US3854270A - Apparatus for automatically erecting and loading cartons - Google Patents

Apparatus for automatically erecting and loading cartons Download PDF

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Publication number
US3854270A
US3854270A US38980473A US3854270A US 3854270 A US3854270 A US 3854270A US 38980473 A US38980473 A US 38980473A US 3854270 A US3854270 A US 3854270A
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wheel
carton
packets
position
holding
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C Cloud
D Hartman
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Cloud Machine Corp
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Cloud Machine Corp
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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
    • B65B5/00Packaging individual articles in containers or receptacles, e.g. bags, sacks, boxes, cartons, cans, jars
    • B65B5/06Packaging groups of articles, the groups being treated as single articles
    • B65B5/061Filled bags

Abstract

A machine for accepting a continuous stream of items for loading into cartons transfers such items individually to a rotating assembler wheel, which assembles the items into a plurality of groups each having a predetermined number of such items, and then deposits each of the groups into one of a plurality of holding compartments. Cartons are partially erected and then fed in a continuous stream from a magazine to a register wheel which accepts the cartons individually in a plurality of cartongripping sections and intermittently rotates the cartons through a carton-filling position, at which the cartons open downwardly, and a carton-ejecting position, at which the cartons are ejected onto a staging platform. The holding compartments are rotated on a horizontal turntable from a loading position, at which the items are received from the assembler wheel, to an unloading position, at which they are unloaded from the holding compartments into the cartons supported at the carton-filling position. The entire process is carried out automatically.

Description

[ Dec. 17, 1974 Primary ExaminerRobert L. Spruill Attorney, Agent, or FirmWood, Herron & Evans [57] ABSTRACT A machine for accepting a continuous stream of items for loading into cartons transfers such items individually to a rotating assembler wheel, which assembles the items into a plurality of groups each having a predetermined number of such items, and then deposits each of the groups into one of a plurality of holding compartments. Cartons are partially erected and then fed in a continuous stream from a magazine to a register wheel which accepts the cartons individually in a plurality of carton-gripping sections and intermittently rotates the cartons through a carton-filling position, at which the cartons open downwardly, and a cartonejecting position, at which the cartons are ejected onto a staging platform. The holding compartments are rotated on a horizontal turntable from a loading position, at which the items are received from the assembler wheel Wilmette; Donn 53/126, 53/243, 53/252, 53/253 B65b 5/06, B65b 35/50 242, 243, 252, 253

ERECTING AND LOADING CARTONS [75] Inventors: Charles E. Cloud,

Allan Hartman, Zion, both of Ill.

Cloud Machine Corporation, Chicago, Ill.

Aug. 20, 1973 Int. Field of Search 53/126, 159 53/250, 251

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS United States Patent [191 Cloud et al.

[ I APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY [73] Assignee:

[22] Filed:

[2l] Appl. No.: 389,804

to an unloading position, at which they are unloaded from the holding compartments into the cartons supported at the carton-filling position. The entire process is carried out automatically.

17 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures XXX 639 255 l l l// 333 555 SHEET 10F 7 PATENIEQ SEC] 7 I974 PATENTEL SEC 1 H974 SHEET 2 OF 7 Mm QQ\ QM Q S\ .1 nfi w? m Nw I A S 3 fl G ww \w Avg m W? R m PATENIEL SEC 1 71974 SHEET 3 OF 7 PATENTEQ, SEC] 71974 SHEET t 0F 7 PATENTEL- ULC 1 7 I974 SHEET 8 OF 7 PATENTEB DEC] 7 I974 SHEET 7 BF 7 APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY ERECTING AND LOADING CARTONS BACKGROUND 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for erecting and loading cartons, and more particularly, to a method and apparatus adapted for loading cartons with a predetermined number of items, such items being arranged in one or more orderly stacks within such cartons. 2. The Prior Art The process of manually assembling a predetermined number of relatively small items, such as individual packets of sugar, or the like, and loading the same into a carton is a relatively difficult and time-consuming task requiring the expenditure of a relatively large amount of time per carton. It is desirable to minimize the operator time required to load such cartons, and it is also desirable to provide a system for packing a predetermined number of items into a carton with increased speed and precision. Using conventional machines, which produce packets at approximately 200 per minute, five operators are required to manually load packets into cartons.

Another disadvantage of the manual process of load ing cartons with relatively small items is that a larger than necessary carton must be used to allow the items to be arranged in a somewhat random or helter-skelter manner within the carton. It is therefore desirable to provide a system for stacking such items neatly within the cartons so as to require the minimum size carton for a given number of items.

Various attempts to mechanize the process of loading relatively small items into cartons have been made, but such attempts have not met with success, for a variety of reasons.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a principle object of the present invention to provide a fully automatic machine for assembling and loading a predetermined number of relatively small items into cartons provided therefor.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a method and apparatus for loading cartons with a plurality of relatively small flat items, insuring an orderly arrangement of the items within the cartons.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a machine for loading cartons with a predetermined number of items, such machine requiring relatively little floor space and being capable of relatively high operating speeds.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become manifest upon an examination of the following description and the accompanying drawings.

' In one embodiment of the present invention, there is provided an assembler wheel adapted to cooperate with a continuous stream of relatively small items, and having a plurality of peripheral compartments each adapted to receive a predetermined number of such items, means for transferring the items from said peripheral compartments into a plurality of holding compartments, carton-gripping means for supporting and manipulating said cartons, means for moving said holding compartment from alignment with said assembler wheel into alignment with empty downwardly opening cartons, means for filling said cartons by raising said predetermined items into the interior thereof from said holding compartments, means for rotating said carton into an upwardly opening position; and means for ejecting said cartons from said carton-gripping means.

Using the machine of the present invention, packets are produced at the rate of 600 per minute, and only one operator is required for each two machines.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of apparatus incorporating an illustrative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side-elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a register wheel adapted to support cartons;

FIG. 4 is a side-elevational view of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 and 3;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a portion of the apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a turntable adapted for carrying a plurality of holding compartments;

FIG. 7 is a vertical cross-sectional view illustrating one of said holding compartments;

FIG. 8 is a side-elevational view of a detail of the register wheel of FIGS. 3-5;

FIG. 9 is a side-elevational view, partly in crosssection, showing details of the driving apparatus used in the apparatus of FIGS. l-8;

FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram illustrating certain features of the drive arrangement of FIG. 9; and

FIG. 11 is a side-elevational view of a vibrator assembly incorporated with the apparatus of FIG. I. 7

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a machine incorporating an illustrative embodiment of the present invention, in which items comprising relatively small flat packets 41 containing sugar or the like are loaded into a fiberboard carton in two parallel stacks. Each carton is of the tubular type having interlocked flaps at the bottom which are adapted to automatically form an interlocked, closed bottom when the carton is erected. A hopper 12 contains a supply of carton blanks 14, which are adapted to be fed from the bottom thereof, individually, onto an inclined plane 16, and in the process are partially erected into partially erected cartons 18.

The partially erected cartons l8 slide down the inclined plane 16 until they reach the upper surface of a horizontal conveyor 20, by which they are conveyed in a horizontal direction until they come into proximity with a carton-holding register wheel 22. At that point, a carton 18 is gripped by being wedged into position within a carton-gripping section of the wheel 22, and thereafter is rotated into carton-filling position at a filling station 24, and subsequently into a carton-ejecting position at an ejection station 25 located diametrically opposite from the filling station 24. As the wheel 22 rotates the partially erected carton 18 to the filling station 24, the carton becomes a fully erected carton 19.

The erected carton 19, when in position at the filling station 24, has its opening oriented in a downward direction, so that items may be inserted thereinto by moving the same upwardly through the opening. The items are stored in a holding compartment 26 supported on a turntable 28 adapted to be rotated about a vertical axis. The compartment 26 comprises, in general, a vertical sleeve for maintaining the items in an ordered vertical stack, so that they may be pushed upwardly through the sleeve into place within the carton 19.

After the items have thus been loaded into the carton 19, the register wheel 22 is rotated, until the carton 19 is at the carton-ejecting station 25. At this station, a plunger 30, operated by a cylinder 32, is actuated to force the carton 19, now loaded with a predetermined number of items, in a horizontal direction away from the wheel 22 and onto the surface of a staging platform 34. When a plurality of cartons 19 have thus been ejected onto the staging platform 34, the entire group of such cartons are moved in a transverse direction off of the platform 34 by means of a plunger 36 actuated by a cylinder 38, thus providing space on the platform 34 to receive additional cartons 19 from the wheel 22. A platform 40 is adapted to support the cartons pushed away from the platform 34 by the plunger 36, until they are removed manually, after which the tops of the cartons are manually closed and the cartons are loaded into a container for shipping, storage, or the like.

The individual packets 41 arrive from a filling machine (not shown) on a generally horizontal conveyor 42. The end of the conveyor 42 is juxtaposed with an end of an inclined conveyor 44, and the packets 41 are transferred from the conveyor 42 to the conveyor 44, after which they are carried in a direction which is generally perpendicular to the direction of travel of the belt 42. The packets 41 are carried by the conveyor 44 until they reach the vicinity of a transfer wheel 46 mounted for rotation about a horizontal axis and having a plurality of individual compartments defined by notches separated by projections 47 extending in a generally tangential direction with respect to the wheel 46, such notches being adapted to receive individual packets 41. The wheel 46 is rotated in synchronism with the rate of arrival of the packets 41 on the conveyor 44, so that each compartment of the transfer wheel 46 is occupied by a packet. These packets are transferred to an assembler wheel 48, rotatable about a horizontal axis, having a plurality of radially extending fingers So for defining peripheral compartments therebetween, each of which is adapted to receive a predetermined number of packets from the transfer wheel 46.

The drive of the assembler wheel 48, which is rotatable about a horizontal axis, is intermittent, so that the fingers 50 do not interfere with the transfer of packets from the transfer wheel 46 to the assembler wheel 48. As the fingers 50 approach the transfer wheel 46, the rotation of the assembler wheel 48 is accelerated, so that no packet strikes one of the fingers 50.

A stripping assembly 52 is juxtaposed with the assembler wheel 48, and as the assembler wheel 48 is rotated, the packets are withdrawn from the peripheral compartments thereof and placed into a vertical stack within the stripping assembly 52. A plunger assembly incorporating a plunger 54, is adapted to form a floor under the packets 41 within the stripping assembly 52, which floor is gradually lowered as the assembler wheel 48 is rotated, to gently lower the stack of packets into position within a holding compartment 26, located directly under the stripping assembly 52.

After a stack of packets is loaded into a compartment 26, the turntable 28 rapidly indexes, bringing an empty holding compartment 26 into position beneath the stripping assembly 52, and eventually bringing the loaded holding compartment 26 into unloading position at the carton-filling station 24, at which the content of the holding compartment 26 is transferred to a carton supported on the carton-gripping register wheel Referring now to FIG. 2, the hopper 12 for storing a plurality of carton blanks 14 is illustrated. A suction cup member 56 including a suction cup connected to a low pressure line (not shown) is adapted for rotation about a horizontal shaft 57 into a position which engages the lower surface of a side panel of one of the carton blanks l4, and when the suction cup member 56 returns to the position illustrated in FIG. 1, that portion of the carton blank is carried by the suction cup 60 into a generally vertical position, thereby partially erecting the carton blank. Then the connection to the low pressure line is released from the suction cup 60, and the end of the carton blank 14 adjacent the suction cup 60 falls downwardly, and as it does so the blank twists in a generally counterclockwise direction, with the forward (left-hand) end of the carton blank striking the inclined plane 16. A projection 62 extends into the space above the inclined plane 16 underneath 62 extends into the space above the inclined plane 16 underneath the right-hand edge of the carton blank 14, to assist in rotating the blank in a counterclockwise direction as it falls.

The suction cup member 56 is rotated by an actuating rod 55 which is connected to a piston within a cylinder 59, mounted on the frame of the machine. The carton blanks 14 normally rests on a pair of rods 53, supported by the frame of the machine, but as the lefthand end of a blank 14 is pulled downwardly by the suction cup 60, the blank is snapped downwardly first past the left-hand rod 53, and then the right-hand edge is pulled from the right-hand rod 53, and the blank becomes partially erected by the action of the suction cup member 56 in rotating a side panel of the blank into vertical alignment. The right-hand edge of the blank rests on a curved surface 61, secured to the frame of the machine, which supports it until the suction cup 60 is released.

The action of the suction cup 60, and the clockwise rotation of the carton blank prior to the lower part of it striking the inclined plane 16, results in the carton blanks being partially erected into the partially erected form 18. The partially erected cartons slide downwardly on the inclined plane 16 until they reach the upper surface of the conveyor 20, incorporating a conveyor belt 66 disposed in a generally horizontal reach just below the lower end of the inclined plane 16. The belt 66 is supported on a pair of pulleys 68 and 70, and the pulley 68 is driven by means of a chain 72 which is in engagement with a sprocket 74 driven by a drive train (not shown) and a sprocket 76 mounted on the same shaft as the pulley 68.,

The horizontal reach of the belt 66 carries the cartons, in partially erected form generally horizontally until they become juxtaposed with the register wheel 22. A front view of the wheel 22 is illustrated in FIG. 3. The right-hand portion of the wheel 22 is the portion which receives a carton from the conveyor 20 after which such carton is rotated clockwise downwardly into carton-filling position, and then upwardly into carton-ejection position at the top of the wheel 22. The

wheel 22 is divided into four quadrants, each of which has a carton-gripping section for gripping a carton, and rotation of the wheel 22 carries each carton through four different positions as the wheel rotates. The carton-gripping section at the right-hand side of the wheel 22 is defined by seven horizontally extending tabs. Three tabs 77-79 are located above the carton and three tabs 80-82 are located below the carton. A seventh tab 83 extends outwardly from the wheel 22 at a location adjacent the closed end of the carton to limit any tendency of the carton to travel inwardly relative to the wheel 22.

As shown in FIG. 2, a partially erected carton 18 enters the space between the tabs 79 and 82 in a manner such that the upper forward edge of the carton 18 leads the remainder. The vertical cross-section of the carton 18 is at this time not a rectangle but a parallellogram as illustrated in FIG. 2. This enables the carton 18 easily to enter into the space between the tabs 79 and 82.

The pulley 70 is located adjacent to the tab 82, so that as the carton 18 enters the carton-gripping section between the tabs 79, 82 and 83, it is able to move downwardly relative to the horizontal reach of the belt 66. The lower rear edge of the carton 18 remains in contact with the belt 66, however, when the carton 18 has reached the position illustrated in FIG. 2. Thereafter, when the wheel 22 is rotated in a direction so as to carry the carton l8 downwardly past the pulley 70, the pulley 70 operates to push the lower rear edge of the carton 18 fully into position relative to the tab 82, so as to fully erect the carton into an erected carton 19.

The wheel 22 is connected for rotation with a shaft 86, the left-hand end of which is connected to drive means (not shown). The drive means is an indexing type, such as a geneva pinion drive or the like and the wheel 22 is rapidly indexed through 90 after which the wheel 22 remains stationary for relatively long periods between successive indexings. The periphery of the wheel 22 has a plurality of arcuate cut-out sections or notches 88, which cooperate with a wheel 90 mounted on an arm 91 rotatable on a shaft 92. The wheel 90 is urged against the wheel 22 by means of a spring 94, connected between the arm 91 and the frame of the machine. The wheel 90 has the same diameter as the notches 88, so that it fits into the notches as they pass under the wheel 90. The wheel 90 is adapted to accurately index the wheel 22, by urging the wheel in one direction or the other until it is firmly engaged in one of the notches 88. The shaft 92 is supported in fixed relation to a frame member 96. The face of the wheel 22 is provided with four cam'members 97, which interconnect the tab 79 of each carton-gripping section, with the tab 82 of the adjacent carton-gripping section. The forward end of each of the cam members 97 is beveled, as shown in FIG. 2. The cam members 97 restrain the partially erected cartons 18 on the belt 66 until they can be received one at a time, in the carton-gripping section.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, three arcuate guide members 98, 99 and 100 are mounted in fixed relation on a vertical supporting beam 102 which in turn is fixed to an L- shaped bar 104 connected with the frame of the machine. The guide members 98-100 are spaced outwardly slightly from the face of the wheel 22, and have their ends bent slightly outwardly away from the wheel 22. The three guide members 98-100 define a plane spaced outwardly from the surface of the wheel 22 by a distance approximately equal to the thickness of the fully erected cartons 19, so that the cartons are maintained in fixed position relative to the wheel 22 and are prevented from falling out of the proper position during rotation of the wheel 22.

The first of rotation of the wheel 22 brings a carton 19 into a position in which it is disposed at the bottom of the wheel 22 in downwardly opening condition as best shown in FIG. 7. As the carton 19 is brought to its carton-filling position, its closing flap, which is secured to the side wall of the box which is remote from the wheel 22, is cammed away from the opening of the box by a cam member 106 (FIG. 6) located on a bracket 130 secured to the frame of the machine. The opening of the carton is thus unobstructed, and packets may be loaded into the carton by passing upwardly through its open end.

The packets to be loaded into a carton are maintained in a holding compartment 26 supported on the upper surface of the turntable 28. A plan view of the turntable 28 is illustrated in FIG. 6, where it is illustrated that the holding compartments are defined by vertically extending members 108-110 secured at their lower ends to the turntable 28. The members 108 and l 10 are U-shaped, when seen in plan view as in FIG. 6, and the member 109 is an upwardly extending plane, aligned with the inner ends of the U-shaped members 108 and 110. Two additional members 111 and 112 extend upwardly from the surface of the turntable 28 in order to define, with the outer ends of the members 108 and 110, an outer vertical plane which is the outer extremity of the holding compartment 26.

A plurality of notches are provided in the turntable 28 in alignment with each holding compartment 26. A notch 114 is centrally aligned and extends to the lower end of the member 109, between the upwardly extending members 111 and 112. Two additional notches 115 and 116 are provided on opposite sides of, and spaced from, the notch 114, and they are located respectively between the members 108 and 111 and between the members 110 and 112. Accordingly, the notches 114-116 provide open passageways permitting the free movement of fingers from below the turntable 28 upwardly through the holding compartment 26. Such fingers define an elevator 120 which is adapted for raising a stack of packets maintained in position within the holding compartment 26 into position within the carton 19. The elevator 120 is illustrated in plan view in FIG. 6 and a side view, partly in cross-section, is shown in FIG. 7. A side view is also shown in FIG. 2. It incorporates a set of three fingers 121, 122, and 123 which are adapted to pass through the notches 114-116, respectively, for raising a stack of packets 41 contained within the holding compartment 26. The fingers 121-123 are joined by a connecting bar 126 which has a vertical aperture adapted to receive a guide bar 128 secured to the frame of the machine by means of the bracket 130 (FIG. 2).

The central finger 121 of the elevator is secured to a rod 132 which is connected with a piston interiorly of a cylinder 134 (FIG. 7). The cylinder 134 is operated by pneumatic or hydraulic means in order to raise the elevator 120, when desired, and to retract it to a position below the turntable 28. In FIG. 7 the elevated position of the elevator 120 is illustrated in full line, partly in cross-section, and the retracted position of the elevator is illustrated in dashed lines, below the level of the lower surface of the turntable 28. The cylinder 134 is mounted in fixed relation to a frame member 136 which is supported (by means not shown) below the level of the turntable 28.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, the elevated position of the elevator 120 is adapted to place the packets 41 well within the interior of the carton 19. The carton 19 is prevented from moving upwardly relative to the wheel 22 by the tab 83, which limits the maximum inward movement of the carton. While the elevator 120 is in its upper position, a pair of holding fingers 138 and 140, mounted on the wheel 22, are extended into position below the packets 41, preventing their withdrawal from the carton 19 when the elevator 120 is lowered.

FIG. illustrates the manner in which the holding fingers 138 and 140 are mounted in fixed relation to the wheel 22. A block 142 is secured to the rear surface of the wheel 22, i.e., the surface facing away from the cartons gripped thereby, and a further block 144 is secured to the block 142. The blocks 142 and 144 are each provided with aligned apertures for receiving the holding fingers 138 and 140, which are joined at their rearward ends by means of a connecting link 146. The mid-portion of the connecting link 146 is connected to a guide rod 148, which extends through aligned apertures in the blocks 142 and 144. The aperture in the block 144 is larger in diameter than that of the block 142, in order to accommodate a spring 150, which surrounds the rod 148 between the link 146 and the outer surface of the block 142, and serves to urge the link 146 as well as the fingers 138 and 140 outwardly, relative to the wheel 22. A latch arm 152 is rotatable mounted on a shaft 154, secured to the block 144, and has a hook portion adapted to engage a portion of the link 146 to maintain the fingers 138 and 140 in extended condition as illustrated in FIG. 5. The latch arm 152 has an extended portion 156 which is effective to release the latch by moving the latch arm 152 away from the link 146, permitting the spring 150 to expand, and retracting the holding fingers 138 and 140 from the position illustrated in FIG. 5. The holding fingers 138 and 140 are in retracted position when the packets 41 are raised into position within the carton 19, and are then extended into position below the packets 41 by means of a cylinder 160 (FIG. 2) which is operated to move its piston leftwardly against the link 146, thereby pushing the fingers 138 and 140 into position below the open end of the carton 19 and latching the latch arm 152 against the link 146 to hold the holding fingers 138 and 140 in position until released.

After the carton 19 has been loaded with a predetermined number of packets, and the fingers 138 and 140 have been extended by operation of the cylinder 160, the wheel 22 is indexed 90 to bring a new carton 19 to the loading station, simultaneously inserting a new partially erected carton 18 into the carton-gripping section provided therefor adjacent the conveyor 20.

The position reached by 90 of rotation of the wheel 22 from the carton-filling position is one in which no operation takes place, and the carton is merely held in position, while the following carton is being loaded. Following this, the wheel 22 indexes another 90, bringing the carton to the top of the wheel 22, in upwardly opening position. Just before this position is reached,

the extended portion 156 of the latch arm 152 engages a roller 164, mounted on a bracket 166 secured to the frame of the machine, and the latch arm 156 is lifted upwardly as it passes over the roller 164. The relative position of these parts is shown in FIG. 4just before the extended portion 156 of the latch arm I52 engages the roller 164. As the latch arm 152 is cammed upwardly, the link 146 is released, and the spring forces the link 146 away from the block 144, thus withdrawing the holding fingers 138 and 140 from alignment with the carton. The engagement of the extended portion of the latch arm 152 with the roller 164 occurs just before the wheel 22 reaches its stationary position, with a carton in carton-ejecting position. When that position is reached, the wheel 22 stops, and the carton is ejected by means of the cylinder 32, mounted by a bracket 170 to the frame of the machine. The cylinder 32 has a piston connected with a rod 172 which in turn is connected at its distal end with a pusher member 30. The upper end of the pusher member is connected to a rod 176 which is slidably disposed in a tube 178 secured to the frame of the machine, which serves to guide the pusher member 30 for reciprocal movement as the cylinder 32 is actuated.

The wheel 22 is provided with a U-shaped cut-out portion 180, aligned with each carton-gripping section. The pusher member 30 is also U-shaped, and a frontelevational view of the pusher member is illustrated in FIG. 3, where it is shown aligned with the cartonejecting position at the top of the wheel 22. As the cylinder 32 is operated to push the pusher member 30 through the aperture 180, the carton held at this position on the wheel 22 is ejected therefrom onto an inclined surface 184.

The tab member 83 is formed with an L-shaped cross-section, as best illustrated in FIG. 4, so that the carton is free to drop downwardly slightly as soon as it clears the upper portion of the tab 83, which normally engages the end panel of the carton. The bottom leg of the Lshaped cross-section of the tab 83 supports the lower rearward edge of the carton as it is ejected from position on the wheel 22.

As the carton is pushed onto the inclined surface 184, opposite sides thereof are engaged by four spring members 186, which are supported on the surface 184 and interconnected in two pairs by means of rods 188. Two of the spring members 186 are illustrated in FIG. 4, and the other two are located immediately behind the spring members which are shown. The opposed spring members 186 are spaced apart by approximately the width of the carton, so that as the carton is ejected from the wheel 22 by being pushed therefrom by the pusher member 30, the spring members 186 frictionally engage the edges of the carton, and maintain it in position, preventing it from falling backwardly against the wheel 22. The pusher member 30 is pushed far enough forwardly by the cylinder 32 so as to enable the ejected carton to clear the moving parts of the wheel 22, so that the cartons once on the inclined surface 184 are free of the wheel 22 and are not damaged by movement thereof.

The position of the L-shaped cross-section of the tab 83, and the inclined surface 184, together cooperate to align the bottom surfaces of the ejected cartons, even though they are gripped by the spring members 186, so that a plurality of cartons successively ejected from the wheel 22 by the pusher member 30 have aligned upper and lower surfaces. The side surfaces are also aligned, by virtue of their passing between the spring members As illustrated in FIG. 1, the staging platform 34 is juxtaposed with the inclined plane 184, so that cartons which are pushed up the inclined plane 184 and onto the staging platform 34 are assembled there into a group after which the entire group is moved forwardly onto the platform 40 by operation of the cylinder 38 and the pusher member 36.

The manner in which the packets 41 are loaded into the holding compartments 26 will now be described. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 9, the packets 41 arrive on a conveyor 44, which is of the chain-link type, being composed of a plurality of interconnected links forming a chain 190. A second chain is disposed in parallel spaced relation with the chain 190 and the packets 41 are supported on two chains in sections which are defined and separated by bars 192 interconnected be tween links of the two chains and operating to push the packets 41 forwardly when necessary. The transfer wheel 46 is aligned with its notches 47 in position to receive packets while they are carried by the chains 190. The transfer wheel 46 is rotated continuously, at a speed which brings each of the notches 47 into alignment with the space above the chain 190 at the proper time to receive a packet 41 firmly wedged into the notch 47. As shown in FIG. 9, the notch 47a is in line with the chain 190 and is receiving a packet 41a, the packet being urged firmly into the notch 47a by the member 192a carried on the chain 190 immediately behind the packet. All of the packets 41 carried by the chain 190 are handled in a similar fashion, so that the packets are transferred one by one into the notches 47 of the transfer wheel 46. The transfer wheel 46 carries them in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 9, bringing them into position relative to assembler wheel 48.

The assembler wheel 48 comprises a pair of sprockets 194 for supporting a pair of chains 196. The chains 196 and sprockets 194 are in side-by-side relation, so only one set can be seen in FIG. 9. The chains 196 each pass around a sprocket 194, and over a pair of idler sprockets 198 and 200, mounted on shafts secured to the frame of the machine below the sprocket 194, and then back around the sprocket 194 is a closed loop. The portion of each chain 196 which lies between the sprocket 194 and idler sprocket 198 is aligned in substantially a vertical direction, but departs slightly from the vertical, in order to enable the fingers 50 to be retracted from the stripping assembly 52. The fingers 50, which are mounted on the two chains 196 at side-byside locations, define compartments of the assembler wheel 48 in which a predetermined number of the packets 41 are temporarily supported. The packets 41 are transferred from the transfer wheel 46 to the assembler wheel 48 because of the intersecting arrangement of the two wheels. The packets 41 are carried by the notches 47 until they are stripped from the notches 47 by engaging the chains 196.

At a position immediately clockwise from each of the notches 47 a portion 197 having an inclined cam surface is adapted to cam the packets 41 outwardly relative to the transfer wheel 46 immediately after depositing the same on the assembler wheel 48, thereby camming the packages away from the following notch 47 of the transfer wheel and making room for insertion of the next packet into the same compartment of the assembler wheel 48. The relative speeds of rotation of the transfer wheel 46 and the assembler wheel 48 are regulated in such a way that the packets 41 are accumulated in closely spaced relationship on the assembler wheel 48, as illustrated in FIG. 9. The speed of the assembler wheel 48 is adjusted so that when the fingers 50 pass through the area which is proximate to the transfer wheel 46, where they might interfere with incoming packets 41, the speed of the assembler wheel 48 is increased so as to rapidly move the fingers 50 past this point before the next packet 41 arrives at the assembler wheel. This is accomplished by a special drive means provided for the assembler wheel 48, which is described in more detail hereinafter.

The fingers 50 are spaced apart by equal distances on the chains 196, so that the same predetermined number of packets are assembled into each peripheral compartment of the assembler wheel 48, defined by two adjacent fingers 50. This is the same predetermined number of packets which is placed into the holding compartments 26, and later loaded into the carton 19. The packets are placed in a holding compartment 26 which is located directly under the periphery of the assembler wheel 48, and a stripping assembly 52 is provided for guiding the packets from the assembler wheel 48 into position within the holding compartment 26. The plunger 54 is provided in alignment with the holding compartment 26 and at the loading position, at a time just before the packets are inserted into the holding compartment 26, the plunger 54 is in its uppermost position, as illustrated in FIG. 9.

The packets 41 carried by the chains 196 are supported by the fingers 50 as they enter the upper portion of the stripping assembly 52, but then the fingers 50 are gradually withdrawn from within the interior of the stripping assembly 52, so that the stack of packets within the lower section of the stripping assembly 52 is supported less and less by the underlying fingers 50 of the chains 196. Eventually, as the fingers 50 near the sprocket 198, the packets 41 cease to be supported by the fingers 50, and they are then permitted to drop downwardly, coming to rest on the upper surface of the fingers of the plunger 54. The plunger 54 is constructed in the identical manner as described above with reference to the elevator 120, and is adapted to be raised and lowered by a cylinder (not shown) which is identical to the cylinder 134.

As soon-as the packets 41 drop to the plunger 54, the plunger is quickly lowered to a position beneath the surface of the turntable 28. When the plunger 54 has been retracted to a position below the surface of the turntable 28, it does not interfere with rotation of the turntable 28, and the latter may then be indexed bringing each of the holding compartments 26, which are loaded in the loading position of the turntable, to the unloading station 24, at which they are inserted into the carton 19 in the manner described above.

The sprockets 194 are interconnected for rotation by a shaft 210, to which an additional sprocket 212 is connected. A chain 214 surrounds the sprockets 212 and a driving sprocket 215 is secured to the shaft on which the transfer wheel 46 is driven. An arm 216 is mounted for rotation on the shaft 210, and at its distal end a sprocket 218 is supported which engages the outer side of the chain 214. The sprocket 218 is urged downwardly by means of a spring 220, which forces the arm 216 downwardly in a clockwise direction as viewed in F lG. 9; The tension on the chain 214 is thus controlled by the spring 220. The sprocket 215 is secured to the same shaft as a sprocket 222, which is driven by a chain 224. The chain 224 is driven by a conventional drive means (not shown) and passes around sprockets 226 and 228 between the sprocket 222 and the drive means. The sprocket 228 rotates a shaft 230, on which is mounted another sprocket 232, which drives a chain 234 passing around the sprocket 236. The sprocket 236 is connected to the same shaft which supports a sprocket 237, which drives the chain 190 of the conveyor 44. In this way, the speed of the conveyor 44 and the speed of the transfer wheel 46 are fixed in relation to each other.

An idler sprocket 238 is mounted on one end of an arm 240, the other end of which is supported for rotation on a shaft 242. The arm 240 is urged by spring means (not shown) into association with the chain 224 to maintain the latter under tension. Similarly, a sprocket 244 is provided on the end of an arm 246 mounted for rotation on a shaft 248. The arm 246 is urged by spring means (not shown) in a clockwise direction to maintain tension on the chain 234.

Although the sprocket 215 is driven at a constant angular velocity, the shaft 210, on which the sprockets 194 are mounted, is driven in cycles including an interval of relatively high angular velocity and an interval of relatively low angular velocity. The intervals of relatively high angular velocity correspond to the movement of the fingers 50 past the point of intersection with the transfer wheel 46, so that no packets strike the fingers 50. The period between the intervals of relatively high angular velocity are used to advantage in effecting a transfer of packets into a holding compartment 26. The relatively low velocity periods occur between successive periods of relatively high velocity, and allow the turntable 28 to index to its next position before the next series of packages are transferred by the stripping assembly 52 into the compartment 26. This cyclical operation, which is performed in timed sequence with the movement of the fingers 50, is carried out by manipulating the chain 214 in a manner which will now be described.

FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic illustration of the manner in which the chain 214 is supported by the sprockets 212 and 215. Adjacent the lower reach of the chain 214 between these two supporting sprockets, a cam 250 is mounted for rotation on a shaft 252 secured to the frame of the machine. The shaft 252 has a sprocket 254 mounted thereon, which is driven by a chain 256 which surrounds the sprockets 254 and a driving sprocket 258, mounted on the shaft which supports the sprockets 215 and 222. The cam 250 is therefore rotated in timed sequence with the rotation of the transfer wheel 46. The cam 250 supports two cam wheels 260 and 262, each of which are rotatable relative to the cam 250, and which comprise sprockets adapted to engage the chain 214.

The cam 250 rotates in a counterclockwise direction, and the axes of the cam wheels 260 and 262 traverse a circle indicated in FlG. 10 by the reference numeral 264. As the cam 250 rotates, the cam wheels 260 and 262 are successively brought into engagement with the chain 214, and then successively retracted from engagement therewith. During the period that they are out of engagement with the chain 214, the lower reach of the chain 214 follows a straight path interconnecting the lower portion of the sprockets 212 and 215. The slack in the upper reach of the chain 214 is taken up by the sprocket 218, which is urged downwardly.

As the cam 250 rotates in a counterclockwise direction, the wheel 260 first engages the chain 214, and begins forcing it upwardly, forcing the sprocket 218 to move in the counterclockwise direction by rotation of the arm 216 about the shaft 210. This brings about a net reduction in the length of the chain in the upper reach thereof and an increase in the length of chain in the lower reach, between the sprockets 212 and 215. This forces the sprocket 212 to rotate at a higher angular velocity, in order to feed chain from the upper reach around the sprocket 212 to the lower reach. As the cam 250 continues to rotate, the length of chain in the lower reach increases to a maximum, and the upper reach of the chain becomes substantially straight between the sprockets 212 and 215. This condition of the chain, illustrated in dashed lines in FIG. 10, corresponds to the chain position at the time when the maximum acceleration portion of the cycle has just been completed.

As the cam 250 continues its counterclockwise rota tion, the cam wheels 260 and 262 are gradually withdrawn from contact with the chain 214, thus allowing a greater portion of the chain to be returned to the upper reach. This causes the sprocket 212 to rotate at a lesser angular velocity, in order to accumulate chain in the upper reach. This increase and decrease in angular velocity, relative to a mean value, is symmetrical, so that each cycle of operation includes a first period of increased angular velocity, a second period of decreased angular velocity, and a third period of mean or average angular velocity, after which the first period of the cycle is repeated, etc.

The machine which has been specifically described herein is ideally suited for use with packets of the type such as are commonly used to package individual portions of condiments, such as sugar and the like. Such packets are conventionally formed in connected pairs of packets, as best illustrated in FIG. 2. The packets may be loaded into the cartons 19 in pairs, just as they arrive on the incoming conveyor, in order to form one stack of paired packets; or, the packets may be separated by means of a slicer while they are -in position within one of the holding compartments 26. A slicer is indicated in phantom form in FIG. 2. The slicer includes a blade 270 carried by a carrier member 272 adapted to move vertically by movement of an actuator rod 274. The blade 270 extends into the slot 114 of a holding compartment 26, which slot is centrally located, so that passing the blade 270 downwardly throughout the entire compartment 26 functions to slice each and every one of the double packets 41 into two component parts, the packets then being arranged in the carton into which they are loadedinto two separate stacks.

As illustrated in FIG. 6, the turntable 28 has eight stations, only two of which are required for loading and unloading the packets into and out of the compartments 26. An intermediate station between the loading and unloading stations is the one which is perferably provided with a slicer, so that the slicing operation takes place after loading of the packets into a compartment 26, but before they are unloaded into the cartons.

Another station of the turntable 28, between the loading and unloading stations, is provided for compressing the stack of packets 41 as they are held in a holding compartment 26. In FIG. 1, the compressing station 272 is shown at the right-hand side of the drawing, employing a holding compartment 26 which is adjacent the one being loaded with packets from the stripping assembly 52. A vibrator 274 is supported on the frame of the machine (by means not shown). and has a member 276 secured thereto by an arm 278. The member 276 is sized to enter the holding compartment 26 by being lowered thereinto, the arm 278 being received in the slot 114. The agitation transmitted to the stack by the member 276, from the vibrator 274, results in a substantial reduction in the height of the stack, so that a much smaller carton 19 is required to accommodate a given number of packets. The vibrator 274 and the member 276 are raised when the compressing is complete, so as to clear the top of the holding compartment 26 before the turntable 28 is rotated again.

It is apparent that the packets handled by the present invention are loaded efficiently and rapidly into the cartons, without the need for any manual intervention except to remove the loaded cartons from the staging platform where they are ejected in rapid succession after being filled. While the present invention has been described specifically in relation to a machine for filling specific cartons with specific types of packets, it should be understood that the principles of the present invention are equally applicable to other types of packaging machines.

Referring to FIG. 11, a stack of packets is shown in position within a compartment 26, prior to being inserted into one of the cartons 19. The vibrator head 276 rests on top of the stack of packets, while a vibrator base member 282 projects upwardly through the bottom of the compartment 26 to engage the lower surface of the bottom most packet 41 in the stack. The head 276 and the base member'282 are vibrated by means of a vibrator motor 284 mounted on an arm 288.

The arm 288 extends radially inwardly toward the turntable 28 and is connected to another arm 290. The base member 282 is mounted on the arm 290, which is pivotally supported at its remote end by a horizontal shaft 292. A spring 294 urges the arms 288 and 290 upwardly. The vibration caused by the vibrating motor 284 is transmitted to the bottom of the stack by way of the arms 288 and 290. Similarly, the head 276, which rests on the top of the stack of packets, is vibrated through the stack. The head 276 is mounted on an arm 281 which is pivotally supported on a shaft 277, which is mounted on a bracket 286 secured to the fixed frame member 136.

At the beginning of the vibrating operation, the stack is relatively high, and the head 276 assumes an elevated position, shown in dashed lines in FIG. 11. During vibration, the height of the stack decreases, and the arm 281 rotates in a clockwise direction (as viewed in FIG. 11) about the shaft 277. When the arm 281 has been rotated to the position illustrated in FIG. 11, it engages the operating member of a valve 298, which opens a switch (not shown) in the circuit which supplies electrical power to the vibrator motor 284. Accordingly, the vibration stops when the height of the stack of packets has been reduced to a predetermined level.

After vibration ceases, the head 276 and the base member 282 are withdrawn from engagement with the stack in the following manner. The arm 290 has a cam follower 300 connected thereto, which extends horizontally from the arm 290. A cam 302 is secured to a vertical shaft 304, and the cam 302 forces the arm 290 downwardly, via the cam follower 300, when the shaft 304 is rotated. When vibration ceases, the shaft 304 is rotated by forcing the arm 290 downwardly and lowering the arm 288. The arms 288 and 290 pivot in a counterclockwise direction about the shaft 292.

A link 310 is pivotally secured at its lower end to the end of the arm 288 by a pin 312, and supports a stud 314 at its upper end which bears against the upper surface of the end of the arm 281 disposed on the opposite side of the shaft 277 from the head 276. Accordingly, the arm 281 is pivoted in a counterclockwise direction in response to rotation of the cam 302, and the head 276 is rotated upwardly to a position free of the compartment 26. As the arm 281 rotates in a counterclockwise direction, the actuator arm 318 of a switch 316 is engaged, which switch serves to close the electrical circuit to the turntable drive, thus preventing operation of the drive while the head 276 is in a lowered position.

stack, and the hammer head 276 is simultaneously lowered into engagement with the top of the stack.

The vibrator assembly illustrated in FIG. 11 assures that the stack of packets is as compact as possible, so that the minimum size carton is required.

What is claimed is:

1. Packet cartoning apparatus comprising,

a continuously moving horizontal conveyor having a discharge end,

a continuously moving transfer wheel rotatable about a horizontal axis and having its periphery at the discharge end of said conveyor,

said transfer wheel having compartments spaced around its periphery to receive individual packets,

a continuously moving assembly conveyor adjacent the periphery of said transfer wheel and presenting a series of assembly compartments moving past said transfer wheel, each compartment adapted to receive a predetermined number of packets from said transfer wheel,

a holding conveyor below said assembly conveyor and having a plurality of vertical holding compartments,

means for guiding said predetermined number of packets from each said assembly compartment to said holding compartment,

and means for raising said packets out of said compartments and into canons.

2. Packet cartoning apparatus as in claim 1 in which said horizontal conveyor comprises,

an endless chain, said chain having outwardly spaced lugs along the length of the chain, each said lug being engageable with a packet and effecting the transfer of the packet into a respective compartment of said transfer wheel.

3. Packet cartoning apparatus as in claim 1 in which said transfer wheel includes two axially spaced flanges around the periphery of the wheel, said flanges having peripheral notches to form said transfer wheel compartments. v

4. Packet cartoning apparatus according to claim 3 in which said horizontal conveyor and said assembly conveyor project within the confines of flanges of said transfer wheel to effect the transfer from said horizontal conveyor to said transfer wheel and thereafter from said transfer wheel to said assembly conveyor.

5. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said assembly conveyor comprises,

a chain,

sprockets supporting said chain for passage adjacent said transfer wheel,

said chain having outwardly projecting lugs spaced along the length of said chain, the spacing between adjacent lugs forming said compartments each to receive a predetermined number of packets.

6. Apparatus for cartoning packets as in claim 5 in which said guiding means comprises a sleeve having an arcuate upper portion and a vertical lower portion,

said arcuate upper portion being juxtaposed with said assembly conveyor and adapted to surround a portion of said assembly conveyor,

said sleeve being adapted to engage the inner edges of said packets to force them outwardly relative to said assembly conveyor, thereby guiding said group of packets as they are withdrawn from their respective compartments until they are free to fall downwardly into a respective holding compartment.

7. Apparatus for cartoning packets comprising,

a horizontal turntable mounted for rotation about a vertical axis,

a plurality of vertical holding compartments spaced around said turntable,

a loading station adjacent said turntable,

means for loading a stack of packets into each said compartment at said loading station,

a cartoning station adjacent said turntable for transferring packets from said compartments into cartons,

said cartoning station comprising:

a vertical register wheel mounted for rotation about a horizontal axis at said cartoning station,

said register wheel having means for holding a carton with an open end facing downwardly over a holding compartment,

means for engaging the bottom of the stack of packets in said holding compartment and raising the stack into a carton,

said register wheel carrying reciprocating means for projecting across the open end of a carton after it has been filled.

8. Apparatus as in claim 7 further comprising,

an ejecting station adjacent said register wheel,

said ejecting station including a plunger adapted to engage each carton to remove it from its holding means.

9. Apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said holding compartments each comprise a sleeve mounted on said turntable and extending upwardly therefrom in a generally vertical direction,

said sleeve having a vertical slot disposed in one side thereof aligned with the slot disposed in said turntable,

said stack raising means comprising a member extending through said slot and into said sleeve and fluid pressure means for alternately raising and lowering said stack raising means from a position below said turntable to a position in which said stack is inserted in said carton.

10. Apparatus according to claim 7 in which said carton holding means comprises,

a plurality of tabs extending in a generally horizontal direction from said register wheel and spaced apart to define a carton receiving section, whereby a carton may be received between said tabs and frictionally gripped thereby for retaining a carton in position on said register wheel.

11. Apparatus according to claim 1 further comprisvibrating means to vibrate the packets in said holding compartment to reduce the height of said stack before said stack is transferred into a carton.

12. Apparatus according to claim 11, wherein said items are transferred into said holding compartment in a vertical stack, and including means for placing a first vibrating member adjacent the top of said stack, placing a second vibrating member adjacent the bottom of said stack, to reduce the height of said stack before said stack is transferred into said carton, and means for mounting said first vibrating member for vertical movement so that said first vibrating member remains in contact with the top of said stack as said stack is reduced in height.

13. Apparatus according to claim 7 including a conveyor for conveying a succession of partially erected carton blanks toward said carton-receiving section of said register wheel, said conveyor comprising a belt conveyor and including a roller juxtaposed with the lower rear edge of one of said partially erected cartons when such carton is in position within said cartonreceiving section, said roller being spaced from the surface of said wheel by a distance approximately equal to the thickness of one of said cartons, whereby a carton is urged firmly into position relative to said wheel as said wheel rotates abouts its horizontal axis.

14. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein said cartons are inserted into said carton-receiving section in a condition in which the closing flap of said carton is hinged to said carton at a position spaced from the surface of said register wheel and extends radially outwardly from said wheel, and including cam means adapted to engage said closing flap and to cam it away from the opening of said carton as said register wheel is rotated.

15. Apparatus according to claim 8 including an inclined surface aligned below a carton at said cartonejecting station to receive the lower edge of said carton when it is ejected from said register wheel and to gudie it upwardly onto a staging platform.

16. Apparatus according to claim 15 including a pair of resilient members adapted to engage the side panels of an ejected carton as it is ejected from said register wheel.

17. Apparatus according to claim 16 including a second pusher member adapted for movement in a direction generally transverse to said ejecting pusher member, said second pusher member being adapted for moving a plurality of said cartons from said staging platform in a direction transverse to the direction of movement of said cartons from said inclined plane to said staging platform.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent: No. 3,854,270 Dated December 17, 1974 lnventofls) Donn Allan Hartman and Charles E. Cloud It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Assignee on the face, of the patent; should be R. A. Jones & Co. Inc. COVingbOIMQKY,

Col. 4, line 25, delete 62 82-,

Col. 4, line 26, delete tend s into th e space above the inclined plane 16 under- Col. 4, line 27, delete neath Col. 9,. line 46, change "is" to in Signed and sealed this l th day of March 1975.

(SEAL) Attest: I

MARSHALL DA-NN RUTH C. MASON Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer 1 and Trademarks USCOMM-DC 00376-P69 I u I. unvumnmr "mum; nrnc: nu o-.\n-.ul

FORM PO-IOSO (IO-69)

Claims (17)

1. Packet cartoning apparatus comprising, a continuously moving horizontal conveyor having a discharge end, a continuously moving transfer wheel rotatable about a horizontal axis and having its periphery at the discharge end of said conveyor, said transfer wheel having compartments spaced around its periphery to receive individual packets, a continuously moving assembly conveyor adjacent the periphery of said transfer wheel and presenting a series of assembly compartments moving past said transfer wheel, each compartment adapted to receive a predetermined number of packets from said transfer wheel, a holding conveyor below said assembly conveyor and having a plurality of vertical holding compartments, means for guiding said predetermined number of packets from each said assembly compartment to said holding compartment, and means for raising said packets out of said compartments and into cartons.
2. Packet cartoning apparatus as in claim 1 in which said horizontal conveyor comprises, an endless chain, said chain having outwardly spaced lugs along the length of the chain, each said lug being engageable with a packet and effecting the transfer of the packet into a respective compartment of said transfer wheel.
3. Packet cartoning apparatus as in claim 1 in which said transfer wheel includes two axially spaced flanges around the periphery of the wheel, said flanges having peripheral notches to form said transfer wheel compartments.
4. Packet cartoning apparatus according to claim 3 in which said horizontal conveyor and said assembly conveyor project within the confines of flanges of said transfer wheel to effect the transfer from said horizontal conveyor to said transfer wheel and thereafter from said transfer wheel to said assembly conveyor.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said assembly conveyor comprises, a chain, sprockets supporting said chain for passage adjacent said transfer wheel, said chain having outwardly projecting lugs spaced along the length of said chain, the spacing between adjacent lugs forming said compartments each to receive a predetermined number of packets.
6. Apparatus for cartoning packets as in claim 5 in which said guiding means comprises a sleeve having an arcuate upper portion and a vertical lower portion, said arcuate upper portion being juxtaposed with said assembly conveyor and adapted to surround a portion of said assembly conveyor, said sleeve being adapted to engage the inner edges of said packets to force them outwardly relative to said assembly conveyor, thereby guiding said group of packets as they are withdrawn from their respective compartments until they are free to fall downwardly into a respective holding compartment.
7. Apparatus for cartoning packets comprising, a horizontal turntable mounted for rotation about a vertical axis, a plurality of vertical holding compartments spaced around said turntable, a loading station adjacent said turntable, means for loading a stack of packets into each said compartment at said loading station, a cartoning station adjacent said turntable for transferring packets from said compartments into cartons, said cartoning station comprising: a vertical register wheel mounted for rotation about a horizontal axis at said cartoning station, said register wheel having means for holding a carton with an open end facing downwardly over a holding compartment, means for engaging the bottom of the stack of packets in said holding compartment and raising the stack into a carton, said register wheel carrying reciprocating means for prOjecting across the open end of a carton after it has been filled.
8. Apparatus as in claim 7 further comprising, an ejecting station adjacent said register wheel, said ejecting station including a plunger adapted to engage each carton to remove it from its holding means.
9. Apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said holding compartments each comprise a sleeve mounted on said turntable and extending upwardly therefrom in a generally vertical direction, said sleeve having a vertical slot disposed in one side thereof aligned with the slot disposed in said turntable, said stack raising means comprising a member extending through said slot and into said sleeve and fluid pressure means for alternately raising and lowering said stack raising means from a position below said turntable to a position in which said stack is inserted in said carton.
10. Apparatus according to claim 7 in which said carton holding means comprises, a plurality of tabs extending in a generally horizontal direction from said register wheel and spaced apart to define a carton receiving section, whereby a carton may be received between said tabs and frictionally gripped thereby for retaining a carton in position on said register wheel.
11. Apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising, vibrating means to vibrate the packets in said holding compartment to reduce the height of said stack before said stack is transferred into a carton.
12. Apparatus according to claim 11, wherein said items are transferred into said holding compartment in a vertical stack, and including means for placing a first vibrating member adjacent the top of said stack, placing a second vibrating member adjacent the bottom of said stack, to reduce the height of said stack before said stack is transferred into said carton, and means for mounting said first vibrating member for vertical movement so that said first vibrating member remains in contact with the top of said stack as said stack is reduced in height.
13. Apparatus according to claim 7 including a conveyor for conveying a succession of partially erected carton blanks toward said carton-receiving section of said register wheel, said conveyor comprising a belt conveyor and including a roller juxtaposed with the lower rear edge of one of said partially erected cartons when such carton is in position within said carton-receiving section, said roller being spaced from the surface of said wheel by a distance approximately equal to the thickness of one of said cartons, whereby a carton is urged firmly into position relative to said wheel as said wheel rotates abouts its horizontal axis.
14. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein said cartons are inserted into said carton-receiving section in a condition in which the closing flap of said carton is hinged to said carton at a position spaced from the surface of said register wheel and extends radially outwardly from said wheel, and including cam means adapted to engage said closing flap and to cam it away from the opening of said carton as said register wheel is rotated.
15. Apparatus according to claim 8 including an inclined surface aligned below a carton at said carton-ejecting station to receive the lower edge of said carton when it is ejected from said register wheel and to gudie it upwardly onto a staging platform.
16. Apparatus according to claim 15 including a pair of resilient members adapted to engage the side panels of an ejected carton as it is ejected from said register wheel.
17. Apparatus according to claim 16 including a second pusher member adapted for movement in a direction generally transverse to said ejecting pusher member, said second pusher member being adapted for moving a plurality of said cartons from said staging platform in a direction transverse to the direction of movement of said cartons from said inclined plane to said staging platform.
US3854270A 1973-08-20 1973-08-20 Apparatus for automatically erecting and loading cartons Expired - Lifetime US3854270A (en)

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CA 184377 CA1008419A (en) 1973-08-20 1973-10-26 Method and apparatus for automatically erecting and loading cartons
DE19742439565 DE2439565A1 (en) 1973-08-20 1974-08-17 Apparatus and method for automatic loading of cartons
JP9545374A JPS50112192A (en) 1973-08-20 1974-08-20
GB3661974A GB1485561A (en) 1973-08-20 1974-08-20 Method and apparatus for automatically loading cartons

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US4395864A (en) * 1981-01-28 1983-08-02 American Can Company Apparatus for the automatic counting and bagging of can ends
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EP0798210A1 (en) * 1996-03-28 1997-10-01 BRETON AUTOMAZIONI Spa A method and apparatus for packing non-rigid packs in variable arrangements
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WO1999037540A3 (en) * 1998-01-22 2003-07-17 Tetley Gb Ltd Method of and apparatus for packaging infusion packages
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US6968668B1 (en) * 2000-01-19 2005-11-29 General Mills, Inc. Apparatus for packaging goods in an open-bottomed container and method for doing the same
US6594974B2 (en) 2001-09-06 2003-07-22 Dominic Theriault Device for packaging sheet-like folded packages
US20030221396A1 (en) * 2002-05-29 2003-12-04 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. System and process for loading containers with formed product
US7000363B2 (en) 2002-05-29 2006-02-21 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. System and process for loading containers with formed product
WO2005082716A1 (en) * 2004-02-20 2005-09-09 Marc Robert Costa Method for packaging single-use pod portions for beverages, apparatus therefor and thus obtained package
US8393132B2 (en) * 2005-05-24 2013-03-12 Robert Bosch Gmbh Device and method for filling containers
US20080190075A1 (en) * 2005-05-24 2008-08-14 Juerg Waeckerlin Device and Method For Filling Containers
US7448181B2 (en) * 2006-03-10 2008-11-11 G.D Societa' Per Azioni Packing wheel
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US20080196362A1 (en) * 2007-02-15 2008-08-21 Marchesini Group S.P.A. Machine For Packaging Articles into Boxes With Variable Arrangement With Respect To The Production Line
US20110283668A1 (en) * 2010-05-21 2011-11-24 Cama1 S.P.A. Machine for cartoning products
US8387349B2 (en) * 2010-05-21 2013-03-05 Cama1, S.P.A. Machine for cartoning products
EP2723659B1 (en) 2011-06-27 2016-04-06 Focke & Co. (GmbH & Co.) Device and method for grouping articles
CN103895888A (en) * 2014-03-25 2014-07-02 绍兴联德机械设备有限公司 Large packing machine of gauze pads
CN103895888B (en) * 2014-03-25 2015-08-19 绍兴联德机械设备有限公司 Large gauze packing machine
CN105109754A (en) * 2015-08-11 2015-12-02 安徽远鸿机械自动化有限公司 Cover folding device of packing boxes
CN105109754B (en) * 2015-08-11 2017-12-26 安徽远鸿机械自动化有限公司 One kind of box flap folding means

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
GB1485561A (en) 1977-09-14 application
JPS50112192A (en) 1975-09-03 application
CA1008419A (en) 1977-04-12 grant
CA1008419A1 (en) grant
DE2439565A1 (en) 1975-03-13 application

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