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Publication numberUS3568238 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 9, 1971
Filing dateApr 21, 1969
Priority dateApr 21, 1969
Publication numberUS 3568238 A, US 3568238A, US-A-3568238, US3568238 A, US3568238A
InventorsFischer Philip L
Original AssigneeFischer Philip L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fluid drying apparatus
US 3568238 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 9, 3H I 3,568,238

FLUID DRYING APPARATUS Filed April 21, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet l N w (s Q\ Q n 2 L 5 DU 000 a) v s k INVENTOR. PHILIP L. FISCHER ATT RNE Y March 9 1 971 P. 1.. FISCHER 3,568,238

FLUID DRYING APPARATUS I Filed April 2;, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. PHILIP L. FISCHER ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,568,238 FLUID DRYING APPARATUS Philip L. Fischer, 4251 Hunter St., Long Island City, N.Y. 11101 Filed Apr. 21, 1969, Ser. No. 817,639 Int. Cl. B67c 1/00 US. Cl. -306 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Air-operated apparatus for removing water from cans travelling on a conveyor line, includes a pair of plenum members mounted above the conveyor line and connected to an air compressor. Each plenum has a bottom wall overlying the cans travelling on the conveyor line and containing a series of inclined slots arranged to direct high-velocity jets of air in sheet-like form upon the tops of the cans travelling therebeneath, in a direction opposite to the direction of travel of the cans and at an angle to the axis of the conveyor line.

The present invention relates to improvements in airoperated drying apparatus, and in particular to a novel and improved device for removing water from metal cans prior to the packing thereof.

-In the manufacture of canned beverages, after the beverage, such as beer or soft drinks, is sealed in cans, the cans are placed in an oven known as a warm-up machine wherein the contained beverage expands and leaks from the can if the seal is defective. The cans which pass such inspection for leakage are then sprayed with cold water and are thereafter placed on a single-track conveyor which transports them to a loading station. At the loading station, they are packed into cartons.

The requirement for spraying the cans for cooling purposes after they are oven-heated, presents a problem which has hitherto been impossible to overcome. Because beer and soft-drink cans are made with upstanding peripheral flanges, the sprayed water collects at the tops of the cans and is retained there while the cans are travelling on the conveyor at speeds of approximately two hundred cans per minute. The cans are then loaded at high speeds into cations, with water still remaining on the top surfaces thereof. This water reacts detrimentally with the metal surfaces of the can, causing rusting, mat a minimum water-spotting which is unsightly and often deters consumers from purchasing the canned beverage.

Attempts have been made to remove all residue of water from the cans prior to their packaging, but these have only resulted in delay in the high-speed production line.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide apparatus which is effective in removing all water from the tops and adjacent areas of cans traveling on a conveyor line, and prior to the packing of said cans in cartons.

Another object of the invention is the provision of apparatus of the type described which removes water from the can tops by stripping or squeezing the water therefrom through the application of high-velocity air streams in a direction opposite to the direction of movement of the cans on the conveyor.

A further object of the invention is the provision of apparatus of the type described in which constitutes a self-contained portable unit which can be readily applied to most conveyor lines, the unit including its own compressor for supplying air under pressure so that the plant compressor is not used, and in the event of breakdown of the unit, the entire system does not have to be shut down.

A further object of the invention is the provision of apparatus of the character described which includes a P Q nozzle. y em emitting a plurality of separate sheetlll( 6 ]olIS of air which provide maximum drying speed whil ut1liz1ng less compressor power In accordance with the invention herein there is provided apparatus capable of removing liquid from a line of cans arf anged in upright condition in a row upon a conveyor line and continuously moving therealong, The apparatus comprises a source of air, preferably a comp sor, connected by a pair of ducts to a pair of plenum members. Each plenum member comprises a hollow houslng having a rectangular lower portion provided with a bottom wall formed with a series of spaced, parallel, narrow, elongated slots. Each slot extends at an angle, preferably 45, to the longitudinal axis of the rectangular lower portion. The pair of plenums are mounted spaced from each other in alignment with a portion of the conveyor linewith the bottom walls thereof spaced above the tops of the cans travelling on the conveyor line so that air is emitted downwardly from the slots onto the tops of the cans passing therebeneath. Each slot is bordered by an inclined flange so arranged that the air jets are emitted from the slots in a direction opposite to the direction of travel of the cans and at an inclined angle to the axis of the conveyor line.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following specification when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an air-operated drying unit made in accordance with the present invention and associated with a portion of a conveyor line transporting cans;

FIG. 2 is a top plan schematic view showing a typical conveyor line with a pair of drying units of the present invention mounted therealong;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view showing in detail one of the plenums shown in FIG. 1, and illustrating the manner in which it is mounted above the conveyor line;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view showing one of the plates which forms the bottom wall of the plenums;

FIG. 5 is a section taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a section taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a section taken along line 77 of FIG. 5.

Referring in detail to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 1, there is shown a conveyor line 10 carrying a plurality of beverage cans 12, with which is associated a water-removing device made in accordance with the present invention and designated generally by the reference numeral 14.

The device 14 includes a motor-driven air compressor 16 comprising a base housing 18 upon which is mounted an electric motor 20. The output shaft of the motor 20 is connected to a fan or impeller (not shown) for rotation of the latter within a circular housing 22 which communicates with an air outlet duct 24. Mounted on the mouth of duct 24 is a twin outlet fitting 26 to which are connected a pair of tubular ducts or conduits 28, 30 made of flexible rubber. The ducts 28, 30 are connected to respective air plenums 32, 34, each of which is adapted to apply multiple, high velocity air jets upon the cans 12 travelling along the conveyor line 10.

The air plenums 32, 34 are identical, and each comprises a hollow housing having a lower portion 36 of rectangular cross-section formed by side walls 38, 40 and end walls '42, 44. Each plenum also has an upper portion 46 of tapering shape, formed by triangular side walls 4 8, 50, and upwardly and inwardly sloping end walls 52, 54. The side walls 48, 50 are integral with the respective side walls 38, 40 of lower portion 36, while the end walls 52, 54 are integral with end walls 42, 44

of lower portion 36. The side and end walls converge at their top ends in a tubular air inlet opening 46-. The flexible conduits 28 and 30 are connected respectively to the air inlet openings 46 of the plenums 32 and 34 so that when the compressor 16 is operated, air is supplied under pressure to the interiors of both plenums 32 and 34.

Each plenum 32 and 34 has a slotted bottom wall 48 formed by a series of angular plates 50'. As best shown in FIG. 5, each of the plates 50 has a pair of parallel end edges 52, 54 and a pair of parallel side edges 56, 58 which are disposed at an angle of 45 to the end edges 52, '54. As shown in FIGS. 4, 6 and 7, a downwardly bent ange 60 is integral with the side edge 58 and extends downwardly therefrom at an acute angle, preferably 45. The plates 50 are sized to be mounted between the bottom ends of the side walls 3-8, 40 of the plenum rectangular lower portion 36, with the end edge 52 welded or similarly secured in air-tight relationship to the side wall 40, and the end edge 54 similarly secured to the side wall 38. In mounting the plates 50, the side edge 58 of each plate is spaced a short distance (in practice A; inch) from the side edge 56 of the next adjacent plate to define a narrow slot 62. A pair of triangular end plates 64 and 66 are similarly mounted to complete the assembly of the bottom 'wall 48 at the respective ends of the plenum.

It will thus be seen in FIG. 5, that the bottom wall 48 of each plenum 32 and 34 has a series of six narrow parallel slots 62, each disposed at an angle of 45 to the longitudinal axis of the rectangular lower portion 36 of the plenum. ln addition, each slot 62 is bordered by the downwardly-extending flange 60 at one side thereof.

In accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention, each water-removing unit 14 consists of a pair of plenums 32, 34 coupled by conduits 28 and 30 to a common compressor 16 and arranged in the manner shown in FIG. 1. The plenums 32 and 34 are spaced from each other and mounted above the cans 12 travelling on the conveyor line 10. FIGS. 3 and illustrate one manner of mounting the plenums above the conveyor line for adjustable vertical movement. -It will be seen that in this instance, the conveyor line comprises a horizontallydisposed moving belt 70 which supports and carries the cans 12, said belt 70 being bordered by flat rails 72 and 74. An additional pair of rails 76 and 78 are mounted above the respective rails 72 and 74 for guid ing movement of the cans 12 as the latter are transported by the belt 70. As shown in FIG. 3, a pair of flat bars 80 and 82 are each mounted on the rails 72 and 76, as by rivets 84. The bars 80' and 82 are vertically disposed and are spaced from each other. Each bar 80 and 82 has a central longitudinal slot 86 extending from its top edge toward its center. The side wall 38 of each plenum has a pair of spaced screw shanks 88 projecting therefrom and positioned to extend through the slots 86 of the respective bars 80 and 82. Each screw shank 88 carries a wing nut 90' which may be turned on said shank to frictionally engage the respective bar and clamp the plenum in adjusted vertical position.

As shown in FIG. 5, a similar pair of flat bars 92 and 94 are mounted on the rails 74 and 7 8 at the opposite side of the conveyor belt 70. These bars 92 and 94 also have central longitudinal slots 86 through which extend screw shanks 88 projecting from the plenum side wall 40. Wing nuts 90' are threadedly mounted on the screw shanks 88.

When cans of different heights are to be transported by the conveyor line 10, the plenums can be vertically adjusted so that their bottom walls are located a selected short distance above the tops of the cans. For this purpose, the wing nuts 90 are loosened, and the plenums lifted or lowered, the screw shanks 88 sliding in the slots 86 of the bars 80, 82 and 92, 94. When the selected vertical position of the plenum is reached, the wing nuts 4 are again tightened to clamp the plenum in adjusted position.

FIG. 2 shows a typical commercial arrangement of a conveyor line and drying apparatus of the invention. The cans 12, after being filled, are transported through a 'Warm-up box or oven 96, in the final state of which they are sprayed by cold water, which collects on their top surfaces between their upstanding annular rim flanges 12a. The cans 12 are then transported by conveyor line 10 in the direction of the arrows '98 in FIG. 2 through a first water-removing unit 14 consisting of a pair of plenums 32, 34 connected by conduits 28, 30 to a compressor 16. The cans then continue along the conveyor line 10 and are carried through a second water-removing unit 14a spaced along the conveyor line, and finally, to a packaging station at the end of the conveyor line. When the cans reach the packaging station 100, they are completely dry and ready to be packed in cartons.

It will be seen in FIGS. 3, 5, 6 and 7, that as the cans travel in the direction of arrow 98, the slots 62in the bottom wall 48 of each plenum are arranged to direct a jet of air downwardly upon the tops of the cans 12 passing beneath said plenum. These jets are in the nature of flat sheets of air and are emitted in a direction opposite to the direction of travel of the cans and at an angle of 45 to the axis of the conveyor belt 70 in that area. As the cans travel rapidly beneath each plenum, the sheet-like jets of air emitted by slots 62 act as air knives or squeezes, driving the water from the tops of cans 12. Because of the angular arrangement of the slots 62, the water is driven off in a direction opposite to the direction of travel of the cans and also to the side at a 45 angle, thus assuring rapid removal of water away from the can conveyor 10. Air is supplied by the compressor 16- at relatively high pressure and, because of the design of the plenum, emitted in uniform jets from the slots 62 at a preferred pressure of about 4 pound per square inch.

It will thus be appreciated that with the conveyor line arranged, by way of example, in the manner shown in FIG. 2, the cans emerge from the warm-up box 96 and are carried in a single line along'the conveyor 10- until they pass beneath the plenum 34 of the first water-removing unit 14. The tops of the cans are then subjected to high velocity jets of air emitted from each of the six inclined slots 62 of said plenum 34. The air jets are directed downwardly upon the can tops in a direction opposite to the direction of travel of the cans, and also at an angle diagonally to the axis of that portion of the conveyor line, each of the jets being long and narrow and acting as an air knife to wipe the water off the tops of the cans. The cans then pass beneath the second plenum 32 of the first waterremoving unit 14 where the same wiping action is performed by the air jets of said plenum 32, and further water is removed from the can tops.

The cans now follow the conveyor line 10, and travel along a reverse run thereof beneath the two plenums 34 and 32 of the second water-removing unit 14a, which plenums remove any drops of water which may remain Y on the can tops, so that the cans are completely dry by the time they reach the packaging station 100'.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and described herein, it is obvious that numerous omissions, changes and additions may be made in such embodiment without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for removing liquid from a line of cans arranged in upright condition in a row upon a conveyor line and continuously moving therealong in a selected dlrection of travel, said apparatus comprising a source of .air under pressure having an air outlet opening, a pair of ducts connected to said air outlet opening, a pair of plenum members, each comprising a hollow housing having a lower portion of rectangular cross-section communicating with an air inlet opening, the rectangular lower portion of each plenum having a bottom wall formed with a series of spaced, parallel narrow elongated slots, each said slot extending at an inclined angle to the longitudinal axis of said rectangular lower portion, means for mounting each of said plenum members above a portion of said conveyor line with the longitudinal axis of said rectangular lower portion aligned with the axis of said conveyor line portion and said bottom wall spaced above the tops of the can travelling along said conveyor line, and with said plenum members spaced from each other along said conveyor line, said ducts being connected to the air inlet openings of the respective plenum members whereby air is fed under pressure to the interiors of both plenum members and is emitted from the series of slots in the bottom wall of each plenum member, in the form of flat, sheet-like jets directed downwardly upon the tops of the cans travelling along the conveyor line beneath said plenum members.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said bottom wall is formed with a downwardly-extending inclined flange bordering that edge of each slot which faces the direction of travel of said cans, each flange being arranged to direct the sheet-like air jet emitted from the corresponding slot in a rearward direction opposite to the direction of travel of said cans, and in a lateral direction at an inclined angle to the axis of said conveyor line portion.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2 in which each of said narrow slots are arranged at an angle of 45 to the longitudinal axis of the rectangular lower portion of said plenum members.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which each of said flanges is inclined downwardly and rearwardly at an angle of 45 to the plane of said bottom wall.

5. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which each plenum member also includes an upper portion of triangular shape tapering from said lower portion to a top end of restricted area, said top end containing said air inlet opening.

6. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which the means for mounting said plenum members includes adjustment means for selectively varying the vertical spacing of each plenum member bottom wall above said conveyor line.

7. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which the means for mounting said plenum members comprises an individual mounting assembly'for each plenum member, each mounting assembly comprising at least one pair of upstanding members secured at opposite sides of said conveyor line and extending upwardly along the opposite sides of said plenum member, a vertical elongated slot in each upstanding member, a projection at each side of said plenum member extending slidably through one of said slots for vertical adjustment of said plenum member, and clamping means for securing said plenum members to said upstanding members in adjusted vertical position.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,236,359 8/1917 Reynolds 15-306UX 2,022,593 11/1935 Fuykers 3448 2,596,800 5/1952 Webb 34-21 2,644,188 7/1953 Pacilio 15304 2,660,513 11/1953 Ball 2156 2,999,262 9/1961 Jenkins et al. 15307 2,644,188 7/1953 Pacilio 15304 WALTER A. SCHEEL, Primary Examiner C. MOORE, Assistant Examiner

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification15/309.2, 15/316.1
International ClassificationF26B15/00, F26B15/18, F26B21/00
Cooperative ClassificationF26B21/004, F26B15/18
European ClassificationF26B21/00D, F26B15/18