US 3821874 A
Constant motion apparatus for inserting a six sided corrugated liner into carton and thereafter inserting a product into the carton. A corrugated liner is formed and conveyed perpendicularly to a carton conveyor. The liner is thrust from its former to a liner conveyor running parallel to the carton conveyor. From the liner conveyor each liner is pushed into the carton which thereafter receives a product. Means are provided for closing the liner and carton end flaps and sealing the carton end flaps.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Jones 1 July 2, 1974 [5 CARTONING MACHINE FOR CARTONS 3,284,981 11/1966 Broersma 53/252 x 3,333,396 8/1967 Paal et al. 53/252 HAVING LINERS 3,690,224 9/1972 Derderian et a1 93/3601 Wickliffe Jones, Cincinnati, Ohio Assignee: R. A. Jones and Company,
Incorporated, Covington, Ky.
Filed: Oct. 10, 1972 Appl. 190.; 295,999
US. Cl 53/27, 53/175, 53/252, 93/3601 Int. Cl B65b 41/18 Field of Search 53/27, 169, 175, 251, 252, 53/148; 93/3601, 77 CL, 12 R, 12 C, 35 PT, 59 CE, 59 ES References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Primary ExaminerTravis S. McGehee Assistant Examiner-John Sipos Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wood, Herron & Evans 5 7 ABSTRACT 10 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures CARTONING MACHINE FOR CARTONS HAVING LINERS This invention relates to a cartoner, and more particularly the invention relates to a cartoner wherein a corrugated liner is first formed, then inserted into a carton, a product being thereafter inserted into the lined carton.
One prior approach to inserting liners in cartons is exemplified by US. Pat. No. 2,263,501. There, a carton is formed about a mandrel and pushed transversely into a traveling carton by a plunger having two reciprocatory components of motion, one transversely to the direction of motion of the carton and the other parallel to the direction of motion of the carton. This approach, requiring the reciprocatory motion of the liner inserter, tends to be limited in the speeds which it is capable of attaining due to the limitations imposed upon it by the reciprocating mechanism.
Another approach to making lined cartons includes apparatus for depositing a liner in a product bucket, depositing a product in the product bucket, and forming the liner about the product. Thereafter, the product and liner are thrust into a carton. This apparatus has been used for four sided liners and has been operated at speeds of about one hundred twenty cartons per minute.
An objective of the present invention has been to provide a cartoner including a liner inserter capable of forming and inserting into a carton a six sided liner, that is, a liner having four side walls and opposed end walls, the cartoner being capable of doubling cartoning speeds of existing apparatus of the type described above. It should be understood, however, that while the invention is particularly applicable to difficult to handle six sided liners, it is also adaptable for use in forming and inserting four or five sided liners.
Another objective of the invention has been to provide a cartoner which eliminates reciprocating mechanisms for forming and inserting the liner into the carton. More specifically, the apparatus of the present inventionemploys constant motion, endless conveyor for driving liner blanks through a former; for receiving and conveying liner blanks parallel to the carton; and for pushing the formed liner blanks into the cartons as they are conveyed parallel to the cartons.
Another objective of the invention has been to provide a new method of cartoning wherein liners are initially formed into a trapezoidal section configuration and inserted into a carton, the trapezoidal configuration being maintained until a product is thrust into the carton to spread the liner into a rectangular configuration.
Another objective of the invention has been to provide, in cartoning apparatus, apparatus for closing both liner and carton flaps after a product has been introduced into the carton.
Another objective of the invention has been to provide apparatus for conveying and forming a six sided liner, the liner having four side walls formed by three whole walls and two partial walls adapted to abut to form the fourth wall.
Another objective of the invention has been to provide liner conveying apparatus adapted to receive and hold a liner in a trapezoidal configuration, the liner thereafter being thrust into a carton in the trapezoidal configuration.
Another objective of the invention has been to provide apparatus for loading products into cartons and having a safety feature for minimizing product breakage.
These and other objectives of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accomof FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 66 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic perspective view illustrating the top closing apparatus taken generally along lines 77 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 88 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 9-9 of FIG. 7; and
FIG. 10 is a plan view of a liner blank.
GENERAL ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION The apparatus of the present invention is for forming and inserting a double faced corrugated liner blank into a carton 21 and thereafter inserting an article 22 into the carton; The cartons are previously erected and conveyed by a constant motion endless conveyor 19 in the machine direction indicated by arrow 23 and in the form indicated at 24 with the carton flaps open so as'to present a tube adapted to receive a liner. The liners are fed as flat blanks from a magazine 25 through a former conveyor 26 during which the flat blanks areformed as trapezoidally configurated liners indicated at 27. The former conveyor 26 conveys the blanks perpendicularly toward a liner conveyor 28 which receives the liners and conveys them parallel to and in alignment with the cartons 21. A liner pusher- 29 carries a series of spaced pusher elements 30 in an angulated path indicated at 31 toward the liner conveyor. As the pusher elements move toward the liner conveyor, they engage the liners 20 and thrust them into the cartons 21, the liners maintaining their trapezoidal configuration when thrust into the cartons. After the liners have been thrust into the cartons, a product loader 33 engages the products, depicted as bottles 22, and thrusts them into the cartons. Top flap closing mechanism 35 closes the top flaps of the carton as the cartons are being loaded and bottom flap closing mechanism 36 closes the bottom flaps of the cartons after the product has been inserted into the cartons.
LINER BLANK FORMER AND CONVEYOR The blank which is to be inserted into the carton is illustrated in FIG. 10 and has three full walls 40, 41, 42 and two partial'walls 43, 44 at the ends of the blank, the partial walls being adapted to abut each other to form a fourth wall. A top flap 45 is hinged to panel 41 and two bottom flaps 46, 47 are hinged to the walls 40, 42, respectively, the bottom flaps 46, 47 being adapted to abut each other to form a bottom wall. The blanks are of double faced corrugated board which has been cut and creased to define the walls and flaps described above. The blanks are fed from a magazine with the bottom flaps 46, 47 leading and the top flap trailing. The blanks are ejected from the magazine in a known manner and are captured by an endless conveyor 49 having a lug which engages the edge of the top flap 45 to move the blanks along a path indicated by the arrow 50, that direction being perpendicular to the machine direction 23 of the cartoner. The blank first passes under rails 51 which are aligned with the hinge creases for the partial walls 43, 44. The partial walls 43, 44 are engaged respectively by a pair of forming discs 52 which are eccentrically mounted on a rotating shaft 53. The rotation of the discs 52 as the liner passes under the rails 51 causes the discs to engage the partial walls 43, 44 to break them about their hinge lines, as shown in FIG. 1 and a cross-sectional view of FIG. 2.
As the blank is continued to be conveyed in the direction 50, it passes under a forming mandrel 55 having upwardly and inwardly taperingside walls 56 (FIGS. 3A and 3B). A pair of outer forming discs 57 and a pair of inner forming discs 58 are eccentrically mounted, on a rotating shaft 59 on either isde of the mandrel 55. As the shaft 59 is rotated, the outer forming discs engage the walls 40, 42 to pre-break them along the creases by which they are connected to the wall 41 (FIG. 3A). After the pre-break, the inner discs 58 engage the walls to finish breaking them about their creases. thereby swinging the walls 40, 42 to a perpendicular attitude with respect to the wall 41 (FIG. 3B). In this attitude, the blank is advanced to a plowing station 60. The plowing station 60 has a pair of lower rails 61 which engages the walls 40, 42 to swing them past their perpendicular orientation to lie flat against the tapered walls 56 of the forming mandrel 55, as shown in FIG. 4.
The plowing station has an upper rail 62 which engages the partial wall 43 to fold it on top of the mandrel. Downstream of the rail 62 is a second upper rail 63 adapted to engage the partial wall 44 to fold it over the top of the mandrel so that it slightly overlaps partial wall 43 and creates a trapezoidal section configuration of the liner. After the folding of the partial wall 44, the liner is ready to be thrust into the liner conveyor 28.
LINER CONVEYOR Referring to FIGS. 1, 5 and 6, the liner conveyor, running in the machine direction and perpendicularly to the liner former, is adapted to receive a liner 20 and capture it between an L'shaped trailing lug and a movable leading lug 71. The trailing lug has a horizontal leg 72 and a generally vertical leg 73 which is somewhat inclined to create an acute angle with the horizontal leg as indicated at (A) with which to receive the walls 40 and 41 of the liner. The movable lug 71-has at its upper end a transverse bar 74 which is engageable with the wall 42 of the liner to hold it in its angulated attitude.
The trailing lug 70 is carried between two endless conveyor chains 75 which ride in tracks76. Brackets 77 are mounted on the conveyor chains 75 and are fixed to the horizontal leg 72 of the trailing lug 70. The
movable lug 71 is carried by a single conveyor chain 78 which rides in a track 79 between the other two conveyor chains 75. Longitudinal adjustment of the chains 75 and 78 permits a variation in the spacing of the lugs 70, 71 and adapts the machine to accommodate different sizes of liners. The lug 71 is; pivotally mounted to v the conveyor chain by a pin 80 intermediate the ends of the lug. A cam roller8l is rotatably mounted at the lower end of the lug and rides in a cam track 82. The cam track creates a path for the roller 81 which maintains the lug 71 in a generally horizontal attitude with thebar 74 below the plane of the horizontal leg 72 at the location where the liner 20 is thrust onto the liner conveyor. Downstream of that location, the cam track causes the roller to move downwardly, thereby swinging the lug 71 upwardly to bring the bar 74 into engage,- ment with the wall 42 of the liner, forcing the wall past vertical to hold the trapezoidal configuration.
By way of example, the liner former moves the liner into the liner conveyor at a highspeed'of about 25 30 inches per cycle. The liner conveyor moves at less than one-third that speed, namely, about 8 inches per cycle. The liner begins its introduction into the liner conveyor just after a trailing lug has passed the point of introduction, thereby permitting the liner to just clear the trailing lug of the previously introduced liner. By the time the liner is completely thrust transversely into the liner conveyor, the trailing lug 70 has caught up to the liner and the leading lug has advanced to a position at which the bar 74 will clear the liner as it is swung into engagement with the wall 42.
LINER PUSHER The liner conveyor runs parallel to the carton conveyor with the lugs 70, 71 carrying the liner in alignment with the cartons 21 carried by the cartonconveyor 19. Thus, the liners are in a position to be thrust gradually into the cartons as the cartons and liners are conveyed side-by-side downstream. The liner pusher 29 is an endless chain 85 which carries the pusher elements 30 in the direction of the arrows 86. The chain has an angulated path 31 which carries the lugs 30 from an outermost position of engagement with a liner just introduced into the liner conveyor to an innermost position immediately adjacent the end of a carton. In the traverse along the path 31, each element 30 thrusts a liner from between the trailing and leading lugs 70, 71 of a liner conveyor into the carton.
The trapezoidal configuration of the liner 20 maintains the liner dimensionally small compared to the inside dimensions of .the carton so as to facilitate its introduction into the carton. An extension 87, in the machine direction 23, of the rail 63 combined with the frictional engagement of theliner partial walls 43, 44 with each other and with the adjacent wall of the carton maintains the liner in the trapezoidal configuration until the product is introduced, the product spreading the liner walls 40, 42 apart to its final rectangular configuration.
CARTON LOADER The cartons 21 are conveyed on a constant motion endless conveyor indicated diagrammatically at 19 in a conventional manner. At its bottom'end, each carton has two bottom flaps 91 and 92 and two side flaps 93 and 94. The side flaps 93, 94 lie'adjacent the liner bottom flaps 46 and 47 which will be first folded across the bottom of the carton. Thereafter, the carton bottom flaps 91 and 92 will be folded upon themselves with the carton As the cartons are conveyed toward the product loader 33, the flaps 91 and 92 are held open by rails 96 and 97. The articles. 22 to be loaded into the cartons are carried in product buckets 98 on an endless conveyor 99 which follows the path 100 bringing the product buckets up into alignment with the cartons as the product loading station is reached. The liner flaps 46, 47 and carton side flaps 93, 94 are spread open by the combined action of a star wheel and the upwardmovement of the product buckets 98. The star wheel 101 is rotated clockwise as viewed in FIG. 1 comparatively slowly so that its arm 102 projects between the liner between flaps 46, 47 and moves slowly out of the way as the trailing bottom flap 46 catches up to the arm 102 and wipes against the arm to bend substantially flush with the bottom of the carton. As the flap 46 is bent out of the way, the product bucket, having a leading wall 103 and a trailing wall 104, moves up into position, and in so doing its leading wall 103 engages the flap 47 bending it out of the way. The trailing wall 104 of the product bucket engages flap 46 holding it out of ers 110 carried on an endless conveyor 111 and adapted for sliding movement toward and away from the carton conveyor. The pushers 110 are in alignment with the product buckets, and as they are moved toward the carton conveyor they thrust the articles into the cartons. Each pusher has a cam roller 112 which rides in a cam track 113 causing the pushers to drive the articles into the cartons. The cam track includes a fixed bar 114 and a movable bar 115 pivoted at 116 to the frame of the cartoner. A double acting piston and cylinder 117 connected at 118 to the movable bar 115 holds the movable bar 115 in its normal operative position. In that position, a microswitch 119 is contacted by a bracket 120 on the movable bar, the microswitch detecting any jam in the loading operation which would cause the movable bar 115 to move away from the fixed bar 114 against the pressure of the piston and cylinder 117.
- It is common practice to design the cam track and product conveyor relationship so as to cause the pushers to be quickly withdrawn from the product buckets as soon as the products have been thrust into the cartons and to cause the product buckets conveyor to pass downwardly around its end sprocket as soon as the products have been introduced. In the present invention, the cam track and product bucket conveyor have been designed to provide a one cycle dwell indicated at 121 to provide a factor of safety against breakage of the product in the event of a jam. For example, if a product jammed against a liner and tended tospring back out before the machine could stop, a product bucket swinging downwardly could smash the product between the downwardly moving product bucket and the carton conveyor before the machine could stop after the jam was detected. In accordance with the present invention, a jam would normally be detected by the time the pusher achieved the innermost extremity of its motion, thus causing the microswitch 119 to interrupt the power to the conveyor drive systems. The dwell indicated at 121 during which the product buckets remain at the same level as the carton conveyors permits the machine to stop and gives the operator an opportunity to clear the jam before breakage occurs.
BOTTOM FLAP CLOSING MECHANISM After the product has been introduced into the carton, the bottom flaps are closed. The first closing operation utilizes a star wheel 125 having arms 126 each of which has a more rapid motion in the machine direction than the advance of the carton so that an arm 126 of the star wheel can swing behind the trailing carton vflap and swing it to a closed position, carrying with it theliner bottom flap 46.
A plow 127 is in the path of movement of the carton to engage the leading carton flap 94 and close it, carrying with it the leading liner bottom flap 47. The plow 127 also maintains the trailing carton and liner flaps 93 and 46 closed as the carton passes beyond the star wheel. While the flaps are held closed, a second plow 128 engages the carton flap 91 and swings it to a closed position, thereby holding the earlier flaps closed. Glue is applied to the outside surface of the flap 91 as indicated at 129. A third plow 130 engages the outermost flap 92 and plows down on top of the flap 91 to which the glue had been applied, thereby sealing the flap 92 against the flap 91.
TOP FLAP CLOSING MECHANISM Projecting from the top of the carton is the top liner flap 45, two side flaps 132 and 133 and a tuck flap 134 having a top panel 135 and a tuck panel 136. As the carton moves in the machine'direction, the liner flap is first contacted by a plow rail 137 which urges the flap 45 upwardly at an angle of about 45. A star wheel 139 is located immediately downstream of the plow rail 137 and has a-series of bifurcated fingers 140 creating a leading plow element'141 and a trailing plow element 142. The leading plow element engages the upwardly raised liner flap 45 to swing it over the top of the'carton. The trailing finger 142 engages the trailing side flap 133 to swing it over the liner flap 45.
Downstream of the star wheel 139 is a plow 144 which engages the leading side flap 132 and forces it to swing over the liner flap 45. A third plow 145 is downstream of the plow 144 and engages the tuck'flap 134 a to force it to swing downwardly. A forming blade 146 is located below the plow 145 in line with the hinge line between the tuck panel 136 and the top panel 135. A knife 147 having transverse and longitudinal components of motion swings into engagement with the tuck panel 136 and folds it over the blade 146. The two positions of the knife 147 are shown, the positions being separated by the broken lines in FIG. 7.
Downstream of the blade 146 is a guide rail 148 which maintains the tuck panel in its folded condition as the carton moves beyond the blade 146. While held in the folded position by the guide 148, a tucking member 149 having transverse and horizontal components of motion engages the top panel 135 and forces the tuck panel 136 into the carton. Downstream of the tucking member is a locking element 150 having transverse and longitudinal components of motion. The
- locking member has twoarms 151 which are engageable with the comers of the tuck flap to cause the locking slits 152 (right end of FIG. 7) to be captured by the side flaps 132, 133 to lock the tuck flap in the carton.
OPERATION In the operation of the apparatus, the cartons are erected by conventional mechanism and conveyed with a constant motion by a carton conveyor 19 in the machine direction. Liner blanks 20 are drawn from the magazine and conveyed into the forming section 26. There, the walls of the liner are progressively folded upon the previously formed creases until the liner assumes the trapezoidal configuration shown at the end of the forming section. The thus formed liner is thrust into the liner conveyor 28 and captured between the trailing lug 70 and the movable lug 71 as it swings its bar 74 up into engagement with the wall 42 of the linerv The liner conveyor 28 carries the liners in alignment with the corresponding cartons for a short distance, during which the liner pusher 29 engages the liners, through its elements 30, and thrusts them transversely into the carton as they are conveyed by the liner conveyor,
The flaps at the bottom of the carton and liner are opened by the star wheel 101 and product buckets 98 and held open as the product is thrust into the carton. In thrusting the product into the carton, the liner walls are spread apart from the trapezoidal configuration into a rectangular configuration in which the partial walls 43, 44 abut each other. After the carton has been loaded, the closing mechanisms 35, 36 close the top and bottom of the carton respectively.
1. A method of packaging comprising the steps of,
erecting a tubular carton having end flaps,
forming a tubular liner having three walls and twopartial walls adapted to abut to form a fourth wall,
overlapping said partial walls to form a trapezoidal section, longitudinally thrusting said liner into said carton, longitudinally thrusting an article into said liner, and sealing said carton. 2. A method as in claim 1 further comprising, conveying said carton transversely, conveying said liner longitudinally while erecting said liner, and thereafter conveying said liner both longitudinally and transversely as it is thrust into a cartOH. 3. A method as in claim 1 further comprising expanding said trapezoidal section to a rectangular section as said article is thrust into said carton.
4. Apparatus for lining a carton comprising, an erected carton conveyor traveling in a first direction with tubular cartons oriented transversely of 8 said first direction,
a liner former including a conveyor for forming liner blanks into tubes and conveying them in a second direction perpendicular to said first direction with said blanks oriented in a direction transverse to said first direction,
a liner conveyor located between said carton conveyor and said liner former and traveling parallel to said carton conveyor,
and a liner pusher located adjacent said liner conveyor and including means to push liners from said liner conveyor into cartons on said carton conveyor.
5. Apparatus as in claim 4 further comprising,
means on said liner conveyor for compressing each liner into a trapezoidal section configuration prior to its engagement by said liner pusher.
6. Apparatus as in claim 5 in which said last named means comprises,
a trailing L-shaped transport lug having a vertical leg at an acute angle to a horizontal leg,
a pivoted leading lug,
and means for swinging said leading lug' from a position below said horizontal leg to a position above said horizontal leg in which said leading lug engages a wall of the liner.
7. Apparatus as in claim 6 in which said liner former thrusts said blank between said lugs while said leading lug is below said horizontal leg.
8. Apparatus as in claim 6 further comprising,
means for driving all conveyors in continuous motion,
said liner former thrusting said liner between said lugs and with the leading edge of said liner being introduced a substantial distance ahead of said L- shaped lug.
9. Apparatus as in claim 8 in which the lineal speed of said liner, as it is introduced between said lugs, is approximately three to fourtimes the lineal speed of said lugs.
10. Apparatus for lining a carton comprising,
a constant motion carton conveyor traveling in a first direction,
an endless liner conveyor traveling adjacent to and parallel to said carton conveyor,
a liner former including an endless conveyor and forming means through which said conveyor carries a liner blank, said liner former transferring formed liners to said liner conveyor,
and means for pushing liners from said liner conveyor into said cartons on said carton conveyor.