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Патент USA US2109489

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March 1, 1938.
J. D. LE FRANK
2,109,489
LIQUID FILLING MACHINE
Filed Sept.. 19, 1935
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March 1, 1938.
J_ D, LE FRANK .
2,109,489
LIQUID FILLING MACHINE
Filed Sept. 19, 1935
3 Sheets-Sheet?
March 1, 1938.
J. D. LE FRANK
2,109,489
LIQUID FILLING MACHINE
Filed Sept. 19, 1935
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Patented Mar. 1, 1938
2,109,489
UNITED STATES PATENT oFFicE
2,109,489
LIQUID FILLING MACHINE
John Daniel Le Frank, Maplewood, N. J., assignor
to American Can Company, New York, N. Y.,
a corporation of New Jersey
Application September 19, 1935, Serial No. 41,311
7 Claims. (Cl. 228-115)
The present invention relates to a machine constant pressure on the liquid remaining in the
for filling cans with liquids that have a tendency
to- foam and has particular reference to devices
which minimize foaming of the liquid passing
5 into a can, passages in the devices being auto
matically purged of any foam which may have
u
which may be carried over into the venting de
containing the liquid. This liquid is held under a
der pressure which is directed through the vent
ing passageways to blow out or purge them of
any liquid or foam which may have accumulated
during the filling of a preceding can, thereby
preventing the trapped liquid or foam from. being
injected into the can under fill which action min
imizes foaming of the liquid during filling.
Another object is the provision in such a filling
machine of devices for establishing a direct com
munication through the venting passageways be
tween the can interior and the reservoir head
space'after the can is charged with the pressure
fluid so that the liquid or foam purged from the
venting passages is carried over into the reser
voir, the establishing of the communication ef
fecting a conflux of the can and reservoir head
space fluids and also effecting a balancing of
35 their pressures so that the liquid will now from
the reservoir under the pressure of its hydro
static head and with a gentle flowing action as
the liquid enters the can,
A further object is the provision of a liquid
40 filling machine of this character wherein cans
to be filled are vacuumized, before they are
charged with the fluid under pressure, to prevent
dilution of the pressure ñuid in the reservoir
head space, and to further prevent contamina
45 tion of the liquid in the reservoir when corn
munication is later established between the res
ervoir head space and the can interior.
50
`
vices at such time.
Numerous other objects and advantages of the
invention will be apparent as it is better under
15 fluid pressure above atmospheric pressure which
is created in a head space above the liquid and
the can is charged, before iilling, with a fluid un
30
'
accumulated during the filling of a preceding
An object of the invention is the provision of
25
‘
Still another object is the provision, in a filling
head for such a machine, of devices for venting
the can during its filling and for trapping and
retaining against dripping, any liquid or foam
can.
10 a liquid filling machine having a filling head
adapted to receive a can to be filled with a liquid
and also having devices for venting the can, dur
ing the filling operation, into a closed reservoir
2
reservoir.
Another object is the provision of such a liquid
filling machine wherein the pressure fluid pre
viously charged into a can to be filled is caused
to flow, during the filling operation, from the
can directly into the reservoir head space as it is
displaced by the filling liquid, this feature con
55 serving the fluid and maintaining a substantially
stood from the following description, which,
taken in connection with the accompanying
drawings, discloses a preferred embodiment
thereof.
Referring to the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a fragmentary part elevation, part Ver
tical sectional view of one unit of a can filling ma
chine embodying the instant invention showing
the valve in an initial position with all ports
closed;
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary vertical section of the
valve showing it positioned for the vacuumizing
step;
Fig. 3 is a horizontal section of the valve taken
substantially along the line 3-3 in Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a top plan view of the machine unit
shown in Fig. 1, with parts broken away;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary horizontal section taken
substantially along the line 5_5 in Fig. 1;
Figs. 6, '7 and 8 are fragmentary vertical sec
tions of the valve taken substantially along the
respective lines A-B, A-'l and A-8 in Fig. 5 as
regards the stationary parts of the valve body
and sho-wing the movable part of the valve posi
tioned in the respective figures for filling the
vacuumized can with pressure fluid, for bal
ancing off with the reservoir head space, and for
the liquid filling step;
Figs. 9, l0 and 11 are horizontal sections of the
valve taken substantially along the respective
lines 9--9, lll-lll, Il-Il in Figs. 6, 7 and 8; and
Fig. 12 is an inverted plan section taken sub
stantially along the line l2--l2 in Fig. 'l and
looking up in the direction of the arrows.
In the machine unit illustrated in the draw
ings as a preferred embodiment of the invention,
empty open top cans a are positioned on a verti
cally movable support located under a valve con
trolled filling head. The filling head is secured
to the side wall of a reservoir which contains the
liquid to be filled into the cans. This reservoir
is designed for holding the liquid under a fluid
pressure above atmospheric pressure and is par
ticularly adapted for liquids having foam form
ing tendencies when agitated, such as beer, ale,
25
0
2
2,109,489
carbonated Waters and any liquids having like
characteristics.
The can is lifted vertically so as to bring its
top flanged edge into engagement with a resil
ient sealing ring located in the bottom of the fill
ing head (Fig. 1). rI‘his ring seals off the can in
terior.
While the interior of the can is sealed off a
valve in the ñlling head is rotated into certain
10 positions for establishing predetermined com
munications with the can interior. The first of
these (Fig. 2) opens the can interior to a suitable
source of vacuum which vacuumizes or exhausts
the air from the can.
'I'he second position of the valve (Fig. 6) causes
15
a fluid under pressure to be introduced into the
can which creates a pressure therein above at
mospheric pressure and preferably in excess of
the pressure in the reservoir head space above
20 the liquid. This fluid may be of any suitable
character which will not contaminate the filling
liquid. The fluid is preferably the same as that
with which the liquid is charged or the same as
generated by the liquid. In the case of beer, ale
25 or carbonated waters this fluid is preferably car
bon dioxide.
y
A further rotation of the valve cuts olf the
fluid pressure >communication and establishes di
rect communication (Fig. '7) between the can
30 interior and the reservoir head space above the
liquid. This permits the fluid under pressure in
the can to ñow directly into and to mix with the
fluid in the reservoir head space until the can
pressure and the reservoir pressure become bal
35 anced. This direct communication feature
greatly simplifies the construction and operation
of the machine and renders unnecessary intri
cate pressure equalizing systems and mechanism
while at the same time permitting the use of a
40 pressure iluid which beneficially reacts on the
liquid being filled.
While this equalized pressure condition pre
vails the valve is turned to another of its posi
tions (Fig. 8) which establishes communication
45 between the can interior and the liquid in the
reservoir. At the same time communication be
tween the can and the reservoir head space above
the liquid is maintained. This causes the liquid
in the reservoir under pressure of its hydrostatic
50 head to flow into the can against the iluid pres
sure therein. The filling action is quiet and the
liquid flows gently and with minimum foaming,
the liquid being directed against the interior side
wall of the can to assist in this quiet filling.
While the filling takes place the liquid rising
55
in the can displaces the fluid and forces it over
into the reservoir head space through venting
passageways in the ñlling head.
In this manner
the iluid charge is preserved against loss and is
60 utilized to augment the reservoir pressure above
the liquid and to maintain substantially a con
stant pressure on the liquid notwithstanding the
increasing head space formed by the liquid being
drawn out.
In order to insure that the can is completely
65
filled the liquid is permitted to rise into the fill
ing head and the vent passageway to substantially
the level of the liquid in the reservoir. Thus
when the valve is closed the liquid in the vent
70 passageway above the valve is trapped and the
liquid in the vent below the valve is held captive
by capillary attraction in a suitable trap provided
in the lower end of the vent. This prevents drip
ping of the liquid from the head after a filling
75 operation.
When the can is iilled a final step rotation of .
the valve (Fig. l) cuts oil the flow of liquid. This
completes the valve cycle. The filled can is now
removed from the filling head and lowered to its
original position by descent of its support and
may then be discharged from the machine in any
suitable manner.
At the next ñlling operation the passageways
retaining the residual liquid, left when the final
valve position is reached as has just been de 10
scribed, are purged or blown out so that unde
sirable liquid or foam will not be introduced into
the next can before the actual filling liquid en
ters. The lower vent is purged during the vac
uumizing of the can interior, the vacuumizing op 15
eration causing the captive liquid to be drawn out
with the air.
The upper vent is purged by the flow 0f the
pressure iluid from the fluid ñlled can before its
liquid iilling, the establishment of communica 20
tion between the can and the reservoir head space
causing the trapped liquid to be carried over into
the reservoir. It is partly for this purpose that
the pressure fluid is introduced into a can to be
ñlled.
25
The illustrated preferred form or embodiment
of the instant invention comprises in part a ver
tically movable support or lifter pad I I (Fig. 1)
for supporting the can a to be filled with liquid.
The lifter pad is mounted on the upper end of 30
a vertical rod I2 which is raised and lowered by
any suitable means. The rod is carried in a
bearing I3 formed in a bracket Ill which extends
laterally from a main frame I5.
A can when positioned on the lifter pad II is 35
directly under and in vertical alignment with a
ñlling head unit I6 (Fig. l). This head com
prises a substantially cylindrical body I 'I (see
also Fig. 5) having a rear extension I8 which is
secured to one side- of a reservoir I9. The res
ervoir is supported by the main frame I5 and
is sealed off or closed by a cover plate 2I.
The reservoir contains the liquid to be ñlled
into the positioned can through the medium
of the filling head unit. This liquid is held un
der fluid or gas pressure introduced into the head
space above the liquid in the reservoir in any
suitable manner as through a pipe 22 (Figs. 1 and
4). This pressure minimizes the foaming of
the liquid while it is in the reservoir.
The positioned can is lifted by its lifter pad
Il so as to bring its top ilanged edge into en
gagement with the bottom of the filling head
I6 as shown in Fig. 1. The top of the can is
clamped against a sealing ring 23 of rubber or
like resilient material which hermetically and
temporarily seals off the can interior.
The sealing ring surrounds the lower end of
the head body I'I and is held in position by a
sleeve 24. The upper end of the sleeve thread
edly engages an annular shoulder 25 of the head
body. At its lower end the sleeve is formed with
40
45
50
60
an internal annular shoulder 2S which engages
against a tapered bottom or can engaging end
of the ring 23.
65
While the can is thus held against the ñlling
head certain actions attending the filling of the
liquid into the can are effected and are controlled
by a rotatable valve 32 (Fig. 1) which is carried
in the head. The valve is tapered and is verti 70
cally disposed in the head body Il in a tapered
seat 33 formed therein. The upper end of th-e
valve extends above the head body and is con
nected by a tongue and groove connection 34 to
an enlarged lower end of a vertical Valve shaft 35.
2,109,489
This shaft is carried in a bearing 36 formed on a
bracket 31-which is bolted to the side of the reser
voir i9.
The valve 32 is intermittently rotated in its seat
33 by an indexing device associated with the valve
shaft 35. For this purpose the upper end of the
shaft carries a star wheel 4I (Figs. l and 4) hav
ing a plurality of equally spaced laterally ex
tending iingers 42. These iingers are individual
10 ly engaged for turning the valve through its
diiferent positions by corresponding actuating
fingers 43 which are secured to a continuously
rotating horizontal gear 44.
The gear 44 is carried on a vertical shouldered
l15 stud 45 which is threadedly Iengaged in the reser
voir cover plate 2l. The gear is turned in a
clockwise direction as viewed in Fig. 4 by a mesh
ing pinion 46 which is pinned to a vertical drive
shaft 41. At its lower end this shaft is carried
in av'bearing 48 formed in the reservoir cover 2|.
The shaft is rotated continuously in any suitable
manner.
In the first valve position where the vacuum is
drawn on the can interior a segmental vertically
25 disposed shallow port 5! (Figs. 2 and 3) formed
in a side of the valve, connects one end of a
horizontal upper channel 52 with a parallel lower
channel 53. The channel 52 (see also Figs. l and
5) is in communication with a short horizontal
30 passageway 54 disposed at right angles and con
necting with a pipe 55 threadedly secured in the
side of the body extension. This pipe leads to
any suitable means for creating a vacuumgsuch
as a pump, reservoir or the like.
35
The channel 53 connects with a passageway 56
which extends down through the head body I 1
and opens into the can interior. Thus when the
valve is in this ñrst position air trapped in the
can and in the filling head passageways exposed
40 to the atmosphere during the placing of the can
in the head and liquid and foam retained in the
vent passageways below the valve port 5I are all
drawn out through the pipe 55.
In the second position of the valve the carbon
45 dioxide or other ñuid is introduced under pressure
into the vacuumized can.
For this purpose a
valve port 51 (Figs. 6 and 9) formed in the side
of the valve and slightly below the port 5|, con
nects the end of the channel 53 with one end of a
50 lower horizontal and parallel channel 58. The
opposite end of this latter channel communicates
with a short horizontal passageway 59 disposed at
right angles and connects with a pipe 66 which is
threadedly secured in the side of the body exten
sion adjacent the vacuum pipe 55.
'I‘his pipe 6B is a supply pip-e from any suit
able source of carbon dioxide or other fluid which
is introduced under pressure into the can by way
of the pipe, the passageway 59, channel 53, port
The pressure
60 51, channel 53 and passageway 56.
created in the can by the .fl-ow of fluid through
these passageways and channels is preferably
greater than the fluid pressure in the reservoir
above the liquid, a difference of two pounds being
usually suñicient in the case of beer.
In the third valve position a shallow valve port
6l (Figs. 5, '7 and l0) connects the ends of parallel
upper and lower vent channels 62, 63 formed in
the valve body extension I8. This establishes di
TO rect communication between the can interior and
the space above the liquid in the reservoir i9.
The channel 62 connects with a similar channel
64 formed in the side wall of the reservoir and
this in turn connects with a vertical passageway
65 which at its top leads out into an opening 66,
3
form-ed in the reservoir Wall. This provides com
munication with the interior of the reservoir.
The channel 63 (Fig. 7) communicates with the
upper end of a vent passageway 61 which opens
out into the can interior.
A grooved plug or trap 68 (see also Fig. 12) is
located in the bottom end of the passageway 61
being formed with a plurality of surface grooves
or flutes 69 which permit liquid, foam or gas to
freely pass into the Vent passageway 61 from the 10
can during a ñlling operation but block return to
the can of liquid or foam which may have passed
the trap. The iiutes 59 are so small that capil
lary attraction holds such liquid or foam in the
vent passageway and prevents it dripping back 15
into the can.
When communication is established between
the can interior and the reservoir, as in the third
valve position under considerati-cn, the carbon di
oxide from the can, being under a greater ñuid 20
pressure than that in the reservoir above the liq
uid, sweeps through the trap flutes 69 and con
necting vent channels and valve ports into the
reservoir head space.
This action carries the trapped liquid or foam 25
back into the reservoir and delivers it on top of
the liquid therein. Thus the venting channels
are purged before ñlling liquid into the can and
at the same time the can and reservoir head
space fluids are brought into direct confluent 30
contact which results in a- direct pressure balance
between the can and the reservoir. In this way
the can is prepared for ñlling.
For this filling operation the Valve 32 is turned
to bring a port 1l (Figs. 1, 8 and 11) into register 35
with liquid conduits 12,13 located between can
and reservoir. These conduits are formed in the
head body extension I8, conduit 12 opening into
the can and conduit 13 joining with a conduit 14
formed in the reservoir side wall adjacent its 40
bottom. This latter conduit is open to the liquid
in the reservoir.
The liquid ilows through the conduits and valve
port by reason of the pressure of its hydrostatic
head. As it passes from the open end of thecon 45
duit 'E2 and into the can it flo-ws against the side
wall of the can and this together with the bal
anced iiuid pressure in can and reservoir, causes
the liquid to flow quietly and gently.
During this passage of the liquid into the can
the vent channels remain open and ñuid from the
can is vented into the reservo-ir as it is displaced
by the entering liquid. This is effected by a Valve
port 11 which is identical with the port 6I and
spaced horizontally from the latter and which
was brought into register with the ends of the
vent channels 62, 63 when the port 6| was shifted
out of register during the last valve movement.
'This venting back causes the fluid as it passes
from the can to take the place of a substantially 60
_equal Volume of the liquid as it is withdrawn from
the reservoir. Thus the reservoir pressure is
maintained substantially constant.
When the can is completely ñlled with liquid
and the liquid level in the ñlling head has reached
its highest level the Valve 32 is turned into its iinal
position (Fig. l) completing its cycle. This last
valve movement cuts off communication between
all the channels and conduits. AThereafter theV
iilled can is removed from the iilling head by the
lowering of its supporting lifter pad Il and may
then be discharged therefrom in any suitable
manner.
It is thought that the invention and many of
its attendant advantages will be understood from 75
4
2,109,489
the foregoing description, and it will -be apparent
that various changes may be made in the form,
construction and arrangement of the parts with
out departing from the spirit and scope of the in
vention or sacrificing all of its material advan
tages, the form hereinbefore described being
merely a preferred embodiment thereof.
I claim:
l. In a machine for filling liquids into cans,
10 the combination of a sealed reservoir containing
a filling liquid which is maintained under pres
sure of a gas, a filling head cooperating with said
reservoir and adapted to receive a can to be liq
uid filled, gassing means for introducing a gas
15 from a source separate from said reservoir into a
said can while in said head, said latter mentioned
gas being under a pressure greater than the gas
pressure in said reservoir, means in said filling
head for providing a connection between the gas
20 filled can and the gas space in said reservoir to
balance the two pressures, said means being
adapted for opening communication through said
head for the reservoir liquid to flow gentle into
25
said balanced pressure can.
2. In a machine for filling liquids into cans
the combination of a sealed reservoir containing
a filling liquid which is maintained. under pres
sure of a gas, a ñlling head cooperating with
said reservoir and adapted to receive a can to be
30 liquid ñlled, means for vacuumizing a said can
while in said head, gassing means for introducing
a gas from a source separate from said reservoir
into a said can while in said head and under a
pressure greater than the gas pressure in said res
35 ervoir, a conduit in said filling head for provid
ing a connection between the gas filled
the gas space in said reservoir to balance
pressures, and liquid ñlling means for
communication through said head for
49
can and
the two
opening
the res
said gas connection between can and i‘eservoir
so that gas from the can flows into the reservoir
space as it is displaced by the liquid entering
the can,
5. In -a machine for ñlling liquids into cans, 10
the combination of a sealed reservoir for con
taining a filling liquid which is maintained un
der pressure of a gas, a iilling head cooperating
with said reservoir and adapted to receive a can
to be liquid ñlled, gassing means for introducing 15
a gas from a source separate from said reservoir
into a can while in said ñlling head, said latter
mentioned gas being introduced under a pressure
in excess of the gas pressure in said reservoir,
conduits for establishing direct communication 20
through said ñlling head between said gas ñlled
can and said reservoir to balance the can and
reservoir pressures, and an additional conduit
constituting liquid filling means for gently fill
ing said can with liquid from said reservoir by
way of said ñlling head while venting the can
into said reservoir, and means in said filling head
for trapping therein liquid and foam entering the
venting and filling conduits.
6. In a machine for ñlling liquids into cans, the 30
combination of a sealed reservoir containing a
filling liquid which is maintained under pres
sure of a gas, -a filling head cooperating with
said reservoir and adapted to receive a can to be
liquid ñlled, means for vacuumizing a said can
while in said head, gassing means for introduc
ing from a source separate from said reservoir a
gas into said vacuumized can, to create a pres
sure in excess of the gas pressure in said resei‘
ervoir liquid to ilow gently into said balanced
voir, a conduit in said ñlling head for providing 40
pressure can.
a connection between the gas ñlled can and the
gas space in said reservoir to balance the two
pressures, and anA additional conduit constitut
3. In a machine for filling liquids into cans, the
combination of a sealed reservoir for containing
a gas charged filling liquid which is maintained
45 under pressure of a gas having the same charac
teristics as the gas in the liquid, a ñlling head
cooperating with said reservoir and adapted to re
ceive a can to be liquid ñlled, gassing m'leans for
introducing into a received can from a source
50 separate from said reservoir, a gas having the
same characteristics as the gas in the liquid and
under a pressure in excess of the gas pressure in
said reservoir, a conduit for establishing direct
communication through said filling head between
55 said gas ñlled can and said reservoir to balance
the can and reservoir pressures, and a second
conduit constituting liquid ñlling means for gen
tly filling said can with liquid from said reservoir
by Way of said ñlling head.
4. In a machine for filling liquids.l into cans,
the combination of a sealed reservoir containing
a filling liquid which is maintained under pres
sure of a gas, a filling head cooperating with
said reservoir .and adapted to receive -a can to
65 be liquid filled, gassing means for introducing a
gas into a said can from a source separate from
said reservoir to create in said can a pressure in
excess of the gas pressure in said reservoir, con
70
previous ñll and to also balance the two pres
sures, and liquid filling conduits for opening
communication through said head for the res
ervoir liquid to flow gently into said balanced
pressure can while simultaneously maintaining 5
duits in said filling head for permitting gas from
said can to sweep from the gas iilled can to the
.gas space in- said reservoir to purge said con
duits of any liquid and foam remaining from a
ing liquid ñlling means for opening communica
tion through said head for the res-ervoir liquid to 45
flow gently into said balanced pressure can while
simultaneously maintaining said gas connection
between can and reservoir so that gas from the
can flows into the reservoir space as it is dis
placed by the liquid entering the can, which ac
tion restores the gas pressure in the said reser
voir space to prevent pressure diminution by
reason of the removal of the liquid from the
50
reservoir.
7. In a machine for filling beer into cans, the
combination of a sealed reservoir containing beer
which is maintained under pressure of carbon
dioxide gas, a filling head cooperating with said
reservoir and adapted to receive a can to be
iilled, gassing means for introducing carbon di
60
oxide gas from a source separate from said res
ervoir into ra said can while in said head, said
latter mentioned gas being introduced under a
pressure greater than the gas pressure in said
reservoir, a conduit in said ñlling head for pro 65
viding >a connection between the can and the
gas space in said reservoir to balance the two
pressures, and an »additional conduit constitut
ing liquid ñlling means for opening communi
cation through said head for the beer to flow 70
gently into said balancedpressure can from said
reservoir.
JOHN DANIEL LE FRANK.
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