US 3553924 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 12, 1971 Q' 3,553,924
' METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR BAGGING'PRODUCT Filed April 24, 1968 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 m INVENTOR.
ERNEST BONAMI I ATTORNEY. v
E BONAME METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR BAGGING PRODUCT Filed April '24; 1968 Jan. 12, I971 Z Sheets-Sheet' 3 1 N VEN I ()R. ERNEST BONAM/ A T TORNE Y,
A ril 2 1. 1968 Jan. 12,197.1 E. BQNAMI. 3,553,924 I METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR BAGGING PRODUCT "r Sheets-Sheet s 1 N 'VEN TOR.
ERNEST BONAM/ ATTORNEY Filed April 34," 19 68 Jan; 12,1971 EBQNAMI 3,553,924
METHOD. AND APPARATUS FOR BAGGING PRODUCT vs eets-sheet;
1N VEN '1 0R. ERNEST BO/VAM/ ATTORNEX I METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR BAGGING PRODUCT Filed April 24, 1968 E- BONAMI Jan. 12, 1971 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENIUR.
A TTORIVE Y Jan. 12, 1971 BONAM;
" METHOD AND APPARATUS mn- BAGGING PRODUCT 7 Sheets-Sheet 8 Filed April 24, 1968 INVENTOR. E/Q/VES T BONAM/ A TTRONEK Jan. 12, 1971' E. BONAMI 3,553,924
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR BAGGING PRODUCT I Filed April 24, 1968 v 7 Sheets-Sheet v INVENTOR. ERNEST BUNAM/ A TTORNE Y United States Patent 3,553,924 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR BAGGING PRODUCT Ernest Bonami, Western Springs, 111., assignor to Swift & Company, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 24, 1968, Ser. No. 723,811 Int. Cl. B65!) 13/02, 55/00, 57/04 US. 01. 53-21 15 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to an improved method and apparatus for loading relatively large items into bags formed on location to receive said items. More specifically, the present invention relates to an improved method and apparatus for forming bags of netting and depositing hams therein.
The prior art discloses several means for discharging relatively small items, such as candies and loose materials into a tube of film which is formed into individual packets as the film and contents are moved away from the loading point. Insofar as I am aware such techniques have been restricted to small items and the =film is fed in the direction of product flow about the exterior of a loading horn through which the product is passed. The prior art techniques have required that the film be driven positively at a speed suflicient to orderly receive and accommodate the items to be packaged.
Those prior techniques have not been readily applicable to the bagging of relatively large items weighing several pounds and more. Such items have heretofore been bagged individually and usually by hand. In the processing of hams, for example, it has been the usual practice to take a pre-formed bag of netting (having 3,553,924 Patented Jan. 12, 1971 of a hollow mandrel through which the item may be passed. The bagging material is first drawn across the upper edge of the mandrel and downwardly within the same and gathered and fastened so as to close the material together to form a bag bottom. Thereafter the item is moved through the mandrel into the bottom of the bag so as to carry the latter through the interior of the mandrel. Along the course of the article and bag material, the latter is again gathered, fastened and severed so as to separate and form the bottom of the next succeeding bag.
An apparatus devised to perform the foregoing method includes a mandrel carrying means and a material gathering means therebeyond. Fastening means and severing means are associated with the gathering means. An item releasing means is spaced in advance of the mandrel carrying means to accurately guide an item through a mandrel and into bagging material passed through the center thereof.
Further objects and advantages and a more complete understanding of the invention will be made clear in the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is an over-all side elevation of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an over-all front elevation of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an over-all plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1 comprising a gathering means;
FIG. 5 is a detail elevation of a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1 comprising the mandrel carrying means;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of a portion of the apparatus as viewed at line 7-7 on FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a detail elevation view of the portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1 comprising a decelerating means;
FIG. 9 is a plan view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 8; and
FIG. 10 is a detailed side elevation view of a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1. comprising a surface treating means.
The preferred embodiment of the present invention illustrated in the foregoing drawings was devised to bag hams and the method will thus be described in greater detail with respect to bagging hams.
The present method for bagging hams utilizes a unique supply of shirred bagging material such as that dis- 7 closed in my co-pending US. patent application Ser.
When the next ham was passed through the horn, it would not reach the bottom of the netting bag but would pull an additional length of netting from the horn.
' Accordingly, it is a' principal object of the present invention to provide an improved method and apparatus for forming bags from a continuous sleeve of material and loading large items into the bottom of the bags thus formed.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved method and apparatus for bagging relatively large items wherein the bottom of the bag is expanded to completely receive the item.
Basically, the invention comprises the positioning of a supply of bagging material to receive an item to be bagged. The bagging material is shirred on the exterior No. 517,267 which was filed on Dec. 29, 1965 now Pat. No. 3,461,640, issued Aug. 19, 1969. Such supply comprises a large hollow mandrel of a dimension that will easily allow a ham to pass through the center thereof. Stockinetting, or the like, is shirred upon the exterior of the mandrel by removing the stockinetting from a substantially continuous roll of flattened tubular material and expanding the diameter of the tube to fit upon the mandrel. In the packaging industry stoekinetting is usually interpreted to be a cotton textile netting to permit substantial movement of an item both above and below same. This permits free gravity fall of an item into the stockinet; however the -mandrel may also be positioned at an inclined angle.
The stockinet material is drawn from the mandrel by pulling it across the upper entrance edgeof the latter and downwardly through the interior thereof. Beyond and beneath the mandrel the stockinet is first gathered and then fastened either by knotting or applying a clip or the like. This forms the bottom of the first bag of stockinet material. The stockinet is then released and the closed end will tend to be pulled back within the mandrel due to it having been stretched in the feeding operation. Preferably, the tockinet is spread transversely at the upper areas of the mandrel so as to run closely adjacent to the interior of the latter and to open the bottom of the bag to receive a ham. Thereafter, a ham is conveyed to a point directly above the mandrel and released by dropping into the closed stockinet.
It is important that the ham be dropped accurately in a posture that will cause the butt end to fall first and into contact with the stockinet spread open at the upper end of the mandrel. The gravitational force of the ham will pull the stockinet vertically and downwardly through the mandrel thus withdrawing an additional length. As the bagged ham and stockinet pass beneath the mandrel, it is decelerated and preferably brought to a halt, at which time the bagging material is again gathered at a point just beneath the mandrel and several inches above the ham. When the material has been gathered into a narrow rope it is severed and again fastened to form the bottom end of a succeeding bag. I prefer that this part of the operation be performed in three distinct successive steps, i.e. gathering, fastening, and severing, and in the stated order.
A satisfactory technique for fastening the material together is to apply a circumferential clip, or the like. Several suitable clips or fasteners are available on the commercial market. It is also possible that the material may be fastened by tying with either its own fabric or a separate filament, or by heat sealing if the material is thermoplastic. Other means for fastening the material will also be apparent to those skilled in the art.
At this point, the bagged ham will fall free and may be discharged to further processing. Meanwhile the next succeeding bag is ready to receive, in the same manner described, the next harm. The preferred method above described was devised in connection with the processing of hams Where the bagging material is a netting used to support the hams from hanging trees during the smoking operation. Thus it is desired that the item falls sufficiently below the mandrel to permit gathering and severing at a point that will leave several inches of the material above the ham by which it may be handled. It may also be desired that the bagging material be fastened closed above the item bagged therein; and if this is desired, a pair of closures, as described above, may be applied simultaneously and spaced from one another whereafter the material is severed at a point between the two closures.
The present method also contemplates that certain treating steps may be applied to the item just prior to it being moved into the bagging material. To that end it is possible, while conveying the item to the point from which it is dropped, to perform various functions. For example, I prefer to apply fine granular salt to both the butt end and shank end of a ham prior to placing it in stockinetting. Accordingly, the barn is conveyed along an inclined path toward the point from which it is to be dropped and along that path direct intermittent air jets to carry measured quantities of salt against the butt and shank ends of a ham. Such treatment is highly advantageous as it tends to close the cut surfaces of the ham against excessive liquid loss. Meat juices, including proteinaceous materials, will otherwise tend to exude in excessive quantities and result in undesired adhesion of the stockinetting to the ham surfaces during smoking and cooking. Elevated temperatures during the latter treatment coagulate the proteins in the exuded liquids and bind the stockinetting to the meat surfaces. This is undesirable Where, as is the usual case, marketing of the final ham product requires the removal of the netting within which it is processed.
Adhesion of the netting to the ham also be hindered by applying various releasing agents directly to the stockinetting material. If this is desired, the release agent may be sprayed directly onto the stockinetting along the areas inside the mandrel.
The preferred apparatus illustrated in the drawings was devised to support a pair of mandrels 20, 21, so that when the stockinet from one mandrel is exhausted, the second mandrel can be moved into position without delaying the operation and while the first is replenished. It may be best seen in the FIGS. l through 3 that my apparatus is comprised of a mandrel carrying means generally 22 reciproca-bly mounted on a sub-frame generally 23. A gathering means generally 24 is also mounted within the sub-frame 23 beneath the carrying means 22. Also mounted within the sub-frame 23 is a decelerating means generally 25, located beneath the gathering means 24, and a discharge means generally 26 to remove the finished item from the apparatus. A delivering means generally 27 is supported upon a main frame generally 28 and oriented to carry an item from about floor level upwardly to a point above the carrying means 22. Where desired a surface treating means generally 29 is supported upon the main frame 28 along the path of the delivering means 27. A releasing means generally 30 is located at the end of the delivering means 27 and arranged to accurately guide an item from the end thereof so as to cause the item to fall directly downwardly and in proper attitude to pass through the operative mandrel 20.
Concerning the apparatus in greater detail, it will be seen in FIG. 5 that each of the mandrels 20, 21 is comprised of a cylindrical hollow body 35 extending upwardly from a mounting flange 36. Stockinet 37 is shirred upon the exterior of the cylindrical body 35. Such mandrels may hold approximately lineal feet of stockinet which is sufficient for the bagging of about 50 hams. I prefer that the mandrels are available in two diameters. Mandrels 7 inches in diameter are adequate for small hams weighing up to 12 pounds and also picnics, hostess hams, daisies, dry sausage and other products. Mandrels 13 inches in diameter should be utilized for most hams which fall in the weight range of 1222 pounds. All mandrels are 18 inches long.
THE MAND'REL CARRYING MEANS Both mandrels 20, 21 are carried upon the bed of a rectangular carriage frame 40. The carriage is comprised of four corner stanchions 41, horizontal upper rails 42 and a central divider 43. Along the forward side of the carriage frame 40, as seen in FIG. 2, there are a pair of center opening hinged gates 44, 45 which may be swung open to permit the unloading of an empty mandrel and the reloading of a filled mandrel. Latches 46, 47 are provided for each gate 44, 45, respectively. The carriage 40 is reciprocably mounted :upon the upper portion of the sub-frame 23 and may be moved to the left or right (as seen in FIG. 2) by the introduction of pressurized air to one side or the other of a cable cylinder 49. The structure of the rectangular carriage 40 is an open framework dimensioned so that the mounting flange 36 of a mandrel will rest upon the carriage while the interior of the cylindrical body 35 is completely unobstructed.
In FIGS. 1 and 2 the apparatus is shown with the leftward mandrel 20 in operative position directly above and centrally located upon the sub-frame 23. Mandrel 21, to the right, extends outboard of the sub-frame 23 and is in a position for removal and replacement.
In FIGS. 5 and 6 it will be seen that the rectangular carriage 40 includes a dead-plate 50 spaced above the upper rails 42 upon mounting bolts, or the like, at a level just slightly spaced above the upper edge of the mandrels 20, 21. The dead-plate 50 contains two circular openings aligned with the mandrels 2'0, 21, which in turn receive flanged ends of a pair of spreading grommets 51, 52. Grommets 51, 52 have cylindrical bodies that extend beneath the dead-plate 50 and telescope closely within the upper ends of the mandrels 20, 21, respectively. In operation the stockinet material 37 is drawn over the upper edge of the mandrel and downwardly between the interior of the mandrel and the exterior of the spreading grommet.
Each spreading grommet is in turn preferably connected to a piston rod 53, 55, respectively, of separate pneumatic cylinders 54, 56 that are in turn mounted vertically at the rear or outboard ends of the carriage frame 40. Pressurized air may be introduced to the appropriate cylinder 56 so as to lift the spreading grommet 52 clear of the inoperative mandrel 21 so that it may be removed for replacement. It is also possible to raise and lower the spreading grommet by hand. 'It is also practicable to valve the delivery of air to the respective cylinder 54, 56 through operation of the appropriate gate 44, 45 so that when one of the latter is opened, the adjacent cylinder will automatically lift the appropriate spreading grommet.
The spreading grommets 51, 52 are highly desirable elements in that they effectively insure that each bag of stockinet is fully opened and each item can fall freely to the bottom of each bag. Without such a grommet a falling item may first contact the stockinet material at a point wellabove the bottom of the bag. If the latter occurs, there is a tendency for the stockinet material to grip the item at the first contact and be withdrawn from the mandrel from that point, and the item will not be properly placed in the bottom of the bag.
The carriage frame 40 also includes means to brake and retard the flow of stockinet from the mandrels 20, 21. In FIGS. and 6 it may be best seen that a pair of concave rollers 60, 61 are mounted upon each of the front gates 44, 45. In turn each roller is rotatably mounted upon an axle 62 which is journaled in a small yoke 63 from which an arm 64 is fastened to a bracket 65 welded to the gate. At the backside of the carriage frame 40, opposite the gates 44, 45 are two pairs of biased brake rollers '68, 69. Each of the latter, shown in FIG. 7, are mounted upon an axle 70 in turn journaled in a yoke 71 which has an angled arm 72' m 'ounted to pivot upon a pin 73 which is in turn supported upon a bracket. 74 welded to one of the corner stanchions 41 or center divider 43. A compression spring 75 is secured to the lower end of the arm 72 and normally urges the roller 69 away from the respective mandrels 21. In addition, the piston rod 76 of a small pneumatic cylinder 77 is connected to the bottom of the arm 72. The latter cylinder maybe actuated by a photocell, to be later identified, so as to withdraw the piston rod 76 and thereby urge the roller 69 into forceful contact with the appropriate and operative mandrel.
When the pneumatic cylinders 77 are actuated to bias the rollers 68, 69 toward a mandrel, the effect will be to squeeze the stockinet 37 on the latter between the mandrel and all four brake rollers 60, 61, 6 8' and 69. This tends to stop the stockinet material from being withdrawn from the mandrel.
:BAG FORMING MEANS When a ham has been released into the stockinet material spread within the mandrel 20, the ham and stockinet will be carried by gravity through the mandrel and below the mandrel within the frame 23. At a short distance below the carriage frame 40 is located the gathering means 24. As may be seen in FIG. 4, the latter comprises a pair of slide table members 94, 95 upon which are mounted, respectively, 'a pair of vertically spaced gathering forks 90, 91 and an interdigitating gathering fork 92. 'Each of the forks presents V-shaped fingers which, when moved together, encompass and compress the stockinet material into a slender rope. The vertically spaced gathering forks 90, 91 mounted upon the slide member 94 are relatively widely spaced so as to freely receive the interdigitating fork 92. Additional elements are also mounted upon the latter and freely fit between the spaced forks 90., 91. It may also be noted in the figures that the two slide members 94, 95 are reciprocated independently lby their restrictive pneumatic cylinders 96, 97 and slide upon a pair of parallel guide shafts 98, 99 that are mounted across the frame 23. The respective forks 90, 91 and 92' are reciprocated sufficiently to slightly overtravel one another when compressing the stockinet to insure that the latter will be forced into the fastening means.
Both fastening means and severing means are mounted upon the interdigitating fork 92. In the preferred embodiment illustrated a pair of clip deforming jaws 101, 102 are pivotally mounted upon the upper surface of the fork 92 at a point encompassing the base of the V formed thereby. The clip jaws are designed to compress an armate clip into a closed ring. The jaws 101, 102 are actuated by a pneumatic cylinder 103 and cam 104, normally biased to an inoperative, or open, position. When the gathering forks have been advanced into interdigitating position by the power cylinders 96, 97, the pneumatic cylinder 103 is then actuated to advance cam 104 to pivot the jaws 101, 102 and deform a clip 106. Upon the return of the forks to the inoperative and open position, a replacement clip is fed to the clip jaws 101 and 102 from a magazine 105.
Mounted to the underside of the interdigitating fork 92 is a reciprocable knife blade that is similarly operated by a small pneumatic cylinder 111 and biased to an inoperative position by a return spring (not shown). The function of this element is similar to the fastening means in that when the forks are moved to the interdigitating position, the blade can be actuated by delivering pressurized air to the cylinder .111. It is preferred that this take place subsequent to the actuation of the clip jaws 101, 102.
DECELERATING MEANS To enable the gathering, fastening, and severing of the stockinet material, it is preferred to decelerate and perhaps stop the fall of the bagged ham and stockinet. The decelerating means generally 25, shown in detail in FIGS. 8 and 9, is aligned with the mandrel below the gathering means generally 24 for this purpose. It is comprised of a top mounting plate 115 which has a circular opening 116 directly aligned with the operative mandrel20. EX- tending beneath the mounting plate 115 and peripheral of the opening 116 are a plurality of pivoted flaps 117. Each pivoted flap 117 is fastened to an axle 118 which in turn is pivotedly mounted in a pair of bearings and connected to a dash-pot 119. Also each pivoted flap 117 is biased inwardly by a plate spring 120. The effect of this structure is to form a basket that resiliently embraces the item and a stockinet as it passes downwardly through the mounting plate 115. The embracement is sutficient to decelerate the item in conjunction with the effect of the brake rollers 60, 61, 68 and 69 to enable the gathering, fastening, and severing means to function.
Just beneath the decelerating means 25, and also adjustably mounted for vertical position, is a photocell 123 and lamp 124 by means of which a falling item may be detected. It is the latter elements that triggers through a conventional electrical circuit, operation of the pneumatic cylinders associated with the gathering means 24 and the brake rollers 68 and 69.
THE DISCHARGE MEANS After the ham within a stockinet bag is cut free and falls beyond the decelerator means 25, it immediately comes to rest upon an endless belt which may be trained in an inclined direction and has spaced lugs 131 to assist-the carrying of an item away from the decelerating means 25. The endless discharge belt 130 is trained about a pair, of pulleys 132,133 of which pulley 132 is preferably movably mounted and pulley 133 is relatively fixed. An electric motor 134 is drivingly connected by means of a drive chain 135 to the pulley 133. The endless belt 130 extends beneath the decelerating means 25 and in that area a center-plate 138 extends substantially horizontally between the upper and lower runs of the endless belt 130. Also in the area directly beneath the decelerating means 25, a spring mounted shockplate 139 is supported on the center plate 138 just below the upper run of the conveyor 130.
A pair of side rails 140 supportthe center plate'138 and extend from a mounting pin 141 that is passed through a .vertical member of the sub-frame 23 to an oppositely disposed yoke 142 that is vertically movable by a hydraulic cylinder 143 and rod 144. Vertical movement of the ends of the rails 140 beneath the decelerating means 25 is limited by a pair of angle brackets 145. Thus the discharge conveyor can be held at either a raised or lowered position to gently receive relatively small or large items respectively.
A second photocell 147, and cooperating lamp 148 are located across the path of the discharge conveyor 130 to detect items being carried thereon. It is intended that the latter photocell control the return or withdrawal of the gathering means 24 (pneumatic cylinders 96, 97) to reset the apparatus to receive the next descending item and stockinet bag. Photocell 147 may also be utilized to intermittently operate the delivering means generally 27.
THE DELIVERING MEANS Normally, however, it will not be necessary to intermittently operate the delivering means generally 27 as the hams carried thereby can be spaced sufficiently to permit uninterrupted operation of the apparatus. In this regard, it has been found that an apparatus constructed according to the preferred embodiment can bag between and 16 hams per minute. An endless conveyor 150 preferably formed of open metal grating, so as to not collect fluids or debris, is trained about a lower pulley 151, located near the floor, an uppermost pulley 152, and a terminal pulley 153 located beyond and slightly below the level of the uppermost pulley 152. The endless conveyor 150 returns from the terminal pulley 153 by way of a drive pulley 154 and an idler pulley 155. Each of the aforementioned pulleys may be journaled in suitable pillow bearings 156, or the like, which in turn are supported on the main frame generally 28. An electric motor 158 is mounted within the frame and drivingly connected to the drive pulley 154 by way of a drive chain 159.
It is also preferred that the construction of the endless conveyor 150 includes a plurality of spaced hook-type flights 162 which insure the positive advance of items along the incline of the conveyor. The hook flights 162 are spaced a distance which, in cooperation with the speed at which the conveyor is normally operated, provides adequate intervals between successive items to allow the cycle of operations described for the gathering means generally 24.
SURFACE TREATING MEANS Where it is desired to apply salt, or other treating agents, to the surfaces of the ham, it is preferred to mount a tunnel 165 or enclosure above a portion of the in clined run of the endless conveyor 150. The enclosure is fastened to the main frame 28, and within same there are preferably located a pair of nozzles 1'66, 167 aimed toward the butt end and shank end, respectively, of a ham when it reaches the center of the tunnel 165. Each nozzle is comprised, as may be seen in FIG. 10, of a T pipe 168 of which the forward end of the cross piece terminates in a multi-orifice spray head 169. The leg of the T pipe is in the form of a spud 170, or pipe,
connected to a hopper 172 containing granular salt or other. treating agents. The opposite end of the cross piece receives a reducing fitting 174 which is, in turn, connected to an air hose 175 extending from an air filter and a supply of air under pressure (not shown). Actuation of an air blast is accomplished by means of a third photocell 178 and lamp 179 positioned within the tunnel165. In operation, a charge of salt descends through the spud 170 and forms a conical charge in the cross piece of the T pipe 168. The salt remains inposition until a blast of air is introduced through the fitting 174 at which time the salt is carried out through the spray head 169.
. RELEASING MEANS After passing through the surface treating means 29 a ham will cross the'uppermost pulley 152 and begin a downward movement on the endless conveyor 150 toward the terminal pulley 153. It is important that the hams are placed on the conveyor so that butt end travels forward. As the ham passes over the uppermost pulley 152', a flap 180, pivotedly suspended above the pulley 152, gently rides across the top of the ham and prevents the shank end from falling forwardly. As the ham reaches the terminal pulley 153, the hook flights 162 pass beneath the pulley and the ham is released to fall downwardly through the mandrel 20. Just opposite the terminal pulley 153 is positioned an adjustable deflector guide 182 pivotedly mounted on an arm 183 which, in turn, is vertically slidable upon a rod 184 extending upwardly from the end of a cantilever frame 185. A back-up collar 188 is also mounted upon the cantilever frame 185 and functions, in combination with the deflector guide 182, to accurately position the ham as it leaves the delivery conveyor 150 so as to drop directly downwardly along a path centrally of the waiting mandrel.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the invention as hereinbefore set forth may be made without departing from the'spirit and scope thereof, and, therefore, only such limitations should be imposed as are indicated in the appended claims.
1. An improved method for bagging relatively large items, said method comprising: positioning a supply of bagging material shirred upon the exterior of a vertically disposed hollow mandrel; feeding said material upwardly across the upper entrance edge of said mandrel and downwardly through the interior thereof; fastening closed the material passing through said mandrel at a point therebelow; releasing anitem to drop through said mandrel and into said bagging material whereby said material is pulled through the interior of said mandrel; sensing the fall of a bagged item below a given level; gathering the material at a point a distance above the item bagged therein; fastening the gathered material closed at about said point; severing said gathered material below said point; and braking said material against the upper exterior portion of said mandrel, said braking and gathering being initiated upon said sensing of said bagged item.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein said item is dropped vertically through said mandrel, and before the gathering of the bagging material, the item and material are decelerated at a point below said mandrel.
3. The method of claim 2 including the step of delivering an item to a point above said mandrel and dropping the item through the center of said mandrel.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein the item is conveyed up an inclined path toward a terminal point and the item is treated as it passes along said path by the blasting of a surface treating agent thereon.
' 5. An improved apparatus for bagging relatively large items, said apparatus comprising: mandrel carrying means for vertically disposed hollow mandrels having bagging material shirred upon the exterior and fed across the upper entrance end through the interior thereof, said carrymg means positioning a mandrel beneath a point; braking means adjacent the exterior and upper end of said mandrel, said braking means being operable to retard and to stop the material as it is pulled from said mandrel; gathering means disposed beneath said mandrel carrying means disposed beneath said mandrel carrying means and said paint, said gathering means being recipro-cable so as to squeeze together and release said material; fastening means associated with said gathering means to secure said material closed together; severing means associated with said gathering means, said severing means being located below said fastening means to out said material 'below a closed area thereof; item releasing means secured near the entrance end of said mandrel carrying means to deflect an item through a mandrel and into said bagging material; and sensing means positioned to detect the fall of a bagged item below said gathering means, said sensing means being connected to actuate said gathering means and said braking means to engage said material upon sensing a bagged item.
6. The apparatus of claim wherein mandrels are carried disposed vertically and including a decelerating means positioned directly beneath said point and below the level of said severing means to slow the descent of a bagged item.
7. The apparatus of claim 5 including an inclined conveying means trained in an upwardly directed path to said point above said mandrel carrying means for transporting the items to said point.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 including a surface treating means positioned adjacent said conveying means to project a treating agent against a surface of said item carried thereon.
9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the surface treating agent is a pneumatic nozzle connected to a salt hop- 11. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the mandrel 4.)
carrying means is a carriage reciprocable horizontally to alternatively position one of two mandrels below said point, said carriage having a pair of gates to hold said mandrels therein.
12. The apparatus of claim 6' including a discharge conveyor below said decelerating; means, said discharge conveyor being vertically adjustable and resiliently supported to cushion the receipt of a bagged item passing beyond said decelerating means.
13. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein said sensing means to detect the fall of a bagged item is positioned just below said decelerating means.
14. The method of claim 1 including the step of spreading the material open at the entrance end of said mandrel to pass close to the interior of said mandrel.
15. The apparatus of claim 5 including a spreading means inserted loosely within the entrance end of one mandrel beneath said point, said spreading means being supported from said mandrel carrying means whereby to hold said bagging material expanded toward the interior of said mandrel.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,247,312 6/1941 Rumsey 93-35 2,665,043 1/1954 Draper 9382X 2,656,658 10/1953 Grady 53193 2,716,259 8/1955 Mott 9335 2,819,576 '1/1958 Hendricks 53248X 2,901,875 9/1959 Hultkrans 53-390X 2,908,123 10/1959 Muller 53-193X 2,946,166 7/1960 Baxter 53124 2,989,828 6/1961 Warp 53390X 3,166,427 1/1965 Herrmann 99--159X 3,209,515 10/1965 Harpenau 53248X 3,220,854 11/1965 Zwart 99-159 3,245,806 4/1966 Miller 99--174 3,374,599 3/1968 Sanders 9335 3,380,220 4/1968 Jennings 53124 3,420,038 1/1969 Crabb 53248 3,416,434 12/1968 Woserau 53124 3,431,706 3/1969 Stuck 53--390 3,436,230 4/1969 Harper 99-159 3,440,954 4/ 1969 Woserau 53124 FOREIGN PATENTS 721,962 11/1965 Canada 53--124(E) 10,951 10/1928 Australia 53-21(FC) WAYNE A. MORSE, JR., Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.