US 3918237 A
A machine for the manufacture of essentially boxlike packing containers wherein a first continuous web of a foldable material is drawn from a supply roll and folded to establish a series of connected U-shaped sections which are received in moulds, and wherein a second continuous web of a foldable material likewise drawn from a supply roll and folded into a U-shaped configuration is joined to the series of U-shaped sections established by the first web in such manner as to complete the wall structure of the container. Filling takes place prior to completion of sealing of the two webs to one another and thereafter the string of formed, filled and sealed containers are separated by a cutting action between the sections.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Stark et al.
MACHINE FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF FILLED AND SEALED CONTAINERS Inventors: Sven Olof Soren Stark, Rydsgard;
Jan-Erik Olsen, Lund; Franz Soukup, Malmo, all of Sweden Tetra Pak Development SA, Lausanne, Switzerland Filed: Jan. 16, 1974 Appl. No: 433,789
Foreign Application Priority Data Jan. 18, 1973 Switzerland 696/73 Nov. 11, 1975 3,287,878 11/1966 Mobley 53/133 3,325,961 6/1967 Lindh et al. 53/180 x 3,726,058 4/1973 Stark 53/29 Primary E,\'amitlerRobert L. Spruill Attorney, Agent, or Finn-Pierce, Scheffler & Parker ABSTRACT A machine for the manufacture of essentially boxlike packing containers wherein a first continuous web of a foldable material is drawn from a supply roll and folded to establish a series of connected U-shaped sections which are received in moulds, and wherein a second continuous web of a foldable material likewise drawn from a supply roll and folded into a U-shaped configuration is joined to the series of U-shaped sections established by the first web in such manner as to complete the wall structure of the container. Filling takes place prior to completion of sealing of the two webs to one another and thereafter the string of formed, filled and sealed containers are separated by a cutting action between the sections.
2-1Claims, 19 Drawing Figures US. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet1of15 3,918,237
U.S. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet 2 of 15 3,918,237
US. Patent Nov. 11,1975 Sheet3of 15 3,918,237
US. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet4 of 15 3,918,237
US. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet 5 of 15 3,918,237
US. Patent Nov. 11,1975 Sheet60f 15 3,918,237
U.S. Patent N0v.11,1975 Sheet7of 15 3,918,237
U.S. Patent Nov.11',1975 Sheet80f 15 3,918,237
U.S. Patent Nov. 11,1975 Sheet 9 of 15 3,918,237
RN A RN QwN www RN .8 gm RN U.S. Patant Nov; 11,1975 Sheet 10 of 15 3,918,237
US. Patent Nov. 11,1975 Sheet110f15 3,918,237
US. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet 12 of 15 3,918,237
U.S. Patnt Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet 13 of 15 3,918,237
US. Patent N0v.11, 1975 Sheet 14 of 15 3,918,237
hlllllllllll US. Patent Nov. 11,1975 Sheet 15 of 15 3,918,237
MACHINE FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF FILLED AND SEALED CONTAINERS The present invention relates to a machine for the manufacture of packing containers, comprising a device for the forming of a first continuous web of a foldable material to a series of connected, U-shaped sections through folding of the web, a device for the joining of a second web of foldable material to the said first web, a device for folding down the edge zones of the said second web to lie against the edges of the folded first web, a device for sealing the joined portions of the said second web and the said first web along the common contact surfaces of the webs for the formation of a series of parallelepipedic cavities, and finally a device for filling the said cavities with the intended goods.
Frequently, during the packing of goods, the packing containers themselves are manufactured at the same time as the goods intended for packing are supplied to the packing containers. This can be done when the packing containers consist of blanks with punched out lugs manufactured in advance, which is an automatic assembling machine, are folded together to form a container, or when the packing material is furnished in the form of a web, which, e.g., is folded over into a tube, the longitudinal edges of which are sealed to one another, whereupon the tube is filled with the goods and is then divided by means of successive transverse sealings in areas at right angles to the tube axis. The pieces of tube divided in this manner can then be subjected to a forming process so that they are given, for example, a lasting parallelepipedic shape.
With the abovementioned methods for the manufacture of packages there is an unavoidable waste, in that a part of the packing material becomes embodied in the flap fastening arrangement or other parts which do not directly form a part of the packing body. If, e.g., a piece of a tube which has been sealed off at right angles to the tube axis is moulded into a parallelepipedic shape, a triangular double-walled flap is produced at each corner which requires packing material which does not directly constitute any part of the packing container itself, and is inefficiently used.
It has been found in practice that the continuous manufacture of packing containers from a web is to be preferred to the manufacture of packing containers from blanks made in advance, and the main reason for this is that the weblike packing material can be supplied in rolls, where the surface of the packing material web lies well-protected between adjacent turns in the roll, whereas, by contrast, prefabricated blanks cannot be protected in the same manner. Furthermore, the packing material which is supplied in a roll takes up considerably less space and is easier to transport than the kind of packing material which is supplied in the form of prefabricated blanks and the compact packing material rolls require moreover less outer wrapping during transport, which as a great economic advantage.
As mentioned before an undesirable waste arises, however, if for example parallelepipedic packages are formed of a web which is folded over into a tube, and it is an object of this invention to reduce this waste as much as possible. The machine in accordance with the present invention shows an arrangement for the manufacture of packing containers from a web of packing material with a minimum of packing mate rial waste and the machine in accordance with the invention is characterized by a device for the folding of a first packing material web, which device comprises moulds over which the web is adapted to be shaped, a number of the said moulds being arranged behind one another and being arranged movable in the direction of advance of the first web, and that the device for the joining of a second packing material web to the first web comprises a driven feeder drum, which is adapted to impart to the said second web a feed movement which is synchro nous with the movement of the said moulds. The invention is characterized further in that the device for the forming of the said first web comprises an endless series of moulds arranged one behind another, which are adapted to move with constant speed and a forming tool rotatable about an axis comprising one or more curved forming surfaces, which are adapted to press the said first web down into the said moulds with the object of bringing the web into contact with the walls of the moulds and thus to impart to the web a shape which corresponds to the surfaces of the moulds.
In the following will be described an embodiment of the packing machine in accordance with the invention with reference to the drawings, which are partly of a schematic character and for the sake of clarity the same details have been given the same reference numbers in all the figures.
The drawing comprises the following figures:
FIG. 1 shows schematically a total front view of the machine FIG. 2 shows schematically the driving of the machine FIG. 3a and 3b show the driving equipment of the forming tool,
FIGS. 4a-4c show the forming operation at the folding of the one packing material web,
FIG. 5 shows a front view of the feeder drum,
FIG. 6 shows a side view of a partly cross-sectionalized feeder drum,
FIG. 7 shows a driving equipment of the feeder drum FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of the equipment for the assemblingof the packing material webs and the sealing of theedge zone flaps, folded down, of the second packing material web to the folded side edges of the packing material web,
FIG. 9 shows a device for the sealing of the central part of the second packing material web to the tops of the folded packing mate rial web, together with a device for the separation of the sealed, individual packing units,
FIG. 10 shows a front view of the parts of the machine, by means of which the webs of packing material are assembled and sealed to one another,
FIG. 11 shows a perspective view of the driving equipment for the set-up shown in FIG. 10,
FIG. 12a shows a series of connected packing containers which have been manufactured by the machine in accordance with the invention, and
FIG. 12b shows a separated individual packing container.
Although it is possible to use as packing materials various materials or material combinations, such as, e.g., plastic film, paper coated with plastic, metal foil coated with plastic and paper or other combinations of known material which can be laminated to one another, it is assumed in the following description that the packing material consists of a web of foamed plastic material, for example polystyrene foam which at least on the one side has a layer of a homogeneous plastic material, e.g., polystyrene. The two packing material webs which after forming are assembled and sealed to one another need not necessarily be of the same thickness, but for the sake of simplicity it shall be assumed in the present case, that the packing material webs are of 5 GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE MACHINE In FIG. 1 is shown a front view of a packing machine in accordance with the invention, the frame for the packing machine proper being designated 1, a device for the machining and finishing of the packing units manufactured being designated 33, an automatic packaging device 35 and a packing material part 58.
The packing material part 58 comprises a number of so-called roller stands comprising magazine rolls of packing material. The rolls 8 and 9 comprise packing material webs, which in the case described here consist in particular of extruded foamed plastic webs of polystyrene material, which is lined on both sides with layers of homogeneous polystyrene. The packing material webs 5 and 6 are rolled off the magazine rolls 8 and 9, and are passed over the guide rolls 25. The magazine roll 10 contains strip material 7 of homogeneous plastic material, which strip material 7 is intended to be used for the bringing about of an opening on the packages manufactured.
The packing machine proper consists, as mentioned above, of a frame 1, which frame supports a rotatable drum 23 which is adapted so that the packing material web 6 can be passed over it and on which work operations are carried out at stations along the periphery of the drum, which in the case shown here is divided into 12 sections. The packing machine comprises further a device 2 for the forming of the web 5. The device 2 comprises movable moulds 4 which are fitted onto an endless chain, which in the figure shown moves in clockwise direction. The device 2 further comprises a forming tool 3, which is designed as a rotatable double section vane, by means of which the packing material web 5 is brought into contact with the moulds 4 to form a series of connected U-shaped sections. In FIG. 1, furthermore, a supply line for the goods to be filled into the containers is designated 20, a control valve for the control of the quantity of goods supplied is 21 and a filling tube 19. A heating device is designated 15 and a supply line for hot air 22. A reciprocating, movable column is designated 13 and a bearing which is integral with the machine frame 1 for the guiding of the column 13 is designated 14. The column 13 supports a folding tool 16, a sealing element 17 and a cutting element 18 which all move together with the column in its reciprocating movement which is adjusted so that the column moves synchronously with the moulds 4 in its downward movement, whilst the upward return movement is quicker.
The finished formed packages are transferred from the forming moulds 4 of the forming device 2 to the finishing device 33 by means of a conveyer belt 28 which runs between two end rolls 29 and a transport wheel 27 arranged in between.
In the finishing device 33 projecting sealing fins are removed or machined so as to impart to the packages 30 a more pleasing appearance and free them from edges which might interfere with each other during transport and handling. The packages 30 are retained in the endless chain of the finishing device, which comprises projecting parts which form between them spaces within which the packages 30 can be accomodated, with the help of a supporting belt 31 which runs around an end roll 32 and one of the earlier mentioned end rolls 29. The machining is carried out with the help of the machining tool 36, and the packages 30 are finally delivered by means of a device 34 to an automatic packaging device 35 where the packages are put down into transport cartons or transport baskets for distribution.
The function of the packing machine is as follows:
From the magazine roll 8 a first packing material web 5 is rolled off, which is passed over a guide roll 25. The packing material web 5 is rolled off with the help of a drive pulley 24 which is controlled with the help of a photo-cell equipment containing two photo-cell devices ll. If too much packing material web 5 has been rolled off by means of the drive pulley 24, the loop of packing material web formed will cover, as shown in FIG. 1, the lower one of the photo-cell devices 11. If this happens, the governor obtains an impulse and the driving device for the drive pulley 24 is stopped. The supply of packing material is then also stopped, the loop of packing material diminishes and when the loop has become so small that it clears the photocell device 11, the feed of packing material is started again with the help of drive pulley 24. The packing material web 5 is brought into contact with the moulds 4 on the forming device 2, in which the moulds 4 are fitted on an endless chain, which moves at constant speed in a closed track. The packing material web 5 is brought into contact with the moulds 4 with the help of a forming tool 3, which consists of a rotatable and pivotable double section vane, the function of which will be described in detail in the special machine description. With the help of the forming tool 3 the packing material web 5 is brought accurately into contact with the moulds 4 whilst the web 5 is folded to form an endless series of U-shaped parts, which with the help of the forming device 2 are made mainly to move downwards at a constant speed.
The second packing material web 6 is rolled off its magazine roll 9 and is passed over a guide roll 26 and is then brought into contact with feeder drum 23. The feeder drum 23, as mentioned earlier, has 12 forming surfaces each with a width which largely corresponds to the distance between two successive moulds 4 on the forming device 2. The feeder drum 23 rotates at constant speed whilst an outer ring or oscillator plate 59 moves in a reciprocating rotatory movement around the drum 23. The plate 59 carries machining devices such as a hole punch and cover strip applicator 60, forming and cutting element 61 and heating device 62. When the web 6 with the help of the feeder drum 23 is moved past the machining stations 60,61 and 62 a punching of pouring holes, application of cover strip over the pouring hole, heating up of the web and possibly thermoforming of the web is carried out, as well as cutting of edge zones of the web at right angles to the longitudinal direction of the web. From the magazine roll a strip 7 of homogeneous plastic material is rolled off, which strip is placed by means of the cover strip applicator 60 over the pouring hole produced in the web 6 and is fixed to the web 6, so that the pouring hole is sealed. Furthermore, by means of the cover strip applicator, the front part of the strip 7 is cut off so that the cover strip applied over the pouring hole produced is severed from the rest of the strip 7. The web 6 provided with pouring opening and opening device, is also provided with slits at the edges of the web, the said slits extending at right angles to the longitudinal direction of the web 6, to a length largely corresponding to the height of the moulds 4, and is then advanced with the help of the feeder drum 23 at a speed'which is the same as the speed of movement of the moulds 4, the web 6 being advanced until its central part'is placed over the tops of the moulds 4, whilst the slotted portions of the web edges project beyond the moulds 4. By means of a governor, not shown here, the web 6 is advanced with the help of the feeder drum 23 in such a manner, that the slits in the web 6will be positioned right in frontof the upright partitions of the moulds 4.
While the web 6, with the help of the feeder drum 23, is advanced synchronously with the movement of the moulds 4, the column 13 attains its upper end position and starts a downward movement, and is synchronous with the movement of the [moulds 4. The column 13 carries a heating device 15 which canbe connected via a pipeline 22 to an air source, and by means of the heating device' 15 hot air is blown through the holes, which are provided in a specified pattern, against the underside of the edge zones of the web 6, which are delimited by the said slits in the edge portions of the web, the plastic material being softened and activated for sealing, and at the same time the edge zones of, the web 5 are also heated up by the blowing of hot air against the edge zones of the web 5 exposed at the lateral edges of the moulds.
At the same time as the heating up of the zones on the webs 5 and 6, which are intended to be sealed to one another, is carried out with the help of the heating device 15, the flaps formed between the slits in the web 6 are folded down, with the help of folding flaps 16, against the sides of the moulds 4 and, as a result of this, join together the edge zones of the parts of web 6 and the edge zones of the parts of web 5, which, in an earlier working phase, had been heated with the help of the heating device 15 to such a degree, that the joined portions of the webs are fused together to form a mechanically durable and permanent seal which is stabilized by the folding tool 16 which cools down the sealing area during the time when it is in contact with the folded down portions of the web6. When the webs 5 and 6 have been joinedtogether through lateral sealings in the aforementioned manner, the' goods to be filled into the containers are supplied through the filling pipe 19, which is arranged between the web 6 and above the tops of the .moulds 4, the box-like spaces formed underneath the web 6 being filled with the intended goods. The filled box-like spaces aresealed off with the help'of the sealing element 17 to form closed units, in that the web 6 is sealed to the parts of the web 5 which are situated above the tops of the upright portions of the moulds 4. The sealing element 17 is also fixed to the column 13 and follows the column in its reciprocating movement, which means that the sealing takes place while the column moves downwards synchronously with the moulds 4. In the case shown here the sealing element is of the ultrasonic type, but it is also possible to use heat sealing devices of the conventional type. The closed units formed are finally separated from one another with the help of the cutting element 18, which severs the closed units from one another by means of a cut through the sealing zones which have been accomplished by means of the sealing elements 17.
The filled and closed packing units 30are retained in the moulds with the help of a conveyor belt 28 arranged underneath the forming device, which runs between two end rolls 29, and the packing units 30 are transported by means of a transport wheel 27 provided with projecting vanes to theraforementioned machining device, where any projecting sealing edges are machined by means of a machining element 36, where.- upon the packagesare finally passed bymeans of the element 34 to an automatic packing device 35, where the packages 30 are put down into cartons or transport boxes.
The packing machine can be operated by means of a control and actuating panel 12, containing the necessary actuating devices as well as control instruments to indicate the temperature in the various heating zones,
The driving of the packing machine is illustrated in FIG. 2, where the main, motor is designated 37 and a driving gear coupled to the main motor is marked 38. The output gear 39 of the driving gear 38 is in mesh with an intermediate wheel 40 which transmits the driving force of the motor to a gear 41, which is fitted to'the same shaft 49 as a V-belt pulley or serrated belt pulley 43, which shaft is at the same time the driving shaft for the forming device 2 and the chain carrying the moulds 4. By means of the V-belt pulley or serrated belt pulley 42 a movement is transmitted via the V-belt or serrated belt 43 to the intermediate wheel 44 which is fitted on ashaft 48. On the shaft 48 is a further'belt pulley, which via serrated belt or V-belt 45 transmits a movement to the belt pulley 46 which is fitted to a shaft 47 by means of which the feeder drum 23 is driven.
, The gear 41 mentioned earlier, further drives the gear 57 which is fitted to a shaft 50, on which shaft the transmission wheel 27is mounted; the gear 57 further drivesa wheel 56 which in turn is fitted to a shaft 51, by means of which the finishing device 33 is driven. On the shaft 51 is fitted further a larger gear 55 which is in mesh with a smaller gear 54 which via a sprocket wheel with locking mechanism drives a chain 53 from an auxiliary motor 52. The smaller gear 56 is fitted to the shaft 51 which via a locking mechanism is connected to the shaft 50. I
When the driving motor 37 drives the machine, the movement is transmitted via gears 39,40,41 and 57 to the gear 56, which via the locking mechanism transmits the movement to the shaft 51. The auxiliary motor 52 is then cut out and the chain 53 is immovable owing to a locking mechanism in the sprocket wheel on the same shaft as the gear 54. When the driving motor 37 has stopped,- the auxiliary motor 52 can be started and this can then drive the finishing device 33 via the sprocket wheelwith locking mechanism of the chain 53, the gear 54, the gear- 55 and shaft 51. The locking mechanism between the shaft 51 and the gear 56 disconnects then the shaft 51 from the gear 56. The reason for this set-up is that it should be possible to drive the finishing equipment 33 when the packing machine is not in operation.
In FIG. 12a is shown partly in cross-section a picture of a series of mutually connected packing containers as they appear when they are accomodated in the moulds 4 of the forming device 2, and as can be seen from FIG. 12a, the connected series of packing containers 30 are formed of the web 5 folded into U-shaped sections and of the web 6 which is slotted along its edge zones with the slits 63 to form the flaps 64, which are folded towards the ends of the U-shaped sections formed from the web 5 and sealed to these by device 15. Furthermore, the tops of the folded web 5 arae sealed by device 17 to the central portion of the web 6 along the sealing zone 65 after filling. With the help of a cut through the sealing zones 65 individual containers of the type as shown in FIG. 12b are separated and, as can be seen from that figure, the container consists of two U-shaped elements which are formed by the webs 5 and 6, and which are sealed to one another along the areas where they are brought into contact with one another.
A row of interconnected packing containers in accordance with FIG. 12a cannot be manufactured by means of the packing machine described here unless the cutting elements 18 for separation of the packing containers are removed or put out of gear, and this is easily made possible in cases where a row of interconnected packing containers is desired. The cutting elements 18 can also be placed in such a way that they separate a number of interconnected packing containers, e.g., 2 and 2 or 5 and 5.
After this general introduction to the machine, special details and devices of the packing machine in accordance with FIG. 1 will be described more closely in a special part of machine description.
SPECIAL MACHINE DESCRIPTION I. Folding device In FIGS. 4a-4f is shown the fold-forming procedure of the packing material web 5, which with the help of the forming device 2 (FIG. 1) is formed into a series of connected U-shaped elements. The forming takes place in such a manner that the web 5, which can be provided with crease lines facilitating the fold formation which have been arranged in advance, is brought into contact with the moulds 4, which are hingeably connected to one another to form an endless chain. Each mould 4, as can be seen from FIG. 4a, may consist of an L-shaped link with an upright part 66 and a bottom part 67. The chain formed by the moulds 4 is guided and driven by means of driving wheels, and the shaft of the upper wheel is designated 48. The moulds 4 can be provided advantageously with guide rolls which are adapted so that they run in fixed guiding tracks, which are arranged along the course of movement of the forming equipment.
By means of the driving shaft 49 (FIG. 2), which in a manner described earlier is coupled to a driving motor, the chain formed by the moulds 4 is moved around at a preferably uniform speed in the direction of the arrow. The packing material web 5, which is to be folded, is brought into contact with the moulds 4 by means of a rotatable forming tool 3, which consists of two vanelike parts 68 which are rotatable about an axle 104. The axle 104 in its turn is fitted to a reciprocatingly movable pendulum arm, the driving of which will be described in detail later. The vanelike parts which in the present case are two in number, have each a curved 8 side-rolling surface 125 and a curved end-rolling surface 124.
The forming procedure in such that the chain of moulds 4 moves at a preferably uniform speed in the direction of the arrow and that the said pendulum arm imparts to the axle 104 of the forming tool a movement largely synchronous with the moulds. In FIG. 4a is shown how the axle 104, which carries the vanelike parts 68, rolls over the upper end surface of the upright part 66 of the mould 4 at the same time as the axle 104 moves clockwise synchronously with the mould 4. At the rotation of the axle 104 and the vanelike parts 68 of the forming tool 3 also rotate and the web 5 is passed down into the following mould.
In FIG. 4b is shown the forming procedure a little later, and in FIG. 40 the vane 68 of the forming tool 3 has almost placed the web 5 into the corner point 69 of the mould 4. When, as shown in FIG. 4d the vane 68 has guided the web 5 into the corner 69, the said pendulum arm commences a return movement at the same time as contact between the axle 104 and the upper end surface 70 of the mould 4 is broken. While the pendulum arm and the forming tool 3 are moved opposite the direction of movement of the moulds, the end surface 124 of one of the vanes 68 of the forming tool 3 is made to press by means of a skid-free rolling movement, the web 5 against the bottom part 67 of the mould 4.
In FIG. 4e the edge of the vane 68 has reached the far edge on the bottom part 67, whereupon the web 5, by means of the curved rolling surface 125 of the vane 68, is successively brought into contact against the front edge, in the direction of movement, of the mould coming next in the series of moulds. In FIG. 4f the whole rolling surface of the vane has rolled over the front edge of the said mould 4 and the axle 104 has just been brought into contact with the upper end surface 70 of the mould, over which the axle 104 is adapted to roll whilst the web 5 at the same time is pressed against the end surface 70. In the position according to FIG. 4f the axle 104 is given once more by means of its pendulum arm a movement which is synchronous with the movement of the moulds 4 and the position as shown in FIG. 4a is obtained.
In the foregoing a complete cycle has been described which is repeated over and over whilst the web is brought into contact with the moulds 4. It was found that the packing material owing to its rigidity remains in the applied position, so that the contact with the forming surfaces of the moulds is substantially unbroken, which is a pre-condition for a successful forming operation.
Since the web 5 can advantageously be provided with a printed text or ornament of an advertising or informative nature it is important that the fold formation of the web 5 should take place in register with the print. It was found that pre-printed packing material webs, 5, which are provided with crease lines facilitating the fold formation can readily keep the ornament in register with the U-shaped sections, since the folding takes place along the crease lines, which are arranged in advance in register with the ornaments. When webs 5 of packing material which do not have crease lines are used it is necessary to adjust the feed of the web so that it agrees with the printed ornament, and in the normal manner the monitoring of the position of the ornaments in relation to the U-shaped sections takes place with the help of photo-cell devices not shown here, which are adapted so as to monitor indices applied to the packing