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Publication numberUS3903674 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 9, 1975
Filing dateApr 15, 1974
Priority dateApr 15, 1974
Also published asCA1029345A1, DE2516089A1
Publication numberUS 3903674 A, US 3903674A, US-A-3903674, US3903674 A, US3903674A
InventorsBrush John Burke, Hooper Leonard Cecil
Original AssigneeProcter & Gamble
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Packaging apparatus
US 3903674 A
Images(13)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Brush et al. Sept. 9, 1975 PACKAGING APPARATUS {57] ABSTRACT Inventors! J Burke u Ih Coll g An apparatus for forming substantially uniform pack- Hill; Leonard Cecil p ages wherein a metered plurality of articles of substan- Cinc'mnati both 0f Ohio tially uniform shape are disposed in a stacked array [73] Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company, Within a sealed bag. The apparatus comprises a turret Cincinnati Ohio head, a bag opening station, a bag filling station, and a bag sealing and package removal station. A bag is Filedi P 1974 opened and inserted into the turret head at the bag [2i] AppL No; 461,322 opening station. Then, after indexing the turret to advance the opened bag to the bag filllng station, a metered plurality of articles are advanced into the bag Then, upon indexing the turret to advance the filled 5 bag to the bag sealing and package removal station, l 1 (12 B651?. 365B the bag is sealed and the package just completed is re 3653 43/30; B653 43/60 moved from the apparatus. In operation, while a bag is Field of Search 53/187, 188, 190, 253, being opened and inserted into the turret head at the /2 336 bag opening and insertion station, the next preceding bag is being filled at the bag filling station, and the References Cited second preceding bag is being sealed and the package UNITED STATES PATENTS completed by sealing the bag is removed from the ap- 2,601,480 6/1952 Williams 53/188 x Paratus the bag Sealing and Package removal 3,465,499 9/1969 Nelson et al 53/386 3,6l8,286 ll/l97l Membrino 53/384 X Primary Examiner-Robert L. Spruill Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Thomas .l. Slone; John V. Gorman; Richard C. Witte 9 Claims, 37 Drawing Figures PATENTEU 9 975 Sl m 2 3,903,674

hill

PATENTED 1975 Fig. 6a

OPERATING SEQUENCES 0F BAG OPENlN AND INSERTION STATION 62.

WITH RESPECT TO INDEXING TURRET HEAD 6| MACHINE DEGREES PICK-OFF BAG (FULL RIGHT) PICK-OFF CARRIAGE DELIVERY (FULL LEFTF BAG ON PICK-OFF VACUUM SHOE 22 OFF- BAG FACING P|CK OFF MAGAZINE SW'VEL FACING HEAD OPPOSITE A MAGAZINE BAG EXTENDED MOUTH (FULL RIGHT) SPREADING 'Q RETRACTED (FULL LEFT) BAG MOUTH SPREADING VACUUM cUP I37 0FF- IN VACUUM BOX FULLY MANDREL RETRACTED I50 EXPANDED (BAG OPEN) COLLAPSED INDEXING TURRET HEAD 6| STATIONARY PATENTEUSEP 9197s 3' 903 674 SHEET 4 Fig. 6b OPERATING SEQUENCES OF BAG FILLING STATION 63 WITH RESPECT TO INDEXING TURRET HEAD 6| MACHTNE DEGREES 0 9p I O 2T0 360 UP (BLOCKING) GATE DOWN METERING sPEAR D0 N w (BLOCKING) VIBRATING- VACUUM SLEEVE 85 NOT VIBRATING SWEEP DOWN CARRIAGE OUT- INDEXING TuRRET HEAD STATIONARY PAIEIIIEII EP ms Fig. 6c

OPERATING SEQUENCES OF BAG SEALING AND REMOVAL STATION 64 WITH RESPECT TO INDEXING TURRET HEAD 6| MACHINE DEGREES BAG MOUTH DOWN SEALING SPACED JAWS cI osED BAG D MOUTH Ow SPREADING FINGERS SPREAD soI, 302

CLOSED PACKAGE PICKUP- TAKE-AWAY ARM 344 DELIVERY PICK-UP- PACKAGE 3 TAKE-AWAY N DELIVERY SWIVEL v HEAD 3 ON 340 u u M OFF- INDEX TURRET HEAD TURRET 'RoTATEs |2o HEAD 6| STATIONARY Closing (ZS-l3 heats the heat seal ribbon; After 3 Or 4 seconds K-l Operates to open contacts to end heat pulse HEAT SEAL RIBBON SHEET ll5\ AC. TIE M-l Drive Motor 1 l SPEED 90v DC. l RUN Max.

t: 5 V AC i1i.l sOLENOID VALVE Energize sOL-I to rotate swivel 30H head 20 CCW on package pick- 1 off arm CS; SOLENO|D VALVE Energize 301:2 YO FOTOTG swivel head 50 ccw on package pick- LJ off arm L fi SOLENOID VALVE Energize SOL-3 to half close 1 I SOL-3 sealing jaws I..- i; SOLENOID VALVE Energize SOL-4 to fully close 1 SOL-4 sealing jaws l 5;? SOLENOID VALVE Energize SOL-5 In close spreader erf J SOL-5 fIngers SOLENOID VALVE Energize SOL-6 to lower chip C SOL-6 flow gate SOLENOID VALVE Energize SOL? to raise chip 80b? metering spear sOLENOID VALVE Energize SOL-8 In turn vacuum i SOL-8 Shoe off l fji SOLENOID VALVE Energize soL-s to turn bagl SOL-9 mouth-spreading vacuum cup on SOLENOID VALVE Energize sOL-IO to swivel head |2I 1 SOL-I0 to face magazine 8l i i ",L SOLENOID vALvE Energize SOL-ll to expand l SOL-ll mandrel I50 g g SOLENOID VALVE Energize SOl:|2 to telescope I SOL-l2 mandrel I50 into bag PATENTEU 35? 91975 SHEET SHEET PATENTEDSEP mm I92 Flg. 30

PACKAGING APPARATUS FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to machines for packaging articles in bags. More specifically, the invention is directed towards packaging metered pluralities of frangible articles of uniform non-planar shape so that the plurality of articles are disposed within a sealed bag in a stacked nested array.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In order to preserve the freshness and appearance of frangible comestible products such as potato chip-type snack food products emerging from a processor, it is highly desirable to package them forthwith in bags'or containers having freshness preserving barrier properties and sufficient strength to protect the structural integrity of the products. Moreover, for marketing purposes, it is highly desirable to have a predetermined metered amount of such products in unit packages. It is also desirable, to conserve shipping and warehousing expense, to package such products so that the packages have relatively high weight-to-volume ratios.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,609,939 issued Oct. 5, 1971 to L. C. Hooper et al. discloses an apparatus for the metering and packaging of fragile articles of substantially uniform size and non-planar shape in cylindrical tubular containers so that the articles are disposed within the containers in nested, stacked arrays. Such packages comprising nested stacked arrays are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,498,798 issued Mar. 3, 1970 to F. J. Baur et al.

The present invention is a relatively high speed turret-type apparatus for packaging metered stacked arrays of articles of uniform non-planar shape within sealed bags having good freshness preserving barrier properties.

A consideration of prior art apparatus for opening, filling, and sealing bags to product substantially uniform bag-packages indicated a lack of suitable apparatus for high speed bag-packaging of fragile articles such as potato chips without excessive breakage.

Prior art turret type-bag filling apparatuses are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,834,166 issued May 13, 1958 to Joseph W. Fogwell et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 2,964,892 issued Dec. 20, 1960 to Henri Grosjean. Representative prior art apparatuses for opening and filling bags are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,975,568 issued Mar. 21, 1961 to D. W. Garnett, U.S. Pat. No. 3,363,397 issued Jan. 16, 1968 to Bernard Abel Lespcau, U.S. Pat. No. 3,468,102 issued Sept. 23, 1969 to Malone H. Farrar, U.S. Pat. No. 3,527,021 issued Sept. 8, 1970 to Robert W. Pitts et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 3,545,175 issued Dec. 8, 1970 to Nils A. Lillund. However, none of the discovered prior art apparatuses has solved all of the problems associated with relatively high speed bag-packaging in the manner of nor to the degree of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The nature and substance of the invention will be more readily appreciated after giving consideration to its major aims and purposes. The principal objects of the invention are recited in the ensuing paragraphs in order to provide a better appreciation of its important aspects prior to describing the details of a preferred embodiment in later portions of this description.

A principal object of the present invention is providing a packaging apparatus for filling and sealing bags with metered pluralities of articles of uniform nonplanar shape disposed in nested arrays.

Another object of the present invention is providing a packaging apparatus as described in the preceding paragraph wherein no bag opening forces are imposed on the articles being packaged so that fragile and frangible articles can be packaged in bags composed of relatively stiff sheet materials without excessive breakage of the articles.

Yet another object of the present invention is providing a turret-type bag-packaging apparatus in which bags are fully opened prior to being indexed to a filling position or station.

Still another object of the present invention is providing a turret-type bag-packaging apparatus which comprises means for receiving an endless stream of articles of uniform non-planar shape, means for forming metered stacked arrays of such articles within each bag of a succession of bags, and means for sealing and removing the packages thus formed from the apparatus.

Yet still another object of the present invention is providing a multi-lane turret-type bag-packaging apparatus comprising bag opening means, and bag sealing means wherein the major dimensions of the components and their movements for each lane are arranged so that the apparatus has a reasonable total width.

A still further object of the present invention is providing an apparatus for producing packages wherein metered stacked arrays of articles of uniform nonplanar shape are disposed in substantially tetrahedralshape, sealed bags.

These and other objects of the present invention are achieved by providing a turret-type apparatus for filling and sealing bags with metered pluralities of articles of uniform non-planar shape which apparatus includes a frame, a turret head having three circumferentially spaced radially extending bag-accommodating vacuum sleeves, means for sequentially indexing each sleeve to a bag insertion position, a bag filling position, and a bag sealing and removal position. The apparatus further includes means disposed adjacent the bag insertion position for fully opening a bag and inserting it into a vacuum sleeve, and means for filling, and for sealing and removing bags sequentially indexed to the filling, and the sealing and removal positions respectively.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter regarded as forming the present invention, it is believed the invention will be better understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, side elevational view of a preferred embodiment packaging apparatus having the near side plate removed to more clearly show the functional elements of the apparatus.

FIG. 2 is a frontal view of a type of gussetless bag having one sealed end which type of bag is suitable for being opened, filled, and sealed in the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 to form tetrahedral-shape packages.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a saddle shape, nonplanar article which is suitable for being packaged in metered nested arrays by the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an alternate nonplanar shape article which is suitable for being packaged in metered nested arrays.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a tetrahedral-shape package comprising a bag of the type shown in FIG. 2 and a stacked nested array of uniform articles having the saddle-shape shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6a is a chart showing the operating sequences of the Bag Opening and Insertion Station with respect to indexing of the turret head of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6b is a chart showing the operating sequences of the Bag Filling Station with respect to indexing the turret head of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6c is a chart showing the operating sequences of the Bag Scaling and Package Removal Station with respect to indexing the turret head of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is an electrical schematic showing cam controlled elements for achieving, in combination with directly driven members, the apparatus sequences shown in FIGS. 6a, 6b, and 6c in predetermined timed relation.

FIG. 8, sheet 10, is an enlarged scale, fragmentary sectional side elevational view of the turret head of the apparatus of FIG. 1 sectioned by a medial plane per pendicular to shaft 91 with a vacuum sleeve indexed at the bag filling position adjacent to and aligned with a horizontally extending vibratory feed trough.

FIGS. 9 through 18 inclusive are sequential, fragmentary side elevational views of the bag opening and insertion station of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 which views show, in conjunction with FIG. I, withdrawing a bag from a magazine, fully opening the bag, and inserting the fully opened bag into an indexed vacuum sleeve mounted on the turret head of the apparatus.

FIG. 19 is an enlarged scale, fragmentary perspective view of the bag magazine and the bag pick-off swivel head of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 20 is an enlarged scale fragmentary perspective view taken in the direction of the face of the bag pickoff vacuum shoe of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 21 is an enlarged scale fragmentary view of the distal portion of the bag opening mandrel taken along line 21-21 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 22 is a fragmentary end view of the distal portion of the mandrel shown in FIG. 21 after the mandrel has been operated to its expanded state.

FIG. 23 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the distal portion of the mandrel shown in FIG. 22 which view is taken along line 23-23 of FIG. 22.

FIG. 24, sheet 11, is an enlarged scale, fragmentary perspective view facing the radially outwardly disposed end of a turret mounted vacuum sleeve of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIGS. 25 through 34 inclusive are fragmentary side elevational views of portions of the bag filling station of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 which views show filling a bag, and then rotating the turret head to advance the filled bag towards the bag sealing and package removal station of the apparatus.

FIG. 35 is a fragmentary sectional side elevational view of the bag sealing and package removal station of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 at the point in the cycle of the apparatus that a filled bag has just arrived at the bag sealing and removal station.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A preferred embodiment of the present invention, packaging apparatus 60, is shown, FIG. 1, to include a turret head 61, a bag opening and insertion station 62, a bag filling station 63, a bag sealing and package removal station 64, a frame 65, and drive and synchronization means 66 only part of which is shown in FIG. I.

Briefly, a bag 70, FIG. 2, is withdrawn from magazine 81, FIGS. 1, 9 and 10, opened, FIGS. 11 through 14, and inserted, FIGS. 16 and 17, into a vacuum sleeve 85 on turret head 61. Upon indexing the turret head 120 degrees clockwise, bag is filled at the bag filling station with articles 68 such as article 68a, FIG. 3, or article 6812, FIG. 4, and, upon indexing turret head 61 another 120 clockwise, bag 70 is disposed at the bag sealing and package removal position where it is sealed at its top end 73, FIG. 5, and package 67, FIG. 5, is removed from apparatus 60. Package 67, FIG. 5, comprises a nested array 74 of articles 68a sealed within bag 70. For convenience, the remainder of the description of the preferred embodiment apparatus 60 will be limited to its use with saddle-shape articles 680, FIG. 3 which articles are hereinafter designated chips.

The ensuing description details the sequences, FIGS. 60, 6b and 6c, of opening a bag 70 and inserting it into a vacuum sleeve 85, and then filling, sealing the bag, and removing the package 67 thus formed from apparatus 60. It is to be understood, however, that when apparatus 60 is in operation, stations 62, 63, and 64 perform operations concurrently. That is, while a bag 70 is being withdrawn from magazine 71, opened, and in serted into a vacuum sleeve on turret head 61, the next preceding bag is advanced to and filled at the bag filling station 63, and, the second preceding bag is advanced to and sealed and removed from apparatus 60 at the bag sealing and removal station 64.

Bags 70, FIG. 2, prior to being opened, filled, and sealed, are flat and gussetless, and have one end 71 sealed. Bags 70 also have a side seam 72, FIG. 2. Bags 70 composed of relatively stiff, heat sealable glassine have been used in apparatus 60, FIG. 1, and are preferred for packaging uniform frangible comestible articles 68 of such non-planar configurations as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 in nested arrays 74 as shown in package 67, FIG. 5. As used above, glassine is relatively stiff with respect to one-half-mil or one-mil polyethylene.

For clarity, some of the driving mechanism of apparatus 60 is not shown in the figures. It is to be understood, however, throughout the following description that drive and synchronization means 66, FIG. 1, includes means such as cranks, gears, chains and earns for directly operating some members of apparatus 60, and, through suitable camming means, FIG. 7, for controlling pneumatically operated machine members whereby the operations indicated in FIGS. 6a, 6b and 6c are cyclically performed in the indicated timed relationships. The directly driven members and the cam controlled pneumatically operated members will be delineated hereinafter as such become relevant.

TURRET HEAD Turret head 61, FIG. 1, of the preferred embodiment apparatus 60 comprises three radially extending vacuum sleeves 85 which are identified for convenience on FIG. 1 as 85a, 85b, and 85c. The vacuum sleeves 85 are spaced circumferentially 120 apart on turret head 61 about shaft 91. As shown in FIG. 1, turret head 61 is indexed with vacuum sleeve 85a at the bag insertion position, vacuum sleeve 85h at the bag filling position. and vacuum sleeve 850 at the bag sealing and package removal position. Drive and synchronization means 66 periodically rotates the turret head 61 120 whereby the vacuum sleeves 85 are periodically advanced from position to position; reference FIGS. 60. 6b, and 6c. The period between the arrival of a vacuum sleeve at one position and the next position is hereby defined as 360 machine degrees as that term is used on FIGS. 6a, 6b, and 60.

Each vacuum sleeve 85 is secured by means 89, FIG. 8, sheet 10, on turret head 61 which is rotatably mounted in apparatus 60 on shaft 91. Turret head 61, FIG. 1, further comprises three camming blocks 92, three shafts 93, three arms 94, three cam follower rollers 95 secured to the distal ends of arms 94, ratchet wheel 99, and means not shown in the figures for connecting and valving a vacuum source to each vacuum sleeve 85 through tubes 97 which rotate with turret head 61, and tube 98 which is stationary.

Ratchet wheel 99 is affixed to shaft 91, and shafts 93 are affixed to ratchet wheel 99 in circumferentially spaced and parallel relation thereto so that shafts 93 extend transverse apparatus 60 and describe circular paths about the axis of turret 61 as turret 61 is periodically indexed.

As will hereinafter be described more fully, cam 76, FIG. 1, is non-rotatably secured to frame 65 of apparatus 60. Cam 76 is not affixed to shaft 91.

Referring now to FIG. 8, turret head 61 also comprises two plates 200 (only the far side of which is shown in FIG. 8) which plates 200 are secured in spaced relation to three vacuum conduits 201 which extend parallel to shaft 91 and which are spaced circumferentially thcreabout at 120 intervals. Three cylindrical guides 96 are secured by pins 202 to plates 200 so that they extend generally radially therefrom.

Each guide 96, FIG. 8, has a bushing block 203, a first compression spring 204, a pillow block 205, and a second compression spring 206 telescoped thereover in that order and retained on the guide 96 by retainer 207 affixed to the distal end of guide 96. Thus, as shown in FIG. 8, bushing block 203 is slidably biased rightwardly against a shoulder on plate 200 and pillow block 205 is slidably biased to an intermediate position on guide 96.

Means 89, FIG. 8, for securing vacuum sleeve 85 to turret head 61 comprises chassis 210, links 211, 212, tension spring 213, and pivot pins 214 through 217. Briefly, vacuum sleeve 85 is cradled above chassis 210 on an articulable parallelogram comprising links 211 and 212 having their upper ends rotatably secured by pivot pins 214, 215 respectively to bosses depending from vacuum sleeve 85, and which links 211, 212 have their lower ends rotatably secured by pivot pins 216, 217 to upwardly extending bosses on chassis 210. Chassis 210 is secured intermediate two transversely spaced pillow blocks 205 which pillow blocks 205 are slidably mounted on guides 96 as described above.

Link 212, FIG. 8, includes a stop portion 218. Tension spring 213 is disposed under tension intermediate an upstanding boss 219 on chassis 210 and pivot pin 215 whereby vacuum sleeve 85 is biased counterclockwise with respect to chassis 210 until the distal end of stop-portion 218 of link 212 abuts the upwardly facing surface of chassis 210. When the linkage is thus biased to this stop position, links 211, 212 lean 17 counterclockwise from vertical for a reason which is stated hereinafter in conjunction with describing the bag filling station 63, FIG. 1.

Referring back to FIG. 8, bushing block 203 was described as being slidably mounted on guide 96 and biased rightwardly by springs 204, 206 to abut a shoulder on plate 200. Bracket 225 is cantilevered upwardly from bushing block 203. Camming block 92 is affixed to bracket 225 through the use of two pins 226, two retainers 227, and two compression springs 228 so that camming block 92 is biased away from bracket 225 for a purpose explained hereinafter.

Bushing block 203, FIG. 8, also has a bracket 229 depending from it. Bracket 229, link 330, arm 231 affixed to shaft 93, and pivot pins 232, 233 provide articulable means intermediate shaft 93 and bushing block 203 to reciprocate bushing block 203 on guide 96 upon oscillation of shaft 93 as is described more fully hereinafter in conjunction with describing the displacement of filled bags from vacuum sleeves 85.

Referring still to FIG. 8, vacuum is connected to each vacuum sleeve 85 through a flexible tube 97 and an associated vacuum conduit 201. In order to facilitate bag insertion, sealing, and removal, vacuum is applied (by means not shown) to the vacuum conduits in timed relation with the insertion of a bag at the bag opening and insertion station, and each vacuum conduit is vented by means not shown as its associated vacuum sleeve is indexed from the bag filling position to the bag sealing and package removal position.

Vacuum sleeve 85, FIG. 24, comprises side walls 240, 241, bottom wall 242, and an arched top wall 243. Side walls 240, 241 are parallel to each other and perpendicular to bottom wall 242. Bottom wall 242 has a longitudinally extending concave groove 244 in it. Side walls 240, 242 and bottom wall 242 are of double wall construction and are provided with ports 86 whereby vacuum can be applied to the sleeve to secure a bag disposed therein. When vacuum sleeve is indexed at the bag loading position, FIG. 8, bottom wall 242 is substantially horizontal whereby the groove 244 becomes a quasi track to guide a stream of articles from trough into a bag disposal in vacuum sleeve 85, and the orthogonal relationships between the side walls 240, 241 and bottom wall 242 substantially preclude the articles from spiraling into the bag.

BAG OPENING AND INSERTION Bag opening station 62, FIG. 1, comprises magazine 81, bag pick-off assembly 100, bag spreading assembly 101, and bag opening and insertion assembly 102.

Magazine 81, FIG. 19, comprises a bottom wall 105, side walls 106 and 107, and lips 108, 109, and 110. Side walls 106, 107 extend substantially parallel and vertically, and are spaced sufficiently to provide clearance for a plurality of bags 70 disposed therein in upstanding relation with bottom wall 105. The distal edges 111, l 12, of lips 108, 109 respectively are spaced sufficiently close to require folding the vertical edge portions of bags 70 to pass a bag 70 between lips 108, 109, and to clear lip 110. The infeed end 114 and the top of magazine 81 are open to enable inserting more bags into magazine 81 without interrupting the operation of apparatus 60.

Magazine 81 is secured to frame 65, FIG. 1, with its bottom wall 105 inclined upwardly and to the right at with respect to horizontal. Thus, bags 70 will gravitate leftwardly and downwardly to the discharge end 113 of magazine 81 and lean against lips 108, 109 from whence they will be picked off one at a time by pick-off assembly 100, FIGS. 1 and 9.

Magazine 81 of the preferred embodiment apparatus 60 further includes biasing means not shown to assist the gravitation of bags 70 towards the discharge end 113 of magazine 81 in the event the coefficient of frietion between bags 70 and magazine 81 inhibits free gravitation of the bags to the discharge end of the magazine 81. It is believed that the provision of such biasing means is well within the capabilities of persons having ordinary skill in the dispensing and packaging arts.

Referring now to FIG. 9, bag pick-off assembly 100 comprises carriage 120, swivel head 121, vacuum shoe I22, transverse beams 123, 124, two parallel guides 125 (only the nearest one of which is visible in FIG. 9), crank 126, and link 127. Guides 125 have their ends secured in transverse beams 123, 124 which are secured to frame 65 of apparatus 60. In the preferred embodiment apparatus 60, guides 125 are inclined upwardly and to the right, FIG. 9, at 30 above horizontal.

Carriage 120, FIG. 9, extends generally transverse apparatus 60, and is slidably mounted on guides 125.

Swivel head 121, FIG. 9, is rotatably secured to carriage 120 and comprises vacuum shoe 122, FIG. 20. An air-actuator-driven rack and pinions 128, FIG. 9, is provided to rotate swivel head 12] back and forth through an angle of 180 so that vacuum shoe 122 can face magazine 81, FIG. 1, and oppositely therefrom, FIG. 10.

Vacuum shoe 122, FIG. 20, comprises a plurality of vacuum cups 130 and internal passageways whereby a source of vacuum is applied to vacuum cups 130 at the time indicated on the sequence chart, FIG. 6a. This enables vacuum shoe 122 to pick-offa bag 70 from magazine 81, FIGS. 1 and 19, and hold the bag until it is fully opened as shown in FIG. 14.

Carriage 120, FIG. 9, is connected through articulable link 127 and crank 126 to shaft 129 which is caused to oscillate in a predetermined timed relationship with other members of apparatus 60 by drive and synchronization means 66, FIG. 1. When shaft 129 oscillates, carriage 120 is reciprocated between a BAG PICK- OF F position, FIG. 1, and a BAG OPENING position, FIG. 10.

In operation, while carriage 120 is being moved from the BAG PICK-OFF position, FIG. 1, to the BAG OPENING position, FIG. 10, vacuum is applied to vacuum shoe 122, and swivel head 121 is rotated 180 whereby a bag 70 is removed from magazine 81 and po sitioned at the BAG OPENING position. This sequence is shown in FIGS. 1, 9, and 10.

After a bag 70 has been opened, FIG. 14, carriage 120 is backed away as shown in FIG. 15. Then, swivel head 121 is rotated as shown in FIGS. 16 and 17 while carriage 120 is moved further rightwardly to reposition vacuum shoe I22 adjacent magazine 81 so that bag pick-off assembly 100 can repeat its cycle.

Bag spreading assembly 101, FIG. 9, comprises can riage I35, vacuum plunger 136, vacuum cup 137, spring 138, retainer 139, link 140, crank 141, shaft 142, and means not shown for porting vacuum to vacuum cup 137 through vacuum plunger 136 in timed re lation, FIG. 6a, with the movement of carriage 135.

Bag-spreading carriage 135 is slidably mounted on guides so that it can be reciprocated between a RE TRACTED position, FIG. 10, and an EXTENDED position, FIG. 11.

Vacuum plunger 136 is siidingly engaged in an upstanding portion of carriage 135, and is biased rightwardly by spring 138. Vacuum cup 137 is disposed on the distal end of vacuum plunger 136. When carriage is moved to its EXTENDED position, FIG. 11, vacuum cup 137 is biased by spring 138 against the left side of bag 70 disposed at the BAG OPENING position.

Carriage 135 is articulably connected to shaft 142 through link 140 and crank 141 so that oscillation of shaft 142 by drive and synchronization means 66 causes carriage 135 to reciprocate in timed relation with other members of apparatus 60. As indicated on the sequence chart, FIG. 6a, operation of the bag spreading assembly 101 causes the mouth of bag 70 to be spread open as indicated in FIG. 12. Then, carriage 135 is caused to be partially retraced as shown in FIG. 15 after the bag is opened fully as shown in FIG. 14.

Bag opening and insertion assembly 102, FIG. 9, comprises an expansible/collapsible mandrel 150, means 151 for expanding and collapsing mandrel as indicated in FIGS. 14 and 18 respectively, pneu matic actuator 152 and mandrel guides 153 for operating the mandrel 150 between a RETRACTED position and an EXTENDED position as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13 respectively, and carriage 154, guides 155, blocks 156, articulable link 157., crank 158, and shaft 159.

Guides 155, FIG. 9, are secured intermediate blocks 156 secured to frame 65 of apparatus 60 so that the guides extend parallel to the longitudinal centerline ofa vacuum sleeve 85 disposed at the bag insertion position as shown in FIGS. 1 and 9.

Carriage 154 is slidingly mounted on guides 155 for reciprocation between an UP and a DOWN position as shaft 159 is oscillated by drive and synchronization means 66. Carriage 154 is drivingly connected to shaft 159 through articulable link 157 and crank 158.

The upper end of the body of actuator 152, FIG. 9, and the lower ends of two transversely spaced mandrel guides 153 (only the nearest one being visible in FIG. 9) are secured to carriage 154 so that actuator 152 and guide 153 are in parallel relationship to guides 155. The mandrel assembly 150 is siidingly mounted on mandrel guides 153 and is attached to the distal end of the piston rod of actuator 152 which piston rod is obscured in the figures by the nearest mandrel guide 153.

THE MANDREL Mandrel 150, FIG. 9, comprises two blades, 161, 162. As shown in FIG. 21 taken along line 21-21 of FIG. 1, the tips of blades 161, 162 have rounded corners 163 and 164, and a concave central portion 165.

The rounded corners 163, 164 of mandrel blades 161, 162, enable the sealed end of a bag 70 to be thrust into a vacuum sleeve 85 (as is hereinafter more fully described) without tearing the bag. Rather than tearing, the closed end of the bag folds over the rounded corners 163, 164 of mandrel blades 161. 162.

The concave central portions 165 of the tips of man drel blades 161, 162, FIG. 21, is provided to enable the sealed end 71 of bag 70, FIG. 2, to be wrapped far enough around camming block 92, FIG. 17, to enable using the camming block as a means for orienting articles 68 packaged therewithin as is described more fully hereinafter.

FIG. 22 is an end view ofthe blades 161, 162 of mandrel 150 in the expanded state. When thus expanded, the mandrel is sufficient size to fully open a bag 70 to provide a slip-fit into a vacuum sleeve 85. The transverse cross section of an opened bag is made to be sufficiently like the cross section of a tubular vacuum sleeve 85, FIG. 24, so that vacuum applied through ports 86 will retain the bag within the vacuum sleeve while the mandrel is collapsed and withdrawn.

In operation, after a bag 70 has been partially opened by the bag spreading assembly 101 as shown in FIG. 12, the piston rod of actuator 152 is extended, FIG. 13, to telescope the blades 161, 162 of mandrel 150 into bag 70 while the mandrel is collapsed (blades together). Then, the piston rod of actuator 166 of means 151 for expanding/collapsing mandrel 150 is extended to expand mandrel 150 to fully open bag 70 as indicated in FIG. 14. After the bag pick-off carriage 120 and the bag spreading carriage 135 are backed-off sufficiently to space vacuum shoe 122 and vacuum cup 137 respectively from the opened bag as shown in FIG. 15, shaft 159 is rotated clockwise, FIGS. 16 and 17, to thrust the opened bag into a vacuum sleeve 85 so that the open end of bag 70 is slightly recessed in vacuum sleeve 85 and the closed end of bag 70 is wrapped around camming block 92. At this point in the sequence of apparatus 60, FIG. 6a, vacuum is applied to vacuum sleeve 85 to secure bag 70 therewithin until after the bag is filled as hereinafter described. Then, mandrel 150 is collapsed, FIG. 18, and fully retracted to the position shown in FIG. 1.

To summarize the operation of the bag opening and insertion station 62, a bag 70 is picked from magazine 81 by vacuum shoe 122, FIG. 1, rotated and translated, FIG. 9, to the BAG OPENING position, FIG. 10. Then, while turret head 61 is indexing clockwise, the unsealeu end of bag 70 is spread open, FIG. 10, and the bag is fully opened by mandrel 150, FIG. 14. Then, after turret head 61 has been indexed. bag 70 is deposited in a vacuum sleeve 85, reference FIGS. 16 through 18, and the station 62 is restored to the configuration shown in FIG. 1.

BAG FILLING STATION The bag filling station 63, FIG. 25, comprises article receiving and metering means 170, vibrating feed means 171, means 172 for camming a turret mounted vacuum sleeve 85 into abutting relationship with vibratory feed means 171, and article sweeping means 173. As shown in FIG. 25, the elements of the bag filling station 63 and the associated adjacent portions of turret head 61 are in their respective positions at the point in a cycle of apparatus 60 just after vacuum sleeve 85b has been indexed to the bag filling position.

Briefly, articles 68a are received at apparatus 60 in shingled relation, metered between speer 174 and gate 175, advanced by vibratory feed means 171 into an open bag 70 disposed in vacuum sleeve 85b, and secured in bag 70 by block 176 of article sweeping means 173 until the turret head 61 rotates far enough to tilt the bag 70 sufficiently upward to cause the articles 680 to be retained in bag 70 by gravity.

Articles 68a, hereinafter referred to as chips, are received at apparatus 60 in shingled relation which shingling is effected by up-stream apparatus such as disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,677,391 issued July 18, 1972 to Richard A. Schaeffer. A conveyed endless stream of shingled chips is received by article receiving and metering means in a trough or guide 177 and metered into discrete arrays 74 in the manner disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,609,939 issued Oct. 5, 1971 to L. C. Hooper ct al.

Article receiving and metering means 170, FIG. 25, comprises speer 174, gate 175, receiving-trough 177, speer actuator 178, gate actuator 179, means not shown for activating actuators 178, 179 in timed relation with other machine functions, FIG. 6b, and vibratory means shown for advancing a metered array of chips 68a rightwardly to a forwarding-trough 180 which is a part of vibratory feed means 171.

To meter an array of chips 68a, speer 174 is retracted upwardly to a position above the stream of chips while gate is disposed at its UP position where it will block the advancement of the stream of chips. After the stream of chips reaches gate 175, speer 174 is moved to its down position by actuator 178 whereby the speer will be disposed between the left end of a metered array 74 of chips and the right end of a surging endless stream of chips. Later, when the gate 175 is retracted to its DOWN position by actuator 179, the metered array 74 of chips will be advanced rightwardly while the speer 174 continues to block the upstream chips.

Vibratory feed means 171 comprises forwardingtrough mounted on a vibrator 181 such as Model HS 10, Style 26 manufactured by Eriez Magnetics Division of Eriez Manufacturing Company, Erie, Pennsylvania and which is powered by 115 volt, 60 cycle alternating current.

Vacuum sleeve camming means 172, FIG. 25, acts on pillow blocks 205, FIG. 8, to move vacuum sleeve 85b leftwardly, FIG. 26, into a spring biased abutting relationship with plastic spacer 182 affixed to trough 180, at which position it is caused to vibrate synchronously with trough 180 by vibrator 181, FIG. 27.

Vibrator 181 acts on trough 180 through the linkage shown in FIG. 27 at an angle of 17 above horizontal. Thus, vibrator 181 acts tangent to links 211, 212, FIG. 8, to cause vacuum sleeve 85 to oscillate on its parallelogram cradle when vacuum sleeve 85 abuts spacer 182. This oscillation induced by vibrator 181 at an angle 17 above horizontal essentially causes articles 68a to skip along trough 180 and into a bag disposed in vacuum sleeve 85. That is, upon retraction of gate 175 downwardly to its DOWN position, FIG. 27, a metered array 74 of chips 68a are advanced along trough 180 by the action of vibrator 181 to advance the chips in a skipping manner into the bag 70 as indicated in FIG. 28 until the leading chip reaches the closed end of bag 70 and leans against camming block 92. The leftwardly facing, vertically extending surface of camming block 92 is convex so that the first saddle shape chip 68a wraps somewhat about the camming block whereby the array 74 is stabilized to prevent rotation of the array of chips in the bag which rotation might otherwise be precipitated by the action of vibrator 181.

Article sweeping means 173, FIG. 25, comprises trapeze 188, sweep carriage 192, two compression springs 194 (only the near one being visib'le), latching means 195, pawl 196, and sweep arm 197 secured to sweep shaft 198.

Trapeze 188, FIG. 25, is a U-shaped assemblage comprising two transversely spaced rods 190 (only the near one being shown in FIG. 25), a spreader bar 189, and two end blocks 191. The two end blocks 19] are rotatably mounted on shaft 91 of turret head 61 in transversely spaced relation. An end of each rod 190 is secured to an end block and the other ends of rods 190 are secured to opposite ends of spreader bar 189 so that rods 190 are parallel and extend radially intermediate spreader bar 189 and end blocks 19I. Thus trapeze 188 has rotational freedom about shaft 91 of turret 61.

Sweep carriage 192 extends transverse apparatus 60 and has its ends slidably fitted on rods 190 whereby carriage 192 has a degree of radial freedom on rods 190.

Sweeping block 176 is cantilevered from a central position on sweep carriage 192 on spring arm 193 so that when the article sweeping means 173 is disposed in the UP position shown in FIG. 25. an array of articles can be forwarded underneath sweeping block 176, and when means 173 is disposed in the DOWN position shown in FIG. 24, sweeping block 176 is disposed in trough I80.

Sweep carriage latching means 195, FIG. 25, comprises latch-block 275, cam following 276, shaft 277, catch 278, and tension spring 279. Block 275 is rigidly secured to rod 190 by pin 280. Shaft 277 is rotatably mounted in block 275 with cam follower 276 rigidly secured to one end and with catch 278 rigidly secured to its opposite end. Catch 278 is normally biased counterclockwise against a portion of block 275 by tension spring 279 so that it is normally in the position shown in FIG. 25.

Compression spring 194, FIG. 25, is telescoped over rod 190 and compressed so that it is disposed intermediate sweep carriage I92 and latch-block 275. In this manner, spring 194 biases sweep carriage 192 radially outwardly against spreader bar 189.

Still referring to FIG. 25, article sweeping means 173 has been supported above trough 180 through the above described portion of the filling cycle. The means 173 was supported on a pair of pads 185 secured to the distal ends of piston rods 186 extended upwardly from a pair of actuators 187 only one of each pair being shown in the figures because they are symmetrically disposed on the opposite sides of trough 180. As thus supported, sweeping block 176 does not interfere with chips advancing thereunder. However, when the last chip of array 74 has advanced rightwardly past block 176, FIG. 28, piston rods 186 are caused, FIGS. 6b and 7, to retract whereby trapeze 188 is lowered to the position indicated in FIG. 29. This positions block 176 in trough 180 so that rightward movement of carriage 189 will sweep the last chips of array 74 into bag 70.

After trapeze 188 has been lowered, FIG. 29, by actuator 187, sweep shaft 198 is rotated clockwise through a predetermined angle by a camming portion of drive and synchronization means 66 whereby it rotates sweep arm 197 to the position indicated in FIG. 30. The distal end of sweep arm 197 acts on sweep carriage 192 to move it rightwardly (radially inwardly) until it is latched by catch 195. During the rightward movement of carriage I92, sweep block 176 acts on the last chip of array 74 in conjunction with the action of vibrator 181 to cause the chips comprising array 74 to stand upright in bag 70 as indicated in FIG. 30. The

convex-shaped vertically extending surface of camming block 92 described hereinbefore also contributes to causing the array of chips to stand upright.

When an array of chips has thus been arranged in a bag at the bag filling station, FIG. 30, and the nose of sweeping block 176 is within the mouth of bag and lightly spring biased on spring arm 193 against the left end of the array of chips, shaft 184 of vacuum sleeve camming means 172, FIG. 31, is rotated clockwise. This rotates arm 183 secured thereto so that the camming means secured to its distal end moves away from block 205 under vacuum sleeve b. This enables compression spring 206 to slide block 205 rightwardly on guide 96 whereby the left end of vacuum sleeve 85b is spaced from spacer 182 secured to the right end of trough 180. This uncouples vacuum sleeve from the action of vibrator 181 and provides clearance for the turret head to be indexed by rotating shaft 91, FIG. 32, clockwise.

After thus arranging and blocking an array of chips in bag 70, drive and synchronization means 66 begins to synchronously rotate turret head 61 and trapeze 188 clockwise. More specifically, trapeze 188 is rotated clockwise because ratchet wheel 99 is affixed to and rotates with turret head 61 while trapeze-mounted pawl 196 is engaged with a tooth of ratchet wheel 99.

As trapeze 188 is rotated clockwise, FIGS. 32, 33, the distal end of cam follower 276 is cammed clockwise by cam 285 which cam is rigidly secured to frame 65. This releases the latch on carriage 192 which then moves radially outwardly under the influence of springs 194. Still further rotation of the turret head causes the left end of pawl 196 to strike camming block 286 which is secured to frame 65 of apparatus 60. This causes pawl 196 to be disengaged from ratchel wheel 99. Trapeze 188 then falls, FIG. 34, (rotating counterclockwise) onto pads 185 while the turret head 61 continues to rotate to advance the filled bag towards the bag sealing and package removal station 64. As trapeze 188 falls (rotating clockwise), FIG. 34, turret 61 rotates clockwise, ratchet wheel 99 is rotating clockwise and end block 191 is rotating counterclockwise.

The purpose for latching and rotating sweep carriage 192 as described above is to keep sweeping block 176 against the array whereby the array is maintained orderly until the bag is tilted upwardly enough for gravity to maintain the array in order.

As indicated in FIGS. 29, 30, and 32, the next succeeding array 740 of chips has been formed during the operation of article sweeping means 173, and piston rods 186 have been extended upwardly by actuators 187 to catch trapeze 188 at the angle of inclination required to permit the next succeeding array of chips to pass under sweeping block 176.

RADIALLY CAMMING FILLED BAGS As previously described, when a bag is inserted, FIG. 17, into a vacuum sleeve 85 at the bag opening and insertion station 62, its open end is recessed slightly in the radially outwardly disposed end of the vacuum sleeve 85. Therefore, in order for a bag to be sealed and the package 67 thus formed to be removed by the bag sealing and package removal station 64, the filled bag must be moved radially outwardly with respect to the vacuum sleeve 85.

The means for camming a filled bag radially outwardly includes the previously described linkage, FIG.

Patent Citations
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US3618286 *Jun 8, 1970Nov 9, 1971Membrino HerculesBag filling sealing and separating system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3988875 *Nov 5, 1975Nov 2, 1976J. W. Fay & Son, Inc.Apparatus for producing and packaging food chips
US4052838 *May 4, 1976Oct 11, 1977Frito-Lay, Inc.Apparatus for packaging nested, uniformly shaped articles
US4696146 *Jul 11, 1985Sep 29, 1987Amf IncorporatedPackaging machines
US4698953 *Jul 11, 1985Oct 13, 1987Amf IncorporatedBag filling apparatus
US6658821Oct 7, 2002Dec 9, 2003Optima Machinery CorporationBag loading method and assembly for a bag filling station
US6672038Mar 2, 2001Jan 6, 2004Optima Machinery CorporationBag manipulating method and assembly for a bag filling station
US8017166Nov 1, 2004Sep 13, 2011Steven Amory TwittyMethod of producing stackable low-fat snack chips
US8122689Oct 15, 2009Feb 28, 2012Schur International A/SMethod and apparatus for producing, bagging and dispensing ice
US8534034Aug 2, 2012Sep 17, 2013Schur Technology A/SMethod and apparatus for distributing and storing serially produced articles in multiple storage units
EP0908387A1Oct 9, 1998Apr 14, 1999Colt Technologies Inc.Bag filling apparatus and method
WO1986000596A1 *Jul 11, 1985Jan 30, 1986Amf IncImprovements in or relating to packaging machines
WO1986000597A1 *Jul 11, 1985Jan 30, 1986Amf IncImprovements in or relating to bag filling apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/571, 53/253, 53/284.7, 53/386.1
International ClassificationB65B7/02, B65B43/34, B65B7/00, B65B5/06, B65B43/30, B65B43/26, B65B43/42, B65B51/10, B65B43/46
Cooperative ClassificationB65B43/465, B65B43/34, B65B5/064, B65B43/30
European ClassificationB65B43/30, B65B43/34, B65B5/06D, B65B43/46B