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Publication numberUS3842569 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date22 Oct 1974
Filing date7 Jun 1973
Priority date7 Jun 1973
Publication numberUS 3842569 A, US 3842569A, US-A-3842569, US3842569 A, US3842569A
InventorsMcclelland E, Spence H, Vierra H, White T
Original AssigneeFilper Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Carrot bagging apparatus and method
US 3842569 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1 Oct. 22, 1974 3,091,903 6/1963 Kammercr........ 3,416,621) 12/1968 McC|usky....1.... 3,705,475 12/1972 Primary ExaminerTravis S. McGchee Assistant ExaminerHorace M. Culver [57] ABSTRACT Apparatus for bagging discrete objects comprising mechanisms operatively connected for effecting the successive steps of: hanging bags from their opened upper ends for successive filling; filling each bag to approximately a predetermined level with an approximately uniform weight of said objects; gathering the portion of the bag above said level at a point between the upper end of the bag and said level, and approximately simultaneously tensioning the portion of the bag above said level against said objects and securing the portion so tensioned closed to form a relatively taut bag enclosing said objects, and then releasing the closed and filled bags for shipment or storage.

20 Claims, 29 Drawing Figures CARROT BAGGING APPARATUS AND METHOD Inventors: Etheridge R. McClelland,

Livermorc; Henry L. Spence, Pleasanton; Henry R. Vierra, Hayward; Thomas J. White, San Ramon, all of Calif.

Assignee: Filper Corporation, San Ramon,


June 7, 1973 App]. No.: 367,733

U.S. 53/37, 53/59 W, 53/126, 53/167, 53/188, 53/385 Int. B65b 5/06 Field of Search 53/187, 188, 190, 121, 53/123, 126, 61, 60,148,149, 236, 371, 385, 59 W, 37, 167

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Uite States Patent McClelland et a1.

221 Filed:

lib i /0 a M t awe/i PATENIED 221974 3. 842 569 sum '01 ur 13 PAIENHnocrzzmm sum 03 or 13 PIE .4.

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saw on or 13 PAIENIEUBBTZZIQH 3.842.569

sum as or 13 PAIiNIEB 01:12am

sum 07 or 13 PAIENIEB flmzzlsu sum 10 or 13 PAliNIinwzzmn sum 13 or 13 AIR SUPPLY MANIFOLD '1 Il r -253- CARROT BAGGING APPARATUS AND METHOD SUMMARY The apparatus hereinafter described has been specifically designed for filling relatively thin plastic bags with elongated vegetables such as carrots, in vertical sideby-side relation, and which objects may, individually, differ in weight and length.

As applied to carrots, they are topped and washed, and while wet are carried in one direction on a horizontal conventional conveyor past the apparatus of the present invention where one or more may be swept off the conveyor onto a vertical slat type elevator normally adapted to carry upwardly, in a horizontal position, only one of the carrots swept from the horizontal conveyor on each slat or flight.

The carrots are discharged at the upper end of the elevator, one at a time (normally) into a rotary weigh hopper that rotates under the influence of a predetermined minimum weight of carrots to discharge the carrots received therein into a vertically extending guide conduit. The carrots fall by gravity through the guide chute or conduit, changing their horizontal positions to vertical during falling, and are discharged from the lower end of the chute into a bag suspended from its upper open end below the chute.

After receiving the group of carrots from the chute, the suspended bag, which is one of an arcuately extending row thereof suspended on turret and supported from below on a vertically oscillating support while it is carried in an annular path to a position where the upwardly projecting end portion of any excessively long carrots are chopped off through the upper portion of the bag by a blunt edged chopper and is then ejected upon movement of the bag to a position for gathering the upper portion of the bag for tying it closed over the carrots. But before release of the bag from the turret hanger, the portion of the bag above the carrots is drawn taut against the carrots for tying while taut to provide a relatively tight package of carrots, instead of carrots being loose in the bag. Purchasers are reluctant to purchase bagged carrots if there is any indication, such as a slack bag, that one or more carrots may have been removed from the bag.

Certain features of the invention are adapted for use with objects of other shapes, hence one object of the invention is the provision of a machine for filling upwardly opening bags suspended from their open upper ends with a plurality of objects of a total substantially uniform predetermined weight to a level that may vary, and gathering together the portion of the bag at a point above said level and securing the portion between said point and said level relatively taut against said objects and securing it closed While so taut against said objects providing a closed package of compact objects, as distinguished with one in which the objects are loosely retained.

Another object of the invention is the provision of apparatus for weighing and bagging elongated vegetables of different individual weights and lengths in vertical side-by-side relation within flexible vertically elongated bags with the vegetables supported at their lower ends on the closed lower ends of said bags, and for thereafter removing the upper ends of the excessively long vegetables to an approximate level with the others, and for then closing and securing the upper portion of the bags closed and relatively taut against the enclosed vegetables. I

A still further object of the invention is the provision of an improved method for bagging objects, that may be of different individual weights and lengths in flexible bags in a group of approximately uniform total weight in each bag and closing the portion of the bag above each group at a uniform level and securing each bag closed with such portion relatively taut against the objects within the bag.

Other objects and advantages will appear in the description and drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus.

FIG. 2 is a side view of a bag that has been filled and closed by the apparatus.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view at approximately line 44 of FIG. 3 with certain parts shown in elevation.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view at line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view at line 6-6 of FIG.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view at line 77 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged, fragmentary, top plan view as seen from line 8-8 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view at line 99 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view at line l0l0 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 11 is an elevational view (partly in crosssection) along line 1ll1 of FIG. 9.

FIG. 12 is an elevational view of the bag hanger of FIG. 9 in open, broken line position, as seen from line l2-12 of FIG. 9.

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view along line 13-13 of FIG. 9.

FIG. 14 is an enlarged fragmentary view, partly in cross-section, as seen from line 1414 of FIG. 3, the bags suspended from the feed wicket being indicated in broken lines.

FIG. 15 is a part sectional, part top plan view at line 15-l5 of FIG. 14.

FIG. 16 is an isometric view showing a supply of empty, flat bags in position for positioning the leading bag of the supply on the supports for being opened to receive the bag hangers on the hanger-turret, one bag being shown on said supports and opened.

FIG. 17 is an isometric side view of one of the bags of the supply shown in FIG. 16.

FIG. 18 is a fragmentary, part sectional, part elevational view showing an opened bag on a bag hanger of the turret, the hanger being shown in broken lines, and zig-zag lines indicating the lines along which the bag will be torn when pulled from the supporting rods.

FIG. 19 is side elevational view of the portion of the apparatus for delivering the objects from a horizontally extending conveyor (which is shown in cross section) to a weight mechanism from the weigh mechanism through a guide conduit into a bag suspended below the guide chute in a position to receive the objects, illustrated as elongated carrots.

FIG. 20 is an isometric view of the weigh mechanism independent of its support and other structure, with the fulcrum supports indicated in broken lines.

FIG. 2] is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectional view along line 2l2l of FIG. 19.

FIG. 22 is a cross-sectional view along line 2222 of FIG. 21.

FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional view along line 2323 of fIG. 22.

FIG. 24 is a fragmentary view of a portion of the apparatus as seen from line 24-24 of FIG. 22.

FIG. 25 is a part sectional, part elevational view along line 25-25 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 26 is a fragmentary, elevational view of a portion of the apparatus as seen from line 26-26 of FIG. 25.

FIG. 27 is a side elevational view of a modification of the feeder to the weigh scale or hopper.

FIG. 28 is a semi-diagrammatic view of the system, including the modification of FIG. 27.

FIG. 29 is a schematic view of the control system connecting with the elevator conveyor.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION FEED TO WEIGHING HOPPER Referring to FIG. 1 a conventional, horizontally extending, endless conveyor 1 supports topped and graded and wet carrots 2 lying thereon in different positions for movement in one direction to a rotary sweeper, generally designated 4, which is positioned over belt 1 to sweep or roll carrots off the conveyor at one edge, thereof adjacent a barrier 3 extending at an angle across the conveyor.

The rotary sweeper 4 comprises equally spaced, flexible blades 5 extending radially outwardly from a shaft driven by a motor 6. Said shaft extends horizontally in a direction normal to the length of the barrier 3 (FIG. 2). The blades 5 are relatively wide, each being arcuately curved (FIGs. 1, 19) so their convex leading faces, relative to their direction of movement, will engage the carrots 2 along barrier 3 and on belt 1, and will move, or roll, the carrots laterally off the belt over the edge of the belt from which the barrier extends.

The carrotengaging surfaces of the blades 5 are transversely ribbed, and as the carrots are engaged by said surfaces they will be positioned during rolling so that their longitudinal axes will extend generally longitudinally of belt 1.

The wet carrots are swept off the conveyor 1 by the device 4, and are conducted on an incline chute 7 (FIG. 19) or by a controlled chute system (FIGS. 28, 29) to flights 8 at the lower end of a vertically extending, upwardly moving run of an endless elevator conveyor generally designated 9. The controlled chute system of FIGS. 28, 29 will be later explained in detail.

Each flight 8 is of a width to support only one carrot, and the upwardly moving run that faces the chute 7 at its lower end is inclined slightly away from said chute. Thus the carrot 2 on each flight will be seated or tend to seat itself against the upwardly moving belt or run of the elevator conveyor. Normally any carrots in excess of a single carrot on a flight, will fall from the upwardly moving run of the conveyor, for being picked up by an empty flight.

A motor 10 is operatively connected through an air actuated clutch 13 and belt 11 (FIGS. 3, 19) with the upper pulley of the elevator conveyor 9 for actuating said conveyor for carrying the carrots thereon to its upper end.

A rigid frame, generally designated 12 supports the elevator conveyor, and frame portions on said frame may also support the chute 7 and rotary sweeper 4.

Side walls are provided on chute 7 and at opposite sides of the elevator conveyor to retain carrots on the chute and elevator.

In operation, carrots 2, carried by the elevator conveyor 9 will be discharged at the upper end of the conveyor into a rotary weigh hopper or scale generally des ignated 15 (FIG. 19).

TRANSFER OF ARTICLES FROM ELEVATOR CONVEYOR TO BAGS A rotary weigh hopper 15 (FIGS. 19, 20) including a pair of end discs 16, 16' on a central shaft 17 is disposed between one of the ends of parallel spaced arms 18 of a horizontally extending U-shaped scale beam 19. The ends of shaft 17 are rotatably supported on said ends, and an end piece 20 connects the opposite ends.

Each arm 18 has a fulcrum element 21 pivotally supported on coaxial supports 14 rigid with frame 12.

Counterbalancing weight 22 for hopper 15 is adjustably supported on rod 22' rigid on end piece 20.

Horizontally elongated, parallel strips 23 (FIG. 20) extend between and are rigid with discs 16, 16'. Strips 23 are equally spaced around shaft 17 and adjacent discs extend at right angles to each other across and tangential to the sides of an imaginary cylinder to provide a plurality of generally radially outwardly opening pockets 24 between adjacent discs. Thus the innermost bottom of each pocket is along the juncture between each pair of discs and is offset to one side of the axis of the shaft 17 (FIGs. 19, 20, 23).

In FIGs. 19, 20, the hopper 15 is in a position to receive carrots discharged from the upper end of the elevator conveyor, and it is seen that the lowermost portion of the upper pocket that is in a position to receive the carrots from the elevator conveyor is offset forwardly of the axis of rotation of the hopper. Thus the weight of the carrots in the upper pocket will rotate the hopper forwardly, unless the latter is held.

The words forward, forwardly, rearward and rearwardly, are used with respect to the direction of movement of the carrots in the various steps.

The weigh hopper 15 illustrated, has four equally spaced pockets 24, and the end disc 16 has four pins 25 equally spaced radially outwardly from the axis of rotation of the hopper and equally spaced from each other. These pins project axially outwardly of disc 16.

A radially extensible and retractable plunger rod 26 relative to the axis of rotation of the hopper 15 is carried by an air actuated cylinder C3 (FIG. 19, 22), a position (when extended) for interrupting the annular movement of a pin 25 on disc 16 at the upper portion of the disc when a pocket 24 is in a position to receive a load from the elevator conveyor.

A pair of vertically spaced stationary frame members 27 outwardly of each end of shaft 17 rigidly supports a vertical threaded rod 28 on which a pair of vertically spaced stop members 29, 30 are adjustably supported for limiting the vertical movement of shaft 17,'and for adjusting the beam for discharge of different weights from the weigh hopper.

The air cylinder C3 is in an air system in which a valve is actuated by the movement of the turret carrying the bags that receive carrots from the weigh hopper, as will later be explained more in detail, thereby preventing rotation of the hopper when an empty bag on the bag carrying turret is not ready to receive carrots from the hopper.

When retracted, the rod 26 acts as a stop, but allows rotation of the hopper after the downward movement of the hopper carrying beam arms 18 and hopper 15 is sufficient to clear the rod engaging pin 25, to prevent rotation of the hopper to discharge its load into a vertically disposed guide chute generally designated 31.

Flow of air in the air system through a sensor S3 is restricted by one arm 18 of the scale beam 19 until the beam swings under the weight of the load in the hopper, to conduct air to air actuated clutch 13, thereby maintaining a driving connection between motor and the elevator conveyor. Upon downward swinging of the hopper and the end of the beam 19 supporting it, the air supply to the clutch 13 is cut off, and the conveyor stops, until the hopper is restored to its elevated position.

Actuated during and by movement of the hopper through 90 to its discharge position is a switch S1, the actuation of which causes extension of the rod 26 of cylinder C3 to stop rotation of the hopper upon its rotation through 90, and prevent further rotation until machine cycle is complete. At the same time actuation of switch S1 actuates air cylinder C1 (FIG. 22) to retract its plunger rod for swinging a stop arm 32 connected therewith to a position behind the lowermost pin 25 on the hopper 15 to accurately position the hopper 15 after a 90 rotation with the upper pin 25 against the stop 26 (FlG. 22). Thus the hopper is accurately positioned and held for receiving its load.

The air cylinder C1 is actuated to extend its plunger and to move the stop arm 32 out of the path of the lower pin 25 on the hopper by means later described in the control system, after the contents of the hopper have been discharged into a bag positioned below the guide chute 31, and before air cylinder C3 retracts.

An elongated, arcuate cam element 33 (FIGS. 21, 22, 23) is rigid on a rigid portion 34 of the frame 13 and in a position rearwardly of the uppermost pin 25 on disc 16 of the hopper when the latter is in a loading position.

Outwardly of cam 33 and adjacent the disc 16 of the.

hopper (FIG. 23) is an elongated arm 35 that is pivotally supported at 36 on said frame portion 34 adjacent one end of the arm, while opposite terminal end surface of said arm will be behind or rearwardly of the uppermost pin 25 when the latter is substantially against the stop pin 26.

In operation, during rotation of the hopper 15 under the weight of the carrots, the ascending pin 25 on the rear portion of disc 16 will engage the convex surface of cam 33 and will ride over the same and against the end of arm 35 adjacent the terminal end thereof, and to a position behind the pin 25 when the latter is at the end of its 90 movement. The end of the arm 35 will yieldably move upwardly as the pin passes under it against the yieldable resistance of spring 37, and snap back behind said pin 25 to prevent a bounce-back of the pin 25 when it engages stop 26.

The forward end portion of arm 35 is yieldably held against cam 33 by spring 37 when its terminal forward end is behind pin 25.

The carrots are generally horizontally disposed in side-by-side relation when discharged from hopper 15 into guide chute 31 (FIG. 19).

Said guide chute is vertical, having a horizontally elongated open upper end extending parallel with thhe length of the hopper 15, and a vertically extending deflecting shield generally designated 40 has forward and sidewalls that are in upward extension of corresponding walls of the chute 31 to prevent escape of carrots discharged from the hopper into the chute. The portion of the shield at the hopper has an open side facing the hopper and the horizontal length of the shield parallel with the hopper extends from disc 16 horizontally past disc 16' a short distance.

The guide chute 31 below shield 40 (FlGs. 1, 19, 25) is flattened in a vertical plane that is parallel with the length of the hopper 15, and one of its narrow side walls 41 extends slantingly downwardly from the lower edge of the narrow side wall 42 of shield 40 to a restricted downwardly opening discharge outlet 43 at its lower end. The rear wall opposite the vertical downward extension of the shield 40 (FIG. 19) extends slantingly upwardly and rearwardly from the upper edge of the vertical rear wall of the guide chute 31 to a point below the hopper 15. The front and rear walls of the guide chute 31 are vertical.

The narrow side wall 44 of the guide chute 31 that is opposite the narrow inclined wall 41 extends vertically to the lower discharge outlet 43 of the chute. As best seen in FIG. 25, said wall 41 extends horizontally, but inclined downwardly, approximately the full length of the downwardly projected outline of the hopper 15, and the spacing between the front and rear sides of the guide chute is less than the lengths of the carrots 2 to be bagged. As a result the carrots fall from the weigh hopper onto the inclined lower wall 41 and change their horizontal positions to inclined positions extending longitudinally of wall 41 to slide down wall 41 to the discharge opening 43.

The narrow wall 44 opposite wall 41 is in vertical downward continuation of the wall 45 of the deflecting shield 40 (FIG. 25).

Said wall 44 is of generally U-shape in horizontal cross-sectional contour, providing vertically elongated flanges 46 that are substantially coplanar with the front and rear walls of the guide chute 31. Wall 44 is pivotally suspended at its upper end by a horizontal pivot 47 carried by wall 45 for swinging of the wall in a direction away from the main body of the guide chute upon application of force in said direction applied against a pin 48 projecting from the lower end of wall 44 (FIG. 25), and against the resistance of a spring 49 connecting the wall 44 with the body of the guide chute, which force is applied by bag supporting clamps when a bag supported thereby is carried away from the discharge outlet 43.

Upon such swinging of wall 44, any carrots that otherwise might have become bridges between wall 44 and wall 41 will be released for discharge. The wall 44 and its flanges 46 thus form an inwardly opening channel to assist in guiding the released carrots to the discharge opening.

Air dashpot 50 and yieldable bumper element 51 on the front and rear walls of the guide chute 31 and elements 52 on the flanges 46 of wall 44 function as shock absorbers to absorb the shock from the closing of wall 44 after the latter is released from open position.

BAG CARRIER GENERALLY The bag carrier itself is of the turret type, and is generally designated 56 (FIGS. 1, 3, 4). The carrier herein shown has four sets of bag supports (FIG. 3) that are carried on the upper end of a vertical shaft 57 (FIG. 4) in positions spaced radially outwardly of the vertical axis of said shaft. Intermittent rotation of shaft 57 in one direction (clockwise as seen in FIG. 3) will move the bag supports carried thereby to and from a bag attaching station 58 to a bag filling station 59 below the discharge end of the guide chute 31.

The filled bags will be supported on a horizontally extending, vertically reciprocating jog plate or jogger at the filling station and during its movement to and at a sizing station 60 where the upwardly projecting upper end portion of any excessively long carrot is chopped or broken off and then to a bag discharge station 62, and from the latter back to the bag attaching station.

BAG ATTACHING STATION At the bag attaching station, and offset outwardly of the circular path of travel of the bag supports, is pair of parallel, horizontally spaced, hollow rods 65 (FIGS. 14, that are inclined upwardly and away from said path. The lower ends of said rods are rigidly secured to the inside face of the vertically disposed side 66 of an horizontally extending angle strip 67 adjacent the lower edge of said side. The other side 68 of said angle strip is spaced above and extends over the lower end portions of rods 65. Said side is preferably inclined upwardly at the same degree of incline of rods 65 (FIGS. 14).

The flat, empty bags 69 are collapsed (FIGS. 14, 16) and are in substantially adjoining relation in a row, each bag being suspended from the upwardly projecting upper marginal portion 70 (FIG. 17) of the rear side wall of each bag, which marginal portion extends above the terminal upper edge of the front side wall. The front walls 72 of the bags in said row face the circular path of the bag supports on turret 56.

Portions 70 of the bags are each formed with a pair of horizontally spaced openings 73 (FIG. 17). The rods 65 extend through said openings, and when the row of bags are on said rods, the terminal upper edge of the front wall 72 of the end bag at side 66 of the angle strip 67 will be at a level adjacent to but below the lower edge of said side 66. A pair of vertical slits 74 are formed in the marginal portion 70 of each bag, each slit being spaced above one of the pair of openings 73 (FIG. 16) and said slits extend to the upper edge of said marginal portion.

When the bags are secured on bag clamps and moved in the above described circular path toward the loading station, the portions of the opened bag between the respective slits and the opening 73 adjacent thereto will be broken to release each bag from the rods 65.

The vertical side 66 of strip 67 is formed with downwardly opening slots 76 (FIG. 16) through which the lateral end portions 77 of said extensions 70 may pass when the upper open end of the bag is opened.

A downwardly directed air nozzle 78 (FIGS. 14, 16) is positioned adjacent the inner surface of the vertical side 66 of the angle strip 67 centrally between the lower ends of rods 65 and openings 73. This nozzle is connected by an air line with a source of compressed air, and discharges air downwardly into the open upper end of the bag to move the front wall 72 of the lower end bag 69 outwardly to an open position, after which the discharge of air through the nozzle will cease, as will later be explained more in detail, and the air from a continuously actuated downwardly directed nozzle 79 (FIGS. 14, 16) will maintain the entire bag fully open until a bag hanger on the turret 56 will grip the upper open end of the bag for carrying it to the loading station for loading.

The tubular rods 65 are open at their outer ends, to enable the supply of bags to be replenished by a packet of bags without stopping the machine. A replenishing supply of bags on a horizontally disposed U-shaped, wire-like holder 81 is familiarly known in the trade as a wicket. Legs 82 of holder 81 extend through the openings 73 of the bags with the packet thereof against the closed end of the holder and with the outer ends of the legs projecting from the packet. To replenish the supply on rods 65, the terminal free outer ends of legs 82 are inserted in the open ends of rods 65, and the bags on the holder will readily slip onto the rods. BAG CARRYING TURRET A frame, generally designated 86 may be part of the frame 12, and includes a pair of horizontally spaced vertical standards 87 (FIGS. 1, 4) between which extends an upper horizontal cross frame member 88 (FIG. 4) and a lower cross frame member 89. Upper and lower bearings 90, 91 respectively support shaft 57 for rotation.

A horizontally disposed plate 92 is centrally secured on and extends across the upper end of shaft 57.

Four sets of horizontally spaced standards 93 (F,GS. 3, 4, 8-13 are rigidly supported upright on plate 92, said sets being equally spaced from each other around the plate, and the standards of each set are equally spaced from each other. Each set is in a vertical plane perpendicular to a radius from shaft 57.

A horizontally disposed cross piece 94 extends be tween the standards of each set at a level intermediate the upper and lower ends of the standards, and a bearing 95 (FIG. 8) adjacent each end of each cross piece 94 is rigid therewith and extends transversely thereof at a right angle thereto.

Each cross piece 94 is pivotally suspended from the upper ends of each set of standards by vertically upwardly extended arms 97 that, in turn, are connected with the uppeer ends of the standards by coaxial pivots 98 (F165. 8-13). Thus arms 97 and cross piece 94' form a U-shaped hanger.

Horizontally spaced, horizontally extending, parallel shafts 99 are rotatably supported at one of their ends in bearings 95. Said shafts project outwardly relative to plate 92. A nut 100 on the inner end of each shaft 99 and at the inner end of each bearing 95, and a collar 101 clamped on each shaft at the opposite end of each bearing prevents reciprocable movement of said shafts while leaving them free to rotate. Each collar is split and tightly clamped onto each shaft by a lock screw 102 (FIG. 8) for revolvable movement of the collars and shafts, as a unit, when the collars are rotated.

Each collar 100 has a rod 103 projecting radially outwardly thereof relative to the adjacent shaft 99 and oppositely outwardly relative to each pair of shafts.

A pair of upper and lower, horizontally extending, vertically spaced bars 104, 105 are rigidly secured at one of their ends to each of the standards 93 of each set at the outer side of each pair, and each rod 103 projects between one of said pairs of bars.

Positioned between the outer ends of the shafts 99 of each pair is a pair of cooperatively related bag clamps, generally designated 106, 107, each of which comprises a pair of channel members that are disposed vertically (FIG. 11), when in bag clamping position, with their open sides facing each other, and each of which is of U-shaped contour in cross-sectional contour (FIG. 8). The lower portions 108 of the bag clamps of each pair are the only portions that extend into and engage the bags 69, and these portions are vertical, while upward extensions 109 of said clamps, respectively, flare outwardly to form a funnel-like guide for guiding carrots discharged from the guide chute into each bag at the bag filling station.

The marginal portions 110 along the vertically extending free edges of the upper portions 109 are in lapping relation (FIG. 8) when the bag clamps are in clamping relation to a bag.

Each bag clamp is rigidly secured to one of the shafts 99 of each pair of shafts, the latter extending across the outer convex sides of the clamps of said pair at the junctures between the lower and upper portions of said clamps 106, 107 (FIG. 11).

From the foregoing structure it is seen that upon rotation of the right hand shaft 99 (FIG. 11) clockwise, and simultaneously rotating the left hand shaft counterclockwise the bag clamps 106 will swing to positions shown in FIG. 12, in which the lower end portions 108 (FIG. 11) moved toward each other. A reversal'of rotation of the shafts will cause the bag guides to move from the positions shown in FIG. 12 back to the positions of FIG. 11.

Centrally between the ends of each cross piece 94 that connects the lower ends of arms 93 of each pair thereof, and which cross piece carries shafts 99, is an elongated member 1 14 (FIGS. 8, 9) that extends transversely across said cross piece, and the inner end of said member 1 14 is pivotally connected to end of a link 115 (FIGS. 4, 14) that extends inwardly from the member 114, or toward the vertical axis of the turret.

The upper end of a generally vertically extending arm 116 is pivotally connected to the link 115 at a point intermediate the ends of the latter and said arm 116 extends downwardly through an opening 117 in plate 92, and is pivotally supported by a pivot 118 on the end of a horizontally inwardly projecting bracket 119. The brackets 119 are each rigid with a horizontally extending, vertically disposed strip 120 (FIG. 9) that, in turn, is rigid with plate 92.

The words inner, outer, inwardly and outwardly applied to structure, or elements on the turret, are used with respect to the central vertical of the turret. Thus brackets 119 extend inwardly from strip 120.

The brackets 119 and pivots 1 18 are above plate 92. A roller 121 is rotatably supported on the lower end of each arm 116, for rotation about the vertically extending axis of each arm, and springs 122 (FIGS. 3, 8) extend horizontally across the vertical axis of the turret above plate 92 connecting the inner ends of the pairs of opposed links 115 for yieldably holding the bag clamps 106, 107 of each pair closed and in clamping relation to the bags during their movement from the bag attaching station to the bag discharge station.

Also rigid with each cross piece 94 that carries shafts 99, is a pair of horizontally outwardly extending arms 124 (FIGs. 9, 13). On the outer end of each arm 124 is a clamping element 125 that is stationary on each arm. I

The clamping elements 125 on the outer ends of arms 124 are in horizontally opposed relation with their opposedly facing sides concavely curved to follow the convexly arcuately outer surfaces of the lower portions 108 of the bag clamps 106 when the latter are vertical in bag clamping relation (FIG. 8).

A cam 126 (FIGS. 4, 5) is secured on the upper side of the upper cross frame member 88. Said cam is horizontally elongated and is spaced outwardly of and around the central axis of the turret along a portion of the path of movement of rollers 121 that extends past the discharge station. The inner side of the cam is concavely curved linearly thereof, and a generally horizontally extending, secondary cam 127 is adjustably secured against the concavely extending inner surface of cam 126 for movement to different adjusted positions around cam 126. Bolts 128 may extend from cam 126 through a horizontally extending slot formed in cam 126 for nuts 129 (FIG. 5) for securing cam 127 in adjusted position relative to cam 126.

Secured on shaft 57 below the upper cross frame member 88 on which the cam 126 is secured, is a horizontally disposed ratchet wheel 131 (FIGS. 4, 6).

Ratchet wheel 131 has four equally spaced teeth 132 and a pawl 133 pivotally supported on one end of an arm 134 is urged by spring 135 into engagement with the teeth. Arm 134 is rotatably supported on shaft 57 intermediate the ends of the arm. The end of arm 134 opposite pawl 133 is pivotally connected with the outer end of plunger rod 136 of an air cylinder C4, which cylinder is in a compressed air circuit.

Hereafter for purpose of brevity, the words extend, retract and words of similar connotation, where used relative to air cylinders, will refer to the cylinder being extended or retracted, although it is actually the plunger that is so moved. In FIG. 6 cylinder C4 is in re tracted position, and upon its extension, pawl 133 will move counterclockwise to engage tooth 132 for rotating the turret 56 thereby advancing the sets of bag clamps 106, 107 clockwise from one station to the next station. Brake 137 on the lower end of shaft 57 automatically stops and frictionally holds the shaft stationary between movements thereof.

In FIG. 5 the locations of the attaching station 58, filling station 59, chopping station 60 and discharge station 61 are indicated, each being 90 apart around the axis of the shaft 57. It is seen that the rollers 121 on the lower ends of arms 116 will not engage the cam except between the chopping station and the bag attaching station, as the arms 116 and rollers 121 move clockwise. The chopping station may also be called the sizing station.

The lower portions 108 of the bag clamps 106, 107 are the portions that must extend into the open upper end of a bag at the attaching station 58, with the upper portion of the bag clamped between said portions 108 and the clamping elements to hold the bag during filling and during movement to the discharge station. The portion of cam 126 between the discharge station and the sizing station, progressively extends toward the central axis of the turret, hence the roller 121 on the lower end of each arm 116 that is connected with each set of bag clamps 106, 107 will be moved radially inwardly as the bag clamps approach the bag attaching station 58.

Upon the roller reaching the bag attaching station, which will be when cylinder C4 is retracted, said roller will engage an adjustable stop 141 (FIG. 15) on one arm 142 of a right angle piece generally designated 143. The other side 144 of the right angle piece 143 is separate from, but in extension of the adjacent terminal end of cam 126 (FIG. When sides 142, 144 are vertical, stop 141 will stop the bag clamps at the bag attaching station and will hold the bag clamps over the upper open end of an empty bag at the attaching station, until the angle piece 143 is moved away from the roller 121.

An arm 145 is secured to and extends vertically downwardly from the angle piece 143 (FIG. 14) and is rigid therewith and the lower end of said arm 145 is rigid with one end of a horizontal extension 146. The other end of said extension is pivotally supported on a stationary portion 147 on the frame of the turret. One end of a short vertical arm of a rigid right angle strip 148 is rigidly connected with arm 146 at a point intermediate the ends of the latter, and the other arm 149 of said strip extends horizontally inwardly. The inner end of said arm 149 is pivotally connected with the plunger of an air cylinder C5 (FIGS. 14, said cylinder being pivotally supported from member 147 at its end opposite the plunger.

When the cylinder C5 is extended, the right angle piece 143 is in a position (FIG. 15) to stop roller 121 and to maintain the roller against radially outward movement relative to the axis of shaft 57.

Upon radially inward movement of each roller 121 to the position shown in full line in FIGS. 14, 15, the U- shaped hanger comprising arms 97 and cross piece 49 will be swung upwardly against the resistance of spring 122 to positions above the bag held at the bag attaching station (FIG. 14), and the rods 103 on collars 101 will engage the upper rods 104 that are stationary, thereby rotating shafts 99 to swing the lower portions 108 toward each other (FIG. 12, 14) so the latter will enter the open upper end of a bag 69 at the bag attaching station when the angle piece 143 is moved downwardly to the broken line positions 150 (FIG. 15). Retraction of cylinder C5 (FIG. 14) effects said release of roller 121, and upon said release the lower portions 108 of bag clamps 106, 107 will drop into the open upper end of bag 69 at the bag therebelow and the upper marginal portions of the bag will be tightly gripped between the clamping portions 108 and clamping elements 125.

After the empty bag is gripped at the bag attaching station, actuation of cylinder C4 will actuate ratchet wheel 131 for carrying the empty bag to the filling station 59 where it will receive a weighed group of carrots from the weigh hopper 15. As sizing station the projection 48 (FIG. on the pivotally suspended wall 44 of the guide chute 31 will be engaged by one of said bag clamps to swing the wall 44 to the broken line position to free the guide chute from any carrots that might have become bridged therein.

The preweighed group of carrots discharged into a bag at the filling station are vertically positioned in each bag, and the lower end of the bag will be on a horizontally disposed, vertically oscillated support or jogger plate 154 that extends from the filling station to the chopper or sizing station (FIGS. 3, 25, 26).

The end of said jogger plate (FIG. 26) is pivotally supported at 155 for vertical oscillation of the portion extending from said pivot toward the chopper, while the other end is pivotally connected to the lower end of a connecting link 156, the upper end of which is connected with an eccentrically positioned pin 157 on one end of a horizontal shaft 158. Shaft 158 is rotated by a motor 159 (FIG. 26) connected by a belt 160 with a pulley 161 on shaft 158. The eccentric is at the filling station.

By this arrangement the filled bag is jogged to settle the carrots within it by the time the filled bag reaches the chopper at the chopping station and the upper portion of any excessively long carrot that would interfere with the tying of the bag closed. Preferably the upper side of the jogger plate is cushioned.

CHOPPER AND SIZING The problem of producing uniformly sized bags of carrots of substantially uniform weight and tightness is aggravated where one or several of the carrots of the group are excessively long, inasmuch as even a single carrot of excessive length prevents or interferes with tying the bag closed at a level directly over the carrots of substantially uniform length. The jogging of the carrot filled bags before arriving at the chopper will normally settle the carrots against the bottom of each bag and orient them relative to each other so they are vertical and parallel and so their uppermost ends are approximately at the same level. The bags 69 are sufficiently long so that said uppermost level of the carrots in a bag at the chopper station is well spaced below the bag clamps 106, 107 (FIG. 25), normally leaving an empty space or empty neck 163 between said upper level and the bag clamps.

The filled bags are horizontally wider in the direction of their annular path of travel, than in a direction radially of said path, and at the chopper station the neck 163 is restricted by a horizontally extending stationary plate 164 having a rounded edge across which the inner side of the neck 163 is drawn to force the inner side of the neck toward the outer side as the bag is moved to the chopper station.

At the side of neck 163 opposite the plate 164 (FIG. 25) is a horizontally elongated blunt edge chopper element 165 that is parallel with the rounded edge of the plate 164.

A plunger rod 166 from air cylinder C2 is adapted to move the chopper into the neck 163 toward the rounded edge of plate 164 to break off the upper end portion 167 (FIG. 25) of any extra long carrot that may project past the level of the plate 164 and chopper 165. At this point the neck of the bag is restricted, being between the plate 164 and the chopper, and the broken off portion of the carrot will remain above said restriction.

The inner concavely extending surface of cam 126 is the surface engageable with each roller 121, and said surface commences at the chopper (FIG. 5) and said surface extends in continuation of the immediately preceding annular path of travel of rollers 121 until it reaches the release cam 127. This release cam projects radially inwardly of the annular path the cam follower or roller 121 has been moving, resulting in portions 108 of the bag clamps 106, 107 being swung inwardly to release each bag.

The action of the chopper 165 engaging the portion of the bag between the bag clamps and the main body of the carrots within each bag flattens the bag along a horizontal line between the horizontally extending blunt edge of the chopper and the rounded edge of

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U.S. Classification53/469, 53/167, 53/502, 53/385.1, 53/571, 53/525, 53/459
International ClassificationB65B25/04, B65B25/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65B25/04
European ClassificationB65B25/04
Legal Events
23 Oct 1987ASAssignment
Effective date: 19811109
19 Nov 1981ASAssignment
Effective date: 19811109