US 3918475 A
A filling head for filling containers and bottles provided with a nozzle to which liquid is supplied through valve means for at first delivering the liquid to the nozzle at a slow rate to submerge the nozzle without foaming and then delivering the liquid at a faster rate to effect filling quickly, characterized in that the valve means, according to this invention, is controlled to terminate the filling operation by first closing the valve controlling the fast flow and thereafter the valve controlling the slow flow to enable filling containers with small diameter necks, long slender necks and tapering necks to a predetermined level without overfill and to a uniform height from container-to-container.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1111 Trusselle 1 1 CONTROL FOR FILLING MACHINE William H. Trusselle. Braintree. Mass.
 Assignee: Pneumatic Scale Corporation.
22 Filed: 01.26, 1973 [21 App1.No.:410.115
Related US. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 186.031. Oct. 4. 1971.
 US. Cl ..1-l1/128;141/152  Int. Cl. B65B 3/26 [581 Field of Search 137/386; 141/1. 4. 5, 13.
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3.195.585 7/1965 Fechheimer 141/1 1451 Nov. 11, 1975 Trusselle.... 141/40 Curtis et :11. 141/1111 X 5 7 1 ABSTRACT A filling head for filling containers and bottles proided with a nozzle to which liquid is supplied through valve means for at first delivering the liquid to the nozzle at. a slow rate to submerge the nozzle without foaming and then delivering the liquid at a faster rate to effect filling quickly. characterized in that the valve means. according to this invention. is controlled to terminate the filling operation by first closing the valve controlling the fast flow and thereafter the valve controlling the slow flow to enable filling containers with small diameter necks. long slender necks and tapering necks to a predetermined level without overfill and to a uniform height from container-to-container.
U.S. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet 1 of7 3,918,475
l/VVE/VTO/P W/H/am H. Trussel/e A TTOPNF Y U.S. Patent N0v.11, 1975 Sheet30f7 3,918,475
uvvs/vrm B Wi/fiam H. Trussel/e A T TORNFY U.S. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet 4 0f 7 //vv/v TOR William H. Trussel/e ATTORNEY US. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 SheetS of7 3,918,475
l l u use INVENTOI? Wi/h'am H. Trusse/le [2'4 mw/wv Fig. 6
ATTORNEY US. Patent Nov. 11,1975 Sheet6of7 3,918,475
INVENTOF? 8y Wi/l/am H. Trussel/e 214 M, gar W AT TOR/VF Y BACKGROLJ D OF THE INVENTION In my US. Pat. No. 3,626,998 there is disclosed a container filling machine provided with a plurality of filling heads movable circularly about a common ccn tcr above a correspondinglymovable supporting structure on which are mounted supports for holding containcrs below the respective filling heads for filling. During rotation ofthe filling head and supporting structure an adjustable cam successively effects operation of each head to fill the container supported below it. According to the aforesaid application each filling head is provided with valve means for initially supplying liquid to the container at a relatively slow rate to a level such as to submerge the lower end of the filling nozzle and thereafter to supply the liquid at a faster rate so as to fill the container quickly without causing foaming. In the aforesaid apparatus the valve means embodies a slow flow passage and a fast flow passage and valve elements respectively operable to open first the slow flow passage and then the fast flow passage. At the end of the filling operation filling is terminated by blocking flow of liquid through both of the passages. For containers which are substantially uniform in cross-section from bottom to top. the aforesaid apparatus is quite satisfactory. However. when filling containers which have necks of small diameter or long. slender tapering necks. if the liquid is supplied at the same rate near the top as lower down. filling takes place so rapidly that it is difficult to control the cut-off without overflow and/or to maintain a uniform fill level for all containers of a kind. This invention has for its specific purpose to enable more precise control at the termination of the filling operation so as to avoid overflow and insure a uniform filling level from container-to-container.
SUMMARY In a container filling machine wherein a filling head is supported above a container support for supplying liquid to a container resting on the support, said filling head having a filling nozzle adapted to be moved into the container and means for effecting movement of the nozzle to lower the nozzle into the container; valve means operable to supply liquid to the nozzle at a slow rate and thereafter at a faster rate and sensing means associated with the nozzle operable. as the level of the liquid rises in the container. to first disable said valve means to stop the fast flow and then to further disable said valve means to stop the slow flow. There is means for initiating operation of the valve means to start the slow flow when the lower end of the nozzle starts its downward movement into the container, means for initiating operation of the valve means to start the fast flow when the lower end of the nozzle becomes submerged. and means for disabling operation of the valve means to stop fast flow when the nozzle reaches a predetermined distance from the top and thereafter further disabling the valve means to stop the slow flow and hence stop the filling operation. The means for disabling the operation of the valve means to stop the fast flow and thereafter stop the slow flow comprise sensing tubes through which air flows at a substantially constant and uniform rate. the sensing tubes being vertically spaced in relation to each other and to the container and being supported by the nozzle within the container during the filling operation. the lower one of the sensing tubes being operable to disable the valve controlling the fast How and the upper one of the sensing tubes being operable to disable the value controlling the slow flow. A control circuit responsive to the back pressure developed in the sensing tubes as the liquid rises in the container effects closing of the fast and slow filling valves.
While the provision of the two sensing tubes is de scribed in conjunction with a nozzle which is lowered into the container and with valve means which provides for slow feed and fast feed. it is within the scope of the invention to employ two sensing tubes for first stopping the fast feed and thereafter stopping thc slow feed with filling apparatus wherein the nozzle is introduced into the container by raising the container over the nozzle rather than lowering the nozzle into the container and wherein a filling valve is employed which fills the container at a uniform rate rather than at different rates.
The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. I is a front elevation of a filling head of a filling machine shown in relation to a container supported therebelow;
FIG. la is a front elevation of the machine above the head showing the control for effecting operation of the fast and slow valves;
FIG. 2 is an elevation taken from the right-hand side of FIG. I showing the filling nozzle projected into the container;
FIG. 3 is a diametrical section ofa portion of the filling head and of the filling nozzle;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged view. partly in elevation and partly in section. showing the fast and slow flow control valves;
FIG. 5 is an elevation of the means for raising and lowering the nozzle;
FIG. 6 is a view. partly in elevation and partly in sec tion. showing the control for effecting operation of the fast and slow valves;
FIG. 7 is a plan view. partly in section. of clamping blocks for adjusting the height of the sensing tubes;
FIG. 8 is a section of an interface valve in the control circuit; and
FIG. 9 is a diagram of the control circuit.
The filling apparatus disclosed herein is similar in many respects to that shown in my US. Pat. Nos. 3,580,298 and 3,626,998 to which reference may be had for such details as are common and because they are not directly concerned with the invention herein will not be described. In general. the apparatus has a plurality of filling heads mounted in spaced relation peripherally ofa turret for movement about a vertical axis above a supporting structure on which are circularly arranged container supports for supporting containers below the filling heads. The turret and container support move in consonance and during such movement containers are supplied by a conveyor to the container supports mounted on the supporting structure. one below each filling head. A centering device is brought down over the upper end of the container to center it with respect to the nozzle whereupon the support is raised to engage the container with the lower end of the nozzle. In the aforesaid application engagement of a container with the centering device is required to condition the apparatus for a filling operation. An adjustable cam relative to which the turret and supporting structure rotate initiates the filling operation by lowering the nozzle into the container and by opening a valve controlling the flow of liquid through the nozzle. Following the filling operation the nozzle is retracted, the container support lowered to clear the upper end of the container therefrom whereupon the centering device is raised and the filled container is discharged. In accor dance with that invention. the filling head was provided with valve means embodying slow and fast flow passages containing valves and these were operated in succession when a filling operation was initiated to first open the slow flow valve passage and then to open the fast flow valve passage. The purpose was to deliver the liquid into the container to a depth to submerge the lower end of the nozzle during the early stage of filling to minimize foaming and after submergence to fill the container rapidly to completion. The present apparatus continues to embody valve means of the foregoing kind with control means whereby the valve in the fast flow passage is closed first followed by closing of the valve in the slow flow passage. the purpose of which is to eliminate overfill of a container with a small diameter and/or long, thin or tapering neck and to insure filling to the same level in all containers. With this general account of the organization of the apparatus and its operation, the invention will now be described with reference to a single filling head since the several heads are all identical in construction and operation.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, the turret which supports the filling heads for rotation about a vertical axis is shown at having a flat, annular face to which are secured at equally spaced intervals bracket members 12, each bracket being designed to support a filling head 14 (FIGS. 3 and 4), a cylinder 16 (FIGS. 1A and 5) for effecting operation of the liquid valve therein, valve means 18 (FIG. 4) for controlling the flow of liquid to the filling head and control means 20 (FIGS. IA and 6) by means of which the filling operation is initiated and terminated.
The filling head 14 (FIGS. 3 and 4) comprises a block 22 of circular cross-section fastened to the bracket I2 by a clamp collar 24 so that it is situated radially outwardly of the turret and contains an internal vertically disposed cylindrical chamber 26. The block has at its upper and lower ends threaded extensions 26a and 26b. The chamber 26 has near its upper end a lateral opening 28 which is in communication with the aforesaid valve means through which liquid is delivered to the chamber and from thence to a nozzle 30 (FIGS. 3 and 4) supported within a tube 32 which. in turn. is supported in a sleeve 33 having a part 34 at one end corresponding substantially in diameter to the inside diameter of the chamber and a circumferential flange 36 of large diameter set into the extension 26b with the flange 36 against the lower end of the extension and secured thereto by a threaded cap 38. The cap 38 contains a central opening 40 through which the lower part of the sleeve 33 extends. The sleeve 33 contains a smooth cylindrical bore 41 in which is fixed the upper end of the tube 32, the lower end of which extends axially beyond the lower end of the sleeve 33 and which is of an outside diameter of a dimension to extend through the top opening of the container to be filled. The nozzle 30 is of smaller diameter than the tube 32 and is slidably mounted in the tube 32 with its upper end secured to an adapter 46 containing an axial bore 48. A radial port 50 connects the bore 48 to the interior of the nozzle 30. The upper end of the adapter 46 is connected to the lower end of a rod 52 which passes upwardly through a gland 54 situated in the extension 26a and is held in place by a cap 56 and provides means for effecting vertical movement of the nozzle to lower it into the container and raise it therefrom as will be described hereinafter. The lower end of the nozzle 30 has threaded into it a valve head 58 corresponding to the inside diameter of the tube 32 which contains an axial passage 60, the upper end of which is in communication with the interior of the nozzle and the lower end of which has divergent. downardly extending ports 62-62 which extend through the sides of the valve head. Below the ports 6262 the head contains an annular groove 64 in which there is disposed a sealing ring 66. When the valve head 58 is withdrawn into the tube 32 the ports 62-62 are closed by the wall of the tube and the liquid will stand in the nozzle 30 from the ports all the way to the chamber. When the valve head 58 is extended from the tube 32, the liquid will be free to flow through the ports into the container within which the nozzle is situated.
The rod 52, as related above, provides for raising and lowering the nozzle within the supporting tube 32 and is connected at its upper end by a coupling member 68 (FIGS. 1A and 5) to which it is removably attached by engagement of a T-shaped head 69 within a slot 71 in the coupling member. the latter being connected to the lower end of a piston rod 72 extending downwardly from the lower end of the cylinder 16. A latch plate retains the T-shaped head within the slot. The cylinder 16 is mounted in a vertical position in vertical alignment with the nozzle by a series of supports comprising the bracket I2 which has a vertical arm 76, a bar 78 bolted at its lower end to the arm 76 and a clamp bracket 80 fixed to the upper end of the bar 78. Pressure supplied to the upper end of the cylinder 16 will displace the piston downwardly therein and hence the rod downwardly to project the valve head 58 from the tube 32. Venting the pressure from the upper end of the cylinder 16 will permit the valve head to be drawn into the tube 32 to stop flow as will appear hereinafter.
As related above. the valve means 18 is designed to provide for slow and fast flow and comprises a valve block 82 (FIG. 4) containing a chamber 84 situated between its upper and lower ends. The valve block contains a port 86 through one side within which is fitted an end of a conductor 88 through which the liquid with which the container is to be filled is permitted to enter the chamber 84. At the bottom of the chamber 84 there are spaced parallel, vertically disposed passages 90, 92. The upper ends of the passages 90, 92 have conical seats 94, 96. The lower ends of the passages are connected to a transverse passage 98 in an adapter block 100 bolted to the bottom side of the valve block. One end of the passage 98 is closed and the other end extends through a nipple 102 provided at the end of the adapter block. The nipple 102 is engaged within one end of a coupling 104, the latter being fixed in the opening 28. Intermediate the top and bottom of the valve block there is a transverse opening 108 which intersects the passages 92, 94 within which there is removably disposed a bar 110 containing spaced parallel passages I12, 114 so located that when the bar 110 is inserted and locked in place by engagement of a latch plate I16 with a groove 119 therein, the axes of the passages 112. 114 coincide with the axes of the passages 90, 92. The passages 112,114 may correspond in diameter with the passages 90. 92 or may he ola different diameter.
Control of the flow of liquid through the valve block 82 is afforded by valve elements 118,120 supported in the valve block 82in glands 122. 124 for vertical movement relative to the seats 94. 96. The lower ends of the valve elements 118, 120 have conical tips 126, 128 for engagement with the conical seats and the conical surfaces therefore contain sealing rings to provide for a liquid tight seal when engaged with the seats. The upper ends of the valve elements contain axially threaded holes 130. 132 which provide for attaching the valve elements to the lower ends of piston rods 134, I36 extending downwardly from cylinders 138, 140 supported above the valve block 82 by means of a bracket arm 142 fixed to the bracket 12. The valve elements 118, 120 are threaded onto the piston rods to enable adjusting them and are slotted to receive pins 144, 146 to prevent rotation thereon. The lower ends of the cylinders 138, 140 are provided with coupling means 148, 150 by means of which conductors of air pressure are connected thereto to effect upward movement of the pistons and hence the valve elements to disengage the valve elements from the seats. Venting of the pressure to the cylinders permits the pistons to descend thereby engaging the valve elements with the seats and, as will appear hereinafter, the pistons are lower by air above the pistons which is compressed during the upward displacement of the pistons.
The control means (FIGS. 1A, 6 and 9) comprises a valve block assembly 150 mounted on a post 152 and is similar to that shown in the aforesaid application in that it embodies valves A and B for initiating, respectively, the filling operation and a blow-down operation to clear the ends of the sensing tubes which are to be described hereinafter. these valves having externally located actuating elements A-l, 8-1 which are tripped by the aforesaid cam as the filling head travels relative thereto. Referring to FIGS. 6 and 9 the valve A when tripped supplies pilot pressure through conductor pl to one end of a normally closed three-way valve C to shift the latter to a position to permit line pressure to pass through a conductor p2 to a normally closed valve D which is connected by a conductor p3 to the upper end of the cylinder 16. Opening the valve D supplies pressure from an independent source of pressure to the upper end of cylinder 16 to start the downward movement of the piston therein and hence projection of the nozzle 30 from the tube 32. At the same time line pressure is supplied through the conductor p2 to the lower end ofthe cylinder I38 to raise the piston thereon and hence to disengage the valve element 118 from its seat. As the piston in the cylinder [6 descends the rod 52 moves downwardly and the latter has on it an adjustably mounted block I56 (FIG. IA). A two-way normally closed valve E (FIG. 9) provided with a trip 158 is mounted close to the rod 52 so that as the rod de scends the block will pass by the trip I58 and momen tarily open the valve E. Opening valve E permits a pulse of line pressure to flow through the valve E and a conductor p4 to normally closed three-way valve F. shifting the latter to position to permit line pressure to flow through a conductor p5 to the lower end ofthe cylinder 140 thus to disengage the valve element 120 from its seat to permit fast flow.
The valve C, as shown in US. Pat. No. 3.580.298 and in FIG. 8 comprises a diaphragm-supported valve element 29 normally held closed by line pressure supplied thereto by a conductor p6 at the right end. as shown in FIG. 8. Tripping the valve A supplies a pulse of pressure through conductor pl to the left end of the valve C which displaces the valve element to the right. Displacement of the valve element to the right allows the line pressure to enter the central chamber 31 and flow through the conductor p2 to the valve D and to the cylinder I38 and simultaneously through an axial passage p7 in the valve element to the left end thereof to hold the valve element open until the pressure is exhausted at that end.
In the aforesaid pending application the two valves 118, remain open until the container is filled whereupon they are closed by sensing means which detect the level ofthe liquid in the container. The shut-off comprises closing the slow flow valte which. because of its series relation with the fast flow valve. results in terminating the filling operation. According to this invention, it is desirable to shut off the flow sequentially. first the fast flow and then the slow flow. This is accomplished herein by employing two sensing devices comprising (FIGS. 2. 3 and 9) a sensing tube and a sensing tube 162 mounted on the sleeve 33 in parallel relation thereto and vertically adjustable thereof. The sensing tubes are mounted on the sleeve so that when the latter is situated within the opening at the top ofthe container the sensing tubes will be in the container at the position where it is desirable to shut off the flow to obtain the desired final level. The lower end of the tube 160 is situated at a lower level than the lower end of the tube 162 and it controls closing of the fast feed valve while the sensing tube 162 controls closing of the slow feed valve. Adjustment of the sensing tubes is provided for by vertically disposed clamp blocks 164-164 and 166-166 (FIGS. 1, 3 and 7) mounted on the sleeve 33. One ofthe blocks of each pair of blocks contains recesses through which the tubes pass. The recesses in the upper block 164, are. respectively, a small recess 168 and a large recess 170 and in the lower block 166, respectively. a large recess 172 and a small recess 174. The upper blocks 164-464 when drawn into clamping relation will bind the tube passing through the smaller recess against the sleeve but will leave the tube passing through the larger recess free. The lower blocks 166-l66 when drawn into clamping relation will bind the tube passing through the smaller recess against the sleeve but will leave the tube passing through the larger one free. Screws 176 and 178 provide for drawing the blocks together about the nozzles.
Referring to FIG. 9, the sensing tube 160 is connected by a conductor p8 to a normally closed threeway valve G, one end of which is connected to a source oflow pressure sensing air. The valve G, during the fill ing operation, permits sensing air to pass through it to the sensing tube 160. Back pressure developed in the sensing tube 160 is communicated by way of conductor p9, relay RA and conductor p10 to a three-way normally closed interface valve H, allowing the latter to vent. Venting the valve H vents the pressure at the end of the three-way normally closed valve F by way of conductor p4, allowing it to shift back to its normally closed position thereby venting pressure by way of con ductor p5 from the lower end of the cylinder 140. Valve F is of the same construction as valve C. When the lower end of the cylinder I40 is vented the pressure at the upper end of the cylinder will lower the piston therein to engage the valve element l2t) with its seat. Thus when the liquid reaches the lower end of the sensing tube 160 the fast filling valve element 120 will be closed, Filling will continue but at a slow rate until the level reaches the lower end of the sensing tube 162. The sensing tube 162 is connected by a conductor pl 1 to a three-way normally closed valve J. to one end of which sensing air is supplied and through which it flows to the sensing tube. Back pressure developed in the sensing tube 162 is communicated through a conductor pll. relay RB and relay Rl containing a pin p-x which operates to block a jet I64. Blocking the jet 164 increases the pressure in a relay R2 by way of conductor pl causing it to retract a pin 11- which normally closes an exhaust jet 166. Opening the exhaust jet 166 allows escape of pressure by way of conductor p14 from the end of the normally closed three-way valve C thereby shifting it to its closed position which, in turn, vents the line pressure through conductor p2 from the bottom of the cylinder I38 and the valve D, allowing the latter to close and thus exhaust the air from the cylinder l6 and simultaneously vents the line pressure from the cylinder 138. Both the cylinder [6 and the cylinder 138 are connected to the low pressure line so that when vented the pressure at the upper end of the cylinder l38 will lower the piston therein to close the slow flow valve element and at the lower end ofthe cylinder 16 will raise the piston therein to retract the nozzle.
The relays RA and RB are restrictors and the relays R1 and R2 are like those shown in my pending application Ser. No. 160,840, filed July 8, i971 and as shown herein in FIG. 6. The relay RI comprises a diaphragm 11 which supports the pin p-x opposite the nozzle 164 so that the back pressure developed in the sensing tube 160 will move the pin p-x toward the nozzle thereby blocking the flow of air from the nozzle. Blocking the flow of air from the nozzle I64 increases the pressure in the control circuit and this is conveyed through the conductor p13 to the relay R2. The pin p-y of relay R2 is supported by spaced diaphragms l3, 15 with an end opposite the jet 166. Displacement of the pin pv away from the jet 166 allows venting of the control circuit by way of conductor pl4. Both diaphragm-supported pins p-.t. p-y are provided with spring means and adjustmerits for adjusting their resistance to displacement. Relay RA is a restrictor which blocks flow of the sensing air and permits the back pressure to shift a dia phragm-supported valve element 17 in the three-way valve H thus to vent the pressure from the valve F. To provide for more reliable response of the diaphragmsupported valve element the righthand end of the valve element is loaded by means of a spring 19 which is adapted to be adjusted by means of a screw-threaded pin 2|.
The circuit embodies. as described in the pending application. a no-bottle, no-fill" valve comprising an exhaust valve K (FIG. 9) which remains open as long as there is no container in place for filling. When a container is lifted against the centering device the latter closes the exhaust valve K so that the circuit becomes operative.
As in the prior machine there is means for effecting clearing of the sensing tubes by blowing high pressure air through them at times. The blow-down is effected by tripping the normally closed valve 8 which is actuated by the trip lever B-l. Tripping the valve B (FIGS. 6 and 9) first shifts the valves J and G to block the low pressure sensing lines and then shifts the valve L which permits variable blow-down pressure to pass through the valves L, J and G into and through the sensing tubes I62, 160. The valves J and G are arranged to be closed to prevent the blowdown pressure from reaching the relays.
The valve L is like that shown in the aforesaid pending application in that pressure supplied to it by tripping the valve B operates to displace a piston 23 (FIG. 6) which in turn. by means of a rod 25 connected to the piston. opens a normally closed three-way valve 27 which supplies blow down pressure to the valves J and G.
It is to be observed that there are check valves M and N in the conductors for the sensing tubes to prevent rise of liquid through them into the valves .1 and G.
It should be understood that the present disclosure is for the purpose of illustration only and that this invention includes all modifications and equivalents falling within the scope of the appended claims.
I. In a filling machine, a machine frame, a plurality of filling heads including nozzles extending downwardly therefrom and a corresponding number of con' tainer supports means supporting the filling heads and container supports with the nozzles centered above the supports for rotation about a vertical axis, means for supplying empty containers to the container supports and pneumatically operative means for effecting rela tive movement of the filling heads and container supports to position the nozzles within the containers adjacent to the bottoms for filling and withdrawal following filling, each filling head having a pneumatically operable supply valve operative to supply liquid to each noz zle through its associated filling head said pneumatically operable supply valve containing a primary passage through which liquid is adapted to flow at a relatively slow rate throughout the filling operation and a secondary passage through which additional liquid is adapted to flow during the period between initiating the filling operation and terminating the filling operation, said pneumatically operable supply valve includ ing a first valve element operable to open and close the primary passage to commence and terminate the filling operation and a second valve element in the secondary passage to open and close the secondary passage while the liquid continues to flow through the primary passage. a pneumatic control circuit within which the pneumatically operable means and the pneumatically operable supply valve are included a first trip valve in the control circuit operable at a predetermined place in the rotation of the filling heads and container supports to effect operation of the pneumatically operable means and simultaneously the pneumatically operable supply valve to open the first valve element simulta neously with the movement of the nozzle to said position adjacent the bottom ofthe container, a second trip valve operable to effect operation of said pneumatically operable supply valve at said position of the nozzle adjacent the bottom of the container to open the second valve element and sensing means included in the control circuit supported together with the nozzle within the container and movable into and out of the container with the nozzle, said sensing means being operative when the liquid rises in the container to a predetermined level to effect operation of the pneumatically operable supply valve to close the second valve element to terminate the supplemental flow through the secondary passage without terminating the flow through the primary passage and thereafter to effect operation of the pneumatically operable supply valve and the pneumatically operable means. to close the first valve element to terminate the flow through the primary passage and withdraw the nozzle front the con tainer.
2. A filling machine according to claim 1, wherein the nozzles are arranged to be extended downwardly from the filling heads and said means for effecting relative movement of the nozzles and container supports extends the nozzles downwardly towards the container supports into the containers and upwardly to withdraw them therefrom.
3. A filling machine according to claim 2, wherein the sensing means are secured to the nozzles and extended therewith into the containers.
4. A filling machine according to claim 2, wherein the sensing means comprises for each nozzle two sensing elements secured to the nozzle at different levels, the lower of said sensing elements operating to cause the second valve element to close and the higher of the sensing elements operating to cause the first valve element to close.
5. A filling machine according to claim 4, wherein there is means for adjusting the level of the sensing elements relative to the nozzle.
6. A filling machine according to claim 1, wherein the secondary passage is of larger cross-section than the primary passage.
7. A filling machine according to claim 1, wherein said pneumatically operative supply valve embodies first and second pneumatically operable cylinders con nected respectively to the first and second valve elements, said first trip valve supplies operating pressure to the first cylinder, said second trip valve supplies operating pressure to the second cylinder and said sensing means operating to successively bleed said second cylinder and then said first cylinder.
8. In a filling machine, a machine frame, upper and lower supports mounted on the frame for rotation about a vertical axis, filling heads mounted peripherally on the upper support, container supports mounted peripherally on the lower support below the filling heads. a nozzle extending downwardly from each filling head toward the container support therebelow. said nozzle being adapted to be extended and retracted relative to the lower support to enter it into a container resting thereon and to retract it therefrom, pneumatically operable means for effecting extension and retraction, a supply valve connected to each filling head for supplying fluid to the filling heads and from thence to the nozzles. means for supplying containers to the lower support, means for rotating the supports in unison relative to the means for supplying containers to the lower support, said supply valve having pneumatically operable valve means containing first and second valves and first and second valve operating means. said first valve being operable to commence and terminate the filling operation and said second valve being operable while liquid continues to flow through the first who to sup plement flow through the first \al\c to increase the rate of filling and being operative to terminate the supplemental flo without terminating the flow through the first valve to decrease the rate of fill. a first trip valve operable by rotational movement of the supports as a filling head and support moves away from the means for supplying containers thereto to effect operation of the pneumatically operable means for extending the nozzle and simultaneously to effect operation of the first valve operating means. a second trip valve operable simultaneously with extension of the nozzle to the bottom of the container to effect operation of the second valve operating means and sensing means supported by the nozzle and movable into the container therewith embodying vertically spaced first and second sensing elements, said first sensing element being operative when the liquid rises in the container to a predetermined level to effect operation of the second valve operating means and the second sensing means being operable to effect operation of the means for extending and retracting the nozzle to retract the latter and simultaneously to effect operation of the first valve operating means.
9. In a filling machine. a machine frame. upper and lower supports mounted on the frame for rotation about a vertical axis. filling heads mounted peripherally of the upper support and a corresponding number of container supports mounted on the lower support. spaced conveyor means supported peripherally of the supports for delivering empty containers to the container supports and receiving filled containers therefrom, means for effecting rotation of the supports in unision and means for filling the containers during rotational movement between the spaced conveyors. comprising filling nozzles mounted on the heads for extension and retractioninto a container on the support and withdrawal therefrom, a control circuit including, power operable means for effecting said extension and retraction of the nozzles, a supply valve connected to each filling head for supplying fluid through the head to the nozzle, said supply valve having two flow passages, two valves and two valve operable means for ef fecting operation of the valves, first and second trips. first and second sensing means supported by each nozzle, said first trip being operable by rotation of the supports to effect operation of the power operable means to extend the nozzle and simultaneously to effect operation of the first valve operable means to open said first valve, said second trip being operable when the nozzle is fully extended to effect operation of the second valve operable means to open said second valve, said first sensing means being operable when the liquid reaches a predetermined level to effect operation of said second valve operable means to close the second valve and thereafter said second sensing means being operable to effect operation of said first valve operable means to close the first valve and simultaneously said power operable means for retracting the nozzle, said filling operation being initiated and terminated between the place of delivery of containers to the supports and the place of removal of containers from the supports.