US 3611657 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 12, 1971 KIYOSHI INOUE ETAL 3,611,657
CONTINUOUSLY OPERATING AUTOMATIC FILLING MACHINE Filed Sept. 26, 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG, I
INVENTOR S. K IYOSHI I NOUE SHINJI TSUCHIYA TETSUO ISHIKAWA ATTORNEYS.
Oct. 12, 1971 KIYOSHI INOUE E AL CONTINUOUSLY OPERATING AUTOMATIC FILLING MACHINE Filed Sept. 26. 1969 FIG. 3
3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS. KIYOSHI INOUE SHINJI TSUCHIYA TETSUO ISHIKAWA BY Z M ATTORNEYS.
Oct. 12, 1971 KIYOSHI INOUE ETAL 3,611,657
CONTINUOUSLY OPERATING AUTOMATIC FILLING MACHINE Filed Sept, 26, 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet I5 FIGA INVENTORS. KIYOSHI INOUE SHINJI TSUCHIYA TETSUO lSiHIKAWA 34 4, WM WW ATTORNEYQ United Smtes ABSCT OF THE DISCLOSURE The leading edge of a new roll of packaging film is automatically bonded to the trailing edge of the old film roll during continuous running of an automated package filling machine and the leading end of the new roll of binding wire is automatically welded to the trailing end of the old roll of binding wire.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to an automatic package filling machine and more particularly to a machine in which a roll of plastic film is edge-bonded to form a continuously moving sleeve, the material to be packaged placed therein and the sleeve with its contents is bound at longitudinally spaced positions and severed to form a completed film package.
Description of the prior art In conventional automatic packaging machines in which the film package is filled and bound, a predetermined length of aluminum wire is wound on a supply roll for the machine and when the aluminum wire, used in binding the package, is depleted, the machine is stopped, a new supply of aluminum wire replaces the depleted supply and the machine is again started.
When a mixed food, such as ham or sausage, is filled into a tubular package in a vertical automated package machine, it is conventional to feed the food through a stuffer which is held in cylindrical shape, with a film wound on a bobbin passing between film guide rolls and being fed to the stutter. At the stuflier, a forming plate is provided around the stuffer, and the superimposed or overlapping edges of the film are continuously welded together by a high frequency oscillating electrode so that, in effect, the packed food is fed downwardly through package film feed rollers with the stuffed, cylindrical film tube being squeezed by a pair of squeezing rollers which open and close intermittently. With the tubular film package continuing to move downwards, in a vertical manner, the squeeze portion of the film tube is bound by clip members, such as wire, at two spaced locations, with the intermediate portion of the clipped area being severed to form a package food product. When the food product is thus packaged by filling it by such an automatic filling and packaging machine, the machine must be stopped each time that the film wound on the bobbin is depleted. In such a case, any of the film which is disposed between the film guide rollers and the squeezing rollers may not be used. In addition, any food which fills the cylindrical film tube and is disposed between the end ofi the stuffer and the squeezing rollers cannot be packed and must be discarded. Further, when the machine is started, the film material must be reset at a predetermined position and the starting end of the film material must first be passed through the film guide rollers and then it must be passed through the forming plate, passed through the 911,57 Patented Oct. 12, p
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention eliminates the aforementioned and other drawbacks of the conventional vertically oriented automatic filling machine and provides a new and improved automatic filling machine for packaging food and the like in a film packaging and binding machine is adapted to connect the end of the new roll ofi binding material to the trailing end of the old roll of binding material without the necessity of stopping the machine. The present invention also allows the leading end of the new roll of film packaging material to be bonded automatically to the trailing end of the old roll at the depletion of the same.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an explanatory elevational view of a conventional automatic package filling machine;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of an automatic package filling machine constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a portion of the machine shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 4 is a schematic side view of a portion of the automatic package filling machineof the present invention showing the method of welding the ends of the binding wire employed in completing the film package.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In order to insure a clear understanding of the present invention, the conventional automatic package filling machine will now be described in accordance with the illustrations of FIG. 1.
Referring to this figure, when a mixed food 10, such as ham or sausage, is packaged by means of the vertical automated package machine shown, the food 10 is fed from stuifer 1 and held in a cylindrical form by a cylindrical package film which is initially wound in strip form on bobbin 8. The film wound on the bobbin 8 passes between film guide rollers 9-1, 9-2, and 9-3 and moves into contact with forming plate 2 which is provided at the outlet of stuffer 1. The film is so wrapped that the superimposed edges ofi the film meet and are continuously welded by high frequency oscillating electrode 3. The packed food held by the cylindrical film package is fed downwardly through film rollers 5-1 and 5-2, and then squeezed at spaced locations by the pair of squeezing rollers 6-1 and 6-2, which open and close intermittently. The squeeze portion is then bound by clip wires 7-1 and 7-2, such that the area intermediate of the clip wire is cut or severed to complete the manufacture of the packaged food product.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, the present invention is directed in part to that portion of the automated package filling machine which involves the formation of the tubular film element positioned around the stuffer for initially receiving the prepared. food. The portion of the automatic package filling machine which is important to the invention is shown to the right, while the portion of the machine on the left is identical in form to that of FIG. 1. In this respect, a metal bobbin 8 carries film 4 in identical fashion to the prior apparatus with the exception that there is provided a detection roller 13 for electrically detecting the trailing edge of film 4. A solenoid 14 is energized by the detecting roller 13. A tension spring 15 is coupled to a lever 16 which is rockably supported between the spring and the solenoid. A film absorber 17 is coupled to arm 18 for absorbing or wetting an adhering tape 22' which is mounted on the leading edge 12 of the spare film 11. Arm 19 is pivotally supported and Coupled at one end to solenoid means 20 for appropriately raising lever arm 19 when the solenoid 20 is energized. A bobbin holder arm 21 is pivotally supported intermediate a spare film roll 11 carried by bobbin 23 and bobbin 8, such that when the solenoid means 20 is energized, the bobbin holder arm 21 rotates to replace the used bobbin 8 with the film on bobbin 11 when the film wound on upper bobbin 8 is completely depleted.
-In the operation of the machine thus constructed, when the film 4, which is carried by metal bobbin 8, is completely depleted, the trailing edge, i.e., the end of film 4, is-electrically detected by detector roller 13 so that when the solenoid 14 is energized, pivotable lever 16 moves upwardly (this movement is indicated by the arrow in FIG. 2). This movement is of course opposed by the tension spring 15 which tends to move the lever 16 downward at the left side of the drawing. When the spring 15 causes lever 16 to move downwardly, the film absorber 17 is depressed at the same time that the arm 18 is also depressed. Whereupon, the adhering tape 22 on leading edge of the spare film 11, which was previously wetted by film absorber 17, readily adheres to the adhering trailing edge of film 4 so that the machine is continuously fed with film strip material from the spare film supply 11 Then, when the film ends are thus adhered to each other, the lever arm 19 is raised upwardly by the operation of solenoid means 20 causing the bobbin holder arm 21 to rotate 180, as shown by the arrow, such that the spare film roll 11 is moved into the operating position and the metal bobbin 8 moves to the spare position (previously held by roll 11 on bobbin 23). After the rotation of the bobbin holder :21, as previously described, the depleted bobbin 8 may be removed and replaced by a new supply of film material which will act as a spare during continued operation of the machine and removal of the new film 11 from the roll. The leading edge of the new supply roll receives adhering tape which is disposed as previously, allowing the film absorber 17, disposed at the end of arm 18, to be operated in identical manner to the previous operation when the detector roller 13 again rides on the film bobbin carrying roll 11. This detecting roller operates such that the film itself functions as an insulator and current does not flow during the existence of the film on the bobbin. However, the bobbin is formed of metal and the detector operates under low voltage such as 8 volts and a low current such as 5 amperes. Thus, when the detecting roller 13 contacts the metal bobbin in the absence of film, a short circuit is completed thus energizing solenoid 14. Of course, the method for detecting the end of the film need not be restricted to this arrangement but the detecting roller may be, for example, disposed in contact with the film on guide roller 9-1, FIG. 1, so that when the film passes over, i.e., the trailing edge leaves roller 9-1, sensing of the same immediately occurs. Further, an instrument such as a beta-ray film thickness gauge may be disposed in such a fashion with respect to the film bobbin, that when the film trailing edge passes from the bobbin, it may readily be detected.
As an example, the film may be approximately mm. in width and '100 mm. in length and may have adhering surfaces on both sides, so as to insure, that when the trailing edge is reached, the spare film leading edge may be readily pressed onto the trailing edge of the depleted supply film so as to readily achieve longitudinal connection therebetween to simplify connection of the same. It is therefore in the broadest aspects, an invention involving the detection by electrical or other means, of the depletion of film from a first supply roll such that the end of the spare film supply is bonded or otherwise adhered to the trailing edge of the operating film supply by either adhering tape, self-bonding or high frequency sealing, so as to achieve a longitudinal connection be tween the various supply rolls. Further, after connection, a new spare film roll may be readily supplied to the spare position by replacing the old film bobbin with a new bobbin while the newly supplied film is being continuously run. This allows the machine to be continuously operated even when the existing film is completely used by replacing the same with a new spare film without stoppage of the machine It is further understood that this machine prevents the loss of film and filling materials due to the reaching of the end of any one film supply roll and yet readily increases the manufacturing rate.
Referring next to FIG. 4, there is shown another aspect of the improved automated package filling machine. The filling machine of the present invention further incorporates an aluminum wire supply 24 which is wound in a predetermined length which forms the wire clip adjacent to the severed portions of the formed film 2 to create the individual package food product. A spare aluminum wire supply 25 is disposed under the supply 20 and also is wound to generally the same predetermined length. A turret 26 supports both wire supplies 24 and 25, with the turret being readily rotated to allow the replacement of aluminum wire supply 24 with a spare aluminum wire supply 25 when supply 24 is completely depleted. This portion of the automatic filling machine also incorporates an aluminum wire feed device 27, an aluminum wire end detecting device 28, a welder 29, a trimming device 30, aluminum wire feed rollers 31, a guide roller 32, an aluminum wire drawing device 32, and means 34 for detecting the depletion of the wire from supply 24 to a predetermined amount. The detecting means 34 is attached to turret 26 and incorporates a microswitch 35 which is energized by the detecting means 34 to cause the aluminum feed rollers 31 to rotate to a higher speed than the aluminum wire drawing devices 33 of the automatic filling machine when the remaining supply of aluminum wire, Wound on supply 24, is reduced to a predetermined length so as to change the feed rate for the rest of the aluminum wire.
In the operation of this portion of the machine, the aluminum wire supplies 24 and 25, which are wound in coil form to predetermined lengths, are attached respectively to turret 26. The turret 26 may carry more than two aluminum wire supplies but in each case the aluminum wire is disposed in any desired position by merely rotating the turret 26. The aluminum wire is fed from supply 24 which is shown in position A through the aluminum wire feed device 27, the aluminum wire detecting device 28, welder 29, trimming device 30, aluminum wire feed rollers 31, and guide rollers 32 to the aluminum wire drawing device 33 of the machine proper, that is, the portion of the machine shown at the left in FIG. 2.
In normal operation, the aluminum wire is fed by the aluminum wired drawing device 33 to the package coupling area. However, when the aluminum wire of supply 24, for instance, is depleted to such an extent that the detecting means 34 attached to turret 25 readily detects the reduced diameter of the aluminum wire wound on supply 24, which is of a size causing the detecting means 34 to operate microswitch 35. Accordingly, the aluminum wire feed rollers 31 then rotate at a higher speed than the aluminum wire drawing device 33 of the automatic filling machine body to increase the feed rate for the remaining portion of the aluminum wire of supply 24 whereupon, aluminum wire is stored in the space between the aluminum wire drawing device 33 of the main machine body and guide rollers 32. When the trailing end of the aluminum wire from supply 24 reaches detecting device 28, an intermediate portion of the same wire is passing through welder 29. The aluminum wire feed roller 21 is momentarily stopped so that the end of the aluminum wire is clamped to welder 29. Then the alumippm wire supply 25 disposed at position B, is rotated to position A. Thereafter, the leading end of the aluminum wire from supply 25 is fed manually into the end of the aluminum wire feed device 27 and it is fed forward into the welder 29 so that the end of the new aluminum wire is clamped. The two ends of the Wire from supply 24 and new supply 25 are welded together, the welded portion of the aluminum wire is trimmed by trimming device 30, the coupled aluminum wire is then fed by the aluminum wire drawing device 33, as under normal operation, and this continues until a reduction in diameter of new supply 25 is reached at position A as detected by the detector 34. Meanwhile, a new aluminum wire supply reel may be readily supplied to the turret at position B in place of the old depleted aluminum wire supply 25, thus preparing for the next supply of aluminum wire which replaces again the aluminum wire supply which is depleted at station A.
Thus, it is understood from the foregoing description, that the binding wire may be continuously supplied even though the original wire is depleted without stopping the machine and allowing continuous operation of the filling machine proper.
What is claimed is:
1. In an automatic package filling machine of the type wherein a film strip is edge-bonded to form a tube, and the formed tube is continually stuffed with material and squeezed laterally at spaced longitudinal locations and bound and severed adjacent thereto to form separate packaged products, the improvement comprising:
a new film strip supply with the leading edge thereof provided with an adhering tape,
means for detecting the trailing edge of the operating film strip, and
means responsive to operation of said trailing edge detecting means for wetting said adhering tape includ- 6 ing wetting means connected to one end of a lever arm, and a solenoid electrically connected to said detecting means and operable in response to operation of said detecting means to move said lever arm into adhering tape wetting position,
2. The automatic package filling machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein both film strips are coiled on metal bobbins and movable into operative position with respect to film strip leading edge and trailing edge connecting position, said detecting means includes a metal detecting roller electrically connected to said solenoid, said lever arm is'pivotably mounted and moved at one end to said solenoid means in a first direction, means spring biasing said lever arm in a direction opposite in movement to that of said solenoid upon energization thereof, a pivotable support arm for supporting said solenoid, said lever arm operated thereby, said wetting means and said detecting roller and means responsive to completion in the connection between the leading edge of the new film strip and the trailing edge of the operating film strip for moving said pivotable support arm about its pivot axis away from said metal bobbin to permit the bobbin holder arm to move the new bobbin into operating position and the depleted film strip bobbin therefrom.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,613,042 10/1952 Dice 24258.4 3,035,787 5/1962 Ota et al -c 242-584 3,374,963 3/1968 Conti 242--58.4
TRAVIS S. MCGEHEE, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.