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Publication numberUS3668818 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 13, 1972
Filing dateFeb 8, 1971
Priority dateFeb 8, 1971
Also published asDE2117289A1, DE2117289B2
Publication numberUS 3668818 A, US 3668818A, US-A-3668818, US3668818 A, US3668818A
InventorsHolmes Jack H
Original AssigneeKwik Lok
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Semi-automatic closure applicator
US 3668818 A
Abstract
A power-cycled machine triggered by the manual vertical presentation thereto of a bunched bag neck, to apply in confining relation to said neck a "Kwik Lok" type of bag closure. The machine receives closures in strip form, each closure having a narrow forward opening connecting with a heart-shaped closure aperture forming jaws preventing escape of the bag neck forced through said opening into said aperture. This strip is advanced during the second half of each cycle to feed the foremost closure into a slot in a closure applying rocker with the latter rocked upwardly into horizontal position. As the cycle is concluded, the rocker is rocked 60 DEG downward to thus incline downward the foremost closure. The next cycle is initiated by presenting a vertically bunched bag neck manually to the middle of the rocker, the bag neck engaging a trigger starting the motor which rocks the rocker to swing the foremost closure back up to horizontal position, thus flexing the jaws thereof about the bunched bag neck and trapping the latter in the closure aperture. The motor automatically stops when this occurs, and starts again to complete the cycle when the closed bag is pulled forwardly to separate the foremost closure from the strip. The next following closure then becomes the foremost in the strip and is automatically fed into the rocker and swung downwardly 60 DEG in readiness to be applied to a bag in the next following cycle. An automatic indexer prevents escape rearwardly of the foremost closure while being applied to a bag neck. The indexer also secures the balance of the closure strip against being pulled forwardly by the separation of the closure on the bag from the rest of the closure strip. Provision is also made for optionally feeding through the machine bare closures in strip form or strips of such closures having labels glued on the individual closures. The machine also has a printer for printing dates or code markings on the individual closures or labels as they pass through the machine.
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United States Patent Holmes 51 June 13, 1972 SEMI-AUTOMATIC CLOSURE APPLICATOR Primary Examiner-Theron E. Condon Assistant Examiner-Neil Abrams Attorney-Dana E. Keech [57] ABSTRACT A power-cycled machine triggered by the manual vertical presentation thereto of a bunched bag neck, to apply in confining relation to said neck a Kwik Lok" type of bag closure. The machine receives closures in strip form, each closure having a narrow forward opening connecting with a heart-shaped closure aperture forming jaws preventing escape of the bag neck forced through said opening into said aperture. This strip is advanced during the second half of each cycle to feed the foremost closure into a slot in a closure applying rocker with the latter rocked upwardly into horizontal position. As the cycle is concluded, the rocker is rocked 60 downward to thus incline downward the foremost closure. The next cycle is initiated by presenting a vertically bunched bag neck manually to the middle of the rocker, the bag neck engaging a trigger starting the motor which rocks the rocker to swing the foremost closure back up to horizontal position, thus flexing the jaws thereof about the bunched bag neck and trapping the latter in the closure aperture. The motor automatically stops when this occurs, and starts again to complete the cycle when the closed bag is pulled forwardly to separate the foremost closure from the strip. The next following closure then becomes the foremost in the strip and is automatically fed into the rocker and swung downwardly 60 in readiness to be applied to a bag in the next following cycle. An automatic indexer prevents escape rearwardly of the foremost closure while being applied to a bag neck. The indexer also secures the balance of the closure strip against being pulled forwardly by the separation of the closure on the bag from the rest of the closure strip. Provision is also made for optionally feeding through the machine bare closures in strip form or strips of such closures having labels glued on the individual closures. The machine also has a printer for printing dates or code markings on the individual closures or labels as they pass through the machine.

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SEMI-AUTOMATIC CLOSURE APPLICATOR SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Fully automatic power driven closure applicators have been heretofore available which receive Kwik Lok type closures in strip form and apply these successively to the necks of polyethylene bags containing products of various kinds and conveyor-fed to the machine. Hand powered semi-automatic machines have also been provided to which this type of bag closures have been fed in strip form which positions the leading closure in the strip and properly supports the same so that the operator may manually apply the bunched neck of the bag vertically to the foremost closure in the strip so that the jaws of the closure will be deflected to admit the bag neck into the closure aperture, after which this closure may be separated from the balance of the strip by pulling the bag from the machine, this withdrawal operating to pull the strip forward to properly position the next closure in the strip for application to the next bag neck presented to the machine.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a semi-automatic closure applicator the strip feeding and closure applying functions of which are power driven, thus decreasing the labor required and speeding up the operation.

It is another object of the present invention to provide such a semi automatic closure applicator which provides the ready option to the operator of applying either the bare closure to a bag or to apply to the bag a closure having a label glued to the closure.

A further object of the invention is to provide such a machine having power actuated means for printing dates or code marks on the closures or on the labels carried by closures being fed through the machine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention showing the same in starting position with a strip of plain Kwik Lok type closures threaded into operative posi tion in the machine.

FIG. 2 is a full scale view ofa section of a strip of Kwik Lok type bag closures such as is shown threaded into the machine in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a full scale view of a section of a strip of Kwik Lok type closures, on the individual closures of which labels are glued and a roll of which strip is provided on said machine for optional threading into the machine for the application of label-carrying closures to bag necks.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary plan view of the invention drawn approximately to one-half scale.

FIG. 4A is an enlarged vertical sectional detail view taken on line 4A-4A in FIG. 4 and illustrates the guiding of a strip of naked closures in the strip guide base.

FIG. 4B is a view similar to FIG. 4A showing a strip of label bearing closures being so guided.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4 and shows, approximately at full scale, the parts of the invention at the beginning of a power cycle in the application of the foremost naked closure of a strip of these being fed into the machine, and shows in broken lines the manner in which the bunched neck of a polyethylene bag is presented vertically to the machine so as to trigger the latter in starting a power cycle in which said foremost closure will be applied to said bag neck.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary left side elevational view of said machine partly broken away and with the outer cover removed to show the inner working parts thereof, the elements of the machine being shown as these are related at the start of a power cycle, or at the end of such a cycle.

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 5 and illustrates the relationship of the machine parts shown therein just before the conclusion of the first quarter of a power cycle of the machine which results in the motor being automatically stopped.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary front elevational view of FIG. 7 taken on line 8-8.

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 7 and illustrates the starting of the second operative portion of a power cycle by withdrawal of the closed bag from the machine thereby separating from the front end of the closure strip the closure just applied to said bag and freeing the motor control trigger from the pressure of the bag, thereby starting the motor.

FIG. 10 is a horizontal sectional view taken on the line 10- 10 of FIG. 6 and illustrates in plan the cam shaft and geared drive motor of the invention.

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 9 and shows the next succeeding relationship between the parts in a power cycle of the machine in which the strip indexer releases the strip from downward pressure thereagainst and the closure strip pick is retracted the length of a single closure and is spring pressed upwardly into position for starting a feeding stroke.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the rocker corresponding to the sectional view of F IG. 7.

FIG. 13 is a view similar to FIG. 11 and illustrates the conclusion of the closure strip feeding stroke with the indexer still lifted.

FIG. 14 is a view similar to FIG. 13 and shows the closing of the indexer on the strip after the strip feeding movement is completed and while the rocker jaw is just starting to return downwardly to its cycle closing position shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of the rocker corresponding to the sectional view of FIG. 5, with a bag neck starting a closing cycle.

FIG. 16 is a diagrammatic fragmentary vertical sectional view taken on the line l6-l6 of FIG. 10 and illustrates the operation of the rocker actuating cam.

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the rocker as rocked upwardly by said cam.

FIG. 18 is a fragmentary sectional operational view, taken on line 18-18 of FIG. 10, of the closure strip feed cam and shows the strip pick in its most advanced strip feeding position.

FIG. 19 is a fragmentary sectional view illustrating the retraction-of said strip feed pick by said cam and also illustrates the release finger for releasing said pick when it is desired to withdraw a strip of closures from the machine.

FIG. 20 is a diagrammatic sectional operational view, taken on line 20-20 of FIG. 10, of the strip indexer operating cam, this view showing the indexer applying pressure downwardly on the front end portion of a strip of bare closures being fed through the machine.

FIG. 21 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on line 2I 21 of FIG. 4 and illustrates the indexer neutralizing latch.

FIG. 22 is a diagrammatic vertical sectional view taken on the line 22-22 of FIG. 10 and illustrates the power actuated switches of the motor control system of the invention.

FIG. 23 is a diagram of the electrical wiring of the invention.

FIG. 24 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 9 but shows the machine applying label equipped closures to bags and with the indexer reversed to apply pressure to the labels which cover the closures.

FIG. 25 is a front edge view of a label equipped closure shown in full lines as it is being withdrawn from the closure flexing rocker of the invention as shown in FIG. 24 with the rocker shown in broken lines so as to clearly distinguish between the two and illustrates how a space is provided in said rocker for optionally handling a strip of bare closures as well as a strip, the individual closures of which have labels glued thereto.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The machine 30 shown in perspective in FIG. I has a sheet metal frame 31 with open sides which are covered by housing plates 32 and 33. The frame 31 includes a bottom plate 34 which is supported on four rubber feet 35 and is bent upwardly at its front and rear edges to provide front and rear end walls 36 and 37. Front wall 36 is lower than the back wall and the upper edges of both said walls are bent towards each other to form support flanges 38 and 39. Mounted on support flange 38 is a pair of short posts 40, the upper ends of which are level with support flange 39 and combine with the latter to support a strip guide base which is formed of sheet metal the sides of which are bent upwardly to form left and right side walls 46 and 47. The strip guide base 45 extends for about one-third of its length forwardly beyond front end wall 36 and has notches 48 formed in the front end thereof as clearly shown in FIG. 4. Milled in the upper surface of the strip guide base 45 throughout its length is a closure strip guide channel 49.

Resting on top of strip guide base 45 and loosely secured thereto by bolts 50 is a strip guide cover plate 51. The rear edge of this plate is flared at 52 and the plate is provided centrally with a series of slots 53, 54 and 55 which are spaced from each other by webs 56 and 57, slot 55 opening from the front end of cover plate 51 which is flush with the front end of strip guide base 45. The front corners of cover plate 51 are notched at 58 as clearly shown in FIG. 4.

Formed centrally in the strip guide base 45 which is to say in the middle of strip guide channel 49, near the front end of the latter, is a pick receiving slot 59.

Secured at their upper ends to strip guide base 45 and at their lower ends to a bag neck guide shoe 60 are four posts 61 which are equal in length to posts 40 whereby the shoe 60 is supported on the same level as support flange 38 on the front wall 36. The shoe 60 is bent upwardly at 65 at an angle of 30 and is then bent reversely at a similar angle at 66 to form a pair of horizontal guide arms 67, the inner edges 68 of which diverge at an angle of 60, these edges terminating at their rear ends in the side walls ofa slot 69 which extends from the bend 66 to the bend 65 where said slot terminates in a circular end portion 70. Formed centrally in the shoe 60 is a pair ofslots for receiving bolts 76 which loosely mount a switch actuating bar 77 for free endwise sliding movement on the shoe 60 and with the front end of bar 77 extending about a half inch forwardly of the rear end ofthe slot 69 when said bar is in its most advanced position on said shoe. The rear end portion of bar 77 extends through a suitable slot formed in the upper edge of front frame wall 36 and is provided with a coil spring 78 which biases said bar into its forward position whenever said bar is disengaged. The rear end portion 79 of bar 77 is inclined upwardly to have a camming relation with the arm 80 ofa switch 81 mounted on a bracket 82 which is secured to the inner face of frame wall 36.

Secured to the front corner portions of strip guide base 45 in the areas thereof uncovered by notches 58, in front corners of strip guide cover plate 51, by bolts 83, is a pair of bearing arms 84. These arms have aligned pins on which a closure rocker is pivotally mounted. This element is preferably diemolded 0f bakelite and includes end heads 91 which are recessed in the planes of bearing arms 84 to receive the latter and also have bores to receive the pins 85 so as to rockably support the rocker 90 on the axis of these pins. The end heads 91 are also recessed in the planes of bearing arms 84 to receive the apertured forward ends of a pair of turnbuckle pitmen 92 which underlie side portions of strip guide base 45. The rocker heads 91 are also provided with bores to receive a pin 93 which extends transversely entirely through rocker 90 and the opposite end portions thereof penetrate the apertured ends of pitmen 92 so as to pivotally connect said pitmen with the rocker on the axis of said pin.

The axis of the pins 85 approximately coincides with the front edge of the strip guide base 45 so that this axis is somewhat eccentric relative to the mass of the rocker 90. Forwardly and downwardly from said axis, the end heads 91 of the rocker 90 are connected by a floor 94 and a downwardly extending wall 95 which is integral with the rear edge of said floor. The floor 94 and the wall 95 are reinforced by webs 96. A central portion of the floor 94 has an arcuate channel 97 formed therein which is just wide enough and slightly depressed at its side edges to neatly receive a Kwik Lok type closure 98 within said channel so that the upper face of the closure is flush with the upper face of floor 94 but the body of the closure is unsupported except at its side edges and is thus free to be flexed downwardly to the limits provided by the arcuate channel 97 therebeneath. In the area of the channel 97 the floor 94 is recessed from the front end thereof to form a deep notch 99, the purpose of which will be made clear hereinafter.

Extending inwardly from upper portions of the end heads 91 so as to overlie substantial portions of the floor 94 are cantilever guides 100, the lower surfaces 101 of which are parallel with the floor 94 and closely spaced therefrom to form aligned slots 105 between said guides and said floor on opposite sides of the arcuate channel 97. juxtaposed inner ends of the guides 100 overlie edge portions of the channel 97 to loosely confine a closure 98 in said channel as shown in FIG. 8. The juxtaposed ends of guides 100 are shaped to flare outwardly away from each other as shown in FIG. 4 so as to cooperate with the converging edges 68 of the guide arms 67 of the shoe 60 to bunch a loose neck portion of a plastic bag when the same is advanced into slot 69, the importance of which will be pointed out in describing the operation of the machine.

Fixed on a shaft 106 which journals in suitable bearings provided in side walls 46 and 47 is an index arm 107 having bends 108 and 109 therein so that when said arm is turned forwardly from shaft 106, an end portion 110 thereof will be horizontal. Outstruck downwardly from the end portion 110 is a cylindrical stud 111 the purpose of which will be made clear hereinafter. Extending upwardly from the shaft 106 just outside right side wall 47 is an arm 112, the upper end of which pivotally connects with the forward end of a turnbuckle pitman 113.

Secured to left side wall 46 of strip guide base 45 is a printer guide track 114 on which a roller 115 ofa printing device 116 is supported. Journalling in suitable bearings provided on walls 46 and 47 is a shaft 117 having an arm 118, the outer end of which supports a rotary printing head 120 which is superimposed over slot 54 in the strip guide cover plate so that when it is depressed it can print a selected indicia on a closure strip travelling in guide channel 49. Pivotally mounted on the arm 118, concentrically with the mounting of rotary printing head 120 on said arm, is a guide arm 121 on the lower end of which roller 115 is rotatably mounted. Pivotally mounted on the same axis with the roller 115 on guide arm 121 is an arm 122 the opposite end of which carries an inking roller 123 which is spring biased by suitable spring means (not shown) into inking contact with the rotary printing head 120. Mounted on the outwardly extending end of shaft 117 is an arm 124, with the outer end of which the upper end of a turnbuckle pitman 125 is pivotally connected. The lower end of pitman 125 is pivotally connected to the outer end of a cam roller supporting link 126 the opposite end of which is pivotally mounted on a bracket 127 which is mounted on the inner face of front end wall 36. Link 126 carries a cam roller 128 and is constantly biased downwardly by a spring 129.

Mounted at one end on the bottom of the strip guide base 45 and extending across this base and outwardly from the left hand side thereof is a pick release arm 130 made of thin spring material.

Freely rotatable on a shaft which is mounted at its opposite ends on strip guide base side walls 46 and 47 is a cushion tired roller 136 which is rotated by a closure strip travelling in guide channel 49 and holds said strip in said channel. Mounted on right side wall 47 on bolts 137 which are vertically aligned and extend through slots 138 thereof is an indexer neutralizing latch 139, the purpose of which will be made apparent hereinafter.

Referring now to FIGS. 6, 10, 14, 16, 18 and 20, the frame bottom plate 34 has mounted thereon an electric motor 140 having a solenoid stop mechanism 141, which halts rotation of the motor when the same is deenergized, and a gear driven sprocket 142. Also fixed on bottom plate 34 are main cam shaft bearing brackets 143 and 144 which carry ball bearings 145 in which a cam shaft 146 journals. Fixed on cam shaft 146 is a driven sprocket 147 which is connected to sprocket 142 by an endless chain 148. Also fixed on cam shaft 146 are cams 149, 150, 151 and 152. As shown in FIG. 6, the cam roller 128 rides on cam 149 and the printing device 116 is thus actuated by the rotation of said cam during each cycle of operation of the machine 30. Journaling in brackets 160 and 161 is a shaft 162 on which are welded arms 163 and 164, the upper ends of these arms being pivotally connected to the rear ends of turnbuckle pitmen 92 (see FIG. 16). Mounted on arm 163 is cam roller 165 which bears against cam 150.

Journalling in bearings provided by brackets 166 and 167 which are mounted on the bottom plate 34 is a shaft 168 having arms 169 and 170 individually rotatable on said shaft. Rotatably mounted on arm 169 is a cam roller 1 75 which rests against cam 151. The upper ends of arms 163 and 169 are connected together by a spring 176 so as to constantly bias cam roller 165 against cam 150 and cam roller 175 against cam 151. Arm 169 has a bolt 177 at its upper end which extends through an elongated slot 178 in a pick bar 179 so that the pick bar is horizontally adjustable on the upper end of arm 169. The spring 176 connects to an extension of the bolt 177. This bolt also penetrates an apertured end of a turnbuckle 180, the opposite end of which is connected by pin 181 to to the rear end of pick bar 179. The pin 181 is connected by a coil spring 182 to a pin l83provided in arm 169 so as to spring bias the forward end of the pick bar 179 upwardly. The front end of pick bar 179 has a pointed end 184 which extends upwardly through the pick slot 59 and is constantly biased by spring 182 into operative engagement with any closure strip which may be fed along the closure strip guide channel 49. The pick point 184 has two positions, a retracted position as shown in FIG. 19 and a forwardly extended position as shown in FIG. 18. The pick point 184 is constantly in operative relation with a strip being fed through the machine excepting when it is depressed bythe pick neutralizer finger 130, which is shown in FIG. 19 as depressing the pick point 184 to permit withdrawal of a strip of closures from the machine.

Referring now to FIG. 20, the upper end of arm 170 is shown as pivotally connected with the rear end of indexer turnbuckle pitman 113. Arm 170 is also provided with a cam following roller 185 which is constantly biased towards cam 152 by a coil spring 190. The upper end of arm 170 is in vertical alignment with the indexer neutralizing latch 139, as shown in FIG. 21, when positioned as shown in full lines in this view. When it is desired to neutralize the indexer arm 107, the arm 170 is pulled rearwardly to lift the arm 107 and the neutralizer 139 is shifted downwardly into the broken-line position in which it is shown in FIG. 21 in which it holds the indexer in a lifted inoperative relation with any closure strip being fed through the machine. This is for the purpose of freeing a closure strip when it is desired to remove this from the machine for replacing it with a different kind of strip.

Referring now to FIGS. and 22, a bracket 191 having contact switches 192 and 193 mounted thereon is fixed in parallel spaced relation with driven sprocket 147. This sprocket carries a switch actuating lug 194 which successively engages the operating arms of the switches 192 and 193 as the sprocket 147 rotates with the cam shaft 146.

Referring now to the wiring diagram shown in FIG. 23, switches 192 and 193 are single poled switches each of which is closed when not actuated by engagement by the lug 194 and is open when engaged by said lug. Switch 81 is a double pole switch. Motor 140 has two energizing circuits, Cl which contains switch 81 and switch 192, and C2 which contains switch 81 and switch 193. When the machine 30 is halted, between operating cycles, the. bar 77 is spring biased forwardly as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, thus closing switch 81 on circuit Cl and opening switch 81 on circuit C2. At this time lug 194 has opened switch 192 which interrupts circuit C1 so that both circuits are interrupted and motor 140 is de-energized.

Rotatably mounted on a vertical bearing 195 provided on the rear end wall 37 of the machine 30 is a standard 196 with suitable indexing means (not shown) permitting said standard to be rotated 180 from the position in which this is shown in FIG. 1. A shaft 197, extending diametrically in opposite directions from the upper end of standard 196, is provided at its outer ends with reels 198 and 199, the first of which is relatively narrow and accommodates a roll 200 of Kwik Lok closures 98 which are bare of labels and which is shown in FIG. 1 as oriented with the machine 30 and supplying a strip of such closures which is threaded through the machine to place the latter in readiness for operation in applying such bare closures one at a time to flexible polyethylene bags 205. The reel 199 is somewhat wider than the reel 198 and contains a roll 206 embodying a strip of closures 98, each individual closure of which has a label 207 glued thereto.

It is to be noted that the closures 98 in either of the rolls 200 and 206 are united end-to-end in a strip 208 by adjacent closures being connected by webs 209. Each closure 98 has a narrow opening 210 at the forward end thereof with flared edges to assist in delivering a bag neck through said opening into an interior aperture 211 with which said opening connects. This aperture may be any shape but is preferably heart shaped as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 to form inwardly pointed jaws 212 on each side of the opening 210. These jaws are effective in resisting the removal of a closure 98 from any object to which it has been applied by introducing a portion of the object or the entirety of it through the opening 210 into the aperture 211.

OPERATION When threading the machine 30 with the strip 208 of closure 98 as shown in FIG. 1, the pitman 113 may be pulled rearwardly to lift the index arm 107 to form a clear space beneath this and held thus elevated by use of the index neutralizing latch 139. The strip 208 of closure 98 is then uncoiled from the reel 198 and fed downwardly under the cushioned roller 136, along the closure strip guide channel 49 and underneath the strip guide cover plate 51 until this strip reaches the front end of the strip guide base 45. The rocker is then manually rocked upwardly against the biasing tension of the spring 176 to place the slot in horizontal position as shown in FIG. 13 whereupon the strip 208 may be manually fed forwardly to insert the endmost closure of the strip into the rocker 90 after which the rocker may be relaxed allowing the spring 176 to rock this into its downward position in which it is shown in FIG. 5. The latch 139 is then lifted to release indexer arm 107 causing this to be pressed down against the closure strip as shown in FIG. 5.

The procedure just described is optional as the rocker 90 may be provided with a closure 98 without neutralizing the indexer arm 107 and merely by pushing the strip along channel 49 until the front end of the strip hits the lug 111 extending downwardly from indexer arm 107 and then push the switch actuating bar 77 rearwardly to engage the switch 81 so as to open this switch as to circuit C1 and close it as to circuit C2 whereby the latter circuit will be energized through normally closed switch 193 thereby starting the motor causing it to rotate cam shaft 146 in the direction of the arrow shown adjacent thereto. As the shaft 146 starts to rotate the switch operating lug 194 is moved out of contact with switch 192 and after the shaft 146 is rotated 90 lug 194 engages and opens switch 193 thereby de-energizing circuit C2 and stopping the motor 140. This amount of movement of the cam shaft 146 operates to swing the rocker 90 from its depressed position as shown in FIG. 5 to the position in which it is shown in FIG. 7 and with the slot 105 practically in alignment with the closure strip guide channel 49. The rocker 90 will still not have a closure delivered thereto so pressure on the bar 77 will now be released resulting in the same disengaging switch 81, causing this to close as to circuit C1 whereby the latter circuit will be energized, starting motor 140 and causing cam shaft 146 to rotate another three quarters of a revolution until lug 194 engages switch 192 and de-energizes circuit C], thereby again stopping motor 140.

During the last mentioned three-quarter revolution of cam shaft 146, the guide strip indexer arm 107 is lifted and the pick bar 179 is retracted to the position in which this is shown in FIG. 11 and then advances to deliver a closure 98 into the rocker 90 while the latter is still in raised position as shown in FIG. 13. The rocker then starts downward concluding with the rocker positioned as shown in FIG. 5. During the final quarter revolution of the cam shaft 146 in any power cycle, the indexer arm 107 is returned downwardly into engagement with the closure strip 208.

Where it is desired to print certain indicia on the individual closures 98 to be applied to bags, the printing device 116 is provided with the necessary type and ink so that it will print the desired indicia on the closure directly beneath the roller printing head 120 with each cycle of operation of the machine. The machine will then be repeatedly cycled after a strip 208 of closures has been fed into the machine as above described so that the closures appearing between the printing device 116 and the rocker 90, including the foremost closure fed into the latter, will all bear the desired indicia before starting to apply closures to bags.

After the afore-described preparations have been completed, the bunched neck of a loaded bag 205 will be manually fed, in vertical position, into the middle of the rocker 90 as shown in broken lines in FIG. 5, the lower portion of this bunched bag neck necessarily engaging and shifting inwardly the switch trigger bar 77 which, as above described, energizes the motor 140 and initiates the power cycle which will automatically apply the foremost closure 98 contained in the rocker 90 to the bag neck 205. This application of the closure to the bag neck is completed in the first 90 of rotation of cam shaft 146 which terminates with the halting of the motor 140 after the rocker 90 has been tilted from its downward position shown in FIG. to its upper position shown in FIG. 7. It is to be noted that no movement ofthe hands ofthe operator is required in this application ofa closure 98 to a bag 205, the upward rotation of the rocker 90 power flexing the jaws 212 of the closure about the bag neck following which the machine halts. This inactivity continues so long as the operator is pressing the bag neck against the front end of switch trigger 77. Immediately upon the stopping of the machine, of course, the operator withdraws the bag neck from the machine which pulls the closure applied to the bag neck from the balance of the strip 208 by rupturing the webs 209 connecting the foremost closure to the next closure on the strip. The presence of the indexer lug 111 directly in front of the next foremost closure in the strip as shown in FIG. 7 prevents more than the foremost closure being removed from the machine by withdrawing the bag therefrom.

FIG. 9 shows how the closure just applied to the bag is separated from the strip as the bag is removed from proximity with the rocker 90 thus freeing the switch actuating arm to return to its normally forward biased position in which switch 81 is released from being closed in circuit C2 and is automatically closed as to circuit C1 this combining with now closed switch 192 to energize motor 140 through circuit C1 causing a further three quarter revolution of the cam shaft 146, during which indexer arm 107 is lifted and the pick bar 179 is retracted to a position of readiness as illustrated in FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 shows the completion of the strip feeding movement of the pick bar 179 to advance the next foremost closure of the strip into the rocker 90.

FIG. 14 shows the lowering of the index arm 107 into engagement with the strip 208 at the front end of the strip guide base 45 and the start downward of the closure rocker 90 which terminates, when the motor stops, with this rocker depressed as shown in FIG. 5.

Having described the operation of the machine 30 in applying bare closures 98 to the necks of plastic bags 205, the mode by which label bearing closures 98 are applied to such bags will now be pointed out.

If the machine 30 is threaded as shown in FIG. 1 with a bare closure strip 200, the first step in changing over, is to rock the indexer arm 107 upwardly, then swing arm 107 backward to force ann 112 downwardly over dead center, while depressing neutralizer latch 139 in the way of arm 170 to halt arm 107, now extending rearwardly from its shaft 106, with arm I07 spaced upward from contact with the closure strip 200. The control bar 77 is now shifted rearward to cause machine 30 to operate for a quarter cycle and stop. The main switch of the machine (not shown) is now opened to de-energize the motor 140, with the rocker rotated to align slots with strip guide channel 49. The closure pick release finger is now depressed to disengage the pick bar from closure strip 200 and the reel 198 is rotated to withdraw strip 200 from the machine and wind it up on said reel where the loose end of the strip can be taped down. Pressure on the pick release finger 130 may now be relaxed.

The standard 196 is now released from its indexing means and rotated 180 to position reel 199 in alignment with strip guide channel 49. The strip 206 of label bearing closures carried by reel 199 is now unrolled and threaded into the machine 30. The closures 98 per se are accommodated by the strip guide channel 49 and the labels 207 support the guide plate 51 which is only loosely superimposed on the strip feed base 45 by bolts 50, as shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B. The guide plate 51 thus confines the entire label bearing strip 206 in its guided relation with channel 49 and with only a slight retarding action due to the friction produced by the weight of guide plate 51 resting on the labels 207.

When the foremost closure 98 in strip 206 extends just to the front end of strip feed base 45, the index neutralizer 139 may be lifted and the main switch may be closed. This energizes motor to accomplish the remaining three quarters of the cycle already started before turning off the main switch, thereby feeding the label bearing closure strip 206 forward the length of one closure to deliver the foremost closure into rocker slots 105 and then rock the rocker downward to its cycle starting position shown in FIG. 5, where the motor 140 automatically stops.

It is to be noted in FIG. 24 that the smooth elbow 108 of the reversely functioning indexer arm 107 comes to rest rearwardly and downwardly against a multiple layer of labels 207, the uppermost of which is the label glued to the next to the foremost closure 98 of the strip 206. By pinching this label, in dexer arm 107 holds the closure to which said label is glued against forward movement when the foremost closure is pulled from the machine, with the bag to which it has been applied.

The machine 30 will now function to apply a label bearing closure to a bunched bag neck by almost exactly the same cycle as previously described for applying a naked closure. The difference between the two cycles is found in the mode of indexing the next to the foremost closure to prevent its yielding to the pull applied thereto in withdrawing the foremost closure from rocker 90. This mode is necessarily different because the closures 98 in strip 206 are covered by the labels 207 and application of indexer lug 111 to the labels would deface these. This is why the indexing function in applying label bearing closures in machine 30 is performed by the smooth elbow 108 of indexer arm 107 being applied to the label 107 which is glued onto the next to the foremost closure in strip 206 as shown in FIG. 24.

If the printing device 116 is used when applying label equipped closures to bags in operating the machine 30, the imprint must be made on successive labels of the strip 206 as this is fed beneath the printer.

To clear the machine of label bearing closures in order to return to the application of bare closures to bags, the same procedure is followed as in clearing the machine of a strip 200 of bare closures and described above, excepting that the indexer arm 107 is now lifted from behind its shaft 106 and rocked forwardly over that shaft before applying the neutralizer latch 139 to cam arm to neutralize the indexer arm 107 during the withdrawal of the label bearing closure strip 206 from the guide channel 49. This withdrawal operation having been completed,'the standard 196 is rotated 180 to return it to the position in which this is shown in FIG. 1. This brings the bare closure strip 200 in alignment with the strip guide channel 49 whereby the strip 200 may now be threaded into said channel as above described to ready the machine 30 for applying bare closures to plastic bags.

I claim:

1. In a device for applying to a bunched bag neck, or the like, a closure made of stiff but springy sheet plastic and having a narrow forward opening connecting with an inner aperture to form jaws which resist escape of a bag neck enclosed within said aperture, the combination of:

a rocker pivoted on an axis and having a slot parallel with and close to said axis and extending through said rocker transversely of said axis, said slot being adapted to receive and closely confine one of said closures with the forward opening thereof at an end of said slot which is relatively remote from said axis,

said rocker having also formed therein, intersecting said slot, a bag neck receiving recess,

said recess admitting a bunched bag neck into close proximity with said closure and guiding the bag neck into lon gitudinal alignment with the opening and aperture of said closure, and

means for rocking said rocker toward a bunched bag neck held stationary in said recess, while a closure is trapped in said slot, to cause said rocker to flex the jaws of said closure about said neck thereby applying said closure to said bag neck.

2. The combination recited in claim 1 wherein are provided powered cycle means which successively rocks said rocker from a primary position to a secondary position thereby applying a closure already in said rocker to a bunched bag neck held in said recess,

halts operation of said means pending withdrawal of said bag neck and applied closure from said rocker, and then resumes operation to feed another closure 'into said rocker, reversely rock said rocker to said primary position and halt operation of said means.

3. The combination recited in claim 2 wherein is provided trigger means responsive to introduction of a bunched bag neck into said rockerrecess to start said powered cycle means in the performance of a new bag closing cycle.

4. In a device for applying to a bunched bag neck, or the like, a closure made of stiff but springy sheet plastic and having a narrow forward opening connecting with an inner aperture to form jaws whichresist escape of a bag neck enclosed within said aperture, the combination of:

a rocker pivoted on an axis, said rocker being shaped to receive one of said closures to support the same in a plane parallel with and close to said axis, said support being applied to said closure along the side edges thereof but leaving a free space beneath said jaws, said rocker also being shaped to leave a free space in axial alignment with and directly above said closure to accommodate a bunched bag neck aligned with said closure and held stationary in juxtaposition therewith, and

means for rocking said rocker while said space above said closure is occupied by such a stationary bunched bag neck to rotate said closure about said axis and towards said bunched bag neck to apply said jaws to opposite sides of the latter whereby said jaws are flexed around said bunched bag neck to trap the latter in said aperture.

5. The combination recited in claim 4 wherein are provided means responsive to the juxtaposing of a bunched bag neck in overlying relation with said closure to set in motion said means for rocking said rocker to apply said closure to said bunched bag neck. 6. The combination recited in claim 5 wherein are provided means for automatically delivering another closure into said supported relation with said rocker at the close of each cycle in which said rocker has been rocked to apply a closure to a bunched bag neck.

7. The combination recited in claim 4 wherein said rocker 18 adapted to receive and support a closure having a label glued thereon and apply said closure to a bunched bag neck as recited without disturbing the connection between said closure and label.

8. The combination recited in claim 6 wherein printing means is associated with said closure feed means whereby said closures are automatically printed on as they are fed towards said rocker so that each said closure has an indicia printed thereon by said means when it is applied to a bunched bag neck.

9. The combination recited in claim 4 wherein said rocker is provided with slot means in the plane in which said rocker supports said closure along the side edges thereof,

said slot means extending transversely through said rocker, a closure receiving end of said slot means being located close to said axis,

said slot means having a lengthwise dimension approximately equal to that of said closure.

10. The combination recited in claim 9 wherein said rocker is positioned to incline said slot means and a closure confined therein downwardly at the start of a closure applying cycle, and is positioned with said slot means approximately horizontal at the point in said cycle where said closure has been applied to said bag neck,

means for feeding a closure into said slot means, and

means automatically causing said closure feed means to function immediately following the withdrawal from said slot means of a closure applied to a bag neck to feed another closure into said rocker and to do this while said slot means'is still approximately horizontally disposed.

11. The combination recited in claim 10 wherein said closure feed means embraces a horizontal guide means having a guide channel for guiding a strip of said closures, united end to end by frangible webs, on the same level as the receiving end of said slot means when the latter is approximately horizontally disposed, whereby a foremost closure of said strip is fed directly from said channel into said slot means of said rocker.

12.. The combination recited in claim 11 wherein automatic indexing means is provided to hold the next closure in said strip from forward movement while the foremost closure, just applied to a bag neck, is being withdrawn from said rocker by pulling on said bag neck and thus parting the webs connecting it to said next closure.

13. The combination recited in claim 12 wherein a strip guide plate yieldably overlies said strip guide channel to confine said strip therein,

said strip yielding to slidably admit labels glued on upper faces of the closures of said strip and substantially wider than said closures,

said slot means in said rocker providing a central, closure accommodating guide way, therebeing laterally extending slots in said rocker for accommodating said labels.

14. The combination recited in claim 13 wherein said index ing means includes a lug extended by said means into a void in said closure strip, when a strip of bare closures occupies said guide channel, and

a smooth braking surface pressurally applied by said indexing means to a label carried by a next-to-the-foremost closure of a strip of label carrying closures occupying said guide channel.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3163970 *Apr 2, 1962Jan 5, 1965Paxton Floyd GMethod and apparatus for making bag closures united in strip form and dispensing individual bag closures
US3190053 *Oct 29, 1962Jun 22, 1965Kwik LokClosure mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4171602 *Jan 16, 1978Oct 23, 1979Kwik Lok CorporationSemi-automatic, power-driven, columnized, flat-plastic bag closure applicator
US4328654 *Jan 16, 1980May 11, 1982Moba Holding Barneveld B.V.Bag closing apparatus
US4332193 *Apr 14, 1980Jun 1, 1982Noyes Billy PThermal line printer
US4563856 *Aug 23, 1983Jan 14, 1986Clements Industries, Inc.Bag closing apparatus using closure tags
US4999969 *Jan 18, 1990Mar 19, 1991Kwik Lok CorporationBag closing apparatus
US5040355 *Mar 30, 1990Aug 20, 1991Barilla G.E.R. F. LliMethod and a labelling machine for attaching wrapper labels to the neck portion of bag-type packages and the like
US5442898 *Oct 5, 1993Aug 22, 1995A.P.M. Distributing, Inc.Method and apparatus for opening, filling and closing a premade wicketed bag
US6453640 *Jul 27, 2000Sep 24, 2002Max Co., Ltd.Bag binding machine
US7331155 *Mar 3, 2005Feb 19, 2008Poly-Clip System Gmbh & Co. KgClip feed arrangement
US20060101787 *Mar 11, 2003May 18, 2006Georg Hartmann Maschinenbau GmbhDevice for closing bags
US20060254211 *Mar 3, 2005Nov 16, 2006Poly-Clip System Gmbh & Co. KgClip feed arrangement
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/67, 53/131.3, 53/135.3, 53/131.5, 53/138.3
International ClassificationB65B51/04, B65B51/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B51/043
European ClassificationB65B51/04B