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Publication numberUS3597896 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 10, 1971
Filing dateFeb 18, 1969
Priority dateFeb 18, 1969
Publication numberUS 3597896 A, US 3597896A, US-A-3597896, US3597896 A, US3597896A
InventorsKoll Stanley J, Rocus John M
Original AssigneeAmerican Flange & Mfg
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for securing caps to containers
US 3597896 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventors Stanely .I. Roll Keansburg, NJ.;

John M. Rocus. Elk Grove Village, Ill. [2 1] Appl. No. 800,202 [22] Filed Feb. 18. 1969 Division of Ser. No. 473,987. July 22, 1965. Pat. No. 3,460.31] Aug. 10, 197 1 American Flange & Manufacturing Co., Inc. New York, N.Y.

[45] Patented [73] Assignee [54] METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SECURING CAPS TO CONTAINERS 17 Claims, 17 Drawing T35.

[52] US. Cl 53/42, 53/3 l5, 53/353 [51] Int. Cl r. B65h 7/28 [50] Field of Search 53/42, 315, 353

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,332,211 7/1967 Kolletal. 53/353 3,408,788 I 1/1968 Greck 53/42 3,434,266 3/1969 Wolfet al. 53/353 3,460,31 l 8/1969 Koll et al. 53/42 Primary Examiner--Travis S. McGehee Attorney-Albert M. Parker ABSTRACT: A crimping apparatus and method for securing lightweight metal hand-removable closure caps on to bottles. The apparatus includes cap and bottle conveying and positioning mechanisms for placing caps on to bottles and crimping heads for sealing the closure caps in place.

Patented Aug. 10, 1971 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 R l 5 OKU N w w Z Y Mi sf Patented Aug. 10, 1971 3,597,896

5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS Eryn/45 u- K041. JEu/A/ MPacu Patented Aug. 10, 1971 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTORS Era/air LIZ/(014 MN M ATTORNEY Patented Aug. 10, 1971 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 \L l L 5 U INVENTORS. STANLEY J KOLL g g/1W M R0605 A TTOR/VEK METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SECURHNG CAPS T CONTAINERS a This application is a division of Ser. No. 473,987, filed July 22, 1965, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,460,311 Aug. 12, 1969, in the names of Stanley J. Koll and John M. Rocus and entitled Method of Securing Caps to Containers.

This invention is particularly concerned with a novel method and apparatus or tool for applying closure caps over the openings in bottle necks and other receptacles by a'crimping action. The invention of this application was conceived and developed to overcome certain problems relating to the securing in place of lightweight metal closure caps of the type which can be destroyed and removed by hand action without the use of any tools. However, it has surprisingly been found that the invention is equally applicable to and produces unexpectedly improved results when used for the securing over receptacle openings of other types of closures, of which the standard crown closure is an example. The invention will be hereinafter described in connection with the securing of lightweight closure caps but it should be expressly understood that its applicability extends to a wide variety of closure caps.

l-leretofore hand-removable lightweight closure caps were applied to the finishes surrounding the openings in bottles, or other receptacles, by a spinning or rolling process. Such a process is carried out by using a spinning head having a plurality of disclike rollers adapted to be moved radially inwardly so as to deform the depending skirt portion inwardly into sealing engagement with the bottle neck. This spinning process not only requires relatively complicated apparatus for carrying it out, but inasmuch as the standard crowners, or crowner housings are not adaptable for the operable reception of spinning heads, complete special spinning apparatus must be provided. The cost of this special apparatus is a substantial deterrent against the adaption of spun on closure caps. Additionally it has been found that the utilization of the'spinning process for securing hand-removable lightweight closure caps introduces adverse characteristics into the secured closures. The metal of them is unduly deformed. It is stiffened and hardened and the tearing scores tend tobe closed up by the action of the spinning rollers. All of these and other disadvantages of the spinning method and apparatus are overcome by the improved closure cap applying method and apparatus of this invention.

The method and apparatus of the invention are illustrated as being employed for the securement of lightweight aluminum closure caps which, when properly secured, provide pressureresistant sealing over the openings of bottles and other receptacles but are hand destructible due to the provision of a tear strip between scores. These scores extend substantially across the top of the cap, around the bend and continue down the depending skirt forming a tear strip therebetween which extends beyond'the skirt portion in the form of an ear. The use of a conventional closure cap crimping tools to apply such lightweight closure caps to bottle openings has proved unsuccessful because such tools caused a pinching or puckering of the metal resulting in outwardly vertical ribs in the skirt portion of the cap which can extend up into the bead portion. Such outward puckering cannot be countenanced since the puckers can form leakage paths down through the puckers.

Also, if caps so secured do not leak their pressure retention is low. The metal surrounding the puckered area can be suffi- The novel method and closure cap securing tool describedand claimed herein also eliminates all of these drawbacks of prior art crimping tools. In fact, by effecting a greatly advanced sealing of lightweight closure caps onto bottle and other receptacle openings the invention bids fair to displace prior art crimping and crowning as well as spinning in place of closure caps.

It is accordingly an object of this invention to provide a novel method for securing a wide variety of closure caps to the openings or finishes of bottles and other receptacles.

Another object is to provide a new andimproved apparatus for the carrying out of such novel method.

Another object is to provide new and improved method and apparatus for the crimping of closure caps onto bottle or other receptacle finishes.

Still another object is to provide closure cap crimping method and apparatus which eliminates the pinching of the cap skirt between the crimping jaws.

- Still another object is to provide improved closure cap crimping apparatus having means to automatically compensate for dimensional variations in the container necks to which such caps are applied.

Still another objectis to provide a novel method for effecting such compensation.

Another important object is to provide novel crimping apparatus and method for securing closure caps formed with tearing scores to containers with sufficient force to effect a pressure seal without disrupting such scoring.

Another important object is to provide for such securing formingsmooth cap skirts in the crimping of caps onto properly dimensioned receptacle necks.

'Another important object is to provide a closure cap crimping apparatus and method wherein the cap skirt is moved inwardly while being prevented from puckering outwardly.

A further object of the invention is to provide a novel method for the securing of closure caps to containers wherein the closure is tightly sealed to the container even though a portion of the closure is puckered inwardly.

A further object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus for effectively securing closure caps of a wide variety of constructions in place over container openings.

Still further and more detailed objects of the invention will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out as the description of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing proceeds.

In that drawing FIG. I is a front elevation of the cap-securing apparatus in accordance with the invention and for carrying out the method thereof;

FIG. 2 is a vertical section of the cap-securing head and as sociated workpiece as in FIG. 1 showing the crimping jaws in open or expanded position;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the jaws in closed or crimping position;

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the securing head alone taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 3 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary vertical section taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 4 showing half of the circumference of the working annulus formed by the sealing anvils developed out into flat surface;

FIG. 5a is an enlarged and somewhat diagrammatic plan view of the circled area A shown on FIG. 4 and showing the sealing anvils in closed position;

FIG. 5b is an elevational view taken on line Sb-Sb of FIG. 5a showing a developed end view of the sealing surfaces in uniform closed position;

FIG. 50 is a view similar to FIG. 5a but showing certain of the sealing anvils morefully closed in than others;

FIG. 511 is an elevational view taken on line Sd-Sd of FIG. 5c showing a developed end view of the sealing surfaces in the variously closed positions of FIG. 5c;

preferred form of the crimping jaw sealing anvil securing a cap to a container;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged exploded perspective view ofa pair of mated crimping jaw sealing anvils;

FIG. 8 is a front elevation of the actual crimping head of the presently preferred form of the cap-securing apparatus with a bottle having a cap placed therein aligned in position for crimping;

FIG. 9 is a part plan, part horizontal sectional view of the assembly of bottle advancing, cap releasing and crimping mechanisms in accordance with the preferred form of the invention;

FIG. 10 is a part sectional, part elevational view of the cap release mechanism, holddown plate and crimping head, showing the application of caps to bottles and the retention of the same thereon leading to the crimping head;

FIG. 11 is a part elevational, part vertical sectional view of the cap-securing head and associated workpiece of the FIG. 8 form showing the crimping jaws in open or expanded position and with the plunger engaged with a cap;

FIG. 12 is a view similar to FIG. 11 but with the jaws in closed or crimped position and with the cap crimped onto a bottle finish.

Considering first the embodiment of the cap-securing apparatus of the invention as generally shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, it can be seen that the principal parts thereof comprise a cap-securing head generally indicated by 1, a bearing member 2 for supporting the cap-securing head 1, and an actuating means 3 for moving the cap-securing head into operative relationship with a cap and bottle opening. The cap-securing head 1 is selectively moved toward and away from a bottle by an actuating means 3 which comprises a conventional double-acting piston and cylinder combination. The cap-securing head 1 is attached to the piston rod of the actuating means 3 by suitable means such as the threaded engagement 4, between the upper end of the head 1 and the end of the piston rod.

, The head 1, as shown in more detail in FIGS. 2 and 3, comprises a cylinder 6 which is slideably supported in the stationary bearing support member 2. The lower end of cylinder 6 has an integral radially outwardly extending wall 11 which in turn is integrally connected to and supports an enlarged cylindrical housing 7. As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, a bore 13 extends through a major portion of cylinder 6. The inner surface of the bore is partially threaded at 8 to receive the threaded end portion ofa sleeve 9. A circumferential flange at the lower end of sleeve 9 engages the under surface of the wall 11 when said sleeve is fully seated within cylinder 6. A pair of wrench-engaging slots 12 are formed into the flange 10 from the under surface thereof to facilitate the insertion and removal of the same.

Slideably received within the sleeve 9 is a spindle 15 having a collar 16 near the upper end thereof and terminating in a shank 17 of reduced diameter. Surrounding the shank 17 is a helical compression spring 18 extending between the collar 16 and the end wall 19 of the bore 13 and adapted to be compressed therebetween and to normally retain the collar 16 in contact with the end of sleeve 9. The lower end ofspindle 15 is provided with a center-tapped hole 20 and a shallow concentric bore 21. Secured to the lower end of spindle 15 by means of screw 22 is an insert member 23 having at its upper end a reduced portion 24 which is received within the bore 21 and terminating at its lower free end in a cap-receiving nest 25. An outwardly extending collar 26 is integrally formed on the insert member 23 and provides an upper shoulder 27 for pivotally supporting a plurality of annularly arranged jaws 28.

Each of the jaws 28 are of identical construction, except for differences in portions of the sealing anvils 60 and 80 which are secured thereto and in effect form part thereof. Such anvils will be described in detail hereinafter. In this embodiment l2 jaws are disclosed as being spaced about the cap-receiving nest but that number may be varied without departing from the scope of the invention. The upper end of each jaw 28 has a recess 29 formed to a seat about the collar and each jaw has an oppositely extending heel 30. A cam surface 32 extends about the inner surface of the lower edge of the housing 7 for engagement of the heel to actuate the same. This heel also prevents dislodgement of the jaws from their pivotal mounting over the shoulder 27. As seen in FIG. 2 the jaws 28 are normally retained in expanded position by the engagement of heel 30 with the cam surface 32.

An inclined cam surface 33 is formed on the lower outer surface of each jaw and is acted upon by a cam surface 38 formed on the lower inner surface of a segmental closing sleeve 34, made up of a plurality of individual arcuately shaped segments 35. In this embodiment the closing sleeve 34 consists of four segments of equal dimension but the particular number of such segments could be varied without departing from the scope of the invention. Each segment has an internal recess 36 formed in its upper portion for engaging the outer end of a flange 37 formed on the base of the housing 7. The cam surface 38 is inclined at an acute angle slightly greater than that of the jaw-camming surface 33 so that upon downward movement of the segments 35, which comprises the closing sleeve 34, the jaws 28 are cammed radially inwardly. The inclined surface 38 of each segment 35 is retained in contact with the inclined surface 33 on the corresponding jaws 28 by means of springs 31 which encircle the lower ends of the segments 35. As shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, four separate springs 31 are employed with their ends secured to adjacent segments 35 by means of pins 39. A single continuous spring might also be employed for this purpose without departing from the invention.

Detailed showings of the jaw-sealing anvil 60 and are found in FIGS. 4 and 7. In FIG. 4 anvils 60 and 80 are shown as separate members alternately arranged in an annulus. They are secured to the bottom surfaces of the jaws 28 by screws 53 and locking pins 54. It is also contemplated that the anvils 60 and 80 might be formed as an integral portion of the jaws 28 or secured to the jaws by means other than the disclosed screw and pin arrangement. As shown in FIG. 7 the set of alternate anvils 60 each include a top surface 61, a bottom surface 62, substantially vertical and parallel side surfaces 63 and apertures 64 and 65 for reception of the screws and pins 53 and 54 respectively. The side surfaces 63 are partially cut away to provide a pair of inclined surfaces 66. As shown it can be seen that each of the inclined surfaces 66 are machined or otherwise formed on a compound angle so as to lie in a plane which intersects the forming surface 70 along lines 67 which extend inwardly from the bottom surface 62 of the anvil to the top surface 61 thereof at an angle of 45 with respect to the vertical. From the line 67 the planes of the surfaces 66 incline upwardly and outwardly, as well as rearwardly, to intersect the forward extension ofthe line ofjuncture of surfaces 61 and 63 at an included angle of approximately l0. The surfaces 66 accordingly intersect that line of juncture at the point 68. The juncture between the vertical side surface 63 and the inclined surface 66 forms a line 69. The nose of the anvil has an arcuate forming surface 70 which is defined by the angled side edges 67 and is contoured to conform to the shape of a lower lip surface 55 ofa bottle opening.

The inclined surfaces 86 of the set of anvils indicated by the numeral 80 are the reverse of surfaces 66 of the anvils 60. Accordingly the surfaces 86 intersect the forming surface along lines 87 which extend inwardly from the top surface 81 of the anvil to the bottom surface 82 thereof at an angle of45 with respect to the vertical. From the lines 87 the planes of the surfaces 86 incline downwardly and outwardly, as well as rearwardly, to intersect the forward extension of the line ofjuncture of surfaces 82 and 83 at an included angle of approximately 10. The surfaces 86 accordingly intersect that line of juncture at the point 88. The juncture between the vertical side surface 83 and the inclined surface 86 forms a line 89. The nose of the anvil 80 has an arcuate forming surface 90 which is defined by the angled side edges 87 and, like forming surface 70, is contoured to conform to the shape of a lower lip surface 55 ofa bottle opening.

This angularity of the surfaces 66 and 86 on alternate anvils has the effect of providing circumferential engagement of the surfaces 70 and 90 of the anvils with the sidewall or skirt of the .7 cap without any vertical gaps between the segmental portions of the forming annulus. Instead as the anvils move into contracted position as seen in H68. 4, 5,54, 511 and 5d, they overof the slide 101. A bore 104 formed in the slide 101 is lay each other horizontally leaving no vertical path for outward puckering' of pleating of the metal in the cap sidewall. I lmportantly also the cap skirt is first drawn in smoothly and tightly against the underside 55 of the bottle bead 45 below the end 44 of the cap gasket, which smooth securing also extends down along the neck of the bottle.

FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate somewhat schematically the manner in which the crimping head of the preferred form of the invention can be employed in conjunction with the standard filling line to replace the normal crowners in the crowner head casing. Thus bottles 40, leaving the conveying shoes 91 of a standard filler; are picked up by the recesses 92 in a star wheel A and are transported by the same along the guide rails B, B to a position underneath a chute C carrying caps 41 with their ears 48 trailing out through the slot C in the bottom of the chute C.

At the end of chute C an escapement mechanism D enables a bottle 40 to take a cap 41 from the chute. This escapement mechanism consists of a pair of spring pins 93, one at either side of the chute, which engage the outer surface of the skirt portion of eachc'ap at opposing positions to form 'a pivot for the cap at the end of the chute, allowing it to tilt so that one part of its skirt 50 can be engaged by the bottle finish 45 yet preventing the cap from falling out of thechute if there is no bottle there. A weighted pivoted latch member 94 also engages the top portion of the cap at this station and positions it at the proper angle to be taken by the bottle 40.

Appreciating that the bottles, on reaching this position, will have been filled with beer or possibly some other beverage under pressure, with the beverage, particularly if it be beer,

foaming out, it "is necessary to retain the cap from being dislodged by the foaming once it is seated and before it is crimped into the bottle finish. This is achieved by the provision of a holddown plate 95 which'takes over from the end of the chute and the latch'94 as the bottle is moved along by the star wheel A.

The plate 95 keeps the bottle cap 41 from raising up far enough to free itself while allowing gas to escape from the bottle as the bottle continues on. The plate 95 extends under and beyond-the firstcapping head 100, positioned at X, which, at this position is raised out of the way. Thus the plate 95 maintains the cap in seated position as the bottle and cap are moved to a position beneath and is contacted by the bottom surface 124a of the downwardly extending cap holddown sleeve 122 of the next'head 100, this head being at the position Y. As the cap 41 starts to moveout from the end of the plate 95 it simultaneously moves in under the bottom-engagingsurface 124a of the cap holddown sleeve 122 which then con tinues the seating of it over the bottle finish while the crimping action comes into'operation in a manner hereinafter to be described. During this action the bottle 40 has been transferred from the star wheel A to a recess 96 in the star wheel E which adjoins it. The bottle is retained in that recess 96 by the guides F, F while the star wheel E moves in synchronism with I operation is completed as illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12.

' FIGS. 8,11 and 12 show the presently preferred form of a cap cylinder crimping head in accordance with the invention whichis adapted to be inserted into a standard crowner head cylinder 100for actuation by the mechanism of the crowner head casing. The crimping head is actually carried by the compensating slide 101 which is a standard part specially machined to receive the crimping head. The compensating slide is mounted in the standard crowner head cylinder which in turn is positioned in the bore in a standard crowner head casing. The lower end of the cylindrical slide 101 is integrally and radially outwardly enlarged into an annular portion 103 having a diameter greater than the diameter of the remainder threaded at 105 to receive the threaded portion of a sleeve 106. A circumferential flange 107 around the lower end of sleeve 106 engages the lower end of the cylindrical slide 101 when the sleeve 106 is fully seated within the cylinder.

Slideably received within the sleeve 106 is a spindle 108 having a collar 109 near the upper end thereof and terminating above that collar in a shank 110 of reduced diameter. Surrounding the shank 110 is a helical compression spring 111 extending between the collar 109 and the end wall 112 of the bore 104 and adapted to be compressed therebetween and to normally retain the collar 109 in contact with the inner end of sleeve 106.

The lower end of the spindle 108 is provided with a centertapped hole 113 surrounded by a shallow concentric bore 114. An insert member having a cylindrical body 116 is secured to the lower end of spindle 108, by means of a screw which extends through a reduced portion 117 of the body 116 and is in turn received within the bore 114. An outwardly extending collar 118 is integrally formed on said body 116 between the ends thereof. The body 116 has an internal bore 120'extending downwardly from theportion 117 and terminating at its lower free end in a cap-receiving nest 121 formed with a downwardly depending sidewall 141 for supporting the sidewall of a cap to be secured by the tool.

A cap holddown member consisting of a sleeve 122 having an upper end 123 of enlarged outside diameter is slideably received with the bore 120. The lower portion of the sleeve 122 has an end wall at 124, the inner surface 124b which supports the lower end of a compression spring 125. The lower surface 124a of the sleeve 122 contacts the top surface 51 of .the cap 4l-upon downward movement of the tool. The upper diameter extends into the wall of the portion 119 through sur- 1 face of the bore 120. The other half underlies the enlarged collar 123 of the sleeve 122. The pins 126 thus retain the sleeve 122 in place in the bore 120.

The periphery of collar 118 has an arcuate convex contour to pivotally receive mating concave surfaces formed in the upper ends of a plurality of annularly arranged jaws 128. Each of the jaws 128 are of identical construction, with the exception that the sets of sealing anvils 60a and 800 secured to and forming parts of them have-alternately differently directed angled side surface portions as do the anvils 60 and 80 already described. In this embodiment l2 jaws, making up two sets of six each, are disclosed as being spaced about the cap-receiving nest 121. That number of jaws may be varied without departing from the scope of this invention. A segmental sleeve generally indicated at 129 is provided for closing in the jaws 128. This, like the closing sleeve 34 of FIGS. 2 and 3 is formed of a plurality of individual arcuately shaped segments 130 of equal dimension. There are six in number here but the particular. number of such sections may be varied without departing from the scope of the invention. The upper end of each segment inclines inwardly to a segmental collar portion 131 having an outwardly facing convex arcuate periphery 131a which mates with a concave channel 132 formed into the interior surface of the slide portion 103. The sleeve made up of the segments 130 is retained in mated andpivotal relationship with the concave channel 132 by'the abutment of the flange 107 with the inner end surfaces 13lb of the collar segments 131. The lower end of each segment 130 is enlarged radially outwardly and a cam surface 133 is formed on its interior surface.

The sealing anvils, being separate members, secured to the ends of the jaws in the form of FIGS. 11 and 12, have the same mated inclined side surfaces 66 and 86 as in the form of FIGS. 1 through 5 and 7, so repetition of that detail is not necessary here. Likewise the sealing anvils, have been given numbers 60a and 80a in FIGS. 11 and 12, though in the section shown this is not strictly accurate inasmuch as there must be an even number of anvils to make up the two different sets and directly opposite anvils would accordingly be members of the same set. For the purpose of illustration, however, this liberty is taken with the showing.

Anvils 60a and 80a have cap skirt engaging faces 70a and 90a ofa slightly different contour from that shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 6. This contour as best shown in FIGS. 6a has its upper portion 70b somewhat flattened to engage the inclined undersurface of the bottle bead and to make sure that the cap skirt 50 engages the bead tightly just below the greatest diameter of the bottle bead and hence just below where the gasket terminates. Below the portion 70b the anvil has a more rounded contour. Were this tool and method to be employed in the application of caps, such as crowns, formed of stiffer material than the aluminum caps here illustrated, the forming surfaces of the anvils would again need to be contoured in such a manner as to properly engage the outward preformed flutes, or ribs, already present on crowns when they are applied to the bottle openings for securement thereto.

These anvils 60a and 80a are recessed upwardly from their undersurfaces, as seen at 60b and 80b, for the reception of securing bolts whose heads lie up within those recesses and whose shanks are in threaded engagement in the bodies of the jaws 128. One or more washers 60c ofa tough resilient plastic material, of which urethane is a nonlimiting example, are positioned between the bolt heads and the bottom surface of the recesses 60b and 80b. These fill the bottoms of the recesses but yield sufficiently to allow the anvils to pivot about the jaw edges 60d and 80d so that the working faces 70a and 90a of the anvils can swing downwardly a small distance if need be to properly engage the cap skirt in the important area where it underlies and continuously engages the undersurface 55 of the bottle bead 45.

The cam surfaces, provided on the bodies of the jaw members in the embodiment of FIGS. 2 and 3, are, in the form of FIGS. 11 and 12, provided instead on the rear surfaces 136 of the anvils themselves, thereby simplifying the production of the combined jaw and anvil assemblies.

Though the jaws 60a and 80a are merely retained by a single bolt in the single recesses 60b and 80b, any tendency of the individual anvils to rotate about the bolts is counteracted by the fact that their cam surfaces 136 are curved vertically to mate with the curvature of the cam surfaces 133 of the segments 130, for these surfaces are kept in engagement by means about to be described. Should it be desired, however, for smoothness of operation, wedgelike members can be positioned between the rear portions of the sides of the respective anvils in the angular spaces between the anvils, as best seen in FIGS. a and 5c.

The upper end of each jaw 128 has an outwardly extending protuberance 135 which slideably contacts the inner surface of the adjacent segment 130 and serves to retain the upper end of the jaw in pivotal engagement with the collar 118. An annulus 137 of resilient material is mounted about the cylindrical body 116 and has a radially outwardly extending annular flexible collar 138 of reduced thickness which engages the interiors of the jaws 125 and continuously resiliently urges those jaws outwardly so that the cam surfaces 136 on the anvils are held in contact with their mated cam surfaces 133.

The segments 130 of the sleeve 129 are resiliently restrained from pivotally moving outwardly away from the jaws 128 by means of an annular collar 139 which overlies and encircles the greater portion of the segment 130. Collar 139 has a solid upper portion 139a from which a plurality of downwardly extending resilient fingers 140 extend as more clearly shown in FIG. 8. These fingers 140 have inwardly extending surfaces 140a which contact the outer surface of the segments 130 so that the fingers 140 resiliently restrain the segments 130 against radial outward movement. Thus if one or more jaws 128 should, upon being moved radially inwardly to crimp in a cap skirt overlying a bottle neck, be brought to a stop by some abnormality in the bottle neck before the jaw has moved inwardly its normal distance, the finger or fingers 140 overlying that jaw will yield. Due to this yielding effect no greater pressure will be exerted against the bottle neck at that position and, though the remainder of the segments should continue to move inwardly, this particular one will not. The cap skirt will be tightly crimped in all around but exertion of a force sufficient to break the bottle neck is prevented.

Horizontally inwardly radially extending bottom plate segments 134 are secured to the lower end ofeach segment 130. The inner end surface of each plate segment 134 has a convex contour 134a commencing at the upper surface of the plate and flaring downwardly and outwardly. In normal position of the plate segments the edges of each inner end surface about to form a continuous annulus. This annulus serves to wipe cap ears down as seen in FIG. 12 to facilitate packaging. Alternately a one-piece annular member may be floatingly mounted at this position to serve the same purpose.

Though certain aspects of the tool disclosed are specifically adapted for engagement with a lightweight aluminum cap having a tearing ear and for the effective securement of the same, it is to be understood, and it has been borne out by tests, that the tool, with only such modifications and adjustments as suggest themselves to one skilled in the art, can be employed while still embodying the method of the invention for the application of a variety of closure members to a variety of finishes at the openings of bottles or other receptacles. It has been found by tests, for instance, that the crimping method of the invention, as embodied in the tool disclosed, does a more effective job in the securing of crowns on finishes than does the crowning equipment which has been utilized for this purpose for many years. Besides that, the crimping of the invention introduces a valuable safety factor for the bottles have the caps already applied to and precrimped in place on them as they move under the crimping head. This safeguards against broken glass from a previous stage falling or flying into an open bottle which can happen in a standard crowner when the crowns are introduced directly into the crowning head and the bottles are open as they are brought into engagement with the crowns.

Returning to the lightweight aluminum cap, the securement of which is illustrated herein, it is seen in various FIGS. as being generally indicated at 41 and as'having a flat top 51 in the form of a disc which is rounded off at its periphery 41b into a sidewall or skirt 50, which extends downwardly to terminate in a free end edge 49.

The cap 41 has a resilient gasket 42 positioned in the interior thereof, underlying the rounded portion 41b and, before securement, lying inward a small distance under the top 51 and part way down the skirt 50 as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 9. A pair of spaced score lines 46 define a tear strip 47 therebetween, which tear strip commences with a gripping car 48 extending from the free edge 49 of the cap skirt 50, as seen in FIGS. 1, 8 and 13. The score lines 46 extend continuously up the cap skirt 50, around the round part 41b and substantially across the top 51. Preferably they are formed into the metal of the cap from the interior thereof, but they may alternatively be formed in the exterior surface.

In the operation of the tool and method embodiments of FIGS. 1 through 6 the cap 49 is shown first placed in position over the finish 45 of a bottle, or glass can, 40, with the gasket 42 engaged with the upper outer edge of that finish. With the bottle carrying the cap 41 accurately aligned vertically beneath the cap receiving nest 25 of the tool and at the right height with respect thereto, the tool is actuated by some suitable means such as the piston 3 so that the nest 25, carried by the crimping head, seats upon the cap 41 placing it on to the bottle opening and tightly compressing the gasket 42 between the cap and the gasket receiving portion 45a of the bottle finish. The nest 25 has its periphery closely overlying the rounded portion 41b of the cap and generally part way along the skirt 50 thereof. This serves as a guard against any tendency of the cap to bulge out around the bead as the result of the strong compression of the gasket within it.

When the gasket 42 of the c pressed by the downward movement of the nest 25 carried by the spindle 15, further action of the cylinder 6 will merely serve to compress the spring 18 whereupon the cylinder 6 and sleeve 9 will continue their downward movement, while the nest 25 remains stationary. This relatively stationary positioning of the nest 25 brings the jaw mounting collar 26 to a stationary position so that further downward movement of the cylinder 6 carries the segments 34, of the closing sleeve, downwardly and, through the interengagement of surfaces 33 and 38 on the segments 34 and jaws respectively, swings the lower portions of the jaws inwardly. This brings the forming surfaces 70 and 90, of the anvils 60 and 80, into engagement with the skirt of the cap just below the end of the sidewall 43 of the nest 25, which is also just below the lowermost edge 44 of the gasket 42.

As the cylinder 6 continues on downwardly a short distance,

with the forming surfaces 70 and 90 in engagement with the cap skirt, the forming surfaces tend to draw that skirt down while forcing it tightly inwardly into sealing engagement with the undersurface 55 of the head 45. In the method of the invention, as will be explained in more detail hereinafter, where "the 'cap skirt is always engaged by forming surface portions of the adjacent anvils which overlap horizontally, there is no opportunity for the metal of the cap skirt, when reduced in diameter, to form outwardly extending pleats or ribs. This pleating, which would have resulted from the prior art crimping, cannot in the securing of caps made of lightweight metal be tolerated for the forming of such outwardly extending pleats would tend to split the scores and would also be likely to provide leakage paths for leakage of the contents around the bead and down the skirt. Whether the bottle finish be perfect or not the cap, when secured by the tool and in accordance with the method of the invention, is secured tightly against such finish particularly where that finish rounds inwardly below its greatest diameter. This is of material effect in providing a highly pressure retentive'closure. lmportantly, also, is the fact that the score lines 46, at either side of the tear strip, are little affected by the crimping type of securing of this invention so that the caps may be removed by a very easy tearing once one grips the tearing ear 48.

. The same basic method and tool characteristics prevail with i'regard to the tool and system of FIGS. 8 through 13. Here,

where the system is devised for use in conjunction with a highspeed filling operation, such as in a large brewery, it has been found desirable to position the caps on the bottles in advance of the crimping position and hold them so positioned until the crimping headtakes over. The apparatus for effecting this has already been described, along with its operation in the foregoing description ofFIGS. 9 and 10.

Coming to the operation of the crimping head shown in detail in FIGS. 11 and 12 is considered a bottle, with cap in place, tobe in vertical alignment beneath the nest 121 of the crimping head'and engaged by the surface 124a of the cap holddown sleeve 122, being placed there as in the FIG.

manner, the crimping head then takes over. First, as the head moves downwardly the spring 125 is compressed tightening the seating of the cap 41 on the bottle until the cap becomes seated in the nest 121. From this point on the nest l2] presses down with a stronger force on the cap 41, since compression of the heavier spring 11! rather than the fully compressed lighter spring 125 commences. While this latter compression continues only until the predetermined downward force has been exerted on the cap, the compensating slide cylinder 101 and sleeve 106 continue with respect to the spindle 108. As they do so they carry the segmental ring 129 downwardly so that segments 130 of that ring, inturn, move the plate segments 134 downwardly causing their convex surfaces 134a to wipe the tearing ear 48 downwardly and inwardly towards the neck of the bottle.

a At the same time the cam surfaces 133, on the closing ring segments 130, engage their mated cam follower surfaces on the rear ends of the anvils 60a and 80a. The anvils 60a and 80a are accordingly moved radially inwardly since their mounting ap has been substantially comjaws 128 can rock about the mounting 118 therefor and the force applied is sufficient to overcome the resiliency of the extension 138 on the ring 137. The working faces 70a and 90a of the anvils engage the cap skirt closely below the lower end of the collar 141 surrounding the nest 121. This collar 14! has held the cap skirt from expanding where it overlies the bottle bead while the gasket beneath the cap is being compressed. The anvils force the skirt of the cap inwardly below the bottle bead, while drawing the same downwardly, for which their particular working face formatiomas shown in 70a and 70b, in FIG. 1 l, is specially and particularly adapted.

Should the bottle bead extend down a little further than nor- I mal at any position the resilient washer members 600 will allow the anvil to tilt downwardly by pivoting about the edge 60d of the jaw member to accommodate for the difference.

Pivoting of the anvil causes between the cam surfaces 133 FIG. 5c shows, to an exaggerated extent, the independent 2 action of each anvil to accommodate variations or deformations in the bottle neck diameter of successive bottles. In FIG. 5d, which is a development in the flat of the forming surfaces along line Sd-Sd of FIG. 50, it will be seen that spacers exist between the opposed edges 67 and 87 of the forming surfaces 70 and 90. These spaces have been shown as being uniform but this would not necessarily be true, for they would vary in correspondence with the variation in the bottle finish and neck surface. However, the object here is to show that in spite of the space s being present between the faces, the projection lines, s1, s2, s3 and s4, projected vertically from the various corners of the respective anvil surfaces, show that substantial overlap of these surfaces still exist. Even in normal retracted position of all of the anvils, for which the tool was designed, the line s2 on anvils 70 would not be moved beyond the line :3 on the anvils 90. In anyevent, retraction of any anvil is the result of a bottle neck condition preventing the anvil from coming further home. In the position where a portion of the cap skirt is engaged by such an anvil it will be formed just as tightly against the bottle neck as will the remainder of the skirt engaged by anvils which have come all the way home. From the appearance standpoint there will be no noticeable difference between the portions of the skirt nor will there be any readily noticeable line of demarcation between them for actually the differences in diameter will be minute.

When the initial work on the method and tool of the preferred form of the invention was undertaken it was found that, in areasonable proportion of the caps secured on bottles, inwardly extending flutings appeared in the lower part of the cap skirt. This was thought to be caused by out-of-roundness, or other deformations in the bottle finishes, below the bottle bead, and was thought to result from the fact that the cap skirt being unable to flute outwardly due to the always present overlap of the tool anvils horizontally, the excess metal had nowhere to go 'other than to turn inwardly in short vertically extending flutes adjacent the end of the cap skirt. With more accurate formation of the tool parts, with proper adjustment of them and particularly following the interposition of the urethane washers 600 in place of substantially flat metal washers originally used, it was found that the presence of fluting is practically eliminated. Now when fluting does occur it is normally as the result of some part of the tool being out of adjustment.

However, such out-of-adjustment condition, unless severe, or substantial deformity in the bottle finish, either one or both of which might cause discernable fluting, does not affect the superior holding power of a lightweight aluminum cap on a bottle against internal pressure. The holding power is achieved by deforming of the cap skirt portion which is always drawn in smoothly and tightly against the underside 55 of the bottle outer edge of the skirt appears to have no effect upon the holding and sealing properties of this structure. Fluting, when it does occur, is only a detriment from the appearance standpoint and in all but very extreme situations it can be eliminated by proper adjustment of the tool.

As now being carried out commercially in several of the large breweries the crimping on of caps, employing equipment and methods in accordance with this invention, is achieved in such a manner that it is difficult to determine by visual inspection whether the cap has been applied by a spinning or rolling process on one hand or has been applied by a crimping process on the other hand. lt is easy to distinguish however, by the test of destroying the cap, for the same cap rolled on a bottle finish will call for several pounds more pull or tear and remove it by grasping the ear than is the case when the cap is crimped on.

It will readily be apparent to those skilled in the art and from a consideration of the foregoing that the cap-securing method and apparatus of this invention substantially improves upon prior art capping methods and apparatuses and makes possible the use of the crimping principle for the effective securing of lightweight metal caps to bottles and other receptacles where substantial internal pressures must be retained but where the convenience of hand removability is also an important consideration. Also pointed out in the foregoing the method and apparatus of the invention introduces substantial improvements in the securing of a wide variety of caps to bottle finishes and with the securing of these caps being formed at the high speeds demanded in modern packaging.

Changes in and modifications of the construction and different embodiments of the invention would suggest themselves to those skilled in the art and could be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. It is accordingly intended that all matter contained in the above description, or shown in the accompanying drawing, shall be interpreted as being illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Having described our invention what we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

l. The method of applying closure caps to bottles, said caps having a circular top wall surrounded by a depending cylindrical skirt, comprising the steps of conveying closure caps open face down along a first path, placing the lowermost leading cap over a bottle neck opening, conveying bottles having caps loosely placed thereon along a second path, restraining said loosely placed caps against dislodgement during said conveying, exerting a vertically directed force on said cap top wall so as to firmly position the cap on the bottle neck, surrounding said cap skirt with cap-sealing means and forming said cap skirt radially inwardly in tight-sealing engagement about the neck of the bottle.

2. The method as in claim 1 and conveying said closure caps inclined downwardly along said first path and conveying said bottles horizontally along said second path.

3. The method as in claim 1 wherein said placing of said caps over said neck openings is affected by thrusting said neck against the interior of said cap skirt and withdrawing said cap from said first path into said second path.

4. The method as in claim 1 and exerting said vertically directed force on said cap top wall immediately following said restraining whereby cap movement is positively controlled throughout said bottle conveying.


5. The method as in claim 1 and forming said cap skirt inwardly uniformly about the skirt periphery.

6. Apparatus for applying closure caps to bottles comprising a cap feed chute, a bottle conveyor located beneath said chute, means operatively connected to said chute for placing caps on bottles conveyed thereunder, cap-restraining means extending from said chute overlying said conveyed bottles whereby cap dislodgement is prevented, a cap-applying head operatively positioned above said conveyor, a downwardly spring biased cap holddown member axially mounted within said head adapted to firmly position the cap on the bottle and cap-sealing means concentrically mounted in said head for permanently affixing the cap on the bottle neck.

7. Apparatus as in claim 6 and said cap-placing means including a pivoted detent member.

8. Apparatus as in claim 7 and said cap holddown member extending downwardly and lying substantially in the horizontal plane of said restraining means.

9. Apparatus as in claim 8 and actuating means for moving said cap-sealing means and forming the cap in uniform tightsealing engagement with the neck of the bottle.

10. Apparatus for applying closure caps to bottles comprising a vertically movable cap-applying head, cap-sealing means concentrically mounted in said head for permanently affixing a cap on a bottle neck, a downwardly opening cap-receiving nest axially mounted within said head above said sealing means and a downwardly spring biased cap hold down member axially disposed within said nest and extending below said sealing means whereby a cap freely exposed about its periphery is firmly positioned on a bottle neck prior to enclosing said cap with said sealing head.

11. Apparatus as in claim 10 and said cap holddown member occupying the major central area of said cap receiving nest.

12. Apparatus as in claim 10 and actuating means for moving said cap-sealing means radially inwardly in forming engagement with a cap.

13. In bottle-capping apparatus, a closure cap applying head, a mounting member axially positioned within said head, a plurality of circumferentially arranged sealing members pivotally connected to said mounting member, each of said sealing members including a cap-engaging anvil at the lower end thereof, actuating means surrounding said mounting member for urging said anvils radially inwardly into.a sealing annulus disposed in a horizontal plane below said mounting member and compensating means incorporated in said head for permitting individual movement of said anvils out of said horizontal plane.

14. Apparatus as in claim 13 and said actuating means comprising an axially movable segmental camming ring surrounding said sealing members.

15. Apparatus as in claim 13 wherein said compensating means is included in each of said sealing members.

16. Apparatus as in claim 15 wherein said cap-engaging anvils are attached to the lowermost end of said sealing members and said compensating means is incorporated in said attachment.

17. Apparatus as in claim 16 and said attachment including a yieldable resilient member allowing slight pivotal movement of said anvils in a vertical plane relative to said sealing members.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3332211 *Dec 24, 1964Jul 25, 1967American Flange & MfgCap applying apparatus
US3408788 *Jul 18, 1966Nov 5, 1968American Flange & MfgMethod and apparatus for securing closure caps to containers
US3434266 *May 2, 1966Mar 25, 1969American Flange & MfgCap crimping apparatus
US3460311 *Jul 22, 1965Aug 12, 1969American Flange & MfgMethod of securing caps to containers
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5253772 *Feb 26, 1993Oct 19, 1993Sweetheart Cup Company, Inc.Tamper evident container assembly
US5490827 *Oct 25, 1993Feb 13, 1996Sweetheart Cup Company, Inc.Tamper evident container and related apparatus
US5653382 *Jan 25, 1996Aug 5, 1997Sweetheart Cup Company, Inc.Tamper evident container and related apparatus
US6240769 *Aug 25, 1998Jun 5, 2001Heuft Systemtechnik GmbhMethod for testing sealed containers
US6508046 *Jul 20, 2000Jan 21, 2003Fogg Filler CompanySelf-adjusting capping chuck assembly for filler and/or capper device and associated method
US7322165 *Jun 17, 2003Jan 29, 2008Alcoa Deutschland GmbhClosing cone
US20060162286 *Jun 17, 2003Jul 27, 2006Alcoa Deutschland GmbhClosing cone
U.S. Classification53/488, 53/353, 53/315
International ClassificationB67B3/14, B67B3/00
Cooperative ClassificationB67B3/14
European ClassificationB67B3/14