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Publication numberUS3780493 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 25, 1973
Filing dateNov 15, 1971
Priority dateNov 15, 1971
Also published asCA966462A, CA966462A1
Publication numberUS 3780493 A, US 3780493A, US-A-3780493, US3780493 A, US3780493A
InventorsBaker L
Original AssigneeDiamond Int Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Package capping apparatus
US 3780493 A
Abstract
Apparatus for continuously forming produce packages for marketing comprising support means upon which containers filled with produce are individually fed and moved, conveyor means for moving each container to successive areas of operation to form a completed package, said areas including cap supply source, cap dispensing means, means for gripping and moving each cap in timed relationship along with the produce container, means for applying glue to lateral tab portions of each cap, means for folding the lateral portions of the cap against adjacent sides of the container associated therewith, means for compressing the lateral portions of the cap firmly against the sides of the container, means for applying glue to leading and trailing tab portions of the cap, means for folding the leading and trailing tab portions of the cap against adjacent sides of the container and means for compressing the leading and trailing tab portions of the cap firmly against the sides of the containers.
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United States Patent [1 1 Baker 1 Dec. 25, 1973 PACKAGE CAPPING APPARATUS Leroy D. Baker, Morris, ll].

[73] Assignee: Diamond International Corporation,

New York, N.Y.

[22] Filed: Nov. 15, 1971 [2!] Appl. No.: 198,866

[75] Inventor:

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,516,227 6/l970 Baker et al. 53/387 X 3,634,995 l/l972 Curtis 53/387 X 3,688,472 9/1972 Revaz 53/389 X 2,584,925 2/l952 Rideout 53/374 X 2,998,685 9/196! Ganz 53/389 X 2,669,167 2/1954 Behl 53/374 X 3,626,660 l2/l97l Dorfmann 53/387 X Primary Examiner-Travis S. McGehee Assistant Examiner-Horace M. Culver Attorney-Karl W. Flocks [57] ABSTRACT Apparatus for continuously forming produce packages for marketing comprising support means upon which containers filled with produce are individually fed and moved, conveyor means for moving each container to successive areas of operation to form a completed package, said areas including cap supply source, cap dispensing means, means for gripping and moving each cap in timed relationship along with the produce container, means for applying glue to lateral tab portions of each cap, means for folding the lateral portions of the cap against adjacent sides of the container associated therewith, means for compressing the lateral portions of the cap firmly against the sides of the container, means for applying glue to leading and trailing tab portions of the cap, means for folding the leading and trailing tab portions of the cap against adjacent sides of the container and means for compressing the leading and trailing tab portions of the cap firmly against the sides of the containers.

18 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTED 052251975 SHEET 1 0F 4 INVENTOR LEROY D. BAKER KTZ'LEQ FFTQLXG I ATTORNEY PATENTEB UEEZS I973 SHEEI 2 BF 4 INVENTOR LEROY D. BAKER PAIENTEU 052251913 sum a nr 4 FIG. 6.

m m E V W LEROY D. BAKER PAImI nbEczsma SHEET & 0F 4 FIG. l2.

FIG. /3.

LEROY D. BAKER PACKAGE CAPPING APPARATUS DISCUSSION OF THE PRIOR ART Apparatus for applying caps to produce containers to form marketable packages of the type for which applicant seeks patent protection is exemplified by the construction disclosed in the US. Pats. to Borchert, No. 1,913,743; Hammond, No. 2,595,849; Mueller, No. 3,487,622; Bennert et al, No. 3,412,526 and Baker et al, No. 3,516,227. In both the Borchert and the Hammond patents the capping operation is carried out by pressing the cap member partially into the opening of the container member. The Bennert et al. apparatus includes means for preforming a lid with locking tab members, placing the lid over a carton provided with slits into which the locking tab members are inserted. The Mueller patent relates to an apparatus for applying a cover to a container by pressing the cover into the container while compressing the side of the container to expel the air entrapped between the cover of the container and food product contained therein. The Baker et al patent relates to an apparatus for locating a container member beneath an indexed blank cover member to which glue is applied to the edges thereof and moving the container up to the lid member and together against a closing member.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Although the apparatus according to this invention may be used to efficiently form completed packages of any product in commerce by applying caps to containers, the advantages afforded thereby are especially desirable in the packaging of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and the like, which are highly perishable in the normal environs after picking and must be expeditiously packaged to avoid losses due to spoilage. The apparatus according to this invention also forms a neat and attractive package and at the same time gently applies a cap to each container without crushing or causing other damage to the product in the containers. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and candy are other examples of produce which may be the contents of the package formed on the apparatus according to this invention.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION The primary object of this invention is to provide an apparatus for forming a completed package in which individual containers filled with produce are moved along a series of areas of operation including cap dispensing means, glue applying means, cap folding means, and cap compressing means which cooperate to form the completed package.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the apparatus according to this invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the plane of 2-2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the plane of 3-3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the plane of 4-4 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the plane of 5--5 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the plane of 6-6 in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along the plane of 77 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along the plane of 8-8 in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 7 showing alternative means for deflecting lateral portions of the cap;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken along the plane of l0l0 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken along the plane of l1ll in FIG. 4;

FIG. 12 is a sectional view taken along the plane of l2l2 in FIG. 11; and

FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken along the plane of l3--l3 in FIG. 4 and corresponds to the alternative embodiment of FIG. 9.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now more particularly to the drawings, the novel packaging and capping apparatus in accordance with this invention is generally shown in FIG. 1 and includes a frame 10. In the preferred embodiment, the frame is L-shaped, although it may be in straight-line form. The frame 10 includes a longitudinally extending recess 12 with a first conveyor assembly 14 received therein. The conveyor assembly 14, which is best seen in FIG. 3, comprises a pair of spaced apart driving sprocket wheels 16 and a chain 18 in driving relationship therewith. A plurality of pushing lugs 20 extend radially from the chain 18 at predetermined distances along the chain 18. Also received in the recess 12 and on opposite sides of the conveyor assembly 14 are a pair of longitudinally extending support rails 22. A pair of laterally spaced guide rails 24 extend a short distance above the frame 10 and longitudinally thereof. Extending a short distance above the guide rails 24 and longitudinally of the frame 10 are a pair of laterally spaced support rods 26. A short distance beyond the incoming end of the frame 10 and spaced thereabove is a downwardly directed, inclined magazine M constituting a supply source of cap members C. Supported on opposite sides of the recess 12 and for operation thereover is a cap dispensing and feeder mechanism 28. Extending forwardly of the magazine M and above the frame 10 is a cap conveying system 30. The cap conveying system comprises a plurality of sprocket drive wheels 31, 32 and 33 and a chain 34 in driving relationship therewith as best seen in FIG. 3. Each of the sprocket drive wheels 32 and 33 have a cam 42 and 43, respectively, mounted adjacent one face thereof on fixed shafts upon which the wheels 32 and 33 are journalled. Spaced along the chain 34 at a predetermined distance are a plurality of spring-biased cam-actuated clips 36. Each clip 36 includes a cam follower 37 on one end of the clip 36, and a jaw 38 at the opposite end, which is biased to the gripping position with respect to the adjacent end of clip 36 by a spring 40 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The chain 34 comprises a downwardly inclined run extending adjacent the feeding end of the magazine M between the sprocket drive wheels 33 and 31, a generally horizontal conveying run extending above and parallel to the recess 12 of the frame 10, and an idle return run between the. sprocket drive wheels 32 and 33. The portion of the chain 34 between wheels 33 and 31 is substantially parallel to the magazine M. Fixedly supported on the frame 12 on opposite sides of the recess 12 are a pair of wells 44. Each well 44 as shown in FIG. 7 includes a chamber having hot melt glue G therein, a rotating glue applying wheel 46, which may be driven by motor means, and a pressure wheel 48. The support rods 26 terminate in front of the wells 44. Beyond the wells 44 and longitudinally of the frame 10 are a pair of laterally spaced folding and securing plates 50. The plates 50 are located on opposite sides of and above the recess 12 and include initially a generally horizontal receiving guide portion, a twisting deflecting or folding portion, which extends to right angled horizontal and vertical pressure portions.

As mentioned above, the preferred embodiment of the apparatus according to this invention is generally L-shaped with the second leg of the L including a secondary conveyor assembly 114 comprising drive sprockets 116, a chain 118 with spaced apart lugs 120 thereon arranged in recess 12 in a manner similar to conveyor assembly 14. Along with the second conveyor assembly 114 are a pair of support rails 122, a pair of guide rails 124, a pair of wells 144 for glue and a pair of folding and compression plates 150 which correspond to the support rails 22, the guide rails 24, the wells 44 for glue, and the folding and compression plates 50 of the first leg of the apparatus.

In operation of the apparatus according to this invention, the conveyor assembly 14 situated in the recess 12 of frame 10 is driven so that the pushing lugs on the upper run of chain 18 move in the direction indicated by the arrow on the left in FIG. 1. Containers B filled with produce, for example, are fed onto support rails 22 at the incoming end of the conveyor system 14. The means by which such containers B are fed onto support rails 22 form no part of this invention. As the chain 18 is driven along a lug 20 on the upper run thereof moves into pushing relationship with each container B fed onto the support rails 22 and advance it between guide rails 24 to the area beneath the discharge end of magazine M from which a cap C is removed by rotating dispensing cap feeder mechanism 28. Guide rails 24 are provided to preclude drift of the container B laterally. The cap feeder mechanism may, for example, comprise a suction head operative to pull a cap C from the discharge end of the magazine M and lower it in timed relationship onto support rods 26 and over a container 8 moved thereunder. by conveyor system 14. Also, moving in timed relationship with the upper run of chain 18 and the pusher lugs 20 thereon is the lower run of chain 34 of cap pulling assembly 30. Each clip 36 is arranged on chain 34 to grip the leading end of the cap C lowered onto support rods 26 or over a container B. The clips 36, which comprise a pair of gripping jaws are urged to open by cam 43 as follower 37 passes over the high spot thereof as seen in FIG. 1 in opposition to the bias of spring 40. As follower 37 moves to the low spot on cam 43 the spring jaw 38 and the associated portion of 36 are closed by action of spring 40 and grip the leading edge of cap C. Each cap is thus pulled along in timed relationship by cap pulling system 30 over container B, which is pushed along by conveyor assembly 14. Each cap C as is clearly seen in FIG. 2 includes a leading and a trailing edge or tab and a pair of transversely spaced side tabs. As the cap C is pulled along by clip 36 each of the transversely spaced side tabs advances beyond the ends of support rods 26 and is passed between the rotating glue applying wheel 46 of a well 44 and a pressure wheel 48. The glue G in the well 44 is, preferably, a hot melt glue. After glue has been applied to the underside of the transversely spaced tabs of cap C by wheels 46, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, each container B and its associated cap C are then moved between and beneath a pair of transversely spaced plates 50 each of which includes initially horizontal, twisted, and then vertical portions which deflect and fold the transversely spaced side tabs of each cap C against the sides of container B. Integral with the initially horizontal, twisted and then vertical portion of each plate 50 are right angled horizontal and vertical extensions which provide pressure against the folded transversely spaced side tabs of each cap C. The hot melt glue is cooled and cured as the cap C passes between the right angled horizontal and vertical portions of the plates 50, with pressure applied by the plates to firmly secure the side tabs of the cap against the adjacent sides of the container B as shown in FIG. 10.

As each container B passes out from between the plates 50 the clip 36 is caused to open its jaws by cam 42 which urges the follower 37 in a direction counter to the bias of spring 40.

The secondary conveyor system 1 14 which, as shown in FIG. 1, is situated in the recess 12 of the second leg of the L-shaped frame 10 with the lugs of chain 118 moves the container B on support rails 122 and between guide rails 124 forward and to the right. The tabs of the cap C which are referred to above as leading and trailing tabs are transversely spaced'along the second leg of the L-shaped frame 10. The leading and trailing tabs are passed between glue applying wheels 146 of wells 144 and pressure wheels 148 as shown in FIG. 11. After glue has been applied to the underside of the laterally extending tabs of the caps C (see FIG. 12) they are then passed between and beneath horizontal, twisted and vertical portions of folding and pressure plates 150. The plates 150 deflect and fold the laterally extending leading and trailing tabs of the cap C in the same manner that the plates 50 operated in the previous leg. The tabs thus folded by the plates 150 are then passed between horizontally and vertically extending right angle portions of the plate 150 by which pressure is applied to the sides of the cap and the glue is allowed to cool and cure against the adjacent sides of the container B as shown in FIG. 13. When the container B is discharged from between the plates 150 a completely packaged container of produce is ready for distribution to retailers.

Instead of using twisted plate portions to deflect and fold the transversely spaced laterally projecting edges ofthe cap C, beveled rollers 150' such as shown in FIG. 9 may be used to deflect the flaps of the cap toward the adjacent sides of the container B.

Also, instead of forming the frame 10 of the apparatus according to this invention in the shape of an L as shown in FIG. 1, the frame 10 may be formed in a straight line with means provided to rotate each container 90 after leaving the first conveyor system 14 and before entering the second conveyor system 114.

Although this invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in details of construction and accommodation and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for continuously forming marketable produce packages comprising a frame provided with support means upon which containers filled with produce may be individually fed and supported for subse-' quent movement therealong, conveyor means for moving containers along said support means to successive areas of operation for forming completed packages, said areas of operation including a cap supply source, cap dispensing means for individually removing caps from said source and positioning each of said caps removed from said supply source in timed relationship over a container moved thereunder, means for moving each cap positioned over a container in timed relationship along with the container associated therewith through successive areas of operation, means for supporting each cap for movement along with said container, means for applying glue to a pair of lateral tab portions of each cap as it is moved thereby in timed relationship with the container associated therewith, means for folding said lateral tab portions of each cap to which glue has been applied against adjacent sides of said container and firmly pressing said tab portions against said adjacent sides as each cap and the container associated therewith are moved in timed relationship thereby, said means for moving each cap including a sprocket chain with a plurality of cap gripping clips spaced thereon each of which includes a jaw member hinged thereto at one end and a spring element biasing said jaw to closed position.

2. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 characterized in that said frame includes a recess in which said support means for produce containers and conveyor means are situated.

3. The apparatus as recited in claim 2 characterized in that said support means for produce containers comprise a pair of transversely spaced rails extending generally parallel to a main portion of said frame and adjacent the top surface thereof with said conveyor means extending down into the recess of said frame.

4. The apparatus as recited in claim 3 characterized in that said conveyor means comprises a sprocket chain with a plurality of lugs spaced thereon for individually pushing a container of produce along said spaced rails.

5. Apparatus for continuously forming marketable produce packages comprising a frame provided with support means upon which containers filled with produce may be individually fed and supported for subsequent movement therealong, conveyor means for moving containers along said support means to successive areas of operation for forming completed packages, said areas of operation including a cap supply source, cap dispensing means for individually removing caps from said source and positioning each of said caps removed from said supply source in timed relationship over a container moved thereunder, means for moving each cap positioned over a container in timed relationship along with the container associated therewith through successive areas of operation, means for supporting each cap for movement along with said container, means for applying glue to a pair of lateral tab portions of each cap as it is moved thereby in timed relationship with the container associated therewith, means for folding said lateral tab portions of each cap to which glue has been applied against adjacent sides of said container and firmly pressing said tab portions against said adjacent sides as each cap and the container associated therewith are moved in timed relationship thereby, said frame including a recess in which said support means for produce containers and conveyor means are situated, said support means for produce containers including a pair of transversely spaced rails extending generally parallel to a main portion of said frame and adjacent the top surface thereof with said conveyor means extending down into the recess of said frame, said conveyor means including a sprocket chain with a plurality of lugs spaced thereon for individually pushing a container of produce along said spaced rails, said means for moving each cap including a sprocket chain with a plurality of cap gripping clips spaced thereon, each of which includes a jaw member hinged thereto at one end and a spring element biasing said jaw to closed position.

6. The apparatus as recited in claim 5 characterized in that cam means are provided at opposite ends of said conveyor means and urge follower means on the end of each clip opposite from the jaw member in opposition to said spring to open said jaw to receive or release a cap as the follower means traverses said cam means.

7. The apparatus as recited in claim 6 characterized in that said chain of said conveyor means and said chain of said means for moving each cap comprise adjacent parallel runs traveling in the same direction at substantially identical speed whereby the lugs and the clips respectively thereof move in timed relationship with each other.

8. The apparatus as recited in claim 3 characterized in that a pair of transversely spaced guide rails are provided above said recess to preclude lateral drift of containers moved along said support rails.

9. The apparatus as recited in claim 8 characterized in that said means for supporting each cap for movement comprise a pair of laterally spaced rods extending above and generally parallel to said guide rails.

10. The apparatus as recited in claim 9 characterized in that said means for applying glue comprise a pair of laterally spaced wells at the end of each of said rods.

11. The apparatus as recited in claim 10 characterized in that each of said wells includes a chamber of hot melt glue in which a portion of a rotatably mounted glue applying wheel may be dipped for glue to be applied to a surface passing over the upper periphery thereof.

12. The apparatus as recited in claim 11 including a rotating pressure wheel mounted coplanar with said glue applying wheel but above it for applying pressure to any material coming therebetween.

13. The apparatus as in claim 12 characterized in that said means for folding said lateral tab portions comprises a laterally spaced pair of plates each of which includes an initial horizontal receiving portion, a twisted folding portion and a vertical portion.

14. The apparatus as recited in claim 13 characterized in that each of said plates further includes right angled horizontal and vertical portions so pressure may be applied to folded tab portions to firmly secure said tab portions to adjacent sides of the container and to allow the hot melt glue to cool and cure.

15. The apparatus as recited in claim 3 characterized in that said cap dispensing means comprises a suction headon the end of a pivotally supported vacuum conduit.

16. The apparatus as recited in claim 3 characterized in that said frame continues beyond said means for folding lateral tab portions of each cap and includes adof each cap to which glue has been applied comprises at least a pair of laterally spaced rotating beveled wheels against which said tab portions may pass against and be downwardly deflected thereby.

18. The apparatus as recited in claim 16 characterized in that said frame is L-shaped with said areas of operation being disposed in one leg of the L-shaped frame and said additional areas of operation being disposed in the other leg of the L-shaped frame.

Patent Citations
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US2584925 *Jun 9, 1948Feb 5, 1952Emhart Mfg CoMachine for closing cartons
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US2998685 *Nov 20, 1958Sep 5, 1961Continental Can CoMethod and machine for packaging articles
US3516227 *Aug 23, 1968Jun 23, 1970Diamond Int CorpApparatus for continuously producing packages of produce
US3626660 *Apr 7, 1970Dec 14, 1971Grand City Container CorpCarton erecting and packaging machine
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3866387 *Jul 5, 1973Feb 18, 1975Grant Frank ATray wrapping apparatus and method
US4668327 *Jan 22, 1986May 26, 1987New Jersey Machine Inc.Tamper evident banding
US4969306 *Nov 19, 1987Nov 13, 1990Sprinter System AbApparatus for closing a filled, flanged carton tray
US5302227 *Mar 20, 1992Apr 12, 1994Kliklok CorporationMethod for closing a heat-resistant carton
US6820401 *Oct 29, 2002Nov 23, 2004International Product Technology, Inc.Method and apparatus for tensioning cover tape
US7073308 *Dec 17, 2003Jul 11, 2006Inline Plastics CorporationUniversal automated plastic container closing system
US8196371 *Apr 26, 2007Jun 12, 2012Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.Cap supply device
US20030079446 *Oct 29, 2002May 1, 2003Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.Method and apparatus for tensioning cover tape
US20050132666 *Dec 17, 2003Jun 23, 2005Dyke Joseph D.Universal automated plastic container closing system
US20090241470 *Apr 26, 2007Oct 1, 2009Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.Cap Supply Device
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/287, 53/376.5, 53/389.1, 53/329, 53/376.2
International ClassificationB65B7/28
Cooperative ClassificationB65B7/2871
European ClassificationB65B7/28F3