US 3591047 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Russel] C. Buhie Clarendon Hi1ls,1ll.
[211 Appl No 765,779
 Filed Oct. 8, 1968  Patented July 6, 1971  Assignee Continental Can Company, Inc.
New York, N.Y.
 CUP BOUNCE SUPPRESSION BY A VACUUM 2 Claims, 2 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl 221/211, 22I/239,22l/278 [S1] lnt.Cl 865g 59/10 [501FieldofSearch 221/211,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS [150.419 3/1930 Mojonnier et al1 221/211 X 2,930,508 3/1960 McAlpine et a1. 221/221 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,148,463 4/1963 Germany 221/278 Primary Examiner- Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-David Ar Scherbel Atrorneys Americus Mitchell, Joseph E Kerwin and William A. Dittman ABSTRACT: A cup feed system which uses vacuum means to suppress cup bounce when a cup is fed from above onto a cup feed station.
VACUUM SOU RCE PATENTEU JUL 6 I971 FILLER TURRET CAPPER TU RRET VACU UM SOURCE INVENTOR RUSSELL C. BUHLE My invention related to cup bounce suppression in a cup feed system and more particularly cup bounce suppression during cup transfer between a magazine holding nested cups and the next station.
In the prior art, numerous efforts have been made to feed flexible containers by a variety of means, and then to transfer them further to other operations in a cup-filling sequence. In high-speed operation, cups are usually dropped from a cup magazine onto a table from which they are swept by turret or lug devices to the next operation. The next operation may be filling, capping or any other desired operation. In prior art machines, the cup drops onto the table, bounces and settles into place and then is moved by a transport means to the next station. Under modern high-speed packaging conditions, the cup bounce time is too long for efiicient operation. Where a simple drop is employed, the moving transport means which sweeps across the table many times in each minute sweeps the bouncing cup completely off the table in some instances, or the bouncing cup may bounce onto the turret or other transport means or beyond it so that a vacant spot appears in the line of cups that is being fed to the next operation.
It is an object of this invention to provide a high-speed cupfeeding machine.
It is another object of this invention to provide a cup-stabilizing means for preventing a cup from bouncing when dropped onto the feed table.
In brief, my invention is the application of suction to the bottom and optionally an air jet to the top of a cup which has been dropped onto a feed table plate. In this way, cup bounce is prevented and a transport means may move the cup rapidly onto the next station.
FIG. 1 shows a plan view of the cup dispenser with turret and succeeding station.
FIG. 2 shows a right side elevational view in section of the cup dispenser and the feed table plate.
The overall view of a feeder-filler combination is shown in FIG. 1. One or more feed magazines 1 are located above a dead plate or flat disc member 2 having one or more ports in it. The cup magazines are located directly over the vacuum ports 3 so that when a cup 4 falls from the magazine, it falls directly onto the vacuum port 3, settles rapidly, and is held down by the pressure differential between the outside atmosphere and the vacuum underneath the cup 4. Air jets 5 (FIG. 2) may be directed downwardly from the sides of the magazine if one desires to speed cup falling and develop positive pressure on one side of the cup. Located centrally of the feed table plate or dead plate is a turret 6 having arms 7 are tending in a radial direction from its center axis. This turret or other transport means rotates and moves the cups 4 around to the transfer turret 8.
The transfer turret lies intermediate the feed turret 9 and the filler turret 10. The sole purpose of the transfer turret is to move cups synchronously from the feed turret to the filler turret.
Obviously, if a rotating turret 6 having arms 7 is not used with the cup feed apparatus, a feed dog having linear motion may be used. In a typical installation, the filler turret 9 has a relatively wide diameter so that as the cups move around the turret, the centrifugal force applied to them is not sufficient to cause spillage of material in the cups. From the tiller turret, usually the cups are fed to a capping turret 11 and after being capped are discharged for transportation.
Most of the explanation above is for the purpose of providing background for my improvement.
FIG. 2 shows a cross-sectional view of the, feed system as shown in FIG. I.
In this embodiment, a cup 4 having a rolled over section about its edge is used. However, any type of container may be used within the scope of my invention. A cup dispenser I having vertical guide posts 12 and multiple screws 13 or other dispersing means mounted on two or more of the guide posts feeds cups 4 in a regular spaced fashion from a position above a dead plate 2 to allow the cups to drop onto the dead plate from a distance greater than the height of the cup. Any cup 4 dropping this distance will bounce about a bit and finally come to a rest position. In high-speed operation, it is essential that cups 4 come to rest rapidly because the rotating turret 6 or feed dog passes rapidly along, sweeping the cup 4 before it. If the cup is bouncing or otherwise in an unsettled condition, and the turret arm 7 or feed dog strikes it, a high percentage of cups fall or tumble and never arrive at the transfer stage in condition to be transferred to the next operation. To avoid bouncing and tumbling, a vacuum port 3 is placed in the dead plate 2 located under each feed magazine. The ports in the dead plate are attached by means of one or more conduits 14 to the vacuum source 15 through a vacuum control valve 16. The use of the vacuum control valve is viewed as optional, depending upon the resilience of the cups being dispensed. The on-off vacuum control valve 16 is timed to be in synchronism and phase with the release of the cup from the feed means 1. Where the cup is particularly resilient, or light, or for some other reason, it is difficult to control the bounce, the degree of vacuum is heightened by allowing air to enter the port 3 and the vacuum source 15 for intermittent, short periods of time only. In this way, the degree of vacuum in the vacuum source 15 is kept higher and the most resilient cup 4 is pulled down onto the plate. In operation, the cup falls from the cup dispenser onto the dead plate and is rapidly settled into place by the air current passing from--.outside of the cup into the vacuum line. Because of the addition of the vacuum port 3 and its related structure, a many-fold increase in speed of the feed apparatus is possible.
The principal advantage of this apparatus is that it allows a many-fold increase in speed of the cup feed line. That is, cups may be rapidly fed out of the feed table so that greater utilization of a single feed table may be made.
The foregoing is a description of an illustrative embodiment of the invention, and it is apllicants intention in the appended claims to cover all forms which fall within the scope of the invention.
l. A cup dispensing and bounce suppression system comprising in combination:
a cup-dispensing means for releasing cups at a predetermined time interval;
an immovable plate fastened under said dispensing means with its flat surface horizontally disposed;
port means in said immovable plate;
a vacuum source for applying negative pressure to said port means and pulling said released cups quickly against said plate rather than allow them to bounce freely;
transport means for sliding said cups along said immovable plate and away from said port means to a subsequent station;
conduit means connecting said vacuum source means to said port means;
an on-off valve in said conduit means between said port and said vacuum source, and,
valve control means for turning said valve on to connect said port and said vacuum means at the time a cup drops from said dispensing means onto said plate and for turning said valve off to disconnect said vacuum means from said port after said cup has settled onto said plate.
2. A cup dispensing and bounce suppression system as set forth in claim 1 further comprising:
air jet means mounted on said cup-dispensing means for jetting air downward into said cup afler said cup leaves said cup dispensing means.