US 3789889 A
A vessel filling machine having a conveyor for conveying vessels to be filled in spaced relation through a filling region in which filling devices engage the vessels from above. In the absence of a vessel in a respective position of the conveyor, the respective filling device will move beyond the normal vessel engaging position thereof to a second position.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Riedel et al.
[451 Feb. 5, 1974 1 CONTROL ARRANGEMENT FOR A VESSEL FILLING MACHINE  Inventors: Rudolf Riedel, Bad Kreuznach; Felix Zelder, Munster-Sarmsheim; Horst Gilles, Bad Kreuznach, all of Germany  Assignee: Seitz-Werke G.m.b.H., Bad
Kreuznach, Germany 22 Filed: Feb. 14, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 226,168
 Foreign Application Priority Data Primary ExaminerHouston S. Bell, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or FirmWalter Becker ABSTRACT A vessel filling machine having a conveyor for conveying vessels to be filled in spaced relation through a filling region in which filling devices engage the vessels from above. In the absence of a vessel in a respective position of the conveyor, the respective filling device will move beyond the normal vessel engaging position thereof to a second position.
Feeler elements are located along the filling region for detecting the positions of the filling devices. In the event a complete vessel is absent from a position on the conveyor, the feeler elements cooperate to actuate an instrumentality designed to clear debris from the position from which the complete vessel is absent and in the event the debris is not cleared from the position, the machine stops.
10 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENIED E I 3,789,889
saw 1 BF 2 CONTROL ARRANGEMENT FOR A VESSEL A FILLING MACHINE The present invention relates to a control device for use in connection with rotating vessel treating machines, especially vessel filling machines, for the starting and turning off of devices which are associated with the machine and are arranged laterally of the circulatory path of the vessels. Devices of this type are spraying and splashing-off devices as well as devices for stopping the machine when a vessel gap is present in the circulatory path. Such devices usually comprise a plurality of feeler elements arranged laterally of the circulatory path of the vessels, which feeler elements will during the pressing of the vessels against the filling elements or during the withdrawal of the vessels from the filling elements check the moved machine elements in their respective end positions and release pulses acting upon associated control means.
Devices with feeler elements for checking and controlling the treatment of the vessels and adapted in response to the occurrence of vessel gaps in the circulatory path of the vessels to stop the treating machine or to actuate devices associated therewith have become known in various designs and with various ways of operation. Thus, according to a device described in German Patent No. 1,020,573, two feeler members are provided which feel the vessels at the inlet and outlet of the machine. A pulse released by the feeler member at the inlet side and received by a storing device is erased by the feeler member at the outlet side when the vessel leaves the machine in undamaged condition, whereas when the vessel is damaged the pulse is called off for stopping the machine or for actuating a pertinent device, for instance, an alarm.
According to US. Pat. No. 2,315,866, the machine is likewise stopped by means of a control device according to which a feeler lever controls the vessels during their treatment and in response to the occurrence of a vessel gap acts upon a switch. A turning off of the machine is also effected by the device according to German patent disclosure No. 1,256,094 which by means of pivotable feeler levers directed into the circulatory path of the vessels or by means of light sensitive electric devices feels vessels or centering tulips which had remained in their pressed-on condition or adhered to the filling plugs of the filling elements.
In practice it is in most instances not desirable to equip rotating vessel treating machines of high output, especially high output filling machines, with control devices of the' heretofore known type. In conformity with the purpose of such devices to stop the machine element when one or a plurality of vessels are lacking, although not every gap occurring in the flow of the vessels would interfere with the practical operation, these known control devices counteract the efforts, as far as possible, not to interrupt the operation of the high output machines. Already with regard to the high hourly output as well as the considerable energy peaks occurring when continuously starting and stopping rotating masses, it is for instance with a vessel breakage occurring during the handling of the vessels and in view of the thus'occurring gap not necessary under all circumstances to stop the machine in order to remove the broken pieces of the vessel. It will suffice, while the machine is in operation, by means of spraying and splashing devices of any suitable known type to spray or splash the machine elements which contacted the broken vessel, which machine elements may, for instance, by the lifting elements, the handling elements, etc., before a new vessel is fed into the machine. If, however, the disturbance or disorder which affects or interferes with the insertion of the newly fed vessel, for instance broken off pieces of the vessel adhering to the handling elements which pieces had not been removed by the preceding spraying or splashing treatment, has not been eliminated, it will be necessary to stop the machine.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a control device which will meet the above described requirement, especially in connection with high output machines, and will stop the machine only if a device provided for the elimination of disorders of the above mentioned type and duly actuated by the respective disorder is unable to eliminate the disorder.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a device as set forth in the preceding paragraph which, if the disorder is eliminated by the respective device before the vessel leaves the machine, will see to it that the machine remains in operation and the newly fed vessels are inserted for their subsequent treatment or handling.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the following specification in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of the vessel path of the machine while showing the arrangement of the feeler elements and of the spraying and splashing device for use in connection with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a cutout of the vessel path within the region of the feeler elements.
FIG. 3 represents a control circuit for use in connection with the device according to the invention.
The control device according to the present invention is characterized primarily in that it comprises four feeler elements which are serially arranged and distributed over a portion of the circumference of the vessel path. Three of these feeler elements precede the spray ing and splashing device within that range of the circulatory path over which the vessels are pressed onto the filling elements and prior to the vessel withdrawal from the filling elements in the upper end position of the machine elements which can be lifted during the pressing on of the vessels against the filling elements. The fourth feeler element is in the lower end portion of the machine elements arranged within that section of the circulatory path of the vessels which follows the spraying and splashing device and ends prior to that section of the path where the vessels are withdrawn from the filling elements. The first and the third feeler elements are spaced from each other by a distance equalling at least twice the machine division (twice the distance between two normally successive vessels along their circulatory path). The second feeler element in its turn is arranged between the first and third feeler elements at a distance from the first and third feeler element which equals one machine division, while two working contacts respectively controllable by the first and third feeler elements and a rest contact controllable by the second feeler element are connected to a current path of the control voltage conductor and are adapted, when commonly occupying their effective position to turn on the spraying and splashing device and to prepare the stopping of the machine through a time element. This time element is by means of the fourth feeler element cleared or reset when the machine elements occupy their lowered end position but remains unaffected when the machine elements are not lowered.
According to the present invention, the feeler elements comprise contactfree magnetic switches known per se, expediently proximity switches with built-in magnetic cores, while the machine elements adapted to be lifted and lowered for effecting magnetic flux changes in the magnet for purposes of releasing a control pulse are formed by the vessel tulips arranged on the treating elements of the machine. The invention can advantageously be further developed by causing the influencing of the magnetic switches by means of metal strips which are arranged on the vessel tulips and which are arranged opposite the switches and in the same plane with a slight spacing from each other and follow each other in such a way in the respective end positions of the vessel tulips that they form a nearly closed annular strip.
According to another embodiment of the invention, especially for use in connection with filling elements without vessel tulips, the vessel supports which receive the vessels form the machine elements adapted to be lifted and lowered and influence the magnetic switches. They may also be provided with metal strips which in the respective end positions of the vessel supports form an annular strip.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, only that part of the vessel filling machine is shown which comprises the circulatory path 12 of the vessels which path extends from the vessel inlet to the vessel outlet 11. The path 12 is preceded and followed by a conveyor 13 and 14 respectively. Along the vessel path 12 vessel supports 18 adapted to be lifted and lowered are located opposite filling elements 17 which are equipped primarily with one centering tulip 15 each adapted to be lifted and lowered and with a filling and/or gas pipe 16, the filling elements 17 being arranged with regard to each other at a predetermined machine division. At
the inlet 10 the empty vessels fed into the path 12 by conveyor 13 respectively move onto the supports 18 which latter during an upward stroke thereof press the vessels against the filling elements 17 through the intervention of the tulips 15, the tulips 15 carrying out an upward movement on the filling pipes 16 of the filling elements 17 or on another mounting and occupy their upper end positions C as shown in FIG. 2. In the pressing-on range which extends over the region A of the vessel path 12 (FIG. 1), the vessels are primarily pretensioned, filled and relieved, and in the succeeding range B, during the downward stroke of the supporting elements, withdrawn from the filling elements 17. At the end of the withdrawing range B, the supports 18 again occupy their starting position, and the filled vessels leave the outlet 11 and enter the withdrawing conveyor 14 of the machine. After the vessel withdrawal has been completed, also the tulips 15 due to their own weight or due to an outer force again occupy their lower end position D.
In the pressing-on range A, in the upper end position of the tulips 15, there are provided three feeler elements in the manner of contactfree magnetic switches bl, b2 and b3, expediently proximity switches with built-in magnetic core, in adaptation to the circumferential division of the machine and laterally of the vessel path 1-2. Between the first and the third switches bl and b3 which have a minimum distance from each other of two machine divisions there is arranged the second switch b2. The present invention furthermore comprises a spraying and splashing device 19 of any desired known design. This device 19 follows the switch b3 and precedes the switch b4 when considering the direction of movement of the vessels in the machine. The spraying and splashing device 19 is directed toward the filling or gas pipes 16 of the filling elements 17 and toward the vessel supports 18. A fourth feeler element b4, likewise a proximity switch, is adjacent the device 19 provided in the lower end position of the centering tulips 15 in the pressing-on range A.
For increasing the switch safety of the proximity switches bl b4, the control pulses of which are generated by a change in the magnetic flux, the tulips 15 advantageously and respectively have a metal strip 20. The metal strips 20 are arranged on the tulips 15 in slightly spaced relationship to the switches while being located opposite thereto, and in the end positions C, D of the tulips 15 form a nearly closed annular strip.
In conformity with the respective operational conditions, the switches bl, b2, b3, which in the specific example shown are arranged in the filling range, may also be located instead in the pretensioning range. Switch b4 is likewise adjustable. This switch is adapted within the range adjacent the device 19 and ahead of the completion of the vessel withdrawal to occupy any position while maintaining its lower end position D. For a selective adjustment over this section, the switch b4 is expediently detachably mounted.
According to the circuit illustrated in FIG. 3, the proximity switches bl, b2 and b3 are respectively connected to circuits S1, S2 and S3 which in their turn are connected to the control voltage conductors Ill]. The contacts b1, b2 and b3 of the proximity switches bl, b2 and b3 are together by means of a relay d1 electrically connected to the circuit line S4 which latter through a holding circuit is connected to a circuit S5. Provided within the circuit S5 is a time relay d2 and a contact kdl' of the relay d1.
In a further line S6 there is interposed a relay d3 and a second contact kdl" of relay d1 and a contact kd2' of relay d2. In a holding circuit branching off from line S6 there is interposed a contact kd3' of relay d3 and a pushbutton switch b5. A further contact kd of relay d3 is arranged in line. S5 while a contact kd3 is connected to the driving circuit S10 of the machine. A third contact kdl of relay d1 is with a magnetic valve d4 of the spraying device 19 arranged in the line S7.
For purposes of connecting the proximity switch b4 and a relay d5 to the conductor I/II, there are provided circuits S8 and S9. The circuit S9 comprises a relays d5 and a contact b4 ofa switch b4 and also has connected thereto a contact kdl" of the relay d1. A contact MS of the relay d5 is arranged in the line S5 for preparing the time relay d2.
When the machine, after having switched on the drive, is in operation while the control voltage conductor UN is connected to a network, the control device according to the invention operates as follows:
a. When the vessel path 12 is not occupied, the tulips 15 of the filling elements 17 maintain their lower end position D and the switches b1, b2 and b3 are not influenced by the operation of the machine so that the contact b2, in conformity with the circuit diagram of FIG. 3, is closed while the contacts b1 and b3 are open. A pulse released by the tulips 15 by means of the metal strip 20 at the switch b4 shifts the contact b4 to its closing position. At the relay d5 no switching function is exerted, the circuit S9 of relay d5 being interrupted by contact kdl.
b. When the path is occupied without any gap, the tulips 15 of the vessels fed onto the conveyor 13 and received at the inlet 10 by the supports 18 and pressed against the filling elements 17 occupy their upper end positions C which they maintain over the pressing-on range A. Of the metal strips 20 which in this connection are adjusted into the plane of the switches b1, b2 and b3 and form a nearly closed ring, the respective strip lifted with the first vessel will when passing by the switches b1, b2 and b3 each release a control pulse as a result of which the contacts bl and b3 close and the contact b2 opens. During the movement of the next following metal strips 20 in front of the switches bl, b2 and b3, these contact positions are maintained and relay d1 will still be ineffective. Also switch b4 remains unaffected. Its contact b4 maintains its opening position. Past the vessel withdrawing range B and the return of the tulips into their lower end position D, the filled vessels move through the outlet 11 onto the conveyor 14.
c. When the vessel path is occupied without any gaps, it is assumed that in the pressing-on range A in front of the switches bl, b2 and b3 approximately in the most critical pretensioning range a gap occurred due to the breakage of a vessel. The tulip 15 which engages the broken vessel will, of course, no longer occupy its upper end position C but will drop into intermediate positions or will drop to its lower end position D. The metal strip which is fastened to this specific tulip 15 will interrupt the annular ring which it previously formed with the remaining metal strips 20 so that, when the gap passes by the switch bl, a change in the magnetic flux will result, and the released pulse influences the contact bl. Furthermore, influenced by the metal strip 20 of the tulips l5 occupying the upper end position C on the last and last but one vessel in front of the gap, contact b2 maintains its opening position and contact b3 maintains its closing position. When in the now succeeding phase the gap comes into the range of switch b2, contact b2 will close as does contact b1 the switch b1 of which is influenced by the metal strip 20 following the gap. Inasmuch as switch b3 is furthermore influenced by the strip 20 preceding the gap and since its contact b3 already occupies its closing position, the circuit 84 is closed and relay d1 is energized. Relay d1 will then by means of its contact kdl be connected to the holding circuit S5 and consequently remains effective independently of the circuit S4 which latter in the subsequent phase, when passing past the gap at the switch b3, will be interrupted by the contact b3 and moved to its open position. Simultaneously with the contact kdl, also the time relay d2 is energized. By means of contact kdl the circuit S7 is closed, and through the intervention of the energized magnetic valve d4 the spraying and splashing device 19 is made effective. The energization of the relays d3 and d5 is prepared by the contacts kdl and kd1" which are simultaneously moved into closing position. When tulip 15, after the breakage of a vessel, returns to its lower end position D automatically or in view of the influence of the spraying and splashing device 19, which becomes effective during the further operation of the machine,
the tulip 15 influences the switch b4 so that its contact b4 closes. The effective relay d5 then by means of contact kd5 de-energizes the time relay d2 and disconnects relay d1 from its holding line S5. The operation of the machine will not be affected thereby and will continue. The spraying and splashing device 19 is now turned off.
If, however, the tulip 15 of the treated or sprayed filling element 17 does not occupy its lower end position D, for instance in view of a not flushed off broken piece of material which adheres to the filling pipe 16 of the filling element 17 or remains on the vessel support 18, the switch b4 is not affected by the metal strip 20 of tulip 15, and contact b4 remains open. The time relay d2 remains energized through kd5, kdl, kd and after a predetermined time together with contact kd2 closes circuit S6. As a result thereof, relay d3 will be energized. Relay d3 will then by means of contact kd3' be connected to the holding circuit S6 and by means of the opened contact kd interrupts the circuit S10 of the machine operation so that the machine will be stopped.
The simultaneously opened contact kd2' disengages the time relay d2 from the holding circuit S5. When actuating the pushbutton switch b5, a non-illustrated control contactor briefly turns off the drive motor, and the operator can move the stopped machine stepwise into positions which permit the removal of the broken pieces without difficulties. With this switch actuation, also the holding circuit for relay d3 is interrupted so that the contacts kd3, M3 and kd3 of relay d3 return to their starting position.
In conformity with the described embodiment of the invention, the arrangement of the switches bl and b3 with a spacing therebetween which equals two machine divisions and with the switch b2 arranged between switches b1 and b3, each time two gaps are felt or sensed which are caused by the breakage of a vessel and which amount to a machine division. By widening this minimum spacing between the switches bl and b3 and by the provision of the switch b2 at a distance of one machine division either with regard to the first switch bl or with regard to the third switch b3, the arrangement according to the invention can also any time be used for sensing larger gaps, and it is possible in the described manner to actuate the device associated with the machine and to stop the machine. Important with regard to the gaps which are to be checked in conformity with the invention is the division spacing between the switches bl and b3 which minus one machine division furnishes the size of a gap.
It is, of course, to be understood that the present invention is, by no means, limited to the specific showing in the drawings but also comprises any modifications within the scope of the appended claims. Thus, the feeler elements may, instead of being influenced by the centering tulips, also be influenced by other machine elements adapted to be lifted and lowered when the vessels are in pressed-on position. Such machine elements are, for instance, the vessel supports. In such an instance it is merely necessary to arrange the feeler elements at the end positions of such machine elements.
What is claimed is:
1. In a control system for a vessel filling machine having a vessel conveyor with predetermined spaced positions which are occupied by vessels during movement of the vessels through the machine, said machine having a region along which vessels in said respective positions are moved by said conveyor and within which region respective moveable machine members engage said vessels and are held by the vessels in a first location and move to a second location in the absence of a vessel in the respective position; said control system comprising four feeler elements distributed along said re gion, the first three of said feeler elements in the direction of movement of said conveyor developing signals in response to an adjacent said machine member occupying the said first location thereof, the fourth said feeler element developing a signal in response to the adjacent machine member occupying its said second location, the first and third of said feeler elements being spaced a distance about equal to two of the spacings between said vessels and the second feeler element being located about midway therebetween, a clearing station between said third and fourth feeler elements operable when actuated to treat the adjacent vessel position to clear residue such as a broken vessel therefrom, and a control circuit under the control of signals from said feeler elements and controlling the actuation of said clearing station and the operation of said machine, said control circuit being operable in response to signals from said first and third feeler elements in the absence of a signal from said second feeler element to cause actuation of said clearing station and to prepare a machine disabling circuit, said control circuit being operable in response to a signal from said fourth feeler element to interrupt said disabling circuit.
2. A control system according to claim 1 in which said clearing station comprises means to divert a fluid spray toward the said vessel position on the conveyor which is adjacent thereto.
3. A control system according to claim 1 in which said control circuit includes means to delay the actuation of said clearing station until the vessel position on the conveyor aligned with said second feeler element at the time the second feeler means moved to its second location and developed a signal is near said spraying station.
4. A control system according to claim 1 in which said control circuit includes means to delay the operation of said machine disabling circuit until the vessel position on the conveyor aligned with said second feeler element at the time the second feeler means moved to its said second location has passed said fourth feeler element.
5. A control system according to claim 1 in which said feeler elements comprise contact free magnetic switches and said machine members comprise magnetic means operable to actuate said switches when in proximity thereto.
6. A control system according to claim 5 in which said magnetic means on said machine members are in the form of metal strips which present a substantially continuous strip when said machine members are in corresponding locations.
7. A control system according to claim 6 in which said machine members comprise vessel supports on said conveyor.
8. A control system according to claim 6 in which said machine members comprise filling devices moveable into engagement with the tops of vessels resting on said conveyor.
9. A control system according to claim 8 in which said filling devices move with said vessels.
10. A control system according to claim 1 in which said feeler elements are adjustable in the direction of movement of said conveyor.