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Publication numberUS3598286 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 10, 1971
Filing dateApr 14, 1969
Priority dateApr 14, 1969
Publication numberUS 3598286 A, US 3598286A, US-A-3598286, US3598286 A, US3598286A
InventorsWardell Winnifred A
Original AssigneeGaston County Dyeing Mach
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for automatically and uniformly feeding nonliquid material
US 3598286 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [45] Patented [73] Assignee Aug. 10, 1971 Gaston County Dyeing Machine Company Stanley, N.C.

[54] APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY AND UNIFORMLY FEEDING NONLIQUID MATERIAL 7 Claims, 11 Drawing Figs.

3,13s,432 6/1964 McKinney 222 413 x 3,194,385 7/1965 Barnese 222/412 X 3,363,806 1/1968 Blakeslee et a1. 222/413 x FOREIGN PATENTS 648,189 9/1962 Canada 222 413 Primary Examiner-Samuel F. Coleman Attorney-Parrott, Bell, Seltzer, Park & Gibson AESTRAQT: Apparatus for automatically and uniformly feeding powder, crystalline, paste, pellet and the like nonliquid material directly from the container in which the material is shipped or other container and characterized by being substantially air and moisture tight to prevent damage to the material being fed and by having components thereof detachably secured together for ease in assembly and disassembly and including an improved float gauge means therefor. The apparatus broadly comprises a hopper means attached to the open bottom end of the container of material, vertically extending valve means attached to the bottom of the hopper means, vertically extending conduit means detachably secured to the bottom of the valve means, horizontally extending conduit means secured to the bottom of the vertically extending conduit means, and driven variable-speed spiral conveying means disposed within the horizontally extending conduit for uniformly feeding the material therethrough and out of a dispensing opening in the horizontally extending conduit means.

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WINNiFREP AWARVELL BYM M w w,

ATTORNEYS PATENTED AUG I 0 I971 SHEET 2 [IF 4 Ill/M INVENTOR:

WIMNIFREU A.WARPELL MM %w M ATTORNEYS INVENTOR; W I NNIFREP A. WARPELL ATTORNEYS SHEET & UF 4 rHO WIMMIFRED A. WARDELL ATTORNEYS APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY AND UNIFORMLY FEEDING NONLIQUID MATERIAL This invention is related to an apparatus for automatically and unifonnly feeding powder, crystalline paste, pellet and the like nonliquid material directly from the container in which the material is shipped or other container and is characterized by being substantially air and moisture tight to prevent damage to the material being fed and by having components thereof detachably secured together for ease in assembly and disassembly, and to an improved float guage means therefor.

In the use of many nonliquid chemical materials, particularly in powder, crystalline paste and pellet form wherein the material is to be admixed in certain proportions or weights with other material for use in industrial operations, there has not heretofore been provided any satisfactory means for uniformly and automatically feeding of this type of material into a receptacle for the admixing thereof. Also, many of these types of material are susceptible to damage or deterioration when exposed to external air or moisture and the problem of removing these materials from the container in which they are shipped to obtain the proper weight or proportion thereof for industrial admixing without excessive exposure to external air and moisture has been a problem.

He'retofore, these operations have been done either entirely manually or semiautomatically with the result that the materials have been at least partially exposed to air or moisture causing harmful effects thereto and the operations were necessarily laborious, time consuming and uneconomical.

Accordingly, it is the object of this invention to provide an apparatus for'automatically and uniformly feeding nonliquid materials, such as powder, crystalline, paste, pellet and the like, directly from the container in which the material is shipped or other container and characterized by being substantially air and moisture tight to prevent damage to the material being fed and by having components thereof detachably secured together for ease in assembly and disassembly.

It is a further more specific object of this invention to provide the above apparatus with means whereby several of the containers of material to be fed may be positioned in the apparatus with one of the containers in the feeding position and the other of the containers in a reserve position for quickly and easily replacing the container which is in the feeding position when the material therein has been fed therefrom.

It is a further more specific object of this invention to provide an improved float guage means for use with the above automatic material feeding apparatus which will readily and easily indicate the amount of material remaining in the container from which the material is being fed.

It has been found by this invention that the objects may be accomplished by the following apparatus.

An automatic and uniform feeding apparatus is provided which comprises a hopper means, preferably generally funnel shaped for being sealingly and detachably secured to the open bottom end of an otherwise substantially enclosed container of material and for receiving the material from the container when the container is placed in a feeding position with the hopper means at the bottom thereof. An enclosed, vertically extending valve means is sealingly attached to the bottom end of the hopper means for receiving the material from the hopper means and allowing passage therethrough when in an open feeding condition and preventing passage therethrough when in a closed nonfeeding condition.

The apparatus further comprises an enclosed, vertically extending conduit means having one end thereof sealingly and detachably secured to the bottom of the valve means for receiving and allowing passage therethrough of the material from the valve means when in the open feeding condition thereof and which may be detached from the valve means when no feeding of the material is desired. Secured to the bottom of the vertically extending conduit is an enclosed,

horizontally extending conduit for receiving and allowing passage therethrough of the material received therefrom and including an opening therein for the dispensing of the material therefrom. A driven, spiral conveying means is disposed within the horizontally extending conduit for uniformly feeding the material therethrough and out of the dispensing openmg.

Preferably, the above apparatus is provided with a variablespeed motor operatively connected with the spiral conveying means for driving the same at a variety of speeds according to the type of material to be fed and the speed of feed desired and a vibrator means attached to the outside of the container for equalizing the density of the material therein and to aid in obtaining a uniform feed'thereof. The preferred apparatus may also include a weighing means including a switch means operatively connected with the motor means for weighing a predetermined weight of material dispensed from the dispensing opening and for stopping operation of the motor means and thus the feed of the material when the predetermined weight of material has been weighed.

The preferred form of the automatic and uniform feeding apparatus may also include roller means for being detachably secured to a plurality of containers of the material to be fed and horizontally extending track means for receiving the roller means and being so positioned as to movably support a first container of material in the. feeding position directly above the feeding apparatus and for movably supporting any desired number of additional containers of material in horizontally spaced reserve positions so that when a container of material has been depleted, it may be removed from the apparatus and another container of material moved into feeding position. The track means may also preferably include horizontal and vertical adjustments for adjusting the track means to receive different size containers of material.

In a preferred embodiment of the above-described automatic feeding apparatus, there is provided an elongate float gauge means for being partially inserted into the top of the container of material being fed and for resting on top of the material therewithin and for protruding out of the container a predetermined distance'according to the amount of material remaining within the container so that the amount of material in the container may be easily determined from observation of the float gauge means. This float gauge means may comprise an elongate calibrated plunger member, a plug member secured to the end thereof that is inserted into the container of material, and elongate flat arm members pivotally mounted on the bottom of the plunger for pivoting downwardly to a generally vertical position for insertion into the container of material and for moving outwardly to a generally horizontally extending position after insertion into the container of material for resting on top of the material within the container and to maintain the float gauge in a proper position on the top of the material in the container.

In lieu of the above-described float gauge means, a preferred embodiment of the automatic feeding device may include a switch means attached to the hopper means and operatively associated with the driven spiral conveying means for stopping operation thereof as the material being fed from the container is spent and thus stop the feed of material through the apparatus.

Some of the objects and advantages of the invention having been stated, other objects and features will appear as the description proceeds when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. I is a side elevational view illustrating the preferred form of feeding apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational viewtaken from the right-hand side ofFlG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged side sectional detail of the horizontally extending conduit and spiral conveying means therein utilized in the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional detail of the valve means utilized in the apparatus of FIG. I and taken generally along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a schematic wiring diagram of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional detail of a portion of the container of material utilized in the apparatus of FIG. 1 and illustrating the improved float gauge mechanism of this invention being inserted therein;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional detail view of the bottom of the container of material of FIG. 1 with the hopper means attached thereto and illustrating the improved float gauge means therein;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged partial bottom plan view of the float gauge means utilized in the apparatus of HO. 1;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged sectional detail view of the bottom of the container of material of FIG. 1 with the spiral conveyor control switch means attached to the hopper means;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged perspective view of a preferred form of a spiral conveying means which may be used in the apparatus of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 1 l is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the spiral conveying means of FIG. 10 taken generally along the line 11-11 of FIG. 10.

A preferred embodiment of the apparatus for automatically and uniformly feeding powder, crystalline, paste, pellet and the like nonliquid material M is shown in its entirety in FIGS. 1 and 2 and is referred to therein generally by the reference numeral 10. The material M is normally shipped in drumlike containers 11 which include a removable lid (not shown) normally forming the top of the container and a bung hole (indicated at 12 in FIG. 6) normally formed in the bottom of the container and closed by a threaded plug (not shown) during shipment. The feeding apparatus 10 of this invention is specifically constructed for feeding the material M from any container or directly from the containers II and thereby eliminating excessive exposure of the material M to external air and moisture and eliminating the necessity to remove the material M to another container.

For this purpose, there is provided a hopper member 13, which is preferably funnel shaped, for being sealingly and detachably secured to the open end of the otherwise substantially enclosed container 11 of material M when the lid from the container is removed. The hopper 13 may be secured to the container 11 by the clamping band device 14 conventionally utilized on the container for holding the lid thereon. When the hopper member 13 is secured to the container 11, the container 11 may be inverted so that the hopper means is on the bottom thereof for receiving the material M from the container.

Sealingly attached to the bottom end of the hopper means 13 is vertically extending valve means which may be of any convenient construction for receiving the material M from the hopper means 13 and allowing passage therethrough when the valve means 20 is in an open feeding condition and for preventing passage therethrough when the valve means 20 is in a closed non-feeding condition. As illustrated in FIG. 4 of the drawings, this valve means may comprise a vertically extending housing 21 defining a vertically extending passage 22 therethrough and which contains a rotatable ball member 23 generally centrally thereof including a passageway 24 extending therethrough. The valve member could also include a manually operable handle member 25 (FIG. I) passing through the housing 21 and secured to the ball member 23 for rotating the ball member so as to align the passageway 24 thereof with the passageway 22 through the housing 21 when it is desired to have the valve member in the open feeding condition and for rotating the ball member 180 so that the passageway 24 is nonaligned with the passageway 22 when it is desired to have the valve in a closed nonfeeding condition to prevent the passage of material M therethrough.

The feeding apparatus 10 further comprises an enclosed, vertically extending conduit means 26 having one end thereof sealingly and detachably secured to the bottom of the valve means by any convenient clamping means, indicated generally at 27 in FIG. I, for receiving and allowing passage therethrough of the material M from the valve means 20 when the valve means is in the open feeding condition thereof and which may be conveniently detached from the valve means when no feeding of the material M or otherwise is desired. This vertically extending conduit 26 may also include a portion 26a which is flexible for ease in attachment and detachment to the valve means 20 and for ease in alignment of the feeding means 10 with the container 11 of material M. This flexible portion 26a could also be constructed of a transparent material for viewing of the material M being fed.

To the open bottom end of the vertically extending conduit 26 there is sealingly secured an enclosed, horizontally extending conduit 30 for receiving and allowing passage therethrough of the material M received from the conduit 26. The horizontally extending conduit 30 is closed at one end thereof by a cap member 31 and includes an opening 32 in the bottom thereof for dispensing of the material M therefrom.

The horizontally extending conduit 30 has disposed internally thereof a driven, spiral conveying means 35 which extends generally the entire length thereof and may be in the form of a worm, helix, or any convenient spiral conveying means. This spiral conveying means will receive the material M dropping into the horizontally extending conduit 30 from the vertically extending conduit 26 and uniformly and evenly will feed this material M to the dispensing opening 32 for allowing the material M to drop out of the horizontally extending conduit by gravity into any desired receptacle, as may be clearly seen in FIG. 3.

The spiral feeding means 35 includes a shaft member 36 extending therefrom and out of the horizontally extending conduit 30 and which is attached at the protruding free end thereof to a variable-speed motor 40 for driving the spiral conveying means at a variety of speeds according to the type of material to be fed and the speed of feed desired. The speed of the variable-speed motor 40 is controlled by a rheostat mechanism 41, as will be described hereinafter.

A preferred form of the spiral feeding means is illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11 and comprises an elongate, generally cylindrical shaft 37 having a spiral groove 38 in the outside surface thereof. Removably secured within the spiral groove 38 is a flexible brush member 39. The brush member 39 is removably secured within the spiral groove 38 by any suitable means such as clamping bolts 42. By this arrangement, the brush member 39 may be easily removed and replaced within the spiral groove 38 when it has become worn or otherwise unfit for further use.

For supporting the above-described apparatus, there is provided a motor housing, generally indicated at 45, comprising a front plate 46, a backplate 47, and a bottom plate 48 secured together and having a wire mesh or other suitable cover 49 thereon to form a generally rectangular housing. To the bottom plate 48 is attached four leg members 50 for supporting the housing 45 on the floor or other surface. The front plate 46 includes a threaded collar 51 for detachably receiving one end of the horizontally extending conduit 30 and supporting it and the other above-described conduits in their -described positions.

The leg members 50 include suitable vertical adjustment means for the raising and lowering thereof so that the height of the motor housing 45 and thus the horizontally extending conduit 30 and the vertically extending conduit 26 may be vertically adjusted to accommodate different-size containers II. This adjustment means may be in the form of telescoping leg portions 53 received internally of the legs 50 and having suitable apertures therein which mate with suitable apertures in the leg members 50 for the reception of pin members 54 to maintain the leg members 50 in various vertical height positions.

The feeding apparatus 10 may also include means for supporting a plurality of containers 1 1 of material M in which one of the containers 11 may be placed directly above the feeding apparatus for connection thereto, as described above, for the feeding of material therefrom and in which other containers 1! of material M may be placed in reserve positions for easily and quickly moving into the feeding position when the materi al from the other container is spent. This means may comprise a clamping band 60 for detachably clamping around the con-. tainer 11 of material M and having rotatable wheel means 61 on protruding outer ends thereof, as shown particularly in FIGS. 1 and 2. The clamping band 60 may be of any convenient construction including a pivot 62 on one sidethereof and a manual clamp securing means 63 on the other side thereof for detachably holding the clamping band 60 around the container 11 of material M. There is further provided a pair of horizontally extending, parallel, spaced-apart track members 65 supported on the top of vertically extending leg member 66. For providing additional support to this structure, horizontally extending support members 67 and 68 extending between the four legs 66 near the bottom thereof are provided, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

The track members 65 are adapted to receive the wheel 61 secured to a plurality of the containers 11, as shown in FIG. 1. For ease in quickly replacing the spent container 11 with a new container 11 of material M, a separate hopper member 13 and valve member 20 may be attached to each of the containers 1 1 received on the track members 65, as shown in FIG.

1. The valve members 20 of the reserve containers 11 would be positioned in the nonfeeding condition thereof to prevent the escape of material therefrom and when the container 11 of material M in the feeding position is spent, it may be simply removed from the track member 65 and a new container 11 of material M rolled into position over the vertically extending conduit 26 and the valve member 20 attached to the conduit 26 by the clamping member 27. Following this securement the valve member 20 may be opened to the open feeding condition thereof and feeding of the material M from the new container 11 resumed.

The track members 65 may include means for both horizontal and vertical adjusting means for accommodating various size containers 11. These adjustment means could include telescoping leg members 70 received internally in the bottoms of the legs 66 with suitable apertures therein mating with suitable apertures in the leg members for the reception of pins 71 therethrough for positioning the legs 66 in a variety of vertical height positions.

For adjusting the track members 65 horizontally toward and away from each other, the supports 68 joining the leg members 66 may be broken in the middle thereof and telescopingly receive an internal cylindrical member 72 which includes suitable apertures therein mating with apertures in the members 68 for the reception of pins 73 therein to hold the support members 68 and thus the track members 65 in a variety of horizontally spaced positions.

The feeding apparatus includes a vibrator means for attachment to the container 11 of material M for vibrating the container during feeding of the material to aid in equalizing the density of the material M in the container 11 for obtaining an even uniform feeding of the material M. This vibrator means may comprise a vibrator motor 75 which is attached to the container 11 in any suitable manner. As illustrated in the drawings, the motor is detachably secured to the clamping band 60 around the container 11 to rest directly on the wall of the container 11 for vibrating the container 11 during feeding of the material M therefrom.

The feeding apparatus 10 may also include a means for weighing a predetermined weight of material dispensed from the dispensing opening 32 in the horizontally extending conduit 30 and for shutting-off operation of the variable speed motor 40 driving the spiral conveying means 35 'when the predetermined weight of material has been received. This means includes any conventional scale mechanism 80 having a weighing platform 81 adapted to hold a receptacle R for receiving material M from the dispensing opening 32, as shown in FIG. 1. The scale mechanism 80 would conventionally include a pivoted arm 82 containing weights, etc., which may be set in a predetermined manner such that the arm will pivot when a predetermined weight of material has been received on the weighing platform 81.

-To one end of the pivoted arm .82 is attached a switch 84, of any convenient type and preferably a mercury switch. The switch 84 is operatively attached to. the variable speed motor 40,as will be described in detail hereinafter, so that when the predetermined weight of material M has been received in the receptacle R on the weighing platform 81 of the scale means 80, the pivoted arm 82 will pivot which in turn will cause the switch 84 to disengage and shut off the operation of the variable speed motor 40 to stop the drive to the spiral conveying means 35 and thus stop the feed of the material M through the horizontally extending conduit 30.

Referring now to the schematic wiring diagram of FIG. 5, it may be seen that a source of electrical power is indicated by the electrical plug 90 which is connected by a line 91 to a switch 92. The switch 92 is an apparatus off-on switch and is located on the motor housing plate 47 which is utilized as a control panel for the apparatus. When the switch 92 is in operative'engagement or in the on position, electrical power will be transmitted through a line 93 from the switch to the rheostat means 41 which controls the amount of electrical energy supplied to the motor 40 through a line 94. Thus, the rheostat means will control and vary the speed of operation of the motor 40 in a manner well understood by those with ordinary skill in the art.

From the motor 40 the circuit back to the source of electrical energy is completed through a line 95 which passes through a switch 96, normally in engagement to bridge or connect the line 95 with a line 97 returning to the source of energy 90 for completion of the circuit. The above-described mercury switch 84 on the pivoted arm 82 of the scale means 80 includes a first contact connected in the circuit through a line 98 which connects directly to the line 91 leading from the power source 90. The other contact of the mercury switch 84 is connected by a line 99 to the return line 97 such that the mercury switch is connected in parallel with the rheostat 41 and motor 40 so that the circuit or supply or electrical energy thereto may be broken by the mercury switch 84 when it is disengaged. The line 99 from the mercury switch 84 to the return line 96 coils around an extension of the switch 96 such that when the mercury switch 84 is disengaged, the switch 96 will be opened and will remain open even though the mercury switch 84 is subsequently engaged. The switch 96 forms a reset switch and will leave the circuit to the rheostat 41 and the motor 40 open until manually reset.

Thus, in operation of the feeding apparatus 10, the electrical plug 90 will be plugged into any convenient source of electrical energy and will normally supply electrical energy through the rheostat 41 to the motor 40 for operating the feeding apparatus when the off-on switch 92 is manually closed to start operation of the feeding mechanism 10. When a predetermined weight of material has been received on the scale mechanism 80, the pivoted arm 82 will pivot breaking the normally engaged contacts of the mercury switch 84 which will break the circuit to the motor 40 thus shut off operation of the apparatus 10. This will also open the reset switch 96 and the machine will be inoperative until the pivoted arm 82 and mercury switch 84 are returned to their normal position and the reset switch 96 is manually engaged again.

The feeding apparatus 10 may also include a float gauge means, indicated broadly at 100, for being partially inserted into the top of the container 11 of material M and for resting on top of the material M therewithin and for protruding out of the container 11 a predetermined distance according to the amount of material remaining within the container so that the amount of material M in the container 11 may be easily determined from observation of the float gauge means 100.

This float gauge means 100 comprises an elongate calibrated plunger 101 and a plug member 102 secured to the bottom end of the plunger 101. The plug member 102 is generally circular in configuration and has tapered or angular side walls corresponding to the taper or angle of the sidewalls of the container in which the float gauge is placed. For example, in the use of the float gauge 100 with the feeding apparatus of this invention. the plug 102 would have tapered sidewalls having an angle corresponding to the angle of the sidewalls of the funnel-shaped hopper member 13.

Pivotally attached to the bottom of the plug member 102 are a plurality of arms 104. These arms may be attached to the plug member by any suitable hinge connections 105. By attachment to the bottom of the plug member 102 in this manner, the arm members 104 may pivot downwardly into generally vertical positions for insertion into the small opening or bung hole 12 in the container 11 of material M. After the arm members 104 and the plug 102 pass through the opening in the container 11. they may pivot outwardly in an umbrella fashion to a generally horizontal position, as shown in FIG. 2 for resting on top of the material M within the container 11 and to maintain the float gauge 100 in proper position on the top of the material M so that the plunger member 101 will protrude out of the container 11 a predetermined distance according to the amount of material remaining in the container for observation thereof.

In feeding of this type on nonliquid material, particularly through a funnel-shaped member 13, a tendency for the material to be withdrawn from the center of the container 11 is a generally whirlpool fashion is created. If the arms 104 were not provided on the plug member 102, the plug member 102 would tend to fall into the depression created in the top of the material M and thus not give a true reading of the amount of material remaining within the container 11.

When the material M in the container 11 has all been fed into the hopper 13, the float gauge will fall into the hopper 13 and the arms 104 may pivot upwardly to an angle corresponding to the sidewalls of the hopper 13, as shown in FIG. 7, to continue to give a reading of the amount of material M prior to being completely depleted through the feeding apparatus.

In lieu of the above-defined float gauge means 100 or for use therewith, the feeding apparatus 10 may include a switch means 110 attached to the hopper member 13 and operatively associated with the driven spiral feeding means 35 for stopping operation thereof as the material M being fed from the container is spent and thus stop the feed of material M through the apparatus 10. The switch means 110 includes a movable switch-actuating member 111 extending from a suitable electrical switch 112 and protruding into the interior of the hopper member 13. The switch 112 is suitably electrically connected to rheostat mechanism 41 and the variable-speed motor 40 in any suitable manner such that when the switch is open, the current to the variable-speed motor 40 will be broken and operation thereof will be stopped and when the switch is in a closed position, operation of the motor 40 may be continued. The actuating member 111 is adapted to normally assume a switch-opening position, as shown in FIG. 9, in which the circuit to the variable-speed motor 40 is broken and may be moved to a switch closing position for allowing operation of the motor 40 for driving the spiral feeding means 35. The switch means 110 further includes a resilient diaphragm member 113 bolted or otherwise secured to the inside of the hopper member 13 around the actuating member 111 for moving the actuating member into the switch closing position when the material M being fed is passing through the hopper member 13. This is accomplished by the weight of the material M pressing the diaphragm 113 against the inside of the hopper member 13. When the material being fed has been spent, the diaphragm member 113 will assume the position shown in FIG. 9 to allow the actuating member 111 to assume its normally switch opening position so as to break the circuit to the variable-speed motor 40 to stop the feeding operation of the apparatus 10.

The switch 110 may be operatively connected with a suitable alarm (not shown) in lieu offeeding means 35 for signaling an operator to manually shut off feed of the material M from one container 11 and begin feed of material M from another container 11.

Thus, it may be seen that by this invention an apparatus has been provided which will automatically and uniformly feed nonliquid material directly from the container in which the material is shipped and which is characterized by being substantially air and moisture tight to prevent damage to the material being fed and by having components thereof detachably secured together for ease in assembly and disassembly. Means are also provided for carrying a plurality of containers of material M so that one container may be in the feeding position and other containers in reserve positions for easily and quickly moving into the feeding position when the material has been spent from the first container. Also, an improved float gauge means is provided which will allow visual observation of the amount of material remaining in the container from which it is being fed.

in the drawings and specification there have been set forth preferred embodiments of the invention and, although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes oflimitation.

What 1 claim is:

1. Apparatus for automatically and uniformly feeding powder, crystalline, paste, pellet and the like material directly from the container in which the material is shipped or other container and characterized by being substantially air and moisture tight to prevent damage to the material being fed and by having components thereof detachably secured together for ease in assembly and disassembly; said apparatus comprising:

a. hopper means for being sealingly and detachably secured to the open end of an otherwise substantially enclosed container of material and for receiving the material from the container when the container is placed in a feeding position with said hopper means at the bottom thereof;

b. enclosed, generally vertically extending valve means sealingly attached to the bottom end of said hopper means for receiving the material from said hopper means and allowing passage therethrough when in an open feeding condition and preventing passage therethrough when in a closed nonfeeding condition;

enclosed, generally vertically extending conduit means having one end thereof sealingly and detachably secured to the bottom of said valve means for receiving and allowing passage therethrough of the material from said valve means when in the open feeding condition thereof and which may be detached from said valve means when no feeding of the material is desired;

d. enclosed, generally horizontally extending conduit means sealingly secured to the bottom of said vertically extending conduit means for receiving and allowing passage therethrough of the material received therefrom and including an opening therein for dispensing the material from said apparatus;

e. driven spiral conveying means disposed withinsaid horizontallyextendingconduit for uniformly feeding the material therethrough and out of said dispensing opening; and

f. roller means for being detachably secured to containers of the material to be fed and horizontally extending track means for receiving said roller means and being so positioned as to movably support a first container of material to be fed in the feeding position above said feeding apparatus and for movably supporting any desired number of additional containers of material to be fed in horizontally spaced reserve positions so that when a container of material has been depleted, it may be removed from the apparatus and another container of material moved into feeding position.

2. Apparatus for automatically and uniformly feeding powder, crystalline paste, pellet and the like material, as set forth in claim 1, in which said track means include horizontal and vertical adjustment means for adjusting said track means to receive different-size containers of material.

3. Apparatus for automatically and uniformly feeding powder, crystalline, paste, pellet and the like material directly from the container in which the material is shipped or other container and characterized by being substantially air and moisture tight to prevent damage to the material being fed and by having components thereof detachably secured together for ease in assembly and disassembly; said apparatus comprismg:

a. hopper means for being sealingly and detachably secured to the open end of an otherwise substantially enclosed container of material and for receiving the material from the container when the container is placed in a feeding position with said hopper means at the bottom thereof;

b. enclosed, generally vertically extending valve means sealingly attached to the bottom end of said hopper means for receiving the material from said hopper means and allowing passage therethrough when in an open feeding condition and preventing passage therethrough when in a closed nonfceding condition;

c. enclosed, generally vertically extending conduit means having one end thereof sealingly and detachably secured to the bottom of said valve means for receiving and allowing passage therethrough of the material from said valve means when in the open feeding condition thereof and which may be detached from said valve means when no feeding of the material is desired;

d. enclosed, generally horizontally extending conduit means sealingly secured to the bottom of said vertically extending conduit means for receiving and allowing passage therethrough of the material received therefrom and including an opening therein for dispensing the material from said apparatus;

e. driven spiral conveying means disposed within said horizontally extending conduit for uniformly feeding the material therethrough and out ofsnid dispensing opening; and

i. elongate iloat gauge means for being partially inserted into the top of the container of material being fed and for resting on the top of the material therewith and for protruding out of the container a predetermined distance according to the amount of material remaining within the container so that the amount of material in the container may be easily determined from observation of the float gauge means, said float gauge means comprising an elongate calibrated plunger member, a plug member secured to the end thereof that is inserted into the container of material and elongate flat arm members pivotally mounted on the bottom of said plunger member for pivot ing downwardly to a generally vertical position for insertion into the container of material and for moving out= wardly to a generally horizontally extending position after insertion into the container of material for resting on the top of the material within the container and to maintain said float gauge in proper position on the top of the material in the container.

4. Apparatus for automatically and uniformly feeding powder, crystalline, paste. pellet and the like material directly from the container in which the material is shipped or other container and characterized by being substantially air and moisture tight to prevent damage to the material being led and by having components thercol detachably secured together for ease in assembly and dlsussembly; said apparatus comprls= mg:

a. generally funnel-shaped hopper means for being sealingly and detachably secured to the open end of an otherwise substantially enclosed container of material and for receiving the material from the container when the con= tsiner is placed in a feeding position with said hopper means at the bottom thereof;

b. enclosed, generally vertically extending valve means sealingly attached to the bottom end of said hopper means for receiving the material from said hopper means and allowing passage therethrough when in an open iccd= ing condition and preventing passage therethrough when in a closed nonieeding condition;

c. enclosed, generally vertically extending conduit means having one end thereof sealingly and detachably secured to the bottom of said valve means for receiving and allowing passage therethrough of the material from said valve means when in the open feeding condition thereof and which may be detached from said valve meanswhen no feeding of the material is desired;

d. enclosed, generally horizontally extending conduit means sealingly secured to the bottom of said vertically extending conduit means for receiving and allowing passage therethrough of the material received therefrom and including an opening therein for dispensing the material from said apparatus;

e. driven spiral conveying means disposed within said horizontally extending conduit for uniformly feeding the material therethrough and out of said dispensing opening;

f. variable-speed motor means operatively connected with said spiral conveying means for driving same at a variety of speeds according to the type of material to be fed and the speed of feed desired;

g. vibrator means for attachment to the container of material to be fed for vibrating the container during feeding of the material to equalize the density thereof and aid in obtaining a uniform even feed thereof;

h. weighing means including switch means operatively connected with said motor means for weighing a predetermined weight of material dispensed from said dispensing opening and for stopping operation of said motor means and thus the feed of the material when a predetermined weight of the material has been weighed; and

. elongate float gauge means for being partially inserted into the top of the container of material being fed and for resting on the top oi the material thcrcwithin and for protruding out oi the container a predetermined distance according to the amount of material remaining within the container so that the amount of material in the container may be easily determined from observation of the float gauge means, said float gauge means comprising an elongate calibrated plunger member, a plug member secured to the end thereof that is inserted into the container of material, and elongate flat arm members pivotally mounted on the bottom of said plunger member for pivoting downwardly to a generally vertical position for insertion into the container of material and for moving outwardly to a generally horizontally extending position after insertion into the container of material for resting on the top of the material within the container and to maintain said float gauge in proper position on the top of the material in the container.

5. Apparatus for automatically and uniformly feeding powder, crystalline, paste, pellet and the like material directly from the container in which the material is shipped or other container and characterized by being substantially air and moisture tight to prevent damage to the material being fed and by having components thereof detachably secured together for ease in assembly and disasscmbly; said apparatus comprisu. generally hmnchshapcd hopper means for being sealingly and detachably secured to the open end of an otherwise substantially enclosed container of material and for receiving the material from the container when the container is placed in a feeding position with said hopper means at the bottom thereof;

b. enclosed, generally vertically extending valve means sealingly attached to the bottom end of said hopper means for receiving the material from said hopper means and allowing passage therethrough when in an open feeding condition and preventing passage therethrough when in a closed nonieeding condition;

c. enclosed, generally vertically extending conduit means having one end thereof sealingly and detachably secured to the bottom oi said valve means for receiving and allowing passage therethrough oi the material from said valve means when in the open feeding condition thereof and which may be detached from said valve means when no feeding of the material is desires;

enclosed, generally horizontally extending conduit means sealingly secured to the bottom of said vertically extend ing conduit means for receiving and allowing passage therethrough of the material received therefrom and including an opening therein for dispensing the material from said apparatus;

driven spiral conveying means disposed within said horizontally extending conduit for uniformly feeding the material therethrough and out of said dispensing opening; variable speed motor means operatively connected with said spiral conveying means for driving same at a variety of speeds according to the type of material to be fed and the speed of feed desired;

. vibrator means for attachment to the container of material to be fed for vibrating the container during feeding of the material to equalize the density thereof and aid in obtaining a uniform even feed thereof;

weighing means including switch means operatively connected with said motor means for weighing a predetermined weight of material dispensed from said dispensing opening and for stopping operation of said motor means and thus the feed of the material when a predetermined weight ofthe material has been weighed; and

. roller means for being detachably secured to containers of the material to be fed and horizontally extending track means for receiving said roller means and being so positioned as to movably support a first container of material to be fed in the feeding position above said feeding apparatus and for movably supporting any desired number of additional containers of material to be fed in horizontally spaced reserve positions so that when a container of material has been depleted it may be removed from the apparatus and another container of material moved into the feeding position.

6. Apparatus for automatically and uniformly feeding powder, crystalline, paste, pellet and the like material, as set forth in claim 5, in which said track means include horizontal and vertical adjustment means for adjusting said track means to receive different-size containers of material.

7. Float gauge means for use in an enclosed container of material in which access to the interior thereof is through a small opening in the top thereof for providing a reading by visual observation of the amount of material remaining within the container, said float gauge means comprising:

a. an elongate, calibrated plunger member;

b. a plug member secured to the end of said plunger member which is adapted to be inserted into the top of the container of material and having angular sidewalls corresponding to the configuration of the sidewalls of the container in which said float gauge is used; and

c. a plurality of elongate flat arm members pivotally mounted on the bottom of said plunger member for pivoting downwardly into a generally vertical position for insertion through the small opening into the container of material and for moving outwardly to a position corresponding to the configuration of the angular sidewalls of said plug member and to the angular walls of said container after insertion into the container of material for resting on the top of the material within the container and to maintain said float gauge in proper position on top of the material in the container so that said plunger member will protrude out of said container a predetermined distance according to the amount of material remaining within the container so that the amount of material in the container may be easily determined from observation of the calibrated plunger protruding therefrom.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6568567 *Feb 10, 1999May 27, 2003Schenck Accurate, Inc.Bulk-solid metering system with laterally removable feed hopper
DE2807046A1 *Feb 18, 1978Aug 23, 1979Neuhaeuser KgAnlage zum beschicken von speicherbehaeltern mit schuettgut
WO2000047516A1 *Feb 8, 2000Aug 17, 2000Ahlmer PeterBulk-solid metering system with laterally removable feed hopper
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/51, 222/413
International ClassificationB65G65/46, B65G65/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65G65/46
European ClassificationB65G65/46