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Publication numberUS3807123 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1974
Filing dateMay 17, 1972
Priority dateMay 17, 1972
Publication numberUS 3807123 A, US 3807123A, US-A-3807123, US3807123 A, US3807123A
InventorsKihnke L
Original AssigneeDake Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Product packaging apparatus
US 3807123 A
Abstract
A product packaging apparatus for the automated conveyance and packaging of predetermined quantities of products or materials in individual, flexible bags. The apparatus comprises an infeed conveyor for feeding a flow of material to be packaged to a packaging means and means for shutting off the flow of material from the infeed conveyor to the packaging means. The packaging means includes a receptacle, weighing means, support means for holding a plurality of flexible bags beneath the receptacle, closure means for opening, filling, and removing the bags, and a control means associated therewith for controlling the operation of the above means for shutting off the flow of material from the infeed conveyor to the packaging means.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Kihnke Apr. 30, 1974 [54] PRODUCT PACKAGING APPARATUS Primary Examiner-Travis S. McGehee L k M h. [75] Inventor Lee S Klhnke Spring a e Attorney, Agent, or Firm--Pr1ce, Heneveld, Huizenga [73] Assignee: Dake Corporation, Grand Haven, & CQQper Mich.

22 Filed: May 17, 1972 ABSTRACT [21] Appl. No.: 254,074

[52] US. Cl 53/59 W, 53/63, 53/78, 53/189, 53/385, 177/120 [5] Int. Cl 1365b 57/06 [58] Field of Search 53/59 W, 63, 67, 78, 189, 53/190, 385; 177/59, 120

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,581,459 6/1971 Elliott et a1. 53/59 W 3,695,371 10/1972 Sheetz 177/59 997,145 7/1911 Lines 53/190 X 2,536,516 l/1951 Peterson 53/59 W 3,175,632 3/1965 Rouban 177/120 X 3,715,857 2/1973 Fronczak 53/189 X A product packaging apparatus for the automated conveyance and packaging of predetermined quantities of products or materials in individual, flexible bags. The apparatus comprises an infeed conveyor for feeding a flow of material to be packaged to a packaging means and means for shutting ofi' the flow of material from the infeed conveyor to the packaging means. The packaging means includes a receptacle, weighing means, support means for holding a plurality of flexible bags beneath the receptacle, closure means for opening, filling, and removing the bags, and a control means associated therewith for controlling the operation of the above means for shutting off the flow of material from the infeed conveyor to the packaging means.

xi'fiiv-'fi'iiiAPR 30 m4 3 Q 8 07; l 23 SHEET 3 OF 3 I60 CONTROL C OFF-ON 4L/|T3 r" "a |74 Q: N }|TO 8' j I 1 2 I82 I as I84 w L w |ee I80 9| 14L -xdbz l 1 I95 I95 I96 him/ w 19s lSO |T7 as To OTHER 4 SIMILAR CONTROL Cmcuns TO OTHER SIMILAR 6 NTROL 0 CIRCUITS 1 PRODUCT PACKAGING APPARATUS This invention relates to a product packaging apparatus and, more particularly, to an apparatus for the automated conveyance and packaging of predetermined quantities of products or materials in individual, flexible bags.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the past, machines and apparatus for the packaging of products and materials have been characterized by their complexity and intricate design. More recently, such machines have been made highly automated with the result that the machine designs have become increasingly more complex. Although being automated, the intricate designs have detracted from the value of such machines due to the resulting inefficiencies. Thus, such prior machines with their intricate machinery have been prone to frequent breakdowns, and have required constant attention to keep the apparatus operational. More importantly, however, such machines have been incapable of handling varying types of products and materials thereby causing those machines to be attractive only to highly specialized packaging needs. Therefore, the need was apparent for a product or material packaging apparatus or machine which was automatic and packaged the product or material without the intervention of any manual labor, which was highly flexible and could therefore handle a variety of products or materials to be packaged, and which was simple and efficient in its operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object and feature of the present invention to provide a packaging apparatus which is fully automatic in operation and includes a conveying means for transporting the material to be packaged, a packaging means for dispensing a predetermined amount of the material into individual flexible bags, and a recirculating means for recirculating the material to be packaged which is not accepted by the packaging means.

It is another object and feature of the present invention to provide a packaging apparatus which is capable of packaging a variety of products and materials, but especially thin, elongated articles or produce such as carrots.

It is a further object and feature of the present invention to provide a simple and efficient packaging apparatus utilizing few moving parts which can accurately and quickly dispense predetermined amounts of a continuous flow of material to be packaged into individual bags after which the bags are removed and dropped into a waiting receptacle, all without the intervention of any human operators, or the waste or spillage of any material to be packaged.

These and other objects and features of the present invention may be accomplished by providing a product packaging apparatus which conveys and packages a continuous flow of products or material to be packaged and recirculates any product or material which cannot be accepted by the packaging means. The packaging apparatus includes an infeed conveyor for receiving and feeding the material to be packaged to and into the packaging section of the apparatus. The infeed conveyor includes means for segregating the flow of material into several columns and at least two sections for accelerating the flow of material over the length of the infeed conveyor. The infeed conveyor may also include reciprocating means for orientating the flow of material on the conveyor.

The apparatus also includes a packaging means comprising at least one receptacle or bucket for receiving the material from the infeed conveyor which bucket is suspended from a scale in order to measure the quantity of material received in the bucket. The bucket is disposed adjacent a support means for holding at least one flexible bag, which bag receives the material to be packaged from the bucket. A fluid means is provided for opening the bag prior to the reception of the material from the bucket and for indicating the absence of any bags on the support means.

Following the measurement of the material in the bucket by the scale, a closure means is activated to release the material from the bucket into the bag, after which release the filled bag is removed from the support means. After the bucket is filled and during the re lease of the material to be packaged into the bag, a flow diverting means mounted on the discharge end of the infeed conveyor diverts the flow of material onto a recirculating means which carries the diverted material to a position where it may be returned to a portion of the infeed conveyor. Signaling means, timing means,

and power means are provided for operating the various elements of the apparatus and for accomplishing these operations in the proper sequence.

These and other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent from a study of the following description taken in conjunction with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of the packaging apparatus comprising the present novel invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side elevation of the packaging means shown positioned adjacent the discharge end of the infeed conveyor;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary front elevation taken along lines IIIIII of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged side elevation of a portion of the packaging means shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the discharge end of the infeed conveyor, the packaging means, and the recirculating means; and

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of the electrical circuit controlling one of the units of the packaging means.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings in greater detail, FIG. 1 shows the packaging apparatus 10 as assembled and installed for operation. As depicted therein, packaging apparatus 10 comprises an infeed conveyor means 12, a recirculating means 20, and a packaging means 50. Generally, the infeed conveyor means 12 receives the products or material to be packaged at its infeed end 14 and transports or conveys the material to the packaging means 50. The packaging means includes six separate packaging units (one of which is shown) spaced along the discharge end 16 of the infeed conveyor 12. The packaging means 50 also includes six scales or weighing means 52, each of which is operably associated with one of the individual packaging units 60. Also included in packaging means 50 are a series of bag supply indicating lights 54 and 55 for indicating when the packaging means no longer holds a supply of bags. Additionally, a control box 56 is provided for housing the electrical circuit and timing controls needed for the operation of the packaging apparatus 10.

Infeed conveyor means 12 and recirculating means 20 are of the type described in my concurrently filed application entitled PACKAGING APPARATUS, invented by Lee S. Kihnke, Ser. No. 254,076, filed on even date herewith and incorporated by reference herein. Thus, the infeed conveyor 12 generally receives and conveys or transports a quantity of products or material to be packaged from its infeed end 14 to and into the packaging means 50 as will be more fully described below. As described in the co-pending application referred to above, the infeed conveyor 12 includes guide means 18 for segrating the flow of material to be packaged into a pluraltiy of columns of flow, each of which columns is directed to one of the packaging units 60.

As described hereinafter, if the individual packaging units 60 are filled or unable to accept any more of the material to be packaged, flow diverting means 150 provided at the discharge end 16 of the infeed conveyor 12 are activated to divert the flow of material onto recirculating means or recirculating conveyor 20, which recirculating conveyor then removes the flow of material such that it may be returned to the infeed end 14 of infeed conveyor 12. Thus the continuous and efficient operation of the packaging apparatus is insured since the conveyor 12 may operate continuously without clogging or jamming resulting when the individual packaging units 60 are for any reason unable to accept more of the material to be packaged.

Individual packaging units 60 generally include a receptacle means 62 for receiving the flow of material to be packaged from the discharge end 16 of the infeed conveyor 12, as shown in FIG. 1. A support means 90 for a bag means or plurality of bags 110 is disposed adjacent to and immediately below the lower end of receptacle means 62 such that the material to be packaged, which has been weighed and measured by means of a scale 52 while held in receptacle means 62, may be released into the outermost bag of bag means 110 as supported by support means 90. The individual bags 112, which are opened by a fluid means 120 (FIG. 2) prior to the release of the measured amount of material to be packaged by the receptacle means 62, are then removed mechanically by closure means 70 from support means 90, after which the filled bags drop into a receptacle or container therebeneath. The details and construction ofthe various elements enabling this continuous bag filling and recirculating operation will be more fully described below.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 through 5, the details of the construction and operation of the various elements utilized to accomplish the above described packaging operation will be more fully revealed. As shown in FIG. 2, each individual packaging unit 60 includes a scale or weighing means 52, a receptacle means 62, a closure means 70, a support means or bag holder 90 for holding a bag means 110 including a plurality of individual flexible bags 112, and a fluid means 120. Also associated with the packaging units 60, are the flow diverting means 150 and recirculating means 20 mounted adjacent to the packaging units 60 on the discharge end 16 of infeed conveyor 12. Scale 52 is mounted on frame members 64 and supports receptacle means 62 by means of downwardly extending frame 66. Scale 52 includes a counter-balancing means 53 on which weights may be placed to predetermine the amount of material received in receptacle means 62 prior to its release into bags 112. Scale 52 is of the conventional and wellknown type which is readily commercially available and which indicates exactly when a weight suspended from it exactly matches the weight of counterweight 53 preset thereon. Scale 52 also includes a control signaling means (not shown) which may be set to activate both the closure means and the flow diverting means 150 when a predetermined weight has been measured by the scale, as will be more fully described below.

Receptacle means 62 comprises a bucket 67 having a first opening 68 at the upper end thereof and a second opening 69 at the lower end. Bucket 67 is fixedly mounted on the lower portion of frame 66 at an angle with the vertical such that the first opening 68 is positioned immediately adjacent and in line with the trajectory of the flow of material to be packaged leaving the discharge end 16 of infeed conveyor 12 (see FIG. 2). Second opening 69 of bucket 67 is disposed adjacent to support means 90 and is selectively opened and closed by closure means 70 in order to release the material to be packaged held by bucket 67.

Closure means 70 comprises a pivotal door 71 including a hinge arm 72, which hinge arm 72 allows door 71 to pivot about rod 73 which is mounted on bucket 67. Door 71 also includes a power arm 74 which is in turn operably connected to air cylinders 75 and 76 mounted end to end such that a double air cylinder is formed. Cylinders 75 and 76 include extensible shafts 77 and 78, respectively, which shafts 77 and 78 are respectively pivotally connected to power arm 74 and frame member 66. Thus, when one of the air cylinders 75 or 76 is activated, an extensible shaft is withdrawn thereby moving the door 71 from a closed position 79, shown by the solid lines in FIGS. 2 and 4, to the first open position 79, shown in phantom..The movement of the door 71 to the first open position 79, also inserts the extremity of door 71 into the opening of the outermost bag 112 supported on support means 90. Bag 1 12 is opened prior to the pivotal insertion of door 71 therein by fluid means 120 which directs a stream of compressed air from nozzle 122 in a direction of the lower edge of door 71 thereby causing the air to reflect off door 71 and into the opening 113 of bag 112. The stream of air thus opens and maintains bag 112 in an opened position, after which the rotation of door 71, by means of the activation of one of the cylinders 75 or 76, causes the extremity of door 71 to be inserted in opening 113 thereby mechanically stretching open, i.e., further opening, opening 113 to its fullest extent in preparation for the release of the material from bucket 67. The activation of the remaining cylinder 75 or 76 will withdraw the remaining extensible shaft causing door 71 to rotate or pivot about rod 73 to the second open position shown at 79", also shown in phantom in FIGS. 2 and 4. This rotation to the second open position 79" of door 71, causes bag 112 to be removed from holder since the pivotal movement of door 71 separates bag 112 from flat 114 along perforated line 115. Thus, in cooperation with fluid means 120, closure means 70 is extended to fully open and fill the outermost bag 112 held by support means 90, after which filling the closure means 70 is further extended to completely remove bag 112 from support means 90 and packaging means 60. These vario' s operations are timed to occur sequentially in response to successive signals from control or signaling means included with the scale 52 and timing means mounted within control box 56, as will be more fully described below.

Referring again to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, the construction and operation of the support means 90 in relation to the position and construction of the weighing means 52, receptacle means 62 and fluid means 120 will become more fully apparent. Support means 90 is of the type described in the concurrently filed application entitled BAG HOLDING APPARATUS & METHOD FOR PACKAGING invented by Lee S. Kihnke and Dewey L. Thompson, Ser. No. 254,075, filed on even date herewith and incorporated by reference herein. Support means or bag holder 90 is mounted on frame member 91 by means of support members 92 and arm 93. Bag holder 90 further includes a bag frame 94 pivotally mounted on pin 95 mounted on arm 93. Bag frame 94 comprises a back plate 96 slidably mounted on rods 97 which rods 97 are in turn mounted in apertures provided in rear support plate 98 of bag frame 94. Back plate 96 is biased away from rear support plate 98 by means of springs 99. Bag means 110 comprising a plurality of bags 112 are mounted by means of a U- shaped wire wicket 100 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4.

Preferably, the bags 112 contemplated for use with support means 90 are flexible, plastic bags made from polyethylene or other similar materials. The bags 112 are preferably formed in a rectangular shape with an opening 113 at the top. A supporting flap 114 extends beyond the opening from one side of the bag and includes apertures for receiving the legs of the U-shaped wire wicket 100. The bag 112 may be removed from flap 114 and wicket 100 along a preferated line 115 between the flap 114 and the edge of opening 113.

The U-shaped wire wicket has two parallel legs interconnected by a cross member, which legs extend through apertures provided in flaps 114 of each individual bag 112 such that the bags may be stacked on the wicket and prevented from sliding off the ends of the legs by means of the cross member. The parallel legs of the wicket are slidably and removably inserted in bag frame 94 such that the plurality of bags 112 is supported by the back plate 96 with the outermost bag, i.e., the bag farthest away from back plate 96, being supported immediately adjacent and beneath the sec ond opening 69 of bucket 67 and closure means 70 as described above. A securing plate 101 is removably attached over the tops of the bag means 110 such that it contacts the cross member of wire wicket 100 thereby securely holding the wicket and the attached plurality of bags 112 in place.

Therefore, when assembled, bag holder 90 supports a removable and replaceable plurality of bags 110 at an angle immediately adjacent and beneath the second opening 69 of bucket 67 with the back plate 96 continuously biasing the outermost bag 112 into the proper position such that the bag may be opened by fluid means 120 and filled and removed by closure means 70 in combination with bucket 67. Support means or bag holder 90 also includes pivotal securing means 102 comprising a pivotal securing arm 103 pivotally mounted on the lower portion or rear support plate 98 such that arm 103 may be selectively pivoted into and out of a slot member 104 fixedly secured to a portion of the frame 65 beneath the bag holder. Consequently, the pivotal movement of arm 103 out of contact with slot member 104 releases the bag holder enabling it to swing about pivot point such that securing plate 101 and wire wicket may be easily removed and replaced with a full complement of bags.

As described above, fluid means 120 comprises a means for directing a stream of compressed air at the lowermost extremity of closure means 70 such that the air is deflected off the closure means 70 thereby opening and filling the outermost bag 112 supported on support means 90. In addition, fluid means 120 comprises a portion of the bag supply indicating means for indicating when the bag means or supply of bags has been entirely removed from the bag holder 80. Fluid means 120, as referred to above, comprises a conduit 121 for compressed air, which conduit is connected to a compressed air supply 124 as shown in FIG. 2. The compressed air supplied to fluid means originates at the same source as the compressed air used to power cylinders 75 and 76, however, the air for clyinders 75 and 76 is first passed through a lubricant such that a sifficient amount of oil is carried into the cylinders for lubrication purposes. The air provided to fluid means 120, on the other hand, does not pass through an oil bath and is thus perfectly dry and oil free thereby preventing any contamination or dirtying of the individual bags 112 or the packaging means 60. A nozzle 122 is mounted at the end of conduit 121 and is directed such that a stream of air just contacts the lowest extremity of door 71 of closure means 70. The main portion of the stream of air continues on and, when all the bags held by support means 90 have been used by the packaging apparatus, the stream of air enters port 126 formed in biased back plate 96.

Port or aperture 126 is connected to a fluid pressure responsive signaling means 130 by'means of a communicating means or flexible conduit or tube 128. The fluid pressure responsive signaling means 130 comprises a fluidic servo unit including an expandable bellows and a switch (not shown), which bellows when filled by the stream of air directed at port 126 and communicated to the bellows by means of tube 128, expands and closes the switch thereby producing a signal which is transmitted to flow diverting means as-will be hereinafter described. Consequently, when at least one bag remains'supported on support means 90, port 126 will be blocked by the material forming the bag, thus preventing the stream of compressed air from entering port 126 and activating the fluid pressure responsive signaling means. When the last bag 112 is used, however, the stream of air will enter port 126, activate fluid pressure responsive signaling means 130 producing a signal which, when transmitted, activates the flow diverting means 150 and turns on light 54 indicating the bag holder or support means 90 is empty. Thus, the flow of material to be packaged on infeed conveyor 12 will be diverted by flow diverting means 150 when no bags are left on bag holder 90 to receive the material as described below. Consequently, no waste or spillage of the material to be packaged is encountered.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 5, the construction and cooperation of the flow diverting means 150, packaging means 50 including packaging unit 60, and recirculating means 20 will become apparent. As described in the co-pending application referred to above, flow diverting means 150 comprise a plurality of pivotal extensions of the guide means 18 or gates 152. Gates 152 are powered by fluid pressure means or air cylinders (not shown) which, in response to signals produced by either the scale 52 or the fluid pressure responsive signaling means 130, pivot gates 152 across the flow of material on infeed conveyor 12 at the discharge end of the conveyor. The pivoting of the gates 152 thus causes the flow to be diverted from entering the opening 68 of bucket 67 onto and against the deflecting chute 154, as shown by the dotted lines in FIG. 5. The deflected material or products then slide down chute 154 and onto recirculating conveyor 20 which carries the diverted material away from the end of infeed conveyor 12 to a position at which it may be transferred back to the infeed end 14 of conveyor 12. As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 5, the recirculating means or conveyor 20 is mounted such that it carries the flow thereon transverse to the flow on infeed conveyor 12. However, conveyor 20 may be mounted in any convenient position such that it receives and carries the diverted material to a position where that material may be transported to the infeed end 14 of conveyor 12.

Referring now to FIG. 6, the control circuit 160 for controlling each of the individual packaging units 60 is shown. Circuit 160 is repeated several times such that each unit 60 has its own control circuit. The control circuit basically operates as follows. The main control switch is pushed on and power is fed to the three circuits 170, 180 and 190 contained within circuit 160, each of which is included circuits operates to control and operation of the packaging apparatus upon the occurrence of a certain event.

Circuit 170 comprises the bag-empty signaling circuit indicating when support means 90 contains no more flexible bags. As described above, when fluid pressure responsive signaling means 130 is activated due to the lack of any bags preventing the stream of air from entering port 126, switch 171 is closed, thereby activating relay 172 and indicating light 54. Relay 172 immediately closes switch 174 in order to activate the flow diverting means 150 to divert gates 152 thereby stopping the flow of material to be packaged to bucket 67 since no bags 110 remain to receive any material from bucket 67. Reset switch 173 must be manually pushed after the support means 90 have been refilled with bags 110 in order to open circuit 170 thereby allowing the continued operation of the packaging unit 60.

When sufficient bags are held by bag holder 90, the normal operation of the packaging apparatus 60 will taken place as controlled by circuits 180 and 190. When a sufficient amount of material has entered bucket 67, the scale 52 will close switch 181 activating first timing means or time delay relay 182 thereby closing switch 183 and simultaneously opening switch 191. When switch 183 is closed, solenoid 184 is activated thereby pivoting gates 152 and again diverting flow away from bucket 67 to diverting chute 154. The activation of solenoid 184 also closes switch 185 thereby activating solenoid 186 which activates one of the cylinders 75 or 76 thereby causing closure means 70 to open to the first open position shown at 79 in FIG. 4.

After the activation of solenoids 184 and 186, the time delay relay 182 causes switch 183 to open thereby closing interconnected switch 191 and immediately activating circuit 190 including a second timing means or time delay relay 192. Following a predetermined amount of time set on time delay relay 192 to allow bucket 67 to release all material held therein, relay 192 closes switch 193 thereby activating a third timing means or time delay relay 194 which immediately closes switch 195 thereby activating solenoid 196. Solenoid 196 activates the remaining cylinder or 76 to further open closure means 70 to position shown in FIG. 4 at 79". This further opening of closure 70 removes the outermost bag 112 from support means 90. After a preset amount of time on time delay relay 194, relay 194 closes switch 197 thereby activating solenoids 198 and 199 which cause the closure means 70 to close the opening 69 of bucket 67 and pivot gates 152 back to their normal position, respectively. After gate 152 has returned to its normal position, the operation will repeat itself since the flow of material will enter bucket 67 and again cause scale 52 to activate switch 181.

Therefore, the various operations and elements of packaging means 60 are controlled by a circuit 160 including circuits 170, 180 and 190 as described above. The basic operation thereby utilizes three time delay relays to sequentially fill bucket 67, divert the flow of material with gates 152, open closure means 70 to a first open position 79 to fill outermost bag 1 12, further open closure means 70 to position 79" to remove the filled bag 112 from the packaging means 60, pivot closure means 70 back to its original position, and return gate 152 to its original position.

The method or operation of packaging material or products by means of the novel packaging apparatus 10 described above will now become more apparent. The operation begins by feeding a flow of material to be packaged onto the infeed end 14 of infeed conveyor 12, which conveyor both orients and accelerates the material over the length of the conveyor as it progresses toward discharge end 16. The flow of material is also segregated by guide means 18 into a number of columns, one column for each of the packaging means 60 included within packaging apparatus 10. If the support means or bag holder has a sufficient supply of bags 112 supported thereon, fluid means will not be able to direct the stream of compressed air into aperture 126 thereby preventing the activation of circuit and allowing the flow of material to progress into the individual packaging units 60, since gates 152 will not be diverted or moved across the flow of material.

When the material reaches the discharge end 16 of infeed conveyor 12, its linear momentum imparted by the motion of conveyor 12 will carry it in a smooth trajectory into the opening 68 of bucket 67 disposed adjacent thereto. When a sufficient amount of material is in bucket 67, the weight of that material will overcome the predetermined counterweight 53 placed on scale 52 causing scale 52 to activate circuit 180. During the filling of bucket 67, fluid means 120 through nozzle 122 is directing a stream of compressed air against the lower extremity of door 71 of closure means 70 which stream is thereby deflected into the opening of the outermost bag 112 supported by support means 90. The deflection of air into opening 1 13 of bag 1 12 opens and fills bag 112 thereby readying the bag for filling in the next operation.

terial against discharge chute 154 causing the material.

to fall onto recirculating conveyor 20 which carries the material out of the area of packaging apparatus 10. At the same time the gates 152 are pivoted, time delay 182 activates one of the cylinders 75 or 76 thereby retracting or withdrawing one of the shafts 77 or 78 which in turn moves the closure means 70 including door 71 to the first open position shown at 79. The pivoting of door 71 into the first open position releases the material to be packaged from bucket 67 into the already opened bag 112 thereby filling the bag with the predetermined quantity of material. After a time delay, preset on time delay relay 192 in circuit 190, which circuit has been activated previously by time delay relay 182 and a movement of interconnected switches 183 and 191, the door 71 is pivoted to its second open position shown at 79" by the activation of the remaining cylinder 75 or 76 and the withdrawing of the remaining shafts 77 or 78. This movement of the door 71 to the second open position causes the bag 112 to be separated from the flap 114 along perforated line 115 thereby removing the bag from the packaging unit 60 and allowing the filled bag to drop into a waiting receptacle placed under unit 60. Following a time delay preset on a third timing means or time delay relay 194, the closure means 70 including door 71 is pivoted back to its closed position by means of the extension of shafts 77 and 78 by the reverse activation of air cylinders 75 and 76 as controlled by circuit 190.

Should the packaging unit 60 fill and remove all of the bags 112 included in bag means 110, circuit 170 will be activated by means of the compressed air stream entering aperture 126. The compressed air entering aperture 126 causes an increase in fluid pressure within commmunicating tube 128 thereby activating fluid pressure responsive signaling means 130. The activation of signaling means 130 is indicated by the light 54 and also causes the pivoting of the gates 152 across the flow of material such that the material is diverted into recirculating conveyor 120 thereby preventing the filling of bucket 67 when no bags are present on the support means 90. A new supply of bags 110 may be inserted on support means 90 by pivoting arm 102 out of slotted member 104 and pivoting the entire bag frame 94 downwardly and away from bucket 67. The pivotal movement of bag frame 94 allows sufficient room to remove securing plate 101 thereby allowing the removal of the empty wicket 100 and the insertion of a new supply of bags 1 on another wicket 100. Following the insertion of the new supply of bags 110, the rest switch 173 may be pushed, thereby deactivating the operation of circuit 170 and allowing the continued normal operation of the packaging apparatus 10.

Therefore, it is apparent that a highly efiicient automatic packaging apparatus and method is provided with the novel construction described above. The apparatus is seen to have a simple construction utilizing few moving parts yet is able to accurately, quickly and continuously package of flow of products and materials carried to the packaging apparatus. Additionally, the novel construction will be seen to have the necessary flexibility enabling it to accommodate many varied types of products and materials which may need to be packaged.

10 While one preferred form of the invention has been shown and described, other forms will now be apparent to those skilled in the art. Therefore, it will be understood that the embodiment shown in the drawings and described above is merely for illustrative purposes, and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention which is defined by the claims which follow.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. Packaging apparatus for the packaging of material comprising in combination: infeed conveyor means for feeding said material into a packaging means, said infeed conveyor means having infeed and discharge ends and adapted to carry a flow of material; receptacle means for receiving said material from said infeed conveyor means; weighing means associated with said receptacle means for measuring the quantity of said material in said receptacle means; bag support means for holding at least one bag in a position for receiving said material from said receptacle means; means actuated by said weighing means in response to said receptacle means containing a predetermined weight of material for causing material from said receptacle means to be released into the bag held by said bag support; said means actuated by said weighing means including release means for both releasing said quantity of material into the bag and for opening the bag during the release of said material into the bag; and means for shutting off the flow of material to said receptacle; said last mentioned means being responsive to said receptacle containing said predetermined weight of material and to the releasing of said material from said receptacle whereby material is restrained from being fed to said receptacle while said predetermined weight of material is contained in said receptacle and during the releasing of said material from said receptacle.

2. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 1 wherein said release means comprise a closure means movably mounted on said receptacle means for releasing said material from said receptacle and for opening said bag and a control means responsive to said weighing means for controlling the movement of said closure means.

3. Packaging apparatus for the packaging of material comprising in combination: infeed conveyor means for feeding said material into a packaging means, said infeed conveyor means having infeed and discharge ends and adapted to carry a flow of material; receptacle means for receiving said material from said infeed conveyor means; weighing means associated with said receptacle means for measuring the quantity of said material in said receptacle means; bag support means for holding at least one bag in a position for receiving said material from said receptacle means; means actuated by said weighing means in response to said receptacle means containing a predetermined weight of material for causing material from said receptacle means to be released into a bag held by said bag support; and means for shutting off the flow of material to said receptacle; said last-mentioned means being responsive to said receptacle containing said predetermined weight of material and to the releasing of said material from said receptacle whereby material is restrained from being fed to said receptacle while said predetermined weight of material is contained in said receptacle and during the releasing of said material from said receptacle; said means actuated by said weighing means comprising a closure means movably mounted on said receptacle means for releasing said material from said receptacle and a control means responsive to said weighing means for controlling the movement of said closure means; said receptacle means comprising a bucket suspended from said weighing means, said bucket having openings at both its first and second ends, said openings at said first end positioned adjacent said discharge end of said infeed conveyor so as to receive said flow of material from said infeed conveyor and said opening at said second end adjacent said bag support means, and a closure means being hingedly mounted on said bucket at said second end.

4. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 3 wherein said apparatus further includes a fluid means cooperating with said closure means for initially opening said bag.

5. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 4 wherein said fluid means comprises a means for directing a stream of compressed air against a portion of said closure means, said portion being immediately adjacent said bag on said support means such that said stream is at least partially reflected against said opening of said bag on said support means thereby filling said bag with air and maintaining said bag in a proper position for receiving said material from said receptacle means.

6. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 4 wherein said weighing means comprise a scale and a bracket, said bucket being suspended from one end of said scale on said bracket; counterbalancing means mounted on the other end of said scale; and said control means include weight signaling means for indicating when a predetermined quantity of material in said bucket has been reached; said counterbalancing means allowing a predetermined weight to be placed on said scale such that said weight signaling means will produce a signal only after a predetermined quantity of material has been received in said bucket.

7. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 6 wherein said control means further includes at least one timing means; said closure means is selectively pivoted on said hinged mounting between a first open position, a second open position, and a closed position by a power means in response to successive signals from said weight signaling means included on said scale and said timing means; said power means mounted between said bracket and said closure means; said selective pivoting of said closure means into said first open position simultaneously further opening said bag and releasing said material from said bucket into said bag means, and said selective pivoting of said closure means into said second open position removing said bag means from said support means.

8. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 7 wherein said power means comprise two compressed air cylinders mounted coaxially end to end forming a double air cylinder, said double air cylinder having a first and second end including first and second movable shafts mounted on first and second pistons in said respective ends, whereby said shafts are responsive to the introduction of compressed air on one or the other sides of said pistons in said cylinders such that said shafts may be selectively withdrawn and extended, the introduction of compressed air into one of said two cylinders on one side of said first piston, in response to said signals from said timing means, withdrawing said second shaft thereby further opening said closure means to said second open position and simultaneously removing said bag from said support means, and the introduction of compressed air on the other sides of both said first and second pistons in said first and second cylinders, in response to said signals from said timing means extending said first and second shafts thereby returning said closure means to said closed position.

9. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 1 wherein said bag support means comprises a frame for supporting said bag adjacent said opening at said second end of said bucket, said bag adapted to be mounted on a hanger means, said bag having an opening into the interior of the bag along the side of said bag nearest said bucket, said support means also including a biased back plate for constantly urging said bag toward said bucket such that said bag is always positioned to receive said material from said bucket.

10. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 9 wherein said hanger means comprises a replaceable, U-shaped wire wicket having two parallel legs interconnected by a cross-member; said bag having a flap extending from one side beyond the opening thereof, said flap including support apertures therein, said legs extending through said support apertures, said crossmember preventing said bags from sliding off said wicket legs when said wicket is mounted on said frame; said back plate being spring-biased for constantly urging said bag against said cross-member such that said opening of said bag is immediately adjacent said opening at said second end of said bucket in order to properly receive said material from said bucket.

11. Packaging apparatus for the packaging of material comprising in combination: infeed conveyor means for feeding said material into a packaging means, said infeed conveyor means having infeed and discharge ends and adapted to carry a flow of material; receptacle means for receiving said material from said infeed conveyor means; weighing means associated with said receptacle means for measuring the quantity of said material in said receptacle means; bag support means for holding at least one bag in a position for receiving said material from said receptacle means; means actuated by said weighing means in response to said receptacle means containing a predetermined weight of material for causing material from said receptacle means to be released into a bag held by said bag support; and means for shutting off the flow of material to said receptacle; said last-mentioned means being responsive to said receptacle containing said predetermined weight of material and to the releasing of said material from said receptacle whereby material is restrained from being fed to said receptacle while said predetermined weight of material is contained in said receptacle and during the releasing of said material from said receptacle; said means actuated by said weighing means comprising a closure means movably mounted on said receptacle means for releasing said material from said receptacle and a control means responsive to said weighing means for controlling the movement of said closure means; said means for shutting off the flow of material to said receptacle comprising flow'diverting means for diverting the flow of material on said infeed conveyor means away from said packaging means, said How diverting means including at least one gate means, gate power means for said gate means and guide means for guiding said flow of material on said infeed conveyor, said gate means pivotally mounted on said guide means and said gate power means mounted between said gate means and said guide means such that, in response to said control means, said gate power means pivot said gate across said flow of material thereby selectively diverting said flow from said packaging means and allowing said flow into said packaging means.

12. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 11 wherein said control means comprise weight signaling means mounted on said weighing means and at least one timing means, said weight signaling means adapted to produce signals when said receptacle means contains a predetermined weight of said material as measured by said weighing means; said timing means coupled to said weight signaling means such that another signal is produced by said timing means after a certain interval following said signal from said weight signaling means; said gate means comprises a pivotal extension of said guide means; said gate power means comprises a compressed air cylinder including a movable shaft at one end thereof, said shaft adapted to pivot said gate means by means of compressed air injected into said cylinder in response to said signals from said weight signaling means and said timing means, said shaft moving to pivot said gate means to divert said flow in response to said signal from said weight signaling means and moving to pivot said gate means back to its original position in response to said signal from said timing means; said guide means comprising walls supported immediately over said infeed conveyor parallel to the flow on and intermediate the sides of said infeed conveyor.

13. Material dispensing and packaging apparatus comprising in combination: scale means, receptacle means, closure means for said receptacle means, and bag support means adapted to support a bag in which the material is to be packaged; said receptacle means supported by said scale means; said bag support means being mounted adjacent to said closure means; and said closure means being mounted on said receptacle means for opening and closing said receptacle means in response to the presence of a predetermined weight of said material in said receptacle means, said closure means being removable between first and second open positions and a'closed position, said movement to said first open position for engaging and opening said bag and releasing said material held in said receptacle means into said bag, and said movement to said second open position for removing said bag from said bag support means.

14. Material dispensing and packaging apparatus in accordance with claim 13 wherein said scale means comprises a scale including counterbalancing means and weight signaling means, said scale having said receptacle means suspended therefrom, said counterbalancing means counterbalancing said receptacle means by means of a predetermined weight placed on said counterbalancing means such that whenever the weight of said material in said receptacle means is greater than said predetermined weight, said weight signaling means will produce a signal.

15. Material dispensing and packaging apparatus in accordance with claim 13 wherein said receptacle means comprises a bucket suspended from said scale means such that said bucket may be readily filled with said material, said bucket having a first opening for receiving said material and a second opening, selectively opened and closed by said closure means, for releasing said material into said bag means.

16. Material dispensing and packaging apparatus in accordance with claim 13 wherein said closure means comprise a cover plate hingedly mounted on said receptacle means, power means for selectively opening and closing said cover plate and timing means for said power means, said power means operative to open said colsure means to said first open positions in response to a signal from said scale means, said signal indicating that a predetermined weight of said material has been received in said receptacle means, and operative to open said closure means to said second open position and thereafter return said closure means to said closed position following pre-set time periods set on said timing means.

17. Material dispensing and packaging apparatus in accordance with claim 13 wherein said bag support means is adapted to support at least one expandable bag, said bag having a flap extending beyond an opening in the top of said bag, said flap having apertures provided therein for mounting said bag on said support means, said fiap'attached to said bag along a perforated line such that said bag may be easily removed from said support means by the engagement of said closure means with said bag and by said movement of said closure means to said second open position.

18. Material dispensing and packaging apparatus in accordance with claim 13 wherein said support means comprise a frame for supporting said bag adjacent said receptacle means in a position to receive said material from said receptacle means, a removable hanger means for mounting said bag on said frame, a spring-biased back plate for constanting urging said bag into said position for receiving said material from said receptacle means, and pivot means for pivotally mounting said support means in relation to said receptacle means such that the insertion and removal of said removable hanger means is facilitated, said pivot means including clamping means for selectively pivoting said frame and holding said frame in said position for receiving said material.

19. Packaging apparatus for the packaging of material comprising in combination: receptacle means for receiving material to be packaged; support means for supportingat least one bag for receiving said material from said receptacle means; closure means including means for mounting said closure means for movement with respect to said receptacle means to at least three positions, one of said positions being a closed position for retaining material in said receptacle and two of said positions being open positions for opening said bag, releasing said material into said bag, and removing said bag from said support means.

20. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 19 including fluid means arranged to cooperate with said support means in said closure means for initially opening said bag, 7 said fluid means comprising a nozzle directing a stream of compressed air against at least a portion of said closure means and said support means such that any bag supported by said support means is opened and filled by said stream of air and positioned to be engaged by said closure means.

21. Packaging apparatus for the packaging of material comprising in combination: receptacle means for receiving material to be packaged; support means for supporting at least one bag for receiving said material from said receptacle means; closure means adapted to open said bag, release said material into said bag, and remove said bag from said support means; and fluid means arranged to cooperate with said support means and said closure means for initially opening said bag; said fluid means comprising a nozzle directing a stream of compressed air against at least a portion of said clo'- sure means and said support means such that any bag supported by said support means is opened and filled by said stream of air and positioned to be engaged by said closure means; said closure means comprising a door hingedly mounted on said receptacle means adjacent said support means, said door adapted to pivot between a closed position, a first open position, and a second open position; said pivotal movement between said closed and first open positions causing said door to engage and further open said initially opened bag and to release said material from said receptacle into said bag; said pivotal movement between said first and second open positions causing said door to forceably remove said bag filled with said released material from said support.

22. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 21 wherein said door is pivoted between said positions by fluid pressure cylinders actuated in response to signaling means associated with said apparatus.

23. Packaging apparatus for the packaging of material comprising in combination: receptacle means for receiving material to be packaged; support means for supporting at least one bag for receiving said material from said receptacle means; and closure means being mounted for movement with respect to said receptacle means between at least two open positions for opening said bag, releasing said material into said bag, and removing said bag from said support means and control means for moving said closure means to and from said first and second open positions.

24. Packaging apparatus for the packaging of material comprising in combination: receptacle means for receiving material to be packaged; support means for supporting at least one bag for receiving said material from said receptacle means; and closure means for opening said bag, releasing said material into said bag, and removing said bag from said support means; said closure means being movably mounted on said receptacle means; said closure means comprising a door hingedly mounted on said receptacle means adjacent said support means, said door adapted to pivot between a closed position, a first open position, and a second open position; said pivotal movement between said closed and first open positions causing said door to engage and open said bag and to release said material from said receptacle into said bag; said pivotal movement between said first and second open positions causing said door to forcibly remove said bag filled with said released material from said support.

25. Packaging apparatus as described in claim 24 wherein said door is pivoted between said positions by fluid pressure cylinders actuated in response to signaling means associated with said apparatus.

26. Packaging apparatus for the packaging of material comprising infeed means for feeding a continuous flow of material; receptacle means for receiving the material from said infeed means prior to packaging; diverting means for diverting the continuous flow of material from said receptacle means without stopping the flow; closure means for first retaining material in said receptacle and then releasing material from said receptacle means, for packaging, said closure means mounted for movement with respect to said receptacle means; and means 'for controlling said closure means and said diverting means, said control means being responsive to the condition of said receptacle means when said receptacle means have received a predeter mined amount of material and including means for controlling the position of said closure means and diverting means in response to said condition of said receptacle means.

27. The packaging apparatus of claim 26 wherein said control means comprise power means for moving said closure and diverting means and timing means for actuating said power means.

(9 32? IUNI'IEI) S'IAIES m'rm'r ()FFICI'I (I I; RTI F l C A TE 0 1" (10 R K l5 (IT l. N

Patent; No. 3,807,123 ]')ated April 30 Inventofls) Lee S. Kihnke It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown" below:

Col. 13, line 44; 1

"removable" should be --movab1e--; Col. 14, line 58;

After "bag'," omit "7" Signed and sealed this 17th day of September 1974.

(SEAL) Attest:

MCCOY v. GIBSON JR. c. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents POM) UNITED S'IA'IICS PA'IEN'F OFFICI'I CER'IIFICATE O1 (:0 R K |.l(ill.|.(l)N

Iau-m; No. 3,807,123 mater- Agril 30, 1914 1nvenl;or(s) Lee S Kihnke It is certified that error appears in the above-identified parent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Col 13, 11ne 44;

"removable" should be --movab1e-; Col. 14, line 58;

After "bag'," omit "7" Signed and sealed this 17th day of September 1974.

(SEAL) Attestt' MCCOY I". GIBSON JR. 4 C. MARSHALL DANN Atte'sting Officer Commissioner of Patents

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3859775 *Jun 1, 1973Jan 14, 1975Dake CorpProduct packaging apparatus
US4177621 *May 11, 1978Dec 11, 1979Powell Machinery, Inc.Automatic fruit bagging
US5485714 *Feb 27, 1995Jan 23, 1996Montalvo; Samuel A.Disk loader having a side air blast for proper bag presentation
US8353146Aug 11, 2009Jan 15, 2013In-Store Bagging Machine Company, LLCIce bagging assembly
US8356850Sep 22, 2010Jan 22, 2013In-Store Bagging Machine Company, LLCSystem and method for carrying and installing a plurality of empty ice bags into an ice bagging assembly
US8457785 *Mar 7, 2007Jun 4, 2013Doron TamBag dispensing system
US8528302Oct 15, 2009Sep 10, 2013In-Store Bagging Machine Company, LLCIce bagging device
US8689523Nov 4, 2009Apr 8, 2014Gw Services, LlcIce bagging assembly with accessible hopper
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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/502, 53/572, 177/120, 53/506, 53/385.1
International ClassificationB65B1/30, B65B1/32
Cooperative ClassificationB65B1/32
European ClassificationB65B1/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 6, 1982AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: JSJ CORPORATION, A MI CORP.
Owner name: OLIVER PRODUCTS COMPANY, 445 SIXTH ST., GRAND RAPI
Effective date: 19811231
Jan 6, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: OLIVER PRODUCTS COMPANY, 445 SIXTH ST., GRAND RAPI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:JSJ CORPORATION, A MI CORP.;REEL/FRAME:003939/0788
Effective date: 19811231