Abstract: A film advance mechanism is used for advancing a tubular film along a film support with the film surrounding the support. The mechanism comprises two drive units each comprising a drive belt passing round two rollers mounted on a respective drive belt carrier and arranged so that a straight run of the belt can engage frictionally against the film to drive the film along the support. Each carrier is supported for movement towards and away from the film support and for angular movement with respect to the film support and is urged towards the film support such that it aligns itself with the film support due to engagement therewith.
Abstract: A machine for erecting packing cases of a kind comprising two major and two minor sides and four base flaps foldable to form a base comprises supports for holding a folded flat case by its sides and for opening its sides to a rectangular form with the case at a first station, three sequentially operated flap folding elements arranged to fold three of the flaps into the base plane; and a traversable carriage having a guide arranged to engage the other flap as the carriage moves towards the case and to deflect that flap into the base plane in the required sequence.
Abstract: Package handling apparatus comprises an enclosure having a downwardly directed opening, a source of air flow arranged to draw air into the enclosure through the opening, and lowers for varying the air flow into the enclosure. A conveyor is arranged in the opening and is movable relative to the opening, the conveyor being positioned to be in the flow of air into the enclosure and to provide a movable support for a package which is urged against the conveyor by the flow of air past the support.
Abstract: A method of transferring a collation of flexible packages from a first location to a second location employs a loading head comprising an enclosure having an opening and a permeable barrier extending across the opening. The method comprises the steps of bringing the opening and the collation together at the first location, applying suction to the enclosure, thereby drawing air into the enclosure through the permeable barrier, drawing the packages against the barrier by the air drawn through the permeable barrier, and thus expanding upper regions of the packages towards one another by sub-atmospheric air pressure created by the suction. The packages tend to seal against one another and to prevent flow of air through the collation, so that the collation is held by suction against the barrier. The enclosure is transferred to the second location and the suction is removed to release the collation from the enclosure.
Abstract: Apparatus for testing for leaks in flexible packages containing a product such as potato crisps and some air comprises three probing stations. Packages are transferred from station to station by suction cup heads carried on a reciprocable beam. Probes incorporating weights are applied by gravity at each probing station under control of a support plate and cause air to be squeezed out of packages which have substantial leaks. Probe position sensing equipment detects when probes have dropped down and uses this information as an indication of a leak. The specification also describes apparatus for transferring packages to the leak testing apparatus.
Abstract: Apparatus for testing for leaks in a flexible package containing loosely packaged product and some air includes a first set of gravitational probes at a first measuring station for applying a load to the package and obtaining a first measure of the thickness of the package under this load, a second set of gravitational probes at a second measuring station for applying a corresponding load to the package in a corresponding position and direction with respect to the package and obtaining a second measure of the thickness of the package under the second load and means for comparing the first and second measures of thickness and for indicating the presence of a leak when the second measure is substantially less than the first.