US 3626879 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventor Raymond A. l-leisler 657 Dakota Trail, Franklin Lakes, NJ. 07417 Appl. No. 39,045
Filed May 20, 1970 Patented Dec. 14, 1971 APPARATUS FOR APPLYING PLASTIC BAILS TO CONTAINERS 16 Claims, 17 Drawing Figs.
U.S. Cl 113/1 J, 140/93 B, 93/36] Int. Cl B21! 45/00 Field of Search 113/1 J;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,601,816 7/1952 Ameson 93/36.? 3,241,578 3/1966 Heisler 140/93 8 3,389,669 6/1968 Heisler 1 13/1 J Primary Examiner- Richard J. Herbst ArtorneyRalph R. Roberts ABSTRACT: Apparatus is provided for forming and applying plastic bails or straps to eared containers whereon the ears are diametrically disposed buttonlike protuberances attached or mounted on the sides of the containers. There is disclosed means for feeding the plastic bails or straps in both a longitudinal and in side-aligned manner to the applying mechanism.
' This mechanism causes the apertured ends of the straps to be brought into a condition and position to be pressed onto the large buttonlike protuberances formed or attached to the sides of the container.
Patented Dec. 14, 1971 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVIiNIUR.
RA YMO/VD A HE/sL El? Patented Dec. 14, 1971 3,626,879
5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVIiN'IUR RA YMOND A. HE/SL ER BY A GEN r.
Patented Dec. 14, 1971 I 3,626,879
5 Sheets-Sheet 3 v INVIiN'I OR.
PA YMO/VD A. HE/SLER Patented Dec. 14, 1971 5 Sheets-Sheet 4.
5 IN m m INVEN'I'OR.
RA YMOND A. HE/SL ER BY V w kiidhif AGENT.
Patented Dec. 14, 1971 3,626,879
5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR.
RA YMOND A. HE/SL ER BY AGE/VF APPARATUS FOR APPLYING PLASTIC BAILS TO CONTAINERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention In reference to the classification of art as established in the United States Patent Ofi'rce, the art to which the present invention pertains is found in the class generally entitled, Metallic Receptacles," and in particular in the subclass thereunder of bail ears." It is also likely that art pertaining partially to the apparatus for applying plastic bails may be found in the class entitled Wire Working, and more particularly the subclass therein entitled "article making or forming, and in particular to the further sub subclass entitled bails." It is also possible that art relevant at least in part to the present invention may be found in the class entitled Paper Manufacture," and in particular to the subclass therein entitled apparatus for applying bails."
2. Description of the Prior Art Bails, as such, are well known in the art and in particular those that use wire in the forming and attaching of a handle or bail to an earred container. Such wire bails are usually made and applied by high-speed apparatus such as shown and described in my US. Pat. No. 3,241,578 of Mar. 22nd, 1966. In this apparatus and in many improvements thereof, wire bails are formed from a coil of wire and are applied to earred containers having perforations in the ear. Improved apparatus where a wire bail may have an additional plastic grip applied to it may be seen in my US. Pat. No. 3,444,905, issuing May th. 1969, and also in an application covering improvements to this plastic grip as applied to a wire handle in my US. Pat. application 825,800 applied for on May 19th, 1969.
The advent of plastic containers provide many technical reasons and advantages for the packaging of water base paints and the like. In many if not all of these plastic containers there are formed or attached ears or protruding portions for the attaching of bails. These protuberances are usually molded into the body of the container so as to provide buttonlike extending portions to which, or upon which, a plastic strap or molded handle is attached. In most or many cases the plastic straps or molded handles are individually attached by hand at the point of sale, as for example. by the clerk at a store. In the present invention it is proposed that apparatus be provided to automatically feed and apply plastic strap bails or handles to earred containers at selected positions such as where the containers are filled with the product. The ears on these containers are protruding buttonlike members upon which the strap or handle is attached prior to the shipping of the container to the customer. The practical application of plastic bails or handles has occurred with the advent of improved plastic material which although quite flexible also has a great amount of strength. A plastic strap provides a more comfortable handle than a wire member because of the width of the handle. In addition to the ease of grasping, the combination of a plastic strap and container in certain cases offers economies as opposed to the general cost of a metal container and coating of the metal which is customarily provided in a container for paint. Since many of the new type paints, particularly latex-type paint, include substantial portions of water and the I like, it is required that these containers have a high resistance to water. In steel containers the rusting of the container is a problem and requires the coating of the interior steel to prevent rust. This coating operation brings the cost of steel containers to a level whereat molded plastic containers may successfully compete or may be ever an economic advantage.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION over a buttonlike protuberance formed on or attached to the sidewall of a container. Whether the container is of plastic or metal this buttonlike protuberance is of a predetermined disclike configuration having an undercut attaching shoulder portion adjacent the wall of the container into which the bail or strap enters for retention while it is readily swiveled in this undercut portion. It is a further object of this invention to provide, and it does provide, apparatus whereby the bail or strap proposed to be attached to the protuberance may be fed as a strip of material which at the attaching station is cut to a deter mined length. This strap may have a series of holes already punched at a determined spacing in the strap or may have multiples or groupings of holes already punched in the strap so that the strap may be selectively cut at varying lengths to per mit longer or shorter bails to be used. The strap may be fed as a shaped strip without holes into the apparatus wherein by means of a punch and die actuated in concert with the positioning and cutting of a bail the bail or attachment strap is prepared for attachment to the container. The positioning of the holes punched in the strap is a matter of choice providing a determined clearance of the mounted or attached bail and the container.
It is a still further object to provide means for feeding bails or straps arranged to lie adjacent to each other so that they are fed as a strip substantially as wide as the bail is long. From this strip the bail is severed from the advancing strips as it is brought sideways into the attaching apparatus. In this attaching apparatus the severed bail is bent into a U-shaped pattern for ready assembly to the container when the ears of the container are brought in way of apertures in the ends of the bail or strap. The attaching apparatus is caused to push the apertures of the straps onto the opposed protuberances of the container.
In one embodiment to be hereinafter more fully described the strap is fed into a pair of dies which, when closed, cause the strap to form an upside down U." This pair of dies grips both the top and bottom of the midportion of the strap with the ends of the strap extending below the die pairs whereupon the ends of the strap are advanced to the container and its positioned protuberances by means of pusher arms arranged to operate in stepped progression to first push one side of the aperture of the strap onto and over the buttonlike protuberance and then push the other or remaining apertured side of the strap onto and over the same protuberance.
In yet an alternate embodiment of a side feed and attachment apparatus, it is contemplated that the bails or straps are arranged in a side-by-side pattern and are locally attached to each other to provide a strip of material. The bails or straps are substantially severed from one another except to the extent that they are sufficiently attached to maintain alignment as they are pulled over a shaping form while requiring only a light separation pull at the time of attachment of the bail to the container. This strip is preferably fed from a coil and then to and over a shaping arm or horn arranged so as to cause the straps to be brought into a U"-shaped condition where they are engaged by a reciprocating finger advancing means. The ends of the bail are brought in way of the ears of the advancing container and by means of guiding fingers the aperture of the strap is moved onto and over the protuberance on the container. The continued advance of the container causes the portions retaining the attached bails to the succeeding bail to be strained so as to break apart and the now-bailed container to move forwardly on conveying delivery means.
INTENT OF THE DISCLOSURE Although the following disclosure offered for public dissemination is detailed to insure adequacy and aid in understanding of the invention, this is not intended to prejudice that purpose of a patent which is to cover each new inventive concept therein no matter how it may later be disguised by variations in form or additions of further improvements. The claims at the end hereof are intended as the chief aid toward paratus for applying plastic bails to earred containers and an alternate embodiment thereof. Two means of feeding the bails to the bail-applying apparatus are also shown. This specific embodiment and alternate embodiment thereof have been chosen for the purposes of illustration and description as shown in the accompanying drawings wherein:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 represents a fragmentary somewhat diagrammatical front view of an apparatus for applying to an earred container a plastic bail or strap fed in a longitudinal manner to said applying apparatus;
FIG. 2 represents a fragmentary view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 after the plastic bail or strap has been cut to a determined length and gripped in a U-shape between upper and lower dies so as to position the ends of the bail or strap in a determined position in space;
FIG. 3 represents a fragmentary plan view, partly in section, and showing the end of the plastic strap at the beginning of its mounting on a protuberant ear of the container;
FIG. 4 represents a plan view of a length of plastic strap having a prepunched series of holes therein;
FIG. 5 represents a cross-sectional view of the strap of FIG. 4 and showing a preferred construction of an extruded strap providing the bail handle of this invention;
FIG. 6 represents a plan view of an alternate flat strap which may be cut to length and have apertures formed therein by means of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 represents a plan view of a strip of plastic straps arranged in a side-by-side manner for feeding into the attaching apparatus which then severs the strap or bail and then attaches the bail to the container;
FIG. 8 represents a schematic plan view of an alternate method of feeding a series of straps or bails attached to each other in a side-by-side manner with the straps being fed to and over a contouring or shaping horn for subsequent attaching to an earred container;
FIG. 9 represents an enlarged and fragmentary plan view of the side-by-side strap arrangement of FIG. 8 as arranged for feeding to bail-attaching mechanism;
FIG. 10 represents a fragmentary plan view, partly diagrammatic. and showing feeding and applying mechanism for attaching a plastic bail or'strap to an earred container;
FIG. 11 represents a fragmentary plan view of an earred container as the protuberant portion is brought in way of the aperture in the bail or strap;
FIG. 12 represents the fragmentary plan view of FIG. l l but with the container further moved to strap-attaching mechanism to initially engage or mount the strap on the earred protuberance;
FIG. 13 represents the fragmentary plan view of FIG. 12 with the container still further advanced and with the end of the strap substantially mounted to the earred protuberance;
FIG. '14 represents the fragmentary plan view 'of FIG. 13 with the bail or strap attached to the ear of the container after the container has been advanced through the bail-applying mechanism;
FIG. 15 represents a plan view of the finger mechanism used with the advancing apparatus seen in FIG. 10;
FIG. 16 represents a side view of the finger mechanism of FIG. 15, and
FIG. 17 represents a side view of a container with the bail or strap now attached to the earred protuberances.
In the following description and in the claims various details will be identified by specific names for convenience. These names, however, are intended to be generic in their application.'Corresponding reference characters refer to like members throughout the several figures of the drawings.
The drawings accompanying, and forming part of, this specification disclose certain details of construction for the purpose of explanation of the broader aspects of the invention. but it should be understood that structural details may be modified in various respects without departure from the concept and principles of the invention and that the invention may be incorporated in other structural forms than shown.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1 there is shown a somewhat diagrammatic representation of an apparatus for transporting and applying a plastic bail or strap to a protuberantly earred container. This apparatus includes a back or main plate 20 upon which is adjustably carried a pair of strip-advancing rollers 22 and 23 between which a plastic strip 24 is fed in an intermittent manner so as to become the plastic bail or strap of this invention. The advancing plastic strip 24 is fed between a pair of guide shoes 27 and 28 and to an adjustable stop 30 which is disposed to provide a determined length of the strap. This length is selected so as to be compatible with the size of a plastic container 32 having buttonlike protuberances 34 and 35 which are of like configuration and are disposed on diametrically opposite sides of the container 32. Reciprocally carried by a crank arm 36 is a head member 37 upon which is mounted a pair of horizontally adjustable upper forming die shoes 38 and 39. These shoes are arranged as leftand righthand members and are each retained upon header member 37 by means of a pair of cap screws 40. In addition to maintaining these upper forming die shoes in a determined horizontal alignment, slots in the shoes permit the shoes to be moved in and out to provide a lesser or greater spacing of the downwardly extending legs of the strap as it, the strap. is bent to a U-shape prior to its attachment by the aperture portion of the bail or strap to the protuberances 34 and 35 of the container 32. Mating male die blocks 42 and 43 are adjustably carried on the back plate 20 so as to engage the inside or underside of the strap 24 as it is bent into a U-shape to cause the downturned ends to be brought in way of the protuberances on the container 32.
Not shown in FIG. 1 is means for supporting the strap 24 as it leaves the guide shoes 27 and 28 and moves toward and to stop 30. This strap is left connected to the feed strip and in its supported condition until the upper head member 37 is moved downwardly to carry the spaced die shoes 38 and 39 mounted thereon. Means for gripping and supporting the strap may be by deflectable fingers or by a supporting guide which ismoved from the path of the upper die shoes as they are moved downwardly- Whether the strap is guided and supported by deflectable fingers orby one or more movable supporting guides, the support means for the strap is moved out of the way as soon as inside corners 38a and 39a of the upper die shoes 38 and 39 are brought to and past the corners 42a and 43a of male die blocks 42 and 43 whereat the strap is begun to be bent. A knife 44 is attached to and is moved downwardly with die shoe 38 so as to cut the strap 24 at the point where the strap passes from the left edge support of guide shoe 28. The cutting of the strap and the gripping of the strap by the approaching upper die shoes 38 and 39 as they pass the lower die blocks 42 and 43 occurs at substantially the same time. This plastic strap, as it is snugly retained in the U-shape configuration seen in FIG. 2 has the lower ends of the strap 24 extending below the gripping members with these ends positioned in way of the protuberances or ears 34 and 35. Referring again to FIG. 1 it is to be noted that strap-attaching pushers are carried by cover plates 46 and 47 mounted to and on back plate 20. Piston rods 48 and 49 actuated by cylinders, not shown, cause spring-loaded strap-attaching finger mechanisms 51 and S2 to be cycled in accordance with signals generated in response to and in synchronization with the downward movement of the crank arm 36.
Referring next to FIG. 3 it is tobe noted that the springloaded finger mechanism 51, as it is moved forward by the piston, carries a rear finger portion 56 which is caused to move forwardly or ahead of a stopped midportion 58 so that the end strap portion 24a is brought in way of and around the enlarged circular disclike portion 60 of the button ear 35, pro vided on container 32. As the advancing portion 58 moves leftwardly it carries one-half of the apertured strap to and into the undercut portion 61 forming the stem portion of the protuberance. The rest of the apertured strap 24b is caused to be pushed around the disclike portion 60 and into undercut portion 61 by the delayed advancement of finger portion 62.
Referring next to FIG. 4 it is to be noted that the strap 24 is preferably of a molded plastic extrusion having a reinforced edge construction as best seen in cross section in FIG. 5. Prior to its being fed into the apparatus of FIG. 1, the strap 24 may have a series of apertures 64 found therein. These apertures, as shown, are usually slightly smaller than the maximum diameter of portion 60 of the protuberance 35 and whether the aperture is a round configuration as in FIG. 6 or is another shape, such as oblong or elliptical in shape, is a matter of choice. The shape of the aperture and size needs be only large enough so that the aperture may be slid over the disclike diameter in a rocking motion.
Referring next to FIG. 6 there is shown an alternate construction to the molded strip 24 shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. In this embodiment a flat strap 66 is slit from a larger roll and provides a strap of a determined width and a thickness. In this strap the cross-sectional configuration is rectangular and the apertures 64 formed therein may be either provided by a pair of punches and dies operated in conjunction with the apparatus of FIG. I, or may be formed by prior punching such as when the strip is being slit to width.
Referring next to FIG. 7 it is to be noted that instead of forming the bail or strap from a narrow strip as in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 the bails or straps may be formed from a wider strip of stock. In this wider strip 68 the ends 70 of each strap 71 are preferably rounded or otherwise contoured to give a better appearance to the ends of the straps. Adjacent each of these ends are formed apertures 64 like those above-described in conjunction with FIGS. 4 and 6. This wider strip 68 is preferably cut at lines 72 except for localized area which may be readily separated at the time of the attachment of the strap to the container. These localized areas permit the wider strip 68 to be fed in a controlled manner and a positive alignment to apparatus similar to FIG. 1. Of course, when this wider strip is fed into the attaching apparatus it is generally fed in from the rear of the main plate so that it may be brought in way of forming shoes like upper forming die shoes 38 and 39. Cutting knives or edges may be provided on these upper die shoes so as to sever the forward strap 71 from the wider strip 68 as the strap is bent into the position of FIG. 2.
USE AND OPERATION OF THE APPARATUS OF FIGS. 1 THROUGH 7 In the above-described bailor strap-applying apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2 it is contemplated that a strip of plastic 24, either molded as shown in FIG. 5 or as a flat strip as shown in FIG. 6, will be intermittently advanced by the gripping rollers 22 and 23 to a determined position in way of the upper die shoes 38 and 39. With the downward movement of head member 37 the knife 44 is also moved downwardly so that the strip stock is cut to a determined length and gripped by the die shoes 38 and 39 and die blocks 42 and 43. When the strap or bail 71 is arranged and advanced as a strip 68, as shown in FIG. 7, it is contemplated that the same downward movement of the upper die shoes 38 and 39 will cause the strap 71 to be severed from the strip 68. After and as the upper die shoes 38 and 39 are brought in way of the die blocks 42 and 43 the strap 71 is bent into the U-shaped configuration of FIG. 2, in which the downwardly extending ends of the strap are brought adjacent to the button protuberances 34 and 35. After the positioning of the strap and its apertured openings adjacent the button protuberances of the container has been completed, the attaching finger mechanisms 51 and 52 as seen in FIG. 1 are moved inwardly by the stroke of rods 48 and 49 actuated by pneumatic cylinders, now shown, or by mechanisms such as cams or link arms also not shown. The rear and forward finger portions 56 and 62 are caused to sequentially engage the opposite sides of the aperture 64 to cause alternate advancement of the straps 24 to be applied first to one side and then to the other side of the disclike portion 60 of the protuberant car 35.
ALTERNATE BAIL-APPLYING APPARATUS OF FIGS. 8 THROUGH 17 Referring now in particular to FIG. 8 there is represented a diagrammatic showing of a bail-applying apparatus. In this apparatus a wide strip of stock 78 has been cut so as to provide a sequence of side-by-side straps 80 preferably attached at local areas as seen in the enlarged view of FIG. 9. As shown in F IG. 9 the ends 82 of the strap 80 are locally attached to each other while being partially cut at the dashed line 84. This light attachment of the straps to each other at 84 permits the strip 78 of straps 80 to be moved forwardly by means of apparatus to be hereinafter more fully described. This strip 78 is preferably carried on a spool or reel 86 rotatably carried by a base 88 so that the strip 78 may be brought to and drawn over a deflector roll 90 whereat its path is changed from a vertical to a substantially horizontal path and condition. The strip 78 is advanced on this horizontal plane until it is brought in way of a tapering horn or shoe, as indicated in dashed tapering outline identified as 92, whereat the strip of stock 78 is caused to be bent into a U-shaped pattern of progressively narrowing dimension.
DESCRIPTION OF THE STRIP-ADVANCING AND A'I'TACHING APPARATUS OF FIG. 10
Referring next to FIG. 10 there is shown a plan view of a strip-advancing and attaching apparatus for use with the strip feeding mechanism of FIG. 8. As the strip 78 is moved over the horn or shoe 92 the connected ends of the strip 80 are caused to be bent into a configuration of a U similar to that seen in FIG. 17. As this side-by-side sequence of straps 80 is formed into a U-shaped curved relationship, the ends of the straps are caused to be engaged by a reciprocating pawl 93 which is indicated as being actuated by an air cylinder 94. The rod end 95 of cylinder 94 is pivotally connected to pawl 93 by a pin 96 so that as the cylinder 94 is actuated and the arm 93 is caused to be moved forwardly, the pawl will lay on a guideway so as to be moved in a plane parallel to the axis of the cylinder rod. The forward stroke of the cylinder extends to a determined forward limit and on its return stroke the pivoted arrangeinent shown permits pawl 93 to be swung in an are around pin 96 to a disengaged condition with the pawl swinging outwardly from the forward path parallel to the axis of the cylinder. Pin 96 is carried on a slidable bar 97 reciprocably carried in a guideway 97a provided in cylinder support 97b. On its forward movement the pawl 93 is swing into engagement with the bent over ends of the strip 78 and in its forward movement the pawl 93 and aperture engaging lugs 98 and 99 formed thereon are caused to move into engagement with apertures 100 formed in each end of the strap 80. On its forward stroke the pawl 93, with the engaged lugs 98 and 99 disposed in adjacent apertures 100, causes the strip 78 to be advanced forwardly a distance equal to the width of one strap 80 to bring the strip to the condition shown in FIG. 10.
A star wheel 102 is carried by a support, not shown, and is cycled in response to the actuation of the advance of the pawl 93 so that the star wheel 102 spaces adjacent container 104 in a determined array as they are transported forwardly such as by conveying chains 107 and 108. As the containers are transported on the conveying chains they are brought in way of a spring finger assembly 110 attached to and carried by a support 112 mounted on a base, not shown. The conveyor frame 114 may also be mounted on this same base. Although not shown in FIG. 10, it is contemplated that two opposed star wheels will be used to feed containers on the conveyor and a mirror image of the strip-advancing pawl 93 and the actuation apparatus is also provided on the left side of the apparatus. This simplified constructional showing has been made merely for clarity in showing the components and in their description. As the containers 104 are moved forwardly in the direction of the arrow the ear or protuberance 35 is caused to be brought in way of the foreportion of the aperture 100 so that the enlarged or disclike portion 60 will tend to enter the aperture 100.
Referring now to FIG. 11 it is to be noted that as the container 32 moves forward in the direction of the arrow (FIG. the protuberance 60 is desirably urged into the aperture 100. To insure that this engagement occurs reference is now made to FIG. 12 wherein a pair of spring fingers 116 is disposed to engage those upper and lower portions of the strap which are adjacent the aperture 80. These spring fingers are disposed to engage the outer face of the strap and to push the strap towards the sidewall of the container 32. In the forward motion of the protuberance 35 the portion of the strap 80 is engaged so that the portion of strap forward of the aperture is pushed behind the protruding rim portion 60 and enters the reduced neck portion 61 0f the protuberance 35. An auxiliary finger 118 insures that this intermediate forward portion of the strap adjacent the aperture 80 and in way of the disclike member 60 is pushed into the undercut 61 so that as the container is moved forwardly the apertured strap starts to be seated in the undercut portion 61.
Referring next to FIG. 13 it is to be noted that the container and protuberance 35 has advanced so that the fingers 116 now urge the midportion of strap 80 into the recess groove 61. This urging continues until finally the trailing portion of the aperture 80 approaches the rear edge of the protuberance 35 whereat the finger I 18 urges the strap inwardly to lie adjacent to the sidewall of the container 32 as seen in FIG. 14.
SPRING FINGER ASSEMBLY OF FIGS. 15 AND 16 In FIGS..15 and 16 are seen the spring finger assembly 110 in which the finger member 116 is shown as a plate of metal which is bifurcated to provide a pair of engaging finger ends. These finger ends are spaced so as to provide a gap 120 through which the .disclike member 60 of the protuberance 35 may pass through as the container is moved forwardly. The extending finger portions 116 straddle the protuberance 35 and push the upper and lower portions of the strap 80 against the sidewall of the container 32. Spring finger 118 is also preferably a sheet metal member and, as shown, is pivotally carried on a threaded post I22 and by means of a spring 124 is urged against an adjustable stop nut 126 which acts as a supporting shoulder for the finger 118. A threaded post 128 carriers a nut 130 which is adjusted to position the other end of the finger 118 in the space between fingers 116 so that it will first engage then be deflected outwardly to slide over the face of the protuberance 35 as it is moved forwardly. Whether of spring-tempered metal or of plastic, finger members 116 and 118 need have only a little elasticity to accommodate size variations.
USE AND OPERATION OF THE APPLYING MECHANISM OF FIGS. 8 THROUGH 17 The container 32 to be bailed may be either a tapered container 32 such as is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 or may be a straight sided container 132 as seen in FIG. 17. This container is preferably of plastic but may be of fiber, paperboard, or may be of metal or combinations thereof. No matter what the composition of the container it is provided with buttonlike protuberances such as protuberance 35 shown throughout the several drawings. These containers are preferably advanced and carried on roller chains I07 and 108 and the like. On these chains the container may be caused to rotate on its botmm to provide an orientation whereat the protuberances 35 are brought into a determined alignment which is transverse of the forward path of the container. In this manner each protuberance is brought in way of an apertured end of a bail or strap such as the strap of FIG. 9. In the apparatus of FIG. 10 the protuberances 35 on the container 132 as it and they are advanced begin to enter an aperture as in FIG. 1 l. The strap 80 is held in a determined position as the strap and aperture 80 areurged into the undercut 61 as the container is moved relative to the fingers 116. The forward end of the fingers I16 press the strap tightly against the side of the container so that the strap is positively engaged in the undercut or the recess 61. As the fingers l 16 slide along the strap 80 they press the strap against the container. The finger 118 in its biased mounting presses the midportion of the apertured strap first into the forward portion of the undercut 61 and then as it is slid over the protuberance engages the rear portion so that the strap is positively engaged in the recess 61 as the container and finger mechanism is moved relative to each other.
In the cycling mechanism of FIG. 10 it is to be noted that the reciprocating motion is shown as provided by the cylinder 94 which causes the pivoted arm 93 to be moved into and from engagement with the apertured holes 100 of the straps 80. In their forward condition the lugs 98 and 99 maintain the two straps adjacent the one being attached in a fixed position as the container moves forwardly. After the forward strap is firmly mounted on the advancing container the continued advance causes the engaging points 84 of the straps 80 to be strained beyond the tensile strength to cause the straps to be severed by the forward advancing container. Positive advancement of the container may be provided by means of the star wheels 102 as they are rotated towards each other to move the container forwardly. This preferred manner of severing the straps from the succeeding straps is a simple yet effective operation. As held by the lugs 98 and 99 the straps are caused to be positively aligned as far as positioning the apertures is concerned. After the container is released by the star wheels the bailed container is now delivered on chains 107 and 108 to a discharge or accumulating area while the succeeding container is brought forwardly on the chains and by means of mechanism, not shown, into positive alignment so that the protuberances of this container may be engaged by the apertures of the next bail or strap which at the same time has been advanced forwardly by the cycling of the arm 93. After the strap has been severed the arm 93 is cycled to cause lug portions 98 and 99 to be swung outwardly and then the cylinder continues to move arm 93 rearwardly until it reaches a determined rear limit where it again is cycled to again swing the lugs towards and into apertures 100 but at one station or strap back of the prior engagement to reengage the strip 78 of straps 80. The leading strap 80 ahead of the lugs is then moved forwardly by means of lugs 98 and 99 as they engage the apertures of the next two straps to cause the forward strap to be brought into a fixed relationship and position with the advancing containers.
It is of course recognized; that the straps 80 in the mechanism of FIG. 10 could be drawn rearwardly with finger apparatus 110 to cause the straps to be mounted to the protuberances 35 while the container was fixed in position. Also combined relative motion could be achieved by moving both container and finger apparatus; however. this provides only the same sequential stepwise mounting of the aperture on the protuberance.
Terms such as left, right, up," down," bottom, top, front." back," in," out" and the like are applicable to the embodiments shown and described in conjunction with the drawings. These terms are merely for the purposes of description and do not necessarily apply to the position in which the bail or strap-applying apparatus may be constructed or used.
The conception of this bail or strap-applying apparatus as above-described and shown and its many applications is not limited to the specific embodiments shown but departures therefrom may be made within the scope of the accompanying claims and protection is sought to the broadest extent the prior art allows.
What is claimed is:
v 1. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers having a pair of diametrically disposed buttonlike protuberances with each having a reduced diameter attaching portion, said plastic bails being in the form of straps of determined length, with each bail-strap having at least two apertures formed therein, each aperture sized so as to be slidable over the greatest diameter of the protuberance and to be freely rotatable on the reduced diameter attaching stem portion, said bail-applying apparatus including: (a) a supply strip of plastic from which many like-sized bail-straps are severed; (b) means for advancing said supply strip of plastic an amount sufficient to permit one bail-strap to be cut from the supply strip and after cutting to position said bail-strap in way of a pair of upper die shoes movable toward a pair of die blocks so that said bail-strap is gripped between the upper die shoes and die blocks to form an inverted U-shape with the ends of the strap extending a determined distance below the die blocks and in a spaced array; (c) conveying and orienting means for transporting containers having a pair of buttonlike protuberances provided on the sidewall of the container and to bring these protuberances in way of the apertures in the ends of the inverted U-shape bailstrap; (d) a pair of pusher members adapted to be moved towards and away from each other and with each pusher member having at least two finger portions shaped so as to pass by the buttonlike protuberance, and (e) means for successively moving said finger portions towards the container so that the first of the finger portions passes by the protuberance after which another finger portion is moved toward the container to pass by the protuberance at another position whereby the downwardly extending end of the strap is positioned so that with the aperture in way of the protuberance the successive movement of the finger portions as they engage the strap to cause the alternate sides of the strap adjacent the aperture to be moved past the buttonlike portion of the protuberance and into a pivotally mounted condition on the reduced diameter portion of the protuberance,
2v Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 1 in which the upper die shoes are carried on a header member reciprocably movable towards the die blocks, and in which the upper die shoes are adjustably mounted so as to be movable towards and away from each other and the die blocks are adjustably mounted so as to also be movable towards and away from each other and with the adjustable movement of the upper die shoes and the die blocks disposed in planes parallel to each other so that the legs of the U-shape may be caused to be formed at any selected distance between the maximum and minimum adjustable distance of the upper die shoes and die blocks.
3. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 2 in which the plastic bail is a strap fed from a longer length of the same width and to the apparatus in an end-to-end manner and in which the strap is cut from the longer length by a knife actuated when the upper die shoes are moved toward the die blocks.
4. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 3 in which the strap is rectangular in cross-sectional configuration and is fed by a pair of inwardly turning rollers intermittently rotated to provide a strap feeding advancement of selected extent.
5. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 3 in which the knife is carried by one of the upper die blocks, said knife providing a shear cut of the bail as the knife is moved to and by a fixed support block.
6. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 2 in which the strap after being fed to a determined length has at least two apertures formed intermediate its ends by punching means actuated prior to the upper die shoes being moved into bending engagement with the die blocks to cause the strap to be formed into a U-shape.
7. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 2 in which the plastic bail is a strap fed from a strip substantially as wide as the bail is long, said strip being intermittently fed to the apparatus in increments equal to the width of the strap, and in which there is provided means for severing one strap from the strip as the upper die shoes are moved toward the die blocks.
8. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 7 in which the means for severing the bail from the strip is a knife means provided on the upper die shoes and cutting support means provided on a back plate of the apparatus.
9. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 7 in which the bail has been precut to a determined shape with at least two apertures provided in each bail and the outer configuration of the bail being cut to shape except for locally attaching portions by which the several straps are maintained as an aligned and connected strip until severed one-at-a-time for bending and mounting to the protuberances on the container.
10. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 2 in which the finger portions of the pushers are two in number and are substantially diametrically opposed with at least one finger portion being spring-biased forwardly with a lost-motion provision to permit the finger portion to remain in a determined forward position while and as the other finger portion is being moved into a like forward condition.
11. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers having a pair of diametrically disposed buttonlike protuberances with each having a reduced diameter attaching portion. said plastic bails being in the form of straps of determined length, with each strap having at least two apertures formed therein and with each aperture sized so as to be slidable over the greatest diameter of the protuberance and to be freely rotatable on the reduced diameter attaching stem portion, said bail-applying apparatus including: (a) a supply strip of plastic form which many like-sized bail straps are severed; (b) means for advancing a supply strip of plastic precut into side-by-side bail straps with at least two apertures provided in each bail strap and with the straps locally attached at at least two portions by which the straps may be maintained as a strip until separated one-at-atime after mounting on the container; (c) means for intermittently advancing the supply strip an amount equal to the width of one bail-strap; (d) means for bending the supply strip into a U-shape and positioning the ends of the strap so as to extend into the path of a container transported in an oriented manner and in timed relationship to the advancing of the strip, and (e) a pair of spring finger assemblies each disposed to engage the depending end of the strap to guide and press the apertured end of the bail to and around the buttonlike protuberance as the container is advanced past said held depending end of the strap.
12. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 11 in which the means for advancing a precut supply strip of plastic is a pivoted pawl having a pair of aperture engaging lugs provided thereon, the lugs disposed to engage the apertures of two straps one of which is the next succeeding bail-strap to the bail being attached to the container.
13. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 12 in which the pivoted pawl is actuated by a cylinder with the pawl being swung from a start into an engaging position whereat the lugs are caused to engage selected apertures in the ends of the straps after which the pawl is advanced forwardly a distance equal to the width of one bail and after a period of time the cylinder is actuated to cause the pivoted pawl to be swung outwardly to disengage the lugs from the strip after which the pawl is moved rcarwardly to the pawl start position.
14. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim ll in which the means for bending the supply strip into a U-shape is by drawing the strip over a tapering horn whereat the strip is caused to be bent into a U-shape of progressively narrowing dimension.
15. Apparatus for applying plastic bails to containers as in claim 11 in which each spring finger assembly includes a bifurcated member providing spaced finger ends providing a gap through which the protuberance may pass and in which an intermediate spring-biased finger is pivotally mounted so that its tion of the finger ends and in which the intermediate spring finger is mounted intemiediate its ends on a pivoted support so as to be slidable upwardly on said support to deflect a spring when its outer finger end is moved from a determined position and with the inner end of the intermediate finger adjustably maintained and carried on a support post.
Po-ww UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent N 3,626,879 Dated December l l'th, 1971 Inventor) Raymond A. Heisler It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Pin the Abstract: line 2, "eared" should read earred 7 Col. 1, line 67, "ever" should read even Col. 2, line 3, "dis-" should read disc Col. 2, line 1', "clike" should read like Col. 3, line 20; Col. l, lines 35 39 and 63;
C01. 5, line 71; Col. 6, line +2; Iv Col. 9, lines 17, 22, &7 and 71; Col. 10, lines 68 and 69, "U-shape" or "II-shaped" should read "U' shape or --"U"-shaped Col. 5, lines P, 9 and 22; C01. 6, line 8; Col. 7,
lines 9, 26 and 4 "disclike" should read disc-like Col. 5, lines 20 and 21, "cho-ice" should read choice Col. 6, line 3 "now" should read not Col. 8, line 49, "reengage" should read re-engage Col. 8, lines 63 and 6 end quotes should appear before comma.
Col. 10, line 32, "form" should read from Col. ll line 2, insert the word three between "these" and "finger".
Signed and sealed this 16th day of May 1972.
Lltt '3 J EDP-JARD LLFLETCZLE ,JR. HOB-LET GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commi sioner of Patents