle irons 122 and to the fixed sides 90 and 92. A support angle iron 126, FIG. 1, is secured to the side 94. Mounted to extend inwardly from the frame is a slotted plate 128 including a horizontally disposed open-ended slot 129 extending into receiving engagement with the support angle iron 126. The plate 128 operatively is coupled in supporting relationship with the side 94 by receiving, for horizontal sliding displacement, the laterally extended portion of the support 126.
Therefore, the sides 94 and 96 are vertically supported for horizontal displacement by the support 126 as it is slidingly received within the slot 129 of the plate 128.
Each of the sets of arms 104 and 108 are operatively displaced by means including a pair of pivotally mounted double-acting ram units 130 connected thereto, FIG. 2, which can be actuated by any desirable source of energy, such as air under pre sure for example, or through other suitable mechanism. The ram units are so operated as to displace the glue applying heads 102 only in a single direction during one period of movement, and when the next in-line container 10 has been positioned on the table 34 the glue heads 102 are displaced in a reverse direction so that only a single gluing pass is made by each head for each container. It is to be understood that a suitable glue container and heater 132, of a convenient design, is appropriately fastened to the machine and includes the associated glue hoses 134 for directing hot glue to each of the gluing heads. The heads 102 are guidingly supported for rectilinear movement by pairs of vertically spaced angularly shaped guides 136 arranged in the nature of spaced track portions for receiving for reciprocal movement therebetween a glue carriage mechanism 138, FIG. 2.
Each of the glue carriage mechanisms 138, is formed to include a plate having vertically spaced bearing surfaces and is fitted in between and mated with the spaced guides in a slidable manner. The spools 112 are fixed to the carriage mechanism 138 in a manner such that the mechanism serves to support the grooved spools 112, as they are movably mounted within the slots 110 in the arms 104 and 108.
When a container 10 is to be inserted in the machine for lidding and sealing purposes, it is advanced over the rollers 48 and onto the table 34 by the pusher mechanism 50. In being advanced, the container 10 passes over a spring retainer 140, which is depressed by the container in its passage thereover. Thereafter the retainer will spring back to such a restraining position so as to restrain its container in the desired position seated on the ram actuated table 34. When the container is moved into the appropriate position on the table, it will contact a roller or the like 142, FIG. 2, mounted on a pivoted arm 144 and extended into the path of the filled container. The arm 144 is mounted to pivotally rotate and activate an associated electrical switch 145 mounted adjacent thereto. The switch 145 serves to sense the presence of a container and is connected, preferably in series with a manual starting switch and with a source of electrical energy and is operable to initiate a chain of events which leads to an elevation of the container 10, which has been glued, and a lid applied thereto into the tunnel 54 for lidding and sealing purposes.
Since sidewise compressive forces against the container and lid may be insufficient to maintain the lidded container 10 in the tunnel 54, means are provided to positively prevent downward movement or displacement of the container from the tunnel. Such means include openings formed in support braces 146 which can be in the form of channels or the like, and which are appropriately supported on the machine. Resilient arms or fingers 148, having inwardly directed noses 150 thereon, are mounted to extend through the openings adjacent to the tunnel 54 and are spring biased inwardly by means of bolt and spring assemblies generally designated 152. In operation, as a container passes upwardly into the tunnel the noses 150 on the arms 148 will be retracted, due to their resilient or spring biased mounting, to permit passage therebetween of the containers, and thereafter when the bottom of a container has passed thereover the noses will extend under the bottom of the container to provide a positive support therefor, and prevent gravitational forces from expelling or permitting containers from dropping below the bottom opening of the tunnel.
In addition to the aforementioned control circuit components, control means are included to specifically control movement of the glue heads 102 in one direction of movement only for each container 10. Such means include limit switches 154 operatively connected with appropriate solenoid switches 155 connected into the gluing mechanism operating and control circuit. These switches are actuatable by pivotally mounted plates 156 fixed thereto, FIGS. 3 and 4, which also serve the purpose of establishing a reverse circuit for the glue heads when a next succeeding box is properly positioned in the apparatus.
Here again, circuits of this type are well known, therefore a detailed description of the circuit is omitted in the interest of brevity. However, it is to be understood that as the glue heads 102 are displaced, the plates 156 are alternately engaged and actuated for causing a control circuit to be completed to a ram selector control valve 157, preparatory to reversing the direction of travel thereof, so that at the next energization of the circuit the ram 130 will serve to displace the heads 102 in reversed directions of travel. The selector valves 157 are of any suitable design and are connected with the input and output of the rams 130 so that when the selector valves are in a first position the ram is driven in a first direction and when the valve is switched to a second position, the ram operatively responds to be driven in a second direction. Such valves are well-known in the art, therefore, a detailed description thereof is omitted.
A source of air pressure, generally designated 158, is interconnected with the individual rams through the valve 157 for driving the rams 130 to thus cause the glue heads 102 to traverse across the sides or faces of a container 10 to be glued. Suitable switching means of a convenient design, not shown, are electrically connected with the limit switch 155 and serve to assist in the control of the pressurization of the source of air 158, so that each actuation of the plate 156 is employed in the de-pressurization of the source of air 158, which is again pres surized when the switch subsequently is actuated.
Direction of travel for the ejector mechanism 74 is controlled by a head 160 adapted to operatively engage a limit switch 161. The head 160 is mounted to be displaced by a traveling cross head 162 which couples the arms 86 of the ejector, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 6, connected with the ejector plate 88.
The switch 161 is a microswitch which is closed through an engagement thereof with head 160 for initiating a reversing displacement of a suitable selector valve, not shown, for achieving a reversing displacement of the ram 78.
The lid infeed mechanism 58, consisting essentially of the rollers 60 and 64, is actuated by an appropriately mounted motor 164 interconnected by a driving belt 166 to the lower rollers 64. The upper rollers 60 are yieldably mounted by a spring mounting mechanism, generally designated 168, as shown in greater detail in FIG. 3, and in conjunction with the driven rollers 64 serve as a follower mechanism acting with sutficient pressure to insure positive driving therethrough or therebetween of the lids 22. Feeding of the lids to the bit of the rollers can be manually or automatically controlled, as found practical. Where desirable, the lid feeding operation is controlled by sensing the operation of the switch 145 as it detects the presence of a container 10 seated on the table 34 preparatory to receiving a lid thereover.
The purposes and operation of the present apparatus, effective to lid and properly seal such lids to containers will be apparent from the foregoing description, and a further detailed discussion thereof is not considered necessary herein. However, the operation of the machine is summarized as follows.
Assuming that the table 34 is seated in coplanar alignment with the conveyor 42 and that a filled but open container 10 is positioned on the conveyor and supported adjacent the table 34, a selective displacement of the pusher serves to advance the container across the supporting roller 48 onto the upper surface of the table. As the container thus is brought into the proper orientation with respect to the table 34, and into vertical alignment with the tunnel 54, the switch 145 is actuated in response to a pivoting displacement of the lever 144, as the container comes to rest thereagainst as it is positioned by the guide rails 35. In response to the actuation of the switch 145, the motor 164 of the lid feeder 58 is actuated for causing a blank lid to be fed to the guides 70 while simultaneously therewith the rams 130 are caused to be activated through an actuation of the selector valves 157 and the pressurization control means for the source of air 158. Activation of the rams 130 serve to cause the arms 104 and 108 to be pivoted about the pivot pins 106 for displacing the glue heads 102 and their associated control switches 114. The heads are drivingly displaced along their respective rectilinear paths of travel adjacent the uppermost portion of the vertical walls 14 and 16 of the container seated on the table. As the buttons 116 of the switches 114 engage the glue switch plates 118, the glue heads are activated for laterally discharging heated glue to the adjacent surfaces of the container. Since the switch plates 118 are interrupted at two opposing sides of the table 34, the glue there applied appears to be applied as an interrupted strip, so that only the end flap portions 18 of the end walls 16 are provided with a glue strip. Completion of the glue application is sensed by the switches 154 as the arms 104 and 108 are displaced to their limits whereat the arms each engage plates 156 of the associated limit switches 154. The switches 154 cause the selector valve 157 to assume a suitable configuration for achieving a reversing direction of travel for the ram 130, in response to signals applied by the switches 154. Activation of the switches 154 therefore serves to interrupt the flow of air to the rams 130 and prepare them for reversed displacement when the next in-line filled carton is seated upon the upper surface of the table.
1 Upon a sensing of completion of the travel imposed upon the glue heads 102, by the switches 154, the control circuit causes the ram 36 to be operatively extended for elevating the table 34. As the table is elevated, a central portion of the lid 22 is seated over the open top of the container 10, as the container is elevated into engagement therewith. Continued elevation of the table causes the flaps 26 to engage surfaces 89 which cause the flaps to be down-folded into engagement with the glue strips 30 and 32 so that as the container is elevated into the tunnel 54, passed the spring biased stops 150, the flaps are positioned and held in place until the glue sets or harden during the cartons upward passage through the tunnel.
As the ram 36, and therefore the table 34, reach the upper limit of their respective upward displacement, the presence of a container 10, as it discharges from the tunnel 54, is sensed by the switch 81, whereupon the ram 36 is caused to reverse the direction of travel and the ram 78 is activated for horizontal displacement.
As the ram 78 is activated, the vertically disposed plate 88 is driven across the upper end of the tunnel 54. As the plate 88 is thus displaced, the uppermost container is engaged thereby and laterally discharged onto the adjacent take-off conveyor 76. As the ram 78 reaches its extended most position, the switch 161 is actuated by an engagement therewith of the head 60, whereupon the direction of travel for the ram is reversed for eflecting a retracting displacement of the plate preparatory to the advancement of another container from the upper end of the tunnel 54. The ram 36 has now retracted to its lowermost position and is prepared to receive the next in-line container 10 thereon, for causing the cycle to be repeated.
The specific circuitry employed in the machine is of any convenient design and may be varied as found desirable. Since the specific circuitry employed forms no part of the instant invention and may be varied as desired, a detailed description thereof has been omitted. However, it is to be understood that the plurality of switches 145, 154, and 81 serve as limit switches which function to sense the completion of each pase of the machine's operation and to initiate the next operative phase all in a convenient manner, well known to those skilled in the art.
Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred system and apparatus, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as the embrace any and all equivalent systems and apparatus.
Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A machine for serially lidding and sealing a plurality of open top containers comprising a tunnel including sides positioned to form a substantially vertical closure, at least one of said sides being yieldably mounted with respect to the others of said sides, means defining an outwardly flared surface extending laterally along the lower end portion of each of said sides, whereby said tunnel is provided with an outwardly flared lower end to facilitate movement of containers vertically upwardly into the tunnel, vertically movable means including a table for serially receiving containers thereon,
means for inserting and positioning a flattened lid over the top of each container when said container is properly positioned in vertical alignment with said tunnel and received on said table, means operable upon a proper positioning of said container on said table for controlling operation of said lid inserting and positioning means, means including a movable gluing head positioned adjacent to each side of said table and operable in the presence of a container properly positioned on the table for applying a stripe of glue along each side of said container during a single unidirectional movement of said heads and including means for effecting a return glue applying movement and operation of said heads when a subsequent container is properly positioned on said table, operable means including a ram supporting said table, and a selectively operable fluid pressure system connected with said ram for effecting a selective vertical reciprocation of said table for thereby moving each of said containers into engagement with a flattened lid and to advance the container and the engaged lid vertically upwardly and through said tunnel, said flared lower ends of said sides being adapted to initiate a downward angular bending of the side edges of each of the flattened lids to facilitate juxtaposition thereof against the sides of a container, the dimensions of the tunnel being such as to complete folding of the side edges of the lids into intimate sealing engagement with the sides of said containers and to maintain a compressive force between the containers and the lids being moved therethrough.
2. A machine as claimed in claim 1, said vertical tunnel being adapted to movably contain a plurality of superimposed and successively injected containers with lids thereon, whereby a vertical compressive force is maintained on lids applied to succeeding ones of lidded containers inserted therein and moving therethrough to a top ejection station.
3. A machine as claimed in claim 1, at least two sides of said tunnel forming approximately one half thereof being yieldably mounted, with the other two sides being fixedly positioned, and spring controlled means connected to said yieldably mounted sides to permit yieldable movement thereof.
4. A machine as claimed in claim 1, including pivotally mounted arms substantially vertically positioned and operatively connected with each of said gluing heads, fluid operating means connected to said arms operable to pivot said arms in a single direction upon placement of each succeeding container on said table, guide tracks associated with said machine and operatively mounting said gluing heads in position on each side of said machine, said arms having rectilinearly extended openings therethrough in proximity to the lower ends of said arms, roller means operatively associated with said openings, and permitting angular pivotal movement of said arms while simultaneously restricting movement of said gluing heads along a predetermined straight path of traversal along a side of a said carton.
5. A machine as claimed in claim 4, including conveyor means for deposition of a said container onto said table, said conveyor means including a selectively operable pusher mechanism, and a spring-biased depressible lever, having a restraining nose thereon, downwardly movable upon passage of a container thereover, and subsequently being operable to assume a raised, nondepressed position, wherein said nose restrains retractive motion of a container placed upon said table.
6. A machine as claimed in claim 5, including a pivotally mounted arm at the rearward end of said table, with respect to the direction of movement thereonto of a container, said lever being pivotally mounted and adapted, upon engagement with an end thereof by a container being positioned on said table to be rotated thereby, switch means mounted in proximity to an end of the lever remote from the end contactable by a said container, said switch upon being contacted by said 11 lever, after rotation thereof, serving to activate an electrical circuit whereby a successive container can be placed upon said table, a lid inserted thereover, and said 'glue heads activated, with subsequent operation of said ram means to elevate said table and a container positioned thereon. 1 p
7. A machine as claimed in claim 6, resilient means connected to at least two opposed sides of said tunnel including angularly disposed nose portions, adapted to be resiliently retracted up'on'passage of a container and lid into said tunnel and thereafter to be resiliently repositioned whereby said nose portions engage the under surface of a container inserted in said tunnel to prevent gravitational discharge therefrom.
8.,A machine for lidding and sealing open top containers, comprising a substantially rectangularly shaped vertical tunnel including side walls and having at least one yieldably mounted side wall, means for supporting a container and vertically moving said container upwardly into and through said tunnel, means for depositing a lid for and on the open top of a said container, means for applying glue to mating portions of said lid and the sides of said container, said side walls of said tunnel, upon vertical movement of said container and lid operatively associated therewith, applying side pressure to maintain a sealing and gluing relationship between the lid and container, said tunnel having a length sufiicient to insure a proper setting time for the glue during passage of the container therethrough to securely seal the lid with respect to the container, said means for supporting the container and vertically moving the container upwardly through said tunnel being operable to move successively upwardly a succession of containers having lids mounted thereon in compressive succession, one beneath theother, to maintain a top compressive pressure of a lid on the container, and means for removing an uppermost closed carton with lid sealed thereon ejected from the'upper end of the tunnel, successively lower ones of said containers elevating said containers'in said tunnels, thereby placing an uppermost one thereof in ejection position by pressure from a next succeeding vertically moving container in said tunnel.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,969,58l 8/1934 Rose 53387 2,904,941 9/1959 Midnight 53387 X 3,105,334 10/1963 Marshall 53387 X 3,145,518 8/1964 Ricca 53387 3,236,027 2/1966 Schmermund '53 388 2,848,856 8/1958 Brock 53 -287 2,955,400 10/1960 Levkoff 53287 'X TRAVIS S. MCGEHEE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 5 33 87