US 3590554 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Paul H. Carter 3,501,896 3/1970 Von Stoeser et a1 53/329 Owings Mills, Md. 3,286,437 11/1966 Cole 53/296  Appl. No. 858,273 2,808,690 10/1957 Mahaffy et a1 53/373  Filed Sept. 16,1969 2,967,328 1/1961 Shelby etal. 18/19  Patented July 6,1971 3,354,461 11/1967 St. Clair et a1. 53/42 X  Assignee Maryland Cup Corporation ()THER REFERENCES Mugs WEBSTER s SEVENTH NEW COLLEGIATE DIC- TIONARY G. & C. Merriam Company page 514 Definition And Drawing Of Manifold."
54 ppm MACHINE Primary Examiner-Theron E. Condon 1 c 8 Dnwmg 8E Assistant Examiner-Horace M. Culver 52 us. cl. 53/299, Herbs" such and Term" 53/329 m 1 1 B651? ABSTRACT: A capping machine for open top cups has an 3671) 3/0 elevator for lifting a tray of the cups to be capped. A unit posil l sfll'ch 5 /299. tioned above the elevator is subdivided into vertical pockets 373 one for receiving each cup in the tray. The pockets are delineated by walls having knife edges at the bottom. Heating  Reknnm cited irons are disposed in the pockets for contacting a heat sealable UNITED STATES PATENTS sheet of material against the rims of the cups. Further upward 3,354,604 1 H1967 Amberg et a1. 53/42 movement of the tray causes a retraction of the heating irons 3,345,797 10/1967 Von Stoeser 53/329 X and the sheet to contact the knife edges which separate it into 3,507,093 4/ 1970 Marion 53/296 X individual sections that are heat sealed to the cups respective- 3,198,683 8/1965 Lee 53/373 X 1y. This retraction also causes a wiper ring to fold down the 3,243,934 4/1966 Kinney 53/296 X edges of the individual sections around the rims of the cups as ,1 1 7 3/1969 Carter et a1 53/329 a sanitary measure.
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1, 8: W. E rm 5 so 031 47 ul El E3- 43 PATENTEUJUL 6 I97[ SHEET 1 [1F 3 g INVENTOR PAUL H. CARTER FIG. 2..
BY W) ATTORNEY PATENTEUJUL 8|97| SHEET 3 BF 3 FIG.7.
INVENTOR PAUL H.CARTER BY W ATTORNEY CAPPING MACHINE This invention relates to capping machines and it is more particularly concerned with machines for applying covers to open top containers.
An object of the invention is the provision of a machine which is capable of capping multiplicity of containers simultaneously.
Another object is the provision of a capping machine which forms separate covers for each container from a relatively large sheet and heat seals the covers to the rims of the containers.
A further object of the invention is the provision of such a machine which seals the sheet to a plurality of containers at different areas and subdivides the sheet into individual cover sections.
A still further object of the invention is the provision of a system for maintaining a uniform temperature on all the sealing irons simultaneously with a high degree of reliability and with a minimum of necessary adjustments.
These and still further objects, advantages and features of the invention will appear more fully from the following description considered together with the accompanying drawmg:
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of an embodiment of the in vention, partly broken away.
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the embodiment, partly broken away.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary front elevational view showing the elevator mechanism in different positions.
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary elevational view of one of the heat sealing irons on a larger scale showing a cup in position to be capped.
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 with a cup, after capping and sealing, in position for severing the sheet to form the individual covers for the cups.
FIG. 8 is an elevational view of a capped cup illustrating the manner of removing the cap when desired.
Referring with more particularity to the drawing in which like numerals designate like parts, the embodiment illustrated comprises a frame structure 11, including legs 12, 13, I4 and and a bottom platform 16.
An elevator mechanism is mounted in the frame structure and it comprises a vertical conventional air cylinder 17 secured to a fixed frame member 18 and having a vertically reciprocating rod 19 at the top. The air cylinder 17 is operated by conventional means, including air lines 20 and 21 con nected to an air control member 22.
The upper end of the rod 19 is pivotally connected to a bracket 23 by a pin 24. The bracket 23 is secured by bolts 25 to the bottom of a vertically movable lower shelf 26. An upper shelf 27, vertically spaced above the lower shelf 26, is connected to the lower shelf by means of tubular stanchions 28. Rods 29 pass through the stanchions 28 and are secured at their lower ends to the frame member 18. The upper ends of the rods extend above the upper shelf 27 and are secured to an upper frame member 30.
An elevator platform 31 is disposed above the frame member and it is rigidly connected to the upper shelf 27 by means of rods 32 which pass through apertures 33 of the frame member 30. By these means, actuation of the air cylinder 17 causes the platform 31 to move vertically.
The platform 31 supports a group of cups 34 to be capped in a conventional portable tray 35. These cups are held in alignment with a bank of capping units hereinafter described, by disposing the tray against abutments 36 and 37 in right angular planes and permitting the bottoms of the cups to rest in fixed pockets 37A on the platform 31.
Above the platform 31 there is mounted on the frame structure the capping assembly 38 on brackets 39, 39 connected by bolts 40. The capping assembly comprises a plate 41 subdivided by orthogonal grooves 42 and 43 into smaller areas. In the grooves 42 and 43, knife blades 48 are set having scalloped cutting edge 49 at the bottom. Each subdivided area of the plate 41 has an aperture 44 in which there is mounted a wiper ring 45.
A sealing iron 47 comprises a circular block 50 having an annular downwardly extending edge 51 adapted to register with the rim 52 of a cup to be capped. Such a sealing iron is slidably mounted in each wiper ring 45.
The block 50 has an internal annular channel 53 which communicates on one side with an inlet hose 54 and on the other side with an outlet hose 55 through a cover plate 56. Threaded 57 and 58 of the cover plate engage hose nipples 59 and 60. The hoses 54 and 55 are adapted to effect circulation of a heat exchange liquid 61 through the channel 53 at a given temperature.
The block 50 is mounted on the bottom of a vertical shaft 62 by means of a screw 63. The upper end of the shaft 62 is slidably mounted on a bracket 64 connected to a frame member 65. The shaft 62 is biased to a downward position by means of a coil spring 66 disposed on the shaft between the bracket 64 and the top of the cover plate 56. A flange 67 at the upper end of the shaft 62 limits the: downward movement of the shaft.
The inlet hoses 54 of all the irons 47 are connected to a common inlet header or plenum chamber 68 and the outlet hoses 55 are likewise connected to a separate common outlet header or plenum chamber 69.
The headers 68 and 69 function to equalize the flow of the heat exchange liquid to and from the irons 47. An expansion tank 70 is mounted above the inlet header 68 and it is connected to the inlet header by a T-connector 71.
A tank 72 for the heat exchange liquid is mounted on brackets 73 and 74 to the frame structure and a pipe 75 connects the outlet of the tank with the header 68. A hydraulic pump 76 is also mounted on the frame structure by any conventional means and its outlet 77 is connected to the inlet 78 of the tank 72 by a pipe 79. The inlet of the pump 76 is connected to the header 69 by means of a pipe 80.
A conventional electrical heater 81 is disposed inside the tank 72 to maintain the temperature of the heat exchange liquid at a desired level. The hot liquid is thus circulated by the pump 76 from the tank 72 to the header 68 through the channels 53 and returns through the header 69 and pipe to the pump 76. This provides a uniform temperature throughout all the sealing units which would be difficult, if at all possible, to provide by other means such as direct electrical heat means.
The device is used by placing the tray 34 of cups 33 on the platform 31 against the alignment abutments 35 and 36. A heat scalable sheet of material 82 of any conventional type is then placed on top of the cups 33. The air cylinder 17 is then actuated to raise the elevator platform 31 to cause the sheet 81 to contact the edges 51 of the irons 47 which fuses the sheet to the rims of the cups. As the elevator platform continues to move upward the sheet 81 engages the cutting edges 49 (see FIG. 7) which cuts the sheet into sections forming individual capping members for the cups. The elevator is then lowered and the tray of capped cups removed.
When it is desired to uncap a cup, a corner 83 of the cap is simply lifted and the entire cap may thus be removed (see FIG. 8).
The wiper rings 45 function to fold down the outer marginal edges of the individual sections around the rims 52 of the cups as a sanitary measure. See FIGS. 7 and 8..
1. A cup capping machine comprising a frame structure, an elevator mechanism carried by the frame structure for raising and lowering a tray of open top cups to be capped, a unit above the elevator for receiving the upper ends of the cups on the tray, said unit being subdivided into vertical pockets, one pocket for each cup, each pocket being delineated by vertical walls having downwardly projecting knife edges at the bottom of the walls, and heating elements within the walls of each pocket for contacting a heat'sealable sheet of material against the rims of the cups on the tray; each said heating element being telescopically movable within a conforming section constraining said heat sealable sheet of material to fold downward around the rims of said cups as said elevator is raised.
2. A cup capping machine comprising a frame structure, an elevator mechanism carried by the frame structure for raising and lowering a cup to be capped, a unit above the elevator having a pocket for receiving the upper end of the cup on the elevator and a heating element within the pocket for contacting a heat scalable sheet of material against the rim of the cup; said heating element being telescopically movable within a conforming section of said pocket, said conforming section constraining said heat scalable sheet of material to fold downward around the rims of said cups as said elevator is raised.
3. A cup capping machine as defined by claim 2 in which the pocket is delineated by vertical walls have downwardly projecting knife edges at the bottom for cutting from the heat scalable sheet of material, a section secured to the cup, said heating element being vertically movable relative to the knife edges.
4. A cup capping machine as defined by claim 1 and means for-maintaining all the heating elements at a uniform heat scaling temperature.
5. A cup capping machine as defined by claim 4 in which the means comprise a heat exchange fluid.
6. A cup capping machine as defined by claim 4 which the means comprises a source of heat exchange fluid; an internal passageway in each said heating element for circulating a heat exchange fluid therethrough; each said passageway having a fluid inlet and a fluid outlet; conduit means interconnecting each said inlet and outlet with said source; and a pump for circulating a fluid though the passageway from said source.
7. A cup capping machine as defined by clam 6 in which said source includes an inlet header and an outlet header; all said outlets being connected to said outlet header and all said inlets are connected to said inlet header.
8. A cup capping machine as defined by claim in which the heat exchange fluid is a liquid.
9. A cup capping machine as defined by claim 1 and abutment means carried by the elevator for gaging the position of the tray relative to the pockets.
110. A cup capping machine as defined by claim 1 in which the heating elements are mounted for vertical movement relative to the knife edges, and means for biasing the heating elements to positions below the knife edges.
11. A cup capping machine as defined by claim 1 and means for folding around the rims of the cups the marginal edges of sections of the sheet separated by the knife edges.
12. A cup capping machine as defined by claim 2 and means for contacting and folding around the rim of the cup marginal edges of the sheet of material.
13. A cup capping machine as defined by claim 1 in which the conforming section comprises wiper rings adjacent the knife edges and externally concentric with said heating ele ment.
M. A cup capping machine as defined by claim 2 in which the conforming section comprises a wiper ring in the pocket, externally concentric with said heating element.
15. A cup capping machine comprising a frame structure, an elevator mechanism carried by the frame structure for raising and lowering a tray of open top cups to be capped, a unit above the elevator for receiving the upper ends of the cups on the tray, said unit being subdivided into vertical pockets, one pocket for each cup, each pocket being delineated by vertical walls having downwardly projecting knife edges at the bottom of the walls, and heating elements within the walls of each pocket for contacting a heat scalable sheet of material against the rims of the cups on the tray; and means for maintaining all the heating elements at a uniform heat sealing temperature,
comprising, a source of heat exchange fluid, an internal passageway in each said heating element for circulating a heat exchange fluid therethrough, each said passageway having a fluid inlet and a fluid outlet, conduit means interconnecting each said inlet and outlet with said source, and a pump for circulating a fluid through the passageway from said source.
16. A cup capping machine as defined by claim 15 in which said source includes an inlet header and an outlet header; all said outlets being connecting to said outlet header and all said inlets being connected to said inlet header.