US 3889451 A
A bottle capping apparatus wherein the bottle is supported on a solid table and wherein a pressure block is moved into engagement with the closure for holding it while the closure is fastened to the bottle. After a predetermined degree of pressure has been exerted upon the closure, the pressure block is solidly locked against retrograde movement until the capping operation is completed. One form of the invention includes a self-contained hydraulic system under a predetermined degree of maximum pressure for moving the pressure block into engagement with the closure. A valve in the hydraulic system stops the flow of hydraulic fluid and thereby locks the pressure block against further movement with reference to the closure and holds it securely during the movement of the fastening die.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Burkhardt CAPPING SPINDLE FOR SECURING CLOSURES 0N CONTAINERS  U.S. Cl 53/342; 53/368  Int. Cl B65b 7/28; 1367b 3/12; 1367b 3/26  Field of Search 53/341, 342, 343, 368, 53/367, 310, 306. 329, 359, 361, 42
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l,296,8l0 3/1919 Kappelhoff 53/368 1,454,540 5/1923 Edgecombe, Jr. 53/368 1,699,209 1/1929 Rieck 53/368 2,101,977 12/1937 Bond 53/368 X /3 lie Inventor:
Daniel J. Burkhardt, Richmond, lnd.
Aluminum Company of America,
Alcoa Center, Pa.
June 5, 1974 Appl. No.: 476,480
[ June 17, 1975 Primary ExaminerTravis S. McGehee Assistant ExaminerH0race M. Culver Attorney, Agent, or FirmTeare. Teare & Sammon  ABSTRACT A bottle capping apparatus wherein the bottle is supported on a solid table and wherein a pressure block is moved into engagement with the closure for holding it while the closure is fastened to the bottle. After a predetermined degree of pressure has been exerted upon the closure, the pressure block is solidly locked against retrograde movement until the capping operation is completed. One form of the invention includes a self-contained hydraulic system under a predetermined degree of maximum pressure for moving the pressure block into engagement with the closure. A valve in the hydraulic system stops the flow of hydraulic fluid and thereby locks the pressure block against further movement with reference to the closure and holds it securely during the movement of the fastening die.
10 Claims. 15 Drawing Figures PATENTEnJlm 17 ms SHEET fi sz 9 ll PATENTEDJUN 17 ms SHEET 3 CAPPING SPINDLE FOR SECURING CLOSURES ON CONTAINERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to apparatus for securing a closure such as a crimp type closure to a bottle. and particularly to apparatus wherein an up-draw die member is used to crimp the closure to the finish which is normally provided at the top of the bottle.
In most capping operations. the pressure block has some type of spring-loaded compensating device, which will allow for the fact that the individual bottles being capped vary somewhat from the nominal height of the bottle. Without this compensation, the taller bottles would be crushed by the cappcr head. and the shorter ones would not be sealed properly. With the updraw closing system. the pressure block must be able to hold against the force of the up-draw operation. If it were held with a spring strong enough to resist that force, that same spring-load would be sufficient to break the bottle. One way to overcome this problem is to make the spindle solid with no spring-load, but to spring-load the portion of the table that the bottle sets on. This can be adjusted so that even a shorter than nominal bottle will depress the spring-loaded pad slightly. The problem with this type of apparatus is that it is very susceptible to erratic operation because broken glass, dirt, etc. can easily cause the spring-loaded pad to malfunction.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention overcomes the difficulty experienced in the use of spring loaded bottle rest pads by utilizing a relatively light spring for applying the requisite top pressure against the closure on the container and then locking the pressure block in position against the closure on the container as the draw die is moved upwardly with respect to the container to secure the closure on the container. One form of apparatus for carrying out the invention includes a spindle which has a self-contained hydraulic system embodying two cylinders which are in communication with each other by a conduit within which a cam controlled valve is positioned. One of the cylinders comprises a reservoir for hydraulic fluid and has a piston therein which is spring loaded to maintain a pressure on the hydraulic system at all times. The other cylinder contains a pistion which is rigidly connected to the pressure block, the latter of which is adapted to engage the top of the closure cap and to exert sufticient force thereon to hold it in proper position on the bottle in advance of the up-draw opera tion. The degree of force exerted by the pressure block at such time is governed by the force of the spring which acts upon the piston in the reservoir cylinder, and such force is less than that which would normally break the bottle. When the desired degree of force has been attained, then the valve in the conduit is moved to stop the flow of liquid from one cylinder to the other, and thereby to lock the pressure block in position against the closure on the container as the draw die is moved upwardly with respect to the container to secure the closure on the container. The present invention enables the bottle to be positioned upon a solid support during the capping operation, thereby obviating the necessity for the use of a resilient pad beneath the bottle. A resilient pad presents a problem of contamination from foreign material which can cause loss of resiliency and therefore faulty closure operation.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a vertical section through a capping head which may be used for carrying out the present invention and illustrating the control valve in open position;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view on a scale larger than that shown on FIG. I and also illustrating the open position of the valve which controls the flow of fluid in the system'.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG. 3 but showing the closed position of the valve. thereby locking the pressure block in position against the closure on the container;
FIG. 4 is a vertical section similar to FIG. I but showing the control valve in the closed position;
FIGS. 5 to 10 inclusive show different steps in the movement of the parts for applying a closure to a bottle;
FIG. 11 is a detailed sectional view showing the relative position of some of the parts upon lifting of the capping head from the bottle;
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary sectional view of a portion of the machine and on a scale larger than that of FIG. 1 and showing the connection between the upper end of the turret cage to the turret support:
FIG. 13 is a horizontal section taken on a plane indicated by the line 13-13 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 14 is a detailed sectional view on a scale larger than that of FIG. I and showing the connection between the bottom of the turret cage and the rotating drive therefor; and
FIG. 15 is a front elevational view of the turret cage removed from the machine.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS One form of the invention is illustrated in the drawings which show a capping spindle 10 which has a pressure pad or block I] connected to its lower end for engaging the top of a closure and pressing it against the top of a bottle to which the closure is to be applied. The upper end of the spindle is connected to rod 8 which terminates in a piston 12 within a cylinder I3, the latter of which has a chamber 14 into which hydraulic fluid may be forced for actuating the piston 12.
The present invention is concerned with the application of a predetermined degree of pressure by the pressure block 11 against the top of the closure to hold it in proper position for crimping it to the finish of the bottle, without exerting a degree of pressure which would break the bottle and yet will permit the use of an up-draw die for securing the closure to the bottle without resiliently supporting the bottle during such operation. The invention is carried out by locking the spindle against further movement with reference to its housing 15 after the desired degree of pressure has been applied by the pressure block against the closure. The preferred form of apparatus for accomplishing such purpose includesa cylinder 18 which has a chamber 19, the latter of which constitutes a reservoir for hydraulic fluid to be used in the system. A piston 20 is mounted for movement within the chamber I9 and is disposed above the liquid in such chamber. The piston is biased by a spring 21 to exert a predetermined degree of pressure against the liquid in the chamber I9 and thereby to maintain a predetermined degree of pressure at all times upon such liquid. The flow of hydraulic fluid between the chambers 14 and 19 is controlled by a valve 26.
The capping head includes a lower housing 15 and an upper housing 16 which are movable vertically with respect to each other upon a rotating turret. One form of turret assembly includes a cage or turret frame 69 IFIG. 15) which comprises a plurality of vertical bars 77 which are connected at their upper ends to a circular disc or ring 78 and are connected at their lower ends to a circular disc or ring 79. The bars are spaced apart regularly around the cage and provide vertical slots 81 for receiving the spindles therein. A somewhat similar construction is shown in Letters Patent of the U.S. Pat. No. 3.760.561.
The major components ofa turret assembly are illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 12 to inclusive as comprising a stationary center support column 29, a stationary support sleeve 39 (FIG. 14), and a drive sleeve 49 for rotating the turret frame 69 by a suitable source of power (not shown). The drive for the turret is shown as being through a turret hub 44 which is fixed by any suitable means to the drive sleeve 49, and which supports and is fastened to the lower ring 79 of the cage by suitable fastening members 89. The turret assembly also includes a capper base 90 upon which the containers are supported during the capping operation.
The turret assembly also includes a turret support sleeve 9 which is secured to the column 29 by means of a key or other locking means not shown. The sleeve is shown as having an outwardly extending radial flange 52 adjacent its upper end to which an annular cam 40 is fastened by securing members 53. An upper turret support member 59 is also rigidly secured to the column 29 and cooperates with the flange 52, on the turret support sleeve 9, to receive and hold the inner race 54 of a bearing unit 55. The outer race 56 is clamped to a support ring 57, the latter of which is adapted to receive the circular disc or ring 78 of the turret cage and to be securely fastened thereto as by securing members 58. Accordingly, when the drive sleeve 49 is driven, the upper support ring 57, the turret hub 44, the turret frame or cage 69, and the spindles therein are rotated around the center support column 29 and are rotated with respect to the stationary cam 40 and the cam tracks therein.
To support the spindles for relative movement vertically while they are being rotated around the cam 40, the bars or ribs 77 of the turret cage have opposing recesses 64 (FIG. 13) which provide guideways for lugs 70 which project laterally from the housings 15 and 16 respectively. A gib plate 67 is shown as being connected to the outer end of each bar 77 by a fastening member 68. Suitable cam tracks 41, 42 and 36 in the cam 40 are engaged by cam followers for controlling the operation of the pressure block 11, the valve 26, and updraw die 32 as the turret is rotated.
To move the piston 12 with reference to the cylinder 13, the chamber 14 is in communication with the chamber 19 through a conduit 25 in which the valve 26 is slidably mountedv When the valve is in the position shown in FIG. 2, liquid in the chamber 19 can flow through conduit 27 into conduit 25 and thence through port 28 and into the chamber 14, whereas, when the valve is closed, as shown in FIG. 3, liquid is prevented from flowing between the cylinders. At such time, the
relationship between the parts is such that the pressure block has engaged a closure upon a bottle 51, and the block after having been moved into engagement with the cap, is locked against further movement. At the time of locking the block. the closure is held against the top of the bottle with sufficient pressure to seat the closure properly on the bottle finish but without enough load to fracture the bottle. The liquid pressure acting upon the pressure block. at the time the valve 26 is closed, is governed by the force exerted by the spring 21. This spring can be designed by one skilled in the art to provide the proper load to the particular closure.
The desired degree of pressure upon the spring 21 may be attained by pulling the piston 20 upwardly, thereby compressing the spring 21 before filling the cylinders with liquid. One method of so compressing the spring is to thread the upper end of the piston rod beyond the cylinder extension 61, and to engage such threads with a removable nut 62. Then, when the nut is rotated in contact with the shoulder 63, the piston 20 is pulled upwardly within the cylinder 18 to the desired position, and while so held, the system is filled with liquid. At such time, the valve 26 is maintained in the open position, and the piston 12 is in its uppermost position within the cylinder 13.
The system may be filled with liquid through a passageway in the piston rod 60, and after the system has been filled, the passageway can be sealed by a cap 66. Thereupon, the nut 62 is removed, thus allowing the spring 21 to maintain the desired degree of pressure against the piston 20 and against the liquid in the system. The pressure of the liquid tends to force the spindle l0 downwardly against the force of a spring 30, and to force the pressure block 11 against the top of a closure 50 on a bottle 51 so long as the valve 26 is open.
The housing 15 is slidably mounted for vertical movement between the guideways 64, and it carries the up-draw die 32 at its lower end for crimping the cap to the bottle. Movement of the housing for actuating the die is controlled by the cam track 36 on the cam 40.
The upper housing 16 is slidably mounted for vertical movement in the guideways 64 in the turret frame, and its motion relative to the turret is controlled by the cam track 41 adjacent the upper part of the cam 40. Move ment of the valve 26 within the conduit 25 for controlling the flow ofliquid between the chambers 14 and 19, is controlled by the cam track 42, which is positioned on the cam intermediate the cam tracks 36 and 41.
The foregoing motions are accomplished by the engagement of cam followers in the respective cam tracks as the turret is rotated. Thus, the housing 15 carries a cam follower 45 which engages the cam track 36; the housing 16 carries a cam follower 46 which engages the cam track 41, and the valve 26 carries cam follower 47 which engages the cam track 42. The cam tracks 41 and 36 impart vertical movement to the housings 16 and 15 respectively with respect to the cam 40, whereas the cam track 42 imparts a horizontal movement of the valve 26 within the conduit 25 which is radially with respect to the cam. The turret is adapted to be rotated with reference to the cam, by a suitable drive (not shown) to accomplish the capping operation in a prearranged sequence of movements.
The pressure block 11 is carried by a central shoulder screw 82 on the lower end of the spindle 10 and is slidably mounted on the shoulder screw and is biased to move downwardly with reference to the spindle by a spring 84. Such pressure block is formed to contact the closure at the outer sealing area at the start of the capping operation. A sleeve 85 (FIG. 4) surrounds the lower portion of the spindle and also the pressure block H and is disposed between the spindle and the housing 15. it has an inturned flange 86 at its upper end which forms an abutment for the lower end of the spring 30, the upper end of which engages a collar 88 on the spindle. Such sleeve 85 serves to center the closure in the capping head 30. The sleeve is drawn back to its starting position upon the retraction of the spindle 10.
Assuming that the system is filled with hydraulic fluid, and that a cap has been advanced into the space beneath the bottom of the spindle, that a bottle has been placed beneath the cap upon a solid supporting surface, and that rotation of the turret has been started, and assuming, additionally, that the valve 26 is in the open position and that the up-draw die is in the downward position, then the first operation performed by the cam is to lower the housing 16 thereby moving the spindle downwardly to engage the top of the bottle cap.
The spindle continues downward carrying piston rod 8 until the lower end of rod 8 contacts a shoulder 83 on pressure block 11. At that point rod 8 can descend no further, so piston 12 on the upper end of rod 8 is forced to move upward in cylinder 13. The pressure of the hydraulic fluid, as developed by spring-loaded piston 20, is then pressing on rod 8 through piston 12 and is thereby transferred to pressure block 11 which causes said pressure to hold the closure firmly against the top of the bottle. Concurrently, as rod 8 has been moving down against shoulder 83, sleeve 85 has also moved down past pressure block I l, as a result of pressure from spring 30 and movement of rod 8, with the result that it has surrounded closure 50, thereby serving to center closure 50 properly in the capping head. While the cap is so held, the cam 40 operates to close valve 26, thereby locking the pressure block against the closure with the desired degree of holding pressure. While the closure is so held, the cam operates to move the housing 15 together with the up-draw die carried therein against the wall of the closure and thereby crimps the closure against the finish on the bottle. Continued upward movement of the die beyond the top of the closure enables the capped bottle to be removed. The valve is then opened and the parts resume the starting position where they are ready to perform a capping operation to another bottle.
FIGS. 5 to 11 inclusive of the drawings show progres sive steps in the bottle capping operation. Thus, in FIG. 5 the closure has been fed into the space beneath the pressure block 11 while the draw die 32 is in the downward position. in FIG. 6, the pressure block has started to move the cap downwardly toward the bottle 51 which is shown in broken lines.
In FIG. 7, the closure has engaged the bottle and is being held by the pressure block, while in FIG. 8 the up-draw die has started its upward movement to crimp the wall of the cap to the bottle. FIG. 9 shows the position of the up-draw die at the completion of the crimping operation while FIG. 10 shows the position of updraw'die after it has been moved above the bottle cap. FIG. ll shows the capped bottle after the pressure block has been moved upwardly and out of engagement with the closure cap.
An advantage of the present invention is that the capping operation may be performed while the bottle rests upon a solid support, and that the pressure exerted upon the top of the closure, while it is being held in capping position on the bottle, is maintained at a predetermined maximum which is adequate to hold the closure during the crimping operation without fracturing the bottle. The utilization of a selfcontained hydraulic system for exerting a holding pressure upon the closure, together with a member for locking the closure in position, is applicable to a roll on type of closure, as well as to the crimp type of closure.
1. Apparatus for securing a closure on a container having a finish thereon comprising:
a draw die adapted to be moved upwardly with re spect to a closure having an outwardly projecting protuberance on its skirt for constructing the protuberance inwardly toward a container finish to secure the closure on the container,
means for moving the draw die upwardly and downwardly with respect to a closure on a container,
a pressure block,
means for resiliently pressing said pressure block against a closure on a container, and
means for locking the pressure block in position against the closure on the container as the draw die is moved upwardly with respect to the container to secure the closure on the container.
2. Apparatus as set forth in claim I in which.
said means for resiliently pressing said pressure block against a closure comprises at least one hydraulic cylinder and a compressible spring disposed between a piston in the cylinder and a means for moving the piston.
3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 2 in which,
said locking means comprises a valve which seals hydraulic fluid against the top of the pressure block.
4. Apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein,
a second hydraulic cylinder is in fluid communication with the first cylinder, and wherein a piston in the second cylinder is rigidly connected to the pressure block.
5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 4 wherein,
a valve is disposed between the cylinders and is adapted to seal the flow of hydraulic fluid from one to the other cylinder.
6. Apparatus as set fotth in claim 5 wherein,
a cam actuated member controls the flow of hydraulic fluid from one to the other cylinder and wherein another cam actuated member controls the movement of the valve.
7. Apparatus as set forth in claim 6 wherein,
a third cam actuated member controls the movement of the up-draw die.
8. Apparatus as set forth in claim 7 wherein,
a single cam operates all of the cam actuated members.
9. Apparatus as set forth in claim 7 wherein,
the cam has three separate cam tracks and wherein each cam actuated member has a follower which is guided by one of said cam tracks, whereby each cam actuated member is moved independently of the other cam actuated members.
10. Apparatus as set fotth in claim 9 wherein the cam tracks are formed in the cam to produce a sequence of operations comprising,
moving hydraulic fluid from one cylinder to the other to move the pressure block into engagement with 7 8 a cap which is positioned n the top of a battle hepressure bloek against the cup and neath the pressure block. then moving the updruw die against the cup 10 seal it then moving the valve to slap the flow of fluid l'rmn against the bottle.
one cylinder to the other and thereby tn lock the