US 3693836 A
A filling machine for separating feathers and down supplied in bulk, measuring a finite quantity thereof and delivering same to a pocket defined in a garment or other article for the filling of the pocket.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Eisner 154] FILLING MACHINE  Inventor: Nathan A. Eisner, Lawrence, NY.
 Assignee: York Feather & Down Corp.,
 Filed: Nov. 10, 1970 [211 App]. No.: 88,357
 US. Cl. .Q ..222/77, 141/67, 177/116 I51 1 Int. Cl. ..G01g 13/00  Field of Search 141/67, 68, 83, 59; 222/77;
 References Cited v UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,347,431 4/1944 Pauly ..141/67 51 Sept. 26, 1972 3,351,106 11/1967 Moulthrop ..141/67 3,228,563 1/1966 Rankin et a1. ..222/77 2,574,848 11/1951 Schroeder ..141/67 2,564,969 8/1951 Goldberg 141/67 2,794,454 6/1957 Moulthrop ..141/67 3,088,499 5/1963 Rieger ..141/83 Primary Examiner-Houston S. Bell, Jr. Attorney-Blum, Moscovitz, Friedman & Kaplan  ABSTRACT I A filling machine for separating feathers and down supplied in bulk, measuring a finite quantity thereof and delivering same to a pocket defined in a garment or other article for the filling of the pocket.
13 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTED SW25 I972 3.693. 836
INVENTOR. v NATHAN A. EISNER 'PATENTEDsms I972 SHEET 2 BF 4 INVFLVI'OR. NATHAN A. EISNER Maw ATTORNEYS FILLING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF TI-IIE. INVENTION It is known in the art to produce garments, quilts and otherart'icles, filled or stuffed with feathers and down.
Down especially imparts to an article substantial.
warmth with minimal weight and down-filled articles are used for quilts, sleeping bags, ski parkas and the like. Down and feathers have also been used for pillows and cushions due to their soft and fluffy characteristics.
In order to assure the" maintenance of a proper distribution of the feathers and down, articles are usually formed with a plurality of individual pockets of relatively small size which are filled and thereafter closed or sealed so that the .filling'in each individual pocket remains in the proper position. I
In producing an articlehaving a' dividua'l pockets, ameasured amount of down must be supplied to each pocket. Because of the tendency of .bulk down and featherstostick together, great'difiiculr ty. hasbeen encountered in measuring the requisite 2' BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS- t For a fuller understanding of the invention, reference is had to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a filling machine constructed inv accordance with a preferred embodiment of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. I; I
FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view taken along line 3- S'ofFIG. 2-;
FIG. 4 is a partial sectional view taken along line 4- 4 of'FIG. 1; v
FIG. 5 is a partial sectional viewtaken'along line 5- plurality of inquantity of material to be'supplied to each pocket. The
quantity supplied must be sufficient to give the article the desired bulk of flufi'mess and to give the article the desired warmth-if it is an article designed for warmth.
Over-filling a pocket resultsin a waste of material and adds to an increase in cost. v
Various hand and semi-automatic systems have been devised but none has accomplished the desired result with speed, accuracy and simplicity of operation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Generally speaking, in accordance with the invention, a filling machine is provided, capable of delivering feathers or down or a mixture thereof, from a bulk Referring now to FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment of the filling machine of the instant invention is shown in sectional view taken'along line 8- perspective. Feather material in bulk is supplied to bin ll. Mounted on a frame 12 is a hopper 13 to which the storage container or bin to the article to be filled in premeasured quantities. Means are provided for separating the, feathery material and delivering it to a measuring station where a pre-selected weight of material is measured. The measured material is thereafter delivered through a conduit to an output nozzle which delivers the pre-measured quantity of material directly into thearticle to be filled. Of critical significance is the means for separating the feathery-material so that small quantities can be delivered to the measuring station to accomplish measurement within the accuracy tolerances for materials of this type.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved filling machine for feather material.
Another object of the invention is to provide improved means for delivering feather material from bulk storage to a measuring station.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved, automatic system for filling articles with feather material.
Still other objects and advantages of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part be apparent from the specification.
The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafier set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
feather material is delivered via conduits 16 through a blower 17 operated by a motor 18. t
A base 14 mounted within frame 12 supports a scale 19 on which is mounted a measuring chute 21. Hopper 13 communicates with measuring chute 21 via a downspout 22 and a shutter assembly 23. A base 15 adjacent frame 12 carries adelivery spout ornozzle 24 andacontrol box 25. v t
More specific details of the apparatus will be described below,,the,foregoing description being intended to provide a general understanding of a preferred embodiment of thefilling machine.
As hereinabove noted, feather material such as down tends to mat and stick together in a mass and difficulty has been encountered in feeding the feather material in quantity and in breaking it up so that small amounts can be fed and delivered from one place to another.
As aforenoted, bulk material is dumped into bin 11 from the bales in which it is normally packed for shipment. By means of blower 17, the feather material is sucked out of bin 11 and blown into hopper l3. Referring additionally to FIG. 2, the upper portion of hopper 13 carries a supplementary blower 26 operated by a motor 27 to aid in the filling of the hopper. Blower 26 is arranged to withdraw air from hopper l3 and thus operates in the manner of a vacuum. To prevent feather material from being sucked into supplementary blower 26 and discharged to the atmosphere, a screen 28 extends across hopper 13 as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3. The top portion 29 of the hopper is hinged to the main body of the hopper by hinges 31 and screen 28 may be removed for cleaning and access to the hopper by means of the handle 32 attached to the screen.
To fill hopper 13 with feather material, shutter assembly 23 is manually rotated to close off the lower end of downspout 22 (see FIG. and motors 18 and 27 are activated to draw feather material from bin 11 and fill hopper 13. Blowers 17 and 26 are used during the filling of the hopper but not during the measurement and delivery of feathermaterial to the article to be Delivery of feather material from hopper 13 to measuring chute 21 is accomplished by means of the feed blades best seen in FIGS. 4 and 5. A motor 33 through a gear arrangement (not shown) drives a shaft 34 which carries a pair of pulleys 35. A shaft 36 is journaled between opposite walls of hopper 13 and carries a first feed blade 37 having a somewhat Zshaped configuration. A pulley 38 secured to the end of shaft 36 drives the shaft from one of the pulleys 35 through an endless belt 39. The Z-shaped feed blade 37 tends to cut through the mass of feather material loosely filling hopper'13 to break up the feather material so that it will fall by gravity into down spout 22. Ashaft 41 is journaled between side walls of down spout 22 and carries a second feed blade indicated generally at 42 and consisting of a plurality of flat blades 43 joined at a central hub in the manner of a paddle wheel. a
Second feed blade 42 is mounted on shaft 41 and is driven from the other of pulleys 35 through an endless belt 44 and a pulley 45 carried by shaft 41. It is noted that shafts 36 and 41 extend perpendicular to one another in spaced, parallel planes.
The lowermost end of down spout 22 has a generally rectangular cross section which is substantially filled by second feed blades 42 in a manner such that a pair of oppositely extending flat blades 43 tend to close off the down spout when the second feed blade is not rotating (see FIG. 5). Thus, while feather material is disposed in hopper 13 above the down spout, feed of the feather material through the down spout takes place primarily on a positive basis only during rotation of second feed blade 42 as a result of operation of motor 33.
It should also be noted that down spout 22, shutter assembly 23 and second feed blade 42, while extending into measuring chute 21 do not make contact with the measuring chute, clearance being provided to assure that the parts extending into the measuring chute do not affect the measuring chute during the weighing of the feather material delivered thereto.
Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 7, scale 19 isshown with measuring chute 21 mounted thereon. An evacuation tube 51 communicates with the interior of measuring chute 21 and is provided with a flange 52 whose use will be hereafter described. Mounted on base 14 is a support frame 53 to which is secured a flanged plate 54 having a delivery tube 55 secured thereto. Support frame 53 cooperates with flanged plate 54 to define a guide for flange 52. Flange 52 is freely received in and guided by the aforesaid guide so that the flange 52, evacuation tube 51 and measuring chute 21 'may move freely in a vertical direction on scale 19 during the weighing of feather material. Delivery tube 55 is adapted to communicate with evacuation tube 51 for drawing out the feather material after it has been weighed. Slight misalignment of the two tubes will not affect evacuation, it being critically important that the stationery support frame 53, flanged plate 54 and delivery tube 55 not interfere with free movement of measuring chute 21 on scale 19 during the weighing operation. w
Referring now to FIGS. l, 8 and 9, delivery tube 55 connects to a blower 56 mounted within base 15 and operated by a motor 57. The output of blower 56 is connected via delivery tube 58 to the delivery spout or nozzle 24. Nozzle 24 is supported by a block 59 which also supports a slideable' blade 61 having an aperture 62 therethrough when, in the raised position, provides a clear passage from delivery tube 58 to nozzle 24. In the lowered position of blade 61, delivery tube 58 is blocked. A support element 63, mounted within base 51 has a first link 64 pivoted thereto intermediate its ends. One end of first link 64 is connected to an armature 65 of a solenoid 66. The opposite end of first link 64 is pivoted to a second link 67 connected to blade61. In the normal position. of the blade, shown in full lines in FIG. 8, aperture 62 is below and out of register with delivery tube 58. On actuation of solenoid 66, first link 64 moves to the phantom line position shown in FIG. 8, moving aperture 62 into register with delivery tube 58 and nozzle 24. A foot pedal 68 (FIG. 1) controls solenoid 66 through a switch and circuitry (not shown) which also controls motor 57. Foot pedal 68 preferably connects to a two-step switch for sequential operation of motor 57 and solenoid 66. When it is desired to deliver feather material through nozzle 24, foot pedal 68 is partially depressed to commence operation of blower 57 to build up the feather material against blade 61, whereafter further depression of foot pedal 68 operates solenoid 66 to permit the feather material to be discharged through the nozzle. After discharge is complete, foot pedal 68 is released to immediately close delivery tube 58 so that blower 56, coasting to a stop, does not blow air outwardly through nozzle 24 to spew out feather material as article 71 is being removed from the nozzle.
Suitable circuitry (not shown) is also connected to motors 18 and 27 for filling the hopper and to motor 33 for delivering feather material to measuring chute 21. The circuitry for filling the measuring chute is controlled by scale 19 which, when in an actuating condition, operates motor 33 when in an underweight condition and shuts off motor 33 when a predetermined weight is reached.
The operation of the filling machine may now be described. After bin 11 has been filled with feather material, motors l8 and 27 are operated to fill hopper l3. Feather material is sucked from bin 11 by blower l7 and filling of hopper 13 with feather material which settles in the hopper is aided by the suction in the hopper from supplementary blower 26. During the filling of the hopper, shutter 23 is rotated to a closed position, although the use of the shutter assembly is not considered mandatory. After hopper 13 has been filled, motors 18 and 27 are shut off and the hopper is not again refilled until the feather material therein has been used up.
The next step is the measurement of the feather material. Motor 33 is activated to commence rotation of first feed blade 37 and second feed blade 42. As aforenoted, the first feed blade aids in breaking up the feather material in the hopper so that it may fall by gravity through down spout 22 and onto the second feed blade 42. As the second feed blade rotates, it delivers feather material outwardly through down spout 22 and the feather material falls into measuring chute 21. Motor 33 continues to rotate until the weight of the feather material in the measuring chute reaches a pre-selected figure at which time scale 19, through suitable circuitry (not shown) shuts off motor 33 to cease the feeding of feather material into the measuring chute. If the motor should cut off at a slightly underweight level, second feed blade 42 can be manually rotated by means of a handle 46 secured to the end of shaft 41 and shown in FIGS. 1 and 4. Should the motor cut off at a slightly overweightlevel, a small amount of feather material can be removed through access door 47 shown in FIGS. 1 and 6. While manual operations are not contemplated, the provision for manual adjustment is especially useful during the time when the scale-controlled circuitry system is being adjusted to a weight range.
After the desired quantity of feathermaterial has beendelivered to measuring chute 21 as determined by weight, an article, garment, or pre-sewn pocket 'is placed over delivery nozzle 24 and tightly held about the nozzle so that all feather material. to be delivered therethrough'will enter into the article. Foot pedal 68 is depressed to actuate, as aforenoted, solenoid 66 to bring aperture 62 into register with delivery tube 58 and nozzle 24. At the same time, motor 57 commences operation, thereby activating blower 56 to withdraw the feather material from measuring chute 21 and deliver itto the article to be filled which is indicated generally at 71 in FIG. 9. When the measuring chute has been evacuated and the article filled, foot pedal 68 is released to close off delivery tube 58 by means of blade 61 and to deactivate motor 57 and blower 56. At such time, scale l9registers underweight due to the empty condition of the measuring chute, whereupon motor 33 is reactivated to refill the measuring chute with a measured quantity of feather material. Motor 33 shuts off when the selected weight of feather material is in the measuring chute and the cycle is again repeated to fill another article placed on nozzle 24. In such manner, the cycle continues and articles are filled with measured quantities of feather material. When the feather material in hopper 13 is exhausted, the hopper is refilled by means of blowers l7 and 26.
It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efiiciently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above construction without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of. the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.
What is claimed is:
l. A filling machine for feather material, comprising a hopper, means defining a delivery exit for delivering feather material from said hopper, feed blade means associated with said hopper and said delivery exit means for feeding feather material outwardly of said hopper through said delivery exit means, a measuring device, means defining a measuring receptacle associated with said measuring device for receiving feather material fed outwardly of said hopper, a delivery nozzle, and transfer means for transferring feather material from said measuring receptacle to said delivery nozzle.
2. A filling machine, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said measuring receptacle comprises a measuring chute having an inlet and an outlet, said measuring chute at said inlet communicating in non-contacting relationship with said delivery exit means and said measuring chute at said outlet communicating in non-contacting relationship with said transfer means.
3. A filling machine, as claimed in claim 2, wherein said measuring device comprises a scale for determining the weight of feather material in said measuring receptacle.
'4. A filling machine as claimed in claim 1 wherein said feed blade means includes first and second feed blades, said first and second'feed blades being serially oriented with respect to one another in the direction of delivery of feather material from said hopper.
5. A filling machine as claimed in claim 4 wherein said first feed blade defines a break-up blade constructed and arranged to separate feather material stored in said hopper.
6. A filling machine as claimed in claim 5 wherein said'first feed blade has a generally Z-shaped configura tion.
7. A filling machine as claimed in claim 4 wherein said second feed blade defines a positive displacement blade constructed and arranged to deliver feather material from the interior of said hopper to the exterior thereof through said delivery exit.
8; A filling machine as claimed in claim 7 wherein said second feed blade has the general configuration of a paddle-wheel.
9. A filling machine as claimed in claim 8' wherein said second feed blade is located in said means defining a delivery exit, said paddle-wheel configuration of said second feed blade cooperating with said delivery exit means to generally close said delivery exit during the non-operation of said second feed blade.
10. A filling machine as claimed in claim 4 wherein said first feed blade is rotatably mounted about a first axis and said second feed blade is rotatably mounted about a second axis, said axes being perpendicular, one to another, and located in spaced, parallel planes.
11. A filling machine as claimed in claim 1 and further including a delivery system for supplying feather material to said hopper, including a storage container, blower means for withdrawing feather material from said storage container and delivering it to said hopper and means defining a vacuum system associated with said hopper for drawing feather material into said hopper.
12. A filling machine as claimed in claim 11 wherein said vacuum system defining means includes a blower having its inlet end communicating with said hopper near the top portion thereof and said exit end communicating with the atmosphere.
13. A filling machine as claimed in claim 12 and further including means defining a screen within said hopper for preventing father material from entering the inlet end of said blower.