US3216108A - Can opener - Google Patents

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US3216108A
US3216108A US224634A US22463462A US3216108A US 3216108 A US3216108 A US 3216108A US 224634 A US224634 A US 224634A US 22463462 A US22463462 A US 22463462A US 3216108 A US3216108 A US 3216108A
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seam
cover
cutting
cutter
wheel
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US224634A
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Jepson Ivar
Sophocles J Dokos
Sigmund H Bielak
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Sunbeam Corp
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Sunbeam Corp
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Priority to US224634A priority Critical patent/US3216108A/en
Priority claimed from US48633965 external-priority patent/US3313023A/en
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67BAPPLYING CLOSURE MEMBERS TO BOTTLES JARS, OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; OPENING CLOSED CONTAINERS
    • B67B7/00Hand- or power-operated devices for opening closed containers
    • B67B7/38Power-operated cutting devices

Description

Nov, 9, 1965 JEPSON ETAL CAN OPENER 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 19 1962 INVENTORSi Dworb Nov. 9, 1965 l. JEPSON ETAL 3,216,108
CAN OPENER Filed Sept. 19, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS:
d BJWEM@ Nov. 9, 1965 JEPSON ETAL CAN OPENER 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Sept. 19, 1962 INVENTORS:
Nov. 9, 1965 I. JEPSON ETAL 3,216,108
CAN OPENER Filed Sept. 19, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 United States Patent 3,216,108 CAN OPENER Ivar Jepson and Sophocles .l. Dokos, Gal; Park, and
Sigmund H. Bielalr, Downers Grove, Ill.., assignors to Sunbeam Corporation, Chicago, Ill, a corporation of Blinois Filed Sept. 19, 1962, Ser. No. 224,634 17 Claims. (Cl. 30- 4) This invention relates generally to can openers and more particularly to improvements in power operated can openers of the type in which the can cutter does not extend into the interior of the can during the cutting operation.
In general, food containing cans are opened by means of can openers utilizing a cutting blade which is inserted through the cover or the wall of the can. The can is then rotated relative to the cutting blade to sever and remove the cover from the can. In that the cutter extends into the interior of the can, it invariably engages the contents of the can. As a consequence, the cutter becomes caked and encrusted with foods which remain thereon and tend to cause a very unsanitary condition.
This unsanitary condition of the can cutter may be minimized in a home through the use of easily removable cutters which may be washed at frequent intervals. In commercial situations including vending machines, the problem of maintaining the can cutter in a sanitary condition presents an insurmountable problem with most present day can openers. It would be desirable, therefore, to provide a can opener in which the can cutter removes the cover of the can without piercing the container portion within which the food is received.
There have been attempts in the past at opening cans without using a cutter which would pierce the can and extend into the food receiving portion. Some of these attempts have involved unrolling or unfolding the end seam of the can. in effect, this approach merely reverses the assembly process in disengaging the cover from the cylindrical side wall of the can. There are many problems associated with this approach, the principal one being that a substantial amount of power is required to break and unbend the cemented end seam of the can. In addition, the complexity of the folded flanges of the cover and side wall making up the end seam require a substantial amount of mechanism to complete the unfolding of these flanges.
Attempts have also been made to design can openers in which the cover is severed from the can by cutting the end seam of the can. One of the problems inherent in this approach is that it is difficult to remove the cover even after a portion or all of the seam has been severed. If the cut is made on the outside diameter of the end seam, the cover still has a channel shaped periphery which is received on the end of the cylindrical wall portion. The cemented material associated with the end seam in addition to the frictional engagement of the parts retains the cut cover so firmly that it is usually impossible to remove by hand.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide improved method and apparatus for opening cans utilizing a cutter which severs the cover from the can without the cutter entering into the food containing portion of the can.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved can opener in which the cover is re moved from a can by severing the end seam along the inside diameter thereof.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved cutter for a can opener which is adapted to sever the cover from a can above the top of the cylindrical wall portion of the can.
Still another object of the present invention is to pro- 3,216,1d8 Patented Nov. 9, I965 ice vide an improved can opener in which the end seam of a can is severed along the inside diameter thereof and the end seam is bent outwardly to facilitate removal of the can cover from the can.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved method of opening cans in which the end seam of the can is severed along the inner diameter thereof and bent outwardly to facilitate removal of the can cover.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds and the features of novelty which characterize the invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.
For a better understanding of the present invention, reference may be had to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an electric can opener embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary front elevational view of the can opener shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 2 is a vertical section taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2 assuming that FIG. 2 shows the complete structure and showing the operating lever in the position for loading a can into the device;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a portion of FIG. 4 showing the operating lever in the operating or cutting position rather than in the can loading position as it is in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 4 assuming that FIG. 4 shows the complete structure;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 7--7 of FIG. 5 assuming that FIG. 5 shows the complete structure;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional View taken along line 88 of FIG. 6 assuming that FIG. 6 shows the complete structure;
FIG. 9 is a greatly enlarged sectional View showing the relative positions of the can cutting wheel, the can driving wheel and the end seam of the can with the parts in the position for loading the can;
FIG. 10 is another greatly enlarged vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 9 showing the action of the cutting wheel as it pierces the end seam of the can;
FIG. 11 is another greatly enlarged vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 9 and FIG. 10 showing the cutting wheel and the can driving wheel in their operative positions with respect to the end seam of the can as the cover is severed therefrom; and
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the carrier which supports the can opener cutter.
The can opener of the instant invention is provided with a cutter wheel mounted for rotation about a vertical axis and movable horizontally into cutting engagement with the inside diameter of the end seam of a can. The cutter is provided with means to space its cutting edge slightly below the top of the end seam and to bend the end seam of the can outwardly to permit easy removal of the severed cover of the can.
Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, there is shown a power operated can opener generally designated by reference numeral 20. The can opener 20 is provided with a housing 21 which is supported on a base 22. The housing 21 includes a motor enclosing portion 23 and a head portion 24 Within which the reduction gearing and the other mechanism of the can opener are received. Enclosed within the portion 23 of the housing 21 is a suitable electric motor 25 which may be the same as the one disclosed in copending Jepson 3 application Serial No. 812,928, filed May 13, 1959, now Patent No. 3,097,318, and assigned to the same assignee as the instant application. The motor includes a field 26 surrounding an armature 27.
The housing 21 is made up of a base member 28 which supports the motor 25 and a cover portion 29 which cooperates with the base portion 28 to form the enclosure within which the motor 25 and the can opener mechanism are received. As may best be seen in FIGURES 1 and 4, the cover portion 29 is a vertically extending box-like member having a rearwardly faced opening which is closed by the base member 28. The cover portion 29 serves primarily a decorative function and may, therefore, be made of a plastic material while base member 28 carries all the functional elements of the can opener and is preferably an aluminum casting. As is best shown in FIG. 4, the cover portion is assembled to the housing base 22 by means of vertically extending bolts 30 and the base member 28 is secured to the cover portion 29 by several screws 31, one of which is shown.
The armature 27 is supported by a vertically extending armature shaft 32 which is journaled in bearings 33 mounted on the base member 28. The upper end of the armature shaft 32 is formed with a helical spur gear 34 which drivingly engages reduction gearing generally designated by reference numeral 35. The base member 28 has an integrally cast wall 28a which supports the shafts associated with the reduction gearing 35.
At the output of the reduction gearing 35 there is a large output gear 36 which is secured to an output shaft 38. The output shaft 38 is journaled in an elongated boss 40 which is formed integrally with the wall 28a of the base member 28. At the lower end of the output shaft 38 there is mounted a can driving or rotating wheel 42. Positioned between the output gear 36 and the mounting boss 40 for the output shaft 38 are a series of conical washers 44 which are made of a spring material so as to be compressible and permit limited axial movement downwardly of the output shaft 38 and the can driving wheel 42 for reasons which will be explained in greater detail below.
Spaced closely adjacent the can driving wheel 42, there is mounted a can cutter or cutting wheel 46. To support the can cutting wheel 46 for horizontal movement toward and away from the can driving wheel 42, a slidable carrier 48 is mounted within the housing 21. The carrier 48, which is shown separately in FIG. 12, is a generally U-shaped member having horizontally extending legs 58 which are provided at their rearwardly extending free ends with rectangular openings 51. At the bight portion of the carrier 48 there is a horizontal cutter supporting portion 52. The cutter supporting portion 52 is formed with a taped hole 53 which threadedly receives a cutter supporting screw 54 on which the cutter 46 is rotatably mounted.
As may best be seen in FIGURE 5, the wall 28a is provided with an opening 2811 through which the supporting portion 52 of the carrier 48 extends thereby projecting the cutting Wheel 46 downwardly from the head 24, The opening 28b is of sufficient size to permit limited horizontal movement of the carrier 48 with respect to the housing 21. The carrier 48 is supported with the legs thereof slidably engaging the supporting wall 28a. To guide the carrier for rectilinear movement on the wall 2801, there are guide bosses 28c formed on either side thereof and an integral vertical flange 28d on the inside thereof as may best be seen in FIGURE 7. The bosses 280 also serve to support a guide plate 55 on the top thereof. Suitable assembly screws 56 retain the guide plate 55 in position. As is evident from FIGURE 6, the guide plate is of U-shaped configuration so as to retain the carrier 48 in position while being cut away in the center thereof for clearance in the area of the reduction gearing 35.
To control the operation of the can opener 20, there is provided a bail type or U-shaped operating handle 60 which is formed with a handle grip portion 62 at the bight thereof and supporting legs 64. The free ends of the legs 64 are formed with inwardly directed bosses 66 which journal the operating lever 60 for rotation with respect to the can opener 28. While the mounting bosses 66 are supported for rotary movement by the base member 28 and more specifically, the supporting wall 28a, means are included in the mounting to permit limited horizontal movement of the operating handle pivot for reasons which will be explained in greater detail below.
As may best be seen in enlarged fragmentary section view in FIGURE 8, the wall 28a is formed with two pockets 28e within which the mounting bosses 66, biasing springs 68 and a force-applying pad 70 are received. Each spring 68 engages the front part of a pocket 28c urging pad 78 rearwardly into engagement with mounting boss 66. Pad 78 is provided with a cylindrical projection 76a which extends into the helix of the spring 68 to assure proper engagement between the spring 68 and the pad 70. The face of pad '70 which engages boss 66 is provided with a cylindrical surface having a web 7012 projecting therefrom. Web 70b is received between two spaced cylindrical portions 66a formed on each mounting boss 66.
The purpose of web 7% is to locate and prevent axial displacement of pad '78 with respect to handle mounting bosses 66. To prevent displacement of the handle or lever 69 with respect to the base member 28 on which it is mounted, there is provided in each of the pockets 28c a small upstanding projection 28 which is positioned below each mounting boss 66 and between the cylindrical portions 66a.
To interconnect the operating lever 60 with the carrier 48, the bosses 66 of the operating lever 60 are provided with eccentrically positioned inwardly directed pins 72. The pins 72 comprise steel rods which are cast integrally with the aluminum operating lever 68. Because of the amount of eccentricity in the mounting of the pins 72, they are exposed in the area between the cylindrical portions 66a on the mounting bosses 66. The degree of exposure of pin 72 in the area between the cylindrical portions 66a is evident from FIGURE 8 which is a sectional view taken through boss 66 of the operating lever 60. It was mentioned above that projection 28 between the cylindrical portions 66a serves to prevent axial displacement of mounting boss 66. The projection 28 also serves as a stop to limit rotation of the operating handle 60 in its vertical position as is best shown in FIGURE 8.
Before turning to the details of the connection between the operating handle 68 and the carrier 48, it should be noted that the pocket 282 within which the handle mounting bosses 66 are received, is a channel shaped recess closed at the top by the guide plate 55 and at its inner side by the leg 50 of the carrier 48 with the opening 51 exposed thereto. Received within the opening 51 and positioned between the end of the mounting boss 66 and the vertical wall flange 28d is a sintered iron bearing slide 74. The bearing slide 74 is formed with a centrally positioned hole 75 which receives the eccentric pin 72. As the operating handle 60 is rotated from its vertical position forwardly and downwardly about the mounting bosses 66, the eccentric pins 72 are moved rearwardly and upwardly. Each bearing slide 74 is provided with ample clearance in rectangular opening 51 to move vertically while the operating handle moves through its range of movement. The rearward movement of the pins 72, however, cause the carrier 48 to be drawn rearwardly, thereby moving the cutting wheel 46 into overlapping relation with the can driving wheel 42.
The U-shaped handle 66 with its mounting at the rear of the housing 21 provides a very convenient, compact and efiicient arrangement for operating the carrier and its associated cutting wheel 46. Because of the substantial force which must be exerted on the carrier and cutting wheel 46, a lever arm of reasonable length is required to maintain the force to be applied at the grip 62 at a reasonable level. The bail type handle mounted at the rear provides a lever of reasonable length without sacrificing compactness. With the gripping portion 62 close to the head, force may easily be applied to the handle 60 without unbalancing the can opener 26.
Reference will now be made to FIGURES 9, l0 and 11 to describe the configuration of the driving wheel 42 and the cutting wheel 46 and the manner in which they cooperate to sever the lid of the can. FIGURES 9, l0 and 11 in addition to showing the driving wheel 42 and cutting wheel 46, portray a sectional view of a portion of a can 76. The can 76 includes a cylindrical side wall 77 and a circular top 78. To unite the cylindrical side wall 77 with the top 78, a plurality of interleaving vertical flanges are formed and cemented to provide a liquid tight seam between the two parts of the can as shown in FIG- URE 9. This junction between the two parts of the can is commonly known as the end seam. As has been indicated above, the can opener 29 operates on the end seam in opening the can rather than piercing the body portion of the can within which the food is contained.
The can driving wheel 42 is generally cylindrical in configuration, having an outer diameter 42a against which the side of the can 77 abuts. Immediately above the portion 42a there is an upwardly facing annular shoulder 42b which supports the can against vertical displacement by engaging the bottom of the overhanging portion of the can end seam. Adjacent the shoulder 4212, the driving wheel 42 is formed with a serrated driving surface 42c. This serrated driving surface is made up of radially extending spaced triangular projections which extend outwardly from a conical surface. The pointed ends of the projections are intended to sink into the can end seam as it is forced against the driving wheel 42 by the cutting wheel 46.
The cutting wheel 46 is generally cylindrical and mounted for rotation on the mounting screw 54 as was explained above. Spaced upwardly from the bottom of the cutting wheel 46 is a circular cutting edge 46a. The cutting edge 46a is formed by two intersecting surfaces, a conical surface 46b extending outwardly and downwardly toward the edge 46a and a substantially flat but slightly conical surface 460 which extends outwardly and upwardly toward the cutting edge 46a. As may readily be seen in FIG- URE 9, the conical surfaces 46b and 460 intersect at the cutting edge 46a, defining an acute cutting edge having an enclosed angle of slightly less than 80. Spaced below the cutting edge and above the bottom of the cutting wheel 46 there is an inverted conical bending surface 46d. FIGURE illustrates how the cutting edge 46a engages the innermost flange of the end seam thereby severing it at the upper edge of the cylindrical wall 77 Up until that point in the process, the bending surface 46d is ineifective. In FIGURE 11, however, it is shown how the inclined or conical bending surface 46d engages the end seam of the can bending it outwardly, this outward bend giving the abutting portions of the cover and the can a conical configuration. Without this outward inclination of the abutting vertical flanges on the cover 78 and the can wall 77, it would be difiicult, if not impossible, to remove the severed cover from the can.
Extending outwardly from the conical surface 46]; is a spacing shoulder 46e which engages the top of the end seam of the can and locates the cutting edge 46a precisely with respect to the layers of material in the end seam. To achieve the optimum performance, it is necessary that the cutting edge 46:: sever only a single layer of material in the end seam and displace the portion of the seam still assembled to the can side wall 77 a sufficient amount that the cover 78 may be readily removed therefrom. It has been determined that this objective may best be achieved by severing the outer layer of the end seam above the top edge of the cylindrical side wall 77. Thus, as is shown in FIGURE 10, the cutter should move across the upper folded edge of the side wall 77 carrying with it the outer layer of material as it makes the cut.
While the thickness of the can material varies between .007" and .012, it has been found that the cutting edge 46a may be spaced vertically from the shoulder 466 a distance of from .015" to .017" for a satisfactory severence of the outer layer of the end seam with no penetration of the top of the cylindrical wall 77. Apparently the cutting edge 46a can slide slightly along the radius edge of wall '77 without digging in.
Inasmuch as the height of the end seam from the overhanging portion which rests against the shoulder 42b to the top thereof varies considerably, means must be provided to compensate for this variation and assure tight engagement of both the driving wheel 42 and the cutting wheel 46 against the end seam. The cutting wheel 46 is mounted for horizontal movement but is fixed against movement in a vertical direction. It has been mentioned above, however, that the driving wheel 42 is provided with spring washers 44 which permit it to be moved downwardly a limited amount. Inasmuch as the can end seam is initially positioned on the shoulder 42b of the driving wheel, means must be provided to depress the driving wheel the necessary amount as the cutting wheel is moved horizontally toward the driving wheel. This depression of the driving wheel 42 is accomplished by means of a conical camming surface 46] which extends outwardly and upwardly from the aforementioned spacing surface 466 As the cutting wheel 46 moves toward the driving wheel 4-2, the top of the end seam will engage the camming surface 46 which biases the end seam and the driving wheel downwardly, thereby compressing the spring washers 44. The cut ting wheel 46 ultimately slides over the end seam until the horizontal spacing surface 46a is in engagement with the top of the end seam. This engagement determines the extent of the depression of the driving wheel 42 and assures a tight clamping of the end seam between the driving wheel shoulder 42!) and the cutting wheel shoulder or surface 46c.
As was mentioned above, there is almost .005" difference in thickness between can materials. Inasmuch as the end seam of a can includes five thicknesses of material, the total possible difference in thickness in the entire end seam is .025". While this difference in thickness is accommodated to some extent by a mere variation in the depth of penetration of the serrated surface 20 into the end scam, the springs 68 received in the pockets ZSe of the base 23 to permit variation in the position of the handle mounting bosses 66 and of the carrier 48 to accommodate thicker end seams.
As the operating handle 66 is moved from the vertical position shown in FIGURE 4 to the horizontal position shown in FIGURE 7 moving the cutting wheel 46 to the position shown in FIGURE 11, it is necessary to energize the motor 25 so that the driving wheel 42 may rotate the cutter in continuous engagement with the entire can seam to sever the cover 78 from the can. To accomplish this function a switch 80 is mounted within the head 24 on the guide plate 55 by means of assembly screws 82. To actuate the switch 80, which is connected in series with the motor 25, a switch control lever 84- is pivotally mounted within the head 24 with an outer end 86 extending outside of the housing 21. The exposed end 86 of the switch control lever 84 is positioned in the same horizontal plane as the pivot for the operating lever 60 and positioned to be engaged by the gripping portion 62 of the operating lever 60 when it is moved to the can cutting position. As is shown in FIGURE 5, the gripping portion 62 engages the exposed end 86, forcing it downwardly, and, moving the inner end of the lever 84, upwardly to actuate the switch 80. In this manner, the motor 25 is energized'to rotate the driving wheel 42 at the same time the cutting wheel has moved into the proper cutting position with respect to the end seam of the can, as is shown in FIGURE 11.
To assure that the can is properly positioned when placed in the can opener 20 for opening, a guide bar 88 is provided on the front side of the motor enclosing portion 23 of the housing 21. When the end seam of the can is placed on the upwardly facing annular shoulder 42b with the side wall of the can against the guide bar 88, the can should be at the proper height and reasonably well aligned. To give additional assurance as to proper alignment, 2. guide rib 90 is provided Which extends downwardly on the overhanging portion of the head 24. cutting wheel 46 which projects only slightly below the lower edge thereof.
In loading a can, the operator moves the end seam into engagement with the guide rib 9t) and then downwardly against the annular shoulder 4217 on the driving wheel. During rotation of the can, any tendency to twist from the vertical orientation of the can axis will be resisted by the guide rib 90. At the middle of the guide rib 90 adjacent the cutting wheel 46, a projection 91 is mounted thereon to provide increased stability to a can during the opening thereof. The projection 91 extends slightly below the rib 90 :since it is intended to engage the top of the can whole the rib 90' is intended to engage the end seam.
Immediately behind the can driving wheel 42 there is a clearance opening 29a in the cover portion 29 of the housing. The clearance opening 29a is necessary so that the base member 28 with the motor 25, reduction gearing 35, the can driving wheel 42 and cutting wheel 46 may be inserted into the cover portion 29 from the rear. To cover the opening 29a and complete the assembly of the cover 29 to the base member 28, an L-shaped closure plate 92 is secured to the bearing support wall 28a as is best shown in FIGURE 4. The vertically extending portion of the closure plate 92 extends behind the opening 29a and abuts the portion of the cover 29 surrounding the opening. Additional assembly screws 93 extend through the portion of the cover 29 adjacent the opening 29a into the plate 92 to assure a rigid assembly of the two housing portion 28 and 29. The closure plate 92 is slotted to receive the inner ends of the guide rib 90. The forwardly extending portion of the guide rib 90 is retained in place by a pair of vertically extending bolts 94 which extend upwardly through the bearing support wall 28a and the guide plate 55 to retain all these parts in assembled relation.
There are various considerations involved in determining the extent of the outward bend which should be given the end seam of the can. In the embodiment of the cutter shown in FIGURES 9 through 11 the conical bending surface 46d slopes at an angle of 30 with respect to the axis of the cutter 46. Such a slope produces approximately a 30 outward bend in the end seam of the can. The necessary amount of outward bend to cause the cover flange to release itself or to break away from the side wall 77 of the can is dependent on the coefiicient of friction between these two surfaces. In analyzing the forces acting on the can cover, it is helpful to compare the can structure after the end seam has been bent outwardly to a wedge tightly received in a piece of material. The can wall retains the cover in much the same manner as the material retains a wedge. The formula for expressing the self-releasing condition for wedges is well known in the field of mechanics and may be applied to illustrate the considerations involved in bending the can end seam.
In the wedge situation, it has been found that if the tangent of the angle of each wedge face to the central axis is equal to the coeflicient of friction between the wedge and the material into which it is driven, the wedge will be self-releasing. Similarly, when the end seam of the can is bent outwardly to such an extent that the tangent of the angle 'of bend is equal to coeflicient of The rib 90 extends completely around the friction between the cover and the can wall, the cover will be released from the can. The angle between the frictionally engaging face of the wedge and the axis of the wedge is termed the angle of friction. The similar angle in the can analogy is the angle through which the end seam has been bent; this angle may also be recited in the claims as the friction angle. Using the handbook value of the coefficient of friction for mild steel against mild steel of .57, we arrive at a bend angle of 30. Actually the tangent of the friction angle should slightly exceed the coefficient of friction if the cover of the can is to be urged upwardly. Many different materials are used in the manufacture of cans and many types of cements are employed in sealing the end seams. While all these factors tend to vary the coefficient of friction, it has been found that satisfactory cover release of all cans opened during tests was obtained using the 30 angle referred to above.
As the terms vertical and horizontal and their equivalents are used in both the specification and the claims, it should be understood that they are used only to provide relative orientation of the parts and not intended as limitations as to the position of use of the apparatus. These terms have been used since cans are generally open at the top in a vertical position to prevent spillage of their contents. In instances where such spillage does not present a problem, it is contemplated that the apparatus disclosed and claimed herein could be oriented in any desired position. The term cutting means as used in the claims is intended to include both the cutting wheel and the can drive wheel as described in the specification.
While there has been illustrated and described a single preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be readily understood by those skilled in the art that numerous changes and modifications can be made without departing from the present invention. It is aimed in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the present invention. It is contemplated, for instance, that the cutting and bending disclosed in FIGURES l0 and 11 of the drawings could be accomplished at separate stations in a machine. It is also contemplated that after severing the end seam on the inner diameter, the bending of the end seam outwardly to facilitate removal of the can cover could be accomplished by hand. Applicants invention, therefore, encompasses both the method and apparatus for opening cans through the severance of the end seam on the inside diameter above the top of the side wall of the can and bending the end seam outwardly to facilitate removal of the cover.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:
I. In a can opener of the type in which a can is rotated about its axis in engagement with cutting means which remains fixed after piercing the can, the combination comprising cutting means and can driving means mounted for relative movement normal to the can axis between a can receiving position and a can cutting position in which the cylindrical end seam of a can is held between said cutting and driving means with said cutting means in piercing engagement with the inside diameter of said end seam, means moving said cutting means and can driving means apart in a direction parallel to the axis of said can to accommodate end seams of varying height, means locating said cutting means with respect to said end scam in the can cutting position so as to pierce only the cover portion of said end seam at the inside diameter thereof at a point spaced outwardly from the base of said end seam adjacent the body of the can, means powering said driving means to rotate said can end seam in continuous engagement with said cutting means, and means bending outwardly the entire end seam including the portions on both sides of said cutting means during the cutting thereof to permit removal of said cover from said can.
2. In a can opener of the type in which the can is rotated about its axis is engagement with cutting means which remain fixed after piercing the can, the combination comprising cutting means and and can driving means mounted for relative movement between a can receiving position and a can cutting position in which the end seam of a can is held between said cutting and driving means with said cutting means in piercing engagement with the inside diameter of said end seam at a point spaced from the fiat cover of the can, means locating said cutting means with respect to the axially extending outer edge of said end scam in the can cutting position so as to pierce only the cover portion of said end seam at the inside diameter thereof, means powering said driving means to rotate said can end seam in continuous engagement with said cutting means, and means bending outwardly during the cutting thereof said end seam including the inner layer of material extending from said fiat cover to the point of piercing engagement to permit removal of said cover from said can.
3. A can opener comprising a frame supporting power drive means, a drive wheel carried by said frame for rotation about its axis and driven by said power drive means, a shoulder on said drive wheel, a cutter wheel supported by a carrier movable toward and away from said drive wheel, an annular cutting edge on said cutter wheel which overlies said shoulder on said drive Wheel when said cutter wheel is in a can cutting position, means for moving said carrier and said cutter wheel to said can cutting position in which the end seam of a can is held between said wheels with said cutter wheel piercing the inner diameter of said end seam at a point spaced outwardly on the cylindrical wall of the end seam from the body of the can, means energizing said power drive means when said carrier and cutter wheel are moved to the can cutting position whereby said drive wheel rotates said can to continuously cut the inner diameter of said end seam, and means bending outwardly said end seam including the cylindrical wall between the body of the can and the point of piercing the end seam to permit removal of the severed can cover from said can.
4. A can opener comprising a frame supporting power drive means, a drive wheel carried by said frame for rotation about a vertical axis and driven by said power drive means, an upwardly facing shoulder on said drive wheel, a cutter wheel supported by a carrier movable in a plane normal to the axis of said drive wheel, an annular cutting edge on said cutter wheel which overlies said shoulder on said drive wheel when said cutter wheel is in a can cutting position, means for moving said carrier and said cutter wheel to said can cutting position in which the end seam of a can is held between said wheels with said cutter wheel piercing the inner diameter of said end seam at a point spaced outwardly from the transversely extending cover portion of said can, means energizing said power drive means when said carrier and cutter wheel are moved to the can cutting position whereby said drive wheel rotates said can to continuously cut the inner diameter of said end seam, and means bending outwardly said end seam including the portion between the point of cutter wheel piercing and the transversely extending cover portion of the can to permit removal of the severed can cover from said can.
5. A can opener comprising a frame supporting power drive means, a drive wheel carried by said frame for rotation about a vertical axis and driven by said power drive means, said drive wheel being mounted for limited axial movement, spring biasing means urging said drive wheel axially to a can receiving position, an upwardly facing annular shoulder on said drive wheel with an inclined serrated portion extending upwardly and inwardly from said shoulder, a cutter wheel supported by a carrier movable in a plane normal to the axis of said drive wheel, an annular cutting edge on said cutter wheel which overlies said shoulder on said drive wheel when said cutter wheel is in a can cutting position, a conical camming surface on said cutter wheel above said cutting edge, a conical seam bending surface on said cutter wheel below said cutting edge, operating means for moving said carrier and said cutter wheel to said can cutting position in which the end seam of a can is gripped between said wheels with the lower outer edge of said seam resting on said upwardly facing shoulder on said drive wheel, and cooperating means on said wheels for positioning said cutting edge for penetrating only the cover portion of said end seam above the outer wall portion of said end seam said spring biasing means being deflected to provide a gripping force on said end seam when said drive wheel is in the can cutting position and in engagement with the end seam of a can.
6. A can opener as set forth in claim 5 in which said conical seam bending surface on said cutter wheel is positioned adjacent to said cutting edge, said cutter in said cutting position having said conical seam bending surface engaging said end seam to bend said end seam outwardly to permit removal of the cover from said can.
7. A can opener comprising a frame supporting power drive means, a drive wheel carried by said frame for rotation about a vertical axis and driven by said power drive means, said drive wheel being spring biased upwardly and mounted for limited axial movement, a horizontal upwardly facing shoulder on said drive wheel with an inclined serrated portion extending upwardly and inwardly from said horizontal shoulder, a carrier movable in a plane normal to the axis of said drive wheel, a cutter wheel supported by said carrier and movable therewith, said cutter wheel having an annular cutting edge and conical bending shoulder positioned below said cutting edge, an operating handle for moving said carrier to grip the end seam of a can between said wheels with said cutter wheel engaging the inner diameter of said end seam, cooperating means on said wheels for positioning said annular cutting edge to cut the inner diameter of said end seam above the side wall of the can and means energizing said power means to rotate said drive wheel rotating said can in continuous engagement with cutter wheel whereupon said cutting edge severs the cover portion of said end seam above the side wall of the can and said bending shoulder engages said end seam below said cutting edge and bends said end seam outwardly to permit removal of the severed cover.
8. A can opener comprising a frame supporting power drive means, a drive wheel carried by said frame for rotation about its axis and driven by said power drive means, said drive Wheel having a serrated portion for driving engagement with the end seam of a can, a carrier movable toward and away from said drive wheel, a cutter wheel supported by said carrier and movable therewith, an annular cutting edge on said cutter wheel which overlies said drive wheel when said cutter wheel is in a can cutting position, operating means for moving said carrier and said cutter wheel to said can cutting position in which the end seam of a can is gripped between said wheels with the lower outer edge of said seam resting on said drive wheel and with said cutting edge penetrating only the cover portion of said end seam above the outer wall portion of said end seam said wheels having opposed annular shoulders normal to the axis of said wheel for receiving said end seam therebetween, the annular shoulder on said cutter wheel locating said cutting edge accurately above the outer wall portion.
9. In a can opener the combination comprising a housing, can cutting means and can rotating means mounted on an extending from said housing for engagement with a can to be opened, said can cutting means extending downwardly for engagement with the inside diameter of the end seam of said can and being rotatable about an axis parallel to the axis of said can, a carrier for causing horizontal relative movement of said cutting and rotating means together to grip the end seam of a can therebetween and to pierce the inside diameter of the end seam, a U-shaped handle lever having the free ends of the legs pivoted adjacent the rear wall of said housing on opposite sides thereof, said legs being pivoted rearwardly of said can cutting means and said can rotating means, means connecting said handle ends to the carrier whereby rotation of said handle from a vertical position to a horizontal position moves said cutting and rotating means together, said U-shaped lever extending around the front of said housing in the horizontal position and being closely spaced thereto, and a motor drivingly connected to said can rotating means to rotate said can with said cutting means in piercing engagement with said end seam whereby said cover i-s severed from said can.
10. The can opener of claim 9 wherein said housing encloses said motor, switch means for said motor having a control lever extending through an opening in said housing and operable by said handle lever when moved to the horizontal position.
11. A can opener comprising a housing including a vertically extending motor enclosing portion and head mounted at the upper end thereof and having an overhanging portion, cutting means extending downwardly from said overhanging portion for engagement with the inside diameter of the end seam of a can being opened, said cutting means being rotatable about an axis parallel to the axis of said can and movable horizontally into piercing engagement with said end seam, a motor mounted in said motor enclosing portion and drivingly connected to said cutting means, switch means in said head for controlling said motor and having a control member extending outside of said head, and a bail type operating handle connected to said cutting means and being pivoted on opposite walls of said head adjacent the side rearward of and remote from said overhanging position, said bail being movable from a vertical position in which said cutting means may receive a can to be opened to a horizontal position in which said cutting means pierces said can, said handle in the horizontal position engaging said switch control member to start said motor thereby rotating said can.
12. A can opener comprising a housing including a base member and a cover portion, said base member having a vertically extend-ing motor support-ing portion and a gear support wall extending horizontally from the upper end thereof, reduction gearing carried by said support wall, a motor mounted on said motor support portion with an armature shaft drivingly engaging said reduction gearing, a serrated can driving wheel connected to said reduction gearing and positioned below said support wall for engagement with the end seam of a can to rotate the can relative to the opener, a U-shaped operating handle having inwardly directed mounting bosses journaled for rotation about a horizontal axis in pockets formed in said support wall, a carrier slidably received on said support wall with a cutter mounted thereon extending 'below said support wall into close proximity with said driving wheel for engagement with the inside diameter of the end seam of a can to sever the cover in the end seam, and eccentric pins on said handle bosses engaging vertically slidable blocks on said carrier to move said cutter horizontally toward and away from said driving wheel in response to rotation of said handle.
13. The can opener of claim 12 wherein said can driving wheel is mounted for limited vertical movement and spring means urging said wheel upwardly, said spring means urging said cutter and can driving wheel into gripping engagement with the end seam of a can.
14. The can opener of claim 12 wherein said handle bosses are journaled in said pockets by spring biased pads which urge said handle bosses and the carrier connected therewith in a direction to move said cutter toward said driving wheel, the springs associated with said pads being compressed during the cutting of the can end seam.
15, In a can opener having means for supporting and rotating a can about a fixed axis in a cutting position, the improvement comprising a cutter, means for moving said cutter into piercing engagement with the inner diameter of the end seam of the can at a point spaced above the flat cover of said can, and bending means cooperating with said supporting and rotating means and operated by the cutter moving means to bend outwardly said end seam including the portion below the point of piercing engagement to an angle sufficiently large so that the severed cover will be self-releasing.
16. In a can opener having means for supporting and rotating a can about a fixed axis in a cutting position, the improvement comprising a cutter, means for moving said cutter into piercing engagement with the inner diameter of the end seam of the can at a point spaced above the fiat cover of said can during the rotation of the can whereby a continuous cut is made on the inner diameter of the end seam, bend-ing means cooperating with said supporting and rotating means and operable with the cutter moving means for bending outwardly said end seam including the portion below the point of piercing engagement to an angle exceeding the angle of friction between cover and can body so that the sever-ed cover will be released, said bending means including cooperating portions of said cutter which rotate in bending engagement with said end seam and continuously bend the entire periphery of the cover as the can is moved through one complete rotation.
17. A can opener for cutting and displacing the end seam of a can of the type having a cover with a transversely extending cover portion and a peripherally disposed axially extending flange portion nested snugly Within one end of a can with said flange portion disposed outwardly of said cover portion, said can and cover being sealed by a lock seam at said one end, the improvement comprising a cutter, means for supporting said can and producing relative rotation about the axis of the can between said can and said cutter, means for moving said cutter laterally into piercing engagement with the inside of said axially extending flange portion at a point spaced from the transversely extending cover portion, bending means cooperating with said means for supporting and producing relative rotation for flaring outwardly said flange including the portion extending from the cover portion to the point of piercing engagement and the nested portion of said can, the relative rotation of said can with respect to said cutter and bending means causing said flange to be cut continuously and said flange and the nested portion of said can to be flared around the entire periphery of said can and flanged cover to permit ready removal from the can of the severed cover with a flared portion of said flange attached thereto.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,360,256 11/20 Anderson 30-15.5 1,405,066 1/22 Nicolai 30-4 1,795,478 3/31 Davis 30-15.5 1,932,563 10/33 Thewes 30-347 1,935,680 11/33 Von Wolfors-dorf 30-15.5 1,986,657 1/35 West 30-9 2,196,182 4/40 Arnesen 153-2 2,532,898 12/50 Drugman 30-4 2,556,766 6/51 Mathieu 3015.5 2,728,983 1/56 Mugavero 30-4 2,825,963 3/58 Sykes et a1 30-4 2,886,887 5/59 Krist et al. 30-4 2,948,954 8/60 Ramsa 29-1555 3,006,070 10/61 Nordquist 30-4 3,057,059 10/ 62 La Forte 30-4 3,078,568 L2/63 McLean et al 30-4 3,078,573 2/63 Kern 30-347 3,094,776 6/63 Smith 30-15.5
WILLIAM FELDMAN, Primary Examiner.

Claims (1)

17. A CAN OPENER FOR CUTTING AND DISPLACING THE END SEAM OF A CAN OF THE TYPE HAVING A COVER WITH A TRANSVERSELY EXTENDING COVER PORTION AND A PERIPHERALLY DISPOSED AXIALLY EXTENDING FLANGE PORTION NESTED SNUGLY WITHIN ONE END OF A CAN WITH SAID FLANGE PORTION DISPOSED OUTWARDLY OF SAID COVER PORTION, SAID CAN AND COVER BEING SEALED BY A LOCK SEAM AT SAID ONE END, THE IMPROVEMENT COMPRISING A CUTTER, MEANS FOR SUPPORTING SAID CAN AND PRODUCING RELATIVE ROTATION ABOUT THE QXIS OF THE CAN BETWEEN SAID CAN AND SAID CUTTER, MEANS FOR MOVING SAID CUTTER LATERALLY INTO PIERCING ENGAGEMENT WITH THE INSIDE OF SAID AXIALLY EXTENDING FLANGE PORTION AT A POINT SPACED FROM THE TRANSVERSELY EXTENDING COVER PORTION, BENDING MEANS COOPERATING WITH SAID MEANS FOR SUPPORTING AND PRODUCING RELATIVE ROTATION FOR FLARING OUTWARDLY SAID FLANGE INCLUDING THE PORTION EXTENDING FROM THE COVER PORTION TO THE POINT OF PIERCING ENGAGEMENT AND THE NESTED PORTION OF SAID CAN, THE RELATIVE ROTATION OF SAID CAN WITH RESPECT TO SAID CUTTER AND BENDING MEANS CAUSING SAID FLANGE TO BE CUT CONTINUOUSLY AND SAID FLANGE AND THE NESTED PORTION OF SAID CAN TO BE FLARED AROUND THE ENTIRE PERIPHERY OF SAID CAN AND FLANGED COVER TO PERMIT READY REMOVAL FROM THE CAN OF THE SEVERED COVER WITH A FLARED PORTION OF SAID FLANGE ATTACHED THERETO.
US224634A 1962-09-19 1962-09-19 Can opener Expired - Lifetime US3216108A (en)

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US224634A US3216108A (en) 1962-09-19 1962-09-19 Can opener
GB2605363A GB986043A (en) 1962-09-19 1963-07-01 Can opener
DE19631432412 DE1432412A1 (en) 1962-09-19 1963-08-31 Machine for opening tin cans
US48633965 US3313023A (en) 1962-09-19 1965-09-10 Can opener

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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3348305A (en) * 1966-01-10 1967-10-24 Sunbeam Corp Can opener
US3360853A (en) * 1965-07-08 1968-01-02 Sunbeam Corp Can opener
US5313708A (en) * 1992-12-04 1994-05-24 The Rival Company Can opener
USD411789S (en) * 1998-01-09 1999-07-06 The Rival Company Can opener
US5992026A (en) * 1998-01-09 1999-11-30 The Rival Company Kitchen appliance with pivotal mounting
US6189221B1 (en) 1998-12-31 2001-02-20 The Rival Company Can opener appliance having a side-cutting mechanism
US6510613B1 (en) 2000-07-20 2003-01-28 The Holmes Group, Inc. Ergonomic can opener

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AT159695T (en) * 1990-08-03 1997-11-15 Levene Ltd William Tin opener
GB2246756B (en) * 1990-08-03 1993-12-15 Levene Ltd William Can opener
US6148527A (en) * 1996-11-20 2000-11-21 William Levene Limited Can opener
SG86300A1 (en) * 1994-01-20 2002-02-19 Levene Ltd William Can opener

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US1360256A (en) * 1920-04-20 1920-11-30 Anderson Edwin Can-opener
US1405066A (en) * 1921-06-18 1922-01-31 Charles O Nicolai Can-cpening machine
US1795478A (en) * 1926-11-08 1931-03-10 Polly Wiggin Inc Can opener
US1932563A (en) * 1931-03-09 1933-10-31 Ridge Tool Co Cutter die
US1935680A (en) * 1932-02-20 1933-11-21 Wolforsdorf Hans Von Can opener
US1986657A (en) * 1932-04-29 1935-01-01 Preston C West Can opening machine
US2196182A (en) * 1939-02-08 1940-04-09 Charlotte A Arnesen Method of opening cans
US2532898A (en) * 1947-10-22 1950-12-05 Drugman George Rico Electric can opener
US2556766A (en) * 1948-01-29 1951-06-12 Mathieu Joseph Method and apparatus for opening and reflanging cans
US2728983A (en) * 1955-02-09 1956-01-03 Vincent A Mugavero Apparatus for removing the ends of containers
US2825963A (en) * 1956-11-16 1958-03-11 Charles J Sykes Can opener
US2886887A (en) * 1958-02-26 1959-05-19 William M Krist Metal barrel or drum top cutter
US2948954A (en) * 1956-03-08 1960-08-16 Alexander P Ramsa Small sized helixes and method of their fabrication
US3006070A (en) * 1959-11-27 1961-10-31 American Can Co Can opener
US3057059A (en) * 1961-07-03 1962-10-09 Vaughan Mfg Co Electric can opener
US3078573A (en) * 1962-03-12 1963-02-26 Kern Paul Ervin Disk type cutter
US3078568A (en) * 1961-11-20 1963-02-26 John C Hockery Power operated can opener
US3094776A (en) * 1961-09-22 1963-06-25 Clarence J Smith Can opener

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1360256A (en) * 1920-04-20 1920-11-30 Anderson Edwin Can-opener
US1405066A (en) * 1921-06-18 1922-01-31 Charles O Nicolai Can-cpening machine
US1795478A (en) * 1926-11-08 1931-03-10 Polly Wiggin Inc Can opener
US1932563A (en) * 1931-03-09 1933-10-31 Ridge Tool Co Cutter die
US1935680A (en) * 1932-02-20 1933-11-21 Wolforsdorf Hans Von Can opener
US1986657A (en) * 1932-04-29 1935-01-01 Preston C West Can opening machine
US2196182A (en) * 1939-02-08 1940-04-09 Charlotte A Arnesen Method of opening cans
US2532898A (en) * 1947-10-22 1950-12-05 Drugman George Rico Electric can opener
US2556766A (en) * 1948-01-29 1951-06-12 Mathieu Joseph Method and apparatus for opening and reflanging cans
US2728983A (en) * 1955-02-09 1956-01-03 Vincent A Mugavero Apparatus for removing the ends of containers
US2948954A (en) * 1956-03-08 1960-08-16 Alexander P Ramsa Small sized helixes and method of their fabrication
US2825963A (en) * 1956-11-16 1958-03-11 Charles J Sykes Can opener
US2886887A (en) * 1958-02-26 1959-05-19 William M Krist Metal barrel or drum top cutter
US3006070A (en) * 1959-11-27 1961-10-31 American Can Co Can opener
US3057059A (en) * 1961-07-03 1962-10-09 Vaughan Mfg Co Electric can opener
US3094776A (en) * 1961-09-22 1963-06-25 Clarence J Smith Can opener
US3078568A (en) * 1961-11-20 1963-02-26 John C Hockery Power operated can opener
US3078573A (en) * 1962-03-12 1963-02-26 Kern Paul Ervin Disk type cutter

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3360853A (en) * 1965-07-08 1968-01-02 Sunbeam Corp Can opener
US3348305A (en) * 1966-01-10 1967-10-24 Sunbeam Corp Can opener
US5313708A (en) * 1992-12-04 1994-05-24 The Rival Company Can opener
USD411789S (en) * 1998-01-09 1999-07-06 The Rival Company Can opener
US5992026A (en) * 1998-01-09 1999-11-30 The Rival Company Kitchen appliance with pivotal mounting
US6189221B1 (en) 1998-12-31 2001-02-20 The Rival Company Can opener appliance having a side-cutting mechanism
US6510613B1 (en) 2000-07-20 2003-01-28 The Holmes Group, Inc. Ergonomic can opener

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
DE1432412A1 (en) 1968-11-28
GB986043A (en) 1965-03-17

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