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Патент USA US3040502

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June 26, 1962
H. E. STOVER ETAL
3,040,492
ROTARY CONTAINER SEALING MACHINE
A Trop/vg
June 26, 1962
H. E. STOVER ETAL
'
Filed April 1, 1959
3,040,492
ROTARY CONTAINER SEALING MACHINE
8 Sheets-Sheet 2
l“ 4INVENÍTORS
A
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June 26, 1962
H. E. sTovER ETAL
3,040,492
ROTARY CONTAINER SEALING MACHINE
Filed April 1, 1959
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8 Sheets-Sheet 3
June 26, 1962
H. E. STOVER ETAL
3,040,492
ROTARY CONTAINER SEALING MACHINE
Filed April l, 1959
8 Sheets-Sheet 4
AWO/(wey
June 26, 1962
l
Filed April l. 1959
H. E. sTovER ETAL
3,040,492
ROTARY CONTAINER SEALING MACHINE
-
8 Sheets-Sheet 5
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June 26, 1962
3,040,492
H. E. STOVER ETAL
ROTARY CONTAINER SEALING MACHINE
Filed April l. 1959
s sheets-sheet 6
’90.
7
INVENTORS
BY
M
H Trop/Vey
June 26, 1962 I
H. E. sTovl-:R -ETAI.
3,040,492
ROTARY CONTAINER SEALING MACHINE
Filed April l, 1959
8 Sheets-Sheet 7
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June 26, 1962
H. E. STOVER ETAL
3,040,492
ROTARY CONTAINER SEALING MACHINE
Filed April l. 1959
8 Sheets-Sheet 8
K
/I
United >States Patent
3,040,492Vv
ce
Another object of the present invention is to provide,
a high-speed rotary sealing machine which is quickly
and easily adjusted -for handling a Wide variety of closure
l
norARY coNrAlNnR SEALING MACHINE
Harry E. Stover and Arthur E. Watson, Lancaster, Ohio, l
and container sizes.
Vassigno'rs to Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation, Lan
' caster,„0liio, a corporation of Delaware
'
’
3,040,492
Patented June Z6, 1962
Other and further objects» of the invention will be
,_
obvious upon an- understanding of the illustrative em
Filed Apr. 1, ,1959. Ser. No. 803,508
.is Ciaims. (ci. ssa-ss)
The present invention relates tothe container sealing
art andl more particularly to'an improved rotary sealing
»machine particularly adapted for the high-speed appli
bodiment about to be described or will be indicated in
the appended claims, and 'various advantages not referred
10
cation of lug and threaded-type _closures to containers.`
to herein will occur to one skilled in the art upon em
ployment of the` invention in practice.
A preferred Vembodiment of the invention has been
chosen for purposes of illustration and description and is
shown Vin the accompanying drawings, forming a part of
Screw closures are generallyof the lug or continuousV
thread‘types. The lng type requiresless than afull turn
the specification, wherein:
and the continuous thread requires a full turn or more 15
to seal. «Both types of closures have been sold in large
quantities for’many years and machines have been de
veloped for the application of both types of closures.
However, the machinery for applying these types of
y
FIG. l is a side elevational view of a preferred embodi
ment of the sealing machine;
FIG. 2 is a top plan View of the sealing machine;
.'FLG.- 3v is a sectional view taken along line 3--3 of
/ closures has not been as suitable either in speed or in 20
forming satisfactory seals as sealingîmachinesfor other
types of closures-for example, those with gaskets in the skirt' which are pressed down over glass finishes to form
hermetic seals. As a resut, the so-called machine-applied
2- illustrating the interior of the machine and the
operation thereof;`
FIëIG3. 3a is a sectional view-taken along line 3ra-_3d of
FIG. 4. is a horizontal sectional view of the container
gripping means vtaken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
or side-seal closures have been sold in large quantities in 25
5 is an enlarged fragmentary detailed plan view
spite of the fact that the average-housewife much prefers
ofa single pair of gripping jaws ofthe container gripping
a screw-type closure because she knows how to get it oif
means of FIG. -4;
'
and because she can easily and effectively reseal it on
_ FIG. 6 is a sectional View of the gripping jaws of FIG.
the-.container while the product is being consumed. Many 5. taken along lines 6.46 of FIG. 5;
»
30
products are required> to be hermetically sealed with a
FIG. 7‘is a perspective view Aof the container gripping
vacuum in the headspace to assure a long shelf life for"
the products sealed and to avoid spoiled products reach
jaws of FIG. 5;
l
..
FIG. 8. is a vertical sectional viewthrough apreferred
ing the consumer.
.
u
.
- embodimentY of the sealing head;
The present types of sealing machines for screw type
91 is a `sectional view of the sealing head corre
closures do nothave the high speeds required foromass 35 spending to FIG. 8 with the elements in their sealing
production Aof sealed packages of food products and they
position;
are not adapted to seal containers under a high vacuum
at a high speed or adapted to accommodate easily difier
l ent types
and shapes of containers and
4
,p
seals.
different types of
y
`
40
The present invention provides a high-speed machine
for sealing .both continuous-thread and lug-type closures
and at the samel times provides a machine which can b_e
readily converted fromone size or height of container or
closure to another and from one type of sealing', such as 45
a vacuum seal, to another, such as vapor sealing, with a
minimum of time and effort. The present machine Will
give the right amount of torque to preserve the product
and at the same time not apply the -closure with so
much force that it cannotV be readily removed.
The 50
present machine will permit packers to apply screw or
lug-type closures With the same speed that they _have
'
.
i
FIG. 10 is a Áfragmentary sectional View of the sealing
head corresponding to FIGS, _8 and 9` illustrating the
sealing headl in its closure pick-up position;
FIG. '11’ is a fragmentary view of the sealing head of
FIG; 8 showing the sealing head stop means; `
'
u
‘ FIG. 12_ is a horizontal sectional view through the seal
ing machine base taken along the line 12-12 of FIG. l
illustrating the `sealing machine driving means; and ï
FIG.' 13 ,is a horizontal sectional View through the
sealing machine ba'sfe taken along line 13-13» of FIG; `3
illustrating the gearing for the container and closure star
wheels.
'
` "
-
`
v
`
`
General Description
Referring more particularly to FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, the
machine comprises a'base 1 having a conveyorlZ which
been accustomed heretofore in the application of caps
'1s mounted on pulleys at the respective -ends of extensions
which may be applied merely by downward.; pressure.
4 attachedëto the base -1 of the machine. ‘Filled contain
In addition, Vthe Vcaps. are carefully positioned at the time 55 ers¿.6 areoplaced on the left hand- end of`> the conveyor
of the screwing operation so that the threads or lugs on
the closures do not cross the lugs or threads on the con
tainers but mesh accurately 'with them „so that a proper ‘
seal is obtained. The containers are securely held in posi
'2 and a Ahelicoid 5 which is operatively coupled to the
machine drive spaces the containers 6 onfthe conveyor
2 to place a container 6 into each'pocket 7 of the‘hori
Vzontal container‘feed star wheel 8'as illustrated in FIG.
tion during the screwing operation, and the closures are 60 2. The star wheel’8 is driven in synchronism with the
.carefully applied to the >container to avoid breakage of im- f. _sealing `turret 9 4sol that each star wheel pocket 7 feeds
proper seals. The machine is rugged in construction and
a container 6 beneath a sealing head 10 on the sealing
i capable of continuous operation without breakdowns and
the losses occurring from stoppages.
An object of the present invention is to provide an
improved rotary sealing machine.
Another object of the present invention is _to provide
an improved rotary sealing machine particularly adapted
for lug and threaded-type closures and containers.
'turret 9 'as the turret rotates about the central column
11 of the sealing machine. Each of the sealing heads
l0 prior toits moving above a container 6 has picked
‘up a .closure 14 from the >closure feed star wheel 12 as il
lustrated in FIG. 2.
The closures 14 are fedv to the star wheel 12 from a
suitable closure feed indicated generally at 15 in FIG.
Another object of the present invention is to provide 70 Vl. Suitable `closure feeds are commercially available. A
‘an vimproved sealing machine `having a positive and rela
preferred closure feed is disclosed in United States Pa
tively simple container handling ni‘e‘a-ns.
`
tent No. 2,863,588, which is owned by the assignee of
3,040,492
3
the present invention.
.
4;.
Sealing Turret
Referring more particularly to FIG. 3, the rotary seal
This closure feed 15 feeds the
closures 14 one at a time to the pockets 16 of the star
wheel 12. Rotation of the star wheel 12 moves each of
the closures 14 beneath a sealing head 10 where a mag
ing turret 9 which mounts the sealing heads 10 illustrated
net in the sealing head 10 picks up the closure 14 from
the star wheel 12 and carries it with the sealing head 10
as 16 in number, is rotatably mounted on the fixed central
column 11. The sealing turret 9 includes a turntable 50
adapted to carry the containers 6 during the sealing op
as the sealing turret 9 rotates.
eration in their arcuate path around the central column
^
11 from the input star wheel 8 to the output star wheel
As each of the containers 6 is moved beneath the seal
19. The turntable 50 is attached to the hub 51 which is
ing turret 9, the container 6 is engaged by a pair of grip
ping jaws 17. As will be more fully described below, 10 rotatably mounted on bearings 3S on the central column
11. Gripping jaws 17 are equally spaced about the pe
these gripping jaws 17 grip each container and position
riphery of the turntable 50, and these gripping jaws 17
it beneath a sealing head 10 in such a position as to per
are operated by a suitable cam means which will be more
fully described below to engage the containers 6 and to
taneous downward and rotary movement of the sealing 15 position them on the turntable 56 during the sealing op
eration. A sealing head 10 is mounted above each of the
head 10 as the sealing head 10 moves on its circular path
gripping jaws 17 on a rotatable head 54 to apply the
about the central column 11. By the time that the seal
closures to the containers on the turntable 50. The ro
ing turret 9 has turned about its center column 11 so as
tatable head 54 is mounted on the bearings 55 on the
to bring each sealing head 10 adjacent the exit star wheel
19, the sealing head 10 has applied the closure 14 to the 20 collar member 56 which is fixedly attached to the upper
mit the subsequent attachment of the closures 14 to the
containers 6. The closures 14 are attached by a simul
portion of the central column 11.
container 6 and has been lifted clear of the sealed pack
age 18. The gripping jaws 17 release the sealed pack
age 18 to the pockets 2t) of the exit star wheel 19 which
carries the sealed package 18 to the exit end of the con
veyor 2.
‘
Also rotatably mounted on the collar 56 is a vapor
distributing manifold 57 which is adapted to supply vapor
to each of the sealing heads 10 during a predetermined
25 portion of the sealing operation as will be more fully
described below in connection with the description of
the vapor system. The rotatable head 54 is driven from
the turntable 50 through the connecting rod 58, and the
Vapor distributing manifold is driven from the rotating
during the sealing operation. This hood is provided with
suitable openings to admit a condensable vapor such as 30 sealing heads 10 by the connecting rods 59 and the
As will be more fully described below, a hood is pro
vided at the bottom of each sealing head which partially
envelops the top of the container 6 and the closure 14
bracket members 60. Thus, as the turntable 50 is rotated
by drive motor 30 through ring gear 37 on the turn
table 50, the rotatable head 54 and its attached seal
vide an inert headspace atmosphere as desired. By using
ing heads 10 as well as the vapory distributing mani
a mixture of the gas and the condensable vapor having
predetermined proportions, the vacuum in the sealed con 35 fold 57 will all be rotated about the central column 11
in synchronism and with each sealing head 10 being
tainer may be set at adesired degree.
aligned with a container 6 gripped in the corresponding
The parts described above and their operations are de
pair of gripping jaws 17.
.
scribed in greater detail hereinafter under appropriate
Fixedly mounted on the collar member 56 on the upper
headings.
40 portion of the central column 11 are the sealing head
Drive
positioning cam 61 and the closure pick-up cam 62. The
In order to synchronize the operation of the various
sealing head positioning cam 61 has a lower cam portion
moving portions of the machine, these portions are driven
64 which operates to raise the sealing heads 10 to permit
by a single drive motor which is coupled through positive
the positioning of the unsealed containers 6 beneath the
drive _means to the various moving parts.
heads and an upper cam portion 65 which thereafter pro
As illustrated in FIGS. -l and l2, the preferred em
vides the downward sealing pressure to apply the closure
bodiment of the drive means comprises a drive motor
cap 14 to the container 6. The force applied by the
30 which is coupled by a suitable drive belt 31 and pul
upper sealing cam portion 65 is adjustably controlled by
leys 32 and 33 to a right-angle drive and speed reduc
the vertical pressure spring 66 to provide the proper
tion unit 34. The output shaft 35 of the speed reduction 50 torque for the application of .the threaded or lug closure
unit 34 is coupled through gears 36 and 37 to the sealing
to the container.
turret 9, which is rotatably mounted upon the stationary
The cam surface 67 for the closure pick-up cam 62
column 11 on bearings 38 (FIG. 3). As illustrated in
lowers a closure pick-up magnet 86 on the sealing head
FIGS. 3 and 13, the hubs 39, 40, and 41 for the star
1t) as the sealing head 10 rotates past the closure supply
steam or an inert gas or a mixture of vapor and gas to the
container headspace to provide a vacuum seal or to pro
wheels S, 12, and 19, respectively, are driven from the
sealing turret ring gear 37 through suitable gear trains
43, 44, and» 45, respectively. The three star Wheels 8,
12, and 19 are thus moved in exact synchronism with the
sealing turret 9 so that the feeding of the containers 6 into
and out of the sealing turret 9 is synchronized with the 60
star wheel 12 to cause the magnet 86 to attract and hold
a closure in the lower end of the sealing head 10. The
cam 62 is pivotally mounted on an arm 68 attached to
a mounting bracket 69. Adjustable nuts 70 position the
cam 62 to provide a suitable adjustment of the cam posi
tion for diiferent closure heights.
movement of the individual sealing heads 10 on the seal
Also íixedly mounted on the collar member 56 at the
ing turret 9. The conveyor 2 is also coupled to the drive
upper portion of the central column 11 is a sealing head
motor 30 by being coupled to the exit star wheel drive
drive gear 74 which engages a chuck driving gear 75 on
by a suitable gear and shaft system indicated generally at
46 in FIG. 2. Similarly, the helicoid 4 is synchronized 65 each of the sealing heads 10 so that the closure applying
chucks S2 of the sealing heads 10 are rotated as the seal
with the conveyor 2 by being coupled to the input star
ing turret 9 turns about the central column 11 to provide
wheel drive by a suitable gear and shaft system indicated
the chuck rotation to screw the closure caps 14 into place
generally at 47 in FIGS. l and 2. The base 1 as i1
on »the containers 6 as the sealing heads 10 are lowered
lustrated in FIG. 3 may be formed as a suitable closed
by the control cam 65,
,
70
and sealedrreservoir to permit the gearing to run in a
Removal of either the gears 75 or the drive gear 74
bath of lubricating oil.
A hand crank 130 is coupled to the drive pulley 32
by a chain 131 (FIG. 12) to adjust the eifective diameter
of the drive pulley 32 to provide a speed adjustment for
the machine.
-
-
permits the chucks 82 to be used for the application of
caps by downward pressure only without rotation as is
done with side seal, top seal, friction or other non
75 threaded closure caps.
3,040,492
,
Sealing Heads
Referring more particularly to FIGS. 8-10, a preferred
embodiment of a sealing head 10 is illustrated. The
chuck 82 of each ofthe sixteen sealing heads 10.l picks up
a closure 14 at the closure feed star wheel 12 and applies
it to a' container 6 beingk moved beneath it on the turn
stop 95 permits the downward sealing forces of each
head to be individually adjusted. The stop 95 comprises
a resilient abutment member 96 slidably mounted on a
Vertical rod 97 above a spring 9S which urges the resilient
abutment member 96 upwardly so that it engages a fixed
table 50. Prior to and during the application ofthe clos
-abutment 99 on the sealing head lil. A threaded adjust
ment member 98a engages the lower portion of the spring
ure .14 to the container, a condensable vapor is admitted
9S and compresses the spring 98 the desired amount to
control the downward sealing force of the sealing head
to form a vacuum therein or an inert gas may be admitted 10 10 when the fixed -abutment 99 engages the resilient abut
toV the container headspace to form' an inert atmosphere
ment 96 while the sealing head is in- its lowered closure
. applying positionfv
within the sealed container.
After the sealing operation, the cam portion 64 again .
Each sealing head 10 comprises an outer cylindrical
raises the hood support 77 so that the hood '78 moves
member 76 ñxedly attached to the outer edge of the>
rotatable head portion 54 of the sealing turret 9‘. Slid
clear of the sealed container 18 (FIG. 3) permitting the
sealed container 18 to be moved from beneath the sealing
ably mounted for‘ver-tical reciprocable movement within
from the sealing head hood to the container headspace
hood "i3 to the conveyor 2 by the exit star wheel 19'.
each of the outer cylindrical members 7_6 is a cylindrical ,
hood support 77 having a hollow cup-shaped hood 78
As the sealing head 1u continues its travel towards the
closure feed star Wheel 12 to begin the next sealing cycle,
attached at its lower e'nd. The purpose of the hood 78
is to partially enclose each ofthe tops of the containers 6 20 the cam 67 engages the upper end of the cap magnet sup
during the sealing operation and to admit the’vacuum
port rod 87 and again moves it downwardly, as illustrated
forming vapor or the inert gas to the container headspace.
in FIG. 10‘, against the force of the spring 93„ causing
the magnet 86 to» attract a closure cap 14 from the adja
cent pocket 16 of the closure feed star wheel 12. As the
of the containers 6 is controlled by the cam roller 79
rotatably‘mounted on the hood support 77 and engaging 25 sealing head 1t)l moves away from the closure feed star '
wheel 12, cam 67 permits the closure magnet support
the cams 64 and 65 of the hood positioning cam 61.
rod 87 to rise up to its normal position under the influence
The hollow cylindrical hood support 77 also mounts a of spring 9‘3 so that the closure 14 is drawn upwardly
.chuck rotating shaft 80 on ybearings 81 which has a'chuc‘k
against the friction ring 83 of the chuck 82 in preparation
82 atti-ached toits lower end. The ~shaft 80 and its con
nected chuck 82 are rotated by the chuck driving gear 75 30 for another of the above-described sealing operations.
A roller 79r mounted on the chuck support 77 rides in
which is attached to the upper end of the chuck rotating
a slot 76’ in cylindrical member 76 -to maintain the hood
shaft 80 and which meshes with the stationary drive gear
7 8 in axial alignment.
'
74. As the sealing head 1l) rotates about the central
The chuck 82 is intentionally provided with a smallV
column 11, the chuck driving gear 75 is turned by the
stationary drive gear 74.
amount of vertical play to permit the lugs or threads of
the closure to engage the threads of the container with a
»A closure 14 is picked up from the closure feed star
`The vertical position of the hood 78 with respect to eachY
`wheel 12 by a magnet 86 mounted on the lower end of
~ minimum amount of force. This play is provided as illus
trated in FIG. 8 wherein the shaft 86* is provided with a
small amount ,of clearance with relation to the upper and
magnet against a resilient friction ring member 88 on
the lower surface of the chuck 82. At the point of 40 lower thrust bearings Sdn and Sli/tb, respectively, and
wherein a spring member SGC normally urges the shaft 30
gpick-up when the magnet ’86 passes the closure feed star
upwardly but permits a slight downward movement of
wheel 12,» the magnet is lowered adjacent to the star wheel
the shaft Sil when the chuck 82 is turning a closure into
12 by the action of cam 67 on the support rod S7 to
its sealed-position.
Vfacilitate the lifting of the closure 14against ring 88 as
illustrated in FIG. l0.
The Container Grìpping M @uns
`of „the cap magnet support rod 87 and is held by the
Whenthe container 6 is ñrst moved beneath a sealing
head 10 by the input star wheelß, the closure 14 and the
1n order to precisely position each container 6 on the ‘ turntable 5l) during the sealing operation and also to
prevent rotation of the containers 6 as the closure caps
ing cam roller 79 on the chuck support 77 and thecam 50 14 are screwed on, a set of container grippingrjaws 1'7 is
‘ hood 78 are in their raised positions as illustrated in PIG.
. 8. l This position of the hood 78 is ñxed bythe cooperat
64. As `the sealing head 10 continues its rotation about
, the central. column 11, cooperating cams 64 and 65 lower
the hood '178` towards the container 6. As the closure 14
approaches the upper portion ofthe container 6 to the
position illustrated in FIG, A11„ steam-vapor or gas is ad
_ mitted into `the container headspace from the ports 90
spaced around the edges of the hood 7S. The vapor or
gas displaces the air» in the container -headspace while
further rotation of the sealing head 10 causes cooperating.
. cam portionsy 64 and 65 to further lower the hood sup
port 77, as `illustrated in FIG. 9, to cause the closure to
be screwed onto the container 6 by the continuously
rotating chuck 82.. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the cam
portion 65 is pivotally mounted at 91 on arm 92 and a
.spring 66 applies `the downward sealing force to the chuck
82.,Ã The spring force is `adjusted by nuts 94 to the de
sired value.
Certainclosures require less downward sealing force
provided beneath each of the sealing heads 1d. These
gripping jaws 17 are illustrated in FIGS. 4-7. Each `of
the pair of gripping jaws 17 is mounted on the Vturntable
50 inwardly of the container seating surface in such a
position that the containers 6 are moved between the
open gripping jaws 17 by the container feed star wheel 8
as' illustrated in FIG. 4. Each of the gripping jaws 17 .
. comprises a fixed jaw member 1041 and a movable jaw
member 101. The fixed jaw member 11N) is rigidly at
tached to the turntable 50' =by a suitable fastening means
104. The movable jaw member 101 is attached to the
turntable Sli bya vertical shaft 105 rotatably mounted in
suitable bearings 106.
A crank arm 168 is iixedly at
tached at one end to the sha-it. 1115 and a cam roller 169
65 is rotatably mounted on its other end to control the posi
tion of the movable jaw 101. The `cam roller 1€i9'~rides
p in a ycam groove 110` in the circular cam member 111.
In some cases the weight of the sealing
As illustrated in FIG. 4, the cam groove 116 is formed
so that the movable jaw 101 closes on each container 6
Other closures preferably use a sealing yforce
the container feed star wheel A_8 and so that the container
than others.
y head 10 is suñ’icient alone so that the cam portion 65 is 70 _as the container 6 is moved onto the turntable f5@ from
not used.
which is less than the weight of the sealing head 10‘. 4For
these closures a spring-loaded stop 95 is provided on each
of the sealing heads as is illustrated in FIG. 11. The
6 remains tightly gripped by the jaws 17 until the sealing
operation has lbeen completed and the turntable 50 has
moved the sealed ¿container 1_8 to the'exit star wheel 19
as illustrated in'FIG. 4. At this point the cam groove
3,040,492
,.7
11S moves the cam roller 169 outwardly of the turntable
lar container height being used, the spring 66 on the cam
65 is adjusted so that the cam 65 imparts the proper sealing
torque to the sealing head 1G and the chuck 82 through
50, thereby opening the gripping jaws 17 and permitting
the sealed container 1S to be moved off the turntable 56
by the rotating exit star wheel 19.
As illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, the movable jaw mem
the cam roller 79 to insure a complete seal without damag
ing the closure or the container. The height of the cam
ber lili is mounted on the upper end of the shaft 1&5.
The upper portion of the shaft 165 comprises a torsion
bar 16511 to provide a resilient clamping action of the
jaws 17 on the containers 6 and to compensate for varia
tions in container size. The movable jaw member lill is
adjustably connected to the upper portion of the torsion
62 which operates the magnetic cap pick-up is adjusted by
means of the adjustment nuts 7€) so that the closure pick-up
magnet S6 is moved adjacent to the closures 14 as they
are fed to the sealing heads by the closure feed star
wh el 12..
ln order to assure a proper centering of the containers
6 beneath the sealing heads 1G and to secure the containers
bar 16551 by means of the disc member 111 which is fix
edly attached at the top of the torsion bar member mda
and which has arcuate slots lf3 for the bolts ‘lf2 which
adjustably connect it to the jaw lill. The movable meni
ber 191 is positioned by slots lf3 so that the torsion bar
16551 is ñoxed when the clamp 17 is in its fully engaged
position whereby a tight grip is obtained upon the con
tainer 6 and whereby the flexing action of the torsion
bar îllSa compensates for minor differences in the con
tainer sizes. A suitable cover plate 115 is mounted over
the top of the disc 111.
A removable insert 117 is mounted at the end of the
g
downward force for each sealing head 1t) with the particu
6 against rotation during the sealing operation, each of
the container gripping jaws 17 is adjusted by properly
setting the position of the movable jaw member 101 as
desc 1bed more fully above.
The sealing operation of the machine will now be de
scribed by following the paths of a container 6 and a
closure ‘le through a sealing operation. The filled con
20
tainers 6 are placed by automatic means or by hand on
jaw member 161. Various differently shaped inserts are
provided as necessary t0 conform to the particular con
the left-hand end of the conveyor 2, which carries them
successively into the container spacing helicoid 5 and the
container feed star Wheel 8. The pockets 7 of the con
tainer feed star wheel 8 carry the containers in spaced
relationship beneath the individual sealing heads 10 on the
tainers being handled. Suitable facings 117a and 116 are
rotating sealing turret 9. As illustrated in FlG. 4, the
provided on the gripping portion of the arm 101 and the
containers (i are moved onto the rotating turntable 5t)
arm ltltl, respectively.
adjacent to an open-pair of gripping jaws 17'. The co
operating cam roller 109 and cam groove 110 next closes
Vacuum Control
30
the jaw `lfí’ as indicated at 17” on FIG. 4 so that the con
As described above, a vapor or gas distribution means is
tainer 6 is tightly gripped and is centered beneath the
provided for the sealing heads 3_0 in order to inject a
corresponding hood 75 of a sealing head it). The rela
condensable vapor or a gas or a mixture thereof into
tionship of the container 6 and the sealing head 10 at this
the headspaces of the containers 6 during the sealing
point is illustrated in FIG. 8. Further rotation of the
operation. As illustrated in FIG. 8, this distribution sys 35 sealing turret 9 moves the roller 79 along the surface of
tem comprises annular channels 126 in the hoods 7 5 hav
the cam 64 and beneath the cam 65. These cooperating
ing output ports 9d adjacent to the lower edge of the
cams lower the sealing head so that the sealing hood ’73
closure cap 14 held against the chuck 82. The annular
partially envelops the container 6 as illustrated in FIG. 1l.
vapor distributing channels 126` communicate with an
As the hood is being lowered to the position illustrated
outlet 121 in each of the hoods 78 and each of these 40 in FlG. 1l, the vapor distributing manifold injects a stream
outlets 121 is connected by suitable tubing 122 (FlG. 3)
of vaporrunder the lower edge of the closure 14 and into
to correspondingly spaced outlets 124» on the movable
the headspace of the container 6, and this injected vapor
vapor distributing manifold 57 at the top of the central
replaces the air at these locations. The closure 14 at this
column 111. The manifold 57 which rotates with the
point is being held tightly against the friction ring 88 on
45
sealing heads lll has its upper surface 125 in communi
the sealing chuck 82 by magnet 86 and the constantly
cation with a mating surface 126 on a stationary Vapor
rotating sealing chuck S2 turns closure 14 so that the
manifold llZS. An arcuate vapor distributing port 126
closure 14 is screwed onto the container 6 when the seal
(FIG. 3a) with an inlet 127 in the stationary manifold
ing head 16 is lowered by cam 65 by further rotation of
12S is positioned to communicate with each of the out
the sealing turret 9 as is illustrated in FIG. 9. After the
lets 124 in the rotating manifold for a predetermined por 50 closure 14 is fully seated on the container 6, further rota
tion of their circular travel about the central column 11
tion of thesealing turret 9 moves the sealing heads 10 to
so that vapor is admitted to the sealing hoods 78 for a
predetermined portion of the sealing operation from the
time that a closure 14 is positioned by the sealing head
a raised portion of the cam 64 so that the sealing hood
7S is lifted clear of the sealed container 18 as illustrated
in FIG. 3. At this point the gripping jaws 17 are opened
10 above the container 6 as illustrated in FIG. 8 until the 55 by the cam groove 110, and the container exit star wheel
closure 14 is applied to the container 6 as illustrated in
19 carries sealed container 18 to the exit end of the con
FIG. 9. This causes the container headspace to be vapor
veyor
2.
ñlled as the seal is made whereby the subsequent con
Although the preferred embodiment of this sealing
densation of the vapor within the sealed container creates
machine is particularlyr adapted `for applying threaded or
a vacuum in the container headspace. Similarly, the con 60 lu -type closures, the machine may also be used to apply
tainer headspace may be filled 'with an inert gas or a mix
ture of gas and vapor depending upon the source to
other types of closures, for example press-on closures.
When the machine is used for press-on closures, the drive
which the inlet 127 is connected.
means for the closure applying chucks 82 is disconnected.
This may be done conveniently by removing or disen
Operation
65 gaging the sealing head drive gear '74 or the individual
chuck driving gears 75. When lthe machine is used for
The operation of the sealing machine which has been
described in detail abovein connection with the descrip
applying press-on closures, the containers on the turn
tion of the principal parts will now be summarized.
table Si) do not need to be tightly gripped as there is no
The machine is readied for operation by suitable ad
twisting motion such as is present when screw-on closures
justment of the conveyor guide rails and the installation or 70 are applied. ln thiscase, therefore, the gripping jaws 17
changing, if necessary, of the closure feed star wheels 8
may be adjusted to only loosely contain and position the
and 19 and the cap feed star wheel 12. Each of the seal
container 6 or the gripping jaws may be replaced by a
ing heads is readied for operation by the installation of
suitable container positioning star wheel fixedly mounted
suitable chucks 82 and hoods 78 ou the lower end of each
on the rotating turret 50.
75
of the sealing heads 10. In order to provide for the proper
3,040,492
y
.
9
.
_
10
.
lt will be seen that -the sealing machine of the present
closure applying means and adapted to partially envelop
invention provides an improved sealing means particularly
adapted for >use with 'threaded-type containers wherein
c the top 'of a container, and cam means operatively con
nected to said closure applying means and to said hoods to
the-closure caps may be rapidly appliedto the containers.
' `The machine is’ particularly adapted _for the\application of
threaded-type closures to form a tight vacuum-type seal
simultaneously control the position of said closure apply
ing means and said hoods whereby the closure applying _
means successively apply closures to containers while the
and for applying the closures to the, containersf‘with a
predetermined amount of torque to insure a proper seal
while avoiding injury to either Vthe closure or to the
container.
,
`~
c
-
The machines are also relativelyeasily adapted for
surrounding hoods partially envelop the upper portions
of the containers, vapor distributing means in each of said
hoods, and-a container gripping means on said container
10 table beneath each of said hoods adapted to engage and
changes in closure and container size> and shape. An. im- i
portant improvement feature in `this connection is the pro
vision of individually adjustable container gripping means
- position containers withtrespect to said chucks and to hold
the containers on 'said table during their movement there
‘on and against rotation as the closures are applied to said
containers. Y
which provides for an exact positioning and a tight gripping
4. In a rotary sealing machine for threaded and lug
type closures the combination of arrotary sealing means,
“"*of the containers during the closure applying action.
As described more fully above, the sealing machine may
means to feed containers to said sealing means, means to
also be` used for press-on type closures as well as for
remove containers from said sealing means, a plurality of
threaded or lug-type closures so that the sealing machine
` closure applying means mounted in spaced relation on said
of this invention may be used in applications where it is 20 rotary sealing means each adapted to describe a circular
necessary or desirable to periodically change the sealing
motion therewith, a rotatably mounted closure applying
operation from threaded closures or lug-type closures to
chuck mounted on each of said closure applying means,
press-on closures.
Aadjustable pressure means connected to each of said
As various changes may be made in the form, con
chucks- to control the downward force of said chucks on
struction and arrangement of the parts herein without
the closures, a drive means for each of said closure apply
departing from the Spiritand scope of the invention and
ing chucks, a gripping means on said rotary sealing'means
Without sacrificing any of its advantages, it is to bewunder
positioned beneath each of said closure applying chucks
stood that all matter herein is to be interpreted as -illus
trative and not in a limiting sense.
adapted to engage a container and to center it beneath
said closure applying chuck, a cam ñxedly mounted on
-
Having thus >‘described our invention, we claim:
1.` In a -sealing machine’for threaded containers, the
30 said sealing machine, a cam follower means yoperatively
combination of a rotary sealing means, means to feed con
tainers to said sealing means at one position, means to re
move containers from 'a second position spaced Vfrom said
one position, means to move containers between said po
sitions, a plurality of rotating closure applying means on
said rotary sealing means adapted to screw closures to
threaded containers, means to feed threaded-type closures
to 'said closure applying means, a container gripping
'connected to said gripping means adapted to close said
gripping means on a container at said container feeding
means and to release it at said container removing means
to hold said container on said sealing means and against
rotational movement as the closure applying means screws
a closure onto a gripped container and a vapor distributing
means on each of said closure applying means adapted to
distribute vapor at the gripped container before and dur
ing the application of the closure.
5. In a rotary sealing machine for applying closures to
means on saidtsealing means adjacent said container mov 40
ing means adapted to engage a container intermediate said
containers, a container feed means, a container removal
positions and to retain it on said container moving means
means, container gripping means adapted to simultane
and to locate it beneath one of said closure applying
ously position and grip the containers beneath a rotary
means and to prevent its rotation during the screwing on
sealing turret comprising the combination of a turntable,
of a closure by said closure applying means and a vapor 45 a plurality of container gripping jaws _mounted in spaced
distributing means on each of said closure applying means
relationship on the periphery of said turntable, each of
adapted to distribute vapor beneath the under side of the
‘ closure and into the container headspace before the screw
ing on of the closure.
`
Y
-
said gripping jaws comprising a pair of jaw members
mounted on said turntable, at least one of said jaw mem
bers being pivotally mounted on said turntable -adjacent
2. In a rotary sealing machine for threaded and lug 50 to said other jaw member, and an operating means for
type closures the combination of a rotary sealing means,
said pivotallyvmounted jaw member adapted to `move said
a plurality of closure applying means mounted on said
rotary sealing means for circular motion therewith, a ro
tatably mounted closure applying chuck on each’of said
closure applying means, a vapor distributing means sur
rounding each of said chucks, drive means for said/,closure t
applying chucks, adjustable pressure means connected to
said chucks controlling the torque applied to the closures
by the chucks, a gripping means'on said rotary sealing
means positioned beneath each of said closure applying 60
chucks adapted to engage a container on said rotary seal
l ing means to retain it thereon and to 4center it beneath the
pivotally >mounted jaw member towards said `other jaw
member comprising a generally circular cam mounted
generally concentrically of said turntable, a. cam roller
adapted to engage said cam, a crank arm includin'g a tor
sion bar connecting said pivotally mounted jaw mem-ber
and said roller whereby said cam controls the position of
said movably mounted jaw member in accordance With
the movement of said turntable and said cam positioned
to close said jaw members at said feed means and open
them at said removal means.
’
6. In a rotary sealing machine for applying closures to
closure applying chuck thereabove, cam means oper
containers, a container feed‘means, a container removal
atively connected to said gripping means adapted to close
means, container gripping means adapted to simultane
said gripping means on a container to hold it on said seal
65 ously position and grip the containers beneath a rotary
in'g means and to restrict it against movement as the clo
sealing turret comprising the combination of a turntable
sure applying means screws a closure onto a gripped con
mounted concentrically with the sealing turret, a plural
tainer.
,
l
3. In a sealing machine the combination of a rotary
sealing turret, a plurality of closure applying heads
ity of container gripping jaws mounted in spaced rela
tionship on the periphery of said turntable, each of said
gripping jaws comprising a stationary jaw member ÍìXedly
mounted on said sealing turret for circular motion there 70 attached Vto said turntable and a movable jaw member piv
with, a rotatable container table beneath said turret, a ro
otally mounted on said turntable adjacent to said fixed
tatable closure applying means mounted in each of said
jaw member, and a jaw member operating means for said
. closure applying heads adapted to releasably retain a clo
movable jaw member comprising a generally circular cam
sure, a hollow hood member surrounding each of said 75
mounted generally concentrically with said turntable, aY
spannen
12
11
said ladjustable pressure means comprises a cam oper
atively connected to each closure applying means and a
cam roller adapted to engagel said cam, a crank means
connecting said movable jaw member and said roller
whereby said cam controls the position of said movably
mounted jaw member in accordance with the position of
said turntable, said cam positioned to close said jaw mem
spring resiliently urging said cam and said closure apply
ingV means downwardly.
11. The sealing machine as claimed in claim 4 in which
said adjustable pressure means comprises a resilient stop
bers at said feed means and open them at said removal
member positioned to engage each closure applying means
means, said crank means including a spring member
to partially support it while the chuck screws a closure
whereby said containers are resiliently gripped in said jaws
onto the container.
and said gripping jaws further comprising a generally ver
12. The sealing machine as claimed in claim 1 in which
tical shaft rotatably mounted on said turntable, said mov 10 said adjustable pressure means comprises a resilient mem
able jaw member being adjustably positioned at the upper
ber positioned beneath each of said closure applying
end of said shaft whereby the grip of each of said gripping
means and Íixedly mounted on said sealing machine, said
means may lbe adjusted to accommodate a container of a
'given diameter, said crank means being connected at one
end to said shaft and at its other end to said cam roller,
and said spring member comprising a torsion bar form
resilient member being positioned to engage the closure
ing at least a portion of said vertical shaft.
7. The sealing machine as claimed in claim 6 in which
13. The sealing machine as claimed in claim 12 in
which said pressure means comprises an adjustably com
at least one of said jaw members includes an interchange
able gripping member adapted to resiliently engage a con
applying means to support a portion of its weight whereby
the sealing force on the closures is less than the weight of
the closure applying means.
20
tainer gripped by said gripping jaws during its travel be
tween said feed means and said removal means.
8. The sealing machine as claimed in claim 2 in which
said adjustable pressure means comprises a cam oper
atively connected to each closure applying means and a 25
spring resiliently urging said cam and said closure apply
ing means downwardly.
9. The sealing machine as claimed in claim 2 in which
said adjustable pressure means comprises a resilient stop
member positioned to engage each closure applying means 30
to partially support it while the chuck screws a closure
onto the container.
10. The sealing machine as claimed in claim 4 in which
"
pressed spring member.
References Cited in the lile of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
2,026,118
2,082,048
2,126,942
2,227,190
2,510,568
2,610,779
2,655,302
2,810,249
2,889,674
Barnby ______________ __ Dec. 31,
Everett ______________ __ June 1,
Barnby ______________ __ Aug. 16,
Kronquest ___________ __ Dec. 31,
Fouse _______________ -_ lune 6,
Fouse ______________ __ Sept. 16,
Hohl et al. ___________ __ Oct. 13,
Wysocki _____________ __ Oct. 22,
Hamilton et al. ________ __ June 9,
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