US 3730235 A
A machine for automatically filling containers such as ampoules and the like having a circular indexing table for moving the containers through a filling station. A liquid filling device having a discharge nozzle, an adjustable volume metering chamber and a valve controlling the filling of the chamber and the discharging of the liquid to the container through the nozzle. A powder filling device having a reservoir and a nozzle, the powder filling device and the liquid filling nozzle being rotatably mounted for alternative use at the filling station.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Lewis 5] May 1, 1973 APPARATUS FOR FILLING  References Cited CONTAINERS UNITED STATES PATENTS  Invent": Quebec 2,936,798 5/1960 Cummings etal ..141/129 Canada 2,192,441 3/1940 Hills ..198/209 73 Assignee: o. Diehl Mateer Co., Strafford, Pa.
' Primary Examiner-Houston B. Bell, Jr. Filed; Dem 1970 Attorney-Arthur l-l. Seidel, Edward C. Gonda, Joel S.  Appl. No.: 102,857 Goldharnmer and Ronald L. Pan1tch Related us. Applicetion Data [571 ABSTRACT  Division of Ser. No. 823,348,May 9, 1969, aban- A machine e f as don ampoules and the 11ke having a circular indexing table v for movmg the containers through a filling station. A
I liquid filling device having a discharge nozzle, an ad- 521 US. (:1. ..141/172, 198/135, 198/209 jumble volume metering chamber and a valve com [5 Clnu-.865) trolling the of the chamber and the  Fleld of Search .;.l4l/167, 168, 172, f the liquid to the container through the nozzle. A
3 powder filling device having a reservoir and a nozzle,
4 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures Patented May 1, 1973 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG, 3 INVENTOR Ray D. LEWIS Patented May 1, 1973 7 3,730,235
6 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR Roy D. LEWIS Patented May 1, 1973 3,730,235
6 Sheets-Sheet b guy ATTORNEY Pgtented May 1, 1973 3,730,235
6 Sheets-Sheet 6 INVENTOR Roy D. LEWIS A TTORNEY APPARATUS FOR FILLING CONTAINERS This application is a divisional application of United States Patent Application Ser. No. 823,348, filed May 9, 1969 now abandoned.
FIELD OF INVENTION 1. Background of Invention The present invention relates to an apparatus for automatically filling containers and particularly to an apparatus for filling containers having restricted openings such as ampoules, vials, syringes and the like although not limited to only restricted opening containers.
2. Description of Prior Art I-Ieretofore, many different types of apparatus have been developed for filling small containers such as ampoules, etc., such as liquid, particularly for medicinal injectibles or cosmetic use. Many problems occur in the use of such apparatus particularly in metering exact quantities of the liquid to be dispensed in each container.
Specifically, in most apparatus for filling such containers, the measuring or metering chamber is usually separate from the actual filling nozzle and connected thereto by flexible tubes or the like. The problem which occurs is that no provision is made for the amount of liquid which remains in variable quantities in the tube or conduit leading from the measuring or metering chamber to the filling nozzle. Also, as readily foamable liquids are being filled into containers, the liquid often foams during the filling operation in view of the mixing action imparted to the liquid as it is being filled under pressure within the container. This, of course, causes spillages and also results in inaccurate fillvolumes of the liquid. Another problem which is also particular to the filling of easily oxidized liquids in such containers is that an air space is often left in the container even after the container has been sealed. The air trapped in the container causes oxidation to take place, affecting the liquid.
It is an aim of the present invention to provide an improved filling machine in which means are provided for withdrawing a readily adjustable volume of the liquid which remains in the conduits between the actual measuring chamber and the filling nozzle. Improvements have also been made in the filling operation which minimize the tendency of readily foamable liquids to foam while filling. Means are also provided for inserting an inert gas after the liquid has been filled in the container for reducing the chance of oxidation of the liquids after the container has been scaled.
A construction in accordance with the present invention includes an apparatus comprising drive means, fluid flow control means for filling containers with a predetermined volume of fluid, means for measuring a predetermined volume of fluid to be filled, means for of said housing in alignment with the opening of the container to be filled, means for moving either of said container and said delivery tube relative to each other so that the delivery tube is inserted within the container and means for communicating said delivery tube to a supply of a predetermined volume of fluid, means for gradually withdrawing either of said container and tube relative thereto while filling the container. Gassing means are provided for inserting inert gas into the remaining volume of said container after it has been filled with liquid and means are provided for sealing the top of the container after the inert gas has been inserted.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Having thus generally described the nature of the invention, it will be referred to in more detail by reference to the accompanying drawings illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention and in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation of the apparatus for automatically filling containers;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an end elevation of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a vertical cross section taken along lines 4- 4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary end elevation of the structure shown in cross section in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a vertical cross section taken along lines 6- 6 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 which is on the same sheet of drawings as FIGS. 4 and 5 is a vertical cross section taken through the lines 7-7 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 8 which is on the same sheet of drawings as FIG. 2 is a vertical cross section taken along the lines 8-8 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 9 which is on the same sheet of drawings as FIG. 6 is an axial cross section taken through the structure 0 a detail of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 10 which is on the same sheet of drawings as FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary section illustrating a set of the operation of the structure shown in FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 whichis on the same sheet of drawings as FIG. 3 is an axial cross section taken through the structure of a further detail of the apparatus'shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 12 is a vertical cross section taken through the lines l2--12 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary enlarged plan view of a particular structure shown in FIG. 12 and taken generally along the line 13-43 in FIG. 12; a
FIG. 14 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a detail of the structure shown in FIG. 12 showing a step of its operation;
FIG. 15 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the structure shown in FIG. 14, showing a successive step of the operation;
FIG. 16 is a fragmentary axial cross section taken through the structure of still a further detail of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the filling apparatus is shown as having a cabinet 20 having a table surface 22 and an upstanding support post 24. Mounted on the cabinet 20 and towards the rear portion thereof is a pump assembly 26. A liquid filling assembly 28 as well as a powder-filling assembly 32 are mounted on respective brackets 29'and 33 to the support post 24 and are adapted for alternative use. A gassing assembly is mounted on a separate support post 31.
There is an inlet conveyor assembly 34 provided on the table which is adapted to feed ampoules or bottles to a turntable assembly 36. The turntable assembly feeds the bottles one by one past a filling station 38 at which point either the liquid-filling assembly 28 or the powder-filling assembly 32 could be located. The turntable also passes the ampoules A past a gassing station 40 where the gassing assembly is located. An outlet conveyor 44 picks up the ampoules A from the turntable 36 and then passes them past a sealing assembly 42.
PUMP ASSEMBLY 26 Referring now to FIGS. 4 through 8, the pump assembly 26 will be described in more detail.
The pump assembly 26 includes a variable speed motor 46 connected to a drive shaft 48. The drive shaft is supported near its free end by a bracket 54 mounted to a partition 52, bracket 54 supports a bearing 56 through which the shaft 48 is joumalled. On the end of the drive shaft 48 is a crank disc 58 to which is mounted a sliding stub shaft 60 which can be adjusted radially relative to the axis of the shaft 48 by means of a screw 61. As will be described later, the pump stroke can be adjusted by adjusting the radial distance of the stub shaft 60 from the axis of the shaft 48.
Connected to the stub shaft 60 is a reciprocating cylindrical pump 62 comprising a cylinder portion 63 and a piston 64 which is in turn connected to a piston rod 66. The connecting rod 66 is journalled to the stub shaft 60 on the crank disc 58. On the other end of the reciprocating cylindrical pump 62 is a valve housing 68 which is fixedly connected to the end of the cylinder 63 and is mounted for slight pivoting motion to the partition 52. The cylinder 63 is connected to the valve housing 68 by means of a pump collar 70 through which a passage 71 communicates with an inlet-exit bore 72 as shown in FIG. 8. A central bore 74 communicates with the bore 72 and extends laterally thereof to communicate with a first valve chamber 76. An orifice 78 connects the valve chamber 76 to an inlet bore 80 from a liquid source. About the orifice 78 is defined a valve seat 82 on which a ball 84 is adapted to be seated and close the orifice between the valve chamber 76 and bore 80.
The second valve chamber 86 communicates with the first valve chamber 76 through an orifice 87. A valve seat 88 is defined about the orifice 87 and a larger ball 90 seated on the valve seat 88 is adapted to block the passage of liquid from the second valve chamber 86 to the first valve chamber 76. An access cap 91 is provided for easy access to the first valve chamber 76 and second valve chamber 86 for purposes of cleaning and maintenance.
An outlet bore 92 communicates with the second valve chamber 86 and extends parallel spaced apart from the central bore 74. There is an orifice 94 provided between the bores 92 and 74 and a screw type needle valve extends through the orifice in conjunction with the valve seat 95 so formed in the orifice 94. Thus,
the needle valve 96 controls the flow between the bore 92 and the bore 74.
The valve 68 and the pump 62 operate as follows:
Assuming the piston 64 is at the end of its upper stroke in the cylinder 62 and is beginning its downstroke, negative pressure would be provided by the piston 64 on the downstroke forcing, by suction, the ball 84 to clear the valve seat 78 and allow liquid from the liquid source to pass through the bore 80 into the first valve chamber 76 through the central bore 74, bore 72 and passage 71 and into the space between the piston 64 and the cap 70 in the pump. This negative pressure will also act on the ball 90 to retain it against its valve seat 88 preventing air from passing from the second valve chamber 86 into the first valve chamber 76.
However, if the pump has just pushed liquid towards the liquid-filling assembly 28, and is starting to return, some liquid will remain in the conduits 120 as well as in the bores 92 and the second valve chamber 86. By adjusting the needle valve 96 so that a small opening is created in the orifice 94 between the outlet bore 92 and the central bore 74 a slight amount of suction will cause remaining liquid to pass into the bore 74 without affecting the pressure differential between the first valve chamber 76 and the second valve chamber 86 working on the ball 90. Of course, if the valve would be left so that the suction would act equally on both the second chamber 86 and the first chamber 76, the liquid in the tubes to the filling assembly 28 would be cleared very quickly and then air would rush into the valve to fill the chamber. However, by means of the needle valve 96 a controlled small amount of suction is applied in the outlet system to withdraw the liquid therefrom.
Depending on the adjustment of stub shaft 60 an accurately metered predetermined volume of liquid can be obtained in the pump chamber by the time the piston has reached its downstroke.
As the piston 64 reaches the lower limit of its downstroke and begins to rise on the upstroke, positive pressure by the liquid returning from the pump into the first valve chamber 76 will act on the ball 84 to block passage to the bore 80. This positive pressure will, of course, dislodge the ball 90 from the valve seat 88 to allow the liquid to pass into the second vaive chamber 86 and through the outlet bore 92 through the conduit 120 to the filling assembly 28 and into the ampoule A.
Also mounted on the pump shaft 48 is a rotary cam member 98 shown more clearly in FIG. 6. Rotary cam 98 acts against the pivoted cam lever 100 pivoted to a pivot base 102. A pair of Bowden cables 104 and 106 are attached to the cam lever 100 and at.the other end to the liquid filling assembly 28 and the inner gassing assembly 30 respectively as will be described further. The sheaths 108 and 1 10 of the Bowden cables 104 and 106 respectively are connected to a bracket 1 1 1.
Finally, a rotary cam disc 1 12 is also provided on the pump shaft 48, a precision limit switch 114 is mounted to the partition 52 and has a wheel 116 on the end of a lever which rides on the rotary cam disc 112. The limit switch 114 is normally closed except when the wheel 116 followsthe segment of the cam disc 112 which is cut out as is shown in FIG. 7. Then the limit switch 114 is then open, as will be described further.
LIQUID-FILLING ASSEMBLY 28 I Referring now to FIGS. 9 and 10, the liquid-filling assembly 28 is shown in cross section. A support bracket 122 is mounted to post 24 to support an upper cylindrical portion 124 which is closed at the top by a cap 126. The cap 126 defines a passage 128 through which the Bowden cable 104 passes. The sheath 108 is fixedly attached to the cap 126. A main bore 130 is defined throughout the cylindrical liquid-filling assembly 28 and a plunger block 132 is adapted for sliding movement along the axis of this bore 130. A plunger 134 is fixedly attached to the plunger block 132 and it is in turn connected to the Bowden cable 104. A spring 136 extends within the bore 130 between the plunger block 132 and the cap 126 normally urging the plunger block 132 in a downward direction.
The liquid-filling assembly 28 also includes a lower cylindrical tube portion 138 which defines an elongated slot 140 in the wall thereof. An adaptor 121 extends outwardly from the plunger block 132 through the slot 140 and the liquid conduit 120 which comes from the valve housing 68 is connected to the adaptor 121. It can. be seen that the adaptor 121 be allowed to travel along the slot 140 as the plunger block 132 is moved up and down the bore 130. At the end of the cylindrical portion 138 is a lower flanged insert 142 which contains a centering collar 144 and a spring 145 acting between the flange of the insert 142 and the centering collar 144. This centering collar 144 defines a downwardly extending conical cavity 146 and at the apex of the cavity is a passage 148. A needle delivery tube 150 extends from the plunger block 132, communicating with the adaptor 121 and passes through this passage 148.
In operation, as the cam lever 100 in FIG. 6, is at a point on the rotary cam 98 of the largest diameter, the plunger block 132 will have been pulled upwardly against the spring 136 by the Bowden cable 104 to its highest position in the bore 130. Assuming an ampoule A is beneath the liquid-filling assembly 28 its narrow neck will be pushed upwardly against the centering collar 144 acting slightly against the spring 145 forcing the centering collar 144 to move slightly upward relative to the end of the needle delivery tube 150. in this manner, the needle delivery tube 150 is best centered within the opening of the ampoule A.
As the rotary cam 98 continues its counterclockwise rotation, the lever arm 100 will pass the notch 99 in the cam 98 to the point of smallest diameter in an instant slacking the Bowden cable 104 which allows the plunger 134 and plunger block 132, as well as the needle delivery tube 150 to drop, by means of the spring 136, relative to the bore 130 with the delivery tube 150 extending past the end of the liquid-filling assembly 28 such as shown in FIG. 10. In this position, the needle delivery tube 150 is at the bottom of the ampoule to be filled. As the cam 98 continues its counterclockwise rotation, the diameter of the segment of the cam 98 acting against the cam lever 100 gradually increases, thus gradually retrieving the delivery tube 150 from the bottom of the ampoule by the action of the Bowden cable 104 on the plunger 134 and plunger block 132 against the spring 136.
Simultaneously, as the plunger block 132 and the delivery tube 150 begins its upward movement, the piston 64 in the pump assembly 62 begins its upswing forcing the liquid in the cylinder 63 to pass through the conduit 120 through the adaptor 121, the bore in the delivery tube 150 and its upswing in the reciprocating pump 62.
GASSING ASSEMBLY 30 Referring now to FIG. 11, the gassing assembly 30 is shown as having a cylindrical tube 152 closed at its upper end by a cap 154 defining a passage 156 through which the Bowden cable 106 isadapted to pass. Of course, the sheaths of the Bowden cable 106 is fixed to the cap 154. The cylindrical tube 152 defines a central bore 158. A plunger block 160 is adapted to travel within the central bore 158 and is itself connected to a plunger 162 which is connected to the Bowden cable 106. An adaptor 161 is provided on the plunger block 160. A spring 164 is located between the cap 154 and the plunger block 160 and urges the plunger 160 downwardly.
Also within the bore 158 below the plunger block 160 is a centering shoulder block 166 which mounts a centering tube 168 extending downwardly from the shoulder block 166 and passing outwardly of the end of the cylindrical tube 152. A spring 170 is located between the plunger block 160 and the shoulder centering block 166 urging the plunger centering block downwardly.
At the end of the centering tube 168 is provided a centering collar 172 having a conical cavity 174 and a passage 173 which is adapted to allow the needle delivery tube 178 to pass. The needle delivery tube 178 is connected at one end to the plunger block 160 and communicates with the adaptor 161. A cap 175 is provided at the bottom end of the tube 152 and encloses a spring 176 which acts upwardly against the shoulder centering block 166. Also a slot 179 is provided in the wall of the cylindrical tube 152 and allows the adaptor 161 to travel as the plunger block 160 travels axially in the bore 158.
Mounted to an end of an adaptor tube 161 is a valve member 180 which defines a central bore 182 communicating with the adaptor 161 and a tube 183 connected to a gas supply. A lateral bore 184 intersects the central bore 182 and a sliding valve piston 186 is adapted to slide in the lateral bore 184. The valve piston 186 is provided with an opening or a restricted portion 188. The opening 188 does not normally communicate with the central bore 182 and therefore, the central bore 182 is normally blocked so that gases cannot reach the delivery tube 178. However, an abutment screw 190 is provided on the mounting as shown in FIG. 11 and as the plunger block 160 descends, as will be described later, so will the adaptor 161 and the valve member 180. As the valve piston 186 abuts thezabuv ment screw 190, it will stop its travel although the valve member 180 will continue its downward movement,
until the opening 188 coincides with the central bore 182. Then gas will be allowed to pass under pressure from the source 183 to the delivery tube 178.
In operation, the gassing assembly 30 as previously described is at the gassing station 40 and its operation is simultaneous with that of the liquid-filling assembly 28. Since the Bowden 'cable 106 is attached to the same cam lever 100 as that of the liquid-filling assembly, then the movement of the plunger 160 in the bore 158 corresponds axially to the movement of the plunger block 132 and the bore 130. Therefore, this part of the operation will not be repeated. However, as the plunger block 160 is allowed to move downwardly by the slacking of the Bowden cable 106 and the urging of the spring 164, the delivery tube 178 will enter the narrow neck of the ampoule A.
The spring 170 which is being urged by the block 160 against the centering shoulder block 162 overcomes the spring 176, and the centering tube 168 will be forced to pass downwardly past the cap 175 and the centering collar 172 will fit on the top of the ampoule Al as shown while the delivery tube 178 will continue its downward movement through the opening in the ampoule A1. It is necessary for the provision of the centering tube 168 in the gassing apparatus since the ampoule is not brought up against the gassing assembly as is the case in the liquid-filling assembly. The delivery tube 178 enters only slightly within the filled ampoule A1 that is at least to clear the neck of the ampoule. As the plunger block 160 has reached the limit of its downward movement, the valve piston 186 will have been moved upwardly as described previously so that the opening 188 corresponds with the central bore 182. Normally, gas under pressure will be allowed to pass through the central bore 182, the delivery tube 178, and enter the neck of the ampoule. The gas is normally an inert gas which is forced into the bottle with the liquid so as to prevent any oxidation if space is left in the bottle.
The plunger block 160 begins its upward movement as the Bowden cable 106 pulls upwardly on the plunger 162, the valve member 180 will move upwardly allowing the valve piston 186 to again block the central passage 182. As the delivery tube 178 is moved upwardly by the plunger block 160 no more gas will pass through the delivery tube 178. Also, the spring 176 is now sufficient to overcome the action of the spring 170 as the plunger block 160 is moving in an opposite direction and, therefore, the spring 176 will push the centering shoulder block 166 upwardly to retrieve the centering tube 168 into the gassing assembly 30.
TURNTABLE ASSEMBLY 36 The turntable assembly 36 is shown best in FIGS. 12 through 15. A turntable 202 is provided which is fixed to a shaft 206. The turntable 202 includes a plurality of spaced apart peripheral recesses 204 each adapted to receive an ampoule or bottle to be filled. These recesses 204 are best seen in FIG. 2.
Beneath the turntable 202 within the cabinet is an electric clutch 208 which is operated by a motor 210. Also an indexing wheel 212 having a hub 214, a collar portion 216 is fixedly mounted to the shaft 206. The shaft 206 is supported on the table 22 of the cabinet 20 by suitable bearings 217. The collar 216 is connected concentrically to the electric clutch 208 as shown in FIG. 12. The indexing wheel 212 has a plurality of peripheral notches 218 corresponding to the peripheral recesses 204 in the turntable 202.
Also, in association with the turntable 202 is a pedestal 220 which is adapted to move up and down through a guiding collar 222 through the table 22. The up and down movement of the lifting pedestal 220 is controlled by a link member 224 pivotally connected to the pedestal 220 which is in turn connected to a pivoted bell crank member 226 having levers 227 and 228. The link 224 is connected to the bell crank lever 227. A pivoting lever member 230 is pivoted to the base of the cabinet 20 which is actuated by reciprocating piston arm 234 which is in turn actuated by a reversible motor 232. This reversible motor could be in the form of a pair of electro-rnagnetic coils which are concentric with the cores of the piston and which are energized separately for moving the piston arm 234 in different directions.
The pivoting lever arm 230 is pivoted at its other end to the bell crank lever 228 as well as a split link member 236. A more clear illustration of this split link 236 is shown in FIG. 13.
A split link member 236 is in turn connected to a pivoted actuating pin pivoted to the base of the cabinet 20 and which engages a pawl 240 pivoted in a slide member 242 which is adapted to slide back and forth in a slide housing 244. A slot 246 is provided in the slide housing 244 to allow pivoted actuating pin 238 to en gage the pawl 240 in its to and fro movement. The slide member 242 is provided with engaging head 248 which is adapted to engage the notches 218 in the indexing wheel 212.
A slide member 242 is also provided with a recess 250 in which of course is pivoted the pawl 240. The pawl 240 is allowed to pivot counterclockwise to almost a horizontal position but because of its contour, it can only pivot to a position shown in FIG.' 14 when rotated clockwise by gravity, since it abuts against the portion of the slide member 242. A slide member 242 at its other end is provided with a spring recess 252 and a central abutting pin 256. A spring 254 is provided between the end of the slide housing 244 tov urge the sliding member 242 toward the indexing wheel 212. A micro switch 258 is mounted to the cabinet 20 at the rear of the slide member housing 244 which is adapted to be engaged by the abutment pin 256 when the sliding member 242 is in a rearward position.
Before an ampoule reaches the turntable 202, there is provided an inlet conveyor 34 which includes an upstanding conveyor belt 260 and an opposed pressure plate 262. The conveyor belt 260 is adapted to move the ampoules forward in their vertical position. The pressure plate 262 retains the ampoules against the conveyor belt as well as causing them to rotate upon I their own axis as they are being moved forward. As shown in FIG. 2, each ampoule is fed to a separate recess 204 in the turntable 202.
On the other side of the turntable 202 is provided an outlet conveyor 44. This outlet conveyor includes a conveyor belt 264 as well as a pressure plate 266. The same rotary movement is applied to the series of ampoules as the filled ampoules move forward. A burner 268 is adjacent the conveyor belt 264 and is adapted to seal the tops of the ampoules. Since the ampoules are caused to rotate upon themselves as they advance an even sealing operation is provided.
In operation, the inlet conveyor belt 260 moves the ampoules A separately into individual recesses 204 of thetumtable 202. As the ampoule A approaches the liquid-filling station 38, cam wheel 116 approaches a recess portion of the cam disc 112. As the rotation continues, the cam wheel 116 falls into the recess segment of the disc 112 thus opening the micro switch 114 which forces the piston 234 to move outward from the reversing motor 232 thereby causing the pivot arm 230 to pivot counterclockwise thus pivoting the bell crank member 226 clockwise forcing the link member 224 to push the pedestal 220 upwards to its fully extended position.
At the same time, the split link member 236 is in a position shown in the FIG. 12 clear of the pawl 240 thus allowing the slide member 242 upon the urging of the spring 254 to press the engaging head 248 within the notch 218 of the indexing wheel and retaining it in a stopped position. Thus, the turntable 202 is also stopped with an ampoule recess 204 corresponding with the pedestal 220. If an ampoule A is in the recess 204 the pedestal 220 will have raised it against the liquid-filling mechanism. Of course, the operation as described with the mechanism for filling is now taking place.
As the pump shaft 48 continues to rotate, the limit switch wheel 116 will clear the recess portion of the cam disc 112 and will again close the limit switch 114 reversing the reversible motor 232 causing the piston 234 to retract within the reversible motor 232. This causes the pivot arm 230 to pivot clockwise thus forcing the bell crank member 226 to move counterclockwise to retract the link member 224 and the pedestal 220. At the same time, the split link member 236 will move in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 14 causing the pivoted actuation pin 238 to rotate counterclockwise which thus engages a pawl 240 to push the slide member 242 rearwardly against the urging of the spring 254. The rearward movement of the sliding member 242 causes the abutment pin 256 to engage the limit switch 258.
This limit switch 258 immediately diverts the electrical current from the pump motor 46 to the motor 210 or the electric clutch 208 engaging the indexing wheel collar 216 and, therefore, the shaft 206 forcing the turntable 202 as well as the indexing whee] 212 to rotate.
At the same time, the actuating pin 238 will have reached a position-as shown in FIG. 15, pivoted far enough to clear the pawl 240. In this manner, the sliding member 242 upon the urgence of the spring 254 will again be caused to slide towards the indexing wheel. The engaging head 248 of the sliding pin 242 will then engage the outer periphery of the indexing wheel 212 and as soon as a successive notch 218, of the now rotating wheel 212, is in position, the engaging head will immediately engage the notch 218 stopping the indexing wheel 212 against the action of the electric clutch 208 and also stopping the turntable 202. Of course, as the sliding member 242 is moved forward by the spring action 254, the abutting pin 256 will have disengaged the micro switch 258 which then diverts the current back to the pump motor 48 rather than the electric clutch 208 or motor 210. The cycle is now ready to repeat itself to fill another ampoule.
The gassing station 40 islocated such that it fills inert gas into the ampoules after they have successively passed a liquid-filling station 38. The operation of the liquid-filling assembly 28 and v gassing assembly 30 is simultaneous with the stopping of the turntable 202 so that when the ampoules are filled, the turntable 202 is stopped.
PowDsR FILLING If it is required to fill containers with powder rather than liquid, the powder-filling head 32 is rotated so that it coincides with the filling station position 38. Referring now to FIG. 16, a fragmentary enlarged view or cross section of the powder-filling assembly of the machine is shown. The powderfilling assembly 32 includes a powder bin 272 mounted on a support bracket 273. A drive shaft 274 extends from the top into the powder bin 272 through the nozzle 276 at the lower apex of the cone-shaped powder bin 272. The drive shaft accepts the attachment of a spiral feeding screw 278 which force-feeds the powder downwardly into a container which is now on the pedestal 220. A restricted section of the nozzle 280 fits into the container opening and the pedestal 220 forces the container upwardly to the powder nozzle 276.
The brackets 29 and 33 of the liquid-filling assembly 28 and powder-filling assembly 32 respectively, are indexed to the support post 24 and can be easily swung from one alternative position to the other. For instance, if it is required to switch from a liquid-filling position to a powder-filling position, it is merely necessary to rotate the brackets 29 and 33 about the post 24 so that the powder-filling assembly 32 is located above the filling station 38.
1. An automatic device for filling containers with a predetermined volume of fluid comprising a turntable, drive means for intermittently rotating said turntable, means on the periphery of said turntable for receiving a plurality of containers spaced apart on the periphery thereof, at least one fluid filling station located at an area of the periphery of said tumtable such that a container receiving means is aligned with said filling station between each intermittent and rotational movement of said turntable, an indexing wheel connected with said turntable, indexing means provided on said indexing wheel corresponding to the container receiving means of said turntable to be aligned with said filling means, sliding stop means intermittently engaging and releasing. the indexing means on said indexing wheel to thereby stop said turntable between said intermittent movement, clutch means associated with said drive means for engaging said drive means to said indexing wheel and 7 said turntable once said stop means has released the indexing means on said index wheel, a lifting pedal aligned with the fluid filling station whereby the container is automatically lifted in alignment towards a fluid filling means at said station in-between said intermittent rotational movements of said turntable, and said pedestal is in a lowered position when said turntable is in movement.
2. An automatic device for tfilling containers as defined in claim 1, wherein a linkage is provided between the sliding stop means adapted to engage the index means on said indexing wheel and said lifting pedestal and the reversible motor is provided for actuatingsaid linkage means whereby when the sliding stop means is engaging an index means on said index wheel the pedestal is in a lifted position and when said sliding stop means is disengaged from said indexing wheel the pedestal is in a lowered cleared position.
3. An automatic filling device as defined in claim 2, wherein the bell crank member pivoted to a frame is connected to the pedestal and direct linkage means links the bell crank member to an actuating pin pivoted to said frame to engage said sliding stop means for retracting it from the indexing wheel and spring means are provided for urging the slide-stop means towards said indexing wheel, and a reversible motor is linked to said bell crank means for effecting the lifiing movement of said pedestal and the pivoting movement of said actuation pin.
4. An automatic device as defined in claim 1, wherein the container receiving means on the periphery of said turntable includes semi-circular recesses for engaging similar size containers and the indexing means on said index wheels are graduated notches. a
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