US 3868807 A
When an air jet has partially opened the mouth of the top bag in a pack of horizontal bags, a carriage carrying bag-opening jaws is moved toward the bag to shift such jaws in contracted condition into the partially-opened bag mouth. The jaws are then spread to distend the bag mouth. The opposite ends of the mouths of the bags below the top bag are clamped except to release the top bag as it is being distended by the jaws. Pushers, carried by an endless chain, moving orbitally first engage an article to be bagged, then push it between the spread jaws into the bag and finally move the bag and bagged article generally horizontally away from the bag pack and bag-opening jaws, which strips the top bag from the pack. The air jet is operated by the next article to be bagged to initiate opening of the new top bag.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
States Patent 1191 1111 3,868,807 Noyes et al. Mar. 4, 1975 BAGGING PROCESS 3,217,464 11/1965 Feingold 53/187 7  Inventors: Bmy P Noyes; Howard L Willard 3. 2s,171 1/1966 Cory... 53/187 both of Seattle wash Primary E.ran1ine1'Robert L. Spruill  Assignee: Alvin C. Formo, Seattle, Wash. At rn y, g FiI'l1IR0bel't Beach  F1led: Apr. 23, 1973  ABSTRACT PP 353,707 When an air jet has partially opened the mouth of the Rented 5 Application Data top bag in a pack of horizontal bags, a carriage carry-  Continuation of Ser. No. 164.863, July 6, 1971, mg l t' Jaws the bag abandoned which is a Continuation of Ser NO such aws 1n contracted condluoh into the partially- March 2' i970 abandoned which' is opened bag mouth. The jaws are then spread to disdivision 61 Ser. N6. 757.513. Aug. 5, 1968. Pat. N0. tend the bag mouth The Opposite ends Of the mouths 3,508,379. which is a continuation of Ser. No. Of the ags low he IOP bag are clamped except to 299.948. Aug. 5, 1963. abandoned. release the top bag as it is being distended by the jaws. Pushers, carried by an endless chain, moving orbitally  [1.8. CI. 53/29, 53/74 first engage an article to be bagged, then push it be-  Int. Cl..... B65b 5/06, B65b 43/26, B65b 57/12 tween the spread jaws into the bag and finally move  Field of Search 53/29, 74, 187, l88, 189, the bag and bagged article generally horizontally away 53/38 S from the bag pack and bag-opening jaws, which strips the top bag from the pack. The air jet is operated by  References Cited the next article to be bagged to initiate opening of the UNITED STATES PATENTS new p 3.206.913 9/1965 Fleigher et al 53/189 1 Claim, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAR 5 3,868,807
SHEET 1 OF 3 INVENTORS 5/11.) Novas I37 Hon/40o L. I v/[44x20 4 I'TOP/VEV FHENTED H975 3,868,807
SHIU 2 UP 3 INVENTORS. BILLY 9 Moms A/OWA/FD L WILLARD AT O/PIVIFI BAGGING PROCESS This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 164,863, filed July 26, 1971, for Bagging Process, now abandoned, which was a continuation of our application Ser. No. 15,763, filed Mar. 2, 1970, for Bagging Process, now abandoned, which was a division of our application Ser. No. 757,513, filed Aug. 5, 1968, for Bagging Machine, now US. Pat. No. 3,508,379, which was a continuation of application Ser. No. 299,948, filed Aug. 5, 1963, for Bagging Machine, now abandoned.
The invention is concerned with a machine capable of opening thin film bags and inserting into them successive articles in a continuous operation involving progressive movement in the same direction of articles to be bagged and the articles after having been bagged, without counter-movement of empty bags prior to the bagging operation.
The primary object of this invention is the provision of a bagging process capable of high speed operation in a continuous manner with a minimum of labor required to handle large quantities of articles to be bagged.
For the purposes of exemplifying the invention, the same is described as applied in the bakery industry for bagging bread loaves, sliced or unsliced. It will of course be obvious that the invention is equally applicable to other industries and other uses. Therefore, there is no intention to limit the invention to bakery uses.
FIG. 1 is an elevation of a bagging machine which may be used to perform the process of this invention.
FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 are fragmentary enlarged elevations of bag-distending and bag-filling components with portions omitted or broken away or shown in section.
FIG. 5 is a top perspective of the jaw carriage.
FIG. 6 is an elevation of the bag-engaging end of the bag-distending carriage.
FIG. 7 is a top perspective ofa portion of the transfer table and its associated air duct.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary top perspective of a portion of the bag supply table.
FIG. 9 is a top perspective of the open end portion of a typical bag used in the process of this invention.
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary vertical section of a modified bag-lip holding mechanism.
The machine frame comprises foot members, 10, 11 joined lengthwise of the machine by base 12. Uprights l3, 14 rise to carry spaced-apart tracks 15, 16 at the ends of which are members 17 supporting bearings 18 for the shafts carrying sprockets 19, 20.
A motor base 22 supports the main drive electric motor 24, reduction gear box 26 and bearings 28 for drive shaft 30. Drive chain 32 connecting drive sprocket 34 on the output shaft of gear box 26 and sprocket 36 on shaft 30 transmits power to such shaft. On drive shaft 30 is driven sprocket 38 engaging upwardly extending driven chain 40 which in turn passes around sprocket 42 on countershaft 44 journalled in bearings 46. By suitable change-direction means (not shown) torque is transmitted from shaft 44 to sprocket shaft 47 and sprocket 19. A carrier chain 48 encircles sprockets 19 and 20. The horizontal chain portions travel on and are supported by tracks 15, 16 which in FIG. 6 are seen to be inverted T-shape in cross-section.
Chain 48 moves continually during operation of the machine and carries, in the illustrated instance, three pusher members 50 each of which has a downward and forward projecting curved arm 51 and a bifurcated upper yoke 52, which straddles the track 16 when the pusher is travelling along the lower stretch of its orbit, as shown in FIG. 6. Such pushers are thus moved by the chain continuously and uninterruptedly always in the same circulatory sense along the orbit established by such chain. Such yoke carries guide rollers 53 that ride on the flanges of the tracks l5, 16. Each pusher has a stabilizing, forwardly-extending arm 54 also having guide rollers 53. The yoke 52 and arm 54 are suitably attached to chain 48 to be moved thereby in an endless guided path of travel.
Each pusher 50 has a broad pusher face which engages the article being bagged, such as a loaf of bread.
The machine main frame supports a guide-on table 60 which extends from the left of the machine as viewed in FIG. 1 toward the right. Articles to be bagged are delivered to this table by suitable conveyor means, as from a bread slicer. To facilitate operation it is desirable, as in the case of a bread slicer, that the delivery means to table 60 be driven in suitable timed sequence. Hence, power-take-off sprocket 62 on main shaft 30 is provided. A sprocket chain (not shown) between sprocket 62 and a similar sprocket on the associated delivery mechanism transfers power to the delivery means in such desired relationship.
Beneath table 60 is a fan blower 64 driven by motor 66 which discharges into the duct 68 that directs the air to the right in FIG. 1 toward the end of table 60 which is extended by a grid 70 formed of rods generally aligned with the direction of article travel as shown in FIGS. 3, 4, 7 and 8. Beneath grid] 70 the duct 68 has a rising bottom 72 to deflect the air upward through the grid openings.
Within duct 68 is a high-pressure air conduit tube 74 shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 having a nozzle 76 which terminates at the lip of sloping duct bottom 72. Air under substantial pressure is supplied in timed relationship to nozzle 76 through a distribution valve 80 shown in FIG. 1 from a suitable supply line 79.
Referring particularly to the end view of FIG. 6, it will be observed that the mechanism is shown slightly tilted. It has been found that a sliced loaf of bread can be handled more smoothly and uniformly if it rests in the angle formed by two angularly disposed surfaces. For this reason table 60 is likewise tilted at the point where it receives the bread loaves to be bagged. Side rail 61 is engaged by the side ofa bread loaf. It will, of course, be apparent that, in bagging articles of a more geometrical or uniform nature, the tilted arrangement may be omitted.
A pair of frame arms 82, 82 supports spaced apart housing walls 84, 84 which rise from such arms to table 60, as shown in FIGS. ll, 2 and 6.. The inner surface of each wall 84 has a pair of vertically spaced-apart, laterally offset rails 86, 88 which extend longitudinally of the machine. The carriage 90 shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 reciprocates on rails 86, 88. Such carriage comprises cross plate 91 joining side members 92, 92 which support upright arms 93, 93. Extending forwardly from each arm 93 is a fixed jaw 94. On the outer face of each side member 92 are two pairs of grooved wheels 95 mounted on stub axles 96. The inner wheels of each pair roll on rails 88 and the outer wheels roll on offset rails 86 above them. The carriage 90 is reciprocated by air acting on the piston of air-cylinder jack 97 whereby piston rod 98 is reciprocated forward and back. Rod 98 is coupled to plate 91. Table 60 has slots 99 shwon in FIGS. 6 and 7 in which the arms 93 move during reciprocation of carriage 90.
ends thereof. The inner end of each shaft 101 is secured to an upper jaw arm 103 which carries a curved bag-opening jaw portion 104. Rocking of cranks 102 swings up and down the upper jaw arms 103 and their respective bag-opening portions 104. Each air-cylinder jack 105 is pivotally mounted at 106 on a frame arm 82 and its piston rod 107 is pivotally connected to an adjustable link 108 which in turn is pivotally connected to a crank arm 102. Contraction of a jack 105 retracts rod 107 and pulls on link 108 after the carriage 90 has been moved forward by the extension of air-cylinder jack 97 projecting rod 98. Air is supplied to cylinders 105 through hoses 106 seen in FIGS. 1 and 2.
The lower edges ofjaws 94 have inwardly-projecting flanges 109 shown in FIGS. 3 and to aid in supporting the side portions of articles passing between the carriage jaws. .law portions 104 also rest on flanges 109 in their down or contracted position. In their spread or bag mouth-distending portion upper bag-opening jaw portions 104 are separated sufficiently to permit the shank of yoke 52 of pusher 50 to pass therebetween. Pusher face 56 passes beneath jaw portions 104 when they are raised. Springs 110 connected between carriage 90 and jaws 104 bias the jaws downward.
Bags 117 to be filled are supplied in a pack at a bagfilling station above bag table 120 which moves up and down on rails 122 as shown in FIG. 1. Table 120 is L- shaped, has a back wall 121 and is upwardly biased by springs 124. The bags used are preferably collapsed envelopes of polyethylene, or similar film material, and each has a lower wall forming a lip 118 which extends beyond the mouth end of the upper wall as shown in FIG. 9. This lower wall lip is punched to provide holes 119 and slits 114.
When a supply of bags 117 is deposited on table 120 the extended bag lips 118 overlie the slightly downturned rear edge 123 of table 120, which is pierced with holes coincident with bag lip holes 119, to receive the legs of a downwardly open U-shaped wire wicket member 125 which holds the bags in place on the table. As may be seen in FIG. 4, the upwardly biased bag table 120 having the lips 118 of the bags 117 lying on ramp 123 causes the bag lips to be pressed against the under side at 73 of the bottom 72 of air duct 68 to thereby grip the lips of the bags.
Table 120 is restrained against unrestricted movement by screw 126 in nut 127 carried beneath the table. Screw 126 is journalled in fixed bearing 128 and has a manually operable crank 129 on its lower end. The screw 126 is indexed rotatively by the action of ratchet means 130 which is activated by the solenoid 131 carried by the machine frame.
The opposite ends of the lower lips 118 of the bag mouths are pressed to ramp 123 and table 120 by bag lip-clamping means shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 as rockable presser arms 134 pivoted on pins 135 and having the depending yoked-together extension arms 136. Piston rod 137 of air-cylinder jack 138 moves reciprocably and in so doing raises and lowers the clamping ends of arms 134 relative to the bag lips 118.
A microswitch 140 (see FIG. 1) at the loading station for articles to be bagged has a long thin finger 142 which extends over the surface of table 60 from behind guide wall 61. Switch 140 controls the operation of the high-pressure air jet through nozzle 76, the raising and lowering of the presser arms 134 of the bag-lip holder, and the operation of the bag table 120 indexing means actuated by solenoid 131.
As shown in FIG. 1, air hoses 160, 161 connect between cylinder 138 and valve 80. Likewise air cylinder 97 is hose-connected to valve which constantly receives air under substantial pressure through conduit 79.
When the machine is performing a continuously repetitive bagging operation, the following parts are always in motion: (a) the drive shaft 30 rotates and chains 40 and 48 and the several pushers 50 carried by the latter travel endlessly in their prescribed paths past the loading station and the bag-filling station; (b) blower 68 provides a steady, uniform supply of lowpressure air through duct 68 and upwardly out through grid 70; and (c) the sprocket 62 which is connected to a related bread slicer revolves constantly.
Whenever an article, for example a bread loaf, to be bagged comes into contact with feeler finger 142 of switch 140 by placing it at the loading station alongside such switch, a blast of high-pressure air is supplied to nozzle 76. This initiates a rippling action of the upper wall of the top bag 117 on table 120, causing its upper lip to rise and to catch low pressure air in volume flowing out of duct 68, thus inflating the bag, all as shown in FIGS. 4 and 8. Simultaneously, the presser arms 134, by projection of piston rod 137 from cylinder 138, are raised from the opposite ends of bag lips 118 releasing pressure on the pack of bags. The bag lip 118 of the top bag is restrained by the bale or wicket 125. At the time switch 140 is actuated, solenoid 131 is charged, causing indexing screw 126 to turn sufficiently to permit table 120 to rise slightly.
As the top bag 117 is becoming suitably inflated the jaw carriage moves forward with bag-opening jaws 104 in the down or contracted position shown in FIG. 3. This causes the fixed jaw elements 94 and movable jaw elements 104 to be introduced into the opened mouth of the inflated top bag. Thereupon, jacks are contracted, pulling links 108, causing crank arms 102 to rock and raise jaw arms 103 while the presser arms 134 are still raised from the upper bag lip 118. Jaws 104 rise engaging the upper inside of the bag mouth, distending and shaping it to receive the article to be bagged. Such distension also raises and moves inward the opposite ends of the top bag lower lip 118. The presser arms 134 are then lowered again to clamp the opposite ends of the lower lips 118 of all the bags except the top bag in the pack. Air flows constantly into the top bag from duct 68.
If the top bag has not been thus inflated, of course, as a result of there being no article at the loading station to contact finger 142 and actuate microswitch 140, the jaw elements 94 and 104 would not be introduced into the unopened bag mouth but would simply pass above the top bag without distending such bag, as shown in full lines in FIG. 1. Also, since microswitch was not actuated, the bag table would not be raised to index the bag pack upward. Consequently, the top bag would not be dispensed from the bag pack when no article to be bagged is delivered to the loading station which would engage finger 142 to actuate microswitch 140.
When a loaf of bread has been delivered to the loading station and the top bag opened, as described, in appropriately timed relation a pusher 50 advances such loaf of bread from the loading station at the left in FIG. 1 to the right along table 60, across grid 70 and between the spread bag jaws 104 through the distended bag mouth into the inflated bag. It has been found, in the case of sliced bread, that the displacement of air from the bag by the entry of the bread loaf imparts sufficient pressure on the leading slices of the loaf to keep them from tilting forward, thus maintaining a compact slice arrangement. Prior to this, flexible fingers or blades 180 restrain forward tilting or tipping of the leading bread slices as they move toward the jaw carriage 90.
As pusher 50 advances the bread loaf or other article into the distended mouth of the top bag 117 and such article reaches the closed end of the bag, the mouth thereof is engaged by the shank of pusher 50. This imparts a pull on the bag lower lip 11.8 held only by the two wire legs of wicket member 125 extending through holes 119, no longer held by presser arms 134, stressing the lip at the points of engagement, i.e., holes 119, with the legs of wicket or bale 125. The bag lip, weakened by slits 114, tears loose from the restraining action of the bale legs and it and its contents move off the machine away from the spreading means and the bagsupporting means at the bag-filling station across a discharge surface 182 for bag closing and other disposition.
In FIG. is shown a slightly modified mechanism for clamping the lower lips 118 of bags 117. The ramp 123 is notched and presser shoe 190 moves through the notch. Shoe 190 is carried on bell crank lever 192, pivotally supported at 193 on the underside of table 120. Piston rod 194 of air-cylinder jack 195 is connected to the bell crank 192. Jack 195 is pivotally mounted on the bottom side of table 120 remote from ramp 123. A bolt 196 on the bell crank 192 has an adjustable member 197 threaded thereon. Tension spring 198 extending between member 197 and the bottom of table 129 biases the presser shoe 190 into the clamping position relative to the air duct bottom wall 72. The lower lips 118 of bags therebetween are thus clamped. ln operation the jack is actuated to retract piston rod 194 and thus release this clamping pressure at approximately the same instant that a loaf of bread reaches the bottom of an inflated bag 117 to permit the lower bag lip 118 to be easily stripped from the bale or wicket 125.
1. In the process of automatically bagging successive articles including supplying a pack of bags at a bagfilling station, successively and intermittently placing articles to be bagged at a loading station ahead of the bag-filling station alongthe path of pusher means moving from the loading station to and past the bag-filling station, blowing air toward the mouth of the top bag in the pack for partially opening such bag mouth, and mechanically distending the partially-opened mouth of such top bag for receiving an article to be bagged by movement of such pusher means, the improvement which comprises moving pusher means continually and uninterruptedly always in the same circulatory sense along an orbital path past the loading station whether or not an article to be bagged is located at such loading station and then to and past the bag-filling station, initiating operation of an air jet automatically toward the mouth of the top bag only in response to arrival at the loading station of an article to be bagged, clamping the bags in the bag pack during such air blowing for partially opening of the mouth of the top bag and releasing the top bag as its mouth is mechanically distended, reclamping the bags in the bag pack below the top bag prior to moving the pusher means past the bag-filling station, continuing movement of the pusher means to and past the bag-filling station while the bags in the pack below the top bag are held in clamped condition, and by such movement of the pusher means past the bag-filling station removing the top bag from the stack only if the mouth of the top bag is mechanically distended and the pusher means moves an article to be bagged from the loading station into such distended mouth of the top bag, the pusher means otherwise passing over the top bag if its mouth is not distended.
@753? UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 3 7 D t March/L. i975 IIWEMOIW) Billy P. Nores and Howard L. Willard It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Title page, Section 75 should read:
Inventors Billy P. Noyes, Seattle, Wash. Howard L. Willard, Richardson, Texas Title page, Section 73 should read:
Title page, Section 60, line 1, the date should read -July 26, 1971-- Signed. and sealed this 20th day of May 1.91 5.
C. MARSHALL DANN RUTH C. MASON Commissioner of Patents attesting Officer and Trademarks