US 3855758 A
An elevator lifts a package through the plane of a wrapper sheet to form top, front and back end folds, while fixed depending side folder plates form top side folds in projecting sides of the sheet. Forwardly and rearwardly directed air jet nozzles carried on the outer sides of the side folder plates form upper front and rear tuck folds in the projecting sides of the wrapper. Next, front and rear bottom folder plates advance in under the package to form front and rear bottom folds in lapped relation on bottom of the package. Front side folder plates advanced with the front bottom folder but in trailing relation to its leading edge advance to adjacent the front edges of the fixed side folder plates and complete the front side tuck folds. Rear side folder blades spaced outwardly from the depending side folder plates and moved forwardly with the rear bottom folder break rear side tuck folds over the lower rear sides of the package, while front side folder blades spaced outwardly from the front side folder plates break lower front side tuck folds in the ends of the wrapper sheet. A front package pusher ejects the package rearwardly from between the fixed side folder plates to between fixed side plows that hold the side folds and upper tuck folds against the sides of the package while plowing up bottom side folds and lower front and rear tuck folds against the sides of the package. A transversely and downwardly rounded edge below the rear end folder stretches the rear of the sheet laterally to the ends of the package as the rear side fold and rear tuck folds are formed.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
iliiited States Patent [191 Walter et a1.
[ Dec. 24, 1974 FIXED LONGITUDINAL SIDE FOLDER  Inventors: Frederick L. Walter, White Cloud; Ronald Holt, Battle Creek, both of Mich.
 Assignee: Battle-Creek Packaging Machinery Div. of Franklin Electric Subsidiaries, Inc., Bluffton, Ind.
22 Filed: May 17,1973
21 Appl. No.: 361,279
 US. Cl. 53/226, 53/230  Int. Cl B65b 11/22  Field of Search 53/221, 226, 228, 230, 53/378, 222, 223, 220
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,899,468 2/1933 Littlefield 53/378 X 1,908,823 5/1933 Daniell 53/374 X 2,106,999 2/1938 Goerke 53/228 2,146,997 2/1939 Smith 53/230 2,744,371 5/1956 Hoppe 53/230 2,890,555 6/1959 Hayssen 53/228 3,212,230 10/1965 Coates 53/228 3,222,844 12/1965 Smith 53/221 X Primary Examiner-Travis S. McGehee Assistant Examiner.John Sipos  ABSTRACT An elevator lifts a package through the plane of a wrapper sheet to form top, front and back end folds, while fixed depending side folder plates form top side folds in projecting sides of the sheet. Forwardly and rearwardly directed air jet nozzles carried on the outer sides of the side folder plates form upper front and rear tuck folds in the projecting sides of the wrapper. Next, front and rear bottom folder plates advance in under the package to form front and rear bottom folds in lapped relation on bottom of the package. Front side folder plates advanced with the front bottom folder but in trailing relation to its leading edge ad vance to adjacent the front edges of the fixed side folder plates and complete the front side tuck folds. Rear side folder blades spaced outwardly from the depending side folder plates and moved forwardly with the rear bottom folder break rear side tuck folds over the lower rear sides of the package, while front side folder blades spaced outwardly from the front side folder plates break lower front side tuck folds in the ends of the wrapper sheet. A front package pusher ejects the package rearwardly from between the fixed side folder plates to between fixed side plows that hold the side folds and upper tuck folds against the sides of the package while plowing up bottom side folds and lower front and rear tuck folds against the sides of the package. A transversely and downwardly rounded edge below the rear end folder stretches the rear of the sheet laterally to the ends of the package as the rear side fold and rear tuck folds are formed.
10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATEmmusczmaz szazzrsurq FIXED LONGITUDINAL SIDE FOLDER RELATED PRIOR ART PATENTS The article feed conveyor is disclosed in the pending application, Ser. No. 311,304, now US. Pat. No. 3,794,154 of the applicant l-lolt. The wrapper sheet feed and package elevator are disclosed in US. Pat. No. 2,982,077 to Smith. A sealing mechanism for sealing several folds after ejection from the side folding mechanism is disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,069,826 to Littlefield.
OUTLINE OF INVENTION The present invention lies in the substitution of fixedly depending side folders for oscillating and reciprocating top folders to form the downwardly extending upper side folds as a package and wrapper sheet are elevated between front and rear folders. The resulting side tuck folds are initially formed and held in place by air jets prior to completion. The jets are carried on the outer sides of the fixed depending side folders. A related feature is the provision of a convex guide edge over which the rear side of the wrapper sheet is drawn to prevent wrinkling of the wrapper sheet along the rear end of the package and resultant irregularity of the tuck folds along the rear ends of the package.
DESCRIPTION The drawings of which there are four sheets illustrate a preferred form of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a wrapping machine incorporating the side folders of the invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational view of the side folder part of the machine.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary top plan view of the structure shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical cross sectional view taken along the plane of the line 4-4 in FIGS. 2 and 3.
FIG. 5 is a conventionalized side elevational view showing the parts of the machine at an intermediate stage in the wrapping operation.
FIG. 6 is similar to FIG. 5 showing the parts further advanced in the wrapping operation.
FIG. 7 is similar to FIGS. 5 and 6 showing the parts still further advanced.
GENERAL ARRANGEMENT FIG. I shows a portion of a wrapping machine having a side frame 10. For the purpose of description the article and package movement is considered as entering the front of the machine at the left end and leaving at the rear end on the right. The specific articles which the machine is designed to wrap are rolls of toilet tissue R, but the wrapping principle can obviously be applied to other articles. A principal object of the invention is to increase the rate of operation, and reduce the number and effect of reciprocating and oscillating folding elements of the machine.
The machine illustrated will wrap packages of two rolls of toilet tissue in wrapper sheets of thin film at the rate of 85 packages a minute. By widening the incoming conveyor and the wrapping mechanism, four or six roll packages may be wrapped at essentially the same rate. It will be appreciated that at this rapid rate it is essential that the movement of the thin wrapper sheets be accurately controlled throughout the wrapping operation. The construction of the machine is duplicated on each side so a description of one side will suffice.
A package group of two rolls R is fed into the front of the machine by a conveyor 12 having flight bars or pushers 14. The pushers advance the package against a package stop 16, at which point the flight bars run off of a support rail 18 and fold into the plane of the conveyor to pass under the package. At this point in the cycle, an elevator 20 raises the package group to an upper folding station. During its upward motion, the package moves through the plane of a wrapper sheet of thin film F and carries the sheet with it, thus forming top, front and rear end wraps over the package. A practical and proven way of delivering the wrapper sheets in horizontal position is by means of feed belts 22 operating under free rollingballs 24 which keep the edges of the sheet on the belts. In the example illustrated, the belts enter the side of the machine from the front side illustrated. It will be noted that the front or left belt is closer to the end of the package than the right or rear belt. As a result, when the edges of the wrapper sheet are pulled from under the balls 24 by upward movement of the package, a relative short front flap and a relatively long rear flap trail below the package.
As the package reaches its upper position, a front bottom folding plate 26 is advanced rearwardly or to the right to underneath both rolls. The plate operates on suitable slideways and is driven by a reciprocating drive (not illustrated) in timed relation to the elevator. The leading edge of the plate folds the depending front edge of the wrapper sheet part way under the package.
At the same time, a rear bottom folding plate 28 advances forwardly into closely spaced relation to the front bottom folding plate. This supports the package as the elevator retracts, and starts a rear bottom fold in the longer hanging rear side of the wrapper sheet. The rear bottom folding plate is supported on a cross bar 29 connected at its sides by slide blocks 30 that are reciprocated on slide rods 32 by push rods 34 driven in timed relation to the rest of the machine. Support blocks 36 adjustably secured to the slide bars 28 pivotally or oscillatably support the end of a transversely extending guide bar 38. The bar is rocked by a lever 40 and push rod 42 and carries rear holding fingers 44 that swing upwardly through slots 46 in the rear bottom folding plate to hold the rear of the wrapper and the package in place while the side folds are being formed as will be described presently.
It is pointed out and should be understood that the wrapper sheet F is substantially wider than the package and that substantial widths of the side edges of the film project beyond the ends of the rolls R as the package is raised by the elevator. The projecting sides which are formed into tubular shape by the front and rear bottom folder plates are formed into side tuck folds by the folding mechanism of the invention to be described. After the projecting side tuck folds are formed, a package ejector or pusher 48 (see FIG. 1) is advanced rearwardly to push the package onto a slideway 50 between side guideplates 52 and 54. The opposed edges of the plates define an upwardly curved plow slot 56 which receive the tucked side folds of the wrapper sheet and fold them up against the sides of the package. The
package then proceeds between side sealer mechanism such as the side sealer belts 58.
The foregoing structure is old and well known and so is not described or disclosed in greater detail.
NOVEL DETAILS Longitudinal support bars 60 which are desirably laterally adjustable on pins 62 to provide for wider packages support the side guide and plow plates 52 through brackets 64. They also support depending side folder plates 66 by means of brackets 68. The side folder plates are fixed in spaced relation above the meeting positions of the front bottom folder plate 26 and the rear bottom folder plate 28, and in laterally spaced relation to closely receive the ends of the rear roll R of the two roll package. The lower edges of the plates are desirably rounded as shown to engage and fold down the projecting side edges of the wrapper sheet F as the package and sheet are raised by the elevator 20. This forms upper side flaps 70 (see FIGS. 5, 6 and 7) along the sides of the package. Formation of the top side flaps also starts top tuck folds 72 and 74 along the projecting sides of the wrapper at the front and rear of the package respectively. Mounted on the outer sides of the side folder plates are manifolds 76 which supply compressed air to forwardly projecting nozzles 78 and rearwardly projecting nozzles 80. Air jets emitted from the nozzles hold the folds 72 and 74 in position beyond the edges of the side folder plate and prevent the folds from crumpling or opening reversely.
As appears most clearly in FIGS. 2, 5, 6 and 7, the front folder plate 26 has support blocks 82 along its sides and spaced forwardly in spaced relation to the rearwardly advancing leading edge of the plate. The blocks support a cross bar 84 which in turn supports two spaced vertical front side folder plates 86. The plates 86 are spaced equal to the width of the package and when advanced across the ends of the rolls R form a front side fold 88 and close the tuck folds 72 against the sides of the package. The leading rear edges of the plates 86 advance to closely spaced relation to the vertical front edges of the side folder plates 66. Also carried by the cross bar 84 are two oppositely outwardly spaced fold breaker plates 90. The rear edges of the breaker plates project rearwardly beyond the side folder plates and engage the projecting ends of the front side of the wrapper before the side folder plates. This initially breaks the front side fold and the tuck fold 72 rearwardly as these parts of the wrapper are urged forwardly by the air jets from the nozzles 78.
Also carried by the cross bar are two upwardly inclined guide plates 92. These engage the lower portion of the projecting ends of the front side of the wrapper and press it down over the underlapped front edge of the wrapper to start a lower front tuck fold 94. As the plates 92 advance they hold the tuck fold and the front bottom fold 96 of the wrapper sheet down to be underlapped by the rear bottom flap 98 being folded forwardly by the rear bottom folder plate 28.
Simultaneously with rearward motion of the front folder plate, rear folder plate 28 is moving forwardly. In so doing it is drawing up the long rear end of the wrapper sheet and starting a rear bottom fold 98. (See FIG. 6) Prior to starting the bottom fold 98, a pair of rear breaker fingers 100 carried by the rear bottom folder engage the rear side fold of the wrapper just outwardly of the ends of the package and break the top tuck fold 74 forwardly over the outsides of nozzles 80. The rear bottom folder 28 continues forwardly to adjacent the front folder 26, and as the package is forced rearwardly the rear bottom flap is pulled into underlapped relation to the bottom front flap. The top rear tuck folds 74 are pressed immediately to between the side guide and plow plates 52. The projecting lower side edges of the wrapper, the lower front tuck folds 94 and the lower rear tuck folds 102 are caught into the gap 56 and are plowed up into a final lower side fold overlapping the top side fold and the tuck folds 72 and 74.
With particular reference to FIGS. 2 and 4, it will be noted that the transverse rock shaft 38 which carries the back side retaining fingers 44 is located just over the position of the incoming wrapper sheet F and at a substantial distance from the rear or right hand edge of the film sheet. The shaft has a plate 104 secured thereto to be generally upright when the fingers 44 are raised. The plate has a downwardly convex arcuate edge 106 against or over which the rear end of the film is drawn as it is pulled forwardly and upwardly from the right feed belt 24 by upward motion of the package. The curve or are in the plate stretches the rear portion of the wrapper sheet transversely of the package. This assures that the projecting lateral ends of the rear side fold of the wrapper are maintained in a generally vertical plane and do not tend to crumple inwardly during the rapid feeding motion of the film. As a result, when the rear fold breaking fingers 102 strike the hanging film, the rear tuck folds 74 are sharply and tightly defined in folding over the rear edges of the package. The air jets from the rear nozzles hold the insides of the tucks against the fold. As previously described, the rear ends of the package and the partially formed tuck folds 74 are moved directly between the side guides 52 which press the tuck folds against the ends of the package.
What is claimed as new is:
1. In combination in a package wrapping machine having an article feeding conveyor, an elevator arranged to lift articles from said conveyor, a reciprocable front bottom folder to support articles raised by said elevator, an oppositely reciprocable rear bottom folder, means for delivering a wrapper sheet of film material larger than the article into a plane above the articles on the lowered position of the elevator, means to eject packages from the elevated position of said elevator with wrapper sheets therearound, and a receiving way adapted to receive packages from said elevator and seal folds in said wrapper sheet, slide fold forming mechanism comprising:
means immovably supporting fixed side folder plates in upright position over said elevator and in spaced relation to guidingly receive the sides of articles raised by the elevator,
front side folder plates located over said front bottom folder,
means for reciprocating said front side folder plates with their rear edges spaced apart to receive articles therebetween,
said reciprocating means being arranged to advance said front side folder plates to adjacent the front edges of said fixed side folder plates,
and nozzle means arranged to direct air jets forwardly beyond the front edges of said fixed side folder plates and rearwardly beyond the rear edges thereof. 2. The combination as defined in claim 1 in which said side fold forming mechanism further comprises:
front side fold breaker plates disposed laterally outwardly from said front side folder plates and extending rearwardly therefrom and reciprocated therewith. 3. The combination as defined in claim 2 in which said side fold forming mechanism further comprises:
rear side fold breaker plates reciprocable with said rear bottom folder and in laterally spaced relation to articles on said elevator, said rear fold breaker plates being advanced forwardly until their front edges laterally overlap the rear edges of said fixed side folder plates. 4. The combination as defined in claim 3 in which said side fold forming mechanism further comprises:
front bottom fold guide plates disposed laterally outwardly from said front side fold breaker plates and reciprocated therewith with their rear edges disposed ahead of the rear edges of the fold breaker plates and above said front bottom folder. 5. The combination as defined in claim 4 in which said front side fold breaker plates and said front bottom fold lift fingers are carried by said front bottom folder,
and said rear side fold breaker plates are carried by said rear bottom folder. 6. The combination as defined in claim 1 in which said side fold forming mechanism further comprises:
a film guide member disposed over the plane of the wrapper sheet delivery means and between the path of the rear edge of articles on said elevator 5 and below said rear bottom folder,
said film guide member having a convex transverse edge presented to the surface of the wrapper sheet as the sheet is pulled upwardly by the article on the elevator.
7. The combination as defined in claim 1 in which said nozzle means are mounted on the laterally outer sides of said fixed side folder plates.
8. The combination as defined in claim 6 in which there is a rock shaft extending transversely below the retracted position of said rear bottom folder, with package retaining fingers projecting therefrom and swingable upwardly through the plane of said rear bot tom folder,
said film guide member being attached to said rock shaft to project its convex edge downwardly and forwardly therefrom.
9. The combination as defined in claim 1 in which the rear edge of said front bottom folder at all times projects further rearwardly than the rear edges of said front side folder plates.
10. The combination as defined in claim 9 in which said front side folder plates are connected to said front bottom folder and reciprocate therewith. 3O