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Publication numberUS3905178 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 16, 1975
Filing dateDec 24, 1974
Priority dateAug 21, 1973
Publication numberUS 3905178 A, US 3905178A, US-A-3905178, US3905178 A, US3905178A
InventorsWest John Barth
Original AssigneeWest John Barth
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic container capping and dispensing device
US 3905178 A
Abstract
An automatic container capping and lid dispensing device is provided in which a vertical magazine of stacked horizontally disposed lids is vertically reciprocated toward and away from a vertically disposed container beneath the magazine. Such downward stroke of the magazine releases the lowermost lid therein and seats it on the rim of the container to cap the latter. The return stroke prepares the stack of lids for the next dispensing and capping stroke.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 West 1 Sept. 16, 1975 AUTOMATIC CONTAINER CAPPING AND 1.169,775 10/1914 Cornwall 53/305 DISPENSING DEVICE 1,824,660 9/1931 Damer 53/309 2,088,010 7/1937 Petersen .1 53/305 n entor: John Barth West, Box 187, 2,315,827 4/1943 Tansley 221 297 x Glyndon, Md. 21071 22 Filed; 2 1974 Primary Examiner-Travis S. McGehee Assistant Examiner--Horace M. Culver [211 App! 536103 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Birch and Birch Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 390,243, Aug. 21, 57 A TR 1973, Pat. No. 3,864,898.

An automatic container capping and 11d dispensing de- 52 us. 01. 53/328- 53/309- 221/297 is Pmvided Whih a vertical magazine 51 Int. Cl. 1365B 7/28- 13 678 3/00 Stacked hmimmauy dispmed is vertically [58] Field of Search 53/328 309 287 322 Ward and away fmma vertically diSPsed 53/323 tainer beneath the magazine. Such downward stroke 1 of the magazine releases the lowermost lid therein and seats it on the rim of the container to cap the latter. [56] References Cited The return stroke prepares the stack of lids for the UNITED STATES PATENTS next dispensing and capping stroke.

694,132 2/1902 Butkus 53 319 9 laims, 6 Drawing Figures 1,050,788 1/1913 Baltzley 53/309 X PATENTEBSEP I 61975 SWEET 1 BF 2 ii lllllll FIG. 2

FIG. 3

AUTOMATIC CONTAINER CAPPING AND DISPENSING DEVICE This invention relates to container capping devices and more particularly to means for dispensing lids for containers or the like from a magazine and placing the lid on the container as it is dispensed and is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 390,243, filed Aug. 21, 1973 and now US. Pat. No. 3,864,898.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the dispensing of stacked container lids, one at a time for the purpose of applying each dispensed lid to a container, it has been customary to use a coin feed type mechanism which slidably displaces the lowermost lid from a stack of lids in a loadable magazine and then apply the lid to the container with yet another mechanism, synchronously related or timed with the dispens ing mechanism.

Such equipment has a number of disadvantages, not the least of which are cost, complexity and bulk, pre' cluding the use of such equipment for all but high volume situations where its cost, complexity and size are not parameters of impracticability.

Furthermore, such equipment requires lid designs which are compatible with coin feeding, thus eliminating nested, thin-walled, low cost plastic and other lids from this form of automated dispensing.

Thus, there is an established need in the art for a low cost lid dispensing and capping unit for containers which effects its functions in an optimally limited space, is not unduly limited to particular lid designs and which is readily adaptable to use with many types of equipment such as automatic fillingmachines, vending machines and the like.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and novel means for dispensing container lids one by one from a stack of lids in a magazine.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and novel means for dispensing container lids one by one from a stack of lids in a magazine and to cap a container with said lid as it is dispensed.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and novel lid dispensing and container capping device which performs its dual function with but a single operating stroke.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and novel lid dispensing and container capping device which is optimally simple in construction, of optimally minimum dimensions, low in cost, rapid in operation and operable with low cost, thin-walled lids of plastic or the like.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a lid dispensing and container capping device having a tubular vertical magazine of stacked lids which utilizes a single short stroke vertical displacement of the entire magazine to effect dispensing of a lid and capping of a container therewithv These and other objects of the present invention will become more fully apparent with reference to the fol lowing specifications and drawings which relate to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A vertically extending tubular magazine is mounted for vertical reciprocation in a combined cam and bearing and holds a particularly stacked and/or nested container lids each disposed transversely of the magazine. At the lower end of the magazine are a set of releasable leveling and dispensing detents selectively engaging the lowermost lid in the magazine, said detents being jointly disposed about the periphery of the lower end of the magazine with a set of clamping shoes of which engage the lids and cause them to seat on and cap a container at the lowermost reach of each reciprocation of the magazine.

The leveling and dispensing detents and the lid clamping shoes are mounted on individual leaf spring members on the magazine and are timed to the reciprocations of the magazine by the combined cam and bearing to dispense one lid at a time and cap a container with that lid for each reciprocation of the magazine during a single downward stroke of said magazine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation in crosssection taken along line ll of FIG. 4 of a dispenser and capper of the present invention at or toward the uppermost position of a reciprocation of the magazine.

FIG. 2 is a similar view to FIG. 1 representing a lower position of the magazine and an intermediate actuation of the leveling and dispensing detents and clamping shoes of the present invention just prior to the container capping operation;

'FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. I and 2 representing the lowermost or container capping position of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of FIGS. 1, 2, and 3;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a cam and bearing configuration of the invention; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-section taken along line 66 of FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring in detail to the drawings and with particular reference to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3,.the dispenser and capper 10 of the present invention is shown as including a vertically disposed tubular magazine 12 of my suitable cross-sectional configuration (although specifically shown as having a circular cross-section) in which a plurality of lids 14 of a size co-extensive with the cross-section of the magazine 12 have been stacked in a nested configuration by way of a vertical loading slot 16 as is known in the art.

Each of the lids 14 within have inverted U-shaped peripheral rims or flanges 14A with the outermost lip 14B thereof flared outwardly of the lid 14 into substantial juxaposition or immediate adjacency to the internal walls of the magazine 12. The fit of the lids 14 within the magazine 12 is such that they will feed downwardly therein in their stacked configuration by the action of gravity.

As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the outwardly flared tip 148 of the lids 14 is designed to snap over the rolled top rim portion 18A of a drinking cup or container 18 which is positioned in a holder or retaining means 20 of any suitable configuration coaxially beneath the magazine 12 and lids l4.

As shown in FIG. 1, in the uppermost position of the magazine 12, the latter being reciprocated by means of ofa plurality of arcuate clamping shoes26 having i in the lowermost reaches of the downward stroke of the magazine 12,, Le, whenthe clamping shoes 26 are in their innermost: positions,

Additionally,'the carn22 includes bearing surfaces.

22!) arranged in substantially regular intervals, every ninety degrees (90) in the. preferred embodiment, radially inboard of theinternal cam. surfaces 22B; 22C

and in sliding co ntact with the magazine 12.

The Cam22is suspended from a fixed plate 28,"

- through. which thefmagazine 12 extends, by means of lowermost internal horizontalrim portion 26A1 having a substantially conformal overlapping fit with the outer top edge of the rim portions 14A of the lowermost lid i 14 in the magazine 12 and anarcuatc horizontal groove 26A2 formed in theinner face thereof to c'onformally receive the edge portion 14B of an adjacent lid 14in the vertical stack.

The detents 24 are mounted on oneend of respective upstanding leaf spring follower arms 24A having a cam rise 24B and two adjacent dwells 24C and 24D at the opposite ends of the rise 24B adjacent the external pefour support studs or columns anchored in sockets orparts 22Ein the four corners of the cam means 22.1'

I A port 28A isprovided in the plate 28 to permit themagazine-12 to pass there through.

. An annular bearing sleeve 32 is positioned in the 7 plate 28 coaxially with the port 28A and externally concentric with the magazine 12 to provide additional bearing support for the reciprocating magazine 12.

OPERATION Referring is FIGS. 1,2 and 3, and assuming FIG. 1

. to be the initial or dwell position of the dispenser and ripheryof the annular bearing guide and cam ring 22. I

The uppermost outer rim portions 22A of the cam ring 22 Iarethe actuating cam surfaces for the detents 24 via the leaf springs 24A and the sloping upper internal, surfaces 228 of the cam ring 22 are the actuating cam surfaces for the clamping shoes 26 as will be hereinafter more fully described in conjunction with the de scription of operation of the present invention.

The clamping shoes 26 are mounted on upstanding leaf spring follower arms 26B'having arise 26C and dwell 26D adjacent the cam ring 22 at the lowermost ends of the said leaf springarms 26B.

The general orientation of the said leaf spring follower arms 24A and 26B, the cam ring 22 and the mag azine 12 are shown in FIGS. 14 as having a common fixed point 27 at the upper end thereof by a means of common stirrup or keeper 27A mounted on the outer surface of the magazine 12 for each cooperating pair of detents 24 and clamping shoes 268 to work externally and internally, respectively, with the surface 22A an 228 of the cam 22. j I I The holder 20 can be a turret, a fixed socket or any suitable form of cup holder for automated and high speed use as well as for intermittent of random dispensing of the lids l4 and the resulting capping of cups 18 or other containers;

Any suitable mechanism can be utilized to drive the tubular magazine 12 through its reciprocal strokes, including manual actuation. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, a motor M driving an eccentric E acting against a drive follower 128 on the magazine 12 can provide the reciprocation in conjunction with a return spring 12C all as. schematically shown.

In a turret or other automated configuration of the cup holder 20, for example, the holder 20 would be synchronized with and/or trip the actuating mechanism of the tubular magazine 12 such that the stroke would take place as the cup 18 is brought in to itsfinal coaxial position with the magazine 12 and lids l4.

Referring additionally to FIGS. 5 and 6, the cam is shown as having lowermost internal dwell surfaces 22C immediately beneath the rise surface 22Bwhich ulticapper 10, an uncapped container 18 is moved beneath the magazine 12 in coaxial alignment therewith such that the cup rim or head 18A is indexed beneath the open portion of the rim 14A of the lowermostlid 14 in o the lid stack in the said magazine 12.

At this point in time the dwell surfaces 24B of the follower arms 24A areengaged by the outer periphery of the 'cam ring 22 and rise surfaces 22C of the follower arms 26B are positioned adjacent the internal cam sur-,

7 faces 22B ofgthe carnsurfaces 22B of the cam ring 22,

mately engages the dwell position 26D of the leaf spring followers 268 of the arcuate clamping shoes 26 holding the leveling and dispensing detents 24 beneath the lowermost lid 14 in engagement with the flared lip 14B and holding the clamping and capping shoes 26 and the arcuaterims 26A thereof out of engagement with the lids 14.

As the magazine 12 is axially displaced downward to:

the position of FIG. 2, the rise 24B of the follower arms 24A engages theupper rim 22A of the cam ring 22 and progressively causes each follower arm 24A to flex outward and carry the leveling and dispensing detent 24 thereon out from under the lids 14 when the dwell 24C reaches'the camring 22.

While this actionis taking place, the rise 26C on the follower arms 26Bengages the upper internal rise surface 223 of the cam ring 22 and progressively forces theclamping shoes 26 into engagement with the rims 14A of the lids l4-such that'the arcuate slots 26A2 of the clamping and capping shoes 26 engage the flared lip 14Bfof one of the said lips and force same down and into the outer corner of the rim portion 14A on the next lowest lid and the arcuate lower edge portions 26A1 also engage the rim portion 14A of the latter.

The two foregoing actions are such that the clamping 12 to its lowermost position of travel in FIG. 3 will force the lowermost lid 14 (which is not engaged by the clamping shoes 26) onto the rim 18A of the cup 18,

with ,theflared lip 14B of the lid riding out and over the cup rim 18A and the cup rim 18A thereby seatingin the rim 14A of the lid l4..The inner surface of the magazine -12 beneath the clamping shoes 26 comprises a external periphery of the skirt portion or the like imposing a lateral constraint on the lowermost lid 14 to insure registry of the rim 14A with the rim 18A of the container 18.

With the clamping and capping pads 26 still gripping the remaining lids 14 in the stack of lids in the magazine 12, the back-stroke of the magazine 12 is commenced in this capping and dispensing cycle. The clamping shoes 26 retain their grip on the remaining lids in the clamping shoes through the position shown in FIG. 2 and until the levelling and dispensing detents 24 are returned to position beneath the lids 14 by the dwells 24D on their respective follower arms 24A engaging the outer periphery of the cam ring 22.

Then, prior to reaching the top of the back-stroke (position of FIG. 1) the clamping shoes 26 release the lids 14 in the lid stack to drop by gravity onto the leveling and dispensing detents 24, thus positioning the now lowermost lid 14 in the lid stack for the next dispensing and capping stroke of the magazine 12.

The clamping shoes 26 are fully released by the rises 26C on their respective follower arms 26B clearing or resting above the internal rise surface 22B of the cam ring 22.

The next cycle is commenced upon placing a new cup 18 in place beneath the unit in the cup or container holder 20. v I

The holder 20 can be a turret, a fixed socket or any suitable form of cup holder for automated and high speed use as well as for intermittent or random dispensing of the lids 14 and the resultant capping of cups 18 or other containers.

Any suitable mechanism can be utilized to drive the tubular magazine 12 through its reciprocal strokes, including manual actuation. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, a motor M driving an eccentric E acting against a drive follower 128 on the magazine 12 can provide the reciprocation in conjunction with a return spring 12C, all as schematically shown.

In a turret or other automated configuration of the cup holder 20, for example, the holder 20 would be synchronized with and/or trip the actuatingmechanism of the tubular magazine 12 such that the stroke would take place as the cup 18 is brought in to its final coaxial position with the magazine 12 and lids-l4.

It should be noted at this time, referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, that the lowermost end 12A of the tubular magazine 12 extends downward to at least the lowermost extremity of the leveling and dispensing detents 24 such that the lowermost lid 14 and the rims 14A and 14B thereof are enclosed by the magazine 12 to an extent precluding lateral displacement of the lid 14 being dispensed therefrom and forced onto the rim 18A of the container 18.

As can be seen from the foregoing description and drawings, the present invention provides a versatile, positive acting; simple and reliable lid dispensing and container capping device which is particularly well adapted for high speed volume use but which is simple enough, and thus low enough in cost, for a wide variety of intermittent or sporadic modes of use.

The present invention may be modified as would occur to one of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

I claim:

1. ln a-lid dispensing and container capping means the combination comprising:

elongated tubular magazine means for holding a plurality of container lids in a substantially coaxial stack adjacent an open dispensing end of said magazine; annular bearing means mounting said magazine means for relative reciprocating movement of said magazine thereto within the inner periphery of said bearing means; said bearingmeans including cam means on the outer and inner periphery thereof; leveling and dispensing detent means mounted on .said magazine and extending inboard of said open dispensing end thereof to preclude said stack of said lids from dispensing in a first position of said magazine means relative to said bearingmeans;

said detent means being constrained by said cam means to a position outboard of said magazine means in a second position of said magazine means relative to said bearing means; clamping means mounted on said magazine means adjacent said dispensing end thereof and extending through the periphery of said magazine and constrained by said cam means into selective engagement with a plurality of said lids in said stack;

said clamping means being out of engagement with said lids when said detent means is inboard of said magazine means and in engagement with said lids when said detent means is outboard of said magazine means; I

wherein said detent means comprises a plurality of detents'spaced about the periphery of said magazine means, said detents being on' one end of respective first follower arms extendingtherefrom into proximity with the outer periphery of said bearing means; and

wherein said clamping means comprises a plurality of clamping shoes, conformally shaped to said lids and spaced about the periphery of said magazine meansat corresponding peripheral positions with said detents, said clamping shoes being mounted on one end of respective second follower arms extending therefrom into proximity with the inner periphcry of said bearing means;

said first and second follower arms comprising leaf springs having rise and dwell surfaces thereon engaging said cam means in response to reciprocating movement of said magazine means relative to said bearing means and having the other ends thereof fixed in a common mounting means on the outer periphery of said magazine means at each of said peripheral positions. I

2. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein said rise and dwell surfaces on said first and second follower arms are interrelated to constrain predetermined coordinated displacements to said clamping shoes and said detents.

3. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein said clamping means is displaced from said detent means such that the outermost lid in said stack rests on said detent means in the inboard position of the latter and at least the next adjacent lid in said stack is held by said clamping means when said detent means is in said outboard position, thereby permitting said outermost lid to be dispensed from said magazine means and the remainder of said lids to be retained therein for each reciprocation of said magazine means relative to said bearing means.

- 4. The invention definedin claim 1, wherein. said bearing means, said cam means includes internal cam said bearing means further includes bearing surfaces intermediate said internal cam surfaces engaging the outer periphery of said magazine means. 5. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein said open end of said magazine means terminates below said detent means and said clamping means to laterally constrain said lid-means independently of said detent and clamping means. 7 y

6. Capping means for containers comprising;

magazine means holding a plurality of container lids in a substantially, vertical stack with eachrsaid lid disposed substantially horizontally;

holding means for positioning an open mouthed container beneath said magazine means with the open mouth of said container in registry with said stack of lids;

annular bearing means having outer and inner peripheries mounting said magazine for reciprocation on its longitudinal axis toward and away from said holding means within the inner periphery of said bearing means;

said lids and the mouth of said container having conformally shaped coacting rim structures to effect a force fit therebetweem'and lid retaining and release means cooperating with said I magazine means beneathsaid lowermost lid in said stack and clamping means selectively engageable with a plurality'of said lids to retain all but the lowermost of said lids in said magazine; i

said annular bearing means including spaced outer and inner cam means in registry at selected positions about said outer and inner peripheries of said bearing means; said detent .means and clamping .means' being mounted, respectively, on first and second. leaf spring follower anns cantilevered at common mounting points for each cooperating pair of detent and clamping means corresponding to said selectedpositionsof said spaced outer and innercam means; and i said first and second leaf spring follower arms includ ing rise and dwell surfaces sequentially engaging said outer and inner cam means, respectively, on

said annular bearing means during reciprocation of said magazine means. I 7.The invention defined in claim 6 wherein said bearing means further includes bearing surfaces intermediate said internal cam'means engaging the outer periphery of saidmagazine means.

8. The invention defined in claim 7, wherein said magazine means includes a dependent portion extending below said lid retaining and release means and enshrouding the mouth of said container to laterally constrain said lid means independently of said lid retaining and release means when said lowermost lid isapplied tosaid container.

9.'The invention defined in 'claim 6, wherein said clamping means comprises .arcuate shoes' having a lower edge portion'for engaging the outer rim portion ofthe next lowermost lid in said stack and a conformal recess for receiving the outer periphery of the rim portion of the third lowermost lid in said stack for each re-.

ciprocation of said magazine means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US694132 *Oct 14, 1901Feb 25, 1902Joseph ButkusBottle-stoppering machine.
US1050788 *May 20, 1912Jan 21, 1913Robert M RuppBottle-capper.
US1169775 *Oct 24, 1914Feb 1, 1916Harold D CornwallCapping device.
US1824660 *Oct 1, 1930Sep 22, 1931Stouffer Darner EdgarBottle capping machine
US2088010 *Oct 21, 1935Jul 27, 1937R G Wright & CompanyCapping device
US2315827 *Jan 6, 1941Apr 6, 1943White Castle SystemMachine for holding and dispensing drinking cups
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4375144 *Feb 28, 1980Mar 1, 1983Moeller Knut N ALid mounting apparatus
US5152120 *Aug 21, 1991Oct 6, 1992Huang Chung WeiLatex lid mounting apparatus
US5518149 *Jul 28, 1994May 21, 1996Gross-Given Manufacturing CompanyCup dispenser for vending machines
US5948362 *Sep 7, 1995Sep 7, 1999Steinbrenner; BerndDevice for arranging a plurality of objects on a support
US20060169712 *Sep 19, 2005Aug 3, 2006Yitzchak YitzchakiRimmed cup dispenser
DE4436473A1 *Oct 12, 1994Mar 14, 1996Bernd Dr SteinbrennerVorrichtung zur Bereitstellung einer Vielzahl von Gegenständen auf einem Träger
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/328, 221/297, 53/309
International ClassificationB65B7/28, B65B43/44, B65B43/42
Cooperative ClassificationB65B7/2807, B65B43/44
European ClassificationB65B7/28B, B65B43/44
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 8, 1993ASAssignment
Owner name: SWEETHEART CUP COMPANY INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, AS COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:006687/0491
Effective date: 19930830
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, AS COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:007029/0011
Apr 6, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: SWEETHEART CUP COMPANY INC.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:FORT HOWARD CUP CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005346/0001
Effective date: 19891129
Feb 13, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, AS COLLATERAL AGENT
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FORT HOWARD CUP CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005287/0404
Effective date: 19891114
Owner name: FORT HOWARD CUP CORPORATION
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:LILY-TULIP, INC.;REEL/FRAME:005300/0320
Owner name: LILY-TULIP, INC., A CORP. OF DE
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:SWEETHEART HOLDING CORP.;REEL/FRAME:005284/0457
Effective date: 19861231
Owner name: MARYLAND CUP CORPORATION
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:MARYLAND CUP CORPORATION, A CORP. OF MD (MERGED INTO) MC ACQUISITION CORP., A CORP.OF MD (CHANGED TO);REEL/FRAME:005284/0423
Effective date: 19830831
Owner name: SWEETHEART HOLDING CORP.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:MARYLAND CUP CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005284/0418
Effective date: 19841231