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Publication numberUSH1777 H
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/859,363
Publication dateFeb 2, 1999
Filing dateMay 20, 1997
Priority dateMay 20, 1997
Publication number08859363, 859363, US H1777 H, US H1777H, US-H-H1777, USH1777 H, USH1777H
InventorsScot Colby
Original AssigneeFuji Hunt Photographic Chemicals, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for bottle capping
US H1777 H
A torque wrench for manually applying a screw cap on a threaded opening of a container. The torque wrench includes a handle portion which engages a dome s that releasably receives a neck ring insert. The insert engages the cap and applies a consistent amount of torque thereto by the use of a draft angle or curved portion on an inner surface which tightly engages the curved top edge of the cap. The insert may be sized to accommodate different sized caps.
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What is claimed is:
1. A torque wrench for applying a screw-on cap to a threaded opening of a container, comprising:
a handle for turning the torque wrench;
a dome having at one end a continuous outwardly extending wall, the wall defining a recess located within the dome; and
an annular neck ring insert fixedly received in the recess of the dome, the neck ring insert comprising an inner surface having ribs therein for releasably engaging the screw-on cap whereby torque applied to the handle is transmitted through the dome and annular neck ring insert to the cap to screw the cap onto the threaded opening of the container, the inner surface of the annular neck ring insert having an inwardly extending portion for tightly engaging an upper curved portion of the cap.

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to capping of bottles and, more particularly, a torque wrench for applying a predetermined amount of torque to a cap when placing the cap on a bottle.

2. Description of the Related Art

Automated capping machines for applying screw-on caps are known. See, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,658,565, 3,906,706, 4,222,215, 5,151,897, 3,984,965 and 3,031,822. See also U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,716,772 and 4,794,801, regarding torque evaluators. Manual torque wrenches are also known and, of course, caps may be applied by hand without the assistance of a wrench. It will be appreciated, however, that placing caps on bottles by hand without any tool is not very effective and is very inconsistent.


An object of the invention is to provide a torque wrench which can be used to apply a cap manually to a bottle or the like container in an effective manner with a consistent amount of torque.

This objective, and other objectives, are achieved by providing a torque wrench for applying a screw-on cap to a threaded opening of a container, the torque wrench including a handle for turning them wrench, a cap receiving dome releasably engaged by the handle and an annular-shaped neck ring insert. The dome includes at one end a continuous outwardly extending and annular shaped wall having an inner surface which defines a recess. The neck ring insert is received in the recess defined by the inner surface of the dome and includes inner and outer surfaces, the outer surface releasably engaging the inner surface of the dome wall, and the inner surface of the insert releasably engaging the screw-on cap such that torque applied to the handle is effectively and consistently transmitted through the dome and annular neck ring insert to the cap. Significantly, the inner surface of the annular neck ring insert has an upper curved portion for tightly engaging an upper curved portion of the cap, and thus tightly engaging the cap in general.


Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent when the following description is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded, perspective view of a torque wrench in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a dome portion of the torque wrench of FIG. 1 taken along lines A--A thereof; and

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the portion of the annular neck ring insert of the torque wrench contained in circle B of FIG. 1, showing also a portion of the cap located therein.


Referring now to the drawings wherein like numbers indicate like elements, there is shown in FIG. 1 a torque wrench in accordance with the principles of the invention and designated generally as 10. Torque wrench 10 includes handle 20, dome 30 and neck ring insert 50.

Handle 20 includes a generally laterally extending gripping portion 22 connected to a downwardly extending portion 24 which includes at a free end thereof an engagement device 26, such as the male portion of a socket wrench.

Dome 30 includes a mating engagement device 32 including aperture 34, such as the female portion of a socket wrench, for receiving engagement device 26 of handle 20. of course, other suitable engagement devices for mating handle 20 and dome 30 will be apparent to one skilled in the art, and are within the scope of the present invention. Moreover, handle 20 and dome 30 could be manufactured as one piece.

Dome 30 also includes a continuous, circular or. annular shaped wall 36 extending generally outward and away from engagement portion 32, as better seen in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 2. Wall 36 includes a continuous inner surface 38 which has generally vertically extending ribs or serrations for engaging an outer surface of neck ring insert 50, as will be discussed in more detail below. It will be understood that engagement portion 32 may be absent in which case any engagement portion may be used including, for example, a shaped hole in wall 36 matching an adaptively shaped projection on handle 20.

Neck ring insert 50 is an annularly shaped element and includes a continuous inner surface 52 having generally vertically extending ribs or serrations 54 for engaging screw-on cap 60, more specifically ribs 64 on outer wall 62 of cap 60. Neck ring insert 50 also includes a continuous outer surface 56 having generally vertically extending ribs or serrations 58 for mating with ribs or serrations 40 on inner surface 38 of dome 30. Neck ring insert 50 may alternatively have a cylindrical or conical inner surface 52. The conical inner surface is shaped so that the radius of the annularly shaped element is smaller at its top surface 51 than its bottom surface 50 for tightly engaging an adaptively shaped bottle cap. Also, it will be appreciated, that insert 50 and dome 30 may be fixedly engaged by any suitable arrangement other than the serrations discussed aboveincluding, but not limited to, a friction grip, screw threads, axially or laterally dispersed screws, clips, etc.

Of course, one skilled in the art will recognize that any suitable arrangement may be used to fixedly engage dome 30 and neck ring insert 50, with specific means other than that which is discussed herein being apparent to one skilled in the art and within the scope of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 3, neck ring insert 50 includes a curved portion or draft angle 55 at an upper location of inner surface 52 at or near top surface 51 of insert 50 which enables insert 50 to tightly engage screw cap 60 which typically includes an upper rounded edge 66. Curved portion 55 extends inward to a center longitudinal axis B--B of insert 50, as shown in FIG. 3, and forms a lip 56 which overhangs cap 60 when torque wrench 10 is used to apply cap 60 to a threaded opening 72 of a container 70. Thus, the twisting force applied by the user to handle 20 is transmitted through dome 30 and neck ring insert 50 to cap 60 such that it is screwed onto threaded opening 72 of container 70 in a consistent and effective manner.

Neck ring insert 50 is advantageously removable from dome 30 and is replaceable therein such that insert 50 may be custom made (i.e., sized) to accommodate different sized caps. Other advantages of the present invention are that it includes no movingi parts, it is more durable than conventional manual torque wrenches, it enables easy change over of different sized neck ring inserts to accommodate different sized caps, and it enables better rib (knurl) engagement on the cap to be applied to a container due to the draft angle of the neck ring insert, than conventional torque wrenches. Moreover, in the present invention the number of parts which make up the tool is reduced, and as mentioned above rib engagement by the neck ring insert includes a draft angle which exactly matches that of the cap. This is highly significant so that the torque wrench properly engages the cap. Conventional torque wrenches fail to completely engage the caps and strip out before applying the proper torque, which subsequently causes bottle leakers.

Although the present invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment thereof, many other variations and modifications and other uses will become apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention. It is preferred, therefore, that the present invention not be limited by the specific disclosure herein, but only by the appended claim.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US476712 *Jun 7, 1892 Apparatus for
US1208529 *Jan 27, 1915Dec 12, 1916Automatic Weighing Machine CompanyMachine for securing metallic screw-caps to bottles, jars, and the like.
US2097022 *Feb 1, 1935Oct 26, 1937Ludcke CorpCapping machine
US2162445 *Nov 6, 1936Jun 13, 1939Richel John CJar wrench
US3031822 *Feb 21, 1961May 1, 1962Cons Packaging Machinery CorpChuck for capping machines
US3906706 *Dec 13, 1973Sep 23, 1975Dairy Cap CorpCap-tightener
US3984965 *Sep 19, 1974Oct 12, 1976Harry CrisciDevice for applying caps to bottles
US4222215 *Mar 23, 1979Sep 16, 1980Kewpie Kabushiki KaishaScrew-capping device
US4446673 *May 14, 1982May 8, 1984Johannes DesthieuxBottle-filling method and device
US4658565 *Mar 13, 1986Apr 21, 1987Figgie International Inc.Capping machine
US4716772 *Apr 14, 1986Jan 5, 1988Bubeck Kenneth BChild-resistant cap torque evaluator
US4794801 *Jun 16, 1987Jan 3, 1989The Upjohn CompanyBottle cap removal torque tester
US5148652 *Feb 14, 1991Sep 22, 1992Herzog Kenneth JHand capper
US5157897 *Dec 5, 1991Oct 27, 1992Aluminum Company Of AmericaRotary capping machine
US5437139 *Sep 21, 1993Aug 1, 1995Anderson-Martin Machine Co.Capping machine head with cap aligning chuck
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6382440 *Mar 10, 2000May 7, 2002Alcoa Closure Systems InternationalClosure having raised sidewall display elements
US6688484 *Aug 30, 2001Feb 10, 2004Michel BoulangeTamper evident container closures
US7721510 *Feb 6, 2006May 25, 2010Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.Vial capping device and vial capping method
EP1508527A1 *Aug 20, 2003Feb 23, 2005H. Obrist & Co. AGClosing lid and assembly kit for the manufacture of a tube closure arrangement
U.S. Classification53/331.5
International ClassificationB67B3/20, B65B7/28, B67B7/18
Cooperative ClassificationB67B3/2006, B67B7/18, B67B3/20, B65B7/2835
European ClassificationB67B3/20C, B65B7/28E, B67B3/20, B67B7/18
Legal Events
May 20, 1997ASAssignment
Effective date: 19970506