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Publication numberUS3817298 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 18, 1974
Filing dateJul 27, 1971
Priority dateJul 29, 1969
Publication numberUS 3817298 A, US 3817298A, US-A-3817298, US3817298 A, US3817298A
InventorsFishburne F
Original AssigneeFishburne F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vertical press apparatus with remotely controlled distributor
US 3817298 A
Abstract
The invention provides for control of the distributor from the floor level in apparatus for packing fragmentary compressible material, such as tobacco, into containers when the apparatus is of the type comprising a support for the container, an upright tubular charger arranged above the container, a pressing ram movable downwardly through the charger, an infeed conveyor, and a distributor located at the top of the charger and including deflector means presented at a plurality of locations spaced about the top of the charger for so deflecting the compressible material, as it is supplied by the infeed conveyor, that the material is distributed uniformly over the transverse cross-sectional extent of the charger. Adjustable time delay devices are employed at the floor level for adjusting dwell times of the deflector means according to fill conditions observed at the floor level by the operator.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Fishburne 1 June 18, 1974 [76] Inventor: Francis B. Fishburne, 24 Summit Dr., Asheville, NC. 28704 [22 Filed: July 27, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 166,433

Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 845,746, July 29,

1969, Pat. NO. 3,595,282.

[52] U.S. Cl 141/80, 100/215, 141/286 [51] Int. Cl B65b l/24, B65b l/38, B65b 5/10, B65b 37/02, B65b 57/18, B65b 63/02 [58] Field of Search 141/71-81, 141/286; 100/215 'Pn'mary Examiner-Wayne A. Morse, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Roylance, Abrams, Berdo & Kaul ABSCT The invention provides for control of the distributor from the floor level in apparatus for packing fragmentary compressible material, such as tobacco, into containers when the apparatus is of the type comprising a support for the container, an upright tubular charger arranged above the container, a pressing ram movable downwardly through the charger, an infeed conveyor, and a distributor located at the top of the charger and including deflector means presented at a plurality of locations spaced about the top of the charger for so deflecting the compressible material, as it is supplied by the infeed conveyor, that the material is distributed [5 6] References cued uniformlyover the transverse cross-sectional extent of UNITED STATES PATENTS the charger. Adjustable time delay devices are em- 3,060,977 10/ I962 Fishburne l4l/7l ployed at the floor level for adjusting dwell times of 3,404,742 10/1968 Bonneric l4l/7l X the deflector means according to fill conditions obv Fishburne erved at the floor level the operator 3,589,411 6/1971 Vogt 141/71 3,595,282 7 1971. Fishburne 141/73 6 Claims, 9 Draw1ng Figures 256 2+5 ;$l Z50 I 253 I ADJUSMBLE TIME DELA 1 REM Y i ADJU5721BLE VERTICAL PRESS APPARATUS WITH REMOTELY CONTROLLED DISTRIBUTOR RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-part of copending application Ser. No. 845,746, filed July 29, 1969, by Francis B. Fishburne and Clarence H. Hinnant, Jr., and now Pat. No. 3,595,282.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It is common practice to pack tobacco into hogsheads and other containers by employing a vertically acting reciprocatory press equipped with an upright charger, the charger serving to retain a mass of tobacco suitable to be compressed into the container, and the press having a ram which is passed downwardly through the charger tocompress the tobacco. Typical apparatus of this type are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,596,018, issued May 6, 1952, to F. B. Fishburne et al., and 2,675,154, issued Apr. 13, 1954, to F. B. Fishburne. Since it is necessary that the tobacco be distributed uniformly in the packed container, so that each portion of the space within the container is occupied by essentially the same quantity of tobacco, compressed to the same extent, apparatus of the type referred to have employed distributors of various kinds, located at the top of the charger and serving to distribute the incoming tobacco uniformly.

As usually employed, distributors embodied in such packing apparatus have been such as to require that the entire distributor be moved out of the way of the press ram before the ram descends, and such movement of the distributor has required a period of time on the order of 7 seconds or longer, depending upon the design of the particular distributor. Since the press ram is operated at speeds on the order of 4 feet per second, the time required to shift the distributor out of the way has represented a significant and undesirable delay. Such packing apparatus have also suffered from the disadvantage that the distributors employed have been relatively tall, typically on the order of 7 feet, so that the height of the frame had to be increased, or the effective height of the charger reduced, to accommodate the distributor. Additionally, the distributors heretofore employed have been more complicated and expensive than desired, and have had the further disadvantage that the distributing action provided could not be adjusted easily and to a sufficient extent. In this latter regard, such adjustments as have been possible have usually required an operator to climb to the elevated location of the distributor to make manipulative adjustments, either with a second person then observing at the floor level to see the effects of the adjustments, or with the necessity of descending to the floor level, observing the effects of the adjustments, and again ascending to the level of the distributor to make further adjustments.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is accordingly a general object of the invention to devise apparatus of the type described which overcomes the disadvantages which have characterized the packing apparatus heretofore available to the trade.

Another object is to provide a more efficient distributor which can be controlled at will to adjust the distributing action in accordance with observations of the tobacco or like material falling into the lower portion of the charger.

A further object is to provide such a packing apparatus in which the distributor can be adjusted from the floor level.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention applies to press apparatus embodying a distributor of the type having deflecting means, typically one or more pivoted deflecting blades, stowed adjacent the wall of the charger, to allow the press'ram to pass, but which is presented in a downwardly and inwardly slanting position, to intercept and deflect the incoming fragmentary compressible material, at a plurality of different locations spaced about the top of the charger when the infeed conveyor is in operation, power means and control means being provided to operate the distributor. In one embodiment, useful for packing tobacco in hogsheads or other circular containers, the distributor comprises a single deflecting plate mounted at the top of the charger for pivotal movement between the stowed and deflecting positions, and the power means and control means includes means for driving the deflecting plate, through an arcuate path at the top of the charger, first in one direction to one end of the path and then in the opposite direction to the other end of the path. In a second embodiment, useful for packing tobacco in cases of elongated rectangular plan configuration, the distributor comprises two deflector plates each positioned at the top of the charger in a location above an end of the rectangular case, the plates being repeatedly pivoted sequentially from stowed to deflecting position to distribute the incoming compressible material uniformly relative to the case. In the first embodiment the invention provides for adjustment of the time periods of dwell of the single deflecting plate at the two ends of the arcuate path. In the second embodiment, the time period of dwell in stowed position is adjustable for each deflecting plate.

In order that the manner in which the foregoing and other objects are attained in accordance with the invention can be understood in detail, particularly advantageous' embodiments thereof will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of the original disclosure of the application, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of an apparatus constructed according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view, on a larger scale than FIG. 1, of the portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1 which is located at the top of the charger;

FIG. 3 is a view taken generally on line 33, FIG. 2, partly in transverse cross section and partly in top plan elevation;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevational view taken generally on line 44, FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram illustrating an electrical control system employed in the apparatus of FIGS. 1-4;

- FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram illustrating a fail-safe interlock between the pressing ram and distributor of the apparatus of FIGS. 1-4;

FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram similar to that of FIG. 5 illustrating a control system according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a composite view showing in side elevation apparatus constructed according to yet another embodiment of the invention, with parts broken away for clarity of illustration, and control means shown diagrammatically; and

FIG. 9 is a top plan elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 8.

Turning now to the drawings in detail, FIGS. 15 illustrate one embodiment of the invention applied to a tobacco packing apparatus comprising a vertically arranged charger, indicated generally at 1, FIG. 1, a support 2 for a hogshead or like container 3 into which the tobacco is to be packed, and a pressing ram 4 carried by a shaft 5 and arranged to be reciprocated vertically, travelling first downwardly through the charger 1 to compress the tobacco into container 3 and then upwardly through the charger to its starting position spaced above the top of the charger.

Charger 1 is conventionally mounted for movement between a raised and a lowered position and includes a main body portion 6, a lower end portion 7, and a top portion 8 and is of circular transverse cross-section throughout its length. Lower end portion 7 of the charger is fabricated from rigid translucent flber-reenforced polymeric material, so that the flow and disposition of the tobacco in the lower portion of the charger can be observed, for a purpose later described. A conventional bell 9 depends from charger portion 7 so as to be disposed about the top of container 3 when the charger is in the lowered position, as seen in FIG. 1.

The upper end of top portion 8 of the charger has rigidly secured thereto, as by welding, a reenforcing ring 10 of right angle cross-section, one web of the reenforcing ring directly embracing the cylindrical outer surface of portion 8 and the other web projecting transversely outwardly. The extreme top end portion 11 of charger portion 8 is located above reenforcing ring 10 and is frusto-conical, tapering upwardly and outwardly, as best seen in FIG. 2. A mounting ring 12 is welded to the top of end portion 11, ring 12 being of L-shaped cross-section, with one web 13 projecting transversely outwardly and the other web 14 projecting upwardly as a cylindrical portion concentric with the central axis of the charger, the upper edge of portion 1 1 being secured to ring 12 at the junction between the two webs of the ring. Upwardly projecting web 14 of ring 12 supports a plurality of rollers 15, each roller being journaled on a stub shaft 16 which extends through and is rigidly secured to web 14. Each roller includes a short cylindrical portion 17 and an end flange 18, the end flanges 18 being adjacent web 14 and the cylindrical portions 17 projecting therefrom, inwardly relative to ring 12. All of stub shafts 16 lie in a common plane transverse to the vertical axis of the charger, and the stub shafts each extend radially of the charger, the stub shafts, and thus the rollers 15, being equally spaced circumferentially of the charger.

Rotatably supported by rollers 15 is a ring 19. Ring 19 is of L-shaped transverse cross-section, one web 20 of the ring projecting outwardly as a flat annular flange, the other web 21 depending as a right cylindrical portion. The diameter of web 20 is such that the web overlies cylindrical portions 17 of the rollers 15, with the periphery of web 20 extending immediately adjacent to the flanges 18 of the rollers. Thus, ring 19 is supported by the rollers for free rotation, yet is restrained by flanges 18 against movement transversely relative to the charger.

Adjacent the lower end of web 21, a circular ring 22 is secured to and embraces web 21. A drive belt 23 extends about ring 22 and also around the driven pulley 24 of a conventional electric motor drive unit 25. Drive unit 25 includes an electric motor 26 and a gear reduction unit 27. The drive unit is secured to a mounting bracket 28 which is welded to and projects radially outwardly from reenforcing ring 10 and the adjacent portion of upper portion 8 of the charger. Drive unit 25 is so situated that its output shaft, to which pulley 24 is secured, is upright, and pulley 24 lies in the same plane as ring 22.

Two upright mounting bars 29 are secured at their lower ends to ring 19, the bars being parallel and spaced apart chordwise of the ring. Fixed to each bar 29 in a location immediately above web 20 is a bearing 30, the bearings being aligned so that the shaft 31 journaled therein is parallel to the plane of ring 19 and extends chordwise relative to the ring and, since the ring and charger are coaxial, chordwise with respect to the charger. Secured rigidly to the center of shaft 31 is a bell crank lever 32. One arm 33 of lever 32 is provided with a flange 34 to which is rigidly secured a deflecting plate 35. As seen in FIGS. 2-4, plate 35 is rectangular in plan, and one edge portion 36 thereof extends in a plane parallel with and adjacent to shaft 31. Considering edge portion 36 as the top edge of the plate, the plate is of arcuate transverse cross-section, its radius of curvature being only slightly smaller than that of the top portion 8 of charger 1, so that, given the appropriate rotational position of shaft 31, plate 35 can extend in a stowed position immediately adjacent to the inner surface of top portion 8 of the charger. Since the lower end of plate 35, Le, the edge portion opposite edge portion 36, extends for substantially less than the plate can be pivoted from its stowed position to a position in which the same slants from shaft 31 downwardly and inwardly across the top of the charger at, e.g., an angle of 45 relative to the central axis of the charger.

Oscillation of shaft 31 to pivot plate 35 between its stowed and deflecting positions is accomplished by a vertically arranged conventional piston-and-cylinder type fluid pressure operated power device 37. Power device 37 comprises a cylinder 38, piston 39 and power shaft 40, the latter extending downwardly to a point adjacent shaft 31 and being connected to arm 41 of bell crank 32 by a clevis 42. The power device is fixedly mounted by securing cylinder 38 to a cross member which extends between and is fixed to mounting bars 29. Compressed air is supplied to cylinder 38 via a suitable flexible hose, not shown, under control of a solenoid operated valve 43. Valve 43 is so arranged that, when the valve is energized, air is supplied to the cylinder to drive the piston downwardly, pivoting the combination of shaft 31 and bell crank 32 in a direction to swing plate 35 to its deflecting position. When deenergized, valve 43 acts to supply compressed air to cylinder 38 below the piston so that shaft 40 is driven upwardly and plate 35 is swung to its stowed position.

In order that the extent of movement of plate 35 away from its stowed position can be adjusted to predetermine the deflecting position of the plate, an adjustable stop member 44 is mounted on ring 19 below and in vertical alignment with arm 41 of bell crank 32.

The position of arm 41 of bell crank 32 is sensed by a conventional normally open electrical switch 45 which is carried by ring 19. Switch 45 is so located that its operating lever is disposed above lever arm 41 and is actuated by the arm to close the switch when plate 35 reaches its stowed position.

The tobacco to be packed is supplied, as a stream projected generally across the top of the charger, by an infeed device in the form of a horizontal endless conveyor 47 which extends radially with respect to the charger and is arranged with its delivery end immediately above ring 19 in a location near the wall of the charger. It will be understood that, save for movement of the conveyor belt and for the usual provisions for adjustments, the position of the conveyor 47 is fixed relative to the charger.

Motor 26 is a conventional 3-phase synchronous electric motor powered via conductors 48-50, FIG. 5, to drive pulley 24 clockwise or counterclockwise, depending upon which of two reversing relays 51, 52 is energized. Reversing relays 51, 52 are controlled automatically by a control circuit including position switches 53, 54 and time delay relays 55 and 56, this control circuit being activated only when a manual switch 57, a press ram position responsive switch 58, and the contacts 59a of a relay 59, used to control infeed conveyor 47, are all closed.

Position switches 53 and 54 are mounted on the horizontal web 13 of ring 12, as seen in FIG. 3, with switch 54 being located at the other side of that conveyor. Switch 53 is actuated at the end of each cycle of counterclockwise travel of ring 12 and serves to energize relay 51, via time delay relay 55, to reverse the power connections to motor 26 and thereby commence clockwise rotation of ring 12. Similarly, switch 54 is actuated at the end of each cycle of clockwise travel of ring 12, serving to energize relay 52, via time delay relay 56 to again reverse the power connections to motor 26 and thereby commence counterclockwiserotation of ring Switches 53, 54 are actuated by a cam 60 which is carried by horizontal web of ring 19. The cam consists of a metal strip, the main body 61 of the strip being arcuate, with approximately the same radius of curvature as the peripheral edge of web 20 and having one of its edges welded to the peripheral portion of web 20 in such fashion that the length of main body 61 extends generally along the peripheral edge of web 20 and the width of body 61 projects vertically upwardly from web 20. The end portions of cam 60 are bent inwardly, toward the interior of ring 19. Accordingly, as the assembly including ring 19 approaches the end of each counterclockwise cycle of movement, the leading end portion of the cam 60 displaces the actuating arm of switch 53 from its normal position to its actuated position, thus closing the contacts of that switch until, motor 26 having been reversed to drive the assembly including ring 19 in a clockwise direction, cam 60 is moved out of engagement with the actuating arm of the direction, cam 60 is moved out of engagement with the actuating arm of the switch.

Position switch 53 includes a set of normally open contacts 62 and a set of normally closed contacts 63. Position switch 54 comprises a set of normally open contacts 64 and two sets of normally closed contacts 65 switch. Similarly, asthe assembly including ring 19 apits actuated position, thus closing the contacts of that switch until, motor 26 having been reversed to drive the assembly including ring 19 in a counter-clockwise and 66.

Reversing relay 51 includes three sets of normally open contacts 67-69, one set of normally closed contacts 71), and an additional set of normally open contacts 71. Reversing relay 52 includes three sets of normally open reversing contacts 72-74,'and one set of normally closed contacts 75.

The time delay relays 55 and 56 are of the conventional on delay" time delay relay type and include normally open contacts 76 and 77, respectively. These two relays are so constructed and arranged that the contacts are actuated to their closed position after an adjustable period of time has elapsed'after first energization. Time delay relays 55, 56 are identical and can, for example, be constructed according to US Pat. No. 2,980,826, issued Apr. 18, 1961, to W. F. Horton. Thus, relay 55 can comprise a PNP type transistor 550, the emitter of which is'connected to conductor 90 via resistor 55b and rectifier R and the collector of which is connected to one terminal of the actuating winding 89, the base of the transistor being connected to ground via adjustable potentiometer 55c and a condenser 55d being connected between the base and a point between rectifier R and resistor 55b. Winding 89 operates a second set of nonnally open contacts 76a which, when closed, connect conductor 90 directly to winding 89. When contacts 62 are closed, winding 89 is energized to close contacts 76 after a time delay determined by the capacitance of condenser 55d and the resistance of potentiometer 55c and resistor 55b. Closing of contacts 76a maintains winding 39 energized, so contacts 76 remain closed, and places the timing circuit in an inactive condition in which condenser 55d is discharged. Adjustment of the time delay af forded by relay 55 is accomplished by adjusting potentiometer 55c. Relay 56 operates in the same fashion just described, providing a time delay determined by adjustment of potentiometer 56c.

The control circuit is connected between a supply terminal 78 and ground and includes a conductor 79 in which the manual switch 57, the press ram position switch 58 and the contacts 59a of relay 59 are all connected in series so that the manual switch 57, position switch 53 and relay contacts 59a must all be closed before the control circuit can be energized. I

The actuating winding 80 of solenoid operated valve 43 is connected between conductor 79 and ground via conductor 81. As previously explained valve 43 is so constructed and arranged as to control the flow of pressure fluid to power device'37 to cause deflector plate' 35 to be swung to its deflecting position whenever the winding 80 has been energized. When winding 80 is de' energized, a spring 82 automatically returns the valve to a normal position in which power device 37 is operated to swing plate 35 to its stowed position. Accordingly, whenever switch 57, position switch 58 and contacts 59a are all simultaneously closed, winding 80 of the valve will be energized and deflecting plate 35 will accordingly occupy its deflecting position but, whenever any of switch 57, position switch 58 and contacts 59a are open, winding 80 cannot be energized,

and spring 82 will maintain valve 43 in a condition such that the deflecting plate occupies its stowed position. Contacts 65 of position switch 54 are connected, on one side, via conductor 83 to conductor 79, and, on the other side, via conductor 84 to one side of contacts 63 of position switch 53. The other side of contacts 63 is connected by conductor 85 to one side of contacts 70 of reversing relay 51. The other side of contacts 70 is connected via conductor 86 to one terminal of winding 87 of reversing relay 52, the other terminal of that winding being connected to ground. Accordingly, when neither switch 53 nor switch 54 is in its actuated position, closing of the series combination of switch 57, position switch 58 and contacts 59a will result in energization of the winding 87 of reversing relay 52 via the circuit just described, the result of such energization being to close contacts 72-74 and to open contacts 75. Closing of contacts 72-74 energizes motor 26 to drive the distributor assembly, including ring 19 and plate 35, in a counterclockwise direction and such driving action will continue until the cam 60 engages the actuating arm of switch 53 to actuate that switch.

One side of contacts 62 of switch 53 is connected to conductor 79 by conductor 88. The other side of these contacts is connected to one terminal of winding 89 via conductor 90 and the timing circuit of time delay relay 55, the other terminal of winding 89 being connected to ground. One side of contacts 76 of relay 55 is connected to conductor 79 via conductor 91. The other side of contacts 76 is connected by conductor 92 to one side of the contacts 66 of position switch 54. The other side of contacts 66 is connected by conductor 93 to one side of contacts 75 of reversing relay 52, the other side of that set of contacts being connected by conductor 94 to one terminal of the actuating winding 95 of reversing relay 51. The remaining terminal of winding 95 is connected to ground. Conductor 92 is also connected to one side of the normally open contacts 71 of reversing relay 51 via conductor 96, the other side of contacts 64 being connected to conductor 79.

Actuation of switch 53 by cam 60 causes contacts 62 to close and contacts 63 to open. Opening of contacts 63 deenergizes winding 87 of relay 52, so that contacts 72-74 open to interrupt current flow to motor 26. Closing of contacts 62 completes the circuit to time delay relay 55 so that winding 89 thereof is energized and contacts 76 are closed, after the delay afforded by the timing circuit. With contacts 76 now closed, a circuit is completed which includes conductors 91 and 92, contacts 66, conductor 93, contacts 75 of reversing relay 52, conductor 94, and the actuating winding 95 of reversing relay 51. Since position switch 54 is not actuated, contacts 66 are in their normally closed position. Similarly, since winding 87 of relay 52 is deenergized, contacts 75 are in their normally closed position, and the winding 95 is accordingly energized to cause contacts 67-69 to close, contacts 70 to open, and contacts 71 to close. Closing of contacts 67-69 causes motor 26 to be energized to rotate the distributor assembly, including ring 19 and deflector plate 35, in a clockwise direction. Opening of contacts 70 assures that winding 87 of reversing relay 52 cannot be energized again until reversing relay 51 has been deenergized. Closing of contacts 71 and 66 completes a holding circuit, including conductors 79, 96, 92 and 93, contacts 75, and conductor 94 to maintain winding 95 energized regardless of the condition of contacts 76 of time delay relay 55. This holding circuit is necessary to assure continued energization of winding during the clockwise cycle of movement of the distributor after that time when the cam 60 has disengaged from the actuating arm of switch 53.

One side of contacts 64 of position switch 54 is connected to conductor 79 by conductor 97. The other side of this set of contacts is connected by conductor 98 and the timing circuit of relay 56 to one terminal of winding 99 of that relay, the other terminal of winding 99 being connected to ground. Accordingly, when the distributor has completed its clockwise cycle of movement, so that cam 60 actuates position switch 54, closing of contacts 64 of switch 54 causes winding 99 of relay 56 to be energized to close contacts 77 after the time delay afforded by the timing circuit of relay 56. Contacts 77 are connected between one side of contacts 63 and conductor 79 by conductors 100 and 101. With contacts 63 occupying their normally closed position, and with contacts 77 closed as a result of energization of winding 99, a circuit comprising conductor 100, contacts 77, conductor 101, contacts 63, conductor 85, contacts 70, and conductor 86 is completed to energize winding 87 of reversing relay 52. Energiza tion of winding 87 again actuates contacts 72-74 to their closed position to energize motor 26 to drive the distributor assembly in its counterclockwise direction, as hereinbefore described.

Switch 58 can be of any conventional normally open type equipped with a suitable actuating arm to be engaged by a cam, indicated diagrammatically at 102 in FIG. 5 and secured to the press ram, the location of the cam and switch being such that the switch will be closed only when the press ram is in its fully elevated position and, therefore, completely clear of the charger. Relay 59 is employed to control the driving motor 103, FIG. 5, for the infeed conveyor 47, this control being via normally open contacts 59b of the relay. Manual switch 97 is provided as a manual override for the automatic operation which would otherwise result when both switch 58 and contacts 59a of relay 59 are closed.

Switch 57 and time delay relays 55, 56 are mounted in a suitable control panel, indicated diagrammatically at CP, FIG. 1, with the operating members disposed for manipulation by an operator standing adjacent container 3 in a position to observe through translucent portion 7 whether the flow and distribution of the compressible material is proper. Potentiometers 55c and 560 can be rotary potentiometers each equipped with an adjusting knob and dial (not shown) calibrated, e.g., in fractions of a second over the range 0-10 seconds.

From the foregoing, it will be understood that the normal operation of the distributor, under the control of the system illustrated in FIG. 5 and just described, is to provide automatic sequential clockwise and counterclockwise rotary movement of the distributor assembly including deflector plate 35 whenever the press ram is fully elevated and the infeed conveyor is operated to supply loose material to be packed. Though the distributor assembly is driven at a constant rate by motor 26, the effective overall rate of the distributor assembly can be adjusted, by an operator at the floor level, by adjusting time delay relays 55 and 56 to vary the residence or dwell time of the deflector blade at the end of its counterclockwise and clockwise movement, respectively. Such adjustment can be the same for each relay, so as to change the overall distributing effect, or selectively different for the two relays, so as to distribute more material to one side or the other of conveyor 47. The control system further assures that the deflector plate 35 will automatically be actuated to its deflecting position whenever the distributor is in operation, yet will be moved automatically to its stowed position whenever the press rarn descends, as detected by opening of-switch 58.

FIG. 6 illustrates diagrammatically a portion of the control system for a press constructed in accordance with the invention and embodying an additional safety feature to further assure that the deflecting plate 35 will be in its stowed position whenever the press ram is not in its fully raised position. Here, the power cylinder for the press is indicated at 104, and aconventional double-solenoid, three-position control valve 105 is shown, connected to control the flowof pressure fluid to the cylinder 104. Valve 98 includes a solenoid winding 106 to operate the valve for control of cylinder 104 in driving the press ram downwardly through the charger. Winding 106 is. energized via a circuit including contacts 107 and 108 in series. Valve 105 further includes a second solenoid winding 109 to place the valve in condition for flow of pressure fluid in a direction to cause cylinder 104 to raise the press ram, and winding 109 is connected to be energized by a circuit including contacts 110 and 111 in series. Contacts 107 and 110 are portions of position switch 45 provided with an operating arm, indicated at 112, the switch being so positioned that operating arm 112 is engaged by arm 41 of hell crank lever 32 to actuate the normally open contacts 107 and 110 to their closed position only when arm 41 occupies that position resulting when deflector plate 35 has been pivoted to its stowed position.

Accordingly, the presence of normally open contacts 107,110 assures that, regardless of the position of control contacts 108 and 111, valve 105 cannot be energized to supplypressure fluid to cylinder 104 until deflector plate has moved to its stowed position.

While the embodiment of the invention hereinbefore described accomplishes adjustment of distribution solely by adjusting the dwell or residence time of deflecting plate 35 at the ends of its arcuate path of travel about the top of the charger, a still more effective adjustment can be accomplished by controlling both-the extent of each half of the arcuate path of travel and the dwell times, as by the embodiment shown in FIG. 7. The control system shown in FIG. 7 is to be considered as applied to the apparatus of FIGS. 1-4, and parts of that apparatus are indicated in FIG. 7 by the same reference characters employed in FIGS. 1-5. v

In the embodiment of FIG. 7, actuating winding 80 of solenoid valve 43 is connected to supply terminal 70 via the series combination of relay contacts 59a, press ram position sensing switch 58 and normally open contacts 57a of manual switch 57, so that the winding 00 can be energized to pivot plate 35 to its deflecting position only when all of the contacts 59a, 58 and 57a are closed. The remainder of the control system is powered from terminal 78 via conductor 79 only when a second set of contacts 57b of switch 57 are closed, contacts 57a and 57b being ganged for simultaneous operation as indicated. The control system accomplishes operation of motor 26 by means including reversing relays 115 and 116 and adjustable time delay relays 117-120 which can, for example, be of the same type illustrated at 55 and 56, FIG. 5.

The embodiment of FIG. 7 controls the period of time distributor ring 19, and thus plate 35, are turned after the plate passes a nominal midpoint of its arcuate travel, and that midpoint is established by a conventional two-position switch 121 which can be mounted on ring 12 and is actuated by a cam finger 122 secured rigidly to and projecting radially from distributor ring 19. Switch 121 includes fixed contacts 123, 124 and a movable contact 125, and is equipped with a pivoted roller yoke 126 so constructed and arranged as to be pivoted to move contact 125 into engagement with contact 123 when finger 122 engages the yoke as a result of counterclockwise movement (as viewed in FIG. 7) of ring 19 and to move contact 125 into engagement with contact 124 when ring 19 moves in the opposite direction.

Reversing relay includes three sets of normally open contacts 127, and 129 each connected in a different one of the power lines for motor 26 in such fashion that, when all three sets of contacts are closed, motor 26 is operated to drive the distributor assembly, including ring 19 and plate 35, counterclockwise. Relay 115 also includes an additional set of normally open contacts 130 and an actuating winding 131. Reversing relay 116 includes three sets of normally open contacts 132, 133 and 134 so connected that, when all three contact sets are closed, motor 26 is operated to drive the distributor assembly in a clockwise direction. Relay 116 also comprises an additional set of normally open contacts 135 and an actuating winding 136.

Time delay relay 117 is connected to supply conductor 79 via conductors 137, 138 only when switch 121 is operated to engage movable contact 125 with fixed contact 124, i.e., when switch 121 hasbeen actuated by clockwise movement of ring 19. Relay 117 includes a normally open set of contacts 139 and a normally closed set of contacts 140. Contacts 139 are connected between supply conductor 79 and the input terminal of time delay relay 119 by conductors 141, 142. One contact of contact set 140 is connected to one terminal of winding 131 of reversing relay 115 by conductor 143, the other terminal of winding 131 being connected to ground. The other contact of contact set 140 is connected to supply conductor 79 via two paths, the first comprising conductors 144, and contacts 130 of reversing relay 1 15, the other comprising conductors 146, 147 and normally open contacts 148 of time delay relay 120.

Time delay relay 118 is connected to supply conductor 79 via conductors 137 and 149 only when switch 121 is operated to engage movable contact 125 with fixed contact 123, i.e., when switch 121 has been actuated by counterclockwise movement of ring 19. Relay 118 includes a set of normally open contacts 150 and a set of normally closed contacts 151. By conductors 152, 153 and 149, normally open contacts 150 are connected between the input terminal of time delay relay 120 and fixed contact 123 of switch 121, so that time delay relay 120 can be energized from supply conductor 79 by operation of time delay relay 118. One contact of normally closed contact set 151 is connected by conductor 154 to one terminal of winding 136, the other terminal being connected to ground. The other contact of fixed contact set 151 is connected to supply conductor 79 via two paths, one path comprising conductor 155, normally open contacts 135 of reversing relay 116, and conductor 156, the other path comprising conductor 157, the normally open contacts 158 of time delay relay 119, and conductor 159.

An indicator lamp 160 is connected in parallel with actuating winding 131 of reversing relay 115 so as to be energized whenever the actuating winding 131 is energized. Similarly, an indicator lamp 161 is connected in parallel with actuating winding 136 of reversing relay 116.

Switch 157, time delay relays 117-120, and indicator lamps 160, 161 are located at ground level so as to be accessible to an operator standing, e.g., near the container in which the tobacco or other fragmentary material is to be packed. Typically, these elements can be mounted in the control panel CP, Fig. 1, so that the time delay relays can be adjusted by the operator as h observes through charger portion 7.

In operation, manual closing of switch 57 energizes the distributor control circuit, though solenoid valve 80 will not be energized to swing blade 35 to its deflecting position until press ram up contacts 58 and infeed conveyor control contacts 59a are also closed. Assume that contacts 57b have been closed, that motor 26 has been energized by actuation of relay 115 to drive the distributor assembly, including ring 19, clockwise and that such movement has actuated switch 121 to engage contact 125 with contact 124. Under these circumstances, time delay relay 117 has been energized, is within the time delay period for which it has been adjusted, and therefore has not actuated contacts 139, 140. At the end of the time delay period, relay 117 actuates contacts 139 to closed position and opens contacts 140. Opening of contacts 140 deenergizes winding 131 and lamp 160. Motor 26 stops. Contacts 130 are open.

With contacts 139 closed, time delay relay 119 is energized to commence the time delay period for which it has been adjusted. When that period has elapsed, relay 119 operates to close contacts 158. During the time delay period provided by relay 119, motor 26 re mains unenergized and ring 19 and deflecting blade 35 therefore remain stationary, with the blade in its deflecting position in that location reached by the blade as a result of the operation of the motor which was terminated by contacts 140.

When contacts 158 close, winding 136 of relay 116 is energized via the normally closed contacts of time delay relay 118. All of contacts 132-135 therefore close and motor 26 is energized to drive the distributor counterclockwise. Closing of contacts 135 establishes a holding circuit for winding 136 so that energization of that winding is no longer dependent on contacts 158 being closed. Lamp 16] is energized to indicate to the operator that motor 26 is running to drive the distributor counterclockwise. As counterclockwise movement of ring 19 continues, finger 122 passes the nominal midpoint of its arcuate travel and engages yoke 126, actuating contact 125 of switch 121 into engagement with contact 123, so that time delay relay 118 is energized and time delay relays 117 and 119 are deenergized and reset. When the time delay for which relay 118 has been adjusted elapses, that relay operates to close contacts 150 and open contacts 151, so that time delay relay 120 is energized and winding 136 of relay 116 is deenergized. Such action stops motor 26 and is observable to the operator by deenergization of lamp 161. Contacts 135 are open. Time delay relay 120 commences the delay period for which it has been adjusted and, at the end of that period, operates to close its contacts 148. Time delay relay 117 having reset, so that its contacts 140 are closed, closing of contacts 148 again energizes winding 131 of relay so that contacts 127-130 are closed and motor 26 is again energized to drive ring 19 in a clockwise direction. At this time, contact 125 of switch 121 still engages contact 123, and time delay relays 118, remain energized, so that winding 131 of relay 115 remains energized via closed contacts 148. When ring 19 passes through the nominal midpoint of its arcuate travel, switch 121 is actuated by finger 122 to move contact into engagement with contact 124, deenergizing time delay relays 118, 120 and energizing time delay relay 117. Operation now continues as initially described.

it will thus be seen that, once operation is initiated, and assuming that deflecting blade 35 is at one end of its arcuate travel, the control system first causes the distributor assembly to be driven through its nominal midpoint, established by switch 121 and finger 122, the appropriate one of time delays relays 117, 118 then causes the distributor assembly to advance for a further distance to an end point depending upon the adjustment of that time delay relay, and the corresponding one of time delay relays 119, 120 then causes the deflecting plate 35 to dwell at that end point for a time depending upon the adjustment of the respective time delay relay 119, 120, the operation being then automatically repeated in the reverse direction. Thus, as to movement of plate 35 in either direction, the operator can adjust both the arcuate distance that plate 35 travels beyond the nominal midpoint and the dwell time for the plate at the end of its travel through that arcuate distance, all by adjustment of the appropriate time delay relays 117-120. Such dual adjustment affords a capability of fine control of the action of the distributor.

For purposes of safety, indicator lamps 160, 161 allow the operator to observe from floor level when one or the other of the two reversing relays 115, 116 is energized, continued energization of either lamp 160, 161 beyond the time delay range being an indication of system failure. As an additional safety measure, limit stops (not shown) can be provided on ring 12 to be engaged by cooperating elements on ring 19 in event of overtravel of ring 19 in either direction, engagement of the limit stops causing the distributor assembly to stop, with attendant slippage of the drive belt 23.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate another embodiment of the invention, applied to a press for packing tobacco or the like into rectangular containers, the press being of that general type which is equipped with an upright charger having a rectangular transverse cross section corresponding to the rectangular shape of the case or other rectangular container into which the tobacco or the like is to be compressed. Here, the charger 200 includes, at its upper end, a short upwardly and outwardly flaring portion 201 to which is secured a top portion 202 of somewhat larger transverse dimensions than the charger proper. The open rectangular upper end of portion 202 is provided with an externally located stiffening collar 203.

Two deflector plates 204 and 205 are employed, each suspended pivotally from collar 203 by means of shafts 206 and 207, respectively. The end portions of shafts 206, 207 are respectively journaled in two parallel sides of collar 203 and one end portion of each shaft projects outwardly for a short distance beyond one of the sides. At this one side of charger portion 202, there is secured to the outwardly projecting and portion of shaft 206 a bell crank lever 208. At the same side of charger portion 202, a bellcrank lever 209 is secured to shaft 207. Lever 208 includes a depending arm 210 and a laterally projecting arm 211. Similarly, lever 209 includes a depending arm 212 and a laterally projecting arm 213. Levers 208'and 209 are so disposed that the arms 211 and 213 project in opposite directions, each extending beyond the side limits of the adjacent wall of charger portion 202.

A pressure fluid-operated rectilinearly acting power device 214 is provided which comprises a cylinder 215, a piston 216, and a piston rod 217. The free end of the piston rod 217 is pivotally connected -to the lower end of arm 212 of lever 209-by a clevis 218 which is threadedly engaged with the piston rod to allow the effective length of the rod to be adjusted. The closed end of cylinder 215 is connected to the lower end of arm 210 of lever 208 by a clevis 219. The dimensions of power device 214 are so chosen that, when piston 216 is moved to the right, as viewed in FIG. 9, levers 208 and 209 are pivoted in opposite directions to move the deflector plates 204, 205 to their stowed positions, against the respective sides of charger portion 202. On the other hand, when power device 214 is energized to move piston 216 to the left, as viewed in FIG. 9, the effective over-all length of the power device is shortened, swinging the deflector plates 204, 205 toward the interior of charger portion 202 if power device 221, later described, is not pressured.

The bottom end of charger portion 202 is provided with an exterior stiffening collar 220. A second rectilinearly acting, fluid pressure-actuated power device 221 is provided, comprising a cylinder 222, a piston 223, and a piston rod 224. The closed end of cylinder 222 is mounted on stiffening collar 220 by a clevis 225 and bracket 226. Power device 221 is'disposed vertically, so that piston rod 224 projects upwardly, terminating adjacent the free end of arm 213 of lever 209. The free end of piston rod 224 is pivotally connected to the free endof arm 213 by clevis 227.

Pressure fluid lines 228 and 229 are connected respectively to the ends of cylinder 215 of power device 214 and to a solenoid operated reversing valve 230. Similarly, pressure fluid lines 231 and 232 are connected to the respective ends of cylinder 222 of power device 221 and to a solenoid operating reversing valve 233. Actuating winding 234 of valve 230 is connected between supply terminal 235 and ground via conductor 236. The series combination of a manual switch 237, contacts 238 of a relay 239, and a position switch 240 is connected in conductor 236 so that the actuating winding 234 is energized whenever all of switch 237, contacts 238 and switch 240 are closed, but is deenergized when any of those three switching devices is opened.

The actuating winding 241 of valve 233 is connected between ground and conductor 236 by a circuit comprising conductor 242, the normally open contacts 243 of adjustable time delay relay 244, and conductor 245. The supply terminal of relay 244 is connected to conductor 236 via conductor 246, the normally closed contacts 247 of a second adjustable time delay relay 248, and conductor 249. The supply terminal of time delay relay 248 is connected to conductor 236 via conductor 250, contacts 243 of relay 244, and conductor 245. An indicator lamp 251 is connected in parallel with time delay relay 248. A second indicator lamp 252 is connected in parallel with time delay relay 244 via a set of normally open contacts 253 of relay 244.

When all of contacts 237, 238 and 239 are closed, winding 234 is energized via conductor 236, actuating valve 230 from the position shown to its actuated position, so that pressure fluid is supplied to cylinder 215 via conduit 229. When winding 234 is thus energized, winding 241 has not yet been energized, cylinder 222 is therefore pressured below piston 223, and bell crank lever 209 is accordingly prevented from moving. Supply of pressure fluid via conduit 229 thus causes cylinder 215 to be moved to the right, as viewed in FIG. 8, pivoting bell crank lever 208 counterclockwise and swinging plate 204 upwardly and inwardly to a deflecting position while plate 205 remains in inactive position against the adjacent side wall of charger top portion 202. Such action of power device 214 establishes a particular spacing between the lower edges of plates 204 and 205 (and therefore a particular downward and inward convergent relationship between the two plates) which is predetermined by screw thread adjustment of clevis 28 on rod 217.

When all of contacts 237, 238 and 240 are closed, time delay relay 244 is energized, relay 248 being deenergized and its contacts 247 therefore being closed. Energization of relay 244 is observable because lamp 252 is energized. When the time delay periodfor which relay 244 has been adjusted has elapsed, that relay operates to close its contacts 243 and open contacts 253. Closing of contacts 243 causes simultaneous energization of winding 241 and time delay relay 248. With winding 241 energized, valve 233 is actuated to cause pressure fluid to flow through conduit 231 into the upper end of cylinder 222 so that piston 223 is driven downwardly, pivoting bell crank lever 209 clockwise. Since powerdevice 214 remains pressurized in the sense caused by continuing energization of winding 234, clockwise movement of lever 209 causes simultaneous clockwise movement-of lever 208 so that plates 204 and 205 are pivoted in unison, plate 204 swinging back to its vertical position and plate 205 swinging upwardly and inwardly to its full deflecting position. When the delay time for which relay 248 has been adjusted has elapsed, that relay operates to open its contacts 247, deenergizing time delay relay 244 with resultant opening of contacts 243 so that winding 241 is deenergized and relay 248 is also deenergized. With winding 241 deenergized, the biasing spring 254 of valve 233 returns the valve to the position seen in FIG. 8, so that pressure fluid is supplied again to cylinder 222 via line 232 to drive piston 223 upwardly and turn bell crank lever 209, and therefore lever 208, counterhas been stopped by deenergization of relay 239, opening of contacts 238 results in deenergization of both windings 234 and 241, so that valves 230 and 233 return to their initial positions, causing power devices 214 and 221 to return both deflector plates 204 and 205 to their stowed positions, preparatory to movement of the press ram downwardly through the charger.

In effect, having the adjustable time delay relays 244, 248 available at floor level allows the operator to adjust both the overall time period for each half cycle of distributor operation, i.e., the time required for one of the plates 204, 205 to swing from inactive position to full deflecting position, and to adjust the dwell period at the end of each half cycle. Under usual circumstances, clevis 218 is adjusted to provide a spacing between the lower edges of plates 204, 205, when power device 214 has been pressured via conduit 229, which is large enough to cause the distributor, when initially operated, to provide a slight excess buildup of the tobacco or the like. The operator can then achieve even filling of the case or other container by adjusting relays 244, 248 to cause a controlled dwell of each plate 204, 205 in its full deflecting position, such dwells being adjusted to cause the distributor to deflect the appropriate amounts of material into the end portions of the case or other rectangular container.

In order to provide for control of the speed at which the plates 204, 205 are swung, adjustable one-way orifice valves 255, 256 are connected respectively in conduits 231, 232, with the check valves thereof oriented to provide full flow of pressure fluid into the cylinder 222 and to close when fluid flow through the respective conduit is in the opposite direction, such closing causing the fluid to flow only via a manually adjustable oriflce.

What is claimed is:

1. In an apparatus for packing fragmentary compressible material such as tobacco into a container, the apparatus comprising floor level support for the container, an elongated upright tubular charger arranged above the location for the container, infeed conveyor means for supplying the compressible material to the top of the charger, a distributor for deflecting the compressible material generally transversely of the charger to accomplish substantially even distribution of the compressible material relative to the cross section of the space defined by the combination of the container andthe charger, and press means including a pressing head and means for passing the pressing head downwardly through the charger after filling has been accomplished, the distributor comprising at least one deflector and operating means effective to present the same in deflecting position selectively at a plurality of different locations spaced about the top of the charger as the compressible material is being supplied by the infeed conveyor means and at an inoperative position which allows the pressing head to pass the distributor, the improvement comprising, in combination,

power means forming part of the operating means of the distributor and operatively connected to the at least one deflector;

control means operatively connected to said power 6 flecting position at a given location relative to the top of the charger; and

manually adjustable timing means located at the floor level and connected to said control means to determine at least the time period over which the at least one deflector is held in deflecting position at said given location.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 and in which the charger has a circular transverse cross section and the distributor comprises a deflector plate, a carrier on which the plate is mounted, means supporting the carrier for movement along an arcuate horizontal path which is at the top of the charger and concentric therewith, and means mounting the plate for movement between a substantially vertical inactive position, to allow the pressing head to pass, and an inclined deflecting position, wherein said power means comprises a first power device connected to the plate and operative, when energized, to move the plate to its deflecting position and hold the plate in that position; and

a second, reversible power device arranged to drive the carrier, and therefore the plate, along its arcuate path;

said control means comprises first control means for energizing said first power device when the pressing head is in a raised inactive position and the infeed conveyor means is operating; and

second control means for operating said second power device first in one direction, to drive the carrier to one end of its arcuate path, and then in the opposite direction, to drive the carrier to the other end of its arcuate path with such operation continuing until the charger has been filled to a desired extent with compressible material; and

said manually adjustable timing means comprises two manually adjustable timingdevices forming part of said second control means and each arranged to establish a timed dwell period during which the carrier is maintained substantially stationary at a different end of its arcuate path.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said second power device is a reversible electric motor and said second control means comprises reversing circuit means operatively connected to said motor and including two position switches each arranged to be actuated in response to appearance of the carrier adjacent a different end of the arcuate path of travel of the carrier;

said manually adjustable timing means comprising two adjustable time delay electrical relays, and

circuit means connecting said relays to said reversing circuit means,

each of said relays being connected to respond to a different one of said position switches and to operate said second control means to energize said motor at a time after actuation of the respective position switch and in a direction opposite to that in which the motor operated when driving the carrier to cause actuation of the respective position switch.

4. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said second power device is a reversible electric motor and said second control means comprises reversing circuit means operatively connected to said motor and including two actuating windings each connected to cause the motor to operate in a different direction; and said manually adjustable timing means comprises a first adjustable time delay relay connected to determine a first time period during which the motor is operated to drive the plate in one direction,

a second adjustable time delay relay connected to deenergize the motor and maintain the plate stationary for a second time period commencing at the end of said first time period,

a third adjustable time delay relay connected to determine a second time period during which the motor is operated to drive the plate in the other direction, and

a fourth adjustable time delay relay connected to deenergize the motor and maintain the plate stationary for a fourth time period commencing at the end of said third time period.

5. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said second control means comprises selector switch means disposed to be operated when the plate is driven past a predetermined intermediate point on its arcuate path of travel,

a first circuit portion responsive to operation of said selector switch means by passage of the plate by said intermediate point in one direction and connected to control said second power device as it drives the plate in said one direction to the corresponding end of its arcuate path, and

a second circuit portion responsive to operation of said selector switch means by passage of the plate by said intermediate point in the other direction and connected to control said second power device as it drives the plate in said other direction to the other end of its arcuate path,

said two timing devices being connected each in a different one of said circuit portions.

6. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the top of the charger is of rectangular transverse cross section and the distributor comprises two flat deflector plates each mounted to swing about an axis parallel to and immediately adjacent a different one of two opposite side walls of the top of the charger, the distributor further comprising adjustable length means interconnecting the two plates,

said power means comprising a reversible motor and means connecting the same to swing the two deflector plates simultaneously,

' said control means being connected to operate said motor under the influence of said manually adjustable timing means.

Disclaimer 3,817,298.-Fran02's B. Fishbume, Asheviile, N .C. VERTICAL PRESS AP- PARATUS WITH REMOTELY CONTROLLED DISTRIBU- TOR. Patent dated June 18, 1974. Disclaimer filed Feb. 29, 1980, by the inventor. Hereby enters this disclaimer to claims 1, 2 and 3 of said patent.

[Ofiicz'al Gazette, A r/112.9, 1.980.]

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4457125 *Apr 22, 1983Jul 3, 1984Fishburne Francis BPress for packing compressible material having an air release sleeve
US5404919 *Apr 1, 1993Apr 11, 1995Fishburne International Inc.Uniform tobacco distribution system and method for a tobacco press
US5529095 *Mar 28, 1995Jun 25, 1996Felts; James D.Uniform tobacco distribution system and method for a tobacco press
US6471100 *Oct 5, 2001Oct 29, 2002Easy Blend Manufacturing, Inc.Self cleaning cushion box for spouting, which transfers products by gravity from one position to a second position
US7762265Mar 14, 2005Jul 27, 2010Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Inc.Apparatus for controlling distribution of tobacco strip
WO1984004286A1 *Apr 23, 1984Nov 8, 1984Francis B FishburnePress for packing compressible material having an air release sleeve
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/80, 100/215, 141/286
International ClassificationA24B1/10, A24B1/00, B65B1/24, B65B1/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B1/24, A24B1/10
European ClassificationA24B1/10, B65B1/24