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Патент USA US3059399

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Oct. 23, 1962
3,059,389
R. s. RANDALL
VACUUM BAG SEALING MACHINE
Filed Dec. 3, 1957
3 Sheets-Sheet 1
____“
INVENTOR.
Qa/ph 5.1?anda/l
V
Oct. 23, 1962
3,059,389
R. s. RANDALL
VACUUM BAG SEALING MACHINE
Filed Dec. 3, 1957
v3K
5 Sheets-Sheet 2
INVENTOR.
R040}? 5. Qana’a/l
BY %
Am’
Oct. 23, 1962
R. s. RANDALL
3,059,389
VACUUM BAG SEALING MACHINE
Filed Dec. 5, 1957
3 Sheets-Sheet 5
/
/
INVENTOR.
Qa/ph 5. Panda”
BY %
Afl’y
,
3,059,389
Patented Get. 23, 1962
2
“i
2
presenting bags to be loaded to the operator, so that the
3,059,339
VACUUM BAG SEALING MACHWE
.
Ralph S. Randall, 3380 20th St, San Francisco, Calif.
Filed Dec. 3, 1957, Ser. No. 700,415
5 Claims. (til. 53-89)
The present invention relates to improvements in a
Vacuum Bag Sealing Machine, and contemplates certain
loading operation may be accomplished with a high de
gree of speed and accuracy.
Further objects and advantages of my invention will
be apparent as the speci?cation proceeds, and the new
and useful features of my machine will be fully de?ned
in the claims hereto appended.
The preferred form of my invention is illustrated in
the accompanying drawings, forming part of this appli
scribed in my co-pending applications, Serial Numbers 10 cation, in which:
improvements over my machines of similar character de
FIGURE 1 shows a side view of my vacuum bag seal
486,797, now US. Patent No. 2,833,096, 521,176, now
ing machine;
US. Patent No. 2,844,925, 550,921, now US. Patent No.
FiGURE 2, an end view of the same;
2,870,591, and 643,684, now US Patent No. 2,991,609.
FIGURE 3, a plan view of my machine;
The machines described in the above applications con
FEGURE 4, a detail plan view of one of the trays used
sist essentially of a horizontal platform adapted to have 15
in the machine;
a number of bags arranged thereon in alined relation, a
FEGURE 5, a section taken along line 5———5 of FIG
cover or housing hinged to the platform so as to form a
URE 4;
'
vacuum chamber therewith when lowered upon the plat
FIGURE 6, a section taken along line 6—6_ of FIG
form, means for stretching the open ends of the bags,
'
means for evacuating the chamber to draw the air out 20 URE 4-;
FIGURE 7, a section taken along line 7—7 of FIG
of the bags, usually followed by the injection of an inert'
URE l; and
gas into the bags, and means carried by the housing for
heat-sealing the bags thus treated.
In the operation of the machines described, it was
necessary for the operator, after the completion of each 25
sealing operation, to manually remove the sealed bags
. FIGURE 8, a sectional detail view taken along line
8-8 of FIGURE 7.
i
,
While I have shown only the preferred form of my
invention, it should be understood that various changes
or modi?cations may be made within the scope of the
and to reload the platform while the machine was stand
ciairns hereto attached without departing from the spirit
ing idle at the cost of considerable time, the loading opera
of the invention.
tion taking about as long as the sealing operation.
Referring to the drawings in detail, my invention com
In the present invention, which is directed principally 30
prises, in its principal features, an .endless belt 1 mounted
to the feeding means of a machine of the character de
on horizontal rollers 2, and 3 to present an elongated
scribed, means are provided which allow the operator to
horizontal stretch 4, and a vacuum bag sealing machine
arrange a new load outside the machine while the latter
5 adapted for cooperation with the left-hand (FIGURE
performs the sealing operation with its attending features.
1) portion of the belt in forming a sealing zone, a corre;
For this purpose it is proposed to provide an endless
sponding right-hand portion of the upper zone being free
belt with an upper stretch of sufficient length to accom
modate two sets of bags, with one section of the upper
stretch disposed outside the vacuum chamber, or in the
sealing zone, while the other section is disposed outside
of access to form a loading zone.
,
Suitable frame-work 6 is provided for supporting the
rollers and the bag sealing machine in such a manner
40 as to bring the upper belt stretch up to a convenient height
for loading and sealing operations.
The said upper stretch of ‘the belt is made to advance
The surface of the belt has a number of series of trays
in timed relation to the operation of the machine, so
'7 mounted thereon, there being ?ve series shown in the
that the operator is ‘free to place a new load on the belt
present form, and the series being su?iciently spaced,
during the sealing operation and the new load auto
matically advances from the loading zone to the sealing 45 as at 8, to allow each series to be conveniently accom
the vacuum chamber to form a loading zone.
modated in the sealing zone. Each series consists of four
zone when the sealing operation is completed with respect
trays, which again are suitably spaced, as at 9, to pro
to the previous load.
vide a desired clearance.
,
It is further proposed to provide on the belt successive
Each tray is intended to accommodate a previously
series of bag-holding trays, each series preferably con
taining four trays adapted to con?ne the bags, each tray 50 loaded bag and is arranged transversely with respect to the
belt, as shown in FIGURE 3. 'Each tray comprises a ?at
being made to present an anvil for the open end of the
bag against which the sealing operation may be per
bottom 10, preferably made of metal, of su?icient length
and width to receive a ?lled bag thereon, with side ?anges
11 for con?ning the bag. The bottom of the tray is se
55 cured upon the belt by means of two rivets 12 (see FIG
cover to form a vacuum chamber therewith.
URE 6)‘ disposed in the median transverse plane of the
Again, it is proposed to provide a ?oating element in
formed, with the belt made suf?ciently wide and the
series of trays spaced sufficiently to allow the descending
the chamber for each tray, the ?oating element being
tray in such a manner that the trays can follow the c-urvaé
tures of the belt when passing around the supporting
main body of each bag after it has entered the sealing 60 rollers (see FiGURE 1). The rivets are countersunk
in both the belt and the bottom plate as shown in FIG
zone.
made to descend with the cover to spread and ?atten the
It is additionally proposed to provide means, in con
nection with the cover, for ?attening and anchoring the
open end of each bag as the cover descends, this opera
URE 6.
p
The length of each is such, as compared with the width
of the belt, that a portion of the belt projects on each side,
as clearly shown in FIGURE 3, the projecting margins
tion being followed by evacuation of the bag and re-?lling 65 of the belt being used to produce a perfect seal about the
the same with an inert gas, if desired.
A further object of my invention is to provide certain
safety measures to protect the hands of the operator in
case the hands should still be in the loading zone when
the belt is set in motion ‘for feeding a new load into the
sealing zone.
It is also proposed to provide means for conveniently
belt in the sealing zone.
The forward end of the bottom of each tray, toward
the operator, extends beyond the ?anges 11, as at 13, to
,resent an anvil 14, the latter having a thin strip '15 of
sponge neoprene accommodated in a slightly recessed
portion of the metal plate and having a second thin strip
16 of solid neoprene superimposed on strip 15.
3
3,059,389
Just rearwardly of the anvil, I leave a narrow strip 16
which, at one end, is recessed to receive a friction element
17 used in stretching the bag, as will appear later.
The bottom of the tray is covered by layers of sponge
neoprene.
It will be noted that the operator, standing forwardly
4
bag body and due to its free-?oating spring support, tends
to ?atten out the bag body.
.
The means for anchoring opposite edges of the open
ends of the ‘bag is substantially similar to that described
in my application, Ser. No. 643,684, and is illustrated in
FiGURES 7 and 8.
It comprises a bar 40 extending
of the right portion of the machine, as seen in FIGURE
1, is confronted with four trays in the loading zone. Rear
through the full length of the housing and depending from
wardly of the loading zone, that is opposite the operator,
present its lower edge just rearwardly of the strips 16 and
the upper wall thereof. This bar is ?xed and is located to
I provide -a second belt 18 (see FIGURE 3) one end of 10 the friction element 17 of each tray, when the housing is
which comes about even with the left end of the loading
in closed position. ’
zone, while the other end‘ extends into the factory to suit
The bar carries an anchoring means for each tray, and
able places for feeding ?lled bags upon the same.
each anchoring means comprises a brace 41 engageable
Thus, the operator at the loading zone merely has to
over the right edge of the bag, immediately above the
reach beyond the belt of the machine to the second belt 15 friction element 17, and a roller 42 with rearwardly bent
18 to pull ‘four ?lled bags from belt 18 upon the four
rubber teats 43 engageable over the strip 16 of the tray.
trays of the loading zone, with the open end of each bag
The brace 41 is pivoted to the bar 40, as at 44, and
presented toward the operator and disposed. over the
made to lean to the right, as viewed in FIGURE 8, by a
anvil. The 'belt 18 has a stop 18’ to prevent the bags from
‘stop 45, with a spring 46 urging the brace upon the stop.
going beyond the reach of the operator.
The brace has a shoe 17 pivoted to the lower end
The belt 1 is operated for intermittent advance by the
thereof, this shoe having a ?at bottom adapted to bear
motor 19 through gearing 20 and it movement is timed to
on the right edge of the ‘bag end-and to press the same
bring a new series of trays into the sealing zone, after the
upon the friction element 17 when thehousing is lowered.
completion of each sealing operation, while discharging - During ‘this action, the brace is moved slightly away from
the sealed bags.
,
,
V
25 the stop 45 so that, when pull is exerted on the bag end
The sealing machine may be constructed substantially
to the left, the brace is free to swing to the left ‘for tight
along the lines disclosed in the pending application, Ser.
No. 643,684, and comprises, in its principal features, a ?at
horizontal platform 20’ mounted on the frame structure
in aplane immediately below the upper belt stretch, the
platform being of substantially the same width as the belt
and of a'length to accommodate one series of trays there
on.
ening the engagement between the shoe and the right
edge of the bag end.
As the shoe engages over the right edge of the bag the
roller 42 descends upon the left end so as to bring at least
one of the iubber teats into, gripping engagement with the
left edge of the bag end, thereby ?rmly anchoring the
bag, with the extreme end of the bag projecting over the
anvil ‘14. While the end edges of each bag are thus ?rmly
A hollow housing 21 is made to cooperate with the
platform 20 in forming a sealing chamber ‘for the loaded 35 anchored, the intermediate portion of the bag end is still
belt section.
I
open for passage of air or nitrogen gas therethrough.
~ The housing is hinged to the frame structure, as at 22
Next, vacuum is applied to the chamber through the
and is operated for upward and downward swinging
conduit 50 for evacuating the chamber and the assembled
movement bymeans of a U-frame 23 ?xed with respect to
bags, and this operation is followed, in timed relation, by
the platform and suitable operating means for the frame, 40 the re-?lling of the bags with an inert gas, through the
the latter means comprising a brace 24 extending down~
wardlyi-from the main frame structure, a cylinder 25 piv
oted to the lower end of the brace, as at 26, and having a
arrangement shown at 51.
This arrangement comprises a pair of tubes 52 depend
ing from the top of the housing and carrying, at their
piston’ 27 therein, and a connecting rod 28 for the piston
lower ends, an inverted channel 53 extending through the
having its upper end pivoted to the frame 23, as at 29.
45 length of the housing slightly forward of the anvils 14.
_ The piston is pressure-operated and is made to swing
The channel is slidable on the tubes and is urged down—
the’ housing upward and downward in timed relation to
wardly
by a spring 54, against the belt. The channel is
the cycle of operations;
formed with perforations 56 opposite the open ends of the
'The platform 20' is formed with an all-around sealing
bags and an inert gas is fed into the channel through the
gasket and the housing is provided with ‘a registering 50 tubes 52 and connections shown at 57.
'
gasket 32, the two gaskets being adapted to clamp upon
the rimsof the belt and transverse sections thereof as,
defined by the spaces 8 between the different series of
After the bags have been re-?lled, the sealing operation
takes place; The heat~sealing means comprises a suit
ably heated bar 60 extending through the length of the
chamber.
This bar is supported by four rods 61, which
trays con?ned in the sealing zone.
55 in turn are supported by ‘four diaphragms 62 disposed
The housing is provided with means for ?attening the
.in four domes 63 rising from the housing in registering
trays, so as'to form a complete seal above the series of
body portions of the ?lled bags disposed on the four con
relation with the forward ends of the four trays.
?ned trays, means for ‘anchoring the end edges of the
. 'Ilhe diaphragms 62 are operated by air pressure to lower
open ends of the bags, means for evacuating the bags,
the bar 60 when the re-?lling operation is completed, and
60
means for re?lling the bags with an inert gas, and means
the bar is located directly over the anvil 14 which has the
for heat-sealing the open ends of the bags, accompanied
open ends of the bags disposed thereon.
by the stretching of the open end of each bag just prior
to the sealing of the same.
The bag ?attening means comprises a curved leaf-spring
33 for each tray having one end secured to the rear wall
of the housing, as at 34, and having its other end bearing
against the upper wall of the housing, as ‘at 35, with an
intermediate downwardly curved section free to ?ex in
response to upward pressure.
A thin plate 36 is riveted to the lower side of the spring
intermediate the length thereof, as at 37, this plate being
free ?oating and being of approximately the width of the
But, before the bar strikes the bags for heat-sealing, it
is desirable to smoothen and stretch the open end of
the bag, and this operation is performed while the bar
descends and before it reaches the bag ends.
This is done by ‘causing the descending bar to impart
a turning movement to the roller 42 by means of a slide
63 slidable in a lateral horizontal groove formed in the
sealing bar and facing the roller, and a pin 64 projecting
70 from the slide into the roller off center, so that when the
sealing ‘bar descends the slide will turn the roller clock
wise and will cause the teats of the roller to pull the left
band edge of the bag away from the right hand edge and
tray between the ?anges thereof. As the housing de~
scends, the plate engages over the upper surface of the 75 to straighten and tension the open end of the bag before
the sealing bar bears down on the same.
1
,5
3,059,389
6
7
During the pulling actiono'n ‘the part of the rubber
teats, the shoe 47 tightens its hold on the right end of the
bag, because any leftward swing on the brace 41 on its
pivot 44 will deepen the engagement.
The diaphragm 62 in each dome divides the latter into
upper and lower chambers 64 and 65 and a pressure me
dium is admitted to the former through conduit 66.
The rubber teats on the roller 44 are preferably made
with their outer ends following a circle eccentric with re
.
This feature is very important, since if the nitrogen is
fed from any other point, there is a tendency for the
nitrogen to close the bag and to keep the nitrogen out of
the bag.
-(8) When the desired nitrogen pressure, still less than
atmospheric, has ‘been reached, the pressure operates a
valve admitting nitrogen or air at atmospheric pressure
to the upper side of the diaphragm 62, and the diaphragm
pushes the sealing element 60 downward.
(9) The slides 63 of the sealing element, through the
10
spect to the axis of rotation, so that by proper setting of
pins 64‘, bear down on the rollers 42, causing the same to
the teats, the length of pull on the edge of the bag may
turn clockwise and causing the lower teats to exert pull
be adjusted to ?t ‘bags of different weights.
to the left on the left edges of the bags, that is, away from
A suitable shield 67 may be provided to enclose those
the shoes, thereby tightening the hold of the shoes and
parts of the machine not needed for frequent access.
At the entrance end of the vacuum sealing machine, I 15 smoothing and stretching the open ends of the bags.
(10) The sealing element descends upon the open end
preferably provide a hinged gate 68 which is intended for
of the bags, over the anvil 14, and heat-seals the bags.
a safety factor. If the operator should be delayed in
(11) After a predetermined time, allowed for the
?lling the trays at the loading zone, and should have his
sealing operation, the chamber is vented to théatrhos
hands still over the trays while the belt begins to move, a
phere, the cover is raised and a vacuum is applied to the
slight touch of his ?ngers or ‘hand against the gate will
diaphragm 62 to cause the heater bar to return to its
open a switch 69 in the motor circuit and stop the belt,
initial position.
while a slight upward push on a projecting arm 70 again
(12) The belt begins moving, discharging the sealed
closes the switch for ‘further operations.
bags over the roller 2 and drawing in a new charge of
In case the vacuum in the vacuum ‘chamber should
tend to lift the belt stretch inside the chamber from the 25 trays, which have been loaded by the operator during the
platform 29 of the sealing machine, I provide a plurality
sealing operation.
of grooves 71 in the top surface of the platform, these
grooves being connected to a conduit 72 which again is
The operation of the belt and the housing is mainly
controlled by a switch 75 disposed at the right-hand end
of the belt and involving a stationary contact 76i,and a
plurality of conduits 77 mounted on the ‘belt substantially
midway in the spaces 8 between the different groups of
connected to a source of vacuum, so that a balancing
vacuum may be applied to the bottom of the belt stretch.
In operation, the following steps may be distinguished,
trays.
starting with the position indicated in FIGURE 1, in
With the belt in motion, when one of the contacts 77
which the forward portion of the upper belt stretch is
reaches the contact 76, the belt movement ‘stops im
located in the sealing zone, while the rearward portion is
35 mediately, so as to bring one loaded belt section within
located in the loading zone.
the vacuum chamber and to leave the next unloaded belt
(1) Assuming that filled bags are fed toward the opera
section outside the vacuum chamber in a predetermined
tor on the secondary belt 8, the operator reaches for the
position.
bags and places the same on the four trays 7, making
The stopping of the belt is followed immediately by the
certain that the bags are properly placed, with the sides
con?ned between the flanges 11 and the open ends pro 40 closing of the housing through the cylinder 25, by any
suitable agency well-known in the art and the closing
jecting over the anvils 14, while adjacent neck portions
of the housing is accompanied or followed by the various
overlie the strips 16 and the friction elements 17.
steps resulting in the sealing of the bag.
(2) As the sealing operation for the previous series of
After the operation is completed, the housing may be
bags is completed, the housing swings into open position
and the belt moves forwardly su?iciently [to discharge the 45 lifted by any suitable agency, as by a time switch, not
shown, followed by the opening of the switch 75 which
batch of bags previously sealed and to move the belt
allows the belt movement to continue until the next con
stretch just loaded into its proper position within the seal
tact 77 reaches the contact 76 for closing the switch.
ing machine.
Instead of using the grooves 71 for applying suction
(3) Next, the housing is made to descend upon the new
belt stretch introduced, either automatically or under 50 to the upper belt stretch from below, I may provide
holes in the belt itself which will immediately balance
manual control, The gaskets 31 and 32 bearing on the
pressures on opposite faces of the belt.
top and the bottom of the belt along the edges and trans
verse portions of the latter now form ‘a complete seal
about the loaded trays.
The rollers 42 may be mounted on the bar 40 with
freedom of horizontal adjustability for adjusting the spac
(4) As the housing descends, the ?oating plates 36 de 55 ing between the rollers and the braces 41 for bags of dif
ferent widths.
scend upon the ?lled bags on the trays, ?attening and
I claim:
smoothing the body portions and driving out excess air
1. In a vacuum bag sealing machine, a frame structure
in the process.
having a horizontal platform, an endless belt mounted to
(5 ) At about the same time, or slightly later, the shoes
47 of the braces 41 and the rollers 42 descend upon op 60 present an upper stretch with a forward portion overlying
the platform and a rearward portion outside the platform,
posing edges of each bag in the region of the strip 16 and
and a housing descendable upon the platform, the hous
the friction member 17, the shoes clamping the ‘right edges
ing and the platform having cooperative means for form
of the bag ends upon the friction members 17, and the
ing a seal about the forward portion of the belt, and the
lowermost teats of the rollers clamping the left edges of
housing having means for evacuating the space above said
the bag ends upon the strip 16. The two clamps leave
the intermediate portion of the bag end open.
‘(6) Next, evacuation of the chamber and of the bags
contained therein is started through the conduit 50‘.
‘(7) As the vacuum in the chamber and the bags reaches
belt portion, and the platform having means for applying
a vacuum to the bottom of said belt portion to prevent the
vacuum above the belt portion from lifting the belt from
the platform.
2. In a vacuum bag sealing machine, a pair of hori
a desired degree, nitrogen is admitted to the chamber 70
zontally spaced rollers, an endless belt guided about the
through the tubes 52 and the perforations 56 in the form
rollers to present a horizontal upper stretch, and a series
of jets. These jets, in case the two sheets of the bag are
of bag-holding trays mounted upon the belt, the trays
too close to present an opening, will pass over the upper
being mounted on the belt transversely to the length of
surface of the upper sheet and produce enough suction
on the upper sheet to lift the same and open the bag. 75 the belt and having opposing side ?anges for con?ning the
3,059,389
7
‘
bags thereon, and- the side ?anges of each tray being made
8
sections of the bags, and the sealing elements having
to stop short of the forward end of the tray to leave a
means cooperable with the anchoring means for stretching
front portion of the tray free for sealing operations, the
said front portion including'a ?at anvil section at the
bag portions held by the anchoring means.
5. In a vacuum bag sealing machine, a bag-holding
tray comprising a ?at rectangular bottom adapted to re
extreme front end and a flat clamping section rearwardly
of the anvil section.
ceive a bag thereon, andrside ?anges rising from the edges
of the tray to con?ne the bag, the side ?anges stopping
3. -In a vacuum bag sealing machine, a horizontal plat
form, an endless belt having spaced groups of bag-re
ceiving trays thereon and being operable for successively
short of the front of the plate so as to leave the front por
tion unobstructed to present an anvil section at the ex
advancing the groups of trays over the platform, a hous
ing descendable on the platform and adapted to con?ne
a group of trays therein, the trays having ?at anvil sec
tions at their forward ends and anchoring strips rear
treme front end and a bag clamping section rearwardly
of the anvil section, the anvil section being stepped down
and having a thin strip of sponge neoprene and a second
strip of solid neoprene superimposed thereon, and the bag
clamping section having a friction element mounted there
wardly of the anvil sections, and the housing having
anchoring means disposed to descend on the anchoring 15 on for use in stretching operations.
strips as the housing descends for clampingly engaging bag
portions interposed therebetween and having sealing ele
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
ments descendable upon the anvil sections for sealing
UNITED STATES PATENTS
interposed portions of the bags.
4. In a vacuum ‘bag sealing machine, a horizontal plat 20
form, an endless belt having spaced groups of bag-receiv
ing trays thereon and being operable for successively ad
vancing the groups of trays over the platform, a housing
descendable on the platform and adapted‘ to con?ne a
group of trays therein, the trays having ?at anvil sec
tions at their front ends and anchoring strips rearwardly
of the anvil sections, and the housing having anchoring
25
> means disposed to descend on the anchoring strips as the
housing descends for clampingly engaging bag portions
interposed therebetween and having sealing elements de
scendable upon the anvil sections for sealing interposed
30
167,787
2,075,054
Redstone ____________ __ Sept. 14, 1875
2,428,192
2,555,584
2,651,444
2,660,355
2,712,208
2,740,243
Podel ______________ __ Mar. 30,
Berch ______________ __ Sept. 30,
rFairbank ______________ __ June 5,
Casey et a1. __________ __ Sept. 8,
Allen ______________ __ Nov. 24,
Campbell ____________ __ July 5,
Maha?y ____________ __ Apr. 3,
1937
1947
1951
1953
1953
1955
1956
2,753,671
2,783,873
2,793,516
De Puy et a]. ________ __ July 10, 1956
Lowe ______________ __' Mar. 5, 1957
McDermott __________ __ May 28, 1957
2,850,856
2,858,655
Mosse ______________ __ Sept. 9, 1958
Mahaify et a1. ________ __ Nov. 4, 1958
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