Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3878667 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 22, 1975
Filing dateApr 3, 1973
Priority dateApr 3, 1973
Also published asDE2415109A1
Publication numberUS 3878667 A, US 3878667A, US-A-3878667, US3878667 A, US3878667A
InventorsHolstein John H
Original AssigneeHolstein John H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Closure cap applying apparatus
US 3878667 A
Abstract
Apparatus for applying a closure cap or the like to the threaded neck portion of a container, wherein a toggle linkage arrangement is operative in response to movement of an actuating rod to effect movement of forming rollers against the annular skirt portion of the closure cap when disposed on the neck of a container, the toggle linkage arrangement being adapted to accommodate variations in container height and cap size without damage to the container and associated closure cap.
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Holstein Apr. 22, 1975 CLOSURE CAP APPLYING APPARATUS [76] Inventor: John H. Holstein, 5304 N. Colonial f 'Y McGehee N0 102 Fresno. Calif 93704 Assistant bxammerHorace M. Culver Attorney, Agent, or FirmFitch. Even, Tabin & [22] Filed: Apr. 3, 1973 Luedeka [52] US. Cl l. 53/340; 53/368 [51] Int. Cl B67b 3/18: B65b 7/28 [58] Field of Search 53/334. 338. 339, 340. 53/329, 350, 368. 365. 42

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2 l78 664 1|/1939 Hogg 53/340 x 3.336.728 8/1967 Monaco i 53/334 3.530.637 9/1970 Rczncr et al 53/329 X 3537.231 11/1970 Dimond 53/334 X 3775.944 12/1973 Roberts 53/334 [57] ABSTRACT Apparatus for applying a closure cap or the like to the threaded neck portion of a container, wherein a toggle linkage arrangement is operative in response to movement of an actuating rod to effect movement of forming rollers against the annular skirt portion of the closure cap when disposed on the neck of a container, the toggle linkage arrangement being adapted to accommodate variations in container height and cap size without damage to the container and associated closure cap.

13 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures CLOSURE CAP APPLYING APPARATUS The present invention relates generally to closure applying apparatus. and more particularly to a closure applying apparatus of the roll-on type having forming rollers and novel toggle linkage operating means which accommodates variations in container height and neck size without causing damage to the closure caps and associated containers by the forming rollers.

It is generally known to apply closure caps to the upper open ended neck portions of containers by forming or rolling on" an annular depending skirt ofa closure cap against thread conformations or the like generally adjacent the open end of the container. In applying tamper-proof type closure caps. the upper portion of the closure skirt is conventionally formed or spun against a thread conformation by a thread forming roller while the lower edge of the skirt. termed the pilfer ring. is formed inwardly about an annular shoulder on the container by one or more pilfer rollers. The pilfer ring portion of the closure cap skirt is interconnected to the upper cap portion through frangible bridges such that when the closure cap is removed from the container the bridges are ruptured indicating that the container has been opened.

The known machines for applying closure caps by the roll-on technique generally include a vertically disposed pressure head which is movable to engage the upper end ofa closure cap and urge it downwardly onto the open ended neck of the container. the depending skirt being thereafter formed against the conformations on the container neck. The pressure head is normally positioned relative to a container conveyor or platform means so as to accommodate a predetermined container height when presented for applying a closure cap. In the known capping machines. the forming rollers are generally cammed inwardly to engage the depending skirt of the closure cap by means movable in response to engagement of the closure cap by the pressure head. If a container having a height greater than the predetermined height for which the capper is set is presented for capping. the forming rollers undergo inward over-travel and are caused to engage the skirt of the closure with substantially greater forces than are required with normal size containers. with the result that the closure and/or the container is frequently damaged due to the grinding action of the closure against the container. The present invention overcomes the disadvantages in the known roll-on type closure applying apparatus by providing a novel construction wherein containers varying in height from the normal height for which the apparatus is initially adjusted may have closure caps applied thereto without damage to the container or the associated closure cap.

Accordingly, one of the primary objects of the present invention is to provide novel closure applying apparatus adapted to accommodate variations in container height without damage to the closure cap or container.

Another object of the present invention is to provide closure applying apparatus having at least one forming roller movable to engage the depending skirt of a closure cap and form it against the conformations on the neck portion of a container, the apparatus further including novel toggle linkage means for effecting movement of the forming rollers in a manner to accommodate variations in container height without significantly increasing the inward forces applied by the forming rollers when applying a closure cap.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide closure applying apparatus as described wherein a plurality of forming rollers are operable to simultaneously form the skirt of the closure cap against an external thread and an annular retaining shoulder on the neck portion of a container, and wherein the toggle linkage means includes a toggle linkage operatively associated with each of the forming rollers in a manner to move the forming rollers radially inwardly a limited distance even though a container having an aboveaverage height is presented to the closure applying apparatus. the limited movement of the forming rollers preventing damage to the container or associated closure cap.

Another object of the present invention is to provide closure applying apparatus as described wherein the forming rollers are rotatably carried on support arms in a manner to accommodate variations in the diameters of container neck portions without damaging the closure caps or containers.

A feature of the present invention is the provision of a novel toggle linkage arrangement operative to effect inward movement of the forming rollers in response to axial movement of an actuating rod. wherein the force required to move the actuating rod during forming of the annular skirt of a closure cap against the container decreases as the actuating rod is moved froms its nonoperating position through an operating cycle.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention. together with the organization and manner of operation thereof will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals designate like elements throughout the several views. and wherein:

FIG. I is an elevational view. partially in longitudinal section, of a closure applying apparatus according to the present invention in operative association with a container and closure cap;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged transverse sectional view taken substantially along the line 2-2 of FIG. I, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged transverse sectional view taken substantially along the line 33 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged bottom view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged partial side elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 without the container and associated closure cap;

FIG. 6 is a partial sectional view taken substantially along the line 6-6 of FIG. 2'.

FIG. 7 is a partial sectional view taken substantially along the line 7-7 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 8 is an elevation view, taken partially in longitudinal section, of a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1, the forming rollers being illustrated in engagement with the associated closure cap.

Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. I, a closure applying apparatus in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention is indicated generally at 10. The closure applying apparatus 10 may alternatively be termed a capper chuck or roll-on capper which is adapted to apply a closure cap. such as indicated generally at 12, onto the upper threaded neck portion 14 of a container such as partially illustrated at 16. The closure cap 12 is illustrated by way of example only and includes an upper closed end portion 18 and an integral depending annular skirt 20 having an internal diameter sufficient to allow the closure cap to be readily assembled onto the upper neck end l4 of the container 16 over an external thread conformation 22 formed integral on the container 16 adjacent the upper open end thereof. The closure cap 12 is preferably made of a suitable metallic material. The external thread 22 terminates at its lower end in an integral annular ring or flange 24 which defines an annular shoulder beneath which the lower end of the skirt 20 is formed.

A circular sealing disc or closure liner 26 is secured within the closure cap 12 beneath the upper closed end 18 thereof and serves to directly engage the upper open end of the neck portion 14 of the container 16 in sealing relation therewith when the closure cap 12 is applied to the container 16. With reference to FIG. 8, the lower end of the annular skirt 20 of the closure cap 12 is defined by a pilfer ring" 20a which is integrally connected to the remaining upper portion of the skirt 20 through a plurality of circumferentially spaced frangible bridges 28. When the closure cap 12 is applied to a container 16 with the pilfer ring 200 formed beneath the lower annular shoulder of the flange 24, subsequent removal of the closure cap from the container will sever the bridges 28 such that the pilfer ring 20a is separated from the remaining portion of the closure cap as a telltale sign that the container upon which the closure 16 is assembled has been opened. The closure cap 12 may also be of the type wherein the pilfer ring has a plurality of circumferentially spaced vertically disposed lines of weakness which allow the pilfer ring to burst and come off with the cap when removed from its associated container after assembly thereon.

While the container 16 is described herein as having an external thread conformation 22 on the upper neck portion 14 thereof against which the closure cap 12 is formed. it will be understood that substantially any closure retaining means, such as multiple thread, interrupted threads, and detents, all of which represent commercially acceptable closure retaining means, may be substituted for the single thread 22 illustrated.

The closure applying apparatus includes housing means, indicated generally at 30, which defines a longitudinal axis forthe closure applying apparatus 10. The housing means 30 is adapted for rotation about its longitudinal axis and includes an annular walled spring housing 32 having a circular transverse plate 34 secured therein and having an annular flange 36 secured to the outer peripheral surface adjacent the lower end as illustrated in FIG. 1.

The plate 34 has a threaded central opening 38 therethrough which provides means for securing the spring housing 32 to the lower threaded end ofa tubular guide and support member 40 the upper portion of which is slidingly received through a spring retainer member 42. A nut 44 is threadedly secured on the upper end of the support member 40 and limits the extent of sliding movement of the support member 40 downwardly within the spring retainer member 42. The lower end of the spring retainer member 42 terminates in an annular flange 46 against which is disposed the upper end of a coil compression spring 48. The lower end of the coil compression spring 48 abuts an annular spring nut 50 which is adjustable threadedly secured on the support member 40. A plurality of circumferentially spaced radial openings, two of which are indicated at 52, are provided in the nut 50 to allow adjustment of the nut. ln this manner. it can be seen that'the compression spring 48 resists upward longitudinal movement of the support member 40 and spring housing 30 relative to the spring retainer member 42 while the nut 44 limits their relative downward longitudinal movement.

The housing means 30 further includes a generally circular platform or support member 54 which is secured to and suspended in axial spaced relation below the spring housing 32 by three equidistantly circumferentially spaced bolts 56 suitably secured to and between the platform 54 and the flange 36 of the spring housing 32. Each bolt 56 has a spacer sleeve 58 disposed thereon between the platform 54 and the lower surface of the flange 36. As will be described more fully hereinbelow, the platform 54 provides means for supporting a plurality of forming rollers which are operative to form the depending skirt 20 and pilfer ring 20a of the closure cap 12 against the thread conformation 22 and the annular flange 24, respectively, on the container 16.

The spring retainer member 42 provides means for supporting the closure applying apparatus 10 on a support arm 60 for movement of the apparatus 10 along a predetermined path during a capping operation. The retainer member 42 is supported within a suitable stepped bore 62 of the support arm 60 by a pair of axially spaced anti-friction ball bearing assemblies each of which is indicated generally at 64. The inner races of the bearings 64 are secured on the peripheral surface of the spring retainer member 42 between a shoulder surface 66 and a snap ring 68. In this manner, the housing means 30 is rotatable about its longitudinal axis as the closure applying apparatus 10 is carried along a predetermined path of travel by the support arm 60.

The support arm 60 has a downwardly inclined portion 70 suitably fixedly secured, to a support block 72 which is vertically slidable ona pair of parallel vertically disposed guide rods, one of which is-indicated at 74. In this fashion, the support arm. 60, and thus the closure applying apparatus 10, may be selectively moved vertically upwardly or downwardly during a capping operation. The support block 72 has-a can follower wheel 76 rotatably supported thereon which is received within a can guide channel 78 having a predetermined profile so as to effect selective vertical movement of the closure applying apparatus 10 as it is moved linearly along the aforementioned predetermined path of travel during a capping operation. The manner of supporting the closure applying apparatus 10 for selective rotation about the longitudinal axis of the housing means 30 and for selective vertial movement relative to a horizontal conveyor means adapted to convey a plurality of containers 16 into positions such that each container underlies as associated closure applying apparatus 10 in axial alignment therewith is illustrated and described more fully in Instructional Manual No. 5363-72 published by the assignee of the present invention.

As illustrated in the reference instructional Manual, a plurality of the closure applying apparatuses 10 may be supported for movement along a generally oval path of travel. Containers, such as 16, are fed along a conveyor means to a station wherein a closure cap 12 is loosely inserted over the upper threaded end portion of each container. Thereafter, each container is moved to a position underlying a closure applying apparatus in axial alignment therewith whereupon the associated support arm 60 is moved downwardly by the control cam channel 78 to move the associated apparatus 10 into a closure applying or assembling postion. A rub rail or friction plate. such as indicated at 80 in FIG. 1, is adapted for engagement by an annular friction ring 82 secured on the peripheral surface of the spring housing 32 to effect rotation of the housing means'30 about its longitudinal axis during a capping operation. It will be appreciated that the particular machine with which the closure applying apparatus 10 in accordance with the present invention may be employed may take other forms than the machine illustrated in the aforereferencedlnstructional Manual No. 5363-72.

The closure applying apparatus 10 includes pressure head means. indicated generally at 86, supported by the housing means 30 and adapted for engagement with the upper end of a closure cap 12 when a container 16 having the closure cap loosely supported on its upper neck portion is brought into underlying axial alignment with the apparatus 10 and the apparatus is moved downwardly under the control of the cam channel 78. The pressure head means 86 includes a pressure block 88 which is threadedly adjustably secured on the lower threaded end portion of a support stud 90 and retained thereon by a set screw 92. The support stud 90 is supported by the platform member 54 through an antifriction bearing 94 such that the longitudinal axis of the support stud is axially aligned with the longitudinal axis of the housing means 30 and is freely rotatable about its longitudinal axis.

The lower end of the pressure block 88 is appropriately recessed at 96 to accommodate the upper end of the closure cap 12 and effect sealing of the closure cap and associated sealing liner 26 against the upper end of the container 16 when the pressure block 88 is brought downwardly into engagement with the closure cap against the upperend of the container. The action of the pressure block 88 in sealing the closure cap 12 against the upper end of the container 16 is effected prior to rolling of the depending skirt portion 20 and pilfer ring 20a of the closure cap against the conformations 22 and 24 on the neck portion 14 of the container.

When the housing means is moved vertically downwardly to effect engagement of the pressure head means 86 with a closure cap 12 disposed on the upper neck portion of a container 16 through downward movement of the support arm 60 under the control of the cam channel 78, the downward force exerted by the pressure head means on the closure cap is determined by the spring rate of the selected compression spring 48. Spring 48 is selected such that the pressure head means 86 effects the aforenoted sealing of the closure cap and sealing liner 26 with the upper neck portion of the container 16 without crushing or otherwise damaging either the closure cap or associated container 16. The compression spring 48 also serves to accommodate variations in container height without causing damage to the closure caps and associated containers 16 even though a container having a height greater than the height for which the vertical travel of the closure applying apparatus 10 is initially set is introduced to the closure applying apparatus 10 during a cappingope'ration.

forming roller means. indicated generally at 100. in the illustrated embodiment. the forming roller means includes two identically shaped and identically supported thread forming rollers 102, and one pilfer ring forming roller 104.

With particular reference to FIG. 6, each of the thread forming rollers 102 is made from a suitable material. such as hardened metal, and has an annular surface portion 106 which is caused to engage and effect inward deformation of the skirt portion 20 of a closure cap 12 during a capping operation. Each of the thread forming rollers 102 is rotatably supported on a reduced diameter lower end portion 108a ofa support shaft 108 through a pair of radial anti-friction bearings 110. The outer races of the bearings 110 capture the associated thread forming roller 102 with the bearings being retained on the end portion 108a of the shaft 108 by a retaining washer and socket head screw 112. Each support shaft 108 is longitudinally slidable ina tubular bushing 114 the outer surface of which is threaded for cooperation with a threaded bore 116 in a support arm 118.

A compression spring 120 is captured between the upper end of each bushing 114 and an annular spring retainer member 122 secured on the upper end of the associated support shaft 108 by a suitable snap ring 124. ln this manner. the compression springs 120 serve to bias the support shafts 108 upwardly relative to the bushings 114 while allowing downward movement of the shafts 108 and associated thread forming rollers 102 during a thread forming operation. The compression springs 120 are selected to allow the thread forming rollers 102 to follow the thread conformation 22 on the threaded neck portion 14 of the container 16 downwardly when the thread forming rollers are moved to a position engaging the annular skirt 20 of the closure cap during a capping operation. The support platform 54 of the housing means 30 is provided with suitable openings 126 therethrough to allow free movement of the upper ends of the support shafts 108 during movement of the thread forming rollers 102 both longitudinally and in radial directions toward the longitudinal axis of the closure applying apparatus 10, as will become more apparent hereinbelow.

The support arm 118 for eachof the thread forming rollers 102 is secured on the lower end of a pivot shaft 130 which is received upwardly through a sleeve bearing 132 in the support platform 54 in a manner to allow rotation of the pivot shafts 130 about their longitudinal axis. Each of the support arms 118 has a slot 134 therein (FIG. 4) intersecting the opening receiving the associated shaft 130 therethrough. and has a pair of tightening screws 136 therein which may be tightened to fixedly secure the support arms 118 on their associated support shafts 130 while allowing relative angular adjustment therebetween in a known manner.

-An actuating arm 140 (FIGS. 2, 6 and 7) is fixedly secured to the upper end of each of the pivot shafts 130 through a transverse lock pin 142 such that rotating the actuating arms 140 will effect a corresponding rotational movement of the associated pivot shafts 130. A pivot arm 144 is pivotally supported on each of the pivot shafts 130 and is captured between the upper surface of the support platform 54 and the associated actuating arm 140. The pivot arms 144 are freely rotatable about their associated pivot shafts 130 and have parallel spaced upstanding yoke legs 146 formed integral therewith.

Each of the pivot arms 144 has an upstanding leg portion 148 thereon which is connected to a generally radially extending arm portion 140a of the associated actuating arm 140 through a socket head screw 150. Each screw 150 is received through a suitable opening in the arm portion 1400 of the associated actuating arm 140 and has its threaded shank portion received through a suitable opening in the upstanding leg 148 of the associated pivot arm 144. A jam nut 152 is secured on the end of each screw 150 adjacent the associated upstanding leg 148 to limit the extent of relative pivotal movement between each pivot arm 144 and its associated actuating arm 140. A coil compression spring 154 is disposed about the shank of each of the screws 150 between the associated arm 140a and a lock nut 156 in a manner to provide resilient connection between the respective pairs of actuating arms 140 and pivot arms 144. It can be seen that pivotal movement of the pivot arms 144 in a counterclockwise direction relative to their associated pivot shafts 130, considered in FIG. 2, will effect a corresponding counterclockwise pivotal movement of the associated actuating arms 140 through the compression springs 154 to effect a corresponding rotational movement of the pivot shafts 130. Such movement of the pivot shafts 130 effects counterclockwise pivotal movement of the associated support arms 118 with a corresponding generally radially inwardly directed movement of the thread forming rollers 102 toward the longitudinal axis of the housing means 30. The actuating arms 140 and associated pivot arms 144 serve as actuating arm means secured to the pivot shafts 130.

With reference to FIG. 6, the support shaft 108 for each of the thread forming rollers 102 is supported by its associated support arm 118 such that the axis of each support shaft 108 is canted relative to the longitudinal axis of the housing means 30. For example, the included angle between the longitudinal axis of the pivot shaft 130 and the longitudinal axis of the support shaft 108, considered in-the plane of FIG. 6 which contains both axes. is approximately equal to the lead angle of the thread conformation 22 on the upper threaded end 14 of the container 16.1n this manner, the annular forming surfaces 106 on the thread forming rollers 102 will readily follow the external thread 22 on the container 16 when the thread forming rollers are brought into engagement against the skirt portion 20 of the closure cap 12 during a capping operation.

The single pilfer ring forming roller 104 is adapted to form the pilfer ring 20a on a closure cap 12 inwardly beneath the annular shoulder defined by the annular flange 24 on the neck portion 14 of the container 16, as best shown in FIG. 8. Noting FIG. 7, the pilfer ring forming roller 104 is supported on the lower end 158a of a support shaft 158 through a screw 112 and a pair of anti-friction bearings 160 which serve to capture the forming roller 104 and retain it on the lower end por tion 15811 of the support shaft 158 in generally similar fashion to the mounting of the thread forming rollers 102. The support shaft 158' associated with the pilfer ring forming roller 104 is longitudinally slidable within a bushing 114 secured within a support arm 118 and is urged longitudinally upwardly relative to the support arm by a compression spring 121 retained between the upper end of the bushing 114 and a spring retainer member 122 secured on the shaft 158 by a snap ring 124. The pilfer ring forming roller 104 is not canted relative to the longitudinal axis of the closure applying apparatus 10 as are the thread forming rollers 102. The pilfer ring forming roller 104 is positioned relative to its support arm 118 so that an outer edge 162 of the roller 104 is in horizontal alignment with the lower outer edge surface of the annular flange 24 when the capping apparatus 10 is in a capping position as shown in H6. 8. When the roller 104 is moved generally radially inwardly during capping, the roller is caused to move downward against the action of spring l21to form the pilfer ring 20a beneath the flange 24. The spring 121 has a compression force of 14 pounds while the compression springs associated with the thread forming rollers 102 are relatively light, being just strong enough to return the thread forming rollers to their upward positions after a thread forming cycle.

The threaded connections between the bushings 114 and their associated threaded bores 116 in the respective support arms 118 allows vertical positioning of the thread forming rollers 102 and pilfer ring forming roller 104 relative to their associated support arms 118 for establishing proper operating conditions for closure caps having predetermined configurations, i.e.. vertical heights. Conventionally, the at rest positions of the two-thread forming rollers 102 and the pilfer roller 104 are adjusted for a predetermined closure cap and container size and are not changed until the closure applying apparatus 10 is employed with a different run of containers and associated closure caps.

The compression springs 154 are selected to effect inward forces on the corresponding thread forming rollers 102 and the pilfer ring forming roller 104 sufficient to effect inward deformation of the depending skirt 20 and pilfer ring 20a against the thread conformation 22 and flange 24 on the upper neck portion of the container 16, but assist in preventing damage to the closure cap or the container during a capping operation.

The pilfer ring roller 104 is adapted for movement between an outer position spaced generally radially outwardly from a closure cap 12 and associated container 16 when the closure applying apparatus 10 is brought downwardly to a position wherein the pressure head means 86 engages the closure cap, to a generally radial inward position wherein the pilfer ring forming roller 104 is operative to form the pilfer ring 200 beneath the annular flange 24 on the container 16. Such movement of the pilfer ring forming roller 104 is effected in a manner similar to radial movement of the thread forming rollers 102 by pivotal movement of the associated pivot shaft through an actuating arm and pivot arm 144 mounted thereon in similar fashion to the above described actuating arms and pivot arms for the thread forming rollers 102.

To effect selective movement of the thread forming rollers 102 and the pilfer ring forming roller 104 from their outer positions to their inward forming positions, the closure applying apparatus 10 includes actuating rod means, indicated generally at 164, and toggle linkage means, indicated generally at 166, which cooperate with the thread forming and pilfer ring forming rollers in a manner to effect selective movement thereof in response to longitudinal movement of the actuating rod means 164.

Again referring to FIG. 1, the actuating rod means 164 includes an elongated rod 168 which is longitudinally slidable within the tubular guide member 40 of the housing means 30. The upper end of the rod 168 hasa stepped diameter bearing sleeve 170 supported thereon which serves to support the inner race of a radial ball bearing 172 the outer race of which is fixedly secured within a bore 174 in a thrust block 176. A nut 178 is threadedly secured on the upper end of the rod 168 to retain the inner race of the bearing 172 in fixed position on the bearing sleeve 170. A coil compression spring 180 has its opposite ends abutting the nut 44 on the upper end of the guide member 40 and the bearing sleeve 170 and serves to normally maintain the rod 168 in an uppermost position relative to the housing means 30 as shown in FIG. 1.

The thrust block 176 has a depending guide rod 182 secured thereto for movement therewith. the lower end of the guide rod 182 being slidingly received within a bearing sleeve 184 secured within the support arm 60. The guide rod 182 serves to maintain the thrust block 176 in predetermined relation relative to the support arm 60 during longitudinal movement of the actuating rod 164. The thrust block 176 also supports a cam follower roller 186 through a suitable support screw 188. The cam follower roller 186 is mounted for selective engagement with a cam surface 190 on an actuator cam plate 192 supported externally of the closure applying apparatus 10 for effecting selective downward movement of the thrust block 176 and thereby the actuating rod 168 relative to the support arm 60. The actuator cam plate 192 may be mounted in a manner as illustrated in the aforereferenced Instructional Manual No. 5363-72 of the assignee of the present invention.

The lower end of the actuating rod 168 has threadedly mounted thereon a toggle clevis block 196 which limits the extent of upward movement of the rod 168 within the guide member 40 and also serves as a pivotal connecting means for a plurality of toggle linkages each of which is indicated generally at 198. Each of the toggle linkages 198 includes an upper block portion 200 which is pivotally connected through a pivot pin 202 to the clevis block 196. Each toggle linkage 198 also includes a lower end portion 204 which is pivotally secured to and between one of the pairs of upstanding yoke legs 146 through a pivot pin 206. Each lower end portion 204 of the toggle linkages 198 is mounted on its associated pivot pin 206 through a spherical selfaligning bearing (not shown) which articulates and compensates for changes in radial alignmentbetween the clevis block 196 and yoke legs 146 during pivoting of the pivot arms 144. The lower portions 204 of the toggle linkages 198 are threadedly connected to the upper block portions 200 thereof to allow selective varying of the length of each of the toggle linkages 198.

In the illustrated embodiment of the closure applying apparatus 10, the toggle linkages 198 are inclined upwardly from their associated pivot arms 144 and the clevis block 196 so as to form included angles of approximately 40 between the longitudinal axes of the respective toggle linkages and the longitudinal axis of the actuating rod 168. With reference to FIG. 1, it can be seen that downward longitudinal movement of the actuating rod 168 relative to the spring housing 32 serves to effect outward movement of each pair of yoke legs 146 through the associated toggle linkages 198 so as to effect a pivotal movement of the pivot arms 144 about their associated pivot shafts 130. Such movement of the pivot arms 144 effects a corresponding rotational movement of the actuating arms to rotate the pivot shafts 130 and effect inward movement of the support arms 118 and associated thread forming rollers 102 and pilfer ring forming roller 104 toward the longitudinal axis of the housing means 30. By providing variable length toggle linkages 198, the radial *throw" of the thread forming rollers 102 and the pilfer ring forming roller 104 may be varied both by varying the lengths of the toggle linkages 198 and by angular adjustment of the support arms 118 on their associated pivot shafts 130.

As briefly described above. the closure applying apparatus or capper chuck 10 may be mounted on a capper machine of the type illustrated. by way of example, in the referenced Instructional Manual No. 536372 for applying closure caps 12 to the upper threaded neck portions 14 of containers 16. The closure applying apparatus 10 is carried along in overlying relation to a generally horizontal container conveying track by the support arm 60 to a position wherein the cam control channel 78 effects a downward movement of the support block 72 on the support rods 74 whereby to effect a corresponding downward movement of the housing means 30 relative to the conveyor track. Such downward movement effects engagement of the pressure head means 86 against the upper end of a closure cap 12 loosely carried on the upper end of a container 16. Thereafter, the closure applying apparatus 10 and associated container 16 and closure cap 12 are moved along the predetermined path to a position wherein the cam surface on the actuator cam 192 engages the cam follower 186 and effects a downward movement of the thrust block 176 and thereby the actuator rod 168. Such downward movement of the actuator rod 168 effects a generally radially inward movement of the thread forming rollers 102 and the pilfer ring forming roller 104 as above described.

Simultaneously with downward movement of the actuator rod 168 under the influence of the actuator cam 192, the friction ring 82 is caused to engage the friction plate 80 and effect rotational movement of the housing means 30 and the associated forming roller means 100, toggle linkages 198 and actuating rod means 164 about the longitudinal axis of the actuating rod 168 relative to the support arm 60 and the thrust block 176.

The positions of the support arm 60 and the cam surface 190 of the actuator cam 192 relative to the horizontal container conveyor track surface (not shown) are established such that the pressure head means 86 and actuator rod means 164 are moved downwardly normal distances as necessary to properly cap a container of predetermined height during a capping operation. Such normal" downward movement of the pressure head means 86 and actuating rod means 164 is established to effect proper sealing pressure contact of the pressure head means 86 against the closure cap 12 and effect proper inward movement of the thread forming rollers 102 and pilfer ring forming roller 104 against the depending skirt 20 and pilfer ring 200, respectively. of the closure cap 12 to form or roll them against the thread 12 and beneath the annular flange 24 on the container 16 during rotation of the housing means 30.

In a capping operation as described wherein the closure applying apparatus is set up for a predetermined normal container height. the extent of downward longitudinal movement of the actuating rod 168 relative to the housing means 30 may vary if containers 16 of heights varying from the normal predetermined height are presented to the closure applying apparatus for capping. For example. if the support arm 60 is moved downwardly a predetermined distance as established by the cam channel 78 and a container 16 of above-average height is engaged by the pressure head means 86, the housing means 30 will not move downwardly as far as it would with a normal height container 16. in this event. the actuating rod 168, which is moved downwardly a predetermined distance as established by the actuator cam 192, will move longitudinally downwardly a greater distance relative to the housing means 30 such that over-travel" of the actuator rod results. With capper chucks or capper applying apparatus of known design, such over-travel effects substantially greater inward movement of the thread and pilfer ring forming rollers and may result in severe damage to the container and associated closure cap, or may damage the capper chuck if the container and associated closure cap resist inward movement of the forming rollers.

ln accordance with one embodiment of the closure applying apparatus 10 of the present invention, the lengths of the toggle linkages 198 were set so that the forming rollers 102 and 104 reached their normal desired inward forming positions when the toggle linkages were disposed in positions wherein the longitudinal axes of the linkages were inclined slightly upwardly from the horizontal at angles of approximately nine degrees, as shown in phantom in FIG. 5. In this manner, if a container 16 is presented for capping which has a height greater than the normal" for which the closure applying apparatus 10 and associated capper machine are set to receive and properly cap, any downward over-travel" of the actuating rod 168 relative to the housing means 30, as may result from the aboveaverage height container, will effect only nominal further inward movement of the rollers 102 and 104 against the closure cap 12 and neck portion 14 of the container. This is due to the fact that as the toggle linkages 198 approach substantially horizontal positions, further downward movement or over-travel of the actuator rod 168 and clevis block 196 will effect only nominal further outward pivotal movement of the pivot arms 144 resulting in nominal inward movement of the forming rollers. It has been found that the closure applying apparatus 10 may readily accommodate variations of plus three-sixteenths inch in height of the containers 16 from the "normal" container height without damage to the container and associated closure cap or to the closure applying apparatus 10.

In addition to being capable of accommodating substantial variations in height between containers during a capping operation, the closure applying apparatus 10 in accordance with the present invention provides a mechanical advantage which results in a reduced force needed to depress the actuator rod 168 as it approaches its fully depressed position. For example, through the use of toggle linkages 198 as described, the downward force on the actuating rod 168 required to effect radial inward movement of the rollers 102 and 104 to deform the depending skirt 20 and pilfer ring 2021 against the thread and flange conformations 22 and 24 on the container 16 decreases as the toggle linkages 198 approach their substantially horizontal positions.

It has been found that by mounting the forming rollers 102 and 104 on anti-friction bearings and 160, respectively, substantially less rotational torque is required to effect rotation of the housing means 30 and associated components carried thereby during a capping operation. The known capping apparatuses of the roll-on type employ thread forming and pilfer ring forming rollers which are formed integral with hardened and ground stems that spin in hardened and ground bushings and require special lubricants to operate properly. By mounting the forming rollers 102 and 104 on their respective support shafts 108 and 158 through anti-friction bearings, the lubrication problems inherent in the prior art constructions are eliminated.

While a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated and described, it will be understood to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. Various features of the invention are defined in the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. Closure applying apparatus of the roll-on type for applying a closure to the neck portion of a container having conformations thereon adjacent the neck portion, the closure having an upper end and a generally annular skirt portion adapted to be received over the neck portion of the container adjacent the conformations thereon, said apparatus comprising, in combination, housing means defining a longitudinal axis for said apparatus and being adapted for rotation about said longitudinal axis, pressure head means supported by said housing means for engagement with the upper end of a closure when disposed on the neck portion of a container, actuating rod means supported by said housing means for longitudinal movement between normal first and second positions relative to said housing means, at least one rotatable forming roller, support means supporting said forming roller for movement between a first position spaced outwardly from the skirt portion of a closure when said closure is engaged by said pressure head means and a second position wherein the peripheral edge of the roller engages the skirt portion of the closure for forming the skirt portion against at least a portion of the conformations on the neck portion of the associated container during rotation of said housing means, and toggle linkage means interconnecting said actuating rod means and said support means such that said forming roller is moved inwardly from its said first position to a predetermined second position upon movement of said actuating rod from its said first position to a predetermined second position as established by the normal height of a container being capped, said toggle linkage means being adapted to accommodate longitudinal over-travel of said actuating rod beyond its said predetermined second position without effecting an appreciable further movement of said forming roller inwardly toward said closure beyond said predetermined second position of said forming roller whereby to prevent damage to said closure and said container upon over-travel of said actuating rod.

2. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 1 including means biasing said actuating rod means toward. its said first position.

3. Closure applyingv apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein the conformations on the neck portion of the container include 'an external thread and an annular shoulder disposed below the thread. and wherein said apparatus includes at least one thread forming roller adapted to form the depending skirt portion of the closure against said external thread, and at least one forming roller adapted to form the lower edge of the skirt inwardly beneath said annular shoulder. said support means including means for separately supporting each of said forming rollers, and said toggle linkage means being adapted to effect simultaneous movement of said forming rollers upon actuation of said actuating rod means.

4. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein said thread forming roller is supported for movement in a direction generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of said housing means, said thread forming roller being adapted for engagement with the annular skirt of said closure adjacent the upper end thereof when said actuating rod means is moved to its said second position, said thread forming roller being further adapted to move longitudinally downwardly and form said annular skirt against said thread conformation as said housing means is rotated about its longitudinal axis during a closure applying cycle.

5. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said support means includes at least one pivot shaft supported by said housing means for rotation about an axis parallel to the longitudinal axis of said housing means, a support arm secured on said pivot shaft for rotatably supporting said forming roller, and actuating arm means secured to said pivot shaft, said toggle linkage means interconnecting said actuating arm means to said actuating rod means such that said toggle linkage means effects rotational movement of said pivot shaft and movement of said forming roller toward its said second position upon actuation of said actuating rod means toward its said second position.

6. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein said pressure head means includes a generally circular pressure head supported by said housing means for rotation relative to said housing means about an axis coincident with the longitudinal axis of said housing means.

7. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein said actuating arm means includes a first arm portion rotatable about the axis of said pivot shaft and secured to said toggle linkage means, a second arm portion secured to said pivot shaft, and means interconnecting said first and second arm portions such that movement of said first arm portion urges said second arm portion in a corresponding rotational direction.

8. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein said means interconnecting said first and second arm portions includes resilient means adapted to allow limited movement of said first arm means without a corresponding movement of said second arm means when the associated forming roller is prevented from inward movement in response to movement of said acpivotalmovement in a substantially vertical plane. said togglelinkage being inclined upwardly when said actuating rod means is disposed in its said first position, and being disposed substantially horizontally when said actuating rod means is moved to its said second predetermined position.

10. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 1 which includes three forming rollers, and wherein said support means includes three pivot shafts supported by said housing means for rotational movement about axes parallel to the longitudinal axes of said housing means, a support arm secured to each of said pivot shafts for rotatably supporting one of said forming rollers. and an actuating arm secured to each of said pivot shafts, said toggle linkage means including a toggle linkage interconnecting each of said actuating arms to said actuating rod means such that simultaneous movement of said forming rollers is effected upon actuation of said actuating rod means.

11. Closure applying apparatus as defined in claim 10 wherein each of said forming rollers is movable in a generally radial direction relative to the longitudinal axis of said housing means, and wherein each of said toggle linkages has its opposite ends pivotally connected to the associated actuating arm and said actuating rod means, each of said toggle linkages being pivotal in a plane containing the longitudinal axis of said housing means and forming an acute angle between said longitudinal axis of said housing means and the longitudinal axis of the toggle linkage. said toggle linkages providing a mechanical advantage such that the force necessary to move said actuating rod means to its said second position decreases as said actuating rod means approaches its said second position.

12. A closure applying apparatus comprising, in combination, housing means having a longitudinal axis and adapted to be supported for rotation about said longitudinal axis, pressure head means supported by said housing means for rotation relative to said housing means about an axis coincident with the longitudinal axis of said housing means, actuating rod means supported by said housing means for longitudinal movement between first and second positions relative to said housing means, at least one pivot shaft supported by said housing means for rotational movement about an axis parallel to the longitudinal axis of said housing means. a support arm secured to said pivot shaft for rotational movement therewith, a forming roller rotatably carried by said support arm, actuating arm means secured to said pivot shaft and movable to effect rotational movement of said support arm and said forming roller toward the longitudinal axis of said pressure head means, and toggle linkage means interconnecting said actuating arm means to said actuating rod means such that said forming roller is disposed outwardly from the longitudinal axis of said pressure head means when said actuating rod means is in its said first position, said toggle linkage means being adapted to effect movement of said actuating arm means a predetermined distance to move said forming roller toward the longitudinal axis of said pressure head means when said actuating rod means is moved to its said second position, said toggle linkage means being further adapted to effect a progressively decreasing differential movement of said actuating. arm means as said actuating rod means is moved toward its said second position so as to accommodate longitudinal over-travel of said actuating rod means beyond its said second position without effecting appreciable further movement of said forming roller toward said axis of said pressure head means.

13. A closure applying apparatus of the roll-on type for applying'a closure to the open ended neck portion ofa container. the neck portion of the container having conformations thereon generally adjacent the open end thereof, and the closure having a closed upper end and a generally annular depending skirt adapted to be received over the conformations of the neck portion of the container, said apparatus comprising. in combination. housing means defining a longitudinal axis for the apparatus and being rotatable about said longitudinal axis and movable in the direction of said axis, pressure head means supported by said housing means, said pressure head means being adapted to engage the upper closed end of a closure and urge the closure down over the neck portion of a container when the container is brought to a position in underlying axial alignment with said pressure head means, actuating rod means supported by said housing means for longitudinal movement between first and second positions. at

least one rotatable forming roller. support means secured to said housing means and rotatably supporting said forming roller for movement between a first position spaced from the skirt portion of a closure when said closure is engaged by said pressure head and a second position wherein the peripheral edge portion of said roller engages the outer surface of the depending skirt of the closure in a manner to form said depending skirt against the conformations on the container during rotation of said housing means, and toggle linkage means interconnecting said support means to said actuating rod means such that said toggle linkage means is effective to move said forming roller toward its said second position when said actuating rod means is moved from its said first position toward its said second position, said toggle link means being of a configuration such that the downward force on said actuating rod means to effect a substantially constant inward force on said forming roller decreases as said actuating rod means moves from its said first position toward its said second position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2178664 *Jan 21, 1937Nov 7, 1939Aluminum Co Of AmericaSealing machine
US3336728 *Oct 31, 1963Aug 22, 1967W H Swanson & Co IncApparatus for applying to containers closure blanks having locking bands
US3530637 *Mar 25, 1968Sep 29, 1970American Flange & MfgMethod and apparatus for sealing open head containers
US3537231 *Jun 12, 1968Nov 3, 1970Consolidated Packaging MachineBottle capper
US3775944 *Feb 24, 1972Dec 4, 1973Anchor Hocking CorpRoller sealing means for sealing containers with closure caps
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4087952 *Aug 13, 1976May 9, 1978National Instrument Company, Inc.Crimping mechanism for an electric capping machine
US4173104 *Apr 17, 1978Nov 6, 1979American Flange & Manufacturing Co., Inc.Bottle capping apparatus and method
US7533590 *Apr 12, 2007May 19, 2009Arol S.P.A.Screwing and rolling head for the application of pre-threaded caps
US8256188 *Feb 25, 2008Sep 4, 2012Robert Bosch GmbhPackaging machine
CN100413776CMay 18, 2006Aug 27, 2008长沙楚天科技有限公司Covering device
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/340, 53/368
International ClassificationB67B3/18, B67B3/00, B67B3/20
Cooperative ClassificationB67B3/18
European ClassificationB67B3/18