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Oct. 1, 1946.. ,
|-|_ A_ RAU
Filed Dec. 27, 1940
5 Sheefs-Sheet l
Oct. 1,1946.
H. A. RAU_
Filed necfzv, 1940
5 Sheets-Sheet 2
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Oct. 1, ‘1946.
|-|_ A‘ RAU
Filed Dec. 27, 1940
5 Sheets-Sheet 3
oat. 1, 1946.v
H, A, RAU _
Filed Dec. '27, i940
5 Sheets-Sheet4
Ear-77 A -
Oct. 1, 1946.
2,408,447 -
Filed Dec; 27, 1940
5 Sheets-Sheet 5
Patented Oct. 1, 1946
2,408,447 1
Harry A. Rau, Baltimore, Md., assignor to Crown 1
Cork & Seal Company,,_lnc., Baltimore, Md., a
corporation of New York
Application December. 27, 1940, Serial No. 371,961
' 2 Claims. , (Cl. 226-82) '
The present invention relates to an apparatus
for sealing containers.
An important object of the'invention is to pro
I vtheoretically correct direction of jetting will pro
vide an e?icient apparatus whereby a cap or
other closure may be applied to a container in
the presence of steam or other expanded ?uid so
as to establish a vacuume?‘ect or low pressure
vide high temperature steam at such point.
However, concentration of jets, regardless of
direction, in no way prevents draft effects but,
,Zinstead, results in aggravating drafts because of
the increased injector effect. I have found that
if prior commercial methods are entirely dis
carded and steam is delivered to the tunnel at an
condition in the head space of the container
extremely low pressure and with no jetting ac
when the steam or other heated ?uid subsequent
tion whatever, a quiet body of steam at high‘
ly cools and contracts.
temperature will be maintained in the tunnel
Various methods and apparatus have hereto
with no inducing of drafts. Because of the high
fore been provided for the purpose of sealing
temperature thus maintained in the tunnel, even
a cap upon a container- while ?lling the ‘container
the head space of a container with its contents ,
head space With steam and subsequently con
entirely at room temperature is quickly brought
densing the steam to create a low pressure in the 15.7 to a suf?ciently high temperature that no con
head space. The principal objection to these
densation can form in the head space and all air
prior developments is that they do not uniformly
within the head space is quickly replaced by
provide an optimum low pressure effect in the
steam at high temperature. Furthermore; be
container and frequently result in the presence
a high temperature can quickly be im
' of moisture in the container.
parted to a container and all air driven from its
head space, there is no necessity for providing
the long tunnel heretofore regarded as essential.
Use of low pressure steam, as contemplated by
drafts moving through the usual steam tunnel _ the present invention, is economical in that a
cause the temperature ofthe steam to be re 25 large steam boiler is not required. ~
It has been found that one reason for lack of
uniformity in the low pressure effect obtained by
prior methods and apparatus is the fact that
duced. Naturally, if the temperature of the
Prior developments have invariably ?owed the
steam is reduced, the vacuum effect will likewise
horizontally into the tunnel, usually by
be reduced. Also, reduction of the temperature
jets positioned in planes adjacent the mouths of ,
of the steam while uncapped containers-are mov
containers. As has been hereinbefore stated,
ing through it enables particles of condensed 30 the
the use of jets has the effect of drawing air into
moisture to fall upon the container contents.
the steam tunnel. Furthermore, if the jets- are
arranged in the manner just described, this in
The presence of such moisture is very harmful '
to numerous products. ,
coming air formsa blanket at the top portion
of the tunnel above the steam jets. As a result, ',
Drafts are created within the steam tunnels of >
prior apparatus because such apparatus have re
lied upon jets of steam to create a steam atmos4
the temperature of the tunnel is lowered because '
this blanket of air can constantly move through
the tunnel above the jets.
_In aneffort to combat the above di?iculty, re
draw air into the steam tunnel with an immedi- ..
ate cooling of the jetting steam. In an effort to‘ 40 cent developments have included a steam jacket
above the tunnel, the top wall of the tunnel
counteract incoming air and establish a high ,
serving as the lower wall of the steam jacket
temperature within the steam chamber adjacent
and the purpose being to thoroughly heat the
the point of application and sealing of caps, the
extreme upper portion of the tunnel interior.
V steam tunnels have been made relatively long
phere within the tunnel. . It is found that these
incoming jets, by an' ' injector effect, serve to
with a view of isolating the cap applying chute 45 Such an arrangement does not overcomev jet
induced drafts and I have found that the pro
and the sealing means from the ends of the tun-'
vision of a steam jacket is altogether unnecessary _
nels. However, these'modi?cations have nothad .
the desired result.
., y
if the steam is so flowed into the tunnel that
In more recent developments .of the steam'jetl
it may freely rise. It is also desirable to have
ting methods, the concentrationof jets atjthe
the top wall of the tunnel fairly close to the ‘
cap applying and sealing point has been in
creased, and the? direction of‘ jetting "carefully
regulated. These systems havefproceeded’on the
presumably reasonable ground'that an increase ‘
in the number of jetsv at the‘criticaland a
mouths of the'containers. With the top wall at
such point and with the steam entering without
, force at. a point below the mouths of the con;
tainers and enabled to rise, there is no Possibility ,
of a superimposed layer or stream of air within
the tunnel.
Furthermore, the use of slowly rising low pres
sure steam avoids the Waste which occurs when
pressure jetted steam is used, most of the pres
sure jetted steam being blown almost directly
from the tunnel.
Another object of the invention is to provide
a container sealing apparatus which will occupy
a minimum of floor space.
Prior container sealing apparatus, and partic
for the quick and proper sealing of containers.
A further object of the invention is to provide
a control for a capping mechanism which is ac
tuated by contact of a container therewith. Such
an arrangement is highly desirable because it
eliminates the necessity of moving containers
through the machine in carefully spaced rela
Another object of the invention is to provide
10 a. container actuated capping control of such de
sign as to insure that the container will be sta
ularly those which include a steam chamber, oc_
tionary when the sealing is performed, thereby
cupy a comparatively long area. As hereinbe
making it certain that every type of cap will be
fore indicated, one purpose in providing a long‘
properly sealed and not damaged and that a high
steam tunnel has been to form a long enclosed 15. not rate of production will be obtained.
area at each end of the critical cap applying and
One reason why container sealing machines of
sealing points, with a view. of isolating these
the present type have hereto-fore been provided
points from outside air and obtaining high tem-.
with continuously moving sealing elements was
perature at least at such points. With jetting,‘ ' because it was thought that any stoppage of the
the length of the tunnel in no way counteracts 20 containers to seal the same might cause the con
drafts. ‘ Some types of such apparatus have been
provided with capping elements of endless type
and it has been thought desirable to have at least
a substantial portion of the same enclosed by the
tainers to be upset, or their contents to be so dis
turbed that some portion thereof would be spilled.
It has been found that the present invention, in
volving moving the container onto a stationary
tunnel, particularly since the element might in
support while its upper portion is gripped, pre
duce drafts in the upper portion of the tunnel.
vents upsetting and causes no spilling of contain
By the present invention, a long tunnel is not
ers ?lled to the customary levels. Also, by stop
necessary to obtain a high temperature adjacent
ping the containers to seal the same, all of the
the cap applying and sealing means and since
disadvantages of a continuously movable sealing
the use of a longitudinally moving sealing ele-' 30 element are eliminated and every type of cap
ment preferably is avoided, the tunnel need not
can be e?iciently sealed upon containers. As has
be extended to enclose such a device.
been stated above, the continuous system is only
Use of a short tunnel, with its lower portion
efficiently applicable with certain types of caps.
clear of steam, permits each container to be con
Still another object of the invention is to pro
stantly visible. This is a highly desirable fea 35 vide a container holdingand centering arrange
ture particularly during the initial portion of a
ment which is adapted to engage the containers
run when it is necessary to ascertain whether
while caps are being applied thereto‘.
the cap applying and sealing adjustments are cor
As has been hereinbefore indicated, consider
able dif?culty has ‘been experienced in prior cap
The principal purpose of providing a length 40 ping machines because containers were frequent
wise moving capping element has apparently been
ly upset upon contact with the cap applying de
to enable the containers to move continuously
By the present invention, the containers
during the sealing operation. While this pro
are securely held at the time that they come into
cedure theoretically gives high production, the
contact with the cap applying mechanism, all
sealing action afforded thereby is not always sat
isfactory, particiuarly when handling caps pro~
vided with holding lugs upon their skirts. Also,
containers may be upset or any type of cap may
be bent or dislodged when it ?rst comes into
contact with the sealing element as well as when
it ?nally moves out of contact with the element.
This is particularly true if there is the slightest
slippage of the upper cappingv belt with respect
to the lower container supporting belt, or if the
container slips with regard to either belt.
I have found that a high rate of production
with completely uniform sealing can be obtained
by stopping the containers in order to seal the
same. The high rate of satisfactory‘ production
45 possibility of the. containers falling over being
thereby eliminated.
Another object of the invention is to provide
a ‘holding mechanism which is simple in con
struction, will smoothly and ef?ciently engage
and ‘center containers, and which is readily ari
justable for containers of various sizes and
Another object of the invention is to provide a
cap applying and, sealing arrangement which in
cludes means to properly level caps upon con
tainers immediately prior to the sealing action.
Other objects and advantages of the invention
will be apparent from the following drawings,
obtained is due to the fact that there ‘is less like 60
Figure 1 is a side elevation of the apparatus
lihood of containers being upset during the seal—
included in, the present invention;
ing action, with resultant long stoppages to clear
Figure 2 is a detail view showing a sealing head
out the spilled contents, and also because no con
tainers need be discarded and returned through
Figure 3 is a side elevation of the central por
the machine because of improperly applied caps.
tion of the apparatus, with parts broken away;
At the same time, the arrangement of the pres
Figure 4 is an elevation 'of the outfeed end of
ent invention occupies a minimum ?oor space.
the apparatus;
It is also to be noted that the use of a sealing
head of non-continuous type contributes to a
on the line 5-5 of Figure 6;
more ef?cient and uniform vacuum elfect within 70
Figure 6 is a horizontal sectional view on the
the containers because of certain factors here
inafter-discussed in connection with the opera
tion of the device.
' ‘
Another object of vthe invention is ‘60, provide
a capping element which is particularly adapted
line G—B of Figure 4;
Figure 7 is a horizontal sectional view on‘the
line 'l—'! of Figure 3;
Figure 8 is a transverse vertical section through
Y the capping head operating link‘;
2,468,447; "
Figure 9 is a front .view of a preferred form
of sealing head control mechanism;
Figure 10 is a vertical sectional view
line log-I0 of Figure 9; and
(in the
Figure 11 is a diagrammatic view of the con-v
trol wiring of the apparatus.
the container‘ will have stopped, the electromag
netindicated at 24 will .be energized, so that the
capping plate 20 will move downwardly‘to com-1
press the light springs above plate I9 and positively force
the loosely applied cap to a sealed
position upon the stationary container. The:
circuit of the capping member ‘20 will be broken,
when the latter has moved down‘the proper dis;
The construction of the present apparatus and
its operation may be generally described as, fol:
tance and itwill immediately rise so as to leave‘.
lows? The numeral Ill designates the table-of the 10 the container standing free upon the ?xed plate:
machine along which moves a continuously mov
21. Contact of a succeeding container with the‘
ing endless conveyor II. A chamber or tunnel
12 extends above the table 10 and a steam atmos
phere is maintained therein by steam ?owing
container standing at A will push the latter offi
plate 2| and upon the outfeed portion of. endless‘
conveyor I I. It will be noted from Figure 3 that;
from a supply duct 13. Steam under low pres
the upper run of conveyor ll dips down beneath.
surev issupplied to the duct lit by an inlet pipe 15 the stationary plate or support 2 I.
l4, the-steam passing up through the duct to is
It will be understood that during the movement
of the container through the steam chamber l2
and before a cap is applied thereto the head;
behind the steam will be substantially eliminated,
space of the container will be ?lled with steam.
the steam rising in duct [3 passesthrough one 20 from the cloud present in the upper portion of.‘
or more ?ne mesh wire screens indicated atv 16.
the steam chamber l2 and steam will be en
If more than one screen is used, they'are spaced
trapped in the head space when the container is:
a substantial distance apart as shown in Figure
capped or sealed. As the sealed container moves
3. A hood l5 at the upper end of duct 13 per
from the steam chamber through a gradually‘
mits the steam to move upwardly and longitudi
dissipating cloud of steam, the steam in its head
nally with respect to the steam tunnel l2 to form
space will condense to create a low pressure con
a cloud of steam at approximately atmospheric
dition therein.
pressure in the upper portion of the tunnel.
Referring to the apparatus in detail, the table
Containers moving through the apparatus en
Ill is supported upon legs 30 which also support
ter at the left hand end (Figures 1 and 3) upon 30 the usual tray 3! immediately below the table.
the endless belt II and are conducted past the
The upper surface 3201’ table it is cut away to
suefrom its wide-mouthed open end with no .jet
ting action.. In order to insure that. any force
hooded steam duct l3 into the steam cloud or
atmosphere which exists in the upper‘ portion of
provide a space in which the upper run of the
conveyor ll may move and conveyor ii is prefer
the tunnel from a point alongside the duct to the
ably cf wire mesh andrnoves about pulleys 33 and
t4 journaled at the ends of the table l8. Pulley
outfeed end of the tunnel. As a container moves
past the duct its upper portion comes into con
33 is fixed to a shaft 35driven from a shaft 36
by means of a sprocket'chain 3'5, Shaft 3'5 is in
tact with the belts of a holding and centering
device I‘! so that the container will be held up
turn driven through a chain 38 from a shaft~
right. The belts of device ll'move at the same 40 39. A motor 45! including a speed reducing mech
anism drives the shaft 39 through a sprocket
:speed as conveyor H. Immediately thereafter
"the leading edge of the mouth of the container
chain A i.
will. contact with the lowermost cap. in a cap
In order to maintain containers in line, guide
‘chute or cap applying means l8 and the continu ' '1 strips 42 are provided with rearwardly extend
'ing movement of thecontainer will cause this
ing, pins 43 which extend through posts All ?xed
to table !0. These strips are adjustable for dif
vcap to be withdrawn from the chute and drop to
:a loose position upon the mouth of the container.
ferent size containers and are preferably spring
mounted by means of springs 44a surrounding
-Chute I8 is enclosed and may include an elec
"trical heating element to insure that caps will
the pins 43. ‘
‘be brought to a suf?cient temperature to prevent
As best shown in Figure 3, at a point near the
:steam from condensing upon them before enter
outfeed end of the'steam chamber 12 the upper
run of [the container supporting conveyor H is
:ing the chamber I2.
As soon as the cap has been substantially re
guided downwardly about a roller 45 over guide
' rollers 46 and 4'! (Figure l) and the supporting
:moved from the chute l8, its upper portion will
:come into contact with the forward edge of a 55 plate 2| ?xed to table H) bridges the gap thus:
:plate 19 resiliently mounted upon and forming
provided in the upper run of the conveyor.
‘part of the capping plate or member 20 and plate
The steam chamber l2 includes side walls 5i!
and 5| and a top wall 52. Each side wall 5| and‘.
‘19 will level‘ the cap up on the container mouth. ‘
While the above leveling action is taking place,
.52 has a toothed rack 53 ?xed to its vertical‘
the container base will be moving onto a ?xed
edges, which racks are engaged by pini
supporting plate 21 and its lower‘portion'will
to shafts 55 journaled in the side walls otthe
come into contact with a trip device 22. As the
table Hl so that rotation of the shafts 55 "will
movement of the container with conveyor II and
cause the steam chamber to be either raised or
holding device l1 continues, the container will ;- lowered with respect to the table it and the con‘force thetrip device laterally out of its path. As 65 tainer supporting conveyor I l. The shafts 55 have
the'forward movement of the container stops,
wormfgears secured thereto engaged by worm.
‘because its base has moved entirely oif conveyor
wheels on a longitudinal shaft 56 and shaft 56 is:
H; and will stand entirely upon plate 2| as indi
suitably geared to a shaft provided with a handle
cated at A in Figures 6 and '7, and- also because
.S'Ladapted to’control the lifting or lowering of
its upperportion, in dicated at A’ in Figure 6, has 70 ste am chamber l2. The steam chamber is held
‘moved out of contact with the holding device H;
in adjusted position by means of locking nuts
“trip 22 will be actuated to cause circu 't control
or hand wheels 60 on the shafts 55 which bear
ling device 23 (Figure 9) ‘to actuate the delayed
against the sides of the table Ill.
action electrical circuit diagrammatically shown ;
The top wall-~52 of the steam chamber is longi-v
‘in Figure 11. When the Figure 11 'circuit'is‘?s. . 75 , tudinally adjustable with resp ect to the side walls
:nally completed, by which time all movement of
and since itsupportsthecap applying’ chute’ i8
and capp'ing‘mechanism 20, the position of these
devices with respect to the stationary supporting
plate 2| may thereby be adjusted longitudinally’
of the machine. Thepurpose of thisdadjus'tm'elit
is to insure that caps will‘b'e loosely seated and
leveled before the trip 22 is actuated." Adjust
meut of the top wall 52 is effected by ‘operation of
so that a uniform pressure will be applied to con
tainers during’ their movement with such portion
ofthe belts.
It will likewise be noted that each belt ‘H and
its supporting bracket 12 ‘is resiliently ‘mounted,
as an entirety,‘ for inward and outward movement.
That is, as a container causes the holding belt to
be forced outwardly to a‘ slight extent through
the side wall of the steam tunnel, that holding
vided with pinions 64 which mesh with toothed 10 belt and its supporting bracket 12 will move bodily
racks 65 formed on the upperedges of the‘ side
outwardly along 'a‘, straight line and with no swing
a hand wheel 62 secured to across shaft 63 pro
walls 59 and‘ 58. The top'wall 52 may be locked
in adjusted position by means ‘of nuts 63 threaded
on bolts extending through longitudinal slots 69
in the side walls and thence into the vtop wall‘v
52. As best shown in Figure 5,’ the top wall 52
is closely ?tted with‘ respect to the side walls
and is supported. by the ledges 52c shown in Fig
As best shown in Figures 3, 4 and 6, each shaft
99 carrying a driven pulley 9| of a' holding device
has a sprocket wheel 98 ‘?xed thereto which is
engaged by'a sprocket chain 99 extending from
the outfeed end'of the steam tunneland about
a large sprocket wheel I00 fixed to a vertical shaft
IUI journaled in brackets l02' extending from the
The holding and centering device ll comprises 20 upper portion of'th'e“ side walls of'the' steam
an upper and a lower endless belt‘ ‘ll on “each
chamber. ‘As‘ best shown‘ in Figure 1,‘ the two
side of the endless conveyor.
holding belts at each side‘ of the steam ‘chamber
supportedyin a U-shaped bracket '52 (Figures 4
are both driven from the‘ corresponding vertical
to 6) which includes two outwardly extending
shaft I131. ‘The lower portion'of each'vertical
pins 73 and it. The pin it is slidable in a bore 25 shaft it! is slidab-ly‘journaled in brackets‘ “'33
in a plate i5, secured against a large rectangular
opening it in the corresponding side wall of the
?xed to‘ the' side wall of the table I!) and a bev
eled gear "i4 is keyed to the shaft liH-between
steam chamber. The other pin 14 is slidable in
these brackets." Beveled gear H34 meshes with
the bore of a sleeve ll threaded in the plate 15.
a beveled gear I05 ?xed to the shaft 39;
As shown in Figure 6, the inner end of each sleeve 30
It will be noted that the shafts vllll may move
‘H is counter-bored and a coil spring 18 sur
vertically with the steam ‘chamber’ without af-~
‘ rounding pin ‘ill seats in this counter-bore.
position ofeach bracket 72 with respect to the
center line of the container supporting conveyor
H may be adjusted inwardly by rotation of the
hand wheel 79 fixed to each threaded sleeve 1?,
since the sleeve will act upon the coil spring
78 to force the bracket inwardly by a straight
line or rectilinear movement. The brackets can
be moved outwardly by pressure upon the same
and because of their resilient mounting, will
accommodate themselves to variations in con
fecting the‘ driving connection with the‘beveled
As illustrated in Figure 6, the sprocket chains
99 which‘ serve to’drive the holding brackets 12
may be held-under proper tension by a roll [10'
resiliently supportedfrom the ‘brackets I02.
The cap supply and applying chute" l8 pref
erably comprises two' spaced‘ guideways H5, each
of well—known angular formv to provide a shelf
to support‘one' edge of the cap and "a shoulder‘
to guide the cap. ‘ The major portion of the'chute
tainers. As best indicated in Figure 1, the hand
is surrounded by a casing'whic‘h may include an’
wheel 19 of each upper centering device is longi
electric heater l8a. The-guideways' l [5 terminate
tudinally reversed with respect to the position 45 in lugs or shoulders lie of ‘well-known
of the corresponding element of each lower cen
which serve to stop the downward’m'ovement of
tering device.
the line of caps.‘ As indicated in Figure '3, the
The holding and centering devices may be ad
lower portion‘of the'skirt of the lowermost'cap
justed longitudinally of the machine by releasing
will bearag'ainst these shoulders with the in;
the bolts 8i? (Figure l) which extend through slots 50 termediate unsupported portion‘ ofthe skirt ex'to hold the plates ‘15 to the side walls of the
tendinginto the path of the lip of an advancing
chamber l2.
container. As a result, the containerwilllift
Each U-shaped bracket 72 includes a rear wall
85, a lower wall 86 and an upper wall 8?. As
the cap over the shoulders I i 6 so that it will drop
to a substantially leveled position on the con:
shown at the bottom of Figure 6, each lower wall 55 tainer mouth; the‘succeeding cap ‘then dropping
86 is cut away at its infeed end. The outfeed
down against the‘shoulders I It; The movement‘
end of each bracket has iournaled therein a ver
of a cap from its substantially vertical‘ position‘
tical shaft 98 to which is fixed, between the upper
in the chute‘to a substantially horizontal posi
and lower plates 33 and 81, a pulley 9|. An
tion without sidewise tilt‘ is assisted by roller
idler pulley 92 is supported on a stud 93 at the 60 Ill journaled at the loweriend of a weighted
infeed end of each bracket and the belts ‘H move - plunger 1 IB' slidably mounted ‘in an‘ aperture in
about these pairs of pulleys. The inner run of
the upper wall 52 of thesteam chamber. During
each belt H is supported or held inwardly with
its levelingmovement the top'of the ‘cap is'also'
respect to the center line of the machine by small
continually engaged by the spring plate I9j of
idler rolls 96 positioned in the brackets 12. As 65 the capping device. Plate 19 includes upwardly
best illustrated in Figure 6, the series of rolls
extending studs H9 which ?t in sockets’in the‘
94 does not extend entirely to the infeed end of
capping plate '20 to thereby guide the ‘vertical
a bracket 12 and because of this, as well as be
movement'of' plate l9. ' Plate 19 is‘ urged to the
cause of the fact that the infeed end pulley 92
normal downward limit‘p'osition illustrated in
is of reduced diameter, each belt "H will have 70 Figure 3 'by'relatively light coil springs I20, one
the infeed portion of its inner run slightly in
of which 'is positioned between each corner of
clined so as to assist in the centering action of
plate l9 ‘and the corresponding corner of the
containers. However, it will be noted that the re
capping 'plate 20. It will be noted that the infeed
maining portion of the inner run of each holding
end of'plate"|9 is beveled to guide the caps be
be1tis positively held straight by the small rolls 75
The above capapplying arrangement including v
the roller H1 and plate I9 serves to loosely apply all caps in-a substantially level position without '
"1- 10
separated positionixillustrated in Figure 9, this
position being controlled by the adjusting screws
_ 212 and m.
In the operation of the control mechanism 23,
possibility of the cap dropping from the con
tainer. A particularly desirablefeature is that .
asa container is moved from the infeed portion
the cap is ?rmly held iroinfthe moment that it .
stationary plate 2| indicated in Figure 7, the
forward and lower portion of the containerwill
of supporting'iconveyor. H to the position on the
leaves the chute 18 until it is ?nally sealed.-v
" Referring to Figure 3, the capping member or
engage the..roller I43 of trip 22 to move the
plate 20 is mounted immediately adjacent-the 10 toggle mechanism towards straightened position.
cap applying I26
I8 and through
is rigidlyapertures
in v As a result, thelong link I45 will _mo_veto the
pair of rodsv
rightwith regard to Figure '7, thereby moving
the top wall of chamber I2. The rods I26 are se
cured at their upper ends to a bar I21, this por
the link I48 tothe left in Figure 9.- Such move
ment of link I48.will carry the blockU200jto the 7
tion of each rod being threaded toreceive nuts to
left so that the point of, pawl 203'w'ill‘contact
bear on the upper and lower surfaces of bar I2‘! 15 with a triangular nub v2 I4 which extends upwardly
so that its position with respect to‘ the rods, can
from the-upper contact blade 288, depressing
be adjusted. Intermediateits length each-rod
this plate so asto bring its contact intoengage
I26 is provided with an'adjustable collar Him
' ment with the upwardly facing contact on lower
and a coil spring I28 is positioned between each
blade 209 to cause a circuit to be actuated as
such collar and the upper wall of the steam chain:
hereinafter described. Rod I43 will continue its
ber; These springs ‘serve to urge the rods and
_. movement to the left in Figure 9 so that pawl
thereby capping plate 20 to an upward position.
203 will continue past the nub 2|4 to‘ permit the
A plunger , I29 is ?xed'to the‘ bar I21 and car
blade 203 to rise so that only a momentaryrelec
ries a plate I38 which is urged, to an upward
trical current will flow between the contacts car
position by a coil spring I30.-. The upper surface 25
of plate I38 is adapted to contact with rounddisks
on container
the blades.will remain in the stationary
I3| pivoted as shown in Figure 8 inja cut-out
position indicated in Figure 7 as well‘ as at A in
" portion I3|a ofa link 1-32. Plunger I29 extends
Figure 6 until the succeeding container contacts
through the cut-out and‘ between thedisks as
with it to move it from the stationary plate 2|
shown in Figure 8. The vlink‘I32 has one end . -. to the outfeed portion ‘of conveyor-II and the
pivotedas indicated at I33 to a post7 I34 and the 'pawl 203 will remain on the' left hand side of
other end of the link is pivotally connected as . , the nub 214 while the container is in this posi
Y at I35 to a vertical‘link I38 pivoted to the arma
ture I31 of electromagnet 24.
._ ;
.3 tion. When theicontainer shownin Figure 7
moves to the right to enable the toggle mecha
~ It will be noted that downward movement of
nism to resume its normal position in the path
armature I31 will cause the disks I3I toactwupon
of the next containeryrod I48 will return to
spring mounted'plunger I29 and thereby depress ' the
Figure 9 position causing pawl 2037-’ to ride
, the capping plate I25. The upper spring I30 will
‘over the nub 2 I4. However, since the right hand
serve as a resilient connection to‘ compensate for
face of pawl 203 is inclined and because the pawl
containers of slightly greater than normaliheight
and the lower springs. I28 will serve to vreturn
the capping plate normal position.
is free toswing in a clockwise direction,» it will
' simply ride over nub 2 I4 without depressing the
As shown in Figure '7, he trip 22 for the cap
ping member 20 is of toggle form ‘and. comprises
a lever I4I pivoted at I42 to the stationary plate
2| and carrying a roller I43 at its free end. Also,
the free end of lever. MI is pivotallyeonnected to
an arm' I44 pivoted to a long link I45. As shown
in Figure '7, thepoint at which arm I44 is con
nected to link I45 maybe adjusted. by a nut en
spring blade 208. Hence, the contact‘ element
of blade 208 will not come into engagement with
the contact of lower blade 209v during return
Figure 11 showsthe control circuit of the mech
anism whereby the closing of the contacts of the
device 23 will cause the capping plate 20 to be
moved into engagement with a container on the
stationary supporting plate '2 I. Referring to Fig- '
gaging a slot I45 in the link. The far end of link i um 11, it will be noted that the spring blade 208
I45 is pivoted to one arm of a bell crank 141,, the
is connected to a main conductor 225 by alead
other arm of the bell crank having a- link I48
I 226 while the stationary blade 209 is connected
extending therefrom to the circuit controlling
by a lead 22'! tothe coil 228 of a retarded relay,
device 23 shown in detail in Figures 9 and .10. »
the coil being, connected by a lead 229 to the
Referring to Figures 9 audio. link' I48 may
main, conductor 230. .When the contact of
include ‘a turnbuckle and extends through an - other
spring blade .208 is moved into engagementwith
aperture in the sidewall of the housing I50 of
the, contact ofpspiring blade 203, coil 226-wi'l1 be .
the device 23. Within the housing, the rod I48
' has a block 200 ?xed‘ thereto and the rod isurged 60
to the right as Viewed in Figure a coil spring
20I which surrounds the rod between the far‘ wall
I of the housing and block 200. Block 200 carries
a swinging pawljv203' ‘which normally . hangs
momentarily energized. However, since the relay
is of ,the retarded type, it will not move. its
‘ armature~23 I‘ into; engagement with contacts 232
and 233 until a fraction of a second has elapsed,
_ thereby insuring that the movement of the, con
' tainer ‘upon the , stationary ‘_ supporting plate 2|
downwardly alongside a vertical shoulder 204‘on 65
is entirely completed and?the container is; en
‘the block 200 ‘asshoWn‘inFigure 9 and has. its
lower face 205 inclined as indicated in Figure 9.
A block of insulating material 206 is positioned
in the lower portion of housing I50 by means of
tirely stationary before the capping head 20. be
itsdescent. 228 moves‘
- - ~
itsq armature
1 23I
bridge the contacts 232 and 233; it will energize
screws 201 “and a pair of spring blades 208 and 70~ one coil 234 of a'double-acting relay since the
209 are mounted on upper stepped faces of block
‘contact 233 is connected to'one' side ‘of coil 234
206 by means of screws 2|_0 and 2H, respectively,
‘bya lead 235 and the coil" is alsoconnect’ed'by
which also serve as vbinding posts for‘pthe con
. a lead ‘236 to themain conductor 230. The other
tacts. The "spring blades 208 and 209 carry con
contact ‘232 is connected by a‘ lead‘231 with the
tacts at their, free ends and are, normally in the;
vi 2,-40a447
‘ opposite main conductor 225.
This energization
ratchet Wheel and is then out ‘of engagement with
?xed contact I63. The pivot end of lever I 52
of coil 234, which is only momentary, will draw
an armature 238 into engagement with ?xed
' thereby servesas alimit stop for movable con
contacts 239 and 240 but armature‘ 238 is me
tact I62. The contacts I52 and I63 are suitably
chanically interlocked so as to remain in the po Cl
from their operating elements.
sition to which it is urged. Contact 240 is con
of the control mechanism 23a
nected by a lead 24! with main conductor 230
of Figure 2, as a container is moved from the in
while contact 233 is in circuit through a lead 242
feed portionv of supporting conveyor II to the
with the coil 243 of the electromagnet 24 of the
position on the stationary plate 2i indicated in
Figure 7, the forward and lower portion of the
container will engage the ‘roller I43 of trip 22
225. Energization of coil 243 will cause its arma
move the toggle mechanism toward straight
‘ ture I3'I to be drawn downwardly so that the
ened position. As a result, the long link I45
right hand end (Figure 3) will be drawn down
will move to the‘ right with regard to Figure 7,
wardlly thereby depressing the capping plate 20. 15 thereby
moving the link I48 to the left in Fig
When the right hand portion of link I32 reaches
ure 2. Such movement of link I48 will cause
capping head, this coil being connected at its
opposite end by a lead 244 to the main conductor
its extreme lower position, it’ will engage a but
ton 245 forming part of a switch element 246
lever I52 to swing to the left and a correspond~
ing movement will be imparted to the pawl I56.
At the instant that the container entirelyleaves
button 245 so as to cause the contact carried by 20 conveyor II and holding device I'I, the link I45
the latter into engagement with a ?xed contact
will have moved far enough to move link I48
246. Moving contact 245 is connected by a lead
proper distance to rotate ratchet wheel I59
247 to the opposite coil 248 of the double-acting
‘in a clockwise direction su?icient for one tooth
and mechanically interlocked relay and this coil
of the ratchet wheel to move beneath the second
is also connected by a lead 249 to the main con
I 60 and lift the same, thereby swinging
ductor 230, while the ?xed contact 246 is con
I62 against contact I63. However, pawl
nected by a lead 250 with the opposite main con
I60 will immediately drop behind the tooth which
ductor 225. Hence, when link I32 depresses but
has raised it and its engagement with contact ‘
ton‘ 245, it will close the circuit just described,
I62 will thereby be broken.
so as to energize the coil 248 to thereby return 30.
The closing of the circuit between'the contacts
the mechanically interlocked armature 233 of
I62 and I63 will energize the retarded relay 228
the double-acting relay to the position illustrated
mounted as illustrated in Figure 3, depressing the
in Figure 11, thereby de-energizing the capping
as described in connection with Figure 11 so
as to set up the Figure 11 circuit to move the
head actuating coil 243 so that the springs I23
capping plate 20 downwardly to move the ap
may return the capping plate 20 and armature 35 plied cap to sealed position after the container
I31 to raised position. vAs soon as link I32 rises
has reached a fully stationary position, all in the
the contact 245 will also rise, but armature 238
manner described in connection with Figure 11.
will remain in the Figure 11 position until coil
With the Figure 2 device 23a, when the con
234 is again energized.
tainer shown in Figure 7 moves to the right to
It will thus be observed that the capping‘head 40 enable the toggle mechanism to resume its nor
cannot be moved downwardly to capping position
mal position in the path of the next container,
until the container is absolutely stationary upon
link I48 will return to the right causing pawl
the stationary supporting plate 2| and that as
‘I56 to ride back and drop behind the next tooth
soon as it reaches full downward position, its .. of the ratchet wheel.
The second pawl I60 will,
energizing coil 243 will be de-energized so that of course, prevent the ratchet wheel from rotat
it will be promptly returned to a raised‘ position
ing in a counter-clockwise direction during-the
out of the path of the succeeding container.
dragging movement of pawl I 56 along the ratchet
Figure 2 illustrates a modi?ed form of circuit
wheel. Spring I54 moves lever I 52 to the right
controlling device 23a which may be placed in
as soon as the pressure on link I46 is released
the Figure 11 circuit instead of the device 23 50 and
the spring I51 holds pawl I56 in the upper
vof Figures 9 and 10. In the Figure 2 form the
shown in Figure 2 thoughpermitting it
link I48 extends through a bracket I49 into a
to swing downwardly suf?ciently to ride back
housing I 50a of the device 23a. A‘ spring I5I
over the adjacent tooth of the ratchet wheel.
positioned between a collar on link I48 and the
It will be understood that. to adjust the ma
outer wall of the housing serves to urge the link I
for operation, the trip 22 will be so po
I48 to an outward position, ‘that is, to the right
sitioned that it will be actuated by the ?nal
in Figure 2. The inner end of link I48 bears
movement of a container upon stationary plate
against the free end of a lever I52 pivoted at
2I so that capping plate 20 will not descend-un
I 53 and which lever is normally held to the right
til the container is absolutely-stationary. The
by means of a leaf spring I54 ?xed to the le
capping head Will also be so positioned that it
-ver and having its outer end bearing upon a pin
will be centrally over the container. ‘Thus, the
I55. The opposite end of lever I52 pivotally
cap will be moved to sealed position by a force
carries a pawl I56 urged to upward position by
applied in an entirely vertical direction.
means of a spring I51‘ surrounding its pivot. ‘ This
As is illustrated in Figures3, 6 and v7, the
upward position is limited by a set screw I58
' adjustably mounted in a lateral extension of lever
steam duct I3 is cast in one side wallv of’ the ma
chine and is substantially. rectangular in'hori
zontal section. It extends from the bottom of
The outer end of pawl I56 engages a ratchet
the side wall 50 of the steam chamber to a point
wheel I59 which is also engaged by a second
closely adjacent the under-surface of‘ the top
pawl I66 pivoted at I6I. Pawl I6!) is secured to
wall 52. The inner Wall I68 of the duct is only
. a 1movable contact I62 normally out of engage
spaced a short distance from the inner surface
'ment with a ?xed ‘spring contact‘ I63. It will be
of chamber wall 50 in order to clear-'the'adja
noted fromFigure' 2 that movable‘contact I 62
edge of the conveyor II. The edge'wall- v169
bears against the pivot end. of lever I52 when its
pawl I66 isseated in one of the pocketsof the 75 of duct I3 is closely adjacent the Iinfeed'end of
the steam'chamber I2 while- the edge wall I10
' [13
towards the outfeed end of the apparatus ter
Tpressure andbecause the container will be sur
rounded by steam at 'a-temperature identical with
minates immediately in advance of or closely ad
jacent to the infeed end of .the holding and cen-v -~ that of the steam sealed within the head spaces,
the sealedcap has no tendency whatever to rise
tering mechanism I1. Hood I5 is preferably re
from sealed position when the capping head rises.
movable from duct £3 to render the screen Hi
This same situation holds true when the sealed
Superheated dry steam under a relatively low : . container is moved o? stationary plate 2| by the
vpressure, for example, from one to ?ve pounds, ' succeeding container and into the open atmos~
phere upon the outfeed portion of conveyor ll.
is delivered to the lower portion of the duct [3
through the steam pipe 14. As shown in Figure 10 Thatis, because the steam in the container head
3, the outlet end of pipe 14 preferably has either "space is only at atmospheric pressure, it cannot
cause the cap tolift and, therefore, no means to
a return bend uponthe same or is so angled that
hold the cap sealed during cooling is required. By
the present apparatus and method, the container
The steam received throughthe pipe it will
rise through the duct l3 and‘pass' through ver-_ 15 and particularly the cap will both be simultane
ously and uniformly subjected to atmospheric
tically spaced ?ne mesh wire screens it which are
temperature almost immediately after capping
preferably of inverted V-shape in transverse sec
has been performed and quick uniform cooling to
tion. The screens l6 serve to entirelybreak the
it will not direct the steam upwardly. - i
contract the steam is assured.
force of the steam and cause it to move from the
Since the present method and apparatus in
wide mouth of the duct in a cloud. The V-shape 20
sures that caps will have no tendency to rise from
of the screens it permits any condensate to move
containers between the moment they have been
down'along their inclined portions so as not to
moved to a sealed position and the time when
clog them. Such condensation may eventually
the steam condenses to create a low pressure con
move out of the duct l3 through a drain HI.
In order to guide the steam rising from the duct 25 dition in the container head space, the invention
may be used with caps which are held sealed pri
l3 toward the .outfeed end of'chamber i2 and ‘at
marily by a low pressure condition as well as with
the same time enable it to rise to the extreme top
caps provided with some type of locking means.
portion of the tunneL'the, upper end of duct I3
" As has been indicated above, the inclusion of
is provided with a hood comprising an inclined
a vertically moving capping or sealing element
top plate I12 and vertical side plates I13. Screen
in the present invention is found to be highly ad
IB may be horizontal or may be slightly inclined
vantageous and a considerable improvement upon
as shown in Figure 3. The primary purpose of
a continuously moving capping element of end
having screen l6 inclined as shown in Figure 3 is
less form. More particularly, while an endless
to position it substantially parallel to the top wall
" I12 of the hood and thereby provide an unre
35 capping or sealing element has the theoretical
value of sealing containers at greater speed be
stricted path between the screen and the shield.
It will be observed that the steam ?owing from
the wide mouth of duct I3 over its top edge H5
1cause it does not require that the movement of
the containers be stopped, this theoretical ad
vantage is altogether offset by the fact that con
1 will enter the extreme upper portion of the steam
tainers may be upset or their caps either distorted
chamber and because the steam is directed up
wardly rather than laterally, the cloud of steam
formed in the chamber will extend from the roof
of the chamber downwardly. That is, there ‘can
be no layer of air between the steam cloud and
the roof as frequently occurs when the steam is
or dislodged by the'endless and moving element.
' The capping element of the present invention,
with its control so designed that the capping head
cannot descend until the container is stationary,
entirely eliminates all of the defects of the end
less type of head. Also, since by the present in
ventionthe capping element is immediately re
directed laterally at a point spaced downwardly
from the roof of the steam chamber.
tracted or raised so as to be out of contact with
Since the ?ow of steam into the steam chamber
is not under force but is at substantially atmos
the container which has just been scaled, it is
pheric‘ pressure, no drafts are created at any point i
and a temperature of 212° is readily maintained
within the upper portion of the steam chamber.
The open ?lled containers-entering the steam
cloud will quickly have the air in their head spaces
replaced by the body of steam so that when-they '
move into engagement with the holding and cen
tering mechanism I1. they will contain no air.
Because the containers come into contact with
some steam from the cloud just as they enter the
tunnel they will be given a gradual heating effect,
preventingcondensation. In other words, con
tainers do not suddenly move from open atmos
phere into the path of a steam jet which ‘will con-'
dense in the container head space. Since the
caps are heated in the chute ii! to a temperature
approaching 212°, no moisture will be condensed
upon the same when they move into the lower
portion of the chute and into contact with the
steam cloud to have their interiors ?lled with
steam. Therefore, when the applied cap is moved
to sealed position upon thecontainer by the cap
not necessary to widely space the containers de
livered to the apparatus. That is, containers can
be closely spaced when delivered to the apparatus
because the stopping of a container for sealing is
only momentary and the following container can,
therefore, quickly contact with it to place it upon
’ the‘ outfeed portion of the supporting conveyor.
Theluse of a quickly operable sealing element
such as provided by the present invention has
the further advantage of insuring that steam
60 will be quickly entrapped within the container
head space while it is still at maximum tempera
ture. That is, with the endless type of sealing
element, the cap is only gradually applied to they
container and the steam within the container
head space may condense or be cooled before the
sealing is entirely performed. Naturally; if any
portion of the steam condenses, air may enter
the head space to raise the ?nal pressure in the
container head space.
Continuously moving endless sealing elements
usually extend from one end of the steam tunnel.
The positioning of the present sealing element
entirely within the highly heated steam cham
ber causes the sealing element to be maintained
It is to be noted that since the steam locked
in the head space of a sealed container has no 75 at a high temperature so that it cannot condense
ping head 20, the head space'of the container will
be ?lled with dry steam.
‘ Subject matter disclosed but not claimed'here
steam trapped in the container head space. In
machines of the endless belt type, the belt be
comes cooled, either because cooling liquid is di
in may be claimed in my application for Con
rected upon it or because it moves into a cooler
July 22, 1946, as a continuation-in-part of the
atmosphere as indicated above. Naturally, if a
cap not yet fully sealed upon the container at
present case.
tainer sealing apparatus, Serial No, 685,443, ?led
The terminology used in the speci?cation is for
the purpose of description and not of limitation,
the scope of the invention'being indicated in the
the time that this cooling begins, condensation
of steam will occur, with a resulting higher head
space pressure.
The use of a reciprocating capping element is 10
I claim:
1. In a container capping apparatus, a base,
particularly efficient in sealing caps of the type
a straight-line steam tunnel mounted on said
having locking lugs upon their skirts. That is,
base, said tunnel including a top wall and two
by the present invention the caps are moved di
side walls to de?ne an inlet and an outlet at the
rectly downwardly by a straight line movement
respective opposite ends of said walls, conveyor
to a sealed position upon the container. Seal
means carried by said base to move containers
ing apparatus of the endless belt type are par
through the tunnel, the top wall of the tunnel
ticularly inefficient in applying this type of cap
being positioned to lie closely adjacent the
because such caps are more apt to become tilted
upon initial contact with the sealing element due
mouths of the containers, means carried by and
fact that the lugs prevent them from being 20 below the tunnel top wall to apply and seal caps
readily moved to a sealed position upon the con
upon containers, a steam duct ?xed with respect
tainer. For example, if a lug type cap moves ad
to a side Wall of said tunnel in advance of the
jacent the sealing element with one of its lugs
cap applying means, means to deliver steam to
resting upon the mouth of the container, it may
said duct at a relatively low pressure above at
not be‘subsequently properly seated by an endless
mospheric pressure, pressure reducing means in
sealing element, but, instead, may be bent or
said duct to reduce the pressure of steam ?owing
otherwise distorted or entirely knocked o? the
therefrom to substantially atmospheric pressure,
container. The arrangement of the present in
said duct including an outlet mouth positioned
vention is therefore equally useful and ef?cient
at one side of said conveyor and below but closely
in applying caps of both the lug type as well as 30 adjacent the plane of'th'e cap applying and seal
those which rely primarily upon the lowered pres
ing means,v said outlet mouth facing upwardly
sure within the head space to retain them in
and in the direction in which said conveyor
sealed position.
means moves containers through said tunnel,
As has been stated above, it has heretofore
been thought that if containers were stopped for
sealing, they might fall over, or at least that any
means and the facing direction of the duct mouth
said steam supply means, pressure reducing
having the combined function of maintaining
liquid contents would be so disturbed as to cause
a quiet body of steam in the area occupied by
said applying and sealing means and with the
spilling. Therefore, continuously moving sealing
elements were believed necessary, even though
body of steam extending from the top wall of
such elements themselves may cause upsetting 40 the tunnel to a point below and closely adjacent
and improper application of caps and are not
the plane of the container mouths, said tunnel
satisfactory for sealing lug type caps. I have
discovered that the stopping of containers ?lled
being vertically adjustable with respect to said
to the usual extent by movement on to a sta
tionary plate, as opposed to the stopping of a
container by the positive stopping of a driven
‘chain or other container engaging element, with
its resultant vibration, does not cause upsetting
of containers or any spilling of their contents.
‘Hence, the use of the much more practical ver
tically moving sealing element is made entirely
The general operation of the present appa
ratus and method have been described in the
opening portion of this speci?cation and the spe
ci?c operation of the various elements have been
described in connection with the detailed de
scription of the construction of such elements.
base and conveyor and means cooperating with
a wall of saidtunnel to move said tunnel and
duct vertically with respect to said base and
thereby enable containers of various sizes to be
2. An apparatus of the character, defined in
claim 1 wherein the top wall of the tunnel and
the cap applying and sealing means carried
thereby are horizontally adjustable with respect
to the side walls of the tunnel and said duct,
and means is provided to move the top wall and
applying and sealing means horizontally to
thereby adjust the point with respect to said
steam supply duct at which a cap is applied and
sealed upon a container.
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