US 3889726 A
A container filling machine including a revolving assembly having a plurality of dispensing devices for metering a flowable product from a common tank to containers movable with the assembly. Each dispensing device includes a pump and a valve for alternately connecting the pump to the tank into an associated container; the valve including a valve stem being releasably coupled for vertical reciprocating movements with a cyclicly movable carrier block. Uncoupling of the valve stem from the carrier block is effected by a no container, no fill device whereby to permit the valve stem to remain in a closed, non-dispensing position for one operational cycle of the filling machine.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Stigler CONTAINER FILLING MACHINE Joseph T. Stigler, Rochester, NY.
Rostgo International Corporation, Tonawanda, NY.
Filed: Dec. 19, 1973 Appl. No.: 426,138
Related US. Application Data Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 358,851, May 10, 1973, Pat. No. 3,841,363, which is a continuation of Ser. No. 214,073, Dec. 30, 1971, abandoned.
[521 US. Cl. 141/142  Int. Cl B65b 57/02  Field of Search 1. 141/1, 45, 138-152, 141/156-162  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,666,564 1/1954 Minard 141/142 2,958,346 11/1960 Kerr 141/141 1 1 June 17, 1975 5/1971 Riesenberg 141/141 7/1974 Cayton 141/142 Primary E.tam1'nerRichard E. Aegerter Assistant Examiner-Frederick R. Schmidt Attorney, Agent, or FirmBean & Bean  ABSTRACT A container filling machine including a revolving assembly having a plurality of dispensing devices for metering a flowable product from a common tank to containers movable with the assembly. Each dispensing device includes a pump and a valve for alternately connecting the pump to the tank into an associated container; the valve including a valve stem being releasably coupled for vertical reciprocating movements with a cyclicly movable carrier block. Uncoupling of the valve stem from the carrier block is effected by a no container, no 1111 device whereby to permit the valve stem to remain in a closed, non-dispensing position for one operational cycle of the filling machine.
2 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures SHEEF PATENTEUJUR I 7 I975.
CONTAINER FILLING MACHINE REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuationJn-part of my copending application Ser. No. 358,85l, filed May 10, 1973, now US Pat. No. 3,84l,363, which in turn is a continuation of application Ser. No. 2l4,073, filed Dec. 30, I97], and now abandoned.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to container filling machines of the type including a revolving assembly having a plurality of dispensing devices for metering a flowable product from a common tank to containers movable with the assembly. Each dispensing device includes a pump and a valve for alternately connecting the pump to the tank and to an associated container, such that during each operational cycle of the machine a charge of material is first introduced into the pump and then discharged therefrom into an associated container. A valving construction having particular utility in container filling machines of this type is disclosed in my co-pending application Ser. No. 35 8,85 l, filed May 10, I973 now US. Pat. No. 3,841,363.
The present invention is specifically directed towards an improved valve operating arrangement, which features a carrier block constrained for cyclic vertical movements during each operational cycle of the machine, a valve stem arranged for free vertical sliding movement within the carrier block, and a latch device normally operable to constrain the valve stem for vertical movements with the carrier block whereby the valve stem is alternately placed in dispensing and nondispensing positions. A no-container, no-fill device is operable to effect release of the latch device whenever a container is not properly presented to the filling machine, whereby to release the latch device and permit the valve stem to remain in its non-dispensing position uninfluenced by cyclic movements of the carrier block.
DRAWINGS The nature and mode of operation of the present invention is more fully described in the following detailed description taken with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. I is a partial top plan view of a filling machine employed in the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 3-3 in FIG, 1;
FIG. 4 is a view taken generally along the line 44 in FIG. I, but showing the control cam trackway in phantom line for purposes of clarity;
FIG. 5 is a view taken generally along the line 55 in FIG. 1, but showing portions of the cam trackway in phantom line for purposes of clarity;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 6-6 in FIG. I; and
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 77 in FIG. 6.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Reference is now made particularly to FIG. I, wherein a container filling machine embodying the present invention is generally designated as 10 and shown as including a revolving assembly 12, which may be suitably supported by a stationary base portion, not shown, for rotation in the direction indicated by arrow 14. Empty containers may be fed to the machine along an input line 16, by any suitable delivery mechanism including by way of example an infeed star wheel 18; and filled containers may be discharged from the machine along an outfeed line 20 by any suitable discharge conveyor mechanism, not shown.
The stationary base portion of machine I0 would include a suitable machine drive mechanism, not shown; corner support standards or columns 2225; and a stationary, container supporting or transport assembly, which is shown only in FIGS. 2 and 3 as including a pair of upwardly facing support rails 26 and a side guide rail 28. Rails 26 and 28 extend between infeed and discharge stations of machine I0 and cooperate with a drive ring device 30 forming a part of assembly I2 to effect transfer of containers 32 thcrebetween in the manner to be hereinafter described. As indicated in FIGS. 2 and 3 drive ring 30 is formed with a plurality of container receiving or positioning pockets 30 spaced annularly thereof.
Again referring to FIG. 1, it will be understood that columns 22-25 are employed to support machine open ational cycle control cams, which serve to divide each full rotational cycle of assembly 12 or operational cycle of the machine into First Dwell, Charging, Second Dwell and Discharge portions or zones arrranged annu- Iarly of the machine. More specifically, the cycle control cams include an adjustab e lower or pump control cam assembly 34 and a stationary upper or valve control cam assembly 36. Pump control cam assembly 34 includes a continuous lower cam rail 38 and a discontinuous upper cam rail 40; the latter extending in the direction of assembly rotation from the Second Dwell portion to the First Dwell portion.
A product storagedispensing assembly forming a part of assembly 12 includes a cylindrical, upwardly open tank 46 for storing the product with which containers 32 are to be filled and a plurality of dispensing devices 48. Dispensing devices 48 are equally spaced apart peripherally of tank 46 and serve to withdraw specific volume charges of product from the tank, during the Charging portion of the operational cycle, and subsequently discharge the thus formed charges into containers 32, during the Discharge portion of such operational cycle. While the number of dispensing devices 48 provided in a given machine may vary, it will of course be appreciated that such devices correspond in number of container pockets 30' and are disposed for rotary movement in vertical registration therewith.
Each of dispensing devices 48 includes a pump as sembly 50 and a valve assembly 52 normally operable for alternately placing the pump assembly in fluid communication with tank 46 via an infeed passageway 54 formed in tank associated mounting rim S6 and an as sociated discharge device, such as may for example be defined by a discharge orifice plate 58 threadably attached to the valve assembly.
Pump assembly 50 includes a mounting base portion 60, which defines an outfeed passageway 62', an upstanding open ended pump cylinder 64, which is formed with a vertically extending wall slot 66 and removably fixed to base portion and a pump piston 68, which is fluid seal fitted within cylinder 64 for vertical reciprocating movements. Piston 68 carries a bracket 70 adjacent its upper end, which bracket extends in a slide fitted relationship outwardly through slot 66 to position a suitable follower, such as roller 72, for engagement with cam rails 38 and 40. As thus far described, machine is identical in construction and mode of operation to the machine disclosed in my above-mentioned patent application.
The construction of valve assembly 52 is also similar to that described in my above mentioned patent appli cation from the standpoint that it includes a valve seat portion 80. which defines a vertically extending through bore opening 82 having vertically spaced infeed and outfeed ports 84 and 86 disposed in aligned flow communication with infeed and outfeed passageways 54 and 62, respectively; and a valve stem portion 88. Valve stem portion 88 is received through the opening 82 for vertical movement between first and second positions, wherein its lower or head end portion 90 is arranged adjacent to and remote from discharge orifice plate 58, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, respectively. Valve seat portion 80 and mounting base portion 60 may be removably connected to each other and/or directly to mounting rim 56, and suitable fluid sealing devices may be provided to seal the joints between cylinder 64, base portion 60, valve seat portion 80 and rim 56.
Head end portion 90 is formed with a transversely ex tending passageway 94, which is preferably of essentially uniform crosssectional area corresponding to the cross-sectional area of ports 84 and S6 and their associated passageways 54 and 62, respectively. By this arrangement, there may be established, when valve stem portion 88 is in its first position, a minimum resistanceturbulence flow passage for connecting tank 46 and pump cylinder 64. This insures uniform (specific volume) filling or charging of the pump cylinder when pump piston 68 is moved upwardly during the Charging portion of the operational cycle, due to engagement of cam rail 38 with rollers 72. It will be understood that under all operating conditions cam rails 38 and 40 are arranged, such that the lower ends of pump pistons 68 are not driven into engagement with base portions 60 at their low point. which occurs during the First Dwell portion, and are not raised to the level of cylinder wall slots 66 at their high point, which occurs during the Second Dwell portion.
The upper part of valve stem portion 88 includes a lower rod 100, which is movably joined to head end portion 90, as for instance by a ball and socket connec tion 102; an upper rod 104; and a quick disconnect coupling 106 for removably joining the lower and upper rods in order to permit removal of head end portion 90 from within opening 82 for purposes of clean ing.
Reference is now made specifically to FIGS. 4-7, wherein a machine formed in accordance with the present invention is shown as featuring a construction wherein upper rod 104 is received for free vertical reciprocating movements within a through bore opening 110 defined by a carrier block 112, which is in turn received for free vertical reciprocating movements within a guide opening 114 defined by a tank rim mounting guide block 116.
As best shown in FIG. 7, upper rod 104 is constrained against rotation within and complete removal from opening 110 by a carrier block mounted guide pin 118 received within rod side opening slot 120. Carrier block 112 is in turn constrained from rotary movements relative to guide block 116, due to the like rectangular cross-sectional configurations of the carrier block and guide opening 114, whereas downward separating movement of the carrier block relative to the guide block is prevented by guide block mounted guide pin 122 and carrier block side opening slot 124.
Upper rod 104 is normally coupled to carrier block 112 for conjunctive vertical movements by a latching device including a stop lug 130, which is carried within carrier block cavity 132 by a horizontally extending shaft 134 for vertical pivotal movements in opposite directions into and out of upper rod side opening notch 136.
The outwardly extending end of shaft 134 carries a U or V-shaped follower member 138, which is formed with upper and lower leg portions 138a and 13819, respectively. Leg portions 138a and 1381), which cooper ate with a latch operator or valve disabling device generally designated as 140 in FIGS. 1 and 6 for control ling positioning of stop lug 130 relative to notch 136, normally occupy the counterclockwise constraining position shown in FIGS. 4 and 7 wherein stop lug 130 is positioned within notch 136 to couple or latch upper rod 104 for conjunctive vertical movements with carrier block 112.
Vertical movements of carrier blocks 112 are controlled by engagement of carrier block mounted follower roller with valve control cam assembly 36, which is carried by standard mounted brackets 152 and 154. Now referring to FIGS. 1-6 it will be seen that cam assembly 36 includes transition cam assemblies 156 and 158, which are approximately located within the First and Second Dwell portions of the machine, re spectively', and a cam rail 160, which extends between assemblies 156 and 158.
Cam rail 160 serves to support carrier block follower rollers 150 and thus their associated carrier blocks in the elevated or raised position shown in FIGS. 3 and 5 in order to normally retain valve stem portions 88 in their second or discharge positions during passage of their associated dispensing devices through the Discharge portion of the machine cycle.
By now referring to FIGS 1 and 4, it will be understood that cam assembly 156 is employed to force carrier block follower rollers 150 and thus their associated carrier blocks to move downwardly from their elevated position shown in FIGS. 3 and 5 into their depressed or lowered position shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, during move ment of their associated dispensing devices through the First Dwell portion of the machine cycle. This in turn normally serves to move valve stem portions 88 from their second or upper discharging position shown in FIG. 3 downwardly into their first or lower charging position shown in FIG. 2; the force of gravity thereafter serving to retain the carrier blocks in their depressed position and the valve stem portions in their lower charging position, during passage of their associated dispensing devices through the Charging portion of the machine cycle. The lower charging position of the valve stem portion may be suitably determined, as by engagement of head end portions 90 with orifice plate 58, whereas the depressed position of the carrier blocks may be suitably determined, as by engagement of guide pin 118 with the lower end of slot 120, as indicated in FIG. 7. This arrangement is preferred in that it facilitates the provision of a slight separation or space hetween the upper ends of notch 136 and stop lug 130, also indicated in FIG. 7, in order to permit pivotat movements of the stop lug into and out of the notch without binding.
Cam assembly 156 is best shown in FIG. 4 as including a lower downwardly sloping cam track 162, which has its upper inlet end surface aligned with the upper surface of rail 160, and an upper downwardly sloping cam track 164, which serves to force follower rollers 150 to follow the path defined by lower cam track 162.
By now referring to FIGS. 1 and 5, it will be understood that cam assembly 158 is employed to force carrier block follower rollers 150 and thus their associated carrier blocks to move upwardly from their depressed position into their elevated position, during movement of their associated dispensing devices through the Second Dwell portion of the machine cycle. This in turn normally serves to move valve stem portions 88 from their lower charging position into their upper discharging position. More specifically, cam assembly 158 is best shown in FIG. 5 as including a lower upwardly sloping cam track 166, which has its inlet end surface aligned with the outlet end surface of cam track 162 and its outlet end surface aligned with the upper surface of cam rail 160. Cam assembly 158 may also be considered to include upper and lower additional cam rails 170 and 172, which are arranged adjacent the inlet end of cam track 166 and have their surfaces essentially aligned with the outlet end surfaces of upper and lower cam tracks 164 and 162, respectively. The sole purpose for providing guide rails 170 and 172 is to vertically constrain followers 150 and thus their associated carrier blocks, during passage of the dispensing devices past latch operator 140.
Operator 140 is similar in construction to that de scribed in my above mentioned co-pending patent application in that it comprises a standard mounted bracket 180; a fluid operated cylinder having a cylinder casing 182 fixed to bracket 180 and a piston rod 184; and a two part cam assembly including a link 186 and a generally U-shaped cam member 188 having relatively spaced upper and lower arms 188a and 1881) defining facing convex cam surfaces 188a and 188b', respectively. Link 186 and cam member 188 are mounted on bracket 180 for independent pivotal move ments by a common pivot pin 190; link 186 also being movably connected to the projecting end of piston rod 184 by a pin-slot connection 192 and to cam member 188 by a pair of relative movement opposing, coil type compression springs 194. Springs 194 serve as a cushion for cam member 188 when either of its arms 188a and 188b are engaged by follower member 138 in the manner to be described.
It will be understood that piston rod 184 is normally disposed in a fully extended position, not shown, whereby to arrange upper cam arm 188a in an essentially horizontal position. When cam member 188 is so arranged, all of follower members 138 will pass between convex cam surfaces 188a and 188b' without being subject to rotation, if such follower members are in their normal or constraining positions, wherein stop lug 130 is disposed within notch 136. However, if one of follower members 138 is in its release" position shown in FIG. 5 when presented to operator 140, its upper leg portion 138a will engage with cam surface 188a and be forced downwardly thereby to return the follower member to its normal or constraining position.
When a follower member passing away from an operator 140 is in its constraining position, its associated dispensing device is free to perform in its normal manner during a following cycle of machine operation. Thus, immediately after an empty container is properly presented to the dispensing device during the Second Dwell portion, its associated valve stem is lifted by cam assembly 158 into its second position, whereby to connect its associated pump 50 for discharge of a product charge through orifice plate 58 into the properly presented container as it is moved through the Discharge portion of the machine cycle.
As in conventional disabling assemblies, operation of operator 140 is controlled by a suitable sensing system, not shown, which includes a container presence senser arranged for instance adjacent star wheel 18 for the purpose of scanning the path of travel of containers synchroneously with rotational movements, of assembly l2. lf the absence of a container is noted. piston rod 184 is retracted to position cam member 188 in the position shown in FIG. 6 immediately before the cam follower 138 of the dispensing device with which the missing container was to be associated is rotated into radial alignment with operator 140. When such cam follower is moved between cam surfaces 188a and 1881), it is rotated by engagement of cam surface 188)? with follower leg portion 138b into its release position illus trated in FIG. 5 in order to remove its associated stop iug from within notch 136. When this occurs, upper rod 104 is freed from movement with carrier block 112 and the force of gravity is effective for maintaining valve stem 88 in its lower charging position, as cam assembly 158 forces the carrier block into its normal elevated position, as indicated in FIG. 5. The released valve stem portion will remain in its lower charg ing position, during succeeding portions of the opera tional cycle ofthe machine, in order to permit a charge previously formed by its associated pump to be forced back into tank 46 during the Discharge portion of such operational cycle. Of course, as soon as the dispensing device has been disabled, operator is returned to its normal position to await receipt of the next nocontainer signal from the sensing system. when the dis abled dispensing device again approaches operator 140 and an empty container is properly presented for registry therewith, cam surface 1880' will engage follower arm portion 138a so as to return the follower member to its normal latching position wherein stop lug 130 is again positioned in notch 136.
1. In a rotary type container filling machine having a tank for storing flowable product to be dispensed by a plurality of dispensing units spaced annularly of said tank, each said dispensing unit including pump means, valve means and discharge means, said valve means having a first condition for placing its associated pump means in a flow communication with said tank during a pump means charging portion of the operational cycle of the machine whereby to permit said pump means to withdraw a charge of product from said tank and having a second condition for placing its associated pump means in flow communication with its associated product discharge means during a pump means discharge-container filling portion of said operational cycle whereby to permit said pump means to discharge said charge of product through said discharge means, means for moving said dispensing units in association ith containers to be filled during said operational cyle, and means for disabling said valve means whereby i prevent said valve means from placing said pump leans in flow communication with said product disharge means when no container is positioned for re- :ipt of said charge of product from said discharge leans during said pump means discharge-container lling portion of said operational cycle the improveient comprising in combination:
each said valve means is mounted exteriorly of said tank and includes a valve seat portion and a valve stern portion, said valve stem portion having a lower end thereof slideably supported within said valve seat portion for free vertical reciprocating movements relative thereto between lower and upper positions in which said valve means is in said first and second conditions respectively, an upper end of each said valve stem portion having a side opening notch;
a plurality of guide blocks spaced annularly of said tank in association one with each of said dispensing units each of said guide blocks being fixed to said tank in a relatively spaced relationship vertically above its associated valve seat portion,
a plurality of carrier blocks associated one within each of said guide blocks and being supported thereby for free vertical reciprocating movements while being constrained against relative rotary movements relative thereto, each of said carrier blocks supporting said upper end of its associated valve stem portion for free vertical reciprocating movements while constraining said upper end against relative rotary movements relative thereto; plurality oflatch devices carried one by each of said carrier blocks for normally coupling said upper end to its associated carrier block for conjunctive vertical movements therewith, each of said latch de vices including a latch follower member, a stop lug, a shaft for mounting said latch follower member and said stop lug on said carrier block for conjunctive vertical pivotal movements about an essentially horizontally disposed pivot axis, said latch follower member having a normal constraining pivotal position wherein said stop lug is positioned within said notch of said upper end ofits associated valve stem portion for coupling said upper end to its associated carrier block and having a release pivotal position wherein said stop lug is removed from within said notch for uncoupling said upper end from its associated carrier block, said latch follower memher -having upper and lower portions;
means for imparting vertical reciprocating movements to said carrier blocks between raised and lowered positions during each said operational l0 cycle whereby when said upper end is coupled to its associated carrier block said lower end of said valve stem portion is forced to move between said upper and lower positions, said movement imparting means including a plurality of follower rollers fixed one to each of said carrier blocks and a stationary cam track means engageable by said follower rollers during each said operational cycle; and
said disabling means includes cam means cooperating with said upper portion of each said latch follower member for normally maintaining same in said normal constraining pivotal position during each operational cycle of said machine, and means for moving said cam means into engagement with 75 said lower surface portion of each said latch t'oL lower member to move same into said release pivotal position only when said lower end of its associated valve stem portion is in said lower position and its associated carrier block is in said lowered position and no container is positioned for receipt of said charge of product from its associated discharge means.
2. The improvement according to claim 1, wherein said lower end of said valve stem portion has a passage- ;way extending transversely therethrough for establish ing a flow path between said tank and said pump means when said valve stem portion is in said lower portion said lower end of said valve stem portion blocking communication between said tank and said pump means when said valve stem is in said upper position; and said cam means includes upper and lower cam surfaces engageable with said upper and lower portions of said latch follower member, respectively. 4 =k l