US3593484A - Method and apparatus for sequentially packaging materials into units of desired volume - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for sequentially packaging materials into units of desired volume Download PDF

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US3593484A
US3593484A US3593484DA US3593484A US 3593484 A US3593484 A US 3593484A US 3593484D A US3593484D A US 3593484DA US 3593484 A US3593484 A US 3593484A
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container
material
portions
discharge
force
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Joseph A Dussich
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Joseph A Dussich
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B9/00Enclosing successive articles, or quantities of material, e.g. liquids or semiliquids, in flat, folded, or tubular webs of flexible sheet material; Subdividing filled flexible tubes to form packages
    • B65B9/10Enclosing successive articles, or quantities of material, in preformed tubular webs, or in webs formed into tubes around filling nozzles, e.g. extruded tubular webs
    • B65B9/15Enclosing successive articles, or quantities of material, in preformed tubular webs, or in webs formed into tubes around filling nozzles, e.g. extruded tubular webs the preformed tubular webs being stored on filling nozzles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A22BUTCHERING; MEAT TREATMENT; PROCESSING POULTRY OR FISH
    • A22CPROCESSING MEAT, POULTRY, OR FISH
    • A22C11/00Sausage making ; Apparatus for handling or conveying sausage products during manufacture
    • A22C11/02Sausage filling or stuffing machines
    • A22C11/08Sausage filling or stuffing machines with pressing-worm or other rotary-mounted pressing-members

Abstract

This method and apparatus employs an elongated axially compressed material having alternate axial portions which are secured and unsecured against axial expansion. The containers are filled sequentially, and subsequently, at any desired time, they are separated into discrete packages of prearranged volume.

Description

O United States Patent 1 13,593,484

[72] inventor Jos p ADI/mid [50] Field of Search 53/24, 122, SL, Bayslde, N-Y. l [2]] Appl. No. 21,766 [22] Filed Mar. 23, 1970 [56] References Cited [23 Division OfSCl'. N0. 774.368. NOV. 8, 1968, UNITED STATES PATENTS Pat 315214375- 872,294 1 1/1907 Hambruch 17/41 x 1 1 Pflwmcd July 2,168,693 8 1939 Walter 17/41 x 3,473,29] 10/1969 Raymond et 53/24 X Primary Examiner-Travis S McGehee [54 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SEQUENTIALLY AtlorneysRobert R. Strack and James A. Eisenman PACKAGING MATERIALS INTO UNITS OF DESIRED VOLUME ABSTRACT: This method and apparatus employs an elon- 18 Chums 5 Drawmg gated axially compressed material having alternate axial por- [52] U.S.Cl 53/24, tions which are secured and unsecured against axial expan- 53/124 E sion. The containers are filled sequentially, and subsequently, [5 1] Int. Cl B65!) 1/24, at any desired time, they are separated into discrete packages B65b 63/02 of prearranged volume.

ATENIEU JUL 20 ISYI RNEYS CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a division of copending US. Pat. application Ser. No. 774,368, filed Nov. 8 I968.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention is generally concerned with the packaging of products that can be force filled into a receptacle. More particularly, the invention concerns packaging of discrete quantities of material without necessarily requiring metered dispensing.

Forced filling" as contemplated herein, refers to any techniques where the material being filled into a receptacle exerts a force against the receptacle. Extrusion filling clearly satisfies this definition. In addition, it is intended to include filling arrangements wherein the weight of the material alone applies the force, as in the case of gravity loading from a hopper.

There are many products which can effectively be packaged by forced filling of containers. These products range from food items such as sausages to large bulk items such as agricultural produce. In almost all instances, it is desirable to provide packages or units having uniform dimensions and containing a predetermined quantity of material. Obviously, it is desirable to automatically provide a finished packaged product at the output of the machine. This invention is specifically directed to packaging techniques involving the use of elongated containers which are subsequently subdivided and sealed to yield individual packages. 3

Among the important features in the handling of products of the nature described, is the utilization of labor. Although the packaging of some products can be completely automated, others require the employment of manual labor for such steps as the final sealing of each package. Generally, when individual packages are created-from one large unitary container, it requires that the rate of filling be exactly synchronized with the rate of package handling by the operator or succeeding. apparatus. However, efficient use of machines and operators makes it preferable to have the filling rate substantially independent of the package handling rate.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART With respect to the larger produce handling packaging techniques heretofore known, it will be recognized that in general these techniques do not involve the continuous force filling of large containers that are 'subsequently subdivided. Rather, in the packaging of bulk items, it is conventional to fill individual packages and handle them on a one-by-one basis.

On the other hand, in the handling of foodstuffs, such as sausages, it is conventional to extrude the sausage meat into casings which are subsequently tied off at prearranged intervals. Existing sausage handling equipment includes means for extruding metered charges of filling material into a tubular casing which has been previously longitudinally compressed or shirred over a filling horn. The metered charges are sub sequently separated automatically by tying off the spaces therebetween. Operator intervention is not necesary in this packaging process; however, the automatic tie-off operation must be synchronized with the extrusion process in order to permit its continuous functioning.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to a packaging process involving the force filling of compressed elongated containers and the subsequent creation of individual packages having predetermined quantities of material, and to apparatus particularly suitable for use in carrying out the unique packaging process.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved method of packaging materials wherein the filling rate and individual packaging rate need not be synchronized.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved method of packaging materials by extrusion wherein the extruded material need not be metered in order to insure that a predetermined quantity of material is deposited in each of the final packages produced.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an improved force filling process wherein a plurality of preliminary package units may be filled successively without completing the packaging until some 'subseq uent time.

Another aspect of the invention is to provide unique apparatus for carrying out the process of force filling elongated containers.

It is another object of the invention to provide an improved apparatus for force filling an initially axially compressed elongated container.

It is another object of the invention to provide an improved apparatus for force filling an initially compressed elongated container having selected portions thereof secured together to prevent axial extension.

The above objects of the invention, as well as others not specifically recited, will be more fully appreciated from the following detailed description which is made in conjunction with the drawings. This detailed description will also bring out further unique features and advantages of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I illustrates a container being filled with a material from a hopper in accordance with one embodiment of the invcntion;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken transversely through a container-filling apparatus according to another illustrative embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is an illustration showing the operation of sealing and cutting the area between individual packaging units;

FIG. 4 is an illustrative lay-out illustrating the use of a severance line within the clamped area of a container of the type used with the invention; and

FIG. 5 illustrates a further embodiment of the invention showing apparatus for filling containers constructed in the manner to be fully described.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION FIG. I shows a container 10, positioned upon a filling apparatus and partially filled with a material 15. The material 15 is initially stored within a hopper I6 and is extruded or forced through a horn cylinder 17 into the container 10 under the action of an impeller means 18. The major portion of container I0 is longitudinally compressed over horn I7. Throughout the specification and claims, reference will be made to the folds" of the compressed container. It should be understood that folding, pleating, shirring, etc. may be used depending upon the material from which the container is made, the dimensions of the container, and the nature of the filling apparatus.

In the particular container shown in FIG. 1, an end closure 19 is provided. Thus, as material is extruded under the action of impeller 18, it forces the container to extend. Clamping means I3 are provided at various positions along the container and hold together a predetermined number of folds, preventing their axial extension under the effect of the extrusion process. The amount of material retained by the clamping means I3 is determined by the amount of material required to effect transverse closures of the containers. The length 11 between clamping means is determined by the amount of material to be packaged. Quite clearly, the amount of material packaged will depend upon not only the length but also the volume of the container and this depends upon the particular cross-sectional shape used. Although FIG. 1 illustrates a substantially tubular container construction, it is recognized that other cross'seetions may be employed.

- neither germane nor shown. Container feed units are mounted upon the sloping sidewalls 22, in at least two diametrically opposed positions. The unit shown in the upper portion of the figure is typical and includes a stationary member25 rigidly secured in any appropriate fashion to wall 22, and a releasing member 26 pivotally attached to stationary member 25 at point 27. A spring 28 is engaged at some stationary point, such as on member 25, and also is secured to pivoting member 26. The end of member 26 is normally biased in a downward position as a result of the contraction of spring 28. This end, 29, rests against the container material that has been initially compressed onto horn 23. Underneath end 29, a projection 30 on the external surface of horn 23 may be provided. During extrusion of material 24, the pressure of the material acting against the end of the container causes it to stretch and it is pulled off the horn between ends 29 and 30. It will be understood that the pressure of spring 28 and the shape of ends 29 and 30 are so arranged that generally a single fold is permitted exit at one time. Furthermore, it will be appreciated that the clamping means 13 will also be permitted to pass through the space between ends 29 and 30 as a single unit. Thus, the container as it is extruded will appear roughly in the form shown in the right portion of FIG. 2.

It will be noted that the extreme right end of the container in FIG. 2 is shown clamped by means 41. The initial end section of any container may either be permanently closed or closed after the containeris mounted. In many instances, the containersare prepared as elongated pleated tubes and after they are mounted upon the horn of an extrusion device, the end is sealed off. Thereafter the process of filling may proceed. The particular manner in which the end is sealed may vary greatly and may employ any of the techniques that are conventional in the art today. For example, a simple wire clamping means 41 may be employed or, it the material is suitable for heat sealing, this may also be utilized.

As the container is filled it travels toward the right under the influence of the extruded material. Depending on the size of the container and other factors, such as weight and supporting surface conditions, auxiliary equipment or supporting members may also be employed. In still other instances, such as where large agricultural crops are being handled, it may be deemed advantageous to move the extrusion or filling vehicle and leave the container on the field as it fills. There is no need for sealing off the individual packages until some time in the future when the labor or a more propitious time for performing such a task is available.

When the individual packages are to be formed, it is simply necessary to remove clamping means 13 and stretch the previously clamped portions of the container. With reference to FIG. 3, it will be seen that this stretching of the previously clamped portion leaves 'sufficient material for closing the ends of each unit. FIG. 3 illustrates the actual closure being effected at two points by the use of conventional twistedwire. After the closures have been completed, the portion of the container therebetween is severed at point 40.

It will be appreciated that-in order to most expeditiously subsequently separate the packages, it may be desirable to provide initially for this separation by weakening the area to be ultimately severed, with perforations or the like. Thus, FIG.

4 illustrates a container 10 adapted to be folded or crimped substantially along lines 45. The region 46 is that which will be secured by the clamping means. Substantially in the center of region 46 is a perforating line 47 which can be easily torn apart. The clamping means is much stronger longitudinally than the axial force exerted 'on the fabric during filling, and therefore there is no need for concern that the perforations 47 will longitudinally. weaken the container during the filling process. i

Another apparatus for feeding material in' accordance with the invention, is shown in FIG. 5. The apparatus in this figure is substantially similar to that shown in FIG. 2;with the exception ol'a different container release mechanism. In the present instance, the mechanism comprises a spring means 50 having an outwardly inclined extension 51 at the end of horn 23. As a result of this extension on the spring means, as the container is forced forward during filling the extension tends to grip each fold of the crimped container until sufficient force is applied by the extruded material to force the fold into axial extension. Once again, it will be noted that due to the unique provision of the clamping means 13 on the external surface of the container, the entire clamped portion will be fed out at the same time and the packaging process may proceed in the manner previously described.

The clamping means 13 may take many forms. Their function requires strength in the longitudinal direction of the container that is sufficient to prevent opening of the clamped folds during filling. In addition, they should be easily removable to conveniently facilitate the individual packaging steps. The number of clamps used to secure a particular plurality of folds is optional.- I

In recapitulation, it will be recognized that the process of the present invention includes the steps of extruding material into a foreshortened selectively clamped package, removing said clamps and stretching the container between the areas previously clamped, sealing the central portion of said extended area at two axially spaced points, and severing said extended portions between these seals.

Several embodiments and aspects of the invention have been described. It should be understood that this invention is not limited to the use of particular materials. It is contemplated that modifications in regard to these features of the invention may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and teaching herein. All such modifications are intended to fall within the scope of the appended claims.

What I claim is:

I. The method of packaging materials in discrete units of desired volume, comprising providing an elongated axially compressed container having alternate axial portions thereof secured and unsecured against axial portions thereof secured and unsecured against axial expansion, axially extending the unsecured portions of said container by the filling of said materials from oneend thereof until the quantity of said materials effects extension of said container beyond at least one of said unsecured axial portions, releasing the axially secured portions that are between extended portions, and effecting transverse closure of said container within the released portions.

2. The method of packaging materials, in accordance with claim 1, including the initial step of transversely closing one end of said container.

3. The method of packaging materials in accordance with claim 1, including effecting two transverse closures of said container within the released portions, said closures being axially spaced from one another, and thereafter severing said container between said spaced closures.

4. The method of packaging materials in accordance with claim 1, including mounting said axially compressed container around a material discharge port, applying an axial restraining force against the portion of said container nearest the discharge end of said port, and filling said container with sufficient force to overcome said restraining force.

5. The method of packaging materials in accordance with claim 4, including the compacting'of said material prior to discharge from said port.

6. The method of packaging materials in accordance with claim 4, wherein said filling is effected with insufficient force to cause release of the secured axial portions of said container.

, v v 7. The method of packaging materials in accordance with claim 4, including guiding the direction'of extension of the container as it is filled, along a predetermined path.

8. Apparatus for filling elongated containers having one end closed and alternate axial portions thereof secured and unsecured against axial expansion, said secured portions being subject to release under an axial force less than the tearing limit of the material forming said container, comprising in combination; a closed chamber for holding the filling material, having a port for discharging said material, and an extended stationary discharge channel sealed around said discharge port and projecting therefrom; said discharge channel being adapted for mounting said container with said closed end at the downstream end of said channel, the periphery of said channel being substantially equal to the internal peripheral dimensions of one of said containers when mounted thereon; restraining means pressing the downstream end of a mounted container into contact with the surface of the downstream end of said discharge channel, said restraining means exerting an axial holding force on said container less than the axial force required to release said secured portions thereof; and means within said closed chamber for applying sufficient axial force on said material to extrude through said discharge port and said discharge channel into a mounted container, and to propel the material enclosed in said container until all unsecured portions are extended, wherein said restraining means comprise at least two units, each fixedly mounted on the upstream end of said discharge channel, said units including a first rigid member projecting radially outward from the axis of said channel and a second member pivotally connected to the outer end of said first member and projecting towards the downstream end of said channel, and a spring means held in tension between said first and second members and urging the outer end of said second member into contact with the surface of said channel.

9. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein said containers are constrained to extend in a substantially horizontal direction.

10. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein two of said units are substantially diametrically opposed on said discharge cylinder and each unit exerts substantially the same holding force on the container.

11. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein said containers are axially compressed in successive folds, the outer end of said second member being in surface contact with the downstream face of the fold succeeding the last extended fold and being contoured to ride over said downstream face when the axial force of the filling material exceeds said holding force.

12. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein said discharge channel is substantially cylindrical, and wherein said discharge port includes a tapering portion converging toward the downstream end connected to said discharge channel, said taper effecting a compaction of said material as it is discharged.

13. Apparatus as defined in claim 12, wherein the means for applying the axial force on said material comprises a piston within said closed chamber, operative along a path that is axially aligned with said discharge channel.

14. Apparatus as defined in claim 8 wherein the means for applying the axial force on said material comprises an impeller screw within said closed chamber and said discharge port and axially aligned with said discharge channel, said impeller screw having fins disposed to force said material through the discharge port when rotated.

15. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein said restraining means further comprises a projection extending radially outward from said discharge cylinder at the downstream end thereof.

16. Apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the radially projecting portions of said restraining means are substantially axially aligned.

17. Apparatus according to claim 8, wherem said discharge channel has a length at least as long as the longitudinal length of said container when axially compressed.

18. Apparatus according to claim 17, wherein said discharge channel has a substantially circular cross section.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 593 #8 4 Dated Jul 20 19 71 I v t Joseph A. Dussich It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column H, line H6, delete "axial portions thereof secured" line +7, delete "and unsecured against" Signed and sealed this 15th day of May 1973.

EDWARD M .FLETCHER, JR ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents I FORM uscoMM-oc 6D376-P69 7 Us. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 959 0-355-134

Claims (18)

1. The method of packaging materials in discrete units of desired volume, comprising providing an elongated axially compressed container having alternate axial portions thereof secured and unsecured against axial portions thereof secured and unsecured against axial expansion, axially extending the unsecured portions of said container by the filling of said materials from one end thereof until the quantity of said materials effects extension of said container beyond at least one of said unsecured axial portions, releasing the axially secured portions that are between extended portions, and effecting transverse closure of said container within the released portions.
2. The method of packaging materials in accordance with claim 1, including the initial step of transversely closing one end of said container.
3. The method of packaging materials in accordance with claim 1, including effecting two transverse closures of said Container within the released portions, said closures being axially spaced from one another, and thereafter severing said container between said spaced closures.
4. The method of packaging materials in accordance with claim 1, including mounting said axially compressed container around a material discharge port, applying an axial restraining force against the portion of said container nearest the discharge end of said port, and filling said container with sufficient force to overcome said restraining force.
5. The method of packaging materials in accordance with claim 4, including the compacting of said material prior to discharge from said port.
6. The method of packaging materials in accordance with claim 4, wherein said filling is effected with insufficient force to cause release of the secured axial portions of said container.
7. The method of packaging materials in accordance with claim 4, including guiding the direction of extension of the container as it is filled, along a predetermined path.
8. Apparatus for filling elongated containers having one end closed and alternate axial portions thereof secured and unsecured against axial expansion, said secured portions being subject to release under an axial force less than the tearing limit of the material forming said container, comprising in combination; a closed chamber for holding the filling material, having a port for discharging said material, and an extended stationary discharge channel sealed around said discharge port and projecting therefrom; said discharge channel being adapted for mounting said container with said closed end at the downstream end of said channel, the periphery of said channel being substantially equal to the internal peripheral dimensions of one of said containers when mounted thereon; restraining means pressing the downstream end of a mounted container into contact with the surface of the downstream end of said discharge channel, said restraining means exerting an axial holding force on said container less than the axial force required to release said secured portions thereof; and means within said closed chamber for applying sufficient axial force on said material to extrude through said discharge port and said discharge channel into a mounted container, and to propel the material enclosed in said container until all unsecured portions are extended, wherein said restraining means comprise at least two units, each fixedly mounted on the upstream end of said discharge channel, said units including a first rigid member projecting radially outward from the axis of said channel and a second member pivotally connected to the outer end of said first member and projecting towards the downstream end of said channel, and a spring means held in tension between said first and second members and urging the outer end of said second member into contact with the surface of said channel.
9. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein said containers are constrained to extend in a substantially horizontal direction.
10. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein two of said units are substantially diametrically opposed on said discharge cylinder and each unit exerts substantially the same holding force on the container.
11. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein said containers are axially compressed in successive folds, the outer end of said second member being in surface contact with the downstream face of the fold succeeding the last extended fold and being contoured to ride over said downstream face when the axial force of the filling material exceeds said holding force.
12. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein said discharge channel is substantially cylindrical, and wherein said discharge port includes a tapering portion converging toward the downstream end connected to said discharge channel, said taper effecting a compaction of said material as it is discharged.
13. Apparatus as defined in claim 12, wherein the means for applying the axial force on said material comprises a piston within said closed chamber, operative along a path that is axially aligned with said discharge channel.
14. Apparatus as defined in claim 8 wherein the means for applying the axial force on said material comprises an impeller screw within said closed chamber and said discharge port and axially aligned with said discharge channel, said impeller screw having fins disposed to force said material through the discharge port when rotated.
15. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein said restraining means further comprises a projection extending radially outward from said discharge cylinder at the downstream end thereof.
16. Apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the radially projecting portions of said restraining means are substantially axially aligned.
17. Apparatus according to claim 8, wherein said discharge channel has a length at least as long as the longitudinal length of said container when axially compressed.
18. Apparatus according to claim 17, wherein said discharge channel has a substantially circular cross section.
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US3763621A (en) * 1971-07-26 1973-10-09 L Klein Sealing apparatus and method for refuse compactor
US3777331A (en) * 1970-03-31 1973-12-11 Maskinfab Hefa Apparatus to be used in connection with the filling of tubular films, so called synthetic casings
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US3893385A (en) * 1970-07-17 1975-07-08 Lewis P White Horizontal trash compactor
US3807130A (en) * 1971-05-12 1974-04-30 Cimbrer Staal As Method and apparatus for batch packing of food in tubular films
US3760556A (en) * 1971-07-01 1973-09-25 Neesvig J Apparatus for automatically forming square meat loaves
US3815323A (en) * 1971-07-09 1974-06-11 Int Dynetics Corp Garbage compactor
US3763621A (en) * 1971-07-26 1973-10-09 L Klein Sealing apparatus and method for refuse compactor
US3838551A (en) * 1972-08-21 1974-10-01 Nippon Air Brake Co Compacted refuse cutting device in refuse compactor
US5519985A (en) * 1995-03-27 1996-05-28 Dyck; Rudolph H. Machine for producing straw-filled tubes of flexible netting material
US20040168949A1 (en) * 1999-12-15 2004-09-02 Ours David C. Transportable container for bulk goods and method for forming the container
US6918225B2 (en) * 1999-12-15 2005-07-19 Kellogg Company Transportable container for bulk goods and method for forming the container
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