Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3739545 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 19, 1973
Filing dateMay 19, 1971
Priority dateMay 19, 1971
Publication numberUS 3739545 A, US 3739545A, US-A-3739545, US3739545 A, US3739545A
InventorsLattke H
Original AssigneeEmhart Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for packaging articles
US 3739545 A
Abstract
An automatic machine is disclosed for packaging an array, or slug, of articles, such as cans, in a paperboard carton, wherein the carton is first provided in a flat blank form, is then preliminarily formed into a U-shaped configuration, and then final wrapped around the array of articles, to be subsequently glued up and sealed so as to form a very compact paperboard carton for the articles. The machine includes a frame having a vertically movable elevator structure which is equipped with laterally opposed plows for engaging side panels of the paperboard blank, and for folding the side panels upwardly into a U-shaped configuration around the funnel portion of a packer in which the articles are held prior to being dropped onto the bottom panel of the blank. After the articles are positioned thereon, the elevator structure lowers the U-shaped blank, together with the articles, onto a pocket chain conveyor where the carton is fed laterally off the elevator to fold the top panel, and to fold the end panels associated with the side panels, as well as those associated with the top and bottom panels, into place. A conventional vertical compression unit is also used, and the manufacturer's tab or flap is glued and folded in this portion of the machine.
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Ute Sates Patent [191 Lattke METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING ARTICLES [75] Inventor: Horst G. Lattke, Middletown, Conn.

[73] Assignee: Emhart Corporation, Bloomfield,

Conn.

[22] Filed: May 19, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 144,804

[52] US. Cl. 53/29, 53/32, 53/192,

53/230 {51] lint. Cl B651) 5/02, B65b 11/26 [58] Field of Search 53/29, 32, 191-195,

{56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,146,565 9/1964 Otto 53/192 3,306,002 2/1967 Vogt 53/29 Primary ExaminerGranville Y. Custer, Jr. Assistant Examiner Neil Abrams Att0mey-McCormick, Paulding & Huber [57] ABSTRACT An automatic machine is disclosed for packaging an ar- [451 June 19, 1973 ray, or slug, of articles, such as cans, in a paperboard carton, wherein the carton is first provided in a flat blank form, is then preliminarily formed into a U- shaped configuration, and then final wrapped around the array of articles, to be subsequently glued up and sealed so as to form a very compact paperboard carton for the articles. The machine includes a frame having a vertically movable elevator structure which is equipped with laterally opposed plows for engaging side panels of the paperboard blank, and for folding the side panels upwardly into a U-shaped configuration around the funnel portion of a packer in which the articles are held prior to being dropped onto the bottom panel of the blank. After the articles are positioned thereon, the elevator structure lowers the U-shaped blank, together with the articles, onto a pocket chain conveyor where the carton is fed laterally off the elevator to fold the top panel, and to fold the end panels associated with the side panels, as well as those associated with the top and bottom panels, into place. A conventional vertical compression unit is also used, and the manufacturer s tab or flap is glued and folded in this portion of the machine.

Pmmmm ems SEEING INVENTOR. HQRST G. LATTKE BY M ATTORNEYS METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING ARTICLES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to packaging machines, and deals more particularly with a machine for automatically wrapping a blank of corrugated paperboard material, first around the funnel portion of a packer in which a slug of array of articles is performed, and for then placing the array of articles onto the blank and sequentially folding and sealing the remaining panels and flaps to form a very compact container.

Prior art machines of this general type have been proposed heretofore, and US. Pat. No. 3,530,640, issued to Hoffman Sept. 29, 1970, shows one such machine for forming a package after the array of articles has been placed upon the initially flat blank, but the construction shown in this patent requires that a forming mandrel of the reciprocal type be utilized in conjunction with a fixed die for achieving the initial U-shaped configuration of the blank.

One of the objects of the present invention is to provide means for preforming the blank into a U-shaped configuration without utilizing a reciprocable mandrel, and more particularly by utilizing the funnel portion of a conventional drop packer as a mandrel prior to loading the articles onto the bottom panel of the blank. As a result of the construction adopted in this disclosure, the articles and the blank are positively controlled throughout the machine without the need for providing a reciprocable mandrel, and without the need for relying upon gravity to hold the array of articles on the pa perboard blank during the preliminary folding step.

In this connection, US. Pat. No. 3,482,372, issued to Hottendorf, Dec. 9, 1969, shows a machine for utilizing the articles to be packaged as the mandrel in the forming of the blank around thearticles. However, in the Hottendorf machine, the blank is relatively unsupported, as are the articles, especially during the preliminary forming stages where the U-shaped configuration is achieved. The weight or mass of the slug of articles being packaged must be relied upon in the Hottendorf machine in order to properly position the blank as it is gravity fed through a fixed die, or box forming means, of the machine.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a machine which permits the blank to be folded to a preliminary U-shaped configuration, not only without the need for a reciprocating mandrel, but also without the need for relying upon the gravity of the articles being packaged to hold the blank in position while this preliminary U-shaped configuration is achieved.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In practicing the method of the present invention, and in adapting the method of the present invention to the machine described herein, a paperboard flat box blank is prescored so as to define a bottom panel, a pair of side panels connected to opposite sides of the bottom panel, a pair of end flaps connected to opposite ends of each of said side panels, and a top panel connected to one of said side panels. The top and bottom panels also have end panels connected to their opposite ends to provide a blank of conventional configuration well adapted to be used in a packaging machine, either of the type shown in the foregoing patents, or in a machine in accordance with the present disclosure, to provide a very compact and tight package for shipping an array or slug such as cans. The blanks are sequentially fed from a magazlne to an infeed! station of the machine where each of them can be engaged from below by a vertically reciprocable elevator structure characterized by a pair of upstanding plows located in laterally spaced relationship thereupon. These plows engage the underside of the box-blank to fold the side panels upwardly around the depending funnel portion of a drop packer. Thus, the blank is folded into a generally U- shaped configuration around the funnel portion of the packer prior to dropping the array of articles onto the bottom panel of the blank. Once the articles have been dropped onto the bottom panel, the elevator structure lowers the articles, and U-shaped blank, downwardly to deliver this unit to a transverse, or laterally extending, intermittently driven, conveyor where the unit may be fed past a top folding device, and past apparatus for folding the various end panels of the blank. It is an important feature of the present invention that the array of articles to be packaged is only dropped onto the bottom panel of the box blank after the blank has been folded into a preliminary U-shaped configuration around the funnel portion of the drop packer. As a result of this sequence of events, the articles are restrained by the box blank so that they remain in position while the U-shaped box blank and array of articles are lowered to the pocket chain conveyor for further forming. One pair of end flaps associated with one side panel are folded by reciprocable plows while the par- V tially formed box is held at the lower station of the elevator structure. The other pair of end flaps associated with the other side panel are folded into position as the package is moved by the pocket chain conveyor, and the top panel is-similarly folded. Fixed plows then fold the end panels associated with the top and bottom panels but only after the end panels referred to above have been preglued. The manufacturers tab is glued and sealed in a compression unit of the vertical type provided at the downstream end of the pocket chain conveyor.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view, and shows in schematic fashion a first portion of the machine wherein the box blank is fed from the magazine to an infeed station, where it is adapted to have its side panels folded upwardly'around the funnel portion of the packer so that the resulting U-shaped package and its contents can be dropped vertically for further processing.

FIG. 2 is a schematic view showing in perspective the remaining portion of the machine, wherein the partially formed box blank is fed horizontally toward the lower end of a vertical compression unit.

FIGS. 3 through 8 inclusively show the successive mode of operation of the elevator structure used in forming the box blank and in moving the blank and articles downwardly so as to be transferred by the pocket chain conveyor to the lower station of the compression unit.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Turning now to the drawings in greater detail, FIG. 1 shows in schematic fashion a vertical stack 10 of box blanks, which stack is held in a conventional magazine (not shown), and which magazine further includes means for stripping the lowermost blank from the stack and for feeding the blank horizontally in the direction of the arrow 12 toward an infeed station. The blank is supported at the infeed station by suitable means such as the blank guides 14 and 16 best shown in FIG. 3.

The box blanks are of conventional constructions, and each includes a bottom panel B, a pair of side pan els S, and S connected to opposite sides of the bottom panel B, and two pairs of end flaps F1, F1 and F2, F2 connected to opposite ends of each of said side panels respectively to provide four such end flaps as shown. The box blank further includes a top panel T connected to one of the side panels S2, and the top panel T also has a manufacuters tab or side flap G provided on an opposite side edge from that associated with the side panel S2. Finally, the box blank is further characterized by end flaps H,l-I and 1,] associated, respectively, with the bottom and top panels B and T.

Still with reference to FIG. 1, means is provided for advancing slugs or arrays of articles in uniform lanes to a drop packer spaced vertically above the box blank at the infeed station, and as suggested in FIG. 3. One possible construction for this packer, or array forming apparatus is shown in US. Pat. No. 2,219,824 issued to Kimball et al., Oct. 29, 1940. As described in this patent, and as indicated schematically in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the apparatus for feeding the array of articles to the position indicated in FIGS. 1 and 4 includes a drop packer having a shifting grid structure which defines a plurality of lanes for receiving the array of articles in columns, and this shifting grid structure further includes a shifting bottom bar associated with each lane divider. Means is provided for moving these bars, all of which are connected to one another for simultaneous movement, to align them with the lane fividers of the grid structure and thereby to permit the articles to drop from the position shown in FIG. 4 to that shown in FIG. 5. A four sided funnel structure of rectangular shape is provided in conjunction with the drop packer apparatus just described so as to guide the articles during their free fall and to also serve a further function to be discussed hereinbelow in conjunction with practicing the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows in schematic fashion the fixed lane defining portion of the grid structure l8, 18 which will be fixed in a particular installation, and also shows each of the bars 20, 20 which are connected to one another and to an actuator 22 for movement from the position shown in FIG. 4 to that shown in FIG. for dropping the articles as described above. The four resilient sheet steel panels defining the four boundaries of the funnel structure are indicated generally at 24 in the drawings. Two of these will serve a further purpose to be described.

Still with reference to FIG. 1, an elevator structure is provided for engaging the box blank and more particularly, for engaging the side panels SI and S2 so as to form the box blank into a generally U-shaped configuration as depicted in FIGS. 1 and 4 prior to dropping the articles onto the bottom panel of the blank. Referring now particularly to FIG. 3, the elevator structure 30 is adapted to move initially upwardly in the direction of the arrow 32 so that left and right-hand plows 26 and 28 respectively engage these side panels, SI and S2 respectively, to fold them about the fold lines defining the side edges of the bottom panel B, once this bottom panel B moves up slightly to engage the lower edges of the funnel structure 24, 24. From FIG. 3 it will be apparent that these fold lines are the first broken on the initially flat box blank, and that further upward movement of the elevator structure will cause the top panel T to fold in the wrong direction about its associated fold line, that is about the fold line between the top panel T and the side panel S2 so as to move counterclockwise as suggested in FIG. 3 and FIG. 4. The guide structure 16 for the initially flat box blank is provided with an upper edge 16a for achieving this initial reverse fold of the top panel T.

The elevator structure 30 comprises a vertically reciprocable air motor having a movable portion which carries the plows 26 and 28, as well as a generally fiat platten 34, across which the U-shaped blank and its associated articles will be slid by the pocket chain conveyor to be described. The air motor is initially in the intermediate position shown in FIG. 3 and will move initially upwardly in the direction of the arrow 32 so as to form the box blank into a U-shaped configuration as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, and thence downwardly in a manner to be described.

As suggested in FIG. 5, the articles in the grid structure, defined by the lane dividers 18, 18, are dropped downwardly as a result of actuation of air motor 22 with the result that all of the articles are provided in the position shown in FIG. 6. The elevator structure is air operated in both directions, and it is an important feature of the present invention that this elevator structure is programmed for upward preliminary movement, fol lowed by subsequent downward movement of the packing case blank.

As the U-shaped box blank, together with the slug of articles, is lowered to the position shown in FIG. 6, that is into a pocket of the pocket chain conveyor defined by the pocket defining elements 40 and 42, the end flaps F1, F1, associated with the side panel S1, are folded by a movable plow 48 which is operated by an air motor 46 prior to transverse movement of the blank and articles, as shown in FIG. 6. The stroke of this air cylinder 46 is preferably such that its associated plow 48 moves downstream into closely spaced transverse relationship to a fixed guide 50 so that when the carton and its articles are conveyed horizontally to the left, as suggested in FIG. 6 by the direction of arrow 60. The end flaps F2 and F2 associated with the leading side panel S2 will also be folded into position and will be held in position by the fixed guide 50. This fixed guide 50 also serves to hold the end flaps F1 and F1 associated with the trailing side panel S1 in position during this transverse motion of the package.

As mentioned above, the elevator structure has a flat upper surface, or platen 34, which permits the package to be slid horizontally off the elevator in response to the horizontal motion of the intermittently operated pocket chain conveyor, and it is an important feature of the present invention that the plow 28 is movably mounted to the elevator so as to be moved downwardly out of the way of the package as it is so conveyed. FIG. 6 shows this plow 28 in its inactive position, that is, after it is urged out of the path of travel of the package in response to transverse movement of the package under the influence of the pocket chain conveyor. A tension spring 25 holds the plow 28 in its active position but with a force which can be overcome by the pocket chain conveyor. As the package is moved downstream by the pocket chain conveyor, the top panel T is folded upwardly in a clockwise direction by a movable bar 38 associated with an air motor or cylinder 56. This motion is shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, and a fixed plate 54 is provided below the air cylinder 56 to hold the top panel T in position abutting the upper ends of the articles in the array. The air motor 46 retracts when motor 56 extends, and hot motors may be so moved in response to the closing of a normal open switch (not shown) on the elevator itself which switch is actuated by the package as it leaves the elevator.

The pocket chain conveyor indicated schematically in FIGS. 5 through 8 inclusively is intermittently driven in the direction indicated by the arrow 60, and this conveyor includes a series of pockets defined by elements such as those described above with reference to numerals 40 and 42, which elements serve to hold the side panels of the box blank in the desired 90 position with respect to the bottom panel even after the side panels S1 and S2 have been folded as a result of the apparatus described above. The pocket chain conveyor, and more particularly, the pocket defining elements thereof, can be seen to move the package through fixed plows 62 and 64 which plows fold the end flaps associated with the bottom and top panels respectively but only after the end flaps F1, F1 and F2, F2 have been preglued at a gluing station immediately upstream of these plows. The location of this station is indicated schematically in FIGS. 7 and 8 by the line 55.

The pocket chain conveyor then moves the package and its contents to the lower end of a vertical compression unit 45 of conventional construction to set the adhesive applied at the above-mentioned station. The

manufacturer's tab G is of course not folded in this compression unit 45 until thetab has been glued by suitable means (not shown). When so glued, a fixed plow (also not shown) folds this final flap G in place.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for forming a carton for an array of articles, said apparatus comprising a drop packer for releasably supporting the array of articles and including at least two fixed parallel funnel sides for guiding the articles when they are released, means for feeding a flat carton blank to an infeed position wherein a bottom panel of the blank is below said drop packer and so that side panels of the blank have prescored fold lines adjacent the sides of the bottom panel located in spaced relation below said fixed funnel sides, an elevator structure below the blank infeed position and including a first plow at one side for engaging one of said blank side panels during upward movement of said elevator structure to fold it upwardly against one of said fixed funnel sides, a second plow at the opposite side of said elevator structure for engaging the other side panel to fold it upwardly along side the. other fixed funnel side, means for reciprocating said elevator structure to move it upwardly from an initial position to a raised position as aforesaid to form said initially fiat blank into a gener- I ally U-shaped configuration and with the blank side panels folded against said fixed funnel sides, said drop packer including means for releasing the array of articles so that they drop downwardly onto the bottom panel between said fixedfunnel sides, and said means for reciprocating said elevator structure then lowering said array of articles and said U-shaped blank downwardly to a position below said initial position.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further characterized by conveyor means for moving the U-shaped blank off said elevator structure after said elevator structure reaches said position below said initial one.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said second plow is hingedly connected to said elevator structure so that said U-shaped blank and its associated array of articles can be moved'by said conveyor-means in a direction suitable for folding a top panel of the blank, which top panel is carried by said other side panel, and plow means for so folding said top panel as the U-shaped blank is so moved.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 further characterized by biasing means for urging said second plow toward an active position for folding said other blank side panel as aforesaid, and wherein said conveyor means overcomes the biasing force of said biasing means when moving the U-shaped blank transversely off said elevator structure.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 further characterized by blank supporting means at said infeed station, said last mentioned means including structure for restraining the top panel and bending it back as the other side panel is folded up by said second plow whereby the top panel is more readily folded over by said plow means during transverse movement of the U-shaped blank off the elevator structure as aforesaid.

6. a method for forming a carton from an initially flat carton blank having a bottom panel, two side panels connected thereto, and end flaps associated with these bottom and side panels for an array of articles held in a drop packer, said method comprising the steps of a. feeding a blank from a stack to a generally horizontal initial position below the fixed funnel of a drop packer.

b. lifting the blank upwardly so that the bottom panel engages the fixed funnel and so that the sidepanels are folded upwardly to abut the sides of the fixed funnel to provide a U-shaped blank configuration,

c; dropping an array of articles on the bottom panel while the blank is in said U-shaped configuration, and i d. lowering said array of articles and said U-shaped blank downwardly to a position below said initial position.

7. The method of claim 6 further characterized by the additional step of moving said U-shaped blank and the article's therein in a generally horizontal direction away from said lowered position, and folding a top panel, which is carried by one of said side panels of said blank, over the upper ends of the articles as they are so moved.

8. The method of claim 6 further characterized by the step of folding the end flaps associated with the other of said side panels while said U-shaped blank is in said lowered position.

9. The method of claim 8 further characterized by the additional step of moving said U-shaped blank and the articles therein in a generally horizontal direction away from saidlowered position, and folding a top panel, which is carried by one of said side panels of said blank, over the upper ends of the articles as they are so moved. I i

10. The method of claim 9 further characterized by the step of folding the end flaps associated with said one side panel as the U-shaped blank is moved horizontally to so fold said top panel.

it s a s

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3146565 *Sep 29, 1960Sep 1, 1964Otto Margaret GApparatus for forming and filling containers
US3306002 *Dec 10, 1962Feb 28, 1967Vogt Clarence WBag forming and filling apparatus and method
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3834119 *Sep 27, 1972Sep 10, 1974Quaker Oats CoIce cream sandwich wrapping machine
US3866391 *Feb 20, 1973Feb 18, 1975Emhart CorpWrap-around packer
US3986319 *Jul 3, 1974Oct 19, 1976Emhart Industries, Inc.Wrap-around packer
US4351142 *Feb 15, 1980Sep 28, 1982Focke And CompanyApparatus for wrapping objects, in particular groups of cigarettes
US5282527 *Dec 22, 1992Feb 1, 1994Japan Tobacco Inc.Apparatus for arranging and piling cigarettes
US5299679 *Dec 22, 1992Apr 5, 1994Japan Tobacco Inc.Apparatus for piling and transferring cigarettes
US5392586 *Mar 29, 1993Feb 28, 1995Japan Tobacco, Inc.Article transferring/wrapping apparatus
US5713185 *Sep 27, 1994Feb 3, 1998Lvc-Group Ltd. OyWrapping method for producing a package and for wrapping an article
US5791124 *Nov 8, 1995Aug 11, 1998Azionaria Costruzioni Macchine Automatiche A.C.M.A.S.P.A.Method and machine for wrapping groups of products
US5987860 *Jul 7, 1998Nov 23, 1999Yang; TerryGuiding plate for a wrapping device
US6904733 *Aug 13, 2003Jun 14, 2005Boix Maquinaria, S.A.Machine for packing bottles in cardboard boxes
US7322166Oct 21, 2005Jan 29, 2008Norse Dairy Systems, Inc.Apparatus for unwrapping and transporting frangible wafers for ice cream sandwiches and the like
US8341923 *Jul 9, 2008Jan 1, 2013Hunter Douglas Inc.Packaging window coverings
EP0913328A2 *Oct 13, 1998May 6, 1999G.D. S.p.A.A method and device for packaging products in rigid packets
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/456, 53/230, 53/462, 53/466, 53/575, 53/578
International ClassificationB65B11/22, B65B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B11/22, B65B11/004
European ClassificationB65B11/00D, B65B11/22
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 23, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: NEW STANDARD-KNAPP, INC., A CORP OF CT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:STANDARD-KNAPP, INC., A CORP OF CT;REEL/FRAME:004354/0414
Effective date: 19841222
Owner name: UNITED BANK & TRUST COMPANY, A CT BANKING CORP OF
Free format text: MORTGAGE;ASSIGNOR:NEW STANDARD-KNAPP, INC. A CORP OF CT;REEL/FRAME:004354/0422