FIELD OF INVENTION
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to automatic machines, employed in bottling industry, for screw stoppers removing from glass (or different material) bottles, or from different kind of containers.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
In bottling industry have been known and largely diffused for more than one century machines employed for stoppers applying or removing automatically from bottles or different containers used in industrial environment; particularly, are known in the prior art various kinds of machines for removing screw stoppers from bottles that come back in the industrial plant after utilization. Used bottles come back in bottling industry plants generally inside cases (plastic, metal or different material) that have their upper side open, and in which bottles are standing inside proper spaces. All the kinds of stopper removing machines known in the prior art are characterized by the fact that the bottles have to be removed from the cases (generally by means of specific devices) and put on a conveyor to be brought, one after the other, inside the stopper removing machine where proper devices operate the stopper removing: these devices can operate only on bottles conveyed "in line", though they can act on more than one bottle at the same time. This characteristic obliges the bottling industry to face costs that are directly linked to bottles moving from the cases (inside which they return in the facility plant) to the conveyors that bring them to the stopper removing machines, being this operation made manually by operators or automatically by proper devices.
The technical problem that this invention aims to solve is the one of eliminating a typical phase of the industrial bottling process, that is the phase in which the used bottles, that come back in the facility inside cases, are taken away from the cases themselves and singularly put in line on the conveyors that bring them to the automatic stopper removal. This operation represents a not negligible cost both if it is made manually or automatically by dedicated machines. The machine object of this invention is composed by the following main elements:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
- 1. A belt on which are conveyed the cases containing the bottles with the screw stopper to be removed; the belt is equipped with an pressured air actuated device that is able to stop the first and the last cases of the row in the operative phases required, and contemporarily to stop the belt.
- 2. A heavy steel frame that supports, in the upper part, the motor actuating the chains-system that operates (upwards or downwards) the translation of the stopper removing body assembly; on the frame are also assembled the motor (in the back side) actuating the belt and a second motor which, by means of a chains and pinions system included in the stopper removing body assembly, operates the stopper-unscrewing heads with which the machine is equipped for removing the screw stoppers.
- 3. A stopper removing body assembly composed by a variable quantity of 3-steel-plates groups linked by means of steel columns; between the plates of each group there is a chains and pinions system, adaptable to various layouts, that is able to actuate the rotation of the unscrewing heads of the stoppers of the bottles contained in the cases on the belt.
- 4. A system of rotating unscrewing heads each composed by an external shell that (through a spring actuated device) is able to stop the bottle to be uncorked, and by a rotating inner shaft that is able to completely unscrew the stopper (and taking it far from the bottles when the stopper removing body assembly is lifted) by means of an unscrewing element (adaptable to any kind of screw stopper) fixed on its lower end.
- 5. A collecting box of the stopper expelled from the unscrewing heads (assembled below the belt) in which, once the operations of stopper removing, lifting of the stopper removing body assembly and moving away of the cases of the belt, the removed stoppers are collected and swept away by a compressed air flow.
The drawings that are referred to in the following are relative to one of the possible embodiments of the invention, in particular to an application on a screw stopper removing automatic machine for bottles contained in standard cases (12 bottles displaced in 3 rows of 4 pieces each one): what is disclosed in the drawings and in the following descriptions is not to be considered a limitation to different possible embodiments and applications of the same invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
- Drawing 1 - Fig.1: it is shown a typical perspective view of the machine with the external carters assembled.
- Drawing 2 - Fig.2: it is shown a typical perspective view of the machine without the external carters.
- Drawing 3 - Fig.3: it is shown a front view of the machine.
- Drawing 4 - Fig.4: it is shown a front section view of the machine.
- Drawing 5 - Fig.5: it is shown a side view of the machine.
- Drawing 6 - Fig.6: it is shown a side section view of the machine.
- Drawing 7 - Fig.7: it is shown a view from above of the stopper removing body assembly in which are clearly visible the pinions and the chains for the transmission of the operating movement to the unscrewing heads.
- Drawing 8 - Fig.8: it is shown a section of a unscrewing head.
In the following disclosure numerical references are used to the figures described above. What is described in the following is only one of the possible embodiments screw stopper removing machine object of this invention, and is, so, not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the realization of the invention to the embodiment described: its purpose is simply that of disclosing at best the principle of the invention and its possible practical applications, and to make a person skilled in the technique be able to carry it out.
The invention disclosed in the foiiowing relates to the technical field of screw stopper removing automatic machine used in the bottling industry to remove screw stoppers from bottles that return in the firm after utilization. In the prior art the bottles (that can have variable shapes and dimensions) are conveyed inside proper boxes, generally cases of variable dimensions open on the upper side. With all the existing machines in the prior art, bottles have to be removed from the cases and put on a belt that will convey them, in single file, under the operation field of the unscrewing heads: the technical problem that this invention aims to solve is the one of eliminating the phase of removing bottles from the cases by means of a machine able to remove the screw stoppers from the bottles while they are still contained in the cases.
Another important feature is the wide configurability of the machine and its adaptability to different dimensions of cases and bottles available on the market (Fig.7: by changing the number and the layout of the chains it's possible to change the arrangement and the operating field of the unscrewing field). Moreover, the machine is equipped with a device for expelling the removed stoppers (inside every unscrewing heads) and with a collecting box in which the stopper expelled are collected and swept away by a compressed air flow. Finally, the machine object of this invention is compact and of reduced dimensions (in comparison with the existing ones), and it's of the "stand alone" type, that is, it needs only, for its complete operation, electrical and compressed air supply, and no more accessory external components.
In the figures 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 is disclosed a possible embodiment of the machine operating on standard 12 bottles cases (3 rows of 4 bottles each one). The cases (6) are conveyed on a belt (1) driven by side guides (2) so that when the first case of the row (3) reaches the desired position below the stopper removing body assembly (4), by means of a photocells system (7), it is stopped by a mechanical blocking device (5). While the belt (1) is still running, the cases (6) queue behind the first (3) till the fifth (8): now, by means of the photocells system (7), also the last case of the row (8) is blocked and the belt (1) is stopped. At this point the stopper removing body assembly (4), through the chains transmission system operated by the motor (10), is let down still the neck of the bottles (12) are inside the unscrewing heads (11): the stop of the movement of the stopper removing body assembly (4) is given by a proper sensors system (21) positioned according to the type of cases and of bottles to be unscrewed. Inside each head (11), the external shell (13) (through a proper coil operated device (14)) keeps the bottle (12) stopped, and the inner rotating shaft (15) completely unscrews the stopper (16) by means of an unscrewing element (17) (able to fit any type of screw stopper) fixed on its lower end.
The unscrewing operation is commanded by the motor (18) that, by means of the chains and pinions transmission system (Fig.7) (which allows a wide adapting capability to many different configurations by changing the number and the layout of the chains), actuates the unscrewing heads (11).
Once the unscrewing operation is complete, the stopper removing body assembly (4) returns in its original position, the mechanical blocks (5) of the cases are removed, the belt (1) is actuated as much as to bring the five cases (6) out of the operating field of the stopper removing body assembly (4). The belt (1) is stopped again; inside each of the unscrewing heads (11) the expelling rods (19) are actuated to get the removed stoppers (16) out of the heads (11), and to collect them inside the lower box (20): once all the stoppers have been expelled in the box (20) they are swept away by means of a compressed air flow.
At this point the operations can go on cyclically with the arrival, on the belt (1), of five new cases (6) containing bottles (12) to be unscrewed.