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Publication numberUS3273308 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date20 Sep 1966
Filing date14 Aug 1963
Priority date14 Aug 1963
Publication numberUS 3273308 A, US 3273308A, US-A-3273308, US3273308 A, US3273308A
InventorsHarald Hoette
Original AssigneeEmhart Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Case packing machine
US 3273308 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

H. HOETTE CASE PACKING MACHINE Sept. 20, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1.

Filed Aug. 14, 1963 BY 41 M 501%. M

Sept. 20, 1966 H. HOETTE CASE PACKING MACHINE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 14 1963 020p STAT/0N United States Patent 3,273,308 CASE PACKING MACHINE Harald Hoette, West Hartford, Conn, assignor to Emhart Corporation, a corporation of Connecticut Filed Aug. 14, 1963, Ser. No. 302,076 7 (Ilaims. (Cl. 53-261) This invention relates to a case packing machine and, more specifically, to a drop packing machine, i.e., a machine for packing cases that are open at the top to receive their contents.

It is the general object of the invention to provide a machine of the aforementioned type wherein the articles to be packing in the cases are inserted or dropped therein with a low impact, this resulting in a low noise level, less case and container damage, and generally better performance than other generally similar case packing machines of the same type.

It is a further important object of the invention to provide a machine of the character mentioned that can be used to pack a wide variety of articles in cases, and such as glass or plastic bottles and jars, metallic containers and the like whether they be filled or empty.

It is an important feature of the machine construction to provide one or more open grid frames from which packing sleeves hang, there being one sleeve provided at each open grid of the frame. These sleeves are flexible, preferably rubber, and in the preferred form the sleeves have an expansible bottom end portion that is pleated and normally at least partially closes the bottom of the sleeve. Then, when a pressure pad is placed over the open top of the sleeve to substantially seal the same, and when air under pressure is introduced to the sleeve, the article to be packed is forced downwardly through the sleeve and into a container that is located below the frame.

In the embodiment of the machine to be described, an article-feeding conveyor is provided to feed a series of articles into position over a frame, and a rack is provided to assemble the articles in a pack so that they can be released substantially simultaneously to fall into the open sleeves carried by the frame. Then, the frame is lowered so that the sleeves will project into a case, and the case and frame are moved horizontally to a second station where a pressure pad is applied to the frame to seal off all of its sleeves and to apply air for thrusting the articles through the sleeves into the case.

Of the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a packing sleeve provided in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view through the sleeve of FIG. 1 and showing an article to be packed retained therein;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but shows a pressure pad applied to the sleeve to admit air under pressure that is shown to be forcing the article to be packed from the sleeve;

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic illustration of the operating cycle for the grid frames in a machine constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 but illustrates the operating cycle for a machine capable of packing cases at a higher rate of speed; and

FIG. 6 is a schematic illustration of a machine constructed in accordance with the present invention.

The packing sleeve 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 is an important element of the machine construction and contributes greatly to its quiet and substantially damage proof operation. While the sleeve 10 may be made of a wide variety of materials, it is preferably flexible, and a preferred material for the sleeves is rubber. An expansible means is associated with the bottom end of the sleeve to at least partially close the bottom end opening 3,273,308 Patented Sept. 20, 1966 therein. An article to be packed, such as the bottle B, will be retained within the sleeve by frictional contact with the body of the sleeve as shown in FIG. 2. The preferred expansible means comprises an integrally from bottom end portion 14 on the sleeve that comprises a circumferential series of pleats l6, 16 that gathers or restricts the normal opening in the bottom end.

The top end of the sleeve is secured in an opening of an open grid frame 18. While each sleeve 10 is preferably of generally circular cross section and is tapered to converge toward the bottom, due to its flexibility the top end can be spread to be cemented or otherwise secured at the corners of grid openings of any shape in the frame I8. Thus, a wide variety of articles, of which the bottle B is only illustrative, can be placed in the individual sleeves l0, l0 suspended from a frame 18 by dropping or inserting the articles through the open grids of the frame.

When an article, such as the bottle B, is dropped into a sleeve or stocking 10 from the open top thereof it is retained within the sleeve by frictional engagement with the sleeve above the normally restricted but expansible bottom end portion 14 thereof. It has been found that the frictional engagement with the article will retain the article within the sleeve even though the article is of rather substantial weight. Thus, articles such as the bottle B, can be handled whether they be empty or filled. It has also been found that when the top of the sleeve 10 is sealed or substantially sealed and low pressure air is introduced to the sleeve preferably on top of the article it will force the article downwardly and tend to expand the bottom end portion 14 and to provide a low friction air cushion around the article in moving it downwardly and out of the sleeve as shown in FIG. 3. The pressure of the air can be controlled to control the speed of discharge of the article from the sleeve.

Preferably, all of the sleeves in a frame 1% are sealed and air under pressure is introduced simultaneously to all of the sleeves through a common means comprising a pressure pad 20 (FIG. 3). The said pressure pad 20 comprises an upper plate 22 and a lower plate 24 which are channeled as indicated at 26 and ported as indicated at 28 to provide air flow passages through the pad and ports therein for each sleeve 10 of an associated frame 18. The pressure pad is connected to the bottom end of a piston rod 30 (FIG. 3) that extends downwardly from a fluid motor 32 (FIGS. 4 and 6). The fluid motor 32 is used to reciprocate the pressure pad 20 vertically.

In adapting a packing frame 18 and a pressure pad 20 for use in a high production packing machine, there are preferably two such frames employed for movement through an operating cycle such as illustrated in FIG. 4. That is, in constructing a machine for use of the packing frame and pressure pad, the machine is provided with two stations, one being a drop station and the other being a release station. In FIG. 4, the drop station is at the left and the release station is at the right. The two frames 18, 18 utilized in such a machine are cycled so that one frame will be in an elevated position at the drop station while the other frame is at a lowered position at the release station.

More specifically, a frame 18 and its associated stockings 10, 10 is located at the elevated left-hand position shown in FIG. 4 to receive the articles that are to be packed in a case C located below the frame at the drop station. After the articles have been inserted in the sleeves 10, 10, the frame 18 is lowered to the left-hand broken line position wherein the bottom ends of the sleeves l0, preferably project into the case. By projecting the sleeves into the case the articles that are thrust therethrough need drop only a short distance when being packed so as to avoid unnecessary noise and togreatly reduce damage to the articles and to the case.

After the frame 18 has been lowered toward the case C at the left-hand or drop station of FIG. 4, it is moved with the case horizontally toward the right to the position shown in full lines at the right-hand side of the figure. Then, the pressure pad 20 is thrust downwardly into engagement with the top of the frame 18 to seal the top ends of the stockings 10, 10, and low pressure air is introduced through the pressure pad to the sleeves to thrust the articles through the bottom ends of the sleeves as described and into the case. Then, the pressure pad and the frame are elevated to the broken line position at the release station (the right-hand side of FIG. 4), and the case that has been filled with the articles is moved onwardly and closed. Obviously, two such frames can be used to achieve high production rates, these frames being handled so that when one such frame moves from its full line position to its broken line position as shown in FIG. 4, the other such frame moves from its full line position to its broken line position. The pressure pad and fluid motor 32 that operates the same perform their functions only at the release station, and it will be noted that in the version illustrated in FIG. 4 only one such pressure pad is utilized and it is reciprocated vertically.

The operating cycle for another machine version is illustrated in FIG. 5 wherein the packing frames operate through the same cycle illustrated in FIG. 4. However, in the version shown in FIG. 5 there are two pressure pads 20, 20, and they are cycled as illustrated by the arrows so that when one pressure pad is associated with one frame and moves vertically with it, the other pressure pad is moved vertically downwardly to a position wherein it can be then shifted horizontally into engagement with the next frame to arrive at the release station. The use of the two pressure pads, cycled as illustrated in FIG. 5, speeds up the packing operation. A machine adapted for such speeded-up operation is schematically illustrated in FIG. 6 and Will now be described.

The machine shown for purposes of illustration in FIG. 6 includes a continuously operating conveyor 40 that will advance a series of articles to be packed in a plurality of longitudinally extending rows defined by longitudinal rails 42, 42. The articles are thrust by the conveyor onto a two-section plate 44 that is preferably divided along its longitudinal centerline so that the sections of the plate can be moved laterally outwardly to drop the articles into the sleeves 10, 10 of a frame that it is located immediately below the closed deadplate 44. A series of limit switches 46, 46, are located at the forward end of the deadplate 44 and are actuated by the articles in the various rows or lanes when such rows become filled on the deadplate. When all of these limit switches have been actuated to signal the arrival of a complete number of articles on the deadplate for filling a case, they operate control means that closes two sections 48, 48 of a rack. The rack sections 48, 48 are operated by fluid motors 50, 50 to move laterally inwardly to precisely space and orient the articles to be packed on the deadplate over the sleeves 10, 10 lo cated below.

When the rack sections 48, 48 are thrust inwardly to assemble the pack, a signal is automatically given that will cause the sections of the deadplate 44 to be retracted or drawn outwardly, and the articles then fall through the grid openings of a frame that supports the sleeves 10, 10 below the deadplate. The frame 18 has been positioned below the deadplate by being moved on a pair of driven endless chains 52, 52 at the sides of the machine, and in such position the frame 18 is supported on lugs carried by two pairs of endless chains 54, 54, there being one pair of such chains located at each side of the machine. The endless chains 54, 54- are driven only intermittently while the endless chains 52, 52 are driven continuously.

In the meantime, an empty case C has been located below the deadplate and the frame 18 at the drop station by being moved into position on a continuously operating longitudinally extending conveyor 56. Stops, such as the schematically illustrated stop 53, are located at the respective sides of the conveyor 56 to arrest movement of each case C thereon at the drop station.

After the stockings 10, 1th of a frame at the drop station have been filled with articles, the frame 18 is lowered toward the case C at the drop station so that the bottom ends of the sleeves will project into the case. The frame is lowered on the two pairs of endless chains 54, 54 which are driven intermittently for this purpose. When the frame has reached its lowermost position, it is then engaged and supported by suitable means on a pair of longitudinally extending endless chains 60 which are driven continuously. At the same time, the stop 58 is released and the endless chains 60 at the respective sides of the conveyor 56 are driven at the same lineal speed as the said conveyor so that the frame and associated sleeves will move along with the case C on the conveyor 56 to the release station.

When the case and associated frame arrive at the release station, they are stopped by suitable means (not shown) and at said station a pressure pad 20 is moved into position over the frame 18 by a pair of continuously driven endless chains 62, 62. When the pressure pad is properly positioned over a frame at the release station, the said frame and pressure pad are then carried upwardly by two pairs of intermittently driven endless chains 64, 64, there being one such pair located at each side of the machine. Immediately after engagement of the pressure pad and frame and while they are being elevated, air is introduced through the pressure pad into the sleeves 10, 10 to thrust the articles therefrom into the associated case. The pressure pad and associated sleeve are moved upwardly to a position wherein the pair of endless chains 52, 52 will engage and move the frame longitudinally rearwardly while a pair of endless chains 66, 66 engage and move the pressure pad longitudinally forwardly. It will be understood, of course, that the air supplied to the pressure pad is cut off during elevation of the frame and pad or at least prior to their disassociation. The pressure pad which has been released from association with the frame and moved horizontally forwardly from the release station is thereafter moved vertically downwardly by two pairs of intermittently driven endless chains 68, 68.

The invention claimed is:

1. A machine for packing cases that are open at the top to receive articles, comprising a generally horizontal open grid frame located at an elevated initial position at a drop station, a plurality of sleeves hanging on the frame, there being one such sleeve in each open grid having an open top end to receive an article inserted through the frame, the sleeve being adapted to retain the article therein and having expansible means associated with its bottom end, means for assembling a pack of articles over the frame and for inserting them substantially simultaneously through the frame into the sleeves, means for locating an open case below the frame, means for lowering said frame toward said case, means for then moving the case and frame substantially horizontally to a release station, a pressure pad movable over said frame at the release station to substantially seal the open tops of the sleeves, means for introducing air under pressure simultaneously to said sleeves to force articles therein through the associated expansible means into said case, means for elevating said frame and said pressure pad at said release station, and means for returning said frame to its initial position.

2. A machine for packing cases that are open at the top to receive articles, comprising a generally horizontal open grid frame located at an elevated position at a drop station, a plurality of flexible sleeves hanging on the frame, there being one such sleeve in each open grid having an open top to receive an article inserted through the frame, the sleeve being adapted to retain the article therein and having an expansible bottom end portion that at least partially closes the bottom end of the sleeve,

means for assembling a pack of articles over the frame and for inserting them substantially simultaneously through the frame into the sleeves, means for locating an open case below the frame, means for lowering the frame toward the case, means for moving the case and lowered frame substantially horizontally to a release station, a pressure pad movable over said frame at the release station to substantially seal the open tops of the sleeves, means for introducing air under pressure through the pad to the sleeves to substantially simultaneously force the articles therefrom into said case, means for elevating said frame and pressure pad at said release station, and means for returning said frame to its initial position.

3. A machine for packing cases that are open at the top to receive articles, the said machine having a drop station and a release station and comprising a pair of open grid frames each having a plurality of open top flexible sleeves hanging thereon with one such sleeve at each open grid and each such sleeve being adapted to retain an article therein that has been inserted through the frame and having an expansible bottom end portion that at least partially closes such sleeve, means for assembling a pack of articles over a frame located at an elevated position at the drop station and for dropping them substantially simultaneously into the sleeves of such frame, means for locating an open case below a frame at the drop station, means for lowering a frame from said elevated position at the drop station toward said case, means for moving said case and lowered frame substantially horizontally to the release station and means for substantially simultaneously moving the other frame horizontally from an elevated position at the release station to the elevated position at the drop station, means for moving a frame from the lowered position to the elevated position at the release station, a pressure pad engageable with each frame in the lowered position at the release station and movable therewith at the release station to substantially seal its sleeves, and means for introducing air under pressure through the pad to the sleeves to substantially simultaneously force the articles therefrom into the associated case.

4. A machine for packing cases as set forth in claim 3 wherein two such pressure pads are provided, one for each frame, and wherein means are provided for moving a pressure pad horizontally into association with its frame in the lowered position of the frame at the release station while substantially simultaneously moving the other pressure pad horizontally out of association with its frame in the elevated position thereof at the: release station, and wherein means are provided for moving each pressure pad in turn from an elevated position to a lowered position after disassociation with its frame.

5. In a machine for packing cases that are open at the top to receive articles, the subcombination comprising a generally horizontal frame, at least one sleeve hanging on the frame having an open top to receive and retain an article inserted through the frame, the sleeve being adapted to retain the article therein and having expansible means associated with its bottom end, a pressure pad movable relatively to said frame to substantially seal the open top end of the sleeve, and means for introducing air under pressure to said sleeve on top of the article retained therein to force said article through said expansible means downwardly and into an open case positioned below said frame.

6. In a machine for packing cases that are open at the top to receive articles, the subcombination comprising a generally horizontal frame, at least one flexible sleeve hanging on the frame having an open top to receive an article inserted through the frame, the sleeve being adapted to retain the article therein and having an expansible bottom end portion that at least partially closes its bottom end, a pressure pad movable relatively to said frame to substantially seal the open top of the sleeve, and means for introducing air under pressure through said pad to said sleeve to force an article retained therein through the expansible bottom end portion of the sleeve and into an open case positioned below the frame,

7. In a machine for packing cases that are open at the top to receive articles, the subcombination comprising a generally horizontal open grid frame, a plurality of flexible sleeves hanging on the frame, there being one such sleeve in each open grid and each such sleeve having an open top to receive an article inserted through the frame, the sleeve being adapted to retain the article therein and having an expansible bottom end portion that at least partially closes the bottom end of the sleeve, a pressure pad movable relatively to the frame to substantially seal the open top of each sleeve, and means for introducing air under pressure through said pad into all of the sleeves to force articles retained therein through the expansible bottom end portions of the sleeves and into an open case positioned below the frame.

No references cited.

GRANVILLE Y. CUSTER, in, Primary Examiner.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3452508 *13 Oct 19661 Jul 1969Dzenis Edward JCasing machine
US3911647 *23 Jan 197414 Oct 1975Hartness Robert GPositioning arm for case loader
US3991539 *7 Nov 197516 Nov 1976Monsanto CompanyMethod and apparatus improvements in case packing lightweight fragile articles
US4192121 *21 Feb 197811 Mar 1980Eggineers, Inc.Case packing apparatus
US4316762 *19 Jul 197923 Feb 1982Martin C EdwardLabel applicator
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/261, 53/248
International ClassificationB65B21/16, B65B21/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65B21/16
European ClassificationB65B21/16