|Publication number||USRE42176 E1|
|Application number||US 12/203,780|
|Publication date||Mar 1, 2011|
|Filing date||Sep 3, 2008|
|Priority date||May 30, 2003|
|Also published as||DE602004008696D1, DE602004008696T2, EP1481899A1, EP1481899B1, US7100658, US20040238128|
|Publication number||12203780, 203780, US RE42176 E1, US RE42176E1, US-E1-RE42176, USRE42176 E1, USRE42176E1|
|Inventors||Ezequiel Giro Amigo|
|Original Assignee||Girnet Internacional, S.L.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Non-Patent Citations (1), Classifications (43), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The invention relates to a machine for manufacturing mesh bags, made from portions cut from a continuous roll of tubular mesh, closed at its two ends, and for filling and closing said mesh bags, which are particularly suitable for packaging horticultural products, such as fruit and tubers.
The known machines for the manufacture of continuous mesh bags are made up of tubular mesh feed devices and a first and second laminate of thermally weldable material and opening means of the tubular mesh, which comprise an expanding core arranged floating and vertically inside the tubular mesh and are supported by at least one pair of rotating rollers outside the mesh, the shafts of which are integral to the machine.
The machines also have one or several traction devices, made up, for example, of pairs of rollers which rotate in the opposite direction and between which the tubular mesh is forced to circulate in an upward or downward direction on the outside of the expanding core. Some machines are also provided with welding devices, in order to weld the laminates of thermally weldable material onto the tubular mesh as it passes through said expanding core and with devices for cutting the tubular mesh and closing the section which has been cut at the bottom, in order to thus make up a bag bottom.
The laminates of thermally weldable material are used to join the bag ends and make up the bottom thereof, as well as to close the bag after the filling thereof. In addition, the laminates are used to print the identifying data of the bag, its content or for advertising.
However, when the mesh is stretched by the traction devices, it frequently undergoes some kind of deformation, and that one of its faces, and the corresponding laminate of thermally weldable material, is displaced as regards the other face and corresponding laminate. In the event of there being equal or complementary information on the laminates adjoining the two faces of the tubular mesh, this effect leads to said information not matching when the tubular mesh and adjoining laminates are cut and then welded to make up the bag bottom or the subsequent closing thereof.
Progressively, and as the machine drags the tubular mesh in order to manufacture one bag after the other, this small difference in displacement between the laminates increases, in such a way that it is necessary to stop the machine in order to manually align the two laminates to be affixed to the two sides of the same bag.
In the event of the laminates having different colour printing for the bottom or the upper fastener, or should the laminates incorporate signs to be detected by optical readers and activate some sort of device on the machine, the non-alignment of the laminates can cause serious consequences, forcing the bag production to be stopped, as well as the filling and closing thereof, since the bags that are manufactured may be faulty.
Therefore, the need for a machine which allows for the continuous manufacture of mesh bags, which ensures the alignment of the adjoining laminates to the faces of the tubular mesh and which are an improvement on the current drag systems for mesh bags along a core expander is noted.
The machine for manufacturing, filling and closing mesh bags from a continuous roll of tubular mesh preferably obtained from a reel, comprises a first bag-shaping station, provided with tubular mesh continuous feed devices and first and second laminates of thermally weldable material; an expansion device which is perimetric to the tubular mesh provided with a core expander with an essentially oblong and flattened configuration, to be inserted, floating and vertically, inside the tubular mesh, determining in said mesh as it passes through the core expander, two frontal faces and two lateral faces, and the first and the second laminates of thermally weldable material face and superimpose said frontal faces of the tubular mesh; welding devices arranged on both sides of the tubular mesh for the welding of each of the laminates of thermally weldable material to the face adjacent to the tubular mesh; and a bag-shaping device, equipped with a cross-sectional welding device to configure a bag bottom and a cross-sectional cutting mechanism arranged next to the cross-sectional welding mechanism.
In essence, the machine is characterised in that the core expander of the perimetric expansion device is equipped with a vertical aperture which, as if it were a slot, traverses the core expander and connects the two frontal faces thereof and extends from its base to an intermediate point for which the core expander adopts an inverted “U” shape, the machine being fitted with preventive welding means, situated on a level with the core expander, adapted for partially welding the two frontal faces of the tubular mesh and the adjoining laminates of thermally weldable material through the said aperture of the core expander; and in that the first station comprises a traction device which stretches the mesh downwards, so the thermally welded zone of the two frontal faces of the mesh moves along the core expander aperture, dragging a section of the tubular mesh provided with a bottom so that the tubular mesh and laminates of thermally weldable material adjoining are cut by the cutting mechanism, turning out an unclosed mesh bag which is delivered to the first conveyor means, which convey it towards a second filling station, wherefrom second conveyor means subsequently convey it to a third closing station, both being arranged linearly.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment, the cross section of the aperture in a vertical direction of the core expander has a widening at its far end.
In accordance with another characteristic of the machine, each of the welding devices arranged on both sides of the tubular mesh is provided with at least two welders arranged cross-sectionally and at the same level as regards the tubular mesh, in order to carry out the respective cross-sectional welds.
In accordance with another characteristic of the present invention, the traction device which stretches the tubular mesh downwards is made up of a pincer, adapted for holding the end of the tubular mesh provided with a bottom, said pincer being assembled on a carriage, displaceable in a vertical direction.
In accordance with another characteristic of the present invention, the aforementioned conveyor means consist of a pair of arms arranged on both sides of the section of tubular mesh provided with a bottom and which constitutes a mesh bag after being cut by the cross-sectional cutting mechanism, said arms being capable of joining together or separating and each of them being provided with at least one suction cup, so that when the arms join together said suction cups adhere to the thermally weldable laminates of both faces of the bag and when the arms separate the suction cups open the upper mouth of the bag, and in that the arms are assembled on a carriage, displaceable in a horizontal direction, which makes an alternative movement between the first bag shaping station and the second filling station, then, as the arms convey the bag towards the second station, the arms separate, thereby opening the upper mouth of the bag.
In accordance with another characteristic of the present invention, the second station comprises a pair of arms, capable of joining together and separating, each of them provided with a pincer to hold one of the walls of the mesh bag provided with thermally weldable laminate, keeping the mesh bag open when the arms are separated; lower support means of the mesh bag; and bag filling means of the bag by its open upper mouth.
In accordance with another characteristic of the present invention, the second conveyor means consist of third arms, capable of separating and joining together and adapted for holding by pressure, when joined together, the mesh bag of the second station, said arms being arranged below the second arms of the second station and the arms also being assembled on a second carriage displaceable in a horizontal direction, which makes an alternative movement between the second filling station and the third closing station.
It is also a characteristic of the invention the fact that the third station comprises a bag closing device, provided with a welding mechanism of the tubular mesh and the laminates of thermally weldable material adjoining the tubular mesh which constitute the mesh bag.
In a preferred embodiment, the welding mechanism of tubular mesh is provided with a tightening mechanism made up of two essentially flat plates which pinch and press the mesh bag mouth before, during and after the welding of the tubular mesh and laminates of thermally weldable material.
The invention is also characterised in that the bag closing device comprises a die mechanism, adapted for trimming the laminates of thermally weldable material and the welded tubular mesh to facilitate the holding of the bags.
It is also a characteristic of the machine object of the invention that the bag closing device comprises a mechanism adapted for providing the bag with a handle.
An embodiment of the machine for manufacturing, filling and closing mesh bags from a continuous roll of tubular mesh is illustrated in the attached drawings, by way of non-limiting example, is. In said drawings:
The machine object of the invention disclosed herein as an embodiment is provided with continuous feed devices of the tubular mesh 3, not represented, preferably obtained from a reel, and with first and second laminates 5 of thermally weldable material.
For an enhanced understanding, the different parts and components of the machine are not drawn to scale in order to be able to show to a greater extent the details of greatest interest.
In the example in
The core expander 7 has an aperture 15 which, vertically and by way of a slot, extends from its base to an intermediate point, connecting the two frontal faces of the core expander and providing aforementioned core expander 7 with an inverted “U” shape, as shown in FIG. 1.
The aperture 15 permits the preventive welding means 16 to drag the two frontal faces 8 of the tubular mesh and the adjoining laminates 5 of thermally weldable material through the core expander 7, and to partly weld both frontal faces of the tubular mesh and the laminates of thermally weldable material 5, in such a way that both faces and laminates are all joined by a thermally welded zone 18.
As the aperture 15 is essentially vertical and when it stretches from the base of the core expander 7, the tubular mesh 3 and the laminates of thermally weldable material can be dragged downwards by the traction device 17 in spite of being joined, since the thermally welded zone 18 moves along the aperture 15 of the core expander.
Said preventive weld ensures that the frontal faces 8 of the tubular mesh and the laminates 5 of thermally weldable material advance or move along the core expander 7 and all of the shaping station 4, without one undergoing any movement as regards the other, both faces advancing equally when pulled by the traction means 17.
In the example in
The bag shaping station 4 is also provided with welding devices 10 situated on both sides of the tubular mesh 3 and level with the core expander 7, below the preventive welding means 16.
These welding devices 10 permit the welding of each of the laminates 5 of thermally weldable material to the adjoining frontal face 8 of the tubular mesh 3.
In the example in
The traction device 17 of the machine in the example which pulls the tubular mesh 3 and the laminates 5 downwards, is made up of a pincer 25, adapted for holding the end of the tubular mesh provided with a bottom 13 at the height of the bag shaping device 17, which moves vertically when said pincer is assembled on a moving carriage 26.
When the tubular mesh 3 and the laminates 5 is cut, the section of mesh provided with a bottom that shapes a new bag 2 is held by first conveyor means 20, which convey the new bag towards a second filling station 21, wherefrom second conveyor means 22 subsequently convey it to a third closing station 23.
Said first conveyor means 20, consist of a pair of arms 20a which, arranged on both sides of the bag 2, hold it by means of suction cups 27 provided on their ends.
The arms 20a are supported on a horizontally moving carriage 29, and, in addition, said arms are capable of separating and joining together, so that on separating, as the suction cups are adhered to the laminates 5 and the latter are welded to the tubular mesh, they open the upper mouth 28 of the mesh bag 2. This situation is reflected in
When the bag is conveyed to the second station 21, the arms 21a separate and return to the shaping station 4 in order to pick up the next bag, so the first conveyor means make an alternative back and forth movement between the shaping station 4 and the second filling station 21.
In said second station 21, a second pair of arms 21a, capable of separating and joining together and each provided with a pincer 30, will hold the bag 2 and will keep it open while filling means 32 insert the products to be packaged in the bag interior. This situation is shown in
In the example in the figure, the lower support means 31 consist of a horizontally arranged tray which stretches underneath the second station 21 and the third station 23, below which the tray is provided with a ramp by which the bag, when filled and closed in the third station 23, falls by gravity. There is also the possibility that the machine is provided with at least one tilting trapdoor arranged under the upper mouth 28 of the bag 2, in order to avoid the products from falling from too great a height from the filling means 32 to the bottom 13 of the bag or to the lower tray.
It is also possible for the lower support means 31 to be comprised of a conveyor belt which conducts the product to the exit.
Once the bag is full, the second pair of arms 21a which hold the bag in the second station 21 join together, closing the upper mouth 28 of the bag, and the second conveyor means 22 hold the bag 2. These second conveyor means 22 consist of third arms 22a, also capable of separating and joining together which hold by pressure, when they join together, the bag 2 and convey it to the third station 23. For this, the third arms 22a are assembled on a horizontally moving carriage 33.
When the bag is conveyed to the third station 23, the arms 22a separate and return to the second station 21 in order to pick up the next bag, so the second conveyor means make an alternative back and forth movement between the second filling station 21 and the third closing station 23.
In the third station 23, a bag closing device takes care of closing the upper mouth 28 of the bag. This device comprises a tightening mechanism made up of two essentially flat plates 35, which pinch and hold the bag 2, the upper mouth of which is closed. Next, a welding mechanism 34, provided with one or several welders, takes care of welding the upper mouth 28 of the bag 2, thermally welding the laminates 5 and the tubular mesh 3 of the upper bag zone.
Once the upper mouth 28 of the bag 2 is welded, the welders of the welding mechanism 34 draw back, although the plates 35 carry on pressing and holding the bag until the thermally welded zone cools enough to guarantee a correct closure.
As indicated in
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|U.S. Classification||156/496, 493/189, 53/138.3, 493/199, 53/575, 53/560, 493/394, 156/556, 493/217, 493/227, 53/554, 53/547, 53/570, 53/567, 156/538, 156/510|
|International Classification||B31B1/14, B31B1/90, B29C65/18, B29C65/02, B31B49/04, B32B37/04, B31B1/16, B65B25/04, B65B9/14, B65B43/46, B65B61/16|
|Cooperative Classification||B65B5/022, Y10T156/12, Y10T156/17, B65B9/14, B65B51/146, B65B61/14, B65B43/465, B65D29/04, Y10T156/1744, B65B25/048|
|European Classification||B65B43/46B, B65B51/14D, B65B61/14, B65B5/02B, B65D29/04, B65B25/04E|
|May 6, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: GIRNET INTERNACIONAL, S.L., SPAIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GIRO GH, S.A.U.;REEL/FRAME:024347/0530
Effective date: 20100423
|Feb 26, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8