US3630242A - Apparatus for automatic filling of liquid containers having semirigid walls - Google Patents

Apparatus for automatic filling of liquid containers having semirigid walls Download PDF

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US3630242A
US3630242A US3630242DA US3630242A US 3630242 A US3630242 A US 3630242A US 3630242D A US3630242D A US 3630242DA US 3630242 A US3630242 A US 3630242A
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container
means
liquid
platform
supporting
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Warren J Schieser
John P Conners
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Corco Inc
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Corco Inc
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67CCLEANING, FILLING WITH LIQUIDS OR SEMILIQUIDS, OR EMPTYING, OF BOTTLES, JARS, CANS, CASKS, BARRELS, OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; FUNNELS
    • B67C3/00Bottling liquids or semiliquids; Filling jars or cans with liquids or semiliquids using bottling or like apparatus; Filling casks or barrels with liquids or semiliquids
    • B67C3/02Bottling liquids or semiliquids; Filling jars or cans with liquids or semiliquids using bottling or like apparatus
    • B67C3/22Details
    • B67C3/24Devices for supporting or handling bottles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67CCLEANING, FILLING WITH LIQUIDS OR SEMILIQUIDS, OR EMPTYING, OF BOTTLES, JARS, CANS, CASKS, BARRELS, OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; FUNNELS
    • B67C7/00Concurrent cleaning, filling, and closing of bottles; Processes or devices for at least two of these operations

Abstract

This container-filling apparatus fills containers in an automatically controlled, sequential operation which assures positive control over filling of the containers with a desired volumetric quantity of the liquid. Each container is supported during the filling operation for proper orientation of the fill opening and for support of the container''s sidewalls. Filling is accomplished by insertion of a liquid-dispensing nozzle through the fill opening at the initiation of a fill operation and subsequent relative separating movement of the container and nozzle at a rate which maintains the discharge orifice of the dispensing nozzle immersed in the liquid to prevent foaming of the liquid. The container is filled in accordance with volumetric capacity limits with the volume of liquid dispensed into each container being determined by a flowmeter incorporating an electromagnetic transducer thereby minimizing the possibility of liquid contamination through avoidance of direct physical contact between the liquid and external indicating components of the flowmeter.

Description

United States Patent Original application Apr. 1, 1968, Ser. No. 717,704, now Patent No. 3,529,399, dated Sept. 22, 1970. Divided and this application Mar. 18, 1970, Ser. No. 20,782

APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATIC FILLING OF LIQUID CONTAINERS HAVING SEMIRlGlD WALLS 29 Claims, 26 Drawing Figs.

U.S. Cl 141/95, 141/114, 141/159, 141/164, 141/168, 141/183 Int. Cl B651) 1/30, B67c 3/02 Field 01 Search 141/94, 95,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,723,069 11/1955 Shanhouse et al....l 141/114 3,082,918 3/1963 Lewis 141/168 3,177,906 4/1965 Meyer-Jagenberg 141/374 Primary Examiner-Houston S. Bell, Jr.

7 Atlorney--Mahoney & Miller ABSTRACT: This container-filling apparatus fills containers in an automatically controlled, sequential operation which assures positive control over filling of the containers with a desired volumetric quantity of the liquid. Each container is supported during the filling operation for proper orientation of the fill opening and for support of the container's sidewalls. Filling is accomplished by insertion of a liquid-dispensing nozzle through the fill opening at the initiation of a fill operation and subsequent relative separating movement of the container and nozzle at a rate which maintains the discharge orifice of the dispensing nozzle immersed in the liquid to prevent foaming of the liquid. The container is filled in accordance with volumetric capacity limits with the volume of liquid dispensed into each container being determined by a flowmeter incorporating an electromagnetic transducer thereby minimizing the possibility of liquid contamination through avoidance of direct physical contact between the liquid and external indicating components of the flowmeter.

PATENTEB UEC28 197:

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SHEET OQUF 16 L: 376 INVENTORS WARREN J. SCH/ESER JOHN P. CONNERS ATTORNEYS PATENTEB DEB28l97I 3630.242

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VD D On INVENTORS WARREN J. SCH/ESER JOH P. CONNERS ATTORNEYS tmOw GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF CONTAINER-FILLING APPARATUS although the containers are structurally self-supporting. Fonning the dispensing and fill opening at a comer of the container as in the container configurations illustrated in the several figures of the drawings is of advantage to both .filling of the container and subsequent dispensing. In filling of a container having the fill opening fonned at a comer, it is preferable that the container be oriented in a tilted position with the fill opening uppermost as this facilitates filling to minimize the air space which will be left at the top of the container. Although a single specific container structure is illustrated in the several figures of the drawings, it is to be understood that this specific structure is exemplary and the apparatus may be readily adapted to handle containers of other configurations.

The apparatus of this invention receives the unfilled containers, properly orients the containers for filling, accurately fills the containers with the desired volume of liquid, reorients the-filled container and discharges the reoriented container from the apparatus. The illustrated and described embodiment of the apparatus includes two independently operable filling stations which are supplied with empty containers through the coordinated operation of a single container infeed mechanism which transfers the empty containers alternately to the two filling stations. Each filling station includes an elongated, valved dispensing nozzle which is insertable into a container through the fill opening and a container-elevating mechanism for moving a container into association with the dispensing noule for the filling operation. The dispensing nozzle is of a length to extend nearly to the bottom of a container at the start of the filling operation to prevent excessive frothing or foaming of a liquid such as milk and the container is lowered at a predetermined rate during filling to limit immersion of the nozzle to only a marginal end portion. Exposure of the nozzle to possible contamination is eliminated to a large degree by a telescopic sleeve structure which encloses each dispensing nozzle with the sleeve being axially displaced by the relative elevating movement of the container. 'In addition to vertical support of a container in the desired tilted position for optimum filling, each elevating mechanism is provided with vertical plates for supporting the semirigid sidewalls of a container and a latch mechanism engageable with the container fill opening with these components enhancing stability of the container during the filling operations. After completion of the filling operation and preparatory to discharge of a container from the apparatus, the container is reoriented to either a vertical or horizontal configuration to place a wall surface in engagement with a supporting surface and the filled container is then ejected from the apparatus-onto a discharge conveyor.

Coordinated operation of the several components of the apparatus for a filling operation is effected by fluid actuators of the pneumatic type which are primarily controlled by an electrical control system. Fluid actuators are utilized throughout the apparatus and effect the mechanical movement of the components from infeed of the unfilled containers to discharge of the filled containers. The electrical control system includes limit switches which are responsive to the operation and positions of the components to effect the coordinated and sequential filling operation. A -f lowmeter incorporating an electrical transducer is included in the liquiddispensing means and provides an electrical signal for control of the volume of liquid dispensed into each container. Utilization of an electrical transducer provides a flow control system in which direct mechanical communication of the liquid and measuring apparatus is avoided and thus enhances the sanitary operation of the apparatus and this feature is of great importance in the milk industry. Although the illustrated embodiment of the apparatus comprises two filling stations which are concurrently operable for maximum capability, the electrical control system may be set up through appropriate operation of manual selector switches for automatic operation of only one selected filling station. Single-station operation is particularly advantageous for limited or small quantity production runs and single-station capability is also of advantage in large production runs in that it permits continued operation at reduced capacity in the event that jamming or malfunctioning may occur with respect to one station. This permits continuation of the filling operationwhile the mal function is being cleared.

These and other objects and advantages of this invention will be readily apparent from the following detailed description of an embodiment thereof and the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a filling machine for dispensing containers and which embodies this invention.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the filling machine as viewed at the right side of FIG. I.

FIG. 3 isa fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2 showing the container-supporting platforms onan enlarged scale with the right platform elevated to the initial filling position.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3 showing the mechanism for infeed of an empty container. 7

FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 3 but showing a container on the left platform being elevated to the initial filling position and a container on the right platform being capped.

FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the left platform elevated to initial filling position and transfer of containers relative to the right platform.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6 showing the container tilting and pushoff mechanism.

FIG. 7a is a fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 7 but showing the filled container being pushed off into the discharge conveyor.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 6 showing the actuating mechanism for the container-tilting mechanism.

FIG. 8a is a fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 8 but showing the container-tilting mechanism actuated to a position for discharge of a filled container.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. I showing the left container-supporting platform,compress-plate mechanism and latch plate mechanism on an enlarged scale with the platform in its lowermost positron.

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary top plan view taken along line 10- 10 of FIG. 9 showing the latch plate mechanism.

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view on an enlarged scale taken along line 11-11 of FIG. I showing the container fill valve mechanism.

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view on-an enlarged scale taken along line 12-12 of FIG. I showing the internal structure of the flowmeter.

FIG. I3 is a vertical sectional view taken along line I3- I3 of FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is a schematic diagram of the fluid operating and control circuit of the filling machine.

FIGS. 15, a and 15b schematically illustrate the electrical control circuit of'the filling machine with the interconnecting conductors between the portions of the circuit shown on the separate sheets of drawings designated by the same numeral.

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary sectional view showing a modified construction relative to the container tilting and push off mechanism.

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along line 17l7 of FIG. 16 showing the container tilting and pushoff mechanism with a filled container disposed at the pushofi station.

FIG. 17a is a fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 17 but showing the container partially tilted to a vertical position as a consequence of operation of the pushoff mechanism.

FIG. 17b is a fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 17 but showing the container tilted to a vertical position as a consequence of operation of the pushoff mechanism.

FIG. 18 is a schematic diagram of the fluid operating and control circuit for the modified construction of the apparatus shown in FIG. 16.

FIGS. 19a and 19b are schematic diagrams of modifications of the electrical control circuits as shown in FIGS. 15a and 15b for the modified construction of the apparatus shown in FIG. 16 with the modified portions of the respective circuits being that below the lines l9a19a and l9bl9b in the respective Figures.

MECHANICAL STRUCTURE AND OPERATION The container-filling apparatus illustrated in the several Figures of the drawings and which embodies this invention is designed for the concurrent or simultaneous filling of two containers although the apparatus may be operated to perform a filling operation with respect to only one container at a given time. Since the apparatus includes two filling stations which are independently operable, the mechanisms associated with each filling station will be seen to be identical and the descrip tion of one filling station and the mechanism therefor will be applicable to the other filling station although distinctive reference numerals are utilized wherever appropriate. The filling stations are designated as either left or right as determined by viewing the apparatus from the front as illustrated in FIG. 1. Some specific mechanical structure details as well as fluid conduits and electrical circuit conductors have been omitted from the Figures showing the mechanical structure of the apparatus for clarity of illustration. These omitted mechanical structure details, fluid system conduits and electrical circuit conductors as well as their physical or mechanical arrangement in the apparatus are well known and, therefore, it is not considered necessary to illustrate or describe these in detail.

The containers C for which the illustrated embodiment of the apparatus is designed are clearly shown in several Figures of the drawings. The container may be generally described as being of rectangularly shaped, block-form which is preferably fabricated from a thermoplastic, synthetic resin that is of a type that, even with a relatively thin-wall construction, the container will be semirigid and substantially self-supporting when either empty or filled. One comer of the container is formed at an angle and is provided with a filling or dispensing opening A that is adapted to receive a closure which may be a cap V of the valved dispensing type. A container C is received by the apparatus in an unfilled, vertically oriented condition without a closure cap V applied to the fill opening with the cap subsequently applied during the filling operation as specifically described in our copending application. Because of the angled corner orientation of the fill opening A which facilitates dispensing of liquid from the container, it is necessary that the container C be oriented during the filling operation to place the fill opening uppermost and thus prevent formation of excessive air spaces within the container as would be occasioned should the container merely be oriented as illustrated in FIG. 4 prior to tilting to the preferred orientation which is also illustrated in FIG. 4. Prior to discharge from the apparatus, the container is reoriented to again place one sidewall in contacting engagement with a supporting surface in either a horizontal orientation as shown in FIG. 7a or in a vertical orientation as shown in FIG. 17b.

Referring specifically to FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be seen that the several mechanisms of the apparatus are assembled on a structural framework designated generally by the numeral 20. This structural framework 20 is preferably fabricated from tubular steel members that are welded together into a unitary rigid structure. Preferably, the structural framework 20 is provided with suitable leveling devices 21 at the base portion thereof which may be adjusted to accommodate any irregularities or unevenness in a floor or surface S on which the apparatus is to be supported. In addition to the main structural framework 20, the apparatus is seen to include a supply conveyor indicated generally at 22 and a discharge conveyor in dicated generally at 23. Each conveyor 22 and 23 also comprises its respective supporting framework which, in the case of the supply conveyor, includes an upstanding bracket 24 positioned at each end of the conveyor. One end of the discharge conveyor 23 is supported by an upstanding bracket 25 while the opposite end is carried by the structural framework 20. Each of the upstanding brackets 24 and 25 is also preferably provided with vertical adjustment means 26 to compensate for irregularities in the supporting surface S. Suitable equipment enclosures or housings are also mounted on the structural framework for protection of the electrical components and some of the control mechanisms and valves of the fluid system. These enclosures include a large cabinet 27 mounted on the upper, rear portion of the structural framework 20 and which houses the majority of the electrical system components along with a main control valve assembly that is of a manifold type. This apparatus is provided with two independent operator control stations with each station provided with the necessary electrical control switches. These switches are mounted in a respective filling station control cabinet 28 or 29. These station control cabinets 28 and 29 are mounted on the upper portions of the structural framework 20 at the front of the apparatus for convenience of an operator.

The right filling station, having reference to FIG. 1, is seen to comprise container-elevating means, indicated generally at 35, and liquid-dispensing means, indicated generally at 36. The container-elevating means 35 includes a container-supporting platform 37 and an elevator-actuating mechanism 38 which effects vertical displacement of the platform between a lowermost position, as illustrated in the case of the right filling station, and a relatively elevated position, as is illustrated with respect to the left filling station. The liquid-dispensing means 36 comprises an elongated discharge nozzle 39 which incorporates a filler valve (not visible in FIGS. 1 and 2), a filler valve actuating mechanism 40, and a flow-responsive device 41 for determining liquid flow through the discharge nozzle.

The left filling station comprises the same components as that described for the right filling station with these components comprising containerelevating means 45 and liquiddispensing means 46. The container-elevating means includes a supporting platform 47 and elevator-actuating mechanism 48 which is selectively operable to displace the platform between the two vertically spaced positions. Included in the liquid-dispensing means is a discharge nozzle 49, a filler valve actuating mechanism 50 and a flow-responsive device 51.

Unfilled containers are supplied to the two filling stations by infeed means 55 which transfers the containers from the supply conveyor 22 to an infeed station 57 located between the two container elevating means 35 and 45. The infeed means 55, as can be best seen in FIG. 4, receives containers C from the supply conveyor 22 at the rear of the apparatus and displaces the containers thus received forwardly relative to the apparatus to the infeed station 57. Included in the infeed means 55 is a reciprocal displacing mechanism 56 which is selectively operable to displace the containers along a horizontal path toward the front of the apparatus to the infeed station. The infeed station 57 is located between the two filling stations which are seen to be laterally spaced apart in FIG. 1. Thus, containers C received at the infeed station 57 are subsequently laterally displaced in either direction onto the respective container-supporting platforms 37 or 47 preparatory to initiation of a filling operation.

Stepwise transfer of the containers C from a receiving station to the infeed station 57 is effected by selective operation of the displacing mechanism 56 to horizontally push the containers as they reach the receiving station from the conveyor 22 onto a horizontal supporting surface 58 and subsequently to the infeed station 57. Container C, which is supported by the conveyor 22 is considered as being at the receiving station of the apparatus. The horizontal surface 58 is mounted on the structural framework by suitable means (not shown) and comprises a flat plate having an upper surface over which the containers will readily slide and which extends between the conveyor 22 and the infeed station 57. This horizontal surface plate 58 forms the bottom of an inverted U-shaped housing 59 that protects the unfilled containers from liquids that may be inadvertently spilled by the apparatus or from other falling debris which may contaminate the containers.

The reciprocal displacing mechanism 56 comprises a vertically disposed pusher plate 60 which is carried by a pair of horizontally extending guide rods 61. The guide rods 61 are slidably supported in a guide bearing 62 secured to the structural framework 20. As can be best seen in FIGS. 2 and 4, a vertically disposed plate 63 also rigidly secured to the structural framework 20 extends the width of the supply conveyor 22 at one side of the container-receiving station and thus forms a stop for the containers transferred to the receiving station by the conveyor. Reciprocating movement of the pusher plate 60 is effected by a fluid actuator which comprises a cylinder 502 fixedly supported by the guide bearing 62 and having a piston rod 502R which is secured to the pusher plate. Extension of the piston rod 502R from the illustrated retracted position of FIG. 4 will operate to displace the pusher plate 60 to the left of the Figure into contacting engagement with a container C1 at the receiving station and the stroke of this actuator is of sufficient length to permit displacement of this container from the conveyor 22 onto the horizontal supporting surface 58 to the position of the container C2. The pusher plate 60 is preferably provided with a vertically disposed shroud plate 69 which is movable into blocking relationship to the conveyor 22 to prevent infeed of a container while the displacing mechanism is being actuated. The shroud plate 69 will extend across the conveyor when the pusher plate 60 has been displaced to the left in FIG. 2.

Subsequent operations of the displacing mechanism 56 to push succeeding containers from the conveyor 22 will move the containers in successive steps from the position C1 to C2 and to the position C3 immediately prior to transfer of a container to the infeed station, such as container C4. At the time of transfer of a container to the infeed station 57, the infeed means 55 also accomplishes orientation of the container to the desired tilted configuration necessary for the filling operation. The infeed station 57 comprises a supporting bracket 64 having a V-shaped upper surface adapted to receive a comer of a container as is illustrated in the case of container C4. The bracket 64 is secured to and carried by a member of the structural framework 20 in longitudinal alignment with the horizontal supporting surface 58 but at a relatively lower elevation such that displacement of the containers from the surface 58 as in going from position C3 to position C4 will result in tipping of the container to this desired orientation due to the effect of gravity.

As previously indicated, control of the operation of the apparatus is accomplished by an electrical control circuit which is responsive to the successive positioning of the containers during their progress through the apparatus in performance of a filling operation. Detection of the containers at the selected positions in the filling operation is accomplished by mechanically actuated limit switches which are connected into the electrical control system which will be subsequently described in detail. With respect to the container infeed means 55, a limit switch LS1 is provided to detect the positioning of a container C1 at the receiving station and thus initiate operation of the displacing mechanism 56 only when a container is at this position. This limit switch LS1 is provided with an actuating element which projects through an opening 66 formed in the stop plate 63 and is positioned to be engaged by a surface of the container Cl and actuate the switch LS1 when the container reaches the receiving station. A limit switch LS2 is similarly provided at the infeed station 57 for detecting the presence of a container C4 on the bracket 64. This switch is supported by the structural framework 20 and is provided with an actuating element 67 which is adapted to extend through an opening 68 formed in the bracket 64. When LS2 is not actuated, the element 67 will be in the broken line position; however, the presence of the container C4 supported by the bracket 64 will result in angular rotation of the element 67 to the illustrated position and result in actuation of limit switch LS2.

As can be best seen in FIGS. 2 and 4, the supply conveyor 22 is disposed in orthogonal relationship to the container infeed means 55 and transfers unfilled containers C in sequential manner to the receiving station. In this embodiment of the apparatus, the receiving station is actually the marginal end portion of the conveyor 22 with the containers merely resting upon the conveyor. This conveyor which is of a well-known construction comprises, in general, an'elongated endless belt 71 which is continuously driven when the apparatus is in operation to assure positive and rapid feeding of containers to the receiving station. The supply conveyor belt 71 is trained about two pulleys 72 and 73 that are journaled for rotation inhorizontally spaced relationship on the upstanding brackets 24. These brackets are interconnected by an intermediate framework 74 which maintains the proper spacing of the two pulleys 72 and 73 and is preferably provided with additional means for supporting the upper run of the belt 71 in a substantially horizontal plane. The intermediate framework 74 may be interconnected with the structural framework 20 to further enhance the structural rigidity of the apparatus. Revolving movement of the belt 71 is produced by an electric motor 701 which is mounted on the intermediate frame 74 and is drivingly connected to an axle 75 of the pulley 72 through a suitable gear-reduction unit. Horizontally disposed container guide bars 76 are supported in upwardly spaced, longitudinally relationship to the conveyor belt 71 on suitable brackets 77 and 78 at each side of the conveyor. Carried on vertical extensions of the bracket 78 is an elongated, inverted, V-shaped channel 79 which projects over thebelt 71 and extends substantially the length of the conveyor 22. This channel 79 provides protection for the fill openings A of the containers C as they progress along the conveyor to the receiving station in that falling contaminants will be prevented from entering the containers.

Subsequent to transfer of a container to the infeed station 57, the apparatus is functional to sequentially and alternatingly transfer the container from the infeed station to the selected container-supporting platform, 37 or 47. Container transfer means, indicated generally at 85, is provided for this purpose with this transfer means being most clearly shown in FIGS. 3, 4, 5 and 6. Displacement of a container C at the infeed station in either direction is effected by a shuttle plate 86 which is disposed in a vertical plane and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the infeed and which is supported for movement laterally or transversely of the infeed of containers to the infeed station 57. Supporting the shuttle plate 86 for this lateral movement are a pair of horizontally disposed guide rods 87 and 88. These guide rods 87 and 88 are also oriented transversely to the direction of infeed of the containers and are supported at each end by suitable mounting brackets 89 which are secured to the structural framework 20. The shuttle plate 86 is preferably of a configuration as shown in FIG. 4,

Claims (35)

1. Apparatus for filling of containers having a fill opening and comprising A. a container infeed station for receiving and supporting container in a predetermined orientation for filling, B. liquid-dispensing means connected to a liquid supply and which includes 1.a liquid discharge nozzle insertable into a container to a predetermined depth through the fill opening thereof, said discharge nozzle being vertically disposed and having a selectively operable, valved discharge orifice at the lower end thereof, and
2. A flow-responsive device connected in liquid flow relationship to said discharge nozzle and forming a control signal indicative of volumetric liquid flow through said discharge nozzle, C. container-elevating means including 1. a container-supporting platform for receiving and supporting a container in said predetermined orientation, and 2. a platform-elevating mechanism coupled with said platform and selectively operable to vertically displace said platform between a container receiving and discharge position and a relatively elevated position where said liquid discharge nozzle is inserted into said container through the fill opening thereof, D. container transfer means engageable with a container disposed at said infeed station and operable to effect transfer of said container from said infeed station onto said containersupporting platform when said platform is at said receiving and discharge position, and E. control means for controlling operating of the apparatus in a predetermined sequence to perform a container-filling operation and being connected with 1. said container transfer means for effecting transfer of a container and including means detecting a container at said infeed station to enable operation of said transfer means, 2. said liquid-dispensing means for operating said valved discharge orifice and responding to the control signal fOrmed by said flow-responsive device for controlling operation of said liquid-dispensing means in dispensing a predetermined volume of liquid, and 3. said container-elevating means for controlling displacement thereof in either direction and maintaining movement of said platform from said relatively elevated position at a predetermined rate proportionally related to the rate of fill of a container by said liquid-dispensing means.
2. A flow-responsive device connected in liquid flow relationship to said discharge nozzle and forming a control signal indicative of volumetric liquid flow through said discharge nozzle, C. container-elevating means including
2. said liquid-dispensing means for operating said valved discharge orifice and responding to the control signal fOrmed by said flow-responsive device for controlling operation of said liquid-dispensing means in dispensing a predetermined volume of liquid, and
2. a flow-responsive device connected in liquid flow relationship to said discharge nozzle and forming a control signal indicative of volumetric liquid flow through said discharge nozzle, B. container-supporting means adapted to receive a container and support said received container in liquid-filling relationship to said discharge nozzle, and C. control means connected with said liquid-dispensing means for operating said valved discharge orifice and responding to the control signal formed by said flow-responsive device for controlling operation of said liquid-dispensing means in dispensing a predetermined volume of liquid into said container, said flow responsive device being an oscillating-piston-type liquid flowmeter comprising D. an oscillating piston disposed in the liquid flow path through the meter and causing to cyclically oscillate in accordance with liquid flow therethrough, E. a rotatably journaled, magnetic-field-forming magnet structure mechanically coupled with said oscillating piston and revolved by cyclic movement of said piston, and F. an electromechanical transducer coupled with said magnetic field and responding thereto in forming an electrical-pulse-form control signal for each revolution of said magnet structure.
2. a platform-elevating mechanism coupled with said platform and selectively operable to vertically displace said platform between a container receiving and discharge position and a relatively elevated position where said liquid discharge nozzle is inserted into said container through the fill opening thereof, D. container transfer means engageable with a container disposed at said infeed station and operable to effect transfer of said container from said infeed station onto said container-supporting platform when said platform is at said receiving and discharge position, and E. control means for controlling operating of the apparatus in a predetermined sequence to perform a container-filling operation and being connected with
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said flow-responsive device is an oscillating-piston-type liquid flowmeter comprising G. an oscillating piston disposed in the liquid flow path through the meter and caused to cyclically oscillate in accordance with liquid flow therethrough, H. a rotatably journaled, magnetic-field-forming magnet structure mechanically coupled with said oscillating piston and revolved by cyclic movement of said piston and I. an electromechanical transducer coupled with said magnetic field and responding thereto in forming an electrical-pulse-form control signal for each revolution of said magnet structure.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein passage of said predetermined volume of liquid through said flowmeter actuates said oscillating piston for a predetermined number of cycles resulting in a proportionally related number of electrical pulses, said control means including pulse counter means for counting said electrical pulses and controlling operation of said liquid discharge nozzle in accordance with the number of pulses counted.
3. said container-elevating means for controlling displacement thereof in either direction and maintaining movement of said platform from said relatively elevated position at a predetermined rate proportionally related to the rate of fill of a container by said liquid-dispensing means.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said control means operates said valved discharge orifice to permit discharge of liquid therefrom after said discharge nozzle has been inserted into said container, actuates said platform-elevating mechanism to effect withdrawal of said liquid discharge nozzle from said container after a quantity of liquid sufficient to cover said discharge orifice has been dispensed into said container and maintains the rate of withdrawal equal to the rate of fill of said container to thereby maintain said discharge orifice immersed in the dispensed liquid.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said control means operates said valved discharge orifice to an open position permitting discharge of liquid after said discharge nozzle has been inserted into said container to said predetermined depth.
6. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said liquid discharge nozzle includes an elongated, vertically disposed, liquid-conducting tube connected at the upper end to said liquid supply inlet and having said discharge orifice formed at the lower end thereof, a valve element selectively movable between a closed position in closing relationship to said orifice an an open position permitting liquid flow through said orifice, and an actuating mechanism connected with said valve element for selective positioning in either said open or said closed position, said actuating mechanism connected with said control means for control of said actuating mechanism.
7. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said container-supporting platform includes latch means selectively engageable with a container supported on said platform, said latch means adapted to engage said container about the fill opening thereof and thereby maintain said fill opening in stable relationship to said platform.
8. Apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said latch means comprises a latch plate supported for reciprocable sliding movement in a horizontal plane and being formed with an opening adapted to engage said container about the fill opening thereof, and latch actuation means connected to said latch plate and operable to effect horizontal reciprocable movement thereof between a latched and an unlatched position, said latch actuation means being connected with said control means for control of operation.
9. Apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said control means includes means responsive to the position of said latch plate to control sequential operatiOn of the apparatus in accordance with the position of said latch plate.
10. Apparatus according to claim 1 including empty-container-feeding means receiving containers from a continuous supply and operated in sequential coordination with said container transfer means for feeding of a container to said infeed station after said transfer means has completed a transfer operation, said container-feeding means connected with said control means for controlling cyclic operation of said feeding means.
11. Apparatus according to claim 10 wherein said container feeding means includes container-supporting means extending between said empty container supply and said infeed station for support of a container during a container-feeding operation, and container-displacing means engageable with a container received from said continuous supply and operable to displace said received container along said container-supporting means toward said infeed station.
12. Apparatus according to claim 11 wherein said control means includes container-detecting means responding to the presence of a received container for enabling operation of said container feeding means.
13. Apparatus according to claim 11 wherein said infeed station includes a supporting bracket having a surface configuration adapted to engage and support a container thereon in said predetermined orientation, and the container-supporting means of said container-feeding means comprises a container-supporting surface disposed to support a container in relatively elevated relationship to said supporting bracket whereby a container displaced from said container-supporting means onto said supporting bracket will be subjected to gravitational forces resulting in orientation of said container.
14. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said container-supporting platform comprises an open-sided bracket having a surface configuration for supporting said container in said predetermined orientation and includes supporting plates selectively positionable at each open side of said bracket in supporting relationship to a respective vertical sidewall of said container, each said plate carried by said platform for displacement from said supporting-relationship position to a nonsupporting position permitting transfer of a container across said platform through the open side of said bracket.
15. Apparatus according to claim 14 wherein said plates are pivotally mounted on said platform for swinging movement in a vertical plane and said container-supporting platform includes actuating means connected with said plates for effecting swinging movement of said plates to a selected one of said positions, said actuating means connected with said control means for control of operation.
16. Apparatus according to claim 15 wherein said control means includes plate-detecting means responding to the position of said plates for providing sequential control of operation.
17. Apparatus according to claim 1 including discharge means disposed to receive a container from said container-supporting platform and operable to displace said received container for discharge of said container from the apparatus, said discharge means connected with said control means for operation thereof.
18. Apparatus according to claim 17 wherein said discharge means includes a container-supporting plate disposed to receive a container from said platform and initially support said received container in said predetermined orientation, said plate being pivotally mounted on the apparatus for swinging movement from said initially supporting position to a second position where said received container is oriented for discharge and having means coupling said plate with said container-supporting platform whereby swinging movement of said plate is controlled by the relative vertical position of said platform.
19. Apparatus according to claim 18 wherein said container-supporting plate is provided with a lever arm having a cam follower, and said container-supporting platform is proviDed with a cam surface engageable with said cam follower to maintain said container-supporting plate in said initial position when said platform is at said container receiving and discharge position and disengageable from said cam follower when said platform is elevated thereby permitting swinging movement of said plate.
20. Apparatus according to claim 19 wherein said discharge means includes container-displacing means engageable with a container received from said container-supporting platform and operable to displace said received container, said displacing means including a horizontally reciprocable container-pushing plate.
21. Apparatus according to claim 20 wherein said control means includes detector means responding to said container-supporting plate when said plate is in said second position to control sequential operation of said container-displacing means by enabling operation only when said plate is in said second position.
22. Apparatus according to claim 17 wherein said discharge means includes a supporting surface disposed to receive a container from said container-supporting platform in said predetermined orientation, a support and tilt bar disposed in a horizontal place above said surface at a relative elevation to engage said container at the upper part thereof and support said container in said predetermined orientation, said support and tilt bar being supported at an elevation to permit passage of a container in a discharge orientation beneath said bar, and container-displacing means engageable with a received container in said predetermined orientation for placing said container in said discharge orientation by causing rotation of said container about said bar and for subsequently displacing said container for discharge from the apparatus.
23. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said liquid discharge nozzle comprises an elongated, vertically disposed, liquid-conducting tube having said discharge orifice formed at the lower end thereof, and an elongated, tubular shield telescopically receiving said liquid-conducting tube interiorly thereof in longitudinal alignment, said shield being axially displaceable relative to said tube from a normal position covering the lower portion of said tube to a position exposing a length of said tube for insertion in a container.
24. Apparatus according to claim 23 wherein said liquid discharge nozzle includes an elongated, tubular shroud disposed to telescopically receive said shield when said shield is displaced from said normal position, said shroud telescopically receiving an upper marginal end portion of said shield when said shield is in said normal position to prevent entrance of contaminants at the upper end thereof.
25. Apparatus according to claim 24 wherein said tubular shield is engageable at the lower end with said container-supporting platform for effecting upward displacement thereof concurrently with upward movement of said platform.
26. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said valved discharge orifice, and said platform-elevating mechanism are actuated by independently operable fluid actuators connected with respective elements with said control means including a fluid control system connected with said fluid actuators for effecting operation thereof and an electrical control system connected with said fluid control system for controlling operation thereof.
27. Apparatus according to claim 1 which includes second similar liquid-dispensing means, and second similar container-elevating means, and wherein said container transfer means is selectively operable to alternatingly transfer a container from said infeed station onto the container-supporting platform of either of said container-elevating means and said control means is connected with and effective in independently controlling operation of said second liquid-dispensing means and container-elevating means in a same predetermined sequence to perform a container-filling operation.
28. Apparatus for filling of containers comprising A. liquid-dispensing means connected to a liquid supply and which includes
29. Apparatus according to claim 28 wherein passage of said predetermined volume of liquid through said flowmeter actuates said oscillating piston for a predetermined number of cycles resulting in a proportionally related number of electrical pulses, said control means including pulse counter means for counting said electrical pulses and controlling operation of said liquid discharge nozzle in accordance with the number of pulses counted.
US3630242D 1968-04-01 1970-03-18 Apparatus for automatic filling of liquid containers having semirigid walls Expired - Lifetime US3630242A (en)

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Cited By (38)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3756290A (en) * 1971-12-02 1973-09-04 K Cleland Volumetric filler system for flexible resilient bottles
US3880211A (en) * 1971-10-18 1975-04-29 Larry C Gess Apparatus for filling containers
US3895660A (en) * 1971-11-05 1975-07-22 Schweppes Ltd Handling of thin walled containers
US3998030A (en) * 1975-04-21 1976-12-21 Straub Roy H Flexible wall plastic bottle filling apparatus and method
US4200535A (en) * 1977-08-22 1980-04-29 Kennedy Alvin B Jr Apparatus for transporting material separated from a flowing fluid
US4494363A (en) * 1982-08-20 1985-01-22 Franrica Mfg. Inc. Method and apparatus for aseptically filling containers
US4676285A (en) * 1985-04-01 1987-06-30 Liqui-Box Corporation Uncapper for containers having friction caps carrying flexible tubes
US5129212A (en) * 1990-11-08 1992-07-14 Liqui-Box/B-Bar-B Corporation Method and apparatus for automatically filling and sterilizing containers
FR2714042A1 (en) * 1993-12-20 1995-06-23 Girardin Packaging Machine for packaging perfume, cosmetics or pharmaceuticals
EP0749938A1 (en) * 1995-06-21 1996-12-27 Girardin Packaging Packaging machine for parfumery, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products
US5718268A (en) * 1994-01-24 1998-02-17 Benjamin Moore & Co. Apparatus for dispensing liquid into containers
EP1717189A1 (en) * 2005-04-29 2006-11-02 PI-MEC di Mauro Gennari & C. s.n.c. Method for filling containers with liquid or semi-liquid products and automatic filling machine
JP2007069927A (en) * 2005-09-05 2007-03-22 Nakakin:Kk Automatic liquid filling system
US7658196B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2010-02-09 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. System and method for determining implanted device orientation
US20100192514A1 (en) * 2007-08-02 2010-08-05 Azionaria Costruzioni Macchine Automatiche A.C.M.A. S.P.A Capping machine
US7775215B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2010-08-17 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. System and method for determining implanted device positioning and obtaining pressure data
US7775966B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2010-08-17 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Non-invasive pressure measurement in a fluid adjustable restrictive device
US7844342B2 (en) 2008-02-07 2010-11-30 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Powering implantable restriction systems using light
US7927270B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2011-04-19 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. External mechanical pressure sensor for gastric band pressure measurements
US8016744B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2011-09-13 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. External pressure-based gastric band adjustment system and method
US8034065B2 (en) 2008-02-26 2011-10-11 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Controlling pressure in adjustable restriction devices
US8057492B2 (en) 2008-02-12 2011-11-15 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Automatically adjusting band system with MEMS pump
US8066629B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2011-11-29 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Apparatus for adjustment and sensing of gastric band pressure
US8100870B2 (en) 2007-12-14 2012-01-24 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Adjustable height gastric restriction devices and methods
US8114345B2 (en) 2008-02-08 2012-02-14 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. System and method of sterilizing an implantable medical device
US8142452B2 (en) 2007-12-27 2012-03-27 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Controlling pressure in adjustable restriction devices
US8152710B2 (en) 2006-04-06 2012-04-10 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Physiological parameter analysis for an implantable restriction device and a data logger
US8187162B2 (en) 2008-03-06 2012-05-29 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Reorientation port
US8187163B2 (en) 2007-12-10 2012-05-29 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Methods for implanting a gastric restriction device
US8192350B2 (en) 2008-01-28 2012-06-05 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Methods and devices for measuring impedance in a gastric restriction system
US20120160800A1 (en) * 2012-03-07 2012-06-28 Laurita Joseph N Method and apparatus for beverage bottle
US8221439B2 (en) 2008-02-07 2012-07-17 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Powering implantable restriction systems using kinetic motion
US8233995B2 (en) 2008-03-06 2012-07-31 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. System and method of aligning an implantable antenna
US8337389B2 (en) 2008-01-28 2012-12-25 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Methods and devices for diagnosing performance of a gastric restriction system
US8377079B2 (en) 2007-12-27 2013-02-19 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Constant force mechanisms for regulating restriction devices
US8591395B2 (en) 2008-01-28 2013-11-26 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Gastric restriction device data handling devices and methods
US8591532B2 (en) 2008-02-12 2013-11-26 Ethicon Endo-Sugery, Inc. Automatically adjusting band system
US8870742B2 (en) 2006-04-06 2014-10-28 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. GUI for an implantable restriction device and a data logger

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Cited By (40)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3880211A (en) * 1971-10-18 1975-04-29 Larry C Gess Apparatus for filling containers
US3895660A (en) * 1971-11-05 1975-07-22 Schweppes Ltd Handling of thin walled containers
US3756290A (en) * 1971-12-02 1973-09-04 K Cleland Volumetric filler system for flexible resilient bottles
US3998030A (en) * 1975-04-21 1976-12-21 Straub Roy H Flexible wall plastic bottle filling apparatus and method
US4200535A (en) * 1977-08-22 1980-04-29 Kennedy Alvin B Jr Apparatus for transporting material separated from a flowing fluid
US4494363A (en) * 1982-08-20 1985-01-22 Franrica Mfg. Inc. Method and apparatus for aseptically filling containers
US4676285A (en) * 1985-04-01 1987-06-30 Liqui-Box Corporation Uncapper for containers having friction caps carrying flexible tubes
US5129212A (en) * 1990-11-08 1992-07-14 Liqui-Box/B-Bar-B Corporation Method and apparatus for automatically filling and sterilizing containers
FR2714042A1 (en) * 1993-12-20 1995-06-23 Girardin Packaging Machine for packaging perfume, cosmetics or pharmaceuticals
US5718268A (en) * 1994-01-24 1998-02-17 Benjamin Moore & Co. Apparatus for dispensing liquid into containers
EP0749938A1 (en) * 1995-06-21 1996-12-27 Girardin Packaging Packaging machine for parfumery, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products
US7775966B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2010-08-17 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Non-invasive pressure measurement in a fluid adjustable restrictive device
US8066629B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2011-11-29 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Apparatus for adjustment and sensing of gastric band pressure
US7658196B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2010-02-09 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. System and method for determining implanted device orientation
US7927270B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2011-04-19 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. External mechanical pressure sensor for gastric band pressure measurements
US7775215B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2010-08-17 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. System and method for determining implanted device positioning and obtaining pressure data
US8016744B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2011-09-13 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. External pressure-based gastric band adjustment system and method
EP1717189A1 (en) * 2005-04-29 2006-11-02 PI-MEC di Mauro Gennari & C. s.n.c. Method for filling containers with liquid or semi-liquid products and automatic filling machine
JP4668743B2 (en) * 2005-09-05 2011-04-13 株式会社ナカキン Automatic liquid filling system
JP2007069927A (en) * 2005-09-05 2007-03-22 Nakakin:Kk Automatic liquid filling system
US8152710B2 (en) 2006-04-06 2012-04-10 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Physiological parameter analysis for an implantable restriction device and a data logger
US8870742B2 (en) 2006-04-06 2014-10-28 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. GUI for an implantable restriction device and a data logger
US20100192514A1 (en) * 2007-08-02 2010-08-05 Azionaria Costruzioni Macchine Automatiche A.C.M.A. S.P.A Capping machine
US8353145B2 (en) * 2007-08-02 2013-01-15 Azionaria Construzioni Macchine Automatiche A.C.M.A. S.P.A. Capping machine
US8187163B2 (en) 2007-12-10 2012-05-29 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Methods for implanting a gastric restriction device
US8100870B2 (en) 2007-12-14 2012-01-24 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Adjustable height gastric restriction devices and methods
US8377079B2 (en) 2007-12-27 2013-02-19 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Constant force mechanisms for regulating restriction devices
US8142452B2 (en) 2007-12-27 2012-03-27 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Controlling pressure in adjustable restriction devices
US8337389B2 (en) 2008-01-28 2012-12-25 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Methods and devices for diagnosing performance of a gastric restriction system
US8591395B2 (en) 2008-01-28 2013-11-26 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Gastric restriction device data handling devices and methods
US8192350B2 (en) 2008-01-28 2012-06-05 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Methods and devices for measuring impedance in a gastric restriction system
US8221439B2 (en) 2008-02-07 2012-07-17 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Powering implantable restriction systems using kinetic motion
US7844342B2 (en) 2008-02-07 2010-11-30 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Powering implantable restriction systems using light
US8114345B2 (en) 2008-02-08 2012-02-14 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. System and method of sterilizing an implantable medical device
US8057492B2 (en) 2008-02-12 2011-11-15 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Automatically adjusting band system with MEMS pump
US8591532B2 (en) 2008-02-12 2013-11-26 Ethicon Endo-Sugery, Inc. Automatically adjusting band system
US8034065B2 (en) 2008-02-26 2011-10-11 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Controlling pressure in adjustable restriction devices
US8233995B2 (en) 2008-03-06 2012-07-31 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. System and method of aligning an implantable antenna
US8187162B2 (en) 2008-03-06 2012-05-29 Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Reorientation port
US20120160800A1 (en) * 2012-03-07 2012-06-28 Laurita Joseph N Method and apparatus for beverage bottle

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