US 3581459 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventors James D. Elliott Riverside; Alex G. Osika, Springdale, both of, Conn.
Appl. No. 678,574
Filed Oct. 27, 1967 Patented June 1, 1971 Assignee American Machine 8: Foundry Company BAGGING MACHINE 8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
US. Cl 513/59, 531/167, 53/189, 53/385,141/83 Int. Cl B65b l/32,
B65b 57/10 Field of Search 53/ 1 89,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/1938 Mason etal. 177/107 5/1945 Stenglein... 53/189 3/1951 Lindstaedtet a1. 53/188 9/1952 Howard 177/108X 6/1956 Walldow 53/188 8/1956 Phelps 53/189X 4/1960 Dodd 177/109X 1/1962 Dotzenroth 53/189X 5/1961 Stoeckel et a1. 53/126X Primary Examiner-Theron E. Condon Assistant ExaminerRobert L. Spruill Attorneys-George W. Price and Thomas W. Kennedy ABSTRACT: A bagging machine comprising means to assemble respective portions into respective bags; means dispensing said bags individually adjacent said assembly means; and
means controlling and coordinating the timing and operation of said assembling means and said bag dispensing means.
PATENTED JUN 1 197i SHEET 1 BF 3 FIG.2
IBAGGING MACHINE CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS A conventional dispensing and bagging machine is shown in US. Pat. No. 2,139,903, Mason et al.
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION The present invention relates to a bagging machine and particularly to a portion dispensing and bagging machine, in which the portion is made of a plurality of pieces.
In the prior art dispensing and bagging machine, a two-stage weighing system was provided and a rigid container was slidably mounted on a conveyor for positioning below the weigher. One problem with the prior art construction was the difficulty of storing a plurality of closed bags and offilling one bag at a time on demand.
SUMMARY The above problem is solved in one embodiment of the present invention by using a weighing system having a scale, a portion-bag assembler disposed below the scale, a bag storage unit disposed adjacent the assembler and a take-away conveyor disposed below the assembler.
DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS In the following FIGS. like parts are designated by like numerals.
FIG. l is a front elevation view of one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of a portion of the device above section line 2-2 on which FIG. 2 is taken; and
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2.
Referring to FIG. 1, one embodiment of the present invention is a portion and bag storage dispensing and assembling machine I0.
Machine has a material storage and dispensing unit 12, a portion metering and dispensing unit 14, for dispensing pieces 16 of a material in portions, a bag storage and dispensing unit 38, a portion and bag 20, a bag conveyor 22, and control means 24, for coordinating units l2, 14, 18 and 20.
Storage unit 12 includes a hopper 26 for storing a plurality of said pieces 16 of material, a vibrator assembly 28 for dispensing the pieces 16 in portions by vibrating the hopper 26 as explained hereafter, and a support structures 30, which sup ports hopper 26 and vibrator 28.
Hopper 26 has a bottom wall 32, a pair of sidewalls 34, 36, and a pair of end walls 38, 40, which together form an open chamber 42, in which the food pieces 16 are stored. Wall 34 has an opening 44 through which the food pieces 16 are dispensed from chamber 42. Bottom wall 32 supports first and second barrier walls 46, 48, which extend upwardly from bottom wall 32 into chamber 42, and which are disposed adjacent to opening 44 for regulating the flow of food pieces 16 from chamber 42 to opening 44.
Vibrator assembly 28 has a mounting plate 50, a pair of front link assemblies 52, 54, and a pair of rear link assemblies 56, 58, connecting mounting plate 50 to hopper bottom wall 32. Vibrator 28 also has a crank assembly 60 connecting to from link assemblies 52, S4, and an electric motor 62 for driving crank 60.
Support structure has a pair of sidewalls 64, 66, a pair of end walls 66, 70 forming an enclosure 72. Vibrator mounting plate 50 is supported on support structure 30.
Hopper opening 44 may also have a door 74, which is opened and closed by a door actuator 76 with a solenoid 78. However, door 74 may be eliminated, as explained hereafter.
Support structure 30 may also have a bulk feeding unit 80 disposed above chamber 42 for ease of feeding material to chamber 42.
The apparatus of this invention may also be equipped with a waste collector tray 82 with a center plate portion 84 connecting to walls 64, 66, 68, and a curb portion 86 extending around center plate 84. The waste collection tray 82 is located near the bottom of the support structure 30.
A plurality of pieces 16 of material, such as fried potatoes, are vibrated in hopper 26 in such a manner that they move past barrier walls 46, 48 and through opening 44 into meter unit 14. When sufficient pieces 16 are deposited in meter unit 14, the vibration of hopper 26 is stopped, hopper door 74 is closed, the bag dispenser l8, and bag conveyor 22 are actuated.
Control means 24 includes a switch 88, which is actuated by meter unit 14 when sufficient pieces 16 are deposited in meter unit 14, as explained hereafter, and which controls the vibration of hopper 26, the operation of bag dispenser l8, and bag conveyor 22. If the reaction time of switch 88 in meter unit 14 is brief enough, door 74 may be eliminated, since extra pieces 16 would not fall from opening 44 into meter unit 14 with such performance.
Barrier walls 46, 48 are sized, designed, and arranged to accurately control the flow of pieces 16 to opening 44. Previous attempts at feeding from a storage hopper into a weighing device have failed due to an inability to maintain a constant feed rate. A full hopper would dispense product at a much faster rate than one say one-quarter full, or else would not dispense at all. This variation in rate would be reflected in a variation of weight of portion. The usual way around the problem has been to use a two-stage system with the storage hopper dispensing into a fine feeder and the fine feeder (usually a vibratory device) feeding into the scale.
This invention reduces the complication and expense of the two-stage system by making a one-stage system or machine 10 that will do the job. The following physical considerations are important in the design ofthe system or machine 10.
l. The amplitude of the vibration (or oscillation) of the hopper 26 must be great enough so that the relatively springy nature of the pieces 16 of product does not absorb all the motion within the mass of the pieces 16 of product. With the hopper 26 full to capacity, sufficient movement must reach the product at the top of the mass to insure movement.
2. The frequency of vibration must be low, so as to not have to require excessive force to generate sufficient amplitude, and because the damping of vibration by the product is much greater at higher frequencies. in one model of this embodiment 10, the best combination is in the range of about 560 cycles per minute and five-sixteeth inch total amplitude, with a plus of minus 10 percent variation.
3. Constrictions must be placed in the flow path so that the entire mass does not move at once to the discharge opening 44. The design of the constriction is important. It was previously noted that vibratory movement must reach the top of the mass to insure movement. This is because the product at the bottom of any constriction tends to jam. The constricted area, therefore, must be topless so that as product moves toward the constriction the actual feed thru is at the top. The constricted area may be found to function best if the top and bottom widths are not the same and depending on the volume of stored product and the nature of the product, it may be neces sary to have several constrictions in both series and parallel. In this embodiment, two barriers 46, 43 are centrally located so that a constriction is formed at each side, for a total of 5 constrictedareas in all. The first four constrictions 90, 92, 94, 96 are in series parallel. The last constriction is, of course, the opening 44 thru which the pieces 16 are fed to the meter unit 14.
To obtain the amplitude of vibration of hopper 26 mentioned above, hopper 26 is driven by crank assembly 60 and is not shock mounted in any way. The crank assembly 60 is, in turn, driven preferably by the constant-speed electric motor 62. By driving in this way, a constant amplitude system, rather than the more common constant force system used on most vibratory equipment, is provided.
Meter unit 14 includes housing 98, a bracket 100, control switch 88, a scale pivot assembly 102, which is supported by bracket 100, and a scale 104 with left and right walls 106, 108 (as illustrated in FIG. 3) supported by scale pivot assembly 102. Walls 106, 108 form a scale cavity 110 into which the pieces 16 of material are dropped. When a specific weight of pieces 16 is reached, scale pivot assembly 102 engages control switch 88 to shut off hopper vibrator 28.
Scale pivot assembly 102 includes a U-shaped channel member 112, a first pair of opposite, coaxial pivot members 114, 116, which pivotally support channel 112 from bracket 100, and a second pair of opposite coaxial pivot members 118, 120, which are axially offset from the first pair of pivots 114, 116, and which support scale 104.
Opening 44 is closed by solenoid-operated door 74 that shuts when the scale 104 is filled. The door solenoid 78 and the motor 62 are controlled by switch 88 mounted on the scale 104. When the scale 104 is full, the door 74 is closed and the vibrator 28 is stopped. The door 74 has a small mass and therefore closes quickly, while the hopper 26 may continue to shake for another second or two.
Control means 24 has a control motor 122 with a gear box 124, which is turned on by scale switch 88, when scale 104 is tipped. Gear box 124 has a belt 126 connecting to and driving conveyor 22. Gear box 124 has a drive shaft 128 with a crank arm 130, and has an elongate lever 132, which connects to crank arm 130 and which engages scale 104. When scale 104 tips, and actuates switch 88, motor 122 turns crank 130 and displaces lever 132. Lever 132 pushes a dumping arm 134 on scale 104, thereby dumping the pieces 16 from the scale 104. On scale 104 rotating the left scale hopper wall 106 about pivot members 118 and 120 clockwise as shown in PK]. 3 causes the hopper to open. Right scale hopper wall 108 is prevented from so rotating by a stationary stop 500 mounted on bracket 100 and a tab 501 protruding from right hopper wall 108 (shown in H0. 1).
The relative movement between the two hopper walls 106 and 108 produces an opening in the bottom of the scale cavity 110 and permits the pieces 16 to fall by gravity into chute 136.
Bag storage and dispensing unit 18 includes a gravity chute 136, which is disposed below scale 104 and which conveys the pieces 16 from scale 104, a sweeper unit 138 to push the pieces 16 through the chute 136, and a bag stripper 142, which urges each bag 144 onto the conveyor.
Chute 136 is slidably supported by a support member 146, fixed to structure wall 64. Chute 136 has front and rear walls 148, 150, left and right walls 152, 154, forming a passage 156 with an upper inlet opening 158 and a lower outlet opening 160. Left wall 152 has an opening 162 through which sweeper arm 166 extends to clean out chute 136. Support member 146 has a slide track 164 which holds chute 136, so that lever 132 can slide chute 136 downward relative to member 146, as explained hereafter.
Sweeper 138 has an arm 166 with a bearing portion 168, which is journaled in a bracket 170 mounted on chute 136. Arm 166 turns about its bearing 168 relative to bracket 170 when chute 136 is displaced. Arm 166 pushes through opening 162 and prevents jamming of food pieces 16 in chute 136. Sweeper 138 also includes a rack gear 172 fixedly connected to structure wall 64, and a cooperating pinion gear 174 fixedly connected to arm bearing portion 168 for turning arm 166 when chute 136 is displaced.
Chute 136 and lever 132 are connected by a slidable connection 176, so that lever 132 can displace chute 136 after lever 132 dumps the pieces 16 into chute 136 from scale 104.
Bag stripper 142, which moves the filled bag 144 onto conveyor 22, is fixedly connected to chute right wall 154. Stripper 142 has a pusher portion 178, which pushes down on the bag 144, as explained hereafter.
Bag dispenser unit 18 includes an air blast unit 180 for opening the bag 144 and a bag holder unit 182 for holding a plurality of the bags 144. Air blast unit 180 has a hollow duct 184 supported by member 146. Duct 184 has a bottom wall 186, two sidewalls 188, and two end walls 192, 194, which form an air plenum chamber 196. Chamber 196 is supplied by an air blower 198 mounted on wall 190. Duct 184 has an air passage 200 connecting the chamber 196 to a duct outlet opening 202, extending through end wall 192 and facing the bag holder unit 182. Air blower 198 is actuated by scale switch 88 when scale 104 is tipped to immediately open the bag 144 by sending an air blast through opening 202.
Bag holder unit 182, which is supported by duct end wall 192, has a bag support member 204 with two hook portions 206, 208, which extend through a pair of holes 210, 212 in each bag 144. The bag 144, which is first in line and which faces opening 202, is opened by an air blast from the opening 202. Bag holder unit 182 also has a pusher plate 214 with a pivot 216, supported by duct end wall 192, and has a tension spring 218, which extends from duct sidewall 188 to pivot 216 and which rotates plate 214 against the bags 144.
Bag conveyor 22 includes a drive sprocket 220, which is connected to gear box 124 by belt 126, and an idler sprocket 222, and a chain 224. Sprockets 220, 222 are rotatably supported by shafts 226, 228 mounted on wall 647 Chain 224 is supported on sprockets 220, 222 and has a plurality of bag carriers 230. Motor 122 positions a carrier 230 under the bag 144 being filled after switch 88 is actuated. After the bag 144 is pushed down by pusher 178 into carrier 230, the carrier 230 continues to advance and completes its forward step.
Conveyor 22 also has a shutoff switch 232, which is disposed adjacent to idler sprocket 222. When a bag 144 in a carrier 230 reaches and engages switch 252, machine 10 is shut off until the bag 144 is removed, in order to establish the maximum number of bags 144 to be filled and stored awaiting removal.
In operation, the following sequence occurs:
1. Vibrator 28, upon being energized, vibrates hopper 26 and fills scale 104. When scale 104 is full and tips, scale 104 engages switch 88, which shuts off vibrator 28, and closes hopper door 74.
2. Control motor 122 is energized by switch 88 when scale 104 is tipped; and drives conveyor 22 forward a slight distance until a carrier 230 is positioned below scale 104. Air blower 198 is also energized by switch 88 when scale 104 is tipped and immediately opens the end bag 144 in bag dispenser 18 by an air blast. Control motor 122 moves lever 132 downward so that lever 132 opens scale 104, dropping the food pieces 16 from scale 104 through chute 136, and into the open bag 144. Lever 132 continues to move down urging the pusher portion 178 of stripper 142 against the open bag 144 filled with food pieces 16, downward into carrier 230. Thereafter, carrier 230 again moves forward slightly until the conveyor 22 has advanced a full step.
While the present invention has been described in a preferred embodiment, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various modifications can be made therein within the scope of the invention. It is intended that the appended claims cover all such modifications.
What We claim:
1. A bagging machine comprising means to assemble respective portions into respective bags including a material storage and dispensing vibrating hopper having a discharge opening and a plurality of barrier walls extending upwardly from the bottom of said hopper and laterally across the flow path of material in the hopper to form constricted areas in the flow path of the material so that all the material does not move at once toward the discharge opening; means dispensing said bags individually adjacent said assembling means; and means controlling and coordinating the timing and operation of said assembling means and said bag dispensing means.
2. The machine in claim 1, including means to convey said filled bags away from the assembling means, the operation of said means to convey said filled bags, the portion assembling means and the bag dispensing means being controlled and coordinated by the controlling and coordinating means.
3. The machine in claim 2, in which said control means includes a motor connected to the takeaway conveyor; and an actuator driven by said motor and connected to said assembling means and to said bag dispensing means for actuating and coordinating said assembling means and bag dispensing means.
4. The machine in claim 1, in which said means assembling respective portions into respective bags includes:
a weighing scale connecting to said control means for weighing portions of food pieces and for actuating said control means when the scale is filled; and
a gravity chute disposed below said scale and disposed above said bag dispensing means for filling the portions into bags, and
a support structure supporting said scale and chute.
5. The machine in claim 4, in which said means to dispense said bags individually includes:
a bag holding means for holding a plurality of bags and for positioning a specific bag below said gravity chute; and
an air blast unit for opening the specific bag after it is positioned for receiving the portion.
6. The machine in claim 5 in which the chute has a stripper portion for transferring the filled bag away from the bag holding means.
7. A bagging machine comprising means to assemble respective portions into respective bags including a material storage and dispensing vibrating hopper having a discharge opening and a plurality of barrier walls extending upwardly from the bottom of said hopper to form constricted areas in the flow path of the material so that all the material does not move at once toward the discharge opening; means dispensing said bags individually adjacent said assembling means; and means controlling and coordinating the timing and operation of said assembling means and said bag dispensing means;
said means assembling respective portions into respective bags including a weighing scale: connecting to said control means for weighing portions of food pieces and for actuating said control means when the scale is filled, and a gravity chute disposed below said scale and disposed above said bag dispensing means for filling the portions into bags, and a support structure supporting said scale and chute, and means for sweeping the portions disposed in said chute into said bags.
8. A bagging machine comprising means to assemble respective portions into respective bags; means dispensing said bags individually adjacent said assembling means; and means controlling and coordinating the timing and operation of said assembling means and said bag dispensing means, said assembling means including a weighing scale connected to said control means for weighing portions of materials to be bagged and for actuating said control means when the scale is filled, a gravity chute disposed below said scale and above said bag dispensing means for filling the portions into bags, means for sweeping the portions disposed in said chute into said bags, said sweeping means having an arm with a drive portion rotatably mounted outside said chute and with a sweeping portion disposed inside said chute and a support structure sup porting said scale and said chute.