US 3717973 A
A charge or batch of compressible material is first compressed and is then advanced into the interior of a packaging enclosure, such as a package wrapper, while the wrapper is supported in distended condition. The wrapper has an inside dimension smaller than the charge of compressible material to be inserted prior to compression thereof but larger than the compressed charge. After advancement of the compressed charge into the interior of the wrapper, both the wrapper and the charge are delivered from the apparatus at the same rate, and concurrently the compression is released so that the package is completed as the wrapper and charge are being delivered from the apparatus.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 tion Corporation, Valley Forge, Pa.
Brady, Jr. 1 Feb. 27, 1973  PACKAGING COMPRESSIBLE 3,513,628 5/1970 Lee et al. ..53/124 cc MATERIAL Primary Examiner-Travis S. McGehee  Inventor: William A. Brady, Jr., Norristown, AtmmeySYnneSt/edt & Lechfler 1 H 5 ABSTRA T  Assignee: Certain-Teed Saint Gobain Insula- 7] C A charge or batch of compressible material is first compressed and is then advanced into the interior of a packaging enclosure, such as a package wrapper, while the wrapper is supported in distended condition. The wrapper has an inside dimension smaller than the charge of compressible material to be inserted prior to compression thereof but larger than the compressed charge. After advancement of the compressed charge into the interior of the wrapper, both the wrapper and the charge are delivered from the apparatus at the same rate, and concurrently the compression is released so that the package is completed as the wrapper and charge are being delivered from the apparatus.
7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PAIENTEDFEBZT ms SHEET 1 OF 3 ATTORNEYS PATENTEDFEBZYW I 3 ,717, 973
'12 MW; 10a.
ymum A. BRADY 3Q.
PACKAGING COMPRESSIBLE MATERIAL This. invention relates. to the packaging of materials and particularly to the packaging of compressible materials, such as rolls, bats or boards of fibrous insulation, which may be either faced or unfaced. The invention is applicable to the packaging of such materials in various forms of package enclosures, such as sleeves, bags or cartons. In a typical application of the invention, rolls of glass fiber insulation, either with or without a paper facing sheet at one side, are packaged in a sleeve formed, for example, of any suitable wrappingpaper, and this constitutes apreferred embodiment of the invention, in view of which the invention is described hereinafter in connection with such use.
As is known, insulation materials such as glass fiber insulation adapted for use in walls or. ceilings necessarily requires the presence of a large percentage of voids within the body of the insulation in order to properly perform the desired heat insulating functionflBecause of this, unless the insulation is compressed at the time of packaging it is unnecessarily bulky and wasteful of available shipping volume. It has therefore been proposed that such insulating materials be compressed for packaging purposes, in consequence of which the shipping volume is reduced.
The present invention is concerned with an improved apparatus and method for compression packaging of any compressible material such as various forms of fibrous insulation.
It is also an object of the invention to providean apparatus and method for making improved insulation packages; especially from rolls of fibrousinsulation, in which the general overall shape of. the packaged roll is rectangular, rather than cylindrical, thereby providing a package which is more economical with respect to storage and shipping space required. The stacking of any such round shaped articles naturally leaves relatively large unoccupied voids between the curved surfaces of adjoining articles, whereas the generally rectangular or oblong shaped packages of the present invention leave much smaller unoccupied voids therebetween.
It is an object of the invention to provide equipment and a method for packaging according to which a package wrapper at least in part in tubular form is supported in distended condition at a .work station and a package charge of the compressible material is first compressed from a dimension larger than the interior of the wrapper to a size smaller than the interior of the wrapper prior to insertion of the charge into the wrapper. In this way insertion of the compressed charge into the wrapper is greatly facilitated, as compared with any system in which the wrapper snugly fits the charge at the time the charge is inserted, or .in which the wrapper is applied in sheet form to the product.
Accordingly to another aspect of the invention, provision is made for automatically timed ejection from the packaging equipment ofthe wrapperalong with the compressed charge positioned therein, thereby avoiding the necessity of manually synchronizing these operations.
In the packaging of rolls of fiber insulation, the invention has a further object the compression of the roll transverse to the roll axis by applying pressure at diametrically opposite sides of the roll, so that the roll assumes a somewhat elongated shapein a direction transverse to the axis of the roll. With the roll compressed in this way the roll may be inserted into an elongated package wrapper of generally rectangular shape, which is more economical from the standpoint of shipping volume, as compared with the roll in its initial substantially round shape.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide for the packaging of insulation or other compressible materials in a manner requiring minimum manual handling.
How the foregoingobjects and advantages are attained together with others which will occur to those skilled in the art will appear more fully from the following description referring to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an outline elevational view of an apparatus constructed according to the present invention and arranged for the compression packaging of rolls of insulation;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational view of the right hand end portion of the equipment shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view on the scale of FIG. 2 but showing the equipment of FIG. 2 in plan;
FIG. 4 is an end elevational view on the scale of FIGS. 2 and 3, taken as indicated by the line 4-4 on FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is an isometric view of a completed package of a wrapped insulation roll as delivered from the equipment shown in FIGS. 1-4.
As viewed in FIG. 1, the equipment includes three general sections. Thus, toward the left of the figure a feed section is illustrated at A, this portion of the equipment providing for automatic sequential delivery of individual rolls of insulation in spaced relation to each other. The spaced rolls are received in the compression section of the equipment indicated generally by the letter Band in which the individual rolls are compressed and flattened as above described. The compressed rolls, each of which constitutes a package charge is delivered from the compression section B into the entrance end of the loading section C, in which each flattened roll or chargeis inserted in a package wrapper.
In considering the structural features and the various devices utilized in the equipment of the invention, reference is first made to the details of construction of the loading section C, which is shown not only in FIG. 1 but also in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4.
As above indicated, the package enclosure or wrapper may comprise any of a variety of packaging containers, such as a carton, a bag, or a sleeve. In all instances, such containers have a side wall or tubular part, in the case of acarton or bag, the tubular part being closed at one end and open at the other, at least until after the package charge has beeninserted. In the case of a sleeve, the tubular part is open at both ends, at least prior to loading the charge into the wrapper. Although inmost instances, the tubular portion of the container or package wrapper is of substantially uniform cross section throughout its length, the invention is alsoapplicable where the tubular portionof the which the charge is inserted during the packaging operation.
In this specification and claims, the references to a tubular package wrapper is intended to be applicable to any of the forms of container or package device mentioned above, i.e., to sleeves, cartons and bags.
In the embodiment illustrated in the drawings the container or package device comprises a tubular package wrapper in the form of a sleeve 6 which is open at both ends and which is of substantially uniform cross section throughout its length. The tubular wrapper 6 is adapted to be supported in distended or open condition by means of a pair of spaced guides or shoes 77, which are channel spaced and positioned at a work station, one above and the other below the path of feed or advancement of the package charge. The lower channel 7 is fixedly mounted upon the upright supporting posts 8-8, these posts 8 comprising any suitable structural members such as the channel beams illustrated. The upper guide or shoe 7 is rigidly connected with the vertically extended channel pieces indicated at 9 which embrace the posts or supports 8 and which are vertically adjustable as by the bolt and slot connections 10-10, so that the vertical distance between guide shoes 7 may be adjusted, thereby adapting the equipment to the packaging of compressed charges of different dimension.
The package wrapper, for instance the sleeve indicated at 6, is adapted to be applied to the supporting shoes 7 from the right hand end of the equipment as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, in the direction indicated by the arrow 6c. To facilitate this operation the right hand end portions of the guide shoes 7 are tapered inwardly somewhat as indicated at 7a. When the wrapper is inserted to the position indicated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, it is then ready to receive a compressed package charge, for instance the package charge indicated in dot dash lines at 11 in FIGS. 2 and 3. From FIGS. 2 and 3 it will be seen that the compressed package charge about to be introduced into the sleeve 6 is flattened or somewhat oblong in shape and is positioned for endwise insertion into the sleeve 6.
The package charge such as indicated at 11 in FIGS. 2 and 3 is compressed to the shape there shown by the equipment shown principally in FIG. 1. Here it will be seen that at the left, in section A of the equipment, there is an inclined feed through 12 adapted to receive the uncompressed rolls of insulating material such as those indicated by the letter P. These rolls are wound about the horizontal center axis which, as viewed in FIG. 1, would lie perpendicular to the plane of the figure, the rolls, in a typical case, being about 24 inches in diameter and about 16 inches wide, as is common with building insulation material. These rolls may be delivered in sequence and somewhat spaced from each other by the revolving gate 13, the rolls being advanced merely by gravity down the chute 12 to the entrance end of the section B of the equipment, which is the section in which the rolls are compressed.
The equipment of section B includes a lower conveyor indicated diagrammatically at 14 mounted by means of supporting rolls l and 16, and an upper conveyor indicated at 17 mounted by means of supporting rolls 18 and 19, a central idler roll 20 being provided so that the operating run (the lower side) of the conveyor 17 is divided into two portions, the entrance end portion being inclined with respect to the lower conveyor belt 14 and the discharge end portion lying parallel to the lower conveyor belt 14.
The supporting rolls 18, 19 and 20 for the upper conveyor belt 17 are mounted upon a supporting frame indicated at 21 and this frame, in turn, is carried by the posts or standards 22 and 23 arranged in pairs toward the entrance and discharge ends of the section B. All four of these posts are provided with rack teeth 24, which mesh with pinions 25 (see particularly FIGS. 2 and 3), the pinions being mounted upon transverse shafts 26 which are journaled in bearings carried by the frame 21. The pinion shafts 21 also carry worm wheels 27 with which the worms 28 mesh. The worms 28 are carried by an operating or control shafting 29 having an operating crank 30.
The foregoing system of support for the upper conveyor belt 17 provides freedom for vertical adjustment of the belt or conveyor as a unit, thereby providing for accommodation of insulation rolls or other compressible package charges of different sizes. The adjustment of the upper conveyor 17 is preferably such as to comfortably accommodate the diameter of the rolls delivered to the entrance end of the compression section by the gate 13, for instance the roll indicated at P1. The two conveyor belts 14 and 17 are driven at the same surface speed, in view of which the roll, for instance the roll P1, is advanced and compressed progressively through a stage such as indicated at P2 and finally to the somewhat rectangular shape indicated at P3, which is essentially the shape of the package charge shown at 11 in FIGS. 2 and 3.
A compressed or flattened package charge, such as indicated at 11 in FIGS. 2 and 3 is delivered from the compressing conveyors 14 and 17 to the loading conveyors provided in the loading section of the equipment. As shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, the loading conveyors 31 and 32 are nested within the side flanges 7b of the guide shoes 7. Conveyors 31 and 32 are mounted by means of supporting rolls 33 which are journaled within the guide shoes 7.
The conveyor 32 is thus adjustable along with the upper guide shoe 7 when the adjustment bolts 10 are loosened in order to permit the channels 9 to move vertically on the posts 8.
The conveyors 31 and 32 are advantageously driven at a surface speed equal to the speed of drive of the conveyors l4 and 17, so that when a package charge is delivered from the compression section of the equipment into the loading section, the compressed charge is continued in its advancement at the same rate and, from inspection of FIGS. 2 and 3 it will be seen that this advancement will carry the charge, for example the charge shown at 11, into the interior of the tubular wrapper 6, for instance to the position illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4, on which the package charge 11 is also indicated.
Any suitable drive mechanism may be provided, one example being somewhat diagrammatically indicated in FIGS. 2 and 3. As there shown the power unit 34 is provided with an output sprocket 35 which is coupled by means of chain 36 with a sprocket on the shaft 37 of the drive roll 16 for the lower conveyor 14. Chain 36 is also extended upwardly for cooperation with a sprocket on the shaft 38 of the drive roll 19 for the upper conveyor 17. An idler sprocket 39 cooperates with chain 36. A shaft 40 is coupled by means of sprockets and chain 41 with the shaft 37 and power is delivered from the shaft 40 through sprockets and a chain 42 to the lower roll 33 for the lower conveyor 31 of the loading section, A chain 43 with appropriate idler sprockets delivers power from the shaft 40 to the shaft of the drive roll 33 for the upper conveyor 32 of the loading section. Provision for accommodating the vertical motion of the upper guide shoes 7 and the upper loading conveyor 32 may be introduced in the drive system in any desired manner, as by change in position of certain of the idler sprockets, or by the change in the length of the sprocket chains employed. Similarly, provision may be made for accommodating the vertical adjusting motion of the supporting roll 19 for the upper conveyor 17 of the compressing section of the equipment.
Attention is now directed to the provision of rolls 44 and 45 which are mounted by means of pivoted frames 46 and 47, the frame 46 being pivoted at 48 on the .posts 8 and the frame 47 being pivoted at 49 on the vertically adjustable channels 9, so that the pivot axis 49 and the frame 47 are adjustable vertically along with the upper guide shoe 7 and the upper loading conveyor The rolls 44 and 45 are advantageously formed of a material adapted to provide an effective friction driving engagement with the outer surface of the package wrapper applied to the guide shoes 7. For instance, these rolls 44 and 45 may be made of soft rubber or may have surface configurations adapted to increase the driving effect, when the rolls are brought into pressure engagement with the package wrapper against the guide shoes 7.
The pivoted frames 46 and 47 provide for niotion of the rolls 44 and 45 toward and away from the package wrapper on the guide shoes 7, and this motion is effected by means of the fluid pressure piston and cylinder devices indicated at 50 and 5 1.
The rollers 44 and 45 may be driven by means of chain and sprocket connections including the chains indicated at 52 and 53 which cooperate with sprockets mounted on the driven shafts for the drive rolls 33 provided for the lower and upper loading conveyors 31 and 32. The sizes of the sprockets and the diameter of the rolls 44 and 45 is arranged to provide for a roll surface speed equal to the surface speed of the loading conveyors 31 and 32, thereby providing for ejection or delivery of the package wrapper from the guide shoes 7 at the same speed at which the compressed package is delivered from the loading conveyors.
Although the arms 46 and 47 could be manually actuated, either directly by mechanical linkage connected with the arms 46 and 47, or through manual actuation of a fluid pressure supply system for the piston and cylinder devices 50 and 51, in the preferred form of the apparatus, provision is made for automatic ac tuation of the cylinders 50 and 51 to advance the drive rolls 44 and 45 into pressure engagement with the package wrapper in:timed relation to the advancement of the package charge into the interior of the distended package wrapper. This may be accomplished by employment of a photoelectric control device located, for example, as indicated at 54 in'FIGS. 2 and 3. Any suitable control system may be utilized to activate the piston and cylinder devices 50 and 51 as a result of the influence of the advancing compressed package charge upon the photoelectric device 54. For instance, with the photoelectric device positioned as indicated at 54, the control system would desirably include a time delay device which would time-out when the compressed charge reached the position indicated in FIG. 1 in which it lies entirely within the package wrapper, and would then trip the piston and cylinder devices 50 and 51 to advance the wrapper driving rolls 44 and 45 against the wrapper and thus deliver the wrapper from the guide shoes 7 at the same rate at which the compressed package is also being delivered from the loading conveyors 31 and 32. In this way the compressed charge is actually loaded into the wrapper as the wrapper and the charge are being delivered from the apparatus.
After delivery of the completed package the control system will then actuate the pressure cylinders 50 and 51 to separate the wrapper driving rolls 44 and 45 from the wrapper, and an operator or attendant may then insert a new package wrapper to the position indicated at 6 in FIGS. 3 and 4, and this wrapper will remain in place until the'next succeeding compressed package charge passes the photoelectric device 54 and is advanced into the interior of the wrapper, whereupon the time delay mechanism will again actuate the cylinders 50 and 51 to effect delivery of the next package.
As indicated in FIGS. 4 and 5, the rolls of insulation may if desired be provided with an encircling band or tape such as shown at 55 applied to the roll in order to prevent it from becoming unwrapped during the handling and compression and loading. Such a band may be applied whether or not the insulation is provided with facing paper or foil.
Guide plates 56 are advantageously positioned at each side of the path of feed of the packages being compressed in the compression section B of the apparatus (see FIG. 1), these guide plates serving to properly position the compressed package charge laterally of the equipment in the region where the charge is being delivered to the loading conveyors 31 and 32.
It is of advantage that the packages produced in accordance with the method and apparatus of the present invention are generally rectangular in shape, notwithstanding the fact that essentially the package charge may be formed of a cylindrical roll. Forthis purpose' it is preferred that the guide shoes 7 for supporting the package wrapper in distended condition are so configured that the wrapper is held in a shape having a substantially square or at least angular cross section. With this angular shape, moreover, the equipment is readily adaptable not only to the packaging of rolls of compressible material, such as insulation rolls, but also to stacks of bats or stacks of boards formed of fibrous or other compressible material, either with or without sheet facing material or coating at one or both sides.
By the equipment and handling method above described the packaging of rolls of insulation or other stacks or charges of compressible material is in large part automated and a high rate of production and uniform packaging is attainable.
The partial compression of the insulation and, in the case of the packaging of insulation rolls, the conversion of the insulation from cylindrical roll shape to a substantially oblong block is highly desirable from the standpoint of maximum utilization of available shipping and storage volume.
In a typical package made according to the invention, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the insulation as packaged is provided with a facing sheet at one side, for instance a sheet of paper, metal foil or plastic film, and since the roll is compressed in a direction transverse to the axis of the roll and inserted endwise into the' package wrapper, the facing paper or foil exposed at the ends of the package provides protection for the fibrous insulation itself. In addition the wrapper or sleeve provides protection for the fibrous insulation at the edges of the roll. The insulation may also be provided with facings or coatings at both sides, if desired.
In a preferred form of package as illustrated in FIG. 5, the wrapper is made up of a paper sheet with its edges brought together and fastened with a strip 6a folded over the edges. By using known types of stitching to fasten the strip 6a, the package may readily be opened to release the insulation for use merely by manually pulling the strip and thereby ripping the stitching so that the sleeve opens and exposes the insulation. Preferably the edges of the wrapper sheet are brought together in the middle of one of the side faces of the package, and moreover a handle 6b, such as a flexible plastic handle, is preferably fastened to the package along with the strip 6a. This provides maximum convenience in handling the package, especially with the handle 6b located at about the mid point of the top face of the package, as is shown in FIG. 5.
The use of an openended sieeve for the wrapper is also of advantage, particularly when packaging insulation rolls having paper or other sheet facing material on the outer sides of the turns or layers of the roll. The facing material will serve to protect the fibrous insulation itself at the open ends of the sleeve, and grade or identification marking for the insulation which is commonly applied to such facing sheet material will be exposed at the ends of the package.
. The insulation package disclosed in the present application is also disclosed and is claimed in co-pending application of George A. Hoffman, Jr., Ser. No. 132,088, filed Apr. 7, 1971, assigned to the assignee of the present application.
1. Apparatus for packaging compressible material comprising spaced guides for holding a tubular package wrapper of substantially uniform cross section in distended or open condition, the guides having delivery ends from which loaded package wrappers are discharged, spaced parallel traveling conveyor devices extended into the space between said guides adjacent the side wall of a distended package wrapper when positioned on said guides to provide for feed of'a compressed charge of material to be packaged into the space within a distended tubular wrapper on said guides, the conveyor devices having entrance end pormeans for delivering a package wrapper from the delivery ends of the guides at a predetermined rate, and
means for driving the conveyor devices to advance and deliver a compressed package charge at said predetermined rate as the package wrapper is delivered and thereby provide for discharge of a loaded package from the apparatus.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 and further including control means operating in response to advancement of a package charge to actuate the means for delivering a package wrapper from the delivery ends of the guides.
3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 and further including conveyor means for successively advancing and delivering charges of compressible material to be packaged to the entrance ends of the conveyor devices and for compressing said charges as they are advanced.
4. Apparatus for packaging compressible material comprising means for holding a tubular wrapper in distended or open condition comprising spaced guide shoes adapted to be received in the interior of the tubular wrapper, conveyor means between said spaced guide shoes for carrying a compressed package charge into the interior of the distended wrapper and for delivering the compressed charge from the apparatus, and means for delivering the distended wrapper from the apparatus concurrently with delivery of the compressed charge and at the same rate of delivery of the compressed charge and thereby provide for delivery of a loaded package from the apparatus, the means for delivering the distended wrapper comprising a feed roll positioned adjacent the delivery end of one of said guide shoes and having a friction surface engageable with the outside of the wrapper.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 4 and further including means mounting the wrapper feed roll for movement toward and away from the wrapper.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 5 and further including control means operating in response to advancement of a package charge to effect motion of the wrapper feed roll into engagement with the wrapper.
7. Apparatus for packaging compressible material comprising means for holding a tubular wrapper in distended or open condition, said means comprising spaced guide shoes establishing an angular cross sectional wrapper shape, conveyor means extended into the space between said guide shoes for carrying a radially compressed roll of fibrous insulation into the interior of the distended wrapper, the compressed roll being positioned in the wrapper with the roll axis extended transversely of the wrapper, said conveyor means also providing for delivery of the compressed roll from the apparatus, and means for delivering the distended wrapper from the apparatus concurrently with delivery of the compressed roll and at the same rate as the rate of delivery of the compressed roll and thereby provide for delivery of a loaded package from the apparatus.
I i it l Patent No. 3,717 7 Dated February 27, 1973 PRINTER'S TRIM LIN u Inventor) William A. Brady, Jr.
It is certified that error appears in the shove -identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Change "assignee: Certain-Toad SaintwGobain Insulation Corporation" to -assign'ee: Certain-Teed Products Corporation-..
Signedand sealed this 19th day of March 1974.
j (SEAL) Attest: l
EDWARD M.F'LETCHEIR,JR. I a c, MARSHALLDANN A ttesting Officer v I Commissioner of Patents FORM PO-105O IND-69) USCOMM-DC gnaw-bun U.$. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE I919 O'fSGG-KM