US 3658212 A
A multiple outlet feeder for filling containers with flowable materials has a surrounding frame which houses motor and drive means disposed about a continuously feed hopper. The hopper has a plurality of outlets each supplied with an auger type flow control, and the augers are uniformly driven by common drive means.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent illlberg  Apr. 25, 1972 MULTIPLE ORIF ICE FILLING  References Cited MACHINE UNITED STATES PATENTS I721 lnvenm Raymmld Ullberg, Washington, 2,189,018 2/1940 Robinson ..222/330 x 3,369,578 2/1968 Lampert ..222/271 3 Assigneez AILFi, Inc. Newton Square, Pa. 2,190,851 2/1940 Staege ..74/665 X  Filed: Oct. 22, 1969 Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Francis J. Bartuska  APPLNOJ 868386 Alt0rney-RobertG.McMorrow 52 us. Cl. ..222 240, 74 410, 74/665 GD, [571 ABSTRACT 222/241, 222/271, 222/413 A multiple outlet feeder for filling containers with flowable ] Int. Cl. ..G0lf 11/00 materials has a surrounding frame which houses motor and  Field of Search ..222/27l, 412, 238, 241, 242, drive means disposed about a continuously feed hopper. The
222/413, 330, 240, 410; 74/665 GB, 665 GD, 410
hopper has a plurality of outlets each supplied with an auger type flow control, and the augers are uniformly driven by common drive means.
1 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTED APR 2 5 I972 SHEET 1 UF 4 PATENTEL PR 2 5 I972 SHEET 2 BF 4 U I i MULTIPLE ORIFICEFILLING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to a filling or dispensing. mechanism for materials such as powders, dense liquids or semi-liquid substances, granular matter, and the like, such materials being for deposit in a series of containers. Machines of this nature are employed in the placement of pharmaceutical preparations in their containers, in filling cosmetic receptacles, and in similar uses, and due to the nature of these materials it is of particular importance that quantitative accuracy of fill rate be maintained. A principalobjective of this invention resides, therefore, in supplying multiple filling means usable in a production facility wherein a number of containers may be simultaneously filled, with retention of the critical accuracy factor dictated by the intended environment of use.
A further objective of importance concerns the provision of hopper means, in a device of this character, adapted for continuous material supply. It is an additional important feature of the hopper that it be readily demountable whereby the actuating mechanism may be serviced or variable accessories installed for handling particular classes of material to be dispensed.
This invention provides a unique combination of a dispensing auger assembly for each of its multiple orifices in combination with a deflector and funnel assembly which serves to standardize the fluent characteristics of the dispensed materials.
Among the additional objects and advantages of the invention are the provision of a single drive means which accurately controls a plurality of dispensers; avoidance of costly duplication of equipment components; increased uniformity of fill characteristics by avoidance of the necessity for resetting of the mechanism for separate production runs; and enhancement of fill accuracy during extended periods of operation.
Other and further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a consideration of the following specification when read in conjunction with the annexed drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION-OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing dispensing apparatus constructed and assembled in accordance with the teachings of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken substantially on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, foreshortened sectional view along line 33 of FIG. 2, looking in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 4 is a foreshortened top sectional view substantially on line 44 of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings in greater detail, the invention assembly is therein designated by general reference numeral 10. The apparatus 10 may assume numerous configurations within the scope of the invention, particularly insofar as environments of employment and adaptations for use are concerned. In this illustrated form, the apparatus 10 is mounted on a suitable standard 12 adjacent a mobile production facility which is not specifically shown in the drawings.
The apparatus 10 comprises a frame 14 which includes a flat connecting member 16 joined to the standard 12 by connectors 18. F ixedly secured to the member 16 is a motor housing 20 having side walls 22, 24, front and rear walls 26, 28, and a bottom 30 resting on and secured to the member 16. The wall 22 has an exterior lateral support element 32 fixed thereto, and an elongated, substantially rectangular base plate 34 projects outwardly therefrom. The plate 34 has an upper surface 36, and has a series of laterally aligned vertical openings 38 formed therein, serving a purpose described in more detail below. The plate is further provided with a rigidifyingbrace 40 which is fixed thereto and which has a corresponding series of vertical openings 42 therein aligned with the openings 38.
Projecting upwardly from the distal end 44 of the plate 34 is a substantially vertical side plate 46. The plate 46 is secured, as by conventional changeable fasteners 48, to the base plate.
A drive housing 50 interconnects the motor housing 20 and the side plate 46. The drive housing comprises a division wall 52, an end wall 54, and a top wall 56. Suitable closure means, in the form of forward and rear panels 58, 60 are also supplied. As is best shown in FIG. 2, the division wall 52 spans the distance between the side plate 46 and the side wall 24, and bears against the upper limit of the side wall 22.
Mounted operatively within the housing 20, preferably on the rear wall 28, thereof is an electric motor 62 having a series of pulley wheels 64 on its rotating end shaft. The motor is controlled and its operating rate determined by suitable switch means 63 mounted on the front wall 26 of the housing. The switch means 63 controls an electrical timing mechanism, of conventional design, which is not specifically shown in the drawing. The function of the timing mechanism is to control the metering of the material. A clutch brake 66 is secured on the division wall 52 above the motor within the drive housing, and has a pulley wheel 68 on one end thereof. A drive belt 70 is trained about the pulleys 64 and 68 and extends through a port 72 in the division wall to operate the clutch brake at a selected rate of rotation.
The clutch brake has an output shaft 74 carrying a driving gear 76 meshed with the apparatus drive, described below.
The drive housing has an intermediate vertical wall 78. Mounted on said wall 78 and on the end wall 54 are coaligned pairs of bearings 80, 82 and 84, 86. Drive shaft means, in the form of dual drive shafts 88 and 90, respectively, are disposed in the bearings rotatably, and each carries an inward driving gear 92, 94. The latter gears are meshed with the driving gear 76 for rotation therewith. In FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be observed that each of the shafts also carries a plurality of helical gears 96 thereon.
A major component of this invention is the new and novel hopper thereof. The hopper 98 is of irregular form having a first, substantially vertical side wall 100, end walls 102, 104, and an opposite, outwardly inclined side wall 106. The lower portion of the wall 106 has an inwardly inclined portion 108 extending from the wall 100, forming, with similarly inclined bottom portions of the end walls 102 and 104 a constricted section 110 at the base end of the hopper. As shown in FIG. 2, a series of inverted, V-form walls 111 extend between the portion 108 of the side wall and the wall 106 in the constricted section to define a series of lower open throats. The hopper has a flat cover 112 with an opening 114 therein. In this preferred form of the invention, a material supply tube 116 extends through the opening 114 and into the hopper. Preferably, the tube is angularly disposed, and has an angle portion 117 arranged adjacent the wall 106. The tube 116 may lead to a production source of a substance to be dispensed by the filling machine, or to other supply sources.
A further important feature of the invention resides in the provision of plural supply control means. A significant component of such means comprises a plurality of substantially vertical shafts, collectively identified in the drawings by reference numeral 118. Each shaft 118 comprises an assembly which includes a main or central section 120, to which is releasably joined an upper shaft 122, and a lower shaft 124. The upper shafts 122 include reduced end portions 126 which extend through bearing apertures 128 in the division wall 52 into end bearings 130 in the top wall 56. At an appropriate height (depending upon the driving shaft 88 or 90 to be employed) the upper shafts 122 carry helical gears 134 meshed with the corresponding gears 96 carried by the shafts. Thus, the horizontal rotation of the shafts 88 and 90 is translated into vertical rotary motion of the shaft means 118.
The lower shafts 124 are secured to the central sections 120 by releasable collet means 136. Extending from the lower end of each of said shafts is an elongated auger 138 consisting of a vertical shaft 140 and a spiral screw 142. Mounted on the section 124 is an agitator arm 144 which rotates with the shaft, and which has a depending side portion contacting the screw and arranged at an angle generally coincident with the portion 108 of the wall 100.
The outer or distal end of the shaft 140 has a deflector disc 148 secured thereon by a bolt 150. Thus, material fed into the hopper through the supply tube 116 is maintained in substantially constant motion by virtue of the agitators 144 and is forced downwardly by action of the screw means. In FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be observed that a tubular sleeve 152 is provided for each of the augers 138, the sleeves being secured in the openings 42 of the brace 40 in vertical alignment with the throats of the constricted portion 110, the latter extending into the openings 38. Surrounding the outlet end 154 of each of the sleeves is the upper, enlarged receiving section 156 ofa funnel 158. The funnels 158 are supported, by means not shown in the drawings, immediately over the containers to be filled by the apparatus. Thus, material ejected from the sleeves 150 is received in the funnels following impingement upon the discs 148 and is then uniformly gravitated through the funnel 150 and into the ultimate container.
As will be observed from the foregoing, where the nature of the material to be dispensed so dictates, the auger means may be supplemented or changed to other and different types of impelling equipment in order to affect the desired accuracy of fill rate. It will further be noted that the common drive means for each of the shafts insures the fact that each sleeve 152 will dispense the same measured quantity of material within any given time period.
The scope of the invention is defined in the appended claim.
1. Dispensing apparatus for employment in dispensing of flowable materials at a controlled flow rate, the apparatus comprising:
a supporting frame including a base plate with a series of openings therein, a side plate secured to the base plate, a motor housing secured to the base plate and a drive housing interconnecting the side plate and the motor housing;
motor means mounted in said motor housing;
plural drive shaft means disposed in the drive housing and operatively associated with said motor means;
a hopper, having a constricted lower portion with a series of throats, mounted on the base plate below the drive housing, the throats being disposed in the openings of the base plate;
a series of sleeves mounted below the throats;
the hopper having a cover with an opening therein;
an inlet supply tube extending into the hopper through the opening in said cover;
a plurality of substantially vertical connecting shafts extending from the drive housing, the connecting shafts being rotated at substantially identical rates of rotation by the drive shaft means;
auger means secured to each of said connecting shafts and extending through the throats into the respective sleeves;
deflector means for each of the auger means;
a series of funnel members arranged to receive material dispensed by the auger means through said sleeves, the funnel members being disposed about the respective deflector means;
said plural drive shaft means comprising vertically spaced horizontally extending drive shafts overlying said hopper and extending across and adjacent to the upper ends of said connecting shafts;
helical gear means coupling said connecting shafts to said drive shafts in alternate fashion to effect equal distribution of the load between the drive shafts;
a clutch and brake unit positioned within said drive housing and overlying said drive motor; and
a variable speed endless belt drive connecting said drive motor to said clutch and brake unit and gear means positively connecting said vertically spaced drive shafts to the output of said clutch and brake unit whereby said multiple auger means are driven at the same speed in a positive manner.